Is a Good Cross-thread Really Better Than A Lock-washer?

Car Maintenance And Repair:

Good Car Advice and Bad Car Advice:

(Beyond “Righty-Tighty, Lefty-Loosey”)

The BEST car advice I have ever received that I still use to this day:

“Always start with the easiest and cheapest things first!”

The WORST advice (given by a mechanic in a shop where I worked):

“A good cross-thread is better than a lock-washer!”

What’s your favoite best/worst actual advice you’ve heard for car repair or maintenance?

customer says he need a drive shaft…put truck up on hoist…BAILING WIRE from transmission yoke to rear axle. …yes, he drove it to the shop.

Well, if you plan on never removing the bolt in question, then I suppose a cross-thread is better than a lock-washer because it’s never gonna go anywhere. Leave it in there long enough, and it probably won’t come out no matter what.

The advice about easiest and cheapest things first is absolutely sacrosanct. As with many things, I’ve found the principle of Occam’s Razor to apply to many, many car repairs: “All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the right one.”

Best Advice for Non-Do-It-Yourselfers:

I just remebered this one…

When you take your car in for service work in the morning, take a box of really fresh donuts and tell the service writer/technician, “These are for you guys to share.” Cookies or brownies work well for afternoon appointments. Do this regularly. You will notice technicians gaining a little weight and it will “cost” you a couple of bucks, but this can “save” you big bucks.

When I worked at a dealership, grown mechanics and service advisors acted like little kids at Christmas, fighting over Mr./Ms. Doe’s car being sure to give excellent care and keep the customer happy and assure that the goodies kept on coming. You never wanted to take the chance of having your treats going down the road to Town & Country Motors! Home-made stuff is good too if you have a baker in the house.

I have since done this myself and it is well received.

P.s. I never tried a pizza… (although an after-hours 12 pack has been fun.)

“Cross-threads are better than no threads”

Still looking for that Car Advice Guru

Thanks for all the advice, so far.

I thought for sure I could get some things based on “principles of thermodynamics” or “Murphy’s laws” or things that deal with having to have: “compression, spark, fuel,” or somebody from NASA, like a “rocket scientist” telling me what advice they live by.

I feel like some meaningful advice for car owners is being withheld out there.

How’s this for meaningful advice:

“Don’t drive into a tree.”

Not bad advice.

I actually do drive slower along a stretch of road near me that has trees very close to the edge of the road where the road curves and it is hilly. How about, “Slow down when driving in the proximity of immovable objects.” I don’t think those old oaks would wiggle a leaf if someone hit one. I see people haul through there on wet or slippery winter roads without considering the danger.