There are many consumers who, when their cars need repairs, choose a private mechanic over a dealership for any number of reasons; it might be less expensive, the mechanic may be a long-time service provider, it might be more convenient. But it’s a little-known fact that today’s automobile diagnostic technology make it more difficult to go to your own mechanic. State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven), probably the average consumer’s best friend in the legislature, is proposing a new law to change that.

When a vehicle is hooked up to a computerized diagnostic machine, it spits out a code detailing what exactly is wrong with car. Problem is, the only ones who know what codes mean are the dealerships or the manufacturers. And they aren’t in big hurry to share the information because having a monopoly on the codes give them an advantage over the private mechanics. Sen. Looney wants to require that the codes and what they represent be shared with other mechanics.

“This idea came from my own mechanic,” Sen. Looney said. “It’s a fair and consumer-friendly bill. Dealerships are many times more expensive and they have a monopoly on these codes which works against the consumer and hinder their choice of where to get their car fixed,” he said.

The bill will go the general law committee.