Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Joyriding Mechanic Busted via Internet

By nstenz in News
Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:07:54 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

This week, a Ford service mechanic in San Antonio, TX posted a message admitting to something all car enthusiasts fear- taking a customer's car for a drive and treating it like it was his own personal race car. Unfortunately, this blatant disregard for other people's property happens a lot in today's world, but few offenders get caught. This one did, because he posted about it on the Internet.


In a September 20th post to the Mustang Message Board entitled "It Was Waaaaaaaaaay Cool", user stangman96 detailed his abuse (in all caps) of a customer's 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra convertible brought in for a lack of power and poor gas mileage:
... ME AND ANOTHER TECH TOOK IT OUT AND DROVE IT, DROVE HER HARD, 6 SPEED TRANNY, WE HIT 140 MPH REAL QUICK, TALK ABOUT POWER.
Worse yet, the customer specifically asked the service writer1 to make sure her car was not treated this way:
OH YEAH, SHE EVEN TOLD THE SERVICE WRITER TO MAKE SURE THAT NO "PUNK" DRIVES HER CAR, WELL SINCE I AM THE MUSTANG SPECIALIST HERE AT THE DEALER, I GUESS I AM "THE PUNK", ALL THE MORE TO DRIVE HER '03 COBRA VERT AND SEE WHAT ITS GOT..
When several other users on the message board pointed out how wrong these actions were, many more stepped up in defense of stangman96, saying anyone in his position would do the same thing. The thread quickly degenerated into a flame war between those who would respect other's property above all else, and those who felt owners of fast cars "owed" them a test drive.

Unfortunately for stangman96, the owner of the Cobra ended up reading his message and realized it was her car he was talking about. Five days after stangman96's initial post, she posted this message on SVTPerformance, asking what she should do. Word quickly spread to other car enthusiast boards, and also to tech sites like AnandTech and [H]ard|OCP. People were even popping in from home improvement boards, where other users had posted links to the unfolding saga. Many loyal owners of competing car brands have put their support behind Tracy (the owner), and have promised to do whatever they can to make things right between her and the dealership.

The dealer, Northside Ford, fired the mechanic shortly after being informed of the problem. However, they have refused to offer Tracy any compensation for possible damage done to the internal components of her engine. The car was very new and supposedly not completely broken-in, so the effects of the abuse the car took may be more severe than if it had been broken-in properly. The refusal to even offer her an extended warranty is rather appalling.

The status of the other mechanic in the car at the time is unknown. He does not appear to have been fired.

Notes:
[1] - Person who writes up the work order request the mechanic follows to diagnose and fix the problem.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Would you have driven it hard?
o Yes 20%
o No 79%

Votes: 109
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o he posted about it on the Internet
o this message
o AnandTech
o [H]ard|OCP
o Northside Ford
o Also by nstenz


Display: Sort:
Joyriding Mechanic Busted via Internet | 145 comments (131 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
I read the woman's post... (3.50 / 12) (#2)
by skim123 on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 11:50:22 AM EST

But I fail to see how in the world she is chasting the guy for taking her car for a joyride. From the link you posted - http://www.svtperformance.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=19809 - the woman said, and I quote:

Warning: Too many connections in /home/virtual/site1/fst/var/www/html/forums/admin/db_mysql.php on line 38

There seems to have been a slight problem with the database. Please try again by pressing the refresh button in your browser.

An E-Mail has been dispatched to our Technical Staff, who you can also contact if the problem persists.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

How that has to do with cars, mechanics, or anything related is beyond understanding to me.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


As you can tell, (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:04:58 PM EST

the boards these posts are on have been taking quite a beating the past few days. I'm surprised you had a problem with SVTPerformance- it has been taking the load very well. The other server has been the one I couldn't get to.

[ Parent ]
It is cipher (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by triddle on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:27:02 PM EST

Obviously terrorists are now using the error messages of popular boards they have setup to communicate between their cells. We need to shut down that board and any board related to it then arrest all the owners and especialy the owners of the ISP that serves them!

[ Parent ]
NO REGARD FOR PEOPLES PROPERTY!!! YAR YAR YAR!! (2.35 / 14) (#3)
by delmoi on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 11:50:54 AM EST

Seriously though, is driving a sport scar at 140 miles an hour for a short duration actually going to 'damage' it permanently? I doubt it.

Or perhaps the all-caps exposition of the exploit damaged the cars fragile emotions?

Should the guy be fired? Yeah, for disparaging the customer on the internet. Not for driving the car.

As for an extended warranty, or payment... WTF? All you can say is that the car wasn't 'broken in' properly, no actual damage was detected. Should we be compensating people for imaginary damage now? She should take it to a mechanic and have them look over the car to make sure nothing is damaged. If something is, then make the argument for compensation.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Break In (4.95 / 20) (#6)
by thelizman on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:03:17 PM EST

Seriously though, is driving a sport scar at 140 miles an hour for a short duration actually going to 'damage' it permanently? I doubt it.
That's only because you do not understand the seriousness of the break in period. The first 500 to 1000 miles of engine life is what determines how that engine will behave for the next five years. Cylinder walls are freshly honed and have crosshatch markes all along them. The new piston rings - indeed every other wearable surface inside the vehicle - do not match up properly. There is lost compression, lots of blowby, and lubrication problems (the rough surfaces tend to hold lubricants instead of allowing them to flow to other surfaces).

Although a little less critical on production vehicles, break-in is very important to all engines, especially high performance ones. When I built engines as a hobby in high school, we didn't even put the engines into a car until it ran on the bench at 1400 rpm for 40 hours (2500 for 4 cylinder rice rockets, and in either case never more than 2 hours straight). There is a definate difference in throttle response, torque, horsepower, and top-end on a broken in engine. What this guy did was equivalent raping a virgin with a baseball bat while her husband was away fighting dragons for the good of the village.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Word. (nt) (1.25 / 4) (#8)
by graal on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:05:28 PM EST


--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

Thank you. (none / 0) (#11)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:09:38 PM EST

I was trying to figure out how to get that point across eloquently. You've done it very well.

[ Parent ]
Metaphor (none / 0) (#15)
by rdskutter on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:30:24 PM EST

What this guy did was equivalent raping a virgin with a baseball bat while her husband was away fighting dragons for the good of the village.

How can you fault that kind of metaphor? :)


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]

I liked it. [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:37:21 PM EST



[ Parent ]
heh, sig whore. (none / 0) (#35)
by swifty on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:09:42 PM EST

Wow, what a totally obvious attempt to get a quote of yours onto someone's sig. I dig. Oh, and fwiw author: good article. Not even turmeric could ruin it for me.

Freiheit ist immer auch die freiheit des anderen.
[ Parent ]
Break in (none / 0) (#90)
by iidkyimys on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 04:00:20 AM EST

Yeha break in is very important. Until the engine 'gels' and the rings seat, seriuos damage can be done to the car. I've known mechanics who do this same thng. A customer bings in a car acomplaining of a weird noise. The car goes home with the mechanic for the weekend and gets the crap run out of it to find the noise. The difference is the mileage on the car. No mechanic in his right mind would punish a new (under 2000 miles)cars like this idiot did. He could have done serious damage to the 'Stang.He deserved to be fired.

[ Parent ]
You are wrong! (none / 0) (#108)
by dasunt on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:44:22 AM EST

Thelizman writes: When I built engines as a hobby in high school, we didn't even put the engines into a car until it ran on the bench at 1400 rpm for 40 hours (2500 for 4 cylinder rice rockets, and in either case never more than 2 hours straight).

Now I'm not a grease monkey, but I know a few things about engines, and one of the recommendations are that you shouldn't run a new engine at a constant speed. Basically, during the breakin period, you want to very the RPMs.

I first heard this about a decade ago, so I double checked the Oracle which came up with this explanation. As long as the engine in question has piston rings, keeping the RPMs steady will produce more wear on the engine.

High engine RPMs will damage a new engine (since it isn't worn in yet), but your explanation of how to break in an engine is wrong.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, and you know something? (none / 0) (#123)
by thelizman on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 09:46:27 PM EST

This is the most moronic hunk of shit advice I've ever seen. First, note that your 'oracle' was talking about an engine IN a vehicle. Perhaps you weren't paying attention, but my engines are on the bench, and thus not under a load. Additionally, if vacuum from the intake stroke was sufficient to draw oil up into the piston rings, then you'd think that automotive engineers wouldn't have bothered with oil pumps? Gee...brain fart. Tell you what, you make sure to rely on an ASE certified technicial for all of your automotive care needs, mkay?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Virgin? Husband? Poor bastard. [nt] (5.00 / 2) (#114)
by tzanger on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 06:03:38 PM EST



[ Parent ]
It wasn't his car (4.00 / 5) (#10)
by rdskutter on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:09:00 PM EST

He didn't have her permission to drive it like that and he knows that she certainly wouldn't have given him permission even if he did ask. Therefore the owner of the car is quite entitled to compensation for any damage caused.

She should take it to a different car garage and have them do an extensive survey of the engine to see if any damage has been done. If so then she is well within her rights to demand compensation.


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]

In that case (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by Phelan on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:32:33 PM EST

I'll be right over to rag out your car...Please leave your keys on the porch.

Though I don't know why I'd bother with keys...you seem to be saying that permission isn't needed to drive someone else's car.

[ Parent ]

or, further... (none / 0) (#23)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:41:30 PM EST

that if I have to give you permission, then I forfeit any right to place conditions.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Never underestimate human stupidity. +1SP. (nt) (2.50 / 2) (#5)
by graal on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 11:57:39 AM EST


--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)

Good topic (4.00 / 5) (#12)
by hans on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:16:02 PM EST

You may want to impress more the idea that we frequently forget when writing online blogs & such:  There is a whole world out there that can read them.

Indeed (none / 0) (#45)
by luserSPAZ on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:39:24 PM EST

I think this is the most important part of the article.  I'm willing to bet mechanics joyride in customer cars every day.  But being caught due to a post on a web board?  That seems new.

[ Parent ]
A question for those in the know... (4.00 / 3) (#13)
by DM on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:22:47 PM EST

Sure, you can debate what damage was or was not done to the vehicle by the mechanic's actions, but the simple fact of the matter is he did something with someone else's property that he was specifically told not to do.

A question though, is how has he gotten away with this before? I highly doubt this was the first time he'd done this, and apparently the only reason he got caught was because he bragged about it in a public forum. If a mechanic does this, do they disconnect the odometer so hide the fact it's been driven around more than a normal servicing would warrant?

Maybe there is a legitimate use for those GPS devices the rental car companies were putting into their cars to tell if you've been out of the area and/or speeding...
--
Silence all the songbirds, stilled by the killing frost...

as opposed to enron, worldcom, tyco, etc etc etc (1.20 / 5) (#24)
by turmeric on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:41:33 PM EST

all of whom abused a shit load more than a 60,000 dollar automobile.

[ Parent ]
There's plenty more! (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Blarney on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:46:57 PM EST

In the minds of many people, it's not a big deal for the manager of a large corporation - basically a several-billion dollar pile of money - to take a few hundred million home with him. After all, it isn't enough money to cause real damage to the company, right? But beating the hell out of Todd's Cobra - Todd only has ONE Cobra. The crime is comprehendable to the average person - most of us have a car, while very few of us have a bag of money containing tens of billions of dollars.

[ Parent ]
yeah but we still have bank accounts (1.00 / 1) (#30)
by turmeric on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:59:56 PM EST

and we can understand it i believe if we were not brainwashed into worshipping rich busniess people as gods

[ Parent ]
Shovah! (none / 0) (#75)
by thelizman on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 06:25:47 PM EST

I worship the true god Apophos. Bow before him, or be struck down.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Bow down?Maybe Maj. Carter, but not Apophos [n/t] (none / 0) (#113)
by Pop Top on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 02:13:05 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Kneel and bob before the Godess Maj Carter then?nt (none / 0) (#121)
by thelizman on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 09:36:53 PM EST


--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Minor nitpick: (none / 0) (#100)
by nstenz on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:46:28 AM EST

Isn't Todd Tracy's husband? If so, it's her car, not his. =)

[ Parent ]
Empathy (4.66 / 3) (#44)
by DM on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:37:53 PM EST

I see you drawing parallels between private property and investor's money, but I agree with Blarney, in that abuse of tangible private property is much more personal, and that's what gets people riled up.  Someone who is wealthy who owns significant stock in a company or two would probably get riled up about it, as it could have been his company.  To Joe Sixpack, his major investments are typically his house, his 401k and his car.  To most people, reading about the CEO of a multi billion-dollar corporation pocketing $100 million from the corporate coffers is like reading about the weather on Mars.  It happens in a world far away from them that they can perceive no direct effects from. (Though yes, we know there are effects)  The public doesn't pay attention to that which they cannot empathize with.
--
Silence all the songbirds, stilled by the killing frost...
[ Parent ]
ya know (none / 0) (#46)
by Altus on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:39:57 PM EST

most people cant tell you the current milage on their car accurate to the thousands of miles... never mind hundreds... you could probably put 200 miles on someones car and they wouldnt notice... people only look at thoes things if they are paranoid.

now granted, when the car is still in its break in (not sure how many miles that is on a stang) it doesnt have as many miles on it and so the owner is more likely to notice, but I bet getting away with this is easier than it sounds

 
"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Former Mechanic (5.00 / 1) (#144)
by agentwhy on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 03:53:10 PM EST

I worked as a mechanic for about eight years. This type of thing unfortunately happens allot. On some older cars, it is possble to disconnect the odometer, or to "roll it back." On this car, I believe that it would be impossible. The mechanic could have done the things he said without putting more that 15 or 20 miles on the car. The SVT Mustang can do 0-60 in about 9 seconds. If he knew of nearby (within 3-4 miles) isolated place to take it to, he could have made quite a few runs at 100+ mph without putting much more than 20 miles onthe odometer. Think about that, sports car owners! Most of the mechanics I have worked with have bragged about ragging on a performance car that they had the opportunity to work on, and this little "practice" has probably been happening ever since the first production sports cars were released to teh general public. I knew some older mechanics who bragged about taking customer's performance cars home for the weekend back in the 60's ans 70's, and swapping out the engine, tires and wheels, taking the car to the track (or street racing it) and winning some money, then swapping the engine back in and cleaning up the car and bringing it back to the dealer where they worked on Monday for the customer to pick up!! I even had a a service writer ENCOURAGE me to "get on" a customer's car during my stint as a mechanic. I quit working on cars about 3 years ago. I have never "beat on" a customer's car. There are lots of honest decent mechanics out there. If you take your car in for work, talk to the mechanic that works onyour car. Also, if you have a performance vehicle, ask to ride with the mechanic if they are going to test drive the car. For performance vehicle owners, you can rest assured that if you don't do this, it will be a matter of time before a mechanic is joyriding in your car

[ Parent ]
people who have no respect for the working class (1.52 / 21) (#14)
by turmeric on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:29:28 PM EST

like this "person" who says "dont let a punk drive my car". while im sure her job as welfare caseworker or media analyst or whatever gives her the right to first dibs on the moon capsule when armageddon hits, at least she could keep her self righteous elitist bigotry under wraps when she is actually in the presence of the 'untermenschen' she deigns to give business to. -1 this story.

Her job may or may not give her... (4.77 / 9) (#20)
by graal on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:37:32 PM EST

...first dibs on the escape pod, but owning a piece of property sure as hell gives her the perogative to restrict who uses it and how.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

note to world: human beings are not property (1.25 / 16) (#22)
by turmeric on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:40:35 PM EST

therefore she has no right to treat them as such. nor does she have a right to place her treatment of others above the treatment of a mere hunk of plastic and metal.

[ Parent ]
It's *her* hunk of plastic and metal... (4.66 / 6) (#42)
by Mr Incorrigible on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:32:17 PM EST

...and the mechanic played with it without her permission. I'd be pissed off too if I was her, and I'd give people like you the finger.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Bothers me more (none / 0) (#62)
by Genady on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:16:54 PM EST

You know what bothers me more? She couldn't be bothered to find a Mechanic that she likes, she just doesn't want a 'punk' working on her car. I'll bet that she doesn't go into the beauty salon and say: "No, I really don't care who cuts my hair, just as long as they have normal colored hair."

BTW, when's the last time you tipped your Mechanic?

