Preventive automotive maintenance procedures are described to facilitate safe vehicle operation. Defective wiper blades should be replaced. Blade replacement is simple once the correct blade size has been found; the blade and refill should be firmly attached before operating the wipers. A burned out turn indicator or brake light bulb is easy to replace. Hoses should be checked whenever the hood is opened; if they are spongy, collapsing, or fail to spring back from finger pressure, they should be replaced. Hoses which are cracked, split, or show signs of leaking should also be replaced by hoses with the correct internal diameter. The cooling system should never be touched until the radiator cap can be safely opened. Frayed or cracked belts transferring power from the engine's crank to the alternator or generator, water pump, and air pump should be replaced. Fluid level checks are relatively easy since plastic reservoirs permit viewing the fluid without opening. Engine oil and automatic transmission fluids are usually checked with dipsticks. Battery water levels should be checked regularly. When an electrical item malfunctions, one should turn all electrical components off before replacing a fuse with one of the correct amperage. A burned fuse usually indicates an overload in the system; the cause of the overload should be found and corrected. Tools to use in preventive maintenance include pliers, screwdrivers (both slotted and Phillips), an adjustable wrench or two, a plug wrench, and a set of combination open and box-end wrenches. A roll of electrician's tape, duct tape, and bailing wire should also be available. Appropriate components of a car's emergency repair kit are noted.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • At head of title: The Backyard Mechanic.
  • Corporate Authors:

    US Air Force Inspection and Safety, Center

    Norton AFB, CA  United States  92409
  • Publication Date: 1980-5

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 16-21
  • Serial:
    • Driver
    • Volume: 13
    • Issue Number: 12
    • Publisher: US Air Force Inspection and Safety, Center

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00386657
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 213
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1984 12:00AM