any / all - Really good comments - RobJP

I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice when a really brilliant comment is made.

As 'Exhibit A' I mean something like this, from 'SLO76'

Your usage suits a diesel but sadly your budget doesn't so stick with petrol.

Absolutely fantastic. Genius level of how to view modern complicated diesels, and purchasing choices.

any / all - Really good comments - SLO76
Appreciate the compliment. Shame so many ignore our advice though.
any / all - Really good comments - nellyjak

...ain't that the truth...so I've largely given up "advising".

Peeps seem to make up their own mind anyway, despite any advice to the contrary.

They get itches they simply have to scratch.

C'est la vie

any / all - Really good comments - argybargy

Guys, your expertise is appreciated, if not always acted upon.

You are talking to humans who will, in many cases, exercise not only common sense but emotion. The chances are that they even though they post their questions here, they'll be receiving conflicting advice from all manner of different sources which are beyond the influence of this forum.

Put it this way: if you advise 20 people each month that they should buy "this car", or "that", and just 3 act upon your advice, that's 3 folks who are being treated to happy motoring because of you. The others can blame nobody but themselves.

I'd call that a result.

Edited by argybargy on 29/09/2017 at 11:27

any / all - Really good comments - iFocus

I used to be one of 'those' people who asked for advice and then usually went against that advice and followed my emotion etc.

I ended up with some bags of crap I can tell you and a lot people saying I told you so!

Since I've gotten older and asked for advice on here and other places, I've gone with that advice.

My last 2 cars have been suggested by HJ (a Kia Cee'd diesel and now a petrol Focus) and both have been excellent, although the Focus has only been in my care for about 2 months now.

I think argybargy got it right though, people will make up their own minds usually and then ask for advice to back up/justify their decision.

any / all - Really good comments - Avant

Agreed - brilliant comment from SLO. But he and Nellyjak are right - people won't listen. Shades of Vincent in Don Maclean's tribute to Vincent van Gogh - 'perhaps they'll listen now'.......'perhaps they never will'.

Despite all the bad publicity about diesel (itself much exaggerated and ignoring the comparative cleanness of Euro 6 diesels), Arthur Punter is convinced that diesels give more miles per gallon and are therefore cheaper to run overall. He can't get his head round the expensive repairs that old diesel engines tende to need, let alone the new generation of efficient petrol engines. I know which of our cars is the more economical, and it isn't the diesel.

Edit - good point, Argybargy, and let's keep up the advising: some of us quite enjoy it! But I do find it hard to understand emotional / itch-scratching feelings in favour of diesel !

Edited by Avant on 29/09/2017 at 11:32

any / all - Really good comments - argybargy

Two things have put me off diesels, probably for life.

One, and most unoriginally, the VW saga and all that emission data faking malarkey, and two, a conversation with a mobile mechanic who used to service our cars, and who warned me about the potential cost of replacing the various sensors, valves and stuff to be found under the bonnet of a newish diesel Astra. I presume the same applies to other modern diesel cars.

Speaking from my own POV, I may not have taken the advice given by the Backroomers before buying my current vehicle, but I've learned a lesson in the process. Nothing I've done recently diminishes my respect for the knowledge and expertise on show every single day. Emotions, impetuousity, impatience, the blind spot that sometimes develops in the head in advance of the act of spending large sums of money: the enemies of good counsel.

Around June next year I'll be asking the questions again, and this time taking the advice.

Edited by argybargy on 29/09/2017 at 11:46

any / all - Really good comments - Anon301

I'm the OP from the thread with SLO76's advice - it always amazes me that people take the time out to answer people's concerns, and you can consider me one of those 3/20 people that has been helped (I'm sure that ratio is higher). I've read many articles and message boards covering a similar situation, but I posted to describe my personal circumstances and reasoning, so I very much value comments which take all of those into account in some way, which SLO's certainly did. I of course value the other comments as well, it was very useful experiencing different viewpoints.

