Low Blow Suburban

Chasing down the cause of an underperforming blower motor sheds light on a solution that saves time and money. We’ve all seen them. Those do-it-yourselfers who decide to install their own part on their vehicle. Hey, it’s America, so why shouldn’t someone be able to install parts on their own vehicle? As hard as it […]

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Game Plan: Toyota MR2

The first shop gave up. So did the second, third and fourth. So what did we say when it wound up in our shop? Bring it on. You don’t need to have been a shop owner long before you encounter your first “basket case.” Urbandictionary.com defines basket case as a situation that has no solution. […]

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Value Judgment

Should your customers fix their old cars or buy new ones? It depends on if they understand “cost of ownership.” Do you? By Pete Rudloff It’s not unusual to have a customer in my shop who is pondering whether to replace their car or invest a significant amount of money into keeping it reliable. Sometimes, […]

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Basket Case: Silverado

Our shop specializes in diagnostics. The only advertising we do consists of looking for vehicles that have been difficult for others to fix. As a result, we see our fair share of work that comes from the do-it-yourself (DIY) sector. Working on DIY problem vehicles comes with its own set of challenges, but we find […]

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Blunder: Ford Ranger

How not to waste two hours on a simple problem: Develop a sound diagnostic plan for your shop and, oh yeah, follow it. My team takes great pride in getting the right diagnosis every time. Anyone who spends time listening will hear me say that when cars don’t get fixed correctly the first time, one […]

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The Closer: Dodge Charger

Detective work needed to solve the mysterious case of multiple diagnostic problems in a beat-up former police car. We’ve all been faced with cars that had multiple concerns that seemed interlocked or related. These problems sometimes created one single complaint, or they involved multiple customer concerns. In our shop we’ve found that if you’re going […]

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Factory Scan Tooling – Take your shop beyond the manufacturers’ dealers

Many years ago I watched my next-door neighbor use a dime to remove and reinstall a screw in an attempt to fix a toy of mine. I was young, maybe 8 years old, and thought, “Wow, how ingenious.” He was a few years older, and I was easily impressed. At the time, I was so […]

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Unfixable Dodge Magnum

For the most effective diagnostics, don’t just rely on the codes to troubleshoot. Actual testing will give you a bird’s-eye view. Last issue, we talked about a problem created by technician error and made worse by hanging parts without knowing whether they would fix the concern. This time, I’m going to demonstrate another case study […]

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‘Last Stop’ Shop Fixes the ‘Unfixable’

Pete’s Garage takes on jobs that stump others. Often my shop encounters jobs that have taken a tour around our fair state and had multiple failed attempts to diagnose and repair. In our trade, these cars are often referred to as “unfixable” and often are abandoned by their owner due to the belief that the […]

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Scan Tool Review: Scan Tools Change

Research Before You Buy After covering about 30 manufacturers in 12 months, most of our heads are probably still spinning. As this series closes, I’d like to take a minute to explain how it came to be. In 2009, I realized that there was no place a shop owner or tech could go to start […]

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