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Educating young people on cars

 
  #21  
Old 03-18-2019, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidYau View Post
old school mechanics will become rarer.
The biggest thing you can teach your kids is confidence and self reliance, they see you doing it and they will tackle whatever comes next.
Its the work ethic that you are teaching them, not car repair specifically. I work on my cars, build my home, and many other things because I saw that its what my ancestors did.
Even if one of them becomes a Freddie Mercury (who never drove a car in his life) He will be that much better at his art to compensate and pay for what he knows is expected out of the head of household.
 
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  #22  
Old 03-18-2019, 10:03 AM
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When I first left home on my own, I soon found nntp newsgroups (remember those?) and encountered Many similar conversations about the complete lack of interest the "new generation" showed in learning how computers worked.

Guilty as charged!
I only want my computer to do what I want it to do, when I want it to do it, and do it correctly and give me no grief.
Like my toaster. Or my refrigerator. Of my washing machine.

I see similar attitudes in Most people today, as their eyes glaze over when I relate my exciting experience driving home one night after dark, headlights dimmer with every minute, the smell of burning rubber getting stronger with every mile, just getting in the garage before everything conked out in a cloud of acrid smoke, fearing to open the hood as I might well find something ablaze.

They don't understand when I tell them how the anti-backflow valve failed, allowing hot exhaust gas to enter the air-injection pump, causing it to seize so tight that the belt shared with the alternator stopped turning on the crank pulley, so no charging took place, hence dimming lights and burning smell.

They don't know, they don't understand, and they don't care! They just Want their Car to Start Every Time!
Talking to elderly friends and relatives, it seems to have always been like this; there were those who understood cars and wanted to learn, and those who didn't.

I feel fortunate to have grown up surrounded by people who HAD to know how to do this sort of thing and keep machinery and vehicles going. I have friends to fix my computer, and it it gets too hinky, I'll just buy another one.
(';')
 
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  #23  
Old 03-18-2019, 11:12 AM
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I wasn't raised poor, but calling a service professional was always a last resort. My dad's father owned a motorcycle dealership and worked on EVERYTHING, his family owned a contracting company with every trade in house. My dad growing up learned how to do pretty much everything with a house and a car. He has passed this on as he views it as critical knowledge. The most expensive stuff you own is your house and vehicles; so being at least knowledgeable can save a massive amount over a lifetime, even if outsourcing and just not getting ripped off.

I have worked at 3 employers since graduating from college (moved out to move up, never laid off) and in EVERY job, I was told once hired that what pushed me over the edge as a candidate was my mechanical and manufacturing experience. As a computer programmer. It's a leg up and like LnrB, I feel fortunate I was surrounded by knowledgeable people willing to help me learn.
 
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  #24  
Old 03-18-2019, 09:04 PM
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Default Youíre never too old to learn

Well,

the young kid here has now now learned about tyres and changed one. He also jumped started the car and checked fluid levels. Itís a start.

heís smart and can repeat the theory ie how car starts from cold, basic running principles etc

i bought him a small set of tools to start him off and Iím thinking of what to do next. Heís gone from basic to moderate level pretty quickly.

As Iíve a hydraulic problem with my XK8ís convertible hood, I think Iíll get him to help change out the hoses.
 
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  #25  
Old 03-18-2019, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Queen and Country View Post
The biggest thing you can teach your kids is confidence and self reliance,
Spot on !


they see you doing it and they will tackle whatever comes next.
Its the work ethic that you are teaching them, not car repair specifically.

I'm not quite clear on your use of "work ethic" in this context. I suppose it can have somewhat different meanings to different people. But, I certainly agree with your overall sentiment.

Cheers
DD

 
  #26  
Old 03-18-2019, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidYau View Post
Well,

the young kid here has now now learned about tyres and changed one. He also jumped started the car and checked fluid levels. Itís a start.

heís smart and can repeat the theory ie how car starts from cold, basic running principles etc

i bought him a small set of tools to start him off and Iím thinking of what to do next. Heís gone from basic to moderate level pretty quickly.

As Iíve a hydraulic problem with my XK8ís convertible hood, I think Iíll get him to help change out the hoses.

If he gets the bug, so to speak, that's more than half the battle. By 'bug" I mean enjoys the work and, more specifically, gets that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment from having completed the task and learning something new. At the risk of sounding a bit corny, that's intoxicating stuff.

And, if you have something to offer or teach, is there anything more satisfying than a willing student?

Cheers
DD
 
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  #27  
Old 03-18-2019, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidYau View Post

My young lad here is so excited with my little car teaching programme. My wife convinced me to write it down for him, so he has a check list. She said young folks need a visual reference to help their "sense of accomplishment!" Not sure what that is about......
I'm a 'list' person. Task orientated. Ahhhh, the sublime pleasure of checking-off completed tasks from the list

I'm 61 (or 62?) years old. I don't think it's age related. It's just the difference in make-up from person to person.

