Editor's Comment

Is classic car servicing at risk?

Published:  07 July, 2014

There are still a large number of classic cars on the road, vehicles that need servicing just as much as newer vehicles. Yet with the incessant addition of technology and computerised systems in classic vehicles, will the art of fixing these classics begin to die out?

Older cars feature less technology and until recently I believed that meant they could be fixed easily without fuss. However, new technicians and apprentices are being trained on computerised diagnostics systems, with the requirement being to plug in a tool, read codes and then track the potential fault to its source. So imagine being confronted with a car that has no ECU, no port to plug a code reader into. Then imagine that it has no direct injection, airflow sensors or hydraulic pumps, just a carburettor or cable operated clutch. Would a new technician know where to start?

Instead, mechanics who can service these vehicles are going to become few and far between as the older generation had over to the up and coming technicians. It therefore needs to be remembered that the true skill of the people who fix cars is the ability to turn their hand to anything that comes in through the garage doors.  It is a bit like teaching the iPhone generation to correspond through writing letters. It is a skill that can be passed on and so should be.

Perhaps keeping the requirement for older vehicles to be put through the MOT annually would encourage more technicians to specialise in older vehicles. It would also make sense from a safety aspect. Hopefully my thoughts will be proven wrong, however as a lover of older vehicles myself, I sometimes despair at the level of technology that we are faced with today and wonder where it will go and how cars of today will be serviced tomorrow.

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