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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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    • By carmcapriotto
      Recorded at MACS (Mobile Air Climate Systems) 2024 Training Event & Trade Show, Frank Woodson from Gates discusses the importance of proper vehicle maintenance, focusing on water pump failures and electrolysis in cooling systems. Frank explains that 70-72% of water pump failures are due to weep leaks from seal failure, often caused by neglected coolant. The episode highlights the significance of thorough diagnostics and maintenance to avoid unnecessary repairs and ensure vehicle reliability. Frank Woodson, Training Manager, North America Aftermarket, Gates Corporation  Show Notes
      Bobby Bassett's Influence (00:01:08) The impact of Bobby Bassett, a former trainer, on the decision to focus on water pumps and the importance of his episode. Understanding Water Pump Failures (00:02:12) The discussion revolves around Bobby Bassett's foresight and the importance of understanding coolant and water pump failures. Preventing Water Pump Comebacks (00:05:46) The potential to prevent water pump comebacks through proper maintenance and the significance of addressing weep leaks and contamination. Water Pump Warranty Sort (00:08:40) Insights into the process of conducting water pump warranty sorts and the significance of analyzing water pump failures. Challenges in Implementing Preventative Measures (00:10:10) The challenges and complexities in educating the industry about the importance of preventative measures for water pump maintenance. Advancements in Hydraulic Hoses (00:12:47) Discussions about new sealing types and hose technologies, including the introduction of unique designs for hydraulic applications. Serpentine Belt System and Alignment Tests (00:13:43) The significance of the serpentine belt system and the use of alignment tests, such as the spray bottle test, to diagnose issues. Teaching about Hydraulics (00:16:16) The satisfaction of teaching and discussing the impact of the serpentine belt system and hydraulics on automotive components. Electrolysis in Cooling Systems (00:17:05) Conversations about the prevalence of electrolysis in cooling systems and the importance of diagnosing and addressing it effectively. Leak source and troubleshooting (00:18:25) Exploring potential sources of leaks and the importance of addressing ground issues and dirty coolant in electrolysis troubleshooting. Signs of electrolysis and pump seal failure (00:19:07) Recognizing signs of electrolysis in water pumps and the impact on pump seal failure.
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Learn more about NAPA Auto Care and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections    
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    • By Transmission Repair

