By taking care and maintaining your car properly, you can avoid any unnecessary wear and tear of your vehicle, thus increasing the life of the vehicle.
The following is a preventive checklist one must follow after a car has traveled 50,000 kilometers to longevity of the vehicle.
1) Change Car fluids: Changing all your vehicle’s fluids is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
a) Air Conditioning Coolant: Changing your vehicle’s Air conditioning coolant is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Air Conditioning Coolant-
Step 1 – Attach Freon Can to Compressor
Using your owner’s manual, find the hoses to the air conditioning compressor in your car. Attach the shorter hose to the can of replacement refrigerant, but make sure not to completely tighten the connector.
Step 2 – Open the Can
Open the valve on the Refrigerant can to release air from the system, and tighten the connection as well as valve.
Step 3 – Draw the Refrigerant into the System
Start the engine and just turn the A/C on high. Holding the Refrigerant can upright, slowly open the valve on the short-end manifold. When the can appears to be close to empty, you need to slowly close the valve again and then carefully remove the can from the hose.
Step 4 – Add More Refrigerant
If you are adding refrigerant to your car for the first time, you might want to work in small steps. Repeat steps one through four as needed till the system is recharged. Otherwise, simply aim to recharge the system at full the first time through.
b) Brake Fluid:Changing your vehicle’s Brake Fluid is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Brake Fluid-
Car has to be jacked up for access to the bleeder screws. The bleeder screws generally look a lot like an old-fashioned grease fitting.
Once your vehicle is raised up and secured on jack stands, find, but don’t loosen, the brake bleeder screws on each wheel caliper or brake cylinder.
Find the master cylinder to remove the reservoir cap and old brake fluid with a vacuum pump. Then, Refill with new brake fluid.
• Attach the brake bleeder hose to the caliper bleeder screw as far as possible from the master cylinder (in other words, the right rear wheel) and put the other end of the tubing into a jar with about a 1/2″ of clean brake fluid in it. Loosen the bleeder screw and have someone press the brake pedal.
• Stubborn bleeder screws can be broken loose through trying to tighten them slightly first. Bleed until no air bubbles are visible while capturing the used brake fluid into the drain container. Tighten the bleeder screw and repeat this process as many times as necessary until no bubbles appear.
Add fresh brake fluid to the brake fluid reservoir and ensure the master cylinder reservoir never runs dry. Repeat step 4 while working closer to the master cylinder as you go. Refill the reservoir as required each time using only new brake fluid.
• After that, top off the brake fluid reservoir and replace the reservoir cap. Test the brake pedal before you drive the vehicle. You have finally finished a brake fluid change.
• Properly dispose of the used brake fluid at a facility near you.
c) Coolant/Radiator Fluid: Changing your vehicle’s Coolant is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Coolant-
Start by buying the type of coolant listed in your owner’s manual for your car. If your manual calls for an “extended life” coolant that isn’t available at the auto parts store, purchase it from the dealer. Don’t purchase a “universal” coolant. Using the wrong coolant can lead to premature component failure and void your warranty.
Raise and make sure to safely support the front end of your car on jack stands. Place a large drain pan below the radiator and remove the radiator cap. If your radiator is not having a cap, remove the pressure cap from the coolant tank. Then open the drain cock and just drain the radiator.
Drain cocks come in different styles—screw threads, quarter-turn twist, and quarter turn and pull. Plastic drain cocks become brittle with age and can easily break, especially when you try to unscrew a quarter-turn twist style. So, buy a replacement drain cock before you begin the job
Then, remove the lower radiator hose clamp and hose from the engine for draining the rest of the coolant. Use slip-joint pliers to remove spring-style clamps. If you have trouble accessing or releasing the clamps with a plier, buy a hose clamp plier. Reconnect and clamp the radiator hose and then reinstall the drain cock after draining.
Follow the coolant manufacturer’s directions to dilute concentrated coolant. Mix the coolant and water it thoroughly in a clean bucket. To prevent mineral deposits on internal engine and radiator surfaces, always make sure to use distilled water—never tap water. Leave the car raised while you are refilling the radiator to reduce the possibility of air pockets forming in the engine.
Slowly start filling the radiator or coolant tank with fresh coolant. Make sure the coolant is below the neck of the radiator or a few inches below of the full mark on the coolant tank. Start the engine and let it run. After the engine is warm, you’ll see the coolant level quickly drop in the radiator/coolant tank. That means the thermostat has opened up and it’s time to add more coolant to bring the level till the top of the radiator, or to the “HOT” mark on the coolant tank. Check your owner’s manual or service manual to see if your car needs a special air bleeding procedure. Inspect for leaks, shut off the engine, install the cap, lower the car and then, go for a spin.
d) Power Steering Fluid: Changing your vehicle’s Power Steering Fluid is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Power Steering Fluid-
Check your owner’s manual or repair manual for the fluid’s specifics. You need to use a power steering fluid or automatic transmission fluid (ATF) that is meeting the manufacturer specifications.
• Then, find the power steering fluid reservoir or power steering pump, located with the engine accessories. Look for a cap having a steering wheel symbol or reads something like “Power Steering Fluid Only” and remove the cap.
• Use a jack to lift the front of the vehicle till the front wheels are off the ground. Put jack stands underneath the vehicle.
Wearing gloves, just siphon the fluid out of the reservoir to your catch can using a fluid transfer pump or turkey baster.
Once the fluid level in the reservoir is too low for effective siphon, get in the vehicle and turn the key to accessories. This helps the steering wheel in turning but does not activate the steering pump. Turn the wheel lock to lock (all the way left, then all the way right), and the pump will help to push more dirty fluid into the reservoir. Siphon it out to the catch can.
Repeat Step 5 until there is no fluid left to be removed. Use shop towels for cleaning up any drips.
Optional: For a complete drain (a power steering fluid flush), get under the vehicle and start looking for a rubber hose connected to the power steering pump. Use pliers for removing the clamp, pull down the hose and let the rest of the fluid drain into your catch can. This can get messy, so make sure to have the towels nearby.
Put the funnel into the power steering reservoir neck.
Put in the power steering fluid. Use only as much as the owner’s manual recommends, and ensure not to overfill, as it will leak out while driving. Optional: Add the recommended amount of power steering conditioner/stop leak. This extra step makes sure of quiet pump operation.
Put the back cap on and turn the key to accessories. Turn the wheel lock to lock once again. Check the fluid and add as much fuel as required. You might able to see bubbles here. It is just the air in the system which is coming out. It’s a good sign; unlike brake fluid, power-steering lines will not have to be bled to purge air bubbles.
Remove jack stands and set the vehicle on its tires.
Start the engine and run it for about 15 seconds, again turning lock to lock. Check the fluid level to make sure air has bled from the system.
With the reservoir full, go for a five-minute drive around a few blocks, take several turns and listen for power steering pump whine. Check the fluid one last time. If it’s at the “Full Hot” line on the dipstick, you are good to go. Just remember to check for leaks in the next day or two.
e) Transmission Fluid: Changing your vehicle’s Transmission Fluid is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Transmission Fluid-
Step 1- Use a car floor jack for raising the vehicle off the ground using the manufacturers’ recommended lift points to avoid damaging the undercarriage.
While using a jack, exercise caution to ensure no accidents take place. Always secure the vehicle with jack stands, ramps or with cribs. We recommend installing wheel chocks to the opposite end being lifted for preventing the vehicle from rolling.
Step 2- Place a container or drip pan under the transmission oil pan for catching the old oil.
