tyres and car servicing

Car Servicing/Cold Weather can bring drivers higher motoring costs

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Car Servicing/Cold Weather

Car Servicing/Cold Weather

Of course, sometimes I think that we can be lucky. Especially with the winter weather that we experience here in the UK. As we all know, most winters are a mixture of mild weather with cold spells in-between. We certainly don’t get the extreme conditions seen in the USA. Including the  ten foot of snow followed by temperature of 18 C. Causing the snow to melt and then flooding.

So, I know that the winter months are very good for business for garages. Especially as the winter approaches, and the freezing conditions cause many problems to the Halifax UK motorists.

This original post was written by me during the winter of 2014-2015.

Subsequently,it was the usual mixture of cold and mild weather. Both of which could affect your car. Mostly, if it has not been properly maintained. Sooner or later, many motorists have now taken heed from the motor trades continuous publicity. Firstly, about the advantages of winter tyres and it has now reaped reward. Consequently, with millions of motorists now fitting award winning Nokian Winter Tyres to their cars. Of course,giving a much safer winter experience for them and other road users.

Pre Winter car servicing can beat off problems

As I have mentioned above, winter tyres are an important part of your car and safety, but other things are also important to have checked. I will start off with your window washer bottle. Make sure that you use a high concentrate wiper fluid when filling the washer bottle, try not to be tempted to buy the really cheap stuff. There is nothing worse than your windscreen freezing because the washer water is made of a weak concentrate.

Check out your antifreeze levels and top them up with the right coloured coolant and antifreeze. Check with the instructions on the bottle. Of course, to get the correct mix. Also make a note of when your antifreeze was last changed. In a word, every couple of years should be the right time to have it changed. Wiper blades are also worth checking, but these will be changed if your car has a pre-winter servicing check out.

Oil too can be affected by temperature change  engine servicing could solve this problem

In my opinion though the UK climate is very changeable. But does not get enough extremes to warrant changing your engine oil in a hot or cold climate. If you are not too sure then your cars manual will give you the relevant information. Including, the different viscosity that you may require. So, if you are heading for a very cold country or a hot country.

Brake and clutch fluid can also be affected by extreme cold weather. If you carry out  regular car servicing. Then you will not need to worry about the fluid and just have it topped up at your local garage.

Also as I have said in other blogs. So,  it is important that you carry an emergency kit in the car boot, including jump cables and a portable shovel.

Your light are also very important, how many cars do we see driving about on one headlight, I think that they look like motorcycles when I see them coming towards me and it can be very off putting, so always check your lights at regular intervals all year round but because of the short daylight hours, check them more regularly.

As a garage owner I know only too well that the winter weather can bring all sorts of misery to your vehicles

Fortunately, for us garage owners then winter is perhaps our busiest times of year. So why not winter service your car and eliminate many of the problems that the cold weather will bring you. Only last week one of our customers who is a courier driver, using his own transit van, noticed that his van had started to cut out when driving along.

This was after a very cold frosty night and his van also started to overheat. He rang us up and we suggested that he should come in straight away to prevent any damage to his engine.

When he arrived the first thing that we did was to check his radiator water for antifreeze.

Sure enough the radiator was full but the colour of the liquid was very pale. So, indicating a lack of antifreeze. In fact this was the problem. Because, of the lack of antifreeze the water pump had frozen. Including, the splines connecting it to the power steering pump shearing off.

This would have been prevented if the mixture in the radiator had been checked and made up to the correct level of antifreeze. The water pump was changed, albeit in a very tight and awkward place in the engine and the guy went about his business delivering parcels.

This is just an example of what can go wrong in differing winter weather, so a little checking or servicing could in the long run save you pounds by the end of the winter.

tyres and car servicing

Garages Card Scam targeted- By ‘card not present’ tyre scam, IGA warns

Garages Card Scam targeted

Garages Card Scam targeted

Unfortunately, garages and car service centres have always been a target for different types of scams. Including this particular scam by using stolen credit cards over the phone. So here at Pellon Tyre and Autocentre in Halifax we try to be as switched on as possible. Only recently we received a phone order for a set of four expensive tyres. Fortunately, we could “smell a rat”. The caller wanted the tyres to be collected by a friend.

