Author Archives: John Mojsa

Four simple steps to make fitting HID bulbs safer

HID bulbs are not new; in fact they have been around for several years. But even though they are a preferred option for many manufacturers, they are still causing some controversy in the aftermarket as mechanics remain nervous about fitting them. Henry Bisson, Ring Marketing Manager, explains four simple steps to make fitting HID bulbs safe.

“Times have changed and the technology in relation to bulbs has evolved. HID bulbs are now more common and no longer restricted to premium or luxury cars. Many models now fit HID as standard and although it was widely reported that they would last the lifetime of a car, it is typically three to five years, which has made replacing them more common than was expected.

“Changing these bulbs can seem complex when compared to standard bulbs. The main difference is that HID bulbs have no filament; they rely on a glass capsule in the centre of the bulb that contains xenon gas. Two metal electrodes going into the glass capsule allow a high voltage pulse to cross the xenon gas in an arch shape. The voltage ignites the gas to produce the bright white light output.

“For the bulbs to create such a bright light, the start-up voltage that pulses across the gas to form the arch is typically up to 24,000 volts. This start-up voltage can be hazardous, and this is what puts many technicians off, however any perceived risk can be easily avoided if mechanics follow four simple steps.”

  1. Isolate the light circuit. Turn off the ignition and headlight switch. Isolate the headlamp circuit by removing the relevant lighting fuse.
  2. Leave the bulb to cool down for five minutes.
  3. Proceed to change the bulb, as you would a normal headlamp. Remove the bulb cover. Unplug the bulb connector, then remove the HID bulb, replacing it with the same reference type.
  4. Once the bulb has been replaced, reverse the fitting process remembering to re-install the fuse.

“The benefits of being able to confidently replace HID bulbs are two-fold. When mechanics realise how simple it is, they will no longer have to turn business away and certainly won’t be suggesting that customers go back to their main dealer. In turn, they can promote the fitting of HID bulbs to increase sales, leading to increased profits.

“Mechanics being nervous is understandable but it is important that we keep up with technologies to give the driver the optimum experience. Taking the time to learn how to change these bulbs safely could make a big difference to a garage and will almost certainly maximise profits.”

For more details on HID fitting, take a look at this video for a fitter’s guide.

HID Gas Group HI RES

 

The complete range
There are four cap type references of HID bulbs; D1, D2, D3 and D4. These all come with a suffix of R or S. Bulbs with the suffix R are designed to work in complex surface headlamp units and those with an S are designed to work in projector headlamps.

The XenonHID5500 from Ring is available in three references; D2R – R851265K, D2S – R851225K and D1S – R854025K. Producing up to 20% more light on the roads than a standard HID bulb and with a colour temperature of 5500K, the bulb output is closer to daylight and creates better reflections from road markings and signs. The bulbs produce a similar light to LEDs and all Ring HID bulbs are manufactured to OEM standards and come with a three-year warranty. They are also E marked.

Importantly, HID bulbs and HID headlamp systems are only street legal if the bulbs being fitted are E marked and fitted to cars that have auto levelling to prevent dazzle and a wash/wipe to prevent the light scattering from dirt on the lens.

The RSC612 SmartCharger

A Smart Investment

Vehicle batteries are becoming more and more sophisticated. In a modern vehicle, your battery could be lead acid, gel, AGM, EFB or calcium – and have START/STOP functionality. These advances have helped batteries to handle the ever-increasing quantity of vehicle electronics, and START/STOP capability has cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

These advantages are great, but with better functionality comes a higher price tag. Replacing a modern battery can be expensive – up to £200. And with as many as 85% of all new vehicles in Europe expected to be fitted with START/STOP batteries by 2020 – and worldwide demand for START/STOP batteries expected to be as high as 56 million by that time – it is essential that we have battery care that can keep up.

Smart move
To help prevent damage – and keep vehicle batteries healthier for longer – it can pay motorists to invest in a smart charger. These battery chargers are more advanced than a traditional linear charger, and are therefore suitable for a wealth of different battery types – including those with START/STOP technology.

Smart chargers have a multi-stage cycle that charges, protects and repairs batteries. This means that instead of just adding charge, the charger responds to the condition of the battery, then applies the fastest charge available. It also has a repair function, which removes sulphite build-up on the battery plates. It also protects from overcharging by switching to a lower voltage charge once the battery is full.

