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OIL SEAL FAILURE DIAGNOSIS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF CORTECO

 

 

Oil Seal Failure Diagnosis

Often, when parts such as oil seals fail prematurely they are replaced and returned under warranty; however, in most cases the seal itself isn’t the reason the failure has occurred. In this guide, we will take you through the causes and how to avoid premature leaks and failures in the future.

Lip Leakage Diagnosis

Click for expanded chart

If the lip has worn out then this is often caused by the seal not being sufficiently lubricated before installation causing abnormally high temperature, the presence of foreign matter, disproportionate internal pressure or an excessively rough shaft surface. Similarly if when removing a seal, if the lip has hardened and there are visible cracks, you can be sure that this has again been caused by abnormally high temperatures, excessive internal pressure or insufficient lubrication. The cause for the abnormally high wear has occurred due to friction as the amount of lubricant was below the specified level and therefore did not reach the seal lip. Alternatively, insufficient lubrication can come from dry-wear conditions because the vehicle’s oil levels are low. Another sign of this is if the lip wear band is smooth and glossy.

Alternatively, if the lip has softened, then the main cause of this is the lip having the incorrect material required for the application. In order to prevent this from reoccurring make sure the correct seal is sourced for the specific application before installation.

If you notice the lip of the seal has worn unevenly then this is due to cocked seal installation or an excessive shaft offset. As before, both should be checked during installation but crucially before the vehicle is out on the road.

Installation errors tend to be a big factor in automotive parts failing prematurely. This is apparent if you can see that the lip of the seal is scratched, caused by improper assembly, improper handling, an incorrect shaft chamber or the presence of foreign matter entering the seal. The scratches are often caused by being assembled over burrs or other defects in the shaft chamber, the lip coming into contact with sharp metal parts during transit or storage or if the seal was handled with gloves contaminated with metal particles.

As stated improper handling can be a factor in causing a seal to fail prematurely, the tell-tale sign is the seal lip being swollen or soft. The swelling is caused by the lip being soaked in solvents or petrol before installation. Alternatively, if when removing a seal you see the fit trace is disconnected locally then the seal could have been deformed because of an improperly designed assembly jig or a gap in the press-fit occurred due to rough handling.

However, although problems during fitting can contribute to the part failing, other issues may be the key factor. If the lip’s waist (flex area) is broken, then this can be because of improper assembly but can also triggered by excessive internal pressure. Similarly if the lip is turned-under, the lip edge is severely worn and the wear band is concave then this is connected to an incorrect shaft chamber, improper assembly and excessive internal pressure meaning the oil seal area exceeded the maximum pressure it was originally designed for. To prevent this reoccurring, identify the maximum pressure for the seal and check it is compatible with the vehicle. However, if the lip edge is severely worn but there are circumferential grooves on the wear band then the cause is that the shaft finish was rougher than the specified range again this can be prevented by sourcing the correct part for the specific application.

Similarly, if the lip edge is severely worn and there are grooves or indentations on the surface. Foreign matter can affect the seal in many ways whether the cause is due to a shaft or seal that has been contaminated with foreign particles being used or the contaminants were embedded in the seal lip. The cause can be triggered when the seal is assembled in the presence of dirt and/or dust causing the contaminants to become embedded in the sealing lip. In addition, if the seal or the housing was assembled with silicone, the sealant will have contaminated the shaft or seal.

If, when removing a seal the garter spring has become disconnected then this has likely been caused by an incorrect shaft chamber or improper assembly, checking the installation can ensure you and you customers are happy with the finished job.

However, if there isn’t an obvious fault with the oil seal, the cause is often difficult to diagnose, but before you prematurely condemn a good seal first check if the shaft is scratched or the diameter is incorrect, if the shaft rotational direction does not match the helix on the seal, there is excessive shaft offset or runout, the shaft is worn or the seal has been installed incorrectly.

Press-Fit area leakage diagnosis

Below we identify four common causes of premature leaks due to incorrect handling/installation.

