Car Talk - Empowering Self Diagnosis Across the Country

This just in - my wife tells me today… “Honey, my steering wheel shakes when I drive fast. Can you call the mechanic?” But of course I had to probe deeper and finally asked her, “How long has this been happening dear?” She replies, “Oh for about a month, I didn’t worry about it because CAR TALK always has people on the show about this and the brothers say it’s not life threatening.” I reply immediately (in a disconcerting tone), “The show is for ENTERTAINMENT not a training program to be become a mechanic, please let me know when your car is misbehaving.” So please I beg you Click and Clack, can we clear this up for the people out there who take you seriously and make more of an effort to “not try this at home, and no animals were hurt in this radio production, etc”.

I would love to hear more stories like this and for the brothers to take some responsibility for a new breed of car experts out there like my wife. :slight_smile:

Best, A devoted fan.

They’re retired, no new shows…

The show is for entertainment, but much of what they said is good information.
At least as good as the information found on the internet (I know that’s not saying much!).

MOST times a shaking steering wheel is not life threatening, typically a wheel weight has fallen off.
A driver should “take some responsibility” to look into car problems, no matter what some guys say on the radio.

@asecular that’s the kind of response I was looking for…haha Also I didn’t realize these guys retired already. So sad

@asecular I agree that quick feedback is important when a car does not behave as it should. My wife has medical training, is very observant, and she immediately lets me know if something is not just right. It’s prevented a lot of serious problems!

When our 13 year old Dodge Dart changed direction when crossing diagonal railway tracks, I checked it out and the whole front end had started to work itself loose. The car had a bumper jack and the front end would have folded if we had tried to jack it up. That was a one way trip to the scrap yard.

There are courses especially for women and those who don’t actually get involved in mechanics but want to know more about managing their vehicles safely and economically.

The trouble with self diagnosing is ;
those who don’t get it fixed after self diagnosing bring it in the shop and procede to ‘‘tell’’ us what is wrong with it ( which didn’t fix it ).
Then procede to vehemantly argue our diagnosis and …eh.hem …successful repair !

Oh, yah…THEN they insist on ( attempting ) returning the already installed special ordered parts which did not fix it .

I’ve learned from this and when I’m in over my head …auto, home ( expert d.i.y.), or medical ( wife is a nurse ) and then need to go the pros … I try to quietly await their educated diagnosis for which I am willing to pay their fair price .
My wife is the same way when visiting the doctor. She’ll have her nurse’s opinion but patiently await their diag. THEN she tells them she’s a nurse and they instantly break into medical techno-speak about her condition.

Yes. I too, like too much information. When terms are used that I don’t know I just take it in as if …then go home and do some research.
I’ve found that my customers like to be talked to like that . Maybe it’s a little above them …at the time…but they’d rather that than be spoken down to.

Over the years, back when most of the women and girls were not expected to know car stuff, I would talk to them in car-speak and they might say "I’m a girl , I don’t know this stuff. "
So I’d reply "Then I’ll rephrase it…then you’ll know. And ask more questions…and I’ll answer them…and then you will know ."
They’d see this respect of their assumed intellegence and that appreciation has been shown over the years as we gradually developed a gender-free automotive business around this town.

Just a comment about the shaking car. That could also be caused by a failing ball joint, tie rod end, steering coupler, etc and those kind of things ARE life threatening.

yeah, any car shaking at high speed should be taken seriously. it may be as simple as an unbalanced tire, but be as ok4450 said, very serious. if I would only follow my own advice…

Asecular: “@Bob: You need to manage your woman,”

Asecular, that is the single most repulsive, ignorant, and poor post I’ve seen in a very long time. Even if you meant it as a joke, the very fact that it even occurred to you as humor is appalling. Usually I can ignore your comments, but I can’t ignore this one. Ignoring coments like this makes us complicit in them.

I think you owe us all an apology, just as surely as if you had put filth in our drinking water.

Asecular, Little Mouse…or what ever name being used today…apologize??? That’s NOT going to happen.

True, Mike.
I wish I’d be proven wrong, but experience has taught me otherwise. Racists and sexists will, sadly, always be among us. I try to root them out when possible, but it’s futile.

Because if we all started just commenting on your stupid racist, sexists remarks…this forum would turn into nothing but responding to you…which is EXACTLY what you want.

Because I've never been racist or sexist, I'm going to have to flag your comment. Best regards!

Most racists and sexists will never admit it. Your posts say otherwise little mouse

Asecular, your comment suggesting that Bob needs to “manage [his] woman” is as sexist as any comment I’ve ever heard anywhere. Except perhaps from members of the Taliban.

Bob doesn;t need to have a problem with it for ME to have a problem with it. Bob may have moved on, but IMHO you owe the rest of us an apology. If we all stand by and ignore commenst like that without demanding an apology the sicknesses in the world will continue to fester.