Believe it or not, back in the 1950s only about one percent of a car’s value had to do with electronics. Fast forward to 2010 and thirty percent of a car’s value is connected to its electronic system. That number is even higher today with no signs of stopping.

In fact, one day, perhaps this century, cars will be entirely electronic and autonomous, but the techies in Silicon Valley are a long way from actualizing that dream. Some of the sensors and telematics that will eventually make that dream possible, though, are already in your vehicle today.

Auto Repair Shops Have ASE-certified Automotive Technicians 

Man in vehicle looking back while in reverse mode Your current vehicle is chock full of sensors connected to control units for particular systems in your vehicle to ensure optimal performance. As an example, your transmission likely has electronics connected to it to guarantee smooth shifting and less torque interrupt during shifting. And, of course, your engine has a centralized engine control unit to optimize the performance of your vehicle.

Your engine control unit is so important because it can allow an auto technician at All Around Auto Repair to “talk” to your vehicle’s systems and interconnected sensors with on-board diagnostics (OBD).

On-board vehicle diagnostics hit their stride over the last decade or two in the sense that sensors have gotten better and in the 1980s – when they first hit the market – they would really only tell you, or the auto technician, when something had gone seriously haywire.

Some of that carries over today with diagnostic trouble codes, but now real-time readings and greater accuracy is possible when an auto technician uses the right tool.

Fact is, your engine control unit does a dizzying amount of things: controls the air-fuel ratio, ignition and cooling systems control, throttle control, the rate of fuel injection, and (last but definitely not least) onboard diagnostics.

Getting an auto technician up in there with to check the on-board diagnostics is critical for keeping your car in tip-top shape.

Cars are More Electronic and Lasting Longer 

The typical car owner in the United States is holding on to her car for an average of 11.5 years. Ironically, the fact that vehicles are lasting longer hasn’t slowed down the purchase of new vehicles since tens of millions of new cars and light trucks are sold every year in the US.

The secret to making older cars last longer and getting newer cars off to the right start is preventative auto maintenance at auto repair shops that know how to maintain and repair a half-century of different makes and models.

The surprising thing is that the average vehicle ownership time has gone up 60 percent over the last decade for both new and used vehicles thanks partly to this kind of preventative maintenance.

The takeaway? Whether you’re buying new or used you need to look for auto repair shops that can cover scheduled maintenance at 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles, 90,000 miles, and beyond.

Periodic oil changes and brake repairs will inevitably be part of the picture since oil changes are needed to keep your engine lubricated and brake parts wear out over time.


All Around Auto Repair: Among Top-rated Auto Repair Shops 

You essentially need auto repair shops that can do it all, including used car inspections when you need to sell or trade in your used car or pick up a gently-used pre-owned vehicle at a fantastic price!

And, hey, stuff happens: Auto repair shops should be equipped to perform emergency surgery, if you will, on transmissions, engines, and air conditioning.

All Around Auto Repair is one of the top-rated auto repair shops in Sonoma County because of the range of services, fair prices, and the pride taken in a job well done. Schedule maintenance, a diagnostic test, repairs, or a used car inspection today.

Check Engine Maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions on Modern Vehicle Electronics and Maintenance

1. Why are electronics in cars more important today?

Electronics now account for over 30% of a car’s value, compared to just 1% in the 1950s. Modern cars use advanced electronics for everything from engine control units (ECUs) to transmission management, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency. This trend will continue as vehicles become more autonomous.

2. What is an ECU and what does it do?

An Engine Control Unit (ECU) is the brain of your vehicle, managing crucial functions such as air-fuel ratio, ignition timing, and throttle control. It also handles onboard diagnostics, which allows technicians to diagnose issues accurately and efficiently, preventing minor problems from becoming major repairs.

3. How has vehicle longevity changed over the years?

The average car owner in the U.S. keeps their vehicle for about 11.5 years, a 60% increase over the last decade. Advances in automotive technology and a focus on preventative maintenance have contributed to this trend, ensuring vehicles last longer with fewer issues.

4. What is onboard diagnostics (OBD)?

Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) is a system in vehicles that monitors and reports on various subsystems’ performance. Modern OBD systems provide real-time data and diagnostic trouble codes, helping technicians identify and fix issues quickly, which enhances vehicle reliability and performance.

5. How often should I perform preventative maintenance on my car?

Preventative maintenance should follow a schedule based on your vehicle’s mileage, typically every 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles. Regular tasks include oil changes, brake inspections, and replacing worn-out parts, which are crucial for extending your vehicle’s lifespan and maintaining optimal performance.

6. Why is the check engine light important?

The check engine light is a vital indicator that something is wrong with your vehicle’s systems. It can signify issues ranging from a loose gas cap to more serious problems like a failing catalytic converter. Prompt attention to this light can prevent further damage and costly repairs.

7. What role do sensors play in modern cars?

Sensors in modern vehicles monitor everything from engine performance to tire pressure. They provide data to the ECU, ensuring optimal operation and alerting drivers to potential issues. Regular sensor checks and maintenance are essential for keeping your vehicle running smoothly.

8. How do telematics improve vehicle performance?

Telematics systems collect and transmit data about a vehicle’s performance and usage. This data helps manufacturers and service centers predict maintenance needs, optimize performance, and enhance safety features. It also enables more personalized and efficient vehicle service.

9. What advancements are expected in vehicle electronics?

Future advancements in vehicle electronics include more sophisticated autonomous driving features, enhanced connectivity, and greater integration with smart devices. These innovations aim to improve safety, efficiency, and user convenience, moving us closer to fully autonomous vehicles.

10. Why choose an ASE-certified automotive technician?

ASE-certified technicians have met stringent testing and experience requirements, ensuring they are well-qualified to handle complex automotive issues. Choosing an ASE-certified technician means your vehicle is in capable hands, receiving expert care that keeps it running efficiently and safely.

Vehicle maintenance