There was a time in our history when automobiles were quite simple at a mechanical level. The engine bays had plenty of room to access all the parts that may require repairs and maintenance without any special tools. The chief problem with early vehicles was rusting.
Until the mid-1970’s most major auto producers did not use galvanized steel that was resistant to corrosion. This would lead many of these, now collectible, classic cars to rust out in less than a decade. Since the innovations in rust-prevention have appeared on the market, manufacturers have found new methods to force buyers into new cars every few years such as planned obsolescence and monopolization.
The Dangers of Overspecialization
Today, the automotive industry is totally monopolized on. Car manufacturers have exclusive information on how to repair their vehicles. They have full control on whether the original parts will be available to make repairs and the factory-trained technicians needed to carry out repairs. When having your automobile repaired at the dealership starts to cost more than the vehicle is worth at resale prices, many owners find themselves being pushed into newer models. This is creating a disposable automobile culture that forces Americans to run perpetually on a debt treadmill.
It is not that these vehicles cannot be repaired and maintained on a limited budget. The problem is that auto manufacturers put up all sorts of obstacles. And because the quality of automotive repair at chain shops and independent garages is not specialized, it is can be difficult to obtain the premium care that you need. Car shops employ real people who can get backed up on work and decide to cut corners. The customers have very little recourse because good mechanics who are talented and thorough are incredibly hard to find.
Unsafe Aging Vehicles on the Roads
There are many unsafe vehicles on the roads today that have warped rotors, broken ABS systems, malfunctioning transmissions, old tires that can blow out, and other engine performance problems that can lead to stalling and running issues. As vehicles age, they become stressful to drive. Even though that transmission is only hesitating a little bit when you hit the pedal now, one day when you are trying to pull out, it can fail completely. This can even cause an accident.
All the potholes in the northern states cause alignment issues. It just takes a single smack into a curb or a large pothole for you to jar your vehicle and knock the alignment out of tune. This will create vibration in the wheels at high speeds and greatly reduce tire life. It can also make it hard to handle the vehicle at speeds, which is especially dangerous at night, on highways, and in inclement weather.
In addition to the difficulties in keeping up the general health of an aging vehicle, car owners also have to struggle with planned obsolescence. Planned obsolescence occurs when vehicles are engineered with weak points that can easily immobilize any vehicle. These vehicles require the pinnacle of expert repair in order to prevent these debilitating problems from creeping up on car owners. For example, a vehicle may be intentionally designed with a transmission or engine that overheats. When these main drivetrain components get too hot, their lifespans are tragically reduced.
The only solution is to do a lot of research before you buy any vehicle. Manufacturers often have very good high-quality models that are known for their reliability and ease of maintenance and others that are just piles of parts on wheels. If you can buy a late-model used or new vehicle that has top accolades in the industry, you fair a far better chance of dodging the bullet.
It may be time to get rid of that older unsafe automobile if it has more problems than you can count on one hand. In any case, you will keep your car insurance premiums low and avoid the toll of accidents by being realistic about the core factors affecting the modern marketplace.