Garages asked to encourage customers to bring MOT test forward in bid to help manage autumn rush

DVSA releases new graphics, social media posts and an email template for testing stations

The DVSA has updated its ‘MOT toolkit for garages’ to help mitigate increasing testing demand this autumn.

Testing stations are once again being urged to encourage motorists to book MOTs sooner rather than later in a bid to manage increased demand.

The updated ‘toolkit’ includes new graphics, social media posts and an email template.

A DVSA a spoksperson said: “MOT demand during the autumn will be higher for garages and motorists.

“Following on from our Beat the Rush campaign in 2020, we want to support MOT garages again during the busier months of the year.

“To do this, we’ve updated the toolkit you can use to reach out to customers and encourage them to book their MOT in now.”

The ‘beat the rush’ campaign originated last year following the Covid six-month MOT extension.

In the DVSA’s recently published fourth annual review, the campaign was among a number of its “achievements” highlighted in the report.

The report read: “We worked with stakeholders to design the Beat the Rush campaign to help smooth the demand for MOT testing when exemptions ended.

“We created a toolkit of resources for garages to help them communicate with their own customers, and successfully promoted the campaign via our own social media, DVSA direct emails and our Matters of Testing blog.”

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NGK backs calls for workshops to maximise MOT opportunity

Thousands of vehicles will fail MOT on emissions leading to increased demand for Lambda sensor replacement, NGK claims

NGK has reiterated its call for UK workshops to take advantage of the current surge in demand for MOT tests.

The ignition and sensor specialist has been forecasting September’s MOT boom after it was revealed that millions of car owners used the government’s COVID-19 MOT exemption at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

Vehicles due an MOT between March 30 and July 31 last year were eligible for a six-month extension due to the nationwide lockdown – and 5.5 million drivers are estimated to have taken up the offer.

Motorists who took advantage of the six-month extension from March 31 last year would have deferred their car’s annual check-up with the knock-on effect resulting in high numbers of vehicles now needing the annual test.

One in five of 14,688 UK drivers surveyed by the AA said they took advantage of the extension, indicating that more than 5.5 million cars had a delayed MOT. 

This week LKQ Euro Car Parts said the independent aftermarket should be capitalising on a spike in demand to ‘ride the MOT wave’ this month.

It pointed out that the deferred tests are on top of the MOTs that have always fallen later in the year and presented a significant opportunity for garages, calling on them to manage the surge in demand and maximise revenue by reaching out to customers whose tests are due in the coming weeks.

NGK says many thousands of vehicles will fail the MOT test on emissions leading to increased demand for Lambda sensor replacement and coinciding with a big demand for pre-winter servicing spark plug and glow plug replacement.

Mark Hallam, marketing manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) said: “For the past few months we have been predicting that workshops were in for a very busy Autumn as they deal with the increase in demand for MOTs and that has now been echoed by a leading UK distributor.

“MOTs and pre-winter vehicle servicing demand, will lead to increased replacement of Lambda sensors for vehicles that fail the MOT emission test and also spark and glow plug replacement as owners make sure their vehicles are in good order in preparation for the cold winter months.”

For further details, please click here.

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Less than four per cent of EV breakdowns in 2020 were for “out of charge”

Tyres and 12V starting battery top two causes of EV breakdowns

Almost all UK drivers overestimate the number of breakdowns as a result of problems with EV charging infrastructure and vehicle range, according to the AA.

In 2020, the AA attended around 13,000 electric vehicle breakdowns, of which just under four per cent were for vehicles running out of charge – a figure that’s halved in the last few years.

However, only one per cent of 14,500 drivers polled could correctly estimate the infrequency of this issue, with the average guess being two thirds (65 per cent) of all EV breakdowns due to the main driving battery running out.

The reality is that the top two breakdowns for combustion engine vehicles and EVs are the same, with tyres and the smaller 12-volt battery being the main causes of faults.

Drivers were also asked what they believed to be the average distance an EV could travel on a single charge, with a quarter correctly identifying a range of up to 200 miles.

Only one in 16 were expecting less than 100 miles from a single charge.

AA president, Edmund King OBE said; “As we fast approach the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel sales, more drivers are thinking about electric cars.

“However, there are still concerns about the existing charging infrastructure and single charge range.

