Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Colour Coded Engine

  (+15, -2)(+15, -2)
(+15, -2)
  [vote for,

I don't have the vocabulary to explain what is wrong with my car when I phone a mechanic. If all engines were colour coded, the distressing 4am curbside conversation would be much easier.

"Well, there's steam coming out of the blue bit" would tell the mechanic that I had radiator problems. "There's a mauve thing on fire" might indicate something more serious.

The mechanic's job would be easier too. If he needed to diagnose the problem over the phone (say, to ensure he brought the correct parts out with him) he could say "poke your head round the big square cyan thing... that's it... now, can you see a crack in that cherry coloured pipe?".

I think people like me would intuitively begin to understand which bits of each car did what.

You'd be advised to keep your engine clean so that you could identify the colours, but you'd never put oil in your windshield washer again.

Fishrat, Nov 27 2003

Paint by numbers? http://www.joe-ks.c...ves_feb2003/710.jpg
This is part # 710. [Cedar Park, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

How to paint your 1931 Chevy: http://barkerville....1931/colorparts.htm
[Amos Kito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Another advantage... http://www.halfbake...a/White_20dipsticks
Choose the colour of your dipstick [Fishrat, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Holden's Red Engine http://carsguide.ne...9%255E21822,00.html
[Fishrat, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Hello? Is that the RAC? I'm twelve miles from Scunthorpe and my plums have exploded. Any ideas?
Fishrat, Nov 27 2003

       "Now it’s vitally important that you connect the red wire to the 'burnt-mocha' terminal. Nooooooo I said 'burnt mocha' not 'sultry caramel' you fool".
dobtabulous, Nov 27 2003

       oh excellent fishy!
po, Nov 27 2003

       <sucks teeth> It's your cumquat mate, and cumquats cost a fortune on this model.
Fishrat, Nov 27 2003

       mine is a lemon
po, Nov 27 2003

       // "You've bent your long black rod." //   

       No [UB} - it's just the way I walk!
dobtabulous, Nov 27 2003

       good one, [fishrat]
lintkeeper2, Nov 27 2003

       Amazing how simple the really great ideas are. +
ato_de, Nov 27 2003

       Great idea, now all I need to do is figure out where the hood/bonnet catch is.....
Micky Dread, Nov 27 2003

       There's always a catch.
waugsqueke, Nov 27 2003

       Nice One +
More power to your (Burnt Sienna) thang.
gnomethang, Nov 27 2003

       [Micky] It's the big yellow banana shaped thing under the steering column... no, that's pink.
Fishrat, Nov 28 2003

       Not a bad concept at all. One would hope that it would be an industry standard, aiding diagnosis. The Nissan Purple Square thing would want to be in the same component category as Hyundai's Purple Octagonal thing.   

       With no disrespect to the idea, it (or anything else much) wont solve some minor issues. Without being pedantic, missing parts are invisible coloured, burnt parts are black, and 3rd party replacements might not be colour coded at all.
Johnny Mash, Nov 28 2003

       Are not the various fluids already colour coded?
authority, Nov 28 2003

       //3rd party replacements might not be colour coded at all// No, you were right first time, Johnny. All head gaskets would be mint green. Regardless of the make, model or year*, all head gaskets would always be mint green. Even third party replacement head gaskets would always be mint green.

       You're right, of course, about the burnt and missing parts, but very few systems are perfect.

       *Except for pre 2003 models, obviously.
Fishrat, Nov 28 2003

       Yup, point taken [FishRat]. Hence there being need for a standard. Your note about pre-2003 models brings another point to air. There seems no problem in making mint green head gaskets for 1991 Mitsubishis! Forgot to (+) this before, and now with the pre-2003 thingy solved, I'll give this a Beige part (2003 Halfbakery Croissant)
Johnny Mash, Nov 28 2003

       Before obtaining an Australian drivers licence, a simple red/amber/green/blue colour test is performed. Not sure if this is required elsewhere, but it would seem to preculde the colourblind population from operating said vehicles. How about Braille labels for the truly blind?   

       Oh! Why not stamp the component with its actual name in big bold English?
Johnny Mash, Nov 28 2003

       //Why not stamp the component with its actual name in big bold English?// - yeah, really useful in Greece or Russia...
PeterSilly, Nov 28 2003

       hmm, stamp it in Esperanto, use numerals, symbols, squares and circles. Or how about obscure manufacturer-specific serial numbers, nah, thats baked by 75 years...
Johnny Mash, Nov 28 2003

       So how will you color code interior engine components? I suppose everything that is suppose to be on the inside could be color coded blood red.
Then if the mechanic suspects you threw a rod he could always ask you to look around on the ground for any blood red bits.
soundman, Nov 28 2003

       I dunno. As far as I can tell, our car can tell the engineers directly what is wrong with it. Seems like a superior approach to me.
DrCurry, Nov 28 2003

       [DrC] - What happens when it's diagnostic tool breaks?
PeterSilly, Nov 28 2003

       Get a second opinion from another shop, if you have that option
Letsbuildafort, Nov 28 2003

       [Dr C] That's true, but it doesn't work over the phone when you're calling out the recovery service (RAC). Also, computerized diagnostic tools keep me, the driver, in the dark. I'd like to be able to explain the problem to people, even if that was only to say: "My blue thing's gone wonky".
Fishrat, Nov 28 2003

       Somehow I feel I will always have a probem stemming from a part of the engine I can't see. +
sartep, Nov 29 2003

       At first, I wasn't sure about this idea. Now I am. Positive. Definitely.   

