Category Archives: Body DIY

How to Repair a Windshield Chip

NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR BROKEN WINDSHIELDS. Those words basically kiss you as you are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic with no way to get around the construction truck painted with that sentence. You try to do everything in your power to fall farther back from the truck, or make it into another lane, but all your efforts are in vain. Suddenly, as an opening appears in the lane beside yours, you start to accelerate and merge into your escape zone. Just as you do this, like a sick joke, the truck kicks back a stone, right into your windshield. The windshield chip that remains from the rogue pebble sends an angry shutter down your spine. Is your windshield now needing to be replaced? All from an unforeseeable and unavoidable piece of gravel? If you get to it quick enough, you might be able to repair the windshield chip before it begins to spread or expand. How? Follow this simple guide in repairing a windshield clip.

  • To begin the repair, you need to go to a store and get a windshield chip repair kit. These can often be found at a Wal-Mart or any auto parts store.
  • Once you have chosen a kit, you can begin the repair process. You want to have an absolutely dry windshield, which means you probably don’t want to do this job on a rainy day. If the area is wet, use a blow dryer to dry the spot. The windshield needs to be clean, at least around the windshield chip. Use a little acetone to clean this area but make sure it is only a little bit, so that it doesn’t drip anywhere.
  • This next step can be different, depending on what kind of windshield chip repair kit you got. We will discuss a basic one, which will give you a better idea of how to fix the windshield chip yourself.
  • The one we used is a Loctite brand windshield chip repair, and is relatively simple to handle. It consists of an adhesive and a fitting/syringe to help apply it. To begin, start by removing the film on the adhesive, and applying it to the windshield crack.
  • Next attach the fitting in the upright position, letting it sit directly on the adhesive, completely vertical.
  • Now use the syringe, sticking it into the fitting, and holding the bottom part firmly to the fitting.
  • Next pull back on the syringe’s handle, for about a minute, letting the vacuum of the syringe pull all the impurities up and pushing the adhesive down.
  • Finally, let the handle go. The slamming pressure will push the adhesive into the chip, making sure it goes everywhere it needs to.
  • Once you’ve done this about 6 or 7 times, remove the syringe, adapter, and adhesive and the original adhesive sheet. There will be a small bit of film left over that you can scrape off with a razor blade, but give the adhesive a few hours to cure before you do this.

This easy to use kit makes it possible to fix that irritating chip, without having to replace the whole glass. The way the adhesive glides into the crack, while the syringe pulls out all the water and dirt, makes sure you end up with a beautiful finish. So if you ever get a windshield chip, whether by an unavoidable stone or by some other tragic chip maker, all is not lost.  If you follow the steps laid out in this guide and on the windshield chip repair kit correctly, and let the adhesive work its magic, then the kit will leave you nothing but a feint reminder of that frustrating piece of highway debris.

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How to Replace Door Seals (Toyota / Lexus)

That cool winter chill or the whistle of a summer breeze is creeping its way into your car through a crack in the door seals. You have grown so accustomed to the noise and the chill that you have almost forgotten it is there. Finally, though, you open your door to head out about your day and suddenly, without warning, the rest of your door seal falls off. How do you replace your door seals and eliminate the uninvited air problem from your car door? Let us take a look at our DIY step-by-step guide, to help you get back to the air-tight seal of a time long gone.

  • First, you will want the necessary tools for completing this project. You will need a ratchet wrench, with a long extension bar, and a 10mm socket on the end. You will also need a pair of pliers, preferably needle nose, as those fit this project better than another kind of pliers. Once you have grabbed the right tools, it is time to move on to the next step.
  • Second, after seeing where the seals you need to, and or want to replace are at, you are ready to begin disassembling. For the door seals, you will need to remove the bolt that keeps the door from opening too wide.
  • Third, removing the door seals themselves is actually relatively easy, and normally can just be pulled right off door. It should just pop off the top, and then pull off little white or blue buttons on the side of the door. You can pull the buttons out with some pliers if they are stubborn.
  • Fourth, since we have removed the bolt from the door, pulling the rest of the door seal off should be an easy job. Just wrap the seal around the conjoined bolt area of the door and car.
  • Fifth, Now that the old seal has been removed, it is time to insert the new door seal. Snap the seal at the top corner first, while tucking the back side of the seal underneath the ridge of the door. Then, tuck in the front side under the small metal lip on the door. Do this on the top of the door first, then move your way down the side of the door, about halfway.
  • Sixth, now that you have reached the bolt from the start of the process, where you had removed it in order to swing the door farther, this is where you need to wrap the seal around. Slide the seal around the arm coming from the bolt and then snap the seal into the grooves.
  • Seventh, pop in the rest of the seal with your white or blue buttons, and then the outer seal is finished!
  • Eighth, the inner seal that is on the car itself is even easier to remove, as it pulls straight off. You will have to remove part of the trim, simply popping it off, then pull the seal free.
  • Ninth, adding the new door seal is easy as well. Line the corner of the seal at the corner of the car doorway and then move your way down and around the doorway, pushing in the seal. If it is too long you may have to cut it to size, although some seals come with a split so no cutting is necessary.
  • Tenth, all that is left is reinserting the trim piece and installing the bolt for the door. Once you have done this, just clean up your tools, check to make sure the seal is tight, and you are good to go!

