Easy Car Maintenance you can do yourself
Posted by Stacey Smith | DIY


Easy Car Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Easy Car Maintenance you can do yourself

Here at A Girl Rocks Life, we are big advocates of do-it-yourself projects and car maintenance falls into the DIY category.  Learn how to do simple car maintenance to help keep your car running smoothly. You will learn how to check your tire pressure, and how to check the fluids under the hood (Windshield Washer Fluid, Oil, Transmission, Power Steering, Brake Fluid, and Radiator). It is easy car maintenance you can do yourself.

This is created in partnership with Carscom. All opinions expressed are completely my own

Easy Car Maintenance

Learn how to check your tire pressure and the fluid level of the windshield washer, oil, transmission, brake, power steering, and the radiator. You will see how simple it is to care for your car. This is easy car maintenance you can do yourself.


How to Check the Tire Pressure

Properly inflated tires are crucial to your safety. You can find the recommended PSI (Pounds per square inch) for your tire written on the tire.

  • Locate the valve stem on the tire and unscrew the cover.
  • Take your tire pressure gauge and place the fitting on the valve stem of the tire, (allowing the meter to slide freely)
  • Read the gauge to determine the tire pressure.
  • If your tire pressure is low, use an air compressor to add air to your tire
  • Recheck the tire pressure to see if it’s at the recommended PSI
  • Replace valve stem covers
Easy Car Maintenance You can do yourself

Courtesy of Cars.com

How to Check the Fluid Levels

When checking the fluid levels in your vehicle, it is best to check it when your car’s engine is cool, unless noted differently.


How To Fill the Windshield Washer Fluid

  • Locate the windshield washer fluid tank.
  • Remove the cap.
  • Check the level of windshield washer fluid.
  • If the fluid is low, add windshield washer fluid to the reservoir tank (In colder weather use a washer fluid with a de-icer).
  • Screw the windshield washer cap back on the tank.


How To Check the Oil Level

*** WARNING*** Never check your oil when the car is hot, wait for it to cool down before checking oil levels.

You will get inaccurate results from a hot engine. Grab a rag to use to wipe the dipstick clean.

  • Locate the Oil Dipstick on the engine block.
  • Pull the dipstick out of the holder and wipe clean with a rag or napkin
  • Replace the dipstick back into the holder.
  • Pull the dipstick back out of the holder and read the oil level line on the dipstick.
  • If the dipstick level is low, add oil to the engine.
  • Find the oil cap on the engine, and remove the cap.
  • Add oil to the proper quart level that your dipstick indicated was needed
  • Replace the oil cap on the engine
  • Check the dipstick again repeating the steps above, to make sure you added the proper amount needed

How To Change Your Oil

Changing your oil is an easy task to complete. I could explain the steps but I found a detailed guide that can explain it better than I can. To learn how to change your oil, you can find the more detailed, step-by-step guide here on Cars.com

Easy do-it-yourself car maintenace

Courtesy of Cars.com

How To Check the Transmission Fluid

***WARNING*** Never check a cold transmission.

You should check your transmission fluid after your car has been running or while running.

  • Locate the transmission fluid dipstick on the transmission
  • Pull the dipstick out of the holder and wipe clean with a rag or napkin
  • Replace the transmission dipstick back into the holder
  • Pull the dipstick back out and read the transmission fluid level line located near the bottom of the dipstick
  • If the transmission fluid is low, add transmission fluid to the transmission

How To Check the Brake Fluid 

  • Find the Brake fluid reservoir tank
  • Remove the cap
  • Check the fluid level
  • If the level is low, add Brake Fluid Only to the reservoir tank
Easy Do-it-yourself car maintenance

Courtesy of Cars.com


How To Check the Power Steering Fluid 

  • Locate the Power Steering tank
  • Remove the cap and check the fluid level
  • If the power steering fluid is low
  • Add Power steering fluid and replace cap


How To Fill The Radiator

  ***WARNING*** NEVER Remove the RADIATOR CAP from an overheating vehicle wait until your car is cool 

Seriously, you can do some serious damage to yourself or others by opening a hot radiator cap. Just thought I’d put that little warning in there because I have seen first-hand the damage an exploding radiator cap can do to a person. Believe me, it’s not pretty.

