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DRIVE TIME: Diagnostic genius joins North Van automotive team
By SHARRON HO
There’s no problem that Gary Spooner, seasoned diagnostic specialist, can’t figure out.
Spooner, 51, has an expansive history providing diagnostic services for vehicles of the road and air.
He demonstrated an aptitude for mechanics early on in life, building cars in his teenage years.
“It was quite easy for me to figure out car engines and transmissions. It just evolved from there. I was on a path for the success that I enjoy now,” Spooner said.
At the age of 19, Spooner joined the military and worked with electronics and computer systems. After several years as a vehicle technician, he graduated to performing advanced diagnostics for F-18 fighter jets at the Canadian Forces Base in Cold Lake, Alberta.
He was top of the class for the F-18 program and was given his pick of location.
“During Desert Storm it was pretty busy,” he said, referring to the first Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s.
After nine years of testing and diagnosing engine problems and recommending repairs for the jets, Spooner returned to civilian life.
“I saw a need for a guy with my skills out in the civilian field. Cars are evolving every year and that’s the challenge that I like,” he said.
For 15 years, he travelled up and down Vancouver Island with a small tool kit, fixing vehicle problems that left other mechanics scratching their heads.
Spooner joined Taylormotive in North Van in May and has been using what he calls an “algorithmic style of diagnostic” on vehicles of every make and model.
“I’m an algorithmic type of thinker. As far as I’m concerned, there’s always an end to a problem, so I go through the steps — and I don’t skip steps — and I arrive at the conclusion,” he said.