canada africa partner reservation Why are new hoods complicated and poorly designed?

Why are new hoods complicated and poorly designed?


We’ve all had a feeling of dread while in an auto repair shop and the hours passed as we waited for the verdict on how much it will cost to get our car or truck running again.

You might imagine that repair crews are moving slowly to increase labor time and repair costs, but a recent TikTok video explains that in at least one case, poor engineering and design are to blame for the long wait.

TikTok creator MechanicLink (@mechaniclink), identified on his Instagram account as Michael Griffin from Norfolk, Virginia, takes us under the hood of a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado pickup to vent about the complicated and seemingly pointless part of the hood that any repair work is time consuming and tedious.

“Do you want to know why people leave the auto industry? It’s because of (expletives) like this,” Griffin begins, addressing the many parts incorporated into a hood that can break off, requiring a complete replacement (at a cost of $150-$200 before installation) . For context, the typical repair bill for a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado appears to be around $550.

He then reveals his frustration at how difficult it is for even an experienced mechanic like him to remove the hood to examine the single most important part of a vehicle.

And it gets worse from there.

The hidden dangers of vehicle snorkeling on newer cars

“You need to get to the hose clamp that’s hidden in there like (expletive). This technique is unacceptable. If the snorkel ruptures or the air hose going to the PCV valve breaks, you have to replace the whole thing,” he said.

Griffin goes on to explain that the vehicle is set up so that performing a test with the engine running requires the cover to be secured back into place, which may require removing and reinstalling it several times to perform simple maintenance steps.

Griffin then figures out a way to get around the need for the hood to be in place at all by installing a new snorkel on the PCV valve – the only vital function built into the piece – so he can ditch the hood completely.

For the offended engineers who claim the unfriendly design and function were necessitated by business decisions made by “bean counters” to reduce production costs, Griffin doesn’t let them get away.

“In some cases I believe it, but not this time. This did not arise from innovation. No, this is built from fear. I bet there was a team of engineers looking to get fired, so they designed this and told the bean counters, “Hey, this is better.”

Commenters on Griffin’s clip seemed to echo his frustration, with some suggesting the design was to have all maintenance performed at expensive dealer maintenance facilities.

“It’s because domestic manufacturers are a major barrier to the ‘right to self-repair/maintenance’ so we are forced to take it upon ourselves and pay $$$,” someone commented.

@mechaniclink OOPS brain fart, I meant 3.6L V6. There are other designs where the snorkel is built into the cover, but the cover skirt here is too wide to make quick diagnoses. #mechanic #technician #repair #car #chevy ♬ original sound – MechanicLink

Others suggested that engineers should be replaced by maintenance technicians, many of whom seem to prefer the designs and features of 1990s trucks to what is offered today: “I think we need a bunch of mechanics to get together and to design a solid truck that is easy to maintain,” wrote another.

DailyDot has reached out to Griffin via email for more information.

*First published: May 12, 2024 9:07am CDT

Chad Swiatecki

Chad Swiatecki is a 30-year-old journalist who moved to Austin, Texas from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys discussing the intersection of art, business and local/state politics. He is a regular contributor to the Austin Monitor and has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin Business Journal, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national media outlets.

Chad Swiatecki