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Remote Start | What questions should I ask to get what I need?

remote startersRemote Start Installers | I encourage people to ask relevant questions when considering buying a remote start (or any other product or service).

The word I like to use most is ‘quality’ and it has been said many times before; “There is no substitute for quality”. The reason I like this word is that it covers not only the part but the way the remote start is installed.

Just like the best materials in the world will not keep a bridge up that was poorly constructed, the same applies to a remote start. And in all fairness that same bridge will not do well for very long with inferior products.

So, you can see there is a balance needed to accomplish your end result of a remote start... that is a quality product and will perform as expected. All the gadgetry and options in the world will not make any difference if the product fails and doesn’t work.

remote start basicFirst: Know what your objective is: The obvious one is “I want it to start my car”. The best value (long term) comes from knowledge about what is best to suit your needs, not what will fit your car at the lowest cost. Most people don’t know what they want until you show it to them, we are all wired that way.

What are the factors that are important to you?
Features like Range, Convenience, and Knowing that your car is running when you can’t see it.
A quality product?
A professional installation?
These are just a few of many things you need to ask yourself.

Most people see or witness the ease of use with a quality remote start and figure that they are all the same, and it doesn’t matter who puts it in. We expect the best when paying to have someone add the convenience of remote start to our auto, so what does that mean?

Now that you made your first choice on quality, next you can explore options. This is where it might be a great place to save money if you choose to, the simple rule of...the more it does for you the more it will cost.

This is an area where if you are considering buying a remote start that has all the options and is ½ the price of everyone else, watch out.

cheap remote starter....Somewhere there was an expense cut and you might want to question is it the product? Or maybe the installers credibility / standards or maybe when there's a problem and will they will be to be found. I’ve seen this with online purchases of remote starts and when it breaks, the online company blames the installer, and the installer blames the product manufacturer. No one wins.

That is the primary reason that we have success with our choice of brand when we install it. We hold ourselves to a higher standard, and direct communication with our supplier ensures that we get the current best products for our customers.

  • This really holds true if you own a BMW or Mercedes, as product malfunctions can cause huge expenses on these brands. DickandRicks.com has a product that doesn’t cut wires or disfigure the wire harness in BMW’s or Mercedes. Why is this important? If problems should arise it can simply be put back to factory specs with no signs of it ever being installed.

More about options, if your objective to just start your car, great there's nothing wrong with that and in some cases that also is the best scenario for the car as well.

Where will you be parking? What if you can’t see if your car is running, at this point what is the realistic value if only guessing your car is running, but you end up walking out to a cold car?

Consider also with that same circumstance, do you need confirmation to know that your car is locked?

Or where is it located if a teen is driving. Or maybe it might have the ability to have all of this. In any case the point being, everyone has options with their remote starts, shop quality first then options.

Remote Start Help

Before making a decision on whom to buy from, make sure you understand your expectations and narrow it down to the one that understands your situation and will get you years of quality remote starts.

 

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Safety and Comfort Technology is on the Rise | Automotive Trends

SuperCruiseCadillac Infographic resized 600Automotive Safety and Comfort Technology | It wasn't that long ago that TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor Systems) and parking sensors were introduced.

And like any other technology on the rise, it comes on fast and strong. And just when you thought ‘What’s Next?’, the new convenience or safety item shows up as an everyday feature.

The next generation is paving the way for autonomous driving, yes that means that the human factor is pulled out, and the car will make the decisions for you. Here are several tech bits from the likes of Mercedes and Cadillac.

Mercedes is introducing their version called Distronic Plus, which is a form of cruise control that can monitor your car up to 124 MPH. It is designed to not only control and monitor vehicle forward movements, but it will also slow you down, and speed you up in accordance with the car in front of you.

This Mercedes technology also serves to keep you in your lane and watch your blind spots. While many vehicles on the road already have blind spot monitoring, this advancement is improved, however it does still involve driver input with minor corrections being initiated electronically. The point here is ‘don’t expect it to make major evasive maneuvers’.

Coming in 2017, Cadillac is coming out with their version called Super Cruise with V2V!

Super Cruise can monitor up to 300 ft. in front of the car and can handle speeds up to 70 MPH.

The Cadillac will take charge of the accelerating, braking and steering. It also will work in stop and go traffic with hands free of the steering wheel and foot free of the brakes.

