DIY your car maintenance is a great way to save money and help prevent a mechanic or auto service technician from either scamming you with an unneeded repair, using the wrong part or counterfeit part in your car repairs, or just falling victim to plain bad automotive repair technique that adds damage to your car.
Wrong Tool for the Job
However, aside from your skills as a DIY mechanic the repair is often only as good as the tool used.
For example, one common mistake is to try to remove a broken bolt with an “Easy-Out” style extractor in which a small hole is drilled into the center of a broken bolt, after which the reverse-threaded “easy-out” is screwed into the bolt hole. Theoretically, the reverse thread will secure (screw the “easy-out" into the bolt) itself in one direction while at the same time putting torque on the bolt in the other direction that unscrews the bolt.
While the “easy-out” is an ingeniously simple design, the practicality of it in the real world is that too often the “easy-out” snaps off inside the broken bolt leaving the DIY mechanic with an even bigger problem on the repair due to “easy-outs” are (or should be) hardened steel making it very difficult to drill one out after it has broken.
IMHO, an “easy-out” should only be used in woodworking projects and not engines, but I’ve seen it done when it does work…until it doesn’t.
Bad Tool Design
Another example of running into problems with a repair is when a tool that should work doesn’t work because of bad design or cheap manufacture. Unfortunately, you often do not discover this until you actually use the tool and wind up with either more damage to deal with or a big mess in your garage.
That was the reason for a recent tool warning on the Toyota Maintenance YouTube channel this week as Peter shows the horrible mess of automatic transmission fluid all over his floor after a fluid extractor/dispenser tool malfunctioned during AT fluid dispensing. Not only did it result in a time-consuming mess to clean up, but it also meant lost money on the bad tool and lost AT fluid that can be quite expensive.
Follow along with the host and find out what brand of tool did the damage and what you should look for when inspecting this type of tool before buying one.
Don't Buy This Tool
For additional transmission fluid related articles, here are a few for your consideration:
- Easy and Correct Way to Change Your Transmission Fluid Without Removing the Pan
- Toyota and Lexus Transmission Fluid Warning to Owners
- The Sealed Automatic Transmission Flush Deception Revealed by a Mechanic
Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.
COMING UP NEXT: Illegal Towing by Your City Police Warning
Image source: Deposit Photos