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The power of YouTube

Posted by joeabbott on May 31, 2014

imageFolks who spend more time with YouTube than I do will find nothing new here; I’m late to the party. That said, I’m only now finding out how good it can be and that it’s not just for watching funny videos of cats.

A few weeks back I was getting into my car and, as usual, I situated myself a bit more comfortably. As a distinctly new and unusual circumstance, my left arm dipped as I pressed it against the car door armrest! The armrest appeared to have sheared right off!

Was it time? The fact that I weigh too much? Or just plastic that had a flaw I’d finally uncovered? I’m not sure but the upshot is that the armrest on the driver side of my car had broken off.

The picture to the right shows the damage. I wasn’t sure what to do and, honestly, I drove around a few weeks with it dangling; hoping it would somehow still work. About now the less charitable might be thinking, “still work … are you an idiot?”, but I have little hands-on experience with cars so I hoped.


An occasional carpool buddy has a lot more car savvy, so I asked him what he might do; “look in a wrecking yard for a replacement!” was his immediate response. I had secretly harbored a second hope that he’d offer to fix it up for me, but it appeared that hope had left me with nothing but wants. Time to do something about my situation.

Not having experience with wrecking yards, but plenty of time trawling Ebay, I hopped online and found interior car door panels going for about $150. Stung by this, I called a wrecking yard and found they wanted $35. Pretty much a no-brainer there … I was going to get the part from a wrecking yard.

But how would I install it?

This is where YouTube comes in.

I got online and after a single search … I typed something like saturn vue 2001 interior door panel removal in the search bar … I came across this video: I don’t know the video owner and am not the maker, so I won’t post the video here, but it went over a similar door panel removal. It wasn’t the same car as I own, but it was a Saturn and had enough details for me to follow along.

imageAfter watching the video twice I went into the garage and with the tools to the right, was able to remove my door panel in one go. Stunningly easy.

With that I replaced the panel and now I can get into the car, situate myself, and not worry about ripping the armrest off. Or, if I did (again), I could just do another replacement.

While I’ve used YouTube to look over glitches found in video games, I’ve watched movie trailers and people solving Rubik’s cube, and, yes, I’ve enjoyed my share of cat videos, this was the first time I’d really jumped in to understand how to fix something of significant value.

And that’s awesome.

I don’t think I’ll become a DIY home improvement expert or a regular viewer of all Fix-It videos, but I will remember this when I have a tricky project or need a little courage (or maybe just encouragement) to tackle another task.

Thanks for dropping in … I hope your to-do projects are as easily solved as mine were!


One Response to “The power of YouTube”

  1. momma said

    John would be proud of you ! Mom

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