Spring 2002 Forward to a Friend


 


Subaru technicians receive hours of intensive hands-on instruction at the company’s technical training facilities.

subaru vehicles are unique. From their distinctive design to their state-of-the-art engineering, Subaru vehicles set themselves apart from everything else on the road. That distinctiveness was probably one of the reasons why you purchased your Subaru vehicle, and it’s also one of the most important reasons to have it maintained by fully certified Subaru technicians.

Subaru vehicles are designed to be as trouble-free as possible, but still require regular maintenance and occasional repairs. Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA), through its nearly 600 dealers, has more than 4,500 trained technicians across the country ready to help, and the ongoing technician training programs offered by Subaru make sure every technician is thoroughly educated in the vehicles’ systems. The training program enables technicians to properly repair a customer’s vehicle the first time, at a reasonable cost and within a reasonable amount of time.

Many Subaru technicians have two or more years of post-secondary education in automotive technology, and five or more years of direct work experience with Subaru vehicles. They’ve also passed Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, an independent automotive testing program, in eight automotive testing areas. In addition, they have completed months of Subaru-specific training and also receive up to a week of Subaru update training annually just to keep pace with the latest changes.
Subaru technicians can achieve levels of technical certification beyond the basic requirements. These certification levels (Specialist, Master and Senior Master) are awarded based on the amount of training, dealer experience and ASE certification each technician attains.

Subaru vehicles incorporate the latest technical and engineering advances, and that complexity is one of the reasons that make a technician’s ongoing training a necessity. “Today, the technician’s job is so much different than it was 15 or 20 years ago,” says GeorgeVan Wagner, Manager, National Technical Training for Subaru of America. “What the technicians are dealing with now was basically theoretical science 10 years ago. Modern cars have multiple computers that are multiplexed together. To be able to read and interpret those data streams so they can perform the proper diagnostic procedures and repairs takes a well trained and dedicated person.”

To work on a Subaru vehicle that’s less than 10 years old, technicians must know how to navigate through more than 50,000 service manual pages and know how to correctly diagnose and repair the problem. According to Van Wagner, Subaru releases 6,000 to 7,000 new service manual pages every year.

Even basic maintenance requires a trained Subaru technician. Several independent mechanics, unfamiliar with Subaru engineering, have mistakenly drained the oil from Subaru front differentials instead of the engine oil pan during oil changes. In these cases, Subaru owners have driven away with too much oil in the engine, and no oil in the differential, leading to significant (and costly) damage to their vehicle’s drive train.

To keep technicians up-to-date, Subaru of America has established 11 dedicated technical training facilities across the country. These free-standing training centers are staffed by the company’s most knowledgeable technical instructors.


Subaru regularly donates vechicles and equipment to technical schools.

A technician attending a training session receives plenty of classroom work as well as hours of intensive hands-on instruction. The combined training program guarantees that your Subaru technician will have unparalleled expertise and knowledge when your vehicle arrives for service.

The company’s dedicated training centers are supplemented by eight additional satellite facilities, which serve more remote areas, or regions with large concentrations of Subaru dealerships.

“We have standards that the technicians must meet,” Van Wagner says “but for most of our technicians, that’s not an issue. Our technicians want to learn, and they just soak the information up. The better trained the technicians are, the more tools they have to work with, and the easier it is for them to solve the problem and satisfy the customer.”

“What I can promise a Subaru owner is that we know our technicians’ training is as thorough and up-to-date as possible,” says Van Wagner. “We know they have access to the latest and best diagnostic tools. We know they have access to the best technical support. The customer can be assured that the dealership and its technicians have everything they need. You can’t guarantee that anywhere else.”


Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) not only works to train existing technicians, it also supports efforts to identify and train future technicians through support of select automotive technology schools and the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) program.

Subaru is an active partner in the industry-sponsored AYES program. The AYES program is designed to prepare high school students and graduates who have good mechanical aptitude for entry-level positions in automotive service technology or collision repair and refinishing.

AYES builds partnerships between dealerships and their local high schools and technical schools. The dealerships advise and work with the schools on the technical skills needed to service contemporary vehicles, and also provide opportunities for paid internships. Dealerships also assign experienced technician mentors to help students with their studies.

Subaru also supports selected schools through donations and educational support. This may involve the donation of vehicles, manuals, diagnostic equipment and active participation on technical school advisory committees. SOA also provides training for automotive technology school instructors.

For more information on the AYES program, call (888) 664-0044 or visit www.ayes.org.