Here are some stories that have been sent to us regarding duct tape auto repairs. If you have one, send it in. Hit the submit button on the left for submission instructions.
Plastic Bumper Mender A while back, I went with some friends to on a road short trip. After a short while, someone from the other car pointed out that the left side of our bumper was coming off. The plastic bumper had been damaged in a parking lot type fender bender, so it was a little loose on the left side. Upon inspection I found that at highway speed the left part of the bumper peeled about two feet away from the rest of the car. We stopped at a gas station and bought a roll of duct tape (I was ashamed that I didn't have mine). Within five minutes I had the bumper all taped back together, and we continued on our trip. The tape held at the 80mph freeway speeds for the remainder of the trip.  In fact, the tape stayed in place for several weeks until the bumper could be repaired properly. Needless to say I was impressed with how well that tape held. - Greg Plett

Axel Bearing Repacking Coming back from a Canadian fishing trip, Chad blew a axle bearing. He was able to get a bearing set, but no seals. So he made an inner hub seal out of duct tape (1-3) and an outer seal using half of water bottle and a hose clamp (4). 250 miles later he arrived at his home in Kalamazoo, without further incident. (photos on left)

Accelerator Repair I used duct-tape and popsicle stick to make an emergency repair on one of my first car's accelerator cable assembly. My repair more or less held the throttle cable in the right position so throttle control would move freely when the gas pedal was pressed or released. Without my repair, the gas pedal wouldn't work. The repair was so effective, I used it as is for almost a year before having to repair the duct tape repair with more duct tape and a fresh popsicle stick. I eventually sold the car for $1 to a friend who paid a mechanic to replace my masterpiece with the "official plastic part" to repair the throttle connection. Some people just have no sense of adventure. - Gary F.

Ceiling Art As a first car an old 1985 Caprice 2-door 'sports' coupe was given to me. I drove it for awhile without problems then the ceiling started to fall down. So I grabbed my trusty duct tape; at first I just did the edges but then...GENIUS!...I covered the entirety of the ceiling with it and put some staples in to hold it up. No problems after that! I even had all my friends who rode in the car sign the ceiling so it's almost an autograph book. The car is long dead but the ceiling remains hanging on my living room wall with friends still signing it! - Andy

Duct Tape = No Ticket I had an accident on the day before Christmas I could not bring my car for repair to my garage for some days, because they were on holiday. The lightbulb behind the broken glass was still working, so I took a piece of plastic of a white shopping bag and ducktaped it on my car. I could drive around without the risk of getting a ticket of the police. - Leo R. (photo on right)

Keepin' Cool with Duct Tape My fan and Air conditioner doesn't work in my truck. So I open the back sliding window and duct tape a box fan to the window. The fan is electrically powered by the generator that I keep in the bed of the truck. Also, in winter I duct tape a ceramic heater to the floor of the truck and power it the same way. I tried to attach the heater the same way as the box fan (to the sliding window) but it would catch my hair on fire. - Dennis C.

Wyoming or Bust We were on a Boy Scout trip to Yellow Stone National Park. On the way out we stopped at the Badlands National Monument. We drove out to the praire dog town which is 5 miles one-way off the main road down a very bumpy gravel road. The temperature was 100 degrees on top of the valley. We were one mile from getting back to the main road when the back window of my van blew out. We made it to Wall, SD, and I bought the last two small rolls of Duck Tape they had. We traveled to the Black Hill State Park that night. The next morning I bought two large rolls of tape and made a new back window for the van. The next night we go stuck in a very bad hail storm and the window held up. The make shift window held up for six more days untill I was finally able to get it fixed in Cody, WY. I probably drove over 600 miles with my Duck Tape window. Every where we stopped people asked what happened to it. We told them, and then they got to sign the Duck Tape. – Tim L.

