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Indexof Advertisers

Arizona Cell Phone Laws and 2010 Legislation . . 32 Attanasio - San Francisco Body Shop Draws Hybrid-Owners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 CAA Reminds Members and Non-Members that It’s Here to Help Educate Shops . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CAA San Diego Chapter's Golf Tournament . . . . . 48 CA State Assembly Hears Two Bills on Aftermarket Parts, CAA to Meet with CDI & DOI . . . . . . . . . . 1 California Tinkers with Distracted Driving Legislation for 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Carmakers and Suppliers in Electric Car Parts Power Struggle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Causey - Body Shops Going Green . . . . . . . . . . . 19 CDI’s Poizner Orders Stop Unlicensed Operations . 6 Collision Industry Guide CDI (DOI) Regulation Guidelines by CAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Coulomb Technologies’ E-Vehicle Infrastructure . 15 Dave Jones for Insurance Commissioner. . . . . . . . 4 Enterprise Holdings Commits to ‘Lean and Green’ 36 EPA Moves to Curb Greenhouse Gases . . . . . . . . 12 Evans - Building A Numbered Red Mist Car . . . . . 46 Franklin - QUALITY Might Not be Number One . . . 18 Gonzo Weaver - There’s a New Wrench in Town . 30 Hey Toby! - Heat? On Toyota Front Frame Rail? . . 31 Holden Auto Shows 'Mom and Pop' Shops’ Alive . 26 I-CAR Announces New Role-based Training Model . 15 LKQ Knows ‘It’s Not Cheap or Easy Being Green’ . 20 Lower Car Sales is New Normal . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Maryland Bill to Curb Salvage Issues Gets Signed by Governor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 McGee and Webster- It’s Friday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Publisher & Editor: Jeremy Hayhurst General Manager: Barbara Davies Editorial Assistant: Erica Schroeder Contributing Writers: Tom Franklin, Dick Strom, John Yoswick, Lee Amaradio, Rich Evans, Janet Chaney, Toby Chess, Mike Causey, Tom McGee, Ed Attanasio Advertising Sales: Joe Momber, Christina Shubert (800) 699-8251 Art Director: Rodolfo Garcia Serving California, Nevada and Arizona, Autobody News

Mobile Lift Jack is a Best Helper . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Nevada Holds Out on Distracted Driving . . . . . . . 33 Nissan Says 2010 Leafs Sold Out . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Parts for Profit 3—Increasing Sales . . . . . . . . . . 52 Pasadena CAA Chapter Meeting Hears ‘A Perfect Storm’ Presentation by Dale Delmege . . . . . . . . 1 Prop 17 Fails But Insurers Not Discouraged . . . . . . 3 Pro-Spray - Utah’s Unique Auto Body Voluntarily Picks H2O Waterborne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Reaction to ‘Operation Straight Body’ Sting in Orange County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Schroeder - ICC Collision Centers Opens El Mirage, AZ Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Schroeder - Premier Collision Center . . . . . . . . . 37 Senate Commerce Committee Passes Distracted Driving Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 State-of-the-Art Auto Management Training Facility Opens at Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA . . . . . . . 4 Survey: Talking and Texting While Driving on Decline 33 Texting & Under-18-Cell-Use While Driving Illegal in Georgia... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Texting OK in Florida and Alabama, Legislators Baulk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Autoholics: A New TV Show Concept . . . . . . 42 TRW Airbags Are on a Third of Vehicles Earning Highest NHTSA Rating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 U.S. Driving Tops Pre-Recession Levels . . . . . . . 44 UTI Pays Special Cash Dividend . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Widening Vehicle Age Gap Drives Product Differences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Yoswick - Leaner, Faster, Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 is a monthly publication for the autobody industry. Permission to reproduce in any form the material published in Autobody News must be obtained in writing from the publisher. ©2010 Adamantine Media LLC. Autobody News P.O. Box 1400, Oceanside, CA 92051-1400 (800) 699-8251 (760) 721-0253 Fax Email:



AEGIS Tools Intl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

Kearny Pearson Kia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42

Audi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . .52

LKQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Alldata Collision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

Auto Body Guru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

Autoland Scientech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Automotive Equipment Solutions . . . . . .9

Automotive ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

BMW of Riverside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

BMW Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . .14

British Motor Car Distributors . . . . . . . .24

Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55

Completes Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Crevier BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Downtown Motors of LA

(Audi, VW, Porsche) . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Enterprise Rent-A-Car . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

Express Metal Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Ford Wholesale Parts Dealers

Kia Motors Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .39

Mazda Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . .42

Mitsubishi Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .50

Mobile Lift Jack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

MOPAR Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .17

NACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Nissan/Infiniti Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .38

Normandin Chrysler-Jeep . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Pacific BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

Performance Radiator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

PPG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Pro-Spray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Replica Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

SATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

SCA Appraisal Company . . . . . . . . . . .40 Sierra Chevrolet-Honda-Mazda-Subaru .8

AZ, CA, & NV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Soft-Sanders from Style-Line, Corp . . .47

Garmat USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Timmons VW-Subaru . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

Galpin Motors . . . . . . . . . . .22, 28-29, 34

GM Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . . . . .44

Honda/Acura Wholesale Parts Dealers 53 Hyundai Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . .48

Johnson’s Super Service . . . . . . . . . . .33

Subaru Wholesale Parts Dealers . . . . .23

VIM Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Volkswagen Wholesale Parts Dealers . . .54

Volvo Crash Wholesale Dealers . . . . . .53

Weatherford BMW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

California Prop. 17 Defeated, but Insurers Not Done Yet

The Los Angeles Times has reported that a $16-million campaign spend by auto insurers, primarily Mercury Insurance, to ease regulations may not be over despite state voters’ decision to reject Proposition 17. It would have allowed drivers to take their continuous-coverage discount with them if they switched carriers. Voters defeated the initiative 52% to 48%, despite campaign funding that allowed insurance industry supporters to outspend opponents 12 to 1. The hard-fought battle was waged between consumer advocates, who said the measure would increase premiums, and insurers, led by Mercury Group, which contended in an advertising blitz that the proposition would cut rates. Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica hailed the measure’s defeat as a sign that voters are wary of letting big business intrude into the citizen initiative process that allowed the proponents to get the issue on the ballot. But spokesmen for Californians for Fair Auto Insurance Rates, the ‘Yes on 17’ campaign, said they were disappointed and signaled that they might carry on the fight for regulation revisions they expect to bring more business their way. Mercury Chairman George Joseph, who for years has been struggling to get the changes through the Legislature and survive court challenges, says he’s not sure what his next step might be.

“We have to convince people … that this is a good thing for consumers. I don’t think we made this clear enough,” Joseph said, repeating the campaign’s message that more than 80% of insured motorists would benefit from being allowed to take their loyalty discounts with them to a new insurer. Mercury provided the vast majority of the Yes on 17 funding, used to bombard drivers with the message that passage would correct “a flaw in the law” and spur more competition among insurers. Proponents failed in their attempt “to scam California drivers by authorizing surcharges that voters made illegal in 1988 when they passed Proposition 103,” said Harvey Rosenfield, founder of Consumer Watchdog and author of the ballot measure that has regulated car insurance rates for 22 years. “This is a victory not just for motorists in California, but a broader victory for California voters, who have made it clear they don’t intend to let insurance companies or utility companies or other big corporations subvert the people’s initiative process,” Rosenfield said. The Campaign for Consumer Rights spent about $1.3 million to urge voters to reject the Mercury-backed measure. The campaign warned voters that passage would eventually raise rates for new drivers, military personnel serving out of state and anyone who quit driving for a while to save money or take public transpiration. | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 3

State-of-the-Art Auto Management Training Facility Opens at Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA More than 300 auto industry representatives, community leaders, students, faculty and administrators celebrated the official grand opening of the 10,000 square-foot Automotive Partners Building at Cerritos College on Friday, May 21. The event, held inside the facility’s glass-lined showroom, marked the culmination of years of planning, fundraising and collaboration between the college, public officials and local auto dealers. Cerritos College apportioned community bond funding toward the $5.1-million facility, and major private donors included the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association (SMCDA) and the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association (GLANCDA), who each contributed a half million dollars toward the facility. L. A. County 4th District Supervisor Don Knabe and the Conant Auto Retail Group each provided gifts of $100,000. The building is the centerpiece of the $15mm auto training center on the Cerritos College campus. “Area dealers have long drawn talent from Cerritos College’s Automotive Technology Program -- now they join the college in offering management training,” explained SMCDA Executive Director Todd Leutheuser. “The future of their business starts here, in a deliberate

convergence of industry and education.” In addition to the prominent show room that can exhibit vehicles and features a wall of video screens for training purposes, the building also features space for students and managers alike. Traditional classrooms and conference-style board rooms are equipped with video conference capability and wireless capability. A marketing media room seats up to 24 people and includes video and teleconference capability, and several board rooms. Housed within the building are offices for Northwood University’s West Coast program center, which offers a bachelor’s degree program in automotive marketing and management for students who want to work in the auto industry. The program hosts its business and auto management courses in the classrooms, while providing walk-in academic guidance and program information directly from the new offices. SMCDA also has its offices inside the building, and area dealers will be able to schedule meetings and employee training at the facility. Since 1932, the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association has represented the new franchised automotive dealers in the southern Los Angeles County. Visit the association online at:


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safety, fit and performance, specifically noting aftermarket bumper reinforcement bars, and that the parts must have must have permanent, non-removable identification of the part manufacturer. The CAA noted that California regulations Section 2695.8(g)(4) requires that “all original and non-original manufacture replacement crash pads, manufactured after the effective date of this subchapter, when supplied by repair shops shall carry sufficient permanent, non-removable identification so as to identify the manufacturer.” As discussed with the DOI, the issuance of this notice to insurers is the first step in establishing a traceability system for parts in the state of California that will allow manufacturers to identify and track their parts in the event of a recall concerning safety, fit, and quality. The CAA conducted a very successful stakeholder meeting in March of this year to begin addressing the need of tracking aftermarket crash parts. Many of those that were at that meeting will be in attendance at the June 24 meeting in Sacramento with the Department of Insurance. The CAA’s position is that the issue of being able to have a uniform system to track aftermarket crash parts for the industry is a priority project that needs to happen now. Consumers should have the confidence that if a part fails or has been identified for possible failure there is a process in place to rectify it. Peter Conlin, Counsel to the Commissioner, said in a letter to the CAA, “Commissioner Poizner places his highest regulatory priority on promoting consumer safety and I believe the CAA could play a significant role in developing a new policy consensus in the area.”

Continued from Front Page

Aftermarket Bills

tee. Hayashi is the Assembly member who in 2008 sponsored and passed Assembly Bill 1200, the measure that changed California’s anti-steering laws effective January 1, 2010. The hearing is also scheduled to consider Senate Bill 427, introduced by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod. SB 427 would require repairers to provide, on a signature page of the final invoice, a statement that installing parts other than those described on the estimate without prior approval from the customer is unlawful. Both bills have already been approved by the Senate. Readers can go to for an update on the results of the meeting. The California Autobody Association (CAA) was invited to participate in a meeting on June 24 with both the California Department of Insurance (DOI) and the California Department of Justice to discuss the issues surrounding aftermarket replacement crash parts and provide recommendations in developing “policy and legal issues relating to the use of replacement crash parts.” According to the CAA, this meeting is a culmination of a series of discussions and meetings CAA has been having with the DOI and the Attorney General’s office for the last several months which recently resulted in the DOI issuing a notice to all insurers specifying non-OEM replacement crash parts for the repair of an automobile. The memo stated that all non-OEM parts specified must be at least equal to the OEM parts in terms of kind, quality,

California Auto Body Association South Coast Chapter Presents:

3 Hot Speakers Discussing the Hottest Topic In The Industry Today “Body Shop Fraud” - By Dr. Kenneth Zion

• What is Fraud? • Fraud Detection • Documentation and Collection of Evidence • Event Data Recorder (black box)

• Inspection Procedures and Equipment • Lamp Filament Analysis • Enhanced Damages • Fraud Prevention

Dr. Zion has represented many Insurance Co.'s and Body Shop Owners AND “Advanced High Strength Steels” - By Toby Chess How They Affect The Repair-ability Of Vehicles AND Victor Valdez - AAA Special Investigation Unit

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Email Maria at: to reserve your space Or Call Maria at Signal Hill Auto Body: 562-424-6648

CDI’s Poizner Orders Stop to Unlicensed Operations California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner filed a cease and desist order against two California men and several corporations for allegedly operating unlicensed insurance companies and using deceptive and illegal telemarketing. Robert Lewis Chapman, James C. Sletner and several corporations they own and manage, including SafeData Management Services, Inc., d.b.a. Consumer Direct Warranty Services, etc., face substantial fines. “If you want to sell insurance in California, you must obtain a license, have adequate financial reserves and you must not deceive consumers,” said Commissioner Poizner. “In order to protect California consumers, there are specific requirements for insurance companies seeking to do business in California. If companies do not abide by these requirements, they will not be permitted to sell insurance in our state.” The Department of Insurance alleges that Consumer Direct sold insurance policies and vehicle service contracts without a license and in blatant disregard of numerous legal requirements designed to protect California consumers. The unlawful insurance policies, which promise to repair breakdowns to engines, transmissions and other parts, typically sell for $1,500–$2,500. Chapman, Sletner and Consumer Direct each face a fine of $5,000 for every day they conducted business in

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California, or five times the revenue received from California consumers, whichever is greater. Chapman, Sletner and Consumer Direct contend their insurance policies are product warranties because they require consumers to put additives in their cars. The additives supposedly protect the car from mechanical breakdowns. The Department of Insurance maintains that the additives have virtually no effect in preventing breakdowns and are a sham to avoid insurance regulation. CDI alleges that Consumer Direct is not licensed to act as an insurance company, lacks the financial capital to do so and therefore poses a hazard to consumers. In addition to the licensing violation, Consumer Direct has generated numerous complaints around the country and in California alleging high-pressure and deceptive telemarketing calls, illegal calls to cell phones and people on the Do Not Call list. In addition to these alleged violations, the Department also accuses Consumer Direct of failing to honor claims and failing to properly handle cancellation refund requests. California residents who have had problems with these companies are encouraged to contact the Department of Insurance. Consumer Direct Warranty Services is headquartered in Redding, California.

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Shop Snapshot

Erica Schroeder is a writer and editorial assistant for Autobody News in Oceanside, CA. She can be reached at

ICC Collision Centers Opens El Mirage, AZ Location with Erica Schroeder

ICC Collision Centers is proud to announce the grand opening of their new El Mirage, AZ, location. The shop hosted an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 5, 2010 to mark the grand opening of this new state of the art

ager and local business officials. The facility is strategically located in the greater Northwest Valley in order to expedite turnaround times and allow a fullservice customer experience. In addition, ICC offers a 10 day free car rental, lifetime

The ICC Colllision Center front desk in El Mirage

Outside the El Mirage ICC Collision Center

facility. The event, which was open to the public, ran from 10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M. at 12555 Northwest Grand Avenue El Mirage. Attending were Mayor Michele Kern of El Mirage, Arizona; Sam Mirabile, Vice President of Operations; Sean Darcy, Vice President of Business Development; Ed Hovsepian, Los Angeles Regional Man-

transferable registered warranty, 18 month free paint maintenance program, convenient rental car at locations provided by Hertz and towing is available. “Our facility is laid out for lean processes. We have very quick turnarounds and that helps get our customers back on the road,” said Tracey Collins, Business Development Manager for ICC.

ICC Collision Centers is also doing their part to be conscious of their impacts on the environment in their shops; the California locations are using waterborne paints and most of the parts they use are recycled in all locations.

Matt Gorges, General Manager of ICC Collision Centers, Arizona, “We look forward to making a long-term contribution to the Northwest Valley economy.” ICC Collision Centers Avondale location has been in Arizona for four years and

From Left to Right: Jacques Pilavian, Team Lead; Matthew Gorges, Arizona Regional Manager; Sean Darcy, VP of Business Development; Sam Mirabile, Director of Operations; Tracey Collins, Arizona Business Development Manager; Ed Hovsepian, Los Angeles Regional Manager, at the El Mirage grand opening

The grand opening ceremony at the El Mirage ICC Collision Center

“Providing the highest level of service to our customers and vendors in the Northwest Valley is essential to our success, and we’re pleased to offer a dedicated location to better serve them,” states

has built a reputation as a top level service center. Established in 1986, ICC Collision Centers has 10 locations located in the heart of California and Arizona. Over the past 28 years, ICC Collision Centers has grown a reputation of being one of the premier auto collision centers in the business. For more information go to

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CHEVROLET 1450 South Shamrock Ave. Monrovia, California 91016

MAZDA 735 East Central Ave. Monrovia, California 91016


SUBARU 1450 South Shamrock Ave. Monrovia, California 91016

HONDA 1450 South Shamrock Ave. Monrovia, California 91016

ALL OEM Information with Tom McGee and Jeffrey Webster

Tom McGee is National Account Manager for ALLDATA Collision. He has had a long career with I-CAR, including as President & CEO. Tom is an ASE certified Master Collision Repair/Refinish Technician. He has also run his own collision facility and been a career and technical school instructor. He can be reached at For other Tom McGee articles in Autobody News, go to: — JEFF WEBSTER is an ALLDATA Technical Writer.

It’s Friday and I can’t get the door glass to work!

Its Friday afternoon, the vehicle owner is expected to pick her car up in less that an hour. That’s when you discover that the door glass isn’t operating properly. Panic sets in. How do you fix it quickly? With the ever-increasing use of electrical and electronic systems in today’s vehicles, we are seeing an increase in the number of systems that need to be reset or re-initial-

ized. In some cases, there is some type of memory setting that can be programmed. Technicians are quickly becoming responsible for recording the memory settings and returning them to where they were when the vehicle arrived at your facility.

All these systems need to be reset/re-initialized following repairs. Let’s take a look at the procedures required to re-initialize the glass door on three different vehicles.

2008 Acura TL V6-3.5L Resetting the Power Window Control Unit Resetting the driver’s or front passenger’s power window is required when any of the following have occurred: • Power window regulator replacement or repair • Power window motor replacement or repair • Window run channel replacement or repair • Door glass replacement or repair • Power is removed from a power window control unit while the power window timer is ON.

Using the Honda Diagnostic System (HDS) 1. Connect the HDS to the vehicle’s DLC. 2. Turn the ignition switch ON (II), then

enter the vehicle’s VIN and mileage at the prompts. 3. Select “Body Electrical” from the “System Selection” menu. 4. From the “Body Electrical System Select” menu, select “Power Windows”. 5. From the “Mode” menu, select “Adjustment”.

6. From the “Adjustment” menu, select “Window P Reset” for driver’s side (passenger’s side) power window.

7. Follow the prompts on the screen. 8. Confirm that the power window control unit is reset by using the driver’s (passenger’s) power window AUTO UP and AUTO DOWN function.

Without the HDS 1. Turn the ignition switch ON (II).

2. Move the driver’s (passenger’s) power window all the way down by using See Next Page | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 9

the driver’s (passenger’s) power window DOWN switch. 3. Open the driver’s (passenger’s) door. NOTE: Steps 4-7 must be done within 5 seconds of each other. 4. Turn the ignition switch OFF. 5. Push and hold the driver’s (passenger’s) power window DOWN switch. 6. Turn the ignition switch ON (II). 7. Release the driver’s (passenger’s) power window DOWN switch. 8. Repeat step 4-7 three more times. 9. Wait 1 second. 10. Confirm that AUTO UP and AUTO DOWN do not work. If AUTO UP and DOWN work, go back to step 1. 11. Move the driver’s (passenger’s) power window all the way down by using the driver’s (passenger’s) power window DOWN switch. 12. Pull up and hold the driver’s (passenger’s) power window UP switch until the power window reaches the fully closed position, then continue to hold the switch for 1 second. 13. Confirm that the power window control unit is reset by using the driver’s (passenger’s) power window AUTO UP and AUTO DOWN function. If the power window still does not work in AUTO, repeat the procedure several times, paying close attention to the 5 second time limit between steps. If it still does not work, go to B-CAN System Diagnosis Test Mode A. See: Powertrain Management\Computers and Control Systems\Information Bus\Testing and Inspection\Diagnostic Trouble Code Tests and Associated Procedures\B-CAN System Diagnosis Test Mode A.

2009 Cadillac CTS AWD V6-3.6L Express Window Programming and Setup Anytime battery power is lost or if the power window motor is replaced, the express down and express up features must be relearned. Follow the procedure below to program the power windows: • Ignition ON, lower each window to the full down position and hold each window switch at the full down position for 5 seconds. • Raise each window to the full up position and hold each window switch at the full up position for 5 seconds. • Verify that the express down and express up feature are working by pressing the power window switch past its first detent and releasing and pulling the power window switch past its first detent and releasing. If the express down and express up functions are successfully relearned, the power window should roll completely down and roll completely up.


1. CUSTOMIZING FUNCTION WITH TECHSTREAM (REFERENCE) NOTICE: • When the customer requests a change in a function, first make sure the function(s) can be customized. •Be sure to make note of the current settings before customizing. • When troubleshooting a function, first make sure that the function is set to the default setting. A. Connect the Techstream to the DLC3. B. Turn the engine switch on (IG). C. Turn the Techstream on. D. Enter the following menus: Customize Setting. E. Select the setting by referring to the table below.

INITIALIZE POWER WINDOW CONTROL SYSTEM (POWER WINDOW REGULATOR MOTOR (ALL DOORS) CAUTION: When the power window regulator motor is reinstalled or replaced, the power window control system must be initialized. Functions such as the auto up/down, jam protection and key-off do not operate if the initialization is not performed.



