Car Maintenance and Repair Tips For Novices


Due to rising automotive repair costs, more and more people are deciding to take the initiative and work on their own vehicles. This not only prevents them from spending more than they should on car repairs, but it also prevents them from being taken advantage of from less than scrupulous mechanics. Repairing your own vehicle and keeping up on maintenance issues can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Today, we are going to cover some basic repair and maintenance tips that will enable you to keep your car running in top condition and prevent unnecessary trips to your local garage. Most of these tips can be accomplished by most anyone and usually only take a few moments of your time.

Checking Your Engine Oil

Everyone who owns a vehicle should know how to check their engine oil. If the level of the oil is too low or too high, then it can cause serious problems to your engine. To check your oil follow these steps. Make sure that your car is parked on level ground and that the engine is cool. Locate the oil dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth. After you have wiped the dipstick reinsert it back into the dip tube. Wait a moment and then pull it back out, slowly. Take a look at the oil levels. The oil levels should be between the minimum and maximum marks. If the oil is low, then add oil to the dip tube slowly, frequently checking the level of the oil. Do this until the oil is between the minimum and maximum levels.

Checking Coolant Level

Keeping your radiator filled with the proper level of coolant is also vital in keeping your car running as smoothly as possible. Without the proper coolant levels an engine is likely to overheat very quickly. Since ever engine is slightly different, you may have to consult your owners manual to determine where your coolant resevoir is located. Once you do, check the markings on the side of the resevoir and make sure that the coolant level is between the “high” and “low” markings. One thing to keep in mind when checking or adding coolant to your car is to make sure that the engine is cool first. If you fail to do this, then you can get burned from the heated coolant.

Check Your Air Filter

An air filter is a vital component of your engine and needs to be replaced approximately every 12,000 miles or so. Keeping a clean air filter in your car will keep it running better longer and only takes about five minutes to complete. To change your air filter follow these steps:

1. Open the hood and locate the filter housing. This housing is usually made out of black plastic and is secured by metal clips.

2. Flip the clips downward and remove the old filter, taking note of how it sits in the housing.

3. Put in the new air filter and push it down so that it is snug with the rubber gasket.

4. Put the lid casing back and put the clips back on.

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