Autotechnician magazine May 2024

Page 1

Advertising cover wrap: Your regular issue of Autotechnician is inside

MAY 2024

The Power of Support

We meet the BenBus on tour & preview our Workshop Takeover and the UK Garage & Bodyshop Event

IN THIS ISSUE DPF faults Ignition Bearings Rotating Electrics & Reman
26 30 MAY 2024 41


with replica tensioners and pulleys and missing ancillaries

The INA Timing Belt KIT. A complete original. INA is the world’s leading producer of belt system components for original tment. We also o er the best range of OE content timing belt kits to independent workshops, with all you need for a professional repair in just one box - right down to the last nut, bolt and washer. Don’t get palmed o with cheaper alternatives that are short on content and quality. Every leading vehicle manufacturer gives INA the thumbs upso should you. #INA #EngineExperts


contains OE belt, tensioner, pulleys and all ancillaries | http://a ermarket.schae NO SHORT CUTS. NO SHORT KITS.

Dear reader,

We have a jam-packed issue for you this month and it centres around the support available to simplify the daily problems faced within the workshop – to help you work smarter, spend less time fretting and, ultimately, derive more pleasure and satisfaction from your work. We detail the practical support available within our technical features, focussing on DPF, Ignition, Rotating Electrics and Bearing service and repair. And it's not just vehicle and technical support, we check in with mental wellbeing charity Ben who take their support on the road in their new BenBus and Autotechnician visits Karl Fisher Autos, whose success is nurtured by the belief that any business is only as good as the people behind it.

We provide details of the diagnostic support, training and comradery that will be provided at our very own Workshop Takeover on Saturday 15th June, on page 10. Join us for what will be a truly educational and enjoyable day away. We also preview the much-anticipated return of the Garage & Bodyshop Event, which takes place 5 & 6 June at Birmingham NEC, where we will host a Meet the Experts Lounge and have worked with organisers to deliver a cracking schedule of technical sessions at the Workshop Technical Hub. Turn to page 41 to find out why you can’t a ord to miss this national event. We’ll see you there! Nicola St Clair Editor

5 May 2024
View and download previous digital issues at: Subscription to the magazine is free to those who ful l 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 Be part of our Workshop Takeover P16 Essential HR Tool Kit P18 Case study: Smoking Fiat Doblo Cargo P24 DPF & Engine Cleaning P26 Ignition: Supporting e ective diagnosis P30 Workshop visit: Karl Fisher Autos
Rotating Electrics – Spinning support
& Bodyshop
aboard the BenBus!
41 18
P36 Bearings P41 Garage
Event preview P56 New Car Tech: Dacia Duster P58
Tips P60 All

Speaker line-up announced for June industry event

The UK Garage & Bodyshop Event has released the stellar line up of speakers who will share their insights, technical and business advice at the event held at Birmingham NEC on June 5th & 6th.

The full line-up can be found at, we detail the schedule for the Workshop Technical Hub, in association with Autotechnician, from page 54, and a full preview of the event begins on page 41. Don’t miss

Hella Academy o cially opens

out on the chance to join 180 suppliers and thousands of technicians and garage owners across two packed days to take advantage of free training sessions, product launches and show deals, live demonstrations and free business clinics.

Register for your free ticket today! Visit or scan the QR code above.

Hella’s new training facility has opened in a ceremony that saw the Hella Academy receive Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) approval.

The Academy in Chipping Warden, near Banbury, comprises a modern classroom alongside a state-of-the-art workshop.

In a presentation from Steve Fox, the significance of the ADAS focus was addressed in the context of the continuing sector skills gap. He went on to show how Hella Gutmann’s latest CSC-Tool Digital provides a flexible solution for front camera and sensor calibration, with targets downloaded from the CSCTool Digital App and displayed on an integrated 200cm screen.

The Academy’s ADAS IMI AOM 230 course grants technicians the required insurance approval to work on ADAS-equipped vehicles, while its ADAS L2 Award encompasses calibration, vehicle alignment, workshop requirements and more.

To request information or book training, email

LTR: Neil Grant, MD at HELLA; Stephen Fox, UK Technical & Training manager at HELLA Academy; Michelle Barrett, IMI; Julian Goulding, Head of Sales at Hella


Garage Star Awards celebrates customer service excellence

The Motor Ombudsman invites nominations for the fifth edition of its Star Awards. The annual competition, launched in 2020, celebrates excellence in customer service delivered by Motor Ombudsman-accredited businesses across the UK, and individual team members working within them.

The Garage Star Awards is open to independent garages, franchise dealers, and body repair centres. Customers can enter their submissions via The Motor Ombudsman’s online Awards portal ( up until 18th October 2024. These are short accounts detailing how an employee or a business belonging to one of its four Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Motor Industry Codes of Practice, went the extra mile for them and surpassed what would ordinarily be expected of them in their day-to-day role. In 2023, the top prize was bestowed to an individual team member for the first time, after two independent garages and a franchise dealership previously lifted the trophy.

Be part of our Workshop Takeover

Following the successful debut of the partnership between The Motor Ombudsman and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)’s Hero Awards in 2023, the National Garage Star Award trophy will be presented in-person to the winner for the second consecutive year in the surroundings of the Houses of Parliament in London’s Westminster. The chosen business or individual team member will also receive £2,000 worth of shopping vouchers, as well as valuable marketing exposure, including a bespoke video filmed at the winner’s premises.

Autotechnician’s team of trainers and guests will once again be taking over Cleevely Motors in Cheltenham on Saturday 15th June and we invite you to join us for an informative, fun day that guarantees to provide technical tips to take back to your workshop.

Guests will face live faults on three vehicles and receive ‘just-intime’ learning to get to the root of the problem with minimum fuss. Andy Crook, Matt Cleevely, Gareth Davies, and Alistair Finch will be on-hand to guide guests through the fault-finding process and potentially join in with some head-scratching!

Are your systems and processes robust enough? Come and find out… see page 10 for details.

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 Company Discipline Exp Date ID Number

Last call for nominations for upcoming REPXPERT awards

The first-ever REPXPERT Awards take place at Schae er’s conference on Wednesday 22nd May, held at the Manufacturing Training Centre in Coventry.

Garages have until Friday 10th May to nominate candidates for the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ and the ‘Extra Mile’ awards. A third award, ‘Workshop of the Year’ will be presented to the garage that has been judged to have used their REPXPERT membership most e ciently.

Guest presenters include Tim Benson, Andy Savva, Dean Lomas and Matt Wiseman with many other special guests from the aftermarket.

“Our new REPXPERT Conference will showcase both the challenges our industry faces and how the people within it are using this as motivation to achieve at the highest possible level,” said Matt Selby, Sales and Marketing Director at Schae er Aftermarket. “Through the nominations we receive for the REPXPERT Awards, we can acknowledge the contribution of the best workshops and technicians operating in the sector.”

The closing date for nominations is Friday 10th May. To nominate somebody for a REPXPERT Award, go to:

Final 2023 REPXPERT Millionaire announced

The Village Garage, based in Bishops Waltham, Hampshire, has been announced as the third and final winner of Schae er’s REPXPERT Millionaire promotion for 2023, which was for FAG products scanned between October and December.

"The Village Garage has been announced as the third and final winner of Schae er's REPXPERT Millionaire promotion for 2023"

The Village Garage has been running for 35 years and was established by Matt Booth and his wife Kirsty. On their reaction upon learning they had won, Matt said: “We were a little shocked, especially my wife, bless her. When she first got the call, she thought we had won £1million, but they said, 'No, it’s a million points,’ which is still brilliant!” On how he will be spending the million points, Matt said: “We've ordered some of the branded work clothing. We are also going to give some points to our lads who work here, so they can top up their toolboxes with things they need.”

The promotion is back for 2024, the next being July/August and November/December. The draw is open to all REPXPERT members.




At ACTRONICS, we specialize in remanufacturing a wide range of electronic car parts, including ABS modules, instrument clusters, TCUs, and more. By choosing remanufacturing, you not only save on raw materials but also benefit from significant cost savings. Our Plug & Play remanufacturing solution ensures top-quality service, backed by a 2-year warranty.

ACTRONICS is your trusted partner in sustainable automotive solutions. Say goodbye to unnecessary waste and hello to cost-effective, environmentally responsible alternatives. Contact us today to learn more about our remanufacturing services!

Search your part here

Reliable Sustainable Cost effective Two Years Warranty Quality remanufacturing

4.9 Trusted by over 2500+ workshops in the United Kingdom
WWW.ACTRONICS.CO.UK 01206 849920

Countdown to Autotech 2024 Workshop Takeover

Don’t miss out –get your ticket while you still can!

Autotechnician’s team of trainers and top-notch technicians will get together at this year’s Workshop Takeover at the impressive Cleevely EV facility in Cheltenham on Saturday 15th June and we invite you to join us to tackle live faults together. Guests can expect various vehicles, both ICE and EVs, and receive ‘justin-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 receive an immersive experience and the chance to draw valuable insights and practical tips to take back to their workshop.

A limited amount of subsidised tickets are available to purchase at

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

Tickets to the event are priced just £119.00 and include parking, refreshments, and lunch. Guests are welcome to head out with the team the evening before.

“I would recommend this 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”

A limited number of tickets are available at


EV Workstation – Matt Cleevely & Alistair Finch

A complete fault to fix on a Nissan Leaf. The delegates and trainers will discuss options and test plans, then set to work repairing the car, so there will be HV work, but non-qualified technicians can watch and learn.

EOBD 6 Workstation – Andy Crook

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

Network faults Workstation – Gareth Davies

“My philosophy given I’m still at the coal face of workshop life is to present a real-life broken car that as a team we need to fix. The car has a number of presented faults, some more challenging than others. The faults are based around network and communication faults. I’ve chosen this area as it’s a real-world scenario we see a lot in our workshop. It covers all facets of what state cars usually arrive in and will provide the opportunity for delegates of all skill levels to get involved, brainstorm, pool ideas and thoughts on what the fault may be.

In association with:

Timings for the event

Kick o 09.30

9.40 – 11.25

20-minute break

11.45 – 1.30

1 hour lunch break

2.30 – 4.15


Workshop Bay 1

Workshop Bay 2

Workshop Bay 3

Ra e & close

A limited number of tickets are available at

"We’ll work together to decide how we should approach testing and then perform those tests to provide results that (hopefully) fix the car so I can drive home in it again! We’ll have a suitable diagnostic tool and other test and measurement equipment to gets hands-on, there will also be an opportunity for Q&A throughout the ‘doing’ process to cover anything that arises while performing the task. I look forward to welcoming curious delegates, all willing volunteer technicians head on over to my task.”



Technical data in the workshop: ALLDATA Europe debunks five common myths and misconceptions

From concerns about the cost of technical data and how technicians can turn investment into profit, what misconceptions about technical data are circulating around the aftermarket?

During the last MECHANEX event at Sandown, ALLDATA Europe UK Sales Director, Simon Frost, addressed the audience of independent workshop owners and technicians by challenging some of the common misconceptions that his sales team regularly come across when talking to customers and prospects – here’s what he shared with them:

“Technical data is expensive…”

Many independent workshops believe that acquiring technical data is a costly investment that they can’t a ord, especially the OEM portals. Additionally, potentially managing 30 di erent usernames and passwords adds to the hassle.

However, an alternative solution exists by choosing a provider, such as ALLDATA Repair, which can grant you access to genuine technical repair data from 37 brands for a fixed monthly fee. This makes it a more cost-e ective option with just one set of log-in details giving access to more than seven million technical repair methods and procedures.

“I don’t need technical data…”

You may think you can rely solely on skills and tools, negating the need for technical data. This just isn’t true anymore; the need for help was recognised as early as the early 1970s when book publishers first started to produce manuals. Now, with the myriad of systems that go into producing a modern car, it doesn’t matter how talented or experienced you are, access to accurate information is crucial for e cient and accurate repairs.

