HYANNIS – Proponents of Question 1 on the November 3 ballot say that independent auto repair businesses need access to data collected by cars in order to fix vehicles, while opponents say that Question 1 could risk owner’s personal data as well as safety.
If Question 1 is approved, cars 2022 model or newer must be equipped by manufacturers with a standardized, open access platform that would allow auto repair shops to wirelessly access mechanical data using a smartphone-based app with owner’s permission.
Currently, telematics data generated by sensors in the cars is transmitted to servers only the automakers can access.
Supporters of Question 1 say that the telematics data only being available to the manufacturer means car owners must take the car to its original automaker to receive service and make repairs, diminishing consumer choice in where they can take their cars.
“If a person goes out and buys a car, they should own the data that enables that car to be fixed, and they should be able to choose where they want the car fixed. If shops like mine don’t have that information, then we can’t fix the car, which kind of forces someone to go to a place where they don’t want to go,” said Robert Wallace, President and Treasurer of Cape Tire and supporter of Question 1.
Wallace said that the limits on customer choice on where they can receive service for their car will lead to a monopolization of the industry by car manufacturers, with a rise in prices and a drop in quality service.
Wallace said that he and other supporters would be willing to purchase the data, similar to how the auto repair shops already purchase parts, and that they are not requesting that the data be made available for free.
“We’re willing to pay for it, we just want the information to keep our customers rolling.”
Conor Yunits, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data which opposes Question 1, said that the issue of telematics is already covered under the right-to-repair-law that was introduced in 2013.
“It specifically says that any information necessary to diagnose and repair a vehicle that is provided to dealer repair shops and only available through telematics must be made available to local repair shops. This is already covered,” said Yunits.
Yunits said that currently data is only sent to secure servers owned by manufacturers, then to repair shops or customers through secure systems developed with the automaker.
According to Yunits, Question 1 would prevent manufacturers from being a part of the development process of security systems and apps that share the information in the future, sacrificing a layer of security for consumers.
Yunits also said that Question 1 unnecessarily risks owners’ personal data by creating opportunities for bad actors outside as well as inside repair shops to access personal data wirelessly.
While mechanics or others may be able to intercept and use the data for malicious purposes, Wallace said that is a risk that comes with a lot of modern technology, such as cellphones and other smart devices that collect data on their users, and that it is up to the customer to decide whether they want to take that risk.
Yunits also said that Question 1 would also force car manufacturers to comply with an unrealistic timetable which would be impossible to do in a safe and effective manner, with new requirements that would be enforced as early as January 2021.
By Joe Marconi
NEWS BREAK: Workers at a Mavis Discount Tire shop falsified records to make it look as if they completed brake work on a limousine before it crashed and killed 20 in Schoharie, New York, last year, when in actuality the work was never performed, according to the shop's former manager.
Below is a link to the article:
By Mark Johnson
Are you a Iowa shop owner? If you have been affected by COVID-19, have 2-25 employees and have a location in the state you can get a grant of between $5,000 and $25,000 from the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program. (If you are not from Iowa please tell friend from the state) YOU MUST APPLY NOW! (Deadline is March 31, 2020) So what information do you need? A LOT! ● Most recent Income Statement ● Revenue Loss Analysis ● Most recent Balance Sheet ● Payroll Schedule And Analysis ● Funds utilization report ● Fill out All Paperwork You need to apply now because applications close March 31, 2020. This is FREE money, don't let it pass.
We are currently helping business owners to access this grant. For more info please call us at 1954-324-0803 or book an appointment at https://calendly.com/markjohnsontaxplanner/45min
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In may I quit my job of 9 years and purchased an auto repair shop. I was previously employed as a field mechanic for Cummins. At my shop we focus on general repair. It's been a whirlwind since I bought the place but i couldn't be happier to be here. I've included some pictures of the shop.
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By Ron Ipach
All auto repair shop owners should know the importance at this point of having an auto repair website for the shop. This idea was brought to me by a client who sent me an e-mail letting me know that she's going to be updating her website, which is a really good idea - If your website is old or if you don't have one, you really do need to have a newer updated website.
I suggest that for everybody. Her question was really to the point, how much should she spend on a website and how important, really, is having a website right now?
Let me go ahead and cover the second question first:
How important is having a website? It's important.
You really do need to have a website. It's not nearly as important as everybody makes it seem, especially with the guys who want to sell you a website, but the reality is, you doneed to have a good website. Most people will go to your website and check you out a little bit before they choose to do business with you.
