Most people are very intimidated by the thought of tinkering with their cars when there’s a problem with it. Heck, most people get overwhelmed just thinking about a do-it-yourself oil change. But there are quite a few car repairs that anyone can do, regardless of skill or technical knowledge about automobiles. With a fairly basic set of tools and the appropriate replacement car parts, these three auto repairs are beginner friendly, and you can even find video tutorials on YouTube.
- Replacing a drive belt
You’ll know it’s time to replace your car’s drive belts if it makes a squealing sound when you start it or when you use accessories like windshield wipers or power steering. Take a peek under the bonnet to visually inspect the drive belts, which will be at the front of the engine on most cars. If any look worn, cracked, or too loose, even if you aren’t hearing any odd noises, it’s time to replace.
- Replacing the battery and alternator
Most people are familiar with the symptoms of a dead battery in a car: it just won’t turn on. If your vehicle doesn’t respond when you turn the key in the ignition and your electric accessories don’t power on either, it’s time to test your battery and your alternator. If you can’t find them easily, check your car’s manual for the exact location. Then, test both the battery and alternator with a multimeter (like a voltmeter that measures other things, like amps and resistance); if you aren’t reading any power, you’ve found the source of the problem. Luckily, a simple jump-start is often enough to get you home even when the battery or alternator is toast.
And remember, you can extend battery life by cleaning the terminals with water and baking soda once a year.
- Replacing the car’s brake pads
Brake pads are easy to change out, but it’s important to know when the brake pads are really the issue. Pay attention to the noise you hear when braking: a squealing sound indicates worn brake pads. A grinding sound, on the other hand, usually points to a more complicated problem with the rotor. If you’re a newbie when it comes to auto repair, you’ll want to leave the latter in the hands of your local garage.
But if it’s just squealing that you’re hearing, you’re clear to replace the brake pads. As a matter of fact, that squealing sound is a built-in feature to let you know they need to be changed. You’ll need a jack to raise the vehicle up so you can remove the tyre and get to the brakes.
Remember, YouTube is your friend! Watch experienced people show you each and every step of these simple DIY auto repairs, and you just might feel confident the next time your car starts making odd noises.