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Your open window on today’s garage market

Reader Reviews GYS DiagStartium 60-24

PMA aerosols Issue 6, December 2016

GWTV gets access-all-areas at Draper Tools HQ

PLUS Borescope The news that got footage you talking in 2016 captures carbon removal process with Review: BG Products AutoInform Live

Opinion: Caroline Lake talks recruitment


The news that’s got everyone talking

More content. More quality. More reliability. More service. If time means money in your workshop, you can save on both with FAG. Our WheelSets come with everything you need to carry out a professional repair, right down to the last nut, bolt and washer - so no shopping around for missing parts. And did we mention our 2 year unlimited mileage warranty and unrivalled service? Or that we now offer FREE TecRMI fitting info at REPXPERT, the online knowledge portal for workshop professionals? FAG WheelSet. A true aftermarket heavyweight . Need more? We can help! www.repxpert.co.uk | Tech Hotline +44 (0)1432 264264 |



Your news CONTENTS your features your magazine 10 Review: AutoInform Live

I’VE just got back from Autoinform LIVE 2016 where I met with a number of GW readers taking part in the two-day event, keen to see the latest products, technology and equipment.

The news that got you talking in 2016

For those that didn’t make it, there’s an event overview on page 10. This issue’s cover story follows an accessall-areas trip to Draper Tools HQ with GWTV – watch the coverage on page 18 as we reveal what the renowned brand has to offer for you. We’ve also taken GWTV deep inside the engine of my car to track the de-carbonising process following a BG Products air intake service and pressurised oil change (page 20). In Reader Reviews, you’ll find what likeminded technicians have to say about the PMA range of maintenance aerosols and the GYS Diag-Startium 60-24 three-in-one battery charger, starter, and support unit. We also take a look back at some the biggest stories that have got you talking this year – find a full round up of your views and the latest developments on page 14. As always, get in touch if you have a strong opinion on an industry matter or if you fancy trying out some new products and services for Reader Reviews. Tweet us @GarageWireUK or email me directly to share your news and comments. Many thanks for your continued support, have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Mike Ruff | Editor michael.ruff@garagewire.co.uk

GWTV gets accessall-areas at Draper Tools HQ Borescope footage captures carbon removal process with BG Products

Reader reviews: GYS Diag-Startium 60-24

14 18 20 30

News................................................. 4 GONE TO THE POLLS ........................... 6 ProBLEM JOBS ................................ 37 TRAINING ........................................ 43 Products and services .............. 47 DRIVING FORCES ............................. 54 VIEWING WINDOW............................ 63 3


The news that’s got everyone talking

Watchdog investigates Euro Car Parts acquisition of Andrew Page FULL STORY... FULL STORY...

Unsecured creditors of Andrew Page have just £630,000 set aside for claims running into millions. “Truth is, we were ruined by both of the investment companies that ran us and ran us into the ground and took as much money out as they could before all this happened. Thankfully over 2,300 jobs were saved by the buyout. By the way nearly 80 per cent of the staff that worked at the closed branches were all relocated to either Andrew Page or ECP branches. The rest didn’t want to stay.” Mark Hitchings, Andrew Page.

FULL STORY... “Euro Car Parts has a dreadful name in the trade. Failure to send correct parts, and – the biggest failure – never to do credits on time and without having to be chased constantly. You can never speak to management without calling and getting messed about by clueless people on the counter.” Z.Ahmed.

“Nothing will get better with ECP taking over Andrew Page. Their prices will go up, they will still send parts out wrong or not at all because they have cornered the market.” Alan Kean, Hooks Service Station.

Department for Transport FULL STORY... consults on historical vehicle MOTs FULL STORY... DfT publishes proposals to implement an STORY... over exemption from testing forFULL vehicles 40-years-old in advance of a law change which is to be made by 2018.

“I don’t know any customer who has classic cars and minds getting them tested. Why don’t they need testing? My Nan does 500 miles a year in her VW. Why is she not exempt? This ruling benefits no one. Some of this old stuff was dangerous new!” Jeremy Timms, Timms MOT.


“The last thing needed on the roads are untested cars and drivers in blissful ignorance of the car’s condition. I would, however, say that perhaps the current test is not geared towards classic cars and maybe an alternative test would be more appropriate. I have lost count of the number of times I hear of classic cars failing the test because they are being tested to a modern standard.” Phil Wilde.


Investigation reignites Vauxhall fire scandal Corsa owners call for answers just months after the VM’s recall for Zafira fires ‘failed’. BBC Watchdog investigation highlighted STORY... seven cases where a VauxhallFULL Corsa D had burst into flames.



Vauxhall has said that it “takes any report of fire very seriously” and adds that “fires can occur for a wide variety of reasons”. It said: “Better access to vehicle fire data could help manufacturers with early detection of safety issues. “We are therefore working through our industry body to understand how manufacturers can gain access to data in order to build a more complete picture of potential issues.”

“If Vauxhall start recalling the Corsa D then Fiat need to start recalling the Grande Punto as they are both using the same wiring loom and heater motor resisters. Fiat will only sell the full wiring loom but Vauxhall will sell you just the plug that melts and burns out.” Dennis.

FULL STORY... “[It] isn’t just the Zafira and Corsa. Every Vauxhall model seems to just randomly be catching fire, it is frightening. I had a Vauxhall Adam Rocks that caught fire outside my home and I have seen other Vauxhall Adam Rocks fires also [caused by] electrical [faults].” Jennifer Doyle.

Halfords apologises FULL STORY... after ‘expert fitter’ sets FULL STORY... van on fire Fast fit told customer to go to its retail shop FULL STORY... to get new battery fitted but techs failed to check the cause of the problem. Smoke began to billow out of the engine bay after a retail assistant fitted a new battery. “The actions of Halfords in this case have led to the vehicle catching fire, irrespective of the fault. If they had bothered to check the vehicle over first they would have been able to correctly diagnose the problem and find a suitable method of repair, instead of making an assumption and causing further damage.” Daniel Mitchell.

Tyre makers row over tread depth law change

“I have seen too many level three qualified mechanics I wouldn’t trust with my keys. It’s all too easy to gain a piece of paper, it in no way means they have the ability. The fault is with the mechanic at their autocentre who didn’t diagnose the fault, assumption being the mother of all screw ups. The training today is inadequate, end of.” Ian Johnson.

STORY... law Michelin opposes minimumFULLtread change, claiming 1.6mm is FULL STORY... safe but others disagree. FULL STORY...

“The problem is quality of tyre. A cheap Chinese tyre will be unsafe at a higher depth than a Michelin but it's the same as braking distances in the Highway Code. The law has to be standardised to the weakest link, the poorest performer.” Andy Wood.



Reader views in numbers

Classic car MOT exemption proposals • Half say all MOT exemptions should be scrapped. • 36 per cent believe classic cars should have an “alternative test”. • Less than ten per cent back a 30-year exemption. • Just five per cent back a 40-year exemption.



The future of diesel • Over half think ever-stricter emissions regulations “will be the death of the diesel”.

55% predict the death of diesel

• Almost 20 per cent think VMs will “find a way” to meet regulations. • 26 per cent say “anything could happen at the moment”.

Marketing your workshop


• 35 per cent say they regularly review their marketing efforts. • 34 per cent market their garage “through word-of-mouth”. • 18 per cent “want to do more” but “don’t know how”. • Everyone else says they’re “too busy to worry about it”.


Join the debate and share your views with GW 6




0330 555 0170


Independents expect factor consolidation but fear the consequences GW readers share their views on the growing trend of motor factor consolidation. MORE than 90 per cent of garages have said they expect more motor factors to go out of business or get purchased by large groups, a GW reader survey has found. The biggest consequential concern among independent garage owners is higher prices. Less factor choice, less brand choice and longer delivery times were also highlighted as common concerns. Just three per cent believe consolidation will raise standards. The survey followed an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the completed acquisition of Andrew Page by Euro Car Parts (ECP). The original enforcement order by the CMA stated that it would investigate “whether the creation…has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the United Kingdom”. The investigation is on-going but 89 per cent of GW readers think Andrew Page will become “just another part of Euro Car Parts”. Overall, 40 per cent of garages said the quality of service from their local motor factor has improved in the last five years. However, three in five claim it’s “stayed the same” or “got worse”.

When it comes to factor loyalty, 16 per cent say they have relied on the same supplier “for years” and 45 per cent say they have a preferred supplier that they sometimes change. It suggests that 61 per cent show factor loyalty compared to the 17 per cent that “shop around regularly” and 22 per cent that “ring around on most orders”.

More factors will go out of business or get purchased by large groups, 93 per cent think. Of those, 26 per cent fear higher prices as a result

Only 3 per cent believe consolidation will raise standards

89 per cent think Andrew Page will become “just another part of Euro Car Parts” Three in five claim their local factor’s service has “stayed the same” or “got worse” in the last five years Despite this, 61 per cent regularly rely on the same supplier

View the full survey results... 7


Latest engine service trends revealed Findings suggest mixed opinions on the traditional engine flush as consumers increasingly look for engine performance gains… SURVEY results show that 95 per cent of GW readers “often” see vehicles with carbon buildup, of those 33 per cent say the vast majority of vehicles are affected by it. As vehicle emissions and fuel economy continue to make the mainstream headlines, the findings suggest a willingness among independent garage customers to enquire about engine performance improvements. 57 per cent of readers say they have been asked by their customers about ways to improve MPG, with 17 per cent saying nearly all customers ask about it. In a bid to fight the carbon and improve MPG, 32 per cent of independents offer an engine detox service. Another 22 per cent say they have heard about engine detox treatments but want to learn more, while 12 per cent say they have “never heard of it”. When it comes to the traditional engine flush, respondents showed a mixed reaction with 31 per cent flushing with every oil change while 18 per cent said they “never” or “very rarely” flush the engine. The survey also revealed that 57 per cent of garages undertake at least one major engine repair each month, with the average mileage of those cars coming out at 80,000 miles.


