Today’s cars have come a long way. New cars rolling off the production line will often be packed with high-tech features that your average 90s sedan could only dream of. These features are designed to provide everything from more efficient fuel consumption to handy features like parking cameras.
Generally speaking, car tech in 2017 is trying to push modern vehicles towards being easier-to-use, greener, and more efficient. It signals landmark changes to the maintenance work carried out by mechanics, with new methods being introduced that today’s digital natives should be able to easily adapt to.
Cars Now Come With a “Nervous System”
When a mechanic opens the hood on a modern vehicle, they will be interacting with a car that contains exponentially more computing power than previous models of the same car. Distributed throughout the vehicle are electronic elements, which are collectively known as the Controller Area Network (CAN).
These act like the nervous system in the human body, connecting Electronic Control Units (ECUs) with the required functions of the vehicle. These ECUs run everything from the transmission to rolling up windows, with up to 2,000 simultaneous signals moving around a vehicle when it’s running. Today’s trainee mechanic undergoing automotive service worker training will need to become familiar with this new landscape under the hood, appreciating the increased simplicity this provides with regards to the driving experience, while making repair work just a little bit more complicated. Because of these intricate new systems, and the vital role they play, today’s mechanics need to know a lot more about electronics than previous generations.
Diagnostic Tools Are Often Needed by Pros With Automotive Service Worker Training
When an issue occurs involving a CAN, the first step is to try to isolate the problem. This is where a process begins that will seem very different from the physical examination and visual confirmation that many traditional mechanics used to do.
Become a mechanic nowadays and you’ll see how issues with electronic components in the vehicle are now often solved through a diagnostic process, with a user device displaying the results of a comprehensive test which has been run on these components. As a result, today’s mechanic training includes courses in everything from general electrical systems diagnostics to electrical fundamentals, in addition to preventive maintenance and welding fundamentals. This comprehensive training allows students to graduate ready to enter today’s new car tech landscape with the skills needed to succeed.
An Increased Emphasis on Monitoring Service Emissions Has Lead to More Tech in Cars
Many jurisdictions now place emissions limits on vehicles, including several Canadian provinces. Ontario now enforces mandatory emissions testing for vehicles, requiring that vehicles older than seven years pass an emissions test before registration can be renewed.
This legislation gives environmental standards real teeth, and means that auto mechanics must know the correct processes when the ‘Service Emissions’ warning light is illuminated on a vehicle. With recent high profile cases of car producers installing cheat devices to display lower than actual emission levels, there’s more scrutiny than ever in this department. Sometimes, the reasons why an emissions light has gone off can only be ascertained by closely consulting a code reader in addition to a full diagnostic investigation. It’s a job that drivers will increasingly turn to qualified mechanics to carry out.
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Contact us at Automotive Training Centres to sign up for auto technician courses in Cambridge today!