Motorcycle Repair, or Really Cool Customizing Job? I obliterated the back of my GSXR 600 at New Hampshire International Raceway. New levers, temporary subframe fix, 20 feet of duct tape. Back on the track 20 minutes later. Better than new. - Jim L., Stafford Springs, CT

mosquito-free ventilation With an empty tank of gas, 100 degree weather, and under attack from the largest swarm of mosquitos I have ever seen in my life I instituted survival method 103. Duct tape + netting = mosquito free air circulation. - Richard J., Greenville, NC

Engine Cover Mounting Tape I was on a road trip outside of Albany, NY - a good 2 hours from home. A persistent rattle on my LS650 Suzuki soon turned into cacophony so we stopped to check it out. Recently I had my bike worked on by my dealership and evidently they neglected to properly torque down the bolts holding the cover for the cylinder on.  Hence, DUCT TAPE TO THE RESCUE!  A mechanic friend of mine, after checking out the situation, effectively taped my engine back together to save the day.  (I always have a roll on my bike somewhere). - Alison Grosso

Tow Rope on a Roll Back in the seventies my brother Gary Bowling used four rolls of duct tape to tow a '64 Nova stationwagon over 18 miles of curving mountain roads up by Paines Creek in Tehama county, Callifornia. Two rolls were twisted and twined between a '58 Wilys pickup and a tire and two more rolls were twisted and twined between the tire and the Nova. They did it this way because the Nova had no brakes so the tire was to cushion the bummpers. My brother said they drove slowly but that the duct tape held up like a champ. my brother also feels that every applicant for citizenship should be required to own and know how to operate duct tape. Thanks guys for a great site! - Sharon Brown

Van Gremlins On Friday 13th my wife came home very upset. She said our van had gremlins. It seems that our van decided to start locking and unlocking the doors, the inside lights were flashing, the door ajar light was going on and off, and the damn thing was dinging also....CONTINUOUSLY, while the car was in motion.
On the way to the dealership to hear the bad news about how much it was going to cost to excise our gremlins, we stopped by Wal-mart to pick up a few items. I stayed with the van. After about 10 minutes of research I found that there was a very small dent in the drivers door where the push button that controls these things is located. Therefore, when the door closed, the button had about 1mm play. Enough to cause our problems. I immediately called my wife in the store and had her pick up some duct tape. Two small one foot square patches over the dent fixed the problem and I still had 99.9999 % of the roll left for other emergencies. Instead of $200+, it cost me less than a penny. Thank GOD (or whoever makes this stuff) for DUCT TAPE. - Tom H., Atlanta GA

Not a Redneck In the winter of 2003 I had to drive from Nashville to Rochester, NY. I reached Buffalo at approximately the same time the ice storm hit. Which caused me to slide off the road, down into a gully, at approximately Leroy, NY, coming to stop when I crashed into some trees. There was a total of $4000 damage to the vehicle, part of which is visible in the pic. Luckily, I was unhurt.

I got the SUV towed out of the gully and, miraculously, it was still drivable. The main problem was it being very drafty and not weather-proof due to my back window being missing. For the next two days, I was [stranded and] I was unable to do anything about the vehicle due to the ice storm.

After another day or two, the weather warmed up enough and I was well enough to get the vehicle to a body shop. They said no way could they fix it before I had to drive home to Tennessee. That's when I designed and executed the temporary, albeit completely opaque, window you see in the pic.

The duct tape securely held all the way back to Tennessee, through rain, snow, freezing temperatures, and highway speeds, and for another week or so until I could make arrangements to have the repair done. The guys at the repair shop loved the temporary repair job, especially the caption I wrote on the tarp. - Karen D., Nashville, TN

A quick repair for the long haul My dad is a paid professional tourist (long haul truck driver). He was getting fuel at an angled fuel island. He went in to pay and someone told him his truck was in an accident. He had to travel across the United States to get home to have it fixed. The only thing he used was black duct tape to fix this problem. I think he did a great job of recreating the fender. - Flint, Missoula, MT

Fender Sling My Uncle Kevin and I were out in his baja bug playing in the mud hole. When we decided it was time to go, we came ripping out of the hole and rolled the bug. Not to worry about us, roll cage and all. But the fiberglass front end had torn from one fender across the hood, so that one side was in danger of being grabbed by a tire. So Kevin got the roll of duct tape out and fashioned a sort of sling for the fender and then finished off by taping the seams down. Overall it looked pretty sad but we made it home. I got my first lesson in duct tape repair that day and have used it countless times since. -Roger M.

