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Fishing the Net

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One of the facts of life all automotive technicians face is that new technology will continue to change the business of automotive service and repair. As a technician, you need to be aware of how technology affects your job and the knowledge you need to succeed and keep your skills effective in the service bay. I’m not just talking about automotive technology. There are a host of new online tools available right now that you should be aware of and using to keep up with the growing information needs of anyone who diagnoses and repairs today’s high-tech vehicles. These new tools and all have one thing in common-they take advantage of the communications capabilities of the Internet.

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When historians look back on the final years of the 20th Century, they will probably be remembered most as being the time when the Internet came of age. The use of the online communication and information resources made possible by the World Wide Web is growing at an amazing pace. In fact, everyone from individuals to large companies are falling all over themselves trying to figure out how best to use this new resource to do everything from deliver the latest service information to establish a worldwide, online community where technicians can share experiences and information that all can use to become the very best at what they do.

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Many repair shops already have discovered the Internet and use their own home pages as a resource for consumers to learn more about the shop and the services they offer. Electronic service manuals have been a reality for some time now, and the latest service information is increasingly being delivered via subscriptions to online OEM and Aftermarket websites, a pattern that is sure to become the preferred method in the near future.

For technicians, there are several websites out there that can offer you information just as valuable. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website at www.ase.com is a great place to start. You’ll find a wealth of information that can not only help you achieve the professional credentials you’ll need, but information on everything from training resources to career management. It’s worth a stop to look around.

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Another website that you should be aware of is the International Automotive Technicians Network, or iATN, located at www.iatn.net. It’s an online technician community with members from all over the world and features discussion forums that cover virtually every area of mechanical automotive service. If collision repair is your vocation, visit Autobody Online at www.autobodyonline.com or stop by Pro Discussions at www.prodiscussions.com to get information on everything from the latest industry news to spirited discussions on a variety of topics.

These are just a few of the possibilities, of course, and there are many other websites just as valuable for technicians, but the message here is to get familiar with the Internet and learn to use it as an information resource. Because in the modern world of vehicle repair, you need all the information you can get!

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