Quantcast
Jump to content

Start LLC for $0 at IncFile


Start LLC for $0 at IncFile


Start LLC for $0 at IncFile

Code Talkers -- It takes more than reading codes to be a real technician


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Code Talkers

 

During World War II the US used a secret type of language to send and receive messages, so the enemy couldn't find out what they were talking about. They enlisted the help of Navajo and Comanche Native Americans as radio operators. These guys used a combination of their language and relative terms as a way to disguise the real message over unsecured radio waves during World War II.

 

Most of the coding was done by using a native word for each letter of the message. Such as, if you were going to say the word "ARMY" they would pick one of the native words that represented a word in English with the first letter "A" and the same for each letter after that. In other words the letter "B" would be sent over the radio waves as, "Toish-Jeh" which means, "barrel" in English.

 

So the word "ARMY" would have been transmitted something like this:

 

"Wol-la-chee" (Ant) – "Gah" (rabbit) – "Tsin-tliti" (Match) – "Tsah-as-zih" (Yucca) thus the word Army would have been spelled out and easily translated at the other end. A lot of times an entire phrase could be stated with one word, or a word that was often used had a selected native word that was used as a substitute. Then on other occasions an English word was thrown in just to confuse the whole thing even more. It was quite ingenious… and believe or not… the code was never --- ever --- broken. To quote General Howard Connor (while at Iwo Jima), "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would have never taken Iwo Jima."

 

Trying to sound out those four Native American words (correctly) and translate it into the actual word was easy for these guys. They understood it, it's their language and they could send/translate and relay an answer faster than any machine available back in the day. They truly were code talkers.

 

So you might ask where am I going with all of this? Well, think about it… doesn't this sound something like the codes we have with today's cars? It does to me.

 

I read a code, translate it into working data, and solve a problem, all with a language that isn't understood by everyone out there. I guess you could call me a modern day code talker.

 

The big difference is you've got people with hand held scanners they bought at a local store or from the internet, and have the ability to "read" a code. Or some of them have been to a repair shop that has bought a scanner and read the codes for them. But, they can't break the code. They can't determine what to do with the information they have in front of them.

 

Think about it… it's World War II, and you've just copied down a message from your secret hiding spot on the side of the hill. You are about to relay the message to your superior officers. But, you still haven't a clue what that gibberish means. It's like reading a code on a car these days, and not having a clue what all that information means. That's where a qualified automotive technician … (aka code talker) is needed.

 

I have lost count of how many times a car has come into my shop with a customer standing at the counter. They have already been somewhere else, and the other shop has given them an invoice with the codes and the definition written down on it, and… more than likely a big "goose egg" in the charge column of the invoice. And,… they still haven't had their problem resolved.

 

"Oh I see they didn't charge you to read the codes… how nice of them (a little sarcastically I might add). So, you need me to find out what it all means right?" I'll ask.

 

"Yes, but I won't need it diagnosed; that's already done," the customer will tell me.

 

Of course it's already diagnosed… and you know what is going to happen next. I'm going to tell them there is a charge to trace out the actual problem and determine the reason for the fault code. Any tests that are needed or extra equipment needed to diagnose the problem is all incorporated into the diagnostic fee, which of course ends up with a customer just about to grab all their paper work and head out the door. Because … oh you know what's coming next… "It shouldn't cost anything to find out what's wrong with my car, because I already had that done."

 

This is when I break into my "code talker" story and inform the customer of what the process takes to actually find out what that particular code means.

 

"There's everything from a compression check to TSB's that need to be considered when it comes to diagnosing a problem," I'll tell them.

 

Let's face it, an oscilloscope ain't cheap, and as far as I know they aren't giving away these scanners, not to mention the hand tools, meters, and specialty equipment you'll need to perform some of these tests.

 

I realize that the code information to them sounds more like "Comanche" or "Navajo" lingo than it does plain English… but then… I'm a modern day code talker… I can read it, I can interpret it, and I can translate it into English. That's what I'm here for.

 

The next thing to do is make the customer aware of the level of sophistication that is needed to decipher these coded messages from the car. (It still amazes me that there are still a lot of people out there who assume replacing a part will always solve the problem, and that intensive research isn't necessary.)

 

I don't know about you, but there are times when I have a car in the shop that looks like it is on life support with the amount of gadgets I've got hanging out of the hood or from under the dash, and it all started off with a simple code. (This is one of those times a cell phone or a camera comes in handy and sending a shot of the owner's car to them so they can see what you've had to do to locate the cause of that simple code number.)

 

I'm a modern day mechanic… I'm no grease monkey, nor am I the guy with a scanner who'll read your codes and give you the definition. I'm the guy who will read the code, define it, and translate it into a solution. The cars of today are not the car of yesterday… nor are they the cars of the future. I've got to take care of what is here now, and that requires some understanding of the fundamentals of todays' cars. But in order to find out what that little service light means on your dash…keep in mind… you don't need a code reader… you need a code talker.