Suspiciously, then we would not let tyres go anywhere. People are always trying this sort of thing and I am sure that they make a living out of it. Another type of fraud that is on the rise is the “chargeback scam”. People order goods usually online. The address used for the delivery is usually some empty property in a city centre. The fraudsters hope that the couriers will leave the goods with a neighbour. So a few weeks later they will inform the credit card company that they have not received the goods. A charge back is then issued to the out of pocket supplier.

Nearly taken for £2000 !

In fact this almost happened to us a few months ago! Our batteriesontheweb.co.uk web site received a very nice order for six very large Varta AGM truck  batteries. So, the order was just under the £2000 mark. Consequently, I decided that we should deliver these batteries on our own transport. Indeed I decided to delivery these very heavy truck batteries myself.

The address was in a district of Birmingham, Britains second city. so, I remember thinking whether or not there would be somebody at the other end to help me unload these very heavy batteries. It is important to realise that these batteries weigh as much as 65 kg ! Very heavy for one man to lift.

The journey was a good one. However I was shocked to find that the address was to an empty semi detached house. In other words this delivery had the makings of a scam. So as to double check then I parked my van and had a walk up to the house. The property was empty with some old lace curtains up at the windows. For this reason, I decided to quickly turn around an headed back home.

Charge back issued

Luckily, I decided to deliver the batteries myself. Sometimes we will send out the batteries on a pallet. This could have ended up very expensive for us! Especially, if the pallet had been left at the premises. So, after calling my wife and explaining the situation I arrive back in Halifax with the batteries. Sure enough the scammers received a charge back from the card company.

In the past we have been victims of this type of fraud. Consequently we have learned important lessons and in this case we minimised our losses. The lesson is that if it is “too good to be true” then it probably will be and stay clear it will be a scam.

Scammers are continuing to target garages with a widely-used ‘card not present’ method where tyres are purchased over the phone using stolen card details before being collected and payment reversed by the card company, the

Source: Garages still being targeted by ‘card not present’ tyre scam, IGA warns – Garagewire

tyres and car servicing

Garage Charges Stable-Average independent garage labour rates revealed

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Garage Charges Stable

Garage Charges Stable

So, looking into article then the independent garage prices have remained pretty stable. Importantly, one thing that has come to mind is the involvement of the menu servicing system. Menu servicing gives the car owner a set price for their vehicles service. According to which one that the car servicing manual recommends.

MOT Testing prices have also become very stable in recent years. Mainly due to the competition !so as it should be. Accordingly, the hourly rates have remained very stable. In my opinion this due to customer satisfaction with the particular garage that they use for their car repairs and servicing. Garages hitting the right formula will indeed be very busy.

Although service is still very important then price is something that our customers. Especially these days when the majority of customers are females. Female customers are usually in charge of the “purse strings” and price is very important to female drivers.

The cost of labour at UK independent garages is falling behind inflation and owners are seeing diminishing returns year on year, the Independent Garage Association has said after it published the findings of its latest

Source: Average independent garage labour rates revealed – Garagewire

all weather and winter tyres

Nokian Winter Tyres Winners-Winter Not yet Over? A set of 4 for this Land Rover Freelander GS TD 4

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Nokian Winter Tyres Winners

This winter is becoming one of the best years for our customers buying their first set of winter tyres.(Nokian Winter Tyres Winners)

It is probably due to the fact that we have had a run of cold snowy winters. Over the past three or four years and the need for winter tyres are slowly sinking in. We also have a large Polish community in the Halifax area. Of course this is where where my tyre-centre is situated. Polish people are familiar with the need for winter tyres. In fact I think it may now be compulsory in Poland to fit winter tyres from November to march. Hence, the same as some other European countries.

Which winter tyres ?

We have found over the years that as an independent tyre retailer, most customers think in two ways. Either they know exactly what they want, or they will take our recommendations. Of course, as to which brand and at what price to pay for their tyres.

The majority of our customers come to us on word of mouth recommendations. Because they have received good advice and service in the past. Subsequently, we know this because we do not advertise as such. Perhaps, only through social media sites and internet directories.

In the past when our profit margins were higher we would regularly take out full page ads in the local papers, costing us an arm and a leg, we never really knew if the ads paid off or not.

We have and still do sell many different brands of tyres including winter tyres. In the past two years we have been able to buy our tyres from the major tyre companies because we are a member of a buying group known as Micheldever tyres.

