Tag Archives: DIY video

duct tape rear view mirror

12 Reasons to ALWAYS Keep a Roll of Duct Tape in Your Car

“Houston, we’ve had a problem.” In 1975 the infamous Apollo 13 mission was in trouble. After an an oxygen tank exploded, the crew was forced to abort their planned moon landing, and return to Earth. The problem was that they only had enough oxygen for two days, and the trip would take four.

So, how did the crew fix the problem, and make it back to Earth alive? You could say they owe their lives to duct tape, which was used to fix the air filtration system.

Duct tape is incredibly strong, waterproof, and easy to tear. These qualities give it limitless potential uses, and it can really save you in a pinch. If duct tape is important enough to be carried on every space mission since the early 1960’s, I definitely think you should keep a roll in your car!

Here are some Apollo 13-like hacks for using duct tape to fix your car:

bumper fix duct tape

Fix bodywork after an accident

It’s your worst nightmare scenario, you’re at a stop sign and someone rolls right into the back of you. Your rear bumper is cracked and partially hanging off its mounts.

You can’t drive your car with the bumper dragging on the road. Do you rip it off and create even more damage just to get home, or do you whack out the duct tape and put a couple of strips over the flailing bumper?

A few feet of duct tape will hold your bumper on long enough to get your car home, or to the nearest service station.

Patch up your exhaust:

If you have an older car, this is bound to have happened to you at some point in your life.
You’re driving along when suddenly there’s a loud clang and sparks start flying from the back of your car.

Pulling over to see what the hell has happened, you realise that an exhaust mount has snapped. Thankfully, you carry a roll of duct tape with you! So, you can easily secure it, allowing you to make it to the garage so they can fix it properly.

Stop a coolant leak:

car hose fix duct tape

Your top hose splits in your engine bay, coolant is shooting out all over the place and you grind to a halt in a glorious puff of steam.

Have no  fear, you have your trust duct tape with you. Patching it up with a few wraps, you’re good to limp home. You could also do the same if your washer jets have a snagged and damaged hose.

8 More Reasons to Carry Duct Tape In Your Car

That’s just three big reasons we can think of, but there’s countless more potential duct tape hacks for your car. Imagine that…

  • Someone hits breaks off your rearview mirror in a parking lot? Duct tape it back on
  • Your window mechanism fails and you can’t keep the glass fully up? Use duct tape
  • There’s a big rip in the vinyl or cloth upholstery of your seat? Duct tape it
  • Your hood or trunk latch stops working while you’re out and about? Try duct tape
  • There’s a crack in your bumper that makes a whistling noise when you drive? Use duct tape
  • Some interior trim comes loose in your car? Duct tape it.
  • Someone backs into your bumper or headlight, and it’s hanging awkwardly? Duct tape it
  • You’re hauling kayaks to the lake and notice one of them has a small crack or is missing a drain plug? Duct tape it
  • Your kids won’t stop screaming in the backseat, and you just want their mouths to stay shut? DON’T use duct tape! 

You name it, duct tape can usually fix it.

Duct Tape Can Save Your Own Earthly “Apollo” Mission:

car use duct tape

Car issues can quickly become serious, especially if you can’t get cell reception, or if your phone dies.

Even if you aren’t mechanically minded you can still patch up and limp home, or it will hold until you can find someone else to help if you’re in the wilds.

Demonstration of the Uses for Duct Tape on an Old Car: (video)

There’s also specialist types of duct tape too. Even though the normal stuff will see you through most eventualities, you may want to think about buying some aluminum duct tape for high heat scenarios.

Also, Foil duct tape will patch up cracks in your exhaust and last far longer than the ordinary webbed tape.

So there you have it, a bunch of damn good reasons why you should put a small roll of ultra-sticky, (possibly lifesaving) duct tape in your glovebox.

