Cars are becoming more sophisticated daily and more challenging for owners to work on. Fortunately, you can still do quick repairs independently with easy access to some of the best driver resources available.
The following suggestions are for car repairs that are relatively fast and easy to do on your own. Most of these suggestions are relatively straightforward and can be done by practically anyone. And the good news is, if you decide to tackle some of the fast car repairs, you will enjoy significant money savings over having a garage technician doing them.
Repairing Your Brakes
A relatively quick project that most beginners can perform in a few hours is replacing your brake pads, according to the brake repair shop brakeexperts.com. All that is required is some logical, common sense and some tools you probably already have and some maybe not, like a torque wrench. However, considering the average brake pad replacement cost is $300, it may be worth it. These are some of the most common brake repairs we can do at home.
Brake Fluid Flushing
Flushing brake fluid is often overlooked but is an important procedure for the braking system’s health. Brake fluid, over time, degrades and may cause a mushy brake pedal feel and can even cause corroded brake lines or calipers. An established rule of thumb is to flush the brake lines every two years.
Clean Fogged Headlights
Rather than spending $100’s on new headlights, spend less than $5 and clean the dull, fogged finish to like new. The transformation is remarkable by using lemons, baking powder, and a little elbow grease.
Fogged headlights are common, and every other car has them. Besides looking shoddy, they can block illumination, and improving unsafe driving conditions is worth a little work, maybe 45 minutes. Follow these detailed cleaning steps, clean away the fog and dull glow of dirty headlights, and be amazed at how clear they can become. This procedure is straightforward and saves you a lot of money rather than buying new headlight lenses.
Repairing Your Windows
If you can work on cars, you can save big bucks by fixing some different car window problems by yourself. There are many window repair jobs that you can do with proper preparation and correct tools. Among the repair jobs are auto glass replacement, lubricating sticky windows, chipped window repair, and repairing broken car windows.
Lubricating Windows – Water often seeps down the window and can cause a drag on the window. The extra drag can either affect the window regulator cable or for electric windows damage the electric motors. To help alleviate the window drag, spray a dry or wet lubricate down the window tracks and work the window a few times to completely lubricate the window track channel.
Add Window Coating – Studies have shown that windows treated with a window coating, for example, RainX, can improve visibility while driving in the rain. The coating improved vision in the rain by 34% and resulted in a 25% increase in response time for overall collision avoidance.
Chip in the Windshield – Although chips in windshields may look innocent enough, if not treated over time, they can grow into a major crack, eventually leading to windshield replacement. Fortunately, there are resin window chip or crack repair kits to stop the chips from spreading.
Some of the best driver resources for repairing car windows can be found here.
Repair Your Transmission
Many transmission problems can be repaired by the do-it-yourselfer. Some of the more common maintenance tasks for transmission include changing transmission fluid, crankcase oil, and any required filters. Transmissions fall within two categories; automatic and manual transmission. The easier of the two transmissions to work on is the manual transmission.
Automatic transmissions are more complex to service, although the nearer transmissions keep becoming more computerized and consequently have fewer failures. In addition, all four-wheel drive vehicles have additional components, including changing the crankcase oil. It may also be necessary to flush the gear oil, and one of the best driver resources guide for assistance can be found .
Replace Wiper Blades
An easy fix to streaked windows is to change the wiper blades for new ones. Purchasing the correct wiper blades at your local parts store is much less expensive than replacing them yourself. If the blade is streaking the window, it is time to change them out, especially before they start leaving any scratches on the windshield.
It is also recommended to purchase only name-brand wipers like Trico or ANCO and not replace them with lesser expensive, cheaper quality blades. The replacement process is straightforward; the instructions are typically on the wiper blade package.
Replace Cabin Air Filter
It is easy to overlook changing the air filter since it is hidden away in the dash, but if the air conditioner is turned on and you hear a high-pitched whistling sound, you know it is time to replace it. Dirty cabin air filters place a strain and possibly damage the air conditioner’s blower motor and cause the air conditioner to run harder and longer, placing extra strain on the system.
By replacing the air filter yourself, you can save around $30 or more, and it is an easy task to do that follows the best driver resources for proper operation. Although air filter locations differ depending on the car’s model, these instructions will give you the required information for changing the filters.
Repair Your Car Body
Car bodies require upkeep and maintenance like any other car part. For example, rust can slowly eat away from the sheet metal; the body can get dinged up by car doors or loose highway objects. Often, you can mitigate the damage by repairing some of the worse spots yourself and implementing some of the best drive resources.
