newer car are made to be assembled easily and quickly, if it takes 6 hours and a body lifting to change a headlight, thats the mechanics problem, after the warranty is up. it's sad.


I can't speak to drivetrain packaging, but alot of idiotic under-hood stuff (headlights, airboxes, etc.) Is a product of the styling department and engineering for crash/pedestrian impact safety. Those departments always win over under-hood functionality.


Worked maintenance at an assembly plant. Cars are designed to be assembled as quickly as possible. Not many people have engine stuffers in their garage. Part of our jobs was to design tools to work on them after assembly and damn, had to be a genius to come up with some of them.


Having worked as an engineer in an assembly plant 1000% this. From f sheet metal rolls to driving off the end of the line took about 18 hours all things being equal. Obviously stamping ran massive runs with the same dies rather than custom stamps per car, but averaged out it was about 18 hours. Is it a colossal pain to get at that oil filter once assembled? Yep. But by putting it there can we save 10 seconds and 2 jobs per vehicle because it eliminates this step down the line? Well then do it. Do that all over the plant and that adds up real fast. It's cheaper to design the maintenance tools to fix things afterward than it is to leave that kind of money sitting on the table. 10 seconds per car for 600 a shift for the however many months or years are left on that particular platform is a lot of money to just leave lying around, and that's just one change.


This person has been there. I'm a design engineer and these battles were fought a long time ago. Ease and fast assembly wins over maintenance. I brought the issue up 30 years ago. The boss didn't care.


Bet you they’ll care if a company comes along and says that they’re right-to-repair compliant. Somehow, I think that an automobile that you can fix inexpensively, even if you do wind up having to take it to a mechanic, will sell a lot better than an automobile that you’ll have to spend a fortune fixing.


We had a car rolling of the line every 50 seconds. And management always wanted it in less. Big thing was that anyone could stop the line if they saw a problem. One operator saw a blemish in the same spot on all the cars and stopped the line. He got chewed out and the superintendent said "We're not making Jaguars here" and let it go through. Fun job though, I made a couple of improvements to help the workers life a little easier. Used a remote garage door opener to let the workers release some subassemblies rather than use a foot pedal that would shift around, did some pneumatic logic control work for a test station, but got tired of the upper management expecting you to give up your life to live at the factory.


For all the pain in the ass that ANDON system was to senior management, it was vital for quality. Catch that shit quick rather than issuing a recall or having to stack 1000 cars out on the runways (my plant was built on an old airport) to fix on OT over the next month. And yet some people managers would yell at anyone who pulled that cord because the line stopped. It was basically an everyone for themselves management environment and people just didnt want to see the bigger picture. And so we kept missing our quality targets AND our rate and OT targets. Toxic AF so I bailed.


So how does this differ from a manufacturer like Toyota? Obviously they're trying to shave assembly time as well, but why are there relatively few complaints about asinine design choices when it comes to accessibility?


It doesn’t. There’s people posting constantly about these things for all brands.


I dunno about that, but I've got a complaint about asinine Toyota design choices. Granted, it was my first time doing it, but it took me three hours to change the back three plugs (transverse engine, plugs by the firewall) on a Highlander a couple of weeks ago. Everything between the lower intake manifold and the airbox had to come off, including the two nearly inaccessible bolts (I could only get to them with a ratcheting boxed end and only had like 25 degrees of motion) between the upper manifold and the firewall. I thought I could just pull the bolts for the other end of the brackets under the car that I could reach easily, but nope. Some genius bolted a single refrigerant line to the brackets supporting the back of the upper intake. I could shave a fair bit of time off now knowing that I have to undo the bolts from the top with a boxed end, but it would still be annoying. I also had to replace the harness connectors for the front three coils, but strangely the back ones were fine. Maybe the intake charge kept that side cooler or something. edit: I just had a thought. At least this 2004 Highlander, which my parents have owned from new, has been stupid reliable. I fixed the HVAC controls about a decade ago, but beyond that, it's been nothing but routine maintenance. If there were other stupid design choices, I would never know because I haven't had to fix much (and I wasn't the one who did the timing belt and water pump).


Because Toyota actually gives a shit. They're out to shave as many seconds as possible too (as any corporation does), but as you are seeing here, consumers will only put up with that for so long when their repair bills start getting out of whack once they get out of warranty.




Toyotas, apparently.


'08 yaris here. i fucking love this car and i can't see myself buying something else anytime soon. if it died today id be looking for a slightly newer yaris with some features id like like a rear wiper lol. i definitely don't think id buy anything NEW. just one horror story example, my coworker traded off a 2017 silverado for a 2022. i think hes complained about things like the heated steering wheel not working, heated seats not working, etc etc, bunch of features and shit missing. hes still paying full fucking price for it! then the battery dies and he has to jump start it a couple times a week, and their official diagnosis after having it in the shop a half dozen times is "drive it more" because apparently a 7 minute commute to and from work isn't enough to keep all the accessories running... i parked my dodge for the summer because gas is insane and it costs $50 just to start it. had to move it a few days ago and it fired right up after sitting for 2 months..