--
Turtles all the way down.
[ Parent ]

She drives an SVT. (none / 0) (#65)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:28:59 PM EST

SVT stands for 'Special Vehicles Team'. It's Ford's group that makes fast cars. You have be pretty, well, special... to be an SVT dealer. Northside Ford just happened to be the only one in her area. No other mechanic was certified to work on her car, and would probably void the warranty somehow.

She wasn't being snotty. She was being careful, because she has a very unique vehicle that's probably a lot of fun to drive.

[ Parent ]

Probably not worth arguing over... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by Genady on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:54:12 PM EST

She wasn't being snotty. She was being careful, because she has a very unique vehicle that's probably a lot of fun to drive.

So why didn't she ask the Service Writer if he was sure that there was a mechanic on staff that was certified to work on this vehicle, rather than insisting that no 'punk' work on it? *sigh* of course, we're getting this all second hand at best so it's probably not worth arguing over.

(but again when was the last time you tipped your wrench?)

--
Turtles all the way down.
[ Parent ]
Tipped my wrench? (none / 0) (#76)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 08:45:18 PM EST

The last time I worked on a car was a week or two ago. I'm the proud owner of this small pile of wreckage.

I disassembled the trashed front end and swapped the wheels onto my Sebring, if you care. Yes, the engine is fine. Thanks for caring.

That reminds me- I need to change my oil.

[ Parent ]

How do we know she even said that? (none / 0) (#88)
by fluffy grue on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 01:50:45 AM EST

The only indication that she did was that the mechanic was using that supposed statement as a "justification" for what he did. That hardly counts as proof.
--
"Is a sentence fragment" is a sentence fragment.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

She did say that. (none / 0) (#101)
by nstenz on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:48:23 AM EST

In the thread on SVTPerformance, Tracy did mention that she asked nobody drive the car unless they were very careful with it. I don't think we'll ever know exactly how she phrased it, but it appears she got the point across.

[ Parent ]
Okay (none / 0) (#106)
by fluffy grue on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:21:01 AM EST

And either way, it still doesn't give the guy permission to joyride. His "justification" (basically, that she was female (implying stupidity) and "snotty") was still a weak rationalization.
--
"Is a sentence fragment" is a sentence fragment.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Dealer Mechanics (none / 0) (#84)
by birdsong on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 11:08:02 PM EST

Unfortunately, dealer mechanics are often the worst you can find (this is not a sweeping generalization, just something that is often true). The problem is that sometimes warrenties won't be honored later on if certain service isn't performed by the dealer. In my case, I do all my work myself, which is even worse. Try convincing a dealer that you really did change the oil every 3,000 miles. Yea, they'll believe you.

[ Parent ]
The burden of proof is on the dealer. (none / 0) (#102)
by nstenz on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:51:41 AM EST

In cases involving warranty work, the dealer can't void the warranty unless they can prove you did something to damage the part of the car that was warrantied.

Running a dual-exhaust setup on your car which previously had a single one can't void the warranty on your suspension components, because they have nothing to do with each other.

[ Parent ]

Read it again (none / 0) (#135)
by davidduncanscott on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 11:36:23 PM EST

After all, he wrote it in BIG CAPS:
SHE EVEN TOLD THE SERVICE WRITER TO MAKE SURE THAT NO "PUNK" DRIVES HER CAR,
Not "work on", but "drive", as in "ripping down the road at 140".

Of course, I'm old and primitive, so when somebody says "joyriding without the owner's permission", my thought is "grand theft auto" -- the felony, not the game. I'd say the punk is lucky he only lost his job.

[ Parent ]

What a dumbass (none / 0) (#133)
by trhurler on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:48:55 PM EST

Look man, there is a difference between "the working class," most of whom are honest and would not take off with your car at 140mph(an illegal act regardless of the details,) and some dipshit like this one. The fact that he doesn't make much money is irrelevant. She didn't say "don't let some poor guy drive my car." She said "don't let some punk drive my car." This guy is obviously a punk. If he was rich, he'd still be a punk. If he did that to my car and I found out about it, I'd have a lawyer on his ass, and I guaranfuckingtee you he'd be poor for a very, very long time.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
no respect for the kids who goofed off in class (none / 0) (#143)
by jond on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 01:56:53 PM EST

Respect. HA! Try earning respect. I have no respect for the kids who goofed off in class and have to work a sh@t job. The losers of socienty dont deserve respect.

[ Parent ]
Communism! (2.63 / 11) (#16)
by Blarney on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:30:39 PM EST

Stangman is just an oppressed member of the working class. His paycheck is less than the amount of value he adds to the cars he works on - the remainder is taken by his boss for profit. Therefore, he is being abused each and every day, robbed of the fruits of his labor by his employer and indirectly by the customers who support his employer.

Not only has he the right to rack the hell out of a not-yet broken-in engine, but he has the right to steal the car in the name of the proletariat. Workers of the world, unite!

u dirty hippie (2.25 / 4) (#21)
by turmeric on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:39:05 PM EST

two wrongs dont make a right

[ Parent ]
The dictatorship of the proletariot (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by X3nocide on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:47:30 PM EST

Cares not for right or wrong, but rather gratifying or not gratifying. Of course, I never did dig communist rhetoric.

pwnguin.net
[ Parent ]
... More like the dictatorship of the iscariot. (3.00 / 1) (#72)
by tkatchev on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 05:13:23 PM EST

Sigh. We're going to hell in handbasket anyways.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

If you're from the US (none / 0) (#132)
by Hektor on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:06:29 AM EST

you're actually going to hell in handcuffs.

[ Parent ]
for those who were wondering... (3.85 / 7) (#19)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:35:48 PM EST

this is the problem of utilitarian philosophy (if it doesn't hurt anyone, then it is ok to do; greatest happiness for the greatest number). Utilitarianism tends to ignore things such as rights, even if the infringement of that right doesn't cause a harm.

This guy has the same moral standing as a peeping tom.

-Soc
I drank what?


No problem at all (4.00 / 3) (#25)
by hamsterboy on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:46:51 PM EST

I'm pretty sure that utilitarianism doesn't condone this sort of thing. The mechanic most likely caused harm; redlining a factory-new engine can cause serious problems down the road.

-- Hamster

Hamster
[ Parent ]

adn if none were caused? (3.66 / 3) (#34)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:07:35 PM EST

Would you think he's clean as a whistle if he had done this to a car with 25K on it and no actual harm did in fact result?

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Even then (4.50 / 2) (#47)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:40:34 PM EST

harm could have been caused. Or are you saying that utilitarianism is blind to the concept of "risk"?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
it is. (none / 0) (#63)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:21:17 PM EST

that's why the peeping tom argument is so effective. There is no harm except when someone is caught.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Just wondering (none / 0) (#69)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:49:43 PM EST

I'm just wondering why all the arguments against utilitarianism I've heard have to do with sexual depravity in some way. My philosophy teacher used the example of someone who gets immense pleasure from sex with pigs.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
problem with util (none / 0) (#80)
by dogwalker on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:07:27 PM EST

because people who aren't utilitarians believe that something is bad "just because." That is, they can't justify the badness of action by pointing to an actual negative affect. Therefore, while many rules they come up with are right eg "Don't use someone's car without permission," some are a little wacky, eg "Having sex in a way I don't enjoy is wrong."

Other arguments against utilitarianism tend to focus on it being applied short-sightedly "What if we enslaved 20% of the population?", or on it being applied without knowledge or caution. ("so you would go on a killing spree if it would save the lives of a thousand people?")

ps. That is a fucking awesome sig.
--
share and enjoy

[ Parent ]

Thanks... (none / 0) (#85)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 11:17:58 PM EST

But don't thank me, thank Pexatus, he said it.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
yes, but it's even funnier without context :) [nt] (none / 0) (#86)
by dogwalker on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 12:07:55 AM EST


--
share and enjoy

[ Parent ]
what about rule based utilitarians? (none / 0) (#145)
by jcolter on Sat Oct 05, 2002 at 01:10:45 PM EST

IIRC, rule based utilitarians follow rules that tend to have a history of causing more good than harm.  In my experience, that generally seems to allow for a fairly close following of our laws (because it is a cultural consensus, more or less).    

Peeping in windows has a history of provoking lots of harm.  The potential payoff I would assert is probably not worth the potential harm.


[ Parent ]

No way. (none / 0) (#99)
by mindstrm on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:46:20 AM EST

He was causing harm. There is a definite wear and tear aspect to what's happening; he shortened the life of the vehicle when it was not his right to do so. Yes, it may go unnoticed, but it is no less real.
If someone was out driving your car every moment you were not using it (after all, what harm can it cause?) then there would be a definite problem, quickly.


[ Parent ]
utilitarianism (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by dalinian on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 05:36:24 PM EST

This mechanic isn't a utilitarian. He's not even a rational egoist. But he is both a scumbag (by any moral standards) and an idiot.

I am not an expert on utilitarianism, nor do I endorse it, but I think you are oversimplifying the matter. I admit that act-utilitarianism might not forbid something like this, but rule-utilitarianism surely would: a rule that forbids mechanics to drive the customers' cars would certainly help to maximize happiness. All people - even car mechanics - are happier if they can be sure nobody abuses their property.

[ Parent ]

it's still consequentialism (none / 0) (#78)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 09:10:52 PM EST

The enforcement of the rule breeds happiness. Get rid of the rule, and there's no problem even under rule utilitarianism.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
not sure what you mean. (none / 0) (#82)
by dogwalker on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:15:46 PM EST

The enforcement of the rule breeds happiness. Get rid of the rule, and there's no problem even under rule utilitarianism.

Yes, if you eliminated the unhappiness of the woman whose car got mistreated, then it would be a morally good act to joyride the car. The woman is okay with it, and the mechanic enjoys the ride, so barring the car breaking and no longer providing happiness, it's goodness all around.

Of course, in the real world, the woman can only be happy if she doesn't find out that her car was damaged, which basically necessitates telling lies. Lies lead to the breakdown of any kind of utilitarian system, as it is based on people having enough information to promote the well-being of themselves and the people around them.

So joyriding the car is bad because it a) damages the car, and b) damages the ability of those involved to discern truth from fiction.
--
share and enjoy

[ Parent ]

not necessarily (none / 0) (#110)
by SocratesGhost on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 12:37:10 PM EST

The guy didn't lie. He advertised it on the messageboards. Also, the car he may not have damaged the car. And finally, there were two people in the car. Calculus-wise, the only way to determine that there was a surfeit of harm, is to establish the damage was caused and there's been no evidence of that, only conjecture. Otherwise, the happiness of those two guys outweighs the woman's happiness.

Utilitarianism would approve their acts.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
rule-utilitarianism is about rules (none / 0) (#91)
by dalinian on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 05:08:40 AM EST

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Rule-utilitarianism is about having a set of rules that are thought to maximize happiness, and a rule-utilitarian is a person that follows those rules. If you get rid of any such rule, you are no longer a rule-utilitarian, but an act-utilitarian or possibly not a utilitarian at all.

Maybe you mean that the mechanic would have thought that this particular rule was bad, and therefore didn't obey? Then it seems simply a matter of irrationality or a failure to universalize: if there are no appropriate restrictions for handling other people's property, everyone ends up worse off, even mechanics. And what's more, this is not only about property either, but about respecting the explicit wishes of a customer, or in other words, making a contract. Respecting the contracts one makes is one of the most basic moral rules in rule-utilitarianism as well.

[ Parent ]

not exactly (none / 0) (#111)
by SocratesGhost on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 12:41:18 PM EST

rule utilitarianism is not just about rules but also about re-calculating the happiness factor in the face of those rules, too. Otherwise it becomes arbitrary. For example, you can have a rule, "Do not lie." But undoubtedly there's situations where lying is okay. So, a rule utilitarian will usually recalc and say that, although the rule was broken, there was mitigating factors. There's a harm in breaking the rule, but the rule isn't an absolute last stand, especially because you end up with problems when rules conflict.

Also, what are these rules and who sets them up? That's a huge problem that I've never seen adequately addressed.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
hmm (none / 0) (#115)
by dalinian on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 06:11:38 PM EST

rule utilitarianism is not just about rules but also about re-calculating the happiness factor in the face of those rules, too.
There are many versions of rule-utilitarianism. Some of them are even thought to be reducible to act-utilitarianism, which is what you seem to suggest. But at least in actual-rule-utilitarianism the rules are absolute: once they are selected, exceptions are not generally allowed. And there is nothing special in the situation of this mechanic that would warrant an exception.

But as you say, the problem is about who gets to decide what rules are to be selected. It is not a problem specific to utilitarianism, though. Most systems need lawmakers.

[ Parent ]

true enough (none / 0) (#125)
by SocratesGhost on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:55:28 PM EST

But i've always felt that the rule utilitarianism that you suggest was no longer utilitarianism. It supplants the happiness calculator with rules, which means that happiness/harm is no longer the justifying factor in determining action. If it were, then the rules wouldn't be necesasry. What you end up with is law, not morality. Besides, it's a bit of a cludgey resolution to the problems in utilitarianism, don't you think?

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#128)
by dalinian on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:04:59 AM EST

As I said earlier, I do agree that utilitarianism sucks. It has far too many problems to be very useful. But I still think that even a utilitarian could say that the actions of this particular mechanic were not justified.

[ Parent ]
joyriding executive busted via internet (3.15 / 26) (#28)
by turmeric on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 12:58:26 PM EST

This week, a Fortune 500 executive in Detroit, MI, was caught doing something all pension money enthusiasts fear- taking an employees's pension money for a drive and beating the hell out of it. Unfortunately, this blatant disregard for other people's property happens a lot in today's world, but few offenders get caught. This one did, because he posted about it on the Internet.

In a September 20th post to the Financial Investment Message Board entitled "It Was Waaaaaaaaaay Cool", user investoid detailed his abuse (in all caps) of an employee's pension fund.

... ME AND JILL FROM ACCOUNTING TOOK IT OUT AND DROVE IT, DROVE IT HARD, INVESTED IN 6 JUNK BONDS, WE HIT 140% REAL QUICK, TALK ABOUT POWER.

Worse yet, the employees specifically asked the employer to make sure her pension was not treated this way:

OH YEAH, SHE EVEN TOLD THE EMPLOYER TO MAKE SURE THAT NO "PUNK" USES HER PENSION MONEY, WELL SINCE I AM THE FUTURE FINANCIAL PLANNING SPECIALIST HERE AT HQ, I GUESS I AM "THE PUNK", ALL THE MORE TO DRIVE HER INVESTMENT AND SEE WHAT ITS GOT..

When several other users on the message board pointed out how wrong these actions were, many more stepped up in defense of investoid, saying anyone in his position would do the same thing. The thread quickly degenerated into a flame war between the immature ones with no respect for other people's property and those who would take their job much more seriously.

Unfortunately for investoid, the owner of the pension money ended up reading his message and realized it was her money he was talking about. Five days after investoids's initial post, she posted this message on StockPerformance, asking what she should do. Word quickly spread to other investment enthusiast boards, and also to tech sites like Forbes and Upside. People were even popping in from market analysis boards, where other users had posted links to the unraveling saga. Die-hard loyal owners of stock in competing companies have all put their support behind Tracy (the owner), and have promised to do whatever they can to make things right between her and the company.

The company immediately fired the executive. However, they have refused to offer Tracy any compensation for possible damage done to the pension fund. The fund was very old, so the effects of the abuse the fund took may be more severe than if the it had been new and of less value . The refusal to even offer her compensation is rather appalling.

The status of the accountant in the scam at the time is unknown, and does not appear to have been fired.

Minor difference. (4.00 / 3) (#32)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:02:33 PM EST

The executives in the accounting scandals sure as hell weren't bragging about it on the Internet. If they had, maybe you'd have a point.

[ Parent ]
they were bragging (1.60 / 5) (#79)
by turmeric on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:05:54 PM EST

in the whorehouse, in the back alley where they buy cocaine, at their golf country clubs, on their weekends in hawaii, etc etc.

[ Parent ]
Then it's a little closer. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by nstenz on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:54:37 AM EST

However, you can't have just anyone walk in on your private conversations without you knowing (usually). The Internet is a tad more public.

