We have something against rain – All set with the wiping technology from AIC Germany

Anyone travelling by car should always make sure that the windscreen washer system is working. Because nothing is more dangerous than a sudden downpour and non-functioning windscreen wipers. On days like these, one can only wish all car drivers to have received a timely check of the wiper technology from their service workshop.

This applies not only to the windscreen wipers alone, but also to the wiper linkage, wiper motors, wiper bearings, washer water pumps, washer water reservoirs and washer water nozzles. AIC Germany, car spare parts specialist near Hamburg, has recognised the importance of this issue and developed a broad aftermarket solution for workshops. Because, depending on the car model and year of manufacture, such a replacement of the wiper technology can quickly go into the money if the spare part is only available as a complete set and the workshop has to order it as a whole with the engine. Wherever possible, AIC offers the alternative by including the corresponding individual parts in our product range.

In principle, all these spare parts are designed to last the life of the car, so complete failure is very rare. Nevertheless, even they are not protected from corrosion, dirt, weather-related influences or wear. For example, most AIC’s wiper arms are treated with zinc and copper to protect them from weather-related influences and thus ensure their longevity. The wiper motors normally become weaker in their performance, which is why the power is no longer sufficient to properly drive the windscreen wipers. Like any electric motor, they have sliding contacts that wear out over time. It is also advisable to always keep the wiper bearing clean and greased so that the shaft does not get stuck or break.

Everything is interrelated

The wiper linkage is driven by the wiper motor. The wiper bearing, which acts as a connecting piece between the motor and the linkage, transmits the rotary movements of the motor and the wiper linkage in turn transmits the movement to the windscreen wiper arms under a certain contact pressure. The wiper arms then transfer this pressure evenly to the wiper blades to clean the windscreen properly and without streaks. Dirty windscreens in particular are a NO-GO on the roads. A defective component in the windscreen washer system can make it impossible to continue driving within a very short time due to dirty spray water. Often the washer nozzles are clogged or calcified. Under no circumstances should you then handle a needle. To prevent this, it is advisable to use distilled water.

It is worth taking a look at the complete wiper technology. If it is necessary to replace one or more parts of the windscreen wiper system, AIC offers a versatile and wide range of products including washer fluid reservoirs, wiper motors, wiper linkages, washer fluid nozzles, wiper arms and many more. Just take a look at the spare parts catalogue or ask the wholesaler you trust. You will find what you are looking for. And if not, then ask us (contact@aic-germany.de).

Mental Health Awareness Week: Support with developing coping strategies

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week this year, Ben, the automotive industry charity, is shining a light on one of the leading causes of mental health issues – loneliness. To support those who are struggling with social anxiety and loneliness, Ben has launched a new ‘Space from Social Anxiety’ program on the SilverCloud platform – designed specifically to help people find out about symptoms, understand its causes and develop coping strategies to manage their social anxiety

Following two years of disruption and periods of social isolation caused by the pandemic, loneliness became, in itself, an epidemic. We were all separated for long periods of time from our wider circles of friends, family and work colleagues. And, even though we are now emerging from the depths of the pandemic, it is clear that many of us have found the social restrictions hugely challenging.

Social anxiety is playing a major role in the rise of loneliness. Naturally, now that COVID restrictions have eased, social interactions are returning to ‘normal’ – but for many, a sudden return to socialising is also a daunting prospect. Social anxiety makes it difficult for people to meet socially with others, to reach out for help and to maintain relationships – which, in turn, contributes to loneliness.

Ben’s recent Health and Wellbeing survey placed this issue in sharp focus – of those in the automotive industry who were surveyed, 31% confessed to having suffered from loneliness – a huge increase of 23% from the previous year. Loneliness saw a staggering increase in the over 45s, factory workers, and among those who have retired from the industry, while 1 in 2 automotive workers confirmed that they have issues managing their mental health – indicating that mental health struggles in the automotive industry are more prevalent than in the general population.

