The Parts Alliance and industry news latest covered in October’s AT Magazine

Catch up on the latest from The Parts Alliance and wider industry news.

The October issue of Auto Torque Magazine is now available to read online.

Leading stories include coverage on the recent Parts Alliance trade show at Cheltenham Racecourse, including a lucky Swindon garage owner who won £2.5K worth of EAE workshop equipment.

Elsewhere, we report on the latest connected MOT equipment developments and there’s technical tips from BG Automotive and Delphi.

In this issue’s brand bulletin there’s news of expansion at GSF Coventry and all the latest from the big brands in supplier shout-outs, including Ivor Searle’s new engine remanufacturing video.

Start flicking through October’s issue of Auto Torque Magazine below.

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Payment plans helps Servicesure garages offer “main dealer alternative”

National garage network provides customers with over £1,000,000 in interest-free credit through ASF

Payment plans available through Auto Service Finance (ASF) present Servicesure customers with a new way to cover the expense of costly automotive repairs, allowing them to spread the payments over three months.

Commenting on his experience with ASF, Steve Todd, co-owner of The Auto Workshop in Birmingham said: “We first started using ASF on the 1st August 2019.

“We felt it would be a fantastic addition to our business, as it’s a service that currently not many independent garages offer and would therefore help us in our quest to be a true main dealer alternative, setting us apart from our competition.

“Also, it’s a great way to help our valued customers with their unexpected repair bills.

“Since starting to use ASF just over two months ago, we have taken out 18 successful applications, and we have at least 3 pending.

“ASF has surpassed our expectations, both in ease of use and popularity with our customers.”

The service is interest free, and available on any transaction over the value of £60, all the way up to £3,000.

ASF undertakes an instant credit check, which is completed online and stored electronically.

There are no set-up costs or monthly license fees, and with a high acceptance rate ASF assumes full risk and liability.

Garages should apply for finance before commencing work on the vehicle by entering the customer’s details into the online ASF application form, which instantly completes a credit check to assess the customer’s eligibility.

All work can then be undertaken, safe in the knowledge that the customer has been approved to pay with ASF.

ASF will pay the garage all money owed with 7 working days minus a small transaction fee for each payment that is set up.

Paul Dineen, head of garage programmes, commented: “This is just another example of the premium services we’re keen to make available to all of our Servicesure members: solutions which allow them to really compete with main dealers and demonstrate their proactive approach to  customer service.

“So far, ASF has helped the Servicesure network to retain £1,000,000-worth of business that might have otherwise been lost.”

To find out more about the numerous benefits of becoming a member of the fast-growing Servicesure network, please click here.        

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

New MOT garage manager security checks to be introduced

Technicians applying to become AE or AEDMs must have DBS check from November.

Security checks for MOT garage owners and managers are set to get simpler and better thanks to the introduction of DBS checks, DVSA has announced.

From 1 November, anyone applying to be an authorised examiner (AE) or authorised examiner designated manager (AEDM) will need to have a basic DBS check to verify the applicant’s identity and check for any unspent convictions.

The DVSA is introducing DBS checks to prevent people who might damage the integrity of the MOT scheme from holding positions of authority at test centres.

DVSA head of MOT policy, Chris Price said: “We’re always looking for ways to make our processes less complicated and more secure.

“Bringing in DBS checks for MOT managers and owners helps us do this.

“For DVSA, it means we can protect the integrity of the MOT, and it makes the process simpler for applicants.

“That’s a win-win.”

From 1 November 2019, MOT testing staff, managers and administrative staff must tell the DVSA if they get a conviction where a prison sentence of three months or more, a fine exceeding £2,500 or a community service order of more than 60 hours unpaid work is imposed.

The new process is to replace the countersigning of driving licences or passports to check credentials and will be carried out solely through GOV.UK.

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

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

MANN HUMMEL appoints interim managing director

Interim MD set to manage group together with Emese Weissenbacher.

MANN+HUMMEL has appointed Nicolaas Zerbst as interim managing director who will manage the group together with managing director Emese Weissenbacher.

Werner Lieberherr CEO of MANN+HUMMEL has now left the company by mutual agreement.

Thomas Fischer, chairman of the supervisory board at MANN+HUMMEL, thanks Werner Lieberherr for his commitment to the consistent expansion of the transportation as well as the life science and environment business units.

He said: “Our company and its teams are committed to identifying and implementing future trends at an early stage to sustainably strengthen our competitiveness.