A comprehensive understanding of a vehicle’s specifications, repair procedures, and diagnostic insights enhances overall service quality and – most importantly – this information saves valuable time in the workshop. You only have 40 hours per mechanic per week to sell, so you want to be making the most of the time you have.

“I only need one source of technical data…”

Having just one source for all technical data is a great idea; however, with the variety of jobs in the garage covering a wide range, it’s a common misconception that one provider does it all. There are several providers in the marketplace with di erent data o erings, at di erent price points.

My advice to you is to do some analysis on the types of jobs you are regularly doing and then work from there – and then ‘try before you buy’. A trial for a week or more with one or more is really the only way to know which data source is the right investment.

“Everything is on the internet…”

Assuming that everything can be found online is a risky strategy. A web search for a specific repair task generates


varied and often incomplete results.

Inconsistencies, such as missing procedures, incorrect time estimates or information for a di erent model, can be misleading. Relying solely on internet searches is no guarantee that you will reliably get the information you need to carry out all the repairs that appear in your garage.

“Customers will not pay…”

Contrary to the belief that customers won’t pay for access to technical data, I am confident you can introduce a nominal fee for providing this valuable service. When explaining the necessity of consulting manufacturer-provided information for proper vehicle care, customers may better understand the associated costs. Charging a modest fee, such as £10 per vehicle, ensures that customers appreciate the specialised knowledge required to maintain their vehicles. Across the divide in the bodyshop world, a fee for researching the correct repair method is acknowledged and accepted by customers and insurers alike.

Introducing ALLDATA Repair

With a repository of 118,000 make, model, year, and engine combinations, covering an impressive 96% of passenger vehicles currently on European roads, ALLDATA Repair provides original vehicle manufacturer repair, maintenance and diagnostic data. Models are added every week, and all the information is free to access to subscribers. Having access to ALLDATA Repair gives subscribers the confidence to tackle every vehicle that drives across the forecourt, whatever the issue.

ALLDATA Repair provides technical service bulletins, diagnostic trouble codes, technical drawings, and wiring diagrams – direct from the OEM in question. That is the distinction between ALLDATA Europe and other providers.

Thirty-seven VMs currently make up an impressive list of licence agreements, the latest being Tesla, Chrysler, Abarth and Maserati. More are set to join the growing list too, demonstrating ALLDATA Europe’s dedication in helping its 19,000 technician subscribers repair more vehicles accurately. It wants to help technicians eliminate the guesswork and make repairs simple.

To learn more and discover how ALLDATA Repair works in practice, check out video-EN. The website also o ers the chance to request a free trial or sign-up immediately.

ALLDATA Repair: Inside Intelligence

Thanks to the ALLDATA Europe Info Centre Service, an additional support resource for ALLDATA Repair subscribers,

a confused customer has become a happy customer after the mystery surrounding a brake light problem on a 2015 SEAT León 1.4 TGi was solved.

A vital part of any repair job is having the right tools –and that doesn’t always mean physical either. ALLDATA supplies genuine procedures for more than 118,000 vehicle combinations and has an archive of seven million technical repair methods.

However, when further assistance is required, ALLDATA Europe’s technical support specialists can come to subscribers’ aid. With a targeted response time of just four hours that is regularly fulfilled a lot faster, subscribers can rely on the team to minimise downtime and provide a solution.


This was one of those occasions when its technical support team were required. A 2015 SEAT León 1.4 TGi had recently failed its MOT due to the brake lights not working. The technician began by verifying the condition of the brake light bulbs, ensuring they were in good working order. Upon inspection, it was determined that there was no power supply reaching the bulbs. Despite e orts to locate a specific fuse, none could be found. Consequently, the decision was made to investigate the brake light switch; however, upon removing the lower half of the dash to access the brake pedal, it became apparent that there was no brake light switch attached to it.

This discovery left the technician uncertain about the location and operation of the brake lights. This prompted the need for assistance from ALLDATA Europe’s technical support team.


From the outset, it’s important to state that had the technician in question had access to quality repair information from the start, it would’ve been a straightforward repair. With quality repair information readily available, they could have referred to the wiring diagram for the brake lights. This would have highlighted the fact that the brake light bulbs are module-run and do not rely on a specific fuse, thus saving valuable time.

Furthermore, they would have been able to access the replacement instructions for the brake light switch, which would have revealed that the switch is not located on the brake pedal as initially assumed. Instead, it is situated under the bonnet, within the brake master cylinder.

For more information about ALLDATA Repair or to signup to a trial, visit


Essential HR tool kit for Workshops

Autotechnician’s new columnist, Amy Blick, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personal Development, delivers an essential HR tool kit in the first of a series of articles

Since starting my business, I have been fortunate to work with many SMEs and can share that most were afraid of HR. Thankfully, the scales fall from their eyes when they see that far from being something to fear, HR is on an equal footing with marketing and sales. Because at its core, HR is about looking after your people, underpinned by a robust recruitment and onboarding process, further bolstered by training and development that goes beyond the technical. Wrapped around this is of course the need to comply with current legislation. So, I hope you will feel inspired by my regular column in Autotechnician and that you will see how HR is about bringing up your confidence levels so that you can begin to implement positive changes in your business and reap the rewards.

I’m starting this month with some belt and braces information. On 5th June I will also be at the UK Garage and Bodyshop Event at the NEC within the Meet the Expert area with the Autotechnician team, so do come and say hello!

It is only a fool that would ignore April 2024 because it has given employers a big to do list with employment law changes that impact every business, both big and small. From Flexible Working requests being a Day One right, to Paternity Leave and Carer’s Leave being enhanced. Everyone is a ected. The Living Wage has also jumped to £11.44 an hour, an increase from £10.42 – for a 35-hour week, bringing the annual entry salary to £20,748.

This all points to the need to ensure your business is thriving, lean and you are in pole position to leverage your talent. It has never been more important to put your people at the heart of your business.

My top tips for 2024

1. Establish clear policies

A Handbook that concisely outlines policies, procedures and expectations is fundamental for businesses. Make sure to include the necessities on attendance, holiday, and general conduct. Don’t make it too long. A few dozen pages maximum is enough to ensure that your Handbook does its job as a tool to build culture, retention, and engagement.

2. Prioritise communication

Consistent and regular check-ins with each team member to review performance should also be enhanced to include feedback and address concerns. Creating open and transparent lines for communication to ensure your people

are heard and recognised builds loyalty and helps ensure any unhappiness is identified at the earliest stages. Be disciplined and pre-plan these sessions. Show your people they have a voice, and you want to listen to it beyond any shop floor banter.

3. Invest in soft skills development

Personal development can often be overlooked in a busy workshop but you will need to get on top of this if you want to retain a good team and deliver the best customer experience. As part of your regular check ins with team members, identify additional soft skills training needs. Skills building outside of mandatory training will build upskilling and help you to talent plan. And it will deliver to your bottom line.

4. Champion compliance and employment laws

This is a critical one on my HR top tips for 2024! Compliance and meeting your statutory minimums as a business can be di cult, particularly with the slew of changes but please do not opt out. Staying ahead of changes for hiring, wages, benefits, workplace safety and anti-discrimination policies makes you stand out as an exemplar employer and it gives customers more reasons to come to you, stay with you and recommend you.

5. Focus on wellbeing

Promoting a healthy work-life balance can be accomplished with some thoughtful planning and can include flexible working arrangements, wellness programmes and mentoring (which I will cover in future columns). Building a strong brand is not simply about complying with legislation. Demonstrate your commitment to employee wellbeing and you will benefit with longer term loyalty which, of course, delivers to your bottom line.

Essential Policies for Workshops

Amy is the cofounder of The HR Playbook where you can download essential, up-to-date and compliant HR documents and templates at a fraction of the usual cost. Autotechnician readers benefit from a 10% discount by quoting AUTOTECH10 at checkout.

This month, we are highlighting the essential policies for Workshops: essential-policies-for-smes/

This suite of eight policy documents has been created for SMEs to provide essential frameworks for compliance, risk management, and operational e ciency. This will give your


business peace of mind to navigate legal requirements, safeguard against potential liabilities and establish a solid foundation for sustainable growth and employee wellbeing.

In this suite, you will receive:

Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy

Code of Business Conduct

Disciplinary Policy

Drugs and Alcohol Policy

Equal Opportunities Policy

Grievance Policy

Harassment and Bullying Policy

Modern Slavery Policy.

The policies will:

Create essential frameworks for compliance, risk, and operational efficiency

Minimise risks and meet insurance requirements

Reduce liability to create the foundations for sustainable growth

Build a culture focused on compliance and employee wellbeing through regular check points.

Professional additives

A complete range of professional additives and tools from JLM for reducing emissions and improving performance in diesel, petrol and hybrid engines.

Ideal for:

SMEs with between 5 to 250 employees

Organisations that want to ensure compliant and legislative minimums are met

Leaders that need reassurance a consistent performance management framework is embedded throughout the business.

Autotechnician readers benefit from a 10% discount by quoting AUTOTECH10 at checkout.


01273 891

Put out the smoke!


Fiat Doblo Cargo 1.3D multijet 2013

Engine: 263A2 Mileage: 87,911

Fault Codes: B10AA-4A, P1206-22, P200222

The vehicle came into the workshop with ‘Check engine’ and ‘DPF filter’ lights on the dash, it was lacking power and excessive smoke was emanating from the rear exhaust pipe. The customer was now embarrassed to drive it. I asked the customer about any previous work, when the problems initially started and any other symptoms to help me build a picture for my diagnostic plans.

He had just had four new injector seals and a diesel fuel filter replaced two weeks previously at a local garage and they had suggested it needed a new timing chain to correct the excessive smoke (did not sound right to me?) He said there had not been any excessive fumes prior to fitting the injector seals and fuel filter, which had brought him to me for a second opinion.

The first thing to do was a visual check of the faults and a road test, followed by a scan to check for codes and live data parameters, to see if these would direct me towards any anomalies. I hoped the vehicle would self-regenerate on the road test, as indicated on the display unit, but it would not (wishful thinking).

Excessive smoke, check!

My next check was the air filter assembly, to identify any restrictions or blockages in the induction system. It is very easy to over complicate your diagnostic thinking – check the easiest and most obvious components first and remember, if you get it wrong, take a couple of steps back to reconfirm your test results and testing methods. If the test was not successful, try using di erent tests and test equipment to help you diagnose the fault.

I do not know how this check was missed as the air filter was in a poor state and needed replacing. This is one of the first checks I do if the vehicle has smoke or driveability problems, as this can a ect and restrict the air flowing to the cylinders and the fuel delivery. I can also then smoke test the system if required.

This picture does not do justice to the appearance of this filter as it was totally blocked up

The trouble codes stored in the ECM



13-inch OE-Level Diagnositc Tool For PassengerAnd Commercial Vehicles (CV Software available at additional cost)

THINKTOOL Euro Max is a new generation diagnostic tool developed byTHINKCAR with powerful online programming, OE-level diagnostic for 300+ car makes worldwide. It’s the top tool for automotive diagnostics.

