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Shocks And Struts Don’t Sell Themselves

November 2012

Cash on the

Counter Keep customers happy, increase sales with fuel pump add-ons.

Enter Quest for Cash, Page 53


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INSIDE

November Volume 30, No. 10

features 28

Tech Feature ................................................ By Larry Carley

Shocks and struts don’t sell themselves.

34

Mechanic Connection ........................ By Gary Goms.

Fuel pump add-on sales: Some common oversights in selling fuel pumps and related parts.

34

46

Tech Feature ................................................ By Andrew Markel

28

Interpreting brake pad terminology.

46

columns Editor’s Ink

8

By Mark Phillips......................................................

Have money. No product.

Keeping It Simple

42

Counterman’s

By Gerald Wheelus ..........................

Imperfections are part of life.

Allen & Allan

50

By Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber ........

Where do we go from here?

Counter-tech

44

By Mandy Aguilar ........................................

You sell boxes of what?

pg. 53

COUNTERMAN (ISSN 0739-3695) (November 2012 Volume 30, Number 11): Copyright 2012 Babcox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved: Published monthly by Babcox, 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333 U.S.A. Phone (330) 670-1234, Fax (330) 670-0874. Periodical postage paid at Akron, OH 44333 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COUNTERMAN, 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333-8318. A limited number of complimentary subscriptions are available to individuals who meet the qualification requirements. Call (330) 670-1234, Ext. 275, to speak to a subscription services representative or FAX us at (330) 670-5335. Paid Subscriptions are available for non-qualified subscribers at the following rates: U.S.: $69. Samples and back issues - Domestic - $10, International/via air mail $15. Canada: $89 for one year, $149 for two years. Canadian rates include GST. Ohio residents add 5.75% sales tax. Other foreign rates/via air mail: $129 for one year. Payable in advance in U.S. funds. Mail payment to COUNTERMAN, P.O. Box 75692, Cleveland, OH 44101-4755. Visa, MasterCard or American Express accepted.

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November 2012 | Counterman


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departments 12

MarketPlace ....................................................................................................

Every month, MarketPlace showcases the newest automotive product and service innovations your customers are asking about!

Aftermarket News

14

....................................................................................

Aftermarket News presents news, views and analysis of current trends and events in aftermarket distribution.

NASCAR Performance

40

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This monthly special section takes you behind the scenes of this fast-growing sport.

PUBLISHER

S. Scott Shriber 330-670-1234, ext. 229 sshriber@babcox.com EDITORIAL

Mark Phillips, Editor 330-670-1234, Ext. 299 mphillips@babcox.com Amy Antenora, Editor, aftermarketNews Managing Editor, Counterman 330-670-1234, Ext. 220 aantenora@babcox.com Larry Carley, Technical Editor lcarley@babcox.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

54,55

Classifieds ..........................................................................................

56

Mandy Aguilar, Columnist Gary Goms, Commercial Accounts Gerald Wheelus, Columnist Allen Markowitz, Columnist Allan Gerber, Columnist Jerry King, Cartoonist GRAPHIC DESIGN

Lisa DiPaolo, Graphic Designer 330-670-1234 , Ext. 281 ldipaolo@babcox.com ADVERTISING SERVICES

Tina Purnell Advertising Services Manager 330-670-1234 , Ext. 243 tpurnell@babcox.com CIRCULATION SERVICES Brad Mitchell, Director of eMedia & Audience Development 330-670-1234 , Ext. 277 bmitchell@babcox.com Pat Robinson, Circulation Manager 330-670-1234, Ext. 276 probinson@babcox.com Ellen Mays, Circulation Specialist 330-670-1234, Ext. 275 emays@babcox.com CORPORATE Bill Babcox, President Greg Cira, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Stankard, Vice President Beth Scheetz, Controller

ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVES HOME OFFICE: 3550 Embassy Parkway Akron, OH 44333-8318 330-670-1234 FAX 330-670-0874 Bill Babcox bbabcox@babcox.com 330-670-1234, ext. 217

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PUBLISHER: S. Scott Shriber sshriber@babcox.com 330-670-1234, ext. 229 SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Dean Martin dmartin@babcox.com 330-670-1234, ext. 225

November 2012 | Counterman

Jim Merle jmerle@babcox.com 330-670-1234, ext. 280

Sean Donohue sdonohue@babcox.com 330-670-1234, ext. 206

Roberto Almenar ralmenar@babcox.com 330-670-1234, ext. 233

John Zick jzick@babcox.com 949-756-8835

Glenn Warner gwarner@babcox.com 330-670-1234, ext. 212

CLASSIFIED SALES: Tom Staab tstaab@babcox.com 330-670-1234, ext. 224

Edward S. Babcox (1885-1970) Founder Tom B. Babcox (1919-1995) Chairman Founded 1983. Copyright 2012 Babcox Media, Inc., All Rights Reserved COUNTERMAN (ISSN-0739-3695) is published monthly by Babcox Media, 3550 Embassy Pkwy., Akron, OH 44333. Periodical postage paid at Akron, OH and additional mailing offices. Member, BPA International


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E

DITOR’S INK By Mark Phillips

Have Money. Need Product. have a friend who bought a new device recently. It’s not important what the device is, but you’ll probably read between the lines. The device, made by a hot gadget-, computer- and phone-maker, came as a bit of a surprise to consumers. Unlike other gadgets that were announced during previous mega-events, this one kind of snuck in the back door. Besides surprising consumers with very little fanfare, the non-eventful announcement also surprised makers of cases and other accessories that like to time their time-to-market with the unveiling of the gadget. So, with gadget in-hand on the day it came out, he had nothing to wrap it in. No one, I mean, no one, had a case ready for it. It appears it came as such a surprise that no accessory-maker had a product in the pipeline. So it was an agonizing 48 hours — yes, that’s an eternity anymore — until a halfway suitable case appeared on Amazon.com. So he snagged the first thing. And he snagged it fully knowing he would need to buy a more formidable case — whenever that case was unveiled. So, it’s been more than two weeks now and coverage for this particular device is still lacking — very lacking. What’s my point? There’s nothing more agonizing than needing or wanting something and you can’t have

I What’s my point? There’s nothing more agonizing than needing or wanting something and you can’t have access to it.

access to it. Here he was, money ready inhand, eagerly wanting to spend it but not being able to buy what he wanted. When my friend relayed his woes, I was reminded of the famous scene from “Glengarry Glen Ross” where a hot-shot salesman played by Alec Baldwin, is brought in to berate a group of salesmen whose numbers were sagging: “Get out there. You got the prospects coming in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy don’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They’re sitting out there, waiting to give you their money.” Think Now About Counter Professional of the Year Having just gotten back recently from AAPEX, and having taken part in several events related to Counterman’s 27th annual Counter Professional of the Year award program, you’d think we’d rest. But we can’t. We’ve already begun taking submissions for the 2013 Counter Professional of the Year award. You can nominate yourself or someone else. And you’ll need some information, including the nominee’s eight-digit ASE identification number, among other things. Be prepared to answer a few questions, which include (and take your time. There’s no hurry): •Why do you feel you (or the nominee) should be the Counter Professional of the Year? •What strides have you (or the nominee) made in your career to better yourself as a parts professional? •What are the three biggest issues facing the automotive aftermarket today, in your opinion? We’re taking submissions until July 1, 2013. Good luck! CM

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For more information: www.counterman.com


