HaynesPro drives skills development through donations

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A big thank you to HaynesPro, which continues to support our efforts to upskill industry members through its donation of HaynesPro WorkshopData software licenses. This software offers a single pathway to OEM-based technical data covering 70 car manufacturers, enabling workshops to offer excellent service without compromising OEM warranty cover.

Last month, the company donated licenses to BCS Training Academy, a renowned preferred training facility offering automotive commercial vehicle apprentice training and non-technical training programmes. The academy’s Kowie Botha says that the donation is greatly appreciated, and has proved a great help in teaching trainees and workshop owners how to accurately invoice customers for repairs. It is also useful for teaching mechanics who are guided by repair manuals how to do repairs according to international standards. 

This is HaynesPro’s second donation: the first was made four years ago, to the College of Cape Town, where the software made it possible for trainees to access up-to-date technical and electrical information so that they were better equipped to solve electrical faults in the workshop environment. This is thanks to the software’s maintenance of schedules, repair information and wiring diagrams, as well as the VESA Guided Diagnostic System.

This ability is becoming increasingly important as cars become more technologically and electronically advanced. Having access to HaynesPro software means that apprentices are familiar with these systems when they enter the workplace, making them more employable. The licenses, therefore, help to boost vocational training, which is critical as the industry strives to upskill workers. Moreover, because the HaynesPro system is cloud-based, trainees can use it outside of the workshop environment, providing an additional income stream. 

HaynesPro has agreed to donate licenses to an additional three service providers so that more trainees can enjoy the same benefits.

Beware fraudulent activity

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It has come to our attention that some workshops are submitting fraudulent RMI membership certificates when taking part in tender applications. 

The increase in such activity is possibly due to the fact that requests for tenders for motor vehicle maintenance, repairs, products and services are common during June and July, and in many cases, proof of RMI membership and MIWA accreditation is a requirement of the application. However, given the current turbulence of our economy at present, it is likely that this fraudulent activity will continue. 

While the request for proof of RMI membership is certainly proof that our work is valued and held in high esteem, this reputation may be damaged by workshops presenting fraudulent certificates. With this in mind, it is vital that we ensure that our membership database is up-to-date and that we verify the membership and accreditation authenticity of workshops along with their good standing.

We can further overcome this challenge by ensuring that all members, fleet operators and consumers are aware of false claims to membership, and advising them to proceed with caution.

We thank you for your efforts to spread awareness of fraudulent activity – we all have a part to play in addressing this issue.

Jakkie Olivier – CEO Retail Motor Industry Organisation

All about GUD filters

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Every month, we shed the spotlight on a Tier 1 Sponsor of the Right 2 Repair campaign. This month, we’re learning more about GUD filters.

Times are tough for the average South African. The impulse to save a few Rand is ever-present, as households buckle under the pressure of rising inflation and fuel costs. Vehicle maintenance is a necessity; however, many drivers may be tempted to skimp on routine maintenance to save costs. Unfortunately, this is false economy, as worn filters can increase fuel consumption or even lead to engine failure, costing much more in the long run.

The good news is that since the Competition Commission Guidelines came into effect, motorists are able to choose where they service their in-warranty vehicles meaning that they can choose a well-priced independent workshop without voiding their warranty. 

However, it is important that they choose an accredited workshop that fits OEM quality parts such as GUD filters when completing their service. Filters form a small part of the overall service cost but they play a big role in ensuring that customers receive the best engine protection and fuel economy and giving the workshop peace of mind. Unlike cheap filter manufacturers, GUD backs all of its products with a comprehensive warranty so that workshop owners know they are covered. With an extensive range covering over 93% of the vehicles on SA’s roads, GUD’s oil, fuel, air and cabin filters are manufactured to meet or exceed OE specifications.

Only GUD’s premium filters offer quality that is backed by a comprehensive product warranty, which provides total peace of mind for workshops and motorists alike. 

You’re onto a GUD thing with GUD Filters with value-added services such as a national sales team who are able to attend to any queries on the spot, a unique loyalty programme, as well as signage and promotions. A technical help desk is also just a phone call away.  

GUD has made identifying the right filters for fitment to the vehicle on your workshop floor even easier with the Filter Finder feature on their website. It’s easy to use on your mobile phone, computer or tablet. Try it now at www.gud.co.za. For workshops who still prefer a printed catalogue, GUD’s new catalogue is hot off the press. Speak to your rep for a copy. 

Know your oil

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The word from members is you want to hear more about products and services that can benefit the workshops. We totally agree so this month we spoke to Shell and are placing the spotlight on oil. 

