As a car owner, you do not want to get stuck on the road because of something you could have easily fixed yourself. Many car repair tricks can save you a journey to the mechanic and save your time and money. While some car repairs might be more complicated than others, some car tricks are quite simple and easy to learn.
From changing your tire to checking your engine oil, here are the top 4 car repair tricks you should know!
Checking Your Engine Oil
You should check your car’s engine oil level every week to know when to top it up and when to change it entirely. Checking the status of your engine oil is easy. Follow these steps:
- Make sure your car has been turned off for at least 10 minutes before you start
- Locate the dipstick and pull it out
- Wipe it clean with a lint-free cloth
- Insert the dipstick again into the pipe, make sure it goes all the way in
- Pull it out again and note how high the oil goes on the dipstick.
With this process, you can determine whether it is time for an oil change or to add oil. If the engine oil at the tip of the dipstick is dark, smelly, or dirty, it might also be time for an oil change.
How To Change Your Engine Oil
Knowing how to change your engine oil is essential. If you have to go to the mechanic anytime you want to get this done; you will end up spending a lot of money and time that you could have saved. Changing your car’s engine oil is not difficult; all you need to know is basic knowledge of your car parts and the right tools. These tips will help:
- Turn on your car and warm for 3 minutes at most. Doing this shakes up the oil and allows it to flow out easily.
- Look under your vehicle and locate the drain plug
- Place a container under the drain plug. The container is to catch the bad oil that will be drained
- Unscrew the drain plug and allow the bad oil to drain completely
- Remove the old oil filter and check that its old “O” ring is not stuck to the surface
- Dab a little fresh engine oil on the new “O” ring of the new filter and fit it in the place of the old one
- When the oil drains out thoroughly, wipe the area where the plug fits
- Replace with a new drain plug and use a wrench to tighten it
- Pour in the new engine oil slowly
- After pouring a little, turn on the engine for 1 minute
- Check the dipstick, pour more oil, and turn on the car again. Repeat this process until the tank is full
And just like that, you have saved time and money while changing your engine oil at home.
How to Change a Flat Tire
Having a flat tire can be very embarrassing. It can happen anytime and anywhere. Instead of looking for help on the road, you can easily change your car tire yourself. Doing this might look complicated, but it will shock you to know how easy it is. Anybody can change a flat tire, even you! All you need to know is the following:
- Always carry a spare tire and a jack with you. You can get a flat tire anytime, so it is better to be safe than sorry
- Park your car on a flat area, where you do not have to worry about the vehicle rolling
- For extra precaution, place something heavy, preferably a brick, before the front tire and at the back of the tires
- Place the jack at the frame beside the tire that you are going to change
- Raise the jack until it is supporting the car but not lifting it
- Unscrew the bolts on the tire one by one. You will need a wrench for this
- Raise the jack a bit higher so that the tire leaves the floor, and you can easily remove it
- Take out the old tire, put in the new tire, and put the bolts back on
- Make sure the bolts are secured tightly
- Use the jack to lower the car until it is back on the ground safely
- Put away your bad tire and your tools
It’s simple as that! Your bad tire is out, and the good one is in. You can now continue on your way!
How to Charge a Dead Car Battery
Like every other battery, your car battery can also die. It can fail unexpectedly, anywhere. However, there is a way you can prevent this. If you know when your battery will die, you can change it yourself at home and reduce the risk of being stranded or stuck on the road.
You will know your battery is going to die when:
- It takes longer for your car to start
- Your battery has a bad smell
- Your headlamp is dim
- Your “check engine” light is on
- When your battery is old
There are other signs to check for, but it might be time for a new battery if you notice any of these. Follow these steps to change your car battery at home:
- When your car is switched off, open the bonnet and locate your car battery
- Identify the positive and negative cables. You can know this by the + and – signs on top of the posts where the cables are connected
- Loosen the bolts that hold down the battery, starting from the negative post
- Remove the old battery and install the new one
- Replace the bolts you took out
- Ensure that the battery is screwed on tightly
And there you have it! You just installed your new car battery for free.
Knowing these essential car tricks can help you make fewer trips to the mechanic while saving you some money and time as well. Remember, you can always refer back to this article whenever you are stuck with any of the above issues!