Showing posts with label repair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label repair. Show all posts

Save On Repairs with YouTube Instructional Videos


We have really old cars (1998 truck, and 2004 sedan) which both have about 80,000 miles so they have a lot of life in them yet. Unfortunately, with the constant Florida sunshine the plastic covers of the headlights gets yellow and cloudy. To improve visibility during driving, and to improve the aesthetic look of the vehicles we wanted to replace those old yellow lights with new ones. Additionally, the fifteen year old truck has badly worn out cruise control switches that were still operational, but the plastic had become tacky and essentially the on/off button disintegrated with age.

Since neither of these upgrades were needed for safety or operation, only our desire to be vain and have our vehicles look newer was the motivation. Therefore, it had to be frugal to undertake, and that meant we would do it ourselves. One of the things we've discovered over the past few years is that there is a YouTube video out there showing you how to do almost anything. And if there isn't a video, you can make one to help others. Which is what we did.


To undertake a task you are not familiar with, requires you to research and investigate - and the internet is a great place to do this. I do this a lot when I'm trying to figure out how to change a setting on my blog, or to clean an A/C unit, or repair a vehicle. If you need a part for your repair, google it along with the item's name that you need the part for i.e., truck, tractor, cd player, refrigerator. Once you determine that you can obtain the part you need to replace, you need to figure out how to replace it. This is where YouTube comes in handy. But YouTube is not very organized so you need to try a lot of different search terms and view a lot of videos that won't solve your problem. There are a lot of procedures that would work for your Ford truck, but they may be titled with Mercury truck (which is the same manufacturer). Hopefully, eventually you'll find one that suits your purpose.

One of the car repairs we did was replace the cruise control switch that disintegrated on our Ford truck. There was no video we could find on YouTube, so we created our own. Actually, we found instructions and then when we were ready to do the job, I videoed it on my phone. Its not a very pretty video, but if you don't have a clue where to begin, it is helpful. Its short and sweet and choppy, but its getting a lot of views.



So in the last month, thanks to YouTube we have saved a bunch of money by fixing things ourselves. We replaced the headlights on both vehicles for about 100 dollars each, plus about 40 minutes labor. We also replaced the cruise control switches in about 10 minutes for 77 dollars. And we cleaned out our A/C coils for about 15 dollars and a couple hours of labor, plus just last weekend we replaced the clutch cable on the lawn tractor for 11 dollars and about a half hour of labor.

How much have you saved using YouTube instructional videos?

Plumbing Repair Drama

When we decided to to remodel our hall bathroom last year, part of the idea was to replace the 50 year old galvanized pipes since we had experienced a few leaks under the vanity. The problem was we had no access to the pipes because they were behind the tile walls, which were behind the vanity. So we we started the project with roto hammers, sledge hammers and crowbars. Along with the tools of destruction we needed strong boots, leather gloves, hearing protection, eye protection and hats to keep all the tile chips and dust from injuring anyone. So we started smashing walls, and tugging on rebar until we revealed rusty old pipes and rotten wood beams. They were just hanging there, totally rotted away after years of water leaking. And the smell was worse than an old haunted house!
 
As we started shoveling the tile, wire and concrete debris into buckets to remove it from the room, I accidentally sheared off the shower pipe with the tip of the shovel. Of course the water wasn't turned off and it was like the Yellowstone Park Geyser - shooting water straight up and all over, making a muddy mess. I quickly ran outside and turned off the water source to the house. Now we had to call the plumber. On a Saturday for an emergency plumbing repair. Good luck getting a deal on that. It ended up costing us $500 just to cap off that one line.
 
When we asked the plumber to fix a couple other bad spots that's when he suggested we just re plumb our whole house, since all the pipes were rusty and old. It ended up doubling the cost of our bathroom remodel but in hindsight it was the best thing we did. Now we have peace of mind knowing those pipes behind the new walls will last as long as I'm in this house.
 
I am participating in a blogger campaign for Bucks2Blog about plumbing repair and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own.