2371 Right To Repair.

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These kinds of issues have been more in the public eye when it applies to things like Iphones, but the concept has taken hold across all businesses that produce products meant to last for extended periods of time. Recently Apple lost a case over the right to repair their products & instantly set to selling parts for their products to mitigate the financial damage. Basically they started doing the thing they should have been doing in the first place if hey were an actually ethical company. Unfortunately once a business reaches a certain size it stops caring about the end user as much and begins to exist to continue its own existence. Unless the people with the reigns are controlling them tightly.

If you ever want to hear about how right to repair issues effect people outside of cell phones talk to a farmer. They’ll have some dire tales to tell.


ah yes

The vengeful specter of John Deere terrorizes many an honest farmer

*From a documentary show, on MTV*
…The superhero, Plasticman, points at a green monster and says:

“It’s THE WEED! My nemesis!”

A random guy says: ” THE WEED is EVERYBODY’s nemesis!!!”

(Just some random humor, for your day). :D

Their business practices are diabolical at best.

They’re not the only ones. I bought a rather nice, older, Audi (2005) a few years back, for really cheap. About 8 months ago the ECM (Electronic Control Module) started to go bad. I tend to do all my own repairs, if I can. A close uncle of mine is a Master Mechanic, and he helped teach a lot of his nieces and nephews the basics of auto repair. Well, I looked into fixing this, and found that I could get a refurbished ECM for around $400, and replace it in about 30 minutes. However, I found out that the part is tied to the VIN on your vehicle, and a replacement won’t work, unless the VIN is flashed to the ECM. Almost no one, outside Audi/VW can do this, and many that say they can are not reputable. Meaning you have to ship the part to them, with your vehicle info, pay the $175-$300 and they do not guarantee it will work. No refunds.

If you want the VIN flashed, you have to go to Audi, and they told me that they will not do it for parts bought from a third party, as they cannot guarantee the quality. They tell me that for the part, flashing the VIN, and installation will run AT LEAST $1,400. They will not flash the ECM and give it to you to install. That would have been near Blue Book value in very good condition.

The ridiculous thing is that, because the company charges such a ridiculous amount for auto parts ($45 for an oil dipstick) that I could, easily, make $6,000-$8,000 parting it out. Especially the V6 engine.

“We know if you so much as open the hood, and if someone other than a licensed repair shop tries any kind of repair or even basic maintenance, we’ll remotely brick your whole ass tractor”

My dad could get away with using smaller, off-brand tractors for our little hobby farm, but anyone trying to make a living at it is subject to that kind of insanity.

Years ago I talked with a couple farmers who said “Why, I know everything in my Apple EULA*. If you get tripped up, it’s your own fault. Educate yourself and read it. Consumers don’t need the gummint interfering in the free market!”

I wonder how quickly that changed when they ran into the John Deere model of “Farm machinery as a service“.

(*Those two were outliers.)

Anyone who actually believes that they can read and understand everything in their EULA is one of two things.

1. A lawyer.

2. Delusional.

These are documents written for lawyers by lawyers. People with years, maybe decades, of training. Regular people stand ZERO chance.

For the couple of folks I knew, it’s #2. The thing which wrankles me is that they were being delusion in my stead, saying that as an argument against mere legislation regarding how contracts, EULAs, or things like that should be written so I can understand them.

It’s “You, as an individual, get to go into the arena against every lawyer that GE has” strain of Libertarianism. (Not GE alone, but MicroSoft, Bank of America, etc.)

You don’t need to be a lawyer. You just need to find the clause where they say they can change the terms at any time and it’s your job to notice it.
Thats enough to tell you to say no.

Government has always been needed to set *boundaries* for the private sector. It’s when government goes further and tries to micromanage that the trouble starts. Because one thing as true as death and taxes is this:

Give a politician or bureaucrat any amount of power and the first this they will want is more.

OTOH, Right to Repair is one of those boundaries to be set. Because it has to do with whether or not you actually *own* what you buy. As opposed to simply paying for the right to use it for a while.

I have to agree. I am fairly libertarian on most things but I am not an anarchist, precisely because you can’t HAVE contracts that mean anything without legal definitions of the TERMS you use to make contracts. Without that, you’d end up with “What is ‘is’?” type nonsense endlessly. For example, you can’t become a slave, even voluntarily, because you can’t ever truly surrender ownership of your body; no matter what you do, you can’t make it so that someone else feels your hunger or pain instead of you, so it’s still YOURS, no matter what a piece of paper says. A “slave contract” is an oxymoron. Same on this issue, I think.

