Automotive complexity

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glueman
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby glueman » 17 Mar 2010, 12:53pm

One of the few cars that gives me the wants is a Tatra like this. Rear engined air-cooled V8! A chap has one locally and it's a real head turner. If not the Tatra a Borgward isabella would be fun.

fimm
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby fimm » 17 Mar 2010, 2:17pm

A friend of mine has a Land Rover that is older than he is. He's always doing stuff to it, it is an never-ending saga.
It has a LPG conversion, so it is quite green. There's no heating in the back, so if you know you're going to be in the back and it is winter, you have to wear all the warmest thermals you've got...
Of course it's a race...

Jonty

Re: Automotive complexity

Postby Jonty » 27 Mar 2010, 6:43pm

Most reliable car I've ever had is my 1996 Rover 620 Diesel turbo. Still going strong with 110k miles on the clock. All it's had is a new silencer and a change of tyres approximately every 30k miles.
Still looks good and I get 50mpg. I have it serviced every year.
I can't recall a time when it hasn't started first time.
Only recently a passenger brought to my attention that it has air conditioning, heated side mirrors, central locking and electonic rear windows.
I tried the air conditioning for the first time about a year ago and it worked.
Bought a newish Golf (GT 140 tdi) 2 years ago as we thought the Rover must pack up eventually, but showing no signs of it.
My nightmare is the Golf packing up before the Rover.
jonty

wrangler_rover
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Location: Welton, near Lincoln

Re: Automotive complexity

Postby wrangler_rover » 31 Dec 2010, 6:27pm

Here's a cautionary tale about over complicated electronics.
I drive a 2009 Toyota Avensis with an electronic parking brake. These electronic parking brakes are replacing the old tried & tested handle & cable handbrakes on an increasing number of new cars. The electronic parking brakes make it impossible to roll backwards when doing a hill start but if somebody can't do a hill start without rolling back, then their car control skills are lacking and i my opinion they shouldn't be driving a car.
Recently, one of the electronic actuators failed on my Avensis electronic parking brake syatem, it was fixed at my local Toyota dealer, I asked what the bill would be if I had to pay and was told £1,000. (Broken down as £675 for the actuator, 2.1/2 hours to fit plus VAT)
I am all for progress in cars if it leads to better reliability or increased economy or better performance but the electronic parking brake seems to be an expensive solution to a non existant problem.
I see in a few years time, Mr Not Well Off buying a secondhand car with an electronic parking brake, if he is unlucky enough to have an actuator fail, faced with a repair bill in the region of £1,000 he will have to consider scrapping the car because the cost of repair will probably exceed the value of the car.

Jonty

Re: Automotive complexity

Postby Jonty » 31 Dec 2010, 6:52pm

Like bicycles, modern cars are so much better than old ones. When I started driving you were lucky to get 30k out of an engine before it needed to be reconditioned and some cars such as Vauxhalls rusted dreadfully. I once bought a new mini which leaked oil from the sump. I took it back to the garage to be told with great solemnity that I had "a porous gearbox."
I only wish that there wasn't so much planned obsolescence today and things were easier to fix without having to buy the whole unit. Apparently most new cars are only designed for an 8-year life.
jonty

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horizon
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby horizon » 11 Jan 2011, 7:37pm

Mick F wrote:When I think of all the hours I've spent underneath cars - gearboxes, clutches, head gaskets, water pumps, dynamos and alternators - good grief the list is endless! - I thank the Lord for modern technology and reliability.


That's not quite correct. I didn't have to spend New Year's Eve under my Renault 4 - I just couldn't afford a new one. In that respect, the real difference is wealth and age, not technology.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

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jayjay
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Location: East Yorks

Re: Automotive complexity

Postby jayjay » 29 Jan 2011, 8:30pm

While I applaud the design and materials which have given modern cars less rust, longer lasting engines and lower maintenance, I do cringe at the amount of toys crammed in as well. A friend's Citroen has 42 separate controls on the centre dash. It also recently frayed an external cable and the computer had a dicky-fit, throwing up masses of dire warnings. The dealer took many hours to trace it.
My other pet hate is styling that sacrifices practicality, such as inaccessible bulbs, some requiring body panels removed to change them.
I'll go get my pills now.
Built f' comfort.

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Mick F
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby Mick F » 29 Jan 2011, 8:42pm

jayjay wrote: ......such as inaccessible bulbs .......
Crosses fingers and touches wood ...
We've had our Clio since brand new. April 2001 and 74,000 miles done.

How many bulbs?

Not one.

Zero.

All, every single one one works as brightly as it did when new.
Mick F. Cornwall

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cycleruk
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Location: Lancashire

Re: Automotive complexity

Postby cycleruk » 29 Jan 2011, 9:55pm

Mick F wrote:
jayjay wrote: ......such as inaccessible bulbs .......
Crosses fingers and touches wood ...
We've had our Clio since brand new. April 2001 and 74,000 miles done.

