Right to repair - we WIN!!

mo1

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I believe that this is the premise of the "Right to Repair" movement. There is no valid reason for the software to be that expensive other than to prevent competition in servicing the tractors or to gouge the consumer for minor repairs that they could easily do themselves. Both are unethical and skirt on being illegal. They could open up the diagnostics portion of the code but block users from tampering with the emissions related settings. Not saying I agree with this, just stating that it would be possible. I had heard that there is someone in CZ that can make your 45 HP Kioti a 55 HP using standard settings (the 45, 50 and 55 engines are identical, it is all software), all the way up to 75 HP. I personally would not feel comfortable sending my ECU to some Czech hacker, even after I am out of warranty. But if I had a buddy that has a DK5510 and a way to download the bits into my DK4510? But that would be dishonest, right? That would be the justification they would use to keep it locked down.

About the only way that there would be a case against the manufacturer for improper pricing would be if they charged dealers some small sum like $100/year for software but charged somebody $10,000/year that they didn't want to sell to but were forced to sell to by regulation. However, it is reported that at least some OEMs charge their own dealers a very high price for these tools and software, so there would be no case against the manufacturer if they simply now will sell to anybody else at that same high price. The government generally cannot dictate the price a that a company can charge a third party for their goods or services. They can only dictate prices if they themselves are the customer. I will tell you it is miserable if you are on the receiving end of that "deal," particularly if the government is by far the biggest customer in the field and it is not only not politically advantageous to pay you, it is actually politically advantageous to NOT pay you.

And just to make sure everybody doesn't read me wrong, I am not an apologist for these large companies and do not agree with their tactics of trying to make everything unnecessarily difficult to repair. I am saying that I don't think that this policy will actually accomplish what most here appear to think it will.
 
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sunandsand

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France instituted a "repairability index" which requires manufacturers of just about everything sold there to publish information on how repairable their product is, parts availability, is it glued together, service information, and so on. It is like the MPG sticker we require on new cars.

Survey showed that over 80% of consumers would simply not buy unrepairable products. Further, given a choice between two otherwise identical products, they would buy the repairable product just about every time.


The FTC's Right to Repair decision opens this option to USA consumers, and this option often did not previously exist for us due to captive service, we-won't-sell-parts-to-you, encrypted and unavailable diagnostic software, etc.

Now - given a choice between Brand A's product which you can't fix and a very similar product from Brand B which you CAN fix, what's your choice? You don't HAVE to fix it yourself, but now we will have that option. We did not have that option before the FTC ruling.

Manufacturers will take a good look at these statistics and these strong consumer preferences, and realize that there is a significant marketing advantage in giving customers what they want (duh). The manufacturers who refuse to do this will lose most of their market share and (if they survive) will quickly fall into line.

If all the widget manufacturers get together and decide "we ain't gonna do it", they will be looking at a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust act and their attorneys will get rich fighting it - and lose anyway.

Expecting this to happen immediately isn't realistic, but it WILL happen.

(After the election, at the press conference, someone grumpily asked what Biden was going to do about some obscure issue which was mostly of concern to the questioner. Pskai's answer was "Hey, he's only been president for seven hours!" This FTC ruling is only a couple of days old. Give it a little time.)

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

Tulkas

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I think it will be better than folks are afraid of. The government has been getting hammered on right to repair in a lot of military contracts. So they are in the same boat we are.
 

dh206

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There must be a big loophole. Nothing governmental goes our way anymore.
This is not unprecedented. The same thing used to happen with cars and catalytic converters years ago. They were all proprietary and you had to go to the dealership to get the thing replaced for an arm and a leg. When right-to-repair passed on cars, all of the proprietary stuff had to be released, including engine diagnostic codes, catalytic, etc. had to be shared with independent operations like garages. This actually, when analyzed economically (after-the-fact data-based), was good for everybody. It increased sales of cars that were previously locked down, boosted garages, and was just all-around a good thing, for consumers, for everybody.

The tractor and iPhone additions are not new, they are just new applications of the same ideas and laws. The law is the same, the application is extended. It's a good thing!
 

