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February 1, 2015

ADS Limited, Lancashire

Speaking to Aftermarket Magazine, Dave Massey from ADS Limited in Preston discussed the importance of Autodata’s known fixes and bulletins.

It is a situation that the majority of garages will have experienced at some stage in the not so distant past. The sight of an experienced and knowledgeable technician left scratching their head, irritated and often muttering the odd expletive under their breath. The clock has past the hour mark, yet they are no closer to uncovering what they expected to be a simple problem.

Despite having access to the most advanced and comprehensive technical information and diagnostic tools, a job that could routinely provide an answer in a matter of minutes is now preventing other jobs from progressing and costing the business valuable non-billable time.

This is historically where a one-brand dealer had a distinct advantage over the independent workshop. They work on the same vehicles day-in day-out, learning those quick remedies for recurring problems that are difficult to identify. This means they are able to prioritise the order they carry out additional checks, often finding a solution at the first hurdle, as opposed to struggling over the last.

Dave Massey from ADS Limited in Preston explains: “There is nothing more frustrating than being faced with a problem that could be the result of a number of different and complex issues, which require in-depth checks. Often there is no logical place to start investigating certain symptoms, meaning the time taken to diagnose the fault can really rack up if you are unlucky. There is also the potential to be led astray by the possible causes returned from a diagnostic trouble code.”

This predicament is something that many workshops have simply accepted over the years, as part and parcel of the challenges that go with being a technician. However, the reality is that a large proportion of their competitors have been benefitting from an often-underused feature available from a few technical information suppliers, who report known issues directly from manufacturer bulletins.

The UK’s leading supplier of technical information to independent garages, Autodata, offers this as standard in their new online product. Their in-house team have notched up almost 7,000 quick fixes to known problems across 51 different manufacturers. This also includes some obtained directly from their subscribers.

Dave Massey added: “Since we have started using Autodata our repair times for these kind of faults have reduced significantly. Some of our technicians consider this feature a real bonus, however from a business perspective I believe it is a necessity. On some jobs this has saved not just minutes but hours in a day, which could have disrupted our whole week’s work flow.”

The increasing complexity of modern vehicles is going to make the availability of this information even more vital, as independents push to find efficiencies in all areas of their business.

Published in Aftermarket Magazine, June 2015

“A good example of when our known fixes have saved subscribers an awful lot of time is on the Volkswagen Passat. Many models with a 2,0 Diesel engine experienced non-start issues, which produced a P1517 trouble code, pointing towards the engine control relay or wiring as the possible cause. In fact, we were made aware that the issue concerned the water ingress into the engine control module, which was caused by an incorrectly fitted windscreen scuttle panel. This information and remedy was available to all Autodata subscribers, however without it a mechanic could have been searching for hours looking for the fault.”

Michael Parker, Autodata Technical Expert

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