There are very few of us who actually enjoy making car repairs. If it was up to many of us, our cars would run until our last dying breath before they dared tried to quit on us. Unfortunately, that isn't the case, though. Every car, from a new Land Rover to a 10 year old Peugeot, eventually needs to have something repaired on it. If the car has been properly maintained, it may only be a head lamp or a fuel filter. If you've procrastinated on repairs in the past, it may be something bigger, like a new transmission or engine.
For many of us, having to replace those larger (and much more expensive) items isn't something we want or enjoy. So when problems come up, we visit our local mechanic and have them deal with it immediately.
For a few others, though, spending any kind of money on their car isn't in the cards. These few cut corners in an effort to save pounds, resulting in hilarious, yet horrifying, DIY fails.
Creative DIY Fails and the car Parts Needed to fix Them
A Broken Head Lamp
Maybe they were in an accident. Maybe they made their ex mad. Whatever the case, this DIY fail is nothing short of extremely creative.
The owner of the car had a broken head lamp. A simple fix, right? For the owner, even the simplest fix wasn't quick enough or cheap enough. Instead of replacing the head lamp, he instead placed three torches where the fixture should have been and duct taped them in place.
What Should Have Been Done
Fixing car parts like head lamps isn't hard, especially in newer models. If it's only the bulb that has gone out, you will need consult your service manual to figure out what type of bulb it is and how to replace it. This generally takes just a few minutes of your time, allowing you to get back on the road quickly.
In older vehicles, replacing head lamps and bulbs is a bit more time-consuming, but still easy to do.
- Remove any screws that connect the frame of the head lamp to the bracket that holds it in place. Leave the screws that are there only for adjustment purposes.
- Pull the socket away from the head lamp to remove the electrical connector.
- Take the headlight out completely and throw it in the bin.
- Place the new head light in the same place, making sure it is positioned correctly.
- Plug the socket back in to the new head lamp, then place the new head light into the frame.
- Place the frame into the bracket and reattach the screws you took out earlier. These screws will keep the bracket and frame in place.
Hangers Work. Right?
When 18 year old Daniel discovered that his exhaust clamp on his Land Rover had completely rusted through, he wasn't sure what to do. The clamp had fallen apart due to the rust, leaving the male and female exhaust pipes hanging down and apart. When he approached his dad about the problem, his father had a unique solution: wire clothes hangers. By bending the hangers, they were able to tie the car parts together and keep them elevated for a short while.
How it Should Have Been Done
Unfortunately, this solution isn't the best one. Land Rover parts like the exhaust clamp aren't interchangeable with common household items. While the hangers may do the job for a little while, they are too fragile and thin to hold the exhaust pipes for very long.
Instead, Daniel should have purchased a new exhaust clamp. He could have installed it easily with these steps:
- Using car jacks, lift the car so you can gain access to the exhaust pipes. Secure the jack stands so you can feel safe while working on the car.
- Make sure you can see the entire exhaust, then slide the clamp into position on the pipes. Once you are satisfied it is where it needs to be, insert the base on the clamp and tighten it up using a socket wrench.
- Test the results by turning on the ignition after the jacks have been removed. Look for leaks and listen for any strange noises.
Aspirin Helps More Than a Headache
Nicholas slammed the door of his Vauxhall, frustrated at the fact that it refused to start. Alone in the the car park of his office building, there was no one to help him jump it off to get home. Luckily, he had a bottle of aspirin sitting in the front seat. With care, he opened the battery beneath the bonnet and dropped two tablets in. With determination, he tried again and again to start the car, and it finally roared to life.
How it Should Have Been Done
Using aspirin to jump start a car is a trick that many car owners have used throughout the years. The aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, which, when combined with the sulphuric acid in the battery, can produce a single charge.
This solution is only temporary, however. Most often, it only works once. If Nicholas didn't drive immediately to a service station, chances are the Vauxhall wouldn't have started the next time he attempted to turn on the ignition.
When your battery goes dead, there's only really one solution to the problem: buy a new battery. The old battery shouldn't simply be thrown away, either. It should be recycled instead, as the lead, plastic, and acid that make it up can damage the environment greatly.
While some DIY tricks can work as temporary solutions, and many are rather funny to see and hear about, cutting corners on repairs to car parts isn't the right choice for anyone. Many times, this only leads to more problems in the long run. If you want to save pounds now, do the repairs to car parts correctly. Sometimes this may mean having the help of a professional, but the cost will outweigh the consequences in the long run.