Why I Hate Modern Cars

18 Aug

I’m a big fan of technology when it’s useful. What I don’t like is technology used to make things more complex when I don’t see a need for the complexity. Take modern cars.

1. Older cars (1990s) had far less computer code. New cars have millions of lines of computer code and the computer systems interact with all sorts of operations. An example would be computer controlled power windows.

Why do they do this? I think they want sensors to stop closing the window if a kid gets his head caught. I’d prefer a hand-cranked lever to open the window to computer control. If my window doesn’t work, I don’t want to reprogram a computer or take the car in for service. I don’t want to purchase expensive electronics to service this crap.

In the old hand-cranked window days, a kid had to be pretty dumb to close his head in a car window or have a mean brother. As a society we survived power windows. Technology can’t replace common sense. If we need a computer to protect us from opening a car window by ourselves, society is doomed.

Computer controlled acceleration is another thing I see no use for. Drive by wire, die in a fire.

2. New cars have “modules.” If you’ve driven a lot you’ve had a flasher or blinker go out on you. That’s the thing that blinks your turn signals. You can purchase them for a few bucks and easily replace them yourself…unless… you have a newer car which integrates the flasher into a control module.

Flasher = $2. Module = A lot more $.

Car makers do this so you need to go to them to get replacement parts. The problem is that the parts are far more expensive than aftermarket parts. If you drive your car for many years (15+), you’ll find there aren’t new dealer parts for it. Yes, you can purchase wheel cylinders and the like, but forget specialized control modules. Nobody makes them.

Car makers don’t care about serviceability of older cars. They want you to buy new. As a society we must tolerate this BS because people just aren’t do-it-yourselfers anymore. They don’t know how to fix things. They don’t realize they’re being jacked for added repair costs.

3. Extra comforts aren’t worth the added mechanical problems. Heated seats bug me. I live in a cold state. Waking up in a cold morning and sitting on a cold car seat wakes you up. It’s part of the natural order of things. If you’re not ready to be woken up by your cold car seat, you should have stayed in bed.

How long will cars made in 2014 continue to function and what will be the repair costs for those of us who drive cars into the ground? We just don’t know. Older cars could keep going until they rusted out or the engine was totally shot. You could purchase blinkers. You could fix a power window unit that failed.

If you’re a hard core do-it-yourself auto mechanic and you purchase a newer car, I recommend you visit junk yards and pick up a few of the key modules for your new car. Those parts won’t be available in the future at reasonable rates. If you sell your car you likely can sell the modules on ebay and get your money back.

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2 Responses to “Why I Hate Modern Cars”

  1. thoughtfullyprepping August 19, 2014 at 5:00 am #

    I hate progress. All this reliance on technology aka electronics.
    Last time I took my car into the garage, a young kid wearing a white coat raised the hood and plugged in a laptop to “diagnose” the fault. I asked him where the mechanic was. He said “Sir, I am the technician on duty”. I shut him dead and replied “Where’s the grown up version of you, the mechanic. When’s he coming on duty then?”
    For some reason he didn’t like me after that.

  2. teabag August 27, 2014 at 5:40 am #

    what are you, a luddite? if car manufacturers didn’t increase their profits, their ceo’s couldn’t continue raking in 350 times the average wage. and if they didn’t change their modules every year, they couldn’t keep paying all those chinese teenagers $2 an hour for the privilege of being their slaves! as one of my favorite tv characters once said: “the 60’s are over and we lost–so get with the program!”

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