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Repairs You Can Do and How-To Guides

If you've made it this far you're no doubt ready to dive in and tackle your next repair. How do we know you're ready? Because you're determined, and because you were smart enough to come to About.com to find out more! The list of common repairs you'll find in this section will save you time, money and frustration dealing with your mechanic. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and let a professional take care of things. The rest of the time, it's all about you, your tools and the feeling of empowerment when you look at a job well done.

How To Replace Your Oxygen Sensor
Replacing an oxygen sensor can seem like an impossible task, especially since the repair shops want so much money to do the job. If you want to replace your own O2 sensor, check out this step by step to see how easy it can be to save big money.

How To Replace Spark Plug Wires
If your spark plug wires are worn, you need to install new spark plug wires. Installing plug wires is not difficult, but can be disastrous if you do it wrong. If you need help replacing your spark plug wires, we're here to help.

How To Replace a Ball Joint
Do you need to know how to replace a ball joint? Ball joint replacement is not that difficult with these instructions and step by step how-to guide with photos. Replace your ball joints today.

How to Repair or Install Trailer Wiring
Installing or troubleshooting wiring for trailer lights and controls.

Installing a Windshield Rubber with the Soapy String Trick
There's an old trick to installing a windshield that uses a rubber trim and no adhesive to hold it in. The soapy string trick is a classic windshield installation tool.

How to Replace a Pickup Truck Tail or Brake Light Bulb
You've replaced the tail light bulb in your Honda, but now your Toyota or Nissan pickup truck has a bad brake light or tail light. You look inside to replace the bulb, but your Ford or GMC truck doesn't have access from the back like your car. I'll show you how to replace a blown tail light bulb in most pickup trucks.

How To Replace Rear Brake Pads for Disc Brakes
Replacing rear brakes is like replacing front brake pads but a little different. How to replace rear brake pads and discs. We will show you how to make the repair, troubleshoot brakes, emergency and get it repaired.

Replacing Your Charcoal Canister is Easy!
Check your codes, and if your check engine light has been telling you that you need to replace your EVAP system charcoal canister, you can do this repair yourself. Replacing your charcoal canister is not hard to do. Here's how.

How To Replace Your Idler Arm
If the steering in your truck is getting loose, you might need to replace your idler arm or your pitman arm (or both). We'll show you how to replace them and get rid of that wandering steering wheel.

How To Replace Your Pitman Arm or Steering Arm
If the steering in your truck is getting loose, you might need to replace your idler arm or your pitman arm (or both). We'll show you how to replace them and get rid of that wandering steering wheel.

Replacing a Front Wheel Bearing
Replacing a wheel bearing isn't the easiest job, but when you need to replace a wheel bearing, you'll know it. We'll show you how to replace a front wheel bearing without going nuts.

How To Replace a Rear Brake, Turn Signal or Back Up Light Bulb
It's not safe to drive around without all of your lights shining brightly. Every bulb on the outside of your car has a safety function. Be sure they are all working. We'll help you replace any that go dead.

Repair Your Chipped Windshield With a Windshield Repair Kit
You can repair your windshield yourself with a windshield chip repair kit. We've tested them, and now we'll show you how to fix a chipped windshield using one of these kits. Save money, you don't need a replacement windshield, fix this one.

How To Replace Your Master Cylinder
If you're experiencing low brake pressure, squishy pedal, bad pedal feel, soft pedal, or any other problems with your brakes, you might need to replace your master cylinder. Brakes are important, and the master cylinder is the centerpiece of the system. Replacing your master cylinder isn't too difficult. We can show the DIY mechanic how to install a new master cylinder.

How To Bench Bleed Your Master Cylinder
If you have to replace your master cylinder, you will have to bleed the brakes. But how much you have to bleed your brakes after you install a new master cylinder may depend on your preparation. We'll show you how to bleed your master cylinder before you install it, making it much easier to get your brakes up to par and get back on the road.

Adjusting Brake Pedal Height and Free Play
Pedal height adjustment will fine tune your brakes for comfort and effectiveness. If your brakes feel funny, low, or spongy, pedal height adjustment should be on the list of things you do to correct the brakes.

How To Replace a Fuel Injector
Many troubleshooting scenarios lead you to the fuel injection system, and sometimes to the fuel injectors themselves. These piezo injectors can go bad and will need replacement. The fuel rail that holds the fuel injectors may also need to be replaced. Replacing your fuel injectors may seem scary, but in fact it's not a difficult repair.

How To Replace Your Turn Signal Relay
If your turn signals aren't working, they won't come on or they blink rapidly, you need to replace your turn signal relay (also known as the flasher relay). The turn signal relay or flasher relay is usually easy to access so that you can repair your turn signals without spending a lot of time troubleshooting.

