Trade comes out to support The Parts Alliance’s South West Show

Trade comes out to support The Parts Alliance’s South West Show

Fuzz Townshed (L), Paul Dineen (2nd L), Matt Neale (R) and a lucky winner

The Parts Alliance’s South West Garage and Workshop Show has returned for 2017 even ‘bigger and better’.

Storm-like conditions failed to deter well over 500 garage owners and mechanics from visiting Sandy Park, home to English Premiership side Exeter Chiefs, on the evening of Thursday 19th October. The event hosted garage customers invited by the nine Parts Alliance branches in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall – including the recently opened Midsomer Norton Branch

Some 57 supplier stands were situated across two conference rooms. They represented many of the leading OE parts brands distributed by The Parts Alliance’s members throughout the UK.

The Angry Jester team showcased the latest ‘problem solving’ specialist tools available exclusively from The Parts Alliance. They did brisk business selling throughout the event, whilst also fund-raising for Cancer Research.

The CEO Peter Sephton, his directors and senior management of The Parts Alliance were also present to welcome customers, suppliers and support staff. Henry Buckley President and CEO of Uni-Select Inc. and his executive team also participated in meeting guests.

The ‘special guest’ appearances from three-time BTCC Champion Matt Neal and Car SOS TV presenter Fuzz Townshend proved particularly popular. A hushed crowd listened intently as both enthusiastically participated in question and answer interviews.

“We were delighted to attract so many customers along in the middle of the working week,” said Paul Dineen, Regional Business Director for the South West and Head of Garage Programmes at The Parts Alliance. “It was a superb event and everyone was just hugely positive throughout.”

“Our thanks go to all the staff team, the supporting suppliers who really pulled out all the stops to make their stands engaging and of course our many garage customers who came along and supported in droves.”

The Parts Alliance say the event built upon 2016’s debut show to attract more suppliers and more visitors. Sales on the night were double last year’s levels too, with many more leads also being followed up by local branches in the days that followed.

The Parts Alliance promise plans are already in place to make the show bigger and better for 2018.

Independent tests show copy turbos can be 40% down on power

Copy turbos can be 40% down on powerNon-original remanufactured and copy turbos can be 40% down on performance with higher emissions, compared to OE remanufactured units.

Strictly controlled tests
Independent tests by the Millbrook Group compared Garrett 100% OE Original Remanufactured turbochargers with non-OE replacements, including the best-selling copy units imported into the UK. The non-OE turbochargers produced less low-end torque than the Garrett 100% OE equivalent, with higher NOx emissions and more CO2 emissions.

Higher NOx emissions from non-OE turbochargers

Non-OE issues
These tests prove non-OE replacement turbos can be a false economy, causing poor performance, generating warning lights due to incompatibility with the engine management ECU, and leading to MOT failure because of increased emissions.

Only the Garrett remanufactured turbo used entirely OE parts. Non-OE turbos use copy parts, which aren’t guaranteed to match original specifications. They may also be produced without essential calibration equipment, or are simply counterfeits.

BTN TurboBuy peace of mind
Cheap non-OE turbos may look tempting, but they can be a false economy. Get it right first time by choosing a 100% OE replacement.

BTN Turbo stocks over 18,000 turbos for immediate despatch, all of them 100% OE: brand new or remanufactured from the original manufacturers, such as Garrett’s Original Remanufactured range, and all with a two year warranty.


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Autumn 2017 Garage Essentials brings exciting new products

Garage Essentials - Autumn 2017The Parts Alliance has launched the autumn 2017 edition of Garage Essentials, with the 76 page glossy brochure featuring garage equipment and tooling from the biggest and best suppliers to the UK automotive aftermarket.

Dunlop ‘Star Buy’ packages include a 4 tonne two post lift for under £2,000 and a tyre bay package that offers a saving of £400 and is exclusive to The Parts Alliance.

Tyre equipment has proved particularly successful during a buoyant 2017, so there’s an increased range of options this issue, with solutions from Tecalemit, Bosch and Hofman. The all new EAE package combines a high spec automated tyre changer with assist arm and wheel balancer, for just £2,195 + VAT.

