Skoda Mirror Bodge-After the Lockdown Stories

Skoda Mirror Bodge

Skoda Mirror Bodge-After the Lockdown Stories

Skoda Mirror Bodge-After the Lockdown Stories

So, because there have been millions of cars parked up and down the country. Then I have decided to write a few “car condition” stories. Of course after we become busier after the lockdown restrictions. Here at the end of May we are not yet fully staffed. However we are able to cope with the work that we have now coming in for MOT Tests and general car repairs. Including new tyre sales and of course puncture repairs.

Writing my blogs help our customers to understand the large variety of car repair jobs that we have to carry out in any week. Of course many jobs are regular “bread and butter” stuff. But we often get anomalies where our customers have had to do DIY repairs to keep their cars on the road!

Skoda repair job on the mirror

So, our newly promoted garage foreman, Dale Linton has promised me to send in some images that may interest our blog customers. We have all seen the rows of cars parked up as the lockdown was implemented. Consequently going forward a couple of months then I have seen many cars with side damage and the odd flat tyre. So, with little room to get through some of the streets packed out with parked cars! Then some damage will have occurred without the knowledge of the cars owners.

This was the story from the Skoda owner who brought in a badly patched up mirror for us to repair. The guys car was parked up for almost two months. So, not noticing that his drivers side mirror had been damaged and was hanging off! I must confess that this is something that I have had to do myself. Modern cars are now fitted with a spring system.So, if the mirrors crash when driving too close then the mirror just springs back and can be pulled back into place. Importantly, this Skoda did not have such a system and was broke off ?

Eric Roberts

Eric Roberts
Driving in Winter

Goodyear Ultragrip 8- Winter Tyres from Pellon Tyres, Halifax Yorkshire UK

Goodyear tyres do it again with the Goodyear Ultragrip 8

As all my readers know by now Goodyear tyres are one of my best respected tyre companies and are for ever developing more tyre products to make for safer driving in winter conditions. This will help motorists to drive more safely and help offer a better product to us European drivers who will eventually have to fit winter tyres from November to March for safer winter driving.

Many EU countries have to fit winter tyres now including Bulgaria,Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium. IT is only a matter of time before we here in the UK will be following the same regulations as the rest of Europe and a good thing it will be too making our roads much safer in the winter months. A thing that I have been advocating for years.

This new tyre was introduced to us at a tyre launch in Seville Spain and announced as the Goodyear Ultragrip 8. This new tyre from Goodyear tyres offers the motorist more grip while at the same time giving a shorter braking distance which combined offer much better handling for the winter conditions.

 

Goodyear Ultragrip 8

The new Goodyear Ultragrip 8 winter tyre

 The Goodyear Ultragrip 8

Of course, is the first directional tyre using the latest generation of Goodyear’s highly effective 3D-BIS Technology throughout the entire tread pattern. Goodyear’s patented Three-Dimensional Block Interlocking System (3D-BIS) allows an increased number of sipes in the tyre’s tread.

The more sipes, the better the grip: A high sipe density gives extra grip on ice and snow because sipes provide edges which literally bite into the snow and ice for strong grip and traction as they open up before coming into road surface contact. To provide excellent handling and braking performance on both wet and dry roads however, the blocks need to be stiff and solid. For this Goodyear Ultragrip 8 engineers have developed the ‘3D Interlocking Effect’ of the sipes.

Inside each sipe, the walls have raised pyramids and holes. When the tread blocks come into contact with the road the sipes lock tightly thanks to this special waffle shape. This provides the required block stiffness for excellent handling and steering response on dry and wet roads”… http://www.goodyear.eu/uk_en/news/94003-Ultragrip_8/index.htm

Eric Roberts

 Another great tyre from Goodyear tyres.

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.

