Get the Most From Your Trip to AAPEX

AAPXE14-Logo-and-Promise  Iyou’ve been to the Automotive Aftermarket Product Expo (AAPEX) before you know what to expect. If this is your first year at AAPEX prepare yourself for a busy week and bring good walking shoes! Another good way to prepare yourself and get the most from your trip is to check out the preparation materials provided by the AAPEXedu team.

On Wednesday, October 8, at 4 pm EST you can join the “A Checklist for Attending AAPEX 2014″ webinar. Strategic marketing expert, Steve Miller will share essential information to help you ensure that you grow your business at this year’s AAPEX. Included in the webinar are:

• A Preshow Preparation Checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything before leaving for Las Vegas.

• A Checklist for how to get the most while you’re at AAPEX.

Your time at AAPEX is limited and extremely valuable, making being as productive as possible essential. Miller will review what’s new and what’s happening at AAPEX 2014 to give you a sneak peak at events you won’t want to miss.

To register for “A Checklist for Attending AAPEX 2014” or to watch a previous webinar in the AAPEXedu Video Learning Library, visit: www.aapexshow.com/attendee/webinar

Have a question? Comment below or e-mail us at: info@noln.net

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Bosch Presents Young Technician’s Symposium At This Year’s CARS

Further developing the skills of your staff is important. Investing in the future of your less experienced staff members is even more imperative. This year the Congress of Automotive Service and Repair (CARS) will be held July 30 to Aug. 2 in Detroit, and included in the lineup of events is an opportunity for technicians who are new to the industry to expand their knowledge base.

The Young Technician’s Symposium will focus on technicians who have two to three years of experience. Bosch trainers will use hands-on instruction to further develop young technicians’ skills from maintenance and light repairs to electrical and drivability diagnosis.

“The ultimate goal is giving young technicians a game plan that will allow them to continue learning once they are back in the repair shop,” said Bob Pattengale, training manager for Bosch.

Students will receive pre and post tests. All students who pass will receive a certificate from Bosch. Part one of the Young Technician’s Symposium will be presented from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 1. Part two will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on that same day. Part three is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 2, and part four will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 pm. that afternoon.

For more information visit: CARSevent.com

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Improving Engine Performance: Fuel Additives and Cleaners

by Gumout Performance Additives

UntitledMore than likely, a customer has asked, “Do I need to use a fuel additive or a fuel system cleaner? Are they worth it?” The answer is yes. To make the best recommendations for your customers it is helpful to understand the science behind the products.

Over time, all engines lose performance and fuel economy. Much of this is due to the impact of fuel on key engine parts. Even high-quality fuel produces carbon deposits during combustion. These deposits build up on engine parts, limiting their performance.

Fuel contains ethanol, which attacks metal surfaces and allows water to have a more corrosive impact. It is best to use a performance additive that maximizes engine performance in these conditions.

 A Complete Clean

The intense heat of the combustion chamber can make important engine parts like piston tops and cylinder heads difficult to clean.

Look for a cleaner that contains polyether-amine (PEA). PEA breaks the bonds between carbon deposits and engine parts, removing them from the fuel system. The result is cleaner piston tops and cylinder heads, as well as a cleaner combustion chamber. This reduces hot spots that can lead to pre-ignition and reduced combustion efficiency.

PEA also cleans other vital parts of the fuel system, such as fuel injectors, intake valvesformula and ports, for maximized performance and fuel economy. Once deposits have been removed, PEA bonds to the metal surface of engine parts to prevent future buildup.

 More Conditioning and Protection

Cleaning is only part of the story. Antioxidants help stabilize fuel and oil, particularly inillustration[1] engines that are used less often, to keep varnish from developing on metal parts. Corrosion inhibitors keep key engine parts from degrading, helping to extend engine life.

Think about suggesting a versatile product that can be used in gas, ethanol and diesel and poured into the crankcase to stabilize oil.

Cleaner, better conditioned engine parts mean better performance. Your customers will be grateful you understand the science that protects their investment and keeps them on the road.

To learn more about the science behind Gumout products visit: www.gumout.com

*Complete Fuel System Cleaners and Multi-System Tune-Up. When poured into the fuel tank. Engine tests proving PEA performance include ASTM D5598, ASTM D5500 and ASTM D6201. Documentation of PEA performance includes The World Wide Fuel Charter, updated September 2013
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Create 7 Shop Efficiencies with Mobile Automobile Software Solutions

by: Mike Risich

What automotive service facility doesn’t want more customers?

It’s a no-brainer, right?

