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 5,000 kilometers to longevity of the vehicle.
1) Check Engine Oil: Checking your vehicle’s Engine Oil is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to check your vehicle’s Engine Oil-
Look for a rag or a scrap of old fabric to use when checking your oil. An old t-shirt can work.
Check owner’s manual. If you are extremely unfamiliar with what is under the hood of your vehicle, you need to find a detailed description of where your dip stick is located in your owner’s manual.
It is best to check your oil when it is warm. A great time to check your oil is after a drive around your neighborhood.
Make sure that you turn your vehicle off before beginning the process of oil check.
Pop the vehicle’s hood. Pull the handle found on the inside of your vehicle, usually on the side of the driver side door, and the press the lever located underneath the center of the hood. Ensure that the hood of your car is securely propped.
Locate the vehicle’s dip stick. On most models, the dip stick is found on the left side of the engine. The dip stick mostly has a yellow or orange circular handle. When you pull this particular handle, a long piece of metal will slide out of the engine.
Generally, the cap of the dip stick is yellow.
Once you find and remove the dip stick, clean it with your rag and slide it back in. Ensure that the dip stick is inserted all the way back in.
• After that, remove the dip stick one more time. Look at the end part of the dip stick. Some models will have a line marked “full” while others will have a textured area that shows the capacity of the oil pan. The oil will appear amber in color. It should be fairly easy to discern the oil level just by looking at the dip stick.
• The low level of oil can lead to serious engine damage.
If the dip stick indicates that the oil level is normal, then re-insert it.
If the dip stick indicates that the oil level is low, touch the end of the dip stick with two fingers and try to feel the texture of the oil. If the oil is clean, you can add new oil with a funnel. If the oil is gritty, it is important to have your oil changed as soon as possible.
The oil in the picture looks black and gritty, it’s about the time to change it.
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.
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.
2) Check Air Filter: Checking your vehicle’s air filter is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
You can check your car’s air filter by following these simple steps-
In fuel-injected vehicles, the air filter is located inside a rectangular box called a cold air collector box. The air filter is generally close to the front of the vehicle, near the inside of one of the fenders. Air moves through an air intake tube into the air filter that is inside the box. This air gets inside a vehicle through the vehicle’s front.
The cold air collector box houses the air filter.
On older fuel-injected engines and carburetted engines, the filter is found in the air cleaner which is present on top of the engine. As you can see here, it’s large in size and round in shape with a snorkel sticking out of the side to facilitate the intake of fresh air.
On carbureted vehicles, the air filter is inside the air cleaner.
• Your owner’s manual should have instructions on how to find your air filter.
• To find out if your air filter needs to be replaced, you have to lift it out (it isn’t fastened down) and hold it up to the sun or to strong light. You might see the light streaming through it? If not, try dropping it lightly, bottom-side down, on a hard surface in order to jar some dirt loose.(Don’t blow through the filter — you can foul it up that way.)
• If you drop the filter a few times and it’s still dirty to see through, you need to replace it with a new one.
• If not, try dropping it lightly, bottom-side down, on a hard surface in order to jar some dirt loose. (Don’t blow through the filter — you can foul it up that way.) If you drop the filter a few times and it’s still dirty to see through, you need to replace it with a new one.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Air Filter-
• The air cleaner has a large air inlet duct (also called the air intake hose) which is connected to it. Loosen the hose clamp that seals it to the box, and then undo all the screws, clamps, or wing nuts that hold the lid of the box in place.
• Put the fasteners that you removed somewhere safe so that they don’t roll off into oblivion. Open the lid of the box and you will find an air filter inside. Lift out the old filter and take a look at it.
Some old vehicles have permanent air filters, and some off-road vehicles have more-complex filters with wet and dry elements. Clean and replace these according to the instructions present in your owner’s manual.
• To figure out whether your air filter has to be replaced or not, just hold it up to the sun or to a strong light. You should see the light streaming through it? If not, try dropping it lightly and bottom side down, on a hard surface. Doing so should jar some of the dirt loose.
• If the filter is still too dirty to see through after you’ve dropped it a few times and it looks like it just needs a bit of cleaning, you can try to clean it. If that doesn’t work, you have a new one.
• To clean a pleated air filter use either an air hose to blow the dirt off (not through) it or a vacuum for sucking it out. For both methods, handle the filter gently for avoiding crushing the pleats.