Jofang

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Available, but at what price???
 

jacspath

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I wonder what the story is for those who have been prosecuted/sued for 'violating' the 'old rules'. They probably have a bit of an uphill to get restitution.
 

Fixastuff

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Available, but at what price???
When i worked on cars for a living I paid 6k for a used MODUS scanner and it paid itself back many times over. It might be expensive for home mechanics but at least it will open up the option for taking your John Deere to a independent shop. They usually charge less per hr and won't try to make the bill so large as to encourage you to just buy a new machines instead of fixing the old.(a ton of dealers do this)

Good tools are NOT inexpensive and a diagnostic scanner is no different. Sounds like alot of people want right to repair and free/cheap diagnostic equipment and manuals.

I'm guessing that eventually someone will come up with a AllData type site but for tractors.
 
  
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sunandsand

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Here's the link to the Wired article regarding repairability scores. This is for France, but it looks like it will spread to the rest of the EU.


Remember that the EU is a BIG market, over 500 million people, so this rule is going to have major consequences.


As consumers, we've been conditioned to accept all kinds of restrictions on the products we purchase, from involved, incoherent (but binding) software agreements, to captive service on electronics and vehicles, to lousy deals from banks (Wells Fargo got slammed for this), to contracts of adhesion from cell phone and cable companies and so on.

What these vendors can't seem to get through their heads is that WE keep THEM in business by purchasing their products and services.

If we are able to find vendors who offer us even slightly less sucky (technical term) products and services we will gladly jump ship from our present suppliers and buy from someone who treats us better, or even somewhat less badly. The Right to Repair ruling is a big step in that direction.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

DieselBound

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Government acts in lock-step with those that buy the politicians. It's the Big Guys. And the Big Guys who had substantial push were BIG farmers.

As RickB notes, "available" is a broad term. Expect things to be "available" at a very high price. There will be limited licensing to diagnostic equipment manufacturers (obviously there's the existing ones providing it to the factory and dealers); unlikely there's a stipulation that other vendors are allowed to seek licensing bids.
 

rScotty

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I think it is a win. For one thing, we don't know that the tools will be expensive. There are good reasons to make them reasonable.
Plus, I think if the manufacturers try to use high price to restrict making something "available" it would get knocked down pretty quickly in the courts. Too obvious, and my guess is that manufacturing ceos aren't dumb enough to try something so obvious.

It's possible that smarter companies are going to see that the "right to repair" is beginning to have all the aspects of a popular movement.
And if so, and if a company wants to make more money, the way to do so is to offer what the customers want, not fight with them about it.
Hopefully at least some manufacturers will do so and we will have a resurgence of manufacturing in the USA.

We hope,
rScotty
 

hdmyers

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The first thing the customer will have to do is buy the protocol adapter in order to connect a laptop to the machine.
Dealers currently pay several hundred dollars for each configuration. How many will you need?
or pay 20 bux for the knockoff adapter. , but true, i only need the one for my machine. I"m cool with paying for it and having it. It would be different if dealers actually could fix things better...they simply can't. Dealers are part changers first and foremost...and rarely anything else these days.
 

IndyJay

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When i worked on cars for a living I paid 6k for a used MODUS scanner and it paid itself back many times over. It might be expensive for home mechanics but at least it will open up the option for taking your John Deere to a independent shop. They usually charge less per hr and won't try to make the bill so large as to encourage you to just buy a new machines instead of fixing the old.(a ton of dealers do this)

Good tools are NOT inexpensive and a diagnostic scanner is no different. Sounds like alot of people want right to repair and free/cheap diagnostic equipment and manuals.

I'm guessing that eventually someone will come up with a AllData type site but for tractors.
Oh yes. How many Franklins in your wallet?
Blue Tooth OBD-2 scanners can be had for anywhere between $25 to $500 depending on features and goodies. @Fixastuff said he paid thousands for his back in the day. As with anything else, the cost will initially be outrageous, but through competition and improved production methods (and payback on investment) the cost will come down. It works to our advantage that this technology is already widely available for automotive use so it is not starting from scratch. It is likely going to be a software patch to the ECU to unlock it rather than different hardware anyway. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
 

IndyJay

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Government acts in lock-step with those that buy the politicians. It's the Big Guys. And the Big Guys who had substantial push were BIG farmers.