[ Parent ]
Get Laid (2.66 / 6) (#74)
by thelizman on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 06:09:18 PM EST

Stop being a troll. Get out of the garden, and get into some pussy. You may find your stories not getting a straight -1 voting record as much.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
oh good plan (2.70 / 10) (#81)
by turmeric on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:07:44 PM EST

-'hello ma'am i was told i needed to get laid for some reason'

'ok uhm thatll be 50 bucks'

-'what u mean i have to pay'

'u didnt think it was for free did u'

-'thelizman is a jerk'

'u know thelizman? tell that sob he owes me 200 bucks'

[ Parent ]

Lies (4.50 / 2) (#122)
by thelizman on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 09:37:42 PM EST

I paid that bitch...er...I don't know what you're talking about. Shut your pie hole.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
This is EXACTLY why (4.57 / 7) (#39)
by thekubrix on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:28:22 PM EST

I dont trust nor like mechanics. I always *hate* taking my car to the shop, but luckily my warranty is still up, but even to that they ALWAYS "find" something new that isn't covered by it, and it pisses me off that I'm too stupid and ignorant about cars to know if I'm getting screwed, much less fix it myself.

I've always figured the world of computer repair to be the same (sysadmin/programmer here), I always notice repair shops ALWAYS gouge the hell out of people who have NO clue how to fix their computer, and worse yet, if the tech is a moron you're likely to get charged for parts that you dont need and it'll take longer to get, and it scares me to think thats how it works with cars. Like if some stupid tech suggest a motherboard be replaced because his stupid ass can't get the drivers (or knows what one is!) or worse yet he knows that it doesn't need to be changed be does so to get more profit.....egads!

It's always been well known (countless stories on local news and speciality shows) about how mechanics screw with customers, and this is yet another example of why...........

Learn to fix your car/computer yourself. (4.50 / 2) (#48)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:41:45 PM EST

You have to trust yourself to be able to do it, but heck- I learned how to fix computers by breaking them. I used a different method when learning how to fix cars, but there are message boards online for every kind of car out there, and members are generally rather helpful when it comes to problems with your vehicle. Just search Google if you'd like some help.

Those of us with the time and knowledge will generally offer to come help in person if someone with a problem lives nearby and doesn't want to take the car to a shop.

[ Parent ]

Easy for you to say (4.33 / 3) (#49)
by thekubrix on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 01:58:40 PM EST

I dont have anywhere near enough time to learn about my own car, much less any money if anything were to happen to it. I learned how to fix computers the same way, by testing its limits and breaking it then fixing it, and if I blow a motherboard, hell I just cough up $70-$100 for another one, unlike a car where I bust something it'll cost siginificantly more and program quadruple that to fix if I can't do it, and more so if I cripple my computer beyond repair, its not the end of my life, where as without my car I can't get to work........

Also, shouldn't it be the principle of the matter? Do I have to go out and learn everything so I dont get screwed by the world? Thats plain silly, and its something we have to deal with unless you can find a friend who can help you........

.......now if I can only find a mechinic who knows jack about 'puters

[ Parent ]
At the least, buy a service manual. (4.50 / 2) (#52)
by graal on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 02:52:15 PM EST

It'll set you back $60-100.

If you become at least familiar with the various systems, you'll be able to fine-tune your Bullshit-O-Meter and catch an unscrupulous mechanic when he tells you that your "lefthanded frammenjammer" needs replacement.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

I read your post and thought... (4.88 / 9) (#55)
by BadDoggie on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 03:33:47 PM EST

... yup, written by another one of those guys with so little experience.0

However-- and this is only as a favour to you because you're a K5'er -- I'll let you in on a few things in the business.

Frammenjammers (left-handed or right-handed) are a bitch to work on. No one in his right mind wants to dig down into those suckers. They break easily, although the left-handed ones are, as a rule, more delicate[1]. You screw up Frammenjammer and now you're looking at replacing the Skeetermass valve, all four Framingham points and the TDC left or right Jerry bots (including their gaskets).

When you go in for a valve rotation, of course you need to talk to your mechanic and let him know that you have 20W-12 lube on the spindles, like it says in the manual. Don't let him try and weasel out of the guarantee by telling you that that's only for such-and-such a climate area. Bullshit. Go to the back of the manual where they have all the fluids and capacities and show him. They'll back off quickly then and know you're not a complete twit. This is because mechanics know that no one reads car manuals. Hell, I'm a pilot and I look at maybe three numbers and one chart in the manual of any airplane I fly[2]! A car just ain't that complicated. Unless you need to fix it.

So, don't fuck with the Frammenjammers!

woof.

[1] Except in the right-drive models in the UK, Japan, Israel, Australia, etc.
[2] Max fuel, VSO, max crosswind component, burn rate chart. All the important V-speeds are on the AI already... in pretty coloured arcs.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.
[ Parent ]

Ebay to the rescue. (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by Andy P on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 07:50:54 PM EST

You can get used service manuals on Ebay for $15-25.

[ Parent ]
Or cheaper. (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by nstenz on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:09:28 PM EST

Spend time on a message board for people with the same type of car you own. Occasionally, somebody will sell their car and put their service manual up in the classifieds section. I got one for $5. =)

[ Parent ]
Learn how to do the simple things first. (none / 0) (#57)
by gordonjcp on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 03:54:25 PM EST

Also, it helps if you use older, (pre-cat in Europe) cars, which tend to be a lot simpler to work on.  I have a 1988 Volvo 340, with the 1.7 carbie engine.  I've worked on loads of these cars, and recommend them to friends who are looking for something cheap and solid to run about in.  I paid £30 for mine, with a fairly major engine problem that took an afternoon to repair.  The local Volvo dealer told the previous owner to scrap it, as it would need a whole new engine and clutch - bollocks to that!

Just as an example, diagnosing starting problems with it goes like this.  Turn the engine over.  Did it turn?  Good.  Still no go? Pump the throttle - does fuel squirt down the carbie neck? OK, there's fuel getting in.  Pull a spark plug lead off, and check for a spark.  Got sparks? No? Pull off the distributor cap.  Full of water (common with these)?  Clean it and replace.  Try again, and it *will* start.

It really can be that simple to learn.  The above will work on damn near any non-injected engine.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
That turns out to be bad advice for some people (4.00 / 3) (#89)
by John Miles on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 01:56:33 AM EST

You have to trust yourself to be able to do it, but heck- I learned how to fix computers by breaking them.

Learning about computers by breaking them is pretty cheap compared to learning about cars that way. I just paid over $4K to have a top-end rebuild job done on my car because I dropped one of 16 carburetor velocity-stack nuts into the intake and didn't count them properly before starting the engine. Even after incurring such a painful expense, all I "learned" was what it sounds like when Mr. Piston violates his restraining order against Ms. Valve.

Moral: Some people, like myself, should stick to software. A dishonest mechanic could hardly have done any worse (especially since this particular car was probably run to 140 MPH before it even left the factory gates).

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

Hmm (1.22 / 9) (#94)
by Rogerborg on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 08:58:23 AM EST

You're a lazy fool with repulsive amounts of disposable income.  Let me take some guesses: you're a US citizen, and you're involved in the criminal justice system.  On either side.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Maintaining Cars (none / 0) (#95)
by cam on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 09:15:08 AM EST

Moral: Some people, like myself, should stick to software.

In Australia I had a 1962 EJ Holden, it was rally prepped, triple SU Carburetters, bored and stroked engine block. It was a powerful machine. Maintaining it was far above my skills. I learnt how to tune SU Carburetters, not particularly well. So I sent it to several mechanics to tune. Each time I would take the SU's down to see what they had done, in all cases all they did was lean the rear Carburetter from my tuning choices. I know my tuning choices were out, because when I originally got the car they were tuned correctly ( it flew with those settings ). The mechanics I sent it to didnt tune it correctly either. Wasted money.

