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Ecology in the car workshop

21.07.2022

Many people associate green solutions in the workshop industry mainly with the proliferation of environmental requirements, including. keeping a waste record card or the obligation to accurately account for the use of gases used in air conditioning systems.Caring for the environment is much more than meeting bureaucratic requirements imposed by law. Waste segregation and disposal is not enough. Auto repair shops and their employees have a measurable impact on the environment through the way they conduct repairs.

Legal requirements for auto repair shops

The automotive industry is commonly associated with negative environmental impacts, and this also applies to workshops. Any service that provides vehicle repair services must have a waste generation permit with a waste management plan in place. Separately, a permit is required for the release of gases and dust into the air. A summary statement is to be compiled annually, which then goes to the competent authority. Any deficiencies detected by inspections of the relevant offices can have serious financial consequences.

Waste processing and disposal

Waste generation is not just a bureaucratic issue. Car services, being waste producers, must physically dispose of the waste. The waste is transferred to external entities for disposal. This is not always easy, as many companies accept only those wastes whose processing is currently profitable, e.g. due to the recovery of raw materials.

Waste such as used batteries is practically never a problem for the environment – it’s too valuable. Used tires, on the other hand, are a problem. On the one hand, they can be processed in a number of ways: from retreading, to being used as an additive to asphalt, to energy recovery by burning them (most often in cement plants). On the other hand, there are more used tires than there are facilities ready to process them, which means a cost for garages. If we want tires, used oils or other operating fluids not to burden the environment, it is crucial to develop methods for their cost-effective disposal.

Ecology in practice

Practitioners know that meeting environmental laws and actually reducing environmental impact are two different things. For example, by replacing an expensive component such as a turbocharger or injection pump with a new one, we fully meet the vehicle manufacturer’s requirements for professional repair even if the replaced components end up in scrap. By choosing to remanufacture these components, we reduce the consumption of raw materials such as metals or plastics and the energy required to produce them.

In automotive service, employees have a measurable impact on the environment. Professional diagnostics have an impact on the amount of waste generated.

These are not regulated issues, and they affect the environment as much as waste management or the issue of space heating. It is important to remember that the chief goal of the automobile corporations is profit, not conservation of resources or the environment. It is not unusual for the high cost of original components to discourage customers from servicing older vehicles. Not at all because they are less environmentally friendly, but because it is in the manufacturer’s interest to sell new products and maximize profit. In this sense, corporations are accepting increasing emissions requirements. The goal is not just to protect the air from pollution, but to guarantee that new cars will be even more expensive and complicated which at the same time reduces competition.

Get your waste issues in order

So how do we proceed with environmental benefits? Some issues, especially those related to waste, are quite obvious. It is necessary to train employees on the proper functioning of waste management, waste sorting and the rules of waste collection. For example, improperly emptied containers are treated as hazardous waste, while fully emptied ones are no longer. This is important information that affects the cost of waste disposal. It is worth following the situation in the waste market, paying attention to initiatives such as the waste tire exchange, allowing to optimize the cost of their disposal.

Reduce material consumption

Ensure good practices in the workshop. If employees use materials and energy sparingly, this will not only help protect the environment, but also reduce the amount of utility bills due. Recognize employees’ proactivity in work efficiency and minimizing waste generation by rewarding them for any improvements in service operations. A great deal depends on their responsibility. Meticulous record-keeping and monitoring of waste disposal expenses will help assess the effectiveness of service procedures and correct the pricing of services that are the source of troublesome fallout.

Ecological diagnostics

It will be of no use to have the best green practices in car services if the workshop is replacing functioning parts. Critical from an environmental point of view is the use of effective diagnostic methods that provide opportunities to accurately determine the cause of the malfunction. By operating by trial and error, the workshop not only puts its image at risk, but also worsens profitability.

Common Rail Diagnostics

For example, by testing common rail system components while working with the EDIA-PRO device, we gain a preliminary diagnosis that will save us a lot of time by focusing on the most likely cause of failure. Quick and non-invasive system diagnostics help determine whether we should suspect the injectors, the high-pressure pump, or perhaps the source of the problem lies outside the injection system.

Sensors – small but important

In a typical automotive service center, sensors pose no small challenge. Due to the nature of modern control systems, it is difficult to judge a sensor malfunction from the failure of another component. Errors reported by the controller regarding a particular sensor are often verified by replacing it with a new one. It is a waste of time and money. It is worthwhile to expand sensor diagnostic capabilities by equipping the workshop with the right equipment. The QST-5 tester is an innovative solution that will allow you to test many types of popular sensors, even outside the vehicle. With one small device, this will reduce unnecessary replacements, thereby saving time and money.

Use innovative products. Sensor testing should be standard in the auto repair shop. You can find tips in the form of a guide or instructional videos online.

The importance of regeneration

Professional remanufacturing of components such as turbochargers or injectors is a step towards the so-called “turbocharging”. closed-loop economy. Maximizing the use of working parts and replacing only those that require it lowers the price of remanufactured components, which attracts customers. Professional remanufacturing, of course, requires the right tools, such as the TP-TACT device for testing and programming turbocharger controllers.

A prerequisite for success in the remanufacturing business is to achieve full component performance confirmed by a warranty for the customer. Although automakers have never been in favor of using remanufactured parts, even their situation is forcing them to do something similar. Recently, there are the first vehicle refurbishment plants opened by corporations.

Remanufacturing (remanufacturing) is good for the environment. Not only does it reduce waste, but it is also attractive to the customer.

Ecology pays off

Ecology defined in this way is proving to be very profitable in practice. Fewer parts replaced, less employee time used and energy and raw materials consumed equals a lower cost incurred by the service. If other workshops prove to be less effective then we have an advantage that will allow us to increase profit or allow us to offer a lower price. Investments made in equipment and training to improve the efficiency of the workshop will certainly result in increased business profitability and satisfied customers.

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