As RickB notes, "available" is a broad term. Expect things to be "available" at a very high price. There will be limited licensing to diagnostic equipment manufacturers (obviously there's the existing ones providing it to the factory and dealers); unlikely there's a stipulation that other vendors are allowed to seek licensing bids.
I expect it to follow the automotive example once the dust settles. Expensive initially, a premium paid to be one of the first adopters as is usual.
 

bartjoebob

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Fast forward a few years and ai bet code readers for tractors will be ay Harbor Freight just like they are for autos
 

RandyT

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I expect it to follow the automotive example once the dust settles. Expensive initially, a premium paid to be one of the first adopters as is usual.
Things will be a nightmare until the equipment manufactures standardize their connections like OBD systems. From the lawnmower side of things I have to deal with separate cables and software programs for Briggs, Honda, Kohler, Kawasaki, MTD, Husqvarna and some of the new systems on mowers also contain ISO-BUS so as of right now you may need a software package for the engine and another for the mower with that engine.
 

CoyotKid

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And as was pointed out early in this discussion, we will have to wait and see if the FTC can/will actually enforce their rulings. It could turn out like the Do Not Call list. :mad: Last time I listened, my phone is ringing off the hook.
 
  
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sunandsand

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Do Not Call list isn't really comparable. FTC distributes a CD of "Do Not Call" numbers to "reputable" telemarketers (oxymoron if there ever was one) and if they catch one, they fine them. Unfortunately, these CDs, which contain known good numbers which they aren't supposed to call, wind up overseas and FTC can't call in a drone strike on violators. Also, now the marketers are "block dialing", Area code plus exchange, start with 0000 and run through 9999. I use "Nomorobo.com" (free) and that helps a little. Normally, I just don't answer numbers I don't recognize and have moved most of my communications to e-mail.


If the software is ridiculously priced, the FTC will "visit" it when people complain. In the meantime, hacked and cracked versions of it will appear pretty promptly, but you use them at your own risk.

I can also envision this conversation: "How much is your (purple) tractor?"

"$10,000 complete."

How much is the code reader? "Only $15,000."

How about the software to use the code reader? "Another $20,000."

"Bye, I'm going to buy a different color tractor."


It will definitely be a circus for a while but when the smoke clears, we are likely to be better off.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

Fixastuff

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Blue Tooth OBD-2 scanners can be had for anywhere between $25 to $500 depending on features and goodies. @Fixastuff said he paid thousands for his back in the day. As with anything else, the cost will initially be outrageous, but through competition and improved production methods (and payback on investment) the cost will come down. It works to our advantage that this technology is already widely available for automotive use so it is not starting from scratch. It is likely going to be a software patch to the ECU to unlock it rather than different hardware anyway. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
This was a full Snap On professional set up with domestic, asian and European keys. Had multimeter, occilliscope and could talk to airbag, body, abs, climate, etc modules. I'm not sure what the current Snap On equivalent is but it will still be a few thousand I'm guessing. Last I checked AutoZone/advance didn't sell any scanners with similar functions, many are just engine and abs code readers.
 

CincyFlyer

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It reality what does it mean? Do they have to make the diagnostic software available?
They needn't give you anything for free, that's for sure. We used to sell the factory manuals for certain motor vehicles. They cost in the hundreds back in the day, hence the Haynes and Chilton manuals.
I bought a service manual for a certain electronic device, and it was over $400. It did come with schematics, and one repair could pay for it, but most Mahindra owners won't pay that, for example. I would.
 

IndyJay

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How much is the code reader? "Only $15,000."

How about the software to use the code reader? "Another $20,000."
As long as we are all talking about the same things. Most of us on here wold be perfectly happy to drop 25-100 bucks for a code reader that tells us what the "problem" is which would at least tell us where to start looking. They could actually have the tractor display the codes on the dash if they want to demonstrate good faith compliance to the FTC. They could actually do that now to demonstrate good faith to their customers. If one does it, they will all have to do it.

