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● Make

A Date With AAPEX ● Have You Ever Been Suspended? ● On Twitter @CountermanMag

September 2013

The ABCs

(and BAROs) of Engine Management Systems PLUS, we review:

• Ball Joints • Fuel Pumps • A/C Compressors • Struts • Fuel Additives for reader service for reader service


September Volume 31, No. 9

features Tech Features

By Larry Carley

36 Ball joints are critical to steering, suspension....................... 38 Fuel pumps need to be replaced sooner or later. ................

The ABCs (and BAROs) of engine management systems. .......................................................................... A/C compressors take a pounding.

Mechanic Connection

42 .................................... 44

By Gary Goms

Strutting their stuff.................................................................


Fuel additives can prevent, remedy many fuel delivery system issues. ..........................................................





COUNTERMAN (ISSN 0739-3695) (September 2013 Volume 31, Number 9): 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.


September 2013 | Counterman for reader service

columns Editor’s Ink


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

Make a date with AAPEX.



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

Tabs, not apps, to sell more parts.

Keeping It Simple


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

You have no time for that?

From The Publisher


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

Why didn’t I think of that?

Allen & Allan


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


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

Have you ever been suspended? CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

departments 8

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


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

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


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

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





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

September 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


DITOR’S INK By Mark Phillips

Make A Date With AAPEX In addition to the chance to meet thousands of people and do business face-to-face with the leaders in the industry, there are numerous educational forums designed to help aftermarket professionals earn more business and

f you’re like me, a year without AAPEX in Las Vegas just wouldn’t feel right. Why? Because there’s no other time you’ll see so many of our industry counterparts in the same city, at the same event, with business on the brain. Honestly, it’s almost like a family reunion or holiday gettogether, minus the arguing. (OK, maybe a little arguing.) If you’ve never attended AAPEX, make this year your first. You’ll be in good company. Of the approximately 39,600 buyers in attendance, nearly 7,000 wholesalers and about 5,000 parts retailers will be there. That’s about 30 percent of attendees, which combined, comprise the largest segment of attendees. You need to experience why those 12,000 people travel to Las Vegas every year. In addition to the chance to meet thousands of people and do business face-to-face with the leaders in the industry, there are numerous educational forums designed to help aftermarket professionals earn more business and marketshare. AAPEX runs Nov. 5-7 at the Sands Expo Center. I highly recommend going to to find out more.


Go Back To School The University of the Aftermarket at Northwood University recently celebrated a milestone — the largest-ever Leadership 2.0 class. In August, 40

professionals gathered at the school’s campus in Midland, Mich., for the first week of a two-week residential aftermarket-focused educational program. The next session takes place in April 2014, at Northwood’s West Palm Beach, Fla., location. But don’t let the sunny skies of Florida be the reason you sign up for this exciting program (though it’s a nice perk.) I was fortunate in 2008 and 2009 to take part in the course. In addition to being a great way to earn credits for Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) or Master Automotive Aftermarket Professional (MAAP) designations, you’ll make friends for life — really. Whenever I hear someone say “make friends for life,” I almost immediately don’t believe it. It sounds corny, right? It’s not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into my Leadership 2.0 friends on planes, in other cities or telephoned or emailed them or they’ve done the same. I know their kids’ names, their favorite foods and what they like to read. Learn more about Leadership 2.0 by going to P.A.R.T.S. Thirteen years ago, Counterman magazine began surveying repair shops and technicians annually to determine their buying habits. We wanted to dig down into the where, how and why they source automotive parts and products. The result has been P.A.R.T.S., or the Professional Automotive Repair Technician Survey. It accompanies this month’s magazine. Take some time to read it and familiarize yourself with your customers’ habits. CM

■ ■ ■

For more information: for reader service

Track Talk Best in the Business? You Could Win a Trip to NASCAR Champion’s Week Working in the automotive field is challenging and can be a thankless job at times. While you may feel unnoticed or underappreciated, MAHLE Clevite applauds the hard work, dedication and commitment you’re making to the engine building industry. “MAHLE Clevite wants to salute the hard work and commitment of the thousands of engine technicians around the country,” said Ted Hughes, marketing manager for MAHLE Clevite. “Sponsoring the Champion Technician contest is just one of many ways we want to roll out the red carpet for those who support us day in and day out.” The MAHLE Clevite Champion Technician contest recognizes the passion, talent and forward-thinking mindset of engine technicians and specialists by rewarding one expert who exemplifies a “champion” in every aspect. The winner will receive a VIP

trip to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. This once-in-a-lifetime NASCAR experience will include coach-class airfare for two to Las Vegas; a three-night hotel stay; a special meet-andgreet with a NASCAR personality; access to NASCAR Victory Lap, NASCAR After The Lap, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony and the NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. Winner of the 2012 MAHLE Clevite Champion Technician contest, Derek Martel, was selected based on his short essay submission that detailed his passion, experience and career accomplishments as a talented engine specialist. The Cumberland, R.I., native and current instructor at the New England Institute of Technology says it was an honor to receive the memorable trip to Las Vegas.

“The trip was absolutely amazing,” recalled Martel. “It’s something my wife and I will forever remember.” Earn your unforgettable experience by entering the contest today. To enter, nominees must have a minimum of five years of experience working with engines in a professional capacity. Engine technicians working as custom engine rebuilders; in an automotive machine or repair shop; as production engine rebuilders or race engine builders; or as instructors in an engine program are encouraged to enter. Don’t miss out on this exclusive experience. Visit championtechnician. now through Oct. 28, 2013, to nominate yourself or a colleague today.

Derek Martel, a talented engine specialist and instructor at the New England Institute of Technology, earned the 2012 MAHLE Clevite Champion Technician title – and a memorable trip to Las Vegas for NASCAR Champion’s Week.

Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook ■ for reader service

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service WIZARDS Introduces Mystic Clay WIZARDS Products is setting a new standard in detailing clay and surface restoration with the introduction of Mystic Clay (Part No. 10023). Mystic Clay quickly and easily removes tree sap, industrial fallout, rail or brake dust, and other contaminants that make your vehicle’s surface feel rough. It is also excellent for removing fresh overspray without harsh solvents or rubbing compound - saving you hours of time and the cost of professional buffing. Mystic Clay is safe for all paint/clears, glass, fiberglass, metal or any hard surface. Use Mystic Clay in conjunction with WIZARDS highly regarded Mist-N-Shine Professional Detailer (Part No. 01214) to deliver the best gloss and extremely smooth finish without scratching. Mystic Clay is proudly made in the USA and is available for immediate sale in a two-bar (120 gram) package.

Pfadt Race Engineering Headers For Camaros Pfadt is now manufacturing racing headers for 2010 and newer V8 Chevrolet Camaros. These headers feature a Tri-Y design, where primary tubes are merged together in pairs before they enter a common collector. The design team used GM CAD data to build a set of virtual headers on the computer before going into actual production. By verifying the design in the computer, the team was able to take full advantage of all available space while still keeping the installation procedure simple. All Pfadt headers are made from T-304 16-gauge brushed stainless steel for good looks and maximum durability. They are designed to work with or without cats and will work with the stock mid-pipe and most aftermarket cat back systems.

Ideal Offers IDEAL-TRIDON Brand Non-Perforated Hose Clamps Ideal Clamp Products Inc., designer and manufacturer of IDEAL-TRIDON brand worm gear, hose and specialty clamps announced the relaunch of non-perforated hose clamps to the U.S. market. IDEAL-TRIDON brand non-perforated hose clamps are available for immediate shipment in 9 mm and 12 mm band widths with a wide choice of clamping ranges from 8 mm to 200 mm. The material options for these innovative clamps range from W2-W5, so they fit a wide array of applications and can be configured to almost any corrosion resistance requirements. Plus, all IDEAL-TRIDON brand nonperforated clamps meet or exceed DIN 3017 standards and perform better than traditional worm drive clamps for certain applications. For more information, refer to the new IDEAL-TRIDON product catalog.


September 2013 | Counterman

MAHLE Motorsports’ PowerPak Smaller Ring Packs MAHLE Motorsports has built a reputation for bringing racers leading-edge design and technology and continues to do so with the latest in innovations and racing advancements. More than a decade ago, MAHLE’s PowerPak piston assemblies were introduced with ring sets sized as much as 24 percent smaller in both height and width than conventional piston rings. A shorter, narrower ring is more conformable, allowing it to maintain increased and more consistent contact with the ring groove floor and cylinder wall, resulting in greatly improved combustion seal and oil control. Additionally, there is a notable reduction in frictional drag and weight.

MARKETPLACE › visit for reader service ContiTech Introduces Wear-Resistant Multiple V-ribbed Belt For Quiet Operation ContiTech’s new wear-resistant multiple V-ribbed belt puts an end to problems typically associated with cold starts, dampness and pulley misalignment. The CONTI UNIPOWER TOUGH GRIP multiple Vribbed belt with textile surface developed by the ContiTech Power Transmission Group greatly minimizes noise buildup when accessories like the airconditioning system, power-steering pump or generators are in operation. The belt’s special feature is that the pulley side consists of a fabric reinforcement and is highly resistant to wear. The quiet drive belt features high wear resistance that is required for starter-generator applications.

Rebuild It Right With PlastiKote Rebuilder’s Cast Finish Rebuilding a car can be challenging, so it is important to have the right parts and products for the best results. PlastiKote Rebuilder’s Cast Finish is the choice of rebuilders who want “The Perfect Finish” the first time they do the job. With a fast-drying formulation that retains color up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and resists oil, brake fluid and gasoline, PlastiKote Rebuilder’s Cast Finish in Aluminum (No. 282) can be used on alternators, transmission housings and water pumps, and Cast Gray (No. 285) is perfect for brake master cylinders, engine blocks, idler arms and brackets and many more cast-iron parts. In addition, the 360-degree valve on the aerosol can makes it easier to achieve even coverage when painting since the user can move the can around at any angle.

Standard Motor Products Announces ‘Race to Champion’s Week’ Promotion Versatile New Battery Analyzer from CTEK The Battery Analyzer from CTEK is the perfect testing solution for technicians as well as weekend mechanics. From cars to lawnmowers to snowmobiles, the Battery Analyzer can quickly test and diagnose all types of 12V lead-acid batteries including Wet, Maintenance Free, Ca/Ca, Gel and AGM. With the CTEK Battery Analyzer you can quickly get to the source of battery problems in any vehicle. Connecting and testing is easy, with no need to disconnect or remove the battery from the vehicle prior to testing. Simply connect the battery clamps to the charging posts on the battery, select the battery type and press the “test” button. The Battery Analyzer displays an easy-to-understand battery diagnosis and suggests a next course of action to remedy the issue, or if the battery needs to be replaced.

SMP has announced its “Race to Champion’s Week” promotion, running now through Oct. 31. All visitors to the TechSmart, Standard and Intermotor brand Facebook pages can enter to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the NASCAR Champions Week, Dec. 4-7 in Las Vegas. One winner will be chosen for the grand prize, which includes a four-day, three-night hotel stay, airfare to and from the event and admission to a variety of events, including the Myers Brothers awards luncheon, the VIP viewing area of Victory Lap, the NASCAR After the Lap event, the VIP brunch/meet and greet with a NASCAR personality, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series awards ceremony and more. Official rules are available on each Facebook page. Enter now at:;; and StandardBrandParts 11


Federated Raises $135,000 For Toys for Tots At Annual Awards Dinner for reader service

STAUNTON, Va. – Federated members and suppliers provided an early Christmas present to the Toys for Tots program with a donation of $135,000, from money pledged at the Federated’s annual Toys for Tots auction held during the group’s annual awards dinner. “Our members and manufacturing partners have really embraced the Federated partnership with Toys for Tots and we want to thank them for their tremendous generosity during our annual auction,” said Mike Schultz of Federated Auto Parts. “Our auction is just the first step in


September 2013 | Counterman

what we expect to be another great year of collecting toys and donations for Toys for Tots. Last year, many of our members implemented donation programs at their stores and we anticipate very strong participation this November and December.” Several Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup experiences were auctioned to benefit Toys for Tots, including the opportunity to wave the green flag; make the “start your engines” call; ride shotgun in the pace car; and serve as an honorary pit crew member for NASCAR legend

Kenny Schrader. Other auction items included a “Get Dirty with Kenny” driving experience, an autographed Schrader racing suit and helmet, and an original print from famed NASCAR artist Sam Bass. Federated CEO Rusty Bishop served as auctioneer and was helped by assistant auctioneer Schrader. In 2013, participating Federated Auto Parts stores will again accept toy donations at their locations. Contributions also can be made at forTots.aspx that links directly to the Toys for Tots website. Donors can use their credit card securely to make a monetary donation or print out a form and mail it in with a check made out to Toys for Tots.