MOT Closure Killer Blow

MOT Testing Re-starts- After lockdown restrictions relaxed

MOT Testing Re-starts

MOT Testing Re-starts

Drivers can have there cars tested

Despite the government giving motorists a 6 month extension to there MOT due date. Of course during “lockdown“. Importantly, many people want to keep their car in a good safe condition. So, it is possible to still have your MOT test at the original due date. Here at Pellon Autocentre in Halifax we are now carrying out MOT Testing for many of our more responsible customers.

Of course we have to stick to the social spacing and corona virus regulations. However it is possible to do this with a little thoughtfulness from our staff and also the customers. Happily we have discovered that the customers prefer to leave their cars with us. Prior to the pandemic most drivers wanted to remain with their cars while the MOT test was carried out. So, as I have said! They now prefer to leave the vehicle with us and we call them with the test results.

Old favourites turn up for there regular test

MOT Testing Re-starts

Of course we often see the same cars year after year. Many of these cars are classics and vintage cars. Although legally these cars do not have to have a test now. Then the owners prefer to stay safe and have their precious cars tested. Of course these cars are their owners pride and joy. Also they find that having an MOT test carried out reduces their insurance for the year.

Of course having a test ensures that the cars are road worthy and safe to use on our busy roads. In fact two of our old favourites turned up for a test on the same day. Firstly, came the wonderful vintage Bentley Roadster. I believe that this car may be worth a fortune. So, after lunch a wonderful red Jaguar was left with us for testing in the afternoon. Amazingly, both these cars passed the test with flying colours! They always do !  Their owners keep these vehicles in first class condition and it is very rare that the cars require any work to pass the MOT test.

Importantly, if you drive your car on the roads then you should have the car tested when it is actually due. Please dont rely on the government extension time. Because your insurance company would not be happy if the car you were driving had faults that caused a crash!

Eric Roberts

.Eric Roberts
bridgestone tyres

New Bridgestone A001-Weather Control tyres for a safer all year round driving experience.

New Bridgestone A001

This tyre the New Bridgestone A001 developed for certain European countries

Of course, Bridgestone tyres are the largest tyre company in the World. So, who are always developing new tyre products. Consequently, to suit different weather conditions on our roads. The new tyre the A001 is no exception. This new Bridgestone tyres has been developed for countries that have very wet winter (and summer) climates. Naturally, with the addition of very cold and snowy spells.

This of coarse includes us here in the UK. Including, other European countries consisting of France ,Ireland,Belgium and perhaps Denmark. Subsequently, in my opinion. The new New Bridgestone A001 tyre is really in the class of an all weather tyre. Possibly should be left on the car the all year round. Especially in a very wet summer that we are definitely experiencing in more recent years.

New Bridgestone A001

New Bridgestone A001 tyre

 

The new tyre achieves this ability to get rid of high water volumes. Including, a large amount of sipes on the tyres edges. As a result, this has also found to be an advantage when facing ice and snowy conditions. Of course, during the hardest winter months.

Bridgestone tyre have also added their expertise in tyre compounds, probably emanated from their days in F1 racing and added “silica” to the tyres compound, this gives the new ones the ability to stay more flexible when the temperature drops bellow the dreaded 7 degree, this is the temperature where summers  start to loose their grip by becoming harder and not allowing the tread to grip.

The new Bridgestone A001 is available in most popular sizes

And is marked as an M+S to cope with all winter conditions and as I say earlier will be best kept tyres on the car as an all-weather tyre not having to change from summer to winter tyres.

Eric Roberts

Suspension Arm BoltsFor further reading…

Bridgestone has recently launched its A001 ‘all weather tyre’ in the UK. The tyre is designed to cope with the more challenging winter driving conditions whilst at the same time maintaining high performance in the summer months and is available at 400 selected stockists across the UK. Honest John checked with Bridgestone that sufficient stocks are available to meed the current surge in demand”… http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/parts-and-accessories/2010-11/winter-tyres/

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 Bridgestone Tyres online from our website www.pellontyres.co.uk.