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MARKETPLACE › visit www.counterman.com/ASAP for reader service CRC Industries Launches New Aftermarket Top Engine Cleaner CRC Industries has introduced the new CRC TOP ENGINE CLEANER, an aftermarket top end cleaner available for professional automotive technicians and do-it-yourselfers. Using the attached extension tube, CRC Top Engine Cleaner is sprayed directly into the throttle body while the engine is idling at around 2,000 RPMs. Once the entire can has been dispensed, the engine should be turned off and the chemical allowed to heat-soak for 15 to 20 minutes. When the engine is restarted, the vehicle will dispel white smoke through the exhaust. The vehicle should be driven until that white smoke disappears, CRC says. For the best results, CRC recommends users change the oil and oil filter after running a top engine cleaner through the engine. CRC INDUSTRIES

MaxDry STL Steel-Carrier Intake Manifold Gaskets Magnum Gaskets offers MaxDry STL steel-carrier gaskets for the most demanding intake manifold applications. They feature super-premium FKM synthetic rubber, precisionmolded onto corrosion-resistant aluminized steel carriers. They offer maximum protection from exposure to harsh chemical environments and extreme operating conditions, including extended-life anti-freeze, known as OAT (Organic Acid Technology) coolants. MAGNUM GASKETS, AN MSI BRAND

WIZARDS Introduces Nano-Technology Spray Wax WIZARDS Products is proud to announce the addition of MYSTIC SPRAY WAX (Part No. 01235) to pump up the company’s ever-growing line of superior professional detailing and finishing products. Developed to be more compatible with today’s advanced clear coats, MYSTIC SPRAY WAX performs excellent on all paint types providing an instant bond with incredible gloss and depth, wash after wash. This easy application spray eliminates hazing and white filmy residues. In addition to giving you a showroom shine, MYSTIC SPRAY WAX can be used on any hard surface including glass, chrome, polycarbonate, fiberglass, gel-coat, plastics and rubber trim, to safely remove dust, bugs, bird droppings, road grime, oily fingerprints and light water spotting. WIZARDS PRODUCTS

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MARKETPLACE › visit www.counterman.com/ASAP for reader service 20 New Delphi Ignition Coils Introduced Delphi has introduced 20 new ignition coils that cover more than 6.4 million North American Ford, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Toyota, Audi, Daewoo, GM, KIA, Suzuki and Mazda vehicles from 1985 to present. Delphi ignition coils are designed to operate as part of an integral engine management system to insert power into spark plugs and ensure fast starts, consistent engine performance and optimized fuel efficiency, according to the company. The new part numbers include: GN10275, GN10277, GN10280, GN10281, GN10282, GN10285, GN10286, GN10287, GN10288, GN10290, GN10292, GN10294, GN10296, GN10298, GN10299, GN10300, GN10301, GN10302, GN10303 and GN10307. Inventory will be available the fourth quarter of 2012. DELPHI

Bar’s Leaks ‘Concentrates’ on Stopping Oil, Transmission & Steering Leaks Because of its focus on keeping costs low for customers, Bar’s Leaks has concentrated several of its leading products, reducing the amount of non-essential ingredients and shrinking package sizes. As a result, Bar’s Leaks introduces Engine Oil Stop Leak Concentrate (p/n 1010), Transmission Stop Leak Concentrate (p/n 1420) and Power Steering Stop Leak Concentrate (p/n 1630) in new 11 oz. bottles. Concentrates are made in the U.S.A. Their labels include directions in both English and Spanish. BAR’S LEAKS

Introducing Exide Edge Flat Plate AGM Batteries with SureLife Graphite Technology Exide Edge is the first and only absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery* that features SureLife Graphite Technology to maximize available energy capacity – helping batteries perform at higher levels longer. Designed for today’s active families and busy professionals, Exide Edge provides more protection against battery failure; helping vehicles stay strong and perform like new. Starts Like New. Stays Like New Longer. *Among leading competitors EXIDE

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AFTERMARKET NEWS

Longtime Babcox Media Executive

Becky Babcox Passes Away

Becky was well-known and respected for her contributions to the industry and made many friends among aftermarket professionals during her years of service.

f

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AKRON, Ohio – Babcox Media is saddened to announce the passing of Mary Rebecca “Becky” Babcox, a longtime automotive aftermarket industry veteran. Becky died peacefully on Oct. 15, 2012, in Akron, Ohio, after a long battle with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). She was 60 years old. For many years, Becky was co-owner of Babcox Media, along with her brother, Bill Babcox. Together, they were the third generation of the Babcox family to run the company founded by their grandfather, Edward S. Babcox in 1920. Becky retired from the company in 2006, after nearly 30 years in the business. She was named “Woman of the Year” by the Car Care Council Women’s Board that same year. In addition to serving as Corporate Secretary of Babcox, Becky was Publisher of Automotive Rebuilder magazine, known today as Engine Builder magazine. She was an active participant in the rebuilding industry, serving as a board member of the Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA) and numerous other aftermarket associations, including the Engine Builders Association (AERA), the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA) and the Car Care Council Women’s Board. Becky was well-known and respected for her contributions to the industry and made many friends among aftermarket professionals during her years of service. With her warm and friendly nature, Becky couldn’t walk down the aisles at trade shows without receiving abundant hellos from admiring industry peers. All those who knew her would say her generosity was unmatched. She lived life with a positive attitude and even in the end stages of life never relinquished her characteristic grace and humility. In addition to her significant career accomplishments, Becky served her beloved Akron, Ohio, community by giving time and energy to Goodwill Industries, Planned Parenthood, Junior League of Akron, The Akron Garden Club, Old Trail School, and many others. Becky was a graduate of Emory University and received her MBA from The Ohio State University. She is survived by her son, Rob.


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AFTERMARKET NEWS

DENSO Sales California Launches Extreme 5x5x5 Starter And Alternator Program LONG BEACH, Calif. – DENSO Sales California has announced the launch of its Extreme 5x5x5 Starter and Alternator program, which runs through Dec. 31. This special program, available to DENSO First Time Fit authorized distributors, offers unique terms and incentives to warehouse distributors, counter pros and technicians, the company says.

“The Extreme 5x5x5 program provides an excellent opportunity for our customers to take advantage of excellent pricing and terms,” said John Doran, senior manager, product management group. “DENSO starters and alternators feature industry-leading quality and value.” DENSO now offers an additional 40 starter and alternator part num-

bers for many late model import and domestic models. For details about the Extreme 5x5x5 program, contact your local DENSO representative.

Argus Analyzers Closes Its Doors

Aftermarket DIY Consumers Shop At Multiple Retailers For Automotive Purchases, NPD Finds HOUSTON — Automotive do-it-yourself (DIY) consumers appear to spread the wealth around to multiple retailers when it comes to maintaining, accessorizing, repairing and cleaning their vehicles, according to new research from The NPD Group. Recent NPD automotive aftermarket research finds that only 37 percent of consumers rely on the same retailer for all of their automotive product needs, almost half of DIY consumers shop at two or three different retailers, and 14 percent shop at many retailers. The top four attributes that DIY consumers said were “very important” to them are, in rank order: knowledgeable workers, items in stock, value for the money, and quality. That’s according to a recent aftermarket retail study, which covers 18 attributes important to consumers during the shopping experience.

Rhode Island-based maker of battery testers, sensors and monitors Argus Analyzers announced on Oct. 12 that the company has ceased operations.

Guess the Car / Win $50! Last Month’s Correct Answer:

This Month’s Puzzle What vehicle MODEL does this picture represent? If you think you know the answer, go to www.counterman.com and click “Guess the Car” on the nav bar. Submit your answer and contact information. A winner will be randomly selected by the Counterman staff from all correct answers. The deadline to enter is Dec 12. The winner’s name will appear in the next issue. Stay tuned!