Door Key P/W Up


Door Key P/W Down P/W Down W/Transmit P/W Down W/Smart






Function that raises all the power windows when, with the engine switch off, a key is used to hold the driver door key cylinder to the lock position for more than 2.3 seconds

Function that lowers all the power windows when, with the engine switch off, a key is used to hold the driver door key cylinder to the unlock position for more than 2.3 seconds

Function that lowers all the power windows when, with the engine switch off, the unlock switch on the transmitter is pressed and held for more than 3.0 seconds Function that raises all the power windows when, with the engine switch off, the entry lock switch on the driver side door outside handle is pressed and held for more than 3.0 seconds

HINT: When the battery is replaced, it is not necessary to initialize the power window regulator motor. NOTICE: When the power window regulator motor is replaced, DTC B2313 is output. Clear the DTC after the initialization. When performing initialization, do not perform any other procedures. After a door glass or a door glass run has been replaced, the jam protection function may operate unexpectedly when the auto up function is used, due to detection of a value different from the operation learned value of the door glass movement speed. In such cases, the auto up function can be resumed by repeating the following operation at least 5 times:


1. Open the power window by fully pushing down the power window switch. 2. Close the power window by fully pulling up the power window switch and holding it at the auto up position. • If the initialization is not completed properly, the LIN communication system may have a malfunction See: Powertrain Management\Computers and Control Systems\Testing and Inspection\Diagnostic Trouble Code Descriptions\LIN Communication System. A. Initialization procedures when replacing the power window regulator motor with a new one: 1) Connect the battery and turn the engine switch on (IG) (at this time, the LED on the power window switch blinks to indicate that it is ready for initialization). 2) Fully open the window by fully pushing the power window switch, and hold the switch for 1 second or more after the window is fully opened. 3) Fully close the power window by fully pulling the power window switch, and hold the switch for 1 second or more after the window is fully closed to reset the glass position. The LED on the power window switch stops blinking and illuminates to in-

Setting ON/OFF




dicate that the initialization is complete. B. Initialization procedures when removing/installing the power window regulator motor: 1) Connect the battery and turn the engine switch on (IG). 2) Fully close the power window by fully pulling the power window switch, and hold the switch for 6 seconds or more after the window is fully closed (if the power window does not move or stops halfway even when the switch is fully pulled, release the switch and fully pull it again). 3) Fully open the window by pushing down the power window switch, and hold the switch for 1 second or more after the window is fully opened.

4) Release the power window switch. Then fully push and hold the switch for 4 seconds or more. 5) Fully close the power window by fully pulling the power window switch, and hold the switch for 1 second or more after the window is fully closed to reset the glass position and complete the initialization. C. Initialization procedures when the power window does not fully open: 1) Connect the battery and turn the engine switch on (IG). 2) Fully close the power window by fully pulling the power window switch, and hold the switch for 6 seconds or more after the window is fully closed (if the power window does not move or stops halfway even when the switch is fully pulled, release the switch and fully pull it again). 3) Fully open the window by pushing down the power window switch, and hold the switch for 1 second or more after the window is fully opened. 4) Release the power window switch. Then fully push and hold the switch for 4 seconds or more. 5) Fully close the power window by fully pulling the power window switch, and hold the switch for 1 second or more after the window is fully closed to reset the glass position and complete the initialization. While this article focused on reinitializing door glass, there are a variety of different systems that require these types of procedures, such as sun roofs, steering angle sensors, power doors, etc. Collision repair facilities must have access to the correct procedures to ensure that, when it’s Friday afternoon and the vehicle owner expects to take delivery of her vehicle, she can happily drive away without any delays. For more information on OE repair information, please visit:

©2010 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved. All technical information, images and specifications are from ALLDATA Collision. ALLDATA is a registered trademark and ALLDATA Collision is a mark of ALLDATA LLC. All other brand names and marks are the property of their respective holders. Acura, Acura TL and Honda are registered trademark names and model designations of Honda Motor Company, LTD. and/or American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Cadillac and Cadillac CTS are registered trademark names and model designations of General Motors. Lexus, LX 570 and Techstream are registered trademark names and model designations of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. All trademark names and model designations are being used solely for reference and application purposes. | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 11

EPA Moves to Curb Greenhouse Gases From “Large Polluters”

The Environmental Protection Agency moved on June 10 to more tightly control air pollution from large power plants, factories and oil refineries, a step to limit emissions widely blamed for global warming. The EPA said it is completing a rule requiring large polluters to reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that they release into the air. Those emissions can boost many allergens and worsen smog, which can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments. The rule would require companies to install better technology and improve energy efficiency whenever they build, or significantly modify, a plant. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the rule applies only to large polluters such as power plants, refineries and cement production facilities that collectively are responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Jackson said the rule sets commonsense standards that will clean the air and protect public health, while avoiding burdensome regulations that could harm farms and small and medium-sized businesses. “There is no denying our responsibility to protect the planet for our children and grandchildren,” she said in a statement.

“It's long past time we unleashed our American ingenuity and started building the efficient, prosperous clean energy economy of the future.” The EPA announcement comes a day after an energy and climate bill was introduced in the Senate that seeks to accomplish many of the same goals. But EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan denied any connection, saying “rules are ready when they are ready.” The pollution rule will take effect in January, when industrial facilities that already obtain Clean Air Act permits for other pollutants will be required to obtain permits for greenhouse gases, if they increase those emissions by at least 75,000 tons per year. Starting in July 2011, the rule would apply to any existing plant that emits at least 75,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year, or any new plant that emits 100,000 tons per year. The rule comes as Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., made public a long-delayed bill aimed at curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. The bill introduced on Wednesday would set a first-ever price on carbon dioxide emissions produced by coal-fired power plants and other large polluters. The legislation aims to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping


greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020 and by more than 80 percent by 2050. Both targets are measured against 2005 levels and are the same as those set by a House bill approved last year. The Obama administration has long said it would prefer that Congress pass a bill to cut greenhouse gas emissions but has used the threat of EPA regulation to push lawmakers in states heavily dependent on fossil fuels to support the climate bill. Many large utilities and other energy companies have said they want Congress to act, believing they would be in a better bargaining position with Congress than in regulations issued by the EPA. Even so, the energy bill faces a steep hill in the Senate. No Republican has signed on as a co-sponsor. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who had been working with Kerry and Lieberman, withdrew his support last week, saying it is impossible to pass the legislation in the current political climate. The rule announced Thursday substantially raises the threshold amount of pollution required before greenhouse gas permits are needed. A proposal announced last September would have required permits for facilities that emit 25,000 tons per year. Gina McCarthy, an assistant EPA administrator, said the change was made in

response to complaints that the earlier proposal would have affected many small and medium-sized businesses, and even large apartment buildings. Such limits “clearly were not appropriate,” she said. Environmentalists hailed the pollution rule but industry groups and some GOP lawmakers called it a job-killer. “Just as pollution standards for cars have spurred the auto companies to make hybrids and other cleaner cars, these standards will start to move America away from dirty, inefficient and outdated coal plants toward more efficient, cleaner energy,” said Emily Figdor, director of the global warming program at Environment America, an advocacy group. A spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the EPA was overreaching its authority. Murkowski has threatened to introduce legislation blocking the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. “Sen. Murkowski remains convinced that the (EPA) tailoring rule won't stand up in court—that the agency can't change a law that was passed in Congress,” said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Murkowski. The senator remains committed to allowing all 100 senators a vote on whether they think EPA is the appropriate body to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

Shop and Product Showcase

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at

with Ed Attanasio

Utah’s Unique Auto Body Voluntarily Picks Pro-Spray’s H2O Waterborne Jeremy Weller, owner of Unique Auto Body, started painting cars in his early 20’s, and he’s now 39, so he knows what he’s talking about with paint. Weller’s two shops in the Salt Lake City area in Utah paint an average of 10–12 vehicles daily, so he needs a paint system that provides accurate color matching with consistent quality throughout. After a decade of being with another paint company, Weller made the switch to Pro-Spray’s waterborne product—and it’s decision he’s extremely enthused about. “We’re getting exceptional color matches with Pro-Spray that we couldn’t achieve before,” Weller said. “We didn’t feel like we were getting all of them 100% with our former paint supplier, so we started looking around. Getting away from the solvent as our main paint was a key move too.” Unique Auto Body has now been using the Pro-Spray waterborne product for a year and a half and the new paint is already a welcome production partner.

painted with Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne, Weller stated. “We’re using very little solvent right now and we’re going to phase it out eventually. It’s a convenience issue right now, but we’ve had such a great experience with the waterborne paint that we want to use it to be as our sole paint.”

get proactive in this thing, why not? We’re getting better results, so if we can help the environment at the same time, let’s do it.” Has the conversion to waterborne helped his business overall, Autobody News asked Weller. “Yes, I hear our customers commenting about the waterborne

“... more shops [outside of regulated areas] want to convert all the time. Green is a huge issue and it’s going to get bigger, because shops can get better color matches”

—Paul Reid of Pro-Spray

The changeover to waterborne met all the time. People in this area are into with some hesitation amongst his painters being green and we promote the fact that initially, but in the end Pro-Spray won we use the waterborne. If we can position them over, Weller said. “Painters are ourselves in a better light by using the Procreatures of habit. They were a little stub- Spray product, it’s well worth it. There are born and reluctant to change, but in the only a handful of body shops using waterend it’s been better for them, because now borne in the Salt Lake Valley right now they don’t have to breathe in all that sol- and we’re proud to be one of them.” vent all the time. You Pro-Spray’s Western Regional US can smell that solvent Sales Manager, Paul Reid, has seen more 100 yards away and you shops switching to waterborne in areas can’t even tell that this where the laws haven’t yet required them waterborne is in the to change over to low VOCs yet. room most of the time. “It’s a new movement that we’re seeIt’s a huge bonus for my ing more and more,” Reid explained. “I’ve painters, because they’re converted at least 50 body shops outside Unique Auto Body embraced Pro-Spray’s H20 Waterborne product to acnow happier and if I can of regulated areas within the last year or cess its color-matching capabilities provide a safer working so, and I’m starting to hear that more shops Pro-Spray’s color matching capabili- and cleaner environment for them, it’s a want to convert all the time. Green is a ties has alleviated stress in both his loca- great thing.” huge issue and it’s going to get bigger, betions, Weller said. “I don’t have to worry Weller didn’t switch over to water- cause shops can get better color matches about showing a customer a car in the right borne because he had to in order to adhere from our products and the finished paint light anymore. These dead-on color to local laws, because Utah doesn’t require jobs are superior overall.” matches have built a sense of security with the use of waterborne paint. So, why did According to the company’s Web site, my painters, because we can now match he do it? Pro-Spray® H2O Waterborne Basecoat these colors every single time.” “The color matching aspect of the consists of 70 pigment-rich, shake-andUnique Auto Body’s two locations Pro-Spray initially attracted us to the pour toners formulated using advanced employ 25 people, including four seasoned product, because we saw that the matches European technology to deliver quick covpainters who know the score when it were so superior and that the depth and erage, precise color match, superior metallic orientation, easy comes to producing cars at a rapid rate. blending and fast dry Weller saw that his painters initially times, saving body shops bucked the change to the Pro-Spray H2O time and money. Waterborne paint, but were quickly onPro-Spray waterborne board and using the new paint enthusiastipaint is part of a complete cally. line of low VOC automo“They saw the benefits and that’s Between its two locations in the Salt Lake City area of Utah, Unique tive surface preparation what motivated them,” Weller said. “If we Auto Body paints an average of 10–12 cars daily products, undercoats, can get a better finished product, it’s a big plus. Painters are very focused on doing the intensity of the finished product primers, clear coats, thinners, activators the best job they can, and if a certain type looked so amazing that it became a no- and ancillary products backed by userfriendly color formula software, technical of paint will help them do that—they’re brainer.” excited.” Eventually, Unique Auto Body em- support and waterborne conversion, color Both shops still use solvent-based braced the Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne theory and painter refinishing training. Weller’s painters were trained by Propaint for older vehicles, but every newer for its earth-friendly aspects as well, car that comes through the doors is Weller said. “We figured that if we can Spray’s experts and were using the H2O

Pro-Spray Waterborne within one week. “Jim Wallace was the technical representative from Pro-Spray and he came down here and took us through all of the steps in a very clear and logical process. Paul Reid was also very involved in the training. We were up and running right away and they kept checking in with us to help us further. If we had questions, they were right there to provide answers. They made the transition problem-free and that was a huge plus.” Weller had to invest approximately $4,000 in equipment as part of the changeover to waterborne, but he sees it as a modest expenditure that will rapidly pay for itself. “We had to purchase some new fans for improved air movement and then my painters had to buy new guns, but other than that, that’s all we had to do. For what we’ve achieved here, this was a very small investment.” Reid is happy every time when he sees that a new one of his customers has stepped up to make the sage move to waterborne.

Quickly and fairly easily, Unique’s painters were up and running with Pro-Spray’s H2O Waterborne paint

“Jeremy is a former painter, so he knew what he was getting with the ProSpray H2O Waterborne product. He’s also a very hands-on owner, so he got right in there with his painters. This paint is so painter-friendly and the quality is so consistent with better color-matching capabilities, that this was a logical transition for Unique Auto Body. They’re seeing better results and producing better paint jobs, so it’s a win-win on every level.”

Unique Auto Body 11500 South Redwood Road South Jordan, Utah 84095 801-302-0966

798 West Center Street Midvale, Utah 84047 (801) 302-0966. | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 13

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Senate Commerce Committee Passes Distracted Driving Bill The Senate Commerce Committee passed the Distracted Driving Prevention Act which directs the Secretary of Transportation to make grants to states that enact laws that prohibit, with certain exceptions, and establish fines for texting and handheld cell phone use while driving. The bill requires a state that receives a grant to allocate at least 50% of those funds to educate and advertise to the public about the dangers of texting or using a cell phone while driving as well as enforce the distracted driving law. Up to 50% of the remaining funds can be used for other traffic projects. Further, it requires the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe regulations on the use of electronic or wireless devices, including cell phones and other distracting devices, by operators of commercial motor vehicles and school buses and prohibit their use. The legislation also directs the Federal Communications Commission to report to Congress on existing and developing wireless communications technology that may be used to reduce problems associated with distracted driving. The bill will be paid for by redirecting money from the seat belt grant program which has been running a surplus.

Coulomb Technologies to Create Electric Vehicle Infrastructure by Offering No Cost Home and Public Charging Stations as Part of a $37 Million Project

Coulomb Technologies today announced it will deliver free home and public ChargePoint® Networked Charging Stations for electric vehicles throughout the United States. The ChargePoint America program will provide nearly 5000 charging stations to program participants in nine regions in the United States including: Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Fla., Sacramento, Calif. and the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, and is a strategic partnership with three leading automobile brands including, Ford, Chevrolet and smart USA. Coulomb currently has the largest established base of networked charging stations worldwide with more than 700 units shipped to more than 130 customers in 2009. Installation of the ChargePoint charging stations for electric vehicles will begin immediately. ChargePoint America will offer both home and public charging stations to individuals and businesses. ChargePoint Network stations are network-enabled, capable of reporting energy usage and communicating over the network with Software Application Services and Network Support Services to activate capabilities such as: * Providing open access for all drivers using any standards-based RFID card

* Generating revenue for station owners to offset electricity and maintenance costs * Sending SMS or Email notifications to drivers for charging complete or interruptions in charging * Controlling access to eliminate energy theft and to enhance safety * Integrating with the utility Smart Grid for demand side management and preferred pricing Charging stations owners can set their own prices for charging through the Flex Billing™ system. The Flex Billing system enables station owners to set pricing as a function of time of day, calendar date, and driver - much like a parking meter. Those same stations can also be configured to provide “free” access to EV drivers. Coulomb’s ChargePoint® Network, is open to all drivers of plug-in vehicles and provides authentication, management and real-time control for the networked electric vehicle charging stations. The network of electric vehicle charging stations is accessible by making a toll free call to the number on each charging station, or signing up for a ChargePoint Network monthly access plan. To locate available charging stations, visit and click “Find Stations.”

I-CAR Announces New Rolebased Training Model July 21 I-CAR will host the 2010 I-CAR Industry Conference at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL. The event will be held on July 21 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. This year’s event will coincide with several other industry meetings being held during the same week. ICAR will introduce details of the new curriculum model that has been developed over the last two years based on inter-industry feedback. Information around the overall structure, the roles that have been defined, the impact to recognition programs and the transition plan will be announced at the event. Dusty Womble, I-CAR Executive Committee and Board Member and Chairman of the International Advisory Committee stated, “The new rolebased training model will allow the industry to focus on the training they need to do their jobs thoroughly and give them the opportunity to do it smarter, better and faster.” To register for the event, visit For questions regarding sponsorship opportunities or registration or for more information contact Jolinda Ottum, I-CAR Marketing Specialist, or 847-463-5247. | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 15

Shop and Product Showcase

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at

Easily, Safely and Economically: Mobile Lift Jack is a Best Helper with Ed Attanasio

In the busy daily life of a body shop, a product that will make techs’ lives easier while saving time and money is a breath of fresh air. In this frenetic, deadline-heavy existence, a useful piece of equipment can help a shop to meet its cycle times and exceed even the most discerning customers’ requirements. Time is the key and without enough of it in the average day, saving it is a big issue in every body shop on the planet. That’s why shop owners, techs and even hobbyists flock to a product such as the Mobile Lift Jack, distributed by Ikotec USA. “It’s all about safely lifting vehicles and moving them around the shop easily,” Conrad Egerter, owner of Ikotec USA said. “The jack is small, so it takes up very little space. It runs on electricity so it uses less energy as well. It’s our signature product and we’ve received great reviews on the Mobile Lift Jack from shops throughout the country.” Ikotec USA has the master distributorship in the USA, Canada and Australia for the Ikotec Mobile Lift Jack, an innovative and unique lifting system for automobile, truck and motorcycle maintenance and repair, Egerter said. Within the past two years, the

company has sold more than 1,000 Mobile Lift Jacks in Europe alone, he said. The Mobile Lift Jack will be showcased at the November 2010 Specialty Equipment MarketAssociation (SEMA) show in Las Vegas and on, Egerter explained.

The Ikotec 3000 Mobile Lift Jack can lift cars easily, quickly and using less energy

“We’re proud to be associated with this product, because it works and that’s the bottom line. You’ll be able to see it and use it at SEMA and that’s the best way to understand everything it can do. When people see it for the first time, they automatically start thinking about different ways they can use it in their shops.” Based on the company’s literature, Ikotec currently has three Mobile Lift Jack

models. The Ikotec 1000 is a revolutionary way to lift foreign or sports cars, cars with little ground clearance, or cars with fiberglass trim and moldings with very little chance of damaging the vehicle. The Ikotec 3000, the most popular model, is a 110-volt all electric wheel lift with 15 different attachments that has a lifting capacity up to 2,250 lbs per column and will lift a vehicle in approximately 35 seconds. The company’s largest lift jack is the Ikotec 6000, a 110-volt wheel lift that can lift industrial size vehicles up to 6000 lbs per column. “Each product is designed for easy operation,” Egerter said. “They allow users to lift cars, trucks and motorcycles quickly and economically. With built-in safety features, these jacks are truly unique and provide a safe working environment in garages, body shops, inspection stations, tire stores and for the at home do-it-yourself mechanics.” The Mobile Lift Jack was invented by Christian Koch 20 years ago, Egerter said. After for nearly a decade of perfecting and changing it, the sixth or seventh version of the lift hit the public in 1999. Since then, Ikotec obtained the exclusive Northern

American distribution rights to the entire line of Mobile Lift Jacks, he explained. The Ikotec 3000 has fans throughout the world that are more than willing to praise the product. To say that Richard Schomaker is a car aficionado is a major understatement. He has

Portability and ease-of-use are the two main reasons why shops say they value the Mobile Lift Jack

12 cars in various stages of rebuilding and owns a series of garages at his home near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He’s currently working on a ’64 Studebaker Avanti and he’s been using two of his Mobile Lift Jacks to implement the restoration of this prized classic car. “These lifts are really slick,” Schomaker said. “I’ve owned them for almost two years See Mobile Lift Jack, Page 23 These jacks are truly unique and provide a safe working environment in Garages, Body Shops, Inspection Stations, Tire Stores etc.

• All Electric • Portable • Only weighs 135 lbs.!

LLearn more about us: www 412-427-8031 16 JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS | | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 17

On Creative Marketing with Thomas Franklin

Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for forty years. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at See Tom’s columns at under Columnists > Franklin

QUALITY Might Not be Number One Draw for Consumers

I was recently helping a shop update their website, and checking out numerous other shop websites in the process. One characteristic stood out in most of them: their primary emphasis was on their QUALITY of work. This struck me as curious because many customers have indicated to this shop that their main concern was how fast they could get their car back, and with self-pay customers, it was price that was most important. Very few mentioned quality. In recent years, it seems in many business areas speed and prices have triumphed over quality. Fast food establishments far outnumber other restaurants, and while quality may be a minor concern, price and speed of service are what counts. Today’s marketplace is dominated by “instant” services: photos, cleaning, car washes and even tune-ups and oil-changes. Given this preponderance of concern for speed and price, I found it curious that these factors were rarely mentioned on collision repair websites I visited. Of course there was some mention of “cycle time,” but I never found this trumpeted as THE reason to visit the shop. So is quality dead as a primary characteristic when marketing a shop? Of course not, but when visiting dozens of shops, I was sur-

prised to find that some of the busiest shops were better at marketing than quality of work. Of course possibly it was due to the large volume of jobs that there were more returns and re-dos. I’ve also found this discrepancy to be true of some other professionals I’ve worked with.Amediocre attorney was always busy because he excelled at promoting himself. I even went to a highly promoted dentist who was incredibly busy, but the dental work I received was far below the quality I’ve received at a small dental facility. I’ve observed that those businesses that manage to attract a large volume of customers concentrate heavily on marketing. This is not to say they neglect the quality of the work they deliver, but when advertisements all loudly proclaim the great quality of their services or products, perhaps viewers come to believe that they’re all about the same. And if there isn’t any significant difference in quality, why not simply choose on the basis of price and speed? So what might these observations mean to a shop owner about to spend time and money on advertising and promotion? I would say the number one take-away is don’t underestimate the importance of a

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full-time focus on marketing. Many shop owners started out in production themselves. They are naturally concerned with the quality of work their shop produces and marketing is probably not as comfortable a skill as production quality. Nevertheless, if marketing is properly viewed as the tool that brings customers in the door, it has to be elevated to the number one position whether the shop is slow or not. The next take-away might suggest a change of focus for their website. Anyone surfing the web looking for a collision repair facility is unlikely to be swayed by assertions of superior quality that are fairly uniform from one collision repair site to the next. It’s also likely that this surfer wants to eliminate the time it would take to travel around to various shops or to even call them. The web surfer is obviously concerned with time and speed. Finally, why do people purchase products and services on-line rather than from a local shop or store? Abundance of choices is certainly a factor, but when narrowing down those choices, price is likely to be the deciding factor. And so we come to the final question: What can a shop owner say on his or her

website that will bring in the prospect looking for price and speed of service? The offer has to be credible, so some sort of guarantee must be included. “Lowest price” generally means nothing. An offer of a percentage discount is also useless. These days people automatically assume the product or service has been marked up another ten percent before that percentage is deducted. One effective approach might be to mention that insurance companies always demand a parts and labor discount. The website could promise the customer he or she will receive the same discount the shop offers insurance partners. Speed of service is a trickier proposition. I’ve visited shops that publicize a turnaround time based on the price of the job: Under $500, 24-hour service; under $1000 two-day service, etc. One shop offered to reduce the price of repair by a percentage for each day they exceeded the estimated time. Another offered some sort of rebate if the job wasn’t completed on time. A shop owner might not want to offer these terms to anyone other than a prospect on the web. But given the reasons prospects surf the web, this focus on price and speed are most likely to bring the prospect in the door.

