Publisher Letter: Fix It Yourself with YouTube

Photo of Bob Hunt, publisher of Montana Senior News


Quiet Day Manor

By BOB HUNT, Publisher

Living in a rural area, I have developed a general knowledge of fixing things myself through the years. If you have been reading this column for a while, you know I don’t do vertical ladder work for safety reasons anymore. I do, however, try and discover ways to fix things around here with a little help from the Internet.

My wife’s truck has a ton of mileage on it, and inevitably, it needs repairing from time to time. Most recently, it was a battery problem—something I have dealt with over the years and feel confident taking on. So I headed 13 miles down to the local parts store and purchased a new battery. Cleaned the posts and installed. The truck ran fine for a couple days until the battery light came on the dashboard again. Now what?

For times like this, I go into my office and open my computer to the World Wide Web for answers. If you have not done research for fixing stuff online yet, you should try it.

Channels on YouTube walk the viewer, step by step, through the process for repairing, replacing, and preventing problems from happening again. It’s like you were in the backyard with the instructor, troubleshooting your own problems. 

I have fixed a myriad of things this way and feel everyone should know about these pearls of knowledge that are just a keystroke away.

I have spent some time looking at videos showing exactly how to replace an alternator (that gizmo that provides electricity to the battery and motor) on a 2001 Toyota Tacoma. 

Several how-to videos depict this exact problem with explanations of what tools you need and how to save precious steps. The information available is at times quite entertaining, especially when the video channel is from overseas, and the accents and word choices are foreign to me. 

Interesting folks from as far as New Zealand can show you how to fix a Toyota truck. I find this fascinating and, well, helpful.

My father could hardly run a screwdriver, so my fix-it knowledge had a gap when it came to repairing things. I have learned through the years by necessity. But since the arrival of YouTube, learning got a lot easier.

The subjects you can find on YouTube are as vast as the world itself. Learn how to repair a refrigerator gone awry. Or learn what plants deer are least likely to eat out of your garden. Or learn how to make a raised garden bed.

Go ahead and try it, for anything. All it requires is a simple search. You will be amazed at how thorough some of these videos are. Anything from home improvements to backyard mechanic videos are available.

Choose to revitalize things yourself. You will feel the pride of accomplishment upon completion, and you’ll save money and, perhaps, a 13-mile tow into town. MSN

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