Question of the Week / Randomness

What’s the best automotive advice you ever received?

I’ve never really understood the question, “What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?” I’m always left wondering, “about what?” Sure, “look both ways before crossing the street” and “don’t take candy from strangers” have worked out pretty well so far, but they don’t really apply in every situation life throws at you.

When asked, I usually say, “Do the job right the first time” or “The correct tool makes all the difference”. But my favorite bit of wisdom would have to be, “A clean car is a fast car.”

I grew up racing with my brother and sisters and my parents were always on a very tight budget. Therefore, it was extremely important to keep our equipment in top running order. The way to do that was to check every nut and bolt as often as possible. Between heats we would always clean with one hand and inspect with the other. This attention do detail could reveal the loose bolt or worn part that might result in catastrophic failure… and it saved a DNF on more than one occasion.

To this day, I apply that same bit of advice to as many aspects of life as possible (even beyond racing and cars). “Cleaning your car to make it a fast car” helps you notice things that require special attention. Stuff that can be fixed now much easier than later.

What’s the best piece of automotive advice you ever received? Share some wisdom with us in the comments.

The author, benefiting from some solid advice.

Have fun in your garage!


  1. My uncle, a long-time hot rod builder and used car dealer taught us, “There’s a butt for every seat.”

  2. Change your oil every 3,000 miles. It’s kept vehicle after vehicle running like a top way over the century mark.

  3. Plan on setting aside $100 a month for your classic car. You’ll need it every now and then to buy and fix things for the car.

  4. I learned from my father-in-law 5 yrs ago..take care of what you have, and make your car look as good as it did when you bought using the best products and lots of patience..

  5. I’ve always been taught when working on cars that if you start to get frustrated, take a break and go do something else. Restart when you’re no longer infuriated by that stuck bolt or crooked bumper.

  6. The best advice I’ve ever gotten? “Have fun in your garage”!

  7. Always detail your engine bay before you take your car in for service. The mechanic will open the hood, take one look, and treat your car with very special care. Work’s every time.

  8. My Dad told me “always get the biggest engine you can afford.”

  9. My uncle a long time hot rodder and engine builder told my hot rods dont leak oil they mark there territory

  10. Keith Pomeraning says:

    Never skimp on brakes or tires … you may just need them to save your a$$.

    And in the same vein as Doug’s comment, Harley’s don’t leak oil, they’re paying homage to their dinosaur predecessors.

  11. Jeff Sparks says:

    My dad taught me many, many years ago to always use the right tool for the job.

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