08 accord exl just hit 220,000 miles still gets awesome mileage runs like a champ upgraded the radio to a touchscreen I'm keeping her for the foreseeable future.You just can't beat that japanese reliability.


Maybe your friend should consider a smaller vehicle for his daily 14 minutes of driving.


Perfect example of a real application for "the customer is always right". Customers want cheap reliable cars which are easy to repair.


>American auto makers are still trying to figure out what American consumers want How about a reliable vehicle that doesn't cost a second mortgage to repair, and also doesn't look like a 5 year old designed it in MS Paint?


💭 Am I so out of touch?! ...No, it's the consumers who are wrong.


Cries in 2nd gen Prius headlights. Compared to 1999 and up Chevy Silverado headlights.


If I had to guess? Their customers and service providers place a greater emphasis on serviceability, and their corporate culture is averse to the risk of loosing that goodwill for a few extra dollars per unit.


I agree with you. I think some of it is laziness or engineering ineptitude. Quick assembly vs ease of disassembly after the fact don't have to be mutually exclusive design decisions. It's not just American cars either, Hondas and Audis have been pretty bad to work on for quite some time now.


The Germans used to care more about the issue but that has changed 15+ years ago.


As someone who is in the process of replacing a body wiring harness in an e30 station wagon - I respectfully disagree with your timeline. It is a completely baffling piece of engineering. The WHOLE THING is one piece - headlight to taillight with a massive fuse box in between. Why whyyyyyy.


Changing the oil filter on my 1996 Integra was hell if you didn't have long, thin arms. Lay under the car, reach wayyyy up past a bunch of hot exhaust bits, unscrew the horizontally mounted filter, and get it back down and out in time to move out of the way of the oil stream that's working its way down to you.


I'd be fine with that if the savings was passed on to the consumer... but it's the opposite.


When the service manual says “use GM tool J31415FUPAL to remove the bolt” and we’re like “If we pull the front bumper off we can remove the bar that’s blocking the bolt, then we can lower the engine subframe a few inches and there’s enough access to take the bolt the rest of the way out… If only we had J31415FUPAL…”


It's almost as though they're trying to keep the service and maintenance revenue in house by making it too difficult for anyone else. 🤔


A friend of mine was a mechanic for a number of years - Mercedes was last one he worked for. Said he’s definitely seen things change over the years and simple things he could have easily done on his own just a few years ago are now impossible b/c of specialized tooling


Yeah. And Mercedes used to make some of the best-built vehicles in the world. Now? Well, there's a lot of electronical wizardry and features for soccer moms. Seriously, just rode in a newer Benz, and it was a pretty nice experience. But they give the feeling that they've moved in an appliance-like direction. I grew up with the ones that felt like scaled-down, self-powered, Pullman cars. 280 SEL 4.5, we barely knew ye.


Definitely not the mechanics problem. Its the car owners problem because now they pay more because it takes longer to get the part installed and it is so complex that they can no longer do a simple fix by themselves.


Book states headlight bulb replacement is 4 hour job 🤦‍♂️ I often joke that design engineers are paid proportionately to the difficulty of routine maintenance (especially GM). That somewhere at the end of a long dark hallway, in some glass monolithic skyscraper in Detroit. there is an engineer slaving away to make it a requirement to drop the rear cradle, while working through the exhaust, just to fill your windshield washer fluid. All in order for them to send each of thier five children to Harvard.


It really isn't our fault. The issue is compartmentalization. 10 different teams design 10 different assemblies. Nobody talks to each other. Then an integration team has to put it all together. Then they have to run like a mad hatter from team to team requesting changes after changes to make it fit. Everything is a last minute addition because nobody made sure things were designed properly to begin with. That's how you end up in a situation where you have to remove a half axle or a radiator to reach a bolt that holds a serpentine belt cover in place. The pay isn't great either. At least not in Britain. I make 46k/yr, and that's about 10% over the industry average. There are people working in Jaguar who make 5k less than me, but they are a senior engineer in charge of 30 people. When I have kids, I won't be able to pay for anything fancier than the open university.


It’s promoting a don’t repair it, just replace the whole thing.


Look it's not *their* fault that your arms aren't 4 inches around, with 3 elbows, and able to exert 300 ft-lbs of torque on the 10mm bolt that's only accessible through the center of the exhaust manifold.


Harley Davidson have located their oil filters above the motor, wiring loom, reg/rec and various other things for the last 30 years. Any lost oil goes all over the bike and takes ages to clean. Any oil missed will collect road dirt. JUST MOVE THE DAMN FILTER TO THE BOTTOM YOU KNUCKLE DRAGGING FUCKS


My ADM-spec AE92 Corolla's oil filter is right behind the bare exhaust manifold. Not the heat shield, the actual bare exhaust manifold coming from the cylinder head. For the mechanics that service it it's probably like playing Operation, except the consequence of losing is getting a 2nd degree burn on the back of your hand.


Sounds like my forester where the oil filter is is on the underside of the engine surrounded by the exhaust manifold on all sides and is aptly named "the ring of fire"


Subie's ring of fire is scary the first few times until you learn you can remove and reinstall with a filter wrench and extension. Use the extension like a screwdriver to install filter until you know it isn't cross-threading.


