There have been some pretty strange cars that made it off the production line in the history of the automotive industry. Some of these vehicles have created new standards and made major advancements in engineering. Others have had such strange designs and taken so many steps backward that they were obsolete before they were even ideas on paper.
With the advent of the affordable car came new expenses, such as repairing a vehicle when it was broken. Over time, some drivers have come up with strange solutions to keep their vehicles up and running. In some ways, these modifications make these cars unique. In other ways, these DIY fixes are just plain strange.
Fortunately, the simple matter of a repair being strange hasn’t put drivers off of taking their ingenuity to new heights. Interesting fixes are always welcome, but some of these fixes make the leap from creative to straight-up strange.
What follows are some of the strangest DIY car-repair jobs that have ever made it out of the garage.
20 Warning: Hot Grille
A raised hood, whether by a faulty latch or a car accident, can block a driver’s view and be a potential road hazard. That didn’t stop one driver from hitting the road, though. He apparently determined that his BMW was safe to drive after applying his own fix of what appears to be brown industrial tape.
Under normal circumstances, industrial tape is used in packaging. For this driver, the adhesive material was the perfect tool to keep the hood attached to the front bumper following a car accident.
Judging by the picture, the collision must've been pretty substantial to bend the hood up so far. It’s nearly blocking the driver’s view from behind the wheel. To make matters worse, the industrial tape doesn’t even stretch beneath the bumper. Instead, it’s attached to the flat front surface and, in some cases, the top of the bumper.
Why this driver didn’t just go the extra mile and pound the hood down with a hammer to increase visibility is beyond us. What could this driver have even hit to cause such significant damage to the hood and leave the bumper nearly perfectly intact?
Unless the driver steps forward, it isn't likely we’ll ever know the answer.
19 Insulated Window
When some drivers are facing a broken car window, they cover it with a plastic sheet taped around the sides. Other car owners might look into how to fix the problem themselves. This driver, on the other hand, went the extra mile and filled the gap with an old house window.
The replacement window looks like it was taken from an older home, perhaps out of a kitchen or an attic room. Regardless of where it came from, the window features six intact glass panes.
Perhaps even better, the window isn’t just jammed into the space and duct taped into position. This driver used some type of foam insulation to hold it in place. The window doesn’t appear to fit into the gap, though. It seems to extend below the window-sill trim. Even so, we can’t exactly blame this driver for this strange repair.
The window may not hold up in rainy or cold weather, depending on the type of insulation used. On the bright side, at least this driver put a generous amount of insulation around the window to hold it in place and keep any heat or cool air from escaping, right?
18 Safety First
Safety before hitting the open road is a top priority for drivers of all ages, whether they’re heading to the grocery store or across the country. Many drivers head to their local technician for an inspection before taking their car on a long road trip. Others perform some do-it-yourself maintenance that’s just as strange as it is impractical.
When one driver’s airbags weren’t working, he took it into his own hands to ensure his vehicle was safe for himself as well as his passenger. Rather than head to anyone who might have even a basic knowledge of cars, he blew up what appears to be pet-store fish bags and taped them to the steering wheel and the dashboard.
Needless to say, these makeshift airbags aren’t going to save anyone or prevent major injuries in the event of a collision. Assuming the existing airbags aren’t working, these thin plastic bags of air are ridiculous in every sense of the word.
Hopefully, this DIY car repair is just a prank for a friend; otherwise, we can’t help but imagine this ended badly for everyone in the car.
17 No Spare Tire Required
Getting a flat can be a drag on a busy weekend or a long road trip. Fortunately, one driver who was apparently lacking a spare tire found a quick workaround using man’s best friend: duct tape.
We don’t imagine that repairing a tire with duct tape would be any faster than switching out a flat for an actual spare tire. According to the picture, it looks like you'd still have to remove the flat tire. It may take even longer since fixing the flat tire would require wrapping it in duct tape as well.
