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Discussion Starter #1
is there anyway besides schools to fix cars besides basic maintenace?

btw, haynes and chilton manuals suck!
 

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That's a good question. Of course there are trade schools, but they are aimed at producing certified technicians and the tuition and time investment is substantial.

I'm an old guy, now 59. As a kid growing up in the 50s, I used to hang out at the local Shell station and learned by osmosis. Within a few years I learned how to do most repairs that were done at the station. Of course, cars were much simpler back then.

The problem now is that we have way too many lawyers. No car repair place would allow a 12 year old kid to hang out and help. I've noticed that most young people know little about car repair.

I'd still say the best way to learn is by doing, although you can learn a lot by just reading the manufactures shop manual. The LH manual published by Chrysler for these cars has quite a bit of detail, I'd bet you could find a used one on Ebay for not too much.
 

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best bet is to read. I'd start with a small engine such as a lawnmower and go from there. Briggs and Stratton have nice repair manuals. This will teach you the bassics of engine repair and maintainance.
 

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find a self service auto parts yard and some tools, and start digging around, but I still ask why you think haynes and chilton manuals suck, when they give very detailed info, pics ect
 

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I'd still say the best way to learn is by doing, although you can learn a lot by just reading the manufactures shop manual. The LH manual published by Chrysler for these cars has quite a bit of detail, I'd bet you could find a used one on Ebay for not too much.
Actually Nick made the Factory Service Manual available to us on DI. You have your choices of chapters, or the whole thing in an Adobe Acrobat file. Here's a link:

http://www.dodgeintrepid.net/forums/t94402/

Very useful. It will definitely tell you alot more than a Haynes manual.
 

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Start small and go from there. The Haynes and Chilton manuels are fantastic for the $18 you spend on them, but when it comes to extremely daunting tasks like removing/installing engines and transmissions, troubleshooting a complex circuit or something like that, they fall short. For the simple tasks, they are great though.

It really helps if your actally interested in the topic, as opposed to doing it just to save a few bucks. Also, patience is an absolute virtue.
 

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Forums are great tools. There is usually somebody somewhere who has done whatever you need to do and hopefully posted pics while doing so. I think I pretty much rebuilt my old Explorer by using the Explorer4x4.com site.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i've used the haynes manual and the FSM, they leave out so many steps and important info and they do not always show pics. even my mechanic friend who tried to use my haynes manual said it's rediculous because they leave out so much stuff that we had to figure the stuff out on our own, which i can't seem to do
 

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check out youtube.com, very good info on many automotive repairs. just use the search bar. ... . i.e. . . ' tie-rod end replacement'
 

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i've used the haynes manual and the FSM, they leave out so many steps and important info and they do not always show pics. even my mechanic friend who tried to use my haynes manual said it's rediculous because they leave out so much stuff that we had to figure the stuff out on our own, which i can't seem to do
okay I'll give you that the manuals do require some what I would call basic knowledge, bu I've been doing this since I was 16, have you tried www.alldata.com, it requires a yearly subscription but it's very good, it's actually what a lot of professionals use for references
 

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I basically learned it all by myself and by watching my friends dad since 3rd grade.
 

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I drove a 1971 superbeetle daily for a few years. you learn quick keepin one of them on the road.
 

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A combo of the Haynes and Chiltons for starters, but you do need patience and some basic understanding of cars and tools. You can't tighten every bolt to 300lbs you just get a feel for what's tight and what's not tight enough. Use a torque wrench on the engine and safety related parts. Learn the tricks for removing rusted bolts without breaking them. The right tools and some improvisation at times are a must. I've been so pissed that I've thrown wrenches and 2 x 4's at a car, now I just stand back, take a break and tackle it again (unless I really don't care about the car).

I have a son that has over $20,000 invested in a 2001 Neon, he has no patience, thinks everything should be easy and wants to use air tools on everything. Needless to say, he's always breaking ****, costing himself more money and something is always wrong with his car.

