Car Dr 1600
The Car Doctor’s prescription for technicians: keep reading
Sep. 04 2021
Car Dr 365
Sep. 04 2021

Ron Ananian is the owner of R\A Automotive in Waldwick, New Jersey. Since 1991, he has also educated and entertained millions of listeners through his nationally syndicated radio program, The Car Doctor.  We sat down with Ron recently to talk about what he does in his downtime. Turns out that besides his CrossFit regime, he’s passionate about learning.

ALLDATA: Ron, on your show recently, you talked about what you like to do in your off hours. Can you tell us that story again?

RON ANANIAN: I was telling my listeners about what I like to read in my leisure time, what little of it there is. On the first Friday of every month we close the shop so I can get some mental health time, and on this particular Friday my family couldn’t find me because I was holed up for hours reading about OBDII emissions and system monitors and how they work. It’s something I stumbled across in ALLDATA.

if you understand the basics of OBDII you can fix cars a lot easier. And a lot of that is right here in ALLDATA.

ALLDATA: And you found this in the Technician’s Reference section?

RON ANANIAN: Yes, you know, auto repair is not an 8-to-5 job. Maybe it starts at 8 but it doesn't end until midnight or until your head hits the pillow. One of my favorite things to do is, either after hours or any time I can grab some computer time, I'll read TSBs, and I just stumbled across the Technician Reference section in ALLDATA. I found this great article about OBDII basics, how it works. The things that you won't necessarily see or hear in a classroom. And it's right in the program. It was about nine pages of probably some of the best OBDII language in simple form. It’s important. OBDII has been around since '96 so it's coming up on 30 years. We kind of take it for granted, but if you understand the basics of OBDII you can fix cars a lot easier. And a lot of that is right here in ALLDATA.


Repair - Technicians Reference Guide



Tech Ref OBDII


ALLDATA: It's like a mini course in OBDII.

RON ANANIAN: Basically. It really is. The nice thing about OBDII is it standardizes bits of information across the board. You look at a Mercedes, a Chevy, a Toyota, a Porsche, they all call it an oxygen sensor. They all call it a mass air flow sensor. You get into manufacturer specifics and they'll call it by the manufacturer's term, which, to a younger tech and even some of us older ones, it can be confusing. So a solid understanding of OBDII is really important and it makes the job of the technician easier. That's why going back to what's in ALLDATA, everything's right here. You want to understand how a drive cycle is? It talks about that. It talks about DTCs. It breaks down the system EGR, engine and misfire, freeze frame data, and so on. I think my point is and what got me so excited that I was talking about it on the show is, you know, we think ALLDATA is just information. It's specific to that car we're working on.

It's how to take out a heater core or how to install an engine or something like that. But there's an awful lot in the Technician's Reference section. And you're always updating the information. I'm always reading it because there's always something new being added.

ALLDATA: Another thing you can do in the Technician’s Reference section is not only just browse through it, but if you're looking for something specific you can put it in the search bar and get all these different articles.

RON ANANIAN: You know, and I never even realized that. See, I learned something else today. There you go.

I expect my information systems to have TSBs and wiring diagrams and all the rest of it, but ALLDATA’s Technician’s Reference section is the hidden gem.

ALLDATA: Would you advise other technicians to take your proactive approach when it comes to keeping up with automotive repair technology?

RON ANANIAN: The programming evolves as the car evolves and we have to evolve with it. And that's why it's not an 8-to-5 job. It's an 8 to whenever job. There's just always information. There's always something to learn in this business. After 45 years you think you've learned it all. No, because you get up the next day and you learn something else. Just like life. But there's just so much in here. I expect my information systems to have TSBs and wiring diagrams and all the rest of it, but I think ALLDATA’s Technician’s Reference section is the hidden gem. It's up in the top of the screen.

There's just so much information that you don't realize is there until you start looking. And some of it is really great stuff.

RON ANANIAN: I noticed that you also have OBDII information on medium and heavy trucks. Once in a while somebody calls me and says, “Hey, do you know anything about Mitsubishi?” Now I know where to look. It's in here. Some of the stuff may seem innocuous at first. But I tell you what, you sit down at lunch one day, a slice of pizza and your ALLDATA and you're going to find things you didn't know were in there. And that's what's so important. People want to know how I remember TSBs and recalls. It’s because I study. I read. I research. I'll be working on a car and I'll sit down and I'll glance through TSBs. It became a habit I got into years ago and it pays off because it will help me fix the car faster and get it out the door and get the next one in. That's what it's all about, right?

There's just so much information that you don't realize is there until you start looking. And some of it is really great stuff.

ALLDATA: It’s impressive that you continue to self-educate to stay on top of all of the technological complexities in the industry.

RON ANANIAN: You know, let's face it. You can't. The only way you can even come close is just reading all the time and being open minded to change. And, you know, the other thing about auto repair is a little note that I've always said of late -- more of late than prior, is you've got to leave your ego at the door. Leave your ego at the door because trust me, that car is going to humble you in ways that you have yet to experience. And that's why it's important to sit down and read. I always tell my guys if you're having a real problem with something, put 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes into every day and try to understand it.

Watch this 1-minute video to learn more about the Technician’s Reference section in ALLDATA.




The Car Doctor Radio Show,

"Car Advice, Done Right" since 1991

Live Show Saturdays 2-4PM Eastern Time
Car Dr Hotline - Call 855-560-9900 24/7
Syndicated via Talk Media Network
Podcasting distribution by iHeart Radio


Ron Ananian, also owner of:

R/A Automotive

59 West Prospect Street,Waldwick, New Jersey 07463
(201) 652-5250


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