Falken all weather and winter tyres

All Weather Tyres Cope with Horrendous British Downpours ?

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All Weather Tyres Cope with Horrendous British Downpours ?

All Weather Tyres Cope with Horrendous British Downpours ?

Significantly, we all must have noticed the alarming changes in our  weather patterns ! Driving all over the UK. So you cant help notice the effect of local flooding that these heavy rains bring to our roads. Consequently, it looks like we are getting the type of heavy storms that are more common on the continent. We all remember these types of heavy thunder storms from our holidays in Spain and Italy.

So, the climate is changing ! I think for the better . Its great to be have warmer summers. But it looks like we are going to pay a price. Subsequently, with regular heavy rain downpours! Causing our roads and motorways to flood. Driving about the UK these storms can happen anywhere and at anytime. So this could not help make me think about aquaplaning and my own safety !

Aquaplaning can be serious problem !

Basically aquaplaning is when there is a thin layer of water between the road surface and your vehicles tyres. Of course the vehicle will often loose traction and can cause the car to spin out of control. Importantly, the better the condition of your tyre. Then there is less likelihood that aquaplaning would happen. Many of the main larger tyre companies have re-developed their summer tyres. Accordingly, with wider centre grooves and more sipes. Sipes are the small slits of differing sizes. These slits are set out in  different arrangements according to the tyre makers engineers designs.

Consequently, these summer tyres were developed for use on the growing SUV car market. Continental tyres are one of the tyre companies to develop this type of tyre. Another factor is the tyres compound ! Summer tyres are made from a different rubber compound than winter tyres. However this does not help the summer tyres. Hence, to get rid of the very heavy rain. Caused by the storms that we are now experiencing.

Because of the changing climate then I decided to fit all-weather tyres to our small van fleet. So, I thought it would much safer! Not just for me but the other road users. These tyres give me more confidence when driving in these bad conditions.

All-Weather tyres dissipate the water better

Michelin was one of the first tyre companies to claim a summer tyre with winter tyre capability. So, claiming that their Crossclimate + tyres brake well on dry roads like a summer tyre. Also giving the vehicle owner confidence of grip on very wet roads ! Both in summer and winter ! Incidentally this tyre is also approved for use in snowy conditions.

However my main point is that we should seriously consider buying all-weather tyres for use on our vehicles whole year round. So, giving drivers  a safer driving experience in these torrential rain downpours. As a member of “tyresafe.org“, I think that going forward then all-weather tyre will become very important to tackle these imminent and un-predictable storms.

There is no doubt that these all weather tyres dissipate the water at a faster and so safer rate ! Than the standard summer tyres. All Weather Tyres Cope with Horrendous British Downpours ? As a footnote we also recommend Nokian and General all weather tyres here in Halifax UK.

mot test-Online Bookings on Increase

Dodgy MOT fraud crackdown- by DVSA- remains key focus for DVSA

Dodgy MOT fraud crackdown

Dodgy MOT fraud crackdown

As the owner of a UK MOT testing station. Then I just fail to understand the number of MOT stations that have been shut down for fraudulent activities. According to this attached article 143 testing stations. Of one type or another have had there testing facilities removed. Consequently not able to carry out any more MOT tests.

The public are now able to report stations that they feel were not truthful one way or another. Probably leading to more investigations. With the end result been a station loosing its MOT testing status. The mind boggles when you realise the importance of such a great system for testing vehicle safety here in the UK.

I believe that we have to be totally honest with both the DVSA and the public who bring their vehicles to us for a honest and reliable MOT test. We do hear of horror stories coming from customers with a long list of improper failures after a test on their cars.

Could things get worse !

What frightens me the fact that we are heading in for an economic downturn. So putting pressure on people to fail cars for the sake of more income. I have been in this industry for 50 years or so now and seen all this kind of thing before.

Larger companies with massive overheads will be putting even more pressure to increase their sales and profit margins. Recently a good friend of mine decided that he had enough of sales pressure from the large garage network that he worked for.

Encouraging the workers below him to report car faults that did not exist. He did not mention specific MOT jobs but you could not rule this out. Customers were told that things needed replacing when they were perfectly alright. We have all hear of this yet the companies keep on trading when the little guys get hit.

