Automotive Reference Materials for DIY Car Repairs

Automotive Reference Materials

Mitchell auto repair informationOne of the big differences between someone that dabbles in at-home car repair and a professional that earns a living at it is access to professional automotive reference materials. Mechanics that have been fixing cars for any length of time know the factory provides the best information for specific cars. These technicians also know where to find this information and are glad to pay for it because of the fast and accurate results it brings.

Having exclusive access to factory written materials is what provided the retail auto repair industry with the advantage it needed to offer a level of service that couldn’t be achieved at home. The Internet age has leveled the playing field between the professional technician and the weekend warrior. In the past people wishing to fix their cars at home had limited access to this information. One of the only remaining obstacles is the general public is not aware of the extremely high quality repair diagrams available to them today. Continue reading

300zx AC Repairs

300zx hand drawnI’ve written a few articles about the repairs my 300ZX required on this site. Every once in a while I get some traffic that is related to this particular automobile. I have sold my Z a few years back but still own the service manual that I purchased so I could fix this Japanese sports car at home.

One problem that I have not discussed at length on this site would be specific problems with the air conditioning system. My 300ZX was a 1988 model with automatic temperature control. Depending on the year you could get a Z with an easier to fix standard AC system with cable operated slide lever controls.

If you have automatic temperature control (ATC), systems in the early 80s where different than the ones in the late 80s and early 90s. Electrical problems such as failed automatic amplifiers can be difficult to diagnose. I decided to poke around the Internet a little bit to see what kind of problems people were having with Continue reading

DIY AC Recharge Questions

automotive freon with leak stopCar air-conditioning recharge season is almost here. Since a lot of people who visit this site are inclined to jump into some do it yourself auto repairs I thought I would tackle two of the most asked questions about DIY AC recharge that I have received here on the automotive information blog.

Several law abiding citizens asked me if it was against the law to charge their own car air-conditioning at home. I had to do a little research on this question because I really wasn’t sure of the answer and I figured that it might depend on what State you live in. After doing some research over at the EPA website and looking around for individual State laws it would seem that most follow the EPA guidelines from title VI. Continue reading

Diagnosing Cars with Android

Android car diagnostic program

As a mechanic or do-it-yourselfer you have to love it when things that you use every day like a tablet or cell phone can be used to diagnose problems with cars. This article will focus mainly on diagnosing cars with android as I have purchased a Nexus seven and the torque android app to connect my Bluetooth elm 327 to the 7 inch tablet. But if you are an Apple product fan, all of these products work just as well on many of the Apple powered devices such as the iPod touch, and IPads of all sizes. I have a 5 minute video posted below that is slowly gaining traction on YouTube.

It shows off the advanced features of the android torque app. I held off jumping into this arena of using cell phones and tablets to interface with an automotive computer because they just didn’t work well when they first came out. Although they may not be bug free the connections and compatibility is much improved from just a year ago. In fact my OBD II android application automatically updated yesterday and it seems to work even better then when I first got it.

When I discuss using android powered devices to diagnose automotive problems with my fellow mechanics they start asking tough questions that I thought you would enjoy the answers to. Continue reading