Staying on track with steering and suspension

With MOT season around the corner, Helen Robinson, marketing director at Euro Car Parts, looks at a component group that is increasingly becoming the cause of failure

 If you were asked to name one of the highest causes of MOT failure, what answer would you give? Many vehicles fail on tyres, wipers and even illegible or damaged number plates which can be quick and relatively inexpensive repairs for customers. However, an increasing number of MOT failures are down to extensive wear or damage in the steering and suspension system which requires a costlier and more time-consuming solution.

The new MOOG packaging

It’s no coincidence that Section 2 of the MOT test is devoted to steering and suspension. These parts are often taken for granted when a vehicle is in operation, but potholes in the road can put suspension systems through a great deal of strain, potentially affecting alignment, which if left unchecked can lead to accelerated wear to components within the system. As these safety critical systems comprise many components and assemblies, repairers should take every opportunity to inspect them for customers, using only quality replacement parts from a trusted provider.

With more arms, links and bushes than ever before, plus increasing volumes of air suspension work reaching the aftermarket, the choice for replacement parts has never been larger. Euro Car Parts stocks all the steering and suspension components needed to cover an expanding range of cars with quick delivery to workshops.

The latest addition to our range is MOOG;a brand synonymous with quality steering and suspension products and recognised globally for its high-quality chassis parts. More than 2,500 product codes will be available through Euro Car Parts by March 2019, with further references to be added throughout the year. The introduction of MOOG® boosts our steering and suspension offering considerably, adding to a solid range which includes high quality chassis parts from Starline and ZF (Lemforder and TRW), among other leading manufacturers.

Although replacement parts are widely available, theimportance of also sourcing and using the correct tools when replacing steering and suspension components cannot be overstated. Air guns may seem like a quick and convenient solution to tightening nuts and bolts, but they should only be used for loosening, as they can overtighten. It is also important that repairers only fully tighten suspension arm fitting bolts once the wheel hub has been raised to its natural operating position. This can be done by measuring the distance from the wheel centre to the wheel arch at ground level. Once the arms are in place and the bolts loosely tightened, the wheel hub can be raised using a jack to the correct position prior to fully tightening using a torque wrench. Vehicle manufacturers recommend that bolts and nuts are replaced every time an axle component is replaced, and these are included with the component or available separately.

With vehicles becoming more sophisticated, repairers should also bear in mind ADAS when working on anything connected to the steering and suspension system, particularly when working on modern vehicles. European legislation introduced in 2004, requires new vehicles to have at least two ADAS systems installed. Common tasks, such as adjusting a vehicle’s wheel alignment, can affect the calibration for one or multiple ADAS systems. This means that an ADAS calibration would need to take place after the wheel alignment to realign the ADAS systems. It’s important to make sure this is done as the repairer has a duty of care to ensure the service is carried out in full as a vehicle returned to an owner uncalibrated leaves the workshop at risk of liability should the car be involved in an accident.


MOOG’s steering and suspension components are produced and tested to ISO standards. The Moog range also features Hybrid Core Technology which provides outstanding durability, even under extreme conditions. With this innovation, MOOG®can offer a distinguished product with up to fivefold increased durability. The system, which incorporates a carbon fibre bearing and induction heat treated ball stud, is applied to ball joints, track control arms, wishbones, axial rods and tie rod ends.

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)


John Haynes, seen here with his CAT Lifetime Achievement Award, has died aged 80

John Haynes, the entrepreneur and creator of the Haynes Manual, founder of the Haynes Publishing Group PLC and the Haynes International Motor Museum passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on the evening of Friday 8th February, aged 80, after a short illness. John was a kind, generous, loving and devoted husband, brother, father and grandfather, who will be missed enormously.

John Harold Haynes was born on 25th March 1938 to Harold and Violette Haynes in Ceylon, where his father was the manager of a tea plantation.  From an early age John had a passion for cars, and as a child he loved nothing more than riding around the plantation with his father in their Morris 8 saloon.