95 per cent see cars with carbon build-up, 33 per cent see it regularly 57 per cent say customers are asking about MPG gains

32 per cent perform engine detoxes

Mixed opinions on the effectiveness of traditional engine flush treatments 57 per cent undertake at least one major engine repair each month. Average mileage of these cars is 80,000 miles



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gsfcarparts.com 9

Review: AutoInform Live 2016 by Mike Ruff, GW Editor

Hundreds of forward-thinking technicians and garage owners gather under one roof to see the aftermarket’s latest products, technology and equipment. MORE than 400 delegates from across the country and beyond attended this year’s AutoInform Live training event at the GTG Training Academy in Wolverhampton. Held in November and organised by the Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA), the two-day event featured 25 timetabled training sessions, separated into three modules for first-time attendees and for those returning for a second or third year. Speaking to GW during the event, OESAA chairman, Nigel Morgan said: “We’ve worked hard to ensure that this is our most informative and educational show yet. “Each year, the challenge is to present delegates with material that they haven’t seen before so we’ve varied this year’s content to keep everybody happy with three colourcoded modules.” This year’s subjects covered business acumen, diagnostics, electrics, engine and transmission.


Who was there? • ADS Limited



• Pichler

• Banner Batteries

• Pico Technology

• BG Products

• Savva Automotive

• Bosch

• Schaeffler

• Denso

• Sykes-Pickavant

• Euro Academy

• ZF

Graham Cox of Vaux Box ltd in Hinckley, Leicestershire told GW that AutoInform provides independents with a good opportunity to learn without having to take time out of the working week. He said: “The more you know, the easier the job is and you can offer your customers a better-quality service. “It’s all about reputation when you’re an independent.” Rich Robbins of Links Automotive in Macclesfield, Cheshire has recently opened up his workshop, having left the main dealer scene and said the event is worthwhile. “We’re very aware about how hard it is to stay up to date,” he explained. “Time flies when you're busy but you’re on your own, so you have to go out and get this training.” Mohammed Waseem Khan of New Town Garage in Chesham, Buckinghamshire said: “It’s a really good set up, there’s loads packed into the two days and I’d definitely recommend it to others.” Having just watched an introduction to oscilloscope diagnostics, he added: “The PicoScope discussion was an interesting overview. “It’s pretty amazing how much you can do without actually having to take the engine apart.”


Old garage at Much Wenlock Š Richard Green

Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association

Is your workshop future proof? There is no getting away from the fact that the vehicles you see driving on our roads are changing, and the components under the bonnet and bodyshell are changing too. The best way of keeping in touch with the latest technology is to fit components from the OE suppliers that design and manufacture these latest high-tech components. OESAA members offer a broad range of Original Equipment components that do not compromise on quality, reliability and most importantly - safety. And because our OE parts have been tested and approved for original fitment by the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, they are not only designed to fit first time - every time, but they come with a level of technical know-how and support that backs up our OE promise. We know that there may be cheaper alternatives available - but will they look, feel and drive the same as the originally fitted parts? And more importantly, will they match the quality and reliability of the original? Protect your customers and your reputation - fit parts you can trust from the names you can rely on.


www www.oe-suppliers.org




And in other news…


Russell Automotive retains UK’s best Independent Audi Service Provider title NORTH West London-based Russell Automotive Centre has retained its title as the UK’s best Independent Audi Service Provider for the ninth year in a row. Garage director, Jane Russell said; “To have won the award once was a huge honour, to have won it nine times is phenomenal. “We are so delighted that our customer service and technical knowledge has been

recognised by our customers.” The annual awards followed a sell-out event at Audi Driver International held at Castle Combe race circuit in Wiltshire. This latest award completes a season of wins for the family run garage following a ‘highly commended’ award as Independent Garage of the Year at the July Motor Trader Awards and then the accolade of Brent Business of the Year at the FSB London Business Awards.

Punto Subframe crumbles in test bay CHEQUERS Garage in Didcot, Oxfordshire tweeted GW with this heavily corroded front subframe arm found on a 2006 Fiat Punto. The tweet said: “When you know it's time to change your suspension arm.” The customer was completely oblivious about the corrosion, luckily the test station took this vehicle off the road before it became the cause of an accident.


Received a complaint from a customer and not sure how to handle the situation?

As a benefit of membership, Independent Garage Association members have access to complaint handling, alternative dispute resolution and more through the National Conciliation Service. The NCS is a specialist ombudsman service that resolves consumer disputes within the motor industry. With over 30 years’ experience in resolving disputes between the motor trade and its customers, the NCS handles a wide range of cases, including: service and repair, sales contracts of vehicles, used cars and lost deposits. The NCS is accredited as an Alternative Dispute Resolution provider by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) under the Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.

Discover the many benefits of IGA membership at:

www.IndependentGarageAssociation.co.uk Or call our friendly helpline team on 0845 305 4230



The news that got you talking in 2016 GW rounds up the biggest stories of the year FROM fast fit blunders to DVSA apologies and reassurances, not to mention Brexit and all of the uncertainties the referendum result continues to bring, 2016 has been an eventful year. In April, the Department for Transport (DfT) commissioned research to better detect DPF removal by measuring exhaust fumes and any findings could be implemented as part of changes to the Roadworthiness Directive, which is scheduled to be introduced in 2017-18. A possible crackdown on DPF removals prompted a mixed reaction among independent garages. Commenting on GW, an anonymous reader said: “It’s about time something was done to put a stop to all these people removing the DPF. “They are there for a reason.” However, not all welcomed the DfT investigation and many raised questions about the very effectiveness of the filters.

“...will we no longer be able to work on cars under warranty?” Tom Martin in Cumbria said: “During a DPF regeneration, which burns the collected particles periodically, it releases a finer material which is absorbed into the blood stream. “In highly congested areas such as Manchester and London this would logically lead to an increase in blood poisoning related deaths thereby merely reducing deaths in one area to another area. “Surely the DfT and government should be looking into this rather than railroading the


Have your say on the news

News update: DPF removals The DfT has reconfirmed that it is investigating new methods of detecting the presence of particulate filters. The department told GW that: “Further research is required to ensure potential methods accurately determine a pass or fail. “Changes will be introduced into the MOT – there is a revised Roadworthiness Directive coming into force from May 2017.”

utilisation of DPF systems with promises of reduced deaths, tax breaks and a cleaner, safer environment.” Another reader, Martin said: “They still fail even with cars that have been serviced properly, and had the DPF fluid done as well and at the cost of £500-£1000 for a quality DPF, a lot of people can’t afford that sort of cost.”

Aftermarket reacts to Brexit IT IS of course June’s surprise Brexit vote that has got everyone talking, with many GW readers raising concerns about the future of Block Exemption regulations in the UK. To keep a competitive car maintenance market, European regulations renewed in 2010 ensured consumers do not have to get their cars serviced by a main dealer during a vehicle’s warranty period. It meant that independent garages in the UK have been able to service a customer’s car without affecting its warranty, as long as manufacturers’ recommended service schedules are followed and the parts used are OE parts or of matching quality. GW reader, Neil Gibbs of Dartmoor Garages Ltd in Newton Abbot, Devon asked: “What’s going to happen with Block Exemption then when we come out, will we no longer be able to work on cars under warranty?” For some garage owners, such as reader Steve Long, concerns for the future of Block Exemption are “unnecessary” because the UK is now “free to improve regulations”. He added: “Out of the EU we can keep or improve block exemption rules because it will be


up to us, how we handle it.” Meanwhile, IAAF chief executive, Wendy Williamson said: “We do not envisage any immediate impact on the UK aftermarket and will continue to work closely with our colleagues throughout Europe to see what this result means for the UK independent aftermarket and the automotive industry as a whole.”


A report compiled for the Independent Garage Association (IGA) by Motor Industry Legal Services, suggests that the trade has “no need to panic” and that “radical changes to most areas of UK law remain unlikely.” IGA director, Stuart James said: “Prior to the campaign we surveyed IGA members asking for a straight ‘in or out’ vote and 76 per cent wanted to leave the EU, which in many ways mirrors the view of other small businesses in other sectors.

DVSA upgrades Zafira fire fix to official safety recall

“We know there are challenges ahead but believe in the longer term it will work out well for UK businesses and may provide new opportunities.” The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) 2016 annual conference is set to discuss the effects of the EU Referendum later this month (15th December) and will highlight the main changes from a technical, legislative and market perspective and will consider what opportunities there are for the future.


Brexit: what’s next?

Regulations are clear on tread depth, cuts and speed ratings but stretched tyres remain unclear.


DfT denies introduction of diesel scrappage scheme



Vauxhall recalls Zafira B models AGAIN after first fix fails



Government investigates DPF removal ahead of crackdown

The future of diagnostics: don’t believe ‘scare stories’, experts say

Roadside patrol ‘botch’ causes £1,200 of new damage



Garage owners and testers face prison for MOT fraud


From April 2016 existing SWOB permits will be revoked and will no longer have any legal status.

Main dealers fail to find vehicle faults, Auto Express survey shows

Watchdog investigates Euro Car Parts acquisition of Andrew Page



Drivers are being told that 'improper repairs' are to blame

Garages face dilemma ahead of small waste oil burner reg changes

new methods of MOT DPF detection: Independents react to suggestion

MOT certificates were issued for cars that had never been tested on the premises, Crown Court hears.

Research findings to better detect DPF removal could be implemented as early as next year.

235,000 models are being recalled for a second time and owners are labelling the move a 'cover-up'.

The government has denied that it is looking to launch a diesel scrappage in the UK.

DVSA updates MOT guidance on stretched tyres

More than a third of respondents complain that main dealers couldn’t diagnose a problem.

GW attends ‘Simply Bosch’ Hickleys event at Bosch service and training centre to reveal the latest in diagnostics.

Motorist claims RAC caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to his car but the RAC initially refused to pay.

Unsecured creditors of Andrew Page have just £630,000 set aside for claims running into millions, reports say.

New methods to better detect the presence of DPFs are under development, DfT confirms.

Battery TechnologY: it’s what’s inside that counts ECOBAT Battery Technologies discusses the science of battery anatomy.

However, when the battery is charged, the lead sulphate is restored back to lead on the negative plates and lead oxide on the positive plates.