#58 16

November 2012 | Counterman

She’s my sis!

#57 Genesis (Hyundai) Congrats to Anthony Sparacino, Aurora, Colo.


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AFTERMARKET NEWS

NPW’s Acquisition Of Motor Warehouse Now Complete

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MIAMI, Fla. – National Performance Warehouse (NPW) announced that its acquisition of Sacramento, Calif.-based Motor Warehouse is now complete. As of Oct. 8, Motor Warehouse became NPW’s ninth location. In business since 1933, Motor Warehouse has specialized in engine components and is known for its knowledge and expertise when it comes to parts and tech support for gas and diesel engines. The company’s expertise ranges from the newest powertrains installed in today’s cars and trucks to motors dating back to Henry Ford’s Model T. Motor Warehouse will maintain its current staff and management. Larry Pacey, NPW’s president and CEO, commented, “The Motor

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Warehouse operation helps us solidify our traditional parts selection, adds to our performance niche and opens up the restoration

and classic vehicle area for us. We feel that with our product mix and the uniqueness we can offer that jobbers, automotive chains and other related outlets will realize the value in having a relationship with our company.”

Fuse5 Introduces Cloud-Based Technology Designed For The Aftermarket CORALVILLE, Iowa – Green Team Technologies announced that it has developed what the company claims to be among the industry’s first cloud-based solutions for the automotive aftermarket, called Fuse5. Fuse5 is a complete business management system and enterprise resource planning tool. The product allows customers to improve their inventory efficiency,

forecasting, price-points, sales strategies and more, all adding to increased profitability, according to Green Team Technologies. “Utilizing the same technology as Google and Facebook, Fuse5 is able to provide our customers with flexibility and functionality that is not, and never will be, available with current on-site server-based systems,” said Gabe Davis, CEO of Green Team Technologies.


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AFTERMARKET NEWS

GPC Reports Record Sales And Earnings For The Third Quarter ATLANTA – Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) reported record sales and earnings for the third quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2012. Thomas Gallagher, chairman and

CEO, announced today that sales totaling $3.4 billion were up 3 percent compared to the third quarter of 2011. Net income for the quarter was $172.9 million, an increase of

FleetPride Sold To Private Investment Firm

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas – FleetPride Inc., one of the nation’s largest retailers of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts, owned by Investcorp, has been sold to private investment firm TPG. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012 and is subject to customary conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals. Terms were not disclosed. “We are extremely excited to enter the next phase of our growth strategy with TPG and I am very proud of the teamwork and effort our FleetPride employees across the country have demonstrated in the execution of this strategy,” said W.M. McGee, chairman and CEO of FleetPride. “We welcome our new partner who shares our commitment to superior customer service and continued growth in the markets that are essential for the country’s economic stability. TPG’s vision for expansion through acquisition and greenfield opportunities will enable FleetPride to better serve our existing customers as we aggressively grow our national footprint.” “As the leading independent distributor of aftermarket truck and trailer parts in North America, FleetPride has a strong reputation for its broad inventory, parts availability and customer service,” said Kevin Burns, partner at TPG. “The company has demonstrated an impressive track record of growth, which we hope to continue to support in the future.”

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14 percent from $151.8 million recorded in the same period of the previous year. Earnings per share on a diluted basis were $1.11, up 14 percent compared to 97 cents for the third quarter last year. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2012, sales totaled $9.9 billion, up 5 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Net income for the nine months was $487.8 million, an increase of 13 percent from $430.2 million recorded in the previous year. Earnings per share on a diluted basis were $3.11, up 14 percent compared to $2.72 for the same period last year. In review of the quarter, Gallagher commented, “We are pleased to report another quarter of record sales and earnings for Genuine Parts Co. After adjusting our sales results for one less selling day in the current quarter, total sales increased 4 percent from the third quarter of 2011. The Automotive Group reported a 2.5 percent sales increase and adjusted for the selling days, automotive sales were up 4 percent.


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AFTERMARKET NEWS

2012 AAIA Head of the Class Awards Presented BETHESDA, Md. – The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has announced the recipients of its 2012 Head of the Class Award, honoring six aftermarket companies. The award is administered by the AAIA Education Committee on behalf of the association, and was created to highlight and recognize companies that continually invest in employee education and training and to promote the value and benefit that this investment provides to the employees and their companies, as well as the entire aftermarket industry. The 2012 winners, designated by aftermarket category, are: ● Manufacturer (Large):The Timken Co., Canton, Ohio

● Manufacturer (Mid-Size): Gold Eagle Co., Chicago, Ill.

● Warehouse Distributor: Automo-

tive Parts Headquarters, St. Cloud, Minn. ● Jobber (Education/Training of Employees of Company Owned Stores): Crow-Burlingame Co., Little Rock, Ark. ● Retail: VIP-Parts, Tires & Service, Lewiston, Maine ● Repair Shop: Gustafson’s Auto Clinic, Inc./Tirecraft, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada

“It is inspiring to discover how forward-thinking aftermarket companies are empowering their people through the adoption of education programs and by encouraging participation in continuous learning opportunities,” said AAIA Education Committee Chairman Mike Mohler of National Pronto Association. “Join us in applauding the efforts of this year’s Head of the Class winners.”

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Over the Counter By Jerry King

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AFTERMARKET NEWS

FRAM Wins Popular Mechanics’ Readers’ Choice Award LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The readers of Popular Mechanics magazine have named FRAM as its favorite filter (air, oil or fuel) brand as part of the publication’s 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards. “It is definitely an honor to be recognized by the readers of Popular Mechanics, many of whom are true gear-heads, as the best filter brand on the shelf,” said Josh Gordon, marketing director for FRAM Filtration. “At FRAM Filtration, we are focused on developing products that enhance the driving experience and deliver the best engine protection available.”

Since 2009, Popular Mechanics has conducted the annual survey to determine readers’ favorite brands in the automotive, home, retail and electronics categories. This year, in the automotive segment, readers were asked to vote for their favorite brands across eight categories, including gas, oil and tires. More than 3,000 readers responded to survey. FRAM Filtration’s top-selling oil filters include Extra Guard, Tough Guard and FRAM Ultra, as well as FRAM Fresh Breeze, a cabin air filter that removes 98 percent of dust, dirt and allergens.

California ‘Key is in the Mail’ Bill Vetoed by Governor CAWA and AAIA have reported a victory for consumers and the automotive aftermarket alike in California, following the veto by Gov. Jerry Brown of SB 750. The bill, introduced by Sen. Ed Hernandez, and sponsored by BMW, sought to exempt automakers from providing electronic key code information to locksmiths, requiring motorists to contact the automaker to get a replacement key for their vehicle.

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SAE International, Global OEMs To Create Research Group For Further Study Of 1234yf Refrigerant WARRENDALE, Pa. – SAE International is working with an international group of automobile manufacturers to investigate the formation of a new cooperative research program (CRP) regarding 1234yf refrigerant. The formation of the group is in response to a Daimler AG press release from Sept. 25, which questioned the safety of the refrigerant. The CRP will 24

November 2012 | Counterman

technically evaluate the findings referred to in the release. SAE International has hosted an organizational meeting to discuss a preliminary scope of research and is actively soliciting OEMs to formally join the new CRP. Once plans for the scope of research have been agreed upon and finalized, SAE International and the CRP will begin their research.