Don’t get excited about fully autonomous just yet, just like the Mercedes don’t expect it to swerve around an object in the middle of the road, we are not there yet.

And just 2 years ago this was thought to be 10 to 15 years away. Along with this driving technology will be V2V or Vehicle to Vehicle communication to each other. GM already has a cousin of Vehicle communication called OnStar.

  • What ‘ups the bar’ about V2V is now decisions can be made based on the current experiences of other cars in the area.

General Motors is also planning to introduce this feature in some of their 2017 Cadillac models. Chrysler has already had cars on the streets of Detroit for a couple of years now testing this technology. Here is some reality that many of us have already seen:  

Too much Traffic?
Impending collision with another car?
Impending danger ahead in caravan of vehicles on the freeway.?

The first car will talk to the rest of the cars behind them and would prepare all of them for corrective action, among other things to be developed and rolled out.

  • Now don’t expect this technology to drive you home just yet, it still requires you to pay attention to some degree, they’re not there yet but they are getting closer.

What is this designed to accomplish?

This technology is to relieve the everyday stress of a daily commute reducing collisions and injury. This is not just for General Motors, all the automakers all are working on some form of this driving experience. Just like all technological improvement, each and every manufacturer will have their R&D and new product introductions to improve the experience for drivers.

This just is one more step to understand the evolving automobile. The changes that are happening and the driving experience created by the automakers are not just on the outside, they are throughout the car, bumper to bumper. Time will be the best indicator of how well this is developed.

photo by carscoops.com

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

BMW and Mercedes & Mini Remote starts | Getting what you want

BMW X5 remote startRemote Starts | Imagine being able to connect to, communicate with, and control your family's vehicles each day to improve their performance and protect your safety.

For all the owners of BMW, Mercedes, and Mini who have wanted the added convenience of a remote start? Your time has come.

Mercedes remote startIt seems kind of odd that a car with so many technology wonders you can’t have remote start like everyone else. Well, some of the built in technology is going to help you. We are talking about telematics, the latest generation of computing that allows many wired and wireless functions that improve your driving experience. This is a good thing.

remote start MiniThe simple version is the cars ability to communicate with many systems within the vehicle. In this case, the factory key fob can be initialized to remote start your vehicle.

  • So what are the advantages of all this?

For one the majority of the system involves the factory wiring and system. This also means using your factory key fob to start your vehicle.

  • What are the up and downs of using the factory key Fob remote start from DickandRicks?

First, you get the reliability of an OEM installation.

Second, you get all the performance of OEM, and the product we use to integrate into your Mercedes, BMW, and Mini will not have any affect with your cars warranty.

Third, by all appearances, our remote systems look / act like a factory remote start system.

What is the down side?

For many people it is range of operation, you are stuck with what the factory provides you in this area, usually only a couple hundred feet. Again, what matters is your preferences on performance.

If you choose to have extended range, it will require you have a another remote on your keychain which is an aftermarket fob. This gives you these additional amenities. This remote fob will also give you the functions the functions of the door locks also at an extended range.The fourth is notification that the car is running without locking it.

  • Do we offer a product / installation warranty? We offer a limited lifetime warranty on the product(s) we sell, and warranty of our craftsmanship throughout the time that you own your vehicle.

For those who want to ramp it up one more notch, this system also has an add-on to access these features via cell phone app. This is an additional cost thus giving you the freedom of starting your car from anywhere your vehicle and cell phone has a signal.

Mercedes Remote Start

BMW remote start

Mini Remote Start

In addition, there also many other options that could be added like geo fencing, where you can set an invisible area that warns you when the car leaves it. On the dashboard, the system can also tell you about maintenance items and recalls.

Remote car starters for BMW, Mercedes, and Minis are now OEM capable, adding value to your driving experience. 

 

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

When I get spills in my car | Acid Spill repair help

acid spill helpAcid Spills | How many times have you been to the store and bought products like drain cleaner, deck or wood cleaner?

Only to find out one of the bottles has been leaking on the ride home. Or another scenario, you’ve had to buy a replacement battery and have put the old or the new one in your car or SUV and got to your destination and discovered it has tipped over and has begun to leak on to your interior.

These are only a few examples that can happen and a small handful of chemicals can not only damage your interior, metal and wiring, but your health too. When something like this happens chemicals are still active and also in the air.