If the oil seal is cocked then this can be caused by an improperly sized bore diameter, incorrect shaft chamber or improper assembly jig.

Like with the lip leakage diagnosis if the oil seal is problem free, check if there is a scratched or an improperly sized bore or excessive bore surface roughness. Similarly if the seal OD is damaged or chafed the bore is often the cause. Ensure you check if there is an improper sized bore diameter, incorrect shaft chamber or improper assembly jig before installation.

All the causes mentioned can be avoided if the correct steps are taken when assembling, ordering and fitting a part.

Head over to www.corteco.com/en/products/sealing/ to view our sealing range.

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IN PICTURES: ANDREW PAGE’S MARKHAM VALE SIGNAGE COMES DOWN

Signs on Andrew Page’s Markham Vale site were being removed this morning as the century-old company transitions into the next chapter of it’s existence.

The 100,000 sq ft plus mezzanines depot opened amidst much fanfare in 2012 as the company, then under new management and with new financial backers, sought to modernise nationwide logistics. However, the warehouse, clearly visible from the M1, became redundant following the acquisition of Andrew Page, then in administration, by Euro Car Parts in 2016. 

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MAHLE TO ACQUIRE BEHR HELLA SERVICE

Mahle’s Telford site

Filter manufacturer Mahle is to acquire Hella’s shares in Behr Hella Service, subject to the usual approvals. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Currently, the operation is a joint venture between Mahle and Hella, but if the acquisition is successful Mahle intends to manage the spare parts business for thermal management products on its own.

There will be a transitional period, but it is planned that thermal products will be sold under the Mahle brand from the start of 2020.

Noting that Hella plans to concentrate on its core competences of lighting and electronics, coupled with workshop equipment, Dr Andreas Habeck, a BDM from Hella, said: “Together we will make the transition of the business activities as smooth as possible for our customers”.

Olaf Henning, Head of Aftermarket at Mahle said: “Efficient thermal management will play an increasingly important role in future – for all powertrain technologies. This move will allow us to give the best possible support in this promising area and ensure the successful operation of workshops.

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS: AUGUST

Name: Lorraine Woodhouse

Company: Halfords

Role: CFO

 

Lorraine Woodhouse joins Halfords as Chief Financial Officer from posh supermarket Waitrose where she occupied the same role. Woodhouse will replace Jonny Mason, who is leaving Halfords on 31 July. She will not take up the new role until the beginning of November. It has been a period of leadership change as Halfords as Graham Stapleton has replaced Jill MacDonald as CEO.

 

Name: Graham Darby

Company: ESG

Role: Area Sales Manager

 

Graham Darby joins ECCO Safety Group with over 30 years of experience in the auto-electrical industry. He has previously held several sales manager positions but has many years’ experience as an auto-electrician. Whilst at Ribblesdale Auto Electrics, he was involved in field sales throughout the North West. Lately he has been developing the OE & aftermarket business for Peterson Europe in the North of the UK, as well as Ireland.

 

 

Name: Salvatore Coniglio

Company: Liqui Moly

Role: Export Director

 

Following an internal promotion, Salvatore Coniglio is now Export Director at German lubricant producer Liqui Moly. Coniglio’s appointment is likely to bring fresh ideas to the export business of the company as he observed in a statement how the international buying groups’ ‘blurring of boundaries in trade’ has an affect on ‘range creation and buying policy’.

 

Name: Mark Brickhill

Company: Klarius Group

Role: CEO

 

Mark Brickhill takes the role of Group Chief Executive Officer at Klarius Group which covers Klarius Products, machine specialist KMT as well as the related tools and consumables business Emissco. Brickhill has management experience both in UK and across EMEA in both developed and emerging markets. His CV includes senior roles at Turtle Wax and Goodyear-Dunlop.. He has previously been the Chair of the National Tyre Manufacturers Association.

