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Reasons to clear data from customers’ vehicles before selling


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    • By shelitaauto
      Source: Gasgoo
      URL: 
      link hidden, please login to view Electric car maker Fisker said on June 12 it would recall more than 18,000 vehicles in North America and Europe due to software glitches and non-compliance with safety standards, the latest setback for the cash-strapped electric car start-up.
      Fisker is voluntarily recalling 11,201 Ocean vehicles sold in the United States, Canada and Europe to fix a software issue that could cause the vehicles to enter safe state protected mode, potentially causing the motors to lose power.
      In addition, Fisker is recalling 6,864 Ocean vehicles in the United States because the dashboard and display prompt ICONS do not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). The company will also recall an additional 281 vehicles in Canada as a result.

      Image source: Fisker
      The startup plans to address these issues with an OTA update to Ocean OS in-car software by June 30. The company said vehicles that have been updated to the latest version of the software are not affected by the recall.
      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating four safety incidents involving the Ocean SUV, the only Fisker model currently in production. NHTSA said last month that it was investigating complaints that the Ocean Automatic Emergency Braking System was accidentally activated.
      Cash-strapped Fisker is looking for alternatives after talks with a major automaker over a potential investment collapsed. The company’s Austrian subsidiary filed for bankruptcy protection in May.
    • By Dorman Products
      Before selling a vehicle, make sure to remove personal data from the infotainment system
    • By Counterman
      As an industry, the aftermarket is unique and fortunate to have a robust, well-documented set of industry-specific data standards. If you’ve been in the automotive aftermarket since breakfast, you know there are data requirements about the products you sell and the vehicles they fit that are different from anything you’ve seen in any other hard goods industry. Year, Make, Model, Aspiration of the Engine or the Bed Length of your pick-up truck are all critical data to selecting the correct automotive replacement part of one type or another.
      You can imagine that without standardized reference data and widely agreed-upon data formats, there would be chaos, and little use of digital automation to exchange updates in catalog fitment files. Yet, that was the case in the aftermarket until late in the 20th Century. ACES© (the Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard) is over 25 years old and continues to evolve and expand in response to the growing industry requirements.
      ACES© is completely unique in the world of technical standards. It is not derived or maintained by any private commercial entity such as Red Hat or Microsoft. And it is not governed by a pseudo-government body such as the International Standards Organization (ISO) or the United Nations. The technical design, the supporting reference data, the administration, governance, and worldwide marketing of ACES© is all conducted under the watchful eye of the Auto Care Association and the Technology Standards Committee.
       Over the years, hundreds of volunteers have served on the committee and contributed their expertise to what is ACES© today. Nothing about developing a standard was easy. Each company represented around the table would like for the final solution to reflect their business choices and minimize the disruption to their legacy technology. Like any industry standard, ACES© is “the best bad idea” that all the participants could swallow at the time. If the solution is slightly disagreeable to everyone, it’s probably the right thing to do.
      In recent years, the Auto Care Association has invested tremendous resources in taking ACES© beyond its original scope and function. Because trading partner relationships are international, ACES© added vehicle reference data for Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and many other countries in Latin America. Because component manufacturers don’t limit their product assortments to light-duty vehicles only, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, off-road, farm and agriculture, lawn and garden and many types of powersports vehicle were added. The charge was, “if a spark plug or diesel fuel injector fit it … there need to be ACES© vehicle codes to describe the application.” Recognizing that the needs of HD trucks are unique and important to the fleets and businesses that operate them, a major effort was undertaken to incorporate the needs of the Heavy-Duty segment of the aftermarket in the standards.
      However, there are challenges and issues with the current industry data standards that the Tech Standards Committee is actively addressing under the volunteer leadership of Marc Pappas, CIO of Federated Auto Parts, and Luke Smith, IT Director at AutoPartSource. Briefly, these top-three challenges are data quality and accuracy, data latency or timeliness, and adoption (always more).
      Accuracy and consistency in catalog data files are essential to providing a good customer experience and maximizing sales. Many brands regard their content as a competitive advantage and an opportunity to differentiate their products. But Eric Lough, VP of Customer Connectivity at All Star Auto Parts, says, “Accurate ACES© files are table stakes and the minimum requirement for a brand. There are plenty of opportunities to express your unique value proposition in product-specific attributes and description fields.”