“We will now take sufficient time to find a successor.

Meanwhile we can build on a leadership team that has been managing the company internationally in a highly professional manner for a long time.”

In 2018, MANN+HUMMEL’s sales increased slightly to 3.96 billion euros, but earnings fell by almost half to just under 93.6 million euros EBIT.

With an efficiency strategy, 100 million euros are to be saved worldwide in the course of 2019/2020.

For further information about MANN+HUMMEL, click here.

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Autotech Recruit helps garages avoid skeleton staff this half term

Labour shortfalls could leave an unwelcome dent in garages’ profit margins.

As the colder weather sets in, many people will be booking a service to ensure their vehicles are ready for winter.

As this busy period is set to coincide with a potential spike in holiday leave during October half term, garage owners need to act quickly to ensure they can cover any labour shortfalls, which could leave an unwelcome dent in their profit margins.

Employing a temporary vehicle technician on a short-term basis can make the difference between turning customers away and having the flexibility to say yes, while creating up-sell opportunities through parts.

Holiday times are inherently a period of labour shortages, and, ideally, garage owners should proactively look at shortfalls and pre-empt when to book temporary cover.

However, railroaded by the day to day running of a business, recruiting temporary cover is often a reactive process.

Encouragingly, Autotech Recruit’s UK wide network of 450 experienced and vetted vehicle technicians and MOT testers can be called upon at any point, with contracts starting from just one day.

Having taken their employment and development into their own hands, temporary vehicle technicians are highly skilled and proficient across all areas of vehicle technology.

Many have also been trained by leading manufacturers who are increasingly turning to temporary technicians to quell their resource shortage.

“Empty bays and servicing ramps could cost a garage around £3,000 a day in lost revenue.” Gavin White, MD of Autotech Recruit explains.

“Employing a temporary vehicle technician is a quick and cost-effective
solution to ensure efficiency and productivity is maintained.

“We know what it takes to keep a garage running and have a vast network of temporary MOT testers and vehicle technicians at our fingertips, whose
services we can place immediately.”

For further information please email Autotech Recruit, call 01234 240503 or visit the website by clicking here.

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Ivor Searle to present extensive range at Mechanex Sandown 2019

Event to take place at Sandown Park in Surrey on 13th and 14th November.

The automotive major unit remanufacturing specialist will be presenting its extensive all-makes range of major units for cars and LCVs at the trade show dedicated to garage owners and technicians.

The company holds extensive stocks of remanufactured engines, gearboxes, cylinder heads and turbochargers that are available for next working day delivery at a cost that’s up to 40% less than purchasing a brand new OE unit. 

In addition to making a big saving, garages can also buy with confidence thanks to the warranty provided with all Ivor Searle products.

It’s essential for workshops to be aware of the differences between remanufactured products and inferior reconditioned or refurbished items. 

The process of remanufacturing an engine or component back to OE standard is complex and demands significant skills and equipment, as well as rigorous inspection procedures. 

All Ivor Searle remanufactured engines are built to exceed the BS AU247:2002 Code of Practice that requires a remanufactured engine to be returned to the manufacturer’s specification to ensure performance and reliability equivalent to and in some instances, better than new.

Ivor Searle will also be showcasing its fast-turnaround professional DPF service at Mechanex. 

Employing Flash Cleaning technology, the water-based process provides as new levels of cleanliness. 

The eco-friendly system removes all DPF contamination, including PM10 particles, cerium oxide deposits and oil residues. 

Unlike chemical-based DPF cleaning processes that only remove soot, Flash Cleaning eliminates both soot and ash deposits, returning a DPF back to OE levels of performance at a fraction of the cost of buying a new unit. 

Costing just £225 + VAT, Ivor Searle’s direct to workshop DPF cleaning service includes collection and delivery, as well as a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty.

To find out more call 01353 720531 or click here.

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Autonomous cars could be stopped by leaves, Law Commission warns

Fears raised that driverless vehicles may not be able to work out what to do when faced with a new hazard.

Driverless cars may come to a standstill and cause gridlock in cities when confronted with leaves, seagulls or the “wrong sort of snow”, the Law Commission has warned.

In a report outlining a potential regulatory and licensing system for self-driving cars, the Commission said one of the big fears of software developers is “frozen robot syndrome” where the vehicle cannot work out what to do when faced with a new hazard.

The Commission said: “The most obvious problems will be overcome during testing.

