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Modern Cars

In the olden days, and it wasn’t that long ago either, things were made to last. Goods your parents or grandparents bought are still workable now if they kept them and didn’t upgrade for the newest shiny thing.

Partly down to the fact that manufacturing processes were not as good and they couldn’t get tolerances quite as accurate as they can now and the fact that materials were much cheaper we built good solid items such as tools, furniture, pots and many other things that could, and have, lasted decades. You should always be on the lookout for old tools at car boots or buy good quality tools.

When it comes to high value items though we have a bit more difficulty especially with the forced dictates of global warming as a justification we have made almost everything more efficient but at the cost of increased complexity and reduced maintainability. Almost everything now is designed to be as efficient as possible and with many items when it is not you are forced to replace it by law or pay heavily for your ecological ‘crime’, Cars are good examples of this.

For the government it is win-win they get to tax you whilst you agree you should be punished, for manufacturers they get the benefit of increased turnover while for the ordinary consumer it is simply more costs you have to find simply to live. For preppers though it is a disaster. We are hit by the additional costs as is everyone else but we usually want to keep our equipment for much longer, we want to repair it ourselves and sometimes we even want to keep two or three of an item. It wasn’t that long ago people had a Ford Escort they drove with another for spares behind the garage. Now almost every part is completely redesigned every two years With hardly any parts interchangeable. Coupled with registration of vehicles requiring Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to the Stasi every year if you don’t tax a vehicle you also have a bureaucratic overhead to handle. It may not sound like much but it won’t be long before other duties and costs are added.

Just open a modern cars bonnet. Looks full and overcomplicated. It is and deliberately so. Look and ask yourself how do I change a lightbulb never mind anything else. You need to have dexterous fingers if you want to proceed. In my first car everything was user serviceable and it wasn’t that long ago I can assure you. Now most cars need servicing in main dealers and more and more garages are unable to service the ordinary blokes car.

So as a prepper how can we prepare for something when the items readily available we are unable to maintain? We simply need to find items that we can maintain.

Easier said than done.

Sure they won’t have as good mileage to the gallon, they will pollute more and they won’t have all the bells and whistles on we are used to but they will be maintainable. We will be able source spare parts and we will be able to botch things up by welding parts. When was the last time you saw someone welding the bottom of a car because the door frame had a hole in it?

I’m not a car expert but I suspect that the only cars you will find that have the capability to be maintained in this way are older cars or cars sold in places like Russia, its offshoots, and Africa. No Western car manufacturer has failed to jump on the bandwagon when they spotted potential profits but they can’t sell in these places because nobody wants that after care cost.

So if you want a driving capability after an event look for a car you can maintain yourself. One you can stock up on with spares and doesn’t need a computer to maintain its running capability.

If you have motor bikes then do the same there. They are pretty much the same.

Watch out for this on other items such as generators, outboards, farm machinery and other equipment you want to keep after an event as well.

Just think in your travels how many times you have come across new or nearly new cars on the hard shoulder. You don’t want that to be you when you don’t have the RAC to call.

4 comments to Modern Cars

  • midnitemo

    I think the only real option for a competent low tech motorvehicle is to buy something elderly with a reputation for longevity and restore it which would be a great grounding in the workings of the car if you’ve already had it in a thousand bits and put it back together…land rovers are the obvious choice but they use a lot of fuel …so perhaps think outside the box and go for a mazda b1800 pick up or a merc 308 pick up/van or a personal favourite of mine, one that I owned in my youth a Bedford ha van.

  • bigpaul

    Bedford Vans are good , you could get a Bedford Rascal van or the slightly more modern Suzuki carryvan,plenty of spare parts on Ebay! neither are huge but its surprising what you can get in the back, we had our honeymoon in a Rascal van!!!!!

  • lightspeed

    Complexity of cars is for sure benefiting government ( tax) and manufacturers.

    The super efficient euroboxes are a good example. Sure they sip only small amounts of fuel, but require perfect fuel and perfect servicing by main dealers, using extremely high cost components. A gas guzzler that is home maintained can be economically efficient ( depending on mileage).

    Example: My car’s dip-beam headlamp blew in the summer. There is no way to access the bulb holders to effect a roadside repair. We approached the supplying dealer to get it replaced. They quoted over £100 plus VAT plus parts. To replace a blown light bulb??? How difficult could it be? We decided to hit the www to get the knowledge to do it ourselves. And it turns out that maybe the dealer’s repair cost wasn’t so exorbitant. To replace that bulb, I had to remove one body panel, the radiator grill, drop both wheel arch inner wings, remove the front bumper, and then remove the whole headlamp unit. That is the only way to get to the bulb holders. So what on “old style” vehicles was a 5 minute job that you can do at the roadside has been morphed into a 3 hour job that involves special tools, and crawling around in the muck and grime….

    We are now looking for a low tech, simple vehicle that we can keep running with minimal assistance from main dealers.

  • Highlander

    This is one reason I have not bought a western made car for years, I have only had Russian and South Korean cars for years,.. the first couple I had were Russian Lada`s,..and if they didn’t rot the way they do I would still be driving them, I loved the Lada`s I have owned, but I did change countries,..I moved to South Korea, I now drive a Hyundai Santa Fee,..ok they are not as easy to work on, but they are better than most, parts easily acquired and much easier than many to do bits and pieces on yourself

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