Flexi-pipes-Saving you Money with an Exhaust Flexi-pipe

You can save money on your car exhaust by fitting a Flexi-pipes

One of the main part of our business is fitting new exhausts. It has been the same now for the past 30 years, when Kwikfit were one of the first companies to give a heavy discount on new exhaust systems that they fitted. Before then we all went to a garage and would have charged for the part and an hourly rate. Some garages still do this type of charging at the present time, and I must be honest we are now doing the same. We make a profit on the part and have an hourly fitting rate, in my opinion the day’s of fast fit car parts are coming to an end.

Flexi-pipes,exhaust

New flexi-pipe exhaust fitted to BMW Mini

The Exhaust Systems with Flexi-pipes fitted on today’s cars are very different to the ones that were fitted  to say the old Ford Cortinas and Vauxhall Vivas. These cars would be coming in for a new Cheap Exhaust system every 18 months. We also used to buy the exhausts in bulk, say from large companies such as Quinton Hazel, Bosal, T.I. Bainbridge and many more. The list of suppliers was endless, all fighting to sell us their products at the best deals. Then as in the tyre trade the wholesalers moved in and the motor factors, such as Andrew Pages, who will sell their parts to anybody, thus cutting our profit margins.

This once again cut our margins and every Tom Dick and Harry started fitting cut price exhausts, this has always been true of the garage trade you have to make money in the early day’s before the rest catch up with you. Then we moved onto the drive to lower the car emissions and the introduction of the catalytic converter fitted with Flexi-pipes . We were all rubbing our hands when the first cats started to break and had to be replaced, I used to travel to Mansfield almost every day to buy catalytic converters at the right price from a company that was in it’s early stages then, B and M exhausts, sometimes they would make them for me while I waited and they were also half the price of other suppliers in Halifax.

After a couple of years other suppliers moved into the market and once again the margins dropped and we were fitting the Flexi-pipe and catalytic converters at discount prices to match our competitors. This brings me up to today’s market. We no longer give exhaust prices out over the phone, in my opinion those day’s are gone. Customers will ring up for a back box only to find that the car needs the inter pipe as well, or the car has a one piece system fitted that we need to cut or the new parts won’t fit. In general we ask the customer to bring his car in to us and we will check the exhaust out on a ramp, we can then give a fair price for the job in hand. At first I thought we would lose out but nearly every car owner brings the car in, as if it was any other part of the car that needed checking out , we give them a price including a profit on the part and the time it takes to do the job.

I feel that this is an honest way of doing things and the customer does not “rant and rave” when you have to tell him that he needs “this and that” in extras, we also charge for new clamps and rubbers and we fit as many exhausts and Flexi-pipes as we  ever did, and we can even save the motorist money. A guy rang up the other day with a noisy exhaust on his BMW Mini. We did our usual thing and sure enough the guy turned up. When we checked his exhaust system we found that it was broken at the catalytic converter. When pricing the job up, we found that there was no aftermarket parts for his model and that it was a main dealer part only. It would have cost us just over £300 from BMW. We then asked him if we could fit a repair Flexi-pipes and this would cost around the £100 mark, a huge saving. The guy was over the moon and we carried a successful repair, we were happy and so was our customer.

 

 

Exhaust flexi-pipes for Grand Vitara’s

We also carry out Flexi-pipe repairs on the Suzuki Grand Vitara, the replacement parts are only available at the main agents and cost us in the region of £500, we fit a flexi for £120 and the customer is highly delighted, we guarantee our workmanship so we are all winners.

Article written by Eric Roberts…

 

Cheap Exhaust Pipes-Not Any More? Why are they more expensive on modern cars?

Cheap Exhaust Pipes

Different reasons why the Cheap Exhaust Pipes cost more.

Going way back in time. I can remember when we used to buy Cheap Exhaust Pipes in bulk quantities. Until changes started to happen. Because, car manufacturers became computerized . Therefore, they were able to change car designs and shapes at a much faster pace.

Cheap Exhaust Pipes

A modern exhaust part costs more but better made

The car models.  When I first started fitting car “Exhaust Pipes”. Were fitted for years before they were changed. Hence, cars like the Vauxhall Viva (remember the old vivas?), Vauxhall Cavaliers, the Minis . Of course, the VW beetles were also very common. Because these cars were built in such huge quantities we could buy the Cheap Exhaust Pipes in bulk and pass the savings onto the customers.

After the start up of Kwik-fit many smaller companies like my self started up as Tyre and Exhaust centres and because they were a relatively new concept we enjoyed great success and thrived, with Cheap Exhaust Pipes one of big sellers.

