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Program Groups Positioned for the future for reader service for reader service


June Volume 31, No. 6

features Tech Features

By Larry Carley

28 Shocks are comfort and safety items. .................................... 30 Figuring out which friction is best for your customer. ........ 32 Engine kits combine frequently replaced parts. .......... 34 Oil filters: It’s what’s inside that counts. ..............................

Mechanic Connection

By Gary Goms

38 ........................ 90

Disc brake calipers come in several variations..................... Universal joints transmit torque to an axle.




COUNTERMAN (ISSN 0739-3695) (June 2013 Volume 31, Number 6): Copyright 2013 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.


June 2013 | Counterman for reader service

columns Editor’s Ink


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

Soon, you won’t be allowed to drive.



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

I’m lost. Show me the Waze.

Keeping It Simple


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

Check your brain at the door?

Allen & Allan


Mark Phillips, Editor 330-670-1234, Ext. 299


Amy Antenora, Editor, aftermarketNews Managing Editor, Counterman 330-670-1234, Ext. 220


Larry Carley, Technical Editor

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

The domino effect.

From The Publisher


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

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

Which one of these scares you more? CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

departments 6,7

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

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

June 2013 | 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 2013 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 for reader service

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service

Spectra Premium’s eCatalog Is Mobile-Friendly With vehicle, part number and interchange search capabilities, the mobile version of Spectra Premium’s catalog can be accessed from any smartphone for an instant access in the palm of your hand. Similar to the desktop version, multipleview images, part-specific technical information and videos can also be accessed. No application to download – go to to experience it!

The Ultimate Import Wire Intermotor Import Ignition Wire Sets are unrivaled for quality, coverage and original match. No one provides more extras like factory-installed separator clips, anchors, protective looms and trays to keep wires sorted properly and safely. Intermotor ignition wire sets install with ease for exceptional power, performance and extra-long service life. Visit


June 2013 | Counterman

ADVICS Brake System Expertise The optimum control derived from the ADVICS total braking system results in a comfortable and safe ride every time. With applications for passenger cars and light trucks, ADVICS products meet or exceed OE specifications, assuring industryleading braking performance. Visit to learn more about ADVICS braking systems or email:

Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate Gets The Sludge Out As engines age, sludge and other harmful deposits can build up, altering tolerances and causing sticky rings, noisy valves and lifters, and clogged oil passages and screens. Rislone has the solution for keeping engines clean: Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate, a highquality penetrating lubrication oil, combined with protective engine additives and cleaning agents. Regular use of Rislone Engine Treatment Concentrate, as part of oil and filter changes at the proper intervals, will keep deposits to a minimum. It works with all petroleum-based motor oils, including conventional, high-mileage and synthetic formulas. For best protection, install the treatment with every oil change.

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service Akebono Launches Summer Promotion, ‘Sell Brakes, Get Rewards’

SMP Adds Seven Cloneable Sensors SMP has added seven new cloneable sensors to its TPMS line, which can be easily cloned with the existing sensor ID, eliminating the need for a factory relearn. The Standard and Intermotor part numbers cover Acura, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Ford truck and Toyota truck through the 2013 model year.

Akebono Brake Corp. is helping its retail counter and commercial phone sales team enjoy the summer by rewarding them with gift cards for selling the best-performing brake pads on the market. The promotion runs through Aug. 15, and will reward retail and phone sellers with a $25 American Express Prepaid Card for every 12 sets of Akebono brake kits sold, including the best-in-class Pro-ACT, EURO and Performance ultra-premium ceramic brake pads. Because the promotion provides sellers with a bonus for every dozen kits sold, dealers are encouraged to boost their summer inventories. Details on the program are available at

Bosch Mastertech VCI Scan Tool Now Supports General Motors GDS 2 OEM Diagnostic Application Bosch has expanded the diagnostic capabilities of its powerful Mastertech VCI (M-VCI) aftermarket scan tool to better serve the automotive repair technician. This dynamic tool can now provide authentic OEM dealer level diagnostics for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac branded vehicles. This is a powerful enhancement to M-VCI’s long list of diagnostic capabilities. The M-VCI scan tool boasts two industry leading aftermarket diagnostics applications – ESI[tronic] 2.0 – which provides excellent coverage for a variety of European and Korean vehicles, and the awardwinning Shop Foreman Pro software, which provides extensive Asian and Domestic coverage. It already supports the Tech2Win application for authentic OEM dealer level diagnostics for GM vehicle brands, and the BMW ISTA application, which provides authentic OEM dealer level diagnostics and J2534 reprogramming for BMW and Mini vehicles. 7


DITOR’S INK By Mark Phillips

Soon, You Won’t Be Allowed To Drive.

And Why That’s Good For Us. n the future, people won’t be allowed to drive cars. But don’t let that scare you. There are currently driverless vehicles that have “driven” safely for tens of thousands of miles without the aid of human intervention. At least three states have passed legislation that paves the way for driverless autos and more will do the same. This is all very good for the aftermarket. Why? Because there are going to be many more vehicles on the road in the future. And they’re all going to need repairs. It’s all a matter of numbers. Where are all these new vehicles coming from? Not only will people who currently own a “human”-driven vehicle buy a driverless auto, but so, too, will people who don’t currently have cars, not because they can’t afford them, but because they physically can’t drive them. Think of people who are forced to give up their keys because their eyes are failing them or they’re unable to walk. Though current rules and regulations say someone with a valid driver’s license must be in the driver’s seat to take over if there’s a problem, how long will that rule last?

I At least three states have passed legislation that paves the way for driverless autos and more will do the same.

I remember when cell phones could only dial phone numbers. And when there were “bag phones” and “car phones.” And I remember when I heard someone ask, “A camera on my phone? What would I use that for?” But we’ve seen how quickly that transformational technology has taken root. Now, nearly everyone has a camera on their phone. And do you remember that the first BlackBerry device that could send email was released all the way back in… 1999? When technology gets rolling, it tends to not change things in dribs and drabs. Things tend to change now. Like, right now! At a point not that far off in the future — some say 2020 or 2025 — vehicles will drive us entirely. There’s been some talk that humans won’t be allowed to drive vehicles at that point because human reflexes can’t outmatch a computer. You can imagine a line of vehicles on the road driving a mere 12 inches apart at high speed. No human alive can react in time to avoid a collision under those circumstances. This isn’t science fiction. This is science fact. Poo-poo it at your own peril. Driverless autos solve a whole host of problems, traffic congestion chief among them. And can you imagine driverless hotshot deliveries? You’re always going to know that vehicle is taking the fastest route possible. There’s going to be more technology packed into driverless vehicles than has ever been seen in the history of the automobile. The aftermarket must be ready to repair these vehicles. We cannot afford to get left behind. CM ■ ■ ■

For more information: for reader service

AFTERMARKET NEWS WIX Filters Announces ‘Ultimate XPerience Sweepstakes’ For XP Oil Filter Purchases Winning contestant will receive a VIP getaway for two to a NASCAR, IndyCar or NHRA Race in 2013. for reader service

GASTONIA, N.C. – WIX Filters, a member of the Affinia Group family of brands, is launching “The Ultimate XPerience Sweepstakes” for aftermarket consumers who purchase XP filters, a new line of high premium oil filters. Beginning June 1, contestants can enter to win a trip for two to a NASCAR Sprint Cup, IZOD IndyCar or NHRA series race in 2013 at “WIX Filters has a rich history of developing unique sweepstakes that connect motorsports fans with an at-track experience like no other,” said Mike Harvey, brand manager for WIX Filters. “Our ‘Ultimate XPerience’ sweepstakes is designed to forge deeper customer connections and engagement with the WIX brand and our new XP line of filters.” The contest will run through July 31. The winner and one guest will win a weekend VIP getaway experience to a race of the winner’s choice. The package includes one $750 gift card for travel and accommodation expenses; two race tickets and VIP track passes; and a meet and greet for the winner and a guest with WIX drivers at track (subject to availability). To promote the sweepstakes, WIX is providing dealers and distributors with point-of-sale kits that include product display graphics, trade print and digital ads, aisle intruder, poster, counter mat, window cling, counter card and apparel. Continued on pg. 22


June 2013 | Counterman

Guess the Car Win $100! This Month’s Puzzle


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 June 28. The winner’s name will appear in the next issue. Stay tuned!

Last Month’s Correct Answer:


I want to catch some rays. Routan (VW) Congrats to Dana Colby, Harvest, Ala. for reader service


TechSmart Releases New Park Assist Sensor Tech Session Video NEW YORK, N.Y. – Standard Motor Products Inc. (SMP) has released a new TechSmart Tech Session video that features the TechSmart line of park assist sen-

sors, providing useful information for this growing product category. The new video, as well as the entire Tech Session video series, is available for viewing at and on by clicking on the video channel button. Also known as a back-up sensor, this advanced safety technology may soon be mandatory on all new vehicles. The TechSmart line of parking sensors are matched 100 percent to the OE body style so every TechSmart park assist sensor is designed to fit and perform just like the original, according to SMP. “We currently offer two dozen premium TechSmart park assist sensors covering more than 18.5 million VIO for both import and domestic applications,” said Phil Hutchens, vice president, engine management marketing, SMP. “TechSmart parts are always engineered and built right, that’s why each TechSmart park assist sensor features the connector molded into the body to precisely match the part that it replaces.” SMP says the Tech Sessions are designed to help professional technicians find new and better ways to solve their automotive repair issues. Videos are also available for TechSmart electronic throttle bodies, PMD relocation kits, steering column shift tubes, air door actuators and the VVT chain tensioner. For additional information on TechSmart, contact an SMP sales representative or visit for reader service

Federated recently honored longtime Federated member

Don Bickle Jr., president of S&W Supply and Warehouse Inc. in Hays, Kan., with its

Industry Advocacy Award.


June 2013 | Counterman

Subscribe to the Counterman eNewsletter, the industry's freshest twice-weekly, 100 percent free, mobile-devicefriendly eNewsletter. Developed specifically for the auto parts distribution channel, the Counterman eNewsletter delivers timely news, new products, promotions and other special features needed to gain an edge in the marketplace. Subscribe at to receive the Counterman eNewsletter two times per week — every Tuesday and Thursday — in your inbox!


Over the Counter By Jerry King

Standard Motor Products Named Federated Outstanding Vendor Of The Year for reader service

STAUNTON, Va. – For the second consecutive year, the Federated Auto Parts membership has selected Standard Motor Products (SMP) as its Outstanding Vendor of the Year. “When we tallied up the votes for the Outstanding Vendor of the Year, it was nearly a photo finish between many competent suppliers, but one stood out as the overall winner, Standard Motor Products,” said Bo Fisher, chairman of Federated Auto Parts. “SMP earned our top honor again this year because of their commitment to excellence in areas such as education, plus their creativity in new products and market segments. We congratulate SMP and thank them for their dedication to the success of our membership.” Fisher presented Federated’s most prestigious vendor award to Standard Motor Products during the group’s national meeting and annual awards dinner held April 25 in Orlando, Fla. Continued on pg. 22


June 2013 | Counterman

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Š 2013 AutoZone, Inc. All rights reserved. AutoZone, AutoZone & Design are registered marks and Going The Extra Mile is a mark of AutoZone Parts, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. for reader service


--Shell Lubricants Receives AutoZone Extra Miler Award

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Premium Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT replacement rear brake pads from Federal-Mogul are now available in the aftermarket for 2013 Cadillac ATS models, the company announced. ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT pads — representing the next generation of automotive ceramic friction technology — are now also available for popular late-model Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen passenger vehicles. The Wagner ThermoQuiet product line covers more than 99 percent of the North American passenger vehicle population. The following new ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT pad sets are available through leading brake products distributors: • QC1659: 2013 Cadillac ATS (rear) • QC768B: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta (front) • QC1629: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 (front) For more information regarding Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT or semi-metallic brake pads, contact your Wagner Brake supplier or visit To identify the right Wagner product for any application, visit Federal-Mogul’s electronic catalog.

HOUSTON — Shell Lubricants was recently chosen as a recipient of the prestigious Extra Miler Award at the annual AutoZone Vendor Summit in Tunica, Miss. The Extra Miler Award recognizes suppliers that have demonstrated above and beyond efforts for AutoZone and its customers. “It is an honor for Shell Lubricants to be recognized by AutoZone with the Extra Miler Award,” said David Bunch, general manager, Shell Retail Lubricants North America. “This award recognizes our efforts as an organization that is committed to providing innovative thinking and merchandising excellence for serving AutoZone.” This year’s Extra Miler Award recognized innovative merchandising efforts that created highly visible store front fixtures developed to hold product needs during oil change special promotions. The improved merchandising displays throughout AutoZone stores led to an enriched customer service experience that mutually benefited both AutoZone and Shell Lubricants. Shell Lubricants also made recommendations on space management, product placement and marketing programs. “We congratulate Shell Lubricants on receiving the Extra Miler Award,” said Mark Finestone, senior vice president of AutoZone merchandising. “We are committed to meeting the needs of our customers and providing them with quality products and having the ability to develop a close working relationship with an organization such as Shell Lubricants is important to our success.” Additionally, to prevent store “out of stocks” during the oil change special promotions, Shell Lubricants increased product-holding power at AutoZones nationwide. Shell Lubricants also devoted premium display space to synthetic motor oil to coincide with the release of Pennzoil Ultra Full Synthetic Motor Oil. for reader service

Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT Rear Brake Pads Released For Cadillac ATS


June 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Venchurs Receives Supplier Of The Year Award From Akebono Brake Corp.

Venchurs CEO Jeff Wyatt is second from left.

ADRIAN, Mich. — Venchurs, a kitting, warehousing and reverse logistics service provider, received the 2012 Indirect Service Supplier of the Year Award from Akebono Brake Corp. While Venchurs has 40 years of Tier 1 supplying experience, this is the first year that Venchurs has worked as a supplier

for Akebono, making this respected award even more significant, Akebono said. “We are very proud of the services we offer and of our level of execution,” said Jeff Wyatt, CEO of Venchurs. “It is a huge honor to receive this award from a company like Akebono. It highlights our dedication to the highest level of customer service and shows that our efforts are recognized by our customers.” Venchurs provides supply chain management, kitting and distribution services to Akebono, handling all component procurement, new kit launch and first piece samples to the customer as well as distribution of

finished goods to depots and dealers according to customer orders. “We are extremely gratified to honor Venchurs with our Indirect Service Supplier of the Year Award,” said Roger Licht, director of OES purchasing. “In only their first year of service to us they demonstrated capabilities and achievements far beyond the current levels and significantly improved our OES supply chain distribution network. We congratulate Venchurs on a job well done and look forward to supporting each other.” In addition to the traditional Venchurs business, the company also has vehicle programs housed under Venchurs Vehicle Systems.