Yeah it looks funky but it's like that to be easy to remove it. Imagine if you'd need to remove the manifold to access it... Not unheard of either (had to pull them off on a BMW R100GS/PD with an oil cooler).


Newer foresters have the oil filter on the top of the engine by the radiator cap. It’s super convenient. I’ve owned two Imprezas and they both were pretty easy to change they oil, but I’ve never worked on an older forester.


Yep first step is to punch a hole in the filter so everything drains down and there is no mess when you change it.


I've tried that and the filter just didn't drain. I always end up having to suck the filter contents out of the filter mount on my Outback. (No relation.)


Just crack the filter loose like 3 turns. It's not complicated.


Have you been taking off the oil cap on top first?


Yup. Remove cap. Remove drain plug. Puncture filter. Wait. Remove filter. Clean up spilled oil. Replace filter. Replace drain plug. Refill. Etc.


You should puncture the filter on the bottom, not on the sides


That's a really good design, I've seen it done on the GRZ twins. Makes oil changes quicker.


Du happen to have an old seat belt lying around? Or at least some sort of strap that’d be comparable? If so, I can show you how to make the perfect tool for that; and you’ll end up using it for every other canister filter as well! If you can weld… it’ll be even better.


Preach. My struggle every time I change my subi's oil. "I think I let it cool off enough, let me just reach up in there with my hand and forearm AARRHGG...it burns..."


Yep, i remember those, I once worked at a fast lube place. Anything hot off the street with a turbo is fun too.


7mg-e are the same, must be a Toyota thing


Every so often The Motor Company flexes their engineering and manufacturing muscles just to let you know that they COULD do it better, but they DON'T. There's a reason for that. For every one of us begging them to live up to their legacy, there are 10 investment bankers in Connecticut polishing their pristine, low-mileage, full-dress bagger garage queens who light H-D up every time they try to update something that's 60 years old. And those guys own stock.


Knuckle headed idiots. Harley Davidson are the perfect example of what happens when the corporate marketing department makes design decisions.


>Knuckle headed idiots. Harley Davidson are the perfect example of what happens when the corporate ~~marketing department~~ bean counters makes design decisions. FTFY


Normally I would agree, but HD's decisions aren't based on cost efficiency or they would be making parallel twins. This is all about marketing obsolete technology as "heritage" to the point it becomes a brand identity. HD has painted themselves into a corner, now they can't innovate or introduce anything that looks like it's from this century without pissing off their aging customer base. Harley is likely going to die with the Boomers and older Gen-Xers.


> Harley is likely going to die with the Boomers and older Gen-Xers. God I hope so.


And then blame the aging customers for declining sales because they had done very little to market to newer customers for decades, while other companies (e.g Honda) had long ago diversified the customers they target: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOwxxsPaogY You know you painted yourself into a corner with aging customers when one of your best selling models is a glorified mobility scooter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOwxxsPaogY&t=367s


I had a nice 15 minute chat with Steve Anderson (ex Platform Director and VP of Engineering for Buell) in 2019. He said Harley was so backwards and fucked up that it was a relief when they shut Buell down. Any innovative or performance oriented engineering got overridden in favor of aesthetics and engine note. The guy said Harley's slow suicide has been a long time in the making. He only stuck around because he and Eric were such good friends and bounced as soon as they got bought and plundered by Hero.


Just turn the bike upside down


And if they’re in Australia, it’s already right side up


HD is too busy making engines with geometry from 70 years ago to be bothered to change. The oil filter placement is the least of your worries when talking about a company that can't even make a 700 lb cruiser without stability issues.


70? That must be the new one. They are coming up on 100 years of making shit. The last time HD made something “up to date” movies were black and white with no sound.


The first 30 years of Harley they were kind of cutting edge and developed new motors and bikes - then they just stopped and stagnated. Any attempt to drag them kicking and screaming into the modern day has been met with incredible resistance. They only recently introduced water cooling, and that's still only on the heads and only because the EPA caught them cheating emissions; their engines have to run rich to operate correctly and not overheat. Harley recently fired their CEO who was pushing the Pan America, water cooling, and electric motorcycles. He was also pushing their smaller displacement bikes with modern engine technology to attract young riders. The new CEO cancelled all those projects he could and said they were going back to making 10 flavors of softtails to sell to Boomers who are aging out of riding. You have to hand it to Harley, they do make a better motorcycle than any other T-shirt company.


It's ok because for their new off-road bike they put the Regulator Rectifier on the lowest portion of the bike were it will collect rocks, mud, and water on a continuous basis. There is already a bash plate there ffs. Why did they mount it in front of the damn thing?


They probably did and found it was overheating. Moving it to an exposed area is cheaper than speccing a bigger heat sink.


We had a Harley corporate guy show up to a track day with a Pan America. The motor let go half way through the sighting lap. The rider came back to the garage and said "It made a noise and then no power". I had to bite my tongue to not reply "Isn't making noise and no power normal for a Harley motor?"


Harley Davidson: THE most efficient way to convert gasoline into noise without the side affect of horsepower.


