New tail lamps cost a man $5600 😬

Mailman

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Not quite a year ago, I cracked the tail light lens on my Suzuki and was shocked to find out that a replacement would nick me $350! Just like in modern cars, it is not simply a lens, it’s a whole complete housing, with a panel of LED’s and accompanying circuitry. I decided to repair it myself and wrote about it below.
IMG_6196.jpeg

I wrote about my repair, here in Parts 1 + 2

https://www.xs650.com/threads/mailman’s-suzuki-c50-boulevard.61876/page-6#post-771519


https://www.xs650.com/threads/mailman’s-suzuki-c50-boulevard.61876/page-7#post-771769

But this is about a story I saw on YouTube, as told by the mechanic who fixed his truck.

The short version is this, customer calls the mechanic and says “Hey my 2018 Ford F-150 Limited is throwing some weird alerts regarding my rear side obstacle detection and the truck is having some other malfunctions and can you take a look at it? “ He agrees to bring it in in a couple of days……well the truck up and goes dead on him and he has to have it towed to the shop.
The problem is diagnosed as water getting into his tail light housings and corroding the wiring harness and various circuitry inside. These taillights also house radar sensor modules for collision proximity alerts. The corrosion has caused grounding issues and other bad connections that have fed into the trucks wiring harness and played havoc with trucks computers.
The mechanic goes to the dealership to pick up new taillights and is informed they cost $1400 EACH! The mechanic asks if the sensors are included…..oh no…these are just empty housings. All associated electronics, wiring harnesses, radar modules have to be ordered ala cart.
By the time it was all said and done, between parts and shop labor, the customer gets a bill for $5600. Wow!
Here’s the video if you feel like sitting through it,

 
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nj1639

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Good grief.
Regarding cost prohibitive modern mechanics, I think I'll start looking for a distributor and carb setup for my 2001 4L jeep cherokee, start tossing this new fangled shyte. Considering the cost of a modern vehicle you can't work on, that money would be better spent on a pre '67 something or other.
Get off my lawn.
 

jetmechmarty

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Please tell me, why would I want to own a new car?

A fellow that I work with has a 2014 (IIRC) F150. It has been OOS for several months this year and twice been towed. He's had months of waiting for parts, then a final bill of $2800 for some steering sensor issue. I'm not blaming Ford. I see these issues with everything, and I see cars as overly complicated, overly expensive and far too unreliable. No, thank you.

Please let be buy a stupid car. Something like a 1963 Ford Falcon would suit me fine.
 

Jan_P

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I am with Mr jetmech there

I have been reading about this Here in Europe CAN Bus and how the systems are designed
Bosch is the company that knows this.
Some of them have a lot of micro controllers that all feed onto the CAN Bus All the time more or less
To decipher that one needs special Computer Equipment
Here was talk of different busses 2 or 3 .Dont remember hearing of that

And for a rare brand or rare car not many Shops have it Your only option is go to the brand shop
Feel free call it extortion .. If There is need for computer Hardware and Software perhaps service bulletins ..and only one place to go
They can ask whatever prices they want No place else to go. Complaints have been put forward but as I understand without success

This being a fairly new car Ford dont want any back yard mechanics work with it.So I suspect the parts prices are adjusted for that

I remember when they came the electronic control boards .A New board could cost 1000 --2000 Us §
Some TV show took i to a TV repair shop .What can you do And they repaired them .
Boards had components and they figured it out 3 $ component and perhaps 20 $ labor / work if even that went back to the Car manufacturer
asking what they was doing getting BS answers as always.

A girl , here with an Mitsubishi Space Star i help sometimes well maintained ..Nice car but old .. Plong .. Warning lamp Crash bag ( Wont get it through MOT Test )
The smaller shops could not read the fault code not having the reader that could do it 3 of them

Brand shop read it --Control unit for the Crash bag --$ 1000 .. But the brand shop helped her find a replacement from a salvage $ 100
I told her close the deal on that as fast as you can. Before it is gone I believe there was 2 in Sweden at that point in time.
Otherwise it could have been scrapped the car. A fine car .No rust low mileage

But How can a 2018 High end car have water inside like that .. What happens with the next one installed .. Maybe Ford helps out.