Enhanced Pricing, Inventory Control, POS Features Now Available Through Epicor Eagle For The Aftermarket Software for reader service

DUBLIN, Calif. – Epicor Software Corp. has announced several timesaving new pricing, inventory control, point of sale (POS) and other capabilities now available through its Epicor Eagle for the Aftermarket software. The solution now features a “Pricing Store” that enables users to automatically import and manage supplier pricing files before putting them into effect.

For more information, contact your Epicor representative, call Epicor toll-free at

888-463-4700, or email


June 2013 | Counterman for reader service


KYB Earns Vendor Of The Year For Order Fill From Federated Auto Parts ADDISON, Ill. – Federated Auto Parts recently awarded KYB Americas as the “2012 Co-Man Vendor of the Year for Order Fill” at Federated’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. “While all of our Co-Man vendors do an excellent job supporting the program, KYB really understands the importance of order fill to the overall success of our Co-Man operation,” said Rusty Bishop, CEO of Federated Auto Parts. “KYB is a long-time Co-Man supplier and, because they consistently go over and above to deliver results, we are pleased to recognize them as the Federated Co-Man Vendor of the Year for Order Fill.” “KYB is delighted to be recognized by Federated Co-Man as their 2012 Vendor of the Year for Order Fill. As a group, we are constantly striving to improve our inventory and operational procedures to better serve our channel partners,” said KYB Vice President Mike Fiorito. “This award highlights the hard work and effort of the entire KYB Team. We are very proud to be acknowledged with this honor.”

Sweepstakes continued from pg. 10 XP, the third oil filter line manufactured by WIX, is available through independent auto parts dealers and warehouse distributors. The new line of high premium oil filters is engineered to withstand the toughest of driving conditions and scientifically designed to maximize the performance of synthetic motor oils, according to WIX.

XP filters are ideal for vehicles subject to towing heavy equipment, high idling conditions and harsh driving environments. In addition, premium oil filters such as XP provide several benefits, including wire-backed, fully synthetic media that traps more dirt, dust and grime, and greater resistance to hardening and cracking due to silicone anti-drain-back valve. for reader service

WIX Filters will sponsor Erin Crocker, the first woman to win a World of Outlaw feature event in 2004, in seven POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series races in 2013, as well as the 2014 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. WIX will serve as the primary sponsor for Crocker’s No. 98 WIX Filters midget at POWRi races in Bloomington, Ind. (June 28), Haubstadt, Ind. (June 30), Belleville, Ill. (July 5 and July 6), Lincoln, Ill. (Aug. 16 and Aug. 17) and Du Quoin, Ill. (Dec. 7). WIX also will serve as Crocker’s primary sponsor in the 2014 Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. (Jan. 14-18, 2014).

SMP continued from pg. 14 Accepting the award on behalf of SMP were Bill Collins, Robert Frick, Matt Guden, Bob Kimbro, Alex Simmons and Ken Wendling. In addition to the Outstanding Vendor of the Year award, Federated presented its Outstanding Supplier Support Awards to its supplier partners that excelled in five key categories: 22

June 2013 | Counterman

● Education and Training Vendor of the Year – Denso ● Electronic Cataloging Vendor of the Year – Dorman ● Marketing Vendor of the Year – Federal-Mogul ● Order Fill Vendor of the Year – East Penn ● Sales Representation Vendor of the Year – Gates for reader service


Auto-Wares Launches Aftermarket Telematics Solution GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — AutoWares Group of Companies is launching an aftermarket telematics solution to its more than 1,000 Auto Value/Bumper-to-Bumper parts stores and certified service centers throughout the Midwest. Scheduled for release this month, the new telematics program will deliver remote vehicle diagnostics, roadside assistance, service and maintenance and vehicle health monitoring benefits to its network members. Auto-Wares chose the Delphi Connected Car telematics technology for its solution. “By offering telematics to our more than 1,000 parts stores and certified service centers throughout Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana, we are positioning Auto-Wares to better serve our network, fleet customers and consumers,” said Fred Bunting, CEO, Auto-Wares Group of Companies. “This technology will build strong value for our network by supporting our shops with marketing and part sourcing. In turn, they are assisting their

customers with remote vehicle diagnostics, and other service and maintenance benefits.” Delphi’s Connected Car Care telematics solution, an enabling technology, is a wireless communication tool allowing Auto-Wares to “talk” with car owners through a device installed on-vehicle. This two-way communication, coupled with vehicle data delivered from the device, allows Auto-Wares to assist customers with a variety of services including remote vehicle diagnostics, roadside assistance, service and maintenance and vehicle health monitoring. Auto-Wares anticipates its new telematics program will not only help improve vehicle performance and safety for consumers, but also contribute in helping to drive the parts and service business for its customers. By deploying its telematics program, Auto-Wares will be equipped with the same capabilities designed to enable its network to compete with other connected car care technologies. for reader service

Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Becomes Shareholder In Europe’s TEMOT Group EVIAN, France — The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance and Temot International have formally agreed to share current technology, purchasing and marketing solutions. A major objective of this collaboration will be directed toward mutual shareholder global growth outside their current established marketplaces in Europe and North America. Temot International has been an Alliance member since 2002. It is the largest independent program distribution group in Europe, with 32 members selling upward of $5 billion in 40 countries. Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance enjoys similar status in the fragmented North American market with sales of its 53 members approaching $2.5 billion. The groups have shared a great deal of knowledge and best practices through interaction in each other’s meetings and regular communications. 24

June 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Utah-Based Frank Edwards Co. Acquires Controlling Assets Of Fellow Parts Plus Member KAPS Warehouse for reader service

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – The Frank Edwards Co., a longtime Parts Plus WD based in West Valley City, Utah, has purchased the assets of fellow Parts Plus member KAPS Warehouse Inc., including its two 20,000-square-foot distribution facilities in Blackfoot and Boise, Idaho, and 11 company-owned stores. “Over the last few years, the automotive aftermarket has experienced a great deal of consolidation, and the same occasionally holds true for the Network,” said Mike Lambert, president of the Automotive Distribution Network. “This should be a seamless transition for both parties, as the Frank Edwards Co. will build upon the foundation established by KAPS by continuing to provide the Network’s top marketing programs and support to independent jobbers and service dealers from East to West Idaho.” KAPS Warehouse, which originated in 1945, was the first WD to join the Network following the consolidation of Parts Plus and IAPA in 2005. As neighboring companies, KAPS and the Frank Edwards Co. have


June 2013 | Counterman

worked closely as allies — not as competitors — over the past eight years. Casey Sponenburgh, the son of retiring KAPS President and CEO Bill Sponenburgh, will continue to serve as vice president of Idaho Operations, working with Bruce Hart, president and CEO of the Frank Edwards Co. “This is an acquisition that makes sense on many levels, as the Frank Edwards Co. continues to expand its Parts Plus footprint into markets where the brand is established as a leader throughout the area,” Hart said.

DENSO Helps Drivers ‘See Clearly’ With New Wiper Blades LONG BEACH, Calif. — DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc. announced it has launched a new marketing campaign to raise awareness that wiper blades should be replaced on a regular basis to ensure they’re ready to perform when needed. In addition, these marketing pieces will demonstrate why DENSO First Time Fit Wiper Blades are the ideal choice for today’s drivers, the company says. The multi-faceted program includes print advertisements, consumer brochures, as well as various promotional and incentive elements. This campaign is designed to communicate with various audiences, including retail customers, auto shop counterpersons, installers and warehouse distributors. Drivers need to be aware that virtually everything around them can affect the wear and performance of wiper blades, according to DENSO. Those factors include sunlight, oil, car wax, sand, mud, dust, snow, acid rain and salt water. “We live in a fast-paced world, and on the road, drivers are constantly making split-second decisions. That’s why visibility is so important,” said John Doran, senior manager, Product Management Group. “Our studies have shown that the average driver is not aware how quickly their wiper blades can wear out, even when there’s no rain.” These wiper blades are available in three styles to provide coverage for the majority of the cars on the road today: • Conventional – delivers the best mix of value and performance for drivers • Designer – a unique low-profile blade design • Beam – OE style blade and clip for a perfect fit plus an easy, effortless installation For more information on DENSO, visit for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Oil Filters: It’s What’s Inside That Counts o many people, oil filters are a generic product. They look for the cheapest filter that fits their vehicle and make their buying decision based on price alone. Oil filters do look pretty much the same on the outside, but what’s inside the can or cartridge can make a big difference. Filter manufacturers use a variety of different filter media to keep the oil clean. Resin impregnated paper filter media has been around forever and uses cellulose fibers to trap contaminants. A high-quality paper filter element with evenly spaced pleating can provide good filtering efficiency. The typical OEM or standard replacement oil filter with cellulose fiber media will trap about 97.5 percent of most particles that are 15 to 40 microns in size or larger.


A high-quality paper filter element with evenly spaced pleating can provide good filtering efficiency.


June 2013 | Counterman

Some filters use a combination of cellulose fibers and non-woven plastic or synthetic fibers to improve filtering efficiency. The different materials may be combined together or used in a multi-layer filter element. These types of filters can have filtering efficiencies as high as 99.5 percent and trap up to 40 percent more contaminants with particle sizes as small as 3 to 5 microns. Non-woven synthetic fleece fibers also are used in some filters to increase filtering efficiency and capacity. One of the biggest challenges that all oil filters have to cope with today is longer service life. Though 3,000-mile oil changes are still recommended for severe service driving, OEM-recommended oil change intervals for “normal” driv-

ing today can range from 5,000 to 7,500 miles, or up to 10,000 miles or more. Many vehicles don’t even have a recommended service interval and rely instead on a “Service Reminder Light” to estimate when the oil needs to be changed. On some vehicles, the light may not come on for 12,000 to 15,000 miles depending on driving conditions! That’s a long time for an oil filter to remain in service. According to some sources, some of the cheapest no-name generic oil filters from China are not even lasting 3,000 miles before they plug up and go into bypass mode. All oil filters have a bypass valve that is designed to open if the filter becomes clogged. The bypass valve prevents a dangerous loss of oil pressure in such situations, but also allows dirty unfiltered oil to circulate through the engine. It’s the same as running with no oil filter at all! Worse yet, if the filter media breaks apart or fails, chunks of debris can enter oil passages and cause all kinds of problems inside the engine. Such debris debris can restrict or block critical oil passages causing a loss of oil pressure or engine damage. The best advice you can give your filter customers is to buy the best oil filter that is listed for their engine — especially if they are not changing their oil for 7,500 miles or more. Many premium filters can go 10,000 miles or more. In any event, extended oil service intervals of 10,000 miles or more require both synthetic motor oil and a premium quality filter. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Shocks Are Comfort And Safety Items time, but they don’t last forever. According to extensive research and durability testing performed by four of the major shock manufacturers that are members of the Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (AMRA), most standard shocks and struts degrade measurably by 50,000 miles. The loss of ride control has a detrimental effect on handling, stability, ride Shock absorbers (and struts) can last a long time, but comfort and tire wear. they don’t last forever. Yet, many motorists are unaware of what’s happening because the loss of control hock absorbers (and struts) occurs gradually over time. provide ride control for a One shock manufacturer told us vehicle’s suspension. Hydraulic shocks have been that 86 percent of passenger cars and light trucks have NEVER had used since the earliest days of the their shocks or struts replaced! automobile to reduce suspension That’s a lot of potential sales that jounce and rebound. Without such are not being made. control, wheels can bounce and lose Recognizing the fact that shocks traction, tire wear can suffer and the don’t last forever and that there is vehicle’s occupants can be subjected solid research data to back it up, to a rough and bouncy ride. Dampthe Motorist Assurance Program’s ening suspension motions also Uniform Inspection & Communiimproves handling and stability by cation Standards say replacing reducing body roll and unwanted standard (non-electronic) shocks motions. Consequently, the condiand struts at 50,000 miles can be tion of the shocks (and struts) is suggested to restore proper ride important not only for good ride control performance. Consumers control but also for safe driving, need to be informed about the imsteering and braking. portant role shocks and struts play Shock absorbers can last a long



June 2013 | Counterman

in their vehicle’s suspension, and why worn shocks and struts should be replaced. In a conventional twin-tube double-acting shock absorber, the up and down pumping action of the piston inside the shock displaces hydraulic fluid to dampen suspension motions. This stoking action occurs hundreds of times for every mile traveled, even on relatively smooth roads. Over time, it takes a toll on the piston seal and the control valves on the piston and in the bottom of the shock. Internal wear reduces resistance and the shock’s ability to do its job. In gas pressurized shocks (both twin-tube and monotube), loss of gas pressure can also occur over time. The gas charge reduces fluid foaming, which in turn reduces shock fade. Shaft seal wear is the culprit here, allowing gas and fluid to leak out. The shearing action that the fluid inside the shock experiences also results in a gradual loss of viscosity over time. Less viscosity means less resistance and reduced ride control performance. Symptoms of worn shocks include suspension bottoming after hitting a bump, excessive nose dive when braking, excessive body lean or sway when cornering, a bouncy or undulating ride, wheel shudder or shimmy after hitting a bump, and cupped tire wear. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Figuring Out Which Friction Is Best For Your Customer rake pads are considered a wear item because that’s what they do every time the brakes are applied. That’s why brake pads are not covered under most new car warranties. By the time a vehicle is three to five years old, it may need its first brake job — and in most cases, that means replacing the front brake pads and the rear pads or shoes. Rear brakes used to last two to three times as long as the front brakes, but no longer. Electronic brake proportioning on late-model vehicles reduces stopping distances but also makes the rear brakes work harder and wear faster than they once did. Brake pads must be replaced when they are worn down to minimum thickness specifications, or when their built-in wear indicators scrape against the rotors. If the pads don’t have wear indicators and are making a scraping noise, it means the friction material has worn away entirely and the pads are rubbing against the steel backing plates. This can damage rotors very quickly and make it difficult for the vehicle to stop normally. Worn brake pads are dangerous, so repairs should not be postponed. Replacement brake pads come in a variety of friction materials. Follow your friction supplier’s recommendations as to what type of pads they offer for a vehicle application, and always recommend the best friction material available for your customer’s vehicle. Premium brake pads typically offer the best wear resistance, superior noise control, increased fade resistance, more consistent pedal feel and optimum stopping power compared to stan- for reader service



