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> "On the other end, John Deere argues that access to the company’s proprietary software could be used to bypass emissions controls or safety measures"

They do have a point on emission controls, though. Pretty much every person I know that owns a diesel car has either ripped out or plans to rip out the particulate filter. Doesn't matter that it's illegal, doesn't matter that it hurts everyone around. People just don't care.

I'm all for the right to inspect and mod electronics, hardware and software alike, but we also need alternative ways to stop socially irresponsible people.




Do you only know car enthusiasts? Most regular people probably don't even know diesels have an extra particulate filter, yet care enough to actively modify their car to circumvent it; it's hard enough convincing them that their oil needs to be changed more than once a decade. There's no point beyond regular vehicle inspections to go after the 0.01% of the population that are car enthusiasts willing to modify their vehicle and bribe their way past inspections


No, I know regular people - some of which don't know the first thing about car internals, except the concept that if you have a diesel, there are people who will remove some component from it that will lower your total cost of ownership. Two weeks ago, I had a rideshare driver brag to me about how he knows a guy who knows a guy who could do this for him.

I have no first clue how these people get around yearly inspections; I've assumed that particulate filters must not be covered by inspections, though it wouldn't surprise me at all if it turned out people bribe their way through. While the overall levels of corruption in Poland aren't high, the levels of respect for car safety regulations and traffic rules seem pretty low in this country.


Ah Poland, I thought you were talking about the US where a lot of the population is absolutely useless in terms of car mechanics; but yeah on the car forums I frequent tossing the mechanic a Benjamin is the usual tactic to have a tuned car in places that have inspections like California.

I guess it's a symptom of the only people willing to be learn to be a car mechanic and do inspections being part of the same group which generally see emission/safety regulations as being overburdening


> Most regular people probably don't even know diesels have an extra particulate filter

I doubt that. Vehicles with a DPF have an indicator of when they're going through a regen cycle.


a single polluting car emits as much NOx etc as 10s of thousands of compliant cars.

So it doesn't require a lot of people circumventing emissions to cause damage to the environment.


Source?

The information I read[0] says that a non compliant car emits about as much NOx as 4 complaint cars. I would be shocked if your figure was anywhere remotely close to true.

[0] http://www.air-quality.org.uk/26.php


You mean like emission testing?

What happens in 15 years when that particulate filter wears out and nobody can fix it but the rest of the car is fine?


> You mean like emission testing?

Would be great.

> What happens in 15 years when that particulate filter wears out and nobody can fix it but the rest of the car is fine?

If it weren't so easy to get away with not having that filter, then what would happen is a secondary market that sells replacement filters for old cars, just like it happens for every other car part.


> Would be great.

In my state any vehicle under 25 years old must go in for emission testing every few years or the tabs can't be renewed.

> If it weren't so easy to get away with not having that filter, then what would happen is a secondary market that sells replacement filters for old cars, just like it happens for every other car part.

Assuming owners have a right to repair of course.


Many states have gotten away from tailpipe sniffer inspections (more expensive and less convenient) and gone to visual and car ECU inspections (hook up the scanner, if there are no emission related codes and the car reports “ready”, you’re good).


> visual and car ECU inspections

The rideshare driver I mentioned elsewhere in this thread[0] also told me that he knows people who tune engine firmware for diesels, and that they do disable error codes related to their tuning and the missing filter - and that it's important to be aware of this when getting the car repaired for unrelated issues, because the tuning hacks may mask problems in diagnostics and confuse the repair people.

--

[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20235002


That definitely happens. My prior car was ECU modded by the prior owner to eliminate EGR which was a maintenance hog on the turbo diesels. Many aftermarket ECU flash programs can be undone if diagnostics are required.


And you're spending most of your money fixing all the expensive computers and sensors in your car instead of cleaning dirty fuel injectors and the like.


Maybe, though the total amount I've spent in the last decade across two daily drivers on sensors/computers was $12 for a knock sensor, $9 for a can of MAP sensor cleaner, and $78 for an O2 sensor, so it's far from prohibitive and that computerization of fuel and ignition makes the cars much more efficient, powerful, and easier to start as compared to the carbureted or pure mechanically injected predecessors.


Replacement parts aren't an issue for motor vehicles. In 2013 when I was still driving a 1995 GMC 1500 I could still easily source replacement parts for it, including replacement headlight trim rings, replacement fuel injectors, replacement fuel pumps, replacement throttle bodies, etc. etc.. So that's not an argument that holds any water whatsoever with me.

Worst case in 15 years there will be a few shops around the country who specialize in rebuilding/remanufacturing the part and will sell you a remanufactured part for a set price plus a refundable core fee. This was the case for my throttle body, and for the fuel pressure regulator there were rebuild kits available from Napa.

I'd like to see a class-action lawsuit against the people who rip them out as they're personally making it harder to breathe where I live. Your right to do whatever you want ends at my nose.


This is true of old John Deere equipment too. The point is manufacturers (like John Deere, or Apple) are trying to make this kind of repair impossible.

I'm not advocating for people breaking emission laws. I'm saying you don't prevent that by revoking the right to repair.


> Replacement parts aren't an issue for motor vehicles.

Tell that to my Isuzu VehiCROSS!

Had mine in the shop to wait 6 months to find a -used- intake manifold...sigh.


"but we also need alternative ways to stop socially irresponsible people"

How about regular car inspections? And if you say they don't work because of bribery, then that is a different problem, which can be solved by inspections of car inspections and fines that do hurt.

But I suppose the real problem is that many people does not really believe, that it is really a problem, so no political support then to stop this behavior.


Irresponsible people like, for example, those who deliberately installed defeat devices?

Manufacturers don't trust users, but ask users to completely trust them. This is what we're asked to do post diesel emissions scandal.


> Irresponsible people like, for example, those who deliberately installed defeat devices?

Yes, them too!

> Manufacturers don't trust users, but ask users to completely trust them.

It's less that manufacturers don't trust users, and more that they could be held legally responsible for users' behavior here.


Deere could make the emission control system separate from everything else instead of tightly integrated to help make that harder but that method would not increase service revenue.


I wonder if it could be possible to "film" the particulate emissions somehow, so cameras on highways with an extra setup could identify the offenders?


Would love to see that happening. Wonder what tech satellites use to identify atmospheric composition from orbit, and whether it couldn't be used in traffic cams?


I suspect those satellites use Raman spectroscopy, but particulates in our context arent molecules, so I think it would be hard to apply?


Well, particulates are still molecules. There should be a measurable difference.




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