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In the Shop

RSS By: Dan Anderson, Farm Journal

As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.

In The Shop: Shyster Sauce

Mar 09, 2011

 Sometimes the fine print in ads found in tool magazines or mechanic's magazines are as interesting as the headlines. For example, one advertisement touts a product that can be added to engines that is guaranteed to seal leaky cylinder head gaskets, "for 3000 miles or 30 days." 

That sort of product raises the hair on the back of my neck. Sure, there might be occasions when it would be useful to seal a leaky head gasket for a couple weeks, until a customer gets enough money or time to get the head gasket properly repaired. But...it sounds more like a deal where somebody wants to seal the leak just long enough to sell the car, truck or tractor. 

I know that used vehicles and equipment is generally sold, "as is, where is" and that "buyer beware" is the byword for sales between private individuals. But I'm fond of doing unto others as I want to be done unto myself. It offends me that people would use stop-gap products purely to take advantage of an unwitting buyer.

I don't mean to come off "high and mighty". I can cobble, patch and improvise with the best of 'em. My personal vehicles and equipment are testament to my skills at "creative engineering." But even at my most creative, I try to improvise repairs that will last longer than, "3000 miles or 30 days."

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