Autotechnician magazine April 2024

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1 APRIL 2024 Diagnostics Improve your first-time-fix rate Proud sponsor of Autotech 2024 IN THIS ISSUE 4Focus – New Car Tech Diagnostic support Autotech: Workshop Takeover Aircon faults Wheel alignment/ADAS


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As the clocks go forward and the promise of longer, brighter days are finally here, we hope you also have a spring in your step. Perhaps you are seeing the shoots of growth in your business, or fault-finding success as a technician, thanks to an investment in training, a piece of equipment, a change in staff, or simply approach.

Getting the fundamentals right is key to success and here, we home in on diagnostics – within aircon service & repair, wheel alignment and delve into the equipment to help you find faults faster and the support available for more complex issues.

There’s lots to look forward to in the coming months –we have exciting news about our involvement in the UK Garage & Bodyshop Event in June, with a full preview in the upcoming May issue, and more announcements to follow for our Workshop Takeover.

Have a great month, we hope you enjoy the issue!

* View and download previous digital issues at:

P4 Industry news

P8 Autotech: Boost your confidence

P10 4Focus: New Car Tech

P18 Fault-finding support

P32 Aircon: Diagnosing thermal issues

P37 Wheel alignment & ADAS

P42 Parts, Tools & Tips

P48 Ben: Top tips to de-stress

April 2024

Subscription to the magazine is free to those who fulfil the publisher’s criteria. UK independent workshops can subscribe at Nine issues will be published throughout 2024 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. All material, unless otherwise stated, is the copyright of Aftermarket Media Solutions Ltd and reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration, without prior written permission of the publishers, is prohibited. While all due care is taken to ensure the content of Autotechnician is accurate, the publishers cannot accept liability for omissions or errors. Any written material or pictures supplied by contributors are published in good faith and on the understanding they are free from any copyright or other restrictions. Published by: Aftermarket Media Solutions Ltd, The Joiners Shop, Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent ME4 4TZ 08 22 10

£500,000 investment in upskilling UK workforce

Ten new LKQ Academy training centres are set to open across the UK to help workshops upskill technicians. Two are already open, with a new site in Glasgow and a revamped centre at its Tamworth T1 base. LKQ will open a new site in Manchester this month and will reveal a further three sites in the South of England later this year, with four more opening in 2025.

Five new trainers have been recruited so far, alongside Andy Savva, pictured right, who will deliver advice on how workshops can help to improve their operations, customer service and profitability.

The new sites add to its existing centres in Sunderland and Bristol, complementing 26 external sites – creating a total capacity of 11,000 seats on 80 different courses.

Courses range from delivering the skills needed to service electric vehicles to helping support staff become more adept at handling customers’ technical queries.

Lee Chapman, head of support, said: "We’re creating true UK-wide coverage for the LKQ Academy, making our industry-leading, in-person training accessible to most of the country’s professionals in a two-hour drive or less.

“We invest all proceeds from the LKQ Academy back into our training, which means all our courses are part-funded to provide great value for customers. It’s the right thing to do to

Fleets responsible for boost in greener car sales

The UK new car market recorded its best February performance for two decades after 19 months of consecutive growth. This was driven by fleets and businesses investing in the latest models, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, SMMT.

Sales of hybrid electric vehicles rose by 12.1%, reaching a market share of 12.7%, plug-in hybrids recorded the largest proportional growth rising 29.1% to reach 7.2% of the market. Pure electric vehicles attained similar robust growth, rising 21.8% to account for 17.7% of registrations, up slightly from the same time last year. The SMMT says that while BEV market share and volumes continue to grow during the first year of mandated targets for manufacturers, the increase in uptake is entirely sustained by fleets, thanks

help the aftermarket ecosystem to succeed. If garages and bodyshops have the right skills to prosper, LKQ prospers with them.”

Garages and workshops can complete a free skills assessment, providing a comprehensive overview of where and how they can develop their skills.

Courses can be accessed individually, with individual memberships starting from £999, with workshop memberships from £1,299. The courses are fully accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

to compelling fiscal incentives. Private buyers account for fewer than one in five (18.2%) new BEVs registered in 2024 so far and there was no encouragement from the Chancellor for people to move to lower and zero emissions vehicles in the Spring Budget.


Amy joins AT team to demystify HR in workshops

We are delighted that Amy Blick is joining the Autotechnician editorial team as our HR and training columnist. With a background supporting SMEs and working in global brands at Director level, she specialises in demystifying HR and showing businesses how they can harness the power of their people to grow, keep them onboard and ensure they receive great training beyond the technical. She also has many years’ of experience developing and managing the recruitment process for SMEs to ensure that it is not just legally compliant, it is effective at sourcing talent, especially when good people are thin on the ground.

In the coming months, Amy will be writing about a range of workshop relevant subjects including mentoring, training and development, and how being a diverse and inclusive business really can strengthen your bottom line and broaden your pool of potential talent.

Amy is the co-founder of The HR Playbook – a site where SMEs can download up to date and compliant

Struggle to recruit the right staff

The monthly analysis of ONS vacancies data by the Institute of the Motor Industry has revealed that Motor Trade has reached the unenviable Number 1 slot in February 2024, sharing the top spot with Hospitality.

The sector recorded 4.5 vacancies for every 100 employees, 55% above the average for all sectors.

IMI Research Manager, Emma Carrigy, says the trade needs new talent more than ever, yet there are multiple

HR documents – from essential Health and Safety files to contracts of employment, job descriptions and performance management templates – at a fraction of the usual cost.

Amy is offering readers a 10% discount on all documents and bundles on the website. Take a look and don’t forget to add your coupon code AUTOTECH10

barriers to choosing a career in automotive, something that its latest campaign is trying to change. “The skills gap in the automotive workforce – which currently is only getting bigger – is a serious concern”, added Emma. “If people and businesses can’t get from A to B because they can’t rely on a competent workforce to maintain and repair the private and commercial vehicles on UK roads, there’s a serious risk to the transportation that underpins the country’s social and economic infrastructure.”

5 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. IS YOUR EQUIPMENT ENGINEER GEA ACCREDITED? Ask your engineer for his accreditation card ! The Upholders of Industry standards since 1945 The Garage Equipment Association GEA ACCREDITED ENGINEER Name Company Discipline Exp Date ID Number XX123456 XX123456 XX123456 XX123456 XX123456

The Independent Garage Association welcomes government initiatives

The IGA welcomes the comprehensive reform package aimed at strengthening small businesses, noting that concerns previously expressed to MP Robert Halfron, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education, had been addressed in the recent announcement from the Prime Minister's Office. The IGA also welcomed the government's commitment to fostering apprenticeships and reducing regulatory burdens, recognising the significant positive impact these measures will have on the automotive sector.

The IGA stated that the pledge of a £60 million investment to facilitate up to 20,000 additional apprenticeships, coupled with the commitment to fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses, represents a significant boost for the trade; helping small businesses to cultivate a skilled workforce, ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the sector.

Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive, stated: "We applaud the Prime Minister's proactive approach to supporting small businesses and enhancing apprenticeship opportunities. We are very pleased that the government have listened to the feedback. This initiative demonstrates a clear understanding

Steve Nash, CEO of The Institute of the Motor Industry, on the Spring Budget:

“Despite talking about encouraging investment in future technologies, today’s Spring Budget seemed to miss the opportunity to make some small changes that would support the widest automotive sector as it faces a continuing skills gap while trying to future-proof itself. There was also nothing done to encourage more people to move to lower and zero emissions vehicles.”

“It was however encouraging to hear that the Chancellor intends to maintain the Back to Work plan and improve the Childcare offer to give more people who may have felt they couldn’t get back to work, back into the workplace. The IMI is working with automotive employers to ensure they can

of the vital role that small businesses, including independent garages, play in driving economic growth and fostering innovation."

attract the most diverse workforce through our Diversity Task Force and the ‘There’s More to Motor’ campaign and we hope the government’s actions, including its intention for the National Insurance cut to encourage more people into the workforce, will help.”




