All my other posts that are referrals to my garage and business.

These are the tips you need to drive safely in the snow and ice this winter – Essex Live

Much of Essex has been covered by heavy snowfall

Source: These are the tips you need to drive safely in the snow and ice this winter – Essex Live

Potholes back Again Nokian Tyres Tougher-Damn You Pothole and Other Important Tyre Developments

Potholes back Again Nokian Tyres Tougher

Potholes back Again Nokian Tyres Tougher

Potholes back Again

 

Post Updated 4th March 2018

Can potholes damage your tyres?

Potholes back Again Nokian Tyres Tougher

Eric Roberts says…We are all plagued by the potholes in our roads. Many of our local government councils have had their budgets reduced by central government.

Because of this they are not carrying out essential road repairs, such as correctly filling in the holes. On Station Road where I live there has been a huge increase in the number of potholes appearing from nowhere. Of course with the added hazard of snow and ice, then these holes are dangerous and will damage cars suspension and tyres.

Nokian Tyres from Finland may have the answer

Potholes back Again Nokian Tyres Tougher

Of course this is happening all over the UK.  Putting a strain on the road traffic that uses our roads. Hence, in the past two weeks alone we have seen cars with broken steering parts. Especially, springs and ripped tyres due to the size of the holes in our roads. Leading to many Pothole Claims. Since I wrote the original article.

So, tyre companies have been striving to produce tyres from stronger and lighter materials. Therefore, one particular tyre company “Nokian” the inventors of winter tyres. Have come up with a stronger safer tyre that could aid drivers in the battle against pothole damage.

Nokian have come up with an added ingredient to their summer tyres sidewalls. The Nokian E Line and Z Line range of SUV tyres now use “Aramid“. Aramid is a material used in “bullet proof vests” and is very strong indeed. I am not saying that these tyres are the “Holy grail” when it comes to protecting us against all potholes. But it is a good step in the right direction.

I am convinced that these tyres are a safer tyre than the ones without aramid and are an added safety feature.

Many potholes cause small chunks of sidewall damage. Enough to warrant the driver having to buy a new tyre. So, I am convinced by the tough tyre testing of this Nokian SUV tyre. That they have enhanced safety features and well worth the investment for your families safety.

Eric Roberts

JACKING UP YOUR CAR is NOT as Safe as it Used to be ? Be aware of other traffic

Jacking up your car the correct way

You may think that jacking up your is an exact science but believe me plenty can go wrong. Even our most experienced mechanics can make a mistake when jacking up a car. The worse

jacking

Lady’s very often change their own wheel these days

thing to happen is if the jack is placed under a sill and not the re-enforced area just under the edge of car. Most models of car have a special re-enforced part at the front of the sill area and is marked by a notch in the metal to show you where you can jack up your car without it going through the softer sill part of the body just under the car doors.

The jacking points are usually illustrated in the owner’s manual, but if you do not know where the jacking points  are and are not sure, then DO NOT jack the car up, leave to a professional , who knows what they are doing.

If you are confident or stuck somewhere with a flat tyre then this is something that you should tackle. The first thing to do is to make sure that you are on a HARD SURFACE. Please do not try to jack your car up on a grass verge or a field, anywhere that is soft. The obvious thing to happen is that the car jack will just sink, and unless you have some wooden blocks in the car then the job will be hopeless.

Once you have established that the ground is hard enough then you should look for and remove your wheel removing kit from the car boot. This usually consists of a scissor jack, wheel brace and locking wheel nut tool (if your car has one). The car jacking point is marked by a cut out in the metal plate on the front and rear of the car; this shows the strongest place to jack up the car. Once this is all done then you can say a prayer and hope that the wheel nuts are not seized up or over tightened, from the last time that the wheel was removed. If the wheel is over tightened then you may have to get help or call out a nearby garage for assistance.

Some drivers know about this and carry a hollow piece of strong metal tubing in their tool kit to give them leverage on their wheel brace. It is also wise to keep a small thick piece of wood in your tool kit to place on the jack as you start to lift the car. This gives the jack a better bite, instead of the metal on metal of the jack and the car sill.

Some more advanced motorists will keep a small trolley jack in their car for jacking up with

 for a safer jacking experience, in my opinion good preparation is the word. It is no different in the professional garage, we have always to be safety conscious when jacking up cars, either with a trolley jack or on the vehicle ramps, the same should apply to the DIY motorists.

The more experienced person who carries out their own cars repairs should be able to jack a car up by using the steering and suspension jacking points, but it is always a good point to

jacking

Scissor jacks are the most common DIY jack found in your cars tool kit

jacking

Citroen with the arrow showing the jacking point

make sure that you have some good strong axle stands to rest the car on before you commence working on your car and the same applies to a hard surface when lifting the car, all these points may seem trivial but as a garage owner of over 40 years, I have seen many stupid things happen, that were only due to thoughtlessness on the behalf of the mechanic.

