Are Today’s Modern Cars More Reliable Than Ones From The Past?

Have you ever noticed that new cars seem to develop fewer faults than ones built five, ten or even 15 years ago? There is a consensus that newer vehicles have improved reliability.

But, some might argue that they aren’t better-built. They might also state that new cars have fewer issues because of their age.


It’s an interesting debate, of course, and one that will no doubt sway buyers into getting new or used cars. The thing is; there is a lot of weight to back up the claim that today’s modern vehicles are more reliable. Here’s why:

Stricter quality control

If you have to keep announcing recalls on your models, fewer people will want to buy from your brand. It’s as simple as that. Car makers carry out recalls for safety reasons, and it’s not a cheap nor easy task for them to do.

These days, vehicle manufacturers perform stricter quality control checks. They don’t want to spend money recalling models and fixing them, with no charge to customers. Nor do they wish to have a negative impact on their brand’s reputation.

The latter reason is chief among those for ensuring car checks in the factory happen all the time. Many cars get built using automated methods (i.e. with robots). Still, a human needs to do various inspections throughout the manufacturing process. That’s because even robots can get things wrong!

Better components

It’s no secret that car makers use parts designed and built by other companies. For instance, the ABS in your car might be one provided by Bosch. The rubber drive belts on the motor get manufactured by Gates. Even your spark plugs could come from a firm like NGK.

Car manufacturers have a “shopping list” of parts they need to build a vehicle. As always, it’s about getting the best parts for the money. There was once a time where some car makers would compromise on quality to drive down costs. As a result, this left motorists furious with paying for many expensive repair bills!

These days, car builders would prefer to keep their brand reputation intact. Aside from stricter quality control, they also make sure only the best parts get used in their cars. That’s why even a bearing manufacturer will get scrutinized before their parts get used.

Because of that shift in policy, auto firms see less new cars developing serious issues. And that’s good news for the people that buy their vehicles too!

Advanced electronics

One final but important point to note is that today’s cars used a variety of electronics. At the heart of any modern car is an electronic “box” called the ECU. Short for Electronic Control Unit, it is, in essence, the car’s computer brains.

The ECU monitors what’s going on in and around the engine through data fed to it from sensors. It can then adjust settings like ignition timing to suit the operating environment. Being a computer, you can also harness its data for fault diagnosis.

These days, when your car develops a fault, it’s easier to locate the source of the problem. For the most part, technicians will plug in a diagnostic system into your car. There is an “OBDII” port in your vehicle where the link gets made.

From that connection, they can see what the ECU sees. If there are any error codes, they will know which component they need to check for faults.

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