• 35 Maintenance Resets Integrate the most common used maintenance resets, suchas oil service, brake-pad, steering angle, battery matching,ABS bleeding, TPMS reset, DPF regeneration, gear learning, throttle adaption and more

• IntelligentTopology Module Mapping of CanvasTree

Prices valid as of February 2024 UNIT 6 CHAUCER BUSINESS PARK, WATERY LANE, KEMSING, KENT, TN15 6PL 01732 247246 THINKCARUK WWW.THINKCAR.UK ALEX@THINKCAR.UK THINKCAR.UK THINKTOOL Euromaster X THEMOSTPOWERFULDIAGNOSTICTOOL 10-inch Professional Diagnositc Tool For PassengerAnd Commercial Vehicles (CV Software available at additional cost) Passenger And Commercial Vehicles 2YearFreeUpdat e ForPassengerSoftware OUR PRICE £2,250.00 5YR LEASE £11.94PW OE-Level Diagnostic Online Programming 35 Maintenance Cars&Trucks Support ✔ INCL UDES R E M ETO ID SONGA T C S THINKTOOL Euro Master Lite 8-INCH OE-LEVEL AUTOMOTIVE DIAGNOSTIC TOOL 2YearFreeUpdat e ForPassengerSoftware OUR PRICE £895.00 Bi-Directional Control 15 Maintenance Functions OE-Level Diagnosis THINKTOOL Lite 6-INCH AUTOMOTIVE DIAGNOSTIC TOOL Bi-directional with 2 years updates, warranty and free printer OUR PRICE £495.00 OE-Level Diangostics Unique Design TPMS Service (Optional) 6-inch INCLUDES EERF ETNIRP R 2YearFreeUpdat e ForPassengerSoftware
valid as of
Main Features • OE-Level Diagnostics Supports full vehicle diagnostics including read and clear DTCs, live data stream, actuation test, bi-directional control,specialfunctionsandmore.
Online Programming THINKTOOL
Seat, Skoda, Subaru,
and more. THINKEASY 2 Battery Test Clip(Standard) THINKTOOL Video Scope(Standard) THINKTOOL Scope Box(Standard) THINKCAR T-Wand 200 (Standard) OUR PRICE £3,495.00 5YR LEASE £18.55PW 35 Maintenance Functions Video Remote Diagnosis ✔ INCLUDES R E M ETO IDTSONGA C S 2YearFreeUpdat e ForPassengerSoftware
• ADAS Calibration Services Powerful
Euro Max, the most powerful modular programming diagnostic tool, introduces intelligent programming function available forAudi, BMW,
Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche,

Working smarter, not harder

I decided to do a quick and easy test – a relative compression test, see Figure 4, which is non-intrusive and gives me an indication of the mechanical condition of the engine. Bear in mind that it displays the di erence of each cylinder compared against each other and therefore is not a true indication of the compression pressures inside the cylinders. This is carried out by using an oscilloscope and placing an amps clamp around the starter motor positive cable. We then need to disable the fuel system to prevent the vehicle from starting – I did this by disconnecting all the diesel injector connectors, then cranked the engine over with the throttle wide open for around 10 seconds to collect a waveform to analyse the results. Don't forget to clear any fault codes after this test.

If we have identified any anomalies within the displayed waveform, I can use a synch with a certain cylinder to make it easier for us to identify a faulty cylinder, or cylinders. We can use this second channel connected to an injector on the diesel engine. I only use this channel if I identify faults with this waveform. If there are any di erences in the waveform then we need to investigate further by doing an engine compression test, cylinder leakage test or an in-cylinder test, whichever is the easiest to get at to confirm a fault.

Figure 5 shows the live data PIDs and the injector values – I needed to investigate No1 injector – check the back flow readings of all the injectors with each other to determine if there is a fault present. Figure 6 are the injector back flow results, No1 injector is excessively flowing back to the fuel tank, with No2 having the least back flow. The injectors needed to be sent away to be bench tested for flow, delivery and spray pattern but the customer did not want this. He wanted to replace No1 injector; a typical customer who wanted to spend as little money as possible.

I noticed that the No2 injector seat was leaking with pu s of smoke emanating around the injector seat area (with a clear indication of the black death) and advised the customer to fit new injector seals from the main dealer, ream the injector

seats and clean the injector orifices with a brush cleaning kit. Again, the customer only wanted the No2 injector seal replaced and not all four seals. How di cult this is when the customer only wants half a job and expects a perfect running engine at the end, miracles I cannot perform.

Figure 7 shows the new Bosch seal on the left and the new seal fitted just four weeks before for cylinder No2 – leaking cylinder gases passed this washer, losing compression and failing to combust and burn e ciently inside the cylinder.

After reaming and cleaning the injector seats of No1 and No2, I refitted the injectors (new injector for No1) to the cylinder head, torquing the hold down bracket to 22nm. I recoded injector No1 to the ECU and the engine ran a lot smoother, with less smoke emanating from the tailpipe. Figure 8 shows the injector correction values with the replaced No1 part.

After running the engine up to normal running temperature and cleaning the DPF with my flushing spray gun and letting the cleaning fluid soak for 10-15 mins, I then ran the engine at

2,500 rpm for 20-30 mins to dissolve the soot content. I then added diesel system injector and fuel system cleaner into the fuel tank to help clean all the injectors and fuel system. I road tested the vehicle to see if it would now self-regenerate, only for the check engine light and particulate soot light to come on after a short distance. I extracted the fault code P1215-68, ‘Excessive distance travelled with DPF on’ (I have seen this code before). This code would not clear with the scanner, therefore I was forced to do a static regeneration, which I do not like to do unless I have to.

After completing the forced regeneration, the particulate soot light cleared, and I could now clear the fault code. I road tested the vehicle on a good run to confirm a fix and the lights and symbols on the dashboard disappeared. I recommended the customer change the engine oil and oil filter, especially after a static regen, as the engine oil can be diluted with diesel fuel.

Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8

Fiat Doblo 1.3d multijet 2013 DPF regen

Put the van on a level surface, open the bonnet

Run the engine up to a temperature of 70°C + Ignition o , press accelerator and brake pedals together

Switch ignition on and keep holding both pedals down at the same time for 10 seconds

Check instrument panel display which will instruct you when to start the engine

Release both pedals and start engine

The vehicle will now rev up to 2,000 rpm and start regeneration and the DPF soot regen symbol light will keep flashing until the regen is complete (1020mins)

After regeneration is complete, switch engine o and on quickly four times

Switch o for a few seconds and restart engine

The DPF soot regeneration symbol light should go out and you can now clear the fault codes, especially P1215-68

Road test the vehicle to confirm self regen and no codes or light displayed on dashboard

Change engine oil and oil filter.


I always test the systems and components against manufacturer specifications or known good values as this takes out the guesswork and prevents the fitting of unnecessary components that do not fix the vehicle. This vehicle did not need a new timing chain to cure the black smoke from the exhaust tail pipe. All it needed was a good understanding of the basics of this diesel system and a good diagnostic plan driven by test results in a logical manner.

I find a lot of garages seem to struggle with diesel engine faults and do not test the systems and components correctly, giving an incorrect diagnosis and the fitting of parts that are not the source of the problems. Guessing is a recipe for disaster, failure and a bad reputation. You need to research the vehicle system and extract as much information and data available to understand how all the components operate to help with your diagnostic approach.Knowledge is power and the key to correctly diagnosing these systems and components. We all make mistakes, but a clear understanding of these complex systems with the correct training helps us to minimise these errors. We do not understand every vehicle system as there are many di erent variations out there, this is why continuous training is essential today. Many training courses are not cheap, but you get good value by learning how the new systems operate and methods to diagnose faults and test them logically. This improves your skill, lowers your diagnostic time to fix the vehicle and keeps the customer happy.


Tiredof repeating repairs unecessarily? THENSTOP!


Braking solutions: EV Kit

After more than a century of sticking to traditional practices largely dictated by the dominance of internal combustion engines, the automotive industry finds itself in the middle of unprecedented transformation. This shift is largely driven by the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), which have prompted innovations across various automotive sectors. Notably, advancements in vehicle braking systems are leading this evolution, as the pursuit of enhanced performance and safety converges with the need to minimize environmental impact.

Regenerative and friction braking in EVs

Electric vehicles use regenerative braking alongside conventional friction (hydraulic) braking mechanisms. Regenerative braking, made possible by the advent of vehicle electrification, harnesses the electric motor to recuperate a significant portion of the kinetic energy dissipated during braking – a substantial leap forward in terms of sustainability. Through regenerative deceleration, electric vehicles e ectively convert the electric motor into a generator during braking maneuvers. While the potential for energy recuperation in EVs is subject to certain limitations, regenerative braking plays a pivotal role in deceleration, reducing reliance on traditional friction brakes. However, the integration of regenerative braking presents accompanying challenges. While advantageous, regenerative braking alone is insu cient to halt a vehicle and prevent collisions, underlining the continued necessity of conventional friction braking systems. Consequently, vehicles equipped with regenerative braking systems are also equipped with friction brakes for scenarios where regeneration may be insu cient or inactive.

Brembo’s EV-focused aftermarket solutions

The prevalence of regenerative braking systems in EVs has led to a shift in how braking is implemented, with a high proportion now executed by the electric motor itself. Consequently, hydraulic braking systems are used less. While this reduction minimizes wear on hydraulic brake components, it also makes them susceptible to corrosion, posing risks to both the durability and e cacy of braking systems. In response to these challenges, Brembo, a leading Italian brake manufacturer, has introduced the Brembo Beyond product line – a comprehensive range of aftermarket solutions designed to enhance the driving dynamics of the growing electric mobility segment while prioritizing sustainability.

Comprising specially coated discs and innovative brake pads tailored for popular electric car models, this kit epitomizes Brembo's dedication to harnessing cutting-edge materials and technologies to deliver superior performance and longevity. Notably, the incorporation of a special copper-free friction material with a galvanized backing plate reduces both dust and noise during braking, contributing to extended lifespan and enhanced sustainability.

In the workshop

As the automotive landscape undergoes a paradigm shift, it is vital for workshops to anticipate and adapt to the unique challenges posed by electric vehicles. With distinct design and maintenance requirements, electric vehicle braking systems require specialized knowledge and expertise. Key considerations for workshop technicians include:

Pad and disc replacements: Due to the regenerative braking system, the intervals between pad and disc replacements in EVs are typically extended. However, technicians should remain vigilant for signs of oxidation, particularly in vehicles operating in harsh weather conditions where brakes are used less frequently.

Brake fluid replacement: While traditional replacement intervals are generally recommended for EVs, low viscosity fluids are preferred to ensure optimal performance, especially in vehicles equipped with advanced braking and traction control systems.

EV brake pads: Given the reduced ambient noise of electric vehicles, minimizing brake noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) is paramount. Special attention should be paid to brake pads and discs to prevent excessive corrosion, ensuring consistent and reliable braking performance even after prolonged periods of inactivity.

Despite the challenges posed by the transition to electrification, the automotive industry stands to reap substantial benefits in terms of performance and sustainability. Brembo's unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability underscores its pivotal role in driving this transformation forward, as exemplified by the Brembo Beyond range and its contributions to a greener, more e cient future.




Born from Brembo’s ongoing research aimed at decreasing the environmental impact of all its products, Greenance Kit combines maximum performance with a significant reduction in dust emissions during braking.

Disc life is also increased, up to three times the expected life, which translates into significant cost savings for all long-distance professionals, light commercial vehicle and fleet drivers.

Brembo Beyond Greenance Kit consists of a disc made of a special alloy that provides high wear resistance and a pad with a compound developed for use in combination with the Greenance disc. The unicity of this kit is the bundling disc and pad as the sole o er to move the customer to a zero-emission world

-80% PM10 & PM2,5 EMISSIONS


-15% TCO



Don’t be done with DPFs

AJ Fleetcare in Leeds share their experience of drivers storing up DPF problems

DPF specialists and Motor Ombudsman Awards Garage Star Finalist AJ Fleetcare have pretty much seen it all when it comes to vehicles arriving at their workshops in Leeds at various stages of DPF blockage and failure.

At its most extreme, MD Alan Landale recalls a van ‘limping’ its final mile after the DPF had thermally melted from within. The owner had responded to all the warning signs that the DPF was in trouble and had religiously taken it to the main dealership on four occasions in a matter of weeks, following their instructions of ‘driving it at 70mph on the dual carriageway’ every day. However, the workshop had continued to add in DPF cleaners with a high-iron content combined with several forced regenerations. Unsurprisingly, the net result was a damaged-beyond-repair DPF, and a replacement required at a cost of £000s. “What we’re seeing on a weekly basis is that diesel drivers are clueless about the DPF beyond recognising that when the warning light comes on they have to figure out what it means and then do something or just ignore it,” says Alan. “And many motorists are unwittingly storing up DPF problems by only using their vehicles for short, stop-start journeys every day – the couriers using their cars and vans to drop o your parcels are a prime example. They don’t realise that their style of driving and unrelenting short journeys is basically taking them on a journey to a new DPF. By the time they’re forced to act is usually when the vehicle is in limp mode and it’s too late. The DPF is done for.”

