Garage Essentials – Spring 2017

First garage wins USA ‘Dream Drive’ with Delphi

The Parts Alliance has announced Steve Patch, Parts Manager of W&M Stevens as the first garage customer to win the ‘road trip of a lifetime’ along America’s iconic Route 66 in the current ‘Dream Drive’ promotion.

A delighted Steve Patch said: “I’m truly blown away to win a real once in a lifetime prize. It really is one of those bucket list moments.”

W&M Stevens is a long-standing customer of the High Wycombe branch of Allparts Automotive. The family-run garage has been established since the 1960’s. Steve is the third generation to work within the business – his father Bob and his uncle Martin are the current owners.

Steve joked: “It’s great to continue the family tradition with the garage. However now I’ve won this prize, they will have to cope without me for a few weeks. Perhaps I’ll send a post card!”

The prize includes personalised itinerary along the Route 66, flights, accommodation and car hire.

Scratch cards included with all sets of Delphi brake pads give customers the chance to win Love2Shop vouchers, American meals, Delphi merchandise and the Route 66 road trip itself.

Head of Marketing for The Parts Alliance, Simon Moore said: “We’re delighted the first winning ‘Route 66’ scratch card has been claimed. Steve can look forward to an amazing experience, taking in the sights along one of the most renowned road trips in the world.”


With five more road trips to be won before the end of April garages can find out more at

New Comma Eco-LLP 0W-20 meets the latest VW 508 509 specification

Eco-LLP 0W-20 Performance Motor Oil

  • Meets requirements of VW 508 00/509 00
  • Only suitable for modern engines
  • Not backwardly compatible with VW 504 00/507 00
  • Recommended for 2.0 TFSI 140 kW and 3.0 TDI CR 160 kW VW/Audi engines
  • Suitable for extended drain (Longlife) applications
  • Compatible with the most recent after-treatment devices meeting the high fuel economy requirements of the’ VW Blue Oil’
  • Special oil colour (blue) and chemical marker technology to ensure use of correct and authentic product


Call your local Parts Alliance branch to order

The Parts Alliance and Delphi send garages on USA ‘Dream Drive’

A new promotion from Delphi and The Parts Alliance will see six lucky garage customers enjoy the road trip of a lifetime, along America’s iconic Route 66.

The ‘Dream Drive’ promotion will run for two months (from 1st March to the end of April) across The Parts Alliance’s South West branches and through members Allparts, CES, GMF, SC Motor Factors, Dingbro, BBC Superfactors and BMS Superfactors.

Throughout the campaign, a scratch card will be included with all sets of Delphi brake pads. These offer not only the six road trips but over £16,000 worth of Love2Shop vouchers, which can be spent at a huge selection of leading retailers.

Further prizes include a ‘taste of America’ where winners will eat for free at McDonalds, Burger King and KFC and Delphi branded beanie hats, thermal mugs and baseball caps too.


Delphi pads are manufactured to meet OE standards, with heat absorbing underlayers, noise reducing chamfers and dampening shims as well as pressed steel back plates. 20 unique friction formulations ensure a close match for each vehicle.

“Triple British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal will be helping get the ‘Dream Drive’ message out,” said Julian Goulding, UK Marketing Manager at Delphi. “It’s an exciting initiative that we hope will really capture the imagination of garages that place their trust in Delphi brake pads.”

For the six lucky main winners, the delights of Route 66 await; the all-American road trip starts in Chicago and finishes at Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles – travelling across eight states en route.

The winners will visit landmarks including Lake Michigan, cowboy culture capital Oklahoma City, Grand Canyon National Park, Las Vegas, steakhouse centre Amarillo, the Hoover dam plus iconic stops like Cadillac Ranch, Midpoint Café and the Route 66 Auto Museum. The panoramic views in between can be enjoyed from the comfort of a Ford Mustang.


The prize includes personalised itinerary, flights, hotel accommodation and car hire, with the road trip taking two weeks to complete.

“We’re delighted to be working with Delphi on such a high profile national promotion,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “There’s a wealth of information on the Dream Drive website, along with the location of the nearest participating Parts Alliance branch. We wish all our loyal customers the best of luck!”