Nokian Winter Tyres Winners

We were very happy to open an account with Nokian Winter Tyres . Because we knew from experience that this company made excellent tyres, including winter tyres. This will be our third year selling Nokian Winter Tyres Winners and we are pleased with the very good response we had from the drivers who have experienced these tyres in winter conditions. The Halifax area is very hilly, we are in the foothills of the Pennine mountain range and therefore we have very tricky roads. Especially in winter snowy conditions.

The latest car to arrive for a set of four Nokian Winter Tyres was a Land Rover-Freelander 2-GS-TD4. This nice looking car had a set of four 235/65R17 108H  Winter tyres. It’s great when you love the job that you are doing and can write about it in our company blog.

063 Car battery

038 Car Batteries- Now fitted out with a new label style, This helps with warranty dates

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Lucas 038 Car Batteries from Lucas

So, hear in the UK, then “lucas” has always been a well known name in the field of car electrics. Including the battery range! Unfortunately the original company split up. Subsequently, the different sections were sold off!  Or indeed the brand names were sold off. This was the same with the Battery section of the company. So, the Lucas battery franchise was originally bought by Energy batteries. Registered in the Corby area. Unfortunately Energy went into the hands of the receivers. The Lucas franchise was then bought by Manbat in 2009. Thus trading its own battery products under the acquired name of Lucas. Although Lucas do not make their own Car Batteries! Manbat source batteries of excellent quality for their premium Car Batteries range and the Classic range of batteries. We  at Batteriesontheweb are the Yorkshire dealers for these excellent products.

Lucas batteries

“Now, in its most noticeable move to date, Manbat has made fundamental changes to the existing packaging. Core to the re-branding objective was to make the Lucas name and green colour scheme far more prominent than on the previous design, which only carried a small Lucas logo with a hint of green. The new design however, brings the green that the brand has been historically associated with and the Lucas name to the fore through an attractive design that stands out from the competition and emphasis the brands 

The 038 Car Batteries also fits other battery applications. The 038 Car Batteries are used mainly on classic cars. The early mini’s and Austin Alegro cars were all fitted with the 038 Car Batteries. The battery also fitted cars made by Vauxhall cars. This includes the best selling Viva range in the 1960’s and some of the Triumph groups cars. This included the Triumph Spitfires and saloon cars such as the herald and the Vitesse.

Many battery companies change labels every so often. It is a way of telling when a battery was made. This helps them with warranty claims. Many claims are rejected because they can tell how old the label is.

tpms for run flat tyres

BMW Minis Run Flat Tyres-Many drivers with older BMW Minis find the tyres Expensive?

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BMW Minis Run Flat Tyres

BMW Minis Run Flat Tyres-Many owners of BMW Minis are are just coming to terms with run flat tyres. Here in Halifax, we pride ourselves on our excellent client base, from mini drivers who trust us to carry out servicing on their cars. Trust is essential when it comes to advice about your car.

BMW Minis Run Flat Tyres-Price is important when selecting the correct run flat tyres

 

A few years ago I could see the writing on the wall. Thus, regarding a popular car. BMW mini and the high cost of parts including BMW Minis Run Flat Tyres. Hence, when the cars were becoming second and third hand. This time has now arrived. Therefore, with drivers looking for Cheap Run Flat Tyres.

The original mini (British Leyland) were build, for the main masses of the population. Thus, to enable working class motorists to afford a good reliable little car. I myself have owned five minis (old type) in my time and loved them all. You could get the up-market minis. Such as the mini cooper. But you would expect to pay a higher price for such things as new tyres. The normal tyres for Mini Cars were 145×10 and they would cost the same price for years on end (except for inflation). You knew that if you went on to a mini cooper you would have to pay more, because the tyre size was 16570×10, Get what I am on about ?.

Run Flat Tyres

Then bringing us back to the present. Hence, came the BMW mini. Naturally, a completely different animal. This car has all the modern gadgets on board. Hence, to help in the battle against greenhouse gases. Therefore, is fitted with many things that were not dreamed of when the old minis were around.

Cars now have to be made much lighter and one of the things they started doing was to mess about with spare wheels, no spare tyre in the boot. This was a duel effect, in my opinion, it did lessen the weight of the car but it also cut the price of the by the price of the tyre and wheel, times this by millions and it comes to a major saving. Most BMW minis started to come out on what we now know as run flat tyres. This simply means that if you have a puncture the tyres will remain strong enough to get you to safety, providing you only drive at 50 mph.

