Daily Features

APRIL 13, 2010: DEAD ENDS AND VAGUE ADVICE:IT AIN’T EASY BEING A SHADE TREE MECHANIC THESE DAYS

By on April 13, 2010
internet imgp9568

internet imgp9568

 

We live in the greatest information era in the history of mankind.

 

Unfortunately, a lot of it is misinformation when it comes to cars.

 

I had a few simple questions about a door plunger issue on a Buick, so I dove into the deep end of the internet pool in search of simple and straight-forward answers.

 

It was not a pleasant experience.

 

I went to a few trouble-shooting forums in search of an answer. Most of them had vague and confusing explanations that missed the point.

 

IMG_0205

 

It suddenly dawned on me that I had completely underestimated the sheer number of complete idiots out there that are more than willing to dispense bad advice.

 

That is the downside to the new internet world: Now we can round up every bozo with a keyboard and give him access to a big world where they can dispense their BS to a much larger audience. And it’s all done under a cloak of anonymity.

 

We can’t even throw a punch at these guys for all the trouble they cause to helpless victims.

 

IMG_0205

 

None of it made sense to me. Besides, I’ve been a little gun-shy about bad advice ever since my first car when a licensed plumber recommended a liberal application of gasket glue on my blown head gasket replacement. I didn’t make the same mistake twice on that little misadventure, and I never got mechanical advice from a plumber again.

 

“But the internet doesn’t let us know who is dispensing car advice. Hell, it could be a kid in grade three- or maybe another plumber for all anybody knows.”

 

 

So then I came across a website that provided 24 hour access to licensed mechanics that would provide expert answers to all car questions. What a great bunch of guys. They were willing to sit by their computers in their spare time and dispense advice to a world of shade-tree mechanics that needed guidance. This is Mother Theresa stuff.

 

IMG_0208

 

I was sent back to Planet Earth in crash landing mode. These bandits wanted cash up front before they were willing to share their wisdom. There was no indication that the website was a for-profit entity until the victim was in the trap. I was given three payment options for their services and no exit from the site. It felt like an internet version of a mugging, but at least muggers don’t mislead you about their intentions. Fortunately I do know how to shut my computer down when backed into a corner.

 

“It has never been easy to work on cars even before the internet. Most repair manuals offer just enough advice to get the average shade-treer into dangerous shark-infested waters. I had water pump replacement advice from a repair manual that failed to mention that six bolts were necessary to remove the pump. They listed five. I was very unhappy with those evil bastards three days into a two hour job.”

 

 

The solution has always been obvious: Consult with a real mechanic that you can trust. He will steer you toward a simple solution and also advise whether you are in over your head.

 

IMG_0209

 

That was how I solved the problem with the Buick when all else failed, and it was something I should have done in the first place.

 

Jim Sutherland

 

COMMENTS

PETER:”haha! I just spent the weekend doing the same thing!”

DENNIS”The average mortal hasn’t been able to fix a car for at least a decade now. I’ve always considered myself a pretty good auto mechanic but these “computer age” cars require a science degree to unlock the doors. You can’t even ask 3 dealership mechanics the same question without getting 3 different answers”.

print

14040 Total Views 1 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

bday march09average joe 59 edsel 3

APRIL 2, 2015: SIX YEARS AND COUNTING-MSCC CELEBRATES ANOTHER BIRTHDAY

  MyStarCollectorCar began life on April 2, 2009 and like the Grateful Dead once said back in ‘70, “What a long strange trip it’s been”.   There are no...

April 2, 2015 View more...
hr-imgp3681

OCTOBER 31, 2014: WHAT DID IT COST TO OWN A COOL RIDE IN 1969? READ ON. . .

  A lot of things happened in the Summer of ’69.   June 1969 was the month when the Beatles landed number one on the Billboard charts with ‘Get...

October 31, 2014 View more...
my 55 003

APRIL 12, 2014 (MAY 2014) ’55 CHEVY CAMEO: NEVER LET GO OF A FAMILY LEGACY

  Chevy Cameos are apex vehicles in the world of old iron and the prices reflect that every time one shows up on an auction docket.   Cameos are...

