5

Every time I ask a question someone complains that I didn't mention my car model. Can't we enter it once in our profiles and have it included with each question by default? With a checkbox to not show it for generic questions not specific to our cars.

On other sites, like RepairPal, you enter your vehicle information in one place and then it's attached to each question.

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11

The Gardening and Landscaping site had a very similar request, regarding climate/location details which are useful to know when answering a question. I much agree with the following statement on such:

If [the data] is important to the question, that information should be included in the text of the question itself — or edited into the question, if it is missing. Displaying that information automatically for "times when we forget" could actually cause users to exclude that information from the question explicitly.

This rather links with Larry's answer, the information may not be fully static or apparent for a single user. Furthermore, you could end up with a different vehicle later on in life, not just with more cars, and so the information from your card may not reflect the vehicle which the original question was asked about.

Ultimately, the important point is that if hte make and model could or are relevant to the question, it really should be in the question body. That allows the question to exist independent of the author, which is a lot of how the sites operate - the questions are their own entities.


That said, there is an option, which conveniently also has a Landscaping mirror. With enough reputation to be an Established user (750 is the requirement, currently), you gain a "hover card" that shows whenever a user hovers the mouse over your avatar. You can use this to store information on your car model for easy lookup.

This alternative should not replace the need to include the information in the question body. Relevant data should always be found as a part of the question, not needing one to look up the author directly.

It will, however, make it easier in the chance that you do forget, and will allow other users to easily find that information and edit it in should they beat you to the punch. However, please don't use it as an excuse to continually forget that information. ♪

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  • "cause users to exclude that information from the question explicitly" doesn't make sense. The worst that could happen is users include the information when it's not relevant, and they can always change it. "use it as an excuse" sounds like posters are committing a sin. A good user interface would take care of tedious details like this for us. Software exists to serve humans, not the other way around. – endolith Sep 13 '11 at 17:15
8

I don't think it would benefit many users. I own five cars myself, my parents own two, my gf owns one, that's eight (8) cars I work on regularly that I might have questions on. Being able to list one of them or even 8 of them so I could check a box instead of typing 68 Mustang 6 cyl 200 ci just doesn't seem valuable to me. Also keep in mine the site was designed with professional technicians in mind, and the drop down box would be all but useless to them.

Make sure when you do ask your questions that you put some time into your questions and give as much information about the problem and the car that you know even if you think some of the information might not be relevant.

I often pass over short vague questions. If it doesn't look like you put any effort in the question I am not likely to put any effort in to answering it.

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  • I second that sentiment. Myself I own a car (i.e. a VW of which I know a good deal in many related models due to great part/assembly exchange-ability between VW/Audi and other brands), and two motorcycles; my fiancée and I own two other cars (one of which I plan to rebuild for sale); my parents — two cars and a motorcycle; plus, all the junk we owned before — that is a whole lot of stuff. I included this information in my profile, and if people want to check my meagre credentials, they are welcome to do so, just as I do with others. – theUg Jun 4 '12 at 1:53
2

I think the problem here is that the use cases are broader than one person working on one car. Unlike something like the OP describes, the viewpoint of this site is more focused on the experts (of which group I do not number myself): i.e., the answerer, not the asker.

I frequently get asked questions (in real life) about cars that have nothing to do with the Subarus in my garage. @Larry points out another example: some people have access to a whole pile of different vehicles.

In the end, I think the functional equivalent of the OP's request is the correct use of tags combined with additional narrative. Sure, that might seem redundant if you're used to a discussion / chat board site where your car and mod list are in your signature file. Those sites already exist.

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