When it comes to AGM batteries, the fundamentals remain common to their SLI ALTHOUGH absorbed glass mat (AGM) and cousins, apart from the fact that they are termed enhanced flooded battery (EFB) batteries are valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries very much in the spotlight due to the popularity because they are sealed and recirculate of start-stop technology utilised in current the hydrogen/oxygen gas produced during vehicle design, the traditional starter, lighting recharging within the case, rather than allowing and ignition (SLI) battery is still by far the most it to escape through a vent and the electrolyte common aftermarket replacement. liquid is absorbed into a micro-fibre mat, as opposed to being free to move. Each cell consists of lead and lead oxide The pure-lead plates within an AGM battery are very thin and, as they are separated by a layer of micro-fibre mat that is also very thin, it is possible to fit several plates into each cell, providing a greater total lead surface area, which reduces internal resistance and boosts the battery’s efficiency.

electrodes in the form of plates, the number, design and quality of which define the performance of the battery. Whether SLI, AGM or EFB, all are lead-acid batteries and the underlying principle remains the same, as within the case are situated six ‘cells’ that each provide 2.1-volts and which, joined in series, provide the 12.6-volts that generally constitute a ‘fully charged’ 12-volt battery. In a typical SLI battery, lead and sulphuric acid/de-ionised water solution (the electrolyte) make up the primary elements within the case, which must be nonconductive (to electricity) and naturally, acid resistant. Each cell consists of lead and lead oxide electrodes in the form of plates, the number, design and quality of which define the performance of the battery. The lead provides the negative electrode, the lead oxide the positive, which when submerged into the electrolyte causes a chemical reaction that ultimately produces electrons that provide the battery’s power, directed to the conductive positive and negative terminals. The chemical reaction produced within the cells slowly causes the lead and lead oxide to combine with the acid to become lead sulphate, which gradually reduces the electrons that can be produced and therefore, the efficiency of the battery, as it ‘discharges’.


Premium quality batteries such as the Lucas and Numax ranges offered by ECOBAT Battery Technologies (EBT) have the added benefit of encompassing ‘punched plate’ technology on their negative electrodes, which is specifically designed to further increase the efficiency when it comes to the transfer of current and subsequently this reduces power loss. As the largest lead smelter and therefore the principle supplier of lead ingots to the world’s battery manufacturers, ECOBAT Technologies is also at the forefront in the development of lead and lead alloys.


BATTERIES – They’re in our DNA

The Power of Partnership The new group name for Hefra, Manbat France and Manbat UK is ECOBAT Battery Technologies

• We are the world’s number 1 experts in lead technology • And we’re the world’s number 1 lead manufacturer • Our Pan-European network makes us Europe’s number 1 battery supplier • We use closed-loop production to ensure 1st class environmental responsibility

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Aftermarket features worth reading

Draper Expert: made for professionals by Mike Ruff, GW Editor

GW gets access-all-areas at Draper Tools HQ and reveals what the brand has to offer for independent garages. BASED in Chandler's Ford, near Southampton is what’s thought to be the largest stock of tools in the UK. The ever-expanding operation now exceeds 600,000 sq.ft and is home to Draper Tools. The brand’s renowned blue logo can be found on an essential selection of automotive tools, equipment and accessories for professional vehicle technicians.

“...all-encompassing range includes tools and equipment for vehicle servicing, engine timing and diagnostics to engine cranes, hoists, jacks, mechanics creepers and winches.” The all-encompassing range includes tools and equipment for vehicle servicing, engine timing and diagnostics to engine cranes, hoists, jacks, mechanics creepers and winches.


Invited down for a complete tour of its warehouses, offices and showroom, GW took up the opportunity to ask representatives across the company to reveal why independent garages can rely on Draper Tools and its Draper Expert range. Automotive product manager, Guy Foster describes the quality behind Draper’s brands: “The minimum standard for Draper is above the German DIN Standard. “Draper Expert is made for the trade; therefore, we make sure our Expert range performs significantly above the DIN Standard. “It’s a professional tool, made for professionals.”


Paul Lipscombe, quality assurance manager which is currently in at Draper Tools, oversees the testing of all testing before the official tools and showed GW how his department switchover. ensures Draper branded spanners, sockets and ratchets are fit for use in the professional garage workshop. “We use a torque testing machine “...we bring in new products that are relevant with two pneumatic motors to wind for new models of cars as quickly as possible the tools up to and beyond the prove to help garages work on these vehicles.” torque,” he explained. Tested to the extremes and backed by what Draper Tools managing director, Graham Wade describes as a “lifetime warranty”, Draper Expert boasts the professional quality you would expect from any trade branded tool. The automotive range is available through motor factors from across the country and Draper offers three workshop promotions throughout the year, highlighting the latest additions and deals for garage workshops. Recent business investments include a major upgrade to the logistics programme with expanded warehousing space and newly installed state-of-the-art picking technology,

Graham said the technology will ensure garages have access to tools as quickly as possible, often next day to the UK mainland. He added that the increased warehouse space means the brand can continue to expand its automotive range and support those working on today’s vehicles. He said: “The car parc is constantly changing so we must make sure that we bring in new products that are relevant for new models of cars as quickly as possible to help garages work on these vehicles.”

Draper Tools Established in 1919, Draper Tools is a family business which has grown its range of automotive tools to become one of the most comprehensive in the UK. For technicians working in the trade the Draper Expert range is designed to withstand the rigours of daily workshop use.



BG Products: borescope footage captures carbon removal process by Mike Ruff, GW Editor

GWTV tests BG Products air intake service and pressurised oil change and reports back with a positive improvement that independents should be capitalising on. SPEAK to any workshop that has tried BG Products and they’ll tell you that the treatments are extremely effective. Rob Jack, owner of Springbok Garage in Chesterfield concurs: “We’re getting more and more people asking about these treatments and I’ve done some rolling road tests and we got phenomenal results. “We get people specifically coming here for BG Products, I can’t fault the stuff.” I visited Rob’s garage to test out BG’s air intake service, fuel injector cleaner and pressurised oil change equipment on my Volvo C30 1.8 petrol.

The treatment The air intake service is formulated to remove deposits that accumulate in the air throttle body assemblies and plenums. Paul Dobbyn, director of BG Products who was also on hand, said noxious exhaust gases


are fed back into the air intake system, leaving a build-up of deposit which can reduce air flow and disrupt the air/fuel ratio. Next job was to put the BG fuel system cleaner into the fuel tank where it would get to work cleaning the fuel injectors, valves, O2 sensors and the combustion chamber. BG engine performance restoration then went into the engine and we left it to run for about 15 minutes while the treatment removed deposit build-up, which can impede normal piston-ring function. We then drained the oil, connected BG’s pressurised oil changer to thoroughly flush the engine before replacing it with new oil and BG’s engine oil supplement to prevent oxidation and thickening.

The results Throughout the process, we used a borescope camera to look inside the engine and the footage showed evidence of the hardbaked carbon beginning to lift from the rings. What’s more, compression tests showed an average of ten psi improvement per cylinder. Some 500 miles later, another look inside the engine showed a significant improvement as the fuel cleaner continued to break down the carbon. As the driver, I can say there’s a noticeable difference too. Previously the car would judder and occasionally stall in heavy stop-start traffic.


Having only just got it, I had written this off as a characteristic of the car but after BG’s service it’s much smoother and hasn’t once stalled. Speaking to Craig Reed of BG Products, he told me that this improvement was thanks to the air in-take service. He said: “The air in-let treatment has removed the carbon build-up around the throttle butterfly, allowing the plate inside the inlet manifold to operate much more freely. “If it doesn’t move really smoothly and cleanly, it can give you trouble at idle.” The BG Products range of solutions and preventative maintenance programmes offers independents a proven and affordable means of restoring performance and economy. Paul added: “From the garages perspective, it’s an opportunity to give their customers something they want. “People are happy to pay money for better running car.”



“Just 28 per cent of drivers plan to use their current garage for their next service or repair” Source: WhoCanFixMyCar.com

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T: 01284 777934


Email: info@bgprod.co.uk

Revive supports independents with new garage locator app Motorists are being urged to find a local workshop offering Revive treatment for preventative maintenance and garages are encouraged to get involved. A NEW garage locator app on the Revive website is helping vehicle owners search for garages offering Revive treatment. According to Revive, consumers are becoming increasingly aware about the levels of carbon and soot deposits produced by modern turbo diesel engines. It’s these deposits that collect within the engine and, on vehicles fitted with variable vane/ geometry turbos, can cause the turbo vanes to stick, producing erratic response, over/under boost faults, limp home mode and poor performance. Revive turbo cleaner and power restorer is effective at removing sooty carbon deposits from the back of the inlet valves on direct injection gasoline (GDI) engines, where there is no 'back-wash' of fuel to help keep the deposit build-up minimal. Revive say its treatments can help fix problems associated with carbon and soot build-up inside the engine.

A preventative ‘service shot’ treatment is normally performed at each service, reducing soot build-up and the risk of expensive repairs and breakdowns.


What is Revive treatment? Revive treatments are safe water based, non toxic, non corrosive and non flammable fluids, using technology developed and used for the cleaning and maintenance of aviation jet engines, power station turbines, large marine diesel engines and now automotive engines. The treatment is sprayed into the vehicle’s intake system before the turbo inlet whilst the engine is running. As the fluid passes through the engine system it locks on to built up oily/carbon deposits and strips away a surface layer. These tiny carbonised particles are then carried away out through the exhaust system, without blocking catalysts and filters.


Revive say its treatments can help fix problems associated with carbon and soot build-up inside the engine. A preventative ‘service shot’ treatment is normally performed at each service, reducing soot build-up and the risk of expensive repairs and breakdowns.

Register your garage

CAROLINE LAKE OPINION Founder of Norwichbased Caroline’s Cars, Caroline Lake believes the industry must improve and aims to revolutionise public perception of the trade with a refreshing ‘female friendly’ service.


