Knowing how to fix certain problems on your car is not only beneficial in case you find yourself in a bind somewhere halfway between your hometown and the middle of nowhere, but it will also save you money you would be better off spending on your date, rather than your mechanic.
Here are the 5 repairs you can seriously do yourself!
Replace a flat tyre
Changing a flat requires nothing more than a lifting jack, a nut wrench and of course, a spare tyre. All of these essentials should have come with the car itself, so you are all set.
First, apply the parking brake and let the car rest on a flat surface. You can then proceed to place the jack in front of the flat tyre, at the point specified in the owner’s manual. Lift the jack so that it supports the car, but don’t elevate it.
Next, you want to remove the nuts holding the tyre in place by turning the wrench counter clockwise, after which you can remove the tyre itself and replace it with a spare. Put the nuts back in their place, screw them in tightly, lower the jack and remove it. Don’t forget to store the flat tyre in the trunk to be fixed later.
Replace engine air filter
If not replaced as per the manufacturer’s instructions, the worn-out filter can cause severe damage to your engine, in turn requiring costly repairs – at which point you can research the option of buying a new car. The filter protects the inner engine parts such as the pistons and the cylinders from dirt and debris, thus prolonging its lifespan.
Luckily, the process is quite easy and does not require a trip to the mechanic. Simply unscrew or unclip the filter retainers and remove the filter, put in the new one, secure the air filter box, and you are ready to roll.
Fix faulty brakes
Never skimp out on brakes – they are designed to save your life.While a complete brake replacement is delicate business you are better off leaving to the skilful hands of your mechanic, you can prevent the onset of costly repairs by acquiring the necessary parts yourself.
You can never be too sure of the quality of your new parts, unless you source them yourself, so it is best to find reliable ones, such as DBA, and ensure you know exactly what you’re getting. Be sure to inspect the brakes thoroughly by removing the wheel and exposing the braking mechanism, in order to determine the part that needs fixing.
Fix dents and paint chips
You will need a can of auto body filler, different sand grits, cream paste and applicators. First, you want to sand down the dent to expose the metal surface by using grit sandpaper. Next, feather the edges and clean the dent with grease remover, after which you want to mix in the body filler and fill in the grazes.
Keep adding layers no more than 5mm thick until you have built up the dent, and then proceed to feather the final coat until it has levelled with the rest of the painted area. Sand until smooth and apply the filler one more time followed by a light sand to smooth out the surface. Apply new paint and you’re done!
Replace PCV valve
Succinctly, the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) keeps your engine from exploding. The valve regulates the flow of crankcase vapours into the engine where they can be burned safely. Due to the wear and tear caused by overuse and simply, time, PCV valves can put your engine at risk by allowing the springs to lose tension due to the accumulation of carbon build-up.
All you need to do is disconnect the valve from the vacuum hose by wiggling it out of the rubber grommet. Simply insert a new valve and put the parts back into place.
Learning how to fix your own car and maintain the health and longevity of its parts is a unique and rewarding trait. Remember these 5 car skills next time you consider calling a mechanic and get yourself back on the road in no time!