The modern automobile is a technological marvel. It has computer systems galore, mechanisms that control timing down to the millisecond and state-of-the-art engines that are more powerful and efficient than ever. Many car owners, needless to say, are a bit intimidated by the prospect of do-it-yourself auto repair. But there are many things that the average car owner can do at home with minimal or no mechanical skills. Some of these may sound mundane at first, but they do go a long way toward extending the functioning life of a vehicle. With a little research online, the following should be within the grasp of nearly anyone.
1) Cleaning battery terminals – Over time, battery cables and terminals can accumulate corrosion. This is evident in the white gunk that builds up on the battery. An overly thick buildup can cause the battery to be less efficient, and can prevent it from starting.
2) Jump-starting a car – While not repair, this is a vital skill that many no longer understand. Carrying a pair of jumper cables in the trunk (and knowing how to use them) can help save a stranded motorist … who might someday be you!
3) Changing a tire – A must-know for every driver. Even with run-flat tires and pressure-regulating systems these days, flat tires are inevitable. Practicing in the comfort of your well-lit driveway will save you precious time when you need to do it on the side of a busy highway at night in the rain.
4) Replacing wiper blades – This is a very easy fix. Bad blades can smear dirt across your windshield, or fail to move the water at all, which can lead to an accident in inclement weather.
5) Replacing a battery – Many car batteries are incredibly easy to replace. Once you know the type of battery you'll need (any auto store can tell you), it only takes five minutes to replace it. Most auto stores will even lend you the tools you need to perform this simple job.
There are many other simple tasks a car owner can learn to do on his or her own. Auto repair is something that can start with routine maintenance, and it doesn't have to be a hassle.