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Tech Stuff

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Tool Review: OTC's Drain Plug Pro Tool Kit

Engine oil changes are a part of any shop’s routine. As we all know, one of the bothersome aspects of draining the sump involves hot, grimy, dirty, slimy oil oozing out all over your hand while removing the pan’s drain plug. Finally, someone took the time to develop a specialty tool that eliminates the mess.

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Multi-Rib V-Belt Systems

Only bad things happen when a serpentine belt, now known as a multi-rib V-belt system, breaks under the hood of a customer’s car. Paying close attention to the belt and all of the components that it touches will save your customers aggravation and increase your bottom line.

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Safety Dictates Changing Headlamps in Pairs

Just as it makes sense to replace both tires on the same axle or to replace both lower ball joints at the same time instead of simply replacing one worn part, when one headlamp fails, it makes sense to replace both at the same time. This provides optimum driving safety for the customer and improves your shop’s bottom line as well.

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Shop Equipment: Lifts, Tools and Accessories

Outfitting your shop with all of the tools and equipment necessary to address current and future service requirements is a never-ending task, as vehicle designs change and as you strive to increase your shop’s productivity. Here we provide examples of innovative tools and equipment to consider.

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The Local Wrench: An Automotive Gem in the Picturesque Northwest

The Local Wrench has established itself as, well, the local favorite automotive service shop in the northwest Washington state region.

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Emergency Ignored?

It should be standard practice to perform an overall inspection of every customer’s vehicle when it enters the shop, regardless of what specific repair prompted the visit. Inspections such as checking fluid levels, tire wear, belt condition, a visual inspection for leaks, loose or badly worn steering and suspension parts, a brake pad and rotor check, etc., should be included, as a pre-emptive strike to alert the customer to any issues that require immediate or not-too-distant attention.

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Chrysler EVAP Performance Codes

Of all the OBD II Diagnostic Trouble Codes, the EVAP codes can cause you the most trouble. A faulty evaporative emission control system almost never affects engine performance or gas mileage, so aside from maybe a whiff of fuel odor, the only symptom is the malfunction indicator light (MIL).

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Super Duty EGRT

Some 2008-2010 Ford F-Super Duty vehicles equipped with the 6.4L engine and built on or before 11-1-2009 may exhibit a DTC P040D related to the exhaust gas recirculation temperature (EGRT) sensor located in the right-hand turbocharger inlet pipe.

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Servicing Suspension Struts Requires Attention to Detail

When a customer comes in and says the car is not riding “right” or there’s a clunking sound from underneath, it’s important to do a thorough investigation before jumping to any conclusions. When the vehicle has a strut suspension, you need to understand how all the components work together and which ones are most prone to wear. Here are strut service tips that should be used whenever working on vehicles.

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Leak Detection: Smoke, Dye and Electronic Methods

The average age of cars and light trucks on the road is now 11 ½ years, according to research from the latest Auto Care Association Factbook. Think about that for a moment. It means that you are dealing with higher mileage vehicles and  the issues that result for long-term wear and tear.

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