7 jokes just for car people

Just because we take cars seriously doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at ourselves. Jokes are a type of secret handshake, after all, based in common understanding and shared experience. If you tell a joke and the other person in the conversation does not get it, that reaction tells you just as much as if they laughed out loud. So let’s take a moment to call out a few of the “greatest hits” in the library of automotive jokes.


The 10mm socket

Where is that socket? How did it get there? How will I work without it? The answers to these questions are among the great mysteries of the automotive universe. If your favorite vintage cars are domestic, swap out 10mm for 1/2- or 7/16-inch, either wrench or socket.

Modern cars are riddled with 10mm fasteners, and the tool you use most frequently is likely to disappear first. The prevalance of 10mm bolts and nuts becomes a blessing and a curse: grabbing tools when starting a job or packing a road trip tool kit is quite simple, but one lost tool can cripple your night.

10 mm socket joke
r/Tools / DarkStorm57

The ol’ 710

Engineers work tirelessly to balance form with the function we consumers expect in a car. Unfortunately, that balancing act is usually constrained by the “good, cheap, fast” triangle: You can only pick two.

The third part of the regular-car triangle is serviceability. Even experienced mechanics need a minute to get their bearings when looking around under an unfamiliar hood. A newbie? Before you know it, someone’s posting on r/cars: “I need to fill my oil but can only find the 710 cap.”

You know, 710 = OIL upside down. It’s all perspective.

r/facepalm / arbili

“Ran when parked”

We all do a lot of digital (or real-life) window shopping, and we’ve all seen sellers who hide behind the phrase “ran when parked.” The circular nature of the phrase—you can’t park something that is not drivable—is humorous by itself, of course, and it is often found in the text of an ad selling the most decrepit hulk you’ve ever seen.

Sure, that vehicle might have run when you parked it … during the Reagan administration. Leaving a car parked is one of the worst things you can do if you want to maintain any value or function. Rot never sleeps, and neither do the vermin who make nests in intake manifolds.

instagram / agirlandagluegun

Winterizing swaps

The cruelness of Mother Nature knows no bounds. Much ink has been spilled over how to properly store a car in harsh seasons—be it the summer months for those in the desert regions or the winter months for those in the rust belt—but best of all are the humorous twists on that advice. Example A:

reverse battery meme
Kyle Smith

“I know what I’ve got”

Usually combined with a ludicrous asking price, the five-word phrase has become synonymous with an overconfident seller. In the same vein as the worst examples of a “ran when parked” seller, such a person is usually hoping the buyer does little or no independent research. Occasionally, a seller who knows what they’ve got is asking a reasonable price, more often, this phrase paints the seller in a negative light: Potential buyers expect that even good faith negotiations or discussion will be met gruffly, at best.

i know what i got funny listing reddit
r/regularcarreviews / Wiliy_Coyote

“It’s only a 15-minute job”

The lies we tell ourselves may stay secret, but this one got out, and we all collectively cringed—then laughed. There might be a real job that takes 15 minutes, but such projects are relatively rare. Often, jobs take longer than expected because the car has lived multiple lives: Broken hardware, corrosion, and questionable discoveries all complicate our estimated project timelines. Maybe our clocks just work differently when we are wrenching, and we think an hour was just 15 minutes? Who knows. It’s just another form of creative accounting.

abandoned car rusty brakes
flickr / Jonathan Khoo




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    I used to deliver auto parts to a small tire shop when I was in high school. The tire shop owner would tell customers to bring their car in for free “air changes” in winter and in summer. I even heard him tell a customer that complained about a vibration “it’s probably because you still have the winter air in the tires we put on a few months ago” (a friend that worked there told me later that it had thrown a wheel weight, but they didn’t tell the customer that). The “free air change” was his way of getting customers to come back so they could inspect the car regularly and try to sell alignments, brakes, tires, whatever. And yes, they did actually change the air in the tires and yes, people did bring their cars in to have it done!

    “I know what I’ve got” gets me every time I’m shopping for a new ride. Some people truly are clueless.

