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CHALLENGE: OUR AMATEUR ATTEMPT TO BUILD A CATERHAM

ISSUE 18 | MARCH 2017

£2.50 | WORKSHOPMAGAZINE.CO.UK

+ AWARDS What do you think of your suppliers? Have your say

+ INVESTIGATION MOT rule change that could make roads more dangerous

CRASH COURSE The 20 years of testing that have saved thousands of lives

RATED & RANKED

Glass cleaner and soldering irons

PLUS: Inspection creepers in the spotlight

BUGATTI CHIRON

How to make a £2m hypercar


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EDITORIAL

BLACKBALL MEDIA HASLAR MARINE TECHNOLOGY PARK, HASLAR ROAD, GOSPORT, PO12 2AG T: (023) 9252 2434

CONTENTS.

rebecca@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @BelieveBecca

PRODUCTION EDITOR DAVE BROWN

dave@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @CarDealerDave

NEWS EDITOR JACK EVANS

jack@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @jackrober

SENIOR STAFF WRITER ANDREW EVANS

andrew@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @snavEwerdnA

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STAFF WRITER LAURA THOMSON

laura@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @lauramayrafiki

graeme@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @graemewindell

ADVERTISING

How I Made It: Testing times: Garage owner Twenty years Sam Hard is living of Euro NCAP his American dream

34 50

The Judge: What happens if a recently repaired car fails again?

HEAD OF DESIGN GRAEME WINDELL

SALES MANAGER JON HICKEY

j.hickey@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @CarDealerjon

ACCOUNT MANAGER TOM ADAMS

tom.adams@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @_WorkshopTom

FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION finance@blackballmedia.co.uk

SUITS

18

HEAD OF NEWS & FEATURES REBECCA CHAPLIN

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER JAMES BAGGOTT james@thebaize.com Twitter: @CarDealerEd

MANAGING DIRECTOR ANDY ENTWISTLE andy@blackballmedia.co.uk Twitter: @CarDealerAndy

CONTRIBUTORS John Bowman, Darren Cassey, James Fossdyke, Ian Gardner, Kev Grady, Chris Harrison, Chris Jervis, Jon Reay, Craig Rose, Alex Wells, Our Kev. SUBSCRIPTIONS If you know someone who would like a FREE copy of Workshop Magazine, email the details to subs@workshopmagazine.co.uk and we’ll do the rest. DISTRIBUTION Workshop Magazine is distributed to a database of up to 10,000 service and repair sites, franchised car dealers, independents, car manufacturers and suppliers.

Company No. 6473855 VAT No. 933 8428 05 ISSN No. 1759-5444 Workshop Magazine is published by Blackball Media Ltd (Company No 6473855) and printed by Warners. All rights reserved. Conditions of sale and supply include the fact that Workshop shall not, without our consent, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated way or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or affixed to or as any part of a publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. Workshop Magazine is fully protected by copyright. Nothing may be reproduced wholly or in part without permission.

Our Kev: The customer is always right? This classic car owner was definitely in the wrong

Fault Finder: Tackling problems with certain BMWs

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HUGE AUTOMOTIVE EXPO: We want Workshop magazine readers to join us at CDX17!

Welcome

17

It could be considered smug to say I love Workshop Magazine, but this issue is a smasher. You’ll have seen on the cover that we’re not only finding out about people who build cars, but testing them to destruction, too. Yes, that poor Rover 100 was crash-tested against its modern-day equivalent, a Honda Jazz, to show just how much safety has improved over the years. Andrew paid a visit to Thatcham Research to discover what goes into testing a vehicle to Euro NCAP standards – and although he’s witnessed cars being completely demolished recently, he has also been putting his mechanical skills to the test by building a Caterham. He’s very modest in his run-through of everything he found out during the process (turn to p22), but he should feel pretty proud of himself as he managed to assemble the car single-handed in just 72 hours. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into building the most extreme of supercars, we reveal what goes into constructing a Bugatti Chiron on p30 of the magazine.

Put through their paces: Inspection creepers are wheeled out for assessment by our panel of professionals It’s fair to say the process is slightly more involved than putting a Caterham together… For How I Made It this month, I paid a visit to Sam Hard of Hard Up Garage in Fareham, Hampshire. He specialises in importing cars from America, fixing them up and selling them on, but he’s been working on some very special custom cars too. The ‘Our Fleet’ pages have received a bit of a tweak, seeing as we’ve got a few new cars at Workshop Towers. And those of you who were looking forward to reading all about Laura’s motorbike adventure to Morocco can head to p14 now. Finally, the back end of the magazine is as much of a draw as ever. This month Andrew has been putting glass cleaner, soldering irons and creepers to the test and you can find out what he picked as his best buys from page 38. All in all, it’s an issue not to be missed!

Rebecca Chaplin, Head of News and Features WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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NEWS.

INVESTIGATION

MOT CHANGES: IF IT AIN’T BROKE, WHY TRY TO FIX IT? At present, and as we all know, a car undergoes its first MOT at three years old – but this could extend to four. What would this mean for workshops? And what about the implications for road safety? REBECCA CHAPLIN reports

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he government is currently undertaking a consultation which could lead to cars on UK roads undergoing their first MOT test after four years rather than three. Transport minister Andrew Jones explained in his foreword to the exercise that such a change would bring us in line with other European countries – but the proposal has raised concerns. He said: ‘Northern Ireland operates a four-year date for cars and motorcycles and three years for vans. Other European countries, including France, Ireland, Italy and Spain, as well as Denmark and Norway, have the first test at four years. ‘Others such as Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden start testing at three years. France, Germany and Denmark require testing every other year after the initial test.’ However, figures from a previous investigation undertaken by the government in 2008 would seem to indicate that this change would make UK roads more dangerous.

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The most alarming figures are included in the prediction that it would result in five extra fatalities on the roads each year and 2,000 more injuries, of which 338 would be serious. Technology has moved on, but as director at the RMI Stuart James told Workshop Magazine, lives would still be at risk. He admitted that the impact on the garage industry would probably be minimal, particularly for independent garages, as many cars of a relatively young age are lease cars MOT’d by franchise dealers. However, he said: ‘The government is saying technology and advancements in the way cars are manufactured, dictates they don’t need to be MOT’d at three years, but we know overall there’s a 22 per cent failure rate [at that point]. ‘That’s an awful lot of cars and if you break down the statistics for what they’re failing on, the main items are lighting, then tyres, then driver visibility, brakes, suspension... all of these items add up to a potential road-safety incident.

‘While cars might be mechanically built better, all of the wear items deteriorate just the same as they always have and all of those parts have implications for road safety. ‘I don’t think the consumers would really see any benefit from the extra £50 in their pocket, compared to the safety of their vehicle.’ James continued: ‘The government clearly stated there’d be over two more road deaths per year as a minimum, and for me if it’s one more injury a year it’s a step backwards for the safety of our roads. As things stand today, we have one of the best road safety records in Europe. We’ve got the best – shouldn’t we be keeping that?’ In 2015 there were 1,730 road deaths in Britain, the lowest figure on record, and a projection as part of the Strategic Framework of Road Safety predicts that this will continue to fall by 3.5 per cent each year this decade. As highlighted by the RMI in response to the government’s consultation, the existing MOT test gives


motorists an opportunity to make what are usually minor repairs but ones which address issues that would become more serious in time. It also calls into question the number of illegal cars which could be driving around on UK roads were the first MOT date to be changed. The most common reasons for initial failures in 2015 were lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment with 143,413 failures; tyres at 85,720 failures; followed by the driver’s view of the road with 73,883. However, there were 47,138 failures due to issues with a car’s brakes, 24,628 because of suspension problems, and 6,164 because of problems with seat belts and supplementary restraints. As James pointed out, there are many advisories picked up on cars at their first MOT which could become more dangerous. Not to mention the work that is undertaken on cars before an MOT, to ensure it passes at three years. He told us: ‘When you look at an advisory, 1.6mm on tyre tread is the legal limit. If it’s at

two millimetres it’s an advisory Currently, three options are and within maybe a couple of proposed: keep the current system; thousand miles, that becomes below extend the first MOT for all vehicles 1.6mm and illegal. Motorists might to four years; or extend this period say, OK we got an advisory at for all vehicles except vans. While cars might be the MOT and it passed, but we The government revealed that mechanically built better, know about it, where in fact if were the second option carried there’s no advisory in place and forward, 8.3 per cent fewer all of the wear items the vehicle becomes illegal a MOT tests would be carried out deteriorate just the same couple of thousand miles later, each year, while the third option as they always have. the driver could get three penalty would result in 7.5 per cent fewer. STUART JAMES points and a fine that far exceeds ‘This legislation will put the UK the £45 for the cost of the MOT.’ further down the list on road safety,’ He added: ‘If 22 per cent fail overall, you’ve James concluded. got to remember there is a high percentage of ‘I believe the failure rate will without doubt vehicles that are serviced before that MOT and increase significantly and fines will increase tyres, brakes and suspension may be replaced and for motorists because they will find themselves it passes straight away. unintentionally breaking the law. ‘If none of that preparatory work is carried out, ‘What we have is one of the best vehicle then at year four, you’ve got to assume that the safety checks in Europe and to change it is just failure rate is going to considerably increase.’ unnecessary at any time.’

WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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NEWS.

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Visit sigmavision.com today and find out how you can join the tyre measurement revolution.

06 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk sigmavision_89x271mm_Aftermarket ad r6.indd 1

19/09/2016 12:45

Alfa and Porsche top the warranty claim charts, figures show Superminis and hatchbacks prove the most reliable

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lfa Romeo drivers are more likely to make a claim under their warranty than the owners of any other vehicle, according to statistics published by Warranty Direct. Analysis of more than 40,000 policies and more than £3m-worth of its recently authorised claims has shown that 40 per cent of Alfa Romeo drivers requested payouts. Not far behind, 36 per cent of Porsche drivers went through the same process, while 34 per cent of Land Rovers suffered faults. Alfa Romeos are often considered a true driving enthusiast’s car, but suspension, electrical and cooling system problems were the most frequent causes of claims in 2016. Maintenance of Porsches was a considerable expense last year, with the average cost of repair standing at £1,019.07. Common claims for Porsche owners included suspension and electrical issues, along with steering faults. Mercedes-Benz sat in fifth place – particularly significant given the brand’s popularity. In 2015 alone, the company sold 145,254 units in the UK, which equated to more than five per cent of the market share. An average repair cost of £559.99

by REBECCA CHAPLIN @believebecca was the highest after Porsche and BMW (£609.13). The figures also revealed a trend of Japanese manufacturers overtaking European options in terms of reliability. Honda, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota all had between just three and six per cent of their policies claimed on throughout the year. Superminis and hatchbacks didn’t receive many claims, largely owing to the simplicity of their parts and reduced costs of labour. These included makes such as Smart, Kia, Seat, Ford and Hyundai, all with a claim rate of less than 10 per cent against their policies. Philip Ward, chief operating officer of Warranty Direct, said: ‘With many cars becoming increasingly complex in terms of component parts, repair costs will continue to rise throughout 2017. ‘Vehicles that might seem reliable and reasonably priced can end up becoming a financial liability for the owner.’

MAKING A CLAIM Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Alfa Romeo Porsche Land Rover Chrysler Mercedes-Benz Jaguar Lexus BMW Volvo Citroën

% of Total Claims Against Total Number of Policies Held Per Make

Average Authorised Claim

40% 36% 34% 26% 25% 23% 22% 16% 16% 15%

£355.47 £1,019.07 £513.31 £474.28 £559.99 £442.68 £469.68 £609.13 £466.92 £363.20


NEWS ROUND-UP What’s been making the headlines at workshops around the United Kingdom?

LEICESTER:

Reep Midlands has opened the UK’s largest luxury car care and detailing operation at Wigston, south of Leicester. The 7,500 sq ft, £250,000 investment in association with PG Automotive is designed to provide a top-quality detailing service for cherished cars. Through the group, Reep Midlands has forged supply arrangements with some of the world’s leading car care, detailing and surface protection product companies.

| MCLAREN |

650S replacement to get a 4.0-litre V8 WASHINGTON:

Two members of the aftersales management team at Jennings Motor Group have been rewarded for achieving a combined 65 years’ loyalty with the company. Group service and bodyshop manager Brian Johnston has served a total of 45 years with the business, while Washington service manager June Appleyard, from Jarrow, has achieved 20 years. Jennings MD Nas Khan congratulated the pair.

MCLAREN has confirmed that its 650S-replacing supercar will come with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 when it is launched at the Geneva Motor Show. The as-yet-unnamed Ferrari 488 rival will form the new Super Series level of McLaren’s range, sitting above the 570S and associated cars that make up the Sports Series. Although many manufacturers are making their engines smaller to meet emissions regulations, McLaren has upped the Super Series from 3.8 to 4.0 litres to offer increased performance. No power outputs have yet been confirmed, but the Woking-based brand says the newcomer will sprint from 0 to 124mph in 7.8 seconds.

| INVESTMENT |

PSA Group reveals £172m project THE PSA Group, currently at the centre of speculation surrounding its intentions towards Vauxhall in the UK, is investing £172 million in a significant modernisation project. The aim of the initiative is to bring the company’s historic Sochaux site in eastern France up to date. At present, Sochaux does not live up to its potential as much as other PSA Group sites. The project seeks to carry out improvements that will allow the plant to become a benchmark for other factories.

OXFORD:

A 22-year-old mechanic who handled £7,000-worth of stolen tools has been jailed for six months. Jason Dewsbury turned to crime to repay loans, calling it ‘easy money’, the Oxford Mail reported. Police found stolen items in his car, the city’s crown court was told. Dewsbury, of no fixed abode, admitted 11 counts of handling stolen goods, and his lawyer said he was keen to apologise to his victims. He had seven previous convictions.

DORSET:

GSF Car Parts’ long-serving Poole branch manager, Paul Snook, is training for the London Marathon on April 23, after opting to enter the race to raise funds for prostate cancer research. Snook started running just three years ago but has quickly progressed from fun runs up to 5km, 10km and even half-marathons. He readily admits the London Marathon will be the ‘ultimate challenge’. Donate online at bit.ly/marathon-18

| WARM WELCOME |

New appointments made to Bartec board WEST SUSSEX:

Firefighters were called to Customize Bodyworkz in Crawley on February 15 when dust in a paint-drying oven ‘smoked out’. The fire and rescue service had to wear breathing apparatus as it dealt with the situation. A spokesman for the company told the Crawley Observer that there hadn’t actually been a fire but crews were called out for safety reasons. The business was open as normal after the incident.