When jacking up your Used Cars  you can get a feeling if the thing is not going right, so if you hear any strange creaking noises or metallic sounds then let the car jack down with care and start again, care is the buzz word. I suppose thinking about it; this is why the breakdown services are very busy, there are now many different types of wheels and jacks on today’s modern cars and if you are not sure or confident please join one of the motoring breakdown services such as the AA or RAC here in the UK.

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.

 

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.

Tyre Shop-Small Garage-Does Internet Marketing Really Work? now better with Googles changes

Tyre Shop-Small Garage

What advertising did we use in the past for the Tyre Shop-Small Garage

When I say Tyre Shop-Small Garage owner. I mean a garage or tyre shop that probably employ’s say from 2 up to 12 staff. Relating this to my own experience of owning three or four garages. Thus, throughout my past 40 years as a Tyre Shop-Small Garage owner.

Back in time. So, like many cars orientated entrepreneurs. Hence, that started their own businesses in the Auto trade. Promoting your tyre shop was limited to a few choices. As a tyre shop  owner. Our advertising budget was very limited. At first we depended solely on “word of mouth”. Including a small advert in the “Yellow Pages” . At the time, who were very pro-active at trying to sign up small businesses. Talking them up for larger adverts.That the tyre shop did not actually needed. I think “over selling” is the keyword here?

 I remember the first time that I wanted a small ad in “yellow Pages”. Of course we were constantly pressured into taking out more additional advertising space to compete with the bigger nationals.

Tyre Shop-Small Garage

Tyre Shop-Small Garage

Tyre Shop-Small Garage; Can a small garage or tyre shop like this one, hold out on internet marketing

In the end, they finally convinced me to take out more advertising.  With the help of spreading out the payments over a twelve-month period.  I never did know whether or not the ads worked or not. But the economy was doing well and so were we. So, in the end, I don’t think we really knew the Yellow pages effectiveness?

However, the larger companies of the seventies and eighties began to expand at pace. We were sort of pushed to compete. I saw myself as an entrepreneur and not just a tyre shop owner.

After a few years in business we  did almost everything to a car. Including servicing, tyres, engine diagnostics and not to forget Mot testing. Following the footsteps of say Kwikfit, with their American car servicing model. Imported to the UK by Tommy Farmer.

To compete we were drawn into newspaper advertising.Many a week we would buy a full page advert in our local newspaper. Covering all our services. So, over the years, we grew into having three local depots.

I am sure that many of my readers can relate to what I am saying, because so many auto-centres sprung up around the country and many had developed the same business model that still exist today, with a similar Marketing Strategy. however time went by a things remained pretty much static with people having a dabble into radio advertising and a little TV, but generally this media was a little too

Tyre Shop-Small Garage

expensive, with the radio stations once again trying to up-sell us all the time, offering better time slots or Small Business Marketing plans(at more expensive prices), but in general we left these advertising medias to the larger national companies and stuck to the newspapers, that is until we were dragged into the world of the Internet.

This was to become a crazy time for the tyre shop owner. The World was flooded by new companies offering us the World. I did not have a clue, but once again as an entrepreneur who owned a garage, I jumped in “head first” and tried to do everything I could to embrace the internet and bring my business into the 21st

Tyre Shop-Small Garage

This is now an up to date tyre shop.

century. There would be no more press advertising, we had to have a web-site, and this was going to be the future?

Well, so I thought, I completely forgot about the advertising budget and just threw thousands of pounds at this new concept trying to get a better Marketing Mix, that would rule the World and change the way that businesses operated for good. I actually thought that once we had our own website, then we would grow and grow. But of course, we didn’t: we did grow but only through the old favourite “word of mouth”. I just did not know anything about the search engines and, in particular, Google.

In the mean while the big tyre and garage companies with cash to spare started to hire “IT” men

and I as the boss started to learn about “SEO” search engine optimisation. I began taking in what I could in this alien World and began to be succored in by these “we will get you to the top” internet companies, buying links and traffic, as cheaply as I could.

Things never got much better, with my website struggling to get to page three and four and all the top tyre companies hitting number one spot and pulling in all the business. We did sell one or two things, but we were not getting any ROI (return on interest).

This was all four or five years ago and I am still hammering away at SEO, but I find that I actually enjoy writing articles for my blog, and in recent times Google are changing things that in my opinion will help the small business compete better against the big boys. My spammy link building got me into loads of trouble with Google and my site was downgraded, as were millions of other even larger sites, due to Googles huge Panda and Penguin search changes and I believe it will give the smaller business like ourselves a much better chance to compete and rank higher.

