April 2016 Archives - Import Car
A/C Service With The New R-1234yf Refrigerant

The most recent statistics show that 18 U.S. vehicles and 47 production lines are factory-equipped with R-1234yf, the new worldwide refrigerant that has entered the U.S. market. The statistics also show that in Europe, 83 production lines and 33 vehicles are already equipped with the new refrigerant. There are currently no Asian vehicles with R-1234yf, but Toyota has the equipment, so it will be coming soon.

Remote Diagnostics On Cars: The Future, or Future Headache?

When I talk to technicians and shop owners about “remote diagnostics,” I find that there are many different levels of understanding as to what that term means. It’s clear that for many, the perception is that remote diagnostics means the ability to read codes. Well, if that is all we are talking about, it is true that a number of cars can generate a health report that includes things like DTCs, mileage and oil life.

Gonzo: Communication Is Key To Knowledge

Are there things mechanics keep to themselves and not tell other mechanics? I hope not, but I’m sure that even doctors and lawyers have a few secrets they’re not sharing with each other. The big secret is that there really are no secrets. What it really comes down to is knowledge.

TPMS Sensor Battery: Dead Sensors Cause Other Problems, Too

During the initial TPMS phase-in, many warned about what sounded like an impending crisis. It was the “tire guy’s apocalypse,” which sounds dramatic, but that’s the way I remember the situation being characterized. There was worry and paranoia from all sides. Some companies undoubtedly saw it as a marketing opportunity, and helped perpetuate some of the fear and anxiety. The gist I got from the marketing I saw was that changing tires would, as we knew it, never be the same.

Brake Rotor Finishing: Non-Directional For Maximum Smoothness

Back in the day, a non-directional rotor finish was the method used to solve a common problem that occurred on bench brake lathes. If the cross-feed speed on some lathes was too fast, the rotor became the record and the pads became the needle that followed the grooves in the record. This would cause a clicking noise as the pads moved in the caliper. Today, a non-directional or post-lathe surfacing process still serves the same purpose, but it also helps in the bedding of some friction formulations.

BMW Tech Tip: DSC Module Aborted When Programming Vehicle

The DSC module may no longer communicate when connected to ISTA/D or ISTA/P. As a result, the DSC module cannot be reprogrammed.

BMW water pump open
Acura Driveability Issues

Import Specialist Bob Dowie looks at a 2006 Acura MDX that belongs to one of his shop’s long-time customers. This well-maintained, high-mileage vehicle has treated its owner well over the years, but it was getting older and with 150,000 miles on the odometer, it was causing some concern.

honda acura driveability featured
Ball Joints: Greasable And Sealed

One of the most frequent questions from customers is in regards to the availability of “greasable” chassis parts. Sealed-for-life components are very common at the OEM level, but many technicians have a definite preference for aftermarket greasable components. This poses the question: If greasable suspension joints are so popular, why don’t many modern suspensions have grease fittings anymore?

ball joints featured
Subaru Cooling System Solutions

Since Subaru’s 2.5L engine is especially noted for cylinder head gasket failures, most of them in the over-100,000-mile service category will have had the head gaskets replaced or will need a future replacement. There are many reasons that radiators should be replaced, especially following a cylinder head gasket failure on a 2.5L Subaru.

Shop Business Strategies: Quality That Exceeds Expectations

With competition at every turn, especially from dealers who continually seek to get a piece of your service business, you also need a “lockdown defense” to safeguard your business strategy. A key component of your defense is to offer a value proposition that hinges on delivering quality services to your customers – each and every time.