Works on Airplanes, too! Was a working pilot, in a Piper Super Cruiser, and taxiing around a tight crowded ramp at a small airport. Had been flying 8 hours that day already, and just needed to refuel, and I could fly home and call it a day. Well, as I turned a corner, I saw someone had parked their plane blocking the taxiway. With no room to stop, I had to swerve my plane towards a small gap
off the side.

I got lucky and missed hitting any other planes directly, but the underside of my wing was sliced open by the prop of a parked plane. After shutting down and inspecting the other plane and finding no damage, I turned my attention to my own bird. There was a neat slice about 26" long from the leading edge of my right wing to the trailing edge, about 5' from the wingtip, and another about 8" long just aft of the first.

A brief inspection showed that there was no structural damage, just ripped fabric. I was at an outstation though, and the mechanic was gone for the weekend. And I wanted to get home. While the line guy fueled the plane, I got to work with my trusty duct tape. 10 minutes later I was ready for the one and half hour flight home, where I could make permanent repairs. But when I got back home, I was rather tired, and was late getting in the next morning. That duct tape held for 4 days of flying before I had a chance to put a permanent patch down! - anonymous (for obvious reasons)

Tire Repair Four friends and I went on a hunting trip. Before daylight, I ran over someone's hunting stand in the road and blew out my tire. We put on the spare and went hunting. That evening, we moved to a new spot and heard some air leaking. There was a stick in spare tire we had just put on. We were fifty miles from town and no new tires. We looked in our tool boxes to see what we could fix the leak with. I found a roll of duct tape. My friends laughed and said, "You can't fix a tire with duct tape!" Then I started thinking... I rolled up a little plug out of a strip of duct tape about ten inches long (sticky-side out). I jammed the plug into the hole with a screwdriver and melted the tape with a lighter and used the screwdriver to spread the molten tape around the outside of the hole. Using a 12 volt air compressor, we aired up the tire and it held all night and fifty miles back to town. The guys at the repair shop were totally impressed with our duct tape repair job! --- Jacob C.

Upholstery Fix (or not?) About 7 years ago, I bought a car that had a rip on the side of the driver's seat back. No problem! I had duct tape! So I just taped over the rip. I was so proud! It was all fine and good until summer came. Then, slowly, I noticed that there was some sort of strange goo on the floor (and on anything that was ON the floor) of my car. I couldn't figure it out until, finally, enough of the adhesive from the duct tape melted, that I realized it was coming from the duct tape! What a mess!!! I do NOT recommend using duct tape to fix the upholstery in your car!! --- Genevieve B., Loveland, CO
Spare the tape, spoil the job - you've got to buy a better grade of tape that doesn't ooze.
Or, just tape it and put a slip cover over it. Thanks for the story. - The Duct Tape Guy

Headliner Repair I have a Mercury Grand Marq, and the headliner was coming down by the rear window so i took it to a place that does head liner's and seat cover's to see if they could fix it. The Man said they all do that but it can't be fixed, I would have to get a new head liner installed for $485.00 so I went home and looked at it and around the rear window was a 2 inch black border around the top of the window, so I used black duct tape and it worked, the border hides the tape and it looks like it belongs there. My 17 year old son was amazed he couldn' believe it he said boy Dad that duck tape fixes anything that's great stuff, and I told him the whole world is held together by DUCT TAPE. --- Robert F. S.

Headlight Repair About a year ago my girlfriend and I were taking a road trip to Ohio. (from Toronto Canada). She was advised that her car should be in top shape for this (as police might pull her over if something was wrong). Some time before she had lost the use of one headlamp, the bulb had come lose and partly melted the reflector/housing. It was decided that this needed to be fixed.
The problem was the housing would need replacement as the bulb holder would not attach afterwards
Checking at a Ford dealership, we found the part available (on special order only) and that it would cost about $120 (cdn) plus labor. Now the car (1991 escort) at the time was rated as worth less than $1000 (cdn) so this seemed excessive. I am cheap but know my limits, so it was off to the 'dollar' store for
a small roll of duct ape. Normally I would not use this for auto repair, but I had learned from a friend n who worked in aircraft maintenance that this is referred to by them as 10,000 mile tape and they use it for "non structural repairs" to aircraft.