No internet selling exhaust pipes

Of course things changed with the advent of the internet. At first it did not affect us , but the old faithful car models began to decline followed by cars that were built in smaller quantities with different designs and engine sizes within the same car models. This meant different exhaust fitted to the same models, for example the same car may have a 1.1 or a 2.0 litre engine requiring a different exhaust system to be fitted. This change made it

Cheap Exhaust Pipes

badly repaired exhaust box two

difficult to keep a large stock of exhausts at Cheap Exhaust Pipes prices, because of the vastness of the stock we would require.

Cheap Exhaust Pipes

This brought a string of large exhaust wholesalers selling Cheap Exhaust Pipes to the fast fit centres and regular garages. Here in Halifax we had five companies who were wholesaling exhausts  and this meant that another string of costs were added to the price of an exhaust pipe to the general pubic and therefore a rise in cost.

Also better manufacturing methods made the exhaust pipes last longer

As time went by Cheap Exhaust Pipes were not as important to us fast-fit centres and we went onto other things such as servicing and MOT testing, also car batteries became a more important of our business, although we still fit exhausts, but nowadays they are better made and last much longer than they used to last, but better quality means that the motorists get a better deal with a better product, but at a much higher price.

This post was written by Eric Roberts a member of  Point-S

Exhausts Changed-to meet new European Union Emission Laws

Exhausts Changed

Exhausts systems also cost much more than 10 years ago

I can honestly say that I have lived during the most radical changes ever made to cars, due to the new rules about “global warming” and emissions from cars. Back in time when we had Vauxhall Vivas Cavaliers, Chrysler Horizons old type Minis and Ford Cortinas life in the garage was much easier and certainly more stable.

The exhaust systems on those cars would stay the same year after year. So much so that we could order systems in the hundreds at a time and kept a large stock, that we would always sell. In fact we could order exhausts systems by the container load and they would all be sold, (happy days).

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Then the computer came along and car manufacturers could very quickly change car models, they became very flexible changing parts on different models at will.

This included systems. We were finding that Exhausts.  Like other parts would be left on the shelf unsold. Hence,we were becoming very reluctant at keeping exhausts on the shelves. Without, getting stuck with them.Consequently, at this time exhaust wholesalers began to spring up.As a result, and in a short period of time. We decided not to keep an exhaust stock at all. So, and leave it to the wholesalers.In fact. The last stock that we kept in was from Bosal Exhausts. Probably, (the best Exhausts in the World) and that was in the late nineties.

Exhausts Changed

The next thing to affect Exhausts were Vehicle Emissions controls. These were introduced by the British Government. Thus, requiring that cars had to be fitted with “Catalytic Converters.” These cats as we know them. Therefore, are fitted between the car’s engine onto the exhaust pipe system. The gas from the engine is filtered through the cat. Into a very fine filter system. Made from ceramics to withstand the high temperature. The cat has also some precious metals to help filter out the particulates. (this is why the cats are so expensive).

Some car models have a direct fitting cat to the engine. Thus, the engine sends out waste gasses. That are filtered by the cat. As a result, then the cleaner gases pass through the rest of the system. The Exhausts Changed boxes contain a fiberglass type material. Naturally,  that has an extra filter effect but will also muffle the sound that the gases make when leaving the engine. We all know how noisy a car is when the exhaust breaks.

Exhausts systems are better made these days

exhausts

bmw mini back box a modern type exhaust

Some cars have two or even three boxes depending on the size of the engine and car. Here in the UK we do not change the exhaust until it actually breaks, and the we have it replaced and in my opinion this is the best thing to do. Even the worst looking rusty old Car Exhausts  can last for years and it is no use changing your exhaust just because it looks rusty and old, replace it when it breaks, unless it fails the MOT test. The main part to fail on the test will be the cat, if it fails the test the cat will need replacing.

To summarise Cheap Exhaust systems are far better made these and certainly last much longer, cats are also well made and will only fail if the ceramic cone gets damaged or if you go through flooded water, this usually affects the engine management system and your engine light could be illuminated on your dash, triggered off by your cars computer and a replacement will be needed.

Eric Roberts

Flexi Exhaust Pipe-Astra VXR can it be Repaired?

A Flexi Exhaust Pipe can get you out of trouble?

Over the past 15 years we have seen a massive change in the way that car manufacturers have changed the way that exhaust systems have changed. In the early days we used to keep

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Astra VXR in for a noisy exhaust system! Flexi Exhaust Pipe to the rescue

huge stocks of exhaust parts( including Flexi Exhaust Pipe) in stock to service our customer’s cars.

There were many different exhaust manufacturers around at the time supply the aftermarket with mild steel replacement exhaust systems. Some were good quality and some were bad quality. At the time we would guarantee these mild steel systems for one year and they did not last much longer than that. At the time I was a great fan of the Unipart exhaust, because they were perhaps the best fitting exhaust system on the Mini’s which were very popular at the time.

We found though that the worst problem apart from half of them did not fit correctly, was the welding. We had to balance the cost of these exhausts with the quality of the fit and the welding. The cheaper exhausts were welded by hand, and were awful quality. We would have many comebacks from faulty badly made exhausts. Some of these companies are now long gone, but the ones who have stuck it out are the better quality systems. These companies such as Bosal, went into aluminising their exhausts to make them last longer and gave them a two year warranty.

However they would still rot from the inside due to the mild sulfuric acid that was emitted from the engines of these cars.

Catalytic Converters became the new influence with better quality exhaust pipes.

Then along came the big revolution, for the humble exhaust pipe, the emissions test. The new greener car engines started to come out with catalytic converters. This was to control the

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Catalytic converters complete with its own Flexi Exhaust Pipe used to come boxed up like this one

pollutants that were entering the atmosphere from the car’s engine. The cats were made from a honeycomb of ceramics and the catalysts that are used are made from precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

It is my opinion that was because of the improved status of the exhaust system including the catalytic converter that the whole unit would have to be made better and therefor would last

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Astra VXR with a new Flexi Exhaust Pipe welded on to his existing exhaust system

much longer. In the early days of catalysts, companies set up making up the replacement cats with imported universal units from America, so if your cat went for any reason then the cheapest way to replace it would be to make one up in a kit form including a Flexi Exhaust Pipe and weld it to the old exhaust pipe.

As time went on and the emission laws became stricter, then the cats became more complicated, some having two lambda sensors fitted and Flexi Exhaust Pipe which were also becoming an integral part of the exhaust system. It is not uncommon to find some cars with two cats on the same piece of exhaust system.

This is where our Astra VXR comes into the equation. The more complicated the car and engine then the more complicated the exhaust system will be. Some cars even have exhausts fitted that are more complicated to get at physically. They weave and bend into the most complicated places that you can think of.

Some of the cat/exhaust combinations can cost as much as half the value of the car in some cases and when we told this VXR owner that the replacement system for his car would be well over  £1000 he nearly fell through the floor?

Fortunately we have a guy working for us who can see his way round these things and Ryan came up with a great solution. He suggested welding a new flexi pipe onto where the break in the exhaust pipe was. This would save the customer hundreds of £’s just coming up to Christmas. All we had to do was to check and see if the exhaust was thick and strong enough to take a weld, and it was.

Ryan measured up the flexi-pipe where it was to be fitted and welded the new part onto the existing exhaust. The guy could not afford the £1000 in the first place and so we were all happy. We can confidently give the guy a guarantee on the job and he went away another happy customer.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and Exhaust  System 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 tyres online from our website www.pellontyres.co.uk by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

EXHAUST SYSTEM-Do They Last Longer Than They Did?

 EXHAUST SYSTEM Last Longer Than They Did? Now drivers Benefit

Thinking about this, I suppose that there are many reasons that an exhaust system fitted to a modern car will last longer than say a car exhaust would 15 to 20 years ago. The cars of yesteryear were not subjected to the emission laws that today’s modern cars are. The big change when all cars were fitted with catalytic convertors.

exhaust system

The modern exhaust system  is now aluminum and are longer lasting

In fact it was about 22 years ago that the new cars that were produced had to be fitted with a petrol and Diesel Catalytic Converter.Cars registered after 1st August 1992 (i.e. K prefixes onwards) For more reading… http://www.kgbanswers.co.uk/what-year-did-it-become-compulsory-for-car-manufacturers-to-fit-catalytic-converters-in-the-uk/2247704#ixzz33Z3y8XsB.

This is about the same time that exhaust systems appeared to last longer than their predecessors. In the good old days we used to buy car exhausts from the manufacturers direct in containers. We knew which cars were fitted with exhausts that would only last about 2 years. Certain cars such as Vauxhall Vivas and Cavaliers were very vulnerable for their back box’s rotting; because they used to collect the dilute acid from the engine in the tail boxes and this would rot them from the inside.

