Stupid designs maintenance wise - glowplug
The failure of a starter motor on a friends A class has inspired (?) this question. To have this fixed the engine must be dropped to enable access thus leading to a large bill.

I'm sure I read somewhere that to change half the 'plugs on a certain model of Japanese sports car requires the engine to be dropped.

How many other 'stupid designs' can members think of or know of or dealt with?

Steve.
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Xantia HDi.

Buy a Citroen and get to know the local GSF staff better...
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Falkirk Bairn
To replace clutch on newer Mondeos - first drop out the front suspension
Stupid designs maintenance wise - massey
It generates work for the service department
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Chicken Vindaloo
To do most things on a Ferrari, the engine needs to come out first I think!
Stupid designs maintenance wise - madf
iirc Fiat 5 cyclinder engines required engine removal to change the cambelt..


madf
Stupid designs maintenance wise - BazzaBear {P}
iirc Fiat 5 cyclinder engines required engine removal to change the
cambelt..

Theoretically true, although there are specialsits who will do it in situ - I think they lean the engine to one side.
I know from recent experience that the exhaust system has to be removed to get at the gear linkage.

Basically, if you look under the bonnet of a Coupe 20VT, it's very easy to see why. It is VERY tightly packed in there.

Here's one for you (and I don't know the answer myself) How do you change the front tyre on a Robin? I would imagine that's quite hard.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Robin Reliant
Here's one for you (and I don't know the answer myself)
How do you change the front tyre on a Robin? I
would imagine that's quite hard.


It's a pig of a job, the wheel has to be removed first. You'd think they'd have found a way of doing it in situ like every other car, wouldn't you?
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Stupid designs maintenance wise - glowplug
Silly as it seems to me, to remove the centre console from a Xantia the Haynes book recommends disconnecting the handbrake cables, I chocked the wheels, removed passenger seat (it was out anyway!) and unbolted the handbrake lever from the floor.

Good response so far.

BTW the cheapest price quoted for the A Class starter motor was £700!
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Xantia HDi.

Buy a Citroen and get to know the local GSF staff better...
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Xileno {P}
Changing front bulbs on many modern cars.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - DP
Changing a thermostat on a Zetec engined Fiesta is a fun job. The housing is buried half way up the block right underneath the alternator which has to come off. Two of the bolts are fitted and removed "by feel" (you can't even see them, and getting the whole thing realigned to get the bolts back in is a real swear-fest. To add insult to injury the cooling system has no bleed screws meaning you then spend an hour chasing airlocks round the system when you refill it.

Timing belt on the Endura-DE Mondeo mk2. You have to remove the glowplugs (one inaccessible), intercooler, an engine mounting bracket and its mounting rubber, the alternator drivebelt, the air-con drivebelt, the coolant expansion tank, the power steering pump, the crank pulley, the power steering drivebelt, the pulley that drives the PAS pump off the injection pump and the cam cover (the timing slot is in the tail of the cam). then you need to disconnect the throttle cable and move it out of the way, disconnect a fuel hose and move it out of the way, reroute several other hoses and cables, and remove a plug for the crank timing pin which is buried in the (hollow) bracket for the air-con compressor, after which you can then remove the belt covers and start work. If you drop the plug, you'll have to remove the air-con compressor followed by its mounting bracket to retrieve it). The timing process and the belt and tensioner swap takes 20 minutes, and then it's redoing all the above. A nightmare which I will never repeat.

Cheers
DP
Stupid designs maintenance wise - mss1tw
Hands down winner, pollen filter housing on any 98 - 04 (ish) VAG car
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Roly93
Hands down winner, pollen filter housing on any 98 - 04
(ish) VAG car

Please elaborate.....
Stupid designs maintenance wise - mss1tw
>> Hands down winner, pollen filter housing on any 98 -
04
>> (ish) VAG car
>>
Please elaborate.....


1. A rubber curtain is supposed to fit over the pollen filter. It goe so far back that it is impossible to see if it is snagged anywhere, and if it is to do anything about it.

2. The plastic assembly under the wiper actually has a drip tray to stop water getting in that area.

Yep - coping with storms, driving at 70 on the motorway into a downfall, etc, with a bleeping drip tray as the design for it.

Genius.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - artful dodger {P}
>>Fiat 5 cyclinder engines
>>It is VERY tightly packed in there.

My 5 cylinder diesel Fiat is very tight in the engine compartment. According to a Fiat dealer it is possible to change the cambelt in situ, but it is fairly difficult with about 2½ hours labour. Luckily mine does not need changing again for another 30,000 miles. To change the clutch is like a Mondeo, drop part of the n/s suspension - bill was £800.

Part of the problem is trying to fit more complex engines to meet tougher emission controls, and still increase the passenger safety in the event of a crash. Try doing this in small cars and no wonder servicing can be a pain in the wallet. The other design consideration manufacturers use is ease of build on the assembly line, if it costs less to do it one way than another, they will more than likely choose the cheapest.

Perhaps all new car tests should have a portion of the report set aside for judging the ease of reaching routine maintenance items such as oil and water, major component replacement like cam belts and clutches, and regular driver replacements like bulbs and wipers. I know one consideration when choosing my wife's replacement car was did it have a spare wheel, preferably stored inside the car.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - BazzaBear {P}
My 5 cylinder diesel Fiat is very tight in the engine
compartment. According to a Fiat dealer it is possible to change
the cambelt in situ, but it is fairly difficult with about
2½ hours labour.


Looking through the service book for the Coupe 20VT it has a table of number of hours labour which each service should take. The cambelt one (bearing in mind that this is the official, engine out, method) is 15.75 hours!
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Xileno {P}
Good to see Italian design alive and well.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - BazzaBear {P}
Good to see Italian design alive and well.

Well, they did design it so you only have to worry about it every 72k miles. And they did design it to be drop dead georgeous.
You know your problem? You want the moon on a stick! ;)
Stupid designs maintenance wise - BazzaBear {P}
Oh, and on the upside, the headlights are in the bonnet, so none of this fishing about and removing the skiin from your hands evrey time you need to change a bulb!
(Clearly my car has a sense of humour about this 'good bit of design', because I haven't had a bulb blow in the 2 years I've owned her)
Stupid designs maintenance wise - runboy
Audi A2-remove the bonnet to replace a headlight or indicator bulb.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - glowplug
This is a real eye opener.

If you knew about these things before buying the car would you still buy it?
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Xantia HDi.

Buy a Citroen and get to know the local GSF staff better...
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Sim-O
Early zetec mondeos. Had to drop the engine to chage the oil filter.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Sim-O
Early zetec mondeos. Had to drop the engine to change the oil filter.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Sim-O
Hooray!! Double post!!
Stupid designs maintenance wise - DP
Really?
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Sim-O
yup. Although I may be rong about the zetec bit. or the modeo bit.
But definately had to get under the engine of a ford about 10 year ago and drop it down some and away from the bulk head.
Not much of a pig, but a bit still a bit daft.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - DP
That's crazy!

Can vouch for the Mondeo (petrol and diesel) from 1994 having its oil filter easily removeable through the o/s/f wheelarch. Interestingly though, my late Mondeo 1.8TD won't accept certain pattern oil filters as they're a tad longer than the OEM Motorcraft ones, and the bracket for one of the aux belt tensioners fouls when you try to fit them. The Motorcraft filters are a vital 1/4 inch shorter meaning you can manoeuvre them in and out fairly easily.

Had to take a Mann filter back because although the threads and diameter were perfect, it wouldn't physically fit. Had a heck of a job explaining that to the guy behind the counter. Now I just use Motorcraft - they fit - job done.

Cheers
DP
Stupid designs maintenance wise - BazzaBear {P}
This is a real eye opener.
If you knew about these things before buying the car would
you still buy it?


I did know about the COupe cambelt thing before I bought it.
I wasn't going to let a little thing like an expensive service in 5 years time stop me owning a car that good and that cheap (comparatively).
Stupid designs maintenance wise - piggy
Italian design is recognised as amongst the best in the world.Many of the word`s major manufacturers use Italian design houses.
Anyway,if you lot want an easy to maintain car why not buy a Morris 1000 ? ---- Only joking!
Stupid designs maintenance wise - oldpostie
How about the BMW R100RS bike, where there wasn't enough room to get the oil filter in, so BMW came up with a two part "bendy" filter that could be fitted around the frame ? (Early 1980s)
Stupid designs maintenance wise - type's'
A very simple one - black plastic dip sticks. I can never read them properly.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - jase1
A very simple one - black plastic dip sticks. I can
never read them properly.


You're not serious are you?

Not seen this. That has to be the stupidest piece of design I've ever heard. Make the plastic white and you're fine -- whose bright-spark idea was that then?
Stupid designs maintenance wise - henry k
A very simple one - black plastic dip sticks. I can never read them properly.

>>
or metal ones that go in a bendy tube.

Changing the thermo couple fan on my Ford required a large thin walled cranked spanner that was no use for anything else.

Removing the front bumper on my 99 Mondeo.
The four main fixing bolts, exposed to road filth, were not rust proof. The most convenient access tool was an 18 inch long quarter inch drive user vertically from underneath.
Hardly a rare job!

IMO, the most common aggravating design must be oil filters that must be screwed on/off horizontally thus the old contents spew everywhere and you cannot prime the replacement filter.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - DP
IMO, the most common aggravating design must be oil filters
that must be screwed on/off horizontally thus the old contents
spew everywhere and you cannot prime the replacement filter.


Another score for my Mondeo TD. Said spewed contents run down and bounce off the subframe going in all manner of directions.

I have never managed an oil change on this car without at least a small spillage.

Cheers
DP

Stupid designs maintenance wise - PhilW
"Steve.
---
Xantia HDi."

Steve - stick to Citroen - I once went to a scrappy for a new starter motor for my BX diesel (£12-50) and changed it outside the scrappy, handing the old one in as part exchange!! (And I'm pretty incompetent mechanically!)

--
Phil
Stupid designs maintenance wise - type's'
>>Not seen this. That has to be the stupidest piece of design I've ever heard. Make the plastic white and you're fine -- whose bright-spark idea was that then?<<

Saab 900 (P reg - I know a Cavalier in saab clothes )and VW Passat (03 plate)
Stupid designs maintenance wise - scott1s
I am told that to change the headlight bulbs in the current Megane requires removal of the inner wheelarch guards and entire front bumper. Whoever got away withthat piece of design . . . .(in more ways than one)
Stupid designs maintenance wise - BobbyG
Scott, not totally true. It can be done from the engine bay but is quicker to remove the wheelarch.
No need to remove the bumper.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Xileno {P}
You can't do it from the engine bay on the Megane. You can on the Scenic. The Haynes manual suggests removing the wheel arch liner but you don't need to. There's an access panel. Still quite tricky though, but it is french.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Bromptonaut
The BX diesel was generally a delight to work on though I believe headgaskets on turbos were profanity rich.

Not really a problem but our first, a 16RS, had a black plastic dipstick to measure coolant in the radiator!.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - bert-j
IIRC to change the two spark plugs on a 2CV I once owned you had to remove the front wings. Also (again IIRC) to change the plugs on a VW Beetle the rear wheels had to come off.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Avant
This is nothing new. To change the clutch on a 1960s Austin / Morris / MG 1100 I seem to remember that either the engine, or the gearbox, or both, had to come out.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - glowplug
Ah the joys of motoring!

And to think I used to think minis were a pain to work on.

Can't agree more that if you really like a car does it matter how hard a cambelt change is. I can't think of anything worth having that comes without some kind of penatly - this isn't a challenge to list them! That's why I bought the Xantia.
---
Xantia HDi.

Buy a Citroen and get to know the local GSF staff better...
Stupid designs maintenance wise - sierraman
This is nothing new. To change the clutch on a
1960s Austin / Morris / MG 1100 I seem to remember
that either the engine, or the gearbox, or both, had to
come out.


If you mean the A series,certainly there was no space in the Mini or 1100/1300 to remove the clutch,the engine and gearbox(in sump)had to come out.When it was used in the Metro there was room to remove the clutch cover and use a puller so it became an easier job than on other cars.
Stupid designs maintenance wise - Armitage Shanks {p}
Almost anything to do with changing xenon bulbs on any car seems to cause grief. Bumpers off etc
Stupid designs maintenance wise - madf
Removal of a Mini/1100 engine was quite easy.. only a few bits to be undone.. Not many wires either. Compared to modern cars, much less complex.. but more prone to failure of course...
madf
 

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