The racing checkerboard flooring at the ALLDATA booth turned out to be symbolic of the fast pace on the SEMA show floor. It’s no wonder the action was non-stop – there was more to talk about than ever before, including our new branding, “Automotive Intelligence.” What else was new?
There’s been considerable buzz about a $42 million verdict handed down on a Texas dealership body shop that didn’t follow OEM procedures for a roof repair on a 2010 Honda Fit. Todd Tracy, the attorney responsible for the $42M verdict,
Professionalism isn’t just a catch phrase at Foreign Affair; it’s a well-defined standard. Owner Robert McKenney defines professionalism as not only an expertise in your craft, but a thirst for advancing your skills.
Problem: This vehicle came in to the shop with the antilock brake warning indicator on. The technician connected a scan tool and pulled the codes listed below. They test drove the vehicle and confirmed that the brakes would intermittently lockup.
ALLDATA has added more than 300,000 non-OE interactive color wiring diagrams to its flagship automotive digital repair solutions, ALLDATA Repair® and ALLDATA Collision®. The addition of these non-OE interactive color wiring diagrams augments ALLDATA’s factory-direct wiring diagrams, and technicians can easily toggle between the two for comparison.
On Thursday, July 27, ALLDATA partnered with Google’s Automotive Marketing team to provide a free one-hour webinar on “Best Online Marketing Practices” for automotive shops, presented by Google Product Specialist Matt Krystofik.
The material, relevant for both collision and mechanical shops, was very informative, and the interactive webinar attracted more than 200 automotive industry professionals.
by Tim Flannery CEO Automotive Training Group, Inc
I would like to become a neurosurgeon. It looks like fun, and I hear it pays well. A simple online search reveals that, assuming half of my undergraduate works applies, I’m in for 6 years of school and 6 years of residency. For a few hundred thousand and a loss of 12 years of my current income, I’ll be ready to go – when I’m 62. It’s hard to imagine a break-even on this investment. And besides, I love automotive diagnostics almost as much as I think I would love neurosurgery.
Automotive technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, not just under the hood, but throughout the entire vehicle. Given this ‘Technical Tsunami,’ it’s difficult for collision repair technicians and estimators to spot and accurately assess the full extent of repairs needed if they don’t have the most up-to-date training.
You want to work on your classic car, but you don’t have a good place to do it. There’s not enough space to work, or it’s too much noise and mess, or other cars need to come into the garage at night. Sound familiar?
Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Malibu, L4-2.4L, Automatic Transmission
Problem: The vehicle was brought to the shop because the MIL was on and the engine ran rough and stalled. The technician checked the fuel pressure and it was within factory specifications. He was unable to keep the vehicle running long enough to see any difference in the camshaft timing “actual” versus “desired” PID. He also retrieved the numerous DTCs listed below.
By John Lee and Rich Diegle ALLDATA Tech-Assist Team
Lately, your family and employees have noticed that you’ve become short-tempered. You feel that you’ve lost your focus and sales are lower than this time last year. You’ve been working for years without a break – sometimes six or seven days per week.
It’s mid-summer already – can you believe it? For folks across the country, including your customers, that means a road trip could be in the works. You want your customers’ vehicles to be well prepared before they head out, which could mean extra service work coming in for you. You also want them to have a great time once they’re out on the road.
Going to NACE Automechanika Chicago? Still thinking about it? Here’s another great reason to attend: ALLDATA’s own Jean-Luc Sauriol will be teaching an in-depth class titled, “Unlocking Fuel Trims: The Analysis of Fuel Trim Corrections for Drivability Diagnostics.”
Vehicle: 2003 Ford F-250, 4WD, Super Duty, 7.3L DSL Turbo V-8, VIN F
Problem: When applying the brakes with doors closed and engine running, the dash and speedometer lamps dim. When the door is open and the truck is running, the warning chime sounds when brakes are applied. The problem does not occur when the brake pedal is released.
She’s been on every major network news show. She’s featured in countless YouTube videos. She even has her own Tedx Talk.
The “she” is Patrice Banks, a self-proclaimed “sheCANic,” and owner and founder of Girls Auto Clinic, an automotive repair shop by women, for women. And she’s usually seen in her trademark bright red heels.
