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Old 24th January 2017, 13:18   #16
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

Excellent discussion.

I think we are witnessing dramatic changes in this landscape due to technology and business reasons.

Owning car : Self drive rentals and on demand app based taxis have nearly made a case against owning a car, there are even idea floating around on pooled ownership of cars. Such fleets are being pushed hard by GM, Ford, BMW and Diamler.
Driving car : Autonomous cars are already on road, with machine learning algorithms its not too long before they are capable of responding to situations presented to them on move.
Servicing car : Much is already said about repair vs replace philosophy. Tesla recently provided a major upgrade to their cars via OTA. This even saved a visit to service center and this is the future! OTA (Over the Air) brings efficiencies and benefits to at least two other stages of the car’s lifecycle. Take for example the production line. The many megabytes of code that are loaded onto the dozens of ECUs in the modern car will require a big flashing window on the production line to complete if it is done in the traditionally serial production line manner. With OTA, once the battery and the TCU are connected to the internal CAN BUS, any ECU that is connected can be updated and flashed on the fly – even if, for example, the current station is the one for the installing the upholstery. Not only would this OTA approach remove the need to add costly time to the production line and remove the risk of software-related bottlenecks, but it could also lead to production line efficiencies by reducing the time currently allocated for software flashing.Another element to consider with regard to the growing prevalence of software in the car is the traditional skillset of the local garages/dealerships. Training the hundreds of thousands of mechanics around the world to understand, diagnose and fix software-related issues is a task wrought with challenges where the cost of mistakes and failure is high. Centralizing the knowledge base to regionalized centers of excellence will enable a highly trained staff to remotely manage cars OTA while they are at the garage. In this way, the garage can focus on performing the maintenance tasks and mechanical fixes required, while in parallel the car is diagnosed and updated as it is connected to the garage Wi-Fi network.

Disclaimer : Harman is my employer who enabled OTA updates to Tesla and this post is no endorsement.

Last edited by navin : 25th January 2017 at 11:05. Reason: added Over the Air
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Old 24th January 2017, 14:11   #17
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

I agree with the opening post! Very few owners and technicians like to jump in deep!

I happened to give the car for service the other day. I requested them to check the brake pads to know the % of material left. When we went to collect the car in the evening, we got the standard reply-" Sir, you had to change the brake pads at 30k Kms. Now it's 45k Kms. It is completely worn out! " When asked for the amount of material left, he said it doesn't matter, it's pending!!!

With increased reliability, the necessity to learn has come down. While the positives are impressive, the negatives can't be totally ignored!
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Old 24th January 2017, 15:32   #18
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

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Originally Posted by Turbohead View Post
I agree with the opening post! Very few owners and technicians like to jump in deep!

I happened to give the car for service the other day. I requested them to check the brake pads to know the % of material left. When we went to collect the car in the evening, we got the standard reply-" Sir, you had to change the brake pads at 30k Kms. Now it's 45k Kms. It is completely worn out! " When asked for the amount of material left, he said it doesn't matter, it's pending!!!

With increased reliability, the necessity to learn has come down. While the positives are impressive, the negatives can't be totally ignored!
True. Replacing spares is supposed to be reliable but I think there is no fun and no learning in it. I would like to share my 2 experiences on this:
1> I own a 2006 Tucson with current odo 2,55,000kms. At 1.8 lacs KMS (Oct2013) a Knocking or clunking sound started coming from bottom of the car. Checked the car with Hyundai service station (Yes till date It was only serviced there). ASS gave an verbal estimate around Rs. 2lac to replace problematic drive Shaft. I tried to figure out exact problem with the help of my Mechanic (Mr. Abijeet Lonkar @ Tune-up Plus banner) and we zeroed down on warn out bearings at cross-Joint/U-Joint. I looked for replacement with Hyundai ASS they said they do not sell separate components and I would have to end-up buying entire drive shaft assembly. Me and Mr. Lonkar tought of giving it a try before we invent into new drive shaft. We searched over internet for U-Joint and found one for INR3,500/- inclusive of shipping. I have ordered one meanwhile Mr. Lonkar had dissemble drive shaft assembly completely. We found out that only PIN ROLLERS are warned out and the reason we are getting noise. He asked me to search for PIN ROLLERS I ended up a shop in pune who supplies any kind of roller/ball-bearing. He ordered 1000 for me. I was needed only 32 but 1000 was the minimum quantity to place an order. It costed me Rs.2000/-.
Till date there was no delivery for previously ordered U-Joint and Hence Mr. Lonkar started repairing existing one with replacement bearings. We succeeded that night only. Later on after a month U-joint got delivered. Car had done another 60k+ kms after that without any problem.
It costed me a little bit of data plan and close to Rs. 7000/- to fix it.

