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Can't touch this.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Right To Repair" laws have been debated for years, with automakers and dealers steadfastly opposed to any legislation requiring them to divulge the electronic secrets of their vehicles to independent repair shops. The little guys continue to cry foul, insisting that dealership mechanics get repair tools and software that are unavailable on the open market. The manufacturers claim they already provide enough repair information and what they don't disclose is proprietary and needs to be protected. The repair shops retort that manufacturers are putting them at an unfair disadvantage, accusing them of wanting to protect their dealers' revenue stream.

All that back and forth – along with the legislative gridlock that has benefitted the carmakers – could end soon in Massachusetts, according to The Wall Street Journal. A ballot measure in November would allow voters to bypass state lawmakers to put a Right To Repair law on the books.

The ballot initiative is backed by the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition, a group of independent mechanics and parts retailers, and supported by AAA Southern New England, whose membership was polled 88 percent in favor of Right To Repair, according to the report. A coalition spokesman told the WSJ that if its initiative succeeds, he expects ballot measures to be launched in other states like New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, where Right To Repair bills have stalled in state legislatures.
Thoughts?
 

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The Original 1zz Fanboy
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For mechanical parts I'm totally on the side of the Manufacturers. The software side is where I think things are going to get more and more complicated.
 

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Can't touch this.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^ I think that is what the main gripe is. When something with the ECU goes wrong, you HAVE to go to the dealer. Even if it fucks up on its own, they will charge you a pretty penny to have it fixed.
 

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I'm afraid I'll fall quickly toward the mfr's side with this. It's a free market and you can make it as hard or as easy as you want to have your shit worked on. I would still say that any shop can perform approved warranty work for a mfr, though.

Who do you want soldering on your Dell motherboard or Samsung TV logic board or GE refrigerator logic board, anyway?
 

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Can't touch this.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think for mechanical its on you, but if its electrical like the ECU it should be on them. 99% of the population cant reflash or mess with a computer in that sort of fasion.
Because they don't have the tools/information to do so.

On cars that don't come with a 'locked ecu', like a mustang, requires little to nothing to re-flash the ecu (ask norulez). The major problem is most companies don't have that, so if there is something wrong with the ECU, you can't diagnose or fix it.

It is like trying to read a computer error code on windows or mac, with nothing to diagnose or read. All you see is a bunch of random numbers.

Who do you want soldering on your Dell motherboard or Samsung TV logic board or GE refrigerator logic board, anyway?
I had a 17 year old kid solder my ECU when I tampered with it. Worked fine. Soldering isn't hard, at all.

Also, we aren't talking about designing. We are talking about releasing the software/codes so repair shops can diagnose, fix/re-flash without having to go to a dealer.
 

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Theoretical Gear Head
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Screw both the dealers and the repair shops. I want to be able to work/repair my own car in my own garage. Want laws in place that require manufacturers to supply information to the public, at a reasonable cost, on how to repair their vehicles including the ECU.
 

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I had a 17 year old kid solder my ECU when I tampered with it. Worked fine. Soldering isn't hard, at all.
You didn't get my point or I didn't make it clear enough. There's a lot going on in your average logic board these days. I want someone who truly knows the designs, the components, the current rev levels of all the components, etc., etc. Not just someone who can sling solder.
 

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Can't touch this.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There's a lot going on in your average logic board these days. I want someone who truly knows the designs, the components, the current rev levels of all the components, etc., etc. Not just someone who can sling solder.
Yes, if you are taking it apart and working on the board itself - which, doesn't happen usually. If something is wrong with the ECU, it usually takes a reflash. I've never seen or heard of someone taking their car in and having the ECU pulled from the car, opened up, and the board itself worked on.
 

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Dudes. This isn't about replacing a blown injector driver on a logic board. This is about:

1998 Volvo comes into the shop with the air bag light on as well as the service vehicle message in the message center, customer has been bringing this car to us since 25,000 miles, now has 125,000 miles. We have done EVERYTHING including repairing several failed sensors which set the check engine light, timing belts, tires, brakes, suspension, alignments, regular maintenance, every oil change even.

