Read here what Gareth has to say about motor industry topics

Gareth Davies is our founder and Managing Director. He is a Registered Fellow of the IMI, and in his capacity as a motor industry expert, Auto Technician regularly ask him to write on myriad subjects. He also provides technician training presentations at their annual ‘Workshop Takeover’ training events.

There aren’t many who know more about the UK independent motor trade and automotive technology than Gareth. We don’t know how he finds time to write these expert pieces, but he does!

You can find a selection of his articles here:

Audi S4 Case Study

Troubleshooting faults in a workshop is rarely a dull moment whether you’re a newbie, beginning your deep-dive journey into modern vehicle fault assessments, or a seasoned pro who thinks they’ve seen it all. I am sure some of you readers can sympathise – my mind can sometimes wander, and I’ve been known to have the occasional brain fart, varying from slight to beyond moderate on the scale!

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Case study: Alarming Fault on an Audi A3 2005

A few months back I was presented with an Audi A3 from a regular customer with a fault that was distressing both its wonder and their neighbours as it had developed an annoying tendency to set the antitheft alarm siren off at random periods, but most annoyingly, the frequently happened during the middle of the night.

(Read more on the online magazine, page 20.)

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Technician V’s Business Owner Mindset

Last year, we were presented with a 2016 VW Golf R TSI, and its issues were well documented by the customer in a ‘love letter’ as we call them in the workshop. It explained the symptoms, a large list of work conducted to date in a previous workshop and what they believed was responsible for the issues starting on a fairly low mileage, well-loved car.

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A Mystery Involving a Remap History

Being a brand specialist can make life somewhat easier in the workshop. It’s only natural you will see a higher repetition of cars presenting the same faults and you can often go through periods saying, “it looks like it’s another one of those”. These are not born out of complacency and applying the correct process will always apply. However, on the other hand, there are an increasing number of occasions where you are sought out by the consumer because no one else has been able to help. No, we don’t survive as soldiers of fortune because we escaped from a high security military stockade for crimes we didn’t commit… We exist because of our backgrounds, our chosen brand specialism or, maybe, just because we have a reputation for being able to help, when seemingly others can’t.

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VW Crafter diagnostics and troubleshooting

Life in the workshop can be quite the mixed bag sometimes, even when focusing on just a handful of brands. I applaud you technicians and business owners alike that welcome all brands through your door. Life at a specialist can be simpler at times, brand fault repetition and all that, and it can mean the bar has in some ways been set higher, because all manner of folk have been ‘at it’ before you. I had a surprisingly more common than not fault presented just recently in the workshop on a fleet vehicle we look after, but the direction of detection could have really taken any number of paths, one with the right conclusion, others leading to a seemingly positive, but short- lived conclusion.

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Specialising – The key to success?

The recent industry report from Automechanika suggested that we may see an increasing number of garages specialising due to the investment needed to be an all-makes repairer and we will see more local support networks set up who refer work outside their remit. Autotechnician talks to workshops who are involved in DPF diagnostics, tuning, EV repair and maintenance and marques specialists to discover the challenges and opportunities for generalist and specialist repairers. Specialising – The key to success?

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Tailpipe – Tales from the workshop floor. In conjunction with Gareth Davies, of Euro Performance, Llantrisant, South Wales, Iain Robertson gains an understanding of brand speciality and not just managing success but meeting demands, handling expectations and ensuring ace service delivery.

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Case study: 2013 Audi Q5, AdBlue fault

As vehicle technicians, and business owners, we regularly come across a concept or failure that we have not seen before. This is a result of the constant evolution of our trade, and whilst the concept of burning fossil fuels to produce energy for propulsion is a ‘given’ loose foundation, the way it is achieved, the bi-products that are produced and their management, have changed significantly over my period of tenure in the trade, which for reference is ‘post-war’ in case you were wondering!

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VW Crafter 2.0 TDi fault and diagnosis

We recently received a job from a local independent garage. The vehicle in question was a 2014 VW Crafter 2.0 tdi CKTC engine code. The job sheet described a lack of power, an engine management light and coil warning light on the dashboard. From the diagnosis carried out, they had established there was a boost pressure fault code, and that data retrieval was limited given the tooling available.

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Hot under the collar: Audi RS6 case study

As vehicle technicians/business owners, I am sure we have all at some point in our careers been subjected to the curse of “Ever since you did/changed…”. It’s never a pleasant feeling, and even the coolest of operators can struggle to make peace with the explanation to the customer of why/how it’s unfortunate but unconnected. A few summers back, I found myself potentially facing the same scenario but stopped as soon as the warning shot was heard. My case study touches on the humanistic element of this particular job, and also the technicality.

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Case Study: VW Phaeton automatic tailgate malfunction

A few months ago, one of our local independent garages got in touch seeking advice regarding a VW Phaeton Automatic tailgate. They talked me through the symptoms and repairs that had been carried out and we agreed the best course of action would be for us to take a look and clarify whether a basic setting or initialisation was required, or whether the problem resided deeper.

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Dealer Diagnostics: What’s your long term plan on fixing cars?

Last month, Gareth Davies, who runs a German car specialist workshop in South Wales, described his journey to investing in dealer tools. Here, he considers the power of ODIS and what questions independents should be asking themselves about the direction their workshops are heading.

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It’s far from business as usual: just keep on going

We’ve all seen the pandemonium at the supermarkets recently as some take to stockpiling as a means to cope with the unknown. We are at the very beginning of the outbreak and life as we know it is going to change significantly for the foreseeable future. As we go to press, the schools have just closed, public transport is being restricted and we have just entered a lockdown. Our household still relies on our vehicles; to pick up supplies for elderly parents and my ex-husband is using his car daily as he is a keyworker at a primary school. Motorists tend to place the health of their car way down their list of priorities, but we’ll be checking in with our local garage to ensure the cars remain safe, despite their MOTs being suspended.

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Over to you: Are you ready for dealer diagnostic tools?

Gareth Davies runs a German car specialist workshop in South Wales. Here, in part one of two articles, he explains why he made the jump to providing dealer diagnostics five years ago and the process this involved.

I run a well-established, proficient German car specialist, specialising in the VAG, BMW and Mercedes brands of cars and light commercials, using a broad range of aftermarket diagnostic tools and resources, as well as the dealer tools for all three brands.

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