Mike Causey is a consumer advocate and lobbyist for the Independent Auto Body Association (IABA), in addition to Non-profits such as alternative healthcare groups (Citizens for Healthcare Freedom, NC Reflexology Association), Organic farming and Healthy Eating. Mike is a writer and speaker on numerous consumer issues and legislation. Mailing address: Causey & Associates, P.O. Box 16725, Greensboro, NC 27416 Email: Phone: (336) 210-1947

The Right Cause

Body Shops Going Green Means They Should Also Go Lean with Mike Causey

The recent craze among businesses of all stripes is to use terms such as “green” or “organic” when marketing their respective goods or services. The trend has extended to industries such as collision repair, which is testimony to the marketing appeal of the process because automobile repair shops are often viewed as part of what some call a “dirty” industry. What is the real definition of ‘Going Green?’ According to one online environmental website: “Going green” means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the envi-

ronment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations. That’s quite an ambitious definition, but who doesn’t want cleaner air and cleaner water? When it comes to taking steps to help the environment, small steps can make a big difference in each business. Obviously auto body shops are not organic in the same sense as growing or selling food, and won’t advertise the “organic” label. However, the “going green” term is gaining ground with body shops from coast to coast, and, increasingly, customers appear to be taking notice. Although many types of businesses now “paint themselves green” in their self-

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promotions and advertising, body shops going green seem to gain even greater attention from consumers. In Clemont, New Jersey, Dan’s Auto Body has a truck with a billboard that reads, “Dan’s Auto Body has gone green. Call and see what we mean.” Dan’s Auto Body of New Jersey has been using waterborne paint for some time, as their truck billboard reflects. In Dallas, Texas, Bodywerks, an 85,000-square-foot body shop that claims to be “the largest body shop in the U.S” (average repairs of 500 vehicles a month) became one of the first dealership body shops in that part of the country to switch from solvent-based paints to waterborne paints.

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Waterborne paints will likely be required in all U.S. body shops within the next decade since it is more eco-friendly and less toxic than conventional paint systems. In Oregon, Ohio Community College (Owens CC) upgraded its auto body shop to “prepare students for environmentally friendly careers and teach students how to reduce harmful emissions with eco-friendly paint products,” as reported by WTOL television reporter Chris Vickers. Owens’ “experimental green auto body shop is the first in the Midwest to feature BASF’s new waterborne basecoat technology which greatly reduces the industrial contribution of ozone,” says Vickers. A BASF spokesman says waterborne is just as efficient as their solvent-based product while the water reduces the amount of harmful material by nearly 70 percent. Some reports have suggested that waterborne paints cause fewer health problems such as headaches among workers and substantially reduce the amount of chemicals and fumes in the paint process. Much of the state of California and some cities in Oregon and Washington require waterborne paints. Ford, GM and Chrysler use the waterborne paints. These waterborne systems are required through out Europe and Canada. John Harris Body Shops, with several locations in South Carolina, is Going Green. They have made it their “goal to leave a green footprint in South Carolina and help our environment. Constantly we are looking for ways to recycle our waste without compromising quality. This is one more reason John Harris Body Shop is the right place to have your vehicle repaired.” John Harris Body Shop promotes that: ▪ 95% of all Cardboard is Recycled ▪ 95% of all plastic bumpers are recycled ▪ 95% of all scrap metal is recycled ▪ JHBS has equipped all office and technical staff with computers so paper files do not have to be generated ▪ All documents are stored electronically (eliminates file cabinets and paper storage) ▪ 100% of Steel and Aluminum wheels are recycled ▪ 85% of Batteries are recycled ▪ 100% of Paint Waste is recycled ▪ 75% Fluids such as antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid and power steering fluid is recycled Consider what you can do to help your shop become more environmentally friendly by taking steps to go green. Maybe you don’t want to get a herd of goats to mow your grass, as Google does at their corporate headquarters, but you can change your light bulbs to the more energy efficient ones and educate your workers about recycling, etc. | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 19

Shop and Product Showcase with Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at

LKQ Knows ‘It’s Not Cheap or Easy Being Green’ But Sees Quick Cost Benefits Many companies talk a big game when it comes to being lean and green, but LKQ says it is 100% dedicated to saving fuel, electricity and recycling everything that the enormous company can possibly touch, use, or produce. It’s not easy being lean and green because it involves a considerable investment in time, money and personnel to achieve sustainability and a high level of true greenness. But LKQ is dedicated to making the investment and leading the way among companies its size to being a trendsetter in taking the green approach to a whole new level. LKQ operates from 290 facilities na-

Lights and skylights used together to provide a brighter warehouse using considerably less energy at LKQ

tionwide and passed $2 billion for revenue in 2009. “In 2010, we’re headed to hit that number again and higher,” Steven Jones, VicePresident of LKQ’s West-Northwest Regions said. Jones has been one of the prime movers behind the company’s transition to becoming greener nationwide. Jones attended a recent conference sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy, in which most of the country’s Fortune 500 companies was represented. The subject of the conference was on newly constructed building sustainably, Jones explained. “The experts told us that when we build new facilities, let’s try to educate ourselves on

The majority of LKQ’s trucks have idle shut down systems to keep them from idling too long. It’s another fuel-saving move by the corporation

how to build them so that they’re sustainable,” he said. “By using re-used materials and incorporating things that require less energy, we can become a better, productive and more responsible company. During this three-

day conference, I learned that some of the most simple things you can do while constructing new buildings can help you to save more power and be forward-thinking in every aspect of reusing and saving.” The conference made a huge impression on Jones, who took the information back to LKQ for implementation. “It was a real eyeopener on many levels. Getting green isn’t easy, but in the end you win, because you save money and you save energy. One is good for the company and the other is good for everyone. We’ll be building approximately 50 brand new facilities from the ground up this year—warehouses, self-service and full-service salvage yards and distribution centers—throughout the country, to support our product.” A big part of this efficiency-focused reform involved changing LKQ’s lighting systems in new and existing facilities. “One prime example where we can save tons of money and energy is by embracing the newest lighting in our buildings. Most of our warehouses have 30-ft. tall ceilings. We want them high and tight to save space, because land is expensive and building new facilities is very costly. In the past, we used metal halide and sodium vapor lights—if you go to most average warehouses, these are the lights you’ll find there. They use a ton of energy and they don’t put off that much light. A T5HO is a high output light designed for these tall warehouses, and it uses roughly 25% of the energy that the standard lights we used to have. To take it even further, we’ve equipped these lighting systems with motion sensors on every light. It’s now a law in California to incorporate to them in every newly constructed building because it makes sense and saves a lot of energy.” Saving energy is a priority across the board, Jones said, which also includes the offices within every LKQ facility. “Each of our new offices now has two light switches, one for half-light and another for full light. So if there’s a sunny day outside, maybe you only need to have half of the light running. All these little things added up can make a big difference in our consumption of energy, so we’ve embraced all of these policies in all of the construction of our buildings from the ground up.” The savings derived from the company’s new lighting was apparent almost instantly, Jones said. “It’s a huge effort. For example, we installed T5HO lighting in a 100,000square-foot warehouse in Santa Fe Springs, CA, and we haven’t had a light bill exceeding $2,000 monthly since we opened it, although it is operating 18 hours per day. There are 70 people working out of that facility and the building’s energy consumption is consid-


erably less than many of our older facilities. It’s just remarkable how much money we can save by designing these new facilities using the latest technology in energy-saving innovation. Of course it’s not cheap installing these types of systems in our new facilities, but they will pay for themselves if you do it right. For instance, those T5HO lights will get your money back within the range of 1-2 years, I would estimate. But, it does take that initial investment.” Tapping into natural light is another method of saving money and energy. “We’re also requiring that skylights be built into the warehouses, depending on the local codes in each city. It will run between 4-10% of the light derived from sky lighting a facility. And of course, that’s the most sustainable energy

A fuel extraction device removes fuel safely from every vehicle that comes into the LKQ recycling system

you can find and it’s free. Skylights aren’t cheap either, but in the end it’s not all about the cost. It’s about taking the environmental high road versus just the economics. You’re making a commitment that says ‘hey, we have to make a decision.’ You know we have to make a difference—that’s what we’re doing. We’ve decided that being green does matter and [as a company we want to do] something that is the right thing to do that’s sustainable.” LKQ is going green in every room, even in several of their bathrooms in some facilities. “We’ve invested in Dyson hand dryers in the West region, a new device that allows us to eliminate the use of paper towels in all of our bathrooms. At $1,400 installed, these units aren’t inexpensive, but they’ll dry your hands in ten seconds, so it saves energy and paper, of course. We made a decision that we don’t want to create a bunch of trash in our daily lives. Why cut down a bunch of trees to use paper towels when you can use a Dyson

hand dryer and save. We’ve installed 15 of these devices in our buildings and the response has been outstanding. They’ll pay for themselves in roughly 16 months.” LKQ has always focused on recycling and reusing everything, but now they’re even more adept at keeping car parts in circulation. “Reusing something that somebody already used and rebuilding it to get it back into a vehicle is as green as you can get. This way, we keep them out of the landfill and make them usable once again, the way it should be designed. We’re also stocking re-manufactured products more than ever, including engines, transmissions, rear ends, steering gears, steering pumps, rack & pinions. We’re stocking all of these things, so that our end users don’t have to buy new ones. An entirely new transmission costs a ton to make, but our re-manufactured transmissions are just as good. Rebuilding one will use one-half of the overall energy it takes to manufacture a new transmission.” Manufacturers buy cores from LKQ to rebuild their engines and transmissions, for example. “When a manufacturer wants a core, they call us. This way, we make sure that these products ultimately get back into the main stream of commerce, so that they don’t have to build a new one.” Saving energy, reusing, reconditioning, recycling and doing their part to help preserve the environment is LKQ’s ongoing commitment. “Being green never ends. It’s not a momentary thing or something we do to because it’s popular today. We’re in for the long-term and committed and that will never change.” According to the company’s Web site, “LKQ is a leader in recycled auto parts and environmentally friendly business practices and recycled 492,000 vehicles last year. That is equivalent to recycling about 540,000 tons of steel, 47,000 tons of aluminum, and 13,000 tons of copper. Through its operations, LKQ helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 890,000 tons, which is about the same as the annual emissions of a city of 82,200 people. “In addition, LKQ recently partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to give its customers and anyone else interested in helping the environment an additional way to be green in our LKQ Get Green promotion. Anyone who visits between April 22 and June 30, 2010 and enters a valid email address will receive 1 tree planted in their honor. Customers can also print a savings coupon to use with their next LKQ recycled purchase. Those who use the coupon will receive $25 off their purchase or can choose to have 25 trees planted in their honor. Together with its customers, LKQ anticipates planting a forest at the conclusion of the program.” | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 21

Maryland Bill to Curb Salvage Issues Gets Signed by Governor The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) is excited to announce that Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland signed the crucial bill proposed by Delegate James “Jimmy” Malone on May 20th, 2010 that will curtail many issues seen in the marketplace after the salvage bill in 2008 changed the salvage vehicle threshold.

The signing ceremony was held on May 20, 2010 in the Governor's Reception Room in the State House. Present were many WMABA representatives, key Delegate James Malone, and Gary Alexander of Alexander & Cleaver - WMABA's lobbying firm. WMABA played a pivotal role in suggesting and producing this legislation that will take effect October 1st, 2010. This bill (HB 1199), which adds an exclusion to the threshold for “cosmetic damage” and “the cost of towing, storage or vehicle rental”, was successfully passed

About WMABA: The WMABA is a regional collision industry association, currently covering the areas of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC whose mission is to serve the best interests of collision repairers through leadership, education and initiatives that strengthen the professionalism and business conditions for the professional collision repairer. If you would like to find out more information about WMABA and its activities, you can contact Executive Director Jordan Hendler (Phone: 804-789-9649 or Email: or visit its website at:

Photo (L-R): front: Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Senate President Mike Miller, Governor Martin O'Malley, House Speaker Mike Busch; rear: Gary Alexander, Rick Paukstitus, Don Beaver, Torchy Chandler, Jordan Hendler, Delegate James Malone, Laura Gay, Jay Givens

with majority support by stakeholders, as well as legislators in the recent legislative session. The bill also includes an amendment to current law which [salvage] brands ALL vehicles that are total-lossed by an insurer. This protects the secondary vehicle owner from unknowingly purchasing a previously totaled vehicle, as well as removing the incentive to prematurely total-loss a vehicle because of higher salvage value.

The last portion of the bill gives the insurer the reserved right to make a decision to total-loss the vehicle for economic reasons, which is in line with current policy language. WMABA and other stakeholders will work with the Maryland MVA and State Police to define “Cosmetic” as it relates to collision repair in the coming weeks. Updates on the finality of the process will be sent as soon as they become available.

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Mobile Lift Jack

and I couldn’t do without them. It’s all about the mobility. I need to be able to move these vehicles fast and easily and the Mobile Lift Jack is the perfect equipment for the job. There’s no air required, which means they’re no seals to break. It’s all powered by electricity and we love that aspect of it.” With so many cars that he’s restoring simultaneously, Schomaker likes the fact that the Mobile Lift Jack works fast and never needs a break, he said. “It lifts a car in roughly half a minute. Time is money when I am working on my cars, because I can only be in one place at any time, but these lifts

work quickly, which means I can spend more time doing what matters.” Schomaker values the Mobile Lift Jack’s portability more than anything else, he said. “We can move this thing all over the shop. Sometimes I’ll wheel them into my driveway. I can go as far as an extension cord will take me. We use it a lot to hold a door on a car or lift up a vehicle’s rear end to remove the gas tank, it’s so versatile and easy to use. That’s the key of the Mobile Lift Jack.” Sonny Palermo has owned Palermo Auto Body in Wexford, Pennsylvania for 30 years, he said, and he fixes approximately 80 vehicles per month out of a 16-bay shop with eight employees. Palermo purchased a Mobile Lift Jack and fell in love with it after

using it just one time, he said. “I bought a Mobile Lift Jack about two years ago and I saw right away that it was really convenient. Anything that will make my life easier is something I want. We restore a lot of classic cars here, and this lift allows us to move vehicles around the shop in a pinch.” “If you want to lift something and do a specific repair, this lift can do it,” Schomaker said. “It’s so versatile and adaptable. I’ve purchased several of the accessories and it’s allowed me to do so much more with the product.” A wide range of accessories for the Mobile Lift Jack are available to enable users to perform various procedures, including wheel sleds, hitch adapters, door supports, jack stands, quick fit plates, plane plates, sill sup-


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ports, shop crane adapters, spring compressors, transmission adapter , tuning sills and motorcycle attachments. Ikotec USA is represented internationally by distributors in Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Poland as well as the in the USA, Canada and Australia. The company is the exclusive manufacturer of the products using American manufactured motors and parts and are assembled in the USA, which insures quality control and cost containment. The product can be viewed at and information is available through Conrad Egerter, Ikotec USA at 412-427-8031. Ikotec USA 184 Babcock Boulevard, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15209; (412) 427-8031


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Continued from Page 1


A mitigating factor may be that most shops do direct estimates, in that they are written and sent directly to the insurance company by the body shop. Customers who come in off the street and just want a written estimate to take with them are usually using it as a bargaining chip with the other party to the accident. Many experienced shop owners were clearly under the impression that if the estimate was marked “OR,” meaning “owner re-


Missing rear bumper

Dented rear hatch

quested,” that they bear no liability for what is done with the estimate beyond that point. This case will thoroughly test the argument that if the estimate is written explicitly for the vehicle owner and given to the vehicle owner, then it is the vehicle owner who commits insurance fraud if he turns it in to the insurance company. A number of the shops are joining together to combine their representation to counter the charges. One prominent attorney Dyke Huish, has publicly criticized the expense and public value of the sting operation, as well as the DA’s “grandstanding.” Said Huish, “I guess his feeling is innocent until proven guilty applies in the court room but not in public opinion and the media.” Huish is representing at least six of those charged in the case. The case formally began June 2 when 53 Orange County shop owners and estimators were arrested and booked in ‘Operation Straight Body’ following a 5-month undercover investigation by the OCDA Automobile Insurance Fraud Unit targeting auto body repair facilities. The Orange County

DA, Tony Rackuackas, released the following statement on Thursday, June 3. “Between January and May 2010, the OCDA conducted 152 undercover operations throughout Orange County. “The targets for this operation were identified through the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), who provided the OCDA with a list of 141 auto body repair facilities that have had consumer complaints within the past three years. The additional targets were identified through referrals by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and independent auto repair facilities that were not registered with the BAR. “Investigators arrested the defendants on felony insurance fraud charges on June 2, 2010, and June 3, 2010. The defendants have each been charged with one felony count of insurance fraud and face maximum sentences of five years in state prison if convicted. A complete list of defendants and the auto body repair facilities where they worked is available. The in-custody defendants who have not posted the $30,000 bail will be arraigned in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. “From January to May of this year, the Auto Insurance Fraud Unit of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office conducted and coordinated Operation Straight Body—the largest case of auto body repair insurance fraud [investigation] in Orange County’s history. “Operation Straight Body was an undercover investigation focusing on 141 auto body repair facilities suspected of engaging in insurance fraud, as referred to us by the Bureau of Automotive Repair and the National Insurance Crime Bureau. We also investigated seven unregistered auto repair body shops and a few selected stores. “I am happy to report that most of the subjects that were contacted by our undercover investigators refused to engage in insurance fraud... [Ed—portions of the next part of this statement were later retracted, so we do not reproduce it here.] “One of the defendants, after getting arrested, acknowledged that he is glad we did this investigation because the industry is out of control. This prosecution puts dishonest operators and anyone thinking about committing fraud on notice. We are watching them, and they will be prosecuted. “I think consumers have the right to know which of the auto repair shops are conducting straight businesses and which are not. There is a saying: there is no honor among thieves. Dishonest businesses willing to rip off the insurance companies are more likely to rip off the customers as well. We alternated using two different cars in two scenarios. The 2001 Ford Expedition we used was totaled by an insurance company after being involved in a rear end collision. “As you can see from the pictures, the rear bumper is completely missing. Additionally, the Expedition was backed into a


telephone pole, causing the rear hatch to have an indentation. The 1999 Mercedes


Detached left side rear bumper

Dented front passenger-side fender

Benz E430 we used was also totaled by an insurance company after being involved in a rear-end collision. As you can see from the pictures, the

left side of the bumper is not attached to the vehicle and is hanging freely. The vehicle has a large dent in the passenger side front fender. Using the Ford and the Mercedes, our investigators went to the auto body repair facilities asking for an estimate to repair the damages. “The investigator would then ask if all the damage could be repaired under the same insurance claim, even though not all of the damages were caused by the “accident” that the claim was under. Two-thirds of the estimators did the right thing. They rightly advised our investigators that filing one claim for two separate, unrelated damages would constitute insurance fraud. “Those who agreed to file damages under the same claim are now charged with felony insurance fraud, which carries the maximum penalty of five years in state prison. We went one step further using the Mercedes Benz. Our investigators told the estimator that the vehicle was purchased with the rear end and front fender damage at an auction. The auto insurance was purchased after the damage occurred. The investigator then told the estimator that he needed an estimate to submit a claim to the new insurance company to fix the pre-existing damages. “Again, the majority of the estimators refused, advising that this was insurance fraud. Those who completed the estimate deSee Sting, Page 35

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Make us your one-stop shop today! | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 25

Service, Service, Diagnostic Diiagnostic D gnostic and an d Mechanical M e chanical ch aniccal al NEWS nd Mec echanical Mech ech ec hanical ca

Holden Auto [Wichita Falls, TX] Shows 'Mom and Pop' Shop Alive Western Edition

July 2010


by Richard Carter, TimesRecordNews

But Holden, who has owned Holden Auto Center since 1985, did not go directly into the auto repair industry after graduating from Wichita Falls High School. Instead, he went to work at Ebner Brothers Packers, in the maintenance department in 1971, while he was still in high school. He worked there for six

On Nov. 1, 1979, Rice offered to sell him the station. Holden ran it until 1985 when a series of new laws for service stations made it too expensive for a little neighborhood business that didn’t sell much gasoline, he said. So he shut the gas station down and opened the auto repair garage. He and friend Joe Barrett built the

Randy Holden, owner of Holden Auto Repair, has been in business at the corner of Galveston and Holliday since 1979. The business handles general auto repair, brakes and air-conditioning work. Photo credit: Torin Halsey/Times Record News

Mechanic Bobby Van Speybroeck (left) talks with Randy Holden while working on the fuel system of a customer’s vehicle. Photo credit: Torin Halsey/Times Record News

Randy Holden talks with his wife, Harriett, in their business, Holden Auto Repair. They have been in business for 31 years. Photo credit: Torin Halsey/Times Record News

years, maintaining refrigeration and doing general repairs. It was in 1977 that his uncle, Charlie Rice, who had operated a little gas station since 1942 (Rice Oil Co.), asked him to run the station after he suffered a stroke.

first half of Holden Auto Center, next door to the service station. They added the second half in 1992. “We are what you call a general repair shop. We do brakes, air conditioning, tune ups, water pumps, transmissions, and a lot of different things including engines. We do all makes. It doesn’t matter. You bring it, we work on it,” he explained. Holden said the business has really changed over the years. “When I first started you had carburetors and timing. Now you have fuel injection and so many electronics. You used to be a mechanic, now you have to be a technician,” he said. “In the old days, you would look at a car and you would say that it needs this. Now, unless you have a computer, you won’t be able to work on cars.” Holden recently attended a school to learn more about working on newer model cars.

