When someone is in need of service on their vehicle and don’t know how to perform that service themselves, they go to see a mechanic. However, in today’s fast paced and ever changing world, the days of the old “shade tree” mechanics fixing our automotive problems is coming to a halt.
In today’s world, our vehicles are more like mobile supercomputers, than simply machines that run on a combustion engine. Today we have so many electronic components and have found ways to pair them with our once brutally mechanical engines for a sophisticated, refined, and complexly engineered powertrain that should anything go even slightly awry, it may take a thorough diagnosis to correct the issue.
This is where I see the main split from our automotive culture. Our once skilled mechanics must now adapt to survive and grow into being true diagnostic technicians. These are truly skilled individuals possessing the mechanical sense and technological know how to dive into these situations and keep us running smooth.
I liken it to a difference in the medical field; the one between physician and veterinarian. When you stop to think about it, the physician is the easier of the two because there is only one species to focus on. Whereas, in the vet’s case there can literally be several species, much like today’s automotive technicians who must constantly examine 4 cylinder models, V6’s, V8’s, V10’s, boxer engines, and even hybrids!!!!
With all of the electronic components come specialized tools and more of a requirement that the tech have a basic understanding of engineering, software, hardware, mechanics, and overall diagnostics. If you’ve ever watched an episode of the tv show HOUSE, then the next time you visit your personal service technician, just picture him or her with their stethoscope and clipboard ready to treat your automobile for whatever ails it. If you’ve been relying on the “shade tree” good ol’ boys to keep you running, remember that there is a clear and definitive difference between a mechanic and a service technician.
(My company has some of the best diagnostic and repair technicians around. Many of them have been with the company for 10 years or more and some for almost 30. My customers can always count on me and my team of service advisors to help should anything unexpected happen to your automobile. For assistance, just give me a call at my personal number, (304)437-WILL.)