If you are talking about the dongle and software to actually get into the program via laptop like "Big Chief and Murder Nova" then you are talking about thousands of dollars, no doubt, especially with licensing. I would expect there to be government licensing in addition to the software license to enforce emission control regulations. This would keep it out of the hands of the owners, only shops could afford it and they would face stiff penalties for doctoring the performance in ways that defeat the green agenda. This is only my opinion.
 

RickB

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or pay 20 bux for the knockoff adapter. , but true, i only need the one for my machine. I"m cool with paying for it and having it. It would be different if dealers actually could fix things better...they simply can't. Dealers are part changers first and foremost...and rarely anything else these days.
Got a source for that $20 adapter?
 

workinonit

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Probably, but they will charge more for the software than the price for a new tractor.
All it has to do is hit the market and it will be available from places besides JD or whatever manufacturer.
 

Diggin It

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Hey Mr. Dealer Shop guy .....

Suppose us weenie small time owners needing to dig a hole or mow our lawns could diagnose our own little stuff, come to you to buy parts but not tie up your tech time and shop floor square footage. That would leave you to handle the bigger, more lucrative and more time dependent customers needing to plant or harvest crops.

How would that work out for your bottom line?
 

ruffdog

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My Toolcat gives any service codes just by pressing a couple buttons. Then, you look up the codes in the service manual, diagnose the problem, repair it if you can. There are about 340 different codes in the book and sometimes multiple codes come up at one time. Even with the service codes, dealers sometimes can't even find the problem for a while. Tractors could also have the on-board ECM and sensors to do this but it comes with a co$t.
 

bearthebruce

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Coming to this with my experience working for a vehicle diagnostic tool manufacturer, the Toolcat solution is what we tractor owners should push to have: a diagnostic trouble code displayed on the instrument cluster. The ECU already knows and has stored the code. All that is needed is for it to be displayed.

If there are diagnostic processes that the ECU can execute, the instrument cluster should be built to allow a maintenance mode which enables these for troubleshooting, calibration, and so on.

Adding such will increase the cost of the machine, but would be a good compromise until such time as a unifying diagnostic standard exists for all ag machines.
 

rademamj1

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What I'm reading is they have to make parts available as well as diagnostic software and manuals. If they don't they are looking at violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust act (and worse).

Obviously, this is a developing story, but it threatens to be verrrry interesting ;-)

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida

Most tractor manufacturers already make parts and Service Manuals available to all owners for purchase. Indeed, service manuals have always had a parts number assigned, and you just order the hard copy service manual no different than any other part. Diagnostic software will most probably be handled the same way, you purchase it with a part number at cost.
 

Midniteoyl

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Yes. The equipment that provides the more detailed info even for OBD-II vehicles is not a few hundred dollars or less certainly not $20, but $1000’s. And often requires a heavy learning curve.
Yes there are $20 OBD-II readers available. They give you an OBD-II error code stored in the vehicle on board computer. Those sub entry level readers give you absolutely no info on where to go from there. If you are not a very experienced tech, you have hours of education in front of you and unless you already own semi specialized tools, will quickly be spending more of those $20 bills for more tools.
There are more involved readers for more $$$ and still you either need experience or education to filter through provided data.
Then the professional level diagnostic equipment will allow interaction with the on board computer to actually assess components. But again these are not going to be simple pick up and fix solutions.
Oh where it do dimple as to plug in a computer and adapter and get a part number spit out. Someone had bern watching too much sci fi with no reality filters in place.
While it didn't spit out a part number, I had a free program for my Audi that ran on my laptop that was *very* detailed in how it diagnosed, fuel maps and timing, shift points, etc, right down to the voltage to, and resistance of, the little flapper motors in the AC ducts. The full diagnostics was a thing to behold, with lights flashing, engine revving, flappers flapping, windows going up and down...
 

