April 2023 autotechnician magazine

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APRIL 2023 P8 autotech live workshop takeover P10 managing expectations do you have a system? P50 get back on track career support spring into action! features include: Diagnostic equipment & keeping work in-house, on/off-car DPF cleaning and aircon advice Improve your garage's efficiency with our Haynes Pro Integration Our latest integration with Haynes Pro means garage businesses of all types can now access Haynes Pro's features directly from GDS without an additional subscription, thereby helping you improve customer satifsfaction and improved business performance Book your demo today: info@gds co uk / 01482 330 735 / gds co uk


Schaeffler products can help save time, effort, and money in your workshop, especially if you follow the installation guides found on our award winning REPXPERT technical platform.

As automotive technology continues to evolve at lightning pace, Schaeffler remains a leader in the design of advanced new components and systems for original fitment

We also support the independent aftermarket with our leading ranges of transmission, engine and chassis products. Our tailor-made, OE quality LuK, INA and FAG complete repair solutions deliver fast, efficient and professional repairs that can get vehicles back on the road quicker, thanks to the perfectly matching components inside every box that simply fit first time - every time.

For more information on LuK, INA and FAG products, or how to install them professionally, visit: www.repxpert.co.uk | aftermarket.schaeffler.co.uk

P4 Industry news

P8 Your ticket to our Workshop takeover

P10 The Business of Diagnostics, Andy Crook

P13 Diagnostics: Test equipment, training & advice

P28 DPFs: On-car treatments

P33 DPFs: Off-car cleaning

P38 Aircon advice

P43 Parts, Tools & Tips

P50 Career support from Ben


Welcome to the Spring issue of autotechnician, where we focus on the underpinning theory, equipment and support available in the areas of diagnostics, aircon and DPF maintenance, encouraging efficient processes and helping to retain jobs in-house and promote growth. We get the lowdown from the suppliers of services and products in their areas of expertise and gain feedback from readers.

We look ahead to our Workshop Takeover in Cheltenham on Saturday 24th June and hear from VAG specialist Gareth Davies who will help guide one of three groups to diagnose and fix real-world faults. Turn to page 8 for details on how to secure your place to this hands-on training session –guaranteed to be enjoyable and highly rewarding!

If you are considering a change or step up in your career, automotive charity Ben has a wealth of support available online to complement its mental and financial wellbeing tools. Turn to page 50 to find out more.



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NATHAN WISE, DIGITAL BRAND MANAGER Nathan@autotechnician.co.uk

MIKE SMITH, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT admin@autotechnician.co.uk


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Subscription to the magazine is free to those who fulfil the publisher’s criteria. UK independent workshops can subscribe at www.autotechnician.co.uk/subscribe Nine issues will be published throughout 2023 and will be mailed out free of charge to qualifying readers - you must work in a UK independent workshop, have buying responsibility and reside in the UK. Those who do not meet the qualifying criteria can request to receive a link to the digital issue free of charge or can opt to pay £25 for an annual subscription to receive an issue in the post.

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APRIL 2023


As part of its response to the Department for Transport’s MOT Consultation, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has researched the views of both the motor industry and motorists and the results align with the IMI’s view that any change to the current date for the first MOT, or the frequency of MOTs, would significantly increase road user risk.

“We received a resounding confirmation – 87% – from our members that the first MOT should not be extended due to increased road safety risk”, explained Hayley Pells, Policy Manager at the IMI. “And whilst only 51% of motorists we surveyed felt the same, we believe there is sufficient weight of evidence to give the Department for Transport a very clear indication that any change to the start date would be detrimental for all road users.”

The research of motorists found that 78% get their MOT and service done at the same time or that they like to if convenient. If the first MOT is extended by a year and the frequency of MOTs is also reduced, as proposed, this could leave important maintenance issues unchecked. This is particularly a concern as 26% said they wait to be told by the garage that is conducting an MOT or Service if their tyres need changing.

The IMI member research also found that 88% believe that extending the date of the first MOT will have an impact on garage income, with members who actually run MOTs from their business also being very concerned about the wider impact of a change. 60% believe a potential fall in MOT business will negatively impact the volume of service work to their garage.

“Whilst 1 in 5 respondents who run MOTs from their business believe it is fair to assume that any fall in the number of MOTs will free up garage staff and allow them to complete other tasks, the reality is that for nearly two thirds a quarter of their income is dependent on doing MOTs” added Hayley Pells. “The wider economic risks of any change cannot, therefore, be ignored.”

The IMI’s own in-depth analysis of MOT data has revealed the risks surrounding electric vehicles – which are heavier than ICE vehicles and cause heavier wear to their tyres –will be heightened if the first MOT date is extended. Evidence drawn from MOT testing records supplied to the IMI by the DfT shows that comparative to petrol engine vehicles, electric vehicles are much more likely to fail their first MOT test.

“The IMI’s response to the MOT Consultation will strongly advise that increasing the time before a periodic inspection of cars is detrimental for road safety,” concluded Hayley Pells. “It reduces the frequency of maintenance and inspections that are critical to ensuring that vehicles are in good condition and performing at their best.”

Motorists back safety over 23p a week saving Meanwhile, new research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) involving a poll of 1,784 adults British car owners, found that 67% said they were concerned that extending the MOT would put lives in danger with three quarters agreeing that the typical £35-£45 cost of a test is a price worth paying for the peace of mind it provides that their car is safe and roadworthy.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Safety is the number one priority for the automotive industry and the MOT is a crucial component in keeping the UK’s vehicles and roads safe. Our survey shows that drivers support the existing MOT frequency and that there is little appetite to change it, despite the increased cost of living. If changes to the MOT are to be made, these should enable testing of advanced electrified powertrains, driver assistance technologies and connected and automated features, as drivers value the peace of mind the MOT offers.”

4 industry INDUSTRY


Automechanika Birmingham, the UK’s largest automotive trade exhibition, has reported unprecedented demand for tickets from garage professionals.

Taking place from 6th-8th June 2023 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, the event will be the first Automechanika held in the UK since 2019, with many of the biggest brands exhibiting, including Bilstein Group, Bosch, Brembo, Castrol, Delphi, HELLA, LIQUI MOLY, MANN & HUMMEL and ZF Aftermarket.

Visitor registrations for the event are currently surpassing figures set at the same point before the show was last held in the UK four years ago, with registrations from garages, autocentres, and MOT centres 112 percent higher, and 168 percent more bodyshop and collision repair professionals now registered ahead of this time in 2019.

Features at the show include a Workshop Training Hub in association with autotechnician magazine, delivering technical seminars on engine fault diagnostics, MOT, diesel, Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and much more. There will also be a new Electric Vehicles (EV) Training Hub discussing EV


The IAAF has announced that the Automechanika Birmingham Garage Awards 2023 will take place at Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

On Wednesday 7 June, the awards will celebrate the very best of the garage industry – there are eight award categories, including: Garage of the Year, Best Independent Garage (Single-Site), Best Independent Garage (Multi-Site), Best Community initiative, ‘AutoMechanik’ of the year, Best marketing award, Best customer service award and the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.

and hybrid technology, and how to make the transition to EV repairs successfully. An overview on the wide array of features available at Automechanika Birmingham is available on the website here.

To claim a complimentary ticket, simply click here

We will be highlighting the many benefits of attending the show within the next issue.

Nominations for each award can be made here and criteria on each award can be found on the IAAF website, multiple entries will be accepted. Shortlisted companies/ individuals will receive two free tickets to the awards evening at Hilton Birmingham Metropole at 6pm. The event includes networking opportunities, awards and prize giving, a three-course meal and entertainment.

The IAAF fights for the rights of the entire aftermarket supply chain on issues such as access to repair and maintenance information, block exemption and, safeguarding the current MOT test frequency.


For peace of mind always use a Garage Equipment Association member.

GEA accredited engineers work to an industry code of conduct. Your assurance their skills and knowledge have been independently assessed.


accreditation card ! The Upholders of Industry standards since 1945 The Garage Equipment Association www.gea.co.uk GEA ACCREDITED ENGINEER Name Company Discipline Exp Date ID Number XX123456 XX123456 XX123456 XX123456 XX123456
your engineer for his


Remanufacturing specialist, Carwood, is extending its fuel systems programme as the newly appointed distributor for Carbon Zapp in the UK and Eire. Carwood will now sell and support its full range of test and diagnostic equipment for all makes of diesel and petrol systems.

The new programme features Carbon Zapp’s full line-up of test benches, diagnostic equipment, and tooling. This includes its latest generation MTBR-X, a standalone bench with embedded cloud-based technology, that allows extremely fast, high pressure testing up to 3000Bar, for all makes of diesel and petrol systems. Its ITB.4R-X, a dedicated diesel injector bench, capable of testing all technologies, including Euro 6 systems. The new GTB4R-X, a GDi equivalent, with the ability to test, service and code every possible GDi injector on the market. Carwood technicians will provide onsite commissioning and training to ensure workshops are quickly up-to-speed with


According to recent statistics released by Total Jobs, the time to hire on average was 6.4 weeks in quarter four of 2022, two weeks longer on average than in 2021 – so with candidate availability currently tight, recruiters are having to work harder to find and engage candidates.

Automotive recruitment specialists, Glen Callum Associates (GCA), highlight the importance of planning ahead and having a clear strategy when it comes to recruitment. With 52 percent of jobseekers reading company reviews and researching company performance before applying, making your business attractive to new talent is essential, says GCA.

One way to achieve this is by streamlining your job


Automotive industry charity, Ben, has launched ticket sales for Ben Ball 2023 which will take place at Old Billingsgate Market on 6th December.

Ben Ball 2023 is set to be another amazing night of celebration, entertainment, networking and fantastic food. Ben is encouraging the automotive community to book now to avoid missing out on attending the annual flagship black tie event.

