You have the right to improve the things you buy. If you want to paint racing stripes on your car, go for it! Ownership means you should be able to open, hack, repair, upgrade, or tie bells on it. Once you’ve paid money for a product, the manufacturer shouldn’t be able to dictate how you use it—it’s yours.
But that’s exactly what some manufacturers intend to do. It’s common practice to refuse to make parts, tools, and repair information available to consumers and small repair shops. Apple created a special screw specifically to make it hard to repair the iPhone.
Independent repair technicians need the same information that the manufacturer repair shops have. The Ford dealership has access to diagnostic codes that your neighborhood mechanic would kill for.
Cars all have computers—and now, fixing an engine means deciphering the code the computer spits out. But those codes are often proprietary…
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