Complexity of cars/ number of parts

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Smatt, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Smatt

    Smatt Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It amazes me just how complex cars are nowadays- even my 5yr old coupe, particularly the canbus communications plus the intricate mechanisms on even apparently simple things.

    Are there any published figures for how many parts are in the average MB these days. If so is this figure for parts as per part numbers, or individual pieces- for instance one part number (eg a switch row) could have many pieces & electronic components inside it?

    Purely for interest & wonderment...
    When thought of in these terms & the r&d, they aren't such bad value!
     
  2. W210 Fan

    W210 Fan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    yes, its amazing how many parts can end up on BOMs (Bills Of Material, or lists of parts numbers that make up a sub assembly or top level assembly) then when you break each thing down to material level it gets even worse, a car may have a relay which sits in a sub assembley, that relay has a printed circuit board, which has a capacitor on board, the PCB will have an MB part number if but the capacitor wont is it comes on the board, the capacitor itself is made up of a label, a can, legs, gel, an insulating layer and a conductive layer, so if you broke a vehicle like a flagship S600 W221 down into its material parts you may find that the capacitor can is 40 levels down into an assy, its gets mind boggling when you plot out a family tree, lucky we have CAD programs that spit them out for us!!!!
     
  3. VB123

    VB123 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Good question, I can tell you that there are over 6,000,000 parts in a Boeing 747....but that's not much help really!:D
     
  4. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Club Veteran

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    I can't comment specifically on MB cars and electronics, but in a typical family size car there are 400 panels of steel and 5000 spot welds in the body shell alone (not including closures).
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Smatt

    Smatt Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Does that include the trolley dollys?
     
  6. neilrr

    neilrr MB Club Veteran

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    There was a similar discussion on the official club site recently prompted by someone extolling the virtues of the '3 blink' indictor feature on his new car.

    The reason you now see 10-12 y.o. W140s, W202s, W203s, W210s & countless A Class models in junkyards already is mostly due to their complexity & the endless list of equipment which can & does go wrong.

    IMHO the manufacturers options & bhp war is crazy & has gone too far. You can now buy a road car with the same bhp as a recognised race car from a decade or two ago which has a stupidly endless list of options.

    A soft close pump on an S Class costs more new than many of these cars are now worth. That failing won't take the car off the road but if any of the dozens of critical electronic components, ecus, relays etc goes it is often a death sentence for the car.

    I was discussing this with a friend (W124 300TE) the other day & have come to the conclusion my ideal everyday driver is a black or blue-black 190E 2.6 Sportline autiomatic with cloth manual, unheated seats, leccy windows & sunroof. AC would be nice but not critical. Luckily for me I have one of these which sailed through it's MOT this morning with no advisories.
     
  7. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    Why cloth though Neil?
     

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