Have we gone to far with electronics on vehicles!

  spuds 10:29 27 Sep 15
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With the older vehicles being scrapped, due to mostly 'environmental problems', and the introduction of more electronics on vehicles. I ask a simple question: Are we going too far or perhaps not far enough with modern vehicles and the way they are used.

What made me ask this question, was in the hope that other forum member's might care to share their thoughts and experiences on the subject.

  oresome 10:48 27 Sep 15

I wonder which is of most benefit, environmentally wise?

Keeping an older more polluting car going longer, or scrapping it and manufacturing a new one with all the polluting processes that involves and then possibly scrapping the new one after a relatively short time as the emission regulations continue to be tightened.

  roy170 11:01 27 Sep 15

I personally prefer to use new vehicles with the new fuel savings ,comfort and technology. I was amazed that we have had 9 new cars in the last 23 years. The only problem I have ever had was when quite recently , either the tyre fitter, a speed bump or at a routine service the abs sensor was dislodged. This through up multiple warning lights and locked the electric hand brake. I was able to over ride the brake and take it to the dealership.

As to dirty emissions from older engines, I did see Ed China use a machine that cleaned the engine and brought levels down to miniscule levels. The cost was about £80. It would be great way to keep older cars cleaner.

  Belatucadrus 11:02 27 Sep 15

I have noted an increasing incidence of Computer centric techs in car servicing bays, if the diagnostic software can't identify the problem they're stuffed.

  spuds 11:09 27 Sep 15

That's possibly a point that I was considering, especially with the recent VW fiasco.

Electronic and software devices can and perhaps achieve somethings, but at the same time, might prove very expensive over the long-term.

A typical case in question, I know of at least two different make later model vehicles, that have had to be scrapped, due to diagnostic problems.

I myself have a Land Rover Freelander with a tailgate window problem, that is worked via various sensing and similar devices. Its even been known that the tailgate glass can explode in earlier models, before a more robust glass was provided for replacement. Trying to solve the 'working' issues is proving to be a real nightmare, no matter were you go for advice. In the older days, it would have been a simple case of using a winding handle. Nothing more simpler than that.

  spuds 11:13 27 Sep 15

"the abs sensor was dislodged. This through up multiple warning lights and locked the electric hand brake."

I have had similar experiences regarding sudden ABS warnings, that seem to self correct. But the experiences can be very worrying at that moment in time, because you can feel completely out of control.

  oresome 11:54 27 Sep 15

I think there is no doubt that the complexity of modern cars coupled with high labour costs and the price of replacement parts can make them uneconomic to keep longer than 10 years or so.

The bodywork used to be the first thing to go but manufacturers seemed to have cracked that issue.

My previous Citroen had an electric fan failure at around 6 years old. A quite straightforward repair that I could undertake myself. I was quoted around £500 for the parts alone by the dealer.

I finished up buying a replacement fan from Kenlowe for around £150 complete with all wiring and a temperature sensor.

  john bunyan 12:15 27 Sep 15

Oh for the days of cleaning spark plugs, points, and replacing the Bendix gear in one's starter motor - quite apart from the starting handle that was useful to turn the engine over on a cold morning. I even remember in Malta in the '50's , 4 of us bought a 1929 Riley 9 that had a hand throttle and advance and retard. These days amateurs can repair very little on modern cars.

  robin_x 12:33 27 Sep 15

30 years ago it was common to tinker with cars for fun and to save money. Then it effectively became impossible.

In some cases, it is possible again due to cheap sourcing of bits from the Internet and How To guides on youtube and in car forums.

So if your Engine Management Unit, or a sensor, packs up, it's worth seeing if it's possible for a practical person to have a go.

Cheap Diagnostic Terminals are also available

  oresome 13:15 27 Sep 15

Time was when Sunday mornings were spent washing and polishing the car.

But no longer. The local hand car wash now does a roaring business.

I've never used one and from an experience of being a passenger in my bosses car whilst he had it washed, I find it unedifying just sat there while others are busy around me.

  spuds 13:22 27 Sep 15

"Cheap Diagnostic Terminals are also available", and I agree, from the cheap units readily available to the top of the range professional models costing £thousands. But whichever device you use, it all comes to down to the end results and the person achieving those results.

The same I suppose,when in the 'old days' the 'Krypton Tune' became the flavour of the month, to the person with a bit of 'Gunson' kit in their toolbox. And that was probably the beginning of the loss of the dirty boiler suit and greasy hand brigade or mechanic, for the more smart uniform and laptop technician.

What I find very novel nowadays, is how you have to re-educate a vehicle after possibly doing the smallest task, like even changing a 12volt battery.

Then there are the alloys and the problems they can bring, which never seems to happen with the old steel rims and inner tubes.

The pros and cons can be endless.

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