Even though increasing car counts is always a goal, achieving that-without adding staff or scaling back on existing customers’ services-is sometimes challenging, if not impossible.

Think about it. More customers oftentimes means an increase in data entry, more repair orders and vehicle maintenance estimates, all of which, at times, are not easy to read. To further complicate matters, not every customer agrees to the services recommended on work orders, no matter how much technicians and service advisors insist.

You may be holding the solution in the palm of your hand: Your mobile device.

In today’s automotive service facilities, mobile devices do everything except fix cars and carry out routine services like oil lube and filter changes.

And, best of all, mobile technology empowers service facilities to take full advantage of the solutions literally at their fingertips in less time and effort than the conventional method of typing in invoices after writing out multi-point inspections, jotting down VINs and calling customers to relay findings.

Whether your goal is to increase car counts and revenue, boost productivity, or communicate easier with customers, mobile automotive software solutions that integrate with an automotive service facility’s existing shop management system can do that and more.

Below are seven fool-proof tips for using vehicle maintenance software to improve overall automotive service facility operations.

  1. Meet customers at their vehicle and begin repair orders and estimates.

With wireless automotive software solutions, techs can meet customers at their vehicle and begin the multi-point digital inspection, work order and estimate process using a handheld device. Typing in a customer’s last name, license plate or digitally scanning a VIN populates remaining fields, saving time on writing out the information, making it more accurate and, best of all, automatically syncing with the shop management software.

  1. Scan VINs

Jotting down a vehicle identification number (VIN) is easy, right? Sure. Getting each and every letter and number correct – and making sure it’s legible – is something entirely different. Scanning a VIN eliminates the need to decipher messy handwriting, lessens the likelihood of mistakes and saves time.

  1. Review pending service recommendations.

Research has shown that nearly 75 percent of vehicles being serviced are having an oil change performed. Considering that, according to Automotive News, the average vehicle is 11 years old, additional services or maintenance are most likely needed. Shop management software alerts service advisors and techs to pending services upon a customer’s arrival. This technology maintains a vehicle service history and offers suggestions that either remain from a previous appointment, or are due now.

  1. Build orders and create digital inspections with the press of a button.

Wireless software solutions eliminate messy handwriting and speed up multi-point inspections and repair orders, allowing shops more time to service additional vehicles. Without hiring additional staff, or adjusting work schedules, efficiency, and in turn profits, can be dramatically increased by incorporating innovative automotive software solutions.

  1. Add photos to vehicle service recommendations.

What better way to prove that a customer needs new brakes than to show it? Techs do this every day by taking multiple photos of vehicle conditions, underlining the need for recommended services. Techs that take three or more photos with additional service recommendations have seen work orders increase from 30 to 60 percent on average.

  1. Text or email customers vehicle diagnoses with images.

Wireless automotive software with built-in text and email functionality enables techs to seamlessly send estimates, multi-point inspections and photos directly to customers. This speeds up customer approval times from the national average of one hour and 17 minutes to a mere 37 minutes.

  1. Use mobile technology that’s fully integrated with your shop management system.

Boosting productivity is possible with wireless automotive software that automatically integrates with data entered from handheld devices into the shop management system without the need for double entry.

For more information on how mobile automotive software solutions can improve shop operations, visit BoltOnTechnology.com or call 610-400-1019.

Mike Risich has been involved in software development since 1995. While teaching a Microsoft-based class in Bucks County, Pa., a student who owned an automotive service facility asked for help with the computer programs he used to organize sales. Risich realized a large gap between the technologies used in the automotive industry and those that were available in other industries.

The opportunity to develop time-saving software solutions already in use by doctors, dentists, convenience stores and airports became apparent. His introduction to the automotive service industry began in 2008 with the formation of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY – a software solutions company based strictly in the automotive world.

His affiliations quickly grew to partnerships, including with Mitchell 1, a Snap-On Tools company, which has officially licensed three of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY’s products. The company now serves thousands of auto repair shops across the U.S., Canada, South America and Guam.

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Drive Customers to Your Door with Social Media

Drive Customers to your Door with Social Media

“This is what social media can drive to your door with a very good special.” – Harold Smith Express Lube, San Antonio, Texas
Express Lube in San Antonio, Texas has taken social media and maximized it for their shops around the city. The quick lube chain advertised on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that for each Spurs playoff win the next day from 8:00 am to 10:00 am they will give away free full service oil changes to any customer who pulls up to their bays. After the Spurs most recent win, Express Lube, which has 25 shops in the San Antonio area serviced 643 total cars in the 2 hours. 59 percent of those were new customers. Due to the volume Smith said that most of those were oil changes but enough extra sales paid for the oil change products. “We got the customer in, then it’s up to the employees to wow the new customer so they will want to use us in the future,” Smith said.