When Randy Holden was 9, he used to ride his bicycle to his father’s service station after school and help out by changing oil and washing cars. That was his introduction to the business world.

“My dad had a gas station on Iowa Park Road called Eddie’s Shamrock, and I started there when I was at City View school. We liked racing, so my dad always had race cars. So, we always tinkered with motors,” he said.

TRW Airbags Are on a Third of Vehicles Earning Highest NHTSA Rating

When it comes to side-impact safety, TRW is shooting for the stars. The automotive safety supplier announced its airbag modules and enabling electronics technologies have helped nearly 35 percent of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) side impact-tested vehicles earn five stars. “Our airbag systems and components have consistently helped vehicles earn the highest rating in U.S. government testing, which shows that TRW’s technologies not only provide capable safety solutions, but can offer weight, packaging and cost advantages when it comes to competitive solutions,” said Peter Lake, executive vice president, Sales and Business Development for TRW Automotive. “With 50 of the 147 vehicles tested featuring TRW content and earning five stars, it’s evident that our airbags are effective, efficient and affordable.”

The NHTSA New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) ratings determine a vehicle’s crash worthiness. Five stars indicate the highest rating a vehicle can achieve. Side-collision star ratings indicate the chance of a serious injury for the driver, front seat passenger, and the rear seat passenger (first and second row occupants). TRW’s side airbags help protect the thorax, abdomen and pelvic area of the occupant and have an efficient initiating time and rapid airbag positioning. The safety supplier’s curtain airbag helps to protect up to three rows of passengers in side and rollover accidents. When coupled with a rollover sensor and TRW’s inflator solutions, the curtain airbag can help protect passengers in a rollover accident for up to six seconds while helping to mitigate occupant ejection.


For the first 20 years, Holden did all the work himself, with help from his wife, Harriett, who handled the books. He now has an employee, Bobby Van Speybroeck, who had previous worked at the shop. Like any longtime business, Holden has several regular customers. Holden was born and raised in Wichita Falls. His mother, Ann, and his older sister, Debbie Linton, owned and operated Holden’s Bookstore in Parker Square for years. His sister now teaches at Rider High School. Holden and his wife have been married for 37 years. He said they met at an ice cream social, then dated for five years in junior high and high school before getting married. They have a daughter, Shelley, and son Ronnie, who recently graduated from the University of Houston. Following his father’s interest in racing stock cars, Holden’s stayed around the sport as a mechanic and a crew chief until two years ago. He now likes to race slot cars and ride bicycles. He rode in the Hotter‘N Hell bicycle ride last year for the first time and did 25 miles. “I consider this a mom-and-pop place,” he said. “We have some very loyal customers and we are very thankful for them. Most are like family and we have chairs out to sit and visit.” Holden said he plans on working for another 15 to 20 years. “I don’t want to retire. Taxidermy me here, stand me up and I will be waving at people,” he said, laughing. Holden Auto Center is located on 1903 Holliday. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Its telephone number is (940) 766-1465. Reprinted with the kind permission of the Wichita Falls’ TimesRecordNews

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Widening Vehicle Age Gap Drives Product Differences “Over the past ten years, the age gap between domestic and foreign vehicles on U.S. roads has widened. With the significant changes in annual new vehicle sales and mix since 2008, this age difference has shifted into overdrive.” “The expanding age gap between domestic and foreign vehicles is creating differences in the types of products used in the repair and maintenance of foreign and domestic cars and light trucks in the U.S.” At the turn of the new millennium, there was a 1.9 year difference in the average ages of domestic and foreign light vehicles in the U.S. This age gap expanded to 2.2 years in 2007, and then exploded to 2.5 years at the beginning of 2010, as a result of new domestic cars and light trucks plunging in annual volume and sales share. With foreign vehicles capturing approximately 55% of new unit volume in 2010, up from 42% share just five years ago and only 26% of 1997 new vehicle sales, the age difference between foreign and domestic vehicles in the U.S. will continue to increase. Lang Marketing estimates by 2015 there will be more than a 3.6-year difference in average age between domestic and foreign cars and light trucks in the U.S.

Impact on Repair Products Used Sinking new domestic vehicle sales and the resulting increase in domestic vehicle age are changing the types of products used in the repair and maintenance of domestic vehicles.

Falling Dealer Repair of Domestic Vehicles Less work will be conducted by Dealers on domestic vehicles, reflecting the increasing age of domestic vehicles as well as the declining number of domestic Dealers. This will shift more domestic vehicle repair to Independent (non-Dealer) Service outlets. Less OE Product Use on Domestics, More Aftermarket Product Use As the Independent (non-Dealer) Service market captures an increasing share of repair and maintenance for domestic cars and light trucks, OE brand use for domestic vehicle repair will decline and aftermarket brand use will rise.

Secondary Impact of Older Domestic Vehicles While the increasing age of domestic vehicles will expand Independent Service market product volume, the growing age of domestic vehicles will also prompt

owners to seek more economical vehicle repair, with implications for the types of repair outlets they select as well as the products used.

“Value” Products for Domestic Repair Older domestic vehicles in the U.S. will increase the use of “value” brands, products which provide acceptable levels of quality, but have lower prices.

Shift in Brand Share In both the DIY and DIFM segments, “value” products will increase their domestic vehicle aftermarket product share over the next five years, as the average age of domestic vehicles increases, escalating consumer price sensitivity in terms of vehicle service and products. Different Pattern for Foreign Vehicle Brand Use Increases in foreign car and light truck age in the U.S. will progress at a slower rate than domestic vehicle age gains, as foreign models threaten to expand beyond their present 55% share of new vehicle sales.

Foreign Dealers and Foreign Specialists Dealers will maintain a large share of foreign car and light truck repair, and Foreign

Specialists will continue expanding their foreign vehicle Service market share. Both of these outlet groups prefer OE parts and parts produced by OE suppliers and foreign manufacturers. As a result, “value” products will not increase their share of foreign vehicle aftermarket product volume. The only shift in product brand use in the foreign vehicle aftermarket will be an increase in Service market share of brands produced by OE suppliers as well as growth of selected foreign brands.

Growing Difference Between Products Used in Domestic and Foreign Vehicle Repair Over the next five years, “value” brands will increase their product share in the domestic vehicle Service and DIY Markets; while OE brand share will decline in the domestic vehicle repair market. In contrast, OE brand share and share of aftermarket products from OE suppliers as well as foreign brands will remain strong in the foreign vehicle aftermarket, creating a brand dichotomy between the foreign and domestic vehicle segments of the Service and DIY Markets in the U.S. 'From Aftermarket Insight™ by Jim Lang, President of Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.,' | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 27

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Gonzo’s Toolbox

There’s a New Wrench in Town with Gonzo Weaver

A Volkswagen Beetle was left in my parking lot one cold morning. It was one of my regular customer’s ‘01 diesel Beetle. All I knew of the problem was that it wouldn’t start. “Let’s check a few things first,” I said. I pulled out one of the glow plugs to check it for wear and tear and see if it was getting the necessary voltage to warm it up. All was well. In fact they looked fairly new. I checked to see if the resistance was correct… right on the money. I cracked open a fuel line to one of the injectors … no fuel…. No fuel?? Hey, wait a minute… isn’t that kinda necessary?? The tank was full, but no fuel pressure at the lines. One of the things to worry about with a diesel is air in the fuel lines…. Anytime these engines get any air in the fuel lines… oops… they will be hard to start or not start at all. Ask anyone with a diesel that has ran out of fuel how long it took to get it started again. Well, before I start tearing into other possibilities, this would be a good time to shoot a little starting fluid down its throat and see if I can get a burp or two out of the little engine. I want to be sure there are no “mechanical” issues with the engine. A couple of quick shots of ether and crank of the key and Shazaam!! Started right up…. Hold on hold on…. fuel is spurting everywhere.. Shut it off... Shut it OFF now!! Looking under the fuel distributor you could see that the fuel was actually coming out of the two halves of the distributor. Apparently the gasket or housing to the distributor has developed a major leak. My guess would be probably from the cold. Air was getting into the fuel lines, but once the engine spun fast enough to overcome the air rushing in from the bad distributor it then was able to start. I called the customer and gave him the bad news. The biggest problem was cost. A fuel distributor isn’t a cheap part by any means. Luckily for the owner he was still covered under the factory 100K mile warranty, but barely. It was about 500 miles shy of going over the mileage. The obvious next step would be to have the car towed to the dealership. All the work could be completed under the warranty and save the customer from a huge repair bill. Nothing like a warranty when it actually pays off on an expensive part… I’m actually more relieved myself. It’s not the easiest job by any means. Oh, I’ll do it, but given a choice between changing a fuel distributor or taking a swift kick, I’ll take the swift kick. At this point I’m through. I did my part, diagnosed the problem and sent it on to the proper repair facility to have it done. What more should I do? Then the phone

rang, it’s the owner of the car. He was quite calm on the phone.. I couldn’t believe what he was telling me. In a very calm and collective voice the owner said, “The tech at the dealer says it needs new glow plugs, new glow plug relay, and a new glow plug harness.” Once the initial shock wore off, I began to laugh. “You’re kidding me,” I answered, laughing the whole time. “No, that’s what the man said,” he said, with a little smirk in his voice. He asked me, “Do you want to call them?” “No, let’s see if they want to call me,” I replied. “I already know what’s wrong with the car. Let’s try this; ask them if they will guarantee the repair and make it right if that doesn’t fix the problem,” I told him. “OK,” said my now-laughing owner. “This ought to be a fun adventure. I’ll play along with ya.” The phone rings again. It’s the tech from the dealer. I felt like it was one of those old western movies, where the bad guy strolls into the bar and says to the other cowboy, “This here town ain’t big enough for the both us.” I could hear that “western” movie music in the background. I was waiting for the “call out” any minute now. It’s the old “I’m the dealer tech and nobody knows more than me.” You know, I’m getting older, I may not be as fast as I use to be… but it’s still going to take more wrench than this spark plug has to get the best of this old gear head. If this guy would just listen to what he was saying, he could have figured out who the real cracked engine blockhead was. I’m getting a visual of him donning his dealership uniform and transforming himself into tat ta tat da…. SUPER MECHANIC!! I’m honored to be in the presence of such a marvel of the auto world. Could I have finally met my match, am I to be put down at high noon like the Wild West gun slingers of old? High Noon, wrenches ready… let’s do this cowboy. He proceeded to tell me that he had a code for an intermittent glow plug signal and that they had records showing that the glow plugs were changed at the dealership 2 years ago. Naturally, that was what was wrong with it. He didn’t need another shop to tell him that, because he was perfectly capable of handling the repair and that the only reason he was making this call is because it was company policy to verify complaints if the customer didn’t agree with their diagnosis. Holy Wrenches, Hombres, at least we have that going for us… You know, there are times I’d just like to


This is a new story by Scott “Gonzo” Weaver as posted on his website, See his book “Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut”, which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. The book is available at Contact Gonzo at give these snot nose, green horn, socket jockeys a quick thwack on the noggin. But, this kid was lucky, I wasn’t in the mood to belch out my usual “you’re too young kid, you’re going to need a little more grease in the right places before ya go messin’ with this old wrench” speech. Instead, I was going to give him another chance to rethink his diagnosis. “How did you arrive at that conclusion,” I asked. “I had a code for it, and these cars have a history of problems with the glow plugs,” he very proudly stated. “Did you check the glow plug themselves?” I very calmly asked. “Well, they were changed 2 years ago,” he answered. First mistake. “Let me get this straight, you found a code, you didn’t check it, and now you want to change the part… is that it?” I said in a stern manner. “I don’t need to check it, I already know,” he quickly countered. “I hate tell you this, but that code is there because of me. I pulled the glow plug out and hand checked it. I even checked the resistance value on the glow plug and the incoming voltage. I didn’t see a thing wrong with the glow plug circuit. Did you by chance notice the raw fuel under the fuel distributor?” I asked in a even more stern voice. “Yeah, I saw the fuel. I washed it off.” he answered confidently. “It started to stink up the shop. The car was directly under the shop heater and the other techs were complaining of the fumes. Not like it had anything to do with the repair anyway. You guys’ are just a little sloppy, you should clean up things better next time.” “That fuel you saw is from the fuel distributor housing,” I told him. “Oh, you know, all these customers are all alike; they’re just trying to get stuff done for nothing while it’s still under the warranty. So, it’s no big deal,” he answered. Oh please, don’t tell me this kid had the nerve to say that. It reminds me of all those comments that small children say to strangers in a crowded room. Usually out of context and never under the right circumstances and, most often, with their parents standing right there totally embarrassed by the whole thing. Another mistake, keep going kid… it’s just keeps getting better. “I think you should put this car back outside and check it in the morning after it gets good and cold. It’s going to leak again, that I’m sure of.” I told the new wrench. “I’m going to have to ask my service writer about that, because I’m very sure of the repair work that I have already diag-

nosed. So, like I said... This is just a courtesy call... not a call to tell me how to fix it.” He said in a very insistent tone. “OK fella, have it your way. I’m just trying to help you out. I didn’t spill a drop of fuel. That fuel you saw came from the distributor not from anything else.” I said, trying to get my point across. “I understand, but you know, here at the dealership we have the most sophisticated equipment and can diagnose these problems better and quicker than you can,” he answered. The mistakes kept adding up.About now I’m shining my wrenches for a showdown… somebody is going to get it, and it ain’t me. I think, if I were him, I would be concerned that the glow plugs that were installed 2 years ago have failed again, seems pretty odd to me that the glow plugs wore out that quickly. But this young wrench head is strictly going by the code and not diagnosing the problem. I told him, “Wouldn’t it be proper procedure to clear the code and then recheck. Chances are it was a false code due to the fact that I had disconnected it earlier.” He didn’t seem to be interested in my comments. As I expected, the dealership called the owner and told him that they were going to do “further” testing. The next day the owner called me back again with even more astonishing news. “The dealer tech said that the raw fuel was from the glow plug that you took out,” the owner said laughingly. I figured the tech was trying to cover his tracks. A week later the little ‘01 Volkswagen had a new fuel distributor and a happy owner. All under warranty, and it didn’t need those new glow plugs replaced… imagine that. This tech was just a young wrench with a chip on his shoulder. Trying to out wrench an old hand like myself was not a smart move. To top it off, the owner isn’t dumb about the whole thing either. A few more years under this young techs’ toolbox and he might just make it. I guess you could say that there was a showdown at high noon. Holster those wrenches boy, you’ve got some more miles to put under the hood before you’ll be ready for another showdown. I think it was a good lesson for the young ratchet head. Just because you’re dealing with an independent shop doesn’t mean they don’t know how to use those wrenches. So saddle up there youngster, I’m proud of ya, this was a good lesson for future endeavors. For me, the trigger finger is a little slower than it used to be… But I can still tell the stories… one wrench at a time.

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Welding specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his charitable works, worthy causes, and magic tricks. He can be reached at

Hey Toby!

Heat? On a Toyota Front Frame Rail? No Way! with Toby Chess

Hey Toby: Can you tell me how much heat can be applied to the front frame rail on a 2008 Toyota Tacoma. I had an adjuster said that I could use low heat if I monitored it. —Mario from Whittier

Hey Mario—Toyota says no heat period. Cold straightening only. You need to have the CRIB (Collision Repair Information Bulletin) from Toyota and give it to any insurance adjuster who wants you to heat structural parts in the future. After receiving this note, I was thinking about importance of having the technical knowledge prior to writing an estimate. About the same time I was visiting with Marco Mamoine of Marco’s Autobody in San Gabriel (CA). Marco is one of the most anal individuals on doing repairs by the book. One time I watched him torque the rear bolts on the rear subframe on a BMW. When he was finished, he marked every bolt head with red paint (as per BMW guide lines). I don’t think the mechanics at a BMW dealership go that far. Well, when I got to the shop Marco and his mechanic were working on a 2010 Toyota Corolla. The engine need to be removed for access to the front frame rail. Both men had small picks, screw drivers, mirrors, lights and everything else under the sun on a service cart next to the car. They were trying to remove the engine wire loom that is attached to the fuse box on the left apron. I watched them for 15 minutes trying to find the release for the wire loom, but could not find it. I tried and Marco kept saying “don”t you break it” plus a few superlatives. I thought it would be to let him break it, so I backed off. After another 5 minutes he said that we needed to look up the removal procedures on TIS (Toyota’s Technical Information Service— We started searching the collision section, but the information was not there. I suggested that we look in the mechanical section and sure enough we found the procedures to remove and install the engine. On the fuse box there are 2 black wires that are attached with 10mm nuts. Remove the nuts and 3 connectors and the whole engine wire loom comes off. Who would have guessed that two wires held in the unit. Back to car with the info and 1 minute later the wire loom was off. Who would have guessed it. The cost for TIS is less than a dollar a day. Every body shop that works on Toyotas needs to subscribe and if you don’t believe me,

take this following test and see if you can answer the questions.

1. Technician A states that SRS pig tail on Toyotas is not repairable. Technician B states that Toyota allows repairs to the SRS wiring and a special kit is available. Who is correct? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct 2. Technician A states that Toyota does not approve of reconditioning wheels. Tech B says that Toyota states in CRIB # 154 that no refinishing of an OEM is allowed. Who is correct? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct

3. Technician A states in CRIB # 170 that adhesion promoter is recommended on all OE raw plastic bumpers. Tech B states that flex additive is a substitute for adhesion promoter. Who is correct? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct 4. A 2009 Toyota Camry is involved in a collision. Technician A states according to CRIB #175 (Revised) that HSS occupant cabin reinforcement is repairable without heat. Technician B states the UHSS occupant reinforcements repairs are not recommended. Who is right? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct 5. How many SRS sensors are in a 2010 Toyota Camry? A. 6 B. 7 C. 8 D. 9

6. A HSS replacement part is being welded. Tech A states that MIG welding is acceptable. Tech B states that STSW is acceptable? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct 7.

A HSS replacement part is being

welded into place. Tech A states that ER70S6 should be used on frame replacement parts. Tech B states that ER70S3 should be used for unibody components. Who is correct? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct

8. A new hood is being replaced on a 2009 Toyota Camry. Tech A states that cavity wax is applied to the hood after painting. Tech B states that a soft chip primer is applied to lower front section of the hood. Who is correct? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct

Adhesive is used between the outer panel and the outer wheelhouse panel. Who is correct? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct

13. A Quarter panel is being replaced on a 2009 Toyota Camry. Tech A states that MIG brazing is used at the joint near the package tray. Tech B states that an OxyAcetylene torch with flux brass can be used. Who is correct? A. Tech A only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct

14. A Center post is being replaced on a 2010 Camry. Tech A states that the “B” pillar reinforcement is sectioned 35mm above a reference point as per the reThe Above picture is depicts the inner frame rail on a 2007 Toyota Camry. A is the front part of the rail, B&C are laser welds pair procedures manual. Tech B 9. Technician A states that Toyota has a states that butt weld with backer is used. partial replacement part procedure for the Who is correct? A. Tech A only inner rail. Tech B states that locations B B. Tech B only & C according to the Toyota Repair ManC. Both Techs are correct ual are section locations. Who is correct? D. Neither Tech is correct A. Tech A only B. Tech B only 15. A 2010 Camry has suffered sever C. Both Techs are correct damage to the rear of the vehicle. Tech D. Neither Tech is correct A states in CRIB #122 that rear body 10. Location A on the rail has minor dam- sectioning recommended because it age. Tech A states that in the Toyota Re- uses less welds and preserves more facpair Manual, the rail can be heated to 1150 tory welds and corrosion protection. degrees Fahrenheit with an only an induc- Tech B states in CRIB # 157 that the tion heater. Tech B states that cold OEM warranty is still valid with used straighten is allowed by Toyota on HSS. OE salvage parts, but is not covered with “imitation counterfeit” parts. Who Who is correct? is correct? A. Tech A only A. Tech A only B. Tech B only B. Tech B only C. Both Techs are correct C. Both Techs are correct D. Neither Tech is correct D. Neither Tech is correct 11. What kind of section joint is used Answers: when section the above rail? 1.a 2.a 3.a 4.b 5.d 6.c 7.d 8.c 9.d A. Tappered fillet 10.b 11.c 12.b 13.a 14.d 15.d B. Butt weld with backer C. Open butt weld If you missed more that a couple of the D. Flanged fillet questions, you need to subscribe to TIS 12. A Quarter panel is being replaced on and attend I-CAR’s POP 01 class along a 2009 Toyota Camry. Tech A states the with DAM 08. You can e-mail me at tcCRIB #176 (revised) allows use of adhe- and I will be glad sive bonding and weld bonding. Tech B to explain the correct answers. | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 31

California Tinkers with Distracted Driving Legislation for 2010

Distracted driving update: After the success of his cell phone and text messaging legislation, State Sen. Joe Simitian is back in 2010 with a plan to more than double fines for distracted driving violations. The full Senate approved the bill on June 3 and it advances to the Assembly. Currently: ● Adult drivers (18 and older) are banned from using cell phones unless they employ hands-free devices. ● Drivers may not use wireless devices to to write, send, or read anything textbased. ● Minors are prohibited from using wireless phones while driving—with or without hands-free accessories. ● School bus operators and transit bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving. Cell phone and text-messaging fines: First offense $20. Other convictions, $50. “With court costs and penalties, the true costs of those tickets are $76 and $190, respectively,” the Los Angeles Times reports. A plan to more than double these fines has been approved by the state Senate. Senate Bill 1475 would increase fines for using handheld cell phones or text messaging while driving to $50 (first offense) and $100. (Current fines are $20/$50.) It would mandate a drivers li-

cense point for each offense. Bicyclists would be included in the cell phone and texting prohibitions, but fines would be $20/$50 with no points (per amendment of April 6). The measure provides $10 of each fine to education programs about the dangers of distracted driving. Amended and approved by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee (April 6, 5–1 vote). Cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee (May 10, 6–3 vote). The full Senate approved the bill on June 3 in a 21–16 vote. State Sen. Joe Simitian, DPalo Alto, says he’s “heard repeatedly that the current fines are too modest. They wouldn’t be anymore” under SB 1475. The senator did back down a bit on the new fines for bicyclists due to protests from riders groups. Simitian’s law banning drivers’ use of handheld cell phones has resulted in “at least 700 fewer fatalities and 75,000 to 100,000 fewer collisions each year.” Simitian said Feb. 17 that California Highway Patrol data show “an immediate drop” of 40 percent to 50 percent in accidents linked to cell phone use. “We’ve been able to reduce the number of deaths and crashes even as we’ve seen more drivers and more cell phones out on the highway,” said Simitian. CHP says it has issued more than 231,000 tickets for use of handheld cell phones (as of January 2010).