 

 

Working on new stories all the time. Adding a little survey to this story... Which magazines do you see my articles in? Leave a comment ... love to hear from ya. Gonzo


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites


As a New BannerBuzz.com Customer You Get 20% Off Your First Order! Use Code: FIRSTORDER for 20% Off Custom Banners, Decals, Marketing Materials, and Any Custom Print Needs! Offer Does Not End


As a New BannerBuzz.com Customer You Get 20% Off Your First Order! Use Code: FIRSTORDER for 20% Off Custom Banners, Decals, Marketing Materials, and Any Custom Print Needs! Offer Does Not End


As a New BannerBuzz.com Customer You Get 20% Off Your First Order! Use Code: FIRSTORDER for 20% Off Custom Banners, Decals, Marketing Materials, and Any Custom Print Needs! Offer Does Not End

Not even realizing it but when I was in the Marine Corps my primary MOS (Military Occupation Status) was a 2531/2542 "Field Radio Operator/Teletype Operator" I guess that's why I know how the code was used, because it was taught in some of the classes. It wasn't my intention to write about US Marine radio operators... I was going for the "code readers" we run across in our daily business and how I generally deal with them. But, don't worry none of the info I provided is anything to be worried about... it's all been declassified... We're not leaking national secrets here.. LOL

 

Glad ya liked the story... Gonzo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Gonzo, you did again. My blood pressure is up, thanks...

 

First, let me tell you, the analogy you make to the code-talkers of WWII is brilliant. My issue here is how little most of the public thinks of us, with respect to what it takes to test and diagnose and the modern automobile. I don't know how it started, but pulling codes is not a diagnosis and we need to be careful of the perception the public has on check engine lights and other hi-tech testing.

 

I have an AutoZone opening up around the corner from me soon, which is in walking distance of Advanced. Both stores promote free check engine light code reading. This only serves to diminish the complexity of that code and what it takes to understand the code, the equipment and the information data base. To be truthful, I can teach a monkey how to pull a code.

 

Repair shops have enough trouble getting the money they deserve, let's not jeapordize perhaps our future and reduce the check engine light to a commodity.

 

Great article, sorry for being so passionate....now let’s see, where’s my BP medication....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

thanks Joe, as always you see the inner meaning of the story as I write them down. And yes the BP meds better be close by. LOL

This is one of those articles that I think would be a perfect one to have on a bullentin board or on the wall of the waiting room in every shop.

I'm betting this article is picked up really fast and goes into print before a lot of other really good ones do. This one just hits a nerve for every decent shop out there that has to deal with the cutthroat logics of the free "diagnostics" when in fact.... their idea of diagnostics is simple code reading. But that doesn't make you a code talker.... thanx again your insight is spot on... U Da Best Joe!

 

 

Well Gonzo, you did again. My blood pressure is up, thanks...

 

First, let me tell you, the analogy you make to the code-talkers of WWII is brilliant. My issue here is how little most of the public thinks of us, with respect to what it takes to test and diagnose and the modern automobile. I don't know how it started, but pulling codes is not a diagnosis and we need to be careful of the perception the public has on check engine lights and other hi-tech testing.

 

I have an AutoZone opening up around the corner from me soon, which is in walking distance of Advanced. Both stores promote free check engine light code reading. This only serves to diminish the complexity of that code and what it takes to understand the code, the equipment and the information data base. To be truthful, I can teach a monkey how to pull a code.

 

Repair shops have enough trouble getting the money they deserve, let's not jeapordize perhaps our future and reduce the check engine light to a commodity.

 

Great article, sorry for being so passionate....now let's see, where's my BP medication....

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks Joe, as always you see the inner meaning of the story as I write them down. And yes the BP meds better be close by. LOL

This is one of those articles that I think would be a perfect one to have on a bullentin board or on the wall of the waiting room in every shop.

I'm betting this article is picked up really fast and goes into print before a lot of other really good ones do. This one just hits a nerve for every decent shop out there that has to deal with the cutthroat logics of the free "diagnostics" when in fact.... their idea of diagnostics is simple code reading. But that doesn't make you a code talker.... thanx again your insight is spot on... U Da Best Joe!

 

I tip my hat to you, keep these article coming...our industry to lucky to have someone like you to bring up these sensitive issues in a way that is both informative and fun.

