Springfield

The "Ask a Mechanic" Thread

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I def need to get more knowledgeable on how to fix my own car. Where do mechanics go to get their training? I'd like to be able to do things above basic maintenance stuff.

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I learnt as an apprentice, started back in 1979. The latest technology was still a fantasy back then. 4 years, 3 of which involved a class room situation for a few weeks a year.

However, I was more of a Diesel Mechanic (or, as they are known today, a Technician) then a petrol engine mechanic, but you can't 'learn' about diesels until you know about engines in general.

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oh, so are apprenticeships still the way to go? I mean, I have a full time gig so I can't go be an apprentice or take classes full time. I don't think it would even be cost effective in the long run, but it's just something I want to be knowledgeable about.

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You might be able to find something part-time, or on weekends, if you really want to learn, but as I live in Australia, I can't even suggest where you start looking.

Someone closer might be more helpful. Like someone in the same country!

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I def need to get more knowledgeable on how to fix my own car. Where do mechanics go to get their training? I'd like to be able to do things above basic maintenance stuff.

As Aussie said,hands on training is the best

Repair manuals specific to the vehicle are a good source,most are available online now.(Haynes,AllData ect)

You first should learn the basics,which you can do numerous places online

The biggest hurdle to most of it is specialized tools and diagnostic software and of course the elbow grease...and knowing how to not screw up more than is already broke:silly:

Electronics have become a major part of it now

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...and knowing how to not screw up more than is already broke:silly:

I always hated it when someone had to tow their vehicle into the shop and then say 'I thought I could fix it myself'. At least they had already resigned themselves to an hefty repair bill.

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I always hated it when someone had to tow their vehicle into the shop and then say 'I thought I could fix it myself'. At least they had already resigned themselves to an hefty repair bill.

:ols: the words the rest of it is in the trunk or the bolts broke just make your day too?

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What about 'The bolt got really tight, then suddenly it was loose again, and I couldn't tighten it again'.

I've heard that with home attempted head gasket replacements.

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BALLz.. not much on VW's,but are you sure it is the transmission and not the engine hesitating under a load?

Try putting it in gear and rev it up while holding the brake(with nothing in front of you;)) and see if it stumbles/misfires

I've seen bad plug wires give similar symptoms

Thanks for the suggestion, twa. Didnt misfire at all so i'm assuming thats not the problem. Would have been nice though. I've been PMing w/ DCsportsfan so hopefull he can help me get it figured out.

Edited by BALLz

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Ok...so what does it mean when my Explorer makes a weird whistling/whining noise when I accelerate on cold mornings until it's been running for about 10 min? Feel free to PM.

Edited by drtdrums

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Ok...so what does it mean when my Explorer makes a weird whistling/whining noise when I accelerate on cold mornings until it's been running for about 10 min? Feel free to PM.

First thing I would check is serpentine belt wear/tension. After that, power steering pump.

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First thing I would check is serpentine belt wear/tension. After that, power steering pump.

Yep,the tensioner does that when the bearing is starting to go as well

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Ok...so what does it mean when my Explorer makes a weird whistling/whining noise when I accelerate on cold mornings until it's been running for about 10 min? Feel free to PM.

Your Ford Exploder is whining? You must have the female edition. :ols:

If it is only doing those when cold, that would explain it. Once everything warms up and expands to regular size, things should be sweet.

Edited by SkinnedAussie

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I should probably start answering some questions around here. All the other ES techs are doing a great job. Sorry I haven't answered any in a while, I'll try and get back to it.

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Ok...so what does it mean when my Explorer makes a weird whistling/whining noise when I accelerate on cold mornings until it's been running for about 10 min? Feel free to PM.

I'd agree, the first thing I would look at would be the belt tensioner pulley. It's a pretty common failure on those cars.

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Do you guys possibly think I may have a vacuum leak and that's why the Toyota is doing what it's doing?

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I did have that possibility in mind - the timing isn't being advanced by vacuum as the engine is being revved under load.

To find it, grab a can of ether (Aerostart or whatever it may be called now) and spray in around where the vacuum hoses run. If it has a vacuum leak, the engine will rev higher than idle. Look around that area and see if you can find the dodgy hose.

Edited by SkinnedAussie

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Do you guys possibly think I may have a vacuum leak and that's why the Toyota is doing what it's doing?

Could be,use Aussies suggestion of starting fluid or carb cleaner

In short bursts since it is flammable;)

also around the throttle body since the gaskets there leak sometimes

Edited by twa

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I should probably start answering some questions around here. All the other ES techs are doing a great job. Sorry I haven't answered any in a while, I'll try and get back to it.

Slacker....women will take over your life :ols:

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my brothers engine blew on his 1999 honda civic. estimated at $2000 to fix...I have a friend who would do it for a couple hundred but i am having a hard time finding an engine or even pricing. Any thoughts?

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my brothers engine blew on his 1999 honda civic. estimated at $2000 to fix...I have a friend who would do it for a couple hundred but i am having a hard time finding an engine or even pricing. Any thoughts?

It shouldn't be hard to find engines for those cars at all.

By the price you listed, I'm assuming that you are going the route of a used engine instead of a new (remanufactured) engine. You should try and call a local junk yard, I'm sure they would have plenty of 99 Honda Civics there.

If you wanted to go the remanufactured route go to:

http://www.jasperengines.com/index.php

Jasper is most definitely the best place for remanufactured engines. All of their products are top notch.

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my brothers engine blew on his 1999 honda civic. estimated at $2000 to fix...I have a friend who would do it for a couple hundred but i am having a hard time finding an engine or even pricing. Any thoughts?

If you're looking at a replacement engine, go somewhere that will give you some sort of warranty. Fair enough you want to go as cheap as by getting a mate to do it, but will he cover any warranty issues? If it breaks down in the middle of nowhere, who would you prefer to chase after?

$2000 to fix? Is that to rebuild the existing engine? Surely, there's a Jap engine/parts importer somewhere close to you. They are everywhere here. If you are close to STERLING, VA, try:

http://www.japaneseengineimport.com/

See what these critters have in stock:

http://www.noyanusa.com/enginelist.html

Edited by SkinnedAussie

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The engine blew on my 2003 Honda Accord and it cost me just under $2500 to get a new engine. I found engines on eBay for half of what my mechanic was charging me for the replacement engine, but he claimed that his engine offered a warranty.

There are cheaper ways to get a new engine but this is the route I chose, because ultimately any other option wasn't saving me any real money. The bulk of the cost of repair was labor. The garage I had it towed to had a good reputation, but also not cheap. I could've tried to shop around but any savings I would've gained would've been eaten up by towing costs.

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My lower control arm and inner tie rod are both busted, should I drive my car?

If they were busted you wouldn't get far :silly:

I assume you mean worn?...if so it depends how badly.

Either truly breaks and you are driving nowhere,just a passenger to the scene of the crash

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