Ford Focus- Diesel TDi 2004-with Clutch Problems.

In recent weeks we seem to have had a run of cars with clutch problems, that have been brought into our garage Pellon-Autocentre, here in Halifax UK. I think that most garages will have these runs of cars with different problems, sometimes it may be brake problems, and sometimes we have a run of exhaust pipes dropping of. This particular time it has been clutch


Yesterday was no exception? Sure enough first thing in the morning an AA transporter turned up on the forecourt with a silver car strapped to the back. The car was accompanied by an old customer of ours and when his Focus was unloaded he came into the reception to explain what had happened.

He told us that he had recently been working away down in the south of England. While he was away he had started to have problems with his clutch. He told us that one morning he was driving to work from his accommodation and called in for some diesel. When he arrived back at the car, the biting point of the clutch was very close to the car floor and the rest of the pedal was very sloppy and loose.

He managed to drive the car to his job, (he is a builder for an housing association, who own properties all over the UK, the head office is here in Halifax and he sometimes has to work away to help sort problems out), although he was having great difficulty selecting his gears. When he first bought the  Focus about 18 months earlier he was told that the car had recently been fitted with a new clutch, and this was one of the reasons that he had bought the car, it appeared to be in good condition.

He called out a local garage that topped up the slave cylinder and also told him that the clutch pedals on these Fords have a black plastic hinge type thing attached to it, which is what pushes the master cylinder in. This hinge is attached to the  pedal by a metal rod. The hinge is held in by a clip and it is this clip that can come off causing the problem. This was sorted out by the garage and for a few days all appeared to be well with the  Focus.

Ford Focus driver could smell clutch fluid?

He noticed a slight smell coming from the cars cab, but he did not know what it was, it was apparently clutch fluid that had leaked from his previous problem. The guy told us that after the

ford focus clutch

Focus Master cylinder bearing showing the broken bush

garage reportedly had sorted the Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi problem out then the car gear change was still a bit lumpy. After the job was complete the guy decided to risk it and drive the car back home to the North via the M1.

He decided to call in at the services for something to eat and a rest. On his return to the car, he found that once again the clutch pedal was down to the floor pan of the car, but unlike before there was no bite at all on the clutch. His company had provided their staff with AA breakdown cover, for their employees who travelled away to work, and so the guy promptly called the AA out to the services.

The AA man inspected the cars clutch cylinder to check the level, but soon noticed that the cylinder was empty of fluid. He said that the Ford  was susceptible to these type of  problems and diagnosed a broken master cylinder. There was nothing that he could do as far as road side assistance, and so he proceeded to load the car onto the back of his transporter in order to take the car to the garage of his choice, which was our garage in Halifax.

When proceeded to put the car on lift, and found that clutch fluid was seeping out at the bottom of the clutch housing through one of the vent holes that are there to alloy dust and dirt to evacuate the housing. We diagnosed the problem as a master cylinder failure and reported back to the customer, who by this time had borrowed one of our courtesy cars and gone back to work somewhere here in Yorkshire.

We removed the Ford Focus gearbox and clutch housing to reveal yet more problems?

The engine was dropped and the gearbox removed and then the Ford Clutch housing was separated to reveal the clutch assembly. We found that the hydraulic cylinder bearing had in fact got a broken seal and needed replacing. Then we found that although the  Focus diesel should have been fitted with a duel mass flywheel, it had been converted to a solid single

Ford Focus clutch

Ford  showing old worn out clutch assembly

flywheel, with a normal type clutch plate and to make matters worse, both were damaged. The flywheel was broken and the clutch plate was worn out, and also needed replacing.

We phoned the customer on his mobile and he was not very pleased to say the least, he had expected the clutch to last him more than the 18 months that it had lasted since he bought the car. The old parts were saved for the customer to look at as we always do. Another small problem also occurred? We had some difficulty matching a new single clutch plate with a new solid flywheel, as the old one was a cheap clutch plate and had no part numbers on to match a new one.

