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  • Xpertech Auto Repair, Englewood, Florida - Just a Flesh Wound...
    This month’s shop story highlights a tenacious female shop owner who refused to accept defeat after crippling blows to her marriage and business partnership. Today, Kathleen Jarosik operates an award-winning NAPA Gold AutoCare Center.
  • Plenty of shop owners complain about the incredibly fast pace of new automotive technologies. Those shops are often uncertain as to where to focus their efforts, training and investments. We’ve all heard it said before, “It’s too hard to hit a moving target.”

    Kirk Holland offers a solution; he brings the target(s) right to your shop’s doorstep.

  • CuS.T.E.M. -izing our Industry’s Future
    What do you get when you mix a dozen automotive aftermarket professionals with 300 twelve-year-olds and hundreds of priceless custom cars? We’ll all know the answer in ten years or so, when those same students start making post-graduate school and career choices.
  • So, Who Puts Brakes on the Batmobile?
    Some car repairs require a little extra attention to detail. Especially when the car belongs to someone famous or infamous. Or, maybe the car is unique, highly desirable or even rare. We found a shop that works at a Fast and Furious pace to keep up with maintaining an ever changing collection of cool cars.
  • Smith’s Service Center - Family Tradition Continues
    Smith’s Service Center has been a family-owned business since 1969 when Al Smith opened a Mobil service station after working for a local Madison, Wis., Ford dealership for more than 25 years.
  • Get on your Fleet! Stand up and take some action; join a local NAFA Chapter
    The most successful shops in town have a robust fleet program. Even small shops in small towns understand the value business fleets mean to their operations. Even though every fleet (especially managed fleets) are driven by cost-per-mile metrics, vehicle safety and time out-of-service are equally important.
  • Engine Decarbonizing 6.0-Liter Power Stroke
    Engine de-carbonization has become a mainstay in the automotive aftermarket to keep diesel-powered and gasoline direct-injection vehicles running at maximum efficiency. Rick’s Automotive, Springfield, Mo., services fleets of ambulances from 20 counties throughout southwest Missouri, northern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. Engine de-carbonization is included as part of the shop’s 60,000-mile preventive maintenance schedule on diesel engines in these emergency-vehicle fleets, and many other fleets that it services.
  • Letter from the New Editor
    I am pleased and honored to be working with the family at MD Publications and Undercar Digest Magazine. Since 1976, Muffler Digest and Undercar Digest have brought its readers some of the best technical articles on exhaust, chassis and brakes. The magazine is dedicated to shop owners and technicians who begin their vehicle inspections by looking underneath the vehicle before looking under the hood.
  • MB Automotive - A very. Simple. Business Philosophy -- Fix the Car!
    The heart of Chicago, Ill. is located downtown, near Lake Michigan, at the bustling corner of State Street and Madison Avenue. If you search about 20 miles due northwest, there is an inconspicuous building on a quiet corner in a sleepy, suburban bedroom community. The 2600 sq. foot building has just four repair bays, only three lifts and inside – perhaps the greatest treasure trove of automotive diagnostic capabilities you’ll ever find.
    Meet MB Automotive.
  • Old-Time Service & Philosophy with Modern Repairs
    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?
  • Sunsong: Made for Technicians
    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.
  • Quality Plus Automotive Service: Mechanic Becomes Businessman Too
    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.
  • Finding the Mother Lode of Vehicles
    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
    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.
  • Kinney’s Muffler Shop, Fort Worth, Texas
    Kinney’s Muffler Shop, Fort Worth, Texas
    Celebrating 40 Years
    And all the sounds customers want
  • Vehicle Lifts Must Pass Tougher Testing to Earn ALI Gold Label
    Stronger ANSI/ALI ALCTV Safety Standard Now in Effect
    It’s now a little more challenging for a vehicle lift to earn an Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) gold certification label – and that’s good news for lift operator safety.
  • Jones Exhaust: 50 Years & Going Strong
    With 50 years under its belt as a manufacturer and supplier of automotive exhaust components and accessories, Jones Exhaust Systems has made its mark in this competitive industry by meeting the needs of the distributors and shops they serve.
  • B&B Auto, McHenry, Ill. - Old School, But High-Tech
    As I entered B&B Auto at about 9 a.m. I knew my interview would be delayed. Receptionists Heleena Barnet and Danielle Ryczek greeted me as soon as I walked in but the waiting room was packed with customers. Owner Phil Baggio, was questioning a customer about his vehicle concerns while others waited patiently for their turn.
  • Magic Machines 2018
    Every year in the August issue Undercar Digest presents “Magic Machines,” a collection of project vehicles owned, and often-customized, by members of the automotive industry.
