When you bought a car in the 1950s it came with a manual that not only gave you its specifications and capacities but also taught you how to service it! Today’s vehicles come with detailed instructions on infotainment and heated seats. Auto repair? Take it to your nearest ‘stealers’ and have your Amex card ready. Don’t get us wrong. Some things are best left to your favorite South Florida auto mechanic.
If you are ‘handy’ here are three basic auto repairs that you can do, we’ve ranked them in order of difficulty from easiest to most tricky.
Paint Touch Up
As Forest Gump so aptly put it, ‘sh*t happens’. Sometimes you have the misfortune of it happening to your auto. A loose stone kicked up by a truck tire smashes into your pride and joy and removes a chunk of the paint. Or a particularly nasty tree (usually of the Pinus genus) deposits gum and wrecks the clear coat. If you don’t have a chip and scratch policy with your auto insurance, the next best option is a paint touch up kit. Most of the time you can get one of these in the matching paint color code from your dealer or a reputable body shop.
Start your auto paint repair by ensuring that the your auto is clean. If you’re dealing with damage caused by bird poop or tree sap, use a shampoo for tar spots. Once the vehicle is clean and dry, park it in the garage or shade. The touch up kit should consist of a little bottle that looks like nail polish. Make sure you shake it well. Apply it carefully to the damaged area, making sure you overlap your coat with the surrounding good paint. Use more than one coat if necessary. Remember this only works with smaller blemishes. For larger chips, see your favorite auto mechanic.
Battery Health Check
A failing battery can cause all sorts of weird and wonderful electrical gremlins by confusing the onboard computer. The easiest way to check this is to buy a cheap multimeter off Amazon (or if you don’t do Amazon, your local AutoZone).:
- With the engine off, pop the hood and locate the battery.
- Set the multimeter to the voltage (V) setting and touch the red (positive) probe to the terminal of the battery marked ‘+’. Connect the black (negative) probe to the other terminal marked ‘-’, or anywhere on the metal body of the car.
- If the battery is good, the display on the voltmeter should be anything between 12.6V and 12.9V.
Anything below these values is suspect. Next test the charging system:
- Start the auto.
- Repeat step 2 above.
- If the charging system is working the voltage displayed should be somewhere between 13.8-14.2V.
The final auto repair you can make is an oil change. If you have never done this before, we suggest asking ‘that’ friend to give you some tips. First find out how much oil your auto takes, and what viscosity. Choose your oil carefully. We recommend Mobil 1 Oils. Buy the correct amount of oil and a new filter. If your vehicle requires a filter wrench, pick one up from AutoZone.
Also, check that you have the right spanners for the filter and sump plug. Run the vehicle until it gets warm. Park it on a level surface and place a large tray underneath to catch the old oil. Make sure the engine is off. Undo the sump plug taking care not to scold yourself with the hot oil. Allow it 30 minutes for all the oil to drain out before removing the filter and replacing it with a new one. Replace the sump plug. Using a funnel pour the correct amount of new oil into the engine through the filler screw. Stop often to check the oil level on the dipstick. Do not overfill the sump. This can lead to expensive exhaust system damage. Wipe up any spilled oil using a rag. Start the auto, don’t rev it, and let it warm up.
Auto Repair Specialists in Pompano Beach
Auto repair isn’t difficult, provided you are confident and have a little experience. If you are struggling or simply want some advice, pop into our Pompano Beach shop and chat with our friendly team. We’ll have you back on the road in no time! Your car deserves the best. Call us today at (954) 746-0488.