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A Beginner's Guide to Car Forums

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author photo by Autotrader April 2011

Car forums are a great place for people to get together and share their knowledge and love for their cars.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, forums and bulletin boards have been around since the internet first became popular. Logging in for the first time can be a little intimidating, but after you get past that first step, there is a wealth of information and camaraderie that can’t be found elsewhere on the web.

Forum Etiquette

There is an etiquette to posting on forums, each board has it’s own rules and customs, and it can be hard for a new person to start off. Here are a few tips for the newbie looking to get in on the fun:

Lurk- Spend some time just reading through the pages. Get a feel for the flow of the board and what people say. Approach a new forum like you would a foreign country. Just about everyone understands that you don’t know everything, but if you show an effort to understand the culture, the people will generally be pretty helpful.

Search- Odds are the question you want to ask has been asked many times before, and the regulars are sick of talking about it. These topics are so beat to death that they become an inside joke to the community, and they tease anyone who brings them up. Every forum has a search function so you can look at old topics. Try this first.

Read the stickies- Topics with the best information are often ‘stuck’ to the top of a forum. When you go to a new forum, check out these ‘stickies’. Sometimes they have good info about your car, sometimes they will tell you what the rules of that forum are, either way, give them a read before making your first post.

The Big Five

Here are five of the best (and certainly the biggest) car forums on the internet.

Alfa BB http://www.alfabb.com/

Alfa Romeo may have stopped selling cars to Americans in 1995 but there is no shortage of passion for the Italian marque on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board, or Alfa BB.

The board is filled with a slew of extremely knowledgeable enthusiasts who’s love for Alfa Romeo’s knows no bounds. If you have a problem with your Alfa Romeo (And the odds are pretty good that you do) these guys have probably seen it before. With Alfa coming back to the States in the near future, this board is sure to take off.

VWVortex http://www.vwvortex.com/

VWVortex is the largest and most popular car forum on the web. The site is the 20th largest online community and has over 60 million posts. They discuss everything here, from old aircooled models to the latest Jetta, and maybe a few models that you’ve never heard of.

Corvette Forum http://www.corvetteforum.com/

Corvette Forum is the top internet destination for those obsessed with the Chevrolet Corvette. Members primarily focus on the newer generations, but there is a lot of interest in the classics as well. Once a year, Corvette Forum members will get together for a charity drive and car show to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Ford Truck Enthusiasts http://www.ford-trucks.com/

FTE, as it’s commonly referred to, is a long standing staple in the car forum world. The site is dedicated to Blue Oval pickups, SUVs and whatever you want to call the Transit Connect. Members come from all over the world and are very knowledgeable about off-roading, truck maintenance and just about anything you can relate to Ford machinery.

S2Ki http://www.s2ki.com/home/

S2000 International is what it sounds like, a worldwide collection of people who love their Honda S2000. S2Ki has been the jumping off point for S2000 events so big that Honda has flown out the S2000’s designer to speak to fans.

Warning: Visiting this site may make you start driving with your top down in the rain, or extreme cold.

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A Beginner's Guide to Car Forums - Autotrader