AFTERMARKET NEWS

TechSmart Announces Fall 2012 Line Expansion LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. — Standard Motor Products (SMP) has expanded its TechSmart line of enhanced engine control products for professional service technicians with the addition of 98 premium parts and 14 new product categories, along with an updated fall 2012 New Parts Guide. Highlighting the release are 11 HID (Xenon) headlight ballasts, four BMW and Mercedes-Benz headlight level sensors, 10 General Motors and Hyundai air bag sensors and a variable intake manifold actuator for 2.0T Volkswagen/Audi, which are high-failure OE parts, according to SMP.

Performance Friction Unveils New ‘PFC’ Logo

“The TechSmart brand is gaining momentum in the marketplace and is fast becoming recognized for its innovation, engineering expertise, superior product quality and competitive pricing,” said Phil Hutchens, senior director of marketing, SMP. “Each TechSmart part has been specifically chosen to meet the TechSmart core criteria of providing professional service technicians with new technology and problem-solving improvements to the original — with a proven quality they can trust.” For additional information, contact an SMP sales representative or visit www.TechSmartParts.com.

ing Director Nina Burgoon. “It showed how passionate PFC employees and customers are about the brand.”

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CLOVER, S.C. —Performance Friction (PFC) has unveiled its new logo, designed to embody a fresh look and feel that is a more accurate reflection of Performance Friction’s corporate identity. The third-generation logo has evolved with new purpose and meaning, adopting the familiar “PFC” name customers and fans know the company by. While PFC President Don Burgoon was at a brake test with a premier customer, it became clear to him that the change to “PFC” wasn’t a new name at all, but rather a formal acceptance of a name the market already calls the company, he said. “Yes, we are still Performance Friction,” said Burgoon, “but in Germany, Japan, Europe, and America, our friends call us PFC.” A logo is part of a company’s culture and identity, and PFC designed the new mark with this in mind. During the logo creation process, a company-wide poll was taken to aid in the decision-making process and PFC employees and customers shared their opinions on the different designs. “It was exciting to see customers take part in the change,” said Market-

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AFTERMARKET NEWS

Automotive Distribution Network Hosts Near-Record Attendance At Fall Membership Meeting GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – The Automotive Distribution Network has reported one of the largest turnouts ever for the group’s fall membership meeting, with more than 95 percent of its members and more than 60 manufacturer partners represented at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Fla. “The huge turn-out is not only a reflection of the Network’s continued growth, but it’s also indicative of the positive state of the aftermarket and the enthusiasm surrounding its future,” said Mike Lambert, president of the Network. “This gathering helps chart the di-

rection of the Network and strengthens the idea of being a part of something bigger in the industry.” During the two-day event, the Network Strategic Plan for 2013 was revealed, featuring the automotive group’s upcoming initiatives for marketing, product, national accounts, information technology and finance. The Network also announced a $10,000 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of injured service members through unique,

Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (Act of August 12, 1970; Section 3685. Title 39. United States Code.) COUNTERMAN is published monthly at 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, Ohio 44333. Headquarters and general business offices are also at 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, Ohio 44333. Publication No. 0739-3695. The publisher of COUNTERMAN is Scott Shriber, the editor is Mark Phillips and the managing editor is Amy Antenora. The staff is located at 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, Ohio 44333. COUNTERMAN is owned by William E. Babcox, Babcox Media, Inc., 3550 Embassy Pkwy., Akron, OH 44333.

direct programs. Lambert presented the donation to Dan McCarthy, WWP director of special projects, who spoke to the attendees about the Jacksonville-based nonprofit’s unique, direct programs. “For years now, many Network members have had programs in place to hire or aid veterans,” Lambert said. “Our contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project extends those worthwhile efforts to help those who have served our country and their families.” Following a product review at the meeting, the Network members voted to select Federal-Mogul’s ANCO as the Network’s primary supplier of wiper blades. “ANCO’s wipers utilize the leading technology in blades today, yet remain affordable for millions of consumers,” Lambert said. “We look forward to a successful relationship with ANCO — a brand name whose replacement wiper blades are synonymous with quality OEM fit, form and function.”

Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None. Issue date for Circulation Data Below: August 2012. Extent and nature of circulation is:

Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months

Actual no. copies of single issue nearest to filing date

41,220

41,088

35,504

35,352

35,504 5,376 5,449 40,953 267 41,220

35,482 5,465 5,465 40,817 271 41,088

86.7%

86.6%

A. Total Number of Copies B. Paid and/or Requested Circulation 1. Paid/Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541 C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation D. Free Distribution Outside the Mail E. Total Free Distribution F. Total Distribution G. Copies not Distributed H. Total I. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation

I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete. Pat Robinson, Circulation Manager September 20, 2012

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November 2012 | Counterman

Pep Boys closed on its amended and restated term loan facility, in the principal amount of

$200 million bears interest at LIBOR (with a floor of 1.25 percent)

plus

3.75% and matures on Oct. 11, 2018. This reduces the company’s debt by $95 million.


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ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Shocks & Struts Don’t Sell Themselves here are two basic selling scenarios for shocks and struts. One is when a vehicle’s original equipment shocks or struts are worn out or damaged and are being replaced to restore like-new ride control, handling and driving safety. It’s essentially a repair job where the OEM parts are replaced with equivalent aftermarket parts. There’s no upsell or upgrade involved, and the price of the replacement parts is often more important than anything else. This type of sale usually only takes place after a vehicle has racked up considerable mileage and wear, and may be a once in a vehicle’s lifetime replacement sale depending on the age, mileage and value of the Consumers are often leery of being told they need new shocks or struts for fear they are vehicle that is being repaired. being taken advantage of and are being told The other scenario is when they need repairs they don’t really need. original equipment shocks or struts (or other aftermarket much of their own research online. dampers) are replaced to upgrade They’ll visit websites and forums ride control, handling performance where other vehicle owners have or load carrying capability. In this posted their comments regarding type of situation, price is not as various kinds of shocks and struts. important as the brand name They may visit shock manufacturrecognition of the product and the er’s websites for more detailed features and benefits the new product information and recomshocks or struts will provide for mendations. So by the time this type the customer’s vehicle. This type of customer walks into your store, of sale can occur at any point in a they may have a pretty good idea of vehicle’s life, whether it is brand what they want and why. They may new or a 50-year-old classic. It also have some additional questions or ask what you would recommend, requires much more conversation but they are essentially ready to buy. with your customer to figure out exactly what they want, what their There’s no hard sale required to make the sale. expectations are and which brand Contrast this with the typical moand type of shocks or struts to rectorist who probably doesn’t realize ommend for their vehicle. his shocks or struts may be worn Motorists who are interested in out and are overdue for replaceride control upgrades often do

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TECH FEATURE ment. Most consumers don’t realize that shocks and struts are wear components just like brake pads and tires. They have a limited service life that depends on time, mileage and usage. Parts that wear out eventually have to be replaced, yet many vehicles end up in the salvage yard with their original equipment struts and shocks still in place. That doesn’t mean these parts went the distance. It means most people don’t notice the gradual deterioration in ride control that occurs as the miles add up. It also means few motorists recognize the importance of replacing worn shocks and struts to maintain ride quality, good handling, steering stability, traction and driver safety. It also affects tire wear, too!

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The Safety Triangle Shocks and struts are a key component in the “Safety Triangle.” The three legs are Steering, Stopping and Stability. Just as a three-legged stool needs all three legs for support, so too do all vehicles need good steering, stopping and stability for safe driving. Steering refers to the condition of steering linkage components such as tie rod ends and idler arms. It also includes the upper strut mounts, which can affect steering effort, steering return, steering feel and noise, too. Worn steering linkage components that allow play may allow a vehicle to wander at highway speeds. A tie rod or idler arm failure can be especially dangerous because it can cause a loss of steering control. Stopping refers to the brakes and the brake system’s ability to bring a vehicle to a quick, controlled stop. Worn brake pads or shoes, or serious problems (such as leaks) with the calipers, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, brake lines or ABS system can create a potentially dangerous situation. Shocks and struts play a role here by preventing wheel hop when braking on rough surfaces.

