How to Teach Yourself Car Mechanics

by Terri Deno

Cars, trucks and SUVs use a number of systems in order to run properly. All of these systems need to be in sync and checked with routine maintenance. Many people will pay a mechanic to perform routine maintenance on their vehicle, but car owners can also learn to do many of the simple tasks themselves. The owner of the car can save money and learn valuable skills by teaching themselves the basics of car mechanics.

Step 1

Take a course on car mechanics at a community college. Many classes are offered individually or as part of the curriculum for an associate degree in auto mechanics.

Step 2

Study car mechanics using books and television shows. Books can provide step-by-step instructions for maintenance and repair techniques. Some of the best known titles include the "Popular Mechanics Complete Car Care Manual" and "How Cars Work" by Tom Newton. "Two Guys Garage" hosted by Bryan Fuller and Kevin Byrd on the Speed channel is a popular how-to television show that teaches car mechanics.

Step 3

Read the owner's manual for the car. Different brands and models may vary in the way the system is built. The owner's manual provides necessary information for maintenance and repair on that specific model.

Step 4

Purchase the tools and supplies you need to perform regular maintenance checks. Common tools needed for maintenance include a tire pressure gauge, socket wrench, oil filter wrench and car ramps. Replacement fluids to keep on hand include brake fluid, windshield washer, power steering fluid and transmission fluid.

Step 5

Practice the skills you have learned by performing routine maintenance on your vehicle. These inspections can include changing the oil, measuring tire pressure and inspecting parts of the engine to look for needed repairs.

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