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The role of telematics in automotive repair and maintenance

telematics in auto repair

Telematics and vehicle information has been going on for nearly 25 years!

What is telematics?

Telematics, in simple terms, involve the use of onboard sensors and communication systems to monitor a vehicle’s health and performance. For in-warranty vehicles, these systems can be particularly powerful. Many modern vehicles equipped with telematics systems can transmit data directly to the manufacturer or dealership. This provides several advantages:

Dealerships, being affiliated with manufacturers, often have access to remotely access a vehicle’s data, diagnose issues, and recommend specific repairs. This ensures that the repairs are carried out according to the manufacturer’s standards, which can be crucial to maintaining the vehicle’s warranty coverage.

Those of you who have a vehicle under warranty may have been contacted by the dealership that you purchased it from saying that it’s due for an oil service or something similar, and it’s because the car has “phoned home” to alert them on this.

After its out of warranty though, occasionally the car continues to send this signal- which could be good or bad depending on your outlook. Some cars all together will get sent a “power down” type of message once it goes out of warranty to stop this data from being sent.

Overall, this really isn’t a mainstream thing that is being utilized in the aftermarket/independent world. There are a few setbacks that keep independent shops to be able to harness this power.

  1. The vehicle has a built in telephone to send this data. When the vehicle is under warranty, the manufacturer foots this bill. After warranty when this system or feature is powered off or inactive, there’s no real way to re-enable it.
  2. If you were able to re-enable it, you couldn’t change the information to where it was sent…. say….. to your local favorite independent shop 🙂
  3. There are some fleet style telematic systems and other systems that are hardwired or simply plugged into the OBD (on board diagnostic port) and will send the information to the company that set it up- but this expense would either have to be gambled on the shop using it, hoping that client comes back and/or uses it…. or the client has to foot the bill.
  4. Most modern vehicles will tell you something like- “I’m getting ready for service” or “I need service!” on the dash or information display, allowing the driver to schedule their service. This is about as close as we can get on vehicles without being too intrusive and/or carrying additional expense to the client. I’m sure privacy and other security risks could be involved with this aspect too.

In conclusion, the role of telematics of directing in-warranty vehicles towards dealerships is significant. These systems enhance the convenience and efficiency of servicing vehicles that are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. However, it’s important to note that as telematics technology continues to evolve, there might be opportunities for independent auto repair shops to integrate these systems more effectively, providing a competitive edge in the world of automotive care.


Alex Noll

CEO – ABR Houston

Welcome to ABR Houston, the leading European auto repair shop in The Woodlands. With over a decade of experience and a proven history of serving over 10,000 satisfied customers, we have recently relocated our shop to The Woodlands to better serve our valued clients. Our commitment to exceptional service and expertise remains our priority. From routine maintenance to intricate repairs, our dedicated team is determined to keep you confidently on the road. Trust in the experience and reliability of ABR Houston, where customer satisfaction drives our passion for excellence. Your Local Experts for AudiBMWMiniRolls-Royce & Volkswagen Service In The Woodlands.

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