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Old 01-13-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
CCMphysician
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Automotive Technician Textbooks

What textbooks would you recommend for learning about automotive technology? Currently I am using Modern Automotive Technology by J.E. Duffy and it seems to be an excellent textbook so far. Do you have any other suggestions?

Right now I feel like my biggest weakness is my lack of hands-on experience. I am pretty hesitant to take off my IAC valve, throttle valve, or EGR valve, because it involves removing bolts and I am not entirely confident that I can put it back together. Being up to my neck in debt from medical school and undergraduate means that I have to keep this car alive which, unfortunately, means that I also can't afford to risk learning on my car. How did you overcome this fear? How did you gain more hands-on experience?

Thank you for your help,
CCM
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
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Re: Automotive Technician Textbooks

If you're a physician, I can see where it would be important to be able to put things back together

What year, make, model and engine are you working on? What kind of problems are you having?
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:06 PM   #3
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Re: Automotive Technician Textbooks

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Originally Posted by old_master View Post
If you're a physician, I can see where it would be important to be able to put things back together

What year, make, model and engine are you working on? What kind of problems are you having?
Haha!

I have a Toyota Camry XLE 3.0L V6. The engine is a 1MZ-FE. I am not having any real problems with it, aside from a minor oil leak (around a quart a year). I am mainly concerned with preventative maintenance and being able to fix things as they may arise. I have a CV boot that just failed and I will be having the axle replaced within the month, but it would be nice to be able to do that myself one day.

It's not necessarily even the money that's the factor (though it is), it's more of feeling unarmed when it comes to dealing with automobiles, a feeling I have never really felt before in my life and don't particularly enjoy. One of the things I have taken pride in with regard to my medical career is my ability to handle whatever patient may come my way. This is the way I want to feel with cars as well.

-CCM
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:12 PM   #4
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Re: Automotive Technician Textbooks

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Originally Posted by CCMphysician View Post
I have a CV boot that just failed and I will be having the axle replaced within the month, but it would be nice to be able to do that myself one day.
You should get a factory service manual for your particular car and some tools and have at it. There is no replacement for hands-on experience IMO.
You could also go to a self serv salvage yard and just take some stuff off to get some experience using tools and getting your hands dirty.

If you run into problems along the way, that's what we are here for..

Also, I found the Bosch Automotive handbook an excellent resource for automotive theory.

http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-Automoti...3424378&sr=8-1
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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Re: Automotive Technician Textbooks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blt2Lst View Post
You should get a factory service manual for your particular car and some tools and have at it. There is no replacement for hands-on experience IMO.
You could also go to a self serv salvage yard and just take some stuff off to get some experience using tools and getting your hands dirty.

If you run into problems along the way, that's what we are here for..
I actually do have the factory service manual for my car. The self service salvage yard is an absolutely brilliant idea! Thank you!

-CCM
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:16 PM   #6
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Re: Automotive Technician Textbooks

[quote=CCMphysician;6092598 absolutely brilliant idea! Thank you!

-CCM[/quote]

Yeah, I get one of those every now and then.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:43 PM   #7
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Re: Automotive Technician Textbooks

I agree with everything Blt2Lst mentioned, excellent advice. I'd like to clarify, when it comes to the shop manual, make sure it's a genuine manufacturers factory shop manual, (in your case, Toyota). Don't waste your time, money or sanity with aftermarket manuals. They are far too general and at best, they're a joke. Also, as mentioned, the forum can be an excellent resource as well. Many members are certified technicians on one level or another. Some are factory trained, some are state certified, some are ASE certified and each has different levels of certification. On the other hand, there are some backyard, shade tree rookies too. Unfortunately, at this point, you're the one that needs to decide who to trust. As with most fields, there are no substitutes or shortcuts for knowledge, experience and hands on skills. After reading your textbook and the shop manual, you will be better equipped to distinguish the "men" from the "boys". Hope this helps.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:32 PM   #8
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Re: Automotive Technician Textbooks

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCMphysician View Post
It's not necessarily even the money that's the factor (though it is), it's more of feeling unarmed when it comes to dealing with automobiles, a feeling I have never really felt before in my life and don't particularly enjoy. One of the things I have taken pride in with regard to my medical career is my ability to handle whatever patient may come my way. This is the way I want to feel with cars as well.

-CCM
I was in a similar position a while back in wanting to learn how to work on a car but not really having the confidence to work on my daily driver (since getting to work is a priority). But I also wanted to learn to drive a manual, so I got an old Toyota sports car.

The benefit is that I have a reliable car that can use to get to work if the Toyota is not running. So there is no stress when something breaks down and I can take my time on working on it and it feels more like fun than "something I have to do".

Also the benefit of an old car is that it is cheap to buy, but also parts are usually cheap (although in some cases hard to find). But also the technology is much more simple and easier to understand. Most of the functions are mechanical and less electrical (personally I am terrible at understanding circuits).

Not to mention that older cars tend to have no shortage of things to work on. I just started on the small stuff and then worked my way to bigger things. Since the financial investment is relatively small (probably have <$5,000 in my Toyota including purchase price, parts, and tools over the last 4 years) if I were to do something completely stupid and had to write off the car it won't break me financially and the experience gained has been worth it.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:23 PM   #9
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Re: Automotive Technician Textbooks

Good basic Toyota info here.
http://www.autoshop101.com/
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