Know How

Replace a Wiper

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 5 minutes

How often: Every 6–12 months

Visibility is extremely important to safe driving. If your current wipers are not wiping well or leaving streaks, change them immediately.

Things you'll need from your toolbox or NAPA Store:

Tire Replacement

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 5–10 minutes

How often: Once every month plus before and after road trips

Maintaining good tires help improve your car's gas mileage, improve tire life, and give a smoother ride. It is vital that you consistently inspect your tires to make sure that your vehicle is safe. Three key aspects to watch for are wear, inflation and pressure. This guide will help you monitor these conditions and help your vehicle operate at its best.

Radiator Hose Replacements

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 10 minutes

How often: Every 60,000 miles

The radiator is important to keep your car running at its best. It’s responsible for keeping the engine from overheating. Your car produces friction and heat while operating, and the radiator, through passageways and coolant, keeps your engine at a safe temperature. The radiator hose connects the radiator to the engine. Over time, this hose needs to be replaced to keep the whole unit running smoothly.

Change your Oil

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 30 minutes

How often: Every 3,000 - 5,000 miles or every 3 months

Headlamp Replacement

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 15 minutes

How often: When lights dim or burn out

For maximum driving safety, it is very important to keep a close eye on how your car lights are functioning. If a light goes out, follow these steps to replace it and continue driving safely. Before replacing it, look in your owner’s manual to identify the type of headlamp your vehicle uses. In general, there are two kinds of headlamps—sealed beam and composite. Sealed beam lights are common in older cars, while composite lights are found in newer models and contain special housing with a removable halogen or xenon bulb.

Checking Fluids

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 5-10 minutes

How often: See each case below

To keep your vehicle running smoothly, it’s important to check fluid levels regularly. It only takes a few minutes to check each one. Follow the steps below, but if you have any questions, just give us a call or stop in to the store.

Belt Replacement

Difficulty: Moderately difficult

Duration: May take several hours

How often: Every 60,000–100,000 miles, check owner’s manual

One out of every five vehicles on the road needs a new belt. Our NAPA Know How guide helps you through the steps necessary for proper diagnosis. The introduction of the Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) belts in the late 1990's have made wear detection harder than when the Neoprene belts were used. Still, there are indicators to look for that signal it’s time for a new belt.

Battery Service

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 10­–30 minutes

How often: Every 3–5 years

If you need to jump start your car in the morning, it might be time for a new battery. You can bring your car to a NAPA AutoCare Center for a new battery or you can change it yourself. Changing a car battery is a relatively easy job that can be accomplished with only a few tools. However, some vehicles’ batteries are located in tough-to-service areas such as under the front fender, under the rear seat or in the trunk. If this is the case, consider having it changed at your local NAPA AutoCare Center. Your battery supplies the electrical current necessary to start the engine. It also provides necessary power to the electrical components and accessories even when the vehicle's engine isn't running. The battery also acts as voltage stabilizer for the whole electrical system.

Air Filter Replacement

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 15 minutes

How often: Every 15,000 miles

Changing the air filter should be part of any tune-up. Change it every 15,000 miles or once a year. If you live in an especially dusty or dirty area, change it more often.