Page 1

The Changing Exhaust Market

● Small

Motors Can Equal Big Sales

December 2012

A Man On

The Move 2012 Counter Professional of the Year, Tom Taylor.

2012 Counter

Professional of the Year for reader service for reader service


December Volume 30, No. 12

features 30

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

Thomas Taylor, of Motown Automotive, is Counterman’s 2012 Counter Professional of the Year. Also, meet this year’s four finalists.

42 30 Small electric motors can generate big sales. Tech Feature ................................................ By Larry Carley



columns Editor’s Ink


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

The power of negative thinking.

Mechanic Connection



By Gary Goms ........................

Gary examines the changing exhaust market.



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

Dialing the Internet.

Keeping It Simple


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

You really can teach an old dog a new trick.

Allen & Allan


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

People still buy from people.

From The Publisher

pg. 65


By S. Scott Shriber ........................

Goodbye 2012.

COUNTERMAN (ISSN 0739-3695) (December 2012 Volume 30, Number 12): Copyright 2012 Babcox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved: Published decemberly 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.


December 2012 | Counterman for reader service for reader service

departments 10

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

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

Aftermarket News



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


NASCAR Performance............................................................................

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


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



S. Scott Shriber 330-670-1234, ext. 229 EDITORIAL

Mark Phillips, Editor 330-670-1234, Ext. 299 Amy Antenora, Editor, aftermarketNews Managing Editor, Counterman 330-670-1234, Ext. 220 Larry Carley, Technical Editor CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

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 ADVERTISING SERVICES

Tina Purnell Advertising Services Manager 330-670-1234 , Ext. 243 CIRCULATION SERVICES Brad Mitchell, Director of eMedia & Audience Development 330-670-1234 , Ext. 277 Pat Robinson, Circulation Manager 330-670-1234, Ext. 276 Ellen Mays, Circulation Specialist 330-670-1234, Ext. 275 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 330-670-1234, ext. 217


PUBLISHER: S. Scott Shriber 330-670-1234, ext. 229 SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Dean Martin 330-670-1234, ext. 225

December 2012 | Counterman

Jim Merle 330-670-1234, ext. 280

Sean Donohue 330-670-1234, ext. 206

Roberto Almenar 330-670-1234, ext. 233

John Zick 949-756-8835

Glenn Warner 330-670-1234, ext. 212

CLASSIFIED SALES: Tom Staab 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 decemberly by Babcox Media, 3550 Embassy Pkwy., Akron, OH 44333. Periodical postage paid at Akron, OH and additional mailing offices. Member, BPA International for reader service


DITOR’S INK By Mark Phillips

The Power of Negative Thinking t’s never reassuring to see your plane’s flight attendants running to the windows in order to check the condition of the engines, especially when you’re in flight. It’s also not a great feeling to have this happen several miles above the Pacific Ocean, which is what happened to me about 20 years ago. I was on my way back from a trip to Asia only to have the cabin fill up with an odd burning smell. Then the engine made a nasty grinding sound and died. As the flight attendants looked nervously at each other, one ran to the front of the plane to apparently to report her findings to the cockpit. Shortly thereafter, the pilot broke in over the loudspeaker to tell us what everyone already knew: We lost an engine. It wasn’t coming back and we were going to have to limp (in a flying sense), back to the mainland. Most of us have heard the old adage, “think positive.” But there are some people out there who believe we should think negatively. After all, if we consider the worst-case scenario and it doesn’t happen, then that’s positive, right? But if we constantly think everything will be great and it’s not, we’re going to be hugely disappointed. Author Oliver Burkeman’s recently published book,”The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t

I To me, thinking negatively isn’t about being a downer all the time, but being realistic and trying to consider the worst things that can happen.

Stand Positive Thinking,” delves into just such a mindset. In a column written recently for the Wall Street Journal and adapted from his book, Burkeman applies thinking negatively to business. “Just thinking in sober detail about worst-case scenarios — a technique the Stoics called ‘the premeditation of evils’ — can help to sap the future of its anxietyproducing power,” Burkeman writes. “Positive thinking, by contrast, is the effort to convince yourself that things will turn out fine, which can reinforce the belief that it would be absolutely terrible if they didn’t.” He says the common practice of setting big, positive goals for an organization can actually be counterproductive and can lead employees to cut ethical corners just to meet the goal. “Research by Saras Sarasvathy, an associate professor of business administration at the University of Virginia, suggests that learning to accommodate feelings of uncertainty is not just the key to a more balanced life but often leads to prosperity as well,” Burkeman writes. “For one project, she interviewed 45 successful entrepreneurs, all of whom had taken at least one business public. Almost none embraced the idea of writing comprehensive business plans or conducting extensive market research.” To me, thinking negatively isn’t about being a downer all the time, but being realistic and trying to consider the worst things that can happen. If the stated goal of your company is to open a new store next year and despite all you do, it doesn’t happen, has the company failed miserably? I think it could be perceived as a failure if that’s the only goal that matters to the organization. Because if it is, the plan was probably doomed from the start. CM ■ ■ ■

For more information: for reader service

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service

Rislone Introduces World’s Most Complete Gas And Diesel Fuel System Treatments Rislone, the company that invented the “tune-up” in the 1930s, introduces two new fuel system treatments so advanced, they are billed as “5,000-mile fuel system tune-ups.” Rislone Gasoline Fuel System Treatment (p/n 4700) and Rislone Diesel Fuel System Treatment (p/n 4740) each combine six different fuel additives and treatments in a single dualcavity bottle to create the most complete fuel system treatments ever made. Each product is packaged in a dual-cavity bottle with a patent-pending disposable spout attached to the neck under the cap. The Rislone Diesel Fuel System Treatment’s distinctive green spout has been designed to fit only diesel fuel systems, to prevent the product from being accidentally installed in a gasoline system, yet it is compatible with aftermarket and factory mis-fueling prevention. Rislone Gasoline and Diesel Fuel System Treatments will be available first quarter 2013. Each product is available to distribution in case packs of four 16.9 oz. bottles.

PlastiKote Undercoatings Provide Superior Protection Against The Elements The PlastiKote line of undercoating products provide a superior coating that offers durable protection against rust, corrosion, moisture, fumes, dust, heat and cold. Featuring an Accusol trigger spray nozzle, PlastiKote’s professional undercoating and rubberized undercoating products are ideal for providing protection for wheel wells, gas tanks, frames and supports, weld joints, floor pans, doors and quarter panels. They also protect vehicles from harsh elements or damage from rocks, sand and salt.


December 2012 | Counterman

Fras-le Launches Air Disc Brake Pad Program Fras-le’s new air disc brake pad program, sold under the Extreme Service brand, includes 11 part numbers, covering more than 59 applications, on 12 brake systems. Made of OE-quality friction material, the brake pads offer reliable, quiet, durable and longer-life performance. Fras-le’s Work Truck and Fleet Disc Brake Pad Program provides distributors with a complete sales tool kit to serve this fleet segment, along with marketing and technical support and training resources. In addition, Frasle has dedicated fleet brake specialists – a team of work truck experts – to serve as a liaison between fleets and distributors.

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service AMSOIL Expands Dominator Line With SAE 60 Racing Oil

SMP Releases TechSmart Tech Sessions Web Series Counterpeople can learn about the benefits of using TechSmart enhanced engine control parts through a new Web series called TechSmart Tech Sessions, which is now available by visiting The first three videos discuss the steering column shift tube, air door actuators and variable valve timing (VVT) chain tensioner.

AMSOIL has introduced a new addition to its Dominator line, adding SAE 60 Synthetic Racing Oil to its series of premium racing oils. Dominator SAE 60 Synthetic Racing Oil is designed to provide maximum horsepower without sacrificing engine protection. The product is heavily fortified with zinc and phosphorus anti-wear additives to provide additional protection against scuffing and wear in severe racing conditions. Dominator SAE 60 Synthetic Racing Oil provides outstanding protection in temperature extremes. Its low pour point offers excellent cold-start protection and provides less drag when the oil has not reached stable operating temperatures. Dominator maintains superior film strength, even at elevated operating temperatures. Its thermally stable synthetic chemistry resists the effects of intense heat commonly found in racing applications.