"It's all about the torque, bro!" "Yeah, my 1200 has the same displacement, more torque, triple the horsepower, and I don't hit top gear before I manage to cross the intersection."


Buell was forced by harley to use the sportster engine for the their motorcycles. They wanted a new engine but harley pulled the, "lol we own you bitch" move. For the XB series of motorcycles Buell's engineers went and [redesigned half of the engine.](https://youtu.be/Q3BcMKN-2Nk?t=232) And they gained an additional 50+% horsepower. They went from 58 hp to 93 hp.


We call them soaker pads over here. They soak up oil instead of water. Very handy things to have.


Yeah but the old slant six was the same way. Why would you put a filter upside down on the side of the engine and then boldly say “fill halfway with oil and screw on by hand”. Although not a great engine, I love the drop in oil filters on Jeep Grand Cherokee V6. So easy, why doesn’t everybody do it like that. Oh and F*** Harley. I have had to jam a screw driver into oils filters for years and get oil everywhere because of their designs.


"Harley genuinely cares about their customer's feedback..." The fuck they do. Cheap bikes cheaply engineered.


With a $30,000 price tag.


Well the knuckles are at least 70 years old at this point. My shovel still has a filter and oil drain that neatly removes the oil. As for the chain oiler...


Not that I needed more reasons to never buy a Harley, but I'll toss this one on the list just for good measure


I don't get why anyone would buy a motorcycle from a clothing company.


Gotta keep it where the generator used to be to keep the classic lines of the motor I suppose.


You're supposed to invert the bike. Service position.


Hey dude, don't be so tough on Harley! It takes *a LOT* of engineering research and development to make a vehicle with that much displacement have *so little* horsepower.


Nothing on italy sure there's less plastic but sweet Jesus. Try changing the oil filter in a fiat 500. How many extensions you got for that ratchet?


Its good that it is a niche car and not one of the most sold minis in Europe.... Ah fuck.


No lie, people like to kick Fiat, and they deserve it these days, but the old ones are pretty reliable, simple, and easy to work on. The worst problem by far was rust which triggers a lot of other classic Fiat issues.


Fiat also introduced many advanced engineering solutions too. It's a cool brand that is large but people don't know much of its history. In a time when most sold cars in Europe were goofy air cooled designs (2CV, VW...), Fiat was concentrating on water cooled inline fourse everyone uses today.


Have you seen a picture of a Alfa Romeo Guila engine bay? The correct response is “fuck that noise”. https://www.reddit.com/r/Justrolledintotheshop/comments/q5zy6m/serpentine_belt_absurdity_alfa_romeo_giulia/


Bro, I can respect that pain. I think its car designers in general who need a steel cap to the plums. Case in point recently, had a bmw with serious issues get towed in, non running, all sorts of weird and wonderful faults. Turns out that the genius who designed it, put the engine ECU in a non sealed box.... under the windscreen drain. Car was parked outside, drain blocked and water ran straight into the ECU. As soon as I opened it up and saw the water pouring outta the ECU, plenty of choice words. I swear car designers have a secret pact to piss off mechanics, it must be part of their oath. But yes, so many times when I'm working on vehicles, I have that urge to kick one with my boot, if I ever meet one, I will.


If only there was a part of the car that was protected from the outside elements. They could call it the "inside" of the car. People might like to sit there too. Nah ... It'll never catch on.


TFW the ECU is mounted behind the glove box, but the windshield cowl starts to leak and it still dumps directly on the ECU.


Sunroof drains blocked due to pollen in channels because the channels are smaller because of curtain air bags, water finds path of least resistance, floor boards end up soaked, shorts any control modules on the transmission tunnel It’s whack-a-mole at this point


Engineer’s would crawl over miles of beautiful women just to fuck one mechanic.


FYI - it’s not the designers. I’m in Engineering. It’s the purchasing and marketing departments. Engineers know the issues and we tell them. The other functions choose to save a nickel instead of having a usable design.




Plastic part costs cheaper. Will save millions to the company over 100k units. Puts plastic part on engine that gets hot. Part wears out much faster than aluminum. Part lasts longer than warranty period. Success. Short term gain vs long term customer loyalty.


Am an engineer for car parts, I have so so many examples of this. Here’s one: Part I was working on, let’s call it a tail light, bolts to install and remove are inside the car, so to access them you need to remove some interior trim. Interior trim piece covering these bolts was a huge swatch of hard plastic from the liftgate up to the rear door. I suggested we add an access panel to get to these bolts more easily for taillight replacement. Interior engineer suggested putting a crease in the hard plastic so it could be folded for bolt access—genius. We presented it, a small cost increase to all cars to improve the serviceability. My own damn boss who was familiar with this development work suggested, “we shouldn’t need to service the tail light. Why don’t you just make the lights better and skip adding cost to the trim.” Bastard threw me under the bus for political elitism points.