Brake Check Promotion From Monroe Brakes Helps Motorists Save On Repairs MONROE, Mich. – Tenneco has announced the launch of the Monroe Brakes “Brake Check” promotion available through Oct. 31. The “Brake Check” promotion offers motorists a chance to earn up to a $30 Visa prepaid card for qualifying Monroe Brakes purchases. This latest Monroe Brakes promotion is available for qualifying purchases of premium Monroe Ceramics ceramic-formula and Monroe Dynamics semi-metallic brake pads. To qualify for the $30 Visa prepaid card, consumers must purchase two sets (front and rear) of Monroe Ceramics or Monroe Dynamics premium brake pads and have the products installed at a participating repair shop. To earn a $15 Visa prepaid card, consumers must purchase one set of Monroe Ceramics or Monroe Dynamics brake pads and have the products installed at a participating repair shop. To qualify for a $10 Visa prepaid To earn the Visa card rewards, all submission forms and supporting documentation must be postmarked no later than Dec. 2, 2013. Tenneco backs Monroe Ceramics and Monroe Dynamics brake pads with its risk-free “Safe & Sound Guarantee,” a 90-day money-back offer. For details about the Monroe Brakes guarantee, go to support/safe-sound-guarantee. card*, consumers must purchase two sets of Monroe Ceramics or Monroe Dynamics premium brake pads. To earn a $5 Visa prepaid card*, consumers must purchase one set of Monroe Ceramics or Monroe Dynamics brake pads. Additional Brake Check promotion details, including a list of qualifying products and downloadable promotion submission forms, are available at

O’Reilly Automotive Reports SecondQuarter 2013 Results SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – O’Reilly Automotive announced record revenues and earnings for its second quarter ended June 30, 2013. Sales for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013, increased $152 million, or 10 percent, to $1.71 billion from $1.56 billion for the same period one year ago. Gross profit for the second quarter increased to $872 million (or 50.8 percent of sales) from $780 million (or 49.9 percent of sales) for the same period one year ago, representing an increase of 12 percent. Net income for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013, increased $31 million, or 21 percent, to $177 million (or 10.3 percent of sales) from $146 million (or 9.3 percent of sales) for the same period one year ago. Diluted earnings per common share for the second quarter increased 37 percent to $1.58 on 112 million shares versus $1.15 for the same period one year ago on 127 million shares.

*The Brake Check $10 and $5 offers do not require participating automotive service shop installation.

BWD Automotive Releases 388 New Part Numbers NEW YORK – Standard Motor Products (SMP) has announced the addition of 388 new part numbers to its BWD engine management line, covering domestic and import vehicles. More than 150 switches have been added, including hazard warning, combination, cruise control, multifunction, power seat memory and more. The part number expansion offers coverage for an additional 70 million additional VIO. Other expanded categories include TPMS sensors, exhaust gas temperature sensors, EGR control solenoids, airbag clocksprings, camshaft sensors, crankshaft sensors, ABS speed sensors, power door lock actuators and ignition coils. All new applications are listed in the eCatalog found at and in electronic catalog providers. 13 for reader service


Dorman Products Releases August New Product Announcement With More Than 260 Parts COLMAR, Pa. — Dorman Products released an August New Product Announcement featuring 268 new parts, 43 of which are exclusive formerly “Dealer Only” parts. Highlights of these new product opportunities include: ● A complete line of direct-fit replacement steel wheels. These wheels are easy to install, fully compatible with original wheel covers and TPMS sensors and adhere to DOT standards. Dorman’s program offers coverage for more than 18 million vehicles on the road today, including Nissan Altimas from 2012-’07 and Ford Fiestas and Festivas from 2011-’04. (P/Ns 939-102 & 939-115) ● A programmable keyless entry remote that requires no special tools, and syncs to vehicle in less than five minutes by the consumer. This new remote fits a variety of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn models from 2010-’07. (P/N 13716) ● An intake manifold cover (also known as a PCV valve) fitting a variety of BMW applications from 2003-’96. (P/N 911-899) ● A popular bed mount hardware kit fitting Ford trucks from 2012-’09. (P/N 924-311) ● A direct-replacement transmission cooler for Dodge Rams from 2003’02 that saves time and makes installation easy. (P/N 604-005) ● A plastic-backed mirror glass replacement for Jeep Wranglers (201211) that enables service technicians to replace just the broken mirror glass – not then entire mirror assembly. (P/N 56297 left & 56298) Many of these parts (and more) are also featured this month in Dorman’s new Service Dealer Guide, Volume II. A copy of this new guide can be found by visiting For additional information on Dorman’s latest product introductions visit, call 800-523-2492, or sign up to receive new product alerts from Dorman’s Be-The-First-To-Know Program at

ACDelco Introduces Brake Pipe Kits For GM Trucks, SUVs GRAND BLANC, Mich. – In an effort to make certain hydraulic brake pipe repairs easier, ACDelco has released 66 part numbers for kits that can be used to service 1999-2007 GM full-size pickup trucks and SUVs. The kits – available through authorized ACDelco distributors – are designed for use in situations when the entire brake pipe assembly must be replaced due to corrosion or wear. They are pre-formed and pre-flared for more efficient and cost-effective installation, and their nylon coating provides better corrosion protection. Makes and models affected include the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups (1999-2007), Chevrolet Avalanche, Tahoe and Suburban; GMC Yukon; and Cadillac Escalade (19992006). To find an ACDelco parts retailer, visit or call 1-800ACDelco. ACDelco is also on Facebook at

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

Last Month’s Correct Answer:

What vehicle does this picture represent? If you think you know the answer, go to and click “Guess the Car” on the nav bar. Submit your answer and contact information. A winner will be randomly selected by the Counterman staff from all correct answers. The deadline to enter is Oct. 1. The winner’s name will appear in the next issue. Stay tuned!

#68 16

September 2013 | Counterman


“I’m going for the gold!” Yukon (GMC) Congrats to Sam Demey, Hummelstown, Pa.


Uni-Select Reports Second Quarter Results; Announces New Leadership For U.S. Automotive Business Brent Windom has been named president and chief operating officer (COO) for Uni-Select’s U.S. automotive business. Windom has been with Uni-Select for nine years. With nearly 30 years in the automotive aftermarket, Windom served as vice president of marketing and merchandising for MAWDI from 1994 to 2004, when it was sold to Uni-Select. In announcing his appointment, Uni-Select said it is confident that Windom’s experience and abilities will bring added value to the U.S. automotive parts distribution activities. Uni-Select’s board of directors also announced the appointment of a new director to the board, effective July 31. Dennis Welvaert was appointed in place of Joseph Felicelli, who resigned in the second quarter. Welvaert, who was acting president and COO for the U.S. automotive business until July 31, also will serve as chairman of Uni-Select USA Inc. for reader service

BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec – Uni-Select Inc. generated sales of $476.2 million in the second quarter of 2013, similar to the comparable period of 2012, an overall organic growth of 1.2 percent. Sales of the U.S. operations totaled $339.5 million in the second quarter, with an organic sales growth of 2.7 percent. Uni-Select said this positive organic growth is the result of sales’ programs and overall better execution combined with improved service level in the operations permitted by a more stable ERP system. “We are pleased that sales organically grew in the U.S. We are confident that our recent performance in the U.S., together with our new Action Plan will lead to improved results over the next quarters,” said Richard Roy, president and CEO. In conjunction with announcing its second-quarter financial results, Uni-Select has announced two new appointments to the leadership of its U.S. automotive business. 17


Beck/Arnley Adds 629 New Foreign Nameplate Part Numbers In First Half Of 2013 SMYRNA, Tenn. – Beck/Arnley announced that 629 new part numbers were added to its line of premium-quality, genuine foreign nameplate products during the first six months of 2013. The new part numbers fall within the following Beck/Arnley product modules: ● Brake & Chassis, 436 ● Clutch & Driveline, 8 ● Cooling, 31 ● Electrical, 4 ● Engine Management, 52 ● Engine Parts & Filtration, 96 ● OE Fluids, 2 Highlights include two new OEquality hydraulic fluids for European applications. The mineral oil-based fluid, MB7 HF (No. 252-

0027), and the fully synthetic oilbased fluid, FS11 HF (No. 2520028), were added in June. Beck/Arnley’s product team also has been expanding coverage in the popular category of mounts. The company now offers 543 engine mounts covering 6,155 applications and 179 transmission mounts covering 2,116 applications.

The new part numbers and their applications can be downloaded in either a PDF or Excel format by visiting Beck/Arnley’s website at The new numbers and applications also are available on Beck/Arnley’s online catalog at

New Brands Added To DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – Vertical Development has announced that 31 Incorporated, BCA, DriveRite, Intermotor, Sun Core Industries and XTraSeal are the latest brands to be added to With these most recent additions, now includes 231 brands covering more than 3,200 part types, and millions of applications. for reader service

Over the Counter By Jerry King


September 2013 | Counterman for reader service


The Original Gabriel ‘Legendary Sales Event’ Runs Until Oct. 31 TROY, Mich. – Gabriel (Ride Control LLC) has announced the launch of its national “Legendary Sales Event,” offering consumers a mail-in rebate of up to $125 when they purchase four qualifying Gabrielbranded ride control products through Oct. 31. Consumers are eligible for a 20 percent mail-in rebate when they purchase a combination of any four qualifying Gabriel ReadyMount, Ultra, MaxControl or Strut Mount products between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 2013, up to a maximum rebate value of $125. Every day, thousands of motorists may not even realize they are riding on shocks and struts that have significantly deteriorated. In emergency maneuvers, these worn shocks can lengthen braking distances and affect handling and stability. To help consumers spot the signs of worn shocks and struts, Gabriel has developed a new video, “Top Ten Warning Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts.” It is available to view at the Answerman Video section of Gabriel’s website or on YouTube at TheOriginalGabriel channel. Gabriel has created “Legendary Fall Sales Event” kits for participating shops that includes a poster and rebate pad. To receive a kit, call 1-800-251-5932. Details of the sales event, qualifying products, rules and rebate forms are available at

Bosch Adds Brake Shoes To Complete Its Line Of Braking Products for reader service

BROADVIEW, Ill. – Bosch has added brake shoes to its line of braking products for the aftermarket. With full line coverage of service brakes and parking brakes for domestic, Asian and European applications, Bosch brake shoes along with other Bosch brake products, provide customers with a total braking package, the company states. Features of Bosch brake shoes include: ● Full line coverage of domestic, Asian and European applications ● Matching OE-style design to guarantee proper fit ● 100 percent asbestos-free friction formulations that ensure extended wear, consistent braking performance and long life 20

September 2013 | Counterman for reader service


AMSOIL Introduces New OE Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid for reader service

SUPERIOR, Wis. — AMSOIL introduces new OE Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid, available in Multi-Vehicle and Fuel-Efficient formulations. AMSOIL OE Synthetic ATF provides all the benefits of a quality synthetic at an attractive price point, the company says. It provides outstanding protection in normal and severe service, resisting wear on vital parts and extending transmission life, according to the company. AMSOIL OE Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid is thermally stable and guards against the harmful effects of thermal breakdown. It helps components stay clean by resisting heat-related evaporation and viscosity loss. It provides reliable cold-weather performance and remains fluid in sub-zero temperatures for fast, reliable shifts during cold starts. Its excellent low-temperature fluidity also maximizes fuel efficiency. Formulated with friction modifiers, AMSOIL OE Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid promotes shudder-free starts and smooth clutch engagement.


September 2013 | Counterman

Seal conditioners help prevent seals and gaskets from drying out and cracking, reducing the risk of fluid leaks. AMSOIL OE Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid is suitable for a wide variety of applications and provides excellent protection for the longer service intervals now recommended by vehicle manufacturers. For more information about AMSOIL synthetic motor oils contact your nearest AMSOIL distributor, or call AMSOIL at (715) 392-7101 or 1-800-777-8491.

MOOG Steering And Suspension Coverage Expanded To Millions Of Additional Late-Model Vehicles SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The MOOG Steering and Suspension line has been expanded to include nearly 40 innovative new control arm assemblies, stabilizer bar link kits and other components for millions of latemodel foreign nameplate and domestic vehicles. Known as the automotive industry’s “Problem Solver” brand, MOOG products are available through leading replacement parts distributors across North America. The new MOOG Problem Solver parts include premium right and left rear upper control arm assemblies (CK620667 and CK620668, respectively) for more than 1.3 million Ford Explorer (2002-2005), Lincoln Aviator (2003-2005) and Mercury Mountaineer (2002-2005) models; and a rear upper ball joint (K500208) for more than 3.3 million Ford Taurus (1996-2005), Lincoln Continental (1995-2002) and Mercury Sable (1996-2005) passenger cars. Also new to the MOOG line are right (CK620313) and left (CK620314) front lower control arm assemblies for 2002-2005 Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Stratus and Mitsubishi Eclipse models. In addition, FederalMogul has introduced 15 additional Problem Solver stabilizer link kits as well as 16 new R-Series control arm assemblies for a variety of popular Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Land Rover, Mini Cooper and Porsche models. To learn more about MOOG steering and suspension components, visit the technician-focused website or contact your MOOG supplier. In addition to the website, the latest MOOG product application listings are available through Federal-Mogul’s electronic catalog. for reader service


The Parts House Expands With Three New Locations JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Parts House (TPH) recently moved, acquired and opened additional locations. TPH is now present in West Palm Beach, Fla., Dothan, Ala., and at a new address in St. Augustine, Fla. The West Palm Beach facility boasts a large inventory and spacious warehouse, TPH says. It is favorably located in order to improve service to the majority of TPH’s new and existing Palm Beach County customers. TPH also opened its first facility in Alabama. The Dothan, Ala., location will service customers previously provided for by TPH’s Tallahassee op-

eration. Increased inventory availability and service should allow TPH to make a positive impact on the automotive community, the company says. TPH also announced the acquisition of a former Bumper to Bumper store in St. Augustine, Fla. (previously owned by Butler Auto Parts of Macon). David Honig, president and CEO, said, “I’m excited to see The Parts House grow and evolve to meet the needs of our customers. These new locations will provide top-quality parts and service to the local communities.”

