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Infographic: The Ultimate Car Repair Cheat Sheet

Infographic: The Ultimate Car Repair Cheat Sheet

You are pretty sure that your battery needs replacing, but you have no idea how much it will cost and how long it will take to get it done. So, you are unsure whether you should take your car to a garage right away or wait till the weekend. Or should you even attempt to do it yourself?

Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility; you often find yourself asking questions like these.

The infographic below created by Buy Auto Parts provides you the ultimate guide to knowing the level of time commitment, the cost of parts and tool kit necessary for any car repair work on your vehicle.

Infographic

    The key points in the infographic can be summarized below.

    Replace wiper blades

    Replacing your wiper blades is cheap and easy. It does not take much time and can be replaced using tools you can find easily in your home.

    Replace air filters

    A properly working air filter keeps debris out of your fuel tank.  Dirt and muck in the oil tank may require cleaning of the fuel tank which is expensive and time consuming.

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    Replace headlight bulb

    You can easily change your headlights using a screw driver in no time.

    Change oil

    Oil protects the moving parts from wear and tear. Dirty oil may even destroy your engine. So replacing oil on a regular basis is an essential part of keeping your vehicle well-functioning.

    Install air intake

    Air intake installation is highly recommended because it provides greater fuel economy, an increased acceleration and overall increase in performance. It takes about two hours and can be quite expensive but is well worth your time and money.

    Replace air plugs

    Damaged and worn out spark plugs can cause serious problems such as misfires, poor fuel economy and increased emissions. Ensure you are using OEM compatible plugs.

    Change tires

    Changing your tires is necessary for safety, performance and efficiency. You should learn how to change your tires. It is simple and doesn’t require much time.

    Replace starter

    Your car won’t start with a damaged starter. Make sure it is receiving steady power flow once installed.

    Replace battery

    If the electrical components of your vehicle (headlights, radio, starter, etc.) start showing problems, there may be problems with your battery. Changing a battery is a quick and easy job in most cars and vans and can be done with minimal tools.

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    Replace cooling fan

    Cooling fans are an important part of your cooling system. Ensure the fans are not damaged if you’re working on your radiator.

    Change brake pads

    Maintenance and replacement of your brake pads is an obligatory measure of security. In addition, use of thinning, worn out brake pads may damage your rotors which are expensive.  If you’re getting new rotors or calipers, always confirm that the brake pads are in good condition.

    Change brake rotors

    If you are having problems with braking despite well-functioning brake pads, it is time to check on the brake rotors. Change damaged rotors as early as possible to avoid difficulty of changing old rotors.

    Replace alternator

    If your alternators are failing you won’t be able to charge your batteries properly, so you will have trouble with electrical components in your vehicle. If you have a good battery, but are unable to power your electrical components, take a look at the alternator. This is a tough task and will require specialist knowledge.

    Replace ignition switch

    When the ignition switch is damaged, your car may not start and other accessories will not work. Fixing a switch can be a quick, simple task (for dashboard switch) or a lethargic, challenging one (for steering column switch).

    Install navigation system

    Paper maps are a thing of the past. A navigation system may be expensive but it will help you find directions easily compared to traditional approaches.

    Replace wheel hub

    Check your hubs for any signs of rust and corrosion, and replace them if necessary.

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    Replace radiator

    The radiator is a critical part of your car’s cooling system. A poorly performing radiator could be the cause of your car’s excessive heating.

    Replace shocks and struts

    Shocks and struts must be in tip-top condition if you want to enjoy a smooth ride. Symptoms of damaged shocks and struts include difficulty in turning, bouncing and squeaking over bumps. Replacing them can be a tough, time consuming job in absence of proper tools.

    Replace catalytic converter

    Catalytic converters filter harmful toxic fumes from your vehicles before emission. They usually last the lifetime of your vehicle. However physical damage and certain additives in fuels can prematurely age the converters.

    Replace oil pans

    Debris, rust, slush and other substances can damage your oil pan. Damaged oil pans can cause oil leakage which can severely damage the engine. Ensure that you inspect for damage in oil pans every time you change the oil.

    Replace fuel pumps

    The fuel pump is responsible for pumping gas from fuel tank to engine. A completely damaged fuel pump will bring your vehicle to a halt. Fuel pumps do not usually get damaged, but when they do, be prepared to splash a lot of cash to get it fixed.

    Replace water pumps

    Water pumps circulate fluid whenever the engine is running to cool the hot engine. It is a crucial part of the cooling system. Replacing water pumps is very difficult and will need expert handling.

    Replacing hybrid batteries 

    If you have a hybrid car, you may need to change your hybrid battery packs when your car has put has had enough mileage. Hybrid batteries are very expensive and more challenging to replace than usual batteries.

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    Replace turbocharger

    Installing a turbocharger can add more power to your engine but it comes at an expensive price. It is an arduous process that demands an experienced mechanic.

    Replace steering racks

    If you have trouble turning your car around, the problem may be in the steering rack. Steering rack replacement is a laborious and costly process.

    Replace clutch

    Every clutch needs replacement at some point in time. Symptoms of failing clutches include gear slippage and unwanted shifting. While you can replace clutches yourself, you will need to devote about an entire day for it.

    Replace A/C

    Driving with an A/C adds comfort to your ride. If the temperature through the A/C vents is not as cold as they should be, you should get it inspected.

    Change timing belt

    Breaking the timing belt could result in major engine failure. Therefore, regular servicing of your timing belt is necessary to avoid its failure. Checking your timing belt every 75,000 miles is highly recommended.

    Repair transmission

    Problems in transmissions should be taken very seriously and should be dealt with as early as possible.  If any problems exist, get a highly skilled mechanic to fix them. In addition make sure to replace gearbox oil or transmission fluid every 50,000 miles.

    Featured photo credit: Vehicle of Estonian President via en.wikipedia.org

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    Nabin Paudyal

    Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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    Last Updated on April 19, 2021

    The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

    The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

    Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

    The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

    Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

    In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

    When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

    Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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    1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

    When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

    As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

    That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

    The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

    What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

    Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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    There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

    So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

    2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

    When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

    No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

    3. Move Your Body

    A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

    It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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    So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

    4. Connect With Another Person

    Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

    One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

    Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

    5. Use Your Imagination

    When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

    That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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    And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

    Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

    Final Thoughts

    Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

    Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

    More on the Importance of Taking a Break

    Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

    Reference

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