Car Jack Safety – How to Choose the Right Jack for DIY Repairs

DIY auto repair projects can be satisfying and exciting, as you start seeing how much money and time you can save, as well as seeing your own repair ability grow and develop. Unfortunately, though, as you commence in different DIY projects, you may notice a certain lack of safety instructions in different DIY guides, especially when it comes to car jack safety. Does this mean car jack safety isn’t important or is irrelevant? Not in the least!

Car jacks must be able to hold up a considerable amount of weight and allow you to work without fear, while you are completely under that weight. If you choose your jack poorly, it can mean your life, and that is not an exaggeration. Choosing the right jack is an important step in DIY repairs and should not be overlooked. Let us look at a couple jacks and their differences, ensuring you are making car jack safety a priority.

We will be taking a look at the scissor jack, or the factory jack that came with your vehicle, and the floor jack, or a service jack that you must purchase separately.

  • The first aspect of car jack safety we will consider is the weight each car jack can handle. Normally, when you buy a vehicle, it will come with a scissor jack that was specifically designed to hold the weight of your vehicle or even just one corner of that vehicle. If you try using it on another vehicle or lifting too much of the vehicle it came with, then the results could be catastrophic. Floor jacks, meant for vehicle repairs both DIY and professional, come with different capacity limits, but most being two tons or more. This makes them much safer to use for lifting your vehicle for an extended period of time or lifting a wide range of vehicles. Taking the weight capacities and the designations for each jack will help you always take car jack safety into consideration.
  • The second aspect is the length of time your car jack can stay viable and dependable. The car jack that came with your vehicle was specifically made for handling roadside repairs. It was not designed to handle regular DIY projects and repairs. The jack was created with the idea that you should not have too many roadside breakdowns. This means your scissor jack should not be depended on for any and all DIY projects. Floor jacks were created for long-term and repeated use. They will last an impressive amount of time in your DIY arsenal and can be depended on for almost all projects throughout its extensive life-time.
  • The final difference we will discuss is the different abilities of both jacks. As previously stated, the scissor jack is designed for roadside repairs, and more specifically, changing a tire. Working on anything beyond this with a scissor jack can be disastrous and costly. Floor jacks are versatile to the extreme as they were created to work on a number of different vehicle types and weights. They can unfortunately be quite heavy and take up a lot of room as well. This makes scissor jacks still relevant for portability and mobility.

Floor jacks and scissor jacks are both useful for different situations and projects and therefore, if you own both, don’t feel that they are just interchangeable. Looking at this list you will see the importance of both types of jacks and the intentions for both as well. Whatever the project you are working on, whatever jack you choose to match the project, always employ proper car jack safety by using jack stands and wheel blocks. If you consider this guide and work within the capabilities of your car jack, your DIY projects will go smoothly and safely.

Toyota Corolla power window problems? Here’s what you need to know.

Power windows are one of life’s greater conveniences. Not everyone has them, but if they do, opening and closing power windows is push-button convenient. What if you have power windows in your car but they stop working? Today, we’re looking at the Toyota Corolla, possible power window failures and solutions.