CoyPatton

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Blue Tooth OBD-2 scanners can be had for anywhere between $25 to $500 depending on features and goodies. @Fixastuff said he paid thousands for his back in the day. As with anything else, the cost will initially be outrageous, but through competition and improved production methods (and payback on investment) the cost will come down. It works to our advantage that this technology is already widely available for automotive use so it is not starting from scratch. It is likely going to be a software patch to the ECU to unlock it rather than different hardware anyway. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

And you get what you pay for!
$25 buts you a code, ling way from figuring out the true problem. $500 gets you closer, but still a good ways from the true diagnostic equipment that allows you to actually do something.
Also note that all machines sold in reason years by different brands will be like the obd-I days, as will those sold for a while still.
While it eventually be a win, it is nit the win so many want to claim.
 

Midniteoyl

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Here's my experience with the "magic box".

Car is a 2008 Mercedes CLK 350 convertible. Air conditioning isn't working. Owner (me) unhappy about this. Climate control on this car is seriously complicated, lots of options, temp individually adjustable on each side, blower also, vents also, this is kinda nuts. Standard Teutonic over-engineering.

Plug in magic box, set to correct vehicle (standard plug, software internally selectable for about 50 different models).

Hit "go". Box scrolls down and does about a hundred (!) different scans and checks, stops at "climate control".

"Enter for further information", OK, tell me.

"Module 1131 out of range, enter for further information"

Click.

"Humidity 0%, outside air temperature -40F"

In Florida. In the summer. Right. I doubt it.

A few minutes with Google yields the correct MB part number for module 1131 and where it lives (front of the firewall, next to the battery).

List price on the module is over $400. eBay has a guaranteed used one for - ready - $12 delivered! Buy it now. Four days later it is here, three screws and one plug and it is in, A/C now works flawlessly.

The dealer would have charged me an absolute minimum of $150 in diagnostics, plus the module, plus tax, and I'd have had to leave the car with them for a couple of days. If I had been able to get out of there for $750, I would have been happy. My net cost was $12, and I don't count the $50 cost for the box because I can use it again. (They would have washed the car as part of the $750, but man, that's an EXPENSIVE car wash!)


So I know it works.

Minimal learning curve, no special tools needed, quick repair, absurdly low cost - how the heck do you fix ANYTHING on a Mercedes for $12? But I did . . .



While it is entirely correct to say that some repairs are going to cost a lot more and take a bunch of special tools and training, there are also a lot of simple (and some not-so-simple) things that can be done by owners, who can save a LOT of time and money doing it.

What the "magic box" does is talk to the ECU in the vehicle and read stored trouble codes. We can't look at a sensor or a control box or a catalytic converter and tell if it is good or bad, but the computer knows and the box will tell us. OBD II and its various relatives save a huge amount of diagnostic time and keeps mechanics from just throwing (your/our) money at some obscure problem until it is solved.

Lets extend the function of the box to check dealer stock on the part - that isn't much of a leap from what we have now. You've already told the box what model you have, so there's no reason there can't be an electronic parts lookup function. Your phone has a GPS in it, so it can use the Google "Vendors near me" function to find the nearest dealer or dealers.

As to needing connectivity, it could ride on your cell phone connection, so no computer or separate satellite equipment needed.


Older and simpler machines don't (usually) have ECUs, but if your (whatever) does, you'll be very thankful for the code readers.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
Ditto here for an Audi I had, only I found free open source software that was actually more in depth than what Audi sold to the techs.
 

rScotty

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Here's a novel idea:

How about building tractors with completely mechanical systems that can be diagnosed and repaired by the owners without the need for computers or software?

rScotty
 

4570Man

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Here's a novel idea:

How about building tractors with completely mechanical systems that can be diagnosed and repaired by the owners without the need for computers or software?

rScotty

That sounds like a great idea but the government mandated emissions crap pretty well ruined that.
 

ptsg

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Here's a novel idea:

How about building tractors with completely mechanical systems that can be diagnosed and repaired by the owners without the need for computers or software?

rScotty
Do you mean a Branson tractor? It's exactly how they build them.
 

