How to Beat Repair Information Overload


With so many high-tech vehicles on the road today, searching for data to diagnose and repair them can lead to information overload. Vehicles just keep getting more complex and auto repair technicians have to keep up.

Of course, all of this technology comes with masses of documentation and information needed to diagnose and repair the advanced systems now driving our vehicles. And OEM information alone is often not enough to get to the root cause of an issue. Real-world experience from other techs who have solved the same issue can provide valuable insight that will direct you to the correct diagnosis and help you stay on schedule with the repair.

But too much data can lead to information overload — a common condition facing techs today. Symptoms of information overload include feeling overwhelmed and spending too much time researching. If you think you might have a case of information overload, you’re not alone.

But if technology is part of the challenge, it also provides a cure: advanced software like ProDemand® from Mitchell 1 simplifies the search process and quickly delivers the nugget needed to repair the vehicle.

Selecting the right repair information system is critical to beating information overload. Here are some of the main things to look for:

  1. Complete OEM + Real-World Content Together – Having real-world “silver bullets” delivered with the OEM information for the vehicle is the best way to beat information overload. Once the vehicle is selected, you should have all you need to start the diagnosis and repair, including TSBs retrieved with every search.
  2. Advanced Search Capability – A single lookup that brings back complete information can be a real time-saver. ProDemand groups search results by “probable component,” allowing you to see the list of components associated with the code or symptom, ranked in order from the most likely to the least likely component at fault.
  3. Standardized Formatting of Content – Using a system that has a consistent style across all OEMs makes it quick and easy to look up information and read wiring diagrams for any vehicle in the database.
  4. Shortcuts – Most of the time, techs need to look up things like torque specs, fluid specs, reset procedures, wiring diagrams, TSBs, etc. So ProDemand provides a convenient Quick Links bar on every page and gives you immediate access to the information you use the most.
  5. Jump Start to Diagnostic Information – Insight into the most common fixes for the vehicle can help you reach an accurate diagnosis faster. In ProDemand, the Top 10 Repairs feature puts this collective knowledge right at your fingertips.

There is no shortage of information available to techs. For instance, ProDemand now hosts over 23 million pages of content, along with nearly 19 million “Real Fixes” – actual repair solutions from professional techs across the U.S. In addition to collecting all this data, Mitchell 1 also makes it quick and easy to search through it, to find the precise information needed to fix the vehicle. You don’t need a doctor, just the right information tools to cure that case of information overload.

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About the Author

Gary Hixson

Gary Hixson is a Sr. Market Manager at Mitchell 1, and is responsible for product and market management of the Repair Information product line. Most recently he managed the release of ProDemand™, the industry-leading repair, diagnostic and maintenance information system.