EQUIPPING THE WORKSHOP FOR MICRO HYBRID VEHICLES

Profiting From New Technology

Following the successful introduction of the VARTA® Start-Stop Service Program (VSSP), Manbat, UK distributor of VARTA®, is calling on the trade to seize the initiative and roll out the programme to their customers.

The VARTA Start-Stop Service Program is a complete workshop concept, at the heart of which is a small, wi-fi diagnostic tool that enables technicians to manage all the steps necessary to test start-stop systems and replace AGM and EFB batteries. Other elements of the package include training, technical support, marketing services and access to the full range of original equipment quality AGM and EFB VARTA branded batteries for Start-Stop vehicles.

Myles Pemberton, marketing manager of Manbat said: “The VARTA® Start-Stop Service Program (VSSP) was conceived and developed by Johnson Controls, the predominant original equipment supplier of the absorbent glass mat (AGM) and enhanced flooded battery (EFB) batteries that are fitted to micro-hybrid or ‘Start-Stop’ vehicles.

“The key indicators from across the industry suggest that Start-Stop technology is here to stay because it is really the only affordable technology that the vehicle manufacturers can incorporate into their vehicles to enable them to comply with on-going European Union regulations to reduce the emissions of vehicles sold in Europe.

“What the VSSP offers the independent sector is the opportunity to compete effectively against the franchised dealer and provide a service to the motorist that the dealer might normally expect to have total control over. Therefore, the quicker the independents gear up to be able to tackle the technology at aftermarket level, the sooner they will be in a position to profit from the technology,” added Pemberton.

For those unfamiliar with the technology it is important to be aware that replacing a battery on a vehicle incorporating Start-Stop technology is a more complex process than replacing a conventional car battery, as it is intricately linked to the vehicle’s on-board electronics via a battery management system (BMS) or intelligent battery sensor (IBS).

Technicians cannot simply replace the battery because the vehicle needs to have the replacement unit reprogrammed into its systems, otherwise motorists may be left with a vehicle that is unable to communicate with its own complex electronic systems.

As Johnson Controls is the European market leader in AGM/EFB batteries and fully understands the battery technology it supplies for vehicle manufacturers’ Start-Stop systems they have been able to use this knowledge to develop a battery-specific diagnostic tool that enables technicians operating in the independent sector to have access to the technology required to work on these vehicles.

Using the vehicle’s VIN number, the VARTA diagnostic tool first ascertains the vehicle and battery type and then provides the technician with precise information on the position of the battery, which can often be hidden away in the boot or under the driver’s seat, and the European on-board diagnostics (EOBD) interface.

The technician is then given a step-by-step guide to replacing the battery, including registering the new battery using its 2D code, through a series of user-friendly on-screen images and graphics. The VSSP 2.0 can also be used to test the battery, evaluate or delete error codes and read individual vehicle data.

Armed with this information, the technician knows which replacement battery is suitable for the vehicle and the process to install it. Without it, however, the independent may be locked out of the sector and become marginalised from the motorist. Therefore, Manbat is urging factors to encourage their customers to become involved with the VSSP and embrace the training on offer to allow them get up to speed with the technology and remain relevant to their customers.

For further details of how to become involved, please call Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 218500 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk

ENDS

For further information relating to this press material, please contact Steve Coombes on: 01753 785957 or e-mail: steve@chicanemarketing.co.uk


Chicane is an established PR agency with a particular specialism in the automotive aftermarket and the motorsport industry.
Prix De la Communication and Barrington Needham Trophy award winners.

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