Archive | June, 2013

Spending Round impact on transport and skills

Spending Round impact on transport and skills

Road transport infrastructure spend and the Department for Transport’s capital resource have been given the biggest boost of any area in today’s Spending Round, but a squeeze on local authority budgets and a two-year freeze on council tax could impact on local road maintenance and repair.

Innovation was also a focus for Osborne who in delivering his departmental budgets for 2015-2016 said: “Britain was once the place where the future was invented. We can be that place again.”

While the DfT day-to-day spend is reduced by nine percent for the period, the capital budget is up £2 billion, to £9.5 billion.

“We will repeat that commitment for every year to 2020,” Osborne told the House of Commons today.

“We’re already massively expanding investment on major road schemes; but we will do more. So we’re announcing the largest programme of investment in our roads for half a century.”

Osborne said £50 billion would be spent on infrastructure in total in 2015, ‘from road to rail, bridges to broadband, science to schools’.

He said £300 billion of capital spend was committed to the end of the decade, while Chief Security to the Treasury Danny Alexander will detail £100 billion worth of infrastructure plans on Thursday 27 June.

Describing Communities Secretary Eric Pickles as ‘a model of lean government’, however, Osborne also detailed a further 10% in his budget which will reduce money provided to local authorities.

Along with the announcement of a council tax freeze for the next two years, authorities will have less money for the provision of their services and local road maintenance and repair could be further hit.

“It’s not enough to have roads, power stations and flood defences,” said Osborne.

“These are just the physical infrastructure you need to compete in the 21st century.

“We need the intellectual capital too. This country needs to invent, pioneer and export around the world.”

With a 6% reduction in day-to-day running costs for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Osborne said capital investment could be increased by 9% and, amongst other areas, support apprenticeships.

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Thatcham’s Escribe training set to hit the road

Thatcham’s Escribe training set to hit the road

Thatcham-EscribeThatcham is running a series of workshops on how to get the most out of Escribe crash repair resource.

Crash repair and insurance engineers who use the system will be invited to attend a three-hour session where an Escribe expert will talk them through the extensive features and how to use it most efficiently and effectively.

Clare Ballard, Academy Business Manager for Thatcham, said: “We are particularly excited at giving our Escribe customers the opportunity of gaining full insight into our Methods product so they can learn how to use Escribe for maximum effect within their business.

“We are also keen to expand our regional training initiative which illustrates our commitment to provide easy access training to our customers.”

The Escribe series of workshops comes after customer demand for more flexible training options across the UK, with dates now available in August at a range of venues including Manchester, Newport and Coventry.

The system launched last year, gives technicians access to a comprehensive, easy-to-use repair specification database to help ensure the safe, efficient and cost effective repairs of vehicles.

The courses are £20 to attend, with subscribers also getting an extra £50 off any further training they undertake with Thatcham. For more information on the workshops or booking a place contact Thatcham’s Customer Service Team on 01635 293174.

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The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has started out on the road to gain Government-approval for its Trust My Garage (TMG) voluntary code of conduct.

The IGA’s move comes as oversight for approved codes transfers from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the Trading Standards Institute (TSI).

The Motor Code for Service and Repair (MCSR) is an inaugural member of the new TSI-governed programme as it had already won full approval under OFT auspices. Other launch members include the Bosch Car Service Network and the Vehicle Builder and Repairers Association.

With its submission of interest approved by the TSI, the IGA scheme now needs to demonstrate member support and compliance of the code to get full stage-two approval.

This should be achieved by the first quarter of 2014 according to IGA Director Stuart James who said: “Recently there has been criticism surrounding independent garage businesses which in many cases the IGA believes to be unsubstantiated and unjustified.

“With the independent sector being so huge, the IGA believes that it is right to stand up for all the good independent garages.

“However, we accept there are a small number of garage businesses in the independent sector that cause consumer concerns. A Trust My Garage Code will work with Trading Standards and other consumer bodies to address these concerns and offer assurance to consumers by driving out the cowboys.”

Once approved the IGA says TMG will be unique in being the sole code only open to independent garages. The MCSR is also available to franchises which, while they currently make up the majority of the membership, should eventually reach a 50:50 balance as independent membership grows.

Forte’s Good Garage Scheme continues to win consumer recognition with high-profile television advertising, while Groupauto MCSR-backed Approved Garages Network has grown from 300 sites at launch in April to nearly 400 mid-June.

Consumer polls shows there is a high level of confusion surrounding multiple motor industry codes. Motorists continue to distrust the industry, even saying they have no faith in the MOT symbol, while the Citizens Advice Bureau says garages are still one of the most common calls of complaint to its hotline.