Petrol is at the top of my priority list for reasons covered on HJ and elsewhere. Of course it is not a given that a diesel would definitely result in huge bills during my ownership, and I've no doubt that many more savvy buyers than I have picked up an older model and made great savings long term. For me I like minimising risk and keeping it simple, and I don't think I would heavily criticise myself down the line for choosing that mindset. Thanks again all.

any / all - Really good comments - argybargy

I'm sure you're right and the proportion IS higher, and my reason for using a low figure was to illustrate that even if only a small percentage of those who ask for advice actually follow it, its still worthwhile for those in the know to give that advice.

any / all - Really good comments - Engineer Andy

Agreed - brilliant comment from SLO. But he and Nellyjak are right - people won't listen. Shades of Vincent in Don Maclean's tribute to Vincent van Gogh - 'perhaps they'll listen now'.......'perhaps they never will'.

Despite all the bad publicity about diesel (itself much exaggerated and ignoring the comparative cleanness of Euro 6 diesels), Arthur Punter is convinced that diesels give more miles per gallon and are therefore cheaper to run overall. He can't get his head round the expensive repairs that old diesel engines tende to need, let alone the new generation of efficient petrol engines. I know which of our cars is the more economical, and it isn't the diesel.

Edit - good point, Argybargy, and let's keep up the advising: some of us quite enjoy it! But I do find it hard to understand emotional / itch-scratching feelings in favour of diesel !

I think a lot of OPs just want validation for their poor choice (or at least to be able to blame someone else) of car. Then we get the 'it'll never happen to me' brigade with whatever choice they've gone for/road they've gone down with car ownership (previous good fortune does not guarantee future good luck) - the 'I've owned X for years and never had a problem' (quite possibly bucking the trend). Given that such people are often reluctant to let everyone know they were wrong if, say, a car choice goes badly wrong, its often difficult to actually see the 'fruits' of our labour. Often the slience after such choices are made are often an indication of something awry.

What I also think is sad is how many car manufacturers and their dealerships STILL want to sell diesel-powered cars as a defeat (Volvo being the most obvious example at present - though their supposed corporate 'change of heart' to hybrid petrol cars in the next few years is a welcome change, if rather late in the day, and a bit confining given hybrids aren't exactly what you'd call 'drivers cars').

any / all - Really good comments - concrete

I think the all the comments made have a relevance. Sadly, unless an OP returns to give us the benefit of their experience since receiving the comments we will never know the success rate. I am not really hung up on that; having read lots of comments and made lots of comments I expect people to filter out the relevant ones to their situation. In many cases an enquiry is asking simply for other peoples experiences in order to assess the viability of a certain action. For example, if someone asks about Skoda I will tell them my experience with the marque over 12 years. They may find it useful or not, but if they buy a Skoda and it does not live up expectation then who is to blame? Not me really, only Skoda, they buit the car. So really all we are doing is offering good honest experience that has worked for us in the past. As for the future, well it is bright enough for me. Keep it up chaps, it really is all worth while. Cheers Concrete

any / all - Really good comments - Andrew-T

Despite all the bad publicity about diesel (itself much exaggerated and ignoring the comparative cleanness of Euro 6 diesels), Arthur Punter is convinced that diesels give more miles per gallon and are therefore cheaper to run overall. He can't get his head round the expensive repairs that old diesel engines tende to need, let alone the new generation of efficient petrol engines. I know which of our cars is the more economical, and it isn't the diesel.

As I have said once or twice, our 'newest' car - the one which we rely on for longer trips - is approaching 10 years old, and has never (yet) put a foot wrong, even after having its front end rebuilt last New Year. It's a Pug 207 SW with the 1.6 HDi, no DPF.

I didn't get it simply because it would be 'cheaper to run overall', but partly because for around 50 years I have tried to minimise my use of petroleum products. Those can only be used once, and the more people that can get some use from them, the better.

Unfortunately the usual driver is SWMBO, who is finding gear-changing increasingly painful with an arthritric shoulder. She is muttering about a small auto, which I doubt will be a diesel, and will probably be less economical than a manual.

any / all - Really good comments - pd

Whilst it is true modern diesels are more complicated than they used to be and can, and do, go expensively wrong I think this forum has gone a bit too far sometimes in the diesel v petrol debate.

The truth is there are thousands upon thousands of diesels out there with loads of miles on which have happily clocked up year after year with just general servicing. Sure, there are many which haven't but it isn't true every diesel explodes into a million bits at 50k miles and 4 years.

