Cheltenham trade show debut a major success, The Parts Alliance reports

Trade event heads to Cheltenham Racecourse for first time

The Parts Alliance has heralded its third trade show of 2019 as a major success, providing the perfect environment to bring all of its Cheltenham customers together with suppliers to socialise and network.

Attended by representatives from branches and suppliers, the Parts Alliance’s trade shows have become well-known throughout the industry for the lively and informative seminars and technical content, such as those on offer during the Cheltenham event from MANN-FILTER, Yuasa and Comma.

Held on 5th September, there were exclusive show offers and prizes to be won, with complimentary food and drink served as special guests Fuzz Townshend, Matt Neal and Daniel Rowbottom mingled with the crowd.

All that guests had to do to be in with a chance of winning was get a card stamped as they made their way around all of the suppliers in attendance.

Show prizes

Fuzz and Matt announced the winners and presented the prizes during a prize draw at the end of the show.

Among the prizes was £2,495 worth of EAE workshop equipment which included an EE-488OID tyre changer and EE-3096AV2 wheel balancer with free next-day delivery for winner Danny Martin of Auto Boss in Swindon.

Danny said: “We came to see the suppliers, and what we’ve learnt just by talking to all the different manufacturers here made it a real worthwhile night and then, my name was pulled out of the hat for this amazing prize – you can’t top that.

“The new kit from EAE will replace our tired old machines, so we can’t wait to get this new equipment installed and start earning some money from it.

“It’s great because the EAE colours match our colours, so it will look really smart in our workshop.”

“Loads of cool stuff here”

Other visitors to the show were only too happy to heap praise on the trade event too, with Kristian Ducros of Elite Vehicle Services in Swindon commenting: “I’ve got quite a close relationship with my local GSF and they invited me along to have a look around.

“There’s loads of cool stuff here, I’ve got to be careful not to spend too much money.

“The thing is, the automotive industry is changing all the time: I was just in the MANN FILTER presentation and they’re talking about how vehicle manufacturers are trying to harness brake dust now, so it just shows how everything is evolving.

“You’ve got to have your finger on the pulse to keep up with it all, it’s a tricky trade to be in but events like this are a great way of keeping up to date.”

Discussing the success of the show, Simon Moore, head of marketing at The Parts Alliance, said: “We’re delighted by the positive feedback we’ve had for this new venue, as well as the training sessions on offer.

“There are plenty more trade shows in the diary, so keep your eyes open for one taking place near you in the coming months.”

To find your nearest branch of The Parts Alliance, click here.

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DVSA emphasises “phased introduction” of connected equipment amid cost concerns

Garage owners raise concerns about additional costs and call for “more boots on the ground” to reduce MOT fraud

The DVSA is attempting to reassure independent garages that a planned move to ‘connected MOT equipment’ will be phased and that it should have little cost implications to garage owners.

From 1 October 2019, new roller brake testers must be able to connect to the MOT testing service but existing test stations will not yet be required to update equipment unless it breaks down and cannot be repaired, the agency has confirmed.

While it has not indicated when the rule will become mandatory for existing test stations to install connected equipment, the DVSA has said that such a move would involve representations from MOT trade associations and consultants.

“We’re adopting a phased introduction”

Commenting on the Matters of Testing blog, the DVSA’s Chris Price said: “We don’t expect every garage to rush out and start purchasing connected equipment.

“So, we’re adopting a phased introduction.

“From 1 October this year any new applications to operate a test station must install a connected roller brake tester.

“Also from this date, any replacement roller brake testers installed in already approved sites will need to be connected.

“We’ll introduce more equipment types as they become approved by the GEA, using the same approach to the brake tester.”

Reducing risk of fraud

The agency claims connected equipment will save time, reduce the risk of error and help to reduce the risk of fraud.

The rule will also soon apply to decelerometers, diesel smoke meters, exhaust gas analysers and headlamp beam testers – although dates for these are yet to be announced.

Reacting to the news of connected MOT equipment, Steve Mason said: “I think we might be saying good bye to a lot of good independent test stations due to the costs involved for replacing/upgrading equipment to meet new requirements after reaching the end of usable life of the equipment.”

Gary Foster said: “Looking at the state of cars coming into the workshop that have just been MOT’d, I believe you need to concentrate on getting boots on the ground.