Matt Wigginton, Director of Partnerships, Engagement & Income at Ben, said: “We hope you’ll join us at Ben Ball 2023 for a spectacular evening of celebration and entertainment! We expect it to be another sell-out event so advise booking now to avoid disappointment.

“With the cost-of-living crisis we’re living through, we’re supporting more and more people in our automotive family who are struggling to make ends meet. Ben Ball is a critical fundraising event for us – it brings in vital donations and gives us the chance to thank those who have helped us achieve so much during the year, as well as show how we use their donations to change lives.

their new equipment, and will also have access to a technical hotline.


adverts, with 62 percent of people reported to overlook a job advert with no salary. Kerrie Richards, director of GCA advises: “Keep adverts short and ensure you only include the key deliverables – in descriptions keep the critical needs only and drop the ‘nice to haves.’

“You should also ensure you showcase company aims and growth plans and be able to clearly demonstrate job security. By being open and honest with candidates, you build their trust, and it enables them to make an informed decision – it is futile to sell a role to a candidate when it may not be right for them, forcing you to re-recruit down the line. Asking non-negotiables is key here.”

“We invite everyone in the industry to book tickets and join us. We can’t wait to welcome you to Old Billingsgate Market again this December for the highlight of the automotive industry calendar!”

Tickets are on sale now here www.ben.org.uk

help you up to speed again WWW.ACTRONICS.CO.UK 01206 849920 Let’s keep it cost effec�ve & reliable together

Don’t miss out on your ticket to our Workshop

Takeover in June!

autotechnician magazine will host a workshop takeover at Cleevely Motors in Cheltenham on Saturday 24 June and provide a smorgasbord of faulty vehicles to technicians who are committed to honing their craft.

Guests can expect petrol, diesel, and hybrid/EV problems to investigate in small groups and receive ‘just in time’ learning to maximise efficiency when diagnosing tricky faults. Andy Crook, Matt Cleevely, Gareth Davies, and Eliot Smith of Pro-moto will be on-hand to guide guests through the fault-finding process. Good food, banter and a notebook of takeaway tips are guaranteed.

Don’t miss out on what will be an enjoyable day with a great bunch of people who are all committed to improving their first-time fix rate. Tickets to the event are priced £99.99 plus VAT and include parking, refreshments, and lunch.

A limited number of tickets are now available at https://autotechnician.co.uk/ training/

Gain free access to free skills tests now!

The latest autotech test is now available for you to take. This one looks at troubleshooting fundamentals, best methods, and is a logic check for the realworld fault assessments we’re all carrying out in workshops up and down the land. This test has been created by VAG specialist, Gareth Davies, and presents the real data and investigation of faults on an Audi A3 within a multiple-choice format.

“I’m delighted to be involved in another autotechnician event where we get to meet like-minded industry professionals. This year the format is heading back to its roots and I’m looking forward to setting a broken car task for technicians and business owners to get their teeth into and thinking caps on. As a small group we’ll look at the real-world faults that have been presented, with some added customer twists and turns for good measure and use a variety of dealer and aftermarket tools in combination with shared knowledge and decision-making on how to attack the faults from fault to fixed. We’ll cover all the meat and potatoes of the technical task, with opportunities for questions and pitstops for learning and development throughout the task. Above all, we’ll have some fun while learning about the serious business of troubleshooting faults within the workshop. I look forward to seeing you all there!”

In association with:

All you need to do is enter a few details at https:// autotechnician.co.uk/ registration/ click an automated email reply and you get instant, free access to the multiple choice tests focussing on various topics and scenarios, including: Energy requirements of similar vehicles; Case Study – P0303; The SCR system; Hybrid & EV; Common sensors used in spark ignition engine management systems; Oscilloscope Quiz; Testing electrical components; Electrical Test; LIN Bus; CAN-Bus; Diesel case study & Ignition case study!

Media Partner:


Saturday 24th JUNE Autotech Live Tickets now on sale!

Autotechnician’s team of trainers and top-notch technicians will be taking over Cleevely Motors in Cheltenham on Saturday 24th June and invite you to join them to tackle live faults together. Guests can expect various vehicles, including petrol, diesel and EV, and receive ‘just in time’ learning to get to the root of the problem with minimum fuss.

Andy Crook, Matt Cleevely, Gareth Davies, and Eliot Smith of Pro-moto will be on-hand to guide guests through the fault- nding process and potentially join in with some head-scratching! All faults will be live jobs and should make for an interesting challenge for all.

3 groups will get hands-on with petrol, diesel & EV faults Andy will challenge you to diagnose the fault(s) e ciently and deal with the customer e ectively.

Are your systems and processes robust enough? Come and nd out…

Don’t miss out on what will be an enjoyable day with a great bunch of people who are all committed to improving their rst-time x rate.

Tickets to the event are priced £99.99 plus VAT and include parking, refreshments, and lunch.

“As a small group, we’ll look at the real-world faults that have been presented, with some added customer twists and turns for good measure and we’ll use a variety of dealer and aftermarket tools”

“Delegates can learn how to gain con dence on repairing and diagnosing HV circuits”

A limited number of tickets are now available at https://autotechnician.co.uk/training/

In association with: Media Partner:

The Business of Diagnostics: Perception

If you want your business to be effective and your technicians to be efficient, then you need systems and processes. This is the first in a series of articles based on the well-received presentations at the Autotech event last year. Here, Andy asks you to consider ‘perception’.

How you perceive a situation depends on your frame of reference – two people may perceive the same situation very differently. This has been proved many times, one famous example is the ‘Rubin vase’, seen here, which was created by Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin in 1915. This image is a two-dimensional drawing that can be interpreted as either a vase or two faces in profile, depending on how you focus your attention. Perception, therefore, is not only what one sees but also a mental activity.


Consider how three people could perceive this same situation…

A warning light has illuminated on the dashboard of a car. How do you think a customer would perceive this? Compared to a service advisor, and finally, a vehicle technician?

How does this situation make them feel? Do they all feel the same?

Of course not, even if the vehicle was the same make, age and in the same state of repair. The customer may feel anxious about the light – what is wrong, the cost of the repair and the impact this may have on their mobility. The service advisor notes no impairment in the performance of the vehicle and has a greater understanding of vehicle systems. They are not unduly worried about the light. The vehicle technician is not bothered at all, the car is still driving so they will take a look when they get a chance. Same light, same fault, but three very different perceptions.

The same is true when the customer contacts the garage, which for most people is an alien place, where they may not feel comfortable. They will be apprehensive, they do not understand much of what is said to them and are faced with an unexpected expense that has not been budgeted for.

The Front of House (FOH) staff want to be effective in their role. They perceive their job as ‘filling the diary’, booking as much work in as possible. The owner is always talking about utilisation and efficiency in meetings – they believe if the diary is full, they are being effective. So, when the customer contacts the garage, they perceive their job as securing the booking.

The vehicle technicians want to be efficient. When they are given a job, they like to complete it as quickly as possible. The boss is always monitoring how long they take on each job, so they are continuously looking for ways to get the job done quicker.

The garage owner thinks the nice clean waiting room and reception area are just what customers need; fancy coffee, Wi-Fi and designer chairs. The recent meetings have underlined what is expected of the FOH staff, the priority must be providing the best customer service. All the technicians have been reassured the new time monitoring is about identifying where improvements can be made. In a bid to improve efficiency the owners are planning to add another ramp, up-todate diagnostic tools and training for the staff.

Hopefully, this has illustrated how the perception of the same situation can change depending on your frame of reference. Even the garage owner’s perception of what the customer wants is from their frame of reference. What most customers want isn’t fancy coffee or designer chairs, but to know they are in control of the repair budget and understand what is being communicated to them.

Aligning frames of reference

Having systems and processes in place can help align the frames of reference. Systems increase effectiveness, they can be continuously improved, and help maintain standards of service. Processes increase efficiency.

Using this example without a system, the FOH staff may all answer the phone differently, offer a different solution and suggest different timeframes. This lack of a consistent approach can lead to confusion. In this case, FOH have booked a onehour diagnostic session and suggested the customer can wait while this is done. A suitable slot has been identified in the diary and the booking confirmed. They believe they have been effective.

The customer is now under the impression that the car will be fixed in an hour, while they wait. While this was not what was just agreed, they did not understand much of what was said, but they definitely heard them say that it would take an hour, which is brilliant because they need the car that afternoon.

A systemised business would deal with all enquiries in a similar fashion, using templates and scripts that have been refined to remove jargon and ambiguity. The solution for this customer is a diagnostic session, but there is no way to know how long this may take, or how much it will cost.

All that is known at this stage is the technician is required to carry out a diagnostic assessment.

Therefore, the solution is a diagnostic assessment, (a series of tests to establish what is or is not wrong with the vehicle) and report back with the findings. It should be made clear that there is no promise of a fix at this stage. The cost and time required are known, which satisfies the customer, who is now in control of the repair budget. No further work will be carried out without prior authorisation. FOH also knows that the average diagnostic assessment requires two hours additional workshop time and overnight parts – this can be factored into the workshop planning. The technician knows the diagnostic process and has enough time to complete it thoroughly, and there is no pressure to come up with a diagnosis, only to gather facts and data at this stage.

Having a system allows the garage to re-frame the problem so that everyone now knows what is expected of them.

Next time, Andy will examine how garages could improve how they communicate their offer - The 4 C’s of the contract.