2> Recently (Nov2016), Grinding noise started from rear bottom of the car. Again Hyundai ASS quoted 80K for complete rear differential replacement.
Again Mr. Lonkar came to rescue. We opened the differential figured ot warn out bearing, procured same specification one from SKF for Rs.800/- and done. Car has done another 4000kms after that without any problem.
This exercise costed me Bearing-800 + Differential OIL 7000 and service charges. Total bill was approx 10K.

From both the experiences I have not only saved the money but also got little bit of knowledge, experience to work with a true passionate and courage to call myself a petrol-head. It is worth every penny I have spent. Now I am confident enough that I can maintain my Tucson for another 5 years without any problem.
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Old 24th January 2017, 15:45   #19
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

I think it's a good thing that most of the customers don't have to be 'aware' of many things that they had to, earlier. For example, fixing radiator leaks, gasket, head lamp bulbs, fuses, etc. So I don't see ignorance as a bad thing here, because if the probability of these systems going wrong is very small, why bother to learn?

But electronics are just a small part of modern cars. A large part of the problems that crop up are non electrical, and cannot be diagnosed by software alone. For example, suspension issues, rattling, weird noises at some RPMs, turbo charger issues, etc really need extremely competent mechanics to diagnose and fix, even though these systems may not have seen major technological advancements. In these cases, even replacement of parts won't be straightforward.

That leaves us, the customer, with nothing to do! The easy systems are no longer unreliable, and the complex systems are too difficult to learn and fix anyway.
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Old 24th January 2017, 16:08   #20
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

Interesting thread. I think it is a matter of convenience. For example, if your computer konks off, you'll know what might have gone wrong. You'd probably look at the SMPS first - because we used the personal computers with separate CPUs which had these parts and they could be replaced individually.

Today we all use only laptops and the have become more reliable than ever. If something goes wrong with the laptop, more often than not, we get the entire thing replaced. Kids born in the last 10 years wouldn't probably know what has gone wrong if their computer/laptop stops working.

So, yeah, something similar. Cars have become more reliable and the need isn't there to learn. Many of us learnt maintaining our car the hard way. It wasn't just the engine, remember keeping the rust off the Premier Padminis?
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Old 24th January 2017, 17:21   #21
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

As parts get more complex and 'electronic' it is not always possible for the owner / user to keep track of even basic know how regarding car parts and service. Also the world is becoming busier by the day and more specialized so it is not always feasible to become a jack of all trades. I still remember by father taking apart his Chetak in our garage to clean the carburetor. And nowadays we would be hard pressed to find folks who can change a car battery or fix a stephney when you have a flat tyre..

The world has got busier and more 'specialized'..
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Old 24th January 2017, 17:49   #22
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

Consider me old school or outdated, but nothing of today beats a purely mechanical car when it comes to long term reliability. I do not want a sensor to tell me stuff that is going on the road.

Problem is, today's population wants a car that lasts 5-7 years after which the owner is bored and wants something new. Frills like a climate control, rain and light sensors and touchscreens are now a necessity instead of being a luxury.

The advantages of new sensors and electricals is the ready replacements. Companies sell parts at high margins and since there are no repairs, jobs are done fast and reliably. One does not need to be an intelligent mechanic to get the job done. Ironically, oils are still overfilled and wires are still messed with and plastic screws are still broken.

Additionally, bills apart from services costs are usually big.I have seen regular repair Pajero Sport bills and Accord bills run 40k-50K and upwards.

For me, I would still love to pull home a brand new driver's car like the Lancer, Palio 1.6S, OHC V-tec, or a Contessa if companies work on improving their driving experience and build quality. Apart from Contessa, other cars have always been mechanically reliable.
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Old 24th January 2017, 17:50   #23
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Default Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by charanreddy View Post
As parts get more complex and 'electronic' it is not always possible for the owner / user to keep track of even basic know how regarding car parts and service. Also the world is becoming busier by the day and more specialized so it is not always feasible to become a jack of all trades. I still remember by father taking apart his Chetak in our garage to clean the carburetor. And nowadays we would be hard pressed to find folks who can change a car battery or fix a stephney when you have a flat tyre..



The world has got busier and more 'specialized'..

Could not resist but did you actually search for a guy to change a battery of your car, or replace a tyre?
Mr Reddy you seem exactly the kind of person the topic is about.