With the help of the motor factors we were able find the correct parts and rebuilt the whole assembly. The car works fine now and the customer went away highly delighted, after his initial shock.

The diesel Ford Focus can be converted to a solid single clutch system

When the customer had left I looked at some Ford forums about the conversion to a single clutch assembly and the general consensus is that it is fine to do it. In fact Ford transits can be converted by using genuine Ford parts. That is made especially for these conversions. Also I have heard that many taxi companies convert their taxis to the single clutch system.

For more Ford Focus clutch problems…

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Economy Car tyres online from our website by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Toyota Corolla Driver first noticed a Rattling Noise when Setting Off

1998 Toyota Corolla driver  thought his exhaust had gone

This customer of ours had only bought his Toyota Corolla about six months previously in a private sale with no come backs, so he wasn’t very pleased when the car started to rattle when he was

toyota corolla new clutch

new clutch ready to be fitted

about to set off on a journey.

My customer did not think much of the noise when starting off, he just thought that the exhaust needed repairing and carried on using the car. Another few weeks down the line he

noticed other slight problems, sometimes it was difficult to get a gear and he really struggled to force the gear lever and engage the gear. But in style he still did not do anything about it and carried on using his car, he thought that it was just one of those cars and the problem would go away.

He said that on occasions the car would also get stuck in reverse gear and the car engine was starting to cut out when the gears were stuck in. The guy said that a friend of his told him to check the clutch fluid under the bonnet (hood), but this was OK. He still did not suspect the transmission at this stage and carried on driving the car.

Toyota Corolla clutch can be suspect for a few reasons

One of the commonest clutch problems on a Toyota Corolla is a seized up clutch cable or the clutch linkage may require some lubrication or adjustment. This can show itself up if the plate does not release completely. The clutch may slip if the springs on the pressure plate are damaged or broken, these cars are now sixteen year old and if the clutch has not been changed then it likely that it soon will have to be changed.

The car soon became impossible to drive and was constantly getting stuck in gear and the engine cutting out. The car was eventually brought to us on the back of a car transporter and brought into the workshop for examination. By this time the Toyota  had no drive at all and it did not take long for us to diagnose a problem with the transmission, probably the clutch.

The job was assigned to our up and coming clutch specialist Alex who proceeded to strip the car down to inspect the cover. He first disconnected the battery and started to remove the drive shafts, the ones with the rubber boots at the ends. He then took out the bolts that were holding gear box case to the engine and slid out the transmission so that he was able to inspect the parts.

Toyota Corolla clutch plate was smashed to pieces.

He was not surprised to find that the clutch plate was smashed into pieces and was the answer to why the car did not have any drive at all. We replaced the  parts with new LUK

toyota corolla clutch

Toyota Corolla clutch showing a close up of the damage.

parts and rebuilt the transmission connecting all the parts together and finally reconnected the New Car battery.

The  Corolla engine sounded in good shape and Alex proceeded to test drive the car. We can always tell when a job has been a success because Alex had a big grin on his face and it was another clutch under his belt.

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Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and Clutch Repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Pirelli Run Flat Tyres Can We Repair Them?

When the run flat tyre first came on to the market

I was not so sure what to think? The tyres were developed together with the car manufacturers and were developed to specifically fit the cars on which they were to be fitted.

bmw runflat tyres

The customers BMW with the run flat tyre problem

The whole concept surrounding these tyres is based on safety, both for their car and more importantly the driver. Another factor was that these cars could do without a spare wheel, thus reducing the weight of the car. This has contributed to the “green” credentials of the cars that they were fitted to.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) have to be used with run flat tyres

Pirelli Run Flat tyres were specifically developed to be based on the specifications of the cars on which they are to be fitted. This means that, Run Flat tyres may only be mounted on vehicles that are specifically made to have the Run Flat tyres. This was one of my first bones of contention, when my young apprentice tyre fitter snapped the TPMS valve where it was located on the inside of the wheel where the  normal tubeless valve would normally be fitted. (cost me £80 to replace)

I also had purchase one of the new style tyre fitting machines, because of the difficulties that we encountered when trying to remove and re-fit the tyre from the wheel. The new type machines were equipped with special tyre hold down tools that held the tyre in place so that the fitter could use both hands when removing and fitting these difficult  tyres. After a while we were used to fitting these tyres and also learned about the TPMS systems that accompanied these tyres fitted to the car.

