Tire Change

Tire Change

Have you ever been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire? Did you have to rely on the mercy of some kind sole to help you because you did not know how to change a tire? Well changing a tire is not that difficult. Messy – yes, difficult – no.

If you notice the signs that you might have a flat tire you should pull off to the side of the road immediately. If you travel any distance on a flat tire you will ruin it. When pulling off the roadway you should be careful not to cut off any other driver. You also want to get far enough over on the shoulder of the road so you will not be in danger from passing vehicles.

After you have your car safely on the shoulder of the road you should turn on your emergency lights. This will alert drivers to pass with caution. Then you need to retrieve your spare tire and jack from the trunk of your car. If you have a van, truck or SUV where the spare tire is mounted under the vehicle or on the tailgate you will have to remove it from there.

Check the air pressure of the spare tire. Do not attempt to replace your flat tire with a tire that has insufficient air. If this is the case you should call a towing vehicle to take you to the nearest tire store. But if your spare tire is in good shape you can proceed to change out the flat tire.

First you will have to jack up your car. There are a couple of different types of jacks and if you need to know how yours works there are directions in your owner’s manual or sometimes in the area where the jack was found. Be sure that your automobile is on a level surface as you should not attempt to change the tire on a slope. If you have a brick or if there is a heavy rock on the side of the road it would be a good idea to use it to place behind the tire that is not flat to prevent the car from rolling a bit.

Before you want to start to lift the tire off the ground you should loosen the lug nuts on the tire. It will be easier to loosen these with the weight on the tire. When the tire is in the air it will spin as you attempt to loosen the lug nuts. Once you can turn the lug nuts about one turn counterclockwise you can begin to jack up the car. When the tire is completely off the ground remove the lug nuts. Be sure to put the lug nuts in a safe place for later use with the spare tire.

 Now you are ready to remove the tire and replace it with the spare tire. Remove the flat tire and place it in the trunk of the car. Place the spare lining up the holes with the bolts on the hub of the wheel. Begin by placing the lug nuts on the bolts and tighten by hand. Tighten as much as possible by hand before beginning to use the tire iron. Be sure that the tire is flat with the wheel. Then jack the car down to the ground and remove the jack and replace it in the trunk. Tighten the lug nuts again with the tire iron. It is best to do this by alternating which nuts you are tightening. For instance, when you tighten one lug nut tighten the one across from it next going around the wheel until all are tight.

Be sure you have all your materials in your car and take your tire in for repair or replacement. Spare tires are not generally designed to be driven for any length of time and if you do not fix or replace the flat tire if you have another flat you will not have a spare to replace it.

Car Fluid

Car Fluid

Your vehicle whether a new car or a used car has many fluids that help it operate. In fact, many of the fluids are very important for the safe operation and function of your vehicle. The fluids in your automobile include engine, brake, transmission, cooling, battery, air conditioning and fluid to wash the windows.

You should check the levels of fluid on a regular basis but always be sure to check them prior to making a long trip.

Oil is what keeps your engine lubricated and running well in a new or used car. The life and function of your motor depends upon having adequate lubricant. Checking the level of engine oil is performed quite easily. First drive the car and then park it and let it cool down for at least five minutes. You will find the dipstick under the hood of the vehicle. It is normally red or yellow in color. Remove the dipstick by pulling it straight up. Wipe off the dipstick and return it to its shaft and then slowly remove it again. Look to see where the oil lies on the dipstick. There are markers near the bottom of the shaft of the stick. The level of oil should be between the two markers. If the oil is low add oil a quart at a time. Be sure to check the level after adding oil. Add additional oil if necessary. It is advised to start the engine after you add the oil to let it circulate before checking the level again. Be sure you do not add to much oil as that can be problematic as well.

Be sure to check your automobiles transmissions fluid with the new or used car running. There is a dipstick to check this level as well. If you are unable to locate this stick your owner’s manual will show you where it is. Since the automobile is running and you will be leaning over the motor be sure you are not wearing any loose clothing or jewelry that may become caught in the moving parts. Remove the dipstick, wipe, reinsert and check the level. You check this level pretty much the same way you check the level of oil. If the level is too low add fluid. A low level of transmission fluid may indicate that you have a leak somewhere in the system that needs to be checked by a mechanic. If the level is good be sure that the color is not black. If the transmission oil is black it should be changed.

Brake fluid lubricates your brakes to keep them running properly. You can check this fluid level under the hood in a reservoir that is plastic and small. Fill with brake fluid if the level is below the two-thirds full line.

Cooling system fluid is changed when the engine is lukewarm or cool but not when it is cold. Due to the pressure in this system never check it when the engine is on. There is a cap on the radiator that you will need to remove. It is good if the fluid is close to the top otherwise add some fluid. The ratio of coolant to water is fifty-fifty.

Many batteries today do not require the addition of fluid. However if yours does you need to check it as well and add fluid as needed.

