Page 1

Win more cash with Guess the Car March 2013

Plus, we review: ● Engine Mounts ● Clutches ● Oxygen Sensors ● Power Steering ● Maintenance Aerosols



A chance to sell the humble and often taken-for-granted wiper blade should never be ignored. for reader service for reader service


March Volume 31, No. 3

features Mechanic Connection

By Gary Goms

32 Engine mount review. .................................. 34 Don’t forget the humble wiper. ..................

Tech Features

By Larry Carley

A power steering pump’s shaft bearings or pump mechanism can wear out. ............



O2 sensors make emissions control possible. ........................................................

38 A chemical for every purpose. .................... 40 Clutches get a workout. .............................. 42



columns Editor’s Ink


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

Are your employees empowered?

Allen & Allan


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

Are you a counterman or a professional counterman?



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

It’s time to do your to-dos.

From The Publisher


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

Be on the lookout for CSKs (customer service killers).

COUNTERMAN (ISSN 0739-3695) (March 2013 Volume 31, Number 3): 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.


March 2013 | Counterman for reader service

departments Aftermarket News



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


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

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

48 NASCAR Performance............................................................................49 Classifieds ........................................................................................................ This monthly special section takes you behind the scenes of this fast-growing sport.


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

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

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

Lisa DiPaolo, Graphic Designer 330-670-1234 , Ext. 281 ADVERTISING SERVICES

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

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


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

March 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


DITOR’S INK By Mark Phillips

Empower the Employee got an interesting response to my column last month about the saga of trying to pay for a newspaper at a grocery store. If you didn’t read it, here’s the recap: I’ve bought the same newspaper at a grocery store a number of times. After many pleas, the newspaper still hasn’t been added to the store’s point of sale system, so when you scan it, the system doesn’t recognize the item. It’s a huge waste of time that happens over and over and over. I’ve pleaded with a number of employees to fix it and nothing has happened. One reader comment that struck me is that it’s up to me to do more, as a customer, that I should have sought out a manager to fix the situation. I’m sorry, but if that’s the way you’re operating your business, you’ve got problems. Two words come to mind when I hear stuff like this: empowerment and initiative. Empowerment, meaning, give your employees the leeway to actually fix problems, think for themselves and reward it. And initiative, as in, does your employee possess the initiative to hear a customer’s problem, the desire to fix it and the will to make it happen? An article by Anthony L. Emerson in a trade magazine called “Credit Union

I I’m a big believer that when someone calls you with a problem, even if it’s not ‘your department,’ you now own the problem.

Times,” put it succinctly: Employee empowerment is “the process of enabling an employee to think, behave, act, react and control their work in more autonomous ways, as to be in control of one’s own destiny.” I’m a big believer that when someone calls you with a problem, even if it’s not “your department,” you now own the problem. Tag, you’re it! Yes, you might have been on your lunch break when you took the call. But now it’s your issue. And it’s up to you and only you to see that problem through until the solution. It doesn’t mean you necessarily need to know the answer, but are you motivated to figure out who can help the customer and get them the information they need. There’s a good reason to practice up on this customer service stuff. I’m sure you’ve all heard the term “Millennials” or “Generation Y.” Depending on who you talk to, they were born in the latter 1970s all the way to the early 2000s. They’re an economic force to be reckoned with and they expect almost every transaction to be an experience. They will not tolerate BS. They will not tolerate bad service. In the face of it, they may do one of two things: Either vaporize in terms of their relationship to your business or jump on social media and tell everyone just how bad your service is. Trust me, these are roads you don’t want to go down. CM

■ ■ ■

For more information: for reader service

AFTERMARKET NEWS Auto Pride Elects Three Executive Board Members

During Annual Membership Meeting GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – During its recent annual membership meeting at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Auto Pride elected three new members to its executive board and revealed a complete marketing campaign designed to establish a more professional brand image nationwide, said Steve Tucker, vice president of the Automotive Distribution Network. The three newly elected Auto Pride board members are: ● Chairman Ron Sutton, Standard Auto Parts; Baltimore, Md. ● Joe Bray, Quality Parts Warehouse; Garland, Texas ● Joe Snyder, Fremont Automotive; Mt. Pleasant Mills, Pa. “Auto Pride also recognized departing executive board member Ron Brody, president of New Jersey-based All Parts Distributors, who stepped down after more than 28 years of service,” Tucker said.

“A founding member of Auto Pride in 1985, he’s been committed to our success for decades, and we were proud to present Ron with a plaque in honor of his numerous contributions to the group since the very beginning. He’s done a heck of a job for us.” During the proceedings, Auto Pride introduced an extensive new marketing campaign and enhanced program elements designed to establish its new logo and a more professional brand image nationwide. “This gathering marked the culmination of an effort to bring our Auto Pride and Auto Service Experts programs to the level of a complete marketing program and distinction as an industry brand with national name recognition. We unveiled several new elements, like our two-year/24,000-mile nationwide consumer warranty on any part or service purchased at our

Auto Service Experts locations, a first-rate motorsports program featuring the new Auto Pride logo that appears prominently on TV every week as an associate sponsor of Bob Vandergriff Racing and an appearance-upgrade initiative designed to implement our new look on our facilities across the country.” Nearly 25 of the Network’s manufacturer partners were on-hand at the booth show at the Peabody to display their latest wares, services and cross-promotional opportunities. Over the course of two days, Auto Pride attendees participated in hands-on demonstrations of the latest Network Intelligence programs and received an overview on the latest in product, tools and equipment and merchandising. The group also took a trip to nearby Somerville, Tenn., for a tour of Network Products, the group’s coman facility.

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

Last Month’s Correct Answer: What vehicle does this picture represent? If you think you know the answer, go to and click “Guess the Car” on the nav bar. Submit your answer and contact information. A winner will be randomly selected by the Counterman staff from all correct answers. The deadline to enter is April 2. The winner’s name will appear in the next issue. Stay tuned!

#62 8

March 2013 | Counterman

#61 Torrent Congrats to Charlie Heiman, Farmington, Minn. for reader service


Federal-Mogul Expands

MOOG Steering And Suspension Line Forty-five new parts cover millions of late-model vehicles, the company says. SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The MOOG steering and suspension product line from Federal-Mogul now includes 45 additional high-quality parts covering millions of popular late-model passenger vehicles from Chrysler, Ford, Volvo and other leading global automakers. The latest expansion of the MOOG line includes the following MOOG Problem Solver parts: ● CK620592 & CK620593 Lower control arms with MOOG Problem Solver ball joints 2000 Volvo S40 and V40

● K750429 Rear sway bar link kit 2010-2012 Dodge Ram 3500; 20082012 Ram 4500 and 5500

● K750570 Sway bar link kit 2008-2012 Smart Fortwo

● K750576 & K750577 Sway bar link kits 2012 Infiniti M35h; 2011-2012 M37 and M56

● DS300037 for reader service

Drag link 20008-2010 Ford F250 and F350 Super Duty


March 2013 | Counterman

Other parts now available through MOOG distributors are 14 new tie rod ends, eight additional sway bar link kits, 10 bushings and six additional MOOG R-Series control arms. “These new parts extend our MOOG coverage to a wide range of late-model applications that are now entering the aftermarket replacement cycle,” said Mark Boyle, director, steering and suspension products, Federal-Mogul. “By choosing MOOG, service providers can be certain they will have innovative, problem-solving technologies that help them save time and deliver a superior repair for virtually any vehicle in their shops.” For more information regarding MOOG steering and suspension parts, visit the brand’s technicianfocused website or contact your MOOG supplier. To identify the right MOOG part for virtually any application, use the electronic catalog. for reader service


Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT Brake Pads Introduced For 2013 Dodge Dart And 2012 Lexus HS250H SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — FederalMogul has expanded its line of Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT brake pads with new applicationengineered disc pad sets for 2013 Dodge Dart and 2012 Lexus HS250H passenger vehicles. The

company also has introduced three new sets of Wagner ThermoQuiet semi-metallic pads for late-model applications. The following new pad sets are now available through leading replacement parts distributors:

● Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT Brake Pads ● QC1632 2012 Lexus HS250H (Rear) (Fronts also available) ● QC1640 2013 Dodge Dart (Front) ● Wagner ThermoQuiet Semi-Metallic Pads ● MX1433 2009-2012 BMW Z4 (Rear) (Fronts also available) ● MX1549 2012 Audi A6 Quattro (Front) ● MX1631A 2013 Lincoln MKZ (Front) for reader service

Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT brake pads feature FederalMogul’s next-generation proprietary ceramic formulations and Dynamic Noise Absorption technology, which is integrated into the brake pad to target and absorb vibration at the point of contact for quieter braking. In addition, these formulations feature thermal-sensitive properties that adapt to the wide range of temperatures encountered during everyday driving conditions to ensure superior stopping performance. For additional information regarding Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT and ThermoQuiet semi-metallic brake pads, contact your Wagner Brake supplier or visit To identify the right Wagner product for any application, log on to FederalMogul’s convenient electronic catalog. 12

March 2013 | Counterman for reader service

AFTERMARKET NEWS Continuing its longtime partnership with

Federated Adds Vendor Expo To National Membership Meeting STAUNTON, Va. – The annual Federated Auto Parts national membership meeting will be held April 24-27 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., and will feature a new venue, the Federated Vendor Expo, allowing Federated members and manufacturing partners additional opportunity to interact. “The goal of every annual meeting is to create an efficient environment for members and suppliers to meet and communicate,” said Rusty Bishop, CEO of Federated Auto Parts. “As our membership expands and we add more suppliers, the Federated Vendor Expo is the ideal addition to the scheduled

meetings and social events that have historically made up our national meeting. The booth environment of the Vendor Expo provides our members with more access to more supplier partners for shorter, less formal meetings.” In addition to the new Federated Vendor Expo, Federated members will attend meetings on a variety of topics including technology, employee health care, inventory management and marketing, as well as receive updates from select manufacturers on their latest product offerings. Several new suppliers will be provided an opportunity to make presentations to the membership, and meetings will be held

NASCAR legend Kenny Schrader, Federated has announced it will once again sponsor “racing’s hardest working man” and his race teams during the 2013 season in a variety of series, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

with various Federated councils such as Co-man, Technology and the Board of Governors. On April 25, Federated will host its annual awards dinner to honor Federated members, vendors and technicians with such prestigious awards as Outstanding Vendor of the Year, the Art Fisher Memorial Membership Award and the inaugural Federated Shop of the Year presentation.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT Federated Offers Premium Braking Performance for Today’s Vehicles sues through testing and validation of the various ederated Auto Parts has develcomponents used. While many consider a disc brake oped an addition to its friction offering with a new co-label line pad one component, it actually consists of many different components, including backing plates, shims, supplied by Wagner Brake. The hardware, along with friction material, slots and new product line is a premium offering for profeschamfers, all designed to work together to deliver ultisionals designed exclusively for Federated members mate performance. and their customers. Working with Wagner Brake experts, Federated deThe line uses the highest-performing formulas specific veloped the product line using OE designs, and imto each application and includes System Synergy Techprovements in materials and component integration, nology (SST), which is an OE approach to brake design to deliver superior performance to other aftermarket that ensures the interaction of all brake components to lines. The Federated Professional Preprovide the ultimate performance. mium line provides superior braking Each set of Federated Professionperformance, long life and quiet operal Premium is engineered and deation for customers who perform presigned to match the OE pad in fit, mium brake service and have a form and function, using premium formulations and shims designed reputation for using high-quality for ultimate performance on each brand name parts. Federated Profesapplication. sional Premium brakes are available The System Synergy Technology For more information, visit exclusively from members and focuses on managing the NVH affiliates of Federated Auto Parts.



March 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Centric’s StopTech Brand Earns ISO/TS16949 Certification Certification of the performance brake manufacturer assures automotive customers that StopTech’s processes and products meet the industry’s expectations and standards. COMPTON, Calif. – StopTech, the high-performance and racing brand from Centric Parts, recently earned full ISO/TS 16949 certification, for the design and manufacture of automotive brake systems and components. The company said the certification expands on its commitment to providing the best high-performance brakes in the world. The Compton, Calif., company, founded in 1999, is a producer and supplier of a wide range of high-performance brake components and systems for thousands of street car, armored vehicle and race car applications. The privately held business, which operates in a 71,000square-foot facility and employs 100, also supplies its brake components and systems to several OE manufacturers with both StopTech and private branding. “With the ISO/TS16949 Quality Management System certification, Centric Parts’ StopTech division can now supply OEM vehicle assembly plants directly in a Tier 1 relationship,” said Greg Woo, vice president of performance operations. “Virtually every car manufacturer around the world recognizes the ISO/TS16949 certificate, so this is a global validation of StopTech OEM brake system design, development and production capabilities.” for reader service

Terry Helmer Recognized As Arnold Motor Supply 2012 Store Manager Of The Year SPENCER, Iowa – Arnold Motor Supply recognized its top performers in the retail store division of The Arnold Group of Companies for 2012. The top retail performers were recognized at the company’s manager’s meeting held Jan. 15 in Ankeny, Iowa. Terry Helmer, manager of the Auto Value Parts Store in Humphrey, Neb., received the coveted Store Manager of the Year Award. This award was created to recognize the individual who best exemplifies outstanding leadership in the pursuit of performance excellence, and who has done the most to further store performance in the Arnold Group of Companies. The recipient of this award is dedicated to princi-

pled, centered leadership and is committed to the core values exemplified by company founder E.P. Arnold. Mike Molle, manager of the Arnold Motor Supply in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, received the coveted Service is the Difference Award. Molle received the award for exemplary effort going above and beyond the norm in customer satisfaction. His store reached a milestone in sales in 2012.

DYK Automotive has acquired the assets of

Robert Elgart & Son, a Philadelphia-based distributor. for reader service


Trico Products Receives

O’Reilly Auto Parts Vendor Of The Year ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – Trico Products was recently awarded 2012 Vendor of the Year by O’Reilly Auto Parts at the Annual Managers’ Conference on Feb. 8. The award recognizes vendors that have provided exceptional business partnership across all operational areas of O’Reilly Auto Parts. Companies that receive this honor are held to the highest standards and work to further total cooperation with O’Reilly Auto Parts. Trico Products was the only company to ever accept this accolade in the same year that it became a new vendor, the company noted. “Trico was well-deserving of this distinction through their ability to shift purchasing decisions and increase our profits with highly innovative wiper products, various off-shelf promotions and cuttingedge marketing support,” said Tom Seboldt, O’Reilly Auto Parts vice president of merchandise. “Any order we place is always instock and ready for shipment right when we need it, which really communicates Trico’s dedication to our company.” More than 500 vendors were considered for this acknowledgment. O’Reilly Auto Parts has recognized outstanding vendors with

this award for the past 12 years to honor their commitment in reinforcing O’Reilly’s competitive position in the marketplace. “This is an important recognition in our industry that demonstrates the hard work that went into the initial O’Reilly wiper marketing strategy, our manufacturing and distribution excellence, and premier customer service,” said Jim Finley, president and CEO at Trico Products. “From the beginning, establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with O’Reilly was a complete team effort, and its steadfast progress validates the strength and determination of our team.” “We worked closely with our partners at O’Reilly to create, develop and deploy a category management driven plan that leverages unique wiper programs and focuses on more profitable retail and commercial sales,” said Rick Stempien, vice president of sales and marketing for the aftermarket business at Trico Products. “We are very excited to share in the success of this initiative.” A full range of Trico wiper blades are sold in O’Reilly’s 4,000 retail stores and website including TRICO Force, TRICO Flex, TRICO Exact Fit and TRICO Chill. for reader service

AutoZone has reported net sales of

$1.9 billion for its second quarter (12 weeks) ended Feb. 9, 2013, an increase of

2.8 percent from the second quarter of fiscal 2012 (12 weeks). Domestic same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, decreased

1.8 percent for the quarter.


