Guide to Repairing your Car
Repairing your car might seem like a job best left to the experts, and in many cases it is, but there are also some repairs the average guy or girl on the street can make to their car. For instance, if you need an air filter change, or a replacement spark plug, then rather than calling in the pros, simply roll up your sleeves, follow our guide and get your car back on the road.
1. Air filter replacement
Many people wrongly assume that replacing the air filter is beyond their abilities. It’s not. The air filter is important because it removes impurities from the air to allow your engine to perform at its best. Over time, air filters become clogged, reducing your car’s power and increasing fuel consumption. Here’s how to change it:
- Buy a replacement air filter – this can be done cheaply and easily at your local car parts store. Simply ask for assistance to locate the right filter.
- Park your car on a level surface and make sure the handbrake is on and the ignition is off.
- Locate your car’s air box. This is usually situated near the engine along a duct that travels from the front of the car. Refer to your car repair manual for help finding it.
- Remove the air filter cover by unclipping the lid using the quick release system, or unscrewing the cover if it is held by screws.
- The air filter is the rectangular object made of cotton, paper or gauze. Simply lift it out of its housing and replace it with the new filter. This can be simply inserted into the housing. Make sure the rubber rim is facing up so that the air filter forms a seal.
- Replace the air box cover, making sure it’s straight and clipped into place securely.
- Shut the bonnet and away you go.
2. Changing a spark plug
Spark plugs are critically important to the normal running of your vehicle’s engine. They are used to start the engine and allow it to achieve good combustion, fuel economy and proper performance. Like any car part, they do wear out, but they are a cheap and relatively easy issue to fix:
- Let the engine cool for at least an hour or two if you’ve recently been driving. Only start work when the engine is cool to the touch.
- Refer to the car repair manual for help locating the spark plugs. When you open the bonnet you will see a bundle of 4-8 wires leading to different points on the engine compartment. The spark plugs are located at the engine end of these wires, under the plug covers they are attached to.
- Removing the spark plugs is simply a case of pulling the wire from the engine and gripping it as closely to the bottom as possible. You can then work it gently to reveal the spark plug, and remove the spark plug slowly from its housing.
- You now need to identify which spark plugs need to be changed. As a general rule, if the contacts are burnt out then you’ll need a replacement. Watch the following video if you need a little help identifying which spark plugs need to be changed.
- When buying replacing spark plugs you should consult your car repair manual or ask at your local car parts store. If in doubt, buying the same model spark plugs that were already in the car is a good way to go.
- Changing your spark plugs also gives you a good opportunity to check the wires for wear and to clean around the wire terminal using a wire brush.
- You should then replace the spark plug, being sure not to over-tighten it, and reattach the spark plug cables.
When you need to get back on the road, fast, learning how to repair your car can help to save you hundreds of pounds on the cost of professional repairs. Another way to reduce your motoring expenses is to get in touch with Tradex. If you have unique insurance needs, from driving an unusual vehicle, to family fleet we can help.
Call us today on 01708 678 400 for a free quote on your trade insurance.