Friday, February 21, 2014

More DIY Tips

If you've been following this blog since the beginning (and you have an excellent memory), you might recall that years ago I sometimes gave ideas for saving money on car repairs. I've collected some more pictures to share with you, of cars that people care about just enough to attempt repairs, without actually spending any money.


Mirror coming loose? Or maybe broken off when you parked a bit too close to that tree? Not to worry, and don't go spending tens of dollars on a replacement! This can be fixed with a little crafting glue... or better yet, a lot of it. For added security, drive a few drywall screws right through the mirror, into the car door. Voila!

Here's a sweet looking Saturn with a rear bumper that had trouble staying on. Did its do-it-yourself owner waste lots time and money on it? Of course not! He's wise enough to know all that's needed is a bungee strap.

The front bumper is also loose, but this guy knows it would be a waste of valuable duct tape to secure it before it actually falls off...

At the corners, however, you kind of have to anchor down your body panels. You know what's great about C-clamps? They work for temporarily holding pieces together--like when glue is drying in the shop, but they can also be used for permanent repairs. Fast, easy, and totally secure! As long as the tire still clears, I don't see why you'd go with any other method.


My next tip isn't about DIY repairs, but how to tell when your car might be a beater.

Here's a picture of the right front fender on my sweet Kia minivan. (I'm serious. This is actually my van.) A while back, someone decided to use a key or rock or something to scratch up the paint. Whoever did this has some artistic talent, and didn't just make a long straight scratch, but a nifty little zig-zag.

Not only did I not get too upset when I noticed it, but I thought it kind of adds a nice touch. I considered duplicating the pattern on the other fender, but I'm afraid I would not get it right. When you see minor vandalism in this way, it's possible that your car is a beater.


That's all for now. Remember, if a repair job's worth doing, it's worth doing using only what's in your junk drawer, in about five minutes. In the dark.


  1. I can't believe you broke into my garage and took pictures of all my cars!!!
    I'd chastize you more, but I have to get to the lot to pick up a rad Kia...

    Whenever a fly by night body guy would stop me at a gas station to ask if I wanted any of the myriad issues with my old car fixed, I'd just tell them that I liked the damage because it added character.

    1. So you're one of those guys? The ones who feel you're overdoing it if you use anything more than duct tape and bailing wire to fix your car? As long as no big pieces fall off when you're driving, it was obviously fixed right!

    2. ...and I've had some cars with a lot of "character."

    3. I used to be terrible at taking care of my ride.
      Once had my brake pads fall off when I stopped. SCRREEEEEE!!!!!!k-chunk.
      Drove straight to my mechanic, stopping with the brake shoes.
      Needed two new shoes, two new discs.

      Learned my lesson after that.

    4. If the brakes fell off, that sounds like a design flaw. No way should the car owner be blamed for that!