To put into perspective, when you get inside your car and shut your doors, roll up your windows, you just crawled into a beaker or bottle with chemicals and just put the cork in the top. And just like your car, those chemicals have no where to go and you and your family inside that sealed car with those chemicals.

Acid Spills, what do you do now?

Now thats just the first part, the other half is what is it doing to your car? So if it is hard on your body, what do you think Sulfuric Acid (Battery Acid) is doing, (by the way this is also used in drain cleaner).

So what do you think is in deck cleaner? Sodium Hypochlorite, (Bleach) or Sodium Hydroxide (Lye). Not to mention if you mix Ammonia with Bleach you get a poisonous gas.

acid spillsLet’s focus here on the damaging properties of Sulfuric Acid. This product eats carpet, clothes( which the damage usually will show up after washing) and metal. Yup, left long enough it can eat through your floor, guess what else is on your floor. Your wiring! Although your wires are encased in plastic, that doesn’t account for the connectors, splices and small nicks in the outer coating.

What about Bleach or Lye?

It may not ruin metal in the short term, but over a the long it can also eat through metal. As for liquid laundry detergent, if it is in concentrated form, it can also turn your floor carpet to goo, it’s not meant to be used that way.

Now, just think of what it can do to your car, what do you think it can do to your body?

My guess is the same as the car but far worse.

  • So what can be done when a spill happens?

First be careful what you treat it with, you might have an adverse reaction of 2 or more chemicals.

Second, try to clean up what you can safely, with the thought in mind that the towels or rags you use will no longer be any good. Everything that comes in contact with spilled chemicals will have an adverse effect.

Third, don’t count on ‘good enough’ to carry you through after a spill.

All these chemicals are great when used properly, the problem with acid spills is that they are in highly concentrated form and that is where many hidden problems begin. What you can’t see underneath is more damaging to wiring, electrical connections and components from chemicals than just the carpet and insulation.

  • Our history with acid spills and repairing to OEM performance

We have seen many cars that appear to have been cleaned up by homeowners only later they find out electrical problems have led to them to our shop because the problem has caused much more damage.

After we get the damaged cars, give them a proper diagnosis, disassemble, cleaning, reassemble, and returned them to OEM performance, we have found that the chemicals have done more damage due to time and improper initial cleanup.

acid spills helpBecause of our extensive experience from diagnosing, to a OEM performance repair, reality is that until you get underneath and look at all that is affected, you won’t know what the longer term negative effects will be.

  • Final thought on acid spills:

Make sure to consult a professional on what to do next, remember, time is not on your side in this particular instance.

Help with Acid Spills

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

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BMW Z4 Convertible Top | What to know before you seek repairs

BMW Z4 top replacementBMW Convertibles are known for precision fit and performance, and that can make things complicated when it comes to convertible top repairs.

Precision fit leads to a smaller margin for error not only on the product but in the installation as well. Sometimes the size of the top creates a situation where the smaller tops have less room for error then there would be with a larger convertible top installation.

The BMW Z4 is no exception, this why it is ever so important to get a quality top, and installation from people that fully understand how to get a proper fit.

Now, the top doesn’t have to come from BMW to fit properly. There are quality aftermarket convertible tops that offer fantastic performance and lasting value.

The point being, if you get a top from a manufacture that doesn’t do their diligence in the manufacture process to work well with the structure that holds it up, that top will look out of place / stand out as a improper fitting replacement.

  • Ever see a wrinkled, ill-fitting top on a BMW? If you don’t get it right, the opportunity for it to pour rain into the back is not something you want to have happen.

There is a reason that BMW top repair is expensive, they are not Honda’s, BMW’s require parts that are specifically designed with exact tolerances. Get cheap replacement parts, and the performance / longevity suffers.

  • If you want mediocre installation where lowest price is your target, then we are not the shop for you. We are proud of the work we do on our customers cars, and it shows.

BMW Z4 Convertible top replacement | These cars also have many of the same features or products that you see in all soft top convertibles. Items like cables that hold the top down tight above the side windows and parts called straps, or pads that hold the roof bows in place.

If these items are worn, broken or torn it is critical they are replaced. Remember, this is a BMW, they may over build, but they don’t put in parts that aren’t necessary. So just installing a top, meaning the outer covering is only part of the job. If the components are not fully matched, this may result in the top not working correctly to having to take it all off and start over.