"The workshop had continued to add in DPF cleaners with a high-iron content combined with several forced regenerations"

“Little explanation exists about the DPF system fitted to modern vehicles and there is a lack of knowledge on which additives to avoid and the ones to use with confidence and when to use them,” continues Alan. “For example, do garages, let alone motorists, know that using iron-based products for multiple forced regenerations is likely to cause the filter’s internal structure to melt, putting the DPF’s exterior at risk of dissolving too? With the fall out – red hot particles - causing a vehicle fire. We’ve had vehicles referred to us from other garages where the DPF was beyond repair, but they were unable to see this or recognise that their own practises and products were a major factor.”

Alan and Jeanette AJ Fleetcare

Damaged DPF; High Temp Regeneration

“Given that a clear DPF is crucial for a functioning exhaust system, any blockages will lead to other major problems in the vehicle; a poorly performing engine with a blocked DPF will struggle to cycle and over time acceleration will be impossible, the vehicle’s MPG will nosedive and the exhaust will be pumping out black smoke. Before the driver knows something is wrong, the vehicle is exhibiting a combination of all these issues and is heading to limp mode. They simply chose to ignore all the signs.”

“Garages must educate their customers about the importance of a healthy DPF. What they can do to help the DPF self-regenerate and why they must contact their workshop when the warning light strikes! By the same token, garages must earn the title of DPF specialist by being just that – a professional that not only knows their way around a DPF, but also use the right products and toolkits and can accurately diagnose when the DPF is at fault and when other factors in the vehicle are the cause.”

Underlying causes

Musbury Garage, based near Exeter, recently added JLM DPF Cleaning products to their workshop processes after being introduced to the range at a trade event. Musbury Garage boss Julian Rinaldi explains more: “We had a 2016 Ford Transit in with 117,000 miles on the clock showing symptoms of a blocked DPF. Before it came to us, the vehicle had been subjected to multiple forced regens with no success. Following our diagnosis and tapping into the support provided by the team at OPUS diagnostics, we picked up codes for the glow plugs, DPF temp too low (for regen) and a blocked DPF. With our knowledge of this vehicle, we identified that it not only needed new glow plugs but also a new vaporiser. Once replaced, we were able to clean the DPF using the JLM 2-stage clean and flush system, safe in the knowledge that having solved the underlying problems, the DPF would not become blocked again. We never assume it’s just the DPF and always look for the underlying cause of the symptoms first. This ensures that our customers drive away happy and stay on the road.”

2-Stage DPF Clean & Flush

Sort the sludge!

Engine sludge that builds up over time is not something that is removed during a standard oil change and results in a loss of power, e ciency, and engine health. To combat this, Castrol has developed a pre-oil treatment, Castrol Engine Shampoo, shown to reduce harmful deposits by up to 85% within tests at the Castrol Technology Centre.

The solvent-free product is designed to deliver a deep yet gentle clean that can be used on both petrol and light diesel engines, as well as motorbikes and light commercials. One bottle is e ective for vehicles that use 3L to 6L of engine oil and it is recommended for use at every other oil change, mainly for older or high mileage vehicles – although can be used as a preventative measure on new vehicles.

AJ Fleetcare uses the full range of JLM Lubricants DPF products including the professional DPF Cleaning Toolkit with the two-stage DPF Cleaning Fluid and Flush pack. With this kit, a badly blocked DPF can be cleaned and restored to healthy function without removing it from the vehicle.

While modern ignition systems require relatively few replacement routine replacement parts, consider the quality of serviceable components, such as ignition coils and engine management components.


Reacting to recent research indicating that consumers are targeting car servicing as a means of saving cash, Rob Marshall asks renowned ignition system manufacturers and sellers about the implications and the training they o er to support e ective diagnosis

I do not like the C-word. Yet, it appears everywhere. Virtually everything is a 'Crisis' currently, from constitutional, through to the climate and, of course, cost of living. The net result is that it has become increasingly di cult to di erentiate a genuine crisis from those designed to generate headlines and clicks for lazy journalists and feckless publishers.

Feeling the pinch

Not that we are accusing Volkswagen Financial Services of exaggerating, of course. Yet, its survey from last summer showed just under half (43%) of 18–34 year-olds said that they were likely to miss vehicle maintenance to save money and only 40% of respondents felt prepared to pay for essential work.

In isolation, we did not think too much of this research. Then, three months later, the RAC found that the cost of living crisis was causing young drivers, in particular, not to maintain their cars properly.

When replacing spark plugs, the most common error is over-tightening. Check your data sources for torque and angle values, the latter being especially important for modern GDI engines.


In brief, almost 30% of 17-24 year-olds put o servicing to save cash, with 9% simply not bothering altogether. The RAC also found that almost 70% of drivers have found that the cost of repairing and servicing their cars has risen in the last year. In February 2024, the RAC followed up its findings, reporting that almost 60% of respondents would not have su cient money to cover a £1,000 repair invoice.

Maybe they are both onto something? The interesting thing with these statistics is that, surely garages would be struggling for work. Yet, without exception (admittedly those who read AT) seem as busy as ever. Maybe workshops are being kept full by mechanical failures, caused by a lack of maintenance – especially as the average UK car age continues to rise?

Penny pinching parts

One method that some customers employ to shave costs is to supply garages with parts for them to fit. While Bosch argues that OEM parts and aftermarket OEM equivalents are highquality, it is the lower-cost generic aftermarket options that cause worries.

LKQ Euro Car Parts reasons that a first step is to ensure that the customer has made the correct diagnosis, because the replacement part provided might not solve the problem. Naturally, it is possible that said customer may have bought non-OE parts, or worse. LKQ Euro Car Parts admits that the market is home to many counterfeit and mislabelled products. Denso elaborates that such parts tend to be found online, advertised especially via online marketplaces. Therefore, it is important to double-check that the replacement part has been correctly identified and sourced. As a member of the Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association

(OESAA), Denso reasons that, should the supplied part be counterfeit and fail, the garage is liable under the terms of its insurance.

Delphi says that garages, which source their parts through an authorised supply network, can be assured of genuine, high-quality components that fit first-time. LKQ Euro Car Parts advises that it chooses extensively tested products from wellknown and trusted brands, which o er high-quality standards backed by extensive warranties. This gives garages that order via its Omnipart online platform full confidence. LKQ Euro Car Parts reasons that this approach o ers optimum value for money, a stance with which Denso agrees, emphasising that it is false economy to fit inferior quality parts.

Even so, LKQ Euro Car Parts finds that the engine management parts market is home to certain manufacturers aiming to win business by o ering the lowest specification parts, produced from the cheapest materials. With ignition and engine management electrical components subject to constant stresses, including elevated temperatures, high voltages and extreme vibrations, cheap products pose a high risk of premature failure. So, when garages source parts, it can be tempting to reduce costs by prioritising price alone. Avoid the temptation. A reasonable strategy is to account for build specification as well as value for money.

Bosch explains that, while choosing lower-quality parts may o er a short-term cost advantage, the long-term consequences can be significant. It says that using quality parts not only enhances the reputation of the garage but also contributes to customer satisfaction. Happy customers are more likely to return, fostering a positive and sustainable business relationship.

The cost of (not) learning

Aside from the parts themselves, even well-intentioned technicians can also cost their customers money needlessly. Bosch emphasises the importance of keeping up-todate with not just vehicle technology but also diagnostic equipment development and the possibilities they can o er. To avoid parts being replaced blindly, all technicians should have a training plan. Up-to-date training will help workshops be far more productive and is an investment worth making.

"The engine management parts market is home to certain manufacturers aiming to win business by o ering the lowest specification parts"
Research your tools requirements. Pictured is a Sealey reaming tool (part VS312), which cleans carbon from glow plug threads, before you fit new replacements.

Delphi agrees, emphasising that an e ective diagnostic process is a topic that it covers at its IMI-approved training centre in Warwickshire. Furthermore, it highlights its e-learning program Delphi Academy and its Masters of Motion hub for useful tips and advice, which technicians can access at any time. LKQ Euro Cars Parts' ‘Diagnostics Road to Success' includes more than 80 di erent courses across 25 sites across the UK. Specifically, an eight-part course focusses on electrics and engine management, for technicians wanting to boost their knowledge in these areas.

Back to Earth

While most ignition systems require relatively infrequent maintenance, with spark and glow plugs being the main service items, this does not mean that they are the only consumables. Bosch and Delphi highlight ignition coils, starter motors, alternators and even engine management sensors as popular replacement items, all of which must be diagnosed correctly before being dismounted. Again, upping your training game, so you not only can pinpoint the fault to particular components but also replace the part correctly, is just as important as selecting a decent quality part in the first place. Only then can we, as a trade, avoid the race to the bottom, a situation that does not do our industry any favours, whatsoever.

The di erences between a counterfeit coil and OE-quality items are not always easy to spot. Delphi reports that its coils use high-quality, tightly wound wires, insulated by a special epoxy, which keeps them separated. The coatings also resist the cracks, pin holes and imperfections that might cause other ignition coils to fail. The manufacturing process employs a specialist vacuum technique to remove any air bubbles and imperfections, helping to prevent internal short-circuiting.

29 ACCESSTHE NEWDENSOTECHNICAL PORTAL Register on ww w.denso-tech Get technical know-how and tips on DENSO products Improve your technical knowledge Take the online courses & prove your skills through tests Get D-coins and of ficial personalised certificates Join the League of True Mechanics, reach the TOP 10 and get rewarded Scan the QR code to register LEAGUEOF TRUE MECHANICS Formoreinformation and terms and conditions, please visit RTAL S


Colleagues within a healthy workshop should support each other like a close family but this is not the only consideration, as Rob Marshall discovers

Unlike many self-made garage owners, Karl Fisher did not aim to be a technician. While he hardly wanted to be a lumberjack either, he fixed his sights on a carpentry career. Life had other plans for his talents. Instead of making handmade furniture, he cut his teeth on crafting specialist propshafts. He was naturally gifted. His repute led him to accept o ers to run aftermarket repair workshops for their owners, before entering the life of 'self-unemployment' as a mobile technician, working 60-hour weeks from a Morris Marina van. It did not take long before he was lured back into bricks-and-mortar employment but, this time, doing it his way. He soon established formal premises and moved from employee to employer. The result of thirty-three years hard graft is what you see now. Karl Fisher Autos of Cannock has become one of the most respected aftermarket workshops in Sta ordshire.


Sitting down with Karl, to discuss the secret of his success, reveals that there is not one special formula that he can impart. Despite his early woodworking interest, Karl is clearly a 'car guy' – evidenced by his gleaming Porsche 993 C2S in the car park – but his approach is firmly down-to-earth. His respect for hard work is reflected not just in his career but he also expects his team to display the same dedication. This philosophy extends to his daughter, Beth, who is not just an invaluable organiser and communicator between the customer and technicians in the service reception but she

also aids workshop throughput, by being a fully qualified and proficient MOT tester.

Karl views dedication not just in work hours clocked but also quality. While he has a hunger to tackle everything that comes through the workshop doors, he admits that his insistance of high standards has made some tasks unprofitable.


Karl Fisher reports that any business is only as good as the people behind it. Pictured left-to-right are David Taylor, Piotr Zyla, Beth Fisher-Dewhurst, Karl Fisher, Kane Hull and Kian Johnson. (left) insists that hard work, dedication, high standards and pride in your work are key to earning customer loyalty. His daughter, Beth (right) joined the business in 2014, bolstering the firm's IT, as well as balancing her time between workshop and reception duties.

Support from quality partners that share the same high standards is also vital to Karl. He praises ACtronics, especially, for allowing his business to give options to customers and gives him peace of mind that his quality standards are not compromised.