I also think it ties into IP laws, which have gone insane; if anything, the internet has made companies try the most bonkers arguments to protect “their” info. I’m not against SOME such laws, but patent applications have increased like 10-fold and patent trolling has become it’s own market. Textbook makers trying to make you buy “access” to a textbook and forbid you to use last year’s version? BS. Trying to forbid students and teachers from showing parents the books? BS. We allowed EULAs in software and websites to be limitless, and it’s led them to apply such logic to everything under the sun. BS.

I was once offered a job consulting on the desigand impldmentation of a copy-protected distribution scheme for elementary-school e-textbooks.
I refused.
One of my regrets is that I no longer have access to some of my grade-school textbooks.

one example of the BS car companies are doing is on my old 07 Dodge Caliber you can’t change your own headlights (Owner’s Manuel said “See Dealer”). Not only do you have to take half the car apart to get to them the new lights will not work unless you reset the computer. Since there is no warning light on the dash to tell you the light is out, there is no reason for this.

Is this some special model of Caliber? I ask because most of the “how to replace your caliber headlight” videos on youtube are like 2 minutes and it’s a normal ass car about it.

It probably varies from year to year. My 2000 Chevy Pickup has what may be the best headlight system ever. You pull two retaining pins and the whole assembly comes out. Somebody must really have needed to justify their existence when they came up with the idea to do away with that one.

hm, I feel like there’s a story behind that distrust of the automobile industry…
dad died driving a ferrari with a faulty airbag and brake system right after it got serviced?

Talk to someone who turns wrenches about this. My first care that was mine was an old ’89 chevy cheyenne. It had been stopped behind a school bus when it got rear-ended by a dump truck. I straightened the frame and spent an entire school year learning how to replace every system in that thing other than the power train and the interior electronics – did replace the radio though. As I recall, the only computer work in the entire thing was a fifty cent soleniode that regulated the O2 sensor. The company that made it packed it in with half a cent worth of epoxy and charged five bucks for the part. I ended up paying about two grand total for all the parts and material costs, working in a fully equipped shop.

My current car I do my brakes and rotors, but if something more complicated that that goes I have to take it in to a shop. Keeping in mind, brakes and rotors for all four wheels costs me about four hundred bucks and an afternoon laying on my driveway using hand tools. It’s going to cost me five times that take it in to a shop. Anything more complicated that that has to go to a professional, and the second they plug in the computer it’s a few hundred dollar fee right off the bat.

With auto parts, what you are paying for isn’t the part, but rather the infrastructure that lets you walk into your local parts store and walk out with the part you need. Or at least for the most parts – even for no so popular models. And if the store doesn’t have it, they usually can get it for you in a day or two. At least that was pre-Covid. One of the many secondary lessons we have learned from Covid is the hidden value of a well working supply chain.

Decades ago, I was told you could build a car from scratch, with all the parts from a parts store of a dealer. Only thing is, it would cost you 10x more, plus the labor.

Personally, I buy new and drive until uneconomical – about 10 years and 200K miles. I commute long distances.

Once had an insurance salesman trying get me to sign up him. He asked me, “How much is your car worth?” I just looked at him and responded “Gas tank full or empty?”

From what I gather even many mechanics don’t like the way that newer cars are becoming more difficult to service.

Related to Jackie’s comment about companies existing only to continue their own existence, I have heard the same maxim regarding committees. No matter how onerous their task, a committee will vote to continue its existence rather than disband once its task is complete. I know this to be true from personal experience.

Mechanics hate it…unless they work directly for the car company (like an actual Ford dealership). Any other garage has to pay hefty fees just to have access to repair information and to be able to work on the car’s computer.

I have heard the same. Packaging in autos is much more difficult than the 40-50 y.o. cars I drove 20-30 years ago. Even in the huge SUVs and 4500-lb “half ton” trucks the service space isn’t there.