It is the middle of Summer and cars with air conditioning issues will be descending on shops in droves. Are you ready? In this Fixed Ops article, Eric Shultz addresses what you need to know about refrigerant R-1234yf, which has entered the U.S. market. “
At the 2017 Alliance of Automotive Service Providers/New Jersey (AASP/NJ) Conference and Tradeshow, Mike Anderson of Collision Advice debuted a condensed version of a new seminar on “100% Disassembly and Parts Mirror Matching.”
The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) wrapped up its 11th annual conference this past May with great success. WIN is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging, developing, and cultivating opportunities to attract women to the field of collision repair while recognizing excellence, promoting leadership, and fostering a network among the women who are shaping the industry.
Having a dedicated, solid service writer is key to the growth and success of any repair shop. He or she is the point person – the one who is on top of everything, knows where all the vehicles are, when the parts are arriving, when the technicians are going on break and what time each customer is picking up. Really… they do it all.
Automotive repair industry veteran John Shoemaker writes in a recent Aftermarket Business World™ article that, “ … we need to rethink the way we discuss repairs with insurers. We need to step away from negotiating a repair based on opinion and desire, to educating how a repair should be accomplished using OEM processes.”
Problem: The customer brought the car to the shop because, after starting the car, the TPMS light would flash for a minute then stay on continually. This would happen every drive cycle. The vehicle had stock steel wheels and hubcaps.
Problem: The customer’s concern was that engine would not idle after it had warmed up. The malfunction indication light was OFF. If the engine speed was held over 800-850 rpm, the engine would stay running.
The Car Care Council highlights two months during the year to focus attention on the importance of car care and preventative maintenance – National Car Care Month in April and Fall Car Care Month in October.
April is the optimum time to remind your customers to get their cars ready for spring driving, summer road trips, and to deal with any lingering issues they might have put off over the winter months.
AutoZone, Inc. recently launched its new top-of-the-line Duralast GT brake pads, offering race-ready, proven stopping performance. They were put to the test when Team Penske driver Joey Logano ran the Duralast GT brakes on the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion that won the “Clash” at Daytona International Speedway on February 19.
Negotiating between customers and insurance companies can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. In this article, Travis Bean, associate editor for FenderBender and Ratchet+Wrench, addresses the importance of understanding – and educating consumers on – various parts categories, to help the
Vehicle: 2014 Ford Fusion, FWD, L4-2.0L Turbo, Automatic Transmission
Problem: A DTC, U0401 (Invalid Data Received from ECM/PCM A) won’t clear from all modules after recent collision repairs were made. The scan tool also reported an ABS/TCS steering module message. The vehicle had been in a rear-end collision and the front bumper was damaged as well.
Problem: The car was a sublet from a body shop after repairs because the radio, turn signals, low beams and the low-speed wipers were inoperative. The steering column switches and front ECU had already been replaced.
If only we had the power to read minds like Mel Gibson in the year 2000 hit movie, “What Women Want.” And even though it’s February, we’re not talking about what women want for Valentine’s Day. No, we’re talking about what women want when it comes to servicing their automobiles. And when you consider industry trends, it’s clearly a subject worth exploring.
Every technician, no matter how long he or she’s been in the business of automotive repair, takes pride in their tools. But what about the technician’s most valuable tool, your hands? Do you take care of them? Or are they sore and beat up from so much grime, repetitive motion, and often freezing temperatures? Here are some suggestions for treating your hands with the same respect and consideration that you show the most expensive tools in your collection.
For the independent shop owner, the biggest competition for their business may not be the mom and pop shop down the street, but the OE dealers in their area. With big ad budgets and slick marketing materials, they’re out to woo and capture the hearts, minds, and wallets of customers.
Getting organized is one of those things most of us have resolved to do at multiple points, both in our careers and personal lives. Whether it’s your professional tool cart or the kitchen junk drawer, we often procrastinate dealing with the issue because it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we were so excited to run across this article by Tess Collins in Ratchet+Wrench.
Vehicle: 2007 Dodge Caravan, V6-3.3L, VIN R Automatic Transmission
Problem: This vehicle came to the shop because the engine would crank but not start and the MIL was on. The camshaft (CMP) and crankshaft (CKP) sensors had already been replaced but did not fix the problem.
