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Specialists - a necessity in the repair field

February 1, 2012
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

I saw an advertisement the other day that I can't let pass. Sort of like a gallstone I guess. It was for an automotive shop, and they bragged, "We specialize in foreign and domestic."

Can I be the only one who finds that statement a bit strange? After all, what else is there besides foreign and domestic? So what have they given up in order to work on everything?

My friends do tell me that I'm a bit "picky." If they say much more, I get pickier about picking friends. In my defense, the car repair business requires one to be picky -let's call it discriminating- in choosing repair parts and service techniques in order to satisfy a fairly picky (discriminating) public, who trusts us with their cars. The massive advances in technology enshrined in our cars have made specialization a necessity in the repair field. In fact, today's average car has more computer power in it than the Apollo spacecraft had, so I'm not knocking automotive specialists.

It's a fact that there isn't anyone on the planet who has been trained to repair every system on every make and model vehicle. Nada. Zip. Can't be done. Think about all the different makes, both foreign and domestic, and the fact that they all change radically every year and the number of systems (brakes, transmissions, engines, electronics, power accessories, suspensions, etc.). You can come up with thousands of systems that require specific training to qualify a repairman. By the time one person received all of that training, he/she would be too old to work.

So, we have to specialize. We have a unique way of doing it. We specialize by type of work. We don't specialize by make, except for new car dealerships, which have to stay with one brand to handle warranties. Even within dealerships, they have specialists in various areas, similar to the independent shops. We have transmission shops, muffler shops, paint and body shops, stereo system shops, tire shops and so forth. We also have general shops, similar to primary care medical clinics, where a variety of work is done, but usually not too deeply into any specialty. These shops are useful if you don't know the nature or severity of your problem or which specialist to see. They can fix a large variety of problems and spot future troubles. If they can't handle it, they can sublet it to a specialist or suggest one for you.

Now back to my subject: how in the world does one specialize in "foreign and domestic?" How would a doctor specialize in males and females only? I know. I'm picky.

Larry DeHays, the owner of DeHays Automotive, Inc. of Fort Myers Beach, an ASE certified Technician for 35 years and an arbitrator for the Florida Lemon Law program under the Florida Attorney General, would like to hear your questions about auto care. He can be reached at his shop at 17617 Broadway Ave. near Beach Bowl on San Carlos Boulevard or by phone at 466-3373. Go to www.dehaysautomotive.com for more information.

 
 

 

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