Car Fluid Levels-Must Get Checked-Before That Important Car Journey ?


Just after the Christmas holidays, car fluid levels are the last thing on your mind?what is though is, own I know because I will be one of them. Sometimes you may want to visit a long lost relation, or even travel along way to see one of your married children who lives in a distant country.

No doubt that, when your mind is made up, and the plans start. Will the excitement begin to build up amongst the whole family?CAR FLUID LEVELS

One thing you must not forget is to ensure that your car is in tip-top condition and capable of that long road trip? I should not have to keep reminding drivers about this, but unfortunately, I have to keep on writing my blogs, to explain how important this is to your car and safety.

You should be in no doubt how important checking your car fluid levels is, so here are five essential fluids to check before you head out on your important holiday road trip.

Car Fluid Levels

  1. Your car Engine Oil

All your fluid levels are critical, but I think the engine oil is paramount indeed. If the vehicle is low on oil, then your engine could blow up costing thousands of pounds to replace. You will probably know where your oil dipstick is? So take it out and wipe it clean with a cloth. Put the dipstick back in the hole and pull it out again. You should be able to see the car fluid levels minimum mark and the maximum mark on the dipstick. Some vehicles have poorly marked dipsticks, so make sure that you are familiar with the markings on yours.

If the reading is good then is nothing to do. If you need oil, then top the engine up a little at a time from a can of the same oil as the car has in the engine. It is always a safe bet to keep a small can of the same oil as your engines. If you are going on a long trip, you should check your engine oil a few times on your journey, both there and back. Most modern cars have a car fluid levels oil warning light on the dash, but you do not want this to come on. It can cause stress and doubt in your mind as to if the engine is alright or not.

Car Fluid Levels

  1. Brake fluid

On a long journey, you will use your brakes.Hence, millions of times. Having the correct amount of brake fluid in is imperative to good brakes and the ability to stop your car in an emergency. Low brake fluid is unusual, but I have seen it on several occasions, where a car has had brake failure due to a low brake fluid level. The brake fluid master cylinder is located under the bonnet (hood) of the car and ‘s hard to miss. However a word of warning? Some braking systems are different and require different types of fluids? Make sure you know the right kind of your vehicle. Ask your local garage if you are not sure or check out your local Unipart Car care centre. In Halifax, it is Pellon Autocentre Ltd.

  1. Coolant

Coolant affects the cars ability to heat up and cool down. It is important that the car has the correct level of additives added to the water tank, which is once again located under your bonnet. The number of additives to add are determined by a simple tester. This can be bought from a motorist’s store, or once again you can have a check done at your local UCCC garage. It is another one of your car fluid levels that is important. If you get it wrong, then your engine could overheat or freeze?

Car Fluid Levels

Most cars have a large fluid bottle, but some older cars may require filling through the radiator, by removing the radiator cap and then topping the level up.  The top up the tank is connected to the radiator and has a minimum and a maximum setting the same as the brake top up the reservoir. This tank helps balance out the level of water in the engine by releasing the pressure from the radiator into the overflow reservoir. When you check the level make sure the engine is not hot or scalding from hot water could occur.

Consequently, the ones that I have written about are crucial in my point of view.Therefore, if you are mechanically minded. Then there are a couple of other things that you could check. Hence, in the UK automatic cars are relatively rare. So, you could forget about the transmission fluid. America is a different kettle of fish. Where most cars come with automatic transmission. If so then this requires checking. Another level that I think is a step too far is the Power steering reservoir levels. This seldom needs any checking. If the power steering has any leaks on the system. Then you would soon know by the oil marks where you park your car. This is also picked up on your UK annual  MOT test.

In general maintaining, your car is getting more and more difficult. I would highly recommend that you have a regular service carried out on your vehicle especially before a long road trip.

305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Y-Bridgestone Potenza RE050A fitted to Porsche Carrera 4S

305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Y

One of our wealthier customers knows how to choose his cars. His latest choice is a Porsche Carrera 4S. The guy can go through tyres. He can 305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Y305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Yhandle this type of car and very often visits race tracks to test his speed skills when the tracks have their open days.

The Porsche 911 was in immaculate condition. Like his other cars though he quickly wore his tyres down and last week he called to us for the tyres replacing. The guy always returns his old tyre with the same match as the cars original equipment fittings.

This car was fitted with 305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Y. The price came at over £200 each.