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Autotechnician’s Workshop Takeover provides a full day of hands-on fault-finding training across three workshop bays.

Each bay is led by a technician who has spent years honing their diagnostic process and will pass on their top tips for pinpointing faults with the minimum of fuss.

You are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face and a notebook full of ideas to put into place back at your workshop.

When: Saturday 15th June

Where: Cleevely EV, Cheltenham

Investment: £119.00 + VAT each

Your skills Your confidence Your first-time-fix rate!

Each group of technicians will move around the three workshop areas to engage in comprehensive sessions designed to test your processes and help you benchmark your knowledge. Providing takeaway tips for attendees to put into place and pointers for further training and investigation. It is not uncommon to have the Mastertech business owner attend alongside a younger member of staff who is in training to takeover complex jobs within the garage.

Feedback has confirmed that technicians with varying levels of diagnostic experience have all brought back valuable tips that have sped up the diagnostic process, streamlined workshop processes as well as igniting interest in Electric Vehicle service and repair.

Mode 6: Where readiness means business and diagnostics!

We're diving into Mode 6, are you ready for readiness? Have you mastered monitors? Buckle up for this rollercoaster ride through EOBD Mode 6. Andy will put the 'ready' in 'readiness' and the 'fun' in 'functional' as he combines diagnostics and business during his session at Autotechnician’s Workshop Takeover."

The full schedule will be announced in the May issue of Autotechnician.

In association with: Get tickets!

A limited amount of subsidised tickets are available to purchase now at:

Andy Crook of GotBoost Training reveals the theme of his session...


Rob Marshall looks at an imminent set of new car tech innovations

Alfa Romeo Guila –IBS

OEMs love their acronyms, almost as much as their suppliers. Unfortunately, not all of them translate well. Alfa Romeos, therefore, are not suffering from stomach cramps but are fitted, instead, with a trick braking system. Alfa calls it the Integrated Brake System, while its supplier, Continental, calls it the rather more ambiguous MK C1.

IBS is as its name describes – several components of the traditional hydraulic braking systems are combined. The vacuum-assisted brake servo is dispatched; braking assistance is provided instead by a pump, powered by a brushless electric motor. IBS also combines the master cylinder (tandem, of course), brake fluid reservoir and ABS/ traction control ECU into one assembly. The main advantage is weight saving; IBS reduces braking system weight by, approximately, four kilogrammes. It may not sound much but every little counts in the race to cut combustion engine vehicle CO2 emissions.

A further advantage of having a high-pressure supply on tap, as drivers who have experienced classic Citroëns with powered brakes will attest, is that reaction times are faster, when the pedal is depressed. This translates into quicker stopping distances.

IBS also features a type of brake-by-wire. While the callipers still rely on hydraulic pressure and not electric motors, the master cylinder pushrod, to which the pedal is attached, does not act directly on a hydraulic piston. Instead, an electronic brake pedal travel sensor detects not just the length of travel

but also the speed of application. The integrated ECUs calculate how much pressurised fluid is needed for each wheel. As a failsafe, the system varies hydraulic pressure to each calliper. As the IBS can adjust hydraulic pressure between callipers, by assessing how the brake pedal is applied, Continental sees this as a vital technology for future autonomous vehicles, over and above the system fitted to the current Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV models. Therefore, the IBS/MK C1 has been used as a platform for progressive development of full brake-by-wire systems, the first production version of which is expected to arrive next year in North America.


Lexus RZ 450e –One-Motion Grip

So, brake-by-wire technology is not here – but it is coming. While steer-by-wire has been mooted for years, it still has not arrived – but it could be here sooner than you think. While Lexus has been talking about introducing such a system for years, Nissan beat its fellow Japanese OEM and introduced it on the Infiniti Q50 saloon, although it was forced by legislation to include a mechanical emergency backup.

Now, Lexus has introduced the steer-by-wire on its first sole BEV. The car is not entirely new, sharing its underpinnings with the more common Toyota Bz4X and its sister Subaru Solterra. Both these models are also fitted with nonmechanical steering as an option.

One-Motion Grip sees no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the rack. Lexus, Toyota and Subarus thus fitted possess a specially-shaped steering wheel, where lock-to-lock has been set to approximately 150 degrees only, between the straight-ahead position and full lock. Toyota says that the elimination of wheel twirling reduces the need for the driver to change hand positions. The lack of a mechanical connection also permits One-Motion Grip greater freedom to vary the steering rack ratio, compared with current systems. It also prevents undesirable feedback, such as jolts, from being fed back to the driver. Yet, Lexus says that it has paid particular attention not to engineer out all steering feel.

The system is remarkably simple. One-Motion Grip works by steering wheel movement being detected by a Steering Torque Actuator, positioned on the steering column. The resultant data is relayed to the Steering Control Actuator, which controls the steering rack accordingly. Unsurprisingly, other inputs are considered too. This includes speed and even information about the road surface, all of which are received and assessed by the control actuator's ECU.

"One-Motion Grip sees no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the rack"

While One-Motion Grip is available currently in mainly nonEU markets, it is expected to reach UK-market Lexus/Toyota/ Subaru BEV SUVs by the end of this year, provided that legislative challenges (including if over-the-internet software updates are permitted for the steering system) are resolved.


Renault Scenic E-Tech –Solarbay

Sunroofs are falling out of fashion. They have complex mechanisms and are costly. Furthermore, with electrified vehicle weights ballooning, manufacturers are still trying to cut weight wherever they can. Even 30-50kgs of typical sunroof matters. The last thing you want is extra weight so high up, because it upsets the vehicle's centre of gravity.

It is all very well having a panoramic glass roof but the risk is that it turns the car into a greenhouse. Working with French glazing manufacturer, Saint-Gobain Sekurit, Renault has introduced a fixed panoramic roof, made from 50% recycled plate glass, which features electrically-operated shading

– no physical blinds are fitted. The options are, all opaque, transparent at the front and opaque at the rear, and viceversa. The roof can be commanded at the press of a button, or even by voice, through Google Assistant.

The system works, using electrical energy to displace molecules between seven laminated layers, using polymerdispersed liquid crystal technology. Naturally, the roof is ECU controlled. The glass roof section is designed with nine bands across it, allowing rear occupants to be in the shade, while those up front can bask in sunlight.


Mercedes-Benz C-Class –Automatic Lane Change (ALC)

According to research released last year by AXA Insurance and the road safety charity, Brake, over 40% of UK drivers admit to switching off various ADAS features (Lane Assist especially), not only because they find them annoying but also they do not believe that they play a positive role to road safety. It is an interesting finding. Yet, manufacturers and governments are determined to burden cars with ADAS technology, especially as the line blurs between technologies that assist the driver and those that take over.

Two years ago, Mercedes-Benz was the first VM to secure approval for an SAE Level Three autonomous system, although for the US market, only. Yet, it is still developing Level Two systems. Its current Active Lane Keeping Assist uses a camera to detect lane markings and edges between 37 and 155 mph and intervenes to avoid unintentional lane departure. Many cars are fitted with similar systems, not always to the driver's delight, as AXA/Brake's research confirms.

An extension to this is Automatic Lane Change (ALC), which, on Mercedes-Benz models is part of the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with Active Steering Assist. Should the ADAS hardware detect that the vehicle is approaching

another one between 47 and 87mph, it will change lanes, instead of just slowing down. The system must have detected that road lines are consistent with those found on dual carriageways, the road must have a speed limit and the car must have active route guidance, with MBUX Navigation. The system requires no further driver input to execute the automatic lane change. However, Mercedes-Benz insists that, being a SAE-Level 2 system, the driver's hands must remain on the steering wheel.

ALC is available in North America and Canada, but Mercedes-Benz is expected to roll the system out in Europe later this year, fitted first to the new E-Class.



Things are moving fast in the world of mobility. It can sometimes feel like you’re being left behind by the speed things are changing. But not if you’re on the side of the people who are leading that change. Here at the BMW Group, we’re proud to be leading the industry in inspiring new ways. Since 1916, we’ve been breaking ground and blazing trails forging an exciting path in automotive, and developing our people to be the best they can be.

What are your career objectives?

Do you seek out and embrace change? Are you easily satisfied or are you always striving to raise the bar? Is a pioneering spirit in your DNA? With the rise in demand for electric vehicles, and an ever-changing landscape of technical innovation and sustainability, you have to decide whether you’re going to be following the action or claiming your place among those out in front.

We’re making exciting strides into the future, but we need you.

It’s a fascinating time to be in automotive. Our industry is changing faster and more profoundly than ever before in its entire history. That’s why BMW and MINI are looking for change-makers to help drive this bright future. We need Technicians and Service Advisors who share our innovative spirit and embrace this bold new world.

At BMW you’ll make a difference.

A career in our Retail Network is so much more than just working with prestigious brands and products. It’s a chance to play your part in a ground surge of brand-new mobility technology that was unthinkable a few years ago.

Whether you are working on our vehicles’ cuttingedge engineering and electronics, or advising customers on the work being carried out on their cars, you will be essential to our business. Even our stateof-the-art Retail Centres make it clear that we have entered a new era that offers a glimpse into previously unimagined possibilities.

We’ll drive your career.

At the BMW Group Retail Network, we offer a balanced practical and knowledge-based training programme designed to identify and develop your talents. If you join as a Technician, you’ll receive ongoing technical tuition and expert guidance to help you fulfil your true potential.

Or, if you train as a Service Advisor, we will develop your encyclopaedic product knowledge and hone your communication skills so you can confidently answer any questions and ensure customers are able to make informed decisions. In either role, not only will you be working within the industry you love, but you will share a pride in being part of a global brand revered for engineering excellence.

Also, as a member of our team, you’ll be able to take advantage of other benefits such as the BMW Group Elite programme. Every month you can compete with your colleagues in product knowledge quizzes and enter prize draws for the chance to win amazing prizes.

Discover more.

For more information or to browse vacancies as a BMW Group Technician or Service Advisor, Scan below to visit And to stay up to date with our latest news and opportunities follow our LinkedIn page.

BMW Group Retail Careers. Share Our Drive.


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Case studies, how-to guides & a round-up of diagnostic tools and resources to help improve your fix rate and deepen your diagnostic offering

You are not on your own with air conditioning diagnostics. Yet, you must start with a decent grounding in the basics


The help that is available for you to facilitate an accurate diagnosis

Parts, Tools & Tips

18 32 37

DIAGNOSTICS: Finding, and fixing, the underlying fault

Case studies, How-to Guides, diagnostic tools and resources to help improve your fix rate and deepen your diagnostic offering

Look no further than Autotechnician’s Workshop Takeover in June to boost your diagnostic skills – a full day of faultfinding and process advice, which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a new tool or two in your armoury!

Join us & our team of expert techs on Saturday 15th June at

The bigger picture: Access to VM data

Cleevely EV in Cheltenham for a fruitful, fun day of technical advice in the workshop.

A limited amount of subsidised tickets are available to purchase at The investment is just £119.00 + VAT.

A new Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order, MVBEO, came into force on 1st June 2023, the third revision of this critically important piece of Competition Law, which promotes effective competition between a vehicle manufacturer’s authorised service network and independent operators, to enable independent repairers to have access to the tools, equipment, training and parts to compete with the main dealer on a ‘non-discriminatory’ basis. The new legislation lasts until 31 May 2029 in the UK.

If you come across restrictions, the IAAF want to know… The Competition and Markets Authority, CMA, will monitor the effectiveness of the revised MVBEO over the next five years. To do this effectively, it is actively seeking evidence of either non-compliance with the legislation, or equally, new scenarios that may be blocking the ability to compete effectively in offering ‘repair and maintenance services’ when compared to the vehicle manufacturers themselves. The IAAF has a dedicated webpage link where this evidence can be submitted to help support the CMA, https://www.

Special offer on entry level tool

An offer is currently running on a car diagnostic package, which provides ADAS and EV/Hybrid coverage at no extra cost, until stocks last.

Texa’s Axone Nemo Mini tablet, Navigator Nano S interface and IDC5m car software is available in a bundle for just under two grand, providing a saving of over £500.

Twelve months' of updates and technical support are also supplied, alongside a two-year warranty.

The IDC5m software, developed specifically for the Nemo Mini, aims to make the routes required to compete various maintenance and repair

paths more intuitive. It aims to guide the users from fault identification to fix and is said to guarantee instant access to communication with the control units.

As long as the tool is under contract, Secure Gateway is also included, unlocking access to data via the myTEXA portal for Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa, Jepp, Renault, Kia and VW/Audi Group.

A HaynesPro Tech Module completes the package, providing technical and maintenance data, repair times, adjustment data, repair manuals, technical drawings and recalls.

Find out more about at: https://www.


Bosch Brakes

Born Safe

Bosch braking systems, from the pedal to the wheel: the entire range of Bosch brake components include more than 10,000 different products. It enables workshops to work efficiently and offer a safe repair of the complete braking system to their customers.

Because for us safety always comes first.

Invented for life

Locked out? Get access with SDA

Vehicle manufacturers restrict diagnostic access to their systems so everyday servicing tasks, calibrations and even resets in newer models require the use of a dealer tool. This would mean independent workshops need numerous tool and software subscriptions to work on various marques, as well as multiple logins to various VMs, which proves costly and complex to navigate.

The major aftermarket diagnostic tool suppliers have created their own workarounds to solve this problem and

Turn challenges into opportunities!

Hella Gutmann believes the advancing technological pace of automotive technology can be seen as an opportunity to thrive with the right tools and its mega macs X allows garages to choose which functions and technical data they need for multi-brand diagnostics.

Three software modules provide a range of functions, from basic to advanced, so workshops only pay for what they need. “The mega macs X is a complete re-think of vehicle diagnostics,” says Julian Goulding. “The way technicians communicate with vehicle data continues to evolve which is why today’s workshops need a flexible and adaptable diagnostic solution to keep up. Our variable software and licensing models give workshops the option to choose what’s right for them. Should those requirements change at any time, they can simply upgrade their licence and the software will automatically update, unlocking additional new functionality.”

Core functions include reading and deleting trouble codes and service resets, with support for PassThru, CAN-FD and DoIP protocols. Additional features include actuator tests and

reduce the costs involved in diagnosing multibrand vehicles that enter the workshop. Bosch’s SDA (Secure Diagnostic Access) requires a one-time registration in order to access VM-protected systems. If you have a compatible KTS and ESI[tronic] subscription, over 20 VMs are included at no additional cost, with more to come this year, including Audi, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault, Skoda, Volvo & VW.

Find out more about SDA and ESI[tronic] software, here:

ADAS calibrations with even the most basic software level. To simplify diagnostics on secured vehicles, Cyber Security Management (CSM) removes the hassle of registering on individual manufacturer portals. For the very latest vehicles, which the most up-to-date aftermarket tools cannot cater for, macsRemote Services gives independent garage remote access to VM tools via its technical experts – providing a cost-effective, pay-as-you-go solution.

Find out more here:


In todays industry, it is almost impossible to complete a maintenance procedure without using suitable diagnostic equipment. TEXA’s car diagnostics packages provides the technician with comprehensive coverage on electronic systems for vehicles within the Car, Truck, Motorbike, Off-Highway and Marine environments.

