Let's imagine someone needs to replace a taillight bulb on an automobile. Is there any way to navigate the strange screws, hidden plastic bolts and pins without breaking the thing? Thanks to YouTube, many of the most obscure, money-saving do-it-yourself repairs are shown in detail.
For example, in the video "How to replace a taillight bulb on a '03 Ford Fiesta Ghia," country music bounces along as anonymous hands go through the whole process. The comments on this particular video (viewed 9,818 times so far) are grateful: "Thank you so much," "I'd probably broken it without this guide," "You saved me a lot of time" and "You make it look easy."
If something needs fixing, replacing, upgrading, modifying or operating, chances are there is a specific YouTube video that explains the process in detail.
By watching the videos, people can decide whether to try the repair themselves to save money or have somebody else repair it.
Dave Parrack at makeuseof.com lists several YouTube channels that give general "DIY" advice. "DIY, which is the shortened version of the term 'Do It Yourself', can be assigned to any activity where someone unskilled in that activity has a go for themselves," Parrack says.
Parrack's examples include a video at the "Love Your Home" YouTube channel that shows how to wire a two-way switch — in England, which won't work in the United States. But most other videos on that channel should apply to the U.S.
Another source recommended by Parrack, Ron Hazelton's YouTube channel, can show people how to do things such as "How to Make a Crushed Rock Pathway," "How to Install an Automatic Irrigation System" and "How to Install a Cupola and Weathervane," among many others.
Videos such as these, in the words of Amy-Mae Elliott at Mashable, show that "the easiest way to learn how to do something practical is to first see it done properly by someone else."
Elliott has her own list of great DIY YouTube video channels, such as Tim Carter's Ask the Builder video tutorials. Carter has not only tutorials but also reviews, such as a review of a "Milwaukee Heated Jacket."
YouTube can host multiple videos on how to fix things such as a leaky toilet, but the real power of YouTube is finding videos for the most obscure things possible.
For example, want to replace a screen on a Nokia Lumia 1020 camera phone? There's a video for that.Comment on this story
Need to fix a bad-closing door latch on a Panasonic microwave oven? There's a video for that.
It almost seems that the more obscure the problem, the more likely somebody will have gone to the effort to create a video explaining how to fix it and save money.