Oil plays a key role in keeping the engine clean and well lubricated – but not all oil is created equal. Use the wrong oil, and both the efficiency and longevity of the engine may be reduced. The wrong oil may even contaminate expensive emission control equipment. 

Remember that quality counts. It doesn’t matter what sort of fancy marketing goes into engine oil, or how bright and colourful the packaging is, it’s what’s written on the packaging that counts. Specifications and approvals are everything. 

There are two established testing bodies. The API (American Petroleum Institute) being the dominant testing body, and the ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Europeens d’Automobiles) which is the European equivalent. 

You’ve probably never heard of either of them, but their stamp of approval will be seen on the side of every reputable can of engine oil. South Africa uses the API specification to depict the quality standard of the oil and the testing standard.

MIWA spoke to Hein Venter, Senior Lubricants Technical Advisor at Shell, to explain the importance of making the right decision as not all lubricants are created equal. 

Check the performance level

Venter says that lubricants in general, and engine oils in particular, should specify their performance level. Lubricant performance is tested against the industry standard, as well as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specifications. “Generally higher performance lubricants cost more,” he explains. 

All OEMs specify a minimum performance level for the lubricants to be used in any given vehicle model (either their own specification or a generic industry specification).  It is important to make sure that the lubricants comply to that minimum performance specification.  

“Using the wrong oil in an application can have costly implications, both in terms of inadequate lubrication in the engine itself, as well as contamination of expensive emission control equipment,” he says.  

As a general rule, any oil recommendation starts with the OEM specifications which are normally found in the operator’s manual of the vehicle and as a vehicle owner, that is your starting point. 

The most used industry specification is the API performance specifications. There are two main branches of this specification, the diesel and petrol specifications. The specification for diesel engines are designated with a ‘C’ classification, for example, API CI or API CK.  “The letter after the C indicates the performance level, letters later in the alphabet indicate a higher performance. API CK oils, therefore, perform better than API CI oils, and both better than API CF oils. The latest published specification is API CK,” says Venter.

The petrol equivalent is specified with an S classification. The newest petrol specification (published recently) is API SP.

Viscosity matters

Another very important aspect of engine oils is the viscosity of the oil. This is a measure of the ‘thickness’ of the oil, or how easily it flows. Higher figures represent ‘thicker’ oils, or oils with higher resistance to flow. Viscosity changes (decreases) as the oil gets hot. When the viscosity of a lubricant gets too low (the oil gets too thin) it will fail to protect against metal-to-metal contact, resulting in accelerated wear and possibly catastrophic failure. The OEM of an engine will again specify the minimum viscosity grade to use in that engine.

Modern passenger car engine oils are normally ‘multi-grade’, which indicates it has additives to improve the temperature characteristics over mono-grade oils.  

The viscosity grade of a multi-grade oil is expressed as two figures such as 5W-30, 15W-40 etc. The first figure (before the ‘W’ – for Winter grade) indicates extreme cold viscosity, and the second figure specifies the viscosity at the operating temperature of the engine. It is important not to use an engine oil with a lower viscosity than the grade specified by the OEM.  

Engine oils are generally aimed at either diesel or petrol engines, although there are engine oils with very high petrol and diesel specifications. An example of one of these engine oils is Shell Rimula Ultra Plus 15W-30, which is approved for API SN and API CK.

Oils have various properties which keep your engine clean and well lubricated throughout its entire lifespan and under all possible conditions. The choice that you make when purchasing motor oil will determine the effective use and duration of your engine.

What to ask for at your service station 

So when you next drive up to your service station or workshop and your car needs oil, take a moment to check what is the most appropriate oil for your vehicle and always check the label and look out for the words: Meets the requirements of API SH/CD. Alternatively, look for the API Service Symbol somewhere on the packaging.

A quick guide to the different grades of oil

Congratulations to our stars

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MIWA workshops in Gqeberha, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng recently underwent grading, and we are very proud to report that several received a five-star rating.

Hearty congratulations go to all Gqeberha workshops that participated. We snapped a couple of pictures of just some of our five-star MIWA workshops and send a big shout-out to M Tech Autoworx, AMS, Extra Mile Auto, and Pops Auto for their outstanding accomplishment.  Some of the KZN workshops that also excelled and received their five-star grading included Frenchtech Auto, Premier Auto Services, and B & R Auto Electrical Service to name just a few.

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Going forward, star ratings will be published on our website once the participant has received his/her outcome report following their audit. We will also advise participants that have failed their audit and this will also be published on the site.