MAHLE Clevite Announces Third Annual Champion Technician Contest for reader service

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — MAHLE Clevite Inc. recently announced the third annual MAHLE Clevite Champion Technician Contest, a contest designed to spotlight talented and forward-thinking engine technicians and specialists nationwide. By answering a series of five questions, one grand-prize winner will be determined and receive a VIP trip to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, NV. “Since its inception in 2011, the MAHLE Clevite Champion Technician Contest has enabled us to recognize the persistence and tireless dedication of today’s engine technicians, nationwide,” said Ted Hughes, manager – marketing for MAHLE Clevite. Participants can either submit an entry about themselves, or on behalf of the nominee. Contest registration forms can be downloaded at and submitted via email or by faxing the completed application to (248) 596-8899 starting at 12:01 a.m. ET on Aug. 12, 2013, until 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 28, 2013. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Las Vegas Dec. 4 to Dec. 7, 2013, including coach airfare for two, a three-night hotel stay, a special meet-and-greet with a NASCAR personality, MAHLE Clevite VIP dinner for two at a five-star Las Vegas restaurant, two tickets to NASCAR Victory Lap and NASCAR After The Lap, as well as tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards and the NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, a feature on MAHLE’s website and social media sites, Las Vegas and Officially Licensed NASCAR merchandise, and a commemorative plaque. The prize package is valued at approximately $4,000. See Official Rules for details. No purchase necessary to enter or win. For more information on the MAHLE Clevite Champion Technician contest and the rules, visit 24

September 2013 | Counterman for reader service


Federated Member Motown Automotive Announces Amie Litzinger Endowed Scholarship Fund for reader service

STAUNTON, Va. – Federated member Motown Automotive has established the Amie J. Litzinger M.D. Class of 2013 Endowed Scholarship Fund at the University of Toledo. The scholarship is named in memory of the daughter of Tom Litzinger, the company’s longtime director of sales and marketing. Amie Litzinger passed away on Jan. 1 of this year at the age of 27 due to complications from a genetic heart disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. “The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Class of 2013 lost a respected colleague and a trusted friend when Amie Litzinger passed away on New Year’s Day 2013,” said Dr. Jef-


September 2013 | Counterman

frey Gold, chancellor and executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the college of medicine and life sciences at the University of Toledo. “In honor of Amie’s memory and her values of being a wise,

caring and giving person, the Amie J. Litzinger M.D. Class of 2013 Endowed Scholarship Fund has been created.” Contributions to the fund may be made by visiting

NXT Capital Provides $20 Million Senior Secured Financing To Recapitalize 1-800-Radiator & A/C Franchise CHICAGO – Independent commercial finance company NXT Capital has provided $20 million in senior secured financing to recapitalize 1-800-Radiator & A/C. NXT was the sole lead arranger, sole bookrunner and administrative agent for this transaction. 1-800-Radiator & A/C is a leading North American distributor of

aftermarket automotive heating and cooling parts. Founded in 1982 and based in Benicia, Calif., 1-800Radiator & A/C has more than 200 franchised locations serving every major market in the U.S. and Canada. The company recently started offering fuel delivery products and plans to expand into additional part categories in the near future. for reader service


Hopkins Acquires Mallory EMPORIA, Kan. – Hopkins Manufacturing Corp. has acquired Mallory Industries Inc., a leading North American manufacturer of automotive, household and industrial products. Founded in 1891, Mallory is a leading Canadian provider of winter snow tools and the North American leader in automotive window squeegees. Headquartered in Emporia, Kan., Hopkins is a leading manufacturer and marketer of quality, innovative and specialized towing products and functional accessories for the automotive and recreational vehicle aftermarkets. Hopkins markets its products un-

der a number of well-recognized brand names, including: Sub-Zero Snow & Ice Tools, Carrand, AutoSpa and Pacific Coast Vehicle Cleaning Products, Hopkins Towing Solutions Trailer Wiring & Brake Control Products, Flo-Tool Fluid Handling Products, BrakeBuddy RV tow brakes, Go Gear Mobile Solutions, nVISION Vehicle Safety Products, Vortex High Performance Mud Guards and Juice Booster Cables. Hopkins says the combination of the Mallory snow tools with Hopkins’ SubZero brand of ice and snow tools represents the most comprehensive assortment available in North America today.

U.S. Auto Parts Network Reports Second-Quarter 2013 Results CARSON, Calif. – U.S. Auto Parts Network has reported net sales for the second quarter ended June 29, 2013, of $67.9 million, compared with net sales of $80.7 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012, a decrease of 15.9 percent. Second-quarter 2013 net loss was $9.6 million or 29 cents per share, compared with second quarter 2012 net loss of $1.7 million or 6 cents per share. “We believe in the strategies that we have implemented to return to profitable growth and increase customer traffic, and expect these strategies to overcome the challenges of the past year,” said Shane Evangelist. for reader service

Wagner ThermoQuiet First Ceramic Full Line Brand Of Brake Pads To Achieve Low-Copper Certification SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Wagner ThermoQuiet Ceramic NXT brake pads featuring Wagner OE21 formulations are the first full line of replacement ceramic pads to achieve low-copper certification. Approval was provided by NSF International, the independent registrar overseeing manufacturer compliance with copper legislation. The official industry “LeafMark,” indicating compliance 28

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with 2021 legislative requirements, will now appear on Wagner ThermoQuiet Ceramic NXT boxes. Federal-Mogul has developed OE21 low-copper formulations specifically for the Wagner ThermoQuiet aftermarket product line. To learn more about the proprietary OE21 low-copper friction formulations and Wagner ThermoQuiet Ceramic NXT brake pads, visit for reader service


Veyance Technologies, Manufacturer Of Goodyear Engineered Products, Recognized By Fleet Brake CALGARY, Alberta – Fleet Brake, a leading heavy-duty parts distributor in Canada, presented Veyance Technologies Inc. – manufacturer of Goodyear Engineered Products – with the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year Award at its annual Stampede Trade Show & BBQ in Calgary, Alberta, on July 8. The award recognizes Veyance Technologies as a superior supplier and partner to Fleet Brake’s growing business. Fleet Brake’s leadership team and branch managers selected Veyance for the award because of the company’s high-quality products, dedicated and knowledgeable sales representatives, extensive training resources and marketing support.

Veyance has supplied Fleet Brake with its line of Goodyear Engineered Products heavy-duty parts – including belts, hose, hydraulics,

tensioners and air springs – for more than 10 years and recently helped the company optimize its inventory through its fleet survey program. “Veyance Technologies has developed a valuable partnership with our team, and we’re happy to recognize them at our first-ever vendor

awards,” said Fleet Brake Vice President Tim Douglas. “Strong supplier relationships are very important as we continue to grow our business, and we know that the Veyance team and parts will be there to support us every step of the way.” “We’re greatly honored to be recognized by Fleet Brake as a valued partner,” said Guy Enta, national sales manager at Veyance Technologies, Canada. “Fleet Brake is a wonderful company to work with, and we look forward to continuing to help drive its business.”

Advance Auto Parts Reports SecondQuarter Results for reader service

ROANOKE, Va. – Advance Auto Parts has announced its financial results for the second quarter ended July 13, 2013. Second-quarter earnings per diluted share (EPS) were $1.59, an 18.7 percent increase versus the second quarter last year and includes a 1 cent impact resulting from the integration expenses for BWP Distributors Inc. (BWP). “Our sales grew 6.1 percent and operating income increased 15.1 percent in the second quarter. We are pleased with our profit improvement despite our comparable store sales being essentially flat,” said Darren Jackson, CEO. “The positive comparable sales growth at the start of the quarter was offset by weaker demand in the balance of the quarter including sales shortfalls in key seasonal categories. While the macroeconomic environment continued to impact our customers, we continue to be encouraged by the strong longterm fundamentals of our industry and remain focused on improving our sales performance as we continue to improve our profitability.” 30

September 2013 | Counterman for reader service


TruckPro Buys CCI From Illinois Tool Works NEW YORK – TruckPro LLC, a distributor of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts and repair services, has purchased CCI Corp. from Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW). TruckPro is owned by New York-based private equity firm Harvest Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. TruckPro is one of the largest independent distributors of heavyduty aftermarket truck parts and accessories in the U.S. The company distributes a full range of maintenance and repair products for heavy-duty vehicles of substantially all makes and models. The company sells its products to a diverse, growing base of customers in numerous end-markets, including small, regional and national trucking companies, private fleets,

waste services companies, construction companies, municipalities and independent repair shops. CCI is a leading network of commercial vehicle parts and service locations, with 100 retail stores, service shops and distribution center locations in the U.S. and Canada. CCI’s product offering includes full drivetrain, power take-off, suspension, brakes, hydraulics and related products, as well as repair and rebuilding services. The acquisition substantially increases the scale and scope of TruckPro’s operations. The newly combined company has 165 locations, a truly national footprint, a significant Canadian presence and a strengthened product and service offering in the gearing and drivetrain categories.

“The addition of CCI to TruckPro’s existing business positions TruckPro as a leading provider of heavy-duty truck and trailer products and advanced repair services in North America,” said Steve Riordan, TruckPro’s chairman and CEO. “CCI has a rich history in the gear and drivetrain segments, which are an excellent complement to the broad, heavy-duty product offerings of TruckPro. Also, TruckPro and CCI share the same culture of providing world-class customer service, respecting our core supplier partners and treating our associates like family.”

Advance Auto Parts Opens Its 4,000th Location for reader service

MONTGOMERY, N.Y. – Advance Auto Parts Inc. opened its 4,000th store in August. The newest Advance store is located in Montgomery, N.Y. Since 1995, Advance has added more than 3,000 stores to its operations through new store openings and strategic acquisitions. This new store is located in the Northeast, a key geographic growth area for Advance and part of the company’s strategy to continue expanding its footprint. “As we celebrate our 4,000th store opening, I would like to thank Advance’s more than 54,000 team members for their hard work and contributions to our success,” said Darren Jackson, CEO. “Over the past 81 years, we have grown from three stores in Virginia to a national chain, serving millions of customers in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.” As part of the grand opening ceremony in honor of the 4,000th store, $4,000 will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


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EPWI Presents 2012 Vendor And Rep Of The Year Awards DENVER, Colo. – Engine & Performance Warehouse (EPWI) recently named its 2012 Vendor Of The Year and Representative Of The Year at an awards dinner held during EPWI’s annual summer conference Aug. 8 in Vail, Colo. Federal-Mogul was named the EPWI 2012 Vendor of the Year. Daniel DiTommaso, director of branded sales; Brent Fletcher, regional sales manager; and Dan Molde, regional sales manager; accepted the award for FederalMogul, which is EPWI’s largest engine parts supplier. The annual Vendor of the Year award is presented to the supplier or manufacturer based on performance scores during the prior year in seven categories. Categories include distribution/sales policies, pricing policies, inventory, returns, labor claims, office support and shipping/packaging. Past recipients of this award include S.A. Gear, Total Seal, Pioneer, B&P Rods, COMP Cams, Cylinder Head Center, Clevite Engine Parts, Dura-Bond Bearing Co., Damper Doctor, Melling Engine Parts, Joe Gibbs Racing, Howard Enterprises, SB International and Hastings Piston Rings. Engine & Performance Warehouse named the late Jerry Nunez of Innovative Marketing Services as the EPWI 2012 Representative of the Year. Nunez, founder of Innovative Marketing Services, is the only repeat winner for this award. Nunez passed away in November. His wife, Lynne Trimble, now heads IMS and accepted this award during the Thursday night dinner. The Rep of the Year is selected annually, on a rotating basis by region, using combined votes based on performance scores during the prior year in three categories: sales support, distribution philosophies, and timely and accurate followthrough. Engine & Performance Ware-

Engine & Performance Warehouse named the late Jerry Nunez of Innovative Marketing Services as the EPWI 2012 Representative of the Year. His wife, Lynne Trimble, now heads IMS and accepted this award.

house is a full-service warehouse distributor specializing in engine kits and parts, high-performance parts, related components and shop supplies. Founded in 1972, EPWI serves customers from warehouses

in Denver, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Anaheim, Oakland, Portland (Ore.), Tacoma and Anchorage. EPWI is a member of the Engine Pro distributor network.

