Flat Tyres on the Motorway-Joining the Breakdown Service is now Imperative !

Flat Tyres on the Motorway

Flat Tyres on the Motorway

Flat Tyres on the Motorway

Si, in the past years then I have written many times about how to change your punctured wheel. Although not all punctures occur on the motorway system. Importantly, this is what I am going to write about ! British motorways as we all know are always extremely busy. So, as many of my readers know then I delivery some of our battery sales to all over the UK. Hence, from Devon to Aberdeen we cover all of the UK when delivering very large truck batteries or even leisure batteries.

Many times I will set of at 4.30 , depending where I am going to. So, for a short while in mid-summer then it will be light at this time. Consequently, and a pleasure to drive, with wonderful sunrises that only the early risers would see. However the particular morning that caused me to write this article was dark, raining and windy. In fact a terrible morning to be driving on the motorways !

Two miles on and a loud bang !

So, this particular day then I was heading for the Bristol area with about ten deliveries of different batteries. My usual motorway entry junction is the Barnsley entry/exit just south of the “Woolley Edge” service area on the M1 motorway. As I have said it was a stinking morning with a gale blowing and raining heavily ! No problem I thought it can only get better , However I could not have been more wrong ! So, about two miles on I remember running over something in the dark . Consequently, this was followed by a kind of juddering sound .

This was to be my first puncture at any time in my life ! Probably, one of the reasons for this is because as the owner of a Tyre Centre then I have always had new tyres on any of mt vehicles. Thus protecting me against any imminent tyre problem. My van started to drift about ! So at first I thought it could be the strong winds that were blowing. Even at that time of the morning then the M1 motorway is very busy with trucks and other vehicles alike.

Realizing that I had a flat tyre then I pulled over onto the hard shoulder of the motorway. The wind was howling ! Rain pouring down and I was totally miffed to say the least. Adrenaline was beginning to kick in ! Frightened at the prospect of changing the wheel with trucks whizzing by only four foot away. So, the first thing that came to my mind was “where is the spare wheel” and jack and “wheel brace”. Disappointingly, then I did not practice what I had been preaching for all these years.

Finally found all the tools and spare wheel

Scrambling about in the dark, then I shifted the batteries and finally found the wheel brace and tool kit. Jacking points were no problem and luckily I managed to lower the spare wheel without any problems. So, this is where my 40 years experience came in. As the trucks were hurtling by I manged the job pretty quickly. My only snag was that I had put the spare back into the carrier the wrong way round.

So, it was sort of dangling about a bit. However I was able to limp along to the next services and fit the spare correctly and in safety. As daylight approached then I began to think about my bad experience. Proudly I had applied myself and did the wheel change safely and speedily. So I was back on my way down the M1 just an hour later.

However my experience had made me think what could have been ! Including what if the driver had been a lady driver !  Or even an elderly driver. So much in fact that I have now completely changed my stance. Specially over changing a wheel on the motorway or any other busy road. My new advice from now on would be that drivers should join one of the breakdown services. Recently, I have noticed that the breakdown services have been changing their customers wheels. Admittedly, I  did snigger a little ! Of course but not now !

Having ! experienced this with all the elements against me ! So I do now know that many people would not have been able to cope with this bad experience. Also if you are capable physically of changing your own wheel, So, you should check out all the tools that you will require.

Also there are now different spare wheel systems.