TEXA’s IDC5 software is the brain behind diagnostics offering car customers ADAS and EV/Hybrid coverage at no extra cost. Secure Gateway is another feature that is inclusive within TEXA’s IDC5 Car software, this includes, FIAT, CHRYSLER, ALFA, JEEP, RENAULT, KIA and VOLKSWAGEN AUDI GROUP.

more information
a Demo today
TEXA Ireland 00353 165 30988

Handy second device

The CRP MOT4, seen here, is an entry-level diagnostic tool from Launch Tech UK and could be a useful second device within the workshop – providing 31 service functions including actuator tests, on an extensive range of car models. It features a 10” display and has a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core processor, 64GB storage and 4GB RAM.

A fast Bluetooth connection supports protocols including DOiP and CAN FD and is supplied in a soft carry case to protect it within the workshop and on-the-road.

The firm has also bolstered its range of equipment to service and diagnose Electric Vehicles with two brand-new tablets – the PO1 and PO3 – as well as the EB240 EV battery cell balancer, the EP260 for advanced charging and discharging, and the ET30 battery pack leakage tester.

PO1 and PO3 can test new EV systems and ICE-powered vehicles and provide deep diagnosis of battery packs from multiple manufacturers. They provide 37 service and reset functions and include bi-directional control, live data reading and recording and system identification. Read more about its range of EV equipment in the June issue of Autotechnician.

Find the diagnostic tool that suits your needs

An online diagnostics configurator has been created by Delphi – a step-by-step guide that compares the diagnostic hardware, software, and accessories available.

Users can start the configuration by device type or by specific models or functions. Delphi’s latest DS software is available to view, which has grown in application coverage, including popular hybrid and electric vehicles, such as the Mercedes EQ and VW’s iD ranges. The updated version contains 38,849 unique system selections, adding 2,500 models and systems since April 2022. Coverage for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has also increased, now covering 258 models with radar, 403 models with front camera, and 101 models with 360° camera.

Once a workshop has received the diagnostic selection built with the configurator, Delphi offers training options that cater for all levels of technical experience. They can attend in-person training or study online using The Delphi Academy. As an example, having received their BlueTech VCI package, workshops can undertake a new training course for Tesla diagnostics, which uses the BlueTech VCI and Tesla OE portal and equipment.

“We are committed to partnering with technicians at every step of their workshop journey,” says Juan Thomaz, Vice President Aftermarket EMEA. “From making it easier to invest in the right diagnostic tools, to getting the best returns from it once they have it. Our Workshop Solutions gathers intelligent workshop tools together, like the configurator, and Masters of Motion, which offers many technical resources and makes us the complete end-to-end provider.”

Head to the configurator here:


Major updates boost tests and analysis tools

A substantial update of the PicoScope 7 automotive software has enhanced the measurement tools available to technicians during fault diagnosis.

Version 7.1 has ‘Waveform Management’ within the Waveform Library – where uses can access all their locally-saved waveforms in one click and directly edit them within one place, removing the need to switch between applications. Waveforms with sufficiently complete vehicle and measurement data are automatically tagged as being ready to upload to the user’s free, cloud-based’ ‘My Waveforms’ storage. These can be uploaded one at a time or in bulk and takes place in the background so users can carry on with their diagnostic tasks.

Pico Technology has also added new Measurements and Math Channels so that users can automativally track the behaviours of specific features across waveforms. The new supported single-channel Measurement features are Top, Base Amplitude, Positive Overshoot, and Negative Overshoot, while the new cross-channel Measurement features are Delay and Phase. The cross-channel Measurements may be especially useful for technicians wanting to calculate timingrelated differences between measurements on different channels.

Waveform Management, Guided Tests and the new measurement evaluation tools are now available within PicoScope 7 Automotive software version 7.1, downloadable from Users can gain Waveform Management access after registering for a Pico Automotive support forum account and by using their forum login details (with a suitable Automotive PicoScope connected).


A mystery involving a remap history

Check out the latest case study from our VAG specialist contributor Gareth Davies of Euro Performance. Gareth works through a fault on a 2017 Audi A6 All road 3.0 TDi Quattro CRTD engine code presenting a lack of power, poor running and no warning lights on the dashboard.

Read the fault-to-fix case study here:

No vehicle repair beyond your capabilities!

Thinkcar offers a remote diagnostics service for workshops that don’t have access to manufacturer platforms. “With Thinkcar’s remote programming services, no vehicle repair is beyond the capabilities of an independent garage,” said Alex Gillbanks, Managing Director of Impact Diagnostics, the supplier behind Thinkcar UK. A network of Thinkcar workshops support each other with access to VM level diagnostic platforms across a range of devices to suit every budget: “It means you benefit from other garages that may already have access to manufacturer diagnostic subscriptions,” said Alex. “They’ll be able to programme, calibrate and help through a direct connection with the car via a Thinkcar vehicle communication interface (VCI). Users then agree a suitable fee for the service, so it’s a win-win and we’re seeing a lot of uptake.”

Users tap the remote diagnosis button to access technical support to enable tasks such as module replacement and calibration. Texts, images and diagnostic reports can be shared throughout the process and video and voice guidance is available for those with the Thinktool X10S and X5 devices.

“The Thinktool X10S and X5 serve as the ultimate 'phone a friend' diagnostic system,” said Alex. “They fully embody our philosophy of quick, easy, and efficient diagnostics and repairs.”

Pocket-sized entry-level tablet

Impact Diagnostics says it is seeing a rise in demand of entry level devices as techs look to add diagnostic capabilities to their own toolkits and it’s Thinktool Lite, pictured on the right, is designed to supplement a workshop’s premium diagnostic device that is shared among staff.

“The Thinktool Lite won’t typically be the primary or only diagnostics tool in customers’ workshops but it’s priced at under £500, includes a printer and packs a lot of functionality, so it’s perfect as a second tool or even as a tool for every technician,” said MD Alex.

The tool can support diagnosis of issues across a wide range of systems and can support repairs and replacements by coding and controlling ECUs, injectors, windows, TPMS, climate control and more. Maintenance and reset functions includes ECU coding, actuation testing, adaptation, active testing and live data reading.


Remote programming & coding

An increasing number of VMs are using a Secure Gateway in new vehicles which hampers efforts to perform the simplest of task such as fault code clearing or service light resets if you’re not using dealer equipment.

Iain Molloy, MD of A1 ADAS Solutions, says, “We work with the leading suppliers of diagnostic equipment and find that there’s a big variation in the levels of built-in capabilities which permit access.

“So, in addition to being a distributor for the top brands, we have also developed our own A1 Remote Diagnostic interface. This allows our trained technicians to carry out Secure Gateway unlocking as well as other tasks, such as the coding and programming of components on all makes of vehicles.”

25 First First Attempt Attempt | 44 (0) 1865 870 060 | TM

Welcome to the eighth bitesize guide in a series of tips to help you maximise the potential of Bosch ESI[tronic] 2.0 software



Last time, we got to grips with the role of ‘Actual values’ in delivering a useful representation of the state of an ECU system based on data collected from the sensors or switch input signals and the component outputs on the vehicle.

In today’s article, we are going to take a closer look at how ESI[tronic] 2.0 can help you to continue delivering a full service in the face of increasingly stringent and commonplace protected vehicle data.

Designed to protect vehicle electronics from cyber threats and hacking – manufacturers secure the vehicle data to limit the access to protected diagnostic data. It is noteworthy that the scope of protected data differs from vehicle manufacturer to vehicle manufacturer. Some vehicle manufacturers require the unlocking of protected data (for example for the calibration of driver assistance systems and some even for performing a service reset). Without access to this data, your diagnostic capabilities are very limited – mainly to passive diagnostic possibilities for when you read trouble codes or actual values.

While it is possible to circumnavigate the protected data via individual OEM solutions if available, it comes at a price. Not only requiring multiple payments across multiple manufacturers, but also costing you valuable time as you register, log-in and navigate your way around different and disparate portals.


