TechTalk Failed car instrument cluster

Published on February 2nd, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


So, why is your NEW CAR so unreliable?

Please share your personal experiences if any with us as we want to increase vehicle reliability and bring back the fun in vehicle ownership.

With all cars launched in the past 8-10 years you would think that reliability would get better with better technology, on board computers that can predict the needs of the car and the use of better materials in every area. 

Simple classic car instruments that work well a long time
Simple classic car instruments that will work well a very long time

Are they reliable today?

Well, it seems that new cars are breaking down more often and its not just engine and gearbox issues like with some European brands. Climate control systems, electrics, in-car entertainments units, on board electronics and even power windows (like with Proton’s 25 years ago) seem to be ‘giving up’ in the first few years.

Cars are no longer built like before and the requirements from the new generation of buyers for technology filled cabins are giving car manufacturers more ‘boxes’ and ‘chips’ to install behind the dashboard.  

Simple classic car instruments that work well a long time

Is it vendors?

Understand this. The car manufacturer produces a car and then they have dozens of vendors providing these new technology products and software behind the cars dashboard. These vendors, like the Proton power window vendor 25 years ago is really to blame, but the car brand suffers the blame, not the vendor. 

One of the reasons that new cars today are considered unreliable is actually related to the average cost of repairs. When car repair costs are higher, the dependability of the vehicle is reduced accordingly. 

Cars that require fewer repairs, and cost less per workshop visit, are the ones considered far more reliable by drivers. Owners also look at the amount of time that their car spends off the road when they are considering reliability; if a car spends a considerable amount of time off the road for repairs and takes a longer time to repair, then the car is considered to be less reliable.

designer style shapes with cars

Is software the culprit?

Software updates are another reason why new cars start giving issues. Your average new car in the past 8-10 years is packed full with technology behind the dashboard and the more technology there is, the more elements there are that can go wrong. 

BHPetrol RON95 Euro 4M

As anyone who has the latest phone with the newest operating system will know, sometimes updates go wrong. It only takes one app being incompatible for something to stop working properly. And in-car technology is no different. Not only that, but the technology can also be expensive, and difficult to repair or replace.

Nearly all car manufacturers’ determination to adopt new technology soon after launch can also be considered a problem as they need to compete with each other with every new model launched. 

Simple classic car instruments that work well a long time

Or, are you the problem?

Everyone wants the newest items out there, but sometimes this is their downfall. New doesn’t always mean reliable. However, the reverse can also be found to be true, and if you don’t update your software you can also discover things stop working just when you need them.

When things stop working, whether they are the in-car technology, the semi automatic gearbox or dual clutch gearbox, the suspension or engine-related item, this is a huge pain for the owners, upping repair costs and reducing dependability.

So, with increased use of technology in all cars, be prepared for more unreliable machines coming to all showrooms this 2020.

Modern Motorcycle instruments
Modern Motorcycle Instruments

Even with two wheels?

Yes, even new motorcycles laden with latest technology have been know to give issues to its owners and bike manufacturers are trying to satisfy the demands of a younger connected generation of buyers who want car like cabin connectivity while riding their motorcycles. 

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