Croydon garage adopts board of shame to deal with non-paying customers

Garage Wire reports Fiat 500 owner currently named and shamed after failing to pay bill for clutch and master cylinder replacement

MOTaPlus Ltd in Croydon has taken to naming and shaming non-paying customers by writing their name and vehicle details on a white board located outside the workshop for all to see.

Garage owner, Gary Pritchard told GW that he adopted the board “out of principle” after helping a customer only for them to bounce a cheque for a £40 MOT.

“Put it up out of principle”

He said: “I first put it up out of principle after a customer came in for an MOT following a recommendation.

“She called us up, desperate for a test because she didn’t have an MOT but it was a Saturday and we were fully booked up.

“To help her out though, we told her to come down and we’d get it done to get her out of trouble.

“We MOTd the car and it failed on a couple of bulbs and a few other small bits, which we put right and didn’t even charge her for it.

“She wrote a £40 cheque out for the MOT and off she went.

“A couple of weeks later, we noticed the cheque didn’t go through and after looking into it I found out that she parked around the corner and stopped the cheque.

“From there on, the board has stayed up.”

Amuses genuine customers

Gary says the board has gone down well among his genuine customers, with many finding it amusing and even taking photos of it.

He added: “I’ve not had many on there at all and those that have been on there have had plenty of warning.

“It’s all about embarrassment.

“I trust everyone on face value and if they fail to pay I’d rather just embarrass them and warn other garages around here.

“It’s not about the money, it’s the principle.”

Currently the owner of a white Fiat 500 features on the board of shame after failing to pay two bills for a clutch and a master cylinder.

Gary said: “The lady that’s on there at the moment is local.

“I’d rather embarrass her than waste my time chasing”

“I know where she lives and I could go and knock on her door but I’d rather embarrass her than waste my time chasing her.

“We fitted a new clutch and we told her it had a fault on the slave and master cylinder but she didn’t want it repaired at the time.

“Of course, that soon failed but we put it right for her.”

The lady in question had already made a couple of payments towards her initial bill for the clutch replacement and made one more following the later repair but has since failed to make any further payment.

How do you deal non-paying customers? Share your comments and experiences below.

Garagewire

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REPXPERT INA and FAG training day gets 10/10 rating

Course covered INA belt system and FAG wheel bearing technology best practice, installation and problem diagnosis

Schaeffler’s latest training day at the REPXPERT Academy in Hereford has been rated ‘10 out of 10’ by one of the attending technicians.

Members were given some practical demonstrations before being set a number of tasks by REPXPERTs Tim Adams and Andrew Vaux.

One invaluable session was how to accurately install an INA timing belt tensioner on either a VAG 1.9-litre or 2.0-litre TDi, using the INA-designed stud alignment tool to help avoid potentially expensive belt system failures.

Tim and Andrew also showed the group how to change the timing belt on a Ford 1.8TDCi, illustrating how using best practice can help avoid system failure.

The pair revealed that the method can also be applied to Vauxhall, Honda, Renault, VAG, Range Rover and Iveco applications.

The delegates were also presented with INA front end auxiliary drive (FEAD) systems, incorporating multi-ribbed belts, overrunning alternator pulleys (OAP) and overrunning alternator decouplers (OAD), as well as the INA crankshaft pulley decoupler fitted to BMW, Volvo and Vauxhall applications.

Another aspect of the training was an analysis of different timing drive configurations, as well as the latest intelligent water pump designs and thermal management technology.

Switching to FAG, the REPXPERTs gave practical demonstrations of the Hub 2.1 (Gen.2) wheel bearing, showing how to use the special tools that are required to guarantee a safe and correct installation.

There was also a presentation about wheel bearing evolution, and how this humble part has evolved to help to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

One of the attending technicians, Gary Butler-Holmes, said: “I learnt a lot, and the course refreshed my memory on key factors.

“Highly regarded by all technicians – a 10 out of 10 from me.”

John Hall added: “The two presenters certainly had a wealth of knowledge between them on the subjects and were more than willing to get stuck in.

“They not only discussed the topics but demonstrated them as well.”

David Painter said: “I do like to have a full understanding of what tasks I am giving my staff, so we can try to avoid making expensive mistakes.

“What was of particular interest to me was the VAG stud tool and the FEAD drive with OAPs.”

Automechanika Birmingham

Schaeffler will be exhibiting at Automechanika Birmingham 2019 between the 4th and 6th June (19S140), and amongst the augmented and mixed reality exhibits, which will offer visitors the chance to experience the ‘garage of the future’, a series of new training dates will be announced.