Finally as long as we keep up our good reputation for honesty when testing cars and also everyday servicing work then to hell with the rest. The we will not be involved in any Dodgy MOT fraud crackdown.

mot test fruad

The DVSA has published its annual report, outlining its 2020-2021 activities. Some 40,490,000 MOT certificates were issued from 2021-22, up from 38,790,000 in the previous period. Following on from the DVSA’s Beat the Rush campaign in 2020, the

Source: MOT fraud crackdown remains key focus for DVSA

oil and engine warning lights

TPMS warning light Ignored-“too often ignored”, TyreSafe warns

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TPMS warning light Ignored

TPMS warning light Ignored

I must confess that this article surprised me ! In our experience then the opposite is nearer the truth. Drivers are usually very alarmed at the site of any warning light. Including the TPMS tyre pressure monitoring system light. Indeed if they are anything like me then the presence of any flashing dashboard light is really annoying.

TPMS, signals come from an electric valve in the same place as the old style rubber valve used to be. In fact the two types look the same. However the TPMS valve has an electric sensor connection on the inside of the wheel. This senses any loss of pressure in the tyre sending a signal to the car which illuminates the light on the dash.

Consequently, most of our customers head straight for our garage as soon as they see this (or any other ) light appear. In the good old days we would fit a new tubeless valve for free and in with the price of a new tyre. However the new valves can be very costly when needing to be replaced.

Of course these valves will wear out or prematurely damaged due to pothole perhaps. So, depending on the make of car then these little transmitter valve can cost in the region of £60 each. Also the whole system has to be re-set by our engine management tools. Of course adding an extra cost.

This is a rare occasion though and should not worry people. Much cheaper than having to buy a new tyre because you didn’t take any notice of the TPMS warning light in the cab.

tpms for run flat tyres

Many drivers are still unaware of what the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) light is for when it appears on their dashboard, a road safety charity has warned. Introduced as a mandatory safety feature on all

Source: TPMS warning light “too often ignored”, TyreSafe warns

new vans

Yorkshire Car drivers-BEWARE of the M62 Speed Camera Gantries

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Yorkshire Car drivers BEWARE of M1 and M62 Speed Cameras

So, I am a resident of Kirklees and have been a user of the M62 motorway ever since it was built. In my opinion it has been a great asset to the people of West Yorkshire and Lancashire. In fact I do not know what we would have done. Including, how the roads would have coped without this motorway.

The big problem with the motorway, as we all know. Of course, is the stretches between junction 25 (Brighouse turn off) and junction 27 (Gildersome turn off). Over the years this stretch has many accidents and hold ups. So, making it one of the major black spots on the UK motorways. It came as great relief to the Yorkshire Car drivers, “including myself”. When it was announced that this section of the M62 was to be upgraded and turned into a controlled system. Similar to the one in Birmingham on the M 42 and part of the M 1 Motorway south of Sheffield.

50 MPH Road works

The work began about three years ago. Strangely, we were all subjected to a 50 mph speed limit. With many delays due to accidents and vehicles breaking down. Eventually the work progressed and we started to see the rise of the gantries covered in Motorway Traffic Cameras over the road. Which would be used to control the traffic in the various lanes. I could not wait and gradually the work was competed. AS a result, the speed signs directing us to what speed we should be doing.

In my opinion I think the new system is really good and it is nice to see some development on the road system for the Yorkshire Car drivers in the North where I think that in the past we have been heavily neglected by various Governments in all fields of investment. As I drive all around the country I cannot believe the investment that has been poured into the South and places like Wales and Scotland, I truly think that we have been starved of money here in West Yorkshire at the hands of politicians to please other regions of the country.

However we must not complain the car driving population of Yorkshire have now got a new controlled section of the great M62, knowing that we will see less holdups and witness less delays.

Keep your car speed bellow 70 mph?

There is however one thing that we should all watch out for, “DON’T TAKE YOUR CAR ABOVE THE 70 MPH LIMIT”. It is now known that when the gantry lights are off that the speed cameras are still working and have been “flashing” drivers who have been exceeding the speed limit. I am an older driver and rarely take my car over the limit, but there are thousands of Yorkshire Car drivers who think that the limit is now 80 mph. So when you are driving your car on this section of the M62 beware, the speed cameras are there to get you.

