Do you think too much electrically driven parts will add to repair costs?

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Old 03-03-07, 02:49 PM
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Do you think too much electrically driven parts will add to repair costs?

I heard on "Sam's Garage" radio show this morning that they want to go to electrically driven compressors on a/c's now. What's next?

Look at what electric fuel pumps have done?: $400-500 replacement charges when I, as a kid... Yes, basically a kid in the early 70's... replaced my aunt and uncles fuel pump on the shoulder of the road, on a long trip, for like $8!!! Simple diagnosis, too!

A guy I know who works sweaty hard had his van's power window motors fail. First one, then the other. He had to literally get rid of the old van because he was too hot on 90 degree-plus days! All because he could not MANUALLY roll down the windows!

Look at all the electricity involved in letting the injector system know what to do. Years ago, the common problem in a car was a float or needle/seat problem or accelerator pump issue and you simply took the top half of the carb off and fixed it. Today, it means shop time and diagnosing with code readouts and much time spent by mechanics at lots $ per hour!


I'm getting kind of tired of all this. I want to do shade tree work for cheap.

And now today I hear about them relocating the compressor to run electrically...and even have cars all switch to 42 volts because there is so much electricity run things with cars, and will only get worse.

What in my opinion is so bad about electric motors is also what was said on "Sam's Garage" by the host today: About how this caller's fuel pump most likely went out and the host said the motor can get hot, then not work. Then cool, and then work again. This can cause multiple diagnosis trips and more money costs.

Or do you think the benefits of all this electrical stuff balance out somehow, and that the good old days with cars were not all that good?
 
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Old 03-03-07, 04:50 PM
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heck, you missed the electronic/electrical steering and electronic/electrical braking that is currently being tested. Not sure but it seems I may have heard there is a car or 2 with either or both of those now. If not, it's very close. That would remove two hydraulic sytems that are very heavy and prone to problems because they are hydraulic systems.

from what I have heard, the 42 volt system is out the window for now. It didn;t perform as expected and had too many problems as of yet.

The reason for the 42 (or more) volt system is because of all the electrical draw on the system. Good ol' ohm's law requires wires to get bigger and bigger to be able to handle the current of a 12 volt system. Bigger wires = more weight and more cost. More weight means less fuel mileage.

A lot of the new electrical systems are because cars will be totally electric, o at least electric with a small engine support, some day and we need to design systems that do not require an engine to power them.

actually from what I have experienced, the electric fuel pumps are more dependable than the mechanicals ever were. When is the last time you saw a car with vapor lock. It's a thing of the past. When is the last time you had a bad fuel pump be the cause of an engine rebuild. The mechanicals were notorious for leaking fuel into the oil pan.

From what I have experienced, cars run much longer than they used to. they do actually have lower emissions. Mileage? questionable but there are some increases due to the fuel injection.

It used to be a milestone when a car actually lasted to 100k miles. Now it isn;t uncommon for people to willingly accept 100k plus on the odometer.

Dave, I hate to tell you this but everything you posted here is a sign of getting old. I remember my dad as well as a lot of other older folks commisurating about changes just as you are here.

If we do not welcome change, we might as well turn off all the elctricity to our houses, the telephone, get rid of that computer you are using to type this stuff on, fresh fruits and veggies in the winter and hundreds of other things that are a sign and result of progress. We don;t always enjoy the untilmate benfits of progress since it is always a continuation and growth but if we refuse to allow things to change, we might as well live in a cave.
 
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Old 03-03-07, 10:12 PM
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I don't have an issue with change. As a matter of fact, I for one am looking forward to global warming for the climactic changes it will bring to my area. But I made my living as a mechanic in the past and won't touch the cars now. That's why I drive older vehicles. I can work on them. I don't get the sense that DaVeBoy is lamenting change so much as the seeming over complication of things in today's world. Given a choice, I go for the ones with crank up windows and manually locked doors. Fewer motors, fewer wires, fewer servoes, and fewer things to break or burn out.
 
