5 Easy Automotive Fixes You Can Do Yourself
It can be quite surprising – for some drivers how quickly modern vehicles have become complex in their assembly and functionality. Engine and component designs are changing from being solely functioning individual systems and nowadays, there is more connectivity between these components powering a vehicle.
A direct consequence of this is the need for more advanced diagnostic tools and procedures to help investigate faults that can show up in these types of vehicles. These diagnostic procedures require the services of a trained technician who has the skills to get to the root of such problem and find the most effective fixes.
But, procedures like this most likely mean a dealership visit and paying for a diagnostic fee. Luckily, for most vehicles, there are a ton of fixes you can complete by yourself with simple hand tools and following simple instructions. Even better, you will save a significant amount of money by avoiding visiting the dealership and being charged a fee for something you would have simply fixed.
Replacing The Engine and Cabin Air Filter
Both these filters do important work over the life of the vehicle. The cabin air filter's job is to purify the outside air coming into the vehicle's cabin and ensure vehicle occupants are always breathing in clean air. The engine air filter does the exact same thing for the car's engine. Air and fuel mixture is a critical part of engine combustion and your engine air filter working well ensures consistently optimum vehicle's performance.
The cabin air filter is usually located right behind the glove box of the vehicle. The glovebox can easily be removed from its hinges to expose the air filter housing. Make sure to be careful when removing the glovebox; you can consult the owner's manual to clarify the removal procedure. When filter replacement has been completed, make sure you reinstall the glovebox properly and check that it closes and opens normally.
The engine air filter is in the engine bay just next to the engine itself. Before attempting to remove the engine air filter, let the engine cool properly then remove the cover for the air filter and carefully pull it out for inspection. In some cases, the engine air filter may just need a cleaning and not a full replacement. If it needs to be replaced, properly place the new engine air filter in the housing and make sure the cover is closed properly. If you have any doubts about placement, check the owner’s manual.
Replacing The Battery
Replacing your battery may sound more complicated than it seems right or rather too easy for some? You would be correct in believing both myth. Fact is, it is incredibly simple, and you can replace a battery in less than 10 minutes with no complications. The first place to start is buying the battery yourself because a dealer will add a surcharge fee on the retail price of a battery every single time. After that, you will need protective gloves and eyewear protection to protect from possible acid splashes from the old battery you will be replacing.
Now onto the main task, which is inserting the new battery in place. Using a set of wrenches from a toolkit, you have to follow a specific procedure to avoid short-circuiting the positive terminal to a grounded part of your vehicle. When removing the battery cables, remove the negative (black in color) cable first. After that, as you install the new battery, replace that same negative cable last.
To ensure the installation was completed properly, run your vehicle normally to confirm all the electric features work properly.
Replacing Your Wipers
Easily the most frequently replaced part of your vehicle, your wipers will wear repeatedly over time. When you feel your wipers not cleaning as effectively as they are meant to, it is time for a replacement. You can also do a visual inspection to confirm your concerns.
A lot of cars use the hook-type wiper blade which is available in many automotive stores. For those who prefer to not head into a store, e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Konga have a surplus inventory of wiper blades for all makes and models of vehicles currently sold in the market.
To replace the wiper, turn the blade perpendicular to the arm and locate the release tab. Gently press the tab and pull the blade down. Next, turn the blade parallel to the arm, and slowly pull it off. Now to install the new blade after taking out the worn one, repeat the above process in reverse.
After full installation, spray some washer fluid on the windshield and test the new wipers to ensure they are cleaning the entire surface area properly.
Changing headlights is a tad more labor intensive than the previously mentioned fixes but still simple enough to be done without a dealership visit. The four main items you will need are a screwdriver, cotton gloves, hex or torx bits and the replacement bulbs.
There are two types of assembly for a headlight. There is the assembly type that allows for headlight bulb replacement while the other type is sealed beam headlight assembly. For removable headlight bulbs, remove the protective shield from the back of the headlight assembly, then turn and loosen the plastic harness containing the bulb. Remove the clip that holds the headlight bulb in the assembly and carefully remove the headlight from the harness. Wearing a pair of cotton gloves, carefully insert the new bulb into the harness. After reinstalling the clip securing the bulb in the harness, push the harness into the back of the headlight till it locks into place.
For sealed beam headlights, remove any frames and mounting screws holding the headlight in place. While doing so, be careful not to remove the aiming screws that enable headlight adjustments. Remove the headlight and the wiring socket from the rear of the headlight assembly. With the new sealed headlamp assembly in hand, plug the wiring into the new assembly and then place it into the mounting bracket and secure with the screws previously removed. Finally, turn on the headlights to make sure they are working properly after installation.
Replacing Blown Fuses
A host of electrical issues may plague your vehicle at some point but that does not always mean something major has gone wrong. In some situations, it could just be a blown fuse and all you need to do in this case is just replace it. Fuses are in the fuse boxes spread across the vehicle. A proper review of the owner’s manual will point out the location of all the fuse boxes and types of fuses required.
The three main types of fuses are glass tubes, blade, and ceramic. When replacing, the owner's manual will provide exact specifications of the fuse type and give you an exact illustration of its placement within the fuse box housing.
With a combination of willingness and a simple set of work tools, it is easy to tackle easy vehicle issues that might crop up from time to time. The important benefit of this is that you can increase savings of total repair costs for your vehicle over the entire period of ownership.
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