MOT Workshop 38 – News, New Products and Services

• CV Show Report
• Refunds Direct highlights best time for mechanics to claim tax back on tools
• New work bench mounted induction heater

• Paintless Dent Removal Evolution
• VOSA’s Matters of Testing picks up Editor’s appearance at Parliamentary Committee
• TEXA introduces new ‘flagship’ diagnostic tool

CV Show Report

Torrential April showers fail to keep crowds away from CV Show

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Although official figures won’t be available for a few weeks, first impressions indicate that visitors were significantly up on last year, with exhibitors commenting favourably on both the high quality and the number of visitors attending.

Show organisers were delighted to report that they have already received requests along the lines of “a bigger stand next year, please!”

Visitors came away commenting on the “stunning” new Ford Transit launch, with Automated Testing Lanes also generating lots of interest.

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Refunds Direct highlights best time for mechanics to claim tax back on tools

tool chest optWith the tax year end looming, many mechanics are unaware of their entitlement to claim back money spent on tools – let alone the best time to do it. Leading tool refund specialist Refunds Direct is highlighting the fact that by claiming immediately after the end of the tax year, mechanics can maximise their tool refunds by including their purchases from April 1997 up to 5th April 2012.

Launched seven years ago, Refunds Direct’s Mechanic Tools Refund scheme has helped over 5,000 auto technicians make the most of their toolbox assets, securing millions of pounds in refunds. With payouts averaging £400-£800, the scheme helps employed mechanics to claim back up to 15% of the total value of purchased tools and equipment.

Refunds Direct pioneered the specialist claim after a long battle with the tax office in 2005. Arranged on a ‘no refund, no fee’ basis, the scheme provides welcome cash for thousands of auto technicians, ranging from employees of small independent garages to those working in fast-fit chains and large dealerships.

Refunds Direct has built up a wealth of expert knowledge and uses an in-house database specifying over 16,000 eligible tools. The specialist software maximises claims by declaring which tools are an allowable expense under tax office legislation, ensuring all tools and equipment are accounted for- maximising refunds.

Typically paying out within 12 weeks, to qualify, respondents need to be have spent at least £1,500 on their tools since April 1997 (the scheme does not apply to self-employed mechanics).

Attracting repeat business year on year from its customers, Refunds Direct also makes claiming for future tax years simple and rewarding.

To request a claim pack or for further information, contact Refunds Direct via / 0800 10 77 188 or by texting REFUND to 60777.

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New work bench mounted induction heater

PROMAX optThe INDUCTOR® Pro-Max™ trolley or work bench mounted system is a powerful 2 kilowatt, 230 volt induction heater for the repair and refinish market. The Pro-Max™ comes with a range of accessories to easily remove a variety of hardware and components including glass, decals, vinyl graphics, body side mouldings, caulking, corroded mechanical and suspension parts, metal bond adhesives and more.

Brand new to the UK market, the product is CE marked and uses innovative induction heating, a safe and reliable alternative to using a naked flame. It works fast, there’s no collateral damage normally associated with an open flame and the flameless heat is very localised, with only the part becoming hot, not the tool.

The accessories all greatly reduce the need for toxic solvents and include: the Glass Blaster®, Fast-OFF Pad® and the Concentrator®.

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

Also visit for a video demonstration and find out more about its little brother range, the handheld Mini-Ductor II™.

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Atlas Copco Compressors’ apprenticeship scheme helps address UK engineering skills gap

AT9870 - Donald Draffa optAtlas Copco Compressors is training compressor engineers of the future and, in the process, helping to address the UK’s engineering skills gap through its comprehensive apprenticeship scheme. The scheme, which provides apprentices with the practical engineering skills and commercial experience required for a career in the compressed air sector, is also helping Atlas Copco to maintain the high standards of compressor engineering excellence for which it is renowned.

Donald Draffan, a first year apprentice based at Atlas Copco’s Cumbernauld Service Centre commented: “My training has already given me real hands-on experience with the latest compressor technology which is great, but it is also giving me an insight into the commercial side of the industry and how an organisation such as Atlas Copco operates. I really believe this combination will enable me to develop all of the necessary technical and business skills and expertise needed for a career as a compressor engineer”.

The apprenticeship scheme, which Atlas Copco operates in partnership with local colleges, provides apprentices with real-time experience and training within Atlas Copco’s engineering environment, based at any of its regional service centres or the Systems Engineering facilities located at the company’s UK headquarters in Hemel Hempstead.

Commenting on the thinking behind the scheme, Paul Frost, Manager of Atlas Copco’s Systems Hemel Hempstead division said: “By running our own apprenticeship scheme in conjunction with local colleges we are able to recruit suitable young engineers who will develop on a personal level whilst reinforcing our own engineering capabilities for the future. This helps to maintain the high quality products and support for which we are well known, as well as long term benefits for the trainee, Atlas Copco and ultimately, our customers.”

There are currently six apprentices on the scheme with the number of places available each year varying, depending on the specific requirement of the company’s business divisions at the time. The average apprenticeship lasts between three to four years, depending on the relevant technical college course embarked upon and the experience and qualifications of the individual student.

