Student Essayist Sees More Focus on Diagnostic Communication, Less on Guess
Shop tech students may not actually be able to predict the future, but MotoLOGIC® Repair & Diagnostics, a Web-based resource for automotive technicians, recently invited students to share their visions in the Future of Automotive Repair & Diagnostics Essay Contest (www.motologic.com/school).
Students at NATEF/ASE certified schools were given the opportunity to submit an essay – 500 words or less – for a chance to win one grand prize package including: a check for $1,000; a one-year subscription to MotoLOGIC Repair & Diagnostics and a MotoSKILL ASE Test Prep Training Bundle.
The winning essay below on “The Future of Automotive Repair and Diagnostics” was submitted by Michael Guerrieri, a student at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Elizabethtown, KY.
“Industry diagnostics and repair has made leaps and bounds over the past 20 years, making it possible to minimize emissions, gain the ability to diagnose more easily and decrease labor times.
Scan tools have made a huge impact not only in component testing, but also in the diagnostic procedure itself. By simply navigating through user-friendly menus with the click of a few buttons, it is easier to see codes or view specific component functions. This method is significant change from counting light flashes on the vehicle’s dashboard while jumping the OBD connector, as done in the past.
A mechanic can also monitor a component, such as an O2 sensor, that affects emissions, while the vehicle is running to make sure it cycles properly. This cuts down diagnostic time and gives the mechanic a substantial amount of new capabilities, for instance: manually turning a fuel pump on or off, thus alleviating the need to jump wires, disconnect or remove components. Ultimately, this makes the overall diagnostic process more efficient and easier when pinpointing problems.
MotoLOGIC Repair and Diagnostics is another great form of technology available today. In a matter of seconds, a technician can look for TSBs on a specific vehicle, labor times, wiring diagrams and repair information. For example: Perhaps the technician has to track down a broken wire somewhere in the harness. Normally this would involve many hours and tests;
however, using a reliable database like MotoLOGIC will provide a great pathway to find and repair the problem.
Therefore, today’s technology saves the technician time, which results in getting a vehicle back to the customer sooner than allowed in the past.
An entirely new breed of automotive technician is evolving because of current changes in technology. As we move into the future, it will continue to change significantly. Technology is changing the hands-on approach that technicians have used for decades. Fading quickly are the days of diagnosing by ear or a quick flip of the throttle. An electronic scanner has become a tool that can be found in nearly every dealership/shop today. Electrical components have replaced many of the old mechanical type, which has made the old “see, touch, hear and smell” method nearly useless.
Going forward into the future, I foresee wireless communication between technicians and vehicle diagnostic centers becoming mainstream. Vehicles will be pulled into a work bay and overhead and/or underneath the car there will be some type of electrical pad(s) (similar to inductive charging systems), which can communicate with a vehicle’s diagnostic system (similar to Bluetooth). Feedback will be instantly displayed on a monitor or possibly a digital display that is integrated into a technician’s safety glasses. Diagnostics will become less hands-on as computer programs scan and correct adjustments independently. Telematics needing repairs or adjustments will be modified by the system as well, which makes it a one-stop-shop. The technician will still make hardware/component repairs, but ultimately the guesswork will be a method of the past.“
Nine runner-up award-winning submissions have also been selected, each receiving a $100 Visa Gift Card, a MotoSKILL ASE Test Prep Training Bundle and a one-year subscription to Tomorrow’s Tech.
For more information on MotoLOGIC or the services available from MOTOSHOP Technology Tools, a product set from Advance Professional, visit motoshop.com or follow MOTOSHOP on Twitter at @MOTOSHOP.