DIY Master

On day one of our recent family road trip we stopped for dinner in Georgia at a pizza buffet. While in the bathroom bending over to help our daughter, my wife’s iPhone 5 slipped out of her shirt pocket and landed face down on the tile.  She knew before she even turned it over, it was shattered. Major first world problems here. When we finally got to our destination we hit up an apple store and found out it would be between $750 and $950 to buy a new phone. 

Can you hear the record skip? Say what? iPhones are pushing a thousand dollars these day? No thanks. That’s insane. My wife left dejected. I was dejected too, I was hoping to hop on an upgrade as well. They sold her a screen protector to put over her shattered screen so she could at least side her finger over it and not cut herself. When we got back to our friend’s house she starting internet searching for screen repairs.

She stumbled across a blog by someone who had replaced their own iPhone screen for about $25 off Amazon. She showed me the post and asked what I thought. I had forgotten that I once replaced the screen on an old iPhone 3g, why hadn’t I thought of this earlier? So after a bit of searching on amazon and reading reviews, I decided to buy this screen for just under $23.

We have prime, so the screen got here in 2 days and I found an instructional video on YouTube to watch:

It took me considerably longer than the 15 minutes that it took the guy in the video but I was able to complete my task.

Here’s what I started with. New screen on the left, shattered phone in the middle and the included tool kit on the right.


After using the screwdriver and the suction cup with pry tool I was able to get the screen off the phone.

After disconnecting the old connections and reconnecting them to the new screen, I turned it on to test it before I closed it all back up. The screen was working great.


After closing everything up I was feeling pretty good about myself for saving us a minimum of $725 dollars.IMG_5480

Another issue we were having was with our Prius. It was overheating quickly and all sorts of warning lights came on. I returned to the internet to help diagnose the situation. I thought the problem was likely a temperature sensor so I popped the hood and went to see if I could find this sensor. I was having a hard time locating the sensor when I happened to notice that one of the belts was missing.

I abandoned the bad sensor theory and moved on to a broken belt theory. It just so happened that my parents were coming over so I recruited my dad to help me install a new $8 belt. We got the belt on and cranked up the car just to make sure everything was okay. Within 5 seconds the belt was shredded. Back to square one. One of the things the belt went around was the water pump. After a little investigation we realized the water pump was bad which is why the 2 belts had broken off.

Well that was the end of that DIY auto repair attempt. I didn’t know anything about replacing a water pump. The repair shop wanted $400 to change the water pump. As it just so happened my father-in-law came over that night and I was telling him all about the water pump and how I’d have to take it into the shop. He looked at me and said “Changing a water pump is easy, I have tomorrow morning off, I’ll come over and we’ll do it before I have to go into work.”

Alright then, DIY auto repair is back on! After a  trip to the auto parts store to buy a $40 water pump, another $8 belt and some coolant we had the water pump swapped out and the new belt on in about 2 hours. While we were at the store I was feeling extra handy so I also picked up some new spark plugs for $12. The dealership wants about $100 to change out the spark plugs, I was able to do it in about 45 minutes.

I’m riding my DIY high right now, I easily just saved my family over a thousand dollars by doing a few repairs myself with the help of family and the internet of course. If I can do it, so can you. I don’t have any special electronics or car training but I can read, follow directions and watch tutorial videos. I encourage you, the next time something breaks, do a quick internet search to see how you could repair it yourself. Who knows, you just might end up saving yourself thousands of dollars.

4 thoughts on “DIY Master”

    1. Yeah man you guys should go for it, I don’t have any special skills, if I can do it so can anyone else. Plus if you aren’t using the device anyway you don’t have much to lose.

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