Plan ahead
If you’re putting your classic car, motorbike or caravan away for the winter, a smart charger could help you avoid a large bill in spring. Smart chargers that have a maintenance mode are ideal for vehicles that are used infrequently; the charger will keep the battery in good condition and ready to be used while it is being stored. This way, when you go to use your vehicle, you won’t find that the battery is flat, or worse – damaged beyond repair.

Knowledge is power
A smart charger can also analyse the health of a battery. This will give you a full picture of the battery’s health, and potentially an early warning of any problems. It’s an opportunity to address issues before they escalate and become a costly disaster.

See the results
By using a smart charger, you could avoid an emergency and an unplanned expense replacing your battery. You could also help your battery last for an extra few years, which means spending less on maintenance and more on enjoying your vehicle.

For complete battery care, take a look at the RSC612/RESC612 Smart Charger. This 12A smart charger is suitable for lead acid, gel, AGM, EFB and calcium batteries, including those with START/STOP technology. It’s ideal for all 12V vehicles up to 5.0L.

See the RSC612/RESC612 in action – charging a battery and running tests.

Ring introduces CRI inspection lamp to award-winning range

The award-winning inspection lamp range from Ring has a new addition with the introduction of the Colour Rendering Index (CRI) inspection lamp. This latest development brings a unique technology that will make life easier for mechanics and body shop technicians.

Introducing CRI technology
CRI is a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colours “realistically” or “naturally” compared to daylight.

CRI is a very desirable technological development in colour-critical environments such as body shops, garages and workshops. Technicians will have the power to determine whether a paint job has been accurately matched to the existing colour.

This advanced piece of kit will also highlight scratches, marks and other undesirable blemishes – giving you a consistent paint job, time and time again.

New technology – same high quality performance
The R(E)IL5500CRI and R(E)IL5300CRI are constructed from aluminium, making them strong yet surprisingly lightweight – perfect for demanding environments where a reliable handheld inspection tool is crucial.

The Al5 CRI Lamp

The Al5 CRI Lamp

Matching set
Other additions to our award-winning range of inspection tools are the R(E)IL5500HP Al5 LED Inspection Lamp and the R(E)IL5300HP Al3 LED Inspection Lamps, which comes in three colours. They use state-of-the-art COB LED technology that provides a super bright light output. Concave design and aluminium body protects the lens from damage, making it perfect for use in garages and workshops.

To further protect the lens the exterior glass has been toughened – giving you peace of mind your R(E)IL5500HP/R(E)IL5300HP range will continue to produce a super bright, wide angled, beam pattern. It comes complete with an integral hanging hook and strong magnetic mount for hands-free use.

For further information and to see our full award-winning range of inspection tools click here.

Tech update: Filament Style LEDs

LEDs have become a familiar part of everyday life – the technology is widespread in commercial and domestic environments, from the light bulb in your living room, to illuminating industrial complexes, to traffic lights and inspection lamps used by mechanics

However, its adoption has been slower for replacement auto bulbs. While the bright white light emitted by LEDs has been popular for getting a high spec, crisp look, the unfamiliar shape and uneven distribution of light have led to consumers being resistant to adopting the new bulbs.

New technology – a bright, white, even light
However, the latest technological advance in LED lighting can change all that. Filament LEDs tackle these problems by combining the conventional shape of a auto bulb with the long life, efficiency and high colour temperature of LEDs.

How does it work?
The diodes on a standard LED emit light in a narrow beam – meaning you need many single diodes to try to replicate the even continuous light throughout the filament of a conventional bulb. This therefore creates uneven light distribution.

Filament Style LEDs are different – and feature the very latest in LED auto bulb technology to hit the market. The filament technology evenly distributes the light, like a traditional bulb. Only unlike a bulb, an LED has a whiter light, uses less energy and last up to five times longer. The shape is also familiar to drivers – so they can see that it’s simple to fit.

Angles Pic of Bulbs LED

Conventional LED – separate beams of light

Filament bulb

Filament style LED – even light distribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available now
Filament LEDs are available now in a range of fitments. See our whole range. These bulbs are not street legal, and are only intended for interiors and off road driving.

Ring to showcase latest developments at Automechanika

It’s almost time for one of the biggest innovation showcases of the year – Automechanika Frankfurt. From 13th September – 17th September, Ring will be at the event in Hall 3.1 on Stand E:31. We will be displaying our latest developments including workshop equipment, tyre care and battery charging products.

Our team of experts will be on hand to answer any questions throughout the exhibition, and guide visitors through the latest and best of our product developments. Retailers and distributors will have the chance to see a wide selection of products.