MIWA members in the community

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Congratulations to Christopher Radloff, previously at Ian’s Auto in East London, who was recently recruited by Halls Speed in Midrand to be part of the Dakar Rally team, building Toyota Dakar bakkies (or Rally Raids, as they are known) from scratch. Christopher’s skill took him to Saudi Arabia, where he worked with the winning team that assembles vehicles before stripping them so that they can be returned to South Africa. Since then, he has taken part in two more events in South Africa. Christopher’s mother, Carol, says she is very proud of her son, but not surprised: Christopher “has always been a petrolhead”, and never looked back after studying at Port Rex College and then joining the family workshop.

We’re very proud of the MIWA Eastern Cape members who took part in our Mandela Day celebrations. In keeping with our theme, ‘Do what you can with what you have and where you are’, we encouraged workshops to offer free light checks to passing traffic at busy intersections. Motorists were also able to purchase lightbulbs from Midas if they needed them; a touch that was much appreciated in our current season, when early nights make for poor visibility and dangerous driving. Congratulations to the five workshops that took part in this initiative and a big thank you to Teresa and Cliffie for driving the initiative

Bosch is currently hosting a series of informative events themed Bosch Decoding Tomorrow in venues throughout the country, focusing on topics such as future training, equipment, loyalty programmes, potential franchise opportunities and Bosch parts, as part of the company’s roadshow. The event held in Cape Town was very interesting and informative for suppliers and workshops alike.

We’re excited to welcome DICP to the RMI family. Offering services, repairs and performance checks, this Durban-based workshop commemorated its opening on 2 July with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, treating guests to free diagnostics, 101-point checks and dyno runs. We wish them everything of the best and extend a warm MIWA welcome to the family. 

Meet your Committee members

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In our new monthly feature, we’ll be introducing you to your regional executive members. This month, we’re focusing on the Free State, which is home to our chairperson (pictured above), Dewald Ranft.

Dewald has been in the industry for 26 years, while his workshop, Dyno Tech, is 22 years old. He takes pride in the workshop’s technological prowess, which enables it to provide superior aftermarket service.

Francois Greef, G&D Diesel

He’s joined on the team by Francois Greef of G&D Diesel; a workshop which was started 50 years ago. The third generation of his family to work here, Francois joined the workshop in 1997 and is determined to keep up the heritage of family values and quality workmanship which has made it a cornerstone of the Bloemfontein community: “We strive to give each customer the very best service,” he promises.

Andre Lourens, Bavarian Technologies

Andre Lourens of Bavarian Technologies also lends his skills. Andre has an unparalleled understanding of BMWs, which means that Bavarian Technologies – which was opened in 2012, 11 years after Andre joined the industry. It offers the very best service, without taking shortcuts.

Blayne Pophaim, BPK Industries

BKP Industries opened its doors in April 2019, with the goal of making a difference in the automotive industry. Owner Blayne Pophaim says that he’s been passionate about cars – or anything with wheels and an engine – since childhood – and, with his team offering a combined 30 years’ industry experience, is determined to exceed customer expectations by providing cost-effective solutions, backed by new technology and innovation.

Danie Hoffman, Motor Tune-Ups

Under the eye of Danie Hoffman, Motor Tune-Ups (established in 1997) focuses on providing the best parts from reputable suppliers. The workshop became a member of the E-Car group in 2012.

Bruno Burrie, Swedo Tech

Bruno Burrie, who is also the Vice-Chairman,  of Swedo Tech rounds off the team. His workshop specialises in Volvo vehicles but is skilled at servicing and repairing other brands too.

Managing customer expectations

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As MIWA members, we are aware that the reputation of our organisation is influenced by the satisfaction of customers using accredited workshops – which is why we place such great emphasis on delivering the very best service possible. However, there are times when customers have expectations that even the most diligent workshop would battle to meet. Here’s how to manage those expectations:

