People highly depend on vehicles to get from one location to another. Usually, we drive our cars back and forth from home to work. Also, some people prefer to go on a road trip for a vacation. Nevertheless, people are used to driving around, even if it means taking quick trips to the store. However, cars like any other machine require maintenance in order to function properly and car owners usually let their trusted mechanic take care of that.
When you’re short on money and your car is in need of repairs, there are things you can do on your own even if you lack the skills. Most of the time, people avoid trying to fix a car on their own, because they fear they might make the situation worse. But, there is no need to worry because some basic repairs are quite simple to do and you won’t cause any extra damage. Here are a few car repairs you can do yourself.
1. Change a flat tire
Every car has a spare wheel in the trunk and you should also have the tools needed to replace the wheel with it. You’ll need a scissor jack or any jack for that matter, a spare wheel, tire iron and a torque wrench. The first thing you’ll need to do is pull an emergency brake on your car, so it doesn’t start moving while you change the tire. Next, loosen the lug nuts on the rim of the wheel with a flat tire, but don’t remove them while the car is still on the ground.
Place the jack in the correct spot. The spot is usually marked but if it’s not then you can check a car’s manual to find the spot, if you have it on you. Lift the car up an inch or two off the ground and remove the lug nuts. Now, remove the wheel and replace it with a spare. Put the lug nuts back on and tighten them up a bit. Lower your car back down and tighten the lug nuts by either using a tire iron or a torque wrench.
2. Change a dead battery
You aren’t moving your car anywhere with a dead battery, even if you try to jumpstart it. Changing a dead battery is quite simple, but if you don’t want to do it because you’re afraid of breaking something, then you can call up a mobile mechanic to help you out. What you need is a correct replacement battery, an open-end wrench and a pair of pliers. First, always start with a negative terminal on the battery or the black cable.
Loosen the nuts using a wrench on the negative terminal and remove the cable. Now, do the same with a positive terminal (red cable). Use a pair of pliers to unbolt any nuts that hold the battery in place, so you can remove it. Replace the old battery with a new one and start by connecting the positive terminal first. Now, connect the negative terminal and bolt it back on. After that, bolt the remaining nuts to hold your battery in place and you’re good to go.
3. Flush your radiator
Radiator is the main part of your car’s cooling system and if it’s clogged it may cause your car to overheat and even kill your engine. However, flushing the radiator is quite easy and you’ll be able to do it yourself. You’ll need a wrench or a Philips-head screwdriver, radiator cleaning liquid and coolant liquid. Before you begin, make sure your car has cooled off completely. Next, find the radiator drain and unscrew the plug. Let the old coolant liquid drain out of the radiator.
Use a container to drain the liquid in. Now, put the plug back on and screw it back in place. Remove the radiator cap and pour in the cleaning fluid. Fill the rest of the radiator with water and put the cap back on. Now, turn on your engine and let it run until it gets to the normal temperature. After that, turn on your car heating to the max and let it run for about 10 minutes. Once your car is nice and hot, turn it off and let it cool completely again. Again, repeat the process of draining the radiator and after you’re done pour in fresh cooling liquid.
You can complete most of the basic repairs on your car by yourself and save money in the process. However, you should leave major issues and things you don’t know how to fix to the experts, unless you want to risk further damaging your car.
Nate Vickery is a business consultant and a blogger. He is executive editor at Bizzmarkblog.com and contributor on many other top-tier online publications.