Fix a Slow Moving Power Window
A sticky, slow moving power window can be really frustrating, especially at a toll booth or drive-thru window. You can usually fix the problem by lubricating the window channels. But if you don’t fix the problem, the slow-moving window will stress the window regulator mechanism until it breaks, costing you around $400 to replace.
Here’s the fix. Buy an aerosol can of dry Teflon spray. It sprays on as a liquid but dries to a white slippery Teflon powder. Shake the can vigorously to mix the Teflon particles with the solvent. Insert the straw into the nozzle and aim the spray into the window channels. Press the trigger and soak the front and rear channels until the spray runs down into the door. Wait a few minutes for the solvent to evaporate, then operate the window up and down several times to spread the dry Teflon spray through the channels. And here’s how to fix a broken power window regulator.
Fix a Squealing Belt
Of all the car problems you might encounter, a squealing belt is probably the most annoying. The high-pitched squeal is produced when the rubber belt loses its grip and slips around the pulleys. In rare cases, a worn slow-moving alternator, pump or AC compressor bearing or component misalignment can cause a perfectly good belt to squeal. But in most cases, the belt slips because it’s worn, is loose or has been contaminated with oil or coolant. You can diagnose all those problems yourself with a visual inspection, a belt wear gauge and a spray water bottle.
First, check the belt for wear using a belt wear gauge (around $8). If the belt is worn, replace it. Next, try to recreate the conditions when the belt squeals (first thing in the morning when the engine is cold, when you accelerate, etc.). Start the engine and spray a stream of water on the ribbed side of the belt before it wraps around each pulley. If the noise disappears but comes back in a few minutes, the belt or the components it drives are misaligned. That’s not something you can fix on your own. Take it to a shop.
However, if the noise gets louder after the water spray, the belt has too little tension. If your vehicle has an automatic belt tensioner, replace the tensioner. If it has manual tension adjusters, tighten the belt slightly and re-test. Change a Serpentine Belt Yourself
Car Won’t Start
If you turn the key and hear a single click or rapid clicking but the engine doesn’t crank (rotate), chances are you’ve got a weak or dead battery or corroded battery terminals. Since you probably won’t have the right tools with you when your engine won’t start, here are two easy ways to get up and running.
Car batteries make power through a chemical reaction and that reaction slows down in cold weather. If you can warm up the battery, you can increase battery output. You can warm up the battery simply by turning the key to start several times, with a 5-minute rest period between each try. Here’s how to do it. Turn the key to the START position and hold it in that position for about 5 seconds. Turn the key to off and wait 5 minutes. Repeat six more times. If it doesn’t start on the last try, move on to the shoe trick below.
Remove your shoe and tap each battery terminal with the heel. Then try starting the engine. If it starts, clean the battery terminals as soon as you get home. How to Clean Battery Posts and Terminals