The Parts Alliance aims to keep garages moving

The Parts Alliance has been busy making operational changes to meet the tightening government requirements as the COVID-19 crisis has quickly escalated.

The intention of The Parts Alliance is to operate safely and responsibly whilst continuing to support garages that choose to stay open to provide their ‘essential service’ locally.

It’s a fast-changing situation, DVSA clarified in the last couple of days both that garages are allowed to remain open and that the MOT can be delayed six months.

You can read more on the latest updates to operations from The Parts Alliance on the dedicated website section here.

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An update on our service during the Coronavirus pandemic

Many of our customers – both independent garages and national chains – are offering a critical service in keeping the UK’s key workers operational and on the road during these unprecedented times and we are here to support them.

Our network of branches remains open to provide customers with the parts they need to provide this vital service.

In some cases, we have temporarily closed our branches in order to minimise the risk of spreading the Coronavirus while maintaining our service to customers. All our branch phone numbers remain operational and calls to closed sites will be automatically redirected to nearby alternative branches.

Our supply chain and distribution network have also been remodelled to reduce deliveries and address this balance, and we have made some important changes to how our Drivers deliver products to customers in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

This balance between operating safely while delivering on our social responsibility to continue servicing garages supporting key workers is crucial. Our specialist support teams, currently working remotely from home, are helping to ensure our business adapts quickly to an operating environment that changes by the day.

This is not business as usual, but just as the precautions we all take around hygiene each day could help to save lives, the actions we’re taking now as a business will help our customers and us to work through this crisis together.

Volvo recalls over 55,000 cars following ADAS failure

Software issue affects all cars built since 21 January 2019

Volvo has recalled 56,368 vehicles in the UK as part of a worldwide recall amid concerns that about its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems.

The fault, which affects 736,430 cars worldwide, was first identified by Danish motoring body FDM during a road test in late 2019.

The organisation said: “The defect was discovered in a larger test of ADAS.

The emergency brake on a Volvo XC60 consistently failed, meaning that the car did not automatically apply the brakes as expected when driven towards a special test pillow that normally would engage the system.”

The faulty XC60 was recovered by Volvo and taken back to the firm’s Gothenburg HQ, where it was determined that the fault is common to all models produced by the firm since 21 January 2019, including the V90, S90, V60, XC60, XC40 and XC90.

Software issue with sensor

According to Volvo, the malfunction is related to a software issue with the AEB sensor inside the front windscreen.

A Volvo spokesperson said: “This support system – which is designed to brake the car automatically in specific conditions and only when a collision is imminent – may not function as intended in certain situations and in certain temperatures.

“This means that the AEB system may not brake the car as intended for certain objects, pedestrians and cyclists.

“However, in the case of pedestrians and cyclists, the system will always provide a visual and audible forward collision warning, as well as braking support.

“The affected cars are safe to use: the regular braking system in these cars is not affected by the AEB issue and has full functionality.

“We have no reports of any incidents or personal injuries connected to this issue.”

Owners are advised to contact their local retailer to have their cars corrected free of charge.

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Coronavirus outbreak sees UK’s independent garages pull together for support

How’s your workshop adapting and what are you doing to help others? GW calls on garages for ‘good-news’ stories

As the UK adjusts to increasingly drastic measures to combat the spread of coronavirus Covid-19, independent garages are doing their bit to keep the country moving.

A GW poll has revealed that it’s business as usual for 76 per cent of garages.

Speaking to GW, Hayley Pells of Avia Autos in Bridgend said: “The private car is a lifeline to many working front line services, the elderly and vulnerable who cannot use public transport but still need to make essential travel and will be more dependent than ever on maintenance and repair.

“The independent garage sector will be reliant on supply chains to ensure distribution of the products needed to keep everyone going.”

Many are taking to social media to share tips and advice with other workshops on how to cope in the current situation.

Commenting in the GW forum, Mickey Kredel said: “Since the outbreak we are asking customers to turn off the heating and air conditioning system so air is not blowing when the key is turned on and asking that there be no open drinks, straws, food etc in the vehicle.

“We enter with gloves on and wipe down the steering wheel, shifter and door, along with spraying Lysol onto their keys in a bowl when they arrive.”

Other measures taken by garage businesses include customer vehicle collection and drop-off services.

Responding to a mechanic’s question on Good Morning Britain this week about the dangers on transmitting coronavirus while working with customer vehicles, Dr Hilary Jones said: “It’s people that transmit the virus, not things.

“Obviously the virus can live on things but if people are washing their hands frequently and taking the relevant precautions, cleaning cars, wearing gloves where they can and using hand sanitisers, that is all we can do and he is going to minimise his risk of transmitting the infection and can carry on working.”

