Re: Anyone else like the old way better?
Thanks for the link to a website which tried to force a spyware download on me, dickhead. And an opinion based on cars that started down the production line in 1997, meaning design started about 1994. Way to go for up-to-date information.
But I'll still answer your fact-free opinion, because I started working on car engine controllers in 1999 and spent roughly 10 years on and off since then on that, and I particularly spent a lot of time on diagnostics. So unless you've worked through a diagnostics manual with the service team lead for a manufacturer, and been out testing your fail-safe strategies on a real vehicle on a test track, then I probably do know more than you. Let me count the ways that things have improved...
You don't have to change sparkplugs any more. When I started driving, sparkplugs were an every-year service item. Now they're usually a 100,000-mile service item. Entirely down to replacing the points with electronics. Oh, and the points, and the vacuum-advance carburettor, and the carburettor generally, and spark-plug leads on most modern cars with coil-over plugs - all gone, and all their failure modes with them. My Renault Laguna starts in the morning, every time, no questions. My old Austin Montego was not so user-friendly. And the Laguna will happily get 45mph at 80mph, where I'd be lucky to get 30mph from the Montego at that speed. My Laguna is only an 2005 plate, incidentally - hardly state of the art.
Temperature sensors, and speed sensors on various bits of the drivetrain. Time was that these went wrong on a regular basis, and if you were lucky then you could limp the car to a garage, and if you weren't then it was a tow-truck job. Now that all these sensors are available, the engine controller can cross-check them to see whether any look dodgy, and do something sensible if there's a problem.
Theft of cars, there's another improvement. These days that's seriously rare and mostly confined to old cars from pre-immobiliser days. If you want to steal a modern car, you either need the key or you need some wireless immobiliser cracking kit which is well beyond your basic brick-through-the-side-window brigade. Theft from cars is right up - all those people leaving satnavs in the glove box - but theft *of* cars is very low.
Ditto radios. No-one much buys aftermarket radios any more, because they're all built in. Which means no-one is going to break into your car for the radio any more, because they have sod all resale value.
And that's before we start talking about all the features - ABS, airbags, traction control and the like - which have saved the lives of more people than you'll meet in your life, and which are only possible because of electronics.
Visible improvements? Well, these days your car generally "just works". Perhaps it's not "visible" to you, but that's only because you aren't correctly remembering what old cars were like. Yes, there are still design faults in cars, because cars are designed by humans and cockups happen, and manufacturers won't fix them unless they have to. Congratulations for spotting that. So I'll just say "Ford Pinto" and let you fsck off quietly with your little Beemer bug.