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The Consumers Right to Repair


Banjo
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I've been following this subject in the media, for the past year or so, with interest, as it resonates strongly with me; as I assume it does, with other fellow RollaClubers.

It appears the talk is finally going to come to an end, & there could be some legislation coming forward shortly.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-02/right-to-repair-productivity-commission/100668064

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-03-11/farmers-spearhead-right-to-repair-fight/9535730

Most of us on RollaClub love tinkering with our older cars mechanically.  There is heaps of information, how to fix anything mechanically; whether it be in comprehensive manuals, Doctor Google, or advice from fellow members.

However, when it comes to "electrical matters", there is a unknown for many.  I'm the first to admit, that looking at the wiring diagram of a early Toyota's manual, with lines crossing everywhere, can be daunting to many.  However, when broken down, that wiring diagram is very, very simple.  Each individual circuit in the car starts with the battery positive terminal.  It then passes through fuses, switches, lights, sensors, guages etc. & then back to the negative terminal of the battery.  In fact, our early Toyotas, are super simple, when it comes to electrical.

Enter electronics !  Whole new game. My first KE had no electronics in it at all.   Even the regulator for the alternator, had a vibrating relay contact, in the regulator control box.  I once discovered that the guages on the dashboard, which use a regulated 7-8 VDC, so they read correctly, even if the battery voltage was low; used a set of vibrating contacts, to produce the 7-8V supply.

Later model KE Series Rollas, used alternators with solid state regulators, as Toyota also did; for the dash board guages 7-8 Volt supply.

However, the modern Toyota car is full of electronics, controlling anything & everything.   That's where the issues start, to my way of thinking.  In the old days, your average NRMA, or RACQ roadside assist man, could usually get you going again, if the fault was electrical.  Now days, if the fault is in this realm, it is invariably time to call for the tilt truck.

So the electronics; & the microprocessors provide great leaps & bounds, in safety, efficiency, emissions, performance etc.  This is all aimed ultimately, (so they saw) at a future time, when we will all sit back, & the car with autonomously take us to our destination.

So am I a purist ?  No.   I have to admit I have introduced electronics, into my 1974 KE30.

1. Removed original AM radio & fitted a modern one, that allows me to answer & use my phone with BlueTooth.

2. Added a wire transmitter between steering wheel & horn relay, to get rid of that annoying spring loaded horn contact, behind the steering wheel.

https://www.rollaclub.com/board/topic/75658-ke3055-horn-steering-wheel-contact-ring/?tab=comments#comment-720517

3. An electronic ignition system, to get rid of the poor performance of points orientated ignition systems, as they age.

https://www.rollaclub.com/board/topic/73743-electronic-distributor/#comments

Now don't get me wrong; modern electronics in automobiles are generally very, very reliable.  However, When the car stops unexpectedly, on the side of a remote road, & you don't have a clue where to start looking, it can be a problem.  I'm a great believer in the K.I.S.S. principle, when it comes to auto electrics & electronics.

I've only had to call a tilt truck once in my whole life. It was on an interstate trip, on a back road, in a late model Camry, at the time.  The dealers couldn't even find the fault. It got back to my home, in Brisbane, & it took me a whole weekend, to find the issue.  I put my findings on an automotive website, & was surprised to find others who had experienced the same issue, but could never find the cause of the issue.  It was a Toyota design mistake.

Love to hear others thoughts on this subject.

Cheers Banjo

 

   

 

 

 

 

Edited by Banjo
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Personally I think that once i have bought and paid for an item, no matter the size and value then I am able to make decisions on how the item is to be repaired/upgraded etc. The prospect that some company can hold me to ransom and say that only they can service/repair an item is ridiculous, especially as the manufacturer will only "support" and product for so long. This is forcing us into an upgrade path that we may not want to take.

 

Its an legal conundrum as we actually own the item and so why arent we allowed to upgrade or service it with whomever and with what ever parts we like. Sure we may void warranty but isnt that our right to choose? 

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Louis rossman on youtube is an apple repair man in new york but he is quite heavily involved with the right to repair shamozzle going on in USA at the moment. He also has quite interesting videos on fixing apple stuff. 

I don't think there will be a legal issue is DIYers being able to fix stuff, but its just going to be harder and harder to do it, parts locked down, or the proper software to do whatever to the system to make sure it all works again.

I was chatting to a mate of mine who is into BA turbo ford falcons, and he has some fancy one, typhoon maybe?, i cant remember but he said he cant remove the OEM stereo and replace it without reprograming the ecu to allow it to work without it. Have to take it to a dealer.  If you unplug the stereo without taking it to a dealer the car wont start. 

In 20yrs time will someone be able to resurect an old BA falcon with a broken stereo? is that software going to be able to be gotten? is ford going to help? doubt it!

 

 

 

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You really think you own Windows 10 when you buy it??  No, you just own a licence to use it, subject to a lawyer's feast of conditions..

Cars will get to be the same, touch something and your warranty is void and the car won't start. (or be illegal to take on the road) Imagine self-drive cars being fiddled with by backyard mechanics! 

I'm amazed they even allow electric cars after so many have caught fire and can't be put out. If we converted a Falcon 50years ago, sold electrical conversion kits, then had 4 or 5 catch fire and be inextinguishable, we'd be in jail!  Its only the push by the global warmists for electrics that even allows them to exist.

There'll be some big changes, especially in motorsport, when it comes to modding cars.

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Call in an interest; call it a passion; but what we do in restoring & keeping older cars going, is either extending somethings regarded useful life, or providing a connection to the past, in a world where everything is changing so quickly.  Just before the start of the 19th century, cars (horseless carriages) were so dangerous that a man had to walk in front of them with a red flag !

I went to our local council waste station a couple of weekends ago, to drop off some green waste.  I drove past a great big waste bin, that was full to the top, with "electronic waste"; (mainly desktop computers from what I could see)

This constant movement forward, at such a pace, is hard for some people to cope with, & creates a need for some people to "collect olde things"

However, like the right to repair, there are "circumstances" where this rush to move forward, creates real life problems.

A couple of years ago, I had a tenant in a rental house.  He asked could he run a small business in the garage, fixing computers, as He had found a local market needed such, with lots of small accounts & law firms, around His area.  I agreed, & He did well.  One day,  (knowing I dabbled in electronics), He asked whether I had any olde 4.25 inch floppy disk drives, in my collection of things.  My first question was;  what would you possibly need a 4.25" floppy drive for ?

Answer:  A local solicitor, had a client that had died.  There was no record of a last will & testament. They discovered he had a "safe deposit box.  After going through the procedures, the safe deposit box, was opened. There inside was a 4.25" floppy disk, in a sleeve with "Will" scribbled on the outside.

Hence the problem, of how do you read it.  Hence the need for 4.25" floppy drive, but also the need for some software, to read it, as it was produced using a very early version of a Lotus editor, called AmiPro, or something similar.

Long & the short of it was; that my tennant discovered, this was not an isolated case, in his locale; so He advertised to all his clients, & soon was well known for this particular service.

To my way of thinking, the only guys who got it right were the Eygptians, who "wrote", on clay tablets; put them in a pyramid; & we can still read them clearly 2000+ years later.  Good luck with finding a KE30 workshop manual, 2000 years hence.

Cheers Banjo

 

 

 

Edited by Banjo
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