The racing checkerboard flooring at the ALLDATA booth turned out to be symbolic of the fast pace on the SEMA show floor. The reason for all the buzz? We unveiled a new technology platform – with all the bells and whistles
This being the 50th anniversary of SEMA, they really pulled out all the stops to make it the most memorable ever. The “Battle of the Builders” is a new competition that scopes out the finest custom cars on the floor show.
Problem: This vehicle had erratic gauge and warning light operation and the HVAC controls only worked intermittently. The Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) was on as well as the ABS, TCS and Security lights. Additionally, the fuel level gauge was inoperative.
ELK GROVE, Calif., –October 31, 2016 – ALLDATA LLC, an AutoZone company and the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, has signed a partnership with the National Independent Automotive Dealers Association (NIADA) to be the exclusive provider of automotive repair information solutions to its members.
For the First Time in Company History, ALLDATA Proudly Announces Reaching More Than 100,000 North American Subscribers
ELK GROVE, Calif., – October 19, 2016 – ALLDATA LLC, an AutoZone company and the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, reached a significant milestone in the third quarter of 2016: exceeding 100,000 subscribers in North America. ALLDATA solutions are now available across North America—in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
2016 marks ALLDATA’s 10th year at SEMA and it promises to be the best yet. While you’re in Las Vegas, be sure to stop by ALLDATA Booth 10623, where we’ll be launching landmark new technologies—like our updated ALLDATA Repair, and showcasing our entire product suite of automotive repair and shop management solutions. The ALLDATA team looks forward to seeing you and sharing market-leading solutions that help shops save time, enhance profitability, and improve efficiency, including:
Mike Anderson of Collision Advice is renowned for his collision industry experience and data-driven approach to shop operations, management, and collision diagnostics and repair. We encourage you to check out the webinar hosted by Mike, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.
Vehicle: 2007 Volkswagen Eos (1F7) L4-2.0L Turbo (BPY)
Problem: This VW came to the shop with the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) on and the customer’s concerns were that the vehicle had no power and no throttle response. The vehicle would go into limp-in mode anytime there was a load on the engine.
Problem: The vehicle was brought in because the engine intermittently hesitated and bogged on acceleration. The MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) was on. The problem had occurred only three times before.
Availability of three Integrated Parts Catalogs, including AutoZone’s Parts Catalog, expedites estimate creation and helps ALLDATA Manage Online Customers increase efficiency and profitability
ELK GROVE, Calif., – October 5, 2016 – ALLDATA LLC, an AutoZone company and the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, announced today that the newly improved Nexpart eCommerce solution by WHI Solutions, an eBay Company, is now an integrated catalog in ALLDATA Manage Online. ALLDATA has enabled a seamless multi-vendor ordering system within Manage Online, allowing shops to work more efficiently and increase revenue
by Rich Diegle, ALLDATA Tech-Assist Team Supervisor
During the early years of my career, I noticed that many dealership owners or general managers thought the service department was just a necessary expense that was required by the manufacturer. The sales team was the dealership’s primary source of revenue, and as such, was treated to spiffs, bonuses and all-expenses-paid trips. Was the service department included? Unfortunately . . . no.
Drive Rite Automotive owner Hari Dhiwali is a man with a plan. And that plan involves utilizing technology and prioritizing the customer to deliver outstanding repair experiences. Drive Rite is located in Northern California
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes Benz C 300 (204.054) V6-3.0L (272.947)
Problem: This vehicle was brought to the shop with the Malfunction Indication Lamp on. The technician found DTC 0814, a manufacturer’s code for “Left bank secondary air injection pump malfunction.” The standard SAE code for this same issue is P0410.
It’s a common problem that affects many industries – and the automotive repair industry is certainly not immune. It keeps business owners and managers up at night. That problem is trying to hire and retain top-notch, qualified employees. It’s not easy. Whether you run a high-tech software company or a three-bay garage in rural America, many of the challenges are the same.
We are proud to announce that ALLDATA.com has been redesigned to make it easier for you to find the information that you need – from our growing list of products and services to trending industry news, tech tips, and more.
Problem: The customer noted that all of the exterior lights were inoperative, the windshield wipers would begin at any time without being activated by the switch and the instrument cluster would intermittently stop working.