I have a Samsung Galaxy S4, which according to Google is from April of 2013. I’ve still used this phone to this day, despite many suggestions from my parents/siblings/friends that they’d offer to get my poor bum a new phone. I’ve always been hesitant to do so. Not strictly for the same reasons as in the page above (it’s just a chore updating a new phone to the settings, preferences, and apps I had before), but they are a loosely included factor. It still does the job, theoretically, so why upgrade? That said, it is getting slower, and it struggles a lot from time to time. It definitely can’t do the stuff I’d want it to from apps and the like anymore (RIP my Final Fantasy Record Keeper, but thank the gods for Bluestacks). I haven’t had phone service on it for maybe 4-5 years now, so I can’t make or take calls, but I get around this with an internet connection and Facebook Messenger (the only reason I have a facebook). As it stands, it is really only good for the Book of Faces Messenger, as an alarm clock and flashlight, and calendar/calculator. But it is still handy.

However, I feel there is a difference between the planned mechanical obsolescence of a car (a hardware, I suppose), and the software obsolescence of a phone. Physically, my phone works fine, though starved for battery life. But its “mind” is failing it, as phone-computers are required to do more thinking and new kinds of thinking that my poor ol’ mare just can’t handle anymore. A car, on the other hand, is a lot harder to make obsolete, and in fact there’s a whole market for people who like to work on and upgrade old cars. The same, to my knowledge, doesn’t exist for phones. But if something on a car stops working, it is easier to obtain the physical object that is needed to replace it than it is the mental object my phone would need to remain up-to-date.

Not sure the point of this ramble, but it is interesting to me to think about. The ease of making something “obsolete” is so much easier to do if it requires upgrading the object’s internals, rather than externals.

Hey yo! My phone is the same :D The battery is crap, and it has a bunch of other minor issues, but I’m also refusing to update. Mostly because fuck capitalism.

My phone is relatively new, but that’s just because I used my old flip phone up until 2019 when it stopped being supported by my service provider. I plan to use my new phone for as long as I can too.

That’s pretty much me. I had one of the old Nokias with a camelback battery. I only had to charge it once a week. I just replaced the battery in my S5 and expect to wring a few more years out of it.

I’m currently using an old Motorola phone.
It still works as a phone, but it’s getting slow for everything else.
Google maps hardly works any more.
What really annoys me is that it’s full of undeletable apps I never use, leaving me no room for the ones I do want. I had to delete apps I was using in order to install the local Civid-warnimg app.
I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a Purism, Linux-only, android- and ios-free, Librem-5 phone, but I’m not clear on how I’d be able to interoperate with various networking services, especially the one the rest of my family uses for communication — facebook messenger lite. Not to mention things like the covid vacination passport app.

Am I the only one worried with Alex behind the wheel? That haircut cannot possibly be good for her vision :X

I hadn’t thought of that at all. I just figured she can see fine, and it’s become a storytelling reality. Not sure it’s the right term–anyone can chime in, please.

It’s like how we’ve all come to accept that Superman simply isn’t recognized as when he puts on his glasses. That is incredibly unrealistic, but part of the Superman lore, and charm, since my nonagenarian Dad was reading Action Comics.

As someone who has long hair I can say that while it falling into your eyes gives off the illusion you can’t see it’s just an illusion. The strands of hair are not usually fine enough to create a completely opaque view from the inside looking out. They are however good enough to keep you from seeing the eye when looking from the outside in. Plus even with one eye covered it only effects “fine tuning” of depth perception not an actual complete destruction of it. At worst it’s like covering your eyes and then leaving a little crack between your fingers to peek.

Heh, heh!

Also remember the 1980s cartoon, He-man.
He-man’s secret,other identity, is “Prince Adam”, who has…(oh Geez!)…THE EXACT SAME FACE as Heman, but no-one ever figures out that they’re the same guy!

[Oh well. I guess that He-man’s target audience was kids as young as 4, + 4 year olds don’t understand how disguises work, yet.] ;)

Honestly, the Clark Kent effect is a LOT more plausible than people give it credit for. First of all, it isn’t *just* a pair of glasses, it’s a complete change in hairstyle, posture, mannerisms, etc. There is a reason why he’s frequently referenced as a “mild-mannered” reporter. Additionally, while Clark is tall, he should have a bit of a slouch, meanwhile Supes usually floats at least a bit to add to his authority, meaning it would be difficult for people to recognize that they are the same height, especially if the boots of the Superman costume have a significantly different thickness under the heel than the shoes Clark usually wears.

