Automotive

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

How to Change Air Filter

Replace your air filter in minutes. And vacuum out debris while you're at it.

Automotive projects

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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.

  • How to Splice Automotive Wires

    Use a professional crimper and electrical moisture sealant to make quick, solid connections in auto wiring.

  • Do it right. Do it yourself.

    The Family Handyman is proud to announce the DIY University. Courses that give you the confidence and know-how to get the job done right.

  • Retire Your Old Automotive Test Light

    Invest in a computer-safe test light and retire the old incandescent test light. The old one can damage sensitive electronics in your car.

  • Best Air Tools for Automotive work

    You’ll get more jobs done faster—and better—by expanding your collection of air tools. Air tools speed up auto work and can loosen just about…

  • 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…

  • Diagnose Car Problems With a Stethoscope

    Diagnosing many car problems is easier with an automotive stethoscope, a tool that lets you hear inside the engine. Here's an introduction to…

  • 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…

  • Using a Vehicle Diagnostic Code Reader

    Diagnose car problems without going to a mechanic with an auto code reader. Simply plug it into the car's computer system, then interpret…

  • 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.

  • 6 Point Sockets vs. 12 Point Sockets

    Are 12-point sockets as good as six-point sockets? Find out the answer—and why—before you buy that expensive set of socket wrenches…