Ben’s new ‘Space from Social Anxiety’ program on the SilverCloud platform is completely free, easy to use and can be worked through at your own pace in your own time – using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques to develop coping strategies to help deal with life’s challenges.

Rachel Clift, Health & Wellbeing Director at Ben, said: “If you suffer from loneliness, you are not alone. Our recent survey highlighted the huge impact that COVID has had on the mental health of our community and loneliness and social anxiety have risen sharply over the past twelve months.

“Our industry is one of the most affected by mental health issues, so we want everyone in the automotive community to know that while they may feel alone, they aren’t. We are here, ready to help and support them through whatever challenges life may be throwing at them right now and in the future.

“Social anxiety and loneliness can be managed and we have a number of ways we can support people who are struggling, including our new SilverCloud program ‘Space from Social Anxiety. During Mental Health Awareness week, we want to reach out to our automotive family and offer them a helping hand. You don’t have to face loneliness or social anxiety alone.”

To sign up to the SilverCloud Space from Social Anxiety programme, click here or for more hints and tips on how to tackle social anxiety, visit www.ben.org.uk

Automotive industry unites in condemnation of possible MOT change

“Dangerous step backwards for road safety”

The automotive industry has united in its condemnation of any possible frequency change to the MOT test, with UK AFCAR, the coalition formed to lobby the UK government in a post-Brexit era, calling it a “dangerous step backwards for road safety”.

Reports in the national media suggested that the UK government is looking at relaxing the MOT Test Frequency from a 3-1-1 test regime to an MOT test every two years, to help ease the cost-of-living crisis.

But, the UK Alliance for the Freedom of Car Repair (UK AFCAR), which is made up of trade associations and commercial organisations who share common concerns about the UK Aftermarket, has called on the UK government to shelve any such proposals that reduce road safety and lead to an actual increase in car repair and maintenance costs. The environment would also suffer as vehicle emissions remaining unchecked will result in poorly maintained vehicles harming the environment.

To ensure motoring is as safe and cost-effective as possible, motorists must have their vehicle inspected and serviced regularly. Evidence shows MOT and servicing is done at the same time so a reduction in test frequency means a reduction in servicing and further separates a motorist’s responsibility on a vehicle’s roadworthiness.

Data from the DVSA shows that one in three vehicles presented for an MOT test fail and 30 percent of those fail on brakes, a safety critical component. Therefore moving to an extended testing period with an ageing vehicle parc would see more defective vehicles on the roads and potentially cause more accidents and fatalities, as well as higher repair costs. SMMT data also shows that 42 percent of vehicles on UK roads are over 10 years old – this highlights the need for regular MOT inspections.

Despite advancements in vehicle technology, there is no evidence to support suggestions that modern vehicles are less likely to suffer from wear and tear, safety related defects. And with safety critical items such as tyres and brakes still the main cause for MOT failures, any extension is extremely concerning.

Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive and UK AFCAR Chairman, said: “We recognise the enormous strain the rising cost of living has on UK families and its solution will need be found through a diverse and widespread range of measures.

“Each time the MOT test frequency has been called into question, it has been proven beyond doubt that extending the test frequency would mean a significant reduction in road safety as there would be more defective vehicles on UK roads and, as a consequence, an actual increase in repair costs for drivers.

“Any move to extend the test frequency would also be a significant blow to thousands of people, jobs and business in the automotive repair sector, who were able to remain open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring the safe and affordable mobility of essential workers and members of the public.”

REPXPERT Academy LIVE is back

The first REPXPERT Academy Live training day event to take place since 2020 will take place at the STEAM Academy at Bridgend College’s new Pencoed campus on Saturday 21st May, where visitors will be able to learn about the latest technologies, tools, and product installation skills from Schaeffler’s REPXPERT team, in four 45-minute training sessions.

Each session is designed to provide workshop owners and technicians a taster of the complete one or two-day IMI certified training packages available direct and through its distribution partners, in which it shares useful tips, tricks, and best practice advice.

Schaeffler will be offering an introduction to LuK Double Clutch Systems, as well as a Timing Belt Workshop from Tim Adams. Local garage owner, Hayley Pells of Avia Autos, is supporting the event, as well as hosting a training session on ‘Pathway to EV’. Another local garage owner, Tim Benson, will be the second guest presenter, with an all-new workshop business masterclass.

There are breaks between each session so that delegates can grab refreshments whilst networking in the workshop. Visitors can check out the Laser Tools display, talk technical at the REPXPERT training van, chat to the TechMan team, or take a look at the latest technology from braking specialists Brembo and mechatronics experts ACtronics. The IMI will also be demonstrating how technicians can make best use of its range of services, whilst representatives from the college will also be on hand to hopefully forge mutually beneficial relationships with local garages.

Schaeffler Technical Manager, Alistair Mason, said; “Presenting the resources that REPXPERT offers in an informal live format, where attendees can get hands-on with a wide range of products, tools and systems, is obviously what mechanics are looking for – judging by the numbers we have signing up for the Bridgend Academy Live event.

Entry to REPXPERT Academy LIVE is free of charge and includes complimentary breakfast, lunch, and refreshments throughout. Doors open at 9am and closes around 4pm.

You can register to attend here

febi Brake Disc Shields

Protecting vital safety components

Out of the two main types of friction braking, it is disc brakes that are predominantly used on most cars. Drum brakes are generally used for the rear brakes of smaller passenger cars. A characteristic of disc brakes is that they have a much greater resistance to heat loads and heat dissipation capacity than drum brakes. In addition, the direct contact of the friction material with the rotating brake disc results in maintaining a high braking torque for a more extended period. This means they do not undergo mechanical distortion during operation due to temperature build-up compared to drum brakes. In addition, rapid distortion is prevented by the uniform distribution of the friction material pressure on the brake disc’s contact surface.

However, there is a risk to the exposed brake disk surface from road debris and rapid temperature changes, leading to brake disc fractures and distortion. Therefore, protective shields are mounted behind the disc brake assembly, protecting the brake discs, pads and hoses from constantly being exposed to dirt, and dust contamination from both the road and the friction material produced as the pads and discs wear while being used. Consequently helping to maintain the vehicle’s braking performance.

In turn, they also protect hot discs by reducing the amount of sudden cold water that can splash them and cause them to distort or crack whilst driving in wet road conditions.

They also protect the electronic components in the brake system, such as the wheel speed sensors, brake pad wear sensors and the associated wiring, from heat and debris, along with all the associated steering and suspension components that are close to the disc brake assembly.

This protective part of the disc brake system and other parts of the brake system are subject to evaluation. In addition to routine maintenance and the regular vehicle inspection procedure, a vehicle is inspected to ensure that it conforms to safety and emissions regulations.

If the shields deteriorate due to corrosion or distortion, this can be a cause of the following:

• Premature wear and corrosion of the brake discs.
• Possibility of excessive contact with external factors, such as water and road debris, due to shield material losses caused by corrosion.
• Risk of damage to any of the fixings to the suspension and steering joints.
• Noise due to distortion, causing contact with rotating or moving parts.
• Excessive heat from the brakes affecting rubber or plastic components, causing melting or burning if the shield is missing or completely corroded.

febi brake disc shields are manufactured from pressed steel and are precisely formed to match OE. The steel is treated with a galvanised coating and then painted to give excellent anticorrosion protection. Therefore, an efficient and effective brake disc shield prevents the causes mentioned above and extends the service life of the braking system, providing safety for the driver and other road users.

Rely on tested, OE matching quality replacement parts from febi. The entire range of replacement disc brake shields can be found at: www.partsfinder.bilsteingroup.com

The febi brand is part of the bilstein group, the umbrella organisation for several other strong brands. Further information is available at: www.bilsteingroup.com

Introducing Mega macs X – the powerful, flexible and future-proof diagnostic solution

mega macs X from Hella Gutmann is an innovative, feature-rich and flexible diagnostic solution that allows independent workshops to keep pace with the continual advances in vehicle technology, whilst also safeguarding against the rapid rate of obsolescence that often affects conventional diagnostic tools.

