When you go into work on a Monday morning and your colleagues ask you what you got up to on the weekend, don't you long to say something cool like "Oh, just spent a couple hours working on the car"? Well, there's no reason you can't - and we're not just talking about changing the wiper blades. Learning how to do some maintenance on your vehicle can save you time and money, and help you feel more confident in case of emergencies.
Change a tyre
Admittedly, this is only a step up from changing your wiper blades, but it's incredibly important. While you might know how to get your car ready to roll again, is there anyone else in the home that could benefit from some hands-on experience? Next time you have a puncture, get your partner or teenager to help you - learning this essential skill could come in handy when they're on the road.
Show them where the jack points are on the car, and how to use a bottle jack or a compact one. They'll also need to know how to access the spare, and which way to face directional tyres.
Replace brake pads
This is certainly a bit harder than changing worn tyres. When you hear that awful squealing, it's time to fit some new brake pads. If it's something you'd usually get done at the shop, take a step back and compare the cost of a couple pads at your local store - an hour or two of work doesn't sound too bad now, does it?
If you're taking the time to remove each wheel and inspect the brakes, it may be worthwhile hiring an impact wrench or even an air compressor and tools. Remember that you will need to syphon out brake fluid at the start of the process, and bleed the brakes at the end. Research the process thoroughly or get an experienced mate alongside you.
Change your oil and filter
When last did you check your oil? If you want to go and do that quickly, we'll wait for you...
Great, there's still some oil in the car! But it's probably been over a year since it was entirely replaced, along with the filter. Not good. This is a relatively simple fix. Simply jack the car up, locate the oil drain plug and loosen. Have a tray underneath to catch the oil (which may be hot!) and make sure to replace the plug when done.
Once you locate the oil filter, remove it with a filter wrench. Before putting the new filter in, apply some motor oil to the gasket to prevent it seizing or leaking. After replacing the filter, fill the engine with the new oil, run the car and check the oil level. It also pays to double check everything was tightened up securely and there are no leaks.