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Straight Talk

People Need Preventive Maintenance, Too

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.

When Scans Don’t Work: Sometimes we Need a Personal Re-Programming

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:

The Cordless Age

Like most shops, mine has become increasingly populated with cordless power equipment, ranging from impact wrenches, drills, saws, grinders, vacuums, a wide array of flashlights, tablets, cell phones, cordless desk phones and on and on. 

Challenges You Face with Difficult Customers

This happens frequently, with many shops experiencing a frustrating issue with what we tend to identify as “difficult” customers. A passenger car enters the shop for a reported “brake noise.” Your inspection reveals badly scored front rotors, a badly rusted right rear rotor, stuck calipers, badly worn front pads and flexible brake hoses that have seen better days. 

Towing the Line

Quite often, vehicles enter your shop which feature a trailer hitch (bumper hitch, frame-mounted hitch receiver). This should alert you to that fact that the customer may, on occasion, be using their vehicle to tow a recreational or commercial trailer.

Random Rants on Current Issues

Do you fear the engine cover? Of course not. You work on late model vehicles every day, and you’re accustomed to popping them off in order to gain access to a variety of vacuum lines, spark plugs, sensors, etc.

Shop Referrals: A Shop’s Got to Know its Limitations

Who among us doesn’t smile when we watch the classic 1973 movie “Magnum Force,” as Clint Eastwood, playing his iconic character Detective Harry Callahan, walks slowly away as the corrupt Lieutenant Neil Briggs’ (Hal Holbrook) car explodes and he mutters his infamous line, “A man’s got to know his limitations”?

Why Your Shop Should Worry About Faulty Airbags

Faulty inflators are fueling concern for airbag service safety. According to reports, this includes approximately 34 million vehicles in the U.S. and over 85 million individual airbags, when we consider steering wheel, passenger and side airbags.