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Auto Repair For Dummies Paperback – November 17, 2008

121 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


‘…covers a wide range of topics…provides a lot of educational content that explains the main principles of how cars work.' (Simple, December 2010).

From the Back Cover

Get the confidence and know-how you need to fix and maintain your vehicle like a pro!

Want to handle basic auto repairs yourself? This easy-to-follow guide gives you the nuts and bolts of diagnosing trouble and performing simple maintenance and repairs on your vehicle. You'll explore each system part by part and keep everything running in tiptop shape. Plus, you'll see how to go green on the road — from recycling oil and parts to choosing alternatively fueled vehicles.

  • Get to know your vehicle — understand automotive systems; check under the hood; change a tire; follow basic safety rules; change spark plugs, fuses, and the battery; and replace the air filter and PCV valve

  • Keep cool and in control — add and change coolant, find and repair leaks, change the oil, and check brakes

  • Ensure a smooth ride — choose, check, and care for tires; and understand balancing and alignment

  • Handle emergencies — identify strange sounds and smells, jump-start your car, handle overheating, and more

  • Work with a mechanic — find a reliable service facility, describe problems accurately, and get the best deal

  • Extend your vehicle's value — clean it inside and out, touch up paint, and fix dings and dents

  • Stay safe on the road — install child seats properly; learn about rollover protection, traction and stability control, and navigation systems; and more

Open the book and find:

  • The inner secrets of your vehicle — what makes it start, run, and stop

  • A step-by-step under-the-hood checklist

  • Advice on buying and using the proper tools

  • Driving techniques to extend the life of your car

  • Eco-friendly tips for saving fuel

  • Helpful illustrations that demonstrate repairs

  • Reproducible Specifications and Maintenance Records

  • The pros and cons of alternative fuels and vehicles


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (November 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076459902X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764599026
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

195 of 199 people found the following review helpful By bookscdsdvdsandcoolstuff VINE VOICE on November 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the most important I have read in a long time. I really had a positive experience with it.

My wife started staying home to raise our growing family and I have had to find ways to save money and make it on one salary. The breaks were going on my car and I did NOT want to put the bill on my credit card.

A guy at Church told me that disk brakes were easy. I should do them myself. I bought this book, looked on-line for vehicle specific directions (Auto Zone has a GREAT website), bought a ratchet set and got to work.

My friend was right. I replaced brakes and rotors and bought tools and books at it cost me less than it would have cost at a facility to get the brakes and rotors done for me. Plus, I was equipped to do it again and again.

This brings me to my first criticism of this book. She doesn't recommend you do your own brakes; even disks. That is NONSENSE. I am deducting one star for this.

Anyway, what reading the book did give me was a pretty good knowledge of how a car worked.

Her directions on how to change oil are excellent. In my own learning curve, I did brakes before I changed oil. You should DEFINITELY change the oil and do the air filter first to build your confidence and see if you enjoy working on the car to begin with.

After doing my own brakes with success, doing my own oil, changing my air filter, and changing the PCV (EASY) I was HOOKED. My car was handling better than it had when I first bought it and I felt like the man!

Then, the check engine light came on on my mom's 2001 Suburu Forrester. The car was idling very roughly and even blowing some white smoke.

The car's warranty had JUST expired.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By SSchmidt on May 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book.
Let me start off by saying this. I know how to fill up my gas tank. I know how to pop my hood. Literally, that is the extent to my car knowledge. I don't even know how to change a tire. My father was an auto-mechanic and never taught his children anything, he did all the work for us. I always took my car to the local quick change to get my oil change. I have relied on everyone else to take care of my vehicle for me, and I have to trust their judgment and what they ask to fix my vehicles.
I am an accountant. I have great business skills, am technologically advanced beyond my years and can type 117 words a minute. I (not bragging) am quite intelligent and had a great gpa throughout highschool and college. I just don't know a blasted thing about vehicles in any form.

I was having problems with the battery in my truck a few weeks ago. It was just not getting enough juice to start. I would do everything I knew to do and had people come examine it to no avail. Some days it would start and other days it wouldn't. I was on my lunch break when my truck died, again. I couldn't get back to work. I called my supervisor (actually a very caring, understanding woman) and she sent one of my co-workers (very capable with auto-mechanics) to come take a look. He opened my hood looked at the battery and said "your clamp is loose, that's why your not getting any power." I looked at him dumbfounded. He then took a screwdiver, unscrewed something, and pushed a little on this clamp.

The truck started.
I finally decided that was the last straw. Something so simple had made me late and affected my job performance. If I knew even the basics about vehicles I could have gotten my truck started. But I didn't.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By AJP on July 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review is specific to the Kindle edition.

Many of the diagrams are cut off when viewed in the e-book edition. It seems like little effort was spent when translating this into an e-book. It would have been easy to put the diagrams sideways on a separate page, or at least scale them to fit, but neither was done.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William Dendis on November 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the best introduction to the automotive maintenance I've encountered, and the best For Dummies book. After consulting the Dummies texts on Web Design and calculus, I was skeptical. Like many intro books, they contain needless graphics and sidebars and are written in a conversational yet impersonal tone meant to make a difficult subject more palatable. Instead they just waste space and spread simple procedures out over several pages, making quick reference impossible.
Auto Repair for Dummies does not do this. The personal touches are not overdone. The fact that author is a woman who decided to learn how her car works to save money on maintenance and avoid getting ripped off on big repairs, and that she was an adult when she made this decision and not the proverbial tomboyish mechanic's daughter, serves the books purpose, which is to take people who see what's under the hood as an impenetrable forest of hoses and dohickies, and teach them the basic systems of an automobile and where those components fit in. Once taxonomy is brought into the picture, and parts are divvied up into there appropriate systems, ignition, fuel delivery, motor, transmission, cooling, exhaust, electrical, suspension, brakes and so on, the curtain is pulled away.
The section on maintenance is also fine. Although the author does not really expect much from you.
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