THA 112: Aftermarket Training in the Age of Rapid Tech Changes. How To Navigate Your Training Needs.

Your Learning Curve Never Sounded So Good

Ryan Kooiman joined Standard Motor Products full time as a Technician Training Developer in 2010. Previously he was the lead tech/driveability specialist at a 20 bay independent shop in Michigan. He is the founder of West Michigan Auto Repair Society, chairman of the MI chapter of SAE, has attended numerous ASE test writing workshops. He has appeared on TV shows such as the CBS Early Show and co-hosted Car and Driver Radio along with Road and Track Radio. Ryan brings his years of hands-on experience in the shop to the audience in a manner they can relate to and put to use immediately.

In early 2013, Ryan was promoted to manager of the Professional Training Seminars training group, overseeing the scheduling and the work of the SMP training staff.  In December 2013, Ryan was promoted to Director of Training.  In this role, Ryan oversees the operations of the SMP Corporate Training Center in Irving, TX; oversees the operations and development of the Pro Training group, as well as works closely with the Marketing and Product teams at SMP to ensure that their products and promotions are what they need to be for the automotive technician. Check out Ryan’s other episodes HERE.

Bob Pattengale is the National Training Manager for Bosch. Bob has over 30 years of automotive experience with stops at OE Dealerships, independent repair shops, technician training, and equipment sales.  Bob is a contributing writer for Motor Magazine. Bob also served as the SAE Service Technician’s Society President in 2001 and 2002.

Jon Forro is the owner of AST and an automotive Instructor.

Key Talking Points:

  • Accessing specific training needs will become the primary goal of all trainers, shop owners, and technicians.
    • Going into training with a pre-assessment helps determine the strengths and weaknesses on the topic/subject.
    • You find out the specific needs of the students.
    • Coming out you will find out what you learned
    • These pre and post assessments will show the value of the training need and investment
  • No more certificates of attendance. Student earns a certificate of achievement based on a test of the class material. Bosh is doing this.
  • Standard has three training options:
    • Leader-led and hands-on
    • On-Line
    • Open House Introductions
  • Finding the right classes continues to be a challenge.
    • There is a larger need than the training available.
    • On-line training is a strong option.
  • Shop owner needs the courage to find their individual technician’s skill set and find the right training to fill that gap and invest in the training.
  • The technician needs the courage to assess their competency and work on their skills as a professional.
  • Technicians need to increase their responsibility to improve their value to their profession and have the desire to learn as much as they can
  • The student must absorb the knowledge and then put the new learning into play in their work.
  • Practicing the principles from any training helps solidify the new training.
    • Do homework and show the shop owner you learned the material
    • You will not remember everything in a seminar. You’ve got to re-read and put the theory into practice
  • Bob Pattengale learned that the ‘Why’ of everything he did as a technician was most important to his ability to learn.
  • Commitment comes from the shop owner, the technician and the trainer
  • Does the shop have the proper tools that reflect the training that is provided?
  • Do not rule out ‘basic training’. A refresher course on basic electricity could be a game changer for even the most seasoned technician. Basic principles in electricity is necessary or you will be stuck as the future unfolds. Legacy technicians may not go to a basic electricity class because their ego won’t let them. In this case they do on-line training.
  • Being able to interpret data is becoming increasingly important.
  • Misdiagnosis puts billions of dollars of parts in the warranty bin
  • Prove your scenario using the rule of 2
  • The owner should attend tech classes to discover the training his tech’s needs
  • Service advisors/writers need to go to technical training
  • If you cannot get hired at Google, come to the next most important high-tech industry: the  automotive industry
  • If you do not keep pace with automotive technology you will be left behind. Becoming a perpetual student is your highest professional goal.



  • A special thanks to  John Forro, Ryan Kooiman, and Bob Pattengale for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Books Page HERE
  • Recorded at AVI.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them

Subscribe to a mobile listening app HERE.

Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email

This episode is brought to you by Jasper Engines & Transmissions. When a car’s engine or transmission fails, it’s not the end of the road. A remanufactured drivetrain product from Jasper Engines & Transmissions will give your car a new lease on life. JASPER has over 2000 Associates, three manufacturing facilities, two distribution centers, and 45 branch offices across the country. They’re all working to produce, transport and deliver the perfect product. That’s what they do best… keep customers happy. Visit

Subscribe to a mobile listening app HERE.

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!