Do-it-yourself car care can save hundreds of dollars - if you know what you're doing. Fortunately, online videos and other services are making it easier to find your way around the old jalopy.
VideoJug.com. This video site has a big, organized collection of auto-maintenance videos and some helpful instruction on such subjects as choosing and using satellite-navigation systems. Other matters covered include how to use the mysterious car jack and how to change the oil. Each video is user-rated and reviewed. Some folks rave about the service: "This is really a cool site. It gives a better idea of how mechanics do their job."
A honed-down list of useful VideoJug car-care videos is here:
Expert village. This site showed about 1,000 videos in its auto-repair section. Want to know how to change windshield wipers? No problem. You can search by keyword, but there's no streamlined way to browse results. Still, there are valuable tidbits all over the place, such as the videos on tire-buying misconceptions and on how to identify tire wear. One is a simple tour around the auto-engine compartment called "How to Name the Parts of the Engine."
Lauren Fix. At HowStuffWorks, you can watch "Fall Car Care Tips with Lauren Fix." Fix is the site's "car coach." Her video explains how to use a handheld diagnostic device to plug into your car's computer. It's like the one the mechanic has, so you can figure out on your own what, if anything, is wrong.
Ask a mechanic. Along with the articles and links on this site for do-it-yourselfers, there's a box on this page for typing your auto-care question to a real mechanic at justanswer.com.
Questions you pose at the above site are answered by the justanswers.com experts. That site has experts in many other fields, too.
Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley
at 215-854-5114 or email@example.com.