Tag Archive for DIY

Some Car Advice For The Non-Gearheaded

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Cars are kind of unique in one important respect: Most of us have to have one, even if we don’t have a clue how they work. We – most of us – can avoid other things we don’t really understand, like differential equations. But cars are as much a part of modern life as clothes…

Time to Sell, Trade … or Junk It?

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Kids leave the house at 18, Christmas is always December 25th… but when is it time to sell, trade – or junk – your car? It’s a hard question, especially if you like the car. Even more so if it’s been reliable … up to now. But, a day will come when you’re faced with a…

When Should I Change My Car’s Oil?

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It’s a very common question – but it’s hard to get a straight answer. I’ll try to give you one. It depends. On your particular car. And how you drive it. First, let’s consider the car you’ve got. The older it is, the more often you’ll need to change the oil. Especially if it’s older than circa late…

The “Don’t Do” List

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Fixing cars can be fun – or at least, satisfying (and money saving). Breaking your car – or yourself – is not fun. Here’s how to avoid doing that: * Don’t “fix” a problem until you know what the problem is – A great mistake made by many is to guess that “x” is the problem when in fact…

Working on Cars – Tips That Might Help

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Experience is a great teacher. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years working on cars that may help you avoid hassles when working on your car: * Remove the fill plug before you remove the drain plug – This applies mostly to manual transmissions and rear axles, which typically have a drain plug…

Never Get in Trouble Trying to Fix Your Car

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Probably the main reason many people don’t dare do it themselves is they’re afraid of not doing it right. More to the point, they’re afraid of doing it wrong – breaking something, or making a problem worse. But unlike surgery on people, cars are harder to permanently hurt. If you approach the “operation” from the…

When New Cars Get Old

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All cars become old cars, eventually. But the aging process is different for modern cars – by which is meant cars built since (roughly) the latter-half of the ’80s, when computer controlled engine management and fuel injection came online. Like a genetically gifted athlete who works hard to maintain his body, they remain “youthful” much…

New Cars Are Sometimes Easier To Fix . . .

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The conventional wisdom is that new cars are a maintenance nightmare – tough even for professional mechanics with all the right tools to service. There is a lot of truth to that – chiefly because of much tighter “packaging” than was common decades ago and also because of the shift away from rear-drive layouts (with…

Check Before Your Pour … and Before You Fill!

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The other day, I changed the oil/filter in one of my old cars. Because I have a small fleet of antique vehicles, as well as several “daily drivers” (plus a lot of equipment, including a tractor, riding mower, generator – you get the drift) that also need their oil/filters changed periodically, it is easy to…

DIY Don’ts!

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Do-it-yourself repair work can save you time and money – in addition to giving you a lot of satisfaction. But doing it wrong can end up costing you more in time and money than you would have spent farming the work out to a professional mechanic – and sour you on the idea of ever…