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130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book with other things.
While in CA I had a bad experience getting an oil change. The jiffy lube guy forgot to put the oil filler cap back on. I noticed the engine sound difference right away but since I didn't consider myself an expert in any way I didn't do anything. Well, for 2 weeks I drove my car. After driving for 10 minutes everytime the car would fill up with a oil burning smell and...
Published on May 31, 2004

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114 of 128 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an Auto Repair Book - Very Basic, Maybe Too Basic
I put this book on my Wish List at Amazon.com. It is exactly what I need and the other reviewers give it a good rating. But HOLD THE PRESSES not so fast. I went over to the local book store and happened to see a copy, so I sat down for 10 minutes and quickly took in as much as I could.

First of all the title is misleading. It is not about car repair despite the...
Published on December 23, 2005 by J. Robinson


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130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book with other things., May 31, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
While in CA I had a bad experience getting an oil change. The jiffy lube guy forgot to put the oil filler cap back on. I noticed the engine sound difference right away but since I didn't consider myself an expert in any way I didn't do anything. Well, for 2 weeks I drove my car. After driving for 10 minutes everytime the car would fill up with a oil burning smell and after I parked the car there would be the oil puddle on the road.
Finally I forced myself to open the hood and found the problem immediately. The oil cap was still wedged between the hoses where the JL guy left it. Luckily it hadn't fallen off, otherwise I would've never found the problem with my lack of car skills.
I went back to JL and told them what happenned. There appeared to be a discussion in the inside office. I peeked inside and saw the supervisor was laughing his head off. The guy who worked on my car came out and apologized. The manager appeared apologetic and offered to clean up the splattered oil mess under my hood if I would leave the car for a couple of days. Yeah right, like I would...after what happenned.
After this experience I looked if I could change the oil myself. I'd bought this dummies book a couple years eralier and it was gathering dust on my shelf. I'd never seriously read the book and like most people I thought dummies were just a quick brush thru of car concepts...not for the real hands-on person. So I went and bought the Haynes repair manual for my corolla (about $20).
I did an oil change and realised 2 things: One, it was incredibly simple. Two, it takes about 30 minutes for the oil to drain out (actually even after 30 minutes there is a slow drip coming out). That made me think of the 10-minute oil change you see advertized in some shops. The mechanics probably let it drain for 2-minutes max. That means there's still a half-liter of old oil still in the crankcase.
Since then I have always change my own oil except when there's snow on the ground since I live in an Apt (don't have my own garage).
The Haynes manual has a vareity of other stuff to do on your car and I realised that I needed some hands-on instruction. So I took a 14-class night course at the local community college ($250) which has really taught me a lot. The book followed there was Jack Erjavec's Automotive Technology which is an expensive but 'utltimate' book for automobiles.
While studying for the exam, I came upon this dummies book on my shelf and I was struck by the clear, consise explanation and neat drawings which rivalled those in Erjavec's. I mentally kicked myself for not reading this dummies book that I had with me all the time. The Haynes manual had all the right steps needed for any job, but little or no explanation or not easy to understand, about the system or basic concepts and the photographs are pathetic.
Since then, apart from oil changes, I have flushed the cooling system, cleaned and reinstalled the battery, changed the air filter and other simple stuff. I would try more stuff if I had a garage.
To cut it short, if you're like me (you aren't a auto-maniac, but you can fix afew things around the house) you need three things:
This book by Scalar for very good system concepts, drawings and reasonably detailed repair steps. A fully detailed repair book like haynes or Chilton's for your particular car. Finally a small evening course in a local communnity college on auto fundamentals would make you really comfortable with your car. (Off course you need to buy some tools too). Good luck.
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99 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic beginner's book, June 28, 2000
By 
jerry barnes (Medford, Oregon) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
I recently purchased an older model American car... the kind with a carburetor and distributor and--get this--spark plugs that you can actually reach without removing half the stuff from the engine. It has been so long since I could really work on my own car that I had forgotten how to do basic tuneups and keep my auto in primo condition. This book is outstanding for explaining how it all works and how to do the basics yourself. It begins with a simple but thorough explanation of all the systems (electrical, fuel, suspension, steering, etc.) and how a car works. Then it goes through each system and, with the aid of very effective diagrams, explains how to check and fix each one.
I have, thanks to this book, the knowledge and confidence to keep my new/old car in tune, running smooth, and at a fraction of the cost of taking it into the shop.
You don't need an older car to appreciate this wonderful resource, either. The author goes through modern cars and their systems, too, like fuel injection and rack-and-pinion steering and disc brakes. If you have always wanted to know more about cars, and want the confidence to do the basic maintenance yourself, this IS the book for you. Highly reccommended.
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114 of 128 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an Auto Repair Book - Very Basic, Maybe Too Basic, December 23, 2005
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
I put this book on my Wish List at Amazon.com. It is exactly what I need and the other reviewers give it a good rating. But HOLD THE PRESSES not so fast. I went over to the local book store and happened to see a copy, so I sat down for 10 minutes and quickly took in as much as I could.

First of all the title is misleading. It is not about car repair despite the size of the book's big 600 page thickness. It should be called

"Dummies Guide to Car Ownership".

It is like a large owners manual that comes with every new car. This book cannot be used to repair your car. You can use it to understand how the car works, when to change the oil, and what certain parts do but it is (definitely) not a car repair book. Maybe if you bought a used car and it has no manual buy this book, or you just bought your first car and you are clueless, then okay buy the book, but if you are that clueless - do not fix your car. Get help.

