Author Topic: Idiots buying things that they don't understand/know how to use/maintain  (Read 17655 times)

Ann

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...then they complain the repair bill/car price is so high. Or worse don't even realize it's so high!

I know it's a rant, but I do find it amusing that the "worse" case scenerio is that someone purchases an automobile, has it serviced at an autoshop instead of doing basic maintenance at home and then . . . goes on about their life NOT complaining about it?

I get it, though!  Inefficiency and waste is annoying.   I was irritated when a friend complained how much the full-service car wash charged.  There is literally a coin-operated self wash two blocks over.  It's not hard.  And if you find it so hard or exhausting to clean your own car, then why do you expect other people to do it cheaply?

Travis

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I get the brakes bit (he should fix those, now!) but what's wrong with not fixing the air conditioner?  I ask because I also have a non-functioning air conditioner and I have zero desire to spend money repairing it.  Is that somehow going to damage my engine? Recharged it once last year but it didn't last, so there's definitely a leak somewhere.  I just thought that a leak didn't mean bumbkiss besides my car no longer staying cool.  Is it causing long-term damage somehow?

Under certain conditions, moisture from the air being exhaled by the occupants can condense on the insides of the glass, fogging up the driver's view. You can stop periodically to wipe off the windows and windshield, or you can turn on the A/C and let it dehumidify the interior. I suppose someday we'll have self-driving cars and it won't matter, but until then I think the A/C makes a small contribution to safety.
+1 to this.  It's worst in cold weather with three panting dogs in a small car.

And if the person is from a hot-weather area, it could a safety issue in that direction.

Psychstache

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When I saw the thread title, the first thing that immediately came to mind was people who buy pets without thinking through their care and feeding. These cases are especially sad because there's a living thing that can suffer from a lack of maintenance.
We have a pet turtle in our lab.  Why?  Because the week before my advisor and his family were leaving for a year long sabbatical someone gave his daughter a pet turtle as a birthday present.
SERIOUSLY??
There is a special place in hell for people who give living things as presents.

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nereo

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When I saw the thread title, the first thing that immediately came to mind was people who buy pets without thinking through their care and feeding. These cases are especially sad because there's a living thing that can suffer from a lack of maintenance.
We have a pet turtle in our lab.  Why?  Because the week before my advisor and his family were leaving for a year long sabbatical someone gave his daughter a pet turtle as a birthday present.
SERIOUSLY??
There is a special place in hell for people who give living things as presents.

Um.... do plants count?  'cause I'm guilty there...
In my defense most of my plant-gifts seem to have been well received and most were still alive years later...

Fishindude

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I get the brakes bit (he should fix those, now!) but what's wrong with not fixing the air conditioner?  I ask because I also have a non-functioning air conditioner and I have zero desire to spend money repairing it.  Is that somehow going to damage my engine? Recharged it once last year but it didn't last, so there's definitely a leak somewhere.  I just thought that a leak didn't mean bumbkiss besides my car no longer staying cool.  Is it causing long-term damage somehow?

He was griping about how hot his car was, but I guess it wasn't miserable enough to justify taking a little time and spending a little money to get it fixed.
AC may seem like something trivial, but if you're OK with letting that go, then it will be something else next, and so on, and so on.   I've owned a business and a fleet of vehicles and can testify that keeping up on maintenance care and keeping everything in 100% working order will put you money (and time) ahead.  Keep letting your automobile deteriorate and it will soon be to the point where you won't be able to make a trip of any distance without fear of a breakdown.

nereo

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I get the brakes bit (he should fix those, now!) but what's wrong with not fixing the air conditioner?  I ask because I also have a non-functioning air conditioner and I have zero desire to spend money repairing it.  Is that somehow going to damage my engine? Recharged it once last year but it didn't last, so there's definitely a leak somewhere.  I just thought that a leak didn't mean bumbkiss besides my car no longer staying cool.  Is it causing long-term damage somehow?

He was griping about how hot his car was, but I guess it wasn't miserable enough to justify taking a little time and spending a little money to get it fixed.
AC may seem like something trivial, but if you're OK with letting that go, then it will be something else next, and so on, and so on.   I've owned a business and a fleet of vehicles and can testify that keeping up on maintenance care and keeping everything in 100% working order will put you money (and time) ahead.  Keep letting your automobile deteriorate and it will soon be to the point where you won't be able to make a trip of any distance without fear of a breakdown.

Good points made. I keep on top of my maintenance but have never seen the need to repair the AC leak - as a rule I never use air conditioning (cool climate) and so far I haven't experienced the fogging up of windows that others describe (perhaps because I do not have 3 dogs traveling with me...).  Heater/blower is more than enough to defog the window on cold days.