Problem: Vehicle was towed in to the shop for a no-start condition ever since the vehicle was jump-started from another vehicle. According to the vehicle owner, the battery was not jumped backwards. There was no flash and no arching marks visible on the battery terminals.
Facebook isn’t just for people to keep up with their friends. It can be a valuable tool to drive business to your shop, communicate with customers and stay updated on industry news—but some may feel it’s not worth the effort or takes too much time to maintain. Read on for more myths and the truth about business-related Facebook pages.
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, L4-2.2L, VIN F, Automatic Transmission
Problem: The customer stated that his vehicle’s tail lamps were not working. Also, when rear defroster was turned to the “On” position, the reverse lamps illuminate and the dome light intermittently came on.
Problem: The customer brought the car in because the front brakes were smoking. The technician put the car on the rack and confirmed that the front brakes were locked-up and the front brake system was badly damaged.
ALLDATA Revolutionized the Automotive Repair Industry and Continues to Innovate to Meet Evolving Customer Needs
ELK GROVE, Calif., – May 11, 2016 – ALLDATA LLC, an AutoZone company and the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, celebrated its 30th anniversary this month. ALLDATA was founded in 1986 in Elk Grove, California, with the goal of making it easier for technicians to access the reliable, updated OEM information they need to complete repairs. The company has grown to cover 95 percent of the OEM market, providing accurate, updated information to more than 80,000 customers.
Community Harnesses the Power of Technicians across North America to Ask Questions, Share Information and Continually Learn from Experience-Based Repairs to Help Keep Their Shops Productive and Profitable
Elk Grove, California – July 22, 2015 – ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, today announced that ALLDATA Community has surpassed 70,000 unique users. ALLDATA Community is an interactive online community offering experience-based advice to diagnose and solve challenging repairs. Launched in October 2013 and included within ALLDATA Repair and ALLDATA Collision, Community has experienced year-over-year growth of 180 percent.
Expanded Relationship Brings Standardized, Cloud-Based Point-of-Sale and Shop Management System to All of AAMCO’s Nearly 700 Nationwide Shops
ELK GROVE, Calif., – November 10, 2015 – ALLDATA LLC, an AutoZone company and the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, announced today it has an agreement with AAMCO to deliver a customized shop management system with point-of-sale capabilities. The AAMCO Management System will be rolled out to all of AAMCO’s nearly 700 franchise locations starting in 2016.
myCARFAX® Tools and Benefits Now Available for ALLDATA Manage Online® Customers
ELK GROVE, Calif., – December 11, 2015 – ALLDATA LLC, an AutoZone company, and the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, today announced it has teamed up with CARFAX to offer a new benefit that helps increase customer loyalty and revenue. Now users of the ALLDATA Manage Online shop management system can easily enroll in the free myCARFAX Service Shop program. Each participating location has access to valuable tools that connect them with millions of vehicle owners and help keep their customers’ cars well maintained.
Problem: The customer stated that, no matter how low or full the tank was or how much fuel they added, the engine would crank but not start. If they let the car sit for a few minutes, the engine would start normally and run fine. The malfunction indicator light was not illuminated.
New, interactive, highly-responsive environment for technicians to exchange knowledge for diagnosing and repairing vehicles faster — now included with ALLDATA Repair and ALLDATA Collision.
Elk Grove, California – July 17, 2014 – ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, has launched ALLDATA Community, an interactive, highly-responsive environment for technicians to use to help diagnose and repair vehicles faster.
Updates to ALLDATA Repair® S3000 and ALLDATA Collision® S3500 include a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Decoder for increased shop productivity and accuracy.
Elk Grove, California – March 26, 2014 – ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, has enhanced its core products, ALLDATA Repair S3000 and ALLDATA Collision S3500 with a VIN Decoder.
ALLDATA® MobileSM for AndroidTM has the potential to change the industry with wireless access to OEM repair information, plus vehicle connectivity.
Elk Grove, California – January 27, 2014 – ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, has launched the Android version of its ALLDATA Mobile app, previously available only for the iPad®.
Strategic agreement between ALLDATA® and MAM Software provides an advanced shop management system to help auto repair shops enhance profitability and strengthen customer relationships.
