DIY mechanics and modern cars

Anyone have any thoughts on any cars that are new (or new ish) that are still easy enough to work on yourself?

My dh does all our mechaniques and isn’t keen on looking at anything that I’d like to look at so wondering if anyone can help me out with some ammunition!

If you have a "dedicated " diagnostic tool for whatever car you want, then there are still some things you can do, apart from normal service items (brakes, oil, filters) if you can work out even where the dodgy component is! But most newish cars are so complicated with so little space (especially around the engine) its often better to find a reliable garagiste (and I always used to do my own repairs )


Not sure they exist any longer unless you can afford a Morgan or a Super 7. We’ve just scrapped a 2007 BMW X3 which had a new clutch and had been happy doing 3000 km round trips to S Spain, because the calculateur packed in and when renovée unit was installed, it appeared we’d need a new dashboard as well at a cost of several thousand euros and no guarantee this would be the solution. I’d love an older, simpler car in good nick, like an older Audi Quattro, but would it pass presentday emission controls?

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My Morgan has an Omex ECU with only a RS232 port - complete mystery to any garage. Some Windows based diagnostic S/W exists but life’s too short. I’m going to fit ones of these…

which should tell me all I need to know.

Off topic but this topic reminded of a Peter Kay Car Share episode - one where Kayleigh puts diesel in the petrol tank.

She asks Peter Kay what do you reckon as he’s looking under the bonnet of a modern car :rofl:

Alas, with all the required emissions reduction equipment and sensors on modern ICE vehicles and all the electronic bells and whistles that come as standard now; there’s the potential for things to get complicated really fast.

No more checking the spark plug colour against a Rich Tea biscuit and setting the points gap with a cigarette paper.

I’d go with MarkyWarky’s suggestion: find a reliable garagiste for regular maintenance. Most will have a diagnostic set for reading error codes and the really good ones will know the area specialist to point your towards if your car has a really complex issue.

Buy electric and consign most of these issues to history :grinning:

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Hardly. All the traditional mechanical issues relating to chassis, suspension and braking systems remain; but you now need a specialist sparky as well. :grinning:

Hahaha spoken like a fossil driver, how many times do you get chassis and suspension issues these days, once every 100,000 miles +
Brakes, due to regenerative braking friction linings would probably outlast the car.
Specialist sparky, doubt it if it was a high voltage issue it would be a main dealer warranty issue 10 years +

No more injector pump issues, cam belt and timing chains, clutch, yada yada yada.

Show me an EV SUV that has a range of 750km, can tow 1,200kg and costs €15,000 new and I’ll consider it.

Now you are going silly, with recharging at 100kw you can recharge when you take a stop for a pee and a coffee which you will do after 300-350km’s. Adding 150-200kms of range.
Tow 1200kg no problem and if you take all the running and fuelling costs away from from the purchase price the net cost wouldn’t be that high but probably more than the cost of your questionable 15000 purchase.
EV charging at home for the majority of the time is so low cost.
Also you are not polluting and the drive is much more pleasurable with no engine noise and no gear changing.

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Actually not being that silly, Chinese manufacturer BYD are selling SUV’s with large batteries for $15,000 US.
Not available in Europe yet but will be in Norway soon.
They have anounced their battery cost is $96.56 per Kwh which is below the magic $100 per Kwh at which point EV’s become cheaper than ICE vehicles.


Interesting. Of course, being Chinese, there will have been zero environmental considerations taken during its manufacture.

A bit harsh, the Chinese manufacturers are a lot better than they used to be, as are most countries now. Also because the west have shifted a lot of manufacturing to the far east its a bit sanctimonious of us to then blame them for making our things.

Compared to our dirty rubbish strewn streets Chinese cities are a lot cleaner so their population care a lot more than the west.

Point is, if they bring down the cost others will have to follow. VW did say their new matrix battery would be half the cost of current versions by 2023. Tesla will also be producing lower cost models in a year or so, chips availability dependent.

Its still good news