PAULisms-part one

By Paul DeGuiseppi, MACS manager of service training

Whether we can claim authorship, or have to give the credit to someone else, most of us have terms or sayings that we often use to illustrate concepts, drive home points, make observations, get discussions going, or even to reveal something about our personalities. I call the ones I made up Paulisms.

For instance I believe “anything below 80 degrees is cold to me.” Here’s just a small sampling of my many others, both car and non-car RELAY-ted.
German cars have items under their hoods that no one knows what they are, no one knows what they do, and no one knows why they’re there.Seriously, compare the underhood area of most Japanese or domestic cars to one of a German car. In the German car, what’s all that piping and tubing for? And what are all those boxes the pipes and tubes are connected to? How come GM and Subaru can build perfectly operable cars containing none of that stuff?
Despite what you’ve been told your whole life, the magic words are not “please” and “thank you.” The real magic words are “dishwasher safe.” I will not buy anything for use in my kitchen that does not contain those words – in that order – somewhere on it.

I’d rather shovel manure standing chest-deep in it than do house painting. Hey, I’m a guy; is any further explanation needed? (By the way, the words “wash dishes” are perfectly acceptable substitutes for the words “do house painting.”)

If God only wanted the gas pedal to go a quarter of the way down, he would have only made it go a quarter of the way down. This is what I explain to people who believe that certain cars (especially those with four-cylinder engines) are underpowered.

I realize that most American drivers are conditioned to the feel of way-down-low torque, but acceleration is acceleration, period. That said, the mechanical among us know that many of today’s four-cylinder engines produce more power than many V8s produced in the 70s and early 80s; you just have to rev them to unleash it.

So where did the thing come from, that I especially see with older people, that you can’t floor, or even almost floor, an accelerator pedal? I say it’s there, so just use it! You’re not going to blow up the engine, or hurt anything else either. I often say the gas pedal in my ’03 Tracker (automatic trans, four-cylinder, 127 HP/134 lb. ft. torque) only has two positions; off and on. Hey, there’s another Paulism!

Every American woman between the ages of 16 and 60 dyes her hair. OK, maybe not every single one, but let me ask you; how many do you know that don’t? Not that there’s anything wrong with this.  I’m just saying.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with brake squeal or similar noises that occur during braking. This is another one of those “American driver” things.
I recently read that because of the much more aggressive pad materials used across the pond, cars built to European specs chew up rotors relatively quickly. As a result, not only do their rotors require replacement practically as regularly as their pads, but European spec cars are also way more prone to making brake noise. As a matter of fact, many European drivers expect it, and actually think something is wrong if they DON’T hear brake squeal. Apparently, the upside to all of this is generally better braking performance and better braking characteristics than what we have on our American-spec vehicles. Me personally, comparing “annoyance” to benefits, I actually favor the European paradigm.
Here is what I tell people that ask me about brake squeal, and it is also what I recommend you tell your customers who complain to you about it: put in a set of earplugs and drive, paying special attention to how the brakes feel and work. Does the car stop OK? Does the pedal feel OK? Then what’s the problem? Just ignore that squeal on brake application, because it means nothing other than the fact that the brakes are actually working well.

27 is the best age a human can be. It truly is. You’re still young enough that most people younger than you don’t think of you as a geezer, but just old enough that most older people assign you at least some credibility. 26 is still too young; 28 is just too old. 27 is just right.

Most hard to pinpoint noises in cars eventually make themselves known. Here’s another one about noises that cars make. We’ve all had cars that made noises that were not immediately recognizable, or had customers tell us that their car is making a noise or noises, which upon initial examination, do not jump right out to make themselves apparent.

My theory is if it’s going to take much more than about five minutes to find, just let it go. One of three things will eventually happen; it will get louder and occur more frequently, allowing you to find it without much effort; something will eventually fall off or snap, also making it much more easily findable; or, the best thing: it will go away on its own, so it was never anything to worry about anyway.

The Plastic PlaySkool Junkyard (PPJ). This is what you see in the backyards (sometimes even the front yards) of many suburban homes in which children live. All manner of gaudily colored miniature houses, fake kitchen appliances, wheeled riding devices, toy lawn mowers that spit out bubbles, you name it.

As best as I can determine, the PPJ phenomenon started in the late ‘70s. In many instances, the kids have grown up and stopped using these pieces of you-know-what. But unfortunately for many of us, some yards still contain them, and in some cases, items that actually date back to that decade of disco. And even if not, who wants to look at that garbage under any circumstance. In my view, the stuff doesn’t necessarily have to be old and no longer used in order for the yard to qualify as a PPJ.

That’s it for this time. Be sure to check tomorrow for more!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to PAULisms-part one

  1. Allison M. says:

    This article was a good laugh for a gloomy Monday morning because it was so true!

  2. Bill Kerr says:

    Just like you say… My girlfriend’s Passat has a mystery vacuum cleaner motor under the hood that blows who-knows-what to who-knows-where. But it turns out the Japanese may have been studying German. I recently bought a Subaru that has a similar mystery blower. I asked one of the dealer’s techs about it and he had to go look it up. He said it generated the air pressure to control the tuneable intake geometry. Sure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s