The internet has opened up a whole world of education for car enthusiasts and casual motorists alike.
Everything from discussing your favourite race circuits with other fans, to listening and watching driver interviews, to finding the car of your dreams to purchase, all is easily accomplished in the comfort of your own home. There is another great tool available on the internet though for all drivers of any age that can save you a lot of money and make driving more pleasurable as well as safer.
While the newer engines on modern cars seem very complicated, the plug in component nature of them makes repairs easier than ever before.
Years ago substantial skill went into tearing apart and rebuilding carburetors and valves. There was nearly an art to being a good mechanic, of having the rightly tuned ear to detect timing changes and adjustment or setting the idle. In the modern car the ECU or engine control modules take care of all that. A simple scanner plugged into the car will tell you what is wrong and where in the engine.
Nearly all parts now are simply replaced and there is very little “repairing” in car repairs, you find the worn out piece and replace it. For the average driver this means a basic tool set and cheap ODB reader makes things that once required a skilled mechanic, a do at home project.
In addition to the thousands of pages of directions and tips online, there are instructive videos available for nearly any repair you can think of available either on the car maintenance websites or right on YouTube along with your favorite music.
Simply search for whatever repair you wish to make and odds are you will find a how to video to guide you through it. If you arent quite sure of what is wrong then searching the list of problems you will probably find a video to help you diagnose the problem as well. What used to require a couple of years training in a technical college is now available a class at a time as problems arise.
This abundance of knowledge is most useful for basic maintenance items. Things like changing a battery, a head lamp, or a gas strut that simply wear out on any car.
While we are all nervous about plowing around the engine and transmission the first time, these smaller maintenance items are very easily done and will often save £50 or more can be completed in less time than the drive to a garage.
Instead of making an appointment when the boot starts shutting on your head on its own accord because of a gas strut that needs replacing , have a quick perusal online to order a replacement, watch a video of how to do it, and you can have the repair done for the lowest possible cost in less time than it takes to get an appointment at your local garage!
Owner / Editor of Carwitter – French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter