autotechnician magazine Jul/Aug23

Page 1

JULY/AUGUST 2023 P4 'watershed moment' For independents P6 Automechanika UK: game, set & match P21 How-to guide: voltage drop tests workshop takeover p34 uk techs brainstorm faults at autotech live!


P4 Industry news

P6 Automechanika Birmingham

P16 Human Resources 101

P18 4Focus: New car innovations

P21 Voltage drop circuit testing, Part Two

P24 The future of the combustion engine

P26 Clutch concerns

P34 Autotech Live: Workshop Takeover

P46 Suspension stress

P54 Batteries & chargers

P57 Parts, Tools & Tips

P66 Wellbeing: Ben charity news


We turn up the heat in our Summer issue and consider the effects of high temperatures on clutches (p26) and chassis components (p46), and Rob Marshall visits the Borg & Beck test centre where First Line conducts quality control tests on prototype, preproduction and current volume clutches. We discuss battery best practice with leading aftermarket suppliers from p54, providing tips on ways to increase revenue and ensure a professional service to preserve your workshop’s reputation.

Record numbers of technicians turned out for Automechanika Birmingham in June following a 4-year hiatus, the event sustained a real buzz across the three days – we highlight some of the discussions, training, competitions and product launches that took place from page 6.


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CONTRIBUTORS: Julia Crawford, Des Davies

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Autotechnician recently held its own gathering at Cleevely EV – turn to page 34 for our special Autotech Live feature which reports from the workshop takeover and provides technical advice and updates from our industry supporters.

Wishing you a wonderful summer with time to switch off and recharge the batteries! Keep up-to-date with industry news and technical articles via the webiste and social channels.


* View and download previous digital issues at:

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 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. 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



UK AFCAR, the lobbying coalition comprising UK trade federations and commercial organisations, has secured vital gains in the revised Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MVBEO), ensuring effective competition and choice UK motorists.

The previous Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations (MVBER) expired on 31 May 2023, at which point, new postBrexit competition law and guidelines came into effect. Months of intense lobbying by members of UK AFCAR and other trade bodies resulted in clearer definitions to support the way vehicles are diagnosed, repaired and maintained.

In the accompanying guidelines, UK AFCAR has secured full access and recognition for independent garages, parts distributors and parts suppliers/manufacturers to full repair and maintenance information and data from vehicle manufacturers. For parts distributors, as well as the workshops who finally fit these parts, software and coding must now also be made available to ensure their ability to complete vehicle repairs.

Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive and UK AFCAR chairman said: “This is major achievement for the independent automotive aftermarket, and I would look to pay tribute to intense work of the UK AFCAR and its members, Neil Pattemore and our colleagues in FIGIEFA.”


Andy Hamilton, CEO of the LKQ group of companies, has said that the new MV-BEO is a ‘watershed moment’ for the independent aftermarket. Several detailed submissions were made to the CMA’s consultations by LKQ with the company also helping to gather evidence from independent workshops about abuses of the MVBER by OEMs to support the industry’s push for reform.

Andy Hamilton stated: “The new MVBEO regulations have delivered on many of the industry’s key requests. It is more comprehensive – now covering software, training and improved access to data and information alongside parts – and it is now shorter in duration, coming up for review again before the end of the decade. This should allow the framework to be updated to keep pace with the rapidly evolving vehicle market.

“This is a real success for the independent aftermarket, where its ability to service modern vehicles was slowly being squeezed by OEMs capitalising on the shortcomings and loopholes of the ageing MVBER framework and advances in vehicle technology that support new business models.”


The latest Automotive Labour Market Briefing from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has revealed that the sector’s job vacancy rate continues to rise while rates in most other industries have fallen. The current vacancy rate for motor trades is 5.1 – a 20 year high and the highest rate on record.

CEO Steve Nash commented: “Vacancy rates increased across all industries after the pandemic, but the motor industry hasn’t bounced back like most other sectors. In fact, while other parts of the UK economy saw vacancies fall as posts were filled, the motor industry vacancy rate

has continued to rise, underlining the systemic problem we face in that perceptions of the sector as a good career destination are not positive. Only the hospitality sector has a higher vacancy rate which highlights the immense difficulties currently faced by businesses in the automotive sector.”

With businesses struggling to fill vacancies, advertising for apprentices has grown since 2020. Job postings have increased by 55% in the past 6 months and are more than double 2021 numbers.

“It is encouraging to see employers focusing on apprenticeships – it’s absolutely right to get people interested in automotive from the start of their careers”, added Steve Nash. “We also need to appeal to people who are thinking of changing career. And we need to address the misperceptions about the opportunities that exist as automotive technology evolves. In response the IMI will be launching a major Perceptions campaign at the British Motor Show later this year.”

4 industry INDUSTRY

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) is calling on the government to make its decision on the MOT test frequency, calling the lack of clarity on the matter “completely unacceptable”, and harmful for the entire supply chain.

The Department for Transport (DfT) launched a public consultation on the future of MOTs in February 2023, looking at modernising the test and test frequency, with the Government’s preference for the first passenger car test to be taken at four years old.

Mark Field, IAAF chief executive, said: “We’re speaking to independent garages every day and they are really concerned for vehicle and driver safety, given the vehicle defects they see of all ages within their workshops. It is completely unacceptable that the automotive industry, which remained open to provide essential support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, is being made to wait more than six months for an answer on its future and that of motorists’ safety.”

According to figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), 300,000 vehicles approximately fail their first MOT test at three years. Moving the first test to four years under


After years of negotiations, the Independent Garage Association has unlocked security information barriers for UK independent garages, ensuring audited garage operators and their authorised employees will have access to Security-related Repair and Maintenance Information (SERMI) to the same level enjoyed by their European counterparts.

The IGA will oversee the UK scheme on a not-for-profit basis, ensuring that access is affordable for all garage businesses. The SERMI scheme is embedded in EU law and will launch on a rolling basis, country by country beginning on 1 October. The RMI’s ISO company, RMI Standards and Certification (RMISC) is also planning to launch the scheme in the UK on that date.

IGA Chief Executive Stuart James said: “After many years of negotiations over access to security-related information, progress has finally been made. The IGA has broken through the barriers to secure access to the SERMI scheme in a post-Brexit Britain.”

Government proposals poses higher safety risks to motorists and other road users. Delaying vehicle inspections may lead to higher repair costs for motorists who may not know that dangerous faults are developing with their vehicles.

In addition, DVSA data shows that the failure rate on tyres at first MOT of three years is higher on Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) than on diesel vehicles. Fifty-seven percent of all electric vehicles that fail their first MOT test, fail on tyres, compared with 35 percent of diesel vehicles and 37 percent of petrol vehicles tested.

IAAF is writing to the Government, calling on them to at least give an indication of their proposals following the MOT consultation.

The SERMI scheme will accredit vetted independent garages and their vetted employees to access manufacturer technical information on security systems such as keys and ECU coding, through one central audit and certification process, without the complexity of having to be accredited by each individual manufacturer. The accreditation scheme will protect the identity of the accredited companies and individuals – whilst the individuals accessing the information will be anonymous to the manufacturers in order to protect their privacy.

Welcoming the agreement, Stuart said: “For many years we have worked to make this solution become a reality… For good, reputable garage businesses, a long-term solution to accessing vital security-related information is now here. We are inviting any garage interested in taking part in the scheme to get in touch with the IGA to register their interest.”

5 INDUSTRY 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

Automechanika Birmingham 2023 hit the mark

technicians with evolving processes and essential tooling. Reactions from both visitors and exhibitors autotechnician received over the three days were very positive, reporting the visit to be worthwhile; with numerous connections being made and ways to evolve both careers and business opportunities back in the workshop.

Taking a day out of a busy workshop to head to a work exhibition is not everyone’s cup of tea, however, droves of technicians and workshop owners converged on the largest UK trade event last month, which returned to Birmingham after a four-year absence. A record 14,402 visitors attended the exhibition, an increase of 19% on the 2019 show – with 6,750 workshop professionals keen to discuss new avenues, equipment, and training face-to-face. A total of 511 suppliers showcased cutting-edge technology, product launches and services to help drive repair businesses forward and support


The event saw the first ever Automechanika Birmingham keynote conference, in addition to 190 hours of free skills training, and interactive features such as the Modern Garage, Paint & Spray Live, Collision Repair Live and the EV Training Academy. The event also opened its doors for the first time for students and the next generation of talent, with Automechanika Birmingham’s Talent and Skills Conference.

Automechanika Birmingham returns in 2025 and the UK Garage and Bodyshop Show, also located at Birmingham NEC, will return in June next year, specifically aimed at workshops – with a focus on tools, training and technology.

The winners of the Automechanika Birmingham 2023 Garage Awards, hosted by the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), were announced at the event. Over 45 individuals and workshops were shortlisted from hundreds of nominations; industry personnel and motorists were able to vote for their winner online in the lead up to the ceremony.

Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive, comments: “From hundreds of nominations and over 7,000 votes, it’s fantastic to see how well received and respected garages and technicians are with their suppliers, fellow garages and motorists. It’s clear that the automotive industry is very much alive and kicking, ready to embrace both challenge and opportunity.”

Best Single-Site Garage Winner was Billingborough Cars and Commercials in Sleaford, Best Multi-Site Garage win went to CCM Garages, Sussex and Surrey, Lindleys Autocentres in Nottingham claimed Garage of the Year, and Gary Wood of Intelligent Auto was crowned Auto-Mechanik of the Year.

The full list of winners can be found at

A record number of visitors gathered at the NEC event in June to source tooling and equipment, workshop support, and take advantage of free training sessions – we report on some of the highlights from the show


With the SV20 Series - The ultimate lightweight and comfortable cordless tools for heavy-duty tasks.


Where: Workshop Training Hub (in association with autotechnician and sponsored by ZF Aftermarket)

A winning combination of expertise, practical experience and dynamism made James Dillion's talks a firm favourite with showgoers. With so many high-quality aftermarket diagnostic tool companies competing for workshop businesses, it is easy to forget that those offered by OEMs can also be viable options. "You have to see the big picture; this is not a simple topic," Dillion explained to a packed audience, before asking workshops to question honestly whether dealer tools are necessary because of the limitations of generic tools, or is the real reason down to technicians?

His bigger picture theme expanded into explaining that dealer tools are not about quick plugins but global scans. He implored technicians to look beyond the EOBD socket and consider


Snap-on celebrated over 100 years of business by raffling a 1923 Ford Model-T adorned with Snap-on livery from the same era.

Snap-on also showcased its latest products and services, most notably a new addition to its Fast-Track Intelligent Diagnostic Scan Tool and freshly developed software services, which it demonstrated live. Snap-on's Total Shop Solutions attracted plenty of attention, which comprises SUN, Hofmann, and the John Bean brands, on which special show-only deals could be had.

In addition, Snap-on hosted a live seminar within the Workshop Training Hub, which explored the future of not just automotive diagnostics but also investigated the importance of ADAS and alignment technologies for present and future vehicles.

dealer support, whether this be with data and bulletin reports of common faults, to physical special tools. He also highlighted the advantages of specialising in several brands, as well as the commercial benefits of offering coding services not just to private customers but also to other businesses.

While Dillion preaches to his flock that they should look at the bigger picture, he is not hypocritical. He also criticised OEMover-reliance, because motivations within the independent sector are different to those of franchised outfits. For instance, replacing high-value parts quickly (such as ECUs) can be cheaper within a main dealer environment, due to its relatively sky-high hourly rates. This situation is especially relevant, when dealer diagnostics do not always lead you to the fault. This is why Dillion's focus is not on the equipment but on the technician, especially as he warns against using dealer tool purchases as replacing training.



Alldata Repair presents unedited OEM repair information to its aftermarket workshop subscribers and, unsurprisingly, the company behind it had plenty to talk about on its stand. While it covers 95% of the UK's car parc already, former FCA brands, Dodge, Ram and Jeep, have just been added to Alldata Repair's portfolio. As it saves navigating through multiple OEM systems, many of which are far from intuitive, Alldata was keen to demonstrate the user-friendliness of its system, which includes customer support facilities. Notably, this Info Centre service not just helps subscribers to locate repair information swiftly but the facility also gets fresh data to workshops before it joins the 72 million existing documents on the portal. Alldata reports that its Info Centre is not run by machines; the experts within its team have a four-hour target to respond to queries but they tend to act in half this time. The main aim of this is to allow technicians to complete tasks quickly, while not relying on inaccurate data that could force them to postpone or even turn away work.


The Autotech Group, originally formed as a recruitment company to help workshops bridge resource gaps, now has the UK’s largest network of temporary vehicle technicians and MOT testers and has diversified in recent years to address major industry challenges. It used the show to highlight its Autotech Training and Academy divisions, created to address the trade’s ongoing skills shortage, and to introduce it’s fourth ‘Connect’ division to help the aftermarket mitigate the growing risk of cybercrime threats.


Opus IVS made a big pre-show deal about its high-value prize –a flagship DrivePro Elite kit, along with 12 months of free IVS 360 live support – and this incentive helped to keep its stand busy throughout the show. The lucky winner was Danny Sehmi from Automotive Connect in Slough.

For visitors that were not lucky enough to win, at least they were treated to live demonstrations of the tablet that covers 64 car brands. A notable feature of DrivePro Elite is the IVS 360 live support, which gives aftermarket professionals one-to-one support with OEM-trained master technicians.


