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Ten (sort of serious) questions every service writer should ask

At its core, writing service is information synthesis—collect, sort, simplify, regurgitate, repeat. Obtaining the raw information from techs and customers alike relies on prompts, usually in the form of a question. The correct question asked at the correct time pays...

Several tips to make brake line removal less of a headache

“Got a seven-foot section of brake line out without dropping the tank, cutting the line, or ruining a fitting. Today was a good day.” I sent that text to a friend of mine the other day. In a past life he was a wrench at a Cadillac dealer, so I think he sort of...

A comprehensive primer on the automotive right to repair debate

I began my wrench-turning career back in the late ‘70s when cars still used carbureted engines with mechanical points ignition systems. I’ve witnessed firsthand the evolution of what once were primarily mechanical systems controlling major engine and vehicle functions...

Four not-so-obvious ways grease can come in handy

Four not-so-obvious ways grease can come in handy

I like grease. You may or you may not, but as a very cheap staple of most shops, I’ve learned to use it in a few unconventional ways, which has made me like it more. Here are a few times plain ol’ grease is what you should reach for. Vertically-oriented O-rings...
Two A/C checks you don’t wanna skip

Two A/C checks you don’t wanna skip

If you’ve already invested in RRR (recovery/recycle/recharge) machine equipment necessary to service vehicles with R1234yf, you may have also already learned that performing a refrigerant identification test prior to recovering what is in the customer’s vehicle is...
Five tips for servicing cartridge-style oil filters

Five tips for servicing cartridge-style oil filters

The oil change is supposed to be simple, right? And while the service guide is always your guide, there are a few things that pertain to servicing vehicles equipped with cartridge-style oil filters that aren’t always covered as well as they could be....
The cheapest tool you can buy to turn more hours in a dead bay

The cheapest tool you can buy to turn more hours in a dead bay

I feel silly admitting it, but I didn’t know what a breaker bar adapter was for a long time. When I learned what it was and what it does, I immediately thought that the tool was useless. Then I changed my mind. Lemme tell you why. Just in case you don’t know what a...