  1. Many vehicles still carry a standard type of spare wheel. Just the same as the ones that will be on the vehicle. This was the case in the van that I was driving on that torturous rainy night.
  2. Vehicles will also have a spare wheel. However it will be “temporary spare” wheel. The wheel is the same overall diameter as your vehicles tyres. However it will be much thinner and usually a steel wheel. Most vehicles have alloy wheel and this spare will look much thinner that the ones on the vehicle. Subsequently, these wheels do do the job and enable you to carry on with your journey. Importantly, though there is a limit of driving at 50 mph for a distance of 70 Miles with one of these spares fitted.
  3. Many cars are fitted with run-flat tyres. At first I did not agree with these tyres ! Primarily because they were more expensive to replace than a standard tubeless tyre. However I have changed my mind ? Because of the tyres safety aspects. So if I had runflats fitted to my then then I would have been able to limp on. Albeit, at 50 mph. So the cars fitted with the run-flat system will not have a spare wheel, but the system will get most drivers out of trouble.
  4. In my opinion this is the worst system ! car makers lower the weight of their vehicles by not fitting a spare wheel at all. The spare is replaced by a can of repair sealant. This sealant only works if the tyre has a small nail or screw impaled. So, anything larger such as a small cut or large hole can not be sealed. So, leaving you no better off and still stuck at the side of the road. The “no spare system” was to lower the cars overall weight to cut back on the cars emissions ! In my opinion then membership f one of the breakdown services is a must. Incidentally, when this repair sealant is used then the tyre has to be replaced as the cant be repaired.

I hope that this article informs drivers enough to check and see what spare wheel system is used on their car. Importantly, because of the high volume of traffic on our roads then we should perhaps join one of the breakdown companies. Ensuring that you wheel will be changed in safety whatever your cars spare wheel system.

Eric Roberts

 

Pollen Filter (Cabin Filter) or Not? Missed out by many garages on services?

Pollen Filter or Not?

Having a pollen filter in your car is a relatively new concept. Firstly, thy were first fitted in cars in Europe in the 1980’s. Of course, the USA already had pollen filters . However,different European countries had different standards. So in their implications.

The original air pollution work which covered different pollutants. Including, aerosol sprays ! Was carried out by a German institute the German laboratory, Fraunhofer… The Institute of Toxicology and Aerosol Research … http://www.item.fraunhofer.de/en.html

pollen filter

Dirty pollen filter after changing

This set the standards for the filtering of pollutants. Including the filtering of pollen and other polluting substances that were pulled into the car. Of course, through the air intakes and required to be filtered out.

The pollen filter is changed when you are having your car serviced

Of course, if you are a pollen sufferer in the Pollen Season (and there are millions out there who are?). Then it would be advisable to have the Air Filters and pollen filters changed. Importantly, at the end of winter or the beginning of spring. This is certainly the worse time for the pollen to start affecting the poor sufferers.

The thing I have also noticed is that pollen can start to affect people at any stage of their lives. So it would be wise to insist that your local independent garage or Unipart Car Care Centre (UCCC) . Importantly, should change the pollen filter at least once a year and preferably at the beginning of spring. Making sure the air entering your car will be as pollen free as possible. Other important filters not to ignore are the Oil and Fuel Filters.

Please don’t forget that this can also affect your passengers. So make sure that the pollen cabin filters are changed. So that they will remove all the allergens. From the imported and contaminated air from outside and act as  Air Purifiers.

Pollen is not the only thing that gets trapped in your pollen filter?

When we remove the old pollen filter, we are amazed at the dirt and particles that the filter picks up, in just 12 months. The cabin pollen filter traps many different things that travel into the car from the exterior via the air conditioning and heating and ventilation system and these can include things like other cars exhaust fumes, bacteria general dust caused by insects and breaking up leaves that enter the front of your car and break up into tiny particles and finally will be trapped in your cars.

If the driver does not change the pollen filter at regular intervals, like I say at least once a year in springtime, then it is possible that air in the car will begin to smell foul and will cause your passengers to inhale fumes and air particles as you drive them along, possibly making them feel ill.

The blocked filter can also restrict the airflow into the cars heating and cooling system often causing problems and needing the help of your garage to spot the problem, a cost that could have been avoided had you changed the pollen filter.

Why Change Pollen Filter

Most filters can be found in easy to access areas through access panels under the cars bonnet (hood), but we operate the Autodata manual that will tell us the exact location of these filters. We also fit an exact filter to the one removed and we use Unipart filters of the same quality as the car manufacturers have used. Another small point is that although your filters should change in spring time a more general guide is to have them change at 12 to 15ooo mile intervals.

Many motorists do not  appreciate the benefits to changing these pollen filters and are not aware of the health benefits of using them, but as I wrote earlier, these things are all scientifically studied are the findings have helped develop the product that we know as the cabin or pollen filter.  

