As I gaze out my office window to the west, I think back to the spring of 1991 when we finished building our Performance Tune facility. I used to be able to see the foothills clearly, now there is a gas station and the senior center mostly blocking the view. One thing hasn’t changed: the hand prints of three young children ages 5, 3 and 2 in the cement slab in the play area just outside my window. How things have changed: carburetors have morphed into fuel injection; brakes have gone from drum to disk; and the eye and ear for diagnosis have been replaced by sophisticated electronic tools.
With change has come an increase in fuel mileage efficiency; improved stopping ability with antilocking brake control systems; and quieter and smoother rides. And we get these and other benefits at a price.
Our vehicles have virtually doubled in price and upkeep has done the same. In order to repair today’s highly computer controlled vehicles we have to first perform tests with expensive equipment and analyze data to determine the causes of problems. Yes, we still use our senses: sight, hearing and smell but not to the extent we did before this revolution in vehicle manufacturing.
The other day, a caller asked if we charge for diagnosis and I explained that with the recent purchase of a $10,000 diagnostic tool and paying our mechanics a salary, it is no longer possible to work “for free”. Most people today understand and just ask for the cost of diagnostic work, so it is not quite the issue it was a decade ago.
What’s next on the horizon for the next decade? You can expect to see fuel being injected directly in the the ignition cylinders of the engine. We are moving away from the current generation of carbon dioxide contaminating freon in the air conditioning system to one which is much gentler on the air. You can expect to have to change the oil in your car or truck much less frequently, starting at 5,000 miles now and for some synthetics two or more times that. These are the big ones. Many more will be less noticeable.
Time marches on and we will continue to keep pace at Performance Tune. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at email@example.com.