June 2013 | Counterman

dard or economy replacement pads. Some premium pads use different friction materials for the inner and outer pads to optimize braking performance. Some premium pads have special surface coatings to control noise and friction while the pads are seating in. Some pads also have internal or external noise suppression shims, coatings or other special design features to dampen vibrations and the potential for brake squeal. Some friction formulas (typically ceramic compounds) also reduce visible brake dust to help keep alloy wheels clean. Talk to your customer and find out which features are most important to them, then recommend a set of replacement pads that best suit their needs. An often overlooked item that goes with brake pads is disc brake hardware. This includes the shims, springs and anti-rattle clips that may be needed to replace missing, damaged or severely corroded hardware on the vehicle. Many people don’t realize how important this hardware is for noise control. Brake lubricant also is essential for lubricating the areas where the pads butt against the caliper mounting brackets, and for lubricating the caliper shims, slides and bushings. Rotors don’t always have to be resurfaced or replaced when pads are changed — provided the rotors are relatively smooth and in good condition (no cracks and no hard spots or uneven wear that are causing pedal pulsations). They also must have adequate thickness to go another three or four years until the next brake job. Otherwise, your customer will need new rotors, too. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Engine Kits Combine Frequently Replaced Parts ngine parts are not a fast-moving product category, but are very important nonetheless. A customer may need one or more internal engine parts to fix a problem or to overhaul an engine. Engine kits typically combine all of the frequently replaced parts such as bearings, rings and gaskets, and may include pistons, valve springs and other parts depending on the type of kit. Standard crankshaft bearings can restore oil clearances and oil pressure provided the crank journals are not damaged or heavily worn. But if the crank journals are rough, out-of-round, tapered or scored, or the crank has spun a bearing, a reground crankshaft with undersized journals and matching bearings will be required to restore proper oil clearances. Bearing clearances should always be checked by measuring or with Plastigage to make sure they are correct when an engine is put back together. Piston rings also can be confusing to replace. Many engines that have the same bore and stroke have



June 2013 | Counterman

been equipped with different piston and ring combinations. Replacement rings for standard pistons must have the same thickness, depth and diameter as the original rings. If the engine’s cylinders have been bored to oversize to compensate for wear or damage, then oversized pistons and matching rings are required. Replacement pistons also should match the original piston’s compression ratio and crown configuration with valve reliefs cut in the same locations. Higher compression pistons are a popular upgrade for performance applications, as are stronger forged pistons. Assembly tolerances may differ when making such changes so make sure your customer is getting the correct pistons for his engine. Worn camshafts have become a more common problem in recent years, mostly in older vehicles with flat tappet camshafts. The reason why this is occurring is that the amount of ZDDP anti-wear additive in motor oil has been substantially reduced to prolong the life of catalytic converters and oxygen sensors (both of which can be fouled by the phosphorus in ZDDP). Late-model engines with roller cams or OHC cam followers can get by with little ZDDP in the oil, but not so for older engines — especially if they have been modified with a performance cam and/or stiffer valve springs. So, if a customer is replacing a flat tappet cam in an older engine, advise him to use plenty of assembly lube on the cam lobes and lifters, and to use a ZDDP oil supplement to protect the new cam from wear. Also, flat tappet cams and lifters should be replaced as a set. Installing a new cam with worn lifters or vice versa increases the risk of cam or lifter failure. New valve springs also are recommended for highmileage engines when changing a cam. And if the springs are stiffer than the original springs (higher seat and open pressure), stronger pushrods are also recommended. Lastly, don’t forget the oil pump. The oil pump is the only internal engine component that runs on unfiltered oil. Housing and gear wear is common in high-mileage pumps and can cause a drop in oil pressure. Recommend a new oil pump and pickup screen for high-mileage engines that are having other internal parts replaced. CM for reader service


By S. Scott Shriber

2013 Aftermarket eForum Held In Chicago The focus of the forum was “Answers to the Aftermarket’s Technology Challenges - Today and Tomorrow.” Piggybacking onto the 2013 GAAS gathering, the forum was attended by a full house of technologyfocused industry professionals. he much-anticipated Aftermarket eForum opened May 22 in Chicago. The focus of the forum was “Answers to the Aftermarket’s Technology Challenges — Today and Tomorrow.” Piggybacking onto the 2013 GAAS gathering, the forum was attended by a full house of technology-focused industry professionals. Scott Luckett, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) chief information officer, kicked the conference off with a rundown of the technology enhancements being used by this year’s forum. A dedicated website replaced the typical paper agenda and evaluation forms. Extensive use of text- and web-based information exchanges between presenters and participants also were used. Lúcia Veiga Moretti, president, Delphi Product & Service Solutions, set the tone for the rest of the day with her presentation on connecting the global aftermarket. “We must be open to a business model evolution that helps to develop a more efficient aftermarket for the long term,” she said. “How we efficiently connect to customers will be up to us.” She cited collaboration, connectivity and technology as ways to achieve efficiencies. An obvious technological tool is telematics, she added.



June 2013 | Counterman

“Telematics — from helping shop owners get an alert for a repair needed by a customer, to obtaining data from that vehicle, to accurately diagnosing the problem, to finding the right part and ordering it online,” she said. “It also provides for greater shop management by ‘predicting’ what repairs are coming, allowing shop managers to schedule the right technician for the right job at the right time. “And from the driver’s point-ofview, it makes the transaction simple and convenient. They get smart reminders and customized alerts, as well as educational tips about preventative maintenance—making it as easy as possible for them to schedule appointments, and keep their vehicle in top shape and on the road.” Moretti cited companies outside the aftermarket that have achieved efficiencies through technology. One of them is Netflix. The company that began as a DVD-by-mail rental service now accounts for almost a third of all Internet traffic entering North American homes through its streaming movies and TV shows, she said. Moretti said Netflix is “using its lessons learned, innovation and connectivity to create a more efficient, unique entertainment experience for consumers. And … they are doing it outside of their traditional comfort zone. By rethinking

their business model, they are now efficiently connecting to customers and transitioning from an Internet content provider to an Internet content builder.” As a result, the company is experiencing double-digit revenue growth from the previous year and has been named the best-performing stock of the year. “How did they do it? They invested in their vision: cloud technology vs. static servers, original series programs, similar to HBO, Showtime vs. only movie rentals,” she said. “And more importantly, they recognized they had to change in order to keep up with industry trends.” The aftermarket must prepare for changes and be sure to support efforts to ensure that new data remains available for everyone’s use, Moretti added. The day continued on with presentations by Fred Blumer of Vehcon. Blumer founded Vehcon Inc., a connected vehicle services company based in Atlanta, Ga., in 2012, according to the company’s website. Blumer most recently was a co-founder of Hughes Telematics Inc., a leading provider of telematics services to the automotive industry, which was sold to Verizon in 2012, according to Vehcon. Blumer believes the aftermarket can successfully confront the connected car and remain relevant despite the growth of OE-embedded communications found in most new vehicles today. Charlie Covert, VP customer solutions at UPS, spoke to “Revving Up Your Supply Chain,” and shared ways UPS has helped businesses achieve process improvements, better manage inventory and turn their supply chain into a competitive advantage. CM for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

Disc Brake Calipers Come In Several Variations ost disc brake calipers have only four basic parts: the caliper housing, caliper piston, piston seal, piston boot and mounting hardware. Disc brake calipers are either of floating or fixed designs. Most floating calipers are singlepiston units designed for light-duty applications. Special anchor bolts are used to not only fasten the caliper to the steering knuckle, but also to allow the caliper to slide horizontally to center the pads on the brake rotor and compensate for pad wear. The mounting hardware, which usually consists of lubricated o-rings or plastic sleeves, tends to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) complaints by insulating the caliper from its mount. Although fixed calipers aren’t generally used in many OEM applications, they are used in performance applications and in older vehicles. In contrast to the floating caliper, fixed calipers are bolted solidly to


The cracked rubber boot on this heavyduty truck caliper allowed the caliper piston to seize, which caused the entire brake assembly to overheat under severe braking conditions. 38

June 2013 | Counterman

the steering knuckle and use two or more opposing pistons to center the brake pads on the disc brake rotor and compensate for pad wear. Basic Operation The disc brake caliper uses hydraulic pressure generated by the master cylinder to press the disc brake pads against the brake rotor. The caliper piston is suspended by a square-cut o-ring seal that fits into a groove cut into the caliper bore. This square-cut seal is designed to retract the piston a few thousandths of an inch to reduce brake drag. The caliper compensates for brake pad wear by slowly advancing the piston through the squarecut seal. As the piston advances, brake fluid is used to fill the void created by the advancing piston. For this reason, the disc brake reservoir is much larger than the drum brake reservoir on many older dual master cylinders. Caliper Failure Points Hidden perforations in the piston boot are the most common cause of caliper failures. Once the piston boot fails, dirt and water accumulate around the piston and piston seal, which allows the piston to corrode against the caliper bore. This corrosion causes the piston to stick in the bore, which results in symptoms that usually reveal themselves as a pull in the steering wheel or a pulling sensation when the brakes are first applied. A sticking caliper is also indicated when a routine brake inspection reveals brake pads that appear to wear unevenly from

side-to-side. When new brake pads are installed, the piston is compressed into the caliper bore. If the piston is corroded, the piston seal is scored and begins leaking fluid. In any case, the above reasons are why many professional brake installers insist on replacing calipers in pairs when a brake pad replacement is done. Caliper Trouble-Shooting Although disc brake caliper warranties are rare, they do happen. If the piston seal is leaking, the caliper boot will be extended and will exhibit fluid seepage. If the complaint is a sticking caliper, inspect the caliper boot for perforations that might allow water to corrode the caliper bore. Other causes of a sticking caliper might include corroded brake pad mounting surfaces in the steering knuckle, incorrect installation of the brake pad anti-rattle clips or the lack of lubrication on the caliper anchor bolts. Improper installation also heads the list of warranty complaints. In many cases, the technician switches the left and right-hand axle locations of the calipers, which causes the brake bleed screws to be located at the bottoms of the calipers. This error prevents the air from being purged from the caliper bores. Another common error is re-using the old copper washers that seal the brake hose to the caliper. In some cases, the washer will leak brake fluid, in other cases, it will allow air to enter the brake hose and caliper. CM for reader service


Contrary To Popular Belief, Saab Automobile Parts Are Available ast fall, after Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast, Peter Vincent, parts manager for Charles River Saab in Boston, had to fix some damage to the hood of his wife’s Saab 9-5. He decided to see if he could save a few dollars and called a local salvage yard. To his surprise, the salvage yard wanted a premium for a used hood, and the price was significantly more than that of a new one. When he told the gentleman he could buy new OE cheaper, the salvage yard insisted he couldn’t and held to the high price. Vincent passed, knowing that OE Saab parts are readily available here in North America. Vincent’s experience is not unique. Many questions and misperceptions remain about the availability of Saab parts, due to the unfortunate bankruptcy of Saab Automobile AB in Sweden in December 2011 and Saab Cars North America soon after. North America is the largest market for Saab with more than 500,000 units in operation. However, there is no need to be concerned about Saab parts availability. Last year, a new company, Saab Automobile Parts North America (SPNA), was formed to ensure that Saab OE parts are readily available here. In June 2012, SPNA purchased the remaining parts inventory from the Saab Cars North America bankruptcy estate and began operations in North America. The first order of business was to restart the flow of parts to the market. Availability was admittedly tough in the first month of operations,



June 2013 | Counterman

but has been at normal levels for several months now. “Saab Cars North America was in bankruptcy so they couldn’t replenish their inventory for six months,” said Tim Colbeck, CEO of SPNA. “Once we began operations, we immediately began bringing in parts and by end of summer 2012 we had returned availability to normal levels, including a huge order of sheet metal and collision parts.” Now, SPNA reports availability is up to 93 percent and improving. Unfortunately, those lean months last year made an impression. “We have an awareness issue right now,” said Colbeck. “There are still a lot of people who think Saab OE parts are no longer available.” SPNA has a 153,000-square-foot parts distribution center in Allentown, Pa., and corporate offices in Troy, Mich. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab Automobile Parts AB, a global spare parts and logistics company, headquartered in Sweden. The company is 100 percent owned by the Swedish government, Sweden’s

largest corporate owner with 55 wholly owned or partly owned companies. Early in its startup period, SPNA established a network of 179 parts and service centers throughout North America, many of whom are former Saab dealers. The network distributes Saab OE parts to independent repair facilities and also to collision centers. There’s an official parts and service center locator on and a parts help line available to answer questions about availability, application and where to buy at 1-800-458-7287. In the meantime, SPNA is building awareness through various channels, including trade publications, email marketing, their website and even Facebook and Twitter accounts. “We want to make sure everyone knows there is a Saab OE option for all repairs. There’s no reason to unnecessarily total a Saab or to pay a premium for salvage parts,” said Colbeck. CM —Courtesy Christopher Wiseman, Saab Automobile Parts North America (SPNA) for reader service



June 2013 | Counterman

ram Groups Positioned for the future The leaders of some of the top program groups in the automotive aftermarket are optimistic about 2014 and beyond. However, all of them see some challenges ahead, chiefly the efforts of automakers to keep the reins of critical data, the impact of parts proliferation and downward margin pressure. Tools such as data warehousing help ensure program distribution will be here, serving professional repair shops for years to come. Inside this special section, we speak to Federated’s Rusty Bishop; Automotive Distribution Network’s Mike Lambert; Pronto’s Bill Maggs; Automotive Parts Associates’ Dan Freeman; and the Alliance’s John Washbish to get their views on what the future has in store. 43

Association President and/or CEO

Private Brand

PROGRAM GROUP 645 Henderson Dr. Ste. 10 Cartersville, GA 30120 Phone: 770-386-4750 Fax: 770-386-4833

Ron Pierce Phone: 770-386-4750

Ron Pierce


2706 Treble Creek San Antonio, TX 78258 Phone: 210-492-4868 Fax: 210-492-4890

Dan Williford Jon Owens 210-861-1008

John R. Washbish Parts Master

APA — Automotive Parts Associates Inc.