Yet, he argues that this supposed financial cost is only a short-term penalty; reputation and long-term customer loyalty are the ultimate goals. To prove this long-term strategy works, Karl reports that the business has increased its hourly labour rate last year but not one customer left. Karl reasons that there are two explanations. Firstly, the business has established itself as o ering value for money for a quality repair – thus dissuading the part-worn tyre seeking brigade, for whom price is the sole consideration. Secondly, many aftermarket garages in the local area have been unwilling to invest in the equipment needed to work on the latest models and most fast-fit centres are unprepared to dive deep into complex problem-solving. Therefore, the only alternative are main dealers, with their considerably higher hourly charges.

Equipment support

As the aftermarket has had to evolve quickly to cope with increased barriers to even basic work, such as resetting service schedule lights, Karl's business has evolved from all-makes support to specialisation. For now, these comprise premium brands, especially those from the JLR stable. Last year, the business invested £16,000 in OEM licensing not just for JLR but also BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis. One reason for this is that some main dealers will not refund a faulty part, unless OEM tools have been used as part of the installation/coding procedure.

Yet, Karl relies still on the excellent aftermarket o erings. Currently, he uses a combination of Bosch and Topdon equipment, praising Bosch for its coverage of DPFs and Ford models especially.

Aftermarket support

Karl concurs that parts availability has become a particular problem, especially among main dealers, and he singles out JLR as being particularly poor. While he adds that some parts can be cheaper from main dealer parts counters (such as coil springs), he praises the aftermarket for striving to keep quality products available and lead times down. Due mainly to their proximity and breadth of stock, many parts are supplied through GSF, or LKQ ECP, because they enable them to provide its customers with options. For instance, quality braking parts tend to be either Delphi, Bosch, or Brembo, which facilitate choice.

Karl singles out ACtronics for particular praise. Again, the remanufacturing specialist allows his business to provide customers with choices. Should a repair be required by

the following day, this might be possible using virgin main dealer parts (presuming availability, of course) but at 2-4 times the cost. The alternative, an ACtronics remanufactured component. Karl reports that, because he has the backing of ACtronics' extensive testing service, it allows him to be confident not only in the diagnostic process but also in the quality of any remanufactured part supplied by the company. The remanufacturing procedure is not that time-consuming either. For instance, Karl diagnosed a faulty Ford Fusion Durashift transmission actuator. It was sent to ACtronics, which confirmed the fault and found worn carbon brushes and a faulty PCB. The part was retested, remanufactured and returned within five days. Thanks to Karl's desire not to refuse a task, he took on a Ducati motorcycle with an engine ECU fault. Despite being an unconventional vehicle and having had the added complication of a third-party attempting repairs beforehand, ACtronics completed the work within eight days.

Supporting the future

Karl is well aware of the issues a ecting recruitment, especially as Gen Z is particularly distracted by promises of more glamorous and better-paid careers. He views external training for his younger sta as very good but less so for more experienced members of his team. To remedy this, he has brought in an OEM trainer twice a week to progress his technicans' understanding and diagnostic process with OEM equipment.

Naturally, Karl's focus is on the future but the firm is entering its new era with the same practical attitudes that Karl adopted in his career's formative years. His "common sense" approach sees Karl Fisher Autos technical sta being schooled on more advanced electrical and electronics problem solving, including high-voltage training. While Karl recognises the importance of ADAS calibration, he has decided that it is not a priority, because he subcontracts such work to a neighbouring windscreen fitting specialist. Yet, he reports, this stance could change.

The future at Karl Fisher Autos is bright. The sta are keen. They are well-trained. They work long hours but quality and loyalty remain the remits. With such businesses like this championing the aftermarket, the main dealers will continue to have healthy competition that will beat them, hands down.

All repair workshops are aware of the vehicle repair technician shortage. Karl reports that he has ceased looking for skilled technicians but he has noticed that they are approaching him.


Autotech Live Tickets now on sale!

Saturday 15th JUNE

Autotechnician’s team of trainers and top-notch technicians will be taking over Cleevely Motors in Cheltenham on Saturday 15th June and invite you to join them to tackle live faults together. Guests can expect various vehicles, including petrol, diesel and EV, and receive ‘just-in-time’ learning to get to the root of the problem with minimum fuss.

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

3 groups will get hands-on with Petrol, Diesel & EV faults

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

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

Tickets to the event are priced £119.00 plus VAT and include parking, refreshments, and lunch.

A limited number of tickets are now available at

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

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

Media Partner:
In association with:

What extra support is on hand, when buying remanufactured rotating electrics, as opposed to brand new? Quite a lot, it seems.


Many environmentally-friendly products are deeply compromised. So, how can using remanufactured rotating electrics be a win-win? Rob Marshall asks leading suppliers about how going green really can bolster support o ered to aftermarket workshops.

Let us face facts: keeping customers satisfied is not easy and garages need help. Suppliers must not simply pump junk into the market, risking the return of a deeply unsatisfied customer. Then, they must be supplied quickly, thus minimising customer inconvenience. When there is a problem, decent technical back-up is essential. Then, there is the issue of cost to consider...

Making repair worthwhile

Carwood reports that, as the cost-of-living concerns continue, there is an increasing need for garages to access a wide variety of high-quality, value-for-money parts – and swiftly. It reasons that remanufactured components are the answer, because they provide a genuine alternative to new parts but at a considerable price advantage.

Quality remanufacturers are experts in their fields and can o er detailed advice on particular technical problems, including diagnostics.
"Remanufactured components use 70% fewer materials and 85% less energy [to produce] than new parts"

Carwood reasons that owners of cars, aged typically over thirteen years, are less prepared to stomach large repair bills, due to the relatively low residual values. Even so, there is a practical conflict between owners holding onto older cars for longer and OEMs discontinuing certain parts for models as soon as ten years pass from the end of production. Shaftec reports that, in certain cases, remanufacturing can be the only option to keep those older vehicles on the road. However, where stock is an issue, the company's Reman and Return service is designed for more unusual requests, usually with a seven-day turnaround.

Autoelectro also bangs the quality drum hard and emphasises that a remanufactured part is not substandard. The starter motor and alternator specialist explains that it inspects and tests parts thoroughly to ensure they meet, or exceed, OE specifications, before testing the whole component to which they are fitted. It explains that it remanufactures OE parts only, because many copy components do not meet the same quality standards that it requires for its core. Autoelectro says that these points should reassure any garage about the quality and reliability of the remanufactured parts that it supplies. Yet, it reassures technicians too. As the time and e ort needed to remove and

refit starters and alternators has increased and become more involved, it reasons that technicians do not want to repeat the replacement exercise, all because a low-grade part has failed. Due to its comprehensive testing programme, Autoelectro says that remanufactured starters and alternators meet, or exceed OE specification and quality, with a warranty to match.

Like Carwood, it also highlights that remanufacturing o ers savings over brand-new options and this cost reduction can be passed to the customer. As Karl Fisher Autos highlighted in our prior article, remanufacturing allows garages to give their customers options.

As Karl Fisher Autos explained with ACtronic's diagnostic prowess, Autoelectro highlights that remanufacturers are specialists. Therefore, they possess a detailed technical understanding of not just the assemblies but also the individual components. OE parts counters and even motor factors may not be able to supply such highly detailed information and yet, remanufacturers can provide such technical support, if required. Autoelectro claims that its ability to strip, inspect and test exchange parts allows it to identify common faults across car ranges and the resultant knowledge can be passed to its garage customers.

Greta would approve

Then, there are the environmental credentials. You might wish to ignore these as just feel-good bonuses but you would be wrong. With more businesses, notably corporate fleets and public sector companies, highlighting their green credentials to their stakeholders, many of them are seeking out partners with sustainable practices and values, including those that have the circular economy embedded in their working practices. Carwood reasons that, with remanufactured components using 70% fewer materials and 85% less energy than new parts, with no quality compromises, there is a

Shafttec highlights its dedicated Technical Support Line is on: 0844 257 1818 (9am - 5:30pm). Its website, www., features a Knowledge Hub, where a range of technical bulletins and support documents can be viewed and downloaded.


compelling argument for 'going reman'. Shaftec adds that remanufacturing gives life to parts that, otherwise, would end up in landfill sites. Autoelectro foresees legislation changing, where all businesses would be required to meet mandatory environmental targets, which means remanufacturing could become a vital lifeline to the aftermarket motor repair trade.

The technician's role

Remanufacturing would be impossible without high-quality 'core'. These comprise failed units that are suitable for stripping and remanufacturing. Even these old parts have a financial worth way over their weigh-in value. Therefore, think that old components may be able to have a new life, beyond the scrap pile.

To help, many professional remanufacturers produce guidance for technicians, on what comprises acceptable criteria. Shaftec, for instance, specifies that driveshafts should be neither bent, nor snapped. Steering racks and pump castings should exhibit no damage and all plugs/sockets should be present. Brake callipers must also not have broken/ cracked castings and no intrinsic part should be broken o .

For these reasons, Carwood advises technicians to treat core as they would a new part. Striking it with a hard metal hammer, therefore, is inadvisable; you should reduce the chance of

damaging the part, such as using incorrect tools/processes to remove it, wherever possible. While Carwood advises that you remove ancillary parts, such as sensors, adaptors and bolts, take care not to dismantle the component, even if it makes removal easier. The removed core must be stored safely, too. Any oil should be drained and the unit packaged securely, ready for dispatch. This explains why Carwood supplies dedicated boxes, designed in-house, to negate the risk of transport damage.

Autoelectro places specific technical notes with every remanufactured part. They advise technicians on common vehicle faults and how to inspect the core.


While wheel bearings are evolving continually, workshops will be confronted with all three generations. Thankfully, information and tooling support is available to ensure that you are not on your own.


Modern wheel bearings are under more stress than ever, which might explain why they account for 20% of all MOT Test failures. Rob Marshall, therefore, asks Schae er's FAG brand why this is the case and establishes what support is out there for the independent workshop.

While many technicians blame the crumbling state of UK roads as contributing to the premature failure of suspension springs, dampers and tyres, fashion also has a role to play. It was not so long ago that the car-buying public viewed 17-inch rims as exotic but, like BMW front kidney grilles, the situation is becoming almost cartoonish. The craze has seen 21, 22 and even 23-inch alloys becoming the norm – especially when shod with less compliant low-profile tyres. Where will it end?

The situation is bringing technical problems, too. Schae er reveals that these larger rim diameters amplify the vibrations and lateral forces that pass through the wheel and into the chassis. In turn, this places additional strain on individual components, wheel bearings included. This consideration is not ignored by the vehicle manufacturers' engineering department, however. As an OEM supplier, Schae er works hand-in-hand with vehicle brands and it reports that its FAG wheel bearings are selected as the original equipment choice of many of the world’s carmakers. The company can, therefore, be believed, when it explains that this is one major reason why its latest third-generation wheel bearing is being adopted at factory level. As the design comprises the complete hub unit, the bearing assembly is much sti er, making it more tolerant of higher shock loadings.

Quality bearing, or tool suppliers, can provide the tooling you need to install bearings. Pictured are the tools needed to press a Generation 2.1 bearing into position on a Skoda Roomster, which features a snap ring.

Keeping it Rolling febi Wheel Bearing Kits

Right Range -with a coverage of up to 95% of the required vehicle applications in Europe, we offer an appropriate and competitive range of wheel bearing kits.

Associated Products - we also provide a substantial range of wheel hubs, wheel speed/ABS sensors and wheel fastenings to complement our wheel bearing offer.

More Profit - by offering a competitive price, febi assures a higher profit to its customers - whilst simultaneously - providing components with OE matching quality.

Highest Quality - all febi products are designed, specified and manufactured to be direct OE replacements and our wheel bearing kits are no exception to this.

Your No.1 for Wheel Bearing Kits & Wheel Hubs SOLUTIONS DRIVEN BY YOU

Part Search Made Easy parts
"Meyle o er redesigned Gen 2.1 bearings that can be installed without the need to use special tools, for certain applications"

Treat bearings delicately. Dropping one can damage it severely, especially if it contains a magnetic encoder for the wheel speed sensor.

