I have posted a lot of answers on here. I know some of them move into the realm of speculation (I would call them more along the lines of an educated guess). Because I deal in the realm of educated guesses, I often just leave things as very long comments to the questions. I was called out the other day for not just answering the question (I don't remember which question it was, or I would post it).

Should I, or anyone for that matter, just leave these as answers to the question so as to bolster our numbers in the SE? I really do like hard answers and not just speculation. I also want our site to be promoted at some point. One of the things which is holding us back is the amount of questions answered (as of right now I believe we are at 88% and need to be over 90% to be in the "good" realm).

What are your thoughts?


3 Answers 3


Answer Them.
If it constitutes a good general answer, I don't think you should refrain from answering them just because it isn't extremely specific and/or a step by step answer.
Unlike most other SE communities, the Questions put forth here don't accurately paint the full picture of the problem as it is inherently limited by the OP's ability to identify the problem statement and the symptoms accurately. This difference is stark , for eg. when you compare it to stackoverflow.
Hence, I feel that answers which help the OP in diagnosing the issue and are not necessarily of the form - this is what is wrong or this is how to do it, should be accepted forms.
I may be wrong. I'm a noob here .


Answer them. I don't think all the answers here need sources or references. This has nothing to do with the numbers, if you have a good or reasonable answer that may help the OP then leave it. I am not so much on the numbers as I am to helping people get their problem solved. If we help enough people the rest will work it self out.


Generally speaking, Yes.

Diagnosing mechanical issues isn't black and white. I think it's rare that someone could post a question that you could give a black and white answer to as you can in a computer related forum.

In my opinion diagnosis is a process which people get better at with experience. Begginers turn to this forum to gain insight and guidance from people who have more experience. So even pointing people in the right direction could be valuable.

However I will say that it's intimidating posting an alternative answer to a thread already answered by someone with a high score. No body wants to anger the forum gods.

Conversely if you've commented on something but not answered what seems to be an obvious question im suspicious. And wonder if ive missed something.

If you're concerned about stats maybe you could answer the older outstanding questions. If you want more participation maybe you could give others a chance to answer newer questions first.

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    Interesting you say "If you want more participation maybe you could give others a chance to answer newer questions first." ... I've been applying this approach for some time now, though I still end up answering quite a few, there has been more answer engagement.There's a sweet spot in how long to let an answer bake before there's an answer. If you wait too long, you may lose the questioner, which is counterproductive. Thanks for your answer and your perspective. Apr 28, 2015 at 20:28
  • You're welcome :) maybe you need a stealthy pseudonym to answer questions. Seeing a post from someone with >10,000 points in the same thread is like going to a track day and finding Valentino Rossi or Cyril Depres decided to come along for fun. ;) Apr 28, 2015 at 21:18
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    There are plenty of people out there with more knowledge than me (Larry/Bob). I might just be a little more tenacious than others, is all. Most people who have a lot of knowledge lord over in the regular auto forums. I used to be there ... admin'd on a few. I like SE much better. When you come on SE for the first time, you have to start at 1xp. I did. Doesn't mean I'm better than you that I have 21k+ xp. Just means I've been around a little longer. I've been on here about 1.5yrs, but I've been on here every day since I signed up. It adds up. You could do the same, I'm sure. Anyone could. Apr 28, 2015 at 22:31

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