“Likewise, most drivers totally over-estimate the percentage of breakdowns due to running out of charge.

“The reality is far better than drivers think, with very few EVs failing to reach a chargepoint.

“In fact, EVs and combustion cars share the same top two reasons for breakdowns which are tyres and the smaller 12 volt battery.

“As more chargepoints, especially rapid chargers, are installed across the country the number of cars failing to reach one will further reduce, providing more confidence to drivers to help them make the switch.”

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Autotech Training cuts the cost of EV training

New IMI Electric Hybrid Vehicle training bundle covers levels 2 – 4

Autotech Training has created an electric vehicle training bundle which will save attendees booking all three IMI Electric Hybrid Vehicle courses from Level 2 – 4, £299 per person.

The offer is wrapped up in four days of learning with Levels 2 and 3 courses carried out across two consecutive days, and the two-day Level 4 course taking place as soon as Level 3 certification has been received.

Rather than booking all three courses individually, Autotech Training is offering a discounted bundle offer of £1,299 – almost £300 cheaper than booking each course separately – when the courses are booked at the same time.

The courses can either be carried out within Autotech Training’s dedicated EV Training Suite in Milton Keynes, which features an electric car for hands on learning, or on the premises of any garage or business.

The latter not only enables employers to keep travel expenses down but keeps downtime to an absolute minimum.

Highly experienced trainers will deliver the course and bring an electric vehicle to enable candidates to put the theory into practice.

For further information, please click here.

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Two in five cars being driven with damage

44 per cent have cars have some form of damage

Some 14 million cars are being driven in Britain with some form of damage, a study by AA Insurance claims.

A poll of more than 14,500 vehicle owners found that 44 per cent have cars with some form of damage on them, ranging from minor scuffs, through to more serious damage to tyres and brakes.

Just two in five over 65s admitted to knowing their cars have blemishes while two thirds of hard-up 18-to-24-year-old motorists saying their vehicles are scarred.

Londoners were found to be the most likely to have damaged cars, with half (52 per cent) of those polled who live in the capital saying this is the case for them.

Of the car owners that had damaged vehicles, eight out of 10 (83 per cent) said their car had minor scuffs and scrapes, while one in 10 had cracked or chipped windscreens or glass.

One in 20 said their car had more obvious bodywork damage, but three per cent admitted they continue to use their vehicles despite knowing they have worn or damaged tyres.

Other blemishes included; broken wipers, lights on the dashboard and missing wing mirrors.

David Coughlan, managing director of AA Insurance Services, said: “Drivers with damaged cars are living on a ‘wing (mirror) and a prayer’, in the hope that the visible damage is not camouflaging something more costly and compromising.

“Damage on cars can be like an iceberg – while on the surface things look manageable, it’s what’s lurking underneath that can really cause problems.

“Any detriment to the structural integrity of the car could harm its performance if it were involved in a major collision.

“Keeping vehicles in a good condition is important both for the owners’ protection as well as others.

“We are very worried that drivers are using vehicles with poor tyres, brakes and steering.

“We’d strongly recommend drivers get damage to their cars checked, to provide peace of mind and retain the safety of their vehicle.

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Ivor Searle adds Ford Transit Connect application to remanufactured gearbox range

Supplied with 12-month unlimited mileage parts and labour warranty

Remanufacturer Ivor Searle has added the manual transmission for the Ford Transit Connect compact panel van to its extensive all-makes range of gearboxes for cars and LCVs.

The six-speed unit covers the popular 1.5 litre Duratorq diesel derivitives of both Transit and Tourneo versions of the Connect models built from 2015 – 2018.

Ivor Searle‘s remanufactured gearbox programme covers around 90 per cent of the UK’s vehicle parc and cost up to 40 per cent less than OE.

For peace of mind, all Ivor Searle gearboxes are covered by a 12-month unlimited mileage parts and labour warranty.

Ivor Searle also offers free next day UK mainland delivery for stock items ordered before 3.30pm.

For further information, please click here.

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The Parts Alliance Appoints Mark Eburne As New President And COO

Entrepreneurial business leader with extensive board experience takes pivotal role

LEADING automotive parts distributor The Parts Alliance has appointed Mark Eburne as its new President and COO.

