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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-31-2004, 12:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lets start with what should be a simple premise: Everyone comes here in the name of knowledge; sometimes to learn sometimes to share. However I am starting to think that there are some posters that have a different agenda. But I will get to that in a minute.

I have read many many posts, read all the FAQ's, spent countless hours reading on other forums, and read a million links to how to's and FAQ's. What I have seen across all the forums i belong to is that some folks are downright panicked when they post because they just dont know what is wrong. That is completely understandable, as having a beloved vehicle not work right can be painful, and even scary if it is the only way you can get around, or if you can't afford to fix it. I am pretty sure all of us have been in that spot at one point or another. I want everyone to think back to when they had a problem and didn't have the knowledge or financial means to fix it and posted to this board. You were looking for help right?

Well try to put yourself in the shoes of the poster that is there now with his/her desperate post. Then ask yourself "Do I know for sure, 100 percent that the answer I am posting is correct, and will be helpful to this person?" What I am getting at is there are just too many posts that dont come anywhere close to meeting that criteria. Even more to the point, given that this forum is supposed to be to help people at the very least understand what is wrong with their car, and ideally provide solid guidance on how to actual execute the repair. so to that end, how is it helpful to not only panick the hell out of an already worried poster, but then tell that poster to run to a mechanic or dealer? Think about it ... if your response to someone is take it to a mechanic or dealer, then you probably have no idea what the problem is and should not be posting anything that further to upsets the poster.

Honest to god, if it was up to me I would sanction EVERY poster that gave advice to run to the dealer immediately or run to your mechanic right now because the sky is falling. Yes there are problems that require immediate attention, but it is also incredibly hard to diagnose most serious problems from a post. So instead of panicking people how about we calmly assure them that their car is going to be ok, and instead of trying to rack up a high number of posts, shut up if you have nothing knowledgable to say or at least use some of the following words to preface your response:

I think...
I may have read somewhere...
I seem to recall but not 100 percent sure...
In my opinion...
you could try...



Ok so we have addressed the bad and the ugly, now I would like to talk about the good:

This forum has a lot of knowledgable, well meaning folks who sincerely care about helping others in the name of happy motoring. to those folks, i would like to say thanks for the knowledge that I have gained here. I have also tried to return that knowledge in a lot of my posts. However, as a testament to the fact that there are too many posts that just shouldn't be made, I have received dozens if not hundreds of PM's in the few months since I have joined this board
asking for help and expressing that I seem knowledgable and that the posters wants help not stupid answers that dont make sense to even lay people. While I have tried to answer as many of those posts as I can, I am not ashamed to say that there are some that I had no answers for. The point is if the stupid posts are reduced then more people would post to the forum where they could get the great help that a lot of people here can offer.


you may have noticed that I didn't single out a single post or person on this board, becuase it is not my intent to embarass anyone orn rip on anyone. Just to make people think before they shoot off an email or their mouth. One day you may need some help.... and I bet anything when your car is part way disassembled the last thing you want to hear is "take it to the dealer right away", or "you need to change you intake manifold because your steering wheel is vibrating"

And finally, to the moderators of this list, if you think I am out of line in this post tell me, because either you agree with me and are of the mind to help do something about this or you think I am wrong and I know where I stand on this board. As always, everyone feel free to comment. No need to private message me, this is a forum and there is nothing in this post that should be hidden from anyone else I can take the heat if it is due...

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Old 08-31-2004, 01:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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IMO

Spoken truly and good job.


That said (no flame here) everyone who comes here needs to keep in mind that this is a public forum and we are not proffesional mechanics. Like any information that you come accross in life, you need to try and find out for yourself if it is true or not. Anybody can write anything and you have no way of knowing if it is legit or not with out checking out the information. Also since this is a public forum some people do want to show off their cars and have their name all over the internet. That is fine. But if the new posters do any back ground checking on who posted what and actually check out the information in the replies to their questions, there should be no problems of the new guys getting bad info.
There are only a few people on this forum that I actually pay attention to when they post and trust what they say, I read most of the posts that come through this forum, so I have a pretty good idea of who provides reliable info. However, I always call my friend/mechanic (bmw god) after posting a question here to see what he says about it. Granted not everyone can have friend who is also a bmw master tech and owns his own repair shop. But everyone can by a $25 dollar chiltons from Barnes and Noble and read a little bit to find out if what the are being told makes any sense.
Yes people should make the effort to distinquish between what they know to be fact and what they think that they have heard or what they think that it might be. However, they don't have to and usually those poeople fall into the category of wanting their post counts higher and want to be all over the interent or at least this forum.
But the question I have for you nycbmw325is is what should be done? You are great at pointing out problems, but realistic solutions are a little lacking...
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Old 08-31-2004, 02:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree quite a bit that much of the nonsense posting doesn't belong, but that is supposed to be the atomsphere of this forum. It is a place to learn, but also have fun. Does a person posting a smiley as a reply to a neglected question help? No, not really. But does deleting the post, or sanctioning the member help either? No, not really. In many cases, there are newbs who come and answer other newbs with totally wrong answers. However, there are also times that a question is posted that is so vague, all a member can do is offer a supposition until more info is provided by that member. So, when the member with the problem comes back and sees the laundry list of things to try, usually one of them is right, and they will come and say X worked. If not, they tend to come back and say X Y and Z didn't work, so here is more information.
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Old 08-31-2004, 02:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by thekid@Aug 31 2004, 02:37 PM
IMO

Spoken truly and good job.