For more ideas, advice and free training why not join the Garage Owners Network Facebook group?

www.facebook.com/groups/garageownersnetwork www.atomicsuccess.co.uk

“Having a system allows the garage to re-frame the problem so that everyone now knows what is expected of them”

A brick wall of new technology

Andy Brooke, Managing Director of Maverick Diagnostics, compares a VW Golf Mk 6 and a VW Golf Mk 8 to demonstrate the huge technological leap from 2010 to 2020 and the brick wall an aftermarket garage will face if they don’t adapt to the changes

When our field-based team visits workshops around the UK, they see businesses staying profitable by working with a range of aftermarket tools and sometimes having to outsource jobs when they are stumped by complex repairs or protected components.

The limitations of working like this will only worsen once the next generation of cars starts entering the workshop, increasing the pressure on independent garages to stay profitable and competitive under the looming presence of the local dealer.

The Volkswagen Golf has been in production since 1974, and so far, VW has made 35 million vehicles (not including the Caddy van and variants), so most UK workshops will have repaired or serviced a Golf at some time.

The Golf Mk 1 was seen as the spiritual successor to the Volkswagen Beetle – simple to work on, robust, cheap parts and above all, as a campaign said in the 1980s, ‘if only

everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen,’ although many would argue with this when talking about later Golfs.

Over the last 10 years, the technology in a standard car has moved on rapidly. There is a substantial technological difference if we compare the 2010 VW Golf Mk 6 with the 2020 VW Golf Mk 8.

The Golf Mk 8 is yet to enter the majority of aftermarket workshops. During the last few years, the independent workshop has faced many challenges, including parts, chip, and labour shortages, leading to low supplies of new cars to fuel the aftermarket workshop.

Many lease terms have been extended, and a 2019 Volkswagen Golf Mk 8, now on a 3 or 4-year lease, will only come into an independent aftermarket workshop in late 2023 and 2024.

The Golf Mk 8 is a fully digital vehicle. It has the same platform as the VW EV ID3/4; in other words, it has the same bells and whistles as an EV semi-autonomous driving vehicle with all systems controlled by a touchscreen. In technical terms, the network infrastructure on the vehicle, i.e. the electronic bits, is all very high-end; it has security gateways, CAN FD and component protection on every module, which allows only genuine parts to be used. However, as with all brand-new technology, the Mk 8 has had quite a few reported “interesting”


software issues, usually involving its self-driving and automated braking systems and the telematics modules.

I experienced this personally in an early Mk8. In a 30-milean-hour zone, the vehicle reported the speed limit to be a hundred miles an hour, and lots of other fun and bizarre braking issues until a full software update was carried out.

VW says every Mk 8 has needed updates, and more software updates are yet to be realised. As soon as the warranties on these vehicles expire, they will go out into the aftermarket, and like a lot of contract lease vehicles, they won’t have undergone any software updates. This is very concerning as most aftermarket garages will not have the means to carry out updates and may be stuck with problems they don’t understand and in systems they are not trained to deal with.

As a workshop owner, at this point, you might be saying to yourself “It’s not my problem; I’m not going to see these cars”. But it’s not just the Volkswagen Golf we're talking about here; it's pretty much everything from 2020 and some brands from 2017. The reality is that you can’t carry on fixing 15-year-old cars forever. Customers change their cars, and you need to change to keep your customers.

The diagnostic tooling required

Most workshops will be aware of VCDS VAG Com, commonly known as VAG Com. VCDS is a powerful piece of software in the right hands and, more importantly, when Mr Uwe Ross of Ross-Tech designed it in 1999, he envisaged it as a free update for life – making it the people's software for the people's car. Unfortunately, because of component protection and gateway issues, the VCDS can only carry out a few functions on the Mk7 and no functions are listed for the Mk8. In fact, on their excellent Wiki page, there are no functions listed for development. If Ross-Tech cannot do it, many aftermarket tools will be in trouble with the security gateway aspect of these new vehicles.

Seemingly, Chinese tool manufacturers are defeating gateway problems by using OEM software in the background and routing it to their handsets. Like in the past, I'm sure this sketchy loophole will be closed by vehicle manufacturers, e.g. SCN coding on Mercedes vehicles shut down in 2020.

Some workshops have switched to using ODIS, Volkswagen’s genuine software, which requires dedication and training. These workshops are already aware of the brick wall in technology they are heading towards. Unfortunately, most workshops are not prepared to invest in following this diagnostics path.

At Maverick Diagnostics, we see two types of independent workshop owners. The first type will ignore the problem, hope it goes away, and will send new cars to someone down the road or possibly back to a main dealer. This approach is not a good business model and is unsustainable. The second type wants to invest, be trained, buy the right equipment, do the jobs themselves, and retain customers.

Whatever type of garage you decide you are, as a minimum, you will need to identify the problems with these vehicles and have some basic training on the systems they are involved in.

So how does the aftermarket climb over this brick wall of technology?

A straightforward approach works for the most successful aftermarket garages in the UK. Invest sooner rather than later, get some training, look at decent technical data systems and get an expert support partner to help you on your diagnostics journey.

If you would like to find out more on the subject, watch Maverick Diagnostics’ latest Live Q&A session – Hightech cars – are you facing a brick wall?


Diagnostics Made ESI

Bosch ESI[tronic] helps workshops and garages take their business to the next level, with one diagnostic solution for almost every challenge.

NEW ALLDATA Labour Times is a NEW add-on product for ALLDATA Repair that provides QUICK ACCESS TO OEM LABOUR TIMES. www.alldata.com + Instant access to the industry’s OEM repair information + Repair and maintenance procedures and diagnostic information + Over 3 million technical drawings and wiring diagrams + Factory mechanical and collision repair procedures + Chassis, filling quantities/specifications, tightening specs + TSBs, DTCs, and more FREE TRIAL ALLDATA REPAIR® Repair and Diagnostic Data directly from the Manufacturer

KTS Diagnostics made ESI

Welcome to the first in a series of guides from Bosch to help your workshop make the most of its ESI[tronic] 2.0 software, designed to boost your know-how of the key features to maximise profits and enhance efficiency. This series of technical articles will break individual topics down and build all the way up from the basics to advanced expert tips.

When identifying a vehicle using the ‘VIN Identification’ tab, the user will generally be presented with a list of 1-3 RB key possibilities, which the user can then select from, see Figure 2


In this short guide, we will take a look at how the Bosch ESI[tronic] 2.0 software increases the accuracy of vehicle selection as a crucial first step – ensuring correct diagnosis with the latest technical data and maintenance information you can trust.

The ESI[tronic] software is designed to enhance the potential of your workshop, seamlessly integrating with the KTS 5xx series of VCI (Vehicle Communication Interface) hardware, so you can connect to your workshop PC or laptop and enjoy faster, more accurate diagnosis and analysis, across the full range of vehicle types.


As we cover more than 150 brands, each with many models, and over 90,000 vehicles, we set out to offer technicians a quick and easy way to identify each individual vehicle. Unique to Bosch, every vehicle listed in the ESI[tronic] database is indexed by a ‘Robert Bosch key’ consisting of two or three letters and up to four numbers. For example, a petrol 2019 Renault Clio TCE 90 has the RB key of ‘REN 117847’, see Figure 1


Finding the right vehicle is key to accessing all the tabs you need to get your job done: Vehicle Info, Diagnosis, Maintenance, Manuals, Circuit Diagrams (depending on subscription level), Known Fixes and Equipment (parts). These tabs will guide you through all the relevant functions and data for that specific vehicle, allowing you to carry out your workshop tasks in the most efficient way.



The fastest and most intuitive way to identify the correct model. Simply ensure the VCI is already connected to the vehicle and – in most cases – it will automatically retrieve the VIN details by serial diagnosis from the mode 9 of Global OBD II. This will put all of the possible vehicle selections associated with this VIN at your fingertips.

It is also important to point out that some models do not store the VIN in mode 9 of Global OBD II. If this is the case, users can manually type in the VIN and search the database for an RB key this way.


ESI[tronic] 2.0 Online has an integrated license plate database, directly linking the license plate to the correct vehicle with the corresponding RB-key. The ranking order of the country license plate buttons will be defined according to the country you selected in your User Settings. The first four buttons (By Description – VIN identification – Last 30 vehicles – RB key) have a fixed position and are followed by the country-specific options based on your User Settings.



Unfortunately, with some manufacturers, the VIN associated with some cars does not include model- specific details. This means the list of possible vehicles can be quite long. In which case, you would need to narrow your search parameters by adding some additional details in the search ‘By Description’ option for more accurate results. Refining your search through everything from Make, Model, and Country to Drive Type and Engine Code.

For example, searching for a Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI (2014) returns nine possible RB key selections. Refining this selection just slightly further by engine code (CRLB) then brings the RB key options down to one. Your desired vehicle will then be highlighted in blue, and you can get on with the job at hand with minimal disruption, see Figure 3

The vehicles you most recently worked on can be recalled at the touch of a button via the ‘Last 30 Vehicles’ tab, see Figure 4


There may be occasions where you mistakenly select the wrong vehicle. In this case, the diagnostic ECU system that you need is not fully identified, and some diagnostic functions may not work properly. If you find yourself in this position, a ‘Basic Program’ warning message will pop up on the screen.

If you continue with this, you may see unknown Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC’s) or Actual Values that are not accurate or supported. The service-related information and technical data could also be wrong, which will not help any user or technician carry out their job and diagnosis efficiently.

However, our automotive technical hotline team is always on hand to provide ultimate support at every point. We’ll often ask callers which RB key they have selected so that we can look at the same information on our computer. This then helps the technical hotline team rapidly identify the problem and streamline a solution, so you can get back to doing what you do best.


Once you have identified the correct vehicle, all that remains is to follow the process set out across the tabs at the top of your screen.

Classroom, hybrid & online training

At time of writing, spaces are available for an online Electric/Hybrid Vehicle System Awareness course on 15 May, comprising of two, two-hour online modules.

No prerequisites are required for this course and is designed for people who are involved in a job role that places them in and around vehicles that have High Voltage.

