MOT Workshop 37 – News, New Products and Services

JustineGreening opt

• MOT Industry finally let off the hook 
• Workshop 2012 almost sold out 
• Schrader Appoint CES (UK) For TPMS Distribution 

• True Grit from Northern Maintenance 
• Autologic NOW offers Evoque software 
• Look, no levers required! 
• New professional Battery Analyser / Tester 
• Working at High Pressure 
• Hand-held Induction heating Tool 
• New Fluid Lock Set 

MOT Industry finally let off the hook:

Justine Greening announces ‘no change’ to MOT Testing frequency.

One obstacle to growth is removed, others remain.

About eighteen months ago, shortly after the coalition government came into power, Philip Hammond, then the Minister for Transport, announced that the MOT would be reviewed, and he was seriously considering changing the frequency so that a vehicle’s first MOT would be after four years instead of three, and then only every other year thereafter, instead of every year. Since then some 21,000 businesses involved in MOT Testing have effectively been hamstrung, hobbled, unable to plan or develop, because if implemented, the measures would have immediately rendered the vast majority of those businesses unprofitable.

by Martin Shippey

JustineGreening optJustine Greening MP, Minister for Transport, who has just announced that there will be “no further work…” on MOT frequency.

Quadruple whammy

Firstly, a whole generation of vehicles coming up for their first MOT at three years would simply not have appeared; hit number one; and neither would all those vehicles which had been MOT’d a year ago; hit number two. Then every customer who had previously brought their car in every year for Testing would now only be bringing their car in once every two years; hit number three.

Then, on top of the reduced income from MOTs, garages would also be missing the repair work associated with MOT failures; hit number four.

It’s almost an understatement to say that the effect on the MOT industry would have been catastrophic.

That is of course ignoring the carnage which would undoubtedly have ensued on the roads, according to the government’s own research.

The right decision

Justine Greening, Hammond’s successor, in announcing that she plans “no further work in relation to relaxing the first test date or the frequency of testing” in her ministerial statement entitled “Garage Customer Experience” has indeed made the right decision – right for road users certainly, but crucially, also right for the MOT industry. But it was by no means inevitable; an enormous amount of work was done by people in the MOT industry, not least by Halfords’ Bill Duffy and MOT Testing Magazine’s Editor Jim Punter (also Chairman of the MOT Trade Forum) to name but two, in marshalling and co-ordinating forces against the proposed change.

In the end it was the ProMOTe lobbying campaign, supported by 28 motoring and road safety organisations, which is credited with bringing several very salient issues to the attention of those concerned in the proposal and changing its direction. It would not be unrealistic to say that without ProMOTe, the decision could easily have gone the other way, and the MOT industry would today find itself in very dire straits indeed.

The future of the MOT

The MOT industry now has a future, but in order to ensure that it is stable and prolonged, and not subject to repeated threat and criticism by politicians out to score quick and easy points with the consumer, there is much work to be done.

There is work to be done especially by VOSA, who not only set the rules, but the whole culture of the MOT, and who seem to be somewhat lacking in focus of late. VOSA must prove itself to be part of the solution, and commit to supporting good Testing and rooting out bad Testing vigorously.

There is also work to be done by the MOT industry itself, including MOT Testing Stations, which can now invest in all those activities which they have been precluded from by the last year and half of indecision by the government; planning, training, investment in equipment and people.

In the May edition of MOT Testing Magazine we will be looking at how the battle for the MOT – and road safety – was won, where it goes from here, and the part that every Testing Station must play.

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Workshop 2012 almost sold out

Bradbury, Blitz Rotary, Gemco, Liftmaster, Stertil and Somers Totalkare will be among exhibitors showing their latest equipment in Hall 2 of the NEC, Birmingham, where visitors will find Workshop 2012 as part of the Commercial Vehicle Show.

Aimed directly at the fleet engineer and passenger car garage operator, Workshop will be home to more than 100 suppliers of products from handheld diagnostics to pillar lifts capable of raising a 44 tonne artic off the deck.

With attention firmly fixed on fuel efficiency, companies like Eclipse Diagnostics, Launch, Texa and SPX can ensure that engines operate at peak efficiency 24/7 and they will be at the Show to demonstrate their capabilities.

