Q: Are coolant test strips really worth the money? I've been using them in my shop for quite a few years and started to watch and see how many flush jobs I got out of the test strips. Not as many as I thought. I was really disappointed in the results.
A: With any piece of equipment, you need to use it correctly to get the best results.
How are you presenting your findings to the consumer? Are you physically taking the consumer into the garage and having them watch as you sample the antifreeze? Are you explaining — in layman-terms — how accurate the strips are in their results? Are you comparing the test strip results versus the factory maintenance recommendations?
Your approach to how the shop presents the coolant test strip findings may be the cause of your below-par experience with the product. I've used the strips for decades and had nothing but accurate evidence to give to my customer for review and maintenance needs. Revaluate your approach and apply and re-test your findings using this consumer-friendly product.
Q: I recently purchased a TPMS scanner that is supposed to “do it all.” Well, on the fifth car that came into the shop, the TPMS scanner did not function with that manufacturer. What scanner is out there that covers all of the TPMS systems?
A: Like diagnostic scanners, there is no “one unit fits all” product on the market. But instead of purchasing three or four different TPMS scanners/programmers, read up and choose the unit that fits your customer-base fleet.
Does your shop concentrate on European makes? Research and see what TPMS unit best covers that particular vehicle count. It's all about investing a little time to get the biggest bang for your tool buck.
Pam Oakes is a retired, 20-year owner of nationally awarded automotive shop Pam's Motor City Automotive and Tires, an ASE-certified technician, automotive author, automotive speaker, automotive patent holder and host of "Car Care for the Clueless” Daily Edition, a syndicated radio talk show airing on dozens of stations coast-to-coast. And, yes, she still "turns wrenches"—but just for fun, nowadays.
Have an automotive service-related question for Pam Oakes? Email it to Tire Business reporter William Schertz at [email protected].