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Sajeev
Community Manager

Community Question: Automotive Knowledge Transfer?

Like many younger folks, I didn't learn a lot about working on cars from my friends and family, I had to go elsewhere for both the knowledge and experience. But what really surprised me is how my automotive repair skills can translate into the ability to tackle home repairs with some amount of expertise. 

 

And many of the tools needed are already in my garage! I still, and will always, need a legit professional to handle big tasks in my home, but minor plumbing is easy thanks my ability to do stuff like an engine tune up.

 

The photo below is a common problem with older houses, when rust from galvanized pipe breaks off and clogs things like this shower head. Or my faucets, etc.

 

Oh, and let me tell you how much I looooove galvanized pipes! 

 

153118991_10158168998313269_9004165607277122719_o.jpg

26 REPLIES 26
hyperv6
Gearhead

I fully agree as learning how to work on cars at a very young aged gave me the confidence to tackle a great number of projects around the house, yard and garage, 

 

The basics of working on things is all pretty similar you just need to adjust to the topic you are working.

 

I have learned my electrical on cars and it gave me enough to learn how to work on Electric around the house. 

 

It saved money around here with my acquired skills and leverages me buying more tools to save the money. The wife buys this as long as I don’t buy more tools than the cost of hiring someone. 

 

But the handyman’s secret weapon? You may think duck tape. No It is You Tube. 

 

I swear there is a Canadian filming a repair on just about anything, There are so many things found there that I have learned how to repair or replace. It is exspecially handy on the plastic bits on a car that you think snap on but not sure if they do. 

 

It has saved me a number of non broken clips or panels, 

Sajeev
Community Manager

You are right about YouTube. 100% right.  No, you are 1,000,000% right.  I cannot believe how much I've accomplished once I found the right person on YouTube to help me along the way. 

hyperv6
Gearhead

My eyes were also opened by the use of JB weld on cars then applied at home it has been amazing what you can fix with it. 

I also used 303 protectant from my car on the house shutters when they were getting a bit faded. 

I used the car buffer on the dining room table after I put some urethane sealer on it. I also cut it with my 3m compounds for the car. 

DUB6
Technician

   I just KNEW that if I read every comment, I would eventually land on some new information, and @hyperv6 has once again put a new tool in my belt!  My wife has not been happy with my urethane seal job on her dining room table and now I know what to do to solve it.

   As related elsewhere, I grew up with a dad who was confined to a wheelchair.  As such, his earning ability was severely limited, and in the 1950s, working moms just didn't bring home a ton of bacon money (and yeah, I get it that that's still a problem, but it was way worse back then).  Consequently, there weren't a lot of "pros" hired to take care of issues at our place, and Dad was paralyzed, so his abilities were limited.  He was the epitome of "make do with what you are dealt", and expected me to figure out how to use whatever we had available to fix things.  He could give me some practical advice, but the hands-on stuff was mine to do.  I admit, I hated the process a lot of the time, but as I grew up, I realized how much it had taught me and how I was able to take lessons learned as a kid and apply them to different instances to "build and/or repair" many types of things - mechanical, construction, plumbing - almost anything (except electronics - I suck at electronics!).  As I didn't have a college degree, I went through a progression of "tradesman" jobs - sometimes just for a summer, sometimes for several years.  But I had the confidence, thanks to my old man, to tackle all sorts of varying tasks, and I tried to learn from each one of them.

   And so today, I can and do take on just about anything - except electronics - I still suck at electronics.  😄

Cobra99
New Driver

My father provided the example don’t pay someone if you can fix it yourself. Cars bicycles motorcycles and then on to home projects jacking up sagging flooring and ripping out kitchens. Replacement of trim on my Cobra convertible or replacement of brakes on my 57 Belair stopped when electronics and computers made it dangerous to jumpstart another car for fear of blowing computer out. Also used YouTube to learn led conversion as well as finding the hidden trim fasteners when removing interiors 

MR
Intermediate Driver

Car repair knowledge helped me everyday on the job. I worked as a pre-ship inspector for a large auto manufacturer. If a defect was spotted many times I could remedy the issue and approve the paperwork instead of sending the unit off for additional repairs. The worked both ways. It really helped me develop an eye for detail which I try and transfer to the classic cars I work on.

