Introduction to Automobile Maintenance and Repair

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Automotive Maintenance for Fun and Profit?

In the ever-worsening economy, most people no longer have the money to buy or lease cars, trucks and SUVs. They’ll hold onto their present vehicle for as long as possible. As a vehicle ages, it requires more maintenance. The bad economy, therefore, represents a tremendous opportunity for those who know a bit about automotive maintenance. Even local handymen and shade-tree mechanics can take advantage of the sinking economy.

For those with a desire to learn, we present this online guide for learning basic- and intermediate-level auto maintenance.

We sincerely hope you enjoy this guide on car care. It’s been a long time in the writing, and we feel that for the consumer, it is long overdue. We thank you for spending your money and your time on the guide. We are certain you will benefit greatly from your purchase.

We wrote this guide both from the engineer’s and the mechanic’s point of view. The engineer’s point of view provides you with the design background you will need to make intelligent decisions regarding the care of your car. The mechanic’s point of view provides you with practical advice on car care and tempers the engineer’s input with years of daily, automotive servicing experience.

Please read and use this guide with an open mind. Don’t place much stock in all the well-meant, free advice you get from so-called “car buffs” or “experts” at work or in school. They might know a thing or two, but unless their cars are running in the 100,000 mile range they might not qualify as the best source of information.

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This guide will provide you with the theory and practical background you will need to get long life from your car, perhaps 100,000, or even 200,000 or more miles. The material presented here does not, with the exceptions in Section 16, provide instructions for performing the necessary car care. The material in this guide does not explain how to do major maintenance and repair or what tools or accessory equipment you need to do the job. When changing your car oil filter for example, we explain why you would want to do it, the recommended frequency of changing the oil and filter and, perhaps, some related practical advice such as oil types or kinds of filters available.

Information on actually performing the less routine or more complicated car care is available from your car manufacturer in the form of shop manuals, or in any number of fine publications on the subject at your local library, bookstore or on the Internet.

Finally, remember that properly caring for your car can be a most rewarding experience. The feeling you will get knowing you have a smooth-running, ready-to-perform car at your disposal is easy to envision. The feeling you will get knowing your car dealer isn’t dipping into your bank account every two to four years will be a welcome one if you are one of the many people who have to buy cars that often because of car care neglect.

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