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Sometimes the automotive business rewards excellence by giving a great technician the tough jobs while the gravy goes to the run-of-the-mill mechanic. Such was the case for Eric*. His boss owned multiple auto repair locations and Eric was asked to leave his home turf and bat clean-up at one of the locations that needed his expertise.

Did you know that the average comeback costs a shop $237? We're here so you can fix it right the first time
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Can hybrid and electric vehicles be dangerous to work on? Absolutely. However, if you get proper training and follow OEM repair procedures, you can service and repair them safely and efficiently. Here are a few manufacturer-specific hybrid safety tips that will help you do just that.

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The ALLDATA News staff sat down with ALLDATA President Satwinder Mangat to get his thoughts on the automotive repair industry and key technology trends for 2021.

ABNews Support SEMA360
ABNews Support SEMA360

The specialty equipment aftermarket industry is ready to come together for SEMA360, the new online event taking place Nov. 2-6, that will allow industry professionals to connect and conduct much-needed business.

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We’re all doing things differently this year. And SEMA is no exception. ALLDATA is pleased to support this year’s SEMA360 by offering attendees a number of ways to engage with us during the virtual event, Nov. 2-6, 2020

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In a lot of ways your business is like the cars we work on. There are many complex systems that work together in concert, but if the intake system isn’t operating correctly it causes numerous difficulties. Without proper procedures you shouldn’t guess at diagnosis or adjustments.

Shop Management DYK
Shop Management DYK

Today’s independent automotive repair shops range in size from a single location to multi-shop organizations, each with its own unique business needs. So when it comes to running your business efficiently, a one-size-fits-all shop management system isn’t necessarily the best solution. 

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When it was announced that the collision industry’s foremost trade show was going virtual for 2020, ALLDATA embraced the opportunity to offer attendees an online experience unique to these challenging times.

Discounts don't add up
Discounts don't add up

An Interview with Lynne Cardwell by David Bry

When the phone rings and there’s a potential repair customer on the line, you have a choice. You can offer a price quote and hope that it’s not too high and scares them away. Or you can take the approach of a fellow shop owner with decades of experience: offer a quote ...

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October is the optimum time to remind your customers to get their vehicles ready for winter driving and to deal with any service or maintenance issues they may have been putting off during warmer weather.

ELK GROVE, Calif. – Sept. 11, 2020 – The latest update for ALLDATA’s scan tool now supports direct access to the Secure Gateway (SGW) module by FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) U.S.  this is Abstract 

ELK GROVE, Calif. – Sept. 11, 2020 – The latest update for ALLDATA’s scan tool now supports direct access to the Secure Gateway (SGW) module by FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) U.S.  this is Abstract 

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This article is for you, shop owners and shop managers. Brave souls that entered the automotive repair business hoping to eke out a living. You may have come into this endeavor with excellent hands-on skills and now have been compelled to track profits and losses and negotiate wages. Along the way you might have heard or used (or overused) a term:  Return on Investment.

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A visit to the doctor typically involves having one’s vital signs checked. This provided the medical professionals a baseline report on the patient’s condition. Checking is done prior to treatment to determine if there are any underlying conditions. If any treatments are provided, the vital signs may be inspected again to determine if treatment has created any issues. Text is visible fully now 

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Shop Man - PC

ELK GROVE, Calif. – July 15, 2020 – ALLDATA has launched ALLDATA Shop Manager, the third addition to the company’s suite of shop management solutions. 

Two auto body trade schools last week described programs structured to provide students with significant shop time early in the process.

Representatives from Cleveland, Ohio-based Matrix Trade Institute and Saint Louis, Mo.-based Ranken Technical College presented to an SCRS virtual open board meeting July 20 what SCRS had previously pitched as “unconventional approaches to technician development.” 

Since 1991, Ron Ananian has informed, educated, and entertained millions of listeners through his nationally syndicated radio program, The Car Doctor

Drivers are holding on to cars and trucks longer during the coronavirus pandemic.

The average age of a vehicle on U.S. roads rose by a month this year to a record 11.9 years.

August is National Brake Safety Month, so now is the time to emphasize the importance of brake maintenance to your customers. It’s normally difficult to sell maintenance work outside of OEM service schedules (and being in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t help the situation) but here are some strategies to convince your customers that maintenance is in their best interest. 

Digital micro-load “conductance” testers are becoming increasingly popular. They’re small, light, inexpensive, and quick, garnering a much-deserved following. Here’s a breakdown on why you should be performing these tests on every vehicle coming through you shop.

Though competitor next-generation trucks have opted for aluminum panels and closures over a steel body, Ford on Thursday announced the next-generation 2021 Ford F-150 would carry “a fully boxed high-strength steel frame with a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body.”

TOP THREE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BUSINESS

Over the past few months, the automotive industry has experienced challenges unlike any we’ve seen before. With the onset of COVID-19, customers stopped calling, parts stores experienced disruptions in their supply chains and shop owners throughout the nation were wondering if they were going to close their doors for good.

