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So much of todays technology ends up being scrapped due to the failure of a single electronic part sometimes costing as little as 1p but because of the way in which both industry and society has evolved, it’s more likely the equipment will end up in the skip than being sent for repair.

When your washer suddenly stops working, chances are it’s that 1p component again but on a circuit-board containing many other components. The easy option is to replace the electronic module for a new £80 one or scrap the washer. It’s not the end of the world for most people but what happens when the 1p component is part of an electric car?

Well, it seems the same methods are used here, especially by the main dealers. Their mechanics are little more than box changers but unfortunately the replacement parts now run into thousands of pounds. It’s rather like replacing the engine for a faulty thermostat, it fixes the fault, but a skilled engineer would never do this. And yet we’re rushing headlong into the electric car market with people with no knowledge other than to replace entire modules with brand new parts.

Some time back, I reasoned that it would be possible to run a business, refurbishing washing machine modules and with millions breaking down each year the numbers looked good. But the question was always, would retailers be bothered coming to me when they could just charge the customer for a brand-new part? Maybe there’s opportunities for good auto electricians to get involved in electronic part refurbishment given the extreme high costs of these new parts and the growing market

 

Bill :)

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A few years ago a guy I knew had an electronics hobby. He would go around electronics retailers asking if they had any TVs or DVD Players that had been returned faulty under warranty that they would sell him cheaply. He would then check them out and repair them if possible. He reckoned a lot of the time it amounted to re-soldering a dry joint or two. If he succeeded he would sell them on for a small profit so a nice little sideline.

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1 hour ago, Bill said:

So much of todays technology ends up being scrapped due to the failure of a single electronic part sometimes costing as little as 1p but because of the way in which both industry and society has evolved, it’s more likely the equipment will end up in the skip than being sent for repair.

When your washer suddenly stops working, chances are it’s that 1p component again but on a circuit-board containing many other components. The easy option is to replace the electronic module for a new £80 one or scrap the washer. It’s not the end of the world for most people but what happens when the 1p component is part of an electric car?

Well, it seems the same methods are used here, especially by the main dealers. Their mechanics are little more than box changers but unfortunately the replacement parts now run into thousands of pounds. It’s rather like replacing the engine for a faulty thermostat, it fixes the fault, but a skilled engineer would never do this. And yet we’re rushing headlong into the electric car market with people with no knowledge other than to replace entire modules with brand new parts.

Some time back, I reasoned that it would be possible to run a business, refurbishing washing machine modules and with millions breaking down each year the numbers looked good. But the question was always, would retailers be bothered coming to me when they could just charge the customer for a brand-new part? Maybe there’s opportunities for good auto electricians to get involved in electronic part refurbishment given the extreme high costs of these new parts and the growing market

 

Bill :)

Is not the problem that so much of the kit is flow soldered with automatic component placement which is difficult to repair unless the failure is in a discrete component like a relay or a power transistor?

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Yes Asp, there are opportunities to do this if the skills are there. When my business was based on Winwick Quay, the place next door used to take broken ex rental TVs, fix them up and then rent them out to poorer families.

One time, they had a Mission Impossible style raid where thieves cut a hole in the roof to hauled out the TVs. These were the big heavy ones back then and once out they had to hump them up the high motorway embankment to their van waiting on the M62.

There was some good news though because all the sets they took were the ones they couldn’t fix and were waiting for the skip. 😊

 

Bill 😊  

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Con I don’t think that’s really the problem because if an old bloke like me with dodgy hands and eyes could replace pretty much any surface mount component here on my desk then it’d be a breeze for an expert. The issue would be being able to diagnose the fault which would require the manufacturers to make schematics and routines available and most won’t do that.

That said, my experience with fault finding in electronics tells me that faults tend to be repetitive common failures and can often be identified visually. Difficult when there’s just one or two to deal with but when there’s thousands you can build up a degree of expertise and knowledge.

 

Bill 😊  

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