My DENSO Rewards Program Now Available On Web-Enabled Mobile Devices LONG BEACH, Calif. – My DENSO Rewards, a sales incentive program for warehouse distributors, jobbers and professional technicians who sell and install DENSO cabin air filters and wiper blades, now has mobile enhanced functionality making the program even easier to participate in and benefit from. “The mobile functionality is a huge benefit to our customers who can now access the program from just about any device with Internet access,” said John Doran, senior manager, marketing and product management group. “Most of the features available online, are now available on the go!” Using a Web-enabled mobile device, customers simply access the Internet using the mobile browser and visit the rewards program website at to monitor their point balance, view program rules and information, redeem snap codes and update personal profiles. Claims also can be entered, however, it’s recommended that customers use their desktop computers for faster processing time. Announced earlier this year by DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc., the My DENSO Rewards program runs through Nov. 30 for DENSO warehouse distributors, jobbers and technicians in the United States and Canada. Participants earn rewards points, redeemable for more than 2,500 items for customers in the United States and more than 600 items in Canada, when they sell or install First Time Fit Cabin Air Filters or Wiper Blades. 33


Epicor Vista For The Aftermarket Brings Powerful New Intelligence Service And Inventory Modeling Tools to Users DUBLIN, Calif. – Epicor Software Corp. has unveiled version 6 of Epicor Vista for the Automotive Aftermarket, introducing a new Web-based market and category intelligence services solution that enables automotive aftermarket distributors to create location-specific inventory models based on actual parts demand by vehicle, brand and other criteria. The solution also offers an array of new data visualization applets designed for use on distributor sales representatives’ mobile devices. Epicor Vista is designed to help distributors create highly customized market basket assortments by vehicle, across categories and brands, and specific to each store location. The solution’s advanced an-

alytics identify buying patterns and emerging trends by combining transactional information – including store sales and regional rankings by part – with eCatalog fitment data available through the Epicor PartExpert replacement parts database. This data also is filtered through Polk’s Vehicle in Operations (VIO) records and Vista replacement rate information to create fact-based stocking recommendations across each part category. “Vista 6 delivers advanced, aftermarket-specific analytics that can dramatically enhance inventory efficiency and sales performance at the DC, store and installer levels,” said Steve Bieszczat, senior vice president, automotive and marketing, retail distribution solutions for Epicor.

WIX Filters Names Steve Ellis As Canadian Business Development Manager GASTONIA, N.C. — WIX Filters, a member of the Affinia Group family of brands, has named Steve Ellis as Canadian business development manager. Ellis manages an 11-person team of national sales representatives responsible for expanding WIX’s market position in 13 provinces and territories in Canada. “Steve is a valuable addition to the WIX sales team in Canada,” said Jeff Blocher, vice president of sales for WIX Filters, a global manufacturer of filtration products. “He brings 35 years of sales and retail experience to the position, both at the customer level and in the automotive aftermarket industry, and will ensure WIX’s continued growth in the Canadian market.” A native of Quebec, Ellis was most recently national sales manager for UCI International, one of America’s largest and most diversified companies servicing the vehicle replacement parts and car care market. He was responsible for sales of several UCI businesses, including ASC, Airtex, Champ Filtration and Wells Vehicle Electronics. Ellis also held sales positions for more than 20 years at Blue Streak Hygrade Motor Products, a subsidiary of Standard Motor Products Inc. and a leading automotive aftermarket supplier of engine management products for import and domestic vehicles. Ellis began his career with Goodyear Tire Inc., where he managed multiple store locations in Toronto. “My main priority is to expand filter sales with wholesale distributors across Canada, and that includes an emphasis on growing our heavy duty business,” said Ellis, who is based in Toronto. “I like to remind our customers that WIX has deep roots in heavy duty filtration. 34

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“This solution helps empower the entire distribution channel to step beyond traditional category management by providing unprecedented customer insight, including the individual vehicle and parts installer as well as the anticipated repair demand by part type and brand.

ACDelco Adds Four Part Numbers To Professional AGM Battery Lineup 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 by maintaining pressure on the plates, which results in a better battery life expectancy for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Fuel Pumps Need To Be Replaced Sooner Or Later ow long should a fuel pump last? The carmakers tell us their original equipment pumps should last at least 150,000 miles or more. Some pumps last as long as the car itself but most have to be replaced sooner or later for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a perfectly good fuel pump that still has many years of service left in it will stop working because of an electrical fault. Maybe the fuel pump relay failed, or the fuse blew. Maybe the wiring harness that connects the fuel pump at the fuel tank worked itself loose or became corroded or shorted out. Maybe the anti-theft sys-



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tem, PCM or other control module is preventing the pump from running for some reason (wrong key code, module miscommunication or a module failure). In situations like these, your customer doesn’t need a new fuel pump. They need to diagnose and repair the electrical fault that is preventing the pump from running. Sometimes a fuel pump will stop working because it has literally worn itself out (worn brushes or bushings). An aging pump may become noticeably louder as it nears the end of the road. This is more typical of roller vane fuel pumps than turbine style pumps (which are typically much quieter).

Rust or debris inside the fuel tank can kill a good pump. Rust is a common problem with older, high-mileage vehicles that have steel fuel tanks. Plastic tanks in newer vehicles don’t rust, but after eight to 10 years of service, some plastics start to break down and may shed flakes of material that can clog or damage the pump. All fuel pumps have a filter sock or screen on the pickup tube to prevent larger pieces of debris inside the tank from being drawn into the pump. But the screen can become clogged and starve the pump for fuel, causing a loss of fuel pressure or damage to the pump. Fuel pumps use the fuel that passes through the pump for both cooling and lubrication. Consequently, if the pump runs dry either because of a plugged filter sock or because the motorist ran out of gas, the pump can self-destruct rather quickly. Fuel pump failures that result from normal wear over time are just a consequence of driving. Replacing the pump should fix the problem and restore your customer’s mobility. The fuel pump inlet screen should also be replaced at the same time, and a new fuel filter installed. Many late-model vehicles with returnless EFI systems do not have an in-line fuel filter, but have a “lifetime” filter as part of the in-tank fuel pump assembly. If your customer is replacing the entire fuel pump module assembly, a new filter will be part of the package. But if a customer is only replacing the pump, he may be in for trouble down the road if the old filter is not replaced. All fuel lines and hoses that are for reader service

part of the fuel system should be inspected and replaced as needed. If the vehicle is more than 10 years old, new rubber fuel hoses are recommended. The old fuel pump, fuel filter and inside of the fuel tank should also be inspected when changing a pump to make sure there are no contaminants lurking in the system that might cause a repeat failure. If an old steel tank is rusty inside, it needs to be replaced. Same for a plastic tank that is starting to break down and shed. Finally, make sure the replacement pump is the correct one for the application. For example, GM Flex Fuel vehicles may require a different pump than those for a non-flex fuel application. On pickup trucks with dual tanks, you need to know if the pump is a transfer pump or the main pump. Some replacement pumps may not look exactly the same as the original because some fuel pump suppliers have replaced older designs with newer, more efficient turbine pumps to consolidate SKUs. The appearance doesn’t matter as long as the replacement pump meets the vehicle manufacturers pressure and flow specifications. CM

In Brief ● Sometimes, the problem isn’t the fuel pump. ● Some replacement pumps may not look exactly the same as the original. ● The filter sock or screen on the pickup tube may become clogged. 37


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

Ball Joints Critical To Steering, Suspension all joints are chassis components that eventually wear out and have to be replaced. But the ball joints on many late-model vehicles are now part of a unitized control arm assembly rather than a separate component. The car makes do this to save weight and cost (for them, not your customers!). So on many of these applications, your customer has to buy a complete control arm assembly rather than an individual ball joint if their vehicle needs a new ball joint. On some of these unitized control arm applications, it is possible to replace the joint separately even though the control arm was not designed that way. Aftermarket chassis parts suppliers are very clever at coming up with ways to save your customers money, so if it’s possible to press a ball joint out of a unitized control arm they probably have a replacement joint that will fit. But if it is not possible to replace the joint, your customer will need a whole new control arm assembly.


In Brief ● Many ball joints are part of unitized control arm assemblies. ● It may be possible to replace the ball joint in a unitized assembly. ● If one ball joint is worn out, chances are the ball joint on the opposite side also is bad or will soon be.


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On applications where the ball joints can be replaced, installation may require unbolting the joint, pressing out the joint or drilling out rivets that hold the old joint in place. The degree of difficulty can vary greatly from one application to the next, so some DIYers may not know what they’re getting into until they start to tear their car apart. A classic symptom of worn ball joints is suspension noise when hitting bumps (clunks and rattles), and inner shoulder wear on the front tires due to camber misalignment. Ball joint wear can be checked by raising the wheels off the ground and using a small pry bar with light pressure only to check for excessive movement in the joint or looseness. Some ball joints have built-in wear indicators that indicate wear when the wheels are on the ground. Either way, it’s time to replace the joint if wear exceeds factory specifications. On cars and trucks that have short long arm (SLA) suspensions, there are four ball joints: one upper and one lower on each side. The load bearing joint (which may be the upper or lower depending on where the spring is located) is the one that experiences the most wear. On cars with MacPherson strut suspensions, there are no upper ball joints — unless it has a “wishbone” strut suspension with upper control arms, in which case there will be upper ball joints. If one ball joint is worn out,

chances are the ball joint on the opposite side is also bad or nearing the end of its service life. Many technicians recommend replacing both joints at the same time (both lowers, both uppers or all four). Another item that should be checked when ball joints are replaced is the stud hole in the steering knuckle — especially if the ball joint stud has broken or is loose. An out-of-round hole can allow flexing that leads to metal fatigue and stud breakage. The new ball joint stud should fit snugly in the hole without rocking, and only the threads of the stud should extend above the hole. On front-wheel drive suspensions that use a pinch bolt arrangement to lock the ball stud in the knuckle, the pinch bolts are often torque-to-yield and should not be reused but replaced with new bolts. Other steering and suspension parts that may be worn out and in need of replacement include tie rod ends, control arm bushings, idler arms, steering rack bellows and rack mounts. These parts should also be inspected and replaced as needed when the ball joints are replaced. Finally, wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted to specifications as needed following the installation of new ball joints or unitized control arm assembles. If the wheels are not aligned, tire wear, steering and handling may all be affected. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

The ABCs (and BAROs) Of Engine Management Systems In Brief ● Engine Management Systems involve numerous sensors with numerous purposes. ● California vehicles (and some Northeast states) can have different engine management components than federally certified vehicles. ● Most replacement sensors are plug and play.

he Engine Management System includes the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and all of the engine’s various sensors. Looking up engine management replacement parts for a customer’s vehicle usually requires the year, make and model of the vehicle, the engine size (or engine VIN code), the transmission type (manual or automatic), and in some cases the OEM part number or vehicle VIN number to correctly identify the part. Engine management systems are programmed for specific vehicle applications, and sometimes even the sensors for the same year/make/model may vary depending on the engine or transmission used, the state where the vehicle is registered or the emission standards to which the vehicle is certified. California vehicles (and Northeast states that follow California emission standards) often have different engine management components than federally certified vehicles.



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Understanding Engine Management Systems also means having a working knowledge of the alphabet soup of acronyms that are used to identify many of the common sensors. Here are a few you should know: BARO — barometric pressure sensor CKP — crankshaft position sensor CMP — camshaft position sensor ECM — engine control module (same as PCM or ECU) ECT — engine coolant temperature sensor ECU — electronic control unit (same as PCM or ECM) HO2S — heated oxygen sensor IAC — idle air control IAT — intake air temperature sensor ISC — idle speed control KS — knock sensor MAF — mass airflow sensor MAP — manifold absolute pressure sensor O2S — oxygen sensor PCM — powertrain control module (same as ECM or ECU)

TPS — throttle position sensor VAF — vane airflow sensor VSS — vehicle speed sensor Most replacement sensors are basically plug and play. The old sensor is replaced with the new one, and the vehicle is ready to roll. However, any fault codes that were stored in the engine computer should be cleared with a scan tool following the installation of the new sensor. Some types of fault codes can may prevent the engine computer from using certain data or inhibit certain control functions. Consequently, if the codes are not cleared, the engine management system may not function normally. If a PCM is being replaced, the PCM must be programmed for the specific vehicle it will be installed in. Some suppliers of reman PCMs will do this when the PCM is sold, but you have to provide them with the application information so they can load the correct software into the computer. In other instances, the computer comes without any calibration and the technician has to do the programming using a J2534 pass-thru tool or scan tool. On older GM and Ford computers (1995 and preOBD II), the programming is on a calibration PROM (Program Read Only Memory) chip, which can be swapped from the old PCM or replaced with a new one. On most 1996 and newer vehicles with OBD II, the PCM is flash programmable so no chip swapping is required. CM for reader service


ECH FEATURE By Larry Carley, technical editor

A/C Compressors Take A Pounding he A/C compressor is a pump that compresses and circulates refrigerant within the A/C system. Some have pistons inside while others have rotating vanes on an eccentric or a pair of metal scrolls or spirals around an eccentric. Many latemodel vehicles have “variable displacement” compressors that change the piston stroke to increase or decrease the volume of refrigerant flowing through the system. Some of these run continuously instead of cycling on and off like conventional A/C compressors. With operating pressures up to several hundred pounds per square inch and operating temperatures of several hundred degrees, all types of compressors really take a pounding. To survive in this kind of operating environment, the compressor needs plenty of lubrication and the correct compressor oil. The system must also be free of acids, contaminants and sludge. Over time, loss of refrigerant, loss of lubricant, lubricant breakdown, system contamination, and/or loss of cooling efficiency (plugged condenser or an inoperative cooling fan) can lead to compressor failure.