  • The first reason your Toyota Corolla’s power window could be broken is the one you want to check before looking into the others, because of a bad fuse. Checking and changing a bad fuse is the easiest solution for a power window problem on your Toyota Corolla. To check if the fuse is your problem, simply test your electric door locks. If these don’t work, either, then open your fuse box, whether in the cabin or under the hood, and replace the Door/Window Fuse. If your electric locks work but your power window doesn’t then you know there is a different explanation for why it is not working.
  • If the fuse is good, and the power locks work, you may have a problem with the power window switch or wiring. You’ll need a wiring diagram and DVOM (digital volt-ohm meter) to test inputs and outputs from the power window master switch or the individual power window switch on another door. Double check that the power window lockout switch is properly working. On the non-driver doors, you can swap switches from other doors to check.
  • The next troubleshooting you want to try for checking your Toyota Corolla’s power window is checking the window regulator. This motor commonly fails or dies, and when it does, you will likely see your window fall halfway down the frame. If you believe this is the cause of your power window problems then you will need to remove the door panel on your Toyota Corolla. To accomplish this, follow the next portion for repair.
    • First, pop the hood of your car to disconnect the negative power cable from your battery. This will ensure a safe work environment for working on the electrical and motorized parts in your door.
    • Second, search your door panel for all screws holding it in and remove them.
    • Third, remove the door panel with door panel removal tool or a flat-head screwdriver, carefully popping it from the plastic clips holding it on.
    • Fourth, you will probably see an electrical connection attached to the door panel that must be removed before proceeding.
    • Fifth, you may see a plastic covering protecting the inner workings of your door. Remove this as well.
  • If it is the regulator then you will see it clasped onto the window. To remove it, carefully slide the window regulator off the window. You may want to raise the window yourself, and tape or clamp it, during the regulator replacement process. Once you have replaced the power window regulator, reattach the window and the electric parts to test it.
  • If you know the problem with your power window isn’t the fuse or the window regulator, it very well may be that your window has come off track. Over time, the window rails on your Toyota Corolla may begin to fail. This will cause them to become loose, or worse, to completely fail altogether. If this is the problem, you will notice your power window is loose as well. To repair this, follow the five steps in the preceding power window regulator segment to remove your Toyota Corolla’s door panel. Once the panel is removed, you should be able to see the window tracks. If you do notice that one is broken or loose, you can try to fix them by shoring in the gaps. However, in this case you may need to seek professional assistance for the best repair.

Power windows in your Toyota Corolla make driving in a life quite literally a breeze. If they fail or begin to fail, it can bring upon an unnecessary headache. These troubleshooting steps and solutions should help bring you back to the glory days of cruising with windows down in your Toyota Corolla.

How to Replace Your Car Stereo

Every new car that you see has an impressive looking car stereo installed as a standard option, making each customer that buys one a happy customer. But just because only certain people can buy these brand new cars with nice car stereos, doesn’t mean you must suffer with an old one. You can have your old commuter car, and still enjoy quality, easy-to-operate music while you drive. We have a simple guide that will help you install a new car stereo to jam out with.

  • To begin this do-it-yourself project, you will first want to decide what car stereo you want by either going to a store or buying one online. Make sure you get one that will fit in your vehicle, look up your car’s stereo size and what size stereo will work with it. Once you acquired the car stereo, or head unit, you want, let us head into your car.
  • Before you install your new head unit, you obviously must remove the old car stereo first. You will need to use the removal tool/keys by sliding them each into the appropriate slots at the front of the car stereo. You should then be able to pull the old head unit out, and detach all the wires from the back of it. Other head units may require the removal of trim pieces. A flat screwdriver, wrapped in masking tape, works well for this purpose.
  • Now that the old head unit is out, you will see many wires that are stoked to make a new connection with the next eligible car stereo. To get started you will need to connect the car’s wiring to the adapter harness. As wiring can fit differently depending on the make and model of car, you may need multiple adapters for the transition. An example of another adapter that you may need, is an antenna adapter. The car’s antenna cable end and the car stereo’s antenna cable end could be incompatible and therefore you will need an adapter to convert a female end to male end, or vice versa. On the other hand, if you have a wiring diagram and soldering set, you can save a little bit of money by wiring it in yourself.
  • As stated before, your car could be older but you are still looking for a new car stereo. This may create the need for an output converter. The need for an outfit converter is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just important to know beforehand to ensure your new car stereo works correctly. Just to emphasize, not all cars will need one when installing a new car stereo, but it would be best to find out before committing to the installation process.
  • Once all these connections have been made, it would be good to tuck all the wiring into the console to keep your work in order. Remember, a tidy workspace is a happy workspace. Also, having the wires pushed into the console makes it easier for the last step of replacing your car stereo.
  • The last step of replacing your car stereo is plugging in the wiring harness and testing to make sure it works. When testing, don’t simply turn on the car stereo and turn it off, be sure to test the full functionality of the stereo. It would be a real shame if you were to install it completely, start driving down the road, and find out that, say, the power antenna doesn’t activate. Once you have tested it, compete the installation by sliding the radio into the frame. You may need an adapter for this as well if it is not the right size. Reapply any trim that came off and you are good to go!

Installing a new car radio can be a fun DIY project. The work is rewarding in itself but it also leads to endless melodies on your trips and commutes. You are now ready to replace a car stereo yourself and use the stereo features of a new car. This can make your little-vehicle-that-could, a little-vehicle-that-does.