I proceeded to place the bulb in its holder and tape the result to the reflector. Then I added even more so it would not move. way I figured it we had 14 days to see if it would hold, and in that time she would drive about three times the distance we would on our trip. Well, it held, but that is not the kicker of the story.

About six months later she was in a front end collision accident on the hwy. Her car was totaled and the front end was mangled beyond recognition. One of the notes on the report was that the drivers headlamp was hanging by its wires but still working (sort of). This was the one I did the "kit bash' repair on and it not only survived the trip,and the accident, but it supported the reflector assembly even afterwards. --- karis

Police Repair Job I have a great story about duct tape and my car (left). When responding to my call that my car had been smashed up in the hospital parking lot after 23 hours in the hospital, the police "repaired" it with duct tape. Here's the story:
The police officer showed up at 2:30 a.m. and laughed at my situation. He apologized, saying that usually calls at that hour were someone drunk at the bowling alley who says their car is hit and they can't even find the "dent" on it. The front end of my car was sitting on the ground...a monster-sized pickup truck had _backed over_ the front end of my car "accidentally". (The business card he left said: "The back tires of my truck somehow backed up and ran over the front end of your car.") The police officer called another car for some special "tools." That turned out to be duct tape. The car would start, and I had to drive 20 miles home, which normally takes about 20-25 minutes. (This time it would end up taking about 45, driving slowly with the front end taped.) They taped up the front end, once we knew it was seemingly cosmetic, and told me, "It's called hundred mile an hour tape, but we don't recommend that on the way home!" - Karen Hannah R., Washington

Eat Your Heart Out Midas! Recently while driving my 90 VW fox to an important meeting, I was horrified when I heard this awlful sudden rumbleing and clanking I pulled over only to discover my muffler and tailpipe had come apart. With no time or money to call a repairman I remembered the duck tape my fiancé always kept in the trunk. I thought the tape might burn on the hot exhaust so I looked around and found a tin can and slipped one end over the tailpipe and the other end over the neck of muffler ducktaped the entire thing together. Needless to say I made my meeting and the tape held till payday, a few days later. Ducktape really saved the day. --- Sarah Brown

Duct Tape Window Gasket I drive a 1993 Ford Tempo. The car had been repossessed from the previous owner. While getting into the car, the repo-man used, I assume, a coat hanger to get in. While doing so, the water seal on the driver's side door was damaged. To repair it I simply used duct tape. --- Jeff B.

Another Traveler Saved by Duct Tape I was taking my kids on a five-hour trip from Raleigh to Charleston in my 94 Chevy Astro van when my upper radiator hose sprung a leak, which I noticed about an hour from Raleigh. It was about 9-9:30 on a Friday night so, with the help of a mechanic from Wake Forest who happened to stop at this same rest stop, we duct taped the hose covering the hole with about a 3-inch margin on each side. The mechanic warned me that although the tape adhered very well to the hose that it would only serve to get me to a town where I might be able to replace the hose or patch it with plumbing parts (i.e. splice and clamp over an inserted tube).
I stopped at the nearest town but could not find a hardware or auto parts shop open at that hour, so I went to WalMart & bought golf tubes (couldn't find PVC or anything else that might fit inside the hose) and hose clamps to do the job. Since I wasn't greatly confident that the golf tubes could handle the heat for long, I decided to defer that effort until the duct tape leaked. I stopped every 1/2 hour and checked the tape for wetness, and added tape reinforcement every hour. This method got me all the way to Charleston, where I was able to properly replace the hose the next day. --- Wayne Van N.