I have just finished reading an article about the advertising spend for the small business on… http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2326399/Avoid-SEO-Hype-Why-Small-Businesses-Should-Focus-on-Return-on-Investment

Tyre Shop-Small Garage

I have now come to a different conclusion about my businesses promotional work and have decided that we should concentrate on social media, especially Facebook and my blog, as I

have mentioned in an earlier article.

I am also going to take notice of what Google are saying and only writing the best content that I can (within my educational limits), and also I will be starting to revert back to some of my earlier successful business periods and have done a deal with our local paper “The Halifax Courier” and have advertised on our very own local radio station “Phoenix Radio”. Both these companies gave us a great deal and at the moment the big companies are battling away on the internet. I have a good feeling that we may just sneak under the wire  and win back some business the old fashioned way?  I since received a Google penalty for outbound links, but after weeks of going through and checking my blog, Google revoked the penalty and i am once again on track.

Eric Roberts

 

   

 

Fiat Leon Failing Driveshaft-Not much of a common problem here at Pellon Autocentre in Halifax UK.

Fiat Leon Failing Driveshaft

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Fiat Leon Failing Driveshaft

I must admit that this is not a common problem for my mechanics here at pellon Autocentre in Halifax UK. Of course like any other mechanical part, then the problem starts in a small way. This lady driver thought that her wheels needed balancing. Of course that was her first assumption? Hence, a vibration from the front of her car could have been a wheel balance problem. However this was not to be the case?

As a result a month ago then we balanced the cars wheels and also checked out the tyres at the same time. All looked well with the tyres, just the perennial problem of the wheel alignment requiring some adjustment. But the balancing proved to be fine and off she drove into the sunset?

However the vibrating did not stop and a strange low pitch grinding noises could be heard? The lady carried on driving the car and visited her local supermarket. When she started the car and tried to move off then a much louder cranking banging noise came from the drivers side front.

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The lady quickly realised that she had a major problem. Consequently, the car would not drive and so she contacted us for advice. As a result we knew that the drive had gone and she was thought to have had wheel balancing problems. These things tied up too be the driveshaft. Because the car is a front wheel drive then the car has two driveshafts, more commonly known as “half shafts“.

Fiat Leon Failing (half shaft)

The half shafts so takes the power from the engine and sends this power to drive the wheels. In this case a front wheel drive car has a drive shaft at each side of the engine. On a rear wheel drive car the drive shaft transmits the engines power to the “differential” which in turn transmits the power to the rear wheels. Of course,there are many different variants to this. But in general the outcome is very much the same.

As a result that the car was un-drivable, we recovered the car back to our garage. So on arrival we drove the car onto a vacant ramp and proceeded to remove the front wheels. So, the half-shaft connects to the brake and wheel assembly via the “constant velocity joint” This is a system of small bearings that allows the wheels to turn when the car has been driven along. This assembly is protected from the elements by a rubber boot. The rubber boot is filled with “high heat resistance” grease.

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Subsequently, the problems occur when the rubber boot splits for some reason. This is more common in areas where there are problems with “pot holes“. The damage can be seen in my images. A complete replacement half shaft was the best solution for this model of car and the customer gave permission for the job doing.

It turned out well for us, because that Saturday, then we had a snow fall. This has the effect of keeping our customers tucked up in bed. However we did get busier with tyres sales later on in the morning. All in all a good days work ?

Eric Roberts

 

 

CAR TAX DISCS TO GO- Same Way as MOT test-Done by Computer

CAR TAX DISCS

CAR TAX DISCS

A typical British road tax disc

As the owner of an MOT testing station here in Halifax UK, I am always interested in any moves by the government to change the system that we use for the taxing and testing of the cars on our roads here in the UK. As a blogger on the subject of cars I also like to help inform people of any changes that may occur.

As many of the people that come to us for an MOT test do not know, the MOT Rules became computerised a few years ago now and the old hand written certificates were done away with and were replaced by an A4 size computer printout that is a receipt of your cars test results, either pass or fail.

This procedure was a great success in my opinion, all the testing received a new computer terminal and the test was carried out for that specific vehicle from a computer check list, all clever stuff. The computer does all sorts of other things but they are only important to the testing station. All the information is sent to a data base at the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency and you can check the results of an MOT test by logging onto www.motinfo.gov.uk .

The main important thing to remember is that you need an MOT test before you can tax your car, you can now do this online at the DVLA website. Another good thing about the computer system is that all the information is sent to the police and they can check instantly if the car in font has an MOT certificate registered to it.

