5 Essential Car Repairs You Should Know How to Do
Your car is not just a possession; it is a part of your life. However, constantly taking it to the mechanic for even the smallest repairs can be a costly affair. Furthermore, being unaware of basic repairs leaves you feeling helpless and vulnerable, thinking that you might harm your car even further. The truth is, fixing a car is not as difficult or scary as it may seem. In fact, most repairs can be done with just the tools in your garage. Plus, with the availability of online guides and video tutorials, there is no excuse not to learn. Here are five critical repairs that every car owner should know how to do:
1. Change a Flat Tire
It is surprising to know that forty percent of Americans are unable to change a flat tire, which casts a shadow of societal failure. Changing a flat tire is as basic as it gets, and there are plenty of step-by-step guides available online with detailed instructions.
The two main tools required for this job are a lug wrench and a jack. One thing to keep in mind is to check the spare tire beforehand and ensure it is inflated. Also, it is crucial to get your car to a mechanic immediately after replacing the tire with the spare one.
2. Jump-Start Your Car
Jump-starting your car is one of the most common problems that car owners face. But it is easy to forget how this process works if you do it infrequently. Before interconnecting jumper cables, ensure both cars are shut off. Connect the red jumper cables to both dead and the charge providing batteries, and then connect one end of the black jumper cable to the car offering the charge, and the other end to any nearby metallic surface.
Safety comes first, so make sure that you jump-start it in a safe location. If the car doesn’t start within five to ten minutes, try getting help from more prominent vehicles to provide the charge.
3. Clean Your Battery
Corrosion and rust are two primary ailments that your car might suffer from, which not only looks bad exterior-wise but can also prevent the battery’s functionality. But this is a simple repair that can be performed with household items such as baking soda or something like Coke.
By using baking soda and water on the battery terminals, you can clean off any corrosion. Then use a toothbrush to brush off the excess baking soda and apply petroleum jelly to the terminals to prevent further corrosion. You should perform this simple repair once a year while cleaning, and while at it, also check if the battery has any leaks or cracks.
4. Change Your Brake Pads
If you have already tried fixing some of these repairs beforehand, then you might be feeling adventurous to try changing the brake pads yourself. Even if you haven’t, this repair will save you a considerable amount of money compared to getting it serviced by a mechanic.
First, lift your vehicle and remove the wheel to access the brake pads. You will also need to remove the bolts attached to the caliper before sliding out the old brake pads and inserting new ones. The process might seem a little complex, but with the help of online guides and video tutorials, it becomes more manageable.
5. Replace an Air Filter
An air filter is essential as it prevents any dust and unwanted particles from getting into the engine. It should be changed every two to three years or when it starts appearing brittle with age. Replacing an air filter is as easy as unscrewing the plastic box next to the engine and replacing the old filter with a new one. It is crucial to make sure that the new air filter direction is facing the same way as the older filter.
Fixing your car may seem daunting, but these basic repairs do not require a qualified mechanic. By learning how to do them yourself, you will not only save money but also know more about how your car works. The availability of online tutorials and video guides makes it much easier to do these repairs. However, if you still feel uneasy, it’s still a good idea to seek help from a professional mechanic.