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Technology issue

DECEMBER 2012 $7.70 inc gst

KIA SORENTO Hits the target

Dr Thomas Aubel Executive Vice President Mobility TUV Rheinland Group

Social Media How to make it work for your business












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Official publication of the Victorian and Tasmanian Automobile Chambers of Commerce Level 7, 464 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004 P: 03 9829 1111 F: 03 9867 3159 ABN 63 009 478 209 President: J Buskes Executive Director: DA Purchase OAM



Introducing VACC’s 54th President, John Buskes

Ultrasonic cleaning gear will pay for itself and more



Protecting service station owners from drive-offs

All the latest on bodyshop fillers and adhesives

14 CREAM RISES Getting the right apprentice and keeping them certainly pays off

44 LEGEND LIVES ON How performance legend, Carol Shelby’s succession plan works


18 R134A AND YOU Putting the right price on greenhouse gases

48 TECHNICAL Timing belts, air filters, Dr Rick and more...

20 GREAT PARTNERS Peter Anderson on ACCI’s special relationship with VACC

22 SOCIAL MEDIA VACC adheres to its obligations under National Privacy Principles legislation. Information on products and services contained in the editorial and advertising pages of this magazine does not imply the endorsement of any product or service by VACC. Australian Automotive is copyright and no part may be reproduced without the written permission of VACC. Advertisers and advertising agencies lodging material for publication in Australian Automotive indemnify the VACC, its directors, Board, employees, members, and its agents against all claims and any other liability whatsoever wholly or partially arising from the publication of the material, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, indemnify each of them in relation to defamation, libel, slander of title, infringement of copyright, infringement of trademarks or names of publication titles, unfair competition, breach of trade practices or fair trading legislation, violation of rights of privacy or confidential information or licences or royalty rights or other intellectual property rights, and warrant that the material complies with all relevant laws and regulations. Advertising accepted for publication in Australian Automotive is subject to the conditions set out in the Australian Automotive rate card, available from

How your business can profit from Facebook, Twitter, etc

24 PARTS LOSS Aftermarket loses big time after BHP decision on utes/SUVs


54 REVIEWS KIA Sorento Si, Infiniti M37, Hyundai i30 SR Turbo, Mitsubishi ASX 4WD Aspire, KTM 690 Duke

66 SERVICE DIRECTORY Goods and services at your fingertips



Dr Thomas Aubel, VP Mobility TÜV Rheinland

Crossword, quiz, wordfind, Taillight Teaser, Bollocks, Horace Kope, Derek’s Dipstick



AIMS delivers most meaningful audience ever to exhibitors

Getting a handle on that social media thingy...

44 DECEMBER 2012


Will Tuck Former Paint and Panel editor, Will Tuck, this issue, investigates the many uses of bonding materials, fillers and adhesives. Like most areas of the automotive world, these humble products have come a long way. Check out how far, and what they can do for your bodyshop business, by turning to page 38. Tuck has 50 years’ journalistic experience, during which time he has edited several professional and trade magazines.

Paul Tuzson

The numbers have it! THEY SAY THAT there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Even so, the statistics thrown up by the recent Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in Sydney are very enlightening indeed.

cent of those surveyed said that attending the Motor Show was “very important or somewhat important” when deciding on what vehicle to purchase (another big tick).

Motor Show Director, Russ Tyrie, is on the record as saying that the attendance in Sydney was less than expected. But that’s where numbers can be misleading or, at the very least, need to be investigated before awarding them their true worth.

Those are the best figures ever. So, what does that say?

Tyrie’s job, and the job of the Show’s jointorganisers, VACC (Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce) and FCAI (Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries), is to deliver an appropriate audience to exhibitors, one that rewards their investment. In other words, the very existence of AIMS is to provide a venue and forum for intending vehicle purchasers to inform themselves in the best possible way about their next vehicle purchase. And that’s where AIMS in Sydney really delivered the goods. Participating exhibitors invest in the Show because they want to sell vehicles and, while an audience of 200,000 (and the revenue derived from those ticket sales) would be terrific for Show organisers, what car companies are concerned about is making the right connection with the right people so they can sell vehicles to them in the future. In order to find out if ‘the right people’ are attending the Show, a lot of money is invested in research. This year, independent specialist, Milicante Consulting, was engaged to find out. This is what they had to say: 31.7 per cent of attendees surveyed said they intended to purchase a vehicle shortly (tick), and that a whopping 59.7 per



It says that the internet is great for fact checking, cross-referencing, colour coordinating, and for shopping around. But the internet can’t do everything. An intending buyer can’t touch and feel a car’s fine leather (or otherwise) upholstery, they can’t sit in a cyber car and check it out for headroom (or whether the family dalmatian will be comfortably accommodated in the back), and a buyer can’t really judge their full emotional attachment to a vehicle on a two-dimensional screen: they need to experience the car for real. Sure, the internet has made inroads on what Motor Shows can provide, but nothing, absolutely nothing, can ever substitute for the real thing. And, anyhow, AIMS this year demonstrated that exhibitors are innovating like never before in a bid to connect with intending vehicle purchasers through clever technology and greater interactivity. The numbers don’t lie: AIMS is a win/ win for exhibitors and showgoers alike. Roll on AIMS 2013 in Melbourne.

Paul Tuzson, Australia’s foremost automotive technical journalist, writes for several leading car magazines, including Unique Cars and Street Machine. This issue, Tuzson investigates the mysterious world of ultrasonic cleaning. If this sounds like the plot of a new sci-fi movie you had better turn to page 34 to find out all about this clever and time saving technology for cleaning automotive parts.

Murray Collins Following the completion of his postgraduate Broadcast Journalism degree in Darlington, UK in 1994, Murray Collins spent six years working as a BBC local radio reporter. After a spell freelancing, Collins joined BSkyB Sky News Radio in 2001, producing and presenting national bulletins. In 2006, he moved to Melbourne and joined VACC in 2007. On page 10 he introduces VACC’s 54th President.

Rod Chapman R R Chapman has previously Rod sserved as News Editor of A Australian Motorcycle News aand was Editor of British m monthly, Motorcycle Sport & L Leisure . He currently works f a number b off Australia’s A for best motorcycling titles, including Motorcycle Trader, as a freelance journalist. This issue, he experiences the many qualities of the KTM 690 Duke (page 62).

Australian Automotive Managing Editor: David Dowsey 03 9829 1247 Design & Layout: Gavin van Langenberg, Faith Perrett Database & Distribution: Mary Gouvas Contributors: Peter Anderson, Rick Besserdin, Dr Richard Creighton-Smythe (retired), Nick Dalziel, Darren House, David Mitchem, Horace Kope, Dr Rick, Damien Slavin, Will Tuck, Steve Tye Din

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New VACC President WORDS Murray Collins JOHN BUSKES HAS a reputation for being energetic and driven. A recipient of the Sword of Honour, following two years of officer training with reservists 2 Commando Company (Coy), Buskes holds the rank of Lieutenant and Platoon commander. For the next two years, Buskes will hold another important title: President of VACC. Buskes, 54, from Ringwood, owns three separate motorcycle dealerships and first joined VACC in 1988. He is Chairman of the Motorcycle Industry Division (MID), Chairman of the Australian Motorcycle Industry Association, a member of the VACC Board of Management and Executive Board and, for the past two years, was the Senior Vice President. On 28 November 2012, Buskes was elected unopposed as the 54th VACC President at the Annual General Meeting. He received the Presidential

pin from now Immediate Past President, Tony La Rosa. “I would like to acknowledge the contribution made by Tony La Rosa as VACC President. Tony has acted with dignity and honour and, on behalf of VACC’s 5,300 members, I sincerely thank him for his efforts,” Buskes said. “I will strive to do my very best and to act fairly in the interests of all members. I am sure there will be challenges along the way, but I am confident that with the support of the Executive Board, the Board of Management and the Executive Director, VACC will continue to provide support and services to assist members,” said Buskes. A keen triathlete, Buskes’ energetic reputation stems from his membership of the Commando Association, following a 12-year stint as a reservist. He has acquired a number of field skills, which may or may not prove useful during his two-year term

as VACC President, including qualifications in shallow water diving, demolitions, free-fall parachuting and roping and rappelling. 2 Commando Coy’s motto is ‘strike swiftly’! Buskes is also a proud motorcyclist and, through VACC’s MID, has promoted motorcycle and scooter safety and awareness, in particular, by attending the 2010 Road Safety Committee Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety in Victoria and VACC’s annual Scooter Rally. Following the first contested election for the position of Executive Director in VACC’s 94-year history, Buskes says his first priority is to re-establish harmony among the membership. “There are things we have learnt from the recent election process and I am confident we will move on and do what we are here to do, namely, assist members. The next two years will be interesting and also exciting,

John Buskes as VACC celebrates its 95th anniversary and hosts the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne,” Buskes said. Buskes spent his formative years attending Aquinas College, Ringwood, and completed Certificates of Technology in both Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture at RMIT and Footscray Institute of Technology. He has been married to Helen for 32 years and they have two adult children, Laura and Heather.

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Numberplate theft a major concern for service station owners A NSW POLICE initiative to deter vehicle theft should also be adopted by all states and territories in a bid to deter petrol station drive-offs, according to VACC Executive Director, David Purchase. Thieves stealing fuel, before driving away, is a significant crime in this country. Security camera footage is assisting police to detect and capture offenders, but only when the vehicles they are driving are not stolen or have stolen numberplates fitted. Criminals that prey on service station owners and steal their products should be dealt with the

full force of the law, Purchase told Australian Automotive. “Service station owners are vulnerable to this type of crime. The extended trading hours that service station owners operate within means that thieves can make use of the cover of darkness and speed away with their loot before Police have time to arrive. It is well known that using false numberplates is a particularly effective way for these thieves to go about their activities without detection. So, any initiative that may deter the theft of numberplates is very welcome.” North Sydney police and SOS volunteers combined to provide valuable numberplate security for Mosman motorists at the Village Green’s carpark recently. Police and SOS personnel fitted anti-theft screws to local vehicles to help eliminate plate thefts in the area. It is one of several such activities designed to

David Purchase prevent vehicle crime in NSW. Crime Prevention Officer, Constable Kieran Meredith, said thieves were taking numberplates to rebadge their vehicles, using them to avoid tolls, petrol station fuel charges, speeding fines and red light cameras and to camouflage their vehicles, which may be used in more serious crimes. “The simple act of fitting one-way screws helps to deter thieves,” Constable Meredith said.

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Cream rises to the top WORDS & IMAGES Steve Tye Din CUSTOMISING A KEYLESS entry system, measuring voltages and interpreting electrical symbols was all part of the intense daylong competition to judge the top regional Toyota apprentice. Fourth year VACC Auto Apprenticeships apprentice, Guo-Jie Lay, was recently awarded with this honour. At the recently held competition, the training centre of Toyota Motor Corporation Australia in Melbourne was the venue where Lay competed against five other regional apprentices who had qualified for the event. Lay, who currently works at Nunawading Toyota in Melbourne, said, “I was very proud of myself when I found out that I had won this award. I have proved to myself that I have become a great diagnostic technician. I was up against some other very good apprentices. It was a tough competition.”

In order to qualify for the final event, competitors had to undertake a series of theoretical exams throughout the year. The 20 highest scoring apprentices then had to write an essay on themselves that included their workshop experiences, skills and techniques. The top five apprentices were then selected from this category.

ohms law calculations was also a task on the circuit board.

The competition final was broken into three sections and conducted and judged by Toyota technical training instructors. The first section required the apprentices to use the dedicated Toyota diagnostic computer to find answers to technical questions on various models.

The next task was to program the driver’s side door so it would unlock independently from the other doors with the keyless entry system.

The third section was the practical task where a hybrid Toyota Camry was brought in with several faults in the keyless entry and start system. Competitors had to diagnose and fix the door locking system and the start system of the vehicle.

The second section was an electrical question and answer test. The task of identifying electrical and electronic symbols, measuring voltages, resistances and currents with a multimeter on an electrical circuit board was carried out. Conducting electrical measurement values using

“Guo-Jie winning this award has encouraged our other apprentices in the workshop to have a go and assist in their own personal development in the trade,” said Nunawading Toyota Service Manager, Vince Pisa. “He welcomes challenge and has a thirst for knowledge. No job is too difficult because he wants to learn. He fits in well with the team and management and is a role model employee at Nunawading Toyota.”


VACC Auto Apprenticeships Field Manager, Steve Tye Din commented, “Guo-Jie is a wonderful apprentice to have. He has already won awards for his TAFE Schooling and this award adds to his impressive list. There is no doubt he has a long future ahead of him at Nunawading Toyota and in the automotive industry in whatever he aspires to do.” An engraved winning medallion, an overnight stay at a five star luxury hotel, a $50 prepaid Visa credit card and a two-day study tour of the Melbourne facilities of Toyota Motor Corporation were the prizes that Lay won. See

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MATQ opens Sir Jack Brabham Queensland Automotive Centre of Excellence WORDS Ian Porter ONE OF AUSTRALIA’S greatest living treasures, Sir Jack Brabham, recently opened the $10 million training centre and head office of the Motor Trades Association of Queensland (MTAQ). Officially dubbed the Sir Jack Brabham Queensland

Automotive Centre of Excellence, the new facility will provide key educational resources for apprentices and trainees in the automotive trade. “Naming the centre in Sir Jack’s honor guarantees that the 2,000 students training at the facility each year will be inspired to achieve great things in the automotive industry,” said Steve Ghost, the Managing Director of the MTA Institute of Technology.

The MTAIT is the state’s largest private provider of training for automotive students. Ghost pointed out that, in addition to being a triple F1 world champion (1959, 1960 and 1966), Sir Jack was the first person to win a Formula One race in a car bearing his own name. He didn’t mention that the new training facilities are probably better fitted out than the

workshop Sir Jack and his partner Ron Tauranac used to produce a string of Formula Junior, Formula Three and Formula One cars that beat the world. The centre has 28 mechanical and vehicle body repair bays, five training rooms with the latest IT and communications technology and the most modern equipment for crash repair, spray booths and body repair systems. It is the only centre in southeast Queensland where students can train in automotive painting and panel beating. MTAQ General Manager, Kellie Dewar, said the new training operations would play a part in attracting leading students to the automotive trades. “As an industry, we know that it is up to us to attract and retain the next generation of automotive specialists.”




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Technology with Vision

Putting a price on synthetic greenhouse gases DID YOU KNOW that the most common refrigerant used in automotive air conditioning systems, hydrouorocarbon R134a, is a synthetic greenhouse gas and has a global warming potential 1,300 times greater than carbon dioxide?

equivalent carbon price. These reasons include global demand and scarcity of raw materials.

Since the introduction of the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Future Plan on 1 July 2012, synthetic greenhouse gases, which include hydrouorocarbons (HFCs) such as R134a, have attracted an equivalent carbon price levy, which is paid by the importer. The levy is based on the carbon price multiplied by the global warming potential for each of these gases relative to carbon dioxide.

qGVSUIFSJODFOUJWFGPSDBS manufacturers and refrigerant technicians to switch to alternative gases which have a lower global warming potential, provided this is safe to do so and meets the manufacturers’ requirements.

Since 1 July 2012, purchasers of synthetic greenhouse gases (or those purchasing equipment with synthetic greenhouse gases in them) may notice an increase in cost for these products. Some synthetic greenhouse gases such as refrigerants have increased in recent times for reasons other than the introduction of the

Why put a price on synthetic greenhouse gases? Putting a price on synthetic greenhouse gases provides:

qGVSUIFSJODFOUJWFGPSDBSPXOFST to regularly service existing equipment to reduce leakage of gas and increase recycling rates for synthetic greenhouse gases. Replacement gases The global automotive industry has already indicated that it intends to replace R134a as its preferred air conditioning platform. This change has been driven by the European F-Gas rules where, from 2011, new automotive platforms must use a refrigerant with a global warming potential lower than 150.