Speed Camera gantry signs now in operation ?

As an update I have observed that the gantries are regularly switched onto the white cross over each lane. Signifying the no speed limit signs . The information box on top says “Speed Camera”. In my opinion this is a good developments ! Because I presume that this is a clear signal and any driver exceeding 70 MPH will be flashed and prosecuted. Other gantries will not be be switched on as “Speed Cameras” . So giving a definitive line not to cross ?

According to the Huddersfield Examiner “West Yorkshire Police refused to comment further but the Highways Agency has now confirmed the new £150 m overhead gantry system between Huddersfield and Leeds CAN catch speeding Yorkshire Car drivers, even when it is not being used to slow the traffic”…More Reading…http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/highways-chiefs-reveal-m62-cameras-6152759

car batteries

Thomas Edison-An Early nickel-iron Battery was invented by no other than Thomas Edison

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Early nickel-iron Batteries from Thomas Edison

Surprisingly, it was only recently when I was doing an article about something else. So that I came across an interesting fact. About the American inventor, no other than Thomas Edison. So, why I should  I have been surprised I did not know ! Because he invented some mind bending things . Of course, that we still use today. Thomas Edison Invention Light Bulb and the communications breakthrough of the first ever phonograph (a type of early record player).

Thomas Edison was working on improvements to another invention. His  telegraph transmitter and he noticed that the tape of the telegraph machine. Could give him human type voices when he ran it at a fast speed.

This set his highly intelligent mind at play which resulted in the genius trying a stylus onto a tin foil cylinder and it played back the tune “Mary had a little lamb”. This discovery was to end up as the first machine to record sound and play it back, in other  words the World’s first type of record player, Batteries UK (although he used cylinders not discs). This made him famous all over the World and the devise was known as the “Phonograph”.

New battery invention !

The part of Thomas Edison Timeline . Of course, that interests me . So is the new type of storage battery that he invented. His invention could have been started off when he noticed that it was a struggle to start the engines in the cars of that period only using a cranking handle. I can remember when I was an apprentice mechanic in the late sixties; when a 12 Volt Battery went flat for some reason we had to use a cranking handle to try start the engine and it was very hard indeed.

More reading…http://inventors.about.com/cs/inventorsalphabet/a/electric_2.htm 

New life for the nickel-iron batteries ;from Stanford University.

Thomas Edison came up with a new type of battery known as the nickel-iron battery and car ownership was open to everyone who could afford a car and not just the strong people who could crank an engine to start by using only muscle power. To bring you to my main point the old Edison invention may now be brought up to date by staff at Stanford University.

The nickel-iron batteries that are used today will be used mainly for storing the Suns energy from the use of wind turbines and solar panels. These modern type batteries have a much greater charging speed, but the scientists and students still, need to work on improvements to time that the batteries can actually store the electricity that is produced. In fact the batteries can be fully charged up in only a couple of minutes and it only takes ½ a minute to discharge its load.

There is still a great deal of work to be done. But this updated type of battery will be expected to be competition. Especially, to the Lithium-Ion batteries presently used on electric car production. The new version of the nickel-iron batteries. Could even be used to accelerate the charge rate to the lithium-ion battery. So, giving it a power boost to generate faster acceleration and regenerative braking.

car batteries

Solar Storage Batteries-Understanding our future storage Needs?

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Solar Storage Batteries

When shopping for Solar Storage Batteries for a renewable energy (RE) system, it is important to choose a battery designed for deep-cycling, and one with a track re (Understand batteries to buy the right ones for your #RE system

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Solar Storage Batteries using AGM Batteries

This attached article by Kalyan Jana. Senior applications engineer for Trojan Solar Storage Batteries renewable energy group. Thus is one of the most informative articles on the subject that I have ever

read.

The World of Solar Power Systems and Solar Storage Batteries. So, has now become a crazy mixed up mix of different peoples. Setting up different ways of storing their renewable energy. There are also many Universities all over the Planet looking for different types of batteries to use for storing the suns energy or the energy created by wind turbines.