  • Xenon130 halogen bulbs. There are the most advanced halogen technology, providing drivers with up to 130% more light on the road. These bulbs also deliver better reflections of road markings and signs, reduce eye strain and increase confidence for night time driving.
  • We’ll also be exhibiting our LED bulbs – the latest evolution in vehicle lighting technology. They use up to 80% less energy than a standard bulb and last up to five times longer.
  • The RUBL1000/REUBL1000 Under Bonnet Lamp will also be on display, showing how the best in garage illumination is achieved. The lamp uses three LEDs to provide 1,000 lumens of light output, with adjustable spotlights that prevent shadows and give a well-illuminated work space. The long operating time of the lamp limits interruption and any needless downtime for mechanics and garage technicians.
  • The multi-award winning RSC612/RESC612 Smart Charger will also feature on our stand. The battery charger and analyser has become popular with mechanics working on vehicles of all sizes. With settings for both standard vehicles and START/STOP, this piece of equipment includes battery repair tools to increase performance and battery life along with alternator analysis functions.

Holding 15 events across 14 countries, Automechanika is the world’s leading international trade fair brand for the automotive service industry. Find out more.

ScrewFix Live 2016 is here

At Ring, we like to be out and about meeting people and demonstrating our products. It’s one way that we give you the reassurance that what you’re buying is of a high standard. So come a long and see us at ScrewFix Live in Farnborough, Hampshire – we’ll be at stand A21. Hey, if we’re in a good mood we might even be giving away some free stuff too.

If you work in trade, or consider yourself an enthusiastic amateur, then Friday 30th September – Sunday 2nd October will be a fantastic weekend to see the latest products available to the industry. Ring will be featuring highlights from three of our core ranges – Battery Care, Tyre Care and Dash Cameras. These are essential items to help you get to and from the jobsite. All of our products are heavy duty and designed for trades and professional use.

Get the job done

Making sure your tyres are cared for is critical not only for keeping you on the road and on the job, but for your safety as well. Ring will present three different tyre inflators, all of which have received great reviews from various trade bodies, including one which is ScrewFix trade rated.

Your chance to win

During the weekend we will be running various competitions for your chance to win some great prizes. We’ll be looking at some real life dash camera footage, and asking you to guess ‘What Happens Next?’ Watch the clip and guess from one our five answers – and you could win. Dash Cameras have become an essential on the road. They catch every bit of your journey, so if the worst should happen you have the proof to back you up. Some insurance companies even offer up to 12% discount on policies if you let them know you have one.

Come say hello

Last year was extremely busy and featured over 135 other exhibitors from all over the DIY spectrum, so there is something for everyone. If you want to attend the event, make sure you register online at screwfixlive.com to secure your place.

Top Technician and Top Technician 2016

Top Technician rewards the UK’s top mechanics

Here at Ring, we have been supporting the automotive aftermarket for more than 40 years. So sponsoring Top Technician 2016 was a no-brainer for us.

Top Technician is an annual competition created in 2002 by Aftermarket Magazine to reward the best vehicle technicians in the UK.

We know that top mechanics are committed to raising standards and to delivering the best possible service, which we believe should be endorsed and recognised. Just like the professionals taking part, we are also committed to raising standards in the workshop, by developing trade tools that have been designed to help mechanics and technicians to be the best they can be.

Here’s a few ways in which our products support technicians across the UK and beyond.

Bulbs
Bulb technology is at the heart of our business and is supported by unique product testing facilities. Standard, Longer Life, Performance and more recently Xenon HID bulbs all feature within the Ring bulb range. The flagship Xenon130, as an example, continues to outperform its competitors and put 130% more light on the road.

Inspection Tools
Retaining our position at the forefront of innovation – which includes utilising the latest ‘Chip on Board’ (COB) technology for superior output – Ring offers an extensive range of award-winning inspection lamps. Ring’s inspection tools have been built to last, and have light sources to suit most work spaces, whether compact, heavy duty, high power or intended for inspection.

Importantly, every item developed is designed with the professional, working environment in mind. This includes the recent additions to Ring’s MAGflex and Ergo ranges – the MAGflex Twist and Ergo Robust.

Battery Analysers
Assessing the need for replacement or recharge, Ring offers an extensive range of Battery Analysers that accurately diagnose and repair faults. These help professionals get the complete picture of a battery’s health.

Smart Chargers
Our SmartChargePro is two tools in one. It has a multi-chemistry function that adjusts the charge to precisely match the specific battery type. Acting as a battery support unit, this product provides constant battery voltage for when vehicle diagnostic equipment is connected and requires power.

