Fix Up That Old Junker: Ways to Repair Cheap

Drawbacks of buying a used Car
When your car is on the fritz, here are some tips for ways to fix your own car for cheap!

When you have an older car, they need many repairs to stay running properly. Instead of bringing your car to a mechanic every time it has a minor problem, you can diagnose and repair most problems yourself. The Internet and your smartphone are perfect manuals for fixing a vehicle. Bring the smartphone out with you to the vehicle to watch repair videos, or see step by step instructions for fixing the problem. When you’re diagnosing a problem on your own, you’ll need a few common tools. While you might require specific tools for the repairs, most of these tools will be adequate for the initial diagnosis: A torque wrench, a socket wrench set, pliers, screwdrivers, a car jack, and brake pads. These common repairs can be done by any skill level.

Break Off Old Brakes

When your brakes don’t seem to have the stopping power that they used to, the pads might need to be replaced. You’ll need some basic tools to remove the tire like a jack, lug nut set, and clamps. Replacing the brake pads yourself can save you hundreds of dollars in fees.

Fluid Replacement

The transmission and power steering fluid can easily be replaced. When replacing the transmission fluid, you’ll have to put the car on jack stands, remove the bolts from the pan on the transmission, and dispose of the fluid. The power steering fluid is much easier to replace. Experts suggest using a turkey baster to remove the fluid from its container, and replacing it with new fluid.


The alternator on your vehicle is one of the easiest repairs to do yourself, which is great because it’s one of the most common problems for vehicles. You’ll need some tools to remove the bolts from the alternator, but it’s simple to disconnect the pulley and bolts, then reverse the process to install the new one. In some vehicles, the alternator is underneath, so you might need to jack the car onto lifts.


Another common problem is the battery. This can have an effect on the alternator as well. If the battery needs replacement, you can disconnect the wires and reverse the process to attach the new battery. The battery is usually on the right or the left of the engine, and looks like a large black box.

Drive Belt

This belt can become extremely worn. If your car is squealing, this is the most likely cause of the noise. The large rubber belt that you can see in the front of your engine is the drive belt. Check it for tears, rot, or cracks. Make sure it’s tight. The belt is easy to replace if you remember how you removed it. Make note of where the belt was before removal.

These are only a few of the simple repairs that you can do. As you gain confidence in your abilities, you can take on larger repairs to your vehicle. You’ll feel empowered and will save hundreds of dollars in repair bills. For larger repairs that need parts, check out discount car parts online for cheaper parts and repair your vehicle yourself.

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