Jan. 1, 2020
Biodegradable Motor Oil? ... Tires Enter the Electronic Age ... Independents Using the Web More ... Tenneco Launches 'Sizzling' Rewards Promos ... plus more.
NEWS BRIEFS FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 10, 2007New Non-Road Engine Regs Mean Challenges for Engine Makers

CHICAGO (April 20, 2007) —  In response to a recent rule proposal from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) announced it is committed to working with regulators and meeting the proposed new emission standards for small land-based non-road engines.

If finalized and implemented as proposed, the new requirements for small spark ignition engines will dramatically reduce emissions. The new rule is significant because it represents further large reductions in exhaust emissions and new controls of evaporative emissions for these non-road engines and the equipment they power.

The EMA says its members provided valuable information to the EPA regarding small spark ignition engines and emission control technologies. They also met with the EPA’s technical staff to discuss the potential emission reductions that might be achievable for the small spark ignition sector.

(Source: EMA)

Biodegradable Motor Oil?

TAMPA, FL (April29, 2007) — Nano Chemical Systems Holdings Inc. has developed NANOIL, a nano-enhanced motor oil designed for today's vehicles that the company says can perform as well as today's fossil and synthetic oils. Nano says its product is non-toxic and 100 percent biodegradable, thus eliminating the current disposal issues with present commercially available lubricants.

"We can not overstate the environmental impact of ‘green’ motor oil that, if sufficiently biodegradable, can reduce or eliminate the need for disposal of crank case oil as a toxic waste and eliminate that ugly black line down the center of the freeway lanes where commercial vehicle traffic is concentrated," says Alex Edwards, Nano's CEO and president.

(Source: Nano Chemical Systems Holding Inc.)

Tires Enter the Electronic Age

DIAMOND BAR, CA (April 30, 2007) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is joining with the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to recommend that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) update its current tire registration regulations. The groups propose allowing consumers to register their tire purchases electronically rather than by mailing back a paper registration form.

NHTSA's current tire recordkeeping regulation (49 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 574) was first issued in 1970. Under the rule, tire distributors and dealers are required to provide a paper registration form or card to purchasers of new tires.

The groups believe that electronic registration will greatly increase the number of consumers who register their purchases; currently it is estimated that only 10 percent of consumers return the form. It should also decrease the amount of information that is inaccurate, incomplete or illegible when the forms have been completed, they add. 

The manufacturers are required to maintain the information for at least five years. The groups maintain that this option for electronic filing should not impose any additional burden on tire manufacturers, dealers and distributors, but rather improve efficiency and increase safety benefits.

(Source: SEMA)

Independents Using the Web More

BEDFORD, TX (April 30, 2007) — According to the Automotive Service Association's (ASA’s) latest "How's Your Business?" survey, 99 percent of member collision repair facilities and 91 percent of member mechanical shops access the Internet to communicate and retrieve business-related material.

The survey also reports that high-speed Internet connections are predominantly being used in the shop, with only 8 percent of mechanical shops and 8 percent of collision shops using a dial-up connection.

The same survey shows 92 percent of mechanical members access service repair information via the Internet. Other primary uses of the Internet include ordering and tracking parts online (76 percent), purchasing tools and equipment (67 percent) and product research (55 percent).

In addition, 80 percent of respondents use the Internet to communicate through e-mail transmissions. For collision repair facilities, 94 percent of respondents use the Internet to correspond through e-mail. Accessing service repair information (71 percent), purchasing tools and equipment (59 percent) and the electronic transfer of funds (58 percents) are other uses for shop Internet access.

Respondents are also turning more and more to Web-based training. For mechanical shops, 34 percent elect to take Web-based technical training and 22 percent use the Internet for online management training. The numbers are slightly higher for collision shops, with 35 percent taking Web-based technical training and 23 percent opting for online management training.

The survey also reports 64 percent of collision shops and 61 percent of mechanical shops operate a Web site.

(Source: ASA)

New Distributor Package Available for Performance Exhaust Dealers

LOUDON, TN (May 5, 2007) — Cherry Bomb has initiated a new distributor program to help retailers make the most of every performance exhaust customer. The materials are designed to help dealers and customers choose the right muffler for any application from among the company's six muffler designs and line of exhaust accessories.

The complete list of dealer tools provided in the authorized dealer kit includes counter displays, brochures, banners, posters, stickers, counter mats, catalogs and two mufflers for display.

In addition, the company says, authorized dealers have access to much more than point-of-sale materials. Other benefits include a support team of knowledgeable company technical representatives and a Web-based dealer locator.

(Source: Cherry Bomb)

Autoliv Nets Prize for 
New Safety Vent Airbag
This new airbag design was recently launched in North America with DaimlerChrysler. Autoliv says other OEMs are looking at the technology.
(Photo: Autoliv)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (May 3, 2007) — Autoliv Inc. received a 2007 Automotive News Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence (PACE) Award for its Safety Vent Airbag technology, developed at the company's North American technical centers.

The airbag technology is designed to address the risk associated with airbags. Although airbags save thousands of lives every year, they can be unsafe for children and other occupants in the front passenger seat who are "Out of Position," — that is, positioned too close to a deploying airbag.