 

 

 

 

Name: Trevor Hudson

Company: Klarius

Role: BDM (Germany)

Trevor Hudson is appointed new Klarius Business Development Manager for Germany. A former German Linguist for Special Intelligence in the British Army, Hudson has spent recent years at referral channels Aklamio and TradeDoubler and prior to that a stint at factory management firm European Automation. He will explore new distribution channels for Klarius.

Name: Clive Wain

Company: Tracker

Role: Head of Police Liaison

Geo-tagging firm Tracker has appointed Clive Wain as Head of Police Liaison. Bringing over 30 years of service in the police and a successful career as a Detective, Wain’s knowledge of organised crime and leading investigation teams for South Yorkshire Police will bring a useful insight to his new role.

 

Name: Gary Copeland

Company: MAM Software

Role: Head of VRM Sales

MAM Software has announced Gary Copeland as its new head of VRM sales. Copeland will be responsible for the leadership and development of MAM’s vehicle registration number plate lookup business. Copeland is a well-respected figure within the parts aftermarket and insurance sectors. He has a wealth of experience with over 10 years in this industry, most recently as general sales manager at Carweb.

 

Name: Jim Mazza

Company: Parts Distribution Partnership

Role: BDM

The PDP buying group has recruited Jim Mazza to it’s ranks in order to assist members with the group’s development. As detailed elsewhere in the issue, Mazza brings years of relevant experience to the role. Many readers will recognise him from his time at GroupAuto where he was Managing Director. He was previously a Director of plumbing and builders merchant Wolseley UK.

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REMOVING TRICKY SEAT BELT BOLTS WITH INDUCTION HEAT

PROMOTIONAL POST ON BEHALF OF INDUCTION INNOVATIONS

Ever had problems removing a stuck seat belt bolt? Induction heating makes difficult tasks like this easier and safer. With the Mini-Ductor® Venom® handheld induction heating tool from Induction Innovations, removing those stuck seat belt bolts becomes a much easier and safer process. Using Invisible Heat, the Mini-Ductor Venom releases metal from corrosion and thread lock compounds without the dangers of open flame in seconds.

The innovative Mini-Ductor Venom provides a safer, quicker and less damaging alternative to naked flame heating and a great return on investment.

For more information: 01953 859138 or www.theinductor.co.uk

Four Easy Steps to Remove Seat Belt Bolts

 

  • Step 1: Select the right coil (the pre-formed coils come in different sizes and can be bent to shape to suit the job).

 

 

 

 

  • Step 2: Secure the coil onto the Mini-Ductor Venom with twist lock.

 

 

 

 

  • Step 3: Place the coil around the bolt and heat (be cautious not to overheat or turn bolt red hot).

 

 

 

 

  • Step 4: Remove the bolt.

 

 

 

 

Induction Innovations has produced a series of step-by-step video guides to demonstrate some key applications for the Mini-Ductor Venom. You can view demonstration videos at www.youtube.com/user/theinductoruk

 

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INDUSTRY RESPONDS AS CALLS FOR ‘OUTDATED’ MOT TO BE SCRAPPED

The Adam Smith Institute (ASI), a UK ‘think tank’ has released a report suggesting the MOT is outdated and should be abolished.

Following the results of the government’s 4-1-1 consultation earlier this year, the institute researched the annual test to establish its place in today’s society. From its findings, it believes the practice is outdated, stemming from the widespread use of ‘unsafe’ vehicles in the 1950s, and calling reforms over the years; “burdens on drivers due to unsubstantiated assumptions that inspections increase safety.”

The institute’s research suggests that just 2% of all vehicle accidents in the UK are down to mechanical failures, whereas 65% are driver-related, although the latter figure is based on a report written nearly a decade ago. It believes that due to modern safety requirements built into vehicles, both material and technological, the MOT is now irrelevant, and scrapping it would allow for more focus on driver training to prevent accidents.

Drawing comparison with states in the USA that have removed the requirement for periodic testing, the report suggests that the number of mechanical-related accidents did not change from levels when such inspections were mandatory. Therefore, it states that MOT testing is irrelevant, although there is only conjecture that the numbers would not have dropped had testing remained in place.

