- A small subset of people buy shitty products (1$ bicycle lamps, lights, cheap-as-shit appliances like clocks, hoovers, …). I have no problem fixing stuff, and showing them how to fix stuff, but I always refuse to try to repair really cheap stuff. It's not even repairing at this point, but more sticking it back together. When this case happens, I explain in good term that they should buy a slightly better quality next time; it'll last them longer
- these cafés attract in general "alternative" people. I've got no problem with that, but I'm a bit fed up with conspirationists, anti-nuclear, really left-wing people.
But in general, it's a really rewarding experience !
If anybody ever finds a solution to this, every hackerspace in the world would love to know what it is.
Maybe have people have to take a class or two on how to use the equipment before they can join?
That's how Dallas Maker Space does it and seems like a good approach. I did the wood shop orientation and decided not to join because I had to postpone the project I was planning. But I don't know whether that filters out the annoyances mentioned.
One of these days, i guess.
Goa Parties (in my experience anyway) involve Goa Trance music and are sort of their own subculture but it involves people from all walks, e.g. from Burning Man techie decompressionists to German hippies and beyond. Oh, and drugs, though not mandatory.
But I'm no expert so maybe ask an expert if you're interested in this kind of thing. I bet there are also Goa Parties in Goa.
I've yet to meet genuine American socialists, even your hard communists sound like Christian Democrats with some odd ideas of race thrown in.
Was it ever like that though? Even in 1960?
Frankly, I've found the overall environments in these sorts of cafes/hackerspaces to be frustratingly anti-social. And I am someone who would be considered fairly left-leaning overall. But good lord were my hopes dashed when it came to thinking I would meet other folks that would be fun to talk to, just because not 100% of my views line up with the accepted SV zeitgeist.
Plenty of non-christians raised in a Christianity influenced social background, but not raised by Christians, use phrases like that.
With this in mind, things like your point make a lot of sense.
But really, not too recently someone thought it was so important they put it on the money and made school children say it every day. I don't think it occurs to most people just how pervasive declarations of religiosity are in America.
I'd imagine this only applies where atheists are in the minority
(Sources: the bible belt, the bay area, and /r/atheism.)
Back in the W Bush days there were suggestions being thrown around that homeland security types were using 9/11 as an excuse to push their pre-prepared systems of control on people, that Diebold voting machines were rigged to support Republicans.
That's not a conspiracy theory, but a verifiable fact: the systems of control overtly implemented after 9/11 justified by terrorism had largely been proposed (overtly), by many of the same people pushing them after 9/11, with other justifications (often, in the most recent prior attempt, the War on Drugs was the justification.)
There is a related conspiracy theory, though, that 9/11 was engineered (either a false-flag op or simply knowingly allowed to proceed) for the purpose of being used in that way.
The real kicker? It aired in March 2001. That 9/11 conspiracy theory is older than the actual attacks!
These are overwhelmingly right-wing conspiracies.
> Similar sentiments exist for Big Agri/Food, particularly with GMOs.
These run across the board.
It takes either time or money to see for yourself though.
As for hoarding money you are misunderstanding how things work. Money hoarded are usually reinvested somewhere else and does not sleep in a vault or something. Even your bank is constantly investing the money you save on the market. Thats how you can finance companies and startups in the end.
Welfare policies have been shown at multiple times to actually harm the poor in the long run, not benefit them. There are entire books written on that topic. Check out Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 from Charles Murray.
There are also entire books written about Bigfoot and the flat Earth theory.
Gates and Zuckerberg have both given large amounts intending to benefit the poor.
There have been tests done which show an inverse correlation between the cost of a person's car and how likely they are to stop for pedestrians waiting at marked crossings. Just as an informal example.
It is also extremely telling that the people who litter the most are young and rich.
Rich people overwhelmingly care a lot less about people they consider to be beneath them.
How can we stop this epidemic before it's too late?
This is not so surprising if you consider that both the desire to repair and the tendency to buy less expensive things can be driven by the overall drive to spend less, perhaps due to personal financial circumstances.
It's a well understood phenomenon that people bias the financial short term over the long term in quick decisions.
EDIT: In addition, many times, the higher quality option for a given type of product is many times more expensive than the "cheap" option, due to things like market segmentation. Given the lack of higher quality middle-priced option, it's pretty rational for people to choose the cheaper one.
The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms
If the cost of most things depended only on quality then I'd find it more convincing, but especially when we're talking about consumer electronics, things like brand reputation, novelty, and user perception matter a lot.