The Pirelli P7 Cinturato run flat tyres was also developed as a more environmentally product, because Pirelli had also taken the time to not only make the tyre into a run flat ,but also make the tyre into a high performance design tyre with lower fuel consumption and reduced road noise. They were also able to use a more eco-friendly compound to the tread area, giving this tyre more stability in the footprint area. The development of this tyre brought together many improvements making it a highly safe product that would complement medium and high powered vehicle such as the BMW range including the BMW Mini models.

When a loss of pressure arises in a run flat tyre then you must only continue at 50mph

The high volume of cars that are now fitted with the run flats, have helped me in thinking that these tyres have become a success story. At first I wasn’t sure I thought that they were just a passing fad that would go as quickly as the appeared. But I was wrong, because I have listened to some of the stories from my customers, of how they prevented them from having an

 run flat tyres

Pirelli run flat tyre showing the extent of the damage

accident and also of how they were able to carry on with their journey. The truth is that if your tyre suddenly loses pressure when you are doing 70mph, on a busy motorway, then you will have a better chance of getting out of a sticky situation, than you would have with normal radial tyres.

Your car will remain stable and not deviate and possibly cause a crash in busy traffic, as happened to a friend of mine recently. His tyre blew out and he hit the central reservation causing the car to swerve and have an accident. Although he was badly injured he is now fully recovered, but I am sure that of he had run flats fitted to his car then the car would have kept the line and not crashed  into the barrier, throwing it into the path of the traffic in the other lane.

Also if you do lose tyre pressure and it will tell you on your TPMS instrument on the dash of your car, then you must only drive at 50mph. At 50mph you can drive the car 50 miles , this is usually enough distance to enable the driver to reach the safety of a garage or the nearest tyre centre and have the tyre attended to.

Pirelli recommend that we should not repair run flat tyres

As the heading suggests Pirelli is one of the manufacturers that do not recommend that we repair run flat tyres. We at Pellon Tyres here in Halifax have been known to repair these tyres but only if knew that there was a screw in the tyre and the tyre had not deflated and the TPMS light had not come on. We have since stopped this procedure altogether now and only fit a new tyre, because we just do not know what damage was done, when the tyre was de-flatted.

This reminds me of a recent case in mind. One of our lady driver customers who owns a very nice BMW, had noticed her TPMS light was warning her of a problem with her near side front tyre, which had a pressure loss. The BMW was fitted with Pirelli tyre as original equipment size 225/45×18 P7 Cinturato.

She was heading from the M62 motorway, back to Halifax when the incident happened and was not too sure what the light coming on meant. She carried on driving and then decided to pull in and give us a ring for advice. Because the car was fitted with a TPMS system we knew that the car would be on run flat tyres and so we recommended that she drove the car carefully to our depot in Halifax, a distance of about 5 miles well within the 50 mile recommended by Pirelli.

When she arrived, the inside of the side wall of the tyre was completely coming away and so we had to fit the lady a new tyre. The customer worked in a high up position for the local  run flat tyrescouncil, but because we had a tyre in stock she was able to attend her meeting. If she had normal radial tyres fitted then she would have been delayed until someone came out to change her wheel, so everybody was happy…more reading…

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Pirelli Run Flat Tyres online from our website by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local

 run flat tyres

Second picture showing that this run flat was able to drive even with the inside of the tyre ripped apart

motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.




Car Owners are they Really Getting Ripped off by Garages? And How To Cope with Disgruntled Customers.