Cheers
DD
 
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  #28  
Old 03-19-2019, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by LnrB View Post
They don't know, they don't understand, and they don't care! They just Want their Car to Start Every Time!
Talking to elderly friends and relatives, it seems to have always been like this; there were those who understood cars and wanted to learn, and those who didn't.

I feel fortunate to have grown up surrounded by people who HAD to know how to do this sort of thing and keep machinery and vehicles going. I have friends to fix my computer, and it it gets too hinky, I'll just buy another one.
(';')

It just comes down to the differences in people...and it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round.

Not everyone is into DIY repairs, automotive or otherwise. And there's nothing wrong with that.

My dad, for just one example, was many things. Pilot, soldier, businessman, historian, artist. Most importantly, though, father and provider. He taught more important things than I cold possibly list....things that have carried me through life. But he wasn't much of a 'hands on' type of person. He couldn't repack a set of wheel bearings to save his life. But, then again, I can't pilot a four-engine airplane or explain the massive significance of the Ottoman Empire. His lack of ability or desire for DIY projects doesn't diminish him one scintilla in my eyes.

As it so happens my brother and I enjoyed hands-on work and made our careers in the trades. Dad thought it was wonderful that we did....and was proud of us.

I've enjoyed the thread and the strolls down memory lane

Cheers
DD
 
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  #29  
Old 03-19-2019, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
I'm not quite clear on your use of "work ethic" in this context. I suppose it can have somewhat different meanings to different people.
DD
Thanks for the opportunity to clear it up.

The single biggest problem kids have these days is the inability to withstand any degree of discomfort.
In contrast, all successful generations were taught endure discomfort or take the pain.
Even animals know this secret, its why geese fly thousands of miles leaving the comfort of South of France.
Or as the old adage goes "every moment of pleasure must be purchased with an equal moment of suffering"

Or as Arnold would say when asked why he skipped the bread on hamburgers 'do I want to be Mr.Olympia or do I want to eat bread'.
Compare that with grotesquely fat kids today saying they cant stand the taste of sugarfree soda and cant sand foregoing soda.

Car maintenance is part and parcel of that ethic, invest a little pain for much bigger long term gains.
 
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  #30  
Old 03-19-2019, 12:08 PM
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There will always be people who have no interest whatsoever, but I think there is a relationship between age and probability. In the 1970s and earlier, remember that carburetors clogged easily with dirty gas, brake pads lasted only a few thousand miles, distributor points needed filed occasionally and wheel bearings needed repacked every few thousand miles, etc. Seems dad was constantly working on the family cars. But in the 1980s as cars became computerized, my own father, who was an aircraft mechanic by trade, began to take the family cars in for repairs simply because the "check engine light" was on. There were no universal code readers, rather you had to take it to the dealer so they could plug it into their diagnostic equipment. Yes, some cars you could short a plug or something and count the sequence of pulses on a volt meter or it might even make the check engine light flash out a code on the dash, but there was no internet to spread that knowledge. The consumer brand repair manuals like Haynes and Chiltons still covered the basics, but I remember being so frustrated reading those manuals. It seemed like any part of the car that was invented after 1980 said "This is not a user serviceable part." Manufacturers knew their dealer network made much or all of their profit off the repair side of the business so they certainly didn't want people to know that computers made diagnosis and tuning easier rather than more difficult, so they perpetuated the myth that cars were getting too complex for the DIYer. Seems like it was the late 80s and early 90s models of cars where I started to notice that when you opened the hood, the engine was hidden under a black plastic cover. It was like saying to the car owner, don't try to service the car yourself beyond topping off the fluids under these yellow caps.

Also during the 1980s, the Japanese were capturing large market shares with cars that would reliably go 100K miles without needing any repairs and by the late 90s, the US and European manufacturers were starting to catch up. If a modern family was well off enough to always have late model cars, they might never need to have car repairs done compared to back in the 70s or earlier when the new car warranty was not more than 12 months. So if you grew up after about the mid 1980's in the middle-class or above, you were just a lot less likely to ever be exposed to DIY auto repair. Hence, today our OP has to go out of his way to teach because those learning opportunities just aren't going to pop up like when many of us were kids.
 
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:57 PM
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A while ago I watched a documentary on the building of an F Type; they had to bake the wiring loom in an oven to make it bendy enough to fit in the car.
Too much crap on the cars that is non-fixable so why bother learning about it?
How are you supposed to sort out a CANBUS or BCM fault 20 years down the line?
Technology for technology and lazy sods sake; think of the electricity that could be saved if we went back to wind up windows.
Shock! Horror!
Mind you, it is somewhat satisfying to know that when the Big One kicks off, the youngsters will be staring quizzically at their blank dashboards and mobile phones whilst the oldies will be heading for the hills, wearing their stoutest gardening shoes and carrying a pointed stick and a thermos full of gin.
 
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  #32  
Old 03-19-2019, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by pdupler View Post
. So if you grew up after about the mid 1980's in the middle-class or above, you were just a lot less likely to ever be exposed to DIY auto repair. Hence, today our OP has to go out of his way to teach because those learning opportunities just aren't going to pop up like when many of us were kids.
I agree.

