3 thoughts on “Auto Repair For Dummies

  1. 12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Kindle edition is lacking, July 19, 2011

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (Kindle Edition)

    This review is specific to the Kindle edition.

    Many of the diagrams are cut off when viewed in the e-book edition. It seems like little effort was spent when translating this into an e-book. It would have been easy to put the diagrams sideways on a separate page, or at least scale them to fit, but neither was done.

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  2. 25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fantastic Manual for car incompetents as myself!, May 26, 2011

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    I love this book.
    Let me start off by saying this. I know how to fill up my gas tank. I know how to pop my hood. Literally, that is the extent to my car knowledge. I don’t even know how to change a tire. My father was an auto-mechanic and never taught his children anything, he did all the work for us. I always took my car to the local quick change to get my oil change. I have relied on everyone else to take care of my vehicle for me, and I have to trust their judgment and what they ask to fix my vehicles.
    I am an accountant. I have great business skills, am technologically advanced beyond my years and can type 117 words a minute. I (not bragging) am quite intelligent and had a great gpa throughout highschool and college. I just don’t know a blasted thing about vehicles in any form.

    I was having problems with the battery in my truck a few weeks ago. It was just not getting enough juice to start. I would do everything I knew to do and had people come examine it to no avail. Some days it would start and other days it wouldn’t. I was on my lunch break when my truck died, again. I couldn’t get back to work. I called my supervisor (actually a very caring, understanding woman) and she sent one of my co-workers (very capable with auto-mechanics) to come take a look. He opened my hood looked at the battery and said “your clamp is loose, that’s why your not getting any power.” I looked at him dumbfounded. He then took a screwdiver, unscrewed something, and pushed a little on this clamp.

    The truck started.
    I finally decided that was the last straw. Something so simple had made me late and affected my job performance. If I knew even the basics about vehicles I could have gotten my truck started. But I didn’t.
    I went to work in a foul mood, determined to learn auto-mechanics. I got straight on amazon and found this book and knew it was for me.

    Since that time…
    I will no longer let anyone change my oil. I take care of all the fluids. I can change all tires, check the gauges, coolants, anything basic. I have decided I am going to take an auto-mechanic class at the local community college. I also want to build a little garage, and start small repairs on my own vehicles. I would genuinely like to take a clunker and fix it.

    You can be like this too! I knew absolutely nothing about vehicles! This manual will even teach you how to pop open your hood and fill up your gas tank. We laugh at this, but some people GENUINELY don’t know how to do this. It’s ok! We all have to start somewhere! The manual gives detailed descriptions and accurate, simple pictures of everything you can do without seeing a mechanic for a serious problem. And the book will even tell you that you may be doing something out of your league, to go see a mechanic.

    Listen, your car should be your best friend. It takes you wherever you need to go and you pray it starts up every morning. Why not take care of it? Literally, it will perform if it’s taken care of. Not to mention, if you do your own small maintenance repairs starting now until the rest of your life, you have no concept of how much money you will save. Plus, it’s fun.

    If you have basic skills (typing, can change a lightbulb, count to 100) but don’t know the first thing about a vehicle, this book is for you. It will spark your interest and give you a desire to learn about vehicles, teach you how to take care of them, and SAVE YOU MONEY.

    I would recommend this book to anyone.

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  3. 71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Where I started, November 30, 2008

    This book is one of the most important I have read in a long time. I really had a positive experience with it.

    My wife started staying home to raise our growing family and I have had to find ways to save money and make it on one salary. The breaks were going on my car and I did NOT want to put the bill on my credit card.

    A guy at Church told me that disk brakes were easy. I should do them myself. I bought this book, looked on-line for vehicle specific directions (Auto Zone has a GREAT website), bought a ratchet set and got to work.

    My friend was right. I replaced brakes and rotors and bought tools and books at it cost me less than it would have cost at a facility to get the brakes and rotors done for me. Plus, I was equipped to do it again and again.

    This brings me to my first criticism of this book. She doesn’t recommend you do your own brakes; even disks. That is NONSENSE. I am deducting one star for this.

    Anyway, what reading the book did give me was a pretty good knowledge of how a car worked.

    Her directions on how to change oil are excellent. In my own learning curve, I did brakes before I changed oil. You should DEFINITELY change the oil and do the air filter first to build your confidence and see if you enjoy working on the car to begin with.

    After doing my own brakes with success, doing my own oil, changing my air filter, and changing the PCV (EASY) I was HOOKED. My car was handling better than it had when I first bought it and I felt like the man!

    Then, the check engine light came on on my mom’s 2001 Suburu Forrester. The car was idling very roughly and even blowing some white smoke.

    The car’s warranty had JUST expired. To make matters worse, I had read online that the car was prone to head gasket problems, and when I plugged the symptoms and make and model into google I came up with a ton of very bad scenarios.

    So, I drove her car down to Auto Zone and had them check the engine with the computer. This is a FREE service (go AUTO ZONE!) The guy at Auto Zone said the computer told him the problem was in cylinder three. I asked if this meant a possible head gasket problem and he shook his head and said, “Look; do cheap work first to eliminate simple possible causes. Only move on to the expensive fussy stuff AFTER you check the cheap and obvious. For now, change the plugs and wires and see what happens.”

    I had never done this before on any vehicle.

    In the interim I bought the service manual for my mother’s car, and found it VERY helpful, BUT, the directions on how to change plugs and wires are so thorough in this book that I barely needed the manual.

    So, I got out my new ratchet set and got to work. With the help of this EXCELLENT book the work was doable if not easy. (Luckily my set came with a NICE spark plug socket!)

    I got the job done, and at the same time did an oil change and checked the PCV. I unplugged and removed the battery to reset the computer (to get rid of the check engine light) and to help me get at the plugs (its a little tight in there).

    Once the job was finished (it took me about 2 hours…. first timer!) I had mom take it out for a test drive.

    She said it hadn’t run better… ever.

    The idle was smooth, all the roughness had disappeared. When I “read” the spark plugs (this book makes it EASY as there is a detailed guide on how to read plugs in the spark plugs chapter) it became clear that because mom only does short mileage runs in town for low mileage the plug in that third cylinder had become carbon fouled. The plugs were all fouled to some extent, but the one in the third cylinder was NASTY.

    By now you can see what this book has done for me.

    The author takes time to avoid potential law suits. She doesn’t recommend you do your own shocks and struts (you can hurt yourself and need a strut compressor… you can get one here at Amazon) she doesn’t recommend you do your own brakes (why?) she doesn’t cover a lot of stuff.

    BUT, if you read the book you will get a real good idea of how stuff works, get good advice about purchasing tools, learn that you can and should do your own oil, your own plugs, your own basic preventive maintenance, and you will learn how to speak to your mechanic in an educated manner.

    I have gone a little crazy. I got the service manuals for every vehicle in the household and have read them for fun. I have done plugs, wires, brakes, pcv’s, oil changes, chasis lubes on all the vehicles, and am about to do shocks and struts on one. I keep getting calls from the dealer saying (on my car with 100,000 miles and no warrantee) to bring it in for scheduled maintenance. Sorry buddy! My Chilton’s manual has a more aggressive preventive maintenance schedule and I do all the work myself. I will keep the at least $300.00 bucks you would charge thank…

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