Buying a house is often much better financially than renting (in high cost of living areas, usually by a factor)
Hardwood furniture can last several generations. Plywood stuff...not so much.
Mutual funds have much lower fees if you invest a larger amount of money. Banks and credit unions give you more, cheaper services if you have more money. Borrowing money is cheaper the better off you are.
You can get a better job if you can afford to be on the market for longer.
And so on, and so forth. There are exceptions (my cheap ikea couch has lasted 10-15 years, while a fancy hardwood table we got started falling apart after just a few years), but you just have more options if you can afford more expensive stuff. Some of those options are vastly more cost-effective. Being poor is very expensive.
To be clear, I don't think it's strictly wrong, just that it adds nothing of value to a conversation. It just gives a very specific example of when a rule holds.
It's kind of like if the employment statistics come out, and they show improvement, but someone comments that they just got laid off that week. They aren't wrong, but they're also not adding anything to the conversation.
That is not the point, and the comment you’re replying to gave some very real, serious examples as to why not. Cost of living alone eats an incredible amount of your budget unless you’re very well to do, so there, immediately, you’re out of “sometimes” territory. We’re already in “the majority of most people’s budget” land. Then you have payday loans, any kind of loan in general, late fees, etc: all of these are costs to low liquidity. Unexpected expenses cannot be absorbed if you have no cash nor assets to sell. Being poor is expensive; this is not a random anecdote, it’s a fundamental character flaw in our society that has been consistently identified and documented. Google “the cost of being poor” for more reading material than one could process in a lifetime.
If you’re talking about the specific example in the quote, alone: it’s an illustration, to make a complex and ugly point understandable and palatable and easy to digest. It’s not a random data point: it illustrates the mechanism by which being poor is expensive. That’s not straight forward to intuit, hence this example has merit.
this has not been true for a long time by now. If it were true there would be no mass market for tourism and no budget for so many people to buy iphones every year or two. By far we all earn way more than what we strictly need to live, even in your first jobs in your twenties.
That assumes rich people actually participate. They could also just buy cheap things over and over because they can. I like to do that so I'm not too emotionally and financially attached to possessions, which becomes a liability and a worry.
Not any more, especially in the global cities. You are better off investing your money on the stock market.
When I last rented (in a very high cost of living area), my rent was 2500 and I was faced with a 300/month increase on the renewal of my lease.
I bought a place in an area that is roughly an (almost) as high in demand. Much nicer, 3 times the size. The mortgage was 2000/month. Add taxes and HoA and It's about 3000/month. There is some maintenance and I have to pay for my own repair, so my housing budget is about 3500 a month.
That was several years ago. I can look up the listing for the apartment I used to rent (large building, lots of units on the same floor with the same plan and they have a website). It hovers between 3000 and 3500/month these days.
Except I can deduct about $5000/year in taxes from my mortgage interest and the property taxes (though starting this year I won't be able to do the later anymore because of caps). And on that 3500/month I pay for housing, about $1500ish goes in principal. So effectively, the place costs me about 1500-1600/month. Add that property value is up drastically in the area over the last few years, and I'm living here somewhere between "for free" and "at a profit". That's a heck of a lot cheaper than renting.
There was the matter of the downpayment. I got pretty lucky in some of my stock investments, but the above is hard to beat (and the only reason I have so much money to invest IS because of how much cheaper my housing is now compared to what it would be). Oh, the condo association is letting me stick a solar array on the roof, which is also a fine investment even with the new tariffs. Landlord wouldn't have allowed it. If I ever need to leave or cash in, I can flip the place on the market in a day (well, plus like a month for the closing I guess). I can rent it too for a sweet added profit.
All in all, renting is expensive as hell.
Having also recently bought a house, my repayments are comparable to rent, and double up as an investment.
Most likely, the person who can afford the pricier boots and tells you they last longer than yours just needs to use them less, but justifies his decision because it was actually true back in his father's day. Economic inequality is a huge issue right now, sure. But information assymetry is also doing a lot of damage. I can get a spec sheet on 2 motherboards and get about all the information I need from them for a purchasing decision. You can't do that with boots at Walmart in this scenario.
More, if you want shoes to last a long time, I have found nothing beats having multiple sets and not wearing the same shoes constantly. I have not empirically studies this, though. So, if anyone has, I'd be delighted to see the results. I just know that if I buy an expensive set of shoes for me, they last about 6 months if I constantly wear them. I can, of course, resole them. But they are not magically doing better than the cheaper shoes I can also buy. Rotating shoes so that I wear a different set day to day makes a huge difference in how long they last.
