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Tech Stuff


HFO 1234yf Refrigerant and Coolant Mapping

When I look at the new vehicles that are rolling into the showrooms and being advertised on TV, the focus seems to be on customer comfort, convenience and fuel economy. This is definitely the focus of most manufacturers, and they continue to roll out products that achieve those goals.


Failure in Spec: What Happens When a Mass Airflow Sensor Lies

Sometimes the hardest part of chasing driveability problems is knowing where to start. It’s tough enough when the trouble codes indicate something vague like “random misfire” or “system too lean,” but it can be even worse when there are no codes at all, with only a driver’s complaint about stalling or sluggish performance. What do you look at first?


Rust Never Sleeps

For those of us who reside in a “snowbelt” area of the country, city and county road crews have different approaches in their attempt to keep road surfaces clear and free of the slippery stuff (ice and snow).


Tool Review: Sonic CV Boot Clamp Tool

Sonic Tools is a manufacturer based in the Netherlands, with a U.S. headquarters in Alabama. I admit that I only recently became aware of the firm. The width and breadth of their line rivals any of the major tool providers that you may have dealt with. From screwdrivers to pneumatics to tool storage and everything in-between, they make it. Their catalog is absolutely mind-blowing.


Some Diagnostics Hurt Your Brain... Fixing Difficult and Perplexing Problems

I enjoy working through diagnostics, with my favorite being driveability concerns. The most common diagnostics that I perform relate to check engine lights, and lately some of those have been very challenging.


Profiting from TPMS Service

Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are a significant advance in driving safety, but most motorists are unaware of the system’s importance or what to do when the warning light comes on.


Addressing Carbon Buildup in GDI-Equipped Vehicles

Driven by strict emission laws and a growing demand for low fuel consumption, an increasing number of vehicles equipped with gasoline direct injection systems (GDI) are now being seen on roads today. However, a common complaint about these vehicles has been the buildup of carbon deposits inside the cylinder head.


Complete Brake Service Tips: Service Guidelines to Aid in Your Diagnosis

Brake service requires more than simply replacing rotors and pads. Rather than repairing the obvious issue(s), we need to determine the cause of the concerns to avoid repeating the problem. Taking the time to inspect the system will avoid comebacks and result in a satisfied customer. This brief article provides service guidelines as well as a variety of tips to aid in your diagnosis.


Oxygen Sensor Heaters: How do you Know if that Heater Fault Code is Real?

When the check engine light is on and the scan tool displays oxygen sensor codes, you already suspect that the real problem might be something other than the oxygen sensor. When the codes indicate a problem with the oxygen sensor heater, that narrows the possibilities quite a bit.


Doing the Right Thing

Years ago, I wrote an article for our sister publication Modern Tire Dealer. I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time with the folks who ran a community-help program that was conducted by a tire dealer in cooperation with a local radio station, all based in a western New York state metropolitan area. The program was called “Captain Friendly.”

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