autotechnician March 2024

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Advertising cover wrap: your regular issue of Autotechnician is inside

MARCH 2024


The fallout from skimping on servicing and quality parts



MARCH 2024

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People have never liked spending money on keeping their cars on the road, but it seems inflation and the cost-of-living crisis may be leading some motorists to skip repairs and servicing to save money in the short term. Research carried out by the RAC has found that a quarter of young drivers say they have put off necessary vehicle repairs to save money while nearly three in 10 are not servicing their vehicles as frequently as they should. In this issue, we focus on service items and consider the implications of cutting costs. We also feature Oils & Additives, in which we ask how oil manufacturers are overcoming the challenges presented by the latest car technology, hear from the VLS who monitors product claims, and share product news. We test an emissions reduction treatment and consider the growth of SCR technology in our Emissions System feature from p39 and launch our 2024 autotech campaign with a brandnew online assessment for you to try, see page 10 for details.

On page 60, Rob Marshall pays tribute to his dear friend and mentor Iain Robertson, a regular Autotechnician contributor and a prolific automotive writer of over 40 years, who sadly passed away just before Christmas.

March 2024
Subscription to the magazine is free to those who fulfil the publisher’s criteria. UK independent workshops can subscribe at Nine issues will be published throughout 2024 and will be mailed out free of charge to qualifying readers - you must work in a UK independent workshop, have buying responsibility and reside in the UK. Those who do not meet the qualifying criteria can request to receive a link to the digital issue free of charge or can opt to pay £25 for an annual subscription to receive an issue in the post. All material, unless otherwise stated, is the copyright of Aftermarket Media Solutions Ltd and reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration, without prior written permission of the publishers, is prohibited. While all due care is taken to ensure the content of Autotechnician is accurate, the publishers cannot accept liability for omissions or errors. Any written material or pictures supplied by contributors are published in good faith and on the understanding they are free from any copyright or other restrictions. Published by: Aftermarket Media Solutions Ltd, The Joiners Shop, Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent ME4 4TZ P6 Industry & Event News P10 Autotech 2024 Launch: New online test P15 IAAF: Right to Repair campaign P20 Hydrogen – Future fuel or folly? P24 Case Study: Audi A6 with a remap history P31 Oils & Additives P39 Emission Systems P42 Braking P49 Filters P54 Parts, Tools & Tips P60 Tailpipe: Tribute to Iain Robertson 15 60 24

Industry welcomes decision to retain first MOT test at three years

The Government says it is ‘committed to MOT modernisation as consultation concludes’ with the ‘first MOT test to remain at three years from registration and annually thereafter, while the Government works to establish a programme of longer-term reform for MOTs.’

To ensure the MOT test is fit for the future, the government is said to be exploring a more effective test for diesel particulate emissions, whether further improvements could be made to the MOT for electric vehicles and the transfer of some larger zero-emissions vans to more standard, car-style MOT testing.

The government's decision not to proceed with the proposed extension of the first MOT test to four years, comes in response to the concerns raised by trade associations including the Independent Garage Association (IGA), regarding the potential impact on road safety. The IGA organised a government petition opposing the proposed extension, collecting over 11,000 signatures from concerned members and individuals, and highlighted the importance of regular MOT inspections in maintaining vehicle safety standards.

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association, commented on the decision, saying, "We are pleased that the government has listened to our concerns and opted to retain the 3-year time period to first MOT. Public safety is paramount, and the decision aligns with our commitment to protecting motorists by ensuring the continued effectiveness of MOT testing in identifying potential safety issues as early as possible."

Kevan Wooden, LKQ CEO, responded: “This is a fantastic outcome for UK road users and the aftermarket. We lobbied hard alongside our industry partners to push back against the proposed changes on the grounds that they would put the UK’s hard-won reputation for road safety at risk, endanger our national net zero ambitions and increase costs to motorists. And this is without mentioning the impact it would have had on work volumes in the aftermarket. As with Block Exemption, we have once again shown the impact the industry can have when it comes together to push for what’s right.”

Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive, said: “Plans to extend the first test from three to four years have been met with the full power of the entire automotive industry including motorists, who have been united in their view that extending the test frequency risks driver safety.”

“Every argument put forward to change the date of the first test has been overcome. An extended test won’t save motorists money and will, in fact, generate higher bills from

worsening, unchecked problems. While it is right to consult on modernising the test process, the debate over the test frequency, the third in over a decade, should never be on the table.”

Hayley Pells, Policy Lead at the IMI, said: “The decision to further explore modernising tests for electric and automated vehicles is a positive step towards addressing the unique challenges and advancements in vehicle technology. We also appreciate the focus on diesel emissions, which is crucial for environmental concerns. The conclusion of the consultation also underscores the need for ongoing adaptations in MOT testing to keep pace with rapidly evolving vehicle technologies and environmental considerations.”

“This is a fantastic outcome for UK road users and the aftermarket [...] As with Block Exemption, we have once again shown the impact the industry can have when it comes together to push for what's right."

73% of MOT testers still need to take their Annual Assessment

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) says that an estimated 73% of MOT testers are yet to take their Annual Assessment and face new checks if they miss the deadline of 31st March. As of 8th January 2024, MOT testers are required to submit a recent basic DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check if they are ‘returning after being lapsed or suspended from testing – this includes being suspended for not completing your annual assessment’.

DBS checks are also now required for new testers, existing testers adding another test group and those returning to testing after a disciplinary period of 28 days or a longer cessation of two or five years.

Hayley Pells, IMI Policy and public Affairs lead, said: “This could have a serious impact on garages’ ability to complete MOT testing, and ultimately their customer satisfaction and profitability. Garages therefore need to support their

Can you diagnose this cut-out fault?

The autotech 2024 campaign kicks off with a brand-new online test for you to try. ‘Test 17’ is a fuel pump case study involving a 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport. The vehicle is fitted with the 204DT 2.0L Diesel common rail engine controlled by a BOSCH MEDC17.9 ECU and is presented with a start and cut-out fault. It has been recovered for diagnosis and the roadside recovery agent has included an explanation of the symptoms as follows:

The vehicle runs for approximately 20 seconds and then cuts out, after which, it does not start unless the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) are cleared.

You will be required to direct the diagnosis through your analysis of test results and the technical information to

technicians in their training and assessments to avoid any impact on the business.”

“MOT testers who fail to meet the deadline will lose their ability to conduct any MOT work until their training and assessment has been completed, and their DBS check has been approved”, added Hayley.

Any MOT testers who do miss the deadline will have to competently demonstrate to a DVSA representative face-toface, in their place of work, their ability to carry out an MOT test on a vehicle. Before they can book this demonstration test, technicians will need to submit a DBS certificate to the DVSA online. Technicians without DBS checks conducted within three months of the test date will need to request one, and these can take many weeks to be processed and a certificate received.

hand. Simply log on, or register, at https://autotechnician. to have a go. Turn to page 10 to find out more about this year’s autotech campaign, including our Workshop Takeover on Saturday 15th June.

7 For peace of mind always use a Garage Equipment Association member. GEA accredited engineers work to an industry code of conduct. Your assurance their skills and knowledge have been independently assessed. IS YOUR EQUIPMENT ENGINEER GEA ACCREDITED? Ask your engineer for his accreditation card ! The Upholders of Industry standards since 1945 The Garage Equipment Association GEA ACCREDITED ENGINEER Name Company Discipline Exp Date ID Number XX123456 XX123456 XX123456 XX123456 XX123456

The Garage Event is back for 2024

The UK Garage & Bodyshop Event will return to the Birmingham NEC on 5 and 6 June 2024 following its successful launch in 2022 by Messe Frankfurt, and will be dedicated to garage and bodyshop training, technology and tools.

Four training hubs (Workshop, EV/Hybrid, Bodyshop and Vehicle Detailing) and feature areas (Modern Garage, Collision Repair and Body Repair Live) will provide practical advice to take back to the workshop.

Court sends warning to workshops regarding vehicle mods

Onyx Performance was sentenced at Reading Magistrates’ Court on 19 February after failing to show that a modified vehicle would not be used on a public road.

The case was brought by the DVSA, after investigations by its Market Surveillance Unit, the second case of its kind in recent months, with AET Motorsport convicted of a similar offence in November.

Despite the company disclosing the planned modifications may lead to the vehicle becoming unroadworthy, Onyx Performance still provided a ‘pop and bang’ service without establishing whether the vehicle would be used on the road. This involved removing the catalytic converter and exhaust silencer, both legally required on a petrol vehicle. Vehicles modified in this way can only be used

Brands already signed up to exhibit include AAG, BM Catalysts, Bilstein Group, Bosch, Castrol, Comma, GSF Car Parts, Hella, LKQ, Mann & Hummel, Niterra, PPG, Snap-on and ZF Aftermarket.

You can register for your free ticket by filling out a few details at or by scanning the QR code above.

where it is legally permissible, such as private property or for permanent export outside the EU.

Roads Minister Guy Opperman said: “Everyone knows that horrific sound, when exhausts go “pop and bang” in the street, and cracking down on companies that fit these modifications shows our commitment to ensuring Britain’s roads remain among the safest in the world.”

Chris Dormand, DVSA’s Head of the Market Surveillance Unit, shared this warning: “Companies must satisfy themselves they are certain that vehicles which have had modifications designed for off-road use are not used on public roads. Modifications designed for off-road use are illegal on our roads and businesses will be held accountable. It is illegal to drive a vehicle on the road after the exhaust system has been altered to increase noise levels or adversely affect emissions. They are anti-social, unhealthy and result in an MOT failure. DVSA takes this activity seriously and where appropriate, we will prosecute companies who offer similar services.”


The experts in remanufacturing car electronics

From ABS and ECU testing to instrument cluster repair, our team are experts in remanufacturing electronic car parts, ensuring they will perform as new.

With 20 years of experience under our belts, we’re proud to be one of Europe’s market leaders in automotive remanufacturing. We are trusted by over 2500+ workshops in the United Kingdom enabling us to provide you with a quick, effective, and affordable remanufacturing solution. Reliable

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Can you diagnose this cut-out fault?

We have a library of free, multiple-choice assessments for you to use at your leisure. The brand-new ‘Test 17’ is a fuel pump case study involving a 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport. The vehicle is fitted with the 204DT 2.0L Diesel common rail engine controlled by a BOSCH MEDC17.9 ECU and is presented with a start and cut-out fault. It has been recovered for diagnosis and the roadside recovery agent has included an explanation of the symptoms as follows:

The vehicle runs for approximately 20 seconds and then cuts out, after which, it does not start unless the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) are cleared.

You will be required to direct the diagnosis through your analysis of test results and the technical information to hand. Simply log on, or register, at registration/ to have a go.

Autotech is an evolving bank of free, confidential online assessments created by independent automotive trainers. All you need to do is log in or register by entering a few details

Autotech Live tickets now on sale

Autotechnician’s team of trainers and top-notch technicians will again convene at this year’s Workshop Takeover at the impressive Cleevely Motors facility in Cheltenham on Saturday 15th June and we invite you to join them to tackle live faults together. Guests can expect various vehicles, including ICE and EVs, and receive ‘just in time’ learning to get to the root of the problem with minimum fuss.

