Thanks to the internet, many drivers with little mechanical experience can learn how to perform basic car repairs such as oil changes and battery replacements. Learning how to complete basic car repairs helps car owners to save a great deal of money on labor expenses. However, several standard tools are needed to perform car repairs, including a torque wrench, jack, adjustable wrench and pliers. Additional tools needed include Philips and flat head screwdrivers and a socket and ratchet set. To help car owners save money on car repairs, the experts at OnlineDriversLicenses.orghave put together a list of basic mechanical services all drivers can learn how to perform.
#1 Oil Changes – An oil change is one of the most common mechanical services a driver needs to stay on top of. However, oil changes are more cost-effective when performed at home. According to the group at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, drivers need to determine the type of oil and oil filter needed, as well as where the oil filter and oil pan bolt are located. Drivers should refer to their vehicle’s service manual for vehicle-specific information.
#2 Spark Plug and Fuse Replacement – Faulty spark plugs or fuses keep a vehicle from starting and running properly. However, spark plugs and fuses are easy to unscrew and replace on your own without the help of a mechanic.
#3 Lamp Changes – According to the team at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, changing a vehicle’s lamps (or head light and tail light) is as simple as visiting an auto parts store and determining which types of bulbs the vehicle needs. Old bulbs are easy to remove and can be unplugged in a matter of moments.
#4 Dead Battery Replacement – According to the group of experts at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, dead batteries can easily be replaced at home without the help of a mechanic. However, it is important to keep in mind that car owners should verify that the battery is the problem, rather than the alternator or starter. Many auto parts stores will check battery levels at no charge. If a dead battery is the problem, the fix is as easy as buying a new battery and installing it.
#5 Mirror Replacement – A broken or hanging mirror may seem like a big deal, but mirrors are actually easy to replace on your own. To fix a broken mirror, you simply need to purchase a replacement mirror and paint it to match the color of the vehicle (if needed). Then, you will need tools such as a 4-in-1 screwdriver, a panel remover, a hooked pick, a trim pad remover and a door handle remover tool to remove the broken mirror, disconnect the cable and install the new mirror.
#6 Dead Alternator Replacement – Like a battery, a dead alternator can easily be replaced without the help of a mechanic. In most cases, you will need tools such as a screwdriver, a wrench, a multimeter and a socket set.
#7 Squeaky Drive Belt Replacement – If there is a squealing coming from beneath the vehicle’s hood, a drive belt could be cracked or frayed and in need of replacing. Drive belts include a serpentine belt, a pulley or a tensioner pulley and can often be replaced at home with simple tools such as a screwdriver, a wrench, a ratchet and a socket.
#8 Coolant Leak Fixes – If a vehicle begins leaking orange, green or yellow liquid, it could mean that the vehicle is leaking coolant. However, coolant leaks are easy to repair at home. If you can locate the leak, you can use a wrench and pliers to unclamp the leaking hose and attach and install a new hose. If the leak cannot be located, you will likely need to hire a mechanic.
#9 Brake Pad Replacement – When brakes begin to squeal once applied, the team at OnlineDriversLicenses.org recommends replacing the brake pads on your own. Required tools include a c-clamp, jack, tire iron, torque wrench and ratchets. However, it is important to keep in mind that a grinding sound (rather than a squeal) could indicate that the rotor needs replacement, which isn’t as easy to do on your own.
#10 Flat Tire Replacement– If you pay for roadside assistance and have time to spare, you may be comfortable with waiting for a professional to arrive and replace your flat tire. However, flat tires are easy to replace if you have a spare tire in your trunk. Many spare tires come equipped with a built-in lever, a car jack and a lug nut ratchet, which can be used to replace the flat tire in very little time.