Many other courses are available, covering ADAS, essential procedures, customer care, braking and oscilloscopes.

Visit www.bosch-training-solutions.com/eventcalendar for all available training coming up.

You can use the main tabs across the top row of the screen to navigate through the ESI [tronic] software to perform the expansive range of diagnostic testing. This allows you to tick off the diagnostic tests and service-related tasks and functions as you go, see Figure 5


The professional Bosch ESI [tronic] software comprises vehicle data for over 90,000 vehicles, from around 150 brands, each with many models. You can check the vehicle coverage here Explore which data and information is currently covered for your needs, at the touch of a button.

Choose the aftermarket partner who’s here to help keep you ahead, today and tomorrow. Whether it’s parts, tools, support or training... we’ve got your back! Partner with Delphi Technologies Visit the Masters of Motion hub for more information delphiaftermarket.com Delphi Technologies is a brand of BorgWarner Inc. Masters of Motion currently available only in EMEA.

Access OEM repair data & labour times

ALLDATA Repair includes 89,000 make, model, engine, year (MMEY) vehicle combinations – 95% of vehicles on the road today. These are converted into 12 million technical documents, derived from original OEM repair information from 29 vehicle manufacturers. The data source features a library of three million technical drawings and wiring diagrams, and is regularly updated.

An annual subscription provides instant access to repair data, Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), diagnostic trouble codes and electrical systems/wiring diagrams. The data is available under license from each OEM and collated on the ALLDATA website.

A new product has been integrated into this extensive database, giving users accurate OEM labour times, provided by TecAlliance, that match both repair information and maintenance procedures for a specific vehicle within ALLDATA Repair.

“Our customers have been asking for a resource that delivers trusted OEM labour rates alongside the repair and collision information in ALLDATA Repair,” said Karol Englert, Managing Director for ALLDATA Europe. “ALLDATA Labour Times does that and more. It also enables garages to plan technicians’ schedules and allocate resources for maximum efficiency.”

ALLDATA has more than 400,000 users worldwide and is offering readers a free trial, by completing this brief form here

Top Tip!

autotechnician contributor Gareth Davies uses Alldata Repair within his diagnostic armoury to access manufacturer technical data and research a vehicle and its systems before committing to a token purchase via the manufacturer portal to get to work on the fix. He offers this advice when searching for data: “A tip here, particularly prominent with the German manufacturers, you need to think and search like it’s written by them. In terms of searching AdBlue, you won’t necessarily return results you want, if any. But change that to SCR (Selective Catalyst Reduction), or reduction fluid, and you will find plenty of useful information. A common fall down with manufacturer data is unless you think like it is written, you might feel your data supplier hasn’t got it. Alternatively, you can send an information request to Alldata, with a rather good response time in getting what you need.”

In case you missed Gareth’s video case study last month, click here to view

Case Study –
A3 2005
usually at night
with Alarm

Keep diagnostic tasks in-house

TOPDON says it can help independent workshops keep more jobs in-house with the cloud-based programming that comes with its Phoenix range of diagnostic equipment.

The Phoenix Elite diagnostic scanner comprises a 2.0 GHz Processor and Android 10 operating system, designed to provide a clear picture of the vehicle’s sensor systems and quickly find communication issues or identify trouble codes.

The Elite offers cloud-based programming and online coding for VW, Seat, Skoda, Audi, Merc & BMW. It enables active tests, coding, initializations, memory resets, and more.

The Phoenix Smart is equipped with quad-core processors, supports cloud-based programming for 13 car brands and includes 2 years of free software upgrades.

The Phoenix Remote, pictured above, is TOPDON's latest model of ‘intelligent diagnostic’ tools, also has cloud-based programming for 13 brands, comes with two years of upgrades, but adds a bespoke remote diagnostic feature. Diagnostic sessions are pay-per-time, so although this is still

“out-sourcing” a job, by keeping the vehicle in your workshop, you can significantly reduce the down-time of the vehicle and keep your customer happier.

All the TOPDON Phoenix products now come with a 6-month subscription to DiagnoseDan TSB software. DD-TSB, powered by AutoFrontal, acts like a dashboard on your PC and keeps technical information in one place.



Keeping up with automotive tech has never been more crucial

Delphi Technologies, a brand of BorgWarner Inc, says autonomous driving technologies, electrification of the vehicle parc and different diagnostic processes are among the key step-changes independents face and this fast-paced flow of innovative new technology is driving demand for quality technical training.

“Cars are changing,” says Technical Services Manager Luke Garratt. “The drivetrains, the onboard technology and the methods of interacting with the vehicle are all transforming.”

“Motivation might be getting ahead by winning more work or it can just be about keeping up,” said Luke. “Even doing some of the simplest service jobs now require access to the vehicle’s ECU and coding capability so new skills, new equipment and a commitment to continual learning are absolutely essential.”

Delphi’s offering includes face-to-face training in Warwick, online learning through its Delphi Academy and tips, hints, articles and ‘How To’ videos are available at the new Masters of Motion hub.

Return on investment

“Garages have to make tough calls on how to allocate their resources,” said Luke. “We’re finding staff retention is a key driver for training these days. Recruiting skilled technicians is difficult and expensive so a modest ongoing investment in training over several years can pay for itself in making it easier to attract new technicians.”

Delphi say staff retention is boosted too because technicians who feel they are developing their abilities won’t be as easily tempted to move for a few pounds more in their pay packet.

Diagnostics-specific e-learning modules can be viewed here, covering a wide range of subjects, including Pass Through, security gateways and ADAS.

Blended learning ethos

Delphi currently offer face-to-face training from their workshop in Warwick. “We’ve focused on future technology within the centre,” said Luke. “We’ve got vehicles, service equipment and test rigs for technicians to work on - there’s still no substitute for ‘hands on’ learning.” This is complemented by the Delphi Technologies Academy, which was launched in late 2021 and provides flexible e-learning. It offers over 300 individual modules varying in length from a couple of minutes to nearly an hour each.

“The Delphi Technologies Academy gives a convenient way to enhance skills and knowledge without the challenges of attending physical training,” said Luke. “There’s a training Needs Assessment which includes a series of questionnaires and online ‘practicals’ before suggesting modules to complete tailored to that user.

“Hybrid and electric vehicle training is the perfect example of the benefits of a true blended learning experience. For the more advanced EV course we provide six hours of online prelearning on electrical systems to try and get the foundation knowledge of electrical principle to then build upon in the training centre.”

Industry-recognised qualifications

More than 70 per cent of delegates follow a defined training pathway, mapped to industry-recognised IMI qualifications. Each of the pathways provides between four and seven modules which are one or two days in duration. IMI Accreditation is then dependent upon completing an additional assessment day afterwards.

“We’ve got a framework of content that can be flexed to many different requirements,” said Luke. “Other routes can be mapped out in consultation with our trainers.”

Find out more

Information on the Delphi Technologies Academy can be found here

Technicians can find hints and tips on the new Masters of Motion hub


The Triton D10: Reader feedback

Cedar Garage in Worthing has 19 staff across two workshops and has invested heavily into the latest tools, diagnostic equipment, and technical training. AT spoke to Senior Diagnostics Specialist Adam Cannell, who has been using Snap-on’s Triton D-10 for several months, to get some feedback on their latest bit of kit.

“Every single tool has got its place in the workshop – there’s not one scan tool that does it all. I’m a fan of the Snap-on tooling, they have very good coverage and are built for technicians – some of the other tools I use are built for technicians but are created by computer programmers and are not very easy to use. I use the Zeus and Triton a lot as they save the information to the Cloud, which is very handy because if you want to recall jobs and fault codes it saves time not having to go back to the tool, you just log in to the website.

“The tool itself is well made, feels solid and it starts up very quickly, which is a huge advantage. Other scan tools can feel like an eternity to turn on, whereas the Triton D-10 takes, I think, two seconds; it’s extremely quick. If it’s connected to a vehicle it starts identifying it, so for less experienced technicians, they’re going to save time. It will test the whole vehicle and give you a list of fault codes, or any stored DTCs, and is sent to the Cloud. You can review it on the tool or Cloud, I prefer doing it from the Cloud so when I’m writing the job up I can just copy and paste it onto our garage management system.

“You’ve got the Fast-Track Intelligent Diagnostics, which is a very handy feature especially if you’re not au fait with the system you’re working on. It will highlight any known faults and parts that been replaced for that fault code, and symptoms. You get a bar graph at the top showing x amount of people replaced this part for this concern. If you’re on the fence about a part then you see a lot of people have been replacing a component for that problem, it gives you more confidence. I’ll always advocate that the part’s tested not just replaced! The other nice thing about it is you have got component test information on the tool so you can flick from the Intelligent Diagnostics to this and have a quick read on how something might operate, the type of plug connection it has, what’s on the wiring etc. It will give you test parameters, so you know what measurements to expect. You can also launch the scope from that screen, which is nice, and will set it up how the guys have done at Snap-on to get that information – when it comes to using oscilloscopes, one of the hardest things is learning the settings.

“I don’t know whether it’s a complete replacement for manufacturers’ information but as far as it goes for the independent, it’s going to get you a lot of fixes and it’s going to get you very close to the ones that you do maybe need to get the manufacturer’s information for but you’ve already got to the point where you’ve authorised a bit more diagnostic time, so you’re in a good place.”



Hands-free problem-solving

AXONE VOICE is the latest offering from Texa – a hands-free diagnostic display unit for multi-brand work. You can simply say “Hey TEXA” with the command you need, or after the selection, or vehicle scan, it directly suggests the services available.

A 13.3” high resolution screen is protected by robust Gorilla Glass, containing a Windows 10 Enterprise operating system, powered by an Intel Core i5 processor with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB storage.