It's similar to people reading reviews. Everybody looks at a review before they decide who they want to do business with. They're going to review you. If you've got good reviews, chances are they're going to check out your website. If you have an auto repair website that's made by a six year old, ten years ago, and it looks like crap - chances are that's going to turn them off.
It doesn't take a whole lot of time, money, or effort to have a professional looking website, an updated website. It is important that you do have it because people will check you out online. Ever since I started doing my Car Count Daily videos, I've had a lot of people checking out my website. It just goes to show, when people find you they want to know more about you. That's why it's important you have that good, and updated website.
How much should you spend and how much time should you spend doing it?
Not a lot because the reality is, most people aren't going to find you by searching for an auto repair shop in their area. There's just too much competition. Unless you really want to jump into that fray and work with search engine optimizers so that you're at the top of the page all the time - most shop owners don't have the time or money to mess with that. You just need to have a good looking website. You can get a cheap website. You can get one made for $500 and that's pretty much all you need to spend.
I know it will be easy for most people in the industry to argue with me on this, especially with the people who are providing websites as a service. The reality is, you want a good professional looking website, but the majority of people are never going to find it. The only people who are going to find your website are the ones that are actually typing in, doing a search for you.
I wouldn't spend a ton of time on there. The reason why I talk about this in the way that I do is I find that too many of my clients are spending entirely too much time putting together the perfect website.
They spend hours, and hours, and hours with their designer and back and forth, back and forth for the perfect website that the majority of people are never going to see anyway, or it will be difficult to get it in front of the right customers, at the right time.
Put your time, and effort, and money where people are really going to find you. I'd suggest market more to your current clients than market to people that have never seen you before, which is what your website is essentially doing in the automotive repair industry. You're marketing to people that don't know you and chances are they're never going to find you anyway, even though you have a beautiful, well-made site. The better looking your site is, doesn't get you to the top page of Google or the main search engine. Put your money, and time, and effort in things that really matter - like your marketing.
Have a good, professional looking website, but you don't need to spend thousands of dollars and hours putting that together.
-- Ron Ipach (a.k.a Captain Car Count)
President/Founder of Repair Shop Coach More articles and content like this and originated through Ron Ipach's Car Count Daily campaign Auto Repair Shop Owners, Managers, and Automotive Industry Professionals are invited to join 'Car Count Daily Boosters' LinkedIn group to provide resources and gain insight on boosting car count DAILY and filling up the bays in their shops.
I presently have one bulk oil tank that is dispensed from an overhead reel in the shop and we use case goods for all other needs. The bulk oil route was great years ago but late model vehicles require so many different oils that most of my volume is now from case goods. Bulk oil is probably still the best route for dealers that primarily use one grade of oil however it no longer meets my needs since I have limited space and I am unable to have multiple bulk tanks. I recently investigated "bag-in-box" rack systems. For those of you who are unfamiliar, "bag-in-box" is 6 gallons of oil in a cardboard box with a plastic bag "bladder" that has a spigot. The 6 gallon boxes are stored on a rack that has graduated pitchers under each box. Open a spigot, fill the pitcher to the desired amount, pour the pitcher into the engine. No large bulk tank, no pump, no piping, no overhead reel. The size of the 6 gallon box (24 qts) is about the same size as a regular case of oil (12 qts). I had a meeting with a sales rep from GH Berlin Windward yesterday. They offer "bag-in-box" rack systems from Kendall, Valvoline, Mobil, Chevron, Peak and Navi-guard (house brand).
Are any of you using a "bag-in-box" rack system? Do you have any comments or tips?
I am a quite a young guy (20 years young to be exact) and I am currently working as a mechanic. I really want to start my own repair business in the next couple years so I would love to hear how you guys got into it and what education is needed to become an independent shop owner.
Did you go to business school in college? Or did you work as mechanic before and decided at one point to become self employed? Did you just open your own business and just learned everything along the way?
I would really like to hear your stories!
Wanted to know how shops are handling all the different types, weights, and specs on the current oils?
The problem I have is that we follow what the manufacture recommends (pain sometimes) but I feel it is the right thing to do. This becomes and issue when for the first few services the customer was bringing to the Dealer, so they can get the proper care. Come to find out they were using whatever was the cheapest. I have had a 2012 Acura and a 2013 Subaru which both call for very specific oil, which both cars were getting straight up conventional oil. The problem becomes now trying to explain on the third or fourth service why it’s so expensive compared to what the dealer was charging. (They should know what the car takes) I have called a few in our area, and have been told we use whatever we have in bulk! WHATS THE DEAL WITH THAT
Wanted to know how shops are handling all the different types, weights, and specs on the current oils?