Arizona Cell Phone Laws and 2010 Legislation

An Arizona Senate plan to ban text messaging while driving was approved March 22 and has advanced in the House. A similar texting bill by the same sponsor was defeated in a close vote in summer 2009. Currently: ● School bus operators may not use cell phones while driving. ● In Phoenix, drivers are prohibited from text messaging. 2010 cell phone and texting legislation includes SB 1334: Would outlaw texing by all drivers unless a hands-free device or voiceactivated function is employed. Fine $50/$200 if an accident occurs. Approved on Feb. 15 by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Public Debt. Defeated in the full Senate (due to tie vote) on March 2, but then approved on March 22 in a 19-10 vote. Bill now active in the House. (Melvin-Farley) Also HB 2656: Would prohibit restricted license holders under the age of 18 from using cell phones or wireless communications devices such as PDAs while driving. Violators would have restriction period extended by six months regardless of drivers’ age. (Farley) Also SB 1067: Seeks to prohibit drivers from viewing video images—includes TV, DVD. Would outlaw installation of these devices where screen can be seen by

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driver. Approved by the Senate on March 1 and transmitted to the House, where it was approved by the transportation committee. (Nelson) Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson, returned with legislation (SB 1334) calling for a ban on text messaging while driving on Arizona’s roads and highways. The texting bill was shot down in a tie vote on March 2. He asked for the Senate’s reconsideration since as many as eight senators were absent. The texting while driving bill was approved on March 22. In the 2009 session, Melvin’s Senate Bill 1443 included a provision to ban use of handheld cell phones, but that was stripped out in order to get the texting ban through. Even so, Melvin’s bill failed by two Senate votes. The Senate’s Republican president and its minority leader both oppose laws against texting while driving. Verizon, Sprint Nextel and AT&T are expected to support texting bans in Arizona. Phoenix’s ban on texting while driving, enacted in 2007, has resulted in an average of 1.5 tickets per month, as of November 2009. Police claim enforcement of the texting ban is quite difficult. On Feb. 23 Coconino County’s supervisors rejected a plan that would have outlawed texting while driving. They backed state efforts to rein in texting behind the wheel.

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Nevada Holds Out on Distracted Driving Legislation

The 76th regular session of the Nevada Legislature began on Feb. 7, 2010. There was no session in 2010. There are no current prohibitions on cell use while driving in Nevada, however, distracted driving has been cited as the No. 1 cause of fatal traffic accidents in Nevada. 2009 legislation included SB 136: Would prohibit text messaging while driving on Nevada’s roads. OK’d by the full Senate vote on April 8, 2009, but died in committee in the Assembly. The wording was resurrected in the Senate on the final day of the legislative session and folded into an unrelated motorcycle bill, SB 309. New state Sen. Shirley Breeden, DHenderson, authored the 2009 texting bill. “I’m not going to give up the fight,” she said after SB 136 was smothered by an Assembly committee. The text messaging legislation received strong support from law officers in an Assembly hearing on April 23. The fine would be $75 but no points. “This legislation is not just for children,” she said. “It is for all of us.” Numerous states are banning texting and cell phoning for teenage drivers, and opposition has emerged to the bills because they do not cover adults. Young drivers complain that they are being singled out. Teenagers, by far, are the largest consumers of text messaging services.

The Nevada Senate’s Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee amended and approved the anti-texting and driving bill SB 136 on March 27, 2009. Breeden’s bill was first considered in the Senate Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee on Feb. 18. The usual enforcement questions were raised. Committee chairman Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, said: “If California can pass (a texting bill) with 36 or 37 million people over there, somehow their law enforcement is working with this new law, so you know, we need to make the same statement.” A spokesman for the state Office of Traffic Safety said it may not take a position on Breeden’s plan to outlaw text messaging by drivers, or on similar legislation to prohibit the use of cell phones not connected to hands-free devices. The 2007 legislative session saw only one bill regarding drivers and cell phones: a plan to ban drivers under 18 from using the wireless devices. Sen. Dennis Nolan, R-Las Vegas, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said of cell phone driving legislation: “Knowing our Legislature, it will have a tough time. Nevadans are independent and like their liberties.” In 2003, Nevada prohibited local governments from regulating cell phones in automobiles.

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Survey Shows Talking and Texting While Driving on Decline

Nationwide Insurance has conducted a survey on mobile phone use while driving. U.S. drivers have cut back on talking and texting, thanks in part to distracted-driving laws, legislation and awareness, according to the survey. About 40 percent of drivers who admit to texting while behind the wheel say they do it less frequently than they did a year ago. Of the 47 percent of drivers who say they engage in phone conversations while on the road, 30 percent reported that they do it less than last year. While the time spent on these distracted driving behaviors apparently is down, the percentage of people who admit to texting and talking while behind the wheel held steady. “This is the first survey we’ve seen showing drivers making positive changes in their behavior, but there are still too many drivers who either don’t realize just how dangerous distractions behind the wheel are, or are willing to take that risk,” said Bill Windsor, Nationwide’s associate vice president of Consumer Safety. Nationwide has done a number of studies on distracted driving behaviors. In this survey, Harris Interactive spoke with 1,005 drivers, enough to provide a representative sample for the nation. The survey relies on self-reporting, always a problem with illegal or dangerous behaviors. “The stigma now associated with

distracted driving may also have fewer people willing to admit they do it,” Windsor says. Hands-free devices are used by about half of the drivers in the West, where California and Washington are among the states that require their use for motorists using cell phones. In the Midwest, the percentage of drivers who said they used hands-free frequently was only 13 percent. Overall, 65 percent of the drivers said they rarely or never used hands-free attachments for cell phones. Other finding in the distracted driving survey: ● Drivers who made more than $100,000 a year were more than twice as likely to use hands-free devices than those who made less. ● Two-thirds of those who use hands-free accessories say they feel safer while driving and talking. ● Drivers with touch-screen cell phones are more likely to talk and text. 40 percent of them say it makes text messaging and dialing easier than with conventional cell phones. ● Curiously, 18 percent say they have programmed a GPS device while driving, almost the same percent who report that they look for radio stations while behind the wheel. ● Putting on makeup—often cited as a danger by opponents of distracted driving bills— registered with only 3 percent of drivers. The survey of adults 18 and over was conducted between April 20 and 27.

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Texting & Under-18-Cell-Use While Driving Illegal in Georgia...

... Not So in Florida and Alabama, Legislators Baulk

No under-18 Calls While Driving The Governor also signed a separate law, House Bill 23, that forbids anyone under 18 from using a cell phone while driving. Young drivers caught using a cell phone while behind the wheel may be fined $150, and if they become involved in an accident while on the phone, the fine doubles to $300. The bill provides the following revised penalties for violations: ● Aggressive driving 6 points

Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, a coauthor of the bill, told the St. Petersburg Times: “What can you do when someone just locks

Georgia SB 360, also known as Caleb’s Law, named after a teen who died in a December car crash while texting and driving, has been signed by Governor Sonny Perdue. The law forbids texting while driving in the state of Georgia. The state now joins 27 others that have enacted similar bans. The Georgia law applies not just to writing a text message while driving, but also to the sending of it or the reading of “any text-based communication” on a “wireless telecommunications device.” Wireless telecommunications device means a cellular telephone, a textmessaging device, a personal digital assistant, or a stand alone computer. Starting July 1, drivers who are caught reading, writing or sending any kind of text message, including emails, could face a $150 fine and a point on their driver’s license.

● Reckless driving 4 points ● Unlawful passing of a school bus 6 points ● Improper passing on a hill or a curve 4 points ● Exceeding the speed limit by more than 14 miles per hour but less than 19 miles per hour 2 points ● Exceeding the speed limit by 19 miles per hour or more but less than 24 miles per hour 3 points ● Exceeding the speed limit by 24 miles per hour or more but less than 34 miles per hour 4 points ● Exceeding the speed limit by 34 miles per hour or more 6 points ● Disobedience of any traffic-control device or traffic officer 3 points ● Too fast for conditions 0 points ● Possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage while driving 2 points ● Failure to adequately secure a load, except fresh farm produce, resulting in loss of such load onto the roadway which results in an accident 2 points ● Violation of child safety restraint requirements, first offense 1 point ● Violation of child safety restraint requirements, second or subsequent offense 2 points ● Violation of usage of wireless telecommunications device requirements 1 point All other moving traffic violations which are not speed limit

Two lawmakers have dug in their heels on texting while driving legislation, effectively killing texting bills in Florida and Alabama. In Florida, the chairwoman of the House Finance and Tax Council says the primary bill that would ban texting and driving is “intellectually dishonest.” She refused to allow a vote on its merits. Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, says HB 41 is “not stalled. It’s dead.” (HB 41 is the companion to SB 448, which is moving ahead in the Senate.) Bogdanoff’s objection is because the bill bans behaviors that she says are already covered under state careless driving laws. Like many opponents of distracted driving legislation, she has called for a bill that covers less dangerous activities like putting on makeup—a bill that could never pass. “Never mind the fact that more than a dozen bills on the topic were offered during this session, or that Gov. Charlie Crist was poised to sign a texting ban,” the Sunshine State News wrote in blasting Bogdanoff. Bogdanoff is an attorney. She admits to texting behind the wheel and notes that we are a “multitasking society now.” Bogdanoff email:

down and says, ‘I am not going to move forward,’ which she clearly has done?” “What happened in Florida is just appalling to me,” said Jennifer Smith, the president of the survivors advocacy group FocusDriven. In Alabama, hopes for a text messaging while driving ban were crushed when a band of lawyers serving in the Senate insisted on inserting language that favors plaintiffs in crashes linked to texting. Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, was the ringleader—an attorney who is a key player on the Senate Judiciary Committee and had support of its chairman— another attorney. An insurance company objected to the lawyers’ provision, which presumed negligence on the part of a text-messaging driver in a crash. (More lawsuits meaning more attorney fees.) The debate brought the distracted driving plan to a halt as time ran out on the legislative session. The bill, HB 35, had easily won approval in the state House and had broad support in the Alabama Legislature. The Huntsville Times editorialized: “Opponents of this ban should be ashamed of themselves for killing this life-saving bill. … Bedford, Alfa (the insurance group) and whoever else torpedoed the text ban law are wrong. … (Their) excuses, frankly, don’t make sense.”

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principal with Chelsea Group and D.D. Partners, a marketing and organizational consulting company with clients like Dupont, BASF, LKQ, Carstar and ABRA. Delmege’s topic, “A Perfect Storm,” had elements that will be included in a June 28th issue of Claims Magazine, under the title: “Watch Out For That Fourth Step.” With more than thirty years in the collision industry, Delmege promised to enlighten the group on what to do about the situation where 40,000 shops in the U.S. are competing for the declining amount of collision repair work that could easily be handled by 8,000 shops. Delmege’s initial premise was that of those 40,000 shops, less than 25% were really restoring repaired vehicles to a manufacturer’s standard for a pre-accident condition. He said repairs by the majority of shops have hidden repair flaws, defects and omissions, many of which can compromise the safety of the vehicle on the road. He also pointed out that most of those shops are paid the same for faulty work as the shop that does it right. He noted that today’s qualityconscious consumer who demands organic food, asbestos-free products, perfectly safe child car seats and the ultimate in other safe products and services for her children,

would not tolerate the hidden flaws in collision repairs if she knew about them. He asserted that a shop that does it right and effectively communicates that difference between his shop and others could command far more business and a fair price for the quality of work delivered. To reinforce his premise, Delmege noted that he had traveled to the U.K. to see for himself if reported positive changes in the British collision repair industry had really occurred. He concluded that they had, mainly because they are dictated by a new government practice of certifying shops. Those shops are now required to have proper tools, equipment, training for technicians and consistently repaired vehicles to exacting standards. A seal of certification is issued to compliant shops and those that fail to pass regular inspections lose their certification. Insurance companies in the U.K. will no longer grant a DRP to a shop that does not meet these certification standards. Delmege speculated that a similarly enforced standard in the U.S. would result in a very different approach by insurance companies when establishing their DRP relationships.While recognizing how unlikely it would be for this ideal situation to come about in the U.S. any time soon, Delmege told shop owners at the meeting that they could start now to capitalize on their superior quality. If they can prove to prospective customers that, unlike most of their compe-

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tition, they repair vehicles correctly with no hidden flaws or defects that might render their vehicle unsafe, Delmege says they could capture far more business. Delmege’s talk received enthusiastic applause and many positive comments from shop owners and managers afterwards. While the fraud arrests in Orange County were not addressed during the meeting, I spoke to a number of shop owners and managers before and after and asked about the BAR sting operation. Henry Oviedo, Collision Center Manager for Santa Monica Ford, said he hoped other shops would take the steps he has always taken to prevent problems with the BAR. He trains his people carefully in how to deal with customer requests that could lead to fraud and so has never had a problem with the BAR. Jeff Johnson, manager at Marcos Auto Body in South Pasadena said nearly the same thing. Anna Garzzia, owner of Collision Course Auto Body in Reseda said she had had a minor run-in with the BAR over a storage issue. She thought the Orange County sting was politically motivated. Armen Besnelian, owner of Oxnard Collision Center in North Hollywood expressed a similar skepticism. It seemed unlikely that the BAR would have much success trying to sting the kind of shop owner participating in this chapter of the CAA. These people appear to always put quality first.

Continued from Page 24


spite knowing it was going to be used to commit insurance fraud are looking at a felony conviction and up to five years in state prison. “One of the dishonest operators was so bold that he advised our undercover investigator how to inflict more damage to the car to maximize the claim. Some of the defendants charged are owners of repair shops and others are employees. We will continue to investigate whether these were orchestrated fraudulent schemes or just opportunistic crimes.”

One of those arrested, Sergio Perez, who owns USA Auto Collision in La Habra—said he was innocent when booked. “I don’t have any idea about any insurance fraud. I’m doing everything OK. I don’t understand why they arrested me. We write estimates according to what the client tells us,” said Perez, 44, who has owned the shop for eight years. “My record is clean and I do everything professionally. This surprised me.” All those accused are innocent until a court of law, not the DA, says otherwise. See related article and CAA guidelines this issue. Dyke Huish, Criminal Defense Attorney 949-837-8600 (Office)

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Enterprise Holdings Commits to ‘Lean and Green’ with Reduced Energy Use and Energy Costs by 20 Percent Over Next Five Years

Enterprise Holdings, North America's largest and most comprehensive service provider in the car rental industry, has announced its commitment to reduce both energy use and energy costs by 20 percent over the next five years through a new sustainability initiative the company is calling its 20/20 Vision. Through an upfront investment in energy-saving technologies and conservation practices, the company expects to decrease the environmental impact of neighborhood car rental branches and airport facilities it owns and operates through its regional subsidiaries. The company expects to reduce energy costs by $50 million. “The 20/20 Vision aligns the interests of our customers, employees and partners with the long-term interests of our business by expanding our environmental commitment through every level of our operations,” said Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which operates the Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands, “Proactively reducing our energy use and natural resource consumption not only decreases our impact on the environment, but also will result in cost savings to ensure the sustainability of our business.” The 20/20 Vision was developed based on recommendations by Enterprise Holdings’ Chairman’s Task Force on Sustainability, a cross-section of the company’s departmental leadership, that is leading an assessment of the company’s operations to identify opportunities to make significant, positive changes. Using these recommendations, operations managers throughout the company are developing energy and cost reduction goals. Initial changes, such as using more energy-efficient lighting and switching to energy-saving software tools, at the company’s headquarters in St. Louis and across more than 7,600 neighborhood and airport locations will lead to a dramatic reduction in the company’s energy use and costs. “We have developed a lighting retrofit program to help operations managers measure and reduce the cost of lighting in branches. It’s simple to use: just plug in the number of light fixtures and the program automatically calculates the cost savings of switching from, say, T12 florescent bulbs and ballasts to enhanced T8 bulbs. They’re about 70 percent more efficient,” said Meghan Maguire, Public Relations Specialist at Enterprise, “We also feel strongly that we need to reduce the amount of water we are using within our operations. Our customers expect and deserve clean rental cars, and we want to become more effi-

cient in providing those in a way that uses the least amount of water. We are conducting a study on this topic currently.” Enterprise Holdings began piloting the 20/20 Vision in select markets in 2009. Based on the success of those pilots, the company is now rolling out the program companywide – nationally and internationally, across the Alamo, Enterprise and National brands. “At our corporate headquarters in St. Louis, we invested $107,000 in energysaving lighting in our parking garage that we estimate will result in approximately 800,000 kWh of savings, and will save approximately $50,000 per year in energy costs. And at one of our administrative offices in Southern California, we invested $20,000 in new parking lot lighting that will result in more than 110,00 kWh of savings, and $14,000 of energy cost savings per year,” said Maguire. This announcement marks the next evolution of the company’s industry-leading environmental platform that includes initiatives such as a customer carbon offset program; a pledge to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years; an unparalleled fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles, FlexFuel vehicles, and gas/electric hybrids; the use of biodiesel fuel in its Alamo, Enterprise and National airport shuttle buses; and a commitment to alternative fuels research. “Through our regional subsidiaries, Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-ACar and National Car Rental operate the world's largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles with approximately 410,000 vehicles that average a highway fuel efficiency rating of at least 28 mpg and more than 230,000 that average 32 mpg or better,” said Maguire, “In addition, we also have the largest fleet of hybrid vehicles in our industry: approximately 7,000 nationwide. Customers can reserve these hybrids online or by phone from nearly 100 Enterprise Rent-A-Car 'hybrid branches,' which carry a high concentration of hybrid vehicles and are located in 30 markets across the country, including the 10 busiest U.S. airports for business travel. And we continue to look for opportunities to procure more hybrids from the manufacturers.” Since 2006, Enterprise’s environmental stewardship has resulted in:

* In its first year, customer participation in the company’s carbon offset program, along with a match from the company’s charitable foundation, generated $440,000 to fund several certified offset projects that work to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. With partner TerraPass, these


projects offset 42,000 metric tons of carbon, which, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, is equivalent to saving 4.8 million gallons of gasoline and 98,000 barrels of oil.

* Annual recycling of approximately 710,000 gallons of used motor oil and more than 676,000 used oil filters through the Alamo, Enterprise and National brand operations.

* In 2010, the planting of the 5 millionth tree through the company’s 50 Million Tree Pledge, a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.

* Recognition in 2009 by the Environmental Defense Fund for the company’s new rental transaction system at its more than 7,600 locations worldwide – a network of 45,000 energy-saving thin client terminals deployed through the company’s regional subsidiaries, which will enable the company to cut its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 6.5 million pounds – a reduction of nearly 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per branch office per year.

* WeCar car-sharing technology – complemented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s extensive local car rental network – provides an environmentally friendly transportation solution, whether it is for an hour, a day, a weekend or longer. Totally automated and membership-based, WeCar serves local businesses, universities and government offices looking to enhance their fleet management operations and sustainability initiatives.

* Significant strides in alternative fuel research at the Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels focusing on the creation of biofuels from algae, soybean and camelina. Since the Institute was created in 2007 through a partnership between Enterprise and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, it has been awarded approximately $75 million in additional research grants. All told, over the past several years Enterprise Holdings and the Taylor family have contributed or pledged more than $120 million to environmental initiatives. For more information about the company’s full environmental platform, visit

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Premier Collision Center in New Orleans, LA, Mixes Environmentally Friendly Processes With Traditional Customer Service Methods with Erica Schroeder

Premier Collision Center in New Orleans, Louisiana opened in 2008 in the eastern New Orleans area to better serve customers after Hurricane Katrina. Beyond being the only shop in the area to use ONXY HD waterborne paints, Premier Collision Center also uses environmentally friendly products, sells damaged bumpers back to their suppliers, utilizes paint less dent repair processes and recycles old tires and bumper plastics in order to reduce their hazardous emissions and waste. When asked why Premier made the decision to go with waterborne paints when they opened in 2008, collision center manager Raymond Ducote said, “Most car manufacturers are using it more and more now, so we saw the opportunity and jumped on it.� Ducote also mentioned that he felt the color and clarity of waterborne paints were superior to solvent-based paints and worth the investment. Premier Collision Center is a Toyota certified collision repair shop; they also

works with 4 dealerships in the area: Premier Honda, Premier Kia of Kenner, Toyota of New Orleans and Premier Nissan of Metairie. With 12 employees working out of a 9500 square-foot shop, Premier Collision Center is able to see about 100 to 120 cars per month. Ducote said the shop opened in 2008 in the eastern New Orleans area because that area had not been rebuilt back to its pre-hurricane condition yet and a body shop was desperately needed to service customers in that area. This location also enables them to service the New Orleans metro area as well as other surrounding communities. Premier Collision Center also works with insurance company Direct Repair Programs (DRPs) to best service the customer’s needs. Premier is able to pull in about 1 million in total sales annually. Since Premier Collision Center is a Toyota certified shop they are required to use all of the latest tools and techniques.

