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  • Jim Wilder

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    On the Cover

    Sunsong, an OEM Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier of fluid-transfer products, is making a name for itself in the aftermarket, especially with its power-steering hose assembly sets and its brake hoses. Eli Padilla, a technician at Christian Brothers Automotive, Springfield Mo., installs a Sunsong power steering hose set on a 2010 Toyota Avalon.

    (Cover photo by Undercar Digest Editor Jim Wilder)

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  • Continental Names Sales Technical Training Specialist
    Saturday, December 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    Continental, a global supplier of systems, components and tires to automobile and truck manufacturers, and a provider of OE-engineered aftermarket parts, has named Allen Selzler as sales technical training specialist for Continental Automotive’s Interior Division, Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket (CVAM) Business Unit. In this role, Selzler will be responsible for the organization, coordination, and execution of regional presentations and demonstrations with prospective and existing customers.
  • Photo Tech: Brake Parts Lubrication: A ‘Must Do’
    Saturday, December 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    Mention brake-parts lubrication and you will get all sorts of comments, looks, “I-don’t-need-to-do-that” statements and others. The fact is that if you live in a dry climate where there is no road salt or water and you’re not doing anything but driving on clean, flat, even, level roads with no humidity, granted, the brake lubrication issue is not something you would be the least bit concerned about. Unfortunately, that is not the case. More than half of the U.S. is considered a Rust Belt area and this presents a myriad of problems regarding brake lubrication and a lack of adequate performance of brakes.
  • Technically Speaking®: Incorrect PIDs
    Saturday, December 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    Imagine a scenario in which you had to make a decision using limited or unreliable data. Would you cross the street to get the mail if you were incapable of seeing vehicles approaching? If you made the decision to replace a component on a customer vehicle would you do it without ever having confirmed the complaint? If a shop manager was your role, would you hire someone without having interviewed them? For the sake of your health, the customers at your shop, or even the family or friend whose vehicle you have worked on you hopefully answered no to all of these. Why, then, is there so much variability in scan-tool data sitting in front of our technicians?
  • R & R Tech: CVTs Are Here; You Can Profit from Them
    Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    As CVT transmissions are appearing in our shops with increasing frequency, there still seems to be a degree of hesitance for some shops to take on these jobs. Even if shops do not want to build these units in-house, there are reliable sources for remanufactured units out there that enable them to capture profit on R&R rather than sending a customer down the road to a competitor.
  • Practical TPMS Service When Changing Tires
    Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    It is common in today’s automotive aftermarket repair business, as well as in many dealerships, to automatically include any TPMS parts that should be replaced during tire-repair service. Some regulatory agencies state that everything must be line-listed and completely transparent to the customer. This is true and I have no problem with this philosophy, but it can become confusing for a customer who says, “I really don’t want that done.”
  • Management Matters: Where & How You Work Can Affect Your Health
    Saturday, December 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    You all asked for it! It started with what should have been a simple note. It was from a reader who wondered what impact the various chemicals in the shop had on a tech’s personal health. Having just completed an overview for a local newsletter regarding the value of organic vegetables and the impact of food chemicals one would think I would have been warned. But not me.
  • Social Media Marketing The new ‘word of mouth’
    Saturday, December 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    The best type of marketing has always been word of mouth. If a friend recommends a business to me, I am all ears because my friend has credibility. They know me and they have no ulterior motive. Think of social media as a place where people hang out and chat. It is the online equivalent of a group of neighbors congregating at the end of your driveway on a Saturday afternoon. It is that simple. We all have busy lives and that sometimes means we don’t have as much time for actual visiting, but we do have time to stay in touch on social media.
  • Buying Property for a New or Added Shop Without Tears!
    Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    A real life story. In 1997 I considered the purchase of a commercial building to house my businesses. To make it doable, I was looking at a large building in partnership with another business owner who had a towing and RV business. It was a perfect match.
  • Is Flat Rate Flat Wrong? How to pay your technicians
    Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    Our shops run like they do for many reasons. The culture we have developed, our policies and procedures, and the way we pay our technicians. Chances are the pay plan you are using was decided long ago. It’s easy to decide on something and then forget about it. It may be time to take another look at how you currently pay your technicians. What factors caused you to choose flat rate or an hourly pay plan?
  • 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.
  • Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket
    Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:00 AM
    Leaders at Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket consider their company being more than one that just offers replacement parts. In a world where some aftermarket parts producers compete mainly on price, many distributors and shops are turning to Continental because true OE product eliminates warranty issues, costly comebacks and dissatisfied motorists.

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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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