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How I mine forums for repair information.


The internet is great, so much free information out there. You can learn from others who have been in your shoes.  So when it comes to owning a vehicle and wrenching on it, what better place to find information than the internet!  I know I will get some flack for this, but there really is a lot of good information out there on forums.  BUT, and there is always a but… There is a lot of BAD information as well.  As with anything, take EVERYTHING you read on a forum with a grain of salt.   It’s your job to wade through the information and get a sense for who is giving the advice, and if you can trust them.  Many times other members will chime in and confirm or slap down an inexperienced poster who gives bad advice… but not always.

What forums am I talking about?  Almost every vehicle mass produced in the past 50 years has a dedicated owners forum somewhere on the interwebs.  People love to talk about their cars, exchange information and a well be social.  I can not think of a vehicle I have owned (and I have owned plenty) where there were not 2 or 3 competing forums out there.

How do I find these forums you speak of?  Where else but Google!  Using my wife’s Cadillac SRX (which we sold recently) I head on over to Google and type “Cadillac SRX Forum” in the search box.  Now what comes back is abroad search across the internet, and I get 464,000 results!  But if I narrow it down to only “Discussions” by clicking the “Discussions” link towards the top of the page, it narrows my results down to 182,000 results. (see below)


On the first page I see at least 4 dedicated forums for Cadillac SRX owners… sweet!

Where to go from here?  Join a forum, search the forum and hopefully get your questions answered…

Not so quick!

Forum members (posters) do not like every newbie (you as a new member) coming in an asking all kinds of questions that have been asked and answered many times over!  This is where you need to take some time and search for past Q&A’s and hopefully not piss off the elites on the forum!  You can use the forum’s search box, or you can get creative and use Google again to search ONLY that forum by adding site:www.forum-you-want-to-search.com at the end of your query.  This will bring back results only from that forum and allow you to find things a little quicker! (see below)




So where to go from here?  Well have at it, join the forum, talk about common problems, ask your questions (cautiously) and enjoy ownership of your vehicle.  I have been involved in several forums over the years, got to meet many of the members at annual car shows, and even borrowed tools and made a few bucks selling extra parts to buddies.  It’s a great way to get to know your car a little better!

Before you click out! While I know a lot about cars, I don't know a lot about YOUR CAR! A repair manual is essential and I have a way for you to get one FREE.

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Posted: 27th October 2013  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: DIY Tools

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