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If you learn how to diagnose and fix your own car, then the man in the overalls need not be a necessary evil. Repairing your own car, by the way, goes beyond changing tires and cleaning the carburetor. These days, cars are computers on wheels, but you can still teach yourself to catch fault cues and diagnose problems before you park it in the garage.
Then, the DIY car repairing course could be really useful if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Coming back to civilization could be just slightly easier, not to mention that if you know your dikes and wrenches, you could shave off a few dollars from the menu price.
These ten websites may not make you a grease monkey that quickly, but they could be the first toolkit for any car repair help.
RepairPal [NO LONGER WORKS]
There are no two ways about it. If you want to save money over the life of your car, you got to know your way around the internal combustion engine. You can start your education with RepairPal. RepairPal is a comprehensive encyclopedia for auto repair and maintenance information for consumers. You have auto care advice, repair specifics on cars of different models and makes that also include notes on their historical problems and recalls.
The owner stories on each car make should also help you out if you are going for a used-car purchase. For each car model, RepairPal also gives you unbiased repair estimates, expert advice, and shops and dealerships near you. That itself should save you a few runarounds. That is, if the how-tos on car repair and troubleshooting guide don’t help.
The website was started in 1999 to answer car repair advice questions; it is still going strong. You can start from – How do car components work, and then go on to the repair guides. Auto repair questions are bunched up by manufacturer and you can drill down to the make of your car. The guides are a bit text-heavy with few illustrations, but the detailed step-by-step walkthroughs should help you get a bearing on how it’s all done. The site has a strong Q&A base and you can submit your own to the experts for free.
Driver Side is a professionally made, well compiled website on all things that are on four wheels. It covers buying, servicing, maintaining, accessorizing and selling. Diagnose your car problems, read reviews of mechanics and find the right one in your local area, get repair estimates, build a service history with your service records, set it up to get recall notifications, value alerts and service alerts, and also use DriverSide’s value estimator to graph estimates of future depreciation. You can also list your vehicle for sale, or search for a new or used vehicle to buy. And if you fall short of advice or information, DriverSide has a vibrant community of car owners.
The name says it all. This site could be just the thing for visual learners because along with how-to guides, AutoMD also has how-to videos that go into the specifics of car diagnosis and repair. Drill down to the information as it arranged by make, model, type of guide, repair by state, and repair by city.
You can use tools like the repair cost estimator and AutoMD’s intuitive “question tree” diagnostic process which diagnoses and nails down the problem by symptom, area, visual inspection and possible reasons for the problem. There’s also an iPhone app. The site is maintained by U.S. Auto Parts which is a publicly traded, leading online retailer of auto parts.
CarTalk is a NPR weekly podcast show on car advice, tips, troubleshooting, and solutions to your car questions. It is broadcast weekly in the U.S. It is in the format of a talk show and laced with wisecracks as brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, also known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers dispense advice and answer car related questions. The podcast and the site have a huge following. While on the site, don’t forget to try your brain on The Puzzler, a riddle based on a car problem.
Whenever I need to get to the basics of something, I head for About.com and its range of guides on all sorts of subjects – car maintenance included. Mathew Wright compiles the auto-repair guide and goes through product reviews, regular maintenance advice, quick tips, fix-it-yourself instructions for DIY-ers, and sundry other topics. There are some related videos you can check out.
You can head to YouTube of course, I am sure there are channels there which will teach you all bout diagnosing and fixing up your car. You can also try Vehicle Fixer and its range of repair videos. Start with the Symptom Checker which gives you an image and a set of filters in a series of dropdowns to narrow down the problem with your car. The guided repair videos are a great help.
This car repair help site is a large searchable database of online auto repair manuals, car maintenance help and project advice. It also includes advice areas and discount automotive parts store guides. The site has a Q&A section where you can refer your car problems. Videos and articles support the manuals when it comes to the do-it-yourself auto repair and auto related topics.
You can use this car related website as a reference source because it is an online automotive complaint resource that uses graphs to show automotive defect patterns, based on complaint data submitted by visitors to the site. The complaints are organized into groups with data published by vehicle, vehicle component, and specific problem. This could be especially useful if you are looking to buy a new or even a used car. Then, you can find out if the problem in your car is generic for all cars of that make.
This site on car maintenance is the handiwork of a single individual who made it to further his own knowledge. You can do that too with the selection of ‘Bibles’ that look into various automotive parts and car technologies. They are quite detailed and interspersed with pictures that help to illustrate the explanation in the text. You have to do a fair amount of reading as you work your way through the basics of auto repair. In the end it should be worth it.
Between these ten websites you should be able to diagnose and fix your own car. I am betting you are a car enthusiast because you are reading this post. Maybe, the four archived posts will also help:
- The 6 Best Online Tools For Car Buyers
- Top 5 Sites To Search For Cheap Online Car Rentals
- 3 Websites To Help You Research or Buy A Car
So, are you good under the hood or do you call for help at the first sound of a sputter? Give us a few anecdotes about your car fixing travails.