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Tech Stuff


Mazda Skyactiv Technology -- What it is, and What it Has Meant to Engine Packages

I am sure that by now almost all of us have seen or heard the advertising of Mazda’s Skyactiv technology, but how many of us actually understand what it means? If you’re a full-time Mazda tech or just a Mazda aficionado, then this will just be a lot of review for you. But for the average tech who doesn’t specialize in just Mazda’s latest vehicles, I want to explain what is meant by Skyactiv technology, and what changes it has meant to the engine packages.


Tool Review: MAHLE TechPRO

There are scan tools, and then there are scan tools, and then there is MAHLE’s TechPRO. When the company’s ads tout the “game changer” aspect of this system, they were not blowing smoke or employing over-stated hype.


Tips From Techs: Our Annual Advice Column Written By Technicians On the Front Lines

If you have a Chrysler PT Cruiser that has a code for insufficient EGR flow (P0401), don’t automatically assume that you’ll need to replace the entire EGR assembly.


Professionalism Trumps Stupid

This is a tale of stupidity and frustration, followed by eventual success, thanks to a few heroes of the automotive service industry.


Tool Review: OTC Aluminum Jack and Stands Package

Need a low-profile floor jack for those occasions where you need to jack a vehicle with minimal ground clearance? There’s no need to spend ridiculous dollars for a pro race jack or to waste money on an inexpensive jack of low quality.


Need a Lift? Start Shopping for the Right Choice to Raise Your Profits

You may be in the market for a new additional or a replacement lift. If it’s been a while since you shopped for one, you probably have questions about the various types or lifts, accessories, installation, training and safety. We’ll try to help you make an informed decision.


Honda Electric Power Steering

The first patent for power steering, granted in 1900, describes a mechanical system that never went into production. Hydraulic power steering was developed in the 1920s, and it was first used on big Army trucks in the 1940s.


Electrical Wiring Basics

This article provides a basic primer regarding wire types, gauges and more, for a better understanding of the wires we deal with on a daily basis. Granted, this information may not apply directly to all OEM wire, but it will provide a better understanding of wire basics.


Emissions Gas Analysis: Five-gas Analysis and the Importance of Lambda

The actual combustion process that takes place in the modern vehicle with a gasoline engine hasn’t changed much since the four stroke engine was invented well over 100 years ago. Yes, it’s been immensely fine-tuned to reduce the pollution that it creates and increase the fuel economy that we get when we fill up the tank, but the exhaust that is created is the same. When gasoline as a fuel is burned, chemically we should only get a few things; water (H2O) carbon dioxide (CO2) and heat.


Don’t Lose Your Cool

Look around as you drive along your daily route. Chances are, you’ll notice a few late model vehicles that feature curiously small grille areas. You may wonder how the engine maintains proper temperature with such tiny air inlets.

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