• Before draining the fluid, ensure the transmission is at normal operating temperature. Also, ensure there’s a fill spout for the new fluid; some newer transmissions can do away with traditional fill methods.
• Loosen the pan bolts to allow for draining. Once it becomes loose, the fluid will immediately gush out; the fluid might be hot, so use caution.
Tip to help keep things clean: Removing all but the last four bolts at the back of the pan helps fluid to drain with minimal splatter.
Step 3- Replace the transmission pan gasket as well as the filter.
• Ensure the transmission pan and transmission mating surfaces are clean, and that the old filter grommet and transmission pan gasket are removed before installing the new parts.
• Once completely drained, and with the new filter and gasket in place, just tighten the transmission pan bolts.
Step 4- For filling the new fluid, open the hood and pull out the automatic transmission fluid dipstick. Insert a funnel. After that, pour the new transmission fluid through the funnel.
• Check your owner’s manual for the recommended type as well as quantity of transmission fluid.
• Pull the funnel out and reinstall the dipstick and close the hood.
• Check the oil level to ensure it’s in the right operating range, which will be indicated on the stick. If it’s low, just top off with the manufacturer’s recommended oil.
• While checking the fluid, also check the condition of the fluid. If it’s old, the fluid tends to get darker, and in some cases, you can also smell a burnt odor; the latter might suggest the transmission could use service. Be sure to follow your manufacturer’s recommended fluid change intervals which are found in the owner’s manual.
f) Windshield Washer Fluid: Changing your vehicle’s Windshield Washer Fluid is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Windshield Washer Fluid-
A) Locating the Washer Fluid Reservoir
Step 1- The windshield washer fluid reservoir.
• The windshield washer fluid reservoir might be located in a number of places depending on the year, make and model of your vehicle. It is generally mounted along the side of the engine bay and can be found near the windshield along with the firewall.
• The windshield washer fluid reservoir will be marked with the help of a symbol that looks like a windshield with wipers moving.
• If you are unable to find the reservoir, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for guidance.
Step 2- Identify the low and full lines on the reservoir.
• Once you find the reservoir, identify the low and high fill lines along the side. Most windshield washer fluid reservoirs are made of translucent plastic with lines which are along the side that indicate how full with fluid the reservoir is. Verify that the reservoir is indeed low on fluid before you add more.
• If the windshield washer fluid reservoir is full but will not spray, it could be because of clogged lines.
• If the low washer fluid light came on in your car but the reservoir is full, it might be due to a faulty sensor.
Step 3- Open the cap and set it aside.
• Twist the cap counter-clockwise in order to unscrew it and lift it off from the reservoir. Set the cap aside someplace safe and make sure you don’t put it down in dirt or debris so nothing accidentally falls into the fluid when you return the cap.
• Dirt and debris can cause clogging in the windshield washer lines.
• Ensure the cap is not damaged. If it cannot be closed back onto the reservoir properly, the cap needs to be replaced.
B) Filling the Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir
• Utilize a funnel or the spout on the windshield washer fluid bottle to pour fluid into the reservoir until it reaches the “full” line on the side. Wipe up any spilled washer fluid with the help of paper towels or a rag.
• You would be able to see through the side of the reservoir to know when it is full.
Step 2- Avoid overfilling the reservoir.
• As fluid can expand when heated, it’s important that you do not overfill the reservoir. When the fluid warms due to the high engine temperatures under the hood, the pressure could result in the reservoir to crack and leak if there is too much fluid in it.
• Use a turkey baster for sucking extra fluid back out of the reservoir in the event you overfill it.
Step 3- Screw the cap back into place.
With the reservoir filled with washer fluid, just pick the cap up from where you stored it. Use a rag or paper towels for wiping the cap down to ensure there is no dirt or debris stuck to it.
Screw the cap back into place. With the reservoir filled with washer fluid, just pick the cap up from where you stored it. Use a rag or paper towels for wiping the cap down to ensure there is no dirt or debris stuck to it.
Turn the cap clockwise for re-securing it on the reservoir.
If the cap is damaged, you need to buy one.
• Get back into the vehicle and put the key into the ignition. Start the engine and engage the washer fluid in the manner you normally would ensure it is working properly.
• Most windshield washer fluid jets are activated through pressing or pulling the windshield wiper controls.
• If you are unsure how to activate your windshield wiper fluid jets, you can refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
C) Choosing Your Fluid and How to Add It
Step 1- Choose a type of windshield washer fluid.
• In order to be effective, it’s crucial that you are not using only water in your windshield washer fluid. Regular windshield washer fluid is made to prevent streaking and not to freeze if the temperature gets too cold. However, if you live in an area that frequently experiences extremely low temperatures, an anti-freezing washer fluid might be your best bet.
• Anti-freezing washer fluid can help in defrosting your windshield when a light layer of ice forms on it on cold mornings.
• Other windshield washer fluids can have chemicals that makes water bead off of the glass, allowing for increased visibility when driving in the rain.
Step 2- Mix concentrated fluid with water.
• If you choose to buy a concentrated windshield washer fluid, you will need to mix it with water before adding it to the vehicle. Like anti-freeze, concentrated windshield washer fluid can generally be mixed with water at a 50/50 ratio.
• A 50/50 ratio of water to fluid means half water and half fluid.
• Follow the directions which are provided on the specific brand of concentrated washer fluid you purchase.
• In order to get an accurate understanding of how much washer fluid is still in your vehicle, as well as how much you have added, it’s crucial that the reservoir sits level. In order to do so, park the vehicle on an even and flat surface.
• Parking at an angle, for instance, on a hill will make it difficult to read how much fluid is in the reservoir.
Step 4- Open the hood.
• To open the hood of your vehicle, find the release near the door frame on the driver’s side. The release is generally labeled with a small symbol that represents the front of the vehicle with the hood open. Pull the release towards you in order to disengage the hood latch. Once out of the car, you will have to release the safety latch as well.
• Release the safety latch through pressing on the lever beneath the hood or through the grill at the front of the vehicle.
• If you are not sure where to locate the release, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for guidance.
2) Change Engine Oil: Changing your vehicle’s engine oil is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Engine Oil-
A) Jacking up the Vehicle
Leave the car idle for 5-10 mins to get the oil warm. Be sure to exercise caution when draining warm or hot oil.
Exit the vehicle.
Tire restraints (wheel blocks) have to be placed on the tires that will remain on the ground.
If you are not sure, check the owner’s manual for specifics.
You will only have to do this on one side.
Put jack stands on jacking points.
Put force by rocking the vehicle to assure it is safe.
Let the car sit for at least 10 mins to cool down. Be careful as engine/exhaust could be hot.
B) Draining the Oil
Step 1- Gather your supplies.
You will be needing the appropriate oil filter as well as a new clean oil for your vehicle.
Open the hood and find the oil cap on top of the engine.
• Under your car, you will find a flat metal pan closer to the engine than the transmission.
• Find the engine drain plug.
• Verify it is the engine oil drain plug and not the transmission drain plug. If you are not sure which is which, look for the exhaust. The exhaust and the tube that travels from the front of the vehicle to the back is always attached to the engine. The oil pan and drain plug will be found below the engine.
Loosen the plug counter-clockwise with the proper sized socket or a crescent wrench if you have room to maneuver. You also need to remove and replace a paper or felt drain plug gasket. A metal washer can be used again if it is in good condition.
