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Old 09-29-2009, 12:53 AM   #1
Gel Mibson
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2005 PSM WRX
Cobb AP st.2

Default Where did you learn about cars?

I wish that I can do my own mods on my car, maintenance and everything else in between without having to pay someone else to do it. Most people on this forum are car savvy and I just wanted to know where or how you learned how to do your own mods. Does it come with trial & error or are you reading books or have a mechanic to teach you stuff? I'd like to start working on my car myself and wanted to know where to start.
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Last edited by Gel Mibson; 09-29-2009 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:55 AM   #2
marchetta070
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Psm

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i am in the exact same boat
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:59 AM   #3
Beat Professor
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Location: Oak Park, IL
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2004 WRX Wagon Stg 2
WRB, hatch haz cellulite

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Honestly, I think that I inherited some mechanical inclination from my father because this is the first car I've ever wrenched on and I haven't hit any problems yet (knocks on wood). I've also read a lot of what other people have done before I've taken on a task (time allotment, tools needed, extra peripherals like fluids....etc) and that has helped tremendously.

You've come to the right place if you're looking to do the work yourself. There is literally a library of information at your fingertips on NASIOC as long as you're willing to hunt and gather. In the long run, you will get so much more satisfaction doing all your own work, you'll have more bragging rights for putting in the wrench time and you will learn SO much about your vehicle that it will make you that much more comfortable in diagnosing a problem...if one ever arises.

Best of luck to you and above all......Have Fun!!

PS- Get a good metric wrench set.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:05 AM   #4
pDubs
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'95 BMW M3 (E36)
'05 Kawi ZX6R, '73 CB350F

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I am 19 years old and my wrx is my first car. The only thing anybody else has ever done to my car is roll my fenders, tune it, and alignments. I have done all maintenance (oil changes, brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, brake pads, differential fluid, etc). I have put in my catback, downpipe, front munt intercooler, turbo swap, intake, injectors, fuel pump, spark plugs, h-tech springs. I have soldered in all red LEDs making my interior light up red, painted everything interior black, boost gauge, installed hella horns, jdm sidemarkers, sti front splitters, v-limited front lip, rear aprons, cleared headlights, I'm sure there's more......

I listed all of that just because I am positive there is a write-up on pretty much every one of those on this forum. That's how I have learned everything. SEARCH. Research everything and then go out and do it. Take your time. I'm sure helping other people work on cars will help you learn too like friends. I have a lot of Honda friends and have helped several of them swap motors, I even helped one friend who is a mechanic build a motor.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:11 AM   #5
Gel Mibson
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Cobb AP st.2

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I feel like even by using the search button and reading can only get you so far. You can name what to do and throw out all the car lingo out there, but sometimes I don't even know what some parts look like. I feel like you have to get your hands dirty first to truly figure out what to do and I don't really have a dummy car to use to practice and would probably screw something up if I tried on my car. I don't know, it might be just me, but I get what you're saying as well.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:18 AM   #6
NArias24
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Im attending UTI in August after i graduate Highschool and autoshop in HS
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:31 AM   #7
Jonnywrx
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SGM

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Took autotech for 2 years in highschool, the other half of my knowledge is no lie is message boards like these and the how-to's
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:43 AM   #8
happs subi
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I grew up around junkyards and shops, my dad would always bring these pieces of crap home and I would watch him try to fix them, then finally he gave up, and by the time I was about 12 he let me fiddle around with them and I built one good car, with the help of some bum mechanic I knew, and since then I worked with a few of my friends at their shops, took a suspension class at my community college, but just about everything I have learned about subarus and turbos and engine management and half of what I know about suspensions I have learned on NASIOC
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:53 AM   #9
BugeyePB Rex
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Tuned @ FAT by Snail Perf

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Take advantage of the people in the Nasioc community. There's a passion for these cars on boards here and most of the guys here will be happy to divulge advice about mods they have done. Meet up with the locals in your region and ask questions. I started with just doing my oil changes by myself and then once I got comfortable with the tools I did my intake, then my catback, downpipe, etc... These aren't exactly complicated mods but I plan on doing my headers, intake, turbo swap, injectors, and plugs in the near future. Just take the time to research and make sure you have the right tools for the job. Best of luck.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:02 AM   #10
toconn
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Silver

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I think the best place to start is somewhere like howstuffworks.com. They have lots of easy-to-read articles and diagrams that'll teach you the basics of how a car works. And then NASIOC has tons of writeups for Subaru-specific stuff, like others have said...
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:11 AM   #11
RP31
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2005 2.6L 9:1 425WHP
CGM STi

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Lots of research, and trial and error... I think it all started when my first car needed to have major work done. After getting a quote from a shop I thought "**** it, that guy's not any smarter than me, he just has tools." So I got some tools. A decade later I have a lot more tools, and the family cars still don't go to a mechanic.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:37 AM   #12
evan_impreza
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04 PSM WRX -sold:(
98 RS- WRX swap complete!

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I learned my basic mechanic/tool skills from my father.

All the subaru information has came from researching on nasioc and then going out and messing around. Sometimes you learn the hard way, but either way it is good experience. Just go out and wrench on stuff man. Take **** apart, clean it, put it back together. Thats a great way to learn.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:00 AM   #13
Brewhaha
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2009 370z 6MT
Solid Red

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First car I rebuilt was a 1949 Willys Jeepster. I was 10, and i learned everything from sheet metal to stripping paint. A lot of mechanical knowledge comes from experience coupled with research.

