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Last post Author Topic: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?  (Read 16164 times)

mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2015, 05:29:47 PM »
Appreciate all the advice!
I will try not to get under the car unless i have a buddy around.. I'm pretty paranoid about safety things, so I won't be doing anything reckless.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2015, 06:44:40 PM »
I'm pretty paranoid about safety things, so I won't be doing anything reckless.

That's the "beauty" of this type occurrence ... You never realize that it was reckless, until after it's wrecked. :D

xtabber

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2015, 08:18:46 PM »
Cars need a lot less maintenance nowadays than they used to, and a lot of the maintenance they do need is not something that you can do yourself.  It is often said that cars today are basically computers with wheels.  All new cars sold in the US since 1996 are required to have an accessible OBD-II port (On-Board Diagnostics). You can buy an inexpensive device to check the diagnostic codes if you get an engine check light, but the equipment you would need to do any serious troubleshooting or tuning can cost more than the car itself.

The most important thing is to follow the manufacturer’s schedule for changing oil, filters and other fluids, but given your projected usage, you (or your car) might die of old age before you need to replace a spark plug.  You won’t save much money doing the ordinary things yourself, but it can be interesting, at least for a while. 

I’d suggest looking for an introductory course in auto repair at a local technical school.  It will be well worth your while if you actually do decide you want to do your own maintenance.

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2015, 05:43:05 AM »
One thing I would do once you have your setup for raising the car and pulling wheels, is check the disk brakes.  What happens especially when the calipers have a lot of time since the last service(or they never were serviced) is you push the piston(s) all the way in so that you can fit the new brake pads in.  This pushes the crud clinging to the piston through the seal inside the caliper.  Typically that is when they hang.  Usually after you drive the car for a few days one gets "frozen" so that the brake on that wheel drags.  You used to be able to tell by the car pulling to that side when you jabbed the brakes.  But with the computer controlled systems now you might not notice until stuff on that wheel overheats.

I got around it on an old Chevy Impala because in the shop there was a pile of Chevy disk brake pads we removed waiting to be sent for relining.  I picked out those about 70% worn and slid them in without having to do the caliper rebuild.  Just turning the rotors.  Nice and cheap.  $0 for parts.  :)  The moral of the story being never assume you can just put new pads in.  You may be lucky but more often than not it doesn't last.  You can end up wiping out the other brake and wheel components.

Anyway have fun with it.  :)

cranioscopical

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2015, 01:59:20 PM »
It is easy to think it won't happen to you.
It did happen to me — escaped with some nasty bruises and bad cuts but nothing broken — I didn't enjoy the experience at all!
Better to think 'Why don't I?' than 'Why didn't I?'
 

 

superboyac

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2015, 06:02:49 PM »
Cars need a lot less maintenance nowadays than they used to, and a lot of the maintenance they do need is not something that you can do yourself.  It is often said that cars today are basically computers with wheels.  All new cars sold in the US since 1996 are required to have an accessible OBD-II port (On-Board Diagnostics). You can buy an inexpensive device to check the diagnostic codes if you get an engine check light, but the equipment you would need to do any serious troubleshooting or tuning can cost more than the car itself.

The most important thing is to follow the manufacturer’s schedule for changing oil, filters and other fluids, but given your projected usage, you (or your car) might die of old age before you need to replace a spark plug.  You won’t save much money doing the ordinary things yourself, but it can be interesting, at least for a while. 

I’d suggest looking for an introductory course in auto repair at a local technical school.  It will be well worth your while if you actually do decide you want to do your own maintenance.

Yes, I was just going to say this.  Get one of those apps or software that you can plug in and get all that mechanic info.  I've been meaning to get one myself.

mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2015, 06:06:58 PM »
I think you guys are forgetting who you are takling to... :-\

First thing I did when i got the car was get an OBD2 scanner.. Then torque for android to let me analyze data further.
Read my car manual cover to cover several times, got the service manual for it and browsed through that.
And then I watched dozens of videos over and over about doing maintenance.
Then read 1000s of forum posts on my specific car, and cars in general.
Then bought several large books on how cars work and how to maintain your car and read them cover to cover.
Etc, etc.

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2015, 06:15:38 PM »
I think you guys are forgetting who you are takling to... :-\

First thing I did when i got the car was get an OBD2 scanner.. Then torque for android to let me analyze data further.
Read my car manual cover to cover several times, got the service manual for it and browsed through that.
And then I watched dozens of videos over and over about doing maintenance.
Then read 1000s of forum posts on my specific car, and cars in general.
Then bought several large books on how cars work and how to maintain your car and read them cover to cover.
Etc, etc.