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This improves traction and reduces the stopping distance of the vehicle. Stability refers to the ability to manage the motions of the suspension, to limit body roll and sway when cornering or driving in crosswinds, to limit nose dive when braking, and to keep the tires in firm contact with the road for better steering control, braking and traction. The shocks and struts are the key components in this part of the safety triangle, yet many people don’t recognize the role they play in overall safety. What the shocks and struts do is create resistance and friction that dampens the motions of the suspension as it responds to the road and body motions. Telling Is Selling Consumer education, therefore, is absolutely essential to sell replacement shocks and struts. If a motorist doesn’t know that shocks and struts are wear components that need to be inspected and eventually replaced, they probably won’t be buying any replacement shocks or struts anytime soon — unless, as we mentioned earlier, they are looking for a performance or load carrying upgrade, or a technician has discovered their vehicle needs new shocks or struts and is recommending they be replaced. Consumers are often leery of being told they need new shocks or struts for fear they are being taken advantage of and are being told they need repairs they don’t really need. Replacing a weak set of shocks or struts is not a required repair according to MAP (Motorist Assurance Program) guidelines. However, such repairs can be recommended to restore like-new handling. Repairs would be considered necessary if the shocks or struts are damaged (bent or broken), loose or missing altogether. In the case of struts, that would include a bent strut shaft (which might be the result of collision or curb damage), a cracked or


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TECH FEATURE

new on the shelf SENSEN: A Company on the Move. SENSEN North America announces the addition of 218 domestic shock and strut part numbers to their already extensive import coverage. These additions bring the Sensen program to more than 530 part numbers, which cover more than 1,900 vehicle applications. Sensen offers

one of the most complete aftermarket value line ride control programs. “Our coverage expansion continues to be our top priority with more new parts under development and coming online every day. In 2013, Sensen will be introducing over 300 SpeedyStrut® assemblies to address the growing

market demand for this product category. In today’s economy, consumers are looking for purchase options in the ride control category. The Sensen line, a quality value alternative, is uniquely positioned to meet this market demand,” said John Treece, CEO of SENSEN North America.

For More Info: www.sensen-na.com

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broken spring mount or strut housing, or a damaged or worn upper strut mount. A car won’t start with a bad battery, and it won’t stop if the brakes are shot. But the consequences of bad shocks or struts are often not so obvious to many motorists. Even so, the consequences are there. The tires may be wearing unevenly (a cupped wear pattern is a classic symptom of uncontrolled tire bounce due to weak dampers). A bent strut may prevent the wheels from being properly aligned and create a steering pull and/or uneven tire wear. Weak dampers also can make a vehicle unstable in heavy crosswinds or when driving on twisting, curvy roads. Weak dampers also may allow the suspension to bottom out or bounce excessively when passing over potholes and dips in the road. And as we mentioned before, lack of proper ride control may allow loss of traction when braking hard on rough roads. Any customer who needs new shocks of struts is a potential customer for an upgrade, especially if they drive a performance or sporty vehicle of some type, or use their vehicle for towing or off-roading. Standard replacement dampers are fine for everyday driving, but for spirited driving, racing, towing or off-roading, some type of performance shock/strut or overload shock/strut may be recommended. A set of high-pressure gas monotube struts may be just the thing to complement a performance tire/wheel package. CM 32

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COVER STORY

Fuel Pump Add-On Sales Some common oversights in selling fuel pumps and related parts. By Gary Goms

re you leaving money “on the table” when you sell fuel system parts? If you’re not familiar with the various configurations of fuel system and fuel pump components, probably so. Worse still, leaving money on the table can result in a partial fuel pump repair that will actually invite customer complaints and warranty comebacks. Let’s look at some common oversights in selling fuel pumps and related parts.

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Low-Pressure Supply Pumps Many 1970s-1980s import and domestic vehicles used a framemounted fuel pump. Some of the early Volvos, for example, required at least 80 psi fuel pressure to properly perform. But there are some 34

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caveats in selling frame-mounted fuel pumps. Most frame-mounted fuel pump configurations require an in-tank, low-pressure supply pump to force fuel into the framemounted pump, generally at less than 8 psi fuel pressure. When the

Many 2012 vehicles, like this Hyundai, are now equipped with direct fuel injection systems.


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COVER STORY // Fuel pump in-tank pump begins to fail, it will often cause the frame pump to overheat and fail due to insufficient fuel being forced into the pump. But keep in mind that low-pressure, in-tank and engine-mounted supply pumps are currently used in most diesel applications to supply fuel to the engine’s high-pressure injection pump. In addition, modern direct fuel injection systems use a conventional in-tank fuel pump to supply fuel to a mechanical high-pressure fuel pump mounted on the engine. So don’t leave money on the table and create a potential warranty complaint by not doing your homework on supply pumps.

fuel pump, avoid warranty returns and add to your bottom line by suggesting a fuel filter replacement.

important to suggest a before-andafter fuel pressure test on any new fuel pump replacement.

Fuel Pressure Regulators The fuel pressure regulator is usual-

Fuel Filters

Conventional fuel pressure regulators are located at the end of the fuel pressure rail.

Fuel Tanks All too often, vehicles are refueled from a badly rusted or dirt-contaminated fuel tank or can. In some cases, finely granulated dirt will be filtered out in the fuel filter but, in most cases, larger granulations of dirt will clog the filter screen attached to the fuel pump inlet and starve the pump for fuel. Whenever a fuel pump is replaced, the tank should be inspected for dirt contamination, for loose fuel pump baffling, and for dents or distortions that can restrict fuel entry into the fuel pump or fuel exit from the pressure regulator return line. In some cases, a fuel tank can be cleaned with a hot solution of water and detergent, but in other cases, it’s more cost-effective to replace the fuel tank. But, if the plastic anti-sloshing baffles have become dislodged from the fuel tank itself, the tank should be replaced with one of the many available from OE or aftermarket sources. So keep track of your aftermarket sources for replacement fuel tanks. It’s an important problem-solver and profit center.

Fuel pressure gauges are used to test conventional fuel pumps. Pulsemodulated and direct fuel injection systems require scan tool diagnostics.

During the 1990s, most manufacturers began integrating their fuel filters into a fuel pump module that also contained the fuel level gauge and fuel pressure regulator. Consequently, it’s easy to forget the many vehicles on the road that are still equipped with frame or enginemounted fuel filters. The problem with replaceable fuel filters is that they can clog with sediment and cause many intermittent low-power engine performance complaints. Not only that, a partially clogged fuel filter can cause a premature fuel pump failure because the pump must work much harder to force fuel through a clogged fuel filter. So, when selling a non-modular 36

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ly mounted at the end of the fuel injector mounting rail on conventional dual-line fuel injection systems. As mentioned above, the fuel pressure regulator is contained internally on most single-line, modular fuel pump assemblies. The difference between dual and single line systems is that the dual-line system is made up of a high-pressure fuel supply line and a lowpressure fuel return line from the pressure regulator to the fuel tank. The single-line system returns pressure from the regulator directly to the fuel tank. Fuel pressure regulators can affect fuel pump performance if they fail. In some rare cases, the internal pressure regulation spring can break, which will reduce fuel pressure. In most cases, the pressure regulator will stick closed or the return line will become restricted, which will cause the fuel pump to operate at maximum or “deadhead” fuel pressure. High fuel pressure will cause the engine to run very rich on fuel and also might create a potential warranty situation by causing the new fuel pump to fail. To reduce warranty returns, it’s

