105 Super-Simple Car Repairs You Don’t Need to Go to the Shop For
Vehicle repairs and maintenance tasks don’t always have to be done in the shop. You can easily do these in your own garage.
Use a Code Reader
Diagnose car problems without going to a mechanic with an auto code reader. Simply plug it into the car’s computer system, then interpret the trouble code readout to see what repairs you might need to do. See how to crack the code of a code reader here.
Replace Your Wiper Blades
It’s easy to tell when your blades need replacing. Simply press the washer button and see if your blades wipe clean. If they streak, they’re toast. The auto parts store will have lots of economy blades, but go with a name brand instead (ANCO, Trico or Bosch). They cost more than economy blades, but their higher-quality rubber wipes better, has better UV protection and lasts longer.
Follow the installation instructions on the package. Be sure you have a firm grip on the wiper arm once you remove the old blade. If it gets away from you, it can hit the windshield with enough force to crack it.
Service Your ‘Tuck-Under’ Spare Tire Lift Now!
Loosen and lubricate a corroded spare tire lift so you can get to your spare tire when you need it. See how to keep that spare tire lift loose so you can get the tire when you need it.
Solve Rough Idle by Cleaning EGR Valve
Rough idle? A good dousing with throttle body cleaner may be enough to restore your EGR valve to near-mint condition, transforming a harsh idle into a soothing hum. Clean a EGR valve with these instructions for one of those easier car repairs.
Fix a Leaking Valve Cover Gasket
Replace a leaky gasket cover on a 4-cylinder engine easily and in less than an hour for less than $25. We show you how to fix a leaky gasket here.
Replace Sway Bar End Links
Fixing a clunk when your car hits a bump is a trial and error process. Start with the stabilizer bushings and then the bar end links, using a special tool. Replacing sway bar links is way cheaper than you think, see how to replace sway bar links and how much it costs.
Repair a Dim Headlight
Simply clean the ground connection to restore the brightness of dim headlights. And apply a little dielectric grease. Or replace the bulb if you see a gray/brown film on the inside of the glass. See how to locate the ground connection and how to clean it.
The hardest part of the job is choosing a new bulb. You can spend more time shopping for the bulbs than it takes to install them. The choices are mind-boggling. Every bulb manufacturer has its own confusing names for each style, making comparisons difficult. But it boils down to four upgrade categories—brightness level, life span, light color and energy consumption. See which bulb to pick and how to install a new headlight.
Fix a Stuck Power Antenna
Fix a stuck power antenna by replacing a burned out motor or bad cable/mast. You can do both in about two hours, and you’ll avoid the $50 – $100 dealer service fee. You need only one special tool, an antenna wrench. See how to fix an antenna here.
Fix a Horn Problem
Use a simple fused jumper to pinpoint the problem with a bad horn. Often the fix is simple and cheap. Check out how to fix a car horn here.