LKQ was well-represented at the show, which displayed a wide variety of offerings over four impressive stands. Naturally, displays included new parts and consumables, including those from its Starline, Pagid and Eicher brands. Practical demonstrations enticed visitors onto the LKQ Academy training platform stand, which included air conditioning, wheel alignment and diagnostic fault finding exercises. Bodyshop professionals engaged actively with members of LKQ's technical and sales teams, especially on the topic of cost-effective sustainability, as well as participating in a virtual reality Spray Area. Perhaps the most interesting development was the formal introduction of the 1Tec Auto Hub, which supports independent workshops with tools, training, and business support, and is the result of a partnership between LKQ Euro Car Parts and other aftermarket suppliers. More details can be viewed at:


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Celebrating 125 years of operating within the UK, its first export market, Bosch focussed on its ADAS calibration equipment. Never a complacent company, Bosch chose Automechanika to highlight several new features, from the updated Bosch Positioning Software to new features on its DAS3000 ADAS calibration and adjustment machine. These include a Doppler simulator adapter for computer-guided Rear Short Range Radar calibration, a target board for computer-guided LIDAR calibrations and adapters to facilitate radar calibrations on various Honda and Toyota models.

Bosch gave guided previews into its EV/Hybrid training opportunities and diagnostic offerings. Delegates could also gain familiarity with the Bosch Car Service network, as well as eXtra, the company's loyalty programme. HC Cargo was also present, the Bosch-owned brand that counts air conditioning

components, starter motors, alternators and workshop consumables among its 22,000-strong parts range.


The Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS) was formed in 2013 amid concerns that some lubricant products were being sold with claims that did not seem believable, and celebrated its tenth anniversary at the show.

Over the past decade, the independent membership body has investigated 87 different lubricant complaints, from cold weather properties to compliance with industry standards and market regulations. The work is ongoing, with eight cases currently under review. VLS unveiled a specially-commissioned white paper at the show, looking back on developments in both the lubricants industry and VLS over the past ten years. VLS Chairman Mike Bewsey, one of the founding Board members, spoke to visitors to the stand about the complex UK vehicle parc and the need to protect workshops and end users. “The UK has one of the youngest and most complex vehicle parcs in the world. That complexity creates the need for a broader diversification of aftermarket products, including lubricants, and that complexity needs managing. VLS is here to support motor factors and workshops to give them confidence that the products that are supplying and using for customer vehicles are fit for purpose and can deliver what they claim.”


Where: Workshop Training Hub

Hailing from Falkirk, Barry Lawson had a lengthy drive to Birmingham to explain that DPF training, offered by an independent, global network of DPF doctors, had allowed his business to attract fresh work from fleets and even main dealerships that lack the necessary expertise to unblock DPFs safely.

Mr Lawson highlighted a fresh trend of melted DPF cores that is concerning the network. While enthusiastic owners/drivers are in-part responsible, by overdosing the fuel tank with 'Fire Juice' DPF regeneration additives, inexpert garages are also contributing to this unfortunate trend. An overreliance on aggressive forced regenerations tends to be one of the main problems. In some cases, this is understandable, especially when Mr Lawson cited one OEM recommending several two forced regenerations be conducted to clear a blockage – an official repair stance that ends up melting the DPF internals.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Lawson Autotech has learnt that gentler on-car particulate filter cleaning methods are preferable, using quality chemicals from JLM Lubricants that

reduce the pressures to a safe level, before the engine is even restarted. The company has found this more sympathetic repair method to be successful, even when DPF pressures are between 1,000 and 1,500mb, measured at engine cranking speeds. As a consequence, with so many diesel cars on the road and owners holding onto them, Mr Lawson recommends wholeheartedly that garages join the DPF Doctor Network.



Travelling to Birmingham from its base in Wrexham, North Wales, Maverick Diagnostics shared its suite of tooling, support and training offerings for the modern aftermarket workshop. Apart from visitors having the chance to win a dealer diagnostics bundle worth £7,000, the company's experts were on-hand to discuss workshop challenges. These included keeping ahead with automotive tech, software and equipment, how to tackle surging overheads, deciding on workshop rates, selecting tools that offer optimum returns on investment and upskilling, plus the vital topic of specialising.

The most impressive product that Maverick Diagnostics displayed was the fruits of its labours with the Austrian Aviloo company. The result provides aftermarket workshops and used car sales outlets with the ability to measure high-voltage EV batteries' state-of-health. Furthermore, the system allows garages to either complete the test in fewer than five minutes, or you can rent the system to your customers to conduct privately


While showcasing new branding was a priority for the BP-owned oil blender, Castrol's stand resembled one of its Service workshops. Aside from being drawn in by the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s WRC challenger and the English Premier League trophy on display, visitors could discover more about Castrol’s diverse product portfolio. These include e-fluids from Castrol's ON range and advice on how Castrol Service helps workshops to attract and retain customers, while enhancing operational efficiency. Working with The Race Group, its leading UK distributor, visitors discovered how Castrol Service accreditation adds further value for independent garages.


Where: EV training Hub

While the EV revolution is transitioning out of its honeymoon period, as it moves from early adopters into the mainstream, a short drive on our roads shows that the number of cars with a green mark on their number plates is increasing. Buoyed by statistics showing that EV and Hybrids comprised 75% of last year's new car registrations, LKQ's Training Manager, Chris Hill, delivered a persuasive and up-to-date talk on why garages are self-harming by running scared. He has even found 81% of aftermarket garages are turning down BEV and hybrid servicing, referring the work back to the main dealerships. Yet, an even more worrying finding is independents refusing to MOT Test hybrids – an extraordinary discovery and not something that inspires confidence.

over several hundred miles of driving. Either way, the system provides great new business and could even restore confidence in the EV used car scene, which has had an especially tough few months.

Simon Gurney, Castrol Technologist, delivered talks on EV fluids at the EV Training Hub and explained how the company is responding to OEM specifications and hybridisation at the Workshop Training Hub. He highlighted Castrol's innovation prowess in EV fluid technology, while emphasising support given to workshops with adapting to the fast-changing technological requirements that high-voltage propulsion is presenting to the aftermarket.

The answer, as Chris explained, is training. Yet, this is not relevant solely for high-voltage vehicles - it is just as important for other vital technologies, such as ADAS. He argued also that training is also essential to create a safe working environment – which begs the question, why would you avoid it?


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• Over 200 candidates ready for an immediate start

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Human Resources 101 for workshops

Within a series of articles, Human Resources expert Julia Crawford from People Pillar provides practical advice on all things people related –here, she explains how to retain and develop your staff

Retaining and developing your staff is crucial, regardless of the size of your team. Keeping everyone happy and motivated can be a challenge, as even minor changes can disrupt the balance of your business, leading to devastating consequences. Once you have an unmotivated team or individual, it can be very difficult to turn things around. Even just one employee, who isn’t enjoying their role, or working for you, could impact everyone.

What does that mean for you and your business? For you, this means loss of productivity, spending time on conflict resolution, and a far higher turnover of staff than is necessary. That’s before the cost of recruitment. We have some questions

to start you thinking about whether your business is a great place to work:

1. What is your Happiness Level?

On a scale of 1 to 10, honestly assess the happiness levels within your business. Understanding this baseline is essential for initiating improvements and developing a strong, motivated, and productive team.

2. What do you need to do to increase your Happiness Level?

The higher your level, the more likely you will have developed a strong, motivated, and productive team of individuals, who are committed to your business and their growth within it.

"Once you have an unmotivated team or individual, it can be very difficult to turn things around. Even just one employee, who isn't enjoying their role, could impact everyone"

Whatever your level, there’s always room for improvement. Putting in some work now could mean your business sees a real surge in motivation, and inspiration, over the weeks and months to come.

Often, it’s the getting started bit that’s the biggest hurdle, so we’ve put together a list of the 7 key areas to look at. They will help you to make positive changes for you and your team:

1. Share your visions and goals

You know where you want your business to go, but do those who work with you? It may be that you are happy with how you are, your business is at the optimum size, or maybe you aspire to have more locations, or increase workload and staff. If your staff know where you are going, they are more likely to go on the journey with you, working towards the same goal.

Speaking to everyone together regularly means that everyone gets the same message. You don’t have to make it a dull onsite meeting, it may be that you down tools and have a cuppa, or why not order in a pizza? Keeping everyone involved with the progress will mean you also need to regularly set clear, measurable goals for your people. It’s important that your employees know why these goals are being set.

How will this help your business get to where it’s going, faster? Take time to speak to all your staff on a 1:1 basis. We’re not suggesting weekly, but every month or so. You might be surprised what you learn. That quiet team member who does a great job day in day out, might just aspire to develop their skills further, but they’ve not had an opportunity to talk to you about it. This makes sure your employees feel included and valued, and they don’t head off in the direction of your competitors. Again, this can be done quite informally.

2. Communicate

Everything revolves around communication, but it’s so important. It’s not all about one-way communication from you telling your employees what they need to do. You must do something really important too, which is listen! You also need to be approachable. Are you? Do your employees know that they can come to you for advice and to give feedback, or if there is a problem?

3. Cohesion

We don’t need to tell you that a well-oiled machine works better than one without any! By encouraging and promoting teamwork, it will in turn boost productivity. This brings with it stronger relationships between employees and a fully engaged team.

4. A healthy working environment

Having a safe and healthy workplace is essential, especially when there is large machinery or tools in use. It can often be noisy and hot. How do you tackle that? For example, do you have a water cooler? Is it easy for an employee to step away from what they are doing, if they need to? What’s the lighting like? We know we are asking lots of questions, but it’s all these sorts of things that you need to consider, so that your employees have the best possible working environment.

5. Offer regular feedback and reward

When was the last time you told one of your employees they

had done a good job? Was it just ‘good job!’ or did you take the time to explain why? For example, did their actions offer great customer service? Did they spot something that was wrong, or needed doing?

Praise costs nothing but is priceless to your employees. It’s also great for motivation, but what if something goes wrong? Don’t voice your anger or despair in front of your team. Take them to one side and stay calm. After all, if there has been a mistake made or an issue, you want them to know that they can come to you with it, and you can discuss the solutions together, rather than things being kept from you or covered up.

6. Opportunities for development

You don’t want to spend time and money training someone, investing in their career development and skills, only for them to leave you and move on, taking those skills to your competitor. You’ll no doubt have some staff that are just happy doing what they are doing every day, but there will be others who are more ambitious, who would like to take on more responsibility, or undertake additional training and development, which benefits both you and them. This is something that will come out naturally in your regular 1:1's.

7. Offer more than just a good salary

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our work lives will never be quite the same again. In your line of work, its often impossible to work at home or flexibly. But there are other things you can do, as well as offer a good salary and opportunities for growth and development, which we have already spoken about.

There are many perks-based apps around, you could subsidise gym membership, wellness programmes, health insurance, or additional help on top of Government subsidies for childcare. It could even be as simple as a day off for their birthday. It’s all about making your employees feel appreciated and show that they matter to you and your business. At the end of the day, when you look at the different types of perks, they also benefit you by helping with attendance and wellbeing for your employees.

If you want to retain and develop your staff, you need to put the work in, both time wise and financially (although it doesn’t need to cost much). The returns will be great. You will have a happy, motivated workforce. This not only makes it a great place to work, but also a great place for your clients to visit. The knock-on effect of this is that your referrals and recommendations will also grow.

You will have a business that your competitors aspire to be like, and potential employees will want to work for you because they have heard about your reputation and that you put your employees first. What could be better than that?

If you would like to talk further about the above, or find out more about how People Pillar can help your business with HR, please do get in touch.

01303 769700




Before you exclaim, 'Oh no, not another boring plug-in hybrid SUV," consider that Mazda is cultivating its reputation of doing things a little differently. Indeed, you would have seen the suicide-doored all-electric MX-30 before. Debuting in 2020 as Mazda's first all-electric car, this SUV was developed with typical conservative Japanese reasoning. Recognising that big batteries are polluting, expensive and heavy, Mazda equipped the MX-30 with smaller, lighter power packs, to preserve the value and crisp handling for which Mazdas are renowned. Yet, this decision was also the car's Achilles' heel. While adequate performance and unimpressive top speed can be overlooked, the all-important range of a paltry 124 miles cannot.

This makes the range-extender model even more important for the company. A little over a decade has passed, since the last rotary 'Wankel' engine ceased production with the Mazda RX-8 sports car. Now, it is back, although the new unit powers not the wheels but a generator that recharges the battery pack. Therefore, the MX-30's drive remains all-electric.

Compared to the old Renesis engine from the RX-8, the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV possesses a single rotor of 830cc, compared to the old sports car's twin rotor's 1308cc. While this helps to reduce weight, Mazda has shaved a further 15kgs by producing the side casing from aluminium, rather than cast iron.

The rotary engine's compact dimensions mean that Mazda has managed to slot the combined combustion engine and


generator next to the combined high-voltage motor, inverter, DC-DC converter and junction box beneath the bonnet. To make space for the 11-gallon (50 litres) fuel tank to the rear, Mazda has reduced the battery size from 35.5kW to 17.8kW. This has reduced the electriconly range from 124 to 53 miles but at least the occupants are not left stranded, should the battery packs become discharged completely.

Boasting decent crash performance is not a prerequisite for a high Euro NCAP rating any more. This is one reason why carmakers have festooned their models with ADAS equipment to delight, surprise, assist and irritate both drivers and technicians alike. With Volkswagen introducing a 21st-century retro homage to its bus (naturally all-electric), it also features the latest in technology that merges ADAS with connectivity. As reported in AT before, the Volkswagen Group has invested heavily in both swarm technologies (where cars communicate with each other) and its hazard information service, which verifies and augments locally-gathered information with digital data from other sources.

