Advice for those seeking help


I am not asking for advice

Rather, I am giving it

If you ask a question that might be answered by flipping through the owner’s manual . . . resetting a service reminder, oil viscosity, tire pressures, etc., . . .


Believe me, somebody is going to politely tell you to look in your owner’s manual

And somebody is going to get upset and flag the guy that said “Look in the owner’s manual”

And somebody is going to ask “Why did you do that?”

This can all be avoided


Then one of us (perhaps me) will attempt to give you the information you need

Perhaps somebody will know the information off the top of their head

Perhaps somebody will post a link to the reset procedure, owner’s manual, website, etc.



The reason I said that was . . . not everybody’s avatar appears next to their flag

Hopefully this will prevent some future cyberspace battles


Good advice. The regulars here know a lot about cars, but none of us have read all the owner’s manuals for all cars in question.

You’ve no doubt heard the expression: “When all else fails, read the instructions”.


Also, when opening a new discussion, the make, model, year, engine size, mileage should also be included so we know what you are talking about…


I agree that we should own up to flags for abuse. If I flag you, I will send you a private post on your personal section. Look at your name at the top of the page occasionally to see if anyone left a message for you. The message could also be complimentary too, BTW.


Whoever disagreed with my post, can you please send me a message and tell me what you don’t agree with . . . as far as this post goes?


“If you ask a question that might be answered by flipping through the owner’s manual . . . resetting a service reminder, oil viscosity, tire pressures, etc., . . .PLEASE TELL US IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN OWNER’S MANUAL”

You are right, of course, but even when you are right, some folks will find a way to try to convince you that you are wrong!

I am reminded of a question (from, perhaps 5 or 6 years ago), and my response was something along the lines of…Have you checked to see what your Owner’s Manual has to say on this topic? The extremely nasty response from the woman who posted the question stated that, “Only an engineer can understand what is in that manual”.

Because Owner’s Manuals are intentionally written on an 8th grade reading level, the only possible conclusions that I could come to were that this woman had not bothered to even open the manual, or that her reading comprehension was…let’s just say…not very good.

As I stated, even when you are right, some folks will tell you that you are wrong.



I strongly suspect that a lot of people asking questions actually don’t have their owner’s manual

There are many reasons for this

They lost it
The previous owner kept it
The previous owner lost it

It would be helpful to know if the OP does or does not have the owner’s manual

Perhaps something in the owner’s manual is somehow confusing, and they want our opinion


The vast majority of owners manuals in used cars are missing from the get-go. I would strongly suspect that trashing them is standard practice by the dealer so the following owner(s) won’t easily detect lack of maintenance or root up names and phone numbers of prior owners who may pony up some unpleasant information about why they decided to trade that car off.


There’s a problem with the way we operate. Readers only read the words and don’t hear our voices. They might infer a nasty tone of voice when the response was informational (adult). We know that @db4690 offered an adult response because we know him better than a first time visitor.


I’ll add this

If somebody’s got a beef with another user (or me, for that matter), how about shooting them a message and telling them what your concern is

Some guys have actually done that. You wouldn’t be the first

Here’s something else to consider . . . while many have RIGHTFULLY flagged me with abuse, off-topic, disagree, etc. . . . I have rarely flagged others with that stuff

Even though I might say in my response that I disagree with you, I usually won’t flag you


Some alternate and other views for you to consider…

The preconditions stated on this thread that some would impose on people with questions will sink into oblivion as with all of the other threads unless a search might find them or if the proctors choose to make them into a “sticky”.

If you are frustrated with the manner in which questions are asked, perhaps it would be good to take a little time away to later return to share what you have about vehicles.

Nothing should ever be done to discourage a question from anyone by the people here who have knowledge to share about vehicles.

Some questions can apply to any vehicle so that specific vehicle information may not be needed.


PS, it would be easy to think from my comments that I marked the “disagree” on the OP’s post. Accordingly, I don’t appreciate that part of the rating system.



I already sent a message to the administrator about “hiding behind the flag”

And I’ve already gotten a response

I merely brought this up so that you know that some of what I brought up is being looked into

BTW . . . was your latest post meant for me . . . or general consumption?

If it was meant for me, please say @db4690 . . . so that I know you’re talking directly to me

Another BTW . . . I am not necessarily frustrated with the manner in which questions are asked

I am more concerned about how some people react to the responses

Again . . . hiding behind the flag

For some, that is like getting sucker punched from behind, and you don’t even see who did it

Another BTW . . . MANY of the regular posters told that guy with the Honda to look in the owner’s manual, in regards to resetting that service light

But for some reason, I alone got flagged with abuse


Mr. db4690: My post was for general consumption. I had not seen the Honda post; just found it and took a look. I believe that you would have been ok if your post was not prefaced with the jerk statement. Apparently that gave someone justification to do a “flag”. Never admit that you can sound like a jerk as someone will then believe that you can be a jerk!


I’m not sure I understand why some posters attach importance to post ratings.

I mean, some sites attach value to them…moderator positions, added features, etc are tied to “reputation”…which is earned from positive feedback.

But here, there’s no importance attached…no “comped back massages and midnight buffets” for lotsa rep (or if there is, thanks for not clueing me in, guys!) So, why would anyone get worked up?

(Also, it is kind of easy to mistakenly click when scrolling on my cell phone…wouldn’t surprise me if I made an errant click or two, though I do my best not to.)


Every time I see a question that has already been asked 1,000 times before, I wish we would all just leave it unanswered.

The thing to consider is that we aren’t going to change anyone else’s behavior, so we might as well take our lumps if we are going to keep dispensing advice. There will always be people who don’t have the sense to use the search feature, or check their owner’s manual, or include the make, model, and year in their question. If someone comes here and asks where to find her jack without giving the make and model of her car, we’re just going to have to roll with it, and say, “If I don’t know what kind of car it is, I’m going to have to suggest you unwrap the cellophane from your owner’s manual and look it up.”

We’re always going to get dumba## people who think we can read their minds and who get testy when they find out we can’t. We’re just going to have to put up with it and gang up on those who behave rudely.