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I'm wondering if there's a good crash course website or book for auto repair for beginner who's just getting into auto repair?

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well, at risk of sounding facetious, this site can be very useful. As you come up against a problem, or an area you need information on, ask the question. –  Rory Alsop Jan 21 '13 at 12:39

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The best resource I've found, for someone mechanically inclined, is the specific Factory Service Manual for whatever car you are working on. They typically describe how to disassemble the entire car, step by step, with pictures.

If you're into a more basic "Why are cars designed this way?" type of discussion. Google, or the site: howstuffworks.com is also decent.

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While I too would recommend FSM for any serious DIYer, I do not think it qualifies for “crash course” in auto repair. Procedures described there intended for professional mechanics with knowledge of proper techniques and tool use. OP would be better served with a general book for beginners (even the kind for dummies or idiots), that would explain those tools and techniques. –  theUg Jan 26 '13 at 21:16

As Nick said, if you can get the Factory Service Manual for your vehicle, that's probably the best. It can be expensive (like $200+) though unless you can find PDFs online. A much less complete, but still very helpful, book to get is the Haynes manual for your vehicle; you can pick it up at any decent auto parts store for something like $15-20. Also, YouTube is a great resource. If your vehicle is pretty common, search for the procedure you want to do and you may find a video of somebody doing it and explaining how. For less common vehicles, you still might be able to get some good ideas watching similar videos.

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A combination of Auto Repair for Dummies, and the Haynes guide to my vehicle taught me a lot. The For Dummies book is written for complete beginners, but suffers from being very generic. The Haynes guide can fill in the void with information specific to your vehicle, without being overly complicated.

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