EAE has also launched a new range of OPTL / ATL four post lifts – again exclusive to The Parts Alliance – that can be surface or recess mounted. The three options have platforms ranging from 4.8m to 5.7m, costing between £7,995 and £8,795 + VAT. Better still, these lifts have inbuilt rear slip plates for four wheel alignment.

“We can supply and fit these DVSA approved lifts with a project design at a price point that just hasn’t been available to independent garages until now,” said John Wright, Head of Garage Equipment and Customer Development. “As customers can upgrade their two man MOT test bays to ATL for a lot less with us, we’re anticipating lots of interest, particularly as the wheel alignment capability adds further revenue potential.”

Cover offers feature SIP’s 500 kg heavy-duty hydraulic cylinder transmission jack which is selling fast at just £99.95 + VAT whilst stocks last. Angry Jester’s new Smoke Pro Turbo diagnostic leak detector boasts 10 litre per minute flow rate, quick coupling and 5 minute working cycle, for under £500 + VAT.

Angry Jester showcase their increased range on pages 50 to 53 whilst the Z M Heaters range of multi-oil and portable space heaters return ready for winter too.

Last but not least, Our Virtual Academy debut their online training solution. The manufacturer-level technical library includes interactive video content, proven to boost knowledge retention.

It’s available for the first time on a simple pay-as-you-go monthly subscription for up to four technicians, delivering a flexible on-demand solution for updating or refreshing vital technical expertise.

Printed copies of Garage Essentials are now available to garages from The Parts Alliance members Allparts Automotive, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES (UK), GMF Motor Factors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors and Waterloo Motor Trade.

Monkleigh Garage set for South Africa as first big winner

Monkleigh Garage, based in the picturesque Devon village of the same name, has been announced as the first main winner in The Parts Alliance’s and Delphi’s ‘Best of Brakes’ promotion.


Monkleigh Garage

Pictured: Left – Daniel Gill, Sales Manager, The Parts Alliance, Centre – Geoff Williams, Owner, Monkleigh Garage, Right – Ashley Sanders, Branch Manager, Parts Alliance Barnstaple

Having been founded by his grandfather in 1963, the family business is now run by Geoff Williams and his wife Deborah. Today, it’s a Servicesure garage, a customer of The Parts Alliance’s Barnstaple branch, with a thriving trade offering MOTs, servicing, repairs and wheel alignment for cars and light commercial vehicles.


As a result of drawing one of the six top prize scratch cards included with Delphi brake pads, the couple have won a two week holiday to South Africa.

The itinerary will follow the spectacular ‘Garden Route’ coastline taking in a safari game drive, wine tasting and even an ostrich race, before relaxing in Cape Town under the shadow of Table Mountain.

I was absolutely lost for words when I saw that scratch card,” said Geoff. “We never seem to win anything, so to find out we’re going on the trip of a lifetime was mind-blowing.

With five more holidays still yet to be claimed, ‘Best of Brakes’ will run until the end of October. Over 25,000 prizes including Delphi and The Parts Alliance branded beanie hats, snoods, drinks bottles, retro enamel mugs and tins of sweets will be shared amongst UK garages.

“We’re delighted that Geoff and Deborah will be experiencing the magnificent scenery and culture of South Africa thanks to ‘Best of Brakes’,” said Mark Barclay, Marketing Manager at The Parts Alliance. “The opportunity to win these amazing holidays has seen the promotion really capture customers’ imaginations, we can’t wait to see who the next winners will be!

For more information, please contact your nearest participating branch of The Parts Alliance or visit

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Fuzz Townshend – The Car SOS star talks to Auto Torque

So, Fuzz, how did you get the nickname ‘Fuzz’?
When I was 6 or 7 at school, a couple of girls in my class liked my fuzzy hair, so they called me Fuzzy, and it’s stayed with me!

