auto repair January 14, 2018

Employee Profile Interview Featuring Brian Jang

Brian Jang
A.S.E. Master Tech with L-1 (Advanced Engine Performance)
Ford Master Tech
Virginia Certified Repair Tech

Doug: Do you recall what led you to choose a career in auto repair?

Brian: Yes. When I was 17 I was driving my mother’s car. I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the gauges and the car overheated. It overheated so badly it blew the head gaskets. I felt bad. We didn’t have a lot of money so I set out to fix it myself.

Doug: Had you ever worked on a car before? Did you take an auto shop class in high school?

Brian: No.

Doug: What kind of car was it?

Brian: An Eagle Vision*.

Doug: Wow. I wonder if anyone today even knows what an Eagle Vision is, or was.

[*Eagle was a short-lived division of Chrysler. The Eagle Vision would have been equivalent to a Chrysler LHS or a Dodge Intrepid.]

Brian: It had the 3.5 overhead cam engine.

Doug: That is an extremely complicated first repair job.

Brian: Yes. It took a couple of weeks and I had to keep going back to undo mistakes.

Doug: But you were able to do it?

Brian: Well enough!

I became very interested in cars and how they work. I went to NOVA and studied automotive technology. A Ford dealer hired me as an apprentice. I got a degree in Automotive Technology and took Ford factory training and became a Ford Master Tech. I stayed with Ford 7 years.

Doug: Where did you go next?

Brian: Jaguar. It was an interesting time because Ford had just acquired Jaguar and was switching it over to modern electronics. But there were a lot of older Jaguars that still had the British electronics which were really awful and difficult to diagnose. But I learned a lot.

Doug: So what did you do after Jaguar?

Brian: I became a partner in a used car dealership. The other guy did the selling and buying and I did the repairs. Since I was no longer with the Ford or Jaguar dealerships I decided to get my A.S.E. certification. A.S.E. is the largest and most respected independent learning and certification organization in the U.S.A. and maybe the world. Once you have those it’s much easier to get a job. I became an A.S.E. Master Tech.

Doug: How did you like the used car dealer gig?

Brian: I learned a lot. We dealt a lot in Mercedes, Audi, and Volkswagen. They are unique in their design and operation. It was almost like learning a new language. And I was the service department. There was no one to coach me or teach me. I think it made me a much wiser technician.

Doug: When did you Join Wiygul Automotive Clinic?

Brian: In 2012. I’m coming up on my fourth year. I like the fact that I am able to work on all makes of cars. In a dealer it’s mostly repetitive repairs. If this car does this, change this part because that’s what the guy told you. You don’t get to think nearly enough. You almost atrophy.

Doug: That’s quite a tool box you’ve got. Looks like you could almost live in it. Any idea how much money you’ve got in that?

Brian: I stopped counting at $60,000.

Doug: Any hobbies?

Brian: I have a Corvette and I’m always modifying and upgrading it.

Doug: I’m not surprised. … What do you like about working at Wiygul Automotive Clinic?

Brian: It’s a good environment. We work 5 days a week. A lot of places are pushing their employees to work 6 days a week. You really burn out doing that, I’ve done it. I and all the other technicians help each other out. The management is very helpful. Sometimes we have get-togethers and sometimes we get tickets to sporting events.

Doug: So there you have it. Brian Jang is one of the many Master Techs at Wiygul Automotive Clinic. As someone who works with him daily I can tell you he is a big asset to have around when the going gets tough and the problems get complex.

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