The Five Repairs Every Car Owner Should Know

Beyond changing an engine or repairing the transmission, there are a few basic fixes all car owners should have under their driving belt. The life expectancy of an automobile relies upon responsible maintenance. Although car services extend certain repairs, there are five quick fixes and changes any vehicle owner should be able to execute:
  • Battery change
  • Adding brake fluid
  • Oil change
  • Changing a Tire
  • Windshield wipers Replacement

10-Steps for Changing a Battery

1) For environmental-correctness, exchange the old battery with a new one.

2) Under the hood, the battery is usually located on the left side.

3) On the old battery, disconnect the cable terminals. First unplug the black terminals (negative) and then the red terminals (positive).

4) Dismantle the bracket or frame that holds the battery in position.

5) Then pull and lift the battery out of its position.

6) If the cable terminals are dirty or corroded, wipe them with water, a wire brush and baking soda.

7) Employ a wire brush to graze the inside of each cable terminal. The idea is expose clean metal to the new battery terminal. (Remember to replace the cable terminals if they are damaged.

8) Affix the new battery into position. Place both the negative and positive in the qualified positions. Then secure the frame.

9) Re-connect the battery with the cables securely. If the cable ends are movable they are not secure and will prevent the vehicle from starting, properly.

10) To test your work, start the engine.

Checking Brake Fluid

Brakes and its fluid are critical aspects of the performance of any car. To check brake fluid, first locate the brake master cylinder. Generally, it can be found on the driver’s side of the car near the exterior of the engine area. As a guide, think of where the brake pedal is when it is engaged. The way to identify the brake master cylinder is by metal tubes, a rectangular piece of metal covered in a plastic reservoir by a rubber cap on top. It should be small, roughly 6 by 2 inches.

1. To confirm that you have located the master cylinder, refer to the auto’s manual. Typically, the rubber cap will have the following inscription: ‘Use only DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid from a sealed container.’

2. On newer automobile models, the reservoir is lucid. The fluid level may be visible without removal of the cap. When the brake fluid is full, it will go up to the line.

3. Prior to 1980, the brake master cylinder reservoir was for the most part comprised of metal. On these, car models, the top must be removed to gauge the fluid level. Since the cap is fastened by a metal clamp’ dislodge with a screwdriver. It should effortlessly pop off the clamp. Then the lid will lift out easily.

4. Obviously, use the appropriate brake fluid to the vehicle accordingly. (Review the manufacturer’s guide to determine the grade of brake fluid the automobile requires).

Important note: The toxicity of brake fluid is very high. Avoid contact with eyes and hands. Do not spill brake fluid on the pain of the car or the ground. Caution is advised when discarding the empty container.

5.Simply, pour the brake fluid to the designated ‘full line.’

Recommendation: If the brake pedal goes to the floor, it is a sign that the brake master cylinder is empty. In this scenario, adding brake fluid and bleeding the brakes is necessary; as a result, it is best to see a mechanic to flush and refill the braking system. As all cars show different signs of needing new brake shoes, inquire about the symptoms of your vehicle.

Changing Motor Oil

It’s the type of service every car needs every 3000 miles. Without an oil change, an engine can blow or it will cause the car to malfunction. Depending on where you live in the country, oil changes range from $19.00 to $50.00. For the do-it-yourself types or just to save money, use the following tips to change your oil:

1. Allow your vehicle to run until the engine is warmed

2. Depending on the model of your car, the auto may need to be jacked-up to reach the sump plug or is accessible by sliding underneath.

3. On the top of the engine, there should be a cap with the word oil. Unscrew the oil filler cap on to enable the oil to drain through easier.

4. Place a pan 9 x 12 x 4 pan underneath the sump plug. Unscrew the oil sump plug and allow the warm old oil flow into the container or pan. (Stay out of the way to avoid being burnt).

5. Allow the oil to drain out entirely.

6. Then dismantle the old oil filter and affix the new filter.

7. Screw in the oil sump plug tightly. Pour the appropriate grade of oil in through the oil filler. Then screw back the oil filler cap. Avoid overfilling. Make sure sufficient amounts of oil are poured in.

8. To test the success of the oil change, start your engine. Resituate the automobile and allow it to run for 5 minutes and
then check for any leaks on the surface underneath the car.

9. Then to gauge the level of fluid, check the oil dipstick.

10. After you If everything is OK you have saved yourself time and money but, more importantly, you know the job has been done properly.

Changing a Flat Tire

Changing a tire is one task all drivers dread; but it is a much needed know-how. Use the following safety and how-to tips for making a tire change.

1. First, pull of a secure side of the road.

2. On level terrain, place the vehicle in park and engage the parking brake.

3. Turn-off the engine and turn on the hazard lights.

4. Open the hood to demonstrate repairs.

5. Contingent upon the placement of the car, place a large stone in front for downhill, behind for uphill, or diagonally to the opposite wheel. All rock placements are to prevent the vehicle from rolling. It should be done even on moderate inclines.

6. Remover the extra tire (spare), car jack and tire iron (lug nut wrench)

7. Pop out the hubcap.

8. Prior to jacking up the automobile, loosen the lug nuts that hold the tire in position.

9. Enclose the tire iron over a lug nut.

10. Remember, to loosen the lug nut, turn the lug nut wrench counterclockwise. (Use this word association rhyme remember the laws of loosening and tightening: ‘lefty loosy – righty tighty)

11. Work in a zigzag pattern to loosen the lug nuts. The idea is to loosen all nuts at the length, a few turns. Then, distribute the looseness by going back and forth between lugs.

12. With care, jack up the car. Make sure that the jack is rigged under the vehicle per the safety recommendations of the manual. Continue to jack the car up until it is comfortable to remove and replace the tires.

13. Unscrew the lug nuts completely and place them in an accessible location.

14. Take away, the flat tire.

15. Pick up the new tire and hoist it onto the wheel studs. The best way to verify that you are placing the tire on correctly is if the air valve is facing outward.

16. Start tightening the lug nuts in the same fashion in which they were removed zigzag. For example, apply two turns to each lug nut, then go to the opposite until you’ve worked your way around all. Avoid tightening any lugs that are adjacent to each other consecutively – it may inhibit other lugs from being tightened appropriately.

17. Lower the very slowly lower. Then return it to the trunk.

18. Give the lug nuts one more tightening and then put the hubcap on.

Windshield Wiper Basics

Screeching windshield wipers is the warning sign that a replacement is necessary. One of the most annoyingly labor intensive replacements on a car are the windshield wipers. As straightforward as the process may seem, it will require a little practice for perfection. After buying the appropriate and entire replacement windshield-wiper blades, use the following steps:

1. In the package, identify the attachment that is matches the wiper blade.

2. Review the directions to understand how to configure the blade.

3. Lift the wiper arm away from the windshield.

4. Dislodge the old wiper blade. (The blade is located on the wiper arm). Remember to push on the tab and pull the wiper blade off. As an alternate, the tab can be lifted with a small screwdriver.

5. Append the attachment on the wiper arm or the new blade. Depending on the model of your vehicle, it may prove to be easy to apply the attachment onto the wiper arm or on the wiper blade. After the insertion has been properly affixed, it will click into place.

6. To ensure that the wiper is locked in, yank on the blade.

7. Return the blade back to the windshield.

Even if you decide not to play auto mechanic, don’t forget to take your vehicle in for these basic repairs — to extend the life of your car.

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