A range of software options and accessories ensures the mega macs X provides the optimal diagnostic solution whatever your workshop requirements may be – now and as your needs grow.

Find out more about mega macs X

Putting the power in your hands

Mega macs X connects wirelessly to your chosen external display and input device, whether a tablet, notebook or PC running Windows, Mac OS, Linux or Android.

Each software module offers varying degrees of functionality, from basic features to advanced capabilities. Simply choose the appropriate software module for your workshop’s current requirements and upgrade easily at any time, so you only pay for what you need.

Powerful, capable and built to last

Boasting futuristic looks, mega macs X is also designed to be compact and robust, to meet the demands of busy workshop environments.

Clever design features include a built-in bracket at the rear of the device allows the mega macs X to be easily attached to a vehicle window when in use, the OBD plug has an integrated flashlight that makes it quicker and easier to connect the device to the vehicle, and inductive charging reduces the number of cables.

On the inside, state-of-the-art processing power enables lightning-fast diagnosis and repair, and the very latest communication interfaces, such as CAN FD and DoIP are supported.

A dedicated range of accessories

The optional Hella Gutmann Tablet is a powerful Android tablet designed specifically for the mega macs X, with a focus on maximum speed and efficiency, whilst allowing diagnostic reports to be sent directly from the tablet.

It comes with a shock-proof casing and a docking/charging station with HDMI and ethernet ports for the connection of other devices.

Two optional Measurement Technology Modules enable the mega macs X to be used as a practical two-channel multimeter. Suitable for use with hybrid and electric vehicles, the MT-X enables precise measurement of voltages up to 1000 volts DC, while connecting wirelessly to the mega macs X via Bluetooth for added convenience.

Key features:

Click here to request a FREE demonstration or call Hella Gutmann on 01295 662402

Comline becomes title partner of Porsche Carrera Cup GB series contender

Comline Auto Parts has struck a title partnership agreement with Richardson Racing for the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season and kicks-off its quest for this season’s championship at Donington Park on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th April on ITV4.

The team has two cars in this season’s campaign, with 2021 race winner, Will Martin, and series debutant, Jack Bartholomew, behind the wheel. Comline Richardson Racing will be running the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 992) for the season – a faster, more durable and more efficient racer than its predecessors. The four-litre, six-cylinder box engine delivers up to 510hp at 8,400rpm and 470Nm at 6,150rpm. These impressive numbers illustrate why the Porsche Carrera Cup GB is the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the United Kingdom.

Comline General Manager – Marketing & Communications, Leigh Davies, said: “Everyone at Comline Auto Parts is thrilled to see the Comline Richardson Racing partnership come to life. The newly wrapped cars, adorned in our distinctive livery, are sure to catch the eye of fans throughout the season and impress customers that we will be hosting at each race weekend.

“Seeing our name in lights and strengthening our relationship with the Richardson Racing team is a thrill for everyone connected with Comline. I am confident that this partnership will enable us to grow the brand and connect with our customers like never before.”

Comline Richardson Racing Team Principal, Gwyn Richardson, commented: “We’re thrilled to confirm that Comline Auto Parts will be our new title partner for 2022, and to join forces with such an established automotive brand is a coup for us, as we continue to develop.

“This partnership reflects the huge steps forward we have taken in recent years, and one that I believe will be a huge success both on and off track during the season ahead. The reveal of our new look is just the start, and we are all looking forward to getting out on track at Donington Park to get our title challenge underway.”



DPF Doctor network founder speaking at Australian ‘AAAA Expo’ on 9 April

DPF Doctor founder Darren Darling has been invited to speak at The Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo (7-9 April 2022 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre). He will travel over 16,000km to share the key do’s and don’ts of DPF Cleaning. Darren is speaking at 15.00 hours on Saturday 9th April with time after his seminar for questions on the GCG Turbochargers stand (D50) – Darren’s base for the duration of the Expo.

