Service economy inspires crappy design

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doodle
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Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by doodle » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:25 am

So Ive recently taken to start working on my own vehicle ( a beater that I decided to fix up)..and I'm shocked at how awful cars are designed when it comes to making repairs easy. Parts that engineers know will need servicing are buried under other parts which often necessitates hours of labor to replace a ten dollar part. I can only think that such crap design is allowed to proliferate because vehicle owners rarely do repairs themselves. If a car buyer knew that they would be servicing their own vehicle I think it would inspire demand for designs which incorporated future repair ease into the purchasing equation. Instead all the shitty work is offloaded on to mechanics who have no problem billing eight hours of labor for a job that should take 15 minutes given a halfway intelligent design which takes future maintenance into account. I can't help but think that there has to be demand for a simple, reliable, vehicle easy to repair, that will last a lifetime that contains little to no bells and whistles gets good gas mileage and whose sole purpose is to safely drive you at 70 mph from A to B. Why is this so complicated. I bought the beater because I couldn't justify spending the kind of money that car manufacturers want for a new car that contains a bunch of crap that I didn't want. Does anyone feel similarly? Seems like an untapped niche market.
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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:32 am

doodle wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:25 am
So Ive recently taken to start working on my own vehicle ( a beater that I decided to fix up)..and I'm shocked at how awful cars are designed when it comes to making repairs easy. Parts that engineers know will need servicing are buried under other parts which often necessitates hours of labor to replace a ten dollar part. I can only think that such crap design is allowed to proliferate because vehicle owners rarely do repairs themselves. If a car buyer knew that they would be servicing their own vehicle I think it would inspire demand for designs which incorporated future repair ease into the purchasing equation. Instead all the shitty work is offloaded on to mechanics who have no problem billing eight hours of labor for a job that should take 15 minutes given a halfway intelligent design which takes future maintenance into account.
Seems right. I'm sure cramming all the required stuff in there while maintaining fuel economy standards is tough.
I can't help but think that there has to be demand for a simple, reliable, vehicle easy to repair, that will last a lifetime that contains little to no bells and whistles gets good gas mileage and whose sole purpose is to safely drive you at 70 mph from A to B. Why is this so complicated. I bought the beater because I couldn't justify spending the kind of money that car manufacturers want for a new car that contains a bunch of crap that I didn't want. Does anyone feel similarly? Seems like an untapped niche market.
It sounds like you're looking for something like a chopper motorcycle, where everything extraneous has been stripped away and you just have the parts that make it go. That's pretty close to my ideal in a car, though I still want AC/heat and a sound system. But I am not a fan of all the bells and whistles, like TVs in the back of headrests, bluetooth, adaptive cruise control, and the myriad of safety shit like backup cameras, automatic braking, line alerts, steering wheel vibrators, motorized seat adjustments.. and whatever else I can't even think of.

When you say "beater" do you mean a recent-vintage car that's been worked over, or an old car? I'd bet older diesel vehicles without many electronics would be easier to work on. I know of one guy who did a lot of modifications on his 1983 truck. He did it to improve gas mileage, but some of the stuff he removed would probably give you more room to get around in the engine compartment.
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shekels
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by shekels » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:40 am

doodle wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:25 am
So Ive recently taken to start working on my own vehicle ( a beater that I decided to fix up)..and I'm shocked at how awful cars are designed when it comes to making repairs easy. Parts that engineers know will need servicing are buried under other parts which often necessitates hours of labor to replace a ten dollar part. I can only think that such crap design is allowed to proliferate because vehicle owners rarely do repairs themselves. If a car buyer knew that they would be servicing their own vehicle I think it would inspire demand for designs which incorporated future repair ease into the purchasing equation. Instead all the shitty work is offloaded on to mechanics who have no problem billing eight hours of labor for a job that should take 15 minutes given a halfway intelligent design which takes future maintenance into account. I can't help but think that there has to be demand for a simple, reliable, vehicle easy to repair, that will last a lifetime that contains little to no bells and whistles gets good gas mileage and whose sole purpose is to safely drive you at 70 mph from A to B. Why is this so complicated. I bought the beater because I couldn't justify spending the kind of money that car manufacturers want for a new car that contains a bunch of crap that I didn't want. Does anyone feel similarly? Seems like an untapped niche market.
Have you tried the Yugo or the VW Beetle? Just kidding they were simple cars but comfort was not a big concern. There have always been vehicles that are a pain to work on. But I did run across a Toyota Camry it was fairly easy to do Preventative Maintainace
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by doodle » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:03 pm

