Originally Posted by Lt Keefer
I would suggest you do a google search and find a local trade school that teaches auto shop. Call the person in charge and ask them if they could run you thru the basics of servicing an automobile. It will probably save you some cash before you run into your first shady mechanic that want to buy his kid the new GI Joe with the kung fu grip.
In particular, be careful around the brake fluid until you feel confident in your knowledge and experience. The brake system is very sensitive, incredibly important and its care is somewhat complex. There are different DOT (Department of Transportation Standards), different bases for the fluid: alcohol, silicon and even mineral oil (rare). Brake fluid is easily contaminated. It is hygroscopic, and even exposure to the air will cause it to absorb moisture, which renders it dysfunctional under high stress (heat). In fact, the wisdom is that, once opened, you should not store a can of brake fluid for future use, except in the immediate future.