What was your first car?
I bought a Ford Anglia at 15, but scrapped it before I could drive, then I drove my mum’s Fiesta Mk 1, but the first car I bought of my own to drive was a 1950’s series 1 Land Rover. I did also buy a double-decker bus! But I didn’t drive this, I got offered some money for it so I sold it so I could party for the summer!

What’s your favourite classic car?
I’m a big fan of 1920’s & 30’s cars like a 1930’s Lagonda, and Austin 12s, Austin 30s. I like a car that’s about the journey. Where you think about what you’re going to take and even a 50 mile trip can be an adventure. I love an adventure.

Do you prefer driving or fixing cars?
I think driving, as if I’m driving I’m probably on a break somewhere! But I do like fixing them as well. I like the puzzle that classic cars offer; figuring out why things aren’t working. Like with my Jensen I’m rebuilding, it starts up & ticks over but it’s not good in the mid-rev range. Eventually, I’ll find out why and fix it.

What makes a car a classic?
I think it’s having a passion for a car, especially a slightly unreasonable passion! If you’re spending a lot of time on looking after it & doing it up as a hobby, then essentially it’s become a classic. Some cars are classics straight away, like modern Alfa 4Cs or Alfa 8Cs and arguably a new Porsche 911. These sort of cars get regarded as classics much faster than modern saloons for example.

Any car can gain classic status; they just gain it at different rates. I think the last cars accepted as classic now were cars like Morris Marinas or Austin Allegros. Even modern saloons can become classics when you start to think “I don’t see those anymore”. A lot of cars have clubs dedicated to them, including the modern ones. There’s even a Ford Mondeo club! These clubs are great as one day there won’t be parts for these from main suppliers, so they’ll become a good source of parts for doing them up.

Which car stands out the most of those you’ve restored?
From Car SOS, it’s probably the AC Aceca, a supremely lightweight, precision engineered car that looks like a DB5. I used to have a model one as a little boy but didn’t see a real one until about 10 years ago, so it was pretty special to restore one of those. The Austin 12/4 Clifton Tourer we restored was special too, as it cemented my love of larger pre-war cars.

What’s your favourite era of cars? I do like the 1920s & 30s, like I mentioned, but I also like the 1950s GTs too, hard top sports cars from that era. They’re very rakish and fantastic designs.

What kind of fixes are the toughest?
Ones where it’s hard to get the parts. If we can’t find them, we have to make them, or adapt – for example if there are no panels, we have to make them, it’s as simple as that. The worst thing of all though is getting a car that someone else has had a go at! When they’ve done it badly, you have to unpick what they’ve done, and try to find a datum point, where to start off from that they haven’t touched.

We probably get more people who’ve bought a car & it looks alright, but they can’t work out what’s not quite right, so we have to work out what’s happened. Some may have had a big smash at some point, and there are ripples under the body, so the doors don’t quite shut properly, that kind of thing.

How did you get into car repairs?
When I was younger I used to go up to my cousin’s house in Linlithgow in the school holidays, and he had a garage where I used to help out, sweeping up, making tea, watching out for fires on welding jobs, that kind of thing. Then I started my apprenticeship on the buses after leaving school. I think my interest has always been there.

What gives you most satisfaction, working on a car or playing in your band?
Well, they’re two entirely different things. I love working on my own car and I love playing in a band. If I’m working on someone else’s car then I’d probably rather be playing in the band! It’s great being in the band; you get lovely people jumping up and down in front of you having a good time, and free beer – it’s just a good laugh isn’t it. We used to do gigs with bands like Placebo, and I played Glastonbury last week with The Beat and had a brilliant time.

Do you like any current bands?
I listen to 6 Music a lot, so I’ll pick up on new stuff and download stuff I like. To be fair there’s still so much from the past you can always discover new bands you may have missed, there are so many bands about. Everyone’s made at least one interesting track at some point I think. It’s a bit like with cars; I like some modern cars too – I appreciate them, they’re good, but I do prefer the older stuff.

