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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Change Own Flat Tire

  • Find a safe spot to pull over. Taking the nearest exit is safest if you’re on the freeway, even with a blown tire (just put on those hazard lights). If getting to an exit isn’t an option, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible and on a straight and flat stretch of road, not on a curve where cars may not be able to see you when coming around. Don’t park in the middle of a curve where approaching cars can’t see you. If you have a manual transmission, leave your car in gear. And don’t forget to set your parking brake!
  • Turn on your hazard lights. Get the lug wrench, jack, and spare tire from the trunk and bring them over to the tire that is flat.
  • Loosen the lug nuts with the wrench. “Loosen” is the operative word. Don’t remove the lug nuts yet; just loosen them by turning the wrench counter-clockwise (just remember “lefty loosy” “righty tighty”). If the lug nuts are extra tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it. Hitting the wrench arm with a rock is also an option. Note: You may need to remove the hubcap (if your tire has one) to do all this.
  • Lift the vehicle off the ground with the jack. Consult your owner’s manual for the specific locations to place the jack as different models have different spots. Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is approximately 6 inches off the ground.
  • Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the car. NOW, you can remove the lug nuts. Put them all in one spot so you’re not missing one when you need to put them back on. Then pull the tire straight toward yourself to remove it from the wheel base.
  • Place the spare on the car. Line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare, and push the spare all the way onto the wheel base until it can’t go any farther.
  • Put on the lug nuts. But don’t tighten them all the way.
  • Lower the car back to the ground. Bing the car back down to ground level using the jack and then pull the jack out from underneath the car.
  • Tighten the lug nuts. Now that the car is on the ground, you can now tighten the lug nuts, but don’t tighten one all the way then move onto the next one. Start with one lug nut, tighten it about 50%, move to the opposite nut and tighten that one about the same amount. Keep tightening opposite lug nuts gradually in turn until each lug nut is as tight as it can be.
  • Put your flat tire and tools back in your trunk. Be sure you don’t leave anything on the side of the road.

Dead Auto Battery

• Car accessories stop working:

This is one of the easiest ways to understand that the culprit is nothing but the car battery. Battery is the only part that supports all other parts and accessories to work, especially when your alternator has stopped working. So, when you get to see that you car do not show up any signs of life, then probably you should check the battery.

• Starts well but stops the next moment:

This is a problem which remains constant in a dead car battery. Such signs show that either the battery has a loose or broken terminals or any type of parasitic draw. In such scenario, first you need to check the cables of the battery. Make sure about the firm fitting of the cables to the points. If you find that there are no issues with the cables and terminals, then probably it is the time for replacement.

• Engine starts cranking and fails to start:

While starting your car, if you find the car engine is not starting, then the culprit is the battery. Owners live in a misconception that this is due to a bad starter and sometimes mistaken for alternator problem. Most of the time, the problem is due to a dead car battery.

At this specific point, most of the car batteries will successfully recharge if you use an alternator. But hardly it will support you for a few days. So, the wiser choice lies in starting your hunt for a used car battery before you face a hard time while driving.

Tap Into a Wire

Another common method for attaching an accessory wire is to use an inline style connector, sometimes know as a vampire connector, because they “bite” and “suck power”! In reality they are inline wire taps and T tap connectors. T taps and inline taps are installed by trapping the feed wire and accessory wire within the body of the connector. Next the connector is folded over the wires and pinched closed with a pair of pliers, driving a metal guillotine like blade into the wires. These connectors are very easy and cheap to install but have some drawbacks. I have noticed that this style of connector tends to crush the wire and damage the covering in the process of piercing the wire. This type of connector also tends to allow moisture into the connection, which will in time cause corrosion and failure. Wrap this type of joint securely with electrical tape to seal out moisture, as it is too large for shrink tube. If there is no room or time for soldering the best wire tap connector I have found is the posi tap style of connector. It is a screw on style of connector as opposed to a guillotine or crushing type. This connector makes a very strong connection, is water-resistant and reusable. The top of the connector unscrews to accept the feed wire, and is then screwed down driving a small pin through the wire insulation. The other side of the connector unscrews to accept the striped end of the accessory wire, which is then threaded back on to lock the wire in place.

Detect Common Auto Repair

Unusual noises

You may notice some unusual squeals, clicks, clunks and screeches coming from your car. It’s very important to take the car for immediate diagnosis and repair because these noises may signify serious trouble. For instance, clicks and squeals usually occur when there’s an issue with the engine speed or a loose component like a wheel cover or fan blade that’s not intact. Your brakes will screech to tell you that it’s time for maintenance. Basically noises emanating from your car mean that something needs to be fixed. Sometimes the car will start making weird noises because of using gas with the wrong octane rating than what has been recommended by the manufacturer. You need to ask your mechanic to explain the reason for any kind of unusual noise and how you can prevent it from reoccurring.

Unusual smells

Sharp odors emanating from your car usually signal something. If you notice a burning smell, make sure the issue is diagnosed because it could be an electrical shock or burning insulation. The smell of gasoline vapors could signal a leak in the fuel system. This is an issue that can be very dangerous when left to escalate. You need to have a mechanic repair that immediately.

Preventative maintenance is very important because it helps to avoid costly breakdowns. Issues like changing the oil can end up costing you a lot of money and making your car unreliable. To find out how often your car needs routine maintenance, you need to check your owner’s manual. The number of times the car needs maintenance will largely depend on your type of driving. If you use your car quite often then you’ll need more frequent servicing than what the manufacturer has recommended. The best person to advice on this would be your mechanic who also understands the condition of your car. Find a suitable maintenance schedule and you’ll keep your car in perfect condition.