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Have you ever wondered how ASE tests are written? On today’s automotive podcast, are looking at how A.S.E tests are born. For those of you that may not know, ASE is the industry standard in testing automotive techs, as well as many other parts of the auto industry.

As you know, I spent several days in VA at a workshop for the A7 A.S.E test. This is a workshop where the A7 test is evaluated. Not only is it evaluated, but this is also the early steps of changing the test. So for all you dealer guys and gals, this is were we get rid of questions about vacuum controllers.

Today we talk about:

  • Who writes ASE tests
  • More about A.S.E. testing
  • How Questions are made
  • The rigorous review process
  • Fact checking
  • And More

If you are having trouble viewing, you can see the video on YouTube at “How A.S.E. Tests are Made

Like every episode, your comments are welcome on appreciated. I work hard to give you guys the content you are looking for. The best way to be sure of that is to let me know. You can either post comments and questions below, or use the contact me page.

I will be traveling this week. That means there may not be a Thursday tool review, or a Friday show. I have a billion things to get set before flying to Austin for the USGP. I will do a blog post with more info about that as I get it.

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Happy Monday everyone. I am still in catchup mode from last week’s travels. The awesome part about a 5 hour drive is, it gave me plenty of time to shoot some videos for you guys. The funny part is, I forgot my notes. This is an on the fly, no notes, just me talking show.

Today we are talking about getting your car ready for a road trip. I will do my best to put together a list of things from the show. But like I said, this I forgot my notes. So, this is what I think I talked about in the video 🙂

Today on the Automotive Podcast:

  • Car Maintenance
  • What to do 2-3 weeks before your trip
  • What to do 1 week before your trip
  • What to do the night before your trip
  • Car safety checks
  • plan your route

A while back, I wrote a few posts about Prepping Your Car for a Road Trip.

As always, thanks for watching or listening. I had a great time shooting this video in the car. Remember that your comments are always welcome and appreciated. Did I miss anything in the show? What do you do to prep your car for a road trip?

Don’t forget, I am on all the cool social media deals

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Happy Friday everyone. I have something very different and awesome for you today. As you know, my good pal Rusty and I have been doing a show together for the last few weeks. It is basically us chatting about many things in the car world. I am still playing around with some of the scheduling for the blog. So I thought I would test out posting our show on Friday.

This time we are talking about something very important, Advice for New Drivers. I think most of us can agree that most state drivers ed programs are WEAK! We wanted to give you guys some thoughts on where drivers ed can improve, and some ways for everyone to be come a better driver.

Show Notes:

  • Where drivers ed fails
  • Where drivers ed does well
  • importance of vehicle checks
  • Tips on changing a tire
  • Teaching about maintenance
  • Good driver etiquette
  • On road driving tips
  • don’t match speed
  • leave yourself an out
  • Slow is NOT always safe
  • Accident Avoidance
  • How Go Karts are a good teaching tool AND FUN!
  • And more

Well what did you think? Do you have a new driver in your family? Would these tips help them out? Do you REALLY want to go and drive some Go Karts now? 🙂


VW connector tool
VW connector tool

Schwaben connector tool. Picture from

It’s Thursday, so it is time for another tool review. Today I am reviewing the Schwaben Connector release tool for VW and Audi Connectors. I picked this tool up from ECS Tuning for about $15. Initially I was concerned that it would damage the connector. I have used it a bunch of times, and it has performed great. I am still cautions about breaking the connector, but it seems to function well.

Show Notes:

  • Review of the Schwaben VW connector release tool
  • You can pick this up from ECS Tuning
  • Pros
    • Cheap
    • Well built
    • Gives a little extra reach for connectors
  • Cons
    • You don’t “need” this tool
    • I will always be concerned about breaking connectors with this tool
  • Use on many VW or Audi connectors including, door latches, coils, air flow meter, o2 sensors and more.
  • Tips on removing VW or Audi connectors with out this tool

Like I said in the video, I think this is a neat tool. As always, post your thoughts in the comments section. I love hearing from you guys.

If you have a tool that you would like reviewed, please let me know. You can use the contact me form, post in the comments, or email me Charles(at)HumbleMechanic(dot)com

MK1 VR6 VW Cabriolet

Happy Wednesday everyone. And because it’s Wednesday, it time for Shop Shots! This week we are moving out of the shop, and to an Oktoberfest. On Saturday, the folks at Black Forest Industries hosted their annual BFI Oktoberfest. If you are a social media person, check out the hash-tag #BFIOktoberfest. There are some great pictures and videos. This year I took a few pictures, and a video. I am still working on editing the video so stay tuned for that.