It will take some time for all the oil to drain out of the car. When the oil has ceased running out of the crankcase, you need to replace the plug. Put the new washer in the drain plug and inspect and clean 3 areas: drain, plug, and gasket. Place the new gasket on the drain plug.
C) Replacing the Oil Filter
Step 1- Locate the filter assembly.
• Filters are not placed in a standard position, so they can be on the front, back or side of the engine depending on the model.
• Look at the replacement filter you purchased in order to have some idea of what to look for. Usually, they’re white, blue, or black cylinders about 4–6 inches (10.2–15.2 cm) long and 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide, like a soup can.
• Some vehicles such as BMW, Mercedes, and newer Volvos might have a filter element or cartridge as opposed to the simpler spin-on type. They need you to open the cap of a built-in reservoir and lift out the filter element itself.
• First, try to get a good grip and twist slowly and steadily, counter-clockwise with your hand. If you are unable to remove the filter with your hand, you will need an oil filter removal tool to do this. Ensure the drain pan is underneath the filter before fully removing the filter. This will help to prevent spillage.
• In order to avoid spilling too much oil as you remove the filter, you can wrap a plastic bag around the filter. This will catch any oil that escapes as you remove it. Let it sit upside down in the bag to drain as you finish the job.
• Ensure the pan is still under the car catching the spilling oil. You will some of it trapped in the filter that will come out when you unscrew it.
• Dip the tip of your finger in the new oil and smear it on the gasket ring of the new filter. This will lubricate the gasket and create a good seal for the new filter, and make sure that you’ll be able to get it off the next time.
• You can also pour a tiny volume of oil into the filter prior to installing it. This will decrease the amount of time your car takes to regain proper oil pressure. If your filter is mounted vertically, you might be able to fill it almost to the top. If it is mounted at an angle then a small amount of oil will spill just prior to spinning the filter on.
You need to tighten the filter until the gasket touches, then a quarter-turn more.
D) Inserting New Oil
• The amount that you need to add is in the owner’s manual, usually listed under “capacities.”
• If you hold the bottle with the spout on top, it will pour more smoothly and without making bubbles.
• Ensure you’re adding the correct oil. Usually, you can safely add 10W-30 to most cars in a pinch, but you should consult your owner’s manual before adding oil.
• Don’t always rely upon the dipstick for an accurate measurement; it can be off, especially if the engine has just been run (the stick will read low because there is still oil in the galleries). If you want to check the stick accurately, you can check it in the morning, parked on a level surface, when it’s cold and settled.
• Check the area for any loose tools you might have left around and close the hood.
• Look under the car to ensure nothing is leaking. It’s a good idea to wipe up any spills that you can find. While it’s not dangerous to get a little oil on the crankcase as you’re pouring, it might smoke as the engine heats up. This will lead to that burning oil smell that can momentarily be frightening. It can also lead to bad smell from your interior.
Watch to make sure the oil pressure light goes off after start-up. Put your car in park or neutral with the parking brake on to look for any leaks or drips. If the filter and drain plug aren’t tight, they might leak slowly. Run the engine for a minute in order to get the pressure up and ensure you’ve installed everything correctly.
Optional: Reset the oil change light. This will differ according to the make and model of your car, so you should consult the owner’s manual in order to figure out the specific set of steps. On most GM cars, for instance, you’ll have to shut the car off and then turn the ignition on without turning the car over. After this, pump the gas pedal three times in ten seconds. When you start the car back up, the lights need to be reset.
Once the vehicle has been turned off again and the oil has settled for 5 to 10 minutes, just re-check the dipstick to ensure that the levels are where they need to be.
E) Disposing of Oil
Step 1- Transfer the oil to a sealing container.
• Now that you’ve changed your oil, you need to get the sludgy gunk into a more permanent container. Adding it to the new container that has just been emptied is the safest bet. Use a plastic funnel in the bottle and pour slowly to make sure you don’t spill any. Clearly, mark the bottle “used oil” so you don’t mistake it for the real one.
• Other options will include old milk jugs, windshield washer-fluid jugs, or other plastic bottles. Be careful whenever you’re using old food bottles to clearly mark it.
• Don’t put old oil in containers that contain chemicals like bleach, pesticides, paint, or antifreeze. These will contaminate the process of recycling.
Step 2- Ensure your oil filter is drained.
You can insert this oil (sometimes as much as 8 oz.) to the old oil. Filters are also recyclable, so you need to hang onto them.
Step 3- Find a designated collection site in your area.
Usually, all places that sell motor oil will have this information on hand. Retailers that sell more than 1,000 filters in a year need to accept old filters. Many service stations that do oil changes can also take your used oil, sometimes for a small fee.
Step 4- Try recycled oil next time.
Used motor oil is refined until and unless it meets the same certifications and specifications of virgin oil. The process requires less energy than pumping and refining new oil and recycling motor oil helps to reduce the requirement of imported oil. Sometimes, recycled oil also costs less than “new” oil.
3) Clean the Spark Plugs: Cleaning your vehicle’s Spark Plug is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to clean your vehicle’s Spark Plug-
• There is a normal build-up of soot from thousands of explosions in a day that collects on the spark plug. Every day, these thousands of explosions wear down the electrode slowly. The gap increases, which in turn, effects the fuel economy of your vehicle. Cleaning the spark plug will restore it like a new one.
• First, get your ratchet and a spark plug socket together. The spark plug socket has a rubber piece inside of it in order to protect the spark plug from the hard metal of the socket. You might need an extension in order to seat the socket on the spark plug correctly.
Socket wrench with extension.
Remove the boot in order to access the spark plug
Utilize an extension if necessary to seat the socket on the spark plug.
4) Check Clutch: Checking your vehicle’s Clutch is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your Clutch shows the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Your car may function poorly
It might start out slowly even though the engine is racing. Or it might be hard to get the car into reverse, or into gear at all.
2. Noises may indicate a problem
Your clutch pedal might make noise, or your transmission may make noise when the car is in neutral. You might hear squealing or growling when you push the pedal or grinding sounds when you shift gears.
3. The pedal may give you a clue
It might vibrate, chatter, or pulsate, be stiff and hard to push, fall to the floor and stay there, or feel loosely connected or “spongy.”
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Clutch-
You don’t have to go to an auto mechanic school just to learn how to change a clutch. Changing the clutch is quite easy as long as you are not worried about getting your hands dirty. To change the clutch on your car, here is what you need to do –
Step 1- Put Your Car in a Secure Position
Put your car into a safe position and then utilize a car jack to raise the front end of the vehicle. Ensure that you put the jack below the oil pan to support the engine of the car.
Step 2- Get the Transaxle Ready for Removal
You have to remove the transaxle of the car to get to the car clutch. To make it easier for you to remove the transaxle, just unhook the clutch cable and the positive battery cable.
Step 3- Unbolt the Engine Mount
• After unhitching the clutch cable and the battery cable, just remove the bolts that are holding the engine mount. You are required to undo at least one engine mount to get the transaxle out. After undoing one of the engine mounts, you need to separate the transaxle from the engine. To do this, you have to remove the bolts around the flywheel bell housing and then gently push the transaxle away from the engine.
• If the transaxle does not budge when you are pushing it for the first time, just push a little harder until the pressure plate is exposed.
Step 4- Remove the Clutch and Repair the Flywheel
• To get the damaged clutch out, you have to unbolt the pressure plate and then slide the clutch disc out. After removing the clutch, check the flywheel for any signs of wear and tear. If the flywheel has hot spots, you need to remove it completely and repair the damages. You might replace the flywheel with a new one if the old one is no longer serviceable.
