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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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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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!

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.”

Connecting to a vehicle’s electronics and extracting information is not new. While primitive by today’s standards, some carmakers had scan tools over 35 years ago. The early 1990s saw several scan tools from aftermarket tool makers; the iconic MT2500 “Brick” from 1990 introduced many independent shops to scan-tool diagnostics.

When you’re looking for something good to eat, diesel fuel is probably not in your food pyramid. Yet, there are critters that like to feast on diesel fuel and their munching can create major headaches for operators of diesel engines.

Celebrating American Independence means fireworks, family, friends, and apple pie. But these staples would not be nearly as satisfying without the barbeque. Whether you are grilling meat or tofu, it is hard to imagine a more universal day for Americans to break out the briquettes.

I hope that the previous article stirred some discussion in your shop. Perhaps you were already aware of the need for proper coolant or how heat transfer works?

Now we'll cover what can go wrong with cooling systems and how you can diagnose and repair the problems that arise from improper servicing.

The aftermarket automotive repair industry has quite a few misconceptions surrounding it as a whole. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems is the concept of trust – or, rather, the consumers’ lack thereof. As we know, a very high percentage of consumers don’t trust car repair shops.

YouTube was founded on February 14, 2005 in an office above a pizzeria in San Mateo, California. One year later it was one of the fastest growing sites on the internet. Today, over 45% of smartphone users access YouTube. People access YouTube not only for entertainment; they visit to learn how to tie a tie, remove ingrown hairs, clean clogged drains, or how to safely shear sheep in the springtime.

To help technicians diagnose and fix vehicles even faster, ALLDATA has added a new feature to its ALLDATA DiagnosticsTM scan tool. 

The safety of your customers’ vehicles is of utmost importance.  If you haven’t already made it part of your service check-in, there’s a simple ALLDATA look-up that gives you access to key vehicle safety information via Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs). But before we get to that, let’s take a look at automotive recalls.

At ALLDATA’s Tech-Assist center, hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about a slew of automotive problems caused by low system voltage.

There are plenty of articles on how to use scan tools, voltmeters, lab scopes, service information, and diagnostic dice (yes, that is a real product).

This is not one of those articles.

In my hometown, my barber must have a state-issued license to cut what little hair I have. The person who fixed my home heating system must have several licenses

The trouble code you extracted from that car seems to point you to a bad sensor. You replace the sensor and the code quickly comes back. Hmm, must be a bad module! So that gets replaced as well. No one is more surprised than you when the original code comes back. Well, that leaves the wiring and connectors. You disconnect the harness at the sensor and the module end and check for wiring and connector continuity. Your meter shows zero Ohms resistance. You determine it cannot possibly be the wiring or connectors. Or could it be?

SEMA season is upon us, and ALLDATA is celebrating by showcasing its newest product release: the award-winning scan tool solution ALLDATA Diagnostics. Our SEMA booth will feature videos and knowledgeable ALLDATA personnel who will demo this device that turns a tablet into a professional-level scan tool – the only one with the power of ALLDATA built in.  

Welcome back to Part 2 of Sensor Testing Secrets. We trust you were able to use some of the tips to better diagnose vehicle electrical issues with temperature and position sensors.

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

ALLDATA recently won two 2018 PTEN Innovation Awards; one for ALLDATA Collision Advantage in the Computers and Software Category, and one for ALLDATA Diagnostics in the Scan Tools Category.

This year, the publication received a total of 142 product nominations. Top products in 27 categories have been recognized.

It’s been about an hour, and you are no closer to finding the problem on that 2012 Equinox. The Internet was a waste of time, the diagnostic trouble-tree led to a dead end, and your fellow techs are no help. This is when most techs should look to a hotline to help solve the mystery.

The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS); or in GM jargon SIR (supplemental inflatable restraint system) uses more components than just airbags: modules, crash sensors, seat weight and position sensors, seat belt switches, warning lights and pre-tensioning devices are all used to protect and enhance the safety of the driver and passengers.

Mode $6 monitor status reporting could be compared to a high school report card. Think back, you’ve just finished your junior year and with trepidation you open your report card. Surprise!

With Solo: A Star Wars Story releasing on May 25, the fans are getting treated to a plethora of geekdom in the form of memorabilia, interviews and grand scale activations. 

Nissan has upped the ante as well, revealing a Millennium Falcon-dressed Nissan Rogue for Star Wars aficionados to either pick apart or adore.

Temperatures are climbing, HVAC units are getting fired up and customers’ air conditioning complaints fill the warm air. Yes, A/C repair season is here. That time of year when suddenly car owners suddenly realize their cars are not cool enough.

Before you break out your A/C gauges and refrigerant recovery machines, there is some new technology that you may want to be aware of. An ALLDATA customer gave us this great example recently.

Spring has sprung, and drivers across the nation are planning their summer roadtrips and vacations. They look forward to driving to far away mountains, lakes, and beaches just to enjoy the summer heat far from home. You’ll want your customers’ vehicles to be ready for these journeys before they head out, which could mean extra service work coming in for you. Of course, you also want them to have a great time once they’re out on the road.

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) has been tracking refrigerant use by vehicle manufacturers for quite some time and, as expected for the 2018 model year, we have seen a few more manufacturers choose to change over a few or even all of their US offerings to use the new refrigerant HFO-1234yf.

For many of you this is old news. You’ve been programming modules to do the right thing at the right time for years. But for some of you, just disconnecting a battery gets you thinking, “What will this break?” Welcome to the world of relearning and reprogramming.

In the spirit of April Fools’ Day, four of our Tech Tips are true … and two are pranks. But which two? Find out by clicking each one to unlock the true Tech Tips, or the pranks.

Who ya gonna call? ALLDATA Tech-Assist®. Especially now that ALLDATA has expanded its diagnostic and repair hotline service, hiring additional technicians at its Elk Grove headquarters and at new hotline call centers in Georgia and Texas.

Today, the number of screens people will interact with is more than at any other time in history. From smartphones to computers, and tablets, there is no shortage of technology for us to have to keep an eye on. However, there is one more medium adding another screen consumers have to pay attention to.

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