”We’ve gone back 20 years in quality and it’s getting worse.”

Not everyone is against connected equipment though.

“The future for the motor industry”

Ian Wills of The Test Centre in Deptford has been involved with the trial and said: “Using this equipment gives us more accurate results, direct onto the MOT Testing Service system, making it quicker for our testers and customers alike; both critical factors in our business success.

“We are always seeking ways to reduce workloads on our testers and with the equipment now being connected, it removes any ambiguity, ensuring safer vehicles for our customers.

“Connected equipment is the beginning of the future for the motor industry and it’s great to see DVSA understanding the needs, to make life easy in the 21st century.”

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REPXPERT members get 50% off INA OAP tool kit in bonus shop offer

Tool kit valuable asset as number of OAP-equipped vehicles continues to rise

Schaeffler REPXPERT members can take advantage of a new ‘half-price’ promotion in the bonus shop, where they can now spend 50% less points and get an INA OAP tool kit.

Originally available in exchange for 35,000 bonus points, this invaluable workshop tool is listed at just 17,500 points until the end of September, or while stocks last.

As a FEAD system check or replacement is becoming a more regular, and recommended, part of the vehicle service schedule, the INA OAP tool kit is virtually a necessity in every workshop, as it is designed for practically all OAPs and OADs and can help avoid the pitfalls of incorrect diagnosis, fitting and repair.

“An essential part of every technician’s arsenal”

Schaeffler marketing and communications manager, Jeff Earl, said: “We want to thank our REPXPERT members for their continued loyalty, and we hope they’ll take advantage of this fantastic offer.

“With OAPs now fitted to almost all vehicles, the INA OAP tool kit should be an essential part of every technician’s arsenal, so it was a simple choice to make it the first of our ‘half-price’ bonus shop specials.”

The offer, only available to REPXPERT members, runs until midnight on 30 September, or while stocks last.

To sign-up to REPXPERT free-of-charge, technicians can either visit the website or download the recently-launched app, also free, which is available on all Apple iOS and Android devices.

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Delphi confirms its brake discs offer “longer-lasting” protection compared to OE

After 24-hour test, plain brake disc had suffered complete corrosion while Delphi disc endured far less wear

Delphi Technologies, a global supplier of aftermarket products and technology solutions, has revealed that its brake disc range is more than 30-times as resistant to corrosion than some OE rivals.

In a statement, Delphi said: “Given their makeup, cast iron brake discs are susceptible to corrosion from road salt, dirt and water.

“Many brands claim to offer protection from the elements, but just like the coats we wear – regular, showerproof, storm-proof – there are many different options, each offering different levels of defence.

“Whilst each brand will market these coatings differently, they can be broadly categorised as – plain, painted, partially coated and fully coated – based on the material used and how and where it is applied.

“Plain is, well plain, and offers no corrosion protection.

“After all, it’s plain cast iron and therefore open and vulnerable to anything the road throws at it.

“Painted, is just that – a thin layer of paint.

“And whilst this may look great initially, it is effectively just a disguise (see picture comparison below).

“Just like when you paint a wall at home – any spills or knocks will quickly ruin the effect.

“Partially coated discs offer some protection, however contaminants, especially salt spray during winter months, can quickly and easily penetrate any unprotected surfaces and eat away at the disc.

Full protection

“Which leaves us with fully coated – the approach taken by Delphi Technologies.

“Why? To ensure your discs not only look as good as new for as long as possible, but also perform that way too.

“So Delphi Technologies apply a thin layer of a high performance, water and zinc flake-based Geomet coating to their discs.

“They also coat the entire surface of their discs including the top hat, outer rim, internal veins and friction faces.

“By choosing the best of everything – material and coverage – their fully-coated discs offer longer-lasting corrosion protection compared with many painted or partially equivalents, whilst also looking great from behind your alloys.

“Easier to install”

“What’s more, because they have no oil to clean off, they’re easier to both dismount and install, saving valuable labour and service time.

“But what does this really mean in terms of corrosion protection?

“In summary – a lot. To prove it, independent salt spray corrosion resistance tests were performed on the Delphi Technologies disc, the OE equivalent, and five premium aftermarket brands – all fitted to a popular PSA application. The results were profound”

Complete corrosion

After only 24 hours, the OE – a plain disc – and a premium black painted disc had suffered complete corrosion and were withdrawn from the test.

