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5 Summer Car Care Tips to Keep Your Ride “Summer Ready” #SummerCarCare

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerCarCare #CollectiveBias

A huge part of summer in California is the car culture. Riding to the beach, driving with the top down… it’s all part of a California Summer. Even if you’re not in California, it’s so nice to be able to get in the car and go on an adventure with peace of mind so you can focus on the fun. These 5 summer car care tips will give you peace of mind and make your car experience so much more enjoyable. The best part is, you can do all of these YOURSELF!


1. Change your own car air filter

Taking care of your car yourself is empowering, That’s why we change our own air filters with FRAM Extra Guard Air Filters. We're totally a FRAMily! No matter the make and model of your car or how old it is, FRAM has an air filter for you. Our cars range 12 years in age and over 3 different makes and models!

Why should you change your air filter yourself?

Replace with FRAM Air Filter Jenniferppriest

Hands down, changing your car air filter is probably the easiest maintenance you'll ever do on your car besides filling the tank with gas. Even my teen daughter Katie changes her own air filter and she'll show you how in this post. But first, here's why you should replace your own car air filter with a FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter:

  • Saves money. In my experience, it costs TWICE as much to have a service person change the air filter in the car
  • Saves time. You don’t have to wait for someone at the service center to change it.
  • Helps you stay informed about your car. Looking at the air filter can be an indicator of performance issues with your car. The air filter is your car's first line of defense, preventing dirt and dust from entering and damaging the engine.
  • It’s easy! You can change the air filter super fast, at any time
  • A clean air filter can increases acceleration, horsepower, and improve overall engine performance. Going on a mountain drive? Give your car the advantage by starting with a clean air filter before your trip!
  • FRAM recommends changing your air filter annually or every 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Always follow recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual.

So how do you change the air filter? Usually, no tools are required but some air filter cases are held closed with screws, like the air filter for Xaver's Ford Focus, in which case you'll need a screwdriver to open the case lid to reach the filter. Katie shows how…

Here's how to change your own car air filter:

How to replace car air filter Jennifer Priest

Pick up FRAM Extra Guard Air Filters for your cars at your local Walmart Store or Walmart Supercenter in the Automotive Center. You can look up the filter number for your car online or by using the guide in the aisle at the store.

Find FRAM Air Filters at Walmart

Changing the air filter helps your car run better. But what about the INSIDE of the car,where you sit?

2. Keep a pack of cleaning wipes in the car

Did you know that many of the household cleaning wipes you use to clean messes come in compact, travel packs? Check the travel size toiletries area of your local Walmart and look for cleaning wipes in a ravel pack. I keep these in the center console in the car to wipe messes fast and clean my car while I am sitting in the drive-thru waiting to get my coffee.

RELATED POST: Staying Connected with Internet on a Road Trip

3. Clean your air conditioning vents even better with cotton swabs

Whether you take your car to the car wash or wash it yourself, the air conditioning vents are a challenge to clean. Even if they look clean, there can be gunk and grime just inside the vents, blowing on you when you turn up the A/C. My tip: Use cotton swabs to clean the air vents!


Run the swab between the blades on the air conditioning vent to remove dirt, lint, and other caked on grime.

4. Keep a fold up shopping bag in the glove box

You never know when you might need a bag. Like that one time you were walking on the beach and decided to swim in the ocean? Put your muddy shoes in a bag! Keep a compact fold up tote in the car so you're prepared for anything, any time. Also, a spare towel isn't a bad idea either…

RELATED POST: DIY Drawstring Bag

5. DIY your own air fresheners

When your car smells clean, the ride is so much more enjoyable. Have you ever bought an air freshener that was so strong when you opened it that you had to hang it outside of the car for a few days? Me too! That’s no fun.


Everyone is using essential oils these days… why not use them in the car too? Use essential oils and felt made from recycled plastic bottles to make your own DIY air fresheners. They’ll smell great, they are reusable, and you can use your favorite essential oils to make an aromatherapy experience in your car. If you're feeling extra kitschy, cut them into a tree shape like we did. Get the tutorial here: DIY Car Air Fresheners

RELATED POST: DIY Essential Oil Diffuser

What are your summer plans?

Any road tips on the horizon? I’d love to hear about your plans and your summer car care tips in the comments.

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About the Author

Author Profile

Jennifer Priest is a 20+ year designer in the arts & crafts industry and home DIYer with a passion for creativity. An Army veteran raised on a ranch, from her experience, she shares smart DIY projects that save money and fun craft ideas that anyone can make. Besides blogging, Jennifer is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, and MER, and coaches other online entrepreneurs on money mindset, business, and living an intentional life. When not blogging, Jennifer is having adventures in the wilderness, on road trips, playing with her cats, and making paleo food.

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  1. I love the idea of using the essential oils to make the car smell good! I think a good cleaning out is needed for me. The essential oils would set off the cleaned car nicely. And it looks so easy to change the filter! I can’t wait to change mine! I think it increases confidence in being able to manage car maintenance without having to go to the dealership for everything! Great post! #client

  2. I love the essential oils idea too! I try to take good care of my car so it lasts a long time.

  3. We have one who is about to get his own car – I’m so going to make him read this post! He needs these! Thanks!

  4. Keeping a pack of cleaning wipes in the car is such a good idea. I tend to be a bit clumsy, so accidents in the car are not uncommon for me. Keeping these wipes in the car would definitely be helpful for me. Thanks for sharing the tips!

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