In Brief ● An A/C compressor is a pump that circulates refrigerant. ● Newer vehicles (1994 & up) are factory-equipped with R-134a. ● Catastrophic compressor failure can cause hose, condenser damage.


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A catastrophic compressor failure is bad news because flakes of metal can be spewed out of the compressor into the inlet and outlet hoses and condenser. If the system is not thoroughly cleaned and/or the condenser replaced, the debris may clog the orifice tube causing a loss of cooling, or it may contaminate the new compressor causing it to fail.

If an A/C system is found to contain sludge or black gunk, it means everything in the system is contaminated and must either be cleaned or replaced. “Black Death” occurs when moisture enters the system, reacts with the refrigerant and oil to form acids and sludge. The resulting black gunk can clog the system or damage the compressor. Some components such as hoses and the evaporator can be safely cleaned using an approved A/C flushing chemical. Single tube serpentine-style condensers can be flushed but not parallel flow condensers. Additional parts that should be replaced following a compressor failure include: ● Condenser (unless the original

is a serpentine style that can be flushed). ● Orifice tube ● Accumulator or receiver drier In addition, your customer will also need the type of compressor lubricant specified by the compressor manufacturer, and R134a refrigerant to recharge the A/C system. Newer vehicles (1994 & up) that are factory-equipped with R-134a refrigerant require various types of PAG (polyalkaline glycol) oil. There are several different viscosities of PAG oil ranging from 46 to 150, so make sure your customer gets the correct type for his compressor. Using the wrong type of PAG oil can cause premature compressor wear and failure. If an older vehicle is being retrofitted from R-12 to R-134a, POE (polyester) oil or the specified PAG oil must be used instead of mineral oil. Mineral oil should only be used in older R-12 systems (although some new compressors are shipped with a small amount of mineral oil inside to prevent a dry start). Replacing an A/C compressor requires thoroughly evacuating the A/C system with a high vacuum pump to remove all traces of air and moisture after the compressor has been installed. If this is not done, air can displace refrigerant preventing the system from cooling normally. Air contamination will also make the compressor noisy. The drive belt that turns the compressor should also be inspected and replaced if worn, cracked, glazed or oil-fouled. CM for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

Strutting Their Stuff he MacPherson Strut that we’re so familiar with today was invented by Earle S. MacPherson in 1947 and popularly introduced into the import markets during the 1960s and ‘70s, with domestic manufacturers following in the 1980s. Many smaller vehicles with unitized bodies use MacPherson struts because the design is very compact and contains fewer moving parts than conventional short/long control arm (SLA) suspensions. The upside of MacPherson struts is a far more durable suspension design, while the downside is sensitivity of tire wear to changes in suspension height.

Below: A true MacPherson strut always bolts to the steering knuckle, as pictured. Since any strut is vulnerable to collision damage, it can adversely affect correct wheel alignment.


Macpherson Components A MacPherson strut should not be confused with a coil-over shock absorber, which is similar in appearance, but functions only as a shock absorber. In contrast, a MacPherson strut housing attaches directly

In Brief ● A MacPherson strut housing attaches directly to the steering knuckle and maintains caster and camber wheel alignment angles. ● A modern strut consists of the strut housing, shock absorber, coil spring, upper support bearing, dust boot and rebound bumper. ● The shock absorber component consists of a piston suspended by a piston rod, traveling inside a cylinder filled with oil.


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Above: While this coil-over shock absorber might appear similar to a MacPherson strut, the upper control arm is the component that actually controls wheel alignment angles.

to the steering knuckle and maintains caster and camber wheel alignment angles. A modern strut consists of the strut housing, shock absorber, coil spring, upper support bearing, dust boot and rebound bumper. The shock absorber component consists of a piston suspended by a piston rod, traveling inside a cylinder filled with oil. The oil lubricates the assembly and provides resistance to piston travel. As the piston moves vertically, a set of one-way valves installed in the piston head controls the resistance of compression and extension travel. Since the strut’s shock absorber operates directly in the wheel assembly’s vertical plane of travel, the MacPherson strut tends to be softer and with a greater range of travel than conventional shock absorbers. On electronically controlled suspension systems, the compression and rebound control valving can be changed to suit driving conditions or the driver’s taste in ride control.

Mechanical Issues Because struts tend to leak oil from the piston shaft seal, a “dry” oil stain forming around a strut’s piston rod seal is normal, while a “wet” oil stain indicates excessive oil leakage. A major loss of oil increases the tendency of the oil to foam during expressway driving which, in turn, drastically reduces rebound control and increases tire wear. In addition, worn strut support bearings can cause a phenomenon referred to as “steering memory, ” in which the steering wheel fails to return to center. Since rebound control in a MacPherson Strut is generally less pronounced, diagnosing worn struts is generally more difficult. When a vehicle’s suspension is manually bounced, the general rule of thumb states that a good strut should dampen suspension travel on the first rebound or cycle. Due to the extensive use of plastics at the front of most modern vehicles, Continued on page 50 for reader service


ECHANIC CONNECTION By Gary Goms, commercial accounts editor

Fuel Additives Can Prevent, Remedy Many Fuel Delivery System Issues hile many professional auto repair technicians often classify fuel additives as “mechanic in a can” solutions to various fuel delivery problems, fuel additives can prevent or remedy many fuel delivery system problems. All too often, the topic of fuel additives is clouded by a lack of definition between the different categories of fuel additives and the conditions they’re designed to address. To avoid further confusion on the topic of fuel additives, we’ll discuss the need for various categories of fuel additives from a historical perspective. Most of these fuel additives will fall into seven basic categories:


Fuel-Line Antifreeze From the earliest days of the automobile, water condensation normally found in gasoline storage tanks and in automobile fuel tanks often caused the fuel line to freeze during cold weather. The historic remedy is to add various alcoholbased fuel line antifreezes that will

In Brief ● Water dispersant fuel line antifreezes can absorb, transport water. ● Many modern gasoline additives contain some type of upper cylinder lubricant to lubricate valve guides, seats and piston rings. ● Using a gasoline stabilizer reduces hard-starting.


September 2013 | Counterman

mix with the water to prevent fuel line freeze-up. On another level, water dispersant fuel line antifreezes will actually absorb and transport water from the gasoline through the engine, where it is vaporized into the exhaust stream. Although modern ethanol fuels perform the same function, many modern fuel additives nevertheless include some type of water dispersant in their various formulas. Upper Cylinder Lubricants Thanks to the use of high-viscosity engine oils, varnish deposits and low-speed driving, early L-head or “flat head” gasoline engines often had problems with engine valves sticking in their valve guides. Light-viscosity, high-detergent upper cylinder oils were designed to be added to the fuel tank to help clean and lubricate sticking valves. Nowadays, sticking valves are rare and usually caused by insufficient oil clearance in the valve guide assembly. Nevertheless, many modern gasoline additives contain some type of upper cylinder lubricant to lubricate valve guides, seats and piston rings. Octane Boosters Ethyl lead was used in gasoline for many years to increase the gasoline’s octane rating and lubricate engine valve seats. After the use of ethyl lead was discontinued during the 1970s, octane booster additives became popular for increasing the octane rating of gasoline used in the high-compression engines of the day. In most cases, a valve seat lubricant is included in an octane booster to reduce wear on antique

and collector car engines equipped with cast-iron valve seats. Fuel Injector Cleaners The symptoms of clogged fuel injectors are hard-starting, poor coldengine performance and sluggish acceleration. These symptoms are caused by carbon deposits clogging the fuel injector nozzles. Most lower-priced fuel injector cleaners are designed as preventive maintenance additives while the higherpriced cleaners are designed to also remove heavy carbon deposits from cylinder heads, valves and pistons. Any of these additives generally perform well when used as directed. Gasoline Stabilizers While loss of a gasoline’s volatility isn’t a factor in normal driving, it becomes a major problem when starting seasonal-use vehicles like boats, motor homes, lawn care equipment and electric generators. Using a gasoline stabilizer basically reduces hard-starting caused by the tendency of the more gaseous components of gasoline to evaporate into the atmosphere. Many new formulations now include corrosion inhibitors that prevent fuel system corrosion from water naturally absorbed by ethanol-based gasolines. Diesel Exhaust Fluid While diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) isn’t a fuel additive, it’s important to understand how it’s used. DEF is metered from a separate tank on the vehicle, directly into the diesel exhaust gas stream where it breaks nitrogen oxide compounds (NOX) Continued on page 50 for reader service

MECHANIC CONNECTION Struts continued from page 46 manually testing rebound control is difficult. The best method that I’ve found for testing rebound control on struts is taking a short test drive over some mild bumps or dips in a driveway or road surface. If rebound control exceeds one cycle, the struts should be replaced.

Installation Tips Replacement struts are often sold as replacement cartridges requiring special tooling and major disassembly. First, the strut must be removed from the vehicle and installed in a strut vise. Keep in mind that removing or installing the spring can be very dangerous if

recommended equipment isn’t used and specific safety procedures not followed. The spring must be compressed with tools specifically designed for this purpose. The support bearing retaining nut must be safely removed, along with the spring, boot and rebound bumper. Next, the strut cartridge retaining nut might require a special wrench or socket for removal. In contrast, most ride control manufacturers are now offering strut assemblies complete with new springs, boots, rebound bumpers and support bearings. Most professional shops have found that installing complete assemblies largely reduces defects in workmanship and performance. Last, always recommend selling struts in pairs or sets of four and don’t forget to remind the technician that a wheel alignment might be required to restore camber and toe angles to manufacturer’s original specifications. CM

Fuel additives continued from page 48 into its basic components of nitrogen and water. If the driver ignores DEF warning lights indicating that the DEF level is becoming critically low, the diesel’s Powertrain Control Module (PCM) might limit vehicle speeds to about five miles per hour until the DEF level is restored. for reader service

Anti-Gelling Additives In contrast to DEF, anti-gelling additives are added to the fuel tank to liquify the solidified paraffin wax or “gel” that forms in the fuel and clogs diesel fuel filters during subfreezing temperatures. While modern diesels use heated fuel lines and filters to prevent gelling, anti-gelling additives might be required to improve cold-starting performance during extreme winter temperatures. Most anti-gelling additives also include solvents that clean fuel systems, remove water and lubricate fuel injectors. CM 50

September 2013 | Counterman for reader service


No Spare, No Problem? By Andrew Markel

utomakers are selling more cars with four wheels and tires instead of five to trim weight, boost gas mileage and save money. Fortunately, fewer motorists need to change tires anymore. In addition to technical improvements that have made flats less likely, TPMS provides drivers with warnings of low air pressure, leaks and punctures. Often, that means the tire gets properly inflated or fixed before it goes flat or before damage occurs, resulting in a blowout. The benefits of eliminating the spare are too big for most automakers to ignore. Engineers struggle to reduce a car’s weight by ounces, and getting rid of the for reader service



September 2013 | Counterman for reader service

TPMS UPDATE // No Spare, No Problem? spare tire is a way to shed up to 50 pounds. Generally, a 10 percent reduction in vehicle weight yields a 6 percent improvement in fuel economy – and spare tires and jacks are easy targets. Gaining a 10th of a mile per gallon in federal fuel economy tests is important in meeting ever-expanding CAFE standards. Those pounds and ounces may allow an automaker to reach 29.5 mpg on a vehicle – which can be rounded up to 30 mpg on the window sticker. The consumer benefits too; a 1 mpg difference in fuel efficiency may save more than $100 per year, according to the Department of Energy. If an owner drives 100,000 miles carrying around a spare tire they never use, it burns a lot of extra gasoline. Also, deleting the spare often provides more trunk space. The cost savings to auto manufacturers are substantial: eliminating the spare saves at least $20 per car. In the 2012 model year, approximately 15 percent of new cars came without spare tires. With the exception of pickups and SUVs likely to be driven off-road, the trend for most vehicles is to eliminate the spare. In most cases, a spare won’t even be offered as optional equipment – and there may not even be a place to put a spare. When tire failures do occur, drivers increasingly rely on roadside assistance services to take care of the problem. With help easily available through cell phones, many people simply choose not (or don’t know how) to deal with flat tires – even if they have a spare. Drivers may still fear being stranded, but the almost universal use of cell phones has made that much less likely – whether or not they have a spare. So how is the owner of a nospare car supposed to deal with a flat? No matter if the car has runflats or fix-a-flat, the owner must obey their TPMS system and either re-inflate or repair the flat. If they 54

September 2013 | Counterman

choose to ignore the problem, they will definitely be stranded. Many expensive cars are opting for run-flat tires, which can be driven at moderate speeds for 50 miles or so with a puncture. The reinforcement built into run-flats supports the weight of the car and is designed to allow a driver to find a safe spot to stop, rather than being stranded in an unsafe place or on the side of a highway. But, since run-flats are limited to 50 miles after they lose air pressure, if a motorist is too far from civilization, they may not help much.

