Archive | July, 2013



Ford_Mondeo_2007_smlCarrying on the Inside Line series, we move on from last months look at the popular Vauxhall Corsa. We now have turned our attention to a car that is significantly bigger, the Ford Mondeo, which will receive some much-needed attention.

The Mondeo, often considered a fleet favourite, received an all-new look in 2007. It wasn’t just on the surface that the Mondeo experienced some changes, as the range gained some new engines including a downsized 1.6l petrol engine, and new 1.6 and 1.8l diesel engines to sit alongside the established 2.0 and 2.2l versions.

The latest version of the Mondeo benefited from the new EcoBoost and Duratorq engines in later incarnations, as well as Ford’s stop-start system.

These new technologies that have appeared on the Mondeo will provide technicians with additional challenges, some of which we have outlined below.

Next month we’ll be looking at the BMW 3 Series.
If you have expertise, knowledge and insight to share, we would be delighted to hear from you. It will make our Inside Lines feature an even more powerful tool for our workshop readership.
To get your advice included contact or

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

Autoelectro – highlights the issues with the Mondeo’s alternator system

Cambiare – highlights the Mondeo’s weak points

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

Comma – discusses servicing and changes of fluids and oil in the Mondeo

Corteco – solving TVD issues on the Mondeo

First Line – analyse suspension issues and faults

Forté – how to solve troubling turbo issues

Manbat – advises on AGM battery replacements

Meyle – common suspension, braking and glow plug faults sorted

Remaned – explain what issues to check when replacing the starter motor

Remy – outline the confusion about Ford Mondeo’s alternators

RMI – outline a variety of Mondeo issues

TecDoc – give us an insight into a number of technical problems with the Mondeo

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Castrol warn the aftermarket about using the wrong oil

Castrol-oilLubricant giant Castrol has warned independent garages that they may be stocking the wrong types of oil.

A study carried out showed that there is a discrepancy in the aftermarket between the different oil formulations required by vehicles in the UK car parc and the oils available from retailers and workshops.

Castrol’s research shows that 55 percent of the car parc requires low-viscosity oil, with 36 percent needing 5W-30 and 19 percent use fully-synthetic 5W-40. However, it also found that only 29% of retailers stocked 5W-30 oil and 7 percent hold the fully synthetic version.

Marc Perkins, Castrol Independent Workshop Marketing Manager for UK and Ireland, said: “The current trend for engine downsizing means that workshops and retailers must catch up in the marketplace and provide low viscosity oil formulations that are approved for an increasing proportion of the modern engines powering today’s cars.”

While the aftermarket are slowly stocking the low viscosity oil solutions, the survey shows that a majority of the retailers stock is for high viscosity oil, which is required by only 24 percent of the car parc.

Perkins added: “By continuing to offer only 10W-40 oil, or other high viscosity formulations, outlets run the risk of invalidating a vehicle’s warranty and ultimately harming the longevity of an engine, simply by topping it with the wrong type of oil.

“The growing demand for ultra low viscosity oils also offers workshops the opportunity to earn premium profits.”

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MANN-FILTER products from global OE filtration market leader MANN+HUMMEL, are produced to identical performance and quality standards as the OE filters fitted at vehicle and engine assembly stage and as supplied to VM franchise dealership as genuine OE service parts.

Therefore, UK Aftermarket leading brand MANN-FILTER meets the requirements of BER, provides genuine OE matching quality engine protection and creates peace of mind for independent garages and workshops.

Around 15,000 employees at MANN+HUMMEL sites in over 50 locations wordwide, design, develop and produce Original Equipment filters and modular filtration systems for all major vehicle and engine manufacturers in the Car, LCV, HGV, Off-highway and Industrial filtration market segments.

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MOT TESTFranchises are winning more and more service and repair work from independents according to a new survey by a consumer motoring website which is running aftersales campaigns with manufacturers.

The results of the survey of more than 1500 motorists shows a five percent drop in consumers planning to use independent garages and workshops compared with a year ago.

Although half of all motorists will still use an independent, according to the survey, of Sales Director Chris Green, wants the site to help a swing to franchises.

He said that the site has worked on aftersales campaigns with Seat, Volvo, Vauxhall and VW over recent months to push the perceived benefits of taking a car to a franchise.

“This has involved targeting the exact type of consumer, with the right age and make of car, helping with retention and loyalty which is needed by manufacturers and dealers in such a tough climate.”

Green went on to say that is actively pushing the message that franchised dealers prices are not that much more than independent garages, technicians are trained better and use parts outlined by the manufacturer. One benefit includes the superior service that customers can expect to receive, claiming that the small things like free tea and coffee really count.

However, other studies show there is reason to remain positive, as Castrol’s Trend Tracker for 2012 shows that the independent sector has grown its share of the service, maintenance and repair market by 12 percent to 54 percent. As well as three quarters of MOTs being carried out by independents, which has enhanced the chance of customer retention by supplying manufacturer specific service and parts.

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Technicians to benefit

Technicians to benefit

HondaWhat Car? and Warranty Direct have published the results of their annual car reliability survey.

The survey highlights the most common faults and ranks manufacturers according to the likelihood of breaking down and the cost of resulting repairs.

Overall findings show that 23.5 percent of cars taken to a garage have electrical faults, while axles and suspensions accounted for 22 percent of problems.

The survey showed Japanese vehicles outlining their reliability by finishing top of the table based on frequency of faults and the cost of repairs.

For the eighth year in a row Honda topped the charts, with Suzuki, Hyundai, Subaru and Toyota completing the top five reliable car manufacturers.

