Car Maintenance

Car maintenance projects and tips to help you keep your cars running smooth.

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  • Car Battery Care

  • Avoid an expensive service or tow charge (and the worry of being stranded!) by keeping your car battery working at peak performance. This…

  • Car Cleaning Tips and Tricks

  • Professionally clean and detail your car for a fraction of what the pros charge. With the right products and a little elbow grease, you can make…

  • How to Replace Spark Plugs

  • Change your spark plugs yourself to maintain peak performance and high gas mileage. In most cases it's a simple job as long as you have the…

  • Interior Car Cleaning

  • Cleaning your car or truck like a pro is easier than you think. We talked to real auto detailers to bring you helpful cleaning tips so you can…

  • Fix Car Dents Yourself

  • If you follow these steps, you can patch a car dent yourself in just an afternoon and save a few hundred bucks over body shop prices.

  • Jump Start a Car

  • Buy high quality jumper cables for emergency jump-starting a car. They're more dependable in adverse conditions.

  • Tips to Restore Your Car's Interior

  • Want to get top dollar when you sell your car? Dealers know that spiffing up the interior of a used car is the best way to command a higher…

  • How to Jump Start Your Car Safely

  • Dead or weak battery? Jump-starting a vehicle is easy and safe if you follow these four simple steps. It takes only a few minutes.

  • Winter Prep: Where to Grease a Car

  • 5 simple lubrication steps will prevent many cold-weather auto problems. Lube window tracks, weather stripping, the hood latch, locks and door…

  • How to Lube Your Car Before Winter

  • Snow, ice and road salt take a toll on cars, but with a few squirts of lubricant you can lessen the impact and keep important moving parts…

  • Shake Your PCV Valve

  • Perform the world's easiest diagnostic test: Shake your PCV valve to make sure it's working. It takes only 5 minutes to replace a bad…

  • Switch to Winter Wiper Blades

  • Winter wiper blades prevent ice and snow from adhering and clogging the wiper action. They're a simple change out.

  • How to Buy Spark Plugs

  • There are a wide variety of replacement spark plugs available: fixed or adjustable gap, single platinum, double platinum, yttrium and others.…

  • Coolant Testing with a Multimeter

  • Perform a quick diagnostic test for corrosion in your water pump, radiator or heater core with a digital multimeter. A simple test of the…

  • Spark Plug Gap

  • Good engine performance requires the proper spark plug gap. You can measure and set the gap in minutes to fit the specifications of your engine.

  • Custom Headlights

  • Many luxury cars have bright white, high-intensity discharge headlights. If you like the look, you can customize almost any car's headlights…

  • How to Repair Leather

  • Learn how to use inexpensive, DIY-friendly repair kits to fix small tears in leather or vinyl car seats and chairs before they get big and ugly.

  • How to Clean an Engine

  • Is your car or truck’s engine a greasy mess? Don’t really know how to clean an engine? Follow these simple steps to make your…

  • How to Fix a Short Circuit

  • Automotive electrical problems might seem insurmountable, but they're not. All you have to do is locate where the current stops flowing. It's…

  • How to Refinish Wheels

  • If you go through the trouble of detailing your aging car, sooner or later the rusty wheels are going to bug you. Here's how to refinish the…

  • How to Replace a Car Battery

  • The Family Handyman automotive expert, Rick Muscoplat, will show you how replace your car battery. If you car battery is five years old or…

  • Replacing Auto Fuses

  • Cars run on electricity as well as gas, and almost all of it runs through fuses. Learn where they are, how to spot a blown fuse, and how to…

  • How to Torque Lug Nuts Properly

  • A torque wrench is a necessity for changing a tire. Improperly torqued lug nuts can cause expensive brake problems and also break wheel studs.

  • How to Play MP3 Songs on Your Radio

  • Adapt your car radio to play music from your MP3 or iPod with an add-on adapter that ensures good sound quality. It costs less than $150 and…

  • Cleaning a Throttle Body

  • Try this 10-minute throttle cleaning fix to solve a rough idle problem and save the cost of taking your car into the shop.

  • How to Clean Headlights

  • Clear up a cloudy headlight lens with a special polish kit. We also tell you how to evaluate it in case you have to replace it.

  • How to Change Coolant

  • Change the coolant yourself and save money on car maintenance. Our experts show how to change coolant in both newer and older (pre-2000) cars.

  • How to Change Headlights

  • We help you choose the best headlight bulb for your car and show you how to quickly and easily install it.

  • How to Replace a Broken Wheel Stud

  • Tightening lug nuts without a torque wrench can be a recipe for disaster. If worse comes to worse and you break the wheel stud, here's how to…

  • How to Change Auto Light Bulbs

  • Is your car interior dark? High-mount stop lamp burnt out? Can’t see in the fog? Here’s how to replace auto light bulbs you never…

  • How to Load a Grease Gun Cartridge

  • Loading a new grease cartridge seems easy enough. But if you don't do it right, an air lock might keep grease from coming out when you pump the…

  • Windshield Wiper Arm Replacement

  • Do your windshield wipers leave unwiped spots for no apparent reason, even after you replaced the blades? Chances are the hinge is binding from…

  • 13 Cool Tools Every Shop Needs

  • You can turn your garage space into an automotive “super shop” with these 13 cool tools. And they won't break the bank (just dent it…

  • Rebuild a Booster Pack

  • If your battery-powered booster pack for jump starting car batteries wears out, rebuild it with a new battery for much less than the cost of a…

  • How to Check Transmission Fluid

  • The Family Handyman automotive expert, Rick Muscoplat, will show you how to check your transmission fluid to prevent damage to your…

  • Protect Your Engine With Additives

  • Certain additives, including fuel additives, do work. They clean your fuel injectors (and may increase fuel mileage), bolster older…

  • OBD Scan Tool for Smartphones

  • Using an OBD scan tool you can track down engine problems through your car’s engine control computer, then send the results to your smartphone.

  • When to Change an Air Filter

  • A dirty air filter can decrease your gas mileage by almost 10%. The Family Handyman automotive repair expert, Rick Muscoplat, will show you how…

  • How to Test and Replace a PCV Valve

  • What is a PCV valve? Do I really need to change it? The Family Handyman automotive repair expert, Rick Muscoplat, will tell you what a positive…

  • How to Change Oil in Lawn Mower

  • The Family Handyman automotive expert, Rick Muscoplat, will show you how to change oil in your push lawn mower. Changing your oil after every 25…

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