According to Volkswagen, once Travel Assist is specified as an optional feature, the vehicle is not only kept in a lane (i.e. Lane Assist) and maintains a distance from the vehicle in front (i.e. Distance Cruise) but it also keeps to within a driver-selected speed limit. Additionally, Travel Assist adapts to the driver’s driving style, meaning that it can position the vehicle further left or right in the lane, not just in the centre. Travel Assist features a cornering assist function, too, where the vehicle speed can be adapted to valid speed limits and considers road features (such as bends) or furniture (including roundabouts et al).



Adjustable dampers are hardly novel but the typical technician that likes to take a cursory look inside wheel arches might be interested to witness such sophistication being applied to a pick-up truck. As we know, the Ford Motor Company has pretty much given up building motorcars, preferring to focus (pun intended) on more profitable offroad vehicles and SUVs. Even so, its range-topping Ranger Raptor is anything but basic. Introduced last year, the twinturbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine produces 288PS. With such considerable power available, the chassis and suspension have been beefed up to cope.

Aside from new aluminium upper and lower control arms and a refined rear-end Watt's link, the trick dampers are produced by Fox Factory Holdings of California. Compared to those of the previous-generation Raptor, these dampers rely not on gas but oil, which is Teflon-infused to reduce internal friction by 50%. One of the main internal features is an internal bypass Live Valve system that controls oil flow. As the long-travel pistons within the dampers are compressed, the bypass circuity possesses different zones to provide the required support, resulting in superior on-road comfort and off-road ride quality both at high and low speeds. To help protect the dampers from bottoming out, the FOX dampers provide maximum damping force in the last 25% of piston travel. With so much power on demand, the dampers are


Twin Clutch automated manuals (2CT) are familiar to numerous technicians. Many independent garages are familiar with the Volkswagen Group's applications, most of which are called DSG. Other companies have produced similar versions, such as Ford's notorious Powershift. Yet, some companies are looking to the 2CT to provide a mild hybrid capability.

stiffened to prevent the Ranger Raptor's rear from squatting and its front from rising under heavy acceleration. While the damper hardware is supplied by FOX, the tuning and development work was carried out by Ford's in-house performance division. This includes selecting and adjusting the spring rates to set the ride height, valve tuning and honing the different ride zones. In doing so, Ford claims to have created the perfect balance between comfort, control, stability and traction both in on-and off-road conditions.

As many technicians know, the main differences between low-and-high voltage hybrids are that low-voltage variants (i.e. those under 48 volts) cannot be propelled under electric power alone. This definition held until last year, when Magna made its 48-volt hybrid transmission available to carmakers. This seven-speed unit utilises a pair of wet clutches, with an electric motor that is combined within the transmission case, which does not require a separate clutch.

BMW was one of the first manufacturers to use this transmission. Inherited from the MINI and the BMW 1-series, the 2-series' transverse front-wheel-drive running gear is seen by many enthusiasts as not being a pure BMW, something that the driving experience confirms. Apart from the badge, there was little to recommend it. However, the secondgeneration car was made available from its launch last year with a mild hybrid unit, using the Magna 2CT gearbox. As far as AT can establish, the dowdy 2-series is the first mild-hybrid that can move under all-electric power, at least in the UK market. Even so, Magna 2CT featured on other models, within a few months of the 223i's launch, most notably, those from Stellantis. Hybrid versions of the Jeep Renegade/Compass e-Hybrid, plus the Fiat 500 X and Tipo mild hybrid models also share the BMW 2-series' advantage of being sub 48-volts with very limited EV-only motion. While Magna states that it has signed a multi-programme agreement with Stellantis, it appears that the latest mild-hybrid 48v 6-speed 2CT that has just been introduced in the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 models are not Magna transmissions. Therefore, technicians should be aware that mild-hybrid propulsion does not comprise a belt-driven starter/alternator solely any longer.


Voltage drop circuit testing –Part


This is the second article on voltage drop circuit testing, following on from the basics and fundamentals of the circuit testing methods explained in the June issue.

You need to have the correct tools and equipment in place to test and diagnose electrical faults – a good digital multimeter is essential to trace faults and give you accurate test results, don't buy a cheap multimeter as a good quality one will last for years if you look after it.

Below is a reminder of the rules that were explained in my previous article:

Rule 1

A digital voltmeter displays the difference in voltage between where you place the black probe and to where you place the red probe

Rule 2

The voltage after the last resistance in a circuit will always be zero (providing current can flow)

Rule 3

Volt drop will only occur across a resistance if current can flow

Rule 4

The Volt drop across a resistance in a series circuit is in direct proportion to the comparative resistance’s values.

This basically means that voltage drop across all the resistors in that circuit must add up to the source voltage e.g. If you measure a 12V drop across the battery terminals, then with 1 or more resistors in that circuit they should all individually add up to the 12V system voltage. In a 3-resistor circuit, if they have all equal resistance then the voltage drop across the individual resistors will be 4V, each adding up to 12V system voltage, and this is Ohm’s law.

Place your multimeter across the positive/live circuit to check for the voltage drop in the circuit, in this case, an unwanted resistance was found in the positive/live side of the circuit. The M3 multimeter on the left, Figure 1, displays 0V indicating a good ground/earth. M1 in the centre displays 10.6V, the system/battery voltage is 12.6V, therefore we have an unwanted voltage drop of 2V somewhere in the circuit, check this using M2 to confirm this part of the circuit has the unwanted resistance. Place your multimeter M2 across the positive live circuit to check for a voltage drop, in this case, an unwanted resistance of 2V was found in the positive live side of the circuit. To check the positive/live side of the circuit place the red multimeter lead of M2 on the battery positive post and place the black multimeter lead to the main resistor input. If the reading is the same reading of 2V as indicated by the right hand side multimeter M2, then keep the red

TESTING Figure 1.

lead on the battery positive post and place the black lead at different points in the circuit working backwards towards the battery positive post until this multimeter reads 0V (0.5V max). Between the previous readings of the multimeter of 2V and 0V-0.5V is the unwanted resistance in that circuit. When you locate and repair the fault, place your multimeter M2 across the positive/live circuit, red lead to battery live/+ post and the black lead to the input terminal of the resistor to confirm and check for the voltage drop in the circuit. This should now display a reading of 0V (0.5V max) indicating a good positive live side part of the circuit.

A good way to check your ground/earth circuit is to reverse the leads – place the red lead of the multimeter to the positive terminal connector on the battery and the black lead to the negative ground/earth side of the resistor/component. This should display a reading of the battery/source voltage, in this case 12.6V which indicates a good ground circuit going back to the battery/source. Note, the multimeter may display a minus figure because the meter leads are reversed, this is normal.

If I am probing a lead in any part of the positive side of the circuit, which has a 12V supply, then either side of these 2 probes will have a 12V supply, therefore the meter reads 0V, because there is no difference between 12V and 12V so there will be no voltage drop in that cable and that part of the circuit is good, 0V. The maximum reading you should have on your multimeter is 0.5V if the positive or live side of the circuit is operating correctly.

The black lead is connected to the battery negative terminal and the red lead connected to the component/resistors earth/ ground lead. This meter displays 3.0V on the ground side, indicating that you have a poor ground connection in this part of the circuit, we now need to test this part of the circuit to locate the unwanted resistance.

The same is said if I probe the ground side cable using my 2 leads then either side of the probed leads should have 0V, and there is no difference in the voltage readings therefore the meter reads 0V, no voltage drop. The maximum reading you should have on your multimeter for a 12V circuit is 0.5V if the ground or earth side of the circuit is operating correctly.

You will now need to move your red probe back towards the battery ground until your meter now reads, for example, 0V (Meter2). In between the 0V reading that you have just recorded and the last probed reading of 3.0V (Meter1) is the high resistance in the circuit causing the malfunction in the circuit.

Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6. Figure 7.

The black lead is connected to battery negative terminal and the red lead connected to the resistor input terminal with a perfect 0V reading, indicating an open circuit in the positive/ live side of the circuit and no current flow. Note: A 0V reading on your meter can also indicate a short circuit or very high resistance in that circuit and the meter will not register any reading, please be aware of this.

These testing methods can be used on any 12V circuits on the vehicle e.g. Starting, lighting, wiper/washer, engine management sensors and ABS etc for the correct functionality of that system.

Having the correct knowledge of how the circuits operate correctly is essential, and having a good reliable source of technical information and the manufacturer's data and circuit diagrams will help you to diagnose the electrical faults and help you fix the vehicle.

There are plenty of good quality electrical test equipment out there but I was always told as an apprentice, look after your tools and your tools will look after you! That tends to be good practice.

Remember the best tool you have in your possession is between your ears, this does not cost anything, so use it to its full potential!

Visual checks are essential to help you to locate problems and faults such as heat, burn marks and green crusties etc.

The black lead is connected to the battery negative post and the red lead connected to the earth/ground side of the resistor. A 12.6V reading on the multimeter indicates an open circuit in the earth/ground side and no current flow in that circuit.

Many technicians that I speak with struggle with electrical fault finding and tend to send the work out to other garages or mobile repair technicians. It can be time-consuming but also very rewarding when you locate the faults in these systems.

Electrical fault finding and diagnostics can be difficult at times but rewarding when you locate and fix the fault. And when you make a mistake, you will learn from that error and this will help you to develop better skills and confidence in both your practical skills and knowledge.

Knowledge is power! I hope that these articles help you to better understand basic testing for voltage drops in an electrical circuit. Remember, practice makes perfect!

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Figure 8.

What is the future for the Combustion Engine?

Vehicle owners, workshops and vehicle manufacturers are seeing issues with Gasoline Direct Injected engines that cannot be put down to one fault. What’s behind the problems and what are the consequences? More importantly, what’s the solution? GDI specialist Phil Ellisdon of ASNU delivers his findings within a three-part series. In this final article, Phil focusses on GDI injector servicing.

If we believe all the talk from the media, by 2035 there will be no more gasoline engines in production. Well, if that’s true, why are GM spending $900 million on four engine plants for three new small block V8 combustion engines for GDI applications? GM, like other automakers, are facing stricter government fuel economy standards and pollution limits starting in the 2024 model year.

Why are Mazda investing in new engine GDI combustion engines? Why have Toyota announced they are no longer investing in battery technology and investing in combustion engines but for Hydrogen?

A quote from Toyota’s CEO: “This new engine will destroy the entire EV Industry”. See the Toyota video: rTawvzH0MQ4

So, is EV the future?

On a recent trip to California, where I visited a number of ASNU owner’s workshops, I asked how they were finding business. Considering the number of Tesla’s they have on the road there, they explained that most were government subsidised company vehicles, but now the non-business purchaser of an EV is in many cases finding it to be a false economy. A good example of this is the cost of a tyre for a Tesla being $1,000 each! With what is normal for many in the Los Angeles area, where an 80 mile and 2+ hour trip to get to work and the same to get home is common practice, tyres can soon wear down.

Tesla have introduced the Model 3 Long Range. This model uses the LFP batteries with Chinese cells, which are cheaper and do not require Cobalt, (which is difficult to obtain) but carries some Human Rights baggage. But there lies the problem, these batteries are not so good in cold weather. This may be OK in California but elsewhere, certainly not in some states in the USA, certainly not in some areas of Europe. No one really knows but they seem to keep trying to find battery solutions. So, is EV really the future? Where will it be in 10 years? Who knows.

Knowledge is King

The future is still looking healthy for the Gasoline engine, but many workshops need to step up their knowledge on GDI vehicles. This is something we are experiencing all over the world now, where GDI is now hitting the aftermarket. Countries like Iraq, Libya, Eastern Europe, and the Far East all have GDI vehicles now, but in many of these countries the fuel quality is very poor and causes issues with the GDI injectors that only removing and correct testing and servicing can resolve.

In Thailand, for example, we have many workshops where some have two or three ASNU systems. Some of these shops post on our ASNU Facebook page with the results of serviced injectors, as do many of our ASNU machines owners; sharing experience and information. With distribution and sales in over 60 countries worldwide, ASNU get information on all the various vehicles with GDI that they share with other ASNU owners in the largest network of Fuel Injector Specialists in the world. As they say, Knowledge is King.


So, what is the future for the professional workshop? First, let’s define one. If we grade garage workshops on a scale of 1 – 10, where would you rate your garage?

Let’s go back to basics: A Gasoline vehicle requires three elements: Air, Fuel, and Ignition. This is nothing new - Suck, Squeeze, Bang and Blow. Nothing has changed since the creation of the combustion engine, only the way and the quantity of the three elements are supplied. Diagnosing their performance is the critical challenge workshops now face, testing and measuring vehicle components in millivolts, milliamps, milliseconds and millilitres. But without training and the correct equipment, how can they do this?

To correctly test, diagnose, repair and service a Gasoline engine a workshop must be able to test ALL these components correctly and accurately, otherwise how can they be sure they are all working to the correct specification? Two out of three is not good enough. As an example, a Gasoline Injected engine, GDI or port may have any of these customer complaints and issues with: Starting, idling, engine performance, fuel economy, driveability, exhaust emissions, coil pack failure, Lambda failure, catalyst failure, engine check light illumination. If anyone reading this can claim they can resolve any or all of these combustion related problems without checking the injectors, I am happy to prove them wrong. Those that know me know I am right, they know an ASNU is the best and can correctly diagnose and correct combustion related problems.

So, let’s do a proper Good Garage Rating. On scale of 1-10, I would say a workshop requires the right equipment and the correct training to be able carry out all of the required diagnosis and repairs. If you have not been trained or do not have the correct equipment then you cannot diagnose and resolve these combustion related problems. So where do you grade your workshop on a real Good Garage Scheme? Maybe between 1 – 6? In the UK, there are a number of workshops that are correctly trained and equipped that I would class as 10/10. I know who they are and so do they.

