The average age of cars on American roads is 11.5 years. You can keep your vehicle running longer be performing regular maintenance and car at home.
Don’t be intimidated, here are some simple tips on Chrysler repair you can do yourself.
Get the Chrysler Repair Manual
Before you start any Chrysler repair yourself, get the manual. It will be your guide to making repairs yourself.
Use your manual as a reference for diagnosing problems. If you can’t make the repair yourself, you’ll be better educated to speak with your mechanic about it.
Check the Recalls
As a new owner of any vehicle, you should look up any possible recalls and determine if they have been performed on your car.
While you most likely won’t be able to perform this work yourself, it is important to bring your car to a certified Chrysler repair mechanic who can perform the maintenance required.
Get the Right Tools
Before you start any project it’s important to make sure you have the right tools for the job. You don’t want to be mid-project only to discover you need to guy buy another tool.
Some common tools to have are an adjustable wrench, a torque wrench, socket and ratchet set, pliers, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, and a jack (usually included with your car).
You don’t need the top of the line, but don’t pick the cheapest ones either. Find tools with a good grip and sturdy handles.
Replace a Broken or Worn Drive Belt
That squealing sound you hear when you start your car or use certain accessories means you need a new drive belt.
A drive belt is a rubber loop that connects pulleys in the car’s engine. When you open the hood it will be right up front.
In older cars, there will be multiple belts. These belts control things the cooling system, battery charging, windshield wipers, and power steering.
Sometimes you a drive belt will be called a serpentine belt. This is the same thing as a drive belt and seen in newer cars.
The serpentine belt wraps around all of the components instead of using multiple different belts.
A visual inspection for cracks, wear, or looseness is all you need to do.
If the belt is loose it will not function properly and wear more quickly and unevenly.
Look for the tensioner pulley. This allows you to adjust the tightness of the belt. Belts are made of rubber, so they stretch over time.
Periodically checking your belt ensures it stays properly tight for even wear. You don’t want the belt to fall off either.
If the belt is cracked or worn down in places you are going to want to replace it.
When you replace the belt be sure to pay attention to how it wraps around the pulleys. These are the small wheels with grooved rims that the belt wraps around. When your engine is running, they spin adding power to the system.
Replace Your Battery and Alternator
If your car engine isn’t starting up when you turn the key then you have a bad battery or alternator.
Use a multimeter to see if either are dead. If one of them isn’t producing enough power, you’ll need to replace it.
A multimeter measures the electrical current.
If you’ve left your lights on overnight you may just need a jump to get the battery going again.
An alternator helps your battery produce power. Often if your engine isn’t turning over then it’s your alternator. You will hear a clicking sound when you try to start the engine.
Almost always the alternator is at the front of the engine bay.
The battery supplies the initial power to the alternator. If your engine is dead and you hear nothing when you try to start the engine, it is most likely the battery.
The battery is the large black box with positive and negative terminals on the top or side.
Replace Your Brake Pads
This is another problem that is signaled by a squeal. There are two possible parts that will eventually need replacing. The rotors and brake pads wear down as you use them.
If you are not experienced in doing your own car repair, you should probably have a Chrysler repair mechanic do the work for you.
If you are breaking and hearing a squeal, it’s time to replace your brake pads. Brake pads are the part that applies the friction to make your car stop.
If you hear a grinding sound when you brake, it’s time to replace the rotor. Rotors are the main disk that the pads clamp onto.
Changing your oil is a basic and necessary task of regular car care. Not changing your oil can lead to major engine problems, or complete failure to perform.
Changing your oil may not be a Chrysler repair tip, but it will save you a lot of expensive repairs.
Look for the dipstick under the hood of your car. Using some paper towels clean off the end of the dipstick after pulling it all the way out. Put the dipstick back in and pull it out again.
Look at the color of the oil. If the oil is lighter in color and clear then it is not ready to be changed. If the oil is very dark in color and opaque then it is time to change your oil.
Look at the amount of oil in your car. The dipstick should have marks showing the ideal volume of oil in your car.
If the oil is lighter in color but the volume is low, you can simply add more oil.
Replace the Air Filter:
The air filter keeps outside particles from entering the engine. Your engine needs air to function. A dirty air filter affects your gas mileage and engine performance.
Look for the plastic lid to the side of your engine. Take out the old filter and put the new filter in.
This task is one of the easiest on your Chrysler repair checklist.
This is just a short list of some of the most common Chrysler repairs. If non of these fixed your problems, it may be time for an engine rebuild. For less serious problems, check out our blog to learn how to tackle other repairs like a cracked windshield.