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Compulsive chicken choker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I was talking to a neighbours son who works for Kwikfit as an MoT tester & technician. Kwikfit are now servicing cars to "dealer" standards & are authorised to stamp the service book stating this.

Anyway, they obviously have to keep up to date with all of the new-car technology and he was telling me a few things:

BMW are about to launch their first camshaft-less engine. The valves are operated by electronic actuators.

Ford are launching replacement suspension units. The days of replacing worn out dampers on a MacPherson strut are gone, just chuck the old unit away & bolt a complete new one in.

Mercedes Benz C and E class now require the ECU reprogramming to change the brake pads. You can't just lever the pistons back as it fucks up the ECU & does lots & lots of costly damage.

Staying with M-Benz, they had a car in to replace one ABS sensor. This entailed stripping out most of the car interior as the sensors are not a plug in item, you have to replace the entire part of the loom as M-Benz will not permit splicing a new one into the loom.

There were others but I can't remember them all now!
 

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Woodchipper Extraordinair
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2,305 Posts
i work in a bodyshop and whilst working on cars trying to strip them or fit them i often look at where parts are fitted or how accesible they are to work on and always think to myself that manufacturers must design modern cars so that if any thing needs replacing then your average diy mechanic cant do it so it has to go in the dealers so they can charge an extortionate hourly rate.
 

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1,298 Posts
Merc brake pads have been like that for a while now. I run a W220 S class as my daily and to change the brake pads on it I have to put the calipers into 'sleep' mode to release the pads.
If you don't it is possible to get the pads out but the caliper pistons will snap shut on the disc leaving you with the devils own job to release them if you're lucky. If you're unlucky you just lost a couple of finger tips.:shake:
 

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Premium Member
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553 Posts
it's not good ,
the vw/audi guy nextdoor to me took 10 minutes to find his feeler gauges last week , he can't remember the last time he used them :lol:

the world go's on and on about recycling etc etc , then makes everything throw away and totally unservicable ........
 

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Premium Member
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5,698 Posts
Gary, your man is not quite correct, MB's ABS sensors plug in about 8 inches up the suspension, no internal stuff to be removed...

If you DO have a Mercedes, and you are changing the pads, DO NOT open the doors in the middle of doing them, or the calipers will clamp themselves shut, as the car 'thinks' something is going on...:eek:

200 bar of pressure will take anything off...:shake:


As for feeler gauges, most of the 'Technicians' that used to work at MB didn't even know what they were, I had to take mine into work when there was an older MB that needed them...!!!
 

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1,298 Posts
Gary, your man is not quite correct, MB's ABS sensors plug in about 8 inches up the suspension, no internal stuff to be removed...

If you DO have a Mercedes, and you are changing the pads, DO NOT open the doors in the middle of doing them, or the calipers will clamp themselves shut, as the car 'thinks' something is going on...:eek:

200 bar of pressure will take anything off...:shake:

As for feeler gauges, most of the 'Technicians' that used to work at MB didn't even know what they were, I had to take mine into work when there was an older MB that needed them...!!!
It's true, on mine the ABS plug is on the inner wing just above the upper arm.

Cheers for the info on the door opening thing, I'll be avoiding that one then!

Did you know that modern apprentice mechanics don't know what points and condensors are??? That doesn't bode well for the future of our hobby.:shake:
 

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Fat 'n' Loud
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4,766 Posts
I took my 6 month old Mondeo in to the Ford dealers because when it starts up cold it runs and sounds like a bag of spanners.
When I went to collect it I was told that they had plugged it into the computer and it couldn't find a fault, so I'd have to wait until it got a lot worse and then take it back! Whatever happened to fault diagnosis by a process of elimination? Unless the computer tells them what to do they're f*cked.
 

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1,081 Posts
had an 02 reg *L270 (left out a letter there to avoid a law suit i cant afford but its a big hun 4x4 ) a while ago for a non working o/s/f dip headlight,
no probs thinks i, check bulb which looks ok but change it anyway..
nothing
check power at bulb, no power found so have a look for the fuse
no fuse
found fuses for s/lights, main beam, indicators, microwave, toaster etc but not for dipped beam
no choice but phone local *B dealer who helpfully
comfirms that no fuses are fitted for late 02 models and it could be faulty EAM or AAM modules or both.....
longshot is that our scanner couldnt read fault codes (non generic for that fault ) so car had to go to dealer for fix, which went like this.......

diagnosis £127
AAM module £276
EAM module £254 - spooky that it did need both
fitting and re-code £130

so inc vat we had a £905.05 bill to present to the customer because the jerry's thought it would be a better idea to cram in a load of electric junk instead of a 10p fuse

progress eh :wanker:
 

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355 Posts
The thing is, they are coding everything to the ECUs etc so that you have to take stuff to the dealers for repair, but half the time the problems are so complicated, that they cannot fix them either, and do not have any diagnostic skills.

A neighbour had a problem with an Astra, that would not start. The dealer said that the fault was with the fuel pump according to the fault codes and wanted £1000 to fix it :eek:. I gave the car the once over, using eyeballs, and found a split pipe, which cost £1 to replace. Sorted.

Much rather drive an old car anyway. :D
 

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1,081 Posts
The thing is, they are coding everything to the ECUs etc so that you have to take stuff to the dealers for repair, but half the time the problems are so complicated, that they cannot fix them either, and do not have any diagnostic skills.

A neighbour had a problem with an Astra, that would not start. The dealer said that the fault was with the fuel pump according to the fault codes and wanted £1000 to fix it :eek:. I gave the car the once over, using eyeballs, and found a split pipe, which cost £1 to replace. Sorted.

