Homework 10 home automotive repairs starting from an oil change and ending with engine replacement

I'm taking a night class on auto maintenance in adult school. There is no grade and no tests. Just learning. And fun.
The teacher asked today, the first class, for us to bring next week a list of the 10 things that people can do at home to repair their car, starting with number 1 being an oil change and number 10 being an engine replacement.
Can I run by you my first list?
1. Oil & filter Change 10. Engine replacement
2. Air & cabin air filter replacement 3. Flush & replace all fluids 4. Belt & tensioner replacement 5. Alternator & battery replacement 6. Brakes & struts overhauled 7. Cooling system overhaul 8. Starter replacement 9. Clutch replacement and/or automatic filter replacement
How does that list look as a first pass?
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On 10/16/18 8:07 PM, Drago Giambattista Esposito wrote:

Tires. Body work? Lights.
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On 17/10/18 12:20 pm, Dean Hoffman wrote:

0. Purchase manual and *study it* before touching *anything*.
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On Tue, 16 Oct 2018 20:20:51 -0500, Dean Hoffman

You can do ANYTHING at home if you know what you are doing, but most people should not do anything more than oil changes and tire rotation(if that) If you want to do more MAKE SURE you learn how to do things PROPERLY and SAFELY.
You are working with a "large caliber loaded weapon"
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On 17/10/18 12:07 pm, Drago Giambattista Esposito wrote:

You have missed the first and most important requirement, a *workshop manual*, even a Haynes. Actually, a Haynes manual is all you're likely to be able to get hold of these days as a lot of the factory manuals come on CD and/or subscription.
An example, a friend decided to service his own car. religiously did all the common stuff, oil, filters, flushes, etc. One day the timing belt snapped. Had he changed the belt according to the service schedule book? What book was the response. The obvious answer then was, no, not according to the factory schedule. And thereby hangs a cautionary tale.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
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Xeno


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On 10/16/18 8:30 PM, Xeno wrote:

And along those lines, YouTube. There are quite a few guys showing "How to .............................." on YouTube. Some of the repair guides are pretty good. And they're free.
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On 17/10/18 12:37 pm, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Yes, agreed, but some of those are potential disasters. You need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff with those videos and I'm not sure a tyro could adequately do that.
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Drago Giambattista Esposito wrote:

Your list is a good as any. IMO, most people could not do any of those due to a lack of knowledge, skill, time, tools, desire, or a place to work.
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On 17/10/18 12:46 pm, Paul in Houston TX wrote:

True that!
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Not a bad list, but I'm not sure how you got the pairings. #6 combines brakes and struts. They both require taking off a wheel, but are usually not done together.
Clutch and engine replacement are borderline home repair. I know a few people that can do it, but very few.
I see no mention of spark plugs.
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Ed Pawlowski

I forgot all about spark plugs! Even though they last 100K miles, they need to be replaced.
I think I'll remove the struts because someone said that struts and brakes don't go together (although don't struts need to be replaced as much as spark plugs do?).
I'll definitely add spark plugs to a generic all-purpoe "tune up" even though a "tune up" doesn't seem to exist as a "thing" any more.
That "tune up" will include the filters and spark plugs and wipers and anything "rubbery" like hoses. With that tune up can be the simple stuff with putting air in tires and topping off fluids.
Would that work better?
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On 10/16/2018 11:22 PM, Drago Giambattista Esposito wrote:

That helps.
Tune up used to mean plugs, points, set the timing. That was done every 10,000 miles. You may want to look at the owners manual of just about any car for maintenance intervals.
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On Wed, 17 Oct 2018 05:22:03 +0200, Drago Giambattista Esposito

As long as it's not a 5.4 Ford Triton.
Guaranteed a do-it-yourself plug change by an amateur on one of those will get REAL expensive.
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wrote:

Try to put an alternator in a new Lincoln. I gave up pretty fast and took it to the dealer ($800) That did include recharging the A/C because you have to remove the compressor.
Try a timing belt on a 97 Prelude. The first step in the shop manual is "remove engine". In real life the dealer just takes the motor mounts loose and tilts it up a little. I couldn't even get the balancer nut loose with a 1/2" impact wrench. I even went on the Honda repair BB to be sure it wasn't left hand thread. A breaker bar with a pipe on it was no help either.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com

A timing belt or chain tensioners & plastic guides is another common maintenance task I forgot to add.
I don't think the timing belt/chain would go with the rest of the belts.
The idea of separating out "scheduled items" from "broken items" is a good one.
I might expand the list to a dozen even though we're supposed to keep it at 10. I think the main reason for the list is to make us think anyway, as there is no grade or test - it's just something we're supposed to think about seriously.
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On Wed, 17 Oct 2018 15:45:02 +0200, Drago Giambattista Esposito

