Haynes Tech Tips - Compilation
Dozens of tips can be found in each Haynes Repair Manual. Here are just a few helpful tips to know.
Can you see water droplets inside your headlights?
Modern cars use separate headlight bulbs inside clear plastic housings. The water seals on the housings can sometimes fail and allow the housing to fill with water. This can lead to early bulb failure and diminished headlight performance when the housing “steams up.”
The housings are usually easy to remove (see your Haynes manual). Then you can shake the water out and look for the bad water seal or crack that caused the leak. Cracks can usually be sealed with clear silicone sealer. A hair dryer will speed drying the inside of the housing.
Are your spark plugs trying to tell you something?
They can tell you a lot about the condition of your engine. If one or more of your spark plugs have sooty black deposits, that cylinder is probably using too much fuel or misfiring. Oily black deposits are often a sign that oil is getting into the cylinder, usually either past the piston rings or the valve guides.
There’s more spark-plug detective work you can do using the color spark plug chart that’s included in each Haynes model-specific repair manual.
How much tire pressure?
Many people think they should inflate their tires to the pressure that’s molded into the side of the tire. This is not the case. Vehicle manufacturers determine proper tire pressure based upon the vehicle’s weight distribution.
As a matter of safety, be sure to always use the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, which is listed in the owner’s manual and also on a sticker that’s attached to the driver’s side door jamb.
Does your air conditioning system blow weaker than it used to?
The problem could be an easily changed filter. Modern cars and trucks have replaceable filters in the ventilation system. These filters, often referred to as “cabin air” filters, need to be replaced on a regular basis, and, if you drive in dusty areas, they need to be replaced often. Replacement details can be found in your Haynes manual.
Are you expecting an overnight freeze?
Pull your windshield wipers away from the windshield – most will lock in this position – it will keep them from getting stuck to the windshield.
Also apply silicone spray to all the weatherstripping. This will help prevent the doors and windows from sticking.
To keep your lock cylinders from freezing, lubricate them with WD-40 (that’s what the little red tube is for!).
Did you know the Federal government provides information on recalls and service bulletins?
We all know about recalls – when manufacturers fix safety-related problems free of charge. But there are also service bulletins that manufacturers distribute to their dealer mechanics, many of which identify known defects on specific models. Often, knowing this information can help you get your car fixed right.
Go to www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems. And never say the government hasn’t done anything for you!
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