The industry considers carbon dioxide and R1234yf, a new low global warming potential HFC, as the most likely replacement. Your legal responsibilities Equipment manufacturers, gas suppliers, automotive refrigeration engineers and technicians are a key source of advice to customers on equipment and refrigerants and will need to be mindful of obligations they may have to provide accurate advice on safety implications, particularly if substitution with a different refrigerant is being contemplated. All businesses and technicians must comply with regulatory requirements, including: qSFGSJHFSBOUIBOEMJOHMJDFODF and refrigerant trading authorisation conditions qDPEFTPGQSBDUJDF TVDIBT the Australian Automotive Code of Practice for the Control of Refrigerant Gases during Manufacture, Installation, Servicing or Decommissioning of Motor Vehicle Air Conditioners)

qXPSLIFBMUIBOE safety legislation qDPNQFUJUJPOBOE consumer legislation. If you are considering replacing refrigerant (for example replacing R134a with a hydrocarbon), you must check the relevant state and territory legislation to ďŹ nd out if the use of the replacement gas is permitted and safe. It is also important to consider additional matters such as warranty or insurance implications. Although only importers of synthetic greenhouse gases and importers of equipment containing these gases will pay the equivalent carbon levy, your supplier may pass the cost on to you. You need to decide how or if you pass it on to your customers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has provided guidance for businesses on determining carbon price claims. Go to and click on ‘Carbon price claims: business and consumer guidance’ in the Hot Topics section. Go to equivalentcarbonprice

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Successful ACCI partnerships:

The VACC Case Example WORDS Peter Anderson


ew businesses succeed by going it alone. Business people know that successful operations involve strategic partnerships. Similarly with business organisations. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is the nation’s peak council of business organisations, with members drawn from Chambers of Commerce and also industry specific bodies. By affiliating with ACCI, a strategic partnership is created. Combining each organisation’s strength forms a formidable business voice. Membership between Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and ACCI is a good example of how strategic partnerships add value and benefit business, not just business organisations. VACC, with its intimate knowledge of the retail motor industry, plays a leadership role in bringing small business issues, red tape concerns, apprenticeship and skill issues and industrial issues to the fore. Given many of these matters are regulated by the national government, affiliation with ACCI make it possible for VACC to get its interests heard in Canberra, not just Victoria. The strategic partnership also means that VACC gets a say on the big crosscutting economic issues of the day. These include tax reform, superannuation policy, wage setting, interest rates and competition policy. ACCI’s work in these areas fills gaps that industryspecific bodies find hard to resource.

Small Business The need to champion small and medium businesses is VACC’s and ACCI’s lifeblood. Small business is the cornerstone of the economy and jobs. Respecting this is vital in the face of growing market influence from large corporates and cost pressure from governments and suppliers. VACC has worked with ACCI over the past two years in landmark ways that support national small business advocacy. For example, VACC used its seat around ACCI’s General Council to urge ACCI to commission independent work on the impact of a carbon tax on



energy intensive small businesses. ACCI did this because federal Treasury costed impacts on large trade exposed industries, but not small businesses. The result: uncontradicted independent research by global consultancy Castalia which showed, over time, a big hit on profitability, given the fine margins and lack of control over fixed costs.

Business Leadership VACC is an industry leader, shaping not only the retail motor industry but also using its partnership with ACCI to advance the sector’s interests on whole of industry issues. Over the past decade, ACCI’s members have recognised VACC leaders on its General Council, Board and Policy Committees. Just last year, retired VACC manager Kevin Redfern was the first industry association executive in Australia to receive ACCI’s Service Award, honouring exceptional achievement over 20 years. And VACC executive, Leyla Yilmaz, is currently deputy chairman of ACCI’s national Workplace Policy Committee – following the footsteps of former chairman, VACC President and ACCI board member Owen Brown.

Economic Stimulus When the global financial crisis hit, VACC was out of the blocks working with ACCI to develop ways the government could stimulate the economy in the wake of declining confidence. The result: a 30 per cent business investment allowance in new plant and equipment which provided a tax offset of $6 billion. It wasn’t everything we argued for, but the retail motor industry secured important activity from the tax break just when the outlook was bleakest.

Interest Rates Interest rate decisions by the Reserve Bank are often, even on their own admission, ‘judgment calls’. Twice in 2012 the central bank was persuaded to reduce rates when market economists didn’t expect it. Business advocacy helped make the difference. VACC’s involvement in ACCI’s survey work brought the Reserve Bank and federal Treasury real time information about trading conditions – well before official ABS data.

There are plenty of small businesses feeling the pinch from rough play by the banks. ACCI advocacy supported by organisations like VACC shaved more than $9 billion this year off overdrafts and borrowings by small and medium business. That’s helped the bottom line.

Red Tape Politicians say they’re concerned about red tape, but rarely do they direct public servants to decrease the load. When confronted, governments duck and weave and ask for real examples. With VACC’s support, this year ACCI took the step of going to the horse’s mouth – surveying 870 small and medium businesses about the red tape problem. The result: findings no government or ministry can contradict – on average five hours per week per business wasted just in compliance. Armed with this data, VACC is now able to use facts to strengthen the case for freeing up the retail motor industry from excessive red tape.

Health and Safety Nationally harmonised health and safety regulations are being proposed by the Australian government. These will directly affect employers and contractors in the retail motor industry. ACCI has the job of pushing-back against some of these new proposals, where they are costly or impractical for small business. VACC is the key driver of the retail motor industry’s input into ACCI on these matters. Without the ACCI-VACC partnership, the sector would not have a voice at the Safe Work Australia table where these decisions are first made.

Wage and Labour Costs Every employer in the retail industry knows that profit margins have been eroded by the ‘’cautious consumer’’ and soaring labour costs. VACC works with ACCI each year to keep wage rises ordered in the retail motor industry down. It’s tough work, because employer calls for moderation are opposed by unions and regrettably, often by governments. VACC has put facts on the table to Fair Work Australia and its seven-member wages panel. ACCI used that data in 2012

to successfully convince the tribunal that economic conditions were worse than previously predicted by the panel’s experts. The result: while the rise was still too high, VACC and ACCI achieved a lower outcome which shaved $936 million off the employer payroll in 2012, compared to the cost of a ow on from 2011.

Unfair Dismissal ACCI and VACC combined to take the case for changes to onerous unfair dismissal laws to the highest levels of government and the parliament. VACC’s practical expertise is used by ACCI to lobby Ministers, shadow Ministers and parliamentarians. This has included extensive evidence of unfair cases being brought against small and medium employers in the retail motor industry – evidence ACCI’s Peter Anderson and VACC’s Leyla Yilmaz jointly presented to Senate Committees of Inquiry.

Superannuation Labour on costs, like superannuation, are big costs for industry. It is ACCI’s and VACC’s job to do the heavy lifting against uneconomic proposals. When the Australian government lifted the nine per cent superannuation levy paid by employers to 12 per cent, ACCI and VACC

opposed the rise, and gave evidence to the parliament about the unfair impact on small and medium employers, who struggle to fund their own retirement. The result: the rises are being phased in over seven years – not our preferred result, but a lot better than a three per cent payroll levy hitting labour costs and jobs in one year.

Training and Skills

Peter Anderson

Leyla Yilmaz

“The need to champion small and medium businesses is VACC’s and ACCI’s life blood�

With productivity down, it has been ACCI’s job to ensure governments support the training effort by industry. VACC’s commitment to industryspeciďŹ c training and apprenticeships is highly recognised by wider industry, and nationally. ACCI combined with VACC to ďŹ ght for the retail motor industry securing speciďŹ c structures to examine its skills needs, separate from the manufacturing sector. Again, VACC’s persistence and ACCI’s support, forced

authorities to change plans and give the retail motor industry a more independent voice. The beauty of ACCI afďŹ liation is that these outcomes don’t threaten the independence of industry associations, because ACCI’s members are associations like VACC, not speciďŹ c businesses. The business relationship remains very local, with VACC. Put simply, it’s a strategic partnership that adds joint value, and works – even in the difďŹ cult area of government and industrial tribunal advocacy.

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The Great

Social Debate Social media is the new marketing phenomenon. But does it actually work? WORDS Nick Dalziel


id you know that more than half of Australia’s population, that’s 11 million people, are now using Facebook? In fact, recently, Facebook attracted its billionth user from around the globe. So, what does this all mean for your business? Well, with such a large number of people using this one social media site, it represents a massive marketing opportunity, as businesses can expose their products, special offers, and brand, all on people’s computer screens without having to pay for the privilege. There are a variety of social media outlets available, although the two big players are Facebook and Twitter. Both of these are readily available for all kinds of businesses to use to their advantage. “It’s definitely not a fad,” says Sue Peden, Director of Thread Communications. Peden has worked in advertising for more than 25 years and believes people have been slow to appreciate social media in the marketing sphere. “For a long time a lot of marketers didn’t understand social media. But it needs to be embraced because it’s not going away.” That rings true for all businesses, including those in the automotive industry. Despite Mythical Motors’ Mick having a few doubts in an earlier issue, there are plenty of examples of automotive businesses building a successful internet profile. Mick and Belinda Egan own Pit Lane Automotive in Frankston, Victoria and have found social media to be a key ingredient in gaining new business. In addition to normal repair work, Pit Lane carries out performance work, specialising in Fords. It’s here that social media has reaped its greatest benefits. Pit Lane has a Facebook page and sponsors four different car forums, where enthusiasts interact with each other in online discussions. Facebook users publicly ‘Like’ products, potentially creating more exposure for a



particular brand, as their friends see the user’s interest and may be inclined to take a look. Once a page is liked, the business can interact with the user, notifying them of new products, special offers, or anything else it desires to tell them about.

do is respond to enquiries. We try to answer everything because, if we don’t reply to somebody, they might bad-mouth us. At the end of the day, I’m being paid to get the best results in tuning cars, not to stop and talk to people who may not be customers,” he said.

Belinda manages Pit Lane’s Facebook page, and endeavours to post things that get people talking.

Belinda agrees that the forums take up a lot of work, as people expect answers to emails or queries almost instantly.

“We had a South African (Falcon) GT here once and we uploaded a photo of the badge and had a competition to guess what sort of car it was,” Belinda told Australian Automotive.

“You have to go into it at the start with clear intentions of how you are going to control it.”

In this case, every time a user made a guess, all of their Facebook friends would see their comment on Pit Lane Automotive’s competition. Even though there were no prizes, Belinda said they had a number of guesses, so it greatly helped in exposing the Pit Lane brand. However, the couple has found their forum sponsorship to be more important to the business, with Mick suggesting it has been more effective than magazine advertising for the sort of work he carries out. “When it comes to performance work, the majority of new customers come from the forums,” Belinda said. “It’s worth it from the volume perspective.” Of course, social media is no cure-all to marketing issues. A number of variables must be weighed up. It must be remembered that while social media is generally free, or very cheap to use, it can take up a lot of time to use effectively, so there are still costs involved.

Close interaction with customers can also be costly, as many major corporations have discovered when marketing attempts have backfired. Recent high-profile examples include Qantas, Coles, Channel 9 and Target. There was an incident recently with (a certain fast food chain), where the company wanted customers to use a hashtag on Twitter to reminisce about a great time they had at the restaurant. “Unfortunately, it got way out of control and people started using the hash tag to talk about hideous food experiences, animal cruelty and employees spoke of mistreatment,” Thread Communications’ Sue Peden said. “There are risks associated (with social media). But, in my opinion, if you have a really good product, a good brand, and you are doing the right thing, the risks should be fairly minimal,” she added. The Egans agree with this, stressing the importance of a good reputation. They had a minor mishap with a forum member who had a friend who wasn’t satisfied

On a typical workday, Mick Egan spends plenty of time responding to requests or giving quotes via the forums. “I’ll update the forums every hour or so. I am doing a lot of work for little reward. It’s almost to the point where I have to employ someone because there are days where all I

Mick and Belinda Egan

Sue Peden

with a Pit Lane job and used a thread on a forum to publicly criticise the business. “We had people jumping to our defence (on the forums), which is good,â€? Mick said. “Mick’s always been so active on the forums, before we became sponsors, so we have been lucky,â€? Belinda added. It’s difďŹ cult to mention social media without pausing to think about privacy. Belinda says Pit Lane hasn’t had too much concern over this, but points to the fact that customers need to give consent if they want a photo of their car uploaded, such as the owner of the South African GT.

Performance shops such as Pit Lane Automotive can have a stigma with manufacturers and insurers, as well. Even if a customer has only visited Pit Lane for a service, a manufacturer or insurer who ďŹ nds a photo of that customer’s car on Pit Lane’s page may see it as grounds for raising a premium or voiding a warranty. However, in most cases, the responsibility lies with the consumer. “It has taken consumers quite a while to cotton on to the fact that if they click ‘Like’ on a business, they are opting in (to receive communication from that business),â€? Peden said.

A basic rundown of social media Facebook and Twitter are the two biggest social networking sites, with many businesses, big and small, using both with great success. There are some key differences, though. Facebook is a more elaborate site than Twitter, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. On one hand, Facebook allows individuals and organisations to post a broader range of content, such as photos, videos, and polls, as well as offering games and real-time chat. However,

Facebook is also more closed: people often interact only with those they know. Twitter is far more simplistic, restricting users to 140 characters in their status updates (‘tweets’). Twitter users tend to follow (subscribe to the posts of), and interact with, users they don’t know, such as celebrities or companies, in addition to their friends. Twitter uses hashtags to identify messages on a speciďŹ c topic, which will be proceeded with a ‘#’ symbol. A company may launch a particular hashtag for users to talk about, and it can then monitor what people say in

not your average workshop...

Overall, Belinda sees social media as a good thing, but stresses the importance of closely monitoring activity. If it’s not controlled it can be bad, she said. Each business has a unique product, service, and customer base and, with this, each business can assess whether social media will work for them. Thread Communications’ Sue Peden has some quick tips for those thinking of raising their online proďŹ le: “Posts need to be interesting, and frequent without being annoying, and you need to think through all of the possible ramiďŹ cations of a post in case something goes wrong.â€? Visit: relation to that topic. Retweets are also powerful tools on Twitter, as a user may see your message and then re-post it for all of their own followers to see. Thread Communications’ Sue Peden sees this ‘reach’ as one of the main advantages of Facebook and Twitter. “If consumers start talking about your product and your brand (online) it’s often incredibly powerful.â€? The social media phenomenon is still in its early days, so it’s difďŹ cult to tell whether these two big players will continue alongside one another, or, like VHS and Beta, one will end up on the proverbial scrapheap.

...not your average job s.%7,//+34/2%3 ,!4%34%15)0-%.4 6!2)%49/&6%()#,%3 s'2%!4#/-0!.9 '2%!40%/0,% '2%!442!).).' s*/"3%#52)49"%.%&)43 "/.53%,)')"),)49 #!2%%20!4(3 Go to KTASCOMAUCAREERS to check out current vacancies or to leave an expression of interest.



BHP decision hurts aftermarket WORDS Ian Porter


akers and distributors of bull bars and rollover protection systems are angry about a decision by mining giant, BHP Billiton, to ban these products from its vehicles and those of its contractors. The decision could cost the aftermarket more than $160 million a year in lost sales, much more if other mining companies, like Rio Tinto, adopt the same policy. “It’s a nonsense,” said Stuart Charity, Executive Director of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA). “They are not even allowing for upgraded suspension on vehicles when they are being used to carry loads,” Charity said. Stephen Moir, Chief Executive of the Motor Trade Association of WA (MTAWA), said BHP Billiton’s new vehicle policy would have a noticeable adverse impact on the vehicle aftermarket in his state. “I think it is very disappointing that they did not consider some of the effects it would have on the downstream industry,” he told Australian Automotive.

“I have spoken to one of WA’s most prominent suppliers of vehicles with accessories on them and he is assuming a reduction of about 10 per cent in revenue.” In fact, judging by BHP’s figures, it could be more than that, much more. BHP implemented its new vehicle policy in May 2012 after conducting a series of crash tests with three one-tonne utes at Crashlab in NSW. The policy (to be phased in fully by January 2016) stipulates that BHP will only buy five-star crashrated utes and four-wheel drives (4WDs) and that it will not allow the fitting of rollover protection systems (ROPS) or bull bars to these vehicles. At the moment, there are three five-star one tonners available: Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50 and the VW Amarok. Toyota has announced it is hastily bringing the big-selling HiLux up from three stars to five stars by October 2013 as a result of the BHP policy.

