Working on today’s vehicles requires increasingly specialized equipment.
We all know that within our industry, technology is constantly changing with more electronics being added to the vehicles we service. Automakers, it seems, are also making it ever more difficult for technicians to get their hands and tools into tight spaces.
As a result, we are seeing more tool manufacturers developing cordless and smaller tools with more power to help make shop owners’ and technicians’ jobs easier, more profitable and more efficient.
When we think of tools we often focus on those designed to actually repair the vehicle, such as wrenches and sockets, but we also need to consider things like car lifts that are designed to make it easier to access the vehicle from underneath. Seeing into tight spaces also requires lighting tools, such as using a LED tube light or wearing a motion activated LED headlamp.
Digital circuit testers, TPMS tools, iPads and smartphones are now being used as part of technicians’ everyday equipment to repair all brands of vehicles. Shops need to have Wi-Fi not only for customers but for their staff.
OEMs are also making it more difficult to repair vehicles by requiring the aftermarket to use OE tools for the repairs. In some cases, we are seeing that sharing of these tools with other shop owners is starting to happen. The initial cost to purchase OE tools can be expensive, and sharing these tools helps to offset these costs.
Today, we need to have specialized tools and equipment to work on vehicles, safety gloves for Hybrids, tint meters for vehicle safety inspections, not to mention ear protection, eye protection, breathing apparatus/masks, safety shoes, skin protection, and having eye wash and first aid stations readily accessible and fully stocked.
By investing in the right tools and equipment, we will see more profits, more business, and will draw younger technicians to our place of business. Clean, safe and updated equipment makes your shop more attractive to your employees and owners of newer vehicles with the ability to diagnose and repair theme with the same, if not better service than most dealerships.
Recently, AARO has been asked for scan tool training for collision shops in Ontario. AARO has already been delivering scan tool diagnostic training for mechanical shops and is now extending scan tool diagnostic training to collision shops.
Collision repair professionals will have to apply a level of sound judgement to each vehicle that requires repairs and depending on the trouble codes, they may need to send it out to a mechanical repair shop for a licenced automotive technician to repair and clear codes.