QOTD: What's Your Greatest Zipped-up Repair?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd what s your greatest zipped up repair

Most of us reading — and writing for — this site have found themselves in possession of a complete and utter beater car at some point in their lives. Whether through necessity (young kid with no money) or choice (strange attractions to unreliable British machinery), roadside repairs often figure into our past in some form or another.

The most versatile of all roadside repair items? Zip ties, of course.

In my Mr. Noodles days, I always kept a pack of dollar store zip ties (buy expensive ones at Canadian Tire? Hah!) in the trunk of my car. The first beater, an ’89 Ford Escort purchased new by my parents when I was nine, had a nasty habit of burning more oil than gas. I quickly started sourcing used motor oil for free from local garages to support my thirsty hatchback.

I sold the ’89 to a man who promptly drove it in such a fashion that the local constabulary were on my doorstep a few short days later. Apparently, he didn’t change over the registration, which is why you always keep records of this stuff, kids. I showed the cops my sale documents and they left me alone, with the car turning up at an impound lot a few days later.

Anyways, I inexplicably bought another Ford Escort, this time a manual shift ’92 wagon. Damn thing was even the same color: light blue. This penalty box had the nasty habit of failing to activate its cooling fan even when underhood temperatures reached those found inside Reactor Number Four, so I zip-tied a terrifying array of wires and relays to hardwire the fan directly to the battery. In this fashion, I could switch the fan on myself when the situation got nuclear. I’m surprised the whole thing didn’t burn to the ground.

What’s the strangest or jankiest repair you ever made with zip ties? Whether it lasted for five seconds or until you sold the car, zip-tie repairs sometimes make for good stories.

[Image: NorGal/ Bigstock]

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  • Don1967 Don1967 on Sep 12, 2017

    Not zip ties, but garden hose clamps and cut-open Campbell's soup cans make for a lasting exhaust repair.

  • Ejwu Ejwu on Sep 14, 2017

    10 years ago, repaired window regulators on my BMW E46 330i. The plastic clips that fasten the glass panels to the cables are not beefy enough and eventually will break. Several zip ties will either fix it or prevent it from ever happening. Every E46 owner should know this.

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