(SNN) Car repairs may soon become faster and potentially cheaper thanks to a tentative agreement with 12 automakers.
The agreement, worked out by the alliance of automobile manufacturers, allows independent repair shops access to nearly all technical information on modern cars.
Florida mechanic Wayne Augsburger says the move will be a game changer for independent mechanics and their customers.
"I believe they are finally coming around to realizing that the more they have access to that kinda thing for the independents the better off the customers are going to like their car and keep it. There's a couple of Europeans yet that have kind of a tight rein on the information they let us have," Augsburger said.
All modern cars are built with computer systems that report error codes, which eliminate the lengthy process of mechanic trial and error.
Currently, the universal car computer output doesn't always give the best information, particularly in foreign cars.
"The American cars have become more friendly to the independents where foreign cars aren't. There's no two ways about it. That's why you see more and more shops going to specializing in foreign cars... Certain foreign cars," mechanic Richard Hall said.
Independent mechanics are looking forward to a new standardized diagnostic tool rolling out in 2018 but some are still wary that foreign car makers may hold back important information.