At the age of 12 he moved to the UK with his brother David, to attend boarding school at Sutton Valence School in Kent.  It was at school that John’s flair for art and his entrepreneurial spirit developed and flourished.  He persuaded his House Master to allow him to miss rugby and instead spend his time converting an Austin 7 into a lightweight sporty Austin 7 ‘Special’.  He eventually sold the car, making a reasonable profit, and owing to the immense interest it received (over 150 replies to the advert) he decided to produce a booklet showing other enthusiasts how he’d made it. He published a booklet entitled “Building A ‘750’ Special’; the first print run of 250 copies sold out in 10 days.

After leaving school John joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) to do his National Service, where he made many lifelong friends.  During his time in the RAF his role in logistics taught him business management skills, while enabling him to pursue his passion for motor racing and publishing in his spare time.  He successfully developed and competitively raced several race cars, including his Elva Courier, which is on display in the Haynes International Motor Museum.

It was whilst in the RAF that ‘Johnny’ met Annette, and he soon realised he had met the woman he wanted to spend his life with.  On his way to their wedding he stopped to buy Annette a second hand IBM Proportional Space Type Writer as her wedding present. Although perhaps not the most romantic of gifts, Annette was delighted with his practical choice, setting the stage for a bright future together.

In 1965, John was posted to Aden and it was there that he created the first Haynes Manual.  An RAF colleague had bought a ‘Frogeye’ Sprite, which was in poor condition and he asked John to help him rebuild it. John agreed, and quickly realised that the official factory manual was not designed to help the average car owner. He bought a camera and captured the process of dismantling and rebuilding the engine. The use of step-by-step photo sequences linked to exploded diagrams became the trusted hallmark of Haynes Manuals. The first Haynes Manual, for the Austin Healey Sprite, was published in 1966, and the first print run of 3,000 sold out in less than 3 months. To date over 200 million Haynes Manuals have been sold around the world.

The success of his publishing business, including expansion into Europe and North America, culminated in the Haynes Publishing Group PLC floating on the London Stock Exchange in 1979.  In 1995 John was awarded an OBE for services to publishing, and in 2005 The Open University presented him with the honorary degree of Master of the University. His contribution to motoring was recognised by The Guild of Motoring Writers in 2014 when he was made a life member.

John’s publishing success meant that he was able to enjoy his passion for cars, and he became a prolific collector. In 1985 he founded the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, Somerset as an Educational Charitable Trust, bequeathing his collection of 30 cars to the charity to be held for the benefit of the nation. John continued to support the museum charity throughout his life by donating cars and funding its growth, and thanks to his support the museum has grown and now displays more than 400 vehicles, and is enjoyed by over 125,000 people a year. At the 2014 International Historic Motoring Awards the museum was recognised as The Museum of the Year.

Until 2010 John served as Chairman of the Haynes Publishing Group and then continued to play an active role as Founder Director.  In this role he supported the executive team as they created a world leading content, data and solutions business serving both drivers and professional mechanics. He combined this role with that of Chairman of Trustees of the Haynes International Motor Museum.

John was very much a family man and is survived by his wife Annette, brother David and sister Mary, his two sons; J and Chris, daughters-in-law; Valencia and Femke and his grandchildren; Augusta, Chrissie, Edward, Freya & Nicholas.  His middle son Marc sadly passed away in October 2016.  Annette contributed hugely to the success of the Haynes Publishing Group and she shares John’s lifelong passion for cars. She still serves as a much respected member of the Board of Trustees for the Museum.

A true gentleman, and a kind and considerate man, John will be greatly missed not only by his family, friends and colleagues but also by the many people that use his manuals, and benefit from his reassuring guiding hand as they repair and maintain their cars and motorbikes. The appreciation people felt for his contribution was most visible on an almost daily basis at the Museum’s Café 750. While enjoying lunch John was regularly approached by visitors, who would invariably be greeted with his infectious warmth and engaging, enthusiastic boyish smile.  He was always happy to oblige fellow enthusiasts with photographs, engage in conversation and share his passion for cars.