We connect out $10,000 Snapon Verus (top of the line) scanner, we can't read airbag or service vehicle stuff. We can't read it, we can't clear it. We call Snapon to see if we just need to purchase an addon. Snapon says 'Sorry, Volvo does not release that information to anyone'. So now we have to send our 100,000 mile customer to Volvo for this repair and loose out on the income we could have gained. It's not just Volvo, other makes do this as well. This stops us from being able to perform repairs.

You say 'Good, you shouldn't be messing with airbag systems anyways'. I say 'And what makes the dealer so much more qualified?' Mr Volvo simply had a front impact sensor that failed due to corrosion that had gotten inside a wire which was nicked by a fender bender years ago. Small cut in the insulation, copper corroded inside and wicked towards the sensor, jumped the terminal, and creeped up into the impact sensor. A bit of wire, new terminal, and new impact sensor and he was good to go once the code was cleared.

That's the kind of repair I do, every day, all the time to any kind of sensor. It would have been insanely time consuming to find that problem without a code to point me in the general direction of the issue. GM lets me do just about everything from the Snapon scanner, same with Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Honda. It's primarily European makes that keep the information locked up.

Some mechanical specifications are not published, but that's pretty uncommon. Once in a blue moon a torque spec is not listed, but we can usually call a service dept and ask.

It would be nice to be able to more easily flash and update PCM's, some mfg's allow this but you have to buy their tool and subscribe to their monthly/yearly update stream. Their tool is $$$$$ and the subscription fees...well let's say it's priced so that if you're not selling new cars you can't afford it. 1-2 thousand a month for Nissan if I recall.
 

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I do. I'm getting tired of having to send people away to dealers for things we should be able to fix. Volvo and Saab are the worst.
 

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I actually really like to work on Volvo's. Simple, easy machines that are robust and reliable. Old Saab...holy fuck they're worse than British cars and that's saying something! New Saab...just another GM shitbox. Current Saab....what Saab?
 

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I want someone who truly knows the designs, the components, the current rev levels of all the components, etc., etc. Not just someone who can sling solder.
That is starting from the premise that dealership staff actually know what they are doing. Many times it turns out they don't. :chuckles:
 

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That is starting from the premise that dealership staff actually know what they are doing. Many times it turns out they don't. :chuckles:
Just had in a 94 Deville with like 60,000 miles. Holy fuck, beautiful car. Air suspension and climate control didn't work. Dealer said it needed a compressor and a climate control module and charged a diag fee.

I looked at it for a couple billed hours. Pulled codes from the DIC, driver information center, no scanner hookup here bitches. Have to press a series of buttons to access on board computer and more buttons to get codes and do tests and such. Cool system. Anyways, threw codes for the RSS suspension, a 36 which was open/short compressor and an IPC code for no APC comm. Got under the beast and powered and grounded the compressor manually with my power probe. It works. It works fine. Pumped up the shocks and checked for leaks. All is golden. Let it down, cycled the key on and it lowered itself. So that shit works but it's not getting power. Well herpy derpy let's check fuses. 30 amp is good for compressor power. 10 amp which powers the relay? It's blown. Hey I got my ACP diagram here too, lets cross reference. Yep that fuse powers the ACP. One fuse, two systems. One fuse fixed the shit. ONE FUCKING FUSE. Dealer wanted to sell him like $2500 of stuff and the said it would be better if he let them buy it.

Granted it may need a compressor, relay, or ACP because something blew the 10 amp D5 fuse. But my point is that dealers do not always know best.
 

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... and a garage with a tech like Bitter is golden. Rare. Seemingly impossible to find. But when you find them you keep going back - and want them to have access to everything the dealership has. I understand. But he can't escalate or work with the regional mfr reps, I don't believe, either.

I'm just saying on some components - like the ECUs (more than one in cars these days) - it makes sense. ECU codes? No.
 

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If its outside warranty then it doesn't matter if you escalate to a higher rep because it's outside warranty. I have no problem sending someone to the dealer for 8/80 emission warranty with a PCM or whatever. As soon as you hit 80,001 miles the dealer or mfgr simply has no fucks to give. Yes, I always check for TSB's, recalls, or special extended warranty coverages before condemning something like a PCM. I'd rather loose a PCM and gain a trusted customer than take someone for $800 once. I'll make more than double that off them if they keep coming back.
 

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And no, I don't work for commission. I get salary with occasional bonuses for outstanding work.
 
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