Flat-Fixing Kits As an alternative, many OEMs are replacing spare tires with “mobility kits” designed to fix most flats. These consist of a can of sealant that is injected through the valve stem to plug the puncture, and a small electric compressor to reinflate the tire. Tire mobility kits typically weigh less than six pounds, compared to 30 for a temporary spare and 50 or more pounds for a full-size spare. Unfortunately, they, too, have drawbacks. The kits generally only work on punctures of 1/4-inch or less in the tread or shoulder areas of the tire. Blowouts, cuts, cracks and sidewall damage that potholes frequently inflict on low-profile tires cannot be repaired by the kits. OEM sealants are typically approved for use with TPMS sensors. But, longterm exposure can lead to damage. Using these kits is pretty simple: plug the unit into a 12-volt power outlet (cigarette lighter), and con- for reader service

TPMS UPDATE // No Spare, No Problem? for reader service

nect the air hose from the compressor to the tire valve. Once the sealant tank is flipped up, the compressor re-inflates the tire and fills the tire with a latex-based liquid sealant, which seals the puncture. This usually takes five to seven minutes. Then, the tire can be used at a maximum speed of 50 mph for up to 125 miles. The instructions on most kits suggest driving four or five miles and then rechecking the inflation pressure with the built-in pressure gauge. Standard pencil, dial or digital tire pressure gauges should not be used because they can be ruined by the sealant. After using the mobility kit, the sealed tire should be driven to the nearest tire shop and inspected to determine whether it can be permanently repaired or must be replaced. Another potential problem for consumers is the limited life span of the sealant. Sealant canisters all have “use by dates,” which owners are advised to check. Depending on the kit, the sealant canister typically should be replaced after four or five years. It’s not hard to imagine that sealant canister “use 56

September 2013 | Counterman

by dates” will probably be checked by most consumers about as often as they check spare tire inflation pressures. In addition to their OE fitments, both the Continental and Dunlop kits are aimed at consumers who don’t have a spare, but don’t want to purchase replacement run-flat tires. They weigh a little more than five pounds each, can easily be stored in the trunk of a vehicle, and both also can be used to check and monitor tire pressure through a built-in compressor and tire gauge. Stop & Go International offers an alternative tire mobility kit that combines a compressor with a Pocket Tire Plugger, necessary hand tools and mushroom-shaped rubber plugs to repair punctures. The mushroom head of the plug is designed to seal the puncture and allows for the resumption of normal highway speeds. By avoiding spray-in tire sealant, Stop & Go claims to avoid the potential for damage to TPMS sensors and the necessity for a tire dismount. However, the advisability of using a plugged, rather than a properly repaired tire, is a real issue. CM for reader service


OUNTER-TECH By Mandy Aguilar

Tabs, Not Apps, to Sell More Parts The ability to open multiple tabs in a browser allows users to multitask at levels never seen before on our counters.

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


old my hand dear readers, we are about to enter the utilitarian world of tabs. That’s right, instead of apps I figured it’s time we talked about tabs. Tabs, a rather boring four-letter word, with a ton of varied meanings, from bar bills to ancient diet colas to paragraph indentations. But today we want to talk about the little tabs that sit atop your Internet browsers while you surf the Web. Back in the late 90s, browsers could only open one Web page per window. Opening multiple Web pages meant opening as many windows, thus creating a drain on your PC’s resources and a cacophony of information that forced you into cascading windows layered like a sliced cake. But soon after the turn of the century, the Mozilla foundation gifted the Firefox browser to the world and introduced Web surfers to tabbed browsing, a function that allowed users to surf the Web while viewing multiple pages by loading them into tabbed sections within just one browser window. Today, every major Web browser, including mobile smartphone browsers, work this way. The ability to open multiple tabs in a browser allows users to multi-task at levels never seen before on our counters. If you want to see this function in action, just visit one of your customers and ask to sit behind their best counterperson. I guarantee he or she will have multiple tabs open, hopefully including your ecommerce site in the first tab, along with all of your competitors’ websites, manufacturers’ catalog sites and a Facebook page or two — all opened and in-sync to allow them to do the many lookups we ask of our customers today. They are like


September 2013 | Counterman

big wave surfers riding the Web from tab to tab, checking and rechecking catalog info, buyer’s guides, interchanges, pictures and competitors’ prices all within one screen — our industry’s wealth of information at the beck and call of their lightning fast fingers. Interestingly, many software developers have tapped the power of tabs to create small, but useful, applications that operate within the tab functionality but act like a full-blown software program. I have found three such “intelligent” tabs that have become part of how I now surf the web. Convert Case ( Many of us in this industry still interact with legacy computer systems that for some God-forsaken reason require us to write everything in ALL CAPS, BUT WHEN YOU SWITCH BACK TO THE WEB, WE OFTEN FORGET TO LOWER THOSE CAPS! DAMN IT, I JUST DID IT AGAIN RIGHT NOW! I do this all the time and hate to have to retype my words, often opting to just send an email in all caps, hoping the recipient will understand that when I was typing the message, I was just sticking to my bad form of not looking at what I’m typing, but looking at the keyboard instead. I’m in no way yelling, screaming nor ranting at them (REALLY, I’M NOT!). After years of suffering through countless retypings from UPPER to lower cases, I found Convert Case, a simple tool that allows you to copy and paste your allcapped words and have them converted into a variety of formats like all-lower, allcapitalized, or my favorite, “Sentence Case.” I use this tool so often, I have saved Continued on page 69 for reader service

Airtex Introduces New Mobile Application To Scan Vehicle Identification Numbers Airtex Fuel Delivery Systems, the world’s leading manufacturer of fuel pumps, has introduced a new mobile application compatible with Apple iPhones. This app is available for FREE download in the Apple App Store. The Airtex Fuel Delivery Systems VIN Scan App uses the smartphone’s camera to scan the vehicle identification number saving the user the time and trouble of punching in multiple numbers. Once the VIN is scanned, the application takes the user to the Airtex product catalog for that specific vehicle, displaying the fuel pump needed, technical specifications and where to buy. The app can also be used to search for Airtex products by entering the part number or year, make and model of the vehicle. The new Airtex VIN Scan App includes numerous customer support resources like downloads, videos, and access to free technical support. This resource provides countermen, technicians and do-it-yourselfers with realtime educational assistance, diagnostic training, technical tips and common diagnostic procedures.

“We are committed to providing unmatched customer service and technical support,” says Brandon Kight, director of marketing and program development at Airtex Fuel Delivery Systems and ASC Industries. “This app allows our customers to save a lot of the time and hassle associated with finding the right part. With this VIN Scan App, it literally takes only a few seconds to scan the VIN and know the fuel pump that you need. All of the part specific technical support videos and resources are all right there, which will provide all the knowledge needed to do the job right the first time.”

The Essence Of Braking Akebono is essential to greater profitability, increased bay utilization and satisfied customers. With the most variety of friction formulations, Akebono brake pads are OE-engineered to enhance the performance demanded by each vehicle model. As the world’s leading brake innovator, Akebono’s ultra-premium brake pads are factory installed on more than 270 models. Akebono’s friction technology is precision engineered to offer superior performance, quality and profitability. Learn more about the OEM brand of choice and why Akebono is essential to all your braking solution needs. 1-866-AKEBONO


September 2013 | Counterman

ADVICS Ultra-Premium Disc Brake Pads ADVICS designs and produces brake pads for OE manufacturers around the world. The engineering that goes into ADVICS brake pads has taken original ceramic friction technology to the next level, resulting in increased stopping power and overall braking performance. To ensure safety in any road condition, ADVICS develops its products to be reliable on a variety of road surfaces and in varying climate conditions. ADVICS creates high-performance, high-quality braking systems through the verification of system performance, vehicle movement simulations, brake squeal and vibration analysis, dynamometer performance testing, durability assessment, in-vehicle validation and in-vehicle calibration studies. The ADVICS OE engineering team manages the design and manufacture of each part number offered in the aftermarket.

Visit to learn more about ADVICS braking systems or email

2014 Raybestos Rattlesnake™ Toyota Tundra To Be Given Away At AAPEX The 2014 Raybestos Rattlesnake™ Toyota Tundra is Texasmade, and Texas-tough … capable of ripping through severe off-road trails and harsh desert terrain. The Raybestos Rattlesnake™ is being customized by Addictive Desert Designs and will feature custom bumpers, side steps and chase rack. Thanks to Toyota Racing Development (TRD), a Toyota 5.7-Liter aluminum i-FORCE DOHC 32 valve V-8 with a tuned TRD Supercharger helps the Raybestos Rattlesnake™ reach 600+ hp. It also will include a high-lift off road suspension and off-road shocks. Its stopping power will come from the same Raybestos short track racing brake package used by the Joe Gibbs Racing team. The Raybestos Rattlesnake™ will stretch its off-road muscle with Raybestos Professional Grade chassis parts. TRD also will install headers and a full stainless steel muffler exhaust with polished stainless steel tips. “It is going to have a pressurized air intake to allow the engine to breathe a lot better … like an engine twice its size,” said Ted Moncure, the TRD Functional Accessory Engineering Manager. The Raybestos Rattlesnake™ also will have improved

fuel economy and, after Moncure’s team of engineers and technicians get through with it, the 2014 Tundra will have 30 percent more horsepower and 25 percent more torque. World-renowned tattoo artist Corey Miller will give the signature-edition truck its custom wrap. Miller took his inspiration from a formidable Texas icon … the Texas Rattlesnake. A rattler with the iconic flair of a Corey Miller tattoo will be shown on both sides of the truck, and a signature “Raybestos Flying R” will be emblazoned on the hood. 61

Introducing CRC 1-TANK POWER RENEW CRC Industries Inc., manufacturer of leading brake parts cleaner CRC Brakleen速, has introduced CRC 1-TANK Power Renew速, a complete fuel system cleanup proven to restore lost engine performance, dramatically improve vehicle power and injector flow and increase fuel economy. The product is available in both gasoline and diesel formulations. Over time, impurities in fuels will cause carbon deposit buildup that hardens on intake valves, piston heads, cylinder walls, injectors and other fuel system components. Even microscopic deposit formations can cause performance issues. 1-TANK POWER RENEW for gasoline removes carbon deposits from all areas of the fuel system with proven results after the very first use. The effects of the deposit cleanup will last up to 4,000 miles. The company has conducted extensive fleet testing of the product with impressive results: 97 percent total power recovery, 100 percent misfire recovery, 99 percent injector flow improvement and up to 5.7 percent miles per gallon increase. 1-TANK POWER RENEW for gaso-

line also is proven to clean intake valves on direct injection (GDI) engines. Testing of the diesel formula, CRC 1-TANK POWER RENEW for diesel, yielded similar results: 100 percent power restoration, 100 percent deposit removal and 99 percent injector flow improvement. For vehicles experiencing hesitation, stalling, pre-ignition, engine knock, poor acceleration or an overall loss of power, 1-TANK POWER RENEW can eliminate these problems and help regain missing power, performance and fuel economy. CRC 1-TANK POWER RENEW is sold at NAPA Auto Parts locations and other quality automotive wholesale distributors and retailers. For more information, visit

Lift Your Profitability With VDO

If your customers are looking for more profitable service jobs, tell them about power window repair. As window lifts wear and tear through use and weather extremes, the parts tend to operate slower than originally designed and eventually bind up, damaging either the regulator, the motor or both. But these problems can be solved easily and effectively with VDO OE-quality replacement parts. They are available at a reasonable price outside of the dealer network and designed to fit just like the original components. The VDO line includes motors, regulators and motor


September 2013 | Counterman

regulator assemblies. So why replace an entire assembly, if only the motor or regulator is bad? With VDO, your customer can buy only those parts the vehicle really needs, saving the customer a bundle and still bringing in good income from labor. VDO power window lift components are engineered for vehicle-specific form, fit and function and come with OE style electrical connectors for quick and trouble-free installation. All VDO products are made to OE quality standards in ISO-certified facilities to the same specifications and quality standards as the OE components supplied by Continental to automakers worldwide. The overall VDO Door Systems Program features more than 1,300 products, which are available for most popular import and domestic automobiles and light trucks. Check the VDO online catalog for coverage at or contact: for additional information.