Interestingly enough, the car owner who decided to duct tape his tire as a quick fix might not be crazy. As it turns out, according to the video below, duct tape can actually be used to repair a flat tire.
We aren’t sure how well the tire would hold up on city streets, let alone the highway, but we certainly wouldn’t recommend driving on it unless it’s absolutely necessary. Doing so could be dangerous, and duct taping a tire isn’t a long-term fix, by any means. Always have your vehicle inspected by a professional technician if you believe there could be a problem.
16 Makeshift Tailgate
A tailgate is an important part of a truck's functionality and capability. Without a rear tailgate, a truck bed can’t hold much in the way of tools, boxes, or anything else that could be held in place by bungee cords. That made it problematic for one driver who apparently lost his tailgate one way or another.
To remedy the issue, this driver did the best with what he had, which was apparently an entire home door. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an easy fit, so he had to use a saw to make it more practical. After cutting a quarter off the top and removing a chunk next to the knob, the door was the perfect makeshift tailgate.
We can’t tell whether the driver properly latched it to either side of the bed, but we like to think he did. After all, the pickup appears to be in motion on a public roadway, and the door is still in position.
As far as we can tell, this odd truck repair appears to be working flawlessly for the driver. Getting access to the bed from the tailgate might be another problem, depending on how the “tailgate” opens. We can’t imagine this was an easy fix, but hey, if it works for the driver, how can we complain?
15 A New Level of Cool
Working air conditioning is a standard feature in most modern vehicles, and it was often an available option in older models. For cars without working air conditioning, the go-to option is usually to open the windows or use a small fan placed on the dashboard. Some drivers, however, put more effort in than others and make sure their vehicle has air conditioning, one way or another.
There’s quite a bit going on in this picture, so allow us to break it down for you piece by piece. First, the driver has attached a working generator to the back of the vehicle via what appears to be a cargo carrier. The generator is held in place by a couple of bungee cords.
Two wires run inside the vehicle through the rear driver’s side window, which is covered by cardboard or wood, leaving a gap towards the bottom corner. A home air-conditioner unit, like the ones seen sticking out of apartment windows, is hanging out of the vehicle, presumably cooling the minivan.
It would appear that opening the minivan’s liftgate isn’t possible due to the generator’s height. As a result, the generator shares the cargo carrier with what looks like boxes of fruit or beer.
We aren’t mechanics here, but wouldn’t the generator, the air conditioner, and the cargo carrier cost around the same or more as fixing the vehicle’s air conditioning? That’s not to mention the inconvenience of being unable to access the cargo area or the reduced fuel economy caused by the extra equipment.
14 Lumberjack's Outback
The Subaru Outback is a pretty hardy crossover, but even it can be subject to car accidents. Most drivers would opt to hook the bumper back on with bungee cords or get the vehicle professionally repaired. This driver went full lumberjack and used a log to create a makeshift bumper.
This Subaru Outback has clearly seen tough times. The older model was likely parked outdoors or taken onto trails every now and then. Considering the license plate puts the vehicle in Colorado, we’re going to go out on a limb and say winter has done its work on the poor Outback.
Judging by either side of the bumper, it appears the car has lost its rear entirely. Whether it was cut or torn off remains a mystery. Regardless, the presumed lumberjack owner put his hands to work. The log is attached to the car with two chains.
Unlike a flimsy plastic bumper, the log is more durable and less likely to be a costly repair. On the other hand, it’s a log on a car. Now, the only question is whether or not the presumed lumberjack will replace the current log with another once the wood begins to rot.
13 Winter is Coming
Driving in the middle of winter without windshield wipers is a hazard. One driver learned this the hard way when his car was subjected to snowfall one winter day. Fortunately, his creativity presented a rather strange solution to the problem.
A broom is a decent tool when the goal is getting snow off a windshield while the car is parked at home. One driver decided to forego a regular scraper or wipers and took his broom with him as he hit the road. To ensure optimal safety on the road, this driver zip tied the broom to his windshield wiper.