As well as the popular INA and FAG module, there will be several new sessions that focus on LuK double clutches, which proved successful throughout 2018 and the early part of this year.

All these workouts are designed to prepare technicians for work entering their workshop now and in the future.

For further information about REPXPERT, please click here.

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Guy Martin to open The Big UK Garage Event at Automechanika

Mechanic, TV presenter and best-selling author to open most exciting event yet

Mechanic and motorcycle racer turned television presenter, Guy Martin, will officially open The Big UK Garage Event at Automechanika Birmingham 2019, held at the NEC from 4 to 6 June.

In what is shaping up to be the most successful Automechanika Birmingham to date, Morris Lubricant’s brand ambassador will “cut the ribbon” and open the doors to the launch of The Big UK Garage Event at 9.30am, welcoming visitors from all areas of the automotive industry.

On Tuesday 4 June Guy Martin will feature on Morris Lubricants stand K110 and also give a special interview at 1:45pm in the Aftermarket Seminar Theatre.

Lincolnshire born Guy Martin is a British motorcycle racer, truck mechanic and hands-on engineer best known for his successful motorcycle road racing career, and most notably for grabbing the headlines in the Isle of Man TT races.

But, in recent years, his career has taken off in a different direction presenting the series How Britain Worked and Speed with Guy Martin.

During the series Guy broke the British record for outright speed on a bicycle, hitting an amazing 122.4 mph and smashed the world gravity-powered sledge speed record.

2019 exhibition

With visitor registrations significantly up from this time in 2018, Automechanika Birmingham is set to successfully unite the automotive industry again this June.

The event then won’t return to the NEC before 2021.

Comprising main areas for the Aftermarket andThe Big UK Garage Event more than 500 exhibitors will pack into Birmingham NEC as they promote their products and services to the expanding visitor audience of independent garages, motor factors, retailers, bodyshops and dealerships

The Big UK Garage Event, geared towards helping garages grow their business will offer exclusive show deals, big giveaways and competition prizes worth over £26,000, plus celebrity appearances from 7 BTCC drivers and Edd China across the 3 days.

Garage perks

Garages will also benefit from free technical training in the Workshop Training Hub and Bodyshop Training Hub, all accredited by the IMI and enabling garages to add to their CPD points.

Major brands exhibiting include: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK and Yuasa.

Other exhibitors include Snap on, Sealey, Launch UK, Hickleys, Pichler, Franklin Tools, Morris Lubricants, Hofmann Megaplan, Tool Connection, Stanners Garage Equipment and many others.

Jack Halliday, event director of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “It’s fantastic that Guy Martin is officially opening The Big UK Garage Event at Automechanika Birmingham 2019 and only adds to the buzz there is around the event as we countdown to it.

“There’s so much for visitors to see and do at the event – if there is one place to visit this year, The Big UK Garage Event will offer the most valuable day out of their business all year.”

Visitors can now book their free ticket by clicking here.

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Barking up the right tree: canine encounter inspired suspension bushes five times more durable than rubber

What does a dog called Suba have to do with polyurethane suspension bushes? Polybush explains how its products save the automotive industry and the NHS money

Polybush has claimed that its polyurethane suspension bushes have the ability to last up to five times as long as rubber alternatives, reflecting on the humourous beginnings the brand had to inspire its products.

The company essentially started at a Wrexham factory where Suba picked up a piece of polyurethane elastomer which ended up being her favourite chew toy.

Overtime, her owner Roy noticed that the polyurethane was completely untarnished and free of bite marks and this triggered a series of events.

Roy, having worked closely with suspension bushings before, began to think “if only bushes were as tough as that polyurethane, they wouldn’t need to be changed so often.”

Easier to fit

He approached manufacturers Bonaprene Products LTD, and together they began to create polyurethane bushes that – Polybush claims – were not only easier to fit, but far longer lasting than their metalastic counterparts, with varying benefits depending on design.

Very quickly, demand increased and the creation of bushes became a large operation, with many types of bushes being distributed internationally, as far as Columbia, the Middle East, Africa and India.

Due to the business growing so quickly, Roy (and Suba) had to make the difficult decision between selling the business and cruising the Mediterranean in his yacht.

At this point Bonaprene took on the bush business in its entirety and Roy set sail to enjoy his retirement.

Bonaprene kept the division separate from its own industrial activities naming it “Polybush”.

The Polybush division has its own dedicated design, marketing, sales and administrative staff.