Low Fuel Level Effects Warranty issues always subtract from a store’s bottom line. If you have a customer who appears to have more than his share of fuel pump failures, it’s a good bet that he’s running his fuel tank nearly dry before refueling his vehicle. Even with adequate baffling in the fuel tank, low fuel levels tend to cause the fuel pump to ingest air during acceleration, cornering and braking. Since modern high-speed fuel pumps require gasoline to lubricate the pump bearings and cool the pump itself, it’s cheaper in the long run to run on the top half of the fuel tank. One of the most important tips


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COVER STORY // Fuel pump for diagnosing a fuel delivery problem is to check the PCM for trouble codes indicating a faulty fuel level sensor or sending unit. Another tip is to compare the fuel gauge reading with the relative level observed in the fuel tank after the pump assembly has been removed. If the fuel gauge proves to be inaccurate, it’s entirely possible that the driver is running his vehicle too low on fuel. Relays And Resistors When I replace a fuel pump on a vehicle with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, I try to increase the reliability of the repair by replacing the fuel pump relay as well. A relay wears out because it’s an electrically operated switch with two tungsten contacts that connect the fuel pump to battery voltage. In many cases, the relay contacts oxidize and fail to close properly, which can create an intermittent cranking, no-start complaint. In other cases, the contacts can stick together, which allows the fuel pump to drain the battery with the ignition turned off. Considering its low cost, adding a relay to the fuel pump replacement invoice can add to profits and eliminate many potential warranty return complaints. Although two-speed fuel pumps are relatively rare, many Jeep vehi-

cles produced in the late 1980s and early ‘90s are equipped with twospeed fuel pumps. Basically, the two-speed fuel pump runs at low speed during idle and part-throttle to eliminate the irritating buzzing noise of the fuel pump. As the throttle opens, the PCM switches the pump to high-speed operation. A primary low-speed component is the fuel pump resistor located on the driver’s side fender well. If the resistor fails, the fuel pump will not operate. In addition, the resistor block provides a handy testing point to measure available voltage and current draw for the fuel pump. Here again, replacing the fuel pump resistor will increase the reliability of the fuel pump installation. Direct Fuel Injection Systems As mentioned above, direct fuel injection systems include a conventional fuel pump located in the fuel tank that supplies fuel to a highpressure mechanical fuel pump located on the engine. Because the high-pressure pump can produce well in excess of 1,000 psi fuel pressure, the steel fuel lines must be replaced when the high-pressure mechanical fuel pump or injection system is removed for service or replacement. For safety reasons alone, diagnosing and repairing direct fuel injection systems is best left to our service professionals. CM

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Always check the fuses and relays when replacing fuel pumps.

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Track Talk NASCAR Tech Graduate Finds Home with Roush Yates Racing Engines When Vic Russell first toured the Universal Technical Institute-Avondale campus in 2002, he had no idea that decision would change his life forever. It was during this initial campus visit that Russell mentioned his love for racing, and it was that conversation that ultimately led him to NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech) in Mooresville, N.C. “I wasn’t always interested in a career in racing, but when I first saw the campus in Mooresville, I was hooked,” said Russell. “I was really inter-

2012

NASCAR Series Awards Banquet Schedules

ested in a career in forestry, so at the time I was more of just a racing fan.” After some thought and discussion with his family, Russell made the move from Stanfield, Ariz., to Mooresville to pursue an education at NASCAR Tech. It was his time on campus that helped bring out his passion for the sport, but even after graduating in August 2003 Russell still wasn’t convinced that a job on a race team was possible. “After graduation, I thought a lot about applying for jobs with notable manufacturers such as BMW and Volkswagen,” said Russell. “The racing industry is so niched with so few spots available; I thought I would have a better

opportunity finding e m p l o y ment with a mainstream brand.” Luckily for Russell, he got the help he needed to break into the industry he had always loved. “I was talking to a friend one night and he mentioned he knew somebody with Roush Yates Racing Engines who said there was a spot available and thought I should apply,” recalls Russell. After a friend made the initial introductions, Russell was in the shop interviewing, and a short time later he was a fulltime employee with a major team. Starting in a teardown position, Russell had to work his way up the ranks. “When I first started, I was responsible for taking engines apart and inspecting

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wynn Las Vegas Friday, Nov. 30

NASCAR Nationwide Series Loews Miami Beach Monday, Nov. 19

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Working on engines that could potentially win the Daytona 500 is what motivates Vic Russell. Photo courtesy of Scott Hunter, NASCAR Productions

Loews Miami Beach Monday, Nov. 19

Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook www.twitter.com/NASCARauto ■ www.facebook.com/NASCARPerformance

them when the team would return from a race,” said Russell. “I was willing to do whatever it took to be a part of the team so I was excited for the opportunity.” Now almost 10 years and a few different job descriptions later, Russell is on the subassembly crew where he is tasked with maintaining oil pumps, oil lines, distributors, bell housing, plug wires and clutch assembly. Day in and day out, Russell helps put the horsepower under the Ford powerplants in NASCAR’s top three series. He, alongside coworkers, has helped Roush Yates Racing Engines earn top honors like the 2011 MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Regardless of his career success, Russell always remembers where he got his start. “NASCAR Tech did a lot for me, and it was a positive experience that helped me get where I am today,” said Russell. “I met a lot of great people and will always remember the camaraderie among fellow students and instructors. Those are my greatest memories of all.” Russell remains motivated about what the future holds with Roush Yates Racing Engines. “Each day I think about the idea that the engine I am working on is the one that could possibly win the Daytona 500, and that’s what continues to motivate me.”


2012 Counter Professional of the Year Since 1985, Counterman has honored the Counter Professional of the Year. Counterman is pleased to partner with Affinia and its Raybestos and WIX brands, to present the Counter Professional of the Year Award. This year’s recipient is Thomas Taylor, of Motown Automotive, a Federated Auto Parts member. In addition to industry-wide recognition for a job well done, Taylor and a guest received an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas for AAPEX, including three nights at one of Las Vegas’ top hotels.

Sponsored by

Congratulations to Thomas Taylor, of Motown Automotive, a Federated Auto Parts member. Read more about Thomas in the December issue of Counterman.


K

EEPING IT SIMPLE By Gerald Wheelus

Do Preventive Care y jawbone felt like it was run over by a big truck. Even though the crater in my tooth was as big as the Grand Canyon and every breath I took felt like an ice pick gouging into it and causing a sharp pain that made me cry like a baby, the pain left behind is worse now than it was before. What had I done? I neglected a problem. This time, the problem was a tooth, a cavity, to be exact. I thought I’d done all the right stuff. I brushed my teeth at morning and night but, but the cavity appeared anyway. By neglecting it and neglecting it, the cavity got worse just as our businesses would suffer when we have a less than stellar employee

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Training is an investment in our future as much as the employee’s future.