10551 Lackman Rd. Lenexa, KS 66219 Phone: 913-310-9250 Fax: 913-310-9255

Dan Freeman

Dan Freeman

Professionals’ Choice Auto Parts

Automotive Distribution Network —

3085 Fountainside Dr., Ste. 210 Bob Barstow Germantown, TN 38138 Phone: 901-682-9090 Fax: 901-682-9098

Mike Lambert

Parts Plus, Auto Pride, Auto Saver, Trust

Group Name

Address,Phone & Fax


Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance

Parts Plus, IAPA, Auto Pride, CMB


Contact Information


P.O. Box 26929 Raleigh, NC 27611 Phone: 919-573-2500 Fax: 919-573-2501

Contact Local CARQUEST DC

Ron Cannon


Elite Automotive Marketing — Elite/Eagle Nation/ Power Heavy Duty/Axxis

2404 S. Grand Blvd. Pearland, TX 77581 Phone: 281-485-8828 Fax: 281-485-8886

Kevin Medlin

Eagle Nation, Power Heavy Duty

Engine Pro/Engine Parts Group

4891 Independence St. Ste. 155 Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 Phone: 303-424-3200 Fax: 303-424-4999

Don Weber

Don Weber

Engine Pro/Engine Pro Performance

Federated Auto Parts

508 Greenville Ave. Staunton, VA 24401 Phone: 540-885-8460 Fax: 540-885-7612

Rusty Bishop

Larry Pavey


HDA Truck Pride

608 Lambert Pointe Drive Building C Hazelwood, MO 63042 Toll Free: 800-432-2033 Fax: 314-291-3345 2999 Circle 75 Pkwy. Atlanta, GA 30339 Phone: 770-956-2200 Fax: 770-956-2201

Tina Alread

Don Reimondo

Dan Askey


National PRONTO Association

204 N. Dooley, Ste. 300 Grapevine, TX 76051 Phone: 817-430-9449 Fax: 817-430-9559

Bill Maggs

Bill Maggs



2404 S. Grand Blvd. Ste. 200 Pearland, TX 77581 Phone: 281-485-9908 Fax: 281-485-4101

Steve Upton

Steve Upton



3550 Busbee Parkway Ravine 3, Ste. 400 Kennesaw, GA 30144 Phone: 770-701-5000 Fax: 770-701-5001

Brent Windom Phone: 770-701-5000

Richard G. Roy

Auto Extra



Technician, APA (Alliance Parts Jobber, WD, Hands-on and Digital Warehouse) (Alliance University)

Certified Yes Service Centers

Scholarships, Turnkey 53 CRM Support, Store and Shop Marketing Support, 24-mo./ National POP Program, 24K Sweepstakes Programs miles

Professionals’ Choice Tech Centers



Auto Service Professionals, Parts Plus Car Care Center, Auto Service Experts

Network Connect

Incentive Trips, Merchandise, Speedway Sweepstakes, Scratch & Win Games TV & Radio, Trade, Print Advertising, Direct Mail, Social Media

TECH-NET Professional Auto Service


Co-Op Advertising, National & Local TV, Radio & Print Ads



2,900+ n/a



Signage, Wearables, Quarterly Flyers




National Ads, Marketing Pgrms., Sponsorship of Auto Racing Sanctioning Assoc.


National & Local TV, Radio & Print Ads, Motorsports


Signage, Wearables, Trade Ads, Vehicle Graphics, Forms, Merchandise



NAPA AutoCare NAPA TAMS Center NAPA TRACS Mitchell OnDemand

Print, TV, Radio Sponsorships Marketing Programs




PRONTO Smart Yes Choice

Nat’l Parts & Labor Warranty, Rdsde. Assist. Prgrm., ASE Remb., Direct Mail, Promotions



1,500+ $2.4 billion

TruTech Car Care Centers

POP, ASE, Line Cards, Promotions, Direct Mail, Advertising, Signage, Incentives,Wearables


TV & Radio, Trade and Print Ads, Direct Mail, Merchandising, Signage, Wearables, Vehicle Graphics




Federated Car Care


Nat. Fleet Pgms., Truck Service Experts (More than 400 U.S., Canada locations)


Auto Service Plus, SAX


136 2,000+



n/a n/a



2,500+ $2.5 billion n/a

Training Programs


National Accounts


Member Insurance/ Benefits


Credit Card

Combined Sales (at Retail)


No. of Stores Serviced


No. of WD Locations

No. of WD Members

National Warranty

National Advertising/ Marketing Support

Store Management Software

Installer Management Software

Dedicated Factory Rep.

Installer Marketing Program

Trade Advertising, Signage

Parts Consolidation Program



Jobber, WD, Technician

Jobber, WD, Technician

Jobber, WD, Technician, Business

Jobber, WD, CARQUEST Technician, Global Sourcing CARQUEST Tech. Inst., School of Business, University n/a

n/a n/a



17,500 n/a n/a



n/a Federated Co-Man Warehouse

WD, Technician Technical Training & Business/Shop Management Training, Regulatory



Jobber, NAPA Balkamp Technician




Jobber, WD, Installer


Jobber, WD, Technician

Yes TruStar Distribution Center



$1.8 billion n/a

Jobber, WD, Technician, Alfred State University Partnership



By Bill Maggs, President, National Pronto Association

What product categories are benefitting most from Americans holding onto their vehicles longer? Probably the best category is in the area of brakes. Friction, rotors, calipers, hydraulics and hardware are certainly moving well because of vehicle age. Other categories also benefit such as hoses and belts.

Customers are wired these days and the independent channel needs to be sure they’re participating.

How important is data/data warehousing to your operations? Our data warehouse is very important to the overall success of National Pronto. We utilize the data internally for managing purchasing, national accounts and membership benchmarking. The day I say I’m where I want to be with data warehousing is the day I say I quit paying attention. What type of alternative products are you seeing coming into the mix different from maintaining cars and light trucks? For example, batteries or battery chargers for powersports, ATVs, boats, etc? Pronto members focus on providing parts and service to the professional shops. There are many new parts and categories coming into play each year, but our focus stays on maintenance and repair of cars and trucks. What issues keep you up at night? Telematics and the dealers’ goal of keeping the car owner connected with technology. I’m certainly aware of some aftermarket solutions being developed that can be utilized at independent repair shops. But you have to find a value add for the customer to pay for it. The dealers are doing a good job of connecting to their customers and we have to as well. Customers are wired these days and the independent channel needs to be sure they’re participating.


June 2013 | Counterman

Customers like tech that makes their lives easier. If I have to go out of my way to do business with someone, it makes me think twice about doing so. All in all, our independent distributors are doing a pretty good job. What effect is legislation having on your group’s need to warehouse parts? For example, additional SKUs to fulfill emissions requirements set forth by California, Maine, New York? It creates more inventory at higher prices. It began affecting people in California years ago and will in New York. The issue is that those people in New York are going to have to buy a much more expensive cat converter. But how can you complain about clean air? You can’t. What’s your gut feeling about the outlook for the remainder of 2013 and 2014? Business has been good. Our outlook for the balance of 2013 and 2014 is very positive. If things stay on the track they are, I think we’re going to be ok. We’ve got really good distributors that are very good in their markets. And we’ve got this aging vehicle population. People are pretty positive now. I’ve got a few members looking at opening new locations and expanding. CM for reader service



By Dan Freeman, President, APA—Automotive Parts Associates

What product categories are benefitting most from Americans holding onto their vehicles longer? Brakes, ride control and exhaust.

It comes down to managing scarce resources in an efficient manner to improve profitability and expand market share.

How important is data/data warehousing to your operations? It’s now become the No. 1 topic. Everyone knows with the proliferation of parts you must have the parts on the shelf at the time of the demand. You must target the right inventory. The enhanced business management tools offered through data warehousing solutions are increasingly important to vendors just as they are to the warehouse distributor. It comes down to managing scarce resources in an efficient manner to improve profitability and expand market share. What type of alternative products are you seeing coming into the mix different from maintaining cars and light trucks? For example, batteries or battery chargers for power sports, ATVs, boats, etc.? Additional coverages such as CV axles, batteries and filters, vehicle-specific fluids, belts and hoses for ATVs, scooters and motorcycles. What issues keep you up at night? Consolidating marketplace and margin compression.


June 2013 | Counterman

What effect is legislation having on your group’s need to warehouse parts? For example, additional SKUs to fulfill emissions requirements set forth by California, Maine, New York? Obviously any more legislation impacts all of us by requiring additional costs to do business. Whether it’s insurance costs, OSHA requirements, hazardous materials requirements, additional costs for impact rooms for explosive materials or anything else effecting business in America. What’s your gut feeling about the outlook for the remainder of 2013 and 2014? It’s a bright outlook. We’re starting to recover from the recession years. Cars on the road are getting older. The main concern is miles driven. If that increases, we’ll see a real run-up on parts sales. for reader service



By Rusty Bishop, CEO, Federated Auto Parts

An important trend like Americans holding onto their vehicles longer has an impact on our membership and, with strategic planning, the impact can be a very positive one.

What product categories are benefitting most from Americans holding onto their vehicles longer? Consumers have been keeping their cars longer. That trend has resulted in an increase in vehicle maintenance, which helps move products like filters and wiper blades, but it also has created more demand for replacement parts. Over the past few years, we have seen growth in replacement parts as a percentage of total aftermarket spend and this is due directly to an older vehicle parc and the soft economy. Product categories like brakes, shocks and struts, axles, bearings, timing parts, etc. all benefit from the extended mileage of vehicles kept longer by car owners. And, with this focus on replacement parts, we are seeing growth in the professional service sector and a decline in do-it-yourself repairs. At Federated, we follow industry trends closely and share them with our members throughout the year in an effort to better understand and anticipate changes in the marketplace. We look at market changes, product lines, brand equity, inventory mix, coverage, features and more, on a regular basis in order to determine how to best approach the evolving market. From there, we develop strategies to assist our members in growing sales, increasing profits and improving asset management. An important trend like Americans holding onto their vehicles longer has an impact on our membership and, with strategic planning, the impact can be a very positive one. How important is data/data warehousing to your operations? Data warehousing is one of the more important aspects of inventory management that Federated has developed in recent years. Increased data analysis allows our members to do a better job analyzing customers, suppliers and product categories in order to determine areas of opportunity and improvement. By sharing information at the aggregate level between all members, we can do a better job as a group, finding ways to improve our businesses in such areas as pricing, inventory assort-


June 2013 | Counterman

ment, trend analysis and warranty. We have only begun to realize the power of data and are developing new tools frequently to help deploy it more effectively. We are working more closely with our suppliers, improving efficiencies in many areas and developing value through collaboration. Going forward, I expect the continued growth in data utilization to be a key component of Federated members’ success. What type of alternative products are you seeing coming into the mix different from maintaining cars and light trucks? For example, batteries or battery chargers for powersports, ATVs, boats, etc? We are always looking to support Federated members with new products and new markets whenever possible, and this often means adding a niche line to complement a product offering. The Federated Co-Man warehouse is extremely effective at creating complete categories by partnering with multiple suppliers focused on doing what they do best. The Co-Man operation also allows us to consider emerging categories and make them available to members before market demand is mature. With some of the new technology and diagnostic-driven products, we are seeing once-emerging product categories mature and grow, allowing for new categories to come to the forefront. We are working closely with suppliers to develop more coverage for specialized markets like marine, farm and fleet, industrial and so on, and we support Opticat’s efforts to expand catalog listings in many of these areas. What issues keep you up at night? We worry about the amount of inventory that exists in the distribution network today and the effect that terms factoring has on our industry. Certainly new technology and how it will impact our business is always a concern. We know that vehicle manufacturers want a bigger share of the service market and are trying to “lock out” the aftermarket. That’s why we are so apContinued on pg. 56 for reader service



By Mike Lambert, President, Automotive Distribution Network

As the fleet... transitions out past the extended warranty period, emissions and drivability items will have a greater replacement rate.


What product categories are benefitting most from Americans holding onto their vehicles longer? The aging vehicle fleet has to be maintained. Normal wear items such brakes, chassis, and shocks will always benefit from older vehicles. But as the fleet, that is now exceeding 11 years of age, transitions out past the extended warranty period, emissions and drivability items will have a greater replacement rate.

distributors first, and we will sell what our customers want and what we have the ability to deliver.

How important is data/data warehousing to your operations? This has become one of the most important areas and services that our association provides. As parts proliferation continues to grow, the proper data in modeling inventories is the difference between success and failure.

What effect is legislation having on your group’s need to warehouse parts? For example, additional SKUs to fulfill emissions requirements set forth by California, Maine, New York? If it is the law of the land and our customers require the parts then we will add them to meet their needs. Parts proliferation, while costly, is what differentiates many distributors from the retailers. So we are here to serve our customers and we will.

What type of alternative products are you seeing coming into the mix different from maintaining cars and light trucks? For example, batteries or battery chargers for powersports, ATVs, boats, etc.? Many distributors are looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors and the retailers. Based on their customers’ needs and their own ability they may be venturing into heavy-duty, PB&E, ATV, boating or powersport products. We are

June 2013 | Counterman

What issues keep you up at night? Succession planning for all independent warehouse distributors. If every entrepreneur needs an exit strategy, then where do they turn as they approach that time in their career when they want to transition out of the business?

What’s your gut feeling about the outlook for the remainder of 2013 and 2014? I am always the optimist, so I look for growth in the coming years. I believe that pent-up demand resulting from the recent recession will bode well for us in the next 18 months. CM for reader service



By John Washbish, President & CEO, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance

Staying ahead of the increasingly fast aftermarket business pace is so difficult that I bet it keeps a lot of people up.