4570Man

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Do you mean a Branson tractor? It's exactly how they build them.

They sell tractors that meet current US emissions standards with no computer and a mechanical injection pump? Just about all small tractors didn’t have any electronics before that.
 

ptsg

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They sell tractors that meet current US emissions standards with no computer and a mechanical injection pump? Just about all small tractors didn’t have any electronics before that.
Yes. Fully mechanical engine with a bolt on DPF on the newer models and a DOC on the older models (pre 2020). It uses a data logger to keep track of the state of the DPF but none of that is tied directly into the engine.

Obviously the manufacturers can't get away from the emissions but Branson manage to do it without getting the tractor full of computers and things that the common owner can't work on. They basically made it so it's easy to "fix" the emissions.
 

yanmars

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I wonder if they can appeal that decision and delay for years?
 

coondle

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The Article means almost nothing, the Caveat is in the first paragraph on the second page and in the footnotes to that paragraph. The FTC has done almost nothing for over a decade with the laws already in place, the change trumpeted here is that the FTC will now do more. There are no new laws and it is not quantified how hard the FTC will go.
 

Tony H

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Tractor
JCB MIDI CX
Available... For a big price. Will the definition of their private Codes be available? Now, what will they make custom to force you to a dealer? How many 'dealer only' tools will need to be bought to work on YOUR vehicle? This is done all the time with cars... They make parts impossible to get at with standard garage tools, they patent the custom tool for a few years then and only then can tool manufacturers copy them. Too bad we all can't stop buying vehicles 100% for a full year to wake these folks up
 

IndyJay

Platinum Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
811
Location
S.E. Indiana
Tractor
Kioti DK4510MS w/Loader, Grapple Prev: Massey 1250
And you get what you pay for!
$25 buts you a code, ling way from figuring out the true problem. $500 gets you closer, but still a good ways from the true diagnostic equipment that allows you to actually do something.
Also note that all machines sold in reason years by different brands will be like the obd-I days, as will those sold for a while still.
While it eventually be a win, it is nit the win so many want to claim.
Yes, all within control of the consumer to decide what they want. If my tractor is "dead", a code that I can look up on my smart phone while out in the woods or field may be enough for me to drive my tractor back rather than walking back. I would probably be the guy that would opt for a $500 solution but I would not likely have my laptop while brush hogging.
 

Gale Hawkins

Super Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
8,286
Location
Murray, KY
Tractor
1948 Allis Chambers Model B 1976 265 MF / 1983 JD 310B Backhoe / 1966 Ford 3000 Diesel / 1980 3600 Diesel
This should extend well beyond tractors. It apply to EV's , cell phones etc etc I hope.
 
  
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sunandsand

Silver Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
167
Tractor
Kubota B2601
"This should extend well beyond tractors. It apply to EV's , cell phones etc etc I hope."


Actually, it originated to address cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices that are now essentially unrepairable and get thrown out when they fail. I read that here in the US, 416,000 cell phones are discarded every day. That's just cell phones, it doesn't include the mountains of dead TVs, appliances with fancy PC board modules which are NLA a week after the model is superseded. We have a huge e-waste problem, and if we were able to fix stuff instead of only being able to throw it out (and buy a new one), we'd make an appreciable dent in that.

Most of the e-waste gets shipped off to third world countries to be partially recycled. I saw a photo of a guy in rural China who was melting the solder off old PC boards and pouring it into molds to be reclaimed. He was wearing SANDALS. The ability to fix our own stuff instead of discarding it has beneficial "downstream" effects beyond just our own wallets.


The EU decided to extend their repairability regulations to appliances (example - refrigerators seven years but the door gaskets ten years), and also to automobiles and other vehicles. If you sell anything in the EU, you are going to need to support it, make parts and service information available, and so on.


What has happened here is that these FTC requirements will also cover our tractors, as well as our cell phones, laptops, computers, TVs, appliances and more. Our tractors are a side benefit (which we can gladly embrace).


