Misinformation Can you believe everything you read?


Staff member
Nov 13, 2006
I don’t know how many of you belong to or utilize iATN in your daily operations; I find it to be an important tool in our knowledge toolbox within my four shops. However, a recent post by someone who categorizes himself as an “Educator/Instructor/Consultant” has highlighted a problem in our industry

The problem is misinformation, guesswork, old wives tales and just plain ignorance. We as an industry are battling for factory and updated information on almost a daily basis.We have made great strides toward receiving the correct information and repair procedures in just the past few years and months, and I applaud the membership who is spearheading the battles. However, it appears that some of us are willing to overlook all of the information available to us and just look for the easy answer or fix.

In an iATN post dated February 6, 2003, the person in question posted an article claiming that we as an industry did not have to adhere to factory recommended coolant fill and type procedures. Sure, after some investigation into the post, I found out that the post was just a hoax and the author posted a second article disputing the first posting and claimed that it was just a joke, and that the correct procedures were to follow all factory fill recommendations; however, the damage was already done.

After the initial post, several technicians posted responses that thanked this person for simplifying the coolant choice dilemma. How many of our fellow technicians are now misinformed about the need to install the correct coolant in each and every vehicle that we service? How many cooling systems are going to be damaged due to this misinformation? How many of these technicians will tell other people that it doesn’t matter what coolant you use in a vehicle? We just don’t know the answers to these questions.

In this day and age of data at our fingertips, there is no reason we need to guess about anythingt we do in our shops on a daily basis. We all know that the vehicle manufacturers make constant changes throughout the model year. Nothing is as it was in the past. I have been surprised by changes that we are not aware of on a regular basis.We see 450 or so different model vehicles in our shops annually, and the manufacturers are always making changes to them. New technologies and advanced engineering practices are driving the changes to our vehicles every year. There is no way we as an industry can keep up with the changes unless we keep an open mind about change and institute policies in your shop to be aware of change.

We have established policies in our shops to highlight changes on a daily basis. We routinely check for TSBs on every vehicle that enters our service bays. We inspect the labels on all fluids to make sure we add compatible fluids to all systems of the vehicle in question. We constantly monitor our inventory to make sure we have all of the correct fluids in stock. I know that this requires a lot more and various inventory; however, the lasting relationship that you will forge with your customer by performing correct repairs far outweighs the added inconvenience of utilizing the correct fluids and repair procedures.

The next time you hear or read some unproven or generic generality about our industry, please take the time to investigate the source of the information and find out the truth for yourself. You’ll be a better technician for it and your customer will receive better service from your shop. It’s a win–win situation for all. ■