The Activant Report: key products sales activity

Jan. 1, 2020
What's hot

What's hot

Ask any automotive technician which repair he or she performs most often, and fuel pump replacement is likely to rank among the top five. In many cases, these repairs proceed without complication. In others, a hidden problem is the actual cause of the fuel delivery issue, leading to a recurring drivability complaint and an unhappy customer. Both scenarios can be seen in this month's snapshot of fuel pump replacement rates.
Six of the top 10 fuel pump applications in this month's data are GM C&K pickups. The reason for this is twofold, according to a major fuel pump manufacturer.
"These vehicles are equipped with a marginal electrical connector and an old-style roller vane pump that draws a lot of amperage," he says. "This creates excessive heat at the electrical terminals, which melts the connector." In response to this failure mode, leading aftermarket manufacturers have developed a more robust connector design and upgraded their pump assemblies with modern, turbine-style fuel pumps that draw less power.
The second factor is misdiagnosis of the GM's central port injection (CPI) system. "These trucks have a 'spider design' CPI system that's prone to problems and can be very difficult to diagnose," he says. "Technicians often assume the fuel pump is at fault when there's actually another problem they haven't identified. When the customer comes back with the same drivability complaint, the tech will often install yet another fuel pump."
Intake manifold gaskets have been equally problematic on a variety of popular domestic applications. Intake manifold leaks can lead to serious engine damage, so doing the job right the first time is extremely important. This explains why many shops are upgrading to "premium" problem-solving gaskets on a number of challenging applications, including the GM C&K 1500 pickup, Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac Grand Am models.
"In each of these cases, the OE intake manifold gasket uses a plastic carrier that just isn't well suited to long-life coolant," explains one gasket manufacturer. "Once the plastic starts to deteriorate, you get leak paths and begin to see coolant stains on the garage floor or driveway."

The aftermarket has responded to this issue with premium intake manifold gaskets that replace the nylon type material used in the OE gasket with either more robust plastic or rubber-coated aluminized steel.

What's not

Four GM model families — the 2000 and 2001 Chevrolet Silverado, 1998 C&K 1500 pickup and 1999 Chevrolet Suburban — have experienced dramatic declines in fuel pump replacement, according to this month's Activant data. The Suburban fell from sixth to 155th overall in April 2008 versus the same month last year.

Surprising? Not really, according to one fuel pump manufacturer. "Eventually all of these models will have been changed over to modern aftermarket designs, and it seems like we've hit that point in this specific model."

Intake manifold replacement doesn't exhibit similar levels of volatility, as problematic applications continue to rise at a steady rate. The biggest "faller" in the intake manifold category was the 1996 Chevrolet Lumina, which declined just four spots to 14th overall in this month's data.

Methodology: The data captured through the Activant Vista market intelligence solution is processed and aggregated on a daily basis through Activant's unique statistical methodology. Collected information includes eCatalog lookups, product availability and sales transactions by vehicle and SKU.

Rod Bayless is the product director for Activant Solutions, Inc. For additional information regarding Activant Vista market data, write to [email protected]. Activant is a leading innovator and the industry standard for information and supply chain technology in the automotive aftermarket.