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Oregon Coast
Last Active
Oregon Coast
Vehicle(s) I currently own
2005 SS Silverado
  • Re: Which trucks drive the best on icy roads?

    Nice insights, are there any all-weather tires available that is as good as winter tires?
    The short answer is no.

    Anything "all purpose" is never as good as the thing made specifically for a certain purpose.
    Winter/snow tires are specific for snow and ice. All weather are generally geared toward moving water.
    While snow is technically water, it moves a whole lot different than water.

    Talk to your local tire shops and they can usually recommend the best tires for your specific situation.

    The best thing in snow/ice situations is to avoid losing traction. As soon as your tires spin, you lose control and movement. Spinning tires create heat, heat with snow and ice, creates no traction.
    Make your movements slow and easy, which means also slowing your speed considerably.

    If you are coming up on a hill and have second thoughts about making it, chain up before you get to the hill.
    Cause if you slip going up, you might be coming down a lot faster than you had intended and controlling a vehicle backwards down a hill of snow and ice is not fun.
  • Re: A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

    The training is out there if the techs are willing to make the investment. The real problem was all of the airtime given towards calling diagnostic fees rip-offs and every suggestion that someone could just tell anyone what was wrong with a given car right off the top of their head. That constant pressure to devalue the knowledge and training that the technicians had to acquire had very personal impacts on the techs who were committed to and trying to do the job the right way. It was that kind of behavior here in these very forums that I set out to address when I came here for the first time.

    When I read that article that is linked and reposted above I see them finally starting to openly address issues that have been around for my entire forty year career as a technician. To get techs to attend training and improve themselves there has to be a tangible reward and that still isn't there except for about 1% of the people in the trade. Even then to really "make-it" one has to stop being a technician so everyone should wonder, why even bother starting out as one?
    The training part was one reason I didn't stay in automotive.
    Most fleets pay for the training, while the retail shops I worked left it to the techs to find and pay for.
    My opinion of that was, if I'm making money for you and investing $50k in tools, then the company should be footing the bill for training.

    While I do find a lot of training myself and still pay for some, it is because I want that specific training and it wasn't expensive and spending the time trying to justify it to bean counters wasn't worth the effort.

    First the techs have to want to put out the effort to do the training and next, the company has to be willing to foot the bill and allow the time. Until both things happen, it's gonna be a dead end road.

    I once sent in a vehicle to a shop to have some work done, automotive vehicles, while still my responsibility, are not my priority, so often get sent to shops.
    The tech and I went over the symptoms and when we got done, he asked me what I thought.
    I told him that what I think is irrelevant. He's the tech. I'm not gonna put that on him, cause one, I know he knows what he's doing and two, I could be totally wrong in what I think. Until the testing is done, my thought is only a guess.
  • Re: A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

    I was once asked when I knew I wanted to be a mechanic.
    My reply was, "Make no mistake, I never wanted to be a mechanic.It was something that came natural and I was good at and I made way more money than a lot of college graduates."

    My family ran fishing boats out of Alaska and it was cheaper for me to fix everything, than it was to fly a mechanic in and have it done, so really I learned out of necessity.

    I had short stints at European import shop and a dealer and would never go back to automotive retail.
    I'll agree that automotive retail techs are severely underpaid.
    The problem I see now, is that there is problems all over retail work.
    Training is severely lacking, costs of tooling is almost out of reach for a younger tech just getting into the industry and the starting pay is barely above McDonald's.

  • Re: Mr_Shiftright-20 Year Ride in Edmunds Forums!

    Funny that you mentioned Car Talk.
    I was talking to another tech the other day about how most the automotive sites we used to frequent in the late 90s have disappeared, except a very few of them..
    Edmunds is one of a very few that are still going strong.
    The fact that there are people here, that I can remember 18 or 19 years ago, says a lot for this community.
  • Re: What would cause my 2007 VW Jetta to stall at a stoplight?

    Since it shut off by itself and it didn't want to restart and finally started after a couple tries, then thinking about how the system works, if the ignition switch (the plastic part) is loose, it is possible it is a problem and may not be making contact.

    But.........what you really need to do is to have a shop that has the capabilities to scan the body controls to see if there may be some codes related to the start/security circuits.
    Without that information, you can run in circles trying to figure it out.
    A standard scanner isn't likely to provide the information, so if you tried that, you may have come up empty.