Marketing analyst Hagerty reports that around 18 car enthusiast owners live in the U.S. alone. That’s a lot of automotive knowledge that could go to good use. If you love tinkering with engines, you can turn your obsession into a fulfilling hobby or successful side hustle to earn extra money. Car enthusiasts earn an average of $17 an hour in the U.S., according to ZipRecruiter. That may not sound like much, but nothing beats getting paid to do what you love. Use these hobbies for car lovers to make the most of your passion:
Rebuilding the Engine
Experience the thrill of making an old engine purr like new again. A complete rebuild means taking the engine apart and building it back up again from the inside out. You will save thousands of dollars doing the job yourself instead of hiring a local mechanic. Choose a diesel engine for your next project if you want more of a challenge. Learn what diesel is to better understand how these systems work. They run on high-pressure fuel and air to increase power and torque, which requires more oil than gas-powered vehicles, paired with emissions reduction technologies for reducing pollution. Every engine is made up of thousands of individual parts, all working in sync to deliver peak efficiency.
Shop for diesel truck parts online by make and model to bring your truck back to life. Most need new exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers, oil pumps and fuel injection systems once they hit the 500,000-mile mark. Poor maintenance will cause the fuel injectors to clog, which can stop the engine from firing. Replace worn fuel injectors to get it running again.
Restoring Vintage Cars
If you prefer the look and feel of cars from generations past, find a vintage car for sale that needs repairs. Finding replacement parts for older models takes some legwork. You probably won’t find them at your neighborhood auto parts store or the manufacturer’s website, assuming the company still exists. Consider restoring the car’s original parts if they’re still salvageable. Scrape off the rust, polish them clean and seal them with wax to reduce wear and tear. You can also find parts by meeting other vintage car owners online or at trade shows. Even the best mechanics can’t get some cars working again, but that doesn’t mean you should throw the car away. Regardless of whether the vehicle is drivable, you can still show off your prized possession at car shows or lend it to Hollywood studios for period pieces.
Collecting Classic Cars
Once you have one, you might as well collect them all. If you have space in your garage, assemble different makes and models from every era. Having more classic cars in stock gives you more opportunities to make money. You can help producers and show organizers find vehicles for every time period. You don’t have to have all the parts under the hood to show off a classic car. Consider buying life-size models of your favorite brands to create the illusion of going back in time.
Towing and Shoveling
If you have a working diesel truck, you can use it to make money towing heavy items that won’t fit in your neighbor’s trunk or shovel out the block after a major snowstorm. Some folks may have trouble digging themselves out in the winter, especially in rural areas where the roads aren’t plowed. Create a shoveling or moving/towing business to pay off all your hobby-related expenses. Your community will appreciate having someone so handy around in an emergency. They might even nominate you for Good Samaritan of the Year. Maintain your truck regularly when towing heavy loads, as it reduces the strain on the engine. If you plan on shoveling, attach a plow weighted for your make and model.
Automotive Blogging and Vlogging
Share your car knowledge with the people by starting an automotive blog or vlog (video blog). Chances are you already have a quality camera on your phone that you can use to take high-definition pictures and videos. You can show off your vibrant personality, detail the history of certain automobiles or make in-depth tutorials on how to repair cars.
If you feel like putting on a show, do tricks and stunts or put on races for the camera. Dash cams make it easy to record your travels, placing the viewer in the driver’s seat. Publish your clips on social media or user-generated content websites like TikTok, Reddit and YouTube. The latter lets you run ads on your videos, helping you earn money every time someone clicks.
Pair your repair content with step-by-step instructions for specific jobs, such as changing the oil, replacing filters or even complete engine rebuilds. If you have a long segment, break it into bite-size clips or chapters, usually 10 minutes or less, with the word “Pt. 1” in the video title so people know to tune in for more. With sky-high car prices, drivers everywhere are hungry for car knowledge and advice.
Put Your Passion to Work
You can use your skills under the hood to make an old car shine again, earn extra money or connect with audiences all over the world. Most of us use these vehicles every day, so why not share your expertise with those looking to restore what they already have?