The problem with “research”

The more information available out the, the lazier people get when doing true research. Call me jaded and cynical but I roll my eyes when people say “sige research muna ako” fact is, you the normal person, can never research as well as me and will never be as knowledgeable as me when it comes to cars.

Facebook groups are the absolute worse when it comes to this and groups are the absolute dumbest place to do research. It’s the blind leading the equally blind. Just look at this post

Looks like he did his research alright, and came up with supercharger problem. To which my first thoughts are “Do you not know what you just bought?!?!!?” With any high value purchase like a car or a watch or the latest iPhone, the default would be you will memorize the specs and each and every detail of your purchase. Well he did ask for peoples thoughts and what followed was obviously a bunch of laughing faces and “turbocharger boss” So not only did the guy not get any answers and people now know he kinda stupid.

With the wealth of information there how could you not know your truck is turbocharged? Did you not see it before you bought it? Did the agent not tell what engine it has? Did you not read and listen to reviews about it? And which brings back to the “I will research” statement. You can do all the research you want BUT do you even understand what you’re actually reading? Especially when it comes to technical matters. Most likely you did do the “research” but nothing got absorbed.

Take the unending 4-2-1 vs 4-1 debate, which every single person who asks this of me fails to read that this particular discussion takes place in a Honda related page, specifically B SERIES engine related. Not Corollas, not Kias, not Lancers, not Geelys. So that alone tells me your researching skills are definitely sub par. More so when people who have the 1.8 civic or 1.3-1.5 Jazz/city ask which is better, not knowing that it’s not applicable to them as they have a 1-1. But hey at least it’s Honda related.

Granted you’re not all knowing but the fact that you came across the 4-2-1 vs 4-1 debate means you did some “research” and didn’t comprehend what you’re reading.

I actually like when people I talk to acknowledge that they don’t know much about cars, which means they know that they need to learn and ask questions, but I appreciate it even more when the answers I give them actually sink in and they have that AHA moment, which does happen. And on the other end, after an hour of explanation, there are the “in one ear, out the other”

Here’s a cute example.

Q: If I change my muffler only, 2″ inlet, will it lose power?

A: No, any size shape brand style muffler you change to will not lose power

Q: What if I change to a 2.5″ inlet and 4″ outlet, will it lose power?

Geeee last I checked, 2.5″ and 4″ definitely false under the any size category. Asking the question again in a different way will not change the answer.

Friends and ka tropa are the next stupidest way to do research. Even if he is the “car guy” because:

1. He doesn’t drive what you drive

2. All he has is second hand heresy information, the kind that’s “ito nangyari sa bayaw ng pinsan ng manugang ko”

3. He doesn’t fix cars for a living.

4. It’s not his car or his money that’s on the line. So there is no consequence for him if things go wrong.

So given all of that, how do you do correct research and who to ask for help? Well obviously I will say me (it is my blog after all)

On a more practical note, here’s a few guidelines:

1. Know the context. Obviously do not search for stuff about your Toyota in a Hyundai forum/article/group

2. Type in your google search in English and with correct spelling. As dumb as it sounds, yes people are that dumb. Sparkflug, chik enjin, rubber boshing, oyel sel. That’s just parts names.

3. Videos aren’t helpful. I’ve seen people post videos with the most minimal of information, usually just “what’s wrong sirs?” You’ll have 50 people with 20 different answers. And no, it’s not a matter of consensus. This is the part where it really has to be heard in person and you bring to the shop.

4. Describing your problem also doesn’t help. One of the things I hate most is that people lie, unintentionally or otherwise. They’ll describe a problem and I’ll give a best guess answer on what’s wrong, only to find out later as the conversation continues that this and that detail has been left out and will this change the diagnosis. The same way that a doctor will never diagnose you over the phone, he will tell you to go the hospital.

5. Bring your wife/girlfriend along. If the shop can satisfactorily explain you then and make them understand the problem and what needs to be done, then they know what they’re talking about. Women have natural bullshit detectors and it’s pretty foolproof as they regard men and all their proclivity for all things tech with suspicion by nature.

6. Watch my YouTube videos where I explain the hows and whys without delving into too much math or engineering jargon.

7. Be as descriptive as possible without being repetitive. As where you went, where you came from while driving isn’t relevant. And despite being as thorough and descriptive, 95% of the time my answer will be “bring it to the shop”