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alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/20/24 1:29 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:
alfadriver said:

One other thing about "right to repair"- nobody is stopping anyone from taking the box apart, figuring out what is wrong, and fixing it.  You have the right to do that on cars.

What's missing is help from the OEM.  I'm not sure they are required to help you fix the parts, but they are not preventing you from doing it.

They are preventing you from doing so.

No one cares about tearing down a hydraulic pump, finding the offending seal, replacing it and sending it.  You can find dozens of shops capable of doing that in any big enough city.

Manufacturers are actively preventing 3rd parties from getting into the software side of things to fix E36 M3.

Why do you need to get into the software to fix things?  What's broken in the software?  Mind you, it's been illegal to tamper with any emissions device for 50 years now, so re-tuning the calibration to fit your needs isn't legal anyway.  Let alone, there's considerable IP in software.  As a person who has IP in vehicle software, I don't want you or Toyota to have access to it.

You are provided with the information to diagnose what the system thinks is wrong, if you decide to buy the tools- which are required to be available.

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
6/20/24 1:40 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

He's speaking as like a autel/topdon/launch/et al to get the needed access to make their version of a working tool. Not having to have to use a mdi2, vpod, and whatever bs ford uses now, or insert manufacturer here.... which is then exclusively tied to having an active license to use it, which is entirely out of the pocketbook realm of a diy-er...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/20/24 2:05 p.m.

I had to take my E39 BMW to Denver to get a new module coded to play nice with the rest of the car. I did not have access to the software to do it myself. That's a 22 year old car.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
6/20/24 2:06 p.m.

In respect to all of the above, you have to assume that the average car owner does not have many of the tools and accessories to accomplish what Tom has, most of us do, but I believe we're very much in the minority in this area. And, even if the average guy/gal does have said tools, it's very probable that they don't desire to take the time and effort to do this kind of work.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/20/24 2:06 p.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

Just because access is expensive doesn't mean it's being prevented.   It's very much not what is going on with John Deere.  They are suing farmers for trying to fix their own tractors. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/20/24 2:10 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I had to take my E39 BMW to Denver to get a new module coded to play nice with the rest of the car. I did not have access to the software to do it myself. That's a 22 year old car.

So you are saying you can't even buy the system to reprogram the module?  Or you are not willing to pay for it?  

Mind you, body  modules are under different rules than anything covered by OBDII.  Back when it was rolled out, specific rules in it make sure that independent shops are able to fix things.  

Tyler H
Tyler H UberDork
6/20/24 2:54 p.m.
alfadriver said:
Keith Tanner said:

I had to take my E39 BMW to Denver to get a new module coded to play nice with the rest of the car. I did not have access to the software to do it myself. That's a 22 year old car.

So you are saying you can't even buy the system to reprogram the module?  Or you are not willing to pay for it?  

Mind you, body  modules are under different rules than anything covered by OBDII.  Back when it was rolled out, specific rules in it make sure that independent shops are able to fix things.  

One can buy a $30 cable and procure ISTA+ off the internet and code just about any module in any BMW, but it's not intuitive and you're working without a safety net.  I have all of the stuff to do it, but if I just needed it done I would consider paying someone who is competent/confident and hour of shop time to do it. 

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
6/20/24 3:10 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to Ranger50 :

Just because access is expensive doesn't mean it's being prevented.  

So, I am just highlighting this part because the John Deere argument wasn't even brought in to this particular part of the conversation.

Usury defense huh? Make the price high enough to discourage all but "the most wealthy" being able to purchase then scream "but I offer it!". Comeon that's bullE36 M3 and you know it. You can't have your cake and eat it too just because your franchised network has to pay for the access anyways forcing everyone else to figure something else out. Sure I can buy SI through a third party like Alldata or Mitchell, but it's filtered. It's not everything I might need and getting a customer service response might take days to receive. I bought in to them because I can't afford the buy-in for a single manufacturer, for which I see ford is 2900/yr. Hell, it's $73/72hrs! Unless I'm trying to data mine for all the possible information, still way above most people's means either way. 
 

You sound just like the dealer techs... "Don't go anywhere else or your warranty is void!" "It won't be/get fixed properly!" 
Quit gatekeeping.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/20/24 3:50 p.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

The John Deere part was brought up by others, which is why I'm bringing it up.  As for the tools, well, as we've seen over the decades of OBDII, clever people have figured out how to make a tool on a better budget.  So I'm not exactly going to bend over backwards and apologize.  My point is that nobody is getting sued for working on their own cars.  Which is a whole lot worse than dealing with expensive tools- and you know that, too.

