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GEA AGREES TO APPROVE ONLY ‘CONNECTED’ MOT EQUIPMENT

GEA AGREES TO APPROVE ONLY ‘CONNECTED’ MOT EQUIPMENT

DVSA has made an agreement with the GEA that no new models of diesel smoke meter, exhaust gas analysers or decelerometers would be approved for use in MOT centres unless they can connect to the testing service.

This follows from a similar agreement between the two organisations last month that roller brake testers for classes 4,5 and 7 would only be approved if they connected to the new service.

From 1 October, new MOT centres will need a connected roller brake tester to receive approval and all garages will only be able to buy connectable roller brake testers as replacements. The same rules will apply to smoke meters, gas analysers and decelerometers, although a date to switch has not yet been announced.

READ: MOT SRIKE ACTION LIKELY IN NORTHERN IRELAND 

Dave Garratt, GEA Chief Exec said:  “The main concern for GEA members is to improve the quality of MOT equipment and remove any possibility of human error in the reporting procedure. Connecting MOT test equipment is a very logical step for us as it removes any “miss keying” by the operator and speeds up the process”.

“Starting by connecting brake testers makes good sense and since the introduction of Automated Test Lanes (ATLs) most may already be connectable”.

“Connecting all types of processor-based equipment is possible and as connectivity is applied across the whole test bay it will add increasing value for the motorist by reducing error and benefit the garage by speeding up the test”.

Chris Price, DVSA Head of MOT Policy said: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone keep their vehicle safe to drive. We’re bringing in connected equipment to modernise testing in MOT garages and reduce the potential for mistakes”

MOT equipment will communicate directly with centre

“It will make testing quicker, more accurate and give motorists greater confidence in the quality of testing. Garages already using this equipment have seen benefits to their business.”

 

 

 

 

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PUTTING A STOP TO BRAKE DUST

PUTTING A STOP TO BRAKE DUST

By Greg Whitaker

The knives have been out for traveling by car recently. All around the nation, there have been scores of column inches devoted to the harm that small particulate matter does to our bodies – and if you live around London, you have probably seen some of the anti-car campaigns being run by the Mayor’s office as a new wave of legislation dictating what vehicles can be driven and when take effect.

It isn’t just smokey exhausts that have caught the attention of the powers that be. A cross-party committee called the Air Quality Expert Group has identified that tyres, roads and perhaps most notably, the dust from brake linings are a source of very small particulates which can cause problems with breathing and can also enter the water table easily when rain washes the dust from the road.

Scale of the issue

In one sense the problem is unlikely to be growing as hybrid and electric vehicles use regenerative braking, so the amount of wear on the pads is greatly reduced. However, as the amount of particulates from exhausts reduces, pollution from brake and tyre wear will increase as a percentage, with DEfRA predicting that 10 percent of transport emissions will be from these sources by 2030. In Germany alone it has been calculated that 10,000 tonnes of brake dust is scattered annually.

It might be easy to dismiss this issue as just rhetoric, but cases of lung diseases and asthma are on the rise and there is good evidence that it is the smaller particles, rather than the bigger sooty ones, that cause the most damage to the organs of the body.

So, what can be done? We asked a number of the 60 or so friction lining brands if they are taking any action on the issue.

Scott Irwin, Technical Trainer at TMD Friction, the company behind brands such as Mintex, Textar and Pagid, said: “With regards to pollution through tyres and brakes overall, there are currently no official limits or common methods of measurement. It is much more difficult to provide these guidelines than it was for emissions from exhaust pipes because brakes are open systems”.

He added that his company has around 800 materials to choose from. “Our raw material portfolio management team proactively researches and tests suitable new raw materials that are not harmful to people or the environment when processed or when used in the brake system,” he said, adding that TMD is a member of the UN’s Particle Measurement Programme which is dedicated to address the issues of non-exhaust related emissions from vehicles.

New materials

Most people know that asbestos was used in making brake pads and shoes until it was, quite sensibly, banned from use donkey’s years ago. Perhaps less well known is the use of copper wire to make the friction material bind together. Copper isn’t in itself harmful, but when ground into a fine power, the metal can get into the bloodstream where it is toxic.

