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So this is totally not intended to be another build quality, fit, and finish thread by any means. I've had probably 6 new cars and 3 new motorcycles in my life, but this is my first new car since 2002, thus it's pretty apparent this is the most electronically equipped new car I've personally ever owned. What do you think the durability and life expectancy is on things like the Sync, nav, the small instrument cluster display, and things like that? (I'm talking electronic stuff completely separate from normal wear and tear items) Seems to me there's really no moving parts to wear out so I'd at least take a guess these things should stand the test of time on a car that's taken care of. Yea?? What do you guys think?
 

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Like you, this is my first new car since 2005 and I asked myself the exact same question but couldn't find an answer. I figured simplicity breeds reliability so I went with the ST1. When the salesman went over all the features of the ST2 and ST3, I could feel my eyes glazing over and knew it would be too much of a technological jump for me. I just wanted to know where my CD's go.
 

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I'm sure the electronics will outlast the car, 10+ years. It will all be outdated, but many parts will end-up as pick-a-part fodder.
 

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So this is totally not intended to be another build quality, fit, and finish thread by any means. I've had probably 6 new cars and 3 new motorcycles in my life, but this is my first new car since 2002, thus it's pretty apparent this is the most electronically equipped new car I've personally ever owned. What do you think the durability and life expectancy is on things like the Sync, nav, the small instrument cluster display, and things like that? (I'm talking electronic stuff completely separate from normal wear and tear items) Seems to me there's really no moving parts to wear out so I'd at least take a guess these things should stand the test of time on a car that's taken care of. Yea?? What do you guys think?

I work for a Ford Dealership. So far sync 3 looks like it will last long mainly because of the updates that it takes. MFT on the other hand is not going to hold up as well.
 

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I'm sure the electronics will outlast the car, 10+ years. It will all be outdated, but many parts will end-up as pick-a-part fodder.
Electronics will last that long huh, that's good to know.

Also how do you make it last as long as possible? Have a garage don't let car sit in the sun for too long? other than that I guess not much else? depends on the build quality which we won't have much control of.

I work for a Ford Dealership. So far sync 3 looks like it will last long mainly because of the updates that it takes. MFT on the other hand is not going to hold up as well.
2014 ST3 is MFT right? What's wrong with it why won't it hold up as well? I think it's sync 2? and to upgrade to sync 3 you need to get the whole newer monitor right? costs like 1500 not just software upgrade.
 

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I'd bet a lot has to do where one lives and parks the vehicle. If you're in a very hot or cold zone the extremes are bound to affect electronics over time. My car is lucky enough to be garaged so I hope not to have an electronics issue.
 

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I've been around electronics and cars all my life. I've been a mechanic for a living in addition to always working on my own, and have been an electronics tech for 15 years so I've been around both for a while.

As a whole, no matter the electronic application or the car manufacturer, electronics reliability has certainly stabilized and even improved over the years. In the early 1970s when computers and sensors first started showing up in cars, it was predictably bad. Connections under the hood weren't weatherproof by any means, and crappy connectors in the cabin and under the dash weren't much better. Hit a bump and the ribbon cables to the instrument cluster would shake loose and the gauges would stop working, or go wonky. Took over a decade before some of these problems were worked out. Senors in transmissions, body control modules, cam senors, all waiting to crap out.

These issues haven't gone away entirely, and they never will, the combinations of electronics, weather, environment and vibration eventually result in failure over time. But engineering better connection designs, better weatherproofing, better materials such as insulation (all while staying as cheap as possible lol) all add up to better reliability in the long run. They had to figure out something, as more and more computers, modules and sensors compounded the problems. I see 15 year-old cars now beat to hell underneath, but the CD player, nav, instrument cluster etc are still in working order. It's a good thing. It definitely doesn't mean gremlins will show up, ask the guys who had the harness issues in their STs.

And that's not all; I remember when an exhaust system on a new car would be rusting and falling off in 5 years. Now, they can last the life of the car. AC systems too. A brand new GM in the 70s with AC would last maybe 3 years. Now I see 20-year old beaters with the AC still working great.
 

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Connections and capacitors are the weak points of car electronics.
Connections corrode. Capacitors die.
Even one small ten cent failed capacitor can kill any electronics device.
So in a way it can be a crap shoot as to how long any electronic device lasts.
Some may last 20 years. others only a few.
 

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Connections and capacitors are the weak points of car electronics.
Connections corrode. Capacitors die.
Even one small ten cent failed capacitor can kill any electronics device.
So in a way it can be a crap shoot as to how long any electronic device lasts.
Some may last 20 years. others only a few.
Agreed, that's consumer electronics as a whole. A manufacturer procures a huge lot of ultra cheap electrolytics and puts them in their entire lineup. What you get is a $350 50" LED TV that pops it's power supply caps in 3 weeks.
 

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I've been around electronics and cars all my life. I've been a mechanic for a living in addition to always working on my own, and have been an electronics tech for 15 years so I've been around both for a while.

As a whole, no matter the electronic application or the car manufacturer, electronics reliability has certainly stabilized and even improved over the years. In the early 1970s when computers and sensors first started showing up in cars, it was predictably bad. Connections under the hood weren't weatherproof by any means, and crappy connectors in the cabin and under the dash weren't much better. Hit a bump and the ribbon cables to the instrument cluster would shake loose and the gauges would stop working, or go wonky. Took over a decade before some of these problems were worked out. Senors in transmissions, body control modules, cam senors, all waiting to crap out.

