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One's own mechanic

 > I would observe that the difficult thing in most auto repairs is 
 > not  doing the actual repair, but diagnosing the problem.
Amen! This was in the back of my mind, but I didn't really spell it out in my 
original post. Once you know what's wrong, actually removing/replacing 
components may involve a lot of time, getting dirty, elbow grease, and skinned 
knuckles, but it's relatively straightforward.
 > It's true that there is much base-line learning which contributes 
 > to  besic mechanical preparation.
I read some years ago (in _Cherries and Lemons_ by Joe Troise, I think) that 
if you really want to take some auto mechanics courses at your community 
college, fine, but be aware it will take about the same intellectual effort as 
several college-level physics courses.
--Andrew Buc, Seattle, WA; 04-Jan-98, 14:33