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Old 03-03-07, 10:16 PM
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>>>If we do not welcome change, we might as well turn off all the elctricity to our houses, the telephone, get rid of that computer you are using to type this stuff on, fresh fruits and veggies in the winter and hundreds of other things that are a sign and result of progress. We don;t always enjoy the untilmate benfits of progress since it is always a continuation and growth but if we refuse to allow things to change, we might as well live in a cave.<<<

Super duper well said!

The market is driven by consumers , one way or another.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 12:40 AM
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I love power window, locks, seats, mirrors, AC, Cruise, remote start, remote entry, etc. My dad and older brother were journeyman mechanics when they were young and they wouldn't buy power anything "It'll just break down and cost you a fortune to repair". All the old-timers told us that.

So I avoided all those "wimpy" conveinces for years. Now I hate to live without them. My Dad is 78 and of course he drives a chrysler 500 loaded to the hilt. There are five cars in my driveway with 600k total miles between them and they run pretty decent. (I've just cursed myself haven't I?)

Can't wait until I get Bluetooth and built in GPS (then I don't need to use my laptop on trips). Wouldn't you love to have onstar?
 
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Old 03-04-07, 06:57 AM
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All of these "drive by wire" components put less of a load on the engine producing more HP and increasing fuel economy.
It does scare me though thinking about electric motors driving my A/C, P/S and P/B, but just think about when they went from pulley driven fan blades to independent electric cooling fans.
How often do you hear those going bad ?..................................crickets.

Goto any professional auto race event and see if anybody still uses a pulley driven fan blade or mechanical fuel pumps.
This is the future.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 08:11 AM
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Do you think too much electrically driven parts will add to repair costs?

Electric motors have been running diesel trains for many years. The same applies to heavy dump trucks in mines where they have electric motors at each wheel. - Running an AC compressor with electric power is no big deal and will allow you to position it at a better location.

Dick
 
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Old 03-04-07, 10:52 AM
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(Nap)

The reason for the 42 (or more) volt system is because of all the electrical draw on the system. Good ol' ohm's law requires wires to get bigger and bigger to be able to handle the current of a 12 volt system. Bigger wires = more weight and more cost. More weight means less fuel mileage.

(DaVeBoy)

So "Ohms" came up with 220 to carry more current using same gauge wire. so....DC 220?
 

Last edited by DaVeBoy; 03-04-07 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 03-04-07, 10:58 AM
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Dave, I hate to tell you this but everything you posted here is a sign of getting old. I remember my dad as well as a lot of other older folks commisurating about changes just as you are here.

(DaVeBoy)

I do that commisc... a lot and am still stuck on how we lived so grandeuristicly in the 60's on no money...that things were so cheap and everyone could afford everything...the middle class, that is. And now I am wondering how I am going to be able to afford the 300 amp alternator they will have to put on the car to keep up with all the electrically driven devices and motors that are and will be going into cars.


And to think my dad got ripped off some years back on some puny alternator replacement on a 4 banger with the alternator very accessible and nothing in the way... that cost him $200.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mjd2k View Post
I love power window, locks, seats, mirrors, AC, Cruise, remote start, remote entry, etc. My dad and older brother were journeyman mechanics when they were young and they wouldn't buy power anything "It'll just break down and cost you a fortune to repair". All the old-timers told us that.

So I avoided all those "wimpy" conveinces for years. Now I hate to live without them. My Dad is 78 and of course he drives a chrysler 500 loaded to the hilt. There are five cars in my driveway with 600k total miles between them and they run pretty decent. (I've just cursed myself haven't I?)

Can't wait until I get Bluetooth and built in GPS (then I don't need to use my laptop on trips). Wouldn't you love to have onstar?
I actually agreed with what you said, believe it or not. I think I want it both ways. I too like all the bells and whistles. But the breakdown factor spooks me as I live 20 miles from my job and you can become stranded (have no wife to call and not all that many good friends) and at the mercy of not just mechanics rates, but when they can squeeze you in for the work. Loved to be able to have my car die, and I'd open the hood on the side of the road, file my points and away I'd go. Or..the mechanical fuel pump change out I spoke of. 2 bolts, and a couple fuel line clamps...maybe a cheap inline filter, and away you'd be able to go, on maybe a prime start through the carb.

