by Sue Willis
Honey, did you pick up the car from the garage?
How could I? It closed before I was off work, and, anyhow, I did not have a car to take me there.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you?According to the US Census Bureau 2006 estimates, the United States has 244 million passenger vehicles registered. Can you imagine how many autos need to be repaired out of this number?
Repair is a sad story for most of us. All we can do is laugh, so here is a laugh.
- An auto mechanic received a repair order that said to check for a clunking noise when going around corners. He took the car out for a test drive and made two right turns, each time hearing a loud clunk. Back at the shop, he returned the car to the service manager with this note: "Removed bowling ball from trunk" (from Good Clean Fun: A Family Humor Archive).
Car Help from Your Public Library:
We're not Click and Clack from NPR's Car Talk, but if you've got some basic car repair skills, we may be able to give you the specifics you need to get a job done.
- AUTO REPAIR REFERENCE CENTER
- An online database you can use just by having a library card with the CRRL. We paid for the subscription; you get the information you need.
Contents cover about 23,000 vehicles from 1954 to the present--mostly Volkswagens in the early years. There are wiring diagrams, repair procedures, and even a labor time cost guide. The step-by-step procedures are written for do-it-yourselfers, yet comprehensive enough for professional technicians. Great tool!
- Chilton's Auto Repair Manuals - Domestic and Import Cars
- From 1940 - current. This one-volume guide is published annually. Doesn't contain as much information as Mitchell's, but it is still a good buy for the amount information it contains compared to its cost.
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Auto Repair by Vyvyan Lynn
- A hands-on, from the ground up guide to understanding and maintaining your car.
- How to Repair Your Car by Paul Brand
- Has clear instructions, including 50 step-by-step projects that can be done with simple tools.
- Lucille's Car Care: Everything You Need to Know from under the Hood by Lucille Treganowan
- HGTV star Lucille teaches beginners how to do basic car maintenance.
- Mitchell Service and Repair books
- The Mitchell guides cover service details for imported and domestic models of cars, light trucks, and vans.
- Popular Mechanics Complete Car Repair Manual
- "...for anyone who wants to know the automobile's basic components, from the engine to the electronic systems, and to understand how they work, what can go wrong, and how to make repairs. Find out how to maintain and replace windshield washers, fix steering wander and faulty cruise control, and purge bad smells from the interior. Get smart advice on how to pass emission inspection and find service data online."
- What Auto Mechanics Don't Want You to Know by Mark Eskeldson.
- Don't get ripped off again. This book exposes brake, tune-up, and muffler scams. Helps you find secret warranties to get free repairs.
- Auto Repair for Dummies: The Maintenance Tape for Dummies.
- For people who don't think they can repair their car but are still willing to give it a try.
- The Best of Car Talk with Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.
- Car Talk is a hilarious unrehearsed show on NPR. They dispense a multitude of information on cars.
- Car Talk: The Greatest Stories Ever Told: Car Fire
- This CD rendition of the popular book has sixteen of Tom and Ray Magliozzi's favorite tall tales, silly stories, and random digressions.
On the Web
- All Experts
- This is the oldest and largest free question and answer service on the Internet. Very helpful and easy to use. Go here first.
- 10W40 - The Ultimate Auto Repair Directory
- There is an incredible amount of information of car care online, but many are copyrighted. What this site has accomplished is to collect articles on auto repair from all over the web. They then sort them by problem or project. Here is where you can find articles such as "how to bleed brakes" and "replacing an automatic transmission."
- Jonko Online Auto Repair
- This site offers all types of auto repair tutorials. For example, they include from "common leaks" and "how to select an auto repair shop."
Good Places to Know
When your new or "new-to-you" car problems won't go away, these groups can provide useful information.