New LA Mayor says cost of car repairs is part of cause of homeless problem

"According to Bass, far too many Angelinos do not have any other choice but to crowd multiple families into homes.

Many people are struggling to pay their bills and cover car repairs."


What do you folk think? Have car repairs become unaffordable for many families? If so, when did the transition from affordable to unaffordable occur, and why did it happen?

Cars have sooo many features absent in earlier cars so they naturally have higher mantenance and repair costs. This has been a steady growth over my time driving. But many things have gotten relatively cheaper or far better in longevity. Oil, batteries and tires to name 3.

Politically, the mayor is trying to deflect blame for problems the politicians themselves have created.

3 Likes

Car repair costs are what’s forcing multiple families to move in with each other ?

I’m sure it has nothing to do with the rising cost of homes and apartments.

I don’t know how else many people can have housing anymore,

Thankfully I own my house, I’m making more money than I’ve ever made and I don’t qualify to buy my house now, I can’t afford to move.

2 Likes

George, you have the unique talent of making car-adjacent posts guaranteed to eventually require Caroline’s attention.

2 Likes

Mustangman said it. It’s directing blame on something other than the true issue.

Sort of. The cost of such skilled labor is high. The governement created burden of operating a business is higher than ever. People also don’t properly maintain their cars and blame the car maker or the repair shop. The bigger issues is how the dependence on travel by car became so high.

After the 2008 recession a lot of places went out of business. Then the economy came back, but it started transitioning even faster in to a new generation of workers who do badly with hands on labor. 2008 also brought a change in politics than made the cost of operating a business higher than ever. Many people started to have to work and commute to two separate jobs, due not being able to be employed full time at one job.

The quality of vehicles kind peaked in the 1990s. By 2010 with cash for clunkers, a lot of the good 90s cars were scrapped. They were replaced by 2010 model vehicles which have a lot of exepensive electronic modules and infotainment systems. We had first generation direct gasoline injection which fails and needs a partial engine overhaul. C.V. transmissions came out and many had short lives. Rust protection actually got worse. Compact engine compartments are difficult to work in. We got 5+ speed transmissions that are more complicated and failure prone. After '08, our culture became much more superficial. The automakers responded by making excellent looking vehicles which are full of features. Buyers loved this, until they realized that the parts of the vehicle that you can’t see directly are worse quality. Actually the superficial buyers never really relized this. They just started complaining that their wages are too low to afford a replacement for their aging 6 year old poorly build vehicle. If "Real People" Commercials were Real Life - CHEVY Millennials - YouTube

1 Like

This is the biggest tragedy, and why so many of the best cars are difficult to find today. When people could trade in their $1500-3500 car, and get twice as much for it dead as alive, people were more concerned about collecting the money, than about keeping those cars on the road.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to comment. I will say though the last time I had my car at the dealer for fluid changes, new belt, and brake fluid change, when I got the bill I told them it was less than I expected.

Do Californians ever wonder why a common product like gasoline is almost twice the cost in Cali than in most of the country?

It is the same gas, from the same pumps, with the same EPA requirements, from the same companies. What makes it cost more in CA than Kansas?

2 Likes

Solution to people sleeping under bridges if they cant afford a car.

1 Like

I can’t even call this car-adjacent. The word “car repairs” happens to be in this article about homelessness. The mayor didn’t even say what the discussion title says she did.

PS George, @texases is right. At least try to pick articles for people to talk about that are at least 51% about cars/driving/what have you. Thanks.

1 Like

People in LA, more than in most places, must use a car to get to work, school, to visit someone, to shop, etc. Many people are already only a few hundred dollars ahead of the next unexpected expense. For some, a car repair that can’t be done means a job that can’t be got to, a paycheck not earned, rent not paid…

Not everyone has the resources, connections, savvy, health and, yes, wealth to afford a home.

2 Likes

I bet the costs to keep a car running was a challenge for poor people in 1960,1980, 2000, and is today. Sounded like that was the mayor’s message, not that car repair costs created homeless people.

1 Like

Large families, high rent costs, modest incomes and old cars with deferred repairs, been the same for decades. It is a common lifestyle, little to do with homelessness, just a politician rambling.

Nevada uses the same fuel blend as California, we rely on fuel from California refineries, other fuel refineries don’t offer the same fuel blend. Higher cost? Not sure why, but wages in CA are higher than the rest of the country. My last tank of gasoline was $4.16/gallon.

You could donate your Acura to the poor, so some family doesn’t have to drive an old, dilapidated vehicle.

1 Like

You could donate your Acura to the poor, so some family doesn’t have to live in an old, dilapidated vehicle.
Fixed That.
I believe the housing problems ie. Lack of affordable, was mainly caused by other Govt. programs that should not be addressed here.

3 Likes

We have the same problem here. Just not as crazy as Silicon Valley. And we’re lucky too that we own our home. Paid off mortgage years ago. We bought our current home over a couple decades ago for $250k. New homes of the same size and features in our neighborhood are selling for close to $900,000.

I hired an engineer last year from Silicon Valley. He took a over $100,000 REDUCTION in pay to move to the Boston area so he could afford to buy a house. Think about that.

With Covid and work at home now being very well established - many people are moving to other/cheaper parts of the country. You can still work as an engineer in one of the high-tech hubs, but live in cheaper parts of the country. That might help ease the housing market in these places.

1 Like

Back to the cost of auto repairs… Let’s use and AC evaporator replacement. A 1970 full size car could replace a leaking evap core in 2-3 hours. A modern car could involve 10-20 hours to remove and replace. A buddy is looking at $3600 minimum to replace his.

Same component but FAR greater cost of replacement. And how many drivers in the 1970’s would have just decided to open the windows instead of fixing it?

The other part of the equation is HOW OFTEN. I’ve yet to have any repair on my 2014 Toyota Highlander with over 180k miles. Just normal maintenance and wear items. NOTHING I owned from the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s was even close to this.

I found it rare for any vehicle from the 60’s and 70’s to have starters or Alternators last over 100k miles. I’ve yet to replace one on any vehicle we’ve owned since my wife’s 1987 Accord…even after 400k miles.

While the cost to repair is higher…the frequency of repair is considerably lower.

2 Likes

I tend to agree w/@TheWonderful90s about when car repair costs seemed to skyrocket, mid 2000’s. Most likely the effect of that era’s recession economy and gov’t policies to improve bankrupt & nearly bankrupt car-manufacturer’s balance sheets, cash for clunkers, bail-outs, requiring new-car features like tire pressure monitors.

As far as whether the title of the thread is misleading, not what Mayor said? An argument to that effect could be made I suppose, but I don’t see that as misleading myself. As to whether the thread is car-related enough, or it’s position in the list? What do you folks think? As you know I have no control over what other threads are adjacent to this one.

But Carolyn does so drop it and she has Thors Hammer .

I think it’s of very limited value, and is likely to end up in a ditch on non-car related discussions. What’s the point? That car expenses are hard on poor people? Is that your point, George?

1 Like