If you buy one which isn't actually broken at purchase, drive it sensibly, service it and be kind to it the chances are it will carry on in the same way.

The reality is petrols are also pretty complicated as well. Many have direct injection which has a terrible history of issues (VAG and Japanese included) and I still wouldn't 100% trust. Many have turbos just the same as a diesel. They also wear clutches (maybe a bit less, but they do).

You need to be careful with modern diesels when purchases used but they are honestly no where near as bad as one would get the impression they are from this forum sometimes.

any / all - Really good comments - Avant

"If you buy one which isn't actually broken at purchase, drive it sensibly, service it and be kind to it the chances are it will carry on in the same way."

Ah, there you have it, PD. There are a lot of ifs, and unfortunately the archetypal Arthur Punter doesn't always do that. And of course for people buying on a limited budget, there is the risk that Arthur or his like owned the car before, and the wear and tear are there beneath the gloss of the dealer's valeting.

I should add that Anon301 is definitely not one of those OPs that we were talking about. Thank you for coming back to us, Anon, and good luck with the car buying.

any / all - Really good comments - John Boy

I subscribe to the theory that lots of people who ask for advice (about anything - not just cars) are really hoping for you to confirm the decision they've already made. Nevertheless, I definitely support the fact that advice is given on here regardless. Long may it continue.

any / all - Really good comments - gordonbennet

All a poster can do is ask a question, and those who answer can only give their view regarding their own experiences.

The thing is SLO's diamond advice to avoid certain Diesels for certain uses and price bands is good advice for the average motorist, and SLO can only give his opinion on what he assumes the person asking the question to be.

I have no doubt that some of us here could buy the most dismissed cars, and with mechanical sympathy and good sensible servicing, we could run the most unlikely cars for many years without a hint of trouble.

However SLO isn't advising one of us usually, he's very often advising white goods buyers and users who don't look after their vehicles, don't get them serviced properly, and haven't a clue about mechanical sympathy....i'm sure some here remember the thread not so many years ago from a MINI owner who was complaining about his car, which turned out to have been run so low on oil that the oil pressure light was coming on, and this several times...well what on earth advice can you give someone like that, all you can do is have the greatest sympathy with the poor car and hope someone else gives it a good home one day just like a maltreated puppy.

any / all - Really good comments - SLO76
"I have no doubt that some of us here could buy the most dismissed cars, and with mechanical sympathy and good sensible servicing, we could run the most unlikely cars for many years without a hint of trouble.

However SLO isn't advising one of us usually, he's very often advising white goods buyers and users who don't look after their vehicles, don't get them serviced properly, and haven't a clue about mechanical sympathy"

Very good point. Driven and maintained properly almost any car could prove reliable. I managed to get 14yrs reliable use from a Renault van as testiment to that but the bulk of punters buy cars then scrimp on maintenance. They skip services, take them to poorly equipped backstreet garages who've no clue what to do with them who then bung any old oil in them. Most customers think a service is a service and giving the main dealers £50-£100 a year more to do it is madness.

These are however complex pieces of technology which dealers have to be equipped to deal with and this includes staff training on new models and engines. This costs money. Smaller garages often use cheap parts and lubricants. They've no access to manufacturer technical bulletins or software updates. They stumble their way through but simply aren't able to look after complex modern turbocharged motors which don't take neglect well and tend to be highly oil specific.

The simpler the design the more likely it is to stand up to the typical neglect or poor servicing most cars will see with at least one owner in their lifetime. Turbocharged cars suffer badly with missed oil changes or the wrong grade being used while simple normally asperated motors which don't see oil affected by the same span of operating temperatures can weather it much better. This is why I steer people to the most straightforward designs when buying a used car.
any / all - Really good comments - pd

What I am about to say may upset people but the reason some garages struggle with modern cars is, and I'm sorry, but a lot of people in the motor trade are a bit thick.

Think back to school and were the brightest and the best considering the Law, a Doctor, a IT expert or Car Mechanic all as options? Probably not but they should now because the level of skills and intelligence needed on cars to diagnose faults is on a par with a skilled IT expert or a Solicitor.

I say diagnosis because that is where all the issues lie - fitting parts is simple, knowing which parts to replace is much harder.

This isn't across the board as there are some very smart people out there who have invested in proper equipment and training and know how to use it and they are doing well and earning (and can charge) serious money. These people and garages will survive and prosper. The ones who haven't learnt anything new since 1992 and struggle with basic writing will really struggle with modern cars.

This applies to independents and main dealers. There are loads of main dealers where the service department struggles because they haven't got the right people and skills.

I would take issue though with the idea that the information isn't out there. Manufacturers make most of their info available to main dealers and independents alike. Even Jo Public can access it usually. They have been obliged to by law. Nearly all of them have a website where you can pay by the hour, day, month or year and get full main dealer level documentation.

For example, go to service.citroen.com, pay €7 and you can get every TSB, fault finding guide and instructions a Citroen main dealer can get. Other manufacturer have the same thing. Volvo's includes access to their main dealer level diagnosis software as well.

You can access the same stuff often through other online services such as Autodata now as well.

It has actually never been easier for independents to get main dealer level info but they (and the customer) need to pay for it and, most importantly, they need the brains to be able to use it.

any / all - Really good comments - SLO76
I would partially agree with that pd. I have over the years met a lot of people in the trade and yes there are a lot of blunt tools weilding spanners but not all and there are many people doing that job simply because they love motors. Larger main dealers require mechanics to be capable of going on training courses to learn about new technology and new designs so they can't be below par or they'll soon be f***ed out the door.

As for every Tom Dick and Harry being able to access up to date technical info on modern cars this does cost and is not completely up to date. Only main dealers have access to technical bulletins which draw attention to particular faults and potential issues. Only main dealers get access to software updates too and even if smaller garages could gain access by paying we all know that few would. They prefer just fumbling along in time honoured fashion.

Complex modern performance or executive cars require the training, equipment and access to information only possible at main dealers. Much of the trouble people have with cars as they age, particularly turbo failure and timing chain issues is down to poor standards at backstreet garages and general neglect.
any / all - Really good comments - galileo

My trusty independent started out as an apprentice (to a Morris Minor Specialist) over 40 years ago, has been on many training courses over the years and now owns and runs his own garage with his brother.

Very capable, very honest, good at diagnosis by traditional methods as well as the 'plug in' method, and will refer a customer to the relevant dealer in case of doubt instead of playing 'parts bingo' at the customer's expense.

any / all - Really good comments - Steveieb
Can't think of any reason to abandon my PD130 diesel for a clean petrol. I'd miss the tremendous pull on acceleration and when I fill up the readout says I have 740 miles before visiting the garage, convenience store again and wait for the shoppers to finish.
But ask any fireman and they will tell you the major benefit is they are very difficult to catch fire. Isn't that worth considering.

But my usual Indie was out of his depth with my E320 diesel and I found an independent that looks after all the diesel Mercs in town and his knowledge is profound as this is his main income. The other German specialist does Audi BMW and Merc, which must dilute the knowledge.

My friend took a trip to Scotland in SLOs favourite Focus Zetec and his main complaint was the number of stops compared with his old 406 diesel.
any / all - Really good comments - gordonbennet

As with my industry being dumbed down to attract ever cheaper staff (and the industry seemingly confused why the standards are so low, HELLOOO is anyone awake), does anyone think good mechanics are going to be queueing up for £9 to £12 an hour, when the dealer is billing them out at up to £100 an hour, and considerably more for that for those with more money than sense.

Talking of fire, massive queue northbound on the M1 thisafternoon just before jct 16, oh look a Freelander 1 burnt to a crisp, i did wonder if it might have been a Zafira but me second guess was right.

any / all - Really good comments - Avant

Another Freelander? I've seen one on fire and heard of others I suppose that because so many other things go wrong with them, fires don't get the same publicity as they have with the Zafira.

There's another thing Land Rover and Vauxhall have in common - I have never even remotely wanted to own a car of either make.

any / all - Really good comments - pd

As gordonbennet says above a lot of the industry does not pay enough. Even main dealers are not going to attact in someone who is an expect in CAN Bus and actually understand how it all works at £40k a year. The people capable of doing this sort of stuff would be on a £100k in anoher industry.

As for indendents they can get access to TSBs and software updates if they invest in the right equipment, training and on-going support. The problem is many of them buy some kit, skip the training and then won't pay for the on-going support. The information is out there if they need it and there is no excuse for using the wrong oil or something unless they are thick or slapdash.

The advantage, for a customer, of a good independent on a an older car is that they might actually try and fix somethng rather than just replace it. For example, if a (common one this) turbo actuator goes on a car then a main dealer will usually only replace the whole turbo (as they are instructed to) but an actuator can be rebuilt for £150 or so, ABS/ESP units, climate control units, gearbox ECUs, actuators, etc, there is a massive industry now in rebuilding these sort of things often at vastly less cost than buying a new one.

any / all - Really good comments - Andrew-T

... The people capable of doing this sort of stuff would be on a £100k in anoher industry.

That may be so, but it helps to explain why we have to tolerate all the immigrants some of 'us' complain about. Some of them will have the expertise and will work for that £40K - which I may add is a good deal more than I finished on, in a job I considered very adequately paid. (though some years ago now :-( ).

any / all - Really good comments - Wackyracer

As with my industry being dumbed down to attract ever cheaper staff (and the industry seemingly confused why the standards are so low, HELLOOO is anyone awake), does anyone think good mechanics are going to be queueing up for £9 to £12 an hour, when the dealer is billing them out at up to £100 an hour, and considerably more for that for those with more money than sense.

On a similar note, I did a CPC day last week where the instructor (ex plod intructor etc.) said that soon they will have to be paying drivers much more (near £20) as there is such a shortage, he looked a bit miffed when I said they have been saying that for longer than I've held my HGV licence.

any / all - Really good comments - sandy56

Yes most car main dealers are charging about £100/ hour or more. How is it then that I found that the local truck dealer ( Renault trucks) only charges £65.00/hr for labour?

I was pleasantly surprised and my son is now using them for his large IVECO pickup, as they are local and used to be the Iveco dealer and do stock Iveco parts.

Most big trucks have as much technology in them, as cars, if not more.

any / all - Really good comments - gordonbennet

Yes most car main dealers are charging about £100/ hour or more. How is it then that I found that the local truck dealer ( Renault trucks) only charges £65.00/hr for labour?

I was pleasantly surprised and my son is now using them for his large IVECO pickup, as they are local and used to be the Iveco dealer and do stock Iveco parts.

Most big trucks have as much technology in them, as cars, if not more.

No glass palace, basic seating and a a coffee machine (buy your own) in reception, service receptionist(s) do a lot more than sit and preen and smile, no small army of suits doing naff all, premises in industrial areas not retail parks or main road frontages.

Lorries are bought on overall costings to a great extent (though performance fuel economy and likely reliability and dealer/ make back up are are considerations), with an agreed price for repair and maintenance costs over a 3 or 5 year lease being very common now, if Renault charged £15k more over the 5 years than MAN for an equivalent vehicle they'd never shift another unit...my company would not lease a vehicle where overnight service and inspection wasn't the norm, minimal down time is our biggie.

Lorries are a lot more reliable than cars, problems can arise but are sorted in record time, if the lorry dealers behaved like certain high image car dealers towards their customers they'd go broke in record time.

any / all - Really good comments - Engineer Andy

Yes most car main dealers are charging about £100/ hour or more. How is it then that I found that the local truck dealer ( Renault trucks) only charges £65.00/hr for labour?

I was pleasantly surprised and my son is now using them for his large IVECO pickup, as they are local and used to be the Iveco dealer and do stock Iveco parts.

Most big trucks have as much technology in them, as cars, if not more.

No glass palace, basic seating and a a coffee machine (buy your own) in reception, service receptionist(s) do a lot more than sit and preen and smile, no small army of suits doing naff all, premises in industrial areas not retail parks or main road frontages.

Lorries are bought on overall costings to a great extent (though performance fuel economy and likely reliability and dealer/ make back up are are considerations), with an agreed price for repair and maintenance costs over a 3 or 5 year lease being very common now, if Renault charged £15k more over the 5 years than MAN for an equivalent vehicle they'd never shift another unit...my company would not lease a vehicle where overnight service and inspection wasn't the norm, minimal down time is our biggie.

Lorries are a lot more reliable than cars, problems can arise but are sorted in record time, if the lorry dealers behaved like certain high image car dealers towards their customers they'd go broke in record time.

I'm not surprised that the lorry side of things is like this - whilst forums like this one (and others, such as owners' forums for specific cars and/or makes) are very informative and useful, business people and those in trades have been using intra/inter-business and industry contacts and general word-of-mouth for years regarding issues of quality and customer service for their own equipment (I've seen this in Construction for plant, machinery etc), and it only seems logical that it extends to vehicles, particularly when they are the money-earning centres of such business. Its just a shame that more ordinary people cannot do the same for personally-owned cars, including getting past prejudices/biases for or against certain products and manufacturers.

All too often we see people who appear to either have been very lucky or unlucky thinking that their experiences are the norm and behaving as such, whether when buying a new car or giving advice, recommendations or making comments on forums such as this one.

I think it is still very difficult to get specific advice and genuine unbiased feedback/reviews about local motoring services - for example I was looking at having some minor work done on my car (which I am tempted to do myself, but may turn out to be a bit more tricky to carry out than I first thought), but I was reluctant to use my local main dealer (who I have always used for servicing and repairs/replacements) as they wanted the car in for a whole day for 'diagnostics' and, to me, appeared to be going down the road of just replacing a part or two (for a lot of money) that essentially just needed cleaning, taking about 30 mins, a rag/paper towel and the use of some specialist spray cleaner (not all, both cost £10-£15 total).

I could only find one local indie garage that had remotely what looked like good reviews (mostly no reviews at all - some didn't even have websites) and most of them were on the garage's own website (which may or may not be genuine). Most people I know locally either only use main dealers or, for those that do use indies, I wouldn't trust their opinion. One thing I did notice when looking on the internet generally was how much better things were in other countries, particularly the US, where:

a) indie garage mechanics seem to be much more often 'old school' in terms of having a wide range knowledge and not just 'brand specific' and concerning major parts or just servicing as many working at main dealerships do (besides the extra profits in just replacing parts that just need a clean etc, many don't have the know-how to carry out minor repairs or cleaning work), and;

b) whilst there are good and bad indie garages and main dealers, the public at large seem to be far more clued up on who is good and who isn't, useful information is far more freely available, including forward-thinking mechanics who use YouTube to showcase their skills free of charge by giving really useful advice and showing DIYers how to do a lot work themselves in a straight-forward, competent way. In the UK, in my view, mechanics/garages are far more likely (by several degrees, other than those showing off their 'modding' skills to 'yoofs') to be featured on BBC Watchdog or the local news for ripping off clients than having tens of thousands (or more) subscribers to their YouTube channel.

I think we in the UK are very poor at customer service, but just as bad, we are often too reluctant to share bad experiences (and good ones) with friends and family because we are often too embarrassed to say that we were either so easily duped or that some related skill we have (e.g. being an engineer, someone working in the car industry or who is in sales/contract negotiations and should know certain 'tactics' by rip-off merchants or industry scams) should've warned us off. We're getting better at seeing problems before its too late or complaining (like our American cousins), but we're still not that good at it, as I often see on shows like Watchdog or Rip-off Britain.

Us men in particular don't want to admit we've made a glaring mistake (ego), often because we think we will lose credibility amongst friends and colleagues (sadly that can happen), which, to me, is often why some forum members, whether first-timer OPs asking for 'advice' (not really, just wanting some comforting words to say they weren't a total idiot rather than some home truths) or long-time members who are stuck in their ways and who rather do something really foolish or take such acts to their graves rather than admit they made a mistake.

any / all - Really good comments - Wackyracer

Most big trucks have as much technology in them, as cars, if not more.

Far more Tech than cars, I drove a new Mercedes Actros last week and it knows the topography of the road your on for the next 4km. It uses this to know when your near the top of a hill and it cuts off power so you just roll up and over the peak of the hills using the momentum of the vehicle.

any / all - Really good comments - galileo

Most big trucks have as much technology in them, as cars, if not more.

Far more Tech than cars, I drove a new Mercedes Actros last week and it knows the topography of the road your on for the next 4km. It uses this to know when your near the top of a hill and it cuts off power so you just roll up and over the peak of the hills using the momentum of the vehicle.