People grossly underestimate how much context and set dressing impact how we recognize and identify people. Posture, the types of clothes we expect them to wear, gait, the way the amount they move when they speak, speech patterns, etc. Combine all that with the fact that in the DC universe *most* people operate under the assumption that if you could be Superman all the time, then you would, meaning unlike with masked heroes few people even think to look for a secret identity for Superman, because they wouldn’t expect him to have one. Additionally, consider how many people have at least a passing resemblance to someone totally unrelated, even celebrities and considering how very different Clark Kent and Superman are in nearly every way it becomes very, very easy to write the similarities off as the two coincidentally looking kinda similar, and it wouldn’t even be that unlikely for the brain to *invent* differences to notice due to not being particularly familiar with Superman’s face and the brain not *wanting* to entertain the thought that the meek, quiet, bumbling journalist who might have a stutter depending on the writers is the world’s greatest Superhero.

On top of this, there aren’t very many clear photos of Superman’s face (in most continuities, anyway) and he often doesn’t stick around for long chats after saving someone, meaning there aren’t very many people who *would* be particularly familiar with his face. Really the only ones who even stand a chance are Lois Lane and (depending on the continuity) Jimmy Olsen, since they are the only ones who have regular, personal contact with both Superman AND Clark Kent.

You want some real world examples? Go look up celebrities entering look alike contests FOR THEMSELVES and losing, off the top of my head Charlie Chaplin and Dolly Parton both did it, and they are far from the only ones. Henry Caville, while filming the role of Superman, used to stand under a poster with HIS FACE ON IT and go out for coffee/lunch during breaks and he would get recognized, except when he went out with the glasses, where nobody recognized him even while standing under a poster of his own face (granted, IIRC he was wearing the superman costume when he wasn’t wearing the glasses, meaning people were far more likely to notice him in the first place, but still, a cafe where the wait staff sees the poster ever single day, usually several times a day, and not one of them recognized him while looking him full in the face just because he was wearing glasses).

TLDR, as ridiculous as it sounds, there are a LOT of reasons and and evidence why the Clark Kent effect is a real thing and actually effective at disguising someone, or at least keeps them from being recognized by people who aren’t looking for them, and as such people need to stop using it as an example to point to for suspension of disbelief or bad writing or whatever. Granted, it probably doesn’t help that a lot of Superman writers these days forget to write Clark Kent as a different character, and the cartoons and movies haven’t exactly helped with that since the actors tend to forget to play them as different characters, but still.

You bet.

IIRC, there was a story like this- after he was President, [Jimmy Carter] went on the What’s My Line/ guess-who-I-am-type…game show, maybe in the 1980s.

He didn’t change his hairstyle, or his behavior, + the 3 judges, COULDN’T guess who he was!

They guessed he was a famous teacher, or a skateboarder, + things like that.
I guess they just didn’t believe, that ex-Pres. Carter would go on a silly TV show, like that. Hm.

I think it’s mostly a running joke. Except for Lois Lane; that’s the one time where it does seem silly when she fails to put it together, like in the Christopher Reeve movies where Clark Kent does impossible things for a human and she, with everyone, just shrug it off (although Reeve did a good job playing both characters differently). That said, Lois HAS figured out they are the same person like 143 times, or at least become convinced of it even if she fails to prove it–people seem to forget that Superman has gone so far as to make a robot Clark Kent so they could both be in the same room with Lois at the same time.

If it’s that one scene in her apartment where Reeve doffs his glasses and is about to tell here, then stops and “becomes Clark” again: The man had Broadway talent, and it was on full display there.

For the Superman thing. I once got robbed at gunpoint as a cashier in a well-lit store, wasn’t panicked and couldn’t positively ID the guy 2 hours later when he got caught. Cops said it was pretty normal that I couldn’t. Everything Psychie said, plus a lot of people are just crap at recognizing people out of context.

As someone who works in e-waste recycling I see the fallout of difficulty of repair first hand.

There’s so many issues, so many propitiatory connectors, so many non-interchangeable parts. I recently came across two laptops that were the same generation and family, one model apart… and I couldn’t even move key caps between them. Infuriating. Had a to replace a battery in the HP laptop, had a box of over 50 HP laptop batteries, at least 20 of those batteries were exactly the same size… BUT ALL of them had their connector to the laptop in a sliiightly different location. Maddening!

I once again praise the EU, thanks to their regulations at least I don’t have to look far to find the right phone charger. Excluding apple of course. F Apple.

The key is a car old enough for the layperson to work on, parts plentiful enough that you won’t have to donate limbs to find, and relaible enough to not have to do it very often.

