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Infinite wisdom that wants no help

Just a story, share yours also, so rental neighbors, slow crank not enough juice to start, out for 1/2 day poundong this and that, convinced it is a solenoid. Being a nice guy I grab my cables and say let’s try giving it a jump. Starts right up, they drive it to wherever and back, turn it off slow crank again and no start, grr grr click. It might be your battery is bad or the alternator is not charging, No it is a bad solenoid he says, like a spouse, sometimes it works sometimes it does not. Possible I suppose, but 99% chance if I jumped it again it would start, but they know better. Another day of no start, he did not have metric tools to replace the solenoid, offered to loan him a set, I’ll let you know in a half hour, he did not get back to me, 4 or 5 times today the hood was up, go figure.

I had a next door neighbor that goosed his throttle every morning claiming he needed to warm up his engine. I told him he was doing harm to his engine by doing this as he was reaching red line most of the time. He said that was the way his daddy did it so he was going to do the same. He called his wife for a ride from work about 3 weeks after I talked to him. It seemed his engine threw a rod while revving his engine before he left work. He asked me later what I would charge to rebuild his engine for him. I told him that he couldn’t afford my services.

@Barkydog You are too nice and have too much patience. Around here, my neighbors for the most part just call AAA as they think nobody is good enough to touch their cars except the dealer (whom they believe built the car).

I only have two gear-head neighbors that know what they are doing but would once in a while ask for help when tinkering and those situations are usually more complex than a dead battery.

For every other neighbor, if I see the car is not starting, I just move on with my own life as I am sure I am not welcome to make any comments/suggestions; learned the hard way.

I learned long ago that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help. Don’t fret. You tried. You’ve done the right thing. Go about your life with a smile on your face.

If they could afford AAA I am sure that would have been the first call they made, but it seems certain there is no roadside assistance available to them at this point. Let it go, I tried.

As reported here sometimes, the “no-crank” problem can be difficult to diagnose. Fixing it once you know what is wrong is usually no problem, but figuring out what’s wrong can be time consuming for a diy’er. I think the fellow just wants to have a go at it himself. No harm done.

It doesn’t take a mental giant to figure that if the car doesn’t start, jumping the battery makes it start, then the battery is the most likely problem. If the yo-yo can’t even grasp that basic concept I would think any further advice or help is wasted.

Yo-yo is to nice a word .

I was nearing my place one day when I happened past the new neighbor. He had not shoveled snow in his driveway from the storm a week earlier, and had gotten his car stuck with the front tires straddling two mounds of frozen slush and snow. It was just slick enough that he couldn’t get traction.

I stopped to offer help, as they had a chain hooked from his sisters SUV to the rear of his little car. I took one look and mentioned that opening the rear hatch and attaching the chain to the rear lid latch was a bad idea.

He said he’s done it before and it would be fine. I stood aside not wanting to get involved at this point, but wanting to watch a good show…kind of like the “Keystone Cops”.
He hopped into the pickup and with the little car still in park and no one at the wheel he gave it a yank.

Needless to say he now has a ratchet strap running from one wheel well to the other holding the lid shut.

I have to laugh every time I pass his place.


My previous neighbor, an otherwise generous woman, had a 9 year old Acura MDX which failed to start. She works in health care and has to get to work on time.

I applied my battery charger to her car sitting in the garage and advised that she simply needed a new battery. in her $40,000 vehicle. She procrastinated till it happened again and finally the AAA persuaded her to part with $120 or so and get a new battery.

She also had a faulty latch on the gate of her backyard. Her adventurous dog escaped several dozen time before she fixed the latch.

Her husband firmly believes in the “if it’s not broken, don’t do anything” philosophy, and waits till thing fall apart.

The new neighbors are much more pro-active.