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. Working for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

Timing Belt Needs Changing Sir? the dreaded words from your mechanic?

Change your  Timing Belt it’s imperative?

When our customers are having a service to their car, there are certain things that we will report to them when their cars service is complete. What we do which is what most garages do

timing belt

This Ford Fiesta cylinder head was badly damaged because the timing belt broke when the car engine was running.

nowadays, is to take a contact number of the person who’s car it is having a service. Before mobile phones this would have been more difficult to do, but now most of our customers have some sort of mobile phone or other.

The things we report on are such things as tyres or worn steering parts, these can be changed later on in the day if the customer is contacted and we will have time to carry out the repairs. One important thing though is the Timing or cam belt. The Timing Belt Kits come in two types ,the chain type, which as the word say’s is very similar to a motor bike chain and a rubber looking belt, that looks very similar to a fan belt or the belt that drives your washing machine or spin dryer.

This is made out of very strong material similar to the materials that tyres are made from. The importance of the timing belt cannot be overstressed. If the belt breaks in use then the engine can be damaged beyond repair. When we carry out a service we always check in the Autodata online manual, for the exact time for the belt to be changed. Sometimes it will state a Timing Belt Intervals and other times it may state a time period, but usually it will be between 60000miles and 100000 miles when the new belt should be fitted.

This is also important to know if you buy a second hand car. I have known customers who have had a car for a couple of months and their timing belt has snapped leaving them with a

timing belt

Timing Belt showing fitment on the pulleys

blown up engine and no redress from the person that they bought the Old Cars from, so if you buy a second hand car you must only buy one with a history record and the knowledge of the timing belt, otherwise you could be caught out with a huge repair bill, always ask about the timing belt?

A simple explanation of what this important part does is as follows; the timing belt is used to turn the camshaft at exactly half the speed of the crankshaft. Your camshaft controls the opening and closing of the valves in time to the pistons going up and down the engines cylinders. The camshaft belt runs on pulleys at the end of each important part and very often also drives the water pump. Should the belt break; then all these other parts simply smash into each, other causing major damage to the car’s engine.

The timing belt is spinning at tremendous speed and generates much heat,

so the belt is subject to many pressures and eventually starts to break up and cracking starts to appear, once again very similar to tyres. Perhaps you can see now why it is so important to change the belt at the correct time, we also recommend that you change the water pump at the same time. The water pump runs on a bearing and the bearings tend to wear out at the same time. If the water pump is not changed and goes at a later date then the garage will have all the same work to carry out all over again.

Many different companies makes of timing belt but we prefer to use Unipart belts, because as a Unipart Car Care Centre, our customers are covered under a warranty should anything go wrong with the part or the fitting of your new belt. You will be covered across the whole of the mainland UK, under the terms of the warranty a great protection to have.

So to finalise if your garage warns you that the timing belt is due for a change well get it done as soon as you can afford to, before the thing breaks and causes much more damage to the car and to your wallet or purse.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger

timing belt

Damaged caused by a broken timing belt

days, before starting my first business. I now own a garage and MOT testing centre, here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.

Bridgestone ER30 4×4 Tyres

Bridgestone ER30 4×4 Tyres

Bridgestone ER30 4x4 Tyres

ER30 4×4 Tyres

Of course it is well reputed about the quality of the Bridgestone tyre brand. Consequently, Bridgestone are probably up there when it comes to the worlds leading tyre brands. Hence many of the leading car manufacturers  have many of their tyres on original equipment fitments. Because of this many car manufacturers such as BMW, Mazda, Mercedes . Including, Porsche fit Bridgestone tyre to their top of the range cars.

Importantly, this also applies to the Bridgestone ER30 4×4 Tyres ! Unsurprisingly, this tyre is quiet and stable. Significantly, even at high speeds. Having a built in level of comfort that drivers could really get accustomed to. Additionally, precision and handling in this Bridgestone tyre is at your fingertips. Especially when you need it. Naturally making this an exceptional tyre.

Everyone needs a little luxury.

