Auto Repair and Maintenance

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How to Replace a Radiator or Heater Hose

The basic process of changing a hose is quite simple. If the hose is a radiator or heater hose, to catch the coolant and water that will run out of the system, you’ll need a bucket or pan that holds at [more…]

Troubleshooting Cooling System Leaks

When you find a leak in your engine's cooling system, you must decide whether to handle it yourself or to take it to a professional. The following sections cover the different types of leaks and give you [more…]

How to Replace Your Vehicle's Thermostat

If your vehicle has been overheating or doesn’t warm up properly, you may need to replace your thermostat. If the thermostat sticks in the open position, it doesn’t keep the liquid in the engine long enough [more…]

How Often You Should Change Your Oil?

Dirty oil just doesn’t do the job as well as fresh oil does. The additives in dirty oil boil out, contaminants form in the crankcase and eat metal parts, and water collects over time and forms sludge. [more…]

How to Choose the Right Motor Oil

The various types of motor oil on the market are designed for different purposes. To choose the proper type of oil for your vehicle, you need to understand the significance of the oil additives, viscosity [more…]

How to Change the Oil in Your Vehicle

Changing oil is usually easy. Unless it’s impossible to reach your oil filter and/or oil drain plug, it’s cheaper to change the oil yourself. All you have to do is unscrew a plug and a filter, let the [more…]

How to Dispose of Motor Oil Safely

The best way to clean up spilled oil is to cover the oil with a generous layer of kitty litter, let it soak up the oil for a few hours (it will even pull some up out of the concrete or asphalt), then sweep [more…]

How to Add Air to Your Tires

If your tires appear to be low, check the pressure and note the amount that they’re underinflated. Then drive to a local gas station and add air. It’s easy, but be sure to bring some change [more…]

How to Check Your Tires for Wear

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

Troubleshooting Your Vehicle's Drive Train

If weird things start happening on the road, how can you tell whether your vehicle's transmission or one of the other parts of the drive train is in trouble? If this is the case, continuing to drive may [more…]

How to Check a Vehicle's Transmission Fluid

If your automatic transmission hesitates when you change gears or shifts with a “clunk,” first check your transmission dipstick. Your transmission fluid may be low or dirty. [more…]

Troubleshooting the Clutch on a Manual Transmission Vehicle

Most drivers can expect their clutches to last 40,000 to 60,000 miles, but if you maintain your clutch properly, it can be good for the life of your vehicle, depending on the type of vehicle you drive [more…]

Troubleshooting Strange Sounds Coming from Your Automobile

You probably know how your vehicle sounds when it’s running properly. Listening to your car can help you troubleshoot problems. If you hear a strange sound, pay attention and react accordingly. [more…]

How to Assess Vehicle Squeaks, Rattles, and Vibrations

If your vehicle makes mysterious squeaks, rattles, or vibrations, troubleshoot the problem yourself first before taking it to an auto shop. You might save some money by checking and tightening the following [more…]

How to Assess Strange Automobile Odors

Car smells mean trouble, but you can use them to diagnose problems. The only odors you should smell inside your vehicle should come from smelly things that you’ve put in it. If you smell any of the items [more…]

How to Assess Smoke Coming from an Automobile

Exhaust coming from your vehicle's tailpipe should be clear. If you see smoke coming from your tailpipe, pay attention to the color of the smoke; you can use it to troubleshoot engine problems. It can [more…]

How to Diagnose Vehicle Engine Leaks

Pay close attention to leaks from your automobile's engine. Running a vehicle that’s drastically low on a vital fluid can cause severe damage. After you find the source of the leak, the following information [more…]

How to Assess Trouble by Checking Your Spark Plugs

You can actually read your spark plugs for valuable “clues” about how your engine is operating. If your plugs indicate that something is seriously wrong with your engine, ask a professional for an opinion [more…]

What to Do if Your Car Breaks Down on the Road

If your vehicle is having a problem while you're driving, try to get to the right-hand shoulder of the road as soon as possible, especially if you’re on a highway. As you pull your vehicle off the road [more…]

How to Tell If Your Car Is Getting Air

If you're troubleshooting engine problems, air is simple — and probably not the problem. Your vehicle gets its air through the cold air collector box, or air cleaner. Unless the air filter inside it is [more…]

How to Diagnose Vehicle Fuel Problems

If the engine turns over but doesn’t start running, the first question you need to answer is whether your fuel tank is empty. Even if your fuel gauge says that you still have some fuel, the gauge may be [more…]

Diagnosing Automobile Ignition System Problems

If your car is having problems, and you think that your engine is getting enough air and fuel, you’re probably having ignition system trouble. On traditional vehicles, the “fire” that lights the fuel/air [more…]

What to Do If Your Car Overheats

Cars overheat most often in very hot weather. It’s rare with modern vehicles, but even a well-tuned automobile can overheat. If you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic or climbing a steep grade on an [more…]

How to Diagnose Problems If Your Car Won't Start

If your car won’t start and you left your lights on after you turned off the engine, your battery is dead. But your conventionally fueled vehicle may not start for a number of reasons. The following list [more…]

How to Jump Start a Car

If your battery has died, you may be able to use jumper cables to jump start it from some good Samaritan’s vehicle. If you can safely use jumper cables on your vehicle, make sure that the battery on the [more…]

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