  • Booking your car in – It should not come as a shock if the workshop is not able to book your vehicle in on the same day; perhaps only three days later. Workshops service many customers and allocating quality time to each vehicle is imperative. Be assured if they could help you immediately, they would, but overloading the workshop does not do anyone a favour.
  • Cancelling a booking – If you decide to take your vehicle elsewhere, be courteous enough to cancel the booking you made with another workshop instead of being a no-show and this will open up space for other customers
  • A service is a service – If you booked a service, the booking is made for the timeframe of a service. It is not a bumper-to-bumper repair. A routine service does not include additional faults. These faults need to be specifically pointed out and an additional booking made to avoid disappointment, or they need to be discussed upfront on the phone to allow the correct amount of time to be allocated.
  • Be organised – It is helpful to have the paperwork on hand when you arrive, like the registration, VIN and kilometre reading. A service book is also a big help to the workshop and important to ensure all warranty and service standards are maintained.
  • Be honest – Be honest about the problem/s. Give the workshop the full background, even if another workshop has worked on the car but it is still not fixed. It makes life much easier to know the history and also saves time looking.
  • Remove valuables and rubbish – Anything of value must be removed before you arrive. Staff also appreciate it if the car is clean (not valeted, just clean) inside. So, no old take-away boxes on the backseat, used tissues in the door panels or an overflowing ashtray please and definitely no valuables!
  • Top up the fuel – If your car has been cutting out, for example, it would be imperative for the workshop to drive the car until it cuts out to make a proper diagnosis. The reason customers freewheel into workshops is they think the staff are going to syphon their petrol. If you don’t trust the workshop, you are at the wrong place. Make sure there is enough fuel to at least get the car around the workshop and maybe do a test drive.
  • Bring a battery – Contrary to popular belief, workshops do not have working batteries lying around. If your car is a non-runner, you need to come in with a working battery. The workshop can’t fit a ‘loan’ battery and it is unethical to use a battery from another customer’s car. 
  • Don’t mark old parts – This is a slap in the face for the workshop. You are allowed to ask for your old parts back but do this when you book the car in, not afterwards.
  • Buying your own parts – It is a major problem when customers insist on bringing their own parts. Most accredited workshops do not allow this practice. It creates two problems. Firstly if the part is fitted by the workshop and a malfunction occurs later causing collateral damage, the question is who is responsible for that damage?  Secondly, if the part is incorrect, the entire service is delayed creating a backlog in the workshop.
  • Claiming from warranty policy – If you intend to claim from your aftermarket warrantee policy you need to be aware of the following: the content of the policy and specifically what is covered; claiming procedures; and policy on parts (does not cover wear and tear). Remember if your claim is rejected you will be responsible for the ‘strip and quote’ amount.
  • Testing is not free – Diagnostic testing is not free unless specified by the workshop. Also cancelling a warning light is not going to fix the problem. You need to find out what is causing the warning light.
  • Anti-theft devices – Remember to tell the staff if the car has an aftermarket alarm system, anti-hijack button, or anti-theft wheel nuts.
  • Finding the problem – It is ok to enquire about the status of your vehicle and any good service advisor will ensure you are kept informed. But if the car has a problem that is not easy to find, calling every 5 minutes won’t help find it any sooner and may even prolong the repair.
  • Workshops are not storage facilities – It really helps if you can fetch your car as soon as the service is complete. Not all aftermarket workshops have the space to store your car overnight.
  • Repairs are not open-ended – Your mechanic will only repair what you have given him permission to fix. Remember not everything that goes wrong after a repair or service is the workshop’s fault or responsibility. As the owner, you must keep your own car in roadworthy condition.
  • Give feedback – Like most things in life we are quick to criticise but slow to praise. Your workshop would really appreciate your positive feedback on Facebook if you are happy with your service. A good Google review goes a long way!

There are many ways customers can contribute to a good experience. Some of these points may seem trivial but they make a difference. In a busy workshop environment, the more prepared you are for the day your car is booked the better – for you, for the workshop and for other customers. 

We shared these tips in the media recently and are happy to report that they got some great traction.

MIWA in the media, July 2022

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Our stories continue to get great placement in the media and we hope you enjoy reading some of the latest stories. Click on the links below to see our latest stories.

Pretoria Rekord
Are you a high-maintenance customer?

Fourways Review
Are you a high-maintenance customer?

Pretoria Rekord
Have you experienced pothole damage to your car?

Sandton Chronicle
Training and learning is and should be a constant

Sowetan Live
Motorists may claim for pothole damage to their vehicles

Times Live
Motorists may claim for pothole damage to their vehicles

From the Director’s Desk, July 2022

2019

We’ve always aimed to make this newsletter as informative and enlightening as possible. The aim is on providing news that makes you feel connected to the other members in our association, lets you know what’s happening, and gives you practical insights you can use to improve your relationships with customers.

We think that we’re doing a better job than usual this month, thanks to the introduction of two new features: the first is all about growing your product knowledge, while the second introduces you to your regional committee members.

You can also look forward to learning how to manage customer expectations to improve their experience and find out about new initiatives in our upskilling drive – plus, you can learn what our members have been up to.  

We hope you enjoy the read.

Pieter Niemand,
MIWA National Director