How to Repair a Car with No Prior Experience

Photo courtesy of Pexels by Dakota Edwards

How would you love to be able to manage their most basic car maintenance and repair work on your own to save a few dollars?

Even if you’re not a professional mechanic, it should be easy for you to replace things such as worn out distributor cap or repair your car’s electrical power.

In fact, with just a few basic tools, you can repair the air filter and fuel filter or even replace them.

All you need is a simple toolkit and a workshop manual to guarantee the health of your car.

1. Buy the toolkit

You will get frustrated by your ignorance if you find yourself deep under the car with grease all over only to realise that there is a tool that you need to use but don’t have.

Although you cannot wholly avoid back and forth when repairing a car, getting the basic tools will reduce this movement.

Your kit will include things such as;

  • jacks
  • pliers
  • wrenches
  • screwdrivers
  • socket wrenches
  • penetrating oil
  • and a rubber mallet among others.

The tools you use will be determined by the type of repair you want to do.

For example, you are changing a fuse; you will need to purchase and your views. On the other hand, if you are changing oil, you will need an oil pan.

If your budget does not allow you to purchase a new toolkit; check with your local auto parts to see if they have a rental program for you to borrow the expensive tools so that you don’t have to buy them.

2. Buy an automobile manual

Repairing a car is a little bit technical. You will need some manuals to be able to accomplish this.

Among the most popular trend manuals include Haynes and Chilton.

These manuals are friendly to the beginner mechanic and are not below specific.

Ensure that you buy a manual that helps explicitly you to repair your car model.

These manuals are available online in most other parts stores.

Sometimes manufacturers have repair manuals for the car models they make.

Just visit the manufacturer of your car website and type the model and make of your car followed by the words “repair manual”.

3. Watch repair videos and assistance forums

The internet has made car repair resources easily accessible. You will need to watch a few videos made by professionals to be able to repair your car.

Although many videos are produced by amateurs who are car enthusiasts, you can still find reference videos on the websites of your car’s manufacturer.

4. Keep a good maintenance record of your car repairs

As with any other profession, requires excellent record keeping skills. You will need to list the details of the work done, description of the word, and if you are successful.

You will also need to keep a record of the receipts of the spare parts you buy.

Most dealers and warranty providers will require you to provide the maintenance records to track what you’ve been doing on the car.

To make your work easier, buy a printed maintenance card from your local auto parts store.

Alternatively, you can write your repair works in your notebook.

Always have your maintenance card on your glove compartment so that you always have it.

Your mechanic will need to understand what has been happening to your car if he’s going to be able to troubleshoot it when you are unable to fix the problems.

5. Take pictures of how the parts are fixed in your car

This is very important for amateurs. The instructions in your manual will be useless if you can’t figure out how to replace the part as it was before you started working.

Taking notes and pictures of the parts before you remove them is vital as you will be able to refer to them when you want to fix them back.

Use marker pens on the parts to indicate their alignment.

Make sure you store the parts in plastic bags so that you don’t lose them as you work.

Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

6. Do routine maintenance every 3,000 miles

Most manufacturers recommend that maintenance is done on a vehicle after driving it for 3000 miles.

Have your car inspected and replace any dirty or damaged components to ensure that your car is always in good working condition.

You are the owner’s manual will probably have the recommended repair schedule, and it will list how all the parts last so that you can be able to estimate when you need to replace them.

The more frequent the car inspections are, the easier it will be to determine when it needs repair.

Among the things to check include;

  • batteries
  • hoses
  • fluids
  • oil
  • oil filters

You should, for example, replace the oil and oil filter after about 3,000 miles of driving.

You should also replace the oil filter after driving the car for 12,000 miles.

Your steering fluid should be replaced after driving the car for 12,000 miles.

Other similar components that need to be checked include brake pads and suspensions.

Most batteries, fuses, tires, and spark plugs need to be replaced after driving the car for 35,000 miles.

7. Perform immediate maintenance if you notice leaks or other problems

The moment you notice that something is wrong with your car, perform an immediate maintenance rather than letting the problem lead to more extensive damage.

When driving your car, listen to rattling noises and other issues which might be an indication that there is a loose bolt or nut.

Here some grinding noise, it is an indication that there’s a problem with the brake pads.

Never take the engine light lately. If it turns on, you should schedule your car for inspection and maintenance immediately.

Your car’s symptoms will help you diagnose the problem that it has.

For example, if your car doesn’t have power, it is either an electrical system problem or a blown out fuse or a dead battery.

The best way to diagnose the car is to use a diagnostic reader. If you do not have one, you can rent it from your local auto parts store.

8. Try Smart Technology

Use a smart technology such as GOFAR to find your car engine’s sweet spot and then guide you on driving efficiently to save fuel and reduce wear and tear on the engine’s components.

The technology will alert you when your car has faults and explain them in plain English.

Also, the GOFAR app will connect you with the top rated mechanics and parts suppliers in your area.

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