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No one likes it when their things break. It might be something big, like your TV or your car, or something smaller, like a leaky faucet or a cracked floor tile. You can spend hundreds of dollars to have a professional help you out, or you can learn how to fix it yourself for the cost of some tools and a couple hours of work. Which would you rather do?

Be Safe!

Before you go trying to fix all of your problems by yourself, make sure that you’re making safe decisions. If something really expensive or potentially dangerous (especially things that include flames or electricity) is broken, I strongly recommend calling a professional unless you have experience with this sort of thing.

Electronics: iFixit

With almost 2,000 Mac repair guides, 2,000 phone repair guides, and 1,000 PC repair guides, iFixit has you covered for just about any electronic repair you could want to undertake. There are camera, automotive, appliance, household, and computer guides, as well.


The guides are incredibly detailed and walk you through every conceivable step in the repair process; for example, the guide on how to replace the headphone and speaker jack assembly on a Samsung Galaxy SIII has no less than eleven steps to take off the back cover and remove the battery, SIM card, and microSD card. Nothing is left to chance in these guides, which is great for inexperienced tinkerers.


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The pictures included in each guide are of high quality, making it very easy to see what needs to be done to make the repair, and some guides also include videos. Each guide includes a list of tools and parts that are needed, many of which you can purchase directly from the iFixit store, which offers useful things like the iOpener, a heated pack that will help you open your iPad, and this cool magnetic project mat. Between the supplies for sale and the thousands of repair guides, you’ll always have what you need to fix your laptop How To Troubleshoot & Repair A Broken Laptop How To Troubleshoot & Repair A Broken Laptop Laptops tend to have a rather short lifetime. They are outdated within weeks of being released, they are notoriously hard to upgrade or repair, and by nature they are subject to gradual decay or fatal... Read More , phone, tablet, or game console.

Around the House: The Family Handyman

Though The Family Handyman is a subscription magazine, their website offers a wealth of repair tips for various parts of your home. There are sections for heating and cooling, electrical, floors, automotive, painting, pest control, plumbing, and a wide range of other things. It’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for in the category pages, but running a search will help you get to the guide you need.


The page layout on The Family Handyman isn’t the best, but once you get used to it, you’ll be able to find useful information. For example, it doesn’t always look like the Article tab on the page has the information you need, but you’ll find it if you scroll down. Similarly, many of the images are actually sliders, and will allow you to see two or three different images that will give you a better idea of what you need to do.


Although the images aren’t quite as detailed as the ones you’ll find on iFixit, you should be able to use The Family Handyman to get through almost any repair without too much trouble, especially if you have some mechanical or construction experience. For example, in an article about installing a tile floor in your bathroom, you’re instructed to remove the toilet, but left to figure out how to do that on your own.

And if you can’t find what you need on The Family Handyman, you can always check out these 8 websites full of home DIY tips 8 Websites To Find DIY & Home Repair Tips 8 Websites To Find DIY & Home Repair Tips As your new home starts to grow on you, you develop an obsession to keep everything perfect…every nail, every fleck of paint in its right place. But things go wrong, and with time the plumbing... Read More .

Your Car: DIY Auto School

Fixing your own car can be a bit scary, but DIY Auto School make the process a lot easier. From restoring a rusted-out car to fixing a dent, the guys from the school will give you tips to get you through the process, even if you’re a total newbie to car repair (though you might want to leave some of the more complicated repairs to a professional).



Because DIY Auto School is a YouTube channel, there’s not much organization to speak of, so your best bet is to go to their page and then search for what you’re looking for and see if they have a video on it. There are many videos on how to restore old cars and fix dents and collision damage. You’ll also find a number of videos on how to prep and paint your car and some more common tasks like replacing brake pads.


You never really know if you’re going to find what you’re looking for at DIY Auto School, but there’s a lot of great information on their channel. And because it’s on YouTube, if you can’t find a tutorial on the subject you want, you can continue searching through other channels to get the details of your repair.

Your Bike: Park Tool

If you’ve done any work on your bike in the past, you might’ve used tools made by Park — they’re one of the leading manufacturers of bike repair tools (you might recognize their signature blue color on the website). On the homepage of their repair section, there’s an image of a bike, and all you have to do is click on the part of the bike that you need to fix. If you’re having brake problems, click on the brake section; if you need help with your bottom bracket, just click on the bottom bracket shell. The miscellaneous topics section also contains some very useful articles.


Unless you’re experienced with bikes, some of the topics might be a little advanced. The basics, though, like adjusting the derailleur, servicing cantilever brakes, or changing inner tubes, are explained very well and with enough pictures to get you through the process like a pro.


In addition to the repair guides, there’s also Calvin’s Corner, a blog by one of the professional mechanics at Park. While some of the things are targeted specifically for bike shops, you will find some gems like “Basic use of tools” and “Repairing on-the-ride.”


Learning to fix things is a great way to be more self-sufficient and save some money. You never know what’s going to break next, but if you have the resources to fix some of the most common issues with your computer 6 Tips to Save Money on PC Repairs 6 Tips to Save Money on PC Repairs You don’t have to pay for expensive technical assistance to repair your PC – 90 per cent of repairs are simple, and can be completed in a matter of minutes. Read More , electronics, home, car, and bike, you’ll be prepared to deal with most of the problems that come up. If you have a toolbox with the basic tools and these four websites bookmarked, you’ll be a handyman in no time!