Cpa Cat

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I buy things I don't understand or know how to use all the time. How else am I supposed to learn how to use new things?

On the other hand, I still don't know how to maintain my car. I took auto shop in grade 9 and aced all the paper tests and diagrams. Then when we actually got to work on cars, it looked nothing like the diagrams I memorized. Happily, there are three auto maintenance shops within a mile of my house, so I have avoided the catastrophe of an ill-maintained car.

The lawn mower maintenance shop actually comes to my house to get my lawnmower for maintenance. In theory, I know that I need to change the oil and sharpen the blades, but in practice... trying to do it myself sounds like a giant waste of time. Of course, having lived in apartments my whole life, I did buy the lawnmower without knowing how to turn it on. Thankfully it came with a manual.

cheapass

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb.

When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

omachi

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb.

When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

Sounds like a decent roommate. Maybe a little timid and light on exposure to some things, but mindful of others and willing to learn.

cheapass

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When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

Sounds like a decent roommate. Maybe a little timid and light on exposure to some things, but mindful of others and willing to learn.

Nah, he was a POS. Never had rent on time because he decided to spend his money on weed and tattoos instead. Then he had to call his dad and beg for money so he could pay rent late.

Raenia

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb.

When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

Still better than many kids I knew in college who just brought all their dirty laundry back to their parents house for their mom to wash.

nereo

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no joke - i had someone ask me once how to make ice cubes without an automatic ice-cube maker.
They already owned both a freezer and some of those "plastic container thingies" (ice cube trays)

Dave1442397

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb.

When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

Still better than many kids I knew in college who just brought all their dirty laundry back to their parents house for their mom to wash.

I can go one better. There's a Filipino family that my MIL is friends with. They have a daughter in her forties who lives in Manhattan. They travel the 200-mile round trip every Friday to pick her up, and bring her and her laundry to their house, where her Mother does the laundry for her. They then do the same drive on Sunday to bring her back to Manhattan.

My wife and I just didn't even know what to say when MIL told us that story.

MgoSam

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb.

When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

Still better than many kids I knew in college who just brought all their dirty laundry back to their parents house for their mom to wash.

I can go one better. There's a Filipino family that my MIL is friends with. They have a daughter in her forties who lives in Manhattan. They travel the 200-mile round trip every Friday to pick her up, and bring her and her laundry to their house, where her Mother does the laundry for her. They then do the same drive on Sunday to bring her back to Manhattan.

My wife and I just didn't even know what to say when MIL told us that story.

WOW, I don't know what to say other than perhaps that is something the family wishes to do?

TheGrimSqueaker

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb.

When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

Still better than many kids I knew in college who just brought all their dirty laundry back to their parents house for their mom to wash.

I can go one better. There's a Filipino family that my MIL is friends with. They have a daughter in her forties who lives in Manhattan. They travel the 200-mile round trip every Friday to pick her up, and bring her and her laundry to their house, where her Mother does the laundry for her. They then do the same drive on Sunday to bring her back to Manhattan.

My wife and I just didn't even know what to say when MIL told us that story.

WOW, I don't know what to say other than perhaps that is something the family wishes to do?

Could the laundry be part of some other sort of extended-family activity in which she's doing something like child care or elder care? I'm trying to salvage a feeling of respect.

Bicycle_B

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This is how I get most of my small engines...

The super nice toro lawnmower... $20 at a thrift store because someone didn't drain the fuel before winter and the carb was clogged.  Same story for every motorcycle I've ever purchased.  Usually after a carb job they'll start right up.  Hell, my first car was purchased for dirt cheap because it didn't run well...  Also just needed the carbs cleaned.

I bought my lawnmower from a relative who complained that she could never get it to keep running. There was no gas in it.

When I was 16, I was granted use of a very old family car.  It stopped running one day.  How embarrassed I was that someone had to ask me whether it was out of gas.  It was, of course.

It was all too recently that I realized - due to a thoughtful bystander's remark - why my lawnmower kept dying.  It has this thing called an air filter that should be periodically cleaned or replaced!   

At least, once the suggestion was made, I succeeded in finding the air filter and replacing it.  Thanks to the internet, I even learned in timely fashion that the new filter must have some clean oil squeezed into it before installation.  So far, the lawnmower is working...much better than before!

merula

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I've got a gem from several years back. My uncle is a major car enthusiast. As in, he's completely rebuilt several classic cars, he was a founder of a local classic car festival, etc. etc.