March 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Auto-Wares Holds Another Successful Parts Store And Service Tech Expo, This Time In Chicago GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Just on the heels of a similar event held in Grand Rapids, Mich., the AutoWares Group of Companies has reported another successful Parts Store and Service Tech Expo, this time in Chicago. More than 1,640 service technicians, parts store owners and other automotive aftermarket professionals attended the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Parts Store and Tech Expo held Feb. 23-24 in Chicago, Ill. With the completion of this event, AutoWares educated more than 4,300 people between the two expos. According to event organizers, one of the most exciting training sessions at the Chicago event covered emerging telematics trends, and was presented by Aftermarket Telematics Technologies. Shop

owners were eager to learn about this aftermarket solution to connect with customers’ vehicles to provide better maintenance and repair options. Many service center owners and technicians expressed interest in deploying this program in their businesses. In addition to the training opportunities, a large booth show was held with more than 200 manufacturers represented. Attendees were able to see the latest product offerings from these vendors all under one roof. Attendees also were able to make purchases at the show at special savings rate for their businesses. For more information about the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Parts Store and Service Tech Expo, visit


Clay Buzzard, Former Uni-Select Board Member; Chairman And CEO, MAWDI for reader service

BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec and BUFFALO, N.Y. – It is with heartfelt sadness that Uni-Select announced the passing of Clay E. Buzzard on Feb. 7 at the age of 87. He was the chairman and CEO of Middle Atlantic Warehouse Distributor Inc. (MAWDI) from 1963 until 2004, when Uni-Select purchased the company. After the sale, Buzzard served on the Uni-Select Inc. board until May 2012. He remained very active in the business during his time on the board and contributed significantly to Uni-Select’s success. He maintained a close relationship with the employees, customers and industry leaders during his entire career. Not only did Buzzard love the automotive aftermarket, he was also a true pioneer and leader in the industry. His mark on the industry is deep and will never be forgotten. He was a kind, passionate, hardworking and charismatic person who brought people together and gave them the opportunity to succeed in business and in life. Buzzard was chairman and CEO of Clarit Realty Ltd. and the chairman of AWDA University Foundation. He received many honors during his career, being recognized as the Leader of the Year by the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association in 1996, awarded the Hall of Fame by the New York State Automotive Aftermarket Association in 2000 and the Automotive Aftermarket Education Award by the Northwood University in 2003.


March 2013 | Counterman for reader service


WIX Filters Sponsors 2013 School of the Year, Counter Professional of the Year And Best Tech Award Programs GASTONIA, N.C. – WIX Filters is partnering with Babcox Media to sponsor the 2013 Tomorrow’s Technician School of the Year, Counterman Counter Professional of the Year and the Babcox TechGroup Best Tech programs, supporting excellence at every level of the automotive repair industry. “We are excited to continue our partnerships to support all aspects of the automotive aftermarket industry,” said Mike Harvey, brand manager for WIX Filters. “Each year we see high-caliber nominations from the best technical school, counter professionals and technicians, and we look forward to reviewing top-of-the-line industry professionals and school nominations for 2013.” The School of the Year program (, a national search to find and name the best technician training school in the country with O’Reilly Auto Parts as a partner, is open to all high schools or post-secondary schools that have a subscription to Tomorrow’s Technician magazine. Judges will then review entry criteria and select the top school from each of the four regions in the U.S. The winner will be selected from the four finalists and announced at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in November. This is the sixth year a school will be recognized. The Counter Professional of the Year award ( cpoty.aspx) recognizes an automotive aftermarket parts professional who goes above the call of duty; continually seeks out education for himself or herself; is an example of the consummate parts professional; and is an ambassador for the aftermarket. This year will be the 28th year that Counterman magazine has named its Counter Professional of the Year, sponsored by Affinia Group Inc., Raybestos Chassis and WIX. The Best Tech award ( recognizes the skills and professionalism of today’s automotive technicians, from demonstrating excellence in the automotive service industry to engaging in the local community. This is the third year a recipient will be recognized.

Quick Takes for reader service

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) has announced NAPA AUTO PARTS as a new corporate partner. The USHCC represents the interests of more than 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses through a network of more than 200 local chambers and business associations nationwide. Centric Parts has announced a name change in its performance product lineup for 2013. In an effort to streamline its performance product range, the former Power Slot and SportStop direct-replacement one-


March 2013 | Counterman

piece rotors will now be known instead as StopTech Sport Rotors. Dayco is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Nytron Group, a Brazilian-based manufacturer of drive belt and timing tensioners, pulleys and hydraulic actuators for the automotive aftermarket. Nytron is the largest manufacturer of tensioners and pulleys in South America, according to Dayco. Rotary Lift was named Equipment Vendor of the Year by KOI Auto Parts. KOI is a leading automotive parts provider in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia. for reader service

NEWS EXTRA Uni-Select President Richard Roy set the tone for the convention, held Feb. 24-27, by telling the independent jobbers and shop owners in attendance, “We intend to become the supplier of choice for the automotive aftermarket.”

Uni-Select Convention Attendees Hear How To Put

‘Rock And Roll’ Into Their Businesses By Mark Phillips for reader service

LAS VEGAS — Attendees of UniSelect’s first North American convention at Wynn Las Vegas learned


March 2013 | Counterman

from business leaders in other industries how providing fantastic service and a unique experience will position their businesses

leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Uni-Select President Richard Roy set the tone for the convention, held Feb. 24-27, by telling the independent jobbers and shop owners in attendance, “We intend to become the supplier of choice for the automotive aftermarket.” “It’s not necessarily an easy world out there. It’s up to us to capture the opportunities out there,” he said. “Without creating value for the customers, we’re not successful.” Keynote speaker TaylorMade CEO Mark King explained how his company gained enormous market share — by changing the way it does business. King related how he invited John Hamm, a business adviser, author and entrepreneur to TaylorMade’s offices to learn just how to do it. “What he said to me changed things forever,” King said. “He said you’re going to have to do three things: You’re going to have to evolve the way your leaders lead the company. You’re going to have to change the way your employees interact in their jobs. And, Continued on page 26


Tenneco Expands Monroe Ride & Drive Program, Adds Key Industry Training Events In 2013 MONROE, Mich. – Tenneco has announced plans to attract nearly 10,000 attendees to its 45-stop calendar for 2013. The company also plans to take its Monroe Ride & Drive seminar to several key industry training schools and events, including the VISION Hi-Tech Training Expo in Kansas City, Mo., this March. Now in its 12th year, the Monroe Ride & Drive program was designed to help technicians identify the characteristics and differences of worn versus properly functioning ride control components and to recognize the impact these components have on overall vehicle safety. “We’re proud to continue to offer such a critical educational initiative to the aftermarket,” said Chuck Osgood, manager of train-

ing and sales operations, North American aftermarket, Tenneco. The 2013 Monroe Ride & Drive program also features enhanced curriculum, including key new ride control trends, exclusive training in innovative undercar technologies and the industry’s only hands-on ride and drive training experience, according to Tenneco. The driving experience gives service technicians an opportunity to compare the steering, stopping and stability characteristics of vehicles with worn OE ride control components and new Monroe ride control replacement components. To find out when the Monroe Ride & Drive program will visit your region, visit the “Events” page on to see the most current schedule and to register for an upcoming event.

