DODGE RAM FORUM - Ram Forums and Owners Club! - Dodge Truck Forum

Go Back   DODGE RAM FORUM - Ram Forums and Owners Club! - Dodge Truck Forum > Dodge Ram Forum - General Discussion > Dodge Ram General Discussion


Notices

Dodge Ram General Discussion General Chat about the Ram. Please look for other categories to post specific questions in.


Latest Vendor News
AutoAnything
Addictive Desert Designs!
United Radio
Bayou Goat Mounts

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-22-2013, 06:05 PM
Outoftheblue Outoftheblue is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Newcomer
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mass
Posts: 26
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2012 Ram
Color: Blue
Engine: 2009-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 390hp 407lb/ft
Rep Power: 0
Rep:10
Outoftheblue is on a distinguished road
Default General Maintenance, how much?

This is a broad question that doesn't particularily relate to just Rams, but since this is the only auto forum i belong to, maybe i can get your thoughts.
A little background. I come from a family of hands-on, blue collar guys. My brother, my dad, cousins all know the in's and out's of automobiles, trucks, etc. My father self taught himself how to be a mechanic, growing up in the 50's-60's just pulling stuff apart with his friends. You get the picture. Now, at a young age, i shyed away from this stuff and was more interested in being "book smart" (sorry i can't think of a better term) and went to college etc. Whenver i had a car problem i just called dad,my brother and they would somehow get things working again, or let me know who to bring my vehicle to and what to tell them. I'm still amazed at how they can look under a hood and start a conversation.

So,now i'm a little older and getting interested in all the mechanics and fun stuff under the hood, but have no idea where/how to begin. I'm intimidated but in the same sense, would like to give certain things a shot. My family, after all this time, just says "have someone else do it for you", but i think that there is a basic amount of maintenance that i should be able to do (guy code here) for my vehicle on a practical sense and to avoiid getting robbed by auto dealers for basic maintenance, while also getting some practical knowledge of my vehicle which i enjoy. I changed my brakes with my Dad a number of times on an old vehicle i had and got such a thrill out of doing it and saving a few hundred bucks. Not to mention how cool it sounds to say in front of the crew i hang with. Most of them wouldn't know how to change a wheel if they flatted (LOL)

So, the question is, what basic maintenance should i be learning and what should i be avoiding? oil changes? brakes ( by myself)? tire rotations, air filters, batteries, alternators??????? Or should i just listen and have someone else do it for me? Money isn't the issue, it's more i just think there is stuff i should know how to do.

thanks for any thoughts.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2  
Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 PM
RamTech's Avatar
RamTech RamTech is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Senior Member!

 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Johnson City, TN
Age: 44
Posts: 12,120
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2004 Dakota Club Cab 4X4
Trim Level: SXT
Color: Bright Silver
Engine: 2002-2008 226ci (3.7L) Magnum/PowerTech V6 215hp 235lb/ft
Rep Power: 15
Rep:1824
RamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant future
Default

Start simple with things like oil changes, tune ups, coolant drain and fills, and maybe even rotating your own tires if you have the stuff to do it. Buy yourself good quality tools like Craftsman or something along those lines. Cheap stuff will just bruise your knuckles and possibly damage your vehicles. Get a good service manual for everything you plan to work on, it will be invaluable. Perhaps you could even take an evening class at a local technical school. Of course this forum is also a great source of how-to tutorials from a laymens perspective.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:27 PM
crabjoe crabjoe is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Senior Member!
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ceciltucky, MD
Posts: 888
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2014 Ram 3500
Trim Level: Laramie
Color: Maximum Steel Matallic
Rep Power: 0
Rep:62
crabjoe will become famous soon enough
Default

If you want to learn quick, get yourself a part time job at a place like NTB or even Jiffy Lube. That would get you started. Jiffy lube is a good place to learn about changing fluids and NTB or most tire and muffler shops are good for learning brakes, suspensions and a few other things.

If you're planning on learning as needed, the learning may take a bit longer but it's not hard. Just have a family member or friend help you. Youtube is also a great source!