However, the company’s contractors drive 45,000 vehicles in Australia alone. When he outlined the policy, BHP’s VicePresident of safety and security, David Jenkins, said it used to cost between $25,000 and $30,000 to fit out a vehicle coming onto the fleet. Eliminating the ROPS and bull bars will reduce that to around $15,000. Assuming that these vehicles have a threeyear lifespan, that amounts to $480 million worth of aftermarket work that will not be done in a normal three-year lease cycle. That means aftermarket work will shrink by about $160 million a year, with most of the work lost in WA and Queensland, where the majority of BHP’s mine are located. The AAAA’s Stuart Charity said that the tests BHP did – a frontal offset and a simple rollover – did not reflect the main danger for outback drivers – animal strike. The AAAA conducted a survey of 42,000 drivers and asked about bull bars, animal strikes, rollovers and other incidents. “On the stats we’ve got, if a bull bar is fitted, in the case of animal strike, occupant injury is less than 0.5 per cent of outcomes from accidents, and vehicle immobilisation is less than one per cent. “If you look at vehicles without a bull bar, you are talking about a 20 per cent incidence of occupant injury and about the same for vehicle immobilisation, and these injuries and immobilisations can happen hundreds of kilometres from medical help and mechanical repair services,” Charity said. “For (BHP’s David Jenkins) to say that animal strikes are not an issue when all their cars are fitted with bull bars is just a nonsense. Cars need to be modified so they are fit for purpose, particularly in extreme driving conditions like the mining industry and driving long distances through rural and regional Australia.


“I said are you seriously considering that we should crush them? They are good cars,” Moir said. “There is what I would term a zealot-type attitude from ANCAP, which worries me.” Moir said he was closely watching Rio Tinto to see whether that mining giant would adopt the BHP vehicle policy. “And it’s not just BHP and Rio. We’ve also got Fortescue Minerals Group over here, the third biggest, and Atlas Iron. “It does have a significant impact on the industry that we have to be careful of. We are working with our members to try to assist them cope with the change.”

“They are just discounting all that and saying five-star crash ratings are going to solve all of our issues. Most of the ANCAP tests are not relevant for the profile of accidents that happen in the bush.”

BHP said the tests showed the ROPS offered no extra protection in the sort of crashes BHP vehicles were involved in while the bull bars actually contributed to intrusion in the footwell Stephen Moir said that, when when there had been none on the standard vehicle. he mentioned to an ANCAP representative that the BHP has around 10,000 vehicles around MTAWA was worried about the world, with probably 3,000 in Australia.


the potential flood of three- and four-star utes into the used market, the ANCAP representative was surprised the cars would be resold.

Stuart Charity

Stephen Moir

Only ANCAP five-star utes and SUVs (like Ford’s Ranger, above, and the Mazda BT-50, top left, – Toyota is upgrading its HiLux to five stars by October 2013) will be purchased by BHP Billiton and no bull bars or rollover protection will be fitted post-purchase



Dr Thomas Aubel Executive Vice President Mobility TÜV Rheinland Group Dr Aubel was born in 1958 in Hanover, Germany. He has been TÜV Rheinland’s Executive Vice President Mobility since March 2010. As such, he holds global responsibility for the group’s Mobility Business Stream, which offers services such as vehicle inspections, guided transport systems and traffic engineering, driver’s license testing, car services and appraisals, homologation, automotive and aviation technology, telematics and traffic consulting, as well as logistics and services for the rail sector. In 2011, the Business Stream generated revenues of €340 million, representing 22 per cent of total revenues. Dr Aubel brings to the position 29 years of local and international business experience. He joined TÜV Rheinland in 2010 from TÜV Süd, where he held various senior management positions since 1997. During that time he also established TÜVTURK and built up 189 PTI (Periodical Vehicle Inspection) stations within 18 months. He served as its Chief Operating Officer from 2005-09. Prior to TÜV Süd, he spent nine years in the German Federal Armed Forces in various capacities. Dr Aubel studied Mechanical Engineering and obtained a Doctorate in Engineering from the University of the German Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg.



What does TÜV Rheinland do? TÜV Rheinland is a global leader in independent inspection services and was founded 140 years ago. The TÜV Rheinland Group maintains a global presence with 500 locations in 61 countries with 15,961 employees. Annual turnover is €1.417 billion in 2011. Our independent experts stand for quality and safety for people, environment and technology in nearly all aspects of life. TÜV Rheinland inspects technical equipment, products and services, oversees projects and helps to shape processes for companies. Our experts train people in a wide range of careers and industries. TÜV Rheinland has a global network of approved laboratories, testing and education centres. Since 2006 TÜV Rheinland has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact to promote sustainability and combat corruption.

In the vehicle world, what does TÜV Rheinland test for? With its core competency TÜV Rheinland performs internationally more than six million vehicle inspections per year and provides consultancy services to foreign ministries and operators in their efforts to establish and develop it further. TÜV Rheinland operates PTI (Periodic Technical Inspection) test centres in Germany, France, Spain, Latvia, Chile and Argentina and will enter the South African PTI-market very soon. Examples for the international consultancy services are the technical assistance to establish PTI in Qatar and Sénégal as well as the drafting of the “White Book for Road Traffic Safety” in Angola. Within the Business Field Car Services & Appraisal, TÜV Rheinland offers a comprehensive service-portfolio, for example in value and damage appraisal and fleet management dedicated to the different stakeholders in the area of automotive after sales. Another core business of our services is the Type Approval of vehicles and components. Our international network offers our customers full service at a one-stop shop. Our employees are based in 14 countries, both in Europe and, especially, in Asia and North America. Demanding requirements characterise the process of component, sub-assembly and vehicle part development,

and series-production readiness can be a dot on the horizon. Products must conform to international regulations and standards, and safety must enjoy absolute priority. We support our worldwide customers from planning to production. The services cover the entire range of field analyses, studies and tests to ensure both passive and active safety. An important new chapter of TÜV Rheinland’s activities is electro-mobility. In the Electric Mobility Centre (EEMC), a centre of electric vehicle development, TÜV Rheinland is opening up the world’s first complete electric power engine test environment to manufacturers and government institutions. Amongst others, the equipment includes an acclimatised battery testing chamber, the only one in the world with altitude simulation, battery and electric motor dynamometers, an all-wheel roller chassis dynamometer and the most modern crash test facility among the technical service providers worldwide. Last but not least, the Business Field ‘Driver’s Licenses’ should be mentioned with 293,567 driving tests in theory and 270,547 in practice in all classes, 863 tests of driving instructors, 8,316 tests of professional drivers in 2011 as well as assessments of handicapped persons.

How often does TÜV Rheinland test/inspect vehicles? This depends on regulations for each country. In Germany, private passenger cars have to pass the PTI after three years and then every two years. For commercial vehicles, the deadline is every year with an intermediate safety check for trucks after six months.

Can you explain the recent changes in the inspection process and the addition of test drives to check electrical systems? The minimum requirements for PTI in the European Union (EU) have been newly defined in the regulation 2010/48/EC. Since 2012 there are, for example, higher requirements for the brake tests. Trucks have to be tested partially loaded and a minimum steering pressure of 1.7 bar is demanded. All vehicles have to show, apart from the brake force, a second value as the pedal force or the system pressure. Furthermore, the brake force distribution

WITH David Dowsey



In Germany, 26.4 million vehicles are tested annually, with 35 per cent having lighting defects, and 26.1 per cent defective brakes

on the t different axles has to be assessed. Germany, the so-called driver In G assistant systems are checked within ass PTI since 2006 as ABS, ESP, emergency breaking or distance regulation. bre Starting in 2013, these systems will Sta by an adapter which is be checked c an iinterface plug. The system will according to function, be checked c performance and condition. per

How often should vehicles be tes tested here in Australia? Th EU is preparing a directive that will The call in seven-year-old and older vehicles for PTI annually. This becomes obvious, if yo you look into the statistics of heavy failure rates, which is published on a fail half half-year basis by the German Vehicle Authority. For private vehicles, we Aut recommend intervals of 3-2-2-1-1… and rec for commercial vehicles an annual basis.

In w what areas does TÜV Rheinland find the most vehicles faults? In G Germany, 26.4 million vehicles are tested annually. Thirty-five per cent of the failures derive from light cen def defects, 26.1 per cent from defective brakes and 18.1 per cent from bra different environmental problems. diff

Wh has been the result of What the these tests/inspections? Sin these are major defects, Since according to the regulation, the failures acc



have to be repaired and proof has to be provided by a re-inspection. That means safer and more environmentally friendly vehicles on our roads.

Does TÜV Rheinland have any data demonstrating the benefits of Periodic Technical Inspections (PTIs)? There is a clear connection between road traffic safety and the volume of technical defects of vehicles. In 2009 there were 35,000 fatal accidents on European roads. The European Commission estimates that 2,000 fatal accidents derive from defective vehicles. According to respective studies 900-1,100 fatalities could be avoided by more severe PTI in all member states. Nevertheless, without PTI the amount of road traffic fatalities would be approximately 5.7 per cent higher.

Despite the additional expense to the motorists who pay for PTIs, in your view, is the community benefit worth it? Every year the Federal Highway Research Institute (Bundesanstalt für Strassenwesen) investigates the macroeconomic costs of traffic accidents. In 2009 the macro-economic costs of road traffic accidents amounted to €30.52 billion in Germany alone. €13.29 billion is applicable to peoples’ injuries, €4.14 billion of it derives from fatalities. I think that these figures speak a clear language and are self-explanatory…

TÜV Rheinland Group periodically tests from 500 locations in 61 countries, but not in Australia, where the Government doesn’t believe such testing is necessary

There appears to be a benefit from PTIs to insurance companies, with safer vehicles on roads meaning less accidents. Has the insurance industry shown any support for a discounted insurance rate for compliant vehicles? Although there is definitely a benefit to insurance companies there is no support or discount on insurance rates for compliant vehicles, since it should be common understanding to participate in traffic only with safe vehicles. The discount of the insurance companies is given for low accident rates. It is obvious that the driver plays the most important role in road traffic safety. As mentioned earlier, driver and driving instructor licensing on behalf of the German government is one of TÜV Rheinland’s core business areas.

How did other countries implement PTI schemes and overcome resistance from the population about the benefits? There is a very nice example from Sénégal. The first time PTI was introduced in 1986 companies affected went on a six-week strike, which paralyzed the whole public transport system and influenced strongly the national economy. The government was forced to withdraw the law. In 2006 they started on the initiative of a World Bank program, the second trial of which went

to a full success. The reason was that all stakeholders were invited to join the introduction of PTI as part of a steering committee. They signed a Charter on road traffic safety and organised awareness campaigns according to the benefits of PTI to support its acceptance. The slogan ‘Father should arrive back home alive’ showed drastically the importance of a safe public transport system.

What would be the recommended step-by-step process for Australian authorities to implement PTIs? Should we begin with trucks, buses and taxis? In the first step, trucks and public passenger transport vehicles should be tested. In the second step, private passenger cars and motorcycles.

What is best practice from other countries that run PTI schemes? A very good example is Latvia, where the compliance rate of the vehicle owners is near 100 per cent towards PTI, since the annual vehicle tax payment is depending on the successfully passed PTI. Therefore, traffic enforcement regarding this point is not necessary. It should be mentioned that PTI in Latvia was introduced with the intensive assistance of TÜV Rheinland.

In other countries where TÜV Rheinland was involved in the implementation of PTI, are there designated inspection

stations, as in Germany, or are the inspections carried out in private, authorised workshops? In all involvements of TÜV Rheinland as operator or technical consultant, inspection stations, as in Germany, had been established. There is no workshop-conducted PTI.

Who in those countries is operating the inspection system (government or private institutions)? The PTI systems are mainly run by private inspection companies. One exception was the technical assistance of the Royal Oman Police.

What has been the effect on specific markets with regard to PTIs and safety (road accidents, occupant and pedestrian fatalities and injuries) and the environment? Road accidents and fatalities could be reduced. According to pedestrian behavior, mainly in Third World Countries, it is very important to initiate, continue and enforce road traffic safety campaigns starting with young children. Also, a driver training and driver examination system, as well as stringent traffic enforcement, play an important role to improve road traffic safety and create awareness for the requirements of safe participation in road traffic.



r o t Mo p o t S w o Sh elivers d w o h S r o al Mot n o i t a n r efore e b t r n I e v n e a i l n a a r t h The Aus lue to exhibitors t greater va

owsey y underway are alread ns io at ar p re rnational tralian Inte in for the Aus Melbourne ’s return to w ho S r d to le tt Mo dust has se w that the n lia a 2013. So, no tr us A ney event, on the Syd veal some re n ca ve Automoti e And they ar statistics. revealing. gful ost meanin The two m rs are o it b hi ex r statistics fo rveyed su f er cent o that 31.7 p es said they w attende motor sho vehicle in purchase a intended to 59.7 per at th d ture an S the near fu in nd g AIM d that atte ant” rt o p cent state im ry hat or ve e puchase. was “somew next vehicl ir e th g in the in d in deci ndees were S 3,000 atte 4 00 use AIM ly ,0 ar 0 8 ne r , So e and ove n. cl o hi si ci ve e a d r ir market fo making the ws. rtant tool in ’s terrific ne as an impo anies, that h, p m co g in at ent researc p For partici t independ a nt, th ve id e e sa , Tyrie after th ctor, Russ during and nce g ie d in u lt a l su AIMS Dire n fu o g ilicante C r a meanin M t ve u li o e d d ie to carr tinues t AIMS con . proves tha s. otor Show ie pan d at any M ha ve for car com nt ha o e fr put in figures w asers were the highest nuine purch ad to e “These are g le at ill w th s at at mean ucts, and th d ro p ’ In short, th rs o it ating exhib said Tyrie. of particip the track,” n w o d m e n strongest rically bee sales for th to is h ve a sh s some attendance ney still ha Melbourne s, and Syd e ti S 2012 ci o IM A tw r e ndance fo e amongst th tt a l a n fi p to do: catching u 50. ,0 5 me derived 3 1 was and the inco e , ce an nd t to th , public atte ly importan “Of course is incredib s, ies, it’s le an sa p t m e from tick And r the car co fo , ut b S aramount. p AIM ees that’s nd er.” viability of te ev at s f w o o best sh e quality one of the actually th as w y ne yd ors, S ing the for exhibit s are chang r companie ers able ca , o e g ri w o Ty to ts, with sh uc d According ro p y. ir e it hibit th r interactiv way they ex via greate t uc d ro p out with to learn ab innovative ming more se, a lot co e ur b e co f ar o . There is, “Exhibitors ys la p is ell are d w r Show e doing it their Moto ose that ar th ut b n, o ti of competi said Tyrie. e rewards,” reaping th

vid D WORDS Da




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S Mercedes-Benz has been making a big effort to impress at recent Motor Shows and, this year, the three-pointed star, along with its performance arm, AMG, really took things to another level. Among its drawcards was a limited edition CLS Shooting Brake, and the new A-Class, which is going to be hugely popular. But the real showstopper was the SLS AMG Roadster (above). Boasting a 6.2-litre 420kW/650Nm V8 and a very special paint job, the stylish convertible was created especially for AIMS.



S Toyota had a very large and impressive stand that featured, along with

rolla new and existing product, a sweet lineup of classic 2000GT and Corolla models; the latter on show to demonstrate the advances Toyota has made tion over the years with the world’s best selling car. The new 11th-generation nd lower Corolla (which, like the Pulsar, begins at $19,990), boasts a lighter and going body, which is both more rigid and more alluringly styled than the outgoing model, and adds a seven-speed CVT. It will continue to sell its socks off.

S This you won’t see in any car dealership: the Aston Martin One-77 had a build of only 77, of which only one came to Australia. The only place for the public to view the handmade hypercar was at AIMS, a genuine coup for organisers and a real drawcard for the event.

W W Remembered fondly by many as a Remembe

no-nonsense low-tech utilitarian 4X4, Land Rover’s stand was built to eagerly remind buyers that it’s a technology leader these days (with ns and hybrid drivetrains g aluminium class-leading n methods), construction as its manyy products demonstrated.. On show aluminium was the all-aluminium d 400kg), (saving around -groundnew-from-the-groundver (left); up Range Rover elander; facelifted Freelander; nd sexy MY13 Discovery 4; and voque. (and ludicrously successful) Evoque.

AIMS to Sydney Showground in 2014/2016 This year’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney was the last for six years at its present venue, as renovations to the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (CEC) will take place during the next two scheduled events. Motor Show organiser, Russ Tyrie, has already signed a two-show deal with organisers at the Sydney Showground, meaning AIMS will take place there in 2014 and 2016. The Motor Show will continue to be held at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, where it will return next year from 29 June. See



Ford had the he pick of the show stands. Their on with exhibition specialists, collaboration n, really paid off with an engaging floor Imagination, ide, consisting of the Evos (page 30) display inside, and new Mondeo (right), and a mega outdoors ere the public could see Fords in action, display, where he self-parking Focus Titanium. including the oor gullwing Evos concept The four-door goers glued to the Blue kept showgoers Oval stand.. It’s a showcase for er electronic Ford’s clever future that will see coming its cars becoming art of a central part es. owners’ lives. his Some of this technologyy is already wn filtering down ng to upcoming e the the models, like eo. X new Mondeo.