• Keep the nozzle of the air hose or vacuum cleaner several inches away from the filter and make sure you don’t jam it up. And if you’re using compressed air, do it at a distance from the vehicle in order to avoid blowing the dirt around under the hood.
• And if you’re using compressed air, do it at a distance from the vehicle in order to avoid blowing the dirt around under the hood.
If the interior of the box is fouled with dust or sand, before you clean the box, just paste some duct tape over the open end of air intake hose so that the dirt can’t get in. After that, either use the compressed air hose to blow the dirt out of the box or the vacuum cleaner to suck it out.
When the cleaned filter or the new filter is in place, put the lid back on the box and replace all the stuff that held it. Finally, remove the duct tape from the open end of air intake hose and use the hose clamp to reattach it to the box.
3) Check AC/Cabin Filter: Checking your vehicle’s AC/Cabin filter is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your AC/Cabin Filter shows the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Poor Air Flow
An excessively contaminated cabin air filter cannot filter the incoming air as effectively as a clean filter would. This will lead to restricted airflow for the AC system. Additionally, this will cause the vents to blow with noticeably less amount of force, reducing the overall cooling capacity of the AC system, and will also put an additional strain on the AC blower motor.
2. Unusual Odor from the Vents
An excessively contaminated filter might produce a dusty, dirty, or musty smell. The smell might become more pronounced when the air is turned on and can make the cabin uncomfortable for the passengers.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s AC/Cabin filter-
Step 1- Open the glove box.
Open the glove box and take out all the contents.
Step 2- Remove the limiting stop arm.
The limiting stop arm is located on the right side of the glove box. You need to slide it off the pin.
Step 3- Release the glove box.
Grasp the front and back of the glove box, squeezing them towards each other until and unless the side clamps pop free. Now that the sides are free, you can drop down the entire glove box in order to see the faceplate to the cabin air filter channel.
Step 4- Remove the old cabin air filter.
Lift the latches on the sides of the faceplate and slide it out of the way to open the filter compartment. Now you can simply pull out the old cabin air filter but be careful not to scatter any dust, dirt and trash from the filter into your car. As you remove the old filter, notice the direction in which the arrows are facing. They show the direction of the airflow.
Step 5- Clean filter chamber and check seals and gaskets.
Before you install a new cabin air filter, vacuum the filter chamber and wipe it with a damp cloth to remove any stray contaminants. Check the condition of gaskets and seals to ensure they don’t need changing as well.
Step 6- Install the new cabin air filter.
Ensure the new cabin air filter matches the old one. Double check to make sure the arrows on the new filter are pointing in the same direction as the old filter that was replaced, and slide the new filter in.
Step 7- Replace and secure the glove box.
Once the filter’s in place, you need to replace the faceplate, snap the glove box back in place, reinstall the limiting stop, and put everything back in the glove box.
4) Check the following Fluids: It is important to maintain the fluid levels in your vehicle in order to keep it running. Different fluids in a car are as follows-
a) Air Conditioning Coolant: Checking your vehicle’s Air conditioning coolant is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If the air conditioner in your car is no longer blowing cold air, you need to replace the Air conditioning coolant.
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: Checking your vehicle’s Brake Fluid is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Brake Fluid is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
Are you finding yourself pressing the brake pedal all the way or almost all the way to the floor of your car? There could be several reasons for this. The likeliest cause will be low brake fluid.
Are you pressing the brake pedal two or more times for bringing your car to a halt? The reason behind this will be low brake fluid.
Is your dashboard brake light on and is there the tell-tale sign of a brake fluid leak under your car? The spot will most probably be clear to brown and slick. Also, check your owner’s manual to place your brake fluid reservoir under the hood. The Low brake fluid in the reservoir (at or below the “MIN” or “minimum” line) can point out towards braking issues.
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: Checking your vehicle’s Coolant is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Coolant/Radiator Fluid is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Visible Coolant Leak
If you see a puddle on the ground or smell coolant in the car, you’ve discovered a serious sign of a coolant leak that has to be repaired before it causes serious damage to your engine. Look for a tell-tale red, pink, green, or blue puddle under your car or inside of your car, as well as residue on any component of the cooling system.