Included with your ESI[tronic] 2.0 ECU diagnostic (SD) licence and compatible with our latest generation of KTS (350, 560 and 590), Secure Diagnostic Access bundles individual OEM solutions into a single integrated and standardised solution.

It is noteworthy that it is also compatible with our KTS 250, however with this device there is a possibility of there being limited scope of vehicle manufacturers.

Figure 1


1. To log-in or register for Secure Diagnostic Access you can either head to the user icon at the top right corner of the screen (Fig 1) or wait to be prompted to log-in via the pop-up once you reach a restricted diagnostic system or function as part of your service process (Fig 2). All you need to log-in is a valid Bosch ID – compatible with a wide range of professional and personal Bosch apps – to authorise your access. If you have not already got one, you can quickly and easily register online free of charge.

2. Some OEMs, such as Mercedes- Benz, will ask for an extra level of user identification before you can access their systems. For authenticating your profile quickly and easily, we recommend doing this via the IDnow smartphone or tablet app. Alternatively, if a mobile device is not available and your computer or laptop is equipped with a webcam, you can also register online at the IDnow website. Your ESI[tronic] software will guide you step-by-step through the authentication process, which is only required to be done once and is free of charge (Fig 3).

3. Once you have successfully registered, you will notice the user icon turn from grey to green (Fig 4). This means you are logged in to Secure Diagnostic Access. For security reasons, you will be automatically signed out every 12 hours, meaning that you should only ever need to log in once in your working day. Essentially, taking you back to a time before vehicle data was secured and where you could move seamlessly from task to task across a full shift.


With more OEMs choosing to secure and protect their vehicle data it will soon become an impossibility for many workshops to perform all the tasks they need to carry out a full service without investing in numerous direct OEM licences.

As an ESI[tronic] 2.0 user you will always be one step ahead of the curve. We are aiming to add additional OEM accesses when they are made available by the OEMs – all included in your ECU diagnostic (SD) licence as standard. Allowing your workshop to be future-proofed and carry out the tasks at hand with ease. With the ESI[tronic] SDA Help centre, which you can visit here:


Join us for our next lesson to learn more about the extensive range of tests and functions you can find under the diagnostics tab.

Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4

A comprehensive data resource

Following the introduction of Dodge, Ram and Jeep original repair data in 2023, Alldata Repair subscribers can now access the original OEM repair information from Abarth, Chrysler and Tesla, which brings the total number of VM agreements in place to 36, meaning independent technicians have access to genuine technical data for 96% of vehicles on the road.

The data is comprehensive, including Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), diagnostic trouble codes, technical drawings and wiring diagrams. ALLDATA President, Satwinder Mangat, said: “ALLDATA Europe is excited to offer technicians expanded vehicle coverage with the addition of Abarth, Chrysler and Tesla. It’s crucial that technicians have access to the most current OEM information, so they can safely and accurately repair vehicles according to manufacturer specifications.”

Inside Intelligence

The team at the ALLDATA Repair Info Centre Service was recently presented with an issue on a 2022 Tesla Model Y. The vehicle owner revealed that when the horn was pressed on the steering wheel, it didn’t make a sound – an obvious problem!

A basic diagnostic check was carried out, and it was discovered that no supply was present at the horn. Due to the nature of the vehicle and inability to source a fuse for the horn, however, the technician turned down the work.

However, following Tesla’s recent integration to the portal, Alldata’s experts were able to come to the rescue. Although relatively uncommon, some vehicles can experience an issue with the connector that sits behind the steering wheel, which can loosen or even disconnect completely.

The horn on these vehicles is supplied though their body control module, so, as the customer stated that there was no power to the horn, it was likely that the issue was linked to the horn connector.

The first procedure was to disconnect the LV power supply and separate the driver’s airbag from the steering wheel. The next task was to check the connector, as depicted below, making sure that male and female parts were thoroughly secured together (below).

The final job was just to reassemble the components and test. For more information about ALLDATA Repair or sign-up to a trial, visit


Live support from Master Techs

IVS 360, from Opus IVS, provides diagnostics and live repair guidance support services to help workshop technicians fix complex vehicles fast. Using the DrivePro’s diagnostic software and extensive product knowledge, the IVS 360 team of OEM brand-specific master technicians identifies the cause and steps needed to fix vehicle faults.

Technicians can request support from the 360 team directly from their DrivePro device or FixPro. Andy of Ian Studley Cars called on their services via their device to help with a vehicle: “I called the IVS 360 team because a 2004 Ford Focus was losing power intermittently. I spoke to Arber, an IVS 360 Master Technician, who explained the fault code I was seeing and advised on checks required for the wiring connection. He also advised testing the instrument cluster, which we discovered was faulty. IVS 360 always saves me a huge amount of repair time. Having such a support asset that my entire workshop can tap into is a game changer.”

“Having an army of behind-the-scenes brand-specific master technicians to tap into at the touch of a button really is a game changer,” says Karl Booth, Head of Sales at Opus IVS. “A recent IVS 360 case involved a BMW E6x, 2010 model year, which displayed Engine Oil pressure and engine warning lights. The vehicle was also reported to have a noisy engine when running. It is problems like these that our customers pick up the phone and call us for,” explains Karl.

The IVS 360 team supported the customer with the following advice…

Make: BMW

E6x (2002 - 2017)

E8x (2002 - 2017)

E9x (2005 - 2017)

Additional Information: Affects N43 petrol engines


Engine Oil pressure warning light on, engine warning light on and noisy engine.


1. Oil pressure warning light on

2. Engine warning light on

3. Noisy engine

Fault codes presented: 30C1 – Engine oil pressure control when engine static DMEENGINE ECU

The Repair:

Once our customer called and explained the symptoms and fault codes they were seeing, Simon Tyrrell, BMS Master Technician, delivered the following repair guidance.


1. Oil check

Check and correct the engine oil level.

2. Quick test

Carry out a quick test using your Opus IVS diagnostic tool.

3. Check the oil filter

If the fault code 30C1 is stored and present, check and make sure the oil filter has not twisted and broken up inside the oil filter housing. If it has, you will need to replace it and re-test.

4. Oil filter OK or fault still present?

If the oil filter is OK, or the fault is still present after replacement, you will need to check the oil pressure. You can do this with the DrivePro in DME >> Diagnosis requests >> Motor operating values >> Oil pressure. Make sure the engine is at the correct operating temperature.

The oil pressure should be a minimum of 1.5 Bar at idle, at operating temperature and 2.2-3.0 bar during controlled pressure at operating temperature.

It is advised to check the oil pressure with an external pressure gauge. This is done by using the special tools that BMW provide to carry this task out (11 9 240, 13 3 061, 13 3 063). This will give you the live readings for the oil pressure so you can compare it to the sensor reading to eliminate a faulty sensor.

“I was there throughout the repair step process,” explains Simon. “Once my customer ran the checks, we easily pinpointed the issue, and I was able to deliver further advice on faulty sensor replacements.”

Introducing the FixPro

Opus IVS recently revealed its latest product, FixPro, a tool which aims to save technicians both time and money.

"FixPro is a game-changer for the automotive industry," said Head of Sales Karl Booth. "Our team has worked tirelessly to develop a product that simplifies the repairing process for technicians while ensuring accurate and reliable results. With FixPro, we are empowering automotive professionals to confidently resolve complex issues, ultimately improving the overall customer experience. The device itself comes with more options to suit all types of independent workshops, including the ability to select a single brand at an affordable price for those workshops specialising in specific brands."



Diagnosing air conditioning issues can be tricky but Rob Marshall seeks assurance that technicians need not feel on their own

While it tends to be easier to diagnose an issue on something you can see and touch, the sealed and isolated internals of thermal management systems are somewhat more challenging. Fortunately, you are not left to struggle unaided when diagnosing problems as we approach peak air conditioning repair season.

