Why is it more complicated to work on modern cars that it was before?

At Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA. one of the most often asked questions that we get is “Why is it more complicated to work on modern cars that it was before?”

While the simple answer is that technology has made improvements in all areas of the vehicle systems and components, that answer is not necessarily the best one.

Our 2 cents on the matter

To be honest we don’t believe that all improvements that have been made by the auto industry over the years are necessary or beneficial. Many of the areas of the vehicle’s system, on cars driven in Bedford PA., were not changed for the reason of better technology but rather the increase in governmental regulations. These particular changes were instituted in 1996 and steadily increased over the years with major jumps in 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2012. These changes were mandatory by the federal government to auto manufacturers placing emission monitoring equipment and exhaust recirculation components that were advertised as a way to make a vehicle easier on the environment; but in reality, they have decreased fuel efficiency on many vehicles along the way.

Now there’s no reason to “cry over spilt milk,” these emission system components are mandatory and because of the computer systems that are on modern vehicles your car simply will not run correctly without these emission systems functioning properly. You can also rest assured that if your vehicle is experiencing any problems with these emissions systems that your trusted ASE Master certified, dealer trained technicians at Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA. has been thoroughly trained on all aspects of emissions technology and can quickly diagnose and repair problems if they should arise.

Why does my car have a computer?

An automobile computer is probably one of the biggest reasons why a vehicle is more difficult to work on today than it was before. The PCM, or powertrain control module otherwise known as an ECU or electronic control unit, has steadily grown in its ability to monitor and regulate everything from engine timing and emissions to the temperature of your seat heater. These Computers have also been tuned with the engines on cars produced after 2007 so much that they can increase horsepower and increase fuel economy. In some cases you can even control from the dash the driving conditions, a common feature of modern muscle cars.

These computers, however, have a catch 22 for auto repair service technicians in Bedford PA.. While these computers can make the repairs, at times, more difficult they can also assist greatly in the diagnosis of a vehicle repair. Vehicles manufactured after 2012 can monitor dozens of sensors that, with the proper diagnostic equipment, can quickly narrow down a problem.

The ASE Master certified, dealer trained technicians employed by Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA. are expertly trained in diagnosing these modern vehicle systems. Relying on years of experience combined with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment we can quickly narrow down the problem and present options and solutions for the vehicle repair.

Are there any vehicle improvements in technology that are beneficial?

That’s actually a great question. There is no doubt that safety improvements over the years, whether federally mandated or not, has greatly improved the safety of most modern cars. Compare just the last 10 years in front end collision technology. With the use of the crumple zones and energy absorbing materials used in the construction of bumpers and the firewall; the likelihood of surviving a crash has been greatly increased. With the advances in anti-brake locking systems (ABS), stability control and computer-assisted steering there is no question that these improvements, while at times difficult to diagnose and repair, are well worth it.


There are many reasons why modern vehicles in Bedford, PA. are more difficult to work on today versus before. The few things that we’ve looked at in this article just scratch the surface of the complexity of many modern systems. One thing you can be sure of is that Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA. is up for the challenge. Whether you’ve got a ‘69 Mustang or ‘12 Honda Civic our ASE Master certified, dealer trained master technicians are ready and able to keep your car running in top condition.

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