We live in a day where job titles are getting a makeover to make them more appealing and politically correct. Secretaries are becoming administrative assistants, stewardesses are becoming flight attendants, and hairdressers are now stylists. So when you take your car in to get fixed and you are confronted by an auto technician, is this merely an auto mechanic hiding behind a vamped up name?
Just in case you weren’t sure, the answer is no. There are several differences between auto mechanics and auto technicians. One key difference is their area of expertise. Auto mechanics are very handy at fixing a variety of parts in your car. Auto technicians are trained to be able to interact with the computers in your car to diagnose the problem.
With the introduction of OBD II (Onboard Diagnostics generation 2) in 1996, car designers began using computers within your car to monitor systems operations. These computers could be hooked up to special equipment at the dealership, and used to discover what was wrong with the car.
As these systems became more complex, so did the training required to work with them. This need created the Auto Technician. Auto technicians are trained especially to work with the computers and the compatible equipment to discover the problems in your car.
While an auto technician’s specialty lies with handling the technical, computer aspects of your vehicle; an auto mechanic is more equipped to handle the mechanical aspects of repair. Additionally, an auto mechanic will likely be able to work on several different types of car while an auto technician, with his specific field of training, tend to be more specific in brands, makes and styles.
Can both get the job done? Yes. Yet if you have specific questions and specific concerns, knowing who you are speaking with can help you get the facts quicker.