Power Packs
Compact and heavy duty, Ring’s range of power packs is capable of jump starting multiple cars, and commercial vehicles – including buses, trucks and agricultural vehicles – from one charge. With safety features including reverse polarity, short circuit and anti-spike protection, our power packs are designed to be safe and easy to use.

Entries for Top Technician are now closed with semi-finals due to take place in mid-July. However, tickets are still available for Top Technician Live, which is a one day interactive training event, allowing technicians to learn from some of the leading companies in the automotive aftermarket. The day will feature classroom and practical sessions as well as presentations from industry experts and panel discussions. To order tickets visit the Top Technician website.

Top Technician Live will also feature the announcement of the winner of Top Technician 2016.

Get your tyres into shape

Spring is finally here, and for many of us, it’s time to get back out on the road. Whether you’re travelling to see friends and family, seeing the countryside or getting out your classic car, it’s vital that you make sure your tyres are in good shape – and road legal.

Tyre care matters
Your tyres are the only part of the vehicle that has contact with the road – so keeping them well maintained is essential. It will make vehicle handling easier, and allow for greater fuel efficiency, as well as cutting down wear and tear – saving you money at the pumps and in maintenance costs. Poorly-maintained tyres could also mean a failed MOT – according to the DVSA, around 10% of all MOT failures are down to poor tyre maintenance.

As well as all this, there are regulations for tyres that you must meet – failure to meet these requirements could lead to a fine or penalty points.

Tyre tread
These are the legal requirements for tyre treads – if your tyres don’t meet these measurements, they are not road legal and need to be replaced.

  • Passenger vehicles for up to 8 seated passengers, good vehicles up to 3,500kg max weight and light trailers up to 3,500kg max weight must have 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the central section of the tread around the entire tyre.
  • Vehicles larger than 3,500kg or eight seated passengers and motorbikes over 50cc must have 1mm throughout a continuous band in the central section of the tread around the entire tyre.
  • On mopeds and motorbikes under 50cc, the tread pattern must be visible.

Why is it important? The tyre tread grooves are important for driving in wet weather – something we’re all too familiar with in Britain. The grooves help remove water from the contact area between the tyre and road, allowing you to brake, steer and accelerate properly. Whilst meeting the legal minimum tread depths will stop you from getting in trouble with the law, tests show that when the tread drops below 3mm, it significantly affects the stopping distance when braking.

How to check: a tyre tread gauge is a simple piece of kit, small enough to keep in the glovebox. You can get standalone depth gauges or ones that are integrated with a pressure gauge as well. The RTG2 Tyre and Depth Gauge is a standard set, with analogue kit. Or for an integrated option, look at the RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre and Tread Depth Gauge. Just insert the gauge into the tread to take a reading. You need to check the tyre tread regularly.

Tyre pressure

There aren’t any legal requirements for tyre pressure, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Well-inflated tyres will help improve fuel efficiency and make handling easier. Don’t forget – it’s not just under inflated tyres that are dangerous: over-inflated tyres have less contact with the road, which can reduce traction and increase braking distance.

What is my tyre pressure? You can find out what your tyre pressure should be from your vehicle handbook.

How can I check my pressure? The most accurate way to check your tyre pressure is to use a tyre gauge. There are several types – including analogue and digital gauges. Simply insert the gauge into the tyre valve and you’ll have a reading. A simple analogue gauge – like the RTG1 Tyre Gauge – is a good value option to get a reading. However, for a more advanced solution, the RTG7 is a digital gauge that measures tyre pressure and tread depth, and is programmable – so it will store the recommended tyre pressures for your car for future reference.

How can I inflate my tyres at home? We recommend using a tyre inflator to pump up your tyres. These are small, efficient devices that are powered from your in-car 12V socket (cigarette lighter), a mains plug or, in the case of larger models, from the vehicle battery. For regular car tyres, we recommend the Ring RAC610 or RAC660. The RAC610 is a basic inflator with an analogue dial. For a more advanced piece of kit, the RAC660 is a good choice – it inflates a 13″ tyre in under 2 mins with either DC or AC power, has a digital screen, adaptors for bikes, LED light, preset function and case.

Other tyre essentials
If you see anything that looks irregular on your tyre, like lumps, bumps, cuts, tears or anything that looks like it shouldn’t – it’s time to get your tyres looked at. It is also illegal to have different types of tyres fitted to the same axle – don’t mix and match radial and cross-ply tyres. A garage will be able to advise on this.