Garages can find out more simply by visiting the new website.

Nissan faces pressure to recall Navara after dozens snap in half

Nissan faces pressure to recall Navara after dozens snap in half

Rust weakening to the chassis is so severe that dozens have snapped in two.

Worried Navara owners are left in the dark as up to 35,000 UK Navaras could be affected by chassis rust

Nissan Navara owners are urging Nissan to recall the UK’s best-selling 4 x 4 pick-up with claims that rust is seriously weakening the chassis and has caused a large number to snap in half.

Dozens have made complaints about the chassis rust and have accused Nissan of keeping the problem “under-wraps”.

The issue is reported to affect the Navara D40 model and some Pathfinder R51s, the seven-seater model but the Japanese car-maker is yet to make an official recall.

James Patterson of Bury, Manchester has a 2007 Pathfinder model with 85,000 miles on the clock.

He told GW: “I was made aware of the corrosion on the Navara chassis about two months ago but was told that it didn’t affect the pathfinder series.

“Apparently it does, so I looked underneath yesterday and the chassis crumbled in my hands.

“Now they’re (Nissan) saying that unless I have a full service history from Nissan, they will not pay out.”

Many other owners are also calling for answers.  The rust is so severe that the chassis has been known to fail altogether. Image: Facebook.

The rust is so severe that the chassis has been known to fail altogether. Image: Facebook.

‘Absolute disgrace’

Navara owner, Richy Holmes was towing a caravan with his wife and four-year-old daughter inside the car when the car snapped.

He told The Sun: “I was only going a few miles an hour.

“I dread to think what could’ve happened if I’d been going faster.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that these vehicles are still on the roads.”

The issue is to be raised in a Transport Select Committee meeting.

Committee member and Tory MP, Huw Merriman told The Sun: “To reassure the public, Nissan would be well advised to recall all affected vehicles.

“If, as they say, there are only a small amount impacted then it shouldn’t be a costly exercise in ensuring that these vehicles really are safe to be on the road.”Attwood Solicitors, a firm working on behalf of hundreds of owners in the UK, say up to 35,000 Navaras are affected in the UK and 193,500 worldwide.

However, Nissan has said the number of affected models is much smaller.

A Nissan statement to the MailOnline said: “We’re aware of the issue in a relatively small number of previous generation Navara’s (D40) and have taken action.

“We’ve put measures in place to quickly resolve the concerns of any customers who have contacted us about this.

“Nissan is backing customers even though the affected vehicles are up to 12-years-old.

“Depending on the age of the vehicle, these measures include a free and independent inspection of the vehicle where appropriate on older vehicles, if that inspection shows there’s an issue, we’ll do the right thing by the customer under our warranty and customer service policies.”

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

Questions & Answers With Matt Neal – 3 Times BTCC Champion

Q Any new names to look out for this season?
A There are a fair few new names. There’s been a big ‘musical chairs’ session over the winter with existing names going to new cars and new teams and also new guys coming in, some champions of Ginettas and Clios, etc so they know how to win. The only problem they’re going to encounter is the whole grid is full of alpha males in British Touring Cars, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they pan out. But with the nature of the regulations we’re going to see new guys at the front. We’ve just got to try and make sure it’s one of our cars, and preferably me, who’s up front the most at the end of the season!

Q What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming BTCC season?
A People ask if I still have the motivation. I’m probably not as excited as I was when I started my career in British Touring Cars, but I still look forward to it just as much and I’m looking forward to driving the cars and being on the limit again and seeing where the competition is going to come from. To drive one of these things fast, you’re not just driving it fast; you’re trying to make the car dance. You’re on the edge and so that takes something very special and you have to look inwardly a lot and work very closely with your engineer and the guys in the team, but also your team mate. I’ve got a great relationship with ‘Flash’, my team mate. Although maybe not that great because he’s beaten me for the last couple of years but I’m aiming on reversing that this season!

Q Have you been keeping busy during the off season?
A In the off season they say we have a nice rest, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was flat out with just a few days off at Christmas to relax. We’ve been working hard with development on the car and there’s been a lot of motorsport shows. I’ve been to Indianapolis, Cologne and then an auto sports show at the NEC to kick off the season in January.