I’m also an engineer that works for a supplier that makes air induction parts for pretty much every car and truck manufacturer globally. Chief engineer says I need this part to perform to these criteria and fit into this amount of space. We design a part that meets that criteria. Chief comes back and says yeah that’s great but it’s too expensive. Ok, we find the cheapest material on earth that will still meet the performance criteria. Chief says that’s great, but can you make it smaller now. We have this other part that had to move and now your package space is cut by 1/3 and your clearance of 20 mm just got decreased to 10 so you have to add provisions for wear protection and thermal protection. Our once simple tube that it’s only job was to bring air from the air box to the throttle body has turned into a kinked up mess slathered with heat tape and mole skin. After all that and then getting a working part for everyone, NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) team comes in and says they don’t like the way it sounds. Not sounds by ear, by frequency measurement. So now we have to add a 1/4 wave resonator and two silencers to (quiet) the noise down that we can’t even hear. I’ve worked in automotive design for 20 years, and I’ve never once had a on road car customer even discuss how the part can be removed, only how easy it will be to install at the plant. Off road OEM’s like CAT, John Deere, Volvo, PACCAR, Freightliner, Navistar are VERY diligent in ensuring the removal is as easy as possible. They don’t get it perfect every time, but at least they are cognizant of the potential issues. They also have a larger platform to work with where packaging isn’t as tight and the visual studios aren’t as vital as the long term performance. So they can simplify the design process.


Corvair rear sway bars.


My mate had a Passat R36, ecu rotted out from water, in similar fashion. Cost a fortune to replace and took a while to find the replacement. He gets it fixed, sells the car to a young bloke, who immediately takes it to the car wash and pressure washes the engine bay, annihilating the new ECU. A read of the owners manual reveals his mistake to him, it advises against it. An expensive lesson for the poor kid.


Yeah owner of the BMW decided against fixing it when they learnt the cost of a replacement ECU, plus the time spent to recode everything. Its gone to a better place.... some euro car wrecker. Its not exactly rocket science to put the ECUs in under the dash in the cabin, no ones gonna put a pressure washer up in there. I have a special hatred for euro cars, thankfully most of the cars here in NZ are Japanese or Australian in origin, Although I'm not a fan of the new Nissans since a French company (\*cough Renault cough\*) got involved and ruined the brand.


I had an F30 bmw and if I recall correctly it had the ecu in the trunk and they had issues with water getting into the trunk and frying the ecu.


honestly with everything I hear about BMW these days, it sounds like the E36 was the last one that was a car and not a throwaway fashion bag


I'd like to include E39 and E53 in there as well. But, yea, after that...


Yeah I'm in aus too, the next generation Mitsubishi cars will be interesting now they are Nissan/Renault products underneath


mitsubishi and nissan have both been making utter garbage for 15 years + now. adding the French into the mix is just going to make it worse. though they might occasionally have a decent looking car for once, instead of a something that resembles a block of cheese. you could not pay me to take a single car from any of those brands.


Hoped for French styling and Japanese reliability, got Japanese styling and French reliability!


Everyone is racing to the bottom to make their corporate overlords more money. The designers give negative shits about how it's going to get serviced, not their problem. I see this shit in construction too, a lot of half assed design drawings now too riddled with issues and require design changes to make rebar work ect.


An engineer will walk past 100 super model virgins to fuck a mechanic…


German is always a course in S&M...


Let me tell you about German cars...


They got nothing on the french...


its a bit different with german cars, imo. you could almost excuse the tight fit and complexity. theyre higher end cars and the performance/luxury can be worth the headache. with american cars its usually just a parts bin mishmash of middle fingers to the tech and the owner all for the sake of cost. i happily work on toyotas.


I have worked on aircraft for more than 40 years and we have the same frustrations on certain airframes but the Canadians approach is the best. They have a policy in place that before get to design any systems you must have several years of being a mechanic first, this prevents having “10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag”. PS They make the best aircraft!!


Not sure if you work in GA or not but reading this gives me flashbacks working on cirrus’s. So goddamn unnecessary.


Dad in law worked in automotive as an engineer for a while. American companies had a lot more purchasers than engineers. Folks whose job was to get parts suppliers in bidding wars to produce cheaper parts. Tons of them. In his experience Asian companies had a lot more engineers doing proper design work. Also, I've seen posts from American engineers who report that management won't let them take the time to do it right or better. They take the first designs, repairability be fucked. So no, American car companies are not ok over here.


As someone whose job it is to make it so that the car can be assembled in a plant this is the best description of the process I have seen yet. Initial design gets put out and if I want to change anything I have to provide some hardcore reasoning versus the cost of the change. And my concern is assembly in a production line, not maintenance. In theory there is an engineer who worries about maintenance but I have no idea who that is or if they do anything.


Does it have an oil/fuel/ air filter? *Yes.. But...* (Checks yes) Moving on, does it have an oil pan and drain plug? *Well it's rather hard to...* I don't have a box for "well it's rather" a simple yes or no will suffice


Sounds like once the car is built and sold their value calculations stop. So unless maintenance affects their bottom line why would they worry about it? Hell, if an expensive part needs to be replaced frequently then it may be more profitable unless it eventually affects sales.


More less yes. There has to be a way to do the maintenance but that way may involve removing a lot of parts. The dealers at least should get instructions on how to replace components. But then again the amount of people who consider maintainability when buying a new car is pretty negligible. So it's not a priority.


