If you have little experience of car maintenance, it’s easy to be put off by large problems. Opening up the hood of your car and fixing the engine parts sounds like a scary prospect. In some cases, you may think you’ll cause more damage than good. However, most mechanical fixes are nowhere near as scary as they seem. With a little understanding, you can fix almost every problem your car has. All you have to do, is know what to look for.
Doing your own car maintenance can save you a fortune on garage fees. It’s particularly important if you’re looking to sell your car on, in order to get the best price. You’ll need a spare afternoon and some confidence but fixing your car is within your power. Cars are mechanical beasts. It means that nearly all problems follow the same pattern. Every problem can be explained and fixed. With the right tools and and a little knowledge you can be your own car mechanic.
Replace drive belts
If you hear a squealing sound when you start your car up, it’s a sure sign of drive belt damage. It’s easy enough to confirm this problem. A quick glance at the drive belts will show cracks or wear. You’ll find the belts (or in newer cars, just one serpentine belt) at the front of the engine. It connects various pulleys in the engine and is very simple to replace.
Replace Brake Pads
Squealing can identify another major problem. This time, listen out for squealing when you brake. If you’re hearing this, it means your brake pads have worn right down. It’s time to replace them immediately. You could pay a fortune at the garage, or you could do it yourself. It’ll also give you practice taking the wheels on and off. Once the wheels are off and you’re looking at the brake parts, replacing the pad is a simple procedure.
Replacing the battery
Battery problems are the cause of nearly 50% of all breakdowns. You can easily avoid this by keeping a check on the charge, and replacing when necessary. The battery and its alternator are usually located at the front of the engine. Consult your car’s manual if you can’t find it. Use a multimeter to measure the charge in the battery. If it’s low, replacing it is a simple task. It will save you the hassle of a motorway breakdown!
There are plenty of other simple replacements that you can do. Spark plugs and wires are easily replaced with a few simple tools. You can also replace air filters and fuel filters which are necessary to keep the engine clean. If you’re feeling confident, you can change an entirely faulty engine. You can purchase cheap engines online and replace them yourself. This is only for the advanced however!
Car trouble doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Learn to detect the early signs of problems and educate yourself on how to fix them. All car trouble is easily identifiable and they all follow the same pattern. Once you know how to spot them, you’ll save yourself a small fortune on mechanics fees.
Thanks to Jackie for the image
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