Run Flat Safety Tyres

In my opinion, the theory of this idea is a good safety feature, the strength of the tyre does not allow the car to move, thus keeping the car in a straight line and avoiding other traffic. The problem occurs when the driver turns up at the local tyre centre.
most run-flat tyres will not repair once they have had a puncture

The people that buy second and third hand BMW minis are usually young people, and mostly females and when they realise the cost of new BMW Minis Run Flat Tyres they freak out, some of the sizes now cost £180 each, that’s buying them online at cheap tyre prices.

Cheap BMW Minis Run Flat Tyres may be bought in budget brands but do not go for part worn  run flat tyres as it is more important to know where they have been and used for (the history) than normal tyres.

dunlop tyres

Dunlop Tyres-One the founder and therefore earliest tyre companies and still a great tyre company.

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Dunlop Tyres

It was back in 1888 in Scotland. Thus, when the pneumatic tyres were invented by John Boyd Dunlop. Yet, another great British invention. He was working on his son’s bicycle at the time. Hence, he came up an inflated rubber tube filled with air. Of course, it was fitted around a metal rim for comfort. Hence, the rubber tyre was born. This invention paved the way for the future of the great company we now know as Dunlop tyres.

In 1985 Dunlop were bought by BTR plc and later a Japanese company Sumitomo were given the rights to make tyres under the Dunlop tyres road brand, it then started producing tyres in its UK subsidiary under the Dunlop Tyres Ltd name.

In 1999, the Sumitomo group began talks with Goodyear tyres and Goodyear bought a 75% stake in the company. Sumitomo carried on making Dunlop products in Japan and Goodyear made Dunlop in North America.

Motorsport tyre introduced

In 2006, The new tyre company stopped making tyres here in the UK. Motorsport tyres are still produced out of their Birmingham UK factory, turning out about 300,000 specialist tyres a year.

The old factory can still be seen from the M6 motorway as you travel through Birmingham but it is a shadow of its former self, joining in with the rest of the decline of British manufacturing in the UK, very sad, I have had many visits to the old tyre factory in its former glory days but now the tyre products are produced in China, Poland and Slovenia, not a British product anymore.

 Goodyear Dunlop tyres also own two smaller tyre companies,

 Fulda and Sava both brands that we used to sell in past and are good quality tyres. Goodyear tyres now operate from offices in Luxembourg and Brussels, who report to the main head office which is still in Akron USA.

1234yf air conditioning gas

1234Yf Car Air conditioning gas is here at Pellon Autocentre.

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1234Yf Car Air conditioning gas

1234Yf Car Air conditioning gas

So, although we are now out of the European Union then there are certain things that we are still aligned to! Of course one of the continued alignments is for vehicles. This includes a new directive that came into force this January. Consequently referring to a new type of air conditioning gas. So the new gas is known as 1234YF. This new gas will eventually replace the other older gases thus used in car air conditioning units. So, the old gas was redeemed as “not environmentally friendly” and had to be replaced.

Subsequently, the reason is that the old style gas that we used was damaging the environment when it leaked out from the vehicles. Known as “R134” refrigerant the old gas was considered as a damager to “global warming” and had to be replaced.

In fact the R134 gas was considered to have a much worse effect on the environment than the dreaded “carbon dioxide”.

New gas has a higher cost

Of course like all new product developments then this new gas comes at a higher price to motorists. So, this new gas is a result of years of development and industry research. Initially, the gas has been developed by two manufacturers and so the end costs to the consumer are considerably higher. So the new gas the 1234YF is more expensive than its old counterpart the R134 gas.

Importantly though this cost should level out as other manufacturers kame the price more competitive and more vehicles are using the new gas.

Can my garage supply the new gas!

Of course, the answer is yes your local garage or autocentre will have access to the new  gas. So, here at Pellon Autocentre we have invested in a new air conditioning gassing machine specifically for re-gassing cars with the new 1234YF gas installed. So, if you know that your car is charged with the new gas it may be prudent to check with your garage and make sure they are equipped to do the work! Apparently, not all garages have made the investment required.

