As an independent family-owned garage, Freeway Exhaust & Tyre Centre in Tunbridge Wells prides itself on a trusted personal service and the fitting of quality parts. The drive towards gaining higher customer satisfaction and personal recommendations meant the garage owners were enthusiastic about receiving Klarius Garage Accreditation, denoting that Freeway utilises quality emissions products and displays a high level of technical knowledge through advanced training options.
Having recently completed Level 1 of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) approved Klarius Emissions Training course, we talk to Freeway Exhaust & Tyre Centre owner David Scotton about why Freeway joined the scheme and the importance of quality emissions components to his business.
“I’ve personally worked here for 40 years, and took over the business around 10 years ago,” David explains. “My wife and I own the garage, while my daughter directs the marketing and customer communication activity for the business. What is most important to us is the way we treat customers. As a family business, we want to make the garage welcoming to all, so we make an extra effort to provide the utmost in quality service work, advice and components. Like many garages we purchase a number of Klarius emissions parts through Euro Car Parts, which is typically fast and convenient as well as providing a degree of reassurance on product quality.”
“What seemed different about this accreditation was the attention to detail in the materials we received and the really excellent training. As an experienced service garage our technicians are highly competent and knowledgeable, but even they will admit to learning a lot on the two day course. Car technology is changing all the time and by doing the training we know our knowledge is ahead of the curve.”
Klarius Products is the largest producer of aftermarket emissions components in the UK, and is one of the few that independently tests its product range to full type-approval standards as confirmed by regulatory bodies like the VCA and TÜV. Klarius exhausts, catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters are manufactured to required EU type-approval standards – the design quality benchmark for emissions components. Furthermore, all parts are fit tested on vehicles of applicable model and marque, which enables Klarius to offer a 3 year product warranty across the range when fitted by an approved technician at an accredited garage.
“Sourcing the correct emissions component that offers proper fitment is ideal for us because it significantly reduces the time the car spends on the ramp, so having visited the Klarius factory in Cheadle it’s clear to see the quality that goes in to them,” David continues. “We occasionally see inferior parts in our line of work, and the quality of some of them is horrific. I want to be safe in the knowledge that a part I supply to one of my customers won’t cause a fault, for my satisfaction and the customer’s, which is why I choose Klarius.”
The Klarius Accredited Garage Scheme is an initiative that aims to support independent garages by offering IMI accredited training to boost knowledge on emissions components function, failure modes and governing legislation. The scheme was originated by Klarius to tackle trends such as the fitting of non-compliant exhausts and poorly-functioning budget parts such as CAT and DPFs, while also promoting garages that offer a premium service, facilities and products.
Shaun Knight, a technician at Freeway recently passed Level 1 of the course, which covered exhausts, CATs, DPFs and additive systems: “There was a lot to learn and I found it a very positive experience. I was happy to pass the course with a high mark, so I will be definitely taking the opportunity to take Level 2 in future.” The positive feedback has meant David will now be sending another of his technicians on the course.
David concludes: “It’s great to have this kind of support from an emissions supplier, other competitors don’t offer these kind of benefits to my business. I’m offered a lot of support and promotional materials from both Klarius and Euro Car Parts, and the IMI accredited training programme is very useful in terms of adding to our technical knowledge.”
“When a supplier lets me down, I tend not to deal with them again. Some will try to tell you it’s a problem with a customer’s vehicle rather than the component, which for an honest garage business is an attitude I don’t need. My customer satisfaction is paramount, so good quality and service is what makes me happy, which is my experience of what Klarius provides.”
To find out more about the Klarius Accredited Garage Scheme or see a list of Klarius approved garages in your local area, please visit www.exhausts-direct.net.