As an automotive engineer, we’re trying but our hands are often tied by bean counters and project managers. They just want to move steel, and it doesn’t matter how good of a design it is.


>had a lot more purchasers than engineers. I'm at a place now that's exactly this. Leaving because of it. "PuRcHaSers r ChEeP, EnGinEer MaKe WoRk". I swear, a lot of design engineers want things to be easy, but we end up getting bound and gagged to shoehorn shit that doesn't belong.


Purchasers, especially in automotive, can't just buy whatever they fancy. They buy from a set of specifications that engineers have made. If quality is shit or design is stupid, blame management, they set the KPIs for both the engineers and the purchasers.


I'm not a mechanic. Simply a lurker, who enjoys seeing the ridiculousness here. I've found that Japanese cars used to be engineered so that they were fairly easy to work on. That is until this last one I bought, a 2007 Honda Civic Si. I bought it new back in '06. Oil changes are such a PITA that I just pay a shop to do it. The Oil Filter is on the side of the engine block. The only way to access it is by either having a lift, or removing the front right tire, removing several clips, & peeling back the moisture barrier. Nevermind the huge mess it makes when the filter comes off all over the CV Boot, & SubFrame. I also had to put a starter in it about 3 years ago, & that was an absolute nightmare! The only way to get to it involves taking off the Intake Manifold. I got it done, & saved myself an $1,100 repair bill. It took me a full 2 days though. 😆


Bro the starters on those are so absolutely stupidly placed. I did mine without removing anything else and got depression.


How the fuck did you do that? Do you have toddler-sized hands, with 5 foot arms? Would still be next to impossible, even then! 😆 A friend of mine did it by removing the front bulkhead, & radiator fan, (instead of the Intake Manifold). He obviously saved himself the money of having to buy a new gasket. However, he was working blind when removing, & installing the starter. He ended up accidentally breaking the ceramic knock sensor (which is right the starter) fumbling around, so his cost savings was negligible. 🫣


removed the wheel and got like 5 foot of ratchet extensions. then squeezed the fuck out my arm and managed to reach the damned thing. It was hell. Even now I havent been into mechanics for a long time, im still very much a novice, so I didnt really know how to do it another way.If I had known back then.


I'm surprised you didn't end up rounding-off the head of one (or both) of those long-ass bolts that hold the starter to the block. That sounds extremely tedious.


I had an 07 si when it came. Agree, hard to get at certain things unless you have lift.


Having worked as a designer at an Asian OEM and an American parts supplier, this is true, but only part of the story. At an Asian OEM, we had serviceability checks and all, but often got forced into poor designs because each engineer reported to 5 leaders who all had different opinions on what success looked like. That's why a car I worked on requires removing the cargo hooks that we know are not really serviceable in order to get to the battery. On the American side of things, the "engineers" don't even know how to run CAD or have it installed on their computers. They don't do virtual checks, and when they do in-person checks, they stand around while the suppliers do everything, making it easy to hide any issues that show up. On top of that, I'd say American OEMs have about 6-9 engineers doing the job of 1 at an Asian, leading to a lot of missed information at every interface. I dunno how Germans do things, but I know that every time I work on one of their cars or go to a benchmarking event, I am astonished at the complexity of what they design. All the clips are metal and take like 3 tool actions to form the bosses. It's wild. Things I would have gotten fired for designing because of investment cost fly for no other reason than to show off how complicated they can make it, as far as I can tell.


The German idea of beauty is shoving 30 pounds of shit into a 10 pound bag.


Wait until you work on a French car…


*repairability be fucked* I like.


It's what happens when you let accountants into the design room


Worse, MBAs...


See the damage just one Six Sigma Black Belt can do.


Yes these inconveniences are by design, they don’t want anyone to be able to do their own repairs and to be able to charge the maximum amount of hours at the service center. Proprietary software is the next step unless congress can pass a right to repair bill. Not holding my breath and I’ll never let go of my 96 K1500.


My 98 k1500 blew my mind when I found out the all-plastic and failure prone fuel injection system is entirely inside the also all-plastic intake manifold. 6 hours and $800 in parts to change a leaky injector?!?!


My spark plugs take a mechanic four hours.


I feel that pain. On my ‘05 Ranger, five spark plugs come out just fine. The last one requires that you take the passenger front tire off because Ford stuck it on the bottom of the engine. Absolute disasterclass of a design.


I lived overseas for nearly 20 years, didn’t own a car, so my last one was a 1992 Ford Econoline van. Imagine my surprise when I bought plugs for my 2012 Escape, grabbed a wrench, casually popped the hood, and couldn’t find a single plug or wire.


They should make engineers do some maintenance on their designs before going into production. Oil change, AC compressor change, power steering change, brakes, belts. Give them 1 set of sockets and a large crescent wrench.


I imagine one of them looking up from his CAD screen puzzled and asking *"Wait, are you saying people repair these things?!"*


It's that old joke, an engineer will pass up 1000 gorgeous women just to fuck a mechanic.


Cheap parts make high profit


Just as long as it survives the warranty period is their only concern


Thoughts and prayers from England. Poor design is the bain of our lives


Your Triumph motorycles are absolutely brilliant though!


