Would it be better to post technical solutions to questions from users? I see quite a few questions that people ask, and I can see that they may not have the monetary means or mechanical "know-how" to solve the issue. Is it still appropriate to provide the "nitty gritty" technical steps in resolving the issue? I don't want to feel like I'm just telling someone they can't figure it out without certain skills or tools, but I've seen quite a few questions that would be impossible to answer without necessary items mentioned above =/
Give a man a fish and he is fed for a day; teach him how to fish and he is fed for life.
I'm all for empowering the folks asking questions and educating anyone who might happen to visit the question (probably because they are facing a similar situation).
Regardless of whether they possess the necessary mechanical nous or financial muscle, I strive to provide an answer that falls under one of these categories:
- outlines the possible causes of what they're observing
- outlines steps to replace/fix/test something
- explains how automotive stuff works
- provides alternative solutions to problems
Having said that, it's best to use your judgment. There will be questions where it isn't worth reinventing the wheel; not all questions are created equal. Sometimes the OP just wants a quick go/no-go answer (tire size questions tend to be like that), sometimes they demand justification.
Please remember when you are answering questions, you aren't necessarily answering the OP, but the community at large. Even if the OP cannot do the work themselves or if they cannot afford to do the work, someone else will. By putting all the information into the answer you see fit, you are empowering others to be able to fix something or have the better understanding how something works. It is good to get the OP's original question answered, no doubt. Just try not to sacrifice the rest of the community by giving answers which say, "Go to the garage." Those answers help nobody at all. (NOTE: I'm sure I've given those kinds of answers before ... they are far and few between.)