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Tech Feature: Exhaust Leaks and the Stoichiometric Ratio

August 9, 2011

By Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver. When I was a kid, I used to watch my dad, who started out as a diesel mechanic, tune up cars and trucks from time to time. He would turn the adjustment screws on the carburetor until the engine smoothed out and started to purr. Then, after listening closely to the rumbling of the motor, the adjustment screws would get one final tweak. He would always bend down and cup his hand around the belching tail pipe exhaust and take a big sniff of the fumes, and then go back to his adjustments. That was back in the 60s and 70s before PCMs, O2 sensors and catalytic converters.

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AVI OnDemand: Technician Bundles Now Available

August 8, 2011

Through the years, AVI has helped thousands of technicians, trainers and shop owners achieve their diagnostic training goals. Whether it be training on new equipment or scan tools, staying up-to-date with industry technology, professional development or simply the desire to learn something new–the learning never stops. We all know that finding the time for training is hard. That’s why AVI OnDemand wants to make it easy for you to make time for great training.

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New Classes with Instructor Dave Hobbs Coming Soon

It’s been a busy summer at AVI with two new training classes almost ready to join our library! Transform your frustration into profits in your shop with the interactive hands-on Victory Over Voltage Drop training course, and take your ASE certification to the next level with the Complete A8 Test Prep Program—the last step to being an ASE Certified Master Technician. Both Victory Over Voltage Drop and the Complete A8 Test Prep Program with Instructor Dave Hobbs are set to be released in the Fall.

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AVI Test Prep Launches New Facebook App!

Last week, Automotive Video launched a new Facebook Fan Page and an Application exclusively for ASE Test Prep! Learn more about the ASE certification exams, take interactive quizzes to test your knowledge, watch technical tip clips from our Test Prep programs, check out other AVI Test Prep opportunities, and more! AVI’s ASE Test Prep programs are designed to help automotive technicians easily and confidently pass their ASE certification tests. Our goal is to provide solid information and hands-on procedures across multiple platforms for the optimal learning experience.

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Keeping Your Cool With Automatic Temp Control

By Dave Hobbs. A climate control system that automatically maintains a set interior climate while conditions outside constantly change might seem complicated. Cool-headed diagnostics involve breaking these systems into manageable parts.

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Alternative Load Test Techniques Tip Clip

August 5, 2011

Instructor Dave Hobbs talks about voltage drop testing issues where the circuit you’re testing doesn’t really have the current flow going through it like it should. It may not be due to the fact you have a big voltage drop from a large resistance source in the wiring or the connections. It could be a couple of problems. It could be the wiring and connections, in addition to a component that’s either inoperative or not drawing enough current as it normally would. In this tip clip we talk about these things and some alternative ‘MacGyver like’ load testing techniques you can try.

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A8 Spark Timing Technical Tip Clip

Section two of the ASE A8 task list is where you find ignition systems. In this video tip clip with instructor Dave Hobbs we’re going to do some cylinder balance testing, which will give us an idea if there is a misfire, and if so, which cylinder it is. And that oftentimes goes hand in hand with ignition diagnosis.

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ASE Test Prep Training Now Available Online

July 20, 2011

Taking ASE certification tests doesn’t have to be stressful or a challenge. Our online ASE Test Prep programs are designed to help automotive technicians easily and confidently pass their ASE certification tests. Our ASE Test Prep courses are packed with solid information and hands-on procedures based on the ASE Task Lists.

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Diagnostic Dilemmas: When Over-Voltages Electrocute PCMs

By Gary Goms. During the past nine months, I’ve had three instances of powertrain control module (PCM) failures on Jeep Wrangler vehicles that were evidently caused by an over-voltage condition. The first case involved an owner who requested that a local shop replace the fuel pump because his ’98 Wrangler was slow-starting in the morning.

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Gonzo’s Toolbox: Found It On the Internet

By Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver. A customer comes into the shop the other day with a handful of papers about his car. Each page was full of information and diagrams pertaining to a repair. He was extremely proud of himself, and proceeded to tell me how he found this wealth of knowledge on the Internet.

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ASE: Get The Lead Out

July 19, 2011

ASE recently announced that it is ‘throwing out the pencils’ and moving to all computer-based testing (CBT) in 2012. While all certification testing will still take place at secure, proctored Test Centers, the new, enhanced CBT program will include features like immediate test results, various testing dates and times throughout the year, and more!

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Quick Management Tips from Automotive Management Network

July 18, 2011

By Tom Ham. Are the people at your front desk too technical? Does your shop have a good incentive pay plan? Do you have options available for your customers? Check out the latest Auto Shop Monthly Management Tips from the Automotive Management Network to get inside secrets on managing your shop and increasing your bottom line.