• Remove dirt, grime, and debris from the crankshaft flange before you are about to replace the flywheel. Ensure that the flywheel is properly lubricated before you reinstall it.
Step 5- Replace the Damaged Clutch
After you have replaced the flywheel, install the new clutch disc. To do this, all you need to do is just simply slide the new clutch disc in place. Once the new clutch disc is in place, you need to replace the transaxle.
Step 6- Reinstall the Transaxle
For replacing the transaxle, align the transaxle with the clutch disc spindled hole. Gently move the transaxle forward until and unless the input shaft glides into the clutch disc’s spindled hole. Once the transaxle is in place, replace the bolts that you had removed earlier. Ensure that you tighten the bolts properly to avoid problems.
Step 7- Release the Jack and Lower Your Vehicle
After securing all the bolts on the engine mount and around the transaxle, you need to gently release the jack to lower the front end of your vehicle.
Step 8- Test the New Clutch
To ensure that your new clutch is working well, try to drive your car around the block a couple of times.
5) Check Wipers: Checking your vehicle’s Wiper is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Wiper is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Streaking on the glass
Wiper blades are made to press evenly onto the windshield and remove water, debris, and other objects smoothly on the glass. The result of the smooth operation is that there will be less number of streaks in the windshield. However, as the windshield wiper blades get old, worn out, or torn, they stop pressing evenly on the windshield. This reduces their ability to effectively clean the windshield and will leave streaks as well as spots on the glass when they operate. If you see streaks on the windshield frequently, it’s a good sign that they are worn out and have to be replaced as soon as possible.
2. Screeching sound when wipers operate
A smooth wiper blade is quite similar to a brand new razor: it clears off debris quickly, smoothly, and without a sound. However, when the wiper blade has outlived its lifespan, you’ll be hearing a screeching sound that is caused by uneven rubber gliding over the windshield. The screeching sound can also be a result of hard rubber that has shrunken due to excess exposure to sunlight and heat. Not only does this type of worn out wiper blade cause the screeching sound, but this could be scratching your windshield too. If you notice that your wiper blades are screeching as they operate from left to right, just have them replaced as soon as possible.
3. Wiper blades bounce as they operate
If you’ve turned on your wiper blades and they appear to bounce, this is might also be a warning indicator that your blades have served their purpose and need to be replaced. However, it might also signify that your wiper blade arm may be bent and needs to be replaced.
Replacing wiper blades is recommended by most of the vehicle manufacturers in every six months. A good rule of thumb, however, is to buy new wiper blades and have them installed at the same time you complete a regular oil change. Usually, car owners drive 3,000 to 5,000 miles every six months. It’s also a good idea to change your wiper blades with the changing seasons. For cold weather climates, there are specially coated and covered wiper blades that help to resist ice freezing on the blades themselves.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Wiper-
Replacing the wiper blades
- Flathead screwdriver
- Wipers specific to your vehicle
Step 1- Gather the materials.
• Before attempting to replace the wiper blades, it is crucial to have everything to make the job go quickly and easily. This will be a simple repair that requires very little prep, tools, or parts.
• Ensure that you purchase the wipers that are specific to your vehicle. Some cars need a different wiper size on the passenger side than on the driver side.
• A flathead screwdriver will be helpful if you have to do some extra prying at some point in the replacement process.
Step 2: Prepare your vehicle.
Park your vehicle and just turn off the ignition.
Step 3: Access the wipers.
Lift the wipers away from the windshield for gaining better access.
Step 4: Locate the wiper arm adaptor.
Locate the small locking tab on the wiper adaptor. This is where the wiper is connecting to the wiper arm.
Step 5: Remove the wiper blade from the arm.
• Press on the locking tab and just pull the wiper blade from the wiper arm. On some vehicles, you need to push down on the blade, and on others, you need to pull up on it.
• If necessary, you can use your flathead screwdriver for prying the blade from the arm, but take care not to damage the locking mechanism.
Step 6: Prepare the new wiper.
Remove the new wiper from its packaging and then match it to the old wiper.
Tip: Most new wipers will be coming with a pack of mounting adaptors. Find the adaptor that matches the one that was on the old blade and just place it on the new blade.
Step 7: Install the new wiper.
• Similar to the removal of the old wiper blade, find the wiper arm adaptor and lock the new blade into the wiper arm.
• When it is properly in place it will make a snapping sound which indicates that the locking tab has locked it in place.
• Return the wiper to its normal operating position against the windshield.
Step 8: Test the wipers.
• Turn on the wipers to ensure that they function properly and do not come off.
• Many new vehicles have advanced wiper systems. These systems need that extra care and steps be taken when replacing the windshield wipers.
• They have wipers that can adjust their position on the windshield over time. As the wipers wear out, the computer adjusts the placement of the wipers to keep them from wearing marks on the glass. Vehicles that have wiper systems such as these require that the computer be reprogrammed after replacing the wiper blades.Heading
6) Check Brake Pads: Checking your vehicle’s Brake Pads is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Brake Pad is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Noisy brakes
The most common type of symptom of bad or failing brake pads is noisy brakes. Brake pads can accumulate dust as they wear, which if allowed to build excessively, might cause vibration and squealing when the pedal is applied or let off. Squealing brake pads can also be caused due to worn pads that have worn down to the point where the wear sensor has come into contact with the rotor. Several worn brake pads, ones that have worn all the way to the brake pad backing plate, will make a scraping sound as a result of the metal-on-metal contact between the brake pad backing plate and the rotor. Depending on the extent of the wear, the scraping might be audible whenever the vehicle is moving forward or when the pedal is depressed.
2. Pulsating pedal
Another symptom of bad or failing brake pads will be a pulsating brake pedal. Severely or abnormally worn pads can make the pedal to pulsate when the brakes are applied. A pulsating pedal might also indicate a potential problem with the rotor as well, as the pulsation felt in the pedal is a result of the contact between the rotor and brake pad.
3. Poor brake response
Bad or failing brake pads can also lead to poor brake response. If the brake pads have been excessively overheated or severely worn, their capacity to slow the vehicle might be hindered as a result. Reduced brake response will take away overall handling and safety characteristics of the vehicle, especially during the heavy braking situations where the force and heat generated by braking are considerably higher.
Because the brake pads are essentially the direct component that actually slows down the vehicle, they are very important to the overall safety of the vehicle. If you suspect that your brake pads are worn, or are making noise, replace them.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Brake Pad-
Step 1- Safely lift your car on a flat surface
• A driveway or garage with a concrete floor is common.
• With the help of a floor jack and jack stands lift, support your vehicle with chassis, or on a uni-body chassis and choose the manufacturer’s recommended location (typically on the pinch weld)
• Make sure to try and rock your vehicle once it’s supported by jack stands—if you can move it, you need to re-position the stands
• Pro Tip: Just before lifting your car, just loosen the lug nuts a turn or so (do not remove them). This will make it easier to unscrew the lugs whenever your car is safely on stands
Step 2- Loosen & remove the lug nuts and wheels
• Spin each lug nut off with the help of your fingers, a star wrench or go NASCAR style with an impact wrench
• Pull each wheel off from the vehicle
• Pro Tip: If you’ve got a truck with big tires, watch your toes whenever you remove the wheels as they’re heavy
Step 3- Inspect your brake rotors
If they look smooth, you can proceed. If you see deep grooves or a rough surface, you should consider new rotors too. Now is also a good time for inspecting your CV shafts for torn boots on independent suspension vehicles since you’ll have easy viewing access.
