How to Fix Four of the Most Common Car Problems

Simple fixes for leaky radiators, dead batteries, and getting locked out.

As much as automobile manufacturers try hard to make their cars as problem-free as possible, chances are, you’ll run into one of the a few common car problems. Taking a few preventative measures and being prepared to deal with these issues will save you time, money, and a headache down the road.

Replacing a Dead Battery

To replace a dead battery, use a socket wrench to loosen and remove the negative terminal first. Next, loosen and remove the positive terminal. Undo any brackets that might be in the way of the battery, and then lift the battery up and out of the battery tray. Seat the new battery into the tray and reattach any brackets you may have removed, but connect the positive terminal first before connecting the negative terminal.

Fixing up a Leaky Radiator

First, find out where the coolant is leaking from. If you’re lucky, you may only have to replace a split or dry-rotted radiator hose. If you see the leak originating directly from the radiator itself, you’ll have to have the entire radiator replaced.

Of course, you could patch the radiator up with epoxy or add sealant/stop-leak to the radiator as a temporary measure until you can have it replaced, but neither solution should be treated as a long-term fix. Simply follow the instructions on the bottle when adding the sealant or stop-leak to your coolant.

Replacing a Blown Headlamp

Crack open your car’s owner’s manual and find out which type of bulb your car needs and how to access it. To replace the bulb, it’s usually a matter of undoing an electrical connector or two, unlocking the bulb from its socket by hand and putting the new bulb in its place.

Getting Locked Out of Your Car

The best way to get back into your vehicle is to have a spare key in a nearby, safe place. Barring that, there’s a handy trick for getting into your locked car. John Thurston, a specialist from Fairfield Locksmith, says you can straighten out a wire hanger and bend it so that it reaches into the vehicle and towards the lock/unlock button. Carefully thread the wire hanger between the rubber molding and the window, making sure not to damage the molding. Finally, hook the hanger so that it catches onto the door button and slowly pull upwards. If all else fails, there is likely a professional locksmith in your area that will be available to assist you.

These tips can help you get your car back on the road when you need it most. Just don’t forget this most important safety rule – do not attempt to work on your car when it’s running or immediately after you’ve turned it off. This puts you at risk of burns and other injury. Keep safe, and stay prepared by remembering these tips and repair methods.

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