Commenting on the opportunity to share his DPF wisdom with thousands of technicians, Darren said: “I started out as a technician in 1990 with the determination to pack as much as I could into every day on the tools. In 2016 I realised a long-held ambition to launch The DPF Doctor Network which has now become a global brand. Thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of many technicians in Australia we’re now gaining a real following in this incredible country. The AAAA Expo is one of the biggest trade events on the global calendar, let alone Australia so to be invited as a speaker is an incredible opportunity.”

Darren is being supported on his Down Under Tour which starts at the AAAA Expo by GCG Turbochargers and by the global brand JLM Lubricants. Darren is a brand ambassador for JLM Lubricants and has also built a strong relationship with GCG, the sole Australian and NZ distributor of JLM Lubricants’ trade trusted products.




REPXPERT Academy LIVE is back

·   REPXPERT Academy LIVE returns on 21st May

·   Brand new location: The STEAM Academy at Bridgend College

·   Four technical and business seminars

The first REPXPERT Academy Live training day event to take place since 2020 will roll into the STEAM Academy at Bridgend College’s new Pencoed campus on Saturday 21st May, where visitors will be able to learn about the latest technologies, tools, and product installation skills from Schaeffler’s REPXPERT team, in four 45-minute training sessions.

Each session is designed to offer garage owners and professional technicians a taster of the complete one or two-day IMI certified training packages available from Schaeffler directly, or through its distribution partners, packed with valuable tips, tricks, and best practice advice. IMI members can claim CPD points for a full day of training.

Schaeffler will be offering an introduction to LuK Double Clutch Systems, as well as a Timing Belt Workshop from Tim Adams – with the alternative title of ‘How to avoid expensive mistakes!’

Local garage owner, Hayley Pells of Avia Autos, is supporting the event, as well as hosting a training session on ‘Pathway to EV’. Another local garage owner, Tim Benson, will be the second guest presenter, with an all-new workshop business masterclass.

Entry to REPXPERT Academy LIVE is free of charge and includes complimentary breakfast, lunch, and refreshments throughout. Doors open at 9am, with training starting at 10am, and the event will draw to a close at around 4pm.

Register to attend here  

Brake inspection tips

First Line provides 10 Tech tips to promote best practice brake inspection:

  1. When inspecting brake discs for wear, or damage, look especially for heat cracks. More in-depth tests can follow with a dial indicator gauge.
  2. Witness marks on the disc can indicate issues with the pad. Technicians should use a brake pad thickness gauge to determine wear levels.
  3. An excessively-worn outboard brake pad tends to indicate issues with the guide pins, bushings and even the sliders. If the inner pad exhibits more wear, check for a seized piston, or master cylinder problems.
  4. Anti-noise brake pad components lose their tensile strength over time, causing not just increased noise but also unequal wear and uneven braking. Whenever pads, or shoes, are replaced, also renew ancillary parts. These include springs, clips and shims.
  5. Never use copper-based grease on modern pads. It can cause the pads to stick in the caliper. It can also attack rubber anti-noise coatings on the pad.
  6. Symptoms of worn brake shoes include an inconsistent brake pedal feel, or vibrations under braking. Alternatively, the park brake travel can be excessive.
  7. Brake shoe return springs are not everlasting and they weaken with age. If they do not return the shoes to their original rest positions, they can induce rapid lining wear.
  8. First Line emphasises the importance of keeping brake shoe self-adjusting mechanisms free and lubricated properly.
  9. Brake hoses are made from rubber, giving them a defined lifetime. First Line recommends that they be replaced as car sets every five years.
  10. In First Line’s experience, testers that heat brake fluid to evaluate its water content provide the best balance of performance and economy. Even so, careful handling and regular calibration are required for optimum reliability.