I would like to start this off, by telling a little about myself. I'm in Albany NY, about 200 miles north of NYC. I own and operate a mobile programming/diagnostics business. I am the sole employee. I own/operate every OEM scantool, with the exception of the super cars. I go in a lot of shops, and new and used dealers. I've observed several points over the years.
- Most shops are honest, hard working, and try to fix the cars properly.
- Auto techs can be a fragile bunch. If we think someone is more knowledgeable, we can get defensive, real defensive. It may just be human nature.
- A little humbleness and empathy goes a long way, and it doesn't take much.
I am going to keep this short so people don't get bored.
When this network started I thought, wow this is it. It was told to me to be the anti drama network. No judging, no drama, just techs who genuinely give a crud about helping other techs and fixing cars.
However. I've observed, the lack of the average Joe posting on here, myself included.
What I mean by average Joe is, no major corporate diagnostic groups, no training group, no educational facility, just an average Joe wrenching on cars, I'm an average Joe and proud of it. I am in the shops everyday, hands on, fixing cars, loving it!
I am posting this in hopes of getting those of us who are just as intimidated as me, to post, contribute and ask or answer questions. Nobody I know, wants this to be adversarial. I don't think it has to be. I think this could be a great network. I've also learned that networking is everything!! Nobody can fix everything, Nobody.
In full disclosure I have talked several times with the owner of this network regarding the intimidation issue and the reasons why the majority of the posts are from a handful of people/corporations/groups. I must also tell you, I am posting this on my own accord. Nobody prompted me. If I did not care about fixing cars and this cause, I would not stick my neck out like this.
This post is for the average Joe. If you want to post, post! As long as it's appropriate, professional and legal, You have my support. I have also promised myself, and Mr Brown, I will push past the intimidation factor, and contribute.
This profession needs more camaraderie, a greater sense of brotherhood and I'm on board for it, even though I'm just an average Joe.
I feel this had to be said.
In hopes of spreading some good karma, my phone number is … My phone is on all the time. Literally! If I don't answer, I always call back. If I can help someone, It is my pleasure, because at some point, I guarantee, I will need help and probably sometime real soon.
Thanks for reading, Dean
Awsome post Dean! From one Average Joe to another: thanks!
Thank you for the awesome post! There have been a few of us average every day techs posting on here. Everyone in the trained by techs group works on cars every day just like you, some of us mobile and some still working in a shop. We are doing our best to encourage others to post any questions they may have so we can all learn together. We are hoping to help make this network a great learning experience for all involved.
Also I see you are from Albany NY. I was born and raised in Sodus Point NY and was living in Oswego NY until 6 months ago when I moved away. Its awesome to see a fellow upstate NYer in here. I would say being a mobile diagnostic tech in that area puts you above the average Joe! You're on here networking with the rest of us and that says a lot.
If our group can ever be of any help to you please don't hesitate to ask, we'd love to help and network with another like minded individual.
Thanks for the kind words. Believe me, I am average. Humbleness and empathy, humbleness and empathy. But I appreciate it just the same, good looking out!
P.S. Mrs … grew up and went to college in Oswego.
Thanks Dean, that is very encouraging. I joined this network to make an effort to get back into this car repair business. I did it for a lot of years, then had to get out for awhile, so I am like the babe in the woods , so to speak,
I am a one man shop owner, tech and diagnostician...it has not been easy and perhaps I should just get back out again.
I don't have much to contribute, but take all the posts to heart and save what seems pertinent knowing I can go back and look others up.
I have been a member of IATN for many years and thought this was a great idea...so here I am.
Anything I can get out of this I am happy for and also happy for now to be a part of this site, be it a "lurker" or hopefully a contributor at some point. Thanks!!
Dean, I'm an average Joe myself, I just signed up a few days ago and I'm hoping to be able to apply some of my own case studys here in the next few days.
I hear your message and I hope that I maybe able to comply sooner than later.
I've just got my hands full on a 12 hr work schedule.
Need to keep time for the family.
Personally I've enjoyed what I've seen so far and am hoping to contribute as well I just explained.
Thank you for the shout out and u hope your message is heard as clear as I understood it.
Have a good evening.
My pleasure Michael, thanks for taking the time to read and respond.
Nice post Dean.
I have been wanting to post for some time but have been backlogged with work which is a good thing.
Plus, I have stepped away from posting for various personal reasons. I have been more in "lurking" mode.
You bring up some good points on camaraderie and such. I hope to see DN turn into that vision.