That said (no flame here) everyone who comes here needs to keep in mind that this is a public forum and we are not proffesional mechanics. Like any information that you come accross in life, you need to try and find out for yourself if it is true or not. Anybody can write anything and you have no way of knowing if it is legit or not with out checking out the information. Also since this is a public forum some people do want to show off their cars and have their name all over the internet. That is fine. But if the new posters do any back ground checking on who posted what and actually check out the information in the replies to their questions, there should be no problems of the new guys getting bad info.
There are only a few people on this forum that I actually pay attention to when they post and trust what they say, I read most of the posts that come through this forum, so I have a pretty good idea of who provides reliable info. However, I always call my friend/mechanic (bmw god) after posting a question here to see what he says about it. Granted not everyone can have friend who is also a bmw master tech and owns his own repair shop. But everyone can by a $25 dollar chiltons from Barnes and Noble and read a little bit to find out if what the are being told makes any sense.
Yes people should make the effort to distinquish between what they know to be fact and what they think that they have heard or what they think that it might be. However, they don't have to and usually those poeople fall into the category of wanting their post counts higher and want to be all over the interent or at least this forum.
But the question I have for you nycbmw325is is what should be done? You are great at pointing out problems, but realistic solutions are a little lacking...
Hmmmm.. solutions? Well lets see this is not just a public forum, it is a specific forum, on a veryt specif subject matter. I would go so far as to say that most every person on here is an enthusiast to some degree or another. I also beleive that there is not a SINGLE person on this forum that has an ill intent at all.. I dont think there are any posts that are made to knowingly cause anyone any harm. So how is this for a solution. When a stupid post is made, which clearly indicates no knowledge of a subject how about we let the poster know... bury him/ her in PM letting him know that the post is not helping anyone. Hopefully they will soon excercise more care in what they post. Failing that... we could bash him/her on the forum, and post messages to ignore that person. That would be hurtful because those people are the ones that like to be heard the most, and if people were being warned to ignore them that would defeat their primary goal.. to be heard.

fortunately or unfortunatly depending on your point of view, I actually have a lot of time on my hands these days at work.... So I am happy to bash in excruciating detail if need be, but that is not what i want to do. I also thought that moderators would do well to PM some of the offenders..

Lets face it, if you have read enough posts you know as well as I that you could spout about 6 names right now that routinely post with no knowledge of anything. I dont want to go there, but i also hate that others who don't know these characters may beleive them. It will be interesting to see if the stupid quotient dies down when scholl is back in session. If that turns out to be the case then, hopefully the younger posters will learn a little civic responsbility in the ensuing school year.
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Old 08-31-2004, 04:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i've been a member of other bmw forumns on the internet and this is by far the most mature and civilized i know of, on another forumn i posted a question about how old you had to be to work at autozone, what i got were some rude comments and advice on how to live my life, then when i said what the hell are you idiots talking about, i got banned and the dumbass admins said i shouldn't get pissed when i ask for someones opinion and they say something i don't like i shouldn't make personal attacks, wtf is up with that, there are some people on here who try to joke around, but they aren't half as bad as what i've seen on other sites, so what i'm tyring to say is you can't have a perfect site where everyone always makes useful posts and doesn't joke around, besides that would be boring, i help people, but i also joke a lot, oh and as for solutions


TAKE IT TO THE DEALER......................... :lol:
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Old 08-31-2004, 04:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with mostly everything you've said. But lots of times people are posting questions like "Today I drove over a bump, and it made a noise, any ideas on what it could be?"

For questions like that, there's a billion different things to check. Sometimes when I post a question I'm looking for those oddball ideas because I've checked the already obvious stuff that could be wrong for a specific problem.

I agree that for a post some people guess and are giving completely false information, but if somebody knows what they're talking about they will correct them.

I also try and put in a reply to a thread without responces just because I feel bad for the person. I can try the best I can to answer the question, but if I honestly don't know I'm not afraid to admit it and give the thread a free 'bump'.
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Old 08-31-2004, 04:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i have to say that i agree that there are alot of useless posts that are getting thrown around here. i also have to agree with el presidente that even though there are many different suggestions where most don't help, that you typically find that at least one of the post does work. During my time here the past couple of months i have found that almost all of the time i have found what i am looking for, sometimes it may take awhile to hear the right info, but it does come along.
the reasons that you may find that people aren't useful is that the people that seem to be the most knowledgeable are the ones with steady jobs, that don't spend most of their time here online. the others that post with smilies and other usefull crap are the students like me with nothing better to do on a tuesday evening than to take some anger and amusement out online (sorry if im one of the six people btw).
also like thekid said pretty much all of the people here are bmw enthusiasts, not mechanics, so most of what we know is limited either to what we have heard works on here, or what we have experienced ourselves. i have to say that the best way to try and get the info that you need here or on any board, when you are dealing with people you don't know anything about, that you just need a bit of patience........and a very detailed description of your problem so it is easier for everyone to try and help out.




yah i sort of rambled on here a bit, if it makes no sense discard anything or everything i have said
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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oh man there's too much text in this thread for me to digest...
am I doing good or bad? Neither response will offend me.

BTW, I agree with the parent post.
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm...Cmon....sure its a Forum for help but it also a Forum for the BMW brotherhood to come and chat with ppl of the same high standards we all BMW owners live by...when you get with yr buddies and one says.."man I have this sqeak that comes out from etc etc"...do you stop and say...."I would reply but sence I do not 100% know what it is I'll just stand here and look dumb"...No...you say.."Hey man maby it is this..that..etc...lets look..etc.."...So y go knocken on other ppls coments just cuz you got yr own opinion about the issue....And no they may not "know" about the internal workings of German engineered cars as you do..but at least they try....and of course someone is gonna post somthen stupid....Its all in fun...so why not quit tryen to make waves and just kick back and enjoy the ride...I for one love this Forum...all its good/bad advice....Yr always gonna have bad advice..But wait...y is it bad cuz you or I think it is..they may have read the post differently than you/I did...It would be a postless Forum if we all only posted when we are 100% sure what the right answer is...
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