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 Misc. Things to know about taking care of your vehicle as an owner; DIY

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Posts : 16
Join date : 2010-11-12
Age : 34

PostSubject: Misc. Things to know about taking care of your vehicle as an owner; DIY   15/11/10, 12:23 pm

Lets see. There are a few things that really do affect the way that your car runs, Good or Bad.

1. Seat belts.

- Seat belts save your life.
::: You should make sure there are no tears in your seat belts, and also, make sure that your seat belts can actually by themselves without help, spring back to attention. What I mean is that it must be a self-retracting device.

If it does not, you will possibly have dents from jamming your seat belt in your door, when it did not retract.

There is some very good news for you about this, if this is the case.

Most Car manufacturers are required to make sure that their customers are safe and secure. On that note, they offer LIFETIME WARRANTY on the entire seat belt, buckle, and its seat belt retracting mechanism FOR FREE! I am not sure about tears in the belt's fabric.

I myself just recently drove over to my local Honda Dealership, and told them to inspect my seat belts, and to please replace them once they realized that they were not working. Well, they gave me the excuse "Well.. they do seem a bit dirty, we will clean them up for you. Please come back in 4 days if they are still not retracting properly". I did so, they ordered the parts for me, then I came back a few days later after the parts arrived, and installed them FREE in their shop. BRAND NEW SHINY BLACK SEAT BELTS.

Well, my only set back at the Honda Dealership was that I slammed my forehead on my door frame while coffee'd up, looking for paperwork, and it really did hurt. So I turned around, and slammed the crap out of the side of my car. There is now a 1x1 foot bash, thanks to an Aluminum shell.

A suction cup kind of took care of that

They will probably not replace the belt buckle locking mechanism for you; the thing that you insert the buckle into. They didn't for me :::

Other things to make sure your car has:

2. Serpentine belt:

Piece of rubber connected to your A/C unit, Engine, Alternator, ect. If this belt breaks, your car will first of all STOP COMPLETELY, and it MIGHT cause damage/collision to your engine. Replace it if it has ANY cracks in it. Yes you might need a mechanic with a tensioner and skills to put a new one on for you. Job cost with part on the east coast: $40.00 or so.

3. Spark plugs:

2-4 inch long metallic things that spark inside your engine to ignite portions of fuel that are shot in by your fuel injectors, for each cylinder.

To get your spark plugs out you will need: Can of air, spark plug remover (magnet inside of a wrench socket; magnetizes to spark plug when you unscrew it so it comes out), and of course, the socket wrench.

Pull out the spark plug wires. Use the can of air to blow out ANY debris. You do not want crap inside of those holes, or you could screw up your car, but don't worry too much. Take the spark plugs out with wrench. Check online for Good/usable VS Bad/un-usable spark plugs, so you know whether or not to replace them, but check them all.

4. Spark plug wires:

Yes, if you see ANY corrosion inside the spark plug wire connection endings, replace them. Bad contact for electronic pulses into your engine firing every second = BAD. Get them replaced. Remember to write down exactly where the spark plug wires are connected. IF you have a 4 cylinder engine, you will see 4 spark plugs connected to both the engine, and the ignition coil with "1, 2, 3, 4" labeled on it. If you don't put them back correctly, the timing of sparks in your engine will be off, ultimately messing up your engine, and making it stutter a lot.

5. Fuses:

If your cigarette lighter or some other instrument is just NOT WORKING and you've even replaced what isn't working a bunch of times, well, either you need your eyes checked and there really is a busted fuse, or you've replaced the fuse over and over again, ultimately meaning you have a "Short" somewhere in the wiring. This is due to improper grounding, bare and rusted wires out in the elements, ect.

It is safe to say that you might want to replace busted fuses anyways, even if you don't experience any problems. The "Fuse Box" is most likely located under the drivers side dash in its own little compartment with its own door, or, sometimes it is located behind the left drivers side change dish. Remove the change dish gently with care or it will break. Also, there is another fuse box under the hood where the engine is, sometimes near the battery, and sometimes above or below your window washing fluid reservoir.

