Inflate Your Wallet: Fix Your Own Flat Tire

If you have driven a vehicle for any length of time, you have probably experienced a flat tire. For some individuals, such as those who frequently pass through construction zones, this may even be a common occurrence. On average, a properly repaired tire should cost at least $20. If a person needs multiple tire repairs in a year, not to mention potential towing costs, fixing flat tires can easily cost hundreds of dollars per year. How those costs can be reduced by learning to fix your own flat tires.

Equipment. In order to properly, and safely, fix a flat tire, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment on hand. This involves making sure that your vehicle is equipped with a tire jack, tire iron and a spare tire. Even if you know that your vehicle has this equipment, you need to periodically check the condition of the equipment. It is especially important to make sure that your spare tire is properly inflated. Knowing how to fix a flat tire will be of little assistance if your spare is also flat.

Safety. Vehicles today weigh thousands of pounds. While tire jacks are designed to lift up your vehicle safely, they can only be as safe as the surface on which they are used. Therefore, never attempt to change your tire if the vehicle is parked on an incline, or if the car is on gravel or dirt. Doing so can be extremely dangerous, as the jack will not be as stable as it would be on flat, solid pavement. If you can, move the car to flat ground. If that is not possible, then waiting for a tow truck may be your only option.

Changing the tire. The next step is actually changing the tire. Using the tire iron, loosen the lug nuts that hold the tire on the wheel…but do not remove them. Once they are loosened, use your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine where the jack should be placed underneath the car. Then, following the instructions in the manual, or on the jack itself, lift the car so that the tire is not touching the ground. Remove the lugs and take the tire off, replacing it with the spare. Once you have the spare in position, screw the lugs on by hand. This will ensure that you line the threads up correctly. Once you have the lugs threaded correctly, use the tire iron to tighten them until the tire is securely, and tightly, in place. Then lower the jack until the tire is supporting all the weight of the car. At this point, using the tire iron, tighten the lugs as tightly as you possibly can.

Repair. Once the tire is changed, you will want to make sure that the original tire is repaired. One option is to use a tire plug kit to fix it yourself. However, most experts recommend taking it to a service station to have it properly patched. This ensures the safest repair possible.

How to Fix Automatic Transmission That Stays in Low Gear

On a car with standard or manual transmission, the driver has to manually shift into first gear and then after the car starts to roll, the driver has to shift manually into second, then third and so on as the speed of the car increases.

An automatic transmission meanwhile allows the car to change gear ratios automatically to shift from first, second, third and so on. The automatic shifting is made possible thanks to the series of valve and switches that control the hydraulic pressure. Most cars in the market now are available in automatic transmission.

If the automatic transmission has problem, you will notice that when you accelerate from a stop, the transmission does not shift to the next higher gear. The car seems to be dragging even though the engine speed increases. You can hear the engine screams louder than usual but the car does not really move smoothly.

This is because if there is failure in the transmission control system, the transmission stays at the low gear and the car is moving faster than it should in the low gear or first gear thus loud roaring sound can be heard from the engine.

If you put the automatic transmission selector at the “Drive” position, the normal shift from the first gear to the second gear occurs when the speed of the car reaches sixteen miles per hour. If the transmission does not shift, the engine speed will keep on increasing but the car will still not gain its normal speed.

The first thing you need to do is to check the level of the transmission fluid. Top up with the correct type of fluid if you found that the fluid is at low level. When checking the level, check also the color of the transmission fluid on the dipstick. Light green or red means there is no major problem with the transmission system but if the color is either dark brown or black, the car will need major transmission repairs.

Some cars come with an additional device installed on the transmission known as a modulator where it will create excellent vacuum to make the transmission works correctly. The transmission will not shift or there will be delay in the shift if the vacuum hose is disconnected or blocked. Just highlight this to your auto mechanic if you are not sure if your car is equipped with the transmission modulator.

Apart from the above, it is also possible that the problem with the transmission comes from a misaligned, disconnected, bent or broken transmission-shift selector linkage. This means the position indicated on which gear you are on is not tally with the actual transmission gear.

On some cars, the shift point, which is the exact speed where the transmission shift, is controlled by a cable. The transmission will not shift appropriately if the cable is disconnected or broken.

The tips above can surely help you before you agree with the auto mechanic for any major repair on the transmission system.