If you're always having problems with your car, and don't know where to start looking for the underlying faults, you might think a car fault-finding program is just what you need. In that case, Car Cure seems to have the market all to itself at the moment.
While loading, the program produces a maze on screen for you to solve - a different one every time. This is all very interesting, but not too helpful on the automotive front. Once you've tired of the maze, you can get on with the slightly more important business of fixing your car.
You can track down the fault by its symptoms, or by the parts you suspect of causing it. Normally, you start off by finding the general area of problem - braking, ignition etc. - on the main symptom menu. You can now call up a more detailed sub-menu to specify the symptom more precisely - sudden loss of braking power, for example, or brakes pulling to one side. This will now lead to a parts menu, giving general areas where the problem might be, and thence to a menu of specific faults which could be behind it all.
At this point, you have to leave your computer, go out to the car and check each of the possible fault areas - this would be rather easier if Car Cure had a print-out facility. Then, as you eliminate each possibility you can trudge back in and cross it off the menu. Once you've finally found the fault Car Cure will tell you what action needs to be taken, and how easy/safe it is for you to fix yourself.
This is quite useful I suppose, but nothing that a good book on the subject couldn't do for you at least half as well. Where a computer program of this sort should win out, Car Cure doesn't. It's not an expert system - it can't ask you questions about the symptoms, or come to a diagnosis of its own. Nor is it a proper database - you can't cross-reference two symptoms to see what single problem could account for both. It's a shame really, because obviously a lot of effort has gone into the data for the program. You just can't get at it the way you need to.
P. Lots of information.
P. Safety warnings wherever necessary.
N. No cross referencing.