“However, at least in the early stages, vehicles may well have a tendency to stop when faced with unusual events, such as unexpected weather or inconsistent sensor information.

“This could have a disruptive effect on traffic flow.”

“Widespread traffic disruption”

The report cites a scenario where all the driverless vehicles in a city break down on the same day “after a flurry of ‘the wrong sort of snow’, causing widespread traffic disruption”.

The commission says regulations and protocols would ensure operators removed the vehicles quickly and learned the lessons to avoid a repeat.

Driverless cars could have major benefits by reducing the number and use of privately-owned cars, cutting congestion and pollution, and by providing safer, more affordable transport. 

However the Commission also warns of downsides that regulation needs to address such as an initial increase in vehicles on the road before private ownership declines.

This could increase congestion as empty driverless vehicles slowly “cruise” the streets in search of passengers rather than having to pay the extra expense of parking.

New national regulatory scheme

The commission plans for a new national regulatory scheme and licensing system aims to avoid a driverless car free-for-all.

It proposes equality laws should be applied to automated vehicles, with operators facing potential loss of their licences for discrimination, and recommends that the needs of the growing number of elderly in the UK should be designed into systems and licences from the start.

George Freeman, transport minister, said: “We are on the cusp of a quiet revolution in the technology of transport and mobility.

“Automated navigation and digital control technology have the potential to transform the way traffic is managed, improving road safety, reducing congestion and pollution and improving accessibility for people with mobility issues.

“We intend to lead the work in setting the right regulatory standards.

“That’s why we are conducting a major Regulatory Review on the Future of Mobility and recently launched a new project to create the world’s first safety scheme for self-driving vehicles, CAV PASS, and have commissioned the Law Commission to look into the legal and regulatory requirements for this technology.”

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

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Schaeffler reveals new LuK BMW differential repair solution

REPXPERT installation guide outlines key areas of the repair process.

Among the latest products released by Schaeffler are gearbox and differential repair kits, containing all the components required to complete a professional gearbox or differential overhaul, and with 21 kits available, all of the most popular applications are covered.

One of the most popular of these new repair opportunities is for a BMW differential (part number 462 0148 10); one which most independent workshops would currently just source and fit a reconditioned differential, therefore losing out on the healthy profit to be gained from overhauling the unit themselves.

The average price for the BMW repair kit is around £150, while a reconditioned diff can cost between £500 and £600.

This leaves a minimum of scope of £350 for labour, and with the job taking around three hours, this is a £100+ an hour job that independent workshops could be taking advantage of.

Schaeffler’s leading REPXPERT, Alistair Mason, recently put together a quick installation guide, outlining some of the key areas of the repair process.

Step-by-step process

  1. First, detach the differential from the vehicle and drain the oil.
  2. Remove the locking ring from the pinion nut then unscrew the nut using a counter hold tool.
  3. Next, remove the differential back plate and both output shaft oil seals.
  4. Detach the crown wheel bearing retaining circlips, which will require circlip pliers – note how thick they are on removal, as they’ll be used again – then, if necessary, remove corrosion from the bearing casing.
  5. Slide the crown from side-to-side to ease the bearings out, then, with the bearings removed, swivel the crown wheel assembly out of the casing – crown wheel first.
  6. Disconnect the pinion assembly, which may need to be pressed out, as the front bearing is a tight fit, then take away the pinion oil seal and front pinion bearing.
  7. Remove the inner bearing race from the pinion and press out the front pinion bearing race, before drawing out the rear pinion outer bearing race with a puller or slide hammer.
  8. Once the spacer shim has been removed, the differential casing is fully-stripped. Remove any corrosion from the seal location points and clean the differential casing thoroughly.
  9. Detach both bearing inner races from the crown wheel and clean the assembly, then press the new crown wheel inner race bearings into place.
  10. Press in the new outer bearings into the differential casing and the new rear pinion bearing onto the pinion, then lubricate the new bearings, install the pinion into position, fit the new collapsible spacer and then the front bearing.
  11. Fit the new pinion oil seal and mount the pinion drive flange. Attach the counter hold tool to the pinion flange and torque the pinion nut to 170Nm; however, greater force may be necessary in a bid to collapse the spacer. Once torqued, check for smooth rotation and, using a spring balance, tighten the pinion nut until 2kg of force is required to rotate.
  12. Install the crown wheel assembly, which is achieved by sliding the new bearing into position, then refit the circlips noted earlier in the removal process, other bearing and remaining circlip.
  13. Engineers Blue, paint one of the pinion teeth and rotate the pinion to transfer the Engineers Blue onto the crown wheel tooth. The marking should be in the centre area of the tooth. If the crown wheel tooth is marked in the outer area, the shimming is too loose; just the inner area would indicate too tight.
  14. At this point, a slight ‘backlash’ should be felt, which can be confirmed with a DTI gauge (0.15mm). Once confirmed, run a thin bead of sealer to the back plate mounting face, refit the back plate and fit the driveshaft seals.
  15. Finally, refit the differential onto the vehicle and fill the correct grade and quantity of oil.