Sure the manuals may leave out some steps but usually they're steps that are obvious. Forums like these are your best bet if you get a detailed reply from someone who's done it. I've done every car repair for 35 years on my own just by reading and hands-on. Now we have the internet...makes it one hell of a lot easier.

Someone mentioned AllData, that's a decent program but it does cost.


P.S. If your friend's a mechanic what's he need a Haynes manual for?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sure the manuals may leave out some steps but usually they're steps that are obvious.

P.S. If your friend's a mechanic what's he need a Haynes manual for?
obvious to you maybe.

he isn't a mechanic anymore, i think he used to work on older cars, he just does collision repair now.

I've tried a lot of things to figure out on a car, it took me 2 years to find the radiator drainplug.

there has to be like a dvd that shows you how to do this stuff. if someone made a dvd on how to fix cars, they would make a ton of money
 

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obvious to you maybe.

he isn't a mechanic anymore, i think he used to work on older cars, he just does collision repair now.

I've tried a lot of things to figure out on a car, it took me 2 years to find the radiator drainplug.

there has to be like a dvd that shows you how to do this stuff. if someone made a dvd on how to fix cars, they would make a ton of money
there are probably 9 billion dvds out there on car repair...2 years to find the radiator drain plug? hmm ever use google before, or for that matter look under ur car? lol. your making this more difficult than you need to. I am honestly no mechanic im just learning... Grabbed a 97 contour with 500k miles on it from the gf parents (its been sitting for 2 years now) and just starting to take it all apart...put it back together...count the leftover parts, hopefully not too many :turn:
 

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Um, USE THIS FORUM, and pick the brains of the people that are on the board that are willing to help - but then DON'T COMPLAIN about the freely and willingly given advice... I seem to remember telling you in very nice detail how to locate your drain plug...

You can go to your local community college, and look under continuing education. Many times they have a regular mechanic's class, but other times they have a secondary program centered on helping out folks like you, that just want to learn how to change oil and tires and the like.

OR, you might find someone willing (like me if someone is local) that will come over and watch you take something apart, or take apart one side and then let you take apart the other side, and help you with putting it back together... I have done this several times for people, the most fun was my day-care lady's daughter... I did one side front brakes, and she did the other side... followed me to a T, and can now say she's "done it". You MIGHT find someone local, just be patient with them, as they are being VERY patient with you (trust me on experience there).

I'd bet that if you were local to Peva, he'd let you watch and show you how... I know I would... If you were to find TFC or some of the other helpful names on here, as long as you don't burn bridges, the joy of working on a car will rub off on you as well.
 

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obvious to you maybe.

Well, for example you need to replace a starter, the book may not state you need to drop the front exhaust but obviously looking at it it's in the way.


he isn't a mechanic anymore, i think he used to work on older cars, he just does collision repair now.

In my opinion a mechanic shouldn't be complaining about missing steps in a do it yourself book, it should be second nature to him.

I've tried a lot of things to figure out on a car, it took me 2 years to find the radiator drainplug.

Sounds like you need to learn the very basics of how cars work and where things are normally located.Before you try and work on them.

there has to be like a dvd that shows you how to do this stuff. if someone made a dvd on how to fix cars, they would make a ton of money
Every car is different, there isn't going to be a DVD on car repair that covers repairs that pertain to all cars. A DVD repair on 1 car alone would be a huge boxset!!! Sure many share the same basic design, like the area of the radiator drain plug. That's why there's Haynes and Chiltons. Even in those manuals the missing steps they may not actually have to do. Take the starter for example in one car that exhaust has to be removed to get the starter out, in another car of same model, that starter might come out without removing the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
there are probably 9 billion dvds out there on car repair...2 years to find the radiator drain plug? hmm ever use google before, or for that matter look under ur car? lol. your making this more difficult than you need to. I am honestly no mechanic im just learning... Grabbed a 97 contour with 500k miles on it from the gf parents (its been sitting for 2 years now) and just starting to take it all apart...put it back together...count the leftover parts, hopefully not too many :turn:
i used google and several forums but it's not easy finding the drain plug, it's hidden
 
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