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Looking for a idea

Hello everyone, You guys all have great minds and I am going to ask for some of it. I must write a 5000 word argument/response paper for my writing 102 class. the professor said do not send me anymore “capital punishment” “police brutality” “global warming” type papers.



I am looking for a idea,automotive related,perhaps related to how this Forum works,perhaps how people get taken advantage of in regards to their car buying,or car repair experiences. Maybe something saying the uninformed customer gets robbed.Maybe life as a mechanic? The field is wide open, all he said was “don’t bore me” Your help would be much appreciated.



Thank You

Have you ever read zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance? It is imho a compare and contrast fix it yourself or have the work done by a pro. It has been many years but that was my take, maybe that would be fuel for your fodder!

How about a paper on "Who Really Invented the Automobile? In his recent speech to Congress, the President apparently mis-spoke when he stated that the automobile was invented in the US, but debate still exists as to who was really the father (sorry, ladies) of the car. Was it Benz in Germany, or was it Siegfried Marcus in Austria, or does it go all the way back to Nicholas Cugnot’s steam wagon in France, or…

Two good ideas,I really should read “Zen of Motorcycle” I have heard of it for years. 5000 words is going to challenge me. I really want to stay out of the political,racial,economy camp although they would be easy to reasearch and write on.
Professors lean is left wing liberal. How is he going to relate to a auto piece?
Thank you

If it’s a writing class, you probably don’t need to do any research. You can call on your life’s experience. As I recall, both you and your good twin newschool are mechanics. Pick a point of view and let your experience take over. For instance, you might choose to discuss how you handle customers that won’t accept your recommendation for a repair. How do you overcome their reluctance if you believe that the repair is in their best interest? This may be a lame suggestion, but it illustrates the general idea that if your paper discusses relationships in the shop, it will be engaging and get the grade you want.

He probably drives a car, and will be rating your work on the assignment “5000 word argument/response paper” so read the assignment details and know that his political affinity will have little difference in the grading of the paper.

My suggestion is purely historical, and nobody’s political leanings should be offended by something of that nature. Of course, since my undergraduate major was history, I find anything historical to be fascinating, but still, it is really non-controversial and there should be a decent amount of background material available.

I’ll even get you started by giving you some names to research:

Father Ferdinand Verbiest (a Jesuit Priest who built a small model steam-powered car in…believe it or not…the late 1600s, while he was a missionary in China.)

Nicholas Cugnot (A French artillery officer who built a HUGE steam tractor, circa 1769.)

Jean Joseph Lenoir (A Frenchman who patented a 2-cycle internal combustion engine in 1860. He drove his first car in 1862, powered by this engine.)

Nicholas Otto (A German who built the first practical 4-cycle engine in 1876.)

Siegfried Marcus (An Austrian who obtained the first patent for the carburetor in the 1860s, and built and drove two slightly different single cylinder gas-engine cars sometime between 1870 and 1890. Because he was Jewish, the Nazis made sure that they destroyed most records of his achievements.)

Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler (Germans who independently built 4-cycle gas-engine vehicles in 1885 that were great improvements on all of their predecessors.)

On this side of the Atlantic, nothing significant happened in this field until the Duryea brothers (1893) and Elwood Haynes (1894) built and drove cars of their own designs.

Or, how about the American who had the nerve to obtain a patent on the entire concept of the automobile in 1895, despite the fact that he had no working model and his ideas were merely theoretical? That was George B. Selden, and believe it or not, most US car manufacturers actually paid royalties to this guy for many years until Henry Ford successfully sued this guy!

The Political line was if I picked one of our Forum topics. Like oil prices,government involvement in saving the auto makers,safety regs,mandates,nanny state stuff,we talked a lot last year about oil drilling,electric cars,public transportation. Thanks for making me think.

How about why and what people name their cars? Why they pay so much for a car and then not maintain it? How about what kinds of cars kinds of people buy or why some people use their car as an extension or expression of their personality? [ intentionally loud exhaust, fancy wheels, flame thrower exhaust etc. ]

Try approaching it as a factual report, or a fantasy.

Why did Hummers sell and now no one wants one?

If you search through the the questions and answers you may find some interesting ideas.

Here’s a couple.
Liability insurance, a new approach.
Laws would need changed and company rules as well, accross the board, state to state, or perhaps new national rules. The insurance laws were written long before states began require liability on all drivers. So the updated idea would be to write liability insurance ON THE DRIVER, not the car. A vehicle can do no damage without a driver. Any driver could drive any vehicle and their actions in that vehicle will always be covered for liability. ( write comp & collision on the vehicle separately as needed. ) Now when the officer asks, at least your license & proof of insurance would be in your pocket in every case.

Driver training, another huge undertaking to change the industry to really train all drivers. Not just a drive around the block and parallel park. As posted here many other times, encorperate the ideas of sane and co-ordinated driving practices at the root of training, allow more learning time for new drivers, re-train old drivers, and the list is too big for anything except a thesis on the subject.
The all around benefits of comprehensive training down to the lives saved, insurance payouts, better traffic flow, accident numbers, personal down time, etc, etc, etc.
As a light plane pilot I’ve posted my realization of the broad difference in training being so blazingly obvious but , in some manner, neccessary to bring some of the appropriate training styles over to automotive.

Before the automobile it was the horse that provided transport, and worked the land. For centuries horses were fundamental to the economic progress of man. Then came the era of the automobile.