If you dedicate time, you could learn in a jiff.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:15 AM   #14
Astartes
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WRX STi SGM

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Another thing is see if anybody in your area would help you install this stuff, you don't have to learn all by yourself you can have someone who's already done some of it to come by and help. Usually some pizza and beer is enough to entice these people to coming to help, plus you get to know the people in your area and they may ask you to help next time they need something done, thus increasing your own knowledge of the subject.

But basically the best way to learn how to do something is to do it. Yeah, there'll be a little bit of trial and error and maybe some extra money spent because you did something stupid (we all do it), but you'll look back on it and laugh usually and have advice to give someone else.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:23 AM   #15
talvai
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6mt/5x114/vf43/S204

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Trail and error. I figure if another human can do it then so can I. Only thing I don't do to my car is painting, alignments, some electrical stuff and thats about it. All maintence, drivetrain swaps, mods,etc I do myself. I am not going to pay somebody $80+an hr to do something so simple or have them "make believe" like it takes a long time. I can't even justify mechinic certs and schooling for that kinda of money since its a short period of time. Don't mind paying my doctor $80+an hr but he went to school for 8+yrs!!

Any ways just look up what you want to do, most likely theirs a kind of information out their for it. Grab a service manual for the car, go under car and look at things before you do it and take your time doing it. I have stripped bolts/threads, broken little pieces,etc but I learn from it. This forum(and community in general) seem to always want to help their fellow subie partner, yes some are jerks sometimes, but in the end they will help you out. Subarus are very easy to work on.

If you willing to lose some time reading/researching, ask questions, take a day or more for install, **** up on occasions, then just try it. I promise you, that you will never be able to do it unless you try.

Also get a friend to help you with things. Usually they only charge for pizza/grinders and a drink or two. Not only that but if your like me its hard sometimes to move and hold parts where you want them.(am a small guy only 135lbs)
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:18 AM   #16
tekfoc
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2014 45 AMG MB
WHITE /07 STI IS SOLD

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automotive classes for 4 years in high school.
automotive tech school for almost a year .
and many many years of experience working for different dealerships and the government .
changed Field I just do it for my self now .
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:33 AM   #17
magicstop
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TXS Stage 4

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I've learned a LOT on here, mate. There is a ****load of information on the internet, and NASIOC has its own fair share. From changing your oil, to changing your timing belt, to changing your engine, I've seen a detailed write up. Mechanical work, I feel like, is something that, as long as you can follow directions and work out your own problems as they arise, anyone can do. I particularly ENJOY doing it, and whether or not you will, I couldn't say.
But as you need something for your car, look it up on here. Find a write up, how to, etc., and go for it.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:40 AM   #18
Mechie3
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Location: Indy
Default

I learned from NASIOC, Google, a factory service manual (FSM), and trying things with friends. When I first got my car I was excited to be able to install a catback on my own. As things progressed, and as things broke, I learned to do more things as necessary. I've even learned how to build engines now.

Necessity is the mother of [learning]. If it breaks, and you need to fix it, you learn how pretty quick.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:46 AM   #19
Felginator
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Location: NJ
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97 Outback Sport

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I learned most of it from my father, watching him work on it his stuff. For the first few years when I was driving I drove some real pieces of junk, so I was always fixing them. I got plenty of practice that way.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:52 AM   #20
idipskoalmint
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2005 WRX STi
WTF Tuned

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darks
Another thing is see if anybody in your area would help you install this stuff, you don't have to learn all by yourself you can have someone who's already done some of it to come by and help. Usually some pizza and beer is enough to entice these people to coming to help, plus you get to know the people in your area and they may ask you to help next time they need something done, thus increasing your own knowledge of the subject.
^ This ^

I know the local club will have install meets every once in a while, in which everyone brings the parts they want to install, and people just chip in to help with everything. It's a good chance to meet the other local owners, as said, and we usually go to dinner somewhere afterwards to chat.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:12 AM   #21
seekndestroy19
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06 Sti
WRB

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forums and joining alldata online. helps with everything if you dont want to go to school
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:29 AM   #22
leecea
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2003 WRX

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Start small and go slowly and carefully through each job. Periodic maintenance is a good place to start. It gets you under the car, in the engine compartment, and over the fear of breaking something.

Doing your own brake pad changes is another good milestone. It is a simple job but one that requires trust in yourself. It is amazing how many people say they never touch the brakes because they don't trust themselves to do it right. It is very easy!

From there I started on simple suspension stuff like struts and swaybars, and I'm still a newbie when it comes to much more than that.

It also helps to leave yourself plenty of time and have a back-up plan if you do run into problems - which you will. Be prepared for frustration and feeling like you can't do it. The first time I changed the air filter, it took me 20 mins to get the stupid cover back on properly.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:38 AM   #23
i_c_the_light
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1994 Legacy
"The Silver Slug"

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I learnt myself, and used manuals for reference when/if needed.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:44 AM   #24
HighwayStarPP
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2002 impreza
flat black

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dad taught me how to do an oil change and bleed brakes and do your own brake pads, everything else i figured out by trial and error. i still dont know how to do major engine work, but minor i can do. spark plugs, fuel injectors, intake, header, exhaust, stuff like that.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:06 AM   #25
BeefySti
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
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06 Sti
CGM, Cobb Stage 2

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find someone that is a friend and will take the time to show you, i dont recomend this but maybe experiment a little bit? changing the oil is very simple. the best way to learn is practice.
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