Thursday, March 28, 2013
Kramer's "Make your own pizza pie" idea was better
Less dangerous, too.
I mean, look at this- as near as I can tell, this guy's "brilliant idea" for a small business is to provide a garage fully stocked with all the tools a guy would need to work on his own car. Because as we all know, Guys have an innate ability to fix anything wrong with any car, and the only reason we bring them in to the Pros is because we lack the correct tools. I can tell you from personal experience that I was perfectly capable of replacing the Johnson Rod connecting the Coaxle Doohicky with the main occilating exhaust reflux unit on my Honda Civic. I just didn't have the proper wrench set. *
Ok, back to reality. I can see this "Kill Yourself Fixing Your Own Car" small business idea being a really good one only if it is, in fact, a front for an Emergency Care business specializing in finger and eye replacement surgery. Or maybe for an actual mechanic, ready to magically show up and--for a large fee-- fix all of the damage you did attempting something more complicated than replacing a headlight bulb. I can see this being really popular with Guys Trying Really Hard To Prove Something who also have money to burn and really, really good health insurance. Us sane people? We'll keep searching for the one mechanic in America who won't gouge us, and hope that no one asks us "hey, why don't you use that new Fix It Yourself franchise?"
"I mean, they've got these really cool business cards, and everything!"
*I have changed my own oil and tires, and once I even replaced the brake pads on a Toyota with the help of my ex Father in Law, may he Rest in Peace ( I did wonder at the time if his insistence that we work together to replace the pads had something to do with me not being anywhere near good enough for his daughter, but they ended up working ok.) Today my willingness to work on my own car does not extend beyond changing the wiper blades. And no, it's not really because I don't have any tools. It's because I know as much about cars as a pig does about Sundays (old Texas saying, I don't know where I picked it up.) Thanks anyway, Fix It Yourself guy.
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You never have the right wrench set. Bolts may come in standard sizes, but then again there are 2,389,494,932 standard sizes.ReplyDelete
Cars these days are built specifically to be repaired only by people who can invest in thousands of dollars worth of equipment, including computers. I grew up around mechanics who tell me that they can't do one-tenth of the things they used to be able to do with cars built in the 1970s. Nothing can be done with standard wrenches and sockets, and even the smallest repairs require a freaking bank loan to get taken care of. In a few years, we won't be able to replace our own windshield wipers because they'll come embedded with computer chips which lock them in place and disable the engine if "tampered with" by someone other than a certified mechanic with a PhD in Automotive Technology.Delete
That's true, the battery in my car (2012 model) is buried under the fuse box, and it has a specific key that only the manufacturer can replace.Delete
Oh, by the way, I tackled the cat food commercial over at Zenith Edition. (zenithedition.blogspot.com)
I found this article from Wired. Apparantly, car computers need more than knowledge to fix.ReplyDelete
Thank you, great article. Not surprised by any of it- two years ago, my Honda ignition key started giving me problems- suddenly wouldn't fit into the ignition without a struggle. I needed a new key- which meant that Honda required that my mechanic TOW my car to the dealership, where it could be hooked up to a computer and fed a new code. I took the cheapest option possible- a new key just for the driver's side door and ignition switch- $900. And no, I can no longer lock and unlock the doors electronically.Delete
Thanks, Modern Technology and Honda.
They've got some great stuff over on Wired. They're talking up a storm about Star Wars lately, and they had a analysis of the Imperial strategy on the Battle of Hoth that nearly ruined Episode 5.Delete
Oh, and I need some help. I rigged Senith Edition so that I moderate the comments, but I haven't been getting any. I figured moderate was like what happens here, where "Your Comment will be Visible After Approval", but now I'm not sure.
Even if all you needed was knowledge, computers have guaranteed the days of working on your own car are over. I'm all for anti-lock brakes and airbags and other technologies that can justify their existence, but it's become absolutely ridiculous. There's one car manufacturer that has a commercial on Hulu that a compares the number of buttons on a smartphone to the number of buttons one of its latest models has. It doesn't say if the car has more or less than the 'average' smartphone, but whatever number it has, that number is better. What impresses me about a vehicle is not how many ways it has to distract me from paying attention to my driving and what's going on around me, so I make it a point to not pay attention to the ad whenever it plays. I should, though, so I can remember to tell my friends what make and model *not* to buy.Delete
It really has become a matter of "the more buttons, the better" and if you ask why, the answer seems to be "Shut Up, That's Why!"Delete
Of course, inside of two years all these buttons will suddenly become really lame, because they'll be replaced by one screen that you can scroll your finger along- while not keeping your eyes on the road, of course.
And in five years, you won't even be able to turn on the AC without a twenty digit password.......ReplyDelete
You already need a five-digit password to unlock some makes and models.Delete