Have you learned to fix things online? Do you have any recommendations for good repair manual sites? Share them below!

Image Credit: Lyntha Scott Eiler via Wikimedia Commons

  1. Gabriel
    December 22, 2014 at 1:52 am

    iFixit is a lot of hype. But it is the only dedicated and thorough offering of it's kind. The only problem is, they don't always include all the details. Sometimes they just say, "take out the screws on the back...." and then they make a joke about how the manufacturer couldn't fool them. Meanwhile, I am left fully aware that this particular set of instructions is very vague and "so easy" anybody could do it. Well not me, I pried and pulled and took a very long time actually figuring it all out on my own. Point is, sometimes you think you're getting help, but somebody is secretly joking about "you" in the very article written to help you. Just be careful and take your time and don't "force" anything. Basic rules of pulling apart electronics.

  2. Derek
    August 1, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Interesting article

  3. Zack McCauley
    May 14, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    One of the Largest sources of DIY information in the world. Great for many many many things.

    • Dann A
      May 16, 2014 at 6:15 am

      Of course! Instructables is a fantastic site, and you can learn to do a lot of really great things there, repair-related and otherwise.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. Just an English teacher
    May 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    @ Scott H... If you are qualified but have such poor English I think I might be better off with a DIY solution. Not very professional at all. First impressions last.

    • Bob
      May 17, 2014 at 7:15 am

      If you are an English teacher, then you and a couple of others would recognize that Scott's first language is not English! In fact, his English may be a 1000 percent better than your use of his native language!

  5. Yazen
    May 13, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Very useful. I enjoy lists of websites that help us stay away from the too often scams accompanying repairs.

    • Dann A
      May 13, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Glad you found it useful! Yes, repairmen do sometimes have a bad reputation. I can't speak to that, but I can definitely say that doing it yourself is cheaper! (If you do it right, of course.)

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Gregory A
    May 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    This is straight forward. Its direct and help save time, instead of just searching around the web all day.
    Thank you.

    • Dann A
      May 11, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Glad you liked it, Greg. Thanks for reading!

  7. Scott
    May 9, 2014 at 7:10 pm is a pretty good resource for appliance repairs and sourcing of parts.

    • Dann A
      May 11, 2014 at 10:53 am

      I hadn't heard of that one, so I just checked it out. Seems to me like at least some of the entries are lacking detail—for example, if your air conditioning is noisy, "the fan blade for the condenser fan motor might be bad." How you're supposed to fix that, you're left to figure out for yourself. Looks like you can buy a lot of really useful parts, though.

      Thanks for sharing a resource!

  8. Scott H
    May 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    It all good but be careful if your fix bike I have done all my bike maintenance and repair cytech course and got the big blue book and passed every one-off the course and have experience in the bike business but you should only do basic maintenance on your bike so like oil the chain and oil the brake cable and grease the headset bearing and replace when brake pads are worn to the minimum line and tyres but if you replace brake pads and tyres you must get them check over by a professional if you have an accident your bike will be send of to be check over by a professional and will check every little bits on the bike and if you do something wrong on that bike they will find out who has fixed it and if it was a shop who has fix it they will have to pay out using their insurance where if a person who is not trained will be prosecuted for coursing harm and danger to others so be careful fixing bike because people thing fixing a bike is easy some parts are but all of it need to be done right plus if a bike shop fix it they have to keep every log of that bike being fix there and if your bike parts brake and you got that part previously 1week after from that shop they have to replace it or fix it but if you fix it your self it is your fault and your in the wrong and every one in the bike business has to follow the British standard for working with bike by law in a shop or workshop.

    • dragonmouth
      May 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Do you always write your posts as one long sentence with no punctuation? No matter how insightful or pertinent, your comments lose a lot of impact when written that way.

    • Scott H
      May 9, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      I have got a bad habit of not add punctuation sorry. I get to in gross in what i'm typing about and not adding punctuation after i've written it. sorry

    • Dann A
      May 11, 2014 at 10:48 am

      If I understand you correctly, you're saying that by fixing your own bike, you're taking some risk into your own hands instead of letting the bike shop work on it and be liable for any risk. If that's what you're trying to say, that's a good point. I definitely recommend that any major work be done by a certified professional. However, a lot of simple fixes can be accomplished by people who don't have any experience—things like cleaning the drive train, replacing cables, and adjusting suspension.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Scott H
      May 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Meant to say frame technology in my previous comment instead of fame technology.

  9. Marjorie C
    May 9, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I turn to the Internet any time something breaks, and these are great sites. I'm a little old lady but pretty adventurous when it comes to fixing things myself, so it's always super to find recommended places to go when you need help.


    • Dann A
      May 11, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Glad you found the article useful—thanks for the comment!

  10. i_hate-hype
    May 9, 2014 at 9:45 am

    and another exaggerated title - these sites will not teach us to fix _anything_ - just some things.

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