I'm not taking the dealer's side, BTW.  I support independent mechanics.  But at the same time, when I see stories about people modifying their cars, breaking them, and then asking the OEM to pay for it, it makes me pretty mad.  If you want to modify your car, you must accept the risk that you will break it.

The rules support the independent mechanic.  

But at the same time, as the owner of IP that is in a lot of cars, I'm really not interested in just giving that away.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa MegaDork
6/20/24 3:55 p.m.
alfadriver said:

I'm not taking the dealer's side, BTW.  I support independent mechanics.  But at the same time, when I see stories about people modifying their cars, breaking them, and then asking the OEM to pay for it, it makes me pretty mad.  If you want to modify your car, you must accept the risk that you will break it.

Im not even sure how this is relevant to the topic at hand?

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
6/20/24 4:53 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to Ranger50 :

The John Deere part was brought up by others, which is why I'm bringing it up.  As for the tools, well, as we've seen over the decades of OBDII, clever people have figured out how to make a tool on a better budget.  So I'm not exactly going to bend over backwards and apologize.  My point is that nobody is getting sued for working on their own cars.  Which is a whole lot worse than dealing with expensive tools- and you know that, too.

I'm not taking the dealer's side, BTW.  I support independent mechanics.  But at the same time, when I see stories about people modifying their cars, breaking them, and then asking the OEM to pay for it, it makes me pretty mad.  If you want to modify your car, you must accept the risk that you will break it.

The rules support the independent mechanic.  

But at the same time, as the owner of IP that is in a lot of cars, I'm really not interested in just giving that away.

Since YOU keep bringing Deere into this argument, I'll address it as such... Deere completely circumvented any right to repair or mag moss act with their bs and forcing on a class of people ill afforded to defend or fight it. Sure you could reverse engineer a widget on your 350k tractor, but they wrote code in to detect it wasn't a Deere part, either through having to register the part or system performance, rendering the tractor inop. That's on top of disallowing access via the equivalent dlc port, mechanically or electronically. Now drop the bs including this other bs argument you aren't making.

I never did say you couldn't "profit" from your IP or have give it away. I take issue that you think it's ok to charge a fee so high only but a select few can use, unless that's your intended audience. So unless you are some sort of franchised outfit fixing cars, you definitely don't have capital to pay that usury entry fee. So, I would say you are against most individual or ma and pa repair shops. The only way most of what exists is because people cracked the code or spent the cash and figured it out in reverse. It definitely wasn't given out for free.

And since you bring it up, warranty is typically left up to the dealer to decide more times than not based on the part being claimed. Only times the warranty arm gets involved is when there is an audit or you get that one customer who is an shiny happy person. I agree with the you MODIFY it and it breaks you pay but I disagree when it's unrelated parts to the modification leading to denial. That's bullE36 M3 and why dealers have a bad reputation.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa MegaDork
6/20/24 5:25 p.m.

I'll say that you cant charge a profit for your IP.  As soon as it is shelved, hits EoL (maybe EoS, we can argue about that) then it is no longer your product.  All tools related to it get released to the public.

 

Designed obsolescence has gone way way too far.  And IP protections have also.  Slight tangent, but you have Nintendo actively suing individuals for ROMs that are of games that havent been sold in 30 years.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/20/24 7:31 p.m.

What I think some people are missing is that the automaker doesn't make a lot of things, they subcontract.  It's possible that the contract with the supplier allows them to keep IP rights.

 

The current bugaboo with my Volvo is a component made by Motorola.  It primarily controls the active suspension, as well as data outputs for things like headlight aiming and all wheel drive adjustment.  Volvo didn't make it, they didn't design it, they said "we need a box that does THIS to interface with the struts we are getting from Monroe and the height and acceleration sensors we are getting from whoever (Continental probably, maybe Bosch).   They probably subcontracted the coding and calibration out too, Ohlins I think.  It's put on a Volvo but they aren't Volvo parts.

 

Multiply that by ABS computers, HVAC modules, so on and so forth.   Bosch this, Aisin-Warner that, Haldex the other, Brembo elsewhere.  (You can't get seal sets for Brembo calipers either, specifically the ones that seal the two halves together)

 

They might not be supplying service information because they aren't legally allowed to as part of their contract, is where I am going with this.  Assuming that they even get that much aside from operating and engineering specifications.

