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The Do it Yourself Car Tune Up.

If you have ever had your mechanic give your car a tune up, you know it is not cheap. Most people who are not mechanics themselves assume they have no choice but to pay somebody else to do it. Not true! A do it yourself car tune up is something every single car owner should know how to do just because it makes you more independent…but it also can save you money. There are some things you simply can’t do yourself, like check the complex electronic sensors in today’s advanced engines. You’re stuck paying your mechanic to do that. But you can keep your car humming along yourself without paying through the nose. Here are seven easy things every car owner should know how to do (yes, even you ladies who don’t fancy yourselves grease monkeys). Your car owner’s manual will tell you where to find the engine parts you need to touch and tune up. 1. hange your fuel filter. This can improve your gas mileage and prolong the life of your engine. You ought to change the filter once per year. 2. Change your oil filter. Oil lubricates your engine. The oil filter keeps your oil clean so it can do its job well. Replace the filter every time you change your oil, which will probably be about every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Third, change your own oil. This is one you should know how to do, but that you won’t always do yourself (disposing of used motor oil is a bit of a pain in the neck, and your mechanic is all set up to do it). You will probably pay $25-50 to have somebody else do it, and you can do it yourself on most cars. That’s a simple way to save money. 4. Replenish your fluids. That includes the windshield washer fluid and your motor oil. Learn how to check your own oil with the dipstick. There’s no excuse for not knowing how to do that on your own. Why pay somebody for an hour of labor just to do something you can do yourself in about three minutes while you’re filling up your gas tank? 5. Check your belts. You should let your mechanic handle the timing belt, but if others are worn, you can change them yourself. 6. Service your own battery. You might need to add distilled water (your owner’s manual should help you know) from time to time. But you can always keep the cables clean and check the terminals for corrosion. 7. Change your wiper blades. This one wins the “easy” award. Almost any auto parts store (AutoZone, etc.) will have the right blades for your car, or can get them. Follow the instructions on the package and you will have a clean windshield in all weather, and you’ll improve your road safety. A do it yourself car tune up is not hard, and it is not expensive. You can not do everything yourself (and it is not worth your time if you could), but doing a few little things can save you a bundle next time you visit your mechanic.