Step 4- Remove the caliper hold-down bolts or pins
Once the bolts or pins have been removed, you will be able to slide the caliper and brake pads away from the rotor
Step 5- Compress the caliper piston and remove the brake pads
• Before compressing the caliper, just check your brake fluid reservoir and make sure it doesn’t overflow when the fluid level starts to rise. Fluid can be removed with the help of a syringe, baster, or simply dipping in a clean towel if necessary.
• Use a caliper compressor or a large C-clamp and squeeze or push the caliper pistons back into their bores. This will allow the appropriate room for the new, thicker brake pads to fit in a proper manner. Some people leave the old pads in place while compressing. On the other hand, others choose to remove them. If you have enough room, it can be beneficial to leave the old pads inside so that they protect the pistons and provide even surface area to apply pressure to.
• Remove your old brake pads. They’ll come out easily with a hand or with a small pry bar or flat head screwdriver.
• Clean the brake caliper areas where the brake pad makes direct contact and a small wire brush works well.
• Pro Tip: If you are having any trouble compressing the caliper pistons, you can loosen the brake bleeder screw on the back of the caliper, just enough in order to see a slight leakage. This will only make it easier to compress the piston. Close the bleeder once the piston is compressed.
Step 6- Mount your new brake pads inside of the brake caliper
• Apply anti-seize or brake component lubricant on the sides of the pads. This will help the brake pads to slide easily as the pad surface wears over time. You have to apply a thin layer of anti-squeal paste to the pad backing where the pistons contact and caliper make direct contact with the backing. This will reduce the likeliness of the pad oscillating under braking which will reduce or eliminate unwanted brake noise.
• Slide or clip the pads into caliper and be careful to touch the pad’s friction surface as little as possible.
Step 7- Grease your braking system
• Apply a light coating of high-temperature brake grease to caliper guide pins and any part of the caliper that is sliding against bare metal. Shiny spots in the caliper’s body are friction points, lubricate them. This will prevent squeaks & squeals that are caused by high-frequency vibration and will allow your brakes to wear evenly
• Keep the friction side of the brake pads or rotors as clean as it is possible to. If you get some grease on the rotor, you can easily clean it off with the help of a brake cleaner.
Step 8- Reinstall the caliper assembly
• Slide the brake caliper as well as the pad combo over the rotor. If it doesn’t slide over easily, the pistons in the caliper have to be pushed in further which will gain more clearance to clear the rotor.
• Fasten the caliper in place with the same hold-down bolts or pins that you previously removed if they’re in good shape. If they’re not, just install new bolts or pins
Step 9- Bleed your brakes
Your braking system functions at its best with no air in its lines. If you have opened the bleeder screws to compress the caliper pistons, air could have entered in it which is best to bleed those particular calipers. If you never cracked a bleeder screw, it is not entirely important to bleed the system.
Step 10- Put your wheels back on and hit the road
• Put each wheel back on and tighten the lug nuts with hands until they’re snug.
• Use the floor jack to slightly raise the vehicle and to remove the jack stands that are under it.
• Then, carefully lower your car onto its wheels.
• Using a torque wrench, tighten each lug nut to the specification in the pattern of a star.
• Follow the brake bed-in procedure that came with your pads.
• Enjoy your new brake pads
7) Check Brake Shoes: Checking your vehicle’s Brake Shoes is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Brake Shoe is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Abnormal Noises
Abnormal noises are one of the first symptoms that are produced whenever brake shoes are starting to go out. Excessively worn or dusty brake shoes will make abnormal noises. For example, excessively worn brake shoes might produce a scraping sound, while dusty or dirty brake shoes might make a squeaking sound. The noises might be heard as the brake pedal is depressed or released, or any time the vehicle is in forwarding motion in more serious cases.
2. Reduced Brake Response
Another symptom of bad or failing brake shoes will be a reduced brake response. If the brake shoes become excessively worn or overheated, their capacity to slow the vehicle might get reduced. This can result in a vehicle that takes longer to stop when the brakes are applied, especially during high speed or heavy braking situations.
3. Loose Parking Brake
A loose parking brake is another one of the symptoms of bad or failing brake shoes. For vehicles equipped with drum brakes, the brake shoes are what hold the vehicle in their place when the brake is engaged. If the shoes become worn or dusty, they might not be able to hold the weight of the vehicle without slipping. You will notice that the vehicle is sagging or rolling when the parking brake is engaged. This might also be caused by a parking brake mechanism that will need an adjustment. So we recommend the inspection of brakes.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Brake Shoe-
Release the emergency brake before starting the process and consult your repair manual for instructions which are specific to your vehicle. Improperly installed brakes can be quite dangerous.
Remove the brake drum and examine the brake assembly for signs of leakage. Leaky wheel cylinders have to be replaced. Take a picture or make notes about the layout before you proceed.
Clean everything with brake cleaner as well as a drip tray beneath. Allow the cleaner to dry, and then remove the top return springs. Leave one set of brakes assembled for the purpose of reference.
Remove all the hold-down spring assemblies. A special removal tool makes this job quite easy. Hinder the retaining post from turning by holding it from behind with your finger.
Remove the brake shoe return spring; your specially manufactured brake spring pliers will come in handy here.
Remove the assembly that captures the adjuster and then the adjuster itself. Note the adjuster’s direction as it has to go back in the same way. Lightly lubricate the threads with the help of high-temp grease.
Remove the shoes and emergency brake cable clip if it is required. Use a screwdriver for removing clip and pliers to reinstall.
• Clean the backing plate with brake cleaner and allow to dry. Apply a light film of high-temp grease to the flat spots where the shoes are contacting the backing plate.
Note: If you utilize a penetrating oil like WD-40 or PB Blaster, remember these are not lubricating oils. You’ll require a separate grease for lubrication of the brake backing plate.
Reverse the disassembly process with the help of new hardware and springs from your brake kit. Back down the adjuster so the drum can be easily installed. Clean the shoes just one last time.
• Reinstall the drum and adjust the brakes by turning the adjusting star and the drum at the same time until you hear the shoes contacting the drum. On some older vehicles, the final adjustment can be made through driving in reverse and hitting the brakes.
• Remember to wait a couple of hours after driving to start any type of brake work as the brake components get very hot.
8) Check Tire: Checking your vehicle’s Tire is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Tire is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
Sometimes, the tread of the tire develops a defect that can’t be balanced out. This is usually due to a minor separation of the steel and polyester bands inside the tire. When this takes place, it feels like the tire is simply out of balance, but no matter how many times you balance it, the problem remains. Unfortunately, this problem is non-repairable and the tire(s) will need a replacement.
Tires can make many noises, some are normal wear and tear while others might be a sign of a bad tire. A constant humming sound that changes according to the speed is a sign of chopped tread. The chopped tread is basically a sign of lack of rotation or a failing suspension component. A thumping sound is a sign of a flat spot in a tire. Flat spots are usually caused either by a defect in the tire or locking up the brakes. Neither of these noises can be repaired and the tire(s) will need to be replaced because the tread has been compromised.
Wobbling is that sign of a bad tire that is usually visible. Wobbling typically happens only at low speeds and you can physically feel the car bounce up and down and you also might see the steering wheel move. This is caused due to the severe separation of the internal belts. Whenever the belts separate like this, the pressurized air presses on just the rubber tread. This will cause a large bubble on the tread; that bubble is what leads to the wobbling.