You know it makes sense.


how check power steering fluid

Power Steering Fluid: How to Check + Flush Yourself – DIY Video

What is power steering fluid, and how do you check it? Most people rarely think twice about the power steering unit they have in their vehicle, mainly because it’s not a maintenance issue that commonly gets brought up. However, power steering might be one of the most important functions of your car, because if you’re not able to successfully navigate the wheel quickly, your car is an accident waiting to happen.

How to check power steering fluid:

If you can’t see inside to examine your fluid, a good way to check is to use a turkey baster and look at the fluid that you pull out from inside the baster.

If the fluid is lighter in color and doesn’t give off a burnt smell, then you probably just need to add more fluid to what you already have. As long as the fluid isn’t dirty and isn’t burnt, it’s usually still good to use.

If your fluid is a darker brown or black color and smells like something that was pulled from a fire, however, that’s when you might need to flush your power steering fluid. One common way to replace your fluid is to simply remove the contaminated fluid with the turkey baster and replace it with newer fluid. If you’re only somewhat savvy when it comes to cars, this method of replacement rather than a full flush is a much safer way for you to handle your car’s maintenance.

How to FLUSH power steering fluid:

If you know what you’re doing when it comes to cars, however, a full power steering flush makes sense. The best way to do a proper flush requires the help of a friend who you can trust to start the car while you examine the fluid.

  • Disconnect the main low-pressure hose from the steering pump, allowing the contaminated fluid to drip out of the bottom.
  • Add enough new fluid to fill the system to the halfway mark, making sure that you’ve filled the steering system to the halfway point before starting the vehicle.
  • Once you have the system at the halfway point, have your friend start the vehicle to get the power steering pump engaged.
  • For best results, you’ll want your friend to turn the steering wheel back and forth to help get the new fluid pumping through the system.
  • As this is happening, you’ll notice the old fluid coming out of the back to be replaced by the new fluid. What you need to watch for when you replace power steering fluid is the color of the fluid that’s coming out of the system.
  • Once the color that comes out matches what you know is new fluid, then this part of the job is done and it’s time to get the hoses reattached.

Power steering change cost

For some people, the average power steering fluid change cost of $115 isn’t something that bothers them, but if you’re the type that doesn’t mind getting your hands dirty, it’s a relatively simple process that can lead to some moderate savings.

In fact, you can check the monthly flyer of stores like Advance Auto Parts to see if they have any on sale in-store. If you’re lucky, one of their mechanics might even check it for free at your local store.

The first thing to know about a power steering fluid change is that it’s not always necessary to go for a full flush. In order to know if a full flush is necessary, it’s a good idea to take a look at the existing fluid that’s already in your power steering system.

Test your power steering

However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the job is done and getting right back on the road immediately after you complete a power steering fluid change. Once you think you’ve removed all of the contaminated fluid from the system, it’s time to put the cap back on and test the steering with the car in a safe area.

Make sure that the wheel turns smoothly in each direction. When you operate the wheel, it should be easy to turn, with no difficulty in changing direction. If you find yourself getting stuck making a turn and having to use incredible force to complete it, that’s a sign that you might have a bigger steering problem.

Checking & flushing your power steering fluid is an important habit!

When you really think about it, the decision to replace power steering fluid is mostly about common sense. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a very straightforward maintenance procedure that you can do at home. If you can read a dipstick and determine how much fluid to add, managing your power steering fluid and keeping yourself and others safe on the road won’t be a difficult task at all!

how to change windshield wiper blades

How to Change Windshied Wipers: Fast & Easy Video Demonstration

windshield wipers symbolChanging your windshield wipers – For the latest and greatest coupons and promo codes to save money on windshield wiper blades, provided through Advance Auto Parts, please visit their coupon page. This post is a review of a short, 1 minute long video tutorial on how to change windshield wiper blades.

Changing your car’s windshield wipers demonstration

Please review this video first, and then read on for more discussion of this relatively easy process:

No tools are needed to change your wipers;  just a rag & some love

auto parts guyYou should not feel embarrassed if you have never changed the blades on your car. As the adage goes, see one, do one, teach one. And so having watched this video from Advance Auto Parts, and then having changed my own windshield wiper blades, I am now ready to teach!

