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What’s A MOOC? ● Understanding TPMS ● Let’s Tech Up Our Warehouses

For Jobbers, Retailers & WDs

October 2013 for reader service for reader service


October Volume 31, No. 10

features Tech Features

By Larry Carley


ASE P2 Test Prep .................................................................... Our annual ASE P2 test preparation guide reviews 14 systems that appear on the test. Emissions ................................................................56 Cooling ....................................................................58 Brake ........................................................................60 Automatic transmission..........................................62 A/C ..........................................................................64 Exhaust ....................................................................66 Engine mechanical parts ........................................68 Electrical/electronic systems ................................70 Drivetrain components ..........................................72 Suspension and steering ........................................74 Manual transmission/transaxle ............................76 Ignition system........................................................78 Fuel systems ............................................................80 Battery ....................................................................82

Mechanic Connection

By Gary Goms

90 Engine additives explained. .................................................. 94 Understanding TPMS. ............................................................

Special feature

By Mandy Aguilar

Let’s tech up our warehouses. ..........................................


COUNTERMAN (ISSN 0739-3695) (October 2013 Volume 31, Number 10): 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) 6700874. 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.


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service

columns Editor’s Ink


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

Happy 30th birthday, Counterman.

From The Publisher


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

Wow! I wish I was only 30.



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

Get involved in a MOOC.

Allen & Allan


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

Jobber sales reps and overlooked opportunities.


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

departments 12

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

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


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

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


Aftermarket News ......................................................................................

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




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





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



3550 Embassy Parkway Akron, OH 44333-8318 330-670-1234 FAX 330-670-0874

S. Scott Shriber 330-670-1234, ext. 229 SALES REPRESENTATIVES:

Bill Babcox 330-670-1234, ext. 217


Dean Martin 330-670-1234, ext. 225

October 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


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 for reader service


ACDelco Adds Four Part Numbers To Professional AGM Battery Lineup ACDelco has released four new professional absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery part numbers designed for vehicles that demand greater power, vibration control, longer life expectancy and maintenance-free operation, such as police cars, taxis and ambulances. by maintaining pressure on the plates, which results in a better battery life expectancy ● Eliminates acid stratification, a significant failure mode in flooded products ● Oxygen-hydrogen recombination reduces water loss ● Delivers up to four times more cycle life than standard starting/lighting/ignition batteries ● Higher charge acceptance for quicker recharge ● Lasts longer in demanding applications because it is chargereceptive and high-cycling. ACDelco reminds customers that the procedure for charging AGM batteries is different than charging a conventional battery, and recommends checking the battery charger for an AGM setting. Eligible members of the ACDelco Professional Service Center program offer additional consumer assurance including labor coverage and roadside assistance. For more information about ACDelco’s broad lineup of conventional and AGM batteries, visit CM for reader service

GRAND BLANC, Mich. – ACDelco has released four new Professional absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery part numbers designed for vehicles that demand greater power, vibration control, longer life expectancy and maintenance-free operation, such as police cars, taxis and ambulances. AGM batteries also are designed to support vehicles equipped with start-stop vehicle technology. Three of the part numbers – 34AGM, 65AGM and 78AGM – are current BCI group sizes. Part number LN1AGM is designed to operate equipment on the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV (not the Li-ion battery that stores its propulsion energy). All four part numbers are available for order now. ACDelco states that its Professional AGM batteries leverage the company’s century of trusted battery technology expertise, and carry a 36-month free replacement warranty. Features include: ● Electrolyte is held permanently in the glass mat separator instead of free flowing within each cell, which makes the battery 100 percent leak-proof and spill-proof ● Significantly reduces the loss of active mass attached to the grid 7


DITOR’S INK By Mark Phillips

Happy Birthday, Counterman With that inaugural issue, Counterman became the only publication dedicated to catering to the needs of automotive aftermarket parts professionals.

n October 1983, 30 years ago this month, Counterman magazine made its debut, complete with its now beloved “wizard” cover. It was a great issue. (I mean, what’s not to like about that guy’s wizard getup, right?) With that inaugural issue, Counterman became the only publication dedicated to catering to the needs of automotive aftermarket parts professionals. In that issue, publisher Tom Babcox wrote a column with words that, to me, ring as true now as they did then. “As the final link in the distribution chain, you may be the most important link because you are the sales connection to the customer. Moreover, your expertise makes you invaluable.” Focusing a publication on counter professionals was a huge step in the aftermarket. Proof of this was


seen in the November/December 1983 issue. In several letters, readers told us what they thought of their new magazine. One counterpro wrote, “After my 35 years in this business, you have come up with the best tool for training countermen I have ever seen. Thanks.” Another wrote, “This publication fills the void! I saw myself in at least three articles... “ And another wrote, “How did I get along without it?” What sticks out in my mind after reading the first few issues is that I have taken for granted this magazine exists. (I think you might also.) After all, this magazine was here when I got here at Babcox Media in 2008. It’s not my magazine; I consider myself the steward. It’s actually your magazine (and website and twice-weekly newsletter!) Which brings me to another thought: there are times when the aftermarket takes the counter professional for granted as well. You’ve always been there, right? You always know how to get the right part on the delivery truck or car just in time to make it to the professional technician. That this magazine has made it 30 years is more a testament to you. So, yes, we’re celebrating the magazine’s 30th anniversary, but in a way, we’re celebrating the counter professional. CM

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For more information: for reader service


Magnum Gaskets by MSI Makes Bold Moves imes Change. It’s Time for Magnum Gaskets” has been the introductory slogan for Magnum Gaskets for the past two years. While this slogan is still very true, it has taken on a new meaning as Magnum Gaskets has become an established aftermarket brand from Modern Silicone Technologies (MSI). The focus is now on growth of its product line and supporting its distribution partners. For almost 20 years, MSI (Modern Silicone Technologies Inc.) has been a USA-based supplier of high-tech molded gaskets to major aftermarket brands and OEMs. The introduction of Magnum Gaskets linked MSI directly with the automotive aftermarket. In 2013, Magnum Gaskets’ product portfolio has grown to nearly 1,000 SKUs as part of its continued growth initiative. World-class head gaskets, head sets and head bolts have joined Magnum’s line of premium quality valve cover, oil pan and manifold gaskets. “It’s been a great year,” said Derek Data, Magnum vice president. “We’ve made major inroads in the distribution channel. People recognize our longstanding commitment to quality from our lineage to MSI.” • Under Magnum’s “USA FIRST” policy, more than 90 percent of Magnum Gaskets are designed, manufactured and packaged in the USA. • A new manufacturing plant in Pinellas Park, Fla., more than doubles Magnum’s design, manufacturing and packaging space. • New distribution centers were opened in Azusa, Calif., and Mississauga, Canada. • Ongoing online training programs are tailored for both installers and counter people. Certificates


and Magnum gear are awarded to graduates through • Magnum has addressed the diesel market by adding 99 new individually boxed heavy-duty gaskets and seals for popular Class 4 to Class 8 diesel trucks. Coverage includes Dodge/Ram Cummins, Ford Powerstroke, GM Duramax, Navistar DT466, Cat C7 & C9, Detroit Diesel Series 60 and Cummins ISX. • New Magnum Performance Gaskets are now available in branded skin packs, featuring advanced materials and designs for Chevy SB, BB and GM LS motors plus popular Ford and Chrysler applications.

See Magnum Gaskets at AAPEX booth No. 1081 from November 5-7 in Las Vegas or click


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service

Track Talk Where There’s a Weld, There’s a Way NASCAR racecars require hundreds of welds – and every single one of them has to be perfect. At 200 miles per hour and around every corner, racecars are pushed to their very limits. They have to be strong for safety, but light for performance. The cars built at Stewart Haas Racing are no exception. Back at the shop, master fabricators like Daniel Smith spend hours making sure every weld is just right. For Smith, simply put, it’s his passion. “I’ve always wanted to weld,” said Smith, a native of Concord, N.C., born and raised in the heart of motorsports country. After graduating from NASCAR Technical Institute

and 5 Off 5 On Pit Crew U in 2004, 19-year-old Smith landed a full-time position at what was then Haas CNC Racing. Being a typical adventurous teen, Smith quickly earned the nickname “Danger” among his peers at the shop, but that didn’t stop him from putting in long hours of hard work and sacrifice to perfect his craft. “In the beginning, I spent a lot of time in the shop,” Smith reminisced. “I would stay after work on my own time to pick up pointers from other welders. I was welding anything and everything I could get my hands on in the shop.” Smith began his racing career in the teardown department, but soon earned a promotion to the fab shop. Today, the 29-year-old veteran juggles both pit crew and shop duties. “On Sundays, I go over-the-wall as the rear tire changer on the No. 14,” explained Smith. “On Monday mornings at 7 a.m. sharp, I’m back at the shop, welding and building suspension pieces, upper control arms, oil tanks, spindles, and exhaust pipes.”

Smith’s day job is critical. About 95 percent of NASCAR racecars are TIG-welded by hand. Long before the racecar hits the track, welding and fabrication consume roughly 950 man hours on each racecar back at the shop. Lincoln Electric, which has provided Stewart Haas Racing with welding machines, consumables and apparel since 2008, says welding plays an important role in NASCAR keeping drivers safe first and foremost. “Critical components such as the roll cage, seat and chassis need to withstand forceful impacts at speeds of more than 200 mph,” said Mickey Holmes, sports marketing manager for Lincoln Electric. “Quality welds help achieve this.” Most welds join intersecting tubes that make up the frame and roll cage. These components are fabricated from mild steel, which allows the racecar to absorb the forces of a crash in a bendbefore-break mode. When drivers often walk away from high-speed crashes unhurt, it can be attributed to overall safety improvements in the chassis design – and weld quality. Smith works with a variety of Lincoln equipment at the

shop, including Invertec V311T AC/DC, Precision TIG375, Invertec V205-T AC/DC, Power MIG 350MP, Power MIG 256, and Power MIG 180Cs. The team’s transports (or “crash carts” as they’re commonly called) are equipped with Power MIG 180Cs and Invertec V205s. “The welding technology is really amazing,” said Smith. “They’re solid machines. You can kind of get spoiled working with all the nice equipment at the shop.” Smith understands if a part breaks on the track, it cannot break at the weld. He knows the importance of a sound weld, and that a driver's life is on the line. “My standards are a little higher from working in NASCAR – the welds have to look nice and be clean and sound,” said Smith. “The steering shaft has to hold up at every turn. Holding all of the suspension components together is very vital in racing.” By Kimberly Hyde, NASCAR

Double-duty: Daniel Smith is a welder/fabricator at Stewart Haas Racing and rear tire changer on the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. Do you have a passion for welding, too? Start your project today with help from Lincoln Electric at Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook ■ for reader service






When a customer needs a referral, we can provide a list of local shops in the program for them to choose from.*

When a customer needs a shop, they can find it easily at by clicking on “Find A Repair Shop”.

*Commercial customers must meet referral program qualifica qualification tion requirements to be listed on shop referral list. Contact your Commercial Sales Mana Manager ger or visit for qualifica qualification tion details. All photogra photographic, phic, cclerical, lerical, typogra typographical phical and print








4 5


2. Picture of your shop 3. Map to your shop 4. Shop Hours 5. Services Performed 6. Languages Spoken 7. Vehicles Serviced 8. Certifications & Affiliations




A eferral prog ram, Ass a member of our shop rreferral program, you can easily cr eate coupons to attr act create attract even mor moree customers to your shop shop..

JOIN TTODAY ODA AY AT AT AUT AUTOZONEPRO.COM OZONEPRO.COM - IT IT’S ’S EASY EASY!! 1. Log in to 2. Under Under ““My My S Shop hop PPreferences” references” clic clickk on ““Manage Manage R Referral eferral PProfile” rofile” 3. C Create reate your shop profile Ask your Commer Commercial rccial Sales Ma Manager anager for mor more re infor information. rmation. m

ting errors are subject to correction. © 2013 AutoZone, Inc. All rights reser reserved. ved. AutoZone and AutoZone & Design are registered marks and Going the Extra Mile is a mark of AutoZone PParts, arts, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective holders. for reader service

AFTERMARKET NEWS AIA to Hold 25th Annual

Import Product And Marketing Awards Program for reader service

The Auto International Association (AIA) a segment of AAIA will present its 25th annual AIA Import Product and Marketing Awards Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. during AAPEX at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. The awards recognize manufacturers and marketers for excellence in products, packaging, websites, catalogs and marketing/advertising programs for import cars or trucks. Registrants listed by categories at press time include: ● Best Overall Import Aftermarket Product: DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc., Eurostar Industries Inc./Hamburg-Technic USA, Global Parts Distributors, GMB North America Inc., KYB Americas Corp., MAHLE Clevite Inc., Nitoma Inc. ● Best New Product for Import Cars or Trucks: AISIN World Corp. of America, Atlantic Automotive Enterprises LLC, Dayco Products LLC, DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc., Direct Market Access Inc., MAHLE Clevite Inc., ZF Services LLC. ● Best Merchandising/Advertising of a Product for Import Cars or Trucks: CTEK Power Inc., DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc., Direct Market Access Inc., KYB Americas Corp., Philips Automotive Lighting, ZF Services LLC. ● Best New Packaging of a Product for Import Cars or Trucks: Beck/Arnley, Direct Market Access Inc., Philips Automotive Lighting, ZF Services LLC. Continued on page 24


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

Last Month’s Correct Answer:


Scion iQ Congrats to Debby Bates, Kenner, La.

