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For perhaps most adults, ownership of a car or pickup truck is a right of passage that quickly becomes a way of life. Often, aside from a home, a car is among the most expensive purchases a person will make. As such, it is worth the savings in longevity and efficiency to know the basics of car repair and maintenance.

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However, while some enthusiasts pursue auto maintenance as a hobby or business, the care and feeding of a car is often an afterthought that, when it does occur, happens behind closed shop doors. This guide will attempt to roll up the garage door to reveal the ways in which the average driver can directly engage in the maintenance and repair of their vehicle.

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By covering the terms used to describe vehicles, the most common issues encountered, preventative maintenance, costs, technologies, safety and red-flag items, this guide will lead the reader into smarter buying, more efficient operation and greater safety. As valuable to the first time buyer as it is to the would-be do-it-yourself owner, this guide provides the benefits of being an informed consumer to every reader. Get to know the language and processes of car maintenance and repair as well as come to a better understanding of the systems and technologies present in any vehicle and become a safer, smarter driver by reviewing the information presented in this guide.