VDO is a Trademark of the Continental Corporation

Arnott: Quality Products At A Fraction Of The Cost


Air Suspension Products

Arnott Inc. is the global leader in replacement air suspension products for luxury cars, trucks and SUVs. Arnott is known for its quality products, which cost just a fraction of what dealers charge. Since 1989, Arnott has designed, manufactured and assembled air springs, air struts, compressors and coil spring conversion kits in the USA using superior domestic and foreign components. Arnott incorporates the highest-quality components into its products, including CNCmachined aircraft quality aluminum, rugged rubber air springs from vendors such as ContiTech and Goodyear, new shocks from Bilstein, and compressors from WABCO, AMK and Gast. Arnott prides itself in offering exceptional customer service, same-day shipping from multiple distribution centers, installation manuals and videos, and an OE fit every time. Arnott offers multiple options when it comes to air suspension repair. For many applications, Arnott offers new air springs to repair a customer’s current strut, completely remanufactured assemblies with new caps, seals and bladders, brand new Arnott designed replacements and coil spring conversion kits – all with a limited lifetime warranty. Arnott also carries a complete line of OEquality air suspension compressors, which come with a one-year warranty. Arnott products are backed with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 90-day return policy on unused and uninstalled products. For more information, or to download Arnott’s new catalog, visit At AAPEX, stop by Arnott’s booth No. 6338.

Autolite® XP Xtreme Performance® Spark Plugs Autolite® XP Xtreme Performance® Iridium enhanced spark plugs are one of Autolite’s most technologically advanced spark plugs ever. With an iridium-enhanced .6mm finewire design and proprietary V-trimmed platinum sidewire technology, these spark plugs provide better durability* and a more focused ignition for better overall ignitability** and optimum performance.

* Compared to .8mm finewire, multi-electrode design and standard plugs ** Compared to average of other premium brands 63

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

Wo r k i n g with Wagner Brake experts, Federated has developed a product line that uses OE designs, and improvements in materials and component integration, to deliver superior performance to other aftermarket lines. The Federated Professional Premium line provides superior braking performance, long life and quiet operation for customers who perform premium brake service and have a reputation for using high-quality brand name parts. Federated Professional Premium brake uses an OE approach to the design process that delivers the ultimate in overall performance for the professional service provider and is available exclusively from members and affiliates of Federated Auto Parts. For more information, visit

The KYB Strut-Plus The KYB Strut-Plus means “OE-Plus” for the vehicle: The KYB Strut-Plus is a ready-to-install assembly that doesn’t require a special spring compressor to transfer parts. It’s OEPlus because it’s designed to “restore” designed performance. That’s better than using an OE replacement part because OE parts are designed for new vehicles, not used vehicles. The Strut-Plus goal is to help restore the vehicle’s tire and body control, which affects vehicle stability, stopping distance, lane change responsiveness and overall handling. Every component in a complete strut assembly is critical to its overall performance: That’s why the KYB Strut-Plus only includes the highest OE or better components. At the heart of Strut-Plus is the Excel-G Gas Strut, which is built on the same KYB OE assembly lines and is calibrated to compensate for wear caused by vehicle age and miles driven. Where applicable, the KYB Strut-Plus also includes a new coil spring, mount, insulator, bearing plate and attaching parts. The KYB Strut-Plus comes pre-assembled (except some models), saves time on installation, eliminates assembly errors and includes all necessary components to get the job done right, the first time.


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Our Best Brake Pad Ever As the No. 1 supplier of global friction to OE manufacturers and the aftermarket, Federal-Mogul and Wagner® Brake have developed the first full line of ceramic formulations certified to the industry’s new 2021 low-copper standard. More importantly, new Wagner ThermoQuiet® CeramicNXT brake pads, featuring Wagner OE21™ low-copper technology, set impressive new benchmarks for overall pad performance and customer satisfaction.

only beat the legislative deadline for reducing copper in ceramic brake formulations, but they also provide across-the-board improvements in each key area of performance: 35 percent quieter braking; 15 percent more stopping power; up to 40 percent greater fade resistance; longer life; and reduced dusting. Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT with Wagner OE21 technology – it’s our best brake pad ever.

Redefining the Science of Ceramic Friction. Wagner Brake’s global R&D team utilized a sophisticated tribological “fingerprinting” process to isolate and analyze the performance of each material within conventional ceramic friction formulations. Once they mapped the dynamic characteristics of copper in a full range of operating conditions, they screened some 1,500 new raw materials to find the ideal low-copper combinations for a full range of OE and replacement applications. The proprietary new Wagner OE21 formulations not

Available Today! Learn more about these eco-friendly, low-copper formulations and Wagner ThermoQuiet CeramicNXT brake pads by contacting your Wagner Brake supplier or visiting

Better Grid, Better Performance Grids are the backbone of a battery. And just like a backbone, a better structure means better performance. Today, there’s no better grid than PowerFrame. PowerFrame is a more advanced kind of positive grid technology that improves the performance of the car battery. The metal that makes up an ordinary grid can easily corrode and break down. To make a better grid, we started by making a stronger metal and patenting an advanced manufacturing process. Each strip of the PowerFrame grid is rolled out into a precise thickness to deliver the maximum electrical flow and provide optimal strength. The PowerFrame grid design provides the shortest, most direct route

for electrons to move freely, providing up to 70 percent better electrical flow than other grids deliver. The stronger metal makes the grid more resistant to the corrosive qualities of acid and provides a sturdier outer frame for protection in high temperatures. The result is that PowerFrame technology is up to 66 percent more durable than other grid designs. “Grids manufactured utilizing PowerFrame technology not only lead the industry in consistency, greatly reducing the occurrence of premature failure, but also offer substantial benefits to resist corrosion in the environments that degrade battery performance, ” says Joseph E. Liedhgner Ph.D – manager, aftermarket customer engineering, Johnson Controls North America. In addition to building a stronger battery, PowerFrame’s patented manufacturing process produces 20 percent fewer greenhouse gases, using 20 percent less energy than other manufacturing processes. PowerFrame on the outside, means True Strength™ on the inside. To learn more about PowerFrame technology, visit our website at or see us at AAPEX (booth 1826). 65

MAHLE Clevite Inc. To Offer Behr Thermot-tronik Thermostats As a result of the progressing acquisition by MAHLE of Behr Industry GmbH & Co. KG, MAHLE Clevite Inc. will expand its North American product offering to include Behr Thermot-tronik thermostats and other components for temperature regulation. The product addition will be on display at MAHLE Clevite Inc. booth No. 3461 at this year’s AAPEX Show. To operate efficiently while minimizing wear emissions, the combustion engine requires the temperature to remain as constant as possible. Thermostats provide this control function by regulating the engine temperature with coolant. While thermostats are designed to last for the entire service life of a vehicle and are not naturally subject to wear, a number of factors can lead to material fatigue

and require replacement. Whether due to an accident or as part of repair or maintenance work done to the cooling system, thermostats should be replaced at that time to ensure continued functionality. The slightest reduction of functionality or even complete failure can have severe consequences. The strategic alliance with Behr Group has provided the means for MAHLE Aftermarket to offer a full line of thermal management products to the automotive aftermarket. A subsidiary of Behr GmbH & Co. KG, Behr Thermot-tronik GmbH (BTT) is a leading manufacturer of thermostats and temperature regulation systems for automotive and industrial applications. The development and production expertise of the Behr Group is now combined with and backed by the power of the MAHLE brand, synonymous with uncompromising high equipment quality without compromise. The extensive range of thermostats, switches and sensors will be introduced under the globally renowned MAHLE Original brand at the 2013 AAPEX Show.

Magnum Gaskets By MSI Expands Product Line At AAPEX. Magnum Gaskets has tripled its offering 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 covers, oil pans and manifold gaskets at very competitive prices. For nearly 20 years, Magnum’s parent company, Modern Silicone Technologies Inc. (MSI), has manufactured state-of-the-art molded gaskets for major aftermarket brands and OEMs. Under Magnum’s “USA FIRST” policy, more than 90 percent of Magnum Gaskets are designed, manufactured and packaged in the USA. The Magnum line features special product advantages, such as two valve cover gaskets included in the GM 5.0/5.7L Intake manifold gasket set, where competitors have only one gasket. Magnum MaxDry STL steel carrier gaskets also boast uniquely scalloped intake gasket ports that reduce stress on seals and extend gasket life. Many AAPEX attendees are seriously involved in highperformance and diesel markets. Magnum recently introduced a complete line of performance gaskets, featuring advanced materials and designs for Chevy SB, BB and GM LS motors plus popular Ford and Chrysler applica-


September 2013 | Counterman

tions. All sets come in attractive skin packs that contain everything necessary for a successful installation. 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 and C9, Detroit Diesel Series 60 and Cummins ISX. See Magnum Gaskets at AAPEX booth No. 1081 from Nov. 5-7 in Las Vegas or click

Penray Plus™ Automotive Line Expands Following the successful launch of the Penray Plus™ line of chemicals and functional fluids, The Penray Companies Inc. has expanded the line to include innovative new products tailored specifically for DIY customers. Tire Fix Plus™, an innovative emergency tire inflator with proprietary Leak Detective™, leaves an easily identified fluorescent mark where it has sealed the leak. This new product allows for quick and safe roadside inflation, while facilitating repair later. Now offered in four different container sizes and configurations to better meet your needs. Other new Penray Plus™ products include professional strength glass cleaner, designed specifically to clean and remove bugs, tar and other contaminants that resist typical household glass cleaners. And, Penray’s justreleased Liquid Tune-Up®, a uniquely engineered kit of three essential chemicals for treating engine oil, fuel and coolant, enhancing engine performance, economy and longevity.

Solv-Tec K-Seal Permanent Total Coolant Leak Repair

To find out more about K-Seal visit the Solv-Tec booth at AAPEX #6136 For more information please contact:

Patrick O’Brien Tel: 609-261-4242 Email:

Solv-Tec returns to AAPEX following a fantastic year for its top selling K-Seal Permanent Total Coolant Leak Repair. “Sales are up 50 percent in the U.S. alone and we have exciting new developments in our international markets,” said SolvTec President (CEO) Patrick O’Brien. K-Seal is a one-step permanent total coolant leak repair. It will successfully fix leaks in the head, head gasket, block, radiator, heater core and water pump casing. The unique formulation is compatible with all types of antifreeze and is as simple to use as topping up the cooling system, a true pour-and-go. O’Brien continues, “With K-Seal there is no confusion for the consumer because the product is suitable for all types of engine and all types of leaks. And, all of this for a great price. This not only ben-

efits the consumer but also saves the retailer time.” Solv-Tec also is excited about its national supplier arrangements with O’Reilly, Pep Boys, Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper , NAPA and scores of independent WDs and jobbers from coast-tocoast. This has enabled them to more easily meet the increased demand from both the retail and commercial consumer following a successful National PR campaign. Demand also is growing internationally with new distributors coming on stream in Europe and Australasia. Mike Schlup, international sales director explains more, “The Internet and social media have helped to spread the success story of K-Seal and we have people from around the globe contacting us daily about how to get hold of K-Seal.” 67

Fuel Pump Assembly – Know What You Buy With the increase of alcohol in fuel found across North American filling stations, Spectra Premium’s enhanced components increase the resistance to alcohol-rich fuels. Carbon commutators are utilized in high-flow pumps, which generate less heat and equate to a longerlasting fuel pump, whereas Palladium silver alloy is utilized in Spectra’s fuel level sensors to increase durability and ensure accurate gauge readings. #KnowWhatYouBuy

Timken® Sensor-PacTM Wheel Hub Units Performance + Control = Trust Timken® Sensor-PacTM wheel hub units include the same advanced anti-lock braking system (ABS) technologies as most original equipment (OE), individually tested to ensure performance and quality. The integration and internal mounting of electronic wheel speed sensors provide protection from debris, contamination and thermal shock. Timken Sensor-Pac wheel hub units, manufactured from customdesigned alloy steel, feature industry-leading Timken® tapered roller bearings and are pre-adjusted, pre-greased and pre-sealed. Despite prolonged braking periods, contamination and extreme temperatures, Timken Sensor-Pac wheel hub units deliver exceptional performance, traction control and life. Contact a Timken sales representative today to discover how our Sensor-PacTM wheel hub units can improve performance of your vehicles.

