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As a technician, you deal with other people’s car problems daily. At the end of a long winter full of ice, snow, salt and potholes in colder climates, you’re likely seeing a lot more customers coming in with squeaks and rattles and undercar problems.
You want to fix the issue quickly and get the car back on the road, but taking a few minutes to give the chassis a thorough look can help diagnose problems the customer didn’t mention but that could be troublesome in the near future. A quick list to run through every spring is a good start to ensure you fix what’s needed, and bring attention to upcoming service needs.
While increasing vehicle throughput and beating the flat rate is the secondary goal in every shop, the primary goal is getting the car fixed right and back on the road. A bit of extra time inspecting the vehicle, especially after a harsh winter, shows your customers you’re concerned with their vehicle health and prolonging the life of their investment.
Written By OTC, Denny Hanson
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Everyone has their opinions on fuel, whether it’s using premium/high octane, tossing in performance additives or running on E85 because of the cost. Over the years, using something other than the traditional gasoline, including diesel, propane or compressed natural gas (CNG), has grown in popularity. We’ll stick with gasoline here for argument’s sake.
We don’t have a choice on leaded vs. unleaded gas these days, save for specific additives designed to properly lubricate older engines. We do have options on octane rating, ethanol content and high-performance additives.
I know some swear by using the highest octane available, no matter the vehicle, but do you notice any difference? Unless run in a higher compression engine, high octane fuel has little to no measurable performance effect, other than a negative one on your wallet. Do you use it for a cleaner engine, or hoping to prolong engine life?
We know using low octane fuel in a high-performance engine can cause a lag in horsepower, drop in performance and engine knock, but it doesn’t go the other way. Using high octane fuel won’t add horsepower for any engine. Then again, there is something to be said about the placebo effect – if you think it improves performance, then it does. Are the raw numbers as important as how it feels, performance-wise?
One thing nobody can debate is the harm E85 ethanol can do to an engine not designed for its use. Similar to the early 70’s when we made the transition from leaded to unleaded gas, changing the fuel meant changes to the engine and its internal components. Many vehicles can run on E85, but the vast majority of your smaller engines, from motorcycles to snowmobiles to lawnmowers and string trimmers, have not been engineered to run on E85.
Written By OTC, Rob Kochie
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St Patrick’s day is celebrated on March 17, the date of his death. The day is celebrated by millions all over the world and has become one of the most popular cultural events worldwide.
So who was St Patrick? As he was the Patron Saint of Ireland his feast day was important in Ireland’s religious calendar. Popular belief is that he introduced Christianity to Ireland, banished snakes from our island, and used the 3 leaf Shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity. However, these are actually untrue and can be simply classed as Irish folklore.
A day of parades & festivals
Thanks to our cousins in the United States the first St Patrick’s Day parade occurred in New York City during 1766 and today parades are held all over the world inviting millions of people to celebrate being Irish for a day.
Did you know that it wasn’t until 1995 when the Irish government decided to start holding a parade in Dublin, to help boost tourism? It’s now known in Ireland as St Patrick’s festival which takes place over 5 days with events including art shows, plays, concerts, fun fairs and the main parade.
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