All posts tagged auto fixes

Car Repairs: Six Things You Can Fix On Your Own

While it may be tempting to have your local mechanic perform all of your car’s maintenance, this really isn’t needed. There are plenty of things even a total novice should be able to do competently. This can help you save money. It can also help you learn more about how your automobile works. Below are six things you can fix on your own.

Drive Belt

At some point in your car’s lifespan, it’s likely that the drive belt will break or become so worn that it’s become faulty. You’ll know if your car starts squealing when you try to start it. Thankfully, replacing it isn’t too difficult. All you need is a new belt, a screwdriver, a wrench, a socket and ratchet.

Battery

Car batteries do not last forever. Eventually they die. It may even happen from simply leaving the lights on in your car overnight. If jump starting the battery doesn’t work, replacing it is thankfully one of the easiest repair jobs a car owner can do.

Alternator

If your battery isn’t at fault for your car not working and your engine refusing to turn, it’s probably the alternator. The alternator is a component that works together with the battery to supply power to the electric components of your car. Thankfully, replacing it is easy enough to do on your own. You can get the help of friends or find instructional videos online to help if you’ve never done it before.

Brake Pads

Replacing brake pads is something most drivers assume must be done by a mechanic. However, with enough care, you can properly replace your own brake pads. Just insure that it isn’t actually the rotor that needs replacement when you hear your breaks grinding.

A Coolant Leak

A coolant leak in the exterior of your car can also be fixed by a driver without the assistance of a mechanic. If you notice a pool of liquid under your car’s exterior, chances are there is a crack or hole in an exterior hose. Replace the hose, but be careful not to burn yourself. It could be hot.

A Flat Tire

It’s common knowledge that you can replace a flat tire on your own. However, not all people are actually competent enough to do so. Practice replacing a tire with a spare. That way, you’ll be able to do so if you do get a flat out on the road someday.

Overall, you should be learning as much about your vehicle as possible. Learning how to perform basic repairs properly can increase your car’s health via proper maintenance, as well as your safety out on the road. It’s also more cost-efficient to do repairs on your own. Find quality shops like Arnold Motor Supply for parts you need to take care of your car repairs and get back on the road.

Paint Chip: Five Auto Body Fixes You can Do Yourself

What do you do after you’ve been involved in a car accident? Besides hiring a good car accident lawyer in Austin, you have to think about getting your car fixed. Not all car accidents are catastrophic, and small crashes don’t typically cause a lot of mechanical harm to your car. However, body damage is probably unavoidable, and having a professional take a look at it can be costly.

To make matters worse, if you’re one of the people out there who has a high deductible on your auto insurance, you may be paying for body work out of pocket. Thankfully, there are several kinds of auto body fixes you can do yourself with just a little cost. This is made possible thanks to the great touch-up kits now available, and a little bit of know-how. Here are five auto body fixes you can do at home!

Dent Repair

Whether it’s a fender bender or a car door bump, dents are some of the most common auto body problems. Fortunately, this is something you can fix with the right tools. To fix an auto body dent, you will need: automotive primer, sandpaper, body filler, spot putty, ridge and flexible plastic spreaders, and a bit of patience.

Start by using your sandpaper to remove loose paint since body filler doesn’t stick well to paint. Now, apply your body filler, following the instructions on the container and using the spreaders to smooth it out. Once dry, take off the rough edges using sandpaper. Afterward, apply the soft putty, and sandpaper it smooth once it dries. Last but not least, apply the automotive primer in light coats. Now it’s ready paint!

Scratch Repair

If you have a light scratch on your car, there’s no need to take it to a professional. There are numerous easy-to-use, touch-up pens that stores sell for all kinds of automobiles. While some of the cheaper ones don’t work great, mid- to high-quality scratch removers do a great job of matching your automotive paint. Keep in mind that these pens generally don’t work on deep scratches. A scratch that shows the underlying metal is a deep scratch. Try running your fingernail over the scratch, if it catches, it’s probably too deep for a do-it-yourself paint job.

Broken Light Replacement

Two areas of the car that typically break during accidents are the headlight and taillight covers. Replacing a broken light cover is easier than you think, and can be done in just a few minutes. All you need to do is find a replacement cover from an auto supply store, junk yard, or online store. These covers are typically screwed on and can be easily removed by opening the hood or trunk of your car to gain access to the screws. Just be sure to remove the cover with caution because there could be sharp pieces that could cut you.

Trim Removal

In the event that you have to take your car into an automotive shop for repair, remember you can still save money by doing some of the work yourself. One of the biggest things that auto body shops charge for is the removal and re-installation of body trim. Removing things like bumpers, door handles, and mirrors is easy. Just check that removing some of the trim doesn’t violate any local laws first. You can find replacements at scrap yards and simply install new ones that fit.

Rust Removal

While not typically caused by car accidents, rust removal is still an auto body fix you can do yourself. Stores sell products that can help remove rust, but you can also make your own rust remover by using salt and lime juice. Sometimes even baking soda and water removes rust from cars. Simply apply to the end of a toothbrush and start scrubbing.

Any auto body work you can do yourself is a good thing. Keep in mind that some work is simply too in-depth to be considered for a DIY project. If you don’t feel confident you can do the work yourself, contact a local repair shop to get an estimate. Most auto centers will provide a free estimate if you bring in your car.

Shop Talk – 5 Tips for When You are Fixing Your Vehicle

Are you pretty handy in the garage? Fixing your own vehicle is the number one way to reduce the cost of automobile ownership. If you have the means to go about this project you should consider doing it right. Shop labor is expensive, while your own labor is as free as your time. If you have the ability and means to repair your own vehicle here are five suggestions to consider as you undertake this feat.

Safety First

Before you get to work, make sure you have the equipment for a safe repair. If you’re working under the car, you need to keep the car from rolling. You can buy blocks made for this, or use large pieces of wood. Next, if the car needs to be jacked up, use jack stands—don’t trust a hydraulic jack to hold a car while you’re under it. Finally, if you’ll be working with solvents or other chemicals, make sure your work area is well ventilated. Working on a car can be very dangerous and should be done with care.

Buy a Repair Manual

Although you may have done hundreds of car repairs, it’s always a good idea to buy either the service manual for your car or one of the reputable third-party manuals. With a manual, you can read through the repair process before starting and prepare for more complicated procedures. Many repairs are similar between vehicles, but they’re not exactly the same and so buying the manual can make a huge difference.

Stay Organized

Have a few plastic containers around to hold the bolts, nuts and other small parts you collect when repairing your vehicle. You can even buy magnetic trays to hold metal parts so you won’t lose them if a container is knocked over. Pull all the tools you’ll need out of your toolbox before you start, you might lose your concentration and make a mistake if you stop in the middle of a repair to locate a specific tool.

Don’t Take Shortcuts and Use the Correct Tools

Taking shortcuts can damage parts on your car, even you can even hurt yourself. If a repair procedure says you need to remove a part a certain way, follow it. If you try to force parts out you can damage them or other parts of the car. If you don’t have the specialized tool for a certain repair, check the local auto parts stores—they’ll often lend or rent you the right tool for the job.

Know When to Take the Repair to a Professional

If you have a well-stocked garage full of tools, a manual and mechanical aptitude you can repair many things on your car. But, if you’re not confident about a certain repair, take it to a professional. They have diagnostic equipment and can even purchase parts online from older vehicles like some Subaru SVX parts for a cheaper alternative to buying brand new parts.

With these tips in mind you can be sure to save some money and feel a sense of satisfaction after managing the repairs by yourself. If done correctly, this method can be a great hobby and passion as it is for many people.