Basic Car Maintenance For Dummies

Many people need to find ways to live life a little more frugally these days which invariably involves learning to do those little jobs around the house and on the car which they used to leave to the professionals.
Doing home maintenance on your motor really can help to save money while keeping your car running in tip top condition which, in turn helps it to run more efficiently. It doesn’t take a car expert or even a “”mechanical mind”” to do many of these surprisingly easy maintenance jobs.
Windshield Wipers – these need changing every six months to a year depending upon the amount of use they’ve had and it really is a surprisingly simple thing to do. Different cars do have slightly different wiper blade set ups but they are all easy. All you have to do is to pop into your local auto parts store and buy some new wiper blades (they are very affordable). Lift up the wipers on your windshield as if you were moving them to wash the glass, remove the old wiper blades (taking notice of how they were attached to the arms), then attach the new blades. Most models have a tab on the lower side of the wiper which you simply push to remove the worn out blade.


There’ll probably be instructions on the wiper blade packaging if you get really stuck but believe me – rocket science it ain’t!
Spark Plugs – these will usually need to be replaced every 30,000 miles or so and it is remarkably quick and easy to do. You will need a spark plug socket with a socket extension but that’s it. It’s pretty easy to locate the spark plugs because they’ll be attached to rubbery, thick wires. Your car may have four, six or eight depending upon the number of cylinders in your engine.


The important thing here is not to remove all of the wires at once. They are in a specific order which cannot be changed so remove the first spark plug with your socket set and replace it. Tighten up the new spark plug by hand at first before using your wrench but don’t be tempted to tighter it up too much. Then re attach the rubber wire and move on to the next spark plug until they have all been changed.
Flushing Out the Radiator – this only takes around a half hour from beginning to end and can help to ensure that the cooling system on your motor works efficiently. Be sure that your car engine is completely cool before you start then unscrew the drainage plug and allow the old coolant to drain out, then replace the plug and take off the cap at the top of the radiator. Add your radiator flushing solution to your radiator (you’ll probably need to use a funnel) and top up with water to the required level. Replace the cap, start the engine and let it run until it reaches a normal temperature.


Turn on the heater and leave it running for 10 minutes or so before switching off the engine again and allowing it to cool. Then drain the radiator once more and refill with a new coolant solution.
And that’s really all there is to it. Just tackling these few jobs yourself can help to save a few dollars here and there. Alternatively you can pop into Nissan Ontario and let them do it for you. Check out their website at and you’ll see that they’ve got a terrific range of new and used cars too.