Sealed and self-lubricating bearings have emerged as the choice among automotive manufacturers, and for good reason. In light-duty applications they’ve shown longevity, durability and a cost savings with less warranty work resulting from part failure. It’s also resulted in the aftermarket simply replacing these parts rather than checking them alongside every vehicle service event.
However, most technicians know to still check every lubricated and greased part on a vehicle, both out of habit and helping the customer.
Checking rear axle or differential fluid, transmission fluid and inspecting sealed hub bearings will give your customer an idea of useful life of a specific component, and even give an idea of what future service may be needed. While full under car lubrication may no longer be needed, there are still plenty of lubrication points to watch to keep a vehicle moving smoothly and avoid major repairs.
And in the rest of the industrialized world? Sealed and self-lubricating bearings simply won’t hold up to the rigors and extended use of manufacturing facilities, farm equipment or heavy-duty trucking. The value of preventive maintenance including lubrication can never be overstated, keeping machines running and the profit machine churning.
Take a combine’s corn head and all the moving parts in the process. The machine grabs the stalk, removes the ear, puts it on a sheller and belt into a hopper, then augured out into a wagon. Failure of any of those parts means a collection shutdown until things are fixed or replaced, and losing money.
The examples above are perfect illustrations of how an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A bit of time searching for and lubricating grease fittings saves a lot of frustration in the end, for both you and your customer.
The best advice? Check those fluids periodically, and pay attention to dirt and dust collecting around sealed bearings, and tell your customer what to look for. They are the biggest factor in preventive maintenance and proper lubrication.
Written By Dirk Skogerbo, OTC
Valentine’s Day Facts:
The expected lifespan of tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors is between 7 and 10 years, meaning many vehicles coming into your shop are already in need or going to be in need of replacement sensors. Use this opportunity to educate your customers on the importance of the TPMS sensors – safety, vehicle awareness and peace of mind.
Since 2008, the U.S. government has mandated that all cars have tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors under the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (or TREAD) Act. TPMS systems ensure tire pressure is monitored and communicated to the driver to help increase vehicle safety. Sensors must be reprogrammed every time a tire is replaced or moved to a different position on the vehicle.
When you replace or recalibrate the sensors, some vehicles have dog-and-pony steps to walk through: Turn the ignition on, then off, then on and depress the brake pedal 3 times. Then let air out of each tire until the horn sounds. They work, but they’re often time-consuming and different for every vehicle, requiring you to read a service manual or look up the procedures online.
To save time, think of investing in a standalone or paired TPMS tool that can reset and relearn the sensors quickly.
Tire failures cause approximately 11,000 crashes a year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If your customers are riding on worn or under inflated tires they can experience reduced braking effectiveness and increase the likelihood and severity of an accident.
So educate your customers on proper tire maintenance and the importance of not ignoring in-dash warning lights. Keeping their safety top of mind and getting their car fixed faster will only continue to strengthen your relationship as well as ensuring the safety of others on the road.
Written By Debo Sadare, OTC
Battery Terminal Service Kit
This kit includes seven favorite battery tools, housed in a rugged, vinyl-coated fabric pouch.
- heavy-duty battery terminal puller.
- 3-way battery post cleaner and reamer.
- Angled battery nut pliers.
- 5/16" battery terminal ratchet wrench.
- Extra long 5/16" terminal ratchet wrench.
- 10 mm battery terminal ratchet wrench.
- Side terminal battery brush.
Don’t leave your customers with a dead battery.
As auto manufacturers continue to work toward meeting more stringent fuel requirements mandated by the government, your customer’s batteries are paying part of the price. OEM’s are taking every possible load they can off the engine in order to maximize fuel economy. Unlike two to five years ago, alternators are no longer continually charging batteries like they used to. Today’s ECM’s monitor the battery and only use the alternator to charge when needed, allowing the battery to drain and then recharge — adding strain. Another piece of technology that is placing additional stress on vehicle batteries these days are the start/stop systems found in a growing number of vehicles.
Due to the battery workload realities, it is more important than ever for shops and technicians to check and inform their customers on battery health.
A recent examination of one shop found that 30% of the batteries that came through its service bays were not performing optimally. Proper battery testing is a powerful tool that can help you generate shop revenue while driving customer satisfaction, retention and conversion.
R-134A Recover, Recycle, Evacuate, Leak Test and Recharge for Hybrid & Non-Hybrid Vehicles
Heat Gun 100° to 1,040°F
A puller can speed up most jobs significantly and save you a ton of time during vehicle service. Because of the extreme force exerted, manually up to 20 tons, it’s important to use the puller safely to avoid vehicle damage or injury.
When you’re using an OTC puller, always follow the below steps and you’ll quickly be removing vehicle components and getting your customers back on their way.
As with any tool, proper maintenance
and care can help them last a lifetime and more. Keep your pullers clean,
lubricate the forcing screw and inspect your tool for dents, cracks or
Written By Dirk Skogerboe
NSX Turbo Safety Glasses with Light Blue Lens.