NEXUS Business Forum 2016 impressions

Get more motorists into your garage this summer

All year round, Britain’s trudge through the everlasting cold and wet weather knowing once the summer to arrives, it’s time to for a holiday! This normally meant getting on a plane and travelling to the countless sunny destinations across the world.

According to research, the number of foreign trips Britons take is 16% lower than it was before the recession, with English holidays increasing by 12% between 2008 and 2013.

Short trips are the fastest growing area of domestic vacations, with 29.6m one- to three-day holidays taken in England in 2013, a 17% increase on 2008.

What this means is that Briton’s are increasingly swapping planes for cars and this raises the importance of ensuring the vehicle won’t let you down. To go through a stressful breakdown or being stuck on a motorway when the temperatures are peaking with no functioning air conditioning during a time when you are looking to relax can really ruin a holiday.

This is where the garage workshop can come in and ensure their customers are prepared for whatever trip they may be planning by offering a pre-holiday check-up.

Your customers may not do all the necessary checks needed before they leave and this is where the garage workshop can offer their expertise.

A pre-holiday check-up checklist could include the following:

  • Fanbelt – Is it perished or likely to break soon?
  • Coolant – Drain and replace. If in doubt, change the thermostat too
  • Hoses – Check condition and replace any in poor condition
  • Battery – Check and charge
  • Tyres – Check for wear and splits. If tread is minimal, advise replacement. Don’t forget to check the spare if car’s fitted with one
  • Oil – Is it topped-up and top-up if needed
  • Air Conditioning – Check condition of cabin filter. Re-gas system if needed
  • Lights – Are they all working correctly? If the car’s going abroad offer beam deflectors
  • Wiper Blades – Check and replace if needed – don’t forget the rear blade too!
  • Washer Bottle – Top-up with a good quality screenwash

Also don’t forget, motorists going abroad may need to carry things like breathalyser kits, replacement bulbs and hi-vis jackets – and don’t forget the headlight beam deflectors too!

Garage workshops should advertise the service by contacting existing customers through mail, put an advert in the local paper or why not go on local radio and talk about the problems motorist can face by not getting their vehicles checked.

There was a time when travel agents would solely ensure holidays went smoothly, but now the garage workshop has a vital role to play too.

Common myths about filters

A myth: a widely held but false belief or idea. Myths are normally spread quickly, born away from what is actually real and can pretend to give the listener or reader some hidden information which goes against accepted common knowledge.

The automotive market also houses tall-tales; most unsurprisingly there are a few filtration myths which have spread around the industry, trying to explain why all filters are the same, regardless of price.

Here we go through 5 of the most common and tell you why they are just myths.

MYTH 1: The same paper is often used both in cheap filters and expensive ones.

It is true that there are a limited number of filter material manufacturers but the origin of the paper tells you nothing about its quality nor the efficiency of the filter.

There are so many other factors that have a significant effect on the quality of the filter media:

  • impregnation of the filter media
  • improvement through the use of activated carbon or nano fibers, for example
  • type and quantity of the synthetic fiber added to the paper pulp
  • composition of the synthetic raw materials used in production
  • drying time and temperature
  • production processing (pleating, curing using heat)
MANN filters pick the right medium for the job while other have a few standard media

MYTH 2: Instead of buying a new cabin filter, all you need to do is brush the old one until it is clean.

If you take water and brush to a cabin filter, it will look cleaner, but the tiny particles, such as pollen, fungus or mould spores cannot simply brushed away. The cleaning process may in fact loosen them so that they enter the passenger compartment next time the ventilation system is operated.

Other problems also often occur:

  • misting of the windows (icing in winter), because residual moisture from washing the filter can enter the passenger compartment
  • recurring misting of the windows in damp weather, because particles retained in the filter material do not allow the fresh air to pass through freely
  • reduced cooling effect, because residual dirt particles can block the air flow from the air conditioning system into the passenger compartment
  • pollen, dust and dirt particles can no longer be retained, because the electrostatic charge of the filter has been lost due to washing

MYTH 3: Unlike with oil filters, the quality of air filters is not an issue – they are more or less all the same and are not as important for the running of the car.

The importance of the air filter has increased enormously in modern vehicles.

Reasons why you shouldn’t skimp on this:

  • modern engines are becoming increasingly efficient and are therefore making ever higher demands on air filters
  • with the increase in the air volume passing through the filter, both the load on the air filter and its importance have risen proportionately
  • an efficient air filter is the basis for optimum fuel combustion
  • if water enters the air filter housing (as a result of heavy rain, for example), the correct function of simple air filters can no longer be guaranteed, which leads to a drop in engine power

    A quality MANN air filter with water ingress compared to a lower quality filter

  • a flame-retardant impregnation protects both engine and occupants

MYTH 4: If I do not keep my car for very long, I do not need to buy more expensive air filters.

