Author Topic: How can I learn to maintain my car?  (Read 15992 times)

Syonyk

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #50 on: August 20, 2015, 09:25:26 PM »
I have no idea.  Can't say I've seen fastener torque going up with time.  There's a limit to what the metal can take.

There might be an increase in torque-to-yield bolts, but that's mostly only for things like head bolts.

homehandymum

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2015, 01:34:24 AM »
When I started doing some of my own maintenance, the book Auto Repair for Dummies by Deanna Sclar was awesome.
http://www.amazon.com/Auto-Repair-Dummies-Deanna-Sclar/dp/076459902X
(I see a poor review for the kindle version there.  Not a good book for a kindle anyway.  The diagrams would need to be too small to read, or too big to fit on the page)

Everything from "this is a Phillips head screwdriver" to complicated standard repairs.

Less useful with totally computer-chip cars, but the basics of an internal combustion engine are still the same.

BeerBeard

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #52 on: August 21, 2015, 07:40:11 AM »
I suspect because torque specs are going higher and tolerances are getting smaller, new cars are getting harder to work on without buying high quality tools.

A torque wrench is not particularly obscure... though finding the torque specs can be tough.  For a lot of stuff, a good feel for it suffices.



I think you missed my point. Cars are being assembled by robots, bolts are getting tighter and the space to get to them is getting smaller, year by year.

Why do you say that fastener torque (specific ones? in general?) is higher than it used to be?


Just seemed to be an observation, obviously not every fastener, anything aluminum excluded. Maybe it's just that the space is getting smaller so I can't apply the same amount of torque on a smaller wrench, maybe I'm getting weaker and the rust belt is kicking my ass, maybe I'm crazy.  Wright, SK, Proto, and all the truck tools guys are offering a 3/8 inch ratchet in a 1/4 inch ratchet body, they are getting very common, but I struggle to apply force with such a small wrench.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FAN3OK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=34ZTYARO3GBLO&coliid=I2KECFGJZN45YH

BlueMR2

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2015, 01:00:49 PM »
I have no idea.  Can't say I've seen fastener torque going up with time.  There's a limit to what the metal can take.

There might be an increase in torque-to-yield bolts, but that's mostly only for things like head bolts.

With the lighter metals in use now, I've been noticing the torque trending lower, and often bumping right up against the yield torque too...  Go just a smidge over spec torque and you can feel the bolt yield.  I even ran across 2 recently that started to yield about 10% *below* the spec torque value.  So, in that case I left them  as they ended up (I have no fear of them coming loose and causing any issue) and will replace them next time around...

Syonyk

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #54 on: August 23, 2015, 02:58:27 PM »
Yeah... a bolt starting to yield is not a good feeling. :(

And if they're that close, then things about "What torque do you mean?  Dry?  Lubricated?  With Locktite?" start to matter, a lot.

Making Cookies

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2015, 09:30:16 PM »
First, since you say you don't know what you need to do to maintain your car, look in the owner's manual (get one if you don't have one) at the scheduled maintenance chart (fluid changes, filter changes, spark plugs, belts, etc).  If you don't know when any of it was done last, do all of it.  It'll be a great learning experience, and it'll give your car a nice "reset" so every major wear item and fluid is new.   Unless you have a weird car (usually European), parts should be cheap and you'll mostly pay with time, which will reward you with satisfaction and knowledge.

You mention having a "junky" car.  Most would probably consider both of my cars "junky."  They're not worth more than $2k combined, have their share of brown, or uh, "rust coloration" and neither were made this century.  I don't maintain them any less than I would if they were "nice" cars.  If you treat a "junky" car like it's a junky car, it'll bite you in the butt eventually, leading everyone to berate you for driving a "junky" car and getting screwed.  If you're nice to a "junky" car, that scrapheap can last you years and tens of thousands of miles to the bewilderment of those around you (I find great pleasure in this).

With the what-to-do in hand, look online for the how-to-do in make/model-specific forum or YouTube channel that has people on it that know your car inside and out.  Chances are, there will be tutorials for most of the basics of any reasonably common car.  You could then also purchase a factory service manual (can usually be found online anywhere from $40-100 depending on the car) that will lay out everything (it's what the mechanics at the dealers use for reference).  Ask any "car guys" you know for help.  They tend to enjoy explaining things.

Buy tools as you go, as you need them.  Don't get some giant 54,361-in-1 set for $19.95. If you're unsure whether it's warranted to get the pricier "good version" of a weird tool, buy the el cheapo Harbor-Freight one, and if you use it enough to break it or get annoyed at how awful it is, replace it with a quality one (anything with a lifetime warranty is a good bet); otherwise just hold onto the cheapy tool.  Quality tools will last forever, and save you money equally as long.

THIS post. All of it. Especially the tools, the factory manual, the maintenance reset, and perplexing people around you who see you driving cheap cars and getting good service out of them when their $450/month payments seem to frequent the shop. ;)

Whole thread is spot on.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 09:39:46 PM by Joe Average »

Kroaler

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #56 on: September 30, 2015, 01:19:21 AM »
I would dare say, that the spaces are getting smaller because the frequency of required access is going down as cars get more reliable with newer technology.

BlueMR2

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #57 on: September 30, 2015, 09:53:31 AM »
I would dare say, that the spaces are getting smaller because the frequency of required access is going down as cars get more reliable with newer technology.

Looking at some of the new cars, it's really a mixed bag.  I've seen some that look absolutely terrible to work on, yet a few new ones have lots of room.  Maybe we're all just having selective vision.  If I objectively look at the old cars, I see the same thing too, some of them have no room to work, others have tons.

Kroaler

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #58 on: September 30, 2015, 02:25:07 PM »
Terrible to work on,   anything with a turbo comes to mind, also v6 front wheel drive cars. On the other end, my Ford ranger 4 cyclinder, I feel like I could crawl in the engine bay with it, cause there is enough room for the v6 big engine version.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #59 on: September 30, 2015, 02:46:44 PM »
Saw this article recently:  The 10 Easiest modern cars to work on.

When the day comes that my current car dies, ease of access to all the engine bits is going to be a major factor in my purchase decision.

Syonyk

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #60 on: September 30, 2015, 03:10:39 PM »
Terrible to work on,   anything with a turbo comes to mind, also v6 front wheel drive cars. On the other end, my Ford ranger 4 cyclinder, I feel like I could crawl in the engine bay with it, cause there is enough room for the v6 big engine version.

I've learned to restrict my hatred of V6 to specify "transverse mount V6 engines."  I've worked on one vehicle (and I can't recall what it was) that was FWD with a longitudinal mount V6.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #61 on: September 30, 2015, 03:56:20 PM »

I've learned to restrict my hatred of V6 to specify "transverse mount V6 engines."  I've worked on one vehicle (and I can't recall what it was) that was FWD with a longitudinal mount V6.
Longitudinally-mounted engine in a FWD car?  That's a rare bird indeed.

Syonyk

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #62 on: September 30, 2015, 05:13:03 PM »
Longitudinally-mounted engine in a FWD car?  That's a rare bird indeed.

I don't recall exactly what it was, but it was definitely weird.

Though all Subaru engines are longitudinally mounted, and the older ones of them (through the EA82 series) had FWD versions.

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Re: How can I learn to maintain my car?
« Reply #63 on: September 30, 2015, 06:32:09 PM »
I did spark plugs in our new-to-us Chevy V-6 FWD a few months ago. What a miserable task. Took a few hours to do as I learned which combination of socket, wrench and extensions I needed. I'd work, take a break to regain my patience, etc. ;)