Vying for Car of Show was a humble hatchback: no 7.0-litre V8, no 500kW ssupercharger jobby, no carbonfibre enginesstart button, no admission to the VRC with p purchase; just a much-loved nameplate at the ri right price. The Nissan Pulsar is back and – w wait for it – it starts at $19,990 (remember th those ads from way back?). Not onlyy that, N at a sporty SSS version Nissan has promised that is not far away. ay. It has taken a while, but the Pu ulsar will do crazy business for Nissan. T Pulsar

Mazda surprises from ely e re th e er w (a hug There celifted MX-5 fa a : ar ye is th d and much r for the bran y successful ca evolution for the highl st te -9 la X e C th , w d) love e alll-ne ion azda6 and th credential M elow). The third-generat (b ip ite sh g su SUV fla complete sts Mazda’s fuel Mazda6 boa ts to deliver en em hanc 00km, /1 L .9 4 of Skyactiv en ve an impressi om fr e y th om le econ g, whi -die-for stylin S, along with to reveal at AIM ld or w its d ha ch hi body CX-9, w ncements to receives enha ent inm styling, infota ty fe sa d an system T . es ur at fe

An AIM A AIMS standout was the LF-FC by Lexu us. The coupe Lexus. con c is a concept only at sta s this stage, but, in gu thiss guise, boasts pet p a petrol-electric hyb ybrid drivetrain hybrid cap pab of capable 370 0kW driving 370kW fo our wheels. all four Movin ng on o from Moving the well-rec ceiv well-received V10-powered L V1 LFA LFA, the LF-FC is an atte the th at attempt by Lexus to ramp up tthe excitement quotient quotitientt for fo f th the he b he brand. And, if crow crowd o d numbers aro ound around the Japanese company’s st tand stand is any measure, it has alread dy already attained its objective. T



They’re not cheap, but getting a good unit could help you clean up in more ways than one WORDS & IMAGES Paul Tuzson




ave you ever tried to wash your hands in plain water without soap after a day on the grease? Or what about trying to wash your hands by simply soaking them in soapy water and rinsing them off without first rubbing them together? Neither technique works terribly well in isolation from the other. Effective cleaning is a combination of chemical and mechanical action. Hand cleaning is a good example of how the two work together. But how, exactly? Plain water has high surface tension. Adding a chemical called a surfactant reduces this and allows it to flow much more readily. This prepares the water to be a better cleaning agent. Surfactants consist of double-ended molecules with one end attracted to water (hydrophilic) and the other repelled by water (hydrophobic). The hydrophobic end is attracted to oil and tends to ‘burrow’ into it to get away from the water. This is how surfactants act to loosen and dislodge oil-based deposits. Oily deposits freed in this way become surrounded by surfactant molecules allowing them to remain in suspension to be rinsed away. Adding heat and mechanical energy speeds up the process.

During hand washing, mechanical energy is added by hand. Also, hand labour applied through a stiff-bristled brush is often the main means of accelerating the process of cleaning automotive parts. While vigorous brushing speeds up the cleaning process, having an operator wedded to the parts during cleaning slows down the repair/ reassembly process. This is why rotary pressure washers are the backbone of parts preparation in workshops. Rotary action, combined with hot fluid jets, do a good job of cleaning components. Yet, despite the rotary component of such machines they are still directional in their action. Ultrasonic cleaners, on the other hand, are described as unidirectional and they create a very pervasive cleaning action. Boiling water helps explain the basic principle of ultrasonic action. The boiling point of water rises with increased pressure. That’s why cars have sealed cooling systems. Accordingly, reducing pressure lowers the boiling point, which is why you can’t get a decent cup of tea on Mount Everest. If pressure is reduced enough, water will boil at very low temperature. Ultrasonic cleaners alternately reduce and increase pressure in water, or cleaning fluids, by sending high frequency vibrations through them.

When soundwaves pass through air they have the effect of alternately compressing it and stretching, or rarefying, it. Water doesn’t stretch and compress like air, so the high and low-pressure regions ultrasonic waves create within it behave differently. In low-pressure regions the fluid boils and bubbles are formed. In general, this process is known as cavitation. As the bubbles grow and encounter high-pressure regions they collapse. Upon doing so the energy liberated as they formed is almost instantly returned to the fluid, creating intense, localised pressure spikes and very high temperatures, but on a microscopic scale. These tiny pressure spikes act on the surface of any components immersed in the fluid. If such

Hand cleaning parts is less effective, more expensive and a health hazard (above). The ultrasonic process extends into hard-to-reach places that conventional methods can’t (below)

surfaces are carrying deposits then the process acts on those and dislodges them. As far as ultrasonic cleaning is concerned, we are talking about water containing a surfactant, the action of which is greatly intensified the aforementioned implosions. Indeed, the action of any cleaning fluid is intensified and accelerated by using it in an ultrasonic cleaning tank. Alan Ward, from Queensland ultrasonic equipment and chemical supplier, Ultrasonics Eco Cleaning Solutions, mentioned a few things to keep in mind regarding cleaning chemicals. Caustic solutions eat into things, like soiling on parts. Foreign particles on a component, including embedded carbon, rust and paint will all be removed by a caustic solution. Stainless steel or cast iron components won’t be attacked by a caustic solution, however it will damage aluminium. Grease and oil are removed by solvents and MSDS information for them often list alkaline salts as ingredients. These act as accelerators in cleaning aluminium alloys but, apart from giving faster results, these salts and aqueous solvents don’t attack aluminium alloys. The exact chemicals used for particular purposes are especially formulated to work with certain materials, but other factors like the particular ultrasonic frequency generated by a machine also affect the chemical makeup of cleaning solutions for the process. Ultrasonic cleaning machines are expensive, no doubt about it. Lots of people would like one but shy away from the capital investment. But is it worth the outlay? Aaron Madex, co-owner of Geelong-based DTM Automatics, says he doesn’t know how you would run a transmission shop without one. “We bought one about 10 years ago and it has hardly been switched off since”, he said. When Australian Automotive visited DTM we noticed that baskets of parts were in and out of the tank non-stop for the whole time we were there. DTM still uses a traditional rotary hot wash and also utilises a solvent-based Enviroclean rotary cold washer, so the company is in an ideal position to compare the processes. The hot wash is used to remove heavy road dirt and grime from transmission cases. “It’s perfect for this”, says Madex’s business partner, Craig Marshman. He added that the Enviroclean unit is excellent for removing oil from parts and that it’s particularly good for valve-bodies. Because it’s solvent-based it can free-up stuck valves and get them



Apart from the transducers, ultrasonic cleaners are basically stainless steel tanks with heating elements in the bottom. This unit is from Ultrasonics Eco

moving. Also, there’s no aqueous residue left on the parts so they can sit around for a day or two before assembly without rusting. Although there’s still a place for other cleaning systems in the business, there’s no doubt that the ultrasonic cleaner is the most heavily utilised system. Every transmission done at DTM passes through the ultrasonic wash, even single components for repairs. In fact, having a number of different sized baskets means parts can be swapped in and out of the cleaner without having to wait for whole batches. Parts can be dropped in instantly and the operator can get straight on with something else. Apart from the quick loading and removal of parts baskets, the process is much quicker than previous methods. Thoroughly washing the internals of a transmission by hand might take three hours. Passing the same group of components through the ultrasonic bath might take only an hour. And because it’s easy to swap small numbers of parts in and out of the tank, operations can be performed

on some components while others from the same transmission are being cleaned. Quicker cycle times and operating flexibility are important, but ultrasonic cleaning has even more important advantages: reduction of solvent costs being one of the most notable. Automatic transmission components have to be scrupulously clean and the solvent required to get them that way manually without leaving a residue costs about $400 per drum. Madex says they used to go through a drum or sometimes two every week. Now, a drum of the same solvent lasts for a couple of months. The ROI on the ultrasonic machine could actually have been recovered on that basis alone, even without the increased efficiencies mentioned. And like so many workshop chemicals, the solvent used was pretty nasty stuff from a health standpoint.

Ultrasonic equipment is robust. However, at DTM, some foreign material found its way into a fan and damaged the circuitry for one of the ultrasonic generators. It still worked on half power, just not as well (above). The ultrasonic cleaning process intensifies the action of any cleaning solution, however, best results are obtained from using chemicals specially formulated for the process (below)

Sometimes kerosene is used as a cheaper alternative for manual washing of transmission components, but it’s not as effective, leaves a residue and also creates health issues. So, despite the high initial purchase price, ultrasonic cleaning machines offer significant cost reductions from day one and enormous health advantages. The cleaning chemicals used in ultrasonic cleaners aren’t free, but Madex says the cost is about $120 a month. While the Before cleaning

Ultrasonic machines don’t completely replace more common cleaning technologies like aqueous hot washes. However, they do introduce a new level of cleaning to any shop that incorporates the process



When you first see an ultrasonic cleaning unit you may think the bubbles visible on the surface are from the ultrasonic transducer(s). They’re not. They are part of a separate sub-system for removing the layer of oil and grease that floats to the top of the solution

The cleaning bubbles are extremely fine and can’t be seen by eye. Any bubbles visible when the transducer is switched on with fresh fluid in the tank are gasses that were dissolved in the water. These gasses must be removed in a process called de-gassing before cleaning action can begin

operating advantages outlined here are significant, the greatest advantage of ultrasonic cleaning is that the parts emerge “like new”, in the words of Marshman.

Enviroclean offers complete management, including solvent replacement and disposal (above). The finished result (below)

So, are there any disadvantages to ultrasonic cleaning? There can be. Because the solutions used are water-based, steel and iron parts have to be thoroughly dried. If any water remains trapped rust will get started. Madex suggests that attention to this is particularly important with ferrous-based components that can’t be completely dismantled, like planetary gear sets. However, with a bit of care this is a minor concern. It should also be remembered that ultrasonic cleaning is about the only cleaning process that can reach into such tight places. Any air pockets that prevent the cleaning solution from contacting a part will prevent cleaning, but again, just a bit of care easily prevents any problems. While most parts are simply placed in baskets and immersed, it’s worth noting that containers of parts in specialised cleaning solutions, like rust remover, can be suspended in whatever solution is in the tank. Madex says he has found by experimentation that the ultrasonic waves transfer

After ultrasonic cleaning

into the suspended container and act on the contents just as they do with the parts in baskets. So, not having to drain the contents to clean parts requiring specialised solutions makes the process even more versatile. DTM staff even run their tools through the tank. Manufacturers of ultrasonic cleaners have a range of standard units but they will also build you a custom unit if needed. Factors like the size and mass of the components you will be cleaning govern the size of the tank and features required. Ultrasonic transducers are also available separately for immersion in existing tanks. These must be carefully chosen. A transducer that’s too small for a given volume is useless. One that’s too big will create too much activity. It’s a matter of achieving the correct ratio of watts to volume and mass. Whichever company supplies the unit will advise you about this and also help select the appropriate chemicals. An ultrasonic cleaning machine is generally too big an investment to make without first confirming the process for your business. Ultrasonics Eco will rent a machine for a trial period so that a potential customer can make an accurate cost/benefit analysis of the process. The company says that every business that has taken advantage of this approach has ended up purchasing a machine. Oil transfer channels and the inside of bored shafts are examples of a thorough clean (left)




Bonding keeps planes ying and vehicles motoring 38


WORDS Will Tuck


ehicle designers have been sharpening their pencils, bringing us bigger and better autos, stretching and curving their models to grab that extra share of the market. As a result there has been an ever increasing array of changes to body shapes and vehicle construction.

Now those new designs with varied platforms and technological advances are emerging. Firstly, good luck to the auto electricians who must be in a high state of anxiety trying to cope with what’s coming next. But that’s not a bodyshop tradesperson’s task. Globally, bodyshops are in the business of putting vehicles back together, after a shunt and, when they are needed, the electrical guys will cope with the complicated electronics. Much is said in vehicle manufacturing about the need for lighter vehicles. As a result, all sorts of changes have been made to ensure that lightweight construction and components are achieved, all done without reducing structural integrity. Bodyshops must maintain those values when they put repaired vehicles back on the road. As a result, manufacturers spend much time showing repairers how to apply adhesives as well as other forms of repair. Teams of auto manufacturing professionals conduct seminars and technical coaching for body repair tradespeople. Courses are also run by I-CAR Australia, part of the international organisation that develops and delivers training programs for the collision industry. With such training bodies available there is no excuse not to know how to apply adhesives. Bodyshops, in turn, have a duty to keep up to date with new repair methods as well as being savvy with tried and true repair procedures. Now it’s time, if bodyshops have not already done so, to cope with the technology explosion. p One of the most radical of all the repair v and bon ves nding g techniques has been in the adhesives bonding c af craf a t are area. Now that parts of fighter aircraft to w orry or ry about abo bout utt bonded together, there is no need to worry ondi d ng join strength in motor vehicles. Bonding

Multi-hole configuration 3M disc (above). Lord Fusor metal adhesive bonding products (right)

has been around since l977, but this technique is certainly only now really hitting its straps.

on bonding materials, attachment and one- and two-part repairs.

Jim Dimopolous, GM Sales and Marketing for Stork AWD, the importer and distributor of adhesives, polishing compounds and tools for the auto repair industry, says it’s now almost impossible to see a new vehicle that does not contain some bonding.

Dimopolous says not everything about adhesive application is clear cut. Application and product supplies have to be to Australian Design Rules (ADR). The problem is that such work is not inspected on its ADR standard. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a bodyshop could use a general hardware adhesive, metal to metal and that’s a real problem as these products are not designed for load bearing repairs.

“Representing Lord Fusor adhesives, one of the world’s leading adhesive companies, means we see bonding everywhere in the motor industry. Our two pack metal bonding adhesive 108B and other Lord Fusor adhesives go to bodyshops around the country and the world and in Australia we have distributors in every state and territory so we have a good idea about the use of bonding products by the industry. “There is no doubt why adhesives are becoming a favoured ingredient for auto repairs. Adhesives provide a strong bond and they can be used, instead of welding, with high strength steels and other metals. This avoids dangers involved in heat-applied joins, like welding, where heat weakens some steels. Also, adhesives enjoy other benefits, including that joins and seals do not corrode. It is important to learn to do applications properly because just about every new car has some bonding in it. So, the real test for bodyshops, is that they know how to apply and mix the adhesives.” Dimopolous says that Stork, using Lord Fusor products, conducts skills tests as part of its involvement with I-CAR and the industry as a whole. “After training, we set trainees an adhesive test to see how tradespeople have learnt from the experience. For instance, we test joins with aluminium and metal, applied by trainees and those tests are sent away to be evaluated for strength and application. If the tests are satisfactory, a trainee gets accredited as an applicator.” I CAR I-C C R runs a separate sep parate fourI-CAR mod m odulle course, ADHO1 A ADH DHO1 O1 module Adhesi Ad A sive v Bonding, Bondi ding ng g, to Adhesive train tradespeople trrad ades esspe espe peop eop ople le e train

“Shops must also learn how to claim the adhesive product as a spare part, not simply something lying around the shop for ad hoc use,” he added. In such cases, the use of a recognised adhesive can be shown on the invoice and the insurance company and assessors know the repairer is telling the insurer that a reputable product has been used. “Of course, it’s not impossible that some other non-suitable adhesive has been used. However, it’s rare, if not ever done, in reputable shops, as a repairer can always be open to legal action if a repair fails.

The 3M perspective Lord Fusor’s competitor, 3M, has different marketing techniques. They also take to the road to sell and tutor bodyshop tradespeople on adhesive usage. In its auto repair division they say it’s useful to visit each state and see firsthand what the market needs are. With such a wide number of applications, 3M services businesses that are involved in auto repairs, covering panel bonding, abrasives, health and safety (respirators) paint preparation and paint finishing (compounds and polishes) as well as supply of repair fillers. 3M has always had a focus on wide industry adhesive applications and they are known as a strong research and technical-driven company. As a result, it’s not surprising that a major role for 3M is on auto manufacturing and, consequently, bodyshop repair, 3M understands the need to inform bodyshops about the various solutions it can provide on products for collision repair applications. It’s also not surprising, particularly with adhesives, because bonding surfaces together has always been a traditional strength of 3M.

