I verified something this weekend that my friends have been doing for years. I went to visit my family in Sacramento, and when I got there my car started bogging down. Of course something like that would happen when I’m so far from home. Now, I love to drive, but I hate cars! It seems like something is always going wrong with them. As soon as one thing is fixed another thing needs to be replaced. It’s times like these I wish I had a mechanic as a role model growing up. I managed to get my car over to my mom’s house. I popped the hood and found one of my belts shredded (I wasn’t sure which one).
When something’s wrong, I do what most people do, I Google it. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I was dealing with the alternator/power steering belt. It didn’t look hard to get to, but I know nothing about engines. At this point, I started to think about what my friends (who are car guys) would do in this situation. Once again, they would Google it. I was successful in finding a five minute video showing how to replace that belt on the make and model of my car. A few years ago I would have called a mechanic, but being a little older and wiser I decided to try and tap into all my resources.
I was successful in replacing the belt, and nothing has gone wrong since. I guess I didn’t do a bad job. This experience has shown me the power of do-it-yourself videos online (which is what my friends have always used). There are tons of them! I’m sure some might not do things the right way, but for simple tasks they work great. At a mechanic I would have spent $150 getting this fixed. Instead it cost me 10 minutes of research, $20 for the belt, and 10 minutes to replace it.
This gets me to my main point:
1) If you have a problem, see if you can fix it yourself. You might not have any knowledge of the topic, but you’re never too old to learn.
2) If it’s clear it’s something you won’t be able to do, call an expert. I’ve tried to fix major problems myself and I’ve always made things worse.
3) If you aren’t sure, Google it.
Have you had good or bad experiances from doing projects yourself?
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April 14, 2012 at 11:07 PM
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April 16, 2012 at 10:08 AM
this is a great time saver, thank you very much $
April 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM
Very inspiring tip and story, Chris. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting our blog!
April 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Thank you Peter!
April 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM
I had a similar experience with my son’s Nintendo DS (cracked screen). I don’t know how much an “official” repair would have cost (including shipping it out, and wait time, no doubt), but in the end I bought the part and the custom screwdriver for about $20, and used how-to videos on YouTube that went into great detail. It was a bit more than 10 minutes, but a lot faster and cheaper.
April 27, 2012 at 7:21 PM
I’m glad it worked out for you. I had no idea that Nintendos required a specialty screwdriver!