Tracerline OPTI-LUX UV LED Leak Detection Flashlight Easily Spots All Automotive A/C and Fluid Leaks The Tracerline OPTI-LUX 365 is a powerful LED leak detection flashlight that provides pure UV light for optimal fluorescent dye response. It’s ideal for all automotive A/C and fluid system applications. The OPTI-LUX 365 produces a brilliant glow that makes all leaks easier to find, while slashing valuable diagnostic time. The flashlight is more than twice as powerful as most corded, high-intensity UV lamps, brightly fluorescing all dyes (both green and yellow). It even pinpoints high-mileage, dirty diesel engine oil leaks. The flashlight has an inspection range of up to 10 feet (3 m). Powered by one rechargeable lithium-ion

battery (extra battery included in kit), it provides four hours of continuous inspection between charges. The flashlight comes complete with a lanyard, belt holster, two rechargeable batteries, smart charging cradle with AC power cord and UV-absorbing spectacles, all conveniently packaged in a padded carrying case. 11


Pronto Donates $5,000 To Aftermarket Foundation In Honor Of Jack Malloy GRAPEVINE, Texas – At the group’s recent fall shareholder’s conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., National Pronto Association announced board approval of a $5,000 donation to The Aftermarket Foundation, in memory of Jack Malloy, a longtime employee of APW Knox-Seeman in Carson, Calif., a Pronto member. “We will miss his presence so much, but will remember his style, his teachings and his high moral standards forever,” said Young Suhr Jr., president of APW Knox-Seeman. Malloy had a great love of the automotive industry, and most of all, for the people involved in the industry at all levels. In addition to its own donation, Pronto says it will match any do-

nation made to the Foundation in memory of Malloy up to an additional $5,000. In expressing his personal support for the contribution decision and the “matching” incentive for additional contributions, Pronto President Bill Maggs urged other industry organizations to consider making a donation to the Aftermarket Foundation. “The Aftermarket Foundation is how we, in this industry, look after our own, so I would also urge other aftermarket companies and groups to consider possibly adding an Aftermarket Foundation contribution to your annual budget,” Maggs said. For more information about the Aftermarket Foundation, visit

Federated Sweepstakes Winner Lets It Ride, And Gets A ‘Ride,’ In Las Vegas for reader service

STAUNTON, Va. – Federated customer John James of James Automotive not only won a trip to the 2012 AAPEX Show in Las Vegas last month as the grand prize winner of the Federated “Let it Ride” sweepstakes, but he went home to Oil City, Pa., (Front Row—L to R): Cliff Hovis; John James, winner with a second grand of Federated “Let it Ride” Sweepstake; Betty James; prize, a Chevy SSR. Kenny Schrader; Curt Hovis. “We want to congratulate John on winning the Federated ‘Let it Ride’ Sweepstakes and thank him for being a loyal Federated Car Care customer,” said Phil Moore, senior vice president of Federated Auto Parts. “With all the benefits of being part of the Federated Car Care Center program, like the ‘Let it Ride’ promotion, it goes to show that you can’t lose with Federated Car Care. Just ask John!”


December 2012 | Counterman for reader service


MAHLE To Acquire RTI Technologies ANN ARBOR, Mich. – MAHLE has entered into a definitive agreement with Robert Bosch GmbH to acquire all assets and the related business of RTI Technologies Inc. RTI Technologies specializes in the development and distribution of automotive maintenance equipment, including air conditioning service, fluid exchange and nitrogen tire inflation systems. Based in York, Pa., RTI Technologies had sales of $14.7 million in 2011 and has 60 employees. The transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions and is expected to close on Jan. 1, 2013. “RTI Technologies presents a tremendous opportunity for MAHLE to expand our business into the repair shop equipment sector of the automotive aftermarket,” said Dan Moody, general manager of MAHLE’s aftermarket business for North America. “Given the long-term approach to the aftermarket as an important sales channel for MAHLE globally, this acquisition will broaden our aftermarket offerings within our strate-

gic product and service range and make us one of the leaders in this segment in North America. “This acquisition will also further leverage our global position as

a filter manufacturer – particularly as it relates to MAHLE Original cabin air filters for light vehicle and truck air conditioning systems,” Moody added.

Affinia Group Spins Off Brake Businesses ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Affinia Group Inc. has spun off its brake businesses. The new organization will be led by the management team from Affinia Group’s former Global Brake group, with oversight provided by a separate board of directors. “The spinoff of our brake business represents a strategic realignment for Affinia, offering us an opportunity to focus intensely on our filtration and chassis product lines and our South American business operations, while giving the new Brake Group, led by David Overbeeke, the ability to concentrate on the unique needs of the global brake market,” said Terry McCormack, president and CEO of Affinia Group. “Affinia is committed to a smooth transition, and we are confident that the brake group management team will continue to provide their customers with world class products and service.” According to Scott Howat, director, corporate communications for Affinia Group, the sale includes all of the brake businesses in North America and Asia. The newly spun-off business will be called Brake Parts Inc., and will be headquartered in McHenry, Ill. The company first announced in March that it retained J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as its investment bank to advise and assist the company in evaluating strategic alternatives for its brake related businesses, which include the Raybestos and Aimco brands. Closing of the spinoff occurred on Friday, Nov. 30. Terms were not disclosed.

Guess the Car / Win $50! This Month’s Puzzle

Last Month’s Correct Answer: What vehicle does this picture represent? If you think you know the answer, go to 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 Jan. 5. The winner’s name will appear in the next issue. Stay tuned!

#58 Dodge Super Bee Congrats to Marc Doiron

#59 14

December 2012 | Counterman for reader service


Automotive Parts Headquarters Completes Corporate Store Rollout Of WHI Solutions’ PartsWatch ST. CLOUD, Minn. – WHI Solutions has announced that Automotive Parts Headquarters Inc. (APH) has fully implemented WHI Solutions’ PartsWatch in all 80 APH corporate-owned locations. APH,

an Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance member, also has installed WHI’s PartsWatch solution in 15 of its independent jobber stores. APH began its search for a replacement to its legacy store sys-

tems in earnest in early 2009. After an exhaustive process of analyzing the various options available to modernize the counter experience, APH chose PartsWatch. WHI and APH worked closely to refine the integration to its host warehouse system. Once this goal was accomplished, the conversion process was accelerated and in less than a year’s time all corporate stores were converted.

O’Reilly Automotive Reports Third-Quarter 2012 Results O’Reilly Automotive has announced record revenues and earnings for its third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012. Sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012, increased

$66 million or 4 percent, to $1.60 billion from $1.54 billion for the same period one year ago. Gross profit for the third quarter increased to for reader service

$805 million (or 50.3 percent of sales) from $754 million (or 49.1 percent of sales) for the same period one year ago, representing an increase of

7% 16

December 2012 | Counterman for reader service


Fisher Auto Parts Acquires Brownlee Distributing Co.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – During the Meineke Dealers Association (MDA) convention, held Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. at the Hyatt Hotel in New Orleans, Meineke Dealers Purchasing Co-Op Inc. (MDPCI) President Rick Urso presented the annual MDPCI Vendor of the Year award to National Pronto Association. Murray Sullivan accepted the award on behalf of Pronto. This was the second time in four years that Pronto has been selected for the award, recognized by the Meineke Dealers Purchasing Co-op for outstanding vendor performance. According to the MDPCI, Pronto has developed exceptional programs, delivered quality products and helped Meineke dealers across the country through their support of the MDA and the MDPCI. The MDA is an independent association of Meineke franchisees that works in conjunction with the Meineke Dealers Purchasing Co-Op (MDPCI) to secure quality vendor programs and services providing competitive programs, training and support to its membership.

STAUNTON, Va. – Fisher Auto Parts, headquartered in Staunton, Va. has acquired the Brownlee Distributing Co. headquartered in Clinton Township, Mich. The acquisition was announced in a joint statement from President Keith Brownlee and Bo Fisher, CEO of Fisher Auto Parts. “This is an exciting time here at Brownlee Distributing,” said Brownlee. “We feel that joining our companies will give us the ability to provide our customers with the best service and inventory levels in the industry as well as continue our decades-long relationships with customers.” “We are pleased to be partnering with the Brownlee organization as we believe that opportunities exist to enhance availability based on the proximity of our regional warehouses and other store locations, and continue the strong Federated marketing programs and focus on growth as we leverage our collective resources,” said Fisher. “We share the same culture and philosophies that have served their organization, and will constantly improve for the benefit of our customers.” Brownlee Distributing and B&B Auto Parts service Southeastern Michigan and have been members of Federated Auto Parts since 1986. B&B Auto Parts was founded in 1947 and is one of the oldest auto parts stores in Detroit. With this acquisition, Fisher Auto Parts continues a steady growth strategy through a combination of same store sales and mergers and acquisitions. Founded in 1929 by Blair Coiner, Bo Fisher’s grandfather, Fisher Auto Parts has more than 3,400 employees in 18 states with approximately 400 company-owned locations plus significant independent jobber business. The company recently added 26 new store locations, through the acquisitions of Ridge & Kramer Auto Parts (Mich.) in April 2012 and McLaughlin Automotive Stores (R.I.) in October 2011. for reader service

Meineke Dealers Select Pronto As Vendor Of The Year


December 2012 | Counterman for reader service


WORLDPAC Announces Mobile VIN Decoder App For SpeedDIAL Catalog NEWARK, Calif. – WORLDPAC has introduced a mobile VIN decoder app as an added enhancement to the company’s speedDIAL Next Generation catalog and order fulfillment software. To download the app, go to

Automotive Parts Associates Honors Bosch During AAPEX Breakfast Meeting for reader service

LAS VEGAS – Automotive Parts Associates (APA) honored Robert Bosch LLC with its first-ever “Vision Award” at an APA shareholders’ breakfast held last month during AAPEX. Dan Freeman, president and CEO of APA, presented the award to Bobby Bloom, Bosch’s vice president, independent aftermarket sales for North America. “We wanted to recognize Bosch in front of our shareholders and the aftermarket industry for their innovation, leadership in the industry, communication and forward-thinking,” said Freeman. “In order for businesses to retain a

competitive edge, they must keep pace with technological advancements, utilize the latest test equipment and make certain that their employees are continuously engaged in training and development activities. Bosch provides all that with service training centers in 35 countries around the globe.” “By being technology-focused, Bosch equips automotive technicians for today and tomorrow, and enables them to service and repair the ever increasing complexity of vehicle systems,” added Bill Cook, vice president of product development for APA.