Cheap quality shoes can be better than premium brand 'quality' shoes these days.
I mentioned sweaters from CVS because I bought one for ~$9 and the seams are coming apart after about 8 months, but it seems like it will be easy to fix because it was made in such a simple way.
Given that you have some experience, do you have any resources you can recommend? Maybe a good book with a bunch of the fundamental skills?
This, a thousand times over. Shoe trees also do wonders to extend the life of footwear. It's all about letting the shoe completely dry out between wears.
Generally speaking that's true, though I wear the crap out of my Birkenstocks and they still seem good.
After that I had a pair of Walmart flip-flops that lasted only half the time under similar use but they were 1/10th the price.
Before that I had a pair of no-name not flip-flop (i.e., velcro strap) sandals that lasted nearly 6 years of fairly continual use.
There is no particular moral or conclusion here, they are just anecdotes. I just think you can't make any general rule about "it's better to buy quality than cheap" or vice-versa: it's all situation specific and depends on the quantitative costs and lifetimes.
There are many examples of "it's expensive to be poor". There also many examples of where it's not, and how people have what would have been considered a very high standard of living in the past on minimal output. Many not poor people are also definitely not doing the boot anecdote thing posits: they aren't buying one set of boots and wearing them their entire lifetime. They aren't buying one set of hardwood furniture they use from their 20s until they die and they aren't buying a quality vehicle and running it for 20 years on synthetic oil.
This was back when I walked about two to five miles a day. Just in the office, the same shoes can last much longer.
For that matter, most of the change has been in the wet season. I wouldn't be surprised to find the shoes flat out wear faster in that environment.
So now I'll start with shitty and if that fails then next time I'll spend a bit more.
By the way I think the word you were looking for is conspiratorialist: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/conspiratoriali...
Maybe a more healthy meme could be: "Buy high-quality things, but never buy new". If you believe a product is durable, you should be comfortable with buying it used. If you end up not needing the thing anymore, you should be able to sell it again without any waste or loss of value.
1. Ease. Can minor parts which break down due to environmental factors be easily swapped out (things which wear or suffer from breakdown over time)
2. The parts make sense to swap-out (sometimes new items are more efficient and are better than repairing an old inefficient item)
3. Cost. The repair may not be cost-effective.
4. Environmental impact.
Example, I've had a washing machine break down and all it was either a plastic bit that broke, another time it was one of the switches. Those two things have extended the life over 5 years. Online forums help a great deal in figuring out what might be the issue.
The first thing that comes to mind are the throw away toys and gag gifts and dollar store items, but extends to anything that is poorly made or single-use, especially things where the battery is not meant to be replaced.
The burden needs to be put on manufacturer's creating more waste into the world.
So the tax is on the tail end rather than front loaded.
Also, I don't think we include enough externalities in the price if things.
Having an index could inform people when making purchasing choices.
I support the idea behind iFixit, so in the future I might prefer to buy from their store. Otherwise, I’m not sure how else to expand range of devices that you can get a repair guide and repair score for.
And I know of absolutely nothing for non-computing devices, ie. washing machines, fridges, TVs. I think such information is really important, but there is no incentive for anyone to provide it.
Here’s washing machines: https://www.ifixit.com/Device/Washing_Machine
that we have to fight for food labelling suggests that TCO is still a long way off
I've had the opposite experience from repair forums and such; most of those into repairing things tend to have agricultural/automotive/trades backgrounds, and seem to be more ring-wing libertarians. Lots of them are anti-EPA too, which is a bit surprising. Perhaps both extremes of the political spectrum oppose the throwaway culture...
It's unsurprising that many of the people who have done the work to seek out repair cafes have also traveled far from the mainstream authoritarian narrative, and have half baked "crazy" theories filling the gaps. I don't know that much can be done to help convergence, besides tearing down that mainstream narrative so that it alienates less in the first place.
And yes, it is frustrating listen to ignorant rants. But if the flavor of ignorance substantially matters to you, then you need to examine your own assumptions.
For example, a bog standard plain white washing machine in 1962 would run you about $200. An equivalent no-frills washing machine today will be about $300. So yes, of course things back then lasted longer -- you were paying about ten times more for them. If there were a market for it, a manufacturer today could easily make a $2500 basic washing machine that would last 50 years with relatively little maintenance and make it inexpensive to repair if it does break.
Very well built, very repairable.
