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Black Box Recorder in Your Car

Automotive Comments Off on Black Box Recorder in Your Car

At this point, we are all very familiar with the infamous "black box" that is often associated with helping to understand what happened after a plane crash.  In the aviation world the unit is designed to withstand the elements, fire and extreme conditions encountered in a crash.  What makes the device a crucial piece to understanding a crash is its ability to provide crucial technical data such as speed, pilot conversations and a whole host of metrics regarding what the plane was doing prior to crashing.  Interestingly enough, this technology has crossed over into the automotive world and has quietly made its way into passenger vehicles without most of us being aware of what it is and is not doing.

At this point, event data recorders (EDR) are only capable of recording about 30 seconds of information.  This information does not include in car conversations but will record data such as speed, braking and any other technical data the vehicles computer is able to provide.  This information is not readily available to anyone and only the vehicle manufacturer and authorized law enforcement agencies have access to the special equipment that can read the EDR information.  This makes sense since the folks investigating a crash will need to understand what factors played a role and in turn this will also help the insurance industry ensure accuracy in settlements.

The EDR data belongs to the vehicle owner and can not be accessed by anyone without permission however it can be accessed by law enforcement without permission.  It makes me wonder if there will come a day when a routine speeding ticket may turn into the officer scanning the EDR to see how fast you were really going!

Image of Event Data Recorder

2012 Honda Crosstour Maintenance Light Reset & Fluids

How To Fridays Comments Off on 2012 Honda Crosstour Maintenance Light Reset & Fluids

When the maintenance wrench comes on or the vehicle has received an oil and filter change the maintenance minder system will need to be reset.  It looks like not much has changed in 2012.  Here are the instructions:

1) Turn the ignition to run (one click before starting the engine).

2) Press the SELECT/RESET knob repeatedly until the engine oil life indicator % is shown.

3) Press and hold the SELECT/RESET knob for more than 10 seconds.  The oil life % will begin to blink.  Release the SELECT/RESET knob.

4) Press and hold the SELECT/RESET knob for for more than 5 seconds.  The oil life indicator % will change to 100%.

When servicing this vehicle it might be a good idea to understand the types of fluids Honda recommends:

  1. Engine Oil - 0W20 is recommended for year round use

  2. Engine Coolant - Honda Long Life Anti-Freeze/Coolant Type 2

  3. Automatic Transmission - Honda ATF DW-1

  4. Brake /Clutch Fluid - Honda Heavy Duty Dot 3

  5. Power Steering - Honda PSF

With this information you should be well equipped to service the 2012 Honda Crosstour!

Oil Change Customer is Key

Automotive Comments Off on Oil Change Customer is Key

In recent months I have taken notice of the increase in value adds and warranties from dealerships and repair chains to attract new customers and retain existing ones.  It is quite clear that the competition for the "oil change" customer is heating up and dealerships and repair chains are focusing in on this customer.   As one industry insider put it "The oil change is the key to opening the doors to other services".  Essentially, if you can perform an oil change consistently for the same customer it means that the relationship between the customer grows into one of trust and the likelihood of additional services increases with each subsequent visit.

With almost everyone recognizing the importance of the oil change customer and customers recognizing the importance of getting the best bang for their buck in tougher economic times, it is opening the doors to value add promotions.  In recent weeks, my wife received a letter from the BMW dealership with a request to perform an oil change and an incentive of a free BMW carwash kit.  The kit included a bucket, wash hit, soap and a chamois.  In recent memory, I can not recall every seeing this or any other type of incentive from a dealership.  As well, more and more facilities are offering a third party roadside warranty with an oil change service.  The idea is simple - provide the customer with peace of mind between oil changes.

For the time being, fast lubes continue to be the faster choice but will there come a time when speed will also need to be met with an incentive comparable to what the repair chains and dealerships are offering?

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