Lockdown-Caring for Your Car During Lockdown

Lockdown

lockdown

How to Care for Your Car During Lockdown

Between heading out and staying at home, the latter is the favourable choice these days, which means that you’re probably not doing a whole lot of driving. But just like your body needs exercise to stay healthy, your car isn’t designed for prolonged periods without movement. 

The more time it spends in one place, the higher your risk of facing an unwelcome repair bill come the next time you turn the key. The good news is that you don’t have to do much to keep your hatchback, van or people carrier in shape. Below are some tips to care for your car during lockdown. 

Keep it Charged

Without a regular boost from the engine, batteries are prone to running flat. The easiest way to prevent this is to go for a drive, but idling will also help. Batteries in older cars and those parked outside in cold or hot weather will drain the power faster. Hooking up your car to a trickle charger can keep it juiced up over longer periods. 

Check the Tyre Pressure

Staying in one place can cause your car’s tyres to develop flat spots, so it’s a good idea to go for a short drive every now and then – which is also important for maintaining the circulation of fluids among mechanical parts. Be sure to check your tyre pressure (including the spare) and make the necessary adjustments. 

Add a Personal Touch

You probably have some extra time on your hands as of late. And with less money going to fuel, perhaps a little more cash, too. Think about whether there are any personal touches that you’ve been wanting to add to your car. It can be something as simple as slipping on some new seat covers or a complete colour change with a wrap. 

Another great option is to get your own custom number plate. A local company like Number 1 Plates makes it easy to create your own legal pressed number plates through their online builder. They sell high-quality metal registration plates with a range of customisation options. Plus, your new pressed plates will be delivered right to your door. 

Avoid Using the Parking Brake

Cars parked in humid and coastal areas are particularly susceptible to corrosion, as are older models. One way to reduce your risk of rust is to avoid engaging the parking brake, since this can cause damage to the system over time. Of course, this only applies if your garage is on flat land.

Choose Your Parking

Another potential source of rust comes from parking on soft surfaces such as fields, as this can cause moisture to travel up the undercarriage of your car. If you can’t get on a pavement, then gravel is your next best option. Consider the safety of your parking area. It’s always wise to remove any valuable items from your car when you’re not in it. 

Taking the above steps will go a long way in keeping your car in tip-top shape during lockdown. Don’t forget to give it a good wash when things go back to normal.

lead-acid batteries

lead-acid batteries- How they were developed and improved-Eric Roberts

lead-acid batteries

lead-acid batteries

Bill explains the essential principles of lead-acid batteries. He shows the inside of motorcycle lead-acid batteries, removes the lead and lead-oxide plates an…

 

eric roberts‘s insight:

Lead acid batteries have now been around in their present form for many years.

Of course, it is only in recent times that the lead acid car battery has been overcome. Subsequently, by the more modern technology batteries . As a result, that are now being developed for the modern electric and hybrid car manufacturers. Significantly, due to the rush for a more environmentally friendly battery products. Such as the Lithium-Ion ! Now used many car models such as the Nissan leaf and the Toyota Auris hybrids.

In my opinion though, the ever faithful lead acid batteries, that we still use in the millions. Thus, will still be around for many years to come. They have been tried and tested and proven for almost a hundred years since their invention in 1859 by French physicist Gaston Planté.

Nothing much has changed in the past forty years of time

As an old guy then, I have bought and sold batteries now for more than 40 years. Car battery types have had modifications. Additionally, such as different lead alloys. That are now used in the manufacture of the battery plates. Increasing development of casings to help suppress and resist vibrations. Most truck and car ones are now sealed and maintenance free. So the motorists do not have to top them up any more. Although some battery makers have the old fashioned screw tops. So that you can top up the electrolyte when the acid  has evaporated.