F360Spider
Detailer

I started working on bicycles, then motorcycles before I had a car. My father taught me the basics but he wasn't interested in anything with an engine so I was on my own pretty quickly. Skills I've gathered over the years have turned me into a general fix it guy. I'll tackle anything from the HVAC system to dish washers and laundry equipment to electrical in the house. Over the years, I've saved many thousands repairing things that would have just been discarded or required a costly service call. Like the other commenters, the first thing I do when beset with a fix it job is search YouTube for the video. There's always at least one. A goldmine of DIY advice. 

il66pony
New Driver

You Tube is great but at 70, I somehow learned to "fix stuff" long before the internet.  Also, the Internet is great for locating parts for your car that might be rare or just a new door catch for your dishwasher.

knuck39
Pit Crew

once many years ago, we lived in an old house in new england on the coast in Plymouth Ma., which was the servant's quarters to an old hotel...20 rooms...on 20 acres....and there were 2 of us....No one had lived there in many years...The rent was really cheap...$150 a month...with one caveat...we were told if anything went wrong, it was on us to repair it....I had the upstairs and my friend had the downstairs...One early morning I awoke to the sound of water running which at first I thought was rain but then realized it was sunny outside....I went down to the basement which in this place was spooky all by itself...to discover one of the old cast iron water pipes had let go....what to do?...I knew if I tried to break it loose at the joint it could get even worse...so I went out in the carriage shed..(had one of them too) and grabbed a lower intake manifold hose and 2 clamps from a BMW 2002 I had.....problem solved!....worked for the rest of the time we were there....;-)

Sabrejet
Pit Crew

Got my first car in 1954.  I worked on it and many others over the years.  In 1989 I built my first airplane.  The first engine I used was a VW 1200.  It was underpowered, barely flew and scared me to death.  I replaced it with a Subaru flat six.  It flew OK but the engine was so heavy with the radiator and all that I had to put 15 lbs. of lead in the tail to balance it.  Flew it for about a year and finally installed the recommended Rotax engine.  Sometimes I wonder how I survived some these idiotic decisions.

 

BossGreg
Intermediate Driver

I've wired many buildings in which the confidence came from wiring up stereo's in my cars as a teenager. Restoring car parts was similar to restoring 100+ year old hardware and light fixtures. You tube is great, but can be very time consuming to get results.  Had a friend who restored cars and was very meticulous, but when it came to painting his wood house he wet sanded it . Some times you need to know when to not bring that knowledge too far.

Sajeev
Community Manager

WOW!!!!  You are right, but I am sure your friend's house was the shiniest in the neighborhood! 

Tinkerah
Technician

I've been saying for years that if you can work on a modern car you can fix anything. I've been saying for even longer "Eh, it's all nuts and bolts to me, just holding different things together". My automotive experience has enabled me to be selected for, and confidently perform jobs installing and repairing freight elevators, conveyor systems, mail sorting equipment, and heavy trucks. Here's to hoping all the rust shows up at your nozzles Sajeev where you have easy access; and the system won't let me "like" your question.

Sajeev
Community Manager

I got lucky, all the clogged up rust was on faucets I could address!  I did treat myself to a fancy shower head, but honestly its not much better than the old one after cleaning it out. Oh well, I coulda fared much worse after that storm hit Texas last month. 

GRP_Photo
Instructor

You know where that rust is coming from, right? It's coming from the inside of your pipes. Galvanized supply plumbing gradually rusts out from the inside and develops pits. After around 35 years, you're living on borrowed time. When one of them starts seeping inside a wall, it isn't too many more years before you have some serious problems with rot.

The house in which I grew up was built in 1959. In 1981, the water heater died. When my father tried to take the galvanized cold water supply line apart, it disintegrated. A few years later, he had to have all of the supply plumbing replaced.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Yup, and I mentioned my rusty galvanized pipes in my post.  But this time?  Nope, everyone got this garbage from the city water supply (when it was restarted), even folks with PEX pipes. 

RonD
Intermediate Driver

Agree! I do limited work on my vehicles but what I do can translate into tackling minor household issues! Big projects tho, nope those go to the pros👍

wsb1960tr3a
Pit Crew

I drive a 1953 Morgan and 1960 Triumph TR3. I was an automation engineer for 25 years. At my last job in aerospace, they tasked me late in a program to do avionics. I ended up being the end-to-end electrical tester for avionic systems on a very large aircraft. I used my troubleshooting skills developed from fixing British wiring harnesses and Lucas electrics to get the aircraft's electrical systems all working. It was all the same stuff - tracking down problems with a test light and multimeter and checking connections.

