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Right Advice And Best Products

by Digital Mayne Media

In this edition I will be providing a few reminders following some interesting and factual conversations recently had with key industry experts about a few areas of concern.

As you are aware with good training and a good kit such as Launch, Bosch or Hella etc. calibration can be adequately affected on a lot of vehicles, however – and it’s the biggest however – if your preparation is poor, your result won’t be as accurate as you may want. For argument’s sake, certain calibration manufacturers combined with OEM specifications demand a certain radius of clean space around a car before you can complete your calibration. It may be 20 metres, it could be 50 metres, and this cleared space includes concrete or steel pylons which hold up the roof of your building. So why discard that instruction?

Most require a flat level surface, yet I have seen one area where the concrete floor had failed, and the front wheel was sitting in almost a pothole. Some manufacturers demand that a wheel alignment be done, including tyre pressure to be set and this too is an area that some technicians report they don’t have to do. Again, if we have the car properly setup you will have an opportunity of getting a more accurate calibration.

Do not discount any steps that either the manufacturer or the kit manufacturer asks that you complete and then, for God’s sake, don’t whine that you can’t get calibrations swiftly completed.

It now leads me to a second area of concern – one of which I thought we covered many years ago, and this is with the use of E10 fuel. As today’s fuel prices continue to skyrocket to never seen before price levels, the average consumer is looking for the cheapest alternative in fuel and those with modern cars and E10 compatible stickers all over them are now feeding their car this E10 product as fuel prices hurt. The concern that I have is that we have technicians that are telling clients not to use E10 in cars that have been specifically manufactured to burn this product. Sure, we are not going to put it into your 1967 HR Holden, nor a high compression 351 GTHO Ford but the 2020 Mazda, Honda, Nissan etc. can quite happily burn E10 and consumer should not be steered away from using this product in their cars.

You are the professional. You should be able to buy the right oil, use the right quality oil filter, use the correct quality air and fuel cleaner, make the right choice on heat range of spark plug, all of which to allow your customer the ability to buy the cheaper fuel which currently is E10. They look to you for correct advice, not a blanket, “no, it should never be used” because there are a lot of mechanical engineers who specialise in metallurgy, fuel injection, computer programming which all lead to this vehicle’s sticker that states that it can quite adequately burn E10 fuel, regardless of your love or hate of the fuel. In times of crisis where even E10 is toppling $2.25 a litre, please assist your client with proper advice, not the good old gut feel or prejudice against ethanol.

I feel that in this edition I am on my soap box so I might as well continue. Yesterday I had a great conversation with a major oil company in Australia who have gone out of their way to educate the consumer on the correct grade of oil that should be used in their car. The problem they have is that the consumer now knows more about this than their local workshop. They report to me that they have small to medium enterprises that only wish to buy two or three grades of oil because “she’ll be right mate, the car runs on this without a problem”. This may be true, but for how long? What is our fuel efficiency like? In my last few paragraphs, I talk about the need of giving the correct advice so that people who wish to use E10 can successfully do so. We now have hybrid vehicles with small engines, incredibly high compression and are chasing every bit of fuel efficiency that they can find. After all, it is a hybrid and it is expected to return ultra-low emissions and ultra-high fuel efficiency, but no, we will just pick and choose whatever oil we think should go in the vehicle because “hey, it runs alright”.

If we want to retain customers, we must do a better job than the three examples that I have given in this edition. It’s not common that I write in such a forceful manner but lately I’ve truly had some conversations on topics that I thought we had put to bed many years ago.

If you would like any form of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact your IAME and we can continue these conversations, so you are delivering the best advice to your customers.

The best way to reintroduce yourself to what’s new is to consider an apprentice that will assist you with some of the more up-to-date competencies and trends in automotive services. Just because you’re an apprentice and are learner the underpinning knowledge for yourself, it does not mean that through their RTO they are not picking up on the super important issues such as the correct oil usage in a hybrid’s fuel motor and reinforcing that with you when you pick up the wrong drum to tip into the car. Their learning is threefold, history and underpinning knowledge, current knowledge, and their domain experience. That’s what makes a solid apprentice/mechanic.

The IAME has an excellent relationship with Apprenticeships Are Us and can supply you with an apprentice anywhere in Australia. Please, don’t hesitate to contact your IAME or Apprenticeships Are Us directly on (02) 9891 6900.

Let’s look to the future and run a highly professional, modern, profitable business. We are all here to assist.

For further information call IAME on (02) 9782 1100, visit www.iame.com.au or follow us on social media – www.facebook.com/iame.online

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