I gave him a piece of sandpaper and told him that if he sanded off the rust and paint around the holes I would fill the holes with rod and set the legs again.
it turned out not to be such a shame
Are these cafes in libraries?
As someone who has gone to them a few times, I have a complaint about the other side. Of all the volunteers, there's always at least one who will start chiding the owners that they are not taking proper care of the appliance/tool/etc - and not in a friendly way. One volunteer started lecturing me saying I'm in this mess because I did not maintain it, etc. I told him I had no idea it required maintenance. "Well you should have read the manual!" Well forgive me for buying it for $10 at a Goodwill without a manual! Annoyed, I let him know there was no way I'd pay the $50-100 a new one would cost me just so that I can get a manual.
(I got several years out of that $10 tool, so I'm still happy).
1. I did not know it came with a manual. You don't expect everything to have one. Does your non-electric toothbrush have one? Just today I bought a tool from Home Depot. No manual. The table lamp I have on my table right now? No manual.
2. I didn't demand anything. If the guy said "Sorry, this is too much of a headache to fix", I'd be fine.
3. It was not "cheap junk". It was in very good condition when I bought it, and fairly pricey brand new. In the shape it was in when I bought it, it was better than buying a cheap one brand new.
4. Buying used stuff from Goodwill is a bad idea? The whole point behind these repair cafes is that one does not waste. Buying used stuff from Goodwill is very much in the spirit of what these people are doing. If someone had said that to me in a repair cafe for this item, I would have said "You're right. Crazy idea I had to try to repair things instead of just buying another one."
5. If he had merely informed me that it had gone bad due to poor maintenance, and suggested I Google how to take care of it, I would have really appreciated it. There's a world of a difference between "I think you should learn how to take care of this tool" and "You are an irresponsible owner who refuses to read the manual. Let me guess, you threw it away as soon as you bought it, right?"
6. I know it's shocking to hear, but yes, I expect that people will not charge me when they advertise their services as being free.
It's amazing how much you can assume based on a small comment. I strongly suggest you not volunteer at such a place - these types of repair people are a disservice to the spirit of these cafes.
I have no time to research better, except for things I understand well and I really care about, i.e. a laptop. And even then repairability is not on my list, since laptops have so many options that finding one which satisfies my needs is already a challenge.
The problem is compounded by the fact that my criteria (big horsepower per kg and lightweight) are contrary to repairability.
Its worth paying £170 for the comfort alone
Generally I've found avoiding the bottom 10% gives you the most bang for your buck.
Bang for buck optimizing is only worth it for certain cost/income combos. In other words: the value of money varies for each individual.
Walking the 1/2 mile up princess street from hotel to the office in them caused so much pain after 2 days I had to go out and buy some trainers.
Never had that with Loakes - I d agree that paying 2k plus for hand fitted shoes like the city boys wear is probably over kill.
My criteria for shoes (except for sports) is:
1. I must be able to put them on/off in 3s, without bending. Which implies no laces (or pre-tied knots)
2. reasonably comfortable
Most shoes last for years, even cheap ones. I still put them in thr cellar after 2-3 years.
Those shoes would be good as my only shoes in a Mad Max world. Mmmm ... not even, I would prefer trekking shoes.
For the seller - yes. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth doing.
Marketing is a volume play, not price.
I think you should charge (if you're not already) for the repairs. This is just to 1) make sure you get paid for your effort and keep it sustainable or grow, 2) that we're accounting for the value of your time/effort
This will fix the issues of effort in fixing a bike lamp. However, it is also possible that some widget is cheap and broken but the customer is willing to pay your repair fee (i.e. rational choice) because:
1. Repair parts for this item are no more made or difficult to get
2. the next best alternative is more expensive
1. the better quality one is way too expensive or beyond their budget at least
2. this needs to be cheap because you use it roughly (eg:workout earphones) or is likely to get lost (a toy)
Any which way, it makes sense to use the "invisible hand of the market" here because the preferences of your customer are difficult to find - let them decide.
Just this weekend I was reading and watching about Norman Finkelstein, the son of a Holocaust survivor and author of The Holocaust Industry. He's been kicked out of his job and banned from entering certain illegitimate countries due to his work that simply tells the truth.
People who don't want to look at what's going on in the world around them or have no interest in standing up to prosecute those who do wrong, are the problem in this world.
What parts usually break in the cheap stuff?
Thirty more years of practice with injection molding and the addition of better stabilizers means the pieces are thinner.