As closing argument The sustainability crowd ..taking care of the environment will protest .Scrapping fine cars because the electronics is to expensive to repair.

That is one of the major advantages with the XS 560 or was .Parts are dirt cheap if you can accept some rust and some dents .Can get it running
if you have the tools interest time and Knowledge which many here have.

You can even chuck in a new harness-- Try that on that Ford. Building to Large and Complicated cars.
I dont know why Volkswagen beetle -Fiat 600 Citroen and other small that cars worked fine in the 60 ies not can do it again.
Sure the ride is Better in a Ford .or Cadillac but But the gas prices ..dont ssem to go down..
 

Mikey

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I think the manufacturers are building to what people want BUT also aftermarket service and parts
Can you imagine what that part was marked up by the dealer and what the labor would be if done there
Appliances are the same way try buying a refrigerator or cook stove now
The best warranty you might get is 1 year "and oh by the way we sell extended warranty's here too which you should get"
We bought a new fridge and I never get the extended warranty but this time I did and if I hadn't when the fridge puked shortly after 1 year I would have a big white box in my kitchen that did nothing other than take up space !
Our washer and dryer are at least 20 years old probably closer to 30 and even I can repair them with YouTube help
No electronics at all just mechanical timers etc.
Edit: and you can get used parts through the mail
There rant over
(And this is coming from a guy who's getting a new Ford soon)

If you see me in my front yard watering my lawn with a hose smiling just shoot me :shootme:
There all's better now
 
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Jim

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I find it interesting that a single component can take out an entire Bus.
I worked on F-15's and -16's back in the 70's when they were still prototypes. Both used a similar (to each other) Bus. Iirc it was called a Mux Bus (Multiplexer Bus).
You had the pair of data lines and the clock lines just like modern busses. The difference was each component that connected to the Bus did so through tiny transformers... there was no "hard" connection. Any data created was outputted to the transformer. The transformer then transferred that data to the Bus itself.
Obviously this was done to harden the Bus against battle damage, in that any box that was hit and shorted out would just affect it's own transformer. The Bus remained intact and could continue communicating with the main computer.
I find it odd they don't still employ data transfer transformers today. Had they done so in this case, everything else would have kept on working instead of the cascade failure in this truck.
 

jetmechmarty

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I find it odd they don't still employ data transfer transformers today. Had they done so in this case, everything else would have kept on working instead of the cascade failure in this truck.
Redundancy costs money, even if it's engineers' time. They aren't going to spend it if the consumer will pay. I never have, and I will continue as long as I am free to do so.
 

Mailman

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We recently bought a new car, a Hyundai, it’s the first car I’ve ever owned with a full suite of safety features, and while it’s nice to have some of these things, I was fully aware of the complexity involved and what would happen should some repair be needed.
I have never been one to buy extended warranties, but I sure did on this car. All the electronics are just crazy. I look around under the hood and there’s stuff in there I’ve never seen in a car before!
I ain’t touching it! 😄
 

Jim

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Redundancy costs money, even if it's engineers' time. They aren't going to spend it if the consumer will pay. I never have, and I will continue as long as I am free to do so.
Well not to sound contrary, but I'd guess that bought in bulk, the transformers are about 10 cents each. And the engineering has already been done... way back in the 70's. My guess is they'd add about a buck or two to each truck. Seems pretty reasonable to me.
 