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    • By Gonzo
      Battin' a Thousand   The batter steps up to the plate, takes a hand full of dirt  and rubs his hands and the bat.  He takes a few scrapes with  his feet from the batter’s box while digging in with his cleats.   He then gives the pitcher the evil eye and sets his bat ready  to take whatever the pitcher is going to throw at him. The  catcher gives the signs, the pitcher nods his head.  He takes  a quick look to first base makes his wind up and then lets the  ball fly to home plate.  The batter takes a swing... “Pop” the  ball is in the catcher’s glove.     “Steee---rike!!!” yells the umpire.   Somewhere there is an announcer telling the crowd the  count while a statistician is writing down the results of the  pitch, and calculating the batter's average. With baseball if  you can manage to get a hit 5 out of 10 times you’re up to bat…  you’re doing outstanding.  Achieving a perfect hitting record  on the other hand, may never happen in baseball, but in the  auto repair business (and most every other field of play)  batting a thousand is not a goal it's a requirement.   Every job that comes into the service bay is another attempt at keeping that perfect score.  Come-backs, bad diagnosis, faulty parts and the like are not what any service person wants to deal with.  To keep that perfect score going you have to overcome those obstacles and get the job done right before sending the customer’s car around the bases.  Unlike the highly paid professional ball player who is never going to achieve that perfect score the highly trained mechanic has to knock it out of the park each and every time.   There's a lot of talk in the industry about how some service advisers/writers and shop owners want a quick “off the cuff” diagnosis and repair rather than waiting for the results of a lengthy-time consuming diagnostic procedure.  A mechanic may have a general idea of what is wrong but it still takes proper testing to determine the correct course of action to make the repair.  I don't know where this idea came from that every mechanic has the correct answer to ever problem simply by listening to the description given to them by the customer or service writer.  It's not like we (mechanics) know what kind of pitch is being hurled at us each and every time.     I'm sure the pro ball player could “up” his stats if he knew exactly what kind of pitch was coming across the plate.  As it is, he has to make a quick decision, make the right swing, and make contact.  In the repair world, analyzing the pitch is the key to a successful outcome.  Diagnostics is what makes the difference.  Especially on today's vehicles with their interconnected systems, multi-layered computer controls, and the occasional “oops” from a previous botched repair, these all have to be sorted out before the repair is made.  This takes time, diagnostics takes time, and time is money.      When I hear that a shop isn't charging for diagnostic time it tells me they are either under estimating the value of proper diagnostics or believe they are good enough to read the catcher’s signals and in some way already know what pitch is being thrown.  Taking a couple of swings at a repair and not diagnosing anything is like standing in the batter’s box blindfolded.  I'd call that a foul ball waiting to happen for sure.    It’s important to examine a problem, diagnose as needed and not swing at every pitch that you’re given. In the long run, from the consumers standpoint, a shop that takes the time to diagnose a vehicle correctly may sound more expensive at first when you walk up to the service counter, but chances are you won’t be picked off at 2nd base because you have to spend more cash, buy even more parts that you probably didn’t need, while trying to solve the problem at those shops that don’t see a need in proper diagnostic time.    A new player entered the field; it was a job from one of the body shops I do business with. This 2013 Ford Escape was almost ready to go home, however the air bag light wouldn't go off.  That's when I was called to plate.    “We can sell this job today if you can get this taken care of.  We’ve struck out so far,” the owner of the body shop told me.     “I’ll see what I can do,” I told him.    The first thing I did was check out what codes were in the system.  There was only one code.  B0095-11 (Right front impact sensor fault – sub code “shorted to ground”).  Since it was in a front collision I took my first swing up to bat by checking to see if the wires were smashed or cut.  Strike one... the wires are fine, wrong colors though, need to check that a little further.  OK, let's try something else... is the connector damaged or the sensor itself in anyway a problem.  Strike two... now this is getting serious.  Did the module fail?  Is there more to this story?  Where's the next pitch coming from?   A little more snooping around and a bit more in-depth studying of the wiring diagram I think I've got the answer.  Very close to the impact sensor is another sensor with the exact same type of connector.  The real tell-tale was the wire colors.  It looks like when they put the car back together they inadvertently switched the two connectors.  (Pretty dumb to have the same type of connectors so close together under the hood... but it ain't the first time I've seen a curve ball like this.) I switched the leads and then went back into the system to clear the code.  (With most of these newer systems you not only have to clear the code but you also have to “reboot” the computer by turning the key off before attempting the next “at-bat”.)   Well, this batter is ready, the catcher has thrown down the sign, the computers and connections on the playing field are ready to go.  All that's left is the pitch.  I turned the key and the pitch is on its way. The warning lights come on, the air bag light stayed on for its required amount of time and then.... went off.  No codes present and the rest of the systems checked out fine.  Yep, I took my swing, and it’s a long, long high flyer… it looks like…yes… yes it is… it’s a “HOME RUN!”     Here's a perfect example of the diagnostics taking longer than the actual repair.  The way I see it, diagnostic is the mechanics swing at bat, and it's just as important as the actual repair.  After spending the time to research a problem only to find out that it was a simple connector doesn’t diminish the time already spent to find out it was just a connector.    Mechanics get paid to fix a car, that’s what we do, diagnosing a problem is part of it, and good diagnostic work will keep ya battin’ a thousand. 
      View full article
    • By Gonzo
      Water Cooler Diagnostics
               
      We’ve all heard the phrase, “codes don’t fix cars, good diagnostics does”. Codes are merely a direction or path, not the answer as some might think. Those “codes fix it all” believers are usually at the bottom of the diagnostic chain. You know the type; those Neanderthals with little wrenches and big cheater bars, or the ones that follow the old adage, “When in doubt-rip it out” method of diagnosing a problem.
       
      It’s seems to me that car repair for a certain demographic of people has always been something related to hand-me-down repair information, not diagnostic skills. I believe it’s all because of the availability of cheaply made parts and bad information. Some of it is hearsay, but a lot of it comes from two guys chatting next to the water cooler at work, and neither one of them have any automotive diagnostics background at all.
       
