How We Used To Live With Cars
By Mark Weisseg
I like to hit the way back button once in a while to remind not only me, but you folks as well. We get so caught up in technology today we forget our roots. Just look at when some company introduces a new cell phone. The stores are bombarded with everyone who needs to have the latest gadget. I was told by a Verizon employee recently that when a new gadget is introduced most customers could care less that they are going to get hit with a fee of up to 175 smackers for turning in a phone before the contract is up. Jiminy Crickets as it will be a cold day in H E double hockey sticks that this old boy pays 175 bucks just to have a new phone. Not a chance in the world. But, I am in the minority and I am fine with that.
So, we return to the good old days button and hit it, and we are taken to a time when the car and trucks were so simple a trained goose could do some repairs. The mechanics or grease monkeys were clean cut, well spoke men. They for some reason did not have huge holes in there ear lobes the size of silver dollars. The shops were filled with tube tires and basic repair tools. No scopes, no computers, no analyzer, no speciality tools either. Heck, it wasn’t until 1938 that the Phillips head screw was invented and used. And yes, a lot of folks moaned about it. Why change from a standard screw? What possible reason is there? Boy if those same naysayers were alive today…..
The shops were dimly lit, the safety devices were few to none yet, these are our beginnings. Somebody needed to know how to fix these new automotive gadgets. I mean if the horse broke a leg you took him out back and shot him and had horse soup for a month. The car presented new issues to the population. Some feared gasoline engines as they were told they would explode and kill you and your family. That came from the electric car makers. Over zealous advertising ran rampant and the controls were not in place whether it was a car or a political ad. Even today one must stop and take a deep breath about advertising. Look at the Chevy versus Ford advertising. Something tells me that Chevy will go aluminum at some point but they will need to put a new twist on an old issue or look like fools.
So, we have progressed I guess from the earliest days of the automobile to a very high tech vehicle that most people do not understand. And that goes for some of the folks who try to repair these computers on wheels. The gap has never been larger when it comes to the educational gap from the kid who changes your oil to the master tech who is charged with figuring out why your high end Audi won’t start. I saw a plea recently from a Facebook friend that scared me. She had the battery replaced in her high end hybrid Lexus. Since the one battery had been replaced the radio won’t work and all the lights in the dash were on. The local Lexus dealer was stumped so she went to FB looking for help. It was another Facebook user who had the same issue previously that told her what they did to resolve the issue. Sad, very very sad.
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