Auto Service World
Feature   March 1, 2000   by CARS Magazine

News Briefs (March 01, 2000)

New Kinetic Suspension System a Technical InnovationTenneco Automotive's new Kinetic suspension system was designed to improve vehicle stability, road-holding and roll resistance.It has been lauded fo...

New Kinetic Suspension System a Technical Innovation

Tenneco Automotive’s new Kinetic suspension system was designed to improve vehicle stability, road-holding and roll resistance.

It has been lauded for its simplicity and value, compared to active systems, and was designed for applications across all vehicle segments.

Described as having both on-road comfort and ‘awesome’ off-road capability the Kinetic suspension system has been exhibited at various trade shows, including the Paris Equip Auto show.

The Kinetic suspension system is designed to reduce the potential of all types of vehicles, including sport utility vehicles (SUVs), to roll over during cornering in conditions ranging from high-speed motorways to rough off-road terrain.

The technology was engineered to reduce the roll angle in vehicle cornering by keeping nearly equal load on all four wheels as surface conditions vary.

The new Kinetic system is touted as a simple, reliable and cost-effective alternative to electronically controlled active systems.

Its commercial prospects look good, based on the 10 vehicle conversions resulting from original equipment development contracts. These contracts include all vehicle segments – passenger car, SUV and heavy-duty.

Parts Department Apprenticeship

Centennial College has launched a unique Motive Power Parts sales person apprenticeship program.

The 20-week college program prepares students to merchandise auto, truck and heavy equipment parts using up-to-date inventory control and other industry-popular software.

The 600-hour apprenticeship was created with considerable employer involvement.

Students will take courses in applied work practices, communications and customer support, inventory management and component technology.

The program, the first of its kind in Ontario, is seen as a real boost to the profession, which previously promoted delivery drivers or hired people with no training or experience.

Like all apprenticeships in Ontario, there is no tuition fee. And Employment Insurance-eligible candidates may receive income support while attending classes.

Students are expected to find a sponsoring employer during the program – not considered a problem in what is an expanding auto parts sector in the province.

Classes begin shortly for 20 continuous weeks, followed by up to three years of paid on-the-job training. The program takes place at Centennial’s Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough.

For details, call (416) 289-5000, ext. 7310, or view the Web site at

High Tech Seminars On Wiring and Ignition

Two more advanced technology training sessions followed the success of Smoghouse ’99, a high tech seminar on emissions diagnostics.

Mac Vanden Brink, an ignition system guru from Datec is booked for a seminar the last week of March. For more information, contact Ron Brown at 905-845-3612.

One of the most revered automotive electronics experts made a day-long appearance at a special training seminar last month. Jorge Menchu of Automotive Electronics Services presented a training session on advanced wiring diagram analysis procedures.

Event organizer Ron Brown attended two of these sessions last year in Philadelphia and South Carolina and was so impressed he made arrangements to have Menchu present a seminar in Canada.

The seminars “were worth every dollar it cost to get there and participate,” according to Brown. “My basic comment was ‘wow, where has this guy been all my life’. In spite of my experience in the trade, on the bench and as an instructor, I learned simple techniques at his sessions.

They make it possible to solve many problems even before getting on the car by knowing exactly where to start, and a simple procedure to follow to quickly nail the cause of the problem. “Regardless of which manufacturer’s or publisher’s wiring diagrams are used, Jorge’s techniques will work and be of great help.”

Practical Features Found In AARO Website

A little ‘click’ can take you a long way, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario.

Of course the auto service association is referring to its new website,, which it recently launched.

The site contains a variety of useful information organized and grouped in sections.

For example, under breaking news there are brief items of interest to independent garage owners and operators, which are posted promptly.

There is a member want ads section. Got something you want to buy, sell, rent or lease? Your classified ad is listed for the world to see within 24 hours of receipt.

A section on training courses organized by AARO contains details on upcoming hands-on technical training opportunities, along with secure online registration.

Communication amongst industry members is what the message board is all about. It makes it possible for auto service professionals to talk with one another about industry issues and business matters. An automatic stringing feature segregates responses to your personal message, and to those placed by others.

The website also has an opinion poll area, where AARO’s advocacy committee will post survey questions on a monthly basis in order to shape association policy.

Trade shows and other events of potential interest to independents are listed chronologically, along with a function that allows members to send details about upcoming events to add to the list.

Championship Win Expected Of CASCAR Series Contender

Pressure, what pressure? Castrol Canada signed a two-year sponsorship agreement with CASCAR driver D.J. Kennington, who has his marching orders from his primary backer: Win the Castrol Super Series championship this year or by 2001 at the latest.

Kennington finished third in both the national and eastern standings of the top CASCAR series last year.

He was the youngest rookie to drive in the series when he started at the age of 16 in 1994. In fact, his first race – at Delaware Speedway – was the night after his birthday.

That year his goal was to finish every race, which he accomplished and then some, never finishing worse than 15th.

Castrol’s marketing director Michael Birch has stated that he expects Kennington to win the national championship this year or next. “He’s finally old enough to drink champagne, so bring it on,” he said.

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