To address these concerns, Autoliv developed an airbag with "safety vents" that perform automatically in a deployment. If the occupant is at a safe distance to the airbag, two straps inside the bag will be stretched and close the additional Safety Vents like a drawstring on a laundry bag. However, if the occupant is too close to the deploying airbag, the safety vents on the sides of the bag will remain open to prevent the bag from being inflated, thereby providing a gentle deployment. 

(Source: Autoliv Inc.)

Ensure Your Lift Repair 
Doesn’t Void the Warranty

MADISON, IN (April 19, 2007) – According to a recent press release from Rotary Lift, many shop owners don't realize that installing aftermarket replacement parts on a vehicle lift can invalidate the lift's certification and create risk management issues.

When buying vehicle lifts, look for lifts that have been third-party certified to comply with ANSI/ALI ALCTV-1998 standards, advises Rotary. In fact, 47 states plus Washington, DC, as well as numerous state and local governments use the International Building Code, which requires that all installed vehicle lifts be certified to this standard.

"Certification of an automotive lift includes a process for documenting the lift's components within the control drawings, submitting required stress calculations, and documenting that component performance does not adversely impact lift performance," explains R.W. O'Gorman, president/CEO of the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI).

"Replacing worn, damaged or broken parts only with parts furnished or approved by the original equipment manufacturer is key to a shop owner's risk management efforts," O'Gorman adds.

Rotary also warns shop owners to be alert to counterfeit parts. The “Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act” that was signed into law by President Bush in 2006 states that it is illegal to misrepresent a part built by a third party as a genuine replacement part. These counterfeit parts may be labeled "Made for [Manufacturer] Model [XXX]." To ensure that you are buying genuine OE replacement parts, purchase them from factory-authorized distributors and installers, advises Rotary.

(Source: Rotary Lift)

New Rotary Engine Aims 
to Replace Piston Engines

RICHMOND, B.C. (May 3, 2007) — Simplicity, power and efficiency are key design priorities in the development of any engine. Engine manufacturer Regi U.S. says it has incorporated those principals into its Radmax Direct Charge engine.

The Radmax engine is an internal combustion engine built around a rotary design. According to Regi, the engine has two to three times the power — but weighs half as much as a Wankel engine of the same size. The Radmax engine can generate 1 horsepower (hp) per 0.75 pound of engine weight, compared to a conventional internal combustion engine's 1 hp/6 to 7 pounds of engine weight. Moreover, the engine is environmentally friendly, using a wide range of fuel sources from diesel to biodiesel, hydrogen and electricity in addition to regular gasoline. 

The engine is comprised of a disc-shaped rotor and driveshaft that turn the housing, or stator, which remains stationary. Up to 12 vanes mounted parallel to the shaft slide up and down along the outside of the rotor as they follow a track along the inside of the stator housing. Combustion chambers form between the rotor, stator walls and vanes, and their volumes change as the vanes move during rotation. Although the design could use only two vanes, the current version has 12, which generate 24 combustion events (intake, compression, ignition, exhaust) per rotation.

The engine has a compression ratio of 20:1, and it uses 13 moving parts compared to 40 in conventional piston engines. That's because the rotor and vanes replace timing gears, connecting rods, pistons, cylinders and valves.

The engine also generates lower vibrations, says Regi, because all the components are spinning in the same direction. There are no pistons or valves making thousands of abrupt changes per minute. The combustion chambers are balanced around the rotor, and the rotor acts as a flywheel to smooth out power imbalances and eliminate destructive harmonics.

(Source: Regi U.S.)

Tenneco Launches 
‘Sizzling’ Rewards Promos

MONROE, MI (April 27, 2007) — Tenneco intends to make the summer even hotter with the launch of its Expert Plus “Summer Sizzler!” promotions. Automotive service shops installing the company’s ride control and exhaust brands, such as Monroe shocks and struts, Walker exhaust systems and DynoMax performance exhaust systems, can earn fun premiums through June 30, 2007.

Expert Plus is a membership-based incentive, training and marketing program designed to drive profits and business for service dealers. It is offered exclusively through Tenneco’s automotive undercar brands and product lines. The current membership fee is $59.99 for shops in the United States and $79.99 for shops in Canada.

The promotion’s rewards span several levels:

* Sell 10 pairs of qualifying Monroe products or five qualifying Walker/DynoMax systems and earn the choice of a Bubba Keg cooler, Champion baseball jersey and cap, Crosswind mini-stripe polo or Wilson soccer ball.

* Sell 15 pairs of qualifying Monroe or 10 qualifying Walker/DynoMax systems and earn choice of Coleman Road Trip Party Grill, Ogio crunch duffle bag, Eagle Claw open-cast rod and reel kit or Sport Tek windshirt.

* Sell 20 pairs of qualifying Monroe products or 15 qualifying Walker/DynoMax systems and earn choice of Dremel cordless kit, Tour Edge driver, Coleman party platform or Leeds Northwest golf bag cover.

Scorecards must be postmarked by July 14, 2007, to qualify.

(Source: Tenneco Inc.)

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