    I shop a LOT on marketplace and other classified sites. Nothing will make me move on faster, no matter how much I want the thing being sold, than phrases like that. Just AFI.

    I see that a lot on AMC/Rambler sites. A fellow just listed a “rare two door 1962 Rambler American station wagon, recent barn find — $10,000”. It’s a #5 condition car — doesn’t run, needs everything, but it’s solid and all there (as far as I can tell from photos). It would be worth a little over $10K if it was a #2 car. Current value guides say a #4 is $3750 — a #4 should at least crank, if not run well, it should at least run! I tell people all the time, rarity doesn’t drive value, popularity does! If it’s the last one in existence it’s rare, but if no one cares or wants it what’s it worth??

    Funny I have seen that ad & that is why my 61 2 door Rambler wagon was a steal at $45k & worth at least $90k

    “I know what I got” is usually followed by “I just saw one just like mine sell for big money on Barrett Jackson”.

    Found a 1964 Falcon Furtura 260, 4 speed, really decent condition for 1100 dollars. In the process of getting it running.

    In the vein of plausible-sounding technical advice (reversing your battery), don’t forget changing your blinker fluid or torquing your valve stem caps. (Or maybe DO forget.)

    Haynes manuals always have the most optimistic one-step reassembly: “Installation is the reverse of removal.”

    In 1958, when I was 8 and riding in a Rambler Wagon with my Aunt and cousin, a car full of teenagers pulled along side at a traffic light and told my Aunt that her Johnson rod was hanging down and should be looked at. I laughed. Aunt Lucille looked at me an asked me what was so funny and I said “There’s no such thing as a Johnson Rod.” and I was POSITIVE of that. Auntie and my cousin Jeff were amazed when she asked the gas station owner about it and he said “Don’t worry Lucille, there’s no such thing as a Johnson rod.” Aunt Lucille and Jeff both looked at me like I was some kind of alien kid. I said “Why are you looking at me like that? I read a library book. I read lots of library books.” I’d read a library book about the parts of a car that went down to the detail level of the water pump, brake cylinders, u-joints, shocks, spark plugs, distributor cap, compression ratio and fuel requirements, kingpins and other steering/suspension components, etc. and discussed different ways they were used. It was even thicker than the Tom Swift Jr. and Hardy Boys books I was devouring at the time.

    You only do that if installing an imported reproduction part where only the last hole that needs a bolt just doesn’t quite line up.

    My crankshaft postion sensor failed open circuit and the Haynes manual has six wiring diagrams for the car none of which has the sensor on it. I replaced the sensor and have since then been trying to figure out why it will not start. I called Haynes and pointed out the ommision. The girl I talked to said she would tell their technical staff, get one and e-mail it to me the next day. Yeah right.

    I think the 710 folks are doing a little trolling

    ‘It ran when I parked it’ and ‘the guy said it ran’ unfortunately phrases I commonly hear seriously uttered by the more masochistic members of my local car community when they have no impulse control and buy things sight unseen

    I have ran into more of my fair share of legitimately 15 minute jobs that took waaaay more than 15 minutes because I ran into some sort of snag… like l lost my 10mm socket… so nothing EVER is a 15 minute job. I always take the Scotty approach to estimating job durations. Gee cap’n at-ll take all day

    911 was made the emergency number so Porsche owners would know what to call when they had their car stolen.

    Actually, so many police departments had to remove the 911 from their patrol cars because the kids in the gangs kept stealing them thinking they were Porsches.

    Might add the phrase “It will buff out!”

    Officer I could not have been doing 100 miles per hour, I haven’t even been out an hour yet!

    Whey do we Park in a Driveway and Drive in a Parkway. Gallagher RIP!

    You see a car called a Dodge is one thing but when it says Ram you know they are after your A$$.

    The worst thing about parallel parking is the witnesses.

    Ford is installing heated tailgates for their trucks. This way your hands will remain warm when you push it.

    Porsche will sell electric sports car specifically for environmentally conscious owners experiencing a midlife crisis.

    98% of all Jeeps ever made are still on the road today. The other 2% made it home.

    Working at a Land Rover factory is so interesting. I make a new Discovery every day.