Indeed it was only a few days ago that I wrote an article about Stamford University in the USA developing the nickel-iron Solar Storage Batteries, first invented by Thomas Edison and these batteries have been ear marked for the use of Solar Storage Batteries from the sun to store the large amounts of electricity that sun produces.

 The future from Trojan batteries

Many countries in the world do not have access to a grid electric supply. This sort of thing is taken for granted in the western world. But for many

countries, such as parts of Africa. So, an electric supply is just a dream. In these days of the rapid growth in solar energy production,. Hence, the dream is starting to become a reality. It is difficult to believe that over 1.6 billion people do not have any mains electric power supply.

With the solar power revolution. It means that for the first time people will have the doors opened for better lighting. Including, better communications that will lead them to better education. Educated people can become nurses and business men. This will also mean that the people will have better school facilities. Of course,  and more access to clean drinking and bathing water.

All this will be possible because of smart grid technology that we are developing in the western world. New renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines and better Solar Storage Batteries systems that are developed by Trojan batteries are all playing a hand that is making the dream of electricity come true to some of these poorer nations.

We think that one of the best  Types of Energy battery storage products at this present time is the Trojan AGM batteries for this purpose.

See on www.homepower.com

tpms for run flat tyres

Tyre Pressure-Tyre Tips-start of by looking after your tyre pressures.

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Start with your tyre pressures

The first important thing to do to look after your tyres is to have the correct pressures checked on a regular basis, I prefer to have them checked every week, but at least every two week is better than not at all.

Make sure that you have yours checked by a professional company, it is important that you fit the correct mix of, are their radials? Are they directional? Never mix different

Types on the same axle for example directional with non-directional, or asymmetric the wrong way round. This is one of the problems with buying your tyres on the internet; you will not know which tyres are right or wrong until you come to have them fitted, it is a gamble that you may not want to take.

While you check your tyre pressures. So, you should test the tread depth; drivers should have 1.6 mm of tread across ¾ of the tread width from the centre out, once again your local tyre dealer will do this for you, or you can purchase a simple depth gauge from your local auto DIY store.

Tyre Tips

You should always look out for any damage to the tread and side walls, look for cuts and chunks missing out. If you are not sure to get some good advice.

Make sure that your wheels have had to balance; there is nothing worse than having a shaky steering wheel when driving on the motorway. If your tyres look to be wearing off on the edges, have your Car Wheel Alignment checked out, you may soon find out that your new tyres have worn out too quickly, so have your alignment checked out perhaps when having a service.

Look out for severe weather conditions such as snow in the forecast. If you are experiencing a severe winter, you may think about fitting proper Winter tyres for safety. If you are caught out in snow or ice do not skid too much, this will also damage them, I have witnessed a  tyre ripped apart from continuous skidding.

Tyre Pressure-Tyre Tips;  Check your spare tyre and wheel changing equipment?

Tyre Pressure-Tyre Tips Check your spare. If you have got a car without a spare make sure you have enough emergency inflator liquid in your boot. Make sure you can change a wheel on your own, this may prove paramount in an emergency. Also, make sure that you have a jack and wheel brace that is in good condition when you use it.

Finally, if your car does not drive right or feels strange when cornering, it could be dodgy tyres, centres or even worse a steering problem so get them checked out.

regular servicing

The Mechanic In Your Life- How To Select The Perfect Gift For

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The Mechanic In Your Life

The Mechanic In Your Life

Buying the perfect gift is a great way to show someone you care. A gift should show how well you know someone and what they like, dislike and need. For a mechanic, there are plenty of excellent, thoughtful and useful options you could buy that could help make their lives easier or simply bring them joy. 

Think carefully about what you choose to buy for the mechanic in your life. Consider what will be useful for their professional lives. It may be that you want to get them something they can use for their own car, too. Any tool, equipment or PPE should be of the highest quality and professional standards to ensure their safety.  

Tough Mobile Phone Case 

Working around cars or in garages can be a significant safety hazard for phones, with hard surfaces and hazardous materials all around. A great gift option for mechanics is a rugged phone case that will ensure their phones are protected while they work. There are plenty of options available, including shock absorbent, waterproof cases and ultra-tough screen protectors.  

