Ask Away...: Car Repairs You Can Do Yourself (Seriously)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Car Repairs You Can Do Yourself (Seriously)

Owning a car is a great way to make yourself poor. There’s the cost of gas, all the tax you have to pay every year and, of course, the repair bills. For many people, it’s all too much. According to estimates, the average American spends more than $4,000 just running their car every year.

As a result, many of us are looking for ways to save on the costs of ownership. One way to do this is to start repairing your car yourself. Now, granted, you’re not going to be able to do every job that needs doing. Nobody’s expecting you to replace a broken drive shaft. But there are a lot of things that you can do without having to pay a mechanic to do so. All you have to do is find the repair manual pdf online, and you’re ready to get started.

Replace Your Alternator Battery

One of the most frequent issues for cars, especially in the winter, is a failed alternator battery. Your car uses the alternator to charge the battery while you’re driving around. If your car doesn’t want to turn over, or if the lights won’t come on, the culprit is usually the alternator or the battery.

You can test your alternator to see if it is working using a multimeter. If you notice that it isn’t registering any power on the screen, you immediately know that something is wrong. You’ll have to check your car’s manual to find out exactly where the alternator is located.

Replace A Worn Brake Pad

MOT centers and service garages often charge a fortune for the labor involved in replacing a worn brake pad. But the truth is that it’s something that you can easily do yourself. Worn brake pads make a distinctive squealing sound when you apply the brakes. If you hear this sound, there’s a good chance that your brake pads need to be replaced immediately. If you don’t replace them, you could end up damaging both the disc and the caliper. And if that happens, you’re in for an expensive repair job.

There’s also a chance that you’ve got a problem with your brake disc. Sometimes the disc can come out of alignment with the caliper. Other times, it can be corroded. If this happens, you’ll notice a grinding sound when you apply the brake. Again, the rotor will need replacing before it causes damage to other parts of the car’s braking system.

Exterior Coolant Leaks

Do you ever notice pools of liquid on the ground, after you’ve parked your car? It could be a coolant leak. Coolant on the ground is often yellow or orange in color. Sometimes it leaks as a result of problems deep inside the car’s engines. But often it’s the result of a superficial problem with one of the external coolant hoses. When the leak is coming from a crack in the exterior hoses, it’s easy to sort out. Just open the hood of your car and look inside for a leak. Remember not to touch the liquid itself because it’ll be hot from cooling the engine.

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