Once You Develop a “Fix-it” Mindset, You Can Repair Nearly Anything

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Last week, my washing machine stopped entering its drain cycle. Because the beat-up box is at least a decade old, family members immediately urged me to buy a new one.

But the thought of picking out a new machine, then dragging the old one to the landfill, was far less appealing than trying to fix whatever was wrong. So, I decided to repair my over-the-hill GE Profile top-loader.

woman with repair tools
Having a “fix-it” mindset means researching how something functions before you start tearing it apart.

The Satisfaction That Comes With Fixing Something Yourself

Since I’m a relatively new homeowner, I’ve never had to fix a washer before. I would have to learn how washing machines work, then devise a plan of attack. A quick Google search revealed nothing of substance – just a bunch of keyword-stuffed websites vying for clicks.

Fortunately, my library contains a wide array of books, including an old text on appliance repair. After reading the chapter on washers, I concluded my machine was probably suffering from a clogged or faulty drain pump.

I then set forth removing the pump. First, I took out the clothing, then used a shop-vac to get the water out of the machine. Then I went to remove the pump and found its impeller obstructed by a ball of lint and gunk. No wonder it had stopped working.

After cleaning the pump, the washer was back in service, running like a machine half its age.

You Need Both Your Hands and Your Mind to Fix Things

Why am I telling you about my washing machine repair adventure? Because I’ve learned that, at this point in my life, I can fix nearly anything.

And that ability stems from when I first began working on cars as a teenager. Back then, I would spend hours in my parents’ driveway, pouring over repair manuals and tinkering with projects. That’s when I first began to develop my “fix-it” mindset.

Having a fix-it mindset isn’t just about knowing how to use your hands, either. It’s about using your brain to research how something functions before you start tearing it apart.

DIY fix
Regardless of whether you’re fixing a car, an appliance, or something else, you’ll recognize patterns in how things are engineered.

Once you have a basic understanding of how things work, you’ll realize that humans only have (and the laws of physics only allow for) so many ways of doing things. Regardless of whether you’re fixing a car, an appliance, or something else, you’ll recognize patterns in how things are engineered.

Then you’ll be able to keep that old vehicle – or that old washing machine – running for another decade or two.

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Mia Bevacqua

Chief Mechanic at CarParts.com

Mia Bevacqua is an automotive expert with over 15 years of industry experience. She holds ASE Master, L1, L2, and L3 Advanced Level Specialist certification, as well as a bachelor's degree in Advanced Automotive Systems.

Throughout her career, Mia has applied her skills toward automotive failure analysis inspections, consulting, diagnostic software development, and of course, freelance writing. Today, she writes for companies around the world, with many well-known clients showcasing her work.

Mia has a passion for math, science, and technology that motivates her to stay on top of the latest industry trends, such as electric vehicles and autonomous systems. At the same time, she has a weakness for fixer-upper oddballs, such as her 1987 Chevy Cavalier Z-24 and 1998 Chevy Astro Van AWD.

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