Of course thats the Turanza philosophy. Hence a great belief that Bridgestone has turned into reality. So, it is easy to imagine yourself cruising in a top-of-the-range saloon car. Significantly, it’s unbelievably quiet, stable. Of course, even at high speeds and has a level of comfort you could really get accustomed to. But precision is at your fingertips when you need it. Lastly a perfect marriage of pampering and performance.

Eric Roberts

batteries

Solar Energy Batteries- May Vie With U.S. Oil Boom as Energy Changer

Solar Energy Batteries

Solar Energy Batteries

The rapid development of rooftop solar and

Solar Energy Batteries storage technology 

could be as trans formative to the economy and modern life as the U.S. oil and gas boom, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. (Batteries May Vie With U.S.

 

Eric Roberts’ insight: Solar batteries

The USA Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has come out with a statement that I have been talking about for a couple of years now. In this article, he says that the USA could start to be getting independent of the national energy providers if the growth in solar Renewable Energy and other renewable resources can keep growing at the present rate.

In my opinion, the public in America. Of course, and other continents such as here in the UK. Have really grasped the nettle as far as going it alone with solar energy. The solar panels in this picture are situated in a small town in West Yorkshire UK.

Starting producing energy from the Sun as early as February. The electricity that is produced by these solar panels is sent straight to the electricity grid. Through a reverse meter and the electric company pays the house owner for the electricity that is provided.

In America there is a growing trend to store the electricity. Hence, that is collected from the panels. Into banks of Solar Energy Batteries. This is also useful in rural and more isolated areas. Where the batteries can store the electricity. As a result, for use at night by the house owners.

The most effective type of Solar Energy Batteries to use is AGM batteries.

 

These AGM batteries will cost more in the first instance. But will give better service due to the ability to have much greater charge and discharge cycles. Than say a normal lead-acid Car Batteries.

There are many DIY videos available. Showing, householders how to set up a Solar Energy Batteries system. One of them is Trojan AGM Battery. Subsequently, these batteries are very suited for the use with solar energy. So, anyone thinking of doing this should look at the Trojan AGM product.

Like the USA energy secretary Ernest Moriz. I too wonder how long off are we before we are producing more electricity. Say than the national providers and what happens then?.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. Working for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

See on www.bloomberg.com

Winter Car Checks

Flat Tyre-A Woman’s Guide to Changing their own Wheel?

 Women Drivers do often change their flat tyre

Sometimes it may be great to play a damsel in distress. So, having a strong and well-toned man fix your flat tyre. Importantly,  I think every woman ought to know how to change to the spare wheel. After all, having your tyre blow is never something anyone plans. Of course, you may not have any ready eager boy scout waiting around to rescue you. There is no need to keep the wheel changing in a man’s domain. Times are changing and you should too. Time to empower yourself and get ready to tackle that flat tyre !

Flat Tyre

 1. First of all, if there is a place for you to move your car out of the way !

So, if there is a place to where you can get out of the way, then move your car there. Make sure oncoming traffic will be able to see you. Turn on your hazards and if you have an warning triangle. Then place where it will be clearly visible. Also make sure the place you move your vehicle to as flat and even as possible. Avoid soft ground and inclines. Whenever possible place some bricks, blocks or large rocks . Naturally, under your car to prevent your car from rolling backwards.

 2. If you have hubcaps, remove them.

These are the covers of your wheels. Check you manual on how to remove them. I highly suggest you look at this beforehand and not when you have already blown a tyre.

 3. Next you need to remove the wheel nuts.

These are the nuts or bolts that hold your wheel in place. You will need a wheel brace to do this. Of course the wheel brace comes in different shapes and sizes . Commonly known as a “Spider” . So, the spider wrench is the T shaped wrench. Of course, that should be together with all your other tools. The shape of the wrench makes for easy leverage. However, if your upper body strength is lacking the heft or muscle needed to loosen the lug nuts. Importantly, you may have to resort to step on the T-arm to obtain better leverage. Always remember, left to loosen and right to tighten.

