5 Do-It-Yourself Car Maintenance Hacks on a Budget

Categories Car Tips

Guest article from Rumbleon.com

Cars can quickly become a money pit and maintenance issues always pop up at the wrong time.

Benjamin Franklin penned one of the greatest quotes of all time, “There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes and change.” If Mr. Franklin was around today, I’m convinced car maintenance would be added as the fourth certainty. We’re closely tied to our cars whether we use them for business or pleasure.

Why is it important to keep your car properly maintained?

Well, that’s just a silly question. Keeping your car maintained is in some ways a necessity depending on what you’re getting done. Preventative measures like changing your oil every 3,000 miles, replacing belts, and keeping tires inflated at the correct PSI are a requirement if for no other reason than to simply keep the car running and not destroy the engine.

Let’s address the opening question of why it’s important to keep your car maintained:

–  It improves safety

– Strengthens reliability and performance

– Saves on expensive repair costs

– Resale value increases

– Minimizes roadside emergencies

As you can see, it pays to keep your car in good working order. But sometimes it can be tough to keep everything up to date and the car looking good when you’re in a squeeze for funds.

You’d be surprised what all you can accomplish when you’re strapped for cash.

Everyone is on a budget these days for a myriad of reasons. Luckily, we’ve discovered some car DIY hacks to get you out of a rut.

  1. How do I clean my headlights?

Grab your toothpaste. Rub ¼ of a teaspoon of paste onto a headlight and buff with a piece of cloth until the sticky residue is gone. They’ll stay clean even after it rains!

2. How do I replace a broken fan belt?

When you’re in need for a quick fix until you can get to the mechanic’s shop, pantyhose can temporarily replace a broken fan belt.

3. What cleaning products can I use to wash my car?

Household products seriously do the trick.

A washing soda, dish soap and hot water mixture can get fabric seats looking like new, dish soap can get your hubcaps clean, club soda is great for the windshield, Pam can help with bug residue, olive oil as a dashboard polish, hair conditioner makes a great car wax substitute, and soda helps combat rust/corrosion!

4. How can I get a dent out of my car?

Take dents into your own hands. Obviously, bigger dents will require a trip to the body shop. For small dents, buy some dry ice, or a hair dryer and a can of compressed air. Say goodbye to major labor costs for simple cosmetic flaws.

5.  How can I upgrade my car stereo on a budget?  

Integrate your iPod, iPhone or other audio devices with a screwdriver. Use a screwdriver and you can easily tap into, or add, an auxiliary jack to your car stereo. Don’t know how? Rejoice, iPod users, your time has come. Follow this procedure step-by-step:

  • Remove your dash panel. Most panels attach with screws or clips, so if you can’t find screws, try pulling carefully or prying at the sides with a flathead screwdriver. Wrap the tip with tape to avoid scratches.
  • Locate the auxiliary input. Most aftermarket stereos have RCA jacks (the red and white female connectors) at the back for hooking up extra audio sources. Some factory-installed ones have them for a CD changer or satellite radio input. You may need a special adapter, but you can find one on the internet.
  • Ask the guys at RadioShack or Best Buy for a Y cable. This will connect those RCA jacks to your iPod’s 3.5-mm stereo jack.
  • Plug the cable into the RCA jacks and snake the plug to a convenient location such as inside the glove box or popping up from the center console. Be sure to leave some slack. Just don’t drill any holes if you have plans of selling the car down the road.
  • Replace the dash panel while ensuring you’re not crimping the new wires.

These are all simple fixes that can go a long way. If you have some time to dedicate and a little bit of elbow grease, your car can continue to look great and do exactly what you want it to do.

For more great car maintenance advice, check out The Pit Stop.

Photo by : Pixabay.com