Upgrade Your Air System: It’s Easier Than You Think

Upgrade Your Air System: It’s Easier Than You Think

Improving your shop airflow is only a benefit, unless you like to spend more time, work harder and make less money.

What if there was a shop upgrade that could be done quickly and easily that would save money and allow your tools and equipment to operate more efficiently? If that gets your attention, it’s time to think about upgrading your shop’s air piping system.

This is one of my favorite topics because most shop piping systems are as old as the shop itself, and if it was the electrical system in a car, we’d have dim bulbs all over the place. What is it we avoid in electricity? Higher than normal resistance. What does old steel pipe offer to the air flow in your shop? You guessed it, resistance and turbulence in the airflow. Think about the built-up corrosion after all these years.

Think about how it affects the operation of your air tools and equipment. Static is the air pressure available when nothing is running. Put a gauge on the line at the farthest point from your compressor and it always looks good. But operate an air tool or equipment while looking at that same gauge, and you might be surprised at how far it drops. That’s your dynamic pressure. You’ll likely find it’s way below the recommended pressure for your tools and equipment. You can no longer blame the tools. Your air piping is costing you efficiency, time and money.

The better an air tool works, the quicker it gets the job done. That means less time listening to an impact hammering away because it’s not producing the power it should. It’s just draining the air tank. That means less time listening to the compressor wailing its electricity-using song.

Do you have a loop in your air system? Most old systems don’t. A loop will equalize the pressure at all drops and increase the volume of air flow. Picture a new feed with no unwanted fittings or angles and drops exactly where you want them. Think about the clean, modern look it will give to your shop. Picture shut-off valves everywhere you want them. Think about no more leaks and increased performance from your tools and equipment, i.e. a stronger bottom line.

It gets better. What if it was easy to install with no soldering, threading or gluing? I’m talking push to connect. What if all fittings could be easily disconnected and reused, or if everything was corrosion resistant and future add-ons were as simple as swapping fittings. Don’t have time to figure it out? Think about a predesigned kit. They’re available.

It’s easy to think that technology makes things more difficult. In our world, vehicles seem to get more complicated all the time. We’ve got to learn new systems, update our scan tools, get new certifications; it’s never ending.

Finally, technology is doing things for us to make our jobs easier and our shops better, and it’s not difficult to do. Improving your shop airflow is only a benefit, unless you like to spend more time, work harder and make less money. That’s up to you. But for now, think about upgrading your air. It’s easier than you think. TS

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Scan Tool Tech

While systems can and will differ, here’s a look at common ADAS features, their general configurations and calibration requirements.

scan tool tech

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) require the use of a scan tool for diagnostics, and the majority of the time, it’s required for post-repair calibration. ADAS, like any other system, requires a diagnostic routine, which begins with a base knowledge of the system. Knowing ADAS will help understand fault symptoms and scan tool data for the most efficient diagnosis.While systems can and will differ, here’s a look at common ADAS features, their general configurations and calibration requirements.Parking assist sensors, of which there can be more than one, are generally located in the front and rear bumpers. They are the inputs that affect active parking assist and parking collision warnings. Any time they are disturbed in any manner, a static calibration must be performed with a scan tool.Side object sensors, sometimes called collision avoidance sensors, are commonly located in the rear bumper. These sensors provide input for blind spot warnings, lane change alerts and rear cross traffic warnings. Static calibration with a scan tool is required when these are removed or replaced.Rear vision cameras will be located in the rear decklid, liftgate or tailgate, and act as either a backup camera alone, or part of a surround view system if the vehicle is so equipped. These cameras generally require a dynamic calibration, and no scan tool is required.A forward-looking camera is sometimes located behind the grille, and usually part of a surround view system. These too do not require a scan tool, but a dynamic calibration must be performed when they are removed or replaced.Different ADAS features may have dedicated control modules which can be located in various areas, often behind interior panels. As with most control modules, these require scan tool programming when replaced and, depending on the system, both static and dynamic calibrations may be required.The Haptic Seat Motor creates the vibration to provide a safety alert for blind spot, forward collision, lane departure, lane keep assist, parking collision and rear cross traffic warnings. These motors, sometimes called seat warning actuators, generally require no type of calibration.Cameras located in a sideview mirror are part of surround view systems. These require calibration when removed or replaced, but most of them dynamic, and no scan tool is required.The steering angle sensor located in the steering column is an input for lane keep assistance, and a static calibration is required with a scan tool any time it is removed or replaced, or any time a wheel alignment is performed.Last, but not least, is the front view, or forward-looking camera located in the windshield area. This camera is a vital part of adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beam headlights, forward collision and lane departure warnings, and lane keeping assistance. A scan tool and static and dynamic calibration are required after removal and replacement, but also after windshield removal or replacement, or any service that affects the ride height of the vehicle. TS

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