TYRE pressure monitoring system expert Bartec has made two appointments to the company’s board. Matt Woods and Philip Wilson, both of whom have a wealth of experience and knowledge in their respective fields, have been appointed with immediate effect as operations director and financial director respectively. Woods joined Bartec in 2013 to take up the role of general manager, tasked with project-managing the design and build of the company’s refurbished head office in Barnsley. Wilson was appointed to the company in 2015. Managing director Colin Webb said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ to welcome them both to the board. WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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NEWS.

Well oil be! So many variations leading to workshop headaches | RESPECT |

Ateca success meant Seat jumped queue for new platform THE success of the Ateca SUV allowed Seat access to the latest VW Group small car platform ahead of its sister brands, according to one of Seat’s senior engineers. Thomas Schauer, who works on powertrains and chassis at Seat, said the Spanish brand had been allowed to use the new MQB A0 platform before Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda after the Ateca earned the respect of the group’s management. With the introduction of the new platform, Seat has been able to extend the new Ibiza’s wheelbase,

despite the car losing 2mm in overall length. As a result, there is now more rear legroom than before, as well as a class-leading 355-litre boot. Speaking at the unveiling of the new Ibiza, Schauer said: ‘Normally the group prioritises Audi, then Volkswagen, then Skoda, then Seat, but we launched the Ateca in front of the Skoda Kodiaq and then there was a lot of respect for how we have improved and how we built this car. ‘Also, the Ibiza is one of the most important cars we make. We have three. We have the Ateca, we have the Leon and this – this is next. ‘So when it came to the Ibiza, Volkswagen said ‘‘OK’’. For VW, Polo is just one model, but for Seat it’s very important, and so they accepted that. ‘Also, with the commitments of the factory, we are quicker and we produce a very high level of quality.’

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‘If you don’t know who is going to come through the door, what do you stock?’

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he huge increase in the number of different oils needed to service passenger cars is causing problems for independent garages and mechanics, according to Fuchs Lubricants. Previously, the vast majority of cars would take 10w-40 or 15w-40 engine oils. These days, more original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are coming up with their own demands for the precise specifications of the products used in their vehicles – Fuchs itself has three different engine oils just for Fords – and failure to use an OEM-approved oil can invalidate a vehicle’s warranty. Andy Brown, UK automotive technical manager at Fuchs Lubricants, said: ‘At Fuchs, we’ve looked through the data of 32 million vehicles and know how many grades are required to cover most of the cars on the UK roads today. ‘For independent garages who don’t know who is going to come through the door, the question is, what do you stock? This change has occurred because it has become much more common for OEMs to have their own bespoke needs.’ Brown estimates that an independent garage would have to stock at least nine different engine oils to cover around 95 per cent of the UK’s car parc, and probably double that to have the right product for every car. He said: ‘It’s all about emissions, particularly with the new CO2 rules coming in by 2020/2021. ‘OEMs will have to use oils that have a lower viscosity, which in turn reduces the internal

by ANDREW EVANS @snavEwerdnA energy losses within the engine. The energy loss of every lubricated component reduces because there is lower friction, the engine becomes more efficient, you use less fuel and the emissions come down.’ However, Brown continued: ‘Every OEM has approached this challenge slightly differently and therefore the oil that each car requires is slightly different. ‘In many ways, the oils being used in different makes are very similar, but they’re very different at the same time, too. The formulations have been tweaked with additives, often very subtly indeed to help that vehicle perform to its absolute maximum. Often with these new grades they are not backward-compatible.’ With independent garages struggling to stock specific oils, customers could be drawn to franchise dealers, particularly as the wrong grade of oil could invalidate a vehicle warranty should engine issues arise. Brown said: ‘Oil is one of the most critical components in an engine, otherwise it just doesn’t last. It’s important to have the right oil and to understand how they are classified.’ He added: ‘All of the oils are different for a reason. We have seen instances where the wrong oil has been applied and, while that has not directly caused the problem, it has in fact invalidated the warranty.’

| WIPER BLADES |

Trico agrees supply partnership with Motor World WIPER blade manufacturer Trico has announced that it has agreed a deal with Motor World that will see its Exact Fit range stocked in all 37 stores. The original equipment manufacturer, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017, now offers its programme of beam, hybrid, conventional and rear wiper blades to A1 Motor Factor Group (A1MF) member Motor World, which joined A1MF in November 2016. As part of the agreement, Trico will display signs in each store to demonstrate its commitment to Motor World and

investment in point of sale. Product and brand manager Sam Robinson said: ‘I am delighted that Motor World has agreed to stock the entire Exact Fit range. ‘Trico enjoys a successful relationship with A1 Motor Stores and A1 Motor Factor Group, and this development further enhances that partnership. Myself and Trico look forward to working with the Motor World branch teams.’ Ian Lawrence, sales and operations director at Motor World, said: ‘We are pleased to introduce Trico Exact Fit Wiper Blades to complement our Bluecol wiper blade range.’


CDX is not to be missed – we’ll see you there! So much going on to help service and repair professionals better their businesses

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t’s the biggest automotive expo of its kind – and once again, we want Workshop magazine readers to join us! To be held at Silverstone on Tuesday, May 23, and organised by the team behind our sister title Car Dealer, the expo at CDX17 will be spread across three vast halls. With the Live Stage; the Social Media 200 Awards; insightful workshops; speeches from industry leaders and much more besides, it’s hardly surprising that hundreds of people have already signed up to join us at Silverstone – but there is still plenty of time to save the date and come along. The whole day is free for bona fide workshop professionals and car dealers to attend. Not convinced yet? Here are six of the best reasons for you to be there.

l  As we’ve said, it’s held at Silverstone, the worldfamous home of the British Grand Prix; l  Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the SMMT will be giving keynote talks; l  The UK’s biggest automotive suppliers will be showcasing their products; l  Leading manufacturers and dealer group bosses will be appearing on the live stage; l  You can learn in workshops and get best-practice advice from the experts; l  And you’ll be able to network with thousands of fellow automotive professionals at the biggest and best motor trade event in the UK. As we’ve said, it’s entirely FREE for workshop professionals and car dealers to attend. All we ask is that you register in advance at cardealerexpo.co.uk and we’ll see you there!

+ + Silverstone, May 23 + + FREE to attend + + Register your attendance at cardealerexpo.co.uk + +

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WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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NEWS.

BACK FOR A SECOND YEAR: HAVE YOUR SAY IN WORKSHOP POWER After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2016, our survey and awards return for 2017. Once again, we need your help to discover the suppliers that do their best for you (and identify those that don’t). So don’t be shy – get involved and tell us what you think!

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t was a fantastic occasion, during which the most highly regarded suppliers to the service and repair sector were rewarded for their efforts. And if our trophy winners looked happy as they picked up their awards, they had good reason. Their customers, the readers of Workshop Magazine, decided who took home the gongs – and there’s nothing better than praise from the people with whom you do business. We said last year that our aim was to make

Our 2016 Workshop Power Awards were a big success – and it’ll soon be time to do it all again!

the Workshop Power Awards the largest, most comprehensive and most talked-about in the service and repair industry – and we’re glad to report that we’re well on the way to doing that. Over the next two pages, you’ll see questions about suppliers in categories ranging from motor factors large and small to garage cleaning product supplier. All we ask is that you give us your honest views on the companies you use. We want to know which suppliers are the best and how good they are at helping you out (even when the going gets tough), which parts and equipment you use, whom you go to for advice

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and who enhances your presence on the internet. It’s all done in confidence, and you don’t have to fill it in by hand and post it to us – using the workshoppower.co.uk website is the easiest way to complete the survey. Once we’ve received your answers, they’ll be fed into our Workshop super-computer (the brains behind the magazine) and we’ll then be able to pull together all the data we need from the anonymous opinions. By the end of the process, we’ll have an accurate idea about the suppliers that are at the top of their game, those that are simply average, and those that are, well, not so hot. We’ll be sharing our findings to make sure your opinions are heard, so it’s highly likely that suppliers will make changes to the way they work with their customers based on the feedback we give them.

Can I say what I really think? Absolutely. The whole reason behind the Workshop Power Awards is to allow the industry to be entirely forthright, whether that’s praising suppliers to the skies or hanging them out to dry.

As mentioned earlier, the survey is completely anonymous. We’ll be telling the suppliers and agencies what we found out but not who told us, so you can speak your mind fearlessly. And again, we’ll hold a glitzy award night to celebrate their achievements, which this year will take place on September 28 at the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

So, how do I take part? That’s really easy. You can either fill in the survey on the following pages and post it to us using our address on page three. Or, if you don’t want to rip up this gorgeously glossy magazine, you can go to workshoppower.co.uk to fill in the questionnaire online. Nominations close on August 24, 2017. So, please spare a few minutes to complete the form – either in this magazine or online. We promise it won’t take long – and the opinions that you express could genuinely benefit all of us in the sector. We look forward to finding out what the industry thinks. Let the great survey begin!


The easiest way to fill in the survey is online at workshoppower.co.uk Please give a mark out of 10 where shown. And remember... this is completely confidential, so don’t be shy about telling us your views! We want to know about the suppliers with whom you work. The winners will not be decided solely by being the most popular but by how good they are at providing you with a product or service. We’ll be naming a winner and two highly commended places for each category, and these will be announced at the Workshop Power Awards ceremony on September 28. For each category, first tell us your supplier, then give them a mark out of 10, and finally add any comments you have, which will help the judges decide. The closing date for nominations is August 24. 1. Large Motor Factor of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

3. Hand Tools Supplier of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

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7. Best Customer Care Who provides it? ....................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

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4. Power Tools Supplier of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

8. Trade Insurance Provider of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

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5. Diagnostics Systems Supplier of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

9. Recruitment Agency of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

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2. Small Motor Factor of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

6. Lubricants Supplier of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

10. Tyre Supplier of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

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NEWS. 11. Best Garage Software Provider of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

15. Suspension Products Supplier of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

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12. Best Product Innovation of the Year We think it is ............................................................................................. Please give a mark out of 10

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13. Extra Mile Award Who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for you this year? ...................................................................................................................

17. Best Filter Supplier of the Year We use ...................................................................................................... Please give a mark out of 10

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Who were our winners in 2016? Go online to bit.ly/power-winners to find out „ Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower – the venue for our awards ceremony on September 28, 2017


SCREEN ICONS

WIN WITH PAGID SCREEN ICONS Throughout 2017, we’re celebrating the iconic cars from the world of TV and film, with exclusive content, and epic prizes to be won*. Get involved on Facebook and Twitter.

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| 13


2017 We’re ready for another 350,000 successful fixes over the year ahead. DIAGNOSTIC SYSTEM

EXTRA MILE AWARD

Are You? Get from Fault 2 Fix, Fast to enjoy a prosperous New Year

autologic.com 14 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

01865 870060


FAULT FINDER.

CHRIS ROUTLEDGE OF AUTOLOGIC DISCUSSES DIAGNOSTICS

Has your BMW-owning customer ever limped home with a warning light on? The issue may come down to a wiring harness fault, or wear in the Valvetronic gear assemblies. Luckily, help is at hand to resolve the problem...

P

erformance car buyers expect everything to be just-so, but even these expensive motors can suffer from niggling faults. Owners of BMW 1, 2, 3 and 4 Series models fitted with the N55, straight-six petrol engine with the twin-scroll turbocharger and Valvetronic variable valve timing (VVT) can find that instead of the power they expect, the car suddenly engages limp-home mode with an engine warning light displayed. The car might also make excessive noise when starting up during the Valvetronic motor self-test cycle. The issue may come down to a wiring harness fault, or wear in the Valvetronic gear assemblies. Here is how to use AssistPlus in order to detect and solve the problem. First, connect the Autologic AssistPlus and carry out a fault code check from the DME (digital motor electronics) engine control unit. If you have fault codes relating to the VVT motor adjusting too frequently, such as 133E10 (Valvetronic system – deactivated, adjustment too frequent) proceed as follows. Remove the cylinder head top cover to gain access to the VVT motor and wiring. The wiring for the VVT motor to the DME is a standalone harness and needs to be checked pin to pin to ensure there aren’t any shorts, open circuits or loose connections, so use a multimeter to check the loom. If any of the wires are damaged, repair as required. If the loom is so faulty that it

cannot be repaired, it can be obtained from BMW separately from the main engine harness. You’ll need to check with your local BMW dealer to get the latest part info. If the wiring loom tests fine then you’ll need to replace the VVT motor and eccentric shaft together. It is important that you replace them as a pair rather than individually as the teeth on the VVT worm gear and the teeth on the eccentric shaft gear both wear to excess. BMW advises that you cannot simply replace the motor. Special tools will be required for this process, and you must refer to the repair instructions from BMW to reference the correct procedure and the tools required. Autologic cannot provide repair instructions, but information is available on the BMW Aftersales Online Service website. After the repair this vehicle must be taught the Valvetronic adaptation limit positions (end stops). Using AssistPlus, go into DME, select Service Functions and then choose Valvetronic Adaptation Limit positions. Follow the instructions to complete the fix.

FITTING THE RIGHT THING Make: BMW Model: M135i (2012-2016), M235i (2014-2016), M2 (2016-), 335i (2011-2015), ActiveHybrid 3 (2012-2015), 435i (2013-2016) Faults: Engine warning light on, noise from engine when turning ignition on, possible limp-home mode operation. Common causes: Fault in the wiring harness between the Valvetronic motor and the engine control unit; wear on the worm gear of the Valvetronic servo motor and also wear on the teeth of the eccentric shaft.

WHO IS CHRIS ROUTLEDGE? Chris is master technician at Autologic Diagnostics Ltd. He discusses the most common vehicle faults – plus how to diagnose and fix them fast – in Workshop Magazine every month. WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

| 15


FEATURES.

THRILLS AND SPILLS

Workshop writer LAURA THOMSON kicked off 2017 with a 3,500-mile round trip to Morocco by motorbike. It was a memorable journey for many, many reasons...

