Getting into DIY auto repair as a complete beginner - Survivalist Forum
Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > >
Articles Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files


Notices

Advertise Here
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Free Auto Repair Advise or Answers Reed DIY - Do It Yourself 596 10-10-2019 12:39 AM
Basic Auto Maintenance and Repair Tools Mr. Yetimode DIY - Do It Yourself 22 06-01-2016 12:33 AM
Complete AR15 Rifle - $396.94 (Complete LW-15 Poly Lower + PTAC complete upper) apps47inc For Sale 0 05-13-2015 04:09 PM
Complete AR15 Rifle - $359 (Complete LW-15 Poly Lower + PTAC complete upper) apps47inc For Sale 0 11-26-2014 02:32 PM
Replace Semi-Auto Bolt Carrier for Full-Auto Shifty1 Military Weapons Forum 14 11-19-2014 07:11 PM
Complete AR15 Rifle - $399 (New Frontier Complete Lower and PTAC Complete Upper) apps47inc For Sale 0 09-12-2014 12:36 AM
Complete AR15 Rifle - $399 shipped (NF Complete Lower and PTAC Upper) apps47inc For Sale 1 05-20-2014 06:55 PM
At this point, why would you ever buy a complete beginner Ar-15? Runamok Firearms General Discussion 27 02-16-2014 07:24 PM
Alice Pack Kidney Pad Repair, Field Repair CJL Enterprize Sam Dawson silversam1 DIY - Do It Yourself 0 05-03-2012 11:48 AM
Turn your semi Auto AR-15 into a Fully Auto, and Legal paramilusmc Rifle Forum 14 05-26-2011 08:50 AM

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-12-2014, 03:36 PM
have_pen_will_travel's Avatar
have_pen_will_travel have_pen_will_travel is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: New England
Posts: 11
Thanks: 15
Thanked 11 Times in 6 Posts
Default Getting into DIY auto repair as a complete beginner



Advertise Here

Hey guys,

So the wife and I have been talking a lot about expanding our skill sets to reduce our dependency on others and be more self-reliant. One such skill that keeps coming up again and again is basic automotive maintenance.

I've done a little preliminary research, but most of what I seem to find is either a) super-specific tips geared toward individual models of vehicles, or b) pitches for mechanics classes at vocational colleges. As much as I'd love to take a full auto repair class, I don't have the time or funds, so I'm hoping for a more self-directed auto repair education.

What would you recommend for someone with ZERO experience in car/vehicle maintenance to get their feet wet with the basics? Any books I should read etc.?

Thanks in advance for your advice/suggestions.
Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2014, 03:45 PM
NCalHippie's Avatar
NCalHippie NCalHippie is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13,473
Thanks: 28,346
Thanked 23,602 Times in 9,197 Posts
Default

Buy a repair manual for each vehicle you own, otherwise it can take years to get to the point that you can be proficient at even the basics.

I was lucky and learned watching and helping my Dad, I set the valves and tuned the rebuilt flathead six while my Dad was at work when I was 15 so we could go on vacation the next morning. I still have that '40 Plymouth pickup.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to NCalHippie For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 03:48 PM
Darthmuerte's Avatar
Darthmuerte Darthmuerte is offline
Deplorable and 3%
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Footloose And Fancy Free
Posts: 6,657
Thanks: 29,303
Thanked 25,498 Times in 5,381 Posts
Default

Buy a chilton's(Professional/hardbound, I prefer it to a CDROM) manual for your car and start with doing your own oil changes. To tell you the truth, unless you get into the advanced diagnostics, most auto repair work is pretty easy. That being said, some things are also very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. Get a good manual and follow it religiously. Soon you will be doing basic jobs for your neighbors and making some decent money for doing it.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Darthmuerte For This Useful Post:
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-12-2014, 03:53 PM
have_pen_will_travel's Avatar
have_pen_will_travel have_pen_will_travel is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: New England
Posts: 11
Thanks: 15
Thanked 11 Times in 6 Posts
Default

Thanks for the advice, guys.

Yeah, I've always been jealous of guys who grew up around cars and learned as they went along. Still, appreciate the pointers - I've never actually heard of the Chilton series of manuals, but they seem great. I'll be sure to pick one up for our current vehicle and see what I can learn.