See more news on page 24 for reader service for reader service



Wow, I Wish I Was Only 30! his issue marks our 30th anniversary. Yes, 30 years ago in October we launched the very first Counterman magazine. For 30 years, we have watched, reported and written about the view from the automotive aftermarket parts counter. Over the years, many trends have come and gone. Things have changed! Thirty-five years ago, I was working at the counter of my family’s parts store. I was young, inexperienced, and of course, I thought I knew it all. It goes with the age group. If you have teenagers, you know what I am talking about. Back then, you really had to dig for information. Cross references and application guides were our tools, along with a rack of catalogs as long as a small car. The counter was about 10 feet from the door and, with the catalog rack on it, you felt like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. Today, (thankfully) things have changed. Stores are bright and parts are displayed where customers can look, touch and read about them. Catalogs are electronic and have 3D images, part attributes and lengthy descriptions. A counterperson can be more effective, and the customer wins. One thing that has not changed is the importance that the counterperson plays

T Recent survey data shows that counterpeople influence DIY parts decisions more than 80 percent of the time and DIFM parts fill more than 70 percent of the time.

in this industry. Counterpeople are responsible for getting the right part to those who need it. Regardless if it’s a DIYer or a DIFM customer, the person behind the counter decides on the right fit and brand for that part consumer. Recent survey data shows that counterpeople influence DIY parts decisions more than 80 percent of the time, and DIFM parts fill more than 70 percent of the time. It is imperative today that you have the right training and knowledge to serve this critical function. We here at Counterman understand and highly regard the counterperson position. As a counterperson, you should constantly try to expand your knowledge base and improve your ability to function in that role. One of the ways you can improve your standing is to become ASE certified. ASE parts certification (P2) is designed to ensure that counter professionals are educated and informed on the vast array of subjects they may encounter during their day. Holding a P2 certification makes you a true counter professional and shows your customers that you are there to serve them in the best way possible. I urge you to check out our ASE P2 test preparation guide in this month’s issue. Then head on over to, get registered and take the challenge. CM

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October 2013 | Counterman for reader service for reader service

Over the Counter By Jerry King


Federated Extends Sponsorship Of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race At Richmond International Raceway STAUNTON, Va. – Federated announced it has extended its sponsorship agreement with Richmond International Raceway (RIR) to continue the NASCAR Sprint (Front Row, L to R): Willie B., Two Cup Federated Guys Garage; Rusty Bishop; Sam Auto Parts 400 for Bass; Frank Stoddard, team owner, FAS Lane Racing; Kenny Schrader; several more years. “All of us at FedDennis Bickmeier, president, RIR; erated Auto Parts Kevin Byrd, Two Guys Garage are proud to extend our relationship with Richmond International Raceway and its premier spot on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule,” said Rusty Bishop, CEO of Federated Auto Parts. “Our members and their customers love the fun-filled activities and hospitality at RIR, providing our partners with lasting memories.” Import Product continued from page 16 for reader service

● Best New Catalog of a Product Line for Import Cars or Trucks: AISIN World Corp. of America, DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc., KYB Americas


October 2013 | Counterman

Corp., Permatex, Walker Products, Inc., Wells Vehicle Electronics, ZF Services LLC. ● Best Website Presentation of a Product Line for Import Cars or Trucks: AISIN World Corp. of America, DENSO Products and

Services Americas Inc., ZF Services LLC. Visit the AIA Import Product Awards display area at AAPEX, Level 1 Sands Expo Center, located adjacent the AIA Booth/Lounge No. 9700. for reader service


Exciting Racing And Hospitality Highlight Federated 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Weekend STAUNTON, Va. – More than 2,000 Federated members and customers enjoyed a great day of hospitality and action-packed racing at the annual Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). Along with the near-capacity crowd at RIR, more than 5 million viewers watched on ABC as Carl Edwards took the checkered flag to win this year’s Federated 400. “We want to thank our customers, members and manufacturing partners for being part of such an eventful Federated 400 race weekend,” said J.R. Bishop, motorsports and event marketing director for Federated. “Several of our members were so thrilled with the weekend activities, they are already beginning to plan for next year’s race.” Prior to the start of the race, Federated manufacturing partners conducted a booth show for Federated members and customers and Federated spokesperson Kenny

Schrader, along with Kevin Byrd and Willie B., the hosts of “Two Guys Garage,” were on-hand all weekend mingling with Federated guests. Noted NASCAR figures Danica Patrick, Ryan Newman, Kyle Petty, Frankie Stoddard and Sam Bass also made visits to the Federated hospitality area. “I want to personally thank Kenny Schrader for spending race weekend with us again this year and Kevin and Willie B. for joining us for the first time. All three represent Federated really well and everyone enjoyed spending time with them,” said Bishop. “A big ‘thank you’ to all the NASCAR folks for stopping by before the race and visiting with our guests. They helped make the Federated 400 even more fun and memorable.” Federated recently announced it will continue for several more years as the sponsor of the Federated Auto Parts 400 and Official Auto Parts Supplier of RIR.

Centric Parts Expands Friction Research Program INDUSTRY, Calif. – Centric Parts is expanding its research and development program by naming noted friction expert Dr. Poh Wah Lee, PhD, to the newly created position of director of friction materials sciences. Dr. Lee, a preeminent researcher focused on copper-free formulations, will lead the ongoing development of Centric’s friction program. “The entire industry is facing changing regulations based on increased environmental concerns about the use of copper in automotive friction formulations. Dr. Lee is uniquely qualified to spearhead Centric’s research into developing environmentally-friendly and sustainable alternatives,” said Centric Parts President Dan Lelchuk. “His unique expertise will be a great asset to the Centric Parts team, and will further enhance our research and development capabilities.” Having earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Southern Illinois University (SIU), Lee comes to Centric following 15 years of research work at that university’s Center for Advanced Friction Studies. 26

October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


WIX Announces Top 20 Schools for reader service

WIX Filters and O’Reilly Auto Parts, partners with Tomorrow’s Tech as title sponsors for the 2013 “School of the Year” competition, have announced the Top 20 schools selected as finalists, from nearly 160 entrants in the U.S. “This year’s nominations are a reminder that technical schools across the U.S. continue to embrace automotive training as part of their curriculum,” said Mike Harvey, brand manager for WIX Filters. The Top 20 schools are: Region 1 ● Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School – Marlboro, Mass. ● Elizabethtown Technical and Community College – Elizabethtown, Ky. ● Lincoln College of Technology – Columbia, Md.


October 2013 | Counterman

● Windham Technical High School – Willimantic, Conn. ● Lakewood High School – Lakewood, Ohio ● Sinclair Community College – Dayton, Ohio Region 2 ● Lincoln College of Technology – Indianapolis, Ind. ● Hoffman Estates High School – Hoffman Estates, Ill. ● Northwest Iowa Community College – Sheldon, Iowa ● Baker College – Flint, Mich. ● Fox Valley Technical College – Appleton, Wis. Region 3 ● San Jacinto College – Pasadena, Texas ● R.L. Turner Automotive Technol-

ogy – Carrollton, Texas ● Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center – Choctaw, Okla. ● Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute – Forrest City, Ark. ● Southeast Community College – Milford, Neb. Region 4 ● Salt Lake Community College – Salt Lake City, Utah ● Rio Hondo College – Whittier, Calif. ● Westwood College – Denver, Colo. ● Pocatello High School – Pocatello, Idaho “Babcox and Tomorrow’s Tech share O’Reilly Auto Parts and WIX Filters’ support to dedicated students vying to be the future leaders in this industry,” said Jeff Stankard, publisher of Tomorrow’s Tech, a Babcox Media publication for automotive students.


Built-From-Scratch Eco-Car Wins AutoZone’s ‘Show It Off, America’ Contest for reader service

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – AutoZone has announced the winners of its “Show It Off, America” social media contest, which recognized the best do-it-yourself (DIY) automotive projects in the country. A group of students from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind., led by parent volunteers, were named the grand prize winner for their “eco-car” creation. The group received a Duralast 392-piece tool cabinet, valued at $2,500, and will participate in activities this year that showcase the winning vehicle. To enter, participants were asked to upload an image of their most impressive DIY automotive project and submit a brief description of their efforts. Entries were judged on the basis of project difficulty, creativity, outcome and fan votes. The one-person eco-car was built entirely from scratch. It features an aluminum tube frame, carbon fiber body and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, and is powered by a 50cc fuel-injected gasoline engine. It took the team of students 10 months to complete their project, often getting parts and advice from their local AutoZone store. “We’re honored to be recognized by AutoZone for the eco-car our students built,” said Robert Neisen, one of the project advisers. The small vehicle is able to carry one adult-sized person and a suitcase. The ultra-fuel-efficient car is able to get 849 miles per gallon and set a new record in this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition, surpassing last year’s efficiency record of 238 miles per gallon. “There are growing numbers of Americans taking auto repairs, maintenance and even rebuilds into their own hands,” said Tom Newbern, senior vice president, store operations and store development customer satisfaction, at AutoZone. “Show It Off, America celebrates DIY car enthusiasts from across the country that came out from ‘under the hood’ to share their projects with others.” AutoZone also recognized this year’s contest runner-up and winner of $1,000 cash prize, as well as the remaining finalists, each of whom received an AutoZone gift card that can be used for future DIY projects. Finalists include: ● Second place — Matthew Theriot; customized 1974 Volkswagen Beetle (Marrero, La.) ● Finalist — Mark Fulsom; restored 1969 Camaro (Houston, Texas) ● Finalist — Michael Doscher; transformed 1990 300ZX (Boca Raton, Fla.) ● Finalist — Jim Kious; reconstructed 1921 Model T Ford Speedster (Columbia, Mo.) ● Finalist — Darren Simmons; upgraded 1969 GTO Pontiac (Tacoma, Wash.) ● Finalist — Joseph Maslonka; 1969 GMC SWB\nLT1 350 rebuild (Junction City, Kan.) ● Finalist — Dion Chaney; reconditioned 1990 Silverado 30

October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


AutoZone Reports 17-Week FourthQuarter Sales Of $3.1 Billion MEMPHIS, Tenn. – AutoZone has reported net sales of $3.1 billion for its fourth quarter (17 weeks) ended Aug. 31, 2013, an increase of 12 percent from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 (16 weeks). Excluding sales from the additional week included in this year’s quarter, sales were up 5.6 percent. Domestic same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 1 percent for the quarter. Net income for the quarter increased $47.5 million, or 14.7 percent, over the same period last year to $371.2 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 23.2 percent to $10.42 per share from $8.46 per share in the year-ago quarter. Excluding the additional week, net income for the quarter

increased 7.4 percent over the previous year’s quarter to $347.8 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 15.4 percent to $9.76 per share. For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 51.8 percent (versus 51.8 percent for last year’s quarter). While flat for the quarter, lower acquisition costs led to gross margin enhancements, which were offset in part by the inclusion of the recent acquisition of AutoAnything (40 bps). Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 31.3 percent (versus 31.6 percent last year). The decrease in operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, was due to leverage gained on the 17th week of sales.

National Performance Warehouse

Announces Inaugural Trade Show In Canada; New Venue In Florida for reader service

MIAMI, Fla. – National Performance Warehouse (NPW), which for years now has produced two major trade shows annually, has announced it will host a third show starting this spring at the Toronto International Convention Center, near the Toronto Airport. This new show carries a name similar to NPW’s annual show in California. The new Canadian show will be called the KARS Expo, and will run Saturday and Sunday March 22-23, 2014. The show is being produced in conjunction with the annual MegaSpeed Custom Car Show, which draws upward of 30,000 attendees each year. NPW is known for bringing manufacturers, jobbers, technicians and enthusiasts together in one venue to expand product knowledge and create new selling and buying opportunities for its suppliers and customers. In addition to the new Canadian show, the South Florida FAST Expo is moving to a new home at the Miami Airport Convention Center. Commenting on these changes, NPW President and CEO Larry Pacey said, “We liked our event in Ft. Lauderdale but we felt this new location would give our customers better and quicker access, and for our vendors, it is right at Miami International Airport. It is a great facility and we are excited about the chance to make the show look and feel different.” NPW also produces the CARS Expo in San Jose, Calif., at the Santa Clara Convention Center. This show will be held Sunday, April 13, 2014. This year, the CARS Expo will take up the entire convention center for expanded booth and vehicle exhibits. The National Performance Warehouse Companies operates nine facilities in the U.S. and one in Canada.