The hands-on sessions with live faults within the workshop are guaranteed to get your diagnostic mojo flowing!

Numbers are kept to a minimum to ensure delegates

The autotech 2024 campaign will deliver technical assessments, best practice installation and diagnostics guidance throughout the year and we kick off with a brand-new online test for you to try

at, click an automated email reply and you get instant, free access to the multiple choice tests focussing on various topics and scenarios.

receive an immersive experience and the chance to draw valuable insights and practical tips relevant to your position and/or business.

A limited amount of subsidised tickets are available to purchase at training/

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

Subsidised tickets to the event are priced just £99.99 plus VAT and include parking, refreshments, and lunch. Guests are welcome to head out with the team the night before for dinner and drinks.


ACtronics are pleased to be continuing their sponsorship of Autotech in 2024

“As the market leaders in remanufacturing electronic automotive components, not only do we offer a first-class solution for garages, but we also support first-class training and technical support for the automotive trade. It’s more important than ever for technicians to have access to world-class training and ACtronics are very happy to work alongside Autotech to provide this. It’s important that we all work together to futureproof garages ready for the changes ahead.”

Helping garages to thrive

Following a hugely successful relationship in 2023 ALLDATA is delighted to be partnering once again with Autotechnician for Autotech 2024.

With the surge of EVs and ADAS, coupled with rapid technological challenges in vehicle repair, the demand for training, tools and data has reached an all-time high. ALLDATA Europe, the only supplier of original vehicle manufacturer repair information, understands this and is committed to supporting garages, so they can thrive in the short and long-term future.

With a comprehensive portal comprising covering 36 brands and more than 118,000 vehicle combinations, ALLDATA delivers technical drawings and wiring diagrams including electrical connector views, Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) diagnostic trouble codes, maintenance schedules and more helping technicians eliminate the guesswork and making repairs simpler.

Supporting continuous learning

“Bilstein Group are excited to be a sponsor of the 2024 Autotech campaign. We pride ourselves on providing technical support and materials to technicians and workshop owners, ensuring they stay updated with the latest advancements. Our technical support ranges from a 4-strong technical hotline, production of technical articles and videos, as well as range and article specific tips. Challenges within the automotive industry lie in the constant introduction of new technologies, requiring continuous learning and adaptation.”

“I would recommend Autotech Live to a friend as it was informative and there were many opportunities to get involved, which may not necessarily be the case with other courses”

Look at fuel additives like you might look at medicines…

If you’ve got a bit of a headache then you might take a couple of Asprin, as recommended on the packet. You wouldn’t suddenly take 4 or 8 pills because that would be too much and could cause you harm. Plus, if your headache or pain doesn’t go away, you would go and see the doctor to try to get to the bottom of the problem. In the same way, if you get a warning light or code on the car for a problem such as the DPF, then you can try a good quality additive to see if that helps. If the problem is solved, then that’s great but if the problem persists after using an additive then there is no point simply using more of the same additive as this can lead to unwanted issues. For example, adding multiple bottles of DPF cleaner, especially the cheaper iron-based formulas, will cause the filter core to overheat and melt resulting in permanent damage, especially if this is combined with forced regens.

DPF and diesel emissions faults are a complex area, especially on the more modern diesel engines, and the old adage of a quick thrash down the motorway is simply out of date. Just like if you’re feeling unwell, it is always best to seek specialist advice to find out exactly what’s wrong. A DPF warning could be caused by a whole host of underlying issues so if in doubt, contact someone like the DPF Doctor for specialist advice and service. Your customers will thank you for it.

Take an online skills test now! https://autotechnician.

Access subsidised tickets to our Workshop Takeover on Saturday 15th June at: training/


Autotech Sponsor Focus: ACTRONICS

ACTRONICS offers cost-effective solutions for electronic components through the process of remanufacturing. Not only is this cheaper than fixing or ordering new parts, but it also promotes sustainability in the industry by reducing the use of brand-new parts.

Our founder's beginnings

In 2004, Leon Kleine Staarman was thinking about how the electrical components in cars are fixed, or more often, completely replaced. Not only did he find this process wasteful in terms of cost for the customer and the environment, but it also wasn’t leading to better performing and more reliable parts.

Leon thought it would be possible to do more than fix the broken components or throw the entire part out. That’s when Leon started ACTRONICS and began working with the idea of remanufacturing and introducing more performance and resilience into faulty components.

Nearly 20 years later, Leon is an authoritative voice in the world of remanufacturing, and ACTRONICS is one of the world’s largest remanufacturers.

Professional and sustainable solutions

Our UK Colchester facility’s staff work daily on testing and remanufacturing ECU’s, ABS’s, ACC’s, body control units, instrument clusters, throttle bodies, and much more.

At ACTRONICS, our aim is to increase the lifespan of the product and deliver superior quality to the original product. All our solutions come with a two-year warranty.

In a world with increasing demand for sustainable applications by consumers, legislators, regulators and the industry, ACTRONICS’ remanufacturing technique reduces the demand for brand new components by reusing defective components.

Consumers were typically used to having electrical components replaced entirely. ACTRONICS has not only given those defective electronic components a new lease of life through remanufacturing but has saved customers’ money by not having to order and fit brand new electrical components.

Here, we provide insights into faults caused by the ATE MK100 ABS module.

Ford ABS Remanufacture

Solution For Ford Error Code U3000 – Control Module

At ACTRONICS, we understand the complexity of this fault and provide an effective remanufacturing solution for the ATE MK100 ABS module that is often responsible for this fault.


What does this error code mean?

The OBD II Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) U3000 indicates a malfunction in a control module that can occur in various Ford models.

In which car is error code U3000 often diagnosed?

The error code and the associated problem as we describe can be diagnosed from almost all Ford models introduced from 2015, the year that the ATE MK100 ABS module was applied. We see the U3000 error code most often in the Ford C-Max, Edge, Fiesta & Focus.

The symptoms DTC U3000

The U3000 fault code is usually identified by the illumination of various warning lights, such as the ABS light, the brake light, and the traction control (TCS) light. On models equipped with Hill Start Assist, this indicator light may also illuminate. Our advice

Usually, this malfunction is caused by internal problems in the ATE MK100 ABS module with ESP function and a 46-pin plug. ACTRONICS offers an efficient and effective remanufacturing solution to this problem. Simply log in or create an account on our website, start your repair order and send the ABS module to us. We always do our best to return the part within two days. We remanufacture the original part from the car, so coding is not normally necessary. With a 2-year warranty and significant cost savings compared to the new price (approximately 80%), we encourage sustainable reuse. If you have any questions about this U3000 error code, you can always contact our product specialists.

Problems with Locking/Binding Brakes

Locking or binding brakes is a common problem on Ford Fiesta, B-Max, C-Max and Transit models, often caused by a faulty ATE MK100 ABS system. Here, we provide insight into how to effectively diagnose and fix this problem.

Description of the problem

Locking or binding brakes refers to a situation where the brake pads remain in contact with the brake discs even after the brake pedal is released. This problem poses significant safety risks and can lead to accelerated wear of brake components. The root cause is often related to the ATE MK100 ABS system, which requires targeted troubleshooting and repair. There are several possible causes for this problem.

Defective ABS sensor

A malfunctioning wheel speed sensor can send inaccurate signals to the ABS module, resulting in incorrect brake activation. Always check the ABS sensors for damage, misalignment or loose connections. Use diagnostic equipment to monitor sensor data and ensure accurate readings.

Problems with brake fluid pressure cause an error in the ABS module

A malfunctioning brake master cylinder or uneven distribution of brake fluid pressure can also cause the brakes to lock, lock or bind. As a result, the pressure does not release quickly enough. So, in addition to the brake master cylinder, thoroughly examine the hydraulic system for clogged/ restricted brake lines, faulty valves, or damaged seals. The ABS receives brake fluid through the brake lines which leads into the plugs in the hydraulic section. Once this is no longer the case, this can result in brake locking/binding problems. One of the main solutions for locking brakes on Ford Fiesta, B-Max, C-Max and Transit models is to have the ATE MK100 ABS system remanufactured. Automotive technicians can rely on ACTRONICS for this service, which offers several benefits. Our team of experienced technicians has in-depth knowledge and experience in remanufacturing and repairing ABS units. We follow an extensive testing and quality control process to ensure that the remanufactured ABS systems meet or exceed OEM specifications. This means that you can offer your customers a reliable, sustainable and high-quality solution for a fraction of the new price.

Update: Brake pressure problems caused by a faulty ATE MK100 ABS module are also becoming more and more common in the BMW 1 series F20/F21, BMW 3 series F30 / G20, Volkswagen Caddy III facelift/Caddy IV and Volkswagen Golf VII.

Call the Technical Team on: 01206 849 920




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choice, you can too:

The fight for the Right to Repair

The independent aftermarket has had to fight for the right to repair ever since vehicles became more connected and vehicle manufacturers made it more difficult for independents to access vital repair and maintenance information. Following recent wins in this arena, we speak with Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive, about its new Right to Repair campaign, which will focus on raising awareness among motorists and celebrating the vibrant independent aftermarket

Following more than a decade of lobbying by UK AFCAR, a coalition of aftermarket trade associations and organisations including the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation, and thanks to the IAAFs ongoing work with the Competition and Markets Authority reporting VM restrictive practices, the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MVBEO) which provides the framework of law to promote fair competition in vehicle repair has been revised and extended until 2029. The aftermarket has secured important gains in the reviewed MVBEO, which supports effective competition and choice for millions of UK motorists, and includes full access and recognition for independent garages, parts distributors, suppliers and manufacturers to full repair and maintenance information and data from vehicle manufacturers.

This revised MVBEO aligns the UK with the rest of Europe and the USA. More than 35 associations around the world, including the IAAF, are part of the Global Right to Repair movement and have signed a statement that supports

the core beliefs of the movement and its objectives. The document sets out 10 best practice principles to develop a framework for right to repair legislation that any supporting country can use and adapt to their needs. Globally, the automotive aftermarket keeps 1.52 billion vehicles on the road, contributing $1.8 trillion to the global economy. After vehicles exit their warranty period, independent repair shops perform more than 70% of repairs. The IAAF says this vibrant industry and the consumer choice that it creates has been threatened by automotive manufacturers that block access to wirelessly transmitted vehicle repair and maintenance data.

However, the IAAF says the revised MVBEO presents significant improvements for UK motorists to benefit from, which are detailed in law, and clearer definitions to support the way vehicles are diagnosed, repaired and maintained. Later this year, the IAAF will launch a new Right to Repair Campaign to highlight the mobility choices available to motorists through the automotive aftermarket of suppliers, motor factors and garages. With vehicle manufacturers


placing obstacles in the way of independents needing to access the data required to diagnose and fix the latest vehicles, previous campaigns have quite rightly focused on unfair practices and restrictions, but the IAAF says now is the time to take on a longer-term approach to raising awareness of the aftermarket and the benefits of choice the automotive aftermarket provides motorists.

Mark Field, Chief Executive of IAAF, tells AT: “Previous campaigns, ‘Your car your choice’, ‘Right 2 Repair’, those public facing campaigns were a call to action, similar to the petitions against extending the first MOT to four years, and largely about raising the profile of our industry. With previous campaigns there was an end game, but rather than having a finite point for what we are fighting for, this is a continuous promotion of [consumer] choice.”