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation cast doubt on these figures, saying they may mask other problems and could paint an inaccurate picture of true levels of consumer satisfaction with workshops.

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Tetrosyl provides an extensive range of car care products

Tetrosyl provides an extensive range of car care products

Following its purchase of the Quinton Hazell intellectual property rights from Klarius in February, Tetrosyl has now added QH France to the business for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase includes a 72,000 sq ft distribution centre in Lille and will also see 36 of the previous QH France team continuing to work for the Bury-based Tetrosyl in the newly-formed Quinton Hazell Europe.

New distributors

The company is also appointing new distributors around the world, most recently in Denmark to service the German market, so that it can eventually reach the 140 countries that QH previously supplied to.

CAT spoke with Tetrosyl Chairman Peter Schoffield to find out how the planned August relaunch of QH was going, and what the ECP/LKQ ownership of QH Netherlands means for him.

“It’s fairly straightforward. The Sator business was bought by LKQ and they have the right to sell in Benelux, that’s it.”

Branding and Image

“We haven’t had discussions about branding, or anything like that, but they obviously could continue with the older QH image,” says Schoffield.

“At Tetrosyl we’re redesigning the entire range and the way we go to market with the QH brands.”

The new image will be unveiled with the launch of the QH range in August and will be accompanied by the rebirth of other names.

“Some of the older brands will be brought back as well, including TJ filters and CI ignition products and then some of the Moprod lines.”

So far there have been no discussions about how the situation in Benelux might resolve, but Schoffield can’t see why much effort would be put into QH by ECP/LKQ since it only covers limited territories.

Work continues in Ireland with CD Ireland which bought QH stock but none of the intellectual property rights of the brand, says Schoffield.

Tetrosyl will launch QH with around 40,000 SKUs, but how quickly can Schoffield get to the target of 92,000?

“I would suggest that by the very early part of 2014 it will be complete but, as you know with parts, it’s an ongoing situation, you’re forever adding and taking away.

“We’ve got new suppliers, some existing suppliers, but always remember that our business is not averse to parts, we have done parts for a long, long time.”

Tetrosyl has taken on around ten new employees in the UK, says Schoffield, to boost its domestic parts staff count to around 50. At the moment there are no plans to expand on Tetrosyl’s existing 65,000 sq ft warehouse space in Trafford Park, Manchester, and 13 regional distribution sites.

Supplier support

Did Schoffield encounter any resistance from suppliers who may have had their fingers burnt in the Klarius Group administration?

“No, not at all. I think everybody was extremely pleased that it was back in UK hands and with a company which has got the commitment to put it back to where it was. It’s got a huge amount of respect.” CAT will catch up with Schoffield in August to find out more.

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Cabin filters could make garages profits bloom

Cabin filters could make garages profits bloom

Mann filter_250x135

The increasing level of pollen could provide garages and workshops profit opportunities through new cabin air filters.

Factors Andrew Page is urging garages to check the cabin filters and offer a change as a part of a summer check up.

According to the NHS, 20% of the population in England are affected by hay fever during the spring and summer months, and one way of helping these sufferers is to change the air filter on the vehicle.

It is suggested that the cabin air filter is changed during regular services in any case, every 12,000 miles or 12 months, so this gives garages the chance to develop sales opportunities and help maximise their profit margins.

The filter prevents harmful contaminants from entering the vehicle, provides a flow of fresh clean air to allow adequate ventilation and clear vision and protects air conditioning and ventilation system components.

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NR08-FiestaZetec-insidelinePeugeot’s 308 was the topic of discussion for last month, with the versatile French car giving us plenty of opportunity to discuss fault finding and diagnosing common issues.

This month our friends in the market turn their attention to the handsome looking Ford Fiesta.

Launched in 2008 as the seventh generation, some breathless Ford executive said it was the most significant and poignant vehicle since Ford’s Model T.

The popular Fiesta gave owners the choice of nine different engines including the much acclaimed ECOnetic range.

There are plenty of issues and quirks with the Fiesta. We’ve some really good tips and pointers to look out for should one rock up at your garage, to help you diagnose and fix the car in double quick-time. Similarly to the 308 from last month, the Fiesta also requires a close eye on its oil consumption.

