Why I am leaving after twenty years



I don’t remember when I signed up on this board. It must have been nearly twenty years ago. At one time we were told a software change reset our sign-up date. But, in those days, I was a strong car talk fan. I worked my way through all the past newspaper columns in the archives, and loved them.

I also learned a lot from the columns and this board. I was scared of OBDII but learned it was essentially an automotive equivalent of military electronics self-test as we called it in those days. I did not know in those days about good books on OBDII, such as Santini’s book which came out later. So, I had to pick up bits and pieces as people posted them.

The Brothers were still in charge then, and this board was a friendly place, overall.

After they left, there was some change in the personality of the board, but not dramatically so.

Around two years ago, I made a posting with what I thought then and still think now was important technical information. My 2002 Sienna had some years ago, an intermittent evap failure. It might fail every day or go several months with no failure. I knew from extensive experience there was no point in taking it to a mechanic. “No trouble found; that will be $100 for diagnostics and $20 for shop supplies we didn’t actually use.” So, I examinded the hoses as best I could, and noted in a notebook when the failures occurred.

Finally, after maybe a year or more, a man posted on another board that he had the same problem but he had two Gen-1 Siennas and swapped parts until he found the problem. The charcoal canister had some self-actuating valves that got sticky. He installed a new cannister and problem solved.

So, I took my car to the local dealer, signed the diagnostic waiver, and in a few hours paid my bill, and that failure never occurred again.

I had retired after 31 years in a high tech factory. We had around 300 production techs. I was one of 11 at the top level. Our function would properly be called Senior diagnosticians.

intermittents can be very hard to troubleshoot, for sure. “No trouble found; that will be $100 for diagnostics and $20 for shop supplies we didn’t actually use” may be acceptable for automobiles, but not so good when a vehicle is carrying 500 passengers, or an atomic bomb. So, in case of repeat failures, if we couldn’t find the problem, we had to give them a new box and “eat” the old one. With at least one box I worked on having a standard cost of $250,000 this was not taken lightly, either.

Before a NTF was sent back, normally we would repeat the temperature cycling; run it on the shake table (6.3 g. of pseudo-random vibration from 20 hz to 20K hz,) maybe even tear out the modules and 100% inspect them.

On the other hand, most big projects involved a very large support contract, and the actuaries probably allowed for a predictable number of intermittents with high diagnostic costs.

This is why I knew very well it was a waste of time to take my car to a mechanic to troubleshoot. It was my car; it was my problem.

When I made the posting, I was treated like the worst, most despicable person every to blunder on this board. One long-time member compared me unfavorably to the worst customer of his entire career. A man brought in a car with an intermittent, and wanted a certain part replaced; was told that would not fix it; insisted; signed the waiver, then when it didn’t fix it, sued the mechanic anyway. So, what did that have to do with my posting? Nothing, of course. It did change my view of a man I viewed as a wise, old retired mechanic to just another Angry Shouter.

He set the tone of the board. A few did not agree with him, but there were a lot of negative attacks on me. Several agreed they did not want customers of my ilk in their shops.

One man believed I had to get my own hoist; my own tools; and replace it myself. He also thought it wasn’t right for me to diagnose my own car until I went to mechanic school and worked maybe five years as a mechanic.

Actually, the consensus was the current business model makes it nearly impossible to fix intermittents in automobiles. So while they essentially admitted they couldn’t fix it, I was not supposed to be able to diagnose it myself. Crush a $15,000 car, I guess, but whatever do not hurt the ego of a mechanic.

That thread was the worst one I ever saw on this board. It portrayed mechanics as much worse than the anti-mechanic prejudices of the general public. If you guys were smart you’d pay a large bribe to the moderator to delete that entire thread, if you have not already done so.

I might have worked past that thread, as vicious as it was. But, then we had the angry religious bigot. And, after that, we got into the Trump derangement syndrome, and attacks on the Constitution because of its protection of the Federal system.

And, the minute anyone stands up to you guys, everyone hits the Abuse button at the same time, as if you were the ones being picked on.

There are too many good boards on the Web to put up with it any more. And, life is too good here in rural Mexico to have the negative tone in my life.

Cadquilla, can you fix it so I don’t get any more notifications? Thank you.


Irelandes. I am going to miss you. I found your posts of life in Mexico very interesting. There is an abuse button?


I’ve had several problems that I’d never ask on this board because I don’t want to deal with the aggravation from some of the replies I know I’d get.

Sorry to see you go. I’ve enjoyed your posts.


Aw stick around. I just commented on all the other folks that have left and it can get a little lonely. Just picture the abusers sitting at their computer in their underwear.


Yes, she can do that . But I have my preferences set to no notifications by Email so if I don’t come to the site it is as if it does not exist. You could also block the site on your Email account .


I come here mostly to learn since my training and experience is limited to about mid 1980s. Criticism does not bother me as everyone is entitled to their opinion.


Ah Know! Sometimes the attack comments are as useless as E-85. Those canisters should be mounted under a sub-woofer which would keep the valves from sticking. I have heard some cars that will never have sticking anything. I’m surprised the wheels don’t fall off. As usual, you only get useful information from me.