6. Spare tire / Tire iron (for removing lug nuts, that keep your tire on your car), and Tire Jack and Things To Have For Emergencies:

You should always have a spare tire, tire lug nut remover, Tire Jack, and Tire Jack Rod in your trunk, usually found under a sleeve/cover that makes your trunk's floor flat with carpet on it.

Also, you should have Flares.

I went as far as duck taping a Tracfone to my Trunk lid with 80 minutes on it. That isn't a must, but definitely comes in handy if you are screwed and having to walk 5 miles or more for the next gas station on a country road.

Fix-a-flat tire inflater also comes in handy, but not really a must. (Foam injection to inflate flat tire with foam and air in a can).

7. How to put a spare tire on:

Pull on your Emergency Brake. Place tire jack under car where metal chassis is, but in an area close to where your blown tire is. Use your Tire Jack Rod to jack up your car; twist the rod while its connected to your tire jack in a CLOCKWISE motion. Continue jacking up your car with the Tire Jack till your tire is off the ground completely. Take your lug nut remover and remove lug nuts, and remember, COUNTER-CLOCKWISE. These nuts are nuts. They are HARD to get off sometimes. Try standing on the lug nut remover, or sometimes, violently kicking it until its loose. Remove your busted tire and put it aside. Place your spare tire on to replace the busted tire. Put the lug nuts on in a star drawing fashion. Never screw them back on 1 by 1. Put them on with your fingers at first, then go and tighten slightly with the lug nut iron; top nut, bottom nut, left, right, diagonal one, top, bottom, right. Keep doing that till the lug nuts are snug, then tighten them firmly.

Pull off your E-Brake, then drive off! (Don't forget that busted tire! Put it in your trunk).

8. Brake Pads, Calipers, and Rotors:

Usually made of Ceramic, brake pads lay on top of your rotors when you press on your brake, but they are connected to your Calipers. The Calipers are connected to the wires that your foot presses onto. The calipers close with the brake pads connected to them onto the rotors. Yada yada ya.

If all you hear is very heavy and loud metal grinding, and yes you will definitely notice this when you press on your brakes, then you definitely need new brake pads or a major adjustment, and also by now, you probably need your rotors sanded to have a smoother surface for the brake pads to hug onto. That is if you have heard that sound for quite a while (1 month or so).

If it's a high pitched squeal and you just got brake pads, just wait a little bit. It will stop after a while. Never slam on your brakes to stop the noise. Bad idea, take it from me.

Although, sometimes, and this has happened to me, your calipers will break. If your calipers break, then this means they are stuck and constantly collapsing onto your rotors, ultimately not only wearing away your brake pads and ruining your rotors surface and calipers combined, but you are losing GAS MILEAGE, and also, you are probably straining your engine.


How to remove that aweful Carpet Smell, or How To Remove/Paint/ or Replace Your Carpet

::: Ever wonder why you still have that horrible smell coming from your Carpet?
Even after you professionally cleaned it? (Professionally means at "Car Pool")

Well, that is because the problem does not stop at the surface of the carpet.
The problem lies between the carpet, and the car's metal that keeps you in between the road, and inside the car.

I have seen MAGGOTS, and other things that can only be described as MOSS and RED SLIME.

You can solve this problem by EASILY taking your entire carpet out, and cleaning the underbelly of the carpet, and cleaning the metal in your car.

You WILL need to take your car's seats out, but probably not the back ones, AND yes, your ENTIRE center console; Heap of plastic that is a secondary glove box, cup holder, and change holder, where E-Brake is located. There are these plastic nails that keep the carpet down. You need to remove them VERY carefully, I insist. Pull them out slowly as possible, or you can run the risk of tearing the hole that the plastic nails fit into, ultimately having a carpet that is not held in properly; carpet that moves: Annoying.

These plastic nails are located:

* Near the fire wall, where your feet go in the front driver and passenger seating area.

* On the edges of where your center console resides.

