Are modern cars too technologically advanced for their own good?
One day I am going to write an article about how car design is wholly wrong in environmental terms. We are scrapping cars at 7 to 10 years old when the vast number of components would last at least 20. My Saab 900 is 20 years old, does 30 to 40 mpg, has 250,000 on it and tows beautifully. If I could get spare parts it would last another 20 years. Modern design, which makes cars virtually impossible to mend outside of main dealers, is designed to keep factories churning out new models that are ever more difficult to maintain. If you project the future as one of austerity for some decades (quite possible), then many people will need cars that are cheap, reliable and mendable by small garages or as a DIY proposition. For over 40 years no car of mine has ever been into a garage to be mended (I'm an engineer). We are going in the opposite direction: I couldn't mend any modern car. Manufacturers are installing all manner of electronic ESP, ABS etc, all of which is hardly necessary if you drive sensibly and at an environmentally responsible speed (ie 55 mph or slower). For the sake of replacing a component you could hold in your hand, an entire car is scrapped.
You are quite right about cars. It's entirely deliberate. Manufacturers and component suppliers lobby governments to legislate for increasingly complex equipment, the expensive failure of which shortens a car's life. Nowhere more so than within the EC. That's why giant companies like Siemens, Bosch and ATE are so rich.
Answered by Honest John on