  • Raybestos Brakes: Fundamentals and Fun
    A pledge to build brake products that meet OE fit, form and function has become the foundation of Brake Parts Inc (BPI) and its iconic century-old brand – Raybestos Brakes. However, there is nothing that says the company can’t have a little fun along the way with a vehicle-build giveaway while still working diligently on product engineering, research and development.
  • Tech Editor Turns ‘Picker in the Weeds’
    Technical Editor Ron Henningsen can be somewhat of a “picker” when he’s on the road and he struck gold in central Minnesota in June. But Ron won’t give a location any closer than that region other than saying it is within a 300-mile radius of Minneapolis.
  • Turn Signal Fluid - What about lane-keeping assist fluid?
    You might have heard about it from a sarcastic shop manager, or maybe just from your lame-joke dad when you were a new driver, but hopefully you’ve never purchased, sold or installed any blinker fluid.
  • ASE Education Foundation Updates Guide for New Automotive Instructors
    The ASE Education Foundation has expanded its online automotive instructor guide targeted toward those exploring a career transition to becoming an instructor as well as new instructors. Units covering advisory committees and student placement have just been added to the existing resources. The New Instructor Guide is free and was developed through grants from Ingersoll Rand and the National Network of Business and Industry Associations.
  • Mother Roadster - Shops Chip in to Help Shriners
    Like any major fundraising project, it started with an idea – raffle off a custom 1932 Ford High Boy for 20 bucks a ticket to raise money for Shriners Hospitals. It’s a great idea, but how do you kick it off? Well, the idea sponsors of the project started knocking on the doors of the various talented automotive shops asking for their help and expertise. Many who agreed to help, in turn, contacted their peers who specialized in different aspects of the build.
  • Tenneco and Monroe: Extensive Testing & A Passion for Quality Make the Difference
    When a motorist is informed by an auto-repair shop that their vehicle requires a water pump, the customer seldom requests a specific brand. Normally the shop makes the selection. When it comes to selecting shocks and struts, Tenneco®, manufacturer of Monroe® Ride Control products, wants that service provider to know why Monroe should be the top recommendation whether the customer asks for one or not, said Joe Bacarella, manager of technical assistance for Tenneco.
  • JR Discount Muffler & Brakes and Mechanic Shop
    It’s been more than a year since James Price retired and handed the keys to JR Discount Muffler & Brakes and Mechanic Shop to his son Shane. The younger of the Prices notes that his father set the framework for the shop to continue, and Shane has made a point of putting his own touches to the business.
  • Hasty’s Service Inc., Toledo, Ohio
    First impressions can be confusing when you pull into Hasty’s Service Inc. The six-bay service-station architecture is reminiscent of an era gone by. The old-fashioned image ends when motorists enter the small shop with a clean and comfortable customer-waiting area where they are usually greeted by Bob Hasty, current owner. Although, old-time personal attention is still part of the shop’s charm.
  • Jones Exhaust Systems Inc. Celebrates 50 Years
    In this day and age it’s becoming less and less likely for an independently owned manufacturer – especially in the automotive exhaust industry – to celebrate 50 years of serving the automotive aftermarket. Jones Exhaust Systems Inc., Adamsville, Tenn., is the exception, and the company celebrated the gala event by honoring its more than 50 team members with a barbecue “to beat all,” a number of games and prizes – and allowing the Jones team to take most of the day to enjoy the party.
  • Butler’s Muffler & Auto Repair

    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
    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
    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

    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’

    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.
  • Pacesetter - Evolving with the Industry
    From its founding in Southern California in 1972 under the leadership of Woody Harrah, Pacesetter Exhaust has evolved, always meeting the needs of customers involved in performance exhaust and emission controls.
  • Autopart International - 60 years of Serving Shops
    Autopart International (AI) is celebrating its 60th anniversary of providing professional service providers. And while the company has evolved dramatically over the past six decades its team members say they have to tip their hats to founder Steve Patkin for getting it all started.
    Mike Creedon, president of AI; along with Rich Jolivet, vice president of global sourcing and product management; and Ana Garcia, vice president of operations, recently discussed the history and growth of this niche company with Undercar Digest.
  • EZ Tire, Willard, Mo. Shop Owner Knows What He Wants

    Don Erwin is a man of conviction when it comes to business and hobbies. He knows what he wants, even when he’s been told to do otherwise.

