Am I just outdated?

comptiger5000

Adventurer
Most of the new stuff isn't really all that hard to fix, it's just sometimes a challenge (and requires the right tools) to figure out what's wrong. The diagnostic methods are definitely different than they are for the older stuff.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Good thread. Probably why more than ever Auto maker actions regardless of warranty BS matters. A Auto maker that addresses bad parts / suppliers to reduce the failures its customers experience will be rewarded with more sales. Auto makers who continue selling the same old junk knowing there are bad parts /parts suppliers in the vehicle will eventually be avoided by consumers. Fiat brands ranks up there in low quality parts.
 

Mitch502

Explorer
Most of the new stuff isn't really all that hard to fix, it's just sometimes a challenge (and requires the right tools) to figure out what's wrong. The diagnostic methods are definitely different than they are for the older stuff.
You can't fix a sensor on the side of the road to limp to the store to buy a new one most of the time...and a lot of times those sensors replace a mechanical part that either would never have failed, or would at least be able to be rigged to get somewhere.

Good thread. Probably why more than ever Auto maker actions regardless of warranty BS matters. A Auto maker that addresses bad parts / suppliers to reduce the failures its customers experience will be rewarded with more sales. Auto makers who continue selling the same old junk knowing there are bad parts /parts suppliers in the vehicle will eventually be avoided by consumers. Fiat brands ranks up there in low quality parts.
True. But it seems like more and more, no one cares...
 

MOguy

Explorer
So, my wife has a 2006 Hemi WK , and we like it. However, it's went into limp mode for the second time in 6 months and won't come out. After scanning it, the code is for shift solenoid a, which is the same solenoid pack I replaced literally less than 6 months ago, and well under 10,000 miles ago.

Between this and a starter replacement, I've realized A) how hard it is to work on B) how expensive it is C) how it seems all the newer stuff is over complicated.

Am I outdated in my thinking like an old man? Do I need to accept the reality that the era of cars I'm used to (2004 and earlier or so for most vehicles) are a thing of the past and I might not be able to do everything myself anymore without spending money on certain tools? I have never paid a mechanic for anything more than an alignment... But this solenoid issue has me wondering if it's worth taking it to the dealer for diagnosis since I don't want to believe it's a part I spent quite a bit of money on not long ago... (the part is warrantied, but the fluid is not of course)

Just curious how everyone else skirts the line between luxury / reliability and ease/cost of maintenance
Different vehicles for different purposes.

For the family and road trips I have the nice comfy vehicle, a GMC Acadia Denali. I have no expectations for keeping this car for an extended period of time, it will probably be replaced in the next few years or so.

BUT more and more I like my outdate vehicles.

For rougher more abusive stuff I have a 2001 TJ and a 1979 K30 dually. They do lack some of the things newer vehicles have but they are simple and surprisingly reliable. The aftermarket support for these two vehicles are quite extensive. For my truck I can often find stuff to use out in somebodies field or on a forgotten project. I usually have to buy stuff for the Jeep but it is always readily available.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
You can't fix a sensor on the side of the road to limp to the store to buy a new one most of the time...and a lot of times those sensors replace a mechanical part that either would never have failed, or would at least be able to be rigged to get somewhere.



True. But it seems like more and more, no one cares...
I was just thinking that many Auto Makers today seem faster to correct poor parts quality especially when a big portion of it are parts suppliers who cut corners or use incorrect materials etc.

Im sure there are many examples out there mine is with Subaru. Parts supplier built torque converters using the wrong type of material on a pressure release bushing, the result was a short service life causing it to lock up the cvt. In some cases heavy contamination of the cvt fluid resulting in selnoid failure. Subaru was fixing as they surfaced but enough dealers were using it as a money scam charging owners crazy $$$$ to fix. So Subaru simply instituted a refund notice and gave everyone a 100k 10yr warranty against the problem. They also changed the design.

Lots of Auto makers are doing this today even the notoriously terrible ones like GM and Ford.
 

Longtallsally

Adventurer
Interesting discussion. Lots of good input and thoughts. However, the reality is that mechanical knowledge and physical tools are no longer as important as current methods and tools. In other words, software.

With the differences in manufacturing and consolidation of many formerly standalone systems/parts being used and ALL of them being controlled by various controllers (which in and of themselves are consolidated) on to different BUS's in the vehicle, the skill set to diagnose and resolve becomes a bit different. Take Tesla: probably a good portion of "repairs" are over the air software and firmware updates.