Practical and theoretical support

Aside from specialist tools, consider that wheel bearing sockets are also available for hub nuts that are recessed deeply. The bilstein group o ers these under its Blueprint brand, part numbers ADT35501, ADG05525 and ADK85503.

Parts support

Schae er emphasises that it supports the aftermarket with quality bearings, because workshops are supplied with the same parts as those received by car factories. It adds that its ‘complete repair solution’ philosophy means that every single component that is needed to complete a professional wheel bearing replacement task will be supplied, down to the last nut, bolt and washer.

The bilstein group, via its febi and Blue Print brands, also insists on supplying all ancillary parts so that workshops do not have to place multiple orders. The company highlights that it supplies many parts that are separate but related to the wheel bearing. These include the wheel hubs (where applicable) and wheel speed sensors.

Like many parts of the motorcar, wheel bearings have evolved, although you can still find first-generation taper bearings fitted to the front wheels of rear-wheel-drive cars. Thankfully, wheel bearing training and information is available for all three generations, so you can identify the types used on a particular car and understand why inappropriate fitting techniques can damage this vital safety component. For instance, Schae er's Repxpert app includes fitting instructions and labour time information. Live technical help is also available on the Repxpert hotline: 0872 737 0037. To be fair, other quality suppliers provide technician back-up, too. For instance, the bilstein group's Protips include the latest repair information and information on new product lines.

Perhaps the most common type you will encounter on a typical UK car is the second-generation bearing. These include the wheel mounting flange, so you renew the entire assembly. Some of these types (notably generation 2.1) require specific installation procedures and special tools so that the bearing can be pressed into position without causing damage. Some types possess a snap ring, too. While these can be pulled clear from the steering knuckle, refitting dictates a special tool that not only ensures


that force is applied only to the outer bearing race but it must also hold the snap ring in position, so it engages evenly within the groove machined into the bearing seat. Schae er emphasises that such tools are essential for anybody replacing generation 2.1 bearings, which it can supply if necessary. Some companies, such as MEYLE, o er redesigned Generation 2.1 bearings that can be installed without the need to use special tools but only for certain applications.

The future

Schae er reports that, as high-voltage vehicles (including BEVs) can weigh up to 30% more than a combustionengined vehicle, current and future bearings must be stronger still – presuming that vehicle weights continue to increase unopposed. Schae er reveals that not just bearing design has evolved but also the materials used to make them; even ceramics are tipped as future bearing material for automotive wheel bearings. An interesting development from the company is Trifinity, a new wheel bearing assembly that comprises a trio of angular contact ball bearings. Schae er claims that it o ers a longer service life, compared with double-row ball bearing designs. Friction is also reduced by over 50%, which contributes positively to OEM fuel consumption/range/CO2 figures.

Thankfully, third-generation wheel bearings tend to be easier to remove and fit. Thanks to an extra flange, the part bolts into place. However, do not forget the basics, such as noting and applying the correct torque values and using all of the supplied parts within the box. Even so, should you become stuck, it is reassuring that quality suppliers are on hand to support you.

Frustratedwith complexvehicle diagnosticsthat aren'tyielding anyprofits?


Compete with the main dealers

Maverick Diagnostics provides OEM diagnostic tools, the same ones the dealer workshops use, with full support and training for you and your workshop.

Why buy OEM?

Our bundles pair a wide range of OEM tools with a rugged laptop or tablet, known to work perfectly with that brand’s diagnostic software.

This includes the software pre-installed and tested with your tool, 1-hour online initial training, sales support and help with OEM registration.


Or Call Us At: 01978 784 604

"They've been very helpful with the set up of the OEM tools, licensing and the training that they provided was second to none."

Tool + Dealer Tool Support
Month Free Dealer Tool Support =

The Garage & Bodyshop Event Birmingham NEC

5 & 6th June 2024

For your free tickets

Two days of training, new technology, product launches, deals & discounts

Independent expert training sessions

4 dedicated Training Hubs

Meet the Experts, with Autotechnician

FEATURES Expert Speakers Workshop, Bodyshop & Hybrid/EV Training Hubs Business Services Zone Body Repair Live Modern Garage Meet the Experts P41-55 Event Preview

More than just a trade show

The UK Garage and Bodyshop Event at the NEC in Birmingham on June 5 and 6 will provide visitors with the latest insights, training sessions and access to leading industry suppliers under one roof, to help boost the armoury of technicians who face increasingly complex faults and provide advice for workshop owners looking to futureproof their workshops

The second edition of the event builds on its successful launch in 2022, see video below, providing workshop owners and technicians access to training sessions, innovative vehicle repair technologies and essential tools for the modern workshop – plus free parking and breakfast for garage visitors!

Skills training will be delivered by more than 80 industry experts across four dedicated training hubs, giving practical advice and insights on topics such as diagnostics, EV

Get a feel for the event with our video highlights from the 2022 launch event

service and repair, DPF diagnosis, ADAS calibration, oils and lubricants, battery technology and technical data.

Garage owners should take advantage of the new Workshop Management Hub, delivering information to improve business operations, profitability and planning for the future. Topics include the impact of vehicle electrification and adapting operations for the digital world.


OEM approved, 100% guaranteed engine oils

When it comes to servicing your customers, we’ve got your back with our OEM approved engine oils and 100% compatibility guarantee. Visit or scan the QR code UK Garage & Bodyshop Event
5-6 Stand F50
to learn more.

The Workshop Technical Hub, Stand M40, in association with Autotechnician magazine, will deliver a comprehensive programme including engine fault & diagnostics, diesel, ADAS and more. New for 2024 is the introduction of Garage Management Workshops, with case studies by business owners on topics such as introducing ADAS to your business and adapting for EV service and repair.

The Modern Garage, Stand C30, returns this year, with a glimpse into the future of service and repair, showcasing the latest tools, technology and solutions for modern vehicle repair. Technical experts will provide practical tips on e ective modern vehicle repair. There will be interactive demonstrations and challenges on the stand for a chance to win exciting prizes.

New for 2024, the trade event will o cially launch its student program, in partnership with Autotech Group, to engage fresh talent and highlight opportunities within the sector. The popular lounges return this year, including the Bodyshop Lounge – a networking hub for the collision repair sector and our very own Meet the Experts Lounge, Stand E70, in association with Autotechnician magazine, giving visitors the chance to engage with guest speakers when they are not presenting. We will also be providing free clinics for workshop owners on HR & sta development, more details of this can be found on page 53

“As the industry is seeing profound changes, particularly with the adoption of EV and ADAS-enabled technologies, along with rapid advancements in service and repair techniques, attending this event is essential for garage owners, technicians, and bodyshop professionals. Our carefully curated programme of features and training hubs o er an unparalleled opportunity to stay ahead of developments and innovations in the sector, learn new skills and help businesses remain competitive and profitable.”

The Automechanika Birmingham Garage Awards return to the event, hosted by the IAAF and headline sponsored by LKQ Euro Car Parts. The ceremony takes place on 5 June and celebrates the very best independent garages and technicians across the UK. Nominations can be made at, or by scanning the QR code above.

Register for free tickets, visit


buzz/autotechnician or scan this QR code.

5 reasons garage owners should attend

1. Talk to the suppliers in-person

Review the latest technologies & developments from 180 leading suppliers such as ZF, Bosch, Hella, Alliance Automotive Group, Snap-on, Comma, LKQ Euro Car Parts, Niterra (NGK), Castrol, GSF and many more.

2. Get your hands on new tools for the garage

Check out the latest parts and equipment to enhance e ciency and the bottom line. Watch demos, compare and get deals on a wide range of tools.

3. Review the latest repair services & practices

80 technical sessions and demos will be delivered by industry experts, on topics ranging from diagnostics, EV service & repair, ADAS calibration, technical data, DPF faults and updates on the MOT test, digitalisation and diesel’s decline.

4. Attract & retain sta

Get advice on how to attract and retain sta – to thrive, not just survive, now and into the future.

5. Network with your peers

Access exclusive show deals and share your experiences with peers who understand the challenges of running a modern workshop.


“Castrol Service energised our workshop... from a customers point of view it’s a no brainer - everyone has heard of Castrol!”

Tim Benson, Oldfields Garage

Join Castrol Service at no cost to you


5-6 June 2024, NEC

Training | Tools | Technology

UK Garage & Bodyshop Event

Join Tim Benson & Matt Cleevely who will be on-hand to share their expert industry insight and advice on Castrol’s trade show stand at the UK Garage & Bodyshop Event from June 5th - 6th! Register for a FREE ticket

No annual fees, just your commitment to use and promote Castrol!

What our workshops say: Service Call 0800 371910 (Option 4) to find out how we can help energise your workshop

Official Workshop


Smooth Transitions with febi Driveshafts

Benefits at a Glance

New Range – febi are offering a new range of driveshafts, with over 230 articles for popular vehicles like BMW i3, VW e-Golf and Ford Transit, with more articles to come in the future. These articles cover more than 20,000 applications for vehicles on the road today in Europe and across the world.

Time Savings – febi driveshafts are an easy repair solution. Replacement using a new febi driveshaft will reduce the time a vehicle is at the workshop, making the repair less costly, more time efficient, and reduces the customer’s inconvenience.

Improved Content & Better Packaging – for easy installation of the febi driveshaft, all necessary hardware and grease are included. The parts are boxed in secure packaging, protecting the items during transport and storage.

Highest Quality – all febi driveshafts are developed to match OE performance and design specifications to ensure proper fit and function. In addition, all driveshafts go through strict inspection to ensure they meet the high-quality standards of the bilstein group.
Your No.1 for Driveshafts

Exhibitor news

Curious about air suspension? Stand E2

The number of new passenger cars equipped with factoryfitted air suspension is rising. Once the domain of high-end models, but in the last few years has worked its way down to mid-range passenger cars as well. Arnott will be highlighting its latest products, developed from 35 years' of experience in designing and manufacturing these suspension systems.

On display will be its New Front Electronic Strut for the Land Rover Range Rover Sport (L494), new Rear Air Springs for the Audi A6/A6 Quattro, S6 & S7, RS7 (C7) and an Air Suspension Compressor for BMW 5-series (F07,F11) & BMW 7-series (F01/ F02/F03/F04).

Ovidiu and Yvette will be on the stand to discuss all things air suspension with visitors – what it does, what to look out for and to answer any questions visitors might have.

ADAS and diagnostic demos

Stand F40

Visitors to the Bosch stand who sign up to its email newsletter will be entered into a prize draw to win various items, including a cordless vacuum cleaner and power washer. There’s also a chance to win a Bluetooth speaker by playing spin-the-wheel.

Bosch is once again devoting a large part of their stand to demonstrate ADAS and the latest features of the DAS 3000 platform. These include a target board for computer guided Lidar calibration, rear view camera calibration mat with computer guided positioning and a specific adapter for computer guided positioning of Toyota/Honda long range radar calibration.

Its ESI[tronic] Evolution Diagnostics software will also be available on the stand and experts will be on-hand to discuss SDA (Secure Diagnostic Access), which provides access to vehicle manufacturer-protected systems, via a one-time registration.

Both ADAS and ESI[tronic] Evolution demonstrations will take place on both days of the event at 10.30-11.00, 1.30-2.00 and 3.00-3.30.

Garage owners can also sign up for the eXtra loyalty program and start collecting points instantly when buying selected Bosch automotive products, earning 1 point for every £1

spent. Points can be redeemed any time against a range of rewards, including Nintendo Switch, Beats Wireless Headphones, Bosch tools and equipment, and many more.

Castrol to host garage networking Stand B10

Castrol and The Race Group have announced a lineup of highly respected independent garage owners set to appear on its stand: Matt Cleevely, Alex Lindley and Tim Benson will be on-hand to share expert industry insight and advice.