Spectra Premium Expands California DC RIVERSIDE, Calif. – To better serve its West Coast Customer base, Spectra Premium has expanded its California distribution center. On Nov. 19, the company moved to a new Riverside, Calif., distribution center. Spectra Premium says this move allows the company to expand its distribution space by 42 percent. The new location’s address is: Spectra Premium Industries (USA Corp.) 14530 Innovation Dr. Riverside, CA


December 2012 | Counterman for reader service


Parts Plus Plans WORLDPAC Opens th Promotional Events During Sales & Marketing Warehouse Meeting Location GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – Program managers representing more than 40 warehouse members were on hand during the recent Parts Plus Sales & Marketing Meeting at the Madison Hotel in Memphis to help guide the group’s upcoming advertising, promotional and product efforts. According to Mike Lambert, president of the Automotive Distribution Network, creating topnotch marketing programs for members is a point of pride for the organization. “Parts Plus prides itself on developing marketing programs and sales promotions tailored to meet the needs of our WD members and their customers in the field,” Lambert said. “The Parts Plus program managers in attendance provided insightful feedback as we finalize our 2013 sponsorships, promo- for reader service

Uni-Select Reported Third-Quarter Sales Of

$463 million

Adjusted Earnings Of $11.5 Million 22

December 2012 | Counterman

WORLDPAC Inc. recently celebrated the opening of its 100th regional warehouse location in North America with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the company’s new Ventura, Calif., facility.

tions, training programs and advertising elements.” Over the two-day proceedings, Parts Plus outlined its increased social media focus; reviewed its primary sponsorship of six-time Top Fuel champion Clay Millican in the NHRA Full Throttle Series; discussed the latest IT initiatives from Network Information Services and how to best use this in the field; and reviewed the latest primary product lines sales promotions. A significant amount of time was spent on open discussion between members on local marketing programs and where they can learn from each other. Members compared notes and discussed what works at the street level.

1-800 Radiator & A/C Purchases Four Seasons Radiator Assets BENICIA, Calif. – North American auto parts distribution franchise 1-800 Radiator & A/C has purchased certain assets of Four Seasons Radiator, a Texas-based auto parts distribution company. for reader service


Engine Parts Warehouse Acquires World Products (From Engine Builder Magazine)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Engine Parts Warehouse of Louisville, Ky., (d.b.a. World Performance), has acquired the World Products automotive aftermarket business as of Oct. 17, 2012. “We at World are very excited because with five Engine Parts Warehouse locations across the country, they stock virtually every brand of performance engine parts, including their own PBM Performance Parts and Erson Cams,” the company said in a statement. “And, with more than 30 expert engine parts phone sales people available to assist you, they have resources beyond anything World Products could offer. Next day or second day and Saturday delivery are available to most addresses in the continental USA. Their knowledgeable staff and excellent customer service has made them a respected name among engine builders around the world.” The company said that the new acquisition will benefit engine builders, allowing for a one-stop shopping experience for everything from blocks, heads, cranks, rods and pistons down to every nut, bolt and gasket. In addition, World Products said it will continue to service the OEM and industrial markets and will offer any support needed by World Performance to assure success of the venture.

Over the Counter By Jerry King

Advance Auto Parts Reports Third-Quarter Fiscal 2012 Results Year-to-date, total sales

increased 0.7 percent to $4.88 billion, compared with total sales of $4.84 billion over the same period last year.

National Performance Warehouse Announces Its Third Acquisition Of 2012 MIAMI — National Performance Warehouse Companies announced its acquisition of its 10th location, CMA Warehouse in Los Angeles. CMA Warehouse services customers in Los Angeles and the West Coast. As is the custom for an NPW acquisition, CMA Warehouse will maintain its current staff and management to continue to service its customers in its historic manner, the company said. For more information on National Performance Warehouse, visit

Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket has been selected by Federated Auto Parts as a new distributor for its VDO REDI-Sensor Multi-Application TPMS Sensors. The latest application coverage can be found in the VDO REDI-Sensor online catalog at


December 2012 | Counterman for reader service


Federal-Mogul Adds 36 Parts To MOOG Line SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – FederalMogul has added 36 parts, including 14 new control arms, to its line of MOOG Steering and Suspension components. According to Federal-Mogul, known as the automotive service market’s

“Problem Solver,” the MOOG brand offers innovative product designs that help ensure enhanced performance and durability and easier installation. The latest expansion of the MOOG line includes 14 new

Federal-Mogul To Become Exclusive Independent Aftermarket Distributor Of BERU Ignition Products SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Following Federal-Mogul's Oct. 1 acquisition of the BERU spark plug business, the company announced it has entered into an additional agreement with BorgWarner BERU Systems GmbH to serve as the exclusive global independent aftermarket distributor of the remaining BERU ignition products. Federal-Mogul also will become the exclusive licensee of the BERU brand name for the sale of ignition products in the aftermarket. The transaction is pending customary closing conditions including approval of competition authorities. As a result of the new agreement, Federal-Mogul will sell and distribute in the automotive aftermarket BERU glow plugs, flame glow plugs, glow controllers, connectors and components, ignition wires, sensors and coils. The BERU glow plug product line is recognized as a market-leading diesel ignition technology, particularly in Europe. BorgWarner will continue to design, develop, manufacture and sell these BERU ignition products directly to customers in the original equipment assembly and original equipment service markets. "This agreement further demonstrates Federal-Mogul's commitment to attain a leading market position for ignition products in 26

December 2012 | Counterman

both the original equipment and aftermarket segments," said Michael Broderick, Federal-Mogul co-CEO and Vehicle Components Segment CEO. "BERU and Champion possess a complementary product range, each with strong brand awareness in automotive and industrial markets. Like Champion, BERU has been a trusted brand in the marketplace for 100 years, and the BERU ignition product line is an excellent fit with our Champion aftermarket ignition product portfolio. This agreement will enable aftermarket distributors and repair professionals to have one-stop access to one of the world's most extensive catalogs of ignition products." To facilitate the Champion and BERU ignition product catalog integration, Federal-Mogul will consolidate its aftermarket ignition products distribution for the EMEA region into a modern, centrally located distribution center in Ludwigsburg, Germany. The consolidated distribution center will provide improved operations and customer service efficiency by fulfilling orders from a single location. "These are strategic investments in growing our ignition product portfolio, which will make a broader range of quality ignition products available to our aftermarket customers,” said Broderick.

control arms for a wide range of foreign nameplate and domestic applications. For more information regarding MOOG steering and suspension parts, visit or contact your MOOG supplier.