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


National Pronto Association Donates $100,000 To University Of The Aftermarket Foundation BETHESDA, Md. – The University of the Aftermarket Foundation extends sincere thanks to National Pronto Association for its recent contribution of $100,000 to help ed-

ucate those who have the drive to pursue a career in the automotive aftermarket. “It is important to our members and vendors that we get involved

and support the efforts of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation,” said Bill Maggs, president of National Pronto Association. Maggs will serve as National Pronto’s representative on the University of the Aftermarket Foundation board of trustees. “We very much appreciate the generous contribution from National Pronto Association and welcome them as a lifetime trustee,” said John Washbish, secretary of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. “Bill Maggs will be an excellent addition to our board of trustees because he shares our commitment to making sure educational opportunities are available to talented individuals who seek a career in our industry.”

Motorcraft Distributor Paul MacHenry Co. Chooses Autopart From MAM Software for reader service

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – MAM Software Inc. has announced that Paul MacHenry & Co., a major Motorcraft distributor in the U.S., has chosen MAM’s Autopart business management software for the automotive aftermarket. Paul MacHenry will implement the solution at three facilities in the Northeastern U.S. to streamline processes, improve efficiency and enhance customer service. According to MAM, Autopart is a versatile business management solution that seamlessly integrates all sales, inventory management, warehouse management, accounting and reporting processes. The software coordinates, organizes and integrates everything from quote preparation and stock management to accounting and database management. “We knew it was time to upgrade our software system if we were going to continue to grow as a company,” said Skip MacHenry, vice president of Paul MacHenry & Co.


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


NHRA Announces CARQUEST Auto Parts As Title Sponsor Of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Event In Phoenix for reader service

GLENDORA, Calif. – CARQUEST Auto Parts has signed an agreement to become title rights sponsor of the second stop in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix. “We are excited to return to NHRA Drag Racing by sponsoring the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at the new Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park,” said Ken Bush, senior vice president of merchandising and marketing, CARQUEST Auto Parts. “Phoenix is a great market for us and we are looking forward to working with the new management team at the facility and hosting a great NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.” Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, previously known as Firebird International Raceway, is managed by Copper Train Development Partners, which is headed by Paul Clayton and Darren Smith. Dick Hahne has been hired by the group to oversee operations. The multi-


October 2013 | Counterman

purpose facility is owned by the Gila River Indian Community. “Bringing on CARQUEST Auto Parts to help promote our first NHRA Mello Yello event as the management team of Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park is great

news,” said Hahne, track president, Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. “We look forward to working together to develop strong activation programs through Arizona and make the stop here in Phoenix among the best on the circuit.”

Bosch Announces Nationwide Distribution Partnership With Myers Tire Supply WARREN, Mich. – Bosch Automotive Service Solutions has announced a nationwide distribution partnership with Myers Tire Supply to carry Bosch Wheel Service equipment. Bosch will offer a full line of wheel balancers, tire changers and brake lathes through Myers’ nationwide distribution network of more than 160 sales professionals. “This new distribution partnership helps us provide end-users with the quality they expect from Bosch in another area of their shop,” said Ed Prange, vice president independent aftermarket Americas, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. “Introducing the

Wheel Service line via a trusted, established partner like Myers Tire Supply is a huge step in quickly setting Bosch Wheel Service equipment as the leader in the market.” Through Myers, Bosch will offer dozens of wheel and tire service tools and machines, including the following exclusive products: ● WBE 4200 LED balancer equipped with innovative programs including EASY FIX auto measuring system and auto wheel weight selection, as well as ADF auto detection function for weight positioning; ● WBE 4400 LED balancer with Digital Display. for reader service


The Network Appoints New Members To Its National Jobber, Service Dealer Advisory Councils for reader service

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — The Automotive Distribution Network recently named new members to its National Jobber Advisory Council (NJAC) and Service Dealer Advisory Council (NSDAC), according to Mike Lambert, president of the Network. “The NJAC and NDSAC meet together along with representatives of the Network Headquarters staff to provide invaluable feedback, so that our group’s programs continue to evolve to meet the needs of our affiliates at the street level,” Lambert said. “The councils represent a crosssection of the Network’s jobbers and service dealers nationwide, from towns big and small, offering unique insight into their local markets.”


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Edward Harake, owner of Value Plus Auto Parts Wholesale in Garden City, Mich., joins Romeo Soto of San Antonio-based Poppe Automotive Warehouse as the latest additions to the NJAC. The NSDAC welcomes Kelly Anderson, owner of Grace, Idaho-based APLUS Automotive; Tucson-based Integrity Automotive’s Julee Baxley; Cincinnati-based Protech Autocare owner Bill Baxter; Ron Comfort Jr., owner of C & W Imports in Lancaster, Pa.; and Drellishak’s Service owner Frank Drellishak out of Rocky River, Ohio. As part of their joint meetings held in different areas of the country, the councils also tour the nearby facilities of a local Network

manufacturer partner and discuss the vendor’s products and services with key management.

Women's Industry Network (WIN) Kicks Off 2014 Membership Drive With Tablet Sweepstakes The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) has announced the kick-off of its 2014 Membership Drive with three separate sweepstakes: one for new members; one for renewing members; and one for referring members. Everyone who joins or renews their membership before Dec. 31 will be eligible to win a new tablet. To join, go to for reader service


MSD Performance Initiates Voluntary Chapter 11 Process To Complete An Orderly Sale From Engine Builder for reader service

MSD Performance Inc. (MSDP) announced that to address liquidity needs and facilitate a restructuring, the company and its U.S. subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The filing does not include the company’s non-U.S. entities. MSDP has determined that the best way to preserve value for its stakeholders is through an orderly sale of substantially all of its assets. To ensure the most efficient sales process possible and to optimize the potential results for all parties, the company has decided to execute

this sale process under the protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Through the Chapter 11 filing, MSDP seeks to preserve continuity, to the greatest extent possible, for

its customers, employees and business partners while it continues discussions with potential buyers to secure the highest and best outcome for its businesses.

Brad Averkamp From PPG Refinish Recognized As The Arnold Group Rep Of The Year For 2012 SPENCER, Iowa – Arnold Motor Supply and the Auto Value Parts Stores of Nebraska and Iowa have recognized Brad Averkamp, commercial territory manager from PPG Refinish, as the 2012 Manufacturer’s Rep of the Year for The Arnold Group. The award was presented to Averkamp at the company’s VIP Golf Outing held in Spencer, Iowa, on Sept. 5. The award recognizes the top manufacturer’s representative calling on the Arnold Group.

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Mighty Auto Parts Announces Fall Promotions NORCROSS, Ga. – Mighty Auto Parts has announced the launch of its fall consumer rebate program that offers Mighty franchisees a way to provide savings and build customer loyalty at participating automotive service locations. The program, which runs Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, sends consumers a check in the mail following the purchase of select Mighty services to be used on their next visit to the same servicing location. The select Mighty services included in the program are brake pad replacement, brake rotor replacement, wiper blade replacement, fuel system cleaning, power steering cleaning and differential service. Incentive checks for each service can range from $5 to $15. In addition, Mighty will provide marketing support in the form of new point of purchase materials to participating franchisees. For more information, visit

TRICO Names New CEO ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – Trico Products Corp. has announced that Luis “Lou” Braga has joined the company as president and CEO. Braga comes to TRICO from another Kohlberg company, Pittsburgh Glass Works, where he was vice president and general manager of the Auto-OEM business unit. Braga has 32 years of strategic management experience in the automotive and industrial business markets, including time spent as vice president and general manager of Stant USA Corp.; group president of Tomkins Automotive Fluid Systems; president of the Gates Fluid Power Division; and president of Gates Unitta Corp. in Japan. “I’d like to thank the TRICO Board of Directors for the opportunity to work with another Kohlberg company,” said Braga. “I’m looking forward to a seamless transition in bringing my global experience to the TRICO family as we continue to grow the business and fortify customer relationships.”

Polk Offers First VIO Forecast To Integrate ACES Catalog Coding for reader service

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Polk’s new Vehicles in Operation (VIO) Forecast provides one of the most detailed looks at which U.S. light vehicles will be on the road over a five-year period, giving users a better guide to product lifecycle planning and inventory management. Built on a five-year forecast of U.S. light Vehicles in Operation, Polk’s VIO Forecast includes vehicles currently on the road and those set to launch within five years. It also is the first forecast to include ACES cataloging codes allowing for accurate planning of future replacement parts demand, according to Polk.


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Autologue Computer Systems Unveils New Mobile Apps for reader service

BUENA PARK, Calif. – Autologue Computer Systems has announced the release of two new products, ePart Mobile and eSalesBI for smartphones and tablets (Android and Apple). ePart Mobile now gives customers the ability to locate parts and pricing from “under the hood” while working on a vehicle. Service writers and professional technicians can simply scan the VIN code to populate year, make and model to more precisely access pricing, availability and pictures of the part on a smartphone or tablet. Customers also will be able to view delivery times and see signed invoices sent from the eDelivery Mobile app, which is used when the driver delivered the parts, which were simply signed for with a fingertip, on the device. This mobile app also gives the technician the ability to use all the ePart functions such as: ● Stock check and inquiry ● Stock order – replenish inventory ● Non-catalog parts and accessories and tools ● Body parts catalog, with images ● See all parts previously ordered


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● Reconcile statements and view signed invoices ● See credits for cores, warranty returns and stock returns ● Store parts lists by vehicle for fleet accounts All the features of ePart are available wherever you are, whenever you want it. Images, specifications, prices and availability are at your, and your customer’s, fingertips any time, says Autologue. Even more exciting, according to Autologue, is the eSalesBI mobile app. This new app will revolutionize the way outside sales teams, personnel and management interact with customers. Imagine giving each outside salesperson all the information he or she needs about a customer before going in to make a sales call. What lines are your customers stocking? Not stocking? What are his return rates? Are sales trending upward or downward? How valuable would it be to know how each customer’s purchases stack up against the sales for the entire company? For example, you know that a particular line or category produces a high percentage of volume, wouldn’t you like to know which customers are not supporting that line, or, perhaps more importantly, that your salesperson knows this before he makes his next call? All of this data will be available at your salesperson’s fingertips and tied directly to their appointment calendar. eSalesBI has a complete contact management module; it includes appointment scheduling, call reporting and a calendar. There will also be customer notes, action items, alerts and promotions. Users can monitor and measure the productivity of an entire sales team. In addition, users can track a customer’s progress after the salesperson’s presentation. This is CRM at its best, according to Autologue. Ever wonder if your message is getting to your customers and when? With SalesBI you won’t be wondering any more. Access to eSalesBI is controlled by log-in, so only information you determine an individual should see will be available to them. Screens are customizable so the correct information can be displayed for each different user. Interactive, graphical “dashboards” allow users to monitor customers in an instant. The interactive “dashboard” can be used for all types of sales data: core eligibility, returns analysis, sales analysis, complete with alerts and notifications. In addition to mobile device availability, the dashboard also will be available on any system with a data warehouse data feed. For more information, contact Autologue at 800-722-1113 or visit

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service Standard Motor Products Offers 388 New Parts For Standard And Intermotor Standard Motor Products has added 388 new part numbers to its Standard brand and Intermotor line of genuine import parts. This line expansion features more than 150 new switches including multi-function, combination, cruise control, hazard warning, power seat memory, torque converter lock-up and more, covering greater than 78 million additional VIO. SMP has also added significant coverage for cloneable TPMS sensors, airbag clocksprings, camshaft and crankshaft sensors, ABS speed sensors, exhaust gas temperature sensors, EGR control solenoids, ignition coils and power door lock actuators. For additional information, contact an SMP sales representative or visit and

Stock Up On Rislone Water Remover Fuel Dryer To Meet Winter Demand Be prepared for seasonal winter demand by stocking up now on Water Remover Fuel Dryer, the new super-concentrated product from Rislone. When used regularly throughout the year, Rislone Water Remover Fuel Dryer (P/N 4735) eliminates water from the fuel system to prevent rust and corrosion. As temperatures turn colder, it can also prevent customers from being stranded with frozen fuel lines. Since water is heavier than gasoline, it naturally pools at the bottom of the fuel tank. Rislone Water Remover Fuel Dryer is designed to sink into the water, absorbing it so it can be burned off in the engine. The additive works with all fuels, including gasoline, diesel, E10, E15 and E85. It is compatible with two-cycle and four-cycle engines and is safe to use in fuel-injected, turbo, direct-injected and carbureted engines. One six-ounce, concentrated bottle treats up to 20 gallons of fuel.