2. Overheating Engine
When coolant leaks, air will be taking its place. Because air is compressible, the boiling point will lower which will allow some of the coolant to flash into steam. Air and steam are great insulators and will help to prevent the cooling system from expelling excess heat. If the temperature gauge is heading toward the red zone or you see a temperature warning light, you might have a coolant leak, even if you can’t see it.
3. White Smoke
If you see white smoke in the exhaust, even after warming up the vehicle, this might indicate an internal engine leak, perhaps a cracked block or cylinder head or head gasket failure. Under pressure, coolant might be forced into the cylinder, flashing to steam every time the cylinder fires.
4. Bubbling Radiator
Bubbles in the radiator or in the coolant overflow tank signal that combustion gases are being forced into the cooling system. This is a sign of a coolant leak, but might also be a result of cracks in the engine, head, or head gasket.
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: Checking your vehicle’s Power Steering Fluid is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Power Steering Fluid is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Noisy Steering
If your power steering is making all kinds of noise, especially when you are moving slowly, like in a parking lot, just check the fluid level in the power steering reservoir.
2. Jerky or Jumpy Power Steering
Sometimes your steering wheel might feel jerky as you try to turn it smoothly from one direction to the other. This will be most noticeable in the parking lot while moving slowly or not at all.
3. Hard to Turn the Steering Wheel
As power steering systems lose fluid, they start to work less efficiently. Eventually, you’ll start to feel the difference on the steering wheel end, which will make it much harder to turn the wheel than it normally is.
4. Screeching Steering
If it sounds like cat fighting (or cats mating) under your hood whenever you turn the steering wheel, you might need to check your power steering fluid.
5. Puddle or Stains Under the Vehicle
If you notice a puddle under the vehicle in your usual parking spot, it could very well be the power steering fluid. Although any number of liquids might be the culprit, power steering fluid is a prime candidate.
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: Checking your vehicle’s Power Steering Fluid is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
Follow these steps to check your vehicle’s Transmission Fluid-
Step 1- Open the hood of your vehicle and find the transmission fluid dipstick.
Check your owner’s manual for determining if the vehicle needs to be running or off for accurately measuring the transmission fluid.
Step 2- Pull the dipstick out with the handle and wipe any oil residue off the stick. Re-dip the stick till it’s fully seated, and pull out to see the oil level.
Wiping it makes sure you’re measuring the accurate oil level and not any residue that might falsely indicate higher levels.
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: Checking your vehicle’s Windshield Washer Fluid is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your windshield washer jets don’t spray anything when you are engaging them or the low washer fluid light comes on in your vehicle, it is likely time for refilling the windshield washer fluid reservoir.
All these fluids work together to keep your car efficiently running.
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.
5) Check all Lights: You need to check the following vehicle lights–
a) Head-light: Checking your vehicle’s Headlight is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Headlight is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Dim Headlights
Over time headlight bulbs can wear out and start to shine noticeably dimmer than when they were new. A dim headlight will not provide proper illumination and is also an indication that the bulb is approaching the end of its service life.
2. Headlights Flickering On and Off
If the headlight bulb filaments get damaged or excessively worn it can cause the bulb to flicker. A flickering bulb will generally burn out soon after the issue has begun. A flickering bulb can also be an indication of a bad harness or connection, so a proper inspection is highly recommended.
3. Headlight is Out
With regular use, headlight bulbs usually burn out and cease to function. A headlight that is out is usually an indication that the headlight bulb has burned out and needs to be replaced. It is recommended to replace them in pairs if possible because the opposite headlight might also be near the end of its service life if one of them has burned out.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Headlight-
- New light bulb(s) — Ensure you get the right type of bulb for your vehicle.
- Alcohol wipes and tissues (to clean and hold the new headlight bulb)
Step 1- Find the headlight holder
You’ll access your headlight bulb by your engine compartment, rather than from the front of the car. Open your hood and find the headlight near the front of the vehicle. It will be in a bulb holder, with a power connector (usually three wires) leading towards the bulb.
Step 2- Remove the power wires
• The power wires are attached to a plug at the base of the headlight, and held with the help of a plastic catch, a metal clip or a screw cap, depending on your vehicle. The plastic catch will have a small lever on the top. Push down on it while you pull the plug out.
• If you’re dealing with a metal clip, pull it up and away, and make sure to hold onto it as you pull.
