Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Summer DIY Car Maintenance

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerCarCare #CollectiveBias

Despite what appears to be never-ending cold temperatures, I know summer is coming.  And since summer is coming, it is time to start getting our car ready for all of those spur of the moment road trips and other outings.

The first step in getting our car ready for Spring and Summer is to switch out the snow tires.  Honestly, we usually do this right at the end of March, but for some reason we left them on a bit later.  This ended up being a good thing since it was snowing last week…


Then we really love to get the kids involved and “detail” the car.  There were days when I was younger, pre-kids, pre-marriage, that I would bring my car to the dealer and have it detailed.  It always came out looking so nice and clean, and smelled new again!  Of course, that is a luxury.  Luckily, I have two little monkeys who really enjoy this sort of “work.”  Perhaps because they get to use the hose!

Letting the kids have a big bucket of soapy water, some sponges, and a hose, they can get the car surprisingly clean, burn off a ton of energy, and have a fun time doing it.


Living in Maine, throughout the winter, the roads are covered with salt and sand.  These can do a number on your car, so getting all the gunk off in the spring is something I always look forward to.

We also use this time to get the inside really cleaned out.  We have three kids, the older two definitely eat snacks in the car, there is trash that needs to be removed, everything needs to be vacuumed out.


Because of the aforementioned cold weather, we haven’t been able to get out for a car washing party yet.  But we have been able to go to the car wash, which is equally as fun in my children’s eyes.  They love to see us spray down the car while they are inside, bonus points if we go through the automatic car wash!


The last thing we like to do is change our air filter.  You know, until a few years ago, I didn’t even realize this was a thing that we should be checking on the car.  Not until I brought my car in for an oil change, and the mechanic explained to me that my air filter was black and no longer working.  Well, goodness, I hadn’t ever heard that before!

FRAM recommends that you change your air filter every 12,000 miles – *follow recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual.

After paying an arm and a leg to get the filter changed at the mechanic that time, I realized that we should really figure out how to do it ourselves, and since then Matt has been taking care of it – an easy fix, he claimed.  It helps that we can easily purchase the FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter right at Walmart.  It is so much less to buy it and do it ourselves, rather than having a mechanic do it.


Air filters help protect the engine from dirt and end up being the first line of defense for your engine, and also helps engine performance – it can help increase acceleration and horsepower.

I love that you can easily type in your car make and model and figure out exactly which air filter you need.  It made this large aisle of air and oil filters a little less intimidating.


I decided that I wanted to see how easy it is. 

I want to preface this by saying that I know NOTHING about car maintenance.  I typically leave that up to Matt.  But, this year has been about learning new things and becoming a bit more proficient at tasks I usually let Matt take care of.  If an air filter is easy to change, I want to try it!  Plus, most air filters can be changed in less than 5 minutes – I wanted to test that theory!


First up – find out where the air filter is.  When I looked under the hood of our car, I may have gone completely blank.  Luckily, the owner’s manual actually tells you where it is if you don’t know!

Lift up the cover by unfastening the clasps.


Pull out the old filter.  I was surprised to find so many helicopter seed pods from a Maple tree.  I took this opportunity to scoop all that junk out and wiped down the edges of the cover with a cloth to get most of the dust off the cover.


The next step – place the new FRAM filter under the cover.  Then close the cover and call it a day. 


Honestly, I heard the five minute claim, and thought that with my *very* limited knowledge, I would not have a clue how to do it.  I surprised myself.  It was super easy to change, and now I know that I can do it myself!  

What Summer Car Maintenance tasks to you do on your car?

