Homework 10 home automotive repairs starting from an oil change and ending with engine replacement

I'm taking a night class on auto maintenance in adult school.
There is no grade and no tests. Just learning. And fun.
The teacher asked today, the first class, for us to bring next week a list
of the 10 things that people can do at home to repair their car, starting
with number 1 being an oil change and number 10 being an engine
Can I run by you my first list?
1. Oil & filter Change
10. Engine replacement
2. Air & cabin air filter replacement
3. Flush & replace all fluids
4. Belt & tensioner replacement
5. Alternator & battery replacement
6. Brakes & struts overhauled
7. Cooling system overhaul
8. Starter replacement
9. Clutch replacement and/or automatic filter replacement
How does that list look as a first pass?
Reply to
Drago Giambattista Esposito
You have missed the first and most important requirement, a *workshop manual*, even a Haynes. Actually, a Haynes manual is all you're likely to be able to get hold of these days as a lot of the factory manuals come on CD and/or subscription.
An example, a friend decided to service his own car. religiously did all the common stuff, oil, filters, flushes, etc. One day the timing belt snapped. Had he changed the belt according to the service schedule book? What book was the response. The obvious answer then was, no, not according to the factory schedule. And thereby hangs a cautionary tale.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Reply to
And along those lines, YouTube. There are quite a few guys showing "How to .............................." on YouTube. Some of the repair guides are pretty good. And they're free.
Reply to
Dean Hoffman
Your list is a good as any. IMO, most people could not do any of those due to a lack of knowledge, skill, time, tools, desire, or a place to work.
Reply to
Paul in Houston TX
Yes, agreed, but some of those are potential disasters. You need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff with those videos and I'm not sure a tyro could adequately do that.
Reply to
Not a bad list, but I'm not sure how you got the pairings. #6 combines brakes and struts. They both require taking off a wheel, but are usually not done together.
Clutch and engine replacement are borderline home repair. I know a few people that can do it, but very few.
I see no mention of spark plugs.
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
Ed Pawlowski
I forgot all about spark plugs! Even though they last 100K miles, they need to be replaced.
I think I'll remove the struts because someone said that struts and brakes don't go together (although don't struts need to be replaced as much as spark plugs do?).
I'll definitely add spark plugs to a generic all-purpoe "tune up" even though a "tune up" doesn't seem to exist as a "thing" any more.
That "tune up" will include the filters and spark plugs and wipers and anything "rubbery" like hoses. With that tune up can be the simple stuff with putting air in tires and topping off fluids.
Would that work better?
Reply to
Drago Giambattista Esposito
That helps.
Tune up used to mean plugs, points, set the timing. That was done every 10,000 miles. You may want to look at the owners manual of just about any car for maintenance intervals.
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
Spark plugs are a scheduled service item. You could lump that in number one or in whatever number you assign to a tune up.
Struts are only changed when they leak or their damping becomes ineffective. That will depend a lot on the roads travelled.
Just like greasing is no longer part of scheduled servicing on *cars*, though it still exists on 4x4s, trucks and earthmoving equipment.
Some driveshafts may have a grease nipple on the universal joint that has the least amount of angular movement on 2 piece driveshafts. There is a reason for this.
During scheduled servicing, perishable items like wiper blades, rubber hoses, lights, even the POST lamps on the dash at key on, should be inspected. See below for further explanation.
No. Air in tyres, fluid top ups, wiper blade inspection, etc. all come under periodic maintenance servicing and should be included with item 1, oil and filter changes, as should the air and cabin filter. Could even include a brake adjustment if the vehicle is not fitted with self adjusters. Should also include fluid flushing - coolant, brake fluid, auto trans, power steering. Not to forget, there may well be a filter in the power steering that requires regular replacement.
I suggest you look at the service schedule for your vehicle. It will list the scheduled maintenance items and the scheduled period. These may be termed A, B and C services depending on the time interval, A being the most frequent, C being the least frequent.
Reply to
On a vehicle made prior to 2000 most of these can be done by a DIYer. However on newer vehicles there are quite a few that you need special tools and a good bi-directional scan tool to do. Most DIY folks won't have those.
For instance - Batteries on many newer vehicles need to have the new battery information entered into the vehicles data so the charging system will work. Got an electronic parking brake? You may need a scan tool to retract the calipers to be able to change the pads.
This is especially true on Euro vehicles as they keep adding more electronics.
Even something as simple as changing the spark plugs can cause headaches if you need to remove the intake manifold or deal with things like the plugs in a Ford Triton engine.
The first thing in any of these is going to be finding the correct service information.
Reply to
Steve W.
Very true. I put my old timing light and dwell tach meter in the Goodwill bag several years ago.
A few years ago a guy that changed his oil in his Toyota still had the change oil light come on and had to get the dealer to reset it.
Fortunately service intervals get increasingly longer. I use to change or gap spark plugs every 6 months now interval could be 50,000 miles. Same with other services.
At my age I leave all this stuff to the dealer except simple things like cabin air filter that they charge $54 and I can buy one for $15 and do it myself in a few minutes. I do have to reset the computer as dealer wants to make money and calls for service at half the interval that the manual calls for.
Reply to
The first lecture was all about the common fallacies of car repair.
His very first question on the board was "Why isn't your wife here?" Then he asked everyone in the class that question, and we said why. (Mine has never touched anything dirty or greasy in her life.)
As he wrote down the answers, an assistant (his kid?) passed out a sheet of paper which had every one of the reasons we each said, already on it.
He said they're universal whenever someone doesn't want to do any job.
For tools, he said at the price of repairs now the tools always pay for themselves, often on the first use depending on the tools & tasks.
He said learning is easier now than it ever was before, given the Internet.
He told us that anyone who tells us otherwise just doesn't like doing it which he said was ok but for us to simply recognize it as an excuse.
I couldn't keep the homework list at 10 given the input. How does this look, in a general order of easy to hard?
1. Oil & filter change 2. Battery replacement (standard battery setup) 3. Periodic scheduled maintenance (sometimes called a scheduled tune up) (filters, spark plugs, wipers, hoses, pcv, fluids, tires) 4. Belt & belt tensioner replacement 5. Brake overhaul (rotors, drums, pads, shoes) 6. Cooling system overhaul (radiator, waterpump, thermostat, hoses) 7. Alternator replacement 8. Shock absorber or strut replacement 9. Starter replacement 10. Engine belt, chain guide, or engine chain replacement 11. Clutch replacement and/or automatic filter replacement 12. Remove & replace engine
Reply to
Drago Giambattista Esposito
Ditch the timing belt/chain replacement. There's way too many opportunities in that task to really do your engine in unless you know what you are doing. Ditto with strut replacement.
Reply to
On Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 3:07:37 PM UTC-10, Drago Giambattista Espos
I don't think #10 should be in there. Who the heck replaces engines? Certai n crazy people I suppose. I have removed and re-built engines although the engine I re-built was a Mazda rotary which anybody should be able to do. Mo stly, I removed engines to replace the clutch. It was just easier that way. There was one car that didn't require me to remove the transmission or the engine to change the clutch. What car was that?
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The GM 4 cylinder FWD unit. It was the Camira in Australia. Don't know what they called them in your neck of the woods but they used the GM Family II engine, the Camtech 16LF;
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Some models of Daewoo used the same powerplant.
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Son pulled the engine from his old Corolla by standing on the fenders with a strap over his back fastened into the headbolt holes. We built a tripod out of pipe, muffler clamps and jackstands later on -- attach a come-along to the jackstand at the top, push the car between the tripod legs...
Reply to
The Real Bev

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