Ismaning, Germany, 4 March 2021 – Spring is on the way and drivers are coming to the garage to get their cars ready for the warmer season. TecAlliance, one of the leading data management specialists in the independent automotive aftermarket, supports independent workshops performing wheel changes and spring checks with the TecRMI solution. Master mechanic Werner Kordmann builds the bridge between data and workshop practice at TecAlliance by giving workshops valuable tips.

Preparation is everything: Lifting vehicles correctly

Before the tyre change can begin, the vehicle must be lifted. Plastic parts are increasingly being installed on the underside of the vehicle in the sill area. Lifting the vehicle at the wrong points can cause damage. The correct lifting points are shown in detail in the TecRMI instructions.

Motor vehicle expert Kordmann has another tip: “For vehicles with an air suspension system, it is important to bring the vehicle into maintenance status before lifting. Otherwise the air bellows can be damaged, which would result in an expensive repair. Our instructions describe how to activate the maintenance mode for each vehicle and what to check when you do it.”

Safety first!

To guarantee the safety of the vehicle, various setting values must be observed during the wheel change. “Especially when it comes to the tightening torques of the bolts and wheel nuts, the manufacturer’s specifications must be followed exactly,” Kordmann emphasises. “And then, of course, the customer must be informed that he will have to come to the workshop again after a certain period of time for retightening, as the bolts and nuts can become a little loose.”

If the mechanic recognises during dismounting that tyres are worn on one side, the axle adjustment should be checked and the customer informed that the axle is misaligned. Ultimately, this saves the customer money as the newly mounted wheel set will not also wear out quickly and have to be replaced.

Which tyre with which air pressure?

In most cases, only one standard size of permissible tyres is specified in the vehicle registration document. Depending on the vehicle, however, there are a number of alternatives. After entering the manufacturer key number, type the key number or version number of the vehicle. TecRMI will then display all possible wheel and tyre combinations.

Once the appropriate wheel set has been delivered, the air pressure must be checked and adjusted to the intended load. The values prescribed by the manufacturer are no longer specified in every vehicle, but they can be called up in the TecRMI setting values.

All information about TPMS

Another important topic when changing wheels is the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) fitted to many vehicles. TecRMI offers instructions for replacing tyre pressure sensors as well as information on the various methods for teaching the TPMS.

When fitting new wheels or changing them for the season, a diagnostic tool is often required for teach-in. In this case, the customer should be informed that he cannot change the wheel himself. The TecRMI data contains the corresponding ID for these vehicles as well as the necessary instructions for the teach-in.

Generate additional turnover quickly and easily

“The wheel change is a good opportunity for the workshop to get an overview of the condition of the vehicle. When the car is on the lifting platform and the tyres are removed, I have a good view of the axle suspension and brake system, for example – you should definitely take advantage of that. The customer also benefits from this and feels that he is in good hands when potential problems are pointed out directly so that he doesn’t have to come back soon,” explains Kordmann.

TecAlliance provides a series of checklists as an additional service with which workshops can offer their customers optimal advice and transparency; this builds trust. Using the list for the wheel change, for example, the profile, condition and safety of the wheels to be fitted, the TPMS and the batteries of the tyre pressure sensors are checked. The dismounted wheel set is checked so that the workshop can obtain new tyres for the customer in good time if necessary.

The lists for the spring check, corrosion protection check and soft top check offer opportunities for additional turnover, e.g. by filling up fluids or replacing wear parts. The customer receives an itemised list of which work and checks have been carried out and the results. This gives him the good feeling that he can fully rely on his workshop.

Strong partner for independent workshops

With TecRMI, TecAlliance offers 3.9 million repair instructions, 4.2 million service plans with 22.8 million labour values and 7.7 million technical data items. Additional services such as tips & tricks, a series of checklists and the Expert Hotline round off the offer.

Wholesalers can integrate data and instructions into their own parts catalogues; they are then displayed directly with the vehicle or in the item search. The integration of TecRMI into the workshop’s process flows enables workflows to be handled much more efficiently – from reception to repair and maintenance of the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. The workshop’s capacity is used more efficiently and customer loyalty is increased.

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