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TST Big Event draws over 350 shop owners, techs for training

Monday, March 21, 2016 - 06:00
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FISHKILL, NY – The 13th annual TST Big Event was bursting at the seams in March as more than 360 shop owners and technicians were on hand for a single-day training event featuring some of the nation’s best instructors.

“G” Jerry Truglia of Technicians Service Training (TST) said the training program each year helps techs stay current with diagnostics and repair procedures as vehicles become more complex with every model year.

“You have to update so you don’t evaporate,” said Truglia during a break in the conference. “Without staying up to date, you're going to go down the tubes real quick. Technology is passing you by.”

He also noted the importance of conveying professionalism in the shop so that customers feel comfortable walking in the door. "If you don't respect yourself, dress professionally, have a clean shop, stay up-to-date, get certified showing your professionalism, how the hell do you expect the customer to take you seriously? How do you expect to make good money?” said Truglia. “You’ve got to be smart.”

TST was able to discount the price for this year’s event due to the support of the following: (Diamond sponsor) Motor Age; (Platinum) Automotive Test Solutions; (Gold) Autolite/FRAM and AirSept; (Silver) Autologic, Midtronics, Drew Technologies, Neutronics, Redline Detection, Launch, PTEN and Bosch/OTC; (Bronze) Run-Rite, Flow Dynamics, BG Lubri-Care and General Technologies Corp. (GTC); AE Tools & Computers, AESwave, ASE, Associated Equipment Corp., Automotive Training Group (ATG), BOSAL, iATN, MotoLogic, Power Probe, Ross Tech and USA Tools.

The event kicked off with morning session taught by Dave Hobbs, Motor Age contributor and trainer for Delphi Corporation, who talked about Telematics and Advanced Body Electronics Diagnostics. Hobbs explored various electronic systems in today’s vehicles, including new technology that is just arriving or will soon appear in cars, and in shops.

His presentation featured numerous case studies that helped attendees understand diagnostics and troubleshooting processes for some of today’s new systems. Crash avoidance systems, for instance, including blind spot detection, lane change assistance, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, have resulted in an influx of internal radar modules that make the customer safer, but challenge today’s techs.

“We have got radar going everywhere,” Hobbs told the audience. It’s critical for repairs to be done properly on all safety features, to avoid putting vehicle owners in danger. Airbags, for example, must be properly configured. “Timing in nanoseconds is the difference between the airbag hurting you, [saving you] or the airbag being worthless,” said Hobbs.

Mobile technician Ed Hazzard offered a quick look at Real World Tips for diagnosticians. He advised shops to dig for information from all sources, and to have a very simple, systematic approach to identify problems.

Trainer Bernie Thompson covered Advanced Leak Detection to help technicians simplify and shorten the diagnostic time for finding system leaks. He explored various forms of leak detection processes, including everything from soap bubbles to smoke machines, gas and sound.

Following Thompson was special guest John Anello, who provided real world examples about radar systems that reinforced the issues Hobbs brought up in his presentation.

DVD and books for the training event are available at

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