: ATTN My fellow "Shade Tree" Mechanics



Stoneage_Caddy
05-16-05, 12:43 PM
Doing my usual reading of Doug Flints Collum at The car connection i found something appualing and yet explained some things i have witnessed lately when it comes to working on your own car. I talk with techicans all over when im out fetching a part or something along that line. I hear about and seen for my own eyes on our 05 Malibu how complex things have gotten when it comes to our cars. How like doug mentions below the body controll module needs to be programmed for parts replacemnt of something as trivial as a window switch. While the feature is nice in that the Body module will reconize that the left rear window motor has failed and issues a code thru the OBD2 diagnostic system. But I never understood the nessesity to have to imput the ID of the part thru a tech II scanner...the below explains things to me on why this is done .....


I normally do not talk politics in this column but a very important issue is working its way through Congress. The auto manufacturers are becoming very stingy in their release of critical information necessary to repair their ever more complex cars. An act of Congress (The Magnuson Moss Act) from thirty years ago made it impossible for the carmakers to require you to return to them for service unless they were providing the service free.

But since now much of a new car is software, the auto manufacturers have found a hole they can drive a tank through. Did you know that if a power window motor fails on a new GM, and you take it to your local shop to replace it, they might replace it and find it still doesn't work because their body control computer needs to be reprogrammed or "woken up?" Even a dead battery may require a trip to the dealer for the same reason.

The aftermarket has always done a good job of overcoming such difficulties but as of now, the only sure-fire way to be able to keep up would be to buy each manufacturer's brand-specific scan tool at a cost of thousands of dollars each plus yearly subscription updates, quite beyond the reach of the average small shop.

Enter the Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act, which will require prompt release of such information. Normally I oppose federal actions such as this, but the manufacturers have hem-hawed around long enough, one minute promising to make information available and the next minute forming a coalition with, of all people, environmental groups, whom they have convinced that the only way to ensure the integrity of the emissions system is to do all repairs in-house.

If you are at all interested in maintaining your right to choose your repair shop, look it up online and contact your congressperson and senator. Otherwise your non-dealer repair options will be confined to putting air in your tires, and even then you may need the $5000 tool to turn off the "low tire light."

http://www.thecarconnection.com/Enthusiasts/Mechanics_Tale/Mechanics_Tale_Information_Wars.S281.A8607.html

Basicly the Auto Manufacturers want to withhold information from the DIY mechanic or the Indpendent shop (sorry i dont like the term "Indie"). Withholding information means in 20 years youwill have to take your car to a GM dealer to have a faulty window swtich reaplced , being too expesive to have this done (why would you spend 600 bucks on a window that wont work) you will be forced to get rid of the car when something big breaks , forceing you to remo9ve the car from the roads and buy a new GM .....

Nice how id works doesnt it ? Well works forgm

AirJigga25
05-16-05, 02:05 PM
interesting post. I was just thinking the other day that cars are becoming so complex that a normal mechanic won't be able to touch them and you'll be forced to pay 85 an hour at your dealership. Thats why old cars are great.

My friends' 01 maxima with low miles has an issue with his shifter computer and they charged him 90 dollars just to take a look at it and said it was 700 to fix.

davesdeville
05-16-05, 05:29 PM
Eff that, I'll keep my computer free 75 Deville and OBD Uno ETC.

Ralph
05-16-05, 05:38 PM
Small, independantly owned shops like the one my Dad had would probably not be able to afford the computer diagnostic equiptment that is needed to assess these cars today. I see less and less small garages and a move towards dealership repairs entirely in the future because the cars are becomming much too complex like your article states. Every year labour rates go up so I don't know what's going to happen for someone that wants to keep a car out of warrenty.

iametarq
05-17-05, 03:31 PM
that is just plain scary.

Stoneage_Caddy
05-17-05, 03:41 PM
the only solace here is that american know how and industry will find a way ...one guy will get screwed one time for a 600 dollar window swtich job and he will go home and figure out the code and make money off of GM Ford and Chryslers stupidity .....

but still at the end of the day they didnt need to make things difficult on guys like me who cant afford to drop the car off at GM everytime it needs anything .....

powerglide
05-17-05, 04:54 PM
reminds me of something I heard a while back from my system administrator about Microsoft having written a subroutine in their new operating systems that checks your computer's chip and run slower than maximum potential in order for your to upgrade your machine........I never quite bought it (the connection between buying a new machine and Microsofts profits is not direct...) but he seemed to be sure this was going on.

