One of the outcomes of the Dieselgate scandal in 2015 was a heightened awareness of vehicle emissions. Suddenly, the general public was questioning the level of emissions that vehicles put out of their exhausts. More worryingly, various research companies and media outlets conducted their own tests, finding that published emission figures were massively out of touch with the real world. Old methods The previous test, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is a laboratory based emissions check. Manufacturers send in a vehicle which is then tested using a rolling road. Emissions output is measured and these are the official figures that follow that model throughout its life. The NEDC was established in 1980. Back then, there were very few model variants and optional ...
With over 10,000 visitors, it has to be said that this year’s Automechanika Birmingham was a success. The event featured 500 exhibitors from 26 countries covering a floor space of 9,400 square metres. More than 120 companies exhibited at Automechanika Birmingham for the first time including: AA Garage Guide, Snap-On, Ceramex, GSF Car Parts and Wurth Electronics. Immediate post-event feedback highlighted a “quality” visitor in attendance and this, coupled with an increased ratio of visitors to exhibitors, meant the event delivered an excellent opportunity for the automotive industry to come together, network and do business. The Auto Repair Focus team was hard at work, meeting a number of exhibitors from well-established companies to new players in the aftermarket, finding out what
The Le Mans 24-hour race is a high endurance, day-long race that puts the world's best race cars to the test. In 2017, jaws dropped when an LMP2 car was placed second and third overall. But, why was this a poignant moment for this engine type and why is this significant to the design and development of these race car engines? And how does miniature bearing specialist, SMB Bearings fit in to this? A Le Mans Prototype (LMP) is the type of sports prototype race car used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series(ELMS) and Asian Le Mans Series. For a car to be compliant for entry in either the LMP1 or LMP2 category, certain design criteria must be fulfilled. In a previously LMP1 dominated race,
Mark Lloyd from The Automotive Academy discusses what the new data protection regulation will mean for garages The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25thMay 2018, and applies to all businesses who interact with EU and UK citizens. This means that if your garage hasn’t started preparing for this new legislation yet, you don’t have long to make sure you’re compliant. Much of the advice surrounding the GDPR focusses on the penalties for ignoring the legislation, but while these can include significant fines (up to £17 million!), focusing on the negative aspects of the GDPR means businesses are overlooking the benefits of making sure they’re compliant. The GDPR gives individuals more rights over the information companies hold about them. Following the G
The UK’s new car market is struggling, with sales down last year, and a further drop already forecast for 2018. March saw the 12th consecutive month of decline, but why have the sales of new vehicles gone from record highs to such lows? The first thing to remember is that despite what the mainstream press states, the market is not really ‘struggling’. Last year, over 2.5 million vehicles were sold in the UK, compared to 2.69 in 2016. A drop of around 200,000 vehicles cannot really be called a crisis, especially as 2016 was a record year, with the highest sales figures ever recorded. It is a case that over time, sales figures will ebb and flow. Yet in this instance, there are a few factors which are inorganically causing a seismic shift in the industry, and this could end up being goo
As you’re no doubt aware by the number of Twitter and Facebook posts, today is not only Easter, but April Fools as well. With this in mind, Auto Repair Focus has rounded up some of the best automotive themed gags… Ancient by-law means cattle & sheep now able to graze Castle Combe infield Castle Combe's owners have been delving into the history books and have managed to unearth a series of unknown bylaws from the medieval period. Drafted around 500AD, the laws make clear that local landowners have the right to graze livestock in the field overlooking the ancient village of Castle Combe itself. Keen to maintain its prominent position within the local community and only too aware the historical significance of its location, Castle Combe Circuit has opted to adhere to the newl
During the severe weather that gripped the UK last week, some garages took the decision to close their doors. But while some spent time with their families, or took advantage of downtime to do a bit more training, for Kris Sheridan, driving around in the snow was much more useful. With a 4x4 on his driveway, Kris, owner of Intelligent Autoelectrics, offered to ferry those who work with elderly and vulnerable people to the places they needed to be, in an example of community spirit that swept the nation during the ‘Beast from the East’. “We took the decision to close the garage due to the location of where my Staff live,” Kris said. “Not only that, our garage is on a road that didn't have any attention from the council so was pretty treacherous! I couldn't risk staff or customers
Ben, the industry support organisation, offers its services across what it calls the four pillars: Financial, Social, Physical and Mental. For one of their employees, these areas became not just areas of support, but an opportunity for a fundraising endurance challenge. Dave Garrett recently completed a challenge of 4,000 miles during 2017, 1,000 miles for each of the four pillars. “In November 2016, a set of ‘PRIDE’ [Passionate, Respectful, Inclusive, Driven, Empowered] values were launched for all colleagues working at Ben to underpin its mission of making a positive difference to people’s lives,” says Dave. “I was quite new to the organisation at the time and wanted to do my bit to help launch the PRIDE values, so I decided that a personal challenge would best reflect these whils
A few years ago, the idea of a driverless car was ‘pie in the sky’ thinking, a fad that would never become mainstream. If the words sound familiar, it’s probably because they’ve also been linked to the electric vehicle (EV), hybrid technology, diesel and petrol before it. Manufacturers are taking the idea of autonomous driving very seriously. In fact, the new Audi A8 features ‘Level 3’ autonomy. This means that the car can control itself in certain situations, although the driver must remain alert and prepared to take control at any time. There are five levels, and the interesting stuff begins at Level 4. Therefore, we’re not far away from science-fiction becoming science-fact. Aftermarket choices What does this mean for the aftermarket? Well, in terms of vehicle repair, the need
Until three years ago, diesel was the fuel of choice for drivers. The government backed it, the oil companies backed it and thanks to the complexities of the servicing and intricacies of the parts, the aftermarket backed it. Then, one September morning in 2015, everything changed. During the IAA motor show in Frankfurt, news broke that Volkswagen had been found to be cheating emissions testing in the US, with software fitted to vehicles that could detect when it was being run in a laboratory, and alter the emissions profile accordingly. Therefore, out in the real world, their cars were more polluting that figures showed. The dominoes fell quickly. First, other manufacturers were pointed out, with Renault and Daimler having their offices searched for any evidence of emissions cheating...