Last post on Nov 28, 2013 at 11:53 PM
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Auto Repair, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan
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#2176 of 4840 Re: A couple links [Mr_Shiftright]
Mar 31, 2013 (6:41 am)
unfortunately, the consumer is not in the room when final decisions are made
Neither are techs, but when the blame game starts all four of those groups attack them first.
#2177 of 4840 Re: A couple links [thecardoc3]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Mar 31, 2013 (7:17 am)
That's an education problem, and again, the stylists and designers and engineers aren't in your shop to explain to the consumer why it has to be that way.
It's the old "can't they design the engine so that there's more room to work in there?"
Sure they can, if you want 2" less legroom!
#2178 of 4840 Re: A couple links [Mr_Shiftright]
Mar 31, 2013 (11:24 am)
One has to remember the logic being used in assembling a vehicle.
Ease of assembly will always trump the ease of repair, if for no other reason than in assembly, every part has to be "touched" in every vehicle assembly...100% of the time. It would be a rare circumstance indeed in which a single part would have to be "touched" in every vehicle for service at some later date down the road. So, cut a guaranteed cost now as much as possible, or engineer for cutting a possible cost that may never materialize in the future.
Regarding the published "time to repair guesstimates", I'm reminded of a recent 30 page-long article about the costs of medical care that TIME magazine published.
In it, the researcher continuously spoke of the "Charge Master", which is the "official price list" of all items and services provided within a hospital, as well as the initial point of negotiation in contracts with insurance companies, those paying individually, etc.
The "Charge Masters" have been around, and in use for so long, no one seems to know exactly when, how or who created them, yet they remain the basis for all costs determinations that are hospital-related. They are so imbedded within the system that no one is willing to re-examine their actual validity in today's terms.
Just guessing, but that seems to share a lot of characteristics with the "time to repair" estimates used in auto repairs...I
#2179 of 4840 Re: A couple links [busiris]
Mar 31, 2013 (11:50 am)
So, cut a guaranteed cost now as much as possible, or engineer for cutting a possible cost that may never materialize in the future.
And, if it's any consolation, those savings do get passed on to the consumer. As much as we might gripe about the high cost of living, cars are actually pretty cheap, when you take into account all the safety features and equipment that's standard these days.
Back in 1985, my Granddad paid around $13,500 out the door for his 1985 Silverado, which I still have. Last fall, I bought a 2012 Ram for $20,751 out the door. Adjusting for inflation, that Silverado would be around $29,000 today! Adjusting backwards, the other way, my Ram came out to around $9600 in 1985 money.
Now, for a 1985 truck, the Silverado is pretty well equipped. Power windows, locks, cruise, nice (for the time) stereo, tilt wheel, upgraded interior with cloth and carpet on the door panels, 15x8 Rally wheels, 2-tone paint, etc. But a LOT of technological advances have been made since 1985...ABS, traction control (also takes some of the fun out of spirited winter driving), a transmission with 3 extra forward gears, an engine with cylinder deactivation, airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, and Lord-knows how many computer controls, and other advancements.
I'm sure that if the auto makers hadn't found ways to cut costs in assembly, my $20K truck would have been closer to $40K.
#2180 of 4840 Re: A couple links [busiris]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Mar 31, 2013 (1:00 pm)
You could compare hospital healthcare costs with auto repair flat rates, but only if you used standard hospital billing procedures---which means, a) you have no idea whatsoever what it will cost to fix your car until after the repair, and b) the price on your bill bears no resemblance whatsoever to what the insurance company actually gives the repair shop.
So if "doc" were a real doc, he would take in your car and 3days later your bill could be $275 or $43,000.
#2181 of 4840 Re: A couple links [Mr_Shiftright]
Mar 31, 2013 (1:37 pm)
If we really compared the two, the big one right away is either anyone can grab a knife and do an apendectomy, or else there has to be some kind of a licensing system put into place in auto repair. Since I can't see anyone agreeing to either of those IMO the rest of the debate would be just a waste of time.
#2182 of 4840 Re: A couple links [thecardoc3]
Mar 31, 2013 (1:54 pm)
how do you motivate an engineer to design for ease of repair after the sale?
I can't think of any that would be seen as ethical, moral, or humane....
That kind of motivation, or direction has to come from the top down. It has to originate at one of the "C" level positions. And that is never going to happen unless it can be shown that designing for ease of repair helps the bottom line.
Unfortunately, it's probably more profitable for the company to make their vehicles as difficult to repair as possible. At least after the warranty period has expired .
A lot of the equipment I design goes to the government. Aircraft avionics we design usually come with a Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) requirement. Maybe that's 1 hour, or 2 hours, after access to the equipment has been provided. If our equipment does not support that requirement, the government can withhold part of the payment due. That affects the bottom line, so there is an incentive to make sure the equipment meets the MTTR requirement. When we're designing something new, a Maintainability Engineer will be part of the design process to help make sure those requirements are met.
#2183 of 4840 Re: A couple links [busiris]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 31, 2013 (2:27 pm)
Ease of assembly will always trump the ease of repair
Have to wonder if that would hold true if the engineers designing the product also were responsible for fixing the item when it needed service or repair. Perhaps if we had a 10/100k warranty on everything in the car, including wear items, we'd know. Or we could just legislate maintainability engineering.
#2184 of 4840 Re: A couple links [Mr_Shiftright]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Mar 31, 2013 (2:32 pm)
Well somebody better do something because it's getting completely out of hand.
#2185 of 4840 Re: A couple links [steve_]
Mar 31, 2013 (2:34 pm)
Perhaps if we had a 10/100k warranty on everything in the car, including wear items, we'd know.
What you would get to know is how much the predicted cost of that warranty impacted the sales price. Nothing is free.