Here, Mark shares five reasons why the UK campaign will be built on positivity, not fear:

1. Why shouldn’t we be positive? There’s too much negativity anyway. The automotive aftermarket is a leading provider of choice and takes care of millions of motorists every day. It is also a vibrant, entrepreneurial, significant economic contributor to the UK economy with both large and small businesses leading the way. The right to repair campaign will celebrate this – it’s time to come out of the shadows.

2. Choice – and competition – benefits everyone

Freedom of choice is essential to a vibrant sector. If new entrants want to join our sector, and if vehicle manufacturers want to invest and grow their aftermarket business, it will inspire us and prove that this is a sector worth innovating and evolving. To do this, we need to celebrate the roles of not just businesses but individuals. We want new people and new ideas in our trade.

3. Fear is short term. Selling and marketing on fear is short term, and is one built around a quick return. We can learn from each other and can do well and good at the same time.

“There are greater freedoms for the aftermarket – the legislation has been strengthened but the proof is always in the execution of this legal framework.”

Marketing on ‘fear’ is not a good look for a sector brimming with possibility.

4. The future will look very different. The automotive aftermarket has been consolidating and evolving for some time. IAAF exists to bring competitors and people together and in an evolving world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Autonomous Driving, we need to work in partnership not in isolation. Our competitors today may be our partners tomorrow; we need to be open-minded in a world of change.

5. We have a responsibility to uphold. The automotive aftermarket and vehicle manufacturers have a responsibility, not only to customers but those looking to forge a career in the automotive industry to be progressive and honest. Choice, fair competition and exceptional service are our key defining features.

If you come across restrictions, the IAAF want to know…

The CMA has created a welcome set of revisions in both the MV-BEO and the accompanying guidelines, but it is using the next five years to monitor not only the effectiveness of these revisions, but also other changes that are expected in the UK Aftermarket. To do this effectively, it is actively seeking evidence of either non-compliance with the MV-BEO, or equally, new scenarios that may be blocking the ability to compete effectively in offering ‘repair and maintenance services’ when compared to the vehicle manufacturers themselves, as well as their authorised networks, wherever this may occur in the complete ‘repair process’. The IAAF has a dedicated webpage link where this evidence can be submitted to help support the CMA in being made aware of any issues and to consider any future revisions of the MV-BEO:

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Over 2.9 million vehicles failed their initial MOT test with suspension defects and more than 2 million failed due to tyre related faults between July 2021 and June 2022

Make wheel alignment your most profitable service

The state of UK roads is at an all-time low, on a daily basis Britain’s motorists are subjected to potholed and patched roads, and sequentially suspension failures are becoming more frequent.

In Q3 2021, RAC patrols responded to 1,810 breakdowns involving vehicles that had broken suspension parts, bent wheels, and damaged shock absorbers over a three-month period*

All the cars passing your garage doors are in need of an alignment check, and at least 15% of them will require an alignment calibration or a repair.

Why your customers need a routine alignment check

In addition to potholes, alignment problems can be caused by road debris or bumping curbs, minor accidents, having worn or damaged suspension parts, and simply driving tens of thousands of miles on Britain’s battered and bruised roads.

Alignment effects ADAS systems

The term ADAS refers to all driver assistance and collision avoidance systems that can lessen the severity of an accident or help prevent one from happening altogether. However, ADAS systems will only work efficiently if calibrated, for this correct wheel alignment is essential.

Wheel alignment is imperative for EV and Hybrid Vehicles

Because EVs and hybrids typically have larger wheels and tyres and weigh more than a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle, their components are put under more stress. Wheel geometry that deviates from standard parameters will speed up the wear of undercar components.

What does this mean to the average garage?

Simply, an opportunity! An opportunity to give your customers complete peace of mind as well as making a substantial difference to your revenue. Based on just 10 services a week, at an average cost of £35 for a two-wheel alignment and £70 for a four-wheel alignment this additional service, could make an approx. £700 of additional revenue. Within a few minutes you’ll increase your profits, and give your customers impeccable service, that will keep them coming back to you time and time again.

Consider incorporating wheel alignment into your routine

Offering wheel alignment checks for free to customers as part of their routine maintenance gives you the opportunity for growth. The process takes just a few minutes and the results can be printed or emailed to your customer, it is a really effective communication tool. Physically showing the issue to the customer, as well as the advantages of having the alignment fixed will help the customer understand the need to apply preventative maintenance rather than pay further down the line. This is a value added upsell to increase your revenue with relatively little additional work for your technicians.

No matter if action is required or not it’s a great addition to your service to give customers added peace of mind that you are assisting with preventative maintenance to save them money in the long run.

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Hydrogen –Future Fuel or Folly?

Transport is the single biggest contributor to the UK Domestic Greenhouse Gas Emissions, in a 3-part series of articles, Andy

will examine the role of hydrogen in decarbonising UK Transport

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are currently the dominant decarbonising technology for passenger cars and vans. Hydrogen is seen as the solution for aviation, shipping and, potentially, for buses and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), especially in heavier weight classes or when charging infrastructure and range are considerations.

The Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate required 22% of all vehicles manufactured by carmakers to be ZEVs by the start of 2024, rising to 80% by 2030. The vast majority of which are expected to be BEVs, but is that the best technology?

What is a Zero Emissions Vehicle?

Is it even possible to have a vehicle that does not produce any emissions? The answer depends on where you measure the emissions. The UK Government defines a ZEV as a vehicle that produces 0 grams CO2/km at the tailpipe during the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).

"The Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate required 22% of all vehicles manufactured by carmakers to be ZEVs by the start of 2024, rising to 80% by 2030. The vast majority of

which are expected to be BEVs, but is that the best technology?"

Therefore, all BEVs and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) are classified as ZEVs. In fact, under this regulation, any vehicle, regardless of drivetrain technology, can qualify as a ZEV, as long as they emit 0 grams CO2/km.

No other greenhouse gases are targeted because currently there are no internationally agreed testing regimes for light vehicles. Therefore, NOx emissions are not currently considered when classifying a ZEV, which means that Hydrogen Internal Combustion Vehicles (HICEVs) could be classified as ZEVs.

The UK government states it is technology neutral and will allow the markets to dictate the best solutions, but this definition of a ZEV does not create a level playing field for all technologies. Zero Emissions at the tailpipe, is not the same as a Zero Emission Vehicle.

This method of emission measurement is called Tank to Wheel and is only part of the total CO2 emissions of the vehicle during its life. Life Cycle Assessment is a method of assessing the CO2 impact of products, including vehicles from the cradle to the grave. Careful consideration is given to


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Figure 1: System boundries

each phase of the life cycle, from manufacture to the in-use phase and finally, disposal/recycling.

The use of system boundaries reduces the complexity of the assessment and separates the life cycle phases for convenience and comparison. The whole life cycle is considered, so the true CO2 impact is to be measured, not just tank to wheel emissions.

Well to Tank emission measurements are used to measure the CO2 produced during the production transportation and storage of the fuel. In the case of BEVs, this includes the different methods of generating electricity, known as the ‘Energy Mix,’ see Figure 2. In 2023, approximately 35% of the UK’s electricity was generated by fossil fuels, 36% by renewable energy, and 15% Nuclear, see Figure 3.

It is clear from the electricity generation data, that despite being considered ZEVs, BEVs do in fact produce CO2 emissions. Until the energy mix is 100% decarbonised this will continue to be the case. Grey Hydrogen produced using fossil fuels (steam reforming of Natural gas) also generates significant CO2 emissions, while green hydrogen production from renewables does not.

Life Cycle Assessments

The results of Lifecycle Assessments (LCA) for a vehicle with different drivetrains are shown in Figure 4. Due to the lack of

data for recycling the batteries, the end-of-life boundary has not been accounted for. Currently, most batteries are repurposed and not recycled.

The calculations are based on 200,000 km of driving using the current UK energy mix and the use of Grey Hydrogen. The total CO2 equivalent of the Plug-in Hybrid and the Battery Electric drivetrain is the same 94,000 Tonnes.

Despite not being a ZEV, Plug-in Hybrid technology matches the BEV CO2 emissions, partly due to the CO2 embedded in the battery manufacturing, and the fossil fuels used in the Energy Mix. Once the battery recycling data is made available it will be possible to compare all the technologies from cradle to grave, the smaller batteries used on PHEVs might just tip the balance in their favour.

As the energy mix continues to use more low-carbon generation (renewables & nuclear) the fuel total CO2 emissions for BEVs will reduce. However, the trend for more range means bigger batteries, which means more CO2 during production.

While the petrol engine and FCEV are similar at 132,000 and 129,000 Tonnes of CO2, respectively, the production of green hydrogen could see LCA CO2 emissions from FCEVs reduced to levels below that of BEVs. However, the required infrastructure for green hydrogen production is not yet in place.

Early demand is expected to be driven by bus and HGV applications, which would require a new hydrogen refuelling network. However, the current demand estimates indicate that road transport will not require significant volumes of green hydrogen. The relative costs and benefits of hydrogen vehicles do not add up when compared to electrification.

Future transport demand for green hydrogen is expected to be from the shipping and aviation sectors, not as a fuel but an energy carrier.

Next time, Andy will examine the various uses of Hydrogen as a fuel and an energy carrier for transportation.

Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4

Case study by Gareth Davies AAE FIMI, Euro Performance

Vehicle: 2017 Audi A6 All road 3.0 TDi Quattro CRTD engine code

Problem: Lack of power, poor running, no warning lights on the dashboard

A mystery involving a remap history

Being a brand specialist can make life somewhat easier in the workshop. It’s only natural you will see a higher repetition of cars presenting the same faults and you can often go through periods saying, “it looks like it’s another one of those”. These are not born out of complacency and applying the correct process will always apply. However, on the other hand, there are an increasing number of occasions where you are sought out by the consumer because no one else has been able to help. No, we don’t survive as soldiers of fortune because we escaped from a high security military stockade for crimes we didn’t commit… We exist because of our backgrounds, our chosen brand specialism or, maybe, just because we have a reputation for being able to help, when seemingly others can’t.

In this case study, the vehicle in question was a 2017 Audi A6 All road 3.0 TDi Quattro, CRTD engine code. It was booked in with us after a visit to the local Audi dealership. At the point of enquiring, I was asked by a front of house colleague if we were able to help. The dealer had advised the customer because the car had been re-mapped (a process whereby the engine ECU software is modified to improve various factors such as performance and fuel efficiency) they would not be able to help. I agreed this would be something we could help with, and he was duly booked in. Ten days later the vehicle came in and the customer completed the fault assessment questionnaire. The notes described a lack of power, poor running, but no warning lights on the dashboard.

I began with busting out the big and shinier laptop than other independents (ODIS) – after all, that’s usually why they end up with us specialists, purely for a better laptop… Whilst it was loading up the vehicle ID and carrying out a fault code scan of the car, the customer had kindly left some documentation with his questionnaire from his dealer visit. The logs showed communication between a technician and the mother land (Milton Keynes, the halfway house to full blown mother land). They had requested technical help as they were unable to shed light on the issue. The technician was advised the engine ECU software was modified and as a result, this would need to be corrected before proceeding further. It’s likely that a commercial decision was made by the dealer not to move forward, which is fair enough. If it’s not their type of work, that’s understandable.