Part of MY prtoblem is that I'm to that point now that I need a breather from learning about too many tech changes going on. Just like how I became stuck on Jack Nicklaus and can't readily accept Tiger Woods.

And my dad TOO is 78.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 12:33 PM
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http://www.corrosion-doctors.org/Biographies/OhmBio.htm

a very short bio of Georg Ohm.

http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/Sample_Projects/Ohms_Law/ohmslaw.html

a very short tutorial on Ohm's law

and a couple of closely related laws:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule%27s_Law (Joule's law)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt's_law (watts law)(no relation to James Watt)


==============

If I remember correctly, you have air conditioning in your home, Dave. Now isn't that complicating your life. Even when windows have to be propped open, they are still less complex than an AC unit and they are much cheaper to operate.

If you wish, older cars pre-gizmo era can still be found and brought to life. I have a friend that owns a Ford "T". It was reputed that they could be repaired with nothing more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. That is simple.

It's rather funny. Some of my friends have older hotrods. They revel in the horsepower provided tire smoke and the kick in the seat of your pants acceleration. Sad thing is, there are many new cars that are much faster than all but the most extreme cars of yesteryear while providing better fuel mileage, better handling (the old ones were horrible in anything other than a straight line), and much much more comfort.

Nostalgia is an expensive feeling that provides the heart with more satisfaction than is truly warranted by the truth.

Enjoy today because it is gone as of tomorrow.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 01:25 PM
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Again, you speak the truth. But the A/C is just an inexpensive window unit so not too big a deal. And if I equated this to a car, I'd be like, "Oh, the car went out. I guess I'll just run down to the car dealer and get another." Wish I could...even though I COULD do that if the A/C went out...and then get by in the interim by sitting in the bathroom with the fan going on...oh..I'd better not go there...I think I got banned once for such a stupid sugestion.

Regarding the cars power of today vs. yesteryear. True. I actually laugh at hot rod collector car guys who rap off their exhaust and the car barely moves. And yet today you can have this little sporty car that hardly makes noise that is SOOO peppy. But at the same time, in all fairness, some of those cars back then were kind of heavy. But then again, so were some of the motors. The big block chevys were some of the heaviest made. Ironic in a way that they had to make the engine powerful enough to just move the engine.

I'm not sure how many cars out there shove you back in your seat at 90 the way that 440 6-pack Challenger did to me back in 1973.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 02:24 PM
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I confess when I found out my brother's Camry didn't have a throttle cable I couldn't decide if that was good or bad.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 02:49 PM
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See what I mean? You can't even adjust a cable anymore. They took them away too.

I was listening to "Sam's Garage" as I either listen to his show or Jeff Brooks car repair show, and then house repair show like "On the House with the Carey Brothers...", Saturday mornings and the host said about the caller's clutch and adjustment is not as much as in the old system where you could adjust the rod becaue of the hydraulic mechanism employed.
 
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Old 03-04-07, 08:34 PM
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When you buy a NEW car today you barely need to touch it for the first 100,000 miles but prior to 1975 you had to pop in a set of points every 8,000 miles and 15,000 miles for plugs and wires and remember those icy mornings with the stuck choke plate and then flooding out the carburator and fowling the plugs then spraying Ether in the carb and having to jump the battery because you ran it down then being late for work and smelling like gasoline.
And not to forget how unsafe they were.......no crumple zones, air bags, traction control, anti-lock brakes and don't forget the exploding Ford Pinto.
I welcome this new technology but I do miss the old car styling, feel and ride.
I learned to drive on my Dad's '72 Chevy Caprice Classic 4 Dr with skirts. Talk about a load of a car and HEAVY, but it was plush and road like dream and had styling you don't find in cars of today.
 