The big development came when the AGM lead-acid batteries was invented in 1985 for military use and was developed by Concorde batteries for commercial use outside the military. The AGM (absorbed Glass Matting) lead-acid batteries is completely sealed and now used in hundreds of applications, although once again these batteries may be slowly replaced by the Lithium-Ion batteries. I know that some golf trolley ones are coming out in Lithium-Ion, but at the moment they are very expensive and golfers have a reputation of shall we say, “not putting their hands in their pockets”. The Lithium-Ion’s  were also developed for the military and used on the stealth bombers and they were also used in space flight and on the Mars Lander Craft “Curiosity”.

Another recent development of the lead-acid batteries

So a new introduction has been the introduction of “stop Start” technology. Used on some new models of cars. This was developed by the World’s leading battery company, Johnson Controls. The trade name that they use for these batteries is Varta batteries. What happens is when the car stops the engine is switched off and

lead-acid batteries

Micro hybrid battery similar to the one used in the Mars lander

when the car wants to set off again the accelerator is pressed and the car restarts. The batteries for this job have to be more powerful that the standard lead acid battery and so the AGM battery lead-acid batteries are used.

In my opinion the lead acid battery will be further developed and used on other applications that have not been invented yet, and will still be a player in the crazy mixes of the development of the modern car, their big advantage is that they are almost 100% recyclable, which is more than can be said about the lithium-Ion batteries.

 

Eric Roberts

lead-acid batteries

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

Wheel alignment Tips : Keeping your vehicle in the middle of the road – Kudzu.com

Wheel alignment Tips

Wheel alignment Tips

Wheel alignment Tips

Importantly, then I am sure that most modern motorists do in fact know about the issues around having wheel alignment done! Especially, So, this is now imperative when new tyres are fitted to your vehicle.

Wheel alignment, will cause problems with your steering! As well as premature tyre wear! Many motorists have new tyre fitted. Driving away only to find that the car is pulling to one side of the road or the other. We have all had a problem with their vehicle pulling to one side.

Primarily, this is due to your wheel alignment.

Tyres and Wheel Alignment wear out together

So what happens is that your tyres and steering wear together. Every thing is fine until you alter this phenomenon. Usually it is when you have your new tyres fitted. The cars alignment is set to your old tyres and the tyre wear. So, when new tyres are fitted then your alignment is going to require adjusting. Generally, motorists will have this work carried out initially.

However, those who do not will usually find out that the car will start to pull to one side. Nothing drastic but believe me it is really annoying. Consequently, the driver is always battling to keep the steering wheel straight. sadly this could be avoided by have your cars steering alignment corrected. Of course, at the time of having new tyres fitted?

Most drivers know that motoring is now at a much faster pace. So, we just need to jump into our vehicles and off we go. Most annoyingly, having a car that pulls to one side or indeed has a wheel wobble problem. So, is magnified many times when the car is driven at speed. Correct wheel balancing and a regular wheel alignment regime will prevent these annoying things from happening.

Toyota Yaris Clutch Problem

Eric Roberts 

Everybody’s heard of having a wheel alignment, but nobody really seems to know when you should actually have your wheels… Read more at Kudzu, Atlanta, GA

Source: Wheel alignment: Keeping your vehicle in the middle of the road – Kudzu.com

Best Tyres Revisited

Best Tyres Revisited-What our Customers Ask Us When buying Tyres

Best Tyres Revisited

Best Tyres Revisited

Incidentally, the majority of my customers really are very caring people. Consequently, really do make a huge effort to keep their car. Including the tyres in tip top order. We are also proud of our female Customer Experience. Many of whom that will call in to see us periodically. Asking us to check their tyres. Of course, for both wear and their pressures.

In many cases the women of the family is also the keeper of the purse strings and she always asks

Best Tyres Revisited

Show the customer what they will be buying

“which is the Best Tyres prices for her car”. It is also an observation that the lady

drivers do not always want the cheap tyres, but very often will opt for a mid-range brands, in our case we offer them General tyres or GT Tyres as these are the ones that we major in at the moment.

