In these hard economic times, it is always important to save any penny you can; and there is nothing as expensive as paying a professional anytime your van breaks down or needs maintenance.
Handling some of these projects yourself can be of great help for those trying to live a frugal life. Even though you are not an auto expert or mechanically inclined, here are some DIY repair and maintenance projects:
Replacing Air Filter
A van requires a new air filter after every 12 months or after covering 12000 miles. Most people opt to pay a mechanic to replace the old filter, but you can do it at home in just 10 minutes. Here is what you need to do:
Find the filter- It is usually under the hood of your car and located in a black rectangular box that has metal clips on the side. If you don’t know how it looks like or where to find it, check your vans manual.
Open up the metal cover, and check how the filter is fitted. Also, note the direction it faces before unplugging it.
To replace the filter, remove the old one and insert the new one in the exact same position the old one sat. Close the clips as soon as you are through.
Windshield Wiper Blades Installation
Wiper blades get worn out with time and you might be required to replace them every six months. Visit your nearest local auto store and purchase new blades, and make sure that they are similar to the ones on your car since they usually differ from van to van. To replace them:
Lift the blades, in a position as if you were to wash the windshield by hand, and remove the old blades. You should closely look at how the old ones connect to the metal arms. To remove the blades, there is a tab located underneath the wiper, just push it to pop the blade out.
Attach the new blade in the position of the old blade. But be careful not to bend the arms or scratch your windshield in the process. Secure the new blades and ensure they fit tightly.
In case you get distracted or seem to have a problem fixing the new blades, just check the packaging that came with them and you will find a set of instruction with clear diagrams on how to go about it.
A van can fail to start if the battery is in a bad condition. To maintain an efficient battery connection, always ensure that the plugs are well fitted and the posts are always clean.
Disconnect the battery terminal - start by removing the negative cable first and if they are stuck, you can use a screwdriver to release them.
Clean the post- Most of the time there are deposits of a white crunchy residue at the posts, and using coca-cola or a cleaning detergent from your auto store can easily remove it. Vigorously clean the posts using a wire brush.
Dry the posts with a rag and then connect the terminals.
In conclusion, some of these maintenance tasks can cost up to £60, thus by undertaking them yourself, you can slash the expenses out of your budget. However, van DIY can be daunting to handle, so if you feel it is a bit too risky, seek help from a neighbour or relative who is more experienced than you.