Let’s face it: car repairs aren’t included in that neat little rental package of yours. For automobile owners, routine car maintenance is a necessity. Depending on the type of vehicle owned, combined with the amount of mileage on the engine, it can be quite costly. Not every bit of maintenance requires a mechanic, though. In fact, some of the most basic repairs can be done on Millennium grounds for just a fraction of the price that dealerships and mom and pop shops charge. Chances are you have some of required tools and equipment already on hand. Below are three easy car repairs that can be done at an apartment complex.
Repair 1: Replacing Windshield Washer Fluid
If your windshield is dirty, it’s habitual at this point to flip the lever on your steering wheel inward for a quick wash. This is particularly common in the winter months when the roads are chock full of slush, mud, and road salt. When you run out, it’s a hassle-free fix – simply lift up your hood and find the cap with the windshield label.
The cap should be located either near the bottom left corner or bottom right corner of your engine bay. Washer fluid – which comes in a variety of colors and typically costs under five dollars – can be poured directly into the tank after removing the cap. To lessen the chance of spilling outside the tank as you pour, use a funnel. Do not overfill. Tightly seal the cap back on to the tank.
Repair 2: Replacing Engine Coolant
Engine coolant is a vital fluid for overall engine health and performance. Not only does coolant prevent your car from overheating in hot weather, but it keeps it from freezing in cold weather. Generally, coolant should be changed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Like washer fluoid, coolant comes in many different colors – typically green, orange, or pink. Before placing coolant in your car’s reservoir, check your owner’s manual to determine the specific type of coolant needed. You should also perform a coolant flush. Your engine coolant reservoir is hard to miss. It’s a large plastic tank with a black or blue plastic cap that lies adjacent to the radiator. Press down and twist firmly to release the cap. You might hear a slight ‘hiss’, since the cap is pressurized.
Once the cap is removed, pour in the new coolant. We recommend using a funnel to avoid spillage, and monitor levels closely in order to avoid overfilling. Firmly tighten the cap and let your car run for 15 minutes to remove the air from the cooling system. Failure to keep tabs on coolant levels could result in a check engine light, so keep an OBII (on-board diagnostics) scanner handy just in case.
Repair 3: Replacing The Battery
Car won’t start? Is there a ‘clicking’ sound when you try to start it? Odds are it’s the battery saying sayonara. It’s another easy fix that mechanics and dealerships turn an easy profit for. If you have the original battery in your car, look for the group size on the front of the battery. Otherwise there are online tools that can help you determine what battery best fits your car.
Remove the old battery from the cables using a crescent wrench or a socket wrench. If using a socket wrench, make sure you are choosing a 10mm socket. Check the cables for any corrosion, and secure the new battery into its slot. Tighten the bolts.