As a starting point, student candidates require A to C grades for GCSE English, Maths and Science. A typical example of a course curriculum for an apprentice service engineer includes completion of NVQ2 Performing Engineering Operations in year 1, a BTEC National Diploma Level 3 in years 2 and 3, and from years 1 to 4 an NVQ3 company qualification in engineering maintenance.

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Paintless Dent Removal Evolution

92294 three optThis new kit from Power-TEC (part no: 92294) includes everything that is required for basic PDR (Paintless Dent Removal) with the added innovation of a Magnetic Roller Tip system to assist in placing the tip of the selected tool in exactly the right spot. The kit is ideal for the technician new to PDR and will improve their eye-hand co-ordination skills and speed up the learning process.

PDR is performed by highly skilled operators. However one of the most difficult aspects is the placing of the tip of the tool exactly behind a very small dent. This can take lots of practise to get right. The Power-TEC Magnetic Roller Tip system assists by giving an instant visual aid to the position of the tip of the tool behind the panel. The two MRTs provided in the kit are strongly magnetised; once the straight pry-bar or the door bar are in position ready to commence repair, place a surface trace ball on the dented area, it will be held in place by the MRT behind. The surface trace ball follows the movements of the MRT behind the panel showing the operator exactly where the tip of the tool is.

The kit includes a line board for to visually highlight the dent during repair, two straight pry-bars plus a specially-shaped door bar. Adaptors and extensions are included as well as a window access wedge, a nylon punch for dropping high spots and a soft-faced hammer. A full and comprehensive kit.

Typical price is £395.00 and available now from your Power-TEC supplier.
Further details at:
or call 01926 818195.

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VOSA’s Matters of Testing picks up Editor’s appearance at Parliamentary Committee

Matters of Testing optIn their 2012 issue of Matters of Testing, VOSA reported on proceedings of the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee, which heard evidence about the MOT Test from Bill Duffy, CEO of Halfords’ Autocentres, and Jim Punter Editor of our sister publication MOT Testing magazine, owner of an independent MOT garage in West London, and Chairman of the MOT Trade Forum. VOSA were pleased at Jim’s comments that “The British MOT Test is probably the best in Europe”, and his further comments on the huge contribution the MOT makes to Britain’s world beating road safety record.

Whilst we understand VOSA being pleased with Punter’s statements, it should also be noted that Testing Stations actually do the Testing which ends up saving lives and reducing injuries on the roads.

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TEXA introduces new ‘flagship’ diagnostic tool

p00733 0232 optThe AXONE 4 is the new ‘TEXA diagnosis flagship’, including the latest technical features to offer a market leading diagnostic solution for the workshop. The AXONE 4 presents a series of unique characteristics, many of which are linked to the functionality provided by an internet connection.

From the first time you see it, the large 9.7″ TFT touch screen captures the attention, with resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and high quality graphics. All functions are accessed directly through the touchscreen (where required a virtual keyboard is available), and the only physical buttons are an on/off and multifunction.

The Axone 4 features a latest generation Intel Atom processor, complete with 1 Gb RAM memory, and an advanced 32 Gb solid state (no moving parts) hard disk, which consumes less power and requires less cooling and the display can be used in either portrait or landscape modes. The technician can choose their preferred option, as required.


The wireless connection provides Wi-Fi as standard, to connect to the workshop wireless network, which allows download of the latest update and access to the online services, as well as dual Bluetooth to communication with the various TEXA diagnosis and measurement interfaces. Another feature which has not previously been available on a diagnostic tool is an option to connect to a smartphone, which allows access to the internet whilst on the road.

The unit also features a VGA camera, which is useful for documenting and saving specific information from the vehicle for future reference, or to attach an image to a spare parts purchase order.

The AXONE 4 has been designed for exclusive connection via Bluetooth to a TEXA diagnosis interface. For workshops repairing car and light commercial vehicles, the revolutionary Navigator nano, provides a unique miniaturised Vehicle interface, which communicates via Bluetooth with the AXONE 4.

Truck and Agricultural

For workshops repairing car, truck and agricultural vehicles, the Navigator TXT provides a robust vehicle interface to cover all these application in conjunction with the AXONE 4.

Additionally, the AXONE 4 uses the established IDC4 software for all the available vehicle types, and is simple to use whilst offering the technician a complete range of diagnostic functions including adjustments and coding. Additional features such as the technical information, technical bulletins, and ‘solved problems’ function, TGS2 vehicle system scan and a large database of wiring diagrams. The customer management feature allows data to be recorded and saved under the vehicle registration number for future reference during the diagnostic procedure.

Continuous updates

In addition to these functions, the IDC4 software benefits from the new ‘continuous updates’ feature to ensure the latest vehicle coverage is available, and also has the option to link into the parts catalogues of companies who have a working agreement with TEXA. This procedure allows for the easier identification of the correct spare parts, saving time in the workshop.

With the AXONE 4, all procedures can therefore be easily carried out in the workshop, from initial diagnosis to repair.

The AXONE 4 can also be used in conjunction with TEXA tools, for emissions analysis (OPABOX and GASBOX), traditional test and measurement (UNIProbe and TwinProbe), as well as on-board system logging tools (OBD MATRIX and OBD Log).

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