We aren’t sure how practical this is, considering the width of the broom. In fact, we aren’t sure what the whole point is. From the picture, it appears that the windshield wipers do work, so they’d be just as effective as clearing the windshield of snow. With that in mind, the broom seems like overkill.
As a general rule, drivers should aim to change their windshield wipers every six months. Since new wipers blades are inexpensive and easy to install, there’s really no reason not to do this simple maintenance.
We have to admit, though, that a broom zip tied to a windshield wiper is one of the stranger "repairs" we’ve seen so far.
12 Reinforced Bumper
Getting rear-ended sucks, as any driver who's ever been in a collision knows. Whether it’s a fender bender or a serious accident, your car probably had to head to a body shop for repairs. One driver who was seemingly in a serious collision went the extra mile to ensure he never needed a major repair again.
In order to save himself some trouble in the future, this driver repaired his vehicle with what appears to be the rear end of a utility truck. It isn’t just for cosmetic appearances either. The truck end looks to be fully functional. The repair extends halfway up the windshield. Don’t worry–the gas cap survived the accident and the repair.
Judging by how far the driver went to get the rear end of his car repaired, this isn’t the first time he's been rear-ended. If this was the first time, the driver apparently wasn’t interested in dealing with major repairs again. After all, would you stick the tailgate of a utility truck on your sedan if it was the first time your car got rear-ended?
11 Needs More Bandages
There’s a flurry of emotions that follow getting into a collision. Many drivers get angry with the situation they’ve found themselves in. Others put their creative minds to work and make their vehicle into a piece of mobile art. That’s the case with one driver who was sideswiped and had to wait a while before heading to the body shop for repairs.
The car in question is fairly dated, but it still looks pretty good. The paint doesn’t show signs of rust or wear. Other than the damage to the side of the vehicle, the car looks to be in good shape.
In order to cover the damage until the car can be properly repaired, the driver got creative. A large band-aid covers the major dents and scratches that were likely left in the paint following the collision. The bandage is held by two bungee cords attached to the interior of the passenger window and beneath the vehicle.
The window appears to be stuck in its current position. Covering the passenger window with some sort of bandage would also block out the mirror, creating a potentially dangerous driving experience, so we can understand why the owner left it uncovered.
All in all, a bandage may be a strange, impractical repair, but it’s a creative fix nonetheless.
10 New Use for CDs
We’re living in a digital age where CDs seem to be slowly making their way out of the mainstream. While most people have moved on to downloading music to their smart devices, others are finding a use for their old discs. When one driver lost his gas cover, he found a great replacement in scotch tape and a CD.
The gas cover, often referred to as the fuel door, hides the gas cap. The gas cap itself prevents gas fumes from escaping, so the fuel door is mostly for appearance purposes. Modern vehicles often feature locking fuel doors. This minivan doesn’t appear to be too modern, so the CD isn’t the worst replacement, but it doesn’t serve many purposes either.
Unless the driver is missing his actual gas cap, and it doesn’t appear he is, the CD and tape are unnecessary. If anything, the cover is for aesthetic purposes, and the shiny CD and messy tape job aren’t doing his van any favors. It doesn’t even cover the entire gas cap. Even if it did, there’s a hole in the middle…
Surely fitting a piece of cardboard over the cap would've been a better solution, but who are we to judge?
9 Duct Tape Paint Job
Duct tape is incredibly strong and durable, two attributes that make it perfect for reattaching mirrors to cars. In this case, the driver went the extra mile and expended numerous rolls of duct tape to give his car a new look. Surprisingly enough, the car blends in pretty well on the road.
Whether the paint was worn, a possibility, considering the car’s aged design, or the driver wanted a new look, duct tape was likely the most affordable solution. The driver did well taping up his car.
Each line of tape overlaps the next strip ever so slightly, creating a flowing look. The duct tape even covers the molding fairly effectively. The door handles were left uncovered for obvious reasons.
