It Sucks That We Can't Fix Our Own Cars These Days: The Skinny With Craig Cole

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole
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it sucks that we can t fix our own cars these days the skinny with craig cole

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Many vehicle owner’s manuals are thicker than a large-print Bible and weigh as much a waterlogged mattress. When did things get so complicated?

Today’s vehicles are absolute marvels of engineering. The things they’re capable of are nothing short of astounding. You can roll down the road at triple-digit speeds while watching your favorite movie in climate-controlled comfort as a satellite-powered navigation system ensures your chauffeur never misses a turn.

There are backup cameras, cutting-edge all-wheel-drive systems, self-parking capability, massively powerful engines and more, all surrounded by an impenetrable layer of crash protection. And these features aren’t even exclusive to flagship luxury models, you can get pretty much all of this in a mainstream sedan.

SEE ALSO: What a REAL Lincoln Revival Should Look Like

Yes, today’s vehicles are so advanced it’s no wonder they come with encyclopedias in their gloveboxes. But operating instructions are one thing, maintenance and repair are another animal entirely.

Our cars and trucks may have more features, deliver better fuel economy and offer higher levels of safety than our parents and grandparents could have ever imagined, but all this complexity comes with significant tradeoffs. I explore this topic in the latest Skinny video, which you can watch above!

Check out other Episodes of The Skinny

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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  • Jeffery Surratt Jeffery Surratt on Nov 10, 2016

    I have been repairing my cars since age 18 and I am now 60. With a background in F-106 and F-15 Avionics, I will try and fix anything that goes wrong with my cars, at least once. . It is getting harder to work on many newer cars, but the basics are still the same. Fluid changes, spark plugs, starter, alternator and water pumps can still be done, but the MTB failure rates have improved. What I have noticed over the years is as a car ages it has more problems with electric wiring, switches, power window motors and systems that depending on function do not require immediate repair. There is also plenty of information on the internet, that can help you find the problem. I remember reading of a Volt owner who took his car to the dealer for an intermittent fault and was told the battery needed to be replaced, cost $6,500. He went home and spent several hours cleaning all the battery cell connections and fixed the problem, cost = time and $10 can of electric cleaner. So much for the dealer experts. I have owned 22 different cars in 42 years and I have yet to spend $1,000 having someone else work on my cars. This may change in the near future, I helped my son change spark plugs and clean and lube the throttle bodies on his 2009 BMW M3 V8 and we spent more time removing stuff to get to the job than it took to complete the task, what a pain. But I am still thinking it is worth saving the $100 plus per hour shop bill and knowing the job was done right.