Car Self-Maintenance

mountainaire

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
Best piece of advice I can give is invest in a quality hydraulic floor jack, and heavy duty jack stands. You don't want to skimp on these things, and always make sure to have a fail safe if the stands fail. I like to lay the wheels down under the vehicle. After one close call with an emergency jack that failed, I don't take anymore chances.
 

Isinyanga ukulungisa

 
Banned
Other Christian
I belong to the unique cult of Land Rover defender owners.
I do all the basic maintenance on my defender 130 which is a mobile workshop , as I do property maintenance for a living . Am doing replacement of the door latch mechanisms right now.
Whenever I have to replace and rubber or plastic seal I soak it overnight in armourall , same goes for any drive belt, given this treatment they last indefinitely with no sign of degrade , and oil seals in particular, never leak.
The only work which I didn’t do myself, transfer case rebuild, leaks oil.
I say all this because a Land Rover defender is the easiest car to work on, they were designed to be repaired road side. Something to consider if you want to be self reliant .
 

canuckj

Woodpecker
Other Christian
Best piece of advice I can give is invest in a quality hydraulic floor jack, and heavy duty jack stands. You don't want to skimp on these things, and always make sure to have a fail safe if the stands fail. I like to lay the wheels down under the vehicle. After one close call with an emergency jack that failed, I don't take anymore chances.
Great tip. I agree on the axle stands. I would also stay away from those plastic drive on ramps.
 

MountainWestPipeSmoker

Sparrow
Protestant
Every man (IMO) should know how to do a tune-up on his own car: oil change, air filter, differential, transmission filter, spark plugs, fuel filter, rotate tires, and brakes.

One of these things is not like the other... a differential rebuild is a lot harder than the rest of the things you list, and even as someone who can do all but differential rebuilds, I'm happy to pay someone to do the work there, because the difference of a thousandth of an inch or two can be the difference between it fragging in 15k miles or lasting 200k miles.

Did you mean changing the fluid in it? That would make sense with the rest of the list...
 

JustinHS

Robin
Orthodox
One of these things is not like the other... a differential rebuild is a lot harder than the rest of the things you list, and even as someone who can do all but differential rebuilds, I'm happy to pay someone to do the work there, because the difference of a thousandth of an inch or two can be the difference between it fragging in 15k miles or lasting 200k miles.

Did you mean changing the fluid in it? That would make sense with the rest of the list...
Changing diff oil ain’t that hard. Rebuilding a diff wouldn’t be on that list.

Replaced the rear camber arms on the Honda. Now, to set up an alignment appt. Washed both vehicles, and applied boiled linseed oil to the Ford truck. Boiled linseed oil is the old school method of giving flat black paint jobs a nice sheen.

 

JustinHS

Robin
Orthodox
Great tip. I agree on the axle stands. I would also stay away from those plastic drive on ramps.
Yep, Harbor Freight (there I go shilling for HF again) has the steel auto ramps that are the exact same design as the ones my dad has had since the mid 80s. $65 and you get mad clearance, especially if you’re into scraping off rust and treating the frame.
 

idane

Sparrow
Every man (IMO) should know how to do a tune-up on his own car: oil change, air filter, differential, transmission filter, spark plugs, fuel filter, rotate tires, and brakes.

Then there are roughly 5% "real" men in the western world. Becoming less and less for each year.
 

idane

Sparrow
Whenever I have to replace and rubber or plastic seal I soak it overnight in armourall , same goes for any drive belt, given this treatment they last indefinitely with no sign of degrade , and oil seals in particular, never leak.
I need to understand this properly: If you soak a generator/alternator drive belt in armourall overnight, the result will be a drive belt that will last for 10-20 years with no cracks or whatsoever (when you bend it inversely)?
 

Sisyphus

Kingfisher
Other Christian
The Haynes manuals are not that bad. I was able to follow them for many procedures. I have found FSMs online before for free. If I remember correctly they are more for professional mechanics.