The business has continued to grow over the years and is proud to manufacture OE products that are supplied directly into many types of industry including commercial and retail.

Ideal material for suspension bushes

A company statement said: “Polyurethane is an ideal material for suspension bushes as it is a combination of high tensile strength and elasticity, which translates into immense durability even in the toughest conditions.

“As well as no perishability or wear, it will spring back into shape effortlessly to absorb huge levels of shock making for a more comfortable ride.

“They require no special tools for fitment, have four-five times longer life span than rubber bushes, and are generally easier to fit.

“Polybush has solved many issues within different markets ranging from MOT failures, to costly recurring replacements on large fleets.

Huge cost saving

“An example of a huge cost saving is a bush that was designed for the ambulance market.

“The bushes were suffering premature wear due to their intense usage, but the parts required were not available separately meaning a full ARB and spring replacement was needed on a regular basis.

“Polybush was able to design a bush that solved the problem of premature wear, fitted perfectly into the current ARBs, and decreased fitment time significantly.

“This change saved the NHS £700 per-vehicle in parts alone.”

For more information on Polybush, you can call 01978 664316, visit the website here, or even head over to their factory in Wrexham.

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Automotive bulb performance upgrades provide unique sales opportunity for factors

OSRAM releases point of sale (POS) materials for factors and garages to stock latest products and upgrades.

OSRAM, the global automotive aftermarket lighting brand, has released a series of product upgrades and POS materials to support factors and garages, all of which are available from The Parts Alliance.

Lighting and signalling offer some of the most profitable opportunities in the automotive aftermarket, according to the brand.

In a statement, the company explained why their products represented a lucrative sales opportunity for the factors and garages. They said: “OSRAM is able to help garages, workshops and factors supplying and servicing the automotive aftermarket to maximise their profit potential from bulb sales.

“We know a thing or two about lighting.

“At the forefront of traditional and new trends in vehicle lighting, we are experts in the field.

Upgrade alternatives

“The full OSRAM portfolio allows garages and stockists to offer not only the same OSRAM Original Equipment (OE) product that was fitted when the vehicle was built, but also a choice of leading upgrade alternatives.

“Most recently, the relaunched range of PERFORMANCE upgrades – NIGHT BREAKER – allows drivers to maximise light on the road ahead to see further and ultimately be safer as a result.

“To assist garages, workshops and factors in adding value to their businesses, a full range of point of sale materials to stock and present the premium, OE-quality range is available.

Available from The Parts Alliance

“From rotating floor displays to compact counter displays, there is an attractive and organised way to stock, store and display these leading performance upgrade bulbs to suit everyone; all of which are available from The Parts Alliance and its members.

“All of the stands are supplied empty allowing flexibility to choose what bulb portfolio garages and stockists want to offer to their customers.

“Strategically placed, the displays will surely attract impulse buyers.

“‘Offer customers a choice and they are likely to upgrade’ is OSRAM’s motto.

Understanding product differences

“For years now, the tried and tested OSRAM Bulb Menu (available for both Halogen and HID (xenon) lighting technologies) is the perfect tool for understanding the difference between buying and fitting a standard OE bulb, and buying and fitting one that provides brighter, whiter light such as NIGHT BREAKER LASER (next generation) that produces up to 150 per cent more brightness.”

To differentiate between the bulbs on the market today, the Bulb Menu attempts to simplify OSRAM’s bulb offering, allowing consumers to make an informed choice in a bulb that is right for them.

For more details on the OSRAM product portfolio and sales displays, either email the company at automotive@osram.co.uk or visit the website here.

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Don’t miss your chance to be a ‘Garage of the Year’

The industry will gather 5th June to celebrate the achievements of independent garages across nine categories. Don’t miss your chance to win by taking a few minutes to enter – but hurry, there’s only a week to go before entries close…

Automechanika Birmingham’s ‘Garage of the Year’ awards are being hosted in association with Garage Wire at the National Motorcycle Museum on the 5th June. The deadline for entries has been extended until Sunday 5th May.

Sponsored by the Independent Garage Association (IGA) the competition is open to garages from across the UK and Ireland.

It takes just a few minutes to enter as many of the nine
sub-categories as garages want to, with the overall winner once again set to
receive £1,000.

All garages shortlisted in one or more categories will get two free tickets for the awards drinks and dinner at the National Motorcycle Museum. Located little more than a stone’s throw from the NEC, and with the awards event running from 7pm, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of independent garage excellence either before or after a daytime visit to Automechanika Birmingham.