Copper is being phased out, and some companies have already removed it entirely from friction linings. However, others have kept it in the mixture and will do so until required to do so by law.

Matt Leeming a Manager at aftermarket braking brand Juratec noted that his company had discontinued use of copper and other heavy metals some time ago, but the problem is spread wider: “Of course, governments are looking to go further than just restricting the use of some of the more problematic ingredients of brake pads. It has been established that this wear debris, or particulate matter, which is a mixture of both pad and disc debris ranging in particle size from under 100 micrometres to approx. 0.1 micrometres, with some of it falling in the critical respirable range of 10 to one micrometres” he said.

By comparison, a human hair typically has a width of about 50 micrometres.

“To reduce particle emissions further will require a much broader approach across a number of fronts so we are seeing special hard coatings being applied to the surface of brake discs to reduce their wear rates and of course carbon-ceramic discs offer reduced wear albeit at a significantly higher cost” Leeming furthered. “The automotive industry is also exploring partially enclosing brakes and fitting them with filters in order to capture the bulk of particulate emissions so the likely final outcome will be a combination of measures”.

The filters referred to by Leeming are being developed by companies including Mann+Hummel based in Germany. The firm recently exhibited a working model of a brake dust filter, which featured in the firm’s company magazine. For the filter media the engineers opted for a metallic based web. The fibers are resistant to corrosion and are able to withstand the high temperatures on the brake. Several German magazines have also shown pictures of the filter, built on as part of the brake mechanism, being tested on various new VWs, suggesting that VMs might include the design on new vehicles in the near future.

Some firms are further down the road of removing metal from brake pads than others. A few we spoke to would only say that the binding agent would be removed ‘when the time comes’, i.e when required to do so by legislation and herein lies the problem of cleaning up the mixture used in brake linings.

There is scope for development, but with so many brands fighting for space on the factor’s racking, there needs to be rules and clearly repeatable tests introduced that everyone must follow.

Trains a problem too

Don’t think that simply avoiding cars and taking the tube will be an answer to keeping clear of brake dust particulates. Filter brand Mann+Hummel has reported that longer visits to underground railway stations can also be harmful to health. Measurements in the London underground system, for example, have registered air pollution with inhalable particles in the range of 500 to 1,120mg per cubic metre, which compared to the EU’s guideline of 50mg is off the scale. A tunnel cleaning train used to be in service, but it was withdrawn and plans for a replacement were quietly dropped.

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‘EXTREMELY DANGEROUS’ CALLIPERS ON THE MARKET SAYS REMANUFACTURER

‘EXTREMELY DANGEROUS’ CALLIPERS ON THE MARKET SAYS REMANUFACTURER

Not all brake callipers are remanufactured to the same standard’ according to Wrexham-based Brake Engineering. 

In a statement issued to CAT, the firm says that it has seen problems in this category in the market. 

“Not all callipers available in the market today are remanufactured the same” the statement reads. “Several competitor units we have tested are being sold with reclaimed pistons, which could result in component failure or splitting the piston seal”. 

“These callipers also have had mounting holes and castings machined. A machined mounting hole could alter the critical dimensions of the calliper and increase the wear and strain during use. Machined castings could again alter the critical dimensions of the unit, increase the original pad gap and create uneven pad wear, which would result in brake squeal or brake judder”.

The firm also reported that the quality of new-in-box callipers was variable. “Currently, there are also a number of ‘new’ callipers entering the market. We have also tested a number of these callipers being sold on to independent garages. While these products may appear fit for purpose there performance has been found to be severely questionable. While aesthetically they look fine, under closer testing all units were shown to have “porosities” (holes) and oxides in the material and all had partly inhomogeneous microstructures, which could result in weakening of the unit and be extremely dangerous when braking under normal driving conditions” the statement concluded. 

We’ll be following up the company’s assertions in September’s remanufacturing feature. 

 

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, News, special news, UncategorisedComments (3)

MOT STRIKE ACTION LIKELY IN NORTHERN IRELAND

MOT STRIKE ACTION LIKELY IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Test centres are larger, but far fewer in NI

The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) confirmed strike action for civil servants including MoT workers across Northern Ireland for July 26th. 