Garages are becoming more transparent towards Car Owners

There are many recent reports about Servicing a Car and repair garages are ripping their customers off. I am not sure what these reports actually cover? Is it the one man band

Car Owners

It is very important to meet and greet your Car Owners customers

operations, the larger independent garages or the main franchise dealers? Or are we all being “tarred with the same brush”.

I must admit though, no matter how you try in any trade, you will not please all of your customers and it depends how loud the disgruntled person is to how it may affect your garage. We can all try our best, but we are all going to get the “wrong customer at the wrong time”. I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing much you can do about these people, they probably have other issues that are affecting their personal lives and you are the one that they are taking it out of.

Garages should be aware of social media

Ten years ago we would have hit “a brick wall” with the customer that you just are not going to please whatever you do. I regard myself as a very calm person but when I have confronted some of these “raging” customers, then my blood has reached boiling point, and my blood pressure has hit the roof. I have built my garage and Business Plan on trust and have enjoyed customer loyalty beyond my wildest dreams. Over the years we have had whole families returning time and time again for their cars servicing and repairing.

Although it sounds like that we have many bad tempered and grumpy car owners, they are indeed far and few between, but when they come they can really hurt you. The big threat at the moment is to “expose “us on social media, especially on Facebook. This has happened once or twice now, but we just tell them to go ahead, we can defend ourselves and our reputation

Car Owners

A happy smiling face in the reception always helps when greeting the Car Owners

and I am sure that other people who know them will be familiar with how they behave.

Although some of auto press appear to be concerned about the level of training that our mechanics or technicians receive, (whatever we like to call them), then I am not so sure. I think that the whole education of young people has been watered down in recent years here in the UK and this includes the colleges where our young mechanics start off. Some like to think that this is progress and a new way of education, but looking back over the years I do not think that the levels of quality, have not dropped very much, if any.

The difference is that our apprentices now receive on the job training and assessments, and in my own experience I think this works. I find that my staff will do the course work at home in their own time, without much prompting. I remember when I was an apprentice (in the dark ages) I had to go to night school classes and hated it, now everything is more relaxed, providing the youngster does do the work that we ask of them.

This brings me back to having to raging customer and to face the customer who may be out to get us. I firmly believe that part of all of staff training should be in customer care. These days the standards for caring for the customer and their cars have risen.

For young people who are just starting out in the garage trade and are starting their own business for perhaps the first time, should take this into consideration. Even if you are just a one man band or a mobile mechanic, you should look at some of my advice that I offer as a successful garage owner of Pellonautocentre for twenty five years.

What garages can do to cushion the aggression?

1: One of the most important things that you and the members of your staff should be trained in is the old chestnut of “meet and greet”. This is the first thing we teach any of our staff, and believe me people have to be taught this skill. Just a basic “yes sir/Madam, how can help you” will be just fine. Even if you have got a hangover or just argued with your wife, this is the very basic polite response that your customer deserves and of course a smile. This also applies to answering the telephone, never let the phone ring out, train your staff to answer it politely, until a senior member of staff can take the call.

2: Escort the customer to your reception/manager or whatever system your garage operates in. This is passing the customer onto the expert, who will help the customer with any advice or problem that they may have. Too many businesses do not take any time out to perform these basic tasks, they fly about with the customer in close pursuit trying to explain that they have a problem with their brakes. For my UK readers, (a good example of what not to do can be seen in the garage that Kev owns in Coronation Street). No time sorry too busy attitude, will not build you a successful garage business.

3: Once you have these basics in place then you are prepared for that monster customer, with his huge problem. I know that some of the bigger garages, such as main dealerships are trained to cope with these types of situations, but in general the small rage has to cope, whoever the unlucky member of staff is who has to deal with the matter. If you do not have a person who is trained to cope with these things, then you should take a deep breath and ask the disgruntled customer to step somewhere out of the way, (this may upset other customers, who may be waiting for your attention).