I'm not surprised to hear this. I've learned not to put too much stock in anonymous reviews on the Internet. I can't count how many times I've looked at reviews for a product or establishment where people cry and complain and give one star only to use the product or service myself and find that it's totally fine and that the whining was for some minor inconvenience that wouldn't bother anyone with a modicum of sensibility. I also have much more faith in something posted here than on Reddit. I'll check it out.
 

BasilSeal

Kingfisher
Catholic
Gold Member
Were the
I'm not surprised to hear this. I've learned not to put too much stock in anonymous reviews on the Internet. I can't count how many times I've looked at reviews for a product or establishment where people cry and complain and give one star only to use the product or service myself and find that it's totally fine and that the whining was for some minor inconvenience that wouldn't bother anyone with a modicum of sensibility. I also have much more faith in something posted here than on Reddit. I'll check it out.
I found that Haynes manuals generally fall over when it comes to more complex procedures or most often when they attempt to cover a range of model years generally, where particular model year differences can be meaningful. The diagrams and or parts described don't line up as expected. An FSM is very specific to a particular vehicle model and year.

In terms of learning to diagnose and repair an unknown issue (like no start, noise, etc), I found the step by step diagnostic steps of an FSM invaluable. For basic maintenance repairs of wearable parts, it is probably overkill.

Also, mentioned above... knowing when and where a specific dealer tool is recommended can be helpful because those tools are often the best choice and can be acquired without much effort. Even though the Haynes manual may give a workaround using what you have, it can often be a lot more work or worse, strip or damage something leading to a more complex or costly repair. I bought a GM steering wheel pin puller to repair a loose steering setup for a 1989 Jeep Cherokee. I can't see how the job could have been done with anything but that little tool.

You should have no trouble re-selling a factory service manual in the event you sell the car it goes with.

Anyway, my experience is first hand.
 
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inthefade

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
Always use a torque wrench.
I'd like to think he was loosening with a breaker and not tightening, though the angle doesn't make it look good.

On another note,

Had to swap entire driver's rear hub assembly and put on new axle nuts. The nuts have nothing to stop them from backing out except loctite from the factory and the factory torque recommendation is way too low. They end up getting loose and eventually put too much wear on the bearings and they start making a horrific noise. What the heck was ford thinking?
 

hedonist

Kingfisher
Other Christian
My Dad barely showed me how to do anything but after doing two trades I'm pretty decent at doing DIY stuff now.
Vehicles are definitely my weakest point though , I don't drive and don't even like to really in busy areas.
I should look more into learning though as I will have to get a vehicle in the near future.
 

prisonplanet

Robin
Other Christian
My Dad barely showed me how to do anything but after doing two trades I'm pretty decent at doing DIY stuff now.
Vehicles are definitely my weakest point though , I don't drive and don't even like to really in busy areas.
I should look more into learning though as I will have to get a vehicle in the near future.

Driving is funny like that - it can be one of the most enjoyable things to do or one of the most maddening and anxiety inducing. I live in Portland and I have a large truck, so I hate driving, unless I get out of the city and I to the country and then it's one of my favorite things to do.

I'm terrible at car maintenance. I look under the hood and have almost no idea what is what.
 

inthefade

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
Driving is funny like that - it can be one of the most enjoyable things to do or one of the most maddening and anxiety inducing. I live in Portland and I have a large truck, so I hate driving, unless I get out of the city and I to the country and then it's one of my favorite things to do.

I'm terrible at car maintenance. I look under the hood and have almost no idea what is what.
Yes, driving/cruising is one of my favorite hobbies.
 

hedonist

Kingfisher
Other Christian
Driving is funny like that - it can be one of the most enjoyable things to do or one of the most maddening and anxiety inducing. I live in Portland and I have a large truck, so I hate driving, unless I get out of the city and I to the country and then it's one of my favorite things to do.

I'm terrible at car maintenance. I look under the hood and have almost no idea what is what.

Yes, driving/cruising is one of my favorite hobbies.

Actually I slightly take that back....I did a road trip in Europe and it was one of the best trips I ever have done. Not much traffic in this part though (Cities was another story..) I'd love to get a motorcycle at some stage and travel.
 
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