Autotechnician magazine created ‘Autotech’ back in 2016 to provide readers with free online technical assessments to help identify any gaps in knowledge, and working with partners who can provide training and support to proactive technicians and garage owners. Part of this ongoing campaign has included a live event – bringing trainers, supporters and garages together to highlight better processes, share practical fault-finding tips and help improve attendees’ first-time fix rate.
This year, we introduced the Workshop Takeover format with a lot of help from our friends. Technicians from across the UK came together for Autotech Live at Cleevely EV in Cheltenham on June 24 and the three groups encountered live faults across three workshop bays. Regular autotechnician contributor Gareth Davies, a VAG specialist and founder of Euro Performance in South Wales, led the petrol area and provided a cracking, hands-on experience for guests, involving them each step of the way in testing and analysing results. He provided plenty of takeaway advice throughout his session – how to avoid being led down the wrong path by making assumptions, how to prioritise faults when faced with many, and practical tips on navigating wiring diagrams and network topology.
Andy Crook of GotBoost has been a friend of the magazine since its inception and has been involved in every event to date. He took to the helm of the diesel bay and the first part of his session provided comprehensive insights into how best to approach a job and customers – advice honed from years of pinpointing the most effective processes. This included the 4C’s of presenting your offer to potential customers – ensuring the contract is clear for both parties, agreed methods of communication, clear definitions of time frames and cost, and coming to an agreement. Andy then focussed on the crucial stage of capturing data – he provides his front of house staff with a set of questions to ask a potential customer, which have proven invaluable and a great time-saver for diagnostics over the years. Forever the data enthusiast, Andy has crunched the numbers and worked out how valuable just two questions on this form have been – his latest one is ‘Has any other garage worked on the car?’ and the final question in the customer interrogation, ‘Is there anything else?’ Following his masterclass in process, he presented a diesel fault in keeping with his previous guidance.
We have known Matt Cleevely for many years now and he is one of the nicest chaps you could ever meet, also one of the most encouraging and inspiring too. Many guests left the event enthused about the opportunities available with electric vehicles and keen to follow up with additional training. Eliot Smith of Pro-moto was sadly unable to make the event but Alistair Finch from Remit stepped in at the last minute to provide an EV session with Matt. Guests had varying levels of experience with EVs – some who had no formal qualifications but were interested to know more as they have seen an uptake of hybrid & EVs in their area, right up to Level 4 qualified who wanted more hands-on experience to gain confidence. Alistair highlighted the very real opportunity for workshops who prepare now, highlighting the fact that dealers are eager to just replace expensive components when faced with an EV fault. If you understand what’s going on with a component and have the training and confidence to work around the high voltage system, now is the time to get everything in place if your workshop is located in an area seeing a rise in electrified vehicles.
Matt and Alistair were a formidable duo – busting myths, listing essential tools (such as absolute voltage testers and the support network HEVRA) and ground rules before getting the techs up to search out an underlying fault on a Renault Zoe which flagged up a battery communication error.
A huge thank you to Matt, wife Claire and the whole team at Cleevely for being such wonderful hosts; to Alistair, Andy and Gareth for their time, effort and enthusiasm; to all the new technicians we met and returning friends who make it all worthwhile; and to ACtronics, Alldata, Bosch and JLM Lubricants for their ongoing support and providing guests with advice, offers and gifts on the day. We’ll be back with another Workshop Takeover in 2024. Follow us on social media to be the first to find out when, as tickets are strictly limited to ensure maximum benefit to guests.
Register your interest for our next event in 2024 by emailing Nicola@autotechnician.co.uk
Gain free access to free skills tests now! autotech is an evolving bank of free, confidential online assessments created by independent automotive trainers. All you need to do is a few details at https://autotechnician.co.uk/registration/ click an automated email reply and you get instant, free access to the multiple choice tests focussing on various topics and scenarios, including: Energy requirements of similar vehicles; Case Study – P0303; The SCR system; Hybrid & EV; Common sensors used in spark ignition engine management systems; Oscilloscope Quiz; Testing electrical components; Electrical Test; LIN Bus; CAN-Bus; Diesel case study & Ignition case study!
“I’m not involved in EV at the moment in my garage, but today has given me an insight into what I can do. After doing more training with these guys I can move on and after listening to these guys, I want to make it happen. I was a one-man band until a year ago, I have another technician now and my wife in the office so going forward I can see that I need to specialise in certain areas and electric is probably the way to go, in my area. There are not many people going heavily into it in North Devon. We have plenty of diesels coming in, Andy was great at explaining what he was doing. There’s stuff I’ve learnt today that I never knew.” Lee Daniel
“I’ve taken a lot away from today, it’s been money well spent. It’s more practical than last year’s event which I think people prefer, it’s been more hands on.” Des Davies
“I just wanted to say a big
thank you to autotechnician for organising such a great event, the information and the presentations were informative, and I found that Gareth, Matt and Andy to be very approachable and eager to share their knowledge.” Paul McCudden