With car repairs, even the smallest fixes can end up draining the driver’s savings and their patience. While trips to the auto shop are a hassle, fortunately, car owners can perform many repairs by themselves. Those with the right tools and directions can quickly repair a wide variety of automotive issues, ranging from simple bodywork problems to under-the-hood treatments. It is almost impossible to do permanent damage to the truck or car’s mechanics, and, when drivers take their time, they will find the confidence they need to perform some of the simplest and most financially sound repairs.
Before drivers begin, they will need to have all of their equipment ready. Drivers should always select tools with strong, hardy grips and solid construction in order to get the best results. For most repairs, the toolkit should contain a ratchet set, Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers of varying sizes along with both a socket and torque wrench. With this kit is ready, drivers can begin any of the following procedures.
Replacing the Fuel Filter
The fuel filters work in a self-explanatory way. They pull debris out of the gasoline before the fuel makes its way into the fuel line. To replace the fuel filter, drivers should first relieve the pressure in their fuel system by taking off the gas cap and removing the fuse to the fuel pump. They should then run their engine until the engine stops.
Next, drivers should uncouple only the negative battery cable and then locate the fuel filter under the hood. Once the filter is accessible, they will carefully disconnect the fuel lines. If there are mounting bolts, they should be removed as well. Now, the fuel filter should be able to slide out easily.
To install the new filter, drivers will make sure that the flow arrow located on the filter is pointed towards the engine itself. From here, they will simply attach the fuel lines to the new filter and then reinstall the previously removed pump fuse. The battery can then be connected. To test the procedure, drivers should simply run their vehicles for a solid start. The fuel should reach the injectors and function as necessary.
Replacing the Air Filter
The first step to replace an air filter is to find the box that the filter in which it is located. Drivers can check the car manual for the location if it is difficult to spot. Once found, drivers should snap the clips on the box cover open or remove the screws that hold it in place. They will then lift the cover up and off of the box. The old filter should be removed, and drivers should remember in what direction the face of the filter goes. They can then clean out the box with a vacuum or a shop vac and remove any small debris with a cloth.
They can then install the new filter facing the same direction as the old one and put the box together again. Car owners should be sure that the box is properly sealed, and they should check the hoses for leaks. If there are no leaks, the procedure is complete.
Replacing the Drive Belt
The familiar scream of a worn drive belt can be annoying and expensive to repair. While the sound may seem to reflect a daunting fix, the truth is that replacing the drive belt can be a very simple procedure.
To begin, car owners should look at their belt under the hood and search for wearing, cracks in the belt or general looseness. There will be several pullies, a belt and a tensioner system that allows car owners to control the tightness of the drive belt. To replace the belt, owners should begin with the belt’s routing. If the belt is missing completely, they should check the routing diagram in the owner’s manual. Afterward, the owner should release the tensioner arm by using a ratchet and then slide off the belt. If the elements with the drive belt can move freely, then the owner is free to install the new belt.
When this task is complete, the car owner can begin the new installation. They should hold the new tensioner open and thread the belt through the pullies. If the belt is hard to install or seems to fit poorly, it may be routed incorrectly. Once the belt is installed, drivers should start the car and allow it to run. They can check the tensioner arm to make sure that it is moving correctly.
Replacing the Rotor and Distributor Cap
A distributor cap’s purpose is to send electricity from a coil to the right cylinder.
To begin, drivers will take off the old cap and keep the wires and plugs connected. They will set the cap near their work area. Once ready, drivers can remove the old rotor and replace it with the new one. Because it simply slides off, there should be little trouble taking it off.
Drivers can then inspect the new distributor cap, which can only be installed in two positions to make the job even easier. Often, there is a numerical sign that indicates which plug goes into the top of the cap. Drivers should be sure that the new cap is installed in the same way as the old one. This process begins when drivers trade the wires from the old cap with the new one. The wire at the top of the old cap goes into the hole closest to the #1. They should then the cap and start up the vehicle. Drivers should listen for misfires and be sure that the car is running smoothly.
Replacing the Brake Pad
That telltale squeal when drivers press their brakes is a clear indicator that the brake pads need to be replaced. This is a relative pricey job at an auto shop, but vehicle owners can take care of the issue with just an afternoon of work. They will need a jack, new brake pads and a bottle of brake fluid. It is best for drivers to change the pads on one side from start to finish before starting on the other side.
First, drivers will loosen the lug nuts on the wheel and then jack the car to elevate it. They will then fully remove the nuts and take off the wheel. With the brake assembly exposed, drivers should find the pair of slider bolts that hold the caliper to the car. Then, they will remove the top bolt and allow the caliper to lift up, pivoting to allow them access to the brake pads. Drivers should avoid touching any hydraulic tubing. They will then slide the old brake pads out and remove the old clips. They can then simply snap the new clips into place and slide the brake pads where they belong. Drivers should next press both pistons back in with a 2×4, keeping an eye on the fluid reservoir as they go. They can simply slip the caliper back over the pads and rebolt, reattaching the tire and finishing the job.
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