* Big circles that look like they hold the center console in place, near the feet area. Those are also plastic nails

* Sometimes I find that there is a long white plastic clip that is the length of your doors, that looks like something you would find in a Binder UNDER the plastic colored molding, inside the vehicle, next to the doors, that the doors close into. Be careful pulling all of that apart, because if those things are not properly secured, there MIGHT be RATTLING SOUNDS from there later.

Also, if you feel darling and up to it, grab yourself a few cans of Carpet Spray Paint that MATCHES your own from Pep Boys or Auto Zone, sometimes Walmart, and give your carpet some light even sprays of spray paint, for as many times as you think is necessary. 2 - 4 coats roughly.

- Dirt and Paint surely do not mix well. I find that high pressure washers do the trick, but ONLY if you are careful by keeping the nozzle at least 1 foot away, and the carpet is OUTSIDE YOUR VEHICLE. Yes there are some crazy people out there. Or, just do some x's and circles with some Carpet Foam Cleaner, scrubber, and a large towel to dry/wipe off residue

Prop up the carpet with a ladder and clothes pins, or you could just lay it flat on the ground.

In between coats, ONLY WHEN DRY, Use a Wire Whisk Brush, and lightly brush the carpet ALL OVER, so that you fluff it up a bit, ultimately being able to get paint into all of the unpainted crevasses, in your continued coats. Try to aim sideways left, right, or front when spraying every other coat. That tends to work for me. Read the directions, and spray at least 6 inches away from the carpet.

Hah. Or, you could just be a lazy son of a gun and learn absolutely nothing without the added fun and/or frustration, and go get yourself a brand new carpet!
Prices can range from $100 - $300, and can also reach up to $5,000 or more, that is if you would like silk carpet or something, but really depending on your vehicle make and model... :::


If Your Car Won't Start: Tips and Tricks

- Your car won't start, and you can't figure out why.

There are several possibilities. Some Good, and some Bad.

1. You need to Jump your car: How to do it properly.
- Jumper Cables (Fat Yellow Wires, 2 Black negative(-), and 2 RED positive(+) end clips)
- Another car with working battery
- Connect Negative(-) battery terminal to Negative (-) battery terminal from your car to another one. The same for Positive (+) terminals. Ask anyone around you to help: "Can I get a Jump?" or "Juice Me". DO NOT MIX POSITIVE WITH NEGATIVE OR YOU WILL GET 12 VOLTS OF ELECTRICITY SPARKING AT YOU.
- Start the other person's car ONLY once everything is connected.
- Get the other driver to accelerate their vehicle while in park mode, around 2,000 RPM's (- 2 on the accelerator dial), for anywhere around 30 seconds to about 5 minutes, depending on how drained your car's battery is.
- OR - Skip the RPM trick, and just try starting your car, after letting their car sit for a little bit. A few moments, but I advise letting it sit for around 3 - 5 minutes.

If you try starting your car, and it sounds like it is trying to crank, but it doesn't start, try letting it sit in the configuration for a longer period of time. The RPM trick will probably take care of it faster.

*** Oh Yes! It's STARTED! ***
***Oh no, It's STILL NOT STARTING!!! (Read Below)***

WELL. There Still Might Be Other Problems Down The Road

Let's just say it might happen again, within the same day or in a few days.

This means that EITHER:

You need a NEW battery or to put it on CHARGE for FREE at an Auto Parts Store
(Pep Boys, Advance Auto Parts, Auto Zone)

You need a new ALTERNATOR. $50.00 - $120.00 NEW / Rebuilt.
Go to your local parts store, and buy yourself one. They will probably not
install it themselves.

ALTERNATOR: The device that continues to charge your battery, and keeps your lights and other electrical devices active while driving. Most importantly, your SPARK PLUGS that start, and let your engine to continue to even run.

It is metallic, holds an Electro Magnet inside its casing, that you can see through breather slits. It is attached to your Serpentine Belt, that when the car is running, the Serpentine belt turns the alternator, and the alternator alternates current into your car, hence alternating current.

If your alternator fails, your car is only running on your battery. That being said, this would give you an answer to why your car is studdering, and slowing down to a hault, as if it is running out of gas on an incline.

Reply below for any questions you have.


- MustIaskAgain
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