A Single Mom’s Guide to DIY Car Maintenance

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I knew nothing about cars repairs or maintenance, and then I became a single Mom. Now all the responsibility of caring for my van falls to me.

As a one vehicle with one driver family, I’ve learned the importance of staying on top of car maintenance. The last thing I need is to be stranded with 6 children on the side of the road.

Any time the van spends in the repair shop my family has no mode of transportation. Not to mention the difficult logistics of getting my van to and from the shop.

As a single mom two things I always have too little of are time and money. If I can take care of some of the car maintenance, saving both money and time at the repair shop, I’m happy!

I’ve recently discovered that I can save time by doing my own car maintenance tasks, but I can also save time by ordering my car care supplies on Walmart.com! Have you seen the auto aisles at Walmart? I’ve stood there going back and forth from the book of car makes, models, and years to product numbers on the shelves. With online ordering I simply look up the correct item and add it to my cart.

Quick and easy, plus the items come right to my doorstep!

Today I’m sharing seven maintenance tasks a Mom can do herself to save money on car maintenance and trips to the repair shop. 

7 Maintenance Tasks a Single Mom Can Do Herself


Changing your own oil will save quite a bit of money by replacing your own oil. While the first few oil changes might take a bit of time, soon you’ll be able to change your oil faster than you could visit a car repair shop.I choose Pennzoil motor oil which cleans out the sludge lesser oils leave behind. Since we are a traveling family, the fact that Pennzoil is designed to allow us to travel 550 more miles than we’d get with a dirty engine. My car may always be pretty filthy in appearance, but with Pennzoil I know my motor is clean and working well!

With over 100,000 miles on my van, with many years of use necessary in the future Pennzoil® High Mileage motor oil, designed to reduce leaks and oil consumption, is the right choice for me.

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are so easy to change. It takes me less than 5 minutes to switch out my wipers. Depending on your use of the wipers, you’ll need to replace them once or twice a year. When you purchase new wipers remember to buy two packages. The first time I tried to change mine I assumed they’d be sold in a two pack, and I only bought one. Whoops!

Air Filter

On many cars, changing the air filter isn’t difficult at all. Check your manual to see how often you should replace your filter. I change mine about once a year. The air filter keeps dirt and contaminants out of your engine. This quick maintenance job makes a big difference in how your car runs.

Spark Plugs

You probably won’t need to replace your spark plugs very often (generally 30,000 miles or more). These tiny little plugs give your car the electricity they need to start and run. You car manual will tell you what plugs you need and when you should replace them.


Fluids such as wiper fluid, oil, and antifreeze should be checked often and topped off when needed.


Check your owner’s manual and change your own headlights when they burn out. If your headlights are getting cloudy, you can also clean the lenses yourself.

Tire Pressure

Correct tire pressure goes a long way to keep your tires in good shape. Invest in a tire quake and remember to check your tire pressure often. Most gas stations have an air pump where you can add air as needed when you stop for gas.


These 7 car maintenance tasks will save both time and money on your car care. Buying your supplies through Walmart.com will also keep your costs down and save you more time! When you buy online at Walmart you have the convenient options- delivery, in-store pickup, or curbside pickup.

In fact, right now you can get $10 in Ticketmaster Ticket Cash if you purchase 2 qualifying Pennzoil Motor oil (in-store or online) and upload your receipt. You’ll also be entered to win tickets to a Guns N’ Roses concert as part of their “Not In This Lifetime” tour!
Head to Walmart.com for all your car care needs!

Go to Walmart.com, buy all your car maintenance needs including 2 qualifying Pennzoil Motor oil, and enter to win tickets to a fun concert!

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