Information Overload

Is there information overload with OBD II?

"Ideally in the shop you have one guy who's really your diagnostics guy, and everyone else will turn the wrenches and replace the parts that that guy tells them to," he says. "If you want to maximize that guy's time, before the vehicle ever reached him, some entry-level tech could go through with a guided scan tool, and get his codes all printed out, and he's gone through any sensor tests related to those codes, which should only take a minute or two, and now we know, there are ten primary OBD II sensors on this vehicle, and we've verified that every one of them is good, and we've done that with virtually no skill sets. So, that's how you make your skilled guy a lot more productive."


What about productivity in the future?

While some experts consider OBD III a "myth" that's never going to happen, Borrega claims that Networkcar's wireless system is "already OBD III."

The company has a pilot program with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that is modeled after OBD III. "A logical extension of OBD is to ask, 'Why do I have to physically be there and plug the scan tool in? Why can't I receive the information from the vehicle over the air?'" he reasons. "After all, most new vehicles already have a modem in them, connected to the diagnostic bus."

Whether that leads to greater productivity or more overload, only time will tell. The real trick, both now and in the future, is to understand where the information came from, what it means, and how it can make your technicians more effective.

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