Action Line: Certain car repairs can be done at home
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Friday, March 01, 2013
3/21/13 at 8:26 AM
Dear Action Line: What minor auto maintenance can people do themselves to save money at the auto shop? - S.K., Tulsa.
AutoMD.com offers "Top 5 easiest repair jobs" most anyone can do and save $200. It estimates that most car owners can complete the five easiest jobs in less than an hour - far less time than taking your car into the shop or dealership for just one of them.
Safety first: Wear safety glasses, latex gloves and closed-toe shoes when working where caustic liquids might spray and sharp objects might fall on you.
Replace wiper blades: Measure your wiper blades' length and visit an automotive parts store or a large department store with an automotive section. Wiper blades are sold according to a chart at the store that tells you which blade number goes with your particular car. Always check to make sure the blades in the box are the same length as yours and appear to have the same mounting attachments.
The box shows you with a diagram of how the old blade comes out and how the new one snaps in. Tilt the wiper arms up for easy removal of the blade, but first hold the new ones up to the old ones to ensure they are oriented right and that the new ones will snap in the same way the old ones snapped out. Visit tulsaworld.com/AutoMDwipers for a diagram of how to replace wiper blades.
Replace a fuse: Sometimes when things just stop working in your car, it's because the fuse feeding its circuit is blown. The owner's manual includes a diagram showing where the fuse box is, and the box lid has a diagram glued inside it showing which components are fed by which fuses. Some vehicles provide a fuse removal tool and one spare fuse. Visit tulsaworld.com/AutoMDfuses for a diagram of how fuses are replaced.
Replace light bulb: For a headlight, you must remove its lens with a screwdriver. Pop the hood and locate the back of the bulb to disconnect its wiring harness. Replace the old headlight bulb with a new one, handling the lens at its base without touching the glass with bare fingers or skin. Use tissue paper to handle it if you must touch the lens. Remove dirt and corrosion from the connection. Clean as necessary with electrical spray cleaner. Visit tulsaworld.com/AutoMDlights for photos.
Replace air filter: The filter canister is on top of the engine and easily accessible. Remove its cover and lift out the filter. Owners manuals show how this is done, or visit tulsaworld.com/AutoMDfilters for step-by-step guidance. Remember the direction the filter faces for installation reference.
Change engine oil and filter: This can be done DIY-style, but it's so cheap to pay a quick-change outfit to do it and you're in and out in 20 minutes, don't have to get oily-dirty or end up with 5 quarts of used motor oil and a dripping oil filter. Try it yourself after visiting tulsaworld.com/AutoMDoilchange
Original Print Headline: Some car repairs worth own effort
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