Stop Miss Leading People

When are the people who run this site going to realize that people post here thinking that they are only contacting those who have the same vehicle as theirs . Either drop this Ask Anyone or change the title to reflect that they can ask for help with ( vehicle description here ) .

The theme should be changed to “Ask Grumpy Old Men”.

Many of the ASWOO treads get 10 to 20 replies, most are of little value. Why reply to a topic if you are not familiar with the vehicle or the problem?


@VOLVO-V70 Thank you for your feedback. I don’t think anybody intended for it to be misleading when it was designed. Yes, it has its problems. The volume has dropped significantly within the last months, and there have been discussions about what to do with it in the future.

Of course @Nevada_545 does have a point. If you don’t see enough information or you think it’s poorly composed, you don’t have to answer.


I listed what I thought the site should have.
But majority of the OPs on ask someone ignore the title and are just venting their complaints.
Perhaps the title should be “Just Venting” and eliminate the reply button.


Rant and Rave is what Tom used to call it, I haven’t looked at them for awhile but many seem to just vent and run.

They don’t. They post in the hope that someone who has the same vehicle/problem will see their post and reply. Frequently the question is implied, as in “My brakes are making a noise,” which means, “Why are my brakes making a noise and is it something to worry about?” Other posters are not obligated to ask questions on my terms, any more than I’m obligated to answer, but when I do, I try to be respectful and constructive.


I have surfed around the www and book marked a few automotive forums but for the most part I have deleted them after a few weeks due to the hostile and insulting comments of regulars. The atmosphere here at CarTalk is considerably friendlier than most similar sites but there does seem to be a tendency for regulars to jump in with some heavy criticism on posts that push their ‘pet peeve’ button. And I must admit that I am often somewhat blunt in voicing my opinion that OPs are often diving in over their heads into an expensive and/or dangerous effort. I have been called out here a few times about that and took no offense.

But I don’t feel compelled to wet nurse someone into the quicksand of a repair that is far beyond a DIY beginner.


When an OP admits that they know nothing–or next to nothing–about things mechanical and they ask if they will be able to (pick one or more)…
Overhaul their transmission
Replace their struts/ball joints/steering rack
“Fix” their A/C…
… I just cringe.


I think it’s entirely reasonable to tell someone when they’re about to get in over their head. Like that kid who wanted to make a sleeper race car out of his Concorde awhile back. Assuming that post was real, he was setting himself up for abject failure. And lots of us tried to tell him that, which is great.

But some folks here do it in better ways than others. “I think it’s great that you want to do this stuff yourself, but swapping a jet engine into your Civic as your first project might be a little out of reach until you’ve done some easier stuff first” is a much better way to go about it than “what the hell are you thinking?”

On the other stuff, look. I’m a professional writer. I love English. I enjoy looking for the just-right turn of phrase to make people want to keep reading. And I get irrationally annoyed when someone butchers basic rules of grammar and spelling.

But! This is Car Talk, not King’s English Talk. People aren’t coming here for writing criticism. They’re coming here for help getting their hoopties back on the road. As much as common spelling confusions (they’re, their, there / advice, advise / lose, loose) are like nails on a chalkboard to me, what irritates me more is when people make brand new users feel bad by giving them grief about mixing up brake and break.

Yeah. We know. It’s brake. But when someone comes on here and says there breaks are soft, we also know exactly what their referring to and can give advise on the relevant topic and just except that sometimes people aren’t world-class spellers. (How many of you did I irritate with that sentence? :wink: )

I agree with @Rod-Knox - this is one of the nicest car forums on the internet, and there’s no reason it couldn’t be even more popular if we’d just give the newbies a break and address the problem they’re here to solve to the extent we can, rather than addressing the problems with their writing abilities.


VOLVO-V70 post specifies “Ask Someone”. Rarely is a question asked, such as the thread about a Nissan Leaf.
If a question is inferred on the original post, rarely to we get any pertinent information. If we try to help the OP often they either do not reply or will avoid answering questions. If we are lucky we might get the information after playing 20 questions.
That is why I think it should be retitled as “Just Venting” with no reply button.

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I will miss it so much if it goes away.

The people most drawn to the Ask Someone category are the ones that want it discontinued.
How will you spend you time after it ends?

Probably get to the basement cleanout. I so look forward to dealing with anything but that pile of 3 generations of precious stuff I ave no idea what to do with.

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Many of these would probably get a better response on the model specific forum’s such as VW Vortex for example.

I was referring to volume of Ask Someone in that post, if that’s what you’re going to miss…

Those who come to this forum for help are often not car enthusiasts. They come here from all ranges of background skills, education levels, financial situations, personal stress levels, or needs.

They come here for help. Shame on us if we berate them for not reading our minds on how we want them to ask a question. We would never tolerate anyone talking to our loved ones that way.

If someone asks a question and doesn’t provide enough information, then either politely ask for more information or just ignore it.

It’s rude to criticize posters for any reason. Doing it entitles others to call you out on it.

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Look at the MPV thread, my response was polite, more than 48 hours, no response from the OP.
Is it really difficult to answer “is your CEL on?”.
You would object to a waitperson asking your loved one “What dressing would you like on your salad?”.

I submitted a suggestion to Carol when they were looking at the future of the site. A form for initial posts that would provide responders with much of the pertinent information.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Purbread wrote:

I fully agree with you about your MVP thread post requesting more information. We don’t know why someone doesn’t respond to a request for more information.

My point is, if they don’t answer us or if they don’t answer in a satisfactory way, that’s never a license to become critical to them. It pulls down the whole forum and drives people away.


Maybe the OP was embarrassed that they didn’t know what the CEL was. You and I know what it means, but I’m sure most people only know a red light went on and it had a funny looking symbol in it.