If an item has a limited use or it is unrepairable then you do not own it. The way you know you own something is when it is under your total control. IF YOU CAN’T REPAIR IT YOU DO NOT OWN IT!!! Cheers ~ulrich

I just want to say first that people falling in love with their iPhone has caused Aplle to go all in on their customer’s wallets.

Louis Rossman is fighting the good fight, however, the end user has the right to repair anything that they have purchased. Apple, John Deere and any one else who stipulates “authorized” repair is on the wrong side of the law.

It never ceases to delight me as I see the look on people’s faces when I tell them, “You don’t own your toaster.”
After the invariable “WTF?” response, I get to tell them about the product-as-service business model, planned obsolescence, end user contracts, and the right to repair movement, and watch the carefully constructed and rhetorically-reinforced commerce worldview crumble to pieces.
A grim satisfaction, to be sure, but a reliable one.

Very few people believe me when I tell them that Microsoft hasn’t sold software for many years. Having never read any part of their EULA, I have to explain that MS has only sold licenses to use *their* software. If you do something they don’t like, they will remove that license without notice or compensation.

When a company gets so corrupt that even Bill Gates has to quit, you know they’re up to no good.

I was actually talking to a CTO of a company that works with my company when we both were at a convention, and he drank enough to kind of spell out the whole obsolescence deal from his personal perspective.

Car companies want a simple supply and demand model. The middle class downward car owners, and the upper class car owners. They don’t want anything besides those two models. Since it takes a lot of time and effort to build a car – especially a luxury car – they don’t want you buying one. And one deterrent to you buying something like a luxury car is the maintenance costs. The rich can pay those costs for years – you can’t. So they keep making those cars more and more expensive to repair on top of expensive to buy.

They also don’t want you to OWN your own car. They want to basically RENT you their car for 6 years through their own banks, and then it starts becoming too expensive to repair. See, automobiles are for rich people to own, not middle class to poor people. The more it costs you to drive it, the less you drive it (or that’s the idea, anyway). So you’re not in the way when rich people are out for a drive. And you’re not showing off your car next to a rich person’s car when you both pull up somewhere.

Same with cool technology. If you are using the top tier phone with the top tier service, you either have the money or the influence to do so. Otherwise, those things are no longer “limited” or “special” so it loses value to a rich person. That’s why really good phones/computers/electronics are so expensive to buy and maintain – because they don’t want regular people owning those things. Only the rich can afford it. Most people rent their phones/electronics through a bank until they are paid off, and by then, they become obsolete.

And even they really don’t “afford” to fix their new cars. Usually, they get their cars repaired for cheap solely on the fact that they have influence that comes from having so much money.

Which makes a lot of sense, when you think about luxury anything. It’s not a special or elite good if everyone completely owns one. Only if the few truly own those things are they considered really special. Meanwhile, the rest of us live “renting” everything through credit or by saving up what would be an obscene amount of money for our income to own those things completely. A car has become a luxury good. A house has become a luxury good. The newest, most powerful electronics have become luxury goods.

And I’m not saying it’s right or good. Just that it makes sense – if everyone who doesn’t have money can’t afford a car, then there’s no competing for gas or cars when the rich wants one. Same for specific luxury goods. And just to keep it interesting or to keep everyone else from thinking about it, do allow some of the goods to be sold at an outrageous price so the rich keep making money through a hand-me-down economy. You can’t compete now with your rich neighbor because instead of saving enough to invest and become a competitor, you need to spend your hard earned cash just to buy transportation. Or a computer. Or a gaming system.

Hmm, that really ignores alot of other factors though, like constant and rising inflation, that is behind the escalating costs of things like real estate, constantly punishing savers and wiping out the middle class, while buoying the wealthy. Because in a healthy economy, the middle class has more money than the rich overall; Ford makes more money than luxury car companies. You want to cater to them. But when small businesses are being wiped out by byzantine laws that only corporations can keep straight or bypass, when the little guy is taxed out of the market while the rich dodge them, when the worth of land and stocks skyrocket and give the wealthy infinite credit but the savings accounts of the regular Joe is losing 5% of it’s purchasing power per year (at least), it does increasingly become a rich person’s playground. And the thing that causes alot of this, dirt cheap credit guaranteed by the government, is what regular people turn to as well; buy it all on credit, it’s an old Roman saying that debt makes a free man a slave.

