Suppose the digital display on your stove breaks down just after your manufacturer’s warranty has expired. You can call an appliance repair service, but that will likely be expensive. Or you can attempt the repair yourself with help from an online friend: YouTube. If you’re a DIYer, YouTube can show you how to make a wide range of home repairs that will save you money. But there are times when it’s best to leave repairs to a professional. Here’s what you need to know about using YouTube home repair videos.
Someone, somewhere has had your problem
YouTube is a global community of users who share videos about every facet of life. The most valuable videos to the DIY homeowner are repair videos. Whether it’s your home, an appliance, a car, a computer, your cell phone, or your landscape that needs fixing, someone somewhere has likely posted a video on how to do it.
Finding what you need on YouTube
When searching for a DIY instructional video, enter the name of the item that needs fixing followed by keywords describing your problem, such as “not draining” or “control board malfunction.” Add the relevant term — “repair” or “replace.” If the item is an appliance, include the model number. Then conduct your search.
If you need to repair an automobile, include the vehicle’s year, make, and model, followed by a description of the problem and the vehicle system affected. If you cannot find your specific year and model, look for a video describing how to repair the manufacturer’s most similar model. Often similar components are used across different models and years.
Those who post repair videos on YouTube run the gamut from pros to DIYers who don’t know much more than you do. And the quality of YouTube’s repair videos varies widely. Although amateurs can post an informative video that gets the job done, the more experienced the instructor, the better. Sample several videos and choose the one whose instructor seems the most competent.
When to leave the job to the pros
Like your repair skills, learning home repairs from YouTube videos has some limits.
- If a repair involves high-voltage electricity or natural gas lines, leave the job to the pros to ensure the project is done safely.
- A certified repair shop should handle a car’s transmission. That way there will be a warranty on the work.
- Let a pro handle it if you don’t have the right tools for a job or the knowledge to use them.
- If a repair needs to be approved by a local or state inspector, such as electrical work, hire it out.