I want to become a "car enthusiast"

I haven’t ever had much to do with cars. I know how they run and basic stuff but I want to really get more into the community. I’m just not sure how to do so. How do I start to become a car enthusiast with little knowledge on cars?

For some of us it was just a natural from the time we were kids and with motor bikes and go carts etc. Get some books and start taking in the car shows for a start I guess.


Any suggestions for books?

What do you call ’ car enthusiasts ’ . Do you want to work on them , collect , do track days or what.

Work on them I’d say.

Books about cars. Repair, auto body, collections, history, whatever your interest is.

I happen to know a very good auto mechanic and he would not call his self a car enthusiast . Another friend is president of a local Corvette club and he really can’t fix anything but he has a vast knowledge of Corvette history and he deffinetly is an enthusiast .


If you want to work on them, I’d recommend buying a service manual for your particular car and start doing some of the “lighter” repairs and maintenance. Things like oil changes, coolant changes, belt changes, air filter, etc. Once you’re comfortable there, you can move on to brake replacements, water pump replacement, etc. I basically learned by doing. I didn’t have a service manual, but I did have at least one friend that was more experienced. So an experienced friend helps.

If you’re really interested in learning, you might check out some community college courses or something too.


If you have a certain type of car in mind consider joining the local club, even if you don’tt have one they’re often happy to share what they know and can help you narrow down what’s realistic for your skill level. More in the places like Seattle there’s some sort of gathering in a large parking lot on Saturday morning’s. The Shop which is a car storage/gearhead country club that is known to have a little bit of everything show up on Saturday’s. 57 Chevy’s to late model exotics.

Our city has regular meet and greet car nights, every wednesday at Wendy’s etc. see if there are some in your area, walk and talk!

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A community college course would be a good investment. Even after the cost of that and tools you could easily save the money you’ve invested by doing your own repairs unless you can afford newer cars all the time. Otherwise you can hook up with someone from the college and buy discontinued curriculum and study up yourself. There’s a lot more to car repair than turning a wrench anymore.


I think that most “enthisiasts” are interested in a particular type or group of vehicles (Pickups, Sports cars, Muscle cars, Off Road, Domestic, Imports, Antique,etc.) so start by going to local car meets featuring a broad selection like Cars & Coffee, Drive In meets, etc. to see “what turns your crank”.
After that, go to some more specific shows/meets and use the internet to get some more information about potential areas of interest.

For myself, while I appreciate almost all vehicles, my primary interest is British sports cars, as they also fit my budget and mechanical ability.


Most car enthusiasts I know have very little mechanical knowledge about cars. They do know the best places to get cars fixed.

Agree! Being a car enthusiast does not men having the ability to fix one. I had a friend, a dentist in out previous town who owned an E type Jag, and would not touch it except for checking the fluids.

But he loved driving it fast on nearly empty roads.

you can start off by watch all car shows on TV. start reading car magazines.
go to car cruise nights and car shows in your area and ask questions. I am not sure of your age, but if you are still in school you can take auto shop classes. if your out see if there is some college auto classes. and forums like Car Talk is a good start.

Watch a bunch of Youtubes on the various maintenance items for your model car, along with getting a manual, as mentioned above. Start with the owners manual.

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Do you own a car?

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Try to find someone who will help you get started doing something simple like changing the oil & filter, someone who knows how to do it and is willing to help you learn all three parts: the safety aspects, how to use tools to get the job complete, and how to verify the job is done correctly. For me, my dad showed that to me when I asked to help him on the oil changes and ignition points change-outs. Later I needed some more expert training than my dad could provide for fixing my fuel-injected VW Rabbit, and took a high school night class for that. High school night auto shop classes aren’t a common thing these days unfortunately. Usually there’s one house in every neighborhood where it’s evident some diy’er auto-repair is going on quite frequently. Diy’ers will often be happy to give advice if asked politely;; but don’t ask them to do the job for you; and don’t ask them to lend you the tools. Instead ask them where there’s a good place to buy your own tools needed for the job. Owning the manufacturer’s shop manual for your car is best, but the Chilton and Haynes books are pretty good too if that’s all you have access to. Best if you read them thoroughly before picking up a wrench, especially the introduction sections about how what you are fixing is supposed to work when it works correctly.

Asking for advice here is a good idea too, before you try something new. Safety is the number one priority when working on cars, and asking here for ideas how to make the job as safe as possible is worthwhile.

I’ve never really known anyone who just decided to “become a car enthusiast”
Most of us became interested during our childhood playing with Hotwheels, building model cars, RC cars, and then eventually getting our own car…
Many had parents who were into cars. My dad drove a 52 Chevy pickup hotrod daily. Mom had a 78 Vette.
Just go to local cruise ins, and meet people. Talk to people with cars that catch your eye… Often you’ll see the occasional for sale sign in a car window. Bought a Mustang Convertible I found at the local cruise-in once.

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Many of the kids in my neighborhood who didn’t have parents to show them still got interested in diy car repair by learning first how to repair their bicycles.

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