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DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

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Back to School with TRICO | The worst defensive driving class


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This wiper blade obsessed driving instructor teaches one lesson in this defensive driving school ─ change your wiper blades. Even better, choose TRICO® wiper blades when you do! Easy to install and designed to perform under the most extreme weather conditions, TRICO wiper blades let you focus on what matters most – keeping you and your passengers safe.

 

 

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    • By Counterman
      FRAM and TRICO – part of First Brands Group family of companies – have donated $40,000 to the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation to benefit the families of firefighters who are supported by the charitable organization.
      The donation was made at the No One Left Behind Spring Tribute Golf Tournament.
      First Brands Group Senior Director of Sales Nathan Giles and Director of Sales Erick Esparza were onsite to present CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation President/CEO Kevin O’Meara with the check on behalf of FRAM and TRICO during the post-tournament reception.
      “We are proud to partner with such a remarkable organization,” said Giles. “The impact that the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation has on area firefighters and their families cannot be overstated, and we are truly honored to be able to support its lifechanging mission.”
      During the presentation of the donation check, O’Meara voiced his gratitude on behalf of the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation.
      “This generous donation will go a long way in helping our firefighters and their families in their time of need,” he said.
      More than 140 golfers participated in the team tournament on May 16 at Half Moon Bay Golf Links. The event was held to benefit firefighters and their families who have suffered a debilitating injury, loss of life, were burned on duty, have an illness or need financial assistance.
      The tournament began with a post-registration breakfast before a shotgun start accompanied by CAL FIRE Local 2881’s Honor Guard & Pipes and Drums. The event concluded with a silent auction, awards ceremony, check presentation and reception dinner.
      Firefighters from CAL FIRE Local 2881 formed the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation to engage in charitable and educational activities in support of the families of firefighters facing financial need. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit also assists burn victims while funding critical research around the occupational hazards facing firefighters.
      Learn more about the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation at
      link hidden, please login to view.   To learn more about FRAM and TRICO, visit
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    • By Counterman
      The Charles Dickens classic “A Tale of Two Cities” produced one of the most famous opening lines in all of literature: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … ”
      More than 150 years after “A Tale of Two Cities” was published, the phrase is an apt description of what life has been like for aftermarket suppliers, distributors and retailers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
      As Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), kicked off the 2022 AASA Vision Conference in Dearborn, Michigan, he observed that the line “rings true in this age of uncertainty.”
      “It has been some of the hardest times to simply do our jobs – to just get our products to the customer – yet it has also been some of the greatest prosperity that the aftermarket has ever experienced,” McCarthy said.
      Stimulus-driven DIY sales have led to the best of times for the aftermarket’s publicly traded parts retailers, and they reported record growth in 2020 and 2021. At the same time, supply chain disruptions have made it challenging for some suppliers and distributors to get their hands on parts and raw materials.
      “Typically, part of our industry’s appeal is our slow, steady, reliable growth – our consistent cash-flow generation,” McCarthy said. “During the pandemic, we seem to have found another level of demand for our products. And we’ve also been in a battle for availability. The reality over the last two years is that if you could get the part to the customer, they would likely buy it.”
      While the past two years have been prosperous for many aftermarket participants, it’s also been the worst of times in the sense that the economy has been hit with “a flock of black swans.” Even before this once-in-a-century pandemic hit, the aftermarket was grappling with tariffs on imported Chinese goods  as well as the biggest changes to U.S. trade policies in decades.
      “We haven’t had a supply chain disruption of this magnitude for 75 years,” McCarthy said. “It’s been over 40 years since we’ve seen inflation like this. It’s been decades since we’ve seen a job market this tight. If that wasn’t enough, members tell us that we’ve experienced some of the highest levels of government intervention in the aftermarket, maybe in our history.”
      On top of that, there’s a land war in Europe, and U.S.-Sino relations are as tense as they’ve been in decades. Potential curveballs on the horizon include more interest-rate hikes, gas-price increases and the specter of Russian cyberattacks.
      Still, although it’s “an environment where it may not be easy for us,” it’s one “where we can do very well.”
