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Just started working as a shophand…

stickkidsam

Member
…and I don’t know a damn thing about cars. I mean I can drive and point to an engine. Replace tires. If you start talking about cylinders though I’m lost.

My new boss is helping me learn about cars so it doubles as an apprenticeship, which is great. I’ve always wanted to learn how to work on cars. Still, I don’t want to be a pain to teach. I also want to help out around the shop as best I can.

Anybody experienced with cars or as mechanics that can give me some advice? What would be good for me to look into? Cars for dummies?
 

RoboFu

One of the green rats
Do you mean actual, drivable cars? Or those weird, thick trifle things that Americans think are cars?


Yup you sure got us beat. 😂
 

chromhound

Gold Member
…and I don’t know a damn thing about cars. I mean I can drive and point to an engine. Replace tires. If you start talking about cylinders though I’m lost.

My new boss is helping me learn about cars so it doubles as an apprenticeship, which is great. I’ve always wanted to learn how to work on cars. Still, I don’t want to be a pain to teach. I also want to help out around the shop as best I can.

Anybody experienced with cars or as mechanics that can give me some advice? What would be good for me to look into? Cars for dummies?
YouTube is your best friend
 

AJUMP23

Gold Member
I don’t know enough about cars to tell you about cars. But this is what you need to know.

If your boss is taking time and paying you to educate you, then you pay attention learn and if you don’t know ask. He is investing in you now for a future later. The boss sees value in his effort, respect it.
 

Mistake

Member
Ask around and see if there’s a junk car you can work on. I’m sure some people there would like to help if you have it as a pet project
 

Crayon

Member
Cars are one thing and general mechanical is another. If you really don't know anything about cars, just get some quick youtube on how an engine works and how electronic fuel injection works. I would say emmisions controls after that. Then try to learn what different automotive tools look like. Such as an impact wrench or a torque wrench. That way when he says "grab me the pickle fork", you might know what you are looking for and why.

Here's a fun tool tip: the reason there are all kinds of weird shapes and variations of the same size wrench in a mechanic's garage is that some bolts are a godawful bitch to reach. So those weird s-shaped wrenches and whatnot are not used for specific jobs, but to make it easeir to get that MOTHERFUCKING FUEL FILTER BRACKET OUT FROM UNDER THAT GOD DAMNED PLENUM. Also mechanics swear a lot for a reason.

I would also reccommend scotty kilmer's channel on youtube. He's a mechanic that tells normal people how to do hackey shit. Most mechanics hate that shit but it can be illuminating.

The best way to learn is to have a car you can afford to fuck up and start doing progressively larger jobs on it. If you don't already have a second beater car around and a place to stow it when you are stuck on a job that is a tall order so don't worry about it.

You are going to have to trust him. If he thinks you can do it, believe him.
 
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DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
Staff Member
Im no car expert but I have restored a couple of cars.

The best thing I can recommend is to think about how a car works and then watch some YT vids on each component.

You can read this too

 

stickkidsam

Member
Thanks a lot for the help everyone!

It was a solid first day and my boss took the time to explain things, so that helped with the shotgun shells of terminology. His first bit of advice was “The stupid question is the one you didn’t ask”, so I think I’m in good hands.

Looks like it’s Diesel engines I’ll be learning first!
 

Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
Thanks a lot for the help everyone!

It was a solid first day and my boss took the time to explain things, so that helped with the shotgun shells of terminology. His first bit of advice was “The stupid question is the one you didn’t ask”, so I think I’m in good hands.

Looks like it’s Diesel engines I’ll be learning first!
One of the best first things to learn is how to change out the blinker fluid.
 

Crayon

Member
Being a mechanic must be a blessing. Knowing you can fix the thing you rely on to get you from here to there.

It's pretty cool. But it can be a real fuckin chore. I needed a clutch and that is just a shitty job on my car. There was no way I was going to get into all that in my car port.

Then I got a few estimates and they were ridiculous... So I did it in my carport. While it was nice to save a bunch of money, I can't erase the memory of being out there 1 in the morning trying to wiggle a transmission back on.

It is pretty cool tho. I save a lot of money not just maintaining my own cars, but I can buy cheaper ones, too. The kind of car that wouldn't be worth fixing if you had to pay a mechanic. Like I needed new brakes this weekend and taking it to a mechanic didn't even cross mind.
 

Soodanim

Member
Thanks a lot for the help everyone!

It was a solid first day and my boss took the time to explain things, so that helped with the shotgun shells of terminology. His first bit of advice was “The stupid question is the one you didn’t ask”, so I think I’m in good hands.

Looks like it’s Diesel engines I’ll be learning first!
Sounds like you have a good teacher. Not everyone is that willing to teach, just make sure you properly appreciate it.
 

Cyberpunkd

Gold Member
Anybody experienced with cars or as mechanics that can give me some advice? What would be good for me to look into? Cars for dummies?
How to Build a Car: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Formula 1 Designer https://amzn.eu/d/1xccOIY

Hang in there, in 10 years you will be making retarded amount of money out of all rich fucks servicing their vintage cars. Make sure you specialise in that.
 

AlteredForms

Gold Member
There will be a day where garages die out due to manufacturers cutting out the middleman. You see what's happening with Tesla and their innovations.
 

jason10mm

Member
Whoa whoa whoa, we talking jiffy lube level "shop hand" or an actual mechanics shop?

