Schools Training

5 Easy Car Skills For The Newbie

25 SEP 2013
Career Path : Automotive

Working on your own car can be a great learning experience. It’s also an easy way to save money rather than having an auto mechanic do minor work for you. You will need some basic hand tools, and be comfortable with getting a little dirty.

  • Changing Your Engine Oil

This is probably the auto work that is most commonly done at home. Make sure you read your owners’ manual and get the proper oil and filter before you start.

All you will need for tools is an oil drain pan, and a box wrench to fit your drain plug. A filter wrench might come in handy if the filter is on super tight, and you might want to have a funnel and some rags handy.

  • Replacing Lamp Bulbs

Head to your local auto parts store, and make sure you know the location of the lamp you need. There will be a book to tell you the proper bulb size. After that, the owners’ manual will tell you how to access the burnt out bulb. You don’t need to take auto mechanic courses to keep your car’s lamps working properly.

  • Adding Windshield Washer Fluid or Replacing Your Wipers

The washer fluid reservoir is located in the engine compartment, towards the drivers’ side of the car. Grab some windshield washer fluid from a gas station or auto parts store, pop off the reservoir cover, and fill it up.

Your windshield wipers are specific lengths to fit your car. Just like the lamp bulbs, you can find a book that lists the wipers you need at the store. Pop off the old ones, and put the new ones on the arms. No auto technician training required.

  • Inflating Your Tires

Most gas stations have an air pump that is either free or cheap to use. You will want a tire gauge, as the gauge on the air pump is not always accurate. Keep in mind that when you put air in the tires that it will expand when it gets warmer, and contract if it is cooler.

  • Checking your Brake Fluid

The brake fluid reservoir is located on the firewall on the drivers’ side. There are level indicators on the reservoir, and if it is low, add more fluid to get it back into the proper range. Auto technician training is not necessary to keep your brakes working properly, although for more than a checkup, take your car to the garage. In many areas it’s a crime to tamper with brakes unless you are certified.

These skills are not hard to master, and if you find that working on your car at this level is enjoyable, maybe you would also enjoy learning more about it in depth. If that is the case, auto mechanic courses might be a great next step for you.


Visit Automotive Training Centres for more information on a future auto mechanic apprenticeship to build on your skills.

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