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Articles by Mike Mavrigian

Hybrid vehicle air conditioning service

Hybrid vehicle air conditioning service

There are over 1.5 million Toyota hybrid vehicles in North America (and well over 2 million hybrids total, including Toyota and other brands). Even though these numbers represent perhaps less than 1% of the total North America vehicle population, it’s evident that hybrids are here to stay, and their population will increase. Based on this, it’s time to become familiar with A/C systems in hybrids
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Noise/vibration/harshness: Chasing the irritant gremlins

Noise/vibration/harshness: Chasing the irritant gremlins

A host of various noise and vibration issues normally exist during the operation of any vehicle. However, when levels of these factors become noticeable to the customer, he or she may perceive any annoying noises and/or vibrations as problems. NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) is the commonly used term used when discussing these conditions.
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Maximizing your smoke machine: Smoke ’em if you got ’em

Maximizing your smoke machine: Smoke ’em if you got ’em

A smoke machine can be used in virtually any low-pressure vehicle system for the purpose of locating leaks, including EVAP, intake/induction system, oil, EGR, engine vacuum, exhaust, coolant (radiator, water pump, hoses, etc.), HVAC, a variety of gasketed areas, engine blocks, worn throttle shafts, diaphragms, intercooler, turbocharger, idle motors and solenoids, under-dash leaks and even vehicle body wind/water leaks.
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OTC 5550 work light

OTC 5550 work light

OTC recently introduced a new family of Spectrum Series cordless work lights, powered by rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries. Three new work lights, including the Spectrum Solar (P/N 5550), Spectrum Trio (P/N 5551), and the Spectrum 30+4 (P/N 5552), each feature waterproof LED lighting, a hanger hook, a pivoting magnetic base, a main face light and a top light. The entire light body is rubberized for superior grip, and the construction is designed for impact resistance. Each work light includes both AC and DC chargers.
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At AAPEX: We’re all fans

At AAPEX: We’re all fans

I recently spent a very busy week at the recent Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. Admittedly, while Vegas isn’t my kind of town (too noisy and bustling for my taste), wandering through the show was, as always, thoroughly enjoyable.
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Avoiding the risk of fire: It can happen

Avoiding the risk of fire: It can happen

Everyone involved in the automotive industry is aware of the importance of safety with regard to vehicle service work. We’re constantly reminded (in instruction sheets, in service manuals, by co-workers, etc.) to wear eye protection, to perform certain tasks in a well-ventilated area, to securely support a vehicle when hoisting, etc.
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Inspecting crankshafts

Inspecting crankshafts

Regardless of which crank you choose to use during a customer’s engine rebuild or fresh build (used OE or new aftermarket), take the time to inspect the crankshaft. In the case of a new crankshaft, check for dimensions and runout. With a previously used crankshaft, you’ll also need to check for flaws (cracks). Inspecting the crankshaft before installation verifies its condition and allows you to avoid problems and/or comebacks.
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Mountain impact wrenches: A shooting match with two air guns

Mountain impact wrenches: A shooting match with two air guns

For this tool review, I chose a pair of pneumatic impact wrenches from Mountain Pneumatic Tools Co. Ltd., one with 3/8-inch drive and one with 1/2-inch drive (available exclusively from authorized Toolweb distributors). While the brand may not carry the fame of other well-known manufacturers, these two guns functioned well and survived my in-shop abuse with flying colors.
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A well-kept shop builds good PR

A well-kept shop builds good PR

As I sat in front of my monitor trying to decide what to write for this editorial, I thought back on how I’d spent the previous Sunday, tidying up my engine assembly room and preparing for another engine build. Luckily, I have a full-wall-length Lista workbench and cabinet system that allows me to neatly organize all of my tools and supplies.
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