Dayco Releases VIN Scanning App TULSA, Okla. – Dayco Products has released a new app for smartphones and tablets. The Dayco app offers access to a comprehensive application catalog along with an innovative new feature – the VIN scanner. Whether you are a professional mechanic, DIYer or work in a parts store, you can search for Dayco parts by application, VIN number or competitive interchange, Dayco says. The new Dayco app scans the VIN bar code and displays all the Dayco replacement parts, belt routings, installation videos, images, etc. The “Where to Buy” tab locates all of the Dayco distributors in your area. No need to type in a ZIP code, the smartphone GPS knows your current location and presents all the locations mapped with addresses and phone numbers. Tap the phone number and you’re calling that location to order your parts. Visit to download the new Dayco app and view a demonstration video. for reader service


National Performance & Speed Warehouse’s Annual Cruise Promotion Makes A Big Splash MIAMI, Fla. – Seventy-two customers danced the nights away aboard Carnival’s ship Inspiration

for five days and four nights, as guests of National Performance & Speed Warehouse (NPW). Customers

of all the NPW Companies divisions participated in a six-month-long promotion to earn back points from some of their favorite vendors to relax in the sun of California and the Baja Peninsula. Major sponsors for this event consisted of NGK, KYB, K&N, Fel-Pro, Mobil 1, Edelbrock and Autometer. Customers and guests were treated every evening to fun-filled cocktail parties provided by the various sponsor companies. Raffles, drawings and bingo had participants walking away with thousands of dollars to make their trips even more enjoyable. Entertainment also was provided by the singing and comedy talents of Tom Jowers. “This is our 10th cruise promotion and first on the West Coast,” said NPW Companies President and CEO Larry Pacey. “Customer participation keeps growing as do the sales that this helps promote on our sponsor’s products. Customers really enjoy themselves and it’s always nice to spend time with them outside our business roles.”

new on the shelf Introducing Exide Edge Flat Plate AGM Batteries with SureLife Graphite Technology for reader service

Exide Edge is the first and only absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery* that feature 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


December 2012 | Counterman for reader service

2012 CPOTY Recipient

2012 Counter

Professional of the Year

Thomas Taylor, the 27th Counterman Counter Professional of the Year Recipient


December 2012 | Counterman

By Mark Phillips

very year at Counterman, we sift through the numerous nominations for the Counter Professional of the Year. The hardest part — and often painful, quite honestly — is having to choose just one person to receive this award. The nominations for this award seem to get better and better every year.


2012 CPOTY Recipient

2012 Counter Professional of the Year Thomas Taylor, left, and Thomas Sechrist, owner, Motown Automotive.

The Counter Professional of the Year award recognizes counter pros who go above and beyond the call of duty and are committed to furthering not only their careers, but the level of service they provide to their customers and bettering themselves as automotive aftermarket parts professionals. This is the 27th year Counterman magazine has awarded the Counter Professional of the Year. The automotive aftermarket truly runs through the blood of this year’s recipient, Thomas Taylor of Motown Automotive in Michigan. Taylor has been involved in this industry for 41 years. I would defy anyone to try to keep up with him. In the time I spent at his warehouse recently in Michigan, I was nearly out of breath. Like many parts pros, he can carry on a conversation while checking an order, running/walking down the aisles to grab parts off the shelves and 32

December 2012 | Counterman

checking in with other parts pros manning the phones. At his very busy warehouse, which flies the Federated banner, they average seven phone calls a minute. Taylor’s interest in cars began as a teen and he would visit his local auto parts store. Half the time, they’d be so busy, they’d let him behind the counter to look up parts for himself. In June 1971, when Taylor was 16 years old, the parts store offered

him a part-time job because they liked what they saw. He likes to see people buy the right part the first time, rather than continually exchange parts. And when asked what he likes about the job, his answer is simple: “The people. I like helping people.” In his nomination for this award, his colleagues wrote: “Tom is very knowledgeable, thorough, technical, accurate and efficient. His customers trust him as a parts authority. When they call him looking for a part, any part, they know that Tom will exhaust all possibilities in an effort to help them identify the part they need. Tom’s customers know he is dependable because of his experience, work ethic, charming personality and commitment to stand behind all of his parts and services. He will do whatever it takes. He has consistently been able to grow sales at every location where he has worked and generate sales that his store would not otherwise enjoy.” Motown Automotive is the leading full-line undercar and underhood auto parts warehouse in southern Michigan with more than 50 years of experience in the automotive marketplace. Family owned and operated, Motown has 12 locations in Ann Arbor, Brighton, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Plymouth, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Troy and Waterford and two locations in Farmington Hills. CM

2012 CPOTY Finalist

Nomination submitted by Dan Hayes Full Service Auto Parts Victoria, Texas Why did you nominate Christine? hris is a lady with a real passion for the parts business. She waits the counter, makes sales calls and trains new people. She even delivers the parts when needed. Whatever it takes to make her store successful and take care of the customer, she does it. Chris is a great counter person who passes it on. Chris entered into the parts business during a Texas oil boom. Large numbers of men went to work in the oil fields and that opened up opportunities for women in the parts business.” “Due to hard work and her great personality, she was able to win over customers who had previously only dealt with men. Chris understands that the only way to hold on to her first-call position in her small community is too continuously stay on top of what is happening in the car industry. Chris takes online training classes regularly as well as attends technician’s seminars several times a year.” Chris is ASE parts certified as well as AIA Import certified. She has also taken her store to the next level by getting 75 percent of her employees ASE certified, and her store is ASE Blue Seal Certified ASE’s highest honor.” CM


Christine Grahmann 34

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2012 CPOTY Finalist

Nominated by David Manning, Store Manager Auto Supply Co. Roanoke, Va. Why did you nominate Bradie? OW! Where do I begin? Bradie is the definition of a counter professional. I have never worked with and wouldn’t hesitate to say I will never have the opportunity to work with another person who puts their everything into making sure Auto Supply Co. is successful. Our customers are treated with the utmost respect each and every time he talks to them and the time is taken to make sure the parts are looked up right and sent right the first time!” “Bradie strives every day to make sure he keeps up with the ever-changing landscape and imparts that knowledge upon his fellow co-workers to not only make himself a better parts pro, but also to make everyone around him better. That’s something I think is a rarity in today’s parts world. “Bradie is constantly learning and constantly wanting the information it takes to stay on top. Bradie is ASE-certified, has taken ACDelco and Motorcraft training courses. He has held the roles of manager, account manager and parts professional in the parts business, meaning he knows what it takes to make all these facets of our business gel and he has made us a better location and a better company for it.” CM


Bradie Worrell 36

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Congratulations Bradie! On behalf of Parts Plus, congratulations to Bradie Worrell and the team at Auto Supply Co. It’s successful businesses and professionals like you who we can call industry leaders. Thank you!

2012 CPOTY Finalist

Curt Burdick Nominated by Tom Dayton, 2009 Counterman Counter Professional of the Year Curt Burdick of CARQUEST of Perry, Perry, N.Y.


Why did you nominate Curt? urt has been in the industry in various capacities since the 70s. I have known Curt for most of my automotive career. When I first met him, he was an instructor at Alfred State College


December 2012 | Counterman

(following in his father’s footsteps), and he was purchasing from me. When he got back into the aftermarket as a store manager, he headhunted me to work in his stores (twice, in fact!). Curt has done it all, from education, counter sales, outside sales, store and district managing. Curt was a great influence on my own career, teaching me valuable lessons, both personally and professionally, and I cited him as a mentor in my own CPOTY acceptance speech in 2009. Few people in the industry have the desire and drive to satisfy the customer the way Curt does. From the small-town relationships of an independent jobber, to the larger-market retail giants, Curt brings his own personal touch to every transaction. Patient to a fault, Curt has given himself wholly to this industry and our customers, and it’s time he accepted a little recognition for the dedication he has shown the aftermarket. “Of course, Curt is ASE-certified, and encourages certification in others. As a former educator, Curt understands the value of training, and was key in scheduling vendor tech training seminars when we worked together. He acts as a father figure (or older brother, depending on your age!) to everyone who works with him, and I have never met anyone with a bad word to say about him. He keeps up on the technologies, and encourages others to do the same. Over the years, he has worked his way up the ladder with increasing responsibilities. Curt knows an awful lot about this business, but continues to seek knowledge for the few areas that he has not yet mastered.” CM for reader service

2012 CPOTY Finalist

Nomination submitted by Dan Maciej Auto Value - Willmar Willmar, Minn. Why do you feel the nominee should be the Counter Professional of the Year? have been in the automotive aftermarket for more than 22 years and feel like I have one of the biggest smiles in the industry, because I truly love my career. In addition, my ability to speak English or Spanish enables me to greet my customers with a friendly grin and a welcoming hello in one language or another. This might sound odd, being we live in central Minnesota, however we have a strong migrant farming community that depends on us to get them the parts they need. Being bilingual has helped my store reach out to that community. Also, I treat my coworkers with respect and work hard to make everyone feel right at home - mi casa su case,” Cruz writes. Cruz was named by Automotive Parts Headquarters as the company’s 2007 Counter Person of the Year.


Martin Cruz 40

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What strides have you made in your career to better yourself as a parts professional? “I am ASE certified and I have completed all 24 of the counter expert training modules provided by the Alliance. I am also a graduate of the Willmar Technical College with a degree in automotive parts merchandising. Furthermore, I have taken a special interest in brakes and ride control parts and consider myself an expert in that area. My hobbies also revolve around the auto industry.” CM

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 this issue of Counterman.


