Question Of The Day: What Is The Nicest Thing You Have Ever Done… Automotive Wise?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

At some point between now and Christmas, you will have a chance to see an old movie.

If you have toddlers, it will likely be Grinch related. Adolescents and tweens will get A Christmas Story. Teenagers? You probably don’t want to know.

But as for those of us who are single, or older, or just pain sentimental, this holiday movie classic will likely feature two towns that symbolize American community.

Bedford Falls and Potterville.

Every town has a little bit of each, and every one of us has a little bit of George Bailey and Mr. Potter.

We want everyone to live happily after. At least everyone with a good heart and healthy intentions.

But we also have to be an SOB at times. There are folks out there who may see us as a revenue source, or as a tool to manipulate for their own ends. These people hopefully come and go. Or change their ways.

In due time we’re hopefully left with those who have a giving spirit. And as car guys, we often have a unique opportunity to help many of these folks who may be clueless when it comes to cars.

Helping others is always a cool thing to do. So what have you done? What good deed this year or in times past will get you a nice visit from Ye Olde Saint Nicholas, or Hannukah Harry, or maybe even Agnostic Agatha.

What is the nicest thing you have ever done… automotive wise?

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5 of 68 comments
  • Chrystlubitshi Chrystlubitshi on Nov 24, 2012

    I have given rides to a number of people stranded (sometimes hitchhikers, sometimes abandoned (now-ex) significant others left stranded). I did this mostly for free and fed my passengers if they needed. If they had money, I accepted fuel cost, no more-- my VW was pulling 55-60 mpg (diesel) and had a 15 gallon safe-cell fuel tank. Furthest I've done was meeting a woman who was stranded on the side of the road, winter, eastern (east of Lincoln)Nebraska. The car was a beater that she expected to die at some point, but not 250 miles in to her trip. I had a four day weekend and this was Thursday night after work, no plans, girl seemed nice enough.. so I drove her to northern wyoming, where her mother lived. I made this trip on partial payment of fuel costs and provided meals for her. Made it back home Monday afternoon with a new friend in Wyoming that I can call any time.

  • Andy D Andy D on Nov 25, 2012

    I replaced 2 exhaust valves in my then future DIL's well worn CRV. It was either that or junk the car , it wasn't worth paying to have the job done right. I loaned them the Borman 6 whilst I took apart a completely unknown engine And lapped in 2 new #4 exhaust valves ,in an improvised windbreak. It was a PITA job mostly because I was unfamiliar with the engine. I'm just like a real mechanic,only slower and less refined. What I lack in technique, I make up for with dogged determination (stubbornness) 4 yrs later, the CRV is still putting along through the Berkshires. My repair was about 300$ in parts. And over 40 hours of plodding through a manual that covered every 4 wheel Honda from '67 to 2015.

  • Lakeuser2002 Lakeuser2002 on Nov 26, 2012

    25yrs ago just after college I was driving back from Atlanta to Michigan after visiting my GF. Just after I got on I75 saw a kid hitch hiking with a hand written sign "Michigan". Never before or after have I picked up a someone on the road but decided to stop (thought having a passenger would help keep me awake). Turns out he lived 5 miles from my home and he was in HS going between divorced parents. I dropped him off hat his home... never asked for help on gas. He probably couldn't afford it.

  • Afuller Afuller on Nov 26, 2012

    A couple of months ago I read about a girl from Tasmania who was on a motorcycle trip through America and had broken down a couple of hundred miles into Mexico. I contacted a friend who was within an hour of where she was stranded and we coordinated for him to go pick her and her motorcycle up and bring her to his hotel in a small Mexican village. In the meantime we worked on troubleshooting what could be wrong with the motorcycle and then I went to Tucson and picked up the parts we thought we'd need at the local BMW dealership. Once I got the parts I headed South and worked into the late hours (and then early afternoon the next day) to get her back on the road. No money changed hands and by now she's through Mexico and continuing on South.