 

And, I do hope this strikes a nerve in the hearts of every shop out there. To be a shop owner and tech todays requires the strength of a bull, the intellect of a rocket scientist and the management skills of a top CEO, it aint easy...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to say also the industry is lucky to have someone like you Joe... ASO is something you should be really proud of. I'm very glad to have made that phone call to you so many years ago... I'll bet ya never thought (at the time) that I wasn't kidding when I told you I had a few stories to tell... LOL

Don't worry I've got more stories and more articles to go.. I'm no rocket scientist... I'm no CEO ... I may not be as strong as a bull... ... ... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once... I guess that means I'm qualified... ROFL... :) :) :rolleyes::DB):lol::P

 

I tip my hat to you, keep these article coming...our industry to lucky to have someone like you to bring up these sensitive issues in a way that is both informative and fun.

 

And, I do hope this strikes a nerve in the hearts of every shop out there. To be a shop owner and tech todays requires the strength of a bull, the intellect of a rocket scientist and the management skills of a top CEO, it aint easy...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nicely done Gonzo. I too love when the local "Chepo" parts stores that read codes and send them on thier way knowing what the whole problem is. Makes our lives so much easyer when they provide was with thier findings doesn't it. LOL U.S. Marine huh, I knew there was something I liked about you. Semper Fi brother, myself also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Gary... semper fi... you'll find a lot of stories related to my GI days. Makes some great stories.

 

 

Very nicely done Gonzo. I too love when the local "Chepo" parts stores that read codes and send them on thier way knowing what the whole problem is. Makes our lives so much easyer when they provide was with thier findings doesn't it. LOL U.S. Marine huh, I knew there was something I liked about you. Semper Fi brother, myself also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The radio systems they used in WWII were still on the training schedule when I was in the service (late 70's). Cryptographic radios pretty much put the code talkers out of business, the next thing is... what technilogical advancement puts the "code reader" of today out of business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      The gang’s all here; we have the entire Aftermarket Radio Network together for an important episode inspired by the movie Moneyball. We all have experience with people who are not our top performers, but are we better to have them on the team than not? You know them; they are consistent, reliable, steady, and contributors. Are they worth replacing? Will they become the best or top performers, or do they help strengthen our overall performance? A great discussion among your peers.
      Hunt Demarest, CPA, Paar Mellis and Associates, Business by the Numbers Podcast
      Matt Fanslow, Riverside Automotive, Red Wing, MN, Diagnosing the Aftermarket A to Z Podcast
      Kim and Brian Walker, Shop Marketing Pros, Auto Repair Marketing Podcast
      Chris Cotton, AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching, Chris Cotton Weekly Blitz Podcast
      Key Talking Points
      What REALLY contributes to production? Simpson Paradox Simon Sinec points out that Navy Seal teams value Trustworthiness far, far more than Performance.  VIDEO HERE  Tech productivity is one of the most important aspects of business, but how can these numbers skew what that employee is really doing (helping others, sharing duties outside of production, etc.) Are there some numbers or metrics that actually can look too good, which could cause an issue for growth or retention Numbers don’t lie, but sometimes can be misleading. Do your numbers match up with what you are trying to do with the business? You have to have your head up and eyes wide open to make sure you can identify the "doers" in your group.  Do you have a scorecard for success for your technicians? Pay plans; incentive greatness Who are your ‘support people' to contribute and make the whole picture better Culture is contagious Training when hiring- Weaknesses- be honest with eachother Fine balance- profitability aspect, you can’t have a shop full of unicorns Removing obstacles  
      Connect with the Podcast
       
