Welcome to Auto Parts Forum
Whether you are a veteran automotive parts guru or just someone looking for some quick auto parts advice, register today and start a new topic in our forum. Registration is free and you can even sign up with social network platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn.
Remember the good old days when you started a vehicle by inserting a metal key into the ignition lock cylinder? Those cars, trucks and SUVs are still out there (adorable, isn’t it?), but imagine a future without the collective jingle-jangle of millions of mechanical car keys in our pockets – because it seems we’re moving in that direction at a rapid clip.
The pace of change really picked up in the 1990s. That’s when remote keyless-entry fobs – you know them as “key fobs” – went mainstream. These handy devices enabled motorists to lock and unlock their car doors and trunks remotely, with the same familiar thumb motion that they’d been using to change channels on their television sets for years.
With the rise of proximity-key systems, we’ve moved into the next phase of the evolution: keyless ignition. In this phase, the key fob is – for all intents and purposes – rendering the mechanical key obsolete. As long as the device is somewhere inside the vehicle, the driver can start the engine by pushing a button or turning a rotary switch. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, keyless ignition emerged in the early 2000s on some luxury models. Today, however, we’re seeing them on more and more mainstream vehicles – and it doesn’t seem like we’re going back.
Because technology doesn’t seem to know when to stop, even the key fob (or “smart key,” as they’re calling it now) might become a relic of the past. In 2020, Apple introduced the digital car key. If you have an iPhone XS or later, an Apple Watch Series 5 or later and a compatible car (a BMW built in summer 2020 or later), you can use your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock and start your car – sans key fob.
The digital key uses near-field communication in its first iteration. However, as part of its upcoming iOS 15 software update, Apple in June said its “digital car keys get even better with support for ultra-wideband technology, so users can securely unlock and start their supported vehicle without removing their iPhone from a pocket or bag.”
If you’re not an Apple user, take heart: Hyundai’s version of the digital key, which debuted with the 2020 Sonata, is compatible with most Android phones.
So what does all this mean for the automotive aftermarket?
From a 20,000-foot view, you can expect smart keys to continue to get … well, smarter. “They’re only going to get more advanced,” says James Sanabria, key programming team lead at Autel.
For owners of vehicles that come with key fobs instead of mechanical keys – a growing cohort – it means that adding a key for another driver (a spouse, for example) or replacing a lost, damaged or stolen key is a lot more complicated (and expensive) than it used to be. A new key fob needs to be programmed to the vehicle – although the more accurate way to describe it is the vehicle needs to be programmed to the new key fob.
The good news for consumers is that all this technology makes vehicles tougher to steal, at least in theory. Toyota describes the engine immobilizer as “a state-of-the-art anti-theft system.” When the driver brings the key fob into the vehicle, the key transmits an electronic code to the vehicle. The engine will start only if the code from the transponder chip inside the smart key matches the code in the vehicle’s immobilizer. Having that transponder chip embedded in the smart key is good for security, but it’s also the reason why replacing a key fob isn’t simple (or cheap).
The good news for your parts store is that if you carry the Autel MaxiIM IM608 PRO and/or IM508, you have tools that can help shops – and even your DIY customers, in some situations – program replacement keys, restore immobilizer data and perform related tasks, in addition to the all-systems diagnostics you’d expect from a scan tool. In most cases, these tools will guide the user through the steps needed to complete a key-programming job, Sanabria says.
Just make sure your customers are aware that when it comes to key programming, there are different levels of security access depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle. With some vehicle makes – Nissan, for example – a technician or even a DIYer can plug the tool into the OBD II port “and the tool pretty much self-guides the customer through the process, making it easy to make that key,” Sanabria explains.
European makes, on the other hand, are “notorious” for their strict security-access protocols, which could require the user to produce a secured PIN code that can only be generated by a licensed locksmith. Sanabria sees that as an opportunity, not a challenge, for repair shops, and he encourages technicians to consider obtaining their locksmith license.
