Ice chests are available in many sizes, colors and styles. Though the exterior of the chests may vary in material, most of the working parts -- hinges, straps, handles, closures and drain plugs -- are made of plastic. After several years of use, these parts will break or tear. All of a cooler's components must be in good working order to contain cold air and melting ice inside the ice chest. Most manufacturers offer replacement parts that can extend the life of your cooler.

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Keep your ice chest in working order by replacing broken parts.

Hinges, Straps, Handles and Closures

Step 1

Remove the Phillips-head screws in broken hinges, straps, handles or closures by turning them counterclockwise. Pull the screws straight out of the broken piece.

Step 2

Place the appropriate replacement piece on the ice chest. Align the holes in the piece with the holes in the ice chest.

Step 3

Hold the replacement piece in place with one hand. Tighten one screw partially by turning it clockwise. Insert the second screw and tighten it partially.

Step 4

Tighten both screws in a clockwise direction while holding the piece in place so it does not skew.

Drain Plug

Step 5

Open the exterior cap on the drain plug.

Step 6

Place a pair of needle-nose pliers in the drain plug from the outside. Pull out while twisting to remove the plug.

Step 7

Unscrew the retainer ring on the back of a new plug in a counterclockwise direction and pull it off. Place the new drain plug in the ice chest's opening, pushing it in as far as possible. The plug will only enter the hole a small distance and stay in place.

Step 8

Turn the ice chest on its end with the drain plug pointing up.

Step 9

Hold a block of wood on the drain plug. Strike the wood with a rubber mallet to drive the plug tightly into the ice chest. Screw the retainer ring onto the plug inside the ice chest in a clockwise direction until it is tight.