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Tech Stuff


2014 oxygen and air/fuel sensor update

Back in the day when electronic fuel injection and computers in vehicles were first coming out, oxygen sensors were new. Technicians freaked out wondering how they worked and had to figure out new ways to diagnose vehicles. Eventually, they got used to the pattern failures (i.e. oxygen sensors stuck lean, bad heater circuits, etc.) and understood how they worked: the richer the fuel mixture, the higher the voltage and the leaner the fuel mixture, the lower the voltage.


NVH revisited: Correcting concerns relating to vibrational issues

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues are certainly not limited to wheels, tires, brakes and steering/suspension areas. Engine faults (misfires, rotating assembly balance, etc.), worn or damaged engine mounts and driveline issues (driveshaft, transmission and drive axle) are all potential contributors to NVH concerns.


Never assume anything: (i.e.: you get what you pay for)

One of the frustrating aspects of performing automotive service work is occasionally dealing with a faulty new part. Leading parts manufacturers have an excellent track record of quality control, but sometimes a bad part slips by and ends up in a box that’s sitting on your local supplier’s shelf.


Tool review: Jump-N-Carry jump starter -- Portable model packs a punch for quick battery boost

Portable battery jump starters are a mainstay of just about every shop, especially dealerships and fleet shops. The convenience of a portable battery pack is obvious, allowing a weak battery to be jump-start boosted quickly enough to allow an engine start for vehicles parked in storage lots or to rescue a stranded motorist.


Lambda diagnostics: Solve those system lean problems fast

Craig Truglia is an ASE A6 and A8 certified technician who presently works as a service writer for Patterson Autobody, a repair facility in Patterson, N.Y. A former shop owner and editor of several automotive repair magazines, Truglia combines his Columbia University education with the real-world experience he sees daily in the automotive repair field.


Ball joint service: Insights and replacement tips for a variety of vehicle applications

Ball joint service isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like. Certain vehicles are prone to premature wear, some ball joints are not available separately from the OEM, theoretically requiring replacement of an entire control arm or steering knuckle assembly, and some are just downright difficult to access. In this article we provide insight and replacement tips for a variety of vehicle-specific examples.


Cooling system service: Keep systems functioning at peak performance

The automobile is slowly evolving into an appliance, at least in the minds of many motorists. Much like a refrigerator or microwave, owners tend to use the equipment and ignore service until something breaks.


Diagnosing and correcting brake life and performance issues

When a vehicle’s brake pads and/or rotors wear faster than expected, a host of variables need to be considered, including materials, prior installation methods, driver abuse, etc. In this article, we’ll discuss potential issues and offer suggestions for checking and correcting customer concerns regarding brake life and performance.


The beauty of tools

One of the few things on this planet that is sure to always catch my eye is a clean, well organized selection of professional tools. A tidy tool drawer is one of those things that I can stare at and appreciate, much like a normal person might drool over a photo of a Victoria Secret ad (hey, nobody ever accused me of being normal


Tool Review: Compact gun -- A pneumatic air wrench for cramped spaces

What appealed to me about the M7 (Mighty-Seven) 1/2-inch-drive air wrench from King Tony of America is its ultra-stubby size. It’s the cutest, shortest 1/2-inch-drive air wrench that I’ve had the pleasure to try.

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