U-Joint Salvation The most impressive display of Duct Taping skills I have ever seen was when I was four-wheeling with my buddies in my 1969 K-5 Blazer CST on a farmer's field. My buddy's Ford F-150 blew a driveline, and I mean flat dropped it on the ground. Well, he thought his four-wheelin' days were done. But I whipped out the roll of Duct Tape (one of the four I always kept in my Blazer), we put the driveline back up, and Duct Taped the heck out of the U-Joints. We used one roll on each of the two U-Joints. He wheeled the rest of the day and then drove it home! --- Robert B., Salem, OR

Longer to Unrepair than to Repair On a fishing trip to Canada, we broke a spring on a boat trailer. In the middle of the night, we stopped and duct taped an old antique rolling pin to the frame. We went approx. 500 miles from Northcentral Iowa to International Falls, Minnesota, without a problem. We had the spring replaced after the mechanic spent ? hour cutting off the duct tape wrap. --- Doyle W.

DUCT successfully replaces PCV My first car was an old run-down 84 mercury cougar. There was some sort of malfunction in the vacuum lines that would cause it to constantly stall out and die at red lights and even in motion. After consulting many mechanic friends, all who were clueless, I finally caved in, popped the hood and repaired every broken vacuum line and sealed off the PCV valve with duct tape. The car never ran better. --- Gary S.

Transmission Fix One day I was on the garden state parkway here in New Jersey (average speed 90) and I have to stop at a toll both because the guy in front of me was taking forever!! So I put my car in park and sit there waiting and finally the guy gets his change and pulls away, well when I go to put my car in drive what do i know the car gets stuck in neutral as I was shifting. So luckily it was downhill slightly so i paid the toll and drifted across 3 lanes to the shoulder of the road where I could check out what was wrong. The linkage pin holding all the bars together to connect the shifter to the transmission snapped. Well I didn't have a bolt that would fit the linkage so I made one out of duct tape and then duct taped the ends to the bars the bolt was supposed to connect. Behold the car shifted fine and stayed like that for almost a month before I got around to actually fixing it right all the while driving the car all around town the entire time. No toolbox is complete without three rolls of duct tape and a set of snap on tools. My camaro never leaves home without them. --- Richard V.

The 250,000 + Mile Body Shop My first vehicle was a 1989 GMC Jimmy that had over 250,000 miles on it...and the body showed that.  There were huge holes in the rear quarter panels and the tailgate.  I pop-riveted some tin over the holes, but it looked tacky that way, so I decided to slap on some Duct Tape over the tin to make it look better.  Through rain, snow, sleet, hail, and interstate driving the Duct Tape stayed on for almost a year (until I wrecked).  Every few months or so, the ends of the Duct Tape would begin to ravel slightly, so I reapplied more Duct Tape on the edges that were raveling.  Some people made fun of me because I "held my truck together" with Duct Tape, and I would just reply, "It's staying together, isn't it?"  Thanks to Duct Tape, I did not have to spend lots of money getting new body parts for the truck and it passed inspection!!! - Ryan C., Chicora, PA

Japanese Auto Repair While stationed on the island of Okinawa, Japan in the early sixties, I acquired an old 1951 Chevrolet coupe. The salt water environment had really taken it's toll on the chassis. The doors were almost rusted to the point of being useless, but aircraft safety wire and duct tape (we called it ordinance tape in the Navy at that time), were used to repair it to the state of repair, it passed the required vehicle safety inspection. The right windshield was cracked and a piece of plexiglass saved the day for the inspection also.

I drove it two years, sold it when I transferred stateside and later met the guy I sold it too, and we laughted about the repair lasting the 18 months he owned it..Probably still running over there by another young "North American Bluejacket".
- B J Clark, USN ret., Pembroke Ga.

Roy "Lucky Kid" used duct tape to rig his Mazda for a home-grown action movie. Hint when using this shooting technique: Uses LOTS of tape on a clean, dry car finish or you will end up replacing the camera you borrowed for your movie.

You can download the movie here (if he still has it up). Warning: Lucky Kid has potty mouth (once).

