Automotive DIY Tips

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There are times when you simply need to check what is wrong with your car and this does not mean heading down to the mechanic shop. At times these are simple things that you can do. For instance if your car refuses to start, there are a few things you can check so as to rule out a serious issue.

Some tests for a no-start problem are simple, others are a pain in the neck and a technical nightmare. Nonetheless, you need to figure out why the car won’t start, so we’ll try to help. If your key won’t turn in the ignition, try this fix.

Electrical No-Start Problems

Check Your Fuses: Few cars have a fuse associated with the starting system, but before you go monkeying around with everything, check your fuses to be sure it’s not that simple.

Battery Corrosion: Over time your battery connections can become dirty, or corroded. This corrosion breaks the connection your battery has with the rest of the car, and it won’t start. Try cleaning your battery posts and try to start the car again.

Dead Battery: The most common reason your car won’t start is a dead battery. If you have a battery tester that can measure cranking amps, test your battery to see if it’s weak. If you can’t test it yourself, you can test the battery indirectly by jump-starting the car. If it starts right away, your problem is most likely a dead battery. Replace the battery, and clean the battery connections to ensure good contact.

Sourced from: http://autorepair.about.com/od/troubleshooting/a/ts_no-start.htm

There will come a time when you have to change the fuel filter. The work of this filter is to keep away all that tiny pieces of dirt or junk that get into the fuel tank. When a filter is worn out, the dirt gets through or the car stops running. This will not go well with the fuel injectors thus the need to know the steps on how to deal with filters in prior.

Relieve the pressure in the fuel line before disconnecting it. To do so, you have to disable the electric fuel pump before you start the engine.

To disable the fuel pump, do the following:

With the engine off, remove the fuel pump fuse from the fuse box. (Your owner’s manual should show you where it is.)

Make sure that the parking brake is on and that the vehicle is in Park or Neutral, and then start the engine. It won’t run very long after you start it up, but the pressure in the fuel lines will be reduced.

Turn off the engine. With the fuel pump disabled, you’re ready to disconnect the fuel lines from the filter.

Look at the old filter and the new one before disconnecting anything.

Sourced from: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-change-your-vehicles-fuel-filter.html

Another thing that all car owners should know how to do is to change the brake pads. If you always hear a squealing sound when you hit the brakes then that is your cue that your brake pads need to be changed. There are simple steps for you to do so easily.

  1. Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel. Then jack up the car and place a jack stand under the car’s frame. Lower the jack so its weight rests on the jack stand. Fully remove the lug nuts and remove the wheel. You now have access to the brake assembly and can safely reach under the car.
  2. Find the two slider bolts (sometimes called “pins”) that hold the caliper in place. On this car, a 2009 Ford Flex, the bolts are on the inside. The arrows in the photograph above point them out. It’s generally only necessary to remove the lower bolt. It can be long but once it is fully loosened, it will slide out easily.
  3. With the bottom bolt removed, the caliper pivots up, as shown in the photograph above. The rubber hose, which is the hydraulic line, will flex to allow this so do not disconnect any hydraulic lines. If you think you have to disconnect a hydraulic line, you’re doing something wrong. Reassemble the brakes and seek professional help.

Sourced from: http://www.edmunds.com/how-to/how-to-change-your-brake-pads.html