We had completed the scan and as far as fault code entries went, there wasn’t much to go on. There was a sporadic entry in air suspension for ‘compressor shut off’, the type and nature of fault is what is left behind after jacking/wheel change mode, and there were no issues visually with the air suspension set up. It was apparent quite quickly that the car was very unhappy. The technician who had kindly brought the vehicle around into the workshop for me whilst I had been finishing talking to a customer, reported in good old fashioned Welsh terms ‘that car is proper unhappy butt’. I found this interesting, given at this point I hadn’t run the engine, merely connected a battery support unit and was using ignition only. I started the engine. It was apparent very quickly, he wasn’t lying. The vehicle would start, it took a little longer than normal to catch, and when it did, it ran very badly and cut out almost immediately. If you persevered a few times, and then introduced some throttle whilst running, it would begin to improve to a steady(ish) idle.

Rarely would you expect such a dramatic and obvious presented symptom, without any fault code entries, of any kind. Most importantly, ones that may indicate as to why the engine was so grossly unhappy and cuts out. Basic live data checks revealed nothing concerning; fuel pressure was a plenty and a relative compression check was also acceptable. Before getting too deep, I consulted technical service bulletins. There were a lot, but none that directly fitted my symptoms, particularly with no DTC entries.

Now, I suspect some of you are reading this, and like the pantomime ‘he’s behind you,’ are screaming “It’s the map, it’s the map!” Well okay, there are factors in the map that could be attributing to the issue, but some good datum points I always like to check before assuming anything would be:


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The customer has owned this vehicle for a significant period and was not aware of any map on the vehicle until the dealer made him aware. He admitted the car went ‘like a top’ and whilst the 3.0 272 engine is a real delight, it may have gone very well in this customer’s case.

The Map, if bad, would have had to develop a bug, or change something that’s now critical to correct and harmonious operation, that it wasn’t doing before. This could in theory be something like the car was mapped to remove DTC entries for a faulty component, and this component wasn’t blanked or dealt with correctly and now has allowed the change of state so to speak. Yes, this is valid, but again, case in point, would be a 54k miles 6-year-old high end Audi, that overall doesn’t look like it has wanted for anything so far in life? It doesn’t really fit the suit but still could be a possibility if we remove the emotion.

So, with seemingly not a lot to go on in terms of evidence or clues, I listened to the cranking and first start procedure from the engine bay, while an assistant cranked and fired the engine. This was a useful step. I noted that the engine appeared to be a little strangled; almost like it couldn’t breathe. I’ve sometimes found the simplistic, oldish school approach to diagnostics can work wonders, before wading in too deep. I removed the air filter Assy and ran the engine again. It was notably loud, louder than this engine should be (I ran a 3.0 CRTD A6 for four years and loved it). These engines, like a lot of EU6 derivatives, suffer quite badly in terms of emissions control restrictions and blockages. It seemed worthwhile to break out the borescope camera to check the inlet tract. This may seem beyond the desired non-intrusive test methods, and what exactly is covered by the assessment, but could be achieved quite quickly by removing the charge hose to the throttle flap and sending it up the inlet tract. My rational on this occasion was that it had been to a dealer, and another independent before this, and the testing I was carrying out was unlikely to use all the 1.5 hours set aside for

the assessment fee. I also wanted something to be able to go on, an angle, a clue.

The borescope inspection showed there was significant soiling to the inlet tract. I also performed an output test on the inlet throttle flap with the camera in place and was unable to reach end stops due to the fouling. Given that we strip enough of these on a regular basis for ‘in the valley’ component repairs, I stripped it for a closer look to be sure. Figure 1 shows significant carbon build-up around the inlet throttle flap, and it also showed on inspection it was not able to reach end stops or hadn’t for some time. Now the further thought at this point was, if tampering had occurred in the remap, of which there was no detail at all by whom, or to what level, as the customer was unaware, then it could be that it had, or other components had, been removed or modified to not work as expected. Figure 2 shows the gas movement around the soiled component.

At this point, I advised the customer of where I had got to and where I would need to go to move forward. I advised the best course of action was to clean the affected carbon, reevaluate the state of running and road test, if possible, to understand if a residual complaint was present or if, in fact, the issues were fixed. I also suggested that if they were not, and we need to move forward, we may need to flash the car back to standard to continue troubleshooting. Fortunately, as Authorised Avon Tuning agents, we knew we would be able to put him back in a ‘tuned’ state should he so wish, after we had concluded any other repairs that may be required.

In terms of best practice, I set our stall out early on. I advised of all likely best- and worst-case outcomes and the associated costs involved, and the customer was comfortable with the plan. I did also have the option here to bench the engine ECU and send the file off for assessment by the wizards at Avon tuning, should I need to. Then they could give me clarity on what had been done to the engine ECU software in detail, such as component modification or deletion.

Figure 2 Figure


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With all the carbon cleaned, I reassembled the inlet Assy and started the vehicle up. I had an improved outcome, the engine would now fire willingly and run without trouble. It also sounded audibly quieter through the inlet. With VCDS on the passenger seat, and a wry look about me, I prepared to go for a post repair test. The test lasted approx. 2/3’s of a mile before the car hit a brick wall in terms of performance. Zero go whatsoever, did not want to change up the gearbox or make any kind of progress. Hmm, not so simple then. I pulled up, confirmed by restarting the experienced symptom was corrected, it was. And for another 1/10th of a mile after restarting it had a lovely amount of zest about it, followed by horrendous limp home and under 30mph all the way back to the garage.

After reevaluating the situation, there were still no DTC’s and all the important live data looked good, I needed another line of enquiry. I checked the advanced ID section of the engine ECU, Figure 3, and I couldn’t understand why the flash counter was so high. Maybe it had received software updates in a dealer and then with the tune on top at a later date… maybe? At this point I was satisfied I wanted to flash back to standard. What on earth could be making this car so underperforming, that doesn’t show up on a mod file?

Fortunately, we offer tuning, so there are various tools that can allow flashing back to standard, or RTO. I applied the software, which completed fine. I started the engine and still had no DTC’s or warning lights. I repeated the road test route and sure enough, very quickly the car limped. This time, however, I had an engine management light and a DTC to work on.

The DTC entered was P102B and this related to an engine oil temperature sensor, Figure 4; this engine variant had more than one. I located the (single wire) sensor and managed to retrieve the live data for it and found it was implausible, Figure 3, given the car had been running for a short period

of time. Upon physical inspection of the loom, I noticed a small discoloration to the insulation on the harness and could get the temperature to change nominally when wiggling the tightly routed harness, Figure 5. Suspecting the discolored section of harness, I removed the insulation and it was evident that at some point the harness was shorting to ground across the front of the cylinder head. The temperature sensor in question is one that we frequently see failing, and a bit of a potch to get to.

I shared my findings with the customer, and advised on the repairs that should be carried out. This would be to repair the section of harness, reinsulate and reroute, moving away from the cylinder head bracket. To replace the oil temperature sensor, given its nominal cost, and retest the vehicle in standard software state. If all of this went to plan, he could then have stage 1 software applied afterwards. He was happy with the plan and let us carry on.

With the wiring repaired, sensor replaced, and the harness more suitably routed, faults were cleared, and I carried out a road test. I logged various data PIDs to see how the vehicle behaved. I was pleased I was able to conduct a road test without limp home mode and saw a nice uniformed and linear increase in oil temperature readings via live data from the two oil temperature sensors. They were mostly within 0.5 – 1.0

Figure 5 Figure 4 Figure 3

degrees Celsius of each other the whole time, Figure 6. This also served as a great pre tune safety check log evaluating boost etc. The car performed well, and I was happy we could safely apply the tuned software.

A second road test was carried out after the software upgrade. These engines respond really well to tuning, and the delivery of torque was lovely – it felt nice to drive again. The customer was very pleased and after a few weeks of using the vehicle left a super review for the garage too.

Very often, jobs come through the doors and you really don’t know how they are going to go and what they are going to

"I've sometimes found the simplistic, oldish school approach to diagnostics can work wonders, before wading in too deep"

be. I think it’s important to always take the same approach, whether the outcome is a simple bulb or fuse, or something more complicated such as the above. Setting out realistic outcomes versus spend, and the time required to get to those conclusions or stages is vital for the customer, and for the garage/technician. After all, it must be fair, timely, but most importantly, suitably remunerative for the skill and effort involved.

Thank you to Alldata and Avon Tuning for their assistance throughout this job.

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Figure 6


39 42 49
Parts, Tools & Tips
PAGE 39 Emission Systems
PAGE 42 Braking
PAGE 49 Filters
Access to Castrol Guarantee for all of your customers Internal and external branding and signage packages Put your workshop on the map with our Castrol Workshop Locator Access to Castrol offers and benefits Tim Benson, Oldfields Garage Independent certification of the quality of your business Marketing and customer experience support Access to Castrol training solutions Join the Castrol Service Networkcommitted to quality and friendly service “Castrol Service energised our workshop... from a customers point of view it’s a no brainer - everyone has heard of Castrol!” Aligning your workshop with the Castrol brand and values creates a professional and reassuring image throughout the customer journey. Join Castrol Service at no cost to you What our workshops say: Service REGISTER YOUR INTEREST Call 0800 371910 (Option 4) to find out how we can help energise your workshop No annual fees, just your commitment to use and promote Castrol! Official Workshop Partner

Oils & Additives

The latest car technology demands bespoke, advanced lubrication – we ask how oil manufacturers are overcoming the challenges. We hear from the VLS who monitors product claims and share product news & manufacturer milestones

It’s onwards & upwards for Castrol as it celebrates milestone

This year, Castrol celebrates its 125th anniversary and marks the occasion with a new ‘Onward, Upward, Forward’ strategy to meet the changing needs of customers, as well as a 125-year commemorative logo, above, that will be used throughout 2024 in events and sponsorships.

It will be investing further into its technology hubs across the world, including a $60 million investment in an electric vehicle battery testing centre and analytical laboratory here in the UK.

As the market for electric vehicles is likely to co-exist with continued demand for internal combustion engine and hybrids for many years, Castrol aims to keep helping ICE and hybrid vehicles be more efficient and help lead the way in EV Fluids. Under the ‘Onward’ pillar of its strategy, Castrol launched a range of Castrol ON EV Fluids, including EV Transmission Fluids, EV Thermal Fluids and EV Greases. Castrol has said it will also focus on launching more ‘circular’ products by reusing base oils, which are the main constituent ingredient in lubricants. More circular transmission fluid has already been tested in an extreme environment, with Jaguar TCS Racing successfully using Castrol’s transmission fluid in their Formula E race cars at the 2023 Monaco E-Prix.

Castrol 125 years on: Q&A with Castrol Europe’s CEO, Vesna Di Tommaso

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing independent and franchised workshops over the next five years, and what is Castrol doing to help them?

“There’s been a lot of media coverage about how the fundamental shift from ICE vehicles to EVs is changing how OEMs operate, but independent and franchised workshops are also having to adapt for this new age of mobility.

