Mind Over Throttle – Interview with EricTheCarGuy

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Welcome to Mind Over Throttle, an interview series where we reach out to our favorite automotive content creators from all over the internet to pick their brains about what they do and why they do it. 

If it’s broken, EricTheCarGuy  probably has a video on how to fix it

If you’re looking for real, nuts and bolts automotive repair content, interesting project builds, and thorough guides on just about everything that can go wrong on a car, then ETCG is the channel for you. Eric is a wealth of information, and has a knack for making what could otherwise be mundane tasks entertaining. 

eric the Car Guy Banner

For our readers that don’t know you, who are you, and what is your content primarily about?

  • I am EricTheCarGuy, an ASE certified Master Technician who makes ‘how to’ auto repair videos as well as ‘build’ videos on YouTube. 

We’ve been following along with the Dad’s Truck build (we’re suckers for clean OBS builds), if there’s one thing you would do differently knowing what you know now, what would it be?

  • The one thing I would have done differently on the #ETCGDadsTruck build would be to Dyno and tune the engine before installing it in the truck. I wish I would have had the time for that. I feel I could have avoided whatever issue is going on with cylinders 7 & 3 which have low compression, I suspect due to broken rings, possibly from a timing problem. In addition to the low compression, there’s too much pressure in the crankcase causing an annoying oil leak. I need to pull the engine to find out what the problem is. 
     
    ETCG Dad's Truck buildI think from now on I’ll strive to have all of my engines dynoed and tuned before installation. This way I can address any leaks or problems before I put the engine in. Also, it would be tuned before installation ensuring peak performance from the first turn of the key.
     
    Both of my engine builds suffered from a lack of tuning before installation.

I’ve noticed a rise in longer, more technically focused videos like yours becoming popular lately. What do you think that says about people’s attention spans these days?

  •  In my experience, people only have the attention span for what concerns them directly. If it does concern them directly, they watch all the way though, and possibly become avid followers. Providing detailed information is great for people that are looking for it. If they’re not looking for it, then you might not get ‘found’. 
     
    I haven’t really set out to produce videos for maximum views. I’ve focused more on detailed information for the topic I’m covering. I’m fine with being known for that. Also, I’ve always enjoyed the craft of conveying information through video. I think it’s an amazing tool. 

Did you get any pushback from purists on sticking with the automatic or throwing in the Holley EFI over a carb?

  • First, my dads truck came from the factory with a manual transmission, not an automatic. Someone had converted it before my dad bought the truck. So the truck wasn’t ‘pure’ to begin with. A previous owner had also switched out the front seat. 
     
    No matter what you do, if you work in the public eye, someone will have an issue with what you’re doing. They want it their way, not your way, but that’s part of the job. You have to deal with people that disagree with you constantly. 
     
    In my experience, it’s always been that way in the automotive world. People have always had strong opinions about automotive related things. For me, having a popular YouTube channel just gives that scale.

What would be a bucket list build for you to start on next?

  • A lot of people have asked me to build a Honda of some kind. Given that Honda was my bread and butter for many years, I think that would make for interesting content, and an interesting build. I’d like to find a way to make it unique though, do something a little different. Not sure what that is yet, but it’s not my GSR. That car is perfect the way it is, stock. You just don’t find any stock GSRs anymore.

(Editor’s note: Eric recently bought a 2008 Acura TL as a project, so it looks like he made good on his word!)

The Mini Cooper engine falling was a great example of how to handle something going wrong. What’s a close call you’ve had when working on a car that other people could learn from?

  • One time I was cleaning head gasket material from a V6 engine. I only had one cylinder head removed. I used a roloc disc to clean the gasket material off of the block and then brake clean to finish up. There was still a little gasket material around one of the guide pins sticking out of the block. I tried to remove the guide, but it was stubborn. I figured if I heated it, it would come out easier so I could clean around it. As soon as I got the flame close to the engine, the brake clean in the oil pan ignited. It shot flames out of the oil returns and singed my eyebrows. It also blew up the valve cover on the remaining cylinder head. The shop got very quiet after the explosion. Once they saw I was OK, we all started laughing.
     
    I never did that again. 

When not making videos of your own, do you watch content on YouTube? If so, who’s videos do you like?

  • Honestly, I don’t watch much YouTube at all. I have lots of YouTube friends that I support, I just don’t watch their content. At least not regularly. Not sure if that makes sense, but I think that’s how most content creators are. Producing videos is very time consuming. It would be like hanging out at work after you’re done working. Most people don’t do it. 

Do you have any brands you’d like to give a shoutout too?

  • I’ve had help from a ton of brands over the years. It’s hard to just name a few. In fact, I’d rather not write out a long list if I don’t have to. Despite how hard I work, I’m actually quite lazy.

Plug your stuff! Where can people find you?

  • All of my profiles are under EricTheCarGuy. I’m that on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. The best place to go is EricTheCarGuy.com though. There people can get help with their automotive issues and have access to all of my latest content which is searchable there. 
Eric The Car Guy's Turbo Ford Fairmont
Image credit: Hot Rod Magazine
Eric, thank you for taking the time for this little interview and for the thoughtful answers! Have a favorite content creator that you’d like to see us interview? Drop a comment below!
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Garrett Davis
Garrett has something of a sickness when it comes to cars, working on everything from Jeeps, to sports cars, to over-engineered German nightmares. Currently he is embroiled in an Audi Allroad offroad project, and is slowly losing his grasp on sanity.

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