Much rather drive an old car anyway. :D
had a very similar thing on a td mondeo, the dealer said that also needed a new fuel pump (£900 + fitting) when after a quick squint round all it really needed was a new rubber pipe from f/pump to inlet manifold :roll:

and i hear that our local B*W dealer is now charging £138 per hour labour - plus vat :shock: !!!!!!
 

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Woodchipper Extraordinair
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2,305 Posts
We had a brand new (at the time) maserati quatroporte in at work a while ago which had been in a front end bump, we replaced a n/s headlight with a brand new unit which when plugged in did not work a lot of head scrathching and puzzled looks later we phoned maserati who told us that the car needed to go to a dealer to be plugged in and a have a code released online from the factory to allow the new headlight to work!

It was intresting to overhear my gaffer on the phone to the insurance assessor explaining the reason why there was a invoice from maserati for labour!!!
 

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Off the Xmas card list
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24,515 Posts
I can understand the quest for cleaner running engines to stop our planet disappearing under water ( yeah I believe all that bull..NOT ) but why all this coding parts ? The SMMT are fighting to continue the Right to Repair blocck exemption ( allowing info to be accessed by non main dealers ) but is thsi just a ploy to make that worthless anyway ? All sounds very anti competitive / restrictive practices to me ?

Plus 'green' , you 'll be weighing these things in at 5 years old because the cost of repair is beyond the book value which will go down because no one will want a secondhand motor as they cost too much to fix.
 

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Mopars and Gassers
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246 Posts
This so called progress in automotive design really gets up my hooter, it's all just a money making scam dreamed up by the manufacturers to tie customers into the brand and the service and repair network and the sheep who buy these cars traipse along to the glitzy showrooms like lambs to the slaughter.

It's pitiful to watch really and I've been working in the motor industry for more than 30 years.

It does nothing for the ecology of the planet, little for the clean running of the motor, questionable safety advantages over a regularly serviced older car and when it comes to repair, just look at the numbers of high spec cars written off for what would normally be considered light damage, simply because 11 air bags have gone off together with all the other electronic junk...another huge dent in the environment as the company has to build another one at five times the cost of repairing the existing car.

I may sound like some sort of demented greenie, but to be frank, I'm ashamed to be part of it.

Anyway, what cheered me up was that the three year old car with ECUs and all that crap ahead of me at the local MOT tsation failed the MOT for various things and my 70 year old bog standard Austin with a flat head passed the MOT with flying colours and just for a laugh, we checked the emissions and mine beat the modern heap as well.

Ha! Stick that in yer pipe!:D
 

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4,088 Posts
its getting crazy with all the electronics. friend of mine has a workshop. he repairs cars and make them ready for MoT. if people come in with modern cars, especialy the higher class cars like bmw or benz he has to say no to the customers cause since he has no dealership, or MoT license, BMW, mercedes and other manufactores refuse to give him the stuff to reset the electronics, or diagnose any thing on the damn cars. long year customers of his are now going away cause he cant do it no more. its rediculus that its even not possible to change sparkplugs on a car for crying out loud. its getting harder for him to make some money and he's thinking of quiting the workshop all together. people who try to make honest money get fucked up by the big companies, and burocrats who think they can save the damn planet with their inviroment rules :wanker:
pascal
 

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Premium Member
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5,698 Posts
Chris, did it have Xenon headlamps???

If so, thats why it was so expensive...

We used to give out the same Xenon bulb (@ £100.00 plus VAT) quite a few times, and it always came back, those bulbs don't 'go', it's usually the 'burner' unit, which is a control unit to tell the bulb to come on...!!!

They DO have Fuses, but not very accessible ones, they are sort of built into the SAM unit (Central Electronic Module), you can't buy them seperately from *B but they are only spade fuses...!!!

If you or anyone else gets any MB problems, give me a shout, I only worked for them for 7 years...!!!

had an 02 reg *L270 (left out a letter there to avoid a law suit i cant afford but its a big hun 4x4 ) a while ago for a non working o/s/f dip headlight,
no probs thinks i, check bulb which looks ok but change it anyway..
nothing
check power at bulb, no power found so have a look for the fuse
no fuse
found fuses for s/lights, main beam, indicators, microwave, toaster etc but not for dipped beam
no choice but phone local *B dealer who helpfully
comfirms that no fuses are fitted for late 02 models and it could be faulty EAM or AAM modules or both.....
longshot is that our scanner couldnt read fault codes (non generic for that fault ) so car had to go to dealer for fix, which went like this.......

diagnosis £127
AAM module £276
EAM module £254 - spooky that it did need both
fitting and re-code £130

so inc vat we had a £905.05 bill to present to the customer because the jerry's thought it would be a better idea to cram in a load of electric junk instead of a 10p fuse

progress eh :wanker:
 

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233 Posts
It isn't just cars and it isn't just electronics.

I've got a couple of motorcycles. 03 Kawasaki Drifter needs dash, tank, and seat removed just to access the spark plugs. To get the rear wheel off (if you follow the manual) you have to take off the rear mudguard after first taking off the silencer after first taking off the brake pedal and footboard after buying a motorcyle jack to get the wheel off the ground in the first place. Why?

With my 51 Sunbeam, plugs are behind a cover removed by inserting a coin to unscrew the fixings.
Centre stand lifts rear wheel off the ground (mudguard stay lifts front wheel if that needs to come off as well) mudguard hinges back to get access and all fixings have tommy bar holes. In fact I can remove both wheels in 5 mins using nothing more than a foot long metal bar.

Technology should be used to make old things work better not make new things stupidly and needlessly comlpicated.
 
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