The drivers who want the major brand Best Tyres

Usually, are the older drivers with more tyre buying experience and are male customers. Subsequently, this customer type, also usually owns a Mercedes . Likewise, or a better quality upmarket Honda or Audi. These are the guys that are the better off financially and do not worry about the cost, but just go for the Best Tyres that they care to choose. In most cases they will ask for a certain Michelin  or a Pirelli that matches the ones on the car, on the imported cars such as the Honda’s and Mazda’s the cars usually come out on the Bridgestone brand of tyres.

We always make sure that we give the customer the best price for all our products

So,the last thing that we want. Of course, is the person going home and checking the  Best Tyres price on some internet web site. Comparatively, only to find out that he was overcharged never to return to us again. In fact we would prefer the opposite to be the truth, so that they are confident in our pricing structure and are satisfied that they have had a good deal. This type of customer is the one that will just order a tyre without asking for a price but he will have an idea in his head as to what the price should be.

There has been many an occasion say just after a price rise, that a customer has queried a price since they last bought a new one, but a price rise is a good enough excuse. We also get the person who tries it on with a price match. They ask for a price for a certain size and then tell us that they can buy it for such and such on a certain web-site and can we match the price?

Best Tyres Revisited-Some people will try it on when buying their tyres

 We are ahead of them now and always check the web site that they say they were quoted from. In some cases the customer has looked at a lower speed rating or even the wrong size completely, but these are just genuine mistakes and when we point this out they are usually happy to admit that they have made a mistake and buy the Best Tyres Revisited from us. The ones who are trying it on usually end up leaving with egg on their face, knowing that their little scam back fired on them, in any case we do not want these type of customers in the first place.

This also happens on the phone

Customers will tell us that they can buy a set of winter tyres for so and so at some other company or online. Our response to that is to check out the place to see if this is true and the crux of the matter is that they are always telling fibs to try and drive down the price of their Best Tyres. We are all wise to these little tricks and as I said before there is no magic place where these people can buy them at very cheap prices. There are variations and sometimes we may have to lower our margins to compete, but we are ahead of the game now and check everything that these people claim to be able to buy tyres at.

Best Tyres Revisited

Lady driver always know what to budget for when buying new tyres

Eric Roberts

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

MOT Closure Killer Blow

Four Dodgy Mechanics-Sentenced and ordered to pay £20K in fines for dodgy MOTs – Garagewire

Four Dodgy Mechanics

Four Dodgy Mechanics

Four Dodgy Mechanics

As the owner of Pellon Autocentre in Halifax this is a problem that would worry me. Subsequently, have a less trustworthy mechanic on my staff. Importantly, I have had some experience of this all be it well in the past.

So, one of my MOT testers was found to be accepting bribes to pass their cars MOT test! Lets say to pass their car without the correct procedure. Although we knew that it was happening it was difficult to prove! These guys are very clever and it is difficult to detect.

Know your customers ?

Mot testing bay owners should be very vigilant! Watch out for a good mix of customers. Most testing stations are visited by retail customers. These are the people who trust your garage including your testing staff. testing staff will build up a good rapport with the garages customer base. This is the case now at Pellon Autocentre. Both our MOT testers are well renowned and well trusted by our customers.

Being honest with your customers is imperative. Customers must be at ease when sometimes they will be receiving some bad news about their precious cars. Anyhow I digress! Garage owners should watch out for an increase in car traders and other small garages that do not do MOT testing. Subsequently, these guys are also looking for a cheaper MOT so they may be able to make a small profit.

Incredibly though, many dishonest mechanics do not even test the cars and take a “back hander” for the privilege. This is part to watch out for ? However these guys are very clever and the crime difficult to detect. Vigilance by the garage owner is the only way to try and prevent this happening. Garage owners should be very careful to show their testers that you are involved in the business. So, making the tester less reluctant to try and fiddle the garage owner and more important the legal MOT test.

Wait for a slip up ?