Thanks again.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to have_pen_will_travel For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 04:13 PM
NCalHippie's Avatar
NCalHippie NCalHippie is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13,473
Thanks: 28,346
Thanked 23,602 Times in 9,197 Posts
Default

The Chilton manuals are the best IMO, like Darth said, start with oil changes, then filter changes and move up to spark plugs and go from there.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to NCalHippie For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 04:17 PM
Darthmuerte's Avatar
Darthmuerte Darthmuerte is offline
Deplorable and 3%
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Footloose And Fancy Free
Posts: 6,657
Thanks: 29,303
Thanked 25,498 Times in 5,381 Posts
Default

I agree with NCal. It won't take long for your confidence to grow though. You can always ask questions if you get stuck. There are tons of automotive forums and we have an automotive help thread in the DIY section here.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Darthmuerte For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 05:04 PM
minitruck83 minitruck83 is offline
Trapper
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 757
Thanks: 6,520
Thanked 752 Times in 387 Posts
Default

Watch yard sales for older manuals, having the latest issue won't do you a bit of good if you run into a car with a carburator, or (gasp) points. (I've got old MOTORS manuals going back to 1910.) Will I ever need it? Not likely, but it's good to know that if I run into a Hupmobile needing repairs... the info is available.

Talk to the older neighbors (or a Mexican) and you might get tips on roadside fixes on older models. Most labcoat guys get lost without a diagnostic machine. It's amazing how long cars used to run with only oil changes, plug cleaning, and an ocasional carb adjustment before computers.

Oh, don't plan on getting rich anytime soon repairing automobiles. (any redneck already knows more)
Quick reply to this message
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to minitruck83 For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 06:02 PM
NCalHippie's Avatar
NCalHippie NCalHippie is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13,473
Thanks: 28,346
Thanked 23,602 Times in 9,197 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by minitruck83 View Post
Watch yard sales for older manuals, having the latest issue won't do you a bit of good if you run into a car with a carburator, or (gasp) points. (I've got old MOTORS manuals going back to 1910.) Will I ever need it? Not likely, but it's good to know that if I run into a Hupmobile needing repairs... the info is available.

Talk to the older neighbors (or a Mexican) and you might get tips on roadside fixes on older models. Most labcoat guys get lost without a diagnostic machine. It's amazing how long cars used to run with only oil changes, plug cleaning, and an ocasional carb adjustment before computers.

Oh, don't plan on getting rich anytime soon repairing automobiles. (any redneck already knows more)
Lol, I grew up setting points by eye or with a business card, and timing by ear. Sometimes, you gotta do what needs done to get by.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to NCalHippie For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 06:10 PM
Metcalf's Avatar
Metcalf Metcalf is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Southwest Comirado
Posts: 4,414
Thanks: 1,454
Thanked 7,076 Times in 2,800 Posts
Default

Buy a PAPER copy of the OEM factory service manual for your vehicle.

Thank god that Google is around.

The most difficult thing really isn't the fixing, it's knowing what is wrong.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Metcalf For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 06:12 PM
America's Patriot America's Patriot is offline
This is a great survival forum
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,269
Thanks: 3,002
Thanked 30,182 Times in 9,940 Posts
Default

Most of the "basic" maintenance on all vehicles are similar.
Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2014, 06:21 PM
Nucky Nucky is offline
Hunter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: N. Cali
Posts: 1,298
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1,906 Times in 733 Posts
Default

Paper manual is good but Alldatadiy.com is handy and quicker to find things. So have both.

Harborfreight is a good source for mid grade tools.

I would start with fluid maintenance. Differentials, transmission, brake, engine oil, etc. Buy a giant oil drip pan too to save yourself from the oil stain eyesore. They're only around $10.

Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Nucky For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 06:26 PM
NCalHippie's Avatar
NCalHippie NCalHippie is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13,473
Thanks: 28,346
Thanked 23,602 Times in 9,197 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metcalf View Post
Buy a PAPER copy of the OEM factory service manual for your vehicle.

Thank god that Google is around.

The most difficult thing really isn't the fixing, it's knowing what is wrong.
And any more, that pretty much requires a code reader. Luckily one of my kids has a basic OBD1/OBD2 code reader and another son has an automotive shop in town (they all learned watching and helping me as they grew up).
Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to NCalHippie For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 06:47 PM
ClovisMan's Avatar
ClovisMan ClovisMan is online now
Apocaloptimist
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Posts: 2,583
Thanks: 273
Thanked 6,068 Times in 1,636 Posts
Default

Buy an older Jeep. You will be a master mechanic in no time. Something is always leaking on the damned thing.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to ClovisMan For This Useful Post:
Old 11-12-2014, 06:56 PM
have_pen_will_travel's Avatar
have_pen_will_travel have_pen_will_travel is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: New England
Posts: 11
Thanks: 15
Thanked 11 Times in 6 Posts
Default

Thanks for all the advice, everyone - most appreciated. Also, I probably should've put this in the correct forum, so thanks for your patience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClovisMan View Post
Buy an older Jeep. You will be a master mechanic in no time. Something is always leaking on the damned thing.
Oh man, I'd love to. Saw an older black Wrangler on sale for $5,500 the other day. Still wondering what's wrong with it, haha.