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Nissan Infiniti ETC Technical Tip Clip

July 17, 2011

In this tip clip excerpt, trainer Dave Scaler talks about Nissan Infiniti electronic throttle control systems. When we talk about Nissan Infiniti vehicles, one of the most common repairs in debate today surrounds the Fly By Wire or Electronic Throttle Control. Electronic throttle control system on a Nissan Infiniti vehicle is problematic. What we’re going to do is take a look, not only to see how it works, but to see what breaks, and what we can do about fixing it.

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Misfire Testing with a Scan Tool Tip Clip

In this tip clip, instructor Jim Wilson talks about P0300 codes and misfire testing using your scan tool. He talks about how you would look at certain things such as RPM, MAP, changes in load, and long term fuel trims. He goes on to mention some things technicians should be aware of on Ford and Chrysler vehicles.

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Variable Valves – Plus More

July 12, 2011

By John Thornton. Last time (Fall 2010), we looked at two Nissan variable valve timing case studies, provided by John Thornton. There wasn’t enough room in that issue for John’s very informative third case study, so it’s included here. After we’ve finished with the third case study, we’ll move into an overview of the construction, operation and diagnosis of various crank sensor designs. Let’s get started.

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A8 Tech Tip: Two Stage Temp Sensor

July 11, 2011

Instructor Dave Hobbs gives some insight into something a lot of techs already know about and may just take for granted–two stage temperature sensors. He covers some specifics about the sensors, testing procedures, and how to avoid replacing parts that are good only to find you still have a problem. He also gives some details and insight into the differences in design and wiring of these sensors between the individual manufacturers.

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Tip Clip: Top OBD II Monitors Tips And Tricks

Technicians, do you have to prepare a car in your shop for for inspection? If so I’d like to spend a minute on monitors and a few tips and tricks when it comes to running monitors in order to prepare the car for an OBD II inspection. Now keep in mind a couple of pieces of information. Even if you don’t do IM in your area, understanding what monitors do and how they run is important for a couple other reasons. I use monitors, for example, to help get the computer to run the tests on the car so I can help to verify my repair. You may also use monitors if you’re into mode 6 to do mode 6 work because you need to know how the monitors run in order for the mode 6 to be accurate. So I want to spend just a few minutes here on monitors discussing a couple of pieces that I think will help you if you indeed have to get the monitors to run and show you some of the advantages of getting the PCM to help you along the way.

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Top 10 OBD II Codes Now Available from AVI

As technicians, we’re paid to be smart and paid to be fast. The quicker we can diagnose a problem the faster we can move on to the next job. Automotive Video, along with Instructor Dave Scaler, bring you a quick and easy method to speed up your diagnostic time in determining lean code failures. If you value your shop time, want to speed up your diagnostic time, and be able to bring more work into the service bays check out the “Top OBD II Codes” program!

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AVI Training Conference Networking Passes Available

Are you going to be in Vegas for Industry Week? Would you like an exclusive opportunity to network with some of the best and the brightest in the automotive industry? Then the AVI Networking Pass is for you!

AVI will be holding their annual Training Conference alongside AAPEX this year. This two day event hosts a variety of automotive training classes, as well as countless opportunities to connect with topnotch instructors, shop owners, and technicians. If you are unable to attend the classes, but would like to take advantage of these unique networking opportunities, purchase your Networking Pass today!

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Ford Reflash Tech Tip: PC Settings

July 10, 2011

By Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver. So, you’ve just finished up a Ford, and you’re about to try and start it up. However, it needs programmed. You’ve decided to use a J2534 tool, but there are certain things you’ll need to consider before purchasing that subscription at

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Smoke In A Can

July 7, 2011

Check out Smoke In A Can, the revolutionary new product from the creators of the Diagnostic 8-Ball, Automotive Video! Everybody knows ‘that guy,’ you know, the one who crosses a wire or otherwise causes smoke to come out of a pricey ECM, PCM or other expensive electronic module. After all, today’s cars are laden with electronics and chances are you may already have been ‘that guy’ at one time or another.

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Conventional vs. Synthetic Oil

June 20, 2011

By David Tenpenny. Everyone knows, or seems to know, that synthetic oils are better than conventional oils, but do you know why? The fact is synthetic oils have several material advantages over their non-synthetic counterparts. Synthetic oils are structured with very specific properties, which leads to stronger oxidative protection against breakdown and lower evaporation rates under high temperature conditions. Synthetics also excel at low temperature operation and provide superior film strength.