So those reading this and wanting to be in the elite grading will firstly question my authority to make such a statement. Visit our ASNU website to understand why with over 33 years

as market leader worldwide, I believe I can make these claims

Below is evidence of engine damage caused by the injectors not performing correctly and that is only caused by the lack of attention paid to the injectors. This resulted in the engine requiring a very expensive engine rebuild. The owner ignored the warning signs, so did the workshop, most likely because he did not have the equipment to carry out the correct diagnosis. Pouring a couple of cans of fluid into the fuel is not a repair, pressure flushing the system with a chemical is not the answer either. Chemicals go one way out and as quick as possible.

Ignore this advice at your peril, it’s only to help you maintain the quality of your business and reputation. 33 years selling one system, approved by Bosch, used by Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, GM, Opel and more, we must be doing something right. Even TV’s 'Wheeler Dealer' is recognising cars need their injectors serviced, take a look: w7oCnDQsq2M

Filter baskets destroyed by on-car cleaning

While clutch heat damage is not as obvious as this, Sachs says that the clutch friction side material tends to burn away first as it overheats. The lining fibres will also separate, giving the appearance of burnt cotton wool.


As good as modern clutches might be, heat remains a formidable enemy, as Rob Marshall finds

Ever since carriages became powered by engines rather than horses, engineers had to solve the challenge of transmitting power from a rotating crankshaft to stationary wheels. It was found almost immediately that a friction clutch was the most effective method, let down severely by the materials available at the time. They discovered fairly quickly that leather and cork were not the most heat-resistant of materials... Being immensely durable and heat-resistant, asbestos was ideal, but the health risks discovered later led to it being banned from not just clutches and brakes but also engine gaskets. Since then, engineers have been forced to develop suitable replacements that do not dissolve technicians' lungs. This has been far from easy, considering that clutches have had to become more sophisticated and lighter, while cars have become heavier and more powerful.

Keeping up to date

While the diaphragm spring friction clutch has remained relatively unchanged for decades, you should not be complacent. Updating your training is still worthwhile, to discover how and why the latest developments have been introduced, such as self-adjusting clutch covers. Yet, a clutch still produces the majority of its heat, when the friction plate slips against the flywheel and clutch cover, as the vehicle takes up drive.

When examining a clutch, check the metal parts for colour changes. Yellowing, or bluing, indicates severe overheating has occurred.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case in engineering, final specifications are a compromise. Sachs reports that OE suppliers work closely with car manufacturers to develop clutch friction material that provides the best compromise between long life and comfort under normal road conditions. A long-life lining might have excellent heat-resisting characteristics but, if violent and uncomfortable judder is the price, the carmaker will reject it. This also explains why OEMs do not use race clutches, even in high-performance road cars, due to their very unprogressive 'on-off' bite points.


When leading ZF Group UK's clutch training courses, its Technical Training Manager, Wayne McCluskey, tells delegates that drivers tend not to realise that the maximum clutch slip time should not exceed several seconds. Any longer than this risks creating potentially damaging quantities of heat.

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Check the metal parts for evidence of glazing, indicating that contamination (usually oil) is entering the clutch unit. First Line says to also use your nose – the acrid, burning smell of vapourised linings will linger on the removed parts.

This poses a problem, Sachs explains, because excessive heat causes the binding resin within the friction lining to break down. As these temperatures increase, the fibres within the lining material separate. Should the temperature rise even more, the lining will disintegrate.

Valeo says that you can suspect clutch overheating, because excessive temperatures change the lining material's friction characteristics. This can result in not just clutch judder but also clutch plate distortion, a situation that promotes uneven flywheel contact, causing hot spots to develop and increasing the overheating risk. These perils increase as the clutch ages, Valeo finds that, as the clutch friction plate wears, its heat dispersant abilities reduce as well.

Who is to blame?

Poor driving tends to be the main culprit, especially as it is possible to burn a clutch out completely within seven minutes, whereas one fitted to a vehicle that has been driven with a modicum of mechanical sympathy can last well over 70,000 miles. Valeo explains that the clutch is designed to be either engaged, or disengaged completely, meaning that the clutch pedal should either be depressed fully, or left untouched. Therefore, problems occur when the clutch is 'ridden' - i.e. when the clutch pedal is depressed partially. As most technicians appreciate, apart from increasing release bearing/CSC wear, the pressure applied by the pressure plate/ clutch cover is insufficient to clamp the friction disc firmly against the flywheel, causing it to slip and generate heat. Therefore, educating the driver sensitively about mechanicallysympathetic driving techniques will help. These include not using the clutch pedal as a footrest, avoiding slipping the clutch to compensate for selecting too high a gear, not holding the car on an incline with the clutch instead of the hand brake and, of course, resisting racing getaways.

Even so, First Line, Sachs and Valeo find that technician error can also be responsible for reduced clutch life. The most common reason why a new part fails prematurely is contaminated friction lining. As lubricant from either the engine, or transmission, can cause this, not attending to weeping oil seals is a false economy and will prejudice any

clutch warranty – a fact that is worth highlighting to the customer, should you meet any resistance about the extra cost of attending to worn ancillary items that are not related directly to the clutch.

Even so, overgenerous application of grease to the gearbox splines remains the most common workshop error. This lubricant is flung from the input shaft and finds its way onto the clutch linings as soon as the car embarks on its first postclutch replacement trip. The resultant contamination will shorten the new clutch's life, by modifying its lining's friction characteristics, causing more slip and, therefore, enhancing the overheating risk still further. The customer may also experience juddering and may return angrily for an explanation.

Consequential damage

Once you have removed the clutch and your subsequent checks confirm that it has overheated, suspect damage to related parts. The dual-mass flywheel is the most vulnerable item in this respect. While you cannot dismantle it, you are justified in suspecting internal damage if you notice either blue, or yellow, colours on the contact faces, indicating that it has experienced temperatures over 400 degrees Celsius. Sachs explains that the DMF is filled with grease, which can solidify, should it encounter higher than designated temperatures. Certain DMFs contain nylon parts, such as spacers, which can melt. Understandably, should it contain solidified grease and melted components, the DMF cannot function correctly. Sachs highlights also that the DMF's secondary mass is relatively thin, meaning that it can also distort if overheated.

Valeo concurs that, as the DMF is an enclosed mechanical assembly, it is harder for it to cool. Therefore, if you suspect overheating, inspect the assembly for cracks, which indicate that the part has exceeded its designed shock value specifications. Clearly, a cracked DMF must be replaced. Should you suspect that how the vehicle is being used results in excessively high temperatures, Valeo suggests that its KIT4P solid DMF conversion kit might be a worthwhile consideration, owing to the single mass unit not having to dissipate internal friction energy.

While oil leaks must be remedied, because dripping oil will be flung outwards as pictured, the most common cause of clutch lining contamination is technicians applying too much grease to the input shaft.

Borg & Beck: Challenging misconceptions

Is Borg & Beck the same today as it was in the past? Rob Marshall heads to First Line's Oxfordshire HQ to find out

Wrong impressions can be extremely harmful. Take Borg & Beck as a typical example. For decades, the UK clutch company established itself as an OE fitment for the sprawling British Motor Industry, from the 'Saintly' Volvo P1800 (made initially in West Bromwich) to the multiple UK-built BMC, British Leyland, Rootes and Ford of Britain products that littered our shores in huge numbers.

Surprisingly, Borg & Beck is not British. Mr Marshall Beck and Mr Charles W. Borg (the same Borg of BorgWarner but that is another story) established the company in Moline, Illinois, USA, where it pioneered the single plate clutch that became the automotive application blueprint.

It was AP Lockhead of Leamington Spa that took the brand global, by negotiating the rights to distribute Borg & Beck clutches not just in the UK but also to all British colonies. At its peak, the company supplied 85% of all new cars, a move that exposed the company to the British Motor Industry's decline. By the late 1980s, Delphi (a division of the North American General Motors company that, ironically, was subsumed into BorgWarner) acquired the brand. In 2006, the family firm, First Line Limited, took over.

Extending the reach

Today, Borg & Beck cannot be considered a sole clutch brand any longer. After First Line's considerable investment, steering, suspension, filtration, cables, braking, turbo hoses, wheel bearings, cooling, wiper blades, sumps, wiper motors, CV joints and driveshafts have been added to its portfolio. Borg & Beck's long-established international repute is so strong that it has become the company's primary overseas brand.

This development might make you imagine that Borg & Beck has waned from being a clutch pioneer to a label, applied to a generic clutch box cynically to capitalise on past glories. Again, the perception is untrue. While Borg & Beck clutches are not fitted in car factories anymore, First Line is adamant that its aftermarket offerings are developed to OE specifications, or better – but how can they prove it?

Having retained the range, intellectual property, technical documentation and expertise from AP Lockheed, First Line has ensured the availability of high-quality clutches for classic and historic cars. Yet, time moves on and, where some materials cannot be used anymore (asbestos included), Borg & Beck clutches utilise alternatives that deliver equivalent

characteristics to those delivered by the original part. Continual product evaluation has led to the redesign and reformulation of certain parts that can tolerate modern driving conditions. For instance, the carbon clutch release bearing wears considerably, if the clutch is depressed for long periods. Unfortunately, this mechanically-unsympathetic driving habit has become de-rigour and so the release bearing has needed upgrading accordingly.

Viewing Borg & Beck as a classic-only brand is also inaccurate. While the company does not supply clutch kits to the OEMs, it possesses the formal clutch specification data, from which it can design and produce replacements that meet the original requirements. Improvements can also be identified and integrated. A range of over 65 single mass flywheel conversions for vehicles that experience exceptional driving conditions, such as taxis, or those deployed for emergency responses, is evidence of this stance.

21st-century quality

While First Line works with multiple overseas manufacturing partners, and ensures that they carry out frequent quality control checks, the company has established a dedicated UK test centre at its HQ in Banbury, Oxfordshire, visible to all travellers passing Junction 4 of the M40.

Naturally, there are many ways in which clutches are tested for quality. AT was granted access to the company's test centre, to witness its trio of test rigs in action...

The Borg & Beck test centre is based at the First Line HQ in Banbury, which conducts quality control tests on prototype, preproduction and current volume clutches. Borg & Beck is a brand owned by First Line Limited, a British family company that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

1. The test centre's primary function is quality control testing, carried out not just on final stage prototype parts but also on warranty returns and as part of routine checks of current clutch stock, to maintain the Borg & Beck repute and provide an efficient resolution for distributors.

2. Borg & Beck retains a considerable library of technical literature, not just for classic and historic vehicles but also those that make the current UK car parc.

(CSC) tests require this bespoke machine to run continually for 24 hours. It operates the CSC 100,000 times, replicating 80,000 miles of normal motoring.

5. The system also monitors the hydraulic pressure required to operate the CSC, which influences the clutch pedal pressure and, therefore, is an important driver comfort consideration.

6. This rig evaluates the clutch plate cushioning and dimensional specifications, provided not just by the damper springs but also the laminated plate layers. Along with correctly-specified friction materials, the desired result is a smooth take-up of drive, with no sudden grab, optimising driver comfort.

3. Concentric Slave Cylinder 4. To replicate typical bellhousing conditions, the CSC tests are conducted within an enclosed housing, which is heated to 140 degrees Celsius, as the clutch cover is rotated at 3,000 rpm.

11. The cover can also be reoriented on the machine, so its clamp load is assessed and, as with the release load, the results are compared against the formal specification. Pictured, is one of the three clutch straps, all of which must be parallel with each other. Should one of them become bent, pressure cannot be released evenly, and judder can result.

10. The pressures applied are plotted accurately on a

so the operator can note the result in real-time and deduce whether the clutch pedal would be excessively heavy.

7. The machine applies clamp pressure and rotational torque to the friction disc face. First Line states that it specifies Borg & Beck clutches with a torque rating 20-25% higher than the maximum produced by the application's engine. 8. The third test rig confirms the clutch cover specifications – not just the release pressure but also the clamp pressure and pressure plate lift. 9. With the clutch cover assembled, with a mandrel-type tool replicating the release bearing on the diaphragm fingers, pressure is applied gradually, until the clutch has released. graph, Borg & Beck branded components are shipped from First Line's Banbury warehouse to 70 different countries.
Our Steering & Suspension parts are engineered, tested and produced in-house to high standards of quality control. All backed by a 3-year guarantee. New engineering innovations make MOOG the best it’s ever been. Best-ever ride comfort and outstanding durability. GUARANTEE PRMMO2201_EN MOOG® is a registered trademark of Tenneco Inc. or one or more of its subsidiaries in one or more countries. CAR PARC COVERAGE N°1

P38 ACtronics: Automated ABS unit remanufacturing

Cleevely EV hosts Autotech live!

JLM Lubricants: Page 44

Build an income stream by promoting high value additives

P40 Alldata: Vital OEM data & support

P42 Bosch: Identifying known fixes with experience-based repair

Autotech Live! Cleevely EV workshop takeover

Autotechnician magazine created ‘Autotech’ back in 2016 to provide readers with free online technical assessments to help identify any gaps in knowledge, and working with partners who can provide training and support to proactive technicians and garage owners. Part of this ongoing campaign has included a live event – bringing trainers, supporters and garages together to highlight better processes, share practical fault-finding tips and help improve attendees' first-time fix rate.

This year, we introduced the Workshop Takeover format with a lot of help from our friends. Technicians from across the UK came together for Autotech Live at Cleevely EV in

“I’m not involved in EV at the moment in my garage, but today has given me an insight into what I can do. After doing more training with these guys I can move on and after listening to these guys, I want to make it happen. I was a one-man band until a year ago, I have another technician now and my wife in the office so going forward I can see that I need to specialise in certain areas and electric is probably the way to go, in my area. There are not many people going heavily into it in North Devon. We have plenty of diesels coming in, Andy was great at explaining what he was doing. There’s stuff I’ve learnt today that I never knew.”