Rob1
Instructor

LOL i will start out with saying i come from a family of DIYers U name it they all had skills and most had papers welder/mechanic gas and diesel/electrician/carpenter/you name it father, grandfather/uncles blue collar all the way I grew up blessed with info and hands on and has served me very well I could not own all that i have if I had to pay door rate for repairs the things that i didnt have training in I could always conjure up a trade value with who ever fix their car you fix my heating system, with all that BS said it has become the bane of my existence let me explain after a life time of keeping my own stuff fixed and in great shape at 65 YO trying to keep it up is Ludacris the other day with the F 350 on stands changing out front wheel brgs and axle u joint and upper and lower I thought wow this is getting tough arthritis and still dealing with the effects of a aneurism from a few years back its even more ridiculous but I just have a hard time letting go to trust someone enough to spend a hundred dollars plus a hour to work on my stuff not that Iam some cheap A, but darn its something I have the skill set for guess in the end pay the piper or downsize inventory neither of which I ever thought I would be considering, as my father had told me years ago Gittin old aint for sissys just suck it up just goes against my grain.Cheers olde R

Papa-tony
Intermediate Driver

Yep!

 

Kinda like learning a second language... one usually translates what you hear into one's native language first, before it becomes familiar and common in your mind.  I.E. "amigo" = "friend", and after awhile when the word amigo is said you no longer need to translate.

 

I too started with Erector Sets, Lionel Trains, bike, cars, then electronics (where I finally understood "electron flow" to be like ping-pong balls in a pipe...) construction, HVAC, boilers, commercial systems, computerized call processing and finally support system computers.

 

I was privileged to work as a developer and leader in providing support systems for the telephone industry with one being automatic call tracing.  I would use "car analogies" to help others understand just what we were trying to do and how we need to do it.

 

This backfired on me once when a programmer came back at me with... "Another car analogy... I'll give you a car analogy.  My uncle worked on a Ford assembly line and found that a standard transmission was installed in a car set up for an automatic.  Even one link was installed on the 2-3 shift rod... and there was no clutch!  This is what this project of yours sounds like!

 

HA!... I had to laugh... but he was right!  We made it work anyway and the bottom line was we could trace a call BEFORE the line rang at the end!

 

"Mechanics" are MY native language... and throughout my life I have translated almost everything I have done back to it in order for me to understand.  I've never seen a downside and feel good and privileged to have been brought up that way.

 

TG
Instructor

I learned to work on cars by doing it the wrong way first, then going back and doing it right the second time after figuring out why the wrong way is wrong. I have approached the around the house things the same way where I would still rather do it twice than pay someone to do it once. There are limitations though - i don't do drywall or tile or anything where experience is a major factor in the end result

OLDERbastard1
Detailer

My Dad was handy at fixing/working on things, as he came from the family farm. But it stopped short at mechanics (although they need that on a farm, he had 6 older brothers). Being a "Professional" man his interest didn't lie there. Hence, I had to learn EVERYTHING (mechanical) on my own. This was DECADES before Utube (unfortunately & not)! If I wanted all the things a young boy like me wanted, well......I was da_ _ well going to have to learn how to do THINGS myself. As others have said, started with bicycles, dirt bikes & go-karts, bigger bikes, then cars, trucks, boats etc. I have always been (and still am) interested in building things, automotive or not.  It is the knowledge/desire to create with your own hands that leads you down the path of life. Whether that be in the garage or house or field!

Crusty
Pit Crew

Started on home-built "sidewalk scooters", electric trains, bicycles, and Heath Kits (remember those?) before high school. I tore grandma's '40 Ford Deluxe down to where the scrap man had to make three trips to haul off all the pieces. Translated all that "knowledge" into the restoration and maintenance of many old cars and houses. At 78, I just rebuilt my first HVAC system (fired it up tonight!). I still maintain our farmstead, tractor (and associated equipment) and a small collection of driveable collector cars and trucks. I actually owe it to my mother who was the family's self-taught "handyman" -carpentry, electrical, painting, & gardening for over four decades, along with raising a family.

 

gerald102413
Detailer

Two things that made me a Do it yourselfer was when I began going to a technical school in electronic tech which I solder, wire configuration,e.t.c.. and found a job in that department for a while and YouTube years later which enables me to learn about cars and automotive basics 101. I'm far from being an expert nor I'm no Mr. Wizard, but I feel that a man and woman needs to know at least the fundamental basics of automotive. 

JHaydon
Intermediate Driver

One of the biggest benefits for me has been in troubleshooting.  I get frustrated when my wife is ready to call in a pro, not because "I can do it myself!!" -- more often than not, I can't and I'm the first to admit that -- but because I would much rather give the pro a page of useful information rather than waste his time letting him figure it out.  If it turns out to be one of the few things I'm capable of fixing, that's just a bonus.  

 

The only downside is when the pro('s secretary) automatically replies by telling me to go through the basic "try turning it off and back on" steps. Yes, I've done that and I already told you what the results were, and I've told you the three other tests I've performed, what next please?? 

Guitar74
Gearhead

Agreed. Although I DID get my butt kicked this weekend by my dishwasher (replaced everything BUT the wash pump, a discontinued part, only to find that it was the wash pump).