Auto Repair and Maintenance

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Troubleshooting a Car That Won't Start

Did you ever consider those wonderful days when your car won't start? If you left your lights, radio, or some other electrical gizmo on after you parked the car, you know what the trouble is: Your battery [more…]

Checking Your Tires for Wear

You should check your tires for wear at least once a month and before and after long trips. To determine whether you need to (a) buy new tires, (b) have your wheels balanced, [more…]

Reading a Tire Sidewall

When shopping for tires, you need to know what the numbers and letters on your sidewall mean in order to select the appropriate replacement tire.

Tires usually follow a pattern can be illustrated by dissecting [more…]

Keeping Your Mod's Warranty Intact

You'll often hear this myth regarding hacking or modding your car: it automatically cancels your warranty. Don't believe it as gospel. Sure, changing the windshield wiper blades can't cause the transmission [more…]

Checking Your Car's Air Filter

If you unscrew the wing nut on the lid of your air cleaner and undo any other devices that hold it down, you'll find the air filter inside. Figure 1 shows a round air cleaner and filter; some vehicles [more…]

Nailing Down the Best Deal When Buying a Car

Whether you've found the vehicle you want through your own research or have been steered to a dealership by a buying service, you're still going to have to do some negotiating before you drive away in [more…]

Considering a Few Aero Add-ons for Your Car

Aero add-ons, that is, supplemental pieces attached to existing body work in hopes of improving a car's aesthetics or aerodynamics, come in three areas: front [more…]

Keeping Your Mod Legal

Many people fear that hacking and modding a car is illegal. Not true, but neither can you assume that the law allows you to do whatever you want to your car. [more…]

Choosing Oil for Your Vehicle

Choosing the right oil for your vehicle is easy. Just ask yourself the following questions: [more…]

Preparing an Emergency Car Kit

You can pack your toolbox with the best tools that money can buy, but all those fancy gadgets and gizmos won't do you any good if they're in your garage at home when your car breaks down 30 miles from [more…]

How to Troubleshoot Brake Problems

To check for brake problems, you step on the pedal and press it down while paying attention to how the pedal feels under your foot and evaluating the sensation. The following steps tell you what to feel [more…]

How to Raise Your Vehicle's Hood

How can you check the oil, coolant, and transmission fluid, refill windshield wiper fluid, and check accessory belts if you don’t know how to get the hood of your vehicle open? Opening the hood is easy [more…]

Steps for Disassembling and Reassembling Parts with Ease

When you perform repairs, you need a procedure that helps you take things apart and get them back together. The procedure here works for repairs that require you to take something apart and put back together [more…]

How to Safely Jack Up Your Vehicle

The most obvious reason to jack up a car is to change a tire, but other jobs, such as inspecting brakes, may also require you to get under the vehicle. Before you jack up your vehicle, observe the following [more…]

Tips for Getting into Your Car without Your Keys

If you've ever locked your keys in the car, you know how frustrating it can be. Assuming that you’ve decided not to risk hiding an extra set of keys on your car, here are a few things you can try to get [more…]

How to Check Your Vehicle's Air Filter

In most newer, fuel-injected vehicles, the air filter is found inside a rectangular box called a cold air collector box. The air filter is usually close to the front of the vehicle, near the inside of [more…]

How to Check a Vehicle's Accessory Belts

Many cars have accessory belts that drive the alternator, the power-steering pump, the air conditioning compressor, the water pump in many cases, and other parts of a modern vehicle. Newer cars have a [more…]

How to Check Your Car Battery

A battery, like other parts of your vehicle, is subject to wear and tear and should be checked regularly. In particular, pay attention to the battery’s trouble spots, shown here. A battery that’s kept [more…]

How to Check Automatic Transmission Fluid

If your vehicle hesitates when your automatic transmission shifts gears, check the transmission fluid level before you let any mechanic start talking about servicing or adjusting your transmission or selling [more…]

How to Check a Vehicle's Brake Fluid

To check your car's brake fluid, you have to find the reservoir. Its location depends on the type of car you have. The brake booster is on the driver’s side of your vehicle, usually up near the firewall [more…]

Maintaining Your Wipers and Washer Fluid

Under the hood of your vehicle is a plastic container that contains the fluid for your windshield wipers. Is it full of liquid? If not, you can fill it with any one of a variety of windshield washer solutions [more…]

What to Carry in Your Car Toolbox

If you plan to do your own car maintenance and repairs, you need a toolbox to keep tools clean, in good shape, and all in one place. Look for a lightweight, plastic toolbox that fits easily into the trunk [more…]

Items You Should Always Keep in Your Vehicle

You can pack your auto repair toolbox with the best tools that money can buy, but all those fancy gadgets and gizmos won’t do you any good if they’re at home when your vehicle breaks down 30 miles from [more…]

How to Tell Whether Your Vehicle Needs a Tune-up

Tune-up intervals vary from one vehicle to another. Most older vehicles with non-electronic ignitions should be tuned every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or every year, whichever comes first. Newer cars with [more…]

How to Remove Hard-to-Reach Spark Plugs

When changing your spark plugs, you may have some difficulty loosening a spark plug for the first time. Grease, sludge, and other junk may have caused the plug to stick in place, especially if it’s been [more…]

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