The Delphi Technologies disc, on the other hand, showed moderate red ferrous corrosion in only a few areas, and continued to perform strongly.

Discs after 24 hours of salt spray testing

Fast forward to the end of the test, and at 720 hours, the Delphi Technologies disc was still less corroded than both the OE and the black painted equivalent at just 24 hours, despite having endured some 700 hours of additional salt spray exposure.

This is the equivalent of many more hours in real-world driving conditions, the company claimed.

Therefore Delphi Technologies urged brands to be mindful that coated discs are not all the same – different brands offer different options with varying degrees of, sometimes huge gulfs in, the protection they offer.

Find out more about Delphi Technologies and its range of products and solutions here.

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Temporary recruitment the answer for workshops with staff shortages, expert says

Autotech Recruit managing director offers advice to garage owners faced with staff shortages and high levels of demand

Recruitment specialist for the automotive aftermarket, Autotech Recruit is advising garage owners on the benefits of temporary recruitment which can prevent businesses losing thousands of pounds a day in revenue from an empty bay.

Gavin White, managing director at Autotech Recruit said: “While many businesses will go through periods of economic highs and lows, ultimately, demand will follow a similar pattern.

“March and September are traditionally both busy months for MOT’s, plus the record car sales of 2015 and 2016 will see a large quantity of vehicles, as they come out of the manufacturer’s warranty period, needing MOT testing and servicing over the forthcoming 12 months.

“Garages need to ensure that they have the manpower to manage increased demand, and any holiday or training absences, as an empty ramp will of course have a negative impact on profit potential.

Empty workshop bays

“Faced with the hard fact that empty bays could mean a financial hit of around £3,000 per day, the situation is brought into stark reality and suddenly the issue becomes a proactive matter.

“Through evolving technology, and the rising number of electric vehicles entering the market, highly skilled technicians are increasingly in demand by garages and dealerships, and there is a growing pool of proficient candidates ready to fill workforce deficits on a temporary basis.”

However, Gavin warns that recruiting such technicians is a case of first come, first serve and explains that “a garage won’t necessarily recruit a temporary worker, who is proficient in electric vehicles, for instance, if they need cover the following day.”

He said: “It requires a more joined up approach, a review of the previous year’s activities and the trends shaping the industry, while looking at optimum capacity.

“If you had to turn business away during a particular month last year but were left with an un-manned bay, chances are the same will happen this year.

“Additional £12,000 a month profit”

“Having the flexibility to say yes and ensure that all bays are full could mean at least an additional £12,000 a month profit.

“Testament to this is a leading car manufacturer who employed two of our temporary technicians to cover a workforce shortfall, one for four days, while the second technician covered nine days.

“Combined, the temporary technicians accrued over £6,000 in labour profit alone over the period.

“Additional profit from parts and oil sold was achieved, and the workshop owner was able to reduce lead time, while improving his customer satisfaction and retention.

“As with all recruitment strategies though, relying on temporary technicians to plug the gap, requires deliberation to ensure the right person fits the bill.

“To this end, it is essential that recruiting temporary technicians is built into an annual business strategy so the garage has the flexibility to take on additional work and, ultimately, boost their bottom line.”

For further information about Autotech Recruit, click here.

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DVSA launches investigation into tester who left insulting MOT advisory

Smart car advisory now removed after DVSA deemed it “completely unacceptable”

The DVSA has removed an insulting advisory from its MOT history service and has said that it is investigating the matter further.

The Smart car had failed its test in 2015 because the bulb that illuminates the registration plate wasn’t working.

However the tester also entered an advisory underneath, stating: “Driver looks like a proper c*nt.”

The advisory has now been removed.

Neil Barlow, DVSA’s head of vehicle engineering said: “The comment posted on the MOT history service is completely unacceptable and has now been removed.

“We are investigating this further.

“Since 2017, there has been a profanity filter in place to stop MOT testers being able to include these words on a certificate.”

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Ivor Searle expands manual gearbox offering

Additions include applications for Fiat, Ford, Land Rover, Renault, Vauxhall and Volkswagen

Remanufacturer, Ivor Searle has expanded its all-makes range of gearboxes for cars and light commercial vehicles.