As I mentioned in the podcast, I will be traveling most of the end of October. I will be heading to Virginia next week for a A7 Workshop. That is the HVAC test for ASE certification. I am not exactly sure how the week will play out, but it should be awesome. If you have and questions about ASE type stuff, post them in the comments.

The following week, the folks at Shell invited me back to Texas. This time I will be heading to Austin for the 2014 Formula 1 US Grand Prix. I can’t even tell you guys how awesome that will be. Once I have more information and an itinerary, I will let you know. Get your F1 questions ready. 🙂

MK1 VR6 VW Cabriolet First up, I thought I would post a picture of the Cabby! I worked on the car most of the day Friday before the show. My hope was to get the clipper kit(body kit) fully installed for BFI. I got the kit installed, but sadly didn’t drive the Cabby. There was about 40% chance of rain. As you guys remember, she doesn’t have a top, or wiper blades that function. The cool part is, the car looks more complete with the clipper kit. The bad part is, I found that I have a few weird electrical bugs in the cluster. Maybe next year. :/

Blsvk Forest Industries OktoberfestThis is a shot of the entrance of the show. You can see the BFI building on the right.

Blsvk Forest Industries OktoberfestThere is always a great mix of old and new GTIs

Blsvk Forest Industries OktoberfestTons of people and tons of really cool VWs, Audis, MBs, and BMWs

Blsvk Forest Industries OktoberfestThis is a top notch A3. The car is a highly modified TDI. The owner said something about high 200s for horsepower and mid 500s in torque. Needless to say, this TDI is NUTS!

As always, the BFI Oktoberfest was a good time. It was great to meet some of you and share a beer. If you posted some pictures of the show, let us know. I would love to see more great shots.

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Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today on the Automotive podcast, we are talking about work! We dive into the differences between:

  • Customer pay work
  • Warranty work, from the manufacturer. Think bumper to bumper new car warranties
  • Extended warranties. This would be a warranty you purchase separate.

Many techs have a strong opinion about doing warranty work vs doing customer pay work on cars. There are pros and cons to both types of jobs. This is the Flat Rate video I mentioned in today’s show.

Show Notes:

  • Customer Pay repair jobs
    • Pros
    • Cons
  • Warranty repair jobs
    • Pros
    • Cons
  • Extended warranty repair jobs
    • Is this the best of both worlds?
  • How warranty work is good for techs sometimes.
  • When customer pay is NOT good for techs

If you are having trouble viewing the video on the blog, see it at Customer Pay VS Warranty Work on YouTube

As always, thanks for watching. What are your thoughts on customer pay repairs vs warranty repairs? I know many of you have strong opinions on this topic 😉

Have an idea for a show topic? Is there a question you have always wanted to ask a tech? Feel free to post them in the comments, or use the contact me form. I want to be sure I give you the types of shows you guys are looking for.

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Happy Monday everyone. Today on the automotive podcast, we are talking about Common Car Repairs and Pattern Failures. This topic came in from Brain on YouTube.

As a dealer tech, this is really the world I live in. Not only do we see tons of broken VWs, we see the same VW problems over and over. Now, I pick on VW a little in this show. But that is simply because those are the cars I fix. Every car brand has the same type of issues, and we talk a little about how that happens today.

Show Notes:

  • What is a pattern failure
  • Why do pattern failures happen?
  • Evolution of Diagnostics with common car repairs and patter failures.
  • My history of VW common repairs
    • 2.0t A/C compressors
    • VW window regulators
    • VW Door latches
    • VW ignition coils
    • TDI High Pressure Fuel Pumps (HPFP)
    • 2.0t Cams and HPFP
  • Common VW problems very by region
  • Importance of knowing what common repairs your car has.

If you are having trouble viewing, watch Common Car Repairs, and Pattern Failures on YouTube.

Thanks for taking the time to watch. For those of you that have asked, I have almost worked out the audio only versions. I will be sure to let you know when you can subscribe on Itunes!

As always, your comments and questions are awesome. If you have a common car repairs story, please share it with the rest of us. Also, feel free to share this video(or any of them). I really do appreciate that.