What product categories are benefitting most from Americans holding onto their vehicles longer? Clearly, “wear” items that require routine maintenance and replacement are the beneficiaries of our aging North American vehicle parc. But we’ve found that you have to tailor your strategies on some items to take maximum advantage of the current market situation. As a great example, consider our launch of Perfect Stop, our exclusive national brand of brakes, two years ago. Our category managers launched a line of “Made in the USA” friction material cobranded “Perfect Stop by Wagner.” The success of that line is incredible. It was clearly what the market wanted. A price point that was attractive to the vehicle owner, and the performance and reliability that techs wanted. Subsequent to the launch of the friction line, Perfect Stop now has been expanded to include rotors, calipers and brake fluid. So, yes, the aging vehicle fleet is resulting in increased business for our members but much of that increase can be attributed to the great work by our product and marketing teams. How important is data/data warehousing to your operations? Simply put: mission critical. There is arguably nothing more important than having the means to stay on top of burgeoning inventories. A variety of market forces are combining to put upward pressure on inventory levels. Your first question about the aging fleet is substantial in this area. But, we also have to consider the huge number of new parts we’re seeing…which causes two types of problems. First, it’s just sheer numbers vying for shelf space. But it’s also a need to quickly build data on replacement frequency for those numbers. The key to understanding these and other inventory-related problems is to start with accurate, replete data. This includes sales history, both our own and that of our channel partners up and downstream, failure rates, manufacturer


June 2013 | Counterman

forecasts, vehicle registrations, consumption rates and customer expectations. All this and more factors into creating a smart view on every item; that, in turn, helps us to have the right part in the right place at the right time — with reasonable inventory levels. What type of alternative products are you seeing coming into the mix different from maintaining cars and light trucks? For example, batteries or battery chargers for powersports, ATVs, boats, etc? The category of parts you are referring to we at the Alliance call “othermotive.” These are parts that are very similar to the ones we sell for passenger cars and light trucks, but are used in a variety of other equipment, such as mowers, golf carts, jet skis, etc. One of the unique challenges with othermotive parts comes in looking them up. The replacement parts aftermarket is almost totally driven by year, make and model catalog lookups. Finding a spark plug for a chainsaw or a belt for a generator cuts against that convention. That is one of the key reasons the Alliance invested in developing our own S.A.T. catalog (supplies, accessories and tools). With the S.A.T. catalog, our counterpeople can find parts in a variety of ways. For example, they can search on physical attributes such as width and circumference in the case of a belt. They can use keywords like “garden tractor batteries” or “outboard engine accessories.” The catalog even recognizes jargon and slang like “blue tape” or “gorilla snot” for certain brands of masking tape and adhesives. It makes finding and selling these critical othermotive parts easy. What issues keep you up at night? Course adjustments on my next day’s plan keep me up just about every night. Staying ahead of the increasingly fast aftermarket business pace is so difficult that I bet it keeps a lot of people up. The pace would be impossible if not for robust, welltargeted technology. Having that in spades Continued on pg. 56 for reader service

PROGRAM GROUPS Bishop continued from pg. 50 preciative of all those fighting for the Right to Repair legislation that is critical to not only our industry, but the motoring public. Also, because we are concerned about a thriving future for the motor vehicle aftermarket, we support a variety of education initiatives to help attract and train talented individuals that make an industry strong. Personally, I serve as the chairman of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and work with a dedicated board of trustees who see education as essential to a vibrant, growing aftermarket industry. What effect is legislation having on your group’s need to warehouse parts? For example, additional SKUs to fulfill emissions requirements set forth by California, Maine, New York? Variations in emissions, safety requirements and other legislation dictated by an individual state can create a number of issues for our members’ warehouse distribution centers and auto parts stores, particularly when there is a direct impact on inventory. In addition to the physical inventory itself, state regulations that vary from national norms also create issues with catalogs, demand information and other pertinent product-related data that our members rely on to run their businesses. Unfortunately, we foresee state-by-state legislation becoming more prevalent going forward. For example, the new

brake copper standards established on the state level result in more differences in the absence of federal guidelines. If things continue this way, we anticipate huge challenges throughout the distribution channel. What’s your gut feeling about the outlook for the remainder of 2013 and 2014? At Federated, we will continue to sell parts and consumers will continue to get tremendous value from the aftermarket. I believe there is an opportunity for continued growth in the market with an older vehicle population, slow new car sales recovery, an improving economy and a growing vehicle population. Taking advantage of the opportunities ahead requires a renewed focus on customers and collaboration between members and with supplier partners. Federated members are some of the most progressive in the aftermarket and can compete well with any competitor on a level playing field. They have valuable tools available to them, including the best marketing and support programs in the industry. Our Co-Man warehouse allows us to provide value to suppliers through high-volume shipments to one location and gives us the ability to purchase efficiently and offer fast replenishment. While things may not get easier in the coming years, this is a business that rewards hard work and honesty. When I look at our membership, our supplier partners and our Car Care Center members, I feel very optimistic about the future. CM

Washbish continued from pg. 54 at the Alliance lets me sleep a little easier most of the time. Still, you have to be decisive in a more timely manner. The Alliance data warehouse is 12 years old. Think about that. The fact that we have that much history in our databank and it’s growing every day; and we are making decisions every day that could impact us down the road. When you’re dealing with a lot of money, a rapidly changing technology base and more than one way to go, you’re bound to lose a little sleep. I can proudly say that our IT team could play at the pro level with their batting average. What effect is legislation having on your group’s need to warehouse parts? For example, additional SKUs to fulfill emissions requirements set forth by California, Maine, New York? Our Inventory Optimization Tool (IOT) helps


June 2013 | Counterman

mitigate this issue. It enables us to analyze sales data, inventory data, VIO and failure/replacement rates to make sure that we always have the right part on the shelf at the right time in the right place. By understanding the regional differences in product mix we ensure that regardless of legislative impact, we’re warehousing the product our customers need. What’s your gut feeling about the outlook for the remainder of 2013 and 2014? On this one, my intuitive side agrees with our own research and the “experts.” I think we’ll have an “okay” year as far as growth goes, but we’ll have a great year relating to positioning for what’s ahead. My answers to all of the questions you’ve asked lead me to those two conclusions. All I can say is, “Please hold onto the handles until the ride comes to a complete stop.” CM for reader service for reader service


The Network Provides Pathway To Success



Automotive Distribution Network 3085 Fountainside Dr. Ste. 210 Germantown, TN 38138 Phone: 901-682-9090 Fax: 901-682-9098

ith all the diversity among warehouse distributors, the Automotive Distribution Network operates with the understanding that there is not one program group that fits all. The Network has four divisions, each with the same goal: to provide the necessary tools for each brand to be successful. Each Network division also is empowered to use as many or as few of the group’s comprehensive programs to meet their respective needs. The Network is a member-driven group, utilizing several committees to chart its direction, including the Network’s Board of Directors, as well as its Product, Marketing, National Accounts, Finance and IT Committees. To ensure the Network’s programs continue to meet the needs of its affiliates at the street level, the group also relies heavily on input from its National Jobber and Service Dealer Advisory Councils. The Network Information Services (NIS) team leads the industry in providing cutting-edge technology to its members and suppliers, featuring Network Intelligence, which combines catalog lookup, inventory and sales information with vehicle-registration data. The Network’s members and manufacturers alike utilize this service to maximize their return on inventory investment. Network PartShare is a product information system that provides part details and pricing from all suppliers in a standardized format on the group’s centralized member website. In addition, the NIS staff provides suggested resale prices for manufacturers that do not publish resale prices. NIS also recently unveiled its Electronic Order Processing (EOP) initiative, which leverages the PartShare database and website to provide a centralized connection point for suppliers and distributors for exchanging purchase orders, advance ship notifications and invoices. PartShareEOP allows more companies to take advantage of the cost savings provided by exchanging documents electronically with three-way match capabilities that reduce transaction processing costs as well. The Network WebShop e-commerce solution enables service dealers to get the right part at the right price online and, in most cases, directly from within their own Shop Management System. The expanded WebShop now includes tools, equipment, commodities and other products not offered by traditional electronic catalog providers. The Network remains one of the only distribution systems in the aftermarket that can combine centralized electronic billing services and e-commerce, substantially reducing administrative costs for distributors, suppliers and customers. The Network’s four divisions have needs that are unique to their respective marketplaces. With the most comprehensive offerings in the industry at their fingertips, Network members are encouraged to customize their program toolbox. Offering more than a binder or a curb sign, the Network works closely with members to tailor advertising and product promotions to link together the distribution chain in their market. Recognizing that the automotive aftermarket is continually changing, the Network provides an avenue of consolidation at any level in the distribution channel. Just as there shouldn’t be a “one-size-fits-all” approach to any group, the Network doesn’t limit a member to staying in one division. In fact, there is a pathway to growth that each Network member can follow as they expand. No longer will a member that has outgrown their division need to look elsewhere for another group. No matter where you are — or where you aspire to be — the Network has a place for you, now and in the future. CM 59


Profile National Pronto Association 204 N. Dooley – Suite 300 Grapevine, Texas 76051 (p) 817-430-9449 (f) 817-430-9559 (p) 800-477-6686 Bill Maggs, President Murray Sullivan, Director of Business Development


June 2013 | Counterman

National Pronto Association: Leading North America In Auto Parts Distribution! n today’s competitive, global aftermarket environment, warehouse distributors face enormous challenges. National Pronto Association is meeting these challenges and providing critical and smart business solutions for its automotive parts distribution members. Pronto listens to its member shareholders and responds to their needs, existing solely for the benefit of its member shareholders. Pronto marketing is a proven program that adds value to the membership and builds customer loyalty. Our Pronto Auto Service Center program is leading the groups with new aggressive programs designed to build our customer’s loyalty. Our 2013 addition of a 24-month/24,000mile warranty has set the curve for the industry. We continue to lead in this category. National Pronto offers outstanding purchasing programs that are achieved by partnering with strong vendor companies and being aware of the competitive landscape. Vendor relationships are very important to the association, and we conduct business with our vendor partners with great respect, but we expect them to keep Pronto distributors competitive with the market. We are constantly aware of what our competitive position must be in order to achieve lasting success with our customers. Our aggressive growth strategy for adding new members to the National Pronto Association has resulted in even greater purchasing power and marketing support. Numerous warehouse distributors throughout North America are joining Pronto and realizing immediate benefits of becoming a shareholder member. This same growth strategy continues to be a major focus for us in 2013 and beyond. If you are not part of a growing organization then you might ask yourself why not and call today. Another key reason to become a Pronto shareholder is our dedication to advancements in technology. Going paperless with EDI purchase orders, electronic invoicing, advance shipping notices, purchase order reconciliation, order-fill percentages and data warehousing are just a few of the current technology initiatives in which National Pronto is involved. One of the strongest advantages of being a Pronto shareholder is our processing of rebates. Our speed of paying members their rebate money is fast, accurate and efficient. Shareholders can always keep track of their purchase and rebate activity online through our Pronto private extranet. Another of our strategies is to provide members sales growth through our national account effort. We are national account providers to both national and regional companies that are leading providers of service to the motoring public. We currently are approved with 12 national companies. National Pronto Association is truly leading North America in auto parts distribution! If you desire to be part of a growing and dynamic organization that has outstanding men and women leading the charge into the future, call the National Pronto Association. Contact Murray Sullivan or Bill Maggs at 1-800-4PRONTO, or email or for additional information on becoming a National Pronto Association shareholder. CM



UNI-SELECT: PROGRAM True Partner With WDs, Jobbers GROUP

Profile UNI-SELECT Corporate Offices: 170 Industrial Blvd. Boucherville, Quebec J4B 2X3 Phone: (450) 641-2440 Fax: (450) 449-4908 20 Hazelwood Dr. Suite 100 Amherst, New York 14228 Phone: (716) 531-9200 Fax: (716) 531-9315 3550 Busbee Parkway Ravine 3, Suite 400 Kennesaw, GA 30144 Phone: (770) 701-5000 Fax: (770) 701-5001 Auto Plus® Auto Service Plus®

NI-SELECT is one of North America’s leading distributors of replacement parts, equipment, tools, paint products and accessories, with over 2,500 independent jobbers servicing 3,500 points of sale in North America. Since 1969, we have provided distributors and jobbers with the innovative marketing and management programs they need to profitably manage and grow their businesses while enjoying the benefits of a true partnership with a robust programmed distribution group. Our Auto-Plus auto parts stores and FinishMaster paint and accessories stores cater to the DIY enthusiast and DIFM professional markets, while Uni-Select members who cater to the DIFM repair market can participate in our Auto Service Plus and Select Auto Xpert programs to strengthen their own brands and maximize profitability. Auto-Plus has been a major NHRA partner since 2011, and we continue to leverage our sponsorship of one of America’s favorite sports to help our members connect with their customers. The Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals (June 20-23, Epping, N.H.) and the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals (Oct. 3-6, Reading, Pa.) are the centerpieces of a program that includes Auto-Plus as the Official Automotive Parts Retailer at the Atlanta Dragway, at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park (Norwalk, Ohio) and at Maple Grove Raceway (Reading, Pa.). We also have naming rights for the Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, Fla., and are an associate sponsor on Blake Alexander’s Funny Car. Our new Auto-Plus Social Media Suite helps members increase their online presence with a robust, automated bolt-on program. In addition, Uni-Select’s strong relationships with national service dealers, municipal and corporate fleets and tire dealers, means we can offer a strong Major Account program that allows members to build local relationships while taking advantage of our national pricing agreements and the convenience of centralized billing. We have also invested in the technology tools customers need to service these accounts – our “Uni-Dashboard” captures order information and provides specific reporting and billing data these accounts require while providing our members with reports that translate data into relevant information in order to better manage their businesses. Uni-Select understands that our success is inseparably tied to the success of our customers. We continue to grow through partnership with like-minded distributors and jobbers. We support our customers’ entrepreneurship and member competitiveness, growth and profitability. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help you grow your business! CM

U 61


Profile The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance 2706 Treble Creek Ste. 100 San Antonio, TX 78258 Phone: 210-492-4868 Fax: 210-492-4890


