Did you know that the average age of a car or light truck in the U.S. was a record 12.5 years in 2022? 


One of the things fueling this increase was the impact of the global chip shortage. The COVID-19 lockdowns forced facilities working on microchips to shut down. That resulted in supply constraints at automotive dealers, which led to higher prices for new and used vehicles.  


Are you hoping to squeeze a few more years out of your vehicle rather than overpay to get what you want? If so, you’ll want to prioritize preventative maintenance and timely repairs. It’s well-known that getting regular oil changes, servicing your brakes, and doing other things can help you keep your car in good shape so that it stays on the road longer.


Being proactive can also spare you unnecessary severe problems that cost a small fortune.


However, it’s worth noting that you don’t have to rely on a mechanic to do all your preventative maintenance. Here’s a look at five car maintenance items you can do yourself. Of course, you should only do these things independently if you have the tools and are comfortable doing them.


  1. Oil Changes


It’s essential to replace the engine oil at appropriate intervals. Check your ownership manual for the recommended intervals for your specific make and model. You’ll need a jack, jack stands, and a container to capture the engine oil. You also need to replace the engine oil filter. Ensure you know how to use the equipment properly — and replace the old oil and filter with the correct ones. Once you understand the procedure, you’ll find that oil changes are relatively easy.


  1. Check Fluid Levels 


Another maintenance task that most DIY types can take on is checking fluid levels — and topping them up if they’re too low. In addition to engine oil, you should periodically check the brake, coolant, power steering, transmission, windshield washer, and differential oil fluids. 


One benefit of regularly checking the fluids is that you can identify any problems sooner rather than later. If you fill the coolant reservoir and find the low level a week later, you can investigate and get to the bottom of the matter. Staying on top of things will help you keep your car in good shape and reduce the odds of experiencing problems when you’re out and about.


  1. Maintain Proper Tire Pressure


You should also get in the habit of checking your tire pressure. You can find the recommended tire pressure in the ownership manual and on a sticker you’ll find when you open the driver door. Keeping a tire inflator and a tire pressure measuring device in your trunk or glove compartment is also a good idea. You can up the ante by carrying a tire repair kit and learning how to change a tire just in case you need to act on those skills while out and about in your car.


  1. Rotate Tires


Tire rotation is another matter of car maintenance you can do on your own. It’s a good idea to rotate your tires every time you do an oil change. Check out your ownership manual to see the manufacturer’s recommendations for rotating your tires. Performing this essential task will help ensure even tire wear so that you don’t have to replace any tires prematurely. 


You can leave tire balancing to your mechanic since they have the equipment to do this properly. 


  1. Lights


You can also replace your own headlight and taillight bulbs. Depending on the make and model of your car, it can either be easy or a challenge. But you can look at the ownership manual for the specific procedure for accessing the area and replacing the bulbs.


These are among the car maintenance tasks that most DIYers can take on. You’ll feel good about being more independent and saving money. As you get accustomed to maintenance and simple repairs, you might want to invest in more tools. You might even want to get catalogs to access the maintenance-related items you need quickly. Catalog printing these days is as easy as finding the right service provider to patronize such as this one. You can have access to quality catalogs for any subject.