Everyone dreads that moment when your car decides to break down in the middle of the highway, or worse still, in the middle of a traffic jam for what would seem to you as absolutely no reason. The whole day could become very frustrating just like that, especially if you have to begin hunting down a mechanic or wait hours for your preferred tried and trusted mechanic to come meet you. The good news however is that not all breakdowns need the attention of a mechanic. There are some basic common breakdowns with simple quick fixes you can do by yourself in minutes and be well on your way.
Let’s start right at the top. Master these quick easy fixes and save yourself from being stranded in the event of your car breaking down:
1. CHANGING A FLAT TYRE
Yes, the most common one, yet one a lot of people do not care to learn beforehand. The lack of this know-how at a critical time could leave them stranded in places like the Third Mainland Bridge or Lekki-Epe expressway. Tragic! It isn’t such a big deal to learn and learning how to do this would leave you confident that incase of any flat tyres you can whip out your spare tyre, make a change and be on your merry way in 10 minutes tops or less.
The steps to know and practice are:
- ensuring you ‘shock’ the car with stones so it doesn’t roll during the change of tyres;
- loosening the nuts on the tyre with a wrench;
- using a jack stand to lift up the car from the ground;
- removing the loosened nuts;
- replacing the flat tires with the spare tyre,
- replacing the nuts;
- lowering the car and finally,
- tightening the nuts properly.
Finished. You are now good to go.
2. JUMP STARTING YOUR FLAT CAR BATTERY
Your battery could go flat while parked, at the most awkward and inconvenient of times. You don’t need to go looking for a battery charger. Simply;
- pull out your jump start cables from the boot or borrow one and seek the help of a willing fellow car owner
- have him/her park really close to your car, bonnet to bonnet
- use the jump start cables to connect the two batteries and turn on their own car
- that would help your car battery jerk back to life
- keep running the engine so the alternator can charge the battery and you’re good to go.
Do not forget to thank the helpful car owner!
3. CHANGING YOUR FLAT CAR BATTERY
If you’re home and the battery has been showing signs that it might require replacement then you can do it yourself again without requiring the services of a battery charger. Simply follow the following steps;
- remove the battery covers
- disconnect the positive and negative cables taking care to avoid the clamp touching the battery post
- remove any screw or bolt links that may be holding down the battery
- then replace the old battery with the new one
- now take care to return the proper clamps to the proper battery posts and
- restore the clamps or restraints on the battery if there are any and then you are good to go.
4. REPLACING WIPERS
You tend not to notice what shape your wipers are in until it gets dark,the rain catches you unawares on the road and to your shock, the wipers are barely helping your visibility. You might want to purchase new wipers to replace your faulty ones pronto but maybe you don’t know how to fix them.
Do so in these easy steps;
- lift the wiper arms away from the windshield
- depress the small tab that allows your wiper blade to be detached and pull the faulty wiper blade out
- replace with the new wiper blade and push it in tightly till you hear the tab click.
Done!Your brand new wipers fixed are now fixed!
5. CHANGE BRAKE PADS
The brakes are one of the most important parts of the car especially when it comes to your safety while driving, most especially while driving in Nigeria (Lagos traffic motorists know this). A lot of car accidents occur from brake failures, so it’s a really really good idea to keep your brakes in perfect condition. Thankfully, if you’ve mastered the skills on this list you’ll see that changing brake pads is just as easy as changing a flat tire.
The steps include:
- shocking the tires to prevent them from rolling during the changing,
- loosening the nuts of the wheel,
- jacking the car up,
- removing the nuts completely and taking off the wheel,
- removing the slider bolts and then the older brake pads
- replacing them with the new brake pads,
- replacing the slider bolts and the wheels back on,
- replacing the nuts, dropping the car and then
- tightening the nuts.
With these your new brake pads would have been installed.
You can see you do not have to call your mechanic for every little fault your car develops. Some are quite easy to fix yourself.