Okay so i am a 17 year old, i just bought a really nice 2006 ford focus st zx4 and love it and want to mod it really bad! But the only problem is i know nothing about how cars work, but i want to learn so what is the best way to engulf myself in the car world?
Best way to to just look around at different threads on the site, ask questions, read up. It won't make sense all at once but you'll learn little things here and there. It won't come all at once. Some things will interest you more than others. Try the Buy-Sell-Trade section (BST) to find some good used parts cheap for your neck of the woods. Its a great community here. Dont be afraid to join in the fun.
Most people will go with Intake, exhaust, suspension. indulge yourself with Plastidip lol
Just depends on how you want to mod it. More power, better looking?
Read, read, read, read and then read some more. Educate yourself on as much as you can. And then when you think you know a lot, read some more. There are plenty of threads and stickies on this forum to help you out when you figure out what you want to do with your car.
Enjoy it and drive it. Since this is a used car start off by updating the maintenance throughout the entire car. This will ensure a reliable happy car and will allow you to become familiar with wrenching and with your car and how it works. First and foremost, invest in a repair manual.
Fluids to change-engine oil/filter, engine coolant (flush with new T-stat), transaxle fluid, brake/clutch fluid flush, power steering fluid exchange, don't forget to swap fuel filter and top off washer fluid/change wiper blades.... some of these fluids may be original! Change your spark plugs (with dielectric grease) and clean your MAF with a spray cleaner specified for Mass Air-Flow sensors. Your air filter assembly is probably original (which Ford claims good for 100k) so if you are over 100k the only way to service it is to replace the intake assembly. This will be your first excuse for aftermarket parts (I used this very excuse for a Steeda SRI).
Inspect CV boots for cracks or tears and reboot/grease any you find. Rotate tires/check air pressure and check each hub for drag when you do so. If you feel any excessive drag or hear noises inspect/repair the brake components or bearing responsible for this. Feel free to apply some brake grease to the caliper slides and refit the boot.
I like to periodically hit my door/trunk hinges and latches/strikes with spray lube (I use any synthetic dry film) to keep things moving. Clean the chit out of your car and note/repair any interior pieces you find broken. Depending on your region, winter salt may have taken its toll on your car. If so, clean any rust areas (typical behind the front wheel and rocker panel) and sand loose rust then treat with a rust converter. I just used left over U-pol Raptor liner (a two part bedliner) from when I shot bedliner on my truck for the rocker panels of my car. My car is black, and so is the raptor liner (it only is exposed for about 1 inch, the rest was sprayed to protect the undercarriage). Give your car a good wash/manual labor wax.
This all sounds anti-climatic, but its the advice I give to any new enthusiast. You acquire SO MUCH MORE than a healthy/safe car. You gain valuable experience. Its your first step into the engine bay, transmission, steering system, brake system, suspension system, body/car car, ect... This is also how you start your own tool collection with the tools you've purchased to complete these tasks. You become familiar with your car, which will aid you in future repairs/aftermarket styling or go-fast parts and will be of assistance if you ever find yourself stranded. You also gain a sense of pride and accomplishment you won't find by paying someone else to complete these tasks. Suddenly, it becomes your car instead of a car.
Haynes manuals are OK, but if you get the 2006 Workshop Manual, it will tell you step by step how to do a job along with any specal tools that are needed. I've used to change a timing belt, swap a window motor, fix a leaking oil pan, and many other repairs. It'll help keep the car running great.