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10 Easy Auto Projects Guaranteed to Save You Money

Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

I’m a total DIY kind of guy, a gene I got from my grandfather, who was notorious for being frugal. So when it’s time for some routine maintenance on my Acura, I would much rather research how to do it myself instead of paying an exorbitant sum to have someone I don’t know perform the same task. There is an endless stream of useful information available via YouTube, Speed TV, and company websites, and one of the greatest feelings in the world is stepping back from a finished project and saying, “There, it’s done.”

I’m not saying that I’m a certified master mechanic, and I certainly know when to step back and leave it to the professionals. But when it comes time to tackle the basics, I dive headfirst into the fray with wild abandon. Oil changes, wiper installs, radiator flushes, tire rotation, brake installation, and spark plug replacement all have their place on my list of projects I don’t mind tackling on any given Sunday. So when my editor said I should draft a list of 10 DIY projects that could save our readers a little extra cash, I grabbed my toolbag and trusty camera, and got to work.

To keep things simple, I have arranged this list in order from easiest to hardest and have kept it as cut and dry as possible. Be sure to trust the owner’s manual, as it will give details on where key components are located, as well as fluid capacities for when it is time to top off a reservoir or two. I have also included some links to a few helpful videos and online DIY advice that are great reference points for anyone wanting further information on these projects.

Of course, I always recommend wearing gloves when working on a car, as it keeps one’s hands grease-free and protects from direct contact with hot surfaces, abrasive compounds, and slippery lubricants. Eye protection is a must on most projects, and a good set of junk clothes will help keep those khakis clean. Having access to a lift is always a plus, so for the more “advanced” projects, I highly recommend hitting up a shop like Driven Fab (which built my RDX’s custom downpipe) for some quality DIY time.

If a lift isn’t available, then it’s best to buy a jack that exceeds the weight of the car being worked on, and have a set of jack stands that are rated to hold more than just the weight of the car being serviced. With all of that info out of the way, let’s get down to business!

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