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Start her up and see how that sounds...

I've been observing the goings on surrounding my partner's teenage son's acquisition of a new (well second hand new) car. At the moment the car is unregistered so it stays parked in the driveway, with the occasional move from one of our driveways to the other.

Of course, when a teenage man gets a new car then all his friends must come around for a look. Specifically they come around to sit in the car, look at the engine and watch the engine rev, just to see how it sounds.

Second hand cars are nearly always 'fixer uppers' and this one is no exception. Remembering back to when I was about 17 years old, in any one group of young men that age, there is usually, maybe one, who knows something about cars (he's the one who actually wants to be a mechanic).

The rest know bits and pieces here and there but have no real clue about how to make a car work. They've just watched someone else fix their cars (perhaps) and maybe paid some attention to what the mechanic did. However they will still speak with authority like they know far more than they do.

I imagine the committee discussion that I observed (held looking into the engine) to go something like this...

"Check the oil and water."

"okay."

"Brake fluid?"

"Yep."

"Okay start her up and see how that sounds...rev it a bit too."

"Right, turn it off."

"I'll just remove all the spark plug leads and check for dust."

"Okay start her up and see how that sounds...rev it a bit too."

"Right, turn it off."

"Fan belt looks a bit worn..."

"Okay start her up and see how that sounds...rev it a bit too."

"Right, turn it off."

"What other things have you tried?"

"Well I've cleaned the interior, changed the gear stick knob, upgraded the stereo and washed the exterior."

"You changed the gear stick knob?"

"Yeah."

"...and that didn't help. Interesting?"

"Okay start her up and see how that sounds...rev it a bit too."

"Right, turn it off."

Maybe I'm being at bit harsh but observing five young men looking under the hood of a car, starting it up several times, never really touching the engine with any kind of tool at all? I suspect none of them know much about cars. To be fair one of them actually got on the ground and looked underneath it. He even swore so that probably helped...

"Okay start her up and see how that sounds...rev it a bit too."

I don't know a whole lot about cars either but then I was never really into the whole 'showing off my car to friends thing'. It's a car (I can hear all you car lovers reeling with horror). I know more about lawnmowers and how they work... well at least I know more about our lawnmower.

The fuss about this particular car will wear down as the novelty fades but for now it has the cleanest windows in all of Gawler. Apparently cleaning the windscreen at least once a day for three days helps it run better.

"Okay start her up and see how that sounds...rev it a bit too."

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