Last edited by norhog : 24th January 2017 at 17:51.
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Old 24th January 2017, 18:33   #24
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

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Originally Posted by paragp2006 View Post
We searched over internet for U-Joint and found one for INR3,500/- inclusive of shipping.
From both the experiences I have not only saved the money but also got little bit of knowledge, experience to work with a true passionate and courage to call myself a petrol-head. It is worth every penny I have spent. Now I am confident enough that I can maintain my Tucson for another 5 years without any problem.
Would you mind sharing what site you ended up ordering this part online?
Was it within India and how long did it take to reach You?

And that's a great saving you earned both with regards to money as well as knowledge.
I just wish that if only all car owners tried to poke their nose into the activities happening at the ASS towards their car and try to learn a bit, they wouldn't end up fleecing the customers. Of course once out of warranty an informed enthusiast would rarely approach the ASS for any kind of expensive jobs.
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Old 24th January 2017, 21:12   #25
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

From my limited experience with ASC, service advisors are predominantly just "english-speaking" representatives for car collection, delivery & up-selling products/services.

If modern cars weren't so reliable/easily diagnostic-friendly, these SAs would have very different careers.

The most unfortunate part of this whole "consumer experience" is that end-users are isolated from the real guy who does the real work, the mechanic. We'd probably learn a thing or two, just by talking with a mechanic for few minutes, rather than endlessly coordinating with SAs.
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Old 24th January 2017, 21:39   #26
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post

It's a win-win for everyone.
I think we've forgotten that a lot of the threads on this forum are because of owner's getting ripped off by ASS's - partly on account of the ignorance of the ASS , their lack of intelligence to properly isolate a problem (yes, even with diagnostics, there is deduction required to accurately isolate an issue) and partly intentionally done when they see the owner is a sitting duck and when that combines brilliantly with their lack of ethics.

So if you want to be a sitting duck and put up threads whining about how the ASS ripped you off, you can continue in the belief that ignorance is bliss.

Until the next ASS rip off reminds you that it's otherwise.
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Old 24th January 2017, 21:53   #27
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
I think we've forgotten that a lot of the threads on this forum are because of owner's getting ripped off by ASS's - partly on account of the ignorance of the ASS , their lack of intelligence to properly isolate a problem (yes, even with diagnostics, there is deduction required to accurately isolate an issue) and partly intentionally done when they see the owner is a sitting duck and when that combines brilliantly with their lack of ethics.

So if you want to be a sitting duck and put up threads whining about how the ASS ripped you off, you can continue in the belief that ignorance is bliss.

Until the next ASS rip off reminds you that it's otherwise.
You did read the rest of my post (and the one following it), didn't you, or did you just pick the first thing that popped at you and had a go at my 'blissful ignorance'?

The bit you quoted was sarcastic (and you forgot to quote the context too), and the rest of my post (and the one following it) says the exact same things you've repeated.

If your posts was also written in sarcasm, I probably need to up-skill on written sarcasm


Here's the relevant bits from my posts for context, BTW:

Quote:
All good until something actually goes wrong, and nobody has an iota of an idea where to start looking, forget how to fix.
Quote:
While electronics-assisted diagnostics help to a great extent, they don't eliminate the requirement of a trained mind to correctly interpret data. An error code may point to a specific component, but the apparent symptom still requires someone to deduce whether the root cause lies elsewhere. Our 'Technical Stuff' section has plenty of examples.

End of the day, electronic diagnostics is a fantastic tool, but it can be dangerous in the hands of someone totally reliant on it and feels no need to investigate deeper, which unfortunately is most A.S.S. technicians today.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 24th January 2017 at 21:57.
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Old 24th January 2017, 22:19   #28
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

The "you" in my post refers to the folks indicated below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
Most regular customers aren't interested in their cars (as long as it works), technicians aren't interested either (beyond meeting their allotted numbers for the day), and the less said about Service Advisors, the better.

Last edited by VeyronSuperSprt : 24th January 2017 at 22:24.
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Old 24th January 2017, 23:25   #29
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

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Originally Posted by norhog View Post
Could not resist but did you actually search for a guy to change a battery of your car, or replace a tyre?
Mr Reddy you seem exactly the kind of person the topic is about.
Nope..do that myself. but no one else in my immediate family or friends will remotely attempt this hence the observation..

Folks do the things that matter most them despite busy work days.. I spend about an hour daily on Team BHP and fantasizing about bikes and cars

Not everyone wants to or is interested in..
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Old 24th January 2017, 23:32   #30
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Default Re: Modern cars & their owner's knowledge / ignorance about maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
The "you" in my post refers to the folks indicated below:
Like I said, I need to upskill

Thanks for clarifying!
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