All-New ANCO Profile Wipers The all-new line of ANCO Profile beam blades combines best-in-class performance with an exclusive low-profile connector system that covers more than 98 percent of vehicles with just 12 SKUs. Each Profile blade also features the ANCO brand’s patented Articulated Contact Technology, which permits unrestricted flexing for more uniform pressure distribution and improved conformance to curved windshields. ANCO is the official wiper blade of the National Hockey League.

TechSmart Tech Session Videos Help Solve Repair Issues Standard Motor Products Inc. has released a TechSmart Tech Session that features the TechSmart line of expansion tank service kits, providing useful information for this growing product category. TechSmart Expansion Tank Service Kits provide the expansion tank, oil cooler thermostat and coolant level sensor to replace the damaged unit and restore the vehicle’s proper cooling functions. The video, as well as the entire Tech Session video series, is available for viewing at: and by clicking on the video channel button. 45


Automotive Parts Associates Holds Inaugural Manufacturer Advisory Council Meeting LENEXA, Kan. – Automotive Parts Associates (APA) wanted to see what could happen if they invited three key manufacturers to meet with some forward-thinking WDs for a couple of days of constructive discussions. While they didn’t solve all the aftermarket industry’s problems in eight hours, APA says the group was successful in sending the manufacturers away as better suppliers, the shareholders away as better customers and APA as a better resource to both sides. As Mike Maloof, owner of World Auto Parts, put it, “It’s better to build a partnership rather than just have a good relationship.” This first annual Manufacturer Advisory Council event was hosted Sept. 10-11 at APA’s headquarters in Lenexa, Kan. Manufacturers in attendance included Roy Kent, VP of sales, wholesale channel for

Federal-Mogul; Mike Fiorito, VP at KYB; and John Beale, VP, traditional aftermarket with UCI-Fram Group. APA shareholders in attendance were Robert Duxler with A.I.M.S. in Simi Valley, Calif.; Dale Devlin and Jeff VandeSande representing BestBuy Distributors out of Canada; T.J. Faley for IWI Motor Parts, headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa; Ben Yelowitz representing Crest Auto Stores and POJA Warehouse in Philadelphia, Pa.; and Mike Maloof of World Auto Parts in Cleveland, Ohio. According to APA, the conversation was lively at times, but always circled back to a positive exchange of ideas. Boiled down, both sides are faced with similar issues, including the shifting business on the Internet, swings in the global market and the constant need to stay ahead and on top.

Pep Boys Reports Second-Quarter 2013 Results for reader service

PHILADELPHIA – Pep Boys has announced the following results for the 13 (second quarter) and 26 (six months) weeks ended Aug. 3. Sales for the 13 weeks ended Aug. 3, 2013, increased by $1.9 million, or 0.4 percent, to $527.6 million from $525.7 million for the 13 weeks ended July 28, 2012. Comparable sales decreased 1.3 percent, consisting of an increase of 0.2 percent in comparable service revenue and a decrease of 1.7 percent in comparable merchandise sales. Adjusted operating profit for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 was $19.4 million as compared to $15.5 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Net earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 were $5.4 million (10 cents per share) as compared to $33 million (61 cents 46

October 2013 | Counterman

per share) for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Sales for the 26 weeks ended Aug. 3, 2013, increased by $13.5 million, or 1.3 percent, to $1,063.8 million from $1,050.3 million for the 26 weeks ended July 28, 2012. Comparable sales decreased 0.2 percent, consisting of a 2.2 percent comparable service revenue increase and a 0.8 percent comparable merchandise sales decrease. Adjusted operating profit for the first six months of 2013 was $24.1 million as compared to $25 million for the first six months of fiscal 2012. Net earnings for the first six months of 2013 were $9.2 million (17 cents per share) as compared to $34.1 million (63 cents per share) for the first six months of fiscal 2012. for reader service


NAPA Announces Global Dealer Customer And Store Owner Exposition ATLANTA – NAPA has unveiled plans for a four-day global exposition aimed at gathering dealer customers and store owners from around the world. The 2015 NAPA EXPO will be held at the Mandalay Bay and Luxor hotels, May 5-8, 2015, in Las Vegas. The event will coincide with NAPA’s 90-year anniversary. Thousands of dealer customers and store owners are expected to join NAPA field personnel and suppliers for the event. “The core of NAPA’s success has always been the loyalty and partnerships that exist between us, our suppliers and, most importantly, our customers,” said Dan Askey, president of NAPA. “2015 NAPA EXPO will be an exclusive opportunity to showcase these partnerships face-toface on a global scale, and for the NAPA community to learn how we

are positioning the organization for their future success.” Information sessions, seminars and educational exhibits will keep the information flowing throughout the four days in Las Vegas. Attendees can also expect to: ● Increase their knowledge base and strengthen their businesses; ● Network with other dealer customers and NAPA store owners; ● Hear from industry experts; ● Receive training from NAPA suppliers on their latest products and services; ● Learn about new products and technologies; ● Stay ahead of positive trends in the automotive aftermarket; and ● Celebrate 90 years of NAPA success. Additional information about the 2015 NAPA EXPO will be announced later this fall.

KYB Americas Announces New Manufacturing Plant for reader service

ADDISON, Ill. — KYB Americas is continuing the expansion of its North American operations with a new manufacturing plant in Silao, Guanajuanto, Mexico. The plant will begin production of manufacturing hydraulic pumps for automobile continuously variable transmissions. In the future, the facility also will manufacture automotive shocks, struts and steering components, the company said. The new plant is currently under construction with completion set for December 2013. Actual manufacturing in the new plant is slated to start with 130 employees in 2014. “Over the past 10 years, KYB has been very aggressive in expanding our capabilities and operations in North America, and this new plant is a confirmation of our continued commitment,” said KYB Americas Vice President Mike Fiorito. “We’re particularly excited about the KYB manufacturing technologies and quality control processes that are being integrated into the design of this new plant. The plant will produce the very same high-quality premium products that KYB customers expect.” 48

October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Federal-Mogul Says New ‘SmartChoice Mobile’ App For Shops Speeds Repair Process for reader service

Cutting-edge business tool offers instant access to parts information, allows instant communication with vehicle owners through real-time connection to parts and customers.


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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – FederalMogul has introduced a new, free mobile app designed to help automotive service providers increase operational efficiency, sales and customer satisfaction. The new “SmartChoice Mobile” app enables shop owners, service writers and professional technicians to use their iPhone or Android devices to instantly access the latest parts information for virtually any passenger car or light truck and communicate detailed inspection findings – including photos of worn or broken parts and a repair estimate – directly to the vehicle owner. The SmartChoice Mobile app is

available immediately through the Apple App Store and Google Play as well as Federal-Mogul’s new website. “SmartChoice Mobile is much more than a parts lookup tool – it helps speed the entire repair process by providing extensive parts and repair information and establishing a real-time connection with the vehicle owner,” said Brian Tarnacki, director, global market strategy, Federal-Mogul. “This free solution sets the bar for all automotive service apps and positions the shop as a technology leader committed to customer service excellence.” for reader service


Get Ready for

The ASE P2 Stories by Larry Carley ou’ve already got the years of experience. Now take the test and earn the certification that is recognized by the industry and general public as a symbol of your professionalism and dedication to the field. The P2 test, according to ASE, was “developed in cooperation with the aftermarket wholesale and retail automobile parts industry to assess the knowledge of the skills necessary to work competently as a parts specialist at a retail or jobber parts store. Automobile parts specialists must possess knowledge about a wide range of vehicle component systems for all makes and models, as well as customer relations, sales, merchandising, vehicle identification, cataloging, and inventory management skills. Parts professionals with at least two years of on-the-job experience and a passing grade on the test will become certified. Your certification is good for five years and you can for reader service



October 2013 | Counterman

re-certify at the end of that term. There are 85 questions on the P2 and the test time is 90 minutes. For the re-certification, there are 38 questions and the testing time is 45 minutes. (For the certification test, there are additional questions for research purposes not counted in the score. However, each should be answered because you don’t know which ones are for research.) P2 test-takers are quizzed on the following: ● General operations ......................10 ● Customer relations and sales skills ....................................11 ● Vehicle systems knowledge ........40 ● Vehicle identification......................3 ● Catalog and information system skills ................................................6 ● Inventory management ................3 ● Merchandising ..............................2

What should you do after reading our ASE P2 test preparation guide? Go to and click “Register Now!” CM for reader service


Emissions Control Systems mission control systems include the engine management system (PCM and sensors), Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), the Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) and catalytic converter. Emissions are tightly regulated and must not exceed federal limits. All 1996 and newer passenger cars and light trucks are equipped with an OnBoard Diagnostic (OBD II) system that monitors emissions compliance. If a fault occurs in any monitored system or component that might cause emissions to exceed the federal limit by 1.5 times, one or more Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) will be set and the Check Engine Light (also called Malfunction Indicator Lamp) will be illuminated to alert the driver. A scan tool can then be used to read the fault codes and to perform additional diagnostics. A vehicle will not pass an emissions test with fault codes or a Check Engine light on. Common emission faults include failing oxygen sensors that upset the engine’s air/fuel mixture, engine misfires (which may be caused by ignition, fuel or compression problems), EVAP faults (a for reader service


loose gas cap is a common one), EGR faults and low catalyst efficiency (which usually indicates a failing catalytic converter). The PCV system recirculates crankcase blowby vapors inside the engine by rerouting them back into the intake manifold. This prolongs the life of the motor oil by preventing sludging and prevents blowby vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. The PCV valve is usually located in a valve cover, and is attached to the intake manifold by a hose. The recommended replacement interval is typically 50,000 miles. PCV valves have different flow characteristics, so the replacement valve must be the same as the original. The EGR system reduces the formation of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by cooling peak combustion temperatures. EGR also reduces the risk of engine-damaging detonation (spark knock). The EGR valve, which is mounted on the intake manifold, recirculates exhaust gas back into the intake manifold when the engine is under load. Older EGR valves are vacuum-operated, but most newer ones are electronic. The EVAP system prevents the escape of fuel vapors from the fuel Continued on page 97

Know-how required to pass this section of the P2 test: 1. Identify major emission control systems and components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including emission hoses. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Cooling Systems ajor cooling system components include the radiator (provides cooling for the coolant), radiator cap (keeps the coolant


under pressure so it will resist boiling to a higher temperature), coolant reservoir, cooling fan (electrical or mechanical), water pump (belt-driven pump on the front of the engine to circulate coolant between the engine and radiator), thermostat (to control the operating temperature of the engine), upper and lower radiator hoses, heater hoses, belt(s), coolant sensor and antifreeze. Related parts may include a fan relay (for an electrical fan) or fan clutch (for a mechanical fan) and the heater core. Cooling system problems include leaks and corrosion. Leaks commonly occur at the water pump shaft seal, hoses, radiator or heater core. A bad head gasket may also leak coolant internally inside the engine (which can damage the engine if not repaired). Leaks usually lead to overheating due to the loss of coolant. Small leaks, including head gasket leaks, can often be sealed by adding a bottle of chemical sealer to the cooling system. Overheating also can be caused by a stuck thermostat that fails to Continued on page 97

Know-how required to pass this for reader service

section of the P2 test: 1. Identify major cooling system components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including coolants and service chemicals. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation, and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Brakes ajor brake system components include the master cylinder (creates hydraulic pressure to actuate the brakes when the brake pedal is depressed), power booster (most use engine intake vacuum to reduce the pedal effort required to apply the brakes), disc brake calipers, pads and rotors, wheel cylinders, brake drums and shoes, drum brake hardware and brake hoses and lines. Related components include proportioning valves (to reduce pressure to the rear brakes), pressure differential valves (to detect pressure loss in the system), brake fluid (DOT 3 or 4), brake pedal switch and brake warning lamp. On vehicles equipped with antilock brakes (ABS), additional parts include up to four wheelspeed sensors, the ABS hydraulic modulator unit and control module, a pump motor and accumulator (which may not be used on some older systems) and an ABS warning lamp. Most vehicles have disc brakes in the front and drum brakes or disc brakes in the rear. The most common wear components in the brake system are the brake pads, rotors, shoes and drums. Front for reader service


brake pads typically wear at a higher rate (2X to 3X) than rear shoes or pads, but on some newer vehicles the rear pads may wear as fast or faster than the front due to a higher percentage of the braking load being applied to the rear brakes. Brake pads, shoes and rotors must be replaced when worn to minimum thickness specifications. Drums must be replaced if the inside diameter exceeds maximum specifications. Brake linings should be replaced with the same type of friction material (or better) then the original linings. Follow the brake supplier’s recommendations for application fitments. Dirty brake components can be cleaned with aerosol brake cleaner. Caliper mounts and slides, and drum shoe contact points and hardware can be lubricated with high-temperature brake grease (never ordinary chassis grease). Hydraulic components (calipers, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, hoses and lines) should be replaced if leaking or defective. New caliper bushings and mounting hardware (and drum hardware) also is recommended for high-mileage vehicles when the brake linings are replaced. CM


required to pass this section of the P2 test:

1. Identify major brake system components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including brake fluids, service chemicals and tools. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service

PARTS PRIMER Most torque converters have a “lockup clutch” that physically couples the engine and transmission in higher gears to eliminate slippage for improved fuel economy.

