Browse Month

October 2019

Refreshing an old car | Carseats

Refreshing an old car | Carseats

One of my interior upgrades we will be doing to refresh the old Honda CRV 2002 we have is getting new carseat covers. there is a lot of options available but I am seeking ones that are durable easy to clean and comfortable. now as the existing car seats are 17 years old the most affordable option I could find is to simply buy seat covers but I don’t want to get cheap ones and I am on the fence about leather seat covers since the AC is currently not working. but less absorption is def going to be important and odor control.

Upgrades: Keep Or Trash

Upgrades: Keep Or Trash

What to keep and what to upgrade!

Over the last few years I have been building and maintaining my own computers I got out of purchasing retail PC’s years ago as I got sick of being ripped off and having under performing hardware especially some of the limited OEM boards that generally ship out with brand name PC’s so i got into buying proper motherboards custom cases and cooling solutions to make sure things did not overheat during gaming and other tasks.

I also enjoyed building in a variety of computer cases to try and find what size cases could be the most practical for travel and play but the ITX or MATX offerings have come so far that it can be amazing just how much power you can fit inside a small case.
These days however I have stuck with a mid size ATX case that holds my permanent gaming pc installation but in future I do plan to have a high performing travel companion that can be hooked up at a friends place to game when needed.

One of the Hardest choices I make when building a computer is deciding what components to keep and what to replace because if you are still getting high end performance out of your old components then why would you replace it?

Graphics cards :

They can cost the most money in any PC build almost to the point where you debate even bothering upgrading. a couple of years ago I purchased a 1080ti founders edition card that has still not really reached its limits in the games that I play the only real upgrade for it was the 2080ti and its an extremely high cost to pay to get up to the next gpu so I plan to hold onto it till the next release or a significant discount happens.

Ram Upgrades:

Usually Ram upgrades are performed when purchasing a new board to support the New CPU’s with the current system I can get about 2-3 CPU Upgrades before looking at paying for another board so generally I will spend a lot of hours looking for the fastest and most stable kit available so that I do not have to worry about buying them again for some time. (usually 2 builds or until a generational leap that requires different modules.)


The Core Part of most computers is its power supply the higher quality you get the better it is for those expensive parts you have being powered by it.


CPU generally i try to get the most value to top performing chip so for example a multi core chip that can get more than I need done gives my system headroom for my music workload or gaming. leaving headroom for other services running on the system but it can really depend on my budget I also plan to pass it down through my family as I don’t hold onto them forever and need them to be reliable once they are handed down to family once I upgrade.

Buying My First Car!

Buying My First Car

The Good

Buying my first car was a challenging yet enjoyable experience but many things I did enjoy was finding cars in the used market that suited my needs and doing the research on quality used cars. Spending time doing learner driving lessons with my old mans car. instructors car and my car has been an interesting getting used to the feel of the different clutches on the manual transmissions and overall sedan, hatchback and suv cars so far.

I had a chance to think about which transmission I wanted and what sort of space I was looking for in a car. storage space for luggage and passengers when we go on distance trips shopping or family outings the SUV had the most comfortable space of the offerings allowing us room in the back to load up stuff from the hardware store, garden shop or the large grocery orders we needed to pick up.

Used cars such as Private and Dealership choices were considered on my purchase and due to a very limited budget we had to go with a private offering as the vehicle offered was too good to pass up at its price or so we thought. (More details on that later.)

After purchasing our first car we went through the car and detailed everything inside with a vacuum cleaner and a lot of cleaning agents pulling up carpets and cleaning under the floors where needed to remove animal hairs and small particles and rocks and cleaned everything else.


The good thing about choosing a used car and getting one reasonably low priced was to get affordable Insurance for our car we wanted to minimize the insurance cost on the car as it adds up fast when you start factoring in the repairs, maintenance and fuel costs keeping the car on the road.
Third Party Coverage was the most affordable option for our car as full comprehensive at-least for now is too expensive to worry about since the cars market value is only 3200. even if we spent more than that fully restoring the car throughout we are not sure if anything changes there as new car owners what matters for us is that its safe reliable and can get us by till we can pick up a newer model or a second car in future that is a little newer.

Getting insurance as a learner driver was not quite as easy as we wanted to get insured and not have our parents copping the Excess bill should something go wrong. some companies are much more expensive for excess then others especially for learner drivers. some charge 1600 and others may only charge up to 1100. once you are on your P Plate the excess would drop considerably.

Affordable Car To Add Modern Tech & Lighting!

Buying this older car gave me a chance to look into navigation touch screens led lighting and the potential to upgrade the headlights to a LED Headlight for long distance travel. so adding things seems to be fairly easy.

Co-Funded Purchase & Repairs
One of the more important factors with this car is that its actually owned by myself and my brother which is whats helping cover the costs of repairs to have it ready by next year when we have our license to drive. we are co funding new tyres and on going costs so this has helped get things going in terms of repairs, purchasing and keeping the car fueled.
When investing in a used car its good to have 2 owners of a car that are equally good at driving so we opted to co own one car initially and get any service work done on the car before we plan any long trips next year with it. once we get a second car we may switch ownership’s or just share responsibilities of owning them to keep the maintenance up.

The Bad

I purchased a manual transmission car that appeared to be in good working order only to learn after a professional service was done on the car that it had underlying problems from the clutch down to the front and rear struts, serious oil leak (we thought was minor) and a coolant leak. what started out as a 3200 purchase has already cost an additional 1000 just to get the service to fix the leaks and put new oils in the car.

