Being a car owner means numerous and uncountable and unending visits to the mechanic workshop for repairs and fixes, some really simple while others could be really tough and unthinkable.
Needless to say, these trips always amount to more and more money being spent at the repair shop. Some of the fixes being carried out by these professionals are so incredibly simple that they can be carried out in 10 minutes or less by you and me. Here are 5 things every car owner should know how to do for themselves:
Every car owner should know how to change their own tyres. This is especially important in times of emergency, when your tyre goes flat on a journey, knowing how to change your tyres can bail you out. To change your tyre, all you need to do is use your wheel spanner to loosen your wheel nut a little bit (this might take a little force), pull out your jack and raise the car to a comfortable level where the base of the affected tyre is elevated. Then using your wheel spanner, take out the nuts holding the tyre. When this is done, carry out the flat tyre and replace it with the spare tyre. Put back the nuts and tighten it using the wheel spanner. Remove the jack and make sure the nuts are tight enough.
2. Replace air filter:
The air filter in your car helps to clean out the air that goes into your car and the engine. In normal areas, professionals suggest that the air filter be changed once in a year or about 12,000 miles. In more dusty environments, it should be changed more often. To replace it, find a black rectangular box with clips, open the clips and then the black box. Take out the air filter present in the black box and replace the air filter and fix everything back the way it was. It takes only about 10 minutes, even if you are a novice.
3. Replace your spark plugs:
Your spark plugs should be changed every 30,000 miles and are very easy to change. All you need is a plug spanner and the replacement of the spark plugs. Your car can have between 3 and 8 plugs, depending on the number of cylinders in your engine. Locating your spark plugs is fairly easy, they are attached to thick rubbery wires. You need to replace them one by one to avoid mixing them up. Pull out the rubbery wire to expose the plug, then using your plug spanner, loosen the plugs from its place and fix in a new one. Finally fix the rubbery wires exactly the way it was and continue for the rest of the spark plugs.
4. Oil and oil filter:
This is the most common maintenance process everyone talks about. All you need is a spanner, oil filter wrench, oil pan, funnel, as well as a replacement for the oil filter and the oil itself. Note that you should not carry out the process when the engine is hot, allow it to cool down a little. To change the oil, first you need to drain the used oil present, jack your car up to a level where you can enter underneath, then using a spanner, loosen the bolt on the oil tray (it’s easy to find), then place an oil pan to collect the used oil. While the oil is draining, take out the oil filter wrench and loosen the oil filter.
Once the oil has been fully drained, fill ⅔ of the new filter with new oil and tighten it by hand, then fill up the engine with oil. Using your dipstick, check how much oil you’ve added to ensure it is enough, and there you have it.
5. Radiator coolant:
Your radiator coolant helps to cool your engine, and like other fluids in the car, they need to be changed regularly. The coolant needs changing after roughly 25,000 miles. If you seem to lose count, just do it after 5 oil changes. Before carrying out this process, on opening the radiator cap, if you see rust floating on the coolant, you should go to your mechanic.
Carrying out this process should be done carefully due to possible high temperatures. This should only be carried out when the car is cool. Locate the drain plug of the radiator, open it and drain the used coolant into a pan. When fully drained, replace the drain plug and then pour in new radiator coolant.
Not all fixes require the services of a professional. Practice makes perfect, practicing to fix some things yourself can prove you to be a professional in that field in no time.
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