Undercar

  • I have trained and placed quite a few technicians in the past six years, and up to this point, I've managed to place all my graduates in dealerships or independent shops. I like to see my guys do well. They call me sometimes for advice, sometimes to
  • While a few high-dollar models' electric parking brakes do away with conventional parking brake cables, it's going to be a long time before servicing those cables, and the mechanisms that pull them won't be standard operating procedure. So let's look
  • Servicing dual-mass flywheels is a challenge. Resurfacing or rebuilding a dual-mass flywheel (DMF) usually isn't an option. "Sticker shock" frequently results in replacement with a less expensive, solid flywheel. What about inspection and re-use? Her
  • Truth or dare...true or false...tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) repair is now as commonplace and necessary to understand and deal with as a standard oil change. I remember my first GM Computer Command Control class back in 1980.
  • When as Little as .001 INCH of lateral rotor runout can be enough to lead to disc thickness variation (DTV), it's crucial that rotors run true when they leave the shop. After all, once DTV has developed, drivers feel it as pedal pulsation, a leading
  • Rodney Dangerfield had nothing on parking brakes: They "don't get no respect" either. Even in modern vehicles, rear-drum parking brakes are essentially straight out of the 1960s (or before.) And motorists regularly "diss" them, too – not a wise
  • When our VAT40 died at the Ford/Jeep dealer, the shop foreman and service manager opted for what appeared to be a suitable succedaneum. The new tester came off the MAC tool truck for a cash exchange of about $1,700.
  • Shops generally get involved in three types of vehicle inspections: emissions (I/M) inspections, state-mandated safety inspections and customer requested inspections. All three types of inspections share some common elements, and all three should ben
  • Economic uncertainty has forced some enthusiasts to become more frugal when it comes time to modify their suspension. Today, people want a cost-effective way to enhance performance, aesthetics and fuel efficiency; therefore, huge radical lifts are st
  • What sets modern antilock braking systems (ABS) apart from conventional, hydraulic brakes is their electronic controls. Often, barely-measurable amounts of current can make the difference between full antilock brake systems (ABS) functionality and a
  • The road to learning has some pretty sharp curves.
  • When there's a failure in a vehicle's antilock braking system (ABS), the ABS computer is programmed to illuminate the amber "antilock" warning light and allow conventional braking. But how do failures in the foundation braking system affect operation
  • The automotive industry began phasing out lead wheel balance weights in 2003. Progress toward eliminating them completely has been uneven, but there is progress, and you should be seeing changes in your shop already.
  • For an engine to be efficient, it must have the proper exhaust flow to get rid of all the products of the combustion process. The air that is taken in through the intake has to be expelled after being used, and there's only one way out: the exhaust s
  • Onboard diagnostic (OBD) systems were pioneered and refined in gasoline engines, but now this technology has taken a firm hold in the diesel engine world as well. As of the 2007 model year, all diesel-powered vehicles rated at less than 14,000-pound
  • Most 21st Century Brakes look much like 20th century brakes, but then the new century is still young. Besides, looks don't always tell the full story.
  • Technology Never Quite stands still. Changes aren't always as revolutionary as the introduction of antilock braking, electronic calipers or ceramic rotors.
  • To many, electrically operated parking brakes are the answer to a question nobody asked. These systems replace parking brake cables and the lever or pedal with a switch, a processor, wiring and actuators. They started coming into common use about six
  • Antilock braking may seem relatively new, but it first was used in aircraft, because the kind of pedal-pumping action once commonly practiced by expert automobile drivers is difficult or impossible in an airplane. The first systems, say some sources,
  • A large number of vehicles on the road today still use some form of the first power steering systems. While a gear reduction or other design of simpple gear box was used early to aid in steering assist, the first real power steering systems used some