Is this better? Well, now the discussion starts going down the path of Moore's law about computing hardware (the vehicle's physical components) and software (what runs the components). Lots of rabbit holes here based on things like "the cloud" rendering straight up processing power less important in favor of a better pipe (faster network connection). There's no real correlation in that regard to the automotive industry, but the fact remains that "technology" is advancing such that 1s and 0s are a lot more prevalent in vehicles than grease and art.

To that end, I'm debating on whether I want to keep the Disco as it is on the cusp of being somewhat analog or getting to an L320 or L322 for myself. Both are wonderful, and in the end the costs aren't too dramatically different from each other.
 

MOguy

Explorer
It isn't just software and technology but also design. On my Jeep and Truck I can find the thermostat easily. There it is right on top or the front of the motor, easy to see, easy to reach. it isn't like that on many newer vehicles. It just seem harder to do even simple maintenance.
 

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
A buddy of mine is a 25 year lead tech at a big dealer. Really sharp guy, and gets stuck with quite a few of the "difficult to diagnose" jobs.
He leases a new car every three years with full maintenance. Absolutely refuses to work on anything mechanical outside of his job. Spends him time gardening, cooking and home reno projects.
His wife thinks he's the most wonderful man in the whole world.

There is wisdom in that decision... ;)
 

cj-10

New member
It isn't just software and technology but also design. On my Jeep and Truck I can find the thermostat easily. There it is right on top or the front of the motor, easy to see, easy to reach. it isn't like that on many newer vehicles. It just seem harder to do even simple maintenance.
Totally agree. Look how difficult it is to change headlights on newer cars. It was a process that used to take about 2 minutes. Now you have to pull the front clip of the car off and contort yourself to replace a bulb. Also to even see an engine you have to pull about 10 plastic shields off. I don't think that software is the new set of tools because you still need the old set of tools to change things out and it is still in principle the same things. It is just added sensors. I love technology and love what they do with it on super cars. It is just not made for longevity and to be user friendly.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Totally agree. Look how difficult it is to change headlights on newer cars. It was a process that used to take about 2 minutes. Now you have to pull the front clip of the car off and contort yourself to replace a bulb. Also to even see an engine you have to pull about 10 plastic shields off. I don't think that software is the new set of tools because you still need the old set of tools to change things out and it is still in principle the same things. It is just added sensors. I love technology and love what they do with it on super cars. It is just not made for longevity and to be user friendly.
Funny you should mention that. I was replacing a burt out 7yr old bulb in my Subaru, same time my buddy was replacing his radiator in his 2014 Jeep split weld. Seems he had fewer bolts and fastners than I did. But my light bulb had a longer service life than his radiator😆
 

Mitch502

Explorer
My issue is nothing can be FIXED anymore, in addition to requiring an overly complex or expensive set of tools/diagnostic equipment to diagnose. Everything is only replaceable. Maybe that's by design, so people like us who would normally work on their own cars are in a situation to go get a dealer to fix it?

I agree with things being hidden now...you take 6 plastic covers off to do one thing...headlights, batteries, etc...common maintenance items are 10x harder to replace.
 

unkamonkey

Explorer
I do almost everything on my vehicles except for AC and computer things. Other than tires, nobody touches my Jeeps. What can I say, I know more about old Jeeps than any shop near me.
My neighbor had problems with sensors on 2 of his Powerstrokes. Ford couldn't figure it out after 3 days. "Oh it's fixed". The turbo shut down 1/2 of the way home. There is a diesel injection shop a few blocks away and it took them about 25 minutes. About a $28 dollar part.
 

vintageracer

To Infinity and Beyond!
I agree with things being hidden now...you take 6 plastic covers off to do one thing...headlights, batteries, etc...common maintenance items are 10x harder to replace.
This is what you get when "Designer's" get involved in the "Engineering" process!
 

MOguy

Explorer
Totally agree. Look how difficult it is to change headlights on newer cars. It was a process that used to take about 2 minutes. Now you have to pull the front clip of the car off and contort yourself to replace a bulb. Also to even see an engine you have to pull about 10 plastic shields off. I don't think that software is the new set of tools because you still need the old set of tools to change things out and it is still in principle the same things. It is just added sensors. I love technology and love what they do with it on super cars. It is just not made for longevity and to be user friendly.
I don't even know where the battery is in my Acacia.
 

Mitch502

Explorer
One of the ways I've managed to do as much as I do is I refuse to have car payments and work on my own stuff.

Guess I'll just stick to stuff...I'll be the millionaire driving the ZJ with a million miles :p
 
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