Back to basics

As with many systems fitted to cars, the air conditioning system is becoming more complex. Naturally, the advent of high-voltage propulsion has encouraged the HVAC circuit to evolve into thermal management for the running gear. This is not the only consideration. Even the simpler air conditioning systems have not escaped the never-ending drive for efficiency.

"You are not on your own with air conditioning diagnostics. Yet, you must start with a decent grounding in the basics."

Trust the Experts


3,800+ part numbers in our range offer exceptionally high car parc coverage and include 450+ parts for hybrid and electric car models. All our components are engineered according to the Genuine Nissens Quality standard securing an easy installation process, excellent performance, and a long lifespan.

Additionally, we offer comprehensive tech support solutions essential to AC system maintenance and including expertise within new energy vehicle applications.



TECHNICAL SUPPORT Refrigerant, oil types and quantities finder, & technical stories library





Pressure Sensors 40+ models 180+ OE covered RECENT INNOVATIONS CLIMATE SYSTEM PARTS
AC Compressors Tesla Model 3 Kia Niro Hyundai Ioniq & more..

Denso advises that there is not one good full-proof method for leak finding and electronic refrigerant leak detectors (such as that pictured) must be calibrated annually.

Sadly, this is making them more sensitive to issues. Nissens, for instance, has noted that components are becoming lighter and impurities impact the air conditioning much more so now than in the past.

Nissens reasons that the best help a technician can have is a decent grounding in air conditioning fundamentals. The company reasons that workshop staff cannot diagnose, service, or repair the system properly without a basic understanding of the relationship between temperature and pressure. To assist the aftermarket, Nissens offers three levels of training, with Level 1 covering these basics, which underpin the more advanced courses that follow.

Denso also impresses the importance of training. It provides coaching to its distributors, who can invite workshop technicians to attend. It also structures its teaching as starting with the fundamental theories that are necessary for the more complex diagnostic procedures that feature in the advanced courses.

Sniffing out the problem

Training also helps technicians select the most appropriate diagnostic technique and tools. Denso highlights the three most common methods of detecting refrigerant leaks:

Aftermarket tools that support your diagnostic process include tools that facilitate pressure and temperature real-time measurements, without accessing the EOBD socket. For more information, see


UFI highlights that some condensers are cooled by coolant, not air. The main advantage is that liquid cooling reduces the refrigerant capacity and makes the air conditioning system more compact.

Ultra-violet (UV) dye remains a common addition. Yet, it can affect the lubricating performance of the oil; adding too much can have detrimental consequences for the air conditioning system's long-term health. Denso advises that technicians use an SAE-approved dye, based on the correct compressor oil type.

An inert gas (such as nitrogen or Form gas that is 95% nitrogen and 5% hydrogen) can be employed to pressurise

the AC system, while a soap solution is sprayed on the suspect components to see if bubbles form.

Finally, an electronic refrigerant leak detector can be employed for inaccessible areas, such as within evaporators. Nissens draws technician attention to two of its tools that facilitate quick and right-first-time diagnostics. Its wireless pressure and temperature diagnostic equipment permits data to be displayed on the technician's mobile phone. This flexibility allows the diagnostic procedure to be performed regardless of where the technician stands. Therefore, parts of the air conditioning system can be controlled diagnostically, while allowing the technician access to more accurate direct temperature and pressure changes as they occur. Should you wish to discover more about the methodology, check out: and

As with many things in life, the simplest options are often the best. A fascinating tool from Nissens is a visual inspection sight glass, see over page. It provides an insight into the normally sealed system, as it operates. With it, you can identify foreign contaminations that might be the source of your problems. These include those formed by the reaction of consumables within the closed circuit, such as crystalising leak stops, excessive UV dye quantities, or signs of burnt oil that indicate compressor overheating.

35 Learn more about the best ways to find & fix fluid & refrigerant leaks Contact your Primalec distributor or wholesaler or call us for details on 01622 816955 | Primalec, Nettlestead Green, Nr. Maidstone, Kent ME18 5HD, England. Fluorescent Leak Detection Tracer Gas leak detection Micro Leak Repair & Compressor Guard Electronic Refrigerant & NitroTrace detection Repair, Install, Re-configure OEM Approved refrigerant leak locator system NitroTraceTM Leaktronic Primalec Ad 130x190 April May.qxp_Layout 1 12/03/2024 13:54 Page 1

Turning up the heat: HV

The Heat Pump on high-voltage vehicles introduces new challenges. Nissens reports that, while the tools used are, generally, the same as those used with R134a refrigerant, systems that run on R744 (CO2) have operational pressures of around ten times higher. This means that special tools are needed, coupled with supplementary training. Nissens highlights its dedicated module on Heat Pumps, along with its online library at This platform is free and allows garages to share data, stories, pictures and videos that are dedicated to the understanding and diagnostics of AC systems, including thermal management systems.

Nissens' visual inspection sight glass gives you the best chance of seeing what goes on inside the normally sealed refrigeration circuit. To learn more, see:

Why the machine cannot do it all

While it is true that air-con machines are automatic, they are as good as the technician operating them. Nissens reasons that such equipment still follows instructions that are entered by the technician at the start of the process. Furthermore, the automatic procedure will need constant monitoring throughout the cycle. For instance, a maladjusted solenoid valve, an incorrectly calibrated scale, or a lubrication-starved vacuum pump can cause false readings, fooling you into thinking that there is a leak, for instance. Ironically, Nissens advises that, the more automated a machine is, the more critical technicians have to be about the display readings.

Denso agrees that the lack of knowledge about these machines and basic air conditioning principles is causing mistakes. These range from technicians adding excessive quantities of oil/UV-dye, selecting an insufficient evacuation time, or even overfilling the system. Other basic housekeeping errors include dosing contaminated oil, because the fresh oil bottle is not refreshed daily, plus either inadequate, or zero air conditioning machine maintenance. Again, both companies highlight the importance of training to prevent these issues from arising.



With wheel alignment being such a useful profit earner for you and a vital safety and money saver for drivers, Rob Marshall looks at what help is available for you to facilitate an accurate diagnosis

ADAS is fitted even to bargain-basement cars. Even the latest Dacia Duster comes with a suite of driver assistance equipment. As correct thrust angle is vital to completing a successful ADAS alignment, the importance of accurate wheel geometry cannot be underemphasised.

Like many practically-based trades, skills shortage remains a major concern within the aftermarket. The IMI, for instance, estimates that almost half the cars on UK roads will boast Level 2 autonomous features by 2030. Yet, even today, we have a deficit of around 18,000 technicians to meet just today's ADAS. It is a sobering analysis. Therefore, should your skillset be ADAS deficient, upping your game in this area is a good future investment.

The traditional values

Obviously, wheel geometry is not all about ADAS. As clever as they might be, modern cars are not immune to incompetent drivers bouncing them off kerbs, or cash-starved local authorities being unable to fill in potholes on either side of Halley's Comet sightings.

Hella reminds us that an advanced alignment system can help with identifying suspension and chassis defects.

Wheel alignment and ADAS calibration go hand-in-hand The only sure way to identify which ADAS features are fitted to the vehicle, on which you are working, is to perform a full global diagnostic scan.
"Owners may not even be aware that their car's geometry is incorrect."

Issues are caused not just by poor roads and impact damage but also general wear and tear. Camber variation indicates potential wear, or issues with the suspension components. A caster imbalance might suggest steering component damage. Toe misalignment, meanwhile, causes uneven tyre wear and handling issues. When it comes to identifying chassis defects, Hella highlights that analysing the thrust angle reveals deviation with the rear axle. This could be very serious, because any wheelbase discrepancy would suggest chassis distortion, the cause of which could be crash damage.

