Modern vehicles are complex and their repair may seem overwhelming. However, there are a number of common repairs that you can do on your own at home. Even if you can’t complete the repair yourself, you can save money by diagnosing problems in your car before taking it to repair.
Alpha Mobile Mechanics offers excellent mobile services, so you no longer need to worry about taking your car to a service station. Contact us today for more information about our services.
Detect signs of common problems
Detects cracks or leaks in the hoses. A leaking vacuum line can cause all kinds of problems in the vehicle. Check the rubber hoses in the engine compartment for signs of cracks or damage. You can also try spraying water with detergent on all hoses with a spray bottle to help identify leaks. Look for any point where the water with detergent begins to bubble over the lines. If you detect any, it means that this line has a leak and must be replaced.
You can buy replacement hoses at a local auto parts store.
To replace them, you simply loosen the hose clamps on both sides (with a screwdriver or pliers) and remove the old hose. Then, install the new one in its place.
Check the straps to verify tension and damage. Most cars are equipped with a serpentine belt or two accessory transmission that are located on the front or side of the engine. Detects cracks or glazing on the rubber. You should also tighten the strap between the index finger and the thumb and move it to test the tension of the strap.
There should be less than 2 cm (1 inch) of slack in the belt.
The glazing (the bright parts of the belt) indicates that part of the belt has been rubbing, so it needs to be replaced.
- Cracks in the belt indicate that it has dried and it is also necessary to replace it.
- Check the battery and tray. A bad battery or connection may cause the vehicle not to start. Check the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals to determine the accumulation of rust or dirt. You should also check the tray under the battery for damage, as it needs to hold firmly in place.
- Check the bolt that holds the battery in place to check for rust. If it is rusty, you must replace it.
- If the terminals are rusty, you can clean them by adding a little baking soda to the water and scrubbing that mixture in the terminal with an old toothbrush.
- Use a coin to check the tread depth of the tires. Insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down. If the tread does not cover the top of Lincoln’s head, you must replace the tires.
- You should use a quarter coin instead of a penny to evaluate larger truck tires.
- If the tread is too worn, your vehicle will be more prone to puncture.
- Check the tires for damage or low pressure. The low tire pressure can decrease fuel efficiency and make the vehicle feel slower. It can also damage the tires and make them more prone to puncture. Look for cracks along the sideband and use a pressure gauge to make sure each tire is properly inflated.
If the side band is cracked, you should buy a new tire
Connect a code scanner to the vehicle to check the engine lights. There are several reasons why a vehicle’s engine light can be turned on. If yours is on, you must connect an OBD2 scanner to the trapezoidal open port below the control panel next to the pilot. Turn the accessory key on the starter and turn on the scanner to read the engine error codes. You can get a code scanner at any auto parts store.
If the scanner does not provide a description of the errors in English, you should write down the code and look for it in your vehicle’s specific repair manual or the manufacturer’s website.
Most auto parts stores scan error codes for free.
Push the car to start a discharged battery. If the engine does not turn and the lights do not turn on when the vehicle key is turned, the battery is likely to be discharged. Start by connecting the clamps to the positive (+) terminal and then to the negative (-) terminal of the battery. Then, connect the cables to the battery of another moving vehicle. 
After the other vehicle charges the battery for a moment, you must turn the key at the starter again to start the car.
Be sure to determine the cause of the battery discharge. If you left a light on, you don’t need to make further repairs. If you left nothing on, the alternator is likely to have failed.
Replace the battery. If you have let the battery discharge too many times or have not used it for a long time, you may have to replace it. Use a socket wrench of the appropriate size to loosen the bolt that holds the battery in place, as well as the bolts that hold the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals in place.
Slide the wires out of the battery terminals. Then, pull the battery up and out of the engine compartment.
Place the new battery in the tray and secure it with the pressure bolt. Then, place the wires over the terminals and adjust them.
Install new spark plugs. You should replace the spark plugs every 48,000 km (30,000 miles) or every time they look damaged or burned. Disconnect the cable and then use a wrench to unscrew and remove the old spark plug. Insert a calibration tool into the space between the new spark plug and its electrode, and rotate it to press the electrode until it reaches the gap recommended in the user manual or vehicle repair manual. Then, insert the spark plug and adjust it with the socket wrench.
If you don’t have the manual, you can get a calibration tool at a local auto parts store and look for the appropriate calibration information on the vehicle manufacturer’s website.
Here at Alpha Mobile Mechanics you are also part of the team, so we explain every detail related to the process and keep you aware of the way we complete this work.