Costs and risks arise at all times for both driver and vehicle, even if the latter is only kept for a short time. Reasons why you should avoid cheap filters – even if you want to sell your car in the near future:

  • cheap air filters can damage the air mass flow meter sensor, which can soon lead to faulty injection behaviour, considerable loss of power and higher exhaust emissions
  • cheaper materials can cause leaking due to brittleness and poor fit. This can cause incorrect messages to the on-board electronics, which often cause considerable damage – and costs
  • the absence of flame-retardant is dangerous: The ember of a cigarette in contact with the filter medium could cause a fire

Imagine you had to change your airbag regularly. Would you then opt for a cheap model of lower quality and hope that nothing happens? Certainly not.

MYTH 5: Provided that size and thread match, oil filters are interchangeable. Therefore, you do not have to go to the effort of buying a filter with corresponding part number.

Even if the dimensions of a filter are right, it does not mean it is a good choice. From the outside, the black can may make you feel confident about what you are buying, but only a high quality oil filter offers optimum protection.

It’s what’s inside: the inner life of a quality oil filter and a cheap product

It’s what’s inside: the inner life of a quality oil filter and a cheap product

It’s what’s inside that counts:

  • the filter material must be suitable for the engine and application
  • only the right filter that matches the application perfectly is able to retain separated dirt particles until the next change is due
  • depending on the type of engine, a filter needs a certain number of valves for optimum protection against engine wear. And not only is the number of valves important, but also the correct design values, such as the opening and closing pressure of a valve, for example
  • thanks to the robust construction of the threaded cap, reliable seals and a pressure resistant, corrosion-protected housing, MANN-FILTER filters offer optimum stability and leak-tightness

For more filtration myths, have a look at leading filtration supplier MANN-FILTERS guide to the ‘10 myths about filters’.

LEMFÖRDER steering and suspension now stocked by the Parts Alliance

The Parts Alliance is proud to announce the introduction of LEMFÖRDER steering and suspension products across our distributor branches.

LEMFÖRDER, a brand of ZF, manufacture high quality steering systems and chassis components. Renowned for its high level of quality and long life service, the LEMFÖRDER range of products offers the maximum amount of ride comfort and dynamism.

Having been established in 1947, LEMFÖRDER is known for focusing on safety, quality and durability and this is why its products are first choice for more than 50 vehicle manufacturers worldwide.

All LEMFÖRDER products are backed by a two year unlimited mileage supplier warranty scheme with ZF also offering complete a complete technical support solution. The Parts Alliance’s LEMFÖRDER range will include steering parts and chassis components, steering levers, tie rods, control arms suspension joints and rubber to metal components.

The full LEMFÖRDER range is available to the Parts Alliance. All the fast moving references are available off the shelf to be with customers within 45 minutes of ordering, while the rest are available via next day delivery.

The introduction of LEMFÖRDER products marks a new chapter in our quest for perfection. We know that our customers deserve only the highest quality parts, and by introducing this range we’ve once again delivered. Parts Alliance and ZF share a dedication to providing quality products to the automotive aftermarket. The LEMFÖRDER brand complements our already extensive steering and suspension range, which also includes brands such as TRW, Delphi and ETS.

Fuzz Townshend teams with Autosessive to find UK’s top car enthusiast

The Parts Alliance’s car parts and accessories ecommerce website,, has teamed up with National Geographic’s Car SOS presenter Fuzz Townshend for a competition to find the UK’s best car enthusiast, the Autosessive Awards 2016.

First launched in 2010 in conjunction with our online retail brand Autosessive, the contest aims to find the country’s most obsessed car fanatic. Be it through their endless dedication to modifying, detailing, touring and collecting, or just their sheer level of auto obsession.

Fuzz, who knows a thing or two about being an Autosessive, is part owner of Westgate Classics in Walsall, a car restoration company that’s also the set for Car SOS.

The competition is a chance for car enthusiasts from across the country to showcase their prized possessions. Previous entrants have included Jonty Wydell, the Yorkshire man who converted his garage into a lounge, all so that he could stare at his Ferrari while his girlfriend watched TV. Plus who could forget Chris Redford, the Volkswagen addict who’s covered from head to toe in tattoos of his beloved brand, and even incorporated the initials VW into his daughter’s name.

The winner will receive £500 worth of parts and accessories to use on their pet project, as well as an Autosessive hamper to keep their vehicle in tip top condition.

Competition entries are being accepting up until Wednesday 31st August 2016, after which the top contenders will be determined by a public vote and a panel led by Fuzz Townshend and the Autosessive team. The winner will be announced in early October.

For details regarding the competition, please visit

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