While fluid for your window washer may not seem important it is in fact very important. If you cannot see clearly out your window your driving and safety may be impaired. It is important to keep your windows clean to be safe as any other fluid in your vehicle.

Car Battery

Car Battery

When a car battery dies, it can get quite a bit frustrating. At this point you will have to decide if you want to get a new battery or if you can fix your old one. Can you fix a car battery? The answer is yes, depending on certain conditions. Let’s talk about how to fix a car battery. You will need to decide on what fix to use when your car has a dead battery. Now one of the first things that most anyone will try is a jump off. This is when you use battery cables to connect two cars.

You will connect like cable to like post on both cars. Do not let these black and red connectors touch or you will have quite a problem. Once you have someone that can jump you off, then you will connect the cables as described above and let the motor charge for about a minute or so to build the electrical charge in the battery. If it doesn’t start, then you need to wait a little bit longer. Once the car is started then you will need to let it run in order for the electrical charge to build up enough to keep your car running.

Then you will disconnect the battery cables. Now let’s say that doesn’t work and you need to fix your dead battery. You’ll need to open the hood and get to the battery compartment. Keep the hood propped open so that you have a clear and free space to work in. Getting conked on the head doesn’t solve anything. Now you will need to use a screwdriver, preferably a flat head so that you can get to the battery and open the lids. If these are wet, then you need to think about a different fix.

However if they are dry, distilled water needs to be poured into them up to a half an inch from the top. Replace the lids on the battery. Now if it is a battery cable that is the problem, you will need to remove these cables with pliers or a wrench of some kind. If there is corrosion on the battery posts, then use a wire brush to clean the terminals and the hole inside the battery cables. A cleaning solution of 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a cup of water will work nicely.

You will then pour this solution on the connectors and the posts to clean them. Pour this slowly. Once this is dry then you will need to reconnect the cables back to the battery in question. Once this is done, if you have access to a battery charger, preferably a 12 volt, then you will need to connect it into the wall and connect it to your car’s battery in order to charge it back fully. This can take from a few minutes to several hours before the battery will hold a full charge to start your car.

Once the battery is charged then remove the cables from the charger and start your car’s engine. Now if all else fails then you will need to just get a new battery. There are certain circumstances in which this is the only way to fix a car battery. But if you can use the other suggestions that are made available above, then it is entirely possible that you can fix your car battery and get your car back on the road again in no time. Fixing your car’s battery is often preferable to getting another expensive battery for your automobile when you can just fix it instead.

Tire Pressure

Tire Pressure

While this may seem like a no brainer, you need to know exactly how to do this to not only extend the life of your tires but to also keep your car operating safely and smoothly. Having tires that are ill inflated can cause quite a bit of trouble starting with blow outs, poor gas mileage and uneven tire wear. This is cause for concern and once you know how to check your tire pressure and inflate tires, you will prevent a lot of your problems simply by doing preventative maintenance.
Here is how you check your tires for the correct pressure. Each tire will have a specific PSI that it needs to be inflated to. The tires should not be hot, they should be cold when you check the tire pressure. Unscrew the valve step before using your tire gauge. Also remember to check the PSI that the car manufacturer recommends before starting to check the tires. You will then need to connect the tire gauge to the valve stem for a reading. Once you get a reading, then check to see if it is the same as what is recommended for your car.
If you hear a hissing sound then the gauge is not firmly on the valve stem and will give you an inaccurate reading which can distort the tires if too much air is applied or if it is too low. Now, if you have low tire reading then you need to put air in your tires. You will need an air pressure hose in order to be able to put air in your tires properly. Check and make sure that the connection is working before placing the air pressure hose to the connector on the valve stem.
You will then need to press the connectors together. If done correctly, you will not hear a hissing sound on the outside. You will then inflate the tire, stopping periodically in order to check the tire pressure. Once it does get to the desired tire pressure then disconnect the air hose. If you have too much air, then pressing on the valve stem will release air out of the tire. You will need to check to be sure that your tires are not over or underinflated. Once you have gotten to the recommended PSI then stop. Do not overfill your tires.
This can lead to a blowout unexpectedly. Too much air is just as bad as not having enough air in your tires. Travel for long periods of time in either underinflated or overinflated tires is sure to cause you headaches. So it is recommended that you check your tires periodically by using a tire gauge so that you can judge the condition of your tires and add air when you need it so that your car will operate better and you will travel safer. Now some air hoses will also have the tire gauge attached to it so that will also give you some idea of what your current tire pressure is.

This is basically the way that you check tire pressures and inflate tires. It is a simple thing that if the time is taken then your tires will always be inflated correctly according to manufacturer’s specifications. This prevents problems like uneven tire wear from occurring and allows you to get better gas mileage than before. So before you go out and take off driving, how about checking your tires? You will be so glad that you did and you won’t run into as much trouble as you would without doing this one simple preventative thing.