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  • Jim Wilder

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    On the Cover

    Technical Editor Ron Henningsen covers “Understanding Wheel Alignment in this two-part technical article, which is a must read for everyone involved in the wheel-service industry.  

    (Cover photo by Undercar Digest Technical Editor Ron Henningsen)
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  • There are many shops across the U.S. that still use bubble gauges and drive-on racks for the front of the vehicles, but no rear slip plates, and other older methods for doing alignment. It is true that you can do an alignment this way, but it is very difficult and somewhat limited in its range of accuracy if your equipment isn’t working perfectly. These older methods are time-consuming and, in many cases, not profitable for your shop.
  • California, 16 Other States Sue Over New CAFE Regs
    Wednesday, May 16, 2018 2:30 PM
    California and 16 other states are suing the Trump administration over its effort to overturn stringent gas mileage rules that would have required automakers to produce car fleets that averaged more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. In doing so, they’re setting up a major fight that could split the nation’s auto industry into two regions with distinct emission rules.
  • The Need for New Alignment Systems
    Tuesday, May 1, 2018 1:00 AM
    There are many shops across the U.S. that still use bubble gauges and drive-on racks for the front of the vehicles, but no rear slip plates, and other older methods for doing alignment. It is true that you can do an alignment this way, but it is very difficult and somewhat limited in its range of accuracy if your equipment isn’t working perfectly. These older methods are time-consuming and, in many cases, not profitable for your shop.
  • Outsourcing - One man’s headache, another man’s joy
    Tuesday, May 1, 2018 1:00 AM
    We are all looking for ways to build our business. One sure way, I found, is to approach fleet managers and other non-competitive shops.
    All technicians have their most hated jobs and usually on a particular type vehicle. So, that is where you can become the “aspirin” for their headache jobs, but first you have to find out what that problem job is.
  • 5-Gas Analyzers – Still an Important Tool
    Sunday, April 1, 2018 1:00 AM
    Our editorial calendar called for an article on five-gas analyzers, but because I’m primarily a brake, alignment, chassis and an undercar electronics guy, I immediately sought out an authoritative source. My good friend at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Tim Janello, recommended that I meet Alina Piton, who is a senior in the Automotive Technology Program and is very experienced with five-gas analyzers.
  • Muffler & Pipe Advice: Like a Glove!
    Sunday, April 1, 2018 1:00 AM
    It was in the late ’90s that I had the experience of installing a set of Corvette headers manufactured by B&B (Billy Boat) Fabrication. I was doing work for a local Chevrolet dealership. It was the kind of dealership that was thinking outside the box. This dealership would customize your Corvette prior to you picking it up. One of the things they would do is have us install B&B headers.
  • Cut Costs for Greater Profits
    Tuesday, May 1, 2018 1:00 AM
    Last month we launched a short series on ideas to make 2018 the most profitable year ever for you and your shop. Today we focus on cutting costs. I will admit that some of these may come under the heading of “Duh.” However, if you are like me, being reminded once in a while and pausing to consider the idea may just open new profit avenues for you.
  • Management Matters: You and the Boxer! Profit & Loss
    Sunday, April 1, 2018 1:00 AM
    Back in the day I fashioned myself as an amateur heavyweight boxer. Bad move. I was only training a couple of evenings a week and I was terrible! As long as I could get a guy to the ropes and hold him there I was OK. Running around the ring was not my strength.
  • Collective Action Is the Answer
    Friday, January 5, 2018 10:02 AM
    If you have been around the transportation industry for any length of time, the phrase “technician shortage” has to be a familiar one. Other than a brief respite during the Great Recession from 2008 into 2009, this has been the most talked about issue in the industry, bar none. And “talked about” is a generous term. A more apt description might be “talked to death.”
  • Four Interviewing Tips to Help You Hire Superstar Techs
    Thursday, January 4, 2018 9:48 AM
    We all know it’s getting harder and harder to find the superstar techs, but finding those stars is just the beginning. Once found, you need to interview them like a seasoned pro. Here are some interviewing tips that we share with our Elite Coaching clients:
  • Butler’s Muffler & Auto Repair
    Tuesday, May 1, 2018 1:00 AM

    The Friendliest Shop in Town – and More

    When you ask Dave Norwood why his business succeeds, he’ll tell you it’s because everyone at the shop makes a point to be friendly. Technicians – even if they are swamped – will look up and say hello to customers as they walk past the work bays.

  • Hunter Engineering: Seamless Integration
    Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:44 AM
    Hunter Engineering’s Alignment Quick Check® and Quick Tread® are used on all vehicles being serviced at new Plaza Tire locations in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas. Technician Russell Soto performs the checks on a 2012 Ford Fusion at the company’s new shop in Springfield, Mo.
  • Omnicraft: A New Brand on the Street
    Wednesday, May 31, 2017 2:11 PM
    There’s a new brand on the street, and don’t be surprised if someone knocks on your shop’s door to inform you about it. Ford Customer Service Division recently introduced Omnicraft, what is described as a high-end aftermarket parts line for non-Ford/Lincoln vehicles that is priced competitively and offers advantageous parts and labor warranties.
  • Undercar Digest: Have it Your Way
    Monday, May 1, 2017 9:24 AM

    How do you like to receive your information about the automotive aftermarket? It’s a question that comes up constantly when Undercar Digest team members visit with members of the aftermarket, whether they be presidents and CEOs, parts distributors, shop operators or technicians.

    Throughout its more than 40-year history, it’s always been Undercar Digest’s philosophy to provide our readers with the technical, management and news information they request and to deliver it to them in a method they prefer. To steal the slogan from Burger King, we want you, our readers, to “Have it your way.”

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Undercar Digest serves automotive-repair facilities involved in undercar services that include brake, exhaust and chassis diagnostics and repairs. It also covers a variety of other repairs including drivability. In addition to shops, our readers include manufacturers, warehouse distributors and parts stores that serve them.

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