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Tech Stuff


Automaker commercials drive me crazy

Like most of you, I love all things automotive. But the way in which some automakers go about hawking their wares on TV these days is making my face twitch.


Tool review: Mighty quiet -- King Tony America's NC-4232Q wrench

Obviously, ½-inch-drive air wrenches are plentiful in today’s market, so what makes this one worthy of consideration? King Tony America’s new NC-4232Q is touted as a “quiet” wrench, hence the “Q” suffix in the part number in the firm’s “Mighty 7” series.


NAPA Expo held in Las Vegas

NAPA's first Expo in ten years was held in Las Vegas May 5-8. The parent company's president thanked the 18,000 in attendance for making the event the largest single company aftermarket event in the world.


Tool review: Snap-on CT8810A cordless impact wrench

Yes, we’re reviewing yet another cordless impact wrench. While I prefer to “mix it up” in terms of tool species, there has been a notable increase in cordless tool offerings, so when something new pops up, we want to make our readers aware.


Electronic/adaptive ride control: A brief overview of today’s systems

Electronic stability control (commonly referred to as ESC) is designed to slow and control the vehicle from unwanted oversteer and understeer. An ESC system takes advantage of the existing ABS and traction control systems.


Nailing tough A/C problems: A review of new tools and diagnostic strategies

As labor rates climb, and serviceability gets increasingly convoluted, it is becoming more and more important to diagnose A/C problems as accurately as possible. Of course, being that air conditioning is generally diagnosed by interpreting pressures and looking at the “general vicinity” of where UV dye can be spotted, it’s less than an objective, exact science.


Ford distributorless ignition system

The distributorless ignition system (DIS) was introduced in the 1980s to eliminate parts that affect emissions as they wear, but it also helped improve performance and fuel mileage. Today DIS has been phased out in favor of coil-on-plug (COP) ignition, but Ford was still producing engines with DIS as late as 2008, so you’ll be servicing these systems for many years to come.


Parasitic draw diagnostic strategies

Key On Engine Off (KOEO) battery draws have always been a relatively difficult concept for customers to wrap their heads around. They figure when the vehicle is turned off, nothing is on any more. However, these problems are hardly new, as vehicles have had shorted wiring, switches, and other simple problems for years.


I hate thieves

Anyone who works for a living to support themselves and their family, pays their taxes and abides by the law hates a thief. Low-life criminals who take advantage of honest folks are the scum of the earth.


Tool review: Innova 4400 coil and module tester

Is the coil good or bad? During the recent Automotive Aftermarket Parts Expo (AAPEX) Show in Las Vegas, Innova debuted its 4400 Coil and Control Module Tester, a counter-top diagnostic unit ideal for both shops and parts stores. The bench-top tester is designed to safely and easily test the circuitry of conventional ignition coils, coil-on-plug coils (COP), distributorless ignition systems (DIS) and electronic ignition modules (EIM).

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