Spotlight on a SureTrack Community Member – Eric Girard
Spotlight on a SureTrack Community Member – Eric Girard
The SureTrack community has become a very important part of SureTrack — every bit as important as the Waveform Library or the Common Replaced Parts Graphs. The community is the human aspect of SureTrack. We hear from our community members all the time that SureTrack has not only helped them fix cars they were struggling to diagnose on their own, but they have also made some really good friends within the community.
Eric Girard is a SureTrack community member who goes by the username, ericsautomotive and he loves to spend his free time on SureTrack helping to diagnose complex vehicle issues. If you have posted a question, chances are you have Eric to thank for an answer; he is our most prolific community member, posting almost 10,000 times!
I spoke with Eric recently, because I thought many of you would be interested to know a little more about him. Here is what he had to say.
Tina: Hi Eric, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your education and automotive background?
Eric: I started my life on a dairy farm in rural North Carolina working on tractors and trucks. I guess you can say I have working on vehicles of all types (or what I like to call, “mechanicking”), in my blood. My grandfather and father were both mechanics and I learned from them. From there I got my formal automotive training from Goodyear and local community college automotive training programs. I have worked professionally in the automotive field since 1987. I have been an ASE certified technician since 1992. Working on vehicles is all I have ever done, it is what I know. Like I said, it is in my blood, it is all I ever want to do.
Tina: As far as automotive technology, what is your current focus?
Eric: My focus is on diagnostics. I diagnose everything, brakes, body electrical, engine…I primarily focus on diagnostics but I am also a computer technician. I love anything having to do with computers. I have repaired resistors on circuit boards. I have gone in and repaired powertrain control modules. On old Ford products, I go in and repair the computers. I love my Verus Pro. I just love computers of all types, and I can’t wait to see what they will come up with next. I also focus my time developing my small business…Eric’s Automotive.
Tina: After doing some research we found you have contributed to the SureTrack Community 7,121 times. You are the most active contributor in the SureTrack community! What do you enjoy most about being part of the community?
Eric: I really gain a lot of satisfaction from helping my fellow technicians. I love being able to learn more about cars in general while helping others find out what is wrong with the individual vehicles they are working on. There is always something to learn. I feel a strong sense of accomplishment being able to help other technicians with problematic vehicles. I have SureTrack on my iPad, on my laptop and my cell phone and both of my shop computers. I always see every new question. I have a very good reputation in my area. I am the only garage around that will even attempt to do any type of programming. It gets my name out there being good with diagnostics. It has not only earned me a lot of business, it is also who I am. At my shop I do all of my own diagnosing and I have my employees repair the cars. That gives me more time to work on SureTrack.
Tina: You have a lot of experience and education; do you ever learn anything from your interactions with the community?
Eric: Yes! Even the best technicians can’t know it all.
Tina: Anything in particular?
Eric: Something very useful I have learned from SureTrack is how to better use ProDemand. I never knew about the lab scope library available in ProDemand before using SureTrack. Boy, I love that thing! Another technician I got to know through the SureTrack community suggested that. Also, to be honest, my grammar is not really up to snuff and I really struggled to use ProDemand. After adding the vehicle information, I would put in search phrases and I didn’t get any results. One time I was reading through a question thread on SureTrack and I noticed someone suggested putting in the vehicle code information in the search bar. That really made so much difference for me. There is so much information available! I didn’t know I could do that before SureTrack.
Tina: What would you say you have gained the most from being a SureTrack community member?
Eric: I have gained so many friends, a sense of camaraderie and a great deal of diagnostic knowledge.
Tina: Eric, have you ever been part of another online automotive community?
Eric: Others have asked, but I have stuck with SureTrack. I don’t know them. I am partial to Snap-on; I am a Snap-on guy. I have always been a Snap-on guy. My first scan tool was a MT2500. That was the old red brick we call it. Now I own a MODIS, a VERUS, and a VERUS PRO.
Tina: What are your most favorite features of SureTrack?
Eric: I really appreciate the lab scope library and the code search capability.
Tina: What do you appreciate about the lab scope library and the code search capability? Anything specific that comes to mind?
Eric: I appreciate the inventory of good patterns. You always want to see what a good signal looks like, it is very important.
Tina: What would you like to see added or changed with regard to SureTrack?
Eric: I would like to see more closure in questions. I would also like more feedback from the technicians asking the questions.
Tina: If you could buy any car past or present and money was no object, what would you buy (In other words, what is your dream car)?
Eric: I own it. I have a white 1975, Ford F-150. My dad bought the truck brand new when I was 5 years old. He drove it all through my childhood and when I was able to I traded him for it and restored it. My normal everyday drive is a 4-wheel drive Dodge Durango because I live in the Southern Appalachians. The weather is always changing so you need to be prepared for anything.