• If you’re dealing with a screw cap, you can unscrew it through turning it anti-clockwise.
Step 3- Remove the old bulb.
Once the wires have been disconnected, you need to remove the back of the headlight holder and the old bulb by holding onto the base. In some cases, you might need to rotate the bulb a bit to get it free.
Step 4- Clean and install the new bulb.
• Handle the new bulb with tissues or gloves as you don’t want the oils from your skin getting on it. You also need to clean it with an alcohol wipe before you install it. Once the bulb is ready, just stick it into the base of the plug.
• If it’s installed correctly, none of the bulb’s rubber gasket will be displayed. Once the bulb is in, you can place the headlight holder back in place and plug the power wires back in. Ensure you test the bulb by turning on your headlights.
b) Tail-Light: Checking your vehicle’s Tail-Light is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Taillight is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Tail Lights do not Work When the Headlight Switch is Activated
Different automotive manufacturers make different tail lamp bulb configurations. In many cases when the lights don’t work when the headlight is turned on, it is due to a burnt out or short-circuited tail lamp bulb. Unfortunately, this is usually not discovered until a police officer or somebody else informs you of this problem. A basic rule for this is to check this once per week. Simply turn on your headlights, walk to the rear of your vehicle and make sure that both lights are active and illuminating. If one or both of them are burned out, you need to replace them.
2. Brake Light doesn’t Work When Brakes are Applied
The tail lamp bulb can also illuminate the rear brake lights. This item is very difficult for the individual to inspect, but it is always a good idea to have somebody to help you complete this important safety inspection. Every week, take a few minutes during your day or evening to check if all brake lights are working. If the parking lights work (meaning the rear lights that turn on when the headlights are active), but when the light does not work after pressing the brake light, you need to replace the tail lamp bulb.
A common issue people have is that the parking lights are working, but when the brakes are pressed, the tail lamp bulb completely turns off. This might be caused by a short in the tail light system or a fuse.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Taillight-
Put the key in the on position.
Turn on the headlight switch.
Standing outside the vehicle, check the rear tail lights.
Find the burned out tail light bulb.
Switch off the Headlight switch and turn off the key.
Access the tail
Take out the wiring
harness from the tail light lens assembly.
After that, disconnect
tail light bulb from the wiring harness socket.
Replace it with a new tail light bulb.
Finally, reconnect the wiring harness to the tail light lens assembly.
To confirm proper installation of the new tail light bulb, put the key in the on position. Then turn on the headlight switch to see if the tail light bulb is working.
c) Indicator/Signal Light: Checking your vehicle’s Indicator/Signal Light is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Indicator/Signal Light is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Turn Signal Indicator in the Instrument Cluster Comes on Solid and does not Blink
This can be checked while your vehicle is stationary in your driveway or other safe location. To check to see whether it’s the front or rear turn signal bulb that has failed, you need to walk around the vehicle after selecting a turn signal direction to see which of the turn lights (for the turn side you selected), front or rear, is not illuminated. For example, you make a solid turn indicator for a left turn and the front turn bulb is constantly on will indicate that the left rear turn light bulb has failed.
2. Turn Signal Indicator Blinks Very Fast
To check whether it’s the front or rear turn signal light bulb that has failed, you need to walk around the vehicle (stationary and in a safe location of course) to see which of the turn lights (for the turn side you selected), front or rear, is not illuminated. For example, a rapidly flashing turn indicator for a right turn with the right front turn bulb is blinking rapidly but no left rear turn bulb illuminated will indicate that the right rear turn light bulb has failed.
3. Both Indicator Light Bulbs on the Left or Both Turn Light Bulbs on the Right Do Not Blink
This is a common failure condition of the turn signal switch itself and you need to get it rectified as soon as possible.
4. Both Right and Left Turn Indicators Do Not Work Properly
You might observe this if the hazard warning/turn signal flasher unit, which is integrated, itself has failed. This can be verified through pressing the hazard warning button in your vehicle.
CAUTION: Perform this test off the road in a safe location!
If the left and right turn signal indicator lights do not flash like they usually do, it might indicate that the hazard warning and turn signal flasher unit have failed.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Indicator/Signal Light-
Step 1- Access the Bulb
• Getting to the turn signal bulb is generally the most difficult part of this project. There are two ways to access it: through the trunk or through the tail light cover. Always look at the exterior of the car first in order to save yourself from extra work and a headache. Look either for screws or bolts holding the cover in place. If none of them are visible, then look inside the trunk to find them.