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Small Electric Motors Can Generate Big Sales s far as the automotive world is concerned, small electric motors make the world go around and around and up and down. Small electric motors are used throughout the vehicle for a variety of functions. A typical late-model minivan or SUV might have as many as 30 or more electric motors (not counting the starter motor) depending on how it is equipped. Here’s are just a few: ● Six power window motors (both front and rear side windows plus rear vent windows) ● Two power side sliding door motors ● One power rear lift gate motor ● Six (or more) power seat motors (fore/aft, up/down and tilt for each seat) ● Two power side mirror motors ● One or two radiator and A/C condenser cooling fan motors ● One antilock brake system pump motor ● One air ride suspension compressor motor ● One electric fuel pump motor


Some of these motors are performing convenience functions like moving seats, opening and closing doors and lowering and raising windows. Some are performing creature comfort functions like the heater and A/C blower motors and the motors that reposition the air flow control doors inside the HVAC system. Others are performing safety functions such as readjusting the side mirrors and 42

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operating the wipers and washers. And some are absolutely vital to the operation of the vehicle itself such as the fuel pump, radiator cooling fans, power steering motor, ABS pump and air ride compressor motor. Over time, some of these motors will inevitably fail. When they do, it may cause a problem that ranges

An electric motor consists of a rotating armature inside a housing.

from inconvenience to not being able to drive the vehicle. A power window that stops working or a power seat that’s stuck in an awkward or uncomfortable position can be annoying but it won’t prevent the vehicle from being driven. A bad cooling fan motor, on the other hand, may cause the engine to overheat while a dead fuel pump will prevent the engine from running at all. Consequently, the priority of replacing one of these small electric motors usually depends on the importance of the function that was lost when the motor called it quits.

How An Electric Motor Works An electric motor consists of a rotating armature inside a housing. The armature is divided into segments around which are wrapped small coils of copper wire. Mounted inside the motor housing around the outside of the armature are more loops of wire (called “field coils”). On some motors, the field coils are replaced with strong permanent magnets (which allow the motor to be smaller and more powerful). Current is supplied to the armature by a pair of spring-loaded carbon brushes. The brushes ride on the “commutator” which is the segmented part of the armature that is connected to each of the coil windings in the armature. When electric current flows into an electric motor, it goes to both the armature and the field coils. If it is a permanent magnet motor, current only flows to the armature since there are no field coils. Either way, current flowing through the wire coils creates a strong electromagnetic field. The magnetic field created in the armature both attracts and repels the magnetic field in the outer field coils or permanent magnet. This causes the motor to rotate. The direction it rotates will depend on the direction the current is flowing through the coils and the polarity of the opposing magnetic fields. If you ever played with a pair of horseshoe magnets in science class, you’ll remember that magnetic fields are always polarized with a North and South pole. Like poles repel each other and unlike for reader service

TECH FEATURE poles attract. Try to push both South poles or both North poles of two magnets together and you will feel a force trying to keep them apart. Likewise, when you bring the North and South poles of two different magnets close together, you’ll feel them attract and stick together. The speed and torque produced by an electric motor depends on the voltage and current flowing through it. Increase the voltage and/or current and the motor spins faster. Why Electric Motors Fail Electric motors can fail for one of several reasons. They can wear out from constant use or overuse. The main cause of the failure is often worn brushes. If the brushes fail to make good electrical contact with the commutator on the armature, the motor may not spin with its usual speed and torque, or it may spin erratically or it may not rotate at all. Sometimes the commutator will wear unevenly leaving a low spot that makes poor contact with the brushes. If the motor stops with one of the brushes on a bad spot, the motor may not work the next time current is applied. Sometimes, normal vibration or jiggling may cause the motor to rotate just enough where the brush makes contact with the next segment on the commutator. This allows current to flow again and the motor starts to spin. This explains why some electric motors operate intermittently. Another explanation could be a loose or corroded electrical connector to the motor or a wiring fault that is causing an intermittent power or ground connection. The power window motors on first-generation MINI Coopers are notorious for this kind of problem. The power windows work fine one time, but may not the next time you try to lower the window. Pound 44

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Electric motors can wear out from constant use or overuse.

your fist on the inner door panel near the spot where the motor is located and it will often get the power window motor to working again. One reason why these motors tend to fail prematurely is because the power window automatically lowers about half an inch every time the door is opened to clear the door seal, then raises back up when the door is closed. The driver’s door gets the most use so it is usually the one that starts to act up first. The only fix is to remove the inner door panel and replace the power window motor with a new one. Electric motors also can fail as a result of overloading. This includes overloading the motor with too much voltage or current and literally burning out the windings, or overloading the motor physically causing it to overheat and fail. Current flowing through wires produces heat, so the higher the current the greater the heat. The soldered electrical connections inside the motor can be damaged by overheating, causing the solder to melt and lose electrical contact. Too much heat may also cause a break in the fine copper wire in the armature or field coils. Some electric motors may have to cope with higher loads than others as driving conditions change. Windshield wiper motors normally don’t have to work very hard when the wipers are only having to deal with light rain. But a heavy accumulation of ice or snow on the windshield may overload the wipers and cause the

wiper motor fuse to blow. In this case, the fuse failed to protect the motor. That’s what fuses and circuit breakers are supposed to do. Replacing the fuse or allowing the circuit breaker time to cool off and reset should restore normal operation. But if the wiper motor is overloaded too often or for a prolonged period of time, the motor may overheat and fail. The electric motor inside a fuel pump is another that can be damaged by heat, and also by a loss of lubrication. Fuel pumps typically spin at high speed (3,000 to 7,000 RPM) from the moment the engine starts until it is shut off. The pump generates constant pressure as it pushes fuel to the engine. The pump is both cooled and lubricated by the fuel that is flowing through it. Diagnosis When a device or accessory that depends on an electric motor stops working, the problem could be due to any number of things. The electric motor may have failed. The fuse that protects the circuit may have blown. There may be a loose or corroded wiring connector or a wiring fault in the motor’s power or ground circuits. Or, there may be a problem with the switch or other control device that operates the motor. If a fuse checks out okay, the next logical check would be to use DVOM to check for voltage to the motor when the circuit is energized. If there’s voltage (and a good ground connection) but the motor is not working, the problem is a bad electric motor that needs to be replaced. No voltage would tell you the problem is in the electrical circuit and not the motor. Unplugging the motor’s electrical connector and jumping power directly to the motor is another check that can be made to see if the motor works or not.

TECH FEATURE for reader service

Replacement Motors If a small electric motor of one type or another has failed and needs to be replaced, you may have the option of offering your customer either a new or remanufactured replacement motor. Reman motors are typically less expensive than new and usually have new brushes, resurfaced commutators and are thoroughly cleaned and tested to make sure they perform like-new. Some cheaply made reman motors, however, may only have new brushes installed and may not provide the same durability and longevity as a quality reman motor or OEM-equivalent part. The same goes for some cheaply made new motors that use lesser quality parts to reduce cost. They won’t hold up as well as an OEM part or a quality part from a name brand aftermarket supplier.


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With so many different part numbers, it’s essential to make sure your customer gets the correct replacement motor for his vehicle. If possible, visually compare the old and new parts to make sure they are identical. Electrical connectors may be different, and mounts may be different. With power window motors, driver and passenger side motors may have a different drive orientation or rotate in opposite directions. Some electric motors also have built-in position sensors, as is often the case with the small motors that control the positions of the air flow control doors inside an HVAC unit. The HVAC control module or body control module has to know the positions of each of these motors so it can correctly control heating, cooling and the distribution of air out the various ducts. Replacing a motor, or

disconnecting the battery will usually cause the control module to forget the settings of the motors. This requires a special relearn procedure (which may involve a scan tool) to reestablish the motor’s relative position after it has been installed. In the case of an ABS pump motor, the ABS system has to be completely depressurized before the pump is replaced. This can be done by pumping the pedal 20 to 40 times with the key off. Related items a customer might need to diagnose or replace a small electric motor includes a DVOM for testing circuits and voltages, any special tools that might be required for disassembly, wiring connectors for repairing or splicing wires, dielectric grease for keeping moisture out of electrical connections, and grease for window, door or power seat slides. CM for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

The Changing Exhaust Market hen stainless steel catalytic converters were popularly introduced in 1976, few in the parts distribution industry could predict that they would forever change way we sell aftermarket replacement exhaust systems. During the 1960s, the exhaust system was routinely replaced each two or three years because acidic condensation corroded the mild steel mufflers and exhaust pipes from the inside out. In the rust belt areas, road salt would corrode the outside of the exhaust pipes and muffler as well. But, when catalytic converters were first introduced, auto manufacturers began plumbing from the engine’s exhaust manifolds to the catalytic converter with stainless steel, which is very resistant to cor-


rosion. In addition, stainless steel effectively withstands the 1,000 degree-plus exhaust gas temperatures encountered in most modern emissions-controlled engines. But, because a catalytic converter reduces the spent hydrocarbons flowing from the engine’s cylinders into carbon dioxide and water, short-trip driving quickly corrodes the insides of mild-steel mufflers, resonators and tail pipes. To increase exhaust system life, auto manufacturers began using stainless steel throughout their exhaust systems. Modern Exhaust Manifolds One former OE-only exhaust part that’s becoming more popular in the aftermarket is the engine’s exhaust manifold. Due to higher exhaust port temperatures caused by

leaner air/fuel mixture ratios, exhaust manifolds are failing at a higher rate. Exhaust manifolds have traditionally been made from cast iron because it was the only commercially viable material that could withstand the red-hot, 1,300-degree F. exhaust gases exiting the engine’s exhaust ports. Because cast iron exhaust manifolds have expansion coefficients as cast iron cylinder heads, they proved very durable for many years. But repeated hearing and cooling cycles can cause cast-iron exhaust manifolds to crack and warp. When aluminum cylinder heads became popular, it became increasingly difficult to seal a cast-iron manifold against a soft aluminum cylinder head with a different expansion coefficient. To solve the

Vehicles sold in California might require a different type of catalytic converter than a “49 states” vehicle.