The Castrol stand will provide a place for garage owners to relax, network, and delve into the latest industry challenges and opportunities. Matt Cleevely of Cleevely Group, a pioneer in the servicing and repairs of electric vehicles (EVs) will o er first-hand advice on how to seize the opportunities presented by a fast-growing EV market. Tim Benson of Oldfields Garage will share his strategies for boosting workshop revenue, while Alex Lindley of Lindleys Autocentres will present data demonstrating how the Castrol Service network helped expand his servicing business.

Elsewhere on the Castrol stand, garages are being urged not to miss a two-hour 'technical clinic' with Castrol's Technical Services Specialist, Luliia Baklanova. Visitors are promised exclusive insight into Castrol's collaborations with OEMs and will discover the latest oils coming to market in 2024/25. Additionally, Trevor Allman, UK Sales Manager at Castrol Classic Oils, will delve into Castrol's rich history and shed light on why classic oils remain relevant today.

Register for free tickets, visit https://uk-garage-bodyshop-2024.reg. buzz/autotechnician or scan this QR code.


Chance to win a PalmerSport Day with Comma Stand F50

Comma wants to put mechanics in the driving seat at the event and will demonstrate how everything it does is ‘made for mechanics’, not only providing OEM-approved products, but supporting workshops with a VRN tool to help select the correct oil grade and a Stock Profiling tool, which allows them to discover the optimum range of products and pack sizes for their workshops based on vehicle service data specific to their location.

At the show, Comma will be unveiling its new website, which has undergone a major redesign to provide mechanics with easy access to all the product information, tools and support it provides.

It will also be inviting garages to learn more about Comma Workshop Stars – a programme that shares and highlights the stories behind some of the best independent garages in the UK.

It will also o er a prize draw for a team of up to twelve lucky people to win a PalmerSport day at the Bedford Autodrome circuit.

The Brake Change Challenge awaits! Stand J30

The Bilstein group will showcase its existing and upcoming components across all ranges with plenty of literature available to learn more about them. Visitors will also get the opportunity to win great prizes through the UK Garage & Bodyshop ‘Spin to Win’ wheel where they can get merchandise, or they can be put through their paces on its ‘Brake Change Challenge’; if they can set the fastest time for changing the brakes on the rig, they will win two VIP racing tickets!

Garage Hive to advise on boosting business performance Stand AA28

Members of the Garage Hive team – including Garage Hive director Alex Lindley – will be on-hand to provide expert guidance to independent garage owners looking to boost business performance. Alex is also scheduled to deliver a presentation titled 'Leveraging Data from your Garage Management System to Improve Decision Making' at the event.

“It will be an insightful talk for garage owners wanting to learn how they can optimise business operations using data,” said Alex. “We’ll discuss data collection priorities, consider which data points are paramount and how they can directly influence business outcomes. We’ll also look at methods for e ectively analysing data to extract meaningful insights. And it’s not just theory either. We’ll showcase real-world examples to illustrate how data-driven decisions have directly impacted business outcomes.”

Visitors will be given the chance to interact with the software during live demonstrations and there will also be plenty of freebies up for grabs including a chance to win a free pair of tickets worth £300 for The Blend 2024, the annual independent garage conference taking place on Saturday 28th September in Birmingham.

Engage, learn, and win Stand B28

The Maverick Diagnostics team will be available to answer any queries you may have regarding its genuine OEM-approved dealer tools, technical support and training.

The Automotive Training Academy, which partners with Maverick Diagnostics and the Institute of the Motor Industry, o ers an array of courses, delivered by experts in their respective field, to help professionals improve their skills and ensure they are prepared to face evolving vehicle technology and complex vehicle repairs. Maverick Diagnostics is o ering a visitor an opportunity to win a course for themselves and a


colleague. To enter a random draw, delegates simply need to take a selfie of themselves on the Maverick Diagnostics stand and tag and follow the company on one of its social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or X).

It will also be giving away an Opus Mongoose Plus – PassThru dongle. This diagnostic device enables users to repair complex vehicles with OEMs’ J2534 applications – including VAG, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, GM/Vauxhall and Toyota. Economical and compact, the popular Opus Mongoose-Plus is a cost-e ective alternative to buying full dealer tool packages.

To be in with a chance of snapping up this sought-after tool, visitors will enter a random draw if they pre-register via Maverick Diagnostics’ UK Garage & Bodyshop Event page. This can be found at or by scanning the QR code.

Avoid costly legal action Stand H72

Members of the Motor Ombudsman’s Dispute Resolution and Business Services team will be available to discuss the benefits of being accredited to its Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Motor Industry Codes of Practice, including the opportunity to take advantage of discounts through Motor Ombudsman partner initiatives. There will be a case clinic running on the stand throughout the event, where garages can ask questions and receive expert guidance on best practice for resolving consumer motoring disputes fairly and quickly, without having to resort to costly legal action.

Exclusive access to FixPro Stand AA34

Visitors can experience interactive demos and discussions with automotive diagnostics leader Opus IVS at the event. The team will provide attendees with exclusive access to demos of its brand-new diagnostic device, FixPro, which it says ‘provides workshops with an unprecedented level of OE level diagnostics and repair speed’, combining BlueBox’s legacy single-brand diagnostics and DrivePro's IVS 360 and RAP services.

Opus IVS experts will also discuss the DrivePro’s capabilities, including its innovative diagnostics platform, depth and range of brand coverage, onboard innovations such as PassThru using CarDAQ technology, and its RAP and Remote Programming Services.

Visitor’s will also see first-hand how IVS 360 live diagnostic support service delivered by their global team of 100+ OEMTrained Master Technicians can provide vital repair guidance for complex vehicle technology to reduce repair times and increase workshop productivity.

Visitors will have access to a range of supporting products such as PicoScopes, GYS Battery Support Units, as well as J2534 Pass-Thru devices from Drew Technologies.

Explore Snap-on’s next generation of product and services Stand M30

Snap-on says garage owners and technicians attending the event will have the exclusive opportunity to witness first-hand the unveiling of ‘revolutionary product innovations poised to transform the diagnostics process’. It will also introduce new technologies and support systems designed to empower technicians with the tools, resources, and expertise needed to navigate the challenges of next-generation vehicle technologies seamlessly.

buzz/autotechnician or scan this QR code.

Mark Ost, General Manager of Snap-on Diagnostics and Garage Equipment, expressed his enthusiasm about Snapon's participation, stating, "Snap-on are thrilled to return to The UK Garage and Bodyshop Event in 2024. The automotive industry is making significant strides in vehicle technologies, Register for free tickets, visit https://uk-garage-bodyshop-2024.reg.


•Full range of IMI Accreditations for your Workshop

•Practical training at locations nationwide

•More training venues than any other provider

•Online and face to face training on the latest technology

•All your technical and business needs in one place

•24/7 access to a learning and development management system.

The UK’s biggest and best value training provider
Find out more. Visit: or
• • • • •
Boost Your Business Why LKQ Academy? Download our 2024 training prospectus
Dedicated bodyshop courses also available

and in response, Snap-on teams worldwide have developed the next generation of products and services to support our customers. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase some of these innovations at The UK Garage and Bodyshop Event in Birmingham this year, and we invite visitors to stop by the Snap-on stand to experience them first-hand!"

Snap-on will also o er visitors a chance to explore Snap-on Franchise opportunities across the UK.

TechMan to mark 10th anniversary Stand K38

Garage management system provider, TechMan, is celebrating its 10th anniversary milestone this year and to mark the occasion will be showcasing its system and latest integrations at the UK Garage and Bodyshop Event.

At the event, TechMan is launching full AutoData integration for complete vehicle information to cover the entire car parc and AutoPay – a new TechMan PDQ solution to streamline payment processes.

Attendees at the trade event can learn more about its comprehensive suite of features, including workshop management, vehicle reporting, job bookings, invoicing, and much more.

New diag devices and have a chat with trade stars! Stand AA18

Drop your business card in the bowl at Topdon’s stand and you could win yourself a Phoenix Lite 2, Artidiag Pro or Topscan Pro. It is also o ering visitors 10% o the price of its Phoenix range of diagnostic devices.

Steve Scott of the Simply Diagnostic Network, Dan Versului, aka Diagnose Dan, and Martin Moller of AutoFrontal will also be on the stand during the show to answer any queries you may have.

The supplier will introduce three new products – the T120A Battery Support Unit 120A, Phoenix Lite 3 diagnostic tool and the T-Kunai immobiliser programming tool.


The Workshop Technical Hub & Meet the Experts, in association with Autotechnician

A comprehensive programme of technical presentations take place on Stand M40, addressing challenges, opportunities and giving practical advice, from leading trainers, parts and service providers. A packed programme covers a range of topics including diagnostics, MOT, diesel, lubrication, the role of technical data and ADAS.

Meet the Experts Lounge

Stand E70

Autotechnician will host the Meet the Expert Lounge, o ering visitors the chance to speak with presenters from the Workshop Technical Hub following their scheduled sessions. We are also o ering workshop managers and owners access to informal Business Clinics with our own industry experts on Day 1 of the show.

Renowned experts Dee and Amy Blick will be on the stand to o er advice on Marketing and HR topics. Dee is an internationally renowned marketer and number 1 bestselling author, best known for her practical approach to marketing on

a shoestring. Amy has many years of experience working with global brands and SMEs and is a specialist in demystifying HR and showing businesses how to harness the power of their people to take their business to the next level.

On both days, industry experts James Dillon and Andy Crook will be on-hand to o er advice and insights between their presentations in the event programme. James and Andy need no introduction, and their advice on both technical and business management topics o ers rare access to free, invaluable expertise for business owners and managers.

Drop in on Stand E70 for your free clinic!


Wednesday 5th June

10:00 - 10:25

Secure Diagnostics Access, Bosch

A solution to meet the significant challenges of increasing vehicle complexity and customers' service expectations

10:30 - 10:55 How Comma’s ‘combined’ approach is a win for mechanics

11:00 - 11:25 Cabin heating in electric vehicles, Pete Melville, HEVRA

Learn about the different types of heating systems in common use in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

11:30 - 11:55 A repeatable diagnostic process that just works, James Dillon

12:00 - 12:30 It’s all about the process! Darren Darling, DPF Doctor

Darren will share some insights into the importance of a good diagnostic process when tackling DPF problems and beyond.

13:00 - 13:25 Technical Expertise from AAG

Learn from the experts at Alliance Automotive Group, a European leader in the distribution of automotive parts and accessories.

13:30 - 13:55

The ADAS opportunity for independent garages, Hella

Explaining the growth of ADAS now and in future, importance of calibration & the revenue opportunity.

14:00 - 14:25 Understanding oil, Comma

15:00 - 15:25 ADAS – The Journey Ahead, LKQ Euro Car Parts

15:30 - 16:00 Using data to navigate transformation in the Aftermarket, Alldata


Thursday 6th June

10:00 - 10:25 AdBlue Problems – Right first-time diagnostics, James Dillon

10:30 - 10:55 Fuelling the Future: The role of internal combustion in a low-carbon world, Andy Crook

11:00 - 11:25 Cabin heating in electric vehicles, HEVRA

Learn about the different types of heating systems in common use in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

11:30 - 12:10 Technical Expertise from Bosch

12:00 - 12:30 ADAS – The Journey Ahead, LKQ Euro Car Parts

13:00 - 13:25 The ADAS opportunity for independent garages, Hella

13:30 - 13:55 How Comma’s ‘combined’ approach is a win for mechanics

14:00 - 14:25 Why precious metal is more than just an upsell option, Niterra

15:00 - 15:25 It’s all about the process! Darren Darling, The DPF Doctor

Darren will share some insights into the importance of a good diagnostic process when tackling DPF problems and beyond.

Sick of having to outsource your complex vehicle programming & coding jobs?

K E E P T H E M I N - H O U S E ! K E E P T H E M I N - H O U S E !


Despite being virtually the same size as its predecessor, the new Duster boasts new electrified drivetrains, fresh features and a comprehensive ADAS suite.

What technology do new car owners expect to feature within the lower end of the market? Rob Marshall looks at the forthcoming third-generation Dacia Duster to find out.