Elk Grove, California – October 28, 2013 – ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for professional automotive service and collision repair shops, has entered into a strategic agreement with MAM Software to launch ALLDATA® Manage® Online, an innovative cloud-based shop management system.
Mobile and cloud-based technologies offer new flexibility, efficiency and revenue opportunities to auto repair shops.
Elk Grove, California – November 4, 2013 – At the 2013 Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week trade shows in Las Vegas, ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, will showcase its new ALLDATA Mobile app and cloud-based ALLDATA Manage Online shop management system.
Cloud-based shop management system combines profitability and customer relationship features with online convenience.
Elk Grove, California – December 19, 2013 – ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for professional automotive service and collision repair shops, has launched its cloud-based shop management system, ALLDATA® ManageTM Online.
Elk Grove, CA May 16, 2013 – ALLDATA announced today that it received the endorsement of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) as a National Member Benefit participant. Through NIADA’s National Member Benefit Program, ALLDATA will be offering NIADA members special pricing and additional access to its flagship OE information product, ALLDATA Repair®, as well as automotive technical training through ALLDATA Training Garage(SM).
Elk Grove, CA – April 17, 2013 – ALLDATA LLC, the leading provider of manufacturers’ automotive repair information and solutions for the professional automotive service and collision repair industries, announced the successful arrest and prosecution of a software counterfeiting operation. The company has a long-standing program dedicated to tracking down illegal sales of ALLDATA products, an effort which routinely results in prosecution.
The Federal Trade Commission is putting dealerships that promote rigorous multi-point inspections under the microscope. Recently, General Motors and two large dealership groups were the target of FTC actions alleging that they are misleading consumers with claims that their vehicles are “certified” and “safe”. Some of these “safe” vehicles were sold with unrepaired safety recalls.
Running a profitable shop is a challenge. You’re probably running the numbers multiple times a day—in your head, on paper, in your shop management system—to figure out where you are financially and where you need to be. There are so many considerations with owning a shop, some of them requiring extensive thought and planning, that it’s important to use automated systems whenever possible.
Problem: The vehicle stalled only when activating the left turn signal. The customer also noticed that the left headlight was dim. The customer replaced the headlight but there was no change. The stalling problem began to get progressively worse until it happened constantly.
Most technical support departments provide support by both phone and email, but today’s automotive technicians need faster, more dynamic assistance. Welcome to ALLDATA Tech-Assist℠ armed with Rescue Lens, an innovative product from LogMeIn®, Inc.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the value of live streaming video is priceless!
Self-driving cars are everywhere these days. Not physically on the road, unless you’re in the tech hubs of California or Texas, but they are all over the news. Google has a model it’s testing in California, Texas and Washington. GM has acquired multiple companies that are developing self-driving
It’s a whole new world in the collision business. After your shop repairs a vehicle, it might look as good as new, but how about all those electronic systems that need resetting, reinitializing and adjusting? In the past, you may have subletted these “non-collision” jobs to a mechanical shop. But today, with the right information and a good scan tool, you can keep these jobs – and the profits they generate – in house.
A new car is in the shop, and the front end looks like it ran into a tree. Turns out it did! So what’s it going to take to get it back on the road? Well, it starts with you, the estimator. As an estimator, you need experience, good judgment, diplomatic skills and accurate information.
So what does it mean for you to “one up” the competition? You’ve invested time and money to install the latest and greatest software systems throughout your business. You have the best frame rack and electronic measuring devices available on the market. You have the most talented welders who allow you to replace panels and structural components according to OEM standards, and you have the equipment necessary to refinish vehicles in a way that rivals factory paint jobs. So what more do you need?
Today’s complex vehicles are forcing collision repair facilities to address repair issues they never had to address a few years ago. The diagnostic age is upon us, and without the proper tools, training and information to properly assess and repair these vehicles’ complex systems, your shop may be forced to outsource many repairs that you otherwise could have done.
Who works in your shop? Master techs? Techs just out of school? Someone in between? Most shops have technicians at all levels of skill and experience, from the expert to the newbie. Successful shops find ways to share knowledge and cross-train to create a solid team. But there’s always room for improvement.
Are you getting ready for the ASE Certification Test? When you pass, you’ll join a group of the “best of the best” in the industry—currently around 300,000 automotive technicians and service managers. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has been testing and certifying automotive professionals since 1972 to help ensure excellence in automotive repair and service.
