The Best Part About Electric Vehicles

The Best Part About Electric Vehicles

I have figured out, hands down, the best part about electric vehicles.

I don’t get involved in opinionated discussions about electric vehicles (EVs). Do I have an opinion? Sure, but I’m more interested in the facts, and I get them from both sides. Whether you support or oppose them, it’s a deep subject that can be viewed in different ways. I understand both viewpoints, so I’m just neutral on the conversation. Maybe that’s my opinion. Neutral.

I do think there’s a lot more than meets the eye whichever side you’re on, and I think the future is the only way we’re going to know the ultimate success of EVs, which will be long after my tank of gas runs out and I coast through those pearly gates (I hope)!

But, regardless of which way you feel about these new electron-burners, I have figured out, hands down, the best part about them. It is the charging system, and to be exact, when the charging system isn’t working!

Think about all the other problems with cars. Fuel leaks, oil leaks, coolant leaks. They all get ignored until they make a huge mess and make it more difficult for us to fix. Or the car catches on fire or smokes and stinks as it goes down the road. Then, there’s the rattle noise that gets fixed by turning up the radio, until it turns into a grinding noise and eventually a car that gets towed in, and I can’t believe how much we’re charging to fix it! You know the stories!

So, here’s the EV connection. If you can’t charge the battery, you go nowhere! This is a huge benefit to auto technicians. Vehicle owners can’t ignore the problem. “It’s just a small leak, it’s not that bad yet, I’ll fix it at the next oil change, I’m only keeping this car for another month.” All the excuses will be gone. No charge…no go.

And DIYers won’t be diving much into this. It’s too dangerous. Now, we’ll get problems in our shop as they happen, long before they get passed around to every “expert” in someone’s phonebook.

What happens now when a car has a problem? It gets Googled, then YouTubed. Somebody buys some parts and throws them on. It doesn’t fix the problem. Then, they go to an auto parts store and buy what the scan tool tells them. Or, maybe they craft some ingenious remedy of their own. When none of this works, the vehicle owner doesn’t have enough money left for a professional diagnosis, and for some reason they think we should take pity on them.

This will all be a thing of the past. The more things that are electrical, the more we’ll see in our shops from the get-go. This EV thing is looking better all the time. I’m sure there’ll be weird stuff with EVs, and who’s to say the scope of diagnosis won’t take us off-site with a potential cause of the problem (the charger) being located at someone’s house. Who knows what kind of bizarre sleuthing we’ll have to do to get to the root of weird problems, like a neighbor who secretly “borrows” a power cord over night for their own EV. I can see it now. TS

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Open Up Your Scan Tool Options

Buying a scan tool can be difficult.

In today’s competitive world of business, considering the coverage of a scan tool is an important decision that directly affects the productivity of technicians, but can also open opportunities for your shop. Buying a scan tool is difficult. In the past, we had more concerns over operation and operating systems, as the technology wasn’t up to par.Today’s scan tools leave that concern behind, with computer technology rarely in question, but now it’s important to shift our focus on what we can ultimately do with our scan tool. Initially, we ask, is the coverage adequate for the cars we work on? But, we also need to consider the additional benefits a scan tool can offer to a technician, such as technical data, repair information, repair times, technical service bulletins, recalls and troubleshooting procedures.Features such as this hold considerable value at the fingertips of a technician. But, there’s still more to consider. What direction will your shop, or you take in the future? As mechanics, we always knew we could fix anything. If need be, we’d work on a lawnmower, motorcycle, boat or tractor.Our mechanical skillset hasn’t changed, but multiple industries have faced the same challenges and advancements as automotive. And, while it’s probably out-of-sight, out-of-mind, if you decide to work on anything outside your normal repertoire, you’ll find it’s equipped with just about the same technology. Except one thing, the protocol.When you buy a scan tool, will it have options for motorcycle, marine and offroad vehicles? What about heavy trucks? They’re all valid ways to make money. They’re broken, and you can fix them. That is if your scan tool supports the protocol.Protocol is nothing more than an electronic language; the way in which a scan tool can communicate with different types and makes of vehicles. While all automobiles sold in the US since 2008 follow a standard CAN protocol, there are still different aspects of it depending on vehicle manufacturer, and there were multiple protocols pre-2008. Motorcycles, commercial trucks, off-highway vehicles, and marine all utilize a common type of CAN network which we are familiar with, but again with different protocols.When considering a scan tool, your primary concern is automotive diagnostics. But what else is it capable of? Can it open other options for service opportunities? Does the scan tool manufacturer support additional protocols and is this scan tool compatible with other equipment to capitalize on these other industries? Depending on your vision for the future, these are all important questions to answer.Another important factor is Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) service and calibration. This is the hot topic in the industry, and the expanded need for service will be coming quickly. Your scan tool will need to not only perform the diagnostics on these systems, but will it need to have compatibility with ADAS calibration equipment. Technology isn’t slowing down, and you can’t afford to buy two scan tools. Make sure your next purchase has the options you need now and in the future. TS

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