“Vehicle technicians have to learn new skills and processes to maintain electric vehicles in a safe and effective manner. That means businesses must grapple with new training requirements, as well as invest in new workshop technologies. It’s a lot to manage, especially during a time when inflationary pressures are increasing.

“With ICE vehicles, engines are becoming more advanced and in many cases are adopting new levels of hybridisation, which has meant that the number of specialised oil viscosities have increased.

“To assist workshops through this transition, we launched our Technical Support Service earlier this year to ensure workshop personnel have a dedicated team of specialists on-

hand to provide technical guidance and recommendations on suitable lubricants. This new service will be open to current and prospective Castrol customers, independent and franchised workshops, distributors, retailers, and Castrol branded workshops across the UK.

“We’ve also introduced the Castrol Learning Campus, a digital platform that has a range of modules suitable for staff in different departments, from service advisers to workshop technicians. It’s been designed to sharpen skills, enable staff to connect with their peers, elevate career prospects, and enhance business performance. It’s interactive and users can learn at their own pace, at a time and a place that’s convenient for them.

What are Castrol’s next steps in accelerating the growth of the Castrol SERVICE network across Europe?

Castrol Europe’s CEO, Vesna Di Tommaso
Full interview is available online
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“We’re keen for Castrol to develop as a service-centric business; not one that relies solely on selling products. The Castrol SERVICE network is a prime example of this strategy in action and has been successful in key markets across Europe. We set out to become the market leader in branded workshops. Over 6,000 Castrol SERVICE workshops are now in operation across Europe, and it’s a number that’s steadily growing.

“Participating workshops in certain countries receive a comprehensive range of benefits including a limited Castrol engine warranty when Castrol oil is used in customers’

Marketing toolkit to help you promote engine protection

A marketing toolkit has been developed to help workshops introduce and promote Castrol MAGNATEC to their customers. The toolkit includes brochures and wallcharts to help select the appropriate oil for specific engines, as well as email templates, posters, roll-up banners, stickers and other displays – designed to raise customers’ awareness of the importance of protecting their vehicles from wear and tear.

Castrol states that 15.7 million cars manufactured by mainstream OEMs across the UK can be serviced using just five MAGNATEC products, simplifying a workshop’s

vehicles, branded technician clothing, along with marketing support and training, all designed to facilitate an increase in and retention of customers.

“We’re continuing to improve the Castrol SERVICE workshop offering to accelerate the scheme’s growth. We introduced the ability for workshops to obtain independent certification by TÜV Rheinland, a global leader in third-party testing and certification. This certification scheme has been designed to help businesses optimise operational standards and further build customer trust.”

inventory management, whilst ensuring compatibility with a wide range of vehicles, including millions of Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Kia, Peugeot, Toyota and Vauxhall vehicles.

The campaign highlights the added protection that Castrol MAGNATEC can provide to vehicles as increased road congestion, and more vehicle stop/starts, leads to engine wear. Castrol MAGNATEC features DUALOCK molecules that cling to critical engine parts and lock together, that it says forms a powerful layer of protection that dramatically reduces both engine warm-up and stopstart wear.

As an independent trade body, VLS is here to protect you by verifying that lubricant products really can deliver what they claim. That means you can have confidence that the engine oils you use in your customers’ vehicles are fit for purpose. If you have any concerns about a lubricant product, report them to us on 01442 875922 or
Protecting you and your workshop OILS & ADDITIVES

Iconic British brand celebrates its rich history

In 1933, Duckhams states it introduced the industry's first Synchromesh Gearbox oil, and in 1951, the iconic green Q - 20W-50, the first multi-grade oil. In 2017, the brand was officially relaunched at the Classic Motorshow, showcasing a range of engine oils for cherished classic car engines, combining modern lubricant technology with Duckhams’ distinctive green-coloured oil. Its motorsport heritage was also celebrated, displaying the Ford RS500 ex-DTM car. From conquering the British Motorcycle Championship in 1955 to recent triumphs at the OR BRIC Superbikes Championship in Thailand and the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2023, the British oil brand continues to earn accolades in motorsports, which it says ‘showcases the pioneering spirit that defines the brand.’

The Hypergrade Plus classic oil launch was followed by the launch of QS & QXR synthetic car engine oils, meeting the latest requirements of API, ACEA and OEMs.

“2024 is a milestone year for Duckhams as we celebrate our remarkable 125th anniversary,” says Duckhams’ new Global

CEO, Mike Bewsey. “Whilst we honour our illustrious history, our commitment to advancing this legacy of innovation remains unwavering. Bewsey told Autotechnician: “We have big plans for 2024, including new product launches, new distribution channels, new global partners and increased support for workshops. Together, we’ll continue to lead with innovation and victories for the next 125 years.”

35 Everything works better with … … manufacturer approved motor oils that ensure your peace of mind.

Resource-friendly engine oils step forward

MOTULs NGEN range of motor oils either consist largely of regenerated oils (NGEN 5 & 7 for motorbikes) or have a high proportion of raw materials from renewable resources (NGEN Hybrid for, you guessed it, hybrids!) This reduces production-related CO2 emissions and also saves fossil raw materials for more sustainable production.

It first developed an engine oil tailored to the requirements of hybrid vehicles back in 2016 and the product has received a sustainability upgrade – with NGEN Hybrid containing up to 25% oil from renewable raw materials and is also designed to support better fuel efficiency and improved response and starting behaviour.

NGEN 7 is designed for motorcycles with sporty driving styles, with high temperature resistance and strong clutch grip, it is identical to MOTUL 7100, in terms of additive and ester formulation, but uses up to 50% regenerated motor oil.

All bottles consist of 50% recycled plastics and are entirely recyclable.

Cleaning up diesel systems

Drive towards better packaging

Last year, Comma first used post-consumer resins, PCR, recovered and reused from waste within its product packaging and has announced that all of its plastic product containers are now made from 35% PCR, meaning less and better plastic going into workshops.

Commenting on its carbon-saving efforts, a spokesperson from the Comma product team said, ““When it comes to sustainable packaging, we are all in this together. At Comma, we're not just committed to business excellence; we're dedicated to helping our customers to make a positive impact too. We hope this initiative resonates with our workshop customers and distribution partners, as we eagerly look forward to continuing to support their business needs through a lens of sustainability.”

This treatment from JLM Lubricants is a Diesel catalyst cleaner, a blend of additives, including a cetane booster, designed to give the entire fuel and exhaust system on diesel engines a thorough clean.

The formula also contains a DPF regeneration additive, specifically designed to reduce the temperature at which carbon deposits are burned off in the particulate filter –beneficial for diesel cars and light commercials with city cycle or low mileage.

You can use it to reduce emissions before the MOT emission test to reduce levels, increase performance and promote DPF regeneration. Simply pour the contents into the tank before filling up with diesel. One dose can be used in 40 to 60 litres of fuel.

See page 40 to see how the petrol treatment performed in our product test…


Solve engine issues and boost profits!

Deposits form in every engine during the combustion process, especially on valves and injectors, and this carbon build-up leads to higher fuel consumption, loss of performance and higher emissions, which could result in an MOT emissions test fail at the least and costly repairs down the line if left to fester.

Liqui Moly has a range of products to combat this, from cans of additives to achieve instant results to equipment that

provides deep engine system cleaning to prevent problems occurring in the first place.

Find out more about the additives, equipment and marketing tools – such as mirror hangers and brochures – available, as well as advice on how to explain the benefits of preventative maintenance to customers at, you can also scan the QR code above to access the information.


Engine oil formulations develop at a pace to keep up with engine technology. Here, Jacquie Berryman, Chair of the Verification of Lubricant Specifications, outlines its role in supporting independent workshops and the implications of recent legislation.

“The right lubricant properties can assist vehicle manufacturers in delivering fuel economy and meeting emissions regulations whilst providing engine durability and performance demanded by vehicle owners. This development has led to the introduction of many new OEM specifications and updated industry standards, some of which are mutually exclusive, increasing the complexity of the market and the need to be even more vigilant and use the correct lubricant for the vehicle. The latest set of engine oil sequences from ACEA, the European association of major motor manufacturers, for light-duty applications was issued in 2021, but they have already been revised and updated in 2022 and 2023.

“The vehicle parc is also changing. Workshops are servicing more hybrids and electric vehicles as they take a greater market share on our roads. Engines are becoming more compact and more powerful, with a market trend to lower viscosities. With motorists holding onto their vehicles for longer than ever, petrol and diesel services are also critical to keep modern motor vehicles running at their peak performance for longer. According to the ACEA 2023

‘Vehicles in Use’ report, 15.3 million of the 36.7 million passenger cars on UK roads are over a decade old, and the average passenger car age has risen from eight years old in 2019 to ten years old in 2023. These ageing vehicles may require very different lubricants from the latest models.

“The economic impact of COVID-19, automotive supply chain issues, uncertainty about the future of internal combustion engine vehicles and the cost-of-living crisis mean that motorists are holding onto their vehicles for longer than ever. For example, a 2021 VW Polo 1.0 mpi requires an SAE 0W-20 engine oil complying with the latest VW 508.00 specification. A 2017 VW Polo 1.0 requires an SAE 5W-30 oil conforming to the older VW 504.00

Tools to enhance installer confidence and workshop efficiency

The oil & lube manufacturer Comma, pledges to go ‘beyond the oil’ to give technicians confidence in the products they use with the diverse set of vehicles and challenges they face in the workshop. One way it achieves this is by providing tools to select the correct oil grade, via its Product Finder on, which gives Comma product recommendations based on the latest OEM data when you enter the vehicle reg,

specification, with higher and exclusively different hightemp/high shear properties. Use of a VW 508.00 compliant engine oil in place of VW 504.00 would potentially result in accelerated wear to engine components. In contrast, a VW 504.00 compliant engine oil instead of VW 508.00 could reduce the efficiency of emission control devices and fuel economy. This issue is also complicated by several major motor manufacturers using the same specification labelling over many years, even though the underpinning specification changes over time, such as VW 504 00/507 00.

“Amid all this change, it is perhaps no surprise that VLS saw an influx of cases in 2023, its tenth anniversary year, the majority relating to passenger car and light commercial engine oils, with products being unable to meet all the performance claims made. Most cases resulted in affirmative action, with stock quarantined, uplifted, and either relabelled or disposed of to protect end users. With space at workshops at a premium, the temptation is to create lubricant products that can cover a large proportion of the car parc. However, any claims made must be backed up by evidence and supported by the technology provider or additive company.

“VLS has an important role to play in helping lubricant manufacturers, mechanics, and motorists navigate a complex and changing market. By upholding industry standards, technicians can fit products with confidence, whatever the type of vehicle or engine.”

backed by a 100% Compatibility Guarantee. There is also a useful Stock Profiling tool to help managers find and order the best range of products and pack sizes for their workshops.


Understanding SCR, the latest hot parts and reducing emissions for a cleaner combustion

Growth of SCRs

SCR technology works with diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue to significantly reduce harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and the necessity of SCRs in modern Euro 6 vehicles are expected to drive further growth in this market.

To help prepare workshops venturing into this area, emissions product manufacturer BM Catalysts has created an animated video depicting how SCR technology works.

Its SCR range introduced in 2022 with an initial five references now offers 12, covering 172 different vehicle fitments, available with associated pressure pipes and fitting kits.

The SCR video is the latest in a series, following videos on catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters, which have proven popular with customers wanting to understand the complex technologies, amassing over 238,000 views to date.

Marketing manager Holly Brailsford says: “It’s clear that video is increasingly becoming the go-to format for delivering educational content and it’s important to us that we’re

servicing the market in a way that resonates. We invest considerable time and resource into producing these videos, as well as our other technical content, in a bid to help both factors and garages navigate the increasingly complex world of emissions control technologies.”

Downloadable technical posters and other online resources are available at

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Editor Nic St Clair puts an Emissions Reducer to the test

"I recently procured a can of Emission Reduction Treatment from the lovely team at Kalimex, UK distributors of JLM Lubricants, shortly before my 2018 petrol Nissan Qashqai was due to head in for its MOT. It just passed the emissions test due to the carbon being at the maximum limit of 0.20% vol, which was a good result for test purposes.

"I then poured the contents of the bottle into the petrol tank before filling up the tank and took the car for a 20-minute drive on the motorway to elevate the RPM and get the product into the system to do its work." Note that the product can be used on all petrol engines, with or without a catalytic converter and one bottle treats 40-60 litres of petrol. There is also an Emissions Treatment for diesel vehicles.

"I returned to the workshop to again hook up to the emissions analyser*. The CO reading taken at fast idle during the MOT had been on the limit, just passing the emissions test at 0.20% vol. The HC had been 88ppm and Lambda read 1.013. Using the product had cleared the CO completely, now reading 0.00% vol at fast idle, with HC now at 3ppm and Lambda 1.005. I was pleased that my petrol car was emitting less pollutants and the engine was cleaner, meaning more efficiency too."

The product cleans the entire fuel system and contains a ‘combustion improver’ which immediately improves combustion before it has cleaned the entire fuel system, reflecting in lower emissions. It minimises carbon deposits, cleaning the fuel system, valves, pistons and injectors,

Overcoming the Mitsubishi challenge

Klarius Products adds seven new components to its range of aftermarket exhausts, including replacement systems for the Mitsubishi Mirage 1.0 and 1.2 hatchback. Landing on our shores branded as ‘Colt’ in 1974, Mitsubishi brought its time in the UK to a close in 2020 as it left the domestic market entirely. Doug Bentley, Head of Research and Development at Klarius, says: “With Mitsubishi withdrawing from the UK market, it can be challenging to source replacement parts that correspond to OEM specifications. We specifically develop aftermarket exhausts with Mitsubishi vehicles to ensure owners of the L200, Shogun, Outlander, Mirage and more can get quality components. If you’re looking to find a replacement exhaust for a vehicle without manufacturer support in the UK, we’re a good place to start.”

However, all might not be lost for fans of the brand, with Mitsubishi reversing its decision to leave the European market entirely, raising the possibility of a return to the UK in future.

lowering emissions and preventing contamination of the catalytic converter. It is ideally used before an emissions test and for best results is recommended that one bottle is used every 5,000km.

*Thanks to MY Motoring for use of their analyser.

All Klarius exhausts are available with next-day delivery for orders placed before 5.30 pm, with popular products held at local motor factors nationwide for rapid dispatch. Every applicable part is type-approved and a ‘Fit FirstTime’ guarantee and a two-year warranty is standard across the entire range of over 11,000 references.



We aim for nothing less than the highest standards when manufacturing our catalytic converters, DPFs and front pipes. Our advanced techniques ensure everything from sub-components to finished products are designed to the highest possible quality and fit. From laser mapping, to automated welders, and CNC technology. In everything we do, we try and be the best we can be.

Make us part of your quality standard.

Discover how our world-class manufacturing can help your business.


Call: +44 (0)1623 663 800



You can save your customers money and boost workshop efficiency, by focussing on providing value for money not just with your parts but also your techniques.

Drivers surely would not skimp on braking repairs – or would they?

Rob Marshall delves into the issue to see how you can provide reassurance and optimum value

Surprisingly, aftermarket brake friction components are particularly price-sensitive. Comline explains that this is not just because the market is competitive but also because parts distributors and car owners are looking for the best deal in today's challenging economic climate.

Driv (Ferodo) agrees, arguing that customers have become increasingly priceconscious, recently. This is not helped by rising prices. Brembo elaborates that they result principally from increased costs in the supply chain and production processes, such as raw materials, transportation fees, energy costs and even interest rates. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent geopolitical situations have made price sensitivity more complex to evaluate. Even so, Bosch emphasises that we should not forget the importance of brakes and that selecting lower-quality parts could undermine the efficiency of the system.

Garages, therefore, should strike the right balance between cost and performance and Borg and Beck provides solid advice that you cannot go far wrong with reputable brands.

Top 10 technician errors

According to Delphi, brakes are one of the biggest sources of customer complaints. One of the causes is, sadly, technicians not following best practice procedures. With the help of the brake friction manufacturers' experts, who assisted us with this feature, we have put together the most common errors that you can avoid:

1. Inadequate visual inspection of not just pads and discs but also brake cables, hoses, or wheel bearings. These can wear out the friction components prematurely.

2. Not verifying that the callipers are functioning/releasing properly.

3. Not checking disc wear, before replacing the pads.

4. Not cleaning the carriers, hubs and sliders to a high enough standard, causing brake shudder.

5. Incorrect fitting of directional pads

6. Cleaning the anti-corrosion coating from coated discs

7. Using copper grease

8. Not cleaning the disc to hub mating surface adequately

9. Not installing new pad fitting kits and reusing old parts

10. Not advising the customer on the importance of bedding in new pads/discs.

Brake components must comply with ECE R90 regulations

Starters and Alternators for Passenger Cars

Bosch offers a comprehensive range of new starters and alternators as well as exchange products that covers a wide range of passenger car, enabling workshops to provide the most cost effective solutions to their customers. Products are tested under extreme conditions to ensure reliability and are easy to install due to high fitting accuracy and reliable interface.

Invented for life

Borg and Beck (a First Line brand) finds that the most common reason for customers experiencing an increased cost of braking repairs is down to the technician not conducting a proper inspection of the vehicle, before repairs start. Brembo recommends a close inspection of the colour and appearance of the braking surfaces. This might reveal faults in other components, such as callipers, pads or even bearings.

Offering best value

Naturally, joining the race to the bottom by striving to be the cheapest, is unlikely to be healthy for the long-term success of an aftermarket workshop. Moreover, you should offer value. Much of this relies on you communicating with the customer. For instance, you may have to explain why an MOT inspection is less likely to spot worn braking components, compared with a full service. Another topic is why maintaining the brake system is a more cost-effective and safer strategy than waiting for an actual failure. These may seem obvious to you but the non-mechanically-minded client may think otherwise.

Explaining the importance of regular brake maintenance and emphasising the relevance of installing fresh fitting kits with new pads, will help your customer to appreciate that you are acting in their best safety and financial interests. Even so, you can offer savings but only after a thorough evaluation. Brembo advises that, whenever you replace the discs, renew the pads. However, you can install new pads without changing the brake discs, if the braking surface is not near, or below, the manufacturer's tolerances. Brembo reasons that, because pads wear out doubly faster than the discs, a good guide is to replace the discs every other time the pads are changed. Delphi agrees with this stance but only if the brake disc thickness is still within tolerance.

Yet, this depends greatly on your ability to perform an accurate assessment. Borg and Beck cautions that worn discs can have a detrimental effect on the new pads' longevity and performance. Juratek adds that brake judder (vibration) and noise could result, too. Furthermore, as worn discs dissipate heat less effectively than new ones, braking system performance will be impacted. ZF Aftermarket reveals that poor pedal feel might result, including unpleasant pedal kick-back, if the old disc has worn unevenly. Therefore, should you be in any doubt about the serviceability of the old discs, renew them. While not replacing a lightly worn pair of discs is a prudent means of saving customers money, replacing one disc alone is a stretch too far.

Fluid flushing

Brembo reckons that this vital component of the braking system tends to get treated to a quick visual check and only then, topped up. Clearly, this is inadequate maintenance. While an impecunious driver may not be happy about having to pay extra for a brake fluid flush, you may have to explain why the procedure is necessary to ensure that the braking system is working properly, especially now that the weather is warming.

The main issue is fluid absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. Jurid explains that, by lowering its boiling point, this contamination increases the vapour lock risk. This potentially lethal situation occurs, when bubbles form in the fluid as it heats up. The result is increased pedal travel, or even complete braking system failure. Even if this potentially nightmarish situation does not occur, the higher moisture content leads to the fluid corroding the master cylinder, brake lines, callipers and wheel cylinders, therefore reducing those components' working lives. Moisture and sludge can also form within the braking system over time, highlighting an extra benefit of flushing.

Delphi recommends that workshops check for moisture content at every service, or MOT Test.

Brembo advises that many inexpensive boiling point testers on the market are not sufficiently reliable, so it does not recommend that technicians use them. Ferodo agrees and highlights its testing tool (Ferodo FFT100A), which boils a sample of fluid, rather than using the relatively imprecise method of measuring the fluid's electrical resistance.

To be sure, Bosch advises you to recommend and quote for brake fluid flushes every two years, or according to the vehicle manufacturer's guidelines, should they be different. Naturally, this advice does not apply, should you be working on an elderly car that uses mineral fluid within its braking system (such as LHM), or has been retrofitted to accept silicone DOT5 fluid. Usually, labels will be prominent within the engine bay.

Minimum thicknesses are embossed on the disc edges but, obviously, tend not to be visible on old, corroded discs. However, the data is available from the manufacturer.



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It is easy to leave flexible hoses for MOT Testers to assess. Corroded ferrules and light perishing are reasons to recommend that they be changed at service time.

Avoiding trouble

Brake manufacturers are keen to tell us not to skimp on other consumable parts, either. ZF Aftermarket advocates that not replacing anti-vibration shims, retaining pins and antirattle springs is a false economy that might lead to abnormal noises, at the very least. Brembo explains that these parts are subject to deterioration due to time, which compromises their effectiveness. The springs, for instance, lose their elasticity as they age, meaning that they cannot maintain correct pad alignment, thus promoting noise and premature wear. Above all, the last thing you want is a disgruntled customer returning and demanding warranty repairs, considering that undesirable brake noise is the top complaint.

Even so, other parts within the system will require your attention. Take flexible brake hoses as an example. While they tend to be replaced only after being responsible for an MOT Test failure, ZF Aftermarket says that they degenerate internally as well. The rubber can perish to such an extent that its structure becomes weakened, so it balloons under braking. This can cause abnormal expansion of the hose, reducing the braking performance and causing poor pedal feel. They also can collapse internally, causing binding. Therefore, replacing hoses that exhibit light perishing, or corrosion, before they warrant an MOT Test failure is not a bad suggestion to make. Brembo extends this advice to other components and comments that the majority of metals and rubber components within the braking system deteriorate. Corrosion especially poses a problem, because it inhibits free

The DVSA quality investigation

Some readers may remember a major announcement from the DVSA, around two years ago, which highlighted that non-compliant brake pads had entered the UK market. The story attracted headlines within the aftermarket press but the spike in media interest subsided very quickly, with the government agency keeping tight-lipped until its investigations were complete.