Is it just me or is our trade suffering from a serious skills shortage? GW columnist, Caroline Lake talks recruitment and questions why more young people aren’t being encouraged into the trade. I HAVE recently advertised repeatedly for an ‘experienced mechanic’ using various mediums including online, the local press and in desperation, a well-known motor trade recruitment agency but to no avail. Yes, I had applicants but these tended to be limited to the likes of the local pizza delivery bloke, who as a wannabe mechanic

thought that as he had changed the brake pads on his mate’s Mondeo, he was now fully qualified to work in a garage. Oh, and a few ‘jobseekers’ who didn’t really seem to want a job, especially not in a garage, but were keeping up their quota of applications. Suffering from paranoia and fearing that perhaps no one wanted to work for a woman, (us females are very rare in the trade) I mentioned it to friends in other local garages. I was both relieved and frustrated to discover that many had suffered similar experiences. Our general consensus of opinion was that to find a competent mechanic, capable of carrying out


work to steering, suspension, brakes etc. wasn’t considered a suitable career path. or heaven forbid – replacing a clutch or a Instead she was pushed to take A levels, cambelt – was like looking for a needle in a which she did and passed. haystack. But she still wanted to be a mechanic. Having chatted at length with the To cut a long story short, I initially offered manager of the recruitment agency who Amy a few hours of work experience a week failed to find me a suitable employee, his to discover whether she had an aptitude for opinion was that indeed there is a shortage and that for many years the garage industry has done little to attract intelligent and “As cars become increasing complicated, mechanically minded surely the need to attract intelligent people into the trade. Having used individuals who are capable not only of the local college to mechanical tasks but also of fault diagnostics recruit and train several apprentices on the ‘maze’ that is the modern engine over the years, my personal management system becomes more urgent? ” e x p e r i e n c e has been that most students are encouraged the job and whether the reality of being a towards our trade when they have few if any mechanic fitted with her expectations. qualifications and anyone with more than Thankfully for both of us she has the a smattering of GCSE’s would be guided makings of a first-class mechanic and towards a ’better’ career. absolutely loves it. Which brings me on to my new apprentice I have now taken her on as an apprentice Amy and what a breath of fresh air she is. and she is a pure joy to teach. Amy is certainly not your stereotypical However, had Amy not been so grease monkey garage mechanic, not just determined to follow her dream and not because she is female but also because she give into peer pressure, careers advice etc. has three A levels. she would likely now be using her A levels in an office job that she would probably hate. As cars become increasing “... for many years the garage complicated, surely the need to attract intelligent individuals industry has done little to attract who are capable not only of mechanical tasks but also of intelligent and mechanically minded fault diagnostics on the ‘maze’ people into the trade.” that is the modern engine management system becomes more urgent? So, what do we do to ensure that the Amy approached me a few months ago likes of Amy and her male counterparts are as she has always wanted to be a mechanic, not discouraged from entering the motor initially just to ask for advice as to how she trade because they ‘could do better’ or they might enter the trade with no previous are ‘too bright’? experience and the added disadvantage of In fact, how can we actively encourage being a woman. such people to consider our trade as a Her story made my blood boil. career? At school, Amy expressed a desire, Well I’m still pondering that very indeed a passion, to follow a mechanical question – answers on a postcard career but as a bright student who gained please. numerous GCSE’s, several at A grade, this


World’s first fully cloud-based diagnostics platform is here The widely-awaited launch of MECH5 gives garages access to the wealth of data within the ECUs of today’s vehicles. A TRULY innovative cloud-based diagnostics tool, which promises to disrupt the garage aftermarket sector has been launched by Nebula Systems, a member of the RAC Group of Companies. Andrew Steer, CEO of Nebula Systems, said: “We’re enabling the democratisation of diagnostics, making this technology available to everybody from the small independent garage, up to nationwide dealerships. “There’s no longer any big outlay required and technicians can also work from any device, even a smart phone if they really want to.”

What is MECH5? MECH5 comprises a small ‘MECH5 VCI’ – a Bluetooth OBD vehicle communications interface – plus a flexible pay-as-you-go internet subscription.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud gives MECH5 flexibility that will encourage and embrace cloud connectivity to other platforms for technical data, technical support and eventually parts ordering. Coverage will initially closely follow the industry-leading DEC Superscan scantool which is part of the Nebula Systems core toolset. Nick Walker, RAC Telematics managing director said: “This solution brings a revolutionary business model to an industry that has moved at a slow pace for years. “MECH5 is the first of a range of services that RAC and Nebula Systems will bring to market based on Microsoft technologies.” Marketing Manager, Luke Fryer said: “When you explain the NETFLIX-style model of MECH5, with its affordable no contract £30 per month subscription, £150 hardware and Cloud flexibility, there really is no risk for anyone who just wants to try it out. “Nothing has really changed in the diagnostic tools business model for years, so it’s pretty obvious that it’s just the right time for a product like MECH5.”

It delivers a highly powerful diagnostics system through a scalable internet infrastructure, removing the cost for all parties as Nebula Systems can support and develop a single platform, while garages avoid the cost and hassle of maintaining or updating specific IT hardware. Instead, all customers now gain access to real-time information and automatic updates every time they login on-line.



RAC Telematics managing director, Nick Walker (left) with Andrew Steer, CEO of Nebula Systems.


Should you always fit pads from name-brand suppliers? Comline’s director of braking product development, Dr. Keith Ellis warns workshops about the possible consequences of fitting white-box pads. FOR some, there may be a temptation to sacrifice namebrand product in favour of cheaper goods, but I would exercise a huge note of caution to anyone thinking of going down this route. The main issue with unbranded, whitebox parts is that they are of unknown origin, and fitting this type of product means there is absolutely no guarantee over the performance or safety of the product. By contrast, Comline name-brand products are delivered with peace-of-mind as standard and the promise of consistent, reliable performance. We are in control of where and how our product is manufactured, while we also validate the testing that underpins our product and quality assurance procedures. Our belief in Comline-branded products is underlined by our warranty, which applies to each and every part number. Our warranty ensures technicians can fit Comline with complete conviction. Is it possible to fit unbranded, white-box product with this same degree of trust? The simple answer is ‘no’.

Safety and cost implications A garage owner fitting unidentified products is taking a significant risk and, whilst some may get lucky, that luck will eventually run out. In the absence of a warranty, there is no recourse for the garage owner when an inevitable problem does occur, so, not only is their reputation tarnished, but they are also likely to be hit with the financial costs. Any technician fitting such a product has no way of determining whether the brake pads are fit-for-purpose, and this is perhaps the biggest advocate for fitting name-brand products, such as Comline. In practice, correct fitment is made far easier with name-brand parts. This ease of fitment is essential for garages in order to maximise efficiency, productivity and profitability. The Comline mantra is one that states quality is paramount. We invest significant time, energy and resource into the development of our product range to deliver reliable performance and to ensure Comline brake pads offer simple, easy installation for the technician.



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Comline is honoured to receive ‘The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade’, the UK’s highest business accolade, awarded annually by Her Majesty The Queen. This distinction reflects sustained and significant growth for Comline in export markets and underlines our position as one of the fastest growing automotive brands in Europe.

Trust Comline Place your trust in our comprehensive range of filters, brake pads & discs, steering & suspension and other high-quality parts.

Contact Us T: +44 (0)1582 578 888 W: www.comline.uk.com E: info@comline.uk.com



Have your say on the latest products and services

GYS Diag-Startium 60-24 Advanced three-in-one battery charger, starter, and support unit proves so useful our GW review garage buys it.

5.0 SPEC SHEET • Advanced 60A battery support unit. • Powerful 410A starter for 6V, 12V and 24V vehicles. • Charges all battery types including liquid, gel, AGM, EFB and stop-start. • As soon as the battery reaches 100 per cent charge, a ‘float mode’ maintains it at full charge. • Permanently analyses the health of the battery and automatically adjusts the output voltage. • Protects vehicle electronics. • Charges batteries as low as one volt. • Recovers sulphated batteries. • Automatic, smart starter. • Auto restart defaulting to the last settings used. • Alternator test function to facilitate repair work.


THE GYS Diag-Startium 60-24 claims to take working with batteries to a new level of convenience and safety. Equipped with the capabilities to charge, start and provide up to 60A support during vehicle diagnostic work, we asked GW reader David Connellan to put the unit through its paces at his Worcester-based workshop, Worcester Mobile Mechanics Ltd. Following a three-week review period, he told GW: “It’s been surprisingly useful, we’ve been using it all of the time and to be honest I don’t know what we did without it. “Most importantly, I like the diagnostic element on this machine.”

Diagnostic support The Diag-Startium’s diagnostic support function sets and holds the voltage anywhere between 12-15V, to meet manufacturers’ requirements. It helps to prevent electronic damage during diagnostics and ensures accurate readings. “The battery can go flat as you're trying to diagnose a vehicle and voltage is critical, you’re talking milliamps and millivolts,” David explained.


A timer function safely recharges deeply discharged batteries while an ‘SOS recovery’ mode recovers sulfated batteries. Commenting on the jump start and charge functions, David said: “We do a lot of imports and we perpetually have to get the jump starter pack out for them. “With the Diag Startium, we put the battery on charge for an hour and away we go. “It rejuvenates the battery.” David explained that he recently had to supply a new battery to a customer after the

“We had a Ford KA in with a bit of a wobbly battery, the machine held it at 14 volts exactly while we diagnosed what was wrong with the vehicle.”

one he had fitted just fourteen months early had failed, having just passed the warranty period. He said: “His car broke down and we recovered it, it turned out to be the battery so I bought a new battery and put it on at no charge to the customer and he went away happy. “We then left the old battery on charge with the Diag Startium and it’s actually rejuvenated the battery so we’ve now got the battery in the truck as a spare.” “If the voltage drops, you can get false readings when your probing. “We had a Ford KA in with a bit of a wobbly battery, the machine held it at 14 volts exactly while we diagnosed what was wrong with the vehicle.”

Charging The Diag Startium includes a unique 'GYS universal mode', ideal if the battery type is unknown during charging. After connecting the battery, select 'universal mode' and the machine will charge the battery safely without requiring the need to identify the battery type – a real world problem in garages across the country, according to GYS. The Diag-Startium is capable of charging batteries discharged to as low as one volt.

Starting A high-power starter with advanced protection for vehicle electronics automatically sends current to the battery when the vehicle’s starter is being activated. The Diag Startium can automatically detect damaged or badly sulfated batteries, in which case it will not deliver current to protect the vehicle’s electronics. When asked to summarise the Diag Startium, David said: “This unit means we can diagnose faults correctly and save customers money on needless battery purchases. “I've actually bought the machine now, since we've had it we've used it all the time. “It’s safe and it’s idiot proof, even my Mikey can use it.”





PMA brake & clutch cleaner has been developed to deliver a fast-acting formula that cleans and degreases braking components and clutch assemblies effectively to help restore maximum efficiency. All delivered in a BIG 600ml can! 600ml


REACH ANY SPOT PMA Brake & Clutch Cleaner uses a NEW Hybrid Propellant System, which not only gives a more powerful and direct spray, but also guarantees the pressure until the complete contents of the aerosol can have been used up, thereby reducing wastage. NEW Propell Hybrid ant S ystem





The 360º valve allows the aerosol to be used in any direction and even upside down. Unlike many other aerosol cleaners the user can adjust the can angle to get direct spray in all of the hard to reach areas. 65mm



PMA Clutch & Brake No Footer Advert 230x300.indd 2



29/11/2016 15:55



PMA maintenance aerosols 4.0 COMPETITIVELY priced and pitched as the solution for all of the maintenance tasks you’ll find yourself undertaking, the PMA range of maintenance aerosols covers everything from essential cleaners to key greases, air-con sanitiser and lubricants.

