Intermittent electrical problems on a car or truck are among the repairs that service technicians dread most, especially if they work on a flat-rate pay system that requires them to find and fix issues quickly.
You might think that with driver-assist features such as Nissan's ProPilot Assist and General Motors' Super Cruise rolling out, along with the growing electrification of the drivetrain, the electrical bugs that infest today's vehicles will only multiply. Maybe not.
It's stayed under the radar outside Detroit, but automakers and suppliers have been busy creating the next generation of electrical systems, the first of which are debuting now. And the implications for the dealership service lane are substantial.
On one hand, if these new electrical architectures perform as envisioned, repairs should be easier, faster and far less complex. Higher tech productivity on electrical system repairs could help ease the technician shortage at some dealerships.
On the other hand, more customers will get their vehicles serviced without ever coming to the dealership. I don't have to tell you how losing the chance to inspect a vehicle could affect fixed ops revenue. Many customers don't know they need an alignment or tires until you show them.