Digitalization / Condition-Based Maintenance / Maintenance / Deferred Maintenance / Predictive Maintenance / Prescriptive Maintenance / Preventive Maintenance / Reactive Maintenance

[Perspective] Is owner maintenance of cars dead?

By John Loeffler, for Interesting Engineering

May 23, 2019

There was a time when owning a car largely meant that you were expected to perform almost all of the maintenance on the car yourself. Over the years, however, owner maintenance is on the decline, and not because owners have gotten lazy about it.

For one, education around vehicle maintenance has all but vanished from traditional schools. While that certainly plays a role, the much larger issue is that as shop classes were slowly phased out of the curriculum, the cars themselves grew much more complex and digitized. Cars have featured computer systems of some kind for decades now, but today’s cars are entirely operated by computer systems.

All of this digitization of what used to be an entirely mechanical machine has made it much harder for car enthusiasts to dig into their cars the way they used to. Doing so would require them to dig into the actual software in the controllers that operate any given part, which has led to all sorts of legal challenges for car owners.

Safety is also an issue considering that alterations to the software can introduce all kinds of cascading software disruptions that can lead to what we call undefined behavior.

Read the full story, "Tesla's Maintenance Guide Confirms Owner Maintenance of Cars is Dead," at www.interestingengineering.com.

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