Referencing the government’s 4-1-1 consultation results, which were published in January, the ASI report states: “The proposal was rejected in part because public consultation suggested that the safety risk outweighed [any] potential saving. Numerous groups spoke out against the proposed change and the supposed safety risk it would entail; however, each of the proposal’s opponents relied entirely on conjecture and extrapolation to justify these claims.”

In its conclusion, the paper surmises: “By continuing inspection programs like the MOT, the United Kingdom places an overly burdensome weight on its drivers to care for their vehicles while overlooking the more serious drivers of roadway fatalities and injuries: the drivers themselves. Even if the program cannot be abolished completely, the MOT program ought to, at a minimum, be seriously overhauled to be less restrictive and wasteful, and to focus on driver behaviour rather than vehicle status.”

Retaliating to the findings, Stuart James, IGA Director commented: “The fact that the UK has one of the best road safety records in the developed world is a testament to the quality of the MOT test.

“The report states that the average repair cost to get a car through its MOT is £143. This indicates that a large number of vehicles are unroadworthy. Every fatality is one too many, and for an average price of £33, the peace of mind that this brings can only be perceived as outstanding value for money.”

Speaking on Twitter, AA President Edmund King added: “What absolute rubbish. In all our polls drivers actually appreciate the importance of the MOT. Going by a number of cars I saw tonight with lights not working, we need MOTs.”

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GARAGE AGGREGATOR WHOCANFIXMYCAR SECURES £4M INVESTMENT

Garage comparison site Whocanfixmyfar.com has secured £4 million from investors including Shell Ventures, Sir Trevor Chinn, Active Partners and Venrex Investment Management.

The site was launched in 2011 by two former investment bankers, Al Preston and Ian Griffiths, and has since become the biggest online marketplace for drivers and garages in the UK. The company has offices in Newcastle upon Tyne, London and Kiev.

Shell  has invested via its corporate venture capital arm, Shell Ventures, which supports both business and fund-led deals in areas of strategic interest for the parent company. This investment follows the development of the Shell Helix Service Specialist Network, a recently launched scheme which allows independent workshops on the aggregator site to be officially associated with Shell.

Other investors include Active Partners, which has stakes in household names such as Evans Cycles, Rapha, Leon and Soho House. Venrex Investment Management is another stakeholder and has previously invested in Just Eat, Not on the High Street and Revolut. Sir Trevor Chinn, who is the chairman of the website has also invested.

Al Preston, Co-Founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, said: “This is a really exciting time for the company. The whole team have worked extremely hard to bring the business to this point, where we can attract such interesting partners for our next stage of growth”

“The plan will be to keep scaling our activities and consolidate our position in the UK. We are also focusing on new products and solutions that will further benefit our garage network and provide car owners with a better, richer experience when it comes to car maintenance and repairs.”

Commenting on the announcement, Huibert Vigeveno, Executive Vice President for Global Commercial, Shell, said:

29209815 – firewall and antivirus concept with a laptop inside a crystal sphere

“The aftermarket sector is changing rapidly as technology savvy customers seek products and services which are easier and more convenient to use. Shell wants to be at the forefront of shaping those products and services.  Digital and services partnerships such as this investment in WhoCanFixMyCar.com are very much part of our future growth strategy.”

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ANDREW PAGE AND ECP TRAINING PROGRAMMES MERGE

Euro Car Parts has brought together its Euro Academy training offer with Andrew Page’s Autoeducation programme. Bosses plan to keep the Autoeducation brand, with a new prospectus covering a wider selection of courses.

The extended programme will continue to deliver IMI-accredited training for technicians and include a dedicated technical phone helpline and online diagnostics database with a reference library of previous faults.

Courses available will include foundational electrics, oscilloscopes  and CAN BUS systems. There is also full MOT course coverage, from Level 3 accreditation to MOT Tester and Managerial Training. Autoeducation’s offering now also includes Euro Academy’s ADAS training course, delivered in partnership with Hella.

