Do it yourself auto maintenance

When I turned 16 and started driving, I didn't know a tie rod from a leaf spring, but I was fortunate enough to have a shade tree mechanic neighbor who, along with my Chilton's manual, taught me the basics. I've done my own car maintenance ever since. If you don't have a handy neighbor, you're in luck... and don't even have to leave your PC to learn things like how to change your oil.

With my 11 year old Ford Explorer hitting 158,000 miles, I know I need to be more diligent about its maintenance. So this morning at the crack of dawn I picked up new oil, air, and transmission filters along with a case of Mobil 1 synthetic oil.

What would have cost $150 and taken several hours of my time at an auto repair shop was only $67.67 and took only an hour. I also have the peace of mind in knowing the job was done right. And if I can do it, anyone can.