Obituary written by Haynes Publishing



Posted in Greg Whitaker's diaryComments (0)


Component distributor Continental Direct has acquired constant velocity joint and boot supplier Just Boots. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

CD acquire Just Boots 2019

The two companies have had a working relationship for years and the new owner plans to develop Just Boots’ range of SKUs as well as it’s e-catalogue on Autocat+. Company Founder Dale Holmes will join Continental Direct in a new role of Product Manager, Just Boots.

“As a long trusted supplier of ours”, says Jason Noon, Continental Direct Product Manager, “we are delighted to welcome Dale and the Just Boots brand into our family of OE matching quality products. The excellence of Just Boots products along with the strong technical experience Dale brings will significantly enhance our capabilities to serve our customers.”

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Latest News, News, special newsComments (0)


RAC and ECP shake on network deal

A deal has been signed between the RAC and Euro Car Parts in order to merge the RAC Approved Garage network with ECP’s Autofirst.

The new entity will be known as ‘RAC Approved Garages powered by Autofirst Network’ . As the combined number in both networks is in excess of 500 branches, RAC auto first can claim to be the UK’s largest garage network.


As part of the network, each garage will be jointly branded, carrying the prominent RAC and Autofirst Network branding. The partnership, which aims to ensure customers are only ever a few miles from an RAC Approved Garage, will offer consumers all the benefits of a local garage, combined with a national warranty.

By subscribing, garages will also be offered repairs referred to them by RAC patrols from breakdowns through the company’s Accredited Repairer scheme. 

RAC Chief Executive Dave Hobday said: “We know from market research that customers really value the friendly, local and reliable service provided by independent garages and have a very high level of trust in the RAC so this is the perfect recipe for garages looking to stand out from the crowd in a busy marketplace.”


Andy Hamilton, Euro Car Parts Chief Executive, added: ““We believe the brands are an excellent fit and have the potential to become a first choice for consumers wanting the trust of big brands but with local service and convenience”.

Posted in Latest News, Retailer News, special news, UncategorisedComments (1)



Torsional Vibration Dampers (TVDs) provide vital protection for a vehicles engine. TVDs are made up of rubber and metal components; the rubber within the metal absorbs excessive vibrations that are leaked from the engine. These vibrations, if transmitted, can damage surrounding components causing them to fail prematurely. Having parts within the engine failing can cause significant damage to the vehicle.

We at Corteco thrive off the quality and expertise passed down by our parent company Freudenberg. We offer vibration control components and repair kits in OEM quality for more than 27,500 types of vehicles. All products are designed to meet the highest quality standards and are manufactured using the latest production methods.

This directly relates to our TVDs and we know that if you start to hear excessive noise coming from the engine or the vehicles is, vibrating excessively then you need to get your car into the garage. The steps below will show you how you can successfully remove and install a replacement TVD.

Step 1– The belt routing can be quite complex so we advise that you take a picture or draw a quick sketch of this.

Step 2– Next we need to remove the tensioner from the belt, this can easily be done by rotating the pulley.

Step 3– To remove the TVD from the crankshaft you need to loosen the mounting bolts. As we know not everything is as straight forward and some TVDs are different.

If the TVD you are replacing has a central expansion bolt then you will need to block the flywheel, like most repairs on a vehicle all parts need to be replaced and this includes the central bolt.

If the TVD you are replacing doesn’t have a central bolt then this can be removed by holding the pulley and removing the mounting bolts. As always we recommend that all bolts are replaced with the TVD, Corteco offers complete TVD kits to make this possible.

Step 4– Unpack the new damper and place this on the engine.

Step 5– Now the new TVD is on we need to tighten the mounting bolts, if there are several bolts we recommend tightening alternate bolts and working them in a star pattern. Torque the mounting bolts to 1/3 of the installation torque.

Step 6– Before fully tightening the bolts we recommend you torque the mounting bolts to 2/3 and then continue to tighten them to the full torque as specified by the vehicle manufacturer in the manual.