The supplier might just be making 30,000 widgets and the automaker didn't splurge for the parts supply option.  (Ever try to find parts for an LT5 engine? Mercury Marine didn't do that)

Automakers that do components in house are actually kind of rare.  The Big 3 may do their own automatics but even that is going away, or developed mutually like some of the many-geared units.  It seems like almost all transmissions aside from them are ZF, Aisin-Warner, Borg-Warner, Getrag, and is JATCO still in business?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/20/24 8:00 p.m.
Tyler H said:
alfadriver said:
Keith Tanner said:

I had to take my E39 BMW to Denver to get a new module coded to play nice with the rest of the car. I did not have access to the software to do it myself. That's a 22 year old car.

So you are saying you can't even buy the system to reprogram the module?  Or you are not willing to pay for it?  

Mind you, body  modules are under different rules than anything covered by OBDII.  Back when it was rolled out, specific rules in it make sure that independent shops are able to fix things.  

One can buy a $30 cable and procure ISTA+ off the internet and code just about any module in any BMW, but it's not intuitive and you're working without a safety net.  I have all of the stuff to do it, but if I just needed it done I would consider paying someone who is competent/confident and hour of shop time to do it. 

Ditto. I have the cable and the software, but it's a new OS for the laptop and not just a friendly app. I decided to let the dealer take care of it. The local BMW independent couldn't. 

No Time
No Time UberDork
6/20/24 9:34 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:

I'll say that you cant charge a profit for your IP.  As soon as it is shelved, hits EoL (maybe EoS, we can argue about that) then it is no longer your product.  All tools related to it get released to the public.

Designed obsolescence has gone way way too far.  And IP protections have also.  Slight tangent, but you have Nintendo actively suing individuals for ROMs that are of games that havent been sold in 30 years.

Why should companies give away IP that they invested in to develop? Why can't you use IP to make a profit?

There is significant investment made to create software, hardware, and service tools. That is money that the company spent during development and being able to charge for those is part of how they get their ROI and justify the cost of development. 

Why should a company invest in innovation and develop new products if they can't  use it as a competitive advantage? If I have IP and I choose to license it to someone, there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to profit from it. The company licensing it is going to make a profit on what they use it to make/service or repair?

If Nintendo wants to maintain the copyright and trademark protections then they have to defend it. I'm not sure what the issue is with them protecting their intellectual property rights?

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa MegaDork
6/21/24 7:35 a.m.

In reply to No Time :

I don't think you read my post.  Either that or dont know what EoL or EoS are.

Once an IP is shelved, once the conpany that created it is no longer supporting it, anything that uses that IP becomes obsolete.  We have enough problems with ewaste and other crap for that to be a valid way of doing things. 

And Nintendo can protect their copyright, but copyright protects against people making money off your product.  Nintendo doesn't give a E36 M3 about that.

No Time
No Time UberDork
6/21/24 8:24 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Life cycle management should not determine if IP moves to the public domain. 

IP is used for multiple purposes, sometimes implemented to prevent copying of your product, sometimes acquired and put in a shelf to block competitors from competing with your product. IP does not need to be actively incorporated into a product to have value to the owner.

Many times business plans include converting the existing customer base to the new product because the old one has become unprofitable. 

Giving away all the knowledge and designs for the previous version give those aftermarket suppliers an unfair advantage because they are able to produce the components without any of the upfront R&D costs. 

As for Nintendo, I suspect there is more to it than just being jerks. Lawyers cost money, and chasing after individuals is not cost effective. I believe defending your copyright/trademark is not dependent on whether someone is using it to make money. 

Your suggest approach for IP is the automotive equivalent of me buying a new car then cancelling the registration and insurance on the old one that I parked in the backyard. In your scenario the old car is not being used so its been shelved and is obsolete, therefore it should be free to anyone that wants to put use, right?

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/21/24 9:00 a.m.
Mr_Asa said:

I'll say that you cant charge a profit for your IP.  As soon as it is shelved, hits EoL (maybe EoS, we can argue about that) then it is no longer your product.  All tools related to it get released to the public.

That's kind of a cornerstone for good capitalism.  So I'm not sure why you don't want to let people profit from their creativity.  It was also one of the first things the US did when forming the patent office almost immediately.  

I get the worry about EoL concerns, but I bet if you poll the entire group here, there's a car from pretty much every year since EFI was introduced still running on the original hardware.  Even though computer building has gotten considerably more robust over the years.  The systems I would more worry about are the ones that get auto updates without you knowing about it, and they suddenly end.  But that's a far greater concern for smart phones than car.

