Whether you’re a car hobbyist or a seasoned auto repair technician, you know that finding the cause of that quirky rattle or mysterious thumping can be both frustrating and rewarding. Indeed, the sign of a great repairperson is the ability to diagnose those persnickety problems – and then fix them. The talent for doing so comes from both solid automotive training and, often, many years on the job.
Today, sophisticated automotive equipment requires that service personnel – whether in the capacity of technicians or automotive management jobs – stay on top of the latest technology coming from auto manufacturers around the world. In other words, automotive training doesn’t end with a certification. On the contrary, that certificate is just the beginning.
Although car enthusiasts may be able to tinker around with old, used engines and other used automotive equipment, auto repair technicians are faced with the ever-increasing complexity of the integrated electronics systems and computerized systems that run today’s cars and trucks. Indeed, a vehicle might have as many as four dozen microprocessors. The engine control unit controls spark timing, fuel injectors, and much more, while anti-lock braking systems, air bags, and a myriad of other sensors are controlled by many other microprocessors.
Although the diagnostic tools available to assist auto repair technicians have also become more sophisticated, it still takes continuing education to stay ahead of the proverbial curve and truly understand the nuances of the new vehicles that roll out every year.
There are a few ways that technicians can receive continuing auto training. For those who work for dealerships, the manufacturer or dealership will ensure that the technicians receive ongoing education about their vehicles. Those who work at private repair shops can attend continuing education courses in automotive training at local community colleges and at technical schools. These continuing education courses are often certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which is considered the national standard for automotive training.
Often however, seasoned auto repair technicians turn to one another for advice and assistance. Increasingly, there are online communities that offer a variety of services for professionals. Often, these communities have discussion groups or forums where automotive repair industry technicians can discuss problems and share solutions. There are also a number of articles and downloads available that are written by those in the trenches; often, these articles provide valuable insights, as well as tips and tricks to solve thorny problems.
The need for online communities has grown along with the complexity of cars and trucks. As a source of continuing education in automotive training, such sites and forums often provide shortcuts and innovative methods of auto repair that even the best courses overlook.