D

uct tape. It’s not the most professional of repair materials, nor the most attractive, but it does the job. And at 2,400 metres high in Morocco’s Haut Atlas mountain range, it was our only option. The road we’d taken that January afternoon had disintegrated as we climbed higher. From a dirt track, it became a gravel path, winding up and round a rocky outcrop. The ensuing descent into an adjacent gorge was equally sketchy, but it wasn’t until we reached a dried-up, snowy riverbed that things really started to go wrong. My partner, Leo, was the first to go down. As he led the way through an icy gully between the river rocks, his rear wheel lost traction. Putting his foot down proved futile, as that could find no grip either. He toppled to the side, becoming trapped under his fully loaded F800GS. When he had scrambled from underneath the bike, he discovered that the overworked clutch had melted a hole through his trousers. My chuckles at his misfortune lasted just minutes before I took a tumble as well. Losing momentum atop a boulder, I stretched my leg out to steady myself. My foot came up 12 inches short of the ground and the Africa Twin pitched to the left, before hitting the deck. By now, night had started to set in, and, realising the mountain would be dangerous and impassable at night, we turned back, and before long had pitched our tent to sit out the freezing 12-plus hours of darkness. The following morning, we inspected the

16 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

damage to our bikes. Leo’s Touratech panniers had fared much better than the Honda’s manufacturer-fitted set, one of which had split open on impact. Only one buckle, and its corresponding hinge, were holding the box shut, and so the aforementioned duct tape was a necessity to secure it. Preparations for our epic expedition to Morocco had begun long before we sailed away from Portsmouth on Boxing Day. Honda had kindly prepped the Africa Twin that I would be taking on the trip, while Leo’s BMW F800GS went to Chandlers Brighton BMW, which comprehensively fettled the eight-year-old model. A new chain was deemed necessary for the distance we would be covering, as were new front brake calipers. Replacing the output shaft seal remedied a slight oil leak and, finally, Heidenau K60 Scout dualsport tyres were fitted. These tyres were significantly more off-road capable than the Dunlop Trailsmarts the Twin wore, but they weren’t ideal for the many miles of motorway between England and Morocco. Nonetheless, both sets were tubed and around the same size, so in our extensive tool kit and spares set, we carried just one set of spare inner tubes in order to save weight. Tyre levers and a puncture repair kit were also thrown in, alongside spanners, hex and Allen keys, a breaker bar and various sockets. Chandlers had warned that after 500 miles, Leo would need to take his GS to a garage to have the new chain tightened. We had neither the time

The bikes strapped down early in the trip nor patience for this, and so, on the second day of our trip, while in the Spanish coastal town of San Sebastián, he hitched the bike on to its centre stand and set about moving the rear wheel back a few millimetres. While undertaking his ad hoc mechanics, Leo investigated an issue that had plagued the bike since the previous evening in Bordeaux. In slow-moving traffic, the oil light had come on, and the bike had started to overheat. The issue had appeared to resolve itself by the morning, but as a precaution we bought an overpriced bottle of 10/40 oil from a service station. However, as we crawled through the metropolis of San Sebastián, the problem reoccurred. Leo concluded that it must be a fan issue, because while the bike was moving fast and air was rushing over the radiator there was no problem, but in slow-moving traffic, when the fan was required to keep it cool, it started to overheat. Poking around the fan revealed the source of the problem. A twig had worked its way into the mechanism and jammed it. Twig removed and chain tightened, we set the TomTom Rider 400 sat nav for that evening’s


ƒA ferry mishap affected the journey home

„In the evening sun, Laura gets to grip with the varied terrain

The inhospitable landscape provided plenty of opportunity for exploring, dune-bashing, and meeting some bemused locals destination of Toledo. The following day passed the following day, we pressed on, through without incident as we worked our way down mountainous terrain on roads that were towards the port of Algeciras, from where we challenging to say the least. sailed to Morocco the next morning. January 1, 2017 was a day like no other. From here on out, we would be sat nav-less, as Deflating the tyres, ditching the kit and turning the digital maps only stretched as far as Spain. off the ABS and TCS, we flew into the desert, the We had brought the dog-eared paper version bikes ploughing through the dunes, throwing from our planning sessions, and secured a case sand in their wake. Dune bashing has a knack for it to Leo’s tank using cable ties and to it, and it took a while to master the bungee cords – the F800GS’s fuel cap peaks and troughs. Suffice to say, we is on the rear left of the bike so the both took a number of tumbles, makeshift mapcase wasn’t in the but the bikes coped admirably. way when it came to filling up. That evening, when it came My chuckles at his After docking in Ceuta, and to departing the desert for the misfortune lasted just negotiating our way through Haut Atlas mountain range, we minutes before I took a customs (a more difficult and were faced with a dilemma. tumble as well. time-consuming process than we Our tyres were at 15psi – far had imagined), we took the N16 too low to cover any distance fast, down Morocco’s east coast. Our trip and with the nearest petrol station very nearly ended here, when, after a brief with an air pump 40 miles, or an hour refreshment stop, the GS failed to start. Ten away, reaching our target town of Tinghir that minutes later, we tried again, and this time the night was looking unlikely. bike kicked into life. Luckily, a group of well-equipped Portuguese With plans to reach the Merzouga desert Overlanders arrived at our hostel and offered the – almost 500 miles away – for New Year’s Eve use of an electric air pump they had in the back

of their Toyota Land Cruiser. We rode through the evening towards the Gorges du Todra in Tinghir, where the next morning we would attempt the 28-mile mountain crossing from Tamtetoucht to M’Semrir... which as I have mentioned, was the scene of a disaster mitigated by duct tape. On this leg, the 10/40 oil came in useful, albeit not for its intended reason. The desert sand had completely stripped the chains of any lubrication, and for want of a better substance, we covered the links and sprockets in the gloopy amber liquid. Little did we know, but oiling the chain in such a manner was to become a recurring trend as we worked our way back up to England. We didn’t quite complete our planned mountain crossing, but at least we didn’t suffer any more mechanical mishaps on our 1,300-mile journey back up through Morocco and Spain. One snag did befall us, however. Overzealous rachet tightening by a vehicle handler on the ferry ruptured the GS’s fork seal, as I reported in last month’s Workshop magazine. To its credit the ferry company later covered the repair cost. Back in Blighty, we limped home from the ferry port after an amazing 13-day adventure. WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

| 17


FEATURES. HOW I MADE IT

AMERICAN DREAM – THE HARD WAY!

Sam Hard has built up a thriving business after starting out in mobile repairs

18 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk


PHOTOGRAPHY: JONNY FLEETWOOD

Sam Hard tells REBECCA CHAPLIN how he transformed his garage to reflect the cars he’s passionate about – and how his trans-Atlantic experiences have played a part in his success

S

am Hard is full of life and driven by the cars he loves. Walking into Hard Up Garage at Fort Fareham in Hampshire, he’s quick to start telling me about the cars he’s got at the moment, from a one-of-a-kind hearse to an immaculate Coupe de Ville that he’s been working on recently. He imports a lot of his cars from America, but it’s not all one-way traffic. For instance, a rare Chevrolet in his workshop is waiting to make its way back over the Atlantic – and there might even be news in due course that it’s a car of historical significance. Sam Hard’s story is one of true passion, but fate has played a part too, with time spent in America almost forcing him on to this path. From a young age, he followed in his father’s footsteps, learning his trade and surrounding himself with engines. ‘When I was nine years old, I was racing cars. I grew up with my dad always fixing cars. He was a mobile mechanic, so, when I grew up, that was basically all I wanted to do,’ Hard explains. Having left school at 15, he completed an apprenticeship at Mercedes, qualifying him as an advanced Mercedes-Benz-accredited technician. ‘I finished that and decided I was going to go and work in Aldershot, because when you start somewhere as an apprentice, people always see you as the kid. So I decided to go and work somewhere else where I could make a name for myself. I worked there for a year but got fed up of earning money for someone else so I started going out and doing mobile repairs like dad.’ Now nearly 30, Hard has built his current empire, explaining that three years down the line he’d got so busy that he couldn’t afford to miss out on money while collecting and delivering his customers’ cars so decided he needed premises. Seven years ago, he started with the smaller unit next door to the workshop in which we’re chatting, focusing on Mercedes models. He still occupies it, but, since then, things have changed quite a bit. The location of Hard Up Garage is part of what makes it so special. With cars this unique, you wouldn’t want a boring location, hence the setting of Fort Fareham – one of a series of Victorian forts built to protect our coastal borders from France. It’s not a logical step to go from repairing Mercedes-Benz cars to building hot rods, so how did it all come about? ‘When I owned Elite Vehicle

WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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FEATURES. HOW I MADE IT Maintenance, which was my Mercedes-Benz specialist garage, the Discovery show Fast N’ Loud that featured Richard Rawlings would come out on a Monday. ‘What I used to do, because I used to hate my job, is get a projector and set it up at the back of the yard and for the start of our day we’d watch the show. ‘It would get us in a good vibe for fixing cars, because our day-to-day work was actually boring and awful but it would pay the bills. It kept the money coming in, but it didn’t make me want to come in in the morning – so I’d try to start the week off with a bit of fun!’ In an unlikely turn of fate – and a bit of input from Hard’s dad – watching this TV show would eventually transform his life and put him on course for a series of his own. ‘My dream sounds a little bit pathetic, but it was to meet Richard Rawlings from Fast N’ Loud,’ Hard said. ‘I’d had a few American cars here and there, although I’d never bought and sold them. But my dad decided to buy a crazy American pickup truck off eBay. Click, and he’d bought it! ‘He turned round to me and said, “Sam, do you want to go to El Paso with me and pick up this truck?” There was no doubt in my mind, so my dad and I jumped on a plane.’ What Hard was unaware of, though, was that the seller, Michael Lightbourn, was one of the most famous automotive restorers in America and he knew Rawlings. When Hard happened to mention to Lightbourn about his dream to meet Rawlings, Lightbourn said: ‘I’ll call him if you want.’ He duly did and said: ‘Hey Richard, I’ve got a guy called Sam from England who wants to come and meet you.’ Rawlings’ response? ‘Sure, send him over.’ So Hard jumped on a plane with the last money in his account to see Rawlings at Gas Monkey Garage, Texas, where he gave him some advice that has stuck with him. ‘He told me to try to sell a car and if it works keep selling it until that gravy train runs out, then try something different. Keep moving and try the stuff that people aren’t doing. Then he said I should start filming it, so I did. ‘He didn’t tell me what to do, he just gave me ideas and his opinions. Then two years ago I started Hard Up Garage. ‘My second name is Hard, I’m always skint because I buy too many cars I can’t afford, so Hard

20 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

For the past two years I’ve been trying to develop a TV show on the whole idea of Hard Up Garage. Up seemed to work. It’s evolved from being a Mercedes-Benz garage, and I still keep my customers happy by fixing their cars, but where the money is, is selling these massive expensive cars.’

This isn’t just about a business that allows the guys to enjoy the cars they love, though, it’s also about making these cars more affordable. ‘These are still dream cars – whether they’re 70 or 20 years old – so if I can make them a bit more affordable, I do it. As long as I make a quick drink and move it on, it doesn’t matter what it costs.’


Fort Fareham provides a setting with a difference for Hard Up Garage

It’s fair to say Hard’s life has been transformed, with a TV show in prospect, a unique garage and a career on track to create some incredible cars. ‘For the past two years, I’ve been trying to develop and film a TV show on the whole idea of Hard Up Garage – buying cars in America, shipping them to the UK and me selling them here and also sending them back sometimes. I think these are all cool elements of what I do.’ I had to ask whether he felt that fate had played a hand in his success, as it seemed that everything had fallen into place nicely for him – but with a huge dose of hard work thrown in for balance. He’s not so sure though, as for him, this business has always been make or break. ‘My whole life changed five years ago. I met my partner while I was out in Portsmouth. I was £25,000 in debt. I was single, I had all of these cool cars and I’d spent all of my money.

‘I got together with her and she said she would look through my accounts. ‘A year on, she’d sorted all of my finances out, told me where to put money and then my life changed when we had two kids. She said to me that with the kids around I should still progress with my dream, be who I want to be and hopefully in the long run it’ll support the family. ‘My debt is really owed to her, because she’s thrown her life, dreams and aspirations away to progress mine. Although it does seem like fate has hit in a really good place, I feel like if I don’t deliver on my dreams then I’m letting her down.’ But success definitely seems to be on the cards, as Hard shows me one of his most recent creations and tells me about his latest projects. It’s almost unbelievable to think that one man could achieve so much in such a short time. ‘My favourite car at the moment is the 60

Coupe de Ville. It’s not a car that I physically look at and go, “that is the most amazing car in the world” but all of my brain power went into that car with a man called Nick Williams who helped me design it. ‘I bought it because I knew it would make money and now I’ve fallen in love with it.’ There’s far more on the cards for the business, and as we prepare to leave, Hard is filling a pick-up truck with ice and beer and organising a band to fill the floor space in the garage for some revelry to begin. Tonight he and his team are celebrating the next step they’ll be taking, so watch this space…

Why not tell us your story in How I Made It? Call the Workshop team on 023 9252 2434 WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

| 21


FEATURES.

WHAT WE LEARNT WHILE BU I ANDREW EVANS was set a target of 100 hours in which to construct one of these iconic sports cars... t’s one of those things that appears on many people’s ‘bucket list’ – build your own kit car. Like many others before me, I’ve always had the desire to build a kit car too – and the unshakeable belief that it’s something within my skill set, despite a driveway full of part-dismantled vehicles at home attesting otherwise. Arguably the most well-known of the kit cars is Caterham. With myriad different options to choose from depending on your bravery levels – stretching from the basic Sport 160 to the absolutely barking mad 375bhp/tonne 420R – there’s a Caterham for all tastes, so long as you can fit in the rather tight cabin! Caterham advises that it should take between 80 and 100 hours to assemble one of its cars and my colleagues thought it would be amusing to challenge me to do that.

2

The instruction manual is not a bible, though

1

You don’t need as much mechanical knowledge as you may think

There are quite a few variations of the Caterham, and occasionally I found gaps where it wasn’t obvious what my particular car needed. The images are a little hit and miss too, so if you have some mechanical knowledge or improvisation skills the process will be a lot smoother.

The car arrives with a pretty chunky build manual. It might come as a surprise, but if you can follow the instructions for building flat-pack furniture, you can probably follow the Caterham’s manual.

