Do certain cars attract less than desirable customers?


If I had to pick around my area, those that are intentionally bad are probably the big jacked up trucks that “roll coal.” Otherwise older model Chrysler minivans seem to be the bad actors driving all over the road and not paying attention and such.

Perhaps TIME OF DAY is more important than car type. I have always found that the afternoon hours when most people are at work are especially bad news for running into bad drivers or otherwise idiots. I am out doing service all hours of the day and that seems to be what I have noticed. Also take note of the TV shows on at this time. Jerry Springer and other similar trashy talk shows and such are common so they know their demographic.

Then there is TIME OF THE MONTH. Watch out on and just after the dates when the government checks come out! The 3rd of the month is the day I especially dread. The good news is that all the money is spent within about 48 hours and they retreat until the next month rolls around.


In between brushes (starter and generator) and voltage regulators, I’d have to assist the starter on my 64. :wink:

However, because the battery was under the rear seat (which just popped up) and the fact it was 6 volt when most cars were 12 volt, I usually found it much easier to turn the key to “on,” open the driver’s door, run down the street pushing the car and then jump in and pop the clutch in second gear. :smile:

I’d hate it when I coasted to a stop and had to have another go, having not remembered to turn the ignition key! :grimacing:


My gaming rig would cost around $3000 if I had build it from scratch again. I have a PS3 Slim that I put a 2TB HDD in and just use mainly as a media server/blu-ray player. I can’t remember the last time I actually played a game on it. I also have collection of older consoles from my youth, they still work fine, and I even purposely kept a old 27 inch CRT TV to play them on, but these days I don’t get to fool around with them much. But yeah,the case on my PC is a Corsair Graphite 780T, it’s air fitlers for intake fans, PSU fan, and top exhaust fans, I clean them usually about every other month, and about once every 3 months or so, I’ll clean out the interior of the case with compressed air.

Good lord, that’s appalling. I’ve seen some of what you’ve described (components covered in tar/cigarette smoke, pet hair, etc.) But I’ve never personally witnessed something with roaches crawling around. I would’ve told them that that PS4 was dead, then promptly deloused myself.


They bought the Prius to use the HOV lane while they drive rush hour all alone. That privileged mindset poured over into all driving situations. They have a Prius. They are Entitled. You are in the Way.

Or something else. :scream:


Good. I don’t like to be insulted, and you’ve chosen to do so not only in your post with the photo of my car, but also in your reply to telling you that insulting people isn’t funny.
Your comment was not “friendly ribbing”. It was a one-way putdown.

Sadly, the Car Talk culture has deteriorated over the years. Some of us used to come here many years ago to answer people’s car questions and try to help them. Now the site is populated by too many like yourself insulting others, fighting, and arguing. It has sadly become the culture here at Car Talk. I think it’s tragic. I’d like to see the site get back to basics. But I seriously doubt if it will. Clearly YOU don’t care if you’ve insulted someone.


Roaches crawling around are pretty much the norm with gaming consoles around here. The last one I had actually had all dead roaches and none were living so that was a plus! I hate working on them and charge enough upfront that most people, especially this type, no longer want my services… and that is a GOOD thing! I have been in places were droplets of cigarette tar are creeping down the walls. The walls used to be white but are now a yellowish brown. It is so nasty.

I saw a car posted somewhere recently where they mentioned the owner had brought it in for complaints of HVAC issues. The entire thing was just completely FILLED with trash! I wonder why the ventilation quit working properly. Something is probably living in there.

Back to the time of the day. At 2:00 PM, someone turned LEFT from the RIGHT LANE while I was in the LEFT LANE and nearly got me. Then I heard another guy complaining about someone driving down the main road in town going super slow but was all over the road so couldn’t be passed for like a mile. Anyway, this was at 2:30PM which is the worst time from what I can tell. He was probably on drugs as the afternoon is when they get out of bed. I also got a ton of crappy calls where people hung up as soon as they knew I required a deposit upfront. Basically this filters out time wasters who never intend to pay and keep me from the paying jobs. It is a simple yet effective way of filtering these types out. I had someone start to ask if I would allow them to get a free estimate so I interrupted and said it was something I will not negotiate on because anytime I have made an exception, the person was more trouble than they were worth.


Cwatkin, your adventures in disgusting cars are beyond anything I’ve ever experienced up here in NH. We bi*ch and complain about the snow and the cold, but we don’t have to deal with the situations you describe. Winters here create uninhabitable environments for many unpleasant lifeforms to nest in.

I tip my hat to you. You’ve clearly run into some nightmarish situations.


Most of my situations are related to computers and electronic equipment. People are pigs and I see some real winners!

As for cars, I see some bad ones but not usually up close and personal.