    With the rise of self-driving vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before we get a country song where a guy’s truck leaves him too.

    If I owned a DeLorean, I would probably only drive it from time to time.

    Honda is the oldest car made in the world. It was mentioned in the bible!

    The apostles were all in Accord.

    True story.

    We had a visiting preacher at our church. He came in a black 1977 Trans Am.

    I heard some of the older Decon’s complaining about him in such a fast and fancy car.

    One stated out loud why would a preacher need to drive a car like that. My reply as a 14 year old kid was “He is doing the work of the Lord and in a Trans Am he was just doing it faster!”

    That brought the end of the complaints.

    Guy walks into an auto parts store and says to the counterman “I’d like new air freshener for my Yugo.” The guy behind the counter shakes his hand and says “OK, that sounds like a pretty decent trade.”

    Q: What’s the difference between a Ferrari and six trash bags full of recyclable cans?

    A: I don’t have a Ferrari in my garage.

    Q: What’s the difference between a Fiat and a golf ball?

    A: You can drive a golf ball more than 200 yards.

    When I used ride and shop for used dirt bikes the phrase “never raced” in an ad always made me laugh . Unless it was trials bike if you didn’t ride it like you stole it then you weren’t riding it the way it was meant to be ridden .

    I legit knew a girl in college that asked me what the teapot meant on her engine in her new Audi. Didn’t have a clue what she was talking about until she pointed out the oil filler cap and then told me the teapot light had been on in her dash.

    Turns out daddy bought it for her and never educated her on the necessity of oil changes. She had driven nearly 13,000 miles on the break in oil. I’ve seen molasses in winter that was less viscous.

    Daddy paid for an engine replacement because Audi sure wasn’t going to.

    It’s a good thing for this girl she was pretty.

    I had a customer come to my shop and said her Chevy PU sounded like it had squirls in it. I went to her estate and started it and sure enough the squirls were in the engine. So I checked the oil and didn’t get any on the dipstick. Then I drained the oil and got a puddle about 1.5″ in diameter and about 3/8″ tall. I came back with an engine crane and pulled the engine out of truck in her driveway. I worked that way a lot because I had a very small shop in a very seedy part of town where you never want to leave a customers vehicle outside. The overhaul was on of the best jobs that year. After I reinstalled it, it ran really strong. So strong her teenaged son rolled it over in her driveway totaling it. Back then when working on GM vehicle you would start bleeding as soon as you opened the hood because just about ever part was a piece of stamped sheet metal and they all had razor sharp shear lips

    Your sheet metal story reminded me of my “Tattoo” story. When people ask me if I have any tattoos, I show them this little black mark on my left hand. Then, I tell them about the low-mileage, crash and burn, Porsche engine that I put in my old 911. “The twisted sheet metal on that old, air-cooled engine was covered with soot from the ‘crash and burn’, and inevitably transferred some of that soot to the open gashes created by that torn sheet metal”. TRUE STORY!

    Fords of the prior generation were FAMOUS for the pain they could inflict with their F*&king COTTER PINS! GM must have wanted to up the ante!

    My friends mom had a 1972 Volkswagen fastback. The brakes always “squeaked” when she came to a stop, and it kind of bothered her. When she asked her husband what he could do about it, he said “not much.”
    She asked him “Can’t you just oil them?”

    I may have dated the same girl!
    Back in the early 80s, after ordering a Honda Civic and being put on the wait list, she told me she had seen the identical car in the mall parking lot. The only difference she said, was that the walls were the same color as the seats.
    She ordered hers with white walls.

    As a teenager, my wife and her 4 siblings shared a Ford LTD until her younger sister blew the engine. When asked what happened she said steam started coming out from under the hood, so she turned on the AC to cool it down.

    What, no jokes about Lucas, the Prince of Darkness?
    My favorite:
    Why do the British drink warm beer?
    Because Lucas also makes refrigerators.

    Owners of British cars know to routinely check their Lucas smoke levels; occasional loss in the wiring due to smoke leakage can be addressed by always bringing a spare container of Lucas smoke,

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