Thanks again everyone - so glad I found this community.
Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2014, 06:57 PM
JL1 JL1 is offline
prepared for life & death
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: The South
Posts: 2,297
Thanks: 1,833
Thanked 4,448 Times in 1,627 Posts
Default

As stated above buy a Chiltons manual for the vehicles you own. Also read your owners manual. No technical or even basic data BUT there is info you need and can use in there. You wouldn't believe the things we have people complain about(I work in a Chevy dealer shop) simply because they don't know or understand their vehicle. Be very careful of advice given, especially on the net. Go to the library and get some basic auto repair books and familiarize yourself with terms, parts, tools and the basics of an engine. It takes time. I did not grow up around vehicles but had to teach myself. After a few years of hot rodding and drag racing I was ready to be a mechanic(or so I thought), took courses at night at the local tech school and got a job at a dealer during the day. That was almost 25 years ago and I still enjoy what I do. Be patient, it takes time to learn even the basics.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JL1 For This Useful Post:
Old 11-13-2014, 09:32 AM
Rusty-Gunn Rusty-Gunn is offline
Hiker
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kotzebue, Alaska
Posts: 615
Thanks: 449
Thanked 572 Times in 283 Posts
Default

I don't have a car but do own ATVs, of which we buy service repair manuals for each one. We do most of our own repairs to save money and know what to do if we break down out on the trail some thirty to sixty miles out of town. If you can follow a cooking recipe then you can follow the manual. I sometimes ask others to coach me on a few things if I have trouble.
I highly recommended others learn to repair their vehicles. It will certainly help someday.
Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2014, 05:23 PM
Tracy1966's Avatar
Tracy1966 Tracy1966 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 179
Thanks: 235
Thanked 181 Times in 81 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nucky View Post
I would start with fluid maintenance <snip> engine oil
Be SURE when changing the oil filter that the little O-ring on top of your old oil filter comes off with the filter, if not, it's stuck to the engine block and will cause the new filter to leak... and if you don't catch it soon enough it could be really bad news... it's always a good idea to run the engine an check for leaks after you've installed new parts, filters, hoses etc. Good luck!!

P.S. Not too useful for TEOTWAWKI - but Advanced Auto & O'Reilly's will run the diagnostic test on your car for free, our local Ford guys charge $80+!!!
Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2014, 05:30 PM
Darthmuerte's Avatar
Darthmuerte Darthmuerte is offline
Deplorable and 3%
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Footloose And Fancy Free
Posts: 6,657
Thanks: 29,303
Thanked 25,498 Times in 5,381 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy1966 View Post

P.S. Not too useful for TEOTWAWKI - but Advanced Auto & O'Reilly's will run the diagnostic test on your car for free, our local Ford guys charge $80+!!!
LOL, no actually they will won't. They will plug in a code reader and try to sell you parts from that but they cannot/will not access the serial data to see what is really going on. Getting the code does not a diagnosis make.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to Darthmuerte For This Useful Post:
Old 11-13-2014, 05:32 PM
NCalHippie's Avatar
NCalHippie NCalHippie is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13,473
Thanks: 28,346
Thanked 23,602 Times in 9,197 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy1966 View Post
Be SURE when changing the oil filter that the little O-ring on top of your old oil filter comes off with the filter, if not, it's stuck to the engine block and will cause the new filter to leak... and if you don't catch it soon enough it could be really bad news... it's always a good idea to run the engine an check for leaks after you've installed new parts, filters, hoses etc. Good luck!!

P.S. Not too useful for TEOTWAWKI - but Advanced Auto & O'Reilly's will run the diagnostic test on your car for free, our local Ford guys charge $80+!!!
Also, wipe a bit of oil on the new O-ring/gasket and only install hand snug. otherwise, it will be a real pain to get off next time.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to NCalHippie For This Useful Post:
Old 11-13-2014, 05:38 PM
ReschkeCM ReschkeCM is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 7 Posts
Default

Manuals are certainly helpful to have around for whatever cars you'll be working on.Honestly though, you'll probably more on YouTube than you would flipping through the manuals. "Eric the Car Guy" has a great channel that goes over a lot of the basic (and a lot of more advanced stuff too). He does a great job of explaining what he's doing and why. https://www.youtube.com/user/EricTheCarGuy

If you're looking for a specific repair to do, just watch a few videos to get a feel for it.

AutoZone also has helpful guides on repairs for specific vehicles. They take you through it all step by step. Check it out: http://www.autozone.com/repairinfo/r...rGuideMain.jsp

It's also helpful to have a knowledgable friend or two that you can call in case you get stumped on something.

Most of all, just go for it. Start with easy things like brakes & fluids, then just keep learning as you go.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ReschkeCM For This Useful Post:
Reply

Bookmarks



Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Survivalist Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Gender
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © Kevin Felts 2006 - 2015,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net