Things to Know About DIY Auto Maintenance

You can learn how to do just about anything online. You can get a graduate degree, take up woodworking and teach yourself to play the hammered dulcimer -- all without leaving the comfort of your computer chair.

You'll have to get off the chair to fix your own Subaru, but working on your own car can be rewarding and help save you money down the road! And you can learn so much about it online through paid classes, free resources like YouTube and helpful articles like the one you're reading right now. Best of all, you can learn more about how your Subaru works and how to keep an eye on it. When it needs a major repair, our talented technicians are always on hand -- but here are four ways you can get your hands dirty and maintain your Subaru yourself.

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DIY Auto Maintenance Idea #1: Replace Your Headlamps

How many Subaru owners does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, if you're willing to put in a little legwork! No tools are required.

To replace a burned-out headlight on your Subaru, you'll first need to acquire the correct headlamp bulb. You can find compatible bulbs online (like in our online parts store) or at your local auto parts store -- just tell them your car's make, model and year. They'll find the bulb you need.

The headlamp bulbs are replaced from behind the headlights by going under the hood. You'll unplug the power connector from the back of the headlamp unit, and possibly remove a plastic cover. From there, it's just like changing an ordinary household light bulb: Remove the old one, replace it with the new one, plug the cord back in. You've just saved yourself a trip to the service center! An important thing to note for this project is to never touch a halogen headlight bulb with your bare fingers. We suggest using those snug-fitting rubber gloves.

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DIY Auto Maintenance Idea #2: Learn to Install a Spare Tire

Your vehicle's spare tire comes in handy if you suffer a flat, but only if you know how to install it.

You might practice this once at home, so you're familiar with the procedure if you need to install the spare tire while on the road. First, remove the wheel with the flat tire. Begin by loosening the lug nuts. Only then will you want to jack up the car. Otherwise, the wheel will just spin when you try to remove the lug nuts with the lug wrench.

Once the wheel is off the ground, remove the lug nuts and set them aside. Slide the spare tire into place, and finger tighten the lug nuts. Then, lower the car. Use the lug wrench to tighten the lugs until they're very firm. Now, you can head home safely and get your tire replaced!

Note: The trickiest part of changing a flat can be finding the correct point on the car to place the jack in order to lift it. There's a helpful diagram in your owner's manual that describes the safe way to jack up your car. We recommend familiarizing yourself with this before hitting the road.

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DIY Auto Maintenance Idea #3: Replace your Wiper Blades

Don't put up with streaky, squeaky wiper blades any longer! Installing new blades on your own is a fairly simple procedure. Subaru vehicles are equipped with a j-hook wiper blade assembly, which makes it easy to remove and install new wiper blades. Simply raise the wiper arm to the service position. On the wiper blade assembly, behind where it attaches to the wiper arm, there will be a small plastic tab. Press that tab and slide the old wiper blade out of the j-hook. The new blade simply slides in place until you hear a click.

You can purchase OEM wiper blades designed to work correctly and install easily on your vehicle at Subaru of San Bernardino! Aftermarket wiper blades are an option, but they can be a little trickier to install. They come with various adaptors and connectors to make them compatible with many different makes and models. Read the instructions carefully and select the right adaptor for your vehicle.

DIY Auto Maintenance Idea #4: Check your Fluids

It's a great idea to go under the hood and check the oil level, coolant level and washer fluid level periodically. If you find something is amiss, you can top off the fluids yourself or reach out to a service technician in our service department.

To properly check the oil level, be sure the car is parked on a level surface. With the engine cold and off, remove the dipstick. Wipe it down and insert it all the way back in, then remove it again -- this ensures an accurate reading. If the oil level is low, you'll want to top it off with the correct engine oil.

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Subaru of San Bernardino

645 Auto Center Dr
Directions San Bernardino, CA 92408

  • Sales: 909-888-8686
  • Service: 909-571-5305
  • Parts: 909-571-5397
  1. Subaru of San Bernardino

    645 Auto Center Dr
    San Bernardino, CA 92408

    • Sales: (877) 501-8065

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