 4. Now you need your car jack to raise your car.

Most cars have a flat plate behind the front wheels and just in front of the back ones for this purpose. Place the jack under the “jacking point” nearest to the tyre to be changed ! Raising the jack with the jack handle to meet the jacking point plate. Double check and make sure your car will be steady once it is raised. Safety is crucial whenever you are working with your car. Now raise your car about 15 cm of the ground. Don’t forget that when you re-fit an inflated spare wheel.Thus, will need room so make sure there is enough space for the spare to be placed on.

 5. by grabbing it with both hands, one on each side.

So after removing the wheel nuts!  Pull the flat wheel straight and off. Quickly,line up your spare with the bolts and slide it on. Replace the lug nuts but do not tighten them completely. When you have lowered your car, use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts in opposite pairs. Make sure these are as tight as possible ! Because you absolutely do not want your tyre to come off when you start driving away.

 6. It’s time to clean up and put things back in place.

Put all your tools together and place them back where they were stored. Always put them back in the same place so you know right where to find them in case of emergencies. Knowing where all of the tools are before you get into an emergency situation is suggested. Put your flat tyre where you spare one was and make sure to have it fixed right away.

7. Of course many cars dont have spares now !

many cars now run on run-flat tyres and do not have a spare wheel. In my opinion this is a great idea ! So when a puncture occurs then the driver can carry on driving the car. Albeit at a steady 50 mph ! Cars with runflats can then make their way to a tyre centre and have the problem attended to. Some cars only carry a can of air sealant and no spare wheel. This idea is save on the weight of the car and reduce emissions.

8.I would advise most ladies to join a motoring organisation

Although that you now know how to change your flat tyre ! I would strongly recommend that any motorists and not just ladies should join one of the road side assistance companies. So we all must have noticed how busy our roads are now getting. Especially, on the motorways. Recently, I had the dis-pleasure of having a tyre blowout on the M1 motorway.

Of course, it was dark and raining and was a very frightening experience. However it is a job that I have done all my life and quickly changed the wheel at the roadside. However it did open my mind to the thought that this would have been horrific for a lady driver to attempt this task. Simply it would be far better to join the “AA” “Green Flag” or the “RAC“. Naturally putting your mind at rest !

 A woman alone with her car and a flat tyre could be a signal for the less than honourable to take advantage of the situation. If you have no recourse but to change the tyre yourself, make sure you have some form of protection nearby like pepper spray. Also make sure to call a friend or relative to let them know what happened when your tyre blows so someone is aware of where you are and the situation you are in. This will at least give people you know the information of your whereabouts.

9, Having your tyres in good condition is one way to avoid a flat tyre.

While some causes like a puncture from a nail or other sharp object cannot be avoided. So, keeping your tyres well inflated. Along with careful driving will lessen the chances of your having to change a flat in the future.

And if you need new tyres ! So  Point-S has over 160 independently owned centres across the UK . Consequently, to help you find the right tyre for your need. Its knowledgeable and professional staff will be able to give you brand neutral car safety advice to help you make the right decision for your tyre needs. And if your car needs other types of auto service, they offer than as well. And because they are part of the Unipart Car Care Centre network, you know they adhere to the core values of:

• An open and honest approach with the customers

• A high standard of work and excellent value for money

• 12 month guarantee on parts and labour

• An open invitation to inspect, review and rate the garages of your choice to make the best informed decision for your needs

 Stay safe on the road ladies!

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. Working for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

 

Car Service Tips For the First Time Drivers

car service advice for the young drivers

Having a Car service has always been seen as a big expense to the average motorist and certainly is for the young first time motorists. Most cars will need an annual major service, and in my

Car Service

Mechanic in Halifax servicing a Range Rover

opinion for the driver on average mileage should have one or even two smaller engine services.

This (the smaller engine service) usually means the oil and filter changed and the rest of the cars fluid levels topped up. It is also a great idea (if you can afford) for cars over three years old told to have the main service carried out at the same time as the cars MOT test. Your garage will probably advice you to have the MOT test carried out before the service, this is always best practice and is recommended by the Ministry of Transport as the correct procedure to follow.