Maybe 20 years ago, his family gets their first computer, and his children prompt download this cool program their friends are all using: Kazaa. So, within 3 months the machine is completely bogged down with malware.

Uncle complains "They charge $600 for this thing, it should just WORK. Why should you have to run antivirus software or whatever?"

My point is, probably everyone has some blind spots where they buy something they don't completely understand how to maintain.

josh4trunks

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@slugline

You probably would not be happy with my car. 95 Honda and everything is breaking on it, but I always repair it enough to keep it bringing me to work.

* AC hasn't worked since I inherited it from my grandpa 2.5 years ago, and I have no inclination to fix it.
I like sweating, makes me feel like I work hard/am sacrificing since I am sitting in an air conditioned office all day.

* cracked windshield, but unnoticeable enough I probably won't get pulled over for it.

* passenger door got crushed. a lady, too old to be safely driving, hit me and "totaled" my car (valued at $2100). I kept the car, got the check from her insurance, re-registered my now salvage car, and kept driving.

* something started squeaking last week, from talking to my coworker I suspect it is my brake pads. they said I can probably keep using it safely, which I plan on doing.

I'm hoping this car just survive me long enough to be able to retire with my state's Air Board for $1K

mies

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Ugh. My old man just bought a cheap laptop so he can study for his Ham radio license. He called me yesterday rambling on about how he couldn't use a CD ROM he got for studying for this certification because it needed to run on windows. I have no clue if that is even true, but he went out and bought a laptop and a 3 year warranty.

He can barely use his Mac.  Now I'm going to have to hold his hand through Windows 10 which is even less consistent than MacOS. I'm sure whatever antivirus software he got is going to grind that machine to a halt too. I also have a feeling this Ham radio training CD ROM he got just has PDF files on it. This is what happens when you combine ignorance with impatience.

paddedhat

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb.

When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

My daughter's University roommate was such a princess that my DD will never forget the following:

1. Roomy begs DD to teach her how to do wash. The go to laundry room, roomy loads the machine, DD then informs her to remove clothing from the dryer, washer comes first.
2. Roomy begs DD to teach her how to cook scrambled eggs. She does, but only to stop the whining.
3. Roomy begs DD to cook spaghetti for her. DD had enough of the hand holding and tells roomy to read box, follow directions, or go hungry.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 08:24:46 AM by paddedhat »

Dave1442397

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I'm in college and, God, college kids are dumb.

When I was in college we had a roommate who threw us some gems like -

"Can you show me how to use the washing machine? I don't want to break it" (this was about 10 years ago so it was a pretty simple device)

"You're serious, we have to rake the leaves? Why can't we just leave them over the winter? Well can you show me how to do it, I've just never done anything like that.."

Still better than many kids I knew in college who just brought all their dirty laundry back to their parents house for their mom to wash.

I can go one better. There's a Filipino family that my MIL is friends with. They have a daughter in her forties who lives in Manhattan. They travel the 200-mile round trip every Friday to pick her up, and bring her and her laundry to their house, where her Mother does the laundry for her. They then do the same drive on Sunday to bring her back to Manhattan.

My wife and I just didn't even know what to say when MIL told us that story.

WOW, I don't know what to say other than perhaps that is something the family wishes to do?

Could the laundry be part of some other sort of extended-family activity in which she's doing something like child care or elder care? I'm trying to salvage a feeling of respect.

No, we met her at a party once and found her just flat-out weird. I asked my wife if they're still doing that every week, and no, she got laid off and decided to move back in with her parents. She has a car (I guess she just never drove it) and insisted that it be parked in the garage, and that one of the parents' cars be parked on the street. She doesn't like driving, but likes her car, so she makes the parents drive her places in her car. She has a list of rules for them, including such gems as "don't hit the brake pedal too hard".

The parents vent to my MIL but say nothing to the daughter.

slugline

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@slugline

You probably would not be happy with my car. 95 Honda and everything is breaking on it, but I always repair it enough to keep it bringing me to work.

* AC hasn't worked since I inherited it from my grandpa 2.5 years ago, and I have no inclination to fix it.
I like sweating, makes me feel like I work hard/am sacrificing since I am sitting in an air conditioned office all day.

* cracked windshield, but unnoticeable enough I probably won't get pulled over for it.

* passenger door got crushed. a lady, too old to be safely driving, hit me and "totaled" my car (valued at $2100). I kept the car, got the check from her insurance, re-registered my now salvage car, and kept driving.

* something started squeaking last week, from talking to my coworker I suspect it is my brake pads. they said I can probably keep using it safely, which I plan on doing.