ISN adds that conducting four-wheel alignment will flag if the suspension geometry is out of tolerance, by referencing the OE information. By comparing the measured result with the camber, toe and caster data provided, you can identify which components are to blame. Straightset reminds us that owners may not even be aware that their car's geometry is incorrect. One reason for this might be that the change is gradual, hence why an MOT, or service report, which highlights excessive/uneven tyre wear might be the first time a problem is brought to the vehicle owner's attention.

Training support

As ADAS calibration should be considered as an extension of wheel alignment, it is logical that discussions and even training on both topics should run together. Yet, ISN reasons that garages should not purchase the latest equipment and rely solely on detailed product demonstrations to replace technician training. To comply with insurance industry requirements (IRR), workshops have to have the capability to understand and calibrate all of the ADAS cameras and sensors fitted to a vehicle – and that means having a registered IMI qualification.

To help, Hella has opened an Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) approved training facility, HELLA Academy in Chipping Warden, Banbury. This facility blends both classroom-based theory with practical training within a state-of-the-art workshop. Hella offers two IMI-accredited Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) courses. The ADAS IMI AOM 230 module provides technicians with the insurance approval needed to work on ADAS-equipped vehicles, while its ADAS Level 2 Award covers calibration, vehicle alignment and workshop requirements.

A Straightset makeover: How they did it...

At the beginning of last year, Straightset was commissioned by Toyota GB to overhaul a 45-year-old workshop in Helensburgh, Dumbarton. Aside from the dated looks, Straightset noticed poor use of space, uneven floors and tired staff facilities. The task was neither quick, nor easy. The workshop had to close for four months, while the floors were replaced and two different levels merged into one.

Straightset facilitated all of the essential workshop upgrades. These included seven new ramps, a connected MOT setup, and a specialised two-post ramp, designed for the more hefty BEVs. A drivethrough wheel alignment checker promises quick alignment checks for every incoming vehicle, seen as vital to boost alignment service sales. The compressor and oil tanks were also relocated to optimise space and create a less cluttered atmosphere. The new workshop opened on 13th December.

Before After

A new era for automotive dawns and the BMW Group is at the forefront of it. So our retail group is looking for change­makers to help drive the future. Technicians and Sales Advisors who, like us, have an innovative spirit and an excitement for what is yet to come. Individuals with new ideas. With questions. And with no preconceived notions of how things should be done.

Come and join us at the most energising time in our retail history. A career for trailblazers awaits.

Scan to visit to see our available opportunities.


Decisions decisions: Diagnostic equipment offerings

Understandably, wheel alignment and ADAS investment is considerable and garage owners will need to consider carefully what offerings best suit their needs. Hella Gutmann Solutions, for instance, has a partnership with the wheel geometry specialists, Pro Align, which offers a full range of Hunter equipment. For ADAS, Hella Gutmann’s latest CSCTool Digital is used with the company's mega macs diagnostic offering to calibrate front ADAS cameras and sensors. Its main advantages include optimum flexibility for technicians and its packaging is ideal for workshops with limited space. Calibration targets are displayed on an integrated 200cm screen and workshops simply download panels directly from

the CSC-Tool Digital App. The equipment is also modular, facilitating the calibration of rear-view and 360° cameras, while radar sensor calibration kits provide further flexibility for vehicle-specific systems. A typical example of this is laser sensor calibration on the latest Audi range.

ISN reports that its Garage Assist wheel alignment range is 'vast' and includes both CCD and 3D alignment. It reasons that, because both technologies are accurate and efficient, garages can choose, based on their personal preferences. Furthermore, CCD equipment is ideal for workshops with restricted space and two-post lifts, while 3D alignment requires a dedicated alignment lift, of the four-post, or


Not all ADAS hardware is calibrated via the EOBD port – this LiDAR unit is aligned physically. advises how vital it is that independent workshops are aware of how widespread ADAS is and how such systems are already affecting the jobs that they undertake daily.

You are not alone with training. Pictured is Straightset's dedicated 3,000-square-foot Wheel Alignment Training studio in Nottinghamshire.

scissor types. ISN also highlights its wireless-connected tablet operation, which permits complete portability around a vehicle. It also testifies that alignment data is no longer batched together every few months but is now updated continuously. For garages that own older, unconnected Hofmann Megaplan, or Balco, wheel alignment equipment that was purchased through ISN Garage Assist, ISN reminds these customers not to worry; its remote assistance service is just a telephone call away.

Straightset prides itself on its flexible range of wheel geometry systems, whether that be a Beissbarth, or HAPFaip machine. Straightset is also the UK manufacturer of Supertracker alignment machines, including the popular STR1 hang-on laser model, in addition to the STR130 six-sensor and STR420 eight-sensor computerised systems. The CEMB Argos innovation is also available for garages prioritising a touchless facility.

Drivers switch off ADAS but should you?

In their report, 'Vehicle safety systems and the future of driving’, the Brake road safety organisation and AXA Insurance found that 41% of drivers are switching off certain ADAS features, where they can. The reasons given are because they find them annoying and they do not believe that they make them safer.

Indeed, ADAS features are far from perfect. Even motoring journalists report instances of Lane Assist technology (for instance) not working correctly, especially in the countryside. This causes the system to apply a 'corrective' force to the steering wheel, which, at best, is unwanted and, at worst, dangerous.

AT asked AXA if deactivating such features would invalidate a driver's motor insurance policy and was told that it would not. Interestingly, the forthcoming Renault 5 E-Tech BEV permits drivers to deactivate certain ADAS functions, should they prefer. However, does this mean that garages and technicians should take ADAS calibration less seriously?

Hella says emphatically not. It reminds us that Insurance Industry Requirements (IIR) require ADAS inspection, realignment and calibration to be considered by technicians. Regardless of whether drivers choose

to switch these systems off, or not, it remains the workshop’s responsibility to ensure that these systems are functioning correctly following the repair, service or maintenance of any parts that affect ADAS functionality, or vehicle geometry. ISN explains that insurance companies focus on ADAS functionality, when investigating claims. Should ADAS misalignment be deemed a contributing factor in an accident, it raises the question, who is to blame? ISN asks how can a technician undertake a repair that might affect ADAS functionality if neither the equipment nor the capability is available to check and adjust it?

Straightset summarises that if the manufacturer has fitted any ADAS devices, they still need to be kept calibrated and in full working order.


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

Stop the race to the bottom!

The fifth episode of Tea Break Talk, from Garage Services Online, features The Garage Inspector Andy Savva, who urges garage owners to challenge outdated pricing strategies which pull work in on price, which, he says, does nothing for customer relationships or the garage’s bottom line.

He said: “Fifty years ago we worked transactionally. It was thought the way to get customers through the door was to advertise a lower price than the garage down the road. The business barely made a profit because its hourly rate was a guess, rather than a calculation of what it needed to charge to open the doors every morning.

“Incredibly, 80 percent of the garages I physically visit these days still operate in the same way. They’re barely surviving because their mindset is focused on transactional marketing and not relationship marketing. Everything should be about the relationship with the customer.

“Moving away from being transaction focussed and knowing what to charge to cover the overheads is just the first step. It’s crucial to then demonstrate visibly, through customer service, a website and marketing, why the garage is charging a fair price.

“To do this, a shift is needed where business assets –whether they be a website, machinery, or tools – are treated as investments and not costs. They’re not a cost. They’re fundamental elements of a successful garage business.

Watch the video here:

Smoother shifts

Castrol has introduced a fully synthetic transmission fluid for wet dual-clutch transmissions, DCTs. TransMax Dual Multivehicle has been designed to deliver smoother shifts and extend the life of transmission components.

It can be used in 90% of wet DCTs and in most six- and seven-speed ones used in Ford, VW Group, Nissan, BMW and Mercedes-Benz passenger cars – simplifying ordering for specialists and multi-marque workshops.

