One of the best “how-to” resources found online are videos. When I was just a young lad getting into automotive repair, I would study the shop manual (aka “service manual”) for the car I was repairing. These were great resources because you got some pretty good step-by-step instructions on how to perform the repair in question. This was before the age of the internet (heck, it was before home computers!) so it was either read the shop manual, or find my Dad for instruction. Dad was a great teacher, so the first thing he taught me was to do it myself.
In fairness, Dad did more then just hand me a shop manual. When I got stuck on a step, he would sit next to me and describe the process to follow. He definitely filled in the blanks for me, for which I will be forever grateful!
Now that we have online resources, “Dad” can be found in many YouTube videos. Even with my many years of experience, I still look for help when tackling a new problem. I’ve looked up a lot of videos over the years, but most of them are pretty bad. You’ve seen them for other topics–shaky camera work, poor narration and unnecessary conversation. Good videos are hard to find!
Shown below are my favorite repair resources on YouTube with my reasons for using them. In time, I will create some of my own–until then you will just have to look at these videos.
1A Auto is an automotive parts store, with really good repair videos. Their video library is well organized (a rarity among car guy videos) and both the camera work and narration make for a great experience.
There are no shortcuts in their videos. If a procedure takes an hour, you will see the full hour. If they run into a problem, they will show ways around them.
Their parts prices are not bad, but I still go to Rock Auto for parts whenever I have the time to order parts. If I am in more immediate need, I go to my local AutoZone for parts. They are terrific about backing their parts.
South Main Auto is a small three-bay repair shop in upstate New York. The owner, Eric, shares the steps to repair cars that are in his shop.
He typically focuses on cars with common issues, which makes the videos relevant for folks like me and you. Since it is located upstate New York, he deals with the same challenges as people like me in Michigan–RUST.
More importantly, he spends a lot of time on diagnosis–walking you through the logic of pinpointing the problem. I learn something new each time I watch his videos.
He has a dry wit, so his “editorials” are often on the sarcastic side. Sometimes I feel like I am looking in the mirror. Ha!
Scotty Kilmer is a real character. He claims his YouTube channel is the people’s automotive channel! He is an acquired taste.
You have to put up with a lot of arm waving and funny stories as he talks about everything from types of repairs to what cars to avoid buying. He has 52 years of experience (a fact he will share often) so he has seen it all. He has new videos every day, but not all are worth watching.
His Q&A sessions during the videos are worth it, though. He gives an interesting perspective on parts quality, auto manufacturers and everything in between.
Eric the Car Guy is much like South Main Auto–he provides a very thorough explanation of typical repairs.
His YouTube channel has a library of over 800 videos, covering everything from How-to Auto Repair, to Installing Vehicle Mods to build a killer Street Machine.
He also features content focusing on Engines, Engine Performance, Automotive Electrical, Brakes, Suspensions, Manual Transmissions, Automatic Transmissions, HVAC, Vehicle Modifications, Body, and much much more!
If you are looking for help with your Automotive Repairs, Automobile Installations, Modifications, Mechanical Repair or Adjustment, head over to EricTheCarGuy.com for information on Mechanical, Vehicle Customization, vehicle Improvement, and Automotive Tutorial resources!
I discovered Car Wizard after watching another YouTube channel, Hoovie’s Garage (which by itself is an interesting channel devoted to buying and flipping vehicles). The Car Wizard is the nickname given to David Long, the owner of Omega Auto Clinic in Newton, KS, after he helped Hoovie fix some of his oddball cars.
This channel does not go into depth on the repairs performed on vehicles in the shop (like the other channels above) as much as it is a narrative on the ups and downs of the vehicles brought to him for repair.
Car Wizard’s best videos are those where he will talk about vehicles to buy or not buy. An example of that is the video Jeeps to Buy or Not to Buy. His opinions are based on the direct experiences of trends he sees in his shop.
As I uncover more video sources, I will add it to this list. If you have a favorite you feel I should include, please share it in the comments below.