What Are the Different Types of Auto Repair Software? Definition, Meaning and Concept
The two main types of auto repair software are used for diagnostics or to manage the main office. Auto repair diagnostic software can contain a wealth of knowledge, including repair procedures, troubleshooting instructions, known good values for sensors, and other invaluable information. This software is often available in separate foreign and domestic editions, and may also cover specific makes of vehicle. Specialized auto repair software is also available for advanced diagnostic tools, some of which can be quite sophisticated computing devices. The front-end software can include estimators,
Historically, mechanics got most of their information from repair manuals and experience. A handful of different publishers generated useful information and provided it in book form. Two main types of these books were diagnostic manuals and flat rate guides. Diagnostic manuals contained repair specifications and procedures, and flat rate guides had estimates of how long each specific job should take. With the widespread use of personal computers in the workplace, this type of information was translated into auto repair software.
Most modern auto repair facilities have some type of computerized information system to aid in diagnosis and repairs. The simplest form of this is a single computer terminal with a set of compact discs (CDs) or digital versatile discs (DVDs) containing repair procedures, specifications, and other information. A technician can enter the year, make, and model of a vehicle into this type of system to look up specific information. Some of these software programs also include a variety of schematic, wiring, and exploded view diagrams.
There are a few variants of this basic type of auto repair software. Some service providers offer all of this information through an Internet connection. In this way, the technician or workshop pays a monthly fee to access information that is always up to date. Similar services offer critical bulletins and repair procedures that have been compiled by real technicians in the field. Software is also typically available for dedicated scanner and diagnostic equipment, and some programs can even turn a laptop into a scan tool.
The other main type of auto repair software is typically used in the main office. Flat rate estimation is one of the most important functions of this software. This type of software allows a technician or service writer to enter a year, make and model of a vehicle to see how long a given repair should take. These flat rate numbers can be combined with the parts price to create an estimate. This type of software can also offer scheduling functionality, generate work orders, and track sales.