10 DIY Automotive Repairs for Dummies

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You probably have many things to do and many places to get to.

For this, public transport is definitely an affordable option!

However, everyone knows that owning a vehicle is far more convenient. 

Why?

Simply because getting to a distant store to buy your folks a last minute birthday gift or enjoying a cold night’s drive without your car is not possible.

Hence, being responsible for the upkeep of your car and knowing how to bring it back to life when it ditches you every once in a while will certainly be a great skill to have.

The frustration of your car breaking down is real, however, the struggle doesn’t have to be so real.  

What if there’s a way of lowering your stress levels and difficulties in such situations?

What if  you don’t need anybody else to fix your car in certain situations?

Why not be a responsible car owner by tending to your car’s needs today.

10 Basic DIY Automotive Repairs

1. Refilling the Oil

Changing your car oil is a no-brainer, however, knowing when to do it may be confusing to many.  

It was previously believed that oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles.

However, the ]]>New York Times]]> suggests you change it after a higher travel distance of 7,500-10,000 miles. 

Doing so, will ensure smooth functioning of your car and the long life of its engine. 

Changing your car’s oil is the most basic DIY skills anyone can pick up for the optimal maintenance or repair of automobiles. 

4 Steps to Change the Car Oil

  1. Unplug the oil drain by unscrewing the oil filter to drain the old oil from your engine. 
  2. Once all the oil is drained, the two need to be put back up. 
  3. Open the filler cap from the top.
  4. Refill it with fresh oil.  

2. Replacing Your Car’s Battery

Your car stands by you through wind and storm, until it gives up on you. But don’t you give up on your car!

When its battery dies out, its your time to show it some care. 

5 Quick Steps to Replace Your Car’s Battery

  1. Check if your battery light is blinking on the dashboard. Remember not to ignore this sign once you notice it.
  2. Quickly open the battery box and disconnect negative cables, moving the clamp away. 
  3. Follow the same procedure for positive cables. 
  4. Go ahead by removing the old battery and replacing it with the new one.
  5. Reconnecting all the cables. 

If you’re not quite lucky and the battery gives up on you in the middle of nowhere, don’t hesitate.

Roadside assistance is always just a call away.  

Alternatively, you even can resort to a towing service. 

A&G Customs is the best bet for automotive repairs if you’re stuck somewhere in Doylestown.

#ProTip
If you use your car a lot, it’s probably a good idea to keep a new battery handy just like you would a spare tire.

3. Changing Brake Pads

Your brakes are what helps you save your car from colliding into obstacles and other vehicles on the road. 

Thus, ensuring your brakes function effectively is a smart choice. 

If you hear a squealing sound while applying brakes, you should know it’s time to get your brake pads changed. 

Getting this changed is easier than it sounds. 

How to Change the Brake Pads?

  1. First loosen the lug nuts of the wheels.
  2. Jack the car up.
  3. Remove the wheels.
  4. Next, remove the slider bolts.
  5. Then remove the older brake pads.
  6. Replace them with new ones.
  7. Finally, put everything back in their place. 

4. Changing Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are essential components that help to ignite the gasoline. 

These tiny components are, thus, important for powering any working combustion engine. 

Be sure to change these plugs every 10,000 miles, as they tend to wear out, resulting in ignition issues.

How to Quickly Change the Spark Plugs?

  • You first need to locate the spark plugs. They will be found at the engine end, under the plug covers. 
  • You then need to proceed by removing the faulty spark plug.
  • Then replace it with a new one.
  • Reinsert the wire. 

5. Replacing Air Filters 

Everyone forgets to replace their air filter, as it does not seem that important a component to them. 

However, you should know that air filters keep your engine free from harmful debris and contaminants. 

Buying a new air filter is almost inexpensive and going about replacing it is extremely easy.  

Air filters are located beneath the hood in the air filter unit. You simply need to remove the old one, clean the filter unit,  and replace the new filter. 

#ProTip
Ensure that you keep your engine dust-free by replacing the air filter once a year or every 30,000 miles your car travels.

6. Changing a Flat Tire

Almost everyone who’s anyone has experienced a wobbling car at least once in their life

This is majorly due to a flat tire. 

The next time this happens to you, pull yourself together and get to changing your own tire. 

For this, ensure your trunk is backed up with a tool kit, jack stand, and a spare tire, at all times. 

4 Easy Steps to Change a Flat Tire

  1. Loosen the lug nuts using a jack stand.
  2. Remove the lug nuts and the flat tire. 
  3. Place the spare tire on.
  4. Wrench the lug nuts back on ensuring they are tight enough for a safe drive. 

With practice you’ll get better and will thank yourself for having mastered this skill!

7. Replacing a Headlight or Taillight

You should know the cons of having a broken headlight or taillight while night driving and the fear of your car being blown off guard by other vehicles. 

Know that it’s time to change your headlights when they start to fade. 

Save yourself from road mishaps by fixing this yourself. 

  • Simply unscrew the headlight frame.
  • Disconnect the electrical connector.
  • Unwind the faulty bulb.
  • Replace it with a new one.
  • Plug the connector back on and you’re good to go.

8. Doing Away With Scratches 

Scratches ruin the aesthetics of your car and it is heartbreaking to see it yet know that fixing it is an expensive affair. 

But why spend a fortune when you can do it yourself for cheap?

  • Sand the area lightly depending on the depth of the scratch.
  • Clean the area and apply a rubbing compound.
  • Then proceed by polishing, washing, and waxing the area to seal the quick fix.

9. Replacing Wipers

Wipers seem to be the most irrelevant part of a car but do not overlook them.

When bird poop fills your windscreen, what saves you? On a rainy day, what clears your view?

Your wipers do!

Yes, do not underestimate the wipers. But when your wipers do not clean well, it’s about time to replace them. 

  • Depress the small tab by lifting the wiper arms and pulling it off
  • Slide the new arms in.
  • Tighten them, the base and you’re done!

10. Jumpstarting Your Car

Well, this is the most fundamental skill of automotive repair, which can be done by everyone, if they only know how.

If your car fails to start, you can always jumpstart it yourself, instead of calling for assistance. 

All you need is an extra car, which should be off ignition and on neutral just as yours.  

Use jumper cables for this, by attaching one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery and the other to the positive terminal of the battery in the other car. 

Then attach the black clips similarly, one to the negative terminal of the battery in the other car and the other end to an unpainted metal surface. 

On starting the working vehicle, you’ll find your car good to go like magic. 

Follow these simple DIY repairs for simple damages like the aforementioned ones. 

Also ensure that you know the parts of your vehicle, to save yourself from damage and stress.

If you’re based in Doylestown and are looking for a reputable automotive repair shop, get in touch with A&G Customs.