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Airbag Service and Diagnostics: What You Need to Know

By Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver. Since 1998, all new cars have been required to have Supplemental Restraint Systems as standard equipment. A study done in December 2001 found that a record was set with 7,585 confirmed prevented deaths by proper airbag/seatbelt usage. If that isn’t enough to make you appreciate the airbag systems in today’s cars, I don’t know what will.

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Virtual Vision KC 2011

June 19, 2011

Vision KC the Midwest’s largest automotive service industry expo recently launched a virtual trade show. 38 exhibitors from the 2010 event are featured in this online virtual tradeshow. Great concept guys, way to go!

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Auto Market Weekly: June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011

  This class covers A to Z on Gasoline Direct Injection. The Instructor dissects the mechanical and electrical components in this high-pressure fuel delivery system, explains the benefits and drawbacks and examines the differences in manufacturers. Topics include Bi-Directional testing, the 5 operating modes of GDI, Problems that occur over time and many more tips […]

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Bosch Service Class Lineup at AVI Training Conference Announced

June 9, 2011

Check out this line-up of Bosch Service classes at the 2011 AVI Training Conference to be held in Las Vegas immediately after the Bosch National Meetings for quality training with Ryan Barr and Mike Hinman. Prepare yourself for world-class technical training in Vegas alongside AAPEX at the Sands Expo Center, November 1, 2011!

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Tool Trouble

June 8, 2011

Rules: Tool Trouble is an interactive Flash game using your web camera. You become the controller and the objective is to grab as many tools as possible with your hands while avoiding the check engine and other indicator lights.

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10 Questions and Answers About HFO-1234yf

By Peter Coll. HFO-1234yf, a new replacement for R-134a, is a non-environmental impact refrigerant with a decreased atmospheric lifetime. Learn what it is, why we’re changing refrigerants, what the differences are, whether or not your shop will need new equipment, and more, in this question-and-answer session with Peter Coll from Neutronics.

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AVI Releases New A/C Diagnostic Training Classes

Today, virtually every car has air conditioning, and every car is going to need to have that air conditioning serviced from time to time. With these NEW A/C technology training programs, AVI helps you focus on how to get the job done right every time! Learn about new AC service procedures and diagnostic tests, explore aspects and details of the J2788 standard and how it will save you time and money and finally learn how to perform diagnostics and service on hybrid vehicle HVAC systems safely and effectively. With TEAM AVI, you will get the information you need to provide service on the new technology coming into your shop today.

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Service Advisors Need to Be…Sales People

June 6, 2011

By Bob Cooper. Anyone who has been selling service for any length of time will agree that there are two kinds of customers. The first is the customer who has a history of making good decisions, not just with auto repair, but with most decisions. And then we have the other kind of customer: the kind of person who more often than not makes the wrong decisions. Let’s use maintenance service as an example.

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Exclusive Discount on Elite Webinar for AVI Customers!

June 4, 2011

On June 21st, Elite Worldwide President Bob Cooper will be presenting The Best-Kept Secret to Higher Profits, a 55-minute webinar that will help you put more money on your bottom line, and keep your customers coming back for years to come. As a thank you for being an AVI customer, we’ve arranged a 50% discount exclusively for you!

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HVAC Diagnostics

June 2, 2011

By Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver. 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.

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MACS A/C System Hose Repairs Tip Clip

May 25, 2011

If you build or repair A/C system hoses, power steering hoses, or any different kind of hose assemblies this tip clip may be of interest to you. There’s a lot of good information that you need to know out there, so take a look at this segment, which is going to tell you everything you ever needed to know about building and repairing hoses the right way.

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Autodata Products Now Available!

May 23, 2011

Automotive Video is now selling Autodata Software CDs! With these easy-to-use software CDs, you can get fast access to information on Diagnostic Trouble Codes, Technical Specifications, Timing Belts and Timing Chains, Key Programming and Service Indicators and Battery Replacement Reset Procedures for Domestic and Import vehicles from 1995-2011. These CD’s provide automotive technicians with a reliable and easy to use information source when repairing and servicing vehicles. Improved productivity allows greater workshop throughput, increasing turnover and generating more margin.

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Diagnostic Solutions: Diagnosing Misfires

By Gary Goms. Although diagnosing misfires can be a tough assignment for any driveability technician, the diagnosis can be made much simpler if he understands the basics of misfire diagnosis. For example, when the first OBD II misfire monitor was first introduced in 1996, technicians were puzzled by problems with false misfire diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). Case in point, vehicles being driven on washboard dirt roads began recording false misfires.

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