Mark is an entrepreneurial business leader with extensive board experience at a number of complex, multi-site businesses across several industry sectors such as automotive, construction, utilities and support services.

During his career, Mark has held senior roles at companies including Wolseley, National Grid, RAC and TRW. Most recently, he was Chief Executive at building parts manufacturer Sigmat.

Mark said: “I’m incredibly excited to join the team at The Parts Alliance. This is a successful business with a fantastic reputation for service, quality and the passion of its people.

“With its ongoing investment in market-leading technology, an expanding nationwide distribution network and close relationships with the world’s foremost OE manufacturers, The Parts Alliance is a business that is rightly ambitious.

“I look forward to working with the team to help our people, our customers and our suppliers prosper in the months and years ahead.”

Mark will join the nationwide motor factor, which operates more than 170 branches, on 20 September 2021. He succeeds former President and COO Neil Croxson, who left the business in June 2021.

The Parts Alliance CFO Sally Dowling said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mark to the team. He’s a strategic and passionate business leader with a proven track record for success who will hit the ground running.

“He joins The Parts Alliance during an exciting period of growth and opportunity, when the automotive aftermarket has demonstrated not just its resilience to the pandemic, but its great potential to thrive as an essential service.”

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Garages warned of new High Court bailiff scam

Recent cases reported in Lincoln, Bradford and Swansea, Independent Garage Association says

Garage owners have been advised to be wary of a sophisticated new scam in which fraudsters claim to be a high court bailiff from a local civil justice centre.

Cases have been reported in Lincoln, Bradford and Swansea, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) has warned.

In recent cases, the caller claims to have bailiffs due to arrive at the business premises within one to two hours to remove a specific value of goods for failing to go to court.

The calls are reported to be extremely convincing because the caller knows the full name of the garage owner and business address.

An IGA spokesperson said: “The caller may give further false information in great detail.

“This could include fake information about why the bailiffs are are coming to the premises, which is likely to be due to not cancelling a contract after a free period.

“The fraudster may claim that they have listened to a recording of the business owner calling to cancel after the free period, to be told to put it in writing which was never received.

“Other false information may include a fake phone number for the local County Court, which plays an automated message pre-recorded by the fraudsters and a fake court reference number.”

Garage owners are advised to contact their local court to verify suspected scams.

Cases can be reported Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or filling in an online report on the Action Fraud website.

For further details, please click here.

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ZF Aftermarket shapes new era of collaboration

Sustainable processes and technologies for “green aftermarket” to be prioritised

ZF Aftermarket is set to “shape a new era of collaboration” as it reveals new product highlights.

New products such as the WABCO Modular ABS Sensors and the TRW Electric Brake Booster for e-vehicles exemplify a
future-oriented and convenient product portfolio which will be presented at the Digital ZF Aftermarket at Automechanika 2021 event from September 14th to 16th.

A key topic of the digital trade show is sustainability.

Offering remanufacturing, repair and retrofit solutions to save materials and reduce emissions is one aspect of ZF’s sustainability roadmap; continuing to source green energy for its factories is another.

For the first time, ZF Aftermarket will introduce the #greenaftermarket label for a range of TRW brake pads.

The digitization of mobility is picking up speed.

As a result, customers’ individual demands for flexibility, speed and comfort are increasing.

Together with its partners, ZF Aftermarket wants to enable attractive mobility experiences for everyone. “Our brand values of trust, passion, and care not only determine our realizations in the service portfolio but are also expressed in the individual mobility experience of our customers – at every point within the value chain,” explains Dr. Holger
Hättich, Head of Customers & Strategy, ZF Aftermarket.

Close cooperation with partners is considered key to success. Dr. Holger Hättich underlines: “We take a personal approach, create convenience and stay in close contact with our customers to continuously improve our service offering.”

With workshop concepts such as ZF [pro]Tech, independent workshops are offered a comprehensive service package that includes access to vehicle-specific installation instructions and all relevant technical information on ZF Aftermarket and other branded products.

In addition, a series of training courses allow workshops to acquire comprehensive Knowledge on Next Generation Mobility.

Trusted brands such as Lemförder, Sachs, TRW and WABCO along with technical innovations & future-oriented services result in a convincing offer for customers.