       I like it.
galukalock, Nov 29 2003

       I have not yet said how much I like this idea, [FishFace]. I do, I really do. +
k_sra, Dec 01 2003

       Wasn't this baked in the original Morris Minor - alternator yellow, HT leads red, dynamo blue, that sort of thing???
goff, Dec 01 2003

       I think a better idea would be if your car's computer could have a cellular link to the mechanics diagnostic tool, then he could tell you what's wrong over the phone.   

       This would also help spot problems that only occured while you were driving.
SystemAdmin, Dec 01 2003

       //Wasn't this baked in the original Morris Minor//   

       Dunno [goff], was it? <linky> Did it have anything turquoise under the bonnet?
Fishrat, Dec 02 2003

       Lego vehicles tend to do this.
I used to have a Morris Minor - what made it easy to see what everything was under the bonnet was the amount of space there was. All around the engine block you could look down and see the road whereas in modern cars you look under the bonnt and it just looks like a homogenous mass of machinery.
hippo, Dec 02 2003

       ... including the passenger's foot tapping along to Kraftwerk.
Fishrat, Dec 02 2003

       <"That hose, it's black and it goes to the tires?"> When my girlfriend told me that the air from her spare tyre powered her VW Beetle's horn, I didn't believe her.
Fishrat, Dec 03 2003

       Mechanic: "You've blown a navy seal."   

       Driver: "Keep my private life out of it and fix the darn car!"   

not_only_but_also, Dec 03 2003

       Dear Ms miss

       I've happily redistributed all of my pastry twice over, don't ya know! You've even had a nibble yourself!
Fishrat, Dec 03 2003

       Big +. I suck at mechanics and this is a great idea, and yes, it is very hard to explain whats wrong with an engine, specially the more modern ones in which nothing is what it seems.
Wallace, Dec 03 2003

       Genius. Pure genius. The best idea I have seen here for a long while. Makes me glad to be back. +
sambwiches, Dec 15 2003

       Fish, I don't know about the horn, but I'm pretty sure that the spare powered the winshield wipers in the old Beetles.
notme, Dec 15 2003

       Maybe they're actually propelled by highly compressed gas resident in the spare tyre? Press the accelerator, open the valve, and hang on for dear life.
Fishrat, Dec 16 2003

       Wouldn't work on Holden's Red Engine...
simonj, Dec 16 2003

       The new ones look suspiciously grey to me [link]. <jonny thick> Were the red engines *actually* red, then? </jt>
Fishrat, Dec 17 2003

       The effectiveness of this solution would depend on how many discrete parts you're going to color-code. Just color coding all of the big things is good, but if you wanted to get specific (given the myriad parts in a car) you would quickly run out of dissimilar colors. Diminishing returns and all that. Mechanics' customers would call in sounding like mad Cupertino graphics designers (that cayenne valve on the spindrift duct is shaking the cantaloupe bit) and god forbid someone spills paint in the engine compartment.   

       Which brings up another practicality question: Do we have a wide, cheap palette of pigments that can withstand the conditions of a modern vehicle engine? I realize it's not the vaccuum depths of space or anything but some parts can get pretty hot during operation.   

       Don't get me wrong though, I think it's a great idea.
MusicalKungFu, Dec 17 2003

       //god forbid someone spills paint in the engine //
Instead of slashing your tyres, kids might aerosol-spray your engine compartment.
Fishrat, Dec 19 2003

       Computers are getting so cheap and ubiquitous that it makes sense to me to have your car come with its own PDA.   

       In the car PDA you have your car in it's "virtual form". And all the components could be identified in the virtual view.Also giving you the name and function of each component.   

       It would also have an entire manual... and a troubleshooting guide powered by google.   

       Most importantly though it would remind you of all the maintenace you need to do on the vehicle and would keep nagging you until each thing is completed.   

       IMO something like this should be a standard item.
Leotardo Da Vinci, Jan 11 2004

       i love the concept, better than having a computer diagnose the problem, as the computer diagnosis only works if the computer recongises the fault or isn't part of the fault, colour code the main sections, or go the electrical wire route i.e. blue and yellow stripe, and so on
engineer1, Feb 13 2004

       I like this. In addition, I've always wished that cars were a little more like computers...in this way. You could EASILY change parts.
bspollard, May 24 2004

       Lego cars, maybe, [bspollard]? There was a post here for lego everything a while ago. It would suit your needs.
Fishrat, May 25 2004

       When the solid color palette is exhausted you could begin striping parts. - its cyan with 3 yellow stripes. - that would be the windshield wiper fluid tank.
Zimmy, May 25 2004

       Jeez, I hadn't thought of that. I'm copyrighting the polka-dot battery right now!
Fishrat, May 26 2004

       I think there's mulitple cracks in your big, squishy pink thing... I kinda don't like it. I mean, turbo chargers look good in black, not burgundy!
croissantz, Aug 22 2004

       Yeah, I really liked this idea the first time. 'Nuff said. +
sartep, Oct 07 2004

       what sartep said - can anyone tell me where to kick the bit that gets the heater fan to work?   

       no heat in the car or in the house at present - one freezing po...
po, Oct 07 2004

       I don't think this is a good idea because colors can sometimes be to close to each other, and there are a lot of parts under the hood of a modern car. Also, car engines get dirty, and one might mistake one color for another.
dsprop, Dec 03 2004

       certainly would help the owners to get a little knowledge of what is placed where and how it works.!!
sridhar236, Feb 07 2005


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