Cheltenham on June 24 and the three groups encountered live faults across three workshop bays. Regular autotechnician contributor Gareth Davies, a VAG specialist and founder of Euro Performance in South Wales, led the petrol area and provided a cracking, hands-on experience for guests, involving them each step of the way in testing and analysing results. He provided plenty of takeaway advice throughout his session – how to avoid being led down the wrong path by making assumptions, how to prioritise faults when faced with many, and practical tips on navigating wiring diagrams and network topology.

this form have been – his latest one is ‘Has any other garage worked on the car?’ and the final question in the customer interrogation, ‘Is there anything else?’ Following his masterclass in process, he presented a diesel fault in keeping with his previous guidance.

Andy Crook of GotBoost has been a friend of the magazine since its inception and has been involved in every event to date. He took to the helm of the diesel bay and the first part of his session provided comprehensive insights into how best to approach a job and customers – advice honed from years of pinpointing the most effective processes. This included the 4C’s of presenting your offer to potential customers – ensuring the contract is clear for both parties, agreed methods of communication, clear definitions of time frames and cost, and coming to an agreement. Andy then focussed on the crucial stage of capturing data – he provides his front of house staff with a set of questions to ask a potential customer, which have proven invaluable and a great time-saver for diagnostics over the years. Forever the data enthusiast, Andy has crunched the numbers and worked out how valuable just two questions on

We have known Matt Cleevely for many years now and he is one of the nicest chaps you could ever meet, also one of the most encouraging and inspiring too. Many guests left the event enthused about the opportunities available with electric vehicles and keen to follow up with additional training. Eliot Smith of Pro-moto was sadly unable to make the event but Alistair Finch from Remit stepped in at the last minute to provide an EV session with Matt. Guests had varying levels of experience with EVs – some who had no formal qualifications but were interested to know more as they have seen an uptake of hybrid & EVs in their area, right up to Level 4 qualified who wanted more hands-on experience to gain confidence. Alistair highlighted the very real opportunity for workshops who prepare now, highlighting the fact that dealers are eager to just replace expensive components when faced with an EV fault. If you understand what’s going on with a component and have the training and confidence to work around the high voltage system, now is the time to get everything in place if your workshop is located in an area seeing a rise in electrified vehicles.

Matt and Alistair were a formidable duo – busting myths, listing essential tools (such as absolute voltage testers and the support network HEVRA) and ground rules before getting the techs up to search out an underlying fault on a Renault Zoe which flagged up a battery communication error.

Gain free access to free skills tests now! autotech is an evolving bank of free, confidential online assessments created by independent automotive trainers. All you need to do is a few details at 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!

“I’ve taken a lot away from today, it’s been money well spent. It’s more practical than last year’s event which I think people prefer, it’s been more hands on.”
Des Davies

A huge thank you to Matt, wife Claire and the whole team at Cleevely for being such wonderful hosts; to Alistair, Andy and Gareth for their time, effort and enthusiasm; to all the new technicians we met and returning friends who make it all worthwhile; and to ACtronics, Alldata, Bosch and JLM Lubricants for their ongoing support and providing guests with advice, offers and gifts on the day. We’ll be back with another Workshop Takeover in 2024. Follow us on social media to be the first to find out when, as tickets are strictly limited to ensure maximum benefit to guests.

Register your interest for our next event in 2024 by emailing

In association with: Media Partner:

“I just wanted to say a big thank you to autotechnician for organising such a great event, the information and the presentations were informative, and I found that Gareth, Matt and Andy to be very approachable and eager to share their knowledge.”
Paul McCudden
Watch this short video to get a feel for autotechnician magazine's Workshop Takeover!



Big news in the remanufacturing industry! ACtronics has started up a new remanufacturing line that has been specially designed to allow the remanufacturing process to run fully automatic! This has a huge positive effect on quality and lead time. We are therefore very proud of it.

During the optimization phase, the ATE Teves MK60E (a popular ABS system) was used as a pilot part and now that the remanufacturing line is functioning as desired, it is also being prepared for the remanufacture of other ABS systems. In addition to the MK60E, the other variants will also be remanufactured automatically in the near future. We will briefly explain (and show) how the remanufacture process works within this new line.


It all starts with opening the ABS system and removing the components to be replaced. A CNC preprogrammed machine opens the ECU (or in some cases parts of the HCU) and removes material where it is needed to properly reach the internal components. The soldering tin is then heated in specific places and extracted: the electronic components that are being replaced can now be removed from the printed circuit board. What follows next is an extensive cleaning process of the circuit board.

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The assembly starts with the placement of new electronic components. A pre-programmed pick-and-place machine places these components in the correct position with extreme precision. Because these components are already provided with the correct amount of solder in advance, the printed circuit board only needs to be heated sustainably in specific places. The steps after that are a bit too extensive to briefly name and/or discuss, but the process ends with a new (inhouse) cap.

End-Of-Line (EOL) and packaging

The ABS system should now be back to normal, but this does not mean that the remanufacture process ends here. Before the remanufactured part is packed, it undergoes an extensive End Of Line test. This test not only checks the electronics, but also makes real use of an advanced fluid circuit that also allows thorough testing of the pump motor and the various valves within the HCU. If it turns out that the ABS system is completely in order, the part is neatly packed alongside installation instructions.

More automated remanufacturing lines on the way

The remanufacturing line for ABS systems has already more than proven its added value. For ACtronics there was only one conclusion: This is the future! A second remanufacturing line for instrument clusters has therefore already been commissioned. And… the development for a third revision line, for TCUs, is also already in full swing. To be continued!

For those who would like to see moving images of the remanufacture line: There is a video about this on our YouTube channel

ACtronics now supporting Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

The automotive industry is changing, with the introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles PH(EV). We have embraced these developments and are proud to offer our remanufacturing solutions to PH(EV) owners too.

The total number of new cars sold in Europe with a plug passed the barrier of 2.5 million for the first time in 2022. This is a growing market and one we can support with our remanufacturing solutions.

Although the parts found in PH(EV)s differ drastically from traditional petrol and diesel engines, they too have their issues. Our remanufacturing services offer a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial solution to many faulty parts in PH(EV)s. Although electric and hybrid cars have a lower maintenance interval, the cost of maintenance and repair is a lot higher. This is due to the high prices of the advanced electronic components, making remanufacturing preferred option for many vehicle owners.

We have been working hard to analyse PH(EV) market demand and understand which parts are prone to malfunctions, which parts are viable to remanufacture due to their costs, and many more questions that are our Research & Development Department are working through to ensure we offer the best solutions to our customers.

The search function on our website provides an easy way to establish if we can remanufacture a specific part, but as this is a growing area of our business, it is always worth contacting us to discuss any PH(EV) requirements.

We’re already able to remanufacture many PH(EV) parts such as battery control modules, onboard battery chargers, virtual cockpit displays, inverters and more, and all for a wide range of vehicle manufacturers. As our research and development continues, we will identify new parts to add to our PH(EV) catalogue.

The cost of new electronic components is increasing due to the development in their levels of complexity, therefore the price difference between remanufactured and new parts will therefore continue to widen. We will continue to discover faults and error codes in an increasing range of PH(EV) parts. Our solutions will enable many PH(EV) owners to stay on the road.

Our affordable car remanufacturing solutions that stand the test of time will continue to move with the times and support changes in the automotive sector.


alldata repair: Vital OEM data and support for every task

ALLDATA Repair puts the latest, original OEM repair information right at your fingertips, covering more than 91,950 unique vehicle combinations – 95% of all vehicles on the road today

ALLDATA Repair subscribers can now obtain original OEM repair information from Dodge, Ram and Jeep after ALLDATA secured the right to republish technical repair data from these vehicle manufacturers for Europe. This increases the number of vehicle manufacturers data available to ALLDATA Europe’s customers to 32.

The repair information for Dodge, Ram, and Jeep is currently accessible via the ALLDATA Info Centre Service. The Info Centre Service is an additional support resource for automotive and bodyshop professionals searching for technical information within the ALLDATA Repair portal. It complements a library of 91,950 vehicle combinations, which equates to over 95% of vehicles being driven on roads today.

For all other (29) vehicle manufacturers, vital information is available in the ALLDATA Repair Portal. The ALLDATA Repair portal contains Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), and more than six million technical drawings and wiring diagrams – including electrical connector

views – all available in five languages. The portal contains 75 million articles. ALLDATA Europe is committed to continuously strengthening its flagship repair product for the benefit of the company’s 12,000 European subscribers.

OEM Labour Times

In February this year, ALLDATA Europe announced a new add-on product for ALLDATA Repair that provides quick and easy access to OEM labour times. Now, with just one click, subscribers can see accurate OEM labour times that correspond to repair information – both mechanical and body.

These examples, along with the exciting news of yet more vehicle manufacturers being integrated into ALLDATA Repair, demonstrate ALLDATA Europe’s determination to continue its evolution, according to ALLDATA President Satwinder Mangat.

“We have a continual program of development for ALLDATA Repair worldwide, which means the product we had a year ago is now even better and the product purchased today by the customer will be updated and enhanced on a regular basis,” said Mangat.

This commitment was echoed by ALLDATA Europe’s General Manager and Managing Director Karol Englert. “There is a customer and employees feedback loop that we are constantly reviewing, which gets fed into our product development

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roadmap,” he said. “We aim to keep the same user experience that our customers have become familiar with, but always look for ways to improve our product as well. In the next 12 months alone, the roadmap is full of improvements and additions that have come about as a direct result from that feedback.”

Can’t find what you’re looking for? The Info Centre Service will sort it!

The Info Centre Service provides additional support for workshops searching for technical information in the 72 million documents available within the ALLDATA Repair portal.

ALLDATA Europe Managing Director, Karol Englert, revealed how subscribers can use the value-added service: “Users can access the Info Centre Service via the ALLDATA Repair portal. If we have published data for the vehicle but they simply can’t find what they are looking for, they can put in a request to us. We will assist subscribers by providing the location of the data. This will enable them to become familiar with the portal and increase their confidence for next time.”

Some repair data, however, is not published and is only accessible on demand via the Info Centre Service, as Karol explained: “For example, service interval check sheets are unique to each vehicle on the road, depending on age and mileage covered and are, therefore, only available on request.

“Alternatively, it may be because we have just signed a new agreement with a vehicle manufacturer and are still processing the repair information and getting it ready to publish into the ALLDATA Repair portal.”

Irrespective of the request and whether the data is readily available on ALLDATA Repair, one of ALLDATA Europe’s 11 qualified and experienced technical support specialists will respond quickly.

The Info Centre Service team has a targeted response time of four hours but can often fulfil requests in less than two, depending on demand and the type of enquiry received. The user is then able to carry on with their job safely and accurately, rather than guessing or having to turn work away.

ALLDATA Repair in action: Inside Intelligence

ALLDATA Repair offers solution after receiving customer enquiry about a 2018 Jaguar F-Pace, which had left the technician puzzled!

Providing safe, accurate vehicle repairs and getting customers back on the road quickly means starting with the right tools: ALLDATA Repair offers exactly that by providing up-to-date OEM mechanical/body repair information and procedures for 91,950 unique vehicle combinations – more than 95% of all vehicles on the road today.

The portal comprises of six million technical drawings and wiring diagrams, including electrical connector views, which are available in five languages.


Independent workshops and bodyshops rely on ALLDATA Repair; as such, it recently came to the assistance of a customer that was recently working on a 2018 Jaguar F-Pace, which had been experiencing issues which left a technician puzzled and scratching their head.

The lights, indicators and the wash wipe system worked intermittently. The technician scanned the vehicle’s systems, but no trouble codes were present – it was very odd and frustrating, as it was proving difficult to solve. Step forward, ALLDATA Repair!


Thankfully, ALLDATA Repair’s experts had come across this issue before and, indeed, it was tricky to solve. The root cause of the problem was down to a poor connection on the connector mounted on the PCB board within the lighting and/or wiper control switch.

The technician removed the control switches (highlighted below); in the example, it shows the left-hand control switch, but the right-hand side is the same.

Upon doing so, the technician connected and reconnected the control switches at least twice to clean the electrical contact points. They obtained some NyoGel electrical contact lubricant – a suitable equivalent is fine – and applied it to the connector on the PCB. For future reference, it’s vital that it’s not directly applied to the control switch connector.

Finally, they removed excess lubricant and refitted all components as required. The same method can be used, if required, to the right-hand control switch. This solved the issue and allowed the technician to complete a professional, correct and efficient repair, which meant a happy customer!

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Find out more For more information about ALLDATA Repair or to sign-up to a trial, please visit

KTS Diagnostics: Lesson 4


Welcome to the fourth bitesize guide in our series of useful tips to help your workshop maximise the potential of your Bosch ESI[tronic] 2.0 software


Last time, we delved into the time-saving potential of our ‘Service Tasks’ tool. By putting all the tasks your workshop team need to complete right at their fingertips – in seconds –‘Service Tasks’ gives your engineers a head-start on the work at hand. While our Experience Based Repair (EBR) – Known Fixes feature helps them take efficiency to the next level.


With the online knowledge exchange growing by the day, many workshops are turning to Google for their repair instructions. While the internet is a huge data source, many results are unvetted and unverified. Leaving a lot of timeconsuming legwork for your team, even if the initial search goes smoothly.

