Car Repair Basics for Beginners

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Car Repair Basics for Beginners

Part of being a car owner is having responsibilities, such as fueling when necessary, paying insurance, and keeping it properly maintained. Cars are meant to last 200,000 miles on average, after all. Still, some owners do not take care of their car regularly, which can cause it to fail and break. Keep these car repair basics for beginners in mind to know how to increase your car’s lifespan and performance for a long time.

Changing Fluids

One of the most important car maintenance tips to know is how to change your fluids. Your owner’s manual will have the mileage and information on each fluid to have in your vehicle. Typically, this includes motor oil, radiator fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid. These fluids vitally preserve your vehicle’s lifespan. Like with a bicycle or appliance, these fluids lubricate different parts of the car to ensure it runs smoothly.

Checking Tires

You should also know how to check your tires to see if they’re inflated properly, flat, or misaligned. You can think of the tires as the car’s shoes. They protect the wheels from grinding on the road and supply traction across paved or off-road surfaces. That’s why your tire pressure matters. Over-inflated tires can cause the tread to be harder than normal and reduce its traction and performance. Underinflated tires will cause the tires to overheat and increase wear and the chances of a blowout. It’s also important to know how to replace the tire if it’s flat. You’ll need to loosen the lug nuts with a wrench, use a jack stand to lift the car, remove the lug nuts and tire, replace it with the spare, tightly wrench the lug nuts back on, and lower the car.

Dead Batteries

Another common issue that arises is a dead battery, and fixing it is a car repair basic for beginners that you’ll need to know. This might happen after you leave the lights on or don’t turn the car off completely. To jumpstart the car, you will need to have a friend or stranger help. With both vehicles in neutral and the ignition off, use jumper cables attached to the red clips on the positive terminals on both batteries. Then, attach a black clip to the negative terminal in the other car’s battery with the other attached to an unpainted metal surface. If your battery still doesn’t start after that, it might be blown completely and need to be replaced. In that case, remove the battery covers, disconnect the negative and positive cable clamps, move the clamps from the battery post, remove all screws, and reconnect the cable clamps once the new battery is in place.

Poor Performance

Your car could also be slower or not performing up to standards due to a lagging piece. There are many ways your car could lead to poor performance, like engine failure, broken turbo, or clogged fuel filter—if you do find yourself with a broken turbo, make sure to replace your turbo from a reputable shop. You can detect poor performance in your vehicle if it cannot accelerate easily or handle well. Even if you don’t have a muscle car or high-performance vehicle, each OEM vehicle can reach a certain horsepower. If yours cannot anymore or it’s not responsive to your accelerations, there is something wrong with its power.

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