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Automotive Parts Don’t Last Like They Used To!

Why do parts fail more often than they did in the old days? Parts are made smaller and lighter to help the manufacturers meet the 50.5 MPG mandate by the year 2020. This change is imposed by the government CAFÉ standard (corporate average fuel economy). The car companies are working to increase the technology of cars with turbo charging  engines that are smaller; using direct fuel injection; and the start and stop system, just to name a few.

Car manufacturers have found it is less expensive to lighten the weight of vehicles instead of creating new technology to meet the CAFÉ standards.  The manufacturers are shedding pounds of components whenever and wherever possible!

A repair that comes to mind is having to replace an electric window motor. This repair can cost $300 to $800. One reason this part fails more often than it did in older cars is because the part is integrated with the window regulator as one unit and made half the size to in order to save weight and improve fuel mileage.

Other ways the manufacturers are making parts lighter to increase fuel mileage:

  • They are using aluminum frames.
  • Smaller transmissions with 5, 6, 7 or 8 gears.
  • Engines are designed to use extremely light oils such as 0w20 to help reduce internal part friction.
  • Brakes are very small compared to years past. 
  • Every external body part on your car is being downsized or made of plastic, carbon fiber or other composite materials.
  • Less fluid capacity in engines, transmissions, power steering and all other systems are other ways to save weight.
  • Transmissions that used to hold 10 quarts of oil, might hold 6 now. All cars also require synthetic oils in all components to help make up for the smaller capacity.

To sum it up, parts are smaller, fluid capacities are less, and the stress is greater than ever on car systems. I wish I had a silver bullet for you, but I don’t. The best advice I can give you is choose a service provider that you trust, have the car inspected regularly and service the fluids often.

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