In your series Car SOS, which have been your most surprising cars?
I think it’s got to be the Mercedes 230SL Pagoda we did in series 5 which was the most hideously repaired car I’ve ever seen. We had to remove the outer 8 inches of it because it’d been so badly repaired. It had been repaired using an arc welder. It looked like a cow had fixed it with a knife and fork! We had to undo a huge amount of stuff which took a couple of thousand hours.

And the good surprises?
When we find something that’s been lost by someone, like an old shopping list, a note or a coin left in a car, they all have a little story. I like stuff like that. In general, it’s always nice when a car starts up after many years, or comes out of the paint shop all done up like new. It’s transformed!

Have you ever considered walking away from a car in Car SOS? 
Yes, in series 1, a Ford Anglia, I realised it wasn’t going to be able to be done in the timescale, not safely anyway. We gave them their car back and fixed up another Ford Anglia for them instead. We do go out and check out a lot of cars beforehand and do turn down a few.

How do you & Tim cope with the emotions of the owners when you reveal the restored car?
It’s when watching it back really that it hits you. During the experience, we’re concentrating on getting the shots and dialogue, and making sure the car is ready, so we’re too immersed in that at the time.

What do you put the success of car SOS down to?
I put it down to it not really being a car show. It’s more about how great people can be, and how other people can appreciate that, with a little bit about a car attached to it. It’s mostly just about how good people can be to each other.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
I think it’s great that The Parts Alliance manages to keep stock for older vehicles too. It’s great they have the foresight to do this. It takes space and time, with cataloguing and storage. And going forward, I’d implore anyone in the motor industry to look to the future, try to archive things. We just need a couple of massive hangars full of shelves!

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Trials highlight major advantages for workshops ahead of Yuasa ‘Always Check The Battery’ launch

GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd has demonstrated significant business and customer service benefits of testing every battery, with a major workshop trial. The battery testing trial, conducted over three summer months, revealed 27% of vehicles tested had a battery issue, and 11% needed a complete battery replacement.

Three workshops in Lancashire, Leicestershire and Kent took part in the trial between May and July, supplied with a Yuasa battery analyser and asked to test the battery of every vehicle worked on.

By monitoring the number of vehicles seen during the three months against the test results, Yuasa demonstrated the value of implementing a testing regime within workshops and calculated the extra revenue brought in through battery replacement and reconditioning services. A workshop which sees 100 vehicles a month could expect an increase in annual revenue of over £15,000 by implementing the initiative.

Download the full printable infographic here

The scheme also allows workshops to improve customer service, enhance reputation and prevent customers’ battery failure distress. Most customers would rather find out they need a new battery while their vehicle is in a workshop and not when it fails to start on a cold morning.

Our trial revealed 10% of batteries needed replacing and 26% needed recharging. Having these test results allowed us to recommend to customers that their battery required recharging or replacing. We could give them warning that they may have issues in a few months’ time. When a customer has a vehicle serviced they want reliability for the next year, not just right now. Garage mechanic, featured workshop.

Ian Newham, Training Manager at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd said: “Our trial was a huge success and demonstrated that the average garage could increase battery revenue alongside driving customer satisfaction and long term loyalty by testing the battery of every vehicle they service or repair.

Most customers expect their workshop to check and maintain all elements of their vehicle. If the battery fails shortly after a service or repair work, customers may question the quality of the work carried out and the reliability of the workshop.

Garages should be implementing the simple minute-long test into their everyday routine. A battery may look and perform fine but the test will identify its state of health and if it’s likely to fail soon.

One of the participating workshops found 38% of batteries tested needed attention and 19% needed replacing. One of their mechanics stated that: “The Yuasa battery testing programme has helped us, and highlighted the need and
opportunities in offering our customers a professional health and charge status report.

Before you assume this is a simple sales drive, please consider how important the battery has become, it has many responsibilities and effects on the reliability of complex network systems.

Yuasa will soon launch the ‘Always Check The Battery’ workshop initiative which will provide workshops all the tools they need to set up battery testing in a low-cost workshop testing kit.

