Auto maintenance for beginners

Hey everyone,

I’ve recently decided that I wanted to learn how to perform basic maintenance on my car. Right now my brakes are making a high-pitched noise, so I figured this was a good opportunity to learn.

My exposure in this subject has been minimal however, and nobody in my circle of family/friends knows much about auto work either.

Is looking at (and possibly changing) my brakes something I can safely learn how to do in the autobay without assistance? I’ve watched a few youtube videos, but no hands-on experience yet. Particularly, I’m nervous about using a car jack for the first time.

Any recommendations for learning are welcome as well.


P.S. It seems that there is no tag for the Autobay space?

Hey Cain,

Changing your brakes should be a pretty simple task to take on as a first time job. I’ve done it myself and for friends but my dad was also a Napa Auto Parts Store Manager as well as an Area Sales Rep for them too. So afternoons during my middle school years was spent in the confines of the Part Warehouse.

Using a floor jack is as easy as turning a light switch on, that is if you have to flip it a few times before it works. Just as long as you make contact with something solid like part of the steel frame. There’s plenty of people at the space that work on their own vehicles. @jamesmcnees Is a manager at an auto shop so he would definitely be someone who could assist for the difficult questions as well as the easier ones.

We are actually going to be giving the autobay area some TLC next Saturday spruce it up and get it reorganized. That way it will come out looking like the auto shop from Grease. LOL.

Okay, awesome, thanks for the information Gregory! I can definitely see how your dad being an auto parts manager would give you a leg up, lol.

I do remember reading about the autobay TLC. Would it be okay if I tagged along to get some exposure in the area? I’m not sure how much help I could be, but if there’s anything I could do, I’m free that day.

I would start with an oil change as an initial foray into auto maintenance. There are 3 people who are going to be in the autobay from 9 till 12. I have to put a limit there. I’m considering doing some car repair after. I haven’t decided yet. You could potentially drop by then?

I would highly discourage trying to do brakes on your own as a beginner project. All in all, they aren’t the hardest thing to do, but they are very easy to mess up. The auto bay space is nice, but if something goes wrong, it’s going to get complicated quickly. One key factor not mentioned, the car you’re working on.
The car jack reservations you have are a valid concern. Once again, not something overly complicated to use, but you need to understand how to use one correctly. Also, and this goes for every instance of using a car jack, NEVER TRUST A CAR JACK ON IT’S OWN. You should never go under a car, including leaning into a wheel well, with just a car jack. Always have a jack stand as the primary means of support.
If you’d like some help with the maintenance, I’d be happy to give you a hand. We can do it at the space if you’d like, or you can come by my shop after hours and we can do it there. I’d prefer the shop method, as we have lifts and the tools there. Happy to help.


OOOOO Fancy with you lifts and your shop and what not…sounds bougie. :joy: :crazy_face: jk

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Hey James! Thanks for the reply. Perhaps you’re right, changing the oil may be a good first step. Plus my car probably needs it!

I wouldn’t want to impose on you, but that’d be awesome if you could show me a bit at an actual shop :hushed:

Does the auto bay (at the space, not your shop) have a jack and stands? I’ll admit btw, I didn’t know until about 5 days ago that there are car jacks AND car stands. I guess it makes sense that you don’t want several thousand pounds on a single point that moves up and down.

Also, I should’ve probably mentioned it before, but the vehicle is a 2013 Jeep compass. The trim is Latitude. I haven’t had too many problems with it yet, just small stuff here and there.

You’re more than welcome to come by the shop and I can help show you the basics. I’m usually available most days after 5, or on select weekends. Let me know what works for you.

I like the bougie tag, does it help that we’re in Westlake?

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help the fact you are bougie? absolutely lol

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I’ve been changing my brakes for years, both types: pads and drums.

Whatever you got, I’m down to help show you the ropes. I actually need to change the back brakes on my van next week so maybe we can do both our vehicles together?

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Hey Joe, mind if I use the parts cleaner while you’re doing your car work after? Rebuilding some carburetors.

No problem. I’m on the fence about doing car maintenance Sat afternoon

@dash3811 @gmossessian See everyone Sat morning at 9. Let me know if you like coffee? The plan is to organize and clean.
-organize sockets
-organize wrenches
-clean chem cabinet
-organize shelves
-add labeling
-and what the group decides

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sounds good. I have some socket organizers that are extra and taking up space I can give so that they are out of my house. trying to consolidate and get rid of as much stuff as possible to prevent having to rent a storage unit.


I’ll bring some gojo, I didn’t see any.

You bring coffee, I’ll get donuts.

We have gojo like soap by the sawstop sink

ok then just donuts.

Do we need anything else? I can swing by harbor freight friday evening.

I think we are good for the time being. We can always pick items later on.

@JoeN I’am on my way. I just woke up cuz i overslept. Just giving you the heads up.

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