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Protect Yourself and Your Customers: The Heartbleed Bug

The Heartbleed bug is being called one of the biggest security threats to the internet that we have ever seen. So what exactly is this sneaky virus and how do you ensure that you and your customer’s information stays secure? We are here to navigate those questions with you!

What is the Heartbleed bug? In short Heartbleed can steal away your passwords making you vulnerable to all kinds of internet danger. “The bug affects web servers running Apache and Nginx software, and it has the potential to expose private information users enter into websites, applications, web email and even instant messages. And while most security experts advise that you always use websites and services offering SSL security encryption whenever possible, the Heartbleed bug has the ability to allow malicious operators to defeat this security layer and capture passwords as well as forge authentication cookies and obtain other private information.” [original post here]

 What can I do to protect myself and my customers?

There are three immediate things you can do to protect yourself: 

¹ Wait to hear from any secure websites or services you use about a security update. If you have a website that could be vulnerable to Heartbleed make sure that you have updated the security on it as well.

² Once the site or service you are using has installed a security update, change your passwords.

³ Monitor your important online accounts like banking, email etc for at least a week. [original post here]

Make sure to check out this list to see vulnerable websites and as always comment with any questions we will do our best to get you an answer!

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Three Motor Oils You Shouldn’t Buy According to Petroleum Quality Institute of America

Last week the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) warned specifically against buying three viscosity grades of Orbit motor oils. The motor oils that should be avoided are Orbit’s 5-30, 10-30 and 10-40 oils and PQIA says that they have issued a “Don’t Buy” for all Orbit brand motor oils. Please click here to read the full story. The following is an excerpt from PQIA.

“PQIA’s analysis of the Orbit samples show that the products are extremely thin, as much as 74 percent below the minimum viscosity requirements for their implied viscosity grade. Motor oils this thin are not able to adequately separate and lubricate moving engine parts and can lead to rapid wear and even engine seizure. In addition, the samples tested lack the critical additives needed to protect car engines from wear, sludge, rust and corrosion. They may also contain abrasive contaminates. Accordingly, PQIA has issued a “Don’t Buy” for Orbit brand motor oils. These fraudulent oils should not be added to your car engine.”Image

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iFlex 2014 in Five Photos

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Because no grand opening is official until you’ve cut the red ribbon! Here is some of the crew that brought us a great 2014 iFLEX Show. Pictured left to right: Adam Sturdivant, Meredith Young, Jimmy Grant, Scott Morrison, Jim Conlon, Dave Everett

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A room full of attendees have their attention focused on the speaker — and there were many great ones. What did they learn? Probably a nugget that paid for their entire conference!

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It’s always a good idea to get a bird’s eye view of the show floor. There were many great vendors and tons of friendly faces!

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We are so thankful for a team of AOCA board members that have an enormous passion for our industry!

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National Oil and Lube News publisher, Steve Hurt presents Adam Sturdivant with the 2013 Operator of the Year award. Congratulations Adam!

Make sure to look for our iFlex 2014 recap article in the May 2014 issue of NOLN!

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5 Ways to Run a Better Business

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Who runs your business? No, stop. What was your FIRST answer to that question? Is it you? Are you a softy or are you a tough boss? Al Getler, of algetler.com, shares his five tips:

1. Set an expectation: You can’t be tough after the fact. Set your expectations and be sure the recipient understands them.

2. Correct as you go; don’t wait: If you see someone off course, tell him or her right away.

3. Listen: Hear the reasons why a direct report is not meeting the expectations you set.

4. Adjust: Either adjust the performance or behavior or adjust your expectations.

5. Reward success and discipline failure.

Be careful though, Getler says that without listening, you can just be a jerk.

Excerpt from article written by Dave Prange, “No More Mr. Nice Guy” for National Oil and Lube News, March 2014, Volume 29, Number 3

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The Affordable Care Act: Medium Sized Employers Now Have Until 2016

The Affordable Care Act is no stranger to news headlines. Earlier this week was no exception as yet another change was made to the law.

When the legislation was first passed, employers with more than 50 full-time employees were required to provide coverage to those employees or pay a fine. This was put into place in an effort to carry out the law’s goal of expanding coverage. Employers complained that this just wasn’t affordable and in order to avoid penalties they would have to cut employee hours.

As a result, the administration put an extension on the rule. On February 10, 2014, leaders once again, delayed the rule. Employers with 50-99 full-time employees now have until 2016 until they are required by law to offer them health insurance.

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