Kneeling Left to Right: Louie Carle, Reggie Bergeron Standing: Raymond Ducote, Donnie Lejeune, Ricky Mauroner, Melvin Henry, Troy Robert, David Grerin, Trieu Hoang, Walter Cannon

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The front desk and waiting room area

One of the shop’s waterborne painting spray booths

The inside of the shop, one of the car lifts is shown

2 cars wait to be worked on inside Premier’s shop area

The front of the shop





Carmakers and Suppliers in Electric Car Parts Power Struggle

According to reports from Reuters, electric cars offer a chance to develop lucrative new technologies, and suppliers would benefit from grabbing more of this work—but they will have to fight carmakers keen to hold on to control of future profits. Over the years, suppliers have gradually taken on more of car development, now covering about 75 percent of the cost, but carmakers chasing elusive profits may want to reverse this trend to keep control of new electric vehicle (EV) technologies. “In an electric vehicle, the engine, in which a carmaker has a greater share, is taken away, the gearbox is taken away, and an electric motor and, most importantly, a battery are added,” said Henri Trintignac, head of EVs at French parts supplier Valeo. “If we imagine suppliers making 100 percent of the electric motor, electronics and battery, the carmaker’s share (of the cost of a car) would fall from 25 percent to around 10 percent,” said Trintignac, adding: “I don’t see them accepting that situation.” Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co., which are jointly investing in electric vehicles (EVs) to the tune of about 4 billion euros, has said he sees an EV’s battery as “the heart of the business.” Estimates vary, but the battery accounts for between a third and half of the final price

of an EV. Nissan’s Leaf is due to go on sale in Europe early next year, while Renault’s electric Kangoo and Fluence will arrive a few months later. Ghosn thinks electric cars could account for 10 percent of new vehicle sales by 2020, but many others are more cautious. HSBC analysts have estimated that EVs will win 4.5 percent of the total light vehicle market by then.

Batteries a potential gold mine Speaking at last year’s Frankfurt auto show, Ghosn said: “We won’t rely on someone else; we’re going to produce (batteries) internally.” Supplying batteries to another carmaker was not out of the question either, Ghosn said. But while Ghosn may want eventually to be a battery maker, too, most carmakers’ access to this potential gold mine with its complex and specific technology will have to come through joint ventures with specialist suppliers. Nissan itself already has a JV in place with Japan’s NEC Corp. to jointly develop the lithium-ion batteries for its Leaf EV hatchback, while Germany’s Daimler AG has a joint venture with Chinese battery maker BYD. Some carmakers are starting to think about what else they can claw back from sup-

pliers, said John Searle, CEO of battery maker Saft. “They are starting to think about what they have to do to replace their engine knowhow,” said Searle. “We have noticed that some clients—not all—are starting to say to themselves “electrochemistry is too complicated, too different,” but perhaps systems integration.”

Carmakers keep to keep control Barclays Capital analyst Kristina Church, who cited France’s Valeo and Germany’s Continental AG as leaders in electrical knowhow, agreed carmakers would not accept being “held to ransom” on certain technologies by suppliers. “I think they (carmakers) are certainly looking to make sure that they have some control over the development,” Church said. “They don’t want to just purely outsource it because they are aware that at some stage there will be a technology that becomes the technology of the future,” she added. With carmakers keen to stamp their ownership on these technologies through joint ventures and partnerships, and early investment costs high, the arrival of electric vehicles will be more of a risk than a reward for these suppliers, Church said. Saft’s Searle warned, however, that carmakers looking to explore new areas would

find it difficult to overturn the existing modus operandi, especially given the complexity of battery technology. “In the Western model, the carmaker buys all the key components, except the engine and the gearbox. The customer buys a fairly complete system to integrate into the car,” he said. “We think this is the model that some Western carmakers will continue to use because it is easier, they don’t need to make large investments,” added Searle. IHS Global Insight analyst Tim Urquhart agreed, saying there would not be a “sea-change” in the relationship between carmakers and suppliers, with their existing knowledge of the myriad components an EV will need. “The electric vehicle market is not just the batteries and the motors,” he said. “It’s the lights, the heating, the air conditioning systems. All this has to be absolutely optimized because if you have components draining the battery you’re not maximizing the range and the capability of the vehicle.” And, while keeping control of technology is lucrative, it’s important to recognize the risks, as competing technologies battle for dominance in the early stages. Warned Barclays Capital’s Church: “Not everyone is going to be spending the money in the right way.”

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Industry Insight

John Yoswick is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit He can be contacted by email at

Leaner, Faster, Smarter: “It Can’t Be Lean if it’s Not Clean” with John Yoswick

Much of what gets written and talked about regarding “lean” in collision shops focuses on recommended changes in the office and body department. But streamlining in those areas will only lead to backlogs if some lean-thinking isn’t done in the paint shop as well. “If an organization is truly going to be lean, the whole organization has to be lean-focused,” Amjad Farah, manager of business development for BASF Automotive Refinish and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, said. “There can’t be one part that’s not.” Farah and other experts on lean processes within the collision-repair industry weighed in recently on what’s different within the paint departments of shops implementing lean-focused problem solving to improve productivity. Here are some of their key suggestions. Standardize the processes. Farah said one signal a shop is thinking lean is when he sees a clear chart on the wall of the paint shop showing, for example, exactly what products and exact ratios the shop is using for its clearcoat. “There’s no ambiguity and it’s very specific to that shop: Here’s how we do it here,” Farah said. Part of reducing waste is standardizing the best practices, he said, clearly defining—even using photos when appropriate—products and processes to be used, and what quality standards must be met. This reduces time-wasting conflicts about, for example, what grits are used to finish body work or primer. It also can eliminate the need to stock multiple brands and variations of different products “preferred” by different employees. Should such standardization of materials come from the top of the organization down, or be left to employees to develop? A little of both, Farah said. “Management needs to get employees together and talking about it, so the employees can determine what’s best overall once they understand the goal,” he said. “Lean is about continuous improvement. That won’t happen if you’re not empowering employees to find better ways to do things, or if you haven’t shown them you’re going to listen.” Don’t wait to match. Eighty percent of the time wasted in the paint shop involves color matching, Steve Feltovich, manager of collision business consulting for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, said. “So you start to minimize the waste on color issues by getting ahead of it rather

than letting it get ahead of you,” he said. One key to this, he said, is ensuring the paint shop has—and is using—all the color tools available through the paint manufacturer. But just as lean-thinking shops try to eliminate delays in the process through “blueprinting”— a complete disassembly of the vehicle up-front to identify at the start all needed parts and processes—Feltovich said color matching should start before the vehicle reaches the paint shop. “Get color identification done during pre-planning and blueprinting process[es] so it’s proved out well before the car arrives in the paint department,” Feltovich said. Involve your paint supplier. Another source of potential waste in the paint shop: excess inventory of paint and materials. Feltovich said SherwinWilliams’ branches can work with shop customers on what is sometimes called a “kanban” inventory management system. “Kanban is a Japanese word that really only means signal,” Feltovich said. “The goal is to have just the products and amount of products on hand that you need, to have minimums and maximums established, and a signal system in place that indicates when you’ve used something and when it will need to be replenished. It’s about just-in-time stock and inventory management.” Such a system could be electronic, using a barcode system and computerized inventory, or as simple as a tagging system on paint and materials cabinets in the shop. The system is less important, Feltovich said, than keeping the goal in mind: having just what you need when you need it. “When you reduce inventory and over-stocking, your people also become more conscious of what they use,” he said. “It changes their behavior. They tend to become more conservative, more conscious of waste and in doing things right the first time because they don’t have excess material to throw at their mistakes.” Get organized. Once you’ve eliminated unneeded or overlapping products and materials from your paint inventory, put what your techs need at their fingertips, suggested David Knapp, senior manager of business solutions for PPG Industries. Knapp said it may be helpful to have a paint prepper, for example, keep a list of every tool and product he uses for a week. Then go through the list and identify the items that he uses every day. Those are the items that should be included on a “point-of-use” cart, always within easy reach.


Knapp said Mission Viejo Auto Collision in Mission Viejo, CA, took the idea one step further. “Using the list of what they used every day, they cut the shapes of those items out of a piece of foam they bought at an upholstery shop, and put the foam on the top of the cart,” Knapp said. “They dropped those items into the foam, and now there’s not room for anything else, so it avoids the cluttered mess I see on prep carts in many shops.” Provide information visually. Knapp said even in shops where language barriers aren’t an issue, providing information to employees in ways other than just writing can help reduce wasteful mistakes and oversights. PPG’s “lean” training, he said, includes “visual mapping,” using symbols and markings on the actual vehicle to indicate, for example, what panels are to be blended, what should be done with pre-existing rock chips on a hood, etc. “One extra piece of visual mapping that affects the paint shop could be ‘loose

parts,’” Knapp said. “A body man might remove a bumper cover or mirror or molding that may need to be painted. Make that part of the mapping process. Write down on the drivers’ window of the vehicle how many loose parts there are, so the paint department makes sure they’re in the booth at the same time.” Look for wasteful, nonvalue-added processes. Steve Trapp, collision services development manager for DuPont Performance Coatings, said waste in the paint department can be as basic as using 2-inch masking tape when 1.5-inch or narrower will do the job. “You see people still papering the car instead of just using plastic to mask even through the plastic is now sufficient to keep [overspray] paint from flaking off,” he said. “You can now just tape the plastic right to the blend area, so that whole activity of masking the car with paper is no longer necessary.” Changes in products and processes, he said, have similarly eliminated the need for wet-sanding. Choosing the right size

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DA sander can reduce the repair area. Can’t fully mask a car because you still need to be able to drive it through the paint shop? “What if you used magnets to hold the plastic down so you can still drive it into the booth, then quickly pull the magnet off and reposition the plastic and use strip magnets to hold it down,” Trapp suggested. “That’s a good lean-thinking solution.” Schedule smarter. Trapp said one key aspect of lean production is “flow,” developing a steady, level stream of work moving throughout the shop each day. If the goal is to process $200,000 in sales in a 20-working-day month, for example, and the average job is $2,000, the goal for the paint shop is to produce five cars per day. In an 8-hour day, that means a car should be moving into the booth ready to spray every 96 minutes.

“So many shops don’t think that through,” Trapp said. “Their paint shop ends up with nine cars on Thursday, so the painter stays late, trying to make flow.” One way to achieve consistent flow, he said, can be to move resources. If the prep team may not have a vehicle ready to go for the next booth cycle, someone from detail may be pulled to help out. The real key, however, Trapp said, is [to] not look at that 96 minutes as a deadline but as a signal. “If you’re not achieving that flow, it’s your signal to stop and ask ‘why didn’t we,’ and the answer is the next problem you look to solve,” Trapp said. “You look for ideas to make that happen, to remove the barriers.” Focus on the whole. Trapp cautions that any single such idea may not be the right answer to immediately implement within a shop.

“You really first have to look at what problems you’re having,” he said. “If a change doesn’t address the particular constraint you’re having, it may be a good idea but not what you should be doing first. For a true lean-thinker, it’s all about solving a problem, not just implementing ideas.” At the same time, the paint company experts agree, the paint department shouldn’t be ignored during implementation of lean processes elsewhere in the shop. “For a shop that’s truly working on lean, it has to lean throughout, not just in body, not just in paint, not just in the office,” Farah said. “It’s as if there were a string that ties every part of the shop together. When one part of that string moves, it all needs to move, or the string is going to break. If an organization is truly going to be lean, the whole organization has to be lean-focused.”

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It starts with ‘cleaning house’. Perhaps the first step in getting “lean” in the paint shop is some simple house-keeping, Steve Feltovich, manager of collision business consulting for Sherwin- Williams Automotive Finishes, said. “It cannot be lean if it’s not clean,” Feltovich said, saying the industry has a mixed record at best in maintaining a clean working environment. “You can’t see all the problems through that dirt. Scales encrusted with months and years of paint ... yet they think that’s going to give an accurate measurement and color match? Or mixing machines so messy and disorganized you can’t quickly make sure every toner is pushed in when that mixing machine is spinning to make sure it’s properly mixed.” Lean operators, Feltovich said, understand that there are first health safety risks to an unclean paint shop. But they also have processes in place, for example, to prep and clean vehicles thoroughly before they are brought into the booth, rather than just masking over the dirt and bringing it into the booth — and potentially into the paint job. Booth maintenance—making sure fan blades and lighting fixtures are cleaned, and filters are changed regularly —also is part of lean, Feltovich said, because it drives down energy use. “It’s got to be bright. It’s got to be clean,” agrees Amjad Farah, manager of business development for BASF Automotive Refinish, when asked about paint shop cleanliness as part of “lean.” “That helps ensure you don’t make mistakes.” Farah said two of the pioneers in workplace time management were Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, a husband-and-wife team researching in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He said while Frank focused on process, Lillian understood that “the psychology of the worker within that process had a huge impact on output. “So if you have a really good process but really anxious, frustrated and angry people, it’s just not going to be as effective as one in which people are happy and energetic,” Farah said. “Having a clean, bright area to work in does have an impact on the psychology of your workers.”

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The Autoholics: A New TV Show Concept that might be Addictive by Ed Attanasio Special to Autobody News

Get ready for the craziest, most outrageous highly addictive automotive show on television. That’s if and when the pilot for The Autoholics hits the air in the near future. Crash Element Entertainment, in Los Angeles, the producers of the new show, is touting The Autoholics as a combination of the “Best Damn Sports Show” meets “Martha Stewart,” and is preparing to pitch it to the major TV networks, Creator, CoProducer, and Co-Host Diggity Dave told Autobody News. “We think this show would fit very nicely on Saturday right after the automotive racing. We think it’s worthy to be on one of the major networks where it can hit its prime audience every week. We feel this would be a perfect time of the weekend for automotive fans to watch The Autoholics.” Each week, The Autoholics will feature a panel consisting of some top names in the automotive and entertainment field, including Diggity Dave (credits include Pimp My Ride, Battleground Earth); Rich Evans (Chop Cut Rebuild, Monster Garage); Comic Billy Gardell (King of Queens, My Name is Earl); Bo Butner

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instruct its viewers. “Passion for anything automotive can become addictive and this show will provide an array of subjects—from new cars on the market, to celebrity car junkies, aftermarket gadgets, to bargain hunting for cars and The Autoholics discussion panel includes (from left) Flames, Rich Evans, Diggity car parts and acDave, comedian Billy Gardell and NHRA world champion driver Bo Butner cessories—and all the way to (NHRA world champion driver), and focusing on the best dealerships in the “Flames” (Host of Ford Motors Mustang country. We want to offer information that Alley/Gilpin Auto Sports). car enthusiasts can use and bring value to This assemblage of automotive ex- their car building projects,” Burk said. pertise will hold court every week on their Crash Element Entertainment benew and amazing set at Huntington lieves this show is both different and Beach Bodyworks, Rich Evans’ shop, groundbreaking. that’s been transformed into a rock ‘n roll “As a production company, we try to romper room. approach things from a fresh perspective Co-producer Joe Burk has co-created and coming from Pimp My Ride, I’ve ala show designed to entertain, inform and ways been looking out there for something

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that hasn’t been done yet. Joe and I are major car guys and we’ve always been trying to find a way to explore the idea of a show that hasn’t been there before. Plus, we both agree that the moment is right for a show like this. The car industry is growing despite the recession and there will always be an interest in cars, in the aftermarket and in tricking out cars. So we planted a seed and now it’s grown into this show.” The format of the show opens with a spirited roundtable discussion called “Rattle Off.” “We kick around topical news bits and talk about how we feel about things like the Toyota recall, for example,” Diggity Dave said. “Everyone has their own opinion on the issues of the day, and we’ll be tackling the automotive news in a big way that’s also fun.” After the opening back-and-forth, the show will bring out its VIP guest star to discuss his or her automotive career or history as a car aficionado. Other segments featured in The Autoholics will include Billy Knows Bling, in which the show’s guest star interacts with Billy Gardell to explore the coolest car gadgets out on the market and another segment, Dumpster Driving with Diggity

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“We know that a lot of women out there are into cars, so we want to help them and educate them whenever we can. Imagine being a soccer mom and learning how

to do your own basic oil change? We’ll teach them on this show. The ladies represent a significant part of our market and we recognize their role in the industry,” Diggity Dave observed. The show will entertain, but teaching its viewers how to do vehicle customizations and revealing the tricks of the trade is a main theme of the show. “We’ll also build a different car on every episode. It will be the ultimate do-ityourself project each and every week. We’ll be teaching our viewers on how to do every aspect of body work and upholstery. This show will cover it all,” Diggity said. Crash Element Entertainment was thrilled to get Rich Evans involved in The Autoholics. “Rich Evans is the hottest thing out there right now. He’s like a new Chip Foose and we’re really happy to be working with Rich. Doing the show at his shop provides a setting that’s ideal for what we want and working with Rich is a nobrainer,” said Burk. Evans is understandably enthused about the concept of the show. “Autoholics will be a success, I believe, because it has a great storyline and offers a ton of useful information that the audience can implement right away,” said Evans. “We built a 1964 Lincoln Convertible while filming the pilot over eight days. A lot

of people told me that they couldn’t do it, because all of the behind-the-scenes because it’s a very involved and extremely videos will be there, along with the procedifficult build, but we did it and the end re- dures for building these cars. It will be sult is amazing. My goal with this show is complementary aspect of the show, so to use the small screen to help people with we’re going to be using all of the technoltheir projects and that’s what we’ve ogy available to us, with a Web site that achieved with this show,” Evans said. will attract car fans from all over the The process producing the pilot has been a threemonth journey, but both Burk and Diggity Dave are very happy with the nearlyfinished product. “We’re just coming to the finish line right now. This is the biggest thing Crash Element Entertainment has ever done as a company. But we wanted to create a show that’s filled with useful information, so that peoA 1964 Lincoln Convertible was built during the pilot of The Autoholics ple can watch The Autoholics and learn something that they world,” Burk said. didn’t know before. Implementing those Stay tuned for The Autoholics. It two worlds—educational and entertain- should be appearing very soon on a staing at the same time—that’s a little tion near you, according to some of the tricky. We strived to make a show con- most engaging names in the automotive taining aspects that are balanced and will industry. If Autoholics need a different appeal to a wide range demographic.” kind of program to get into, and a netA big complement to the show will be work distributor steps up, this show a robust Autoholics web site. might be exactly what the public is “Viewers will be flocking to the site, revved up for.

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818.552.4760 818.246.8261 Fax | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 43

Lower Car Sales is “New Normal”

Nissan Says 2010 Leafs Sold Out

Thomas King of J.D. Power and Associates spoke in Fort Worth, Texas, at the National Automotive Finance Association’s annual conference. King was asked what we can expect as an annual sales rate in future. He thinks equilibrium for new retail sales is about 12 million. In the early years of this century, the sales rate was artificially inflated by aggressive incentives, he explained. King forecasts 9.7 million new retail sales this year, 11.3 million in 2011 and 12.5 million in 2012. If you add fleet sales to the total two years from now, that’ll come to 15 million light-vehicle sales. Profitability means lower volumes, lower incentives and higher transaction prices.

Nissan’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn, said that the company has received 19,000 orders in the United States and Japan for the electric car that it will start selling at year-end. The Leaf is scheduled to arrive in dealerships later this year, is meant to travel 100 miles on a full charge. More than six months before the Leaf arrives the preorders mean that the car is sold out for this year and that the company might stop taking reservations, Mr. Ghosn said during a visit to the Detroit Economic Club. “The preorders are such that we are very comfortable with what we have undertaken. The more we advance into it, the more comfortable we are with it.” Nissan plans to sell at least 500,000 e-cars in 2013.

UTI Pays Special Cash Dividend

Universal Technical Institute, Inc. a leading provider of technical training for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians, announced that its board of directors has declared a special cash dividend on UTI common stock of $1.50 per share, payable on July 16, 2010, to common stockholders of record as of July 6, 2010. “We are pleased our business is generating sufficient cash flow to operate and grow our business while returning excess liquidity to our shareholders,” said Kimberly McWaters, President and CEO UTI.