10

Doing it on your own is insane

Even if it’s just extra eyes when the powertrain is going in, extra hands to hold things or another brain to work out which of two seemingly identical washers is which, this is a two-person job. I was (even more of) a physical wreck after doing it by myself !

22 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

I was set the task of assembling a road-legal car from parts delivered in a selection of cardboard boxes before the 100-hour time limit expired. With the space cleared in the Workshop workshop, I spent four solid 15-hour days and then more than a few lunchtimes and evenings screwing, bolting, clipping, swearing, reading, glueing and clipping the Caterham with one eye on the clock before the car eventually rolled out of the garage, inside the time allotted. Caterham collects and inspects kit vehicles before putting them through the vital IVA test required for registration and happily we did end up with a roadworthy and road-legal car at the end of the process. Having never done it before, it was something of a learning curve, and here’s 10 things I know now for the next time I get spanner-happy.

9

You need more than just mechanical skills

A lot of the wiring is done for you, fortunately, but the build will test your electrical, plumbing and even upholstery skills.

8

You’ll still need a few extra bits and bobs

An engine crane is a necessity of course, but items such as lights, your own jacks, a good selection of greases (rubber lubricant, copper slip, molybdenum grease) and even a hand drill or multitool will make your Caterham build go more smoothly.


ILDING A CATERHAM 3

The internet is invaluable

Whatever problem you experience in the build, someone else has experienced it too – and posted it in a blog of their Caterham build. These are a great auxiliary resource.

4

Parts aren’t necessarily in the obvious boxes

Some things are kept together, but others are spread across many boxes. If I did it again, I’d get everything out and lined up on a proper workbench first before building anything. Especially all of the fasteners.

5

In some areas, the car’s tolerances are surprisingly lax

Ultimately, the Caterham is based on a 60-year-old design, and every now and then you’ll find that a bolt doesn’t quite go in straight. For the most part it’s just a quirk, but with the 11-inch-long differential mount bolt it can lead to a lot of frustration!

7

A proper tool kit is vital

You can pretty much build the car with a few decent screwdrivers and a handful of spanners and sockets in common sizes, but it’s better to have a broad kit. There is an official assembly tool kit, which was provided for this build and helped tremendously.

6

Mask off the body

The car comes pre-painted and you’ll be working with tools extremely close to the body – for some of the suspension components you’ll be practically touching it, so mask properly or risk scratching the paint off.

Andrew in his happy place

WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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FEATURES.

SMASHING IT

Crash, bang, wallop! ANDREW EVANS went to Thatcham Research in Berkshire to find out just how far things have come in terms of vehicle safety in the 20 years since the Euro NCAP scheme started, forcing standards up 24 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

T

here was a time in the not-too-distant past, that when it came to vehicle safety, you had to take the manufacturer’s word for it. Legislation requiring seatbelts to be fitted in the front of new vehicles came into force in 1972, but it wasn’t until 1983 that it became compulsory to wear them, and there was no real consensus on the safety of the thing you were

actually strapped into. Vehicle manufacturers would frequently make claims about the strength of their cars but ultimately – aside from any extremely rare, obvious issues causing negative press – it came down to little more than anecdotal evidence. Matthew Avery, head of research at automotive research centre Thatcham, explains: ‘Originally in crash tests before Euro NCAP, all you had to do


was go head-on into a wall so the whole vehicle structure could absorb the energy. The only thing we were measuring was steering wheel deflection – in fact, we didn’t even need to have a crash dummy in the test vehicle.’ A project known as the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) had been set up in the USA in 1979 to analyse ‘secondary safety’ – what happens to a vehicle on impact. The UK’s transport

department mooted the prospect of a similar NCAP in the early 1990s, and with support from other European bodies, the European New Car Assessment Programme – or Euro NCAP – was founded in 1997. Avery continues: ‘State-of-the-art crash tests were developed with offset deformable barriers [ODBs], a side impact and a pedestrian impact, which was something then unheard of.’

The Euro NCAP tests consisted of a 40mph (or 64km/h) crash into a deformable aluminium barrier across 40 per cent of the width of the vehicle, representing another car of the same type. A second ‘side impact’ crash involves a sled pulled at 31mph into the side of the car. These represent typical vehicle-tovehicle collisions on Europe’s roads that result in occupant injury. Avery adds: ‘This WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

| 25


FEATURES.

is replicating what we see in a typical injurious frontal crash that happens in the real world – when one vehicle crosses over the centreline of the road and has a headon crash with another vehicle. It’s much more difficult for the vehicle to absorb the energy as it’s under half the structure. ‘It very quickly became obvious that this was the best way of really protecting people in the event of a crash, so vehicle manufacturers were encouraged to adopt this crash test.’ Each crash test is filmed under daylight The Rover 100 performed so badly in the original test that it ended up coming off the market conditions by high-speed cameras, with reference marks on the vehicle showing any that much of the car industry rejected the entire replicate human movement and that’s why body deformation, although the key to the concept of Euro NCAP almost instantly, claiming they’re so expensive – these are about £100,000 crash testing regime is the famous ‘crash test the tests were unduly harsh and constructed each. We’re about to move in 2020 to a brand new dummies’. They mimic the movement of so that no vehicle could possibly score the dummy called Thor [Test device for human a vehicle’s occupants, while a battery maximum of four stars. occupant restraint], and they’re very of sensors record the forces that The Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo both expensive – £500,000 each!’ various parts of their bodies scored a creditable three stars, while the Fiat The first Euro NCAP test results sustain in the impact. Punto, Nissan Micra and Vauxhall Corsa all scored were presented in February We don’t have one Avery explains: ‘We don’t two, but the real headline was the Rover 100, 1997. For the first round, the dummy that will cover have one dummy that will cover which suffered a catastrophic result, scoring just body chose to assess seven of all crash types, because all crash types, because human one star when tested. the most popular cars on sale in human physiology is so the United Kingdom, all from the physiology is so complicated. Thatcham Research replicated this test for us, complicated. You have to make the dummy taking one well-loved, 20-year-old Rover 100 and supermini class. rigid and strong, but it still has to preparing it over several hours for the last ride of The results were so horrifying

26 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk


The Honda Jazz’s cabin is barely distorted, with the windscreen uncracked and still in place its life. It’s a heavily involved process. Although the test itself is over in a matter of moments, the laboratory has a four-week window for its scheduled testing. Alongside the driver dummy, the Rover has a passenger and two child dummies, replicating a typical family. Each dummy records up to 200 data channels, covering loads on the head, chest, femurs and lower legs, sending information back to a data collection device mounted in the rear of the car in the spare wheel well. The team is using older dummies for this test as the car is expected to perform just as it did in 1997, and getting them back intact isn’t likely.

The vehicle is hooked up to the pulley system, which accelerates it towards its 40mph demise. After one last check of the track to ensure it’s free of debris, the Rover 100 is pulled towards its doom, striking the block at the mandated 64km/h and coming to rest 90 degrees from its direction of travel in a heap of twisted red metal. From the moment the car contacts the block, the whole thing is over in a quarter of a second. Analysing the slow-motion footage, it’s clear that the Rover has performed poorly. The side of the car striking the block folds in like a pie tin and the car just continues crumpling, up the A-pillar by the side of the windscreen and even

into the roof itself. Although the airbag does go off exactly as it ought to, the deflection of the steering wheel is so severe that the driver’s head simply rolls off the side of the bag and slams straight into the outside of the dashboard. Worse is what happens to the infant dummy behind the driver: it plunges forwards and strikes the driver’s seat at the exact moment the seat is moving back, delivering a blow to the top of the head and compressing the neck vertebrae. Visiting the wreckage afterwards is sobering. The driver dummy has been effectively folded up, with his knees in his chest, as the space around him simply disappeared – the technicians believe that they’re going to have to cut him out. The shell of the car is now so twisted that the front points off to the right by about 45 degrees compared with the rest of the car. The data is even more chastening. The driver’s legs recorded forces in excess of 10 times the levels considered ‘reasonable’ in modern vehicles. They would be sufficient to cause severe femur and pelvis injuries that could be fatal in minutes for a person who is already trapped inside their car. That isn’t even the most likely cause of death though, as the driver registered a score of nearly 3,000 on the WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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FEATURES. head injury criteria (HIC) scale from striking the dashboard – almost three times the ‘high-risk’ threshold value. All this carnage came from a simple, glancing, head-on collision at urban speeds. It’s a result that closely mimics the Rover’s original test, and it proved disastrous for the car. Rover 100 sales had already halved in the previous five years, from just over 80,000 to just over 40,000, but the publicity from the crash test caused orders to tank and the Rover 100 was withdrawn from production before the year’s end. Despite manufacturer protestations that the Spot the difference after the Rover 100 and Honda Jazz undergo the same test at 40mph tests were too harsh for any car to score the ‘If you want to get five stars you’ve got to maximum four stars, perennial safety experts make the investment to get there, and generally Volvo managed just that only five months later, speaking it’s possible, unless you have a very old as the S40 saloon racked up four stars in the July platform for the vehicle.’ 1997 tests, and the industry has barely looked To show how far the industry has come and to back. Renault joined the fray when the tests were see the investment in safety the manufacturers updated in 2001, with the second-generation are making, Thatcham prepares a second ODB Laguna debuting load-limiting seatbelts that crash for us to witness, this time of a 2015 model helped it become the first five-star car on the new Honda Jazz. As with the Rover, the Honda is ratings, and for a while Renault marketed its cars prepared over several hours, although tellingly precisely on the basis of being the safest in the team is using regular dummies this the industry. Sometimes, though, Euro time. As the Jazz is the benchmark NCAP can still meet with opposition. The Jazz ploughs into the barrier car in the supermini class, scoring Renault itself fell foul of regulatory still drive at least a handful of metres to get you five stars in its official test, the minutiae in 2014 when the thenIf you want to get five out of further danger. team clearly doesn ’ t expect too new Megane scored just three When the data comes in, Avery explains the stars you’ve got to much harm to come to these stars after a text-based seatbelt impressive results. ‘The Honda’s sophisticated expensive facsimiles. make the investment warning reminder was not made body structure collapsed at the front, absorbing Like the Rover, the Jazz to get there. available in all languages – losing the 40mph impact, spreading the force around is written off in just 250 a full star for the breach. the car, but leaving the vital safety cage intact. milliseconds of action, but even The company corrected the fault ‘Unlike the Rover 100’s occupant compartment, without the slow-motion, 1,000 framesand resubmitted the car for a four-star which caved in by 400mm, the Honda’s barely per-second footage there’s a clear difference rating. Meanwhile, the new Ford Mustang, distorted, deforming by just a few millimetres – – and not just from the huge array of airbags which was tested in January, scored just two well within acceptable levels. This enabled the deploying during the test that make the Honda stars, rating poorly for the lack of safety aids car’s restraint systems – its belts and airbags – to resemble an inside-out bouncy castle. (particularly autonomous emergency braking, or perform at their optimum level. All of the damage in this test is confined to the AEB) which are fitted to the car in the US market ‘The seatbelt load limiters reduced forces front-right quarter of the car, and even though but not the UK. This too will be addressed, with passed on to the occupants, while its airbags the wheel has been forced back into the rear of an updated Mustang arriving later in 2017. – including a curtain airbag in the roof lining – its well, it looks like it might actually still turn Andrew Miller, Euro NCAP president and offered high protection levels. if required. On closer inspection, there is some Thatcham chief technical officer, comments: ‘Not ‘The driver’s head hit the centre of the airbag flexion on the A-pillar, but it doesn’t hinder the everything we do is liked! It has to be that way to as intended, registering an HIC of just 448 – less door from being opened in line with the door be good for the consumers, so occasionally we’ll than half the threshold at which injuries occur. pull test and, remarkably, the windscreen hasn’t publish results that make people uncomfortable, The driver’s left femur registered just 0.36kN and even cracked or unseated. Odds are, this car could but the rating system is there for all to see.

CRASH TEST: ROVER 100

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The Rover arrives at the deformable block at 40mph

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2

The driver’s optional airbag fires, but to little effect


The aftermath of the Rover 100 crash test sees the driver dummy with potentially fatal injuries had it been a human the right femur just 1.73kN [compared with the Rover 100’s 18kN].’ The official crash test isn’t quite done there, however. After the various impacts, the vehicle ‘carcasses’ are carried off by forklift to the workshop where they’re dismantled and inspected. Avery explains: ‘Once we’ve done the testing of the vehicle we’ll do a rigorous stripdown to make sure we haven’t missed anything. ‘There could be a huge, sharp piece of metal in the car but if the dummy doesn’t come into contact with it, it won’t register as a threat, but obviously we can see that it could be a threat in a different crash.’ Despite all of the testing over the past 20 years, the rate of progress has slowed. From the huge drop in road deaths after safety belts were mandated, through to the marked downward trend after Euro NCAP’s foundation, the rate at which the reduction in deaths and serious injuries occur is levelling off. Are cars getting to

3

Meanwhile, the rear seat infant’s head strikes the driver’s seat

be as safe as they can be for occupants in the with manufacturers directly, to talk about what event of a crash? Avery notes: ‘There’s not a lot technologies are becoming available and when, more we can do with passive safety as it’s a law of so we can build a roadmap that’s relevant.’ diminishing returns.’ As driver safety features and even fully So what’s going to be the next ‘seatbelt autonomous driving become the norm on the moment’ for the industry? ‘Autonomous roads, the face of safety testing may become emergency braking,’ says Avery. ‘We’re less reliant on how the car protects already seeing AEB systems reducing you in a crash and more on how it crash frequency. Front-to-rear prevents a collision in the first crashes have fallen by 40 per place – but then that too is a We estimate that cent and these are really early consequence of bodies such as 15,000 lives have generations. Almost every new Euro NCAP existing in the first been saved on the vehicle has some kind of AEB place. For now, the message UK’s roads because of system available – it’s required from Euro NCAP is convincing. Euro NCAP. for five stars now – and it’s where As Avery explains: ‘In 1997 the biggest reductions in deaths and we had 23,000 killed and seriously serious injuries are going to come from.’ injured on UK roads; we now have 8,500. Miller adds: ‘We work closely with the industry ‘That’s a reduction of 63 per cent. We’ve tested – we’re setting out a roadmap for the future now more than 600 vehicles and we estimate that and as part of that we’re having regular dialogues 15,000 lives have been saved on the UK’s roads with the industry, either through associations or because of Euro NCAP.’

4

The whole crash is over in a quarter of a second

WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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FEATURES.

HOW TO BUILD A £2m BUGATTI CHIRON Having been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show a year ago, the Bugatti Chiron will start appearing on the road in the hands of a lucky few customers next month. 2017 will see 70 of the 500 cars in total being built at Bugatti’s ‘Atelier’, which aptly translates from French to mean ‘workshop’. The Volkswagen-owned manufacturer says that the time between starting a Chiron’s assembly to delivering it can be anything from six to nine months. Every example of the £2 million hypercar is put together by hand. The procedure involves 20 workers and requires more than 1,800 bolted joints. This level of attention may seem excessive, but you can’t be too careful when building a car with a 1,479bhp 8.0-litre quadturbocharged W16 engine that produces 1,599Nm of torque, achieves 0-60mph in 2.3 seconds and carries on to an electronically limited speed of 261mph – with the believed potential to reach around 288mph. TRISTAN SHALE-HESTER highlights and describes key moments in building a mechanical masterpiece.

1

The Chiron is assembled in the ‘Atelier’ at Molsheim – Bugatti’s lifelong home in France since 1909. The current building, which is styled to match the company’s Macaron logo, was built in 2006 and extensively modified to prepare for the complexity of manufacturing the new car.

2

The Atelier’s gleaming white floor, which measures more than 1,000 square metres, consists of epoxy – a highly conductive material. The purpose of this is to dissipate all electrostatic charges in the workspace.

4

After three mechanics have taken about a week to build the chassis, a team of employees connect the monocoque to the rear end. These workers are all required to be capable of putting together the whole chassis, as well as the rear end, monocoque and frame.

5

Bugatti says that its new dynamometer has more power than any other of its type in the world. No part of the Chiron production has had more money spent on it than this, as the increased power and torque was too much for the previous technology to handle. The upgraded equipment uses its bigger electrical cables to generate around 1,200 amps while in use. This extra electricity is directed into Molsheim’s local power grid.

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3

There is only one piece of electronic equipment involved in building the Chiron’s chassis. It’s called the EC nutrunner system and it establishes a data value for every bolt on the car’s frame. This information is collected on a computer, which connects to the vehicle’s system and alerts the mechanic when the correct torque rate has been achieved. A total of 1,068 of these 1,800 bolts demand individual certification.

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To make sure the Chiron is absolutely watertight, each one has to endure half an hour of monsoon rain. When it has successfully completed this, two mechanics will spend three days installing the interior. The car is then coated in a durable, transparent plastic foil.

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Test-driving a Chiron takes 190 miles at fluctuating speeds. The car is even taken up to more than 155mph on an airport runway. Finally, the hypercar is inspected for six hours in a brightly lit shaft. Then – and only then – is the vehicle declared ready for delivery. WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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FEATURES.

TAKE A BRAKE

The wide range of braking parts options on the market can be a head-spinner. ALEX WELLS looks at the choices available

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hen it comes to safety-critical systems, brakes are top of the list. You don’t want to fit parts that won’t do the job – but do you need to pay the premium for OE or brand-name aftermarket parts? Some garages will attempt to get a competitive edge and save money for their customers by fitting generic parts. It’s true that using cheaper parts saves money, but if they are of a lower quality, they are likely to wear faster and be more time-consuming to fit. A false economy then, but it’s not just about money.

Legal responsibilities What about legal responsibilities? Where does a garage stand if it fits parts that are not up to the job, and there is a problem? On this very thorny topic, an IMI spokesperson observes: ‘It is beholden upon all businesses involved in parts distribution and parts fitting to make every possible effort to ensure cheap parts aren’t used in the repair of a customer’s vehicle. A professional business shouldn’t just be advising against the fitting of such parts – it shouldn’t be procuring/offering them at all. ‘This becomes all the more important in relation to safety-critical parts such as brakes – especially since the imposition of the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007, as now a business-owner whose business sells or fits a part found to have failed in a fatal accident is liable to face criminal prosecution. ‘However, given the rather opaque nature of current braking regulations and the lack of a discernible parts standard, the best approach is to always fit parts which are OE or OE-equivalent.’ Is there a system in place to help businesses make sure they are sourcing the best parts?

IMI Parts Accreditation Yes, there is: ‘Another vital step is to ensure all those in businesses involved in parts procurement and selling have taken the IMI Parts Accreditation, online at bit.ly/IMI-parts ‘This is designed to professionalise and standardise the parts retailing process and protect both the business and consumer,’ adds the spokesperson.

Choice We can talk about garage attitudes to this and that all day – but we must remember that this industry exists to serve the consumer, who chooses which garage they wish to use. How far should the concept of choice extend?

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Many garages say only the best will do when it comes to brake parts

FITTING THE RIGHT THING

Yardleys Garage is a family-run independent, based in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. Owner Nigel Yardley says: ‘I won’t touch generic parts. I would say 90 per cent of what we use is Apec – our supplier is next-door to us and that’s their biggest stock. But if it wasn’t something I knew and trusted, I wouldn’t try it. Other than Apec, we use Mintex and Jurid, and the other big manufacturers occasionally.’ Ease of fitment is important – as properly fitting parts with all the correct bits in the box will save on labour, a saving that can be passed on to the customer. Yardley’s approach has served him well over the years: ‘It’s just something I believe in. I’ve not had any bad experiences with brakes and I don’t want to have any bad experiences.’ In fact, he is generally moving towards namebrand parts overall: ‘Everything I use is going that way. I have used cheap sensors in the past and cheap alternators and starters and I have come unstuck. ‘It’s better to bite the bullet, spend the extra and fit the right thing first time.’

Terry Gibson, head of member services at the Independent Garage Association (IGA), advises: ‘One of the reasons consumers use independent garages is that they are exercising freedom of choice – and that choice can often extend to the brand of parts you offer. ‘Whether you fit only OE, only pattern or give the customer a choice of parts is a matter for your business to determine – but the customer needs to be making an informed decision, so it is vitally important for a garage business to explain the differences between genuine OE parts or their pattern equivalent when alternatives are offered.’

Matching quality Of course, choice is one thing, but safety is paramount: ‘With braking components, at the very least you should be offering “matching quality” parts whether the vehicle is under manufacturer warranty or not. Consumers are, hopefully, unlikely to make decisions on safetyrelated parts based on price alone.’ There is plenty of support available in the industry: ‘Product information posters, leaflets and other POS from your supplier or parts factor should help to make the case for quality pattern parts if you choose to offer them,’ Gibson adds.

Reputable Industry consultant and long-time independent


GOING FOR QUALITY

Shaun Spooner Autos is an independent garage based in Cheadle, Staffordshire. Owner Shaun Spooner favours using brake parts from recognised name manufacturers: ‘I don’t really use any of those nonsense white-box brands and all that cheap sort of stuff – I only use the betterbranded equipment. I tend to use Brembo and Pagid which I get via Euro Car Parts. Their products are always good quality and I’ve never had any problems. ‘I’ve always felt that way. It’s brakes isn’t it? It could quite literally be life or death. You can start putting cheap, nasty stuff on, but if anything goes wrong with the brakes you can soon pay for it in a big way.’ How you deal with customers matters, says Spooner: ‘If a customer rings up and wants some brakes and says, ‘‘how much is it going to cost for front discs and pads on my Volkswagen Golf?’’ I’ll only ever quote them with decent stuff and never go in with the cheap. ‘There are going to be garages nearby who quote on the cheaper stuff and maybe even get the job. But I’d rather not do that. I’d rather always go down the route of decent, branded stuff.’

SAFETY-CRITICAL

garage operator Andy Savva is a brand believer: ‘You should be fitting something that is recognisable and comes from a reputable manufacturer, especially on braking products. ‘I would always use an OE brand. For me that’s the only way to absolutely assure the quality of the part, especially when you are talking about items that affect safety. We should never compromise price over safety! ‘However, there are a number of very good aftermarket suppliers, such as Apec, that have very good products. ‘The design and testing on their brake pads is extensive and robust as I witnessed when visiting their factory recently.’ Savva is set against the lower end of the market: ‘You can never take a chance fitting something in a white box or a lower-grade unknown part. You don’t know where they benchmark their quality, manufacture, design and investment. You can’t take that risk.’ Some might argue that more expensive parts are over-engineered. Savva disagrees: ‘You can never have an overengineered brake product. If you are thinking like that and you are in the automotive aftermarket you need to be shoved out of it and taken somewhere else. You can’t have a brake, steering or suspension product that is over-engineered. I can’t accept that argument.’

Price-sensitive According to Savva, the aftermarket is lagging behind on this message: ‘Due to commercial pressure, some garages feel they have no choice, but to look for a cheaper part to get business in. It’s the nature of the beast unfortunately.’

Availability Then there’s the wide and unmediated availability of parts – via sources open to consumers as well as motorists: ‘The other day I was driving and I heard a motor trade parts ad for eBay on the radio and that sort of shocked me. ‘That’s another avenue for people to buy their parts, but how do they know what they are buying? You don’t know. Unless you pick a recognised and established OE brand or an established non-OE product, how do you know what you are going to buy from the internet?’

Choice Is there too much choice now? ‘There’s never been a better choice in terms of parts availability and hourly drops,’ says Savva. ‘The parts manufacturers with the major distributors are investing large amounts of money into their logistics and supply chain to get us that part quicker than ever before.’ Focus on Straightset, p44 Focus on Pagid, p45

Martyn Langbridge, owner of Cheltenham & Gloucester Autocentre based in the Cheltenham area, is unequivocal about whether or not to fit generic brake parts: ‘I would never fit white-box. I will always fit OE or OE-equivalent. That’s it, end of. As a rule, we wouldn’t even fit a budget part. ‘As far as I am concerned, this applies to all components, but particularly brake parts – because they’re safety-critical items.’ It’s not just about the name though, obviously: ‘It’s quality, it’s a guaranteed fit, it’s making sure the part lasts for the customer. ‘There’s less wasted labour time, you get all the bits in the box you need. It’s a question of quality.’ Langbridge’s policy means customers who have their cars serviced and repaired at Cheltenham & Gloucester Autocentre do not have problems with their brakes. He can’t avoid issues completely, though – as not everyone has high standards: ‘The only problems we do get with brakes come when we find people have fitted low-cost, low-quality parts, and we are in the situation of putting the job right. ‘I’d like to think any good business that wants to continue for a long time, should be saying and doing the same thing as us.’ WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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CLUB.

HOW TO AVOID TROUBLE IF A CAR BREAKS DOWN AGAIN AFTER REPAIRS

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ASK THE JUDGE: Ian Gardner, sales manager at automotive legal experts Lawgistics, says good housekeeping and record-keeping are essential.

e are often asked: ‘How do I deal with a customer who perceives that he or she has been badly let down when a recently repaired car fails again?’ Firstly, it is in some ways unfortunate that the modern car, being made up of more than 3,000 components, is likely to be the most complex machine a person is ever likely to own. While our computers are marvels of invention, there is little else in our lives that is like the car, designed as it is to cope with a range of road conditions, operator skills, weather, lack of care and much else, yet continue uncomplaining, like a faithful servant for many years, often hopelessly neglected. Most modern cars are exceptionally well made and that is possibly their Achilles’ heel. Customers do not understand that diagnosis and/or repair can sometimes be as complicated as the original design. When a car arrives in the workshop, there are several things we would recommend as good practice: l Begin the record-keeping process by timing the car in.

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Prepare an early assessment of the issues and the likely time it will take to rectify them. l Explain to the customer in layman’s terms what is wrong and what is needed both in time and possible cost. l Always provide the caveat that other costs might arise (such as when a stud shears off or a re-bore is needed). l Make sure the customer knows that some parts are in short supply or stuck in transit. (Customers are likely to be far more sympathetic when they are given genuine information.) l Time the car out on its test drive and name the driver. l Time the car back in and on to the ramp for final checking and sign-off. l Time the car back to the parking bay to await collection and make sure the customer is sent a message that the car is ready. If by Twitter, WhatsApp, email or Facebook, such messages are self-timed. If by telephone note the time down. l Keep all the parts renewed for inspection. The above may all seem rather obvious, but it is surprising l

just how many disputes arise over the small missed detail of instruction or reporting, which might have avoided any accusation that a job was poorly done. A recent example we were asked to advise upon was a double radiator failure. The second radiator had pressurised and split at its seams. The cause was head gasket failure and this had, in turn, been caused by the first radiator becoming blocked, thus overheating the cylinder head. We always advise investigating behind the cause of the original failure. Unless the customer specifically prohibits this, the repairer has an obligation to make sure that he investigates the cause of the failure, so that he can deal with the root cause of the issue. What we are suggesting is nothing more than good housekeeping and recording. Some of our clients go as far as to film their work as it unfolds. This is an excellent way to reduce complaints of missed or shoddy work, but a proper paper trail will achieve the same result, if kept accurately.

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£100 off your motor trade insurance With 25 years of industry experience in the world of commercial vehicle insurance, Plan Insurance Brokers is the expert for the UK’s professional road users. Motor trade insurance is vital to keep your business moving, whether it’s your own vehicles or customers’ cars that you’re moving about – even if a customer’s car is involved in a fire or theft while in your care. Club members can receive an exclusive £100 discount on their motor trade insurance through Plan Insurance Brokers.

TO JOIN GO TO WORKSHOPCLUB.CO.UK OR CALL 023 9252 2434 AND 34 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk


Working on a car that’s soon to be sold? Be very careful!

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rom time to time, trading standards departments look to prosecute our clients for (allegedly) selling, supplying or offering to supply an unroadworthy vehicle. This is under Section 75 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. When faced with such an allegation, the first thing we look at is whether another garage has recently undertaken repairs to the vehicle and/or has put it through a recent MOT. The reason for this is simple. Section 76 of the Road Traffic Act states that it is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE if a person fits a part to a vehicle or causes or permits that part to be fitted (ie a manager or supervisor) to a vehicle in a way that could result in that vehicle causing injury or being dangerous when used on the road. Or if the part being fitted breached the Road Traffic (Construction and Use) Regulations 2006. So when doing work for a motor trader on a vehicle that is due for sale, it is important to evidence said work and make sure it is carried out diligently. Because if trading standards

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question the trader about sending out or even offering for sale a vehicle that is unroadworthy or in a dangerous condition and your business has worked on the vehicle, they could be knocking at your door next. Of course, every case is looked at on its merits but repairing mechanics and their managers need to be mindful of the potential for criminal prosecution in the event of the dangerous fitting of a part. If that becomes a possibility Lawgistics members should contact us for assistance. n If you have a dilemma that’s giving you nightmares, an issue that’s keeping you awake, or a dispute that won’t go away, send an email to TheJudge@lawgistics.co.uk and you may see your problem dealt with in these pages.