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or a bad customer and we do nothing about it. Imperfections are a way of life. That imperfection doesn’t mean you remove the employee or the customer. Instead, we have to grind and remove the imperfection in them. It doesn’t matter how much we train and teach, there will always be imperfection. But a bit of preventive care can do wonders. If I had let the dentist do the preventive work I needed, I would not be sitting here in pain, just like in the past, I’ve wished I had trained someone better for the job. Employees come to us and have no idea what we expect of them. We have to tell them. Training is an investment in our future as much as the employee’s future. As a manager, we have to work with those folks to help us become successful. If we don’t teach them, we have failed them and ourselves. If you have a “cavity,” ask yourself a few things: ● Did I truly have a training plan for them? ● Did I offer them extra training either on or off the clock? ● Did I do all I could do to fill that void that has become a big cavity? An employee comes to work for us with high hopes. Perhaps, this person was expected to move in and fill the roll of a longtime employee. During this timeframe we hired three people all within a few days of one another. We hired a winner and two folks who needed time to learn. The winner caught on quickly, learned and ran circles around the other two. The problem was not the winner, nor the other two. The problem was us. We failed the other two by not being ready to train them in the way they deserved. People are all different, and it’s up to us to help them develop. CM ■ ■ ■ Gerald Wheelus is general manager of Edgewood Auto Parts, Edgewood, Texas.

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OUNTER-TECH By Mandy Aguilar

Counter-Tech: You sell boxes of what? There are incredible differences in idioms and the meaning of many words do change from country to country ...

Mandy Aguilar is a regional vice president for Jacksonville, Fla.-based The Parts House.

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everal brain development experts claim that learning a second language during childhood has a huge positive effect on intellectual growth and provides greater flexibility in thinking. As a person raised with a bilingual education and as a parent raising two bilingual kids, I could not agree more. The future opportunities my kids could have will be twice as many, as long as they are fluent in more than one language. Hopefully, this will help them open many doors to other cultures and give them the understanding to further appreciate people from countries and customs other that their own. In my own career, I have been blessed by my knowledge of English and Spanish, allowing me to find business opportunities in countries across the globe. I have engaged several business contacts in Latin America and I have learned, sometimes the hard way, that not all “Spanish” is the same. There are incredible differences in idioms and the meaning of many words do change from country to country, even more so when we are naming auto parts across the continent. The way we call a strut in Puerto Rico has a completely different meaning in Mexico; Struts are sometimes called “legs” in Mexico. I have learned countless variations, all in Spanish, on names for auto parts components. The literal translation for a CV axle into Spanish could mean “arrow” in one country and “shaft” in another. By far the most ridiculously funny occurrence of this translation phenomenon was when I visited Guatemala recently and I used the Puerto Rican-Spanish name for ball bearings which literally translated to “Boxes of Testicles” in Guatemala! Rest assured, I got a big laugh and no orders. And although my manhood might have been hurt a little, thankfully no actual testicles were harmed

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during this laugh-out-loud episode. These peculiarities are no different in English as tech terms change from American English to British English. A “vise” clamping tool in America is known as a “vice” tool in England; I can see “vice tool” could really be interpreted as something complete different here in the States. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these names that change meaning across the Atlantic: truck and lorries, TVs and tellys, tires and tyres. Translating is a funny business, getting the words and not the idioms is usually a funny or fatal mistake. There is indeed a lot that can and does gets lost; to this even the famous poet Robert Frost can attest with his quote, “Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” Believe it or not, I hate to translate. I find it a tedious labor and get too anxious trying to find a universal meaning that will play well to as many readers as possible. By the same token, when I run into a great translation, I usually enjoy it as much as an original work. Regrettably, English to Spanish translations in our industry leave a lot to be desired. Be it marketing or training materials, they are often not well translated and that’s a shame. Many translations seem to be missing the required degree of professionalism and are riddled with mistakes, grammatical errors, missed meanings or too many regionalisms. An even more prevalent disaster is the written use of “Spanglish,” a pidgin language that has become very prevalent among people that speak both English and Spanish, which in its oral form has become quasi-acceptable at times, but it should never, never, never be used on a brochure or website promoting your company’s product and services. One group that seems to have a great handle on translation are the folks at WHI


Solutions. Their software platforms are translated to both Spanish and French and they are spot on. Perhaps the rest of the industry can follow suit soon and I think they must to keep up with the market changes. Hispanic businesses are growing in the States and consumers won’t tolerate bad translations when they are out there selecting their auto parts. In the transportation and warehousing industries alone, Hispanic-owned businesses are projecting a 60.6 percent increase over the past 10 years according to HispanicBusiness.com. Google Translate This brings us to the app of the month I want to share with you: Google Translate. This is yet another free service from the folks at Google that translates text and web pages from and into many languages and it’s available at www.translate.google.com. Their English to Spanish conduits and vice versa are amazingly accurate; very close to

spoken language including idioms and not some breakdown of words in fragments. I have heard from friends that are fluent in French and Italian that the translations to those languages are also very good. Please forgive the stunt I am about to do to prove this point. I wrote this paragraph that you are reading now in Spanish and let Google Translate convert it to English. While writing it, Google Translate was correcting spelling errors in Spanish and offered alternatives to me to write better. All this in real time. In the end I just did a copy and paste, and here is the final result “¡Muy Bueno, Google!” In the new global economy we are all exposed to foreign languages at work more frequently. I urge you to take a Google Translate test drive and have fun with it. By the way, try the name for some auto parts — you’ll be amazed at how accurate their system is; if I only used it before my big boxes of testicles gaffe in Guatemala! CM

■ ■ ■

Visit Mandy’s blog: www.mandyaguilar.com

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Advance Auto Parts Professional Air Suspension Parts by Arnott, Inc. Airtex Corp. Akebono Corp. Bosch CARDONE DEA Products/Pioneer Inc. DMA Goodpoint Eastern Catalytic Exide Technologies ExxonMobil FRAS-LE North America Inc. Interstate Battery Systems of America Johnson Controls KYB Americas Corp.

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MAHLE Clevite Moog Steering & Suspension NAPA Belden/Echlin Nucap Industries Old World Industries Packard Industries Parts Plus Performance Friction Corp. Philips Lighting Raybestos Chassis Rislone Schaeffler Group USA Spectra Premium Industries TechSmart/SMP TYC/Genera Corp.

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FRICTION

Brake Pad

hieroglyphics

Deciphering some brake pad statements requires a bit of homework. By Andrew Markel

t can be confusing when you look at an advertisement or the side of a brake pad box. There are several common claims and features that many manufacturers use in their ads and on the side of the box. Below are the most common ones and what they mean.

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1. Reduced Stopping Distances Reduced stopping is one of the misunderstood claims in the business. Stopping distance claims are almost never followed up by “compared to what?” Also, it is almost never stated how the tests were performed or if it was on more than one application.

2. Dynamometer Tested If the box says, “Dynamometer tested,” this is a good thing. A brake dynamometer can be more sophisticated and larger than an engine dynamometer. Brake dynamometers can simulate the conditions the brake system will experience in a much shorter time with more controlled results. This means that a brake dynamometer can simulate the mass, inertia and performance capabilities of a vehicle. The typical brake dynamometer can cost anywhere between $350,000 (used) to more than $1 million. Some brake friction suppliers own dynamometers, while some lease dynamometers from testing companies. 3. Quiet Performance Just about every pad on the market makes this statement. Since the word “quiet” means different things to different people, it is difficult to dispute this statement. This is another statement that should be followed up by the question, “compared to what?” 4. Low Dusting Some manufacturers claim their pads are low dusting, dust does not show on the wheel or the dust is not attracted to the wheel. These are all viable claims if the pads are formulated with these attributes in mind. But, no brake pad manufacturer can claim that they do not produce brake dust. This is impossible. All pads make brake dust. 5. Factory-Cured/Scorched/ Heat-Treated This is a statement you should look for when selecting pads.

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FRICTION // Hieroglyphics Scorching or curing can save you time and comebacks. A brake pad is held together by resins. These resins need heat and pressure to cure. When the resins cure, the friction material becomes stronger. But, the curing process produces gases and smells. These gases cause brake fade and often the “new brake pad smell.” Some manufacturers will try to minimize this from happening by heating or “scorching” the pads in ovens to cure the resins. This process can reduce the chances of brake fade. Bottom Line: If a brake pad is cured by scorching or heat treating it can reduce comebacks and eliminate the need for long break-in procedures.

