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Tool Review: Mac Tools cordless 3/8-inch wrench

The 3/8-inch-drive Mac Tools cordless wrench is relatively compact, at 7.1 inches tall by 6.7...

The range of high-quality cordless electric power tools is quickly expanding. Torque and battery life is increasing, and the toughness and durability demanded by pro technicians is increasingly being met. To provide insight into a new offering, here we’ll review one of the latest Mac Tools cordless impact wrenches.

Article

Check engine light diagnostics

Figure 1: Here’s a screenshot of a DTC scanned using a quick code reader.

For most auto repair shops, diagnostics are not where the money is. A good diagnosis is needed to figure out what parts (and these days, sometimes software files) are needed to repair a drivability issue.

Article

Advances in ride control: Getting up-to-speed on electronic suspension control

Example of the magneto-rheological (MR) fluid system shown here on an Audi TT.

Once upon a time, ride control simply referred to providing a vehicle with a comfortable driving experience while limiting excess body roll. This was primarily addressed by the automakers by the selection of the appropriate springs, shock absorbers that would dampen spring movement and anti-roll bars that somewhat tamed, or limited, excess body lean during turns or steering maneuvers.

Article

Battery testing basics

After examining the photo, what do you think? Is it time to replace this customer’s battery?

The cold snap that recently swept through most of the nation caught many folks unprepared as roads closed, pipes burst and batteries failed.

Article

You added what?

You added what?

The ignorance of some customers continues to amaze. A buddy’s shop recently took in a 2001 Honda Accord with a “no brakes” issue. The car was towed in on a flatbed, since the customer was afraid to drive it to the shop.

Article

Tool review: Guardair Gun Vac

The Guardair 1500 vacuum gun is lightweight, efficient and features a convenient collection bag.

Roll-around shop vacs are handy devices that we’ve used for decades. Every shop has at least one that’s parked under a workbench. Plug it in, add an extension cord for dragging it to extended locations, suck up floor or bench debris, roll it over to the trash can, remove the top, empty the can, clean the filter, reassemble and store until needed again.

Article

Road work can be a good thing

Road work can be a good thing

Along, seemingly endless line of orange barrels or concrete barriers on a highway is never a pretty sight. It generally translates into traffic backups and longer commute times. However, there’s a bright side to this often aggravating scenario, with regard to demand for automotive repair.

Article

Wheel fasteners: Understanding the nuts and bolts of wheel clamping

If the vehicle is on a frame lift, and a helper is able to lock the brakes, the wheel fasteners...

The threaded fasteners that secure the wheels to the chassis are perhaps the most critical components on any vehicle, yet they’re often the most overlooked and under-appreciated. Improperly sized threads or seat styles or improperly installed wheel fasteners can result in loss of a wheel and tire package (wheel separation from the vehicle) during vehicle operation. With that in mind, we need to pay more attention to these vital fasteners.

Article

Improving diesel engine performance and component life

The Navistar diesel engine is a great design and sought after by Ford fans. Rebuilds are costly...

Diesel engines are the proven sweethearts of the transportation industry. I’m sure you’re seeing more and more in your shop, given their increasing popularity among light- and mid-duty pickup truck owners. They’re basically for anyone who needs to carry and/or tow heavy loads.

Article

Resurrecting the emissions analyzer

Using your five-gas emissions analyzer can help to pinpoint a multitude of problems. Roll it out...

Emission analyzers have been under-utilized pieces of equipment in our industry for years. Many shop owners and technicians think that the emission analyzer is only used for vehicle inspections rather than using it for diagnosing vehicle drivability problems. Their short-sightedness is preventing them from diagnosing many vehicle problems in a shorter period of time.