Home tips for car maintenance

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Some car maintenance problems can be solved without having to visit a mechanic. Here is a list of common issues that can be easily fixed.

car maintenance
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Cracks and shards of glass

You are speeding down the highway when a pebble, thrown from a truck, hits the windshield hard. This is what will make your day a disaster. Not necessarily. Cracks or shards of glass are easy to repair. First, be sure to keep dust, mud, or other kinds of dirt from getting into the trial (or hole), as this could interfere with its repair.

To do this, stop the vehicle and cover the damaged part with adhesive tape, leaving it until the day of the repair.
Consider repairing your windshield as soon as possible, as the weather and the vibrations caused by driving can make the problem worse. Then drop by an auto parts retailer and get a repair kit designed for windshields (these kits contain clear resin epoxy). All you have to do is follow the instructions.


Scratches car
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Scratches

Run your finger over the scratch. If the scratch seems shallow to you, you are lucky because only the clear coating was damaged, the paint layer remained intact. You have to go to a car parts retailer and get some polish, then follow the directions. On the other hand, if the scratch is deep, the polishing will be useless. The only solution is to paint the scratch to hide it. Find nail polish (at home, at a drugstore or department store) with the same color as your car and gently paint the scratch, then let it dry. If you have applied too much polish, you can remove the excess with a cotton cloth soaked in nail polish remover. Let dry, then start again.


Bumps
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Bumps

If the dent is on or near the wheel arch, you can repair it using a hammer, but only after removing the plastic protector under the wheel arch. Before you start, make sure you have applied the car’s parking brake. Then, using a small screwdriver, remove the four to six screws that hold the protector in place. Depending on the size of the dent, you can dent it with your fingers or a hammer. However, if the mark is on the plastic protector, there is no need to remove the latter. Slip under the vehicle and push the damaged part of the protector with your fingers until it returns to its original shape.

If the dent is on the side of the car, you will need to use a vacuum to fix it. To do this, you need to find something with a suction cup, such as some automatic pencil sharpeners. You can also find everything you need at an auto parts retailer. Place the suction cup on the dented part and pull: if you hear a little “pop,” you have succeeded! The body will have returned to its original shape.


Wax on the bumper
By Simple.Man1980 / shutterstock.com

Wax on the bumper

Until the day comes when we come up with easily removable car waxes, there is still the good old WD-40 oil. Spray some on the wax and clean it off with a rag or an old toothbrush. WD-40 is also effective at removing wax embedded in cracks.


The battery is dead
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The battery is dead

You ran into a charitable soul to give you a helping hand, but nothing helped, the car won’t restart. All is not lost. The good news is that a battery never goes completely dead.

Look for corrosion around the battery terminals (where the cables come into contact). If so, pour a carbonated drink over the breakdown to dissolve it. This will allow a better connection between the wires and the battery terminals; therefore, the engine has a better chance of restarting. Also, carbonated drinks contain electrolytes that promote electric current.

When you get home, clean the battery with a little water to remove drink residue.


Stubborn resin stains
By Simple.Man1980 / shutterstock.com

Stubborn resin stains

Soap and water will not get rid of the resin stuck to your car’s exterior finish. But there is a simple solution. Pour a drop of rubbing alcohol on the polish, rub with your fingertips, and the stains will disappear. You don’t need to rinse either, as the alcohol will evaporate.

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