[oclug] Re: Fwd: Re: Why we have Source code
rgiffin at cangurus.com
Wed Jan 24 20:03:44 EST 2001
On Wednesday 24 January 2001 09:25, Ian Wormsbecker wrote:
> > It takes a computer to diagnoss what's wrong with your car, not a
> > mechanic. It still takes a mechanic to fix the problem, but he's
> > becomming a little more irrelevant every year.
> Talk to any experienced mechanic and he will probably tell you that the
> diagnostic computer is more of a pain than it is useful. For one thing,
> they only work on anything electronic in your car. It won't detect a busted
> axle, or a cracked rad hose, or a squeaky door, or a 'small rattle on the
> lpassenger side when I go around a corner at 30km/h on a rainy day'. The
> computer rarely diagnoses what is wrong with your car, the mechanic does
> that, then goes on to fix it. The way I see it, the mechanic, along with
> any other trades people, are not going anywhere.
That last sentence may be true, they are not going anywhere anytime soon, but
they're going and they know it. But that doesn't mean they aren't becomming
a little more irrelevant. At one time I used to take my car to a class A
Mechanic at a garage I frequent. Now, I have to take my car to the "Factory
trained technician" - at the same garage.
I happen to have some pretty close ties with the automotive repair industry
in Nova Scotia, since it happens to be a family business. My brother is a
Customer Service semi-executive (he's not Japanese) for Toyota Canada. My
cousins and my brother will tell you different from what you outlined above.
My personal experience says the computer diagnostic equipment in modern cars
can, in some cases, even tell you the mileage the last time you changed your
oil. Last year I took my now ageing Dodge Caravan in to have an
acceleration problem fixed. The diagnostic computer at Michael Davies in
Bell's Corners correctly diagnossed a problem with a broken gear in the
transmission - it had only cracked. They fixed the problem for a fraction of
the price of a new transmission.
And I agree, you don't need a computer to diagnoss a squeeky door, a cracked
rad hose, or a broken axel or a worn CV joint, the problem and solutions are
obvious - but neither do you need a mechanic to fix these simple problems -
unless of course you're totally mechanically incompetant, or your condo
doesn't allow repairs on the property - then it's more likely that a high
school kid working part time at Canadian Tire (or wherever) will repair your
car than a class A mechanic, and they'll like as not guarantee the work for
as long as you own the car, if they're a reputable firm.
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