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Old 03-05-07, 04:26 AM
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We won't see non-mechanical braking systems anytime soon, as federal regulations require them (as do most industrialized countries), and we all know how hard it is to get a law changed once it's on the books.

High voltage (ie more than 12v) is a tried and true system, aircraft have beeen on 28 or 32 volt systems for many years. Jets often used starter/generators, something I never understood why cars didn't adopt.

I do prefer cars with belt driven fans, but you don't see those on anything less than v8's and some 6's now.

I've read that the 'average' car a/c compressor takes about 8 hp of the engine to run.
 
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Old 03-05-07, 03:47 PM
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for not being usable, they are surely spending a lot of money on electric braking. There was a recent design patent as a matter of fact that apparently is of great interest.

as far as the higher voltages, yes, military has used (I think) 24 volt systems for a while. A recent article I read stated the 42 volt system proposed for autos was problematic for some reason and because of that and the greater push for hybrid and full electric cars, it may become moot.

starter/generators: saw designs on them quite a few years ago. not sure why they haven't been implemented.

one of the problems with belt driven fans is they are always a HP drain, even if you have a thermostat controlled fan. Electrics aren't and they only require power when the temp sensor calls for them.

as well, when they went to transverse engines, mechanical fans obviously were not practical to employ.
 
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Old 03-05-07, 04:02 PM
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here is an article from late last year that says electric brakes are, well,you can read it for yourself here:http://horsepowersports.com/electronic-wedge-brakes-signal-future-electric-cars/



Electronic Wedge Brakes, scheduled to appear on a German production car, probably in 2008, are the first part of a multi part ,,,,,

Apparent;y Mecedes has been using a brake-by-wire system for some time now. I don;t know the mechanics of the system but they do have one and apparently already removing it from their cars for problems. From what I have found it is an electronic over hyfraulic system with possibly no mechanical link between the pedal and the hydraulic system.

http://www.whatcar.com/news-article.aspx?NA=217814
 

Last edited by nap; 03-05-07 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 03-05-07, 04:09 PM
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It would appear then that Germany is not one of the countries that requires a mechanical braking system.

The question is, will consumers, if they are even aware of it, trust their life to a 12v motor?
 
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Old 03-05-07, 07:18 PM
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I would think that like aircraft systems the answere is in redundancy for braking applications.
 
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Old 03-06-07, 02:48 PM
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found the article I spoke of saying 42 volt systems probably won;t happen
Popular Mechanics Feb 2006:

High Voltage
Several years ago there was a lot of talk about the possibility of changing cars from 12-volt to 42- to 48-volt systems. Is it still under consideration or was it found to be infeasible? PM is really great for keeping me up-to-date concerning all the news of transportation innovations, which I do appreciate very much.
JOHN SALTER
JACKSON, MS

A: Yes, 42-volt electrical systems were supposed to be the wave of the future. Current automotive systems, which we call 12-volt, actually operate at about 14 volts, so the proposed 42-volt systems are triple this voltage. Most aircraft have operated at 28 volts for generations. The advantages to upping the voltage include reduced weight of wires, motors and actuators throughout the vehicle, as 12-volt parts need to be larger to carry enough current to get the job done. The conversion meant integrated generators and starters built into the flywheel, a/c systems with an electrically powered pump mounted anywhere except inside the engine compartment, and electric (not hydraulic) power steering.

Didn't happen, isn't gonna happen. Why? Seems the industry couldn't make 42-volt systems as reliable as they thought they could. Switching AC is easier because the voltage passes through zero volts 120 times a second. DC voltage is constant, and simply yanking a switch open starts an arc that rapidly degrades the metal contacts. At 12 to 14 volts, the arc is small enough not to be an issue. But at 42 volts, the erosion of the contacts shortens life span too much. Switch contacts can be upgraded and electronically protected from this--but it all costs money. Soon we'll have 300-volt hybrid systems in many cars, and we can tap this voltage for things like the starter and air conditioning. Also, many vehicles now have multiplexed wiring using one wire to operate several devices. This reduces the weight and volume of the harness substantially.
 
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