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View Full Version : When a friend asks for mechanical advice...


Red_Chili
12-28-2007, 12:34 PM
Yeah, it's a vent...

So my buddy who bought a Toy truck for his son after I found it for him called me Wednesday with a problem. His boy was headed back to Boulder and suddenly his truck wouldn't start.

Click. Clickclickclick.
What could that be, he asks. Well, most likely the starter contacts, $20 from the dealer, it's hard to remove the starter from a 3.0 truck but not hard to replace the contacts at all. Where are the contacts, he asks. I explain it. Oh, he says, he tried to find them on the starter from HIS truck he rebuilt, but gave up and bought a Napa starter.
:confused::rolleyes: Oooookaaaaaaaaay. "Well, that's where the contacts are, and in fact, if you are in a pinch, I carry spares in my truck. I can help if you need, too. Just let me know."

Fast forward to fifteen minutes ago.

"It still won't start."

"Did you change the contacts?"

"No, I bought a starter at Autozone,"

"Oh."

"Now I've used plenty of Autozone starters in the past and they work just fine."

(Thinks I, I'm sure you have. LOTS of them. They just seem to give you opportunities to try new ones... on DOMESTIC vehicles...) But says I, "I see. So what's happening?"

"Still just clicks. Any idea what it could be?"

"Could be a bad battery cable. Check for a voltage drop on the cable when he clicks the starter."

"Huh?" So I explain how to do that. He really doesn't believe me. Frankly, I didn't have the heart to say that the problem is MOST likely the AutoBlown starter being bad out of the box, but hey, that might not be worth a friendship.

I fully expect him to skip the voltage drop test, buy a cable from AutoBlown, throw it in taking all afternoon, then calling me and telling me that didn't work either. At which time I dare not say, "well, start over, and this time do what I suggested the first time."

SHEESH! So what do you do when a guy keeps asking for advice, debates with you (which is fine, he is learning), but then ignores EVERYthing you just told him and even without researching it, just follows his gut?

The same gut that just moments ago had no answers, leading to the call?
Sheesh.:rant::rolleyes::lmao:

RockRunner
12-28-2007, 02:19 PM
SHEESH! So what do you do when a guy keeps asking for advice, debates with you (which is fine, he is learning), but then ignores EVERYthing you just told him and even without researching it, just follows his gut?

The same gut that just moments ago had no answers, leading to the call?
Sheesh.:rant::rolleyes::lmao:


You ask to speak to his son and tell him what to do. he is going to college sounds like so he can work on his won car. If they still don't listen tell him it must be bad and take it to the stealer, that will cure him fast. I bet the next time he will listen to you. :D

Crash
12-28-2007, 03:39 PM
Sounds like most engineers I know. Oh, wait............
:hill:
:thumb:

Hulk
12-28-2007, 05:08 PM
I'm far more blunt with my friends. "Hey, you probably compared prices on starters from Autozone versus Napa, but I gotta tell you, all my car buddies and I steer clear of Autozone when it comes to electrical parts. There are known issues with the starters from Autozone. Many of them are junk right out of the box. You might install three of them before you get a good one. Or you might install one, get it working, only to have it crap out in a few months. That's why I recommended Napa in the first place. I hate to tell you this, but the problems you're having may still be starter-related."

Uncle Ben
12-28-2007, 05:32 PM
I'm far more blunt with my friends. "Hey, you probably compared prices on starters from Autozone versus Napa, but I gotta tell you, all my car buddies and I steer clear of Autozone when it comes to electrical parts. There are known issues with the starters from Autozone. Many of them are junk right out of the box. You might install three of them before you get a good one. Or you might install one, get it working, only to have it crap out in a few months. That's why I recommended Napa in the first place. I hate to tell you this, but the problems you're having may still be starter-related."

I cannot agree that Napa starters would be an "upgrade" over Vatozone! My guess is they all now come from the same suppliers! A reman Toy starter is probably not that much more with club discount and you know that it will make it through the week!

The problem doesn't sound like starter as much as insufficient current. I would rule out battery, terminals, lead wire, ground connection before I replaced the starter!

I do agree with you Chili....if someone asks then the least they can do is listen! :rolleyes:

Groucho
12-28-2007, 09:00 PM
x50!!

My MIL is the same way. Asks me what I am doing on the car and then proceeds to ask me if I think I am doing the job "correctly".:rant:

Red_Chili
12-29-2007, 09:24 AM
I would've loved to have known what Spanky posted... :lmao:

Yeah, Hulk, your answer is probably the best one. He used to be a service writer at Sears, however, and is now a Ph.D., and a firstborn. He has been working on cars since his twenties, though perhaps not at a level familiar to this club. He gets kinda competitive with me. Whether I realize I am in a 'race' or not!

So that kind of answer might have repercussions... DAMHIK.
:rolleyes:

His son, work on a vehicle? Um... probably not.

The friendship is worth it, he is a hunting buddy (lots to navigate around hunting, too, for the same [koff ego koff] reasons). Kinda high maintenance but worth it I'd say. :camping: :dunno: :smokin: Good guy. What he lacks in listening and advice taking he more than makes up for in persistence. :lmao: Nuttin' like me, nooooo.....;)

Wimmens ain't the only high maintenance relationships! :hill:
Don't show my wife this post...:bolt:

Red_Chili
12-29-2007, 09:29 AM
I would rule out battery, terminals, lead wire, ground connection before I replaced the starter!

I do agree with you Chili....if someone asks then the least they can do is listen! :rolleyes:
Yeah - although the starter contacts fail around 150K on minitrucks almost like clockwork. And the rest of the starter is good for 300-500K. And the contacts are easy. No idea why he couldn't find them, but I have an idea why he didn't ask for help, but rather spent over $100.

I've tried to put things as delicately as I could to not hit the 'tripwires', but apparently not well enough. :(

I admit eating crow is expensive enough in its own way, but not too bad with the right salsa. DAMHIK! :lmao: