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


Robot cars may not yet be a universal reality, but every vehicle built in the last few decades is pretty much 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  specialized computer nerds who also get their hands greasy in your local auto repair shop. The car may seem simple, but the way that things really work underneath the hood gets complicated.

Data Can Spot Problems Under the Hood Before They Happen

Onboard data collection can come in pretty pretty handy when it comes to self diagnosis. As pollution mandates came into effect in the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began to require that cars have the technology to monitor the effectiveness of their own emission and pollutant control systems. This directive standardized an on-board diagnostics protocol that has evolved into the modern car computer that we have today.

A car mechanic who specializes in electrical systems knows how to tap into your car’s data to find a wealth of information which can help with car troubleshooting. In the hands of a car electrical specialist, the data from  your car’s computer can identify today’s problem, and potentially spot 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.

To make things even more interesting, the new computer science that drives cars is also hackable. So, if you know what you are doing, you could mod an engine to get supercharged horsepower. If you don’t, however, you could accidentally fry the whole car’s electrical system. Which would be an expensive mistake. It’s best to leave the in depth computer stuff to the car electrical specialists. 

Consider a Car Diagnostics App to Keep On Top of Things

The beauty of today’s technology is that you can have access to some of the same type of diagnostic tools right on your phone that our mechanics use in the shop. You do have to initially 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, and check the charge on your battery.

Depending on how you use them, car diagnostics apps can also give you some very valuable driving information, that can help keep your driving much safer and more fuel efficient. Some things these apps will track are gas mileage, braking times, and speed. 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.