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As part of your membership, you will have a free telephone consultation with Lawgistics worth £100. You will also be signed up to Lawgistics’ basic membership package worth £95, have 25 per cent discount off Lawgistics products, get access to guidance notes and document templates and enjoy a discount off membership upgrades – £100 off the Small Business pack and £250 off the Professional membership pack – to better suit your needs.

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MY PROJECT CAR.

TRISTAN SHALE-HESTER DELVES INTO HIS FAMILY’S PAST TO REVEAL A TRUE CLASSIC

Returning a piece of motorsport history to its former racing glory

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n 1953 my grandfather David Shale lined up his Austin Healey 100/4 on the grid at Goodwood for the first time. In 2017, classic car enthusiast Richard Murphy hopes to replicate that scene. Shale, who proposed to my grandmother in it, was a racing driver in the 1950s. He drove a variety of sports cars, including Austin Healeys, Jaguars and Aston Martins, going up against opponents such as Stirling Moss and John Dalton. He never courted the press, though, which is why he is only well known now in certain motor racing circles. Retiring after a number of successful years in the sport, he then became a professional skeet shooter, and died in 2012, aged 81. Two years ago, Murphy was looking for a new project car to work on – specifically an Austin Healey from between 1953 and 1956 – and heard about an early 100/4, one of the first few righthand-drive models, which had done some racing in the past and was up for sale. Murphy went to see the car and, having decided it appeared to be in reasonably good condition, bought it. It was only when he got it home and started disassembling it, though, that he realised just how much it had been through. ‘There were bits that had been cut out. It had had a clutch conversion from a mechanical clutch to a hydraulic clutch and in the process a great hole had been hacked in the bulkhead,’ he said. It was at this point that Murphy began to research the 100/4’s racing history by looking up the number plate, DNH 828, on the internet and in his collection of books, and soon found a mention of the car. ‘There’s a book that talks about the first reference I can find to a genuinely private

„Part of the Austin Healey 100/4

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Austin Healey competition entry,’ said Murphy. ‘It’s that of David Shale’s car, DNH 828. I happened to have a whole host of Goodwood motor race programmes and I was able to identify it. It came in third in its first outing.’ But as he continued to take the car apart, Murphy found more and more problems. He deduced that it had been tinkered with by generations of amateur welders and consequently needed major work on its body. DNH 828’s chassis was sent to the Midlands to be dipped in an acid tank, removing all the corrosion from the previous decades, but this revealed even more holes in the inner body panels. Murphy was now left with a multitude of 100/4 parts needing to be repaired. To have the car fully restored, he sent it to Bill Rawles Classic Cars in Medstead, Hampshire. ‘Bill Rawles is a really good restorer,’ said Murphy. ‘He’s incredibly knowledgeable about Austin Healeys, having worked on them for 25 years and raced them.’ Rawles has had DNH 828 for two years now. So far, the inner body structure has been repaired with a mixture of original and new parts.

David Shale at the wheel of the 100/4 ‘The whole idea is to actually have at the end as much of the original car as possible,’ said Murphy. The inner structure of the car is nearing completion, after which the wings will be attached. While this is happening, the engine is being rebuilt to M-specification – a series of racing modifications introduced by Donald Healey. DNH 828 was one of the first, if not the very first, of the 100s to undergo these alterations. In addition, both the gearbox and overdrive have been rebuilt and are waiting to go back in the car. Murphy is expecting the completed car within the next few months. He has no intention of racing it or displaying it to the public, but he is hoping to be able to sit DNH 828 on the grid at Goodwood, just as it did more than 60 years ago. For my mother and I, it will be an entirely new sight. For my grandmother, it will be an opportunity to happily reminisce about the golden age of motoring – and perhaps the day that Shale popped the question.

The whole idea is to actually have at the end as much of the original car as possible.


PRODUCTS.

Makita Jobsite Radio

The latest version of Makita’s very popular jobsite radio features the DAB digital broadcast system. Twin 76mm diameter speakers operate at up to 3.5 watts each when powered by a Makita 18v lithium-ion battery – and it’ll happily run on most Makita tool batteries, or the AC adapter. The robust housing has strong elastomer bumpers on the front and back for protection against rough handling, and the soft-grip handle folds flat down against the body. A micro USB port allows software upgrades and there’s an aux-in jack for external audio sources.

Laser Brake Pipe Flaring Tool

The compact design of this new brake pipe flaring tool from Laser Tools means that it is particularly suited to on-vehicle use, making it very convenient and a real time-saver. Under a wheel arch or even underneath the vehicle, its small size, light weight and robust construction makes flaring brake pipes an easy task even when access is difficult. The set includes dies and punches for the two most common brake pipe sizes: 4.75mm and 3/16in diameter, and can produce both DIN single flares and SAE double flares.

Clarke Water Pump

If you’re having trouble draining pits, sumps, ditches and footings or if you’ve got any problems shifting water, the PSV range is for you. The submersible pump range is made of tough, durable and corrosion-proof material for cost-effective long-term use. They will pump not only water but also solid-borne objects up to 30mm in diameter. A maximum flow of 217 litres per minute, a maximum head of 8m and the float start/stop switch means you’ll always have full control even when using in really dirty water.

New for you Makita Torque Wrench

Makita’s new DTW285 LXT impact wrench features a reverse rotation auto stop mode. This intelligent tool will run a nut or bolt until it’s loose and then cut the impact and rotation within 0.2 seconds to allow for the safe removal of fixings by hand, helping to prevent fixings accidentally falling off when working at height. With 280Nm of fastening torque and a massive 400Nm of removal power, it’s available with two 5.0Ah lithium-ion batteries or as body only.

Laser Brake Fluid Tester

The Laser Tools Brake Fluid Boiling Point Tester is designed to measure the boiling point of brake fluid very quickly and with digital accuracy. It works on all grades of brake fluid – the bright LCD screen shows clearly the temperature the brake fluid has boiled at, and recommends whether the brake fluid in the vehicle should be replaced or not. The accuracy and calibration of the device can be easily checked by testing the boiling point of clean water.

PRODUCT TESTS

GLASS CLEANER: P38

SOLDERING IRONS: P40

OUR EXPERTS TEST WORKSHOP CREEPERS: P42 WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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PRODUCTS. TEST 28

Glass cleaner Which are the shining examples when it comes to this exceptionally useful product? ANDREW EVANS puts leading makes to the test

I

t’s something that might be easy to overlook, but clean glass can be a boon to any workshop – or indeed a business of any kind. At its simplest, glass cleaner is just a good way to clean vehicle windscreens and useful if you have a lot of cars sitting on an outdoor parking lot, but it’s also a quick and easy way to take surface dirt off any part of a vehicle. Magazines will use it to polish up a car for an outdoor photoshoot (don’t tell anyone), but it’s also useful if you want a clean surface for sticking things on to, like decals or a replacement rearview mirror. Aside from a quick polish on cars, premises tend to have a lot of windows and, with most formulations being kind enough for TV/monitor screens, a good glass cleaner is something you can’t really do without.

HOW WE TESTED THEM Naturally, a good glass cleaner gets glass clean, so our tests have involved taking before and after light meter readings on patches of glass we’ve cleaned with the various products here. You’ll also want your cleaner to protect against future dirtiness, so we revisited the glass after a few days exposed to the elements and measured again after a quick wipe-over with a damp cloth.

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Halfords Glass Cleaner

Autoglym Fast Glass

How much: £3.50 Where from: halfords.com

How much: £9.47 Where from: andrewpage.com

The Halfords cleaner impressed us – not only because it scored well on the light meter, but for the minimal amount of effort needed to polish up really rather grim panes. It might be the thinnest of the fluids here, so when using it on angled surfaces like the inside of a windscreen you’ll need to be careful not to let it run off, but, by and large, it’s a very solid choice.

Autoglym may well be a default choice for many but, like the TurtleWax option, while it does a fair job and won’t leave you with any disappointing smears and streaks, it’s not quite up with our leading trio. While not the worst on the light meter readings for the first pass, it’s a little poorer after the dirt has built up again so you’ll need to reach for the cleaner a second time instead of a wet cloth.

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Meguiar’s PerfectClarity

Rain-X 2-in-1

TurtleWax Clearvue

How much: £10.00 Where from: meguiars.co.uk

How much: £4.00 Where from: asda.com

How much: £5.50 Where from: halfords.com

Meguiar’s product is undoubtedly the best, but it’s also the most expensive. On the initial wipe, it foams up ever so slightly – to the point where you might think it would leave a smear – but it buffs away to leave an exceptionally clean piece of glass. It scored the highest on the light meter readings for the first pass and is noticeably more fragrant than the others, too.

One curious aspect of the Rain-X cleaner is that after use, the glass was noticeably squeaky to the touch, as opposed to the smoothness with the others. The reason for this became clear on the second cleaning pass, where any additional dirt wiped away quickly and easily. While it didn’t score the highest on the light meter readings overall, the fact is, you’re not going to need to use it quite as often as the others.

The TurtleWax product is the only one that suggests it should be left on a surface (for around a minute) after the initial application, though this didn’t seem to make too much of a difference to anything except really baked-on bird droppings – though it was rather effective for that. It didn’t do quite as well as the others for either the initial clean or the follow-up.

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PRODUCTS. TEST 29

Soldering irons

Draper Gas Soldering Iron 78724 How much: £20.34 (inc VAT) Where from: drapertools.co.uk A decent little unit that takes a small butane charge just like a cigarette lighter. The compact size means it’s great for use in confined spaces – if you’re upside down beneath a steering column, for example – and it heat cycles quicker than the electric units, but is perhaps a little too small for serious use. The lack of accessories also marks it out as one for convenience rather than a workhorse.

ANDREW EVANS conducts some tests that will make interesting reading for anyone working with vehicle electrics

T

he more advanced cars become, the more power and wiring they need. For many, electricity is a bit of a dark art, but working with it doesn’t actually need that much in the way of equipment. With a decent multimeter, insulated drivers, wire strippers and crimpers and a solid soldering iron, you’re good to go. While some might prefer to add junctions, soldering is a quick and easy way to splice in additional equipment such as extra lighting, alarms and start buttons, particularly on older vehicles. We’ve been testing a variety of types of soldering iron to see which is the one we’d want with us to sort through the spaghetti of vehicle wiring.

40 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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Senator MT500 How much: £21.62 (inc VAT) Where from: cromwell.co.uk Like the gas Sealey, the Senator is a clever little piece of kit. The reservoir isn’t quite as large and it feels a little more fragile – we’re not sure how it’d stand up to being dropped

a couple of times – but it’s good enough for use over a decent length of time. We like the fact it has a stand, unlike the others here, and it has a few interchangeable bits that mean it can be used in a number of ways.

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Sealey Rechargeable Soldering Iron SDL6 How much: £70.14 (inc VAT) Where from: sealey.co.uk This is one of the neatest ideas we’ve seen in a while. It combines all of the convenience of the gas irons we see here with the traditional electric-powered soldering iron, by using lithium ion batteries that you find in other cordless tools. It does have a little chink in the armour, in that it takes by far the longest to heat up – a little over 20 seconds – but for a four-hour charge you’ll get well over an hour of use out of it. The charging dock doubles as a stand and a small LED perfectly lights up the target. It could probably do with a couple of accessories to make it absolutely spot-on.

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Draper 100W Soldering Gun 71420 How much: £24.30 (inc VAT) Where from: drapertools.co.uk

HOW WE TESTED THEM We’ve been trialling the irons with precision soldering jobs and removal of old solder on a circuit board fished out of a defunct PC and a couple of strips of wire left over from a project car. How quickly the irons heat up and cool down was an important factor, but secondary to how they do the job in a cramped space like an engine bay.

This is the conventional soldering iron that everyone’s probably most familiar with and as such will be the easiest to get used to. The time taken to heat up and cool down again when not in operation is pretty quick but even so, we’d like to see some kind of stand for it. There’s a small LED that lights up the tip, but it doesn’t seem to quite align properly with all of the tips, casting a shadow where you’d probably rather not have one! The bulk of the unit makes it less than ideal, but the trigger action is considerably nicer to use than thumb-operated toggles of the other units here.

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Sealey AK2962 How much: £76.74 (inc VAT) Where from: sealey.co.uk Although it looks more like a kit for vaping than soldering, this can be considered as a much bigger version of the Draper gas torch and we’re really rather keen on it. It takes

a larger charge with a bigger fuel tank, so you can use it for much longer, and is a much more substantial unit overall. The business end is no less precise though and it comes with a number of changeable tips and a soldering sponge into the bargain.

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WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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PRODUCTS. TEST DRIVE

Garage test: Creepers Inspection creepers are great if you need to get underneath a vehicle without the use of a ramp or lift. Our professionals test some popular examples

Craig Rose Bob Rose Motor Vehicle Repairs, Redcar

An independent garage running for nearly 40 years, Bob Rose is a family firm of two generations and deals with anything and everything. How Craig rated them: 1 Draper CC4; 2 Sealey SCR80; 3 Draper CC2; 4 Sealey SCR84

Chris Harrison

Service manager at Derek Slack Skoda, Middlesbrough Derek Slack Skoda is a family-run Skoda retailer and the oldest in the north-east of England. It has sold the Czech marque for more than 20 years. How Chris rated them: 1 Sealey SCR80; 2 Draper CC4; 3 Sealey SCR84; 4 Draper CC2

Draper CC2 Price: £89.94 (inc. VAT) From: drapertools.com

Craig This is a good idea, having it multipurpose with

Kev Grady North Eastern Tyre & Exhaust, Teesside

Part of the Tyre Plus group of local rapid-fit garages across the UK, NETE has served the Teesside and North Yorkshire area for 80 years. How Kev rated them: 1 Draper CC2; 2 Draper CC4; 3 Sealey SCR80; 4 Sealey SCR84

42 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

the seat function. When you’re at the side of things, having it at this height is good – not everyone’s going to want to stay in a kneeling position for long, so to have a seat is a bonus. It’s a little narrow though, but it helps with getting some elbow room.