By aggregating knowledge from across a worldwide diagnostic community of 75,000 experts, EBR - Known Fixes cuts out potential hours wasted searching the web.

From the technical hotline and internet forums to trending Google searches – the EBR-finder utilises an innovative

algorithm to identify common problems from across a wide variety of sources and alert our experienced ESI[tronic] SIS authors of any emerging challenges being experienced in the field. This expert team then check the entries for plausibility and validate the data to create Bosch-quality content to guide you through the fix.


Found under the Known Fixes tab, EBR – Known Fixes allows you to find the right solution in seconds.

Once registered, you can freely type any text into our search agent to find common fixes by fault code, symptom, component or keyword.


Find our most popular fixes, fast. Thanks to the feedback feature we’ve made it easy for technicians on the ground to rate a fix – helping you to easily see the industry’s best-ranked solutions, see Figure 1. It also enables you to have your say on how useful you found a particular fix.


You can quickly and easily search our database of fixes by keyword. Just like you would if you were relying on traditional search engines. The biggest difference? Every result is Bosch approved, see Figure 2

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Figure 1.



A brief summary of the issue


A list of any relevant symptoms


The most common reasons why this fault may occur


The known fix for these challenges.

Quick and reliable repairs are the foundation for excellent results and satisfied customers. With more than 1,500,000 real life use cases – and growing – it’s never been easier to find the right solution for your problem. Fast.

As on online service that is updated automatically, EBRKnown Fixes will always bring you the very latest repairs and adaptations from our ever-growing database.

Join us for our next lesson to discover how our Service Information System – or SIS for short – can guide you from symptom detection and associated trouble code to root cause and rectification, step-by-step.

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Figure 2.
Figure 3.

Be the Boss!

Why NOW is the time to demonstrate your expertise and experience. And to build an income stream by promoting high value additives.

A special feature from Kalimex, the UK distributor of JLM Lubricants products

At the recent DPF Doctor event, organised by Darren Darling the founder of the independent, globally recognised DPF Doctor Network, several speakers shared their wisdom. This included DPF Doctor Barry Lawson, the international bestselling marketing author Dee Blick, Jeroen Schutz the recently appointed sales manager for JLM Lubricants and Mike Schlup the MD of Kalimex. Marking his return with a rousing reception from the audience was Steve Scott, founder of SimplyDiag. Multiple award winners Leeds based A&J Fleetcare spoke about their journey to date and the positive effect that winning awards has had on their business.

Jeroen struck a chord when he spoke about the importance of the Doctors being the bosses of their own workshop; how every one of them can build a profitable income stream by adding high quality lubricants and additives to the service, maintenance, and repair programmes offered to customers. These points were validated by Barry Lawson. Barry has built a significant revenue stream from selling multiple units of JLM products to his customers – at servicing and in between workshop visits. He shared the JLM Lubricants products he uses in the workshop and those he recommends customers use in between visits. More below!

So, why is it important you’re seen as the boss of your workshop?

“This is not about flexing muscles. It’s about technicians claiming and showcasing their expertise and experience so that every customer can see they’re entrusting their vehicle to the best,” says Dee Blick. “By doing this, a workshop moves from being the seeker of work to the sought after. And just how important is this at the moment with budgets being squeezed? If your workshop is in the sought after category you don’t have to reduce prices to remain in demand because

people are seeking you out wanting the best their money can buy. Workshop resources and purchasing can be planned more effectively if the order book stretches into months not days. And customers are more likely to trust the advice given by their workshop when it comes to using good quality lubricants and additives – liquid tools in a bottle – as part of their service and added value offering. If you’re a valued source, customers will trust what you say and what you recommend especially now with the family car being held onto for longer.”

“We saw the importance of this when Barry spoke at the DPF Doctor event. He discussed the growing income stream he has been building over the last few years from using JLM Lubricants products, in many cases by promoting their use in between workshop visitors so that customers buy multiple products. 99% of his customers were more than happy to invest in products that when the reasons for doing so were explained, they could see the link between maintaining vehicle health, promoting fuel economy, and reducing the need for parts.”

Being busy is no excuse to not become the boss of your own workshop and, to explore the link between high quality additives and making more money…

Where does it all start? You must know your worth and be prepared to talk about it

• Perform an audit of your skills, experience, expertise, and knowledge. This one exercise will fire up your confidence so that you can really see you are the real deal! Record what you find and share it with your team. You must all sing from the same hymn sheet if you are to build a compelling picture of your brand.

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DPF Doctor Event in May 2023 Mike Schlup, MD Kalimex

• Do you make customers aware of the training you/your team have undergone, the awards you have won and your membership of prestigious organisations – verbally and in written communications? This is not boasting – it’s giving customers even more reasons to stay with you, recommend you and trust your recommendations. This includes recommending products so you can build a lucrative income stream. Research from Castrol strongly indicated that customers are more likely to trust the additives recommended by their garage, especially if these products do not fall into the 'cheap as chips' category. It makes sense. Why would a technician put their name to brands that frequent the bargain buckets in the local supermarket?

• If you employ people can every member of your team pass the simple elevator test – that when asked to share what makes your business so exceptional/customer focussed they can do so in a matter of seconds? Because if they’re not inspiring customers they chose wisely, they are making it much harder to begin the essentially straightforward task of discussing the additives they recommend for optimum vehicle maintenance.

Which products to recommend – Be Like Barry!

At the DPF Doctor event, Barry spoke about the JLM Lubricants products he uses at vehicle servicing and that he recommends and sells to customers on repeat purchase.

His top five were:

J04835 - Engine Oil Flush

J02370 - Diesel Emission Reduction Treatment

J03150 - Petrol Emission Reduction Treatment

J03170 - Petrol GDI Cleaner

J02230 - DPF Clean & Flush Fluids

Barry uses these products because they’re integral to the services he offers. Whilst many customers are happy to trust his recommendations with no further explanation, others like to know a little more. “The best quality additives and the best quality service simply cannot be the cheapest,” says Barry. “ JLM products fall into the preventative maintenance category. Other suppliers of lubricants and additives do not provide the technical training that JLM is renowned for. You can be competitive using JLM products and also make an incredibly good profit for your workshop. Sales are up on last year because customers not only trust the products, but they also use them as recommended by us in between visits to our workshop.”

If you are interested in building workshop revenues using the JLM Lubricants’ range of products visit www. or email

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Barry Lawson, Lawson Autotech

Not only do certain steering and suspension components generate heat but they can also be damaged by absorbing heat energy from surrounding parts


Even in summertime, how heat affects the replaceable chassis components is not that obvious, but Rob Marshall learns that it is very much relevant

Every day is a school day, as the cliché goes, but the more interesting motorcar facts tend to be those that are not noticed. While hardly any attention is given to it, heat, for instance, is very much relevant to springs and shock absorbers. Yet, Meyle is the first specialist to pull us up on our vocabulary. The company highlights that ‘shock absorber’ is inaccurate terminology, it should be referred to as a vibration damper. With our knuckles rapped justifiably, the company is correct and, hence, why we recommend that garages also ditch the term ‘shock absorber’ from their vocabulary.

To explain why, energy that is introduced to the vehicle by a pothole, for instance, has to go somewhere; it cannot just disappear. Dampers achieve this by damping the vibration using friction, which creates heat. While this is not obvious on everyday road-legal vehicles, it explains why dampers in some competition vehicles possess heat exchangers. Even so, the sealed nature of dampers means that their inner workings remain mysterious to many technicians. We know that the dampers work with springs to keep the wheels in contact with

the road and, therefore, maintain driver control, but how this is achieved is not so clear. The damper is a precision component, which utilises a piston that forces oil through fine internal chambers. The resultant bottlenecks slow piston movement and the friction warms the fluid. This heat energy is then dissipated within the damper. Meyle also says that dampers tend to be warmer after a journey – not that anybody checks –but it is still an interesting fact.

While not obvious, springs and dampers work by shedding motion energy into heat



> Manufactured for absolute performance and guaranteed safety.

> Impressive all makes range covering the vehicles that matter most to your business.

> 3-Year (36,000 mile) warranty.


As power steering fluid reaches high temperatures and deteriorates, it is surprising that routine replacement is not recommended by so many OEM service schedules. Such preventative maintenance is worth upselling as an extra operation, especially on cars with pricey racks and pumps.

The importance of heat dissipation

As with most fluids, heat affects damper oil – notably, its viscosity. While quality damper manufacturers select and tune these properties carefully, a hotter fluid will result in a reduction in damping ability. Varying the damper construction offers a partial alternative.

KYB reveals that the internal differences between its mono and twin-tube dampers allow them to shed heat energy at different rates. It says that, thanks to their single-cylinder design, monotube dampers possess larger pistons and increased valving, so that they can dissipate heat more quickly. The benefit for the driver is mainly superior road handling. To prove the point, KYB’s Gas-a-Just mono-tube range provides up to 30% higher damping forces than an equivalent oil twin-tube alternative. Generally, you will find that oil dampers are specified for vehicles, where ride comfort is more of a priority, compared with dampers that have had pressurised nitrogen gas added, which are optimised more for sporting driving styles.


Meyle reminds us that springing reduces the shock load on both the car and its occupants. In addition, manufacturers select spring and damping combinations very carefully to cushion incoming shock loads before they reach the bodyshell. Naturally, without dampers, the spring would continue to oscillate, causing the car to bounce, with the tyres relinquishing road contact, causing the driver to lose control. As it moves, a road spring generates a small quantity of heat, although never enough to damage either itself, or surrounding components. Invariably, most technicians will agree with LKQ Euro Car Parts’ findings that most spring problems result from corrosion, where the protective coating has been compromised.

Passive overheating

While conventional springs and dampers do not produce excessive quantities of heat, related components can be damaged by other parts malfunctioning. First Line highlights that brake dragging, or binding, can cause thermal damage to the wheel bearing. It elaborates that the bearing housing should not exceed 82 ºC in normal use, with the outer ring

sustaining no more than ten degrees more than that. Yet, we should consider that a brake disc can attain temperatures up to 600 degrees Celsius and, as Meyle attests, up to 50% of this heat energy can transfer to the hub.

Schaeffler and LUK Euro Car Parts elaborate that a well-adjusted and undamaged wheel bearing tends not to be affected directly by these higher temperatures. Instead, its grease lubricant degrades and it is this loss of lubrication that leads to bearing failure. Most bearing problems are caused also by the seal. When in poor condition, it allows water and grit to wash out and degrade the grease. While wheel bearing temperatures do not deviate far from ambient in normal conditions, the bearing housing acting as a heat sink from the binding brakes can both damage the seal and cause the grease structure to collapse. Yet, Schaeffer reminds technicians that not setting the correct taper preload can also cause bearing overheating.

Meyle highlights that, while less likely to be damaged by thermal transfer, suspension joints are still vulnerable. While their grease is unlikely to degrade, heat radiation can cause rubber sleeves to become brittle and reduce the strength of any plastic seat. Both conditions cause premature wear and, possibly, noise as well.

Suffering steering

The power-assisted steering (PAS) system tends to suffer the most from overheating. As hydraulic and electro-hydraulic fluids rely on pressurised fluid to deliver power assistance, heat is a by-product of the system’s inbuilt inefficiency. LKQ Euro Car Parts reassures technicians that PAS fluid is designed with a very high boiling point. Yet, low fluid levels, a blocked, or obstructed heat exchanger, air leaks and even electrical faults can cause the fluid to overheat. This is one reason why LKQ Euro Car Parts recommends that the fluid is not just changed but the whole system is flushed, whenever a new component is replaced.

Meyle explains that PAS fluid does not last forever, because the heat changes its property and, over time, its lubrication ability is impaired. One reason for this is that the traces of air and oxygen within the fluid cause it to oxidise, making it darken, or even form a black sludge that undermines the fluid’s lubrication properties even more. The net result of this is increased pump and rack wear.

While relatively rare, the fluid used in cars for multiple steering and suspension (plus braking in some cases) purposes degrades rapidly. Drain intervals should not be ignored. Unlike the later and incompatible LDS fluid, mineral LHM oil changes colour from bright green to yellow/brown as it ages.

MEYLE Electronics.

An uncompromisingly perfect fit.

We offer reliable support for day-to-day workshop activities with perfectly fitting electronic spare parts for the majority of vehicle models. Our product portfolio doesn’t just offer components in OE quality – valuable time is also saved through MEYLE Electronics data management. All the spare parts you need can be found accurately and reliably plus your stock management is simplified thanks to the practical bundling of several OE numbers under one MEYLE number. You can depend on MEYLE Electronics.

More information at

MEYLE UK Ltd. 47 Dolphin Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6PB, UK Phone: 01273 463686,,

LKQ Euro Car Parts reasons that, because debris is the most common cause of fluid overheating, regular fluid changes are the solution. A problem with this occurs when the customer is unprepared to bear the cost of this preventative maintenance, especially if the manufacturer service schedule omits any such requirement, or states that the system is ‘sealed for life.’

Does going electric pose a solution?

Unfortunately, pure electric power steering (EPS) also suffers from heat-related failures, due mainly to its high current requirements. Thankfully, an ECU-controlled EPS system will possess heat monitoring sensors that will not just create a fault code and illuminate a warming light but the system may operate in a reduced-current limp-home mode.

LKQ Euro Car Parts finds that an overheating power steering motor can be caused by a component failure, such as failed windings. Where brushes have worn excessively, or there is an excessive build of conductive carbon dust within the motor housing, the unit can warm to such an extent that it could pose a fire risk. There may also be a problem with the controlling ECU. For instance, the solder is the softest item on the printed circuit board (PCB), often with the lowest melting point. When higher than expected temperatures are experienced, this tends to be the first item to melt, resulting in dry joints on the PCB, resulting in EPS failure.

