Modern mechanic shops are very different from the ones of thirty to forty years ago. Since computers began entering cars in the early nineties, mechanics have needed more devices in their shops to help diagnose different problems related to these extra internal machines. There are several more things you should see in a modern mechanic's shop that you might not have seen years before.
Charging Stations and Plugs for Electric Cars
With the onslaught of completely electric cars and hybrid cars, modern mechanics have needed charging stations and plug stations for these vehicles. They are quite expensive to install, but without them the mechanics would have no way to move or start these vehicles when checking and testing systems. If you enter the garage and see a post with a large outlet on top, that is usually the charging station for electric cars. The charging station may also be located to the side or middle of the work aisles between the cars in the shop.
Environmental groups have placed high demands on the recycling of vehicle fluids, including oil. As such, modern mechanics have installed oil pits in their garages for any fluid service. The entire area below these pits provides the mechanic access to the underbelly of the vehicle without airlifting it. It also allows the mechanic to stand upright underneath and catch fluids as they drain out, placing the fluids in acceptable containers for recycling and then wiping down these areas so that the fluids do not drip or run when the services provided are complete.
California was one of the first states to insist that all vehicles be checked for smog standards prior to registering the vehicles. It used to be that this service was provided by the DOT, but now smog-detection units are available to mechanics for use in the garage. As such, your vehicle can be checked for smog standards any time just with a visit to your mechanic. If the car passes inspection, the mechanic gives you an official piece of paper that allows you to register your vehicle for the next year. If the car does not pass, your vehicle has to stay in the shop until the problem is resolved and the smog detector does not detect an issue with your vehicle.
If you want to know whether your chosen mechanic has kept up with the times, ask them whether you can see their garage. They may be very inclined to show off the instruments in the shop or let you take a safe look around. You may spot several other modern machines, tools, and gadgets that have been added to mechanics' shops in the last twenty to thirty years.
As the son and grandson of mechanics, I spent much of my child hood under the hood of many cars. I have listened and learned about so many different problems and how to repair them effectively. I created this blog to cover as many car problems as possible without overwhelming readers. You will find tips for troubleshooting, advice for when to take it to a professional and suggestions for when to stop driving the car or truck immediately to prevent further and more costly damage. We hope that you find all of this information helpful and useful, allowing you to have a great running car.