      “Our ability – despite all these obstacles – to fill orders, to keep our businesses running, to sustain our teams, to work together up and down the value chain, it’s frankly amazing how well the aftermarket has performed,” McCarthy added. “It proves our resilience and our endurance. So don’t expect things to get any easier, but the aftermarket and aftermarket suppliers, we’ve shown that we matter.”
      A New Golden Age?
      Despite all the “bumps in the road,” McCarthy posed this question to AASA Vision attendees: “Is there a chance that these strong sales that we’ve seen are not a blip, that instead they are the start of a new golden age?”
      “The transformative cultural shifts that we’re seeing as a result of the pandemic, we think they bode well for the future of the aftermarket – that we are leaving the pandemic with a more auto-centric lifestyle than when we went into it,” McCarthy asserted.
      To buttress his point, he noted that used-car prices are higher than they’ve been since World War II; there are more than 280 million vehicles in operation in the United States; and the miles-driven recovery “has exceeded all forecasts.”  
      With commuters and travelers still fearful of mass transportation, “Americans are moving toward more car-centric locales and lifestyles,” he added.
      “We see it in consumers’ desire for more space. We see it in the house prices, in people moving to the West, to the South, to smaller cities, to exurbs. Coming out of COVID, where most Americans now seem to want to live, they need a car or a third or a fourth car. They need us, the aftermarket.”
      While technology might be a source of angst for some, “this unstoppable march of increasing vehicle content has been incredibly powerful for the aftermarket ticket,” McCarthy declared. “And we think that will continue.”
      And the increasing in-vehicle connectivity “is making our time in the car more entertaining, more productive, more appealing.”
      “We would argue that this is a global opportunity that the pandemic underscored to consumers around the world: the safety, the appeal of individual transport and the freedom that it brings. So we think we could look back in 2040, 2050, and say that this was the start of a new golden age of transportation. And we could say that we grabbed this opportunity and we created new ways forward.”
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    • By Counterman
      Philips MasterDuty headlight bulbs, from Lumileds, are the latest innovation in forward lighting for commercial vehicles.
      “Built to deliver exceptional and long-lasting lighting performance on Class 2 through 8 commercial vehicles, Philips MasterDuty lamps are designed to provide the ultimate protection against mechanical shock and easily handle the extreme stress and vibration of rough terrain and damaged roadways,” the company said in a news release. “Philips MasterDuty lamps are the toughest available for the medium- and heavy-duty truck market.”
      Built to resist up to 13G, the bulbs’ key benefit is their exceptional vibration resistance, according to the company. Philips MasterDuty bulbs have been engineered to withstand a wide range of vibration frequencies and feature a high-performance glass construction that easily handles extreme temperature and pressure changes.
      “Our MasterDuty line gives commercial-fleet operations an excellent advantage with extremely durable and long-lasting bulbs that not only helps save on maintenance costs, but also helps protect drivers by keep them in compliance,” said Aubry Baugh, Lumileds product marketing manager.
      The Philips MasterDuty headlight range includes seven new SKUs for exceptional coverage on medium- and heavy-duty applications: H1MDC1, H7MDC1, H11MDC1, 9003MDC1, 9005MDC1, 9006MDC1 and 9008MDC1 forward lighting applications.
      For more information, contact [email protected] or call 866-254-6989.
      The post
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    • By Counterman
      I get “flop sweats” when I panic. One of my worst cases was when working the front counter at a tire dealer. We had just inspected a Ford Taurus with a broken passenger-side spring and about 75,000 miles on the clock. The customer dropped off the car in the morning complaining of a knocking noise and notchy steering.
      I was on the phone with the customer at 9:30, getting approval on the recommended work. The estimate I wrote was for four struts, two springs and front upper strut mounts. I spent extra time finding parts, looking up labor times and calculating the out-the-door price.
      Then the customer asked, “Is there a less expensive option?” That’s when the flop sweats started. It got worse after he asked, “Can I get away with just replacing the fronts?”
      I quickly pulled out my calculator and rewrote the estimate on the fly for just the front struts, springs and upper mounts. After giving him the price, he asked if it would be half that price if he did only one side. My manager could see the sweat on my face and tapped me on the shoulder. “Tell the customer you will call him back in 10 minutes with an accurate estimate because you need to talk to the technician.”
      He told me that the only way the shop would do the job was to do it the right way. He explained that if we did just the front struts, it would make the vehicle unstable. Replacing only one strut would make the car unsafe and impossible to align. He said the customer would be unsatisfied if we did not do both front and rear struts. He might complain about a steering pull tomorrow, uneven tire wear in a month or that he could not control the vehicle.
      “If the customer does not buy something from us today, we will not go out of business. But, if they buy something unsafe, it could put us out of business.”
      Looking back, I was more concerned about the customer walking out of the shop without buying anything than doing the job the right way to make the vehicle functional and safe. I was looking for approval for my ego and not approval for a sound repair.
