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I'm new and wish to learn howto fix cars


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Evey9207
New User

Jul 3, 2014, 8:52 PM

Post #1 of 7 (1079 views)
I'm new and wish to learn howto fix cars Sign In

Hello everyone! First I want to apologize if this is not the place to post this, but I don't know where else to ask.
So, to put things in perspective I'm a 22 year old guy who doesn't know squat about car mechanics. My dad never had an interest in cars and I never had anyone to teach me.
I love to build and fix things, and lately I've been wanting to learn how to fix and restore cars, but i don't know where to start. Right now i just wish to know how to keep my car running , but i intend to save some money in the future and buy an old classic car as a project car to restore it to it's former glory. Also I wish to teach my kids how to do the same at some point in my life.
Now i know i have been just rambling so, my question is, where should I start? I'm good at learning stuff by myself so if anyone can recommend any good books to get me started it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance and I hope I'm not being a drag.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 4, 2014, 12:38 AM

Post #2 of 7 (1061 views)
Re: I'm new and wish to learn howto fix cars Sign In

? Where to start from scratch @ 22 years old? Will you try to take a night class in automotive mechanics or is one available to you in person. This all on line or books just isn't going to cut it.


If you never have and most never will or do read your own owner's manual cover to cover which is boring as watching paint dry but most are very well written and informative for care of a vehicle in general no so much on how to do anything but what and when should be in all.


* There's a lot to this trade vs some others. Tools are VERY expensive and you'll always need or want more if the bug catches you and just might. Then you need a place for it all. Could be cheap or free depending on what's available to you but unless you do lots or have the bucks a better real shop will cost a lot as well.


Restorations: Now understand that there are several area of the trade and I don't know anyone who does each and every detailed part of it. Auto body and paint is a trade of it's own, upholstery, welding including cosmetic quality, auto glass is mostly on its own, transmissions and shops usually specialize. Auto parts is a specialty as well! Point is mostly you have to know who does what that will never be practical to do yourself.


Each area needs to know something about the others.


If school isn't realistic try getting a part time job at least if only to clean a place up around a working shop to see what goes on if nothing else.


Again, as trades go there's a lot to know and own both. Like anything just get started and you'll know if it's for you or not,


Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 4, 2014, 2:20 AM

Post #3 of 7 (1051 views)
Re: I'm new and wish to learn howto fix cars Sign In

You have to realize that general diagnostic and repair on today's vehicles and restoration of yesterday's vehicles will be entirely different trades altogether.

This is not a trade that you learn in 6 months. You are never finished training and learning in this trade. I've been doing this for nearly 50 years and have to learn new things every day.

You never stop spending money on tools either. You can expect to spend thousands of dollars in tools each and every year for the rest of your life.

You can expect to lay over the top of a 220 degree engine when it's 90 degrees outside and lay in the snow and slush in the dead of winter.

Are you sure you want to learn this trade?



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 4, 2014, 2:38 AM

Post #4 of 7 (1046 views)
Re: I'm new and wish to learn howto fix cars Sign In

Love it HT. So true. There's some kind of being MASOCHISTIC to doing this crap! That and coming home with new tools vs food! Tom


Evey9207
New User

Jul 4, 2014, 7:09 AM

Post #5 of 7 (1035 views)
Re: I'm new and wish to learn howto fix cars Sign In

-HI! thanks for the quick reply.
Don't get me wrong I know it's not an easy job and I don't expect to learn everything I need to know in months or with books but there are no classes on auto mechanics where I live so it I need somewhere to start.

-About the expensive tools, I'm no stranger to that. I'm a computer system engineer, and I love to mess with computers and, in general, tearing stuff apart and then putting it back together, and for this you need tools, LOTS of tools and some are very expensive too, also I have to admit I'm a sucker for tools.

-Now I feel like an idiot, I actually never thought about reading the owner's manual. Mainly because I don't have it but I guess I can download it from somewhere. }Thanks for the tip!
-Now that you mention all that about restoration, I think I can narrow down what I want to do. I have no interest in auto body, paint or upholstery. I would have to see a professional for those things. What I want is to know everything about what's under the hood. But of course as you said so, it wouldn't hurt to have a notion of every area.

-Like I said for starters I would like to know how to keep my own car running and then escalate from there.
For reference I have a Sentra 2000 GTS limited edition, the one with the chrome grill. And let me tell you the poor thing has suffered. The previous owner had it all douched up and only did aesthetic jobs on it. When I bought it, I had to spend like 600$ to get it to almost acceptable conditions. And just recently I had to take it to the shop because apparently every hose inside was rotten.

I don't want to learn this stuff to make a living from it, but so I can repair my own car.
I don't want to say I'd like to take it as a hobby because I don't want to offend you guys.

Again thank you for your quick reply and for taking your time to try and help me. :)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 4, 2014, 8:20 AM

Post #6 of 7 (1025 views)
Re: I'm new and wish to learn howto fix cars Sign In


Quote
Now that you mention all that about restoration, I think I can narrow down what I want to do. I have no interest in auto body, paint or upholstery. I would have to see a professional for those things. What I want is to know everything about what's under the hood. But of course as you said so, it wouldn't hurt to have a notion of every area.


No, the mechanical is what i am referring to. Today's cars are approached entirely differently than the cars of the 60s and 70s. When you compare a basic, carbureted engine to anything built after the 80s that is basically entirely computer controlled, it's a whole different ball game. People that are in the business of restoring older cars are totally lost when they get a newer vehicle and some of the best diagnostic techs in the business are totally lost when you give them a car with a carbureter.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 4, 2014, 8:40 AM

Post #7 of 7 (1024 views)
Re: I'm new and wish to learn howto fix cars Sign In

Get a real owner's manual specific to your own car in paper like it came with. If nothing else it lists out capacities and how features should operate and all important warning lights and more. It's not there to tell you how except perhaps changing a flat tire with the spare step by step.


If you still want to go for it more than the simplest maintenance look for a tech selling off everything or who is quitting the trade as a biz or living anymore.


I hear you with upholstery and paint. It really takes serious talent to do that or fix that such that it doesn't look fixed up!


There's a problem now that I didn't have with restorations. Parts cars or just parts if old enough are getting harder to find. Whole cars (junked) are worth real bucks for the metal so get squished rather than part out dinky stuff you WILL need. That and if old enough the people that have the parts probably don't put each item on the web but rather call and they'll go look and they are all getting old like ME!


No harm just a tough game. If you have the motivation you will prevail,


Tom







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