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  • Jim Wilder

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    On the Cover

    Bartec USA’s Dennis Flanery (from left) demonstrates the company’s Tech 200 Pro to Michael Evans and Eric Chronister, service advisers for Rick’s Automotive, Springfield, Mo. The tool checks, tread depth, tire pressure and determines if TPMS sensors are active. Information can be forwarded to a PC tablet or smart phone. 

    (Cover photo by Undercar Digest Editor Jim Wilder)
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Auto Care Association Seeks Input on Proposed Chinese Trade Tariffs
    Thursday, April 5, 2018 2:10 PM
    On April 3 the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released a proposed list of goods imported from China that would be subject to an additional duty of 25% pursuant to its Section 301 investigation on China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of U.S. technology and intellectual property. The proposed list, covering approximately 1,300 products at the 8-digit HTS tariff level, would be imposed on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.
  • 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.
  • Stay in the Aftermarket – You Don’t Have to Turn a Wrench
    Thursday, March 1, 2018 2:15 PM
    Being involved in the automotive aftermarket doesn’t necessarily point to a technician in the service bays. That’s only one part of the picture and in fact, not even in some cases, the dominant part.
  • 'Rebuilt' Salvage Yard Transmission, Hmmm...
    Thursday, February 1, 2018 1:00 AM
    We had a local general repair shop bring us a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.6L V-6 engine equipped with a ZF 8-speed (845RE) transmission; they had just installed a “rebuilt” transmission that was sourced from a salvage yard. The customer’s stated concern was, “The place that built the transmission just said it needed to be programmed.” Needless to say, we knew that this was going to be an adventure.
  • 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:
  • To Tow or Not to Tow, That is the Question!
    Friday, December 1, 2017 12:01 AM
  • 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.”

  • Specialty Products: Alignments’ ‘Whole Ball of Wax’
    Friday, March 31, 2017 4:40 PM

    Specialty Products Co. “Pro Alignment Team” members take pride in the fact that they operate a multifaceted company that is designed for purpose of helping alignment technicians with nearly every aspect of their jobs.

    The company is unique, they say, because it designs, develops and tests alignment parts and tools in the USA, and then backs them up with a variety of training and support materials for the technician.

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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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