          This latest case study is a perfect example of why swapping parts and paying attention to those water cooler experts isn’t always a good idea. A trained technician with diagnostic background and less time at the water cooler may be what you need.
       
          A 2007 Dodge 4.7L pickup came into the shop with a stalling problem. The owner had already stopped by the water cooler and made a trip to the code fairy. Since no codes were stored, there wasn’t much for him to do except follow the water cooler genius’ advice. He swapped out every sensor and computer part he was told about and a few more he could barely reach, just to be safe. All of which didn’t change a thing. Before writing up the work order, I had to listen to his story, which ended like most of them do, "I've already spent too much on this truck, and I don't want to spend a penny more." (I wonder what kind of commission the water cooler guy got from the part store for helping this guy spend all his cash.)
       
          The stalling was pretty predictable, usually every 15 minutes. Just as it would stall, the check engine light would rapidly flash, then the truck would sit silent. If you turned the key off and back on, the truck would run perfectly as if nothing happened, right up to the very moment the whole scenario repeated itself.
       
          Since the only odd thing was this momentary flashing of the MIL, I decided to hook up a scanner and wait to see if this odd failure would show up on the screen. Sure enough, code P0688 popped up momentarily, just as the truck stalled “ASD signal low”. Out of habit I reached up and cycled the key. Dang it, the code never stored and the truck is back to running correctly again. I’ll have to wait one more time and see if I actually had the right code number. Since it only occurred as it went through its death roll, catching this failure was going to be tricky.
       
          It was the correct code alright, but no signs of dropped voltage or weak connections anywhere to be found. It’s time to pull out the big guns. Break out the scope boys! With the scope hooked up to two different injector leads and the remaining channels on a couple of coils, I spent the afternoon watching the ASD voltage like a nervous hen watching her chicks. As if on cue, the truck died. Not a bit of change on the scope. I’m definitely going at this the wrong way. 
       
          Something is dropping off, or at least I assumed it was. Instead of looking at the ASD signal, how about checking the injection signal and coil signals from the PCM? This time the scope did have a weird response. Just as it stalled there was a little extra squiggly line that didn’t belong in the pattern on the coil input leads. Very subtle difference, but enough of a difference that it needed closer attention. The voltage signal spiked a bit higher than normal just as the truck would stall, and then the voltage would drop to zero. It must be the PCM or a coil. Since the signal was only there for a brief blip on the scope, it wasn’t exactly something I could put my finger on just yet.
       
          Time for some old school tricks. Since the PCM was new, I could at least (with some trepidation) rule it out for now. I could test further, or I could try to create a problem that might mimic what I was seeing on the scope pattern, or with luck, if it was a spike that was coming from a coil, disconnecting it could show the problem. I decided to give this truck a miss of my very own and see if I could increase that little squiggle into a bigger one.
       
           I'll unplug one coil and watch the scope pattern. If I’m lucky, the truck will either stay running longer than it normally did, or it might show me a larger voltage spike. Sure enough, I found it on the third coil. As long as that particular coil was left unplugged, the truck ran well past the usual stall time. To verify it, I plugged the coil back in and watched the scope readings directly at that coil. A millisecond before the stall the coil spiked to the top of the screen as the truck shut off. Just as I suspected, if it was on the coil that was causing the problem the spiked voltage would show higher there than on the adjacent coils.
       
          The big question for me was why did it not set a code? The reason was the coil lead led straight to the PCM. The extra high voltage going back into the circuit simply turned the PCM off as if the key was turned off. There’s no codes for shutting the truck off, only codes for failures that make it shut off. The solution...replace the coil. 
       
          Now and then there are problems that don’t follow the diagnostic steps laid out by the engineers. Even though you’d think every aspect and every type of condition has been tried and tested, or at least talked about around the water cooler. There are times when you’ve got to look past the “assumed” problem and dig a little deeper to find the cause. There's no doubt this repair is going to be another one of those conversations around the water cooler, but I seriously doubt anywhere in this story will the novice know-it-all admit that it took an experienced technician to locate his problem, not his water cooler buddy. Oh, and I don’t expect to hear him say as he leans on the cooler, “Codes don’t fix cars, mechanics do” even when there isn't a code.

      View full article


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