Scott "Gonzo" Weaver, Author at UnderhoodService - Page 2 of 10
Personal Preventive Maintenance: Don’t Let Work Get In The Way Of Life

Vehicle owners that have neglected to take care of their cars with standard preventive maintenance are far too common in our line of work. After decades of being behind the service counter, as well as under the hood, I do get a bit frustrated that people won’t do any preventive maintenance, or neglect to tell me about an intermittent problem they’ve had forever because they feel it has nothing to do with the problem they brought their vehicle in for.

How Quick Fixes Can Lead To Long-Term Problems

Once in a while, some of these in-the-ditch repairs truly are born out of a roadside emergency, but I tend to believe that even these quick fixes could be avoided with a little bit of proper maintenance know-how. The problem is that some people like to tackle repair work themselves regardless of their repair acumen.

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How Long Is a Labor Hour?

Any tech will tell you that a labor hour can stretch to half a day if a lot of research is involved. Conversely, it can last 15 minutes if you know what you’re doing. Most labor guides typically don’t take into account how much research, diagnosis and equipment setup is needed for a given job — not to mention the time it takes to recover your 10 mm socket that just fell down into the engine compartment.

Common TIPM Customer Complaints

You name the electrical system, and chances are, it runs through the TIPM. But, the TIPM isn’t without its own faults, which is why I renamed it, “Trouble In Power Management.”

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Being A True Professional

In the automotive repair profession, ASE certifications, manufacturer certifications and years of service are just some of the ways to distinguish one as a pro vs. a parts-swapping technician. I try to approach each and every job as a professional. This includes detailing my ­repair work and striving to make each repair as neat and orderly as possible.

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30 Habits Of Professional Mechanics

If you’re one of these people questioning whether you’re really meant for this profession, here are some unmistakable signs you’re a dyed-in-the-wool professional mechanic whether you like it or not.

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Unconventional Auto Repairs

There are times when all the diagnostic trees, diagrams and graphs in the world aren’t enough to properly repair a vehicle. Sometimes, you just can’t get from Point A to Point B without some homemade ingenuity.

Government Regulations And The Check Engine Light

At first, Uncle Sam demanded crash tests, tire tests and seat belts. Then, in the ‘70s, it was the crash bumper debacle followed by the arrival of emissions systems with their smog pumps, miles of vacuum hoses and EGR valves. All of these “improvements” on the family car forever changed the way mechanics service vehicles.

How Education And Equipment Can Help Manage Your Car Quota

Every day while driving to work, I’ll pass numerous shops that seem to have the same cars sitting in front of their bays day after day. They move them around a bit, you know, kind of like shuffling chess pieces or something, but they never seem to leave.

2013 Ford: No Radio, No A/C, Airbag Light On

How many times have you been working on the computer when it suddenly locks up? Not one single key or command works, and the more you click, the less it responds. The only thing left to do is hold down those three magic keys, “Ctrl-Alt-Del,” or shut the whole thing off and restart the computer. Chances are you’ll have lost whatever it was you were working on.

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A/C Diagnostics 101: The Value Of Scanners

Leave it to the manufacturers to take a simple thing like heat and air conditioning and turn it into an electronic jungle of wiring, sensors and computer components. HVAC units have come a long way from when I started in the business. Not that I want to dwell on the past, but it might be a good idea to make sure we understand the basics before diving into the problem of today’s systems. I always feel that if I understand a system fully before doing any repair work, I’m more likely to get it right the first time.

Shop Owner Or Bartender?

I sipped down the rest of my coffee and finished up the morning paperwork, then it occurred to me that the whole time I was on the phone, I wasn’t just a mechanic answering a customer’s concerns; I had taken on the role of the corner tavern bartender.