The only tool that is needed for this maneuver is a shop towel and a rag! Having two hands will help, as well as a scissors to cut out the windshield wipers from the excessively sturdy plastic wrapping used on almost everything these days. First, the windshield wiper is gently lifted off the window, and the towel/rag is placed on the window, in case you are klutzy and the wiper crashes down.

But I can’t replace wipers on my own; I’m afraid of failure!

There is nothing to fear. The friendly man with the Santa Claus beard demonstrates how to replace a Bosch Icon blade with another Bosch Icon wiper blade. He then opens a clip cover located directly on top of the windshield wiper holder, and slides off the old wiper from the “J-hook.”

how to change wipersFrom what I can tell, the wiper blade is slid along the axis of the arm “forward” towards the base of the wiper arm, An analogy might be made to the human body: jam the forearm into the shoulder rather than pulling the hand away from the body. Or not. Honestly I felt like this step was not demonstrated very clearly, but upon watching the video and then going out to my own car and applying the same logic, I was able to quickly see what the bearded man was talking about. There really is a j-shaped locking mechanism, easily identified and with a J-type motion, easily released.

Wait for a satisfying click: wiper installation

He then slides the new windshield wiper directly onto the arm, and does not stop until he hears a satisfying click. This click confirms the wiper is fully engaged and will not fly off in the first torrential storm that tests its mettle.

It is very important to close the clip cover, or the whole thing will be unstable and perhaps prone to improper function and wear and tear.

How to change windshield wipers: easy demonstration video

As you can see this whole changing of the windshield wipers is very easy, almost embarrassingly so. For many years I spent extra money having Pep Boys replace my wipers during routine service. There is something very satisfying about doing your own car work, even at this most basic of levels, and so if you are hoping to take more responsibility for the care of your car, this “1 wrench level difficulty” video should be a great place to start. If you have a fear of failure, check out the list of free services at Advance Auto Parts, and they will replace them for you.

How to Check the Transmission Fluid in Your Car: DIY Video

how to check your car transmission fluid

So, how do you check the transmission fluid level of your car? So, most of you know how to check the oil in our car’s engine, but the transmission fluid is important too. A caution is given at the outset that you need to check your specific vehicles’ owners’ manual, but in general here is what the demonstrator does.

First, he advises letting the engine run on idle for 10-15 minutes, allowing the engine to heat up to operating temperatures. He then cycles the gear selector through park, neutral, drive, etc, mandating that the vehicle be on level ground and with a properly functioning emergency brake so the car does not go anywhere.

There are two dipsticks, one for the oil and the other for the transmission fluid. The one with the transmission fluid has a distinct symbol indicating the engine, it looks like a starburst in some ways, check it out in the video.

atf transmission fluidJust like an oil dipstick, it is best to pull out the transmission fluid dipstick fully, wipe clean with a cloth, and then fully insert and withdraw again. If the level is low as in the video, a funnel is recommended, and for this particular car ATF Transmission fluid is preferred. You can of course purchase ATF transmission fluid by using one of the links from this website to Advance Auto Parts, and a coupon or promo code can be entered to achieve a discount.

How to Easily check your transmission fluid

The demonstrator adds two quarts of transmission fluid until the dipstick indicates he has sufficiently filled the reservoir. He checks the dipstick using the same technique, wiping clean with a towel in between.

To summarize how to check the transmission fluid level, follow these easy steps according to Advance Auto Parts:

  1. 1: Set Emergency Brake
  2. Warm up engine
  3. Cycle through all gears
  4. Put shifter in neutral
  5. Pull out dipstick
  6. wipe fluid from dipstick
  7. Insert, then remove dipstick
  8. check fluid level
  9. Add fluid if needed

There you go – almost as easy as making sweet potato pie!

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