Car Care by Steve


Car care is not just having your car washed and vacuumed once a week. A big part of car care involves knowing what makes your car go and what can make it stop. Imagine being able to predict what sort of repairs or maintenance is needed just by looking and listening to your car. If you have a moderate amount of basic mechanical knowledge it is enough to keep a motor mechanic from taking advantage of you when it comes to over-servicing your car.


How many times have you been at the mercy of a motor repairer?
Do you know enough about your car to know if you were being ripped off?

So often I have heard people tell horror stories of recent and past experiences with car repairs. Do you let the repairer decide what sort of repair you are going to pay for. Do you let the motor mechanic, or friend or relative decide how much you should spend to repair your car? If this is you, then most times you would not be exactly sure what you are agreeing to, or why you are even having it repaired. Some repairs can be delayed as the parts, while worn are still servicable for the time being. This is where over-servicing comes in.

Mechanically Minded

No matter how many years you have been driving, very little of this adds to your knowledge of the workings of motor vehicles. It is just like someone reading about a chemistry experiment, they could study the words until they know every sillable, but it wouldn't have given them the experience of one hands-on experiment.

Any do-it-yourselfer knows that everthing has an instruction sheet, and every practicing do-it-yourselfer knows that sometime the instructions look different to what it is your assembling, car manuals are no different, so keep a look-out for variations.

To know more about your vehicle you need to familiarise yourself with the owners manual, maybe even flick through a workshop manual, but most of all you need to get your hands dirty. Workshop manuals can show diagrams of the different assemblies that make-up a complete car. This can help you to get an idea of where the parts are that you need to look at.

This starts to sound like i'm asking you to take over the repairs yourself. Nothing could be further from the truth, I advocate that only qualified fully trained motor mechanics work on your car. That doesn't mean that nobody else should know about them, and some small tasks are uncomplicated and easy for the mechanically minded. For example changing your own oil, or oil and filter. If you travel extra long distances you may be unable to take your car in to be left for the day while they change the oil. So if you decide to change the oil yourself what other things carried out in the service are being neglected. Motor vehicles are very complex and these days very expensive to repair, with the advent of complex computer controls for every imaginable device and creature comfort known to man. Why someone would need a remote control for a radio, when the radio is only at arms reach is beyond me, but you can get one.

How much do you want to know?

There is almost no limit to the amount of information about motor vehicles, if you can understand it. No one can give you all the answers.
Let's face it, most of the information is written in motor mechanic jargon anyway. Even some motor mechanics have trouble deciphering it.


The motor vehicle has many facets that can be broken down into simpler terms and component parts. Looking closely at the many sub-systems will help unravel complex assemblies and technical devices so that you may gain a better understanding. Whenever an apprentice motor mechanic starts their working career they first must be given information about personal safety and work practices. A good place to start is with those same safety issues. After safety the next logical steps would be basic vehicle systems and more technical subjects as you go on.

Disclaimer: The information in this website is recorded as accurately as possible. All motor vehicle repairs should be carried out by a fully trained Motor Mechanic, always err on the side of safety and adhear to manufacturers directions. No liability or claim is accepted for damage to your vehicle or to your person or property if you decide to fix it yourself using information contained herein. This information is designed for a better understanding of motor vehicles so that you are more fully informed when you car needs repair.

Introduction | Safety First | Battery | Understanding Your Car | When to Service Your Car | Glossary of Terms