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If you own a car, you should know how to fix a few common problems; otherwise, the mechanics will make a killing out of you, all for nothing. Sometimes, even having the number of the mechanic on your speed dial cannot help. Imagine waking up in the morning to a dead battery, or a car that will not start and you have to go to drop children at school as you go to work. Over your driving career, your car will develop many problems, some complex and some simple.
The most common problem is a dead battery
Many things can cause this problem, but the most common is leaving the lights on to drain the battery. To start the car with a dead battery, you need to have a jump pack. Connect the positive lead from the jump pack to the positive terminal of the battery and then the negative lead to the chassis. Then turn on the jump pack and start the car. When the car starts, charge the jump pack overnight to keep it ready for next time.
It is best that you identify what led to the battery dying. Did you leave the lights on or is your alternator giving up on you? Find out.
This is another small problem that you can fix on your own. With time, the hosepipe taking water from the radiator to the engine might crack and start leaking, thus putting your car under risk of overheating. You can fix this easily if you have your kit for hose repair. Included in this kit is a pair or more of clamps, a knife and rubber cement. Let the engine cool down first, then cut the leaking section of the hose. From the kit, take your coupling, apply the rubber cement to it and then install it and tighten it on both sides with your metal clamps. That should contain the leak very well until you take the car to a garage so that the entire hose can be replaced.
Puncture repair and tire change
This is the simplest of all things that you should know about car repair, but you will be surprised that many people cannot change a tire. If you get a puncture when you are on the road to some place, you can repair your tire and it will hold until you can get your car to a garage. Most people know about changing the tire and that is recommended since everyone carries a spare tire, but with a tube of sealant, you can seal the puncture, albeit temporarily and the good thing is that the sealant also inflates the tire.
Changing headlight bulbs
You should always carry spare bulbs for your car’s headlights in your glove compartment. You never know when darkness will strike! You can only buy spares if you know the type of bulbs that your car uses. That said, you will need to read the car’s manual to know how to replace the bulbs. Usually, you will have to remove the housing so that you can replace the bulbs from the back of the housing. The design could be a bit different depending on the vehicle, but it should be easy for you to figure out. You will then have to turn the socket holding the bulb anticlockwise to set it free from the housing, to access the bulb. You will need simple tools like screw driver (flat or star).
With an open-end wrench, oil draining pan, new oil and filter, funnel, oil filter wrench and a clean piece of cloth, you can change your own oil and save money. It is so easy. It is now just a matter of letting the car cool down enough, then get under it, find the oil drain, uncap it with the wrench after placing the oil pan underneath and then let it drain. Wrench the oil filter and get it out. Wipe your hands with the clean rag. Replace the drain plug, tightening it with the wrench, take the new filter and apply some of the new oil on the O-ring and then replace it and tighten it with the filter wrench. Add the new oil and replace the cap, turn on the car and let it idle for a minute or so, switch it off and check for leaks. Just like that.