Auto Service World
News   October 20, 2010   by Auto Service World

Impact of Technology Unpredictable

Automotive Service Association vice-president of training and education, Bill Haas ,says that technology will affect the mechanical and the collision repair industries in ways that can’t be predicted.
Speaking at the AIA Ontario Grand Forum, Haas said that technologies such as transmissions without dipsticks, and cars that prevent collisions will continue to challenge shops who are on the receiving end of the changes.
Haas is one of the speakers presenting topics during breakout sessions at the forum in Toronto.
“I actually had a shop call to complain that a car had been mistakenly built without a dipstick,” he said. Now just telling what the fluid level in a transmission requires special tools and procedures. “You need a $65 dipstick, it has to be at a certain temperature, and you need a chart to tell you what the fluid level should be.”
On the collision repair side, vehicle features such as collision avoidance and brake application will reduce collisions outright, while developments such as the use of carbon fiber fenders and roof elements found on the new Corvette ZR-1 are sure to drive up the cost of repair.
Those roof elements are left “natural” carbon fibre, which requires the use of a special clear coat to protect it from UV rays. “That clearcoat costs $60,000 a gallon. I can imagine the insurance adjusters face when you tell him that.”
However, Haas also expressed a great degree of confidence in the service industry for being able to deal with the technologies emerging.
“We have had hybrids for 10 years now. They are being serviced and we haven’t had anyone electrocuted. And it happened without an organized plan. When you consider that, we’ve got a pretty amazing industry for being able to deal with these changes.”

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