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What ever happened to vehicles just being mechanical?

I love my "truck." It's a 95 Chevy Tahoe and has taken everything I've thrown at it, including 7 years as a volunteer firefighter putting it places it shouldn't go. I love it because it is made well, it works like a truck, and the engine compartment is blissfully easy to work in. I replace the throttle body gasket about two years ago, and it was no problem because the engine is nicely accessible, and is mostly mechanical. We even replaced the A/C system last year. 200k+ miles, and still runs like a champ.

Last week we went down to the Toyota dealership to pick up a knob for my wife's car (92 Camry - 170k miles and still running like a champ too). I took a look at the new Tundra pickup truck, just as I have taken a look at the new Chevy Silverado and the new Chevy Tahoes. Besides the insane pricing for the trucks ($50k for a truck? You've gotta be kidding me!) I noticed one thing:

You can't work on it.

Oh sure, the Oil filter was easy to get to. And the spark plugs probably aren't that difficult either. But such a tiny engine compartment, every inch filled with this computerized thing that they use now for engines. They even had a pretty cover on it so that you couldn't actually see the nasty stuff running if you had to open your hood.

Don't get me wrong - Fuel injection is great, and some of the emissions stuff is necessary. But really, what ever happened to just making a good, solid truck that didn't have 700 computerized parts in it. For example, stability control. A nifty feature that detects if you are about to flip your vehicle and compensates by breaking or applying power to various wheels to keep you from flipping.

Growing up we had an anti-flipping system - it was called don't-swerve-hard-when-you-are-driving-fast and
if-you-weren't-paying-attention-you-deserve-what-you-got.

Ok, sorry for the rant, but really, people, don't buy a truck if you never plan on towing or hauling anything (or driving in snow or anything truck like). And don't sue Chevy or Ford or whatever because you flip your SUV because you were on your phone talking to some other soccer mom while you were yelling at your kids and drinking your Slim Fast. Because you can be sure that when I pick your kid up from the side of the road after you flip your truck, it won't be Chevy I'll be blaming.
Permalink Cory Foy 
March 7th, 2005
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