Next month we’ll be looking at the Vauxhall Corsa introduced in 2006. If you have expertise, knowledge and insight to share, we would be delighted to hear from you. It will make our Inside Lines an even more powerful tool for our workshop readership. Contact or

Click below to see technical contributions on the Ford Fiesta from:

Cambiare – highlights the issues with the Fiesta’s ignition system

Castrol – recapping why oil plays such an important part in the Ford engine

CES– a whole host of issues and instructions on how to solve them

Comline – analysing the squealing brakes

Comma – discusses the foibles of fluids and the importance of oil

Contitech – explaining how to check for wear on the belt

Corteco – why upgrading the cabin filter is necessary

Denso – takes us through some important air conditioning fault finding tips

Forte – how to avoid costly failures

Gates – advises on belt replacements

Meyle – common suspension faults sorted

TecDoc – how to use its system to diagnose and solve issues

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Inside Line: Tecdoc

To remain competitive in the replacement parts market, factors and garages need to be able to access the latest parts as soon as the demand for them begins. This is clearly why the parts suppliers are so keen to let them know about new-to-range parts as soon as they are added.

Tecdoc Commercial Director Shaun Greasley explains, for those that use Europe’s leading parts information data provider TecDoc, this information and a whole host more besides, is automatically updated and available at their finger tips to help them drive more revenue through the business.

Every factor will have a number of exceptional garages that need little or no encouragement to specify the best products, undertake the latest training and act proactively to the threat from the franchised dealer. These garages would benefit from the information held within the TecDoc system, but it’s not with these customers that the problems lie.

On the law of averages, for each exceptional garage customer a factor has, there are likely to be several other garages that frankly need as much help as they can get and for these customers TecDoc can help factors to help them raise their game.

Although the TecDoc CATALOG electronic parts catalogue is primarily used for parts identification and specification, some may be unaware that it also contains a case file on every vehicle on the system. This case file allows access to a wealth of additional information that can help them, and their garage customers, make the most of each and every opportunity a vehicle in the workshop can yield.

The following example can be replicated for any product search made by a factor, but let’s take a search for the timing belt kit for a Ford Fiesta Mk V 1.4 TDCi to demonstrate the potential.

Once the vehicle is selected, the system automatically opens to the ‘Assembly Group’ page to allow the user to select ‘Belt Drive’ then the subgroup ‘Timing Belt/Set’ and then the actual item ‘Timing Belt Set’ to see a list of brands from which the specific kit can be selected.

However, if the user then selects the ‘Repair Information’ tab, they are able to access several other areas that can help them to provide useful background information or highlight potential problems that would be helpful for the garage that was initially just undertaking a timing belt change to know.

So under ‘Repair Manuals’ for example, in addition to the fitting instructions for the timing belt kit, there are similar instructions for the removal and installation of the clutch, airbag removal and refitting and key programming instructions.

Under ‘Repair Specifications’ users can find information as diverse as the minimum thickness of the brake discs or maximum disc run-out, the emission specifications and code, and the torque settings for virtually every component on the vehicle.

Hit the ‘Lubricants and Fluids’ tab and listed are the correct formulation and quantities for everything from the engine oil to the coolant, not to mention the air conditioning refrigerant and compress oil.

Finally, the system also features ‘Repair Times’, so that jobs can be priced accurately and ‘Maintenance Services’, to find the correct service interval and schedule should the vehicle be without its service booklet.

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Inside Line: Meyle

Sven Nielsen, Technical Director from MEYLE, says the Ford Fiesta suffers from the following problems:

1. Stabiliser links often worn out (35-16 060 0021/HD)


Intense strain and high surface pressure wear and stress on the ball joint (head Ø 16-20 mm). This causes a premature failure of the ball joint and generates noise at the front axle.

MEYLE Solution (35-16 060 0021/HD):

MEYLE in-house engineers increased the diameter of the ball head of the tie rod end to 22 mm. Ball joints were given ultra wear-resistant synthetic ball sockets with high-tech grease. The reduction of the surface pressure ensures a significantly longer lifetime.

Owing to the larger ball head the ball surface on MEYLE-HD stabilizer links has been

increased by 50%. This way we have managed to significantly improve the part‘s load carrying capacity along with its service life. The blue clip-on plastic socket adds additional strength to the MEYLE-HD part.

2. Worn out control arms on the front axle (716 050 0043 and 716 050 0044), ball joints (716 010 0019) and bushings (714 610 0016 and 714 610 0017)


Loose ball joints and defective bushings lead to disturbing noises and vibrations. In the original version of the control arm, ball joints and bushings cannot be replaced individually – the complete control arm must be replaced. Alignment is necessary.

MEYLE Solution:

Is a control arm with exchangeable ball joints and bushings with a longer service life. MEYLE offers ball joints and bushings individually that fit every control arm of Ford Fiesta – irrespective of whether it is an original part or produced by any other brand.