Sounds way easier than when I started.  All I had were Peterson books that had lots of pictures with big arrows.  Also a book on automotive internal combustion engine theory. 

If you want to save yourself some grunts and groans get one of those telescoping magnet pickups.  It seems little screws always land in inaccessible places.  Also a grabber wouldn't hurt.  Some of the fasteners are aluminum these days.  The magnet does no good.  :)


Target

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2015, 06:32:17 PM »
I think you guys are forgetting who you are takling to... :-\

First thing I did when i got the car was get an OBD2 scanner.. Then torque for android to let me analyze data further.
Read my car manual cover to cover several times, got the service manual for it and browsed through that.
And then I watched dozens of videos over and over about doing maintenance.
Then read 1000s of forum posts on my specific car, and cars in general.
Then bought several large books on how cars work and how to maintain your car and read them cover to cover.
Etc, etc.

sounds like we should be asking you for advice now ;D ;D ;D

but seriously, and in light of the above, what are you having trouble with?

Vurbal

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2015, 06:37:26 PM »
One thing I would do once you have your setup for raising the car and pulling wheels, is check the disk brakes.  What happens especially when the calipers have a lot of time since the last service(or they never were serviced) is you push the piston(s) all the way in so that you can fit the new brake pads in.  This pushes the crud clinging to the piston through the seal inside the caliper.  Typically that is when they hang.  Usually after you drive the car for a few days one gets "frozen" so that the brake on that wheel drags.  You used to be able to tell by the car pulling to that side when you jabbed the brakes.  But with the computer controlled systems now you might not notice until stuff on that wheel overheats.

I got around it on an old Chevy Impala because in the shop there was a pile of Chevy disk brake pads we removed waiting to be sent for relining.  I picked out those about 70% worn and slid them in without having to do the caliper rebuild.  Just turning the rotors.  Nice and cheap.  $0 for parts.  :)  The moral of the story being never assume you can just put new pads in.  You may be lucky but more often than not it doesn't last.  You can end up wiping out the other brake and wheel components.


I had that happen to me on the old ('92) cop car I owned. The one brake job I did turned into a major nightmare before I even got started, when the Napa counter monkey couldn't figure out the rear disc brakes. Fortunately, I had a friend with his own shop who was trading car repairs for computer work.

I left the rear brakes for him because it was pulling badly to the right when I hit the brakes, and I didn't want to open that can of worms in my driveway. I don't remember what all had to be replaced when everything was said and done, but it was extensive. I knew enough about cars to know when I'm in over my head

I miss that car, but it needed too much work to justify keeping it.
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superboyac

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2015, 07:00:19 PM »
I think you guys are forgetting who you are takling to... :-\

First thing I did when i got the car was get an OBD2 scanner.. Then torque for android to let me analyze data further.
Read my car manual cover to cover several times, got the service manual for it and browsed through that.
And then I watched dozens of videos over and over about doing maintenance.
Then read 1000s of forum posts on my specific car, and cars in general.
Then bought several large books on how cars work and how to maintain your car and read them cover to cover.
Etc, etc.
lol.  geezus.  point taken!

mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2015, 08:38:38 AM »
Quote
but seriously, and in light of the above, what are you having trouble with?

I suppose part of why I posted was to try to talk myself out of doing this work that probably doesn't need to be done.. But no luck on that front, i seem to have been bitten by the bug.

But the main thing I still am chewing on is the jobs that need my car to be lifted AND level (rear differential oil change for awd).. For that I need to lift both sides, which makes me a bit nervous, and requires me to get a few more things.

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2015, 08:58:03 AM »
Quote
but seriously, and in light of the above, what are you having trouble with?

I suppose part of why I posted was to try to talk myself out of doing this work that probably doesn't need to be done.. But no luck on that front, i seem to have been bitten by the bug.

But the main thing I still am chewing on is the jobs that need my car to be lifted AND level (rear differential oil change for awd).. For that I need to lift both sides, which makes me a bit nervous, and requires me to get a few more things.

