Car trouble can be disruptive to your life and expensive as well. If you rely on your car to get to work or to get your kids to school, your day-to-day life could get a lot more difficult. Even for minor problems, car repair at an automotive shop could take days. That is why you should troubleshoot your car problems before taking it to a mechanic. If you can fix the problem yourself, you could save time and money. If nothing else, you will be better informed when you visit your mechanic.
1. The Engine Isn’t Turning
If your car won’t start and the engine won’t turn over, you should first check the electrical accessories such as the headlights, interior lights, or windshield wipers. If they are not working, check the charge on the battery. You can check the battery with a voltmeter. If you do not have a voltmeter, you can remove the battery and take it to any auto parts store.
If the battery has a charge, check the starter by tapping on the starter case with a wrench or screwdriver. You can find the starter under the hood. Have someone else attempt to start the car and listen for a clicking sound. The starter will be a cylinder connected close to the engine. Usually, it is connected with two or more hex bolts. It should not be very difficult to locate. Alternately, you can find the large red cable connected to the battery’s positive terminal. Follow this cable away from the post until you find where it connects. The starter is made of two cylinders, the solenoid and the motor. Tap on the motor.
2. The Accessories Don’t Work
If the accessories such as the headlights, interior lights, dashboard lights, or turn signals stop working suddenly, check your fuses. The vehicle owner’s manual will tell you where to find the fuse box as well as which fuses go to which accessory. Also, the manual will tell you which size fuse to use for each accessory. Remove the old fuse for the feature that is no longer working. If the metal wire inside the plastic part has broken, the fuse needs to be replaced. Often, vehicles will come with replacement fuses, but if not, any store that sells car repair parts should have many options.
3. The A/C Isn’t Cooling
Air conditioners work by compressing a refrigerant called R-134a. Older vehicles use freon, which is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to find. If your air conditioner is working, but the air is not very cold, you might just need more refrigerant. You can buy a can of R-134a at most car repair stores. Follow the instructions on the can to refill the system. Be sure not to overfill your a/c.
These three common problems are the ones most easily fixed in an afternoon. However, if you have any of these problems and these solutions don’t help, then you need to consult a professional. Also, if you feel uncomfortable with any of the suggested steps, it is best to take your car to a mechanic. If nothing else, you do not want to make a problem worse.