Vigilance will inventively help to catch the dodgy mechanic. Garage owners who show interest in their businesses daily MOT operations will be making it difficult for any dishonest member of your testing team. So, if your trade business begins to build suspiciously then have walk about when they present a car for testing. Keep an eye open! making sure that some of the cars are actually tested. Traders very often leave their cars for testing and then collect them at the end of the day.

This is where illegal things may happen. So, try to interfere in this procedure. Ask a few questions and keep an eye open for anything out of the order. Remember mechanics are very intelligent people. However most are very honest and hard working. So, its the odd few dishonest mechanics that garage owners that do MOT testing should watch out for.

In the end, our dodgy mechanic was caught out trying to fiddle me on another matter. Consequently, he was caught out and admitted his crime. We came to an out of court agreement and the guy left my garage staff. Remarkably, most of the traders that came to us for their cars testing vanished off the scene. Probably following the mechanic to his new appointment like the “pied piper”.

Vigilance is the key word ? ask questions and keep your eyes open with your testers. Show some enthusiasm and check out any new MOT testing procedures.

Eric Roberts

Eric Roberts

Four mechanics have been given suspended sentences of up to eight months and will have to pay nearly £20,000 in fines, after a DVSA investigation found they were issuing fraudulent MOT certificates. Garage owner Mark Huckstepp,

Source: Four mechanics sentenced and ordered to pay £20K in fines for dodgy MOTs – Garagewire

Rent Continental Tyres Wow-Continental wants you to rent tyres to reduce cost | Fleet Europe

Rent Continental Tyres Wow

Rent Continental Tyres Wow

Would this catch on !

What if you could rent tyres for your corporate fleet and pay only for the mileage they were used?

In my opinion I can see where Continental are coming from! So, there are many schemes rolled out over the past years. Incredibly, that include some sort of tyre wear mileage schemes. Fundamentally, especially very large truck companies. In my early days in the tyre trade then a large tanker company called “Harold Woods” did use such a scheme. However whether this would roll out for the general public or car and van fleets would be open for debate ?

In my opinion this will not be available for the regular public.However, it will be of use to large fleet owners. Tyres are one of the large expenses that fleet owners and large hauliers, such as “Eddie Stobarts” have to incur. So by renting the tyres from the start could be a great cost saver.

At the same time, the tyre company would offer the complete service. From fitting the new tyres to taking care of road side down time due to puncture repairs. Large tyre companies such as Michelin tyres and Continental tyres already own their own tyre distributors. Of course who offer large truck and fleet companies a total tyre service.

Michelin own ATS (Associated Tyre Services) with branches all over the UK and Europe. Most regular users of our motorway system will see these tyre breakdown services in action. Consequently, changing wheels at the roadside! In my opinion the large tyre companies are welcome to do this job! So it leaves the small companies to pick up the pieces and concentrate on offering the retail tyre market a great service.

Having to invest in expensive vehicles and equipment. Of course, to service these large trucking and fleet companies makes the job un-profitable. In my past experience then I know that the tyre companies are screwed to the ground. Importantly, due to competition that the truck and fleet companies have to face.

Idea Nothing New !

To bring things forward, then I am not sure if this tyre rental idea ever took off! However the tyre manufacturers are still battling it out and giving things away to try to keep their brands of tyres on these large fleets. Including car and van fleet companies and the larger trucking companies. This gives them volume and a market share that they think promotes their tyre products. However I have never been sure that this works.

In my opinion proven quality and tyre product innovation to the general public counts the most. This also applies to small tyre retailers. We look for a product that lasts and gives our customers reliability at a good price. So, a good tyre product that we recommend is actually made by Continental. Incredibly known as General Tyres, same quality and made from the same ingredients as Continental tyres. Importantly, though at a better price to our retail customers.

Eric Roberts

Eric Roberts

Source: Continental wants you to rent tyres to reduce cost | Fleet Europe