Tech Tips June 2012

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Audatex Launches Android App for AutoWatch

Audatex announced the launch of a new Android app for AutoWatch, its web-based repair tracking system that allows vehicle owners to view the progress of their repairs online. Through AutoWatch, repairers upload digital photos along with the latest vehicle repair status information, keeping customers up to date through completion of the job.

The new Android app allows repair facilities to make updates via their mobile phones, whether they’re away from the office or working on the shop floor.

“With mobile access becoming increasingly important in today’s connected world, the new app empowers collision repair shops with an easy way to update and access AutoWatch data from anywhere at any time, and supports our mission to connect and support repairers, vehicle owners and insurers through technology,” said Patrick Schmidlin, Vice President of Product Management, Audatex North America.

According to Gordon Henderson, Director of AutoWatch, Audatex North America, more than 70 shops are already using the Android app. “Interest in the app is strong and growing, which clearly demonstrates that shops are eager to use their mobile phones as a means to provide customers with instant online repair updates. With more than two million vehicles tracked to date on AutoWatch, we anticipate further growth ahead as vehicle owners increasingly rely upon their smart phones and the Internet to stay on top of the issues impacting their daily lives.”


I-CAR Adds Live Demonstration to Spot Welding Course

Students will now benefit from live demonstrations during I-CAR’s instructor-led Squeeze-Type Resistance Spot Welding (WCS04) course, including demonstrations on how to properly set up machines, align and maintain electrode tips, make spot welds, identify and correct weld defects, understand how to visually inspect spot welds, and how to destructively test welds for quality.

The newly enhanced course will provide students with information to perform successful welds and ultimately provide customers with safe and complete repairs. Spot welding has many benefits and can be considered a quick and efficient way to join metals as well as an effective solution for decreasing the heat-affect zone on vehicles manufactured with high-strength steel and ultra high-strength steel. In addition, spot welding decreases damage to corrosion protection and replication of production weld appearance.

Jason Bartanen, I-CAR Technical Director said, “The success of the weld, and the ability to achieve a safe and complete repair, can be improved by the technician’s knowledge of proper methodology, equipment usage, and identification and inspection techniques. If a spot weld is not performed correctly, the risk of a weak or deformed weld will compromise the integrity of the repair. The new live demonstration portions in this course will be very relevant to technicians who apply spot welding techniques in their day-to-day jobs.”

The overall course content will remain the same and will fulfill the Spot Welded Panel Replacement Knowledge Area in I-CAR ProLevel 1 for Steel Structural Technicians and the Squeeze-Type Resistance Spot Welding Knowledge Area in I-CAR ProLevel 2 for Non-Structural Technicians.

Registration is open and classes are continually being added to the schedule. Visit the I-Car website to search for training in your area.


I-CAR Premieres Intro to Collision Repair Series

I-CAR has introduced a new series of online courses that provides foundational knowledge on the basics of the collision repair process for professionals across the collision repair inter-industry. The Intro to Collision Repair Series is designed for roles such as entry-level technicians and appraisers, front office staff, customer service reps, sales staff, call center agents, and students.

The Intro Series includes a set of 14 one-hour online courses that cover topics such as vehicle parts terminology; mechanical repair terms and vehicle protection; tools, equipment and attachment methods; and collision repair process overview. The series is customizable so a business or individuals can take all the courses or only the ones they need. Upon purchase, the courses remain in the trainee’s secure online my I-CAR account, available whenever a quick refresher is needed.

As a result of completing the courses, individuals will have the knowledge needed to understand certain aspects of collision repair technology, more clearly explain the collision repair process to customers, reduce customer hold time and call transfers, field customer questions about vehicle repairs, and efficiently interact with customers.

“Efficiency is key to running a successful business and ensuring that your team has a solid understanding of the basics of the collision repair process can benefit a business in several areas,” said John S. Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO & President. “Training from the Intro Series empowers non-technical staff to interact with customers more confidently and will allow them to continue providing value in their role at a collision repair business.”

I-CAR is offering special introductory pricing, 30 percent off the total purchase price of the entire set of 14 courses. Introductory pricing is available through July 30, 2012. To place an order and to determine eligibility for the discount, visit the I-CAR website or contact I-CAR Customer Care at 800.422.7872 or