Automatic Transmission/Transaxle ajor automatic transmission components include the torque converter (a fluid coupling located between the engine and transmission), pump (creates hydraulic pressure inside the transmission for shifting and engagement), clutch packs, gear sets, valve body, shift solenoids, Transmission Control Module (TCM) (unless this function is integrated into the Powertrain Control Module or PCM), ATF fluid (different transmission require different types of ATF), fluid filter (usually located inside the transmission pan under


the valve body) and external fluid cooler (often located in the radiator). Automatic transmissions are mostly used with Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) while automatic transaxles are used with Front-Wheel Drive (FWD). All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicles may use either a transmission or transaxle depending on the configuration of the drivetrain. Electronic automatic transmissions in newer vehicles use various sensor inputs (engine RPM, throttle position, load, vehicle speed, etc.) to control gear changes. The torque converter transfers engine torque to the transmission and multiplies torque like a set of reduction gears. Most torque converters have a “lockup clutch” that physically couples the engine and transmission in higher gears to eliminate slippage for improved fuel economy. The torque converter holds approximately one-third of the total fluid required by the transmission. A bad torque converter will prevent the engine from accelerating normally, and may cause the engine to stall when Continued on page 97 for reader service

Know-how required to pass this section of the P2 test: 1. Identify major automatic transmission components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3 .Identify related items, including ATF fluids. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Know-how required to pass this section of the P2 test: for reader service

1. Identify major A/C system components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including refrigerants, service chemicals and tools. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman

he major A/C system components include the compressor (compresses and pumps refrigerant through the system), compressor clutch (engages/disengages the compressor), orifice tube or expansion valve (controls refrigerant flow into the evaporator), condenser (mounted in front of the radiator to cool the refrigerant), evaporator (mounted in the HVAC unit to cool air entering the passenger compartment), accumulator or receiver/drier (serves as a refrigerant reservoir and filter to remove moisture), suction hose (located between evaporator and condenser), high-pressure hose (located between compressor and condenser), and a second high-pressure hose or metal line between the condenser and evaporator. Related parts found in most A/C systems include a low-pressure safety switch (prevents compressor from engaging if refrigerContinued on page 97

T for reader service


Exhaust System he exhaust system includes the exhaust manifold, head pipe, Y-pipe (if used), exhaust pipe, crossover pipe, tailpipe, muffler, resonator, catalytic converter, clamps, hangars and heat shields. Most original equipment pipes and mufflers on late-model vehicles are stainless steel (for long life), while most aftermarket replacement pipes and mufflers are less-expensive plain steel or coated steel. Exhaust leaks are dangerous because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Leaks may occur in mufflers or pipes due to rust or damage, at pipe connections, or where the exhaust manifold mates to the cylinder head. Cast iron exhaust manifolds may also crack and leak exhaust. When replacing or installing an exhaust manifold, new gaskets and bolts should be used. When replacing a muffler or exhaust pipe, new clamps are usually necessary. Missing or damaged hangars and heat shields also should be replaced. On Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) cars, the head pipe that connects to the exhaust manifold may have a flexible section to accommodate engine motions. Over time, the flex section may weaken and fail creating an exhaust leak. Repair flex sections are available for some applications (requires welding to install). for reader service


Some head pipes on late-model vehicles contain small “pre-cats” (mini catalytic converters) that heat up quickly to reduce cold start emissions. The converters are part of the pipe and cannot be replaced separately. The catalytic converter is mounted behind the head pipe. There are different types: “two-way” converters for pre-1980 vehicles that reduce unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO), “threeway (TWC)” converters for many 1980 and newer vehicles that reduce HC, CO and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), “three-way plus oxygen” converters that have an air pipe to inject air into the converter, “OBD II” converters for 1996 and newer vehicles, and “CA-approved” converters for California vehicles. Replacement converters must be the same type as the original. Mufflers and resonators typically rust from the inside out due to moisture and acids in the exhaust. Replacement mufflers include “direct fit” (same dimensions and fittings as the original) and “universal” (which often require adapters and some modifications to install). Performance mufflers offer reduced back pressure for better performance and fuel economy, and a more powerful sound. CM


required to pass this section of the P2 test:

1. Identify major exhaust system components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including exhaust hangars, clamps and heat shields. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation, and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Engine Mechanical Parts ajor engine components include the block, cylinder heads, crankshaft, main and rod bearings, connecting rods, pistons and rings, oil pump, timing gears, timing chains, timing belts, camshaft, lifters (roller and flat tappet, solid and hydraulic), pushrods, valves (intake and exhaust), valve springs, valve guides, valve seals, valve seats, valve spring retainers, rocker arms, cam followers, intake and exhaust manifolds, head gaskets, pan and cover gaskets, intake and exhaust manifold gaskets, flywheel and harmonic balancer. Replacement engine parts may be sold individually, in sets, or in complete overhaul kits. Ditto for gaskets and gasket sets. To find the correct replacement parts, you must know the vehicle year, make and model, engine displacement in cubic inches (CID) or liters (L), and often the engine code or vehicle identification number (VIN). Components that may need to be replaced in a high-mileage engine include the oil pump (and pickup), valve guides and seals, rod and main bearings, piston rings, timing chain and gears, camshaft and lifters (should be


replaced together), and valve springs. In overhead cam (OHC) engines that use a rubber timing belt rather than a timing chain to drive the cam(s), there is usually a recommended replacement interval (60,000 to 100,000 or more miles depending on the application). This is essential maintenance because if a timing belt fails in an “interference� engine (one with close piston-to-valve clearances), it will cause expensive engine damage. In pushrod engines, the camshaft is mounted in the engine block rather than the cylinder head, and is driven by a set of gears or a timing chain. Timing chains can stretch at high mileage, but have no specified replacement interval. A worn timing chain can make noise from the front engine cover, and cause retarded valve and ignition timing (hurts performance). Replace worn timing chains and gears at the same time with a new timing set. Crankshaft bearing clearance is critical for good oil pressure. Worn bearings can cause engine noise, low oil pressure and may result in engine failure. Replacement bearings must be the correct size for the crankshaft journals. Reground crankshafts require undersized Continued on page 98

Know-how required to pass this section of the P2 test: 1. Identify major engine components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including gaskets, motor oils, service chemicals and tools. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation, and warranty information. for reader service for reader service


Since the mid1990s, most vehicles also are equipped with a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus circuit that allows the vehicle’s various electronic modules to communicate with one another and share data.

Electrical/Electronic Systems Know-how required to pass this ajor components include the battery and alternator (see the section on charging system), power distribution center (a box that is usually located in the engine compartment and holds high amperage fuses for the vehicle’s major electrical circuits), fuse panel (another box usually located under the instrument panel or inside the vehicle that usually holds fuses for the lights and accessory circuits), fuses (to protect circuits against overloads), circuit breakers (for circuit overload protection), relays (for powering higher-amperage circuits), lights (headlights, taillamps, turn signals and brake lights, center high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL), and numerous electronic control modules (to control various systems and functions such as powertrain, climate control, lighting, airbags, ABS/traction/stability control, anti-theft, tire pressure monitoring system, etc.). All passenger car and light truck electrical


The Litens Overrunning Alternator Decoupler (OAD) pulley separates (decouples) the alternator rotor inertia from the accessory drive belt by use of a patented steel torsion spring isolator mechanism. Belt-induced high-speed fluctuations to the alternator are absorbed by the torsion spring and the alternator rotor (inertia mass) is relatively unaffected. Alternator torque and thus belt forces can now be reliably controlled. Litens Automotive Group is global leader in the design and manufacturing of engineered power transmission systems and components for the Original Equipment Auto and Truck industry. The Litens Aftermarket Network provides OE-quality replacement parts through its network of global distributors. Visit or contact


October 2013 | Counterman

section of the P2 test: 1. Identify major electrical and electronic components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including wiring, fuses, relays and service tools. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation and warranty information.

systems operate on 12 volts Direct Current (DC) with the body or chassis providing the negative electrical ground. The vehicle’s wiring harness connects all of the various electrical and electronic components to the battery and charging system, with wiring sizes being determined by current (amperage) loads. Since the mid-1990s, most vehicles are also equipped with a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus circuit that allows the vehicle’s various electronic modules to communicate with one another and share data. All wiring circuits are protected against current overloads by fuses, circuit breakers or fusible links. Fuses come in various amp ratings, which are marked on the fuse. Replacement fuses must have the same amp rating as the original. If a fuse has blown, it often indicates a problem in the wiring circuit or the device powered by that circuit. Relays are switching devices used to route power to other components such as the fuel pump, ABS system, lights and so on. Relays may be located in the power distribution center, fuse panel or elsewhere in the vehicle. If a relay fails, the device it powers will not operate. CM for reader service


Drivetrain Components Replacing a U-joint usually requires using a press to remove and install the joint on the yokes.

rivetrain components include driveshafts (that connect the transmission and differential), half shafts (that connect a transaxle to the wheels), U-joints, CV-joints and four wheel drive systems. Driveshafts may be one piece or two pieces with a center carrier support bearing, and have either U-joints or CV-joints on the ends. The joints allow the driveshaft to follow the vertical motions of the suspension. Each U-joint consists of a four-point center cross with needle bearing cups mounted in a pair of yokes. Most late-model Ujoints are sealed and require no maintenance, but some have great fittings that allow periodic lubrication with chassis grease. A worn U-joint may cause a vibration at speed or make chirping noises, or produce a clunk when putting the transmission into gear. Replacing a U-joint usually requires using a press to remove and install the joint on the yokes. CV-joints are used on Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) halfshafts because the outer joints have to accommodate high operating angles that occur when the front



required to pass this section of the P2 test:

1. Identify major drivetrain components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including lubricants. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman

wheels are turned to either side. The inboard and outboard CV-joints on a halfshaft may be a different design. Ball-style CV-joints that are typically used for outboard joints include Rzeppa, crossgroove and double-offset. Tripod joints with three roller trunnions are most often used for inboard joints, but may also be used for outboard joints. CV-joints are sealed inside a rubber or plastic boot and filled with a special CV-joint grease. No maintenance is required, but if the boot is damaged or leaks, the CV-joint may have to be cleaned and rebuilt or replaced. Typical symptoms of a failing CV-joint are a clicking or popping sound when turning. Failing inner joints may cause a clunk or vibration when accelerating. CV-joints may be replaced separately, but a complete halfshaft assembly is faster and easier to install. Replacement CV-joints and halfshafts must have the same number of splines as the original, and be the same length as the original. On ABS applications, the wheel speed sensor rings must also be the same. A new outer hub nut is also recommended when replacing a shaft. Other driveline parts that may need to be replaced include the wheel and axle bearings. On older vehicles and some 4WD trucks, the wheel bearings may be serviceable and require periodic inspection, cleaning and repacking with special wheel bearing grease (never ordinary chassis grease). But on most vehicles, the wheel bearings are sealed and have to be replaced as a cartridge or as part of the hub assembly if bad. Worn or loose wheel bearings can cause steering wander and noise. CM for reader service


Suspension and Steering Wear increases play and can lead to undesirable changes in wheel alignment, resulting in steering, handling and ride-quality problems, uneven or rapid tire wear, noise or even parts failures.

ajor components in the steering include the steering gear (rack and pinion or recirculating ball, manual or power assisted), power steering pump and hoses (not used with electronic steering), tie rods and tie rod ends, idler arm and center link (used only with recirculating ball steering gear systems), steering stabilizer (if used) and steering column (including flexible couplings that connect the steering gear to the column shaft). Major components in the suspension include springs (coil, leaf, torsion bar and air springs), shock absorbers and/or struts (twin tube or monotube, low or high pressure gas charged, and some may be electronically adjustable), control arms and bushings, ball joints (which may be an integral part of some unitized control arm assemblies), and sway bar and bushings. All steering and suspension parts wear over time. Wear increases play and can lead to undesirable changes in wheel alignment, resulting in steering, handling and ride-quality problems, uneven or rapid tire wear, noise or even parts failures.