The Parts Alliance are again sponsoring the ‘Best Small Garage’ category. Other categories include ‘Best Large Garage’, ‘Commitment to Training and Standards’, ‘Garage Owner of the Year’, ‘Outstanding Achievement’, ‘Auto-Mechanik’, ‘Best Community Initiative’, ‘Business Innovation’ and ‘Technical Innovation’

“We’re excited to be involved again,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “We’re hoping lots of our garage customers, particularly those around Birmingham, will get involved and enter as it promises to be a great which will help showcase all the great work independent garages do as unsung heroes for UK motorists.”

Automechanika’s Garage of the Year awards forms part of the Big UK Garage Event at this year’s Automechanika Birmingham. This will include exclusive show offers, big giveaways, competitions and some celebrity appearances. The event gives access to over 500 leading suppliers.

Garages will also receive free parking and free breakfast on arrival for their workforce.

Entries can be made online now.

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Suppliers and customers join celebrity guests at Spring Trade Show

A series of technical talks, market developments, profit opportunities for branches and garages, and a surprise awards ceremony awaited guests

The Parts Alliance hosted its first trade of 2019 with motoring celebrities and global suppliers joining over 500 customers at the Spring Trade Show.

On Wednesday 27 March, over 500 customers attended the event, which ran from 5pm at the Centenary Pavilion of Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, taking the opportunity to discuss the latest products, technology, market developments and profit opportunities with more than 50 of the trading group’s supplier partners.

“We thought we should come for a wander around and see because we’ve never had the chance to get to anything like this before,” said David Gilfeather, owner of DG Autos in Rodley, Leeds.

“It’s really great to see so much here and was well worth us coming.”

Branches of BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts and Waterloo Motor Trade all invited customers, who took the opportunity to not only do business but also listen to interviews with special guests.

Celebrity guests

Fuzz Townshend from Car SOS talked about highlights from his TV shows whilst three-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal discussed improvements to his car and hopes for the upcoming season.

So valuable

Fuzz said: “For The Parts Alliance to put on an event where garage owners can meet fantastic suppliers and get a better understanding of their products is so valuable.”

Technical talks were given by Comma Oil on how changes in engine technology are impacting the choice of engine lubricants; Schaeffler discussed DMF technology, whilst Delphi provided numerous insights on keeping up with developing VM digital service record technology.

“We were delighted by the turnout on our first visit to Leeds with a show of this scale,” said Simon Moore, head of marketing at The Parts Alliance.

Response from garages

“We had some great comments from the garages and lots of the suppliers seem to have had some really good discussions and done brisk business; our thanks go to everyone who supported the show.”

Nick Nafahran, of Vehicle Repairs UK in Leeds, was interested in a Tecalemit tyre changer and said: “I’ve got to see it and got all the information that I need, so it’s been useful.”

The evening ran until nearly 10pm with an extensive prize draw seeing around 20 prizes, generously donated by suppliers, given away to garages on the night.

Andrew Wood of APW Cars in Otley, Leeds added: “I’m here to see new technology.

“I’ve just been inside the REPXPERT van, it’s a real eye opener to see where the industry is going; I’d definitely recommend others to try to get to one of these events if they have the chance.

“I’ve only got a little garage and I’m usually in the workshop until late but I’m glad I made the time for this – free food and drink too, so what’s not to like?”

Customers are advised to look out for more events in 2019, said The Parts Alliance.

Find out more about The Parts Alliance and its national network of branches by clicking here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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Some motorists can no longer afford to drive as ULEZ introduced in London

31 per cent of drivers have said they won’t be able to afford to drive in London anymore

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has launched the UK’s first Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), leaving many drivers without the funds to be able to drive.

Bikesure, a motorbike insurer, recently surveyed 1,000 commuters in London to find out how the ULEZ will impact them.

Among the questions, respondents were asked how the ULEZ will affect them.

Asked if they have changed or thought about changing their usual mode of transport in preparation for the ULEZ:

Changing mode of transport

  • 37 per cent of commuters have already changed their usual mode of transport
  • 46 per cent have thought about changing their usual mode of transport
  • 18 per cent will not be changing their usual mode of transport

Can’t afford to drive

  • 31 per cent of commuters won’t be able to afford to drive/ride in the ULEZ anymore
  • 32 per cent won’t drive/ride in the ULEZ as much as they used to
  • 29 per cent won’t be affected by the ULEZ
  • 7 per cent don’t know how it will affect them

How did they feel about the ULEZ?