I'm hoping this car just survive me long enough to be able to retire with my state's Air Board for $1K

If you read what I wrote again, you'll note that it's the visibility, not the cooling, that really concerns me with lack of A/C. If you're willing to pull off the road to wipe off the inside of the greenhouse during high periods of high humidity, the other drivers around you should be OK. Other than the A/C, my Honda isn't so different from your Honda -- old, damaged in an accident, cracked windshield, squeaking (old shocks/struts).

nereo

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@slugline

You probably would not be happy with my car. 95 Honda and everything is breaking on it, but I always repair it enough to keep it bringing me to work.

* AC hasn't worked since I inherited it from my grandpa 2.5 years ago, and I have no inclination to fix it.
I like sweating, makes me feel like I work hard/am sacrificing since I am sitting in an air conditioned office all day.

* cracked windshield, but unnoticeable enough I probably won't get pulled over for it.

* passenger door got crushed. a lady, too old to be safely driving, hit me and "totaled" my car (valued at $2100). I kept the car, got the check from her insurance, re-registered my now salvage car, and kept driving.

* something started squeaking last week, from talking to my coworker I suspect it is my brake pads. they said I can probably keep using it safely, which I plan on doing.

I'm hoping this car just survive me long enough to be able to retire with my state's Air Board for $1K

If you read what I wrote again, you'll note that it's the visibility, not the cooling, that really concerns me with lack of A/C. If you're willing to pull off the road to wipe off the inside of the greenhouse during high periods of high humidity, the other drivers around you should be OK. Other than the A/C, my Honda isn't so different from your Honda -- old, damaged in an accident, cracked windshield, squeaking (old shocks/struts).

Do your windows really fog up like that?  I'm just surprised because in almost 20 years of driving in a bunch of different states and countries i can never recall that happening.
The only thing I've used the vents for along the windshield is defrosting/de-icing (which I do frequently in the winter).  Maybe because I tend to open the windows when its warm enough not to need the heater?  I'm trying o figure out under what environmental circumstances this would happen...

slugline

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Do your windows really fog up like that?  I'm just surprised because in almost 20 years of driving in a bunch of different states and countries i can never recall that happening.
The only thing I've used the vents for along the windshield is defrosting/de-icing (which I do frequently in the winter).  Maybe because I tend to open the windows when its warm enough not to need the heater?  I'm trying o figure out under what environmental circumstances this would happen...

Having a cold front blow through while you're out driving will certainly do it here on the Gulf Coast.

Any time the temperature of the glass falls below the dew point of the air, condensation happens -- either on the outside or inside of the glass. You can't change the conditions on the outside, but there are a couple ways of dealing with the inside. The heater will help because it will raise the interior temperature farther away from dew point. The A/C helps because it gets rid of the moisture in the air itself before it has a chance to contact the glass. For maximum defogging, run both the heater and the A/C compressor simultaneously until things clear up.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 07:37:22 AM by slugline »

josh4trunks

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@slugline

You probably would not be happy with my car. 95 Honda and everything is breaking on it, but I always repair it enough to keep it bringing me to work.

* AC hasn't worked since I inherited it from my grandpa 2.5 years ago, and I have no inclination to fix it.
I like sweating, makes me feel like I work hard/am sacrificing since I am sitting in an air conditioned office all day.

* cracked windshield, but unnoticeable enough I probably won't get pulled over for it.

* passenger door got crushed. a lady, too old to be safely driving, hit me and "totaled" my car (valued at $2100). I kept the car, got the check from her insurance, re-registered my now salvage car, and kept driving.

* something started squeaking last week, from talking to my coworker I suspect it is my brake pads. they said I can probably keep using it safely, which I plan on doing.

I'm hoping this car just survive me long enough to be able to retire with my state's Air Board for $1K

If you read what I wrote again, you'll note that it's the visibility, not the cooling, that really concerns me with lack of A/C. If you're willing to pull off the road to wipe off the inside of the greenhouse during high periods of high humidity, the other drivers around you should be OK. Other than the A/C, my Honda isn't so different from your Honda -- old, damaged in an accident, cracked windshield, squeaking (old shocks/struts).

I am thinking this is not as common an issue here in the Sacramento and Bay Area or Northern California. I believe we exceptionally low humidity.

I always get confused what exactly to do when my windshield fogs up (which isn't often); hot or cold air? I just wipe the inside of my windshield with my  hand which is definitely not a perfect solution.

Dave1442397

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I always get confused what exactly to do when my windshield fogs up (which isn't often); hot or cold air? I just wipe the inside of my windshield with my  hand which is definitely not a perfect solution.