To find out more about Yuasa’s Always Check The Battery scheme visit your local Parts Alliance branch.

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Customers of the Parts Alliance Flying High

Three lucky customers recently won a flight in a Spitfire, thanks to The Parts Alliance.

Holmer Green Service Centre, Princes Risborough

Gary Cross from Holmer Green Service Centre in Princes Risborough, and a
customer of our Allparts Wycombe branch was also a lucky winner of a Spitfire flight.

Tell us a bit about your business.
The business was set up by John Riley and Mike Bryant in 1983 and has been a loyal customer of Allparts since that day. Mike’s daughter Cindy runs the garage for them as they are both semi-retired. When the business started off they worked out of one unit and soon expanded into taking on a second unit and then another 10 years ago, all on the same site. They’re a well-respected and trusted business offering all makes MoT, service and repair. A member of the Bosch car service network since 2004, they work to very high standards and invest heavily in training for their staff with them attaining ATA accreditation.

What was your reaction when you won?
To say that I was overjoyed would be an understatement! It truly is a dream come true as I have a genuine passion in historical aviation.

What do you think it will be like flying over the white cliffs of Dover in a Spitfire?
It will be incredible and a really fantastic experience and one that I’m very much looking forward to.

When are you going?
I have registered with Red Letter Days and I am looking to do it in September as I would like to link it into The Battle of Britain to make this even more special. I feel that this will really be appropriate and am looking to tie this in accordingly.

Why do you choose The Parts Alliance for your steering & suspension?
We’ve been using them for years and always liked the product and support. We have a good relationship with the Delphi rep, Neal Pegler who comes in with Ben from Allparts from time to time and is always very helpful.

Auto Solutions Ltd, Isle of Man

Nicola Piercy, one of the winners from Auto Solutions Ltd, and a customer
of CES Isle of Man, tells us more …

Tell us a bit about your business.
My husband and I opened our garage in 2009. We are a strong team of eight who pride ourselves on providing high quality work for our loyal customer base. We have eight ramps and offer servicing, repairs, diagnostics and stock and fit tyres with a 3D four wheel alignment system. I would class ourselves as a forward thinking and innovative company and continuously look at ways for improving our services to our customers.

What was your reaction when you won?
We were really shocked and happy! We never win anything! But something like this, wow, what an amazing opportunity! To fly over the white cliffs of Dover in a Spitfire – the iconic aircraft that played such a major role in World War 2.

What do you think it will be like flying over the white cliffs of Dover in a Spitfire?
It’s going to be spectacular and an experience I will never forget!

When are you going?
We haven’t arranged when to go yet but will be going as soon as work allows. Customers always come first!

Why do you choose The Parts Alliance for your steering & suspension?
We have used them for years because of the great quality parts and trusted brands.

Ricardo’s Garage, Fraserburgh

Tell us a bit about your business.
We’re a family run business, started at Rosehearty nearly 10 years ago, before we moved to Fraserburgh where we’ve been for 12 months. We offer all types of car repair, including diagnostics, MoTs and tyres. Our customer base is quite large and growing all the time.

What was your reaction when you won?
Absolutely delighted and shocked to have won! My wife Ingrid will be taking the flight.

What do you think it will be like flying over the white cliffs
of Dover in a Spitfire?
Flying over the White Cliffs of Dover in a Spitfire – it speaks for itself!

When are you going?
Looking possibly at the end of August.

Why do you choose Dingbro for your steering & suspension?
Reliability, quality, price and availability. Being a busy garage we want to fit and forget, getting on to the next job.

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MOT change means forty-year-old classic vehicles to be given exemption

Additional 293,000 registered classic cars to be given a free ticket under new MOT exemption rules

The Ford Cortina will be exempt from the annual test next year.

Vehicles over forty-years-old will be MOT exempt from May 2018 on a rolling basis, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced despite road safety concerns.

Currently, all vehicles that were manufactured before 1960 are exempt from compulsory annual roadworthiness testing, representing 197,000 vehicles on the UK’s roads.