BMW Z4


This can especially true with the parts that are between the headliner and the top. Many if not all need to be addressed first before the outer or the inner parts, meaning the top or headliner are installed. The most common mistake is often that when you purchase a top that everything will come in the box, it will not.

Z4 convertible top replacement

One quick example, say your top was vandalized and the top was cut. If the headliner was cut, chances are everything in between also might been in the way of that knife. Another thing to consider is do you have the correct tools and mechanical ability to take this task on. The use of a proper staple gun is needed (and I am not talking about roofing gun or a hand stapler).

  • Remember that these fasteners are going to get wet and if you use of the wrong kind of fastener, it will result in the top coming off prematurely.

BMW convertible top repairThe main idea is if you decide to take on a project like this yourself make sure you fully understand what you are getting into and have a well thought out plan. We have worked extensively to fully understand BMW convertible tops (the good, the things to look out for, tough areas, and how well it all comes together for professional fit and performance) Otherwise, you are better off not starting and taking it apart, half finished, and lead to more headache than you had budgeted.

BMW Z4 top replacement

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

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Safety first for Repairs | Lane monitor and adaptive cruise Systems

safety systems repair autoSafety Systems Repair | Carmakers are always trying to improve your driving experience, some of those efforts are in the form of comfort.

Like Bluetooth and heads up displays, and then there are others that provide safety, and there are those that improve the actual driving experience.

Such items as lane change monitors, or adaptive cruise control. Designed to keep you safe and relieve some of the stress of driving by keeping track of the area around your vehicle.

A pretty great technology when it is working properly, and for many, it will be easy to become dependent on it.

  • So who should be aware of this technology that has been incorporated in to your vehicle?  (Especially when repairs are necessary)

The easy and quick answer is the owner / driver.  Having a clear understanding of how it works and be able to use it effectively is subjective, so how about the people that work on the car? Sure, they can look things up, and ask other mechanics. Do you want to rely on second hand analysis to provide safety when you need it most?  

This is a topic that over the past few years, repair shops are running thin on knowledge / experience with improved technology. Most shops would rather plug in, read a code, replace the part, bill a pre-determined amount, go on to the next vehicle.

Is there a one size process / methodology for making sure everything is working properly? No.

Here is the real answer to today's high technology safety systems repair: 

Anyone who works on your car will end up working on a sensor, camera or a related system and be totally unaware the effect they will have on this safety feature. That can lead to devastating results, what I mean is a failure of any of these OEM safety systems can result in a bad outcome in the event of an impending crash.

  • Systems only work as well as they are implemented to do so. Tampering with them without the proper knowledge and training (to make sure they are operating at OEM specifications) leads to poor safety performance.

Every body shop, mechanic, interior (upholstery), and safety systems repair shop should have extensive knowledge, training, and experience in getting your car back to you with OEM safety performance. This is not always the case these days.

Here is a short list of technology parts (that all work together) that are influenced by a sudden stop in front of you or impending danger from the side:

  • ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System)
  • EPS (Electronic Power Steering)
  • SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) aka airbags, ECM or PCM (Engine or Power Control Module) plus there's a whole host of sensors that also provide input to these Modules.

Every one of these safety systems parts have specific procedures that need to be followed if any the direct components are replaced, removed or adjusted.

This may also involve the use of a scan tool, targets, reflectors and also need to be placed at the appropriate spot to make accurate adjustments. Let go, avoided or set up incorrectly can lead to diminished performance or system shut down when you might need them the most.

Getting repairs right | Nevertheless, the first step is awareness of how the whole system works, the second might be knowing when you are over your head. This is where education will keep customers and yourself safe.

Advanced Safety Systems Repair

Once owners / drivers have grown accustom to to these driver assist systems, they will assume they are working much like when you flip a switch, a light goes on in your house.

safety systems repairBecause these systems have sensors and cameras from one end of the car to the other, anybody who works on it may affect the drivers experience. There will come a time when under-equipped shops will either do repairs improperly, or not be able to provide customers the expected service, and those cars are returned to service on the road, don’t be one of them.

Cars and Trucks have become dramatically safer for the driver and occupants, but not without the cost to the repairs, and for the consumer to make a educated decision on who they trust their families and safety to.

