How To Repair Cars

Lisa Smith’s Book Review, “How To Repair Cars”

book3This road to empowerment I am on seems to be a hard drive and, no, I don’t mean a storage device for a computer. Although, I am crossing the barriers of standard books and downloading interesting finds to my e-reader. My latest discovery is by Paul Young entitled: How To Repair Cars…Auto Repairs And What You Can Do Yourself. It was $2.99 on

This wasn’t too bad of a read. Not as boring as some, but if you find yourself suffering from insomnia, hey, this could be just the thing to help you sleep. It starts out pretty interesting, but after the second chapter I am slowly losing interest. I find that men tend to be more analytical when it comes to getting their point across and drone on and on thinking that you are understanding what they think you should know or have a clue with whatever it is they are talking about when all you wish they would do is shut up so that you can Google or Bing (whatever your search engine of choice is) your query so that it is spelled out exactly in layman’s terms. See? Even coming from my own mind it still is a jumbled mess. On the other hand, women just prattle on and on and sidestep the point and then whoosh! The point is made with a grand finale and it just makes perfect sense. Wow. I digress. Back to the review at hand…

This is the second of three books that I’ve read and my second review. It starts out pretty mellow with basic tools for your toolbox. There aren’t any specifications on sizes of said tools, but that is where extra research comes in: Do foreign cars use The Metric System when American Made vehicles use Standard English Measurements? I have a Toyota, so this is something to contemplate. Don’t go on a shopping spree without knowing what you’re in for and don’t buy unnecessary equipment if you have no desire to actually use it although it might come in handy; it’s good to be prepared. I didn’t even know what a pinch bar was and that it is something I may need. It’s on the tool list. (I looked it up online; it’s basically a mini pry bar. The internet is the world at your fingertips.)

When having car trouble it is best to start with the basics: The battery. Inspect, clean, verify dates. Learn and know your battery, but if that isn’t the culprit check out the Alternator and Starter. It makes sense. These are good instructions, but Mr. Young states that with the wide variety of makes and models it might be beneficial to look up a diagram of your car’s engine to better equip yourself with the task at hand. Good luck with that! I don’t even know if the pictures I was looking at were the correct ones for my car and numbering anything without a list of what those numbers are is pointless.

By chapter three I start to lose the conversation. Don’t get me wrong; he tells it superbly. He’s easy to understand, doesn’t talk at the reader with a know it all attitude and is informative: How to replace a Serpentine Belt, repairing Antifreeze leaks, replacing brake pads and giving your car a tune up. It’s just that cars being made today are basically computers on wheels. There’s so much going on under the hood and dashboard that it would be nerve wracking to start poking around under there without knowledgeable supervision. It sounds easy, but in reality how tight is too tight or just enough? I don’t want to take something apart, get distracted and then forget how to put it back. This book discusses disassembly, re-assembly and everything in between. I’m not quite ready or brave enough to take his word for it how easy it can be. I think I need pictures and snarky humor that comes from a woman. Mr. Young describes car parts as though I should know what he’s talking about and where to find them. This is where the diagram would come in handy, but since didn’t quite work out I just may need to do a lot more research.

Overall: This is a good read. The third time reading this book I didn’t find myself drifting into a daze. Be informed. The more books you read the more knowledge you empower yourself with not even realizing it has been retained. For now, though, I think I am going to stick with women authors and slowly work my way up to the Men’s Club. It’s a process. Besides, next time you talk to a mechanic you might be able to flub your way through their belittling innuendos and know just enough not to let them bully you.


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