4. Lack of Traction
Lack of wet traction is yet another tell-tale sign of bad tires. The loss of wet traction is because of the tread wearing down to where there are no more grooves in the tire. These grooves are made to allow the water on the road to escape from the tread. When the water cannot escape, hydroplaning takes place. Hydroplaning is when the water causes the tire to lift off from the road and lose all traction. At this point, one needs to replace the tires(s).
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Tire-
Place the rim flat on the ground with the front side of the rim facing upwards.
Lubricate the beads of the tire with the help of dish detergent and lay the tire on the rim. The beads of the tire are the inside edges that are present around the hole.
Open the back (or bottom) bead of the tire by pushing or standing on the sides of the tire. Locking the pair of vise grips onto the edge of the rim will help in installing or uninstalling the bead by keeping the tire separated from the rim.
Slide a screwdriver or just pry bar between the bead of the tire and rim and pull backsliding the bead over the rim. Do this in short spaces by working two or three inches at a time.
• Use the same process to install the other side (or bead) of the tire.
• While inflating the tire, you will hear loud pop noises as the tire seats itself in the rim. Make sure you don’t not over-inflate it. Once you see that both sides of the tire are firmly seated in the rim, just finish inflating the tire to the manufacturer’s specifications.
• The proper air pressure has to be written on the sidewall of the tire, or you can check the owner’s manual.
Warning: Over-inflating an automobile tire can be dangerous as it might cause injuries.
9) Check Suspension Noises: Checking your vehicle’s Suspension is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Suspension is making the following noises, you need to replace it-
1. A knocking sound when driving over bumps or turning corners
This likely means your worn-out shocks are making your coil springs wildly vibrate against your vehicle’s chassis.
2. A grunt or a squeak
On bumps and turns, grunting or squeaking means your front steering mechanism might be wearing out. This could potentially make you lose control of your car’s steering.
3. Rusty door hinge-like noises
Bad ball joints in your suspension have been described as sounding like rusty door hinges whenever your car bounces up and down or rocks back and forth.
4. Annoying rattles
Rattling sound from your car could be a symptom of something bigger and needs to be rectified.
10) Check Suspension Bushings: Checking your vehicle’s Suspension Bushings is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Suspension Bushings is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Metal wear down
Some car parts that are made of metals as well as worn down suspension bushes can result in metal-to-metal contact of suspension parts. This contact can cause stress to these parts and cause them to wear down too. The parts that can be damaged tend to be more expensive and harder to replace than the suspension bushes, which is why it is so important to replace them as soon as you realize they are worn out.
2. Lack of control in steering
When the bushings are worn out, drivers might experience a lack of control in steering, as well as a bumpy ride. Controlling and breaking is an important part of any vehicle, and so suspension bushes need to be working to maximum efficiency. “When bushings wear out, the driver might feel funny noises from the front of the vehicle or hear clunking or rattling noises on rough roads, when turning the wheel or in hard braking. Drivers might also experience poor handling or loose steering,” he says.
3. Abnormal Creaking and Clunking Noise
Worn suspension bushes can also cause abnormal creaking and clunking noises while driving. Suspension bushes that are no longer able to carry out their function properly can result in parts clunking together when they should not be or can result in a stiff movement that results in creaking.
He adds that failure of rear suspension bushings may be harder to detect as they do not involve the steering system and might be less affected by cornering.
4. Premature Tire Wear
Like bone-on-bone contact, worn bushings can allow metal-on-metal contact. Worn control arm bushings can make the vehicle’s front end to slip out of alignment and once a car is out of alignment, one of the very first indications is premature tire wear.
“What feels or sounds like worn shocks or ball joints, or another suspension problem, might not be the fault of the part itself but the bushing that cushions joints and mounting points. A thorough suspension bushing inspection will reveal the culprit. For example, a loose stabilizer bar will allow more body lean (and perhaps noise) in turns, but if the bar is not bent or broken, only the bushings need a replacement.
Dried out bushings can also be a source of squeaks. Initially, older cars had grease fittings which require regular lubrication along with oil changes while the more modern “permanently lubricated” bushings in today’s cars have simplified regular maintenance.
The downside is that they are not always permanent and once a bushing of this metal-encased design dries out, it may have to be replaced entirely to solve the squeaking.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Suspension Bushings-
A) Removing the Control Arm
Step 1- Put on your protective eyewear and gloves.
Safety comes first whenever you are working on a car. Ensure your eyes and hands are protected from any sharp debris or rust that can come from worn parts.
Step 2- Remove the wheel.
If you’ve never removed a wheel before, the easiest method for using a jack is to raise the car, then place the tire iron on the lug nut, turning it counter-clockwise until the lug nut comes off. Repeat this on all of the lug nuts, and then use both arms for pulling off the wheel from the car.
Step 3- Locate the ball joint and release it using a large (20-24mm) wrench.
• The ball joint helps to connect the control arm that you’ll be removing to the steering knuckle. It looks like a circular bearing in a socket which is a bit like the joint of the human hip.
• Release the cotter pin and loosen the ball joint nut with the help of your wrench. You can then use a hammer for striking the spindle and release the taper fit, completely disconnecting the ball joint.
Step 4- Release the sway bar link using a 14-15mm wrench.
• This link connects the control arm containing the bushing to the sway bar, so you’ll have to remove it. Utilize the wrench to loosen and remove the link completely.
• You might also have to strike the connection with a hammer to release the taper fit, depending on what kind of car you have. If the link does not come off after loosening, try striking it with the help of a hammer.
Step 5- Use a 19-22mm wrench to loosen and remove the control mounting bolts.
• The bolts might have a nut on the opposite side which will need to be secured with another wrench before removal. Make sure the wrench is secure on the bolt before loosening it in order to avoid rounding the bolt, as it will likely be very tight.
• After the bolts are removed, the arm joint will likely be less stable, so you need to hold it in position as you are removing the second bolt
Step 6- Pull on the lower control arm to remove it.
If the arm is still in the mounts, just pull it towards you while slightly wiggling it up and down to remove it completely and freely access the bushing.
B) Replacing the Bushing
Step 1- Mark the orientation of the bushing.
The bushing has two places where the rubber casing attaches to the outer metal ring. Mark these two places with the help of a permanent marker on the control arm. This will help you replace the bushing in the right direction.
Step 2- Remove the bushing with a hydraulic press.
• This is the simplest way to remove the bushing. Put the bushing part of the arm into the hydraulic press and activate the press. Listen closely as there will be a popping noise when the bushing moves, and the arm will become loose when the bushing is completely out.
• Be careful not to damage the control arm through applying too much pressure with the press.
Step 3- Use a threaded press to remove the bushing.
• This is a less effective method than a hydraulic press but can still remove the bushing with the help of some force. A ball joint press, or threaded press, will have a cup that is equal to the size of the bushing.
• Set up a driver that has the same diameter as the outer shell of the bushing, and utilize a wrench to operate the screw-jack to push the bushing out of the control arm.
Step 4- Remove the bushing manually through striking it out with a hammer.
• This is the most difficult and least effective method to remove the bushing, but if you do not have a hydraulic or threaded press, it will work with some patience. Be careful not to hit the control arm, focusing each strike on the bushing till it flattens enough to be slid out.
• You will be needing a hydraulic press to install the new bushing, so you might be better off waiting until you have access to one
Step 5- Push out the excess rubber using a socket.
• You will be able to do this by hand without any problem. You’ll be needing to remove the rubber before you can install the new bushing. Utilize a socket that fits into the bushing, and push the rubber out.