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Inside Line: Forte

This Ford Fiesta range also uses the 1.6 TDCi engine and this is one area a garage should look at when servicing. Oil sludge caused by contaminated injectors reduces oil flow to critical moving parts. In many cases when the turbo has failed the engine components such as the crankshaft has already been subject to wear. It is important when servicing these engines to inspect the oil filter when removed, if there are signs of oil sludge then the banjo bolt and gauze filter on the vacuum pump should be checked. If oil sludge is present then there should be some manual cleaning of the crankcase including oil sump removal then the engine flushed and oil and filter change carried out. It is also important to clean the fuel system regularly as the oil contamination starts from contaminated injectors. The customer should be advised accordingly on the action, which is required.

Problem: Fault diagnosis after turbo charger failure.

Cause: Lack of lubrication due to a decreasing oil quality and (partially) blocked oil strainer and filters in the oil supply, the hollow bolt in the oil supply tube and in the vacuum pump.

The contamination is caused by combustion residue in the engine oil as a result of incomplete combustion due to contaminated and leaking fuel injectors (poor spray pattern).

Treatment: First check the following components for contamination. If these parts are not contaminated excessively, follow Procedure 1.


Procedure 1

  • Renew oil filter
  • Remove the filter from the hollow bolt
  • Clean the filter from the vacuum pump manually and replace with a new gasket
  • Replace the damaged turbo charger
  • Add 2 x Forté Advanced Formula Diesel Treatment to the fuel tank
  • Add 2 bottles Forté Advanced Formula Motor Flush per 4 litre engine oil and run the min-1 to get the maximum oil pressure
  • Replace the engine oil and oil filter
  • Add 1 x Forté Oil System Protector per 4 litre new engine oil
  • Road test vehicle for 25 miles and perform a final check

After the test drive during cold situation the return amount of engine oil from the turbo engine at idle for 60 minutes. Every 5 minutes shortly raise the engine speed up to 2.500 charger is measured. Let the engine idle for 1 minute and collect the returned oil. This should be at least 300ml. If the return oil amount is enough, the car can be returned to the driver.

If these checks are not carried out correctly, the diagnosis will be incomplete resulting in unrepairable engine damage.

The following parts must be removed and checked for contamination:

  • The sump
  • The oil strainer and the suction tube
  • The oil filter housing
  • The oil return tube from the turbo charger
  • The oil supply tube to the turbo charger


To determine engine damage remove one connecting rod bearing and check the big end and big end bearing for wear. If severe wear is determined, one should check for wear in the engine generally.


Procedure 2

The following parts should be cleaned and refitted:

  • The oil filter housing and the connecting “sealing surface”.
  • The vacuum pump and replace with a new gasket.
  • The oil sump with new fluid gasket.
  • The intercooler and the intercooler tubing also checking for damage or cracks.
  • Carefully mount the new turbo charger. See the turbo charger mounting instructions.
  • Check the oil supply tube for the turbo charger and replace if required.
  • Remove the small metal gauze filter from the hollow bolt.
  • Carefully check the complete air intake system including the air filter for damage or leakage.
  • Replace the oil filter and top up the engine oil to minimum level.

Start the engine and take the following steps:

  • Check the oil pressure as prescribed by the manufacturer.
  • Add 2 x Forté Advanced Formula Diesel Treatment bottles to the fuel tank.
  • Add 2 bottles Forté Advanced Formula Motor Flush per 4 litre engine oil and run the engine at idle for 60 minutes. Every 5 minutes shortly raise the engine speed up to 2.500 min-1 to get the maximum oil pressure.
  • Replace engine oil and filter.
  • Add 1 x Forté Oil System Protector per 4 litre new engine oil.
  • Next, road test the vehicle for 25 miles and perform a final check.
  • After the test drive during cold situation the return amount of engine oil from the turbocharger is measured. Let the engine idle for 1 minute and collect the return oil. This should be at least 300 ml.
  • If the return oil amount is less, the engine is suffering from too much internal leakage on crankshaft, connecting rod and camshaft bearings.
  • If the return oil amount is enough, the car can be returned to the driver.

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Inside Line: Gates

First series Ford Fiestas experience issues with injection pump pulleys, which work loose and generate vibrations in the belt. A consequence is ‘jumped teeth’.
On a general note, the OE timing belts in the Synchronous Belt Drive System (SBDS) have a ‘dimple’, but Gates points out that its OE quality replacement belts and aftermarket replacements in general do not. There is no cause for concern.

Excessive noise inside the SBDS has been attributed, on some models at least, to rust.  A careful inspection is recommended.

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