As a vehicle owner, you’re responsible for the condition of your car. It’s important to understand all the major aspects of your vehicle and how they relate to performance and safety. Everytime you’re out on the road, you have to make sure that these parts are working order.
Unfortunately, sometimes your car will break down when you need it the most. While many repairs require a professional mechanic, there are some issues that you should be able to take care of yourself.
To save you from having to go to your local car service centre for every single problem, here are five car repairs that everyone should know.
Remember to wear the appropriate protective gear when working on any of these repairs.
Changing a Flat Tyre
Knowing how to change a flat tyre can be useful, especially if you’re on an empty country road where no one is around to help you.
Before you change a tyre, make sure you’re stopped at a safe place.
The first step is loosening the lug nuts on the wheels by turning it in a counterclockwise motion. Do not remove them yet.
Under your car, near the flat tyre, you should be able to find a jacking point. Place the jack underneath this point to lift up the vehicle so that the tyre is around three centimeters off the ground.
Next, remove the lug nuts and the flat tyre. Mount the spare tyre and place the lug nuts back in by hand. Do not tighten the nuts with a wrench until you have lowered your car and have removed the jack stand.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t drive more than 110 kilometers with a spare tyre. Try to get it replaced at your local car service centre as soon as you can.
Jumpstarting your Car
At some point, chances are that you’re going to accidentally leave your headlights on. This will drain the battery. In such a situation, it’s useful to know how to jumpstart your vehicle.
First, have another car with a working battery pull up near your vehicle. Takes the keys out of the ignition of both cars.
Find the positive (red) and negative (black) leads on both car batteries. Take out your jumper cables and attach the red cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery first. Then, attach the other end to the positive lead of the working battery. Afterwards, attach the black cable to the negative terminal of the working battery.
Do not attach the black cable to the negative terminal of the dead battery as it can cause a spark. Instead, attach the cable to a bare metal surface away from the battery. This is also known as a ground point.
Start the engine of the working vehicle and leave it on for two to three minutes before starting your car.
Once it’s working, make sure to remove the negative cable from the ground point first and then the positive cable from the recharged battery. Afterwards, remove the red cable from the working battery and then the black cable.
Changing the Oil
The engine oil keeps the engine lubricated and running smoothly. Over time, the oil will start to degrade and get contaminated. For optimal performance, it is essential that you know how to replace the engine oil of your car.
First, make sure that your vehicle is on a firm, flat surface. Put your car in park and apply the handbrake. Use wheel chocks to prevent accidental movement.
Next, lift the vehicle onto jack stands to make sure you have a working space underneath the car. Ensure that the vehicle is stable on the stands before proceeding with the next steps.
Prepare a pan underneath the drain plug of your car. Loosen the drain plug using a socket and spanner. Then, remove it using your hands.
Allow the engine oil to drain. you can also have a look at some Car Maintenance Tips
Afterwards, check the condition of the drain plug. If it’s damaged make sure to get a replacement one before plugging it back in.
Next, change your filter. This can be found underneath the vehicle or through the engine bay.
Finally, use a funnel to pour the new oil in to the appropaite level and don’t forget to put the filler cap back on.
Changing the Battery
Once you start noticing signs that your battery needs replacing, it’s best to get it changed as soon as possible.
First, take the keys off the ignition before proceeding with the next steps.
Remove the negative terminal first. This is important as starting on the positive terminal can short out the system of your vehicle. After the negative side Just wanted to give a quick overview of each process.has been removed, you can remove the positive side.
Next, remove the clamps so that you can take the battery out. Make sure you dispose of the old battery properly. The chemicals inside of it are toxic, which can be dangerous if not handled properly. The best way to dispose of it is to take it to an automotive battery recycler.
Place the new battery in place. Make sure the correct sides are aligned with the right terminals. Place the clamp back in to secure the battery.
When putting the terminals back, make sure you install the positive side first and then the negative side.
Replacing Brake Pads
Knowing how and when to replace your brake pads can help you avoid a major accident. In some cases, it can even save your life.
Before you lift up your car, make sure to loosen the lug nuts.
Next, use a floor jack to lift the car up. Use a jack stand to ensure the vehicle is stable.
Once this is done, you can remove the lug nuts and remove the tyres. At this point, you should be able to see both the rotor and the caliper.
Using a socket wrench, remove the bolts that are holding the caliper onto the rotor. Remove the caliper itself so that you can see the brake pads.
Before installing the new pads, make sure to apply brake grease to the back. This will prevent squealing once you begin using it.
Install the new brake pads and secure the caliper back onto the rotor.
Cars are complicated machines. To keep them working properly, you need to be able to know how to fix them. Learn some, if not, all of the repairs we’ve listed above. Doing so might save you from being stranded in the middle of nowhere.