Helen Robinson, Marketing Director at Euro Car Parts, commented: “Since we acquired Andrew Page, we have been committed to ensuring that this trusted brand continues to thrive in the independent aftermarket. Recognising how popular and successful its Autoeducation programme is, we have boosted the portfolio significantly by merging it with Euro Academy. It is our intention to invest in our training offering to ensure the independent sector is well positioned to work on all types of vehicle.”

Euro Car Parts acquired the Andrew Page factor chain when the latter went into administration in 2016.

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AFTERMARKET LIVES: AUTOPARTS UK

Even if you’ve never been on a franchise’s forecourt, the chances are that you’ve heard of Arnold Clark. In case you haven’t, it is a huge company with 24 VM brands in it’s dealer group, that has branches dotted all over the UK.

The scale of the business was a point proven to us when we were given a tour of the vast and labyrinthine Head Office in Glasgow, which fittingly is integrated with one of the dealer’s 200 branches.

However, it isn’t the huge office that we are here to see, nor are we in town to visit the firm’s training facilities. Instead, our trip is to the former Albion truck and bus factory in Scotstoun, which for many years has been home to Arnold Clark’s aftermarket factor business, Autoparts UK.

As you might expect from a building where double-decker buses were once produced, it is very large and solidly constructed with ornate cast iron pieces stretching to the roof. There’s a large mezzanine and there is ample room for all of the sales team inside the former administrative quarters. It’s in here that we meet the Group Factor Manager, Craig McCracken who explained how it was that a company that has its main business in new car franchises has an all-makes aftermarket factor chain attached to it.

“We started with Unipart Express Factors, because in those days an Express Factors branch was always coupled to a Rover dealership” McCracken explained. At the time Arnold Clark had a Rover Group franchise, though the Express Factors network was an all-makes programme.

 

Express Factors

McCracken started the first Express Factors branch to be located in a Nissan dealership, but the landscape changed when Unipart took the decision to buy Partco/Brown Brothers. “We took the decision that we might be ‘feeding the hand that was about to bite us’, so to speak” explained McCracken. “We decided to do our own thing separately and line up our own suppliers”.

With that, the Autoparts UK brand was established in October 1992. Thanks to the team’s experience and backing there was no problem with securing stock from the best suppliers in the market including Valeo, Kilen and Sogefi etc. In addition the company has always offered a tier of products under various ‘house brand’ labels including Padtech, Goliath and Dynamach which also do very well.

“With our own brand products, we always try to make them equal to, if not better than the premium product” McCracken says, explaining that contract to supply oil, for example, is put out to tender every three years and the product is monitored to ensure consistent quality.

 

Acquisition trail

Today, Autoparts now consists of twelve branches, ranging from Inverness on the North coast of the Scottish Highlands, to Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands. Three years ago, a second chain, Midwest Motor Factors was acquired with half a dozen branches that also fall under McCracken’s jurisdiction. The growth is unlikely to stop there as McCracken has plans to expand further and is on the hunt for any businesses that might be considering selling.

 

Unlike most all-make parts factors, Autoparts UK also supplies body panels to the crash repair market and more recently it has introduced a range of tyres. Like some other factors, Autoparts UK offers customers a garage management system, which allows them to manage daily booking and check stock online.

 

McCracken says that the system is popular with regular customers, though only a minority use it for actually ording parts.

 

“They can order parts through it, but the main thing (for them) is getting accurate service schedules” he explained, adding that in the event of a dispute with a VM, the garage will need to prove that the vehicle has been serviced in line with the manufacturer’s schedules, and that the software will advise on exactly when, and what parts are needed at certain intervals. The system is also handy for sending out MOT and timing belt reminders to customers.

