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Why It Takes An Expert:
Vehicles are getting more complicated every year. Those of us in the automotive service and repair business spend many hours in training sessions to keep current. This includes the technicians that service/repair your vehicles, those at the counter who advise you of your vehicle’s needs and we, the owners. We take our weekends and our evenings to go to classes. Some classes are available online as well. We have to pass tests in order to be certified and recertified. We take pride in our work and just like doctors have to be educated to take care of their human patients, we have to be educated to take care of the health of your vehicles.
We get calls frequently from people describing a problem they are experiencing with their vehicle. We encourage them to tell us as much information as possible so we have a general idea what the problem might be before we even see the car. When we get the vehicle in we have diagnostic equipment that confirms or negates our thoughts. We also invest a great deal of money to have the correct scan tools. This lets us quickly determine what the problem is, order parts if needed and give a cost and time estimate to the consumer. This is all in a day’s work for us.
On rare occasions we are confronted by a person who “diagnose” their own vehicle’s problem based on research they had done on the Internet. They bring the car in and tell us what needs to be done. When we test it with our sophisticated equipment and find that they are incorrect in their diagnosis they accuse us of trying to “rip them off” even if our diagnosis costs them less money to fix than if they had been correct. I sympathize with doctors when patients call and ask for a prescription based on their Internet self-diagnosis. When the doctor refuses to prescribe the medication without seeing the patient, the patient gets upset. This is much the same.
Being in this business we certainly appreciate everything the Internet can do but so far, it really can’t accurately diagnose a vehicle’s problem. It may give a person some idea but it still takes sophisticated equipment and years of automotive training to be correct.
I know that the manufacturers are currently working on vehicles that can tell the owner when an update or upgrade is needed and that is great. Many things are ahead for us in the future that are currently being tested. Until that time though, we have to work with what we have, keep our equipment up to date and keep on taking classes. We don’t want to discourage consumers from finding out all they can about their vehicles, we applaud that. We do, however want to remind everyone that when it comes to working on cars, your car care provider is the expert.
Our goal is to keep our customers driving accurately serviced and repaired vehicles to keep them and others safe on their journeys in life.