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Don’t let the grind of fixing cars wear down your love for ‘em

Fixing automobiles all day is tough. The work’s too hard, the customers get ornery, the money ain’t what it oughta be, working conditions aren’t always the best, and the hours are too long. In spite of that, I have yet to meet a tech, service writer, or counterman who...

Torque wrench vs. torque stick for installing wheels (VIDEO)

How to test for blown fuses in a car or truck | Fast and easy methodDescription What tools do you trust when installing wheels on a vehicle? The trusty torque wrench, or the straightforward torque sticks? Or maybe both? Three Dorman experts weigh in.Related Videos

A 3-minute video kept me from going ballistic over a $3,000 repair

If you’ve read my stuff before, you know I have a checkered history of repairing my own vehicles. It’s the inevitable outcome of going out of my way to deliberately (read: dimwittedly) buy a series of notoriously crappy cars and trucks that nonetheless looked very...

Service writers vs. technicians (VIDEO)

Description Familiar Dorman faces Chris and Lemmy are joined by a newcomer to Shop Press, Scott. The fellas discuss the ins and outs of the complicated relationship between service writers and technicians and examine a few of the highs and lows for both groups.

EPA emergency action allows nationwide summer sales of E15 gasoline

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an emergency action that allows E15 gasoline - gasoline blended with 15% ethanol - to be sold at terminals and retail stations in states where it previously could not. The action is said to be aimed at...

Preston Tucker: Visionary or Villain?

It’s possible you have already heard of Preston Tucker. He was the subject of “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” a 1988 Francis Ford Coppola movie starring Jeff Bridges. More recently, he was the subject of the biographical book “Preston Tucker and His Battle to Build...

Average U.S. vehicle age reaches new record high, again

Does it feel like the cars and trucks in your repair shop keep getting older and older? Well, that’s because they are. The average U.S. vehicle age is now up to 12.5 years, according to a recent analysis by S&P Global Mobility (formerly IHS Markit). That’s a new...

PSA: Your customers are probably parking incorrectly

PSA: Your customers are probably parking incorrectly

It’s hard to tell someone they do something as basic as parking their car incorrectly. But I’m a charismatic guy, and I like a challenge, so I do this with customers and have for a long time. Why? Because the commonly accepted way of parking a car is pretty dangerous....
What do techs recommend for a “car crate?”

What do techs recommend for a “car crate?”

Many drivers on the road have what I call “car crates” or “car boxes”: the milk crate or cardboard box you keep in your car for auto needs. As a rather non-mechanically inclined individual, I have one in my car, which is primarily made up of things I use fairly...
Ew, gross: are there cars you won’t service?

Ew, gross: are there cars you won’t service?

“Just blow into the tube and it will start right up.” The owner’s car was fitted with an ignition interlock, a machine that would analyze one’s breath for alcohol prior to allowing the vehicle to start. It was a common court order for DUI offenders in that state....
Can the flat rate system work better for a team?

Can the flat rate system work better for a team?

If you’ve been working in an automotive shop for longer than about fifteen minutes, you know what the flat-rate system is and how it works. The system promotes some behaviors and disincentivizes some others—for better or for worse. Over the years, I have become pretty...