“Our product brands have always stood for a compelling combination of innovation and experience.

“What’s more, our customers can always rely on us to offer a broad portfolio which they can use to their advantage to gain market share and secure their own growth,” explains Dr. Holger Hättich.

More efficient combustion engines, hybrid- or purely electric drives require modular and scalable solutions for the braking system.

The TRW-branded Electric Brake Booster (EBB) uses a special electronic system to provide improved brake actuation: replacing the vacuum brake boosters and, if necessary, the vacuum pump with its associated cables, sensors, switches and control units.

With this TRW system, ZF Aftermarket is offering a genuine OE innovation at an early stage, which not only meets high comfort requirements and safety standards, but also supports the recovery of braking energy and thus the range of
purely electric vehicles.

A software function also ensures that the vehicle is held securely in parking mode by the electric parking brake, meaning that a mechanical parking brake can be dispensed with.

New in the aftermarket: WABCO modular ABS Sensors Customer-centric, resource-saving, and cost-effective, the latest
WABCO product solves a common problem: when commercial vehicles come to the workshop with a defective ABS sensor, a specific version of this part has to be ordered, which may not be in stock at the dealer.

A modular ABS sensor concept which counteracts this problem has been developed for independent workshops.

It consists of a short ABS sensor with the standard KEA connector that is attached to the wheel, an extension cable in various lengths, and a range of adapters that cover the main electronic control units (ECUs) available on the market.

Once the modular concept is installed on the vehicle, only the defective component needs to be replaced, which significantly speeds up the repair process, reduces downtime and lowers costs.

Thanks to the special flexibility in application, workshops no longer need to keep a large inventory of different sensors.

Depending on just three parameters (sensor type, length, and connector), they can replace hundreds of variants with just a few products.

A combination of two existing ABS sensors, ten extension cables and eight adapters can replace over 400 OE references.

Future plans include the introduction of additional adapter variants to cover even more references.

A wheel speed sensor selection-tool will be available by the end of the year to help workshops find the right combination even without having a cross-reference material to hand.

For further details, please click here.

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Schaeffler updates online catalogue

Improved search engine, parts listed in order to highlight best possible repair solutions and additional details and technical specification added

Schaeffler has updated the TecDoc driven online catalogue hosted on its aftermarket website to provide users with more functionality and easier access to the original equipment (OE) replacement parts they need.

“Providing garages and parts sales staff with an accurate catalogue to help them identify the correct genuine OE quality parts they need is in keeping with Schaeffler’s policy of equipping them with not only the product, but the information required to successfully carry out a complete and professional repair,” said Marketing Communications Manager, Jeff Earl.

“We have several improvements to the catalogue which enable users to identify the correct replacement part quickly and reliably using a variety of search methods, such as OE and aftermarket part numbers, plus the ability to find vehicle information via a registration look-up that returns much more detailed application data than the traditional drop-down make and model search.

“Once you have correctly identified the vehicle, Schaeffler’s top products for the application are highlighted, followed by the full range in brand order starting with LuK, then INA and finally FAG. Again, in line with Schaeffler’s complete repair philosophy, the most comprehensive solutions are always listed first.

“Once the replacement parts are selected, the user can see what is provided inside the box, before checking out any linked repair information, such as product bulletins and technical specifications, all designed to help them complete the repair to the highest possible standard.

“Naturally, the system is constantly updated and operates in real time, providing users with an invaluable tool to help them quickly and easily identify the correct parts for any application.

“Our aftermarket website also provides visitors with an understanding of the many high-tech precision components and systems manufactured by Schaeffler for original fitment around the world, and how we then carry that support through to aftermarket professionals that undertake vehicle repair and maintenance.

“Visitors will hopefully find the improved site informative, intuitive, and optimised to work effectively on any device, and in addition to the catalogue, products and service support that Schaeffler provides, they can also find links to Schaeffler’s corporate site, which contains a wealth of company information, such as the latest news on technological innovation and motorsport.”

Alongside the aftermarket site, but aimed squarely at professional vehicle technicians, is the Schaeffler REPXPERT workshop portal which is where mechanics and garage owners can find information on Schaeffler products and systems, fitting instructions, labour times and much more.

For further information, please click here.

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