ALLDATA has a new product to showcase: ALLDATA Shop Manager. It’s a shop management system seamlessly integrated with ALLDATA Repair or ALLDATA Collision. It simplifies creating shop documents like estimates, repair orders, and invoices, and it’s with this simplification that you’re able to appreciate the efficiency of this product. This article will serve as an exploration of the features that showcase this efficiency.  

There are roughly 750,000 automotive technicians and diesel mechanics nationally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Let’s say that you had the good fortune to have hired 10 of the best technicians in your area. Their skill levels range from fledgling lube technicians to highly qualified master technicians. What can you do to ensure they keep their toolboxes anchored in your shop for years to come?

The Internal Combustion engine is a marvel of reliability. If it has air, compression, fuel, and ignition in the proper quantities and at the correct time, it will run. If it doesn’t run or runs rough, then we have to diagnose the cause.

 

Business was humming along and no one saw it coming: a pandemic unlike any that anyone has seen since the Spanish Flu in 1918

Autobody News used its 19,000 shop email subscribers and social media channels to conduct a survey of collision shops across the country April 17-19, to see how they were coping with the COVID 19 pandemic.

The coronavirus continues to impact everyone – in widely varying degrees. As the situation plays out in the next weeks and months, it’s more important than ever to stay connected with your customers.

Did you know that the average comeback costs a shop $237? We're here so you can fix it right the first time

Aaron Stokes is a well-known figure in the automotive coaching industry. He started from a repair shop in a garage and over the course of 20+ years fought his way to his current status: the owner of five repair shops and founder of Shop Fix Academy. Recently, ALLDATA has worked with Aaron Stokes and Shop Fix Academy to bring shop owners useful webinars about increasing performance at their shops. The webinars can be quite lengthy – ranging from two and a half hours to almost four – so here is a summation of his first two: Win BIG in the Final Months of 2019 and Anatomy of a Record-Breaking Month.

Without a doubt, the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic will be the defining event of 2020. Along with memories of mass closures, social distancing and financial volatility, we will also remember how communities and nations across the globe were bound together in solidarity to overcome a common threat.

The health, safety and well-being of our customers, our employees, and the community at large remain ALLDATA’s top priority during these unprecedented times caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19.)

While most of North America “shelters in place,” essential automotive-related businesses – including gas stations, auto repair shops, and retailers like our parent company AutoZone – continue to serve the needs of first responders and the general public who rely on safe, reliable transportation.

HOW SHOPS ARE KEEPING THE DOORS OPEN DURING THE PANDEMIC

As ALLDATA President Satwinder Mangat calls out in his COVID-19 update, our teams are working diligently to maintain the integrity of our customers’ access to ALLDATA products and to continue to provide outstanding service and support during these unprecedented times.

On Feb. 13, CIECA offered a CIECAst webinar entitled “Utilizing Technology to Thrive and Not Just Survive in 2020” with Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. 

Topics included eliminating human disruption, how AI will impact collision repair facilities, electronic quality control checklists, text reminders, customer updates using technology and much more.

We’ve gathered the best health and safety practices from our customers and throughout the industry to keep your business running – and to keep you, your employees, and your customers safe.

ALLDATA Repair®, our flagship product, has been evolving since its creation in 1986. From stacks of manuals and disks to a simple click of a button, we’ve worked hard to keep our product up-to-date with repair information (we publish new information daily!), and stay ahead of the game with a positive user experience. We aim to make the important information accessible – for example, about 40% of our users end up on Parts & Labor, so we made it easy to access on the home screen. Here are some of the top useful features we want to make sure you know about!

Vehicles today are a far cry from what they were 20 years ago, when cars weren’t equipped with a single advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS).

Cedarbrae Automotive, is a successful independent service repair business in Scarborough, Ont. Founded in 1972 by Sam Scala and today operated by sons Frank and Corey, it’s a busy shop with a huge and loyal client base, that depend on its staff for their automotive needs year after year.

Yet as vehicle technology advances, Cedarbrae has taken steps to ensure it has the access to the latest and most accurate repair information, one reason why, says Frank Scala that “two years ago, we chose to partner with ALLDATA.”

It has been said that you only get one chance to make a first impression. While that is true, it is equally true that we get multiple chances to improve on or ruin that impression. Nowhere is that truer than in customer relations. It’s also true in marriage… but that’s a subject for another time and place.

The automotive repair industry has a public relations issue. Much of the public is wary of us. And often, automotive folk relate better to machines than to people. We can improve our PR using some simple techniques which we will explore.

We live in an age where it is easier than ever to share expertise. According to Edison Research, in 2018 alone there were more than 700,000 active podcasts and over 29 million podcast episodes. Yet professional trustworthy automotive collision industry videos or podcasts designed specifically for automotive collision technicians are rare. AutoBody’s Ed Attanasio has written this article describing ‘BoothTalk’, a podcast by a Collision Refinisher for Collision Refinishers.

The day we spoke with Matthew McDonnell, owner of Big Sky Collision Center in Billings, Mont., he was just hours away from signing the final documents for his company’s fourth location, this one in Manhattan, Mont. Coincidentally it was also his father’s 72nd birthday.

BG White

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