The tool has two 8 MP cameras – the first is used for face recognition, the second is useful for detailed customer reports and during remote assistance to allow the TEXA Call Center to see in real time the conditions of the vehicle, even to check its correct positioning during an ADAS calibration.

When connecting to the vehicle manufacturer’s website, for example to update an electronic control unit in the vehicle, a diagnostic tool must remain connected to the Internet and to the mains, sometimes for several hours. Texa says that the Internet connection will remain stable and 100% compatible

with the specifications by all manufacturers and the unit can be housed on a cart with a tilting shelf to keep it charged when connected with manufacturer portals. An auxiliary cooling fan in direct contact with the magnesium case, keeping it cooled when using it for long periods of time.

Request a demo here

25 Now Only £1495+VAT 6 Months free subscription Included with every tool! info@topdondiagnostics.co.uk 0118 227 0648 - Call today! www.topdondiagnostics.co.uk Company Reg No. 13839027 DIAGNOSTICS

Analysing the benefits of adding diagnostic and calibration services

As new cars coming off the production line are fitted with ADAS as standard, workshops, especially bodyshops, are seeing the opportunity for diagnostic and calibration work to be performed in-house rather than outsourcing to a main dealer or contractor.

One repairer that is taking advantage of this new work stream is Rye Street Group, which recently added diagnostics and calibration to its menu of services. Nick Ferris, group development manager at Rye Street Group, explains the benefits this new work opportunity is already delivering to the business, “We are always on the lookout for new revenue streams to tap into and one that we identified was diagnostics and calibration services. These types of jobs require specific tools and knowledge, so it is important to do the research and get tools in to demo them because there is only so much you can get out of peer reviews and reading about them online.

“Our needs and requirements included how these tools would help reduce key-to-key times and be efficient with the amount of space they take up. But, most importantly, we need the tools to enable us to keep up with the latest in-vehicle technology without having to constantly invest in new tools every year to 18 months.

“Our research led us to Repairify and its representative Gareth came to do a demo at one of our sites and showed us how quickly and easily the process could be. We invested in their digital ADAS calibration unit. The next logical step was to introduce a dedicated bay for ADAS calibrations and diagnostic work. The bay has allowed us to keep everything in one place instead of having to set-up a bay each time the work comes through.

“There have also been several benefits we’ve noticed since introducing the system. The first is how compact and easy it is to set up, which means our technicians can spend more time on work. The second is that because we have brought the services in-house it means we do not have to book a vehicle into a dealership to be recalibrated or employ a third party to do the work. This, in turn, means we reduce the key-to-key time of the job and do not have to pass additional costs for the work onto the customer. The third is the overall efficiency of the calibration because if there are any issues all the technician has to do is access the Repairify’s Dealer on Demand service, which helps make previously complex issues simple.

“With diagnostics and calibrations, there are always things to learn, and we are always looking to upskill our workforce. Gareth and his team provide the relevant training to our technicians, which ensures that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to use the digital ADAS unit and complete a right first-time calibration. In addition, with the knowledge the technicians have, it enables them to simply explain to customers what is being done to their vehicle if required.

“Overall, we know that the demand for diagnostics and calibrations services is going to increase, and we are happy that we have entered the market at the ground floor and have access to products and services that are constantly updated. This means our team is confident about calibrating any vehicle that comes into the workshop.”



Get hands-on diagnostic training with autotechnician this June

autotechnician magazine will host a workshop takeover at Cleevely Motors in Cheltenham on Saturday 24 June and provide a smorgasbord of faulty vehicles to technicians who are committed to honing their craft.

Guests will face petrol, diesel, and hybrid/EV faults to investigate in small groups and receive ‘just in time’ learning to maximise efficiency when diagnosing tricky faults.

Andy Crook of GotBoost Training, host Matt Cleevely, VAG specialist Gareth Davies, and Eliot Smith of Pro-moto will be on-hand to guide guests through the fault-finding process and provide plenty of practical tips to put into practice back in your own workshop.

Good food, banter and a notebook of takeaway tips are guaranteed!

Don’t miss out on what will be an enjoyable day with a great bunch of people who are all committed to improving their first-time fix rate.


Tickets to the event are priced £99.99 plus VAT and include parking, refreshments, and lunch.

A limited number of tickets are now available at https://autotechnician.co.uk/training/

TEXA UK Ltd 32-34 Churchill Way Lomeshaye Industrial Estate Nelson BB9 6RT Tel: 01282 606787 Email: sales.uk@texa.com www.texa.co.uk DIAGNOSTICS
Andy Crook Matt Cleevely Gareth Davies Eliot Smith


On-car cleaning chemicals can save the often considerable hassle of removing a DPF but it can be difficult to select the appropriate product. This situation leads Rob Marshall to ask trusted specialists about how their solutions can help you

Taking the easier option is not always the worst one. Within the realms of DPF cleaning, you are not taking a risk by relying on a bottle of potion – provided that it is used correctly. Trusting in businesses that have invested in their products, with proven track records, provides extra reassurance. For this reason, we have consulted BG Products, JLM Lubricants (via its UK distributor, Kalimex) and Liqui Moly for advice on their offerings.

Prevention is key

All companies agree that the best strategy starts early. BG Products is emphatic that limiting soot production makes the DPF last longer, in addition to further benefits. As an active regeneration consumes close to 25% more fuel, and reduces

the lubricating oil's life, it is worth promoting these long-term savings to a customer at service time. Liqui Moly concurs that, if aged oil is left within the crankcase, deposits can form on the piston rings, making them stick, reducing compression. This creates excessive oil consumption, which not just increases DPF clogging rates but the metallic elements within the oil also reduce DPF life. Liqui Moly stresses the importance of garages using the appropriate low SAPS oil, because oil ash cannot be removed by on-car DPF cleaning methods.

Reducing oil consumption extends DPF life. BG Products advises that its EPR oil flush is the most cost-effective way of protecting a DPF. Its formulation focusses on cleaning deposits from piston rings, keeping them flexible and preserving their sealing quality.

Curing DPF blockages in-situ works only if the underlying issue is addressed

BG Products adds that injector cleanliness is vital for optimum fuel atomisation. Interestingly, it finds that high-pressure common rail injectors are not just prone to deposits but also dedicated chemistry is required to clean them adequately. Therefore, when carbon afflicts dirty injectors and low-tension piston rings, the DPF is exposed to double trouble. Firstly, incomplete fuel atomisation overloads it with soot deposits. The reduction in compression from stuck piston rings not just exacerbates the situation but also the increase in blow-by gases means that oil vapour is drawn into the intake system, thus increasing ash loadings.

Liqui Moly says that its Diesel System Cleaner additive cleans and frees fuel injector nozzles. It also removes troublesome deposits from both the fuel system and combustion chambers. The result is restored fuel atomisation and reduced DPF soot loadings.

Liqui Moly advises that its Diesel System and Diesel Particulate Filter fuel additives are dosed every second service. They are geared more towards preventative filter cleaning, especially on cars that are driven infrequently.

JLM Lubricants markets several preventative maintenance products. Its DPF ReGen Plus fuel additive enhances the regeneration process, by allowing the soot to burn at reduced temperatures. Dependent on driving habits, one can should be dosed into the tank once every 2,000 – 3,000 miles, or every three months, whichever the sooner.

JLM Lubricant's Diesel Extreme Clean includes not just the DPF but also the injectors, EGR valve(s) and turbocharger vanes. It should be viewed as an all-in-one cleaning package that dissolves minor blockages, fixes irregular running and improves fuel consumption.

Should replacement be the only option...

LKQ Euro Car Parts reminds garages that Euro V cars onwards must be fitted with a type-approved replacement DPF.

Everything that drives works better with LIQUI MOLY. www.liqui-moly.com

Effecting a cure

Fuel additives can work against you, should you need to cure a DPF blockage. Therefore, query the car owner if any DPF-related additives have been dosed into the tank already. The danger for you is that the DPF might overheat and you could be liable for any resultant melted monoliths. For the same reason, do not dose additives when you suspect a soot-related blockage.

Even so, on-car DPF cleaning is possible, using a range of chemical options that have been designed for professional workshops.

BG Product's 9300 intake and dpf cleaning system initiates and controls the DPF regeneration process. Cleansing chemicals are introduced through the air intake to disperse hydrocarbons from the inlet to the DPF. BG Products advises technicians to watch the exhaust gas temperatures throughout the procedure and to adjust engine speed and airflow (using a supplied adjustable venturi) to keep them within the prescribed range. It is advisable to dose EPR oil flush into the sump afterwards and to finish the task with an oil change to help restore any lost compression via dirty piston rings.

Liqui Moly's cleaning kit comprises a DPF Gun, a DPF Probe with interchangeable tips and a selection of chemicals: the Pro-line Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaner & Pro-Line Diesel Particulate Filter Purge. These are injected into the DPF directly. The DPF cleaner dissolves surface-hardened, dense and encrusted contaminants. The DPF purge flushes the soot softened by the cleaner and distributes it within the DPF, so that it can be burned off during subsequent regeneration.

Further details of the process can be viewed online here

JLM Lubricant's cleaning toolkit works similarly to that of Liqui Moly's cleaning kit, by injecting a suitable chemical to loosen the deposits and then using another one to distribute the deposits around the DPF for burning during regeneration.

An interesting variation from JLM Lubricants is the DPF spray, which is an aerosol can that contains chemicals that dissolves the deposits. It is also injected into the DPF directly and reduces the soot's combustion temperature, so it burns off quicker and at reduced temperatures.