I think from his viewpoint, that’s how a lot of rich people feel. They are entitled to run everything. Thus keeping the economy and market uneven keeps them on top. I mean, cars are probably not the best example, but it does prove that some companies know that there’s disposable income they can vacuum from the less rich while continuing to give the rich their due. I mean, if all cars were just for those who could afford it, then we’d have a little insurrection on our hands trying to justify and prevent people with low incomes from owning one. However, with CREDIT (which is basically loaning money to own the thing, so technically, the banks or credit unions who are controlled by the wealthy own whatever you bought until you pay it off) you can buy anything temporarily until it breaks beyond fixing or what you can afford to fix.

I’m not saying you CAN’T own anything a rich person does, but the fact that markets favor the rich by often lowering the costs or giving out freebees to the rich while watching everyone else wallow around trying to eat and have a roof over their heads does seem to be proof that planned obsolescence pushes profit and benefits the upper crust.

Inflation is simple, though. It impacts everyone equally. If money has less value, and all you have is that money, no matter how much of that money you have you still see costs go up. The rich often avoid it, though, since they aren’t actually holding “cash” for anything. They hold investments – often in resources, production, transportation and selling – that they can convert into whatever money they need. Most of them don’t need to convert it, as they live off the interest or dividends owed them from lending it or letting it sit.

The thing is – as the population that isn’t rich gets bigger and more expansive, the rich have to divert their attention more and more to keep them off their backs and out of their playgrounds. That’s what politics and entertainment are for. Yet, we’re starting to see through that ploy, and now the rich are playing a shorter and shorter game every year, making it harder to maintain their positions.

I’ve been driving the same Toyota Camry for 15 years now. The Toyota mechanic who services the car says it’ll probably last another ten years and then I’m likely to have to replace the engine. But I’m wondering whether I’ll still be able to get gasoline in ten years.

I think the CEO was looking at American luxury goods and economy. Japan has a whole different mindset on durability and sustainability, primarily because of their culture, the size of their nation and the very intimate understanding of how fragile things are.

Toyota cars are the best to buy and own. As you said, they last 20 to 25 years. My second car was a Toyota Corolla. I bought in 1996, and didn’t replace it until 2013. It was that good that the reason I bought a new car (another Toyota) was because they literally couldn’t replace the entire drive train without it costing the same as just buying a new car. If you take good care of it, it will last you forever. My wife and I own two Toyota vehicles now (an Scion and a Camry).

Point of order, as I’ve previously done the math on that:

Continuing to repair a car rather than buying a new one does not “end up costing you just as much over time”, at least not as a rule. Some brands it is possible, but especially in the case of the last generation of cars before the onset of the mentioned proprietary parts it can be significantly less to repair than to replace.

There was an article a couple years ago about a general repair man in a rural area who had used the same truck for forty-five years. Assuming a few things about his usage, a group of redditors discussing it (myself included) figured that even accounting for the stated two new transmissions and a new engine over the vehicle’s life, against the increasing cost of purchasing a new truck every five years (we chose the mid-range model for each year) repair (including professional labor rates) was about half.

Purchasing the new truck every five years was double the price of keeping his 45 year old truck on the road.

The comment here about proprietary maintenance is only the tip of the iceberg. In the eyes of corporate executives the entire concept of ‘ownership’ changed something like 20 or 30 years ago. They don’t see the end-user as owning devices or equipment they have purchased. Everything, to the company that produces it, is ‘leased’ to the ‘owner’ and the company retains significant ownership. Computers and small electronics were the first markets that this took hold in, but now it has spread to all corners of consumer products.

The right to repair is an essential right of freedom and of human independence, and late is better than never to establish some legal protections of it.

Besides, in the circles I run in you rarely have more than price of a repair. Purchasing something new (even “new to you”) is out of the question. So you’re generally stuck with just trying to keep your current POS from either exploding or falling apart on the highway.

I think Reggie is using the argument incorrectly; it’s more for when you blow a head gasket or the transmission goes out on an old car, and you have to ask if it’s worth paying 50% of the Blue Book value of the car to fix that particular issue?

“against the increasing cost of purchasing a new truck every five years”
Odd thing to compare against. I’ve had my current car for a little over five years now; I have no desire to replace it AND have never had to repair anything. The idea behind continuing to repair a car costing just as much over time revolves around the fact that as the car gets older, it requires more major repairs more often, so EVENTUALLY it becomes cheaper to replace it. That’s the strategy you should be comparing against here, not replacing the entire car at the first sign of needing repair.