Well said! I want to encourage the intimidated by admitting that I, as a writer, and others like me aren't 'all-knowing experts'. Remember, as a full time tech you fix more cars than we do! People in my corner of the industry build the best curriculum when we ask people like YOU the right questions. I have a circle of techs that I regularly consult, and then I tell our collective story about best practices and new diagnostic ideas. The point is, the average joe's are where all of the best ideas come from.
Nice post Dean and I truly hope to see more of yours. Im a everyday tech and agree nobody knows it all. By the way do you have a suzuki scan tool I could borrow lol. In all seriousness I wanna encourage everyone to make posts here and want this to grow into something great. I know there is a ton of hidden talent out there and I support bringing everyone up with no judgement. My overall goal is to see people fixing cars the right way the first time. I think if we can get more people here we can have a huge knowledge base we can lean on when we need it. Email me personally or Via Messenger if you ever need anything. I try to help everyone I can
Good lookin out, thanks for the post. Suzuki programming is a dumpster fire, I agree.
Good evening Dean. Thanks for posting. I know there has been a lot of activity as of late, maybe some of it advanced.
I can speak for myself and probably all of the Trained by Techs guys in saying we are excited for this new platform. We are all in the thick of it fighting to get these vehicles repaired (Not so much me anymore, I mostly ride a desk). We all share the desire to pass on the knowledge we had to fight to get. We all feel that if we make the advanced stuff commonplac, the entire industry can move forward. This is the defining principle that TBT was formed on
I agree that all knowledge levels should be represented and nobody should feel discouraged. That’s why I fully support this forum. That’s why me and the rest of Trained by Techs are jumping in with both feet. No egos, no BS
Working together, we will accomplish GREAT things.
I would agree. This venue in my opinion was not designed to be the "Once in a lifetime" case study type discussion network. Topics relevant to the endeavors we face on a daily basis should also be included in the discussion. This venue is also a great choice for discussion for training events, management tips and tricks, team work building ideas etc.
All things professional automotive repair is where I'd personally like to see this network go. An average Joe, like myself, should not fear to ask any question or comment or ask a question about a question etc in this network. If there is something you are unsure of or need further explanation, you must speak up. We must elevate one another to help this industry grow to where it SHOULD be. It cannot be held back any longer and with the help of this network, I feel we can break that barrier and become one step closer to where we all would like to be.
Truth be told, I've been a little timid of posting on here. I guess it's the fact there so much talent/knowledge here. I've been doing this a long time but am FAR from being on the level of the educators sharing their knowledge on here.
Well, I guess you may have broke the ice....
Many people are Intimidated. Its unfortunate. I try to ask questions or answer questions when I see something arise that I feel others want to know. I feel people should worry less about what others think.
Really good topic Dean.
Right on Bill, thanks for taking the time to respond.
I expect after talking with Scott that he is the expert in creating and maintaining social learning environments. (It all started with is phone dial BBS.) Another aspect that I believe is very important, Scott is a tech and a shop owner. And he has a vast unique level of experience within many aspects of the industry. Simply put, he understands the needs from the shop floor up.
And of course, this all adds up to the potential of how this platform will be able to grow and adapt to our changing/developing environment...which is getting more complex by the day. Great to read your post and see the responses.
I really appreciate this post. Thank you.
I have been teaching and developing courses for ten years. (Automotive) Until recently I was doing it in conjunction with a small business like yours. I was fixing cars, sometimes until mid afternoon, getting cleaned up and driving to class. I would teach until ten at night, drive home and start again in the morning. Later, I was involved with training for large companies and traveled all over the country.
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to teach still, even at large events. I start my classes with new groups the same way. "My name is Jim … and I don't know everything" then I ask them if that is ok. Never had a complaint. The more we learn the more we realize how much more learning there is to chase. I really believe that every trainer should be looking for an opportunity to learn in every class. The best learning environments are comfortable with everyone engaged. Discussions as opposed to lectures.
So please, post away. I look forward to learning from you and everyone else here. No matter what is tagged behind a name there are lots of Average Joes here and that is a great thing.
Well said Dean. This is my 50th year in the trade, with a 38 year GM association after 12 years independent/Mazda and owning my own shop. The longer that I am associated with the trade, the more I find it a daunting prospect and challenge for technicians to grasp some of the advances in new technologies. Now, while I served my time in the bays performing most every type of "line" and technical repair, plus was mobile circa 1979, I tell my students that I'm still a "grunt", just the same as them. I was fortunate that my work ethic and skills were noticed, allowing me a sideways career move to instruction, just a the time when my body was calling "enough."
