Magazine article Medical Economics

What about Service and Repair?

Magazine article Medical Economics

What about Service and Repair?

Article excerpt

This analysis is by Bob Cerullo, a master mechanic with 30 years' experience. Cerullo is the author of the book, "What's Wrong With My Car?"

Viewed from under the hood, these three sport-utility vehicles present a startling contrast. Components and their design range from thoroughly modern to surprisingly old-fashioned.

With its carefully-thought-out placement of components for ease of maintenance, the Ford Explorer really shines. Its 4.0-liter V-6 engine sports a low-maintenance, no-distributor ignition system. The clear master-cylinder reservoir makes checking the brake-fluid level effortless. The oil and transmission dipsticks are easy to reach and clearly marked, and changing the oil filter is relatively easy. The fuse box is handily located at the front of the engine compartment. The only big drawback I found on the Ford: hard-to-reach spark plugs.

Service features on the Chevy Blazer have their good points, but there are a few clumsy aspects, too. I like the easy-to-reach fuse panel on the left side of the dash. Also, the Blazer is the only one of the three with an easy-access plastic gravel shield to protect the oil filter.

But I was disappointed to find a standard electronic ignition (instead of one without a distributor) tucked way behind the engine and close to the firewall. The four-wheel-drive servo is located under the battery, which makes it susceptible to corrosion. And placing the engine-control computer just under the hood on the right-front fender well invites theft and makes the computer vulnerable to rain or soapy carwash water that seeps between the hood and the fender. …

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