Automotive

Be your own mechanic and keep your cars running smooth with these repairs and routine maintenance projects and tips.

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  • Automotive Lubricants

  • Your local home center probably carries at least a dozen kinds of lubricant. Ever wonder why so many? So did we. Here's what we found out.

  • Top Auto Mechanic Tools

  • Pro mechanics reveal their top automotive tools, the ones that they keep close at hand and work best for them, including a battery-powered…

  • Repair Damaged Nuts and Bolts

  • A rethreading kit is an important part of any automotive toolbox. Use it to restore stripped threads on old, rusty nuts and bolts when you…

  • Tips for Buying a Mechanic's Creeper

  • Padded undercar creepers are worth the investment, even for amateur mechanics. You’ll enjoy changing the oil and working on the engine more when…

  • LED Safety Lighting

  • A retractable LED work light is safer than incandescent drop lights and a pocket LED puts light right where you need it in tight quarters.

  • Car Accessories: DC/AC Inverter

  • Charging a laptop or other electronic device on a car cigarette lighter works differently than charging from an outlet. Here's what you need to…

  • How to Use a Torque Wrench

  • Buy and use a torque wrench to prevent common over-tightening problems and avoid expensive fixes later.

  • How to Remove Panel Clips

  • Panel clips are used to hold door and splash panels in place, and it's important to use the right tool to remove and reinsert them or they can…

  • Road Trip Checklist

  • Road trips are more fun when the car doesn't break down. This quick maintenance checklist will alert you to potential problems before they turn…

  • Roadside Emergency Guide

  • Be prepared for breakdowns and roadside car problems like flats, dead batteries and mechanical trouble with this handy glovebox guide to…

  • How to Replace an Alternator

  • If your car or truck won't hold a charge, you probably need a new alternator. Learn how to test it, how to replace it, and where to find the…

  • Vacuum Leak

  • Vacuum leaks can cause a variety of engine problems, and pros charge money to find them. Here’s how to track them down yourself with a spray…

  • 2011 SUV and Truck Lineup

  • Buying a new truck or SUV? We've got the scoop on all the new 2011 models, along with specs and pricing. Check out Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan…

  • Tips for Car Stereo Repair

  • Remove your car radio/CD unit and send it in for repairs rather than buying a new one. The trick is getting it out without wrecking anything.

  • How to Test an Alternator

  • Don't test an alternator by disconnecting the negative battery cable. Use a voltmeter instead to conduct a simple, safe test.

  • Freeing Up a Rusted Wheel

  • Remove a rusted-on wheel with rust penetrant, a hand maul and a block of wood. Prevent rusting with anti-seize lubricant.

  • Winterize Your Boat

  • Winterize your inboard/outboard motorboat and save $150. Our instructions include an oil change, draining the engine block, lubing the lower…

  • Install a Remote Starter

  • Install a remote starter for your car yourself. It's a great upgrade, inexpensive and a project you can do yourself with simple tools and the…

  • Motorcycle Safety

  • Motorcycles are enjoyable and efficient. Ridden properly, they're safe, too. Follow these simple safety tips, and you and your bike will have…

  • Motorcycle Detailing Tips

  • Whether you're selling your bike or just want it to look its best, detailing a motorcycle pays big dividends. Here's a collection of detailing…

  • Auto Body Side Molding Fix

  • Reattach rubber or vinyl side molding on your car before it comes loose. Auto trim on late model cars is notorious for peeling…

  • Changing a Car Serpentine Belt

  • Automatic belt tensioners, standard in most cars now, make changing a serpentine belt a simple DIY repair. Follow the clear photos and…

  • How to Replace Dashboard Lights

  • Replace dashboard lights by removing the trim panel and instrument cluster. It sounds intimidating, but it's simpler than you might think…

  • Replace a Leaking Heater Hose

  • Save money on your next heater hose repair by replacing just the leaky hose instead of the whole assembly. All you need is a rotary tool and a…

  • Replace Side View Mirror Glass

  • Buy a precut mirror and fix the broken one on your car. The fix costs less than $20 for parts and supplies and takes only 10 minutes to complete.