  • Locate the water reservoir tank next to the radiator
  • Check the fluid level inside the tank
  • If the fluid level is low add antifreeze/water to the reservoir tank, not the radiator, until its full
  • Replace the cap to the water reservoir tank

How to Properly Install a Car Seat

I know child car seats are technically not apart of car maintenance, but yet they are apart of the interior of the car. A car seat provides protection for a child while riding in the car, so I’m including car seat safety tips to keep your child safe. Every car seat is different in how it is installed, so it hard to give detailed instructions.

Some car seats can be confusing to install, so start by reading the manual. Make sure you read the car seat’s manual and the car owners manual section on car seats. You will be more confident that the car seat is installed correctly, if you actually read the manuals. Don’t forget to register your car seat so you can be alerted if there happens to be a recall. If you still are not sure how to install a car seat, ask for help. You should also check out how Cars.com properly installs different models of car seats. If you’re unsure if you’ have installed your child’s car seat correctly, schedule a car seat check in your area.

You have learned a few tips on easy car maintenance, next time you can do-it-yourself to save money and a trip to the service department. Doing regular maintenance on your car will keep it running smoothly for many more miles.



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17 thoughts on “Easy Car Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

  1. Katie Bellamy says:

    I need to learn all of these!

  2. Karley Moore says:

    Thanks for all the great tips. Girls don’t have to be helpless when it comes to car issues!

  3. Dorothy Boucher says:

    I am sure we will be checking everything in another week or two and getting the truck ready for winter.

  4. Nancy Burgess says:

    Thanks for the useful tips I’ll be doing this soon.

  5. Michelle Macaluso says:

    Thank for the great tips! I really need to make sure I can do these!

  6. Esperanza Gailliard says:

    It is so important especially as females to learn from posts like this one. Thanks!

  7. Heather Bridson says:

    Great article, so much great info, thank!

  8. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    I really need to know how to do this. My boys are not close by any more and they used to do this for me. Thank you so much for sharing this great information

  9. Sally Gearhart says:

    It so important to know your car, it will thank you! This is a great list and you covered everything. Thanks so much for sharing

  10. Josie R says:

    I had never thought about checking transmission fluid. Car mantinence saves money in the long run so it’s always good to keep it up.

  11. Christa Sloan says:

    I’m looking forward to owning a car in the future, right now my car is in a different state.
    I want to start taking care of the things I own more, and this is something I can do to prevent bad things happening to my future car.
    Thanks for the informative post.

  12. Trisha McKee says:

    This is such a must-read for everyone out there. I drive an hour to work and an hour home. I need to know basic car maintenance so I am not stuck along the highway feeling helpless.

  13. Deborah D says:

    This is a really informative post that every driver should read.

  14. Jerry Cartwright says:

    I am a retired mechanic and saw your post. Reading through your post, your directions are vague at best. I do however applaud you for trying to get women/girls to be more independent. I taught my daughter all of these things so that no shady mechanic can hopefully ever take advantage of her. I even watched her and gave pointers to her so she could learn to change her brake pads on her car. My opinion on all of these is to find you a mechanic that you can trust and ask him to teach you these things simply because most of these checks and refills you write about are kinda vehicle specific. You can probably find someone trustworthy by word of mouth but if you can’t find someone you trust you can still do like I tell my kids, if there’s something about your vehicle that you need to know how to do, GOOGLE it. Almost everything that I’ve needed to know about, there’s someone out there that’s already had to go through it. Just put your cars year, make and model in the search box and usually the best results show up first. Good post but just a little short on info. Hope this can help someone. Thanks

  15. Katie Bellamy says:

    These tips seem pretty easy, but I still wouldn’t trust myself! 🙂

  16. Trisha McKee says:

    I definitely need to be more proactive in car care. Thank you for the tips and information.

  17. Ashwin says:

    I really need to know how to do this. My mechanic is not close by any more and they used to do this for me. Thank you so much for sharing this great information

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