It is like a cartoon book on very basic things. For example one section is how to open the hood (I kid you not!). Another is how to change the tire. Another how to check your fluid levels. There are cartoons showing the suspension, the motor combustion cycle, etc. all the things that are basic. It is not a guide to repairing a serious problem or maybe even a not so serious problem in your car. There are a few interesting items in the book like PVC valves and cartoons showing how they bleed exhaust gases back into the input manifold, etc.

Okay so you want to repair your Chevy or your Honda or your VW or your Ford pickup. This is what you do. You go to a store like Autozone or similar (this is not an endorsement) and you buy a shop manual for your exact car - say a 1999 Chevy Lumina V6 3.8 L, that is for the make, the model, with the year and exact engine or the equivalent book for $25-$50. bucks. Maybe you can get it for less. Then you use the shop manual as a guide to determine what to change and how to do it, and buy the parts at an auto supply place. If that manual is too complicated, just go to a garage, or get help from a friend that has some experience.

If you know the basics about a car, skip the book.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for all auto repair rookies., October 20, 1999
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
The Dummies series scores another home run. The author does an excellent job of laying a foundation which assumes you know nothing about auto repair and steadily builds upon that foundation throughout the book. The illustrations are thorough yet simple to follow. Also included are various tips on ways to maintain your car and lower the overall cost of ownership. A must have for anyone who has ever envied those who understand what goes on under the hood.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for beginners, August 12, 2005
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
I knew nothing about cars, except where the oil goes and all the very basic stuff. After reading this book I now understand a lot more about how a car works, and what to do for certain repairs.
Granted, the book won't allow you to magically repair your vehicle, but that's simply because there are too many cars out with different systems. If you want to make serious repairs in your car you MUST have the owners manual, but then what did you expect?
This book goes from really incredibly basic stuff like opening the hood to how a car works and what different signs you'll get for different problems you may encounter. Sure it's silly to explain how to open the hood, etc. but that's only one chapter and there's 24 of them.
SUMMARY: If you don't know what a differential is, or what piston is or how to change your brakes, after reading this book you will. I bought 2 other books to try understand the basics of how a car works and how to repair it and none of them helped much, but this one covers it all with plenty of pictures.
If you're a beginner, buy it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Auto Repair for Everyone, August 4, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
I own this book and Auto Upkeep: Basic Car Care. These books compliment each other quite well. Auto Repair for Dummies does an excellent job explaining basic maintenance and repair, using well drawn line art. Auto Upkeep: Basic Car Care uses detailed photos and drawings to show actual car parts. Auto Repair for Dummies is quite procedural for specific repairs. Auto Upkeep: Basic Car Care uses to-the-point chapters, price guides, internet links, and an activity CD to help the reader learn about automobile maintenance and ownership. I see Auto Repair for Dummies as a reference, while Auto Upkeep: Basic Car Care is a book for anyone who wants to learn more about cars and car ownership (from obtaining insurance, to cleaning, to understanding oil and other fluids). All and all, I recommend having both books in your personal library. These are also great gifts for the new driver!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars auto repair made easy!, May 10, 2000
By 
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
I couldn't have done it without this book. The easy to follow, simplified instructions, makes do it yourself car repair possible for most anyone. You learn not only how to make your car run good, but you also learn how maintain your car for longer life. There is also a section in the book that gives you the know how to make your car look good too. This book was exactly what I needed plus more!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Beginner Book, September 16, 2005
By 
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
Is this book a little basic in some parts? Whole-heartedly I'd have to say yes. Yes she does cover simple things like what a screwdriver is, how to open the hood, etc. But, what is basic to some maybe complex for others even if so-called experts can't understand why some things are more difficult than others for new people.

Just for info, a lot of cars today have the disc and drum brake configuration (not just old clunkers but newer vehicles) so coverage of the drum brakes is essential. Would I recommend you popping off the drum and tearing apart the wheel cylinder, springs, and brake shoes after reading just this book...definately not. If you want to get a little more familiar with whats inside the calliper or drum then by all means, this book will accomplish that. She also covers all the other major systems of an automobile in a language that anyone can understand.

This book was never intended to turn someone into a mechanic ready to take the SAE test. It's sole purpose is to familiarize you with general vehicle operation and mechanical make-up...and a few tips along the way to keep your car running.

You will learn a lot from this book if you are just starting out...I know I did. If it intrigues you enough, then dive deeper into auto repair by taking a local vocational class or buying the Hayne's or Chilton's repair manuals for your vehicle.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT CARS , THIS IS YOUR BOOK, August 16, 2000
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
If you are like I was before having read this book, then this book is for you. I did not know I had to pump my tires !, oil ? well, I didn't also know it was necessary to check it !. I only knew how to drive and to fill it with gasoline ! . But my book has changed my point of view of my car. Now, having read this amazing book, I not only take more care of my car, It also gives me more satisfaction, it purrs like a cat, and has not left me for months !. I have read other beginers how to books, but this book is wonderful, so many pictures, so many explanations, so many advices, it is a bargain and a treasure. I highly recommend it
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good source!, December 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) (Paperback)
This is a very good book. It covers basic auto repair and care with a straight forward approach. All the resources and pictures really came through. I now keep a log of all my truck work, and it hasn't run better.
The only reason I did not give this book 5 stars is because of gross oversight in the "driving ecologically" section. The author advised NOT to warm up a car before taking off in the morning. Even us "dummies" know that 90% of all engine wear occurs during start up and hopping in a cold car and zooming off is a very bad piece of advice. I also seriously doubt a 2min. warm up has a lot of effect on the environment.
Either way, a great book. I would recommend buying it.
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Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
Auto Repair For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) by Deanna Sclar (Paperback - September 30, 1999)
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