Pete Rudloff

The Digital Decision

Digital vehicle inspections (DVI), everyone is talking about it, but not everyone is doing it – yet. Increased efficiency, higher average repair order, fewer customers with buyer’s remorse and being environmentally friendly top out some of the reasons to switch,…

Tools of tradition

Tradition is often cited as the reason certain processes exist, and, sometimes, the tradition makes sense. Other times, though, learning the reason the tradition started can make you roll on the floor with laughter. For example, one of my favorite…

Current Event: Escalade

When your first guess doesn’t fix an issue, it’s not wise to guess again. It’s wise to follow established procedures. British educator Thomas H. Palmer is credited with popularizing the proverb, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try…

The Balancing Act

To sell tires, or not to sell tires? How one shop owner’s inquiry into new technology led him to burn rubber in a new direction. Some “truths” are true or untrue, depending on an individual’s perspective. For example, up until…

Gadgets & Gear

Fun and functional high–tech tools that you might not think to buy - but should. We’ve found the Droid MAXX smartphones to be a stable platform with tons of battery life. These phones get plugged in…

Power Outage: 3000GT

A multipronged diagnostic attack to resolve a rare problem led us to find out if we had a fuel-flow issue or a fuel-pressure issue. Relative compression is a fast way to ascertain if an engine has…

Low Blow Suburban

Chasing down the cause of an underperforming blower motor sheds light on a solution that saves time and money. Using a wire diagram is better than just looking at the fuse panel. With a diagram, you…

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…

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.…

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,…

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…

Scan Tool Review: Euro Wrap-Up

European scan tools Shops that sell themselves as all-makes shops will most likely work on the makes listed below on occasion. Knowing the correct tool may be invaluable to getting yourself out of a jamb! In alphabetical order, here is…

Scan Tool Review: Volkswagen/Audi

To work on Volkswagen-Audi Gelelschaft (VAG) automobiles, a technician must first understand “measuring blocks.” This is the primary way information is displayed with VW software. This can be difficult for the technician because often the “blocks” are not specifically labeled…

Scan Tool Review: Ford/Mazda

An overview of Ford’s scan tools, including NGS, PDS and IDS As part of our monthly series of scan tool reviews, this issue we are bringing Ford to the microscope. Until recently, Ford and Mazda shared platforms and subscriptions so…

Scan Tool Review: Chrysler

Chrysler’s DRB3, StarScan, StarMobile and wiTECH scan tools are assessed. Chrysler Corp. has had significant changes to scan tool platforms in the past decade. This can make it tough for a shop to know what they need to have complete…

Scan Tool Review: GM

GM’s Tech 1/Tech1A, Tech2 and GDS2 scan tools are assessed. In the world of OEM scan tools it would be hard to think of any manufacturer who has made it easier for the independent repairer to have factory-level diagnostic capability…

Training, Tooling, Information

Learn three factors to help your shop be as efficient as possible in diagnostics. We expect to complete testing inside of an hour in most cases in my shop. Even for the hard jobs, it is our rule of thumb.…