Four Simple Car Repairs Everyone Should Know

Four Simple Car Repairs Everyone Should Know

Going to a mechanic every time you need maintenance for your vehicle will drain your bank account quickly, particularly since a tune-up is recommended every 30,000 miles or two years. However, keeping up with maintenance regularly and knowing how to do these basic repairs will make your vehicle last longer and save you money.

Replacing Fuel and Air Filter
The filters in your vehicle prevent dirt and particles from getting into the engine. The fuel filter may be scary to replace, but it is a rather fast procedure. The filter has the shape of a soda fountain cup with two straws protruding from it. To complete this repair, you need basic tools and a hose pincher.

Replacing an air filter is just as important for vehicle performance and is even easier to complete. All you have to do is unscrew the lid that holds it in place, remove the old filter, install the new filter and screw the lid back in place.

Replacing Spark Plugs and Wires
The spark plugs and wires are important for igniting the gas and air that make the engine work. You notice that the spark plugs are bad when the engine has a rough idle, has trouble starting and misfires. If you experience any of these issues, you may be able to see connection problems or damage caused to the jackets. Replacing bad plugs and wires is relatively easy and requires fundamental tools. Replace them one at a time so that you keep the exact routing.

Replacing Belts
The belt is a rubber unit that wraps around the pulleys on the engine. There are two types of belts: drive belts and serpentine belts. Drive belts commonly control the cooling, battery charging, power steering and windshield wiper systems. Older vehicles use one belt for each system, but newer vehicles use serpentine belts, which wrap around all of the pulleys for these systems. You know that is time to replace the belt in your vehicle when squealing comes from under the hood, but the belt can be become cracked or worn without making a sound. Replacing the belt requires basic tools and remembering the order of the pulleys that it wraps around.

Replacing Batteries
Your battery provides your vehicle with power to help it start and to operate accessories, such as the radio and lights. When your car does not turn over but starts after you have jumped it off, this means that it is nearing the time to replace the battery. Completing this repair takes 10 to 20 minutes depending on where it is located.

Becoming comfortable with these minor vehicle repairs is the first step to lowering your maintenance bill. Then you can move into more heavy-duty repairs such as changing your tires. You can find tires for a good a price and save money on replacing them by doing the labor yourself. Later, you may even want to venture into more technical repairs, such as oil changes and brake replacements.


Tricia Borren is mother and blogger from Beverly Hills. Her good friend Rhett Stone co-authored this piece with her.