Those chip controlled ignition switches in the new car will set you back a
bundle if you lose the remote key fob. At least $100 because its about $60
for the charm and $40 for the electronic programming.
God forbid if the electronic controlled switch itself goes bad when you try
to start the engine to drive out of Death Valley after a picnic in the
desert. You will need divine intervention because there is no way on Earth
you will get that car going, no matter how many PhDs you have in automotive
technology (the term, auto mechanics has gone out of fashion).
Here's my thesis: I believe a car can be built using simple conventional
systems (mechanical fuel injection, electro-mechanical ignition,
non-electronic transmission), totally devoid of active computers and still
pass smog laws and OBD II. This car would be user and mechanic friendly.
Modular electronics, such as a discrete a-c generator control and selective
Kettering-CD ignition would make diagnosis and repair literally child's
play. The only computer would be the law mandated OBD II but it would be
in diagnostic mode only, not necessary for drive train functions.
And I don't need memory seats, electronic windows & door locks, automatic
headlamps, etc. ad infinitum, either. Just a car that gets me from point A
to point B.
There is ample reason to build such a car. In the news this week, we
learned 1000 U.S. made trucks have been given to the new Iraqi government's
police forces. It was stated Iraqi auto mechanics are incapable of
maintaining these highly computerized trucks. Not only is our tax money
wasted, but the export market is nill because the word has got around, you
buy a $30,000 American truck, you can't fix it and its soon on the junk
pile keeping company with Yugos.
There is every reason to believe a conventional car would last longer and
be cheaper in the long run than 2007 models that have more computers in
them than the Saturn Moon Rocket. A conventional machine, easy to fix would
also sell broadly in the export market, but we don't make any such animal.
Shame on us.
For those of you who prefer, a complex, impossible to fix car, just go buy
a Mercedes Benz and leave the rest of us out of the nightmare modern cars