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The honey-comb catalyst quickly disintegrates when exposed to excessive amounts of unburned gasoline and air.

Catalytic Converters Since 1976, one of the primary functions of an exhaust system has been to reduce engine exhaust emissions. For this reason, selling catalytic converters has become more science than art. For example, it helps to know that universal-fit converters are recommended only for vehicles manufactured prior to 1996. After 1996, the catalytic converter must meet manufacturer’s specifications regarding exhaust flow and catalyst efficiency. As a parts professional, you should know that, if that standard isn’t met, the “check engine” light will

illuminate and the PCM will store a P0420 (bank one) diagnostic trouble code on in-line engines and possibly a P0430 (bank two) code on V-block engines. While either code indicates a loss of exhaust conversion efficiency in the catalyst, keep in mind that many vehicles might require a PCM “reflash” (rather than a converter replacement) to remedy the P0420/430 trouble codes. Conditions that normally cause a P0420/430 catalyst efficiency failure are normal wear in the catalyst or contamination from non-recommended motor oils or from coolant leaking into the engine’s cylinders. In contrast, the catalyst in any type of converter can be destroyed by ignition misfires. When an ignition misfire occurs, a “gulp” of raw gasoline and air is released into the catalytic converter. Because the catalytic converter is designed to oxidize hydrocarbons like gasoline, it ignites the gasoline and air. When misfires exceed a specific level, the catalyst in the converter overheats and melts, with the melted pieces breaking up and clogging the exhaust. for reader service

problem and further reduce weight, engineers imitated the aircraft industry by designing tubular exhaust manifolds fabricated from stainless steel. Currently, vehicles are equipped with both types of manifolds and, with high mileage vehicles working in severe environments, the metal in both types of manifolds will eventually crack or warp. Consequently, it pays to review your aftermarket coverage of the exhaust manifold market. 49

MECHANIC CONNECTION Although some vehicles protect the catalyst from overheating by automatically disabling the fuel injector on a misfiring cylinder, most vehicles don’t. Consequently, whenever dealing with a disintegrated catalyst, it’s important to sell new spark plugs and ignition cables to help avoid ignition misfires. Mufflers, Resonators, And Pipes When making an exhaust sale, it’s extremely important to correctly identify each part. For example, the “header” pipe on in-line engines or the “Y” pipe on V-block engines connects the exhaust manifolds to the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is then connected to the muffler with an intermediate pipe. To further dampen exhaust noise on many applications, an exhaust system resonator is installed after the muffler. The tail pipe carries the exhaust gases from the muffler or resonator to the exterior perimeter of the vehicle body. Clearly, the art and science of

selling exhaust system parts has changed due to the use of stainless steel. Most veteran parts professionals have noticed during recent years that, due to stainless steel technology and a more efficient combustion process, muffler and exhaust pipe sales have dramatically declined. But, in non-rust belt areas with drier climates, the demand for exhaust systems on older vehicles still exists. But, because stocking direct-fit exhaust pipes requires a large amount of floor space, many jobbers have delegated that duty to their area distribution centers. The problem at the distribution level is that, as many older vehicles are taken out of service, the demand for those exhaust system parts rapidly declines, as does the profitability of stocking a multitude of direct-fit mufflers and pipes. In response, many local independent shops have installed exhaust pipe bending machines that allow them to fabricate new exhaust systems. When servicing older vehicles

To avoid overheating the floorboard, exhaust heat shields like the one mounted above the exhaust resonator on this SUV should always be left in place.


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with mild-steel exhausts, a jobber might find himself stocking prefabricated individual exhaust components like angled and U-bends, manifold-to-pipe adapters, straight pipe, hangers, and clamps. The exhausts on many older pickup and heavy-duty trucks can often be fabricated from off-the-shelf parts found in your exhaust system supplier’s catalog. Many older passenger vehicles and collector car exhaust systems with complex bends will obviously require the services of an experienced exhaust fabricator. Exhaust Safety In addition to reducing engine exhaust emissions, the most important function of an exhaust system is to safely vent exhaust gases from the outside perimeter of the vehicle into the atmosphere. Because rapidly-moving air flowing around the vehicle’s body often reduces air pressure inside the passenger compartment, exhaust gases can be drawn through the rear hatch or trunk gaskets. To prevent this problem, vehicle manufacturers often run the heating/ventilation blower motor at a slow but constant speed to mildly pressurize the passenger compartment. In other designs, manufacturers rely on air pressure build-up at passenger compartment air intake located at the lower windshield area to pressurize the passenger compartment. For safety reasons, it’s important that all of these passenger compartment ventilation features be left in place. It’s also important that all exhaust joints receive new gaskets and be securely welded or clamped in place. If you have a DIY customer installing a customized exhaust system, remind him that the tail pipe should be mounted as closely as possible to the original location that all heat shielding be left in place to prevent excessive floorboard temperatures. CM


Advance Auto Parts Professional Event Helps Shops Create Customers For Life The event, held Nov. 15-16 in downtown Pittsburgh at the historic Omni William Penn Hotel, featured an inviting trade show floor with vendors who explained and demonstrated their latest products and services. By Mark Phillips

PITTSBURGH — Attendees of Advance Auto Parts Professional’s “Creating Customers for Life” Event got advice on forging great customer service, heard the latest about the company’s e-services and traded tips with fellow shop owners and technicians from around the region. The event, held Nov. 15-16 in downtown Pittsburgh at the historic Omni William Penn Hotel, featured an inviting trade show floor with vendors who explained and demonstrated their latest products and services. Several educational sessions were held in rotation, and included: •“Inspire Your Team” – Accelerate your success as a leader by increasing your personal credibility. Explore the four cores of credibility – integrity, intent, capability and results. •“Serve Your Customers” – Create successful customer retention by learning techniques to drive customer loyalty and sales. •“Increase Knowledge, Increase Business” – Increase customer engagement, drive loyalty and attract new customers with Advance Shop Marketing powered by DriverSide. Plus, infor-


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mation about all the services Advance Auto Parts Professional offers to help grow business and increase shop productivity, including MotoLogic Repair & Diagnostics, eLearning and ANYWHERECARE. •“Grow your ‘Tune-Up’ Business, Presented by BWD” – As vehicles have changed, so has the way today’s vehicle owner perceives required service and maintenance. Even basic services such as the tune-up have been revolu-

tionized by changes in today’s vehicles. This session explored ways to ensure growth in your tune-up business and overall customer satisfaction. As of Oct. 6, Advance operated 3,727 stores in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to the company. CM Follow Advance at @AdvanceAuto and @AdvanceAutoPro on Twitter or visit or

Visit the Counterman YouTube channel at to view video from the Advance event in Pittsburgh.

