10 Auto Repair Tips You Should Know

auto repair

At sixteen, most people in the United States have gotten their driver’s license. For most, it’s impossible to imagine life without a car.

Our vehicles are a huge part of our lives, and when they fail it can cause significant ripples in all aspects of life.

Unexpected auto repair costs can drain your bank account, sometimes putting your family into a financial hole.

But luckily, there are easy ways to do many auto repair projects at home.

Check out these ten basic skills you should have to get your car back on the road, without having to go to a shop.

1. Changing Your Oil

If you want your car to last past 100,000 miles, it’s important that you check the oil regularly. It needs to be changed so that your vehicle’s engine will run smoothly.

This is one of the most fundamental DIY skills that everyone should have. After all, your car needs oil changes every 5,000 miles or so, depending on your driving conditions.

The basic steps include:

  • Removing the drain plug
  • Unscrewing the oil filter
  • Emptying the oil
  • Replacing the oil filter
  • Putting the drain plug back
  • Removing the oil filler hole cap
  • Pouring in fresh oil

2. Changing a Flat Tire

Changing a flat tire is a skill that everyone should learn. With four tires on your car, one of them is bound to go flat at some point in your lifetime.

The process doesn’t have to be a difficult one if you know what you are doing.

The basic steps include:

  • Loosening the lug nuts
  • Using a jack to get the vehicle off the ground
  • Putting the new tire or spare on
  • Wrenching back on the lug nuts
  • Lowering the car
  • Testing to make sure the lug nuts are tight

3. Changing Your Spark Plugs

Replacing a spark plug is a pretty easy auto repair. Spark plugs are the little devices inside the cylinder of your car that spark to ignite the gasoline.

About every ten thousand miles or so, they begin to wear out.

Replacement steps include:

  • Locating your spark plugs
  • Removing the spark plug wire
  • Removing the spark plug
  • Putting a new spark plug in place
  • Putting the wire back

4. Removing Scratches from Paint

Even a small scratch can ruin the appearance of your car and unfortunately, they are can be a very expensive auto repair.

Luckily, many of these scratches can be addressed at home.

Basic steps include:

  • Determine how deep the scratch is
  • Sand the scratch lightly
  • Clean the area around the scratch
  • Apply a rubbing compound
  • Polish the area with the compound
  • Wash the area again
  • Wax the area to create a seal

5. Changing Your Car Battery

It seems like car batteries always die at the most inconvenient times. But if you can get your vehicle back home, then this is definitely an auto repair you can tackle yourself.

The steps include:

  • Removing the battery covers
  • Labeling your cables for ease of reference later
  • Disconnecting your negative cable
  • Moving the clamp from the batter post
  • Disconnecting your positive cable
  • Remove all screws
  • Replacing the old battery
  • Reconnecting your negative and positive cable clamps

6. Replacing Your Headlights or Taillights

A broken headlight or taillight is not only dangerous, it can also get you a pretty hefty ticket. If you’re pulled over for a busted light, contact Florida Ticket Firm before you pay.

Fortunately, changing your lights doesn’t have to take a trip to the auto repair shop. The process is a simple enough one that can be done right in your garage at home.

The steps include:

  • Locate the right replacement bulb online
  • Remove the screws that connect your headlight frame to its bracket
  • Disconnect the electrical connector
  • Remove the faulty bulb
  • Insert its replacement
  • Plug the connector back in
  • Replace the frame
  • Tighten the screws to ensure the frame fits snugly

7. Replacing Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers often don’t get the appreciation they deserve until they stop working. They are an important part of your car’s safety system.

If they fail on you during a heavy rainstorm or blizzard, you could get into a terrible accident. That is why it’s so important that you replace wiper blade right when you notice they aren’t working as well as they used to.

Even a little bit of excess water on your windshield can make a huge difference in your visibility on the road. Be sure you keep them in perfect shape.

Steps to replace them include:

  • Locate replacement blades online
  • Lift the wiper arm from the windshield
  • Depress the small tab allowing the blade to be pulled off
  • Line up your new wiper blade
  • Push it in tightly

8. Replacing Air Filters

Your air filter is an easy part of your car to overlook. But they can actually have an impact on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. They keep your engine from getting dust and other contaminants in it.

Air filters are inexpensive and easy to replace. The process should be done every thirty thousand miles or so, or about once a year.

Steps include:

  • Locate the air filter unit under your car’s hood
  • Remove the filter cover
  • Remove the filter and clean the housing
  • Insert the new filter
  • Replace the cover

9. Changing Brake Pads

If your brakes start to make noises when you apply them, then you may need to change your brake pads. If you wait, it could lead to expensive damage to your brakes.

Changing brake pads is almost as easy as changing a flat tire.

Steps include:

  • Loosen the lug nuts on your wheels
  • Jack up the car
  • Remove the slider bolts
  • Remove old brake pads
  • Replace them with new ones
  • Put the bolts and wheels back on

10. Jumpstarting a Car

Jumpstarting a car is a fundamental skill everyone should know.

The steps include:

  • Put both vehicles in neutral
  • Shut off the ignitions
  • Attach the red clip to the positive terminal of both vehicles
  • Then attach the black negative clip in the car that will start
  • Attach the other negative clip to an unpainted metal surface
  • Start your vehicle

More on Auto Repair

Taking care of your vehicle will help it stay on the road longer. If you are looking for more advice on how to maintain your car, check out our blog today.

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