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Saving Your Time And Money: Car Engine Maintenance That You Can Do Yourself

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Filed under Automotive, Automotive Help, Editorial

An astounding one in three Americans are aiming to go on a road trip this summer, according to GasBuddy. If you’re one of the many planning to enjoy some time on the road with your car, you’ll need to make sure everything is handled before you set out. This, naturally, involves ensuring that your car’s engine is in healthy condition. If the cost of going to a garage is something that you dread, you’ll be happy to know that there are several car maintenance tasks that you can do yourself.

Ocular Engine Inspection

An engine may visibly look okay, but it’s the insides that truly matter. Luckily, you can do the ocular inspection of the engine yourself with the help of a borescope. Automotive borescopes are used to inspect hard to reach areas for defects and errors, according to information at You can choose from several types of borescopes to check out valves, cylinders and fuel injectors, says Iona Moldovan. Actually seeing any blockages or fracture lines in your engine gives you a better idea of what needs fixing. It also protects you from being scammed by any unethical garages aiming to make an extra profit from anyone that doesn’t know any better.

Swapping Out The Air Filter

One of the more common engine maintenance tasks that you can do yourself is swapping out a dirty or broken air filter. The average cost of an air filter replacement at a garage is about $85, according to Fixd. There’s also the cost of time, as it will take them a few hours or a whole afternoon — depending on how many other cars they need to service. If you do it yourself, the cost will come to about $20. All you need to do is get a replacement air filter, open up the air box, lift the old filter, clear out the housing, place in the new one, replace the hoses or bolts, and replace the cover.

Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

The valve cover gasket is there to keep oil from leaking out. So when it leaks, you’ll be happy to know it’s a task that you can do yourself. You’ll need a plastic putty knife, a rubber mallet, a torque wrench, and a socket wrench. You can start by cleaning any oil marks and then peeling off the old cover. You’ll need to apply a sealant over the timing cover joint to ensure the new cover stays put and dries appropriately. You’ll be saving yourself over $100 and additional labor costs by replacing the valve cover gasket yourself. As you get used to it, the whole procedure will take less than 20 minutes.

Your car’s engine needs to be in tip-top shape in order to give you and your family a safe and satisfying road trip. This is why it is always worth learning the engine maintenance tasks that you can do on your own. Not only will it give you additional savings, but it will also give you more control over what your engine and your car will be able to do.


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