Chris This is a very heavy and bulky piece of kit. The dual function is a good idea, it’s one of the more comfortable

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creepers, and the material on it is at least waterproof, but it’s not our favourite here.

Kev It looks like a stretcher! If you were on your back all

the time and don’t rely on lifts, it’s a great idea. The qualm I have with it is the material it’s made out of. I can see it getting ripped quite easily – you’d want a cover for it. It would be convenient if you worked in an office too.


Sealey SCR80 Price: £68.94 (inc VAT) From: sealey.co.uk

Craig It’s lightweight –

it’ll do the job, but it’s not as comfy, though that’ll stop you falling asleep on the job! It’s quite robust. If you get it covered in muck and oil, it’s easy to wipe down with it being composite – and you’re not going to rip it like you will with the others.

Chris Even though it’s a little uncomfortable, this is

the one I would buy. It has a good-quality feel and good clearance, and the castors are good quality and soft. The side compartments are a good idea too.

Kev This is exactly the same as the composite Draper. Nice and lightweight and the pockets in the side are a good idea to store bolts and tools without getting any dust on them or losing them on the floor.

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Sealey SCR84 Price: £101.94 (inc VAT) From: sealey.co.uk

Craig It’s got a decent

headrest and loads of padding. It’s nice and broad for wider chaps, but it’s a little short. It’s probably not going to be the one we’d choose, as it’s not as robust as the plastic ones and you could damage it a bit too easily.

Chris This is a more comfortable option, but it’s

rather high from the floor and has limited clearance as a result. It doesn’t feel like the best built either and the castors in particular feel a little cheap.

Kev The same sort of thing applies to the material on the

Sealey as with the Draper. It’s going to wipe clean okay but I can see it getting damaged too easily. The sharp corners are a bit of a worry too – you’ll probably trip over all of these anyway, but this one will hurt more. It’s much comfier to use than the plastic ones though.

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Draper CC4 Price: £54.54 inc VAT From: drapertools.com

Craig This looks like it’s based on exactly the same board

as the Sealey, but it’s blue. The little storage trays are great if you’ve got tools and that – normally, if you’re under a car and you drop something, it’ll roll under the creeper. With this one, it won’t, so it’s good from that point of view.

Chris Like the similar Sealey, this is a little hard and

uncomfortable if you’re going to use it for any length of time. However, it’s sturdy, simple and hard-wearing. It’s going to be easy to clean and has the same good-quality castors as the Sealey, too.

Kev This is quite light actually – it’s less for you to push

around with you on, but it might be a bit too light, so you could spin yourself round instead of breaking the nut! It’s not going to be very comfy, but then you don’t want to be in it too long.

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| 43


FOCUS ON

STRAIGHTSET

A GREAT BEISSBARTH INTRODUCTORY OFFER STRAIGHTSET

The BD brake tester series from Beissbarth combines practicality with efficiency.

T: 01909 480055 E: INFO@STRAIGHTSET.CO.UK

AS the UK’s largest independent garage equipment experts dedicated to providing its customers with genuine choice and flexibility with their workshop space, Straightset is proud to add Beissbarth to its approved portfolio as one of the most reliable brands in the garage equipment market for wheel service equipment. As a special introductory launch offer, Straightset is including three years’ free calibration on all Beissbarth Brake Testers ordered through Straightset before May 31, 2017.* Beissbarth is a brand of the Bosch group and is one of the largest garage equipment manufacturers in the world, with a history spanning more than 100 years. It offers manufacturer-approved, reliable, tried and tested equipment, with extensive warranties, easily sourced spare parts, and national, highly-trained support teams. The BD brake tester series from Beissbarth combines

practicality with efficiency, providing safe and precise testing for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. l Beissbarth BD640 PC – Roller brake tester, four-wheel drive, Automated Test Lane Class IV accepted. l  Beissbarth BD740 PC – Roller brake tester, four-wheel drive, Automated Test Lane Class VII accepted. l  Beissbarth BD6360 PC – Roller brake tester, VAS/ VAG Approved, Automated Test Lane Class IV accepted. The portfolio comes with 4WD compatibility and is supplied complete with traversable roller covers; 24-inch monitor; floor standing console; IR remote and hard-wired remote; five-year roller warranty; PC, printer, keyboard and mouse including the latest VDSA-accepted software; 15mtrs cabling from bed to console; galvanised bed and RAL 9006 console, all supplied as standard. There is a range of special accessories for more flexibility and customer benefits. Full product specification can be found on the Straightset

website (with the URLs abbreviated here for convenience): bit.ly/Beissbarth-1 and bit.ly/Beissbarth-2 For your free quote and to take advantage of our special introductory offer, please contact our friendly sales teams on 01909 480055 or info@straightset.co.uk and quote: OFFER B. Full details about the offer, product range and terms and conditions can be found here: straightset.co.uk/beissbarth-service-offer * Terms and conditions: Offer applies only to Beissbarth Brake Testers bought through Straightset before and including May 31, 2017. Offer is only eligible for orders to mainland UK. Must quote OFFER B when ordering to qualify. Offers are not available in conjunction with any other Straightset offers. Only available while stocks last and subject to availability. Offer can be withdrawn at any time. Servicing excludes parts and consumables. Normal terms and conditions apply.

A STRAIGHTSET OFFER THAT WILL STOP YOU IN YOUR TRACKS 3 YEARS FREE CALIBRATION ON BEISSBARTH BRAKE TESTERS Features that come as standard: • Electro-magnetic brakes • Suitable for 4x4 testing • Drive over roller covers • Fully galvanised • Built in Germany

High Precision BD Brake Tester Series for Class IV & V11

To take advantage of this special introductory offer contact our sales team on 01909 480055 or email info@straightset.co.uk

www.straightset.co.uk Garage & Bodyshop Equipment DESIGN. SUPPLY. INSTALL. SERVICE.

T&Cs: Offer applies only to Beissbarth Brake Testers bought through Straightset before and including 31st May 2017. Offer is only eligible for orders to mainland UK. Must quote OFFER B when ordering to qualify. Offers are not available in conjunction with any other Straightset offers. Only available while stocks last and subject to availability. Offer can be withdrawn at any time. Servicing excludes parts and consumables. Normal terms and conditions apply.

44 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk


FOCUS ON

PAGID

COUNT ON PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY WITH PAGID PRODUCTS PAGID

W: PAGIDPROFESSIONAL.CO.UK

AS PART of the TMD Friction Group, Pagid has more than 100 years of experience in the industry, becoming one of the world’s leading suppliers of braking and brake friction products. The braking systems are perhaps the most vital in a motor vehicle. Car manufacturers make significant investments in developing brakes to ensure that they have the highest levels of stopping performance and thus safety, along with reliability and longevity. Pagid partners with many of the world’s most famous vehicle brands, developing braking systems in tandem with Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche – meaning that Pagid systems are supplied as new on many of these vehicles. Pagid manufactures a range of brake pads and pad fitting kits to suit applications across a wide range of the UK’s vehicle

parc, all manufactured to OE specification including more than 20 types of noise fix and packaged accessories. There’s a brake disc for every pad in the Pagid range, with ‘Geomet’ coating to prevent corrosion. ASB/ABS technology brake discs are available too, as are high-carbon brake discs where applicable. The company also manufactures brake calipers to suit more than 99 per cent of the European market. All calipers are pressure-tested prior to leaving the factory and are pre-filled with brake fluid. Drums and shoes are also available, for vehicles without disc brakes, and, in total, Pagid has parts to fit 98 per cent of vehicles in Europe. Naturally, these brake friction components have to meet European safety standards. The regulations allow manufacturers a wide tolerance, but Pagid brake pads are developed to meet the highest quality standards.

They’re also subjected to thousands of miles of on-vehicle testing before being approved for release. You’ll find everything you need to change or service braking components in the Pagid range too, not just the components themselves. The company manufactures its own brake cleaner and Professional Braking Tools, along with Pagid brake fluid and Cera Tec – a metal-free, anti-squeal lubricant for braking systems. Available in a 75ml tube and a 5ml sachet, Cera Tec is heat-resistant up to 1000°C, non-conductive and acid-free. Pagid even provides workwear, so you can wear Pagid polo shirts and trousers while you work with its components, to really look the part. With more than a million products manufactured every day, for both the OE and aftermarket sectors, Pagid is a major player in the brake component sector.

„Jari Nordman will be hoping to see the Northern Lights during his stay in the Ice Hotel, right

Pagid customer wins an ice-cool, once-in-a-lifetime trip! PAGID, the UK’s biggest-selling braking brand, is sending one lucky customer on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the world-famous Ice Hotel in Sweden! Jari Nordman from LCV Hire Solutions in Loughborough will soon be off to the Arctic Circle for an amazing four-day trip that includes a dog-sled wilderness adventure, an expedition to search for the magical Northern Lights and, of course, a stay in this unique hotel carved from ice. The all-expenses-paid trip includes return flights, accommodation, excursions and refreshments throughout. To win this incredible prize, Jari simply registered his recent Pagid purchases from Euro Car Parts on pagidwinter.com and was lucky enough to bag the first prize.

Fifteen prizes were available in total, with runners-up receiving Pagid limited-edition ‘The North Face’ winter jackets or Pagid ‘Ready for Anything’ winter packs. Sadie Jonas, Pagid business development manager, said: ‘As market leaders, Pagid takes its responsibilities seriously and for this reason, we developed a full winter driving campaign to help spread the message of safer driving in hazardous conditions. The Pagid winter competition is all part of Pagid’s commitment to garages, workshops and mechanics to give something back to our loyal customers, and to stay engaged with our audiences.’ Pagid would like to thank all competition entrants and remind customers to stay tuned for future promotions.

The Pagid winter competition is all part of Pagid’s commitment to garages, workshops and mechanics to give something back to our loyal customers. WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

| 45


Four years until the first MOT Dangerous

Expensive

y r a s s e c e Unn The Government is planning to reduce the frequency of the MOT test. This backwards step in road safety will cost lives, so the is lobbying on behalf of the industry to ensure our roads remain safe. Visit www.ProMOTe.org.uk to find out why the proposals are dangerous, expensive and unnecessary, and respond to the consultation.

Discover the many benefits of IGA membership at:

www.IndependentGarageAssociation.co.uk 46 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

Or call our friendly helpline team on 0845 305 4230


SUPPLIERS GUIDE.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A WORKSHOP SUPPLIER, YOU CAN FIND THE DETAILS OF SELECTED COMPANIES HERE

Are you looking for a supplier? Here’s your essential guide

This invaluable directory provides you with information and contact details of some of the key suppliers of products and services to the automotive repair industry – from components and parts to garage equipment, web design, online solutions and even legal advice for when a transaction goes sour.

Our guide to the industry’s must-have partners follows on from the success of a similar resource in our sister publication, Car Dealer Magazine. This automotive repair, service and maintenance industry version will become just as indispensable. Keep an eye on this space each month as we include more and more of the industry’s leading suppliers.

Diagnostic Equipment

Aftersales Software

Approved Schemes

eDynamix

RAC Approved Dealer Network

Garage Equipment

Garage Equipment

Garage Equipment

Butts of Bawtry

GEMCO

Pro-Align

Garage Equipment

Garage Management Software

Legal & Compliance

Straightset

Dragon2000

Lawgistics

Parts Suppliers

Parts Suppliers

Trade Bodies

Blue Print

Febi Bilstein

IGA

W: edynamix.com T: 0845 413 0000 E: enquiries@edynamix.com Info: eDynamix offers web-based applications providing a connected and simple-to-use platform in which dealers can manage a customer throughout the service lifecycle, including service plans, electronic vehicle health check, repair and finance plans, proactive follow-up, online bookings, MOT cleanse, VIDEO1st, aftersales surveys, and automated confirmations and reminders.

W: buttsequipment.com T: 01302 710868 E: info@buttsequipment.com Info: Butts of Bawtry is literally a ONE STOP SHOP for the garage or workshop. Offering a comprehensive range of Quality Garage Equipment from leading manufacturers, backed up by our team of trained and certified service and repair engineers. From a trolley jack to a complete workshop installation, Butts have the answer.

W: straightset.co.uk T: 01909 480055 E: paul.bates@straightset.co.uk Info: Straightset is the UK’s leading independent garage equipment company, providing best-in-class design, supply, installation and service of car and commercial workshops for nearly 30 years. We carry a vast range of quality equipment carefully sourced from top manufacturers within the EU and US and offer one of the most comprehensive aftersales services in the market.

W: blue-print.co.uk T: 01622 833007 E: adl-blueprint.bpic@bilsteingroup.com Info: As part of the Bilstein Group, Blue Print supplies OEmatching quality vehicle components, with strong Asian and American coverage. With more than 23,000 different parts in its range, from braking and clutch components to filtration, Blue Print covers a huge portion of the vehicle parc. Want to get it right first time? Think Blue Print.

Approved Dealer

W: rac.co.uk/getapproved T: 0330 159 1111 E: dealernetwork@rac.co.uk Info: Being authorised to use the RAC name as a badge of quality creates strong consumer confidence and increases profitability. As an RAC Approved Dealer, you have access to one of the UK’s most respected motoring brands. There’s a range of RAC-backed products and services at your disposal, as well as a customer reach of more than 8 million RAC members to promote your dealership.

W: gemco.co.uk T: 01604 828500 E: sales@gemco.co.uk Info: GEMCO is the UK market leader and your one-stop shop for the supply, delivery, installation, training, calibration and maintenance of garage equipment. With the largest comprehensive range of equipment brands available for both car and commercial vehicle workshops, GEMCO provides top-quality garage equipment products and services to car and commercial vehicle workshops.

W: dragon2000.co.uk T: 01327 222 333 E: sales@dragon2000.co.uk Info: Dragon2000 supplies garages and car dealers with a multiaward winning Dealer Management System, time and efficiency monitoring and integrated websites for online service bookings. Includes free APPraise mobile app for all users – for sending personalised VHC images & videos to customers’ phones to help increase upsold work and customer trust.

