Home » What Are Some Ways That Automakers Have Made Cars Easy To Work On?

What Are Some Ways That Automakers Have Made Cars Easy To Work On?

Autopian Asks Design For Serviceability Ts2

Much has been said about cars that suck to work on. Too much, in fact, that the internet is swamped with tales of misery, and I want to do the opposite of that. Let’s talk about what happens when designers and engineers think of the people who’ll be wrenching on their vehicles. Called “design for serviceability,” it makes working on your car a little bit easier, possibly even turning a chore into a joy.

Easy as it is to harp on German complexity, I must say that cabin air filter placement on most BMWs is excellent. It sits atop the cowl, meaning you don’t have to empty your glovebox to change a cabin filter and any accumulated dust doesn’t end up in your interior. Just pop the hood, loosen a couple screws, and replace the filter. Simple as that.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Likewise, I’m a huge fan of the trapdoor-style engine air filter changes on the Kia Telluride. Just drop the door on the side of the airbox, pivot two tabs, and the filter slides right out. No messing about with unwieldy clip-on filter lids or screwed-together airboxes. Sure, it’s a little touch, but it makes life easier, and that’s what it’s all about.

So, let’s celebrate examples of design for serviceability, when manufacturers made it unusually easy to carry out maintenance or repairs. Whether you want to celebrate cartridge-style oil filters or laud easy-to-replace headlight bulbs, the comment section is yours for the taking.


(Photo credits: Thomas Hundal)

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1 month ago

On the Peugeot 206, the neck for the washer fluid bottle is detachable, which means you can easily move it out of the way to change a headlight bulb, without having to remove the entire washer bottle (which would require removing a bunch of other parts first).
Thanks Peugeot! (I still think putting the brake light switch in the passenger footwell on RHD cars was a bit weird though.)

1 month ago

When I was doing the M62 swap on my Cobalt, it was extremely easy to remove the stock 2.2L tensioner from the engine and replace it with the 2.0 SC’s idler because they conveniently put an access hole in the front rail for the tensioner/idler bolt.

Rather than having to fight with trying to install or remove the bolt with potentially not enough clearance to even get it out all the way, you simply just slipped it through the hole, and then had clearance to get a straight shot at it with a socket.

Just…don’t drop the bolt into the rail section like I did.

1 month ago

Damn, that E90 looks sick. If I were in your position, I would consider adding shadowline trim. It would complement your clear reflectors and glossy rims nicely.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

Item labeling in the engine bay is SO much better now.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

Yes, by making cars so reliable I need not work on them at all.

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