A vote between an all-expense-paid leisure-trip to the Caribbean Island and multiple pocket-draining trips to the auto repair shop should be a land-slide for the winner. Of course, Caribbean Island will win it. In reality, though, the auto repair shop is winning because most of us would rather pay for things we can easily do by ourselves.
Although most repairs on the car are best done by specialists so you don’t end up ruining and eventually trashing the whole car, some of these repairs aren’t complex enough to call for a specialist. This list enumerates some of these repairs that can be self-done, leading to quite a sizable saving over time, which could fund that dream Caribbean Island trip.
10 Faulty Ignition Coil
Ignition coils are mini electrical transformers that convert the little 12-volts current from car batteries with the aid of a spark plug into about 20,000 volts needed to create the spark that’ll ignite the fuel. Faulty ignition coil causes engine jerking, vibration while static and poor fuel economy.
To replace a faulty ignition coil, start the car and leave it idle. Open the hood and pull out each ignition coil one after the other while the engine is running, if the vehicle vibrates the coil is good. The faulty coil gives no noticeable reaction. Replace it!
9 Brake Pad Replacement
The brake pad is a curved disk that pins the brake discs to a halt when the brakes are applied on the motion. The friction generated causes the pads to chip and reduce in mass over time. However, changing the pads is a very easy task.
Brand and year of your car is enough information to get a replacement pad. Any brand works fine but the higher the price the longer it’ll last. One after the other, remove the tire and carefully unclip the pad calipers while replacing the old worn out pads with new ones.
8 AC Recharge
Driving on a hot summer afternoon and you feel the urge to increase your fan speed while tuning the AC to the coolest temperature, it could mean that your car AC is running low on gas, therefore, you’ll have to refill it – this is known as AC recharge.
The refill is best done with gloves and glasses for safety, while an AC refrigerant dispenser is needed for ease of transfer. Start the car and put the AC on the coldest before the refill. Put a thermometer on the AC vent and stop the refill when the temperature reaches about 28 degrees.
7 Oil Change
If cars could talk, they’ll beg for an oil change when they’re due for it. Not changing the oil as at when due is like making a man run even though he isn’t fit to walk – stress. Poor engine lubrication due to an overdue oil leads to increased fuel consumption while also reducing the lifespan of the engine.
An oil change can be done right there in your garage. Locate and unscrew the drain plug underneath the car and drain the oil. Replace the oil filter with a new one. Screw back the drain plug and put new oil. Viola!
6 Faulty Horns
Aside from the danger it portends, not having a functional horn is also against the law since your car needs it to pass state inspection. People often get carried away while driving and with a mild honk you could alert them of your proximity thereby averting avoidable road mishaps.
Often located right behind the grille, changing a horn is as easy as changing a light bulb. Open the hood and disconnect the battery to start with, proceed to disconnect the old horn using a ratchet and replace it with a new one.
5 Low Tire Pressure
Low tire pressure increases the tire surface area that touches the ground, this leads to an abnormal increase in temperature through increased friction. The continuous over-heating of the tire often leads to tread separation or blowout – that could be fatal.
Correcting tire pressure is quite easy, provided you know the recommended pressure specifications. With a digital gauge and an electric air compressor, you can check and correct your tire pressure weekly at home. Sometimes though, if the tire is ridiculously low, it could be a puncture needing you to visit the gas station for proper repair.
4 Blown Headlight Bulb
Blown out headlight bulb should be replaced as soon as it’s discovered because of the danger of driving with poor visibility. More so, you risk been fined if you get spotted by a highway patrol when driving a car with a blown-out headlight bulb. The good part is changing the bulb also can be done at home saving you some buck.
Get a replacement bulb at the car mart, open your hood and locate the headlight holder in the engine compartment. Pull out the connecting wires and remove the old bulb. Clean the new bulb before replacing.
3 Clogged Air Filter
Getting billed for labor on an air filter change should be a crime, but guess what? It’s not – you’ll get billed. Clogged air filter leads to poor fuel efficiency, reduced engine life, and increased emission, hence new air filter change is recommended yearly or at 12,000 miles or even more frequently if you live in a dusty area.
Dash to your local auto part store and get your specific filter using your model and year. At home, pop up your hood and reach for the air filter compartment. Open it and replace the old with the new.
2 Blown Fuse
Electrical repairs on cars cost more than other types of repairs as it’s seen to be a bit technical and sometimes time-consuming. However, you don’t need a specialist nor do you have to drain your pocket to change a blown fuse. A blown fuse is a good fuse; it did its job. While preventing overload, a fuse will break to stop current flow.
Fuse panel is located inside the engine compartment or under the steering wheel. Remove the panel’s cover and use the diagram underneath it to locate the blown fuse. Carefully remove and replace the broken fuse.
1 Dead Battery
With a dead battery, you aren’t even driving anywhere, anyway. That should be enough inspiration for you to save some dollars and do the battery change by yourself. The owner’s manual is the go-to resource for the right battery specifications or better still you could go to the auto store with the old battery.
Unscrew the clamping device and disconnect the battery cables – removing the negative first before the positive. Lift the dead battery out in an upright position replacing it with the new one. Carefully connect the battery cables and screw back the clamping device.