We also discovered that the condenser for the AC was missing which potentially means the AC Compressor could be also broken costing another 600-1000 to replace. :/

We will get this car up to good working order however and finish getting everything working. its a great compact SUV and should last us for many adventures in QLD at-least while I will be saving for a second car.

It is just a shock to see the process buying this car then start having a heap of problems shortly after taking ownership I hope things improve as since buying it the leaking oil and other issue has since been resolved hope the new clutch does not set us back too much.

What I Could Have Done Better?

Because this was our first car we seen the SUV and all the space and purchased the car without fully checking out the motor for oil leaks and other things which could have saved us money down the line when we could have got a newer model of the same car for less had we gone to Brisbane. we paid more money for the older model simply because it was closer to us and the person selling the car was kind enough to show us the car and give us a test drive. I could have looked at other cars in the area at the same price but there was not enough options available the closest to this CRV was an older model which we felt was too old to invest in the 2002 model had a better motor and nicer interior.

We plan to have everything fixed on this car to make it as good as we can it was just a little more than we expected having to replace the AC, Struts, Sway Bar & Other Issues but when the work is done we will be rewarded with a reliable car that should get us by for another 100-200 thousand KM hopefully as we don’t plan on thrashing this car we wanted to enjoy it for family drives and camping trips.

If we had the money aside we would have paid a mechanic to inspect the vehicle before purchasing the car to ensure the car was a good buy or not and this was one of the most challenging issues we faced as we thought a roadworthy would have cleared the car as safe for travel but some things managed to slip through showing up later, which leads me to think some form of stop leak was used in the engine to hide the leak. so if I had more cash i would have spent more getting independent mechanic to check over the car before buying. or gone through a dealership to get a purchase instead.

How to fit new Led lights in your old car.

Fitting New LED lights in your car


Fitting lights to your old cars interior can be a fun way to beef up the old car you might have just purchased or have owned for many years. there are a variety of led lights of different colors or stick with white or amber options to retain the classic or stock you may also find they use a lot less power too and tend to be a lot brighter than the old ones.

I recently just purchased a 2002 Honda CR-V as my first car and it needs a fair amount of work getting it to how I want it inside. so I started with some affordable LED LIGHTS that can be fitted in the same places where the old ones were placed using a lot less power and a lot brighter.

As I was looking around at the existing fixtures such as dome lights, map lights and the boot lights I had discovered that the old ones were blown so this was the time for me to grab a few off eBay and pick up some good deals.

Generally since these are interior lights that are replacing old Festoon bulbs I looked for Festoon LED Bulbs of the appropriate size. and while I tried to get the exact matching size to the bulb trial and error had me go down to much smaller bulbs than the 36-37mm stock ones that were in there to a size of 31mm which ended up fitting all of the slots in the car perfectly fine with no issues at all.

If you happen to fit the new bulbs the wrong way around try turning the festoons the other way and they should come on. be sure to fit them while switched off so you don’t trip a fuse. (we did with a wrong size festoon bulb )

Exterior Lights

I was being very careful with my choice of LED Lights for the exterior and I would advise checking whats advised with your local government regarding car exterior lighting to make sure you don’t get in trouble for fitting led lights on the exterior of your car.

I wanted to focus on only the small light fitments for now such as plate lights before looking at the headlights. I found some wedge led lights that were soft enough to light up the number plate in white and not anything else. in future i will be looking at reversing lights and headlights to make sure they are correctly aligned to not blind oncoming traffic but this will be a topic for another post.


Measure your old bulbs & if buying cheaper led options try smaller sizes first! (Some Led Lights have heat syncs on them which make them harder to fit the festoon slots so smaller sizes work better.

Prepare to buy multiple sets to find the right ones to suit your needs.
Some LED Lights are brighter than others and might be better suited to different areas of your car such as dome and boot areas. while map lights can be softer depending on your needs. the reason I suggest getting a few different brands to try is to make sure you find a brightness level that suits you. you may even want softer lowest wattage lights as your dome light with map lights as the brightest option to reduce power wasted opening and shutting doors! (Got Kids?) one of the things that makes LED lights so good is they can go a lot longer saving your cars battery.


Some cars may use the wedge style lights but ours uses the colder festoon bulbs

Reboot, Rebuild & Re-establish my website

Welcome is a blog maintained by Dean Barrett, an Australian music producer and gamer that has had various interests over the years learning about cars computers and DIY. my blog explores many of these topics to find stuff that interests me that others might find helpful when cleaning their cars, building computers or anything related to the it world of upgrading and saving money in the process. Welcome to my Blog and I hope the content I share helps you achieve your goal in DIY projects.

If you are just getting into the randomness of my blog I want to inform you I cover things such as Detailing and Reviving a Cars Carpet Interior using Aggressive Vacuuming & Fabric Softeners & Once Again Custom Building Computers that Run smoothly that don’t cost a fortune but you can always expand them to add more things that you want to the build to make the system truly yours.

Since I was recently detailing my old mans 10 year old car and my recently purchased used car I have some tips that may help you get your car back to a clean dealership look without breaking the bank.

Website Coding & Blogging is another interest of mine though not as serious as I thought I was going to be about it I wanted to make my blog more like a journal or reference point to link family members to read how to guides on things I have managed to figure out. so if there is a problem on their pc. or other area and I have figured out a way to deal with it for example converting lights inside your car from bolbs to leds and finding out which ones to get stuff like that with some detailed images on what I have found works well and what has not worked for me I will most likely share these findings on my blog.