Track Talk New Look Ready For ‘Sixth-Generation’ 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Car NASCAR recently unveiled a new look for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, an integral and exciting step in the rollout process of the sixth-generation race car. “These changes are an extension of the unprecedented collaboration with the auto manufacturers on the 2013 car, great industry feedback and our focus on increasing fan affinity as part of NASCAR’s Industry Action Plan,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. The sixth-generation car look will debut with the opening of the 2013 Speedweeks, highlighted by the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The development and design of the latest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car continues a robust tradition of styling that dates back to the earliest days of the sport. Among the updates: • The driver’s last name featured on the windshield; • Sponsor decals will not be permitted on the headlights and taillights, two key distinguishing characteristics of the auto manufacturers’ brand; • Car numbers will be moved from the lights to the front and rear bumpers; • A single sponsor logo will be permitted on the roof under the number; • Team sponsor decals will be permitted to extend past the front edge of the b-post; • “Step and repeat” / background patterns will be permitted on the sides of the car; • Due to the slightly smaller car, the car number will be reduced by 10

percent and the contingency decals will be reduced to 26 square inches. Preparations for the rollout of the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car continue with a great deal of excitement. NASCAR has secured two additional test dates at Charlotte Motor Speedway – Dec. 11-12 and Jan. 17-18 – as an option for those teams that want to supplement their new car testing schedule. Daytona Preseason Thunder, the annual threeday NASCAR Sprint Cup test session at Daytona International Speedway, will be held Jan. 10-12. “We’ve put together an aggressive and extensive testing schedule for the new car and we are pleased with how

things are progressing,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “We have the opportunity to provide teams with a couple of more optional test dates at a mile-and-a-half race track as we look to provide the most exciting and competitive racing that we possibly can. The Daytona Preseason Thunder testing will give teams the chance to prepare their cars for Speedweeks and the running of the Daytona 500.” The ultimate goal for the 2013 season is, of course, to have readily brand-identifiable cars for manufacturers — Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota — that are just as racy as they look. “The new car has generated a lot of excitement and anticipation,” continued Pemberton. “We’re looking forward to seeing it in competition next year.”

The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars will have several changes, including having the driver's last name on the windshield.

Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook ■


Quick-Check For Brake Pad Wear By Andrew Markel Editor, Brake & Front End

● Caliper guide pins and bushings seized. ● Pads seized in slides.

Even Wear Pads have equal amounts for friction material, within 2-3 mm, on both pads. Cause: ● Brake caliper and connected hydraulics are operating properly.

Solution: ● Replace the pads. ● Service caliper guide pins and bushings. Replace if necessary. ● Service caliper slides and lubricate.

Solution: ● Replace the brake pads. ● Replace hardware including abutment and anti-rattle clips. ● Service caliper guide pins and slides. for reader service

Outer Pad Wear The outboard brake pad shows increased wear when compared to the inboard pad. Causes: ● Outer pad is continuing to ride on the rotor after the caliper releases.

● Inspect the caliper for damage to the guide pin holes. Replace if damaged or corroded. Inner Pad Wear The inboard pad shows increased wear when compared to the outboard pad.

Causes: ● Worn caliper piston seal not allowing the piston to return to the rest position. ● Caliper guide pins and bushings seized. ● Pads seized in slides. ● Piston has damage or corrosion. ● Problem with the master cylinder. Solution: ● Replace the pads. ● Inspect the hydraulic brake system and check for residual brake pressure. ● Service caliper guide pins and bushings. Replace if necessary. ● Service caliper slides and lubricate. ● Inspect the caliper for damage to the guide pin holes and piston boot. Replace if damaged or corroded. Tapered Pad Wear Friction material is worn in a wedge pattern. This can happen horizontally or vertically. Causes: ● Errors during the installation of the pads. ● Worn caliper guide pin bushings. ● One guide pin or slide seized. Solution: ● Replace the brake pads. ● Service caliper guide pins and bushings. Replace if necessary. ● Service caliper slides and lubricate. ● Inspect the caliper for damage to the guide pin holes. Replace if damaged or corroded. CM


December 2012 | Counterman for reader service


OUNTER-TECH By Mandy Aguilar

Dialing the Internet DSL and cable modems ushered the age of broadband in our lives and dial-up, just as quickly, went the way of the Dodo.

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


f we ask a bunch of techies today how many of them remember Prodigy, what do you think the answer will be? How about CompuServe? How many will remember both of these were companies that provided dial-up Internet access to business and consumers. Heck for that matter, how many will even know what a dial-up was? The answer will probably be a big “I dunno!” You see, these companies, just established in 1995, once reigned supreme over all things Internet, but their hold on that title was short-lived, one of many victims of the new tech world order’s vertiginous speed of change. DSL and cable modems ushered the age of broadband in our lives and dial-up, just as quickly, went the way of the Dodo. New users are coming up, and teaching our kids about technology is a new requisite parents and teachers have had to add to their repertoire; a tough challenge indeed as often times the roles can be reversed and the kids can actually do the teaching. Even the Cub Scouts have implemented technology teaching into their curriculum. My son has been a Cub Scout for a few years and is now a Webelos getting ready this semester to cross the bridge to Scout. His den has been working on getting their Communicator Pin; one of their requirements that focuses on varied forms of communications, including the Internet. I was asked to give the kids a talk about technology and I have to tell you the experience was magnificent. I have been a speaker at many industry forums and enjoy the challenge of delivering a presen-


December 2012 | Counterman

tation in front of hundreds of peers; but somehow, talking to these 10-year-old Webelos gave me butterflies the size of pterodactyls! As it usually happens with most presentations, you start talking, then the nerves calm down, the audience starts to engage you, a nice flow of knowledge give-andtake ensues thus transforming the whole experience into one that is very rewarding. We spoke about searching the Internet, sending email, social media sites and how to deal and avoid Cyberbullying (I bet none of you guys who were Boy Scouts ever had to deal with that one!). Along with the kids, many of their parents attended the presentation as well. At one point, we were talking about the beginning of the Internet and spoke about dial-ups. The kids were beyond skeptical – “What, what — you had to dial a phone number to connect your computer to the Internet?” Out of all things, this woke the parents up from their Mandy-induced stupor and got them taking about their experiences using dialup services; turns out they hung on to their nostalgic recollection of dial-up like Charles Foster Kane hung to “Rosebud.” My presentation got derailed; the parents took it over! One dad spoke about how slow his dial-up was. Another lamented how her parents got on her case about their phone line being busy for hours while she played on the Internet using his dial-up connection. Then at one point, someone started imitating the sound dial-up modems made when attempting a

connection; this caught on and soon all the parents sounded like 56K modems in a cacophony of failed Web connections to the past. We were all laughing like kids (including the kids). Never doubt humor as the best tool for any presentation. If you want to go down memory lane along with us visit for a laugh. In little more than a decade, we have gone from dialing phone numbers on a landline at home so that we could connect our PC to the Web at speeds of 56K, to carrying a smartphone in our pocket that’s hundreds of times more powerful than any PC we ever had. Plus, the darn thing is always connected to the Internet using cellular data networks where speed is now

measured in hundreds of Megabits. This is the speed of change and it’s affecting our lives all over. Newspapers, travel agencies, retail stores have all felt firsthand the impact of this new reality — we are connected to the Internet at fast speeds able to access large amounts of data all the time. In the auto parts industry, the changes are hitting us just as fast; customers want fast, reliable access to real data to compare prices and availability and make decisions about their business in real time. Markets are just that much more efficient and we must be able to compete in those markets at the current speed of transaction. The Boy Scouts are clearly prepping for it — are you? CM

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AAPEX Advance Auto Parts Advics Affinia Undercar Group Raybestos Brakes Airtex Corp. Aisin World Corp. Akebono Corp. Parts Plus Bar’s Products DEA Products/Pioneer Inc. DMA Goodpoint ExxonMobil Federated Auto Parts Interstate Battery Systems of America Johnson Controls

45 Cover 2&3 39 41 12 17, 20 16 55 23, 37 18 3 60 13 31 15 1, 7

Magnaflow Performance Exhaust Mevotech NAPA Belden/Echlin National Pronto Association Nucap Industries Old World Industries Packard Industries Performance Friction Corp. Bosch Schaeffler Group USA Spectra Premium Industries Standard Motor Products TYC/Genera Corp. Uni-Select Wizards Products/RJ Star Inc.

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EEPING IT SIMPLE By Gerald Wheelus

You really can teach an old dog a new trick / kəmˈpyu tər / [kuh m-pyoo-ter] noun

Can you imagine in our fast-paced society taking 15 minutes to sell a list of parts?

Gerald Wheelus is general manager of Edgewood Auto Parts, Edgewood, Texas.


1. Also called processor. An electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations.

omputers — what a change from the early days, right? In the early days of computers in the parts store or warehouse, we still relied on catalogs to find those hard-to-find parts. Some of us veterans of the business still do. Computers have helped us in many ways — they have helped to control inventory, keep pricing records straight and in some cases, they have even sped up the invoicing process for the customer. The computer has changed our business over the years many times. In 1986, when I I was 14 and just starting out in the parts business, the owner of a store recognized that I could teach his “old farts” the computer. I did not realize what he was doing but after conversing with him many years later, he saw that I would learn the computer very quickly and the nuances of the system and he allowed me to run free with it. He still made me learn the catalogs, and as time goes on, I am more thankful for that but he saw that my youth was an asset and I could help the company. Now, just because I was young did not translate to being smart. I took initiative to learn and was able to because I had an unexpected dedication to being the best at what I did. All that aside, the computer changed our business forever in the mid to late 80s. The revolutionary idea took people who could not — and yes, I repeat, could not — work in a parts store and made anyone who could spell the word “part” be able to do so. I will save that story for another article however.