Running a shop today is not easy. It’s not like the “good old days” when the shop owner owned the shop and the land it was on, did repairs and ran things alone (or with a family member helping), and knew every customer personally.
There are so many ways to show your customers you care about them and their vehicle. Beyond coupons and discounts, you can show your appreciation through communication. If you sent a message to each of your customers and that message brought even 10 percent of them into your shop for deferred work or regular maintenance—what would the impact be on your bottom line?
Problem: When this vehicle came into the shop, the DLC was on and the tech pulled DTCs C0460 – Steering Angle Sensor and C056D 39 – ECU Hardware Performance Internal Electronic Failure. The Tech performed the TSB 07-02-32-009 to update the EBCM and PSCM. After the flash, the Tech could not calibrate the steering sensor.
As a shop owner, you want to make sure your customers are satisfied and happy with the service they’ve received. Better yet, you want your customers to recommend your business to others. Word-of-mouth and personal recommendations are much more powerful than online reviews or picking the top search engine result.
Problem: This vehicle came into the shop with the MIL illuminated. The tech retrieved three DTCs: P0171 – System too lean; P0170 – Fuel trim; and P2195 – HO2S Signal stuck lean B1S1. The Long Term Fuel Trim (LTFT) was reading +49% and the Rear O2 sensor was reading rich at all times.
The New Year brings renewed energy, renewed focus and the action to make things happen. Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays and end-of-year rush are over, it’s time to concentrate on moving your business forward in 2016. What are your business goals? What activities do you have planned to help achieve those goals?
Vehicle: 2001 Chevrolet Impala V6-3.8L, VIN K, Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
Problem: The Customer stated that it was running fine and just would not start one morning. The tech checked for spark and injector pulse — found none. There was no B+ power to the 15A fuel injection fuse, transmission solenoid fuse and A/C relay fuse from the Ignition relay. The tech substituted a good known relay – no luck.
Problem: The shop had replaced the HCU and attempted to bleed the brakes with Ford IDS scan tool and pressure bleeder. On numerous attempts, they kept getting scan tool error “06” when bleeding last wheel (Left Front Wheel).
Vehicle: 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, V6-3.3L, Flex Fuel, Automatic Transmission
Problem: The vehicle starts and runs fine, but after 40+ miles, it develops a very intermittent, quick stumble and sets p1128. At times, the customer has driven up over 100 miles and not set a code. The fuel system checked out okay. The tech also checked the wiring for the MAP, O2 & ECT sensors – all were good.
Wow! SEMA 2015 lived up to its reputation as the year’s most action-packed industry event. There were nearly 3,000 new product announcements, tricked-out vehicles of all kinds, and too many fun events to list. If you missed the show this year, here’s a wrap-up of some of the most interesting, exciting, and eye-popping things we saw…
Vehicle diagnosis and repair may be the foundation of your business—but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Like the saying goes, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Not everyone can repair vehicles. Not everyone can diagnose vehicles. It takes special skills, training, tools and experience to be successful.
We’ve covered how to talk with your customers about repairs and maintenance procedures—but how do you talk with them about the parts needed for either repairs or maintenance? There are OEM parts, high-quality aftermarket parts, lower quality aftermarket parts, refurbished parts and everything in between
How does your shop handle it when a customer declines regular maintenance procedures? It happens all the time. And it can be a tricky situation—you don’t want to do a “hard sell” and be viewed as pushing unnecessary work,
Vehicle: 2007 Saab 9-5 (9600) L4-2.3L Turbo Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
Problem: The low-beam headlights worked fine but the high-beams did not work. The fuses were good. It appears the light switch was working because, when using the fog lights, they go out when turning on the high-beams.
There are many ways to innovate—from streamlining processes to adopting new technologies to improving employee training. Shops across the country are making changes to speed the repair process, while also making it more pleasant for customers to bring in their vehicles.