Now the results have been published. Thankfully, speculations about an influx of dangerous/fake pads proved to be unfounded. The DVSA's Market Surveillance Unit has confirmed that, in previous years, it identified Blueprint and National Brake Technology brands as supplying pads for vehicles mentioned on their packaging but were not on their approval certificates. Those pads, therefore, were not approved to be fitted to those vehicles. Doing so, theoretically, would make the affected cars unroadworthy. As one would expect from well-known quality brands, the DVSA reports that later checks revealed that those manufacturers had brought the affected pads swiftly back into compliance.

Last year, the DVSA also purchased 35 brake pads to check that they complied with R90 Type Approval, three of which also stated they fitted vehicles that were not listed on their approval certificates. The government agency confirms that Brakefit, Stark Automotive GMBH, and Meyle AG admitted an oversight and also reacted quickly to correct them.

The full report can be accessed via the QR code.

movement. With brakes, this locks the brakes on, causing not just irregular component wear but also overheating and extra noise. Brembo advises that corrosion results not just from road conditions but can be accelerated by the use of highpressure water jets, or aggressive chemicals to clean the car. It, therefore, advises that technicians pay extra attention to the callipers, whenever replacing the pads.

Whichever parts you use, Juratek advises that garages maintain accurate records of all parts used in vehicle repairs, which can be essential in case of disputes or warranty claims.

"The last thing you want is a disgruntled customer returning and demanding warranty repairs"

EV+ brake pads turn down the noise

Allied Nippon introduces a dedicated EV+ range of brake pads to cater for the particular challenges of extra weight and fast acceleration. It has developed a new friction compound, which is heat-treated through a process known as ‘scorching’ and finished with the brand’s BrakeBoost Instant Friction layer, in Allied red.

It also achieved ultra-low noise through its design, at low speeds in particular, as a typical EV is 10% quieter than an equivalent ICE vehicle. The AA-rated pads during testing achieved a peak output of just 88Db.

EV+ project lead Matt Ellis, believes EV+ provides a genuine opportunity for garages to upsell: “Allied Nippon has a track record for offering up premium performance without the premium price. With EV+, we have dialled up our performance levels even further, and this clearly warrants a higher selling price for the product range. However, for a brake pad that is designed exclusively for EVs, EV+ remains competitively priced in the market.”

Scan the QR code on the right for an immersive and detailed look at Allied Nippon EV+.

Installation guides

Brembo has introduced a number of parts across its braking portfolio. Remanufactured calipers for the Toyota Rav 4, Yaris and Lexus US and NX II join its Essential line, alongside caliper repair kits for various Mercs and the Mazda MX-5. EV kits (comprising both discs and pads) for the Renault Kangoo Express join the ‘Beyond’ range. The Prime product line adds discs for the Range Rover Velar, Lexus LX and Ford Mustang Mach-E, brake pads for Kia’s Soul III and Alfa Romeo’s 159, Brera and Spider.

The Xtra line, designed for enthusiasts who want to personalise their vehicles, has had discs added for Toyota Rav4 variants and Lexus HS, Citroen C-Crosser, Mitsubishi Outlander and Lancer and various Honda CR-Vs.

Beyond R90

Installation advice can be found at www.bremboparts. com/europe/en/support/car-fitting, providing guides on replacing brake discs, calipers and pads, installing the ‘Gran Turismo’ braking kit and EV kits.

NAPA brake pads are a direct replacement for the OE part – if the OE has a shim, slot or chamfer, the NAPA equivalent will have the same. They are designed to pass rigorous tests that are often much more demanding than the R90 and R13 standards, quoting the shear test as a good example. As part of R90 regs, a cold shear test makes sure the friction bond between the backplate and friction material is sufficient. Napa tests both cold and hot shear, demanding four times greater performance than what is required in the R90 test. Even after shearing, the pad only meets NAPAs quality standards if the backplate is still covered with friction material, guaranteeing it was the friction material that sheared rather than the solvent-free adhesive bond.




If servicing is being skipped, surely filtration sales would have plummeted? Rob Marshall asks around and discovers the consequences of cutting filtration costs

When looking at whether, or not, aftermarket servicing is being skipped by drivers, we asked filtration manufacturers if they have detected a shift in the British market. On the surface, it seems as though the research is not reflected in real life. For instance, Mahle UK reports that it had a strong 2023 and its market share continues to increase. First Line says that its filter sales are also up, while UFI has achieved double-digit growth in the last twelve months.

Yet, this is not to say that motorists are not shaving costs. Mahle UK elaborates that it has seen shifting trends. It says that certain filters are either being replaced less often, or with lower-quality equivalents. The company warns that both moves are a false economy, because they risk costly repairs in the medium to longer terms. Delphi highlights that using sub-standard parts means that workshops risk customer complaints and even extra remedial work to remedy any subsequent faults that may arise. The ultimate message is that low-quality components can cost garages money.

What are the consequences?

Delaying filtration replacements, or using inferior replacements, can cause damage, in terms of either reduced component life, or even a breakdown. While many garages are (justifiably) wary of VM-set extended oil drain intervals, filter manufacturers share the same concerns about the element. UFI is one such

filter sales appear to be up but the devil is in the detail

manufacturer that recommends that the oil filter be replaced more frequently than the official service interval states, for instance. An oil filter that becomes clogged should typically, activate a bypass function, meaning that dirty, untreated lubricant will be fed to the vital engine components. While undesirable, at least this situation is better than a complete collapse of oil pressure! Furthermore, low-quality filters may not be fitted with an anti-drain valve, causing oil starvation on start-up, which tends to be the point of engine operation, where most wear occurs. UFI also emphasises the importance of ensuring that the correct filter is fitted as per the catalogue recommendation. It explains that fitting a filter to the wrong engine can cause an internal malfunction, such as element collapse.

With most air filters being relatively straightforward and inexpensive to replace, it is hard to think of a reason why they are neglected. Yet, they can be. Delphi explains that, because engine air filters trap dirt, dust, and debris, preventing them from entering the engine's combustion chamber, failure to replace the filter restricts airflow. While modern fuel systems can adjust fuel trim to an extent, more fuel tends to be burnt to maintain performance, leading to decreased fuel economy. Mahle also explains that this reduced airflow can damage not just the air mass sensor but also engine valves and even sensors in the exhaust system. UFI adds that higher exhaust emissions are also symptoms but the filtration expert explains that visual checks are straightforward. Evidence includes extreme quantities of dirt, leaves, mould and dust being

present within the filter and its housing. Look also for damage, such as collapsed pleats, or poor sealing between the filter element and the edges, which point to poor filter build quality. Being a developer and supplier of filters for car makers, UFI advises that the latest high-pressure diesel engines tend to be considerably less forgiving of poor, or neglected, fuel filter changes. It highlights that even a small particle of grit can damage the high-pressure fuel pump and injectors severely. Not only should routine diesel filter replacement be essential, but technicians must be vigilant to ensure that no foreign matter is allowed to enter the fuel system. First Line says that a clogged fuel filter introduces a resistance that prevents fuel from passing through it, causing fuel starvation. Delphi adds that the insufficient fuel supply causes engine misfires, rough idling, and hesitation during acceleration. This may also trigger an engine management code but beware of being sidetracked into suspecting more expensive components,

"Beware of being sidetracked into suspecting more expensive components, when the fuel filter alone may be the culprit"
UFI says that, although filters look very similar from the outside, the performance of any filter (e.g. pressure control, quantity and type of filter medium used, leakage protection, sealing material, etc.) can deviate enormously.

Keeping it Clean

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Aside from OE quality, never deviate from the OEM installation instructions.

when the fuel filter alone may be the culprit. While many automatic and twin-clutch automated manual gearboxes contain non-replaceable magnetic filters, some of them (including rear drive couplings, such as certain Haldex systems) possess renewable filters. Delphi reports that these parts help to prevent the fluid's integrity from being compromised. Furthermore, abrasive particles that circulate

in the transmission fluid can accelerate wear on gears, bearings, and seals, leading ultimately to transmission failure. First Line adds that a clogged transmission can cause shifting issues. Therefore, whenever the fluid is replaced, change the filter. Should you have to tear down a transmission, ensure that any internal filters are also cleaned thoroughly.

A cabin filter is a prime area where a driver may look to cut a servicing cost. UFI recommends, however, that the driver be quizzed about not just allergy symptoms but also fatigue and poor concentration while driving. Further evidence of a cabin filter that is ripe for renewal includes unpleasant odours, pollen particulates within the cabin, or even persistent fogging of the windscreen and side windows.

Communication is key Mahle UK appreciates that garages still need to be competitive. Yet, the main thing is to talk to your customers. Explain to them why OE Quality components are important, with demonstrations preferably, to highlight what they are getting for their money. This may mean that reception staff require extra training support to give them the confidence to communicate the importance of quality filtration. Delphi also reminds us that not fitting OEM parts will void warranties.

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Heed the torque figures, especially for plastic-capped filter housings, which can be damaged easily by overtightening.

"Mahle reminds garages that they are liable for any component that its technicians install, regardless of who supplied it"

While it admits that counterfeit parts have been an issue for a long time, Mahle reminds garages that they are liable for any component that its technicians install, regardless of who supplied it. Should that part fail and cause damage, Mahle says that the garage is responsible, no matter what disclaimer is added to the invoice. As the fitter is deemed to be the expert, not being in control of your parts could be detrimental not only to the vehicles within your workshop but the garage itself.


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• This complements our current offering of the PatFluid 1L, 5L and Transfer Kits for vehicles with tank reservoirs.

PatFluid is our aftermarket replacement for DPF additives which are used by various passenger car and van manufacturers.

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

Don’t overlook Haldex servicing

Febi says that Haldex service intervals can be overlooked and result in costly repairs to the coupling system –replacing the filter within, at the recommended interval, will promote its longevity and keep customers happy.

The electro-hydraulic system is commonly found in brands such as VAG, Ford and Volvo. It is attached to the rear differential and enables the vehicle to switch between front and all-wheel drive, demanding on the demands of the road.

Sensors detect wheel slip and engages clutch plates within the Haldex coupling which engage the rear differential to provide AWD. This creates a lot of friction between the metal components within and degrade over time.

Febi can provide all the servicing items required, including oil, filters, drain plugs and filter removal tools. Six hydraulic filter oil and service kits cover more than 650 applications covering generations I to IV and can be found at

Range expansion

First Line has added 50 new products to its portfolio, with 23 parts in its drive shafts programme, 15 in steering and suspension, 6 to braking, 3 in filters, 2 in wheel bearing and one for clutch.

The new parts include suspension arms for various models of the Hyundai Santa Fé IV (parts FCA8059 and FCA8060), providing replacements for front lower left and right components. For BMW iX owners, a new stabiliser link (part FDL7678) is available to maintain vehicle stability and handling. Models for BMW 1 Series, 2 Series, X1 and X2, as well as Mini E, Clubman and Countryman also benefit from an updated top strut mount (part FSM5603).