Hopefully, the driver doesn’t have plans of removing the duct tape. If the paint was worn or peeling, the duct tape will only make matters worse when it’s removed from the car. On the bright side, the tape will slow oxidization, preventing rust from spreading and weakening the car’s various parts and panels.
8 Wheel Hose
A car is no good without four tires, and when one goes flat, some drivers have to get creative. Although all cars come with spare tires, they may have been previously used and never replaced. One driver took matters into his own hands when he lacked a spare tire by wrapping a hose around his tire rim.
Outdoor hoses are designed to survive the elements of the average homeowner’s yard. The material is certainly durable but not durable enough to withstand thousands of rotations per minute. Even if it could, the rocks, the debris, and the potholes of the average road would shred the hose in no time at all.
Judging from the picture, it doesn’t appear this hose would even protect the rim anyway. It isn’t thick enough to put distance between the metal rim and the paved road. In short, this is a pointless DIY car repair.
Needless to say, wrapping an outdoor hose around the rim of a wheel doesn't a tire make. Attempting to drive on this wouldn’t end well. Not only would it require the driver to pay for a new rim, but it could damage other parts of the car as well.
7 Mix 'N' Match
It’s not often we see a strange DIY car repair that makes us stop and question what we're actually looking at. This Pontiac Grand Am is a mix ’n’ match lover’s dream car. No matter what angle you view it from, this car is an interesting concept to take in.
What originally began as a Pontiac Grand Am quickly came to include parts of an old truck. The truck’s cab now includes the front driver and passenger seats but doesn’t appear to do much for the ride height. The rear seats are contained in the original Grand Am. The center-folding hood is attached to the truck cab and makes for an interesting look.
Regardless of the parts used, the implementation is far from seamless. The front of the car doesn’t seem to fit the truck cab. In fact, it almost seems to hang off the sides, potentially creating a hazard if this car were to be driven.
It’s a little confusing why the driver would make this sort of repair and/or modification to his Pontiac Grand Am. There doesn’t appear to be damage on the rear panels below the truck cab. Whatever the driver’s reasoning, it’s a strange creation to behold.
The picture was taken in 2012, so we doubt this contraption is still on the road.
6 Fourth Wheel
In order for a truck to carry a full load or be operational, in general, it needs four wheels. When times are tough, four wheels can be hard to come by for some drivers. Handcarts, on the other hand (no pun intended), seem to be all too common, judging by the number of pictures similar to this one.
Removing a flat tire isn’t too difficult, even for drivers who don’t know much about cars. Most trucks come with a spare tire fit snugly beneath the bed. It’s a little difficult to see in this picture, but it doesn’t look like the spare is present in the Nissan pickup.
As a result, this driver was forced to get creative. Interestingly enough, it turns out a handcart can be a substitute for a fourth wheel on a small truck. The truck in question is in traffic in the picture, so it looks like this was an actual fix to the problem.
No driver should hit the road with a handcart as a fourth wheel. Should the cart come loose, it could become a potential hazard to other drivers. Even worse, you’ll end up on three wheels, and that’s not a situation any driver wants to be in.
5 Duct Tape Repair
Duct tape is the go-to solution for drivers of all ages for fixing problems big and small. For one driver, it was the only thing that could hold what appears to be a Chevrolet HHR together. Judging from the amount of duct tape used, this car is riding on borrowed time.
A quick look at the picture indicates that the front passenger side window was broken out. Scrapes along the lower door panels indicate the car was likely involved in a sideswipe collision.
The duct tape extends between the front and the rear passenger door from top to bottom. Presumably, the front passenger-door latch was busted in the collision. The same appears to go for the rear door as well.
The front passenger-side door appears to have received the worst of the blow. The window is covered in plastic, and the mirror is held firmly by duct tape. The strong adhesive extends along the top of the car from front to rear as well.
Assuming the only problem with the car is that the doors don’t latch, duct tape might be an alright solution. The window is sealed, and as long as the driver stays off the highway, the mirror is probably good to go as well.