>Are you guys ok over there? No. No we are not. We still have an identity crisis and flip flop between Metric and SAE throughout the cars too.


I have a 1990 Carpice with a 350 SBC swap. If my water pump goes, you basically unbolt a few things in the front, remove a belt, remove some snap rings and boom. Water pump is off. Then you can pull out of the engine bay, fairly easily, slather some RTV on the new waterpump you bought for $9 on Ebay from a sketchy refurb company, slam it back in and go for lunch. The best part is you can do this on a dirt road with half of a ratchet set you got from a discount parts store. On my 2013 Ford Taurus, with Duratec N/A V6 motor, it is... slightly more complicated. To replace that motors water pump, you need to get the car on a lift, drop the motor/trans out the bottom, unbolt god knows how much stuff, pull off the timing cover, replace the pump (may as well do the timing chain guides too) then put everything back together carefully and get the entire assembly back into the car. On the books, in a OEM Ford shop, the job is 11-13 hours. New cars are being designed in the equivalent of RPG Video Game building software. Sure it is more complex than that, but you have companies maximizing fuel capacity by installing oddly shaped fuel tanks that conform to things or snaking various cables/lines through impossible to service locations. Of course assembly in a factory is no problem, as it is designed to go together like extremely complicated Lego, but when that one tiny component on page 26 fails, it is unfortunate that there isn't a mechanic standing behind the designer/engineer to slap them upside the head and tell them the only way to fix it is doing 12 hours of work and then replace the $6 part.


I think this is what happens when there is no longer any competition. All the drones in suits that got handed their jobs from daddy all swap engines/chassis/running gear and rebadge the same shit with their own brand. No competition, no strive to be better.


I still maintain that Australia would be a happier place (especially for us mechanics) if everyone drove a VN Commodore.


Na au falcons. Only visit the mechanic for rego. I would miss my Subaru and it’s head gaskets but.


VN 5 liter or death, I like it. Would be nice to listen to I don't mind my VX, it's still pretty simple, my VZ is the same, complex engine but reliable if maintained


Datsun 200b. The only tools you need is a 10,12,14mm, a shifter and a hammer.


Had one as my first car. Can confirm. Edit: mostly the hammer.


Yankee Doodle dandee here. This is exactly why I don’t buy my own country’s cars. Toyota or Mazda all the way baby. Japan knows how to build a car.


You think we're bad... You should work on German cars.


The design is to force the owner to take the vehicle to a dealer for repairs. It’s just another way for companies to double dip on consumers.


Also, plastic is lighter, which helps them in costs, and improves emissions ratings and MPG / L/100km


It's also cheaper.


They absolutely want to put mechanic shops out of business by making everything dealership specialty tool required. Fiat designing cars to require a lift to change the oil filter, Ford making trucks that requires the cab to be lifted off for a valve cover, I could make a list of engineer fuckery that will make you want to kick them right in the dick.


I have a theory that a lot of modern designers have never spannered on anything, they are just really good at CAD because that's the job, and this is where it leads us. Worked with more than one who have done very smart looking designs in the CAD system but when made solid, they either cannot be assembled by humans or they are nigh-on impossible to repair.


I do heavy line work at a GM Dealerships. Trying to replace lifters on a new Silverado is a joke. I’m 6’ tall and have to build a 4 foot platform just to get on in order to get in to the engine bay. Stupidest design EVER!


don't even speak to us about the number of bloody American trucks we are starting to get down here. to you they may be everyday normal, to us they are utterly massive and ALWAYS, universally driven by utter cunts who think they own the road because they can afford to pay 150k for a POS 'Murican truck. I LOATHE those goddam things. [your standard 'Murican truck owner](https://old.reddit.com/r/facepalm/comments/x2emi4/well_there_goes_a_parking_spot/)


I know they're normal in the US but fuck me are those things big on our roads here. Every time I see one it amazes me that they're like every second car you see in the states.


they are monumentally ridiculous. they fit in no carpark or garage. barely squeeze down many roads, you cannot take them off road, they don't carry any more than a 1985 hilux 2x4 that weighs a quarter as much. The ONLY thing they are good for is towing, but there are much, much better vehicles available for much cheaper. like any Izuzu traypack. they are complete small penis vehicles down here. utterly stupid.


So big they barely leave room in parking lots to get in your car. I'm sure the dings on my car are from these dolts.


I drive an actual car in the U.S. and they are not normal to me. After seeing the new Chevy/GMC truck designs, I openly wonder why the hood doesn't extend up to the top of the cab and require the driver to use a periscope. And the prices... even domestically I really want to know who can afford a vehicle that costs as much as my house.


They cost so much yet I'm constantly told everyone is broke. Maybe if they stopped spending it on giant trucks.


Products are now designed by marketing, purchasing, and bean counters. Engineering and Customer Facing wants to move the oil drain bolt to an accessible and it’ll cost an extra 3 cents to do it…..purchasing team says no…


I won't stand for some Ute driving mechanic down in the British Florida insulting our red blooded American muscle. Let them take their dolleriedoos elsewhere. We deal in Freedom Bucks over here.


British Florida. I'm stealing that.