I loved the EJ, but when I moved continents, my next car was a Suburu Impreza which I havent had to do anything to other than tyres and oil changes. I have the hankering again though, I am thinking my next car will be an EJ import, but not with a performance motor. It looks like this company imports Australian cars to the US, so am umming and ahhhhing and deliberating .... mainly wondering about the cost of importing and converting to LHD. Parts are all going to have to be shipped across the Pacific as well. But the EJ is such a beautiful car.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

My favorite computer shop (none / 0) (#112)
by BLU ICE on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 01:10:51 PM EST

The geek shop doesn't gouge customers at all. I am sure some do. I took my computer in their for diagnostics once (my computer failed. I was fairly sure it was the PS. I had no way of figuring that out at home though) and it was the PS. They only charged me 5 bucks for the diagnostics and 60 dollars for the 400 w PS. Most other people I've talked to (even clueless users) also had good experiences.

Some shops are good, some are bad.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Matter of trust (5.00 / 5) (#50)
by kphrak on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 02:27:37 PM EST

I understand it can suck to get screwed in auto repair (I've been mostly lucky so far except for a couple incidents), but there's really nothing that can be done about that. I subscribe to the do-it-yourself ethic, love playing with something I have no clue about, but I have to admit at the last that you can't learn the intricacies of everything. Especially if you have limited time.

But I always pay up without argument. When I do computer repair, it drives me nuts when I fix a computer and the owner says "You just worked on it a little bit, why so much money?" or "I could have done that!" That's right, sucker, you could have done it...if you'd spent twelve years busting your ass learning all the crap that can happen to your little Intel box. Yeah, I might get $60 for doing three minutes worth of registry cleaning, but that's because I spent a month several years ago beating my head against the wall, with my own computer having that very same problem. It's the price of professional work, and (back to the mechanics) I'm paying for their experience.

Of course, unethical people are in these professions, just as there are in any other. But you learn which ones are worth their money, and which ones aren't...and then you go to the good ones and warn people away from the bad (do a Google-search on Midas Muffler, for example, to see an example of the latter). It's life, and there's no point in complaining about it.


Describe yourself in your sig!
American computer programmer, living in Portland, OR.


[ Parent ]
I wrote a diary piece on this awhile back... (5.00 / 3) (#51)
by graal on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 02:41:55 PM EST

...and have tossed around the idea of expanding it out to a basic HOW-TO: basic tools, diagnosis and repairs. The problem is that I can always reduce the article to: buy a good manual, read the procedure(s) over and over, buy tools as you need them, allow plenty of time and have a backup-plan.

Just like running a data center.

I almost got reamed to the tune of about $1000 for some transmission work at a dealership. A more knowledgeable friend of mine got me to limp my car over to his house where he traced the problem to a $40 part available at the local parts store. Since then, I've purchased service manuals for all the cars I've had (even the one still under warranty), acquired tools as I need them for repair jobs, and saved who knows how much in auto repairs bills. I've done timing belts, CV boots, starter, alternator, brake jobs, radiator, sender switches, etc. The only thing I've handed off to the dealer was some body work I just wasn't equipped for.

Few things are as satisfying as spending an hour of time, $50 for a part, then calling the mechanic and finding out that you just saved $300.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

Chrysler transmission? (none / 0) (#54)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 03:26:25 PM EST

Just wondering; they don't go past 2nd gear if one of a few dozen things goes wrong. Generally, a $16 speed sensor is all that needs to be replaced.

[ Parent ]
Toyota Corolla (none / 0) (#56)
by graal on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 03:54:16 PM EST

I went in convinced that the clutch was totally shot. As it turns out, the clutch pedal actuates a clutch cylinder, which needed to be replaced. The dealer had already written an estimate for about $900 for the clutch.

It's possible that the mechanic assigned to my car would have immediately figured out that the problem was not, in fact, the clutch at all, but rather this cylinder. Moreover, he might have replaced it, and gotten my car back to me without replacing the clutch. For my part, I wasn't ready to place myself in that vulnerable a position again.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

On the other hand (none / 0) (#70)
by Karmakaze on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:50:10 PM EST

I recently went to see the mechanic down the street, also convinced my clutch was totally shot.  I got a call that day telling me the clutch was fine, although a cheap part had developed a little leakage that could have caused the trouble I described.  He told me it wasn't urgent, although I'd probably want it fixed in the next few months.  I had him fix it, but with that information, I could easily gone to a friend and not paid labor on the repair.

So, apparently, they're not all crooks.


--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
How to make an article of it (none / 0) (#58)
by Otto Surly on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 03:58:13 PM EST

Just write it around an anecdote: you (or somebody else) did it wrong, then figured out how to do it right, and this is how.

--
I can't wait to see The Two Towers. Man, that Legolas chick is hot.
[ Parent ]
Easy to avoid... (5.00 / 4) (#53)
by Caton on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 03:11:30 PM EST

I have this friend... she's a lawyer. So each time I have to bring my car in, I'll get her French Bar Association badge and put it on my car. Never had any problem. Shops don't like getting sued.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Let me get this straight... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by davidduncanscott on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 09:53:32 AM EST

in France, lawyers put a badge on the car? Jeez, here in the States that would be a "kick me" sign.

[ Parent ]
Yes, they do (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by Caton on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 10:59:53 AM EST

Lawyers do not have the same image in France and in the U.S. This is mainly because lawyers here are not paid a percentage of settlement, but a fixed hour rate.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
You just have to find a good mechanic. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by mindstrm on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:39:58 AM EST

Once you find a good mechanic; the kind who will treat you WELL, and knows that if he (or she) treats you well, you will come back when you have problems, you are set. That's hard to do, of course... but ask around.

My family has used the same mechanic shop (more or less) for 20 years.  They give good deals, good prices, and don't lie about stuff. Why should they? They keep getting business from family and friends.

[ Parent ]

Techs? You are worried about techs? (none / 0) (#109)
by dasunt on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:56:14 AM EST

As a computer tech, I notice how some techs tend to know very little about fixing their machines, but are very good at the jargon. They might not be able to diagnose why you have a ntloader error message when you try to start your machine, but they can explain how it "looks like the south bridge on the cpu is going bad".

The explanations might be wrong, but they sound correct to someone not familiar with the field. What really worries me is that a few of these people don't realize that they are full of it. They actually think they are correct.

Now apply this thought to the medical profession.



[ Parent ]
Worse than that... (5.00 / 5) (#134)
by beergut on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:43:40 PM EST

Having worked for a time as a computer tech, I can assure you that customers were very happy to have their systems upgraded or repaired while they waited.

One in particular was told, "Look, this'll probably take about 20 minutes to swap in a new motherboard, fire it up, and make sure things seem to work. We'll have to charge you a full hour of service, though." He was okay with that, so it went down that way.

Several computers were upgraded the same way.

After a week where the normal service manager was not present, and one of the other techs was running the shop, we got the entire backlog of repairs cranked out. All the shelves were empty.

Result?

Another tech and I were fired.

Sometimes, it is not the techs you have to worry about sticking it to you, but the crooked-assed management in a store or shop.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

There are always bad apples. (4.00 / 1) (#59)
by Genady on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:01:42 PM EST

There are always bad apples. This guys is one. Now, that said, My father is a Automotive Technician, specializing in electrical, driveability and performance problems (i.e. he's a computer guy for cars)

I've seen the way he drives his car, and someone with a brand new baby might get the impression that he's abusing their vehicle (mostly acceleration, not nessessarily speed and cornering). Sometimes the only way you're going to find problems is by pushing the outside of the performance envelope. Besides, in today's computer controlled automobiles there really isn't that much of a chance of pushing beyond that envelope unless you've played with the computer's PROM. (or are just stupid, which this guys kinda sounds like.)

Bottom line, it's not the profession, it's an individual. I'd hate for people to think that all mechanics are this way. (On the other hand all Lawyers are underhanded weasles!)


--
Turtles all the way down.

True enough. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by graal on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:09:07 PM EST

A trustworthy, competent mechanic is worth his/her weight in gold.

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)
[ Parent ]

Agreed; with one exception- (none / 0) (#66)
by nstenz on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:40:32 PM EST

Assuming K5's population of users who would beat the hell out of the car is the same as the percentage of mechanics who would do the same- 20% voted 'Yes' on the poll.

What does that do for your confidence in the average mechanic?

I know, there's no guarantee people were honest when voting in the poll; but there's also no guarantee a mechanic is honest, either.

[ Parent ]

Problem with your logic (none / 0) (#68)
by Genady on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 04:48:36 PM EST

Assuming K5's population of users who would beat the hell out of the car is the same as the percentage of mechanics who would do the same- 20% voted 'Yes' on the poll.