Either way, this car would be a pretty strange sight on the road.
4 Automotive Meets Wood Working
Woodworking and automotive repair are two popular crafts in modern America, so it was only a matter of time before the two collided. The apparent result is a Ram cargo van receiving a makeover that makes its original grille look like scrap metal. The wooden front fascia is a nice touch to what’s likely a worn-out vehicle.
The hood alone is a sign that this Ram cargo van has definitely seen better days. The missing paint indicates that the vehicle is fairly old. That’s reason enough for an owner to forego paying for an entirely new front fascia. Instead, it appears this owner put his hobby to work for him.
There’s no word on what happened to the original front fascia. Given the signs, we know the van isn’t young. Perhaps the grille was subjected to years of weathering and rusted out. Maybe the plastic bumper simply fell off. The van may have even been in a front-end collision that destroyed the fascia altogether.
What we know for certain is that this wood grille is certainly nicer than what the van originally had. Judging from its looks, it seems the woodworker went the extra mile and gave it a full finish. It may be a strange DIY repair, but we like to give credit where credit is due. Bravo!
3 Bus to Narnia
Hopping on public transit is a daily occurrence for some, the only efficient way to travel in congested cities and an event many people dread. Fortunately, this bus provides a more upscale—perhaps even fantastical experience—for riders. You see, the door and part of the side of the bus have been replaced with what appear to be dark wood panels.
We aren’t sure what happened to the bus that would've required such a strange fix or why the presumed company didn't just decommission the bus until it was properly repaired. The rest of the side looks to be in good shape. We’ll probably never know what really happened.
While the door appears to resemble something from an old doctor’s office, the side panels give off a bit more wonder. They look similar to the wardrobe from the 2005 movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Spoilers incoming!
In the movie, the children wander through the wardrobe into a forest covered in snow. There, they meet a wonder of creatures and become the heroes the 1950s book sets them up to be.
We aren’t saying you’ll meet some strange creatures on this bus, but we aren’t ruling it out either.
2 Manual Windshield Wiper
As some of our more experienced readers may remember, there was once a time when not everything was automatic. In fact, almost everything was operated manually–until advances in technology changed the automotive world for good, anyway. When things go wrong on modern vehicles, however, some drivers might find themselves stepping back in time.
That was the case for one driver whose windshield wiper appears to have quit on a rainy day. Instead of sighing heavily and heading back indoors, this driver whipped up his own wiper repair with nothing more than some thin rope.
By tying the rope to the top and middle of the wiper blade, then leading the rope into the driver and passenger windows, the driver is able to operate the wiper. While it certainly doesn’t look easy—or safe—to operate this manual DIY windshield wiper, it’s one of the simpler, functional fixes so far.
We aren’t really sure how much of a solution this really is, though. In order to operate the windshield wiper manually, both front windows need to be rolled down. Even light rain will soak the driver and the car’s interior in a matter of minutes.
Maybe the driver should've applied his ingenuity to an indoor project on this rainy day…
1 Accident Waiting To Happen
Sometimes, a strange car repair isn’t all that obvious from the exterior alone. Once you enter the interior, however, these DIY car repairs are usually pretty substantial. In the case of this car, the brake lights are literally wired to a light switch.
From the picture alone, it appears that the brake-light switch controls a major safety feature for both the driver of this car as well as other drivers. Without more information, we assume that the driver has to flip the switch every time he slows down or comes to a stop.
Judging by the other wires and switches in the background, it’s hard not to assume that this isn’t the strangest car repair this driver has performed. We can’t quite make out what the small black text on the background switches says, but we can only assume it isn’t good. The cut tape on the cardboard surrounding is certainly a nice touch, though.
Imagine if the driver forgets to flip the light switch as he comes to a quick stop. We can almost guarantee his insurance provider won’t be happy—and neither will responding police officers or any other drivers involved.