A modern automatic transmission can have as many as 1,000 parts and have up to 88,000 gear changes throughout a year during typical city driving. This pressure can result in increased shudder, gear stiffness and compentn damage it the transmission fluid wears out or goes without the correct friction level. Castrol’s formulation features molecules that adjust their performance under changing pressures and speed, serving the right level of friction at any given moment.

Castrol TRANSMAX DUAL Multivehicle is the latest transmission fluid to join Castrol’s growing TRANSMAX product range, which includes TRANSMAX ATF, DUAL and CVT fluids for automatic transmissions


5-6 June 2024, NEC

Training | Tools | Technology

Get your automotive business and skills up to speed, in 2 days flat



More than

5000 visitors

200 suppliers


Workshop Training Hub

Scan the QR code

2024 exhibitors include

EV Training Hub

Modern Garage Student programme

in association with

A Smart Fit

Blue Print’s clutch programme incorporates more than 1,100 repair kits for 30,000 passenger cars and light commercial applications and includes repair kits for dual-mass flywheel and self-adjusting clutches. It released 57 new clutch kits in 2023, including references for the Vauxhall Astra 2009>2015, Citroen Relay, Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer 2006>.

A 3-year manufacturer's guarantee for all replacement parts is provided. An overview of its clutch programme can be found at

Taking the pain out of ADAS

Simple repairs such as adjusting the wheel alignment or removing a bumper can disrupt an ADAS system and requires the safety systems to be recalibrated – workshops have a duty of care to ensure that when a vehicle leaves a garage, its ADAS systems are behaving as the manufacturer intended.

MD Iain Molloy of A1 ADAS Solutions says the growing demand for ADAS services can be a pain for many workshops, “It isn’t something everyone wants to specialise in, but equally, there are those who do want to invest.

“As a company that literally lives and breathe ADAS, we decided to help workshops with either route. We not only supply ADAS and diagnostic equipment and provide training, but we also supply ADAS as a direct service to those who don’t want to invest in equipment or have the liability of carrying out the work themselves.

“And with the IMI reporting that there’s only around 3,000 ADAS certified technicians servicing the UK car parc, and that 106,000 will be needed by 2030, it’s imperative that bodyshops and garages either invest in ADAS equipment, or forge working partnerships with people like us to carry out the work for them.

Garages urged to book now for EV training

‘At Ease with EV’ takes place at Cleevely EV in Cheltenham on Saturday April 6th and technicians are being urged to book now to get one of the last few places remaining.

The hands-on high voltage training has been designed to boost the confidence and skills of technicians with IMI Level 2, 3 or 4 qualifications.

Presented by Matt Cleevely and acclaimed technical trainer, Alistair Finch, delegates will delve into practical workshop sessions using a 2018 Nissan Leaf and Tesla Y Performance. They will cover essential topics such as interlocks, charging faults, high voltage battery testing and repairs, EV servicing, common EV faults, and a comprehensive Tesla service mode 'deep-dive' demonstration.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis for just £295 + VAT per delegate. Two further dates are also available – Saturday 20th July and Saturday 12th October. Register for a course online here:


Parts programme continues to grow

A further 43 new parts join First Line’s growing range, which can be found in the online catalogue WebCat

Highlights include an additional Borg & Beck driveshaft (BDS1553) added for Audi A3 models, as well as a brake disc (BBD6310) for Honda HR-V RV applications. A suspension arm (part number FCA8078) for Ford Transit and Transit Custom applications, as well as a top strut mount from its Borg & Beck


Blue Print offers a range of SMARTFIT Conversion Kits, a reliable aftermarket alternative for Dual-Mass Flywheel and Self-Adjusting Clutches – easy to install and of the highest fitting accuracy.

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• Range of over 170 SMARTFIT Clutch kits, covering more than 9,000 vehicle applications

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range (BSM5604) covering various Ford Mondeo models. A new wheel bearing kit (FBK1616) for Nissan Qashqai III models has been introduced and within its cooling range, First Line has added a water pump (FWP3087) for Jaguar E-Pace and a Borg & Beck branded thermostat (BBT556) for Land Rover Discovery Sport.

BP Clutch Smartfit promo UK A5 landscape.indd 5 12/03/2024 15:46:15

Pump it up!

A range of electric auxiliary water pumps join the INA brand and provide wide coverage of the European vehicle parc. They provide a major role in after-run, fuel and turbocharging cooling and thermal management is becoming more challenging as electric vehicle place higher demands on the cooling system while also increasing system complexity.

Initially, Schaeffler is launching 11 water pumps for popular vehicles from manufacturers including Toyota and Volkswagen. One highlight is a pump for Lexus, Toyota and

Volvo models used for hybrid inverter cooling (part number 539 0006 10). Pumps launched for the Volkswagen Audi Group manage additional cooling of the water circuit and after-run cooling when the engine is switched off (part numbers 539 0010 10 and 539 0014 10).

Fitting instructions and more information can be found on the REPXPERT app, which can be downloaded free of charge on all iOS and Android devices, or at


Top tips to de-stress

Modern day life can be stressful, with many of us juggling work, family life and chores, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and our wellbeing can take a back seat. It’s important to take time for ourselves to de-stress but rest, relaxation and enjoyable activities can be the first things to go when we have lots going on. For some inspiration, we’ve asked our team of Life Coaches to share how they personally deal with stress and handle the pressures of life.

1. Connecting with others

For our coaches, spending time with their loved ones is very important and it’s something they prioritise. Whether it’s meeting for a drink or a simple phone call, staying connected with friends and family helps them get some perspective and relax.

2. Spending time in nature

Most of our coaches like to spend time outside in nature, whether that’s walking their dogs, sitting in front of a view in the sunshine or simply focusing on the sounds and smells around them. Nishi finds that being outside clears her head while it gives Karen time to feel gratitude for her surroundings. Miar likes to walk barefoot on the grass and Tracey likes to spend time on her allotment.

3. Different techniques

Our coaches rate mindfulness, spending time focusing on their breathing and practising gratitude daily. Tracey says posture is important and she regularly checks whether her body feels tense, then consciously relaxes it. Nishi says it’s important to understand our values and strengths, making decisions based on these areas. The first step is to understand what our core values are and what strengths we have. This is when working with one of our qualified Life Coaches can help!

4. Getting organised

Nishi uses an ‘Impact ease matrix’ to help her tackle her to-do list and get organised. It helps her to map out the

different tasks, seeing which ones are easy and important and she does those first. Then she will look at the difficult but important tasks and break them down into easier tasks, asking for help if needed. Anything that’s not very important has to wait or doesn’t get done at all.

Nishi also does journalling – writing things down when she has a lot on her mind. It is a great outlet for worries, negative thoughts and can help us understand ourselves better and process emotions.

5. Exercise

Most of our coaches enjoy walking regularly, but Tracey likes simply dancing in her kitchen, Miar enjoys pilates and Karen does kickboxing, weightlifting and pole dancing.

6. Disconnecting from technology

Some of our coaches say it’s important to disconnect from social media and screens regularly. Prioritising seeing loved ones in person when you can and doing activities you enjoy away from screens can help you de-stress.

7. Time for yourself

All our coaches do something enjoyable for themselves each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Their favourite activities include reading, writing, cooking, watching TV and listening to music. Have a think about your favourite activities that help you zone out and unwind from the daily stresses – it could be anything from working on your car to listening to a podcast!

If you would like some more support with worklife balance, life coaching can help and is free for everyone who works or has worked in the automotive industry. If you would like to find out more about coaching, click here or if you need some more support to deal with stress, click here.

48 BEN


When the car’s fitted with a DENSO A /C Compressor. The very best materials make them durable and efficient so your vehicle cabin will always be as cool as you need it to be. Much more pleasant for everyone. OE quality means they fit 100% accurately so they’re never overworked. It’s a wise choice.

CHOOSE DENSO. Free your thinking.
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