Automotive Service Technicians Go High-Tech

By the year 2000, there were about 217 million vehicles on the road in the U.S., traveling 2.5 trillion miles, and consuming 160 billion gallons of gasoline. In light of these figures from the Center for Automotive Research, how could you not consider a career in the ever-expanding automotive industry?

Need more convincing? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, automotive service technicians held about 803,000 jobs in 2004, and demand for technicians will only increase as the number of multi-car families continues its upward trend.

And, median hourly earnings of automotive service technicians, including commission, are $15.60 (the highest 10 percent earn more than $26.22 per hour). In addition, many experienced technicians receive a commission related to the labor cost, and employers often guarantee commissioned technicians a minimum weekly salary.

So the growth of the automotive service profession is not surprising — today’s technicians are high-tech professionals, working on complex vehicles with global positioning systems, Internet access, and alternate-fuel systems. Their work goes beyond traditional repairs and involves inspecting, maintaining, and repairing automobiles with electronic as well as traditional hand tools.
Since cars are more computer-controlled than ever before (according to the Center for Automotive Research, the average vehicle contains between 40 and 50 microprocessors), automotive service technicians need the intensive career preparation offered by automotive service technician schools.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certify a number of automotive service technician schools, which may offer general education courses as well as employable skills such as customer service and stress management.

Certification is the next step after completing coursework at automotive service technician schools. Voluntary certification by ASE is the standard credential in the automotive industry. You can get certified in one or more of eight areas of automotive service, including electrical systems, engine repair, brake systems, suspension and steering, and heating and air-conditioning. If you want to become certified as a master automobile technician, you need to be certified in all eight areas.

Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for those who graduate from automotive service technician schools and become certified. Even through downturns in the economy, the effects on the automotive industry are minimal.

Rev up your high-tech career with hands-on training from automotive service technician schools.

Automotive Service Specialists

Have you recently been in a car accident? Has your car been damaged in the incident? Car troubles can be a headache. Whether you are looking to maintain an annual tune up or repair a broke window, having a professional automotive service specialist can be beneficial in many ways.

A professional automotive service specializes in all domestic vehicles and foreign import cars, such as BMW, Saab, Toyota, etc. The automotive service specialists really understand the mechanical makeup of your car and are specially equipped to handle all repairs on your import or domestic vehicle. They provide state of the art diagnostic equipment, digital alignment machines, and DMV state inspection station. All the

Not everyone is an automotive expert, and also not many companies that offer automotive services have adequate background services. Having a trained and certified technician service your vehicle means your repair will be completed in time with few complications. The specialists are factory trained and have years of background experiences as an ASE certified technician including an L-1 master tech.

At a professional automotive service, the specialists are not only specialized in attending to your vehicle, they also set customer service as a priority. Driving is a big part of your daily life, and a professional automotive service specialist build their service around you and your satisfaction with great quality products and fair pricing. The specialists are automotive enthusiasts and attempt to have your car in house and out the same day. The waiting room is stocked with complimentary publications, snacks, and drinks that keep you comfortable while you wait. They keep track of an electronic history of all your vehicle services. Many professional automotive service companies also offer 24/7 drop off for your conveniences.

The experienced automotive technicians provide original equipment and parts, and guarantee that the clients’ vehicles are safe in the fully fenced and security lot. Not many private owned mediocre automotive companies could accept extended warranties and file the claim on your behalf. It’s easy to work with a company that you trust that focuses on your needs. With excellent quality car service repair, the specialists will provide the best and most convenient and up to date technology services that is easy to maintain and will save you time and money

It’s the attention to small details from repair to customer service that makes automotive specialists professional experts. Your car is your second home, and you can trust the certified specialists at a professional automotive service care.

The 2nd Biggest Myth in Automotive Service!

Our industry has a terrible reputation, and unfortunately, that’s not the myth, that’s a true statement.

Not too long ago, I was asked by a customer, one of our local news stations, to help do an expose’ on some of the “fast lube” shops around town. This put me in a terrible position for a few reasons. For one, I really didn’t want to help perpetuate a negative image of our industry. But on the other hand, people have a right to know so they can protect themselves. It really boiled down to two questions for me.

1. What is the harm in doing this? The harm was I was helping to reinforce the negative image our industry has brought on itself. Would people see this and think “Wow, what a really nice thing it was for them to shed some light on common practices utilized by a handful of auto repair shops in order to increase their profits?” Most likely not.

2. What is the benefit in doing this? Let’s face it – the fact that you ignore a problem doesn’t make it any less real. The reputation is what it is, and unless we start to recognize, isolate and eliminate it, it will keep growing and getting worse. When bad things are left unattended, they just get worse, and I have found that pretty much applies to everything in life.

In the end, we ran with the story, and quite a few of the local “fast lube” shops were not real happy with my decision, and they didn’t mind letting me know it. I guess accountability stings sometimes.

So what is the myth?

The myth is that all shops are out to take advantage of you. For my first example, one of the most misunderstood practices in our industry is the Free Safety Inspection, where a technician looks beyond the issue you brought your car in for, then provides you a list of “recommended items”. This sometimes is perceived as an attempt to sell you additional items that you may or may not need. How many reading this have been offered a “flush” that will help prolong the life of whatever system is being flushed, but you can’t find that service anywhere in your owner’s manual? Since you may not be familiar with what they are talking about, it is real easy to feel like you are being taken advantage of.

Let me give you my best advice on this – if it feels kind of sleazy to you, it probably is. Please don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say. A reputable shop is going to offer you the same Free Safety inspection, but with a few major differences.

The biggest difference is the motive behind doing it, and I just summarized the best way to tell in my previous statement – a reputable shop is going to OFFER you the same service. If you don’t want someone looking over your car from front to back, then you shouldn’t be forced to let them. A reputable shop will ask you if you would like for them to perform the service before they do it.

Another good way to tell is the manner in which they approach you with their findings. A reputable shop says “here is what we see, what it effects, and what it cost to repair”, then let’s you make your own educated decision. A greedy shop pushes the service until you feel like running out the door, possibly even using scare tactics to try to intimidate you into buying. One of the shops covered in the expose’ I mentioned actually told a customer her transmission would blow up if she didn’t do the service. What made that extra sleazy was the fact that she JUST had the service done at the previous shop they visited! To make matters worse, the repair was authorized, and the hidden camera showed the mechanic pretending to do the service, never even hooking up the flush machine!

A final way to make sure you’re doing the right thing is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, and nothing else, since nobody knows your car better than the people who made it. If it’s not in the owner’s manual, it doesn’t need to be done. On repairs like brakes, a little bit of research will tell you what the average is for your make and model on both mileage and cost of repair.

In the end, the most important thing is that as you drive away from the repair shop, you feel good about the transaction that just took place. If you do, you have found your shop. If you don’t, my best advice is to keep looking.