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”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.”

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

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.

Say that you decide to restore a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham 365 Tri-Power with the special air suspension system, a rare car even in its day. Where would you get the information to repair this magnificent, tail-finned beast?

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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