Jaguar XF and XJ models can now be fitted with a newly added fuel filter (part BFF8318) Hyundai Santa Fé IV and KIA Sorento IV vehicles are catered for with a brake pad fitting kit (part BBK1759).

Win some garage essentials!

The latest edition of the Tool Promotion catalogue from SEALEY contains 1,400 products and 60 new lines and runs until 31st March. This issue focuses on Vehicle Maintenance, Heaters, and Lighting, and features discounts across all product ranges.

Additions to the vehicle service range, include the AK527 Bumping Mallet, designed with a hex head shape for evenly distributed force, and the AK528 Dashboard Protection Set, for use during windscreen removal.

The AK9991 Digital Inclinometer with laser line, is for measuring angles and tilt percentages. It has four magnetic sides so can firmly attach to metal surfaces and is compact, so can fit into tight spots. The tool can be useful when setting suspension camber and caster, collision avoidance bumper mounted radar and parking assist systems.

Two new impact socket sets in 3/8" and 1/2"Sq Drive are available, both include colour-coded rings and enlarged socket size text for fast identification.

One lucky entrant will win a bumper prize in its latest online competition – a Garage Essentials bundle that comprises a trolley jack, axle stands, creeper, impact wrench, inspection lamp and a selection of hand tools, valued at over £800.

The clutch system of the Citroën Berlingo, C4 Picasso and C4 Spacetourer, as well as Peugeot 308 II, Partner and Rifter, can benefit from a new clutch master cylinder (part BCM243).

All of the company's new-to-range products can be found in the online catalogue WebCat, at https://webcat.firstline.



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Playing 'parts darts' is a risky game!

Autoelectro underlines the necessity of technical proficiency amidst the surge in sophisticated components

Despite Autoelectro still selling dynamos, inertia starter motors and ACR alternators today, both the sector and the professionals it services find themselves amidst a technological revolution where electronic control units (ECUs) direct water-cooled, reversible alternators, stop/start systems, hybrid configurations, and a plethora of advanced starters, including tandem and dual solenoid varieties.

This change in direction requires a departure from the traditional approach of simply swapping out parts to address issues. Instead, the focus needs to shift towards understanding the intricacies of these modern components to diagnose and resolve the root causes of problems.

Finding the underlying cause

For Autoelectro one of the core issues is the tendency to replace suspected faulty parts without delving into the underlying causes of the problem. This approach, addressing symptoms rather than causes, can lead to recurring issues and fails to provide a sustainable solution. It’s a short-term fix, not a long-term solution.

Autoelectro’s Harnek Bhogal said: “Our commitment to technical excellence sets us apart. Unlike the trend of batch testing, every part released by us undergoes two rounds of testing – first at the component level and then as a complete unit on OE-spec test equipment. This process ensures that our parts meet the highest standards before reaching the market.”

Harnek also highlighted the crucial role of its engineers by working with old cores and identifying common themes among specific part numbers. One such example is if a pattern emerges where every returned old core is contaminated with fluid: Autoelectro issues a technical bulletin advising technicians to investigate and correct leaks before installing replacement parts. Here are two examples of common issues found during its investigations of old cores:

AEG1472 (Ford Transit 2.0 diesel alternator (2016-onwards)): possible tensioning or belt issue that causes premature failure of the clutch pulley and, the premature failure of the alternator. It recommends changing the belt and tensioner at the same time as replacing the alternator to avoid the same pulley issue happening again. Failing to do so may lead to the same fault occurring on replacement parts.

AEY2803 (Vauxhall Antara 2.0-2.2 diesel starter motor (2011-2016)): a common fault where the wiring insulation on the vehicle is not correctly heat shrunk, causing the B+ terminal on the solenoid to overheat and melt, leading to the premature failure of the starter motor. Therefore, inside every AEY2803 box supplied, Autoelectro provides a warning notice, advising the technician and showing images of what damage to the solenoid and terminals looks like, to avoid the same issue happening again.

Harnek said: “Both of the faults on these part numbers can often be intermittent due to the nature of them; the tensioning issue, for instance, may cause the belt to slip, which can cause sporadic charging faults, while the incorrectly heat shrunk wiring insulation may cause intermittent starting issues on the vehicle, which will get worse over time. It is easy to see how a technician may think this is just due to wear and tear on the unit, when, in reality, that is not the case, and the root cause must be fixed.”

Autoelectro champions the need for technical expertise in an era increasingly dominated by complex and sophisticated vehicle components and adopts a collaborative approach where workshops and suppliers work hand-in-hand to address the root causes of potential issues.

• Legal Advice • HR Support • MOT Quality Control Schemes • Health & Safety Programmes • Technical Support Helpline • MOT & Technical Training • Digital Service Records • Trust My Garage • Access to ADR for consumer disputes • Exclusive Member Offers & Services ...and any other issues you need help with We can support you with: DO YOU OWN OR RUN AN INDEPENDENT GARAGE? Join us to receive everything you need to run a successful garage business, all in one place at an unbeatable price. Contact our friendly team today to find out how your independent garage can benefit from membership: 01788 225 908 Scan here for information about SERMI Scan here to visit the IGA website

The changing role of the AGM battery

Varta reminds us that as well as Start-Stop and traditional combustion-powered vehicles, nearly all part- or fully electrified vehicles need a 12-volt power supply. The increasing electrification of vehicles has intensified lowvoltage power demands and redefines the role of the 12V battery and has become a safety critical component, particularly if the high voltage fails. Comfort and critical safety features on the internal electrical 12V power system are powered by the 12V battery, working as a secondary power source for the electrical system and ensures functionality whilst parked and the high-voltage battery is disconnected from the drivetrain. Lane assist, power steering and brake booster, and the car’s monitoring systems, are managed by

onboard smart systems, drawing power from the 12V system.

“It is safe to say that the unique benefits of lead-acid technology will be important to meet growing consumer expectations for safety, comfort, and connectivity,” says Dr Christian Rosenkranz, VP of Industry and Governmental Relations at Clarios, parent company of the VARTA brand.

Over 60% of new vehicles in Europe are factory fitted with a VARTA battery, including popular marques such as Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW. Workshops can access battery e-learning on the Varta Partner Portal, complementing its face-to-face training, as well as a Battery Finder, fitting instructions and free access to digital learning modules.


Can you solve this fault?

The autotech 2024 campaign kicks off with a brand-new online test for you to try. ‘Test 17’ is a fuel pump case study involving a 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport. The vehicle is fitted with the 204DT 2.0L Diesel common rail engine controlled by a BOSCH MEDC17.9 ECU and is presented with a start and cut-out fault. It has been recovered for diagnosis and the roadside recovery agent has included an explanation of the symptoms as follows:

The vehicle runs for approximately 20 seconds and then cuts out, after which, it does not start unless the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) are cleared. You will be required to direct the diagnosis through your analysis of test results and the technical information to hand. Simply log on, or register, at https:// to have a go.

Join us at our live event!

Autotechnician’s team of trainers and top-notch technicians will again be hosting this year’s Workshop Takeover at the impressive Cleevely Motors facility in Cheltenham on Saturday 15th June and we invite you

to join them to tackle live faults together. Guests can expect various vehicles, including ICE and EVs, and receive ‘just in time’ learning to get to the root of the problem with minimum fuss.

The hands-on sessions with live faults within the workshop are guaranteed to get your diagnostic mojo flowing!

A limited number of subsidised tickets are available to purchase at


Iain 'Robbo' Robertson

18 May 1954 - 22 December 2023

As our regular 'Tailpipe' section celebrates notable figures in our community, it is fitting that Autotechnician pays tribute to our friend, colleague and inventor of this column, who died just before Christmas.

For many years, Iain composed not just Tailpipe but also AT's new car reviews and technical overviews. Yet, you may well have come across 'Robbo's' work elsewhere. Since the late 1970s, he wrote for more than 200 motoring outlets. Over a career spanning 40 years, his output was so proliferous that the head of communications of a major German manufacturer dubbed Iain, "The UK's busiest motoring writing freelancer."

Like many of us who earn our livings from vehicles, be it selling, repairing, or writing about them, Iain's fascination with motorcars and writing originated in childhood. Jim Clark was his hero. He was also influenced greatly by Mr Leonard J K Setright, the words of whom he would turn to first, after saving sufficient pocket money to bag his monthly copy of Small Car (and later CAR) magazine. Iain described LJKS as 'Quiet but potentially lethal'. The two would cross paths, quite literally, in the mid-1990s at the BMW E39 press launch, when Iain dared to overtake LJKS's matching 530i, a move that was seen as career suicide by his shocked colleagues. Thankfully, the move led to an enduring friendship. Like LJKS, Iain had a swift driving style, yet, he was never reckless. Iain, for instance, would not drive at illegal speeds in towns, while insisting to his passengers that 'God would look after them.'

Stirling Moss ignited the young Iain's fascination with motorsport, leading him to become a budding amateur racer. This led to him rubbing shoulders with various professional champions over the decades. He spoke fondly of Erik ‘On The Roof’ Carlsson, who married Patricia, Stirling’s sister, a respected rally driver in her own right. They got on so well that, on the Saab 9-3 Viggen's press launch in the late 1990s, 'Uncle Erik' admitted privately to Iain that there was nothing he could have done to change the car's poor handling and that it was "dog". Even so, Iain's niche was ice-driving. After winning an award at the mountain circuit in Italy's western Alps, piloting a Lancia Delta, he said that the resulting respect gifted him the vital confidence that he needed to make his mark professionally. To enable him to review and test new motor cars properly, he embarked on a series of gruelling

Iain Robertson was a regular Autotechnician contributor and a prolific automotive writer of over 40 years

driver training exercises, including off-road at Land Rover's Eastnor Castle and learning the art of control at Oulton Park’s skid pan with Porsche 911s. Yet, he viewed on-road experience as similarly vital and undertook advanced training exercises with both the IAM and RoSPA. At the dawn of the new millennium, Iain competed in and won economy-driving competitions both at home and abroad.

Iain's career coincided with motoring manufacturers having access to and the ability to spend eye-watering budgets on their media exercises. Car companies would treat journalists to the best hotels, employ the finest chefs and entertain them with top celebrities. While 2008's financial crash, COVID, and the rush to electrification put paid to these 'good times', Iain remained grounded. He had a deep fondness for inexpensive but well-engineered cars. He was a particular fan of Skodas but, when he felt that the brand had lost its value-for-money remit, he switched to Suzuki. While not a practical man, he held a great respect for the aftermarket. Whether tuners, or all-makes repairers, he took a great interest in the ingenuity employed within the garage trade. While he was never afraid to voice his opinion, he enjoyed interviewing and meeting the great men and women on this side of the industry, some of whom even became friends, as the tribute from Hayley Pells shows: We also count ourselves lucky to have worked with him and to have benefitted from his wisdom over the years.

Training | Tools | Technology 5-6 June 2024, NEC FREE PARKING AND BREAKFAST for all garages More than 5000 visitors 200 exhibitors Run in association with 2024 exhibitors include NOW AVAILABLE NEW FEATURES: Workshop Training Hub EV Training Hub Modern Garage Student programme Get your automotive business and skills up to speed, in 2 days flat FREE TICKETS AVAILABLE Scan the QR code

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