In Northern Ireland, tests are administered by government employees at approved centres. Testers have seen their workload and a backlog of tests increase after an increase of around 15,000 MOT bookings in the first quarter of 2019 alone. Drivers can expect a wait of up to 47 days to have their vehicle tested according to a report in the Belfast Telegraph. This shortage of testers and testing facilities is exacerbated by  2,300 motorists failing to present vehicles on time, or in some cases turn up for tests at all.

NIPSA confirmed the strike early in July as part of wider civil service action over pay and terms and conditions, demanding that civil service workers receive pay increases in line with that of Health Service, Local Government and Audit Office employees. The alliance also claimed that there have been attempts to ‘undermine civil servants’ terms and conditions of employment.’ In addition to strike action, NIPSA also called for ‘Action Short of Strike Action’ on the 29th. In a statement, NIPSA claimed that 68.5 percent of nearly 6,000 ballot respondents voted ‘Yes’ for strike action. 

“It is clear that members have sent a strong message that they are not prepared to accept a below inflation pay increase for 2018/19 and demand that the pay negotiations are reopened to ensure that civil servants receive an above inflation increase,” read a NIPSA statement. 

The Northern Ireland Assembly has not sat since January 2017, meaning decisions on matters, such as increasing the number of MOT centres to meet demand, have not been taken.

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THE HIDDEN COST OF POOR MENTAL HEALTH IN OUR TRADE

THE HIDDEN COST OF POOR MENTAL HEALTH IN OUR TRADE

By Rebecca Watt – Technician at Avia Sports Cars

According to research carried out by the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Only one in eight of those with a mental health problem are receiving help or treatment. Maybe that’s because they do not know what help is out there, or maybe they think it is not important or serious enough. There are many reasons why someone with an issue such as anxiety or depression may not get the help they need.

The truth is, everyone is affected by mental health at least once in their lives. Although women are more likely to be affected, men are three times as likely to take their own lives. There are about 6,000 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland each year and men make up about three quarters of this figure.

Now you’re probably thinking: what has this got to do with the Motor Industry? In fact, the garage trade is particularly affected by instances of poor mental health. Years of heavy lifting, chasing bills and complaining customers can take their toll, but there are many other reasons why an individual who has previously been fine can change to being ‘not okay’ in a short time.

Stress

Stress can build up and affect things like productivity, quality of work and physical health. Consider a lean management system, like any used in production factories and distributor’s warehouses. If any issue, no matter how slight is detected, the problem will be flagged and managers will work to resolve the issue as efficiently as possible. If a problem with a machine or industrial system is fixed so quickly, why then has a government report found that 300,000 people with mental health problems lose their jobs each year? It makes no sense.

From a business point of view, it is important to ensure employees are aware of the help available to them. People spend most of their time in the workplace, so giving employees the basic need of connection and being cared for will have a greater impact on their lives and will only then benefit the company. Employees will respond to this and work to their full potential. Studies have shown that 12.7 percent of all sickness absence days in the UK can be linked to mental health conditions. The government report showed that better mental health support in the workplace could save UK business up to £8 billion PA.

Flexible working

So what can be done in the workplace to improve mental health? A good start is if employers can embrace flexible working. Allowing staff to work flexible hours or schedules to suit them would give them the self-care time that they require to continue working to the best of their abilities. It is equally critical to allow employees to have their entitled time off, or holiday days away from the work environment so they can return bright eyed and bushy tailed.

People suffering with mental health problems are urged to see their GP, plus there are lots of charities that can help – Samaritans and their excellent confidential helpline for example. Specifically for our industry, there is the charity BEN which also offers a confidential support line and will work with individuals. They also offer a range of workplace awareness and engagement initiatives, training programmes and digital assets to help promote its services within companies. If you look after your employees, they will look after your company. Mental health should never be ignored.

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HOW TO BE A LEADER IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

HOW TO BE A LEADER IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

 

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY FORMER ENGLND CRICKETER, JEREMY SNAPE

 

It is a difficult time to be a business leader in the motor trade, and as Brexit uncertainty amplifies, businesses that rely on the EU for supplies and trade, are being tested like never before.

