It used to be that we drove around in giant metal machines, operating purely on fuel and combustion. Things always change, and in today’s world you’re driving around in a high-tech computer. People still view their vehicles as a machine, but a car hasn’t been “just a machine” for the last fifty years! In 1968 Volkswagen introduced the first computer controlled function in a vehicle; the electronic fuel injector. This advancement in the car industry was huge! The ECU is now a standard seen in all vehicles, emerging in the 1960’s and still used today. By 1986 we had our first auto-driven cars, in 2017 Tesla introduced self driving semi-trucks, and today we’re looking at vehicles that are almost completely self-sufficient.
This loose timeline is just that, very loose. Imagine all the advancements between the 60’s and today. Now imagine the advancements technicians have seen, working on these vehicles day in and day out. The industry now requires certified technicians, who have undergone training through each manufacturer in order to understand the innermost workings of these computers and the machine themselves. This is all great, because we want our technicians to be the best at what they do. When you put it all together though, what does that mean for you, the customer?
The biggest thing all these computers have changed during our repair process is time. We no longer have the ability to do one day bumper jobs, because that Audi A6 you drive has three sensors in the front bumper that allow you to feel a little bit safer in your car, but also require us to calibrate them if we remove or have to adjust the bumper. Every vehicle newer than 2008 is equipped with sensors in the passenger seat that signal occupancy and when to deploy airbags in the event of a crash, and has to be reset each time you’re in any minor collision. These sensors are a wonderful safety feature, but in that effort to ensure safety we’re also looking at additional time in a simple repair.
We do our best to get your vehicles returned to pre-accident condition as soon as we can, but we also want your vehicle to be safe, efficient, and in proper working order before we return the vehicle to you. So when you get frustrated at how long your repairs are taking, consider the type of vehicle you drive, and the computer systems you use each day. The more complicated and high tech your vehicle is, the longer the repairs will take. So, yes, it does take that long, but rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to get your vehicle repaired and back to you safe and sound.