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Two of the biggest challenges facing repairers today: widespread litigation and increasing vehicle complexity. But what if there’s one easy solution to help protect your shop from liability and get a firm grasp on advanced vehicle technologies?

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

Like many independent repair shops, Dietrich’s Collision in Imlay City, Michigan is family owned. Has been for three generations, in fact, founded in 1968 by the late patriarch Larry E. Dietrich.

We first heard about Dietrich’s Collision when Tony Benke – who now co-owns the business with his dad Kevin Dietrich – answered a survey following his experience with ALLDATA’s Library Request. Here’s what he wrote:  

Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is the nation’s leading provider of technical training for people seeking careers in the automotive, diesel, and welding industries. They also offer motorcycle, collision repair, marine mechanics, NASCAR, and manufacturer-specific training. Founded in 1965, the first UTI school was located in Phoenix, AZ and only had five students. It started with a single subject: automatic transmissions, with a diesel program added to the curriculum in 1968. It wasn’t until 1983 that UTI added a second campus in Houston, TX. 

Now, accredited repairers in Saskatchewan can get a nice bonus – up to $170 a month! – just for using ALLDATA Collision®. Though limited in scope geographically, this is a great example of an organization recognizing the importance of requiring accredited shops to utilize OEM information, and then supporting that requirement with a generous monthly reimbursement.

For all of its collision repair information and automotive diagnostics, the crew at Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre constantly calls upon ALLDATA to repair approximately 200 cars monthly.

This dealership group has four locations in Canada and three of these feature body shops, all of which are busy and consistently receive five-star reviews from its ecstatic customers.

One of the biggest trade shows in the automotive industry is right around the corner: SEMA 2019 is taking place November 5 – November 8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. With over 3,000 products in the New Products Showcase, educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, and networking opportunities, the list of stuff to do is overwhelming. We’ve done the research and compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your SEMA experience.

ALLDATA, an AutoZone company, was recently designated a “Preferred Partner” of the Collision Advice Legacy Group Cooperative.

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.

You: Hey, Mike, I keep hearing you saying we need to look up the OEM repair procedures on every single vehicle every single time. But surely you’re not talking about even the easy jobs, where we’re just replacing a single part.

Me: Oh, you mean like the Infiniti vehicle I saw recently where something had flown from the road and put a hole in the grille? All the vehicle needed was to have that grille replaced. Sure, you could skip looking up the OEM procedures for that. But then you’d miss the parts diagram showing the small part on the grille marked with a little black dot with a white X in it. That symbol in the Infiniti procedures indicates a non-reusable part.

Shops struggle with parts pricing and sometimes ignore the link between parts markup and shop profit margins. Healthy shops often sell parts for more than the “street price.” The concern shop owners face is how much over that retail price they should mark up the parts and how to make the markup process as painless as possible.

There is a “science” (and some math) to parts-pricing strategies. There are also software tools available to help you with this daunting task. When these strategies are used properly a shop will improve profitability and will avoid leaving money “on the table.”

At the NIADA Convention and Expo, George Verkamp (shown above), Vice President of Sales & Business Development at ALLDATA, and Doug Turner, Director of Service Operations at Byrider, revealed a statistic: the #1 reported problem facing independent dealers today is the increased cost of doing business. Why? Running a service department is increasingly complex and it’s more and more difficult to maintain margins.

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.

Caliber talent development Senior Vice President Ty Gammill earlier this year described the company’s rationale and playbook for using veterans to fill the collision industry technician shortage.

His comments from the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium panel Feb. 15 on Caliber’s “Changing Lanes”might provide guidance to other tech-strapped employers seeking to leverage a military presence in their market.

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.

Deep down, Mauro Vitale is a drag racer at heart.

So, even though Vitale’s parents operated a pizza restaurant, he wanted no part of the family business right out of high school, in 1994. While the family business offered security, Vitale was all about racing Fox body Mustangs.

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.

A recent Volkswagen Canada presentation demonstrated the importance of referring to OEM repair procedures by highlighting two critical considerations related to some bumper fascias.

Volkswagen Canada collision program manager Scott Wideman showed a VeriFacts Guild 21 audience March 14 the OEM’s requirements for an R&I of a 2017 Passat rear bumper cover. The procedures gave “ample warnings that you need to start thinking about what technology is on the car,” he said.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are designed to improve driver safety through the application of several technologies developed over the last fifteen years. Although, I think that some of these systems may predate the 1970s. I’m sure my father’s car had a Forward Collision Warning system when it was equipped with the right-seat driver option.

We know it’s a significant problem. So this past January, we surveyed shop owners, service writers, and technicians and across the country to get their take on the technician shortage in the automotive repair industry.

What did they say is the primary cause? And what should the industry do about it?

Earlier this year, ALLDATA President Satwinder Mangat traveled to Canada, exploring ways to better support this key market. Following a meeting with publishers of Collision Management, the magazine then featured ALLDATA as the cover story for the February Issue.

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.

ELK GROVE, Calif. – Oct. 29, 2018 – ALLDATA LLC, an AutoZone company, will showcase the newest features in ALLDATA Diagnostics™ at Booth #10631 in the North Hall, SEMA 2018.

ELK GROVE, Calif. – Jan. 8, 2019 – ALLDATA Europe GmbH, an affiliate of ALLDATA LLC, an AutoZone company, has joined the European Automotive Data Publishers Association (ADPA) to help drive legislation that will allow publishers to provide innovative, technological, multi-brand solutions to the aftermarket.

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

Both Aaron Stokes and Rich Diegle know their stuff. Not only is Aaron Stokes the founder of ShopFix Academy, he is also the owner of six repair shops with almost 20 years of experience in the car repair industry.

ALLDATA provides a certification program for ALLDATA Repair®: the CAIS (Certified Automotive Information Specialist) Program. It’s essentially a test to show how well you can use ALLDATA Repair. As soon as you pass with an 80% or higher, you’re a Certified Specialist; the personalized certificate is immediately available for download and you can then request to receive a free CAIS patch for shop uniforms.”

Auto industry trade groups representing virtually all automakers selling cars and light duty trucks in the United States released a policy position statement today underscoring the importance of all post-collision vehicle repairs being conducted in accordance with the repair procedures issued by the vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

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

Having access to OEM repair information has many benefits for those in the collision repair industry. Not only does it ensure a vehicle is repaired properly for the customer, but it can also potentially limit liability for a body shop and the insurance company, according to Satwinder Mangat, president of ALLDATA, an AutoZone Company.

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?

ALLDATA’s Diagnostics tools pay for themselves every month after just three days, according to Bayside Body Shop owner Brian Holland.

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.

As always, our friends at I-CAR provide the collision industry classes and programs that promote safe collision repair and profitable shops. At SEMA Education Days, I-CAR comes out huge with 13 courses that are structured around individual roles within the industry. Additionally, passing these courses will count to your I-CAR Gold and Platinum Class programs, giving attendees the ability to enjoy SEMA and further their industry credentials. In the interest of promoting best practices in the collision industry we have provided the class list for your consideration.

ALLDATA was recently recognized for its contributions to innovations in our industry: in August alone, ALLDATA received innovation awards from both PTEN and NACE Automechanika Atlanta.

Every year, PTEN recognizes the industry’s most innovative products of that year. Their panel of judges consists of techs and shop owners, and this panel evaluates each nomination for their contribution to the vehicle diagnosis and repair process, as well their ability to increase shop productivity. This year, ALLDATA 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.

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.

BG White

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