Friday, October 19, 2007

Last Day At!

It's here! Today is the day we go live with our new website. We launched our new website just a few minutes ago, and now we can host this blog and two other automotive-related blogs directly on the website. Go to
to see the new website, and to post your photos and videos and comments. Hope you like what you see! Take the time to browse it thoroughly. I'll tell you right now, we have a few kinks to work out, but we are working through them. We just couldn't wait any longer to let you see our new baby!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trading Places

Coming Soon! I mentioned just a few weeks ago that we are working on a new design for the Tomorrow's Technician website. The graphic you see here is just the header from the new website. We go "LIVE" tomorrow, so I urge you to take one last look at the old version today at Then come back, same address, tomorrow, and tell us what you think. I can give you an idea of what you will find tomorrow - first of all - a lot more color and graphics! We are launching on a new platform that allows us a great deal of flexibility in the design and functionality. One exciting aspect for the students is that we have a spot specifically where they can upload their videos and photos and share them with the world. For instructors, we hope you'll like the training center and career center. Most importantly, we hope you use the website as another tool in your toolbox as you teach, train, and educate tomorrow's professional technicians.

Also - just so I know someone is alive out there and actually reading this, won't you take 4 seconds to cast your vote on the survey to the right?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Last Chance to Apply for ACDelco Scholarship

New for 2007, ACDelco will award four (4) lucky high school seniors with a $2,500 scholarship for their first-year expenses at an accredited vocational or trade school, college, or university.

In order to win, you must include a personal essay titled, "What Winning the $2,500 ACDelco – Harold Martin 'Pros Who Know' Scholarship Would Mean to Me", along with the scholarship application, your high school transcript and a letter of recommendation.*

The ACDelco TSS Advisory Council and Harold Martin will make the final selections in November 2007, and winners will be notified in January of 2008.

Deadline for Submission
Applications will be accepted from March 9, 2007, to October 15, 2007.

Any scholarship application postmarked after October 15, 2007 will not be accepted.

It's free to apply. Financial ability and GPA (as an indicator of potential success) will be considered; however, eligibility is not based solely on either. So what are you waiting for? If you are determined to succeed in a career in automotive service, click here for more information and to download the application for the ACDelco – Harold Martin "Pros Who Know" Scholarship program.

No purchase or order necessary to apply.

Good Luck!

*See official rules for complete details.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Code of Responsible Automotive Servicing Practices

This came in from ASE, in response to a piece I wrote in TechShop on the automotive technicians code of ethics. Seems like it would make good sense to think about these practices as you begin your career, as well as later in life:

This establishment subscribes to the following code:
1 Recommend corrective and maintenance services and explain to the customer which of these are required now to correct existing problems and which ar for preventive maintenance.

2 Offer customer a price estimate for work to be performed.

3 Obtain prior authorization for all work done, in writing or by other means satisfactory to the customer.

4 Make every effort to keep customer informed about appointments and completion deadlines.

5 Furnish an itemized invoice for parts and services, priced fairly, which clearly identifies any used or re-manufactured parts. Replaced parts may be inspected upon request.

6 Furnish or post copies of any warranties covering parts or services.

7 Exercise reasonable care for the customer's property while it is being serviced.

8 Fix the customer's vehicle right the "first time."

9 Maintain a system for fair settlement of customer's complaints.

10 Cooperate with established consumer complaint mediation activities.

11 Uphold the high standards of our profession and seek to correct any or all abuses within the automotive industry.

ASE offers this in a frameable, poster size. You can contact them for a copy for your classroom or shop.

I have to say, I have used dealerships and independent repair shops for the past 20-some years for service work on my vehicles. Every one of them has adhered to this code. If not, I never went back.

Hope you can use this!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Just Some Interesting Stuff

October Checklist
October is Be Car Care Aware Month. Are you preparing your class to participate? If you would like information on Be Car Care Aware, go to for a list of activities you can promote within your classroom.
Crime Prevention Month: Outside doors should have deadbolt locks. Keep spare keys with neighbors you trust, not under the mat or under a potted plant.
Fire Prevention Week: October 7 - 13. Take part in the Great American Fire Drill by encouraging your students and their families to practice a home escape plan. More info can be found at
Enjoy the Weather: Take time to enjoy your surroundings. Go out for a bike ride with friends or family. Take a walk around the block and notice the changes in the air. Take a 48-hour getaway trip.