Step 7– Before releasing the vehicle back to the customer, it is advised to inspect the front end auxiliary drive for wear and to replace any parts that are showing significant signs of stress. Ensure the belt has been re-fitted before starting the engine

Step 8– The final step to the installation and removal process is reloading the belt onto the tensioner by rotating the tensioner to the correct position. Ensure the belt has been re-fitted before starting the engine without doing so can cause significant damage.

As a pulley is seen as a crucial repair only quality products should be used, Corteco offers a lifetime warranty on all TVD kits, as we know they will not let you down.

Head to find out more about our extensive range.

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Industry InsightComments (0)


The winners of the CAT Awards 2019 are as follows:

Motor Factor of the Year: Autoparts UK

Factor Team of the Year: Butlers Automotive

CAT Awards 2019 winners have been announced

Garage Chain of the Year: Halfords Autocentres

Independent Garage of the Year: Scotlands Ash Garage

Retailer of the Year: Wilco

Supplier of the Year: Banner Batteries

Outstanding Achievement: Dave Garrett of the Garage Equipment Association



Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Latest News, NewsComments (1)


The winners of the CAT Awards 2019 are as follows:


Motor Factor of the Year: Autoparts UK


Factor Team of the Year: Butlers Automotive


CAT Awards 2019 winners have been announced

Garage Chain of the Year: Halfords Autocentres


Independent Garage of the Year: Scotlands Ash Garage


Retailer of the Year: Wilco


Supplier of the Year: Banner Batteries


Outstanding Achievement: Dave Garrett of the Garage Equipment Association







Posted in Blogs, UncategorisedComments (0)


Deeside-based LCV accessory manufacturer Rhino Products has opened a distribution centre at Venlo-Grubbenvorst in the Netherlands ahead of the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union at the end of March.

This 1.100 sq. m warehousing facility is now the headquarters for the Group’s European operations, alongside an existing warehouse in Mölnlycke, Sweden and a further sales office in Kraków, Poland. All manufacturing for the group takes place at its UK head office and production site in Deeside, Flintshire.


Rhino’s Group Managing Director Steve Egerton explained: “The opening of this warehousing facility is just one of many important steps we are taking to prepare for any potential scenario as the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union are finalised. Whatever the political outcome, Rhino will be ready, and we are looking forward to another year of growth and expansion”.

The move to the distribution centre also coincided with Rhino switching to DPD as its central European logistics partner.


New plant in the Netherlands


Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Latest News, News, special newsComments (0)


Spicers SPOT Group, a wholesaler of office supplies, has confirmed that Steve Horne will become CEO from March 4th.

Horne will be familiar to many CAT readers as the Chief Operating Officer of Euro Car Parts, a position he held until a board walkout in December. Previously, Horne held senior positions in Unipart Automotive and Wickes Building Supplies.



Horne commented “I am very excited about joining the SPOT Group, where the history of the company complemented by the expertise and commitment of the team, gives a great foundation for the future”.

The SPOT acronym comes from the 2014 merger of SPicers and Office Team.


Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, News, special newsComments (0)


Arnold Clark factors Midwest and Autoparts UK have confirmed that they are to increase stockholding by a quarter ahead of Brexit.

In Glasgow, Autoparts’ central distribution hub has installed a new mezzanine floor and all branches throughout Scotland and Northern England are increasing stock levels.

Additional stock is also being put into Midwest Motor Factors and Monmore Auto Parts branches.

Craig McCracken, Autoparts UK Group Factor Manager, said: “Whatever the outcome, we’re making sure independent garages continue to enjoy an uninterrupted supply of products. This latest development sends out a clear message to the industry – and our customers – that Autoparts UK, Midwest and Monmore are proactively taking every step to ensure product availability remains at their highest levels possible”.

Stockholding to increase by 25 percent at main DC







Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, latest news, Mag Info, News, special newsComments (0)

  • MPD's Mukesh Shah on network expansion
  • Strategy: Some new diesel components might never be remanufactured
  • Aftermarket Lives:  Aston Barclay opens a sparkling new auction yard

more info

    • Should hand car washes face further regulation?

      View Results

      Loading ... Loading ...
    • Popular
    • Latest
    • Comments
    • Tags
    • Subscribe