Undercar and under-hood

Dec. 17, 2010

The Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) lived up to its name during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. From Nov. 2-4, 2,074 exhibitors showcased the best they had to offer.

President Barack Obama even had a message for the AAPEX attendees, courtesy of the official show guide: “The business relationships developed at this trade show will help increase economic growth and create jobs throughout the United States.”

Some of the products on display are available now; some will be formally introduced in 2011.

Monroe OESpectrum shocks/struts

Tenneco Inc.’s Monroe OESpectrum replacement shocks and struts are more than a new product in the U.S. They also are part of a three-pronged marketing strategy that targets specific products for specific applications.

OESpectrum ride control products were introduced in Europe, according to Bill Dennie, director of ride control channel management. They are engineered specifically for foreign-nameplate vehicles, and “fill some of the gaps we’ve had (domestically) in the past.” The line fits nicely between Monroe’s Sensa-Trac line (for domestic passenger cars) and Reflex line (for SUVs and light trucks).

The new line is designed to filter out the ride harshness commonly encountered on many foreign-nameplate vehicles without giving up handling precision and control, says the company. “This unique blend of control and comfort is made possible through an exclusive internal damping control technology first developed for global vehicle manufacturers.”

OESpectrum shocks and struts will be available through Monroe distributors and service providers in early 2011.

Interstate ED-183 battery analyzer

Interstate Battery System of America Inc. introduced its third-generation ED-18 battery analyzer.

The first-generation unit in 2003 was designed to identify a marginal battery and predict when it would fail. This feature “introduced the concept of preventive maintenance on automotive batteries,” said Greg Shull, senior manager of applications marketing.

The latest analyzer, which uses wireless technology, also can test for three battery conditions: good, bad and discharged. The hand-held tool determines the battery’s state of charge by digital voltage reading and compares the battery’s temperature with a conductance reading in order to identify marginality.


As with the previous incarnations of the ED-18, the new unit prints out a report for technicians and consumers that includes the data about the life expectancy of the battery and its performance. Additionally, it gives technicians the ability to evaluate on a daily basis how the battery analyzing efforts are impacting sales and service performance per location.

The ED-183 also is designed to scan the VIN (vehicle identification number) and store it and the vehicle’s battery requirements for easy reference.

Bosch, by gosh

The Bosch Group has been busy developing new products. They include a diagnostic tool, a battery tester and a re-engineered oil filter. If that isn’t enough, the company also is heavily promoting its line of cabin air filters. “We’re in the build-awareness phase,” said David Sholtis, vice president, Filtration Americas, at AAPEX.

• The FSA 050 diagnostic tool is designed for technicians working on hybrids, according to Bob Pattengale, tech account representative for Bosch’s diagnostics business unit. It will be introduced into the aftermarket in the first quarter of 2011.

• The Bat 131 battery tester fills a price point missing from Bosch’s offerings. It sells for an estimated $800. Designed for six- and 12-volt starter batteries, the unit can test batteries either in the vehicle or on the shelf.

• Purolator Filters NA LLC introduced a new filter media into its Group 7 by Purolator line of oil filters. Microfiber technology was used to, as Bosch puts it, “enhance the effectiveness” of the filtering media. “The re-engineered filter media allows for more compact oil filter housings to be used on existing vehicles,”

The Group 7 filters will be marketed first to auto repair shops through warehouse distributors and jobbers.

About the Author

Bob Ulrich

Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000 and retired in January 2020. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and had been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993. He won numerous awards for editorial and feature writing, including five gold medals from the International Automotive Media Association. Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University and has a law degree from the University of Akron.