You will find me at work, pushing a broom along side my students, taking out the trash and leading by example from what I learned in the bays. I am fortunate to have moved from technician to instructor some years ago, to facilitate some specific learning, that sets the foundation for some of the more advanced stuff we see here. I do create some case studies, work on broken vehicles and have never forgotten my own learning path where I was initially self-taught. There are many times when I still feel humbled and know that I might have done a better job on a diagnosis. I pride myself in being an "Average Joe", who has been fortunate for especially the past 38 years to have enjoyed some useful learning experiences and have experience the benefit of tools and training that others might never have available.
Despite many higher level case studies that are presented here, most facilities whether dealership or independent, spend a significant amount of time working on more routine service and repairs. While some may be more mundane, it is hard to escape the technology that has covered most every vehicle system that was once only mechanical in nature.
FWIW, don't assume that a well-presented case study was a 5 minute revelation. In reality, that is rarely the case, as it is always easy to create a post that is near mind-boggling, after spending some time feeling like your butt was being kicked. That is the part that some self-proclaimed "gurus" or "prima donnas" leave out, which tends to alienate them from the "Average Joe", who is left with a feeling of intimidation.
Also, the last thing we do usually fixes the vehicle and often while we may utilize a logical path, we may actually stumble across the fault through educated and practiced routines. "Gift wrapping" it can make many of us "ordinary" folks appear to be a cut above, but if the truth be known, anyone with a strong work ethic and sound basic skill sets can get most of it done.
I am one of the unusual few who is still proud to be an automotive technician, after starting out in engineering which in contrast, was rather boring back in 1968. Nothing can be more enjoyable than a diagnostic challenge, but I still change my own oil, work on my own vehicles whether it is routine or advanced technology work. I am a regular "Average Joe" and welcome more to the mix where we can all share and learn together. There is plenty of room for those of us who routinely get our hands dirty in our daily work, so Dean, please feel comfortable that you are not alone.
Great post Dean! I agree with you 100%. I’m a fleet tech doing repairs and diags. Im looking forward to learning and growing amongst all of you. Some posts are over my head but that’s alright because it’s a learning process. I thank you for starting this post.
Great post, Dean. I think the people you may be referring to are experts in what they are posting, but overall very open minded and humble people. I agree, this place will increase in value as more people participate. For anyone that feels intimidated about posting, think about this, you are one of the top techs in the industry. By dedicating your free time to come on here and read you have already set yourself apart from the "average tech". Think about the bell curve. The bulk of techs fall into the middle, and then there are the below average techs at the left. In my opinion everyone on this site falls somewhere into the right. Hopefully thinking about that can boost member confidence moving forward. I would agree that we can all be a little fragile. When replying we can all try to take that into consideration, ask more questions or give an example instead of telling someone they are wrong. When someone challenges an idea you posted about be open minded, see it as a learning opportunity or conversation starter, not an attack on your credibility. We are leaders in the industry, great leaders accept challenges and use them to become even better.
Dean, I have been a one man show, mobile tech for over 35 years. For most that time I thought I was just "gutting it out" doing with what little knowledge I thought I had. Turns out, after all that time in the trenches, I have a wealth of knowledge and experiences that some don't have. My calls to other shops and the advice I am giving to younger techs has increased over the last few years. My point is, to all the average Joe's out there, do not underestimate yourselves, just the fact that you are here means you are not "average"
Great points ! I totally agree. Over the years we not only gain knowledge but hopefully wisdom. Wisdom will help us make good judgments based on our past experiences.
I am an average joe, and I have posted a couple of questions here, like you would at Scott's previous site. Both times, I got no real help, because they were both things that nobody had seen before, and couldn't really help with. The second post I made got downvoted so that it was -1, and that made me a little upset, because I thought this site was supposed to be a collaborating, and not just case studies. What I have noticed, is that this site is filling up with case studies, which will make it more like another site, which is for shotgun diagnosis, which Scott clearly stated that he does not want this site to be for that purpose at all.
If us average joes keep getting downvoted for asking honest questions, this site will become nothing more than a depository for case studies, and no better than the shotgun diagnosis site.
From one Average Joe to another I feel your pain the struggle is real. I also had the same concerns with the voting system and had the same thing happen to me. I am not sure but I believe they have some things in the works for the voting system.
I think this network is going to be a great Network and that's what it is, a network not a forum.
If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to call me. Again I feel your pain but I do believe that this will grow.
I'm sorry to hear you state that you didn't get any real help. With the Rover post, one thing I noticed is that it appears that you tried to ID the vehicle with the VIN decoder and that apparently didn't work at the time for which I apologize. (There is a way to ID the vehicle without the VIN though.) Since we now have editing, I just added the VIN to that post so now the vehicle is attached. We will be doing more to draw more attention to vehicle/carline related posts in the future so help like this gets attention.