Monday, September 24, 2007

AAA Knows How to Avoid Car Crashes

AAA, that great American driving institution, has provided us with 12 Ways to Avoid a Car Crash. In a recent interview with Bottom Line, William Van Tassel, PhD, manager of driver-training ooperations at the AAA's national office in Heathrow, offered up some timely advice.

You should consider two things when driving safely: 1 - your own driving strategies, and 2 -dangerous drivers/vehicles.
1 - Your personal driving strategies - What can you personally do to reduce the risk of being in a car crash?
A - Stay off the roads between midnight and 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings. That's when many drunk drivers are out, and when you are most likely to be tired. During the week, most crashes happen during rush hours, but they tend to be less severe than those caused by drunk drivers.
B - Know the routes that have left-turn green arrows, and use them. This is especially helpful if you live in a region with lots of older people. For some reason, they get confused about oncoming traffice, and turn left without enough time to clear approaching traffic.
C - When roads are wet, brake and accelerate on the straightaway. Brake before you enter a turn and don't accelerate until you've completed the turn. This will reduce the chance that you'll skid.
D - Keep your headlights on, event during the day. Everyone in Florida knows this works! Lights on means other drivers are more likely to see you!E - Look through the car ahead of you. You need to watch cars ahead of you and anticipate. You will have better time to react if you see what's going on several cars up the road. (my editorial - don't tailgate! You lose a lot of time to react.)
F - Use your brake lights to alert people behind you. If you are stopped at a light and see another vehicle coming behind you, tap your brakes. It helps them see you better, especially if they are driving into the sun.
G - Position your hands on the wheel at 8-9 and 3-4 o'clock. The old standby of 10 and 2 o'clock positions have been found to cause arm fatigue on long drives, and a reduction in drive reaction time in emergencies.

2 - Dangerous Drivers and/or Vehicles Avoid them as best you can.
A - Stay away from vehicles that are towing trailers. Inexperienced drivers frequently underestimate the amount of time it takes to slow down and stop their vehicles when they are towing extra weight. This can lead to rear-ending the car in front of them. Another thing I've seen is someone who is towing a trailer change lanes like he doesn't have a trailer behind him. Very nervewracking!
B - Let aggressive drivers pass. If some crazy driver behind you flashes their lights, tailgates, or makes erratic lane changes - get out of their way and stay out of their way. They are an accident waiting to happen and you don't want to be anywhere near them.
C - Be extra careful in reverse. Parking lots are the scene of many minor accidents. Always turn your head and upper body to the right to look directly out your rear window. Don't rely on your rearview mirror for the whole picture. Take your time.
D - Keep an eye on the drivers to your sides, not just their cars. Drivers (like Cleveland Browns quarterbacks) frequently "telegraph" their next move. If you notice someone that keeps looking in your direction, it may mean he wants to get into your lane. If you see someone speaking on a cell phone (or even worse - TEXTING), put some distance between you and that driver.
E - Avoid driving near trucks. Crashes involving large trucks are often fatal. When following a truck, stay far enough back so you can see their side mirrors. The sign on the back of the truck that says, "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you" is accurate! Also, when passing a truck, don't be a part of a long line of cars. Let the other cars pass the truck, then quickly pass it yourself (following all speed limits of course.) Make sure there is plenty of room between you and the truck before you pull in front of it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Coming Soon - the Updated Tomorrow's Technician Website

We are fast approaching the launch date of the new T2 website. It will incorporate many of the things you see in the magazine: technical articles, graphics, student and classroom projects, and many new new things we can only provide via the internet. A couple of sections I think you will find interesting include the training center and the career center. In the training center, we will include white papers, videos, powerpoint presentations - anything our advertisers can make available to students and instructors to make the educational process easier. There will also be a career center. This section will include current job postings, as well as articles on how to write resumes, and other helpful tips when job hunting. New to our site will be our Pics and Flicks section. Pics will include student and class photos - we want our readers to "populate" this section. The Flicks will include videos - again, send us your best. We will also include several blogs from our editors and we will be updating the news on a regular basis to keep everyone up to speed on industry news that could affect you. And occasionally, we'll include fun surveys and contests. Check out the website today, then mark your calendar to check again in a couple of weeks. You won't believe the changes. And we would love to hear what you think! E-mail me at