13-product range covers everything from essential cleaners to greases, air-con sanitiser and lubricants.

Chris Bailey, director at Master Tech MOT Centre, Stockport trialled the range in his workshop for GW and said that there were a number of key items in the range that stood out as particularly useful for him. “I’d recommend the range for other garages but there’s a few that are particularly good because they’re designed for a specific job and they do the job well,” he explained. “I’d say the silicone lube, LPG leak detector, electrical cleaner and carb cleaner are the ones that really stood out for me.”

“I’ve used it to find intake leaks and I’d say it’s better than the MOT-approved one we normally use." With the silicone lube, Chris said he used it on seat belts that wouldn’t retract, on sticky windows runners and on a squeaky pedal bush. Also highly recommended by Chris, the LPG leak detector meets the requirements of BS EN14291:2004 for the revised MOT test for LPG cars. He said: “The LPG leak detector is really good, I was really impressed with it.


READER REVIEWS “It’s a bit thicker in consistency than the one we normally use so you can spray it all over and you can clearly see the bubbles and leaks. “I’ve used it to find intake leaks and I’d say it’s better than the MOT-approved one we normally use.” The electrical cleaner is a fast-acting formulation which removes oxidation and restores electrical current. Chris added: “I used some of the electrical cleaner on a Renault light module. “I literally sprayed it on, left it a few minutes and it cleaned it up. “The car hasn’t been back so it’s done the job well.” The carb cleaner helps remove dirt and deposits, dissolving all conventional automotive oil and grease deposits. “It’s potent stuff and lifts the carbon out well with a bit of a wipe,” Chris explained. “I had it out to clean the inlet manifold on a Jaguar S-type.” Belt slip instantly eliminates belt squeaks and sequels and is safe for use on all types of belts including V-shaped, flat and round. Chris said: “I’ve used the belt slip on three or four different vehicles and it’s worked each time. “It’s really good stuff, you just spray it on while the engine is running.” The engine degreaser works quickly and is suitable for cleaning all metallic tools and machinery, removing grease, oil, bitumen and tar stains. “We found the engine degreaser good for cleaning parts you’ve taken off. “We just sprayed it on, left it a few minutes and rinsed it off.”


Chris Bailey, director at Master Tech MOT Centre.

Available through motor factors, the PMA portfolio of 13 carefully formulated products is designed to help clean and restore vehicle parts in the professional garage workshop. • • • •

White grease Clear grease Copper grease LPG leak detector • Electrical cleaner • Engine degreaser

• Brake and clutch cleaner • Carb cleaner • Air con sanitiser • Spray adhesive • Silicone lube • Multi lube • Belt slip


How to remove flywheel bolts with induction heat Induction Innovations offers technicians advice on how to remove flywheel bolts that fail and cannot be removed using conventional methods. HOW many times have you struggled to remove flywheel bolts, which are often stuck so tight that your impact gun didn't budge them?

“It’s capable of turning a ¾ inch nut red hot in less than 15 seconds.” In extreme cases, you may have to resort to grinding or drilling the head off the bolt so the flywheel can come off, allowing you to remove the threaded shafts by hand. Or in the worst case, you have to weld on a socket to the bolt and use a pry bar with long extension attached.

Step-by-step guide


The solution The new Mini-Ductor Venom handheld induction heating tool from Induction International Inc., uses flameless ‘invisible heat’ to release ferrous and some nonferrous metals from corrosion and thread lock compounds without the danger of an open flame and works up to 90 per cent faster than traditional flame heating. It’s capable of turning a ¾ inch nut red hot in less than 15 seconds. The Venom is the evolution of the MiniDuctor series which has been one of the leading handheld induction heaters on the market over the last few years. Venom’s features allow users to repair vehicle and equipment faster, more safely, more profitably and salvage parts. Technicians do not need to run the risk of using a torch which could damage the nut or the bolt itself as the Mini-Ductor Venom coils are thin enough to wrap round the bolt and heat it in seconds for easy removal. This ensures the heat is transferred efficiently to the part only and ensures there’s no collateral damage to the surrounding area.

Select the correct coil.

Equipment needed: Heat resistant gloves, overalls, goggles. Knowledge required: A well-reviewed proficiency of the tools safety and operating instructions.



Secure the coil with twist lock.

Place the coil around the bolt and heat, be careful not to overheat or turn red hot.




Remove the nut with an impact wrench.

01953 859138

EXTINGUISH THE FLAME MINI-DUCTOR® VENOM™ The Mini-Ductor® Venom™ releases metal from corrosion and thread lock compounds without the dangers of open flame. > Angled Design with Trigger > Coil Twist Lock > User Controlled LED Switch

> Two Year Limited Warranty > Includes 3 Coils > Additional Safety


theinductor.co.uk 36


Head scratching nuisances

Why it’s not always a safe bet fitting cheap parts Stephen Kasapic tells GW how he tracked a fault down to a newly fitted aftermarket part of unknown origin.

Job SHEET Vehicle: Alfa Romeo 156 Twin Spark. Problem: Flat spot when cold but doesn’t show any fault codes. History: Vehicle has been fitted with new air flow meter by another garage.

THE Alfa had a new air flow meter, just a few hours old and I was asked to see why it had a bad flat spot. I set up my PicoScope O2 sensor, throttle position sensor and airflow performance information data on my scan tool and went for a drive. I gave it full throttle and the O2 went lean, so I knew it needed more fuel. I knew it had a new air flow meter, so I checked the fuel pump and the pump flow was OK. The new air flow meter went to 4.454 volts, so it looked OK. I’ve scoped a few Alfa 156 air flow meters before and had a look at my Pico library to confirm good air flow meters go to about 4.4 volts with the motor hot. The new air flow meter was a lot slower to get to 4.4 volts so I had a good look at the new meter and did not see Bosch on it anywhere. I called the workshop that fitted it and asked where he got the air flow meter from. He said it was some aftermarket thing and was told it was just as good as the Bosch one. The next day I got a new Bosch Air flow meter and bingo, the car ran great again.


The turbocharger people

BTN Turbo is the only UK supplier of all major turbocharger brands. Technical helpline available for diagnostic information on 01895 466663 or www.btnturbo.com.


Tech focus: Lynx engine Dayco kit KBIO01 Dayco designed the world’s first BIO drive system in 2007, when it developed the engineering solution to supersede the previous chain driven high pressure injection pump for the popular 1.8-litre ‘Lynx’ engine. THE 1.8-litre ‘Lynx’ engine had been widely used to power various Focus, C-Max, S-Max, Mondeo, Galaxy, Tourneo Connect and Transit Connect models between 1998 and 2013. Although Ford only specify replacement of the injection pump drive components when the engine reaches 144,000 miles, Dayco recommend that workshops follow the vehicle’s service interval for the scheduled timing drive replacement and replace the injector pump drive at the same time. As well as avoiding the possibility of a subsequent failure, this allows workshops to update older units and replace their chain driven system with the latest BIO version, as it is a direct replacement. Although the timing belt on this unit is one of the shortest in common use and the drive layout simple, some may be tempted to change just the belt, which can have catastrophic consequences. When it comes to the injection pump

drive replacement, all the steps necessary for the primary drive replacement need to be followed, which endorses the fact that both should be replaced in unison. However, in addition, the replacement requires the removal of the auxiliary belt idler pulley, injection pump timing drive pulley and the crankshaft pulley, the bolt for which should be discarded, this will allow the removal of the injection drive cover. Remove the injection drive tensioner, then the gearwheel and the guide plates, which should allow the removal of the belt and the gear on the crankshaft. Dayco BIO kit KBIO01 provides all the components – crankshaft and injection pump gearwheels, belt guides and belt – in a single replacement ‘cartridge’ for which the belt guide bolts should be tensioned to 23 Nm and the gearwheel bolt to 50 Nm. Once installed, fit a new Dayco hydraulic tensioner ATB2635 and tension to 65 Nm. Refit the cover, followed by the auxiliary belt idler, which should be tensioned to 48 Nm. Replace the existing crankshaft oil seal with a new seal and refit the crankshaft pulley, using a new bolt, tightened to 100 Nm. Refit the injection pump pulley and tension the bolts to 24 Nm and replace the rest of the items including all the timing drive components contained in Dayco timing belt kit KTB470.


Dayco world leading Timing belt system supplier. The partner of choice for major vehicle manufacturers. The supplier of the HT (white) Timing belt.

Full range of timing belt kits and water pump kits available. Unique Dayco HT kits. Up to 3 years warranty available on timing belt kits*. HT timing belts as fitted by the vehicle manufacturers. *subject to the VM service intervals.

Visit the Dayco virtual garage at www.dayco.com for technical information.

The original power in motion 40

First Line continues to match OE specs with innovative new materials VMs are intent on reducing vehicle weight in a bid to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. By adopting new materials, VM’s achieve these weight reductions within steering and suspension components and as the UK’s largest supplier of replacement steering and suspension parts, First Line Ltd is reflecting this OE trend within its range. INNOVATIVE solutions have allowed lighter materials, such as plastics to be used in a far wider range of components. When it comes to load bearing structural elements like engine mounts, steel and aluminium structures have traditionally been used, however, engine mounts with the structural part made from plastics are appearing more regularly on mainstream production vehicles such as on the Vauxhall Astra 09> and on the Vauxhall Vectra 02>09. In technical terms, the material used is PA66+50GF, which is polyamide reinforced with 50 per cent fibreglass. In addition to weight saving reductions,

which can be as much as 35 per cent when compared to steel or aluminium, this material has many benefits such as better load distribution on the axles. It’s also resistant to rust and corrosion and they exhibit the same or improved noise, vibration and harshness properties.

Steering and suspension components In a number of VAG applications, carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) is used due to its immense strength to weight ratio. VM’s are investing in its development and it means aftermarket suppliers like First Line must follow suit to match the OE specifications. First Line supplies the aftermarket with this new technology as well as the preceding traditional design link bar. While both parts are available, First Line say best practice is not to mix the two versions on the same vehicle and that they are always replaced in pairs. Managing director of First Line Ltd, Dan Joyner, said: “There is a danger that the use of plastic in these components may cause technicians to think that they are of less quality and strength, however this is not the case. “CFRP is an expensive material, commonly used in the aerospace industry and for the production of sports cars so it’s move into mainstream automotive manufacturing must offer significant benefits.”