Off-car DPF cleaning seems like a mysterious art, leading Rob Marshall to visit Carwood in Birmingham to discover what it is all about

Off-car cleaning can reach the areas that on-car cleaning cannot. It is also becoming more popular, as Carwood of Birmingham and LKQ Euro Car Parts attest. Even on an engine that is operating perfectly, all combusted soot leaves a trace of ash behind. This accumulation builds over time but it is not always easy to establish how much ash lies within the filter, compared to soot. As ash cannot be burnt away, frequent active regenerations and high-post regeneration pressure readings are good indications of ash accumulation.

Therefore you cannot deduce by mileage alone how much ash is deposited. A car that is used infrequently could have a higher DPF ash content than one that has covered three times the distance on motorways. Other factors are relevant, too. Service history, low SAPS oil and engine/turbocharger condition are all influencers. The on-board cerium-based catalyst systems that are used mainly on PSA/Stellantis vehicles (and others, such as certain Volvos and Mazdas) deposit the Eolys catalyst as red ash. Contacts within Stellantis told us that refinements over the years have been aimed at reducing the ash load, especially as DPFs have become smaller. Some of these vehicles dose more Eolys into the fuel (increasing the DPF ash loading) if the owner refuels little and often.

You can also consider off-car DPF cleaning in situations, where on-car cleaning is unsuitable. For instance, if the driver has ignored fascia warnings and the DPF has become blocked severely, or if on-car cleaning has either failed, or is impractical. Oil contamination is a further reason why you may consider

mail it to them

1. Carry out your DPF assessment well in advance. Due to a technical issue, we could not access the pre-clean pressure readings. Therefore, we had to rely on the soot loading figure. Being a calculated value, it is inadvisable to treat it as accurate. For instance, it is possible to see a 300% soot loading accompanied by satisfactory pressure readings.

on-car cleaning but be wary that some off-car DPF specialists refuse to clean DPFs affected in this way.

The guinea pig

As off-car DPF cleaning services tend to be offered on a mailorder basis, many garages are unaware of the process. We are, therefore, grateful to Carwood of Birmingham for showing us its procedure.

The car chosen for this demonstration is a Euro IV DPFequipped 2.0-litre RHR HDI Citroën C5. Despite being elderly, of virtually zero worth and with 136,000 miles recorded, its history has been known from new. Oil changes have been conducted between 6-10,000 miles with the recommended 5W30 C2 midSAPS engine oil and OE quality filters. It has never displayed a DPF problem and was averaging a healthy 524 miles between the last five active regenerations. Its additive tank was refilled 50,000 miles ago with Infineum F7995, the replacement fluid for the OEM Eolys 176. We understand that Eolys Extend is the latest OEM fluid for vehicles of this age – although quality aftermarket suppliers can offer suitable alternatives.

Considering the car's age, mileage and additive specification, we wanted to see what improvements off-car cleaning could bring and how the procedure worked.

Contact Details

Call 0121 552 9524 to arrange collection or drop your DPF off at Carwood in person: Units 2-6 Willow Court, Crystal Drive, Smethwick, Birmingham, B66 1RD.

2. Most off-car DPF cleaning companies will not remove the DPF for you, Carwood being one of them. As many DPFs are not as assessable as the one on this C5, you may have to undertake significant dismantling to access it. Enquire about the turnaround time with your chosen specialist. Excluding time taken for postage, Carwood offers a same-day turnaround on receipt.

Most off-car DPF companies require you to remove the DPF and

3. Remove any pressure pipes and sensors carefully. As they contain a brittle monolith, DPFs are fragile, so package them well. Carwood supplies a packing guide, along with the collection labels. To save time, check the internal brick visually for any cracks; should you find any, advise the customer that a new DPF is needed. Unlike many cars, this DPF can be separated from the oxidisation catalyst.

4. When a DPF arrives with Carwood, its engineers check the unit thoroughly for integrity and damage. This includes using an endoscope to peer inside the DPF outlet and check for issues, such as a melted monolith that would cause a blockage.

5. The picture is from another DPF that has cracked internally. Should damage like this be found, Carwood will inform the garage that the unit is compromised and that cleaning would not solve the problem.


8. The engineer fits the appropriate adapter to the DPF, so it can be installed accurately. Some DPFs are too long, in which case the exhaust pipe is cut and a jointing pipe must be fitted, upon reassembly to the vehicle. Again, if you think that the DPF is rather lengthy, enquire with your cleaning specialist.

6. Carwood cleans the mounting faces of all rust and carbon deposits, to ensure a gas-tight seal, ready for mounting to the DPF cleaning machine. 7. All pressure and temperature sensor ports are plugged, to ensure that the machine can pulse its cleaning fluid through the DPF without losing pressure. 9. Carwood service employs a Flash Cleaner machine, which employs a gentle but effective method that combines water, cleansing chemicals and hot air. Other methods include ultrasonic and heat cleaning. Flash Cleaner's comparisons of these processes can be viewed here: 10. Pictured is the DPF mounted securely to the machine. As ash cannot flow through the DPF, unlike soot, it must be back-flushed through the DPF's inlet. This is why the DPF's outlet is connected to the machine and not the inlet.

11. Carwood's machine is set to eight pulses per cycle, one every six seconds. The engineer evaluates whether, or not, more cycles are required, or manual intervention is required to obtain the optimum result. The machine warms its cleansing mix to 50ºC.

12. The machine starts, by measuring the DPF's airflow and pressure, which is provided in a print-out (see Step 16). Each high-pressure pulse is spectacular to watch. On this DPF, the video shows the first pulse, where a combination of black soot and red cerium/Eolys deposits are blasted out almost immediately, after the first air pulse. The ensuing bio-enzyme cleansing fluid pulses are as pictured, with relatively a clean soapy solution passing through the filter.

14. Once complete, hot air passes through the filter monolith, drying it out. As moisture creates a pressure increase, the airflow increases and pressure figures drop as the 40 minutes long drying process reaches its conclusion.

16. With the procedure complete, the before-and-after readings can be compared. The airflow has increased from 455 to 468 millibars (a 3% improvement) and the pressure has decreased from 51 millibars to 35 millibars (31% improvement). These figures might not seem impressive but consider that this elderly filter had no recorded faults. Carwood supplies before and after airflow readings on the dispatch note.

17. The engineer then dismounts the DPF from the machine. As the Flash Cleaner machine does not employ very high temperatures, the unit is warm to the touch, not scalding hot. As DPFs that employ Eolys operate at comparatively low temperatures, they are vulnerable to being overheated and so this gentle but strong method suits them well.

13. The machine monitors any changes in air pressure and flow throughout the cleaning procedure, which the operator observes. 15. Again, the engineer observes the drying time countdown, as the machine continues to monitor the airflow and pressure through the filter.

18. In case the cleaning process reveals monolith damage that could not be verified before the cleaning process, Carwood's quality control process involves inspecting the DPFs visually again, before they are packaged and returned to the garage.

19. Carwood advises strongly that garages seek and fit the appropriate fitting kits, when installing DPFs. Smearing old gaskets with exhaust sealant risks damaging the DPF severely, should any such material find its way into the monolith.

20. It is easy to forget that the DPF is fragile, so take extra care, when installing it. Carwood advises applying a light smear of high melting-point grease to sensor threads, which lubricates them and helps if any future removal is necessary.

21. Start the engine, check for leaks, and compare the new DPF pressure readings with the old ones. Again, we could not access the real-time pressure readings and so we can rely only on the rather blunt, calculated soot loadings, which cannot differentiate between soot and ash. Even so, the reading has improved by 29%.

22. The car was driven on a post-clean 60 miles motorway trip back to the office. Note that the soot loading calculation has reduced further to 19%. Once returned to base, we performed a live data reading, taken at the pressure differential sensor pipes, showing two-millibar idle speed pressure, which is a good normal figure. Consider, however, that airflow and pressure readings are likely to differ between those recorded by the DPF cleaning company and the live post-testdrive readings.


Carwood's DPF cleaning service costs £150, including collection and return carriage.


It is never a waste of time updating your Air Conditioning (AC) theory, especially as they are developing so fast for high-voltage motorcars


Like electricity, refrigerant thermal management theory is not that easy to comprehend, because you cannot see what is going on inside the system. This leads Rob Marshall to ask leading specialists about the fundamentals and how technician misunderstanding can lead to grief.

While dedicated air conditioning specialists are less likely to struggle, the professionals within more general repair and service workshops can have issues relating to the supposedly sealed Air Conditioning circuit (AC). Revealingly, Denso finds that the standard motor trade response to AC service is ‘We’ve re-gassed it’, which, without understanding the system, is a move that can cause additional problems. The situation is made worse if, in addition to not appreciating AC system theory, the technician thinks that an AC refilling machine will service the AC system fully.

In Waeco's experience, technicians can find it tricky to visualise the different states and pressures that the refrigerant experiences at different points within the AC circuit. The company explains that the high and low-pressure sides involve the refrigerant changing states from a liquid into a gas and

back again. Waeco concludes that the relationship between pressure, temperature and the physical state of the medium refrigerant causes the most frowns on technicians' faces.

Chill dude

Do not worry – help is at hand. Denso reminds us that the compressor promotes refrigerant flow, driven usually by the engine, via a magnetic clutch, which engages and disengages the drive. Some systems employ a damper limiter pulley to drive a variable displacement type compressor continually. On high-voltage EV systems, the compressors are, of course, powered electrically. Most technicians understand this basic principle.

Clearly, the compressor experiences high pressure at the discharge port and low pressure at its suction port. What is less well-known is that the compressor sucks gaseous refrigerant from the evaporator, where this superheated refrigerant absorbs heat energy from the passenger compartment. Once arriving at the compressor, this low-pressure vapour is compressed, adding more heat energy. This high-temperature, high-pressure gas is then forced from the compressor

The latent heat of evaporation theory – in a sentence

The heart of AC relies on the refrigerant changing state from a liquid to gas (and back again), absorbing and shedding heat energy as it does so.

