7 Essential Auto Repair Skills Every Car Owner Should Know

If you drive a car, it is vital you also learn to diagnose its issues and gain the skills to make some basic fixes on it. It isn’t an optional skill set; rather, it should be considered as basic life and survival skills. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of a deserted highway in the dark of night.

What Car Repairs Should You Know How To Do Yourself?

“While there are plenty of amateur car mechanics who know how to do all sorts of fixes on their vehicles, most of us are best off taking our cars to the shop when they break down. That said, there are some fundamental repair skills that all drivers should know. Having these skills in your pocket can help you keep a car alive long enough to take it to a mechanic or maintain it on a basic level over time.

“Car owners should always know how to change their car’s oil and flat tires. It’s also important to be able to change a battery, spark plugs, brake pads, and a burnt-out headlight or taillight. You should know how to jumpstart a car and always have the supplies on hand for it, just in case. Knowing how to clean your engine and replace air filters are also great skills. While it’s a little less critical, it’s relatively easy and useful to learn how to repair scratches on your vehicle, too.

Daivat Dholakia, Director of Operations Force By Mojio

How to Jumpstart a Car Battery

“While driving a vehicle, it is usual to experience a dead battery en route. I’m sure you don’t want to be left stranded. A jumpstart is a type of boost that helps in the starting of a car with a depleted or dead battery. If your battery is completely dead, you can rely on your self-sufficiency as a qualified technician by knowing how to use jumper wires to jumpstart your car in an emergency.” 

Darshan Somashekar, Founder & CEO of Spider Solitaire Challenge and Solitaired

Bonus: Steps to Jumpstart a Car

“One thing most every driver is likely to experience at least a few times is a dead battery. That’s why it’s a best practice to keep jumper cables in your vehicle at all times. Jumping a car isn’t hard, but if you’ve never done it before, it can be intimidating. Just remember to start with the red cable and attach it to the dead battery first, then to the live battery. Then you attach the black cable from the live battery and complete the circuit by bringing it to the dead battery. An easy rhyme to help you remember this is ‘Red from the dead, to red on the good. Black from the good, back under the hood.’

“Once you’re all hooked up you can start the car with the working battery and let it idle for a minute or two. After that you should be able to start the dead battery and remove the cables in the opposite order they were attached in. It’s important to let the vehicle with the formerly dead battery run for a good ten to fifteen minutes so the alternator has a chance to recharge the battery again.”

Jake McKenzie, Content Manager Auto Accessories Garage

Check Tire Pressure

“One of the simplest car repair skills that can save you both gas and money is checking your tire pressure. Examining tire pressures and inflating them as needed is one of the most overlooked normal car maintenance tasks. In this regard, the most recent models of automobiles come standard with a tire pressure warning lights system that alerts you to under- or over-inflated tires.”

Darshan Somashekar, Founder & CEO Spider Solitaire Challenge and Solitaired

Rear-Window Defroster Repair

“A professional auto mechanic can rapidly fix a rear auto window defroster using a low-cost repair kit. It does not require any specific skills. Sometimes your car is entirely coated in snow, and it takes a few minutes to clear it away.

However, the rear-window defroster can only remove a tiny strip of ice near the top and bottom of the window. The problem with the rear-window defroster is simple to fix. Furthermore, you can not only repair it yourself but also save money. On top of that, you’ll be safe and sound during winter.”

Steve Scott, CTO at Spreadsheet Planet

Changing Oil

“You should check and change your car’s oil on a regular basis to guarantee that it runs smoothly and that its engine lasts as long as possible. One of the most basic DIY skills you should have for car maintenance or repair is changing your car’s oil. Of course, if your car’s oil filter and oil drain plug are difficult to access, it’s a different issue. Draining the oil by removing the oil drain plug, unscrewing and emptying the oil filter, reinstalling the oil filter and drain plug, removing the oil filler hole cap, and pouring fresh oil are the basic steps.”

Tanner Arnold, President & CEO RevelationMachinery.com

Changing a Flat Tire

“There’s a reason the word ‘wheels’ is slang for ‘vehicle.’ It’s because your vehicle’s tires are one of the most vital parts. They can also turn on you from time to time. However, changing a flat tire does not have to be a difficult task and can even be a lifesaving ability. The lug nuts are loosening (with a wrench), the automobile is lifted off the ground with a jack stand, the lug nuts (and therefore the tire) is removed, the spare tire is fitted, the lug nuts are wrenched back on, the car is lowered, and the lug nuts are tight. Simple.”

Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager Buyer’s Guide

Changing a Car Battery

Car batteries usually fail at the most inconvenient times. If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, your best bet is to phone for help and/or a tow truck. However, if you’re at home and your battery is showing symptoms of wear, the DIY replacement technique is simple. The processes include removing any battery covers, disconnecting the negative cables, sliding the negative cable clamp away from the battery post, removing all screws, replacing the old battery with the new one, and finally reconnecting the cable clamps. Before you remove the cables, make sure you label them.

Jason McMahon, Digital Strategist Bambrick

Change Wiper Blades

“Windshield wiper replacement is a simple task that any automobile owner can complete. Wiper blades, on the other hand, are not “one size fits all.” If you’re replacing your old windshield wipers with new ones, check your owner’s manual to learn which blades you’ll need. Because wiper blades are made of rubber, they will wear out over time. Check them frequently and replace them every six to twelve months. “

Burak Ozdemir, Founder and Developer Online Alarm Clock

Author Profile

Zana Lewis
Zana Lewis
Auto Insurance Agent
Once responsible for identifying sales opportunities for insurance plans and overseeing a portfolio of clients, Zana now devotes her product knowledge in sharing more helpful information that educates our readers better when it comes to anything automotive, especially coverages.
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