A 3M respirator ideal for dry sanding use

DE DEC D DECEMBER EC ECE EMB EM MB M BE ER R 2012 20 20 201 01 12

39 39

Dust extraction based on hole configuration





In Australia, under the 3M Automotive Repair Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) Automotive Aftermarket Division engineers, George Di Scala and Danny Adams, aim to help bodyshops work smarter with a range of products and processes designed specifically for the collision repair industry. Part of this is a stable of travelling, 3M custom-made automotive aftermarket product trailers, in each state, except Tasmania and the NT. These are driven to bodyshops or industry gatherings and forums to illustrate the benefits of the company’s auto repair production lines. There are tutorials, free samples, videos, information material and light refreshments. The trailers are a comprehensive, clever system bringing the products to a particular bodyshop or site where the company’s products can be shown in action, aided by trainers, to help tradesmen use supplies, skilfully and successfully. “Its quite plain to see why we have to be involved in bonding, not only because of 3M’s strength in adhesives, but because of where the industry is heading with composites, aluminium and steel and the basic elements of strong joins and no complications, like with high strength steels (where heat of welding is a problem) and rust where the non-corrosive elements of bonding adhesives is a bonus.” Di Scala says the two-part adhesives are extremely strong, whereas one part is more of use as a sealer. “The aim is to deliver quality results and that’s what adhesives do. They provide quicker turnaround jobs and a cleaner shop. We also use an Automix Panel Bonding Adhesive which can be used quickly in the bodyshop for replacing roofs, box sides, door skins, quarter panels and for commercial vehicles,

van and ute sides. It also allows the bonding of aluminium to steel,” he added.

That’s because some unethical repairers use unsuitable adhesives or apply it incorrectly.

There are nine benefits that 3M uses to promote for its adhesive products. They include corrosion free joins, less welding, reduction in welding risks, elimination of most overhead welding, less grinding time, reduced welding heat warpage, one application for a seal and bond, cure on demand with heat and, finally, will bond SMC, FRP, steel and aluminium.

“In the real and reputable repairer world, most vehicles have some sort of bonding, for instance, roof panels some quarter panels and wheel arches. Aluminium intrusive vehicles are bonded all over and BMW, for instance, seems to have bonding throughout their vehicles. It’s similar with Audi, VW, Mercedes and Jaguar.

Di Scala says there is also a high demand for the 3M Duramix Super Fast Plastic Adhesive PN 04247 product which has great benefits in restoring bumpers to their original strengthened state. “This product can in many cases, repair a damaged bumper cover mounting (tab) so an original bumper can be re-attached instead of purchasing a new bumper, priming and painting the bumper cover and the paint will be an original match,” he added. 3M also provides a product called the Automix EZ Fix flexible patch PN 05888 that helps fix those bumper holes from the backside. Di Scala says that you don’t need to sand to gain adhesion as the patch has strong sticking power and aids alignment with the front. There is no cure time delay to proceed to repair the front, and it is effective on many plastics, has a good backside cosmetic finish and the kit includes six flexible TPO patches and six adhesion promoter packets. On the frontside 3M Automix EZ Sand Flexible Parts Repair 05887 completes the repair. Mixing is not a problem as each of these products have a unique static mixing nozzle delivering the right composition for curing to the job. Once used it is thrown away and a new one is fitted for the next repair.

The bodyshop view Jason Trewin, an I-CAR adhesive instructor and owner of Phillip Island Bodyworks, Victoria, says there are many adhesive products on the market but the danger is that they are not comparable to quality products like Lord Fusor, 3M and other reputable brand adhesives. “We have all heard horror stories, over a long period of time when panels have fallen off or, even worse, a car’s structure fails. Dust extraction technology has come a long way

40 40


“GM, Ford and other US vehicles, compared to the Europeans, have a much smaller percentage of bonding. Once again, as they try to get their vehicle weights down, they will be challenged to use more and more adhesives to reduce their carbon footprint and fuel use. Sheer pressures on bonded joins are exactly the same as on a welded panel, so that’s why manufacturers have gone down that path. There is no weakening of joins just because it is bonded. “The US and Japan run behind the Europeans on adhesive use, however, they are definitely getting the message about bonding, because buyers want new vehicles that weigh less and can achieve 1,000km on a few litres of fuel. You don’t do that with old school technology.”

Abrasives. Watch the dust for your body’s sake For those in the trade where sanding is an every day activity, the focus may seem very narrow but, as the engineers who make the sand and paper product will tell you, it’s not just ‘Rocks on Paper’. The big change has been from wet sanding to dry and extraction sanding. 3M introduced wet sanding in the early l920s as a way to control dust in paint shops and it’s even in use today around the world. Now it’s “all change” to dry sanding. 3M’s George Di Scala, says advances in tool and abrasive materials and, more importantly, paint technology, especially water based paint, means wet sanding is less suitable as a technique. “Dry sanding has a number of benefits: increased productivity, cleaner shop floors, and a better overall finish. But, as dust is no longer captured by water, you need an extraction system, either via a central vacuum or self generating system depending on the shop. Discs last longer with dust extraction by increasing the time to loading on the disc, supported by anti-loading coatings applied on the disc.”

Adhesives are used throughout the bodyshop industry

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Di Scala says that grit sizes change the size and number of dust particles created. “If you consider a P180 grit disc or finer, the Jim Dimopoulos particles will readily become airborne because they are so small, but with a P80 grit the particles are much larger and tend to remain on a flat surface or fall to the ground when sanding on a vertical surface. “Discs need to be designed to allow dust extraction and while this may look simple there is a fair amount of science that goes into the designing of a disc for optimum extraction. Properties such as the size of the orbit on the sander, grit and particle size hole can greatly affect the effectiveness of dust extraction.” Di Scala says that, over time, 3M discs have evolved from six up to l5 holes and, now, a multi hole configuration. “Why has the company done this? Figure 1 (page 40) gives an indication of the level of extraction based on hole configuration. Comparing grit extractions to holes can also be affected by the tool used on an angle and the seal, like a flat or curved panel,” he added. One of the major issues affecting dry sanding is the use of respirators. Di Scala says there is always the temptation to operate without one, but the dangers are many. While the nasal hairs in our nose are great for large dust particles, they will not provide sufficient protection against fine particles. “If you walk around repair shops around the country you will struggle to find a technician wearing a respirator while sanding and the most common reason is that wearing a respirator is uncomfortable and too hot to be wearing all day. “The Worksafe Western Australia Commission’s Code of Practice for Spray painting in 2009 states that ‘grinding and sanding of painted surfaces generates dust that can expose workers to hazardous concentrations of toxic substances such as lead, antimony, tributyltin oxide, nickel and hexavalent chromium. Sanding of polyurethane or epoxy

paint that is not fully cured, generates dust particles containing unreacted hardeners.” Di Scala said one study has found that those who remove large amounts of paint are more likely to be over exposed to lead than those who apply it, increasing risk of adverse reproductive effects. Hexavalent chromium is a known lung carcinogen. A P1-rated mask, meeting Australian Standard AS/NZ51716.2003, and designed to filter mechanically generated particles such as those in the collision repair industry, is required. “3M recommends the 9312 P1-rated mask which offers the operator a diaphragm to allow breathing vapour to vent out so the operator remains comfortable for longer periods of time.”

Fillers To use a filler or not to use a filler? That’s the question. And the experts say that if the damage is large (say A4 size) then fillers are not the answer. The days of huge amounts of fill in repair are gone and, if it’s A4-size, then replacement is the preferred option. Di Scala says, these days, most panel shops will have two fillers on the shelf, a traditional lightweight body filler and a fine filler (normally referred to as a flowable glaze). “Flowable glaze is traditionally used in filling pin holes from traditional filler applications and, secondly, filling in fine scratches over paint work. You can get an acceptable finish with both products. “There is a cost issue with two fillers. The additional cost of a fine filler generally offsets the savings made from spending less on a lightweight body filler. We grappled with this and the question: was it possible to get fine filler performance from a traditional lightweight body filler?” Di Scala said 3M came up with a new product: Platinium Plus Gold lightweight body filler. The product has been designed by including the most advanced resins and ingredients providing a filler that provides an excellent combination of traditional filling properties and excellent fine filling for elimination of fine scratches and other small repairs. As a result, the Platinum Plus filler elminates the need

A simple cartridge of adhesive and a strong bond

42 42


for purchasing an additional flowable glaze. As an I-CAR adhesive and repair instructor, Jason Trewin, says filler work in bodyshops is basically about the shaping of the material or steel for the repair and use of fine and body fillers, to a certain degree, for the finishing top coat before you go to the painting. “Fillers are for the finishing of a repair and, as such, are essential for any bodyshop.” Trewin dismisses the proposition that fillers are on the way out. “Fillers are always in demand so that tradespeople can get the exact contours and details on a particular panel. It’s like plastering in a house; you build up the smaller amounts to cover those joins and to get a smooth finish.” Trewin says that the issue in modern body repair belongs on the issues of the tools and the materials that you use. There have been a great many changes over the years in areas like adhesives, abrasives and fillers. “It’s a complex discussion. You replace a lot more body parts and there’s a lot more chassis repairs on heavily damaged vehicles because that’s cheaper than a new vehicle. The cost of new vehicles is so high that’s what you have to do. But that also pushes up the costs incurred by bodyshops as well,” Trewin added. “Also, as our vehicles become more aluminiumintensive to keep kerb weights to a minimum, there is still a need for an aluminium-type filler as well, so fillers will be around for some time. Aluminium has a different molecular memory than steel and it behaves differently to steel as it is a softer product. The harder you work it the harder it becomes. You don’t have to use more filler on aluminium in the finishing stage before paintwork.” Trewin says that all these products, in the repair process, fit together because they all depend on one another for the final finish. All participants in this story suggest contacting those with experience in the field to gain useful work practices in each area.


Hybrid and Conventional A/C Service RRR Machines r r r r r

The most advanced A/C machine on the market Service Conventional-Hybrid-Electric Vehicles Fully automatic - SAE-J2788 compliant Flush the vehicles A/C system (34988i) Extreme charge accuracy +/-14 grams

The 34788i & 34988i has a patented recovery system that after normal recovery is reached at 0-psi then the vacuum pump and compressor work in tandem to create a “deep recovery” capturing over 95% of the R134a, most non SAE J2788 machines recover 60-75% with R134a vapour being vented to the atmosphere.

34988-i Fully Automatic Includes 34411-AUS vehicle database normally $250 For a limited time

It pays for itself! 34788-i Automatic

“The new machines (SAE J2788) recover an average of 120 grams more HFC-134a refrigerant. Over its lifetime, each machine will recover an average of 200kg additional HFC-134A refrigerant...” MACS Worldwide Vol.3 May 23, 2007

The Complete Diagnostic Hub Call to arrange a demo

r r r r r r r r r

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SPX Service Solutions Head Office Customer Service 03 9544 6222

Mark White Sales Executive VIC/TAS/SA 0400 506 233

Australian, Asian, European, American and Chinese vehicle coverage Wireless automatic updates (through shop internet connection) Large touch screen, fold-down screen, semi-ruggedised System Search where supported by the vehicle Easy to use software Read and erase DTC’s Graph and record multiple lines of live data Actuation tests & adaption component installation Idle relearns, diesel injector coding, diesel pump initialisation, DPF regeneration function, Steering angle sensor calibration Manufacturer specific functions Optional: High Speed 2 Channel Scope, 4/5 Gas analyser, 495/01 Diesel Smokemeter, USB Bore Scope

Rod Grainger Sales Executive NSW/WA/ACT 0408 006 725

Kevin Dove Sales Executive QLD/NT 0400 947 116



Last Ame

Carroll Shelby was a motor racing legend. The largerthan-life Texan, who passed away earlier this year, won Le Mans with Aston Martin, raced Formula One and played a key role in developing Ford’s all-conquering GT40 sports car. He is best known, however, for producing the Shelby Cobra and a string of Mustang-based muscle cars, a legacy that lives on today. Australian Automotive’s Darren House spoke exclusively to Shelby American President, John Luft, about the company’s future now Carroll is gone




something too cheap, it would hurt the brand, so it’s about how far you can stretch it without breaking it, and that gets back into branding.

If you think about it, respectfully, there are probably not too many soccer mums or guys working in manufacturing, driving a Shelby. It’s clearly not a ‘need-to-have’; it’s a ‘want-tohave’ car. The beauty of it is, that in 2012, we are celebrating 50 years of Shelby, so we have 50 years of brand equity. But then, on top of that, we have established, through auctions and collector car (auctions) like Barrett Jackson, that there are always three, four or even five Shelbys in the top 10 vehicles. That’s a testament to the brand strength and the collectability, so with customers today we make sure we produce product that has appeal. We now have a basic three-car line-up that (considers) not only the type of driver, but also economics. The GT 500 Super Snake is the highest priced, highest performing vehicle in our line-up, other than our Shelby 1000. Then we have the GT350, which is less money than a Super Snake and then you go to the Shelby GTS, which is, for lack of a better marketing term, kind of your first Shelby. The 350 and the Super Snake are very content-rich and, as a result, higher priced. (But with the GTS), we maintained the quality of a Shelby vehicle as it relates to performance attributes and styling, but we minimised the content so the price point is lower. You can buy the base car and do the Shelby (GTS) conversion for under US$35,000. We did this because we had to broaden our offer so we could reach more people, but you have to be careful not to break (the brand). If we slapped (Shelby) with

IS GTS AIMED AT A YOUNGER BUYER? GTS was about having a lower price point so we could drive a younger buyer because we were seeing the average age of a Shelby buyer was in the late 40s to early 50s, but the first delivery of a GTS was to a woman who was about 56 years old, and she drives it to work every day. The second went to a guy who was 35 years old. Then fast forward the tape on GTS deliveries; a couple – he was 68 and she was in her early 60s – had a Shelby on their bucket list. He said, “I want to thank you guys for building the GTS because owning a Shelby was on the list of things we wanted to do before we died, and until the GTS came along we were never going to be able to afford that”. And they got in that car and drove home to Oklahoma City from Las Vegas (1,810km). What we found was that it didn’t just shorten the buyers age by 10 years; it became everybody’s first Shelby.

YOU ALSO CREATE DESIRE BY LIMITING PRODUCTION. We only build 350 Shelby GT350s a year, which keeps that collectability and value up. People always ask if, like the old Shelbys, is the price going to go up 20 years from now. None of us have a crystal ball, however if history repeats itself, then chances are you are going to enjoy an investment value. People have bought a GT350, which has an average build cost of $85,000 and have sold it for $125,000 to people who don’t want

to wait. We have a 90-120 day build time and, sometimes, it takes Ford 8-10 weeks to build the base car, so it could take five or six months to receive the finished car.

WHAT OTHER MEASURES HAVE YOU TAKEN TO WEATHER THE STORM? Thirdly, we right-sized the business. Business is always about how you drive revenue and control costs. We had done production runs in the past with Ford – we built 7,000 Shelby GTs that went to Ford dealers, we built 1,700 Shelby GT 500KRs – but those days are long gone. The problem with those large production runs is it’s like peak and valleys: you build 1700 cars but then there is the backside of that peak and now you have a valley until you do the next big production run. It was like riding a rollercoaster. Now we have cut our overhead to match a steady 500-600 cars-per-year production run. Rather than having the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, we have a nice little flow – the staffing is consistent, our overhead is consistent and all of that is matched to what our 500-600 annual production run will be.

IS IT A DILEMMA WHEN PEOPLE WANT TO WRITE YOU A CHEQUE FOR A CAR AND YOU CAN’T SUPPLY? One thing I always heard Carroll say was, if there were 500 people that wanted to buy this car, we only build 400, as you always have to leave some people with a thirst. We could get greedy and build another 150 but, against the long term investment in reputation, it’s not worth it for the short-term gain. We build around 75-100 Cobras each year,


45 45

and a year ago we started planning for the 50th anniversary of Shelby and the Shelby Cobra in 2012. We said let’s do a simple little anniversary Cobra. We announced it in 2011, saying we were only going to build 50 of them, because that will give us 12-18 months to sell, and when the last one is sold midyear in 2012, we can say, “Shelby American announces the last of the anniversary cars has sold”. We unveiled it and we sold all 50 in 48 hours. It was like, “Oh great, now what do we do? People said to me why don’t you just build another 50, but I said no because you can’t go back on your promise in business – it’s the death of the company. Secondly, the amount of press we got for selling that number in 48 hours was unbelievable. And if you factor in that the margins aren’t that great – it’s really a legacy car – the amount of profit we would have made from building another 50 more would never have equalled the amount of press we got on selling them out in 48 hours, so it wasn’t worth it.