NPW’s Speed Warehouse Announces New 80,000-Square-Foot Facility in San Jose MIAMI, Fla. – National Performance Warehouse Companies, with five operations in California, has announced it is opening a larger facility in San Jose. Commenting on the expansion, Larry Pacey, company president and CEO, said, “Our business in California continues to grow. As we add new lines and widen and optimize our coverage on current ones, we knew we had to have a larger building that would see us through at least the next three to six years. We feel that providing a large inventory with San Jose as the base, we can service our customers better and quicker.”

BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec – Uni-Select Inc. generated sales of $424.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $436.7 million over the same period in 2011. The company said the 2.8 percent decrease in sales for the quarter was mainly due to a temporary slowdown in the aftermarket, mainly in the Northeast of the United States and Eastern Canada. These negative factors were partially offset by the for reader service

Uni-Select Reports 2012 Fiscal Year Sales Of $1.8 Billion addition of the sales derived from the assets in Florida purchased in the fourth quarter of 2011 and an additional billing day. Sales of U.S. operations totaled $298 million in the fourth quarter, while sales of Canadian operations totaled $126 million. For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2012, sales increased 2.3 percent to $1.821 billion compared to $1.781 billion for the same period of the previous year. 25


Attendees had a chance to make connections on the extensive trade show floor. for reader service

Uni-Select continued from page 24 you’re going to have to evolve the culture of your company if you want to sustain success.” “This is what he said,” King noted. “For 100 years in business in North America, we’ve used a command-and-control leadership model. It’s not bad. It’s the way we’ve run businesses. Someone’s at the top — they’re the leadership team — they create the vision of where we’re going, how we’re going to get there and what your role is. He offered up that the model is really going to be challenged as we move forward, because as leaders, leadership becomes obsolete through the speed of change in the marketplace. Leaders who hang onto that will fail.” King said he asked Hamm how to change the model. “He said, ‘you need to distribute the leadership,’” King added. “You need to push the responsibility for making the company successful off your shoulders and onto as many people as want to get involved.” “Regardless of your industry — if you’re the leader — your No. 1 job is to move the business from where it is today, to where it is in the future,” King said. “And hopefully, you’re successful. It’s only becoming more challenging than before. “ Attendees had a chance to listen to other business leaders during morning sessions. A breakout ses26

March 2013 | Counterman

sion titled “Leadership for Growth,” was lead by former head of training and development for the Hard Rock Café, Jim Knight. Knight said all businesses need to “shift from being product-focused to being customer-obsessed.” “You want people talking about you and you want them coming back,” he said. “Millennials want unpredictability. They want something to happen to them that’s individualized.” One company that’s changed the way everyone thinks of service? Starbucks. They’ve turned what was a simple cup of coffee into an experience that includes exotic names, baristas who write your name on the coffee cup and address you with it, to ergonomic chairs that make you want to stay longer in their stores, Knight said. Creating this kind of experience for customers means hiring the right people, he said. “Hire rock stars, not lipsynchers, to amp up the band,” Knight said. “It’s no longer enough to have experience and tenure in your position. Employees should be in the memorymaking business.” And, avoid three dreaded fourletter words in service: fine, good, okay, he added. Attendees of the conference had a chance to make more connections on the extensive trade show floor. CM for reader service


Fifteen Finalists Named In $125,000 ‘Search For A Champion’ Contest Each finalist will receive a $5,000 Champion racing sponsorship, plus a chance to win the $50,000 grand prize sponsorship package. SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Fifteen grassroots racers representing several different forms of engine-driven competition were selected as finalists in the 2013 “Search for a Champion” racing sponsorship contest, which will award $125,000 in sponsorship cash from Federal-Mogul’s iconic Champion brand of spark plugs, wiper blades and chemical additives. Each finalist will receive a $5,000 Champion sponsorship and a chance to earn the contest’s $50,000 grand prize. Voting for the grand prize sponsorship took place at The finalists were announced at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway by NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and Champion spokesperson Kevin Harvick. More than 160 racers and teams submitted two-minute video entries to the website. More than 81,000 votes were cast by racers, fans and members of the Champion community and final judging was led by Harvick. Harvick was scheduled to announce the $50,000 “Champion’s champion” at 9 a.m. E.T. on April 2. “Each of our finalists did an outstanding job of demonstrating their passion for racing and a commitment to take their skills to the next level in 2013,” Harvick said. “I’m proud to be associated with this innovative contest because Federal-Mogul and the Champion brand are helping to build the next generation of racing superstars.” The 2013 “Search for a Champion” finalists are: Name City/State Vehicle Class/Type for reader service

Kolby Araki Cody Correia Jason Feger Molly Helmuth Ted Hodgdon Jolly Rogers Racing Andy Lieders Tristan Nunez D.J. Osborne Bobby Pierce Carl Rydquist Donnie Steward Tyler Tanner Taylor Toftemark Wes White

Clovis, Calif. Lake Elsinore, CA. Bloomington, Ill. Seattle, Wash. Danbury, Conn. Des Moines, Wash. Colby, Wis. Boca Raton, Fla. Lehi, Utah Oakwood, Ill. Redondo Beach, Calif. West Burlington, Iowa Auburn, Wash. Castle Rock, Wash. Pacoima, Calif.

USAC Sprint Car Motorcycle/Motocross Dirt Late Model Super Late Model Junior Outlaw Kart Jet Sprint Boat Snowmobile/Snocross Prototype Lite Super Late Model Dirt Late Model Attack & Drifting Dirt Winged Sprint Car Straight Rail Late Model Top Alcohol Jr. Dragster Vintage Motorcycle

Federal-Mogul also announced five “Honorable Mention” winners, each of whom will receive a $500 Visa Gift Card. They are: Alex Cognac, Marvin, N.C.; Sierra Jackson, Middleton, Idaho; Nick Lascuola, Abington, Mass.; Jeremy Lowe, Sarasota, Fla.; and Pittbull Motorsports, Bismarck, N.D.


March 2013 | Counterman for reader service for reader service for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

The Forward Visibility Market A chance to sell the humble and often taken-for-granted wiper blade should never be ignored. here’s nothing more dangerous than being stuck in a blinding snowstorm with bad wiper blades and a frozen windshield washer system. In an ideal world, of course, a conscientious lube bay technician should have tested the windshield washers and wipers when the vehicle was last in for service. But, in the real world, testing wipers and washers is often forgotten in when meeting the demands of a tight schedule. The end result is an unhappy motorist caught shopping for new blades at an interstate truck stop or convenience store and replacing them in a cold, windy and usually dark parking lot.