29 comments:

  1. I also have limited amount of car maintenance experience! It's something I wish I wasn't so "chicken" about! But at least changing the air filter is easy enough, right? Maybe once we are comfortable there, we'll move on to tackle more difficult stuff! :) #client

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  2. Getting an air filter replaced at a place is ridiculously expensive. And, one time we got it done with an oil change, got back in our car, drove home with it sounding funny...because they put the new filter in backwards! Luckily, the Mister knows enough to be like "yeah, that's not right, it should go around" and put it right, ha! It is amazing at how filthy they get, though, but it is taking in exhaust fumes and whatever else is in the air (and hopefully taking all that gunk out before it gets into the ins of your car!).
    Our weather is mild enough that there isn't much to do specifically for summer. There are things we'd *like* to do to the truck, but we just had to spend 400$ to get a belt tension thing something or other replaced. So, uh, anything else is going to have to wait!

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  3. My husband is not the kind of guy who does this stuff on his own, but that's ok - our local walmart does our oil changes for us while we shop.

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  4. Doing car repairs myself makes me feel so powerful! Though I can't relate to still having snow. We didn't get any where I live this year.

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  5. Good for you!!! I do Zero repairs for my cars. I might try this one!

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  6. Whenever I do something like this I always want to do a million fist pumps..it's like I can take on the world!

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  7. I love when you can figure out how to do something easily yourself and save money. I just went to auto zone and bought a new bulb for my rear brake light so we can replace it at home. So much less $!

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  8. When it comes to car maintenance, I am a total girl. I know enough to get buy, but I would rather let the experts do it.

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  9. All this chatter about auto maintenance is a great reminder that I need to check and see if it's time for an oil change on the ol' mini van!!!

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  10. I need to get my car cleaned up and cleaned out for summer! I am so glad that summer is almost here!

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  11. We use Fram, too! In fact, my vehicle is about due as well. Since moving to the country from the city, all kinds of dust, dirt and bugs we didn't have before are ending up in and on my car LOL!

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  12. I don't do anything at all to my car myself. I don't trust myself. Instead I just go to Walmart and have everything done. I leave it to the professionals.

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  13. We have finally found a good, honest mechanic to do all the routine things for us. I do shop at Walmart for most of our car stuff, I was just there last week to replace the headlights. The little machines are so simple to use and it makes finding the right parts easy.

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  14. I need to take better care of my car...thanks for the reminder! My car needs some TLC for sure! :) These are such easy tips

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  15. I need to put a new license plate frame on my car and do a little touch up on the paint. I kind of love doing that, and will try my air filter now, too. It looks pretty easy!

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  16. All great tips! I'll be sure to put them on my honey-do list for hubby to get done this weekend. Ha!

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  17. I have actually never tried maintaining my own car, apart from making sure it is clean and shiny. Your post makes it look easy. I may just have to try this out!

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  18. I don't do any DIY when it comes to my car. My husband will do minor things but that's it.

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  19. I dont really do any of this. I take it to the car wash, but I let my huz clean it and everything else.

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  20. Keeping the interior of the car clean is a must for me. Whenever my husband uses my car, he leaves it a mess inside so I'm always cleaning up after him and the kids.

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  21. You have made a great explanation on how to change the filter. My hubs and I are not to car friendly and usually have our mechanic do everything but I might just have to do this myself

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  22. I just bought a new {to me} SUV so I totally needed to read this! I want to make sure to baby the girl!

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  23. Good information! I always forget to do routine car maintenance until either my husband reminds me or something starts going wrong. I need to start putting it on the calendar.

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  24. Making sure everything is up to date on your car is really important. Sadly I forget to actually keep up with it most of the time, but this post is a great reminder that I need to get on it!

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  25. Yes! Thank god the sun has finally arrived and it is important to make sure your car maintenance is always up to date!

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  26. So fun to learn things like this with your kids. I'd love to get my car detailed and cleaned in general, it's just so gross right way.

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  27. Not going to lie, I know nothing about cars lol... I will have to share this with hubby since he takes care of all of this stuff!

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  28. Love this post! DIY car care is something that remains a mystery to so many people but once you learn the basics is a HUGE money-saver. My hubby replaces all of our brakes, filters, etc. and I'm sure it has saved us a small fortune over the years.

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  29. Hey,
    This is really excellent post you have shared here on Summer DIY Car Maintenance. I am so happy to read your post. Your mentioning matter is so much wanted. Thanks for your nice post.

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