WOULD YOU LOOK AT A VEHICLE LIKE THE PORSCHE CAYENNE TO BROADEN YOUR PRODUCT OFFERING? I have learned to never say never. I have owned a Porsche ever since I was in college. When Porsche put out their Cayenne I thought, ‘How did they do that? How do you take (Porsche DNA) and put it into an SUV?’. Being a 911 purist, I struggled with that, but the fact is the Cayenne is a nice SUV. It’s not the SUV you are going to haul sand and bricks in but it’s the kind that you buy when you need something bigger than the small back seat in a 911 and you are brand loyal, which Porsche owners are. Rather than drive them to go buy some other SUV, you make one available.



So, with that, I got over it with Porsche. We prototyped a (Ford) Expedition for SEMA one year, but it’s all about timing. If you look at it right now, SUVs aren’t that popular due to the price of fuel and things like that.

WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING AT? Ford is winding up as lifelong partner – we will always develop on a Ford platform, other than our vintage Cobras. With that, you look at the low-hanging fruit that Ford offers. There will be a day when we will prototype a Focus or Fusion and see if they will work in the Shelby lineup (because) it reaches a younger audience. And the cars… that EcoBoost is an amazing. Carroll was interviewed eight or nine years ago, and he said the future of automotive was big power, small footprint. He said the Germans have been making big power with four and six-cylinder (engines) for years and now we are going to see the American automakers start doing that. The big V8s were what they loved and knew but, for the first time in Ford’s history, the new EcoBoost outsold the V8 in pickups, so that tells you clearly that’s the trend. Ford is even testing the EcoBoost in Mustang. So we are excited to do some R&D on the EcoBoost platform, and the Focus and Fusion. If

Ford came to us and said, “Hey guys, can we collaborate on a Shelby Escape?” (I would say) let’s collaborate, let’s see where it goes. But, having said all of that, you kind of know where your limits are. I don’t think the Shelby brand will stretch all the

way down to an entry-level car because you don’t want to hurt the brand. But when you have a car like that new Focus ST from Europe, it is a goer so you just say, “absolutely”. It’s got performance, style and handling. When we look at a car for development, it’s got to appeal to the senses. It’s got to sound like a Shelby – we spend a lot of time on exhaust (development). It’s got to handle like a Shelby, and it has to look like a Shelby. Shelby has certain key design characteristics that you have to have on the car. And so you ask, can the core design cues – the Le Mans stripes, functional scoops – fit on the product? The GTS is a good example. We had the GTS developed a year before we bought it out, so I showed Carroll that it was ready to go. He asked, “What’s the performance upgrade?” and I said we had handling, new suspension and big brakes, and he said, “No, what’s under the hood?” I said just the V6, there’s nothing developed for it. He said we will not launch this car until there is some performance option available for under the hood. And there wasn’t one developed, so we had to get with a supercharger company and engage them to develop a supercharger for the V6 before we could launch it. As Carroll said, Shelby is performance. We are not a brand that just puts scoops and stripes on a car and call it a Shelby.

stories before driving it home and putting it away. So, in spite of the trends in fuel consumption and everything else, this won’t affect them. And the cars we build in the USA, you have to build according to EPA and CARB (California Air Resource Board). CARB is stricter than any state requirements and even the national requirements and our cars all comply with EPA and CARB. We build vehicles that are 50-state emission legal.

DO YOU CONSIDER THAT ONE DAY YOU MAY HAVE TO BUILD AN ELECTRIC SHELBY? We already did. We worked with one of our partners and developed an electric Cobra. I loved it… what torque… Oh my God! In fact, a couple of years ago, right here in the parking lot out front of this building, Carroll drove it and stood on the throttle holding the brake… and the torque in the electric motors to the rear tyres…

Driving it like that, the battery life would be about 20 minutes. With the way people drive Shelbys, battery technology has to really develop. When you drive a Shelby you can’t help yourself, so what are the chances of getting 15 minutes out of a battery? Clockwise from top left: Shelby American President, John Luft; classics, like this 1969 Shelby GT500, command high prices today; Shelby GT350, driven by Roger West and Richard Macon, at 1966 24 Hours of Daytona; Shelby and Dan Gurney at the Sebring 12-Hour race in Florida, 1966; Shelby with three Cobra roadsters that would win 1963 USRRC Manufacturers Championship; Shelby with 1967 Le Mans-winning Ford Mach IV

IN AUSTRALIA, YOU’RE CONSIDERED THE DEVIL IF YOU BUY A V8 BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. HOW DO YOU SEE THAT IMPACTING SHELBY IN THE FUTURE? Shelby isn’t your typical daily driver. If you look at the buyer of the Super Snake, eight out of 10 buyers in 10 years would never put more than 5,000 miles on their car. They pull it out on Sunday, polish it and take it to the coffee shop and tell car


47 47

Kia Rio Timing Belt JB Series G4EE 1.4/G4ED 1.6 2005 – 2011

Service Interval and Labour Time

12. Remove lower timing belt cover.

Timing Belt Installation


The timing belt should be replaced every 90,000km or six years.

13. Remove timing belt tensioner.


Install camshaft and crankshaft sprockets.


Service history and previous use should always be taken into account when determining timing belt replacement.


Install idler pulley.


Check that #1 piston is at TDC compression stroke and timing marks are still aligned.


Loosely install timing belt tensioner.


Install timing belt in following order: crankshaft sprocket, idler, and camshaft, finishing at tensioner.


Adjust timing belt tensioner.

Timing Belt Removal 1.

Remove plastic engine cover.


Remove right front wheel.


Remove right-side engine under cover.


Loosen water pump pulley bolts.


Remove all drive belts.


Remove water pump pulley.


Remove upper timing belt cover.


Rotate engine via crankshaft pulley and bring cylinder #1 to TDC compression stroke.


Line up timing marks on crankshaft pulley and camshaft sprocket. Refer diagram.

10. Remove crankshaft pulley. 11. Remove crankshaft flange.



14. Remove timing belt.

Component Inspection %

Inspect camshaft and crankshaft sprockets for irregular wear or damage.


Inspect tensioner and idler pulleys for damage, smooth rotation, and noise.

% Replace any suspect components.



Camshaft sprocket

78.5 – 98.1Nm

Crankshaft pulley bolt

137.3 – 147.1Nm

Front wheel

88.3 – 98.1Nm

Idler pulley

42.2 – 53.9Nm

Rocker cover

7.8 – 9.8Nm


19.6 – 26.5Nm

Timing belt lower cover

7.8 – 9.8Nm

Timing belt upper cover

7.8 – 9.8Nm

Top engine cover

3.9 – 5.9Nm

Water pump pulley

7.8 – 9.8Nm

Kia Rio JB Series G4EE 1.4/G4ED 1.6 four cylinder engines 2005 – 2009

Warning! Valve to piston damage will normally occur if the timing belt has broken


Rotate crankshaft clockwise two revolutions then check all timing marks have realigned.


Install timing belt lower cover.


Install crankshaft flange.

10. Install crankshaft pulley. 11. Install upper timing belt cover. 12. Install water pump pulley. 13. Install drive belts. 14. Refit engine covers. 15. Refit front wheel.

Note! %

Do not turn crank or camshaft while timing belt removed unless otherwise stated.


Disconnect battery before starting work.


Remove spark plugs to ease turning engine.


Turn engine in normal direction of rotation unless otherwise stated.


Do not turn engine by camshafts or other pulleys.


Follow all tightening torques.


If belt is to be reused, mark direction of rotation on belt before removal.


Use Special Tools where directed.



Toyota Kluger Timing Belt MCU28 3MZ-FE engine 2003 – 2007 16. R  otate crankshaft clockwise until all timing marks are aligned with cylinder #1 at compression. Refer diagram.

Service Interval & Labour Time

5. R  emove wiper motor assembly.


T  he timing belt should be replaced every 150,000km.

6. R  emove plastic cowling beneath wiper motor assembly


S  ervice history and previous use should always be taken into account when determining timing belt replacement.


Remove V-belts.


Support engine.


Remove engine moving control rod.

10. Remove right engine mounting stay.

12. Remove crankshaft pulley.

1. R  emove right front wheel.

13. R  emove both upper and lower timing belt covers.

2. R  emove side and lower engine coverings.

20. R  emove timing belt tensioner. 21. R  emove timing belt. Remove belt starting at tensioner pulley and ending at crankshaft.

14. R  emove right-hand engine mount bracket.

Remove both wiper arms.

18. R  otate crankshaft anti-clockwise to approximately 60r BTDC 19. N  ote: It is important that crankshaft is at correct angle to avoid engine damage at later stage.

11. Remove alternator bracket.

Timing Belt Removal


17. N  ote: If re-using timing belt and installation marks have worn off, mark timing points on belt now.

15. R  emove timing belt guide plate from crankshaft.

4. R  emove plastic cowling at base of windscreen.

Installation mark on Timing Belt

Installation mark on Timing Belt


Camshaft Idler

Warning! Valve to piston damage will normally occur if the Timing Belt has broken





Installation mark on Timing Belt

Component Inspection %

C  heck hydraulic tensioner for signs of leakage.


Inspect camshaft, crankshaft, and water pump pulleys for irregular wear and alignment.

10. Install timing belt guide plate to crankshaft making sure cupped surface is facing away from engine. 11. R  efit right-hand engine mount bracket. 12. Refit both timing belt covers.

Inspect tensioner and water pump bearings for noise, play, and wear.

13. Refit crankshaft pulley.


C  heck timing cover for damage and cover gaskets are installed correctly.

15. Refit right engine mount stay.


R  eplace any suspect components.


14. Refit alternator bracket.

1. E  nsure crankshaft is set at 60r BTDC.

17. Install V-belts. 19. Refit cowling below windscreen. 20. Refit wiper assembly.

2. R  otate camshafts clockwise to align timing marks.

21. R  efit cowling over wiper assembly.

3. R  otate crankshaft clockwise to align timing marks.

23. Refit front wheel.

4. Install timing belt aligning marks on belt with marks on pulleys. Install belt starting at crankshaft sprocket and ending at tensioner.

22. Refit wiper arms.

Note! %

D  o not turn crank or camshaft while timing belt removed unless otherwise stated.


D  isconnect battery before starting work.


R  emove spark plugs to ease turning engine.

6. N  ote: Do not apply a force of more than 1000kgf (9.8kN).


T  urn engine in normal direction of rotation unless otherwise stated.

7. Install timing belt tensioner tightening two bolts evenly and remove 1.5 mm pin.


D  o not turn engine by camshafts or other pulleys.


F  ollow all tightening torques.

8. R  otate crankshaft clockwise two revolutions.


If belt is to be reused, mark direction of rotation on belt before removal.

9. C  heck all timing marks have realigned.


U  se Special Tools where directed.

5. M  ount timing belt tensioner in a suitable press. Press down on tensioner push rod until holes in push rod and tensioner housing are aligned. Insert 1.5 mm pin through holes to keep push rod in position.


Email questions to: t ti

16. Refit engine moving control rod. 18. Refit engine coverings.

Timing Belt Installation

with Dr Rick


Alternator bracket


Crankshaft pulley


Engine mount bracket


Engine mount stay


Engine moving control rod

64Nm (three bolts) & 23Nm (one bolt)

Tensioner bolts


Timing belt cover bolts


Wiper arm nuts


Wiper assembly


Dear Dr Rick, I have just serviced a BA Falcon, and I cannot find out how to reset the ‘S’ service indicator in the instrument cluster.

Hi Brad, This is a common misconception among servicing mechanics. Ford removed the service indicator function from their instrument clusters with the introduction of the AU II Falcon. The ‘S’ light in the instrument cluster indicates that the vehicle over-speed warning is turned on. A warning chime will sound and the ‘S’ light will flash when the pre-set speed is exceeded. The BA Falcon has four buttons either side of the steering wheel. The MODE button allows drivers to cycle through AM, FM and CD options, as well as being able to change discs and tracks. If the MODE button is depressed for more than two seconds the cluster will beep and the odometer LCD segments will display ‘OS xx’. The ‘xx’ will display the actual speed that has been set. This mode will remain active for five seconds, allowing the driver to increase or decrease the set speed, in 5km increments, using the +/- buttons beneath the SEEK button. The ‘S’ symbol will appear in the cluster to indicate that a speed alert has been set. To disable the speed alert the driver should press and hold the MODE button for a least two seconds, when the display shows ‘OSXX’ push the MODE button once more, the word ‘OFF’ will then appear in the display and then the ‘S’ symbol will disappear.



Honda Accord Cabin Air Filter 7th Gen 2003 – 2007


Push in edges

Damper hook D

Holding clip

onda recommends that the cabin air filter for the Accord 7th Generation is replaced every 12 months or 30,000km. The filter should also be checked if there are any problems with airflow in the heating and air conditioning system. 1. Open glovebox and detach glovebox damper hook from left side of glovebox. 2. Push top rear edges of glovebox together to allow glovebox to open past stoppers on either side. 3. Allow glove box to hang down. 4. Push air filter retaining clip inwards to allow filter to be removed. 5. Slide filter and retainer out of heater box. 6. Fit new filter to retainer, ensuring airflow arrows point downwards. 7. Refit retainer and filter, once again ensuring airflow arrow points downwards. 8. Push glove box back into place and reattach glovebox damper hook.



Slide out

Commodore VS – VZ Dual Mass Flywheel T

he Holden Commodore V6 manual from the VS onwards uses a dual mass flywheel.

The flywheel is divided into two parts that are joined radially by springs. One half is bolted to the engine crankshaft while the clutch is bolted to the other half. The clutch is a single plate without torque reaction springs. The dual mass flywheel helps to absorb engine vibrations that are not absorbed using the traditional flywheel arrangement. It minimises gear rattle and driveline shudder in manual transmissions. It is possible to replace the flywheel with a specially made solid type. However, it must be appreciated that using a solid flywheel will introduce more vibrations than is already standard on this engine.

Servicing The dual mass flywheel cannot be machined or resurfaced for the following reasons: % It is not possible to clamp the flywheel for machining without the possibility of misalignment. % Balancing the flywheel requires a special procedure that rotates the flywheel at 6000rpm.

TOOL TIME with Derek Hermann

The flywheel should be replaced if these signs are present: % The movement between the engine’s side and gearbox side of the flywheel is greater than 11r degrees or 27mm. (See image). To check this the flywheel must be fitted to the vehicle and rotated with reasonable pressure. % The ring gear is damaged. It is welded and cannot be replaced or repaired due to possible distortion of the flywheel. % If there are signs of wear that would normally require machining.

Replacement Notes The following are special requirements for the installation of the dual mass flywheel. % Fit flywheel to crankshaft using marks made prior to removal to align. % Use new bolts and torque in two steps. 1) Torque all bolts to 18-22Nm 2) Tighten all bolts a further 80-90 degrees

11° or 27mm maximum movement

Note: This information applies to the 3.8-litre V6 manual only! au

Getting a proper extractor set will get you out of a hole I came across a ripper little tool a few weeks ago: a screw extractor set. This is something for those of us who have dared to venture these waters and attempted to remove a broken stud from an engine block or similar. It’s a frustrating and fiddly task, testing patience, wasting valuable time and, usually, it results in a spray of inappropriate language! However, these difficulties could become a thing of the past with this little beauty. There are a number of key components to consider. Importantly, there is the drill guide which allows you to drill perfectly into the centre of the broken stud without the normal slippage or run-out you get trying to locate a drill by hand. This is a critical part of the process, as you generally only get one good shot and, once attempted unsuccessfully, results in disaster. Drill size is stamped on each extractor for ease of identification. After you have drilled the hole in the centre of the broken stud, drive a fluted parallel shaft down the centre of the stud. This provides maximum grip with minimal pressure. These screw extractors do not expand the screw while turning and their special design ensures a positive grip when driven into the drilled-out hole. Normally, extractors are tapered, giving only point contact and applying uneven pressure to the broken stud. Then place a slip guide over the fluted shaft and give it a light twist. Usually, this action will be enough to release the broken stud and it will easily twist straight out. If this is something you have struggled with in the past, then I suggest you consider a new stud extractor kit: they are well worth it. Avoid the frustrating process and the need to abuse everyone in the workshop; next time you come across a broken stud, use one of our new kits to save time and keep calm. If you are looking to purchase a new kit, Force Tools Part No 925U1 provides an excellent resource that covers a range from 3/16” to 9/16” (5mm-16mm) Until next time...