The post Get Smart: A Closer Look At Key Programming appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
View the full article
Our network of salvage yards, auto recyclers and junk yards across the country are stocked with an inventory of over 350 million used auto parts and that’s also the reason why Basic Auto Part is the first place to look for used car parts. At Basic Auto Part, authenticity is our top priority. We stock only genuine and quality tested used Ignition Switches so that you get only the best alternative while looking for a replacement.
Encountering a car breakdown or auto part malfunction can be really stressful and can make you go on a hastened search for the best replacement parts. If you have an Acura then opting for original replacement auto parts can prove to be highly expensive and you may have to wait days to get the auto part delivered to you due it’s unavailability in a service center near you. Basic Auto Parts helps you overcome these challenges by offering perfectly matched high quality used Acura auto parts at inexpensive prices and from a supplier or automotive recycler near you.
We have an inventory of over 350 million used auto parts and all you have to do to find the right one is select the year, make, model and part. We help you directly contact verified buyers so that you can get the used auto parts delivered to your door step faster! What’s even better is that we offer the most comprehensive Parts by Brand/ Car make search so that you get only the best suited used auto parts online for your vehicle.
Admittedly, windshield wipers aren’t the most glamorous component on a vehicle. For many drivers, they’re merely an afterthought – until they can barely see out their windshield. With winter weather approaching, however, this is an ideal time to talk to your customers about replacing their worn-out wiper blades before they become a serious safety hazard.
Signs of Wear
Most manufacturers recommend replacing wiper blades every six to 12 months. That’s all well and good, but the reality is that wipers are among the most overlooked maintenance items on a vehicle. If the rubber blade hasn’t completely disintegrated, chances are some of your customers will insist on keeping them until there’s a total failure. There’s an even greater chance your customers don’t even know when their wipers need to be replaced because they don’t know what to look for on the blade.
With the seasons changing, now is a great time to encourage your customers to inspect their wiper blades for signs of wear. Studies show that winter and summer can be especially harsh on wiper blades. With rain, snow and sleet pelting our windshields as we approach the end of the year, visibility behind the wheel is more likely to be top of mind for many drivers who otherwise ignore their wipers.
According to ANCO (part of the First Brands Group), motorists should look for these signs of wear. Some might be discoverable by physically examining the blades, while other problems will be more apparent when the windshield wipers are in use.
Worn and dirty wiper blades are a major cause of streaking.
If wiper blades go unused for a long period of time, they can develop a curvature that causes them to not make proper contact with the windshield. This can result in a skipping or chattering sound when they’re in use.
Cold weather and freezing temperatures make the rubber hard and brittle, which can result in wiper blades splitting.
If there’s a buildup of dust, dirt or other debris on the windshield glass, the wipers won’t make a smooth pass and can make a squeaking sound.
“The remedies for fixing streaking/smearing, squeaking and skipping/chattering windshield wiper blades are the same: Keep your windshield clean and free of dirt, dust and debris,” ANCO explains on its website. “Avoid operating your wipers on a dry windshield. If the windshield isn’t wet enough when you run the wiper blades, it can cause skipping that creates squeaky wipers. Clean your wiper blades with washer solvent or water to help eliminate streaks and smears.”
If these remedies don’t address the problem, it’s probably time for new wiper blades.
The same goes for wiper blades that are starting to split. The split will only get worse and will lead to poor wiping performance when it matters most – while driving in rain, snow or ice.
The biggest mistake most vehicle owners make is replacing only one wiper (the bad one) instead of the pair. They think they’re saving money, but if one side is worn out, the other side isn’t far behind. Better to replace them both at the same time because both blades are needed to keep the entire windshield clear. Also, if they drive an SUV, minivan or hatchback, it’s a good idea to replace the wiper blade on the rear window while they’re at it.
