I enjoy so much reading and following the trials and tribulations of enthusiastic automobile hobbiests. I try and help where I have easy knowledge, I often look up info I don't memorize. I enjoy it and it improves these capabilities which I use every day with 8 technicians asking similar questions.
I often am at a loss as to the direction my answer should take. My first response is to try to put the technical elements together for the questioner. But, I often wonder if the more appropriate advise would be to tell them how to find a good technician or evaluate their answers.
I often get follow-up, private, email for further consultation and, as in recently, I gather the info necessary to start analysis and transmit it. In this case I even located the MB information #s to purchase the appropriate literature from MB and gave the number to call. The total amount for the complete ASR Diagnostic Manual would have been about thirty dollars. I suggested that this be purchased and I would then help with its use and interpretation. I also pointed out that if they wanted me to dig up the info from my own sources that I would charge $70 and hour. The reply that I got seems to place very little value in my efforts.
I was told that the questioner had little money and would have to continue seeking advise from the forum.
I have thought about this for a few days. I'm not sure whether he thought I meant to charge him for further help. This was not my intent. My intent was to point out if he couldn't afford $30 to have the text necessary to proceed then it would cost me a lot more to assemble it for him.
Most of the posts that ask questions about performance can only be answered with diagnostic technique for me. To say this part or that part could be the answer is pointless except in rehashing "war stories". I would like to give help, instruction, training as necessary to achieve an answer, but if having the proper text is too expensive then my advise wastes my time.
Sorry for the rant. It was iniated this morning by reading a number of posts that raise this question: Do you want to be told whats wrong (impossible) or do you want to be told how to figure it out? Many obviously have no possibility of doing the diagnostics (lack of tools, lack of skills, lack of information).
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician