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Right-to-repair bill shifts control from dealer to owner

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SecularMotion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:43 AM
Original message
Right-to-repair bill shifts control from dealer to owner
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Sep 10, 2009 @ 06:05 AM

QUINCY The federal cash for clunkers program succeeded in bringing customers back to new car lots after a long absence, but most people are still driving the car they had. Increasingly they are driving to their local mechanics to make sure those cars last even longer.

That is good news for the independent automotive repair industry because car owners are now willing to spend their money on repair work rather than take on new car payments, and they are saving on those repairs at independent shops.

But while consumers appear content to keep their older cars on the road, they are increasingly discovering that their cars computerized systems may be conspiring to force them to turn to more expensive dealer repair shops even when those cars are out of warranty.

Most consumers experience this when they see a check engine light or another warning that suddenly appears on their dashboard. When they bring it into independent (non-dealer) shops like ours, they simply want the underlying problem fixed so that pesky light goes off.
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canoeist52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yup. We're on our third check enjine light issue this year out of four family cars.
We just bought our own electronic reader. Now if only we could figure out how to read it.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Often as not that light is simply programmed to come on after...
...a set number of miles or a set time. All the dealer shop does is reset (usually with a proprietary device) the associated counter and presumably do the basic service that should be done at that time.

Given that the vast majority of drivers treat their vehicles as maintenance free devices these days it's not such a silly idea. The main reason that indy service shops can't deal with this light is that they simply can't afford to have a reset key for every make and model. They can however be picked up on E-bay if you really must kill the light. Otherwise do as a lot of people have learned to do, ignore the light, and rely on the old standards of engine temp and oil pressure to let you know if anything is actually wrong with the vehicle's engine.
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road2000 Donating Member (995 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. This is important
After three dealerships in three states misdiagnosed and cost me a ton of money on a 3-year-old car, I wrote my congressman.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
Most legislation on Beacon Hill is controversial and ultimately difficult to decipher, but Right to Repair is straightforward: You own your car and you should have the right to choose where it gets repaired and not be forced back to dealer mechanics.

House Bill 228 and Senate Bill 124 are controversial only because car manufacturers dont want car owners to have unfettered access to their own repair information and are fighting it vigorously. That alone should flash a warning light for legislators and consumers that might read: Check Manufacturers Motives Now.
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blueworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
4. My son has a gizmo that he can check himself...
I'm sorry I'm no help here, but it's something he can plug into the car & it tells him the "code" associated with the "check engine" light so he at least has an idea before he goes in. He's great with cars & can fix a lot himself or with his dad, but you really don't have to be hi-tech to use this thing. Hope the info helps a little.
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