Steel-Toed Boots 

Working around vehicles and in busy garages can present many hazards for a mechanic’s feet, meaning they need proper, quality protective footwear. Many mechanics choose steel-toed boots for their workplace footwear, so if your giftee has boots that look a little worse for wear, you could consider investing in a brand-new pair. Do your homework to find a suitable pair, ensuring they’re well made with quality materials and will last.  

Quality Working Gloves 

Mechanics have to work outdoors in all weather. Of course using their hands for often intricate and delicate work. Working gloves are crucial for protecting their hands. So ensuring they can work comfortably throughout the day, no matter the weather. Many mechanics use one pair of gloves for warmer weather and one for colder. So getting them a new set of gloves can be an excellent gift idea.  

Personalised Number Plates 

Most mechanics consider their own vehicles to be their pride and joy. They may put work into their vehicle to make it give the very best in performance. Whilst regularly wash and detail it to ensure it looks its very best. A personalised number plate can be the perfect finishing touch to make a car look and feel unique. Consider what kind of private number plate your mechanic might enjoy and look for quality options from reputable specialists like Regtransfers. 

Massage Sessions 

Mechanics spend most of their days on their feet or knees, bending over cars and carrying out heavy work. All of this can take a toll on their bodies, leaving them with aches and pains at the end of the day. If left untreated, these aches and pains can lead to more serious issues down the road, so giving the gift of massage can be an ideal option. Consider finding a local physio massage therapist who specialises in those who work manual jobs and buy a set of sessions for your gifted.  

Noise Cancelling Headphones 

Many mechanics work around loud noises all day long, meaning they need to take steps to protect their hearing. Noise-cancelling headphones can be ideal for this purpose, allowing mechanics to listen to their favourite music while blocking out the loud and dangerous sounds around them. There are many options available online. So be sure to research some quality options to suit your gifted.

mot testing and car servicing

Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel – Driver heard a noise when clutch pedal pressed?

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Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel, clicking noise?

The driver of this Ford Focus presented his car to us. He explained that he could notice a slight change of noise in the sound of the engine followed by a sort of ticking noise?

When asked when the noise occurred he said that it was when started to press the clutch down, to about halfway. Then after the halfway point the noise clears up? The same happens when the clutch is released.

When the car engine is idling, or when you are just driving along, then there is no noise. Then when your foot is off the clutch (either in neutral or driving in gear) there is no noise.

He said that he noticed for the first time, about a month ago. Ryan my service manager thought straight away that the problems pointed to the clutch and perhaps the Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel.

The Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel is made of many small components and clicking or ticking sounds, point towards the DMF (duel mass flywheel). The sound was only slight and the noise was covered by the car radio.

Alex tackles Ford Focus clutch job !

At first we recommended that the guy should leave well alone and to see if anything else would develop. He agreed with us and went on his way.

We never saw the car again until a month later? This time the noise became a little louder.

Ryan still suspected the Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel as being the problem. We took the car in and split the gearbox from the Focus engine to inspect the DMF and clutch. The clutch release bearing and slave cylinder were examined and found to be OK.

Some reasons for the diagnosis of a problem with your Duel mass Flywheel are as follows:-

1) If you have a slipping clutch; if the cars revs become higher but cars speed does not increase, or it feels like you are riding the clutch when driving along or changing gear. Or sometimes you can smell the pungent smell of the overheated burning clutch.

2) Strange unfamiliar metallic noises (sounds like a rattling chain or bag of knife and forks being shook about). This noise will stop when the clutch is depressed then return of release.

3) If your dual mass flywheel has been wearing for a while then your starter motor may start to slip/spin, when you are starting the car.

The driver with the Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel problems came to us in good time. The DMF had started to break up and was replaced, along with a new clutch plate. So if you do hear these noises take it along to your local garage to be examined.

New tyre labelling, bridgestone

Independent Tyre Centres-Where Will the UK Tyre Market be Going Next as the giants battle it out?

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Independent Tyre Centres-Where Will the UK Tyre Market be Going Next?

What part will Independent Tyre Centres Have!

This has always been a subject close to my own heart, I have worked in the tyre trade now for a good 40 years and like many more like me, we started our own tyre businesses in the seventies and eighties.

So we have now resigned as a member of the independent tyre group. Due to the fact that they were becoming too large and I thought ineffective.