Many prestige and luxury manufacturers appeared towards the bottom of the rankings, including Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Jaguar.

Unsurprisingly, the bottom five included car manufacturers who have expensive repair costs, with Bentley finishing bottom and Ssangyong, Alfa Romeo, Porsche and Land Rover completing the bottom five. The Porsche 911 also recorded the highest average repair cost in the survey at £1,157.

Warranty Direct Managing Director Duncan McClure Fisher said: “Household budgets are already strained, so the last thing they want is a vehicle that costs them yet more unwanted bills.”

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Autoparts to host largest trade day in Glasgow

TradeShowPosterScotland’s independent garages have been invited to the biggest aftermarket trade show in the area.

The event, hosted by Autoparts at Glasgow’s GTG Training Centre, is on 19 September.

The evening will have ‘a day at the races theme’ where guests will have a chance to bet for prizes, and there’s also the chance to see 80 parts and accessory suppliers exhibiting on the night.

Autoparts Group Factor Manager Craig McCracken, said: “This is a must-attend event for independent garages in Scotland. We want to give garage owners, mechanics and their families a fun and enjoyable evening of entertainment, while also providing them with valuable advice and information to help them run a successful business.

“There will be some amazing deals to be had and we’ll be giving away £25,000 worth of prizes, as well as complimentary food and drink and free goody bag to everyone that joins us.”

To register to attend Autopart’s trade show register your attendance online at

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How to hold on to customers on the phone

techniciansAlthough this is a little better than the average hold time of 33.48 seconds for all business, previous research has found that half of all customers will hang up after waiting just 20 seconds.

“Callers are simply unwilling to wait on the end of the line. These results represent a significant challenge for garages and could pose a threat to profitability,” said PH Media Group Sales and Marketing Director Mark Williamson.

Williamson says it’s inevitable that some customers will have to be placed on hold, but urged garages to think carefully about what to play to callers in these instances.

With 34 percent of callers given silence, and a further 26 percent having to listen to beeps, there is plenty of scope to introduce ‘brand congruent voice and music’ says Williamson.

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Technicians called on to sign up for tyre safety month

Tyresafe-campaignIndependent workshops are being urged to join the TyreSafe campaign that runs this October and can provide them with resources for pitching to motorists.

Registering for the campaign will allow technicians to access a host of resources from posters and kits for initiatives in workshops, as well as online banners, animations and a video to use on websites.

Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Making sure your tyres are properly inflated is an incredibly quick and easy job, but sadly one which many drivers fail to do regularly.

“For tyre safety month, we’re calling on as many road safety professionals to join the campaign as possible and help raise awareness about the importance of making sure tyres are properly inflated.”

A pan-European vehicle survey found that 78 percent of 27,000 cars examined were being driven on under-inflated tyres, with 28.4 percent of vehicles having seriously under inflated tyres.

To find out more information on the campaign or to register your interest, visit

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Schaeffler gets to grips with fake bearing market

Schaeffler gets to grips with fake bearing market

Schaeffler-destructionSchaeffler Automotive Aftermarket has destroyed 26 tonnes of counterfeit bearings worth more than €1 million.

The company carried out raids at various distributors in Europe including Britain, Germany and Italy.

The products seized by Schaeffler were branded as INA and FAG products with spindle, spherical roller, ball and needle roller bearings found and confiscated.

Ingrid Bichelmeir-Böhn, Leader of the Global Brand Protection Team at Schaeffler, said: “Brand and product piracy is not a phenomenon that is limited to China or South East Europe. It also takes place right on our doorstep.

“The German and European markets are no longer only flooded with counterfeit luxury or consumer goods, there is also an increase in counterfeit industrial products that are relevant to safety such as roller bearings.”

The raids carried are not the first of their kind from Schaeffler and follow a similar operation in 2007 in which more than 40 tonnes of counterfeit bearings were destroyed.

The economic impact of counterfeiting on the business is hard to calculate, says Schaeffler, but includes loss of sales and damage to its image as well as the cost of investigation, confiscation and disposal of the fake bearings.

Bichelmeir-Böhn added: “Another loser is the end consumer, as the bearings they have had fitted may suffer from reliability and performance issues, a real safety risk in safety critical applications.”

The news comes after the original equipment suppliers association (OESA) which Schaeffler is part of, is set to launch its latest advertising campaign and take to the UK motor trade the message of  ‘Our Quality – Your Reputation’.

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Death of DIY is a boon for independents

Death of DIY is a boon for independents

workshopDuncan McClure Fisher, Managing Director of Warranty Direct, said: “The days of changing oil, filters and replacing light bulbs on the driveway are fast becoming a thing of the past – in some cases they already are.”

The warranty provider’s annual study of garage labour rates outlines the amount of time technicians have to spend carrying out once simple tasks.

In the 1980’s changing the timing belt on a Ford Escort would have been a straightforward and quick job, but now to do the same work on Focus will take a garage more than three hours.

An 1994 Audi A4 headlamp change would take around 10 minutes for a cost of around £6, while today’s A4 requires the whole headlight cluster to be bought for five times the cost and uses 45 minutes of a technicians time.

Some of the top 10 selling cars have some astonishing repair times on average the BMW 1 and 3 Series front headlamp will take an hour of the technicians time, while a Mercedes-Benz C-Class will take a garage two hours to complete an oil and filter change, costing the owner £70 for the privilege.

Due to the advancement of automotive electronics, today’s vehicles also require specialist tools and diagnostic equipment which is also putting owners off working on their own cars.

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