Keep an eye on the electrics
The last twenty has seen tremendous technological development of the motor car, to the point where all new vehicles are now equipped with some form of management system or 'electronic control unit' (ECU), which monitors and operates fuelling and ignition.
Increasingly, ECUs are also being used for braking and safety systems, transmissions, suspension, steering and air conditioning.
Today's vehicles have more on-board computing power than an Apollo space capsule. To keep a vehicle operating efficiently, they need to provide optimum power, economy, comfort and safety, couple with a minimum of exhaust emissions. Many owners would be surprised to know that the electronic 'brain' in their car makes a desktop PC look like a pocket calculator. Fault finding and repair of these systems requires specialist expertise. There's also the requirement for repairers to stay abreast of new trends and technology developments. Hand in glove with this, goes what is often a substantial investment in dedicated diagnostic test equipment. So if you're looking for a specialist repairer, bear in mind that they'll need to meet those requirements in order to be able to test and track down faults on your vehicle, and then eliminate any found defects efficiently .
As more and more routine servicing operations and adjustments can only be carried out by linking electronically with the on-board computers of even the most basic of cars, many electronic-repair experts have seen their business grow significantly, in recent years.
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With cars becoming increasingly complex in the next decade and beyond, the importance of finding a reliable and knowledgeable expert is becoming even more important. Who knows, as well as a regular oil change, your car's vital parts may one day need a regular 'brain scan'...