Smooth Operator WORDS David Dowsey


uch has been made of Kia’s Peter Schreyer-led styling ‘renaissance’. And, well, take a peek at the Sorento: it’s one of the best-looking SUVs on the market. But Kia, above all others, knows that, without a quality package under the skin, matched by a compelling drive, the styling will ultimately not sway potential conquests.

The great news for Kia (and the bad news for its competitors) is that the face-lifted Sorento is a complete package of the highest order. Stick a ‘prestige’ badge on this vehicle and almost anyone would be proud to own and drive the South Korean brand’s latest SUV offering. Moreover, most should be proud to own and drive the Sorento full stop. Changes to the Sorento include a reengineered bodyshell with 18 per cent greater torsional rigidity, suspension tweaks for an improved ride and handling, more standard kit and safety features, and refreshed styling. Prices for the face-lifted Sorento begin at $37,490 for the 2WD Petrol in Si trim and move up through three grades (Si, SLi and Platinum, two engines: 3.5-litre V6 petrol and 2.2-litre diesel, and manual and auto transmissions) to the range topping 4WD Platinum at $50,390. The Si (tested here in manual configuration) does without the bells and whistles (including rear-view camera, automatic active HID headlamps, LED taillights, smart key with push-button start, LCD screen with sat-nav, leather seats and sunroof), but all of the important kit is included (dual-zone climate control; steering wheel-mounted switches for telephone, audio and cruise control; electric mirrors and windows, trip computer, and remote central locking) at well under $40,000. This variant makes a compelling case and, while we really liked the luxury of the Platinum, if it was our own money, we would plonk down our cash on the 4WD manual Si diesel.



All of the important touch-points (leatherwrapped steering wheel and gear lever, dashboard control and door levers) have a chunky, quality feel. Interiors come in “any colour you like as well as it’s black”. The ergonomics are clever, as is the packaging, with seven seats and a host of configurations down back to accommodate passengers and all kinds of odd-shaped gear. There is more legroom in the rear pews too: 30mm in the middle row and 9mm in the back. Sitting on elegant 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/65 R17 tyres (a full size spare is standard) the new Sorento is a picture to behold. Styling updates to the front include a new grille and bumper incorporating parking sensors (upper spec models also get active automatic HID lights). At the rear there is a redesigned tailgate incorporating curvy taillights (LED for the posh models) and rear parking sensors.

roadside assist coverage, and fixed price servicing. What’s not to like? Kia has been kicking a lot of goals lately and has recently bounded into (at number 87) the globe’s top 100 brands. Kia is going places and, with vehicles like the Sorento leading the way, it won’t be long before it is giving many of its higher priced competitors a real scare. It’s not hard to see why, then, Australia is Kia’s fastest growing global market.

The R Series 2.2-litre four-cylinder 16-valve turbodiesel, with its 421Nm (436 in auto), pulls nicely out of corners and on sharp hills. Combined fuel consumption is quoted at 6.6L/100km with 174g/km of co2 emissions; pretty tidy for a vehicle of its size and type. Towing capacity for the model tested is 750kg (unbraked) and 2,500kg (braked), the best of the range; other grades are 2,000kg only. Going against the pack, we found the 17-inch wheel and tyre package the best compromise between grip, ride and handling. The steering was well calibrated too, with good weight and plenty of feel. FlexSteer, offering three steering choices, is not available on Si grades, but, again, we found the lower grade’s calibration of ‘normal’ perfect in most driving conditions. The revelation in our test vehicle was the smooth manual gearbox with its chunky changes and well-weighted clutch pedal; it was fantastic to use. The improved NVH was noticeable; the diesel engine sounded well muted and wind noise was minimal. Hats off to Kia’s engineers who have created a very civilised ride. Buyers also enjoy Kia’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty with one-year

Clockwise from top: Sorento boasts a quality cabin for up to seven occupants; two engine variants; and a very comfortable ride



2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel 145kW/421Nm Six-speed manual Front engine, AWD 6.6L/100km Five-door hatch MacPherson strut (front); multi-link (rear) Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear) 1,926kg From $38,990 Hyundai Santa Fe Active diesel manual (from $39,990); Ford Territory TX AWD diesel (from $48,240)




Dial M for Mmm

WORDS David Dowsey


nfiniti has landed. After a long teaser launch, Australian customers can now try one for themselves. The brand’s model range is rapidly expanding and will soon include coupe and convertible midsize variants, in addition to the sedans and SUVs already here. For those wanting to stand out a little, the Japanese brand offers convincing reasons to prise customers out of their Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Lexus.

It’s a big car, of course, and not that chuck-able in corners, but the 3.7 is the lightest M by around 120kg and, as such, a little more nimble on twisty roads than the diesel or hybrid. Still, what it does best is effortless cruising and it is here that the M sedan is pretty hard to beat.

Pitched very much at the luxury end of the spectrum, Infiniti’s niche lays with buyers searching for high performance machines that their neighbours, accountants and real estate buddies don’t own. It’s for early adopters wanting to stand aside from the pack.

The M is beautifully crafted and supremely comfortable on long journeys. The rear bench seat is best for two, though, as the transmission tunnel precludes a comfortable long journey for an adult. This is one of the few criticisms we can find in the M.

We tested the FX SUV in the August issue, along with the M35h hybrid, so this issue we will concentrate on the other M variants.

Of course, the M37 in GT trim does without some of the fruit in the S Premium variant and on dearer models, like 245/40 R20 tyres, 16-speaker Bose audio, the smart overhead parking system, and four-wheel steering, but it remains a compelling package.

There are three V6 engines in the M range: the 3.7-litre petrol (tested here), 3.0-litre turbodiesel and the 3.5 petrol/electric hybrid. They all offer their own advantages but, all told, our pick is the cheapest of the lot: the 3.7. It offers plenty of urge and feels just as powerful as the other variants under most conditions. And it handles well too, with minimum body roll in corners – pretty impressive for such a big car. In GT trim the M37 starts from $85,900, while the S Premium variant is $97,900. The 3.7-litre V6 boasts 235kW/360Nm mated to a super-slick seven-speed automatic with steering column-mounted paddle shifters. The 0-100km/h sprint is achieved in 6.2 seconds and top speed is 250km/h. The M37, however, has the worst fuel figure of 10.2L/100km compared to the diesel of 7.5 and the hybrid’s excellent 6.9L/100km.

56 56


Included as standard for the GT are 18-inch alloy wheels with 245/50 R18 tyres, bi-xenon headlights with washers, electric folding mirrors that dip when reverse is engaged, white ash wood trim with silver powdered finish, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, sat-nav, Bluetooth, six airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, adaptive cruise control, blind spot intervention and much more. The M37 is an understated machine. It’s docile and quiet around town but, if you light it up on a country road, there is real menace under that long, sensuous bonnet. The styling is organic with nary a straight line, inside or out, the build quality speaks of solidity and the performance is exhilarating.

The M sedan comes with three superb engine choices, offering balance between power and efficiency

Infiniti will remain niche for some time, so if standing out from the crowd with an excellent package is what you’re after, then the Infiniti M sedan makes a compelling case.


NA 3.7-litre V6 235kW/360Nm Seven-speed automatic Front engine, RWD 10.2L/100km Four-door sedan Independent double-wishbone (front); independent multi-link (rear) Ventilated discs 1,652kg From $85,900 Audi A6 2.8 FSI (from $93,900); BMW 528i (from $98,200); Lexus GS350 Luxury (from $89,900)




A lot more performance for not much money – the SR Turbo is pure genius!

SR Turbo offers ‘go’ and ‘show’ WORDS David Dowsey


alue for money is difficult to define. But, as far as offers go, this one is a winner: Hyundai’s Veloster SR Turbo boasts a near 50 per cent power hike and 60 per cent torque increase over its non-turbo Veloster sibling for only a $3,000 premium. That’s impressive. The standard 1.6 Veloster (June 2012 issue) already has a lot to recommend it: stunning looks, unusual practicality, decent performance and good dynamics. The SR Turbo ratchets the performance quotient up several notches. Simply, it now has the ‘go’ to match the ‘show’. Performance cars always come with compromises. But, in the case of the SR Turbo, they were there in the first place: the lack of rear headroom, and the engine and road roar that penetrates the cabin. So, if these are not an issue, upping the power with the SR Turbo is simply a plus with no minuses. The SR Turbo boasts a more aggressive bodykit to announce the power hike, which includes a newly-styled front bumper and grille, round foglights, bold side skirts, a rear diffuser, rear spoiler and dual circular exhausts. Available in a single model grade, standard features include 18-inch wheels (with chrome inserts) and 215/40 R18 rubber, keyless entry/start, panoramic roof glass with electric blind, leather/leatherette sports seats (driver’s side has partial electric adjustment), powered/heated wing



mirrors, automatic air, LCD touch-screen, rearview camera, rear parking sensors, sixspeaker audio with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth connectivity, USB/AUX inputs, trip computer, cruise, daytime running lamps, automatic headlights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and integrated sat-nav system with SUNA live traffic alerts. Safety gear includes six airbags, Vehicle Stability Management, ESC, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS), front seatbelt reminders, belt-force limiters and pre-tensioners, and tyre-pressure monitoring, all of which earns the SR Turbo the full ANCAP five-star safety rating. The SR Turbo is powered by Hyundai’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder twin-scroll intercooled Turbo Gasoline Direct Injection engine, delivering 150kW/265Nm. However, weighing 1,265kg (1,305kg auto), the turbo is 65kg heavier than the standard Veloster. Claimed fuel consumption is 6.8L/100km (manual) and 7.6L/100km (auto), up only marginally over the non-turbo Veloster variant, although we couldn’t manage single figures on our drive, which consisted mainly of country back roads, driven, admittedly, with ‘verve’. Hyundai claims the 0-100km/h sprint is achieved in around 7.0 seconds. The SR Turbo gains larger and wider ventilated front disc brakes (the rears remain unchanged). Hyundai’s uprated Veloster has also undergone an extensive local suspension and steering tuning program to better suit Australian conditions. Changes include a

recalibrated suspension package with stiffer dampers and revised geometry. The electric power steering system also has a more pleasing ratio, now requiring just 2.78 turns lock to lock. Currently, Toyota’s 86 (which Hyundai claims is not a competitor), is redefining the Japanese brand. The Veloster SR Turbo, too, is refocusing the minds of potential Hyundai buyers. It’s a brilliant little machine, fun to drive, and gorgeous to behold. It is a game changer for the brand. HYUNDAI VELOSTER SR TURBO SAFETY RATING: ENGINE: POWER/TORQUE: TRANSMISSION: DRIVETRAIN: CONSUMPTION: BODY: SUSPENSION: BRAKES: WEIGHT: PRICE: COMPETITORS: WEBSITE:

1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo 150kW/265Nm Six-speed manual Front engine, FWD 6.8L/100km Four-door hatch MacPherson strut (front); torsion beam (rear) Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear) 1,265kg From $31,990 Mini Clubman (from $31,500); Citroen DS3 DSport (from $29,990)


134 135 and quote ID 2085572 your local Bupa centre



Aspiring to ASX A

n improved CVT transmission, a revised model line-up and a minor makeover inside and out mark the arrival of Mitsubishi’s updated compact SUV, the ASX. Sitting between Lancer and Outlander, ASX stands for ‘active smart crossover’. Reflecting Mitsubishi’s global styling direction, the new ASX features a reshaped front with softer lines, a re-designed grille and a revised rear bumper. The lineup begins with the ASX 2WD fivespeed manual, priced from $25,990 and concludes with the ASX 4WD Aspire CVT, priced from $34,990. A new luxury model, the ASX 2WD Aspire, is now part of the model offering, priced from $28,990. Powered by a 1.8-litre, variable valve-timed turbodiesel engine, the ASX 4WD Aspire produces 110kW/300Nm. Mitsubishi claims best in class fuel efficiency of 5.7L/100km and CO2 emissions at 149g/ km. Sadly, for some prospective buyers, the turbodiesel variant is available only with a six-speed manual transmission. Safety also rates high. In addition to a five-star ANCAP rating, the vehicle has Mitsubishi’s RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) structure, ASTC (Active Stability Control with Traction Control), Hill Start Control system, ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist, and seven airbags, (including driver and passenger front, side and curtain, and driver knee airbag) all fitted as standard. The cabin has been updated with chrome accents on the air conditioning dials and combination cluster meter, and a sleeker

New tweaks provide ASX with greater value and refinement



steering wheel features easier-to-use controls. A new audio display, available on 2WD and 4WD Aspire models, features a 6.1-inch full colour touch panel, iPod control and a very handy rear view camera with parking reference lines. Buy the Aspire and you will also be treated to leather seat trim with heated front seats, power driver’s seat, leather-look door trim and privacy glass. Rain sensing wipers and dusk sensing headlamps improve convenience and safety, while the Smart Key system, with one-touch start, is also part of the Aspire package. The ASX 4WD Aspire also features a panoramic roof as standard, together with an easier-to-use 4x4 button selector to switch between drive modes. The Aspire also has an increased towing capacity of 1,400kg. It’s a mild makeover, for sure, but Mitsubishi has done a nice job honing what was already a pretty good package. On the road, wind and diesel engine noise are a little obtrusive, but the cabin and ergonomics are well thought out making for a comfortable journey. Plant the foot and the 1.8 turbodiesel delivers plenty of urge and the six-speed auto provides smooth changes. Torque steer (in 2WD mode) remains an issue, but one most users won’t have an issue with. The updated ASX proves a nice drive and one that should prove popular with buyers in this competitive market segment.



1.8-litre turbodiesel 110kW/300Nm Six-speed manual Front engine, AWD 5.7L/100km Five-door wagon MacPherson strut, coil spring, stabiliser bar (front); multi-link with stabiliser bar (rear) Ventilated discs 1,515kg $34,990 Hyundai ix35 Elite diesel (from $34,990); Kia Sportage Platinum diesel (from $38,990); VW Tiguan diesel (from $36,690; Renault Koleos diesel (from $39,990)




Gunslin KTM is breathing new life into the singlecylinder road bike…

“The Duke is in its element on a winding country road” 62


It’s the vibe of the thing – the Duke’s 690cc single-cylinder is unique in a road bike and very torquey

nger WORDS Rod Chapman


ingle-cylinder road bikes are rare these days, and not without good reason. While ideally suited to dirt bikes – where low-down and mid-range torque and traction are king and a bit of vibration isn’t such an issue – in modern road bikes the format has surrendered to the power, smoothness and reliability of the multis, with in-line fours, twins and triples ruling the roost. KTM’s latest 690 Duke, however, is challenging that paradigm. While the model has been around for a while, for 2012 it’s been heavily updated. The end result sees the old 690 Duke R fall by the wayside, but the new standard 690 Duke is something truly special. It’s powered by a 690cc, SOHC, single-cylinder powerplant, but it’s anything but basic. A fuelinjected, four-valver, KTM says 90 per cent of the donk’s components are new. Headlining the update is a new cylinder head with twin spark plugs, each with their own ignition mapping. A ride-by-wire throttle has been mated to a choice of three fuel maps to allow the rider to tune the experience from mild to wild, and with a claimed output of 51.5kW and 70Nm, KTM says it’s the most powerful bike in its class. To be fair, there aren’t a whole lot of other models with which you could easily draw comparison, but even when put alongside similar multi-cylinder competitors, the Duke’s power-to-weight ratio (the thing weighs under 165kg, fully fuelled and ready to roll) certainly stacks up favourably. The 690 Duke also scores the latest generation of Bosch ABS brakes, and its four-piston, radial-mount front Brembo caliper provides ample stopping power when required. A new subframe see the rider and pillion seats lowered by 30mm, and the 835mm (rider) seat height will suit a broad spectrum of riders. That seat is narrow at the front and the bike is slim in general, so it’s even easier to get a foot down than that figure suggests. Despite the boosted power KTM says the bike’s fuel consumption is down by 10 per cent, and in my care it sipped fuel at a frugal rate of 3.9L/100km, giving it an effective range of 330km. That’s

impressive, and the comfy seat and upright, spacious ride position mean that figure is easily achievable. Reliability? KTM has pushed the service intervals for the new model out to 10,000km – that’s more relief for buyers’ wallets. Okay, so what’s it actually like to ride? In a word – brilliant! The Duke fairly leaps off the line with a glorious wave of torque that pushes well into its mid-range. Redline is set at 8000rpm, but there’s no need to find it – short-shifting and surfing that available torque is the hot ticket. While it’s a little vibey at idle, as you’d expect of a single, it smoothes right out with a few revs, and on the run it’s remarkably refined. While not exactly a speed machine, the Duke can still see your licence disappear in a puff of smoke, and certainly there’s plenty of punch for city and highway work, up to 120km/h. While fun in the urban jungle, the Duke is in its element on a winding country road. Light and supremely agile, it can be flicked through tight corners like a sportsbike, while the slipper clutch keeps the plot in check on aggressive downshifts.

