You don’t have to be born with a mechanic in your family to learn a thing or two about cars. It’s something anyone can do, including you. With new technology, it’s easier than ever to find reliable information at your fingertips.
Before, those who wanted to learn about cars had to ask friends and family, go to the library or take a class. But thanks to the internet, learning something new could be as simple as searching Google, watching a YouTube video or turning on Netflix.
If you want to learn more about cars, follow the steps below.
Watch a Show
TV shows, especially reality shows, can be a great source of information, as long as you fact-check along the way. Check your favorite streaming services like Netflix and Hulu for shows aimed at car-lovers. Or hit up your local library to see which TV series you can check out for free.
Some of the shows you can watch to learn about cars include:
- Epic Drives
- The Grand Tour
- Jay Leno’s Garage
- Hot Rod Unlimited
The shows you’ll love most are those with the best hosts, the funny and charismatic ones like Jeremy Clarkson or Jay Leno. They make learning about cars more fun and accessible to those who would otherwise be disinterested.
Find Your Manual
If your car’s manual is stowed away somewhere — and don’t worry, we’re all guilty — now is the time to dig it out. If you don’t have it, you can find a digital version of your car’s manual online. While it may seem bulky and boring, the manual actually comes with a wealth of information on how to take care of your specific car.
You can learn which type of windshield wiper fluid is best to use. How often you should change your oil. How much air you should put in your tires. All of your basic questions can easily be answered in one book, which typically contains a directory to make it easy to search through.
Read a Forum
If you like to surf the web, check out forums dedicated to car enthusiasts. You can even find groups for specific interests, such as certain makes and models of cars. For example, some people love to tout their love for European cars while others are dedicated to American-made.
Car forums like Autoblog and TopSpeed are communities, filled with like-minded people ready to share helpful information and detailed photos of their current projects. You can learn anything from how to perform regular maintenance to fine-tuning suspension. Just be sure to use the search function before asking a question to make sure it hasn’t been answered already.
Visit a Car Show
A car show is a unique environment you can’t truly appreciate until you experience it for yourself. They are a place where everyone is welcome, from those who like to look at cars to those who repair and restore them for a living. Car shows take place all over the country, with vendors offering food and drinks, car parts, accessories, memorabilia and much more.
You can also check out the competition part of the show, where people enter their cars to be judged. These are typically antique cars owners have worked on for years to restore to perfection. Don’t be afraid to talk with them about their experiences — they’ll love an opportunity to chat about their car.
Take a Class
Talking with car enthusiasts, looking at pictures and watching videos are all helpful. But sometimes there’s no substitute for learning with your hands. If you’re ready to get hands-on knowledge about your car, how it works and how you can take care of it, consider signing up for a local class or workshop.
Head down to your local community college, which may offer technical automotive classes. Or check out auto body shops in your area. Many shops offer car maintenance workshops, even to those who aren’t customers. If you’re interested in the more technical aspects of mechanics, such as customization, look around for classes on welding and metal fabrication.
How to Start Learning More
Learning about cars doesn’t have to be hard. To get started, just have fun. Watch some videos or chat with car enthusiasts online. Before you know it, you’ll be learning the lingo. When you feel comfortable, you can visit a car show or take a class on how to do simple repairs. Whether you have grease in your veins or just learned to drive, you can follow the steps above to start learning more about cars.