Inevitability, some garages have reported a rise in cancellations but with such uncertainty GW is calling on its readers to share their good news stories on how they’re working through the outbreak and helping their local community.

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

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The Parts Alliance to send Queensway Auto Repairs to Le Mans

Prize includes on-circuit accommodation, track entry and grandstand tickets

The Parts Alliance has revealed the first winner of its ongoing ‘Original Experience’ promotion, with Omer Hassan, director of Queensway Auto Repairs Ltd finding the winning scratch card on Monday 16th March.

The Enfield independent garage, established 15 years, undertakes MOTs, service and repairs, on mainly German cars.

Omer and his wife will – travel restrictions permitting – watch the iconic Le Mans 24 hour race in June.

Omer said: “I couldn’t believe it, I just looked and looked again.

“It’s brilliant; my daughter has already pushed the news onto our Facebook page and I’ve rung my wife to say we’re going to France.”

The prize includes on-circuit accommodation, track entry and grandstand tickets, for a perfect view of the start and finish of the epic endurance event.

A full festival weekend experience adds live entertainment and music. Friday’s Drivers Parade brings classic cars, supercars, marching bands and more into a carnival build-up.

“We’re delighted to find our first main winner,” said Simon Moore, head of marketing at The Parts Alliance.

“Omer’s commitment to use best quality products mirrors our supporting suppliers Delphi, Comma, MANN-FILTER and NGK.

“There are seven more Le Mans trips to win and we hope thousands more customers enjoy the instant win prizes too.”

“We’ve used GSF Tottenham for the last four or five years, we only deal with them,” said Omer.

“The service is second to none and any issues get sorted without arguments. Product quality is the most important thing for us and we think they are the best.”

The ‘Original Experience’ is running nationwide through Allparts, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES, Dingbro, GMF Motor Factors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors, The Parts Alliance (South West) and Waterloo Motor Trade until the end of April.

Instant win prizes include snack boxes, baseball caps, sports bottles, t-shirts, mugs, beanie hats and cool bags.

‘Original Experience’ scratch cards come with each purchase of Delphi brake pads, MANN-FILTER cabin and oil filters, Comma 5 litre Performance Motor Oil and NGK spark plug sets.

Garages can find out more simply by contacting their nearest participating branch, or by clicking here.

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Schaeffler uploads LuK clutch replacement guides to REPXPERT

Step-by-step guides now a permanent fixture on Schaeffler’s workshop portal

Schaeffler UK has added a range of LuK clutch step-by-step replacement guides to its REPXPERT online technical portal, as the original equipment manufacturer continues to focus on improving technicians’ knowledge and best practice techniques.

Schaeffler technical manager and REPXPERT, Alistair Mason said: “These articles have evolved in the same way as vehicle technology, products and best practice methods; therefore, it’s more important than ever that technicians have all the tools at their disposal, which is why we’ve made them permanently available.”

One of the latest articles to be uploaded, for example, is a clutch replacement on a 2014 Toyota Yaris 1.3, which had covered more than 80,000 miles.

The customer reported that the clutch was ‘slipping’, prompting an investigation, diagnosis and, consequently, a clutch replacement.

Each step of the job is explained in detail by the REPXPERT who carried out the work, outlining the vehicle history, any special tools or equipment required, and an estimation of the time needed to carry out a professional repair.

The articles will be uploaded to the REPXPERT portal, which is now available in both desktop and app format, and Schaeffler will also be sending out regular e-newsletters with a link to the latest released features.

To receive the e-newsletter, technicians must first sign-up to REPXPERT.

Membership is free and gives immediate access to invaluable information, such as the new LuK clutch replacement guides, as well as INA timing belt product specification sheets, videos and Schaeffler ‘service info’ technical bulletins.

Additional, value-added information is also only a click away, supplied in partnership with TecAlliance.

Again free for Schaeffler-related products, this includes access to the TecDoc catalogue system, TecRMI installation guides, vehicle manufacturer specifications, labour times and service schedules.

Users can also use their REPXPERT bonus points to access information for non-Schaeffler related data, such as P-codes, diagnostics and steering geometries values.

In addition, members can stay up-to-speed with the latest news and updates from Schaeffler, such as the latest REPXPERT Academy LIVE dates and reviews, or they can redeem their loyalty coupons for bonus gifts in the popular bonus shop.

For further information, click here.

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ZF Aftermarket expands high-voltage training program

Practice-oriented training from experts for experts, firm explains

ZF Aftermarket has said its comprehensive training program provides independent workshops with the necessary know-how at an early stage.

New ZF [pro]Tech trainings are for example, the training courses “Driving assistance systems in the front, side and rear areas” and “Car clutch systems and DSG transmissions”.

ZF Aftermarket now also addresses interested commercial vehicle partners with the training course “Specialist in non HV intrinsically safe systems”.