Europe has cars with headlights that combine gps and sensors to brighten then in specific places, or make sure they don’t shine too much in other lanes, based on where you are. So of course, our government is considering mandating the technology. Taking something that is essential and making it orders of magnitude more complicated, and thus, failure prone. What could go wrong? And as to cost of ownership, if you buy something used that’s common, and for which replacement parts are plentiful, you could probably replace the entire powertrain every few years cheaper than a new one. Just make sure the bodywork is good, or acceptable. Bodywork skews the whole equation.

I’m a older Mitsubishi car enthusiast. Mostly ones from the late 80’s to mid 90’s.

Aside from rebuilding a transmission, I can do pretty much any major or mechanical work on these cars.

Picked up a older 04 BMW Convertible as a possible flip car. Worst mistake I ever made.

All parts were engineered with a planned “obsolescence” built into it. Parts were integrated and performed multiple functions, and couldn’t be repaired, only replaced. And the computer systems…changing components, or clearing error codes required a proprietary cable and software that was expensive for a legitimate version and near unusable with a hacked version.

My GF’s Volvo and my DD VW TDI are similar, but slightly less…”militant” than the BMW.

Alex hit it right on the head. Automotive manufacturers have basically made it almost impossible for a owner to perform basic maintenance or repairs on their vehicles.

I’ll stick with my creaky old Mitsubishis.

It’s been a while since I commented but it’s been a while since I’ve had something that I’m so passionate about come up. Until the auto manufacturers decided to fill vehicles with, not what we think of as tech, but tech like ecm’s tcm’s and theft deterrent devices, like the famous on star; The idea that a car cost more to repair than replace was an old myth perpetrated by people who could just throw money at problems. Even back then cost was still based on your own skill. If you could fix it yourself…you saved a ton of money on only what you could do. The more you knew how to do the more you could save and the more people came to you to get it done cheap. Thus was born the shade tree mechanic. Thus he was always looked down on, thought of as hick, trailer trash or redneck, yet still secretly patronized like a weed dealer. This is where the term reputable was a weapon against the guy just helping people out. You got cheap-asses that want to game the system claiming none of your fixes were good enough, scammers who just wanted your money fix one thing while breaking something else so you’d be back and the price of cars was still close enough to the price their scrap fetched to make the myth sound plausible. But even today I bought 2 trucks for $1600 that’s $800 apiece all I did to either of them was run new brake lines fix a shift cable and one of the radios just went out. All of which was less than $200. Now how much is my time worth??? I make $30 an hour at my job that requires none of my schooling beyond high school and the classes they sent me to, without including any of the other things I’m capable of; I know shops around here charge in the range of $60-$100 an hour and I trust work I have done with my own hands over anything anyone else has done. If I only get 100k miles out of both these trucks I have saved enough money on these 2 trucks alone to pay for a house. And I am already approaching 50k on one of them and this is all JUST THIS YEAR. I have been doing this since the ’90’s with my dad and I can fix most older cars. But the car companies keep making the computer parts of the cars more critical to the operation to push guys like us out of the market and they have the money to get the government to help them do it with foolish regulations and punitive fees and licensing. Here in ILLINOIS it cost you $300 just to plate and register a vehicle, you can’t put the cab of one truck on the frame of another truck without a automobile remanufacturer’s license. If I had ever heard of such a thing as a right to repair movement there was a time I probably could have ran for office locally on just that issue + open burning and won. No matter what it is if you have to pay someone else to do it for you; you are going to pay through the nose for the privilege of not having the right to fix your own stuff. I could just scream on this issue and I might do a little on discord later but I have run the math it always goes back in the favor of the guy who knows how to fix his own stuff. And I’ve had math all the way up to college differential calculs so I also know how you can make numbers say anything you want them to so I understand how these myths get regurgitated and perpetuated.

Yeah, I think the “myth” is true, but only for a specific situation; very large repairs (rebuild a transmission) on an old car that’s barely running. Then it makes more sense to buy another used car. This is something my mechanic father taught me. But not a NEW car, absolutely not, and it doesn’t apply to more simple repairs, just those major ones that require special equipment and real skill to do. People have spun that in their heads. It also requires you to actually DO those things, just like doing your own plumbing or electrical work. People who enjoy that and save a boatload doing it, I respect, but not everyone is going to have the mind for it, or the time to learn how to do it if they are already married with 2 kids and a full time job. I don’t mind paying an expert, as they come pay me as an expert for what I do.

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