Why is it that German cars are expensive to maintain than the Japanese counterpart?

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Mudassir Ali 7 months 1 Answer 125 views

Answer ( 1 )

  1. Originally Answered: Are German cars more expensive to fix than Japanese cars?
    Yes, and yes.

    First, every thing you need to do to a car is more expensive with German cars than with comparable Japanese cars, with the likely exception of tires.

    German car dealers charge more for parts, and the more expensive German cars often require super-expensive non-standard fluids (like oil, brake fluid and transmission fluid). It is not so unusual for an oil change for a Mercedes to cost over $100. Many German cars require Premium fuel, which is at least 40 cents per gallon higher in the U.S., and usually more. Also, German car dealers and independent mechanics specializing in German cars charge more per hour. So, even if they were equally reliable, it would cost much more to keep a German car running.

    Plus, German cars require repairs much more frequently, and their maintenance is often more complex. They are just much more complex machines. German engineers appear to value performance above all, so if a part can be made 20% lighter, they will, regardless that it impacts the longevity or likelihood to break (different things). And there are just so many more parts that do things the Japanese engineers don’t bother with.

    As satire, I sometimes say of German cars that you can get a check-engine light if the sensor on the headlight washer volume equalizing valve (the one that makes sure you get the same amount of spritz regardless of temperature or altitude) is clogged. It’s satire because Japanese cars normally don’t have headlight washers in the first place, and the certainly wouldn’t have such a value, and double-certainly wouldn’t have a sensor to check than the valve was working right. So, it’s an unnecessary thing on an unnecessary thing on an unnecessary thing. On the other hand, I would not be surprised if there actually was a German car with such a sensor on such a valve.

    TL;DR: Japanese engineers have much more restraint, and know the just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea, because a luxury car that spends too much time in the shop is no luxury.

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