4: Keep calm and whatever the customer’s grievance may by do not take it personally. You must try to put yourself in the shoes of the customer, has he got a genuine reason to be

Car Owners

Staying calm is one of the best pieces of advice when dealing with irate Car Owners

annoyed with your garage. Is the thing that is causing a dispute with your garage reasonable? We have been accused of scratching a car on a couple of occasions, we know we didn’t do it but have come to some sort of compromise and kept the customer’s business try to keep in a conversation and not a “slagging match”. Resolving the dispute with the Car Owners is your ultimate goal.

5: perhaps finally, if you feel that you are getting nowhere then “hit a brick wall “let the customer go away and think about what you may have offered them, or not. At this stage you may have lost the person as a customer anyway, but if you have been seen to try and resolve the situation, and then you have tried your best and move on to the rest of your day.

6: As the owner of the garage business I have learned over the years that you should not interfere in the reconciliation process and try find which member of your staff has got the correct attitude and presence of mind to deal with this type of dispute, I usually find that your manager is best capable to handle this, even if you have to give them some form of advice and training.

I also hope that nay advice that I give will help young and future garage owners to enjoy and succeed in their future Car Garage business. more reading…

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer Car Owners and van owners servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Budget car Tyres online from our website by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.





VW Polo Calls in with bad Performance Problems?

A VW Polo day?

After the school summer holidays have finished, we start to get busier in the garage repair side of the business. The tyre side starts to pick up nearer November, with the approach winter.

VW Polo with clutch and engine problems

VW Polo with clutch and engine problems

Like many other garages we try to plan our work schedules and book the various car repair jobs in accordingly.

One particular day last week when we were fully booked up and very busy, a breakdown truck turned up on the forecourt with a black VW Passat on the back. The car looked to have had a small front end shunt and the front wheel was sticking out at an angle. The VW Passat was a 2009 TDi and the car had been bumped when parked up in the local supermarket.

We pulled the VW off the trailer and pushed it onto a ramp. We soon discovered that the front wheel had been hit and had completely bent the steering arm. This had totally disabled the car from being driven. The remedy was easy; a new steering arm was fitted and the car was given a Laser Wheel Alignment

to correct and re-set the steering. The owner picked up his car and went home happy.

We were not so lucky with the next car that was booked in for the engine shuddering and banging. The car was a VW Polo 1.4 TDi 2002. It belonged to a friend of the family’s son, who had just passed his driving test.

The VW Polo had been left with us and we took the car out for a road test to try find out what the problem was. The first thing that we noticed was that the clutch had gone, but there was other things going on at the same time, it was a mix-match of problems. We were well trusted by the customer and so decided that we had to fix the clutch first. We removed the clutch housing and found that the clutch had indeed gone.

After replacing the clutch the VW Polo did go a little better, but the engine was definitely not right, it was shuddering and juddering.

VW Polo, Passat with its bent steering arm

VW Passat with its bent steering arm

VW Polo Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) had to be checked out.

The MAF sensor is the instrument that checks the temperature and the weight of the air that is entering the VW Polo engine. This information is then sent to the on-board computer, which calculates the correct amount of fuel that the engine requires to operate at.

The sensor works by measuring the current that is required to check the temperature while the air blows past. The MAF will start to clog up with dirt and other particles over time and this blockage is the thing that can cause your engine to have problems. The symptoms are exactly what was related to this problem. Poor starting, the engine would not run properly and would not accelerate, especially up hills.

Some people say that if you can clean the MAF sensor at regular periods then these problems would not arise, but we have always found that we have had to replace the part. We also fitted a new air filter and the VW Polo was a different car, it was road tested and the change of the MAF sensor revitalised the car, back to normal engine functions.

We also noticed that the steering had got a knocking noise and a vibration and on inspection found that the car also needed a Front Arm rear bush. We fitted this new bush and adjusted the wheel alignment. Here at Pellonautocentre we can repair all makes and types of cars.

It was an expensive day for the customer, but you would be surprised how many of our customers drive their car until it drops to pieces, nothing new there?