• If the rubber is stuck, just try separating it from the sides of the control arm using a flathead screwdriver.
Step 6- Place the new bushing in the control arm.
• Ensure it’s facing the same direction as the previous bushing, using the flex part of the bushing as the point of reference. It might be a snug fit, so you will have to press a bit to get it into the control arm.
• Don’t apply lubrication to the bushing to get it into the arm, as this can make it slide out while it is in use
Step 7- Use a hydraulic press to secure the new bushing.
You will be needing access to a hydraulic press to replace the new bushing. Simply place the control arm on the press and activate it, ensuring the arm stays in place to prevent it from mis-aligning the bushing.
C) Reinstalling the Control Arm
Step 1- Slide the control arm back into the mounts.
You might have to move the arm up and down while pushing. Be careful to align the bolt holes while you’re working.
Step 2- Replace the bolts by hand.
Place the bolts and tighten them slightly with the help of hand, but not all the way, to avoid cross-threading. You will further need to tighten them with a wrench after you have inserted and tightened the ball joint.
Step 3- Tighten the ball joint.
Put the bolt into the control arm and tighten the nut. You can then go back and tighten the rest of the control arm bolts properly.
Step 4- Reinstall the sway bar link and nut.
Change the sway bar link into the control arm and tighten the nut.
Step 5- Insert and tighten the mounting bolt.
Generally, there will be a specific torque that the manufacturer requires this bolt to be tightened to. This ranges from 66-75 foot pounds, and you should be using a socket and extension to do this.
Step 6- Replace the lower ball joint castle nut and cotter pin.
Tighten the lower ball joint castle nut with the socket and extension. Reinsert the cotter pin into the holes which are aligned by the ball joint.
Step 7- Reinstall the wheel onto the car.
Place the wheel back up onto the control arms, and replace and tighten all the lug nuts with a tire iron. When you can’t move the tire, iron stops turning easily and the lug nuts are securely fastened.
11) Check and adjust the following Car Drive Belts-
a) Serpentine Belt: Checking your vehicle’s Serpentine Belt is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Serpentine Belt is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Squealing noise from the front of the vehicle
If you notice a squealing noise that is coming from the front of your vehicle, it could be coming from the serpentine belt. This could be because of slippage or misalignment.
2. Power steering and AC not working
If the serpentine belt completely fails as well as breaks, then your car will break down. In addition, you will see the loss of power steering, the air conditioning will not be working, and the engine will no longer be cooling like it used to be. If the power steering fails when the vehicle is moving it could lead to serious safety issues. Preventative maintenance is one way to ensure your belt does not break while you are driving.
3. Engine overheating
Since the serpentine belt helps to provide power to cool the engine, a failing belt can cause your engine to overheat as the water pump will not turn. As soon as your engine starts overheating, just have it inspected by a mechanic because it can lead to a breakdown and cause damage to your engine if it is left to keep overheating.
4. Cracks and wear on the belt
It is a good idea to physically inspect your serpentine belt regularly. Check for cracks, chunks missing, abrasions, rib separation, uneven rib wear, as well as damaged ribs. If you notice any of these, it is time to change your serpentine/drive belt.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Serpentine Belt-
Take a good look at your repair manual as well as your belt routing diagram under the hood before beginning. If you need to, you can go online and find the belt routing schematic.
Just look at the way the old belt wraps around the pulleys. Take the new belt in hand and practice to match the routing.
• Find the self-adjusting tensioner and know that you need to be careful when releasing tension from the belt. The back side of the belt runs against the tensioner, so it will appear more like a smooth roller than a pulley.
• Position the wrench or special removal tool on the tensioner and make sure you have room to remove the tool once the tensioner is released.
• Release the tension and you’ll notice that the tensioner tool is a flat bar rather than a ratchet. This will help you get into the tight clearance for the tensioner’s roller.
• This will help you get into the tight clearance for the tensioner’s roller.
• Remove the old belt and check the tensioner pulley for any wear by using your hand to spin it before installing the new belt. Noisy, loose or overly tight tensioner pulleys will have to be replaced. Also, check all pumps and idler pulleys to ensure they move freely too.
• Check the idler pulleys as well as the pulleys for the water pump, alternator, smog pump, A/C compressor and any other accessories for wobble or deflection.
• Install the new belt and line up all belt ribs in the pulley grooves. Make sure that the belt is not twisted.
In the end, just tighten the tensioner in the end.
b) Timing Belt: Checking your vehicle’s Timing Belt is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Timing Belt is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Ticking noise coming from the engine
The timing belt is attached by way of a series of pulleys to the engine’s crank as well as camshaft. The crankshaft helps to power the engine’s connecting rods which are attached to pistons found inside the combustion chamber. The camshaft operates the cylinder head valves and rocker arm assembly, whose purpose is to send fuel into the combustion chamber and expel burnt gases out of the exhaust manifold. When the timing belt starts to wear out, it might create a ticking sound inside the motor. This warning sign can also be an indication of low oil pressure or the engine not having the proper amount of lubrication.
2. Engine won’t turn over
If the timing belt is broken, the engine can’t turn over or ignite. When you turn the key, you may hear the starter motor engage, but since the timing belt operates the crank and camshaft, it will not turn over. Obviously, if the car doesn’t start, calling a mechanic is usually the first step. However, if the issue is due to the timing belt being broken, it might also result in other internal engine compartment damage. In a lot of cases, the timing belt breaks while the engine is running. Some of the typical damage caused to a vehicle due to a broken timing belt consists of damage to cylinder head hardware (rocker arms, push rods or valves), damage to crank bearings or oil pump inside the oil pan.
3. Engine misfires
A worn out timing belt can also impact the engine’s fire rate. The timing belt is attached to pulleys that drive the crank and camshaft as we’ve indicated above. However, sometimes the belt can slip on the camshaft drive and cause one cylinder to open or close earlier than it is supposed to be. This might cause a misfire situation and if not replaced soon, it might result in catastrophic engine damage.
4. Oil leaking from the timing belt cover in front of the motor
It’s also obvious that the engine will leak motor oil from the timing belt cover. The cover is secured by a series of nuts and bolts that might become loose over a period of time. Another issue that will cause the oil to leak is when the gasket between the engine block and timing cover wears out, is cracked or has been improperly installed and is pinched. Leaking oil from the timing belt cover usually results in engine overheating as well and can premature wearing of the timing belt.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Timing Belt-
Step 1- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Make sure you have your radio security code (if equipped) or any preset radio stations on a piece of paper to allow for quick resetting once repairs are made.
Step 2- Remove the alternator belt.
Depending on your model, you might need to remove the serpentine belt to get to the timing belt. Loosen the nuts and push the alternator if necessary to create slack on the belt and remove it.
Step 3- Remove accessories like the power steering pump, alternator, and air conditioning compressor so you can access the timing belt cover.
Do not remove pressurized fittings from the air conditioning compressor, most can be unbolted and pushed out of the way without even discharging the system. Remove the valve cover assembly to access the timing belt.
Step 4- Remove the distributor cap if your vehicle is equipped with one.
• You might have to pry apart the retaining clips to free the distributor cap, as well as remove any screws holding the cap in place.
• Some modern cars with electronic ignitions don’t have any distributor. They contain a cam and crankshaft position sensor instead. The main purpose is to determine Top Dead Center (TDC) on the first cylinder. Consult the engine repair manual as these will differ by model.
Step 5- Line up the timing marks.
