A move forward

Technology has advanced and this year the aftermarket is likely to see it

Published:  16 March, 2015

By Phil Curry

In fact, Ford is one of the leaders in the 'small engine turbocharged' market, its EcoBoost technology becoming widely known in the consumer market. Yet every manufacturer from Fiat to Ferrari are exploring new ways of powering cars with better fuel efficiency, making them greener and cheaper to run. This also appeals to drivers who don't want to constantly fill up their cars. There is little noticeable power change too - back in 2012 I drove a Ford Focus powered by the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine at the Millbrook testing facility. Even on the alpine course up some steep inclines there was no hesitation and no need to drop into any lower gears than you would driving a 1.6-litre equivalent. Yet this car also claimed 59mpg in its 113bhp variant.

It is a question I have been asking at every meeting I have attended in the last year, how vehicle technology and the rise of the smaller engine will present a challenge. Every oil manufacturer has indicated the issue, while spark plug manufacturers have also pointed to the need for better performing plugs, having to make up for the drop from four to three plugs while keeping up with high performance levels in some vehicles.

However, it is not just the small turbocharged engines that need to be catered for. Three years ago the new car market saw the beginning of an uptake in diesel powered vehicles. Therefore it stands to reason that this year will also see garages having to deal with an influx of these.

Kevin Ives of Ives Garage comments: "My customers are many and varied along with their vehicles, nothing too high-end though. I recognise that I cannot fix everything but I will always manage the repair process via an appropriate third party if it is something I do not do myself. We as an industry have to be aware of our skill and equipment levels and absolutely not take on a job that we cannot hand-on-heart say that we understand the system, have access to the appropriate technical information and the skills and confidence to repair the vehicle in a timely and cost-effective manner.

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