The automotive industry has been evolving at an astonishing rate since its inception. Due to this ever advancing edge of the field, it is very easy for a shop to fall behind. If you don’t want this to happen to you, make sure to familiarize yourself with what’s coming instead of just what is.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the idea of OBD-III. It will allow government and others to read your OBD information without requiring consent. As someone who views privacy as sacred, while still being an environmentalist, I’m not sure how I feel about this technology, but rest assured it will soon be upon us whether we like it or not. As a shop, you could use this technology to bring in repair jobs from customers you haven’t seen in a while or from new customers who may just be ignoring their check engine lights. Wouldn’t it be great to have an automated system that will contact your potential customers for you instead of making cold calls when business gets slow?
Another fascinating field of innovation is in the automotive air conditioning science. While we all remember R-12, and the eventual move to the less efficient, but far more safe R-134a, there are more changes taking place right now. The leading idea for a short while was R-1234yf. The main problem was extreme flammability causing a danger to drivers and technicians. Now more makers are moving to R-744 or simply, CO2. This gas is far less dangerous than its predecessor for the environment, and won’t cause technicians and drivers to explode. The environmental impact of this change will be monumental, and if you show your customers that you anticipate this change, you show them that you have a concern for the environment. This will breed loyalty, especially with the new generation of car owners coming up.
What to do
More than the new systems and technologies coming out in the automotive field, such as OBD-III and new substances being used in air conditioning, it is important to keep up with the tools needed to perform repair and maintenance on these new systems. It doesn’t mean much to your customers if you know about the future but aren’t prepared for it. Keep up with journals like this one to stay on the edge of new tools, attend seminars from your local tool dealers, and make sure to stay up to date with your preferred maker’s innovations. The information is out there, and your customers will expect you to have it. If you have the knowledge and tools for the next invention before the next shop over, then the customers will line up at your door. If you wait, then the times will pass you over just like the last guy. For a while it may seem that just when you get used to something, the next thing comes along, but after you make it a habit to stay on the cutting edge, you will begin to appreciate the ever advancing field of automotive technology as a wonder of human power.