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I'm 13, I love cars, I don't have a garage nor any mechanical experience. What Do I do?

Well, my name is Sam and I'm 13. I've been in love with cars for the better half of a year and a half. My obsession began with Corvairs of all cars, and it's now graduated to early imports. However, I don't own a garage, and I've never worked on a car. What should I do?

43 REPLIES 43
Pit Crew

Build some plastic model cars. You'll see how the parts go together. You'll learn how to follow assembly instructions and how one piece builds on the next. You'll learn painting skills as well, using brush and spray paint to match the box or your mind's eye of what the car should look like. (Hobby Lobby has 40% off coupons on their kits.)
New Driver

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Go to your local car shows and cruise in's. It is refreshing to see a young man getting into the hobby and I'm sure that people will be glad to help you
New Driver

Learn as much as you can about automotive electrical system. (12Volt) It will serve you well in the future.

Pit Crew

Take auto shop in high school. Until then, hang out with the guy in your neighborhood you see working on his cars.
New Driver

I’m sorry, I’ve got more questions than answers... Do you live in the city or country? Any relatives or neighbors you could help? Washing, cleaning, detailing, oil changes, anything to help will give you an opportunity to ask questions and learn.
Does your school offer any kind of automotive shop class? Any local dealerships you could hang out at?  Is there a local car club or cars and coffee? Any of those would offer more possibilities in meeting someone who might be interested in helping. If you were in my town I know I would... it’s rather discouraging to see how few people pre drivers license age are interested in cars for anything other than transportation.
Good luck!

Pit Crew

Find a mentor...once word gets around that you are a wannabe motor head, it shouldn't take long to hook in with an older guy in the neighborhood who could use a hand with maintenance chores around his car and garage/shop. keep an eye out for a cool ride that is close by and might look owner maintained. Let the owner know you are interested in the hobby and ask questions a few basic general questions and maybe do a little pre-meeting research about his specific car. ...stick or automatic? ...4 cylinder? ...6?...8? Remember, there are no "dumb" questions. It wont take long to establish a mutually beneficial relationship that could last a lifetime. Go for it.
Pit Crew

I agree completely! I started with my lawn mower when it broke down. Learned a lot on a one cylinder ... I found 'gear heads' to hang out with (they love free help) and I learned more than I thought existed ...
It's a reasonably safe way to learn if it's really your passion.
Remember: If you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life! It will all be pleasure - I ended up being a Parts and Service Director with Toyota for 20 years and loved it, even the hard work ...
New Driver

congrats!it's an interesting hobby. i was about 7 when my dad brought home a 1/4 scale '55 t'bird that ran on a 6 volt battery. that was it i've been at it 65 years.

Advice: don't do any thing radical just starting out. If you're going to mess with the carb. start talking about it, pretty soon you'll hear the same name as the 'expert' go talk to them and go for it. enjoy!

Intermediate Driver

Offer to sweep up, do the trash, etc for a local garage. Have it as a 2nd or 3rd priority after school - #1, and #2, play (socially w/art, band, theater, camping - whatever you have interest in. It's too young to narrow dwn & settle on 1 or 2 things). As U hang w/an owner and the crew try'n C if any 1 hasa interest in a mentorship relation w/U. This is how I was raised and now work at a job but restoration, problem solving and improving cars is a passion I only now have money to contribute (semi-retired). I do the same - offer brake'n muffler jobs to a friend (he gets the income) and he helps me restore an ol bronco (1966).

 

Ask them to show U the right way to do a tire, change oil, etc.  Prove that you know safety as number one (it is a dangerous world in there).  Many have insurance and leases that do not allow this type of arrangement.  Most need to wait a few yrs to allow a 13 y/o in the shop - all depends on U, where U live, etc.  Worth a try. Otherwise U can try a class in school (if it is so equipped). I would not enroll in a full program w/o tryin it out on 1 of these levels 1st (just a single class, volunteer at a parent's friend's place, etc)... Good Luck, let us know how U do!

I just gotta say, I love those Plymouths.