Oh, if you want to have fun while learning, get yourself a Jeep and join a 4 Wheeling club. 4 wheeling causes lots of wear and tear, so you'll always be working on yours or a friend's Jeep. I think 4 wheeling is where I learned the most... I'm talking replacing transmission clutches, rebuild transfer cases and what not...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:04 AM
Bully's Performance's Avatar
Bully's Performance Bully's Performance is offline
BULLYS PERFORMANCE


 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: lathrop
Posts: 10,099
Gender: Male
Vehicle: MOPAR
Engine: 2009-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 390hp 407lb/ft
Rep Power: 9
Rep:931
Bully's Performance is a splendid one to beholdBully's Performance is a splendid one to beholdBully's Performance is a splendid one to beholdBully's Performance is a splendid one to beholdBully's Performance is a splendid one to beholdBully's Performance is a splendid one to beholdBully's Performance is a splendid one to beholdBully's Performance is a splendid one to behold
Default

YouTube is my go to when trying to figure something out, that is of course if I can't find it on the Z

Jeremiah
Discount Auto Performance
__________________
With over 2.5 million products available, we have what you need! (including wheels and tires!)
For pricing or questions, email us @ sales@bullysperformance.com

ALSO Feel free to PM us, OR post in our Vendor Section for quotes/questions/assistance!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:03 PM
Outoftheblue Outoftheblue is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Newcomer
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mass
Posts: 26
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2012 Ram
Color: Blue
Engine: 2009-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 390hp 407lb/ft
Rep Power: 0
Rep:10
Outoftheblue is on a distinguished road
Default

it would be interesting to take a class or two to get the basic's down. based on your past experience with Rams, are they ease enough trucks to work on? does dodge give out manuals so you can pick apart things, or is it confidential material that only a certified mechanic could get?

does anyone know of any mechanic schools that would do basic "in-service" type classes for maintenance?

unfortunately i already work a very busy full time job with 2 kids, so doing a part time thing at a mechanic shop probabaly wouldn't be best.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:13 PM
snrusnak's Avatar
snrusnak snrusnak is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Senior Member!
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Orlando
Age: 27
Posts: 13,386
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2010 Dodge Ram 1500
Trim Level: SLT
Color: White
Engine: 2008-20?? 287ci (4.7L) PowerTech V8 310hp 330lb/ft
Rep Power: 12
Rep:1385
snrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud ofsnrusnak has much to be proud of
Default

IMO your best bet would be to get service manuals for your vehicles. They pretty much have step by step info. This combined with some common sense(and a friend's opinion now and again) will get you through just about anything a DIYer will do. My buddy and I just rebuild like half his car(including the engine) this winter, and we are just regular guys that dive in to things. Plan ahead and do some research. His car fired up on the first try.
__________________
Sean

Breathing in and out is good enough for me.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:40 PM
RamTech's Avatar
RamTech RamTech is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Senior Member!

 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Johnson City, TN
Age: 44
Posts: 12,120
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2004 Dakota Club Cab 4X4
Trim Level: SXT
Color: Bright Silver
Engine: 2002-2008 226ci (3.7L) Magnum/PowerTech V6 215hp 235lb/ft
Rep Power: 15
Rep:1824
RamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant futureRamTech has a brilliant future
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outoftheblue View Post
it would be interesting to take a class or two to get the basic's down. based on your past experience with Rams, are they ease enough trucks to work on? does dodge give out manuals so you can pick apart things, or is it confidential material that only a certified mechanic could get?

does anyone know of any mechanic schools that would do basic "in-service" type classes for maintenance?

unfortunately i already work a very busy full time job with 2 kids, so doing a part time thing at a mechanic shop probabaly wouldn't be best.
Easy is such a relative term. I have access to 2 and 4 posts lifts, factory service information and support, thousands of dollars of tools and almost 20 years experience in the business and can't ever remember a time when I wasn't taking something apart and putting it back together. Even with all of this working for me, some things are still a huge pain in the ass to do.

