Once again, this article features various topics and information that I have come across in the industry and wish to share with you to assist you in the running of your automotive repair workshop. Words: Peter Blanshard, CEO of IAME…
In previous articles, I have written about the necessity of you, the practitioner to be on a constant path of learning and education and I was happy to read how people such as Bursons have put training on their equipment sales and products on the front foot.
Just recently they have teamed up with some of their major supporting businesses to offer training to the sales team, managers, and associated parties to learn the best about their equipment and how this can help within a business.
This is a great model and I hope that all suppliers will follow suit. In this ever changing arena where technology is king, we all need to be caught up in this ever-learning environment.
In saying this, it leads me to my next section where I have been looking at the different transmission fluids for EV’s. again, this is a contradiction from some suppliers which will just add confusion to our retail market.
My understanding of this latest spec of transmission fluid, is that the fluid is less hydroscopic than other transmission fluids. Therefore, without absorbing as much moisture, it has a better benefit within the electrified vehicle/transmission. The other day I had an enquiry from a member who was told you don’t need anything special, that a standard CVT oil will work.
I am doing further investigation in exactly what properties are required and what some of the changes are in the additive packages that make up this new EV transmission fluid. Still on the topic of EV’s and your workshop readiness, I have been concerned about some companies’ drive to make all practitioners utilise an oscilloscope in the general service of a hybrid or EV.
There is no doubt that an oscilloscope is an incredibly useful tool and is critical in the correct diagnosis of a failing component. However, it is totally not required if you were just completing a routine service. For argument, a top-grade multimeter and a scan tool with the correct vehicular protocols are your two next best friends. Please watch for the upsell as the information from some salespeople is not incorrect but for your use, may be overzealous. Start with the basic tools and work your way up.
In my mind, quality PPE and insulated hand tools have a degree of higher importance on routine service than an elaborate oscilloscope.
Keeping your cool
My career is not as a long-range weather forecaster, however I believe that this year’s summer is not only going to be dry, but extremely hot. Welcome to the money tree of air conditioning servicing. We all realise that this is a seasonal opportunity but in times of extreme temperature swing, your consumer will love you for the upsell when it comes to a quality service on their cars air conditioning system.
The opportunity to change receiver dryers, AC drive belts, clean heater boxes or evaporator cases, to rectify those blocked condensers, all equate to high profits for your business and a very satisfied customer. With this opportunity, it is some of your responsibility to ensure that you are licensed and have your equipment serviced or replaced so that a correct diagnosis can be made.
So regularly, I read from ARC that they have completed audits in specific areas, and I am dismayed at the number of practitioners that have caught out by not being licensed or in fact don’t have their equipment registered. It is quite alarming. Every year the IAME offers AC training, and every year I feel that we haven’t captured as many people as we should. I realise that TAFE and other RTO’s offer similar courses but why is it that ARC still find such a high percentage of people that blatantly refuse to get qualified.
The IAME this year will dedicate a trainer to prioritising AC training or RPL for any practitioner that needs to be licensed and we will attend to your enquiry without delay. It is the best that we can do for our industry to separate a trainer from normal duties just to prioritise air conditioning licensing.
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Somebody’s watching me
As a part of my compliance update, I wish to advise all readers of the necessity to watch out for the new form of cybercrime which surrounds artificial intelligence (AI). The days of the simple locker viruses appear to be diminishing but false emails that have not come from your system but are identical to your system are on the rise. Yesterday I learnt of a business that had 50 emails sent to customers with fraudulent accounts that never originated from their computer. The email signatures look perfect, the logos and layout are identical and even the grammar and punctuation used is not dissimilar to what this organisation would normally use however all of this was created by AI at an unknown location.
The company’s IT department went through every computer in the shop and none of those 50 emails came from the company server. It is all a part of this new AI fraud.
Business disruption and reputational damage are probably the best things that can happen as legislation is changing and that makes cybercrime an offence for directors of a business. The protection of personal information is now a part of legislation going before the government under increasing reforms of the privacy act.
You cannot allow these cyber criminals to obtain any of your customers information in anyway whatsoever and one of the items that was raised to me was a business should now consider marketing back in the old style of fl yers more so than broadcast emails where the cyber criminalscan obtain email address. Just be warned in this space.