required to pass this section of the P2 test:

1. Identify major steering and suspension components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including lubricants and service tools. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman

Worn parts cannot be realigned and must be replaced. Parts such as tie rod ends and struts also require realigning the wheels following installation. Many newer vehicles have electronic steering that use an electric motor to provide power assist. But most older cars have hydraulically assisted power rack and pinion steering. Common problems include fluid leaks at the rack bellows, line fittings and hoses. Internal seal wear can cause a loss of power assist. Worn racks are usually replaced as an assembly (with tie rods) to save labor. Steering noise may be caused by a worn power steering pump or slipping belt. Power steering pumps require power steering fluid that meets the vehicle’s specifications. Leaky power steering hoses can be replaced with preassembled hoses or custom made-to-order hoses. The power steering system should always be flushed to remove contaminants when replacing a steering rack, pump or hoses. The suspensions on most vehicles do not require lubricating with chassis grease, but some ball joints, tie rod ends and U-joints on older vehicles or heavyduty use vehicles may be greasable. Ball joints, tie rod ends and idler arms that are loose (play exceeds specifications) must be replaced. Shocks and struts are the most commonly replaced suspension parts due to wear, fluid leakage or damage. Preassembled struts are ready to install and do not require a spring compressor. Electronic shocks and air ride suspensions on older vehicles can often be converted to less expensive conventional shocks/struts when repairs are needed. CM for reader service


Manual Transmission/Transaxle High mileage clutches should be replaced as a complete set (new clutch cover, disc and release bearing).

ajor components include the transmission (RWD or 4WD) or transaxle (FWD or AWD), clutch (pressure plate and disc), release bearing, pilot bearing (if used), clutch linkage (hydraulic or cable) and shift linkage. Manual gearboxes are limited mostly to sports and performance cars, and are usually 5- or 6-speed gearboxes, with the 5th and 6th gears being overdrive ratios for better fuel economy. If the synchronizers (which match the speeds of the rotating gears when shifting) inside the transmission are worn or damaged, the gears may grind when shifting. A low lubrication level (or wrong lubrication) inside the transmission also can increase noise and lead to premature failure. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s lubricant recommendations. The clutch couples the engine to the transmission, and transmits torque from the flywheel to the transmission input shaft. The clutch cover is bolted to the flywheel and uses a spring-loaded (di-



required to pass this section of the P2 test:

1. Identify major manual transmission & clutch components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify basic related items, including lubricants and service tools. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation, and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman

aphragm or multiple coil springs) “pressure plate” to hold the clutch disc against the flywheel when the clutch is engaged. When the clutch pedal is depressed, a release bearing pushes against the clutch to release the pressure on the clutch disc. A worn release bearing may make noise when the clutch pedal is depressed. The clutch disc has friction linings on both sides. If the disc is contaminated with engine oil or transmission oil as a result of seal or gasket leaks, the clutch may slip. A new clutch should not be installed until the leak has been fixed. High-mileage clutches should be replaced as a complete set (new clutch cover, disc and release bearing). Clutch kits also eliminate the risk of mismatched parts, which can sometimes happen when different clutch components are sourced from different suppliers. Upgrading to a stiffer, stronger performance clutch may also be recommended for hard-use applications. Most newer vehicles have a hydraulic clutch linkage with a master cylinder attached to the clutch pedal and a slave cylinder to actuate the clutch. Fluid leaks and seal wear may prevent the clutch from disengaging. The slave cylinder often fails first because it is the lowest point in the system. Some diesel pickup trucks and performance cars have a “dual mass” flywheel, which is like two flywheels in one. If a dual mass flywheel is cracked, damaged or the internal springs have failed, it must be replaced. Resurfacing dual mass flywheels is not recommended. CM for reader service


Ignition System gnition components include spark plugs (usually one per engine cylinder, but some have two), spark plug wires (not used with coil-on-plug ignitions), ignition coils (single or multiple coils depending on the application), ignirequired to pass this tion module (if used), section of the P2 test: an ignition pickup (distributor systems) 1. Identify major ignition system or a crankshaft posicomponents and types of systems. tion sensor (distribu2. Identify component function and torless systems), and common reasons for replacement. on older engines a dis3. Identify related items and tools. tributor. The ignition 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, switch also is part of installation, and warranty the ignition circuit. information. Distributorless Igni-

I for reader service



October 2013 | Counterman

tion Systems (DIS) include “waste spark� DIS systems with coil packs and plug wires, Coil-On-Plug (COP) ignitions (one coil per spark plug), and Coil-Near-Plug (CNP) ignitions (one coil per plug with a short plug wire between the plug and coil). Maintenance requirements are minimal on most late engines with long-life 100,000 mile platinum or iridium spark plugs. Conventional spark plugs need to be changed every 45,000 miles, and can be upgraded to platinum or iridium for longer service life. Replacement spark plugs must have the same size, thread pitch, length as the original, but can be any brand or type of electrode. Always follow the supplier application lists for correct spark plug fitment. Plugs are preContinued on page 98 for reader service


Fuel Systems Fuel pump failures are often misdiagnosed because electrical faults in the fuel pump wiring circuit, relay or ground connections may prevent the pump from running.

he fuel system consists of an electric fuel pump (usually mounted inside the fuel tank), fuel filter (inline or part of fuel pump module assembly), fuel lines, fuel injectors, fuel pressure regulator (located on engine fuel rail or in the tank if EFI system is returnless), throttle body, fuel tank and gas cap. Multiport Fuel Injection (MFI) systems have one fuel injector for each of the engine’s cylinders and spray fuel into the intake port in the cylinder head. Newer engines with ultra high-pressure “Gasoline Direct Injection” (GDI) spray fuel directly into the combustion chamber. Direct injection systems deliver better performance and fuel economy, but the intake valves tend to get dirty because there is no fuel spray into the intake ports to keep the valves clean. This may require special cleaning chemicals to remove the deposits. Common fuel system problems include dirty fuel injectors (which can cause lean misfire and poor performance), dirty fuel filters (may cause fuel flow restriction, drop in fuel pressure, stalling or no start),



required to pass this section of the P2 test:

1. Identify major fuel system components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items, including hoses, tools and service chemicals. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation and warranty information.


October 2013 | Counterman

leaky or defective fuel pressure regulator (causes drop in fuel pressure, stalling, hard start or no start), fuel pump failure (causes stalling and no start, often occurs without warning) and fuel leaks (very dangerous because of fire hazard). Gasoline contains detergent to keep fuel injectors clean, but some fuel brands may not contain enough detergent and allow deposits to build up. Recommend using a fuel system cleaner additive regularly to keep the injectors and fuel system clean. Many fuel filters have no recommended replacement interval, and some are “lifetime” (until they plug) filters. Filter clogging is often due to rust or sediment inside the fuel tank. Cleaning or replacing an aging fuel tank may be required to prevent repeat problems with the filter or pump. Fuel pump failures are often misdiagnosed because electrical faults in the fuel pump wiring circuit, relay or ground connections may prevent the pump from running. Replacement fuel pumps must have the same pressure rating and flow characteristics of the original, but do not have to be the same type as the original. On many newer vehicles, the pump is part of the fuel pump module assembly and should be replaced as an assembly (though the pump can be replaced separately on many applications). It also is important to replace the fuel inlet sock when the pump is changed. Throttle bodies can also become dirty, and may require cleaning with an aerosol throttle cleaner product. Varnish buildup in the idle bypass can cause idle problems and stalling. CM for reader service


Battery, Charging and Starting Systems Battery charge doesn’t matter with conductance testing. If a battery won’t accept or hold a charge, or it tests ‘bad’ by either testing method, it needs to be replaced.

he major components include the battery (12-volt, lead-acid, wet-cell, Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) or gel cell), battery cables (positive cable connection to electrical system and negative cable to ground), alternator (recharges the battery and provides current to power vehicle’s lights, electronics and electrical accessories), starter (conventional, gear reduction or permanent magnet) and starter solenoid or relay and ignition switch. The battery stores energy to provide starting and reserve power for the electrical system. Lead-acid batteries must be maintained at or near full charge for maximum life (average life is 4 to 5 years). Battery problems can be caused by undercharging, dirty or loose battery cables, excessive heat or vibration. Replacement batteries must be the same or compatible Group Size (length, width, height and post configuration) and have the same or higher Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) rating as the original battery. A battery’s state of charge can be measured with a voltmeter. A fully charged battery should read about 12.67 volts. The condition of the battery can be tested with a carbon pile “load tester” that applies a calibrated load to the battery, or



required to pass this section of the P2 test:

1. Identify major charging and starting system components. 2. Identify component function and common reasons for replacement. 3. Identify related items such as cables, relays and solenoids. 4. Provide basic use, maintenance, installation, and warranty information. 5. Conduct basic battery tests.


October 2013 | Counterman

by using an electronic tester that measures the battery’s conductance (internal resistance). Accurate load testing requires a battery to be 75 percent or more charged (12.4 volts or higher). Battery charge doesn’t matter with conductance testing. If a battery won’t accept or hold a charge, or it tests “bad” by either testing method, it needs to be replaced. Replacement batteries are dry-charged at the factory, but may require additional charging prior to installation. Battery and cable posts should be clean and tight to assure good electrical contact. Any missing or damaged engine ground cables also should be replaced. The alternator is belt-driven and generates Alternating Current (AC), which is converted to Direct Current (DC) by diodes in the back of the unit. Many alternator failures are due to diode failures caused by overloading or overheating. An alternator should be bench tested to measure its voltage and current output. If output is less than specifications, the alternator needs to be replaced. If a questionable alternator tests good but the vehicle has a charging problem, the fault is not the alternator but something else such as wiring, voltage regulation control, battery cables, etc.). The starter motor must crank at a certain RPM to start the engine. A starter that cranks too slowly or not at all will cause a starting problem. The starter motor or drive mechanism may be bad, or there may be an electrical problem with the starter connections, relay or solenoid. Problems in the ignition switch circuit also may prevent the starter from working. CM for reader service


EEPING IT SIMPLE By Gerald Wheelus

Why Parts And Paint Mix Like Water And Oil arts stores that sell paint are often not very successful. My question is, why can’t we make a go of paint? Why does that guy not buy from me and why do they order their paint from out of town? How can my competition sell at my cost and make money? The questions go on, seemingly with no real answers. However, with many years of experience on both sides of the industry, including nine of those years in a standalone paint store with no parts, it all comes down to the time spent in the areas in which the most profit is made. We focus all of our efforts in the areas that are making us the most amount of money, and paint is not that area. It is a hassle dealing with that indecisive dude across the counter who does not understand the difference in code 12 on GM or what Ford E9 means to the painter, and, oh my, this guy has never sprayed paint before and he is going to paint this classic hot rod he has 40K in — himself! We spend more time trying to convince him not to try it than trying to teach and convince him he can actually do it himself. Since more than 80 percent of our business is in the parts side, when we leave that guy sitting there scratching his head to answer the phone for that $25 coolant temp sensor and the

P It is a hassle dealing with that indecisive dude across the counter who does not understand the difference in code 12 on GM or what Ford E9 means to the painter... for reader service

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


October 2013 | Counterman

$75 starter, he says, “Thanks. I’ll do some looking around and think about it.” You obviously have a good reputation for helping your customer in the parts business and this guy has no hard feelings toward you but that $500 to $1,000 just left and you did not even get the chance to tell him how much you appreciated him stopping by. Now stop and consider the options here. Why do people buy from us? They buy from us because we are good, local folks who go the extra mile to help them at all costs. We stay in business because when others have faltered and faded away, we’ve maintained a level of service that keeps our core customer base close to home. So, instead of letting him walk out, what do we do? The problem is, we do not know any more about the paint on our shelf than this guy who came in off the street. We must train and take initiative as the owner/manager and learn what the products do and what this guy really wanted. It is not always about the part; it is about asking the right questions to find out what the customer really needs. So we should ask, what will you be doing with this car? Will it be driven to shows or trailered? Will you be keeping it in a garage or will it be sitting out in the East Texas sun? Then, we ask, how much are you expecting to spend? Well, is it at the bare metal stage or is it in primer now? Do you wish to use single stage paint of basecoat/clearcoat? Did you know at some of the national shows you could actually get points deducted for not using single stage paint? The questions are endless and without the proper knowledge of the paint business how can we possibly know what to ask? CM for reader service


OUNTER-TECH By Mandy Aguilar

Get Involved In A MOOC wenty-eight years after my final college class in Boston, I went back to school for 12 weeks this spring; but this time, many things were different. The class was free (that is, free to all — not one student had to pay tuition). It was by far the largest class I have ever participated in, with more than 60,000 enrolled students from all over the globe. I attended class on my own time, usually from my own bedroom, using my iPad and often sporting nothing but my boxers. I just successfully completed a writing composition class from famed Duke University without stepping foot in a classroom; heck; I have never even been to Durham! The Internet has changed many traditional businesses, and several Internet startups are now taking aim at disrupting one of the oldest models in our business establishments: higher education (and their timing could not be better)! College costs have spiked out of control and for many, the job opportunities young graduates have after getting their degrees are not commensurate with the expense. Student loan debt has swelled to more than $1 trillion in this country. This debt is an anchor that cannot be discharged under bankruptcy protection laws or even death, as parents inherit this responsibility in the hellish possibility of their sons or daughters passing before them. Even graduates who do get a great-paying job after finishing school, find themselves postponing their lives until they pay their loans, as they cannot possibly start families or take on a mortgage while carrying student debt ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many financial analysts feel this will be the next bubble to burst in our slowly recovering economy, perhaps even forcing Washington’s next bailout. Clearly, staying the course is not an option for the students, schools, our businesses or the country. As such, new business opportunities are rising, and changes in the way we learn and pay for college education

T The MOOC acronym is self-descriptive. These are ‘Massive’ classes with thousands of students, accessing free ‘Open’ license course materials, ‘Online’ via the Web.