Winter Survival Tips
ANCO offers a number of tips for keeping wiper blades in working order during the winter months. For example, some motorists who don’t have a garage will pull the blades up and away from the windshield when their vehicle is parked outside overnight. The idea is to prevent ice from building up on the blades and preventing the blades from sticking to the windshield. However, some people argue that this practice causes unnecessary wear and tear on the springs in the wiper arm.
A less controversial suggestion is to make sure the wipers are turned off when parking the vehicle. This way, when the vehicle starts up, the wipers won’t automatically start operating, which can potentially damage the wipers if the windshield is coated with snow and ice.
For motorists who are really passionate about protecting their wiper blades, they can cover them with tube socks when not in use, or wipe the blades with rubbing alcohol to prevent them from freezing to the windshield. And for goodness sake, use an ice scraper – not the windshield wipers – to clear ice and snow from the windshield. Sitting in the vehicle with the defroster on max while the wipers struggle to break through a thick layer of snow and/or ice is a recipe for damaging the wiper blades.
The post Windshield Wipers: Window Of Opportunity appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
View the full article
Continental has just launched the Autodiagnos Drive, a remote vehicle-data solution designed to deliver advanced diagnostic information that service providers, fleet managers and repair facilities can use to maximize their data-driven services.
“This easily installed, plug-and-play technology provides users with live access to extended vehicle diagnostic data for all popular makes and models of passenger cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles, so they stay continuously aware of the vehicle’s condition,” the company said in a news release. “Autodiagnos Drive helps customers increase productivity, reduce downtime, enhance customer service and gain better insights into the condition of the vehicles they service or manage. The system will also help them to quickly provide vehicle owners with reliable and up-to-date information about their vehicle’s health and performance parameters.”
The Autodiagnos Drive remote vehicle-data solution is the result of years of development and engineering. It incorporates OEM diagnostic data, unique OEM-grade hardware and secure data routing and storage. The platform is hosted by Continental and integrates with customers’ own service platforms through APIs. This means that shops, fleets, insurance providers, roadside services and owner-operators will have secure and robust access to not only generic, but also OEM-specific vehicle data that is tailored to their needs, according to the company.
In order to deliver results with excellent reliability and maximum security, Autodiagnos Drive uses the latest in cybersecurity standards and testing. The hardware is built to OEM standards, using diagnostic data purchased and/or licensed directly from the OEMs.
“Access to remote vehicle data reduces the need to bring the vehicle to the service provider to assess its condition,” said Christopher Bahlman, head of diagnostics & services, Continental Commercial Vehicles and Services. “Furthermore, it can greatly increase productivity for service centers, as well as reducing headaches for vehicle owners. This is especially important given the complexity of today’s vehicles and the value of everyone’s time.”
Continental’s Autodiagnos Drive is an “all-makes” remote vehicle-data solution for light-duty vehicles with CAN-based architectures and is suitable for use on nearly every light-duty vehicle produced since 2008, according to the company. It is easy to use, but robust and secure, and can be updated as vehicles evolve. It will be accessible to users on a 24-hour/seven-day basis.
“Continental has worked with OEMs, global telecoms, providers of cybersecurity services, and other automotive professionals to create a platform that is unique in its ability to harness OEM diagnostics data, unify that data and route it to service providers to deliver insights about vehicle health and usage,” Bahlman added. “Whether it’s knowing fuel level, odometer, vehicle location or a broad array of vehicle data delivered in real time with the utmost security, Autodiagnos Drive is a flexible and scalable solution.”
In addition to the new Autodiagnos Drive, Continental’s Diagnostics and Services group also features two major diagnostic-tool programs: Continental Autodiagnos PRO automotive diagnostic system and Continental Autodiagnos TPMS tools. Both programs are designed to meet the needs of aftermarket service professionals by streamlining vehicle data that technicians can use to analyze, diagnose and repair vehicles faster and better.
For more information, visit autodiagnosdrive.com or contact [email protected]
The post Continental Launches Autodiagnos Drive Vehicle-Data Solution appeared first on Counterman Magazine.
View the full article