Note that nobody HAS to fix their own stuff if they don't want to, but this makes it possible for us to do it if we so desire. Personally, I so desire. I just am not in the mood to help contribute to buying a bigger yacht for the CEOs of the companies whose products I bought. (Ingrates never even send me a holiday card, let alone offer me a ride on the yacht I helped buy for them . . . but that's fine, I get seasick anyway.)


Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

bearthebruce

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
354
Location
Property is in Floyd County VA
Tractor
'05 Massey Ferguson MF1533
While it didn't spit out a part number, I had a free program for my Audi that ran on my laptop that was *very* detailed in how it diagnosed, fuel maps and timing, shift points, etc, right down to the voltage to, and resistance of, the little flapper motors in the AC ducts. The full diagnostics was a thing to behold, with lights flashing, engine revving, flappers flapping, windows going up and down...
VAG-COM/VCDS cannot be so inclusive as to know the part number of a failed part. In fact the program does not know that a part has failed. It only knows that a part is not meeting parameters as reported by the control module. The reasons the parameters may not be met are many and are beyond the testing ability of the modules in the vehicle. The module is not designed to ascertain whether or not the part itself has failed.
Too many think the control modules know all. They don't.

As I suggested in an earlier post, tractor owners should push for fault codes to be displayed on the instrument cluster and for a reference document/app to be supplied to help resolve a problem literally "in the field."

Having to buy a diagnostic tool for a one control module machine - the engine - seems onerous to me. Better to have the fault codes in a display on the instrument cluster so a repair can be initiated.

For the more complicated Ag machines with lots of computer control, perhaps a full diagnostic tool will be needed.

Anyone remember blink codes in the early days of auto diagnostics? Simple was good... but it was not very comprehensive. I'm not suggesting the OEMs go to blink codes!

I am suggesting that the OEMs build a means for users to see and begin a process of troubleshooting from the seat of the machine. I really doubt that adds a huge amount of cost. They could supply a module in the machine that communicates to all other modules and queries them for the faults they see. It then sends those messages to the instrument cluster on command. The user of the tractor now has the information they need to decide, can I fix this or do I need the dealer tech. The instrument cluster would have an intelligent display section. Costs would be for the diagnostic module and the enhanced instrument cluster. On a $70k tractor - likely a $2-3k price increase.. not very hugely significant. On a $20k tractor, this scheme would be significant in cost but would also likely be overkill and not necessary. Design trade-offs would be required.

Let's consider an aftermarket solution. It is not going to be easy. With no standards, who is going to be willing to reverse engineer all the manufacturer's control and communication schemes to make a tool? And if you can't focus on all OEMs then how will the research and development costs be spread over a large enough pool to make a tool inexpensive - under $500? Some have asked us to consider this and taking on this endeavor. We're thinking about it but as yet do not see how we recoup our investment.

As one who is in that business for automotive and works for the company that makes an aftermarket VAG tool, I can state that the information needed is not just sitting there for one to draw upon. It has to be mined - literally byte by byte. We have full time staff whose sole purpose is to research what VAG is doing in the controls of their cars. Likewise, to make an aftermarket Tractor-COM, one would have to learn all the communications methods of each OEM. The FTC will not force them to share that information freely. It would take away their competitive edge.

The Right to Repair action is a good start. Let's see where it leads.
 

mo1

Gold Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
376
Location
SW Missouri
Tractor
JD 5075E
@bearthebruce:

Some tractors already do display at least some electronic error codes on the instrument cluster display. However, the information for what to do with them besides "tell them to your dealer" is not provided in the owner's manual. Perhaps they are in the service manuals, I don't know as I do not own those manuals, although for about $450 I could have bought them.
 

Diggin It

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
10,598
Location
Three Posts A Day. Or less.
Tractor
LS MT125 TLBM
The biggest thing that bugs me about cell phones and some similar devices is the 'non-replaceable battery. I have no idea what the reasoning was there. Some can still be replaced, but with a lot more work and risk of damage.
 

lman

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
1,550
Location
Indiana
Tractor
New Holland 3040, New Holland 1530, Oliver 1850
The reasoning is that you will need to purchase another phone when the battery gets weak. A continuing source of incoming money.
 
 
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