Ahhh, but the poll didn't ask: Would you beat the hell out of the car? It asked: Would you drive the car hard?

Yes, I would drive it hard if I needed to to get the problem to re-occur. The whole purpose of doing so is to generate a log in the computer that tells you what it wrong, or to cause the transient condition so that you can troubleshoot it.

Now, would I drive the car hard after changing a tire? No.

As usual, the most correct answer is: "It depends..."

--
Turtles all the way down.
[ Parent ]
Abuse vs. Driving Hard (none / 0) (#93)
by DoctorD on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 08:12:55 AM EST

I agree with you here.  She brought her Cobra in for a lack of power.  How you going to find the cause without taking the car out for a test.  And honestly, I'd want the mechanic to drive the car as hard as I do, if not a bit more.  I'm not saying drive like an idiot.  If there is a handling problem that can be found at low speeds in a parking lot (See SCCA's Solo II racing).

While I believe stangman96 was an idiot for blathering what he did on a messageboard, and the owner wasn't too much brighter in doing the same thing.  I would have kept the situation between myself and the dealership.  I would have pulled in media coverage / net coverage after the dealer or ford itself refused to do anything.

Also how could the owner expect someone to troubleshoot "lack of power" on a car without taking it out to find out the circumstances of the car when it demostrates a lack of power.  It would be like me troubleshooting a computer problem just by looking at the console output, but not being allowed to use the keyboard.  To properly troubleshoot you'd need to be able to look at logs, config files, traces, core dumps, or whatever, but you'd need some interaction.

So, would I agree that the mechanic needed to take my car out on a spin at 146mph after changing oil, a tire or an air filter?  Hell no.  Would I expect it after they tore the engine apart and worked on timing, or replaced some internal component?  Hell yes.  Granted I doubt my car could do a 146mph--without some performance mods--but still.

"If you insist on using Windoze you're on your own."
[ Parent ]

Abuse- period. (none / 0) (#104)
by nstenz on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:02:26 AM EST

You don't need to take a car to 140 to troubleshoot "lack of power". The engine will have the same output in 1st gear at 6000 rpm as it would in 6th gear at 6000 rpm. The mechanic should have only needed 2nd gear to test the car. Maybe he could've gone to 4th to test the drivetrain running at a 1:1 ratio.

Even then, 140 is pushing it just a bit. Besides that, he said he was beating on the car, not just diagnosing it.

[ Parent ]

Yes, I agree. Really :) (none / 0) (#120)
by Genady on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 08:06:54 PM EST

I do agree with you that doing 140 is over doing it.  (besides being against the law) But my point is that a mechanic may have to take the car 0-60 in 5 seconds to trouble shoow performance problems (which are almost never at high sustained speeds, but an acceleration problem.)

The idea of a dynamo may have merit, but then My dad works for an independent that can't afford such luxuries. (Which is actually really cool, an Independent doing computer work it's almost unheard of. I'm so proud :)

--
Turtles all the way down.
[ Parent ]

How to test for power (none / 0) (#116)
by tzanger on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 06:17:34 PM EST

It's called a dynamometer. And yes, road tests are probably faster and easier to use, but if she's taking a $35k car to a specialty shop, I am pretty sure she's expecting at least a $500 price tag to diagnose it scientifically.

This isn't grandma's Yugo and the neighbour's cousin's husband. This is an expensive and new piece of machinery taken to a specialty shop.



[ Parent ]
True. (none / 0) (#97)
by mindstrm on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:37:44 AM EST

Someone might think he was abusing their car. If he told them he had to take it for a bit of a ride but knew what he was doing, as a professional, out in the open, it's not a problem.

But they would DEFINATELY think so if he, afterwards, bragged about "driving the shit out of it" and mocking the owner "asking them to be nice to the car"

[ Parent ]

Vengeance (?) (4.33 / 3) (#77)
by anon0865 on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 08:59:47 PM EST

While I certainly don't condone the actions of "stangman96" and believe that it is a fundamental moral violation of the customer-technician ethic [especially in light of the customer's specific requests], I don't support the action that was taken.

Why?

First of all, with all the publicity, I don't think that "stangman96" will be getting another job at a dealership anytime soon. While this may make car owners sigh with relief, I think that a quieter settlement may have had a more positive end. After this episode, it's extremely unlikely that "Stangman96" will ever drive a customer's car again, but the same conclusion could have been made without completely ruining his future career possibilities.

Everybody makes mistakes. I'm sure that you've made a mistake sometime in your life that, if caught, could have landed you in serious trouble. I know that I have, at least. I think that it's a terrible thing to ruin the rest of man's life for one mistake that he made, and with the proper actions, would never make again.

If I were put in this position, I would kick the mechanic's ass. After that, I would request that he be fired- without going on a media frenzy. A man's prospects for life are surely worth more than any damage to my car.

What's the problem? (3.50 / 4) (#83)
by khallow on Fri Sep 27, 2002 at 10:17:28 PM EST

Sounds like an appropriate punishment to me. I guess it's a matter of perception. When I see this case, I see extremely irresponsible behavior, betraying the customer's and employer's trust, breaking laws, and bragging about it afterwards on the Internet. It isn't like he's doing jail time here. I don't see this as permanent. He's screwed for a while, but if he wants to stay an auto mechanic, he'll be able to find a way. Finally, if you drop recreational drug use, most people don't make mistakes of this magnitude. He could have killed someone and totaled a nice car.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

I'm afraid I have to disagree. (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by Frank Wustner on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 01:33:19 AM EST

This "Stangman96" guy was put in a position of trust and he violated it. He was given a car for service, and took it out on a personal joy-ride against the express wishes of the owner. He even went so far as to brag about it. This was no mere mistake, it was a purposeful and premeditated misdeed. A misdeed, furthermore, that he may well have committed before, and probably would have committed again if he had not been caught.

To compare the man's future prospects to the damage he may have caused to the car is erroneous. It is the damage to his trustworthiness and to the reputation of his employer that matters here. The man can no longer be trusted.

If a man were a proven jewel thief, I would not hire him to work at my jewelry shop. Likewise, this "Stangman96" fellow absolutely should not be hired to work at a car dealership. His trustworthiness has been damaged beyond repair, and it is his own fault.



[ Parent ]
good points (none / 0) (#107)
by anon0865 on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:24:20 AM EST

It's interesting that we refer to him as "Stangman96" instead of his real name [I do presuppose that his real name is not "Stangman96." In this sense, the situation would be ideal, although I am sure that some people have gotten hold of his real name and passed it all around the internet already.

Now I do not argue that he didn't violate the position of trust. However, from his post, it doesn't seem like he was really bragging about the violation of the trust as the chief motive of his "crime." It sounds to me like he just really wanted to drive a car that he really admired, and attempted to justify his violation in his post.

Which, of course, led to his demise.

I agree that the serious issue is his trustworthiness, not the car. But the point is that most of us have violated some sort of trustworthiness before, and learned from it without hampering our entire future. I, too, doubt that this is the first time that he took a car out, but I do doubt that he'd ever do it again.

To get the heart of the matter: I believe that a single, proven, violation of trust is not the complete end of man's trustworthiness.

[ Parent ]

Misplaced doubts? (none / 0) (#138)
by benj on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 11:22:33 AM EST

<I>I, too, doubt that this is the first time that he took a car out, but I do doubt that he'd ever do it again.</i>

I'd agree with your first doubt, but not at all on the second. Comparing his 'mistake' with one of your own can't be done because your values may be vastly different than his. I think we can get a sense of his values from the discussion.

1. He bragged about his abuse of the car and knew it was a violation of the owner's expressed wishes.

2. When confronted online he didn't rethink his position and show contrition but apparently refused to admit that the actions were wrong.

I would imagine that this character feels his only mistake was to brag online about what he did. That's what he's unlikely to repeat, not the abuse of the customer's property because he can't admit wrongdoing. It's been my experience, having counselled with many people, that a person who justifies their actions will repeat those actions even if they have suffered the consequences in the past.

[ Parent ]

Sorry, I still can not agree. (none / 0) (#139)
by Frank Wustner on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 02:19:39 PM EST

"To get the heart of the matter: I believe that a single, proven, violation of trust is not the complete end of man's trustworthiness."