(866) 9-TIMKEN (984-6536)


September 2013 | Counterman


Continued from page 58 their webpage as a permanent tab on my browser. A word of warning to my regular email recipients — now you know that if you still get an email from me with all caps, I really am yelling. data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

This one is a quick and easy way to open a tab to jot down a quick note that does not need to be saved. There are a myriad of options to do this on note pads, Post-it notes, and sophisticated word processors, but there is swift quickness of do-

ing this in the same browser you are already working in. This tool is so cool its not even a Website, but a bit of HTML code that, when pasted into the browser’s URL bar, it will open a new, empty tab where you can type a quick note in seconds. Just copy and paste the instruction as written above in your browser’s URL bar and give it a whirl. Timer-Tab (

named tab tool that allows you to manage time right on your tabs. A 3-in-1 solution: a timer, an alarm and a stopwatch. All three tools can be easily found elsewhere in our wristwatches and smartphones, but I find that by engaging these tools on my browser, I actually get to use them more. For instance, I set up a timer when I started writing this column and I can see now that I have spent way too much time on it, better get back to selling parts now! CM

This one is not only super useful, but is beautiful to look at. An aptly ■ ■ ■

Visit Mandy’s blog:

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




Advance Auto Parts Advics Affinia Undercar Group Affinia/Raybestos AIA Airtex Corp. Aisin Akebono Brake Corp. Amsoil Inc. Apex Automobile Parts Arnott Industries Autolite Autologue Bar’s Products CARQUEST Corp. Centric Parts Contitech CRC Industries DEA Products DENSO DMA Goodpoint ExxonMobil Federal-Mogul Federal-Mogul/Wagner Brakes Federated Auto Parts Gabriel Ride Control

19 27,61 75 56,59,61 77 60 73 39,60 21 3 63 40,41,63 14,15 30,32 7 54,55 Cover 3 51,62 5 31,57 50 Cover 4 65 24,25 1,64 20

Johnson Controls KYB Americas Corp. Mahle Clevite Mann + Hummel Mevotech Magnum Gaskets Motor Components LLC NGK Spark Plugs Nissan North America NUCAP Packard Industries Penray LuK SK Hand Tool Solv-Tec Spectra Premium Industries Standard Motor Products TechSmart Timken Trico Products TYC/Genera Corp. US Motor Works VDO Volkswagen Parts & Accessories Walker Products

65 29,64 23,66 22 47 66 37 28 35 70,71 18 49,67 9 12 67 68 53 13 68 Cover 2 45 26 62 17 43 69


EEPING IT SIMPLE By Gerald Wheelus

You Have No Time For That? What do we sell our employers when we go to work for them? Time is what we sell to our employers in return for our paycheck.

I for reader service

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

look back on the many years I have spent in the automotive aftermarket, I find that I have many stories. Some of them are very informative, some of them are just war stories and some of them are really true. Nevertheless, when I first contacted Mark Phillips, the Counterman editor, I told him all I really wanted to do is share those experiences with any and all who might read them and find some use from them. Recently, in a sales meeting it was announced that I am a columnist for Counterman magazine. When the guest acknowledged my presence the first thing that came to mind was, “Yes and some of the columns are pretty good, too.” My attempt at humor is sometimes perfect and at other times, not so much. And as funny as I try to be, it sometimes belies the serious nature of what we do for a living. When I consider all the questions and answers and study it takes to stay-up-todate with the ever-changing climate of our chosen profession, it becomes clear that we overlook the one thing that we all have to offer. When I considered where my training


September 2013 | Counterman

and knowledge has come from, the thought always turns to my first boss. The truth is, the people I supervise today could not have worked for him. But, I was forced to learn the “parts business” or get out. The second thing I think of is the money he spent on training me and sending me to class, not because he made me want to, because I wanted to. After that, I consider the amount of money that the next company I worked for spent on me and in my estimation was around $250,000 over an 11-year period. Not because they made me, but because I wanted to. Not every company can combine resources with another company and offer that kind of investment for all of us. Not all of us will be so fortunate to have that opportunity. The opportunity afforded to me was based on my willingness to offer the only thing I really had to offer, and that was time. What do we sell our employers when we go to work for them? Time, in return for a paycheck. Philosophically speaking, we sell talent, knowledge, ability and many other things, but those are in addition to the time we sell. People can and will argue this with me and that is fine. But, in a day, week, month and year, most of us will use as an excuse, “I did not have enough time.” We will blame co-workers, whether they are mere co-workers or they are subordinates to us. We will blame customers, supervisors, family, friends, traffic or anything else we can find to blame for the ineptness we have displayed for whatever failure we have come across. But, did we manage the time we actually had? CM for reader service


AMN Executive Interview With

Henry Hippert, Executive Sales Director, Eastern Catalytic By Amy Antenora

aving joined the company in 2003, Henry Hippert has been a major contributor to the dramatic and consistent growth Eastern Catalytic has demonstrated over the past several years. In this interview, Hippert brings us up to speed on recent expansion efforts taking place at Eastern thanks to the company’s continued growth and success, and also gives us an update on state-by-state CARB regulations.

H Henry Hippert

Last time we spoke, roughly a year ago, the company had just expanded in Langhorne, Pa., with the addition of a new 103,000-square-foot finished goods inventory and shipping center. Tell us about the efficiencies and improvements the company has experienced as a result of this expansion.

Yes, the expansion is about 90 percent complete. Assembly of the final racking for our catalytic converters that have been granted an Executive Order (EO) from the California Air Resource Board (CARB) will be an ongoing process as we continue to add additional SKUs. The strategy for using the new building and extra production capacity has worked out perfectly and according to plan. The smooth product flow from production, through final QC, packaging, racking, to the daily FedEx trailers docked at one of 14 bays, gives our shipping team a good system to easily meet customer demands. We


September 2013 | Counterman

are now shipping all single-piece, drop-ship orders within one day and all large stock orders are going out in five business days at 100 percent! Two years ago, I was dealing with a dilemma as sales director because I was literally turning away new business in order to satisfy our existing customers. Our production capacity was close to 100 percent utilization, yet our R&D people were continually adding more new direct fit parts. We had our hands full just fulfilling our promises. Now, we are on the complete opposite end, and things are great. We are open for new distributors that are looking to add highly profitable product lines to their mix. On top of that, we were able to pass on our efficiencies to our customers through our recent price reduction and have dropped the price on many “A” selling parts an average of 7 percent.

With the expansion and increased business, what is the pace like today for Eastern Catalytic, and what are your expectations for the next several years?

To ensure we are ready to meet the market demands for the Jan. 1, 2014, enforcement date in New York, we have committed a significant amount of finances and have

also created what is, in essence, a CARB committee. This committee is comprised of a dedicated team of experts from Eastern and is being managed by Christopher Schafer, for reader service

We continue to grow our core business of direct fit aftermarket converters but have also been expanding our horizons with many new small engine converter/muffler assemblies for generators as well as being awarded a new OE contract for a complete exhaust system. Over the next several years, we see some changes coming to the U.S. aftermarket for catalytic converters as more and more states either adopt CA regulations or drive the EPA to develop new regulations that are more in line with increased OE emissions legislation. This change to emissions requirements has already been announced and passed into law in New York and Maine. These states now require that aftermarket replacements used on registered vehicles must be catalytic converters that have been granted an EO from CARB. Now, this does not mean that 100 percent of the New York vehicle population will need the new CA converters. Shops will need to check both the model year and emission type to determine what can legally be installed. To help clarify the situation, we are providing a complete explanation on our website. While the work we have put in to get EOs for the needed parts, as well as producing correct applications and cataloging them, has been a daunting task, we now have a great product line to satisfy not only the needs of shops in New York and Maine, but also to really boost our sales in California. 73


third generation of the owners of Eastern. Do you have plans for any additional expansions?

We continue to look at many opportunities to either vertically integrate and bring some processes

Eastern Catalytic has played a leadership role in the industry with respect to technology and regulations. Bring us up to speed on the states that now require the use of CARBcompliant catalytic converters and where you see this trend heading.

As I noted earlier, so far New York and Maine have elected to follow While our focus is currently on adding CARB regulations applications to both our EPA and CARB product for converter relines, there is still plenty of growth available in placement. But we expect other overseas markets and OE Tier 1 and 2 supply. states to adopt similar regulain-house through expansion, or look tions. Currently, 14 other states refor acquisitions within the industry. quire CARB compliant emissions While our focus is currently on systems on new cars only. It is exadding applications to both our EPA pected that by the 2017 or 2018 modand CARB product lines, there is el year all states will harmonize with still plenty of growth available in CARB regulations under the new overseas markets and OE Tier 1 and LEV III program. Conceivably, it will only be a matter of time before they 2 supply.

extend their enforcement to the replacement market. Tell us a bit about your customer base. We understand that you recently were awarded some new OE business.

Yes, we have a contract for a complete exhaust system. While we have been supplying OE manufacturers in Egypt, China and Ecuador for many years, this new contract will be our first as a Tier 1 supplier in the U.S. The company, Elio Motors, and its new vehicle, the Elio, are revolutionary in the automobile manufacturing segment. They have developed a three-wheeled vehicle that will be capable of 84 mpg and is expected to cost only $6,800. We are very excited to be a part of this and it will really elevate our company to a new level. CM

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September 2013 | Counterman



Why Didn’t I Think Of That? wish I had a dollar for every time I have said that to myself. The other frustrating thing is when I see some great idea and I have previously thought of it. I just did not do anything about it. I am sure you have all been in one or both of these situations. Earlier this week I had such a moment. From time to time, people send products in hoping that the product will spark some interest and we’ll publish it in our new products section. Typically, we run them if appropriate for your review and that is the end of it. The market decides very quickly if the product has merit. That is the beauty of our free market system. Occasionally, I see something that is really clever or useful and it grabs my attention. Rarely, will I write about it but there are those rare instances. This below is one of them. Last week a product called VaccUFlex came in the mail. It seemed fairly mundane to most, but to me, it was sheer genius. As many of you know, I am an avid car guy and all-around tool junkie. You can see from the picture what this thing does. If not, you won’t use it anyway. How many times have you looked at an area and said, “I sure wish I could get

I I guess my point here is this: the next time you are faced with a situation that requires some ingenuity, stop and ask yourself, can I solve this?

my vacuum in there”? Well ask no more. This thing gets you right under that fridge and cleans those dust bunnies off the coils. Or, what about between those seats in a console-equipped vehicle? If you work on stuff, your mind already has many more uses than I can rattle off here. Just seeing the product should have been enough, but I needed to talk to the guy who came up with this, partly because I was jealous, and partly because I am somewhat entrepreneurial. His name is Joe and as with most of these kinds of items, he came upon it out of necessity. Joe’s wife fell in love with a new light fixture for the front porch and it turned out to be very difficult to clean. Joe tried to use his vacuum but it just didn’t get in there. And there you have it, several iterations and his problem and ours, are solved. I guess my point here is this: the next time you are faced with a situation that requires some ingenuity, stop and ask yourself, can I solve this? If so, do it and then ask, does anyone else have this problem? If so, look into getting it made. What the heck, it might just be the next big thing. And hurry up! I am probably struggling with the same problem and not clever enough to solve it. CM

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For more information: 76

September 2013 | Counterman for reader service


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1-800-434-5141 for reader service


LLEN & ALLAN By Allen Markowitz & Allan Gerber

Have You Ever Been Suspended? here is a good deal of talk in the news today, especially in the sports world about being suspended. We are not speaking about automotive suspensions, but rather major league baseball; 13 players suspended including the famous A-Rod. Getting away from major league baseball, let’s look at our lives as automotive jobbers and counter professionals. We generally feel that our businesses function well and we service our commercial customers perfectly 99 percent of the time. Yet, we have always wondered why they seem only to remember that 1 percent of the time where everything does not go as planned. Somehow, I am certain that everything does not go as planned 100 percent of the time in any business. So here we are, our customer Nick (could be any Nick) calls to order a part. He gets his prices, places his order, does not ask if the part is in stock or when he can expect his delivery. Well, the part was not in stock and we had to send a driver to the warehouse to get it to the store to be dispatched to Nick. Does any of this sound familiar? Two hours later, Nick calls to check on his part, speaks to a second counterperson who informs him that the part was picked up at the warehouse and will be delivered to him shortly. Another half-hour goes by and again, Nick calls. This time you can hear his anger and almost see that vein on the side of his neck sticking out. A third counterperson places him on hold to inquire about his part; luckily while on hold, the part arrives. While this was unfortunate it demonstrates a lack of communication. Meanwhile, back to Nick. For the next few days all went well with Nick, then again a similar

T How difficult do you think it was to get Nick’s business back after our one-month suspension?

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.


September 2013 | Counterman

situation occurs. This time Nick is not patient or polite in his response. He loudly announces, “YOU ARE NOW SUSPENDED!” The counterperson replies… what? Nick goes on, “which part of ‘you are suspended’ don’t you understand? I will not call or place any orders with your company for the next month. Tell that to my salesman and your boss.” Nick kept his word; we were suspended for a month (no calls or purchases) and no matter how many attempts were made by the salesperson or owner, this would not be changed. Nick’s story is not an uncommon one perhaps not using those exact words, “You are suspended,” to drive home the point. How many times does a customer get upset because something does not go exactly as planned and then you do not hear from him for a few days? Most times, this is noticeable and should be of concern, especially if you know that your competition is out there always soliciting your accounts. Having the parts in stock and letting the customer know (communication is key) will always be our primary function. Prompt delivery and courteous service with a fair price is next. So, what about Nick? How could this suspension have been avoided? It all comes down to communication. If Nick was told that his part had to be picked up, he might have scheduled a different job at that time and not had an issue waiting for the part. Never assume that the customer knows what we have to do to get any part to them. And by the way, how difficult do you think it was to get Nick’s business back after our one-month suspension? We never did; our competition was right there. CM

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

Counterman, September 2013  

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