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I have all the tools required to work on my motorbikes at home. Full abba stands, 4T axle stands, a 4T jack, comprehensive spanner + socket set, oil/fuel pressure gauges, screwdrivers, grinders, drills, impact wrench, torque wrenches, breaker bars, various bearing pullers, gear pullers and more. A lot of stuff.

I am not a noob when it comes to going deep with motorcycle electrics or the engines.

I never go to the garage. Never ever. Unless the odd time for tyre fitting to loose wheels since the garage does it for free if I buy motorcycle tyres from them when there's a special deal on. And if so why bother with the pain of tyre changing when can put my feet up and watch the pro do it for nothing (or to collect specific parts ordered through dealer).

My questions:

  1. Can I easily transfer my skills to being a DIY car mechanic?

    I've just bought my first car- and so I've never worked with cars before. The basics are pretty much the same aren't they? The gearbox is not sequential, and there's axles instead of a chain drive and everything much bigger obviously..

  2. What special tools that only a car would use would I need?

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    In addition to any answers you may receive. I'd suggest you buy a factory service manual for your car and get real familiar with 12v and drivability diagnostics. Learning how the various systems interact will save your butt in the future. – Ben Sep 14 '17 at 22:27
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1) can I easily transfer my skills to being a DIY car mechanic? I've just bought my first car- and so I've never worked with cars before. The basics are pretty much the same aren't they? The gearbox is not sequential, and there's axles instead of a chain drive and everything much bigger obviously..

Yes. Basics are the exact same.

If you can learn to work on your bike on your own, I believe you can learn to work on your car on your own. Things are just going to be harder to get to, there are going to be more parts or sub-systems to service, and you might need more special tools.

I never worked on a car or motorcycle before I dove into doing all my own maintenance. Most of the time, getting the parts and tools cost about the same or slightly less than getting it done at a cheap shop, but now you have the capability to do the same job multiple times with the tools. But then again I am mechanically inclined and also a mechanical engineer.

2)What special tools only a car would use would I need?

There's a lot of special tools to do various things for various parts of the car for various manufacturers.

It really depends on what you are trying to do, how you are trying to do it (sometimes you can find shortcuts or workarounds to using special tools), and then what car you are doing it to.

I suggest just doing the research before you do a job and then buy the needed tools as you go so you don't buy anything you won't really need.

You will most likely need extensions of various kinds and sizes. Maybe some swivel sockets, bigger breaker bar, etc. but it really depends on the car. Generally things to help you reach hard to get to spots, nuts, bolts without taking the entire car apart first.

  • thank you for your answer :) I don't need any fancy stuff to get the car really high up like a metre in the air do I? e.g to change the transmission fluid or something... – MathNYYB Sep 15 '17 at 20:05
  • you need your jack that can handle the load and can go up as high as you want and you need jack stands that can handle the load and can go up as high as you want the jack to go. depending on how much height you want and how much ground clearance you need, the cost of the jack may increase significantly. – agent provocateur Sep 20 '17 at 21:11
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Yes your skills are transferable. If you are so inclined get a couple of academic text books from a library and look through them. It will help you understand the differences in the systems.

Your skills will be transferable to other things like lawn equipment, tractors, gensets and so on.

I decided to do my own maintenance 45 years ago frustrated by high expense, long waits and ineffective diagnosis and repairs.

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I made a similar decision to maintain my own car after inheriting a car hoist. I have zero background in mechanical things other than push bikes... but I have the DIY desire, hence trying to fix everything (home repairs, tvs, etc). So far done only basics complete brake job, repair parking brakes and general maintenance. I'm a noob with no mechanical and have managed the basics. With mechanical background. Video streaming, service manuals and stack exchange would likely make it easy for someone like yourself.

For tools, biggest difference is going to be getting at things. I would recommend buying tools on a job by job basis. I went a little silly at first ... toys ... With what you have it sounds like you will only need things of convenience - such as a roller for getting under the car. Only thing I would recommend at start is a set of 6-wrenches. I was not able to get socket on a shoe hold and used 12 point and rounded it and had some jib getting out with bolt extractor. Used 6-point on the other side, no issues. The bolts on cars get pretty ... bad.

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