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U.S. Driving Tops Pre-Recession

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Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco, California. He can be reached at

San Francisco Body Shop Draws Hybrid-Owners with Niche Expertise with Ed Attanasio

Giannini’s Auto Body in San Francisco’s Bay Area has learned that being green can lead to further green down the road, but that’s not the only reason why they do it. By setting a high standard for doing anything and everything they can to prevent degrading the environment, body shops

Owner Mike Giannini (left) and Manager Joe Mason are working on more and more hybrids all the time at Giannini’s Auto Body in San Francisco

like Giannini’s are winning recognition and remaining busy year-round. They were an early adopter of waterborne, they run their shop using practices that are ultragreen and they’ve found a niche in fixing hybrids in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hybrids are more popular in San Francisco than in most parts of the country. “Toyota’s Priuses are very popular in the city and we’re seeing more of them coming through these doors all the time. Hybrids are definitely becoming a bigger part of our overall business and we’re gaining a solid reputation for working on them,” Manager Joe Mason told Autobody News. “We see it in our bottom line. We’ve seen a significant improvement in business and we’re working on more hybrids than ever. We run a green, clean operation. People feel better bringing their car here, because our shop is immaculate and they appreciate it the fact that we’re trying to run a green operation.” “Two things hybrid owners are obviously very conscious about—running a clean company and using earth-friendly methods. At first, we were getting a few here and there and now hybrids make up 25% of our revenue. They’re part of our daily life now and we’re very comfortable and confident to be working on them.” Giannini’s operates out of a 10,000square-foot facility, employs eight people

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and repairs an average of 40 cars monthly. The company does approximately $1.4 million per year in business and the shop is growing at a steady rate. In 2008, Giannini’s began fixing hybrids, and pretty soon the referrals began to pour in, Mason said. “We have two large,

Customer service is always stressed by Rochelle Mercurio, the office manager at Giannini’s Auto Body

very well-known hybrid mechanical repair shops here in San Francisco—Luscious Garage and Pat’s Garage. They’re leaders in the hybrid movement in the Bay Area and they’ve been a great referral source for us.” These hybrid specialists have made themselves available to Giannini’s for advice and assistance when needed, Mason said. “It’s very important that we’ve been able to call these people when we need information and they’re responsive and helpful—it’s refreshing. The hybrid circle is very connected around here and the people who work on these cars are a tight-knit group. They’re not super-competitive and they focus on the bigger picture. It’s not all about the money all the time.” Learning the issues surrounding working on hybrid vehicles involves primarily safety precautions and processes that include safely handling high-voltage in wiring and connections, Mason explained. “It’s a simple rule—disconnect their electrical system and don’t re-connect until the car is re-assembled. Safety is number one, because if you’re not very aware of it, that’s when accidents can occur. We stress it with our techs every day, so they’ll never forget. By drilling it into their heads, it becomes second nature.” PG& E has played a role in assisting Giannini’s movement to complete greenness by taking advantage of the utility’s rebate program, Mason said. “They gave us $100 per fixture for qualifying interior high bay linear fluorescent fixtures. With potential savings of $140 per year in energy costs when replacing a 400 Watt standard metal halide light, a fixture like this can pay for itself in two years. So it just makes sense for a lot of reasons. The new, more environmentally responsible lights provide a better working

environment as well, according to Mason. “We’re getting a more consistent light with better distribution with these high bay lights. The lights we have now also turn on faster and they’re much brighter. Our techs can see better now and that’s a big plus.” Taking a green approach can also help his techs to be more productive and efficient, Giannini said. “We’re always looking for more ways to be greener overall and changing our lights helps the entire crew. If it’s something and it’s within our budget, we’ll do whatever we can to achieve it.” One of those enhancements involved the installation of a vacuum system that eliminates dust throughout the shop, Mason said. “We have eliminated 95% of all the dust on the floor and in the air with this new vacuum system. It doesn’t go down the drain and it doesn’t go in our employees’ lungs, so it was a no-brainer. We recycle the filters and keep them out of the landfill. These types of changes are easy to make, because they pay off in so many ways.” Being green is an advantage, but in the end, quality customer service still reigns, Giannini said. “There’s nothing more important than providing a great customer experience every single time. We get great

Giannini’s started their green movement by adopting a waterborne paint system two years before the laws took effect

reviews on Yelp and a ton of referrals, because we’ll always go the extra mile for everyone we work with. We learned long ago that being fair and honest is the key. We want people to come here again and again without hesitation, because long-term customers will be your backbone.” Was there a large initial investment needed before jumping into the hybrids pool? “It was basically all about the training,” Mason said. “We put all of our people through the I-CAR classes. They cost $108 per class and all of us took four classes. There wasn’t any significant investment in equipment, so it was a very easy process. We were fully trained within a short time and the hybrids started coming quickly, so we hit the ground running.” Giannini’s embarked on the journey See Draws Hybrid-Owners, Page 48 | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 45

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Rich Evans is the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and an award winning painter and fabricator. He offers workshops in repair and customization at his facility to share his unique talents. For contacts and design samples visit

Building A Numbered Car Exactly Like the Red Mist in ‘Kick Ass’ with Rich Evans

I got a really interesting request for a cool project from a guy out in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Woody Frees. If you’ve seen the Nicolas Cage movie “Kick Ass” you may remember the car in there driven by the character Red Mist, which Galpin auto sports built. They bought a body kit from me which is actually nine pieces of the 19-piece Rich Evans body kit that are used to create the car I called the Hardcore Knight. See my previous columns in Autobody News for more on making that car and the kit. Galpin built this superhero car which is now called the Red Mist so it was real interesting to get a phone call from Woody. His kids had seen the movie. They’re 13 and 15 years old and they wanted that car! Woody thought that would make a great bonding project for father and sons. That caught my attention, and I said man, this will be something that they’ll work on together and actually never forget about it. Woody went and bought a car out here in Long Beach, had delivered to the shop, so I could make it into a numbered car. I get the painting and the body kit installed on this vehicle and gather up all the pieces to replicate the car to the exact specs in the movie and then ship a lot of the interior pieces; the grill, etc. that so they can finish up the project themselves back in Florida. This is number seven of the hundred cars that I put out. I wanted to share this project with you guys and go through some of the steps that it takes to to do this project. This will be part one of likely two stories.

The car arrives, wrong color

We’re going to start with a 2008 GT Mustang. Unfortunately Woody had tried to get a car the right color but it showed up in the wrong color. They make two different Ford reds, so it’s going to be a little more of a project just because we have to change the car color, but of course we have the capability of doing that here at Huntington Beach Bodyworks. We’re going to put vertical doors on so I contacted my buddy Louie up at Vertical Doors Inc. and made an appointment. I’ve seen a lot of vertical doors and I’ve run into other projects down the line in repairing vertical doors where they’re welded on or they’re hitting or they’re damaging the car,

but I’ve found that Vertical Doors Inc. has the best product out there. They’re very professional in the way they do things and their scheduling. It took two weeks to get an appointment. I took the front end off of this car because we’re not going to use this bumper. I took the fenders off so we could get through the process a little bit more and then, since we’re changing the base coat color, I painted the A pillars so when we put the new hinges on for the vertical doors I wouldn’t have to work around those.

Paint A pillars before the Vertical doors are installed

That will save me time in the long run. Always think out what you need to do on your next step it’ll likely save you some time. Time is money and that’s what we’re all trying to save. Always seek a better way and keep up your quality. I loaded up the car in my trailer from KC Sliders. The new trailer that I’ve got makes things really easy to load up. It takes 15 minutes to drive the car up, push a button, load it into the trailer, close it up, tie it down, and I’m on my way. I’m about 40 minutes away from Vertical Doors (they’re off of Graphite Drive,1240 Graphite Dr, Corona, CA 92881). If you are looking at doing vertical doors go to for a look. These guys are the best in the business, guaranteed, and they have the best quality parts. There’s nothing else out there that can compare. As I get there he’s got his guys ready, as promised, right on time. I pull in and unload the trailer, drive it in. The guys get right to work. Louie and I head out to lunch, come back, and these guys are almost finished. It takes your car to a whole different level. The way the doors operate, they still swing open but then they swing up and it gives it a real cool look. Thanks to the guys at Vertical Doors, I’m back on the road by 3:30 PM and on my way back to the shop to put this vehicle up on a rack. It gives me a little bit more easy access to installing the Rich Evans body kit. We’re going to install the left and right rockers, the left and right rear wheel flares, and the rear bumper. I need to remove the OEM bumper, put on the Rich Evans bumper. I need a reference point where the flare needs to be because we’re going to


widen these rear wheel wells 2 inches. I take the rockers, to use the reference point, and I’ll clamp the rocker up on the front, then I’ll put in the natural mounting points to the pushpins so it holds itself up. I’ll take the flare and set it up, line it up with the rear bumper, have it meet that rocker panel, and then I’ll scribe a line and follow the radius of the flare so I have a reference point. Then I take everything back off and grind the left and right quarter panels where the flares are going. I’m going about 2 inches above that scribe line just so I can get rid of all the paint, and then I’m going on the inside of the wheel well and grind that as well. I notch a piece out and reuse the OEM lip of the rear wheel well and extended it out 2 inches. Then I’ve got a template where I make a replacement piece which is only at the top of the inner wheel well. We’re losing about 2 inches, so there’s a 2 inch gap. I come back and fill that gap flush so you can’t even tell that there was anything done. Going on to the rockers, I grind it where I mold this body kit to the car. I think it looks a lot better. The kit’s made to snap into OEM parts and then you can use double-sided tape

to put the flares on and extend your wheels out so you get a little bit more meat on the ground. It gives it a little bit more of a muscle feel. We want that modern muscle look. The steps on flaring out the rear wheel wells are 1) notch a piece out 2) take about an 11-inch piece of the wheel well and 3) cut up about an inch-and-a-half right at the line where that sharp edge is right on the wheel well and 4) cut there.

Hinges for the veritical doors

I’m usiing my Model# CP7900 pneumatic reciprocating saw from Chicago Pneumatics, and cut twice into the wheelwell. I saw all the way through the inner and the outer of the quarter. After doing that I’ve got a template. I’ll go inside and mark out the inner piece where I cut and I’ll use

the saw for that as well. So I cut the inner piece as you can see the notched piece that I’ve taken out in the photo.

Our Red Mist gets its wings

I go along that area and when I’m extending the wheel well the piece I’m cutting is going to have to move up so it fits directly to my flare kit to flare it out. I reinstall the flare kit after cutting. What I do is cut all the way up to that upper lip right before it meets the flare. I make about 10 cuts (every inch) that allow me to get a hammer up there and and massage those cuts so I can fit this piece back in. I take my rear flare, bolting it back up to the quarter panel, lining it up to the bumper and lining it up to the rocker panel. Now I’ve got a big hole and I’ve got that piece I cut out so I’ve ground that piece that I cut out, that 11-inch lip, and then I go to where I made those 10 notches. I hammer that until it hits flush to the flare. I take the piece that I’ve notched out, push it up there and it’s going to fit against that flare tight. Then it’s going to

come right up to the lip where I can put three clamps on it and that will give me the positioning where that notched piece needs to sit. It needs to come out so I’ll have a solid structure to mount the flare to. It becomes part of the car to give me a stronger structure for the vehicle. I tack a few spot welds that’ll keep it in place. I remove the flare. I come back and weld everything up and make sure I check it every once in a while to make sure nothing is moving. Then I cap off the front and the rear so we have no moisture whatsoever to corrode or rust up later on. I come on the inside of the wheel well and I weld that patch piece in there solid. I tack it up in the center part first and I’m using 20 gauge metal so I’ll be able to roll it and massage it with a hammer so fits perfectly and that gives me a nice little radius, and it allows it to look natural. If you look up there you wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s ever been changed. Then I come

Loading the new trailer

back and grind everything smooth. Obviously I take some weld-through primer and hit the insides of the metal so we don’t have any bare metal being exposed.

Now I’m ready to put the body kit on. 3M has got a new product out. Actually it’s not really a new product, more a modified product. It’s a short strand fiberglass reinforcement filler but now we can use it in the “bondo-mixing gun.” Officially that’s the 3M dynamic mixing system which I’ve been using it for about two years. If you

Working the flares on the lift

don’t know it go to and look up the 3M dynamic mixing system. Phenomenal product, lessens your work time and time is money. It eliminates pin holes. One squeeze of the trigger and you’re mixed and ready to go. That’s the best thing. Staying up on technology and all these new products these companies are coming out with. I’m a big fan of 3M, which is just a phenomenal company. I’ve working with them for years and they don’t quit amazing me on the products they’re putting out. They’re really helping us, the end users, to be able to speed up our process, keep up our quality, and use fewer steps that allow us to make money and get on to the next project. So I’ve been trying this new reinforcement filler out and compared to the way I used to do it before, I’m saving almost an hour-and-a-half to two hours installing my body kit. Before I’d have to mix it up, put it in a plastic bag, almost like cake decorating, and squeeze out and you know the rest. This tool has helped me tremendously in every project I touch. Visit and find the dynamic mixing system, it’ll definintely help you out. As I install this, obviously I keep the rear bumper there, and tape it where the flare meets the top of the bumper. That way it’ll get a perfect form to where it meets it, and then I can pull the bumper off and just pull the tape away and we’ll have a perfect mirror image of what needs to be to fit.

Note the cuts

Back to molding the rear flare. We talked about the rear bumper and the flare meeting the rear bumper and now on to the flare itself. Obviously there are 6 mouting points that I used, set screws to screw through the flare to the body. This way I have a reference point for putting the flare

exactly back to where it needs to be. Where it meets the rocker panel I have two screws going through the flare into the rocker panel and what I do is take the dynamic mixing system and the short strand fiberglass reinforcement filler and run a bead along the rocker. I put the rocker on first and I clamp it up to the front. I’ve got the car up on the lift which allows me not have to get low to the ground and enough working room. I get the doors tilted up. I’m running the bead on the inside of the rocker. Then I’ll run a bead on the front part of the rocker and use the original OEM clips to clip that rocker to the unit structure where the old rocker molding used to go. After doing that then I’ve got to support the bottom of the rocker with a floor jack so it doesn’t sag in any way. I get the flare and put the fiberglass reinforced filler on the inside of the flare. That’s on the outside where it’s going to meet the lip and right where it’s going to meet the quarter. Also where it meets the rear bumper and meets up to the rocker panel. I use that so I can bond these panels all together and doing that takes two people. That way we can run the screws through the reference holes and screw it into place and also come back and nicely smooth out the fiberglass reinforcement filler to make for a better contrast when shaping this in the end. I take three clamps and very lightly clamp them. I don’t want to clamp them too hard because they’ll warp the fiberglass flare.


Then I let it set for a couple hours, at which point I’m ready for the next step which we’ll go into next column. We should be able to go through the painting process and the delivery process of this vehicle. We’ve got wheels to do. We’ve got a scoop, the two tone, and the graphics to put on the side of it, as well as paint the car complete and take the mirrors, primer and block the mirrors out. We’ve got the wing to put on and then all the other additional pieces to the project. We’ll get through that next phase. I’d like to thank for getting me in and out of there, 3M for all the product that they supply me with. I’d like to thank Chicago Pneumatics for all the pneumatic tools that help me do my job quicker and also I’d like to thank Woody Friese and sons for such a great project and I look forward to moving this project out to Fort Lauderdale and see them complete it. So another great project is underway. I’ll talk to you next month. Thanks guys. | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 47

CAA’s San Diego Chapter Enjoys Their Annual Golf Tournament

Organizing the tournament, presenting awards, and raffling prizes kept (l to r) Joe Donnelly, Heather Cathalinat, Dierdre Tiernan, Hop Sanchez, and Larry Houk (Chapter president) from winning the golf tournament, but their efforts were much appreciated and paid off in a very successful event

Hop Sanchez holds up his not quite winning tickets

Carlsbad Toyota’s Rudy Romero takes the long drive award

Enterprise Rent-a-Car’s Joe Donnelly manning his booth at the brutally difficult 10th hole, where, of course, the closest to the pin played out

DuPont Performance Coatings’ Stacey Landry compares smiles with 3M’s Derek Nordquist

Stacey Landry schools painter Aaron Crossett on Cromax Pro

Aaron Crossett finally catches up with the Margarita cart and doesn’t seem to want to get off the wagon... the rigors of golf!

Team Milo Jonson Auto Body/Henson and Son Auto Body wins 2nd Place Low Gross. (L to R) Ross Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Zach Brown, and Kirk Henson

Team FinishMaster/BASF Takes 1st Place Net / Peoria. (L to R) Kurt Edleveck, Donny Nicoll, Robert Buehler, and Roy Rich

Continued from Page 45

Draws Hybrid-Owners

to using waterborne paint well before most shops even thought about it, Mason said. “It was a huge step and a smart move. Many shops waited right up until they were forced to switch, but we did it more than two years prior to the regulations kicked in. We saw the value in waterborne and we gravitated toward it as soon as we can. It was an easy transition. We dropped the solvent and started using waterborne the same day.” What does the future hold for Giannini’s? “We’re focused on hybrids now that we’ve created a niche here,” Giannini said.” Our goal is to get to 80 cars per month, which we mean that we’d have to add a second shift. At that point, we might be able to consider moving to a larger new facility. We’re riding a green wave right now, and as long as we’ll never forget the most important thing—customer service— we’ll be producing quality work consistently and keeping our car counts where we want them to be. Being green isn’t expensive, because it pays off in the long run.” Giannini’s Auto Body 625 Mariposa Street San Francisco, California 94107 (415) 864-2644

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Collision Industry Guide CDI (DOI) Regulation Guidelines by CAA

This portion of the Industry Guide is part of several on the CAA website. To read the full version go to

Attention: Some of the questions and answers in this segment deal with various laws. The answers to these questions are general in nature and should not be considered as legal advice. It is recommended that you seek the advice of an attorney specializing in this area of the law if you encounter a problem or need additional information. This segment of the collision industry guide will deal with the relationship between the auto body repair shop, the customer, and their insurance company. The information contained in this segment is to be used for education and information only. Generally, you are not required to take action on issues discussed in this segment. If there is something that requires a specific action, it will be so noted. The knowledge contained in this segment will make it possible for you to make more informed business decisions when dealing with insurance companies their agents, adjusters and your customers. Section 2695.6 of the CA insurance code requires all insurance companies to certify annually, in writing, that their claims adjusting manuals contain the regulations

that will be cited in this document. Section 2695.6 of the CA insurance code also requires annual certification that the insurance companies provided clear written instructions to it’s claim agents regarding the procedures to be followed to effect proper compliance with the regulations that will be cited in this document. Section 2695.6 of the CA Insurance code requires the insurance companies to annually certify, in writing, that they have provided training to any independent adjusters they retain or alternately, the independent adjuster may annually certify in writing that he / she understands the regulations that will be cited in this document. This is important because everything we cover in this document is part of the insurance code that every staff adjuster, independent adjuster, insurance agent and insurance company claim manager is required, by statute, to know. When these “fair claims settlement practices” are knowingly violated on a single occasion, or performed with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice, it is considered to be an “unfair claims settlement practice” and prohibited by the insurance code. Q: Does the auto body repair shop have any direct obligation to the customer’s insurance company? A. No! Your customer has the contract

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with their insurance company. You have an agreement with the customer to repair their vehicle. You cannot have an agreement with a customer or an insurance company that allows the insurance company to act as a representative of the customer, even if you enter into a direct repair agreement with insurance company, you must deal with the customer or his/her properly designated representative. [9884.9 b&p code, 3303-j & 3353 CA. Code of regs.] Q: The claim adjuster said his company has a $350.00 “threshold” on paint and that is all they will pay. If I want more, the customer will have to pay the difference. I don’t want to alienate my customer, what can I do? A. The quick and easy way to solve this problem would be to agree to the $350.00 paint limit if you believe you can paint the damaged portion of the customer’s vehicle for that amount. If the cost of the paint will exceed the insurer’s arbitrary limit, your customer will have to contact the insurance company. representative to get them to pay for the entire cost of the repair. This must be done by the customer because he / she has the contract of insurance. Of course you may advise the customer on what sections of the insurance code applies and what it says. Section 2695.7b-1 applies. The full text of 2695.7b-1 is shown in the answer to the next question. The adjuster may not know it, but he/she is making a partial denial of the claim. When your customer gives your repair estimate to the insurance company, or when the customer signs your work order authorizing you to repair their vehicle based on that estimate, the estimate becomes the “proof of claim” or “claim”. When an insurer or its claim agent makes a partial denial, it must be done in writing citing the specific policy provision, condition, or exclusion they are using and how they are applying it. This practice is more commonly known as “capping”. Insurance company cannot apply arbitrary limits to what they will pay, or not pay. Insurance company can only apply a limitation of this type if there is a provision, condition, or exclusion in the policy that gives them the right to set specific limits. Most auto insurance policies are policies of “adhesion” meaning if an exclusion, condition, or limitation isn’t clearly written in the policy, the insurance company cannot enforce the condition, limit, or exclusion. What’s next if the customer fails to get the insurance company to yield? You have some options. ● Both you and the customer may file separate complaints with the department of insurance. They should be filed separately and sent in separate envelopes. ● You may make a business decision.

Can you afford to give the additional cost of the paint to the customer, or, do you want to? If the answer is no, then charge the customer for the additional paint. ● If you decide to charge the customer for the paint, you may want consider helping the customer prepare their small claim action against the insurance company. ● A recent disciplinary action settlement by the Dept. of Insurance vs. Geico Ins. Co clearly stated that paint capping was an illegal act. 1] The claim adjuster said the prevailing hourly labor rate set by his company is all he will pay. If I charge a higher hourly rate, the customer will have to pay the difference. What can I do? 2] The insurance adjuster said his company does not pay for color sand and buff, color tint, or color match procedures even though this work must be done. If I want to get paid for this work, the customer will have to pay the difference. What can I do? 3] One insurance adjuster says his company does not pay for toxic waste removal, another says his company only authorizes her to pay $1.00 for toxic waste removal. If I charge more, the customer will have to pay the difference. What can I do? 4] In the three previous questions, the adjuster told my customer that he / she can avoid paying any additional charges beyond their deductible if he/she moved the vehicle to the insurance company recommended direct repair facility, what can I do? A: The answer to question number one is somewhat complicated at this time. The department of insurance is currently of the opinion that insurers are acting within their rights by setting a “prevailing” labor rate if they have done a labor rate survey in the area. Of course the CAA disagrees with the Dept. of Insurance position and we are continuing to work to change their position through regulation, legislation, political pressure, or through the courts if necessary. This does not mean that you must accept the labor rates that the insurance company is offering. The CAA suggested course of action is outlined below. We are going to look at section 2695.7[b] [1], 2695.8 [f] [1 – 2 & 3] and 758.5 of the CA Insurance code for the authority on these four questions. Remember, you have no legal standing under the insurance contract, so you will have to advise and educate your customer on what his / her rights are regarding the payment of claims. The customer, with your assistance, will have to argue his / her case. What the adjusters are doing in the above questions is a partial denial of a claim and unlawful steering, we’ll address the partial denial issue first. Your estimate, including the scope of repair, labor rate, paint, and all other charges that are necessary in order See Collision Industry Guide, Page 50 | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 49

Continued from Page 49

Collision Industry Guide

to repair the vehicle properly becomes the “claim.” Section 2695.7 [b] [1] states: where an insurer denies or rejects a first party claim, in whole or in part, it shall do so in writing and shall provide to the claimant a statement listing all basis for such rejection or denial and the factual and legal basis for each reason given for such rejection or denial which is then within the insurer’s knowledge. Where an insurer’s denial of a first party claim, in whole or in part, is based on a specific statute, applicable law or policy provision, condition or exclusion, the written denial shall include reference thereto and provide an explanation of the application of the provision, condition or exclusion to the claim. Every insurer that rejects a third party claim, in whole or in part, or disputes liability or damages shall do so in writing. The current position of the Department of Insurance regarding labor rates lies within the first sentence of this regulation. Their position is that the legal basis for the labor rate denial lies within 758-c of the insurance code. We disagree. The adjuster will tell you, the body shop owner / manager what he / she, or the insurance company doesn’t pay for. But generally, they don’t know that they are required to communicate this partial denial to the customer and do it in writing, this is when you get the customer involved. When the adjuster invited the customer to move the vehicle to their recommended direct repair shop, that adjuster violated section 758.5 [a], [b-1], [b-1a] and section 2695 [f-1, 2 & 3] of the insurance code. Section 758.5 is the anti- steering regulation. Section 2695 [f] 1, 2, and 3 of the insurance code outlines the process an insurance co. [adjuster] must use when adjusting a claim where an estimate is presented to the insurer that exceeds the amount of the one prepared by or for the insurer to complete the necessary repairs. It is prohibited under both sections of the codes cited above for an insurer or it’s adjuster to require, suggest, or recommend a specific repair dealer unless a referral is expressly requested by the customer. So, what are the insurance adjusters’ choices? Simple………. 1] pay the difference between the adjuster’s estimate and the one you prepared for the customer, or, 2] if the customer asks, provide the customer with the name of at least one repair shop that will repair the vehicle for the adjuster’s estimate, or, 3] reasonably adjust any written estimates prepared by the repair shop of the customers choice which I hope is you. What do I do if the adjuster ignores the regulations?