On most new engines you certainly don't want to wait until the timing belt breaks to replace it. That is "take off the tags and leave it where it broke" time. I know back in the olden days in your Pinto or Sunbird a broken belt was just a tow and a 3 hour fix, On a high performance engine, it is a new engine or a massive rebuild.
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On 10/17/2018 9:45 AM, Drago Giambattista Esposito wrote:

You can make #1 the oil change as it is usually fairly simple.
#2 should be "trade in before warranty is up so the dealer will do all the work"
Getting tough to do simple things on cars the way the engine comparment is crammed.
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Ed Pawlowski

The teacher said a list of fallacies on the first day where that was on the list (in different words). He said it's easier now than it's ever been.
Even though I couldn't keep it at 10, how's this dirty dozen list looking?
1. Oil & filter change 2. Battery replacement (standard battery setup) 3. Periodic scheduled maintenance (sometimes called a scheduled tune up) (filters, spark plugs, wipers, hoses, pcv, fluids, tires) 4. Belt & belt tensioner replacement 5. Brake overhaul (rotors, drums, pads, shoes) 6. Cooling system overhaul (radiator, waterpump, thermostat, hoses) 7. Alternator replacement 8. Shock absorber or strut replacement 9. Starter replacement 10. Engine belt, chain guide, or engine chain replacement 11. Clutch replacement and/or automatic filter replacement 12. Remove & replace engine
It's hard to put in an easy-to-hard order, but how's that looking?
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On 10/17/2018 4:20 PM, Drago Giambattista Esposito wrote:

Mostly far beyond owner...
I don't know what the teacher's exact quote was, but if the intent was that repair is easier than ever, I'd strongly disagree--it may be that many what used to be common need for repair has disappeared with newer technology and better-built (in general) vehicles, but doing _anything_ almost is much more difficult than years ago simply owing to lack of access if nothing else.
One trivial example -- the battery in the Chrysler 300M (along w/ a bunch of other MoPar vehicles) was in the bottom of the RF fender well underneath other immovable stuff. There was an access panel inside the fender well, but to get to the battery even for routine maintenance required removing the RF wheel. In the Buicks it's either under the rear seat (Lucerne, other passenger vehicles) or in a box under a panel in the rear floor (Enclave). Again, both make for routine maintenance "ain't happening".
Even light bulbs often take an engineering degree to figure out just what pieces parts are necessary to remove the whole taillight assembly instead of just being able to remove a lens cover w/ a screwdriver and replace a bulb.
I'd give a starter list about like
1. Windshield wiper replace/washer fluid refill 2. Cabin and engine air filters 3. Lights/bulbs... 4. Other fluid levels (oil/tranny, brake) 5. Battery (presuming conventional) 6. Oil change/filter 7. Unibelt replacement
Beyond that, on anything I've seen within last 10 years, you're starting to talk pretty serious access issues for the average owner...
I've said for ages if they would _just_ put 4-corner independent suspension, disk brakes and A/C on a '63 Chevy, w/ a modern 3.8L, I'd be more than happy.
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dpb

The teacher was clear that if the owner does not want to get their hands dirty, that owner will come up with all sorts of excuses as to why.
His point of asking why our wives were not in the class (it was all men), was that those who want to learn, will learn.
Those who don't want to learn, will never learn and they may tend to make up excuses like our wives do as to why they can't learn anything.

He said a lot of things are easier now than ever before, which in my notes are that he said that the Internet has videos that didn't exist when he started out (he is long ago retired), and that cars last longer now than they did before, and that fluids are a lot better now than they were before (he showed us old brass radiators with crud inside the openings), and that maintenance is less now than it was before (he spoke about not needed into put water in the battery and that spark plugs last longer now than they did before), and even he joked the "air in tires" is better now (he called it "green air") than it ever was before.

He talked about light bulbs actually, which I had forgotten about.
He said that long ago the Europeans had bright lights. But in the USA, they wouldn't let us have bright lights.
He mentioned that it was all about making money (not safety). He said the government forced them to allow us to have bright lights.
Then he said LEDs came into the picture where they last longer. So you just replace the entire light assembly if the bulb ever burns out.
He said LEDs might last the entire life of the car nowadays. I don't know if that's true as my car has no LEDs as far as I know.
Do LEDs now last the life of the car? If not, I might need to add them to the list during the tuneup period.
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