COLOR CODED CAR QUESTIONS...When posted from the same geographic region as us "Car Guys"

This one is for the powers that be here at the Website for Car Talk… CdAquilla and the like…

I was wondering if it would be possible for questions from OP’s that are in the same Geographic region as other Car Talk Members to appear to said Car Talk Members ONLY…say in a different color, such as GREEN ? Or maybe a symbol that stands out when you are in the same region as the person who is asking the car question?? Something that would be quick, easy and OBVIOUS to Car Talk members to tell when the OP you are responding to …is in the same area as you.

I don’t know how many times I have typed this exact sentence here on Car Talk while replying to peoples questions. “If you were located in the Philly area I would be happy to come out and lend you a hand and or a second opinion”?

Of course we wouldn’t have anyones address or phone number or ANYTHING LIKE THAT… I’m just looking for something like when the OP is in my area…a symbol or a Color tells me that the person is in my Geographical Area. I think that MAYBE some of the Regular guys out here would enjoy something like this? I mean A LOT of guys here really give their own hard won advice to help people…and I THINK…that if they knew a person in need of help was located near them AND the OP was having a really bad car day or bad repair story…and wanted to offer a hand…they would easily know who to offer said “Hand” because we would know they were within our region. Just an indicator of Geographic Location Match…or something of this nature. It would in NO WAY be some kind of Obligation or ANYTHING like that… Just a rapid fire method of pointing out a Geo-Similar-Match between you and the OP…as opposed to simply typing that sentence of mine AGAIN… Eveyone out here knows how much I like to type… What can I say…I type faster than I can talk…LOL

I guess I am just tired of typing the line… “If you were in the Philadelphia Area I could come and take a looksie for you if you wish” LOL
Not sure what kind of Negative or ANTI “Geographical Match” idea people are out here. But I am simply asking if this is possible in the vein of being able to help people out more effectively IF and WHEN that time comes in an OP’s repair experience AND they are in our area.

I don’t know if I am asking for something Creepy in this PC correct world…I am simply and innocently asking if this would be possible Web People out there in Car Talk Land. Is this a good idea? Is this a bad idea? IF SO…why is it a bad idea? I don’t have an overly PC or Litigious type of thought process so I may need help in seeing this as a BAD THING. LOL


I kind of like the idea

Even though I might often come across as an a . . h . . e I do like helping people. And it certainly might be easier to do that if I had the car right in front of me

But I also realize there’s always the possibility that the person I’m helping might rob me or worse

It might be another way to network, for all I know

Lots of good and bad things to consider, actually

I suppose the best scenario would be if OP saw that a regular was in their region, and asked to meet somewhere, so that the regular could look at the car

OP and/or the regular could always decline to meet

And there’s no reason to disclose your real address or shop’s location

If OP was a lady, I could understand if she was uncomfortable bringing the car to one of the regulars to look at. Let’s face it, most of us regulars are guys, and we’ve got dirty paws, we probably smell bad, due to gear oil, brake dust, etc., and maybe we don’t look very nice, either

I guess that might describe me


It’s an interesting idea

Its not something we are obligated to act upon. It would just be some kind of quick indicator…that the person asking the question is in your area. They may never need your physical prescense…or you may never ask them if they want help onsite… Its just a heads up either by the question appearing to those in the same area as like Green or something…or just a Symbol within the Op’s question… Like a Map Symbol that appears in both peoples field of view somewhere?..when you see that…you know the person is in the same area as you… SO if the issue ever gets to the point…and you take it upon yourself to ask the person…Hey do you want me to take a look… Its entirely up to the guy offering the help.

Hell the symbol that indicates you are in the same region just may make you communicate in a different way…instead of saying I know a shop that does this or that…you tell them WHERE that place is…because you are in the same area. Knowing you’re both in the same place will change how you discuss matters.

AT ANY RATE…its ALL just to see quickly where the OP is located generally. if you offer your help onsite…that’s up to you and the OP…may NEVER happen…but its a possibility.


If people honestly provide their location in their profile, it is possible, though will take a bit of programming. Right now I don’t think there’s anywhere to even provide this information. With just an email address, no go. Maybe, if this is considered, the selections can be broad in the interest of privacy for those that wish it–eg. “midwest”, “pacific northwest”, “southwest”, etc.

Then someone would have to decide the size of the area, ie. Same state, less then 100 miles, 50 miles. I like the idea but think it would be a programming problem. Still think it is worth looking into.