MORE DETAILS 01869 248484 41

Offering a comprehensive range of over 37,000 references across 60 different product groups, including without doubt the largest range of Steering & Suspension components to the UK Aftermarket, First Line Ltd. are pleased to shout about their OE supply partnerships with many of the British Car Manufacturers. Zenos Cars fit First Line as OE, so you can too.




Instantly boost your profit with key programming

by Mike Ruff, GW Editor

Undercut the main dealers and offer services that neighbouring garages can’t by investing in automotive key programming equipment.

FIGURES show that there are around 35 million vehicles licenced for use in Great Britain but the number of automotive locksmiths are few and far between. Hickleys is urging independent garages to acquire the necessary skills they need to cash-in on what’s being described as a lucrative revenue booster. Robin Huish, managing director at Hickleys, explains: “Auto locksmithing is one of those things where you can actually say it is a true extension of your business. “Once you invest in the tools and training,

you’ll instantly add new revenue to your business. “We believe its one of the best additional services that you can have in the motor trade, an ideal add-on business.” Located in Taunton, the Hickleys Training Academy is a purpose built and nationally approved training centre offering auto locksmiths and motor trade technicians the ability to enhance their skills and attain the qualifications required to operate successfully. The ten-day automotive locksmith training programme delivers everything from business development, equipment and pricing structures to the mechanics and electronics of key programming. Five and eight-day automotive training courses are also available. The course is independently examined by national awarding body NCFE and delegates are scrutinised throughout the course to

“Most of the work currently goes to the main dealers." ensure they achieve the required pass grade. Course delegate, Lee Wiles told GW: “It can be quite mind blowing at times. “But once we get the hands-on



practicals, it falls into place. “We’ve been picking locks and then with the Zed-Full, where you can either extract information or put information on the key, you can clone it or copy and put a new programme into the key. “Today, we’re EPROMing it so if you can’t extract the information from the key, you basically grab the information from a small chip.” Once equipped with the basic tools, Hickleys say garages can expect to achieve between £100 - £200 gross profit for each job.

Lead instructor, Andy-Marshall Brown said: “Most of the work currently goes to the main dealers because nobody has ever heard of an autolocksmith. “If you’ve got a database of clients already, you could mail drop them, you could do all sorts of things.” Robin said: “The chances are that the garage next door and next door again is not going have these skills. “It means that you are one amongst few that can offer that service.”

Course overview The Hickleys ten-day automotive locksmith training is designed for those with little or no experience in the locksmith trade and covers in-depth training on both the mechanical and electrical parts of the market from gaining entry to a locked vehicle to making and programming a new key to start it. The course ensures delegates are able to put the theory into practise and upon completion, they receive an instruction manual and training certificate.



The Zed-FULL is the first all-in-one programming tool for the diagnostic or auto locksmith professional, with a huge range of specialist software and purchasing options.

01823 328604

Demonstrating the MVPPRO, a pay-as-you-go key programming system.

TecAlliance: a vital tool for the service and repair sector Repair and maintenance information equips independents with the reliable and accurate technical data needed to react to today’s challenges, explains Shaun Greasley, commercial director of TecAlliance UK and Ireland.

notified recall information and vehicle specific service schedule updates and work additions. The site also has some really useful navigation features such as VRM and VIN vehicle identification, the ability to use vehicle graphics to aid search selection and an option to include the necessary repair parts for a particular service/repair action.

CENTRAL to the repair and maintenance information (RMI) offering is its ability to deliver the latest information, efficiently and accurately, which it is able to do via its internet accessibility; however, unlike its competitors, it contains both passenger car and commercial vehicle (CV) data, so provides the ideal package for workshops focusing predominantly on cars with some light commercial vehicle (LCV) work, just as well as it does for CV workshops that also have an interest in LCV applications.

“You can look up technical information, you can look up parts – it’s just really useful.

The RMI portal provides data under several general themes, including: maintenance information, repair instructions, circuit diagrams, diagnostics and error codes, test and adjustment values, wheel and tyre information, filling levels and specifications, as well as labour time estimates. In addition, users can specify the recall and service update option, another unique feature that allows them access to all vehicle manufacturer

Your views “I would recommend it to any garage. “You put a part number in and it comes up with umpteen suppliers that gives you more choice. “We fit a lot of OE stuff, but sometimes if you’re buying a radiator that’s £400, there’s also a radiator from HELLA that’s £180. “So you can offer the customer both choices and it can mean the difference between getting the job and losing it.” Tim Chandler, co-owner of GCS Engineering, West Sussex.

EMAIL 01829 752888 45

The new AXONE Nemo from TEXA Introducing the latest diagnostic tablet to be added to TEXA’s extensive range of products.

Key features

AS WITH all TEXA products the AXONE Nemo is built with the workshop environment in mind.

• Quad core processor.

It has been manufactured to withstand heavy use in challenging conditions, with a user-friendly interface and the ability to move around the vehicle with ease, thanks to its cable free communication with the TXTs VCI. TEXA’s AXONE Nemo is the first diagnostic tablet to have a robust magnesium body which is extremely strong and reduces the weight. This has allowed TEXA to install the fastest micro-processors thanks to its excellent heat dispersal. The AXONE Nemo is built to the Military Standard 810G, is water resistant and even floats thanks to TEXA’s internationally patented technology.


• Ultra-wide 12 inch screen. • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. • Two, five megapixel cameras. • New IDC5 operating system.


PRODUCTS & SERVICES Save on multifuel oil heaters Available with two-year warranty and new lower prices.


New Bosch KTS 560/590 introductory offers

A glance at the best products, services and offers

Drill out broken studs with new specialist kit Correctly and safely drill out broken M8 and M10 studs and bolts.

Laser Tools

Free garage management system trial and onsite demo Manage workshop activities, create invoices and maintain accurate workshop service records.

Garage Data Systems

The latest Bluetooth diagnostic interfaces that support all of today’s relevant diagnostic protocols.


Platinum scissor lift savings In stock and available for collection or distribution now.







Continual Professional Development This is a mandatory requirement for all M.O.T. Testers before March 2017




£59 -Learning Includes E ments & Assess

Delivered by the IMI and normally • E-Learning module is £34.00 • Assessment module is £34.00 Order now with your local branch



The DVSA have changed how existing MOT testers maintain their authorised status.

IMI have created cost-effective, flexible and time-saving packages, to meet all DVSA MOT Tester requirements:

All MOT testers are now required to: • Complete 3 hours’ annual training • Pass an annual assessment • Provide proof of training and assessment completion to DVSA

All MOT testers are now required to: • MOT annual training and annual assessment • MOT annual assessment • MOT annual training modules

Contact your local branch 48


SIP launch full range of Winntec garage equipment “... new arrivals are currently on offer from Winntec, through SIP"

Inexpensive range retains ‘outstanding quality and unrivalled technology’. WINNTEC is an established and respected manufacturer, developer and supplier of high quality, efficient and extremely reliable garage equipment which is suitable for a vast range of applications. With over 60 different models of hydraulic trolley and bottle jacks, air jacks, axle stands, shop presses and engine cranes, Winntec has all of the essentials. What’s more, the range comes with a comprehensive three-year warranty.

Two new arrivals are currently on offer from Winntec, through SIP; two ton and three ton trolley jacks. All products within the range are made from high quality materials and are backed by SIP Industrial Products outstanding, experienced customer and support units.


Winntec 2 Ton Low Profile

Winntec 3 Ton Turbo Lift

• 2 Ton lifting capacity • ‘Turbo Lift’ rapid saddle to chassis positioning • 75mm to 510mm lifting range • Ultra-low-profile design • PU wheels minimises noise and risk of floor damage • Chrome plated main ram

• 3 Ton lifting capacity • ‘Turbo Lift’ rapid saddle to chassis positioning • 120mm to 450mm lifting range • PU wheels minimises noise and risk of floor damage • Chrome plated main ram

SIP Item No: 09821

SIP Item No: 09823

Winntec products are distributed in the United Kingdom by... SIP (INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS) LIMITED Gelders Hall Road, Shepshed, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 9NH Tel: 01509 500500

Fax: 01509 500456




Why advances in lighting technology could mean better profits Automotive Lighting is an area often overlooked by both the motorist and garage industry, but it has come a long way in the last twenty years – with huge advances in Halogen bulb technology, HID Xenon becoming commonplace and the emergence of LED technology. RESEARCH at Philips has highlighted that traditionally, the UK independent service trade has been hesitant in charging for the labour involved in changing headlamp bulbs. However, what used to be a five or ten-minute job has changed as developing vehicle technology has increasingly restricted ready access to headlights, making changing them a much more difficult and time-consuming process. In some cases, it can literally take hours – and obviously this becomes something that has to be charged for. The step of going from a service activity that was thrown-in, to something that incurs


a charge offers various opportunities, and with it comes a profit opportunity but, also, potential pitfalls. As headlamp replacement has become time-intensive, it is more important than ever before, to ensure that quality products are used. If not, a service outlet runs the very real risk of having to make good on the failure of a low quality bulb, with the attendant opportunity cost of the labour time involved in fitting the replacement. Philips say fitting a bulb of OE quality ensures that it is fit for purpose and the profit on fitting quality headlamps is greater than with cheaper, low quality bulbs. In an area that is as critical to safety but is as inexpensive as vehicle lighting, everyone should be able to buy the best and it is to the benefit of both installer and customer, therefore, to encourage the purchase of lighting products of known quality. With this in mind, Philips new RacingVision Halogen bulbs have been announced as winners of the 2016 Auto Express Mega Bulb test – the first halogen bulb to be rated at +150 per cent of the industry standard bulb.


Edd China Motor specialist

See better, work better Our professional LED Inspection lamps are designed to illuminate every detail with pinpoint precision, letting you focus on getting the job done. So, no matter how challenging the situation is, when it puts your skills to the test, you can be sure you’ve got right tools for the job.

Available from

Edd China Special Edition

LED Inspection Lights www.philips.com/automotive

Any Part For Any Car


Apec expands its guarantee Two-year/24,000 mile discs and pads guarantee now includes entire range of friction and hydraulic components.