With installation instructions and videos available on Schaeffler’s REPXPERT portal, Schaeffler offers new opportunities to independent workshops, without the need to make huge investment in tooling.

A REPXPERT spokesperson said: “With routine service schedule mileages increasing, timing belts being changed later and hybrid and electric vehicles becoming more popular, independent workshops are having to work harder to ensure they stay busy.

“Schaeffler is seeing a trend in the automotive industry where investment in ‘up-skilling’ to plan for the future and to keep all repairs ‘in-house’ is at the forefront of workshop’s minds.

“As a leading original equipment manufacturer and supplier, we are fully aware of this, and by offering innovative new repair solutions we can help support the future of the indepenedent aftermarket.”

For more information, click here.

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Valeo exhibits at Busworld 2019

Event renowned as biggest bus and coach show in the world

After 48 years being held in the Belgian city of Kortrijk, Busworld is moving to the country’s capital in 2019 for the first time.

This major change echoes the one currently transforming the passenger transportation industry – the powertrain revolution.

In the interests of both the climate and public health, now and in the future, powertrains must reduce or eliminate their CO2 emissions.

Around the world, cities are taking action to restrict road access exclusively to clean vehicles, limiting emissions of greenhouse gases and fine particles.

The world’s major cities, and even some smaller ones, have become the new regulators, stipulating which vehicles can and cannot use their roads.

The solution being adopted for buses and coaches is powertrain electrification, a change that has a significant impact right from the vehicle design phase.

How, for example, can vehicle manufacturers continue to ensure passenger comfort when there is no longer an internal combustion engine to help regulate temperature?

Environmentally friendly vehicles

The increasing popularity of more environmentally friendly vehicles raises the critical question of how much energy is needed to produce heat or cool air in the cabin.

Batteries, which are highly sensitive to changes in temperature, also pose a challenge because they need to be constantly maintained within the optimal operating range.

Valeo’s innovations provide practical, efficient solutions, regardless of the weather, the size of the vehicle, its powertrain type, and the nature (whether urban, peri-urban or long-haul) and duration of its journey.

The technologies developed by Valeo generate the right air flows, while using the minimum amount of energy necessary and reusing recoverable energy.

These actions are driven by electronics and software programs that are also developed by Valeo.

Valeo is also innovating in the area of battery cooling, with new systems that extend vehicle range and improve the preservation of battery service life.

All these innovations work together to reduce the total cost of operating buses and coaches.

The innovative technologies presented by Valeo at the 25th Busworld exhibition offer clear insights into what mobility will look like in the future.

And given that some of them are already being fitted in vehicles coming off the assembly line today, that future is very near.

All of these technologies are designed to bridge the gap between the challenges facing our planet today and the need for people in every part of the world to get around, both in urban areas and elsewhere.

Innovation is the driving force behind the future of transportation.

It is also central to Valeo’s strategy, as illustrated by the fact that the company invested over 2 billion euros, or close to 13% of original equipment sales, in research and development in 2018.

To learn more about Valeo, click here.

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.

Watch: New video promotes benefits of GS Yuasa online learning platform

GS Yuasa Academy is the first system of its kind for comprehensive online battery training.

Featuring both Yuasa and GS battery brands, GS Yuasa Academy is designed to improve customer service, reduce warranty returns and maximise battery business potential by providing technicians and distributors with the knowledge they need.

The site provides over 20 certified courses tailored to different job roles and content is delivered in a dynamic video format.

All courses feature downloadable support material, end testing and full certification.

Each course module only takes a few minutes to complete and users can leave the site and return to pick up where they left off at any time.

GS Yuasa Academy can be accessed by clicking here.

Auto Torque
Visit the Auto Torque blog to catch-up on the latest industry news.