In the world of Auto Repair there are two philosophies that most shops follow, some shops charge their clients to work on cars and some shops charge to fix their clients cars. Here at Pete’s Garage we fix cars, we don’t just work on cars. Having this philosophy is not so easy though, it requires a serious financial commitment on our part to make sure we are tooled up for, trained up for and invested in information systems that match the vehicles we are working on.
Doctors are known to practice health care but auto repair really shouldn’t be practicing. When a shop gets into a situation where they are guessing or practicing it cost the vehicle owner big bucks and big time loss. At Pete’s Garage we have a Service Ready philosophy and that means we are ready, from a tooling and training stand point before your car arrives.
It is commonly believed that auto repair shops have a magical box (scan tool) that they plug into a vehicle to do the diagnostic for us but in reality our scan tools only give us an idea of what we need to test. Sometimes that component is faulty but often times there is an underlying issue that causes the component to look bad when viewed from a scan tool. In the case of shops that work on cars they typically will guess that the component associated with the code is faulty. Sometimes they are correct and look like a hero but often times their first guess isn’t right. The vehicle owner loses when that happens.
What happens next is that often they tell their clients a second part is required. This is called a second guess. Something to think about is that if their first guess wasn’t good enough why would a second guess make sense and why wasn’t that the first guess? Here at Pete’s we specialize in testing and presenting test results with facts and iron clad repair paths. When we say “this will fix your car” we mean it and we’ll be able to show you that we are not guessing.
Scan tools help a technician communicate the various computers on modern vehicles but often we need to do additional testing. This additional testing usually includes measuring electrical components and related circuits. The most accurate way to do this is with an oscilloscope (also known as a scope). A scope is an advanced and powerful tool that measures voltage and current over time. In trained hands a scope can help make concrete diagnosis easier.
How does a vehicle owner tell a Fix It Shop from a works on cars shop?
It can be tough for a vehicle owner to identify the Fix It Shops from a shops that just works on cars. All shops advertise they have cutting edge diagnostic capabilities so how does one spot the charlatan? The best way is to talk with your family friends and co-workers. Ask who they use and if they are satisfied with their work.
Another great method is to talk to the shop you are interested in going to. Ask if they have factory level scan tools, just like the manufacturer dealer shops or if they are just using an aftermarket tool. The best answer would be “we have both” but any shop that owns the factory tools for the models they work on is probably going to fall into the Fix It Shop category.
Ask what kind of Oscilloscope (scope) they are using, the actually brand doesn’t matter so much as they should know what a scope is. Premium brands would be Pico and Snap-On, other lower quality scopes still indicate a philosophy built on testing to find solutions and not guessing.
Show Me The Fix
Here at Pete’s we pride ourselves in not only tackling tough diagnostic using high tech approaches but we also make sure we share our findings in a way that even non-technicians can easily understand. This transparent approach gives our customers an advantage in making decisions, especially when major repairs are needed. Pictures, videos and written test results puts our customers
Infrared and GoPro cameras are probably not what most would consider normal diagnostic tools but here at Pete’s we utilize both to keep us ahead of the pack