Keeping your car in good working order is not easy. It’s especially more difficult when something goes wrong, and you have to decide whether you can really trust those smirking assholes down at the Jiffy-Lube. You don’t have to rely on those name-badged jerks any longer, since you can easily learn some great ways to do it on your own. Here are seven awesome, handy auto repair tips that my dad taught me and that only now years later do I realize were him trying to emotionally connect to me. Read one!
Replacing Windshield Wipers is Easy: Say you’ve got some old, busted-ass windshield wipers, and turning them on is doing nothing but smearing bug guts across the glass. But getting them changed at a shop will on average put you back at least $60, and that’s not including the cost of the wipers themselves! But all it takes to do it yourself is a little care, knowing where the separation pin is, and always remembering that it’s easy to replace this, but you can never replace family. That’s what my dad always said.
Prevention is Less Expensive Than Repair: My old man was the quiet type, a real Spencer Tracy. But sometimes when we were driving to the hardware store together even though I just wanted to watch “Animaniacs,” out of nowhere, he would say it’s always better to take care of things before they got too bad and couldn’t be fixed. Then he would quickly go into how he meant rotating tires.
Now I realize it wasn’t about tires at all.
Alternators Can Be Replaced at Home: If you take your Honda Civic to a shop to get an alternator replaced, you’re going to out at least $800 and have to talk to a guy named Clem. Don’t be a fool, stay at home, and spend some quality time with your Civic. Yeah, I know the Civic represented me as a child. It’s pretty obvious.
Air Filters Need Checking Every 12 Months, On Your Dad’s Birthday: We’re pretty sure this isn’t true, but why take the risk and end up with terrible air quality?
Repairs Go Faster When You Listen to “Cat’s in the Cradle”: We like Harry Chapin as much as the next guy, but this was almost certainly just Dad trying to use the poetry of 1970s singer-songwriter storytelling to say the things a lifetime under the weight of male emotional repression would never let him say himself.
‘57 Dodge Dart is Surprisingly Easy for Two People to Restore Together, If They Make The Time: We looked up some specs on a ‘57 Dodge Dart, and it actually looks like it would have been a lot of fun. It could have maybe been something that bridged the gulf that seemed wider and wider every year. Also, can be done with tools you probably already have!
A Car’s Engine is Just Like a Heart: It can be broken.