For over quarter of a century, Comline Auto Parts has supplied an original equipment equivalent, all-makes filter range that offers value for money for the automotive aftermarket. PMF finds out how factors can benefit from the company’s cabin air filter offering.
￼￼￼The brand now distributes millions of its Comline filters each year to more than 40 countries worldwide and, in so doing, is well placed to spot trends across the European aftermarket. One such trend identified is the opportunity motor factors are missing in not trying to upsell cabin air and activated carbon filters to their garage customers.
Increasing levels of traffic has led to a rise in external pollution, pollen, bacteria and unpleasant outside odours. Every time we jump into the car and make a journey, we are potentially exposed to some, or all of these contaminants.
The high-quality cabin and activated carbon filters offered by Comline are said to be designed to prevent these micro- organisms from entering the cabin, thus, keeping driver and passengers alert and comfortable. In simple terms, these filters are designed primarily for the health and safety of the vehicle occupants and, according to Comline, should be an essential part of any service.
The brand points out that failure to change a cabin filter, in line with its expected lifespan of between 12,000 and 15,000 miles, will result in a clogged filter and a cabin that is entirely unprotected from contaminants.
Such a high level of bacteria inside the cabin can lead to headaches, tiredness, nausea, the onset of asthma, itchy or watery eyes and allergic reactions, such as hay fever.
These side effects are potentially hazardous conditions when operating a vehicle. Furthermore, keeping the cabin free from such contaminants also protects the vehicle’s air conditioning system, which is equally susceptible to collecting these harmful particulates.
Comline is keen for mechanics to mitigate these health hazards by ensuring cabin filters are replaced and, with such clear benefits for the vehicle owner, the brand is certain that selling these advantages to the motorist is a relatively straightforward task – after all, who would want to expose themselves or their family to a tide of polluted air, which could cause illness?
Activated carbon filters
Comline points towards the enhanced revenue stream on offer to factors and garages by actively upselling to an activated carbon filter. This type of filter generally commands a premium versus the traditional paper cabin filter,
but does so because of the extra protection on offer.
Comline Product General Manager, Miten Parikh, comments: “This type of filter media is embedded with activated carbon molecules that offer an extra level of filtration.
“Comline activated carbon options are designed to filter out finer particles than a standard cabin filter, thus, offering vehicle occupants greater protection from harmful gases, such as sulphur and nitrogen.”
Easy to fit
Comline has previously published its concerns regarding the missed cabin filter opportunity based on feedback from its motor factor customers. Many claimed that garages were not including the cabin filter as part of their vehicle service programme and, according to Miten, this issue remains prevalent here in the UK and across Europe.
“Air, oil and fuel filters are changed religiously by mechanics all over Europe, so it’s puzzling that the cabin filter continues to be neglected – it is perhaps the lack of significant mechanical benefits that is the root cause?
“However, with a cabin filter performing such an important job in protecting the driver, garages should view the component as critically as they do the air, oil and fuel filter counterpart. Motor factors can play a key role in getting this message across.”
Most cabin filter replacements are a straightforward job. The company suggests that in the vast majority of cases, a change should be completed, including checks, well within 30 minutes.
Cabin filters are also a valuable, steady revenue stream; evidenced by the fact that most franchise dealers now
include a cabin filter replacement as an integral part of their servicing programme. Comline is determined for the independent aftermarket to seize the initiative and begin capitalising on what it sees as an opportunity missed.
Comline offers the product range and availability to help both factors and workshops exploit the cabin filter opportunity. Each cabin filter within its range provides reliability and performance at a price that returns genuine value for money to the aftermarket. This allows both motor factors and workshops to be both competitive and profitable.
Recently, the company launched multiple filter references to market which included a variety of cabin and activated carbon options, for example, EKF172A for the Citroën Relay, Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer (all 2006-onwards), and EKF420A, which fits the Infiniti FX (2013- onwards), M (2010-onwards) and both Q50 and Q70 (2013-onwards).