How many bulbs?

Not one.

Zero.

All, every single one one works as brightly as it did when new.


I had to change a bulb on the daughters car today.
First read the owners manual. :roll:
Right hand side - remove air filter hose.
Left hand side - remove fuse box cover :?
It was the left side so after removing the fuse cover, next you remove the lamp housing cover.
There is about 2" of room now to get access to the bulb. I used a mirror so that I could see how the bulb was positioned.
Actually to get the bulb out is quite easy as you just push the electrical connector sideways and the lamp springs out.
Getting it back in is not so easy so I used the old one as a trial and then dropped it inside the housing. (It's still there as I'm not dismantling half the engine bay to get it out. :oops: ).
So I fitted the connector to the new bulb so if I did fumble it then I could get it back.
Anyway I did mange to fit it and replaced the cover and fuse box lid.
The job took the best part of an hour but I would be a lot quicker next time :roll:.
It would be virtually impossible in the dark.
There's no such thing as a tailwind.
It's either a headwind, or you're going well.

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bigjim
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby bigjim » 1 Feb 2011, 12:22pm

If you cannot afford, or don't want to buy a new car and pay for the overpriced [ripoff] servicing, you find yourself in a bit of a quandry. Ten year old cars still have a multitude of electronics that, if they go wrong can consign that vehicle to the scrapheap. 1970s cars were not particularly unreliable. I had a mk3 cortina that had covered 160k miles without any major problems and was sold on to continue giving reliable service. I also had a 1977 Volvo 245 with 180k on the clock when it was stolen and wrote off. Both of these cars were so easy to service and maintain. I have scrapped 3 mondeos within the last 5 years. Nothing particularly wrong with them but simple repair costs outweighed their value. I personally do not see the point in a new car if you are travelling less than 5k miles a year. The price of fuel/cameras/fines and traffic levels have reduced any pleasure in driving for me so the car becomes something to keep you out of the rain and cold and the nightmare of public transport. So an older easily fixed small engined car is something I'm currently in the market for. Trouble is so are a lot of people and prices of these are rising. There is a shortage of good older cars [early micras, fiestas, volvos] due to the ridiculous scrappage scheme. Some of the 1960s/1970s repmobiles were very reliable and the aquisition of a rustfree example could ensure years of reliable motoring I am sure. I can remember driving 1000s of miles all over Europe in a 1969 Sunbeam Rapier and it never missed a beat. I think reliabilty coupled with easy repair/servicing ended some time in the 80s but I'm sure someone will be along to challenge that point of view. :)
Nothing left to prove.

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Mick F
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby Mick F » 1 Feb 2011, 12:36pm

Our Clio is at the local garage. :(

We noticed on Friday last week that the brakes were binding a bit. I jacked it up the other day, and found both rear brakes were binding, so decided it must be something to do with the handbrake system - at a guess, I doubt it's hydraulics.

I have a love/hate relationship with cars nowadays. There's nothing on a car that I couldn't fix given the correct tools and equipment, but lying under a car does not turn me on any more. I'd rather give the job to the local garage.

I pick it up at 5pm this evening, with credit card in hand. Fixing cars with credit cards, and "plastic" in general, is easier to use than spanners.
Mick F. Cornwall

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bigjim
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby bigjim » 1 Feb 2011, 1:06pm

Ahh... yes okay, point taken.
But not everybody is in a financial situation like that. Before anybody says "well don't have a car then" public transport can work out more expensive than running a basic small car.
Plus of course Mick, you've missed out on the job satisfaction thing. :)
Nothing left to prove.

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squeaker
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby squeaker » 1 Feb 2011, 1:08pm


Hmm, neat, but what happens to the interconnected suspension?
"42"

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Mick F
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby Mick F » 2 Feb 2011, 7:54am

Mick F wrote:Our Clio is at the local garage. :(

I pick it up at 5pm this evening, with credit card in hand. Fixing cars with credit cards, and "plastic" in general, is easier to use than spanners.
£97.12 :shock:

The handbrake had seized on one side and both wheel cylinders were shot.

Comment from the garage man: "The problem with modern hatchbacks, is that all the weight is at the front and the rear is so light that the rear brakes need restricting. Consequently, they are hardly used."

Oh well.
All fixed now.
Mick F. Cornwall

glueman
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Re: Automotive complexity

Postby glueman » 2 Feb 2011, 8:42am

bigjim wrote: There is a shortage of good older cars [early micras, fiestas, volvos] due to the ridiculous scrappage scheme. Some of the 1960s/1970s repmobiles were very reliable and the aquisition of a rustfree example could ensure years of reliable motoring I am sure. I can remember driving 1000s of miles all over Europe in a 1969 Sunbeam Rapier and it never missed a beat. I think reliabilty coupled with easy repair/servicing ended some time in the 80s but I'm sure someone will be along to challenge that point of view. :)


I agree. Everyone should get a copy of this.