Whether you’re taking a cross country road trip or just running to the grocery store to pick up a few needed items, there’s little doubt that driving plays an important part in your everyday life.
As important as driving is in your life, you know that it’s just as important to have your car regularly maintenanced. After all, car issues can happen quickly, without warning, and at the most inconvenient of times. When your car breaks down unexpectedly, you’re left without essential transportation and left to send your car in for repairs.
There’s no doubt that some of the most extensive car repairs require the most experienced of hands, but there’s a great deal of benefits gained if you learn how to fix your car yourself. By learning even the most basic of repairs, you can get to know your car inside and out and save plenty of time.
With that in mind, here are several car repairs you can do at home:
Changing Your Oil
As you learn how to fix your car yourself, one of the most basic and most important car maintenance skills you can learn is how to change your oil. In order for your car to function properly, it needs oil, so it’s important that it be changed on a regular basis.
So how do you go about changing the oil in your car? It comes down to knowing a few simple things and following a few steps. For starters, you’ll need to remove the oil drain plug and unscrew the oil filter before you empty it. Once you’ve emptied the filter, put it back. Once everything is in place, pour fresh oil into your oil reservoir and check the level with your oil dipstick to make sure it’s at the appropriate spot.
If you’ve never changed your oil before, don’t worry. You can have someone who’s experienced show you what to do or you can easily find tutorials online that will guide you every step of the way so that nothing is overlooked. If you’re new to it, you need to know that your oil should be changed roughly every 3,000 miles. Read your car’s manual to find out what kind of oil your car needs.
You can take a lot of pride in learning how to fix your car yourself and another essential skill you need is learning to change a tire. Ideally, you’d like to be able to change a tire in the comfort of your garage or driveway, but if you’re an experienced driver, you know that there’s always a possibility of getting a flat tire in your daily travels.
If you’re going to change a flat tire, you need to first jack up your car. Once it’s secure, you need to remove the lug nuts and the flat tire. You then put the new tire on, put the lug nuts back in place, and lower your car back to the ground.
This is one of the most useful car repairs you can learn and even if you don’t have a flat tire, your skill can potentially help others in need should they get a flat tire.
Removing Car Dents And Scratches
Nothing can annoy a car owner more than finding scratches and dents on a car, especially if they don’t know how they got there. That’s why learning dent repair and scratch repair are important skills as you learn all about how to fix your car yourself. Scratches and dents can be tricky, but with a little persistence, you can get your car looking good as new.
For scratches, you need to figure out how deep they are and sand them down. Once the area is clean, you can apply a rubbing compound and polish the scratched area. Once the area is polished, you can use wax to seal it off.
For dents, there are several methods you can use to remove them. You can use a small cup plunger to pop a dent out once you’ve splashed a little water on the dented area. You can also throw boiling water at the dent to get it out. A third option is to use a hairdryer set to high and a can of compressed air. Using the dryer will expand the plastic in your car and the cold compressed air will pop out the dent.
Painting Your Car
Car painting can be quite the undertaking, requiring a litany of primers, clear coats, and sprayers loaded up in your equipment trailer. Be that as it may, it doesn’t mean you can’t paint your car on your own. It just takes some learning with a good dose of patience.
Painting can take some time, but once you’ve gathered all the required materials, you can get to work. If you’re looking for a list of materials, look up online tutorials or check with experts at a local home improvement store.
First you need to wash your car and, once it dries, get to stripping off the old coat of paint with a sander. Once you’ve stripped all the way to the metal, mix your primer and thinners and get to painting. Make sure your primer is applied evenly and let it dry. You can then use your sprayer to apply your new coat of paint. It generally takes three to four coats to completely cover a car and account for drying time. Once the paint has been applied, you can apply a clear coat to really bring out the color.
Changing A Car Battery
Learning how to fix your car yourself means learning all that you can about your car so you can pull off any automotive repair with ease. One of the most important repairs you can learn is how to change the battery in your car and how to clean your battery terminals.
Changing a battery isn’t difficult, but you do have to be careful. Once you’ve removed the battery cover, you need to disconnect the terminals, starting with the negative cable. Once you’ve disconnected both terminals, you can swap out your old battery for a new one.