Let me assure neither Dodge nor any other manufacturer is going to give away their information, so you will need to buy a good service manual. As for classes, check your local technical schools for availability.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:03 PM
dodge man's Avatar
dodge man dodge man is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Senior Member!
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Macomb, Illinois
Age: 52
Posts: 793
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2004 Quad Cab diesel
Trim Level: SLT
Color: Silver
Engine: 2005-20?? 359ci (5.9L) Cummins ISB 610 24-Valve Diesel I6 325hp 610 lb/ft
Rep Power: 5
Rep:221
dodge man has a spectacular aura aboutdodge man has a spectacular aura aboutdodge man has a spectacular aura about
Default

The best way to learn is to just dig in. Two things you need, time and tools. I had almost no hands on experience with cars, have had no formal training, and I've rebuilt transmissions, pulled engines, rebuilt carbs etc. This stuff isn't that hard. Getting a shop manual and having the tools is nice.

People are often worried about the complexity of modern cars. Its not that much tougher. I'll give an example. My wifes car was throwing codes. I took it to Autozone and it showed up EGR valve was the problem. Autozone pulled the codes for free. I went home and looked at the shop manual. It had this long series of test to figure out if it was the EGR valve, the wiring, or the computer. It required a lot of the speciality tools. I priced out a new EGR valve, it was like $50. I said screw all the special tests and just slapped an EGR valve on it and that fixed it. The EGR valve took about 30 minutes to put on, I spent more time worrying about it than fixing it. New cars and all the computers aren't anything to to be afraid of.

I'm 50 years old, and I don't think I've ever paid for a brake job. I figure I probably have paid for all my tools and then some by just doing my own oil changes and brake jobs. If you are "book" smart, then you are set, you just need to read and get your hands dirty.

Now I'll give you a warning, some stuff can take time. When I rebuilt the transmission in my 70 Challenger, it took me 6 weeks. I wasn't working on it for 6 weeks straight, but I had hang ups that took some time for me to figure out. But if you start out simple and work you way up, it will be satisfying.
__________________
2004 3/4 ton Quad Cab, 24 valve 5.9 Cummins

Last edited by dodge man; 01-23-2013 at 04:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-23-2013, 06:08 PM
Outoftheblue Outoftheblue is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Newcomer
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mass
Posts: 26
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2012 Ram
Color: Blue
Engine: 2009-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 390hp 407lb/ft
Rep Power: 0
Rep:10
Outoftheblue is on a distinguished road
Default

cool. thanks for the input. I'm glad to hear that some of you are like me and just sort of learned as you went. I certainly know that i don't know alot, so finding my limit shouldn't be tough. i figure if i can't quite easily explain to myself what a particular part is, i shouldn't be working on it until i read more about it. i'll definitely try to find one of those service manuals. are they expensive?

Since my Ram is my primary vehicle, i'll start slow and work up. i think the next thing due (since my vehicle is new) is the oil change in a few thousand miles (which i've always paid $40), and my tire rotation. what do you all use for motor oil when you change it out? oil filter? i'll probably youtube both of these, but any words of advice so i don't screw up anything basic

just an aside, does any of this kill my warranty if i don't do it at the dealership? i don't want to have it voided bc i can't prove i did it by a certified mechanic.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:36 PM
Outoftheblue Outoftheblue is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Newcomer
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mass
Posts: 26
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2012 Ram
Color: Blue
Engine: 2009-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 390hp 407lb/ft
Rep Power: 0
Rep:10
Outoftheblue is on a distinguished road
Default

while im thinking of it. do i just need a standard jack for my ram or is there one specifically built for trucks like ours?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


Advertisement






All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:57 PM.


= Copyright RamForumZ.com a Gigathreads.com Network Site =Ad Management by RedTyger
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vB.Sponsors


=Gigathreads Network=
CLUBS MOPAR NATION DSM GPMM MAMM JAM
DIESEL Diesel Forum      
CHEVY Chevy Camaro Forum Chevy Volt Forum    
CHRYSLER Chrysler 300C Forum      
DODGE Dodge Avenger Forum Dodge Caliber Forum Dodge Challenger Forum Dodge Charger Forum
  Dodge Circuit Forum Dodge Hornet Forum Dodge Magnum Forum Dodge Nitro Forum
  Dodge Ram Forum Dodge Dakota Forum Dodge Durango Forum Dodge Dart Forum
FORD Ford Raptor Forum Ford F150 Forum Ford F100 Forum  
JEEP Jeep Forum      
PONTIAC Pontiac G8 Forum      
SRT SRT Viper Forum SRT Cuda Forum