      All or Nothing
      Shocks, struts and springs do not operate independently. The condition of one corner of the suspension affects all the corners of the vehicle when driving straight or cornering. At low speeds, it might not be as noticeable, but it still happens. At higher speeds and cornering forces, the inability to control the movement of the suspension and body in one corner can change the contact patch for all the corners. During a panic situation, an unbalanced suspension with worn ride control can alter the contact patch to the point where the vehicle oversteers, understeers or can’t stop.
      The stability-control system measures the effectiveness of its correction in real time. How effective the correction is depends on the condition of the contact patch of the tires. What influences the health of this contact patch is the tire’s condition (construction, traction and even inflation) and the condition of the chassis components like the struts.
      The computer does not assign a value to the condition of the contact patch and there are no parameters (PIDs) in the programming for most systems. The corrections and the effectiveness are measured by the sensors in a high-speed feedback loop.
      A stability-control system will never set a malfunction light if the condition of the contact patch crosses a set threshold. But, as the condition of the chassis and tires diminishes, the corrections become less effective and more actions will be needed to bring a vehicle under control.
      These stability-control sensors are essentially blind to the condition of the state of the ride control and suspension. The software and sensors can’t diagnose a strut that has lost its gas charge or if a spring is weak. It just sees the results as data coming from the sensors. To the algorithms in the software, it could be a patch of ice or an over-loaded car. But, the reality is that it could be a worn out strut and a spring with a missing coil.
      Basically, if the suspension is not up to snuff, the correction by the system will take longer. This results in longer stopping distances or, in some cases, the vehicle ending up on its roof.
      For example, the most basic stability and ABS correction is a panic stop in a straight line. When the driver mashes the brake pedal, weight transfers to the front tires, loads the front suspension and causes the springs to compress. How much the springs compress is influenced directly by the condition of the shocks or struts. When the springs compress, the contact patch of the tires changes due to the weight and geometry of the suspension.
      The rear suspension is even more interesting. When the weight loads the front tires, the rear spring expands, which makes the contact patch of the rear tire smaller. If the shock or strut is unable to control the rebound of the spring, additional weight is transferred to the front, which nosedives even more.
      Applied to the front counter at your shop, it means that you should never sell just one strut, shock or spring. Also, you should be very careful selling just front or rear ride-control units. This approach might get the customer back on the road, but not in a safe vehicle.
      So, what did the customer do with his Taurus? After calming down and wiping the sweat from my brow, I explained why we recommended replacing all four struts. He finally understood and decided to replace all four struts and both front springs.
      The moral of the story: Stand by your recommendations. You’re not doing your customers any favors by recommending a less expensive part or repair.
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    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By Counterman
      Trico Products Corp. has announced the launch of three new TRICO Solutions lines of wiper blades that are designed to meet unique performance requirements specific to some of the most popular vehicle types on the road.
      Available now at Advance Auto Parts across the United States, the TRICO Solutions series features three different blade types: TRICO Truck, TRICO Asian Fit and TRICO High Mileage. 
      “The TRICO Solutions series is the result of a culture of innovation that has kept Trico products positioned as ‘The Future of Wipers since 1917,’” said Dan Ehde, vice president of wiper product and engineering for TRICO. “TRICO Solutions are engineered to provide drivers with optimal performance based on the specific type of vehicle they drive.”
      TRICO Truck is designed exclusively for trucks and are engineered with stronger features to maintain maximum windshield contact in all conditions. The blades are 20% heavier than typical beam blades and have rugged airfoils that repel dirt, debris, snow and ice, according to the company.
      TRICO Asian Fit is designed to provide an exact factory match for Asian nameplate vehicles. Exactly matching the hybrid style and performance of original-equipment wipers, they feature a low-profile for improved wind lift resistance and a polymer shell that protects the blade from the elements.
      Finally, TRICO High Mileage blades are specifically designed for worn wiper arms on vehicles that have logged more than 75,000 miles. The blades are engineered with an aerodynamic airfoil and a high-mileage coupler that uses wind force to distribute optimal pressure. “High Mileage blades will continue to deliver best-in-class load distribution with as much as a 40% reduction in arm load pressure,” the company said in a news release.
      The new TRICO Solutions line will be featured at AAPEX, and visitors can get more details at the First Brands Group booth, A3638.
      For additional information about TRICO and its products, contact your local TRICO sales representative, or visit 
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