      Auto Care has recently added a Catalog Data Assessment tool to the VIP portal. This offers any registered user a way to validate the format of their ACES© data files and ensure there are no illogical records that overlap or duplicate another. With the help of the Auto Care Catalog Assessment tool, it is simple to send your trading partners the best representation of your brand the first time. All the ACES© rules and Best Practices are available online. It is an open-book exam that every user should “Ace” (see what I did there). ACES© training documentation is available at academy.autocare.org and in-person classes are offered through the 
      link hidden, please login to view. Latency of catalog data refers to the time (and lost sales) between when a new product is engineered, manufactured, and first added to a catalog application file, and when resellers, websites and electronic catalog providers are able to process sales for the part. It is common for the delay between a new vehicle addition to the standard and when it can be sold to be 3-4 months or more.
      The current method of updating the vehicle reference tables is by way of a complete refresh where 98% of the records are unchanged from the previous version. A similar practice is followed when the complete catalog file is distributed by brands to trading partners. Exchanging “Net Change” files did not catch on previously because the technology to accurately manage changes was not widespread. But, the Sandpiper project, announced last year, holds the promise of making new data available through a web service in near real-time. If Auto Care makes new vehicle data available to users through an online service, catalog updates can be managed in much smaller parcels and distributed through the chain faster. The potential to make additional sales and reduce unproductive inventory is measured in the billions of dollars industrywide.
      The third major challenge is as old as the standards. Adoption of a new method to share data requires the confidence and vision to recognize the benefits and manage the challenges. A major program group told me that their rubber products supplier had yet to send any belt or hose applications for any non-automotive vehicles or equipment – even though the vehicles have been in the ACES© tables for two years. For years, major retailers and eCat providers said, we’ll never get rid of paper catalogs and fitment guides until ALL the applications are in the ACES© tables. With contributions by Power Systems Research, Experian and others, the Off Highway and Equipment tables are largely complete. The common reason given for why a vendor doesn’t send the catalog data now is that legacy data needs to be converted and resources need to be diverted from other projects.
      It occurs to me that the first brand to make Off Highway and Equipment an ACES© priority will own the market segment. Retailers and other customers want to use their integrated electronic catalog for all the parts available from their suppliers – not just light-duty cars and trucks. Waiting “for the standards to be finished” is not a strategy for success. Competitors looking for an opportunity to grab marketshare would be wise to look at all the products in their Distribution Center and ask, “what more could we sell if these were included in our ACES© files”?
      To remain relevant and valuable, the industry standards will continue to evolve and grow. They will never be finished. Since adoption is a multi-year proposition, time is of the essence and further delay is costly.
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    • By Dorman Products
      Ordering auto shop consumables BEFORE you run out!
    • A-premium Auto Parts:5% OFF with Code GM5.
    • By Counterman
      Ask anyone what a “complete” brake job is and you’re likely to get a variety of answers. In the context of professional automotive repair, I define complete as meaning correctly done.
      Why? Because the actual work that needs done to any given vehicle can vary depending on vehicle mileage, age and condition. And it can vary based on the equipment. For example, do you have access to a brake lathe? As a counter professional, you’ll have to dig into the details with your customer to determine what they need. However, there are simple guidelines to follow that will ensure you’re advising a “complete” brake job every time.
      Brake Fluid, Brake Fluid, Brake Fluid
      Above all, clean brake fluid is my first requirement.
      It’s probably one of the most overlooked vehicle services, and most people don’t think of it as part of a brake job. It’s an afterthought only considered if they’re forced to do it. Anytime I perform brake work, the first part of the inspection is the bleeder screws. They must be able to open. No brake job is complete without flushing the brake fluid.
      There’s no need to get “crazy” with it either when it’s done on a regular basis. A couple small 12-ounce bottles are plenty. Use a clean suction-bulb to remove as much brake fluid as you can from the master-cylinder reservoir, refill it, then flush fluid through until you can fit the contents of both bottles into the reservoir. Start with five strokes at each wheel until you see how much fluid is being forced through, so you equally balance the flushing from front to rear.
      Contaminated brake fluid is corrosive and damaging to all the internal brake-system components, and it can cause poor braking performance. Even though every manufacturer specifies to flush it on a regular basis, it’s still out-of-sight, out-of-mind for a lot of people. In my opinion, you can’t change the brake fluid too often.