Duct Tape Trailer Hitch Repair Just wanted to relate my expereince in using duct tape to pull a car hauling trailer.  My son's car had broken down 150 miles from home.  Took my van and rented a car hauler from U-Haul.  Drove down & ick yo the car and came back.  On Freeway, about 10 miles from home heard a cluck and rattle of chaines.  Checked car in rear view mirrors and did not see a problem.  Got home, pushed car off trailer and then went to drive trailer back to U-Haul - and bang! Scrape! Etc.  Got our of van and trailer hitch and all was on ground.  U-Haul dealer had removed hitch from slide in receport to put smaller ball on it.  When they put it back in, they forgot to put cotter key on the slide in bolt that held trailer hitch in place.  That is what we heard a few miles from home. Had to put hitch back in, used a couple screw drivers in place of bolt, and duct taped the screw drives in place to haul the trailer the seven miles back to U-Haul store. Of course it worked great!! I'll duct tape the whole bolt to hitch assembly in future to avoid this again. - Dave Wood

Duct Tape Gets Ya Home! 15 years ago, while we were on our way home from Knobbles Grove (an Amusement Resort in Pa.). It was raining so hard that I needed to pull off the road, because my windshield wipers stopped working and I couldn't see. I pulled into a convenience store's lot and was thinking, "How am I gonna' get my wife, my four kids and myself home in this?" Me being a true "Duct Tape Man", I soulved the problem in no-time flat. I found a broken broom handle lying in the store's dumpster, that I ducttaped to the passenger side windshield wiper. To the other end, I fashioned a duct tape looped handle, that I had my oldest son hang onto while holding his right arm out the window. (He was about 14 years old then and didn't know the principles of Thermal Dynamics, which I quickly instructed him in). Hold onto the handle and move your right arm back and forth across the
windshield, so I can see to drive this heap home. We got home safely, with one real wet right arm.
- Glenn A. W., Marietta, PA

Coffee Stays Put! For those of us who drive older pickup trucks, with no cup holders provided, I found what I think is a real innovative tool for duct tape. I use a roll on my pickup seat as a coffee go mug holder. The sticky edges of the roll ensure it sticks to the seat, good even in a panic stop. The center of the roll is just the right size for the tapered coffee go mug.- Dave S., Cochrane, AB

Fan Clutch Repair Back in 1993 we were moving from California to Maryland. We had a 1986 Chevy wagon. Fifty miles outside of Naples, California, the fan clutch went out. I used bailing wire and duct tape to hold it in place. We went all the way to Albuqurque (ABOUT 1000 MILES) before replacing the fan clutch. I always keep a roll on hand in my truck. When not in use, I use it for a cup holder (just like the guy above). - Bill, Millersville, MD

Duct Tape Idle Screw Fix Last year a good friend bought me your calendar for a Christmas present. Little did I know how helpfull it would be. The same friend had a turn of bad luck with a car accident a very long way from home we had to trailer the car back but not without duct taping the trailer light back together and the wireing harness back together after being pulled over by one of New Hampshire's finest. It also came in handy to bind the chains together in sub zero night......on a the wind. But wait we still aren't to the end yet she got another friends car and the ignition switch had broken (sorry no fix for that) when she received it back from the dealer it would constantly stall so I popped the hood and tried to fix it but the idle screw could not be adjusted, I told her sorry and was about to send her on her way when SHE suggested - yep you guessed it - good ole duct tape. Now it purrs like a kitten and the gun metal grey matches the aluminum nicely. (see photo on left). - Mark

Duct Tape Wiper Blades I was running low on cash, snow was coming, so i did this quick fix on my wiper blades to get me through driving in the snow! they worked great on the snow, but then it rained later and they sucked with the liquid! had to finally get new ones. - Leslie L. Bennett

Fred's Hood Latch When your hood latch goes due to a little "lapse of depth perception" - thank goodness there's duct tape!

Oil Cap Replacement While on a road trip to a funeral I stopped for gas about 5:30 pm. Checking my oil (like any conscientious car owner should) I noticed that my oil fill cap had fallen off. Since the town's only parts store had closed, I looked for other options. Since I always carry a roll of duct tape in my Durango, I balled some up a bit bigger that the opening and taped it down with more duct tape! It help with no leakage for another 80 miles when I finally replaced it with a standard oil file cap! - Daniel Hitson