    Today he operates a shop in the small town of Willard in Southwest Missouri. Although he is proud of the service he provides, he limits that work to tires, alignment, balancing, brakes and state safety inspections – absolutely nothing else. He’s tried other options but likes it best just how it is.

  • 2017 Buyer’s Guide and Shop Survey

    Welcome to the 2017 Buyer’s Guide and Shop Survey.

    This issue of Undercar Digest is one that shops and suppliers alike keep in reach year-round due to the valuable information dealing with shop trends and buying practices, as well as a comprehensive list of companies that offer product and services.

  • Akebono: Filling The Bill
    Low noise, low dusting and superior stopping ability, along with extended life for rotors are among the reasons why sales of Akebono’s Pro-ACT®, EURO® and Performance® Ultra-Premium aftermarket brake pads continue to grow, according to Ken Selinger, director of aftermarket sales and marketing.
  • Tech Tip: Exceptional Customer Service
    When it comes to providing a great experience for our customers, most shop owners understand the basic needs to smile, have a great attitude, provide a clean environment with coffee and Wi-Fi and clean bathrooms.
  • Exhaust Source Sponsor Products
    Exhaust & Emission Controls - Exhaust-System Components (Mufflers, pipes, flex pipes, manifolds, headers, heat risers, exhaust coatings, etc.)
  • Catalog and Product Showcase
    Catalog and Products showcased by the finest companies in the auto aftermarket industry!
  • Product Update
    Keep up to date with the best products in the industry!
  • ACDelco Celebrating 100 Years

    GM Veteran Bob Sanford Shares Lessons Learned, Future Outlook 
    This year, ACDelco is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Like many notable brands in the aftermarket today, it all started with humble origins and a group of visionary entrepreneurs.

  • Comparing Shops in China to those in North America

    China is a country that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two decades, but to be honest some of us really don’t know much about its automotive aftermarket, and some may even have preconceived notions that aren’t necessarily so.

  • VDO: Authentic OEM
    In the automotive aftermarket product marketing often includes terms such as “OE replacement,” “OE quality” or “OE form and fit.” The literature usually uses these and other phrases to avoid saying that the part isn’t truly the same as the original-equipment part made for the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Badgley's Garage Since 1947
    Badgley’s Garage Since 1947

    By Jim Wilder
    Undercar Digest Editor

    Although a stranger may think of the post World War II era when he enters Badgley’s Garage in Lansing, Mich., the majority of the cars serviced there are less than 10 years old and the shop uses the latest in scan tools and other equipment to diagnose and repair vehicles. However, the shop is also known throughout the area for its skill in repairing classic and antique cars as well.
  • Magic Machines by Shop Professionals
    It's August, which means it's Magic Machines month, celebrating the project vehicles of folks in our industry.
  • Performance Showcase
    Performance Products showcased by the best manufacturers in the industry.
  • Tech Tip - Akebono
    Start Increasing Bay Utilization with Brake Pads that Don't Require Bedding In
  • Tech Tip - Motorcraft
    Remanufactured Motorcraft Alternators Get OE Replacement Regulators
  • Tech Tip - Advance Autoparts Professional
    Having a Tech Support to Ensure You're Ready to Service Your Customer
  • Motorcraft: Looking Forward
    Motorcraft has long been the go-to parts solution for repairs on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury. Repair shops rely on Motorcraft quality and OE fit to assure repairs go smoothly, result in high customer satisfaction, and minimize comebacks. Now Motorcraft is offering repair shops even more with expanded product coverage, simplified stocking and parts that are priced right.
  • Tech Tip - Autopart International
    OES vs. Aftermarket Mufflers
  • Tech Tip - Motorcraft
    Motorcraft Brakes: Verifying Slides and Pin Integrity
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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