 

photo by freescale.com

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Understanding Sunroofs and Sunroof Repair | Helpful Tips

Sunroof helpful tipsSunroof Repair Help | Just like every other option or accessory that is installed at the factory.

Sunroofs in today's automobiles have been designed to do much more than past models. In the case of today’s advanced sunroof there are many differences.

Many roofs of the past were very basic, from a manual pop up roof, to a power slider that only went forwards and back. The size of the glass has also changed dramatically, we now have glass panels that cover the whole roof as well as multiple sliding panels.

Now add in features like one-touch where the sunroof will either go all the forward or back just by depressing the button once. Along with that feature is anti-pinch that will reverse if an object is in its way so not to hurt someones neck or hand if it is in the way.

  • For many, this one-touch technology has been around for a while, so what can happen if an event like your battery goes dead or you replace your battery?

Chances are you will need to re-initialize your sunroof, and maybe many other features as well (like the power windows). Today’s automobile has greater reaching safety and comfort, and that comes to you with responsibilities.

  • At this point, you operate your sunroof, it still opens and closes, but it acts erratic.

Is it broken at this point? Not necessarily…

You need to take it one step further and retrain the car. When you perform the initialization process, you are letting the car know where all the way forward and back stop positions are located and if it hasn’t got the correct information or doesn’t know, it will remove these features.

These options in automobiles were built to go into a default mode to protect the passengers from getting hurt.

Sunroof Repair | Is this the only issue you can have with a sunroof?

Far from it, if you break the glass, care is needed to remove the broken shards from the track. This can cause the sunroof to stop or to keep it from closing.

  • In some case it can provide so much resistance on the glass and tracks that the anti-pinch will prematurely kick in and the sunroof glass stays in the open position.

Items like broken or bad drive cables can cause the glass panel or panels to not move correctly, or move out of sync. Usually age and having old or too thick of grease can lead to this problem. The grease will thicken with age and dirt is also a common issue, so it is a good idea if you plan on re-greasing your tracks to clean as much of the old lubricate out first before applying the new. Too much grease is just as bad as too little, be careful here.

Sunroof help

Parking under a tree with the roof open can also have devastating effects on the life of your sunroof. Leaves and twigs do not fair well in the tracks and combined with the grease you got a future mess on your hands.

Being mindful of these things can keep you from being in a awkward position where it is starting to rain and your sunroof will not close.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Convertible Top Technology | The evolution of today’s Convertible

convertible top performanceConvertible Top Performance | Most people who own a convertible want operation and performance to be that of a push of a button (or as few steps as possible) to let the world open to their driving experience.

Through time and increases in ‘the experience’, the convertible top has evolved from mechanical only operations, to full closed loop electronics that help smooth out the (mechanical) experience.

So what is meant by evolution? I see it meaning many different things, some having to do with how the top performs or what is required to understand or work on them when they have problems.

Or it could be the high expectations of the consumer convertible market. Once the consumer sees something that improves their experience, it becomes expected, there is no going back (look at smartphones).

Today’s convertible is much different than years ago, opinions / expectations are important with varying degrees of answers or requirements.

convertible topLet’s start with the most important component, the consumer:

Most people just want to get in the car and retract the top on a beautiful day, enjoy the sunshine and feel the wind blowing along with the sensation of the freedom that is granted with no roof. And in most cases, this is exactly what is going happen, but there are times when it doesn’t all go as planned.

  • Convertible Top Tip | A little insight on the owners part will go a long way to saving money on potentially expensive repairs.

It is recommended that you watch the function of your top each time you use it. I repeat ‘Watch the function of your top each time you use it’, it will help you understand what proper function is, and then when it starts acting up, you can identify ‘where’ it is acting different.

This is a mechanical item and it can malfunction (especially over time). When problems arise and the top stops or binds, don’t force it. Do not make this the norm, it may close with your help once or twice, however, postponing this (because it is convenient, leads to $)

  • Convertible Top tip | Refer to the owner’s manual.

Many convertibles will have a procedure for emergency closing or opening. Before you use it again, have it looked at by a professional, if you don’t you may escalate the problems and cost to fix your top.

This advice fits both old and new cars as they are both mechanical items that work only when you are pushing a switch or that’s how it should work.