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


October 2013 | Counterman

are on the tech horizon. Many Internet entrepreneurs have wisely capitalized on this crisis by partnering with universities and colleges, and are looking for ways to incubate a new educational model leveraged by the power of the Internet and its affordable global reach. Enter the world of MOOC’s (not a typo for one of the most recognized chassis parts brands in our industry), an acronym for Massive Online Open Courses. A new format for higher education that many prestigious universities are now experimenting with MOOCs, acting as a preemptive strike to avoid getting left behind when the higher education model flips. The MOOC acronym is self-descriptive. These are “Massive” classes with thousands of students, accessing free “Open” license course materials, “Online” via the web. The more common MOOC course framework is based on video lectures that are accessed online on the student’s own time, along with traditional course materials like readings, problems sets and testing. The one new aspect this format brings to the students is online interaction. The opportunity to interact with fellow students, teacher’s assistants, researchers and professors are indeed massive, especially in a class with more than 60,000 students. MOOC’s leverage new teaching opportunities by crowdsourcing course work to all participants. For the class I took at Duke University, all of my homework and presentations were critiqued, corrected and graded by my fellow students. We participated in online video “hangouts” to discuss projects. To earn my certificate of completion, I worked on four major writing assignments and no less than 46 different people interacted with me on drafting, revising, editing and grading them. I also graded 12 final projects for other students. Interactivity was at the center of the MOOC experience for me; this was where most of the learning took place — not Continued on page 93 for reader service


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TROY, Mich. – Gabriel (Ride Control LLC) has introduced a new Answerman video to help communicate the indicators of worn shocks and struts on light vehicles. Gabriel’s new “Top 10 Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts” video is available to view at the Answerman section of Gabriel’s website or at YouTube on TheOriginalGabriel channel. “Often, drivers don’t know their shocks and struts have deteriorated, because wear happens gradually,” says Christine Fisher, marketing and communications manager at Gabriel. “The video supplies installers and counterpeople with another means to communicate the signs of wear to consumers.” Every day, thousands of motorists may not even realize they are riding on significantly worn shocks and struts. In emergency maneuvers, these worn shocks and struts can lengthen braking distances and affect handling and stability. Gabriel’s “10 Warning Signs” video helps to create clearer awareness of these signs with descriptions, video comparisons and actual product shots. The 10 Gabriel signs that a vehicle might have of worn shocks and struts are: 1. When the vehicle has exceeded 50,000 miles on the current set 2. If the vehicle nose-dives while braking 3. If there is excessive bounce when driving over rough surfaces 4. When the vehicle veers in cross winds 5. If there is excessive lean or sway in turns 6. If the steering wheel vibrates 7. When uneven or premature

tire wear is experienced 8. If fluid is leaking from the shock(s) or struts

9. If the shock or strut housing is dented or damaged 10. When your trained service technician raises concerns Visit for reader service

The Original Gabriel Introduces The ‘Top 10 Signs Of Worn Shocks And Struts’ Video 89


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

The market for replacement TPMS sensors will likely grow very quickly in the near future as more TPMS sensors must be replaced due to battery failures.

Understanding TPMS hile the idea of monitoring tire pressures isn’t new, it certainly gained momentum during the early 1990s when the Ford Explorer, a mid-sized sport utility vehicle, began experiencing a number of serious accidents caused by blown-out tires. Suffice it to say that many accidents involved driving a heavily-loaded, high roll-center vehicle at sustained highway speeds on under-inflated tires. Auto manufacturers responded by introducing tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) on their high-end vehicles to help prevent accidents caused by incorrectly inflated tires. By the 2008 model year, TPMS was being installed as standard equipment on all production passenger and light truck vehicles.

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How TPMS Works The basic concept of TPMS includes replacing the conventional valve stem located in the wheel with a small, battery-powered pressure sensor and radio transmitter that is activated as the wheel begins to rotate. Once activated, the TPMS sensor will cause a warning light to illuminate on the instrument cluster if the tire air pressure is incorrect. Depending upon miles driven, the integral battery is designed to last between five and 10 years. The TPMS sensor is generally made of aluminum and held in place by an anodized aluminum nut sealed against leakage by rubber grommets. The TPMS sensor is


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


process. With most applications, wheel locations can be relearned by using a professional scan tool or electronic tooling designed specifically for tire service. Most TPMS scan tools range in price from about $300 to $2,000, with the inexpensive scan tools being more suited for individual technicians and the expensive tools more suited for production tire shops.

The hex nut indicates that this valve stem is a TPMS sensor. Notice the corrosion on the sensor and stem cap.

encoded with an OEM part number, which is required if the sensor must be replaced. The TPMS module is programmed to recognize the specific wheel location of each TPMS sensor. The early TPMS sensors were often damaged during a tire or wheel service. Unfortunately, many of these sensors cost at least $100 to replace and, since many shops didn’t have the necessary tooling to reprogram the new sensor to the vehicle, repairs were neglected. An issue in colder climates was the tendency of the TPMS warning light to illuminate due to the tires losing pressure on sub-freezing mornings. Auto manufacturers eventually addressed that issue by modifying the software in the TPMS module. At this time, many TPMS sensors are failing because their integral batteries are wearing out. In most cases, a warning light will


October 2013 | Counterman

indicate to the driver when the charge in the TPMS batteries is becoming dangerously low. Consequently, the market for replacement TPMS sensors will likely grow very quickly in the near future as more TPMS sensors must be replaced due to battery failures. Servicing TPMS Sensors Unfortunately for aftermarket shops, many different methods are required for servicing tire pressure monitoring systems on various domestic, European and Asian platforms. When, for example, the tires are rotated, the new location of each wheel must be re-learned by the TPMS module. Suffice it to say, that relearning process might require something as simple as pressing a “relearn” button on the dashboard or driving the vehicle through a complex re-learning

Selling TPMS Parts A TPMS sensor repair kit, consisting of a new retainer nut, grommets, valve cap and special valve, must be used to re-install a used TPMS sensor. The anodized aluminum retaining nut must also be torqued to specification in inch-pounds to correctly compress the grommets for maximum sealing. Remember also that the use of weatherproof plastic valve stem caps is recommended to prevent corrosion at the cap or inside the valve stem core. Currently, the aftermarket also is producing relatively inexpensive TPMS sensors that can be “cloned” to replace the various OE sensors, using special aftermarket tooling to program the OE sensor part number to the replacement sensor. While TPMS repairs aren’t required by law, remember that it’s illegal for any service professional to intentionally disable a tire pressure monitoring system. If the TPMS is working when it enters a service bay, it must be working when it leaves. CM

COUNTER-TECH Mandy continued from page 86 during the video lectures. Granted, while online you forego the allure of campus life and real-world, faceto-face interactions; however, where else could I have gotten 46 different fellow students to work in tandem on my projects without leaving my house? The system is not perfect and the early adopters know this; however, their endeavors do show a lot of promise as an alternative way edu-

cation will take place in the near future. Plenty of work still needs to be done to get this model up to a level where actual college credit will be given for completing these online classes. Initiatives to augment completion rates, diminish any chance of cheating and monetization issues still remain, but the commitment by all players seems to be in place. I’ve always felt that we do a lot of “training” in the auto parts industry, but not as much “learning.”

Some of this is just semantics, but continual education and higher learning by all members of our industry can only help our business grow. Today, MOOC’s can provide real opportunities for our members to further their education, on their own time, often for free. Get involved and search for a topic that interest you and enroll in a free college course today; a simple Google search on MOOC’s will open the door to this adventure. CM

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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!





ACDelco Advance Auto Parts ADVICS Affinia/Raybestos Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Airtex Corp. AISIN Akebono Brake Corp. Amsoil Inc. Intermotor APA Management Group Apex Automobile Parts Apex Supply Chain Arnott Industries Autolite Autologue Automotive Distribution Network AutoZone Bar’s Products Bartec USA LLC BlueDevil Products Casite Central Automotive Products Centric Parts Chip Eichelberger, CSP/ Get Switched On Continental Corp. Contitech Antriebssysteme GmbH Dayco Corp. DEA Products DENSO Products & Services America Inc. DMA Goodpoint DQ Technologies East Penn Mfg Co. Eastern Catalytic ExxonMobil

6,7 56,57 Cover 3, 104 16,17 33 Cover, 46,81 58 87 59 31 85 3 103 75 52,53 18,19 39 14,15 62,94,96 90 50 41 64 26,27 21 48 47 35 5 67,77 98 63 83 66 Cover 4

Federal-Mogul/Fel Pro Federal-Mogul/Moog Federal-Mogul/Wagner Brakes Federal Process Corp. Federated Auto Parts Gabriel Ride Control GDM Bourne Inc. Interstate Batteries Italian Trade Promotion Agency Johnson Controls Key Craze KYB Americas Corp. MAHLE Clevite Mevotech Modern Silicone Technologies Inc./ Magnum Gaskets Motor Components LLC NGK Spark Plugs NUCAP Packard Industries Peterson Manufacturing Co. RTS S.A. Schaeffler Group USA SK Hand Tool Solv-Tec Standard TechSmart Litens Timken Trico Products US Motor Works Walker Products WIX Filters ZF Services North America LLC

68,69 54,55 22,23,60,61 32 25 89 42 Cover 2 84 40 51 49 1 37 10,11 95 99 100,101 44 65 36 9 78 30 91 21 28,70,71 24,73 43 34 79 29 13 93


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

Engine Additives Explained An overview of how various engine oil additives might be classified, what conditions they are designed to address, and why they should be recommended. s of this writing, a number of state legislatures have either passed or are examining engine oil disclosure standards for their wholesale and retail outlets. The general intent of these standards is to ensure that oil installed in the customer’s engine meets Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) standards. While any discussion of the long-reaching effects of these proposed standards would be entirely speculative at this point, suffice it to say that today’s parts professional should be aware that selling an incorrect engine oil or engine oil additive could have a legal repercussion. In any case, I recommend that any jobber or automotive service provider stay abreast of those legislative issues through their state trade and industry associations. Let’s begin by examining how various engine oil additives might be classified, what conditions they are designed to address and why they should be recommended.

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Engine Oil Improvers During the automobile’s earliest days, engine oil consisted only of refined crude oil, which meant that many engines had to be taken apart for cleaning and inspection at very low mileages. Oil improvement additives, such as solvents and detergents, were invented to disperse carbon and sludge buildups into the engine oil and to also improve the lubricating ability of the engine oil itself. Most oil improvement additives are therefore 94

October 2013 | Counterman for reader service

MECHANIC CONNECTION for reader service

designed to generally improve the lubricity, detergency and oxidation thresholds of conventional engine oils. Given the application-specific lubrication requirements for many modern engines, I would not advise selling an engine oil additive that might void the OE manufacturer’s new-vehicle warranty requirements. On the other hand, the average parts professional sees many pre-2000 model-year vehicles that might require more lubricity, detergency, and oxidation protection than provided in the original 5w-30, 10w-30, or 10w-40 motor oils specified for use in these engines. Unless otherwise stated, most oil improvement additives are designed for engines using the non-application-specific engine oils mentioned above.