Auto Body Repair, Dent Repair
Repairing a dent in your car body is not difficult. It just takes patience to sand, wet sand, color sand and fill the dent using body filler like Bondo. Bondo is ok to use in small amounts, but don't go overboard with dent repair body filler!

How To Repair Your Inflatable Car
Chances are your XP designed Whisper inflatable car will never get a puncture. But even the developers won't say it's impossible. That's why we decided to get a jump start on inflatable car body repair with this informative how-to for DIY body repair people who are driving an exciting inflatable car.

Replace Your ABS Relay or ABS Controller
Your ABS light haunts you. Your ABS is not working. The ABS light tells you that something is wrong. You may need to replace your ABS relay. If your ABS relay needs replacement, this is an expensive repair, unless you do it yourself. DIY ABS control replacement can save money. This step by step how-to guide to replacing your ABS computer will help.

How To Replace Your Fuel Pump: DIY
Your electric fuel pump is the left ventricle of your car. Without a fuel pump your engine will be fuel starved and will not start, or your engine dies, or engine idles poorly. This DIY will show you how to replace your fuel pump using your own tools.

Replace Your Rear Suspension Bushings
If your car seems to thump and bump more than it used to in the rear, you may need to replace your rear suspension bushings. Use this how-to DIY guide to replace your rear suspension bushings using standard rubber bushings or stiffer polyurethane bushings.

Installing a New Fuel Tank
Fuel tank replacement becomes necessary when your fuel tank develops a leak or has been punctured or otherwise damaged. Replacing your gas tank can be a worthwhile repair also if your fuel tank has begun to rust in the case of a metal gas tank. This how-to will guide you through installing a new fuel tank.

Repairing a Brake Line
Brakes are very important to your car, probably at the top of the list. If your brake lines become brittle, they need to be replaced. Brakes are no place to skimp. replacing a brake line (or brake hose) is not a bad repair at all.

Replace Your Fuel Tank Sending Unit
If your gas gauge readings are bad, or you know that you need to replace your fuel sender, replacing the sending unit isn't difficult. In most cars the fuel sender, also known as the fuel sending unit that controls your gas gauge readings, is in an accessible location to repair yourself.

Install a New Car Stereo
Whether you are a car stereo addict or an AM radio junkie, most of us spend most of the time in our car with the stereo on. If your car stereo bites the dust, or if you want to install a new car stereo with an iPod connection, you can install a new unit with ease.

Wiring Basics: Stripping and Crimping
Before you attempt any electrical repairs, be sure you know how to properly handle wires and connections.

Avoiding Muffler Repair By Tightening One Bolt
If you hear noise underneath your car that rattles and vibrates, you might not need expensive muffler repair. Muffler repairs can be costly, but if you do a little investigation you might find the rattle yourself. Then no muffler repair!

Replacing a Warped or Worn Brake Disc
If your car is doing the shimmy shimmy when you press the brake pedal, it could be a warped brake disc. A brake disc can warp due to heat buildup or wear, and a warped brake disc is a real teeth-shaker. Luckily, they are easy to replace.

Replacing a Stripped Wheel Stud
A stripped wheel stud can be dangerous. Any damaged wheel stud should be replaced as soon as possible. Your wheel hubs and brakes were designed to work with a specific number of wheels studs holding things together. Without all of them you may be compromising safety.

Exhaust Hanger Replacement Made Easy
The clunk you hear under the car might be a broken exhaust hanger causing your muffler to bounce around. A bad exhaust hanger is easy to replace. Your car has more than one exhaust hangers, so you get an extra chance to make the repair before your muffler ends up dragging down the street.

Plugs Aren't Just For Hair
If you've ever seen a tire plugged, it seems like some sort of magic. This little black worm somehow wiggles into that hole in your tire, and suddenly it holds air again. The good news is that it's not magic, and you can plug your own tire for about $5.

Honda Power Window and Locks Fix
Intermittent problems with your power windows and locks can be more than frustrating. If you're a Honda ownwer, there's a quick, clean trick to try before you open your wallet to the man.

What is Automotive Empowerment?
Automotive Empowerment is a philosophy and a practice. The more you know about your car, the more you can do yourself, and the more you can protect yourself against unnecessary or inflated repair bills. There's no feeling like it when it comes to your car. Anybody can start to learn a little about their car, it's never too late to start, and you can learn or as much or as little as you like. Either way, you're saving yourself time, money and headaches. Did I mention money?

Replacing a Blown Fuse
When the lights go out in Georgia, or anywhere for that matter, it can be really frustrating if that light happens to be your headlights. Get to know your car's fuse box and you'll be sure to shed some light on the situation.

Replace Your Headlight Bulb
Don't pay your mechanic an inflated price to replace your headlight when it goes out. For the price of a Happy Meal you can do it yourself. You're four simple steps away from saving a little money and a lot of time. So get to it!