 

McCracken has always been a fan of selling everything needed to complete a job in one go. For example, when selling catalytic converters he noticed that the team struggled to get garages to take all the accessories needed to fit the part at the same time. “The main problem was that when you sold someone a cat then added a fitting kit at £26 on top it was difficult” explained McCracken. “So we did a deal with a manufacturer to include the kit in the price. We sometimes get customers saying that we are slightly more expensive, but when we explain that they are getting over £20 of fitting kit in the price, it usually works in our favour”.

 

Price is a crucial point everywhere, but especially here in Glasgow, where several factors are competing for the same patch. “If you’re not competitive, your customer will go to the competitor” he explains, adding that availability, product quality and delivery speed are now areas where there is little to choose between one factor and another in the local area.

 

On the subject of how ‘independent’ can an independent factor be if it is owned by the holder of dealer franchises, McCracken said: “Our competitors will try and use it against us, but ultimately the garages we serve are charging around £40 p/h and working on vehicles that are five years plus, where dealerships are charging £90 per hour”.

 

“Last year, AC sold 297,000 vehicles. We are the food chain for the aftermarket. Is someone going to bring a six year old Dacia back to the dealer for a set of brakes, an exhaust and a clutch? No. It’s never really been an issue, I’ve never lost any business out of it”.

 

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CAT DIARY: EDITORS SUMMER TRAVELS

Tuesday May 22 Greg Whitaker

Having just got back from Autoparts in Glasgow, I’m now off on my holidays to Seattle, and am (somewhat predictably) still putting the final touches on the issue while waiting at the airport. The pages are sent just as the flight opened for boarding…

Wednesday May 30 Greg Whitaker

In America, I’m interested to see some of the factor chains that we so often write about. I stop in at a branch of NAPA to ask some questions and to pick up some own-brand bulbs (which turn out to have been made in the Far East). I also note a factor called O’Reilly which, in common with most Irish-american businesses, is covered in Irish cliches. I wonder what Team P.R Reilly (an actual Irish factor) would make of it?

 

Tuesday 4 June Greg Whitaker

Back home and it’s straight from Heathrow to Birmingham International (or more precisely the NEC). One of these days I’ll learn about time differences…

 

Wednesday 6 June Greg Whitaker

Automechanika Birmingham is in full swing, and I’m pleased to meet so many readers at the show. With lots of meetings booked and forums to attend, the sales team and I will be very busy. The rumour mill is also in full swing at the show. If only half of them were printable…

 

Thursday 14 June Greg Whitaker

It’s a pleasant summer afternoon for a drive down the A3 to Melksham for a visit to the factor show (covered in Connections). It was pleasing to see a good number of garages turn up to see what the suppliers have to offer.

 

Friday 29 June Greg Whitaker

So what is the truth in these rumours about a new, disruptive buying group? I have several meetings next week where I hope all will be cleared up. However, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until next month to learn more…

 

Monday July 3 (AM) Greg Whitaker

It’s just me getting the magazine out this month… I had better get on with it.First of all, I have a meeting with Alastair Whatmore and the PDP in Doncaster. The news, as I’m sure you are all aware now, is that Jim Mazza has joined their ranks.

 

Monday July 3 (PM) Greg Whitaker

From there is is a short run to see Colin Smit from brake manufacturer Lumag, where we spend an interesting hour or so chewing the fat of all the changes in the aftermarket at the moment.

 

Tuesday July 4 Greg Whitaker

There’s no rest for the wicked… This is certainly true in the pool car as the drive from Doncaster last night to my next appointment in Barnstable this morning turned out to be both longer and far hotter than I had expected. However, it was good to look at Ultra Parts and even more interesting to visit a Parts Alliance Southwest branch. For all we have written about the house-branded branches, I had never actually visited one before.

 

Wednesday July 18 Greg Whitaker

My Yaris Verso has been off the road for a month or so as I hadn’t got around to MOT-ing it. More fool me, as the the byzantine changes to the tes

 

t make knowing what to check before presenting it that much harder. The garage discovered it needed drop links and rear springs, which I thought was getting away pretty lightly, until I got a bill for £500… Next time, I’ll supply the parts myself.

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