Amateur mechanic school in dc?

Thanks to all who gave advice on my poor Hopeless Pumpkin (96 Taurus LX Wagon) - which was, as most suggested, not worth fixing. It’s history. Perhaps if I had known a really good mechanic here, it could have been patched up, but I’m new to DC and car-ownership (too long in NYC) and had no time/money to run all over DC, checking out mechanics.

What I need BEFORE I ever consider buying a car here - is basic training in car repair. I need to get under the hood - and under the car - of various cars, know what to look for and how to do basic things (beyond adding oil/fluids etc). I’m not afraid of machinery or dirt. I want some hands-on training.

I’ve asked various people in DC what they do with their cars, and they shrug and say they take them to the dealer, and never question the diagnosis or cost. I’m looking for a reliable used vehicle which I want to keep in condition, myself, as much as possible.

ARE there Schools-For-Car-Dummies in the area? Anybody know a mechanic THEY trust, whom I might visit?

Again, thanks so much!


Chevy Chase MD

A lot of community colleges or adult learning centers have basic mechanical courses for the general public. Also, if you’re looking for a good mechanic, this very website has the “Mechan-X-Files” (get it?) which has recommendations from users and listeners, though as you can tell from the outdated pun, some of the reviews in there are pretty old. But that’s a good thing if they’ve been in buisness for a while!

Let’s just say to buy a new Taurus and let the dealer worry about how to fix it.

Good suggestions, thanks, GreasyJack! You sound like a hands-on car guy. Will check both places.

The suggestion about taking an automotive course at an adult learning center is a good one. While the purchase of the tools necessary to do all the repairs on your car may not be a good investment, you will learn what maintenance and repairs you can do yourself without a large investment in tools. You will also gain an understanding of how the systems in your car work. This is worth investing in a course at the adult learning center even if you never open the hood on your car.

tom and ray. click and clack

Check at MCC to see if they have anything. You might also find adult education courses taught at high schools. I doubt that BCC has a class, but Blair might. Silver Spring is definitely more blue collar than Bethesda or especially Chevy Chase!