June 2013 | Counterman

The Alliance Scores ‘Three-Peat’ As Its Member Performance Warehouse Wins The 2013 Polk Inventory Efficiency Award wo years ago, the Polk Inventory Efficiency award went to Alliance member Auto Parts Headquarters Inc. in St. Cloud, Minn. Last year, Alliance headquarters received the award in recognition of the group’s focus on inventory efficiency practices and tools on behalf of its members. Performance Warehouse Inc., a member of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance family (the Alliance), has won the coveted R. L. Polk Inventory Efficiency Award. This marks the third win in as many years for the Alliance group. A longstanding member of the Alliance, Performance Warehouse was named the 2013 winner of the award in the Distribution/Retail category at this year’s Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) in Chicago. Each year, the Polk Inventory Efficiency Award recognizes major process improvements in supply chain and inventory efficiency. Just two awards are conferred each year, one for a manufacturer and one for a retailer/distributor. “We are extremely proud to be recognized for the hard work we have done to manage our inventory, keep our jobbers competitive and our business growing. This award is validation that Performance Warehouse and the Alliance are on the right track,” said JR Moore, president of Performance Warehouse. Performance Warehouse utilizes many of the technology tools created by the Alliance. Alliance President and CEO John Washbish commented, “We have invested heavily in well-targeted technology and the best IT group in the business. Our members perform at a level that garners special recognition, such as the Polk award. When you’re able to earn such a prestigious award three years in a row, you know it’s more than good luck.” The Alliance Inventory Optimization Tool (IOT) has proven to be a highly effective software package, the group says. By modeling sales data, inventory data, vehicles in operation and replacement rate data, the system helps resellers make better inventory and stocking decisions. It significantly improves accuracy in predicting part failure rates and identifying business opportunities, and helped drive a 9 percent inventory decrease and 6 percent sales increase overall for Performance Warehouse. Their independent jobbers increased sales by as much as 44 percent in product lines updated using the IOT. “We are grateful to Polk for recognizing Performance Warehouse with their 2013 Inventory Efficiency Award,” added Washbish. “With the Auto Parts Headquarters win in 2011, our group win last year, and a third win for Performance Warehouse, it’s obvious we’ve got the right recipe for managing inventory through the entire supply chain.” Watch the Performance Warehouse Polk Award video by going to or scanning the QR code at left with your smartphone or other device. CM



Federated Offers Premium Braking Performance For Today’s Vehicles ederated Auto Parts has developed an addition to its friction offering with a new co-label line developed and supplied by Wagner Brake. The new product line is a premium offering designed for professionals that was exclusively designed for Federated members and their customers. The line uses the highest-performing formulas specific to each application and includes System Synergy Technology (SST) which is an OE approach to brake design that ensures the interaction of all brake components to provide the ultimate performance. Each set of Federated Professional Premium is engineered and designed to match the OE pad in fit, form and function and uses premium formulations and shims designed for ultimate performance on each application. The System Synergy Technology focuses on managing the NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) issues through testing and validation of the various components used in disc pad designs. While many consider a disc brake pad one component, it actually consists of many different components including backing plates, shims, hardware, along with friction material, slots and chamfers that all must be designed to work together to deliver ultimate performance. Working with Wagner Brake experts, Federated has developed a product line that uses OE designs, and improvements in materials and component integration, to deliver superior performance to other aftermarket lines. The Federated Professional Premium line provides superior braking perform-


ance, long life and quiet operation for customers who perform premium brake service and have a reputation for using high-quality brand name parts. Federated has a history of working closely with high-quality manufacturers to develop exclusive products designed specifically for use by quality technicians and professional service providers. The Federated Professional Premium line of disc brakes is designed to take all the mystery out of all the different materials and grades available in the market today by using System Synergy Technology to focus on the best solution for each vehicle. “We spent countless hours working with Wagner Brake experts in designing this line,” stated Phil Moore, senior vice president for Federated Auto Parts. “The results from both testing and customer feedback have been outstanding. This new product line delivers premium performance in every area and we believe will be a major benefit to our professional customers. “Working with Wagner and Federal-Mogul made this project easier due to their commitment to quality and their outstanding manufacturing and R&D facility in Smithville, Tenn.,” Moore continued. “We are proud to have a premium product line that is made in the USA.” Federated Professional Premium brake uses an OE approach to the design process that delivers the ultimate in overall performance for the professional service provider and is available exclusively from members and affiliates of Federated Auto Parts. For more information, visit 63

Track Talk NASCAR Spotlight Shines on Iconic Car, Fast Crew One of the biggest storylines this season just might be the iconic No. 43 car’s resurgence in the NASCAR spotlight. Behind the wheel of the legendary car that often still sports the famous Petty Blue shade, driver Aric Almirola currently finds himself in the top10 in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings and is emerging as a real Chase contender. Besides having a Hall of Fame team owner in Richard Petty and an experienced crew chief in Todd Parrott, Almirola has yet another advantage every time he wheels the 43 down pit road — an awardwinning pit crew. The No. 43 Smithfield Ford over-the-wall crew has been named the Quarter One Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew — an honor determined by a vote of each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

crew chief given quarterly to top-performing pit crews. “It’s just awesome,” said rear tire changer Dwayne Ogles. “Just the history of the 43 car in itself and us kind of being the underdogs, it’s pretty cool to bring the 43 back. Everybody’s looking at us and it’s cool for the spotlight to be back on the 43 team.” The No. 43 crew’s precise performance this season has helped to cement Almirola’s solid start to the 2013 campaign. According to Ogles, being recognized by peers for their accomplishments is a huge honor for the entire team. “It means a lot to me and to all of the guys,” said Ogles, a nine-year pit road veteran who hails from Hoover, Ala. “Working out, practicing, building the cars in the shop — there’s a lot that goes into it. We put in a lot of long hours, so it’s

Rear tire changer Dwayne Ogles says having the spotlight back on the legendary No. 43 car is pretty cool. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

The No. 43 crew has won the Quarter One Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award – the highest honor for pit crews in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

nice to see the performance and results showing.” In addition to Ogles, the 43 over-the-wall crew consists of: Joe Karasinski (gas man), Jeremy Neeley (jack man), Greg Donlin (front tire changer), Lance Hanna (front tire carrier) and Eric Wallace (rear tire carrier). Andrew Carter is the team’s pit crew coach. “I can remember as a kid watching Richard Petty race the 43 car,” reminisced coach Carter, who trains both the No. 43 and No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports pit crews. “He [Petty] was one of my favorite drivers, so getting to work with these guys every day is pretty special.” Carter puts the crew through pit stop practice three days a week and a grueling weight training regimen four days per week. “We push these guys pretty hard,” said Carter. “Between working on the cars, finding time to get to practice, and then going to the gym and pushing themselves even harder, they do a great job at it. The results have

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shown on the track.” The Carter-coached No. 43 six-member team can change four tires, add fuel and make adjustments in as little as 11 or 12 seconds, thanks to rigorous training and technological advances by companies like Mechanix Wear, who supply 20 to 25 products, from gloves to kneepads, to NASCAR pit crewmen. Carter also maintains having a primary sponsor like Smithfield reaps its own competitive benefits, too. “It always helps to be ‘fueled by bacon’ when you’re going over-the-wall,” quips Carter. “That extra protein really helps give the guys that extra boost to perform at their best.” Benefitting from best-inclass gloves, bacon and some good old-fashioned blood, sweat and tears, Ogles and company wouldn’t have it any other way. “All the hard work pays off,” added Ogles. “It’s worth every bit of it.” By: Kimberly Hyde, NASCAR for reader service


White Smoke Blowing From Tailpipe? classic sign of a head gasket problem is when the vehicle is blowing white smoke from the tailpipe. This indicates that water/coolant is entering the combustion chamber and is then burnt off as steam through the exhaust. The white “smoke” is water vapor as the steam condenses when it hits the colder atmosphere. With older vehicles, the owner’s budget or the value of the vehicle means a full head

A for reader service


June 2013 | Counterman

gasket repair is simply not a viable option, yet in many cases the owner needs to keep the vehicle on the road. In this case, a dedicated head gasket sealant could be the economical solution. Ceramic formulas offer the best chances of making a successful repair but look for a formula that is antifreeze-friendly as these are easier to apply and can remain in the cooling system after treatment has been completed. This solution is brought to you by K-Seal. Visit CM


MAHLE Clevite Inc. Includes QR Codes on Product Packaging f you have the smartest products in the Aftermarket, why not have the smartest packaging? Adding to the growing number of electronic resources MAHLE Clevite Inc. offers, QR codes are now included on all MAHLE Original, Clevite and Victor Reinz product packaging. QR codes are the quickest, and most user-friendly, way to communicate and answer questions technicians may have. Compatible with any iPhone, Android, Blackberry or tablet, these small pictures work as a barcode for any free QR code


reader app. After focusing the camera over the QR code, the app automatically directs the technician to a search page where they can input the part number, from the MAHLE box they are holding, and specification data/technical information appears right at your fingertips. It’s as simple as opening the app, focusing the picture and instantly an immense amount of information puts the power back into the technician. Just another way MAHLE Clevite helps our customers work smarter, not harder. Phone +1 (248) 347-9700 67


OUNTER-TECH By Mandy Aguilar

I’m Lost. Show Me The Waze Through Waze users, the app provides realtime traffic info that seems to be faster and more accurate than any other traffic report resource.

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


t’s been another typical day at the office; thankfully, the day is now over and it’s time to go home. My drive-home routine is the same as it has been for almost two decades; I know every route and shortcut there is to avoid traffic and get back home with the least amount of stress or wasted time. Still, even though every possible route is deeply ingrained in my brain, for the past several months I have not dared to start the trek home without firing up my favorite GPS map app on my smartphone. Believe me, I really do not need the app’s maps or turn-by-turn guidance for a trip I have done thousands of times; what I crave is the unique, real-time information the app provides on traffic en route. The app is called Waze (clever name, pronounced “ways”), and like all great apps, this one is free. Crowdsourcing has hooked me on Waze! Through Waze users, the app provides real-time traffic info that seems to be faster and more accurate than any other traffic report resource — even all those helicopter dudes on AM radio. Waze users automatically report their driving speed using the phone’s GPS triangulations features, and if they hit a slowdown, they simply click on a variety of alert buttons, instantly transmitting the traffic alert to all other users not yet snarled in the traffic jam. Waze uses this data to create maps that incorporate real-time traffic reports. So, before I leave work I know which route to take on my way back home. With Waze, I get the data I need the moment I need it, without waiting for a traffic report on the radio to come around. Waze alerts are 100 percent generated by users. These are not limited to just slowdowns and traffic jams alerts, but can also cue us in on construction delays, speed cams, accidents on the road, etc. The app provides free turn-by-turn navigation, and


June 2013 | Counterman

its maps are updated with real-world data as their users drive around town gathering road info that is automatically relayed back to Waze. This allows the Israeli-based company to constantly improve its maps all over the world. There are plenty of mapping and GPS apps available on smartphones today, with tech giants like Google, Bing and even Apple itself competing for the space on our phones. While many of these are valid alternatives, I have found that the social component of real-time crowdsourcing data on Waze makes it a better option. Waze has created a community of 45 million users (12 to 13 million of those are active at any time), which has differentiated it from the pack. Seems like I’m not the only one who has taken notice, as it’s recently been rumored that Facebook wants to buy Waze for a reported $1 billion. Facebook is probably not looking at its user count to justify the humongous price tag, for Facebook adds the total amount of Waze users each and every quarter. No, the answer probably lies in Facebook’s interest in taking Waze’s mapping data and platform and turning it into a local search engine that will allow Facebook to monetize the data with its advertising might. Facebook will connect our search history, likes and friends’ recommendations with mapping data in order to provide targeted ads. So far, mobile users have not embraced advertising intrusion on their phones, and companies are finding lots of pushback on traditional advertising mediums. However, it’s easy to imagine how Facebook, who already knows a heck of a lot about our “likes” and “dislikes,” could deliver real-time coupons to us on our phones when we drive near one of their advertisers. This is perhaps a solution that both advertisers and consumers will be willing to embrace.

The GPS-based advertising Promised Land has been touted for several years. I remember several conferences and tech articles from members of our industry, foretelling the days when a customer will drive by a dealer, the vehicle’s GPS will report the location back to the manufacturer, and the driver will instantly receive a coupon on his or her navigation screen for an oil change. Many of those future scenarios seem imminent, but to this day we have not seen them come to fruition. Whether the OEs can develop the technology or not still remains to be seen, but one thing is obvious: our vehicles’ navigational systems are missing the social component. According to Greg Sterling of Sterling Marketing

Intelligence, “There is a convergence amongst mobile users which is called SoLoMo: Social – Local – Mobile.” Simply put, we value what our friends recommend when we do local searches on our portable devices. A Waze-Facebook combined app could excel at this, creating a whole new way of searching for automotive services on the web. Imagine a partnership with your vendors, where they would advertise on Facebook and then deliver a customer who recently searched online for one of their products right to your store with a coupon delivered to their phone when they approached your place of business. Now that’s a future scenario I can’t wait to see! CM

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Get FREE product and service info from the companies featured in this issue of Counterman. It’s fast and easy! and click the company you want info from! Advertiser




AAPEX Advance Auto Parts Professional ADVICS Affinia Affinion Group Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Airtex Corp. Akebono Corp. APA Management Group Apex Supply Chain AutoZone BlueDevil Products CARQUEST Auto Parts Centric Parts DEA Products/Pioneer Inc. Delphi Products & Service Solutions DENSO Products and Services America Inc. DQ Technologies Eastern Catalytic ExxonMobil Federated Auto Parts Gabriel GMB North America Intermotor/SMP KYB Americas Corp. MAHLE Clevite

65, 71, 72 23 77 25 Insert 62 81, 92 21 49 3 16, 17 76 57 80, 83 5 Cover, 89 27, 85 35 24 Cover 4 51, 63 12 91 15 31 29, 67

Modern Silicone Technologies Inc. NAPA National Pronto Association NGK Spark Plugs Nissan Motor Corp. USA Nucap Industries Packard Industries Parts Plus Perfect Stop Permatex Inc. Philips Automotive R L Polk & Co. Raybestos Brake & Chassis Raybestos Brakes SAAB Parts North America Schaeffler Group USA Silla Automotive LLC SK Hand Tool Solv-Tec Inc. Standard TechSmart Timken Uni-Select Wagner Brakes/Federal-Mogul WIX Filters

Cover 2 58 47, 60 22 87 39, 82, 84 26 53, 59 55 Cover 3 18, 75 93 79 96 41 9, 19 20 14 66 1 Insert 70, 86 61 32, 33 10, 11 69


EEPING IT SIMPLE By Gerald Wheelus

Check Your Brain At The Door? ow often do we hire people and ask them to check their brain at the door? Our industry has a habit of hiring people to come and work for us and then we dismiss the new ideas they bring to our organizations. We hire new team members to help energize us, and they can, if we take the time to listen. We should learn to listen to a new employee’s experiences and embrace them. Too often, in filling a new employee with an organization’s knowledge, we shut down two-way communication. Obviously we cannot incorporate every idea that every employee has, however, we must consider their input.