      A complete brake job not only includes fluid, but also calipers or wheel cylinders in any situation where the bleeders don’t open.
      Pads and Rotors
      When disc brakes are being serviced, pads and rotors are at the core of the job. It’s far less common to resurface rotors than it has been in past times, and it doesn’t matter if you take that road or go with new. But the bottom line is something must happen with the rotors. “Slapping” a set of pads on old rotors is an immediate fail. The pads will never bed in properly, and you’ll only be faced with poor brake performance, uneven pad wear and unwanted noise.
      The bottom line: Rotors must be resurfaced or replaced for the job to be complete. By the same token, old pads on new rotors equals an incomplete brake job.
      Why would someone do this? Your guess could be as good as mine, but believe me, I’ve seen it all and I’m sure you have too. New pads and rotors bed in together. In other words, they rely on each other for proper brake operation.
      Drum Brakes
      If you thought there were some offenders with disc brakes, drums are often worse. For some reason there seems to be a perception that brake drums miraculously never need service, but the same theories hold true. If you’re replacing brake shoes, the job is only correctly done by resurfacing or replacing the drums.
      Hardware
      Hardware is anything from springs and hold-downs on drum brakes to anti-rattle clips and slide-pin boots on disc brakes. All these little pieces are important to proper brake operation. On drum brakes, even though everything may be intact, it’s also old and the springs will simply be fatigued. On disc brakes, the same holds true and even anti-rattle clips that look OK can be worn or fatigued in some manner. Luckily, most pads come with the hardware. They don’t put it in the box just for fun.
      One of the most overlooked parts of disc-brake service is the fact that the pads must be able to move freely in the caliper bracket and the calipers also must be able to move freely back and forth. Most calipers (excluding fixed calipers) feature slide pins that allow this to happen. No brake job is complete without removing the slide pins, cleaning them up, lubricating them and reinstalling them with new boots when required.
      It’s surprising how often the slide pins are stuck and how often brake pads are jammed in place due to rust, and the rust must be completely removed to allow free movement of the new brake pads. Stuck pins or stuck pads cause uneven and accelerated wear, dragging brakes, pulling and excessive heat buildup.
      Lubrication
      I touched on it already, but it’s worth a second mention. In addition to the slide pins on calipers, the brake pads require lubrication any place they contact the caliper bracket or caliper. Brake lube is specifically formulated to a) not damage or swell rubber components such as piston or slide-pin boots, b) prevent vibrations that cause noise, c) lubricate the pad contact points so they move freely in the caliper bracket and d) resist washing out.
      In the case of drum brakes, the backing plates feature specific contact points for the brake shoes, which should be cleaned and lubricated. Brake shoes also require lubrication at pivot and contact points between the shoes and hardware.
      Inspection
      Determining what is required for a complete brake job can only be done through inspection and disassembly. It’s easy to see worn-out pads and rusty rotors through a wheel, but even when that’s evident, you can’t see anything else until you take things apart. This is when you inspect for brake-fluid leaks, seized or damaged hardware, torn dust boots and functional bleeder screws.
      If leaks are found or dust boots are torn on a caliper piston or wheel cylinder, or if the bleeder won’t open, the components need to be replaced. Only until disassembly is performed during an inspection can you say absolutely what’s needed for any given vehicle. Sure, we can all look at a 50,000-mile four-year-old vehicle and say that it needs pads and rotors, and most likely those are the only hard parts it will need. But it’s no guarantee, and the higher the mileage and older the vehicle, the more likely we’ll find something else, which leads to the next category …
      Recommending Parts
      There’s always a way to work into the conversation of a complete brake job. The next time someone comes in and wants pads and rotors, you might ask, “Would you like me to look up caliper availability just in case a bleeder screw doesn’t open, or a caliper pin is seized?” If they’re an experienced technician, they know how often that happens, and they’ll likely say yes, just to know in case they need them, and they’ll appreciate it!
      If they’re new at all this, it will get them thinking and open the door for your advice. The next thing you know, they might change their mind and decide to buy new calipers – or at minimum they’ll leave with the extra goodies they need for a complete brake job, such as brake lubricant, brake fluid, brake cleaner and some shop rags. If they get into the job and realize there’s a problem, they’ll be right back at your store.
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