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partners: Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com       Delphi Technologies: Keeping current on the latest vehicle systems and how to repair them is a must for today’s technicians. DelphiAftermarket.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      We are at the 2022 Napa Expo with reigning two-time world champion Ron Capps, who has just recently started his own Motorsports company. Find out what it’s like being both the driver and team owner. Listen to Ron explain the initial rush when his race car goes from 0-100mph in 7/10 of a second. He says It’s all about his team and the processes and procedures.
      Established in 2021, Ron Capps Motorsports is a single-car NHRA Funny Car team owned and operated by reigning and two-time world champion Ron Capps. Headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., the team will make its on-track debut in 2022 and will compete on the 22-race NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series circuit thanks to the support of NAPA AUTO PARTS. Capps, who serves as both the owner and driver of his namesake operation, is the second-winningest Funny Car pilot in NHRA history, with 67 wins in the category and 68 overall (1 Top Fuel). The 2022 NHRA season marks Capps’ 28th year competing in the sport’s professional ranks.
      Category: NHRA Funny Car Sponsor/car: NAPA AUTO PARTS Crew chief: Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli, John Medlen Career best points finish: 1st (2016, 2021) Career event titles: 68 (Funny Car: 67; Top Fuel: 1) Career final rounds: 131 (Funny Car: 129; Top Fuel: 2) Career No. 1 qualifying positions: 29 Career best elapsed time: 3.837 secs, (Reading, 2019) Career best speed: 339.28 mph (Reading, 2019)
      On the Internet: twitter.com/RonCapps28, facebook.com/RonCappsFC, Instagram.com/RonCapps28, NAPAonline.com, NHRA
      Key Talking Points
      What people forget- NAPA isn’t a chain or a franchise; it is owned by people in your neighborhood. His dad was a dealer technician- he was his dad's mechanical assistant  Told team owner last September he wasn’t coming back- Announced the launch of his own team, Ron Capps Motorsports, in December 2021. The team, with Capps serving as owner-driver, made its NHRA debut in 2022 2022 marks Capps’ 28th season competing professionally in the NHRA (first event: Phoenix, 1995) One of 17 drivers in NHRA history to have claimed a win in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories “I was in my mom’s belly at my first race,” he says, adding his mom, Betty, met his dad, John, at a drag race. “I’ll never forget when I was at the Denver airport going up an escalator, and a woman at least 80 was coming down,” he recalls. “As she came closer, she started singing the ‘NAPA Know How’ song and was shaking her head as we do in the commercials “You can’t win the Kentucky Derby on a mule.” Intrigued by hearing the stories of NAPA Auto Care people and fans while attending events and networking  Hired his world championship team to join him- the manager is critical and the trust to let the team members do what they need to do with processes and procedures. There is a team goal to be successful.  Advice for son- get a basic business degree Behind the scenes before a race- sponsor event (like indoor go carting, top golf, dinners etc) 8 crew members take apart an engine and put it back together in 33 minutes. 11,000 horsepower 300 mph+ in a quarter mile 0 to 100mph in 7/10 of a second in 60 ft His wife is involved in the business- invoices, insurance, etc “Crash course to be an owner…but you can do it.”  
      Connect with the Podcast:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
       
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:
      Learn more about NAPA AutoCare and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting www.NAPAAutoCare.com
         
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi
      I recently read an article in Auto Success online, a publication for dealerships. It states that there is a market for used tires. I was never a fan of selling used tires. Link to article below. 
      Your thoughts? Comments? 
       
       
    • By ASOG Podcast
      Help David Out
    • Advertise your services or products to passers-by attracting them towards your business
    • By Mike DelaCruz
      A topic that I’ve become more and more interested in is the future of our industry, specifically when it comes to Technicians.  I returned from the Spring Leadership Days in Orlando by Auto Care Association with an entirely new outlook, continuously reminding myself:  What can I do to help strengthen our future?
      As I scroll through my Facebook feed, reading through various forums and private group comments, I constantly hear about the Technician shortage and have been over the past few years.
      Does that raise any concern that we’re still talking about this after several years?  
      As I read through the comments in hopes to find solutions, regrettably the majority of the comments are not solutions to the problem.  So, my hope is to find a solution and identify what action I can personally take to help strengthen our future and do my part.  I don’t want to spend anymore time talking about what we already know (tech shortage), and watch our industry reduce to rubble in the years ahead.  Not on my watch… and I know a lot of you are with me!  Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and months turn into years.  Let’s not wait!
      As I visit shops around the country, which is my favorite thing to do, I notice a common pattern in the workflow.  Nearly 70% of the shops that I have visited in the past year have empty bays.  For example, a shop in the Bay Area I visited recently had 8 bays, but 4 were empty.  They had 2 Technicians, who both told me they’re extremely busy and this has become the “norm” until they hire more Technicians.  
      Of course, the owners have “tried everything”, but what does that mean?  Have they really tried “everything”, or are they looking for a band-aid to fix the short-term problem and not thinking about a long-term solution and preparing for the future?  
      Shops are busy right now and business is booming for most.  So even though they have the Tech shortage issue on their minds, it’s less of a priority right now because they’re busy!  It reminds me of what one of my favorite industry coaches (and friend) told me one time about “Panic Marketing”. Business slows down, then we expect our marketing company to step up some SEO or Ads and get cars in today, when in reality you have to plan out your marketing 6-months or a year in advance.  
      So what do we do when we have empty bays and a Tech shortage?  Many will simply place an Ad on Indeed, cross their fingers and hope for immediate applicants! That quick-fix strategy will never work.  But what will?  
      There are shops out there with effective strategies that actually work well.  Look at what they’re doing and get some ideas.  Joe Marconi has some awesome tips on hiring great people.  Having worked directly with Joe, I’ve seen the success firsthand.
      But for me personally, I’m more interested in the long-term and getting the “younger generation” interested in our trade.  I think this will help shape our future.  But how do we do this?  Someone once told me, if every shop ran an Apprenticeship program, this would help solve the problem.  
      Is that the silver bullet?  If not, what is?  
       


  • Our Sponsors










×
×
  • Create New...