These issues haven't gone away entirely, and they never will, the combinations of electronics, weather, environment and vibration eventually result in failure over time. But engineering better connection designs, better weatherproofing, better materials such as insulation (all while staying as cheap as possible lol) all add up to better reliability in the long run. They had to figure out something, as more and more computers, modules and sensors compounded the problems. I see 15 year-old cars now beat to hell underneath, but the CD player, nav, instrument cluster etc are still in working order. It's a good thing. It definitely doesn't mean gremlins will show up, ask the guys who had the harness issues in their STs.

And that's not all; I remember when an exhaust system on a new car would be rusting and falling off in 5 years. Now, they can last the life of the car. AC systems too. A brand new GM in the 70s with AC would last maybe 3 years. Now I see 20-year old beaters with the AC still working great.
Will FoST exhaust last the life of the car? That would be awesome. AC will last a long time too?!

Will adding back up camera mess with the electronics, or aftermarket stereo, alarm etc. Maybe not in short term but later if you have electronic problem those add on could compound the problem?

Also pushing the wires aside to make room for whatever, unplug it and plug it back often etc
 

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Will FoST exhaust last the life of the car? That would be awesome. AC will last a long time too?!
All I can say is the chances are a lot better than they used to be. I don't know what changed, but stock exhaust systems don't fall off cars like they used to. If I had to guess, there are government regs involved, that require they meet more stringent standards.

Will adding back up camera mess with the electronics, or aftermarket stereo, alarm etc. Maybe not in short term but later if you have electronic problem those add on could compound the problem?
I don't know what would or wouldn't affect the alarm systems. As far as modifying a stock stereo system, hundreds of ST owners have made changes, some small, some significant, with no problems. I yanked out the stock speakers right after I bought my ST, and change made such a huge difference I stopped there, for now. I have other parts to add (line converter and sub) but haven't installed them yet.

As far as a backup cam, that's something you'd have to do some research on. It's been done with no issues. I have installed a front and rear dash cam with no problems. You do the wiring correctly with no shortcuts, think it through and do it right, and it'll be fine. Both of my cams are wired to come on when the ignition is energized. These things don't draw large amounts of current.

Also pushing the wires aside to make room for whatever, unplug it and plug it back often etc
Just make sure you don't force and break connectors. Make sure you reconnect them completely. Make sure you're not interfering or affecting the car's computer (depending on what you're doing). I've been under the center console, moved all kinds of wiring and harness around to make room for an amateur radio receiver. You can do that stuff, just be careful.
 

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CA and CA-adopting states require major emissions components on PZEVs to be good for 150k miles, but customer expectations and a competitive market also dictate that customers won't tolerate expensive exhaust replacements (of course, they're not just pipes with a baffle chamber at the end anymore, either), so they're (always?) stainless steel now. On the 80s Subarus, you could watch close enough and catch the expensive Y pipes that were welded into the cat rusting in front of you. When the Legacy came out (an enormous leap from the older cars, especially the EA82s) with its stainless exhaust . . . well, at 270k miles and 15 years in New England, the total exhaust problems on mine were fixed with stainless hose bands (tightened heat shielding around cat to stop annoying rattling and held muffler together where it was starting to come apart for the last few years). Always passed MA emissions testing every other year. Driving a car more prolongs the life, as well. Mechanical wear goes up, yes, but at a far lesser rate as high mileages mean the components reach full temperature and the vehicle usually spends more time at cruise speed in low stress conditions. Fluid changes are also done more frequently in terms of time so there's less time for contaminants to sit in a spot to cause corrosion or to break down the fluid properties. As for everything else, there's less corrosion as the heat cycling keeps moisture off and seals properly lubricated. With the high mileages I do, my only additional costs versus low mileage is more oil and tire changes and greater depreciation, but whether it's 100k or 250k and being lower end cars that don't retain value well either way, trade in value will still be ****, plus the market still works on the scam of "low mileage" being special when it's far more likely to be a lemon and need seals, brakes, shocks etc. replaced due to wear from corrosion or lack of lubrication. Brakes and suspension last me close to 150k when other people report lifespans of about a third the mileage (over more time) and I've changed one wheel bearing in one car in about the 700k miles of driving over four vehicles (with New England winters, hand brake turns into curbs a time or two, high speeds in desert summer heat, high speed descending mountain breaking, and so on). Sum total of electrical fixes (and I don't leave anything broken) is a couple of headlights (Subaru), a fuel pump (Subaru, about 200k miles on it), a taillight (Mazda3), two batteries (over 10 years on the Subaru, 50k on the Focus SE), a poorly installed fuse causing the center display to go on and off (Mazda3), two O2 sensors (Subaru and Mazda), and one alternator (Subaru, 250k miles and still wasn't completely dead, just intermittent from a wonky diode pack).
 

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My Sega Saturn from 1995 still works like a champ and it actually has moving parts. Cars electronics should be good for 20 plus years if they are undamaged.
 

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This is all just silly. Electronics are not perfect, but time has already proven this stuff is reliable.

Owned a 1995 saab, decked out with electronics WAY ahead of its time, no problems at all, practically gave the car away in 2016 I would not be surprised if everything electrical still worked like new.

Hell I still use my Macbook from 2005 with Core 2 Duo processor (who remembers these?... back when having more than 1 core was an amazing feat lol... now my bloody iPhone has 6 cores?! wtf), besides needing a new battery the damn thing works like new.

& that was years ago when computers were still relatively new. Trust me this is not an issue. Its amazing how good they make electronics today. I do not even go above and beyond in the maintenance department.
 
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