Some important things everyone should know about their car

Basically, everything you need to know to understand, care for, maintain, and troubleshoot your vehicle, or choose a new, more efficient, and safer one. You’ll be relieved to know that I explain everything in everyday terms, with no jargon, no unnecessary technical details, and lots of simple illustrations.

To help you find information easily, this book is divided into seven parts, each containing that deals with a particular topic. Because the key to doing any job is to understand what you’re working on and how it functions, I strongly recommend that you read the chapter that deals with the system you want to work on before you head for the that tells you how to do a specific job. The following sections describe the information that you can find in each part.

Getting to Know Your Vehicle

If you want the basics, this is the part for you. I cover things that everyone who drives should know, like how to decide whether you want to do a job yourself, how to get the hood open, how to use a jack and change a tire, and how to take anything apart and put it back together again.

A monthly under-the-hood check that can prevent 70 percent of highway breakdowns will transform you from an “I can’t -do-it-myself” into a hands-on mechanic. I also describe the tools that you’ll need to borrow or buy if you plan to do regular maintenance and simple repairs.

Finally, a quick and simple run-through of how basic automotive systems work together gives you the confidence to explore further because what was once a mystery is now familiar territory

Powering Up with Air, Fuel, and Fire

This part provides a closer look at the electrical and fuel systems in vehicles with internal combustion engines and tells you how to do simple jobs related to each one. If you own or would like to own an alternatively fueled vehicle, you’ll find information on how diesel, hybrid, multifuel, natural gas, and hydrogen vehicles work; descriptions of a variety of alternative fuels; and the advantages and disadvantages of each

Staying Cool and In Control

This part deals with the cooling system, how oil benefits your vehicle, and how the brake system works. You find out how to prevent and deal with chronic overheating, add and change coolant, find and repair leaks, change your oil, check and maintain your brakes, pack wheel bearings, and do a variety of other vital tasks.

Smoothing the Ride: Steering and Suspension, Tires and Transmissions

How comfortably and efficiently a vehicle operates is hugely influenced by the systems covered. This part tells you how all these systems operate and shows you how to choose the right tires, read the wealth of information on the sidewalls and the treads to prevent tires from wearing out prematurely, about balancing and alignment, and how to fill tires with the proper amount of air.

Last word

The transmissions explain how they work, how to troubleshoot symptoms, and how to obtain the best deal on repairs, along with driving techniques that will extend the life of your transmission.

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