FIVE GRIM REALITIES FACED BY CAR GUYS

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The grim reality is life is full of obstacles and roadblocks–and the car hobby is not an exception to this rule.

There may be no fast and easy route to overcome a complicated car guy problem, but MyStarCollectorCar will list five issues that may appear during a build, and we are willing to share them with our readers. All five of them have occurred at least one time or another to us and many other hapless car guys during the repair or build processes.

The first reality is a relatively new problem in the car hobby: the wrong parts. The car hobby supply world became much larger for car guys due to the internet, but it’s not a perfect world. Too many cyber sellers are willing to sell parts that are not the right ones for the owner’s vintage vehicle. The sellers tend to operate on a “best guess” basis, and they guess wrong too often. The net result is many online automotive parts investments are a gamble at best for the buyers, plus it’s one that includes an expensive return policy.

To be fair, the locally purchased parts products are also not 100% accurate, but at least they offer a better parts return policy.

The second grim reality is poor quality parts are a big problem for car guys. The issue boils over when the parts fail (or don’t fit) at an alarming rate. Most of the inferior parts are manufactured in countries where jobs are scarce, wages are low, attitudes are poor, and quality control is non-existent. It’s a nightmare manufacturing scenario that results in crappy parts built on the other side of the world–and they are crappy parts that will make a project longer and more painful for the builder.

The third reality is an extension of the second reality: crappy tools. We recently purchased a brake adjustment tool from a popular local automotive supply store-only to discover it wore out before we had even adjusted one brake. Our best guess is the tool consisted of forged tinfoil, so we returned it shortly after we used a trusty forged steel flat screwdriver to complete the adjustment process.

The fourth reality is many car repair jobs require tools that fit the bill in terms of efficiency and ability to work around obstacles. This reality is the main reason professional mechanics have giant tool chests to house the large collection of tools needed for their trade.

Most car guys will discover the urgent need for the ideal tool when they are unable to access a bolt, nut or screw that instantly becomes a major roadblock to success for them. For example, they may need a high-quality steel socket with thin walls (and plenty of grip) to fit into a very small access space and loosen a nut or bolt that will get rounded in a hurry by a garden variety socket purchased at a gas-and-go station. The very same gas station with a featured sale on jumbo fountain drinks and potato chips-but never quality tools.            

The fifth reality is blood will be shed during a typical automotive repair or build–and it will be your blood. If you faint at the sight of your own blood, then MyStarCollectorCar would suggest stamp or coin collecting instead of the car hobby.

There will be moments when flesh meets cutting-edge steel surfaces in every car build, some of it caused by inferior parts and tools that let go at critical times. Spoiler alert: metal wins every time in this high-speed collision.  

Nevertheless, we at MyStarCollectorCar would be remiss if we didn’t point out that dedicated car guys thrive on adversity, whether the cause is crappy parts, crappy tools, or skinned knuckles.

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

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