I, for one, am gonna miss You here. I remember the thread You mention and You for sure got some bad replies. I hope You’ll reconsider.
If not, well then this forum has lost one more valuable contributor.
All the best to You from me


I have stopped interacting with quite a number of forums, including this one for periods of time.
You don’t have to burn the bridge when you leave a forum.


I, too, will miss you @irlandes I enjoy the “life in Mexico” posts as well. Please stick around. Just ignore the trolls.


Sorry to see you leave this board. Always enjoyed your frank and unique input. We’re at opposite ends of the climate spectrum; you live in a warm region and I cope with a ferocious mountain climate and -30F temperatures.

Having spent a number of holidays in Mexico I appreciate the uniquely different environment; not just the addiction to 20W50 oil weight that still prevails.

Wished we had Green Angels where I live.

Adios Amigo!


I didn’t see the intermittent diagnosis thread. I have seen some upswelling in political posting, to be fair from both sides of the aisle, but the mod team does a pretty good job of tamping it down. Despite the fact that it’s very obvious who is and who is not a Trump fan, this is still the most a-political car forum I’ve ever seen. And most car forums would be at least 75% Republican fans loudly voicing their support. I know, I used to run car boards and roll my eyes at how many car issues got blamed on Obama.

It’d be nice if there were a place where we could take a complete vacation from politics of any flavor, but in the current political climate I’m not sure that’s a realistic expectation.

At any rate, I’m saddened that you feel maligned here. I know there are some crusty old farts around here, myself included, who can be a bit more acerbic than some would perhaps like. And I’ve been at the receiving end of such comments, including a very similar one to the “I’m not going to a mechanic anymore” post you talked about.

This was probably 10 years ago - my MR2’s brakes went soft, and I was living in an apartment at the time so I just took it to a shop. They wanted something like 800 bucks to replace the master cylinder, which was absurd so I took it to a friend’s house and spent something like $20 to do the job.

I’m all for making a profit and meeting overhead, but $780 more than it costs to do it at home struck me as a bit gougey, and I said so, and got slammed for it. I suspect it was a knee-jerk reaction because I know from having put myself through college working retail that if you make one penny of profit somebody’s going to get angry about it and vent their ire to the world. I stand by what I said back then, but I also appreciate that the pros are tired of hearing every day how they’re overcharging because they charge shop fees for oil changes.

At the end of the day, the posting on here has been for the most part helpful and reasoned, which again is a fairly rare find in the car forum world. Go check out Honda Tech or Temple of Vtec if you want to see how ugly normal car boards can get.

I do not perceive as you do that the regular pro-mechanics on here are anti-DIY. The whole reason all of us are here is to help people DIY or get help with DIY. I suspect your view may be colored by the other experiences you’ve had.

Anyway, I’d like to see you stay around, but if you don’t it’s been fun reading your stories of Mexico over the years, and they will be missed. Good luck.


I’ll jump in an say I too have enjoyed your observations and your input in discussions. The fools that come to web forums and vent their fury on the rest of us are wrong, but they exist and so do I.

And, where have you ever gone on the internet where there wasn’t a presence of people you (or I) consider idiots?

Regardless of who wrote or thought up the line, “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits,” it’s still my way of getting through the swamp.


I’ve seen it attributed to Einstein, but I can’t say for sure that he actually said or wrote those words.


Apparently not Einstein. Best possibility is “What distresses me is to see that human genius has limitations, and human stupidity has none.” —A. Dumas, fils. (translated from the French)



@irlandes, Are you quitting the internet altogether or just CarTalk? If you are staying on the internet, just where do you think you are going to find a site where your feeling wont get hurt?


Irlandes, wish you would reconsider and stay. Your contributions are interesting and informative.

Sadly, all the internet has become increasingly attack mode over the years. Once in awhile that trend shows up in discussions here. But on balance, this forum is still one of the most informative and tame places on the internet to hang out, read and learn, and interact with other posters. I have learned a great deal about cars and a variety of other topics from the regulars, including you.

It is easy to tweak your settings to avoid forum notifications. You can ignore and avoid as much as you wish but still pop in now and then as you have time and inclination. Why not take a breather for awhile and then pop back in with us? You are a valued regular.


I like the other’s who already commented wish you would reconsider & stay. I have enjoyed your post’s & comment’s & also your stories about Mexico. you will be missed.


I am not going to miss you hopefully, because I hope you are not going away. Sure I have contacted admin about posts, I missed what has been the straw that broke the camel’s back, This is one of my favorite stops, and will not think negatively if you reconsider. Sure I have gotten ticked off but on a scale of one to 10 this is a pretty serene place like a 2 to hang.
I have found it best to object, fight complain to admin and remember most posts are underwater and forgotten within a week anyway.
Best wishes to you whatever your decision. Love, Me, no I mean you, no not in that way, yikes whateveR dude rock on.


Boy I missed that one, probbly deleted before I got to it. so hard not to say something political or religious, Love one another until the snake socks it to ya? Search Shake a Snake by Pinkard and Bowden for their gospel? song.