• With a wrench or socket on the crankshaft bolt rotate the engine until the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley is aligned with the 0° mark on the timing scale.
• Verify the distributor rotor is aligned with the index mark on the distributor housing indicating the rotor is in position in order to fire the number one cylinder. If not, just rotate the engine again.
• Don’t interfere with engines until and unless you’re sure the belt is still intact. If you still have not bent your valves with a broken timing belt, you will likely do so if you spin the crankshaft without the camshaft being spun.
Step 6- Determine if the harmonic balancer pulley has to be removed for removing the timing belt cover.
Usually, the cover saddles over the end of the crankshaft, and this pulley will not allow you to remove the cover without first removing it. Note that an additional seal will be required to reinstall it if this is the case and special crankshaft pulley and gear removal alignment tools may be needed.
Step 7- Remove the bolts or screws holding the timing cover in place.
Remove this cover from the engine. Some engines consist of a two-piece timing cover. Remove any components or accessory drive belts that are interfering with removing the timing belt cover. This varies by model; consult your service manual for determining which parts need to be removed from your vehicle.
Step 8-Check for proper alignment of the crank and camshaft timing marks.
• Many engines consist of a dot or index line on the pulleys and/or sprockets that must be lined up with corresponding marks on the block, cylinder head, or accessory shaft. On some of the engines, the index mark on the camshaft sprocket aligns with the parting line of the first camshaft-bearing tower.
• This is very crucial if you’re replacing a timing belt that has broken. Consult your service manual for the correct alignment procedure of your vehicle and correct any misalignment before installing the new timing belt. These marks might also be displayed on a label on the timing belt cover on some engines.
Step 9- Check the area around the belt for signs of oil leakage.
Look around the camshaft, crankshaft seals, valve cover as well as the oil pan. Just check for any coolant leak from the water pump and water pump by-pass hose. Leaks need to be repaired before the new belt is installed.
Step 1- Loosen the mounting bolt(s) that hold the belt tensioner using any special cam holding tools, while following the service manual.
Do not remove the tensioner completely until and unless you are replacing it. Instead, pivot the spring-loaded tensioner away from the belt and then just retighten the mounting bolt(s) to hold the tensioner in the loose position.
Step 2- Examine the tensioner pulley for any damage such as dents or cracks.
• Spin the tensioner pulley and listen for a rattle or humming noise that will indicate loose or worn bearings. Uneven wear at the rear of the old timing belt can indicate a misalignment between the tension pulley and timing belt due to worn bearings.
• If there are any indications of damage or worn bearings are found, replace the tensioner pulley. The permanently lubricated tensioner pulley bearing can become dry, worn, loose, broken or can freeze up, so the best practice is to replace it if it’s not new.
Step 1- Slide the belt off the sprockets.
With the tension on the timing belt relieved, the belt needs to slide easily off the sprockets. Timing belts that have been used for a long time might stick in the pulley grooves and require some gentle prying with a screwdriver to get released. Inspect the timing belt pulleys and water pump for any replacement before proceeding to install the new belt.
Step 2- Replace with a new belt and reassemble.
• Torque the timing belt to the proper specifications and pay special attention to “torquing” specs on the engine manual, particularly the crankshaft pulley mounting bolt which usually has a very high torque spec.
• If the car is equipped with a hydraulic timing belt tensioner, its removal might be required to compress the piston back into the cylinder after a ratchet is released. Place it into a vise and compress until and unless holes line up to allow the insertion of a holding pin. Once the pin is in place, the tensioner can be re-installed when the belt is installed with the pin pulled in order to allow the tensioner to place tension onto the timing belt.
c) V-Belt: Checking your vehicle’s V-Belt is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s V-Belt is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
Most of the time, you might be hearing the chirping and squeaking sound when the need for v-belt replacement arises. If you are able to find splits, cracks, damaged edges, missing chunks, it is time for the belt to be replaced with a new one. Oil is one of the major causes of damaged belt and thus requires a quick replacement.
Moreover, you might also hear such sounds in case of a loose belt. Most of the vehicles come with belt tensioner nowadays that automatically adjusts the belt, but some require manual adjustment.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s V-Belt-
A) Finding and Evaluating Your Belt
Step 1- Park your car in a place with good lighting.
This will help to make it easier in working under the hood. You can also utilize a drop light or other supplemental lighting if you deem it necessary.
Step 2- Locate the belt in question.
Most belts can be found on the side of the engine block. Serpentine belts are easily identified as they weave through several pulleys. V-belts are looped around two pulleys and there are two or more belts that are overlapping at a point, forming a V-shape. You should replace the belt:
• If it is frayed or it is tearing.
• If it has cracks or is missing chunks.
• If the belt is having coolant or oil on it.
• These conditions make the belt difficult of properly running its components, which can lead to major problems for your engine.
B) Removing the Old Belt
Step 1- Locate a routing diagram.
• This can generally be found posted underneath the hood of your car or in your service manual for serpentine belts (S-belts). If you drive a car that is a much older car, you might have a multi-belt design (V-belt). Either way, if you cannot find a routing diagram you need to take a picture or draw one before removing the belt(s).
• Make sure to make note of whether the grooved side or flat side of the belt makes contact with each pulley or not. It is crucial not to put the new belt on backward.
Step 2- Release the tension on the belt.
There are a few things to remember while releasing the tension on a belt-
• V-belts do not have an automatic tensioner. They can be removed through adjusting the position of one of their pulleys to release tension.
• To loosen a pulley, just turn it with a wrench or specialized tool. By convention, turning it anti-clockwise will loosen the pulley.
Step 3- Remove the belt.
Once tension is released, the belt will slide off from the other pulleys easily.
Step 4- Check the pulleys.
One reason for a damaged belt will be a malfunctioning pulley. You need to check the tensioner and all pulleys that the belt contacts. If one wobbles or does not spin freely then you might need to replace it.
C) Running the New Belt
Step 1- Compare the new belt to the original.
Since these belts should fit exactly right, the new belt needs to be of the same length and width as the original. The only difference needs to be general wear on the old belt. The best way for ensuring a perfect match is to compare part numbers.
Step 2- Run the new belt.
You need to use your routing diagram from above to make sure that the belt is run properly. Pulleys with grooves are intended to meet the grooved side of the belt, but some flat pulleys are meant to be driven by the flat backside of the belt. When you are done, the belt should weave through the pulleys contacting each pulley only once.
Step 3- Tighten the belt.
• You want to ensure that your belt has the proper amount of tension on it.
• If you are working with a V-belt design then you will be needing to tension the belt manually. First, find the middle of the belt’s longest stretch.
• Move that point from side to side and the belt should have 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) of movement in either of the directions. Any less and the belt will get too tight and vice versa if it is a little more.
• Check your vehicle manual for more information.
D) Double Check Your Work
Step 1- Step back and look at the belt.
Is it matching the routing diagram exactly and looking like the belt you took off? If the belt does not fit properly or is not installed correctly, it can damage several important components of your car such as the water pump, alternator, etc.
Step 2- Start your car.
If possible, it will be best to have a friend to start your car while you are watching the belt. You need to ensure that it is running smoothly with no squealing or slipping. Be careful to keep your hair as well as clothing away from any moving parts under the hood of your vehicle.
Step 3- Troubleshoot any problems.
If you notice anything wrong like slack in the belt or squealing, consult your routing diagram again. You might need to re-run the belt or make sure that it is properly tensioned and check again to be sure all accessory pulleys are turning freely, including the tensioner.