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View Diary: Autos: Pricing Themselves Out of the Market & Biting the Hands That Build Them... A Labor Day Lament (288 comments)

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  •  It may outlast the new cars... (10+ / 0-)

    The automakers are definitely trying to keep you dependent on them long after the purchase... For example, the lack of repair manuals and proprietary diagnostic software for new cars. They think they can force you to come back to them for service, then cut off the parts supply and force you to buy a new car.

    •  With all of the electronic and computer parts, (0+ / 0-)

      what will you repair in your garage?    The automakers don't repair cars - dealerships do; and you can take your car to any garage in lieu of a dealer that you want.

      I find this diary and you on the topic of autos very confusing.  

      I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

      by dkmich on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:05:57 AM PDT

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      •  That's the plan... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BYw, timewarp, Flying Goat

        Force you to the dealers by denying owners and indy shops affordable diagnostic tools and knowledge bases. Then discontinue supply of parts after a few years to force you to prematurely junk your car and buy a new one.

        The auto biz has noted that the life expectancy of a smart phone is about 2 years, and they have similar plans for their products...

        •  Robert Bentley (0+ / 0-)

          is the place to look for VW repair info. I bought the same repair manual the VW shop uses for $70 on DVD. You can get the books for $60. I got mine from German Auto Parts. The are the most complete manuals out there. Mine even gives me recall repair info.

          They say they they only work on XP but I followed the online instructions to get it working on Vista. The license allows installation on two computers. I have one copy on my main computer and one on my tablet.

          Some people have short memories

          by lenzy1000 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 11:51:05 AM PDT

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          •  Got the factory manual for the '03... (0+ / 0-)

            and it's awesome! Got the Haynes manual and the VAG-Com diagnostic software too. But they only have manuals through the 2010 models, and from then on out there will be no factory manuals, only online access for $35 a day and up. The best I could do is buy a 2013 or 2014 A4 because not much has changed since the 2010. Haynes may or may not come out with a manual for the newer cars- Their latest only goes up to 2010 or so and doesn't cover the diesels.

    •  What? (0+ / 0-)

      You can buy a code reader for less than $100 that will tell you what codes the computer has stored. As for "cut off the parts supply", what the hell are you talking about?

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:27:25 AM PDT

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      •  Only gives you OBD2 codes... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badscience, BYw, betterdemsonly

        OBD2 was an excellent example of fed regulation done right- EPA told the auto manufacturers that they'd use a standard diagnostic interface, so the aftermarket was able to produce cheap and affordable diagnostic tools. But OBD2 only covers the engine and emissions systems, so there's a whole bunch of other stuff the manufacturers have been able to keep to themselves. And motorcycles and big trucks aren't required to be OBD2 compatible.

        The discontinued parts problem is very real- I'm hearing from folks with vehicles that aren't even 10 years old going to the dealer for essential parts and being told they're no longer available.

        •  Wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happy camper

          Manufacturers are required to keep producing parts for 10 years after a car is discontinued.  I had a dealer tell me that about my 7 year old car.  I called GM.  The dealer called the next day with the part.  Check your lazy or credit strapped dealer.

          •  Never been able to find that 10 year law... (3+ / 0-)

            So I suspect it's just rumor. But you're right that having a good parts person can be helpful- For example I know folks with older International trucks that intentionally patronize a dealer clear across the country because that dealer's parts woman knows how to find parts in International's obsolete parts warehouse that most parts people don't even know exist.

        •  Not just OBD2 codes... (0+ / 0-)

          A friend has one that will pick up all kinds of info in real time, and it was around $100. At one time dealers did have a monopoly on some info, but the days of needing a diagnostic machine the size of a Snap-On roll around toolbox are gone. As for parts, the dealer is not the only, or even the best source, for a lot of stuff. The manufacturers don't produce most parts anyway--it's all aftermarket.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 11:26:35 AM PDT

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    •  You can go to Napa (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and have it read for free.

      •  At least we agree that NAPA is awesome! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They have a great website, . You can search it and find if the local NAPA store has the parts you need in stock and order them online if they don't. Last weekend I was in Duluth and needed sparkplugs for a Moto Guzzi, checked and found them at the NAPA store just a couple miles away.

        BTW. Ford has something similar at, it'll tell me which dealers near me have the part in stock. Why can't Ford do this kind of search with cars?

        •  Guzzis (0+ / 0-)

          I had five Guzzis in a row when I lived in Mpls and never had trouble getting parts, eiher from Marty or the old dealer in Southern MN, more than I can say for most cars.

          I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

          by old mule on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:56:38 AM PDT

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