How Wiper Blades Fail Although old, weathered wiper blades can look good to the eye, they often fail because the hardened rubber will no longer conform to the curved windshield. In most cases, the hardened rubber will chatter across the windshield or leave long, wide streaks where the blade doesn’t contact the glass. In other cases, the rubber on the blade can be torn when the wiper is frozen to the windshield. Turning on the wiper will not only tear the rubber away from the wiper blade, but it can also damage the wiper motor and arm assembly. Selling Wiper Blades Preventive maintenance is doubly important because, in most applications, the wiper arms operate in different arcs and modern wiper blades are usually of different lengths. Similarly, the rear wiper blades found on many SUV and hatchback vehicles are made in lengths dependent upon the location of the rear wiper motor. Another issue is the variety of choices available in wipe blade mate32

March 2013 | Counterman

rials and designs. Since standard rubber blades usually require annual replacements, some manufacturers produce premium sili-

that’s rated for use in sub-zero temperatures. Wiper Arm Inspection The condition of the wiper arms and mountings should always be checked when replacing the wiper blades. In most applications, a splined wiper stud connected to the wiper motor linkage drives the wiper arm. Some imports use a nut to retain the wiper arm onto the stud while many domestic vehicles use a spring metal clip or mechanical lock to perform the same function. Next, the wiper arm hold-down

Blades are best sold in pairs and, while we’re at it, let’s not forget the blade located on the rear glass or, in some luxury models, on the headlight assemblies. cone rubber blades that last two or three times as long. In northern climates, “winter blade” assemblies are enclosed in rubber boots to prevent wiper freeze-up in the winter. Winter blades are a mandatory item for many who drive in severe cold weather. As with many parts, wiper blades are best sold in pairs and, while we’re at it, let’s not forget the blade located on the rear glass or, in some luxury models, on the headlight assemblies. Unless price is an issue with the customer, it’s also a good practice to sell premium wiper blades. Last but not least, prevent a disastrous windshield freeze-up for your customer by recommending a washer fluid

spring should keep the wiper blade firmly in contact with the windshield. If the newly installed blades chatter or streak the windshield, weak wiper arm springs are likely at fault. Last, the wiper arm should be straight and in original condition. If the wiper arm is bent or twisted, it should be replaced. Because wiper blades are an ondemand part, any lube bay technician should have an inventory of wiper blade refills on-hand that will cover at least 50 percent of his average workflow. If a shop begins with a basic inventory of the fastest-moving blades, the inventory can be adjusted by replacing the slow-moving SKUs with lost-sale SKUs. CM for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

Engine Mount Review Although engine mounts normally last well over 100,000 miles, they should be inspected if unusually high levels of chassis-borne vibration and noise are present. uring the early 1930s, the Dodge Brothers revolutionized automotive design when they introduced the concept of “floating power” in their line of automobiles. Unlike the magnification effect of metal-tometal engine mounts, the Dodge Brothers’ rubber engine mounts minimized the reciprocating, rotating and crankshaft torsional vibrations produced by a piston engine. The result was a much quieter, smoother-running and longer-lasting automobile.


Engine Mount Failures Unfortunately, the effects of heat, oil and environmental exposure eventually reduce the ability of any rubber engine mount to dampen vibration. In addition, torsional stress tends to separate the mounting rubber from its metal attaching plates, which allows the engine and transmission to shift position in the vehicle’s chassis. During the early days of mechanical clutch and cable throttle linkages, the first indication of worn engine mounts was a continual need to adjust both linkages. Broken engine mounts on any conventional rear-wheel drive chassis are likely to cause the engine-mounted fan to contact the radiator shroud or allow the engine’s exhaust pipes to contact the frame. In contrast, broken engine mounts on modern transversemounted engines aren’t as obvious 34

March 2013 | Counterman

because they are attached to a subframe called an engine “cradle” which, in some cases, is attached to the body by its own set of rubber mounts. In addition, a torque strut located between the engine and the body reinforces the conventional engine mounts by absorbing engine torque. Nevertheless, broken engine mounts or torque struts in transverse engine installations can aggravate a condition known as “torque steer,” in which the vehicle’s steering will pull in one or the other direction as the vehicle accelerates. Last, excessive fore-and-aft movement caused by a broken engine mount or torque strut on a transverse engine installation can cause the exhaust flex pipe located between the engine and catalytic converter to break during acceleration. Types Of Engine Mounts Early engine mounts were manufactured by bonding a rubber pad directly to a top and bottom metal plate. With the advent of more powerful engines during the 1960s, a number of cases of unintended acceleration occurred due to engine torque actually holding the mechanical throttle linkage wide-open when the mounts separated. Since the 1960s, most engine mounts are designed as “captured” mounts that mechanically prevent an engine from rotating in the chassis if the mount separates. Most recently, a few import and

domestic auto manufacturers offer active hydraulic engine mounts in their high-end vehicles. Active hydraulic mounts dampen engine vibration by using electrically controlled orifices operating in a closed chamber filled with a viscous fluid to control engine movement. During lower engine torque loads, both large and small orifices remain open to dampen engine vibrations. During high engine torque loads, the large orifice is closed to better control engine torque. A more leading-edge design contains a magneto-rheological (MR) fluid that increases viscosity when exposed to a magnetic field. As with conventional active engine mounts, the fluid flows through a fixed orifice in a closed chamber. The engine management system then changes the dampening capacity of the engine mount by electronically modifying the magnetic field surrounding the MR fluid. On a more basic level, some aftermarket manufacturers offer captured polyurethane engine mounts designed for high-performance applications. For safety’s sake, polyurethane engine mounts should be recommended for extreme operating conditions such as drag racing or off-road competition. Selling Engine Mounts Although engine mounts normally last well over 100,000 miles, they should be inspected if unusually high levels of chassis-borne vibration and noise are present. Similarly, if the engine exhaust or accessories are rubbing against the frame or sheet metal, suspect a bad engine mount. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Power Steering Sales Depending on usage and mileage, a power steering pump’s shaft bearings or pump mechanism can wear out. ydraulic power steering has been standard equipment on most cars and trucks for many decades, but on many newer vehicles it is being replaced by electric power assisted steering. Electric steering assist eliminates the belt-driven PS pump, hoses and hydraulic fluid to reduce weight, noise and friction. The change also improves fuel economy and allows steering effort and feel to be better tuned to changing driving conditions. But even if hydraulic power steering disappears entirely, there will continue to be a huge aftermarket for replacement PS pumps, hoses and related components.

H for reader service

PS pumps are fairly durable and often last the life of the vehicle. However, depending on usage and mileage, the pump’s shaft bearings and/or pump mechanism can wear out, causing pump noise and/or a loss of steering assist. The pump’s pressure relief valve can also stuck or fail causing a loss of power steering assist. When a PS pump fails as a result of wear or internal damage, metallic debris may pass through the hydraulic lines and damage the power steering unit. Consequently, when a PS pump is being replaced all of the old fluid should be drained from the system and discarded. The hoses and steering gear also should be flushed to remove the contaminants. If this is not done, the new pump may be damaged. Replacement pumps may or may not come with a pulley. If not, the pulley on the old pump must be removed and installed on the new pump. DIY installers should be warned NOT to pound on the pulley or pump shaft as this may damage the pump. The PS system should be refilled 36

March 2013 | Counterman

with the type of fluid specified on the pump reservoir or in the vehicle owners manual. Most vehicles can use a universal PS fluid, but some require special fluids or ATF. Using the wrong fluid may damage the pump or steering unit. Refilling some PS systems can be tricky because air can become trapped in the steering gear. Air will cause noise and erratic steering assist. Rotating the steering wheel slowly from as far as it will go in one direction to its limit in the opposite direction multiple times will usually allow most of the air to escape. In some cases, it may be necessary to use a special vacuum tool to pull the remaining air out of the system. A new drive belt should also be installed when a high-mileage PS pump is replaced. Chances are the old belt will have a lot of miles on it and will be badly worn, glazed or contaminated with oil, grease or PS fluid that leaked out of the old pump. The automatic belt tensioner also should be carefully inspected and replaced if it is sticking, rusty, wobbling, noisy or can’t maintain proper belt tension. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Oxygen Sensors Make Emissions Control Possible bad oxygen sensor is one of the most common reasons for failing an emissions test, according to EPA research. Most oxygen sensors do not have a scheduled service interval and are only replaced if they have failed or are causing a drivability, fuel economy or emissions problem. A bad sensor should set a fault code and turn on the Check Engine light, but sometimes they don’t so the motorist has no way of knowing a sensor may have to be replaced. And even if the Check Engine light is on and there’s an oxygen sensor code, it doesn’t always mean the sensor is bad. Some O2 sensor codes (such as rich or lean codes) can be caused by other conditions such as dirty, leaky or inoperative fuel injectors, air/vacuum leaks, ignition misfires, exhaust leaks and so on. Because of this, accurate diagnosis is important to make sure an oxygen sensor actually needs to be replaced. Many technicians recommend replacing all of the oxygen sensors in a high-mileage vehicle if one of the O2 sensors has failed. If contaminants such as oil or coolant enter the combustion chamber, it can foul any or all of the O2 sensors. The response time of O2 sensors can slow down with age. A sensor also may become biased rich or lean (usually lean), causing a drop in fuel economy and an increase in emissions. Replacing a sluggish or biased O2 sensor will restore likenew performance. Many technicians prefer to in-



