Automotive repair equipment has to be durable and reliable to hoist engine blocks, lift auto frames, and work with cast iron. Even the sturdiest equipment will eventually break down though. Sometimes the first impulse is to invest in new machinery to replace a broken tool. Unless the gear in question is extremely old and beyond repair, a strict policy of replacement is a bad business decision. In a business that focuses on repairing vehicles, why would a business owner not repair his own equipment as well?
Considering the expenses related to stocking a garage with all of the necessary tools, they have to last as long as possible to see a good return on the capital investment. There are a lot of pieces of equipment in a repair shop that fit this description. Even older gear that may no longer have the manufacturer’s support can still be repaired. Purchasing used equipment can often void its warranty, so having the option to contract a custom machine shop for parts can be vital. Let’s look at some examples.
Large equipment is an investment in itself. For example, auto lifts are a considerable expense, but are ultimately necessary for auto repairs. Replacing broken auto lifts is not usually feasible. The entire machine is a sum of many parts so pinpointing and repairing a broken part is the economical solution. Sometimes a $10 part can ground $10,000 auto lifts.
Finding brake lathe parts is more economical than purchasing a new brake lathe. Resurfacing brake drums and disks does not really require a total replacement. Only the moving brake lathe parts typically see the wear and tear that would need new parts.
This concept readily applies to all of the complex tools utilized in auto repair. Just as a bad spark plug can stop an entire car, a leaky hydraulic line can disable auto lifts. In either case, throwing out the entire machine is just wasteful.
Repair Parts Old And New
Many older pieces of equipment were built to last, and they indeed lasted longer than the companies that manufactured them. Manufacturer parts for older auto lifts might no longer be made, but this is not an obstacle. Many companies today specialize in custom parts and repairs for current technology and legacy tools. This practice is called “recontinuing” parts, as discontinued components are custom made and the technical drawings used in their fabrication are then kept on file, effectively putting those parts back into service.
Service professionals, from individual garage owners to lift manufacturers, rely on this type of service. Smart business decisions are needed at companies of every size, from a lift dealer that does not have a custom machine shop to the garage owner that needs to keep his equipment in top shape. Servicing big ticket items like auto lifts is the best way to stretch dollars without having to sacrifice quality results. With shops “recontinuing older parts, service is always the smart option.