PRODUCTIVITY Save Time. Increase Productivity. Drive Revenue. Sun AC Systems make refrigerant recovery, recycling and recharging simple They all run in the Sun KoolKare Air Conditioning Family QTECH III PLUS FOR HFO1234YF QTECH III PLUS FOR R134A Find out more: snapon.com/ac DUAL GAS 12 FOR R134A AND HFO1234YF

Unwanted moistness

Moisture equals trouble within the refrigerant system. Waeco explains that technicians appreciate that brake fluid is hygroscopic but comparatively few repair professionals understand that compressor oil shares this unfortunate characteristic.

This may be down to developments behind the scenes. Moisture ingress is not too much of an issue with systems using R134a but it has become more pressing with R1234yf. These systems are more sensitive, because moisture facilitates acid formation. A consequence of this is the acid attacking the compressor internals.

discharge port into the condenser. Condensers share their working principles with domestic radiators, because the condenser also transfers heat energy into the surrounding air. As its name implies, this causes the vapour to lose pressure and condense into a liquid, shedding heat energy as it does so.

Next, the cooled liquid refrigerant flows to the expansion valve, where it is forced through a small orifice. This causes the refrigerant to emerge as a mist, from which it expands. The expansion reduces the pressure and, therefore, the temperature further. This causes the refrigerant to change state again from a warm, high-pressure liquid to a cooler, lowpressure mist.

This low-pressure mist flows into the last major component of the AC system, the evaporator. The evaporator consists of a thin aluminium tank behind the dashboard. As the evaporator is chilled, it absorbs heat energy from the cabin, which transfers quickly to the refrigerant mist inside. As it warms, the mist vapourises, evaporating back to a gas. This vapour flows from the evaporator and back to the compressor where the whole process starts again. Phew!

The consequences

Waeco and Denso agree that technicians not appreciating AC basics tend to be a major cause of misdiagnosis. For instance, where the compressor has failed, due to a lack of refrigerant and resultant lubrication starvation, changing the compressor alone is not addressing the underlying problem. The new part, therefore, will fail very quickly and not through any manufacturing defect. Waeco argues that, dissatisfied customers aside, expensive and time-consuming repeat repairs are the consequence.

Nissens agrees that without a grasp of AC basics, and the relationship between temperature and pressure, it will be very hard to conduct AC servicing, or repairs. Even so, there will be a much higher risk of system breakdown on a newer and more complicated heat pump system. Nissens explains that the cost of heat pump system failure could be much higher, because the consequences of contamination impact many more components than a traditional AC system.

Featuring on high-voltage vehicles, heat pump systems can possess up to eight solenoid valves to control refrigerant flow. Nissens reveals that, because the system relies heavily on ambient temperature, it can switch refrigerant direction within a split second to seek the optimum energy-saving solution, to preserve battery range. This means that there can be multiple ways by which the system warms not just the cabin but also the battery pack. Technicians, therefore, need to appreciate how the system operates in every possible heating and cooling mode to perform checks of all functions as part of their diagnosis process. While Nissens says that heat pumps do not reinvent the wheel, and technicians must not forget the basic AC principles, it is still important to be trained in this relatively new system.

Getting qualified

LKQ Euro Car Parts confirms that any garage undertaking air conditioning work must be F-gas certified. It will sell R134a to customers only if they can prove that they are qualified to handle and dispose of the refrigerant properly. This is the product with which most aftermarket technicians are familiar, because it is the most common automotive refrigerant used before 2013. However, the more environmentally friendly R1234yf was used on new vehicles after 2017, which is becoming more common.

The theory of leak detection

While many consumers view leaks as causing their AC to stop working, technicians should view escaping refrigerant as the cause of compressor oil starvation and thermal overheating.

Waeco explains that the AC compressor is cooled by the refrigerant and lubricated by the oil which circulates with it. Should a leak, or incorrect filling, cause the system to possess insufficient refrigerant, lubrication gaps will occur. This situation causes the remaining AC oil to overheat and decompose, ruining its lubricating effect. To avoid this, Waeco recommends UV dyes that make it easier for you to detect leaks at an early stage. Furthermore, it is prudent to possess tools for an inert gas (such as nitrogen) pressure test, to repair vehicles that have not had UV dyes added to their refrigerant circuits.



Get everything you need to prepare for the rise of EV, digitalisation, connectivity, ADAS, stock and price challenges and more. Just one day out of your workshop is an investment for your business that you can’t afford to miss!


• Meet over 500 leading suppliers and get your hands on the latest technologies and developments from ZF, Bosch, Hella, Snap-On, Alliance Automotive Group, Tool Connection, LKQ Euro Car Parts, Arnold Clarke Autoparts, Liqui Moly, SATA, NGK and much more!

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As the AC system on certain hybrids and EVs operates above 48 volts, high-voltage training is essential, to avoid property damage and potential loss of life.

How to update your training

As AC and refrigerant-based thermal management systems are evolving fast, so too must technician training. LKQ Euro Car Parts says that not only can you obtain F-gas qualifications through its LKQ Academy but also its Level 2 and 3 awards in Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Routine Maintenance Activities provides delegates with the necessary skills to carry out routine AC servicing on high-voltage applications.

Denso highlights that its pan-European training covers everything from basic AC maintenance to fault-diagnosing compressors. You can participate through the company's

distribution partners, view the information on YouTube, or via its official online e-Learning training platform, https://www.denso-technic.com/uk. In addition to receiving IMI-accredited training, Denso emphasises that technicians can compete in its 2023 League of True Mechanics competition.

Nissens is keen to point out that its training encompasses not just AC systems but also the relevant chemicals and service tools. It also offers three different levels (Basic, Specialist and Expert) of training classes that last between 3-5 days, depending on whether it focuses on theory, or practical handson activities. It also emphasises course flexibility, where training can be centred around specific issues that technicians have encountered within their workshops.

AC is developing from a cabin comfort-orientated feature into an essential thermal management system for high-voltage running gear

Why you should flush

If a compressor has failed in use, metal filings can infiltrate the refrigerant system. Evidence of this is straightforward, when removing the unit and viewing the contaminated lubricating oil. Most commonly, these contaminations will lie in wait, ready to damage the new compressor. This is why flushing is a wise precaution, not just to ensure a long-lived repair but also to protect yourself, as some compressor manufacturers will not accept warranty returns, unless you flushed the system before fitting the new part. Waeco recommends that a filter is installed on the suction line to capture these metal fragments. It adds that this is not flushing's sole advantage. It also helps to remove acids that have formed, from moisture entering the damaged circuit.

Refrigerants are not the only evolving topic with AC systems

Parts, Tools & Tips

New products, fitting tips & technical advice to ease fault-finding and installation


Protective shields mounted behind disc brake assemblies protect the brake discs, pads and hoses from constant exposure to dirt and dust contamination from both the road and the friction material produced as the pads and discs wear. Febi says they also protect hot discs by reducing the amount of sudden cold water that can splash them and cause them to distort or crack whilst driving in wet road conditions.

They also protect electronic components, such as the wheel speed sensors, brake pad wear sensors and the associated wiring, from heat and debris, along with all steering and suspension components that are close to the disc brake assembly.

If the shields deteriorate due to corrosion or distortion, this can cause:

• Premature wear and corrosion of the brake discs

• Excessive contact with water and road debris

• Risk of damage to any of the fixings to the suspension and steering joints

• Noise due to distortion, causing contact with rotating or moving parts

• Excessive heat from the brakes affecting rubber or plastic components, causing melting or burning if the shield is missing or completely corroded.

febi brake disc shields are manufactured from pressed steel and precisely formed to match OE. The steel is treated with a galvanized coating and then painted for anticorrosion protection.

The range of replacement disc brake shields can be found at: https://partsfinder.bilsteingroup.com/


NGK’s range of EGR valves – equivalent to their (OE) counterparts – have been joined by part number EGP0-N113 (stock number 93038) and part number EGP3-A111 (stock no. 97915).

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “We are pleased to announce two new to range EGR valves which are now available to the aftermarket. They will cater for thousands of popular cars and LCVs on the UK and Ireland’s roads and further improves the comprehensive coverage and convenience that we provide to our aftermarket customers.”

EGP0-N113 fits a number of 3.0 light commercial vehicles (LCVs) including the Citroen Relay HDI 160, Fiat Ducato 160 Multijet, Iveco Daily models and Peugeot Boxer 250. While EGP3-A111 caters for BMW 2.0 models including 1 Series, 3 Series and Touring, 5 Series 520d and X3. EGP3-A111 will also fit variants of the MINI 2.0 models and is also applicable for the 1.6 Toyota Verso D-4D.

Originally developed in the early 1970s, EGR valves first started to be used in Europe in the 1990s in order to meet the ‘Euro 1’ emission standards. Today, 100 percent of diesel cars are equipped with EGR valves and 30% of petrol cars. Many new models will be even equipped with two EGR types (low pressure and high pressure), which means that the replacement part market for these types of valves is likely to grow.





Aftermarket website expert, Jim Lang, of Garage Services Online, has called for independent garages to stop viewing websites as online brochures and a form of advertising they don’t need. He said: “We talk to lots of garage owners who feel a website will only serve to bring in even more work to their workshops; work that they don’t need. But websites have come a long way and, done properly, the role they play in a business can be gamechanging. They’re effectively like an integral member of staff and absolutely vital for the profitability and long-term success of independent garages.”

Jim says that case studies show that with a correctly optimised website, a garage has the power to be selective when it comes to choosing what work goes on its ramps. And building a website that’s a beacon for the type of work a garage really

wants, gives owners the confidence to say no to less desirable work. If a new customer enquires about a job that will hardly cover its costs, it makes perfect business sense to turn the work down in favour of something else, something profitable. Watch how in the 4-minute video above.