Here are some options for you to consider: ● Make sure your customer has a copy of your estimate. Then instruct the adjuster to send his/her estimate and check to the customer. An alternative would be for the adjuster to leave the estimate and check with you, you should have the customer inspect the vehicle with you to compare the estimates so you can show your customer what the adjuster missed. The customer will have to deal with the adjuster or his / her supervisor to get the estimate corrected. ● You may consider calling the adjuster’s supervisor and explain the insurance code violations the adjuster committed and request the supervisor to instruct the adjuster to correct the estimate. ● If you and the customer are unsuccessful with the supervisor, the customer could file a complaint with the Dept. of Insurance for an improper denial. ● You could file a body shop department of insurance complaint for unlawful steering. Q: The insurance adjuster says his company will only pay for aftermarket exterior sheet metal and plastic parts on their insured and claimant customer’s vehicles. If the customer wants OEM parts, they will have to pay the difference. What can I do? I don’t like to use non OEM parts. A: Section 2695.8 of the insurance code overlaps all these issues so the answers given to previous questions where 2695.8 was cited will apply here also. We’re going to look at section 2695.8[g 1, 2, and 3] for the authority on this. Remember the customer must take the lead on this so you should educate your customer on his / her rights. Most insurance policies will have wording similar to this: “our limit of liability is the least of: 1] the actual cash value of the property or damaged part of the property at the time of the loss, which may include a deduction for depreciation; or 2] the cost to repair or replace the property or part to it’s physical condition at the time of loss using parts produced by or for the vehicle’s manufacturer, or parts from other sources, including, but not limited to, non-original equipment manufacturers, subject to applicable state laws and regulations. Section number two opens the door for the insurance company to all kind of options like used parts, and non-OEM “replacement” sheet metal and plastic parts. Except where the insurance code intervenes. This is where the customer, with your assistance, has the leverage to change the insurer’s decision to use “replacement crash parts.” Section 2695.2-u defines a “replacement crash part” as a replacement for any of the non – mechanical sheet metal or plastic parts which generally constitute the exterior of a motor vehicle, including inner and outer panels. Section 2695.8-g 1,2,3,4 of the insur-


ance code specifies what an insurer must do if it specifies non- OEM replacement crash parts to repair a customer’s vehicle. 1] the parts must be at least equal to OEM parts in terms of kind, quality, safety, fit, and performance. The insurer must warrant this. Safety is the big qualifier here. Many non- OEM parts do not have the same number of welds, proper placement of crush zones, light refraction, etc. 2] insurers specifying the use of nonOEM parts must pay the cost of any modification of the part to effect the repair. 3] all OEM and non-OEM parts shall carry sufficient permanent, non-removable identification so as to identify the manufacturer. Such identification shall be accessible to the greatest extent as possible after installation, look closely for the manufacturers stamp. If it’s not stamped, you may want to consider rejecting the part. If no aftermarket parts are available with the proper manufacturing stamps, you may want to consider contacting the adjuster and advising him/her that no qualifying aftermarket parts are available and the insurer should pay to install OEM parts. If the adjuster refuses to agree to OEM parts, you should educate the customer on his / her rights so the customer can argue his / her position with the adjuster and file a [CDI] complaint if necessary. . The insurance company is steering my

customers to their direct repair shops by telling the customer that my shop is not on their approved list. Can the insurance company do this? A: There is conflict within the Department of Insurance over this issue at this time. The insurance commissioner has stated in public that this practice is unlawful steering, but the attorneys and regulators within the department have been reluctant to challenge or cite the insurance companies for this practice. Of course the CAA disagrees with the department of insurance position and we are continuing to change their position through regulation, legislation, political pressure, or through the courts if necessary. This does not mean that you should accept this type of activity. The CAA recommendations are outlined below. This is one of the worst violations of the insurance code because you have no way of knowing the violation occurred unless your customer informs you that it occurred. Section 758.5 [a], [b-1, b1-a, b1-b] specifically prohibits this type activity, when you have specific knowledge that illegal steering has occurred, you may want to consider doing the following: ● Take a hand written signed statement [declaration of facts] from your customer outlining the facts of the illegal steering. Make sure the customer does this willingly.

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● Both you and the customer call the customer’s agent and the manager of the claim office to advise them of the unlawful act. ● Both you and the customer should file separate complaints with the CA Dept. of Insurance. Include a copy of the customer’s hand written signed statement with your complaint, section 12921.3 of the insurance code requires the Dept. of Insurance to receive complaints and inquiries, investigate complaints and prosecute insurers when appropriate. The Dept. of Insurance is required to act on complaints by members of the public concerning the handling of insurance claims. The Dept. of Insurance shall notify the complainant of the receipt of the complaint within 10 working days of receipt. Thereafter, the commissioner shall notify the complainant within 30 days of final action. Q: The insurance company is steering my customer to their direct repair shops by telling them that they don’t guarantee repairs done in my shop, but work done in their direct repair shop is guaranteed for as long as the customer owns the vehicle. Can they do this? A: There is conflict within the Department of Insurance on this issue. The insurance commissioner has stated in public that this practice is unlawful steering, but the attorneys and regulators within the de-

partment have been reluctant to challenge or cite the insurance companies for their practices. Of course the CAA disagrees with the Department of Insurance position and we are continuing to work to challenge their position through regulation, legislation, political pressure or through the courts if necessary. This does not mean you should accept this type of activity, the CAA recommendations are outlined below. The answer to this question is similar to the one answered directly above. Once the customer tells the insurance company he/she has chosen a repair shop, the insurance company cannot use coercive tactics to get the customer to move the vehicle. Some insurance companies say they are required by section 2695.4a of the insurance code to notify their customer of all benefits, coverage, time limits, or other provisions of any insurance policy that may apply to the claim. The problem with that argument is a direct repair type agreement is usually not part of mainstream insurance policies. But even if it is, the insurance company must follow the road map given to them in section 758.5 of the insurance code. Meaning that once a customer expresses a choice of a repair shop, all discussions of where the customers vehicle will be repaired must stop. If it does not stop, the remedy is the same as in the answer to the

previous question. When a vehicle is repaired at a shop recommended by the insurer, the insurance company is required by section 758.5 b-2 to guarantee the repairs. Q: The insurance company is steering my customers to their direct repair shop by telling them that if they leave their vehicle at my shop for repair, it could take as much as ten days for them to get an adjuster to my shop to inspect the vehicle. They insist no repairs can be done until they inspect the vehicle and give their authorization for repair. But, if the customer moves the vehicle to their direct repair shop, repairs can start immediately. This is persuasive because of rental car expenses, also, along the same line, most insurance companies say they won’t pay for supplements unless they inspect and or approve them. In most cases it takes the adjuster many days just to return our call. Actual inspection takes longer. A: There is conflict within the Department of Insurance over the issue of steering at this time. The insurance commissioner has stated in public that this practice is unlawful steering, but the attorneys and regulators within the department have been reluctant to challenge or cite the insurance companies for this practice. Of course the CAA disagrees with the department of insurance position and we are continuing to work to change their position

through regulation, legislation, political pressure, or through the courts if necessary. Unlawful steering is only one part of this problem. The CAA recommendations on the entire problem is outlined below. There is no law that requires an auto repair dealer to wait for an insurance company inspection or authorization before starting repairs after the auto repair dealer has obtained the appropriate authorization to repair from the customer. This applies to supplements also. However, nothing is ever quite that simple is it? There are some caveats that may affect your customer so we need to make sure we protect them, we are going to use some generic policy wording and sections of the insurance code to formulate our answer. Most automobile insurance policies have a provision that gives the insurer the right to inspect the damaged property. The wording of this provision is very simple in some policies and very detailed in others. One thing is clear; the insurance company has the right to inspect the damaged property. See the announcement of the CAA “Fraud” meeting, to be held July 15, on p. 6 this issue. To sign up for the meeting contact Maria at to reserve your space. Or Call Maria at Signal Hill Auto Body: 562-4246648. | JULY 2010 AUTOBODY NEWS 51

Parts for Profit 3—Increasing Sales by Larry Williams

This is Part 3 of a series of articles for parts managers directly managing employees handling both mechanical and collision parts. The Larry Williams same principles apply to parts management in a body shop. To read Parts 1 and 2, see Autobody News, April and May 2010 editions or go online:, Menu: Content > Distinctive Dealerships > Special Interest Articles.

By now, you should have accomplished nearly everything I suggested in order to create the most efficient parts department possible. Your bins are spaced and numbered for fast access; and the bins closest to your front and back counters hold your fastest moving parts. You have no obsolete or unnecessary inventory; since you have cleared out the “trash.” You have a neat shipping/receiving area, and a holding area for cores and returns. All “hot” incoming parts for service and wholesale accounts have their own locations. Inventory counts have verified the location and quantities for all of your parts on hand. Your people are working in the locations and jobs that are best suited for them. All of your employees are knowledgeable in all aspects of paper flow and controls. Your training schedule assures full certification. Every work station is fully equipped, and set up to cover every need.

peal? You must be proud of what you see. Pride of ownership is what you are selling. Your customers want to let others know about their cars. Everything needs to have your logo on it. You will be amazed at what people will buy if it has a logo. Stay away from the ordinary. You don’t want to look like every other parts house; you want to look your best, because you offer the best! Use a retention or bonus plan to reward customers for returning to buy from you. (Possibly a “permanent customer discount card,” can be given to them when they buy a new or used car, with their name and VIN for easy identification). Use your customers for referrals, and give them “Friend of Mine” cards good for bird-dog rewards. Use all good ideas from any source, and read Carl Sewell’s “Customers for Life,” for tried-and-true examples. Remember, the more positive contacts a customer has, the less likely any negative experiences or delays will affect his relationship with you. Internal sales are often neglected. The assumption here is that you have no control of this area. I have increased sales in this area by convincing sales managers that accessories will increase their own profits. Make up some promotional packages. Dress up one vehicle and display it on the showroom floor. The eye-candy will appeal to the ego-motivated buyer. It is different. It’s special! This also allows the sales department to discount from the new car total without affecting their original profit margin. Include your sales department in all of your promotions, and give small gifts to all new car customers when they are brought into your department.

tomer calls nine fold, allowing you to spend more of your time with any dissatisfied or unhappy customers, and process the bulk of your customers with your regular business. Instruct the service advisors to never, ever, tell any customer that their parts are “out of stock.” This phrase implies a poor level of service, and a defective product. Whatever you say must imply that their situation is unique and unanticipated, and that you will obtain whatever is needed for them as quickly as possible. These three areas are common to all automotive dealerships, and if you work

peat sales can be made with greater frequency than any other department. These two facts make yours the only department which can increase sales significantly; in a relatively short period of time. Not every automotive dealership can successfully sustain a major wholesale operation. Yes, every dealer can sell parts at a discount. This results in sales, but seldom any profits that will exceed your expenses. A profitable wholesale venture requires an effort that goes above and beyond the norm. Wholesale marketing requires a financial commitment from the dealer principle, and

hard for a short while, and lay the proper groundwork, you will find profitability and a happy workplace is the natural result. For a few dealerships, however, there is another opportunity to increase your profits: Wholesale marketing. In my opinion, the parts department has advantages over every other department. Your parts department is the only sales area that does not require customers to actually come to the dealership; and re-

patience from the entire management team. The parts department is essential to the operation of service and sales. A shift of effort into wholesale marketing will occasionally require other departments to wait, while outside customers are served. If properly presented, this idea should not cause any resentment within your organization. Your dealer principle is responsible for keeping the peace between all of the departments. Everyone should realize that in order to sur-

Next, check out your competition. Trying to compete with manufacturer’s discounts for very large dealers is difficult. They have a pricing advantage.

Take a look at your available market. You must have a minimum of twenty customers within a ten mile radius of your dealership, and most of your customers need to be body shops. You have created a parts department that will return profits of 50% or more, and with proper leadership, it will be a happy workplace. This should be the goal of every parts manager. These guidelines apply to all automotive dealerships. Your next area of focus should be to increase your sales. You have four areas in which to do this: retail sales, internal sales, the service department, and wholesale customers. Retail sales are made directly to the owners of your automotive brand. Very few owners work on their own cars anymore. New car technology has gone far beyond the mechanical expertise of your average vehicle owner. Therefore, you must concentrate on selling your accessories. Your front counter is your display area, or “showroom.” Take the time to walk in the front door. Does what you see have eye ap-

Service sales are the backbone of every parts department. You must give your service department and body shop priority in all of your decisions. Your most important job is to provide service technicians with the parts they need in the quickest and most cost efficient manner possible. Every effort should be made for same day service for all needed parts. However, it is nearly impossible to anticipate every need. A suggestion for a busy service department, when your customers do not leave their vehicles, would be to schedule all service customers for one week from the original date of the order. You might suppose that if the customer is in your shop on a Tuesday, then the following Tuesday might also be convenient for him. Alert your service department only to any parts backordered. With fill rates of 90%, this system reduces your necessary cus-


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vive, they must be able to adapt to changing situations. With everyone working together, every department contributes its share to the overall profit margin. Reliable information is a must for successful planning. There are procedures to follow in order to create a successful wholesale operation. First, take a look at your available market. You must have a minimum of twenty customers within a ten mile radius of your dealership, and most of your customers need to be body shops. I have found only a few independent mechanical shops that use only factory parts. These shops, however, were the best, and always gave their customers quality service. Sales per customer will be greatest with body shops; and an average of $5,000 per customer per month can be easily obtained. I would want a minimum market of $100K available to me before making the investment required of any good wholesale operation. Second, you should check out your competition. There are some manufacturers who support large dealers with volume discounts. Trying to compete with these large warehouse operations will be very difficult. They have a pricing advantage that you cannot overcome. A high volume operation will be impossible. You will be successful here

only if you have customers who value service above price. You will be giving unmatched service, and that will be your edge. Third, you must expand your inventory. This is where the dealer principle must make an investment and temporarily accept reduced profits. You must be able to supply your customers with same day service on some body parts. These parts will not meet your normal stocking criteria, but you must have them available. I use a “12-inch” rule for these parts. Any part inside the first

A pay plan is not just a means of compensating your employees. A pay plan will influence attitudes and help you accomplish your goals. Remember, it is human nature for your staff to use any pay plan to their own advantage. I have found that my personnel work more effectively when they have all been told about our department goals, and are rewarded for their performance in keeping those goals. In order to keep your employees working as a team, devise your pay plans so that everyone

and last foot of the body of the car needs to be available on your shelf. These parts will be used for “quick repairs,” that take only one day. Damage beyond one foot will require more than one day to repair, allowing you to order those parts and still meet your customer’s needs. Your survey is complete. Everything looks good. You have enough customers, there is little competition, and you have a basic inventory. Now you need motivation. The best tool for motivating your people is their pay plan.

shares in the profits. A plan that rewards individuals only in one area of sales will isolate your employees and keep them from helping one another. Keep your pay plan focused on what your employees can control. You should be paid on your department’s net profit, but your staff should be paid on gross profits. When you pay your counter help on gross profits, their pay is based on sales from the areas where they have the most control. Use bonus plans to reward performance in defined areas. For wholesale profits above

To compete you need to expand your inventory. Dealer principle must make an investment and temporarily accept reduced profits.

a certain amount, reward with increased percentages on further sales. Use an increasing percentage plan which is based on increased profits. Example: $1–$10,000 = 10%, $10,001–$20,000 = 15%, $20,001– $30,000 = 20%, etc. Notice that this rewards all increases, without encouraging reduced efforts. Warning: Do not use exact figures for specified goals. For example; a bonus of $1,000 for sales of $20,000, results in employees working to attain that particular goal, and then “taking it easy,” because any further effort has no future reward. Also, do not pay your employees on sales if you want to make any real profits, since sales-based pay plans encourage deep discounts, placing volume ahead of profit. Your next area of focus should be your attitude, and it needs to be serious. To function efficiently, any group of employees must have faith in their leader. Business is war! War may be Hell… but it’s good in business. When you decide to expand into the wholesale market, you must realize that you are declaring war on all of your fellow dealers. You must prepare as if it were a war; a war with no quarter given, no pris-

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oners taken, and only complete victory your goal. Every one of your troops must be trained and equipped to the best of your ability. Only then, with your victory assured, do you go into battle. If you follow this philosophy, you cannot fail. You will gain the hearts and minds of not only your employees, but those of your customers as well. Ninety percent of any business transaction is selling yourself. You only have one chance to get that special customer. If you fail, he will not give you another opportunity to gain his trust. The only way to achieve this goal is with service. Your service should not just be head and shoulders, but miles above everyone else! First impressions, being the longest lasting, are of the utmost importance. Your key to this success is to exceed any expectations on the very first call. You must not just be better than your competition, you must destroy them. After your customer’s first experience with you, he should never consider your opponents again. You need not only impress him; you must change his perception and alter his world. Every one of your troops, and every contact with your customers, must rise above the level of your enemies. Your aim is to win every battle, and be the obvious victor in the war for your customer’s consideration.

When your customers think of your brand name, they must think of you. You have prepared yourself. You have adhered to your plan. Your inventory is organized, and your personnel are well trained. You and your staff are motivated, and eager to generate more business. Sales can now be made to those extra customers; the ones who never see you. These are

most of their customers. Most of these shops will be willing to give you a chance. But remember, you cannot disappoint new customers and expect them to come back to you for any repeat business. You must be ready for their business before you ask for it. In most cases your only contact with these customers is over the phone. Your

your wholesale garage and body shop accounts. Here is my secret for increasing those sales:

“best” counterman must be the one who answers their calls. A smile in his voice, knowledge of his inventory, and years of experience will get those customers, and keep them calling back. Your service is more than just the initial phone calls, however. Your inventory and your delivery must back up your sales. Everything needs to work in harmony, to give your customers an experience that is unmatched, anywhere else. Build on your existing customer base. Research shows that keeping your old customers happy is the best way to increase overall sales. A major reason for my success was keeping down customer “churn”. In a year-and-a-half, I only lost one customer; and that individual valued his cost over my

service. Service should your selling point, not price, since no matter how low your price might be they can always find it somewhere else cheaper. Giving away your product is not the way to increase profits. Stay in touch with all of your customers. Use a customer contact plan that suits your customer’s needs. Remember, your typical independent garage or body shop is busiest in the morning and late afternoon; at the beginning and end of each day’s work. Time your calls so that you don’t interrupt your customer’s day. Call every customer you have not heard from in over two weeks. Tell him you are calling to make sure he’s completely satisfied. He will appreciate your consideration and your concern. It’s useless to try to plan for the unexpected, so well-trained and motivated employees are essential! Reliable information is a must. Given the opportunity, your base of loyal customers will expand beyond your wildest imagination. I know this for a fact, since that was how I became the number one wholesaler in the nation, for one manufacturer.

Ninety percent of any business transaction is selling yourself. You only have one chance to get that special customer... The only way to acheive this goal is with service.

Ask for their business! You can increase this area of your business just by asking for it! Almost any program of phone calls, post cards, or drop-by visits will be successful, if you just keep at it. Unless a shop is completely satisfied with their current supplier, they will give you a chance. In my experience, very few shops were completely happy with all of their suppliers. The reason for this is that most automotive dealers do not have a very good wholesale attitude. Your competition will be, by comparison; lazy, untrained, and basically unappreciative of

How we did it… I want to tell you the story of Don Valdez; possibly the best salesman I have ever had the pleasure of working with. When I first discovered Don, he was attempting (as

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best as he could), to fill in for a dealership that had lost its parts manager. Don absolutely hated organization, and was the best example of a “free spirit” that I have ever seen. He was positively ecstatic when I came along; and freed him of the burden of administrative duties and paperwork. In the beginning, I had no idea what the results would be when I put him in charge of our retail and wholesale sales. However, it did not take long for me to realize that Don was a “natural.” He just loved to sell, and enjoyed talking to all of his customers. Free of time-consuming housekeeping tasks, he devoted all of his energy to producing more sales. I soon installed a direct

telephone line, (just for his use), and only months later, a second line. We started with one part-time driver, and soon added more drivers, and more trucks; as our volume of deliveries grew. Eighteen months later I learned that we were our manufacturer’s leading wholesaler, in the nation! This happened as the result of Don’s inner drive, and because of his joy in selling. It didn’t come without a price, however. Don’s aversion to organization controlled his workspace. An unbelievable pile of mismatched paper and notes filled every available surface, nook and cranny. He was also uncompromising with his delivery men; driving

them to be fast, faster, fastest! I hired two additional men; in order to help him, and told them ahead of time that Don was the only employee I allowed to work in such a mess. In fact, I asked them to help me clean up after him. He never ceased to amaze, however, when asked about a particular order, to be able to reach into that haphazard “nest” of his, and pull out the correct note. His drivers were warned ahead of time of the pressure he would place on them, and that they could always come to me when things got to be just too much. Eventually, all of my staff came to realize that Don never drove anyone harder than he drove himself. I never had


to light a fire under him, because he had his own fire, within. And I knew we would never have experienced the results we were able to achieve, without him. I hope you have as much good fortune as I have had, and the pleasure of creating and managing a profitable parts department. I hope you too will find those people who will make your job easier, and reward all of your efforts with success.

Larry Williams is a former parts manager and consultant with national awards and over 40 years of experience in creating profitable departments. He can be reached for consultation at


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Autobody News Western edition July 2010  

Regional newspaper/newsmagazine covering topics of interest to collision repair shop owners in California, Nevada, and Arizona