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  • Jim Wilder

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    On the Cover - Emissions Failures on Older Vehicles

    University of Central Missouri Automotive Technology Management students Shannon Carl and Marcus Sitko pull codes on a Buick Rainier that was brought in for emissions problems.

    (Photo by Undercar Digest Technical Editor Ron Henningsen)

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  • In today’s marketplace of hurry up and get it done, cut every corner you can and rely upon your equipment to replace common-sense thinking, it is fairly common for an alignment technician to put a vehicle on the rack, hook up the wheel clamps, do the very small rollback necessary, take readings and then possibly make some adjustments.
  • Photo Tech: Emissions Failures on Older Vehicles
    Friday, February 1, 2019 12:00 AM
    This Photo Tech article addresses an emissions canister/EVAP vent-system performance problem that set a code P0446 on a Buick Rainier. It is not the first time the problem has occurred on the vehicle. It was fixed about a year ago by cleaning the vent solenoid.
  • Don’t Assume; Be Systematic with Diagnosis
    Friday, February 1, 2019 12:00 AM
    Like many of you, this time of year I am usually asked to assemble a variety of items and gifts for my family members. In light of these requests, I have spent a significant amount of time analyzing why we waste so much time assembling, disassembling and re-assembling items out of an unwillingness to simply read the instructions. Often this process results in leftover spare parts and frustration.
  • Technically Speaking - Alignment & Suspension Tips
    Friday, February 1, 2019 12:00 AM
    In today’s marketplace of hurry up and get it done, cut every corner you can and rely upon your equipment to replace common-sense thinking, it is fairly common for an alignment technician to put a vehicle on the rack, hook up the wheel clamps, do the very small rollback necessary, take readings and then possibly make some adjustments.
  • Muffler and Pipe Advice - Coming to your town soon!
    Friday, February 1, 2019 12:00 AM
    Here we go again! I received a call just today, regarding the old California Vehicle Code 27150. This law is a regulation written to control noise pollution. The current standard is a maximum of 95db.
  • Shop Management: Energize Your Team
    Friday, February 1, 2019 12:00 AM
    What is the reason you go to work every day? Are you just going through the motions or do you want to be the best at what you do? Many shop owners are just trying to survive the day. It’s our responsibility to lead our team and it all starts with our attitude. We must be engaged and driven. A recent Gallup Poll showed that just 34% of U.S. workers are engaged.
  • Put More Money in YOUR Pocket this Year!
    Friday, February 1, 2019 12:00 AM
    Anyone who has been watching the stock markets, bond rates, yield curves and the rest is likely wondering a bit about how 2019 is likely to go economically. A couple of months ago we did discuss the year ahead of forecasts along with bits about making more money. 
  • Reman U: Business Branding – Memorability
    Friday, February 1, 2019 12:00 AM
    Our name is on a lot of stuff: stickers, hats, shirts, lanyards and, of course, pens. It’s also on some pretty niche stuff: Klement’s beef snack sticks (“Nice to Meat You”), VIN decoding mouse pads, beer mugs, bobble heads – and we come up with new, interesting stuff to brand all the time, partly because our favorite customers, vendors, and even our own employees really like cool, new stuff. Who doesn’t?
  • Your Management Consultant: Look – A Squirrel!
    Thursday, January 3, 2019 3:10 PM
    Life as a shop owner or manager can be very demanding. We face a constant barrage of distractions. Think about a typical day. A tech needs a minute to show you some marginal ball joints and then an equipment representative needs just five minutes to pitch you something that is the latest and greatest. Next, is your service adviser asking if it’s OK to take an out-of-town check from one of our best customers’ brother? Suddenly you hear a gut-wrenching crash in the shop. It turns out to be nothing after all but it sounded awful. Being the reactive problem solver is like a drug. It makes you feel good in the moment. The long-term effect is we spend all of our time in this mode and almost no time in the proactive mode of eliminating these distractions so we can plan the future and work on our business in the right way.
  • Old-Time Service & Philosophy with Modern Repairs
    Friday, February 1, 2019 12:00 AM
    Should a tourist visit Branson, Mo., as so many do, he would be remiss not to take a leisurely drive into the historic downtown area, enjoying the antique brick buildings and waving to the friendly locals. But, should his vehicle suddenly break down, or make unexplained noises, or experience other issues, where is our tourist to go in this unfamiliar town?
  • Quality Plus Automotive Service: Mechanic Becomes Businessman Too
    Saturday, December 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    Randy Bunn, owner of Quality-Plus Automotive Service, Raleigh, N.C., grew up fixing things, but it wasn’t until he became a businessman that he turned his shop around to be profitable. Today, his business specializes in Honda, Toyota, Acura and Lexus – and his service bays stay full.
  • Sunsong: Made for Technicians
    Saturday, December 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    Four years ago when Don Keeling walked into various warehouse distributors’ offices and explained that he worked for Sunsong North America Inc., it wasn’t uncommon to see blank looks on their faces. “They were like a deer in the headlights for those first sales calls,” he said. Keeling explained that Sunsong aftermarket brake-hose assemblies are sold under the Sunsong brand, but also by a wide variety of brands through various channels of the aftermarket including warehouse distributors and retail outlets.
  • Finding the Mother Lode of Vehicles
    Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    Chip Broemmer’s career educating the next generation of technicians has been sandwiched between two hitches in automotive repair, a long early span with Toyota and a recent venture, Advanced Car Care Center in Strafford, Mo.

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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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