What is next? Is the automobile on its way out? Will we commute to work via “rocket packs” on our backs? Will we congregate back to the cities and rely on public transport? Will the suburbs become the ghost towns of the future, just cities were abandoned to blight? Will men of the future get as passionate about electric cars that hum and buzz as they did about big block V8’s?

Thanks everyone for the ideas. The urge to write a very opinionated very political incorrect piece is strong. I can feel the energy to do such,very contrary to the rules I have put upon myself.

The smart thing would be to pick a piece as VDC or Ken or Whitey has suggested. Just pick a subject, present it well get my grade and go on.

I have a second assignment I must pick a song to “explore the lyrics” 900 words no love songs.

One woman I worked with wrote a short story about the goings on at the dealership. I once read about a Sales Manager who felt it was his duty to take advantage of the customer,do stupid people deserve to have their money taken from them? that was the way he ran his Sales Department. I can’t be like that.

Computer Repair For Dummies. Read it and have no clue. Laptops For Dummies is where I got questions answered about RAM, and why 4GB is a lot and why is it a lot when the hard drive had 400 GB? Better think about that when you’re retired and when these old books are really outdated. You do want to get your writing graded without the professor croaking from unnatural causes.

A better subject would be why Time Magazine has no clue what anybody wants to read. Pop charts are so stupid. Why do so many pages of ESPN The Magazine look like advertising.

Why are so many people dissing people who can’t pay their mortgages when the loan writers knew that the borrower could never afford to make the payments? It’s as if people with bad credit never tried to get a loan 25 years ago.

Why, when talking about Common Law Marriages do people ask why a person thought she was married when there was no wedding? This, after the law was explained to everybody on the TV show.

Why does Sen. Jim Bunning make himself look like a fool by asking stupid questions? Does he think that nobody is watching?

Remember Andy Granatelli?

FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD

(JACK TEMPCHIN)

WELL THIS LIFE IS ONE BIG AUTOMOBILE
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD
SOMETIMES IT?S HARD TO BELIEVE IT?S REAL
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD
WELL I?M WAY DOWN HERE WITH MY FEET IN THE AIR
I GOT GREASE AND OIL ALL IN MY HAIR
IT?S GETTING SO BAD, I?M STARTING TO SWEAR
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD

WELL I?M AWFUL HUNGRY I WISH I HAD SOME BEANS
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD
I SPENT ALL BUT A DOLLAR ON VALVOLINE
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD
I?M LUCKY I SAVED A BUCK TO GET SOMETHING TO EAT
TOO BAD I?LL SPEND IT LATER
ON WHEEL BEARING GREASE
A COP JUST TOLD ME TO GET MY CAR
OFF THE STREET, FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD

WELL I WENT DOWNSTAIRS I PUT ON MY GOOD PANTS
TO GO TO THE JUNKYARD FOR A VACUUM ADVANCE
I WAS JUST CLIMBIN? INTO THIS SHIRT
WHEN I REMEMBERED I COULDN?T GO
BECAUSE MY CAR DON?T WORK

LET ME TELL YOU FRIENDS WHAT?S WRONG WITH ME
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD
I JUST DROPPED THE CRANK SHAFT ON MY KNEE
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD
I GOT WATER IN MY OIL AND THE LONDON FLU
BURNT VALVES, VAPOR LOCK, WORN BRAKE SHOES
I GOT THOSE DEAD-BATTERY-BROKEN-FAN-BELT BLUES
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD

WELL I?M TRYING TO GET THIS ACCELERATOR CABLE FREE
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD
ANDY GRANATELLI?S ON THE RADIO FOR S.T.P.
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD
I?M LOOKING FOR THE FLASHLIGHT FOR THE TIMING CHAIN
I JUST SKINNED MY KNUCKLES AND I?M IN GREAT PAIN
IT?S AWFUL COLD AND IT?S STARTING TO RAIN
FIFTEEN DAYS UNDER THE HOOD

If you want a more contempory automobile topic you might consider the way repair centers at car dealers may have been exploited to produce more income to support dealerships since new car sales have dropped off in the credit crisis.

For example, the electronic scan to diagnose problems, once free or available for a cheap service charge, has become expensive, and more frequently used. You are paying a mechanic’s full hourly rate for a computer diagnosis that is often just a hook up and walk away task for the mechanic or a lower labor rate tech, and it’s an hour or more labor charge even if it’s a twenty minute scan. You can tell the dealer what you want fixed, but still get a charge for a scan to confirm the repair you know you need, and after its fixed there is another charge to reset the default code and turn off the CEL {check engine light.}

If you don’t know what is wrong, once scanned, a repair is recommended for a fault code that points to this problem, but might also be related to that problem. You tell the dealer to fix the problem indicated by the fault code, but end up fixing other problems because the initial repair doesn’t eliminate the problem?

Are the electronics in new cars too complex for accurate computer diagnosis? Do the electronic scans flag proformance symptoms that do not actually indicate necessary servicable repairs?

Don’t know.

You said “Car buying or car repair maintenance”. Why don’t you go out and start looking to buy a new or used car, visiting several dealerships, and then report on your experience(s). Use one model and year and see what different prices and gimmicks the salespeople use on you. Pretend you’re really going to do it . . make it lile a “Guide to Car buying 101”. Rocketman

All good stuff. I have Spring Break to decide.