New cars are cool. They look flashy, do fancy things with touchscreens, and some will even listen when you tell them about your woes. That’s not to say they will respond appropriately, but you sure can tell them, given the recent advancements in voice-activated technology. So, we all love modern cars, right?
Yes, mostly, we all love how fancy modern cars have become. There is only one small downside. Opening up the hood of a modern car can feel like gazing into the internal workings of a nuclear reactor. Once upon a time just about anyone could flip open their car, check the water, refill the oil, and be back on the road in five minutes. But, since cars have gotten ever more technologically fancy, just finding a place to put water has started to become a challenge.
This may be exactly the idea, since it encourages car owners to take their vehicle to an accredited mechanic. But don’t be so quick to fork out for a mechanic just yet. You can still do many of these small tasks yourself, if you know how to approach the situation.
Wiper blades are often overlooked, right up until it rains, and you’re stuck trying to see the road through what appears to be stained glass modern art. It’s extremely dangerous to have worn wiper blades, and pretty much a disaster if you happen to get caught in a storm. The good news is that, no matter how fancy your car, replacing the wiper blades is pretty easy.
The blades themselves are cheap, and generally have instructions printed on the packaging. Though it may take a little more effort than is imagined, given how some wipers are designed, but a tiny bit of persistence will get you through.
Although finding where the fuse box is in your car might be a little challenge, replacing them really is about as easy as you could ask for. A map of the fuses will be in the fuse box cover, indicating which fuse is which. Plus, modern fuses are colour coded, ensuring that the wrong amperage fuse is not put in the incorrect slot. How do you tell if they are blown? Take one out, and look at the little metal filament inside. Easy.
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Headlights are another thing that need attention sooner rather than later. Exactly how to get the bulb out will vary depending on the car, but the process is done through the hood, and not via the car exterior. Usually just a screwdriver will be needed, and in some models, a simple clip will keep the socket in place. A smart process is to take the burnt bulb to a dealer and ask for a replacement, so you don’t land up with the wrong bulb.
Cleaning the Air Filter
Another surprisingly easy task, the air filter is quickly and easily cleaned, or replaced. It is generally held in place by simple latches, or worst-case scenario, with a few screws. An air filter can be cleaned with a vacuum, or even by just wiping it with a rag, depending on how dirty it is. If it needs replacing, putting a new filter in place of the old, and refastening the lid is all that is required. A ten-minute job at most.
This is one of the most difficult jobs on the list, and is a bit messy. It will require a wrench set, as well as a drainage pan or other container, as well as funnel. A drainage screw is located under the car, which will vary depending on model. This plug needs to be unscrewed, along with the oil filter. This will require adequate wrenches. Be careful to have a container in place to catch the flow. A new filter can then be fitted, if needed, and new oil added via the inlet under the hood, with the funnel. Once the drainage screw is back in place, of course. The process will take about 30 to 40 minutes on your first attempt, and if you’re unfamiliar with the car. Once practised, the process will take about 20 minutes.
Also, keep in mind that oil often doesn’t come out of clothing easily. Wear what you’re okay with losing forever!