Basic Auto Repair and Maintenance

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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 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 a Vehicle's Coolant/Antifreeze

The radiator in your vehicle cools your engine and needs water and coolant (antifreeze) to function. Keep the following points in mind as you check the level of the liquid in your cooling system and add [more…]

How to Check Your Vehicle's Oil Level

You should check your car's oil at least once a month to make sure that there’s enough oil and that it isn’t contaminated. Oil reduces the friction in your engine and keeps it running smoothly. When you [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…]

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 Replace Sealed-Beam Headlights

Older vehicles have sealed-beam units, which are relatively easy to deal with. If one of your headlights ceases to shine, first consult your owner’s manual to see whether it contains instructions for replacing [more…]

How to Change Your Car's Air Filter

On most modern vehicles, the air filter is under the hood inside a rectangular cold air collector box that’s located up near the front of the engine compartment. [more…]

How to Use Coolants Safely

When you flush your vehicle's cooling system yourself, it’s important to avoid endangering children and animals. Because coolant looks and tastes good, a puddle can be hazardous to children. That goes [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…]

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…]

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 Clean a Vehicle's Engine

Many car owners never bother to deal with the dirt under the hood. There are practical reasons for removing a gross accumulation of grease, oil, fuel, and dirt from under the hood and for making an effort [more…]

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