THE guarantee now covers any new Apec part fitted by a professional garage or workshop. If an Apec part wears out within two years or 24,000 miles, the company will replace it free of charge. It will give your customers the reassurance of knowing you’re fitting dependable parts to their vehicles, while you’ll benefit from quality you can trust, every time. In a statement, Apec told GW: “The new guarantee includes all Apec pads, discs, drums, shoes, hydraulics, calipers, hoses, kits and accessories, and there are no extra costs involved or registration forms to complete. “Quite simply, if it’s Apec, it’s guaranteed.” 52







Local service, national strength by Mike Ruff, GW Editor

The Parts Alliance chief executive officer, Peter Sephton explains what ‘local service, national strength’ means for the independent garage owner… THE Parts Alliance is one of the leading groups of automotive parts distributors in the UK and Ireland. The group has more than 300 branches nationwide, boasts a turnover that exceeds £475 million and incorporates several local brand identities, eight of which are owned by Parts Alliance Group. To find out what all of this means for the independent garage, GW arranged an interview with The Parts Alliance chief executive officer, Peter Sephton.

What role does The Parts Alliance play in today’s automotive aftermarket? We’re a market-leader, the second largest by revenue and the largest by branch foot print. In terms of a unified, multi-brand supplier, we provide national coverage and live up to our ethos of local service, national strength.


change that local brand, we think it’s very important to respect that. That’s quite unique, we bring that national strength and individuality. It’s not the same in every part of the UK, demand and service levels vary region upon region and we adapt our working practises to reflect the requirements of the customer.

Is there a balance to strike between professionalisation of the industry and retaining that local expertise as consolidation continues? You have to retain that local expertise. That’s why The Parts Alliance will always exist as a part-owned network and part-independent network with independent owners. It keeps us very grounded because it’s about servicing your customer on a local basis. As you go through the process of consolidation, you’re helping businesses continue that journey of improvement. It’s quite arrogant to buy a business and say you’ll make it professional. We invest in those businesses with systems and training but that individuality is critically important.

We have multiple local brands that have intimate customer relationships.

I think where a lot of consolidation programmes go wrong, they believe that their own way is right and it must be the right way everywhere.

When we bring new members on we don’t

What we have, respect and what truly adds

value to our business is that diversity of thought. You can find that one business does something that actually, you would wonder why all businesses don't do it, but you just don’t get that if you’re one brand and ultimately the customers suffer because of that.

What are the key benefits that the UK’s largest group of parts distributors bring for an independent workshop? Moving away from people, it’s also about technology. Having the right part and getting it to the customer in time is critical. Using our proprietary catalogue system, AlliCat, which has the lowest returns rate in the industry, makes sure the customer gets the right part. AlliCat is a lot more than just a catalogue, it’s a transactional operating system for our businesses. It improves our customer service and their customer service for the vehicle owner as well. We transact every part through AlliCat and have full traceability. It means that we can track every part we supply to every garage, to every registration number to whom it was supplied to and which of our sales advisors actually transacted that part. We have that recorded for every part we have supplied for the last five years.

"Having the right part and getting it to the customer in time is critical." There’s 14 million transactions a year so it’s critically important if there ever was a warranty issue. We had a recent incident where one primary manufacturer had an issue and we were the only parts distributor that quickly got onto our garage

network and traced all of those customers that potentially could have had a fault.


These can often be safety critical items, so that traceability is extremely important. We have 14 full-time UK-based developers

who constantly work with our propriety system to keep it up to date. It’s got around 1.7M products featured, it’s a very content rich catalogue that draws information from a number of sources.

"We just won’t sacrifice that quality and value equation, that’s an important part of our ethos." It’s served up to our parts advisors and those customers that install it in their system as well, we have about 2,700 users of AlliCat online.

How do you ensure The Parts Alliance caters to all budgets and quality requirements? Everything is quality assured and OEmatching, we do not trade down into ultra-cheap parts. We just won’t sacrifice that quality and value equation, that’s an important part of our ethos. In all categories, we do have a tiered offer so we’re able to give the garage what their customer wants, be that premium quality or good quality at an affordable price. We can advise garages on the different options.

Could you explain the role of The Parts Alliance in linking independent garages with suppliers and manufacturers? The predominant relationship is



between the garage and our parts advisor. They’re the people that are talking several times during the course of the day. The second level of relationship is on the technology, serving that information up so our customers can see it online but even then, they often like to phone us just to verify the part and that’s an indication of the relationship strength. Then there’s our relationship with the supplier. We have defined a schedule work-out programme with our suppliers, so they will come at our invitation to do technical work outs and road shows. A good example of that, we have a number of Parts Alliance technical vans that go into our regions and do training on Delphi braking. We bring our manufacturing partners in to do demonstrations in our customers’ premises. Also, on a regional basis we have trade shows where our suppliers display their products and do various technical demonstrations. This year we had one in the south-east, and another in the south west, which attracted over 500 customers.

How does The Parts Alliance help garages access technical data? AlliCat is data rich, so we have information about the product, vehicle model, fit times and often schematics of how it should be fitted. We can work with national accounts and serve up pricing menus as well, so they can price to their customer.

"The thing I’d say about Brexit, it hasn’t happened yet." We develop technology solutions for garages such as GS Onestop, we’re just launching GS Lite. Then there’s a garage concept called Servicesure, we now have over 400 registered Servicesure garages, all quality-approved garages by The Parts Alliance and abiding by the Motor Ombudsman code of conduct. It’s a subscription-based service which gives garages access to a range of benefits including branding and a national warranty which is by far the best in the industry. That range of technology solutions, garage


What is Servicesure? ESTABLISHED by The Parts Alliance in 2004, members of the Servicesure Autocentre network must comply with a ‘consumer service charter’, which demands high quality and professionalism. In return, independents benefit from a national warranty programme, a courtesy car scheme, marketing and insurance offers, among other things. management systems, AlliCat and AlliCat Online, it’s all unique to The Parts Alliance.

Let’s finish with a word on Brexit, does the aftermarket have cause for concern? Given that the aftermarket is by and large predicated on imported product, it’s put a lot of pressure on prices and ultimately that will pass through to the market, there’s no doubt about it and we’ll see that across all industries. The thing I’d say about Brexit, it hasn’t happened yet. Everyone is saying the economy has been robust in the wake of Brexit but that was just the vote, no real decisions of how and when it will be invoked have been made yet. I do think, from the size of the automotive industry, you have to believe that there won’t be any negative trade deals struck – I think it will be very much business as usual. There will be a longer term negative impact on our industry, the weaker pound is here to stay and that will put pressure on prices. All of the underlying conditions for the aftermarket are good. People are driving further, we have an aging car parc and because the economy is likely to tighten, that will favour our market as people seek more value and come into the independent aftermarket a little more quickly than they might have otherwise done. I’m not worried by Brexit, but I am conscious that it is impacting our input prices and that’s the reality we have to live with.

to ex be cit ou Lo la ing t fo ok un i r t ch nit he ed iat in ive 20 s 17

Servicesure Autocentres is the UK’s fastest growing network of garages. Established in 2004, it is a nationwide group of likeminded garages working to a strict set of business practices and quality standards. Membership is by invitation only and the many advantages include access to business planning, workshop efficiency programmes, marketing support and money saving services. Members also benefit from being able to offer the best in industry National Warranty Scheme which guarantees all the replacement parts* that have been fitted to your customers vehicle, terms and conditions apply. Other benefits include: • Insurance packages for workshops

• Service plans

• Online technical support

• Waste management

• Local advertising

• Courtesy cars

• New profit opportunities

• Car sales and leasing

• Workwear, hygiene and laundry solutions

• Face-to-Face business management and help

For details visit servicesureautocentres.com or call 0330 041 2118 *Parts must be purchased from The Parts Alliance and associate members

And much more…


Not to be missed: Automechanika Birmingham 2017 The UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and supply chain returns 6-8 June, 2017. JOIN thousands of other garage owners and head to the NEC to see over 550 quality exhibitors from the automotive aftermarket.

Mark Kettle, managing director of EAC It’s your chance to discover new Telford, said: “It was only at Automechanika technologies and get special show discounts Birmingham 2016 that I found the right on the latest garage equipment and tools. resources to improve my business. Among the exciting names who have “I spent the day visiting suppliers and already booked, you will see; Schaeffler, learning about new technologies. ZF, NGK Spark Plugs, Draper Tools, Yuasa, HELLA, Mahle, TEXA, Osram, MANN “From networking with experts such as + HUMMEL, Bilstein and Wix Filtration. "I was inspired to transform my Designed specifically for garage owners, motor factors, whole garage to maximise our retailers and franchised dealers, there will be practical talks from productivity and efficiency and influential experts across the haven’t looked back." three days. Among others, Frank Massey, Andy Crook and James Dillon will share best practice, easy to Andy Savva from Savva Automotive, I was implement tips and ideas to help make a real inspired to transform my whole garage to difference to your business. maximise our productivity and efficiency and Following the talks, you can see live haven’t looked back. hands-on demonstrations covering key topics “I’d recommend independent including diesel engines, diagnostic battery garages to attend Automechanika technology, ADAS and connectivity, hybrid and Birmingham in June 2017.” electric vehicles and wheels and tyres. The technical action will help you match your daily workload with future developments and stop your business from falling behind.




6-8 June 2017 NEC Birmingham

The UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and supply chain

See 750 exhibitors and find exclusive deals on garage equipment, parts & tools Experience live technical demonstrations and practical talks from Frank Massey, Andy Crook & James Dillon!

In association with

To find out more visit www.automechanika-birmingham.com 59

Automechanika Birmingham has been licenced to Forest Exhibitions Ltd by Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. Forest Exhibitions Ltd, Highpoint, Sydenham Road, Guildford, GU1 3RX

Drivers urged to change cabin filters this winter Annual filter replacement help avoid health issues and blockage in the thermal management system, reports MAHLE. CABIN air filters supply the driver and passengers with clean air, reduce dust in the cabin and prevent dangerous fogging on the windows. They also ease the load on the blower and protect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) from contamination, which can cause irreparable damage to the thermal management systems. Jonathan Walker, managing director of MAHLE Aftermarket UK said: “Cabin air filters are a vital component to replace, especially in winter because they will become blocked in the Summer due to excess particulates, which can prevent air circulating from the heater blower effectively. “MAHLE cabin filters, which are of OE quality, will help prevent the windscreen

from misting up on cooler mornings, as well as preventing pollen and particulates from affecting passengers’ health.” MAHLE recommends that cabin air filters should be replaced every 9,000 to 12,000 miles, if not annually. The fan blows up to 100,000 litres of air into the cabin during an hour of driving, by not replacing the filters often, it can cause

“...cabin air filters should be replaced every 9,000 to 12,000 miles," passengers health problems due to pollutants, smog, ozone, pollen, fine particulates and exhaust gases that can enter the passenger cabin. If the cabin air filter is not replaced at the mileage recommended, moisture builds up in the captured dirt and the filter becomes full of mould and bacteria. This can spread into the lines of the HVAC system that can give off unpleasant odours and unhealthy emissions.