Take for example electric seats vs the manual adjusting variety...cheap, easy, works and if it doesn't can be repaired without any motors or electronics.... then apply this to every other system in the car. New trucks today cost upwards of 40k...for a vehicle I'm supposed to dump gravel in the back of. I purchased a 2007 Chevy truck....good ls engine, but abs brakes in and out...wish I could just tear them out... knock sensors are placed under intake manifold requring me to rip fuel rails and intake off, disconnect fuel lines, air intake etc...for a part that should have been bolted to side of block. These manufacturers have had nearly 100 years to figure out what works and what doesn't, how shit breaks and causes issues, but this knowledge doesn't seem to get passed on. Great easy efficient engines are created and then scraped for new designs full of problems that then are tweaked out over a decade, at which time the process begins again. I guess I get so frustrated by this because transportation in this country necessitates a car yet there is no "Volkswagen" so to speak...a people's car. Instead the cost of keeping and maintaining a car literally bankrupts most Americans. I know because not having a car for many years was one of the principal reasons I was able to save money so effectively.
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by doodle » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:08 pm

https://images.app.goo.gl/SBXtVFQAXv2boSjL8

Citroen h wagon...love the panel approach....get a dent....no 1000 dollar body shop bill...just bolt another panel on
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Tortoise
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by Tortoise » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:08 pm

I agree, doodle, and the maintenance costs are climbing even higher as more and more expensive electronic parts and computers are added to modern cars and trucks.

An automobile design focused on simplicity and ease of maintenance does seem like an untapped niche market. It would be great not only for people on limited budgets, but also for teenagers since they could learn the discipline of fixing their own car and keeping it running (without breaking the bank).
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Xan
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by Xan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:15 pm

Tortoise wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:08 pm
I agree, doodle, and the maintenance costs are climbing even higher as more and more expensive electronic parts and computers are added to modern cars and trucks.

An automobile design focused on simplicity and ease of maintenance does seem like an untapped niche market. It would be great not only for people on limited budgets, but also for teenagers since they could learn the discipline of fixing their own car and keeping it running (without breaking the bank).
Sounds great to me. Would it be legal?
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Tortoise
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by Tortoise » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:55 pm

Xan wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:15 pm
Sounds great to me. Would it be legal?
Sure, why wouldn’t it be?
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l82start
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by l82start » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:48 pm

in states like CA it would probably fail emissions... no legal registration..
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doodle
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by doodle » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:05 pm

Why would such a car fail emisions? Low maintenance four cylinder cars can easily achieve 40 mpg and I'm not advocating for eliminating catalytic converter or anything. Btw, the electronics and computer are really not a problem. In fact, they help with diagnostics immensely. It's the way that the car engines and engine bays are designed coupled with so much unecessary tech and gadgetry that gets cramed into cars that is sending prices to the moon...air conditioned seats and large touch screens, those stupid doorhandles and running boards that extend or poo out...expensive show led lighting that illuminates the ground with car logo when you open door...Another thing I don't understand is why they don't just substitute your phone for everything they put in cars....just have a connection and your phone then becomes your radio, on board navigation and it could even use voice controls. Does anyone even use the onboard navigation in their car vs phone apps like Google maps?
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by pugchief » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:03 pm

I am going to speculate that the vast majority of car owners who are not members of this forum or are extremely mechanically inclined have zero interest in doing their own maintenance on cars. With the onboard computers that control everything, anything beyond changing the oil is a major undertaking, and it's only going to get worse as new models come out with mandatory safety features. I'm one of those people. I know how to change a tire or the oil/filter, but would rather let someone else do it, while I stick to what I'm good at: drilling teeth.
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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Service economy inspires crappy design

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:16 pm

I'm guessing that the lack of ease in home maintenance is a trade off the car companies make in order to achieve optimized aerodynamics and weight. That would help explain why back when people worked on their own cars, they were landboats.
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