'Cause if you are doing real wrench work with no prior experience or training....yikes.

Even at jiffy lube you can kill a car (or the person inside) with an improper oil change, forgetting to fill correctly, etc.

Be safe, it's a bigger job than people think.
 

Soodanim

Member
Whoa whoa whoa, we talking jiffy lube level "shop hand" or an actual mechanics shop?

'Cause if you are doing real wrench work with no prior experience or training....yikes.

Even at jiffy lube you can kill a car (or the person inside) with an improper oil change, forgetting to fill correctly, etc.

Be safe, it's a bigger job than people think.
I'm not American, so I can only guess that Jiffy Lube is some sort of cheap franchise for car repair that doesn't have a stellar reputation... or an gay prostitution metaphor.
 

jason10mm

Member
I'm not American, so I can only guess that Jiffy Lube is some sort of cheap franchise for car repair that doesn't have a stellar reputation... or an gay prostitution metaphor.


But yes, juffy lube is a place where you can get an oil change or (if you like to gamble) some brake or transmission fluids done. Lots of problems as they tend to hire inexperienced gents such as yourself without a lot of knowledge or supervision on various cars they might encounter.
 

Soodanim

Member
inexperienced gents such as yourself
That's a bold accusation, just because I'm not experienced in "Real wrench jobs" it doesn't mean I can't get a job something better than a professional 'Lube man.

I'll have you know I've listened to many a rockauto.com ad read in podcasts, so I don't think there's much more to know about the trade than that
 

jason10mm

Member
That's a bold accusation, just because I'm not experienced in "Real wrench jobs" it doesn't mean I can't get a job something better than a professional 'Lube man.

I'll have you know I've listened to many a rockauto.com ad read in podcasts, so I don't think there's much more to know about the trade than that
Ahhh, sounds like you already know the most important part of being a mechanic, "5w20 can be freely substituted for 10w30 with no complications!" :p
 

Crayon

Member
I go to jiffy lube cuz I can't be asked to change oil anymore lol. If you have a really expensive car, go somewhere nice I guess. Whoever does it, check your fill level right after.

My friend took his low mileage Sentra into the dealership for an oil change, and they apparently forgot to put any back in. His engine ran for a whole day before it blew up. Anyone can fuck up your shit, not just jiffy lube.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Just learn the most common jobs you will be doing like the back of your hand then let the rest come with time. You don’t need to know the ins and outs of internal combustion engines to do a brake job or oil change.
 

Hardensoul

Member
I go to jiffy lube cuz I can't be asked to change oil anymore lol. If you have a really expensive car, go somewhere nice I guess. Whoever does it, check your fill level right after.

My friend took his low mileage Sentra into the dealership for an oil change, and they apparently forgot to put any back in. His engine ran for a whole day before it blew up. Anyone can fuck up your shit, not just jiffy lube.
Holyshit! Reminds me of the time the oil pan plug screw came loose on my car and another the spark plug came loose! Both were from different reputable shops!
 

AJUMP23

Gold Member
I go to jiffy lube cuz I can't be asked to change oil anymore lol. If you have a really expensive car, go somewhere nice I guess. Whoever does it, check your fill level right after.

My friend took his low mileage Sentra into the dealership for an oil change, and they apparently forgot to put any back in. His engine ran for a whole day before it blew up. Anyone can fuck up your shit, not just jiffy lube.

My sister in law went to have her tires rotated and marked them prior to rotation. They brought her car back and she checked it they had done nothing. She got a lot of free service from the place. But I would have never gone back there.
 

Crayon

Member
Use a torque wrench the you are doing tires.

On the ground

I usually go tighter. Because I'm ghetto lol.

I took my car to a shitty used tire shop so I could see if I could drive around some really big tires without rubbing. So you know, I got them cheap used to make sure they fit before I invested in some good stuff.

Worked out great. But a week later, when I went to take off the wheels, a 650 lb impact wrench couldn't take them off!!!! They obviously weren't on long enough to freeze, so that means they really we're on with at least five times the torque they should have been.

Studs were fine!

Still good advice to use a torque wrench, though. But I would go a little over, personally.

I just had to change my front brakes this weekend because an axle nut that I had tightened to the torque spec came loose and ruined them. Yeah I don't know what I was thinking. When I put that nut back on I stuck a 2 ft bar on it and jumped on the motherfucker.
 
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I usually go tighter. Because I'm ghetto lol.

I took my car to a shitty used tire shop so I could see if I could drive around some really big tires without rubbing. So you know, I got them cheap used to make sure they fit before I invested in some good stuff.

Worked out great. But a week later, when I went to take off the wheels, a 650 lb impact wrench couldn't take them off!!!! They obviously weren't on long enough to freeze, so that means they really we're on with at least five times the torque they should have been.

Studs were fine!

Still good advice to use a torque wrench, though. But I would go a little over, personally.

I just had to change my front brakes this weekend because an axle nut that I had tightened to the torque spec came loose and ruined them. Yeah I don't know what I was thinking. When I put that nut back on I stuck a 2 ft bar on it and jumped on the motherfucker.
Clean the hubs with grinder when you swap wheels.
 
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