March 2013 | Counterman

Many technicians recommend replacing all of the oxygen sensors in a high-mileage vehicle if one of the O2 sensors has failed.

stall “exact fit” replacement sensors because they are faster and easier to install and save the time and trouble of having to cut and slice the sensor harness wiring. Universal fit oxygen sensors are usually less expensive than exact fit O2 sensors, and reduce inventory requirements by allowing fewer SKUs to cover a broader range of applications. But universal fit O2 sensors do require a little more effort to install. Upstream O2 sensors are located in the engine’s exhaust manifold(s) while the downstream O2 sensor is located in or behind the catalytic converter. The upstream O2 sen-

sors monitor the air/fuel mixture oxygen levels coming out of the engine while the downstream sensor monitors the operating efficiency of the catalyst. Replacing an oxygen sensor may be difficult depending on the sensor’s location. Your customer may need a special, deep-well O2 sensor socket to replace the sensor. The threads on most new O2 sensors have a coating to minimize corrosion. A small dab of antiseize can be applied to the threads to prevent sticking, but care must be used to keep the compound away from the sensor tip so it doesn’t foul the new sensor. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Chemicals For Every Purpose he chemical aisle is full of products for all kinds of specialized purposes, and maintenance aerosols are no exception. One of the more popular products in this category is brake cleaner. Available in various formulas, brake cleaner is designed to remove brake dust, dirt, oil, brake fluid and grease from disc and drum brake components. Most leave little or no residue behind on surfaces that have been cleaned. Over the years, brake cleaners have been reformulated to reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and to reduce or eliminate other potentially harmful ingredients. There are chlorinated products, non-chlorinated for reader service



March 2013 | Counterman

products and low-VOC products. Like any chemical product, users should read and follow the directions and heed any precautions or warnings. Because brake cleaner works so well, it is often used as a general purpose degreaser. However, brake cleaner should NOT be used to clean electronics. Recommend an aerosol electronics cleaner for cleaning wiring connectors and mass airflow sensors. Recommend throttle cleaner for cleaning dirty throttle bodies, and carburetor for cleaning carburetors on older vehicles. Make sure the product is safe for throttle bodies that have special coatings as many older Fords do. There are also general purpose de-

greasers for cleaning engine parts. Another popular maintenance product is aerosol penetrating oils. Some of these products contain light viscosity oil that can penetrate and loosen rust on fasteners. The same type of product also can lubricate fastener threads and surfaces that slide or rub to reduce friction and protect against corrosion. The oil in these products repels moisture, as does the silicone in products that are essentially spray on lubricants. As with brake cleaner, aerosol penetrating oils and lubricants are often misused for applications where they are ill-suited, or where there is a better product to use. Spray lubricants should not be used to quiet a noisy drive belt. Use a belt dressing spray for this purpose. CM for reader service


Clutches Get A Workout By Larry Carley

anual clutches are waning in popularity, but are still found in many performance-oriented cars and trucks. The clutch mates the engine with the transmission so engine torque can flow to the drivetrain. The clutch gets quite a workout because it has to be engaged and disengaged every time the vehicle starts, stops and shifts gears. Riding the clutch increases the temperature of the clutch and accelerates wear. As wear increases, the clutch may lose some of its grip and start to slip. A clutch that fails to release or engage may be the result of a misadjusted or broken clutch cable, a linkage problem or a failed hydraulic master or slave cylinder. Replacing any of the three major mechanical clutch components (the pressure plate, clutch disc or release bearing) usually involves quite a bit of disassembly labor. That’s why the pressure plate, clutch disc and release bearing should all be replaced at the same time on high-mileage vehicles. Selling your customer a complete clutch kit guarantees the parts are properly matched. On applications where a pilot bushing is used in the center of the flywheel, the bushing should also be replaced to assure trouble-free and quiet clutch operation. For performance, heavy-duty and hard-use applications, upgrading to a higher temperature metallic/ceramic friction material can improve wear resistance and torque transfer. A higher load capacity pressure plate may also be recommended. CM for reader service



March 2013 | Counterman

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service

Baldwin Filters 20132014 Point Of Sale Program Baldwin Filters recently debuted its 2013-14 Brand Builder Point of Sales Program. This program offers point of sale materials to aid Baldwin distributors in promoting the Baldwin brand and features a fresh new look. The new point of sale elements include colorful graphics that capture Baldwin’s commitment to the heavy-duty market. While the program is designed as a “pick and order” program, convenient prepackaged kits also are available.

55 New Premium Parts Available From SMP’s TechSmart Line Standard Motor Products Inc. (SMP) has expanded its TechSmart line of enhanced engine control products for professional service technicians by adding 55 new premium parts. Highlighting this release are more than 30 new HVAC air door actuators and blend door motors, expanded fuel level sensor coverage for Nissan/Infiniti trucks, plus eight new expansion tank service kits for European applications. TechSmart has also added a knock sensor wiring harness for GM V6/V8 – this application has a very high original replacement rate.

New Severe Duty Chassis Line From Autopart International Autopart International has introduced its new Severe Duty Chassis line. Engineered specifically for trucks, SUVs and commercial use vehicles. The line offers professional technicians improved durability and extended life on ball joints and tie rod ends. Forged from SAE1045 steel, the heat-treated housing has superior structural integrity and durability. The powdered-metal gusher bearings with grease grooves extend product life, and a larger ball socket gives the ball joints added strength. The 160 new Severe Duty Chassis SKUs cover important truck and fleet applications, and complement the more than 3,000 SKUs in the premium chassis line. Autopart International’s Severe Duty and Premium Chassis lines are available at all 218 Autopart International warehouse locations. 43


Eastern Warehouse now can assess how long a driver spends at each stop; ascertain their position on the road; and know if they’ve made an unknown stop. What has the response been from employees? “For the most part, once they embrace it, they love it,” Myers says. “It helps them with their overall efficiency.” Parts Distributors Reduce Fuel Costs, Improve Deliveries With Chris Ortiz, director of operations for Big City Automotive, said they sought out DQ, “to have a greater insight into the actual day-to-day productivity of our delivery syshether a delivery fleet consists of tems and its cost.” five or 500 vehicles, knowing preOrtiz says his company currently uses cisely where each one is at any given time is vital to giving a parts DQ’s map routing, invoice bar-coding and transfer solution routing. “By providing us with prestore or warehouse that competitive edge. But cise information on the results of DQ delivery it’s an almost impossible task to perform withsystems, we are able to develop new and imout a technology partner. proved strategies based on cost/benefit considWe talked to two parts distributors who have erations,” he says. implemented systems from DQ Technologies to How has using DQ Technologies changed the do just that and much more. way Big City Automotive does business? “We John Myers, vice president of information techare now running our company paperless,” Ortiz nology for Eastern Warehouse Distributors, says his operation oversees 300 vehicles that make hot- says. “We’re more efficient in our deliveries and tracking processes, and we also have achieved a shot deliveries all day long out of 28 locations. greater facility in determining and resolving “All deliveries are dynamic. They typically could be for one to four stops. Being able to manage and troubled areas.” In addition, Ortiz says the company has seen monitor the performance of all these vehicles is a 7.5 percent decrease in fuel costs. critical. Our goal is to provide consistent delivery “Not only are our employees very positive in service. Knowing what route and in what order their response to the DQ program and its tools,” drivers travel was unknown without it.” DQ Technologies offers Order Delivery Track- Ortiz says, “they are also very anxiously anticiing or ODT, which assists distributors in stream- pating the implementation of DQ’s newest customer/counterman viewer version. DQ has not lining and maximizing the time drivers spend only dedicated its company to developing a out in the field. Distributors can make use of package that meet our needs, but at a reasonable GPS tracking, signature capture and other tools cost while providing superior tech support.” ■ to make the process almost seamless.

