DIY Do’s And Don’ts
by Pat Goss
Most of us know somebody with a project that went very wrong. Now how can you avoid having things like that happen? Well, first it’s information. You need a service manual; either a factory manual or an aftermarket manual or better yet something like Alldata Online. This is going to give you the information that you need. But you need to add something to that and that is your digital camera.
One of the things that helps so much is if you take pictures of the area that you’re going to be working in. This will show you where all the little hoses and wires and everything. Well, it shows you how to put them back together. Makes a huge difference.
But the other thing that information is going to give you is a list of tools that you’ll need, and you would be absolutely amazed at how many special pullers and wrenches and different things like that are required to work on a modern automobile. It can drive you nuts. And in many cases if you don’t have the right tools, you may get it apart and not be able to get it back together.
Once you’ve got all that organized, the next thing is to buy your parts. But don’t take the car apart until you make sure the parts are correct. You’d be shocked at how many problems there are with part fitment these days. It’s amazing.
At the repair shop we save a lot of time and energy by using tool trays similar to what we have here. We put all of the tools that we know we’re going to need for the job into this and wheel it to the car. Saves a lot of back and forth and a lot of mistakes.
Also you have things like this stool that has a tray on it. And Step-Two over here, you can sit on this and it has a tray. Any of these things makes the job easier. But then there’s another issue that you have to be concerned with and that is in many cases you’re going to have to raise the car up. To do that you’ll need a proper jack, but before you ever get under the car you need to place it on proper jack stands! Never get underneath a car unless it is supported properly! You don’t get second chances on this one! So be very, very cautious and safe on lifting the car.
If you do all of that, you’ll get the job done. It’ll be done right and things will work for a change.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.