This could also include the main dealership garages, so its well worth a check before you have a wasted journey. Finally our image shows a new BMW with air conditioning issues using the new 1234YF air conditioning gas.

lucas battery

Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries- Absorbed Glass Mat batteries AGM are now a very popular battery

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Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries

Many people think that GEL and Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries are the same

Many people buying new golf batteries or mobility batteries. Therefore, believe that the two types of battery are the same. They are very similar.Hence, they are a deep cycle with a low discharge. Because they do not spill they are classed as sealed. Therefore, may be mounted in any position. For this reason, are safe to use in a confined area. Naturally, and may be carried safely.

Absorbed Glass Mat batteries. Are filled with a type of fibreglass material. As expected, that is fitted inside the battery and then soaked with the electrolyte between the batteries plates. Therefore, this makes the battery leak proof. In other words, if the battery casing is broken. Accordingly, then no acid will leak out. This type of battery is also the most popular here in

the UK (in my opinion this is due to the price difference) these are usually much cheaper batteries, in particular with the golfing fraternity.

Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries

GEL batteries have filled a type of silica gel mixed with the electrolyte making a thick jelly that allows the electrons to flow through the plates. Once again as in the other kind, they do not leak when the casing is broken.

One of the most common reasons. Thus, for people using the Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries. Is it can give out a high burst of amps if required to do so. Of course, they can also be charged with a standard battery charger. So, and an alternator if necessary. Also, they have a longer life expectancy. Especially, if these batteries are not fully discharged between discharges. In my opinion, this is a mistake that people make, they fully discharge their batteries too often causing premature failure, I think that people should keep a backup battery as a spare so as to not allow their batteries to become too discharged.

 GEL batteries as stated before cost more than Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries

But offer better-working conditions. Especially, in hotter climates. Although, this does not affect us here in the UK. The big problem with gel batteries is that they must be charged correctly. Hence, or failure will follow. If you have a GEL charger then stick to a GEL battery. For this reason, they are designed especially for these types of battery. GEL  should not be charged with an alternator. Unless appropriate adjustments are made. Another battery that is starting to appear in the marketplace. Naturally, is the Lithium-Ion battery. So, watch out for this one.
To conclude. We think that Absorbed Glass Mat. Now has the upper hand and unless you only have an own charger on your golf buggy or mobility scooter you would be better off buying AGM.

types of tyres-Michelin nokian apollo general and bridgestone runflat tyres

Sunbeam Rapier Cross Ply-Tyres-Classic car fitted with 590/600×13 TYRES

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Sunbeam Rapier Cross Ply-Tyres

Sunbeam Rapier Cross-Ply Tyres-1961 Rapier had 600×13 whitewall tyres

One of the great things about my job. Hence, as MD of Pellon tyres. No two days are the same. Thus, the only unfortunate thing about this is that your time does fly when your having fun.

As expected, the other day I had a motorcycle battery to deliver, (we offer next day delivery). Because it was only a few mile away in Bradford, I decided to deliver the battery myself. I will very often provide batteries in the near by towns in West Yorkshire. We try to give the best service to our customers from our Tyre shop and web-sites.

However, I arrived at the house in Bradford. So the customer was out. Therefore, I hid the battery under a bucket and left a note. Thereupon, on my way back to my van I noticed an old car parked up in next doors drive. I love old cars and often write blogs about them. Hence, this was no exception.

The car was a Sunbeam Rapier. I was over the moon and took a couple of pictures. These cars reminded me of when I was a young mechanic, my friend Richard Ellis worked in Dewsbury at a Rootes garage, and I worked at a BMC garage ( soon to become British Leyland). We always shared stories about the good and bad points on the cars we worked on including the Sunbeam Rapier. I do not remember seen one until the other day in Bradford. I think the owner of he Sunbeam is a member of the Sunbeam Rapier Owners Club.

Sunbeam Rapier Cross Ply-Tyres

The Rapier was an up market version of the Hillman Minx the early ones only having a speed of 85mph. The Rapier was given tail fins and a new style grille for the radiator, with the options of a convertible body making the car look kool. As far as I can remember they originally came out on cross ply tyres in the sizes 590×13 and then 600×13 tyres but I stand corrected if you know better.

In 1961 the convertible came out and was a very sound car, it had whitewall tyres

and was fitted with a walnut dash with two tone paint, making the car look unique. The Rapier was out at the same time as the Vauxhall Cresta and the Ford Zodiac all iconic cars of the time.

Lastly, I hope this blog brings back some memories as it did to me. A story from a motorbike battery delivery sunbeam with 590/600×13 tyres