 It also gives you control of your spending budget, indeed what you should do is instruct the Car Garage to inform you of any failures that the test may throw up. You must also ask your garage to give you an estimate of the cost of repairs to your car to get it through the test.

Many customers of garages do this because if the cost of your repairs are high, you may not be able to afford to have the car serviced, indeed you can then cancel the service for a later date, when you can afford to have the service carried. The best practice though is to have the test and the car service carried out in the same day. This will ensure that your car will be in the best condition for your summer holidays or the possible harsh winter ahead.

Most good garages and auto centres carry out a car service  to a high standard.

They will carry out menu services according to the manufactures advice and indeed many garages and auto centres car serviceuse a service menu specific to your car by typing your registration number in to an automotive computer such as “Autodata”, complete with software that will print out the exact Car service menu for your make and model of your car. This also tells the mechanic the precise type of oils to use; this is very important due the diverse types of oil now used in modern car engines. Another advantage of using this technology is that the computers will advise you on the time or mileage it takes before your other parts of your Car service may need changing such as the cam belt. This information should come in the form of advice written as an advisory on your service sheet.

The advisory report that you are given should not be overlooked, but either acted up on at the time or looked at on a later date. Most good garages will give you a the repair costs  at the time of your test or service and this price should be good for about a month after it has been given, however if you go back at a later date it is always advisable to double check the price before you have the work carried out and it is also worth considering that the part that was advised upon may have got worse and indeed spread to yet another part, giving rise to the advice that work should be carried out as soon as spotted and advised by the mechanic in the first instance at the time of the test or service, if your finances do not stretch to having  the work carried out, please get the work done as soon as you can afford it may endanger yours and other people’s lives. 

Another good piece of advice is that if you are new to an area and you do not know were to have your car serviced it look for a garage carrying the “Unipart Car Care Code Of Practice” emblem this will ensure that you will get fair pricing and that the garage has been checked for good practice and procedures by the RAC of Great Britain, any quality control procedures by the service centre should give you confidence enough that if any problems occur, they will be dealt with in a fair and proper manner. In general any garage you carries out MOT testing, are usually up to a good standard and are also regulated and controlled by the British Government ministry department known as VOSA.

The usual way to find a good garage is by word of mouth by friends or relations. Other methods are yellow pages or google on the internet. Many garages are in larger groups an example of this would be Unipart centres, you will find this type of centre will offer you the assurances that you will be looking for as regarding workmanship and price fairness.

To summarize most garages and services are good at what they do, most are aided now by sophisticated technology, it is important (and indeed one of our policies) that you get a company that offers you pricing before the job is done and that you also give the garage you phone number so that you can be contacted if any extra work is required or indeed just to tell you that your car is ready. Also try to go to a garage that is regulated by a trade organization, and then if there is a dispute your problem can go into arbitration and hopefully resolved.

car service

servicing a BMW mini at Halifax

In our own case here at Pellon Auto-centre, we have not had a single case to answer for, and any disputes are usually handled in an amicable way

Also people do vote with their feet and a busy garage is usually a good garage, How Much for Car Service ,happy motoring.  

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days, before starting my first business. I now own a garage and MOT testing centre, here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.

pirelli winter tyres

Michelin Alpin 5 winter tyres-Really Worth Considering for the Harsh Yorkshire Winters

Michelin Alpin 5 winter tyres

Michelin also makes Michelin Alpin 5 Winter tyres

I was thinking that it is a good time to write this post about winter tyres when the winter is just a few months away and we did not have much snow this time last year  (at least not in Yorkshire UK). But we are Michelin Alpin 5only two months from next winter? So, (what the heck).

We find that more and more of our regular customers are now buying these tyres.  So many in fact that we decided a few years ago when we had our first cold and snowy winter, that we would start a “tyre hotel”. This is where the customer buys a set of winters and we fit the   Winter Car Tyres  and store the summer ones until the spring and then change the tyres over again. We charge for this service, but the tyres will last then three or even four winters, depending on the make and quality.

