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Top Maintenance Tasks Every Vehicle Owner Should Know: DIY vs Professional Service


Almost a third of Canadians feel helpless in the face of vehicle maintenance. You can actually take care of several items on your vehicle maintenance checklist yourself. You only need a few basic tools and some supplies.

DIY vehicle maintenance can save money. It gives you a great feeling of satisfaction.
Learn more about what vehicle maintenance in Calgary you can do yourself and what you should save for the professionals.

Check and Top Off Fluids

Checking your vehicle’s fluids is one of the most important tasks you can do. It can help you avoid expensive repairs or getting stranded on the side of the road. The main fluids to check are:

  • Engine oil
  • Coolant
  • Brake fluid
  • Automatic transmission fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Windshield washer fluid

The engine temperature affects how well you can measure the fluid level. Fluids to check when the engine is cool include:

  • Engine oil
  • Coolant
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid

You should check the automatic transmission fluid with the engine running.

If the fluids are clean but low, you can top them off. If they’re murky, you probably need to change them.

Change the Engine Oil and Filter

Changing your oil and filter is a task you can do yourself. Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for how often you should change the oil. You’ll need a ratchet, wrench, and funnel.

Be sure to double-check the type of oil and oil filter you need. Using the wrong oil viscosity will make your engine wear more quickly. You can take the used oil and filter to an auto parts store for recycling.

Change the Air Filters

Your vehicle has an engine air filter and a cabin air filter. A dirty engine filter will make your engine run hot and less efficiently. A dirty cabin air filter can damage the blower motor and make your AC work harder in the summer.

The owner’s manual for your vehicle will tell you where to find the air filters. After you access the filter, you can simply slide it out. Pay attention to the direction of the airflow so you can install the new filter correctly.

You know if the filter needs replacement by how much light comes through. Replace the filter if it blocks more than half the light when you hold it in front of a light bulb.

Test and Replace the Battery

A battery-testing gauge is a worthwhile investment. Testing your battery regularly helps you avoid getting stranded or needing to jump-start the car.

A battery tester measures the battery’s capacity compared to what it was designed to do. If the battery isn’t performing well enough, you should replace it. The average lifespan for a car battery is 5 years.

To replace the battery, you’ll need to disconnect the battery terminals. Remove the negative terminal first. Then, remove the old battery and put the new one in place.

Reconnect the terminals starting with the positive one. Proper disposal of the old battery is very important. The Canadian Battery Association (CBA) has depots across Canada that will recycle the old battery.

Professional Vehicle Maintenance in Calgary

You can handle many routine tasks on your vehicle maintenance checklist yourself. Some car maintenance needs a professional, though. These tasks are more complicated or require specialized tools and equipment.

For example, replacing the brakes is usually best left to a professional mechanic. An incorrect installation is a severe safety risk. Shock absorbers are another component that could put you at serious risk if the repair isn’t perfect.

You can trust Speedy Apollo Auto Service Centers for your vehicle maintenance in Calgary. Our full-service shops will give you honest advice and a fair price. Book an appointment with Speedy Apollo today and cross some items off your vehicle maintenance checklist.

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