VW Polo,VW Passat with the steering arm how it should be

VW Passat with the steering arm how it should be

Just a few problems that we can get: in a busy garage.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer VW Polo and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Pirelli Car Tyres online from our website by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.







Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres Fitted on this Lotus Elise Owner Insists

Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres help to stabilize the Lotus Elise

For a number of years now I have been proud to own my very own garage and tyre centre. I say this because despite all the moaning’s that go on over the years, regarding “things

Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres

Dale fitting 2 x Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres to a lotus elise

Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres

changing” and “if this and if that”, we still carry on doing what we are best at. This in my opinion includes a great mix of different types of customers, making my job much more interesting.

Every one that comes through the door are different and require different things. Let’s face it most people who drive cars, just don’t want to spend any money on them, without the exception of a few drivers who seem to know exactly what they want. In general though when their car breaks down or requires new tyres then this becomes a distress purchase.

I would say that at least half of our customers are in this category. Especially in recent years when the economy of most countries has been stretched to say the least, and consumers are watching their finances more than ever. A good example is the recent upsurge in the sale of part worn tyres, I am sure that drivers know exactly what they are, but are willing to take the cheaper option. We are also noting that our clients that are buying tyres are opting for the budget tyre option.

One of our main suppliers have recently complained to me that their sales of their Mid-Range Tyres have fallen in the summer months, but it not “rocket science” to understand that this is the school holiday season and people are paying for their summer holidays or spending their disposable income on days out with the kids, certainly buying tyres is the last thing on their minds. The customers that are buying tyres are usually the distress purchases and these are the ones that go for the Cheap New Tyres.

This is not a new thing, it happens every year, but the affect does depend on the economy and peoples disposable income. The same affect has given rise to upsurge in shoppers using budget super markets like Lidl and Aldi. This has been price driven by the consumer’s lack of spare cash. This is a bonus for these outlets because shoppers are finding out that the cheaper products on offer are also of good quality and so in my opinion the big supermarkets will lose out to the smaller cheaper guys for good.

Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres

new Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres fitted to lotus Elise 2

At the other end of the market stores like M&S food are also doing well by selling the better quality products in packages and deals, making the customers purchases hard to resist. We in the tyre business should take notice of this and become sharper at the selling end. We find the mid-range brands are a bit slow to react apart from complaining that sales are down, but in my opinion they should give the retailers a better package, to pass onto the motorists and help lift their sales.

The larger names in tyres are still hanging on

The brand names in tyres will always survive partly due to the following that they command, the one I am most thinking about is Michelin. This great tyre company have always been renowned for the quality of their products and have been the benchmark for other companies to follow. The largest tyre company at the moment is Bridgestone, who have also gained a reputation for quality and design over the past years. It is always nice to hear when a customer calls in for tyres such Michelin’s or Continentals fitting onto their cars. It is a much easier job for us when the driver knows exactly what he or she wants, but it is all within the diversity of our customer and products range.

This brings me onto a car that we had in on the other Saturday. The car in question was a Lotus Elise and the guy knew exactly which tyres he wanted fitting. They were 22545×16 Yokohama UK ADO 8R tyres to the rear of the car. This little sports car is always a head turner and it has this effect on me, when I see one I always take a second look. This little car is very light and is able to accelerate at 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Because of the light weight of the car this improves the road handling including steering, cornering and braking.

Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres

Michelin tyres have always been a popular choice for many motorists

When I had a quick word with the owner he explained how good these Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres were, because of the cars lightness the tyres help stabilize the cars performance and give it great stability. This particular Lotus was a 97-98 model and though a little old now was still in great looking condition as you can see in my images. The car was first released in 1996 and was a stunning little spots car and although there have been many changes and variations the basic car has remained the same. Newer versions of the car now come with updated lead lights and alloy wheels with improved aerodynamics.