Michelin Alpin 5 winter tyres

This has always been a grey area to me? Which make of tyre do you recommend do you go for best which in my opinion would be the Yokohama winter tyre range, the Bridgestone Blizzac or the Michelin Alpin series including the new Michelin Alpin 5

 Michelin Tyres UK is probably the Worlds most respected tyre makers and like most French companies always bring French flair into the design process. This new Michelin Alpin 5 is

Michelin Alpin 5

Michelin’s involvement in motorsport helped in the development of the Alpin winter tyres

no exception to the rules. France has many mountain ski resorts Snow Tyres and the Michelin winter tyres are well tested and designed to give the French tyre buying public a no choice option, the French love to buy home brand products, as any visitors to France will not fail to observe the amount of French made cars that they buy and it is the same with other products.

Going back to the Dark Age’s winter tyres were chunky things with loads of tread rubber and were very noisy. Only rich people could afford them because they had to have them fitted to go abroad (mainly France) on skiing holidays. Because of the heavy tread patterns, the tyres were very noisy and no good for travelling at speed on motorways. Tyre manufacturers began to refine these tyres as our cars became faster and more motorways were being built across the whole of Europe.

Drivers in Germany would set off skiing for a long weekend in their BMW’s and Mercedes.

travel down the Autobahn (German Motorway) at 100 mph+ and then go up the mountains of Austria and France for a weekends skiing. It was clear that a different type of winter tyre had to be developed to cope with this new type of driving experience. Michelin developed the Michelin Alpin 5 and other tyre makers followed. They used different compounds (silicas were added) and included thousands of small slits in the pattern design, known as (Sipes) .

These sipes did two things scattered the snow, mud and water and made the tyre much quieter to drive on and therefore a more comfortable drive at speed on the motorways in winter.

This is where Michelin winter tyres are the leaders.

The new Alpin 5, has been even more improved to give even more driver comforts when using their cars in the winter months whatever the weather throws at them.

 The studies conducted by the Traffic Accident Research Chair of Dresden University in Germany (VUFO)*, European motorists drive mainly on cold roads in winter, whether dry or wet, but do not have to deal with snow very often, although since the report we have experienced an increase in colder weather and more snowfall. The report showed that 92% of accidents occurred on dry or wet roads and the remaining 8% on icy or snow covered roads. This where the winter tyre gives the motorist protection in winter with winter tyres fitted to their cars, they are more protected even on wet roads with winter tyre fitted.

Eric Roberts

car servicing Halifax

Annual MOT Testing-Two Old Timers-Call Into Pellon Auto Centre For their Annual MOT Test

Two Old Timers Call In For

Two Old Timers Call In For

The old cars side by side

Annual MOT Testing.

Happily, I have said before, that this is a great time to be involved in the auto trade. Of course, as the owner of a successful auto centre. Then we take every day as it comes.  Consequently, apart from the work that we have booked in for that day. So, we had a run of cars that were all affected by “pothole” damage.

So, the first car was a Ford Fiesta ! Suffering from a broken coil spring . Caused by running into a pothole ! Incredibly, the second was a Vauxhall Corsa, with yet another a broken coil spring . Unluckily, the spring had also penetrated the front tyre ! Once again caused by hitting a pothole ! Thirdly the damaged car was a VW Sirocco that hit a pothole and bent his steering arm. Urgently, we manged to fit these cars in between our car services. Consequently, that were already booked in . Happily for the customers we managed to carry out the repairs and we all had a good day !

After lunch, we had another bit of excitement for me.

Unbeknownst to me, we had two vintage cars booked in for their Annual MOT Tests. Significantly, the first car was a regular one for us. So, it was a Rolls Royce tourer. With a 5.6-litre engine and built in 1936. Of course,the car easily passed the test. Apart from a Brake switch light, which we repaired on site. The company who own the vehicle always give their car a pre-mot test. Of course before it is brought into us for the MOT test. But the brake light switch must have been overlooked.

The second car that turned up was a black A35 Austin saloon. Manufactured in 1958 (I was ten years old then). Respectfully, the car was owned by the great, great Aunt of the woman who now owns the car ?