Already we are witnessing suppliers stockpiling parts to avoid the mayhem that chronic uncertainty has caused this vital sector.

Jeremy Snape urges firm leadership in an uncertain age

Imagine you are the boss of an independent garage that sources obscure but vital components for a certain make of van. Your biggest customer has a 50-strong fleet of these vans, and they need to be assured that your garage will keep supplying those vital parts without disruption that Brexit could bring – what do you do?

The UK’s future trading relationship with the EU is just one of the many ongoing concerns facing independent garages and distributors. The sale of diesel cars in freefall following the 2016 emissions scandal, while automated cars are the way of the future with petrol being phased out by 2040.

Even after the Brexit dust settles, they will be no end in sight for the huge environmental issues affecting the motor trade. London, for instance, has introduced a new charging zone for older polluting vehicles that enter the city, something that could be rolled out across the UK.

These fundamental challenges call for leaders who are capable of withstanding intense pressure.

Now is not the time to dither, but instead focus on showing courage, clarity, action and most importantly, leadership.

For lessons in leadership you could do no better than look to the military or elite sport, which operate in environments of intense pressure, constant uncertainty and, in the case of the military, life or death decisions. You might argue that in professional sport, international football and rugby teams operate in environments where some people think the outcome is even more important.

The pressure powerful enough to unnerve even the most experienced players as I have learned from personal experience. Mental preparation is key to success.

Back in 2002, when I was privileged enough to be included in the England Cricket squad tour of India, my game collapsed in front of 120,000 people while I was up against batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.

The crowd roared as the pressure built up inside me that day, I couldn’t hear a thing and I ran Freddie Flintoff out. Right there and then I felt I wasn’t good enough to be there. It was only later when I started exploring psychology that I understood it wasn’t India that beat me that day, but my own mindset.

This started my research quest to find out what neuroscientists, military leaders, and Olympians could teach us all about performing under pressure.

In the last decade I’ve interviewed some of the world’s most impressive and prolific leaders, from Sir Alex Ferguson to military generals and even the Performance Director at the Cirque du Soleil to understand what tactics and strategies they use to mentally prepare for uncertainty.

In doing so I have distilled the secrets of their success into a digital library which helps my clients to maintain a winning mindset when they need it most.

Here are some essential tactics to help you cope with chronic uncertainty.

  1. Stop blaming others; own the situation.

With our current Brexit situation there are plenty of people you might feel like blaming– the electorate; former Prime Minister David Cameron; the EU; MPs in Westminster; our Prime Minister.  But when Brexit is done there will be another fundamental problem in its place. You can’t continue to blame others for everything that is wrong in the world, you need to get over it.

In the world of sport, we see elite coaches stepping up when things have gone wrong, not making excuses.

Ireland Rugby coach Joe Schmidt didn’t hide after his team was beat by Wales in the final Six Nations match in February. It later turned out some of the squad had been hit by a stomach bug in the run up to match, but that wasn’t an excuse for poor play, said Schmidt, they were simply beaten by a better team and would need to work out a strategy for the World Cup in Japan.

As Schmidt shows, great leaders don’t waste time blaming others: it may win you sympathy, but it won’t help you solve the problems.

Uncertainty creates opportunity so start by owning the situation and making a plan that turns the uncertainty into an advantage.  After all, other businesses have the same problems so those that actively tackle the situation will be the ones that succeed.

  1. Pressure is a privilege.

 

Having played in and worked with some of the world’s highest profile sporting teams, I’ve seen how they use pressure as privilege and use this mindset to tackle potential issues head on. Worrying about what might or could happen leads to paralysis, so an effective leader must embrace the challenges ahead.

In the military, the best leaders prepare their teams for Plan A, but they also throw scenarios into the training that get the teams thinking on their feet. I’ve supported several senior leadership sessions at Sandhurst military academy and heard how they create challenging and chaotic scenarios to test the soldiers’ ability to think clearly and adapt under pressure.

In a business context, this could mean equipping teams with the skills to make decisions under extreme pressure and rehearsing with scenarios. By pressure testing various challenges, you will be more familiar with the decision-making sequence that follows when chaos ensues. What if vital parts for your biggest customer was stopped at the border?