Recognising the broad spectrum of visitors to this essential meeting place for workshop operators, Maha has separate stands for car and commercial equipment, while Unipart Automotive’s Garage Equipment Services showcases products from international and domestic suppliers.

The tyre business is well represented by manufacturers, stockists and tyre management companies such as ATS Euromaster, Bridgestone, R H Claydon, Direct Tyre Management, Hankook and Kirby Tyres. Westlake, a new exhibitor for 2012, will make a splash with a 100m2 stand in Hall 2 where Mercedes-Benz launches its new Actros, International Truck of the Year 2012, to the UK’s operators.

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Schrader Appoint CES (UK) For TPMS Distribution

World leading TPMS specialist, Schrader has appointed CES (UK) as one of its selected UK distributors.

TPMS Sensor with Parts optChanges within European legislation and the MOT Test mean that Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems are set to become more prevalent in 2012. As a leading manufacturer and developer of the technology Schrader were keen to partner with reliable and proven UK distributors. They selected CES (UK) because of their long standing reputation within the aftermarket.

The partnership will place CES (UK) in a position to stock one of the most comprehensive ranges of TPMS sensors available in the UK. It also enables them to supply the service kits, tools and diagnostics that garages will need to undertake TPMS servicing and repair. Both companies believe that the agreement will benefit everyone.

Steve McCann, CES managing director states, “Schrader hold an estimated 80 per cent of the worlds TPMS market and have been developing the technology since 1991. As a distributor, we’ll have access to their immense knowledge and inventory, whilst we offer the enthusiasm, commitment and aftermarket experience they need to grow in the UK.”

“TPMS presents many new revenue opportunities. However it’s an emerging market so tyre fitters and independent garages will need the expertise and specialist skills to succeed. CES has a proven track record for providing their customers with technical support, in addition to reliable delivery and stock availability.

Technicians will need advice and help at first, which is one of the main reasons we were keen to work with CES,” says Ross Eden, Schrader UK Sales Manager.

Updates to the MOT Test from January this year include the checking of sensors and after November 2012 all brand new models must be fitted with tyre pressure systems. “TPMS will rapidly become far more commonplace leaving motorists looking for companies that understand how they work. Together with Schrader we’re keen to help the aftermarket gain its share. We aim to provide a total TPMS solution with the most comprehensive product and support package possible.”

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Liftmaster announce new lifts

Liftmaster have announced several new vehicle lifts like a new range of competitive 2 post lifts, new range of 2 man 4 post two man Testing MOT lifts and a very high quality range of ATL 4-post lifts which unlike most other 4-post lifts that have been adapted from an existing range, have been specially designed for this type of MOT Testing.

These lifts have longer platforms with a 5m one for class IV and a 6m one for class VII. They also have no visible motors, pumps, electric wires and hoses, remote wireless shaker plate and torch controls, easy adjustment of the shaker and turn plates so that the pressure can be selected to the type of vehicles being tested, controls for the lift just as the operator gets out of the vehicle and a checker plate easy clean platform.

Because this is a high quality lift it also comes with a two year warranty.

Liftmaster are now convinced that with this lift alongside the quality scissor ATL lifts and the German brake testers they also offer, they have a range of MOT equipment that is the best available.

All this equipment is backed up by very experienced area managers, technical office staff and helpful and reactive service department.

They can also arrange through their area distributions very competitive finance packages and have their own specialist builders.

For further information contact: Tony Strudwick MIMI
General Manager/Director
Tel: 01420 549038
Fax: 01420 549036

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True Grit from Northern Maintenance

Northern Maintenance are a nationwide business based in the north-east of England and specialise in re-gritting MOT brake rollers.

Formed in 1988 by founder Roli Bell they have evolved to become one of the main leaders in anti-skid applications.

Starting out as a company that supplied the trade with maintenance repair products, it was quickly noticed that a niche in the market was available as there were no straight forward options in quality anti-skid coatings to brake testers.

Replacing rollers proved to be a costly way to go and buying do-it-yourself kits gave unreliable results.

Northern maintenance proudly claim to use the best resins on the market, in fact they say they only use Lloyds of London approved materials. This is how they are able to offer guarantees and a promise that their coatings last. A class 4 machine should expect at least five years before further attention is needed.