Check today
Most people wait until they’ve failed their MOT before addressing the health of their tyres. To make sure you’re being safe, don’t wait: have a look at your tyres today.

Want more details? See our full tyre care range. Or see our video on how to inflate a car tyre.

LED lighting – a brighter future

LED (light emitting diode) lighting is one of the hottest technologies and is an exciting alternative to traditional incandescent and halogen lighting. As one of the most competitive and fast paced industries in the world, the automotive sector has developed this cutting-edge technology to be top-spec, highly effective vehicle lighting.

The science and benefits behind LED lighting
LEDs are composed of a semiconductor diode – a material that can conduct electricity – which becomes a source of illumination. Light is produced when the particles that carry the electrical current combine together with the semiconductor material. There is no gas involved in the production of their cool white light and they have a higher light per watt ratio than incandescent bulbs.

The main benefits of LED lighting are its long life span and low energy usage. Our LED bulbs can last up to six times longer than a standard bulb and can use up to 80% less energy. LEDs are ecologically friendlier than other traditional technologies as they don’t contain toxic chemicals, and their low energy use will reduce your carbon footprint.

Long life reliability meets performance
Our performance LEDs emit a pristine finish with a 7000k ice white appearance which will give your vehicle a high spec, luxury look. They also include 3D technology that will distribute 270˚ of light.

Specialist information
Currently the regulations for automotive lighting so not take into account LED bulbs. Therefore, any LEDs that are fitted to the exterior of your vehicle are for off road use only.

Want to find out more? See our full LED range here.

Ring to Demo Vehicle Conversion at the Commercial Vehicle Show

On 26-28th April, Ring will be exhibiting at the Commercial Vehicle (CV) Show at the NEC in Birmingham. The annual CV Show is the largest and the most comprehensive road transport and logistics event held in the UK, attracting close to 20,000 visitors including fleet managers and vehicle convertors.

Our stand – 5H134 – will be focusing on Vehicle Conversion. Visitors will have first-hand experience of the solutions that Ring can provide to transform commercial vehicles into mobile work stations. Our Vehicle Conversion solutions include on board power, interior lighting, hazard lighting, scene lighting and camera systems. Our exhibit at the Commercial Vehicle Show in April will give visitors the chance to see Ring’s products installed into two different vehicles – a mobile work space and a welfare van – showing a variety of the applications and vehicle conversion options we can offer.

Ring’s commitment to innovation means we’re always seeking out solutions that make working on the move easier and more efficient. One example is our baton and strip lights, which are ideal for illuminating the rear work area of a vehicle or van. As work vehicles are often on the road day and night, all our interior lights use LED technology, which provides a wide angle of illumination whilst drawing minimal power from the battery. Ring’s baton and strip lights can be fitted with switches or PIR (passive infrared sensor) to further reduce the power drain. As well as being economical with power consumption, our interior lighting solutions are space efficient too. Our baton and strip lights are ideal for fitting in the roof lines, while slim line lights are a great solution for low level roofs.

Our innovation isn’t just about making life easier for those using the van. We’ve been working closely with Vehicle Convertors to design simple to install, “fast fit” solutions that cut down on installation time and save vehicle conversion workshops valuable time and money.
Mobile work vehicles often need hazard lighting to make it visible to other workers and road users. Our new line of LED light bars comply to ECE Reg 65 and Reg 10, and can be fitted with either a strong magnetic mount or bolt mount for permanent installations. The bolt mount has been simplified to one single bolt rather than three, saving time for the fitter.

Ring’s vehicle conversion in action
Lyndon Security Systems is a vehicle fitting company based near Doncaster. They specialise in the production of welfare vehicles – specialist vehicles that are used as a rest area and have essential facilities for field workers. They are particularly popular for teams working in remote locations such as on railway lines or by the side of the motorway. Lyndon Security Systems uses a wide range of products from Ring including on board power, interior lighting and camera systems.

Lyndon Security Systems’ General Manager, Paul Redshaw, says:

Ring is an invaluable supplier for equipment that utilises the vehicle electrical systems to generate power. Once the vehicle leaves our workshop facilities it is our reputation that will be judged. Ring understands this and have ensured that all the products and components they supply are of the highest quality. That is why they are a trusted supplier to us.”

If you’re interested in visiting Ring at the Commercial Vehicle Show and finding out more about Ring’s vehicle conversion solutions, you can sign up to attend here.