Modern Cars Mean Less DIY Repairs

I have a confession to make. I couldn’t carry out DIY car repairs if my life depended upon it. The first piece of good news is that my life hasn’t yet depended upon it.

The second piece of good news is that I am not alone in this. Recent research carried out by Warranty Direct suggests that it is the increasing complexity of our vehicles which means that it is becoming harder to repair them…

Photo credit: Jo Naylor

In fact, even professional mechanics now take a lot longer to carry out simple tasks than before. One of the examples given in the study was that it now takes over an hour and a half for a mechanic to change the headlamp on a Renault Clio. Ford Fiestas aren’t getting any easier to repair either, with half an hour to change the headlamp and a bit longer to change the engine oil and filter.

How Much Labour?

It seems that the complex nature of modern cars mean that people no longer trust themselves to carry out little jobs which they would have done in the past. This means that need to go to the garage. The bad news here is that the average hourly labour cost is a whopping £96, with some charging more than double that.

Another example for us to chew over is that back in 1994 an Audi A4 headlamp could be changed in 10 minutes and with the new bulb costing just over £6. These days, you need to change the entire light cluster, which costs 3 times as much and takes 45 minutes to do.

Recent figures show that 7 out of 10 drivers don’t know how to check the level of oil in their engine, while 1 out of every 10 people asked didn’t even know how to open the bonnet. Thankfully, I have worked out how to open my bonnet but when I moved to South America I realised that the old cars and tight budgets here mean that just about everyone looks after their own car as much as possible. I have learned to do a few basic things out here but when I come across a more technologically advanced car I‘ll probably struggle to open the bonnet. as well

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