Northern Maintenance is now run by Roli’s son, Colin Bell and are continuously looking to expand. They worked on over 300 machines last year, including all makes and models of class 4, class 7 and commercials, working in dealerships, councils and independent traders.

They are public liability licensed and offer over 20 years’ experience. Regritting a brake roller is also fantastic value for money compared to buying new equipment.

They also apply anti-skid coatings to four-post ramps, recovery vehicles and workshop doorways and floors.

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Autologic now offers Evoque software

Specialist Software Engineers at Autologic Diagnostics Ltd – the manufacturer of dealer-level diagnostics tool the Autologic – have written and developed Autologic software for Land Rover’s latest model – the super-stylish Range Rover Evoque.

Range Rover Evoque optOnly just released this September by the manufacturer, Autologic Diagnostics started received calls within a week of the model’s release from current Autologic users keen to see the model included as part of Autologic’s Land Rover diagnostic package.

Now released to all Autologic users currently in maintenance, the new Land Rover Evoque software covers Fault code reading, Live data, Activations, Key programming, Vehicle configuration editing and module programming. Together with the flash programming capability, this means that yet again Autologic’s dealer-level diagnostic software will allow independent garages the world over to remain autonomous from the dealer and retain valued custom from car owners. “I am extremely pleased with how the development has gone,” commented Autologic’s Technical Director Ian Jones.

On the speed in which the Land Rover software team worked he continued, “To provide garages with the ability to work on the new Evoque model within 2 months of its rolling off the factory forecourt shows great skill and perseverance by our Land Rover software team. All our software engineers and master technicians constantly apply themselves – the speed of the Evoque software development is just another example of our ongoing commitment to customers.”

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Look, no levers required!

2461 Wheelcare leaflet optGarage equipment specialist the Trade Garage Equipment Group, has successfully launched their new and high specification Trademaster T2520 Fully Automatic Tyre Changer.

It’s designed to handle the modern wheels and tyres where many older tyre machines in the market are now unable to cope with.

Being ‘lever less’ minimises the risk of damage to these expensive wheels, yet tackles well the cosmetic demands such as hidden balance weights etc. Everything about the T2520 remains familiar to the tyre technician, however with no need for a tyre lever it eliminates the stress to the machine and operator and the safety issues that go with using a tyre lever. Instead, a push button controlled ‘finger’ simply picks the tyre up and removes it swiftly and with ease.

An air operated tilt back column speeds set-up time, whilst in line with its ‘flagship’ specification, the T2520 provides a turntable clamping capability up to 26″ diameter and there is also a powerful, pneumatically operated robotic ‘assist’ arm which enables the handling of difficult, stiff, low profile and run-flat tyres.

The Trademaster T2520 is a heavy duty, high performance tyre changer that boasts an industrial build quality. As with all equipment from the Trade Garage Equipment Group, we include direct delivery, installation and comprehensive training.”

For a new sales leaflet or sales or technical enquiries contact:

Tel: 01509 506680

As Trade Group’s Stefan Bullworthy explained, “The reaction from small garages right up to the largest dealerships and fast fit tyre shops has been exceptional. Our new T2520 Tyre changer was designed and developed not only for increased capacity, quality, reliability and ease of performance but for its outstanding value.

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New professional Battery Analyser / Tester

5275 plus optNew professional battery analyser / tester from Laser Tools (part number 5275) is multifunction and has the useful feature of being able to print off the test results with the date and time recorded. There are four test functions: battery test, charging system test, start system test and a maximum load test.

Once the battery’s capacity has been determined (from the sticker or label on top of the battery), the battery test measures state of charge, state of health (battery condition), and CCA (cold cranking current); the charging system test will advise of overcharging as well as undercharging; the start system test will show up any problems with starter circuit wiring and connections and the maximum load test will determine if the vehicle’s battery and charging system can cope with all electrical equipment on and set to full.

The print out displays the results of the particular test which is a useful record for before and after testing and can also help convince a customer that his battery needs replacing. Detailed instructions are provided which include comprehensive battery size range conversion tables.

Available now at a price of £299.00 but remember to check your local supplier for the best prices and special offers.

