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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.

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

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.

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

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.”

scan tools
scan tools

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.

diesel600
diesel600

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ALLDATA is marking its 11th year at the annual SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) exhibition with the launch of ALLDATA Diagnostics. This next-generation technology turns a tablet (Android, Windows 10, or iOS) into a powerful, professional scan tool – an industry first. It’s also the only scan tool solution with ALLDATA Repair® or ALLDATA Collision® built in, which means that codes link directly to relevant OEM articles, as well as ALLDATA’s new interactive color wiring diagrams.

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?

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.” Fuel trim results from the adjusting of the powertrain control module (PCM) which maintains a balanced air/fuel mixture ratio. Fuel trim is usually displayed as a percentage reading on a scan tool.

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