Many car body repairs that you do at home include rust removal and treatment, touch-up paint jobs, and scratch removal. However, there may be times when there is too much damage to the sheet metal body that you may have to contact a sheet metal fabrication company for patches or custom-made body assemblies. Often, steel suppliers can furnish the body panel you need.
Another suggestion for the DIY’er is contacting local welding schools for custom sheet metal work. Often, the school may schedule your car or fabricate parts as part of an ‘on-the-job’ learning process where the students gain valuable knowledge and experience. You will receive excellent value for the sheet metal work at a great price.
Lubricate Door Locks
Due to dirt and grime, stiff door locks are difficult to turn and can cause a key to snap off if too much pressure is applied. A quick and simple fix is to insert a tube of graphite powder into the lock and give a sharp squeeze to the tube.
This motion should inject enough powdered lubricant to loosen the lock and allow it to turn again freely. After inserting the powder, make sure to work the lock back and forth a few times to make sure it is completely unstuck.
Repair Your Car Seats
Fortunately, many options for repairing car seats are excellent alternatives to contracted upholstery work. Even fixing a rip or tear in the seat by an upholstery shop can be $200 or more. The good news is many excellent vinyl and leather kits available for around $20 from most auto parts stores that may do the job. Although you may have to mix the repair kit’s components to match the colors correctly or as close as possible, at least the tear is patched and is an improvement.
It may be worth exploring a custom golf cart seat manufacturing service that may repair the tear for a reasonable fee. Another possible source for seat materials would be checking with your local bolt and nut supplier for possible replacement materials.
Repairing leather or vinyl is a relatively straightforward process that is taken step by step. A recommended article that has the best driver resources for seat repairs can be found here. Patch kits work well with leather and vinyl; the patches turn out well if you can get the right color mix to match.
Begin your seat repair by gluing either vinyl or leather reinforcing fabric to the underside of the torn seat fabric. Next, mix the heat-set mixture with the repair kit and apply it to the tear. Now, apply a textured mat that closely matches the seat’s texture, then apply it to the liquid filler.
Press a hot clothes iron onto the supplied patching tool, creating a textured surface. Remove the patching tool but leave the mat until completely cooled, and after the patch has cooled, peel off the seat.
Repair Your Trailer
We often park our trailer at the end of a season being used, then forget about it until the next year. Many times, this causes rust and other problems to begin accumulating. Then, halfway to our destination the next year, a wheel locks up or fails, maybe the lights quit working, or we have to deal with a rusted and stuck trailer hitch on the back of our vehicle. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
An easy repair for most issues, besides a little sweat equity, the trailer will be new again. Some trailers may have different components, but all can have similar issues. An excellent reference and one of the best driver resources for trailers addresses most of the major issues that can affect trailers. These are some of the more common issues and quick fixes for trailers.
Tire Issues – Tire issues can be resolved often by checking air pressure before taking a trip. Maintaining the correct air pressure provides two benefits. 1. Ensures safer travel with properly inflated tires, and 2. Proper inflation extends the life of the tires. Regardless, if the trailer isn’t used often, wear and tear still happens by just being parked, so check the valve stems, look for any cracks in the tires, and look for any rust or tire damage. Remember, tire age can dictate how road worthy it may be. Although tires may not have many miles on them, if they are old the rubber begins to break down and b
Checking the Brakes – You should inspect the brakes should be inspected regularly, and if any issues arise, they should be addressed immediately. When examining the brakes, look for any corrosion, damage, or stuck parts.
Inspect Trailer Lights – Ensure all the lights work correctly. When a trailer light bulb burns out, it should be replaced immediately. Faulty trailer lights are not only dangerous on the highway; faulty lights are also against the law.
Check Trailer Hitch – Make sure and check the trailer hitch and look for any rusted or frozen parts. Make sure the ball hitch is working properly and smoothly.
Grease Trailer Bearings – As a rule of thumb, check the trailer wheel bearings and grease them at least every 10,000 miles.
Repairs Best Left to Professionals
If your trailer is used commercially, for example, a trailer used for metal recycling companies, it may be best to leave trailer inspections and repairs to professionals. Some components that should be left to professionals are suspension issues or coupling problems with the hitch.
Maintaining trailers with correct procedures and following the best driver resources will pay dividends if you ever put trailers for sale sign on it.
We hope this article has provided insights into how you can save serious money by doing your vehicle maintenance. Many of these suggestions are quite easy, and we used some of the best driver resources, yet can provide substantial savings instead of having it done by a technician. For example, the simple step of replacing the air filter alone can save you $50-$80 or more, depending on the make of the car.
Performing your maintenance can seem overwhelming, but you might be surprised by what a little self-determination can achieve. In addition, the sense of accomplishment and saving serious money are always worth it. You can do this!