Replace Your Brake Pads
Your brakes have been screaming at you for a week and you know it's time to change your brake pads. Why sit in a cramped waiting room drinking foul coffee and watching Fox News? You could be in your driveway doing the job yourself. You'll save a bundle of money and get to soak up a little sunshine in the process. It's not hard to do if you know...

Should You Fix It Yourself?
The decision to make your own auto repairs is an important one. Before you undertake a specific repair, you have to ask yourself if you are capable of safely, effectively and efficiently making the fix. Making the right decision at this point can save a lot of headache time down the road.

How to Replace Struts on Your Car or Truck
Step by step instructions on how to replace struts in your car or truck, including photos of each important step.

How To Replace a Trailer Wheel and Tire
Often overlooked but very important are trailer tires. They wear out just like regular tires and can be a pain if they are bald. A trailer without good traction is not safe and no fun to drive. This is a step by step for replacing your trailer wheel and tire.

How To Replace Your Universal Joint
If your universal joint or drive shaft is making noise, you may need to replace your universal joint. This printable step-by-step how to with detailed photos will help you replace your universal joint and save lots of cash.

Replacing Your Honda Accord Vehicle Speed Sensor
If your aging Honda has a bouncy speedometer, you might need to replace your Vehicle Speed Sensor, or VSS. Here's how to do it.

How To Install a Leaf Spring Mount
If your leaf spring is sagging, or worse if it looks like it tried to break through the bed of your truck, you might need to replace a broken spring perch mount. When a spring perch wears out it lets go of the spring which can make the rear of the vehicle drop or sometimes even make the leaf spring bend the floor of your car's trunk or truck's...

Replacing and Cleaning your EGR Valve and Backpressure Sensor
Installing a Dodge or Chrysler EGR valve is easy. The EGR valve and electrical backpressure transducer come off as a unit, making replacement and cleaning of the area straightforward.

How To Install Blade Type Bracketless Windshield Wipers
How to install or upgrade to the new contoured blade type wipers.

How to Replace a Water Pump
You can replace your water pump, troubleshoot an overheating problem and diagnose your cooling system here.

How To Replace Your Serpentine Belt, Fan, Alternator or Water Pump Belt
Belt replacement for all cars and trucks.

How To Replace an In-Tank Fuel Pump
Replacing a submersible in-tank fuel pump.

How To Replace the Wheel Cylinder in a Drum Brake
Replacing a brake wheel cylinder isn't too tough, and can save you tons of money.

How To Replace a Broken Outside Rear View Mirror
Replacing a broken door mirror in step by step detail with photos.

Tips on Cleaning Road Stripe Paint and Other Junk From Your Car's Paint Job
Whether you drove through a freshly striped road or got stuck behind the tar truck, these tips will help you clean up your paint job, it's like turning back time.

How To Fix Your Rear Defroster
Step by step instructions on repairing a broken rear defroster. Great photos.

Diagnosing and Adjusting Points Type Ignitions
Ignition points are easy to adjust. Find out whether your vehicle uses points, and learn how to adjust them for a proper tune up.

How to Repair Your Plastic Bumper
Repairing a plastic bumper for minimal cash outlay.

How to Paint Your Car
If you've ever wanted to know how to paint your own car, this is the place to get that information presented clearly, concisely and in a way that you can make good use of in your home garage.

Adding Shine to New or Old Paint through Wet Sanding
You can use sandpaper to make your paint shinier. Sound crazy? Well, it works! Check it out.

Paint Stripping: What Route is Best?
Before you strip your paint, be sure you choose the best method of getting the job done.

How to Clean Car Parts from Start to Finish
Follow these steps to make parts cleaning quicker and cleaner.

How to Wet Sand Your Car's Primer or Paint
What is wet sanding and how do you do it right? Get the details here along with the photos to show you how to do it right.

How to Protect Your Car Project with Primer the Easy and Cheap Way
Priming or painting at home is possible. Just check out this easy how-to.

How to Install a Transmission Cooler
How to install a transmission cooler or upgrade to a heavy duty cooler. This is a really easy job.

How to Replace a Broken Headlight Lens
This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through the process of replacing an entire headlight in your vehicle.

Replacing Your Full Size Truck Front Bumper
Here's how to replace the front bumper on your full size pickup truck after an accident. Easy as 1-2-3.

Metal Shaping Intro: Hammer and Dolly
True metal workers know how to use a hammer and dolly. You should check it out, and maybe even give it a try!

How to Bleed Your Car's Brakes
Brake bleeding is a useful and easy task to keep your brakes in shape.

How to Install Brake Discs on Your Truck
Install a new brake disc on your truck.

How to Replace a Brake Caliper
Replacing a brake caliper is a moderately easy repair. Here's how to get it done safely.

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