Under some circumstances, I would agree with you. This is not one of those circumstances.

Let's recapitulate. The mechanic took her car on a joy-ride against her express wishes and bragged about it on a public net forum. When taken to task for this misdeed, he refused to admit that it was wrong.

Merely doing wrong can be forgiven. Doing wrong and then bragging about it is far worse, but still forgivable. Doing wrong, bragging about it, and then refusing to admit that it was wrong or to appologize is completely beyond the pale. This one case is so egregious, that it is the complete end of his trustworthiness.



[ Parent ]
media frenzy (4.00 / 1) (#131)
by vmarks on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 01:00:34 PM EST

Stangman96 started the media frenzy.

He posted, bragging about it, and couldn't control the discussion when other people were offended that a service tech would so thoroughly violate the wishes of the owner. He couldn't stop the discussion from being linked to.

The owner recognized the problem and asked advice about how to solve her problem- that's what message boards DO best.

The owner didn't bring about the media frenzy, the (tone of voice) poor, misguided service tech (/tone of voice) did.

Having been in a similar situation* as the owner of the Mustang, I'm not much impressed with Stangman, and if never driving a customer car is the consequences of his actions, well, he'll have to grow from the experience.

* I have a 1962 Chevy Impala which I took to be painted. I paid for the car to be stripped completely, all dings filled, primed and painted. The car was not only stripped completely, the paint was applied poorly, and when my father went to check on the job, found that there were windshields from other, newer cars, being kept / driven around for errands in the back seat.

Using a customer car for errands / joyriding / any task not related to the diagnosis and repair of the vehicle is completely unacceptable. No excuses, ever.

[ Parent ]

Car mechanics tend to actually like cars (2.00 / 2) (#92)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 05:12:15 AM EST

So is it really that surprising to find them having a bit of fun with the car being serviced? So long that they fix the problem properly and charge a reasonable rate, who cares if they took it for a drive?

If they crash the car, they are the ones liable, wear and tear is more likely due to all the cold starts and lack of maintenance by owner than some mechanic driving it for a while.

Anyway at the minimum you'd need to drive it to the speed that it changes to the 4th/5th/6th gear if it's something that might be transmission related.

Yeah.. right (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by mindstrm on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 10:35:27 AM EST

But they weren't out testing it to test the transmission, they were joyriding, and then laughing about how the lady had asked them specifically NOT to.

You assume the lady doesn't know how to drive.
It does not matter; it is not the mechanic's car to drive.

And you don't drive the shit out of a brand new car; you break it in first.

[ Parent ]

Owners like cars, too. (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by nstenz on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 11:09:58 AM EST

It was Tracy's car, and it was a very limited edition car, at that. She doesn't want it broken. "Oh, she can just get another one if he breaks it." That's funny, actually. I wrecked a Dodge Stratus, just about the most common rental/lease/fleet car in this damn country. For the life of me, I could not find another one like mine in the area. Do you think she'll be able to find another car like that one? I highly doubt it.

[ Parent ]
That's not what he did. (4.50 / 2) (#117)
by tzanger on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 06:22:20 PM EST

So is it really that surprising to find them having a bit of fun with the car being serviced? So long that they fix the problem properly and charge a reasonable rate, who cares if they took it for a drive?

Take it for a drive? No problem. Hell, take it up to 100MPH and shift around? No problem. Take it up to 140, potentially redline it and "beat the shit out of it" when asked not to? This guy needs to find a new way to satisfy his urges. That's not a mechanic, or even an entusiast. It's a speed addict, and a punk.



[ Parent ]
meh (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by El Hober on Sat Sep 28, 2002 at 06:22:46 PM EST

Anyway at the minimum you'd need to drive it to the speed that it changes to the 4th/5th/6th gear if it's something that might be transmission related.

but they don't have to take it out on the open road to do that, speeding is still speeding and is still illegal, especially in someone else's car.

and by the way, did you even read what the guy posted?

OH YEAH, SHE EVEN TOLD THE SERVICE WRITER TO MAKE SURE THAT NO "PUNK" DRIVES HER CAR, WELL SINCE I AM THE MUSTANG SPECIALIST HERE AT THE DEALER, I GUESS I AM "THE PUNK", ALL THE MORE TO DRIVE HER '03 COBRA VERT AND SEE WHAT ITS GOT.. HEHE HOPE SHE DIDNT HAVE A HIDDEN CAMERA IN THAT CAR...... GET THIS, HER PLATES SAY "**** **"

[ Parent ]

Let's take this to its logical conclusion. (none / 0) (#140)
by Frank Wustner on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 02:31:17 PM EST

"So is it really that surprising to find them having a bit of fun with the car being serviced? So long that they fix the problem properly and charge a reasonable rate, who cares if they took it for a drive?

In other words, I can go to your place, steal your car for a while, and as long as I give it back before you notice, in good condition, maybe fill up the gas tank first, you would not have a problem with me?

That mechanic stole her car. It was not his to drive, but he took it out on the road anyway. His (former) job as a mechanic does not change the facts of the matter. What he did was wrong, both ethically and legally.



[ Parent ]
did anybody think of it the other way around? (2.00 / 2) (#126)
by j0s)( on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:50:39 AM EST

if she brought the car in for bad fuel mileage, the tech would be forced to drive her car over a period of many miles and in different circumstances... city and highway; light throttle and hard throttle... and for lack of power, hed obviously have to ring it out once or twice to see if anything was mechanically malfunctioning when he tried to get on it. i think that he was just doing his job, but i also agree he had too much fun with the car. if he had done it professionally, he wouldnt brag about it on a mustang message board. but then again, the only difference between him enjoying his ride as a professional and as a "punk" was the fact that hed go brag about it. otherwise, whether acting as a punk or a professional, to properly diagnose a car with bad fuel economy and lack of horsepower, you wouldnt be able to do jack shit without road testing the car. and the fact that anyone would argue that he did internal damage based on the fact that the engine wasnt properly broken in, then i would argue, how can she take the car to the dealership and say its fuel mileage is bad (it is an overpowered car, you expect good mileage?) and lack of power (the engine isnt broken in yet, it wont perform optimally nor should she be pushing it to see if it performs). thats my personal opinion. i think she has every right to be upset for him excessively joyriding her car, but at the same time, her argument is so easily thrown out.


-- j0sh -- of course im over-dramatizing my statements, but thats how its done here, sensationalism, otherwise you wouldnt read it.


Again- (4.00 / 1) (#129)
by nstenz on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 11:38:05 AM EST

Taking the car up to 140 was not a part of his job.

[ Parent ]
I suppose, if you want to ignore the facts... (none / 0) (#141)
by Frank Wustner on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 02:41:20 PM EST

How is her argument "easily thrown out"? He took her car on a joyride AGAINST HER EXPRESS WISHES. Furthermore, even if the service she went in for required her car to be driven, the mechanic on duty would have told her that (assuming this Stangman guy worked at an honest business). There is no indication that her car needed to be road-tested, and even if it did Stangman's conduct was absolutely unacceptible.



[ Parent ]
Reminds me of a proverb. (4.00 / 2) (#127)
by tbc on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:48:04 AM EST

"A man's riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat." (Prov 13:8 NIV)

-- an unthreatened owner of a 2001 Saturn SL1 :-)

I hear you there. (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by nstenz on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 11:41:57 AM EST

When I told a friend of mine (who drives a Z28 Camaro) about this, he said, "Man, if someone ever did that to my car, I'd have his nuts in a vice!"

To which I replied, "Yeah, me too. However, I don't own the kind of high-performance vehicles somebody would drive like that."

I've got a '97 Sebring and a '99 Stratus. *vrrooom* =)

[ Parent ]

Beating on a car during breakin will destroy it. (none / 0) (#142)
by jond on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 01:52:42 PM EST

If you beat on a car during its breakin period, the rings wont seal well which means it will smoke, burn oil, and have low compression in a few years. Also it could damage the rod and cam bearings which could cause excessive wear of these bearings and ultimatly cause engine failure. All of this is with a normal car. A 390HP SuperCharged FORD should be taken care of even more than normal. I would either sell the car or demand a new engine.

Joyriding Mechanic Busted via Internet | 145 comments (131 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!