It wasn’t long ago that auto maintenance was a relatively simple task. Most guys would take machine shop at Castro Valley High, and were familiar with major subsystems of their cars. Tools were relatively inexpensive, and pretty much anybody could perform basic auto maintenance, like oil change, in their own garage.
Things started changing in the 1980s, as car manufacturers introduced embedded computers to control various functions inside vehicles. The seminal event was the replacement of a carburetor with electronic fuel injection. For the first time, a critical function of an automobile was controlled by an embedded computer. Moving forward, more and more functions became computer controlled, resulting in modern cars becoming “computers-on-wheels”. Typical car sold today contains dozens of embedded computers, controlling fuel system, braking, air conditioning system, not to mention ADAS – advanced driver assistance systems – which are entirely computerized, including numerous digital sensors and embedded computers to process the information obtained from these sensors. Artificial Intelligence is the next step in the automobile evolution, with self-driving cars already on our roads.
Today, vehicle maintenance and repair requires sophisticated equipment and extensive training to be able to diagnose electrical and computer problems your vehicle may exhibit. While it’s still possible to do an oil change in your garage, it’s one of the few auto maintenance tasks that are still easy to perform on your own.
Most diagnostics and repairs require expensive electronic tools ( professional level automotive trouble code scanner can costs thousands of dollars), understanding of the interaction of various electronic components within your vehicle, and willingness to deal with multiple computer modules that need to communicate and understand each other.
On the positive side, all these computers do make our cars more reliable, tune up is now performed on-the-fly (no need to visit your mechanic), and gas economy and reliability of modern vehicles far exceed those of cars manufactured only 20-30 years ago.
At Adams Autoworx in Castro Valley we stay on top of the latest trends in automotive technology. Our technicians undergo regular training, and we equip them with the state-of-the-art digital diagnostic tools. Hybrid vehicle service and repair is now a routine part of what we do, and with every service or repair, we offer free Digital Vehicle Inspection, with an electronic copy of the results sent to your computer or cell phone. We also offer contactless payment option as well. Yes, automotive repair in Castro Valley has changed, but for the better, we think.