Car Problems You Didn’t Know You Could Fix Yourself
Your car is your ticket to freedom. The ability to come and go as you please, your ride to work, and your independence. However, there are times when that can slip right through your hands when things go wrong with your car. Most people realize that the more modern cars on the market are becoming harder and harder to fix without the help of a mechanic.
The good news is that there are still plenty of things you can fix yourself in your car so you do not have to be out of your ride for very long. You may need a few basic tools and some courage to try these on your own. This can save you a ton of time and money in the long run. These are 6 car problems you didn’t know you could fix on your own.
Replace Engine Air Filter
Your car’s engine air filter or just plainly, air filter, is important for protecting sensitive parts from dust and dirt. The filter should be easy to spot and typically just opens by unscrewing or unclipping the air filter box retainers. Take a look at your air filter by holding a shop light behind it to see how much light passes through. If more than 50% of the light is blocked, then it is definitely time to replace it. If not, put it back and keep on driving along. Your engine needs fresh air to keep operating at optimum levels, so it is important to check this filter regularly.
Replace PCV Valve
PCV stands for a positive crankcase ventilation valve. This instrument regulates the flow of flammable crankcase vapors back into the engine so they may be burned safely. Not every vehicle has a PCV valve, but if yours does, it should be monitored. Especially if your engine has been idling roughly or a malfunction indicator is flashing. This valve ensures that in the event of an engine backfire, no catastrophic damage will be made.
As your PCV valve ages, it accumulates carbon buildup with the potential for the spring to lose tension. This puts your engine at risk. If your PCV valve needs to be replaced, the valve can easily be wiggled out of the rubber grommet and disconnected from the vacuum hose. Replace it with a brand new one and you are ready to go.
Your car has many bulbs beside your headlights. You can change license plate bulbs, side marker, and fog light bulbs very quickly and easily. Most just require the removal of a screw and to pry off the lens. Then, just pull the bulb straight out of the socket. You do not want to touch the bulb without gloved hands or use a paper towel as the oil on your skin causes premature bulb failure. Simply push the new bulb into the socket until it clicks. Next, reinstall the lens and you should be all set to go.
Touch Up Chipped Paint
Leaving paint chips untouched can lead to more damage to your car’s exterior. Touching up paint is super easy. All you need to do is buy the touch-up paint, fine tip paint applicators, and wax and grease remover from just about any auto parts store. Start by cleaning the chip with the wax and grease remover, then let it dry. Next, dab on the paint with the applicator straight on the chip. Be sure not to add too much paint or it will drip. Once it is dry completely you are set to go. Just be sure to add wax on it after 30 days.
Patch Up Dents and Dings
With a little bit of sanding, a small can of autobody filler, cream paste, and plastic applicators, you can patch up your own dents and dings. Begin by sanding down the dent to the bare metal with coarse-grit sandpaper and feather the edges. The dents should be cleaned with wax and grease remover. Next, mix the body filler and apply a very light coat to fill in the sandpaper scratches. You will need to allow the filler to set up and then work on building up the repair with more layers. Once the final coat is settled and leveled with the painted areas, let it cure and sand until smooth. Apply a cream filler to the entire area to fill in any pinholes. After a final cure and sand, you can paint the area with touch up paint.
Replace Your Cabin Air Filter
Another filter you can easily replace and fix is your vehicle’s cabin air filter. When clogged, the cabin air filter can damage the blower motor and cause your AC to have difficulties during the summer months. By doing this replacement yourself, you can expect to save $30!
Any auto parts store should carry your car’s cabin air filter and the store should be able to print out instructions for you. For many vehicles, the cabin air filter is located in the air ducts behind the glove box. Some models have them placed in their console area. All you should need to do is remove the access covers and slide out the old filter. Just reinstall the new one and you are set to go.
These six car problems can easily be fixed by yourself with very little additional equipment needed. You can really save a lot of time and money by fixing these issues on your own. You always want your car running at optimum levels and these are easy ways you can take charge of that.