DQ Technologies



March 2013 | Counterman for reader service


LLEN & ALLAN By Allen Markowitz & Allan Gerber

Are you a Counterman or a Professional Counterman? oe works for a local auto parts store. Most days Joe is only 5 to 15 minutes late, unshaven, clothes wrinkled and his personality reflects his appearance. When confronted by his manager he answers “I’m here, better late than never.” After a few minutes and his first coffee Joe finally decides to start working. He answers the phone after six or seven rings in a rushed voice. Joe says, “Right Part Auto.” After a somewhat long pause, he again speaks loudly into the phone, “Right part Auto,” this time there is a reply. He hears, “I need a widget for an ’08 Toyota,” and without giving it much thought or asking for additional information, Joe simply replies, “We don’t have it, can’t help you” and hangs up. Next, Joe decides he will wait on the customer who walked in to purchase brake pads for his Ford pickup. This time, Joe asks basic questions — year, make, model and nothing else. Joe looks on the computer goes in the back and comes back with a set of brake pads. He completes the sale and the customer leaves, and, of course, two hours later this customer is back — wrong pads. Joe again looks up the pads and replies that they should be correct. “Are you giving me the right information?” This is finally sorted out and the customer leaves. The day goes on and similar phone and counter situations happen. Joe is an individual who comes to work for a paycheck with little enthusiasm, answers the phone, waits on customers, does what is asked and no more. Continued on page 54 for reader service



March 2013 | Counterman for reader service


POS SYSTEM FOR PARTS STORES Since 1977 1 Work Station $75/Month 2 Work Stations $100/Month 3 or More Work Stations $125/Month Total cost for software rental and unlimited phone support No contract to sign No additional cost for setting up and training


888-536-1438 ADVERTISE HERE! Tom Staab, Classified Sales Mgr. 330-670.1234 ext. 224 Fax 330.670.0874 •

P.D.Q. Supply Co. Where else can you triple your money? Get your 2013 distributors catalog at (call Mr. Detweiler for code # access)

We only carry high profit items. P.D.Q. Offers: ● Exlcusive products. ● Sales aids and display units at no charge. ● 42 years of experience.

“We’re not just hardware” Call Mr. Detweiler for details and a free 2013 catalog.


Track Talk Inside NASCAR’s Black Box In 1992, General Motors was looking for ways to decrease the number of lower leg injuries to its Indy Car drivers. In the automaker’s research, it was lacking one piece of technology to help them measure the force drivers were subject to in crashes. GM did, however, have a device placed in shipments of expensive equipment going oversees to determine how the cargo was being handled, and track when it was mishandled and by whom. With a few tweaks, such as an increased range of measurement, the company realized these devices could be placed in cars to measure the impact of a crash. That was the beginning of the incident data recorder (IDR), or "black box," in automobile racing. Today, NASCAR supplies each of the cars in its three national racing series with an updated version of that

recorder. In the event of a crash, big or small, NASCAR officials are able to retrieve the data and details of the crash, including the rate of deceleration when the car hits a barrier. According to Tom Gideon, senior director of safety, research and development for NASCAR, the incident data recorder hasn’t failed to collect information on a crash yet. “From 2002 to now, we’ve recorded over 6,000 incidents in the national series,” he said. “All the vehicles in our national series – which include NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Series racecars and trucks – are required to have a crash recorder.” Since 2002, the accident data recorders have ridden along with NASCAR drivers. Teams are responsible only for the aluminum bracket that holds the recorder in place in that car. Before each race, a

team of field investigators places a recorder into that bracket. Once a magnetic sensor inside the box detects it During a race, the “black box” measures the has been acceleration or deceleration of a racecar 10,000 placed into times per second. the car, it goes into a state of readiness. NASCAR also uses these Because the units don't have devices to reconstruct actual an on/off switch, the magnet crashes to improve safety and sensor helps to preserve battery to test new developments. when they aren’t in a car. Technicians are able to take the During a race, the device meas- numbers from a wreck and, ures the acceleration or deceler- using a hydraulic cylinder and ation of the car 10,000 times dummy model, examine the per second. NASCAR officials effects of that identical force on remove the IDRs from the car the body. They have even used after each race, recording infor- these data recorders to test the mation from those in cars Generation-6 car's improved involved in wrecks. roll cage by capturing the Once NASCAR extracts the impact when a car is dropped data from a crash, the num- upside down in the Research bers are then released to the and Development Center parkteam whose car held the ing lot. recorder. Teams use this “We’re at all times looking information to determine for improvements to the car how hard the that we can validate, so that car was hit, when we finally put it in the and whether car, we’re not worried that the impact was maybe we did something big enough to wrong,” Gideon said. cause damage Learn more about the latest to the seat and technological advances in restraints. If NASCAR by visiting the so, the seat – new NASCAR Automotive which can cost Technology Center Engineered up to $12,000 By Mobil 1: – will be fully automotivetechnology. in-spected before being By Kristen Boghosian, replaced or NASCAR.COM repaired.

An incident data recorder, also known as a “black box,” gives NASCAR officials the ability to measure the effects of crashes.

Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook ■


OUNTER-TECH By Mandy Aguilar

It’s Time To Do Your To-Dos emo to all: Multitasking is now required in business. Our computers multitask, our phones multitask, and so, just to keep up with the pace of the tech world today, we better become multitasking super humans. This trend did not happen overnight; but, swiftly in the span of my career, I have seen the change. I never cared for agendas or calendars before. I still remember the days when people carried their leatherbound FranklinCovey agenda into meetings, with all kinds of dividers and inserts for their calendar, notes and to-do lists. The inner free spirit still left in me those days always felt a bit apprehensive of these agenda-carrying drones — what? Can’t they remember simple appointment? Eventually, I too felt the need to find tools to help me keep up with the many tasks thrown my way. As we all know, Father Time keeps on ticking and he caught up with me too. “Time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me,” said the famous 20th century philosophers, Jagger and Richards (heck they’re still around, so maybe now they need to be called famous 21st century philosophers?) So for several years now, I had to drone out and start using the tools of the trade; I just couldn’t hack it with the leatherbound alternatives, so I went with digital tools. Multitasking sounds stressful; and it can be. Surprisingly, I have found that the digital calendar, agendas and to-do tools available today can actually help manage the workload and hopefully reduce stress. In a perverse way, it can even turn it into a powerful motivator. This is especially true of apps that manage to-do lists. I have become a convert and try to list most of the important things I need to do regularly. I never ever kept up with my to-dos when I used to jot them down with good old paper and pen; however, the dawn of to-do apps have turned my efficiency way up and my stress levels way down.

M The dawn of the to-do apps have turned my efficiency way up and my stress levels way down.