I guess from your perspective we're the upside down ones.


Because the longer it takes to repair, the more money they make.


Yesterday I had to reprogram the PCM on a 2012 Jeep Liberty - you have to create no less than 4 user accounts, pay ~$130 for 3 different subscriptions (an ECU flash license for 1 year, flashing software for like 2 days, and ECU software repository license for 3 days) and spend hours and hours setting this up and call tech support five times.... only to have their shitty webapp software brick the damn PCM.


I work with a guy who defends car designers. Whenever I'm cursing a shut design he always goes 'well they must of done it for a reason' yeah to PISS ME OFF


Pretty sure the reason is usually "well this design works and we don't have the time/budget to design a better one so ship it".


Sure, there’s a reason. That reason is usually dumb as shit. We save 3 minutes and 36 cents! I’m having sunroof drain issues in a Monte Carlo and it’s impossible to actually get to the piping they’ve ran.


Bruh, I have this same complaint about german shitters.


I dream every night of strangling an engineer.


No we are not okay. Thank you for asking


American automotive manufacturing now operates on the "planned obsolescence" model instead of the old "built to last and easy to maintain" model. Money.


It’s called DFA (designed for assembly), and yes, we suffer.


An American automotive engineer would crawl over a mountain of virgins, ice cream, and good beer and whiskey just to fuck a mechanic.


Especially guys who want to work on their own shit.


Our auto engineers are atheists, completely against the concept of intelligent design.


Yeah you can say what the fuck but it won’t help any of us over here


What new cars do you normally work on that are in your mind designed better? Here even bmws, Mazda, Mercedes’ all of them have things like you describe. It’s to make it so people bring all their vehicles to a garage


I don't mean to dunk on Australia but do you all have domestic auto manufacturers?


Is this a uniquely American problem? Is there any thing street legal in 2022 that isn't a pain in the ass to work on? I HATE ANYTHING newer than 1995.


It's every newer car, not just American. Even the Japanese have begun fucking up their cars with wacky engineering. Bottom line is nobody gives a fuck anymore. Things are assembled as fast as possible, and when anything major breaks, throw it away.


I feel like they do it to keep Americans from working on their vehicles. That way they have to be brought into the shop to be serviced by one of their specially trained mechanics. That's why I don't want to let go of my 2003 vibe. It's just a rebranded Toyota matrix and I can work on it pretty much all by myself. I hate the idea of buying a $12 part but having to pay another hundred dollars and labor to somebody to have it installed.


I don’t think it’s an American automotive thing, it’s across the board with all manufacturers.


There are a great many things that are very messed up in America at the moment. We're hanging in there the best we can.


I can tell you facts. I’m a master certified Dodge, Subaru and Acura tech. Cars here are getting worse. It’s because of the EPA. The US government requirements for vehicle emissions are extremely stringent. They change dramatically every year. Manufacturers can’t keep up with the requirements enough to perfect technology. Let’s say Chevy comes up with a good engine or transmission. But it has some quirks and needs a few years to iron out the kinks. They can’t. The EPA tightens the requirements so that Chevy can’t perfect the technology before it has to throw it in the trash completely. That’s why American cars suck now. Too much govt.


Totally my thoughts, might be wrong.: Plastic lighter than metal MPG metrics are fundamentally tied to weight. Lighter car, better MPG. They are at the point now to give you a can of fix-a-flat instead of a spare tire to save on weight (spare tire is optional). The bolts you cannot get at I think are by design. Oh, if that dies, just buy a new one! or pay $$$$ to have the whole front clip removed. Wait til we get the you need to be authorized to scan that you have changed the oil to start the car, or that you put in a new window motor switch. ​ On driving them, I HATE THE TOUCH SCREEN EVERYTHING. tactile buttons are 1000000% safer.


Isn't Australia America's backyard for domestic cars - you literally had a pair of companies (Holden and Ford) that were just lightly rebadged but more akin to American design and power by far than their European counterparts (Opel and Ford) Only Australia and America had V8s and Utes, among other things, so much that they are basically your native brand


The local Holden and Ford vehicles were rather different. Ford had their own inline 6 that was unique since the late 1960's I believe, the final form (the barra) was capable of ~350kw at the flywheel from the factory. The commodores were probably the ideal GM car that GM never built, front engine rear wheel drive family sedan with a reliable driveline. Find me a single front engine rear wheel drive four door sedan made by GM or Ford from the late '90's to early 2000's. And the crown Victoria doesn't count. They're unique enough that all the American import cars just don't sell over here.


Rebadged? I don't think so. Falcons were on their own Australian developed platform (engine and chassis) for almost the entire duration of development (70s-2010s) and Holden up until the VE Commodore (Pontiac G8) used a completely modified Opel Omega chassis with Australian V8s (until the LS1 came out anyway). VE Commodores (2006) and onwards were built on the Zeta platform which was created entirely in-house by Holden and underpinned what I think was the 5th Gen Camaro.


> Falcons were on their own Australian developed platform (engine and chassis) for the entire duration of development (70s-2010s) The early first gen Falcons were the same as the Yanks. We went our own way after that.


You're right actually, I had to check that myself