Car Troubleshooting 101: Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Granted, cars can be intimidating, and there always seems to be something new that goes wrong. But they are still machines that can be fixable, even for the layman with a little knowhow. Here are some car troubleshooting tips any idiot can do. Save money by doing more work yourself, or at least know when it’s time to take your car to the mechanic.

For starters, your best tool when it comes to troubleshooting your car is the vehicle computer. Sites like AutoMD and maybe even your local mechanic offer some great apps when it comes to car diagnostics, including instructions on what to do, a handy feature when you’re stranded on the side of the road.

Car Repair in the Age of Information

And don’t forget to check the Internet. Wonder if a repair is worth your time or you should call a professional? RepairPal offers a handy reference on the cost of many repairs. Then you can ask that pivotal question: How much is my Saturday afternoon worth?

Another great way to troubleshoot car problems is a piece of cardboard. Place it under the engine of your car and see what coolants leak out. Oil is not such a big deal. It just means your engine has the miles. Leaking brake fluid or radiator fluid? You better call a mechanic.

And don’t forget online videos. They’ll walk you through every step of the process, right from your phone. Showing is much better than telling when it comes to understanding car repair.

Car Diagnostics Apps: Hack Your Driving Style to Better Fuel Efficiency, Safety

Looking to better understand the diagnostics system of your car? Look no further than your smartphone. It holds more computing power than it took to send Armstrong to the moon, so yes, it can diagnose your car too. More importantly, it can diagnose you, specifically your driving habits. This can help you not only drive safer, but smarter and more efficiently. Save money on not only gas, but brakes, clutch, tires, and engine repairs. For example, the Kiwi Drive Green is an efficiency driving coach that gamifies your driving style to deliver the best fuel efficiency. The app won Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award in 2008.

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