The harm of hot air

Like conventional spring and dampers, air suspension systems utilise conventional dampers. Arnott reports, therefore, that the oil will not cause overheating within the damper in normal use. While inflatable bags replace conventional metal springs, they also do not produce much heat at all, although a poorlypositioned exhaust pipe is known to cause the rubber bladder to degrade prematurely.

Logically, the air compressor is the only component that can be damaged by overheating. This explains why the unit is designed not to be run continually and how its temperature is controlled either by monitoring its running time, or by a realtime temperature sensor. Arnott explains that a sticking relay (which it advises should be renewed whenever a compressor is replaced), or leaky air springs, are the most common reasons why compressors have to work harder and hotter.

Pairing up

MOOG told us that its recommendation to replace suspension arms, flexible axle mounts and ball joints in pairs is to ensure consistency and balanced postrepair performance. Doing everything at once also means that the owner pays for wheel geometry adjustment fees.

KYB agrees, stating that not replacing axle sets can place other components under additional stress, including not just the other half of the axle pair but also additional components. For instance, not replacing coil springs in pairs can result in an uneven ride height, a situation that wears tyres faster, prejudicing the handing and braking distances.

As wear within the damper reduces the damping effectiveness, reducing compression and rebound control, Monroe says that a new like-for-like replacement will be stiffer. This will not only create a damping imbalance but also the new part must compensate for the worn item on the other side. This, Monroe says, can overload the new damper, risking internal overheating and, therefore, reducing its lifespan. This emphasises the importance of replacing dampers in axle pairs, along with any ancillary parts.

While all companies that we spoke with appreciate the challenges on owner finances, KYB places emphasis on the garage to spend time talking with the customer about the consequences of replacing just a single component at a time. This way, the company argues, if the instruction is still to replace a single component, at least the decision has been an informed one.

First Line reasons that a garage can recommend to their customers that replacing axle sets is important for not just safety but also practical reasons, because it saves the cost of returning to the garage to have other parts replaced.

Comline reasons that, if a damper bush has failed, it may be worth replacing the bush rather than the complete component. It argues that, while the part is less valuable, the labour rate will be slightly more, because the bush replacement could take longer. This could make the task more profitable for the workshop but save the customer money, overall. Comline explains that this is why it chooses to supply such parts independently to give workshops flexibility, while providing the technician with repair options.

Suspect an overheated compressor, should you notice melted plastic air lines.

Steering You Through Life

With febi Steering & Suspension

Right Range - febi provides one of the widest steering and suspension ranges with more than 8,000 articles to cover all popular European and Asian vehicle types. In addition, due to a Fast to Market approach, febi maintains constant research and development to ensure it provides the right parts at the right time.

Highest Quality - febi is a byword for steering and suspension products that satisfy the highest levels of manufacturing quality and installation reliability. With OE matching quality and intensive testing, febi guarantees that the products inside the box are of the finest standard.

Matching to OE - steering parts from febi precisely match the OE specification without any modifications to the intended and original design. This ensures that febi products are exactly as created by the vehicle manufacturer, providing a full level of comfort and safety to the vehicle owner.

Your No. 1 for Steering & Suspension

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While LKQ Euro Car Parts agrees that leaks are the main cause of overworked and overheated compressors, technicians should not forget other factors. These include driver abuse, such as towing excessive loads, or carrying too much weight. Insufficient airflow, caused perhaps by aftermarket modifications that include body kits, also impedes compressor cooling. Apart from faulty relays, an irregular power supply, loose connections and damaged wiring can also result in overheating.

If a compressor has been exposed to temperatures greater than 100 degrees Celsius, suspect damage. Visual signs of overheating include discoloured labels on the compressor body and melted plastic air lines and/or connectors. You may also detect a burning smell either near, or when dismounting/ dismantling the compressor. As failure tends to be caused by an air leak, it is vital that you address the underlying cause, otherwise, a replacement compressor will fail very soon afterwards.

It may not be obvious but the physical damage within this hydraulic PAS pump was caused by overheating

Overheating causes internal compressor damage, too. When replacing the compressor, always replace its relay.

The influence of air suspension during wheel alignment

When technicians talk about wheel alignment, they are referring to the adjustment of the vehicle’s suspension to align the angles of the tyres according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Tyre misalignment can be the result of hitting a curbstone too hard, driving through a large pothole at high speed, or a collision, and also after repair or replacement of steering and suspension components. Since air suspension is a part of the vehicle suspension, it can influence the wheel alignment process after a replacement or repair.

Not all air suspension components influence wheel alignment. Components that take care of the air distribution such as the compressor, valve block, pressure reservoir, and air lines do not interfere with the vehicle’s camber, toe, and caster. Air struts, however, do play an important role since they are part of the suspension that connects the wheels to the vehicle.


Arnott recommends always checking the wheel alignment after an air strut replacement. Wheel alignment is mostly affected by the front suspension. Rear alignment is usually not necessary when replacing rear air struts, shocks and/or air springs. In most cases the rear suspension has fixed mounting points which cannot be adjusted and therefore replacements do not influence the vehicle alignment. It should be noted, however, that when a front air strut is replaced and has been removed from the clevis, the alignment is affected, especially when a control arm was detached as well.

base line is incorrect. When the car is not levelled, the control arms of the vehicle’s suspension are in a different position and angle. Since air suspension has the capability of changing the ride height of the vehicle, wheel alignment based on an unlevelled car can really be exposed by changing ride height.

Luckily, with most alignment equipment, the height calibration for air suspension is incorporated into the procedure. If selected, it will most likely ask if the vehicle has been calibrated. The alignment criteria/ values for a vehicle with air suspension will differ from its model without. Therefore, it is important to make sure the right criteria for the vehicle that is being worked on is selected by using the value spectrum indicated by the alignment equipment that matches the air suspension vehicle. That is why calibration is key for air suspension vehicles before starting the wheel alignment procedure.

Difference with coil spring systems

One major difference between wheel alignment of coil suspension systems and air suspension systems is that a ride height calibration is necessary before starting the wheel alignment procedure. The height sensors need to be calibrated to the predetermined ride heights to ensure that the vehicle is 100% level and according to manufacturer’s specifications before starting the actual wheel alignment procedure.

Height calibration is vehicle model-specific, meaning the values can vary slightly between models and also within the same model. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to calibrate the vehicle and what the predetermined heights and values should be. If the vehicle is not completely levelled, wheel alignment is nearly impossible because the

This information is provided to you by Arnott – Suspension Products. With more than 30 years of experience in engineering, designing, and manufacturing high quality air suspension components for the aftermarket, Arnott is the technical expert when it comes to air suspension systems. Arnott’s products are produced with high-quality, OE components offering exact form, fit and function. Each product is extensively tested in our American and European facilities and custom-tuned to suit the specific vehicle make and model before being produced.


Batteries: Best practice

1. Initiate a battery testing regime

Ecobat Battery has found that 27% of vehicles that enter the independent workshop need either their batteries recharged or reconditioned, and a further 11% need a replacement, which means that almost 40% of the vehicles they service daily have a battery issue.

However, whether the vehicle is booked in for an MOT, annual service, or some sort of repair, workshops rarely test the voltage of the battery, let alone its condition. The knock-on effect is that 40% of roadside breakdowns are due to battery failure and the beneficiaries of these failures are not independent workshops, or the factors that supply them, but breakdown services such as the AA and RAC.

3. Ensure the correct voltage to the vehicle’s electrical system is maintained during battery replacement and support the vehicle’s battery when running diagnostics


Reset the vehicle’s ECU after an AGM or EFB start/stop battery has been replaced

Unless the vehicle has been modified and requires an upgraded battery, technicians should always ensure they install a replacement of the same standard as the vehicle’s OE fitment, so if it’s an AGM or EFB battery at first fit, the replacement should be the same. However, if a higher capacity battery is required, it is possible to replace an EFB with an AGM version, but remember, an AGM cannot be replaced by an EFB and, irrespective of the type, both need to be reprogrammed into the vehicle’s energy management system.

This is important because an aged battery at the end of its life, behaves differently when it comes to its available capacity, energy output and charge acceptance, than a new, unused one. The BMS (battery management system), together with the EBS (electronic battery sensor) monitor the battery over its lifetime, detecting the number of engine starts and the energy flow (Ah throughput), monitoring the state of charge, controlling the charging and adapting the energy management of the battery, dependent on its state of health.

If this reprogramming is not carried out correctly it can cause issues with, or even failure of, the start/stop function, which can increase fuel consumption and also affect the vehicle’s comfort functions.

These procedures are linked, as to prevent causing unnecessary problems and to be carried out effectively, they both require a stable source of power to be constantly supplied to the vehicle’s electrical system. Although, because of the wellknown risk of losing stored memory data, this may seem obvious when changing the battery, it’s not quite so apparent when it comes to undertaking diagnostic processes. However, maintaining the correct voltage during extensive periods of troubleshooting is very important, as it helps technicians to correctly identify the underlying fault. This is because during diagnostic procedures, which nowadays are commonplace, the engine is switched off, but power is still drawn from the battery.

When carrying out prolonged diagnosis, the vehicle’s control units and other electrical equipment can discharge the battery to such an extent that the on-board system voltage falls below the permissible voltage limit of the control units and a corresponding entry is made in the fault memory, and data can be lost (steering angle sensor, end positions of the electric window lifters etc.).

Using equipment dedicated to battery support is now a necessity in any workshop. A battery performs best when it’s in peak condition, so by reducing the possibility of battery failure in the workshop, or even worse after the customer gets home, workshops can save more than time and money, they can preserve their reputation.

Ecobat Battery, a major distributor for Exide and VARTA, provides three simple steps that will pay dividends to any workshop and also preserve reputation

Heavy-duty battery tester

OE battery manufacturer Banner introduces its latest accessory, the BBT HD1+ heavy-duty tester, to check the charging/starting system of car, truck and motorcycle batteries

The BBT HD1+ tests the voltage (including internal resistance in mΩ) and charging-starting status of 6V and 12V batteries, including temperature compensation, without overburdening the battery.

Both new and used standard, AGM or GEL batteries can be tested, with full report information being displayed on its internal, large illuminated display. All of the test information, such as the battery’s state of health and state of charge, can also be printed out using the HD1+’s integrated graphics printer.

It incorporates a robust and heavy-duty clamp set, together with an over-extended cable – a feature that makes the BBT HD1+ particularly useful when batteries are in inaccessible locations. Software is also included for the logging of the measurement results on PCs.

“The BBT HD1+ is a very versatile, easy to operate and extremely lightweight tester that can be used when testing all types of batteries – SAE, EN, IEC, DIN and JIS,” explains Banner’s Lee Quinney.

55 Batteries and beyond. Experts in batteries, chargers, inverters and accessories. We stock leading brands, including: Varta, Lucas, Exide, CTEK, Numax and Optima VISIT US AT ECOBATBATTERY.COM Ecobat Battery, 36a Vanguard Way, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 3TG, UK T: +44 (0)1743 218500 | Auto Technician_Jul 2023 (190mmWx130mmH).indd 1 22/06/2023 15:48:25

VARTA Training Academy: E-Learning now live

A new suite of Battery E-Learning is now live in the VARTA Partner Portal, to complement its traditional face-toface-training, YouTube-channel’s educational playlists, technical articles and social media platforms

Registered users get access to modules on basic battery knowledge and topics such as: Start-Stop, Smart Charge and Battery Management, Basic drive concepts and the role of the 12V battery in electric vehicles. Simply login at https:// and click the ‘menu’ in the top left of the screen, to gain free and unlimited access to the VARTA E-Learning.

“We are very pleased to be able to support the UK and Irish aftermarkets with these free-to-access E-learning courses, and hope that technicians and factor staff find them useful and informative.” says John Rawlins, Marketing Manager UK & Ire. “Our intention is to provide bitesize online training to complement the face-to-face training we already provide – we don’t intend to stop that.”

56 Banner-Autotechnician-190x130-Ad-JUN-2023-AW.indd 1 19/06/2023 13:58

Parts, Tools & Tips

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


Comline Auto Parts is busy developing its steering and suspension range for alternatively fuelled vehicles, illustrated by two new vehicle spotlights that focus on the Volkswagen ID3 and Hyundai Ioniq.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, more than a quarter of a million new BEVs were sold last year, and as technicians begin to receive more EVs into their workshops, Comline is keen to highlight it has the components ready for repairing or servicing these vehicles.

On the popular Volkswagen ID3, it now supplies the ball joint (CBJ7323), stabiliser links (CSL5150 and CSL6150), rack end (CTR3465) and tie rod end (CTRE4053). It also offers replacement parts for the Hyundai Ioniq – control arms (CCA1455L and CCA2455R), a rod/strut stabiliser (CSL7264), stabiliser link (CSL7353), tie rod axle joint (CTR3332) and tie rod ends (CTRE1208 and CTRE2208).

Change in pairs!

Replacing suspension parts in pairs remains the same whether it’s an EV or ICE vehicle as fitting new parts on one side and keeping existing components on the other is likely to cause premature failure, affect geometry of the vehicle, as well as handling.



The air conditioning (AC) condenser is one of the most critical parts of the AC system, as it ensures that the refrigerant/oil mixture is kept within its correct operating parameters and also helps to keep the overall system working correctly.

It is relatively fragile and its position at the front of the vehicle can expose it to harsh conditions, which, over time can cause it to deteriorate. So, condenser failures are relatively common, but can have various root causes, such as mechanical damage from careless service, insect or dust penetration or impacts from road debris. De-icing salts used in the winter can also lead to corrosion, causing its surface to weaken and leak.

