What Consumer OBD Devices Mean for Pros in Auto Mechanic Careers
December 12, 2017
Many auto enthusiasts will have noticed that the popularity of consumer on-board diagnostic (OBD) devices for cars has been increasing in recent years. These devices’ popularity comes off the back of increased consumer demand for access to useful metrics and the increasing ability of smart phones to easily display this information in consumer-friendly ways.
There is now a broad range of consumer OBD products available that can connect with modern vehicles to display the latest data, ranging from engine performance to driving efficiency. Here’s how these increasingly common devices may impact the role of auto mechanics.
Pros with Auto Mechanic Careers May Find They’re Genuinely Helpful
The majority of consumer OBD devices on the market are geared towards providing drivers with actionable information. That is, the kind of information which owners will want to review in order to make better informed decisions.
This ranges from being able to checking previously driven routes for efficiency, to remotely checking if a car needs to fill up, to investigating when an engine alert appears. Many drivers will be particularly keen to get more descriptive information on engine problems, rather than the supreme catch-all of the ‘check engine’ light. With the problem potentially already indicated by the OBD, this may reduce the overall time needed for diagnosis, meaning that consumer OBD devices could be a genuine convenience in the repair process once you become an auto mechanic.
Customers Might Be More Proactive About Maintenance and Repairs
Professionals with careers in the auto industry are well aware of the benefits that come with regular maintenance in keeping cars road-worthy for longer. They also know that catching a smaller issue early on can help prevent a bigger problem from costing much more down the road. However, it can occasionally be difficult to convince clients, who won’t have this expert knowledge, just how useful these preventative measures are. Fortunately, consumer OBD devices might be able to help in this regard as well.
As auto professionals progress in their auto mechanic careers, they may note that these devices are actually prompting more owners to bring their cars in for repairs. The device’s announcement of a fault will also make the need for service plainer, potentially helping to show customers just how important a particular repair is.
You Might Also See the Limits of Consumer OBD Devices Once You Become an Auto Mechanic
These feature-rich OBD consumer products are still relatively new-to-market, with many being developed by third parties beyond the vehicle manufacturer. There is potential here, especially at this early point in these products’ maturity, for data provided by a consumer OBD device to not always be completely accurate. In these cases, auto mechanics might have to contradict some information being displayed by devices. In a scenario where the device and professional disagree, the professionalism and expertise of the mechanic will be key. In order to ascertain the status of a real-world fault and explain it to the client, mechanics will need to turn to their in-depth knowledge and communication skills.
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