Also there was many more of one model of car produced by the manufacturers. I would buy say 100x VW Beetle exhausts, simply because there were so many of them out on the roads. Today because of computers the car makers can alter and change a model, within minutes on a computer and I believe that it is the same with exhaust systems. The designs are much better and are made of better materials than they used to be. We in the trade do not stock the same number of systems anymore because of the large amount of variations within one model of car, where there was one exhaust to fit one model whatever the engine size, there will now be ten different systems and shapes for the different engine sizes, this could be to do with the different catalytic converter sizes that a different engine size may have to have, there for the rest of the exhaust will be a different shape or size.catalitic convertor

The exhaust system has now become part of the emissions service.

We have now had to become qualified in car emissions, using sophisticated hand held computers to diagnose any faults in the system. Also the addition to the catalytic converter onto the front of the exhaust system added the need for a better quality exhaust pipe product, the catalytic converter is made of  a core of ceramic or stainless steel honeycomb, a silica and aluminium wash-coat, and a precious metal for the catalyst (platinum). The car makers then started to use aluminised exhaust systems to match the quality of the catalytic converters and enable the guarantee to extend to two years, on a replacement system.

Your exhaust system lasts longer because they are now aluminised

Previously most exhausts were made from mild steel, which would only last about eighteen months, if that. These were produced by small niche companies who made replacement exhaust pipes from mild steel. Because of the demand for Cheap Exhaust Prices  from the growing fast-fit centres,  such companies as Pioneer exhausts did a roaring trade. Companies like Bosal Exhaust system made aluminised system for the car manufacturers and gradually started to sell their products to motor factors and specialised Exhaust system wholesalers, who would in turn supply garages and fast-fit centres. The only problem was that they were more expensive and would only be bought by customers with up-market cars; the regular guys still wanted the best price exhaust for their cars.

This all began to change with the advent of the changing car market, when fewer models of a certain car were made and they were fitted original equipment on these models. This made it more difficult for the cheap steel exhaust makers to compete as they did not have the flexibility to adapt their equipment to changing market. The larger companies were streets ahead with the equipment they used to make the catalytic converters and exhaust systems with; in fact most of the Exhaust system parts were built very accurately with “robots”. The robots also made a better Exhaust system because they are more precise when welding the parts together. Bosal Exhausts also added a small hole in their back boxes to allow the excess acid to drain away.

The simple fact is that YES exhausts are made from far better quality products and built to a much higher standard,(no dodgy welding) therefore they last much longer than they used to, hence a two year warranty given to the replacement parts fitted.   

Eric Roberts

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 tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

NEW EXHAUST SYSTEM-New TV film “Happy Valley” cast mini-bus calls in for a NEW EXHAUST SYSTEM

New TV film “Happy Valley” cast mini-bus calls in for a NEW EXHAUST SYSTEMNEW EXHAUST SYSTEM

It is always nice when we get a car call in to have a NEW EXHAUST SYSTEM carried that has an interesting story with it. Yesterday 7th Jan 2014, we had a visit from a driver with his Mercedes Viano mini bus. The driver was from a Chauffeur company that ferried TV film casts for The Valleys Cast around, that were on location in different areas. The old Exhaust on the Mercedes was very noisy and required a The driver came to us after phoning round for Cheap Exhaust Prices. The NEW EXHAUST SYSTEM was fitted and the driver paid and went on his way.

NEW EXHAUST SYSTEM

The driver came to us after phoning round for Cheap Exhaust Prices. The NEW EXHAUST SYSTEM was fitted and the driver paid and went on his way. fitted to Mercedes Viano

We were told by the driver that he had been taking the cast around the Calder Valley area Sowerby Bridge and Halifax, where a new film was been shot for TV. The film is been shot and will end as 6×1 hour series, made for the BBC, by the RED production company.

The production has been written by no other than Sally Wainwright a BAFTA award winner, who was also responsible for writing “the Last Tango in Halifax” which was also filmed around Halifax and Calderdale in West Yorkshire. The new series is expected to be shown on BBC television in 2014.

One of the leading roles will be played by Sarah Lancashire, who also starred in “Last Tango in Halifax”. Sarah plays the part of Police sergeant  who is the head of the local police in a rural valley, but the normal everyday police work hots up when a series of very brutal crimes happens in the normally quit and tranquil valley. The driver came to us after phoning round for Cheap Exhaust Prices. The NEW EXHAUST SYSTEM was fitted and the driver paid and went on his way.

You never know we might be in the film, at least we fitted a new exhaust on the casts mini bus.

At the moment a new second series is being filmed in the Sowerby area of Halifax here in Yorkshire.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 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.