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


March 2013 | Counterman

Wunderlist This is the first to-do app that made me drink the Kool-Aid. Like all great apps, this one is free and works all on PC, Mac and mobile platforms. It syncs on the cloud, behind the scenes so that your lists are available on all your computers and phones. There is even a Web-based version of your lists available to you on any computer. The app creators encourage you to create multiple lists to track your to-dos, but to speed up the flow of work, you enter all your to-dos into the “inbox” list and later move them around to their appropriate destination. For example, say you have a list for work, one for things to do at home and one for pending items for your son’s tennis team. You remembered that you had to write a column for a magazine, and at the same time you remembered that you had to order tennis balls from Amazon for the upcoming tournament. You simply enter both of these items in the Wunderlist inbox and later, when you have time, you move them to the respective lists. I have found this to be the most likable aspect of this app. As soon as I remember something, I just jot it down and later, when I’m organizing my inbox, I redistribute the todos accordingly, just like I would with email. The app is full of features to help you work better. It easily allows you to print or email your to-do lists. You can set up reminders that will alert you both on your phone and computer; this makes it one of the most powerful reminder tools out there. You can also add sub-tasks, notes and links to your to-dos, which makes this a great tool for project management and research. Finally, you can share your lists with other Wunderlist users; this is a smooth feature that allows all collaborators to work on the same list and keep it synced and up to date at all times. for reader service

COUNTER-TECH When apps are free, you tend to try more than one. That’s how I recently got into a new app called Any.Do, available for Android and iOS devices. This app also syncs on the cloud and keeps you organized and up to date on all your devices at once. The app has an extremely appealing aesthetic design that makes it very pleasing to use. It has a dictation feature that works like magic; you remember something and just dictate it on the app, and it will turn it into written todos. You can add reminders very easily to stay on track. Just recently they updated the app and added what they call an “Any.Do Moment.” This is an automatic daily routine that, in an almost Zen-like fashion (with Zen soundtrack to set mood), makes you go through all you pending to-

dos and organize your day by resetting priorities and due dates with just a few taps of the screen. Once you’re done, your to-dos will be updated and resorted, and your memory will be boosted to keep track of the things you need to do. The flow of work on this feature is just perfect. I have yet to see any other productivity apps adjust to day to day work flow like this one. The reward of using the app far outweighs its learning curve! So now I’m using both, Any.Do and Wunderlist, regularly. With not preset agenda, I seem to have migrated to Any.Do for my daily, more immediate to-dos, and kept Wunderlist for items that are a bit more long-term, require more research or involve collaboration with my peers. I know that it may sound like too much work, but these two apps really work in uni-

son for me, and perhaps they can do the same for you to. What I value most about using to-do apps is that I have found a way to jot down things right when I remember them. We’ve all been there: you are in a meeting or driving your car, suddenly you remember something you had to do, but you forget to write it down then and there. Soon your brain fizzles and that thing you had to do is filed away in the never-to-remember lobe in the back of your brain. By writing down my to-dos more frequently, I seem to remember more, therefore keeping better todos. Without a doubt, this has helped me manage my time more efficiently, thus allowing me more time to play and goof off. Could it be that this simple change in the way I work has allowed me to actually work less? CM

■ ■ ■

Visit Mandy’s blog:

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




Advance Auto Parts Advics Raybestos brakes Airtex Corp. Automotive Distribution Network Bar’s Products CARQUEST Corp. Centric Parts DEA Products Denso Sales California Inc. DMA Goodpoint DQ Technologies ExxonMobil Federal-Mogul/Champion Spark Plugs Federal-Mogul/Wagner Federal Process Corp. Federated Auto Parts GAAS

Cover 3 19 26, 27 Cover, 20, 21 7 36, 37 1 16, 17 5 Cover 2 12 44, 45 Cover 4 28, 29 10, 11 25 14, 15 47

Gabriel/Arvin Innovation Key Craze KYB Americas Corp. Lisle Corp. NAPA Belden/Echlin NGK Spark Plugs Packard Industries Philips Lighting SAAB Parts North America Schaeffler Group USA Spectra Premium Industries TechSmart Timken Trico Products TYC/Genera Corp. Walker Products WIX Filters

54 3 51 42 53 55 56 24 46 9, 30, 31 39 13 18 33 41 35 22,23


March 2013 | Counterman for reader service

ALLEN & ALLAN Continued from page 46 for reader service

Fortunately, Joe is a fictional person and no professional counterman is like our “Joe.” What is a professional counterman? Certainly not “Joe.” Preparation starts as soon as you wake up and begin getting ready for

work. Before you leave, take a look in the mirror; this is what your customers will see. Are you satisfied? Will they think you are well groomed and appropriately attired? First impressions: remember you do not get a second chance! How you present yourself next helps achieve the desired result, a

profitable sale and a satisfied customer. Do you say “good morning?” And, if you know the customer’s name, use it! Ask all pertinent questions; do not skip any selling steps. If the customer does not have the answer, tell them how they can find it, or better yet, actually assist them. Remember, the more you do to help a customer become a satisfied customer comes back to you tenfold in word-of-mouth referrals. Once the sale has been made simply thank the customer for their business and let them know you will be there the next time they need you. Telephone customers need to be treated the same: Remember how you sound paints a picture of you to the customer. There is actually such a thing as body language over the phone! Answer the phone professionally, “Good morning, Right Part Auto, Steve speaking. How may I help you?” If you have to place a customer on hold ask if it is ok to do so and give an estimated time that you will be able to return to the call. If this is not acceptable, ask if it would be ok for you to call back as soon as you finish with the customer you are helping? Make sure to ask appropriate questions to identify all of the proper parts necessary to complete the job. Once the customer places the order, simply say “thank you, appreciate your business, speak to you again soon.” Yes, we know this takes practice but once customer basics are mastered both you and your company will profit. CM ■ ■ ■

For more information, go to: or e-mail

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.


March 2013 | Counterman for reader service



Be Looking for CSKs ecently on a flight home, I had one of those experiences that moves me to write about it. These epiphanies are usually customer satisfaction related and this would be no exception. In my job I have to travel a fair amount and find myself on airplanes at a fairly regular rate. I don’t have any fancy status on the airlines and at best, have the initial level of status that gets me on the plane a little early. I just want to be clear here that this is a regular old coach experience and pretty mundane.

R for reader service

She quickly stuffed a few napkins at me and moved on.

On this particular trip, I was returning home and had to fly from Memphis to Houston; small jet and only one flight attendant. Our attendant was very friendly and had a great rapport with the customers. When she asked me what kind of soda I would like, she even called me by name. What? How did she know my name? I left this very cramped uncomfortable flight with a very good feeling and it was completely driven by the flight attendant’s attitude. I forgot all about the hard seats and cramped environment. Now, my next leg — into the big bird with decent room and seats. Four flight attendants and breathing room. AHHHHH. Enter the customer satisfaction killer (or CSK): A seasoned flight attendant, barking orders up and down the isle and slamming carts around. It came to me and my seatmate ordered water. As the flight attendant handed the glass to the guy at the window, it spilled into my lap and just missed my computer. (Good thing, because now I can write this). Her comment has not left me yet. “Gosh, I’ve just been dribbling stuff all day. “ She quickly stuffed a few napkins at me and moved on. Not a sorry or any sort of apologetic reaction. I guess as I reflect back on it there is a great business lesson here: Which attendant do you have working for you? All organizations will make mistakes. It’s the way our people handle them that makes the difference. I have learned over my career that empathy is not a teachable skill. It is inherent in our DNA. It is important to keep the people with it in front of our customers and our less-skilled members out of the front lines. Better be on the lookout for CSKs on your team. CM

■ ■ ■

For more information: 56

March 2013 | Counterman for reader service for reader service


Counterman provides professionals at every level of the parts distribution channel (jobbers, retailers and WDs) with the technical and busin...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you