Replacing your door seals is an easy DIY project that some places will overcharge you for. If you follow these simple steps in replacing your door seals, you will be well on your way to saving yourself money, and keeping the cold air outside.

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How to Replace a Side Mirror

You could simply be leaving to go to work when suddenly-you misjudge the distance between the wall and your car, or more specifically, your side mirror. This most likely leads to an infuriating moment where you curse the car, the mirror, the garage door, and possibly your job for putting you in this predicament in the first place.

Leave that unpleasant disposition at home, because replacing a side mirror isn’t too difficult and there are a few benefits of replacing the side mirror yourself. For example, you can choose the brand you want yourself, you don’t have to pay for the repairs, and because the repairs would most likely be below your insurance deductible anyways, asking them to replace a side mirror would be futile or, worse, hurtful. In other words, replacing the side mirror yourself will save you money and help you get back to focusing on more important things.

How do you replace a side mirror? Here’s a few steps to follow to help guide you in the replacement process.

• Step one involves getting the tools necessary to replace a side mirror and prepping the door for the new mirror.  You will need screwdrivers, sockets, and a door panel removal tool. It will be used for removing the door panel and all the retainer clips. If it is a manual window, that has a crank handle, then you especially need the door handle removal tool. It is used to slip between the window crank handle and door panel, which opens up the spring clip that holds the crank, allowing the crank to be pulled off of the spline. If you want the tool to work correctly, you must insert it from the side of the handle knob. In a pinch, you can use a long, thin screwdriver, but it is much easier with the door panel removal tool.

• Step two in replacing a side mirror involves retrieving the mirror and prepping it as well. You can often get aftermarket mirrors far less expensively than going for the on-brand type, which will help keep your expenses on this project down. The mirror will most likely come in black, which means it will need to be painted, at least if you want it to match the rest of the car. If not, black is always “in” and matches everything, anyway. You want to do this before installation to make it easier to mask and lowers overspray issues. You’ll find the paint color code from the manufactures information label normally located on the driver’s door. Once you have the paint, mask the mirror and any other glass found on the mirror. When you are painting, try not putting on too heavy of a coat for it could run. Do multiple coats for it to come out best, as well as painting rapidly so the paint does not dry after each pass.

• Step three involves removing the old mirror or what is left of it. To remove the old one, you will find many screws in hidden areas that are not plain to see. Some may be covered by small plastic caps, which can be removed with a screwdriver. There will most likely be a separate triangular trim piece where the mirror is mounted. You remove the panel by taking out the screws and clips holding it on, and then prying on it to loosen it up. The different wiring you see does not need to be messed with as long as the mirror’s wiring is accessible. Remove the mounting screws and disconnect the electric connection to pull the mirror off. Make sure the connector and wiring don’t fall inside the door as this will cause unnecessary trouble for you in the next step.

• Step four, the last step, is the one you have been waiting for, installing your new mirror. You basically are going to retrace your steps from when you removed the old one, starting with connecting your wiring. Put the mirror in the correct position, aligning it with the window trim. Make sure to figure out whether your car’s mirror mounts with the base flange under the rubber window seal or not. If it does, it is an important step to keep in mind as it ensures your window seals. Keep following your bread crumbs by tightening your screws, checking the wiring, finding all your clips and making sure they are undamaged. Finally, line up your door panel and tap liberally at the different clips’ locations and reinstall the screws, caps, and the mirror trim cover.

Having your side mirror set up and ready to be used is a responsible necessity. Following these simple steps to replace a side mirror will help you always be safe for both yourself and the many drivers following at your six.

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