More details from

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Working at High Pressure

As the next generation of high pressure diesel systems begin to roll off the OE assembly lines, garages can expect to see common rail pumps/injectors running at 2,200 bar coming in for repair and maintenance within a year or two. This is why TT Automotive, who say they are the UK’s largest independent diesel system specialist, is investing in upgrades to its universal testing equipment now, future proofing its service for clients throughout the UK.

Chris Paxman TT Automo optTT Automotive’s Chris Paxman

As one of just 32 UK Authorised Bosch Diesel Centres, and fully endorsed by Delphi, Denso, Stanadyne, VDO and Zexel, TT Auto has always remained at the forefront of diagnostic and testing technology. The latest upgrades to its Bosch 815 test bench will enable TT’s engineers to make a seamless transition to the new breed of common rail systems, and maintain its fast turnaround and efficient service.

Most current benches can handle up to 1,800 bar, which is fine for the majority of vehicles manufactured pre-2011. TT Auto’s new equipment can take up to 2,500 bar, which is more than enough for the latest systems, plus it has been designed to manage still larger pressures as the pace of innovation continues.

TT upgrades Bosch test optAs well as the technological demands of the new systems, there are serious safety implications to be considered also. Engineers will need to be aware of the specific precautions to be taken when working with pressures at this level, such as the additional time it takes for pressure to dissipate, and of course the much higher temperature of any fuel left in the pipes.

The message is clear: be aware that the new fuel systems are currently being introduced, take the utmost caution when working on any new diesel vehicles, and make sure your chosen repairer has the expertise and equipment necessary to properly test and repair these high pressure systems.

Comment on the ‘Lean Burn Petrol Engines’ article (page 12) by Chris Paxman, Managing Director of TT Automotive:

“Today’s lean-burn diesel vehicles utilise complicated and expensive combustion systems along with innovative technologies for cleaner emissions.

With its outstanding mileage performance and fuel economy advantage, the lean burn vehicle is increasing in popularity. Components have therefore had to become more sophisticated to deal with these advances. The lean burn theory is another technology driver to push the boundaries with diesel combustion engines and garages need to be aware of the changes that are being made.

As the next generation of diesel engines reach serviceable age, it will become increasingly important to work with specialists with the latest testing equipment and training.”
Contact sales: 0800 018 1812
Technical support: 01509 633 315

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Hand-held Induction heating Tool

Mini-Ductor optThe user-friendly Mini-Ductor II™ 1kw handheld induction heating system is brand new to the UK market. It uses innovative flameless cold heat to release seized nuts, O2 sensors, track rod ends and other hardware that is rusted/thread-locked into place. And because it does not use a flame, they say there’s no collateral damage normally associated with an open flame.

Plugging into 230V, it works fast too, with a 2cm nut becoming red hot in seconds! The Mini-Ductor II™ is CE marked and safe, as its flameless heat is very localised, with only the part becoming hot, not the tool.

The basic kit comes with three different coils to remove different types and sizes of hardware. The bendable coils can be usefully shaped to fit into hard to reach crevices and tight spots. A Mini-Pad is available separately for the removal of body mouldings, graphics etc.

If you’re looking for a more efficient heating option and want to improve safety and productivity, call 01953 859138 or email

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New Fluid Lock Set

5288 plusOpen brake or fuel pipes can still leak or drip even when they are not under pressure — the new fluid lock set from Laser Tools (part no: 5288) effectively seals off these pipes in a matter of seconds.

Manufactured at Laser’s own plant in Sheffield from lightweight and strong anodised aluminium, with a composite nylon sealing screw, the kit is designed for years of use.

Provides an effective seal to metal brake pipes when the braking system has been opened, stops leaking and dripping fuel lines and keeps open air-conditioning pipes free from contamination.

Simply choose the correct size for the pipe (three fluid locks are included in the kit, sizes 4.2mm – 10mm), fit the fluid lock over the end of the pipe and tighten. The nylon threaded screw is manufactured from material hard enough to apply pressure to stop leaks but not so hard as to damage the flare.

Another innovative and useful tool from Laser Tools.

Available from Laser stockists now at a typical price of £60.00 but remember to check your local supplier for the best prices and special offers.

More details from

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