Shop Press

Shop Press is the news and idea hub for everything related to working on cars and trucks, focusing on repair, technology, and wrenching lifestyle.

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The one part of the car you’ll never install for a customer

The title is a bit clickbait-y, but I won’t drag this out. Let me tell you about a part you’ll never get a repair customer to buy willingly: the hood strut.Photo: Mike Apice.How many times have you been working on something, and the hood comes down and clonks ya right...

Torches for courses: which heating tools should a mechanic own?

The oxyacetylene torch is the cornerstone of any shop’s torch selection, and for good reason. Oxyacetylene is the industry standard for heating and cutting with a flame. With some practice and a little know-how, this time-honored tool can handle virtually any torch...

A few tips for ball joint removal

I was thinking about some of the stumbling blocks I had when I began turning wrenches a long time ago, and I recall ball joints sticking out as problematic. I could not for the life of me understand why other mechanics considered them “gravy work.” And that’s because...

Automotive professionals vs. popular auto myths! (VIDEO)

Description Spend any amount of time in the auto repair industry, and you’ll hear customers sharing strange ideas about the “right” way to drive and care for their vehicles. We assembled a list of common and confusing advice, then asked the gang to weigh in on some...

Five things to know when working on HID headlights

While working on some high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights this week, I realized that soon many younger techs are likely to be inexperienced with these lighting systems—and it’s not their fault. In the transition years between halogen lighting and the LED era,...

What’s the best way to move tools about the shop?

I was recently off my feet due to some unplanned surgery. Normally I go stalking around the garage like the proverbial bull in the china shop, but not lately—my ankle was a mess. Have you ever had an injury or illness serious enough to impact the way you make a buck?...

Is your shop ready for the 4-day work week?

Is your shop ready for the 4-day work week?

You’re probably already familiar with a growing movement to shorten the typical work week to just four days. Business journals, TV news, and social media outlets have covered the subject exhaustively in the last year or so, often in the same breath as “COVID-19” and...
A day in the life of a service writer (VIDEO)

A day in the life of a service writer (VIDEO)

A day in the life of a service writer (VIDEO) Description The hardest job in an automotive shop might just be that of the service writer. Taking heat from the boss, the techs, and the customers isn’t easy. That the role is for dynamic individuals becomes...
It’s totally fine to run your fuel tank down to empty

It’s totally fine to run your fuel tank down to empty

One of the pieces of automotive wisdom that’s been repeated by publications and mechanics alike for ages is that it’s not good to run a fuel tank below some arbitrary fill point, like a quarter of a tank. At some point, that probably wasn’t bad advice. But today? It’s...
Is side work OK for service techs?

Is side work OK for service techs?

Do you do side work? If you do, is that OK? There are tons of reasons for and against doing work outside the shop. I think my views have changed a little as I’ve been in the game a little longer, but this aspect of the job is contentious. I’ve heard various rationale,...
Schedule more work by improving the life of the waiters

Schedule more work by improving the life of the waiters

Everyone else knows a “waiter” as someone who brings you a burger. You and I, however, know a waiter to be a customer stranded in your customer lounge. Making waiting less painful can increase the likelihood folks schedule service. That seems pretty basic to me, but...
Trailer bearings: a hidden moneymaker for auto repair shops

Trailer bearings: a hidden moneymaker for auto repair shops

You already can see where I’m going with this based on the title. Trailers are the simplest things in the world, and yet unless you’re at an RV shop, a dedicated trailer shop, or you live in a rural or coastal area (ag and marine use), you probably rarely see trailers...