The little Lotus Elise had the new Yokohama ADO 8R Tyres fitted and went on its way. The car looked stunning with its new tyres and we will look forward to see the car when the front tyres are ready for replacing. We do get many people who call into us knowing what they want and believe me it makes life a lot easier.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

VW Polo Suspension-Wishbone Rear Rubber Bushes are a Common Problem?

VW Polo Suspension


One of the most common MOT failure problems here in Halifax is the failure of the VW Polo Suspension bushes VW produced cars, such as the Skoda and Seat cars.

The reason for this in my opinion is twofold; the first reason is that we have a Volkswagen main agent in our local area.Also, we have more than our fair share of customers who own Volkswagen cars.

VW Polo

vw golf bushes in place not yet removed

Albeit some of them are older models. Thus, the second point is that our roads here in Halifax are peppered with pot-holes. Plus, the local council have an obsession with placing speed bumps all over the place.

This twin affect seems to play havoc with the suspension bushes.Thus, on many a model of cars.But is more common on the Volkswagen models .As I have said earlier,this is a common MOT failure or advisory. In fact this week we will be replacing the rear bushes on a Golf and a Skoda.

VW brakes were fine it was a rear bushes problem?

The last rear bushes job was not in fact a test failure. Subsequently, the Golf owner was convinced that he had a noisy brakes problem? After removing the wheels and examining the brakes. We in fact found a few issues with the Polo’s brakes. But not enough to causes rattling and banging noises coming from the rear.

After further inspection. Ryan Linton our service manager. Decided to check out the rear suspension. Sure enough he found that the  Volkswagen’s rear suspension bushes were perished. Of course, and needed replacing. Ryan informed the customer. We were given his permission to carry out the repairs.

Because this was a common problem Ryan had devised a method of replacing the bushes in situ, and not having to remove the wishbone. He uses a threaded bar and some nuts and

VW Polo

VW Polo rear rubber suspension bushes removed

washers, to remove the rubber bushes, although you can buy a kit, a picture of this can be seen on …

VW Polo Suspension

You can use a 36 mm socket, insert the threaded bar with the nuts and washers. When it is all in place you can tighten the nuts and it pulls the rubber bush through the back and out. The new bush can be fitted the same and is a relatively easy task for a mechanic or an enthusiastic amateur, the job takes about 30 minutes a side. The homemade toll example can be seen on one of my images, but you can replace the square plates with nuts and large washers if required.

The next one we have for the same problem is a Skoda and job will be exactly the same as the VW Polo.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Tyres to fit VW Cars online from our website by using the tyre selector

VW Polo, bushes

Home made tool for removing VW type rear suspension bushes



AVON TYRES- From the 1960,s to Today-Still Supporting Motorsport

Avon tyres have been around forever?

avon tyres

Old sixties Garage with a vintage Avon tyres advertising sign.

In my long career in the tyre industry, (too long), it is fair to say that there has been many changes that have taken place in the tyre industry, some were good and others bad. The large tyre manufacturers bought out the small niche manufacturer, for example Goodyear Tyres took over Kelly and Lee tyres and a few others on the way, Continental Tyres bought out

avon tyres

Avon tyres ZR5 slick racing tyre on an F3 car

Semperit tyres and a few others, (the names of who slip my mind at the moment), and so on and so forth.

We also remember the fight to take over control of the tyre retail chains, starting off in the sixties and the seventies. Michelin took over British retailer ATS, Dunlop formed the National Tyres chain, by merging some acquisitions, including the very large retailer Marsham tyres. Pirelli formed the Central tyre group, and the list goes on and on.

I worked for a small tyre company in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, UK but we were swallowed up into the National tyre group and became primarily Dunlop and India tyre retailers. This was the main aim, to sell the products of the mother company. To be true full, I really enjoyed what was going on, and it all became a learning curb to me for the future. Times in the sixties were great for me as a teenager; it really was the “swinging sixties”.