This is all simple logic and common sense but it gets more complicated when it is time to repair them. The older ones that just go up and down are a little easier because they have limited wires, cylinders and switches.

Now, add to the process your roof breaking into 3 sections, folding, the trunk opening and multiple panels moving at once and you haven’t got a just a convertible top, you have got an orchestra.

And just like any orchestra if one section is out of sync, you will end up with poor results. Is it impossible to get repaired without the car dealer? No, but that requires knowledge and the correct tools on the shops part. If you understand hydraulics but don’t how to diagnose electric circuits….. don’t start, you might get lucky, but often you make the problem worse.

 

Got questions on top replacement?

 

Since you can’t see electricity flow through wires or tell if a sensor or switch is working by just a visual, you will need to tools to fill the gap. At the very least you will need a DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Meter) and have some knowledge of how to use it and what the test results mean.

Optimally, a scan tool will be your best friend, this will only get you trouble codes or sometimes called DTC’s (Diagnostic Trouble Code), but it will have extend functions to assist you in your diagnosis.

O.K. you have a scan tool that will give you trouble codes, but you still need to know what to do with those codes, meaning what they mean and what steps are needed to solve the problem.

Now that’s the electrical side and then there's the mechanical side, which some cases is caused by electrical part meaning something did work in order and caused parts to get bent or broken. This is the area you always need to question why.

  • How did it happen and will it happen again?

When the weakest link is not known / properly identified & repaired, it will not get better on its own.

describe the imageJust remember every moving or mechanical part or system can malfunction and cause problems, it’s what you do after this happens that will make a difference.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Automotive Technology Trends | Leaning forward for what’s next

auto tech trendsAuto tech trends | There’s a growing divide between knowing and being ready for what’s next. Being Pollyanna about it isn’t going to cut it….read on.

If you're a body shop owner, mechanic, or work at a dedicated brand repair shop, the evolution of today’s systems is growing at a faster pace than any other time in history.

I hope you are looking forward into the future, especially if you plan on working / repairing the many systems in the car that will navigate the vehicle. Let’s face it, the reality is that human input / error is being eliminated by every manufacturer.

If you had planned on your existing scan tool carrying you into the future on it’s own merit, good luck. Today’s scan tools are the interface to a vehicles computer system, it is much like your notebook computer, soon it will ‘take’ a couple of updates and then it will be obsolete.

When you are fixing todays cars you should be planning on how to fix what is coming tomorrow.

Safety systems, looking ahead; for this post, I’ll focus on steering, cameras and radar control systems, all connected together and designed for safety and comfort.

In essence what will the car do when when it is required to save the occupants from impending danger. Because computer closed loop systems can react in milliseconds compared to humans, they will save lives, only if they are working based on OEM programming and specifications.

The only way this will happen correctly after a repair and/or modification to the car as a whole will be if repairs are made, including proper programing and calibration of the automated driving system.

Many of these systems require the repair facility to relearn distances and parameters with targets, reflectors, OEM scan tools and in some cases, an alignment rack.

automotive technologyIf done incorrectly or not at all, this will result in poor or non performing adaptive cruise control, malfunctioning lane monitors and parking aid or emergency braking to have no or little reliability.

It would be like walking across an intersection blindfolded, just like a driver that cannot see the danger coming until its too late.

The 1st step into solving this problem is being educated enough to know when something is wrong (long before it affects the time for getting it back to the customer / or cycle time) or if repairs are being done correctly.

This can go a long way in terms of reputation management. One other quick note just because you work on cars doesn’t mean you are skilled or educated to work on everything on the car.

Some shops get hung up thinking they can do it all, only to figure out that they can repair somethings well and other things mediocre. Yes, your main target market may be good for consistent flow, but it will only take one or two long cycle times on a vehicle owned by someone with strong social media skills to incur damage.

  • Do you want something that involves your safety system repaired mediocre or by guess? …….Not me!

As cars do progress in terms of safety and convenience, the more will be expected of the technician and the shop (with demand growing every year).

This market impact will limit the shops ability to serve their customers.

The fact that there's so many systems tied together and dependent on each other, should alone send a word of caution to anyone that doesn't understand the problem what they can do wrong.

  • Does this exclude everyone except the dealership?

No, but it will demand due diligence on the part of all parties involved, the shop owner, the technician and the vehicle's owner to find a place of repair that they can trust.

