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Technology + Vehicle Maintenance = Time Savings


Goodwrench Helps Owners Simplify, Understand and Use Technology to Maintain Their Vehicles

DETROIT – In today’s hectic world, when a vehicle needs service, drivers look for the simplest solution to get back on the road quickly. Wading through a complicated matrix of information in an owner’s manual to understand a maintenance schedule can sometimes be time consuming and confusing. However, advances in technology at General Motors have made it possible for vehicles to tell their owners when service or maintenance is needed.

According to the 2006 Yankelovich MONITOR “Finding Time Perspective,” 70 percent of consumers 16 years and older say they don’t have enough time to do all the things they need to. Approximately 50 percent say a lack of time is a bigger problem in their lives than a lack of money. Yet more than three-quarters of consumers say most products and services that claim to save time do not really make a noticeable difference in the amount of time they have available in their week.

Goodwrench knows time is money

When time becomes more valuable than money, technology can help. GM and Goodwrench are working to make it easier for vehicle owners to maintain and service their vehicles. Automotive technologies such as GM’s Oil Life System, OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, Goodwrench Remote Diagnostics and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) help save time and prevent consumers from having unnecessary maintenance performed. Combined, these technologies also provide peace-of-mind for time-crunched vehicle owners, and allow GM dealers to offer Simplified Maintenance Schedules.

“Each of the industry leading technologies GM has implemented are intended to make life easier for the consumer,” said Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. “We are delivering service and maintenance information in a way that consumers can easily receive and digest.”

David Bersoff, author of Yankelovich MONITOR’s “Finding Time” report says, “After multitasking, the use of technology tools is the top strategy time-starved consumers rely on most to buy back time in their lives.” Specifically, 47 percent of women feel it is essential to keep up with the latest technology products and services to stay on top of daily activities, according to the 2006 Yankelovich MONITOR. And, tech-savvy consumers, especially women (60 percent), go online everyday using technology and the Internet to find answers quickly.

OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics

OnStar’s capabilities are the key to making it very easy for GM vehicle owners to understand their service and maintenance needs. Nearly half of OnStar’s almost 5 million subscribers have registered for OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics to receive free monthly diagnostic reports via e-mail. Each diagnostic report provides data on remaining engine oil life, emissions, engine and transmission, and braking systems, as well as air bag system checks and crucial tire pressure information on vehicles with TPMS. The real-time reports are sent directly to the OnStar subscriber’s e-mail. Subscribers can enroll at the OnStar website ( or press the vehicle’s blue OnStar button and sign up through an advisor.

Goodwrench Remote Diagnostics

With a press of the blue OnStar button, advisors can run an immediate Goodwrench Remote Diagnostic check on the vehicle if a warning light appears or a customer suspects that something is wrong. And if needed, Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) technicians are available to advise the customer if he or she can continue driving or if it’s necessary to find a safe place to stop and wait for roadside assistance.

GM Oil Life System

GM’s Oil Life System informs the driver when an oil change is required based on driving conditions and not on a predetermined time or mileage basis, such as the three months or 3,000 miles recommended by many manufacturers in the past. GM’s Oil Life System monitors engine speed and temperature, and the computer continuously examines engine conditions to determine when it’s time to change the motor oil. This system can double or even triple the time needed between oil changes, and if used properly, can help consumers save time and money connected with unnecessary oil changes.

“A driver whose fuel tank is still two thirds full wouldn’t empty the tank and refill it, or a driver whose tires are half worn wouldn’t replace the them.” said Lord. “It is the same idea with prematurely changing oil that still has life.”

Simplified Maintenance

GM’s Simplified Maintenance Schedules, based on the Oil Life System, are a convenience to drivers because it takes the guesswork out of when to change oil and it eliminates the need to make decisions regarding other routine maintenance. Basically, when the change oil light or message appears, the customer brings the vehicle in for maintenance. The technician changes the oil and performs any other necessary maintenance such as checking belts, rotating tires and changing the air filter.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Checking tire pressure is something drivers often forget or don’t make time to test. By making sure tires are properly inflated, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates drivers can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent. A recent U.S. Department of Energy statistic cited in a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO-07-246R Under inflated Tires) estimates nearly 1.2 billion gallons of gas are wasted each year due to under inflated tires. GM’s TPMS helps alleviate this issue by tracking tire wear and pressure and helping motorists avoid tire failure and potentially dangerous, costly breakdowns. The system uses sensors mounted in each wheel to monitor tire pressure in real-time. Drivers are alerted to tire pressure changes so the issues can be checked and remedied quickly.

Online Maintenance Tips

Goodwrench’s redesigned Web site,, is easy to navigate and offers visitors a variety of helpful vehicle safety and maintenance tips. helps locate the nearest GM Dealer and is a great online resource for learning about the service advantages certified GM technicians offer at more than 7,000 GM dealerships nationwide.

“GM has the right equation of automotive technology to simplify service and maintenance,” said Lord. “And, we have more advances coming that will give back even more time to consumers so they can keep up with the pace of their busy lives.”


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