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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.…

GAO Releases Vehicle Safety

At the request of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently conducted a study of state vehicle safety inspection programs. The GAO did a similar review in 1990 at the request of John Dingell, D-Mich.,…

Chew on This

Curious tech sinks his teeth into a start-stop problem with a Prius hybrid. My check engine light came on in my Prius,” one of my customers told me. “Is it OK to drive it home?” “Is it running OK?” I…

Huddle Up, Team

How to harness the power of other people as go-to resources It’s easy to understand why your business might not be service ready 100 percent of the time. In some instances, you thought you were ready but ran into an…

The Value of Networking

If you attended NACE and CARS classes in July, you noticed the industry is undergoing what financial analysts call “disruption.” This means that the way we do business, which has worked in the past, is not working now. And for…

Stricter Standards For Ozone Levels?

Congress continues examining impact of proposed new EPA regulations. The U.S. Congress continues its oversight responsibility of the Obama Administration’s proposed update of air quality standards for ground-level ozone. The Clean Air Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)…

What Would You Do?

When repair specialists miss the obvious and the customer asks for a testing fee refund, the shop makes the customer happy, but… ... What would you do? A customer calls about a 2005 Toyota Prius. The check engine light was…

The Membership ROI

The Membership ROI When you run a trade association, attracting new members, particularly those who have never been part of an association before, is a challenge. Most membership organizations approach this problem by offering a bunch of no-brainer discounts on…

What Would You Do?

A customer insists that the shop replace a recently installed valve, free, despite the fact that the dealer sent the wrong part … ... What would you do? This scenario comes from an import car repair shop on the West…

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,…

DIYs or Bunnies?

When fuses get “smoked,” don’t go bonkers. Instead, do a deep diagnostic dig. With vehicles staying on the roads longer than ever before, we’re seeing more age-related issues with our customers’ cars. With age comes the increasing probability for human…

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