If you’ve got a working battery, but corroded terminals, you can easily clean them up. You can use Coca-Cola to clean your terminals or you can use a baking soda and water mixture. However, you clean them, having clean terminals will keep your battery functioning at an optimal level with a better flow of electricity through the terminals.
Knowing How To Jumpstart A Car
On the subject of car batteries, one important thing to know as you learn how to fix your car yourself is knowing how to jumpstart a vehicle. Many roadside assistance plans through car insurance agencies offer helpful towing assistance, but knowing how to jumpstart your car or truck is a great skill to have because you never know when your car will need a jump or you’ll have to give someone a jump.
Jumpstarting a car simply involves attaching jumper cables to your car battery and the battery of the car that you need to jump or that’s giving you a jumpstart. You attach the positive and negative cables on each set of battery terminals and start the vehicle that has power. A good tip is to buy yourself a set of jumper cables and stash them in your vehicle. You never know when you might need them.
Installing New Windshield Wipers
When it comes to learning how to fix your car yourself, you might think that engine repairs or tire repairs are the most important. While your tires and your engine are very important, you should treat every car repair and every part of your car is important.
To that end, you can easily install new windshield wipers if yours if you notice streaking on your windshield. Windshield wipers can easily be found in the automotive section of any store and you should be able to find the right ones your car needs. Having new wipers will come in handy when you’re driving in the snow or the rain.
To install new wipers, you need to lift up each wiper arm, pull the tabs that allow the blades to come off, line up the new blades properly, and out them in place.
Fixing Broken Lights
As you everything you need to know about how to fix your car yourself, one job you might have to do is replacing busted taillights or headlights. All you need is to replace a light is a new bulb or frame and a screwdriver. You simply remove the screws holding the light bracket in place, disconnect the electrical hookup, and install a new bulb. If you need to, install the new light frame as well and then reestablish the electrical connection and pop the screws back in place.
Learning From The Experts
There are a great many ways in which you can learn to fix your car yourself, but some vehicle tweaks and car repairs require the skills of those with more experience. In this way, you can also learn more about your car by watching experts in action.
In a recent survey, research found that an estimated 77% of cars were in need of maintenance or repairs. On that note, one of the most important areas of car repair you can learn about from experts is about your vehicle’s transmission.
If you don’t know, your vehicle’s transmission transmits power from your car’s engine to its wheels. Workers at an auto repair shop can show you all you need to know about your car’s transmission: where all the parts are and what they do so that you can identify them should you ever need work done on your transmission in the future.
Experts at an auto repair shop can also teach you all you need to know about vehicle alignment. Having a vehicle that’s properly aligned can help you get better handling on the road and greatly reduce the amount of wear and tear on your tires and your car’s various systems. Auto repair shop employees can show you the three main aspects of alignment: toe, camber, and caster, and how they use all three to get your car in working order.
You can do brake repair at home, but it can be tricky to pull off if you’re only just learning how to fix your car yourself. By taking your car to an auto body shop, you can ensure that your brakes will be in tip-top shape and you won’t have to worry when you’re driving.
Another benefit of taking your car into an auto repair shop is that they can offer quality auto glass repair services. Whether you’ve been involved in a car accident or had your windshield cracked by debris, an auto repair shop can get you the custom glass replacements you need. Setting glass can be a delicate operation and experienced hands can show you all you need to know about how it works.
If you work on a farm, chances are good that you use air compressors for inflating tires or painting, or even to clean other farm equipment. Experts can show you proper steps to take for air compressor maintenance, so you can get the most out of your compressor, especially since you’ll need it for the busiest farming cycles of the year.
It doesn’t matter how big a vehicle you have or how small a vehicle you have, there’s a certain pride you’ll feel in learning how to fix your car yourself. If you’re big on being independent, learning easy and essential car repairs can get you out of a great many jams if you happen to have car troubles. You can learn all you need to know from experts at auto repair shops who can help you on some bigger maintenance projects and you can watch online tutorials or read up on repairs to perform important maintenance from the comfort of your driveway or garage.