  1. Don’t micromanage – enable.

 

An effective leader needs to have confidence that their team so that they are empowered to make crucial decisions when needed.

This may sound good on paper, but, I hear you ask, what does that mean in practice?

Making sure that vital employees are given the right training is essential for building confidence in them. Equipped with the right skills and level of autonomy, team members will feel empowered to make decisions – and this could be the difference between you and your competitors, who are dally without making business choices.

  1. Be fluid not fixed.

 

Rapidly changing situations calls for leaders who can bring together diverse people to fix problems and exploit opportunities, fast.

Leaders must understand that they can’t predict and prevent all problems from arising, they must prepare teams so they can assess and respond quickly.

Understanding your biggest business threats, whether that is Brexit or environmental issues, and how your business will respond if they become reality is important to be able to withstand the pressure that comes from uncertainty.

Confidence comes from preparation, so plan for the unexpected and turn disruption to a commercial advantage.

Very few will have the perfect strategy to deal with the political uncertainty in coming weeks but those who maximise their mindset and culture will have the best chance of winning whatever the position.

 

  • Former England Cricketer Jeremy Snape founded Sporting Edge,  a consultancy that ‘unlocks the Winning Mindset in business’. Stated in 2005, the firm’s approach to corporate learning helps businesses to stay ahead of the game.

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PROMO: A CLEAN START: INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF WIPERS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF VALEO

 

Recent advances in wiper blade technology are improving performance, keeping drivers safer, saving them money, and making it easier to find the right replacements.

 

The humble wiper blade is often an accessory we don’t pay too much attention to, but under-performing wipers can have a big effect on your safety on the road, and your back pocket.

Thankfully, some recent breakthroughs from the French manufacturer Valeo are improving wiper performance, and making it easier to find and fit the right replacements.

One of the recent breakthroughs in wiper blade technology has been the development of the Valeo AquabladeTM.

A winner of a 2018 PACE Award for innovation, the Valeo AquaBladeTM completely rethinks the car windscreen washing system.

As conventional wiping systems spray washer fluid from stationary jets beneath the windscreen, there’s often an uneven distribution of fluid, a high amount of waste, a lack of effectiveness at high speeds or in high wind, and reduced driver visibility during the clean. With the Valeo AquaBladeTM on the other hand, fluid is distributed through channels along the entire length of each wiper blade rather than from stationary jets.

The result is a windscreen surface uniformly cleaned, regardless of vehicle speed or wind conditions. You only use the washing fluid you need, reducing fluid consumption. And, most importantly, there is a significant improvement in driver visibility during a clean, increasing road safety for everyone.

The fact that Valeo AquaBladeTM is built on a flat blade rather than a traditional wiper blade also means a much smoother, consistent and quieter performance.

Where traditional wiper blades have between four and eight pressure points in contact with your car’s windscreen, flat blades have hundreds of pressure points resulting in uniform pressure along the entire length of each wiper.

Valeo wiper blades are also designed to be extremely quick and easy to install – they can be replaced in a matter of seconds. Valeo Service’s packaging features step-by-step fitting instructions and there are a number of instructional videos on their website.

Finding the right replacement with Valeo Service is simple too. Each wiper blade package clearly shows the vehicle makes and models the wiper is suitable for, and there is also a QR code on each packet that is linked to an online tool to confirm you have the right wipers.

Valeo Service recommends replacing wiper blades on a regular basis or as soon as they show any sign of wear that results in a loss of wiping performance.

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OSRAM COMPLETES RING AUTOMOTIVE ACQUISITION

OSRAM COMPLETES RING AUTOMOTIVE ACQUISITION

Ring Automotive HQ

Lighting manufacturer Osram has completed on the deal to acquire Ring Automotive, following clearance by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The proposed buyout was announced earlier this year, although details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Ring Automotive was previously owned by industrial investment firm Rubicon Partners.

George Skalski, Managing Director of Ring Automotive said of the deal:  “Being part of the Osram family offers us incredible opportunities for further global expansion. The synergies are enormous and will help us to continue our innovation leadership together. In the future, our customers will benefit from the many years of experience of both companies”.