• And, if it is a front turn signal bulb, the access might be under the hood of the car. Remove the plastic cover through turning the screws or bolts to the left. If the turn signal bulb is accessed from inside the trunk or under the hood, then you will encounter with a plastic cover. Twist the tab or knob on the cover in order to remove the cover.
Step 2- Remove the Bulb
Once you have access to the turn signal bulb, it becomes easy to remove it. Gently grip the bulb with a rag and push it in and turn it towards the left. This is a kind of a quick release system. Then, you simply have to pull the bulb forward to remove it.
Step 3- Clean
Check the socket where you took the bulb from. Look for any indications of corrosion, dirt or general imperfections. Any of these things can lead to an improper contact which will render the turn signal bulb useless. Use a wire brush to rigorously scrub the area. This will remove any dust or debris that is inside the socket.
Step 4- Replace the Turn Signal Bulb
• Not all bulbs are created equal and they can vary from car model to model. Push the new bulb into the socket and turn it to the right in order to tighten it. Before you replace the cover you always need to test the bulb. Turn the car on and test the signal through pressing the brake pedal and turning on the hazard lights as well as the corresponding turn signal.
• If all seems good, you can replace the plastic cover (if accessed from inside the trunk or under the hood) or the turn signal cover. Ensure to tight all of the screws or bolts that you had removed previously.
d) Interior/ Dome Light: Checking your vehicle’s Interior/Dome Light is a quick and easy maintenance that any driver can do themselves.
If your vehicle’s Interior/Dome Light is showing the following symptoms, you need to replace it-
1. Dome Light is Dim
If the dome light bulb wears out it can cause the light to shine less brightly than it usually does. The light might shine noticeably dimmer if the bulb is near the end of its service life.
2. Flickering Dome Light
If the dome light bulb filament wears out or becomes damaged, it might cause the dome light to flicker rapidly when it is turned on. The dome light will continue to flicker until and unless the bulb completely fails.
3. Dome Light Does Not Function
If the dome light bulb burns out or fails, the dome light won’t function until the bulb is replaced.
Follow these steps to change your vehicle’s Interior/Dome Light-
Step 1- Take Appropriate Precautions
• Interior light covers are usually of two types: lights that attach to the opening, which houses the light through a snap-on mechanism, and lights that use screws for attachment. In both cases, practice caution in the removal process in order to avoid damaging the light covers or lens.
• In addition, you need to wear gloves while you work in order to avoid contact with the sprayable cleaning solution, thus preventing allergic reaction or skin rash. Ensure to avoid skin contact with halogen bulbs as the oil found on the skin can damage and reduce their working life. After you have gone through these precautions, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2- Remove the Interior Light Cover of Lens
• In you have snap-on light covers, use a flathead screwdriver in order to budge out the cover. Insert it in a corner, and very carefully wriggle the screwdriver around it until the light cover falls out. Be gentle with old light covers as they break quite easily.
• In case of lights that use a screw attachment system, use a head screwdriver in order to undo these screws and remove the light cover. Cars usually have one light on the roof and one on each of the doors. Remove each one of the covers and move on to the next procedure.
Step 3- Remove the Interior Lighting Bulbs
• Most of the newer models of cars utilize halogen bulbs for interior lighting. To remove these bulbs, you have to use a cleaning cloth to wrench them out of their sockets. Avoid any type of skin contact with halogen bulbs.
• If your car manufacturer utilizes screw on bulbs for lighting, remove them by twisting in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction depending on the make and model of the car. After you have done this, you can move on to cleaning the light cover and light sockets.
Step 4- Clean Light Covers
Spray sparing amounts of liquid cleaner on to the light covers with your gloves on and scrub off grime using a soft cleaning cloth. Avoid the use of paper towels for cleaning because they can scratch the plastic light covers. Spray on some cleaning solution on the cloth and utilize it to clean the innards of the socket into which the bulb is to be installed. After the cleaning process is complete move on to the next step.
Step 5- Finish Up
Reinstall the replacement bulbs and the light socket through going over the related steps above in reverse order. Turn on the interior lighting after replacement and notice the marked difference in brightness.
6) 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
7) 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
8) 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.
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.