Kev
05-18-05, 06:40 PM
How about a more insidious and conspiratorial thought? What if all of this component ID is designed to allow outside control! The on board computer communicates with all of the car’s components and also with OnStar. Now, some evil, hand wringing, cackling pimply faced cretin can gain access to your car’s computer and because all of the electronic components are identified, he can cause individual or multiple failures.

The possibilities for this level of control are staggering. Your car can be disabled at will. You can be tracked where ever you go, how fast, slow, etc. Components can be disabled requiring you to take your car for “service” or “repair”.

Fred - “Hey Joe, how much have we made for service on Mr. Smith this month?”
Joe - “Well Fred, Mr. Smith hasn’t been in here at all this month, in fact, he took the car to “________” for service.”
Fred – “That is unacceptable! Execute code 485 on his V, that’ll get him back here and teach him to go elsewhere! I want weekly reports on his activities from now on, we need to keep our repair revenues up.”
Joe – “You got it Boss!”

MUHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!! :sneaky: :devil: :lildevil:

Ralph
05-18-05, 06:43 PM
How about a more insidious and conspiratorial thought? What if all of this component ID is designed to allow outside control! The on board computer communicates with all of the car’s components and also with OnStar. Now, some evil, hand wringing, cackling pimply faced can gain access to your car’s computer and because all of the electronic components are identified, he can cause individual or multiple failures.

The possibilities for this level of control are staggering. Your car can be disabled at will. You can be tracked where ever you go, how fast, slow, etc. Components can be disabled requiring you to take your car for “service” or “repair”.

Fred - “Hey Joe, how much have we made for service on Mr. Smith this month?”
Joe - “Well Fred, Mr. Smith hasn’t been in here at all this month, in fact, he took the car to “________” for service.”
Fred – “That is unacceptable! Execute code 485 on his V, that’ll get him back here and teach him to go elsewhere! I want weekly reports on his activities from now on, we need to keep our repair revenues up.”
Joe – “You got it Boss!”

MUHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!! :sneaky: :devil: :lildevil:

Sounds like T3! There's some truth to it because remember a couple months back someone posted a newslink that showed Onstar cars can get a virus from a hacker now! So they will probably have to develop firewalls, etc. for the car's protection!!

Kev
05-18-05, 07:19 PM
Hey, what kind of firewall do you suppose would work against a disgruntled OnStar employee? :hmm: :sneaky: :banghead: :bighead:

carguy16
05-18-05, 07:37 PM
Dealerships are con-artists, they wanted to charge me $299.00 dollars to perform a rear end brake job on my 1994 Fleetwood, this included turning the drums, and replacing the shoes, the shoes are what, $30.00 bucks, maybe more if they are GM, and then turning the drums? how much does that cost? A sign advertises a $79.00 brake job.

Kev
05-18-05, 07:55 PM
Conspiratorial paranoia continued……

Mary works for OnStar. She’s having a bad day today. Her dog was killed by a car, her son is in detention, her husband left her for a younger woman and she just found out that she has been passed up for promotion again.

She’s feeling just a little angry and bitter. She’d like to get back at the guy who ran over her dog. She’d like to give the teacher, dean and principal a piece of her mind for the petty reason that her son is in detention. We won’t mention what she’d like to do to her husband. The cute little blonde that got the promotion she was hoping for treats her like a disease and seems to be awfully chummy with their supervisor. Did I mention that her last paycheck bounced along with all the personal checks she wrote after the deposit?

She feels like she has no control over her life. The whole world seems to be against her, but wait! What’s this? There is something she can control! She looks around and then slyly begins typing away at her OnStar terminal………

carguy16
05-18-05, 09:39 PM
Not to mention, an indy shop is quoting me $330.00 to replace both front calipers, turn the rotors, replace the pads, repack the bearings, and replace the front lines, perhaps I should get a quote from the Chevy dealer for the hell of it?




Dealerships are con-artists, they wanted to charge me $299.00 dollars to perform a rear end brake job on my 1994 Fleetwood, this included turning the drums, and replacing the shoes, the shoes are what, $30.00 bucks, maybe more if they are GM, and then turning the drums? how much does that cost? A sign advertises a $79.00 brake job.