As far as I know, the patent protection we get lasts for 17 years.  So I'm not sure what Nintendo is doing.  Still, anti-tampering laws pretty much means that engine controls will never be released to the public. 

And it's interesting that you bring up designed obsolescence when cars have gotten more and more reliable and their average life keeps increasing.  One of the few markets where things have lasted longer and longer over the fleet.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/21/24 9:08 a.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

You are allowed to have your opinion.  

But the deere thing is that people keep bringing up right to repair and pointing at them as some example for cars, when it's not actually applicable to cars.  There are specific rules that protect right of repair and independent shops that don't exist for off road tractors.

Cost is relative.  How much money do people spend on a complete tool set when they barely use some of those tools?  And how does that compare to the license for the computers?  When I see a Snap On set go for over $20k, and then look that a Ford IDS license can be gotten for less than $1000, I have a tough time being *that* upset.  

 

darkbuddha
darkbuddha HalfDork
6/23/24 7:48 p.m.

I'm bothered not just by dealers claiming things aren't serviceable, but that parts are being designed to be non-serviceable. Good example: control arm bushings and/or ball joints on many modern cars. The bushings are bonded into the arms so that when they fail, they are, in fact, non-serviceable because there's no way to source a replacement bushing. So instead of being able to spend $20 on a replacement bushing, it requires spending $160-$220 to replace the entire arm. Asinine. Now could I go through the process to either locate or make an alternate bushing? Find the right durometer, rebond it to the arm, etc? Pragmatically, it's just not worth the bother for something like the missus' Honda Pilot or the parental units' Taurus or the like.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/23/24 7:57 p.m.

In reply to darkbuddha :

The flip side is, the bushing lasted 120k miles, how much more life is in the other bushing, or the ball joint?  

I used to prefer just replacing bushings myself, but after seeing how many times penny-wise turned into pound-foolish, I side towards arm replacement.  Especially given that the labor to replace a bushing once the arm is on the bench might be the same as the part cost for an arm.  Just do it once and get it over with.

 

OTOH, sway bars with moulded-in bushings almost never fail.  

 

It's also important to note that if it lasted past warranty, the engineering did its job.  And sometimes making things serviceable increases the likelihood of issues.  I am nostalgic for the phone I got in 2013, but its replaceable battery caused endless issues because of the contacts.  Phones don't have replaceable batteries anymore and they are more reliable as a result, because that failure vector is gone.  It never needed a new battery but after a year or so, I was always taking the battery out to clean the contacts, adding a dab of Stabilant to them, etc.  I foresee the USB port going away in the future thanks to the rise of wireless charging - one less way for water to get in, one less contact to fail.

 

I remember when K-Mart had racks of bubble packed headlight switches and power window switches on hooks in the automotive section.  Computerized control (or "solid state" if you are of a certain age) means there are no more wearing high-current contacts to fail all the time.

No, you can't adjust your points with a worn dime on the side of the road anymore, but on the other hand you don't need to, either.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
6/23/24 8:08 p.m.
darkbuddha said:

I'm bothered not just by dealers claiming things aren't serviceable, but that parts are being designed to be non-serviceable. Good example: control arm bushings and/or ball joints on many modern cars. The bushings are bonded into the arms so that when they fail, they are, in fact, non-serviceable because there's no way to source a replacement bushing. So instead of being able to spend $20 on a replacement bushing, it requires spending $160-$220 to replace the entire arm. Asinine. Now could I go through the process to either locate or make an alternate bushing? Find the right durometer, rebond it to the arm, etc? Pragmatically, it's just not worth the bother for something like the missus' Honda Pilot or the parental units' Taurus or the like.

Right, but on the flip side of this is I charge people $150-200/hr for fairly technical work...  I assume someone working on my vehicle would want similar.

If $180 saves an hour of labor, it's net-positive once you count book time.  Remember, they don't care about you in your garage.  If your time is free, that's great, but you're not the target audience. 


If that part lasted almost 200k, the improved process of having it bonded seems to be better than the old 80s cars that needed them every 60-80k. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/23/24 8:12 p.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

$200/hr where I work.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
6/23/24 9:00 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

$200/hr where I work.

Totally believable.  Makes sense to me.  I don't know how you could keep the lights on and an employee paid for < $150..

No Time
No Time UberDork
6/23/24 10:13 p.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane and Pete:

You just helped with a question I was mulling over.

I was looking ahead and deciding if I should replace the bushings or the whole control arm in 98 Ram. You've helped my cheap ass accept the extra cost of the control arm assembly is worth the time saving over replacing only the bushings.

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