  • Prevent License Plate Theft

  • Prevent license plate theft by using special screws that require a special security wrench to remove. They're inexpensive and take only…

  • Install New Car Carpet

  • Replace the old dirty carpeting in your car with new pre-formed carpeting. It'll only cost about $200 and take 3 to 4 hours to do a first-rate…

  • Save Money With DIY Truck Repair

  • Own a truck or SUV? Learn how to change the differential oil, replace a transfer case shift motor, get a jammed tailgate working again, and make…

  • Tips for Selling Your Car

  • To get the highest price when selling your car yourself, catch up on maintenance, detail the car, advertise, organize your records, avoid cheesy…

  • How to Fix a Car Power Antenna

  • Fix a stuck power antenna by replacing a burned out motor or bad cable/mast. You can do both in about 2 hours, and you'll avoid the $50 - $100…

  • Tips for Buying a Used Car

  • Before buying a used car, follow this 4-step inspection program to determine the vehicle's reliability, condition and value. It'll help you…

  • Car Horn Repair Tips

  • Use a simple fused jumper to pinpoint the problem with a bad horn. Often the fix is simple and cheap.

  • Car Won't Start: Here's What to Do

  • The click, click sound of a dead battery doesn't always mean the situation is hopeless. Try a few simple tests first—you may be able to…

  • How to Repack Wheel Bearings

  • Repack trailer wheel bearings to prevent the most common breakdown. It's an easy and cheap maintenance chore.

  • How to Upgrade Motorcycle Handlebars

  • If you're tired of the dated look of your motorcycle, consider swapping out the handlebars for a newer look. It's an easy upgrade, and you'll…

  • How to Loosen Stuck Bolts

  • Frozen, rusted bolts are a given in almost every auto or truck repair job. Instead of using anger and brute force, try one of these four proven…

  • How to Install a Car MP3 Player

  • Upgrade the original factory sound system in your car by installing an MP3 player. With the removal instructions you can usually swap out the…

  • How to Fix a Gas Octane Mixup

  • For some types of cars, gas octane really does matter, and putting low octane into a car that requires high octane can cause problems. Here's…

  • How to Repair Fiberglass

  • A repair pro shows you how to make invisible fixes for scuffs, dents and scratches in fiberglass boats and other fiberglass items. You'll save a…

  • Replace Door Locks on Your Car

  • Repair broken power locks by replacing the actuator, which is a common problem on late-model Fords. You'll save on the shop fee plus some of the…

  • Accident Prevention: Backup Alarms

  • Replace your vehicle backup bulbs with alarm bulbs to alert folks nearby for safer backing. It's quick and easy. Or add a louder freestanding…

  • How to Change a Bicycle Tire

  • Follow these simple steps for replacing a punctured bicycle tube. You can even fix the flat on the go if you have a spare tube, tire levers and…

  • How to Replace a Car Antenna

  • Repair most types of bent auto antennas for less than $20 in parts. You can easily fix both “pillar-mount” and…

  • How to Repair a Dim Headlight

  • Simply clean the ground connection to restore the brightness of dim headlights. And apply a little dielectric grease. Or replace the bulb if you…

  • How to Replace Sway Bar End Links

  • Fixing a clunk when your car hits a bump is a trial and error process. Start with the stabilizer bushings and then the bar end links, using a…

  • Motorcycle Buying Guide

  • Don't get stuck with a lemon. Our used motorcycle-buying guide shows you the most common problems in older bikes, and what it costs to fix them.

  • How to Recharge Your AC

  • Improve the cooling of your car's air conditioner with an easy-to-use A/C recharge kit. You can do it in four simple steps. We also tell you…

  • Car Won't Start

  • If you turn the car key and your car won’t start, don’t give up. Before you call for a tow, try these seven simple tricks to get…

  • How to Remove a Stuck Screw

  • Get that stuck screw out using one of these techniques for removing screws in metal. Begin with the easiest and move on the more complex if…

  • What to do If

  • What do you do if a dashboard warning light comes on? Our experts tell you how to respond to these and other common roadside…

  • How to Load a Grease Gun Cartridge

  • Loading a new grease cartridge seems easy enough. But if you don't do it right, an air lock might keep grease from coming out when you pump the…

  • Replace a Broken Side View Mirror

  • Replacing a broken side view mirror is easier and cheaper than you might think. Once you have the right tools, the hardest part is just finding…

  • How to Repair a Car Heater Hose

  • A leaking heater hose will stop your car dead in it's tracks, but with a basic repair kit you can fix the hose yourself, even out in the…

  • Car Repair Tips for Fast Fixes

  • Even if you're not a car-geek, doing some simple, basic maintenance on your vehicle will keep it out of the shop and extend its life.…

  • Don't Use Economy Auto Parts

  • Avoid economy auto parts. They typically wear out much faster than professional grade parts and will cost you time, money and aggravation in the…

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