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Four Simple Car Problems You Can Fix Yourself

When viewed as a whole, a car is an intimidating network of wires, moving components, vacuums and other technical bits and pieces only a professional mechanic could remember all the names of. Every make of a car, whether looking for new Acura parts or updating a classic Ford Mustang, needs some TLC. All of those parts and connections are vital in order for a car to function properly, and the last thing anyone wants is a malfunctioning car speeding down the highway. For this reason, many people simply throw their hands up in the air and refuse to work on even basic aspects of their own car. Indeed, the fear of car maintenance is what causes many to skip right over used car reviews and put down thousands of extra dollars for a new car. In reality, though, every car eventually needs some type of work. It may be easier to bring it into a shop, but frequent visits can really begin to add up.

Changing Your Oil

An oil change is usually the first car maintenance people learn and attempt, and it makes an excellent starting point. You’ll need a few tools and the appropriate oil for your particular vehicle model. First, you may need to jack up the car or remove obstructions to get to the oil filter. Place an oil drain pan underneath the drain plug to catch the old oil, but be aware that the oil will drain at an angle. When everything is in place, use a standard wrench to remove the plug. The oil should begin to flow into the pan. Once it’s done, you can replace the plug and change out the oil filter, if needed. Finally, you can add new oil to the appropriate level.

Installing New Windshield Wiper Blades

After about a year of use, most windshield wipers lose their effectiveness and begin to simply smear water around rather than wipe it away. The change can be so gradual that many drivers don’t even notice it, but old wipers can be a major hindrance in adverse conditions. Luckily, they are quite easy to swap out. You will need to find the right wipers for your car, which should be available at most auto stores. Pull the current wipers back and away from the car. There should be a small tab on the underside that, when pushed, will cause the old blade to detach. The new wipers hook into place and should give a click when installed correctly.

Changing Brake Pads

Brake pads are another one of those little chores that need to be performed regularly, but require a long wait and a small fortune in the process. Thankfully, most cars today have very simple brake systems that anyone can maintain. Front brakes need to be performed much more often than rear, and these are the brake pads that are usually changed at home. With your new brake pads and brake fluid, jack up the car and take off one of the wheels. The brakes assembly is protected by a caliper, which can be lifted into an upright position by removing two pins. The brake pad should now be visible, and it’s a simple matter of replacing the clips and sliding the new pad into place. Close the caliper carefully, reattach the wheel and you’re ready to do the other brake pad.

Replacing Light Bulbs

This is a very simple procedure, but one that can save you a lot of hassle from state troopers. When a light bulb burns out in either the headlight or the tail light, it can be replaced by first locating the light’s access point, detaching the wiring panel and then pulling the bulb out. A new bulb can then be mounted and the wiring put back into place, but be sure to test that the bulb is working before you head onto the highway!

Authored By: Jorge Cortez

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