H We hire new team members to help energize us and they can if we take the time to listen.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT Timken Premium Hub Assemblies. Engineered for Reliability and Performance. Timken premium hub assemblies offer strong benefits for your customers: They last twice as long as competitive products, help improve brake performance and increase vehicle control. Built with industry-leading Timken® tapered roller bearings, Timken premium hub assemblies feature advanced sensors for anti-lock braking systems. You can feel confident recommending Timken® products. In fact, nearly 50% of technicians surveyed say they prefer Timken over any other bearing brand – that’s more than double the closest competitor.* Countermen – now through July 31 – participate in our “Think Orange. Sell Orange. Earn Green.” promotion to earn $25 for selling five qualifying Timken premium hub assemblies. That’s $5 a hub! Start earning green now by signing up at Available only at participating distributors and dealers. †

Weibull life based on statistically small sample size.

*Based on a survey conducted in 2011 by an independent research firm of professional technicians at independent repair shops in the U.S.


June 2013 | Counterman

I follow the Four A’s: Attitude, Ambition, Ability and Accountability. It’s my inspirational slogan. In my opinion, all things start with Attitude. It is either good or bad. That choice is your own. Ambition: you either have it or you do not. Ability: with the right attitude and ambition you can earn and learn to have the ability. Then there is Accountability. We are all accountable to someone. Accountability does not have to be to someone but can be to ourselves. Our job as supervisors should be to inspire people and allow them to bring their brains to work. CM for reader service


Distributors Getting Revved Up For AWDA’s 2013 Conference nce again, the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association’s (AWDA) Business and Education Conference will be the lead-off event for 2013 Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. For many distributors and their vendor partners, this conference is the single most important nonAAPEX component of the aftermarket’s annual celebration in Las Vegas. In this age of electronic communication, face-toface connections are still at the core of AWDA’s conference and the main reason 600+ business executives attend. AWDA pioneered the use of pre-scheduled one-on-one business meetings between distributors and their vendor partners. These sessions are specifically designed to facilitate high-level business discussions in a personal and confidential setting. Last year, nearly 2,100 individual face-to-face meetings were scheduled between approximately 100 WD companies and a similar number of vendors; for a total of more than 1,300 hours of meeting time in just two and a half days! Preparation is the key to productive meetings and many participating companies spend weeks designing personalized agendas for each of their 40-minute sessions. Some companies even designate meeting teams for specific purposes such as technology or marketing. The goal is to focus quickly and discuss thoroughly any problems or opportunities. Manufacturer participation in the AWDA conference is already set – the scheduling process began in March – but distributors can still register with the expectation of full and rewarding meeting schedules. For detailed conference information, visit Conference.aspx, or contact Larry Northup at



June 2013 | Counterman or 301-654-6664. A new feature of the 2013 AWDA Conference is its expanded education component scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Nov. 2. AWDA, in cooperation with the University of the Aftermarket, will offer a more robust distributor-focused education program that features multiple sessions in separate learning tracks. The education sessions are included with conference registration. The steady growth in participation by WDs and manufacturers, along with sponsorship of AAIA, AAPEX and AWDA education, networking and other events have combined to give the distribution sector of the aftermarket increased visibility on the AAPEX show floor and throughout Industry Week. “Revved Up and Leading the Way,” the theme for this year’s AWDA conference, exemplifies the attitude of today’s traditional distributors. This November, the members of AWDA will lead the way to Industry Week and beyond. About AWDA AWDA represents more than 600 top distributors and manufactures of motor vehicle parts nationwide. Founded in 1947, this 66-year old organization joined forces with AAIA in 2004 and is now a leading segment within the association. AWDA members collectively represent many hundreds of facilities and thousands of employees. Through networking and educational programs, market research and communication tools, legislative and regulatory support, consumer education and more, AWDA’s goals are centered on member growth. for reader service


LLEN & ALLAN By Allen Markowitz & Allan Gerber

The Domino Effect e have all played with dominos as children, lining them up and then watching them all neatly fall down in a row. All it takes is that first little push and away they go. Whether you realize it or not, we have been watching this domino effect assaulting our industry for years, and believe it or not, the pace is getting faster. Let’s take a look at what has been happening. We will start with the ultimate consumer of our products, the driving public. There is no question that cars are made better today. Think about the car you drive. How many times a year do you end up in the repair shop? In speaking with the many repair center owners who attend our business management seminars, the answer is on average, twice. They indicate that this is down from three to four times in the past. Now let’s take this to the next step: if the cars are not going in for service, how will the repair centers make a living or better yet stay in business? We all know the answer — they won’t! Over the past 10 or so years, there have been countless car dealers closing, supposedly there were thousands of service bays simply closed throughout the country. Where did all of this repair work go? Better yet, where did all of these techs go? We are always hearing from shops that it is almost impossible to find a well-trained tech. Let’s keep the dominos moving and look at this effect on the jobber stores. Bettermade cars, fewer service bays, shop owners unable to make enough profit to stay in business. This certainly does not sound like a jobber’s paradise! The fact is that many jobbers we speak with across the country are finally realizing these facts. We receive calls

W Whether it be diagnosing check engine lights or selling factory scheduled maintenance, it is up to us to make certain that the independent repair center stays in business.

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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and e-mails from countless jobbers asking for assistance in growing their business. In fact, we receive correspondence from jobbers who are actually doing well, but are concerned for the future. We are not even going to attempt to discuss how the incredible growth of the retailers is changing the industry. None of us are immune from the falling dominos. Next in our domino chain is the WD. There is a good deal of consolidation going on in this category within our industry. Many small WDs have already either gone out of business or have been acquired by larger ones. Now, we are seeing mid-sized WDs with multiple locations being acquired. The interesting thing here is that instead of maintaining all of these locations, many are being closed or merged together to handle larger markets. Again, the dominos are falling as our industry goes through this settling out process. Do you think that this has any effect on the manufacturers that supply our merchandise? You bet it does. They, too, have less business; the dominos keep falling. Think back to when there was a multitude of sales reps. We would have a rep presenting us with new programs or new products all of the time. This does not happen with too much frequency today. All of this simply points to the fact that in order for our industry to grow and be profitable, we must start with the consumer and auto repairs, in whatever shape it comes in. Whether it be diagnosing check engine lights or selling factory scheduled maintenance, it is up to us to make certain that the independent repair center stays in business. The dominos start falling here and work their way down the line throughout our entire industry. CM

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For more information, go to: or e-mail


Shed more light. Make more profit. he incentive for selling Philips Upgrade Headlamp Bulbs is simple. Put more light on the road, and you’ll put more cash in your pocket. This is a win/win for both you and the shops you serve. You get some extra profits from your lighting sales and help boost driver safety at the same time. It’s a fact that motorists need more light. Headlight bulbs tend to lose up to 40% of their power due to age and use in just two years and the drivers don’t fare any better as they get older.


More light is your best selling tool Most serious accidents occur at night, when a driver’s vision is weakest. So, what better motivation is there to make sure that your customer’s vehicle lighting is at its best? That’s where upgrade lighting shines. It features advanced technology that simply outperforms standard bulbs – delivering more light and a better beam pattern as well. All these factors focus a bright light on an ideal business opportunity. Upgrade lighting commands a higher price and that means you can earn a higher margin.

Philips Premium Upgrade Headlamp Bulbs Philips Automotive, a leading innovator in lighting and first choice supplier to carmakers around the world, offers a proven range of premium upgrade lighting that can deliver up to 100% more light than standard halogen lamps. It’s offered in three different styles so it’s easy to choose the best bulb to fit the customer’s needs. Make the upgrade to Philips.

For more information, visit: or call 1-800-257-6054 75



Which One Of These Scares You More? he image on the right is probably familiar to all of us. It’s the Google car. Astonishingly, it has logged more than 500,000 miles without an incident. Did I mention it has no driver? I know that most of you are familiar with this project. Some of you find it scary. Some even think it will be the end of our industry. I, on the other hand, am not buying into the frenzy. I look at the Google car as being really cool and just another sign of progress in the automotive industry. I’ve seen a lot of this progress in my time, and I’m confident it will continue. The other image below the Google car on the surface would appear to be rather harmless – just a simple little device that plugs into the OBD II port and either records data or transmits it to a central location that records and accumulates it from other

T for reader service

“Right to Repair” is an important issue to the aftermarket.


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This little device will be at the center of one of the largest controversies the automotive market has ever experienced. for reader service

vehicles motoring around our roadways. Not very scary at all, right? Wrong! This little device will be

at the center of one of the largest controversies the automotive market has ever experienced. Here’s the really scary part: The debate

over this device and many of our own futures will be decided in Washington with us having little or no control over it. That, to me, is very unsettling. Let me explain. Telematics devices are currently showing up in vehicles and are being used by insurance companies to offer discounts to safe drivers. Seems pretty safe. But what about all the other data that could be accessed by a device like this? This data could be used for repair purposes and actually be a great tool to service customers and help us repair vehicles. In the future, this data will have tremendous value, and many will want/need to get their hands on it. There’s the rub. It seems that many people today believe they own that data. Insurers say they own it, automakers believe they own it and the aftermarket believes it should have access to it. Actually, it’s recording information owned by drivers just like you and me. I say it belongs to the vehicle owner. Of course, everyone should have the ability to access that data, but only after the vehicle owner decides where he or she wants it to go. “Right to Repair” is an important issue to the aftermarket. Many have fought a long and arduous battle to ensure that all can access the necessary information to repair vehicles – and the battle is not over yet. Consumer rights to telematics data will not be any easier. As members of the automotive aftermarket, we need to be sure we’re being heard on this issue. Our future depends on it. CM

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By Ed Sunkin

GAAS Scholarship Program Receives High Marks For the 2013 program, there were 501 scholarship applicants, up from 494 in 2012, and just shy of the record in 2011 of 523 applications. CHICAGO — Attendees of the 2013 Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) heard an update on the 2013 GAAS Scholarship awards from Pete Kornafel, scholarship chairman. Kornafel said he was pleased with the results of the program this year, in both applicant numbers and money provided to scholarship recipients. For the 2013 program, there were 501 scholarship applicants, up from 494 in 2012, and just shy of the record in 2011 of 523 applications. Kornafel said this year scholarships were awarded to 193 students with a total payout of $213,550. Kornafel also reported that there were still about 13 groups expected to provide scholarship funding, and he anticipates the total number of students awarded money through the GAAS program to reach more than 250. Of the students provided scholarships, 185 were enrolled in a college or NATEF-certified program, he said. Of those students, 83 percent have a grade point average (GPA) of for reader service

3.0 or greater. Nearly 50 percent of the high school recipients have a 3.0 GPA or better, as well. Other updates Kornafel provided included the announcement of new scholarship providers, including the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) and the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS). Kornafel said although this year’s program was successful, there are still many automotive students who submitted an application who could benefit from scholarships. He requested GAAS attendees to join the GAAS scholarship program. “You can honor someone’s memory with a scholarship award,” he said. Scholarships are used for students training to become automotive, heavy-duty or aftermarket collision repair technicians and to students in business, marketing, engineering or other major courses of study. For more information on the GAAS scholarship program, visit CM for reader service


Centric Parts Named Outstanding

Business Partner By The Parts Authority The honor was announced during The Parts Authority’s annual meeting and expo once again held at Citi Field in New York, home of the New York Mets. Left to right: Steve Yanofsky (Parts Authority), Terry Dolan (Centric Parts), Randy Buller (Parts Authority), Yaron Rosenthal (Parts Authority)

entric Parts has been named 2013 Outstanding Business Partner by The Parts Authority – which is celebrating 40 years in business this year. The honor was announced during The Parts Authority’s annual meeting and expo once again held at Citi Field in New York, home of the New York Mets. In presenting the award to Centric Parts sales rep Terry Dolan, The Parts Authority’s Randy Buller explained why Centric Parts was chosen this year. “Absolutely the best shippers, best availability, best product, no comebacks, best pricing – Centric Parts, just the best,” Buller said.



“It’s an honor to be recognized again for sticking to the Centric Parts philosophy of right part, right place, right time,” said Dan Lelchuk, president of Centric Parts. “The Parts Authority has been a valuable partner and continues to be one of the leading names in the automotive aftermarket business. We congratulate them on 40 years and look forward to continued mutual success.” Founded in 1973 as Clearway Automotive, The Parts Authority today offers hundreds of thousands of different parts, in more than 250,000 square feet of warehouse space, available at 15 locations around New York. The Parts Authority annual meeting and expo this year attracted more than 5,500 attendees to Citi Field in New York. CM

NUCAP announces a 100 Percent Brake Pad Performance Guarantee. Say goodbye to Edge Lift with NRS-equipped brake pads. NUCAP will now guarantee any NRS-equipped brake pads against edge lift. If technicians ever experience edge lift or rust jacking with a set of NRS brake pads NUCAP will reimburse them $250. Please go to<> for details.