  • Unless some clueless driver in front balks you, of course!
any / all - Really good comments - gordonbennet

Yes, i am due a new tractor unit early in the new year, my first task will be to find the off button for that GPS terrain prediction if it unfortunately has the facility.

Also hoping the lane guidance and emergency braking arn't as sensitive as those fitted to some of our 65 plate vehicles, where the lane guidance faff does its head in when you are on a B road with white lined road edges and the emergency braking which brought one of my colleagues to a dead panic stop from just under 30mph when it 'saw' a bollard presumably about to jump in front...same make aso reputed to have stopped dead when approaching overhead obstructions, what could possibly go wrong.

I'm in agreement with Engineer Andy about so many of these driver aids which he mentioned on the cars to avoid buying thread, including making cars with less visibility each new incarnation (C Pillars grown to van like proportion in the latest models) so blind spot warning lights the new must have.

They take away the driver's responsibility and, like umpteen airbags and supposed crash worthiness, lead people to take undue risks.

Edited by gordonbennet on 03/10/2017 at 19:50

any / all - Really good comments - Wackyracer

Yes, i am due a new tractor unit early in the new year, my first task will be to find the off button for that GPS terrain prediction if it unfortunately has the facility.

Also hoping the lane guidance and emergency braking arn't as sensitive as those fitted to some of our 65 plate vehicles, where the lane guidance faff does its head in when you are on a B road with white lined road edges and the emergency braking which brought one of my colleagues to a dead panic stop from just under 30mph when it 'saw' a bollard presumably about to jump in front...same make aso reputed to have stopped dead when approaching overhead obstructions, what could possibly go wrong.

I only drove the new Actros for a day, the lane guidance did go off a couple of times for no reason (seems to be when passing side roads with give way lines), a couple of drivers have reported false emergency braking.

any / all - Really good comments - Engineer Andy

Most big trucks have as much technology in them, as cars, if not more.

Far more Tech than cars, I drove a new Mercedes Actros last week and it knows the topography of the road your on for the next 4km. It uses this to know when your near the top of a hill and it cuts off power so you just roll up and over the peak of the hills using the momentum of the vehicle.

Pity they don't have the technology to tell you when its best to overtake! To many HGV drivers STILL swings out from right up the behind of the HGV in front to overtake them on dual carriageways and motorways going up hill at 1mph (if that) faster, often leading to them taking several minutes to accomplish the task and causing heavy tailbacks when it happens multiple times over a few tens of miles. As I said on another thread, technology (at present anyway) is always trumped by poor driving.

I suspect that some 'new tech' in HGVs is very expensive and out of reach for most car buyers, but is well worth it for companies/drivers with HGVs if it can save time/fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle, when fuel efficiency often means just as much as travel time.

any / all - Really good comments - gordonbennet
I suspect that some 'new tech' in HGVs is very expensive and out of reach for most car buyers, but is well worth it for companies/drivers with HGVs if it can save time/fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle, when fuel efficiency often means just as much as travel time.

Almost without fail a good driver can beat all these new systems both in maintaining progress, vehicle sympathy and fuel efficiency, but then smooth progress and fuel saving are inextricably linked anyway and the computers cannot see what the driver can so it can#t plan ahead for ever changing circumstances.

Where the technology wins hands down is when the vehicle is in the hands of uncaring and/or unskilled drivers, where not only does it save fuel it also protects the vehicle from the idiots.

Those automated manuals which have proved so unreliable in cars are far more horrible in many cases to drive in lorries, but there is no denying they have proved fantastically reliable in lorries and where half wits could destroy lorry clutches in days (less than a day one idiot a friend of mine was tasked with training, replacement vehicle destroyed and abandoned too) they have proved themselves without question in stopping vehicle abuse, and because the job is being systematically deskilled and dumbed down leading to ever more uskilled they are here to stay...fortunately i only have another 4 years to go then they can dumb it down as much as they like, dumbing down is a bit like the EU really, it isn't working so we'll have more of what isn't working.

Edited by gordonbennet on 03/10/2017 at 20:09

any / all - Really good comments - jthan

Lots to comment on in this thread:

1. As a regular reader (but only very occasional poster), I am nearly always impressed with much that SLO and GB say, and that SLO goes to such effort to give good yet free advice.