This is why a computerised CAR TAX DISCS will tie up with the mot test

The history of the car tax goes back to 1888 and was set in motion by the then Chancellor a Mr George Goschen. At first the Ta x was on the bigger carriages owned by the wealthy, but he proposed a £1 duty to be paid every year by any vehicle that had a weight of 10 cwt or more. This was to repair the roads that were damaged by the entire vehicles that used them. This was followed in 1921 by the introduction of the actual tax disc that had to be displayed on the vehicles, very much as it is today.

This now bring me up-to-date and the scraping of the CAR TAX DISCS . From October 2014 the DVLA will no longer issue an actual CAR TAX DISCS because the system is to go computerised and will tie up with the MOT test system. This new system will not affect the car owners very much; it will just mean that they will miss the fun of trying to tear the circular disc with perforations on the new disc window when it first comes through the post or from the post office.

One of the main advantages of NO CAR TAX DISCS  system will be that we will be able to pay monthly by direct debit taking the strain off some household budgets. Another advantage is that we will be able to check when the road tax is due online, but we will still get a reminder from the post office when the tax runs out. Because the total system will be digital, the police will be able to check the road tax dodgers on camera when they check your number plate it will now tell them if the car is taxed and Mot tested or not.

mot test station sign

A few questions that don’t seem to have been answered yet are, how would a person buying a second hand car know whether the car was taxed or not? Perhaps we will be able to check on a data base. Also how would we know if a vehicle has been abandoned or not, because there would be no tax disc?

Anyhow I am sure that the whole thing will be a great success and easier for the public and the police to manage in the future.

 

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 company 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 MotorCodes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

 

Illegal tread tyres- in car crash that killed two young girls – Norfolk Eastern Daily Press

Illegal tread tyres

BBC News Illegal tread tyres in car crash that killed two young girls Norfolk Eastern Daily Press Norwich Crown Court heard that two tyres on the car had illegal tread and all four tyres had been wrongly pressurised which a police accident…

 

eric roberts‘s insight:

Illegal tread tyres do cause accidents  

if not checked at regular intervals.

This fatal accident is just part of the reality that sometimes strikes home when we find out the horror that can result in motorists operating on Illegal tread tyres and not checking their tyres at regular intervals. We

Illegal tread tyres

Checking your air pressure could get you out of a sticky situation

only have to be in the wrong time and the wrong place, for an accident to happen. When our cars are in good condition and serviced at regular intervals we have a better chance of getting out of a sticky situation when driving.

AT first I did not want to blog this accident because of the fatalities, but I think it important to point out that these things happen and it could be that if this car had good tyres at the correct Air Pressure, then the outcome could have been different. We in the tyre trade are always preaching to motorists about checking their tyres and tyre pressure, but accidents like this are proof that bad things can happen if you do not service your car and check the tyres at regular intervals .

I would like to pass on my condolences to these girls family.

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 worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. I now own a company 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 MotorCodes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre

See on www.edp24.co.uk

22 Amp Mobility Batteries saved the day for Child’s Christmas Present

Two new 22 Amp Mobility Batteries saved the day.

Every now and then we get a letter from a customer who needs our help. Sometimes we do not know if they are genuine or just some person trying it on. Last Christmas we learned about

22 Amp Mobility Batteries

22 Amp Mobility Batteries ready to go

a lady in Lancashire called Eileen. I bumped into Eileen when delivering a battery to a customer’s house and she was in the property next door, tending to her friends horse (cleaning the stables out). Eileen looked very short and I noticed that she had no legs.

When Eileen saw the battery signage on my van she came over and told me that she had a wheel chair but could not afford to buy any. This tugged on my heart strings and as soon as I got back to Halifax, I sorted out two new 34 amp Lucas mobility batteries at took them back to Lancashire to give to Eileen as a Christmas present. I had to leave the batteries with the guy next door because Eileen was not at home, but a couple of days later, I received a very nice thank you letter in the form of a Christmas card from Eileen.

mobility batteries

Child’s tri-cycle fitted with his new 22 amp mobility batteries

Then a similar thing happened just before this Christmas 2013. We received an e-mail from a guy in Devon who was making a three wheel electric bike for his sons Christmas present.  He had problems with another online company who had sent him the wrong batteries. For some reason the company could not be contacted online or by telephone. I also tried out this company, but could not get any reply.

Mobility batteries sent out to Devon

His son was a very ill young man and so this bike was going to mean the World to him as he needed one with a small electric battery driven engine, his son could not peddle like a healthy child could. The guy was desperate and had no money and asked us for help. I remembered what had happened to Eileen the year before and so decided to give him two 22 Amp Mobility Batteries, which fitted his bike.

The guy in Devon was over the moon and could not thank us enough for our help. His son had a Christmas present that worked thanks to the 22 Amp Mobility Batteries and I was pleased to be able to help someone in distress.

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 worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. I now own a company 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 MotorCodes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

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