Can you MacGyver car repairs using a wad of bubble gum, a paper clip and some shoestring? Could you handle being stuck absolutely in the middle of nowhere, thanks to an unexpected car problem? Even if you've never been stranded on a dark road, with faint banjo music coming from the trees and what feels like a thousand eyes staring at you from the darkness, you need to take this quiz!
Thanks to this day and age of communication, most people rely heavily on their cellphone, in-car communications system and the proximity of roadside assistance to take care of everything from running out of gas to fixing a flat tire. Some people think these conveniences are making us soft, and there's plenty of evidence to back that up. After all, people have called 911 in a panic because their car's battery died and they don't know how to manually actuate the door locks to get out.
Some have proposed putting the steps for changing a flat tire on the driver's license exam for different states. Sadly, plenty of people probably wouldn't be behind the wheel, but you really have to ask if that's a bad thing or not.
Could you survive fixing different car issues without help? Take this quiz right now and test your own preparedness.
While you might be able to jump start a car not grounding the negative cable for the dead battery without incident, you're running a risk of damaging the cars and injuring yourself.
Preferably you use a microfiber cloth for this job, since that won't leave behind lint or other debris, removing dirt and grime from the blades and eliminating some or all of the streaking problem.
Unfortunately, many shoulders on the side of the road aren't really suitable for changing a tire since they're uneven and soft, making the risk of the car falling off the jack quite a bit higher.
An engine that's about to overheat is a real danger since serious damage could be done, so you need to address the situation instead of just continuing to drive like nothing's happening.
Someone needs to be sitting behind the wheel of the car while at least one other person pushes the vehicle, otherwise the operation is too unsafe.
The oil light is an indication of oil pressure loss, which could mean very soon the engine will seize. Pull over to the first safe spot and turn off the engine immediately, then check the oil level.
Salt, small pebbles, dirt and other debris can clog the nozzle at any time so the washer fluid won't spray out or will only come out of one nozzle, but sticking a needle in the nozzle will clear it out.
Usually, lug nuts aren't truly secure if you can remove them by hand using a tire iron, so this is a necessary step before you raise the car using the jack.
If possible, you should pull all the way off the road and shoulder, possibly into a parking lot or gas station where traffic isn't an issue.
A pressurized system means opening the overflow cap could cause the antifreeze to come spraying or shooting out, which could seriously burn you, so you must open it slowly and cautiously, or just wait for the engine to cool down.
The danger is when you connect the cables to the live battery, if the clamps on the other end touch, they can cause sparks to fly and might even electrocute you, so set everything up with the engine shut off.
The problem with being stuck in the mud is the lack of traction to drive out of the rut, so addressing that should help you get out.
Push-starting a car doesn't work with an automatic transmission, but instead it could cause significant damage to the transmission, so don't try it.
If the brake pedal doesn't feel spongy or offers no resistance, the brake fluid might still be low, so you should check that immediately just in case.
The battery in a keyless setup can die suddenly, and sadly too many people don't realize there's an analog workaround. The blade key, like what older cars had as the only option for unlocking the doors, is usually hidden under a sheath, so you remove that and unlock the doors old school.
If you don't push a fuse into the slot completely, it can result in intermittent or constant problems.
Once you've identified the source of the leak, wrap duct tape around that section of the hose tightly, sealing off the leak long enough you can get somewhere safe.
When you open the hood, you allow the heat that's been building underneath to escape rapidly, accelerating the cooling process for the engine considerably.
The central heating core, which provides heat for the car's heater, is powered by coolant that's flowed out of the engine, so running the heater helps dissipate heat from the cooling system faster.
There's no universal amount of time required to get a car battery charged up enough that the engine will fire up, which is why you should keep the cars connected until you get the non-functioning engine started.
As the car rolls down the hill, slowly release the clutch pedal, and eventually the engine will fire up provided there's no other major issues.
If you don't tighten the connections completely, even a little bit of movement could cause the battery to not charge enough, or to not connect with the electrical system, and you end up with an engine that won't start later.
You can get a plug kit online or at many automotive stores. It's a great thing to take along if you're going to be in the middle of nowhere, especially if your spare and one of your regular tires are both punctured.
Most often, a horn that stops working when it was functioning just fine right before is the result of a burned-out fuse, which you can replace quickly and easily without any tools.
Fix a Flat and many other tire sealants are out there. You spray the contents into the tire through the stem and the hole is sealed up enough for you to reach a repair shop.
Because of the risk of electrocution and making sparks fly, you always remove the negative clamps first, then remove the positive clamps.
Ideally, you can mix coolant and water in a half-and-half solution or buy the premixed coolant and water, but in a pinch water can provide enough cooling benefits to get you to a nearby location.
You should always check the owner's manual. Fuse boxes are not standardized, and not all cars have diagrams on the inside lid.
This trick admittedly doesn't work on every car, depending on the design of the grille and hood release mechanism, but if you have heavy-duty wire or a long tool, it can help you work around a frustrating situation.
You don't want to carry wimpy zip ties in your car, but instead you should go for the really heavy-duty kind, since they can take the rough forces your suspension endured until it broke.
Automotive stores sell gas tank patches, which are super sticky and will seal up a hole in your gas tank. Hopefully you still have enough fuel to reach a gas station after you plug the leak.
You can buy siphon kits at auto stores, or make one yourself using a hose or surgical tubing. Just be cautious to not swallow any gas.
While you can inflate a car tire with a bicycle or ball pump, the process would be a slow one. There are air compressors that just plug into the power outlet in your car.
Those symptoms usually point to a bad fuel pump, so unplugging the sensor will indicate to the ECU that it needs to have the pump run at full pressure, temporarily fixing the issue until you get to a shop.
Having a socket set or even a crescent wrench when you head out on a trip is a good idea since they'll allow you to tighten essential hardware like this.