Repair costs for cars have always been significant. The average driver in the UK spends over £400 on them a year. But what drivers might not be aware of is how in-car tech can cause costs to skyrocket.
The Rise Of In-Car Tech
There used to be a time in which air conditioning represented the heart of luxury. Then the likes of electric windows, radios and CD players came along. Cars ceased to simply be a means of transport, and began to offer drivers quality of life facilities and ‘tools.’ Nowadays, all sorts of in-car tech is emerging. Whether it’s parking cameras, on-board WiFi or infotainment systems. Automakers are always unveiling something new. The problem is that this new technology can be exceptionally expensive and time-consuming fix if and when they break; significantly increasing repair costs.
Increased Costs And Downtime
Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham Research, believes automakers are releasing technologies without a stated method of repair. He said, “Inevitably there is huge competition in the car market and technology is moving so fast it is in the interests of the car manufacturers to offer new features as quickly as possible. They’re always trying to complete with their close rivals but, if there is nobody keeping a check on it, then things like reparability can lose their importance.”
There’s a lot of concern for electric vehicles, too. The batteries they use are large, cumbersome and expensive. Should one be damaged in an accident, the repair costs are considerably more to address than they’d be for a faulty engine. For instance, a regular engine costs between £5,000 to £10,000 to replace. For EV batteries, the figure ranges between £6,000 and £30,000 depending upon the extent of the damage. Because so few garages have the staff and materials required to repair batteries, vehicles usually have to be scheduled in to be seen by specialists and established brands; meaning they can be off the roads for months.
A Challenge For Garages
Independent garages are struggling to keep up with the pace of technological advancements. Automakers aren’t communicating how new technologies function or how to repair them. In addition, they’re not taking the time to define new supply chains for the specialist parts and components involved, making it hard for garages. “If they’ve got to buy equipment to cover all the manufacturers that’s a big ask”, Billyeald said.
It’s a problem that’s being overlooked by consumers, too. When they see a series of screens attached to a car’s seats, they think of the novelty and practicality; no more boring road trips or frustrated children. The problems, however, emerge when one of them breaks down. How many garages know how to repair infotainment system? Quite simply, most of them don’t and can’t. Technology is meant to make our lives easier. But the stress and hassle gizmos and in-car tech can cause us seems self-defeating. Those parking cameras might be exceptionally useful, but they can also be exceptionally expensive in terms of repair costs…
Speed Limiters Could Be Mandatory In The EU Within Three Years: http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/speed-limiters-could-be-mandatory-in-the-eu-within-three-years/
The Price Of Progress: Is In-Car Tech Really Killing Drivers – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/the-price-of-progress-is-in-car-tech-really-killing-drivers/