But sometimes they glue the pieces together. Or they use snaps to simplify the assembly line and reduce the plastic further. They squirt in a bead of silicon to prevent vibration or shorting damage.
And part of me suspect that in The Old Days they used to repair products at the factory. Manufacturing processed have changed substantially starting in the late 70’s to favor more and more detection of problems during the assembly process (see Toyota).
If the defect rate is high you repair things to keep your boss’s boss happy. If defects drop and manual labor prices go up then it’s less of a payoff. Or none at all.
What do you mean by flimsy wiring?
And if estimation is possible, how does one learn how to do it on their own ?
Stress testing screws would be pointless for what you want to achieve, but like the other commenter said you can look at them too find signs they are poor quality (irregular heads, bad plating, etc).
In the old days, items of wood would suffer from the same issue when disassembled, although it was then much easier to fill the hole with putty and redrill.
With plastic, I suppose you could use epoxy to fill the hole.
1. I guarantee 99% of the comsumers out there don't know quality, from junk.
That whole, "You get what you pay for just doesn't equate to this last two decades." I'm taking comsumer goods mainly. I could give example, after example, but just too tired.
I'll give a couple examples.
Vechicles--the buyer has no clue, or real way to find out which vechicles are engineered well. And that's the reason we have movie stars still pitching products.
Laptops--I just happened to have a 2000 Dell Laptop brochure on my desk. I was going to recycle it, but grew melancholy when looking at the quality of the laptops. They were built to last. As opposed to what we are offered today.
"these cafés attract in general "alternative" people. I've got no problem with that, but I'm a bit fed up with conspirationists, anti-nuclear, really left-wing people."
Give me an "alternative" mind over a conformist, corporate stooge any day. Those quirkey people bring change. They question the status quo. Again too tired to list examples. Almost every new invention was though of by a "alternative person". The rich boys usually had the resources enough to capitalize on it though.
Case in point: Baratza coffee grinders. They establish repairing as one of the companies top priorities and part of their mission.
They sell almost every part necessary for fixing their grinders. They deliberately make them easy do disassemble and reassemble and provide lots of instructions on how to fix most problems, both in print and in video. They also have a program of buying used grinders to resell them refurbished. Whenever a model is upgraded they also sell the upgrading kit for owners of old models.
It came with a "lifetime guarantee" and so on. About 3 years ago it suffered some damage in handling, the normal abuse by Celebi and I would definitely not consider it a manufacturing defect. But the promise was that it could take anything the airlines and their zombie hordes could dish out, so I sent it back for repairs.
They repaired it within a weak and returned it at their cost, and I've been traveling with the same suitcase ever since. Had they not offered the repairs I probably would have bought a new suitcase.
Had a crash wearing 5 year bibs. Emailed them just in case.. Long story short, I had to pay for shipping one way only. Came back a week later, good as new.
If you’re even remotely handy it’s remarkable how easy it is to fix things that you might otherwise just throw away and replace.
The internet has also helped a lot. Specifically, a lot of howto videos show common gotchas, which in the past are the things that have usually caused me to either give up or to turn a $10 repair into a $500 replacement by making things worse...
One thing to keep in mind is that you need to understand when things can be dangerous. Like old tube-based equipment.
I still have a screwdriver that has divots scarred into it from discharging a couple of 500V can capacitors in an old (solid-state) stereo. Now, that's a great lesson... discharge caps if you're not sure about them, and I am glad I learned it.
I'm also quite glad that I did that on purpose with a screwdriver and not on accident with my finger.
I'm even more glad that I did some basic research to know that giant caps ougtta at least be thought about if you're gonna peek around in that kind of stuff.
One thing that has been a godsend for me was a scan tool for my car. Not a lot goes wrong with my car, even though it's 10 years old, but being able to ask the car what's wrong when the check engine light comes on is a good way to save some money.
The first time the check engine light came on the car was still under warranty, so I let the dealer take care of it. I didn't own a scan tool at this time.
The second time it happened, many years later, my scan tool told me that it was an oxygen sensor. I know that is beyond my skill level, so off it goes to a mechanic. Since the scan tool told me what was wrong, I knew what to expect and could tell if they were trying to screw me over.
The third time it happened my scan tool told me that the battery voltage was low. That made a lot of sense for a 10 year old car, that had been sitting outside in -27C weather for a while, that still had the factory battery. Fixing that involved a trip to Costco and 15 minutes tinkering in the driveway. I'm sure a mechanic would have marked up the battery and charged an hour of labour, so the scan tool probably paid for itself with this one use.