Jan_P

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Take this for what it is worth I am no expert and can remember wrong
If i remember right the book I read The trend then was to go to Small microcontrollers far out in the system
A small co,computer making the signals Digital I do believe
can be many 100 -- 200 in modern car I dont know the sum today
And small ones as cheap as possible with some code in them Compile code to be small so can use the cheapest controllers

Communicating 1 s and 0 to the bus All of them are sending at the same .time which can complicate having transformers as extra
I know to little of how it works but perhaps shift out bytes 8 or 16 bits at a t time on the bus Dont know how it works system clock and so
and some synchronizing signal to tell the system bus which Controller is sending catching and use.

The bus then have a White noise on it from all the sending controllers so what is impossible to do is to decode that white noise ..making it useful
Unless
:Where the Bosch Know how comes in which they dont let out Business secret The reason why they are ahead of others

The controllers are using extremely low Voltage and Current and can be sensitive so if as in this case water gets into one it can send out Garbage.
Or shorting 2 pins in the connector or so
In computers programming it is often so that one fault someplace can kick out many Errors Throw an error I believe it is called today statements
Again No Expert I and I can remember wrong
I remember though that in the book that 10 year old cars with complicated electrical faults got scrapped if they had some miles on the clock
 

jetmechmarty

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I have a current automotive issue that is really pissing me off. Our Ford has these stupid jacketed lug nuts. Impact wrench is a no-no. So, they got ruined once and I relaced them. Not cheap. I ruined a tire a couple weeks ago when I hit a hole in the road. I am unable to get the lug nuts on. I did the best I could do with aftermarket chrome, but there's nothing that will hold the wheel covers on. New garbage lug nuts are $20 each! Currently, my wife is driving around looking like a redneck with a missing wheel cover. She doesn't mind an old car as long as it doesn't look like trash. I'm still trying to work out an inexpensive solution. So yes, I miss my '73 Chevy with the stainless wheel covers.
 

46th Georgia

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Well not to sound contrary, but I'd guess that bought in bulk, the transformers are about 10 cents each. And the engineering has already been done... way back in the 70's. My guess is they'd add about a buck or two to each truck. Seems pretty reasonable to me.
I worked at the Mack truck dealership in the 80's. Somewhere around 1985, somebody in accounting got with somebody on the production end and made the gauge panel harness about 3 inches shorter making any repairs almost impossible, but hey, they saved a couple of dollars per unit.
 

kshansen

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This stuff is one of the reasons I probably spent too much money to buy a 2006 Ford Ranger, still a little to much gee-wizz crap but not as bad as wife's 2022 Rouge! Need to put windows down on Ford just turn that crank and they go up and down! Need to lock doors use key to lock or unlock. Need to go from one gear to next just push in that third peddle on the floor and move the lever next to the seat.
 

46th Georgia

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This stuff is one of the reasons I probably spent too much money to buy a 2006 Ford Ranger, still a little to much gee-wizz crap but not as bad as wife's 2022 Rouge! Need to put windows down on Ford just turn that crank and they go up and down! Need to lock doors use key to lock or unlock. Need to go from one gear to next just push in that third peddle on the floor and move the lever next to the seat.
My go to vehicle is a 7.3 L IHC diesel powered '94 Ford F-350 base model, non-turbo w/ rubber floor mats and hand crank windows. I've already eliminated it's Achilles heel, the glow plug controller (replaced it with a push button), so as long as you keep the fuel system clean and the batteries up, she starts. It's like a tortoise, slow but steady.
 

mike in idaho

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My go to vehicle is a 7.3 L IHC diesel powered '94 Ford F-350 base model, non-turbo w/ rubber floor mats and hand crank windows. I've already eliminated it's Achilles heel, the glow plug controller (replaced it with a push button), so as long as you keep the fuel system clean and the batteries up, she starts. It's like a tortoise, slow but steady.
We used to run a fleet of them where I work, I think I eventually did the pushbutton thing on all of them, works ok until someone holds the button down too long. I really. hate changing glow plugs. Nowadays, it's a fleet of Dodge pickups with Cummins diesels, a really nice six cylinder diesel engine wrapped in toilet paper.
 
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