Tuesday AM December 9th, 2008

Even more ways to cut costs on general car maintenance and minor repairs are included in the latest edition of Auto Repair for Dummies. Ed Mayberry reports.

image of Auto Repair for Dummies front cover

This is the very first book using the “for Dummies” phrase.  First published in 1973, it has sold over 850,000 copies, and author Deanna Sclar says it a book on basic and preventive maintenance.

“How to troubleshoot symptoms like sounds and smoke and smells so that you can communicate with the mechanic and save labor charges, saving fuel — which means saving money and saving the environment — and also the new safety systems on vehicles and the different types of alternatively fueled vehicles so that if you’re driving a car that is no longer going well or where repairs would cost more than its value, you can very knowledgeably know what your choices are in terms of cars that are fuel efficient.”  

Sclar describes the 15-minute monthly under-the-hood check…

“In which you can save 70 per cent of of the reasons why a car might break down on the highway.  And it requires no special tools, no mechanical knowlege, no major manual dexterity, and I even show you how to get the hood open!”

Sclar says Auto Repair for Dummies doesn’t cover tasks that are difficult to perform.

“Probably, if you can get at your spark plugs, I have a whole chart on what to look for — it might be a little difficult reaching them on some vehicles. But most of the stuff like changing oil, changing coolant, inspecting your tires for wear — basic maintenance — is not hard for anybody.”

Sclar says this is the first “green” car edition of the book, covering fuel economy, alternative fuels, air pollution, recycling and the safe disposal of oil and coolant. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.


Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

News Anchor

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with much of his early career as a rock’n’roll disc jockey. He worked as part of a morning show team on album rock station KLBJ-FM, and later co-hosted a morning show at adult rock station KGSR, both in Austin. Ed also conducted...

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