Auto Repair

Safety Rules (Auto Repair)

The first time I tuned my car, I was sure that if I made the smallest mistake, the car would explode when I started it. This seems to be a common delusion, but it just isn’t so. All you’ll get is silence (which can be just as disconcerting, but not lethal after all). This isn’t […]

How to Open the Hood (Auto Repair)

How can you do even simple “under-the-hood” jobs — such as checking the oil, antifreeze, and transmission fluid; refilling windshield wiper fluid; and checking accessory belts — if you don’t know how to get the hood open? The good news is that opening the hood of a car is easy and uncomplicated — if you […]

How to Fill 'Er Up Yourself (Auto Repair)

More and more gas stations are shifting toward self-service. If you’ve been reluctant to abandon the luxury of the full-service lane, chances are that it’s going to get more and more difficult to find one. Knowing how to fill ‘er up yourself not only prevents you from being stranded with an empty tank when there’s […]

The Safe Way to Use a Jack (Auto Repair)

The most obvious reason to jack up a car is to change a tire, but other jobs, such as inspecting brakes, may also require you to get under the vehicle. (Even if you’re reed-thin enough to squeeze yourself between the pavement and the underside of your car, you still need room to move around and […]

How to Change a Tire (Auto Repair)

Even if you’re a member of the AAA or CAA, there’s always a chance that you’ll find yourself stuck with a flat tire on a remote road with no telephone in sight. On these occasions, all traffic generally vanishes, leaving you helpless unless you know how to change a tire yourself. Everyone should have a […]

How to lake Anything Apart — and Get It Back Together Again (Auto Repair)

I’ve never been able to follow the instructions to put my kids’ toys together, but I can take a wheel assembly apart and get it back together again, slowly but accurately, by using the following procedure. The bonus is that this procedure works for anything that you need to take apart and put back together […]

Getting Back into a Car When You'Ve Locked Yoursetf Out (Auto Repair)

Here’s an “emergency” that may not be dangerous, but certainly can be exasperating! If you tend to be feather-headed and leave the keys in your car fairly often, you may be tempted to hide an extra key somewhere on the vehicle. However, I must warn you that unless you’re very clever about where you hide […]

The Way to Your Car's Heart Is through Your Toolbox (Auto Repair)

In This Chapter ► Getting the best tools for your money ► Determining which tools you need to buy (and which ones you can just borrow) ► Stocking a trunk compartment toolbox ► Making your list and checking it twice: A tool checklist to take with you to the auto parts store Whether you’re trying […]

Shopping for Tools (Auto Repair)

Tool prices vary widely, but if you keep your eyes open and know where to go, whom to talk to, and what to look for, you can get a good value at a fair price. Shop for tools in a major auto parts chain store, and stick to well-known brands. Watch the newspaper for sales; […]

Screwdrivers (Auto Repair)

There are two basic types of screwdrivers: standard, or slot, screwdrivers (the most common type) and Phillips screwdrivers. The difference between a standard screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver is the shape of the head, as shown in Figures 2-1 and 2-2. You use Phillips screwdrivers with Phillips screws, and standard screwdrivers with — you guessed […]