April 12, 2014 View more...
71dem-imgp9576-001

OCTOBER 28, 2013 (NOVEMBER 2013): AN “EH” BODY 1971 DODGE DEMON PACKS A BIG PUNCH FOR ITS CANUCK OWNER

  Rod Lunt has always been a big fan of the Mopar A Bodies from the early 70s.   He had his eye on a 1971 Dodge Demon owned...

October 28, 2013 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

mill-jjmscc_Neon

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2018

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2018   Welcome to the MyStarCollectorCar Market Report.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales so...

August 3, 2017 View more...
products-IMGP5647

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

July 13, 2016 View more...
116-004

MAY 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

MAY 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 3: REGINA, SK Antique Auto Association of Regina Movie Night 306-545-8180   MAY 4-5: RED DEER, AB Central Alberta Vintage...

October 4, 2015 View more...

More At My Star

MAY 25 MSCC FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE SOLID WAYS TO WIN A TROPHY AT A CAR SHOW

MyStarCollectorCar believes that everybody is a winner at a car show because participants get to enjoy a day at one of life’s best experiences: the car show itself.   There are few better ways than a car show to spend your spare time because you get to hang out with some of the best people See More

MSCC MAY 23 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY: YOU GET AN ENGINE COMPARTMENT—TOO BAD THE HOOD IS MISSING

.   WELCOME TO MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY FOR 2018   This is the third year for MSCC “What’s It?” Wednesday.   This feature was an overnight success back in 2016 so the only thing to do was keep it rolling in 2018.   Look for the first clue at the top of the section See More

HOW TO BE A WELCOME AND POPULAR GUEST AT A CAR SHOW

  MyStarCollectorCar has touched on the topic of car show etiquette many times over the past nine years because the topic is completely unlike the vintage vehicles at a car show.   The topic never gets old.     We have already attended a few shows during the early phase of the car show season See More

IS THE MANUAL TRANSMISSION POISED TO MAKE A COMEBACK? THE HAGERTY DRIVING EXPERIENCE SURE HOPES SO

  The manual transmission is a mystery to many younger drivers.   There are many reasons for this but the biggest reason is technology.       We’re on the brink of self-driving cars and everybody knows robots don’t like clutches.     In reality, the manual transmission has been dying a slow death through attrition. Decades See More

Editor’s Picks

hag

IS THE MANUAL TRANSMISSION POISED TO MAKE A COMEBACK? THE HAGERTY DRIVING EXPERIENCE SURE HOPES SO

  The manual transmission is a mystery to many younger drivers.   There are many reasons for this but the biggest reason is technology.       We’re on the brink...

May 21, 2018 View more...
59

DO IT YOURSELF CAR APPRAISALS—YES, YOU CAN HANDLE IT

  I had my first experience with vintage car appraisals back in the late 90s with a ’59 Plymouth.   I needed an appraisal for insurance and they definitely...

March 29, 2018 View more...
5-auc

FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAR AUCTIONS

  Car auctions have become a TV hit thanks to extensive coverage over the last twenty years so auctions have been turned into show business.   They are run...

December 14, 2017 View more...
116-004

MAY 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

MAY 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 3: REGINA, SK Antique Auto Association of Regina Movie Night 306-545-8180   MAY 4-5: RED DEER, AB Central Alberta Vintage...

October 4, 2015 View more...

Car Shows and Events

ST1
SAINT ALBERT ROCK’N AUGUST—THE BIG SHOW RETURNS AUGUST 7-11

  Rock’n August is one of Western Canada’s biggest annual car shows.   The whole community gets behind this week-long event because this is a showcase for the best...

December 16, 2017
IMG_4818
JULY 28, 2018 19th ANNUAL MICHENER ALLEN CLASSIC AND COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

FEATURE CAR—THIS MONSTER ’69 CHARGER       The 2nd Generation Chargers are widely seen as one of the most iconic muscle cars ever built. They looked fast from...

June 19, 2017
EG-ED2018
JUNE 23, 2018 Our 11th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino!

  EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 11th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN EVENT June 23rd – 2018 INDOORS!!!! CONVENTION...

April 21, 2017
116-004
MAY 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

MAY 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 3: REGINA, SK Antique Auto Association of Regina Movie Night 306-545-8180   MAY 4-5: RED DEER, AB Central Alberta Vintage...

October 4, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive