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Unbroken's avatar

How much do you know about your vehicle?

Asked by Unbroken (10267 points ) November 24th, 2012

How much do you feel responsible to know, have you read the owner’s manuel?

Do you have an elementary understanding of engines?

Do you do any of your service work?

Do you consider it to be irresponsible not to know?

How do you feel this lack or wealth of actions affects you?

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11 Answers

Unbroken's avatar

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Unbroken's avatar

Say for example I know how to check my fluids, change my oil, change a tire, check air pressure on vehicle, and change light bulbs and wiper blades, how to charge or jump a battery how to listen to noises and reasonably speculate what needs to be addressed.

So basic maintenance, I have never you tubed or looked up chilton’s how to guide when I blow my power steering hose, I may have helped put in an alternator and watched some one put in an s belt but have never done this myself I may have pumped the brakes and assisted with a brake job but would much rather take it to the shop.

But I sometimes get screwed around with, I always have to ask in advance to see the broken part, or get extra stuff tacked on to pad my bill, I have to make sure they have to give me an estimate first and sometimes get several itemized estimates before I am happy.

I never take it my vehicle to someone else’s personal mechanic. The good vibes never reach that far, and often I have to take my vehicle to a chain instead of a local, just because I know they have a protocol they have to follow and complaints get followed up on and rectified.

How ever I think I need to be more involved and more capable of turning a wrench myself. Does any one else feel inadequate in this regard?

How to circumvent it?

rooeytoo's avatar

When I was a kid I had a corvair convertible that I loved! Muffler had died so it sounded like a V8 Supercar. Anyhow when you looked into the engine compartment, it looked like an engine. You could find all the usual components of an internal combustion engine (except the radiator of course). Anyhow, I did a lot of maintenance on that car because it was simple and straight forward. These days, I can’t even find the spark plugs! So changing a flat is about the most I can do.

Shippy's avatar

I’ve always thought one should know this information. I don’t even know how to change a tire properly. I wish there were basic concepts schools on cars. Particularly here where it is not safe to break down. Or anywhere else for that matter, at certain times of night for example.

Then for years I drove a BMW and the engine was encaptualized. So I would open the bonnet and peer it to a lump of sealed nothingness. I think obviously there was a hole in it, for the oil!!

But this is a thing most people should know great question!

cheebdragon's avatar

I know that it’s pretty and has an awesome sound system. I also know that it’s expensive as fuck to fix because BMW’s are a real pain in the ass. Low profile tires have forced me to be an expert on tire pressure, I can tell you exactly how air is in one of my tires, just by looking at them.

hearkat's avatar

My knowledge is similar to yours… and I do read the Owner’s Manuals. I worked in a couple car dealerships and was married to a mechanic. Post-divorce, I lived with a man who did a lot of stuff on his own or with neighborhood friends, so we had the Chilton manuals for our cars.

I get a kick out of messing with the service people who assume that I’m an ignorant female, and take them by surprise when I say things such as, “Why do you say my timing belt needs replacing? I have a V6 with a timing chain.”

I have no interest in learning how to do more serious work. Today’s cars are much more reliable than 25 years ago, when it was more common for me to be stuck with a busted radiator hose – and no cell phones then, either. Roadside Assistance programs are included with many cars, or relatively inexpensive for the peace-of-mind.

I also have several VW dealers fairly close along my 45+ mile commute. Now my son is an apprentice mechanic at an Audi dealer, so he just did my 100,000 mile service and front brakes + rotors.

wundayatta's avatar

Do you know what an inverter is? Or do you know what it does? It seems they have them in cars, and now I think you need them for a house when you want to install a generator. How interesting!

You can’t jump my car. If my car’s battery is dead, the car is dead. Permanently, I think. Replacing my batter costs an awful lot of money and I don’t know if it is even possible.

I just take my car for regular checkups and let Toyota keep it running nicely for me. Except for the inverter (which was covered under warrantee and turned out to be something the car was recalled for a year after ours went bad), and except for the fact that lots of people like to rearend us, the car has run just perfectly with no need for additional service. It is now six years old. Maybe seven. We plan to run it until it won’t run any more.

Does that answer your question?

Coloma's avatar

I know the rudimentary basics, but I do not do any work on my own vehicle. I’m a thinker not a tinker and mechanics are not my thing. I am lucky to have the worlds best and most honest mechanic that I have been using for over 19 years now. I just swing by now and then for checkups between oil changes. Right now I have an oxygen sensor that’s gone wonky, and have a $300 repair before Xmas. Oh joy. lol

YARNLADY's avatar

I very rarely even use the family car. I discovered last week I don’t know how to turn on the headlights. I think it was the first time I have driven it at night. I usually rely on my grandsons to drive me places.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

My first car, a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500. I bought it used in 1970 for $500. I used to do most of my own maintenance. (I’m not a trained mechanic, but I like to know what “makes it tick). I did most of my maintenance (oil change, radiator flush, hoses, belts, tune-ups). When it got to the carburetor, it got a little too complicated for me. Same with replacing the clutch, plus I did not have the specialized equipment necessary.

I’ve had several cars since then, and up until the late 1980’s, I was able to do most of my own maintenance. When they started putting the “brain”, and then the transverse mounted engines, it became more and more difficult to do my own maintenance. I still change my own oil, and the annual radiator flush, and keep the fluids up, but I leave the rest to the paid pros.

Unbroken's avatar

Yeah with the computerized cars even the mechanics I know are always having to be in classes and getting recertified. I guess that’s why I still have an older model car. That and I hate being told to wear my seatbelt. Lol

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