W: febi.com T: 01977 691100 E: enquiries@febiuk.co.uk Info: As part of the Bilstein Group, Febi Bilstein supplies a range of more than 25,000 different articles for all popular European vehicle models. From steering and suspension to rubber, metal and electrical, Febi Bilstein provides OE-matching quality components with first-time fitment and long service life. For quality, choose Febi Bilstein.

Nebula Systems

W: nebulasystems.com T: 01280 816333 E: sales@nebulasystems.com Info: Nebula Systems specialises in the development of advanced technologies for the automotive and future mobility industries. We make vehicle data and systems more accessible so that a vehicle’s health, status and utilisation can be monitored, analysed, diagnosed and maintained, faster and more effectively, anytime and anywhere.

W: pro-align.co.uk T: 01327 323007 E: enquiries@pro-align.co.uk Info: Dedicated wheel alignment specialists, supplying, supporting and servicing the world-leading Hunter brand nationwide: Hunter aligners – Fast, accurate, reliable, unlocking business opportunities, delivering major income stream and rapid ROI Road Force balancer – A new service very few workshops deliver Tyre changers – Easy service perfection

W: lawgistics.co.uk T: 01480 445500 E: sales@lawgistics.co.uk Info: The motor trade’s leading legal firm, giving help and advice to our members and the industry in general. Passionate about fairness under the law. Our legal team are there to protect your interests. Not anti consumer, just pro trader. Don't miss our advice, which is published every month in Workshop Magazine. See pages 34 and 35 of this issue for The Judge’s contribution to this month’s issue.

W: IndependentGarageAssociation.co.uk T: 0845 305 4230 E: enquiries@rmif.co.uk Info: The Independent Garage Association is the largest and most prominent representative body in the independent garage sector. We are the voice of the industry in matters arising in UK and EU Government, and we help independent garages to thrive in all aspects of their business by offering advice, information and services.

TO HAVE YOUR DETAILS INCLUDED HERE CALL 023 9252 2434 AND ASK FOR WORKSHOP SUPPLIERS GUIDE LISTINGS WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

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OUR FLEET.

Subaru Legacy GT-B Jon prepares his newly-arrived purchase for its MOT test... but things don't go entirely smoothly to begin with

I

mport a car from Japan, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. All right, so nobody actually said that – in fact, I’ve endured months of raised eyebrows and sarcasm from all and sundry at Workshop Magazine Towers over my Subaru purchase, but in actual fact, things haven’t been too bumpy so far. My first priority was to sort the embarrassingly noisy power steering, for obvious reasons. With Google as my friend, I’d narrowed it down to a perished rubber O-ring letting air into the hydraulics system. A whopping 68p later and the problem was solved – not a bad start. Next up was to actually get the thing roadworthy. As it’s well over 10 years old, there’s no need to give my car the full SVA test treatment – just a bog-standard MOT is enough for Her Maj’s government to let me order a V5. Happily, my car wasn’t far off the checklist: the most glaring failure would be the lack of rear fog light, not required in its native Japan. The usual approach is to dangle an ugly square plastic one under the rear bumper, wire it up and call it a day, but as I like to make life difficult for myself, I bought a red bulb and repurposed one of the Legacy’s two reversing lights into one instead. I suspected the blue-tinted HID headlight bulbs – straight from the discount bin of the Tokyo branch of Halfords – would be frowned upon too, so I decided to throw in a fresh pair of Osrams for good measure. All that remained was to get it tested, so I booked it in to the local fast-fit, stuck some trade plates on and drove over, feeling quietly confident. ‘Can’t test that without number plates, mate,’ bellowed a voice from the bays as I was parking. Come again? ‘Isn’t it just a case of recording it against the VIN instead?’ I replied, sensing where this was

Fog light? Sorted. Power steering? All done. Jon gets his Subaru road-ready going. ‘Nope, not any more. They’ve changed it,’ came the curt response. ‘System won’t allow it. Ask VOSA.’ And that was that. No test, no further discussion. Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown. Now naturally, as I’d only spent the past six months of my life poring over documents to see whether or not this was possible, I couldn’t hope to know anywhere near as much as this chap: clearly an encyclopaedia on the subject of VOSA – which hasn’t existed for three years – and its apparent changes in regulation. Just to confirm for myself his unfailing accuracy, though, I did as he suggested and gave VOSA’s replacement body, the DVSA, a bell to double-check. In a shocking turn of events, it appears he was

mistaken – you can in fact test a car purely on its VIN number. Who’d have ever guessed? But there’s a happy conclusion to the story: the Legacy passed its test at an independent garage instead, and the DVSA – or VOSA, as he might know them – are having a little chat to my new best friend from the fast-fit. All’s well that ends well.

Model: Subaru Legacy Blitzen Owned by: Jon Reay Engine: 2.0-litre twin-turbo Bought for: $460 (£366) plus shipping Mileage: 81,000 Spent this month: £187.30 Highlight of the month: Getting to know the Legacy inside out.

OUR WHEELS... WE LOVE CARS (AND BIKES!) HERE AT WORKSHOP AND HERE’S THE PROOF.WE’VE WRITTEN ABOUT THEM

FORD FIESTA XR2

VW TYPE 3 FASTBACK

NISSAN ELGRAND

HONDA CBR600RR

SUBARU LEGACY GT-B

by James Baggott Chief executive, @CarDealerEd

by Rebecca Chaplin Head of content, @BelieveBecca

by Andy Entwistle Blackball Media MD, @CarDealerAndy

by Laura Thomson Staff writer, @lauramayrafiki

by Jon Reay Multimedia manager, @JonReay

I popped into the lock-up to find a stove. Saw the XR2 and realised it needs some attention. I promise it’ll move soon.

Progress is under way with new parts going on and the tune-up working. By next month we’ll have one happy VW to tell you about!

Meet Bertha the Nissan Elgrand. I’ll be importing the 3.5l V6 beast from Japan and converting her into a luxury day van. More next month.

The return of a biker friend from a faraway land (Spain) meant a road trip was in order. Cue a blissful 150mile ride across the South Downs.

After a little bit of a run-in with a fast-fit centre, Jon went elsewhere and now has an MOT certificate for his recent purchase from Japan.

48 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk


Mazda MX-5 Merlot Mazda MX-5 Andrew and Pato have a month of mixed fortunes

James Baggott bags a bargain... but doesn’t quite understand MX-5 mania

SINCE I last wrote about him, Pato has been somewhat in the wars. You may remember him running out of electricity a couple of times – most recently thanks to the illuminated LED on an eBay special 12v/USB adapter – which I largely attributed to him either not moving or moving very short distances. Swapping out yet another battery – there’s always a spare MX-5 somewhere in the car park – I was greeted by the familiar ‘you haven’t done this in a while’ start-up squeal, followed by a muffled bang. On inspection,

the alternator belt had sheared because the alternator itself had seized. Fortunately, he was booked in to a local garage for a lapsed MOT with instructions on known faults, so one more won’t affect things too much. Off I drove to the MOT centre. Now, if you know MX-5s, you’ll have read the previous two paragraphs and thought ‘hang on’, but my unconscious brain wasn’t turned on beyond the MOT and the alternator until wisps of white smoke started crawling out from under the bonnet. I was, by chance, already in the garage car park, so the ignition was immediately killed and Pato pushed into a sensible position. Yes, the alternator belt also runs the water pump and I'd forgotten this key piece of information until I was literally boiling the coolant. And the MOT? Failed on emissions.

Model: Mazda MX-5 Merlot Owned by: Mrs Evans Bought for: £1,500 Mileage: 111,000 Money spent this month: £383 Highlight: Moving under his own power for more than a mile.

STRANGE things happen when you buy cars at Blackball Media. OK, let me clarify that statement – strange things happen when I buy cars. In fact, thinking about it, this whole car purchase was particularly unusual. I’ll stop rambling and explain. Mazda MX-5s seem to attract motoring journalists like flies around rubbish dumps. There’s an allure to their underpowered engines, pop-up headlights and rusty bodywork that means car writers like me love them. OK, it’s none of those. What they really like is the fact they’re rear-wheel drive and their dreams of power over-steering around the Morrisons roundabout far outweigh the fact they’re actually a bit rubbish and nothing larger than an average child can sit comfortably behind the wheel. Obviously then I had to have one to go alongside the collection of other cars that never get used. A brilliant business case for a purchase, I’m sure you’ll agree, so when a friend was selling his I decided to make an offer. By offer, I mean I sent our resident deal broker, Andy ‘Deal or No Deal’ Entwistle, round to do the negotiating for me. That worked, for what I was expecting to cost me £1,000 I got for £600. Sadly, I haven’t had much time to drive her. OK, I’m lying again. I hadn’t found any time to

drive her until it came to write this report. Out I popped to the car park with every intention of taking her for a spin to get some pictures, but someone had stolen the battery – remember what I said about strange things happening when you buy cars at Blackball Media? After some loud moaning in the office, the offender replaced the battery and I managed a run. She’s tatty in places, needs some TLC in others, but overall drives well. I can’t fit in her, she’s desperately underpowered and there’s distinctly more rust than I imagined, but for £600 she’s still an absolute bargain.

Model: Mazda MX-5 MK 1 Owned by: James Baggott Bought for: £600 Mileage: 84,569 Money spent this month: £0 Highlight: Driving it for the first time and wondering what all the fuss is about.

AND EVERYTHING...

JAGUAR X-TYPE ESTATE

BMW 330D TOURING

MG METRO TURBO

MAZDA MX-5

PEUGEOT 205 GTI 1.9

by James Fossdyke Staff writer, @JFossdyke

by Jack Evans News editor, @jackrober

by Christian Tilbury Staff writer, @Christilbury1

by Andrew Evans Senior staff writer, @snavEwerdnA

by James Baggott Chief executive, @CarDealerEd

With a new battery in situ, the Jag is purring like a big cat should. Lighter evenings also mean there’s more time to enjoy the V6’s warbling.

After starting Belfort a few days ago, he failed to show how much fuel was in the tank. Two days later, the fuel gauge lives again – weird!

Christian’s usual lack of time means the Metro’s still sleeping under its cover, but the MOT tester is set to give it a harsh wake-up call.

Andrew’s wimped out and paid a garage to sort out the MX-5’s malaises, but a smoggy exhaust may mean more is to come...

I’ve been invited to take the 205 to Pugfest in July. That will mean I need to get it fixed. Cue a call to Matt The Mechanic... WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

| 49


OUR KEV.

OUR MAN ON THE INSIDE SPILLS THE BEANS ON THE GARAGE BUSINESS...

No gratitude, just grief, with this particular customer... A cautionary tale for you this month, along with a bit of a grizzle about our favourite people. Yes, we’re talking about customers. They may pay our wages, but they’re often very difficult to educate, and in some cases it’s frightening. For a long time, the garage trade has had a reputation as being after a fast buck. There are reasons for this, chief among them the fact that the vast majority of people know absolutely nothing about cars. Then there are those who think they do. This month, I had a stand-up row with a customer who brought his low-mileage classic Ford Granada Mk 3 in for its MOT. The car was truly lovely – shiny, immaculate inside and carefully waxed underneath to ensure it didn’t succumb to the rampant corrosion that affected most of its brethren. It had passed its previous 10 MOTs with barely an advisory, save for very minor issues such as bulb replacements and a sun-bleached number plate. For years, the owner had been taking his car to Derek, a mechanic on the other side of the village who was a good old boy, but didn’t have the sharpest eyesight. Derek had always assured the customer that the Granada was so well maintained it was a surefire MOT pass, so the customer was beyond disappointed when he came to collect the car from its test at our garage. The MOT tester – me – had failed the Granada on all four tyres, which I had observed were cracked to the extent that the ply or cord was exposed. According to the MOT manual, this is an instant MOT fail, though some testers may well have missed it as the cracks were on the inner sidewall of the tyre. Plus, perished sidewalls are normally a pass and advise, and some less particular types may have done just that had they been a little less thorough than I. However, when looking at the offside front tyre on full lock, I’d noticed that the tread had started to separate from the tyre itself, and by squeezing the edge of the rubber I was able to pretty much lift the tread pattern away. I repeated this with all four tyres, and all were in a similarly decrepit state. The thing is, they had loads of tread – almost 6mm all round. A quick look at the car’s online MOT history showed that the Granada had covered a mere 3,500 of its 40,000 total miles in the past 11 years, which is when electronic records began. The sidewalls of the tyres were stamped ‘4500’, meaning they were manufactured in the 45th

week of the year 2000 (a handy tip there, second hand car buyers), and revealing that the rubber was more than 16 years old. No wonder the sidewalls were aged and cracked. The punter had other ideas. What started out as a polite conversation that began ‘I’ve come to pick up my Granada’ ended in him snarling and foaming at me, ‘give me a f***ing pass certificate, you idiot’, as if my opinion (as a qualified MOT tester) was less valid than his own, as a classic car enthusiast (they’re often the worst). ‘I know my way around a classic car and I know that those tyres are barely worn!’ he exclaimed. I pointed out that he was, in one respect, quite correct. The tread wear was minimal and had the tyres not been dangerously perished, to the extent that the tread facings may well have peeled away, leading to a blow-out of massive proportions, I would have had no qualms about passing the car, as it was well maintained in other areas. The tyres, however, were clearly unsafe to the point of being dangerous, and had it been my car and I wasn’t a mechanic, I’d have been somewhat grateful to the MOT tester for finding the fault and preventing me from having a potentially serious accident, rather than apoplectic with rage. Have a look at the accompanying picture, which was one of the exact tyres I’m referring to, and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. Even though I’d got a very good price for the bloke, with quality branded tyres at £50 a corner, he refused to let us carry out the work and took the Granada for an MOT elsewhere, where, according to the DVSA MOT website, it passed with no advisories two days later. Whether he bought himself a new set of tyres before the test or not, I don’t know, but I sincerely hope he did. If not, and I see the Granada on the same tyres that I failed, I’m reporting the test station. There’s no excuse for driving a dangerous car. None at all.

WHO IS OUR KEV? If we told you, we’d have to kill you... What we can say is he’s been around for longer than he cares to remember and has a fund of stories to tell...

50 | WorkShopMagazine.co.uk

The tyres were clearly unsafe to the point of being dangerous, and had it been my car and I wasn’t a mechanic, I’d have been grateful to the MOT tester for finding the fault


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Workshop issue 18  

Workshop Issue 18

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