So, the Aunt passed the car onto her niece who later died. Subsequently, the car was then passed onto her niece, who is the current owner. Incredibly, the car was last serviced in 1990. Having only done 2000 miles, (it was then used to tootle around town in). The car has a 948 cc engine

Annual MOT Testing

Annual MOT Testing; Old 1958 A35 saloon car in for MOT Testing

with drums on the front brakes. Including an old fashioned rod braking system at the rear.

The car was then mothballed for the last ten in a barn

So the latest in a line of nieces decided to bring it out and restore the car. She asked for the service of a local mechanic, who looked at the car to assess its condition. Incredibly, the  car only required a new battery and started up the first time. Urgently, the brakes needed some work doing on them! Then he handed the car over to us for its mot test. Lastly, the brakes were sorted using parts from an old MG Midget. Pleasantly, the engine was in immaculate condition and had only done 6000 miles.

Passed mot test with flying colours

The old Austin had a new 063 ApolloPower battery fitted and passed the mot test in tip top condition apart from some very slight corrosion and will see driving up and down the street of Halifax here in West Yorkshire UK this summer. I just love these cars with a bit of history and a story behind them. The A35 was also fitted with cross ply tyres to the front and radials to the back.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. Working for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

Annual MOT Testing

Trojan Motorhome Batteries

Caravan Batteries-time to check and test them before the new Spring season arrives.

Caravan Batteries

Caravan Batteries

As I am sat here writing this article. I must admit, that I am envious of all the people who are now buying their caravan batteries. So, in preparation for the new caravan season. The year has

caravan batteries

New caravan batteries have onboard

been a poor year for car batteries, because of the very mild winter.

I suppose though that we battery dealers should not really complain. As we have had a decent run of very cold winters. Hence, we should have known that we were due to have a mild one. So, and we certainly did. In fact, it is the first year that I can ever remember in my 65 years. Where we did not have any snowfall whatsoever.

We have now written last winter off as a bad year.Especially, for car batteries  sales. Thus, we are already looking forward the leisure and caravan batteries season. Which has already started with a bang, (what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabout) as the saying goes.

Britain is now largest touring caravan market in Europe. We took over from the then number one country Germany in 2003. Of course, we were still number one in 2006 when the latest figures were released by… http://www.politics.co.uk/ .It is estimated that there are over half a million touring caravans in the UK. Including another 330,000 static caravan holiday homes. I am going to write about the growing number of motor-homes in another article.

Caravan Batteries

Over the years, many caravan owners have asked me the same question? Is there a difference between caravan batteries and car batteries? And the answer is YES. In the early days, car batteries were used to power the minimal electrics that caravans would use. There were no TVs, Fridges and all the other modern day electrics that you can see in today’s modern caravans, just a few light bulbs and an electric pump. The normal car or truck battery would have done the job perfectly.

Now we have seen the development of the new type of leisure batteries. The most popular one that we are now selling is, in fact, a 100 amp battery that is made and developed by the largest battery maker in the World Johnson Controls. They decided that the design of the car battery was fine, but it needed to hold more storage than starter power. This was done by using thicker plates that were able to store more power to supply the caravan with the electricity that it needed for the evenings.

LV24MF caravan batteries are a good buy.

This type of battery is known as the LV26 was then marketed as a leisure battery and would provide the caravan owner with auxiliary power, which as able to be

Caravan Batteries

Caravan Batteries; 2x 75 amp Lucas Leisure Batteries

charged by the car’s electric system on a route, or as now with the use of solar panels, on a sunny day. You can upgrade to an AGM battery system, which will work better with solar panels, because of the better charge and discharge rate, but for the average caravan trip the LV26 will be perfect for the job, these caravan batteries have now been tried and tested over the years and generally do a good job and will give the caravan owner good service for about four or five years.

To aid in prolonging the life of your caravan batteries, I would invest in a 12v smart battery charger, and connect it to your battery over the winter period, when your caravan is not in use, we recommend the chargers that are made by Ring Automotive and are available online. I hope that this article is of use to you and happy caravan trips.

Eric Roberts

Hi, I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Cheap Caravan Battery business now for 40 years.