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Right to Repair on the ballot in Massachusetts

I just got my ballot (I’m an overseas voter) and in Massachusetts there’s a referendum requiring car companies to give people the info they need to repair their cars. How cool is that?

Having the instruction sheet for brain surgery doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome. In Minnesota we’ve got a couple really stupid amendments to vote on too.

If people who work on their own cars rather than take them to a shop are anything like Triedaq, this referendum will really help the repair shops. The shop gets more things to repair after he decides to fix the car.

Mrs. Triedaq

It is indeed bcoming a legal issue; if you buy a Honda you are not buying an open-ended repair contract with the dealer!

I just bought an hp8600 printer and it tried to reject my Costco paper!!. It kept telling me the tray was “empty” and to buy genuine hp paper. It took me half an hour to “persude” it otherwise.

This amendment will become a national issue over time. A few years ago a repair shop in Canada specializing in imports like Volvo was refused parts from the Volvo dealer. He took the organization to court and won handily with heavy fines for Volvo and the dealer for restricting trade.

With very high tech equipment like jet aircraft, the owner usually buys a certain number of services from the manufacturer, but as the machine ages, contract maintenance with third party specialist contractors is the norm.

It’s not cool at all. With very few exceptions, all the service information anyone needs to service and repair their car is already available to anyone who wants it. In some cases it’s already free. This legislation makes about as much sense as demanding that carmakers give away a set of wrenches and jack stands with every car because the driver is too cheap or lazy to procure these items himself.

Many people clamoring for this couldn’t fix a sandwich, much less a car, and don’t have the proper experience or tooling to properly utilize factory level service information anyway.

Mrs. @Tridaq is only half joking in her statement.

Folks, the legislation is not about people fixing their own cars. The legislation is to prohibit manufactureres selling in the U.S. from using propreiary OBD codes such that independant shops can’t read them. It’s really a right to have one’s car diagnosed and repaired at his/her shop of preference rather than having to go to a dealer.

Mouintainbike has it right. Over the life of a car, the total outlay in maintenance and repairs will closely equal the purchase price. Dealers, because of their higher cost, only get to servicen the vehicle during the warranty period. They would love to do more!

I’m getting old and my memory is fading a bit, but didn’t we recently have a discussion about the number of fairly simple things that now require a dealer to do a reset on? I don’t remember the details but I did comment something about how many people would buy a certain model if the knew in advance how many simple maintenance items required a dealer reset. I think one of them was running out of gas in a Prius.

Maybe Massachusetts should add a clause that the dealer must give a customer a printout on all items that require a dealer reset before presenting a contract for the sale of the vehicle, or maybe add that to the window sticker right along with the EPA mileage estimate, in big letters.

In addition to information, how about a right to parts, like why on a Sentra, if one radiator fan stops working, do I have to buy a complete fan assembly with both motors and the shroud, (about $200) why can’t I just get new brushes?

Keith, I’m not sure that the need for a “DEALER RESET” on so many things isn’t mandated. The feds would rather force everone to go to their dealer shops for everything than accept the possibility of a hydrocarbon molecule escaping due to someon working on their own car. .

Re: the fans, those things are simply done for manufacturing efficencies. A book explaining all if them would be the size of “War & Peace”.

smb, I can take apart an electric motor, I don’t need a book, I just need brushes.

True, however they’re not edsigned to be repaired…they’re designed to be manufactured efficiently and cost-effectively.

Just like my third brakelight. That became erratic (flakey circuit on the PC board) and in order to repair it I had to cut into the plastic back with a coping saw. The board and LEDs are inserted into slots in the back of the assembly and the back and lens are ultrasonically welded together, entrapping the components. It simply was made to be inexpensively mass produced, not to be repaired.

I actually repaired it once and it became flaky again, so I replaced the LEDs & boarg with a generic LED strip. The flakey circuit is a run between the phenolic boards, with some really cheesy through holes.

It does not matter if they are designed to be repaired or not. I can and often do take apart electric motors. Someone makes these so there is no reason they cannot be made available. I don’t need the dealers to stock these, just make the source data available.

Why should the manufacturer make it easy on you? Carbon motor brushes are available on lime. Maybe replacement brushes are available if you know where to look. Here’s one place that sells them:

It would be a fantastic coincidence if any of these brushes work in that Sentra fan motor, but replacements might be out there.

I’m right there with you Keith. However, knowing the parts source would likely not help. They are wholesalers in volume. They have no interest in retail “walk ups”. They’re not set up for it in many ways. The biggest being collecting taxes and sending them in. The whole thing is a hassle for how many sales to people like you and me?

I found a couple places where I used to live. Wandered in the back door and started asking questions. One was a brake pad mfr the other rebuilt starters and alternators. They sold or often just gave me parts under the counter so to speak. Man, I miss that…

I have to disagree with the general consensus. IMO, this bill was never intended to actually have the owner do their own work. It was intended to force dealers and repair shops to be a little more honest and on the other side provide a source for the unsuspecting car owner. It’s called personal freedom of choice which you have little unless you are armed with information. This is just a way of providing a little. It’s really not a big deal but could potentially save a lot of people $$$$$ in repair bills.

BTW, it’s a local state referendum that voters can easily defeat. What the heck does that have to do with the federal govt. ?