Jim continued: “There’ll always be loyal customers for whom you’ll have to take the low ticket work as part and parcel of looking after their vehicle. But that doesn’t mean it’s a strategy for every enquiry you get. It’s not how independent garages will make the profits they’re capable of.”

Customer Carl Regan at Arnold Garage in Nottingham said: “I’m not a businessman. I’m a mechanic with a great team and a good garage. We’re busy and through the website, we get even more enquiries. We can cherry-pick the work we want to do; the more profitable, faster turnaround jobs.”



Ring’s MAGflex Mini LED Inspection Lamp, RIL6100, is now available in blue and yellow, as well as the classic black version, to help it stand out on a technician’s workbench.

The RIL6100 has a magnetic base, projects 250 lumens and is built to withstand tough working conditions. Users can rotate the lamp to point it at the exact spot needed and has up to six hours operating time on a single charge. A charge level indicator will let you know when a recharge is needed.


•Legal Advice •HR Support •MOT Quality Control Schemes •Health & Safety Programmes •Technical Support Helpline •MOT & Technical Training •Implementing Legislation •Digital Service Records •Trust My Garage •Utilities Management •Industry Scam Information •Access to ADR for consumer disputes •Exclusive Member Offers & Services •Lobbying for issues affecting your garage ...and any other issues you need help with We can support you with: DO YOU OWN OR RUN AN INDEPENDENT GARAGE? The Independent Garage Assocation has been your trade body since 1913. Join us to receive everything you need to run a successful garage business, all in one place at an unbeatable price. Contact our friendly team today to find out how your independent garage can benefit from membership: enquiries@rmif.co.uk 01788 225 908 IndependentGarageAssociation.co.uk Scan here to visit the IGA website



Hofmann Megaplan provide some cost-saving tips for AC servicing

During an AC service, the ‘recharge’ equipment recovers the existing refrigerant into the equipment’s internal tank and is cleaned on its way to the tank using complex filters and separators to ensure all impurities and moisture is taken out. Any oil recovered is disposed of into the AC machine’s catch tank.

Once the system is empty, the equipment generates a vacuum inside the refrigerant circuit for around 20 minutes, so that any moisture in the system evaporates and is drawn out of the system and expelled through the AC machine. A leak test is then carried out by closing the system and watching for any pressure drops. If any oil was recovered, it is replaced with new oil and the AC circuit is filled with fresh refrigerant (most of what goes back into the vehicle is the original refrigerant, just thoroughly cleaned).


Points to note:

• It’s always worth checking the drive belt for the AC pump, just in case it needs replacing.

• Looking after your refrigerant is key to cost control. When you fill the equipment with new refrigerant, make sure you note how much has gone in (and when) and ensure the virgin gas is returned to a secure area.

• AC refrigerant is expensive. Remember to keep an eye on the amount of refrigerant being used to highlight any issues with working practices that may be costing you refrigerant.

• Don’t attempt to fill a system that has a leak, not only is it illegal to knowingly release refrigerant into the atmosphere, it’s also expensive. If you see the refrigerant leaking out, you will have lost a considerable amount before you manage to recover what’s left in the system.

For more information about the range of aircon recharge units available from Hofmann Megaplan, visit: http://bit.ly/3Z7ZC55

Over 100 new lines can be found inside the latest edition of Sealey’s Tool Promotion, valid from 1st April until 30th June 2023. There are deals on its new range of pressure washers and new additions to the SV20 One-Battery Series; including the Cordless Grease Gun and Cordless 10L Wet and Dry Vacuum.

Inside, you will also find details on how to enter their latest competition to win a 20V one-battery power tool bundle, comprising seven different tools worth over £725 – enter before 30th June for a chance to win. www.sealey.co.uk

Shhhhhhh… Braking’s best kept secret… Pads and discs that go the distance OEM for you, Quality as Standard Call your local branch now! * Our braking warranty is no quibble. It does not include off road use (4x4 days, track days). It does not cover alterations of the manufacturers specifications. At Pagid, we’re so confident in our product quality that you get 25 months, 25,000 miles warranty. Not only that, we also cover manufacturer defects and more importantly “Wear and Tear” as standard! What other suppliers can offer this confidence!


Castrol has an advanced new engine lubricant for motorcycles. Act>evo features Actibond molecules that cling to an engine’s internal components, designed to provide continuous protection across all stages of the ride – when starting up, running, and even when the engine is off.

Castrol claims the new formulation provides 50% better wear protection for bike engines during start-up (compared to a reference API SL oil in a Sequence IVA test), fights the build-up of deposits during operation and offers excellent corrosion protection, even when the engine is off.

Castrol Act>evo 4T 10W-40 is available in 4L and 60L pack sizes and the 20W-50 is also available in a 60L pack size, both are suitable for all fourstroke motorcycle engines where API SL (and below) and/or JASO MA2 specifications are recommended.


The latest vehicle spotlight bulletin from Comline Auto Parts highlights the varied steering and suspension components available for the Tesla Model S.

Within the range are seven track control arm references (CCA1418L, CCA1419L, CCA1420L, CCA2418R, CCA2419R, CCA2420R and CCA3083), three stabiliser links (CSL5124, CSL6124 and CSL7335) and one tie rod end (CTRE4028).

Comline track control arms are manufactured using ISO-approved techniques for long-lasting performance in all conditions. Meanwhile, stabiliser links and tie rod ends are supplied with all the relevant accessories for an easy, ‘fit-andforget’ fitment.

To download the Tesla Model S vehicle spotlight, click here.

Switch to Induction Heat

The Inductor® Pro-Max CE uses high frequency magnetic fields to generate Invisible Heat® in metallic car parts without the collateral damage of an open flame to nearby parts. Quickly and easily remove vinyl graphics, moldings, auto glass, windshields, mechanical and suspension parts.


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Look out for the printed and digital May issue, which includes an Automechanika Birmingham preview, features on Reman & Rotating Electrics, Mobile Servicing, plus advice on Human Resource issues, new car technology & much more!

Email Nicola@autotechnician. co.uk if you have any tech tips or would like to share your story with readers in a future issue.


To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the REPXPERT workshop platform, Schaeffler will make three of the thousands of users into REPXPERT bonus points millionaires at the beginning of May.

Marketing Manager, Jeff Earl, explains: “Technicians can use the scanning function in the REPXPERT app to scan the OneCode on our LuK, INA and FAG boxes. This one simple scan authenticates the product, gives access to technical


info and installation instructions, collects bonus points, and also ensures their place in the draw!

“Only registered members can enter, but joining REPXPERT is quick, simple, and free. The promotion is also simple – the more Schaeffler products a mechanic fits, the more boxes they can scan, and as every scan gives one entry into the prize draw, installing our repair solutions gives the greatest chance of winning one million points to spend on absolutely anything in the REPXPERT Bonus Shop!"


Best selection, best quality: febi bilstein offers the right spare parts for all standard European vehicle types in tested OE matching quality. Search over 35,000 parts on our partsfinder website. partsfinder.bilsteingroup.com

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Get back on track

To mark the recent National Careers Week, automotive industry Ben is keen to share the support it offers to those who are job hunting or looking to progress in their career

Ben’s support services team can provide one-to-one support for people in the following ways:

• Practical support for people who are looking for work

• Information, advice and guidance for managing money and maximising benefits

• Access to Ben’s free Life Coaching service by registering online and completing a short self-referral form. Whether it’s progressing your career, improving your lifestyle, or simply boosting self-confidence, Ben’s team of Life Coaches can help make those goals a reality

• Access to Ben’s digital platform, Silvercloud, with a programme on building personal resilience.

Ben also has a range of work-related tips, advice and tools to help people get back on track in their career or make the changes they want. The online tools (available at www.ben.org.uk/work) offer guidance and self-help resources on the following areas:

• Creating or updating a CV

• Writing a cover letter

• Job seeking

• Finding the right job

• Identifying transferable skills

• Preparing for interviews.

Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben, said: “We’re here to help and support automotive people working in the industry, including those who are looking to the future, interested in progressing their career or improving their working lives. We can provide information, advice and guidance for job-seeking, CV building and interview skills and be there to support people through any career-related changes. Work is a very important part of our lives and contributes to our overall health and wellbeing. As well as providing financial security, work provides us with social connectedness and builds confidence, self-esteem and a sense of purpose.”

“If you need help or have any questions, call us on 08081 311 333 or chat with us online using the chat function at the top of the page - we're happy to help.

"Ben is always there for those who are struggling or in crisis too. When any member of our automotive family is struggling or in crisis, we all rally to support them."


STAR is a method you can use to prepare for interviews. It helps you think about a question and structure how you answer the question:

Situation – the situation you had to deal with

Task – the task you were given to do

Action – the action you took

Result – what happened as a result of your action and what you learned from the experience

Many recruiters and employers use STAR to assess your competency, skills, and qualities for a role. Find out more: https://ben.org.uk/how-we-help/for-me/articles/star-method/


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Parts, Tools & Tips

pages 43-48


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pages 33-38


pages 28-32

Get hands-on diagnostic training with autotechnician this June

page 27

Analysing the benefits of adding diagnostic and calibration services

page 26

Hands-free problem-solving

page 25

The Triton D10: Reader feedback

page 24

Keeping up with automotive tech has never been more crucial

page 23

Keep diagnostic tasks in-house

page 22

Access OEM repair data & labour times

page 21

KTS Diagnostics made ESI

pages 17-20

A brick wall of new technology

pages 13-14

The Business of Diagnostics: Perception

pages 10-12

Saturday 24th JUNE Autotech Live Tickets now on sale!

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Don’t miss out on your ticket to our Workshop

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