December 2012 | Counterman

The [kuhm-pyoo-ter] and what we really expect of it can be very difficult and sometimes unrealistic on our part. We run an invoice and it take less than 30 seconds no matter how many parts are on it. Can you imagine in our fast-paced society taking 15 minutes to sell a list of parts? That is what it took in the 80s. Computers have helped us to become more efficient in our business and everyday life but, what about the negatives, you might ask. The negatives are somewhat simple: they have made many a parts person think they are parts professionals when they are just simply order takers. A true parts professional will use the computer when it is appropriate but, if you look around you, the true parts professional still goes to a paper catalog when it’s easier than trying to use the computer. Take for instance differential bearings and seals: Have you seen the options you have to choose from? What about a combination U-Joint? Try that on your standard parts look-up system. The pros, the cons and all in-between will continue to be debated. But in the end, the computer is here to stay. Don’t discard your old catalogs — you’re gonna need them. The good thing is, for those who choose to excel at their jobs, the Internet-connected computer will be able to assist us. It has helped us to develop ways to look up HD parts, farm tractor parts and ATV/motorcycle parts. In 1986, when we went from the tablet notebook and pencil to invoicing by computer, the old guys grumbled. In 2006, many manufacturers said “no more catalogs” as we can save millions each year — and we old guys grumbled. It has not diminished our sales. It has just made us learn a new trick and just so you know, the TV show MythBusters proved you can really teach an old dog a new trick. CM for reader service


Shock Absorbers Defined HOCK ABSORBER — A component that dampens suspension motions to improve ride control and handling. The shock for reader service



December 2012 | Counterman

absorber is mounted near the wheel and connected to one of the control arms. Inside is an oil-filled cylinder with a piston and valves.

Movement of the suspension forces the piston to push against the oil. This creates friction and resistance to dampen the suspension. Two basic types: twin-tube and monotube. Twin-tube shocks have an oil reservoir around the outside of the piston chamber. Oil moves back and forth from the chamber through valves in the end of the shock. With monotube shocks, there is no outer chamber. One end of the shock is filled with pressurized gas and a floating piston seal separates the gas charge from the oil. Twintube shocks also may be pressurized with nitrogen gas (reduces cavitation, foaming and shock fade), but monotube shocks are usually charged at a much higher pressure (up to 360 psi). Shocks are a wear item and eventually lose their ability to dampen the suspension because of seal wear. A leaky shock must be replaced. Symptoms of worn shocks include a rough, bouncy ride, excessive body sway, bottoming or rocking after hitting bumps and poor handling stability. Worn shocks also can cause a cupped wear pattern on the tires, and may increase stopping distances on rough roads. Replacement shocks with larger piston bores, increased gas pressure, special valving, adjustable valving or other special features can be installed to upgrade ride control performance. Shocks are usually replaced in pairs. Electronic shocks (and struts) have computer controlled valving that changes to suit driving conditions. These can be very expensive to replace, so conventional aftermarket shocks and struts are available as a repair alternative. CM for reader service


LLEN & ALLAN By Allen Markowitz & Allan Gerber

People Still Buy from People here are many reasons why your customer will buy from you and not your competitor, however it’s a bit different today. We live in a fast-paced world with modern information systems that assist us while at the same time, force us to take a new look and possibly re-evaluate the way we deal with our customers. Experience – No, not your experience as a counter professional, but your customer’s experiences with you, your company and how you make them feel. Have you previously been able to solve your customer’s problems and do they have the confidence that you will be able to do so consistently? Customers like to interact in a convenient manner that they are comfortable with. Listen to them before you speak, address their needs and concerns and you will always have a satisfied customer. Product – does your customer or potential customer feel that you express enough knowledge in what you are selling and understand today’s cars expanded technology to properly provide for their needs and keep their bays humming? Extra focus and ongoing training regarding your product’s uses, features and benefits will positively display your product knowledge and your ability to satisfy the needs of your customers. Trustworthiness and Reputation – Your credibility and truthfulness will create more sales than exaggerated and overthe-top claims and promises.

T We live in a fast-paced world with modern information systems which assist us while at the same time, force us to take a new look and possibly re-evaluate the way we deal with our customers. 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.


December 2012 | Counterman

Value – Yes, while most customers are price conscious the majority do not consider price alone when making a decision to buy or not. When technician customers were asked to rank the importance of knowledgeable counter professionals, reliable delivery service, price and depth of inventory; price rarely came up first and was usually third or last. However, the need to add value quickly due to the increased utilization of smart phones, iPads and tablet computers requires being on top of your game all the time. Today, everyone is looking for instant gratification and while questions or concerns have to be addressed in a timely fashion, few people have the time for lengthy discussions. The pressure is on for us to produce results now. You, the counter professional, have to analyze your customers’ needs and deliver the desired result faster than ever before. And don’t forget that you have to also get it right. Transaction – Make the transaction easy. Remember the KISS concept, “Keep it simple stupid.” Today the use of social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn necessitates change; no longer do people want long, detailed discussions. Fast short communication is accepted. Think of it this way answer as if you are reciting headline news. People buy from people, still true but the way people interact with each other has changed and will continue to do so. Learn to couple personal interaction with efficiency. CM

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For more information, go to: or e-mail for reader service



Goodbye 2012 can hardly believe I am typing the December 2012 Counterman column. Where did this year go? As I reflect back on this year it has been an eventful one. Announcements of mergers, restructuring, acquisitions, Right to Repair and so much more. One thing that remains constant is that the automotive aftermarket is a dynamic, necessary and exciting place to work. I had the good fortune this year to attend many industry events —

I for reader service

A big thanks to all of you for keeping this great nation on the move!


GAAS, NCMA, NACE, AAPEX and SEMA, I am sure there were others but those are the ones that come to mind. Each one of them had specific issues and initiatives that helped to move our industry forward. We are very fortunate to have associations like AAIA, AASA, ASA and SCRS (Society of Collision Repair Specialists). They provide all of us an open forum to work together for the betterment of the industry. While each of us is focusing on our daily work, it is the associations that stay focused on key initiatives and get work on them done. Additionally this year I was invited to attend two distribution group annual events. The Alliance and the Network hosted events for their members and I was lucky enough to attend. Being at these events reminded me that these distribution organizations play an important role in moving many of the needed parts to all of the independent parts locations around the U.S. They also provide a platform for manufacturers and members to communicate and work on issues together. The automotive aftermarket is a huge industry no matter how you measure it. The number is somewhere between $250 billion to $300 billion. That is a lot of moving pieces and critical to the nations transportation industry. There are approximately 240 million vehicles on the road in the U.S. and they travel almost 3 trillion miles. It takes an incredible amount of logistics and dedicated people to keep it all going. A big thanks to all of you for keeping this great nation on the move!

Happy Holidays

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For more information: December 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 to enter or go to and click on the “Quest for Cash” box. The winners for the December contest will appear in the February 2013 issue. The deadline to enter is Feb. 4.


December’s Contest 1) Mandy Aguilar’s column discusses calling:

3) Counterman Publisher S. Scott Shriber bids farewell to:

a) The Internet b) His bank c) Another country

a) 2012 b) France c) Neither of the above

2) In his editor’s note, Mark Phillips was on a plane:

4) Larry Carley discusses how small motors can make big:

a) Which lost an engine b) All day c) Which landed at the wrong airport

a) Sales b) Noises c) Movements

5) Gary Goms delves into: a) Exhaust systems b) Wheel bearings c) Lighting

October Contest Winners $200 $100 Darrell Alexander

Rick Kessenich

$50 Jon Paulo 65




Tom Staab, Classified Sales Mgr. 330-670.1234 ext. 224 • Fax 330.670.0874 •

Since 1977


1 Work Station $75/Month 2 Work Stations $100/Month 3 or More Work Stations $125/Month Total cost for software rental and unlimited phone support No contract to sign No additional cost for setting up and training


888-536-1438 66

December 2012 | Counterman



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Here were the



most-read stories or features on in 2012:

1 2 3 4 5 68

December 2012 | Counterman

“The Da-VINci Code: Making heads or tails of the all-too-important 17digit Vehicle Identification Number,” by Thomas Dayton, 2009 Counterman Counter Professional of the Year

“What’s New In Spark Plugs,” by Larry Carley

“The World Of Fuel Pump Diagnosis,” by Gary Goms

“ASE P2 Test Preparation Guide: Are You Ready?” by Larry Carley

Editor’s notes (Not a single editor’s note, but the category in general - I promise I didn’t fiddle with these - Mark, the editor) for reader service for reader service

Counterman, 12.2012  
Counterman, 12.2012  

Counterman provides professionals (jobbers, retailers and WDs) with the technical and business information needed to serve automotive repair...