I'm not sure how many different ways you can ask about a rough idle, for example, but I think we're going to find out. Should we do anything for truly generic open ended questions that have no angle for a specific make/model?

Should we merge them? If so, how? All into one, or maybe let there be one per engine configuration (I4, V6, V8, ...) or manufacturer (GM F-Body, Ford CD3, ...)


The questions I have in mind are pretty much variations on "I have a make/model/year that's idling rough, any ideas?" and the answers are all variations on "Check the plugs, plug wires, coils/coil pack, fuel filter, fuel pressure, motor/transmission mounts, IAC valve, EGR valve, vacuum hoses, MAF, etc" with comments like "With the AC on?", "Is the check engine light on?" and "Manual or Automatic trasmission?".

Looking for specific examples, there is 1999 Mazda 626 Shakes when Idle. The OP states that the vehicle shakes when idle, states what they've checked / has been done to the vehicle since the problem occurred, and asks for ideas of things to check. The only answer that is really specific to OP's ride is this one.

I'll chase down some more questions when I get some more time...maybe it's not as bad as I'm imagining, I could be hallucinating from surfing too many forums.

For the record, I don't have strong feelings either way, I just thought it would be good to have a discussion about it.

  • 1
    You understand that you are asking a generic question, right?
    – Bob Cross Mod
    Dec 5, 2012 at 20:43
  • @BobCross Hah! Good point. Dec 5, 2012 at 22:53
  • Yep, I thought you'd appreciate the irony.... ;-)
    – Bob Cross Mod
    Dec 6, 2012 at 3:17
  • This is a great question and I have some ideas but no time to respond right now. :( Dec 7, 2012 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


My vote is that we worked with the author to help make their question specific to their needs / situation. That makes for better content and, as a benefit to us, increases the probability that we'll be more likely to produce a useful answer.

A FAQ type wiki is, in principle, a good idea. That said, it is also the first step towards an RTFM culture.

Perhaps a better wiki would be a collection of specific good questions with useful answers. Rather than trying to create a general purpose solution for all specific situations (impossible), we would have a reference that lists specific situations for which we had specific answers.

  • 1
    It also increases the visibility through search engines - sometimes a generic set of terms will not trigger for a specific search in google, so I think despite the fact these questions have a lot of overlap, having them here helps. Once we grow and users start voting them as dupe, fair enough, but right now quality/growth are helped by having them here.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 28, 2013 at 10:10

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