Morning. Thanks for the suggestion, Blackbird. I did notice you frequently offer to help if the person happens to be in the Philly area. I think some sites incorporate that type of function, with the ability for users to opt out of their locations being used. The thought is a generous one, and I think you point out some of the upsides and downsides. I’ll share this with my fellow lackeys.

Blackbird , what a terrible idea. Wanting to meet strangers using screen names is just asking for trouble. That is what the mechanics file is for. You can get robbed, sued for not performing an adequate repair or find yourself a stalker. And as a personal request , drop all the capital yelling.

I’m not going to totally disagree with Blackbird, but consider this…
We have been asking for quite a while for the page numbers to be changed from black and an almost-black shade of blue to a more obviously-different color scheme.

If the web lackeys can’t seem to manage that type of logical and simple color change…
What is the likelihood that they will see fit to do the more complex type of reprogramming that you have suggested?

I agree with Volvo on this. If a poster wants to disclose his/her location, that’s up to him/her. And if a particular forum regular wants to offer to help hands-on, that too is up to him/her. Disclosing information about a poster, any information, violates their privacy and sense of security.

By the way, Honda, I too intended to request that you stop mixing so many capitalized words with regular words. You’re extremely knowledgeable, but it frankly gets lost in the extreme difficulty reading your posts. I often don’t even try anymore.

Sorry for my “terrible idea” , I will also refrain from using caps due to the sensitivity of other users as well as the “extreme” difficulty of reading my posts. I also apologize for being difficult to understand and or possibly retarded. What was I thinking? I see that No Good Deed is alive and well in society.

Nevermind, I wont offer to help a person in need anymore…for fear of actually lending a hand and or meeting someone who is in genuine need of assistance. Let alone subjecting people to what little knowledge I possess and the “extreme difficulty” of reading the words that I write. I don’t want people to have to skip my posts because they are so convoluted or inane that they actually don’t even try to read them anymore. I apologize, what was I thinking? I had no idea that I was considered in such regard on this site. Now I know.

Hey how bout that? No caps either. Have a nice day people


@Honda Blackbird I’ m stuck in Ga and dying for a Philly cheese steak. Is Geno’s and Pat’s close?

Yes they are close enuf, though I find myself near Pats more often than Geno’s. lol


I’m jealous!

Ha, don’t be…You don’t want to frequent those joints too often especially before Bikini season. Hahaha.

Hi Folks,

We’re actually through the wire frames now on the redesigned community, and it’s going into programming later this month. We were able to integrate a number of your suggestions from some time ago.

This is a tricky feature to add, because it would trigger an update to our Terms of Service, and triggers some obvious privacy concerns. I like the idea, though, and will share it on this end.

The feature set for the new community, based significantly on your input, is locked down at this point, so if we did add something like this, it would have to be in a version 2.0. The good news it that the new forum will be in house on our existing Drupal CMS platform, instead of at our partners at Vanilla, so we’ll be able to much better manage and control a host of issues we’ve been unable to touch to date.

All Best,

Doug Mayer
Senior Web Lackey

Honda Blackbird, I will assume that your thin skinned comments are in jest. At least one of those that commented about using caps is about the nices guy you will ever meet, and goes out of his way to avoid offending anyone.

Something like this is NOT that trivial to implement. It’s easy for - say people who live in Philly…but what about someone like me…who lives in NH. If the software they use already has the distance functionality built in…then it 's just a matter of turning it on. If not then it has to be coded. There are some companies that make this easy…but it would still have to be written.

Even though I’m in a different state…my area is basically a suburb of Boston. If you live in Concord NH it might be obvious to someone that we would be relatively close to each other…but I’m closer to Boston, then Concord NH.

I’ve got to agree with the inadvisability to meeting someone on line regardless of how helpful the person is trying to be. It would be nice though if the person would simply indicate what state or what part of the country or world they were in. It might help sometimes. Sometimes people will say that they are just south of undershoe and everybody is supposed to know where that is. All in all though, doesn’t seem like a big deal.

Some internet forums give members the ability to include their state of residence, and even a little slogan or catchphrase adjacent to the forum member’s name.

Perhaps that capability could be added, and if people were thus able to identify their approximate location (for instance, I might say…Central NJ…or…The Somerset Hills) that could be helpful to others without disclosing…too much.

I haven’t dwelled on Honda Blackbird’s idea but offhand I could see both good and bad points to it.

Agreed that adding a general location alone could help things a bit as it could allow someone to recommend a shop/parts source in that area or possibly get a handle on rough estimates in regard to labor charges and so on seeing as how there is such a wide variation in those from one area to the other.