“In addition to expanding our aftermarket portfolio, the acquisition of Ring will enable us to tap into additional sales potential and further expand our market expertise. The aim is to use the additional market and customer access and create synergies in the product portfolio and distribution channels,” said Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of Osram Automotive.

 

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PROMO: PROFIT NOW FROM DIESEL AND GDI INJECTION SYSTEMS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF HARTRIDGE LTD

 

Fuel Injection Repair? Not Just for Specialists…

Lee Jacobs, Global Product & Strategy Director at Hartridge, explains why UK workshops looking to invest in the next big thing should consider the Diesel & GDi injector repair/servicing sector.

 

The fuel system test & repair aftermarket is arguably undergoing the most change of all in the Automotive industry as a result of the diesel engine falling from grace.

Inevitably, this comes at a time when the number of CR (common rail) diesel vehicles outside of warranty is at its highest. Simultaneously, the GDi (petrol direct injection) market is experiencing unprecedented growth as a comparative newcomer to the fuel system market. The technology is now dominating petrol engine OE production at a time when the huge shift in registrations from diesel to petrol is in full swing.

 

Annual UK new car registrations by fuel type. Source: IHS Markit 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is our opinion that right now the market is ripe for newcomers to invest in both diesel and GDi injector testing and for Diesel specialists to seriously consider GDi as a natural and unavoidable consequence of the change that they cannot ignore for long.

Our argument is based on three key principals:

1: A vast & aging diesel-engine vehicle parc sits alongside a fast growing new technology (GDi) with known reliability issues. Over the next 5 years at least, the opportunity to provide a cost effective alternative to injector replacement is set to soar. An injector test-clean-service-retest proposition offers motorists great value and excellent profit returns for the workshop.

 

2:  The latest Hartridge test equipment offers a fantastic low investment all makes entry point into the market. Until recently it was only possible for serious specialist diesel players to invest in its OE authorised equipment due to investment cost & complexity involved.

 

3: These same new machines enable a workshop with no specialist knowledge of fuel systems to comprehensively test CR Diesel or GDi injectors before repairing or servicing them. A combination of patented technology and highly advanced software provides the average garage with a ‘turnkey’ next-generation range of test equipment.

Click to enlarge

The market is changing but diesel is still a vast opportunity. Source: www.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new test machines are very easy to use and are fully automatic. Our decades of know-how and understanding of testing injectors to OE standards is all captured within the hardware and embedded in the software technology.

This significantly de-skills a workshop’s market entry requirements, which makes it easier, cheaper and faster to start earning revenue though testing, servicing and repairing injectors.

For any workshop wanting to profit from this opportunity then choosing Hartridge test equipment means investment is now a fraction of what it used to be, and the resulting profit returns are possibly unrivalled.

 

(L to R) Sabre CRi Expert, Sabre CRi Master, Excalibur GDi Master

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can arrange a genuine no-obligation product demonstration at Hartridge Ltd by clicking on the link below and submitting the form.

Book a free no-obligation demo at Hartridge

Alternatively you can email Lee Jacobs on ljacobs@hartridge.com, or call us on 01280 825600

If you would like to read any of our insightful technical blogs then just click on the following links:

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL REFRIGERANTS AT BIRMINGHAM SHOW

From the beginning of last year, all vehicles with air-conditioning produced in the EU could no longer use R134a for environmental reasons. Since then, the industry has been using R1234yf, usually known under gas producer Honeywell’s trade name ‘Solstice’.

National Refrigerants is an authorised distributor in the UK of R1234yf and it plans to use its exhibition space at Automechanika Birmingham to promote awareness of the gas.

Simon Ravenscroft from the company explained: “The main change apart from the new gas being much more environmentally friendly is that R1234yf has been classified as ‘mildly flammable’.

“This means that while it can catch fire, it is relatively difficult. It has been fully tested for safety and approved by all the car manufacturers and has actually been in use since 2011”.

“What is important to know is while it is only mildly flammable as far as health and safety are concerned there is no classification for ‘mildly flammable’ so for storage and transportation purposes they have to been treated as ‘highly flammable’. Our staff will be on hand to help our visitors understand what is required during the big switch’ he concluded.

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