Wednesday , October 18 2017
Home / LewRockwell / The Kids Don’t Wrench

The Kids Don’t Wrench

Summary:
Working on cars has become part of America’s cultural past, like so many other things which used to define American culture. Which was, above all, a car culture. What you drove was very important and – especially for young guys – it was almost as important to know how it worked and to at least plausibly be able to work on it. Males were expected to have a degree of mechanical competence or at least interest and if not your maleness was somewhat suspect. That’s all gone now. Almost no one wrenches anymore – male or female. Not unless they’re paid to. And most people have to pay someone else to wrench because more than merely wrenching is involved now. Ay, there’s the rub. The complexity today is much greater, obviously. It presents the same kind of barrier to

Topics:
Eric Peters considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tyler Durden writes Xi Jinping’s Speech: “Housing Is For Living Rather Than Speculation”

Tyler Durden writes CIA Urges Trump To Delay Release Of 3,000 Never-Before-Seen Documents On JFK Assassination

Tyler Durden writes “If Catalonia Fails, We All Fail…”

Tyler Durden writes “It’s Sad As Hell” – Swedish Ambassador Admits, We’re “In The Process Of Dismantling Democracy”

Working on cars has become part of America’s cultural past, like so many other things which used to define American culture. Which was, above all, a car culture. What you drove was very important and – especially for young guys – it was almost as important to know how it worked and to at least plausibly be able to work on it.

Males were expected to have a degree of mechanical competence or at least interest and if not your maleness was somewhat suspect.

That’s all gone now.

Almost no one wrenches anymore – male or female. Not unless they’re paid to. And most people have to pay someone else to wrench because more than merely wrenching is involved now.

Ay, there’s the rub.

The complexity today is much greater, obviously. It presents the same kind of barrier to entry that having to destroy 50 brand-new cars in crash tests to prove they meet Uncle’s safety standards presents a barrier to entry to any small start-up that wants to get into the business of selling cars.

Time to buy old US gold coins

Instead of simple/discrete systems – for example, fuel delivery via a mechanical fuel pump and carburetor – you now have inter-related and much more complicated synergistic systems such as direct injection – which is enmeshed with the electrical system, emissions system, ignition system. It is necessary to understand how all of these work in order to be able to diagnose and bring back to good order any of them, individually.

It’s analogous to a manual typewriter vs. a computer keyboard; or a smartphone vs. an old corded wall phone.

The former and latter can both be understood, but a mechanical device you can manipulate with your hands and take apart and handle the parts and how they go together is easier to understand – particularly for someone without any formal training. Self-teaching is more feasible.

Fewer tools needed, too.

Think about a simple two-barrel carb vs. a modern DI system. Imagine being 15 again and having a few screwdrivers and maybe a $25 socket set. Pop the hood of the pre-computer car and you could work the throttle arm by hand, see the choke blade close. Look down the carb’s throat and observe the throttle blades opening. Actually, watch the fuel squirt down the venturis. A cable ran from the accelerator pedal to the throttle arm on the side of the carb. You could see – and immediately comprehend – that pushing down on the accelerator cable caused the cable to draw back, which pulled the throttle arm back, which caused the carb to “open up” – and the engine to rev.

Eureka!

What is there to see under the hood of a modern car except a plastic engine cover and underneath that, lots of plugged-in plastic things and wires? Very little actually moves – that you can see.  The throttle, for example, is controlled electronically via a throttle position sensor.  Its workings cannot be seen. And there many other sensors, besides.

Unless you are already an engineer – or have near that level of comprehension, especially of things electrical – modern cars are unapproachable, overwhelming. Too Much. So many things to understand and which must be understood to service them competently. Too many “black box” electronic things whose workings one cannot see or manipulate with one’s hands.

The tactile element is gone. Modern cars are not amenable to tinkering. Electronics either work – or not.

Forget about it. Take it to the shop.

Read the Whole Article

Eric Peters
Eric started out writing about cars for mainstream media outlets such as The Washington Times, Detroit News and Free Press, Investors Business Daily, The American Spectator, National Review, The Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *