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Onboard Maintenance Log

An on-board storage of all service performed on the vehicle
  [vote for,

It would be nice if the cars had a built-in log of all maintenance performed on the vehicle.

You could only put entries in it with a special machine, like those error code readers that dealers and licensed mechanics have now.

It would include the date, the service performed, and some code for the establishment that performed the service. The code would be built-in to the machine that can make entries.

So, if you're buying a car, you can know its entire mechanical history.

If you're owning a car, it can have a built-in maintenance schedule, and it can alert you when something is coming up, and if you're past due.

This is not meant to replace the paper logs you should already be keeping, nor the 'service performed' receipts that the mechanices give you, nor is it meant to keep you from working on your own car or having a buddy do so.

It's just an extra, add-on thing that really helps if you keep up with it.

If you're worried about the security hazards of mechanices entering data into the log, well, they're working on your car for crying out loud. Worry about them not forgetting to put in new oil after draining it, or not bleeding the brake line.

So, a log entry might look like:

080803:10000:"Oil Change"

The service was done on August 8th, 2003; it was an oil change; and it was inserted by machine number 236848, which belongs to Tim's Auto Service, so it's likely that they did the work.

lawpoop, Aug 19 2003

Maclaren F1 http://www.mclarenc...ons/mainfr/cars.htm
Expensive pseudo-racing car [oneoffdave, Oct 17 2004]


       Or like this:


Which indicates that on August 8, 2003 Tim's Auto Service performed a $100.00 service but charged me $2368.48

DeathNinja, Aug 19 2003

       Pros: As you said.   

       Cons: Shouldn't be necessary as owners should keep a decent log anyway; it's a hassle for small incremental utility.   

       The info cars should be auto-tracking is mileage, engine hours, fuel consumption and engine warning events.   

       That way a buyer could see haw the engine had been used and abused and how reliable it was.
FloridaManatee, Aug 19 2003

       [Florida] Shouldn't be, but is. I've never met a consumer who kept good automobile records unles   

       1. They were into cars and they keep the logs in their heads   

       2. They were WWII vets and already kept a *gas milage log book* along with every other thing that happened to the car.   

       So, if you're already having a 'drive data recorder', why not throw in the maintenance record, as well?   

       You already have a mileage tracker, which is pretty much a 1:1 indicator of engine wear. It's called the odometer.   

       That odometer will show you use records. I argue that it and other drive data will not show abuse records. I define engine abuse as not performing regular oil changes -- therefore, only a maintenance log can show you engine *abuse*.
lawpoop, Aug 19 2003

       I'd like a Hobbs meter in addition to an odometer. Also, the total number of engine starts (broken into cold and warm starts), lateral acceleration extremes (esp. deceleration), peak engine temps, rev limiter actuations, highest speeds, airbag deployments, etc.   

       Also, I am not a WWII vet and, yet, I have a book with every drop of gas I've ever put in my car as well as my own record of maintenance (written in very compact longhand hexadecimal).   

       I keep it because I have found that when fuel mileage drops it usually means there's a problem and often before I really am able to notice it any other way.
bristolz, Aug 19 2003

lawpoop, Aug 19 2003

       who's calling whom a nut, when you're posting 40 annotations deep in halfbakery?
lawpoop, Aug 19 2003

       If my failing memory serves, the Maclaren F1 had a lot of this built in with it's disagnostic system. When it broke, you plugged a phone line into it and it called Maclaren and told them what was wrong with it so they could send the right bloke to fix it or alter the software over the phone. The only downside was that it is/was very expensiv.
oneoffdave, Aug 20 2003

       //You could only put entries in it with a special machine//. What about people who do the maintenance and repairs themselves? How much is this little device? Just one more step towards having the hood of the car locked down so only 'technicians' can access it...
rbl, Aug 20 2003

       Go ahead and do all you want to your own car. No one says you *have* to make log entries.   

       The log doesn't prevent you from doing anything at all. How does it 'lock down' the hood?   

       I think the main benefit of this is if you're going to sell a car. A smart buyer doesn't trust someone who says "Oh, I did all the maintenance myself, I'm a *real* good mechanic." The buyer should request the receipts of the services done on the car, which come from people with businesses. The log effectively replaces this.
lawpoop, Aug 20 2003

       My point exactly, the concept that a mechanic (who might be having a bad day) is inherently more competent than the owner (who may actually care about the vehicle) is flawed. This device would be one step closer to ensuring that all work would have to be done by a garage, removing the owner from the loop. And, by the way, I AM a really good mechanic.   

       A 'smart' buyer will get the vehicle inspected by a third party.
rbl, Aug 20 2003

       I'm sure you're a good mechanic. I even have my car worked on by a guy who works out of his driveway. He even has the garage software so he can print me out invoices, so I have a paper record, which is what a buyer would want to see.   

       But I think I'm correct in saying a random/average *mechanic* is inherently better than a random/average *owner*. Note I didn't say mechanice/owner. By definition, a mechanic would know more than a non-mechanic.   

       And again, this maintenance log *does not lock the hood in any way*. It's not like error codes, where you need the reader and a log to figure out what it's complaining about.   

       It's a bonus for those who use it, and it does not impede in any way what you are already doing with your car.
lawpoop, Aug 20 2003

       [supercat] What are the operating and non-operating temperatures of those chips? How much vibration can they handle?
lawpoop, Aug 20 2003

       Yeah. Vietnam. I was 2 when Saigon fell but I was a good soldier.
bristolz, Aug 20 2003

       (joining conversation) So what [poop] wants is a system that requires new equipment that if widely adopted will allow for some description of a service done. If I go to Fred mechanic with a bad battery and mechanic Fred doesn't spend the effort to log this, then when I visit mechanic Emily with the same problem there's no record of it. I didn't write it down because I had assumed Fred had, and I don't mention it to Emily because I assume she already has this info.   

       Big fishbone for this one, unless there's a way for me as a consumer to easily access this info to make sure the mechanic is doing their job.
Worldgineer, Aug 20 2003

       OK, make some cheap consumer reader for the log code.   

       Remember, this is an extra, add-on thing. If you're worried about people not logging services, KEEP THE RECEIPTS THE MECHANIC GIVES YOU AS REQUIRED BY LAW.
lawpoop, Aug 20 2003

       What crazy planet do you live on where keeping your receipts are required? Well, go ahead and lock me up in the receipt tossers jail.
Worldgineer, Aug 20 2003

       No, I mean the mechanics are required to give you receipts of the work they've done.   

       So, even if you have a newfangled on-board maintenance log, you are still getting paper receipts of repairs done. Save them, like you are already doing now <snerk>.   

       So even if on-board service logs become standard, I doubt that the laws will change that fast, because   

       1. Laws never change that fast   

       2. There will still be cars with no on-board logs driving around.
lawpoop, Aug 20 2003

       // Got your muffler bearings replaced and your blinker fluid refilled //   

       They recommend you have those done every 10,000 miles. I do them every 5,000 just to be safe.

DeathNinja, Aug 21 2003

       When a battery is disconnected, error codes go *poof*.
For diagnostic purposes this is good, as it clears false readings, but car needs to be warmed up fully to get all readings. For the consumer, sometimes it's good to disconnect a battery (after the car cooled down, and no unwelcome "signs" were found) just to get rid of an error code which is keeping a car disabled/stranded, as was the case with some acquaintances who went on an overpowered Italian car tour this past weekend.
thumbwax, Aug 21 2003


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