As human error is being phased out, the control and performance will be put on safety systems built into the vehicle. That equals a high level of competence to be put on the shops servicing vehicles we all drive. What you don’t know can hurt others in the event of a crash.

  • How will you as the consumer know?

Ask questions, Lot’s of questions. Check them out on the web, see what they write about, get referrals, and make sure to ask if they use ‘OEM only’ scan tools for your specific vehicle.

Got a question about your vehicle?

As for the shop that is curious (as it is part of our ongoing training), you can never do enough research and digging to find out what equipment it takes to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Without the correct knowledge / and training, you will spend money in areas that will take your cycle time in the wrong direction,

  • Why do we know this? Because many shops call us after they have done repairs only to find out that they cannot re-initialize and get safety systems to be operational (as in OEM ready) before returning vehicles to their respective owners.
 photo by techtimes.com

 

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

Automotive Repair Technical Trends | Are you ready for the future?

Automotive Repair, being ready for the future | This is a question I been ask many times, and have asked it a few times myself.

  • So the main question is, ‘what is the future of automobiles?’

Someday this will be old news, but the big push right now is more fuel mileage and a car that does more driving for you while keeping you safe.

With that comes responsibility for what happens after those improved vehicles have some miles on them, need repairs, and become part of the mainstream system for maintenance.

  • So how is this accomplished?

Repair TrendsOver the next 10 years you will see engineering and technology on steroids.

Here you have the racing Corvette (left) compared to the street version (right).

There are plans to make cars lighter with many different type of metals along with composites such as carbon fiber, already found in exotics such as Ferrari, Mercedes, Lamborghini, and our home grown Corvette (to name a few). Proven on the race track for many years, costs and manufacturing processes are now allowing it to filter into automobiles driven every day.  

All this with the core idea of protecting the occupants in the event of a crash.

So whats inside? | Automotive Technology Trends for Shops

The list keeps growing with different features that have one thing in common, what can it do for the people sitting inside? If is not safety, it is convenience, and just like the rest of the car these amenities keep growing in numbers.

  • Just when you thought ‘where can they put another airbag?’ this list keeps growing; A quick example is the airbag on both sides of the backrest in the new Chevy Traverse.
  • Or rear seat belts that have airbags built in to them like some Ford and Mercedes models. Technology is pushing forward, even to having the airbag drop out of the headliner.
  • Now the electronics don’t stop with airbags, the concept of V2V (vehicle to vehicle) is on it’s way. To further explain this we are talking about one car talking to another to better judge the situation (not the subjective situation) and improve the outcome.

There are many benefits to this and some pitfalls as well.

A couple of the benefits include preventing a crash with the car in front or to the side of you. It could also monitor traffic conditions, collisions, poor driving or hazards events and much more.

So down sides are:

The hackers, if they can hack big corporations, they get into your car and remember they will be talking to more than your door locks, if Onstar can shut your car down because it got stolen, so can the hackers.

And don’t forget the DIY / auto shops who try to disable and/or work on these systems (learn as they go) without the proper techniques / sequence / information. They will find a major headache to have it put back to road worthiness (some vehicles will not ‘reset’ and drive until properly re-initialized with the right equipment / process).

  • So what does this require of the repair shop?  

The quick answer is a lot of knowledge, training and the proper tools. Knowledge will keep you out of trouble and guide you through a repair. It will also help understand when there is a problem and prompt you to get the trained help you will need.  Basic shops will struggle with this.

Now it's all fine and dandy to have the tools and in this case we are referring to scan tools. Just like any other tool, understanding that particular tools performance capabilities as well as you need to know how to operate it to get the most out it thus achieving a positive end result.

 

Got a question about your vehicle?

 

This part may sound like the simple part but, don’t let it mislead you, understanding many different brands of scan tools can be a challenge.

  • So what could happen if the procedures needs to save someone life are done incorrectly?

Let’s hope you will never have to answer that question. Technology has ramped up with shorter lead times to market, the industry that will be expected to repair and keep up must follow suit. We are ready, are you?

With that said we have come full circle as to what is expected or what to expect.

Premier Auto Interior RepairDickandRicks.com is not responsible for any damage caused by using any content on this site.  Please get a proper diagnosis / repair by one of our trained professionals.

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