We had a casual relationship with our neighbors and one day they they were having a garage sale. They had a washer and dryer set for sale. They wanted a hundred for the set and I jokingly said I would give them ten. They said if I manned the garage sale for them for a few hours while they got lunch I could have the set. Bingo!
They worked great for about a year and then one of the wheels that holds the tub in the dryer had a bearing blow out. There was about a two inch gap in the bottom of the tub and it was swallowing bras. Apparently this had gone on for a while and nobody noticed. So I pull the back off the dryer to take a look and see what had happened.
I figured I was screwed since the dryer was older than I was. But I called Sears and they had the part. They actually had a repair kit for our dryer. For 25 bucks we got three rollers, belt, and new heating element. It took about a hour to install all the new stuff and I still have the dryer and it works great.
And really, we were so lucky, it had sucked in a lot of clothes. They were piled up around the heating element. Could have easily caught fire.
Or of someone misdiagnosing a trivial problem like a blown fuse and breaking parts while disassembling an appliance which is completely fine.
I feel like kid playing with old appliance (or PC) in the garage is a cliche hacker origin story. I know it is mine.
Also people didn't depend that much on computers. How much would you really destroy at the time by wiping everything? How much damage would that do on a family computer these days?
youtube and the internet at large has made diagnosing and fixing lots of problems much simpler and quicker.
amazon, ebay, and 3d printing and other cheap ways of making things have created lots of cheap, decent replacement parts that can arrive at your house in 2 days.
these two factors make repairing things yourself a couple orders of magnitude easier than 20 years ago, say. i cannot believe its only now really coming to the fore
It's not mint or original but it's nice. Everything works fine. The valves need to be adjusted soon. The transmission isn't silky but it shifts, probably a bent shift fork from abusive riding some time in the last 5 decades.
Everything about it is designed to be maintained by the average person. With a little mechanical knowledge and some patience anything on that bike can be fixed. It even comes with a tool kit.
There are a couple of repair shops in town that rent out spaces to work on bikes like this. They keep a mechanic on staff to provide help and even supply tools. I rent a garage from a friend and a few of us keep our old bikes going there.
Not all old things were built like this but this bike is a shining example of how well made things can last lifetimes.
Firstly, it is an entirely mechanical car, which makes everything much simpler. But the truly stunning bit is the documentation and community.
All of the workshop manuals are available online. That is good enough for most tasks, but if something particularly complex needs diagnosing, there are forums with all the information you need.
When you need to get parts, an exploded diagram of the entire car is available online with part numbers. Both the original manufacturer and several third parties still make parts. Somebody has even made a price comparison website.
I wish all the things I owned worked like this. I understand the economics often don’t work out for smaller, cheaper things, and there is no incentive for the original manufacturer to provide these things, but surely there is enough of a community to support common repairs in a similar way.
> If I open it, I am afraid I won't be able to put it back together.
That happens, but: the thing was broken anyway, and, now it's twice broken and disassembled, so you can throw it away in good conscience, hopefully having figured out how to approach it correctly the next time, so it's not even a waste of time.
This. A long time ago I remember making a custom screwdriver head to open a video game cartridge by softening a bic pen cap over a candle, then pressing it over the cap for 10 seconds. Let it cool, and voila.
I've also found the same approach indispensable for doing simple carpentry without all the specialized tools of a wood shop.
If you look at some of the breakdowns on ifixit, there might be an area where they needed 4 screws. In another laptop, they would have been identical screws, but in the Apple they are all different sizes. Each one is specific to the area it's holding so they could cram in more components. It may not be as easily repairable but it is good engineering.
Seeing a relative, that loved working on cars, swearing over a broken wiper because the engine is just fine but the IC studded control board clearly is not doing its job, is disheartening.
If it's windscreen wipers you're talking about, one solution would be to replace all the excessive electronics with something simple like a switch and relay.
What does all that mean?
Quick kick = apply some voltage?
So with a capacitor you are looking for infinite resistance (no current flow) as a sign that it’s good, or some current flow (low resistance) as a sign it’s bad? Did I get that right?
*Read: Seller knows it is broken but doesn't want to say it is broken.
Tinkering is now my go-to for anything that breaks. I hope that it rubs off on my son as I think I missed out on life not knowing how to tinker as much as I should have. It is really refreshing to fix something that is important to you.
In less economically developed countries, it is exactly the other way around, electronics are rarely being thrown away, in this case the repair engineer's time is significantly lower than the price of most western electronic products.
The annoyance is that economics should reflect ecology.