Each new generation of vehicles and products offers users significant added value and makes driving safer, more efficient or more comfortable.

For the workshops, this means that they must continually align their services with the new technologies and train their employees accordingly.

ZF Aftermarket supports repair workshops with a wide range of technical training courses in theory and practice – for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

High-voltage training

In addition to levels 1 and 2, ZF Aftermarket also offers training for car workshops to become a ZF high-voltage expert level 3 (corresponds to the training “Expert for high-voltage systems level 3”).

The focus here is on working on high-voltage components that are under voltage.

With the training course “Specialist in non-HV intrinsically safe systems”, the workshop program will also offer training on electric vehicles for commercial vehicle partners from January 2020.

After successful completion of the seminar, participants are entitled to work independently on non HV-intrinsically safe vehicles and to change HV components such as the engine or energy storage system in a de-energized state.

Furthermore, they will learn how to troubleshoot HV components that are not necessarily designed to be touch-proof and how to work on live parts of energy storage systems.

New ZF [pro]Tech training

A new addition to the ZF Aftermarket workshop concept ZF [pro]Tech is the training course “Driving assistance systems in the front, side and rear areas”.

The training gives an overview of the functions of current systems and their interaction in the vehicle.

The participants are thus trained on the vehicle using radar and camera-based systems in the front, side and rear areas.

The training course “Car drive train and steering” was combined with the training course “DVK clutch module with DMF on Audi” and can now be found in the training catalogue under “car clutch systems and DSG gearboxes”.

During the two-day training course, special knowledge of the component clutch, dual-mass flywheel, release system and DSG gearbox is imparted.

Harald Dämpfle, Head of Technical Training at ZF Aftermarket, said: “Mastering current and future technologies is a decisive differentiating factor for independent workshops.

“As a manufacturer of these technical innovations, we have first-hand knowledge.

“In addition, the qualified trainers provide tips and tricks for everyday workshop life.

“Our practice-oriented training program thus ensures that workshops can set themselves up professionally.”

The training courses lasting several days, ZF Aftermarket imparts comprehensive technical knowledge for the entire powertrain and chassis system, active and passive safety technology, as well as transmission, axle, and steering systems.

During practical training directly on the vehicle, the structure, function, and special features of components are discussed, as well as complex troubleshooting and diagnostic options.

In order to intensify the transfer of knowledge, the training courses are held in small groups of participants.

ZF Aftermarket continuously always adapts the training portfolio to reflect the current technology standard.

For further information about ZF Aftermarket, click here.

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DVSA suspends heavy vehicle testing in response to Covid-19 pandemic

Three-month suspension implemented with immediate effect

The DVSA has suspended heavy vehicle testing all Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV), trailers and Public Service Vehicles (PSV) for up to three months.

All HGVs, trailers and PSVs with an annual test due to expire will be issued with a three-month certificate of exemption (CTE) until further notice.

Paper certificates will not be re-issued for HGVs, trailers and PSVs but the DVSA has said that it will amend the digital record so that vehicles can continue to operate.

The Department for Transport has said it is keeping MOT testing for cars, motorcycles and light vans under review.

A DVSA spokesperson said: “We want to ensure that all heavy vehicles and trailers remain legal whilst the country deals with the COVID-19 outbreak.

“So DVSA will be implementing the provisions within the Plating and Testing Regulations and Motor Vehicle Test Regulations which provide for HGV and PSV vehicles to be exempted from the annual roadworthiness test.

“These are exceptional circumstances and we thank you for your understanding and patience.”

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

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Garage owner takes to fitting catalytic converter ‘anti-theft’ cages

Rise in catalytic converter thefts prompts garage to fit wire cage protection for customers

The owner of a London independent garage has taken to fitting ‘anti-theft’ devices in a bid to protect his customers from having their catalytic converter stolen.

Manjula Jayamaha, owner of Harrow-based Mr Car Max, charges £200 for wire cage protection, according to the Daily Mail.

He said: “We have fitted about 40 of the cages over the last eight months.

“They take about two hours to fit.

“It was just an idea I have come up with.”

It comes amid a 1,700 per cent rise in catalytic converter thefts in the worst affected areas last year.

In London last year there were 2,894 catalytic converter thefts compared with 1,674 the year before.

Kent has also been hit, with 215 offences recorded in 2019 and 51 in 2018.

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

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TEXA ADAS kit available for workshop demos

New TEXA demo van available for workshops to book

TEXA has launched a new ‘ADAS demonstration unit’, to showcase the capabilities of its calibration equipment and raise awareness about the widespread growth of driver assistance technology.

The new, fully equipped TEXA van is available for workshop demonstrations – email to arrange a demo.

For further information about ADAS calibration, click here.

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