  • 47 per cent of Londoners think it is a good idea and they don’t mind it being brought in
  • 45 per cent can understand the reasons, but feel frustrated by it
  • 8 per cent think it’s a bad idea

Find out more about the findings and the rest of the Bikesure survey by clicking here.

What do you think of the ULEZ? Is it necessary to combat the levels of C02 and nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere, or does it pose a threat to the levels of business factors and garages can receive and deliver?

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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VIP experience on offer from Schaeffler at Automechanika Birmingham

Members and non-members of REPXPERT can still register for the VIP experience

Schaeffler has invited its REPXPERT members to register as VIP guests for Automechanika Birmingham 2019 for the three-day event at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) on 4 June, with a variety of prizes and rewards available.

REPXPERT members and non-members can now sign-up online to receive hospitality from Schaeffler, which includes lunch, a premium REPXPERT messenger bag full of workshop goodies, including a ‘magnaband’ wrist magnet, sports bottle, leaflet, pen and REPXPERT bonus points – plus all the benefits of Automechanika’s ‘Big UK Garage Event’ – all free-of-charge.

Range of benefits

Automechanika’s Big UK Garage Event adds breakfast, free car park voucher, as well as CPD-accredited training opportunities, live demonstrations and business advice.

Nigel Morgan, managing director of Schaeffler UK’s aftermarket division, said: “Schaeffler is delighted to be returning to Automechanika Birmingham and is back with a packed schedule full of top training, interactive exhibits and special guests over the three days.

“We are especially excited to again welcome REPXPERT VIPs to our stand which will make their show even more special.

“REPXPERT VIP registration is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so we urge members to sign-up quickly by logging in at www.repxpert.co.uk and clicking the Automechanika VIP button.

Additionally, for visitors from factors and the wider automotive aftermarket, the Retail Accessories Village will be open with the latest products and technology for suppliers of vehicle accessories.

Non-members can sign up

“Any technician that isn’t already a REPXPERT member can register for free at the site now to access the VIP link, or can sign-up at the show to become an instant VIP.

“The REPXPERT VIP package is just one small part of what visitors can expect from Schaeffler at Automechanika Birmingham 2019, and we will reveal further details of what else will be happening on our stand soon – watch this space.”

Schaeffler is a global supplier of OE-quality parts to the automotive aftermarket.

Find out more about REPXPERT and signing up for the VIP package by clicking here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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Why you should recommend cabin air filter replacement to customers this spring

MANN-FILTER cabin air filters offer protection against particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and allergens

Changing the cabin air filter in good time is particularly important in spring, when the peak pollen count season starts, global filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL has said.

Global filtration specialist MANN+HUMMEL, based in Ludwigsburg Germany, provides effective protection against allergens, harmful gases and particulate matter with its MANN-FILTER FreciousPlus cabin air filters.

A MANN+HUMMEL spokesperson said: “A vehicle ventilation system draws in huge volumes of air from outside the vehicle into the passenger compartment.

“Each hour, several hundred thousand litres of this polluted outside air pass through the vehicle’s ventilation system into the interior, bringing with them not only allergens but also particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and other harmful gases that pose a threat to the health of the vehicle occupants.

Health threat

“This means that the air in the interior of the vehicle is often much more polluted than the ambient air.

“Thorough purification of the outside air by means of a cabin air filter is therefore essential, especially for frequent drivers, allergy sufferers, and children.”

MANN+HUMMEL say its MANN-FILTER cabin air filters in original equipment quality frees the air from outside the vehicle of nearly 100 per cent of particles and harmful gases.

The MANN-FILTER FreciousPlus filters out particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 micrometres (PM 2.5), almost completely.

For comparison: These particles are up to 30–40 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

Its sources include the abrasion of tyres and brake disks.

Odours and poisonous gases

In addition, the FreciousPlus cabin air filter adsorbs unpleasant odours and poisonous gases such as nitrogen oxides and ozone.

This reduces the nitrogen oxide concentration in the vehicle interior.

The biofunctional and antimicrobial coating on the FreciousPlus also traps the allergens which can be released from pollen as well as blocking the growth of bacteria and mould fungi.

With over 100 different types of FreciousPlus cabin air filters in original equipment quality, MANN-FILTER covers nearly 70 per cent of the European passenger car and transporter fleet.

For further information about MANN-FILTER, click here.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

The post Why you should recommend cabin air filter replacement to customers this spring appeared first on Auto Torque Magazine.

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