It cannot be denied that Dacia ('Datcher') has seen remarkable success, since it was lifted from its native Romania and expanded into a new range of models beyond rebadged Renault 12s. While the new models were restyled, they featured relatively old-tech Renault running gear but this did not impede their success. Budget-conscious new car buyers in Europe lapped them up to such an extent that UK sales were delayed initially.

Good news!

The Duster SUV has been a particular success for Dacia. It was unashamedly a tough, honest little car. Yet, it needed a sharp new suit. Projected to launch in the UK later this year, the third generation provides the budget car with sharper styling and upgraded mechanicals.

While its parent company, Renault, is focussing on providing a ordable Battery Electric Vehicles, this does not preclude Dacia. The all-electric Dacia Spring is also scheduled for UK launch later this year, billed as Europe's most a ordable EV. Yet, the new Duster will not be all-electric but it will be electrified. To suppress costs, the new car will rely on existing Renault technology. There is much to commend for retaining well-proven engines and transmissions, especially from an aftermarket repair standpoint.

Even so, the running gear is not that old. The basic o ering is a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol mild-hybrid, mounted transversely. The TCe 130 is turbocharged and employs

the Miller cycle to reduce pumping losses and enhance e ciency. A conventional 48-volt Belt Integrated Starter Generator (BISG) assists the engine during acceleration and provides the hot-start function. A 0.8kWh battery is employed with a conventional six-speed manual transmission on both two and four-wheel-drive versions.

A high-voltage series-parallel hybrid option is badged HYBRID 140 and utilises a tried-and-tested 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre, petrol engine that develops 94bhp. It also possesses two electric motors, one of which is a high-voltage BISG. The 230-volt battery is rated at 1.2 kWh and is shared with the current Renault Clio, although the higher capacity battery, used in larger plug-in Hybrid Renaults, is not available – at

As is the current fashion, an LCD screen replaces dials in the new version.

Rob Marshall looks at a set of new car tech innovations

A potential smear-fest of a touchscreen dominates the fascia but at least Dacia includes logical physical switchgear for the HVAC system.

least for the time being. Dacia claims that its high energy recovery capacity makes it possible to drive in all-electric mode up to 80% of the time in urban conditions. HYBRID 140 is available only with an automatic gearbox, which is Renault's unique E-Tech friction clutchless dog-clutch transmission. This possesses four ratios for the engine and two for the other high-voltage electric motor, which is situated within the transmission casing.

The long-lived 1.5dCi diesel engine has gone, replaced with a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that runs on LPG. While Dacia claims to be the only carmaker to o er a dualfuel option on all of its combustion-engined vehicles, under the ECO-G brand, it is unclear whether this option will be available in the UK. One reason is the fast-declining number of LPG stations in this country.

The e-tech automatic transmission houses the main high-voltage drive motor on the HYBRID 140 version. This transmission is unique to the Renault Alliance group and is protected by over 150 patents.

All change

The old B0 platform has also been replaced for the first time in the Duster's history. The new car has inherited the Common Module Family CMF-B, a five-year-old chassis that is shared with other recently-modernised Dacias, as well as various Renault and Nissans, Clio and Juke included.

On the outside, the plastic cladding is produced from a new product, called Starkle, a Dacia innovation. This includes the underbody shields, wheel-arch linings and bumper inserts. This material contains up to 20% reused polypropylene and is unpainted. While this keeps the environmentalists happy,

the lack of paint means that, should the plastic get abraded, the resultant scratches are less obvious. Very practical. Very honest. Very Dacia.

Meeting expectations

The interior has also evolved to match modern expectations. Gone are analogue dials, replaced with a pair of LCD screens, a change that is not necessarily for the better. As with most modern cars, software is a primary driver and the budget Dacia is configured for over-the-air updates.

Traditionalists will be happy that a manual gearbox and a physical handbrake lever are still available on the forthcoming Duster.

Not that long ago, ADAS equipment was relegated to only the most expensive vehicles. Yet, the new Duster boasts automatic emergency braking that can detect not just other cars but also bicycles and pedestrians. Tra c sign recognition and speeding alerts also feature, along with rear parking assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver attention alerts and the mandatory eCall emergency telephone system. As such a comprehensive safety suite features on a price-conscious mainstream vehicle, it emphasises that aftermarket garages should consider ADAS calibration training and equipment necessary for their survival.

However, much hangs on the price. New car inflation has risen considerably over the past few years but Dacia has been reported as stating that the third-generation Duster is "The best bargain on the market." Although the pre-launch starting price of £17,500 appears high, consider that the Chinese-built MG ZS 1.5-litre petrol non-hybrid is priced at over £18,000. It is attracting interest, too. Almost 6,000 UK buyers registered interest in the new Duster, in a little over one month after it was announced.

Starkle is a paintless plastic cladding, used in various places on the Duster. It contains up to 20% reused polypropylene and is entirely paint-free, which helps to reduce the production process's carbon footprint. For ecological reasons, Dacia has also avoided using leather and decorative chrome in all its models.


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

Free registration to [pro]Tech start

ZF Aftermarket is o ering free registration to [pro] Tech start, which supports technician professional development. Users can access ZF Aftermarket's Online Portal Service campaigns for all vehicle manufacturers, vehicle-specific fitting instructions and special training o ers, including upcoming hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) calibration.

Technicians can also access its online product catalogue, installation and product hotline for technical support, a wide range of advertising materials and promotional gifts.

Technical and Training Manager, Darren Lloyd, said:

"The automotive aftermarket is rapidly evolving with new technologies. Ongoing training ensures that technicians stay updated with the latest developments and can e ectively diagnose and repair modern vehicles. It also ensures that they can continue to o er quality service, safety standards aren’t compromised, and they stay ahead and comply with the latest regulations.

“The [pro]Tech start initiative provides workshops with valuable resources to excel in their field. By o ering free registration, we aim to remove barriers and empower workshops to access the tools and knowledge they need to succeed."

Workshops can register for free at www.zfprotech. com, using the code 055969.

Fiat original documents now available

The refreshed Bosch ESI[tronic] Evolution diagnostic software already included Audi and VW Original Documents when it was launched in February and now includes Fiat, whose information is now available in the Original Documents area, accessible directly from the dedicated tile in the Start Screen.

Users can access OE service, repair and maintenance data, including circuit diagrams from Audi, VW, and now Fiat. Bosch plans to deliver 10 brands of OE Manufacturer Documents in total for 2024, all included in the Advanced and Master Pack ESI[tronic] subscriptions.

Consistent power

27 starters and 22 alternators, linked to 491 OE part numbers, increase the car and light commercial range of rotating electrics, from Denso.

The new additions cater for 2,525 applications and almost 46 million vehicles throughout Europe and include references for many models from European manufacturers.

The alternators, for example, are almost exclusively for European marques ranging from Audi, BMW and Dacia, to Mercedes, Renault and VW, although Mitsubishi and Nissan LCVs also feature in the mix.

The bulk of the starter additions are again for European manufacturers, but also include brands such as Bentley, Porsche, Hyundai and KIA. LCV applications are also among these new references, again with Nissan, but also with several variants of the Ford Transit.

The additions are available immediately from its distributors and can be found at:


Advanced dealer tool support

Maverick Diagnostics provides a Dealer Tool Support program, providing workshops with tools, software updates and expert guidance. This subscription service provides remote assistance and a dedicated helpline for expert troubleshooting. Fully tested and automated OEM software updates are provided, keeping equipment aligned with the latest advancements from VMs.

A team of support technicians are available during business hours, o ering comprehensive assistance, from registration to complex programming issues.

Dara Beck, a vehicle technician from Arwyns Garage, reports: “We've been with Maverick Diagnostics since late 2018, and the team have been very helpful in setting up our OEM tools and licensing. We upgraded to cover more VMs. Maverick Diagnostics can ‘remote in’ and assist us with a vehicle where we can work in another vehicle, which saves us time and money.

Workshops owners can choose from a menu of flexible pricing options, starting from £95 per month and workshop owners can calculate their return on investment by using its ROI calculator.

Economical repairs

febi supplies more than 625 wheel bearing kits for popular vehicle applications, covering up to 95% of all popular cars on European roads, containing all the accessories needed for a complete repair.

Wheel bearings with reluctor rings are required for vehicles with ABS – febi has over 210 within the range and has over 65 single bearings available, which o er the most economical repair. The easiest repair with minimal labour costs is achieved by using wheel bearing kits with the hub, it has over 310.

A 3-year manufacturer guarantee is provided with all its replacement parts.

Braking addition

The Alliance Automotive Group (AAG) has added Brembo braking to its portfolio.

AAG will stock over 1,450 parts across three distinct Brembo ranges – Prime, Xtra, and Beyond – o ering diverse options to workshops and their customers. The inventory will encompass brake pads, brake discs, and calipers, with product highlights including two-piece discs, X-Style calipers, EV Kits, and Greenance Kits.

59 Batteries
beyond. Experts in the right battery technology, whatever your application. Scan to visit our site Ecobat Battery, 36a Vanguard Way, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 3TG, UK T: +44 (0)1743 218500 | VISIT US AT ECOBATBATTERY.COM Auto Technician_May 2024 (190mmWx130mmH) copy.indd 1 28/03/2024 10:36:59

All aboard the new BenBus

Automotive charity Ben has been on the road visiting workshops in its branded VW Transporter campervan to raise awareness of its life-changing support

The BenBus first headed to automotive companies in Guildford, including the UK Garage & Bodyshop Event team, surprising workshops by turning up in the bus with food and drinks, and encouraging employees to get together for a chat.

Ben’s dedicated Ben On the Road team is on a mission to increase awareness of Ben’s Health & Wellbeing services and support. The team will be out on the road in the new BenBus delivering on-site visits to automotive employers to ensure more people who work in the automotive industry know Ben is here for them and their family dependents.

The charity is now also o ering automotive industry companies the opportunity to ‘Back the BenBus’ by sponsoring the vehicle. In return, the Ben team will join up with yours, visit your customers and feature your branding on the vehicle for one year. If you would like a visit from the team in the new BenBus, or to find out more about sponsorship, visit

“The BenBus visit to Yateley MOT was a nice surprise. I hadn't heard of the charity before, but I learnt about the support Ben o ers technicians from Sharon and Sarah and it’s absolutely fantastic. Anything that can help working professionals with confidential support is a massive win.”

Ellen Plumer, Head of Marketing and Outreach, said: “We’re delighted to be unveiling our new BenBus which will raise further awareness about the vital services we provide for our automotive family. Visibility is hugely important as our team is on the road all year-round visiting companies to spread the word about Ben and see those who need to hear about their industry charity. Knowing about Ben can make all the di erence. If you would like to book a visit or discuss backing our BenBus, visit, and if you see the bus out the road, give us a honk!”

Ben is here for our industry family so if you work, or have worked, in the automotive industry, they urge you to get in touch now if you’re struggling via its free and confidential helpline. Don't su er in silence, contact the helpline: 08081 311 333 or use webchat at You can also access Ben’s out of hours text support line by texting BEN to 85258.

Sign up for tips & tools for your health & wellbeing:

The Ben Bus visits the team at Yateley MOT

5-6 June 2024, NEC

Training | Tools | Technology

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



More than

5000 visitors

200 suppliers


Workshop Training Hub

Scan the QR code

2024 exhibitors include

EV Training Hub

Modern Garage Student programme

Run in association with



An e-learning platform that provides technicians with the ability to enhance their skills and knowledge across a wide range of topics. From the very latest technology such as Hybrid/EV & ADAS right through to servicing traditional braking systems – it’s all covered!



Built for technicians by technicians

300+ learning modules

Real world content

Variety of trainers

Easy to navigate

Training from the OEM






Step by step how-to videos

Latest training techniques

Real world case studies

Real world faults

Interactive engine simulator – can you fix it?

Integrated practical training

as well as a completion certificate for each course


delphia fterma

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.