I clearly remember that the working man had more disposable income, and they were beginning to buy more cars, these cars needed puncture repairs and new tyres, things started to get busy. We had a very mixed type of business community, in the area where we were living, from large textile mills to farming on the outskirts of the towns. We also had all off the service industry that comes with a large populated area, such as hauliers, builders, bus companies and the smaller types of business like the solicitors and local banks and building societies all of who used cars and trucks and therefor had to buy tyres.

In the sixties we had to be “jack of all trades”. Where as in today’s tyre market we generally stick to one thing, such as we in Halifax only service cars and other companies specialise in truck or earth mover tyres. We never knew what would come into us next; it could be a puncture repair on a tractor rear from a farmer to a small cart wheel from a mill basket on wheels. We also had a mix of different cars, from the rich mill owners with their Rolls Royce’s to a bus conductor with his Mini.

One of the things that stand out in my mind is that we used a large amount of inner tubes in those days and also wheel balancing was relatively new thing, most wheels were balanced with

avon tyres

Shaving a tyre at the Snetterton race track, this removes the small stones and grit that have penetrated the tyres outer layer

a simple bubble balancer and wheel alignment was not a word in our vocabulary in the sixties. Radial tyres were replacing X ply’s and more and more cars were coming out on radial tubeless tyres.

Avon Tyres come into the story

Some of the cars that were coming in for tyres would include the new Rover 2000. I remember this car because apart from the fact that it was very different in style and size the car came out on 165×14 Pirelli Cinturato tyres, but I believe that it was my first introduction to Avon tyres, who also made 165×14 radial tyres for this model. The new Rover became very popular with the new “middle management” customers and in 1966 a TC version was released which made the car capable of over 100mph.

Avon tyres were better known for their motor-cycle tyres, but started to push into the car tyre market. We were also witnessing new tyre sizes to fit the newer types of cars that were competing for the new wealth that was emanating from then new business confidence that was giving the UK a “buzz”. Cars like the E-Type Jaguar were getting more popular as second hand versions became available, from their start off at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961.

Jaguar cars were getting more popular amongst the wealthy mill owners who would by one for the wife and kids, but they came out mainly on Dunlop tyres who had formed a good relationship with the Jaguar company, although I do remember that Dunlop had balancing problems with some of the  tyres. It was in the 1980’s that Avon tyres were fitted to some Jaguars, the tyre that was used was the Avon tyres Turbo-Steel radial and was fitted to the XK model.

Avon  became more popular, bringing out many different tyre designs and patterns over the years, but one of the things that have impressed me is that they have always had a strong involvement in “motorsport”. This developed from the motor-cycle side of the business. But back in the sixties and seventies the car manufacturers started to race and rally sporty versions of their models. Such cars as Minis, MGB’s and Ford Cortina’s were developed into track and rally cars. Avon tyres are one of the few companies that have kept up the

Avon tyres

Avon tyres historic racing tyre

tradition right up to the present day, and can offer tyres that are just as good and competitive as they were in the original racing days.

Avon tyres still make tyres from the 450×17 vintage car tyre to the textile radials that have a special cling rubber tread compound that is used in making the Avon textile radial. The Avon Historic All Weather tread patterned tyres are designed to give excellent road holding in all-weather applications while keeping the period look of the historic range of racing cars. It is FIA approved for different historic racing series throughout the world. The textile radial is a “V” rated tyre so is capable of speeds of up to 150mph, ideal for vintage racing.

Avon tyres ACB9

This tyre was developed as a formula Ford 1600 tyre and is used for the pre 1974 historic car championships. The tyre is also used for the pre 1965 1000cc formula 3 races and small bore vintage cars such as the MG Midgets and Frog Eyed Sprites. It is a great attribute to Avon to continue making these tyres an all sorts of sizes for this different array of cars.

The list of tyres that Avon make goes on and on and I will be covering some of them in different articles. From my early youth to the present day I have always been a huge fan of the Avon Company and we still buy their tyres to this day. We were sad when Avon were taken over by Cooper tyres but the old name has survived, and we can look forward to many years of this excellent tyre product.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Cheap Avon Tyres online from our website by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.