We were also testing in the third week of February and doing a little circuit in Spain right near Barcelona, which is one of McLaren’s favourites for testing their GT cars.

Q Do you have a dream car?
A Obviously in the Honda family it’s got to be a Type R which I use in the races. And Honda recently loaned me an NSX for a few weeks which was lovely! I was a little bit timid in it at first, but I soon lost those nerves and opened it up. It’s very special, you don’t even have to drive fast in it, you can just park at the garage and people want to take pictures of you which can be a good or a bad thing!

Q How do you prepare for a race?
A I try to stay relaxed, and I’m annoyingly superstitious – I even annoy myself! I have to eat the right things at the right times, get dressed the right way, in the right things, but it works for me. Flash, my team mate, wasn’t superstitious when he arrived but I’ve worked on him for the last eight years and he’s now got lucky boots, lucky tops and lucky pants!

Q Where do you think your biggest challenge will come from this season?
A Obviously Flash – he’s been champ in the last two years. I thought I’d got him pegged last year and got the edge on him, but my luck ran out with two rounds to go and then again at the last race. But it was great for the team and for him to bring the trophy home for us again! Flash is a bit of a class act these days – he’s ultrafast over one lap so I really have to lay it on the line to try and stay with him let alone get in front of him!
As for the rest of the grid, it seems to be the rear wheel drives at the moment who are the most threatening; Subaru and BMW. BMW should have won it last year but we nicked it off them right at the death, so I think BMW should be the danger ones, especially with Colin Turkington there, plus they’ve got Andy Jordan. It will be a real tough act for us to beat, and obviously Subaru. They started slowly last year with a few problems and now they’re going to hit the ground running, so it’s going to be really tough.

BBC airs aftermarket’s fears over gov’s 4-1-1 MOT proposals

Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation warns BBC listeners about the dangers of an MOT extension

The Independent automotive aftermarket federation’s (IAAF) chief executive, Wendy Williamson has told BBC Radio 4 that proposals to extend the MOT test from three years to four for newer vehicles are fraught with danger.

In an interview for the BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme, she said: “It’s a consultation that’s not wanted, it hasn’t been asked for.

“Over 20 per cent of vehicles fail the first MOT.

“If that’s moved to four years, then inevitably, those failures are going to rise.”

The government is promoting the move in a positive light, claiming motorists could save up to £100m a year, but the IAAF is arguing that this could lead to an increase in road accidents and fatalities as there will be no formal inspection of a vehicle’s road worthiness for a further 12 months.

By extending the test frequency there will be more non-roadworthy vehicles on the road for a further year with no official mileage or emissions recorded until after four years.

The IAAF is working alongside other industry bodies to combat the unwelcome legislation and protect the safety of all road users and the future of the automotive aftermarket.

Wendy said: “In recent years, the MOT testing frequency has been subject to much debate.

“The IAAF’s stance has always been that DVSA’s regulation of the MOT process and current testing frequency of 3-1-1 helps to make the UK’s roads the safest in Europe and we will fight any detrimental changes vigorously.”

Listen to the interview on BBC iPlayer Radio here or follow the ‘more details’ link below for further information about the IAAF.

Anyone can reply to the government’s proposals through the official survey, or by emailing

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

A2A Exhaust Excellence

A2A exhausts are manufactured exclusively for The Parts Alliance and precision engineered for ultimate performance and OE quality.

There’s nothing worse than trying to fit an aftermarket exhaust that doesn’t quite… well, fit. Not only does it take longer, but there’s every chance you’ll soon be seeing your customer again because they can’t take the knocking noise from that ill-fitting exhaust any more.

A2A exhausts are different. They’re made to exacting OE standards to ensure they perform and fit just like the genuine item. That means the same shaped box, tail pipes, headed wire hangers, mating and flange fixing sizes as the original. The result, an aftermarket exhaust you can fit with complete confidence.

A2A exhausts are manufactured to the same high quality and on the same production line as OE exhausts. They are produced with full ISO 9001 approval on the manufacturing system and type approval on selected ranges.

