Automotive repairs have always been part and parcel of car ownership. Vehicle servicing usually goes hand in hand with car repairs, but over time the way we look after our cars has changed a great deal. Let’s now look at some of the differences that have taken place since the turn of the millennium.
Cars have developed so much that they are now able to communicate with the manufacturing garage and tell the technicians what faults are present that may require work when it’s service time. In the past, vehicles used to be serviced at set intervals; for example, a vehicle may have required a 12,000-mile service or an annual service, depending on which came first. The vehicle will be checked by a technician and often given an engine oil and filter change and the safety critical parts were checked to see if any brake pad replacement would be required. The tyres were also checked.
We will now list some of the areas that are checked in a modern-day service and how it differs from times gone by.
Services are now tailor made to suit your vehicle’s needs. Most modern cars are able to communicate with the service garage, which means that only parts that are at the end of their life get replaced. Back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, cars were serviced at set intervals and the same scheduled parts were replaced regardless of their wear level.
Tyres are one of the most important safety-critical parts of a car. Over the years, tyres have been developed to such an extent that even cheap tyres can perform to a really high level. Car tyre cost has steadily come down over the years and we can now choose from various compounds. The millennial effect has given us greater choice. Car tyres can be used in all weather conditions, but you also have the choice of summer and winter tyres, which will aid grip and improve safety.
All car engines have a shelf life that varies greatly between car manufacturers and the average shelf life of an engine is 180,000 miles. That said, it has to be well maintained and serviced to get anywhere near this kind of figure. In the past, the engine used to just have a short shelf life, which means that it could only complete a hundred thousand miles and after that, it would not be fit the purpose. Car manufacturers then decided to make sure that their vehicles were more reliable and lasted longer and started to build more durable engines.
Serviceable parts in engines have reduced over the years as well. In the old days, the timing chain or belt, for example, would need changing periodically. Nowadays, some manufacturers have made this a non-serviceable part, which means that it won’t need replacing for the duration of its life. Engine parts will always suffer from large amounts of wear and tear. Some of the serviceable parts that we know from the past that needed servicing, such as oil filters and spark plugs etc. will still need to be replaced in today’s engines.
Above we’ve covered the different aspects of how vehicles have changed over the years and how the millennial effect has changed the way cars are developed and used. Even the way cars are designed in the first place has changed, for example, go back to basics and take a look at a car chassis. The chassis is now designed by computers which make sure the structure is strong enough to withhold impact, but still adaptable enough to be able to take a multitude of bodies on top. The chassis is one of the most important parts of the vehicle, as it connects the wheels and transmission together and it also supports the body that we sit in. Although many of us will never see an actual chassis, the development that they have had over the years can be felt when we transport ourselves around. Even the advent of smart cars and autonomous vehicles that are being developed as we speak is showing that the millennial effect has taken place.
The design and production of the motor vehicle has changed dramatically over the years. The engine, the transmission, the chassis and the body are all put together in a completely different way today and this has given us the cars we now know. It is these kinds of changes that have made the final design of the motor vehicle better than ever before.
Most of us who drive can think back to a time when our parents used to drive vehicles that were fairly rudimentary compared to what we have now. Safety features have been greatly improved, as has the comfort, such as electric windows and air-conditioning etc. that we now come to expect.
Things have developed so much that we now have in-car entertainment, which passengers can access. Whether it’s a tablet or an in-car sound system, we all have access to the things that we love for our journeys. When autonomous vehicles finally get the go-ahead from the governments around the world, even the driver will be able to sit back and relax and watch or interact with their smart technology while they’re on their journeys. This kind of development will really change the way we transport ourselves, as our vehicles in the future may be able to come and pick us up from an evening out, for example, which has never been able to be done before.
The millennial effect has definitely had a positive impact on motor-vehicle transport and if we’ve come this far with the technology we have to date, it is going to be an interesting next decade to see how far it continues to advance.