October 2013 | Counterman

Engine Oil Stop Leaks In brief, engine oil “stop leak” additives are designed to soften and slightly swell hardened neoprene rubber oil seals and gaskets found in high-mileage engines. In many cases, these additives will reduce oil leakage and temporarily delay the need for seal replacement. Remember, too, that many engine oils designed for engines with more than 75,000 miles on the odometer include an oil seal conditioner as part of their additive packages. As always, read the label regarding application of the product. Viscosity Improvers Increasing the viscosity index of a motor oil will tend to reduce oil flow past worn piston rings and valve guides. Consequently,

thick “honey-type” engine oil additives generally increase performance and reduce oil consumption by increasing the viscosity index of the engine oil. In addition, many viscosity-improving additives might also increase the load-bearing capacity of many engine and gear lubricants. But keep in mind viscosityimproving additives might void the new car warranty for engines designed to use 5w-20 and lowerviscosity engine oils. Here again, read the additive label to determine the intended application before recommending use in a late-model engine. Crankcase Purging Solvents Unfortunately, many vehicle owners neglect changing oil until their engine’s operational performance is affected by sludge accumulations in their engine’s lubricating systems. Engines that are assembled to very close tolerances and those equipped with variable valve timing (VVT), are especially vulnerable to sludge and varnish accumulations. In these cases, a purging additive might eliminate the need to disassemble the engine to clean sludge and varnish from the affected parts. Because they readily evaporate, any solvent-based purging additive should be added to a cold engine. As the engine warms to operating temperature, the purging solvent dissolves much of the accumulated sludge and varnish and suspends it in the old engine oil. After the engine is thoroughly warmed up, the oil should immediately be drained to purge most of the suspended sludge particles from the engine’s oil pan. In most cases, the vehicle should not be driven until the purging additive and dirty crankcase oil is drained from the oil pan. CM

PARTS PRIMER Emissions continued from page 56 system and fuel tank. Fuel vapors are vented to a charcoal-filled storage canister, and are then vented into the engine through a purge valve to be reburned when the engine is running. The catalytic converter reduces pollutants in the exhaust. The catalyst triggers chemical reactions that reduce unburned hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Catalyst efficiency may drop if the catalyst becomes contaminated by phosphorus (which may happen if the engine is burning oil), or by silicates if the engine has an internal coolant leak (leaky head gasket). The catalyst also may overheat and sustain damage if the engine is misfiring. Replacement converters must be the same type as the original, OBD II certified for 1996 and newer vehicles, and “CA-approved” for California vehicles. CM

Cooling continued from page 58 open, a bad water pump (loose or damaged impeller), an electrical cooling fan that fails to come on or a slipping mechanical fan. Corrosion can occur in the cooling system when the corrosion inhibiting chemicals in the coolant wear out. Most long-life coolants have a service life of 100,000 to 150,000 miles or 5 years. The condition of the coolant can be determined by chemical test strips. If the coolant tests bad or has exceeded its useful service life, it needs to be changed. Most coolants are a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol (EG) antifreeze and water. Long-life coolants use various types of Organic Acid Technology (OAT) corrosion inhibitors. Silicates also may be added to some coolants for added protection of aluminum surfaces. Replacement coolants should be the same same type as the original, or a “universal” coolant (all makes/models) that is compatible with the vehicle manufacturer’s requirements. If a cooling system is dirty, a chemical flush should be used to clean it prior to change the coolant. Other cooling system additives include products that improve heat transfer and cooling efficiency. Radiators in most late-model vehicles are aluminum with plastic end tanks. Most older vehicles have copper/brass radiators. Radiator leaks can sometimes be stopped by adding a sealer product to the coolant, but eventually a leaky radiator will have to be repaired or replaced. Replacement radiators must have the same width, height and hose connections to fit properly, and the same or higher cooling capacity to cool properly. Increased cooling capacity is recommended for towing and performance applications. CM

Automatic continued from page 62 the vehicle comes to a halt. Troubleshooting automatic transmission problems requires a scan tool to access diagnostic trouble codes, and a pressure gauge to monitor internal line pressure. If a transmission has an internal problem, it usually requires rebuilding or replacing the transmission. Fluid leaks can usually be repaired by replacing the pan gasket, or output shaft and/or input shaft seals. Maintenance requirements are minimal, but periodic fluid and filter changes are recommended to prolong the life of the transmission. Vehicle manufacturers have specific ATF requirements that vary by year, make and model. Using the wrong type of ATF can cause shift problems and may lead to transmission failure. Always use the type of ATF specified for the application. If using a “universal” fluid, make sure it meets the specific requirements of the vehicle manufacturer. CM

HVAC continued from page 64 ant is low), HVAC fan, fan resistor block or blower control module, automatic climate control module, interior air temperature sensor, sunload sensor (allows A/C system to increase cooling when dash is in direct sunlight), refrigerant (R-134a for 1995 and newer vehicles), refrigerant hoses, fittings and o-ring seals, and heater core. Loss of refrigerant is the most common cause of A/C cooling problems. Leaks can occur in hoses, hose or line fittings, the condenser or evaporator. Leaks can be found by adding ultraviolet leak detection dye to the refrigerant, or by using an electronic leak detector tool. Compressor failures can occur as a result of low refrigerant, the wrong refrigerant, loss of compressor oil or the wrong compressor oil or refrigerant contamination. If a compressor has failed, the condenser should be flushed with an “approved” flushing chemical to remove contaminants, or replaced if it is a parallel flow condenser or one with very small passages that cannot be flushed. The orifice tube and receiver/drier or accumulator should also be replaced. Different types of compressors require specific types of oil. Older R-12 A/C systems require mineral oil, while newer R-134a systems require a specific type of PAG oil. Older R-12 systems that have been retrofitted to R-12 can use POE oil or PAG oil as specified by the compressor manufacturer. When major A/C system components are replaced, the A/C system must be vacuum-purged to remove all traces of air and moisture before it is recharged with refrigerant. The correct amount of refrigerant and compressor oil must be added to the system for proper operation. A related HVAC item that may need to be replaced on newer vehicles is the cabin air filter (located behind the glove box or at the base of the windshield). CM 97

PARTS PRIMER Mechanical continued from page 68 bearings. Installed bearing clearances should always be checked with Plastigage or a feeler gauge. Worn piston rings cause a loss of compression and increased oil consumption. Cylinders need to be deglazed with a honing tool if rings are replaced, and rings must be in-

stalled on pistons using a ring expander to avoid damaging the rings. Another common cause of high oil consumption is worn valve guides and seals. Most cast iron cylinder heads (except on big block Chevys) have integral valve guides, while aluminum heads have replaceable cast

iron or bronze valve guides. If a flat tappet camshaft is being replaced, the lobes must be coated with a high-pressure assembly lube. A motor oil (or oil supplement) containing the anti-wear additive ZDDP also is recommended to reduce the risk of cam lobe and lifter wear. CM for reader service

Ignition continued from page 78 gapped, but the gap may have to be adjusted for the application. On ignition systems that use plug wires, new plug wires are recommended on high-mileage vehicles. Plug wires should be replaced if resistance exceeds specifications, the insulation is damaged or burned, or the boots do not fit tightly. Plug wires can be replaced individually if damaged, but high-mileage plug wires should be replaced as a set. Replacing each wire one at a time avoids mixups in the firing order. Ignition coils create high voltage to fire the spark plugs. Coils run hot and can fail from overheating, causing a weak spark or no spark. With COP ignition coils, cracks, moisture or contaminates on the coil tube that fits down over the spark plug may cause misfiring. Distributorless ignition systems use a Crankshaft Position Sensor (CKP) to generate trigger and timing signals for the ignition system. The crank sensor may be located on the front, rear or side of the engine. It may read a notched wheel on the crank pulley, crankshaft or flywheel. The sensor may be a magnetic sensor or a Hall effect sensor. Magnetic sensors generate an alternating current (AC) signal that changes in frequency and amplitude with rpm. Hall effect switches produce an onoff digital voltage signal. A bad crank sensor can cause loss of spark, intermittent misfiring or a no start due to no spark. Some crank sensors require a special adjustment procedure when they are replaced. CM


October 2013 | Counterman for reader service


LLEN & ALLAN By Allen Markowitz & Allan Gerber

Jobber Sales Reps and Overlooked Opportunities e have received several calls recently regarding the use and value of jobber outside sales reps. While this may sound fairly cut and dry, nothing is farther from the truth. These people are an extremely important part of any jobber business. We classified our outside sales staff as farmers or hunters. The farmer follows his route (remember the old milk wagon making the same stops every week?), while the hunter was always on the prowl for new opportunities or looking for unattained sales goals with existing customers. Why is this important? First and foremost this provides us with a direct line of communication to our customers. This communication allows us to follow up on existing problems, while simultaneously short-circuiting emerging new or potential issues. Other obvious areas include creating customer awareness of new product lines we may be carrying or additional areas of the industry we may be entering — all good for both the customer and the jobber. Additional reasons to have an ongoing open line of communication with our customers involve the effort it takes today to close on major equipment sales. Unfortunately, many outside sales reps

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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.

today basically highlight the same old thing in their sales reports: “Visited Joe’s Auto Repair today – no new needs, small stock order, very satisfied with our service. Demo the new scan tool, no need at this time. “ Yes, it is extremely challenging and the outside sales rep does take a good deal of heat from unhappy customers, but there are opportunities that are consistently overlooked. Modern technology — what a great sales tool for today’s outside sales rep. Today’s technology allows us to have all of the customers’ data at our fingertips, no more calling the office for sales figures or payment information. With this information we can easily review sales/purchase figures with our customer, while at the same time look for trends in purchasing including lines not being bought from your store. What a great time to discuss how to capture these new sales opportunities or simply find out why you are not getting this business. There should never be an end to these conversations; if there is additional business available for you, now is the right time to create individual exciting programs to capture new opportunities. Perhaps an incentive for a specified period of time in order for your customer to give you a try and see how they like the product? What’s to lose? The biggest single issue we see over and over is that the outside sales rep simply does not ask for the sale. Most times we are so set in our ways that we have come to accept that Joe’s Auto Repair does not purchase brakes from us, so we stop trying. The reality is that more times than not, our customer will listen to us and we will have a legitimate shot at their business. CM ■ ■ ■

For more information, go to: or e-mail


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Tech Up Our Warehouses

echnology equals speed. That’s one of the new world order rules I’ve learned to love and accept. The more technology you and your business embrace, the faster you will be able to keep up with efficiency demands, thus helping you stay ahead of your competitors. This is the reason why today, we all have ecommerce websites, upgrade our smartphones, exchange emails and texts like like traders on the NYSE floors, and take on more to-do lists than the President’s staff. The rewards of implementing technology are often speedier efficiencies; but not everyone can digest this new “need for speed” (Maverick and Iceman will be disappointed.) Many of my peers who complain about the speed



By Mandy Aguilar

October 2013 | Counterman

of technology are usually miffed about two things: reduced face-toface interactions and the accelerated pace of things. With regard to personal interactions, it’s up to each of us to find the balance in our lives, combining the increased exposure of more engagements via technology with a good dinner meeting with a customer or a vendor once in awhile. Speed is a different animal altogether, and to avoid implementing technology because “things go too fast” is usually a recipe for a rapid death sentence. Few things reassure me more than meeting a competitor that does not “do email” or asserts they do not need an ecommerce solution; time and again, we will quickly lap that guy. The auto parts industry has done a fantastic job of incorporating technology in the “front of the house”; however, many seem to have missed the boat by incorporating new technologies in our warehouse and store shelves. We still have some of the lowest low-tech operations of any distribution industry out there! Regrettably, when analyzing our ROI on new warehouse tech, we sometimes fail to see that adding technology to our warehouses will also change the work processes and additional ef-

ficiencies will bubble up to the top. We saw this when we implemented the use of handheld barcode scanners to check in new orders from vendors. Our whole process of receiving orders was changed by the addition of this technology; from scheduling to slotting, from checking to putting up stock, all aspects of our operations were revised and new efficiencies squeezed. The addition of the scanners was the catalyst that made us look at the “way we have always done it” and realize there were several redundancies slowing the flow of products. In my career, I have visited hundreds of warehouses, jobbers, retailers and shops of all sizes in many different countries. I can count on one hand how many of those have been updated with technology to the level of efficiency we see in other industries. Not sure how we have been able to get away with this lapse in investing in our businesses. No doubt many of these warehouses and stores have squeezed every inch of efficiency they could from their low-tech operations; but, the speed of technology is catching up with all of us, and the glut in the pipeline (more times than not), is in our low tech “back of the house.” The speed of business has put us against the wall. The era of filling up shelves by line, in alpha-numeric sequence, are gone. Lean warehousing rules are now needed to manage our inventories which, after our people, is by far our largest single asset. We need to develop strategies that will create an efficient flow of parts at all levels of distribution. CM for reader service for reader service for reader service for reader service

Counterman, October 2013  
Counterman, October 2013  

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