moving out is a big step
Become an INDEPENDENT you and learn what it takes to take care of your vehicle. Whether you are 20 minutes or 2,000 miles away from home, you won’t need to call and ask for help when you know the basics of car care. Once you master the skills of being able to change a flat tire and changing your oil, you will have the confidence to keep your car in tip-top shape. Don’t let that greasy mechanic pull a fast one over on you next time just because you are a girl. You know what you’re doing now.
The last thing you want is having to call home to Dad about car trouble
N W O R
? E R I T AT PULL OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD in a safe area. Make sure you on a straight
part of the road so approaching traffic can see you. Also make sure you are on level ground, as a jack does not work on an incline. TURN YOUR HAZARD LIGHTS ON. Grab your lug wrench and car jack. Remove the hubcaps if necessary, not all vehicles require this. Using the lug wrench, start to LOOSEN THE LUG NUTS. Remember you don’t want to remove them just loosen. The next step is jacking up your vehicle. You may want to consult your owner’s manual for the best location of the jack. Usually the jack sits at a small plate connected to the frame. This plate usually sits right in front of the rear tires or right behind the front tires. Once the jack is in position you want to turn or PUMP THE JACK to push the vehicle up until the tire is about six inches off of the ground. The next step is to remove the tire. REMOVE THE LUG NUTS from the bolts and set them aside. Using both hands grad the wheel and pull towards you away from the car. Next you are going to put the spare tire on. POSITION THE SPARE TIRE directly in front of the wheel well and align holes in center of tire with bolts. Position it on the threaded bolts and push it on as far as you can. Replace the lug nuts onto the bolts and slightly tighten. You don’t want to completely tighten; just enough to set the car back down. You will then LOWER THE CAR back onto all four tires. TIGHTEN THE LUG NUTS starting with one and then moving to the opposite lug nut in an X or + figure. Make your way slowly to the nearest mechanic to replace your and repair your flat tire.
Before draining out the old oil, you may want to open the hood of the car and open the oil filler cap on the top of the engine. LOOSEN THE PLUG counterclockwise. You should also remove and replace the circular paper or felt drain plug gasket, but a metal washer can be used if needed. DRAIN THE OLD OIL out into a drip pan. The oil will most likely not drain straight down so lay some newspaper or old cloth around the drip pan in case the oil misses. Locate the filter and remove by hand or wrench. Make sure the rubber gasket ring comes off with the filter or the new one won’t fit on the right way. You may want to APPLY SOME NEW OIL around the rubber gasket ring on the new filter to make it easier to twist on. You can also pour some new oil in the filter to help your car regain oil pressure when started. REPLACE THE DRAIN PLUG on the oil pan. Don’t forget to install a replacement gasket or washer. Thread with your fingers so as not to cross threads. Carefully SCREW ON NEW FILTER. When the gasket touches you usually want to screw about a quarter turn more and stop. ADD NEW OIL using a funnel. Check your owner’s manual on how much is needed. It is usually listed under capacities. REPLACE THE FILL CAP and close the hood. Start your engine and CHECK THE OIL PRESSURE LIGHT to make sure it goes off and check underneath the car to make sure that nothing is spilling or dripping. Run the engine for a few minutes to make sure none of these problems occur.
CAR CARE CHECKLIST 1. CREATE A PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Have a car care expert perform preventive maintenance services on a regular basis, such as topping off fluid levels, inspecting belts and hoses, checking tire pressure and the engine oil, and making sure all the lights work.
2. CHECK YOUR ENGINE AIR FILTER
The engine air filter is like the vehicle’s lung. Refer to your owner’s manual to see when it should be swapped out to ensure your car is breathing clearly.
3. CHECK YOUR ENGINE OIL AND FILTER
Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. Check the oil level regularly and check your owner’s manual for when to change the oil and which grade to use.
4. KNOW HOW TO CHECK TIRE PRESSURE AND HOW TO CHANGE A TIRE
Having a flat tire is never fun, but learning how to change it yourself can save a lot of time. Make sure your tires are filled to the proper tire pressure as well. You can find the proper tire pressure in the vehicle owner’s manual or on a decal in the door jamb or glove compartment. Be sure to check and fill the spare tire as well.
5. CONTROL YOUR GAS CONSUMPTION
To help your gas mileage, be sure to observe the speed limit and ensure your tires are properly inflated. Removing the extra weight from your trunk or back seat can also help.
6. CLEAN AND REPLACE WORN WIPER BLADES
Wiper blades should be swapped out about every six months. Check for cracks regularly, and clean dirty wiper blades with a wet paper towel.
7. STAY CALM IN AN EMERGENCY
Make sure your vehicle emergency kit is restocked. If you don’t have one, create one with items such as bottled water, a flashlight, flares, duct tape, an extra cell phone, energy bars, a blanket, phone number for roadside assistance and a can of Fix-a-Flat.
Published on Mar 27, 2012