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Gonzo
Gonzo

Fact or Fingers - What's more important

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Sorry you could not post the article. I have to contact Alex to see why.

 

Your insight on the evolution of the repair business is spot on and interesting. To a degree, facts are replacing fingers. I see my techs spend a good deal of time researching before they even get their hands dirty. And on some jobs, their hands never get dirty.

 

I think the Mechanic of yesterday lived in a much different world. Although there were always challenges and changing technology, today's tech needs to be proficient in areas that were not needed 40 years ago. This is neither good or bad, it's just how the industry has evolved.

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Gonzo you have a very accurate take. For the last three years I pretty much have had one guy whose job it is is to know the facts and figure out what is wrong and then it was up to someone with fingers to do the physical work. Maybe not the best solution but how many guys are out there with both facts and fingers?

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Growing up around repair shops I was always curious as to how the old guy took things apart and made them work again. I was too young to know whether or not he was doing it right or if he was just goofing around, but when I went back to the shop that job was gone and a new car was in its place, so he must have done something, somehow.

 

As I grew older I noticed a trend to just replace the parts rather than repair them. This transition from repair to replace seem to me to be part of the evolution of car repair. By the time the 'swap til' ya got it' routine came along (which by my recollection would be early 80's) every DIY'r was in on it too.

 

These days, we still have a few DIY'rs hanging onto the parts swap routine, and I still get a few used car lot mechanics and other repair shops that fall into the same category who bring cars in to my shop that they've slapped different modules or PCM's in and then ended up with a worse problem then they started with.

 

I think the next evolution of automotive repair is definitely diagnostics with electronic devices such as a scanner or scope. I doubt it will knock the DIY'r or the slap it on mechanic out of the garage... yet....but it's coming to that.

 

It's just another transition just waiting to evolve.

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I agree Gonzo. Technology has changed more in the last decade than the previous 4. The DIYer will always be there too, but I have a feeling that they will get into more trouble than it's worth. No one can foresee the future, but it obvious where the trend is going; and that's more and electronics and hi-tech systems.

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It's definitely more replace then repair today with respect to electronics. This does not mean you need to know less about how it works. With modules controlling lot's in most cases you end up getting to the bad part that much sooner and in the long run a faster repair!

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