MORE DETAILS 0845 688 5007 60

Bulb profit opportunities for your workshop As the lighting market increases in value with new lighting solutions such as LED accessories, LED DRL/FOG Kits and HID and halogen upgrade bulbs, OSRAM say garages should be exploiting these opportunities to maximise workshop profits.

YOUR customers may not be fully aware of the alternative bulbs and LED accessories that are available when they take their car in for basic maintenance, repair or MOT. If you offer your customers a choice they are most likely to upgrade, according to OSRAM. The OSRAM bulb menu has been designed to help garages offer such a choice. Available for halogen and HID bulb types, the bulb menu presents all the OSRAM opportunities in an easy to understand format. Some customers may reuire more light on the road ahead; OSRAM would therefore suggest market leading brand ‘Night Breaker' to do just that. Some customers might own a car that when it comes to changing a simple headlight bulb might be a bit more difficult; in this instance OSRAM would recommend the long lasting ‘Ultra Life' range.

OSRAM Installer Programme The OSRAM installer programme gives garages direct access to the exclusive OSRAM bulb fitting DVD so that bulb changes on some vehicles that may have previously been regarded as ‘dealer fit only’, are accessible to the independent aftermarket. Signing up to the OSRAM Installer Programme also includes a free company listing on the OSRAM installer locator tool enabling customers to locate an approved installer near to them.

All of OSRAM’s value adding upgrade products are supported with a wide range of point of sale material and displays to assist with product awareness and sell out.



Light is Osram

Sign up to the Osram Installer Programme now and fit the best from the biggest OE bulb manufacturer! Osram is the world leading Original Equipment supplier of automotive bulbs and lighting solutions. The professional installer programme allows exclusive access to helpful information and tools that can increase bulb sales. Osram are offering professional garages and workshops an opportunity to sign up to the Osram Installer Programme for free! For details and to sign up visit: www.osraminstaller.co.uk



A candid glimpse into the mind of a vehicle technician

Reader, Rob Harris looks back at his career for GW’s Viewing Window After opening in 1980 and later moving to a bigger premises in 1997, Manchesterbased Cavalier Garages has enabled owner, Rob Harris to achieve his dream of becoming an MOT testing station. Customer satisfaction and a thirst for keeping up to date with the latest knowhow, technology, tools and equipment has seen Rob maintain a loyal customer base.

What was your first job?

And the worst car?

I served my time at a British Leyland Lookers dealership in Manchester back in the 70’s after I left school. My father had a butcher’s business and I used to work there every Saturday but I never really wanted to get into that business. I’ve always wanted to be a motor mechanic.

In my view, there’s no such thing as a worst car because anything has got to be better than walking.

What was on your last job sheet? Rectifying loss of power to a customer’s Peugeot 206. Thing is, now we’ve actually looked at it I’m afraid to say the repair outweighs the value of the vehicle. It’s an uneconomical repair at the end of the day.

What's the best car you’ve worked on? One of the most enjoyable cars I’ve worked on was a Jaguar XK150, I’m going back about eight or nine years ago. The gentleman owner started collecting Jaguars and he bought this off Bernie Ecclestone, it had a little plaque on it was part of the Bernie Ecclestone collection. It was just a bit of tuning and servicing, it wasn’t bad condition at all really.

Anyone who says ‘right they’re a bag of nails’, it should still be good enough to get you from A to B, getting to their job and taking their children to school. All cars are good cars, but they all need to be well maintained.

"The gentleman owner started collecting Jaguars and he bought this off Bernie Ecclestone."

What's the most useful garage tool you have used? I’m going to a say a spring compressor that we bought from a Mechanex show a few years back. It’s been an absolute god send.



What's your ideal day off? I’m 58, fat and fed up. I like to get out on my motorbike, put my crash helmet on and I can’t hear anyone talking to me. I can relax and concentrate on my bike and on the road.

What profession would you be in if you weren’t a vehicle technician? This is all I’ve ever known. Jaguar XK 150 Roadster.

"If I’m going to make a purchase I try to assess what I’m going to use it for and how long I’m going to keep it. "

What's the most useless garage tool you have ever used? I like to buy carefully and get value for money. If I’m going to make a purchase I try to assess what I’m going to use it for and how long I’m going to keep it. I don’t think I could say that anything I’ve actually purchased was a waste of time.

What do you listen to in the workshop? Many moons ago I liked to listen to Radio Two, someone else wanted to listen Rock FM and someone else Radio One, so now we don’t listen to anything. We just concentrate on the job.


I’m very mechanical and I couldn’t think of myself sat at a desk but if it was something different I suppose I’d like to fix motorbikes or maybe push bikes, believe it or not.

What was the most embarrassing moment of your career? Well, I went to fix a customer’s spare wheel once. I lifted the boot floor up and there was a pile of pictures of him, you know. I just fixed the puncture and put it back, it was really embarrassing. Years ago, this was. You’ve just brought it all back to me. I knew his wife as well but she wasn’t in the pictures.


What is the highlight of your career so far? Something I always wanted to have is my own MOT testing station. When I got MOT status, 20-years ago now, we had a bottle of champagne and we all had something to eat. I’ll always remember that day. It was a big achievement for me as a sole trader, I didn’t really have any backing to get the MOT bay up and running so it was a massive achievement for me.

What is the biggest challenge the industry faces at the moment? The biggest challenge we are facing at the moment is obviously the change of technology and keeping up to speed with the systems these new cars are working on. The biggest problem with all of that is trying to understand these systems and explaining them to our customers, who seem to think that every garage can just plug a computer into the car and fix them. I don’t know where they got this thinking from but it’s not exactly true, I wish it was. We’ve just done a hybrid awareness course. As garages, we definitely need to have an

"our customers ... think that every garage can just plug a computer into the car and fix them." awareness of hybrid systems but I don’t think the window is there yet to get the right amount of cars through to be able to justify full blown training in this area. For now, it’s nice for me and my staff to be aware of what we have to do to isolate the systems to carry out the repairs and what basic tools we’ll need to use. The thing is, it will always evolve. When I started as a young person I was working on points, condensers and carburettors, then we went to mechanical fuel injection, then it was electronic fuel injection, electronic ignition and now we’ve gone to management systems. It’s constantly evolving so we just need to be aware.

Independents need to be aware about new technology, explains Rob.’


All Schaeffler product related TecRMI information guides (inc. VM fitting instructions) are now FREE for members!* *no points redemption required


REPXPERT delivers everything to make the life of a professional workshop mechanic easier. Developed by experts for experts, with a focus on quality — just like our products. It’s quick and it’s simple to use. Sign up now for free! BY EXPERTS. FOR EXPERTS. Hotline: 01432 264264 follow us for more! @REPXPERT_UK

www.repxpert.co.uk 66

REPXPERT – a trademark of Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket.

› Redeem your bonus points for VM installation instructions › Schaeffler product details at a glance › Training and installation videos › The very latest product updates and service information › Everything you need to know about LuK, INA, FAG and Ruville

Mintex holds its own against R90 Braking brand demonstrates its forward-thinking approach to friction material through its performance against the R90 test.

With regards to longevity, Mintex stringently tests pad life, disc life and disc-thermal cracking, highlighting another element that the R90 test does not evaluate. These added benefits go a long way in demonstrating Mintex’s commitment to the braking industry.

IN A nutshell, R90 is a means of evaluating an aftermarket brake pad against OE. Pads that fall within a +/- 15 per cent tolerance are considered fit for purpose, but this is a minimum requirement. To uphold its reputation within the market, Mintex goes above and beyond what’s enforced by the ECE, ensuring that its pads rank within a much smaller range than +/- 15 per cent. In statement, Mintex told GW: “Not only do Mintex pads excel against the test, they also provide additional benefits that are not evaluated as part of the R90 regulations. “This allows mechanics to feel confident in the R&D invested into Mintex products, particularly with regards to braking performance, comfort, product tests and durability, which are not specified as criteria for R90.” Mintex pads are tested for fade, cold friction value and friction stability, all of which are not a standard requirement set by the ECE R90. With regards to comfort, the pads are also tested for noise, feel and response. This is becoming ever more important as drivers expect zero noise when braking, something that comes as standard when choosing Mintex pads. Addressing the final two areas, the physicality and durability of the products are also carefully considered. Mintex pads are tested for heat transfer, corrosion, lacquer resistance and pad swell.


HELLA re-energises battery programme Battery related issues remain the root cause of most vehicle breakdowns and one in three vehicles enter workshops with defective or underpowered batteries. HELLA has recently reviewed, updated and expanded its range to provide the most appropriate solution. The updated battery range consists of four models: classic, premium, supreme and AGM, to cater for every conceivable application. The ‘classic’ range is designed for smaller capacity engines and older vehicles, providing a cost effective solution for these applications because of its reliability and maintenance free convenience. For general purpose applications, HELLA has designed the ‘premium’ range for all classes of vehicles. It is one of the top selling models in the range and offers matching OE performance


and a long service life, which is why the range proves so popular. With ‘supreme’, HELLA provides a higher than OE specification solution for vehicles with extremely high energy consuming demands. Particularly ideal for diesel engines and vehicles with a large number of electronic devices and energy sapping additions, its robust design and optimised performance ensures reliability and a long service life. The HELLA ‘AGM’ range is ideal for the growing number of vehicles featuring stopstart functionality, as it is designed to cater for this technology due to its excellent cyclic capacity as well as providing up to 50 per cent more starting power. The car, LCV and CV battery ranges are included in HELLA’s latest promotion, which runs until the end of the year.

EMAIL 01295 662400


Choose from our great range of high performance batteries and select the quantity you actually need with no minimum order quantity.

Enjoy some great discounts on Hella batteries this winter. The more you buy, the more you save. Contact us for further details.

High quality batteries from the brand you can trust.

For HELLA parts, tools and services, contact customer services on 01295 662400 or email hella.sales@hella.com


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GW Views Issue 6 - Dec '16  

The final issue for 2016 has your comments on the year's big stories, results of motor factor and engine treatment surveys as well as a revi...

GW Views Issue 6 - Dec '16  

The final issue for 2016 has your comments on the year's big stories, results of motor factor and engine treatment surveys as well as a revi...