This Tech Tip is based on a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) issued by Hyundai® and covers 2010 model-year Hyundai Tucson® (LM) vehicles produced from December 15, 2009. TSBs describe known conditions or manufacturer-recommended changes in
Hybrid owners may not need to replace the hybrid battery due to failure as frequently as they fear—but another fear is rising in its place. There has been an increase in the number of hybrid vehicle battery thefts
Problem: The tech noticed that the fluid pressure switch “E” PID was reading “OFF” in all gear selections. It should read “ON” in Reverse, Neutral, 4th and 5th. It should read “OFF” in gears 1, 2, and 3. Shift solenoid “E” was being commanded “ON” and “OFF” properly at the ORN/WHT wire of the transmission connector (C175), which confirmed that either the pressure switch was bad or there was no pressure reaching the pressure switch through the valve body.
From the 18-year-old who just graduated from high school to the career changer in his or her 40s, technicians enter the field of automotive repair with different levels of health and fitness. Automotive repair requires constant changes in body positions throughout the work shift,
Problem: The blower motor operated with ancillary power and ground provided but the blower module was not getting a signal from the HVAC module. The tech found the following communication and voltage codes in all modules: B10E8, B11C2, B210A, B210B, B210C, B210D, B210E, B2199, B21DD and U0010.
by Sara EisenbergContributions from John Lee & Rich Diegle
As a shop owner, your goals include looking for ways to increase your business and, even more importantly, to secure repeat business. There is one way you can achieve both goals, of increasing and ensuring repeat business:
By Rich Diegle, ALLDATA Tech-Assist Team Supervisor
Remember when every go-fast part listed in a performance catalog was guaranteed to give you at least 10% – 15% more power? I used to think that if I could install just a few of those high-performance parts on my motor, I could boost my horsepower by 40% or more! So I did …
A customer drops their vehicle off with the malfunction indicator light on. With the clock ticking down on your one-hour diagnostic time, you pull numerous trouble codes then jump directly into the factory diagnostic test procedures. In the end, the test results yield no concrete answers.
I was talking with the owner of a fairly successful shop in Boston the other day. He told me that, although his technicians’ productivity is above average, they still seem to have problems making flat rate on diagnostics.
Vehicle: 2008 Ford F 150, 4WD, V8-5.4L Flex Fuel, Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
Problem: The fuel gauge does not read the correct fuel level. DTCs B1201 and P0463 are set. The tech checked the wiring between the sending unit and instrument cluster and found no problems. The fuel gauge sending unit was replaced – same problem.
Most people are inundated with emails. Information from companies about recent orders, customer inquiries, spam, invitations to play Clash of Clans—it can be overwhelming to sort through it all and determine what needs action. At ALLDATA, we try to make your life easier. And that’s why we’re introducing the Message Center to ALLDATA Repair and ALLDATA Collision.
Vehicle: 2006 Mini Cooper S, L4-1.6L SC, Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
Problem: Vehicle had DTC P1688 (Electronic throttle control monitor level 2/3; mass air flow calculation) and low power. We found an intake duct clamp was loose so we cleaned the throttle body and refitted the boot and tightened the clamp – no change. One of the techs found a TSB addressing the P1688 DTC, which said not to replace the DME control module without further testing of the supercharger bypass valve. The valve was good, but the TSB prompted further diagnosis.
Factory repair procedures are essential for many reasons – from identifying and locating materials (UHSS, mild steel, aluminum, magnesium, plastics etc.) to programming a multitude of electronic systems. And today you need OEM information for the structural repairs you used to do in your sleep…before cars became so extremely complex.
By John Lee and Rich Diegle, ALLDATA Tech-Assist Team
Our friend, let’s call him Jim, is a great mechanic. He’s even better at writing service orders and taking care of his customers. Like many good mechanics, after years of providing great service at someone else’s shop, he decided to make the transition to opening his own shop.
The technology just keeps on coming! Systems you now commonly see in your shop include backup cameras, front view cameras, programmable seats and mirrors, collision avoidance, blind-spot alert, parking assist, rear-mounted radar,
From the ALLDATA® Community Automotive Diagnostic Team
Many 2011 and prior GM® passenger cars or trucks may exhibit multiple diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from different modules and have numerous electrical issues. The repair may be as simple as applying dielectric grease to the appropriate connectors. Why? It helps eliminate the effects of fretting corrosion.
Cars and trucks are a big part of people’s lives. They help us go places, do things, and we depend on them like few other things in our lives. People also tend to love their cars and spend lots of money on them. So when defects – real or perceived – are brought to light,