Brake system service is perhaps the most crucial aspect of vehicle service. If the engine won’t start, the customer is stranded. If the engine or transmission causes a surge or poor acceleration, the customer is annoyed. But if the vehicle won’t stop, that’s a big problem.
In this article, we’ll briefly cover the basics of wheel alignment angles as an aid for new technicians, followed by an overview of the need to consider how wheel angles affect ADAS (advanced driver assist systems) and the concern for ADAS recalibration following a wheel alignment job.
Shock absorber and strut service is certainly nothing new to your shop. However, for newly-hired technicians who may still be learning the ropes, this article is intended to help provide basic service tips regarding these essential elements of vehicle ride control.
Threaded fasteners require the proper amount of tightening in order to achieve the desired clamping force to secure components. This may involve either reaching a specified torque value or a combination of torque plus additional angle tightening. Either way, the goal is to obtain proper clamping load. With few exceptions, tightening by “feel” is simply inadequate. Under or over tightening can cause fastener failure, components cracking, allowing leaks of combustion pressure, vacuum or fluid leaks, warped components or any combination of faults. Adhering to published torque (or torque-plus-angle) specifications is important for all installation or assembly tasks, but is especially critical for engine, transmission, steering, suspension and brake system applications.
Ride control complaints are one of the most common types of concerns expressed by customers. Quite often, the customer’s description is vague or misleading. Attempt to gather as much information from them as possible prior to performing an inspection. For example, do you only hear a “funny” noise when driving n bumpy roads or on smooth roads as well? If you suspect that the vehicle is heavily loaded with cargo at times, ask if the “wandering” they experience only occurs when heavily loaded, etc. The customer’s descriptions of an issue should be considered merely as a starting point. It’s up to you to inspect and road test to determine the actual cause of the complaint.
How many times has someone told you to take care of your hearing? Anyone who works in a busy shop is subjected to a range of noises every day....pneumatic wrenches and impact guns, drills, air compressors turning on, vehicle horns, vehicle alarm system screeches, hammers striking metal, etc. Some of these noises, especially repeated exposure to certain noises, can damage your hearing. We all know how important it is to wear eye protection to save your eyeballs from fluids or metal chips, and to wear reinforced work shoes to save our toes from being mashed by heavy objects and gloves to protect our skin from certain chemicals or from handling hot and/or sharp objects, but many of us tend to ignore ear protection, often assuming that “the noise only lasts for a few seconds, so it won’t matter.”
Sioux Falls, S.D., is home to an array of historical, cultural and recreational attractions, with the impressive Big Sioux River and Chris’s Auto Repair LLC among the top of the list. This may sound a bit of an exaggeration at first, but Chris’s has gained quite a bit of notoriety since its beginnings a mere seven years ago.
“My engine blew a head gasket and now it overheats.” That’s a fairly commonly heard knee-jerk diagnosis. However, it’s wrong. When an engine overheats or if the gasket allows coolant or combustion gasses to escape, do not automatically blame the gasket. Cylinder head gaskets can be viewed similar to a fuse. If the gasket “fails,” this is a symptom that something other than the gasket itself caused the failure.
We’re all familiar with the “new normal” of social distancing to prevent the spread of a virus. While this concept applies to people, I wondered if we could equate this to vehicles. Yes, my mind does work in strange ways at times, and this is a prime example.
In our 10th installment of Techs Helping Techs, we have the opportunity to allow our readers to share valuable information, for the benefit of all. We all run into diagnostic and repair instances wherein we discover a few tricks. Instead of keeping that valuable information to ourselves, sharing the tips and tricks helps everyone in the service industry to do a better job. Our thanks to those who submitted their experiences.
Shops that don’t necessarily specialize in diesel engine repair and maintenance need to do their homework to stay abreast of both previous and current diesel engine control systems in order to service their light truck/towing customers. Here we’ve included a selection of various tips and tricks to help you get your feet wet in the diesel light truck market.
Madison Heights is about 14 miles northwest of Detroit. Approximately 50% to 60% of Interstate Auto Care’s customer base is within a three-mile radius of Madison Heights, with the remainder within an hour’s drive.
Jamie Carlson and her husband, Eric, have built a business over the past 25 years that attracts the highest caliber automotive professionals as well as a loyal following of customers throughout the Grand Rapids, Mich., market area. While Eric and the other ASE technicians handle the shop’s high-end service, Jamie’s mission is to continually strive to promote the shop and to elevate the image of automotive repair professionals.
Two brothers, Nolan and David Pike, started their repair business in 2011 as a mobile tech service. After about one year, business was booming, with the brothers deciding to move into a brick-and-mortar shop.
Ever wonder why hypoid gear oil stinks so bad? Most of us simply accept the fact that gear oil stinks and grudgingly anticipate the horrid smell when we service a drive axle assembly as a necessary evil.
Sharing diagnostic and repair information provides a real-world aid to all technicians. Rather than finding a fix and keeping it a secret, by sharing, everyone benefits. There’s enough work out there for all shops, so it isn’t a matter of safeguarding tips or tricks from a competition standpoint. By helping each other out, the industry benefits as a whole. Thanks to those who pitched in.
Every vehicle requires periodic maintenance (preventive maintenance) to avoid problems. The same holds true for certain tools and shop equipment. Lifts should be inspected annually, office and shop computers require updates, torque wrenches require periodic calibration, pneumatic tools require in-line lubrication to prevent dry running and lockups. Bay door rollers require cleaning and lube to keep them running smoothly.
While technological changes and advancements are in the works for future vehicles, such as electronic braking systems, we thought it best to discuss what’s happening at the current time, in terms of brake pad, rotor and fluid technology. Included in this article are comments from several brake system parts manufacturers.
There are tools that allow you get the job done, and there are tools that allow you get the job done quicker and/or more efficiently. In this brief article, we cherry-picked a few examples of items that help to make shop life easier, with less effort and that help to maximize labor profit.
Problem diagnosis of our occasional faulty memory can sometimes prove difficult, especially when the concern occurs on an intermittent basis. Sometimes, we just need to step back, take a deep breath and perform a step-by-step reprogram. Take the following example, wherein I misplaced a Torx T15 bit:
Audra Fordin’s shop was not selected for this reader profile article because she’s a female in a predominantly male occupation. Far from it. Rather, she represents a new breed of repair shop owners and technicians who go out of their way to educate customers, specifically female customers.
Instead of using a shop’s in-house scan tool, CarMD Pro Scan allows you to use the company’s app in conjunction with the plug-in hardware device in order to scan the vehicle, obtaining all data from their remote location directly to your smart phone, laptop or tablet.