Most of us used to work for the national companies that were then owned by the leading tyre manufacturers and then decided that we could make a go out of running our own businesses and so the story goes. Many ex managers for companies like Tyreservices a Goodyear owned subsidiary and National Tyreservices, who were then owned by Dunlop, decided that if they could run a  depot for someone else then they could do it for themselves and so looked for premises and started their own  businesses.

Here in West Yorkshire. I can think of at least six people who worked for the national  retailers. Then leaving to start their own  businesses. Some also worked for the tyre manufactures. Of course, the likes of Morris Palmer in Hull, who left Goodyear tyres to form the famous Savoy tyres ! Now run by his son. This was happening all over the UK. Revolutionized the way that tyres were sold.  To the growing market and expansion of the car market. Most households had a car by then and business was good and profitable. So, I started a business that we called Kut-Kost tyres. Accordingly, we grew into three depots and made a good living.

The advance of the tyre wholesaler.

Life went on for a few years and as we were selling more tyres. Of course, then the manufactures were offering better deals . Many of us were tempted to buy in quantity. We were at this stage having to compete with the emerging Kwik Fit Tyre Discount stores . Including the ever more competitive Nationals.

Before computers! Local newspapers would have up six different adverts. Offering all sorts of deals to the motorists. Driving down the tyre prices! Followed of course by lower profit margins. Significantly, buying containers was a way of increasing our bottom line.

At this stage we were all on a different level and knew who was the competition and could price our products accordingly to compete. What we didn’t see was the growing number of

wholesalers that were springing up all over the country and were growing at an alarming rate. I remember my first visit to Southam tyres in the old Rolls-Royce factory in the midlands and was in awe at the amount of stock he carried. Reg Bond also started his empire at round about the same time forming Bond International from an old warehouse in Pocklington ,North Yorkshire and the rest is history.

Many  retailers started to buy the better deals shifting their purchases from the manufacturers to the  wholesalers in our relentless search to maintain our profit levels.

Many other things were happening, but looking back I think that this was a mistake and it gave too much power and the wholesalers, who later decided to form their own retail outlets in direct competition to ourselves, but we are all fighters and with some ducking and diving we always seem to come up with some alternative supplies of tyres and battle on.

I then sold Kut-Kost to an emerging national company owned by Shell Oil, called Superdrive . Superdrive was to form a direct completion to Kwik-Fit, but failed to get the project together and eventually my old depots were bought from Superdrive by Kwik-Fit. I then purchased and developed the business that I am in now, Pellon Tyres here in Halifax and 25 years on fell that we are going through the same torrid times that we had to endure in the early days.

In the past two years the tyre market has seen some huge changes.

These changes have been brought on by the advent of the internet and the growing trend for the motorists to buy online. I have no problem with that and indeed as one of the Norths Independent Tyre Centres. I sell tyres online but not at a national level. But in the Yorkshire catchment area. The internet has now made it possible to buy tyres from the rest of Europe. of course, who are now in direct competition with the British wholesalers. In my opinion it is a good thing and drives down the price of tyres . So, making the tyre manufacturers the companies who are once again making the good profits. Of course, as they did in years gone by when they would deal with retail outlets direct.

More disruption in the tyre World ahead of us

I must admit that I was feeling vulnerable as I was stuck out on my own in little Halifax. Not knowing who was going to buy out what. Just like the seventies and early eighties. The next thing to come along! Has been the emergence of the Giant supermarkets wanting a slice of the tyre cake.

I must confess that I have embraced the chance of earning extra profit by fitting for these companies. But I have a feeling that we may be “bitten in the bum” by these companies. The latest rumor that I picked up. Was that the Tesco/Blackcirces combination were going to turn some Tesco sites into tyre fitting operations. Similar to Costco’s operations (as an update Michelin tyres have now bought Blackcircles). (So to update this then the Tesco-Black Circles deal never happened).

If this is a fact then I fear that it will start a new round of competition from the big tyre companies. All jostling to keep up their tyre numbers. I meanwhile think that I have made a good move by once again after many years dealing with the big five manufacturers. With all the benefits that brings with it.

As I said earlier we Independent Tyre Centres are tough and I am sure that whatever is thrown at us (now including the Corona Virus). We will struggle until these things disruptions pass, and we see better days again.