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6. Mechanical Retention/ Mechanical Bonding On some demanding applications where noise and safety are

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critical to the performance of the entire brake pad, some manufacturers are turning to new attachment methods. Some manufacturers are creating stronger bonds with the backing plate through special surface treatments that create more surface area for bonding. Another approach has been new methods of mechanical attachment. One brake backing plate manufacturer is able to put hundreds of small hooks on the plate that grab the friction material. According to the manufacturer, the hooks increase the shear strength and can prevent edge lift of the friction material. Not only can it increase overall safety, but it can decrease incidents of unwanted noise.

7. Positive Molding Positive molding technology is a good claim that has direct benefits for the technician. But, it is not required for every application and only a few manufacturers can claim 100 percent of a line is positive molded. Positive molding uses a deep cavity mold that has the backing plate at the bottom. The mold uses higher pressures and temperatures than conventional flash molding. Positive molding allows the manufacturer to use less resin. Less resin means less curing time and more stable friction. But, the tooling for positive molding is very expensive when compared to flash molding and is not profitable for some slow moving part numbers. Also, some formulations can only be flash molded. CM


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LLEN & ALLAN By Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber

Where Do We Go From Here? e received another call from a jobber in distress looking for some assistance and the vision of a clearer future. Most of the time, we feel that updated training will help most jobbers, mainly in areas such as outside salesman training (including the addition of new modern marketing programs), or counterman training, regarding the importance of the customers overall shopping experience. Reviews of financial training for owners and managers can only help reinforce the necessary steps to being profitable. The main questions we receive are basically: How’s business? How is the independent jobber doing? And, what will we be selling in the future?

W Believe it or not, you, the counter professional play a large role in guiding your company’s destiny.

Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber operate Auto Biz Solutions, which provides training, marketing, management and business consulting services to both the automotive jobber and independent repair shop.

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How’s business and how are we doing? Needless to say, business has been inconsistent at best. Some areas of the country are doing better than others, but one thing we sense from most people is that there is a large amount of uncertainty about the future. While we certainly understand given the economy of the past few years, there have been many independent jobbers who have prospered and grown their businesses. As independent jobbers, we are a resilient group and are not prone to giving up easily. Believe it or not, you, the counter professional play a large role in guiding your company’s destiny. No one knows better than you what items are selling and which are the most profitable. Let’s face it, profit is what it is all about; this is how we keep the business going and even get that occasional raise. Your responsibility is to satisfy

November 2012 | Counterman

every customer, because if you do not find the correct formula to provide this necessary customer satisfaction then both you and your company lose immediately. Most counter professionals know in their gut what may be lacking in their company; the bigger question is whether or not to put an action plan together and present it to the powers that be. Sometimes you might be surprised that management will actually listen and implement all or part of it. Remember that they too are looking for the company to do better and increase sales. As far as what will we be selling in the future, who knows… Technology is moving so fast that even the new high-end categories of today are being updated or replaced just as they first appear in the car. Remember, this is nothing new — cars have been evolving since the day that Henry Ford started mass producing them. What will we be selling in the future? We recommend asking your customers. What new repairs or updated services do they see their customers (the ones who own the cars) coming in for? This is an incredibly accurate barometer of today’s repairs and where they may be headed in the future. Read car dealer service advertisements to see what services they’re promoting. Look at new car ads to determine what new systems will be available on future production models. This is a good method that you can use to help anticipate future items that you will be selling. As far as the rest, we will all find out together. One thing is for sure — there will be cars and they will need service and repairs. CM

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For more information, go to: www.autobizsolutionsllc.com or e-mail amarkowitz@autobizsolutionsllc.com.


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NEWS EXTRA AAPEX Connects Veteran’s Foundation With The Aftermarket. The Executive Committee of AAIA has connected with the Wyakin Warrior Foundation, an organization that salutes the courageous spirit of wounded warriors

by providing a comprehensive program of education, mentoring, professional development, networking and job placement for severely wounded and injured veterans.

AAIA’s hope is to give back to our deserving veterans by helping the group make valuable connections at AAPEX. The connection started with Bob Schoeberl, a member of the Aftermarket Foundation board of trustees. He and Rick Jago, AAIA Executive Committee vice chairman, invited the Wyakin Warrior Foundation to send representatives to AAPEX. Soldiers returning home from battle are often left to chart their own professional course, while dealing with the challenges that come with severe injuries. While they have the motivation to succeed, they may lack the tools and training to do so.

The current enrolled Warriors met recently with ESPN’s Heather Cox.

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This is where the Wyakin Warrior program comes in. There are six major tenets of the program: 1. Full-ride scholarship (complementing the GI Bill or Vocational Rehabilitation) for 51 months. 2. A three-layer mentoring program. 3. Professional development. 4. Service project. 5. Robust networking as they approach graduation. 6. Annual, proactive follow-up to monitor physical, emotional and professional status (Wyakin Warrior for Life). You can help. Find out how at www.wyakin.org or call 1-888-9925469. CM

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November 2012 | Counterman


QUEST FOR CASH Counterman’s

ounterman’s Quest for Cash challenges parts professionals to find out more about the products they move through the distribution chain, while competing for cash. Parts pros can vie monthly for three prize levels — $200, $100 and $50. Each issue of Counterman will feature a page with a series of questions (see below) asking counterpros to review that issue’s advertisements or articles. Three winners will be chosen at random from all entries submitted each month. Winners will be contacted by email. The first correct, randomly selected entry will receive $200; the second, $100 and the third, $50. Please go to www.counterman.com/questforcash to enter or go to www.counterman.com and click on the “Quest for Cash” box. The winners for the November contest will appear in the January 2013 issue. The deadline to enter is Dec. 28.

C

November’s Contest 1) How many people, on average, attend the annual Northwood University International Auto Show? a) 50,000 b) 1 million c) 5,000 d) 100,000

2) On the topic of the Northwood auto show, this year was the ___ year of the show: a) 49th b) 50th c) 61st d) 25th

3) Columnist Mandy Aguilar discusses translation in: a) Spanish and English b) Portugese and Italian c) English and Chinese d) None of the above

4) On page 46, Brake & Front End Editor Andrew Markel discusses terminology used in marketing:

5) The Automotive Distribution Network hosted a fall membership meeting, where ________ manufacturer partners were represented. a) More than 60 b) 35 c) 25 d) 15

a) Brakes b) Tires c) Audis d) Fords

September Contest Winners $200 $100 Jessica Loons

Tom Cuff

$50 Don Kovach

counterman.com 53


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1-UPS-OUR-ECMS (1-877-687-3267 ) 570-883-9930 www.autoecms.com

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November 2012 | Counterman


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888-536-1438 counterman.com 55


THE LAST PAGE

‘Driving The Dream’ At The Northwood Auto Show The all-student-run 49th annual Northwood University International Auto Show took place Oct. 5-7 on the Midland, Mich., campus of the school. It’s one of the largest car shows in the country and featured more than 500 vehicles – from rare limited edition finds to today’s most popular family sedans. New

50,000 56

November 2012 | Counterman

this year, the auto show also included a free vehicle check-up event, hosted by the Car Care Council. This year’s theme, “Driving the Dream,” focused on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary by exploring the dream experience when buying something as common as a family sedan. CM

The number of visitors the Northwood University International Auto Show averages each year.


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Counterman, November 2012