Online Repair Pitfalls
by Pat Goss
If ever there was a double-edged sword, it’s the Internet. You can get some of the best automotive information in the world from the Internet, and you can get some of the worst. If you happen to be an Internet junkie, you have to use some common sense.
If you do a search for just about anything you want, you’ll get a lot of responses, but some of the more common ones these days…well, there are sites that promise huge increases in performance, and just a small amount of money to do it. But horsepower costs money so we know that’s not going to work. Then you’ll find the sites that promise these immense increases in fuel economy: 5 miles to the gallon, 10, 30-percent, different things like that. Well that’s too good to be true, and whenever anything seems too good to be true, it more than likely is. Watch out for things like that!
Another thing that you have to be careful of is going to a chat room. For instance, you ask a question, and somebody responds. You don’t know who is responding to you. You don’t know if the information they’re supplying is good or it’s just something to mislead you. There are a lot of pranksters on the Internet.
Now, other things: catalogs. Just about all the major companies are going to have catalogs on the Internet, and an Internet catalog is typically more current and has more information than the printed one. You can’t change the printed one, but you can very easily change the information that appears on the Internet.
If you want some really good web sites that have reliable information, NHTSAis one. You can get recall information, all kinds of crash test information, and links to known entities that will supply valuable information. DOT, the EPAyou can get fuel economy standards and all these different things. On ALLDATA, you can get information about recalls and technical service bulletins and so on. So stay with the ones you know and you’ll get good information.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
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