Auto Repair Shops Facing Technology Costs

As technology changes in the automotive world, it often makes life easier for the driver. North Jersey auto repair shops, however, are finding that it can be very costly to try to keep up with the latest technology.

In days gone by, a mechanic began his diagnosis by looking under the hood. In today’s world, repair shops have to have specialized scanners to help evaluate car trouble. These machines come with a high price.

Randy Harris, manager at J&J Auto Maintenance says, “We have to stay on top on what is changing. You either keep up or get left behind, but it costs you to keep up.”

Even some of the most routine repairs now require computer intervention. Systems like anti-lock brakes, air conditioning may require such attention. In addition, entertainment and navigation systems as well as air bags all require computer technology.

The Institute of Physics claims that modern cars now have more technology in them the Apollo spacecraft did in 1969 for its trip to the moon.


Some of the diagnostic machines like the SnapOn OBD2 scanner, once plugged into an engine, deliver specific codes for the diagnosis. The companies that make these scanners charge the auto repair shops for access to the current codes. These codes must be updated at least every other year in some instances.


An additional expense is sending technicians for training to stay up on the technology as it changes. Classes can cost between $200 and $700, depending on the content.


Although computers help point to the issues, the professional mechanics are still the ones required to take that information, perform repairs and sometimes truly find the root of the issue.




Posted on February 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM