Learn Basic Mechanical Skills: How To Change Tires And Check Oil

by : Julia Cleanthous

Being a responsible driver does not just mean yield to on coming traffic and stop on red, it also means that you should keep your car in peak condition. A car that is serviced on a regular basis is less likely to have any major mechanical failings and will last much longer than cars that are neglected. While this fact seems like common sense, many drivers are content to just let their cars shake and rattle until they simply stop rolling.Any major mechanical attention for your car should be left to the professionals, but there are a few things that you can accomplish in your own drive way like changing the oil or knowing how to change a tire. By performing these procedures you can save money and instill a greater confidence in yourself.Changing a tire is a skill that every driver should know. You may not always have the luxury of a gas station or mechanic garage close at hand when it comes time for a tire change. Blow outs and flats are unpredictable but we do know that such bad fortune will occur at the absolute worst times. Make sure you carry a car jack, lug wrench, and a spare tire. The spare can either be a regular tire like the ones already on your car or a donut. The donut is a small tire and is not meant for long distances.If you find yourself on a roadway with a flat tire, get out of traffic the best you can. This may mean some grunt work as you will probably need to push your car onto a shoulder or into a parking lot. Try to find a flat stable surface which will provide needed support when changing the tire. Be aware of your surroundings. If it is not safe to change the tire then wait. When it is safe, place the jack under the frame close to the tire that you need to change but make sure you place the jack on the metal section of the frame to avoid damage. Before jacking the car off the ground you will want to remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts. Lift the car off of the ground and remove the nuts all of the way.Remove the old tire and place the new tire or the donut on and replace the nuts. Slowly lower the car to the ground and tighten the nuts. Replace the hubcap and place the jack, wrench, and old tire into the truck. Dispose of the tire in a proper location.Changing a tire fast and efficiently will take practice but as long as you can do it then you will not have to worry about being stranded because of a flat ever again.Changing the oil is another important skill that drivers should have. The oil is the life blood of the car and should be changed on a regular basis. This information can be found in your car manual. Many people take their cars in for oil changes but knowing how to do it can be empowering and helpful if you just do not have enough money to take it to a service station.Before you crawl under the car make sure you have the equipment necessary which includes something for the oil to drain into, a new oil filter that will fit your car, and a socket wrench. If necessary raise your car on a flat level surface taking all precautions so it does not fall with you underneath. Open the hood and remove the oil filter cap; this will make the draining much easier. Find the oil plug located underneath your car. You may have to refer to your owner’s manual for this. Place your pan under the plug before removing the bolt. Find the filter, again consult your owner’s manual, and remove it. You may need an oil filter wrench, but in most cases the filter will come off with a little patience and elbow grease.Replace the oil plug and put in the new oil filter. Using a funnel, add the new oil to the recommended level. You will want to start the car to check for the oil pressure light and to see if any oil is leaking. After that, you are finished.Many drivers enjoy knowing how to perform basic mechanical upkeep to their cars. This instills them with a sense of pride and self respect since they know that if something should occur, be it a flat tire, or a car needing oilHealth Fitness Articles, they can take care of the problem.