Also, long ago our van lock broke on one of the slider doors. The handy hubby took the door panel apart and ended up losing the lock somewhere in the door. After an unsuccessful search for the lock, he decided to just build a new one...with a washer and bolt. It's not the most classy thing on the planet, but it is functional, cheap and quite the conversation piece. We get a kick out of it.
Then last weekend, I was shopping and the van decided it didn't want to start. At all. Not even a little. I called the handy hubby and he rescued us. And tried all of his tricks to start the van. He is not a mechanic and doesn't really love working on cars but he thinks well outside of the box (he's an attorney so problem-solving is the name of his game). It was 1,000 degrees outside so after melting for an hour or so, we left it in the parking lot and went home. We gathered tools, dropped off kids and headed back at about 8pm...only to get all the way back and have zero van keys with us. Which was extremely irritating. After driving yet again to get the keys, we set to work problem-solving. The new battery we bought didn't fix the problem. Jumping the existing one didn't either. We finally discovered that a battery cord/connection had literally melted. So my hubby sat and thought and stared and thought and attached jumper cables. We discovered that with the help of the jumper cables, we could bypass the melted connection and get the van started and out of the parking lot overnight. Then we went to the grocery store and picked up (get this) duct tape, electrical tape, oven cleaning gloves, razor blades and pool noodles...yes pool noodles... and we insulated and taped all of the temporary connections to their prospective places so we could drive the van safely home. I prayed the whole way.
He called a mechanic the next day and discovered it would cost $1500 to replace the melted battery cords. What?! So the handy hubby did some researching and thinking and replaced only the length of cord that was ruined for a mere $15. What a guy. What a savings. Plus pool noodles and duct tape are so universally useful. We should all keep a stash on hand for emergencies. One never knows when they'll come in handy!