Giving shops a power flush

OEMs get more specific, brake equipment gets smarter

He adds that a lot of companies are getting into electronic technology, and are equipping their brake machines with systems that will bleed in sequence automatically rather than doing it manually.

"With the old vacuum cleaner type, you would just go to the wheel, the bleed screw, and just suck the fluid out. So there were no special adapters needed; it was pretty much a universal-type bleeding system."

Manual pressure machines require users to physically go to each wheel and collect the brake fluid. But this, too, has an advantage.

"[When done manually], this gives the machine more reliability because there's really no electronics to malfunction. Not only that, you're following the recommendation of the car-makers by bleeding at one time in sequence, where some of the fancier machines bleed all at once. It becomes a time-saver more than anything."


Because the machines are so profitable, Pagliuca indicated, mobile jobbers can sell based on how fast you can do the job. "When you talk about using the machines versus not using the machines, it's going to save the shop quite a bit of time because otherwise they're going to have to have one tech in the vehicle pumping the brakes, while the other tech is out bleeding each wheel one at a time."

Buyers also need to take into account what the machine offers in terms of service.

"Dealerships are … looking for more machines to get a good ROI," said Wasielewski. "I think they probably drive that more than anybody, whereas your typical shop is sort of just going to bleed the brakes and get the job done rather than promoting extra service."

Additional features to consider with brake bleeding equipment is whether the machine has drawers (for adapters, etc.) and whether or not brake fluid is included.

As a distributor, selling brake service equipment can be a success for everyone. The biggest things distributors can to do to make the most of a sale, are to conduct research on the various models out there, help a tech figure out his potential ROI and point out the time they will save.

The bottom line is that whether techs are looking for something to get the job done or go the extra mile, today's machines are up to the challenge.

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