From a simple wire hanger to a complex, fully approved exhaust for a new vehicle, the system guiding the product through the manufacturing plant remains the same. By fully understanding customer requirements and technical data, A2A exhausts are a first class product, available at the right price and to the correct quality specification.

A2A vs Other Brand

What’s Inside the Box?

At first glance, two exhausts from different brands can look the same. However, after taking a closer look, you’ll be surprised at just how much they can vary. Here’s what we found, when we compared an A2A exhaust against another brand in the marketplace.


  • Blanks off gas flow at both inlet and outlet chambers so gas passes
    through acoustic packing material 3 times.
  • Perforated baffles mean as gas enters its 3rd pass of the insert, 100%
    of the Biosil becomes available to reduce noise further.
  • Results in lower noise than even OE during testing.
  • Correct backpressure means lower fuel consumption.

Other Brand

  • Cheap design that simply restricts gas flow at inlet into an empty chamber, then allows gas to pass through one end of acoustic material.
  • Combined with the lack of internal volume results in poor sound.
  • Increased fuel consumption due to incorrect backpressure

Engine Oil – Getting it Right

One vehicle model doesn’t always mean one engine oil

Choosing the right oil for a vehicle has become an increasingly complex task. The ACEA* oil specifications, first introduced in 1996, are agreed to by all major vehicle manufacturers as the basis for an engine oil. In addition to ACEA specifications, it’s common for vehicle manufacturers to set their own performance standards that are unique to their engineering, emissions control and fuel economy technologies. To protect an engine, it is essential to use an oil that meets the specification stated by the manufacturer.


Oil selection is now more important today than it has ever been. Using the wrong oil can:

  • Block your Diesel Particulate Filter
  • Poison your 3 way Catalytic Converter
  • Damage your Turbo Charger

OEM Specifications

Almost every vehicle manufacturer has its own set of specifications for engine oil which may complement or supersede both ACEA and API specifications. In recent years the number of unique manufacturer specifications has greatly increased resulting in a shift towards manufacturer specific oils.
Increasingly demanding environmental regulations have led to much more complex and variable engine configurations which in turn can lead to quite different requirements for engine oil. This leads to different sets of specifications, even within the same make and model.

PU 8006, PU 8021 & PU 8014 New recommendations for VW applications

PU 8006, PU 8021 & PU 8014 New recommendations for VW applications

Alternative OE Installation

On some Volkswagen 2.0 TDi applications, the original equipment fuel filter housings are sourced from two different suppliers. The OE housing supplied by MANN+HUMMEL is delivered complete with the fuel filter element MANN-FILTER PU 8006, which was also initially available as the MANN-FILTER Aftermarket part.

One For All

In order to deliver a MANN-FILTER product suitable for installation into both of the fuel filter housings sourced by Volkswagen, MANN-FILTER PU 8021 now replaces PU 8006 as the recommended Aftermarket part. Although PU 8021 differs dimensionally from PU 8006 and the alternative supplier’s OE and Aftermarket filter elements, all OE filtration performance requirements are met.

Pipe for water drain

Water Drain Option?

A fuel filter housing featuring a water drain device may also be installed on some Volkswagen 2.0 TDi models. This housing type takes a different filter element – MANN-FILTER PU 8014. Therefore it is necessary to differentiate between fuel filter housing types to ensure the correct filter element is supplied and subsequently fitted. The water drain device is clearly visible adjacent to the inlet and outlet pipes at the top of the housing (see image).

Application List

PU 8021PU 8014
Beetle / Beetle Cabrio (5C)Beetle / Beetle Cabrio (5C)
Caddy IV (2K, SA, SE)Golf VII (5G1/BA5)
Golf VI / Cabrio VI / Golf Plus (5K1/5, AJ5, 5M1, 517, 521)Golf Sportsvan (AM1)
Golf VII (5G1/BA5)Jetta IV (162)
Golf Sportsvan (AM1)Passat (3G2, 3G5)
Jetta IV (162)Scirocco III (1K8)
Passat (3G2, 3G5)Tiguan II (AD1)
Scirocco III (1K8)Touran (5T)
Tiguan II (AD1)
Touran (5T)