June 2013 | Counterman for reader service


DENSO Helps Drivers ‘Breathe Easy’ When They Replace Their Old Cabin Air Filter DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc. has launched a new marketing campaign to raise awareness that cabin air filters need to be replaced on a regular basis to improve the air quality in the cabin. abin air filters are a fairly new addition to passenger cars and trucks, so much so that many drivers are not even aware that they have a cabin air filter in their vehicle. DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc. has launched a new marketing campaign to raise awareness that these cabin air filters need to be replaced on a regular basis to improve the air quality in the cabin, and that there are no better cabin air filters than DENSO First Time Fit filters, according to the company. DENSO’s cabin air filter awareness campaign includes social media exposure, YouTube videos, print advertisements, consumer brochures, as well as various promotional and incentive elements. This campaign is designed to communicate with various audiences, including retail customers, auto shop counterpersons, installers and warehouse distributors. Since most people are unaware of this filter, it can be neglected, which can have a negative impact on air quality and well as the performance of the HVAC (heater ventilation air conditioning) system in the vehicle. So just like an air filter on an engine, the cabin air filter needs to be replaced on a regular basis to ensure good air quality in the cabin. “Air quality is something that is important to for reader service



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everyone these days,” said John Doran, senior manager, Marketing and Product Management Group, “and our DENSO First Time Fit Cabin Air Filters are designed to filter air pollution, dirt, dust, pollen, diesel fumes and tire grime before that air enters the passenger compartment. We feel this campaign will be effective in communicating that message to consumers, retailers and warehouse distributors alike.” The DENSO Difference According to DENSO, while all cabin air filters may look alike on the outside, they don’t perform alike. The DENSO engineering team has worked directly with the new vehicle manufacturers to refine the design of the First Time Fit Cabin Air Filters so they deliver exemplary filtering performance: ● Premium filter media stops particulates down to .001 microns, which outperforms conventional pleated filters. ● The design of the DENSO First Time Fit cabin air filter ensures optimal airflow and filtration while minimizing airflow noise in the cabin. ● DENSO First Time Fit Cabin Air Filters are designed to fit right the first time so they are easy to install. ● All DENSO First Time Fit Cabin Air Filters meet or exceed all OE requirements, and are available for domestic and import vehicles. The bottom line is that DENSO First Time Fit Cabin Air Filters deliver the engineering, quality and performance that makes them the logical choice when it’s time to change filters. CM for reader service

TECH TIPS By Larry Carley

Diagnosing A Noisy Wheel Bearing for reader service

Question: Does noise coming from a wheel always mean the wheel bearing is bad? Answer: No. The noise could be from the wheel bearing, or it could be from the brakes, or a bad outer constant velocity joint. The classic symptom of a bad wheel bearing is typically a cyclic chirping, squealing or growling noise that changes in proportion to vehicle speed. The sound may disappear at some speeds or only occur at certain speeds. The noise may get worse when turning, or it may disappear momentarily. So it’s difficult to make a diagnosis based on noise alone. A caliper that’s sticking or a brake pad that’s loose and dragging may make a metallic scraping noise as it rubs against the brake rotor. The frequency of the noise will also change in proportion to vehicle speed, but will often go away or change when the brakes are lightly applied. Noise that only occurs when braking is likely a brake problem such as worn pads, not a bad wheel bearing. A popping or clicking noise when turning is a classic symptom of a bad outer CV-joint. Also note the condition of the CV-joint boot. If torn or leaking, the boot should be replaced regardless of the condition of the joint. If the CV-joint is noisy, it needs to be replaced. A complete axle shaft with new or remanufactured joints on each end is the fastest fix for this kind of problem. If a wheel is making noise, the brakes, wheel bearings and CV joint should all be inspected to determine


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the cause as all pose a potential safety risk. Any parts that are worn or damaged must be replaced. Question: How do you check wheel bearing play? Answer: Raise the vehicle so the wheel is off the ground, then grab tire at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions and rock the tire back and forth. As a rule, you should not feel any play or looseness if the vehicle has sealed wheel bearing cartridges or hubs with sealed wheel bearing assemblies. On older vehicles with serviceable wheel bearings, a little play is normal but a lot of play is not. Refer to the vehicle’s service specifications for the maximum amount of acceptable play. Wheel bearing play can be measured with a dial indicator by placing the dial indicator against the hub and rocking the wheel in and out by hand. As a rule, you should see no more than .005 inches of play in the bearings if the bearings are good. You can also rotate the tire by hand while measuring play, but be careful not to confuse rim or hub runout with looseness in the bearings. As a rule, hub runout should be .0015 inches or less, and no more than .002 to .003 inches of runout at the lip of the rim. If runout exceeds this amount, try reindexing the wheel on the hub, or remove the wheel and measure runout on the rotor or hub itself. If there is still too much runout, cutting the rotor with an on-car lathe can eliminate or reduce runout at the rotor. CM for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

The Makeup Of Ignition Coils uring the past century, ignition coil configurations have evolved from oil-filled canister to epoxy-filled to e-core to waste spark and to the most modern coil-on-plug or “pencil” coils. Whatever the configuration, an ignition coil creates a spark by transforming amperage into volts. To illustrate, an oil-filled ignition coil might require about 4 amperes of current at 12 volts to produce 2030 kilovolts (kV), while a modern e-core or coil-on-plug configuration might require about 7 amperes of current at 12 volts to produce 3060 kV of high-intensity spark. Keep in mind that, because many different factors affect the voltage multiplication process, the ultimate voltage output will vary according to design and operating conditions. Whatever the configuration, an ignition coil has three parts: a primary circuit, a secondary circuit and a soft-iron core. A magnetic field is created around the soft-iron core when an electric current flows through the primary circuit or winding. When the current flowing through a few hundreds of turns of primary winding is interrupted, the resulting magnetic field collapses into many thousands of turns in the secondary winding. By “cutting” the magnetic field many thousands of times, the secondary winding multiplies or transforms low battery voltage into the voltages needed to create an ignition spark. Keep in mind that the actual output voltage of the coil depends upon the air/fuel (A/F) ratio and the running compression of the engine at the spark plug gap. In general, lean A/F ratios and high



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cylinder pressures tend to increase the voltage requirement at the spark plug. The Primary Circuit An ignition coil primary circuit includes the battery voltage or B+ terminal attached to a 12-volt current source and a ground or B- terminal attached to a power transistor that controls primary current flow. To create a spark, the power transistor is commanded by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to form a magnetic field in the coil by grounding the primary circuit. Coil “saturation” occurs as the magnetic field is formed. The PCM then commands the power transistor to interrupt the primary circuit and collapse the magnetic field, which then creates an ignition spark. The primary circuit on-time is generally referred to as “dwell angle” on distributor ignitions and “duty cycle” on distributorless ignitions. Dwell angle and duty cycle begin when the primary circuit is grounded and ends when the primary circuit is interrupted. While some import electronic ignitions mount a power transistor directly onto the coil, the power transistor in most ignitions is incorporated into a separate ignition control module (ICM). To further simplify ignition hardware, most modern configurations incorporate

the power transistor or primary ignition “driver” into the PCM. Because most modern ignition systems are capable of producing secondary voltages up to 60,000 volts or 60 kV, the ignition systems are programmed to reduce coil operating temperatures by reducing the duty cycle or “on-time” at idle speeds, and also by increasing the duty cycle at high engine speeds. This feature increases coil life by reducing the coil’s internal operating temperature. Secondary Circuit The secondary circuit of a distributor ignition system is comprised of the secondary ignition coil windings, distributor cap, distributor rotor, spark plug cable and spark plug. Distributorless systems have eliminated the distributor cap and rotor, but have retained the spark plug cable. Toyota, among others, often utilizes a “hybrid” waste-spark ignition on V-block engines. In this configuration, the ignition coils on one cylinder bank are mounted directly onto the spark plugs, and the spark plugs on the opposing bank are connected to the coils by ignition cables. In contrast, a dedicated COP ignition system mounts the coil directly onto the spark plug. Obviously, the COP system has the least number of components to fail. CM for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

Universal Joints Transmit Torque To An Axle n Europe and America, the com- many applications, a correct part at, let’s say, a 15-degree angle, the mon “universal” joint is often number can be obtained only by drive shaft will rotate smoothly unreferred to as a Cardan joint, in comparing the cap diameters and der most conditions of speed and honor of Gerolamo Cardano, cross lengths with charts supplied load. Last, the trunnions of each uwho invented the concept of using in your parts catalog. joint must be aligned along the a double-hinged joint to transsame plane on two-piece drive mit rotating torque in 1545. shafts. Inadvertently mis-alignDuring the the early 1800s, ing or installing one drive shaft Cardan joints became common out of phase or clock angle in many industrial with the other will usually reapplications and, when the sult in a vibration complaint automobile became popular under varying conditions of during the early 20th century, speed and load. Cardan joints were used for transmitting torque from the Installation Tips transmission to the rear axle. To prevent damaging the drive Today, Cardan or “universal” shaft, a universal joint press joints are a common replacetool should be used for replacment part in most rear-wheeling u-joints. The retaining clip drive automotive applications. Replacing u-joints with a universal joint press will grooves should be cleaned and help prevent damage to the new universal joint and lubricated before installation. In most applications, a single to the drive shaft. Note the orientation of the u-joint To prevent broken needle Cardan u-joint is attached to each end of a drive shaft. Dou- and drive shaft grease zerks. bearings, a viscous wheel ble Cardan joints are most bearing grease should be used commonly found on the front drive U-Joint Alignment to hold the needle bearings in shafts of four-wheel drive vehicles It’s important to understand that, place during assembly. The matbecause they can smoothly transas power is transmitted through a ing surfaces of the caps and the mit high torque loads at sharp single universal joint, the drive drive shaft loops should be lubriangles. shaft tends to accelerate and decelcated to ease installation. If so erate as it turns. Installing a second equipped, the grease zerks on U-Joint Terminology u-joint along the same plane as the each universal joint should point A typical u-joint uses a cross-shaft first u-joint will cancel this effect. toward the drive shaft and aligned or “cross” to connect one driven For that reason, many noise, vibraalong the same plane. After the shaft to another. The bearing portion and harshness (NVH) comuniversal joint is pressed in place, tion of modern universal joints is plaints on rear-wheel drive the drive shaft loops should be called a “trunnion” or “cap” convehicles are caused by incorrectly lightly tapped with a hammer to taining lubricated needle bearings. installed universal joints. To illusalign the caps with the cross. The A double Cardan joint also incortrate, the operating angles of each u-bolts fastening the u-joint to the porates a spring-loaded centering u-joint must be equal at each end drive axle flange should be inpin and ball assembly to keep both of the drive shaft. If the first joint spected for worn threads and rejoints rotating on a common center. operates at a 20-degree angle and placed if needed. Last, both joints Some u-joints, most commonly rethe second joint at a zero-degree should be lubricated with with a ferred to as “conversion” joints, are angle, the effect would the same as high-quality, water-resistant wheel built with unequal-length crosses using a single u-joint. On the other bearing grease after the drive shaft and unequal-diameters caps. In hand, if both joints are operating is installed. CM



June 2013 | Counterman for reader service

NEWS EXTRA Polk Recognizes 2013 Inventory Efficiency Award Winners At GAAS Near Chicago for reader service

CHICAGO — Polk honored Mevotech Inc. and Performance Warehouse Inc. with the 2013 Polk Inventory Efficiency Award during a ceremony held last month at the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare near Chicago. The Polk Inventory Efficiency Award program, now in its ninth year, recognizes and rewards outstanding aftermarket companies for process improvements in supply chain and inventory efficiency. This year’s awards were presented by Mark Seng, vice president, aftermarket and commercial vehicle and Polk’s global aftermarket practice leader, and Stephen Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk & Co. “Inventory efficiency often translates to cost savings and better practices, and both of these organizations have integrated industry-leading inventory management and supply chain practices into their operations, serving as respected benchmarks for others in the automotive aftermarket community,” Seng said. Mevotech, founded in 1982, was recognized by Polk in the Manufacturer category. Based in Toronto, Mevotech specializes in providing top-quality, technologically advanced automotive parts, as well as unparalleled service and customer support. To overcome the challenges of limited warehouse space and maintaining accurate inventory while remaining efficient, Mevotech launched its Excellence in Inventory Strategy, EXIST. The four-stage program managed the entire product lifecycle from control process to engineering through the supply


June 2013 | Counterman

chain and ultimately to the customer, reducing inventory levels while maintaining industry leading fill rates. “On behalf of Mevotech, we are pleased to receive this prestigious award from Polk, and it is a validation to the hard work of our employees,” said Ezer Mevorach, president, Mevotech. “We’re humbled to join previously honored industry leaders and serve as a role model for others striving to better their inventory efficiency practices.” Performance Warehouse was recognized by Polk in the Retailer/Distributor category. Family-owned and incorporated in 1969, the wholesale establishment was created to enable its three existing retail stores to compete with larger retailers. Today, it has a diverse product mix, 37 companyowned stores and serves jobbers and retailers of all sizes. Performance Warehouse works closely with the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, last year’s winner of the Retailer/Distributor category award, operating and guiding the evolution of the inventory optimization tool for the buying group. The inventory optimization tool (IOT) from Performance Warehouse has proven to be a more efficient software package. By modeling sales data, inventory data, vehicles in operation and replacement rate data, the system delivers efficient inventory and stocking decisions for retailers, accurately predicts part failure rates and identifies business opportunities. “We are grateful to Polk for recognizing Performance Warehouse with the Inventory Efficiency Award,” said JR Moore, president, Performance Warehouse. CM for reader service


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WIN with AVI PLAY! ENTER TO WIN AN iPAD MINI housands of readers have downloaded AVI PLAY since our launch in April and that is great news! This engagement with our newest product serves as a testimonial to the value you’ve experienced with our app, which delivers a seamless transition of relevant and helpful information from the pages of Counterman to your smartphone or tablet. Our team also appreciates your interest and is dedicated to preparing this all-new dimension of content powered by AVI PLAY for you — our loyal readers. We also realized we can have some additional fun with AVI PLAY with the launch of our new “WIN with AVI PLAY” promotion, that will provide a lucky reader with an iPad Mini. Just be sure to enter by July 20, 2013.


IT’S EASY TO ENTER: • For readers who have already downloaded AVI PLAY, simply open the app and scan the “WIN with AVI PLAY” logo on this page. Tap the button on the screen to be directed to an entry form* to complete and submit to us. • To download AVI PLAY, visit the Apple or Google App store, then scan the “WIN with AVI PLAY” logo on this page and follow the directions to submit your entry. *See the on-line entry form for contest rules. One entry per person.

We’ll be announcing the winner on our website at on July 22. Be sure to watch for additional opportunities to WIN with AVI PLAY in upcoming issues. 95


By Ed Sunkin

Left to right: moderator Larry Northup, senior director of member relations, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association; panelists Tim Trudnowski, AAP, president/general manager, Automotive Jobbers Supply; Scott Grill, VP and CPO, Auto-Wares Inc.; and Brent Windom, senior VP sales and marketing, Uni-Select USA.

GAAS Panel Provides Ideas For Smooth Sailing In Automotive Distribution for reader service

CHICAGO – “Distribution Headwinds and Tailwinds” was the topic of a morning panel discussion moderated by Larry Northup, senior director of member relations, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, during the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) held May 21-22 in Chicago. Panelists included Tim Trudnowski, AAP, president/general manager, Automotive Jobbers Supply; Scott Grill, VP and CPO, Auto-Wares Inc.; and Brent Windom, senior VP sales and marketing, Uni-Select USA. The panel fielded questions from Northup, who also serves as executive director of the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA). Some of the suggested strategies invoked by the panel to improve distribution businesses included: • Spend time with your suppliers; • Use all the tools available, such as lost sales reports to improve inventory; • Work to be better than the competition; • Be careful on what lines to offer; • Be prompt in delivery and fulfillment challenges; • Have dedicated personnel in the shipping department. The panel also addressed the issue of the challenges of e-commerce in today’s market. “You have to get the product to the shop quickly — that’s where our strength is,” said Trudnowski. “Sure, they can price shop online, but they’re not going to get that part in 30 minutes.” CM


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CM June 2013