A DIRTY PAST KTM Sportmotorcycle AG was founded in 1934 by engineer Hans Trunkenpolz in the Austrian town of Mattighofen, the company name an acronym of Kraftfahrzeug (motor vehicles) Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. Originally a metalwork shop, Trunkenpolz began producing models of his own from 1954. In 1955 Ernst Kronreif, a businessman, joined forces with Trunkenpolz and the company was renamed Kronreif & Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen – and so the ‘KTM’ tag remained. The company has experienced its ups and downs, and in the early ’90s it in fact became insolvent. However, after its subsequent restructure the company has powered ahead – predominantly with off-road models, but with an increasing number of road models in recent years.

Whinges? The gearbox isn’t the slickest I’ve sampled, while it’s a tad jerky at slower constant speeds (like when trickling along in heavy traffic). Giving the six-speeder a more deliberate prod with my foot worked wonders, as did feathering the clutch in the case of the latter.

Today KTM’s CEO, Stefan Pierer, and its Chief Financial Officer, Rudolf Knuenz, are said to own a controlling 51 per cent share in the company, but a commercial pairing with India’s Bajaj Auto has seen that firm’s reach extend to a 47 per cent share.

The 690 Duke is one impressive machine. With striking styling, cheap running costs, spirited performance, flexibility, and a valuepacked price, it mounts a convincing argument in favour of the road-going single.

The arrangement has allowed KTM to penetrate the massive Indian market with models like the 200 Duke, while Bajaj Auto is benefitting from KTM’s technological expertise.


690cc single 51.5kW/70Nm Six-speed Inverted 43mm fork, non-adjustable; rear monoshock, adjustable for preload Single 320mm disc, four-piston caliper (front); single 240mm disc, single-piston caliper (rear) 150kg (kerb weight, no fuel) From $10,995 Kawasaki Versys ABS ($10,999)





Update December 2012

Super reform changes:

What are the changes to the super guarantee rate?

what you have to do

employees based on the minimum 9% super guarantee rate,

As an employer your super obligations to your employees are changing. From next year, you need to increase the superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions you make on behalf of your employees. We’ve put together a Question & Answer sheet to help you understand what is changing and what you need to do about it.

What are the changes to employee eligibility for super? As of 1 July 2013, there is no upper age limit for paying super for an employee. Removal of the limit is to encourage mature workers to remain in the workforce. This means you may need to make super guarantee payments for eligible employees aged 70 years or older.

What do I need to do to meet the new eligibility requirements? From 1 July 2013, you will need to check if you have any employees aged 70 years or older who may be eligible to receive super payments. For those employees who are eligible, arrange to pay super contributions into their chosen fund. For help working out if an employee is eligible for compulsory super payments, refer to the Superannuation guarantee eligibility decision tool on the ATO website



The compulsory super guarantee rate will gradually increase from 9% to 12%. If you make super payments on behalf of your you will need to increase this rate to 9.25% on 1 July 2013.

What are the new super guarantee rates? The super guarantee increases to 12% over seven years, as shown below. Year

SG Rate

2012-13 (current)

9 per cent

2013-14 (next year)

9.25 per cent


9.5 per cent


10 per cent


10.5 per cent


11 per cent


11.5 per cent

2019 and after

12 per cent

What are the changes to my payslip reporting obligations? To give your employees more information about their super, from 1 July 2013, you will be required to report on their payslips the amount of super contributions paid into their account and the date the super contribution was made.

What do I need to do to meet the new super guarantee rates? F

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If you are a small business with fewer than 20 employees the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is available to help you meet your super guarantee obligations. Go to or contact them on 1300 660 048 for more information.

What are the new data and e-commerce standard requirements? .+>++8./-977/<-/=>+8.+<.3=,/38138><9.?-/.>2+>A366 make it possible for you to send contributions to all funds in one standard electronic form, removing the need to submit this information to separate funds in different formats.

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What do I need to do to meet the new data and e-commerce standard? If you prefer to process your super contributions for staff yourself, you can work with your default super fund or payroll supplier to meet the new data and e-commerce standard. Other partners, including accountants and clearing houses, will be able to help as well.

How do I start making electronic payments with MTAA Super? It is easy for employers to pay electronically via our online tool, Supersite. SuperSite is highly secure and simple to use with a unique employer log-in and password. It allows you to: F#+CC9?<=?:/<-98><3,?>398=,C3</->/,3>'9<#* F..?:.+>/./>+36=9<=/+<-209<+8/7:69C//38=/-98.= 9<79</3809<7+>3989869.1381/6/-><983-+66C-+66?=98 1300 362 415 or email us at *9?-+8+6=9</;?/=>+A9<5:6+-/@3=3>0<9798/909?< /B:/<3/8-/.?=38/==/@/69:7/8> +8+1/<=>9<?8C9? through the process â&#x20AC;&#x201C; go to BDM for their details.

Are there any tools or calculators that can help me meet my super obligations? '2/?=><+63+8'+B"0D-/A/,=3>/2+=+8?7,/<90>996= and calculators on their website to assist businesses in meeting their super obligations at

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Alfa Romeo BMW Iveco Peugeot Mazda Mercedes Benz Nissan


Holgate Temptress

CULTUREWASHERITAGELISTEDBY5.%3#/ ASPARTOFTHECOUNTRYSMOVABLEHISTORY )N!USTRALIA YOUNGPEOPLE INPARTICULAR HAVEEMBRACEDBINGEDRINKINGWHEREVAST amounts of alcohol are consumed over weekends, holiday periods or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Schooliesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. 4HESEYOUTHSARESTRONGLYINmUENCED BYWHATTHEYSEEAROUNDTHEM4HISCAN include a parentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unhealthy drinking, peer pressure, movies, or even from the INTERNET%SPECIALLYWHENTHEYAREYOUNG PARENTSARETHEBIGGESTINmUENCEON their children. When they get older, their INmUENCESWIDENOUT BUTITISSTILLPARTOF the role of a parent to guide and direct their children to make the most out of their lives. 7HATSORTOFINmUENCEAREYOUHAVINGON your yyo urr children? cchi hiild dren? reen?

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Robust Porter




35 IBU


30 SRM


10-12 degrees


Chalice or goblet


Desserts, especially chocolate-based.

with Rick Besserdin






with Hor Horace Kope

Answers 1 The Jaguar F-Type 2 Motorcycles 3 Hyundai 4 Opel 5 Mach 1

6 7 8 9

Russia Hero MotoCorp Lamborghini Continental GT Speed 10 Casey Stoner

Aut oju mble January ~ February Aries M March 21 - April 20 March and April (your months) are approaching – so what are your dreams? I’ve looked and nothing in your forecast is remotely interesting. Do you suffer from hay fever? Taurus April 21 - May 21 Wow. How quickly has this year gone, eh? Van Gogh said that once too. Typically, there will be some conflict over the festive season, but you’ll find VB does taste a bit better now. Gemini May 22 - June 21 Jupiter transits your sign till June 2013. This could mean one of several things, all of which could matter greatly or not have any impact whatsoever – an important time of deciding ahead. Cancer June 22 - July 23 The crab is known for it’s sideways walk. This month there will be much celebration and partying. Practice walking sideways with a drink in each hand, you will see there’s wisdom in this. Leo July 24 - August 23 Leo the entertainer, the party animal, the joker, he who leads from the front – this month, the sad dishevelled guy, the few too many, the oops, the HR meeting on Monday, the apology. Virgo August 24 - September 23 Virgo, you worry too much. This month, let your hair down and party – it’s the end of the year, it’s the joy in your heart... or is that a palpitation? Okay, just grab a cordial and watch Leo then.



Libra September 24 - October 23 It’s all about balance, Libra – that doesn’t mean one pint in each hand. This festive season as you view life from both sides, the view from above the table is better than from under. Scorpio October 24 - November 22 You are intense, enthusiastic, and once you commit to something you get stuck into it with great tenacity – in fact your reputation around party pies is the stuff of legends.

Sagittarius November 23 - December 22 You get on well with everyone, a distinct advantage around office party time. Test this by grabbing the karaoke mike and go for it – sing like no one’s listening, and pretty soon.... Capricorn December 23 - January 20 The sun is in Capricorn this December – and if you act like you did at last year’s break-up, so might The Age and the Australian. Take it easy and if it’s easy, take it.

Aquarius January 21 - February 19 A wise man once said something to me which I’ve totally forgotten. Anyway, you’re the water bearer and you’ll find bearing water (and dancing) can be very uncomfortable. Pisces February 20 - March 20 I heard dolphins are so smart, only a week or so in captivity and they’ve trained humans to throw them fish. This month find some humans who are throwing a party and dive in.






























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Well, I never thought I would see the day when a member of the club I love so much, the Royal and Ancient British Racing Driver’s Club, changed teams. It’s audacious, sacrilegious, contemptuous, and outrageous! That only scratches the surface of rage that flows through my bulging veins after that brash little upstart, Lewis Hamilton, announced he is leaving McLaren for Mercedes-Benz. My heart goes out to that wee canny Scot, Sir Bruce McLaren, who plucked Mr Hamilton from obscurity and turned him into a world champion. Sir Bruce is known for his talent spotting, having previously discovered three-time world champion, Sir Jimmy Stewart, who went on to become a famous Hollywood actor after retiring from racing. Where I come from, changing teams just isn’t on. Imagine if, when I was in the wretched, muddy trenches of Europe fighting the enemy, I had come out loud and proud, declaring to my fellow combatants that I was thinking of changing teams… They would have punished me under Rule 303, and more power to them! Loyalty and honour are lost in this bold new world, and as much as I hate to say i it, the rot stems from the top. Look at t the terrible example being set by the n new wave of Royals, in particular that s snotty-nosed little pants-man, Prince H Harry. Now famous for being a no-pants m man, he is an appalling role model for f fine young British men and women, as w well as those in the colonies. C Can you imagine the Queen Mother running a around Las Vegas in mixed company c completely starkers? And don’t get me s started on Harry’s brother and sisteri in-law. You would think as part of a f family that has access to more rooms t than anyone else on earth, this future K King and Queen of England would have u used one of them to apply sunscreen to e each other in places where sun don’t s shine anyway. Bollocks!





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Jaguar debuted which two-seater sportscar at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Paris Motor Show?


According to the latest ABS Motor Vehicle Census, which is the fastest growing class of vehicle in Australia, in percentage terms?


Which auto manufacturer built its one millionth car in July?


The Astra is returning to the Australian market under what German brand name?


What moniker was used by Ford for its high performance Mustang for several years?


What country hosted its inaugural round of the Superbike World Championship in August?


What company is the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in India?


What Italian sportscar manufacturer turns 50 next year?


Which new Bentley model, said to be its alltime-fastest production car, was unveiled at the Moscow Motor Show in August?


What Australian MotoGP star announced his retirement earlier this year?

If you can find my dipstick, you’re a dead set legend.




























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MOTO Across


1 Six-wheeled armoured personnel carrier (7) 5 This Ford XC Hardtop Falcon was an iconic muscle car of the late ’70s (5) 8 You’ll find multiple examples of this common automotive component in a gearbox (3) 9 Japanese class of small car or delivery vehicle (3) 10 This division of Daimler AG is headquartered in Boblingen, Germany (5) 14 A fifth-wheeler trailer can also be called a .....-neck trailer (5) 16 A common danger when driving in colder countries in winter, black ... (3) 17 Long-lived range of Bedford trucks (2) 18 The ultimate in kitsch auto accessories, fluffy .... (4) 19 The current Holden Commodore range (2) 23 Subaru model affectionately known as ‘Rex’ (3) 24 Three-wheel delivery vehicle made by Piaggio (3) 25 Former Australian World Superbike Champion, Troy ....... (7) 27 Compact rear-engined Hillman sedan (3) 29 Queensland’s Gulflander train travels between Normanton and ....... (7) 31 32 33 34 36 2 3 4 6 7 9 11

BMW’s motorcycles are produced in this district in Berlin (7) German tractor company (5) Imperial measurement of pressure (3) National US passenger train corporation (6) Acronym denoting when the piston has reached the top of its stroke (3) A major step forward in automotive safety (3) This sportscar is made by Brit-based but Malaysian-owned firm Lotus (5) Famed British racer, Stirling .... (4) This company owned Daimler for half a century (3) The Holden prototype car #1 of 1946 resides in a museum in which Australian state or territory? (3) Iconic motorcycle stunt rider of the 1970s, Evel ....... (7) This German trucking giant started life as an ironworks in 1758 (3)

12 13 15 20 21 22 23 25 26 28 30 32 35

A brake caliper squeezes on a ..... (5) This German automaker recently acquired Italian sportsbike firm Ducati (4) The lifeblood of any automotive engine (3) The grade of a motor oil relates to its ......... (9) The Bathurst 1000 is held on the slopes of Mount ........ (8) What sort of petrol disappeared from Australia just over 10 years ago? (6) V8 Supercar ace, Jamie ....... (7) The company behind the Can-Am Spyder three-wheeler (3) The maker of what was known colloquially as the ‘bubble car’ (6) This division of GM closed in late 2010 (7) Moniker commonly associated with Kawasaki motorcycles (5) HSV is to Holden what ... is to Ford (3) Common acronym denoting power output (2)



Mythical Motors WORDS WOR WO W ORDS RD DSS D Damien amien i Slavin Slavin i CA CARTOON CART RTOO OON N JJohn oh hn S Stoneham toneh ham

I just don’t get it IT WAS ONE of those days. To anyone who worked more than a few months at Mythical Motors the signs were unmistakeable: the slamming of the car boot, the kicking of the front counter and, finally, the slamming of the office door behind him. Sometime later, Mick emerged and the ritual continued. “I just don’t get it,” muttered Mick, to which a stoney-faced Sally replied, “Neither do I boss.” Mick continued on into the workshop. “Never understood it myself Mick,” quipped Steve, Mythicals foreman, as he breezed past his boss. Both mechanics responded in various terms that it was completely unfathomable. The young apprentice just ducked for cover when Mick looked like heading his way. All in all it was an odd bit of theatre that had developed over time. Suffice to say it was a peculiarly Mythical way of dealing with Mick’s moods. By morning ‘smoko’ (another odd term, considering no-one had smoked at Mythical for years), Mick



had settled down. No-one asked and Mick didn’t explain. Life just went on. “Technology,” Mick sighed as he was shown Josh’s latest smartphone. “Where is all this going to end?” Mick continued to no-one in particular: “I get websites, okay. I will admit it took a little while and a fair degree of convincing, but now I’m well and truly convinced they are a valuable (and these days probably essential) business tool. Compared to the ‘king’s ransom’ we used to pay yellow pages annually, websites are manifestly cheaper and a far more flexible way to advertise our business.” “Email has cut our postage costs to almost nothing and improved communication with our customers at the same time. Similarly, SMS can, surprisingly after its well-documented misuse, have a place in business. We save so much time, in that we can fire off an SMS to a customer, rather than try to catch them on the phone, thus reminding customers of coming appointments, that cars are ready for collection, or that we need permission to conduct additional work, plus we have evidence rather relying on recollections.

“What I really just don’t get is these latest technical fads that seem to be more trouble than they are worth: Facebook and Twitter.” “Boss, they are for social networking; ways for groups of people to communicate.” “Are they?” interjected Mick. “Because I’m starting to see their logos all over business websites with increasing frequency. Do I really care how many people ‘Like’ Mythical Motors? Personally, I would prefer they just pay their bills on time!” “But you may care if someone has an unhappy experience with Mythical Motors and, rather than telling us, they decide to vent their spleen on Facebook or Twitter,” responded Steve. “Welcome to the brave new world, Mick,” commented Steve, after an uncomfortably long silence. “I rather liked the old one,” quipped Mick, sticking a donut in his pie hole and walking out the door to greet an old customer… A couple of the young rascals at Mythical have (unbeknown to Mick) created a Twitter account @Mythical_Motors Be the first (and probably only one) to follow Mick. Because once he realises he can reach an ever-greater audience there will be no stopping him!

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Australian Automotive December 2012  
Australian Automotive December 2012