Car Electrical Specialists: The Greasy Fingered Computer Nerds of Today’s Automobile

electricalRobot cars may not yet be a universal reality, but every vehicle is a computer on wheels. The data driven network pulsing under the hood of today’s automobile is more than just an electrical system; it’s practically a Hal-9000! Today’s car electrical specialists are also really just computer nerds who happen to get their hands greasy. The car may seem simple, but underneath things get complicated.

Data to Spot Problems Under the Hood Before They Happen

That data comes in pretty pretty handy when it comes to self diagnosis. As pollution mandates came on board in the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandated ways to monitor the effectiveness of emission and pollutant control systems. This standardized an on-board diagnostics protocol that has evolved into the modern car computer today.

A mechanic who specializes in electrical systems knows how to tap your car’s data to find a wealth of information. Your computer can tell you what’s wrong today but also what might break down in the next hundred miles. Computer data can provide a great heads up to potential mechanical problems so you can meet them head on.

The new computer science that drives cars is also highly hackable. You need to know what you’re doing or you could fry the computer system. A seasoned electrical specialist could modify an engine to provide for supercharged horsepower, for example.

Consider a Car Diagnostics App

The beauty of today’s technology is you often have access to some of the same diagnostic tools our mechanics use in the shop right on your phone. You do have to invest in some parts and purchase an app, but plenty of reliable car diagnostics apps are available on both Android and iPhone.

You can use a car diagnostics app to see if that check engine light is just a faulty sensor or a serious problem that needs to be addressed. You can also diagnose a range of electrical problems, see if you need a new alternator, as well as check the charge on your battery.

You can also get some very valuable driving information, such as gas mileage, braking times and speed to make your driving safer and more fuel efficient. Some insurance companies even offer discounts if you use a monitoring app.

Handy Resources for Car Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting mechanical problems on your vehicle? Some tools are invaluable. An OBD Code Reader, for example, may seem expensive initially, but it can save you needless trips to the mechanic. You plug this into the car anytime you get a check engine light. It will tell you exactly what, if anything, is wrong. That alone can save you nearly $100 every time you use it. A multimeter is just as handy for testing electrical problems with the car. Helms Service models provide a practical mechanic’s Bible for everything wrong with your car, from top to bottom. Many simple problems can be fixed yourself. At least you’ll know when it’s time to call a mechanic.