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. “
AutoZone, Inc. recently launched its new top-of-the-line Duralast GT brake pads, offering race-ready, proven stopping performance.
In the spirit of April Fools’ Day, three 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. Ultimately, we know there’s no foolin’ around when it comes to OEM-accurate, tech-verified automotive mechanical repairs.
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 process go smoother and with complete transparency as to the parts that are going on to customers’ vehicles.
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.
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. The companies have agreed to pay substantial fines and to repair and clear all safety recalls before claiming vehicles are “safe” or “certified” unless they clearly disclose open recall information.
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 technologies, and plans to launch a fleet of self-driving Lyft vehicles in the next few years. And Volvo is gearing up to launch 100 self-driving cars in a real-world test in China.
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.
Another SEMA show is in the books and that’s a good thing - you can only handle so much information and fun in one week! ALLDATA sent a team of people to SEMA and everyone agreed that this year’s show was among the best. More than 140,000 people came to Las Vegas to spend a week learning about everything new in the automotive industry–and ALLDATA had lots to share.
”What if your doctor came to you and said that you needed heart surgery? Wouldn’t you want a battery of comprehensive tests done first? When an auto repair shop says your car needs a new engine, the same concept applies. While comparing heart surgery to replacing an engine may seem like an unlikely analogy, the diagnostic process used in both cases is very similar. Tests performed during diagnostics need to eliminate guesswork and help conclude exactly what the core problem is. Making an accurate diagnosis takes a specialized person using high-tech equipment.”
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, but you want to help keep your customers’ vehicles in good shape. The Car Care Council’s 2015 vehicle inspection results show that your efforts are needed. The Council hosts vehicle inspections at community car care events across the country and the 2015 results showed that 84 percent of vehicles need service or parts, ranging from low fluid levels to hose or wiper blade replacements.
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. We wanted to share two recent examples of innovation we’ve seen…and ask for your input.
Toyota® Prius®. BMW® X6®. Ford® Fusion Hybrid®. Mazda® Tribute®. The list goes on, with new hybrid vehicles being introduced—and familiar models being offered as hybrids—nearly every year. Hybrid vehicles are no longer the wave of the future. They are here and they are widely used, for personal vehicles, taxis, delivery vehicles, ride-sharing and more.
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. The shop has all the latest test equipment, plenty of diagnostic and repair information and well-trained techs. He asked, “What the heck are we missing?”
The new year is a time for reflection—what went right last year, what we want to change for this year, and just generally figuring out how to have a successful and satisfying year. For businesses, annual budgets are usually planned, discussed and finalized before the new year arrives. A key part of this planning process is evaluating your current tools and technologies, including your diagnostic and shop management resources, and determining what best fits your shop’s needs. If you haven’t started yet, now is a good time.
When your techs are on the clock and the customer is waiting for her car, they need answers and they need them NOW! ALLDATA® CommunitySM is the solution!
ALLDATA Community is an interactive, time-saving tool that puts your technician in touch with thousands of other repair professionals for answers to difficult diagnostic and repair questions. But that’s not all! A team of ALLDATA ASE Certified Master Technicians monitors Community and will jump in with answers to unresolved questions to help get that vehicle back on the road quickly.
The way technology is evolving, it’s a good idea to stay informed of what the manufacturers are bringing to market each year. And for those hard-to-diagnose problems, give ALLDATA® CommunitySM a try. Select the Community link located on your ALLDATA® Collision S3500SM or ALLDATA Repair home page. A team of highly-skilled, in-house ASE Master Technicians and thousands of ALLDATA shops are there to help you make confident repairs and get vehicles back to their owners quickly. Here is just one of many helpful verified repairs…
Some drivers have been leading their vehicles to the gas pump, but can’t seem to make the thirsty cars drink. Several 2004-2009 Chrysler® Group models are known to be hard to fill with fuel. Sometimes the fuel nozzle shuts off repeatedly. This problem may have a number of different causes, the fuel tank being least likely. There’s no need to waste time exploring the issue, when a path to a solution may already be at hand. This technical service bulletin issued by Chrysler offers a diagnostic procedure to help quickly diagnose and repair the condition.
“ALLDATA Mobile is not a tablet enabled website,” commented Paul Marshall, Mobile Product Developer. “In other words, we’ve developed a true Mobile App. The only Mobile App for OE Repair Information in the industry.”
Diesels have historically had an image problem. They’ve been known to be smelly, slow, and polluters of the air. But when the smoke clears, the truth is that the modern diesel can be clean (and still be powerful). Cleaning up diesel’s act needed some help… help that came in the form of diesel exhaust aftertreatment systems.
There are a lot of older cars on the road, and you probably see your share of them in your shop. While you may expect to see leaky hoses on higher mileage vehicles, sometimes the cause
is not so obvious. Diagnosing a problem takes time – time that translates to money out of your customers’ wallets. That’s where OE repair procedures and technical service bulletins (TSBs) come in.