Need to Fix a Car? Here Are Some Basic Car Repairs You Need to Understand

Need to Fix a Car? Here Are Some Basic Car Repairs You Need to Understand

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Encountering mechanical issues with your car isn't much fun. After all, you depend on your vehicle for essential transportation, as well as enjoyment in your free time. 

And when you take your vehicle to the shop, sometimes automotive repairs can be costly. What seemed like a small problem could turn into a situation that costs you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

That's why it's nice to take care of basic auto repairs when you can. 

All you need with specific car maintenance and repairs are some rudimentary knowledge gleaned from car manuals or online resources. 

And by following those simple instructions, you can avoid expensive repairs and keep your vehicle in excellent running condition. 

Let's look at some basic auto repairs and car maintenance you can do yourself.

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Basic auto repairs

Changing the battery

Your car battery serves a vital role. Not only does it provide the power to start your vehicle, but it also helps run other electrical systems like the headlights, navigation, heating, air conditioning, and more. 

Like many items on a car, wear and tear occur, and eventually, a battery loses its capability to function at an optimal level. 

But changing a battery is a simple job, and all you need is a new one, small tools like a screwdriver or wrench, and old-fashioned elbow grease.

To change a battery, remove the cover, disconnect the negative connector and set it aside, do the same for the positive connector, remove the old battery (and any screws holding it down), install the new one, and reconnect the cables. 

Replacing wipers

It's essential to see the road in front of you to drive safely.

This is especially true in inclement weather or a rainstorm, where not only buckets of water come pouring down, but the road surface becomes hazardous.

Over time, the rubber and plastic on windshield wipers can dry out and crack, leaving you with poor visibility when the skies open up or snow falls.

But switching in a new pair of wipers is quick and easy and only takes a few minutes.

Simply bend the wiper arm away from the windshield, push in the tab that holds the blade in place, and slide it off. Then grab the new blade and reverse the previous steps. Make sure the tab clicks into place, so the blade is secured correctly. 

Changing brake pads

Changing out your brake pads requires a little more effort and mechanical savvy than the previous two repairs, but it could save you hundreds of dollars if you decide to do it. 

Though a relatively simple procedure, repair shops can charge a pretty penny for installing new brake pads. And when you do it yourself, you can not only select the pads of your choice but also feel good about saving money. 

First, you'll need to jack up your vehicle and remove the wheels. Then on each brake caliper, unscrew the slider bolts before taking out the old pads. After that, position the pads in place, reinstall the slider bolts, and put the wheels back on. 

May helpful DIY fix guides exist across the internet, and following a good one for your vehicle gives you the know-how to complete the job. 

Buying a used vehicle lets you search for just the one you want without having to wait on dealer inventory or haggle with a salesperson. But when you purchase a used car, how can you know it'll stand the test of time? Shift's best-in-industry service contracts give you peace of mind, so you know your vehicle's good to go, mile after mile. With a Shift Vehicle Protection plan, not only are essential components covered, but you also receive roadside assistance. Whether you happen to be in the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada, help is just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

Changing a headlight or taillight

In addition to making it hard to drive at night, a faulty headlight or taillight could net you a ticket or cause your vehicle to fail inspection. 

But replacing either on your car is an uncomplicated fix that you can do in a matter of minutes.

Whether replacing a headlight or taillight, simply remove the screws holding the plastic enclosure, unplug the old bulb, then connect the new one. Then reinstall the cover and tighten the screws, and you're good to go. 

Changing the air filter

A sometimes neglected part of your car is the air filter. Fresh air is essential to your engine's combustion process, and the air filter traps dirt and other particles that might cause harm.

Typically, it's a good idea to change the air filter once a year or every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. But with it being tucked away under the hood, it's easy to forget to perform this simple fix.

To change your air filter, open the hood, locate and remove the filter housing, take out the old one, install the new one, then make sure to secure the housing tightly. 

If you're tired of performing maintenance and repairs on your old car, maybe it's time to sell it and buy another. But selling your used vehicle can be a hassle. And how can you be sure you're receiving a fair price? When selling your car to Shift, there's no need to worry about any of that. All you'll have to do is enter the make, model, year, and mileage on Shift's easy-to-use website, and you'll instantly receive a purchase offer that's valid for seven days. You can get a fair offer, better than any dealership, driven by powerful machine-learning algorithms and tons of data. And when you sell your car to Shift, there's no need to spend the extra time waxing and washing the car. A little dirt won’t affect the quote, as we fully detail the cars ourselves anyway before listing them for sale.

Basic auto repairs in summary

Expensive auto repairs can put a dent in your wallet, and playing the role of the family handyman can help you save money when your vehicle encounters issues. 

Many vehicle parts are available at Walmart, Amazon, or an auto parts store. 

Keeping up to date on car maintenance like oil changes, replacing spark plugs, or flushing transmission fluid can ensure your vehicle runs at its best.

And remember, when it does come time to swap out your vehicle altogether, buying a used car can save you thousands of dollars versus buying a new one. But where can you go for not only a great price but also a quality vehicle? Shift's certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on every car and have complete vehicle history reports, so you know your used car feels as good as new. Shift's website has a large selection of fully inspected vehicles located across the country that are ready to go. The website is user-friendly, and you'll be able to find various makes and models to suit your needs and budget. And if you need a loan, Shift works with a network of trusted lenders who compete for your business, so you get the best deal on financing.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team