One of the best things about working as a mechanic or just knowing your stuff when it comes to cars is how much respect you get for being able to fix broken down vehicles. If you can get a car going again when it’s broken down, then people will treat you like some kind of wizard and you’ll get that smug feeling you get when you know you’ve just done something that makes you look highly capable, practical and smart.
Often though, getting a car to run again doesn’t actually require a degree in mechanical engineering and more often than not the problem is very simple. In fact the most common car issues are the very ones that are simple and easy to solve. Here we will look at three of the most regular car ailments and how you can handle them.
Changing a Tyre: Flat tyres are something that all of us fear, but if you’re smart enough to carry a spare tyre with you then this really needn’t be a big deal. Make sure that you pull over somewhere quiet and secluded where you’re not going to be a hazard for other oncoming traffic, and then losing the bolts of your wheel using a wrench while all four wheels are still on the floor (it’s much easier this way). Now jack up the car using the jack which should be in your boot. All you need to do here is to put it underneath the body of the car near the problem wheel and to then increase the height until the wheel can spin freely. Now just remove the bolts and pull off the wheel before changing it for the new one and loosely tightening the bolts with your hands. Put the car back down and then just tighten as much as possible with the wrench to finish the job.
Jump Starting the Car: Jump starting the car is highly useful when your car battery has gone flat. Al you need is a pair of jump leads and a willing participant who will lend you a boost. Get them to park either next to your car or nose to nose, and then open both bonnets to reveal the batteries. Attach the leads so that they connect positive with positive and negative with negative (or just some unpainted metal in your car’s hood), and then get the helper to start their engine running. After a few minutes you should be able to start your car too. Now just detach the cables while your car is still running and go for a drive to top it up.
Repairing an Oil Leak: If you have an oil leak then it’s likely to be coming from one of two places – either the gaskets or the oil pan – both of which can be located under your hood (use your car owner’s manual to direct you to them). If the leak is coming from your gaskets then you can fix the problem by tightening them up with a screwdriver (or your hands even for the time being if you don’t have one). If the problem is your oil pan then carefully remove it and pour away the oil then find the hole and use something to plug it. Of course you’ll probably also need to top up your oil again before you get going again.
The article is contributed by Alexander William who loves to write on car maintenance and personalisation.