I do have one example though. It is my 1997 F-250 Light Duty. It came to me as dirty as they come and with lots of mechanical problems as well. I actually disconnected the battery and pressure washed the interior and used a shop vac to suck all the crap out. There was leftover food, shell casings, cigarettes, trash, and lots and lots of rocks and mud. I probably got a couple hundred lbs out of that truck. It was a mess!

The main issues were the fact that it had been neglected overall. It took a lot of TLC to get it back up and running well. I would have never picked this one had I known what I was getting into at the time. I would have picked either an older or newer one for sure and not this odd one model year deal. This is the one with the 7 lug wheels.

I would have also never gotten one that had been this abused. I remember replacing the serpentine belt, thinking that I was doing a good thing by replacing the old and cracked belt. As soon as I released the tension, fluids started to leak. The bearings and seals in the water pump, power steering pump, etc. were so worn and the tension of the belt held the shafts in the seals in such a way that they didn’t leak. Apparently they had worn that way. My belt change became quite expensive with having to replace these other parts.


I have been at mechanics shops doing computer work and hear some funny stories.

Someone called while I was at the main desk and the owner answers. “How much will it cost to repair my Villager van?” He says “You will have to bring in your Mercury Villager for us to diagnose it.” She is then like “It isn’t a Mercury. It is a Plymouth Villager.” He says “They didn’t make a Plymouth Villager. It is either a Mercury Villager or a Plymouth Voyager.” You can then hear her freaking out and screaming on the other end of the line and he just slowly hangs up the phone.

Then he was getting the “How much will it cost to fix my non-starting car?” I heard that one many times while I was there and always hear it with my computer business as well. This week seemed especially bad for some reason. It was a full moon so maybe that was why. The 3rd of the month was last week and that was bad as well (it usually is).


Several years ago, we had a post from someone who wanted diagnostic help with his Toyota Accord (or, was it his Honda Camry? I forgot which mythical model it was. :wink:).

If someone doesn’t actually know what he/she is driving, what is the chance that they will even be able to describe the symptoms accurately?


I recall an article I read many years ago that was written by a VW van owner. It concerned hoarding momentum!


Common Sense Answer comments about the old VWs are spot on. I’ve owned 2 40 Horse, 1 50 Horse, and 2 Transporters.

I remember very well making a 125 miles one way trip with my girlfriend (now my wife) back in the 70s to Tulsa for a J. Geils and Styx concert.
It was about 25 degrees outside with ice on the way and the 40 Horse Bug had a leaky junction box. This meant CO was entering the passenger cabin. Both windows were cracked an inch or so on both sides to gain some fresh air. Between the icing windows and tears in the eyes it’s a miracle we made it there and home alive.

The roads are flat west of I-35; hilly east of so that meant we were roaring along at about a 50 MPH average…

Funny to think about nowadays; not so much at the time.


I was at the local Napa store and overheard the counter guy’s side of a phone conversation. “1955 Chevrolet. 6 or V8? Manual or automatic?” “OK. 1955 Chevrolet 4 door sedan, 235 cu in 6 cylinder with 3 speed manual transmission.” “Just a moment. I’ll see if we have a muffler in stock.” Yes. We have the muffler for your 1955 Chevy." “It’s a 1957 Plymouth?”


I saw J. Geils at a bar called Fox’s Landing on the Arizona side of the Colorado River around 1975. It would have been the worst place to take a girlfriend. I would describe it as a Girls Gone Wild documentary with a great sound track!


@cdaquila @lackeyjr Me thinks the above post is inappropriate.


VOLVO_V70. I have no clue what it means or who it is directed at.


I’m with you on that one!!


It looks like the offending post has been deleted but I saw it in my e-mail. Yes, it looks like someone on drugs or something posted it. This goes right along with the topic of less than desirable customers. Sometimes I get stuff in from people who are high on who knows what??? They are just nuts. The last really bad nut that caused me grief has a last name of ACORN so at least he was named correctly.

I had a laptop in today that caused my eyes to burn and tear up because of all the cigarette smoke inside. There was gooey tar all over the motherboard and this unit was fried of course.


He questioned if you felt supercilious because of your topic of judging others by the car they own, so you feel he may be on drugs?


My smart aleck brother had a 1964 Beetle. It would barely make the mid-60 mph range. I forget what he did to it, but it would run closer to 80 if you gave it enough time. But, he had to overhaul the motor more often.

It was 490 miles from his military post. He came home at least a couple times a month, on a 50 mile pass. He would drive straight through, and go back during Sunday night. It was still a lot of two lane road, and there was a small town he drove through. It had a 25 mph speed limit. He eventually started driving through there are nearly as fast as that thing would go, at 2 am.

He once told me (when we still talked) that the fastest he ever made that 490 miles was when it was still two lane, because when it became Interstate they patrolled it too well.

One of his nasty tricks, he and a buddy drove to the Purdue campus one night, and brasso-ed the chest of the Goddess of Love. The community was, to say the least, on its ear about that.