Costing up to 40 per cent less than OE, the latest additions to the the Ivor Searle manual transmission potfolio include applications for Fiat, Ford and Land Rover vehicles, as well as Renault, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.

All Ivor Searle gearboxes are covered by a 12-month unlimited mileage parts and labour warranty.

In addition, Ivor Searle holds comprehensive stocks to ensure first class customer service and minimum vehicle downtime and provides free next day UK mainland delivery for stock items ordered before 3.30pm.

Find out more information about Ivor Searle here.

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ZF Services to unveil latest capabilities at Coach & Bus Show 2019

Global company to share insight into latest driveline and chassis solutions

ZF Services will be exhibiting at the ultimate aftermarket showcase for the coach and bus industry when it attends Coach & Bus UK on 2 – 3 October 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham.

The free-to-attend trade show will welcome almost 200 of the industry’s leading suppliers that will see the team from ZF (Stand J53) unveil its wealth of technical knowledge, while promoting the benefits of its reman and repair facilities, based at its Nottingham Service Centre of Excellence.

In response to a rise in market demand, the company’s repair centre has been developed to ensure customers further benefit from a complete range of support solutions from overhaul and remanufacture, to parts and technical support for transmissions, axles and gearboxes, backed by a specialist team.

ZF’s technical experts will be at the show to demonstrate how fleet customers benefit from a robust bus and coach service partner support network that is fully equipped to meet the repair and maintenance challenges of the future.

The team will also be on hand to answer any technical questions and discuss its latest product portfolio.

For further information about ZF, click here.

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BG Automotive releases 70 new part numbers

OE aftermarket parts supplier reveals latest additions to product range

BG Automotive has released details of its latest list of new-to-range parts.

New additions include five cooling products, one driveshaft, two oil pumps, 13 power steering pumps, 38 new sealing products, six steering and suspension parts and five new timing products.

Highlighted as its current ‘star product’, TC5603FK fits Mercedes-Benz OM622.951 engine.

The kit is similar to TC7310FK and suffers from the same chain problem – beginning to stretch at around 50,000 and can fail at 80,000 miles.

The major difference between the two is the height of the crankshaft sprocket – TC5603FK is 33mm and TC7310FK is 38mm.

For further information and to view all of the new-to-range parts, click here.

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MOT tester spared jail despite scamming council out of £37,000

MOTs registered officially as a pass but not registered with the council for payment while working at public centre

An MOT tester who scammed a council out of tens of thousands of pounds has been spared jail.

Phillip Aris pocketed about £20,000 in the scam which he ran between June 2014 and January 2018 at the Thorpe Lane Depot in Banbury, according to local media reports.

South Northamptonshire and Cherwell District council were scammed out of around £37,000 from unregistered MOTs.

Aris had already admitted one count of fraud by false representation in relation to the con and was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court this week.

Prosecutor Ian McLoughlin explained that Aris had been working for the council for 15 years and had worked as an MOT tester at the public centre for a decade.

During this time he performed numerous MOTs which were registered officially as a valid pass but not registered with the council for payment.

The court was told that Aris had performed about 700 tests for customers at an earlier hearing.

It was this week revealed that he had been pocketing the cash, resulting in a loss to the council of more than £37,000 and a gain for himself of about £20,000.

The fraud came to light after a car which he had passed as roadworthy came under new ownership and was later found to be defective.

Investigation of that vehicle and its MOT history revealed that while it had been registered by the national DVSA database as a pass it had not been registered with the council for payment.

The court also heard that in fear of the entirety of the scam coming to light Aris made efforts to alter records in order to place the missing MOTs on the council system.

He pleaded guilty at a hearing in April this year.

At this week’s sentencing hearing defence barrister Rajinder Gill said: “He is very sorry for what he has done, he is very remorseful.

“The chances of this man appearing before a criminal court again are very low.

“He has made a grave error of judgement.”

Sentencing Judge Ian Pringle QC said: “You accept that you didn’t put all the MOT tests through and you pocketed the money.

“You accept at least £20,000, although the loss to your employer was some £35,000 to £37,000.

“You are someone of good character, you have never been convicted of any other offence in your 47 years.”

Aris was handed a 21-month jail term, suspended for two years and made subject to a community order to include 120 hours of unpaid work.

He will also be made subject to a forthcoming proceeds of crimes hearing to recover his ill-gotten gains.

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

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