However, from May 2018, a further 293,000 vehicles will also become exempt.

Consultation opposition

The announcement followed a government consultation in which 1,130 respondents opposed MOT exemption for vehicles over forty-years-old while 899 supported the plans.

According to the DfT, historic vehicles are “usually maintained in good condition and used on few occasions”.

Concerns that these cars are at greater risk of failure than their modern counterparts were dismissed with the claim that “they are used on few occasions, usually on short trips and requiring a full MOT was unreasonable.”

Popular 70’s cars to get MOT exemption

  • Ford Cortina
  • Ford Escort
  • Morris Marina
  • Mini
  • Vauxhall Viva
  • Austin Allegro
  • Ford Capri
  • Austin 1100/1300
  • Ford Granada
  • Hillman Avenger

Transport minister, Jesse Norman said: “After considering the responses, we have decided to exempt most vehicles over forty years old from the requirement for annual road-worthiness testing.

“This means lighter vehicles and those larger vehicles such as buses which are not used commercially.

“Heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles falling under operator licensing regulations will remain within the scope of road-worthiness testing.

“Vehicles that have been substantially changed, regardless of their age, will not be exempt from annual roadworthiness testing.”

During the government consultation, GW readers raised serious road safety concerns about a forty-year-rolling MOT exemption.

Professional inspection

James Holt commented: “The purpose of an mot is to make sure any vehicle used on a public road meets a minimum safety standard to protect all road users and pedestrians.

“Why would anyone consider not testing any vehicle, however old, a sensible or rational decision.”

Nigel Samson said: “I am a classic car collector and a garage owner and as such I have first-hand knowledge of how a classic vehicle, however kept, can deteriorate over the winter months when not used.

“Many a time I have decided to give one of my cars an airing only to find I have binding brakes or a mis-shaped tyre.

I can only imagine how many owners would take the attitude that they are ‘only going to a show, so it will be alright’ if they did not have to have them professionally inspected.

Do you support MOT exemptions for older vehicles or are you concerned about the safety implications? Share your comments and experiences in the comments below.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.


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Delphi hit the road to show ‘Best of Brakes’

Delphi’s braking vans will both be out through September and October, aiming to visit 600 garages. The campaign will support of The Parts Alliance’s ‘Best of Brakes’ promotion, which is offering six spectacular holiday prizes.

The vans remind customers how they can win 25,000 prizes just by buying Delphi brake pads, with a video hosted by three-time BTCC Champion Matt Neal.

Both vans showcase Delphi’s braking range whilst the larger technology van also highlights its many OE supply relationships with global vehicle makers. The intention is to cover 6,300 miles in total, reaching Inverness, Galway, Plymouth, Broadstairs in Kent and a host of places in between.

“We estimate we’ll serve over 2,000 hot drinks and give just as many ‘Best of Brakes’ branded chocolate bars away as we tour,” said Mark Barclay, Group Marketing Manager at The Parts Alliance. “There’s also loads of useful information on braking technologies and the current promotion to share too.”

Recent brake testing* suggests Delphi brake pads achieve an optimal balance between the competing demands of high stopping power, low noise and longevity; all adding up to superior quality pads that technicians can install with confidence.

“Our latest copper-free brake pads were recently tested against the OE equivalent and six other leading aftermarket brands on a VW Passat 2.0 TSi,” said Julian Goulding, UK Marketing Manager at Delphi. “The Delphi pads stopped quicker, with least noise and least wear demonstrating the engineering expertise that goes into product development.”

‘Best of Brakes’ is being supported by Allparts, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES, Dingbro, GMF Motor Factors, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors, The Parts Alliance (South West) and  Qualvecom.

Garages can find out more by visiting or contacting their nearest participating branch.


* The testing was arranged by Delphi and was carried out in spring 2017 both on-vehicle and on dynamometers. The on-vehicle tests involved ten different vehicles at the world-famous Nardò Ring test track in Italy. To ensure accuracy, stopping distance tests were performed using fully bedded pads

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