Just wanted to let you know where we're going with the voting system. Our goal is to highlight positive content and help those that have their posts rated negatively. Additionally, we want to know why folks are rating content negatively. If it's abuse, we want to know why this is happening and will do what we can to stop it, as this is not the behavior we want. In essence, we want folks to behave professionally and if they come across something that truly deserves a positive or negative vote, then so be it. For example, if a post/response get's negative votes because the information was inaccurate or misleading, the author should be informed. If the negative votes were because the author failed to provide proper/clear info, etc, we want to be able to assist the member in correcting this.
We see at least two benefits, one, the communication is clearer and two, the author will most likely benefit through example. Just so you and others know, one behavior we've noticed is that some folks may be clicking on the up down arrows trying to understand what they do. We intend on doing a better job making the voting system clearer. I went to look at your two requests and didn't see the -1 you're referring to.
In regards to your "shotgun diagnosis" comment, I'm having trouble parsing your correlation. If someone is sharing a case study that articulates the challenge, the thought process involved, testing techniques and the ultimate result, how is that promoting "parts changing"? To me a case study is a learning opportunity and this is what we want out of this new platform. We want members here to be part of a learning culture, sharing knowledge, best practices, etc and more importantly, this is all about building a foundation that provides a supportive environment conducive in helping solve for the ever increasing challenges the transportation fleet is presenting to service bays everywhere.
Please let me know your thoughts. I believe that open dialogue is healthy dynamic.
The post that had -1 was my post on the sprinter. within an hour of me posting it, it had -1. By the time I posted my last update on it, it was back to zero, so I figured that someone must have upvoted it.
What I mean by "shotgun diagnosis", is that some users will search for an issue, come across the case study, and wind up trying the repair in the case study, rather than actually diagnosing the issue.
Don't get me wrong, I love case studies, I just wish there was more actual discussion going on here.
Well, then start the discussion.
The case studies are presented and if there is information you dont understand or want to know more about,get into it. I dont worry about what some "users" will do with the information. I think this site is more of a critical thinking site than a silver bullet site,IMO.....
Sean I think if we hang in there it will get better.
I've also seen some posts with negative votes that didn't make any sense to me why anyone would down vote them. They were just normal posts and I didn't see anything out of the ordinary that would cause someone to down vote it. I did notice that on mobile devices the up and down arrows are small and close to each other, so maybe sometimes its a "fat finger" issue. I think once you accidentally down vote you can't change your vote, is that correct?
It’s possible that this could be a fat-finger issue or I suspect that some may think that the arrows might be the previous and next button. Not sure on the why but we certainly plan on asking those that downvote for their reason why.
You can change your vote at anytime. One of the things we’ve discussed internally is creating a budget around your votes which in turn would make one think of what the vote will cost them...
I dunno. I like the content being presented. The case studies have a tremendous amount of information and are far more than silver bullets,IMO.
Personally,Im here to learn rather than ask for help. Im not "intimidated" by any of the presenters here, I just genuinely enjoy the information they are providing. If I have questions,I ask.
Id really hate to see this site become some sort of social hub for camaraderie. There is already a site like that.
I specifically got on-board because of the promise of SMEs (subject matter experts) in their respective fields and the ability to pick their brains if need be, as well as the ability to bounce ideas of of diag techs who practice that particular craft regularly.
I suppose Scott and others have work to do if they intend to cater to everyones expectations of what they feel the site should be....
Great post Dean, we’re all Joes in this profession. Every day is a school day. I’m no different than you except that I spin the social media and YouTube wheels. I Diag cars each day and I scratch my head frequently. That’s why I’m here, to learn and to share. Be awesome and post some more. Cheers, Steve.
I look at it this way. We are all just average Joes. Some of us just have more experience and training than others.
This trade is very humbling to say the least. Every time someone (myself included) thinks he's the hotshot, he gets a vehicle in that he has trouble with.
I keep myself grounded by knowing the next vehicle that comes in may be the one that kicks my butt! Keeps my head from swelling!
Just my thoughts.
Thanks for posting. I agree. When it comes to experience and traning, I've learned, some are more humble than others.
As some others have mentioned, the average Joe can be pretty busy both at work with expectations of getting jobs done, and at home with family. That's how it is with me anyway.
I think about case studies all the time at work, but I haven't developed a routine yet that will allow me to collect data and info, and then later put it all together into something presentable. This could be part of the reason why the average Joe doesn't post as much.