Every car owner dreads the moment when they are on the road and realize that something has gone wrong with their car. However, the anxiety is even worse if you are a car owner who doesn’t know much about cars or how to fix them.
The thing is, the random problems that most cars have are often attributed to three common issues. And luckily, you don’t have to be a certified mechanic or car guru to learn how to fix them.
If you get into your car, turn on the ignition and it won’t start – chances are that your battery is dead. There are a number of reasons that your battery could die, these include:
- You diminished your battery by leaving headlights on for too long or internal lights
- Your battery is too small for the capacity of the car
- Rainy wet weather can kill the battery if water reaches it
- Your battery could be old and need replacing
Despite the reason, you can get your car to temporarily start and move, by:
- Locate a second car (preferably of similar make and model).
- Turn off both cars and remove keys.
- Open your car bonnet/hood.
- Locate your battery box. If you can’t find it, use your car manual for help.
- Locate the terminals (positive and negative ends) on the battery.
- Take out your jumper cables. You should absolutely have a pair of quality jumper cables in your spare car parts storage.
- It’s common for the positive end of the jumper cable to be red, and the negative to be black or blue.
- Attach the red positive cable of the jumper to the positive terminal of the dead battery, and the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the working battery. Do the same for the negative terminal.
- Turn on the working car for about 2 to 5 minutes.
- Turn on the car with the dead battery, if it starts, keep it running for 2 to 5 minutes.
- Disconnect jumper cables, make sure the different ends and clumps do not touch
- Drive your car. If the battery fails again, it may be time to visit a car battery shop to buy a new battery.
If you realize that an electrical part of your car like the radio, indicators or headlights aren’t working, then chances are that a blown fuse is the problem. Luckily, it’s a problem that can be quickly fixed.
- Open the car bonnet/hood, you will find the fuse box in the engine bay or steering wheel. If you can’t find it, use your car manual for help.
- Take off the cover of the fuse box. You will see different numbers and colors that indicate the amperages of the different fuses. (Also, a diagram of what the fuses connect to in your car can be found on the inside of the fuse box cover). Pretty straight forward.
- Find and remove the blown fuse. It will be easily noticeable, probably broken, worn out and darker in color.
- You should have a spare fuse of the same amperage in your car part spares storage. If you don’t have one, you should either:
– Temporarily use the fuse (of the same amperage) from another part of the car that isn’t as needed at the moment (for instance, use the fuse for the radio to fix your power windows as they are important for security while driving).
- Start your car to see if it works
- If the fuse blows again, visit your mechanic for a checkup.
Okay, so unless you have a deal with the car gods, you are likely to get a flat tire at some point in your life. However, no matter how common or how many times it happens it is still one of the most frustrating and inconvenient things that can happen to a driver. At the same time, because it’s so common, it’s an easy problem to fix that definitely doesn’t require a mechanic.
- Turn your hazard lights on and move your car to a safe location that doesn’t obstruct other drivers.
- Take out the following tools from your storage:
– Lug Wrench
– Car jack
- Take out your spare tire from the trunk. Most cars have a temporary, smaller sized tire. This is not for full time use, but to get your car safely to a garage where they can repair your damaged tire.
- Use your lug wrench to unscrew the bolts (they look like bullets) on the wheel.
- Place the car jack on the ground and begin to raise the car
- Unscrew the tire.
- Place the spare tire and screw in the bolts (super tight).
- Lower jack.
- Screw in the bolts further with your lug wrench.
- Put away tools, and drive off.
Sometimes it’s worth investing in a full sized spare tire so that you don’t have to immediately fix your damaged tire. There are many sellers that have quality tires that are suitable for your vehicle.
You can do it
Learning about your car and how to fix simple yet key problems is just as important as knowing how to drive. To start off, you should make sure that you have the appropriate spare car parts and equipment, including, spare tire, fuses, jumper cables, fire extinguishers, wrench, inflator, car jack and warning reflectors, in your car for when a problem occurs and needs a quick repair. This will enable to have more confidence on the road, and save time and money the next time something goes wrong with your vehicle.