Electric System
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Electric System

Changing the Battery:

  1. Disconnect the negative (-) cable, then the positive (+) cable.

  2. Using a socket wrench, loosen the hold down nut that secures the bracket across the top of the battery or the clamp at the base of the battery; if it is corroded in place, apply penetrating oil to loosen it.

  3. Remove the nut and lift the bracket out of the way.

  4. If space allows, reach under the battery with both hands and lift it out.

  5. Alternatively, lift the battery by gripping it at its corners, where it is strongest, or use a set of battery straps.

  6. Wash the base and tray with a solution of baking soda and water before installing the new battery.

  7. Secure the hold down hardware hand-tight; over tightening can crack the case and under tightening can cause the case to wear against adjoining hardware.

Servicing the Alternator Drive Belt:

  1. Testing the belt tension: Check the condition of drive belts at least once each year. A quick check of the belt can be made by pressing down with your thumb midway along its longest span. The belt should have no more than 1 centimeter of play. Obtain a more accurate reading of the tension of the belt using a tension gauge. If the belt is cracked, brittle or otherwise damaged, replace it. To adjust the tension of the belt, loosen the adjustment bolt.

  2. Loosening the adjustment bolt: The alternator is mounted with two bolts, the adjustment bolt near the top of it and the pivot bold on its base. Loosen the nut on the adjustment bolt with a socket wrench, pulling hard on the ratchet and giving it a solid bump with the heel of your other hand, if necessary. Try to push the alternator against the belt with your hand or the handle of a tool. If the alternator moves and the belt tenses, tighten the adjustment bolt. If the alternator does not budge, try loosening the pivot bolt as well.

  3. Loosening the pivot bolt: Grip the pivot bolt using a socket wrench and an extension. You may need to use a lot of force to turn the pivot bolt; if necessary, give a sharp blow against the ratchet with the heel of your hand to help loosen it. Turn the pivot bolt only one half turn or until the alternator can be moved using hand pressure.

  4. Tightening the belt: Press against the alternator with one hand until the belt is taut, then tighten the adjustment bolt slightly using a socket wrench. Repeat the thumb test to check the tension of the belt. If the belt is too loose, press harder against the alternator; if it is too tight, apply less pressure on the alternator. When the tension is correct, tighten both the adjustment bolt and the pivot bolt securely.

Replacing Spark Plugs:

  1. Disconnecting the cable: Made of nylon filament and filled with carbon the cable of a spark plug is fragile. Performance deteriorates quickly if the cable is pulled or twisted, or becomes wet, dirty or oily. To remove the cable from a spark plug, grasp only the protective boot and twist it back and forth while pulling it off. With some engines, you may have to take off the air cleaner to gain access to the spark plugs.

  2. Extracting the spark plug: Extract the spark plug using a spark plug socket - 14mm or 18mm in size, depending on the specifications given in your owner's manual. Fit the socket onto the spark plug and turn in until its rubber insert grips the spark plug firmly. Loosen the spark plug by applying strong pressure with a socket wrench, fitting it with an extension and universal joint, if necessary. When the spark plug is loosened, twist it out by hand.

  3. Inserting a new spark plug: Before installing a new spark plug, check its gap using a wire gauge and adjust it, if necessary. Smear the threads of the spark plug with anti-seize compound, then install it and turn it clockwise with the extension of a socket wrench. When the spark plug is fully seated, fit the ratchet of the socket wrench on the extension and tighten the spark plug no more than one quarter turn it it has  a gasket; no more than 1.5 millimeters if it has no gasket. Over tightening the spark plug can damage the threads of it socket.

  4. Lubricating the spark plug: To protect the spark plug from corrosion, apply a thin layer of dielectric compound to the inside of its boot using a stick or an old screwdriver. Push the boot firmly onto the spark plug until you feel or hear it click over the tip of the spark plug. Then, spread a drop of silicone sealant where the cable and boot meet to bock moisture and dirt. If the boot and the cable are molded together, a sealant is not necessary.

Changing a fuse:

Refer to the cover of the fuse panel or the owner's manual to identify the circuit protected by each fuse, as well as the amperage (rate of current flow) through the circuit.

  1. For a flat automotive type fuse, use the   fuse puller provided in the fuse panel or buy a plastic fuse puller. Fit the   fuse puller onto the base of the fuse and pull it out.

  2. For a glass cartridge type (round with a   metal cap at each end), remove it with the fuse puller designed for its type;   do not use your hand. Replace a blown fuse with an identical fuse of the same   amperage rating.

  3. Some circuits are protected by a fusible   link - a short, thin wire soldered to the main wire; if it is blown, its   insulation will look blistered or charred. Have a blown fusible link   professionally serviced.

Changing a circuit breaker:

To replace a tripped circuit breaker or test the circuit, pull out the old circuit breaker with your fingers. Push an identical circuit breaker into the slot of the old one as a replacement. Some circuit breakers are mounted with nuts to a panel under the hood; remove the nuts using a small wrench.

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(Taken from: Time-Life Books Inc. -  Quick Action Guide to CAR CARE)

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