When it comes to car repairs, it can cost upwards of thousands of dollars if you take your vehicle to a mechanic. But it can cost much less if you do it yourself.
At Copart, we have some cars, particularly those with salvage titles, that need a lot of automotive work before they are drivable.
Luckily, some repairs can be done at home and can lessen the blow to your bank account.
Here are 3 repairs you might be able to do yourself:
1. Replace a Broken or Loose Serpentine Belt
Located at the front of the engine is your drive belt, which loops around the pulleys around your car engine. If it is broken, cracked or worn, it needs to be replaced. According to the website Lifehacker, you’ll need a serpentine belt tool to help loosen the tensioner to remove and replace the existing belt. Once you’ve installed the new belt, rotate the tensioner back in place with the belt tool and you should be good to go!
Note: When replacing a belt, be sure to notice the pattern the previous one was in. If you don’t, you might miss a cog the belt is supposed to be in, and it will affect your driving efficiency.
2. Replace the Brake Pads
If you hear a squealing sound whenever you brake, that usually means your brake pads need to be replaced. To replace your brake pads, first jack up your car until the tires are up in the air. Remove the bolts holding the tire in place, then remove the bolts holding the caliper. After taking the caliper out, pull the brake pads out, install with new ones, then screw everything back into place. You’re done!
3. Install new spark plugs
We know, we know: you tense up every time you hear anything containing the word “spark” in it. Don’t worry, some of us do too. Luckily, Money Crashers shows that it isn’t that hard to put in new spark plugs for your vehicle.
To do this, first locate your spark plugs, which are relatively easy to locate since they’re attached to thick rubber wires. Unplug the spark wire. After that, remove the first spark plug only with a socket and extension, keeping the rest of the wires intact. You need to maintain the order that the plugs were previously installed in. After that, install the new spark plug and re-attach the spark plug wire.
Disclaimer: No matter what improvements you want to make to your car, remember that safety always comes first. If you’re ever in doubt, take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic for repairs.