On the gear oil I don't think it would cost much to have someone do it.  Especially if the car was already on the rack.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone change gear lube unless it was the type where you had to take off the cover to pull the axle and it all drains out, or it was badly aerated.  In any case that particular job the cost risk ratio isn't the greatest.  Another thing too, I don't think I ever got under a car that wasn't supported on a paved surface.  Jack stands boards or no, putting weight on plain dirt is asking for trouble.  In the driveway may be okay.  When it comes down to it shade tree is a pita.  One of the best things about being in the trade was doing brakes on my own car with a hydraulic lift,pneumatic wrenches, and a lathe, and tune ups using a Sun scope.  But anyway just my $.02.  I don't mean to be a kill joy.  :)


cranioscopical

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2015, 12:57:42 PM »

I miss that car, but it needed too much work to justify keeping it.
But you fitted the light bar and siren to your current wheels, right?

mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2015, 01:23:59 PM »
In my first post of the thread I've added links to 3 books that i would recommend to anyone interested in doing their own car maintenance.
I would *HIGHLY* recommend those as gifts if you have a friend or relative who might be curious about their car.

cranioscopical

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2015, 01:53:22 AM »
In my first post of the thread I've added links to 3 books that i would recommend to anyone interested in doing their own car maintenance.
I would *HIGHLY* recommend those as gifts if you have a friend or relative who might be curious about their car.
You really should get proper axle stands—propping up your car on books makes the covers dirty!
 

Shades

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2015, 02:08:33 AM »
It also makes looking up information inside the books a bit tricky.

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2015, 05:43:13 AM »
In my first post of the thread I've added links to 3 books that i would recommend to anyone interested in doing their own car maintenance.
I would *HIGHLY* recommend those as gifts if you have a friend or relative who might be curious about their car.
You really should get proper axle stands—propping up your car on books makes the covers dirty!
 


Not to mention, you could find yourself in a real bind.

mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2015, 05:43:30 AM »
 ;D ;D ;D

Stephen66515

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #44 on: March 24, 2015, 08:10:56 AM »
Actually just about to make a post in regards to this but thought I would drop a link in here:

http://www.carthrott...n-cars-from-scratch/

This should give you some pretty in depth info into car maintenance :D

crabby3

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2015, 07:37:18 PM »
@Mouser

As you will discover, reading about repair and hands-on 'fixing' are totally different.  Mostly more brused or bloody w/ perpetually dirty fingernails.

Maybe you could use some of your auto-repair knowledge to help weed-out the scam-shops and find one or two that need a little IT help?
You have an ace in the hole.   8)

FWIW: Motor's Auto Repair Manual was my bible back in the mid 60s.  Back when the ground was visable while looking under the hood.   ;D

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mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2015, 07:44:01 PM »
Too late to turn back now, i have purchased an obscene amount of tools and materials and will soon be jacking up the car and:
  • Changing oil
  • Changing the brake pads and rotors
  • Flushing tranmsission fluid
  • Flushing coolant
  • Flushing Transfer case and rear differential fluid
  • Flushing brake fluid
  • Flushing power steering fluid
  • Replacing spark plugs
  • Rotating tires

I've watched dozens of youtube videos, read a half dozen books, I'm ready to bond with my car through the experience of learning how to care for it :)

cranioscopical

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2015, 08:13:17 PM »
  • Changing oil
  • Changing the brake pads and rotors
  • Flushing tranmsission fluid
  • Flushing coolant
  • Flushing Transfer case and rear differential fluid
  • Flushing brake fluid
  • Flushing power steering fluid
  • Replacing spark plugs
  • Rotating tires
And if you can't get something wrong in that lot you ought to be doing your own maintenance  :huh:
 

mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2015, 08:15:54 PM »
Quote
And if you can't get something wrong in that lot you ought to be doing your own maintenance

i estimate the likelyhood of me breaking something during each procedure at 5%.
unfortunately that puts me at about a 45% likelyhood of needing to have my car towed to a mechanic before i'm through.

crabby3

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2015, 08:23:33 PM »
Too late to turn back now, i have purchased an obscene amount of tools and materials and will soon be jacking up the car and:
  • Changing oil
  • Changing the brake pads and rotors
  • Flushing tranmsission fluid
  • Flushing coolant
  • Flushing Transfer case and rear differential fluid
  • Flushing brake fluid
  • Flushing power steering fluid
  • Replacing spark plugs
  • Rotating tires

I've watched dozens of youtube videos, read a half dozen books, I'm ready to bond with my car through the experience of learning how to care for it :)

Don't forget hand-cleaner.  Liquid gallon size with a hand-pump works best IMO.  The cream types tend to liquify when exposed to grease, heat or humidity.

May I suggest Harbor Freight Tools if you're a shop-rag user.  http://www.harborfreight.com/#  You may have a store near you.
Their mail-order shipments used to take forever.  When i used them the choices were next-day, second-day and Conestoga.  :-\

------------------------

I presume you have an alternate form of transportation?  Like if you forgot to get something you need for 'this' repair.
Or the parts you bought don't fit your model.
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