Not Your Father’s Olsmobile
This Is NOT Your Father’s Oldsmobile
Have you heard that slogan in the Oldsmobile commercial of a few years ago?
What better way to say that the staid and stuffy Oldsmobile sedan that your father used to drive around town is now a sporty, elegant and stylish expression of our times. In fact, it isn’t just your father’s Oldsmobile…it’s Toyota, Volvo, VW, Mazda, Chevrolet, Ford, and Jaguar.
But what could be different? Your car still has four tires, doesn’t it? You still put the ignition key in the ignition cylinder and turn it the same direction to start the car, don’t you? It starts, stops, and runs just about the same way cars and trucks always have. So how much could have changed?
Ask anyone who repairs and services late-model cars and trucks that question, then sit back and relax; you’re going to get more of an answer than you bargained for. Ask me that question and I’ll tell you just how much that car or truck has changed over the past ten or twelve years and what those changes mean to you and your family. I’m a Professional Automotive Repair Technician and I deal with those changes every day.
Primarily the changes have to do with electronics technology throughout the entire vehicle. Since the late 1970’s and particularly through the early 1980’s, we began to see more microprocessors popping up everywhere.
Why? Primarily it’s a way for the automotive manufacturer to meet spiraling series of ever more stringent emission requirements. As the requirements became more severe, the systems became more sophisticated, finally becoming the fully-integrated electronic engine control management systems we see today.
Today, we see electronically controlled automatic transmissions, electronically controlled active suspension systems, electronically controlled climate centers, active radar systems, satellite control systems, finger touch starting systems, and four-wheel steering systems. Ignition systems are so sophisticated that points are no longer required and the distributor itself is superfluous.
Anti-lock braking systems depend on those microprocessors to prevent the wheels from locking up during a panic stop. Similar sensors and electronic modules monitor and control traction. Fuel injection and electronic ignition operation are monitored and controlled throughout an infinite range of possible driving conditions. Body control, comfort, fuel delivery, and ignition are often fully integrated by yet another computer with it’s primary function of communications.
Smaller, lighter, more powerful cars achieve fuel economy ratings that were inconceivable just a few short years ago. Engine control and fuel management systems are adaptable enough to compensate even for their own failures.
No, this isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile and that’s where the problems began. These cars and trucks are so much more sophisticated, normal maintenance requirements are even more crucial. The use of sophisticated electronic control modules, sensors and actuators, and the cost of replacement parts has become, in some cases, astronomical. Because of the advent of all this space-age technology, a well-educated and properly trained technician has never been more critical. The importance of the proper diagnostic tools and equipment never more vital.
The flood of technical literature is staggering. The Society of Automotive Engineers acknowledges the amount of technical service information is doubling every ninety days! The 65,000 pages of technical literature necessary to stay current and competent fifteen years ago has mushroomed into well over 1,000,000 pages of information today. (In 1993-94 Ford published 1,000,000 pages of technical literature for it’s product alone!)
Who can be expected to keep up? Who will diagnose, service, and repair these computer-controlled vehicles? The same people who have always shared those responsibilities…you and I…the motorist and the Professional Automotive Repair Technician. In order to do that properly and intelligently, we both have to understand and appreciate the fact that things have changed.
So, this is not your father’s Oldsmobile, and that isn’t such a bad thing. Today’s vehicles have more power, better fuel economy, and greater performance as a result of this incredible technology. It will also run better longer.
Your Father’s Garage
This isn’t your father’s garage or mechanic, despite the fact that we still care about you and your car as deeply as we always have. DME Auto Service is just as high-tech as the cars and trucks we work on. We have made the commitment to enter this new age by dedicating ourselves to the automotive service education necessary to remain current. We have made the capitol investment necessary to equip our shop properly. We are dedicated as ever to the satisfaction of your automotive service needs.
Understand and appreciate all these changes, and you will enjoy owning and operating that new car or truck. Maintain it properly, and the rewards will be lower overall costs of operation, less frustration, and an increased service life expectancy.