The ability to change a flat tire often comes up. I honestly can't remember when I last had a flat tire. I'm pretty sure it was decades ago. My adult kids have a combined total of over 30 years driving experience and have never had a flat tire.

Cheers
DD


 
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:32 PM
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Well said everyone,

i suppose this this young kid has amply demonstrated he wants to learn about cars. Heís been here every Sat morning and Iíve brought forward my Summer work plan for him and need to start ordering all the parts. Thatís the next thing he could learn - quotations and cost comparison. I bet heíll learn about f)£k ups using OEM parts....

doug - I believe in Ying-Yang aka ďbalance in the universe.Ē If you had no flat tyres recently, that explains why Iíve had so many. Heat here in the Arabian Gulf tends to be hard on tyre valves, plus Iím in the construction business so visit a lot of building sites.

 
  #34  
Old 03-20-2019, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
A while ago I watched a documentary on the building of an F Type; they had to bake the wiring loom in an oven to make it bendy enough to fit in the car.
Too much crap on the cars that is non-fixable so why bother learning about it?
How are you supposed to sort out a CANBUS or BCM fault 20 years down the line?
Technology for technology and lazy sods sake; think of the electricity that could be saved if we went back to wind up windows.
Shock! Horror!
Mind you, it is somewhat satisfying to know that when the Big One kicks off, the youngsters will be staring quizzically at their blank dashboards and mobile phones whilst the oldies will be heading for the hills, wearing their stoutest gardening shoes and carrying a pointed stick and a thermos full of gin.
Having owned an Audi A8L, I had to buy VCDS, aka the factory diagnostic software. I also had to own a copy of the Bentley manual for it to help. You basically end up black box testing component systems to ensure functionality a lot. You can verify input and output signals and get what you need figured out. My main concern with that car is not the tech, but the crap durability of components; it was amazing that on a brand flagship how much crappy plastic there was. I don't mean plastic, I mean crappy plastic in terms of poor quality source material. I also am not a fan of VAG wiring connectors, I broke so many and honestly never have that issue on literally any other car brand. I still prefer that my Jaguars seem substantially simpler to work on and troubleshoot, and parts are overall much cheaper.

Vehicles are built by humans, and can be fixed by them. I do not like how often manufacturers are putting road blocks up to that goal, but eh.
 
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:13 PM
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There were 4 fuses in my MGB.
And 2 x 6 volt batteries.
Simple as anything but still did over 100mph and had disc brakes at the front and a radio.
What changed?
 
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  #36  
Old 05-03-2019, 04:11 AM
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Default This pic seems to be circulating in the young manís social network

Seems my student has been circulating this pic on his social network. I like the dripping ATF stains on his arms. But I bet he wonít be seeing the inside of a ZF5HP24 valve body for the rest of his life!
 
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:45 PM
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This is a bit of nostalgia: I was twelve in 1959 and dad gave me the keys of and old, 1951, Reseda Green, Studebaker Champion, 2.8 liter side-valved six cylinder, 3-speed + reverse steering column shift, four-door sedan that he had bought for scrap value. He showed me how to drive it (fifteen minutes or so) and walked away. Ha, and the starter buttom was under the clutch pedal. It also had a "Hill Holder". On my own, it took me a while before I could drive that two-and-a-half ton piece of Canadian-American heavy metal around the estate without hitting anything and spent many a weekend burning gas, just for fun. Problem is that that damned tank NEVER broke down, however I mistreated it.
Six years went by and ta-daaaaa ... a cheap second-hand 1957 XK 120 for my birthday.
You guys will never believe how much I regretted that old Studebaker that just never wanted to break down !
I had the Jag for just TWO days when the lights went out (and everything else). Then, only, I was compelled to find out, on my own, and from then on, how an automobile works, what a knuckle rapper is and how to clean my hands using gasoline or washing-up liquid mixed with sand. I also found out why cars have fuses under the hood or somewhere.

I do, however, still have that Studebaker's original owner manual and the hood (an airplane) and tail ornament.
 
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  #38  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:27 PM
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I think that any young guy taking out a girl should let her father know that if he has a flat tire, he is going to change that tire in 15 minutes or less and get the girl off the side of the road because no father wants his daughter sitting on the side of a dark road for hours until AAA arrives.
That's my perfect world but probably not realistic these days.
 
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:47 PM
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Heh heh, I raised two girls and the last concern on my mind was how quickly the boy could change a flat tire. There were other, higher probability and more worrisome scenarios that kept me up at night.!

As far as AAA goes, well, I got both girls AAA cards as soon as they got their licenses. The strict orders were, in the event of a car problem, to 1) call me and 2) if I'm not available call the AAA, lock the doors, and under no circumstances accept help from anyone else. As it turns out there were only two times when I was too far away to be of any help.

Cheers
DD
 
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  #40  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidYau View Post
Seems my student has been circulating this pic on his social network. I like the dripping ATF stains on his arms. But I bet he wonít be seeing the inside of a ZF5HP24 valve body for the rest of his life!

Doesn't count unless the ATF is running right down into his armpits .

Cheers
DD
 
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