Even if it seems to be in a good shape, tight, and is still partially working, a condenser in poor condition can lead to related failures such as damage to, or even complete seizure of, the compressor, which can occur quite quickly and can be costly to replace.

As a result, Nissens recommends that technicians undertake thorough condenser inspection during a vehicle’s annual

service, that any signs of damage or weakened performance should be investigated, and the root cause eliminated, before a quality replacement is fitted.

Learn more at


Snap-on has announced it is the first in Europe to receive approval from Nissan for direct access to their vehicle gateway module from its scan tools. The ability to work with this manufacturer, along with its existing ability to access 2018 and newer FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), is available in the latest diagnostic software release.

Vehicle manufacturers are developing ways to protect their vehicles’ networks from unauthorised access, including potential cyber-attacks. Nissan recently implemented a secure gateway module that was introduced on a selection of their 2019 and newer model vehicles. Access to certain diagnostic functions requires registration and authentication through an approved device.

Snap-on Security Link provides access to secured vehicle systems from their diagnostic tool gateway modules. All secure gateway compliant solutions require device and user registration through AUTOAUTH – Nissan and direct with FCA for Fiat, Chrysler and Alfa vehicles. Snap-on Security Link is designed to help navigate through this new process.


DENSO created its PowerEdge brand to cater for customers looking for both quality and good value parts, and has now expanded the range beyond wipers, to include thermal management products with the introduction of air conditioning (AC) compressors.

The AC specialist tests the parts to stringent performance standards and are always pre-filled with the correct specification and quantity of oil. Initially, the PowerEdge compressor range will consist of 31 part numbers, but is planned to expand rapidly over the next 12-months. The programme includes selected heavy-duty compressors alongside many passenger car applications.

Some of the popular vehicles catered for by the PowerEdge range include the Opel Astra and Corsa, various PSA applications like 206, 307, C3, Berlingo and Partner, as well as numerous VAG models like Golf, Passat, Polo, A3, Leon, and Octavia.

Comprehensive fitting instructions are included and is supported by a dedicated PowerEdge web catalogue, as well as ccccccTecDoc.


Approved service kits

What do we mean by approved?

• Guaranteed application and approvals using our lookups

• Guaranteed block exemption coverage when bought together

• Unique applications available

• Leading car parc coverage.

Whatever your customer requirements, we can ensure that you have the right part, at the right quality and more importantly when you need it. Build your service kit quickly on



In addition, Distrigo Parts Distribution delivers:



Sealey’s latest tool promotion runs from 1st July to 30th September and features a wide range of useful tools and accessories, including a new range of floodlights. There’s also a chance to win the ultimate 105-piece tool kit worth over £865.

The catalogue showcases over 180 new products, among them the LED15WFL 3-in-1 rechargeable floodlight, boasting a 1,000-lumen output. The floodlight's design allows it to be folded into the stand, enabling dual-side room lighting, or extended for a long floodlight effect. Equipped with integral magnets, it can also be used as an under-bonnet lamp.

Participants can enter the competition to win the 105-piece tool kit online, which holds a wide range of hand tools.

Discover all the new products featured in the latest Tool Promotion and enter the competition, at


First Line’s latest range expansion to its First Line and Borg & Beck product lines features 81 new additions, with new products available across its steering and suspension, bearings, braking, cables, clutch, cooling, and filters categories.

Introducing 28 new steering & suspension parts, including a front suspension arm for Jaguar I-PACE 2018> cars. Other notable additions include a front-axle Wheel Bearing Kit for Audi Q4 2021>, a new rear brake disc fitting a comprehensive range of BMW cars, and a host of new brake and gear control cables.

They can be found in its updated online catalogue WebCat, which can be looked-up by application or cross-reference at webcat.


Knipex is confident you can carry all your tools, laptop or accessories comfortably with its new Modular X18 (00 21 50 LE) tool backpack.

The backpack can hold up to 15kg and features a fully foldable front and back, a laptop compartment, a removable tool board and back padding.

The durable fabric is splash-proof and easy to clean and the waterproof base shell made of impact-resistant plastic ensures that the backpack stands firmly on the ground when open and closed. Connectors and adapters with fabric loops and straps provide many options for individual tool storage and access to the tools. There are also two separate inner compartments on the front and back for tools, measuring devices and a 15" notebook or tablet.



Initially introduced as an offer at Automechanika Birmingham, the positive response has resulted in extending the initiative, offered alongside its modular licenced data package formula

As well as selecting the level of capability of the tool, in terms of the work that it typically undertakes, the workshop can now also purchase the equipment at a competitive rate, over a longer period, to fit within a defined budget.

“The initial scheme is a three-year option offering that can be applied to our X3, X5 and X5 Pro licences,” explains UK Sales Manager, Julian Goulding. “Starting at £49 per week workshops will receive a mega macs X with an X3 data package, as well as an Android tablet. Increase to £59 per week and the mega macs X will come with X5 enhanced data, a Surface Go rugged tablet plus a macsRemote. However, the ultimate option, at only £75 per week, also includes a MT-HV Pro high and low voltage measure module, which allows workshops to safely discharge high voltage systems and work on hybrid and electric vehicles! And each offer also includes the licence renewal for the full three-year period.”



Castrol’s new online sales platform features an easy-to-use dashboard and a range of features that allow customers to purchase Castrol products and track, view and manage their orders more easily. Castrol Shop, for direct trade customers, including workshops and distributors, is available at https://

An improved ‘product search’ tool function enables users to quickly find products and the ability to ‘favourite’ products speeds up future orders. It is also now easier to view order and invoice status via the dashboard.

Workshop managers can view their own real-time lubricant tank levels via Castrol Shop by integrating it with the OilFox telemetry solution, which draws data from volume sensors within storage tanks.

63 Now Only £1495+VAT 6 Months free subscription Included with every tool! 0118 227 0648 - Call today! Company Reg No. 13839027 PARTS, TOOLS & TIPS


MEYLE introduces two component brake discs for common BMW and Mercedes models, offering OE qualities such as accurate fit, low offset, reduced weight, and the associated fuel savings, in addition to the expected performance and driving comfort.

The manufacturer is expanding into the aftermarket with brakes in areas previously reserved for vehicle manufacturers. Seven new references for the two component MEYLE PD brake discs are now available for the BMW models 3 to 8 Series, X3 to X5, and Z4, and for Mercedes C-Class and E-Class models.

The brake discs comprise an aluminium or stamped steel hat riveted to the cast iron friction ring. They are ECE-R90-certified and due to the surface coating, do not require degreasing, ensuring long-lasting protection against corrosion. A higher percentage of carbon makes the two component brake discs exceptionally resistant to heat distortion even in cases of higher thermal stress.

To ensure efficient installation at the workshop, 99% of the brake discs are equipped with a fixing screw.

The September issue of autotechnician will focus on MOT news, Filters, Ignition & Engine Management, Braking, and Workshop Tools! If you would like to contribute your news or views, email



Morris Lubricants has launched Multivis ECO FE 0W-20, a new low viscosity, high performance engine oil formulated for use in Ford’s 1.5L EcoBlue turbodiesel engines, complying with the performance requirements of the Ford WSS-M2C-952-A1 OEM specification.

Ford’s 1.5L EcoBlue turbodiesel engines place high demands on the oil to protect the engine from timing chain wear and turbocharger deposits. Over time, these issues can cause a lack of efficiency, poor fuel economy or component failure. The lubricant will help to protect components from wear and tear and corrosion, while promoting improved levels of cleanliness. The new engine oil provides a strong ultra-thin oil film around engine components, to minimise internal energy losses that promote power transfer to the wheels and helping to protect components under load.

As smaller, direct fuel injection engines are developed, turbocharging will be essential to keep power outputs up and the engine oil will need to protect turbochargers that operate at high temperatures and pressures. Multivis ECO FE 0W-20 has been formulated to control high temperature deposits and sludges, promoting efficiency, fuel economy and reducing emissions.

Technical Advisor

explains: “Owners of Ford vehicles with a 1.5L EcoBlue turbodiesel engine may now find their car out of warranty and want to select an independent garage for servicing and repairs, rather than using the OEM’s branded oil. Our new Multivis ECO FE 0W-20 oil is the ideal solution to help protect these 1.5L EcoBlue turbodiesel engines from several potential issues and give those in the automotive industry an alternative supplier option.”

65 Contact your local Ring stockist /ringautomotive Compact yet powerful The Ring RPPL1000 Professional Lithium Jump Starter is ideal for all petrol vehicles and diesel vehicles up to 10.0L. This includes motorcycles, cars, 4x4s, vans, commercial vehicles and boats. • 1500 Peak Amps / 1000 Starting Amps • Fast charging with PD60W input • 75% lighter than equivalent Lead Acid Jump Starters • Multiple safety protections • Powerbank function RPPL1000 PROFESSIONAL LITHIUM JUMP STARTER NEW Voltage 12V Rechargeable Li-ion Portable 2kg Engine size Petrol ALL UP TO Engine size Diesel 10.0L UP TO 15185-01 AutoTechnician ad RPPL1000 190x130mm.indd 1 14/06/2023 16:47 PARTS, TOOLS & TIPS
Ryan Woolley

Health & wellbeing

As we take control and drive our way through life, it’s important to keep an eye on our dashboard – our mental health, physical health and our wellbeing.

Our mental health and physical health changes all the time –one day we can feel great and another day we may not. This is perfectly normal and the same for everyone. Our mental and physical health are linked and if something affects one of them, it can impact on the other. This is where our wellbeing comes in. Wellbeing is generally how comfortable, healthy or happy we are within our own lives. Wellbeing is unique to each person and can mean different things to different people. At Ben, we help people learn about, develop and manage each area of their own wellbeing.

Wellbeing is really important because it can give us the tools to cope with changes to our mental and physical health but if our wellbeing is good, it can also help protect our mental and physical health.

During recent years, we’ve all had to adjust to massive changes in our lives – both at home and work. It’s been affecting us all in different ways. Our mental health, like our physical health, varies all the time. One day we feel down and the next we can feel happier or more positive.

Ben invites automotive family to sign up to two new fundraising events

Automotive industry charity, Ben, is inviting the automotive community to take on Benathlon in September and host a Ben’s Big Breakfast in October to raise vital funds and support those who are struggling or in crisis.

To take part in the second Benathlon, participants will exercise in their own way for 30 minutes each day for the 30 days of September and raise £30 for Ben. Participants can choose how they complete the challenge, for example, by walking, cycling, running, swimming, or even by horse riding or skipping!

Our mental health and physical health are linked and can affect each other. If we are stressed, our heart beats faster, we breathe harder and we can even experience pain, for example, like a headache. Looking after our mental health and wellbeing can help improve our physical health too. Equally, when we look after our physical health by staying active, eating or sleeping well, this also improves our mental health.

At Ben, we help automotive people to navigate life and its challenges. We support people who need help with a wide range of issues – everyone is different. We all need a bit of extra support sometimes to help us get over those bumps in the road. If you’re worried about your physical health, mental health or concerned about your general wellbeing, Ben is here to help, especially during difficult times.

We’re here for you

If you’re struggling to cope, Ben is here for those who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry and their family dependents. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch – call 08081 311 333 or visit for more ways to get in touch.

Ben’s Big Breakfast is in its third year, running from 9th-15th October, and invites automotive industry companies to host a breakfast to fundraise for Ben. Breakfast brings together employees, customers and families to share the most important meal of the day, aiming to connect with each other and check in, supporting each other’s mental health. A total of 158 companies took part in last year’s Ben’s Big Breakfast and the charity hopes for this year to be even bigger and better.

Sign up today at





at then get access to over 270 training programmes from less than £1 a day (+VAT)

Automotive technology’s on the move. As a result technicians face more complex challenges than ever before. That’s why NGK has teamed up with market leaders OVA to bring to the Aftermarket what we believe is the most comprehensive and cost effective training platform available today. The NGK Academy.

It’s training. But not as you know it.





The auxiliary belt system is notorious for being ignored, with little advice available apart from ‘check the condition’ on recommended service intervals –but Schaeffler suggests technicians take a different approach.

INA engineers recommend reminding customers that the front end auxiliary drive (FEAD) system powers engine and safety critical components such as PAS or vacuum pumps, and that the tensioner and pulleys will have done the same mileage as the timing belt system that is routinely changed as a kit. Also, the FEAD system is usually subjected to worse conditions than the timing belt system, as it is often uncovered and exposed, and the failure of any component could lead to complete engine failure, especially if the belt wraps around the crank pulley and enters the timing system. But by far the most compelling reason not to ignore FEAD is that in many applications the auxiliary belt must be removed to access the timing belt, so renewing it will incur a minimum cost to the vehicle owner. | |

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Articles inside


page 67

Health & wellbeing

page 66


pages 64-65


pages 62-63


pages 60-61

VARTA Training Academy: E-Learning now live

page 56

Heavy-duty battery tester

page 55

Batteries: Best practice

page 54

The influence of air suspension during wheel alignment

page 53

Steering You Through Life

pages 51-52

MEYLE Electronics.

pages 49-50


pages 47-48


page 46

Be the Boss!

pages 44-46

alldata repair: Vital OEM data and support for every task

pages 40-43


pages 38-39

Autotech Live! Cleevely EV workshop takeover

pages 35-37

Borg & Beck: Challenging misconceptions

pages 30-34


pages 26-27, 29

What is the future for the Combustion Engine?

pages 24-26

Voltage drop circuit testing –Part

pages 21-23


pages 18-20

Human Resources 101 for workshops

pages 16-17


page 5


pages 4-5
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