The air temp doesn't matter. You need to turn the A/C on to dehumidify the air in your car. Just hit the A/C button and point the air at the windshield (defrost mode). It'll clear up quickly. You can have the A/C compressor running with either heating or cooling.

cadillacmike

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The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

College related, not consumer.   
Engineering major did not know what a camshaft was.
Only a part common to essentially every four-stroke internal combustion engine.

Umm, that would be ALL internal combustion engines, 2 and 4 stroke except for the rare wankel / rotary types. Even your little gas powered weed whacker has a camshaft.

markbike528CBX

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cadillacmike:
where is/what function does a camshaft have in a 2-stroke?

In 4strokes the cam shaft operates the intake/exhaust valves.     On smaller(motorcycle) 2-strokes the intake is opened by the piston sliding past the intake opening

cadillacmike

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cadillacmike:
where is/what function does a camshaft have in a 2-stroke?

In 4strokes the cam shaft operates the intake/exhaust valves.     On smaller(motorcycle) 2-strokes the intake is opened by the piston sliding past the intake opening

Ok,  Some 2-strokes have valves and a camshaft, especially older ones. I haven't owned a 2-stroke in ages, but remember out old lawn mower from way back, because we took it apart.

jinga nation

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too much talk of 2/4 strokes, intake openings, pistons sliding, shafts, and the occasional Wankel. But keep going folks!

(Engineer here, we do it better, faster, harder, with efficiency)

TheGrimSqueaker

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too much talk of 2/4 strokes, intake openings, pistons sliding, shafts, and the occasional Wankel. But keep going folks!

(Engineer here, we do it better, faster, harder, with efficiency)

And yet, when that approach doesn't satisfy, the cunning linguist who majored in a non-STEM field frequently gets the job done.

ketchup

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too much talk of 2/4 strokes, intake openings, pistons sliding, shafts, and the occasional Wankel. But keep going folks!

(Engineer here, we do it better, faster, harder, with efficiency)

And yet, when that approach doesn't satisfy, the cunning linguist who majored in a non-STEM field frequently gets the job done.
Oh yeah, well trombonists do it in seven positions, and IT guys know how to press all your buttons and are excellent at turning things off and on again.

talltexan

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It's usually at moments like this that I can clear out the discussion by mentioning i'm an economist.

nereo

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It's usually at moments like this that I can clear out the discussion by mentioning i'm an economist.
I'm so sorry!  ... does your mother know?
:-P

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cadillacmike:
where is/what function does a camshaft have in a 2-stroke?

In 4strokes the cam shaft operates the intake/exhaust valves.     On smaller(motorcycle) 2-strokes the intake is opened by the piston sliding past the intake opening

Ok,  Some 2-strokes have valves and a camshaft, especially older ones. I haven't owned a 2-stroke in ages, but remember out old lawn mower from way back, because we took it apart.

Ahem.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camless_piston_engine

if you can electronically control the valves then you can start the engine without a starter motor.   (let fuel into cylinder, fire cylinder, let fuel into next cylinder, etc.)   Not there yet, but reminiscent of the brush-less DC motor, only with petroleum.   You just have to love the things you can do with computers.

JLee

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The number of times this came up recently was sickening so I needed somewhere to let it out. Y'all got anything?

College related, not consumer.   
Engineering major did not know what a camshaft was.
Only a part common to essentially every four-stroke internal combustion engine.

Umm, that would be ALL internal combustion engines, 2 and 4 stroke except for the rare wankel / rotary types. Even your little gas powered weed whacker has a camshaft.

Not anymore!

http://blog.caranddriver.com/koenigseggs-camshaft-less-engine-explained-watch-it-in-action-video/

BTDretire

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 I have to give up a recent "how stupid story" on myself.
 My college age kids were in town and stayed over a weekend.
 They went home and when I got home and turned the TV on, I had no sound.
I have a digital cable box connected to the TV, I cranked the volume to max, nothing,
 I checked all the cables, no help.
 I called my daughter, no answer, I called my son, no answer.
   About 5 minutes later my daughter returned my call, I said did you do anything to the TV
I have no sound? She said, "Did you turn the sound up on the TV?" I grabbed the "TV"
remote and turned up the volume. Sheepishly, I said "ya that fixed it."
  In my defense, I never use the TV remote, the cable box remote does all the functions including audio level.
One of my kids turned the "TV" volume to zero.
In another few minutes my son called, I told him the problem, his first response, "did you turn up the TV volume?"
 I texted my daughter about an hour later and said, "stop laugh at your dad!"