2. With our current cars being a RAV4 and a Picanto (both of which we're very happy with), I gratefully acknowledge having been influenced by posters on this website.

3. I usually disagree about the merit of dealer servicing. The Kia is a very honourable exception, with annual services costing little more than £100 (booked online) and the second year service included a brake fluid change at no extra cost. For so long as this standard and price are maintained, I will continue to frequent the local Kia dealer for an annual service (at least until the warranty expires - which is a good few years yet).

4. I'm a lot less happy with the more expensive servicing at the local Toyota garage. I posted a mild grumble about it on here last year and replies were along the lines of some of the above (cars are complex, special skills needed, etc). This year's experience was worse - couldn't print the paperwork and would post it out (they didn't), found the car parked with the rear bumper against a bollard afterwards (although luckily no damage was done so I said nothing) and, when I examined the car afterwards at home, I found brake fluid splashed over all the inside tyre walls (I had requested the brake fluid change - at extra cost - that should have been undertaken at the Year 2 service, but wasn't). And never has this garage removed a single wheel during a service, although the owner's maual stipulates tyre rotation every few thousand miles (AWD - I rotate the wheels myself after bringing the car home from each service). All very disappointing for a brand that is often commended here for customer service. So next year, I definitely will be doing the service myself (as I have done many times on other cars over more than 30 years). As mentioned above, online access to official manuals is available for just £3 or £4/hour, and I have also found Toyota GB to offer a good and convenient (if slightly expensive) parts facility through their ebay shop. Good car, backup seems good from Toyota GB, but shame about the dealer servicing.

5. I can't add anything to the pot about lorries though!

any / all - Really good comments - gordonbennet

Thats very disappointing Jthan and i hope a most unusual standard of servicing from a Toyota dealer, is it a city dealer by an chance, the only sub standard experience i've had at a Toyota garage was in north london where the approved used Amazon we wanted to buy was very poorly prepared, mechanically, we walked.

Just out of interest i recently looked up the MOT history of our 2007 Hilux which we bought new and sold late 2010 at 3.5 years old, the only MOT highlight was an advisory for worn brake pads about 2 years ago, Sims Northampton (now Steven Eagell) looked after us superbly.

I self (over)service always unless the car is new enough to be under makers warranty, almost never the case.

Edited by gordonbennet on 03/10/2017 at 22:50

any / all - Really good comments - Wackyracer

Most big trucks have as much technology in them, as cars, if not more.

Far more Tech than cars, I drove a new Mercedes Actros last week and it knows the topography of the road your on for the next 4km. It uses this to know when your near the top of a hill and it cuts off power so you just roll up and over the peak of the hills using the momentum of the vehicle.

Pity they don't have the technology to tell you when its best to overtake!

I don't actually need to be told when and how to overtake because I can do it correctly!

I suspect that some 'new tech' in HGVs is very expensive and out of reach for most car buyers, but is well worth it for companies/drivers with HGVs if it can save time/fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle, when fuel efficiency often means just as much as travel time.

The company whose Actros it is told me they save 36000 litres of diesel a year and fit 40% less brake disks and 25% less brake pads using the fleetboard telematics system. they can see exactly how a driver uses the brakes, the throttle, the retarder and the gears. At a glance they can see an overall score on fleetboard that can highlight a possible bad driver and they can take a closer look to see why that driver is getting a low overall score.

any / all - Really good comments - Big John

I got some great advice from this site when looking for a smallish car for my sister capable of carrying a double bass.

Thanks for the responses - she loves her Honda Jazz

any / all - Really good comments - Bilboman

A double bass would go a treat in the Jazz - So to transport a violin, would you prefer a Honda Concerto or a Hyundai Sonata?

any / all - Really good comments - SLO76

A double bass would go a treat in the Jazz - So to transport a violin, would you prefer a Honda Concerto or a Hyundai Sonata?

:-)
any / all - Really good comments - RobJP

A double bass would go a treat in the Jazz - So to transport a violin, would you prefer a Honda Concerto or a Hyundai Sonata?

Or, if very soothing music, the Honda Ballade ?

any / all - Really good comments - jthan

GB - Yes, a city dealer, although nowhere near London.

 

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