The right tyres are now critical, and many of the modern supercars are fitted with unique suspension and drive systems. These systems are computer calibrated to react to the specific tyre performance. The Carrera 4S is equipped with the electronically controlled Porsche Traction Management four-wheel-drive system, to obtain peak handling performance at speed.

Because, when my customer bought the latest 911. Then, Porsche succeeded in upgrading the supercar to me much more usable; it was also to be more refined and more comfortable to drive than ever.

305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Y

Another Porsche refinement was to fit 305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Y, Bridgestone tyres as original equipment. This tyre was to prove perfect for the sporty 305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Ydemanding driver in both wet and dry weather conditions. The new Bridgestone also fits new Ferrari cars and the new upgraded VW Golf.

Hence, the tyre also comes out in a run-flat version, on certain sizes, to add more safety to the mix. Have these tyres to cope with a top speed of 189 MPH and 0-62 in 4 seconds? Wow

Other 305-30R19 BST RE050A N1 102Y tyre features include.

  1. State of the art driving precision from Formula One technology
  2. Response and control beyond your dreams
  3. Superb wet grip provides ultimate safety
  4. Speed: Y (Max Speed: 186 mph)
  5. Load: 102 (Max Load: 850 kg)

Michelin Star-Not tyres this time-but Michelin Restaurants and their Star System.

A few months ago I decided to look into the history of the Michelin star rating system for restaurants.

I found it fascinating, how the whole thing started from the desire to help the early motorists to secure a good place to eat on their travels, to today’s

michelin star

The Star Inn at Harome

the sophisticated way that Michelin award recognition to the best eating places all over the world.

I got it into my head that I must visit such a place to see what the difference is. My wife Michelle and I make sure that we go out at least once a week together and preferably on our own. I must admit that I prefer good Italian food, but now later on in life can take in an Indian meal. Eating out is a good time to reflect on the week gone by and talk about our garage business because we have a large grown up family, it is a real time have a bit of one on one conversation together.

However back to Michelin star?

Michelle’s birthday is on the 17th of December. It becomes increasingly difficult to buy something so near Christmas. In recent years I have treated her to a concert and a hotel stopover (which we both love doing). This year I thought about the Michelin star, and looked up about the Star Inn in a village near Helmsley, in North Yorkshire.

The Star is on the main street of a picturesque village called Harrome, about three miles from Helmsley. I looked it up online and discovered that the Star also

michelin star

Vintage Michelin man at the Star Inn

Does overnight accommodation. This also included a taster evening the first night, and because we decided to take the two-night deal the second night included a choice from the a la carte menu.

Did we arrive on wet, misty December day? The rooms were all individually set out. Hence, and were all decorated in a countryside style.

This was to be the first time that I had visited a Michelin star restaurant. I could not wait. Thus, the building itself dates back to the fourteenth century.As a result and from the outside looks small with a beautiful thatched roof. The pub part of the star is like stepping back in time and is one of the best pub’s I have ever visited.

I started to see that this is what every business should be run like? All the staff were very kind and helpful. The most important thing to me though was the staff’s knowledge about the food, the wine and their understanding of the business and the history.

Michelin Star

This is what dealing with customers, and the public is all about. The Star had hundreds of small thoughtful ideas to make the public’s stay a better experience.

This is what running any business (even a garage) was all about, little touches that are not expensive to implicate, but make a huge difference to the public’s experience, when they visit your tyre shop or garage.

The food was out of this world, and the wines we tasted were all part of the experience, I sort of thought they would be because that’s what a Michelin star is all about.

The thing I did not expect was the total business experience? You could compare this with your business experience and procedures, to improve the way michelin starthat we treat our garage customers and add those little extra touches that make a world of difference, that can also give you a better bottom line.

I must congratulate the Star Inn for opening my eyes. Especially, to the way that a business should be run. Especially a company that deals with the public. So we all can add those little touches that make a difference. hence, to the visitor experience. I like to think that I run my garage and tyre business in a similar fashion. But it gave me a whole new enthusiasm and insight.For this reason, into make better profit margins. By not thinking cheap all the time.

I would like to end by also thanking Michelin for introducing me to the Star Inn; we have decided to make a visit there an annual pilgrimage near my wife’s birthday. I would recommend any business owner to visit and see how a company that deals with the public should be run.

Eric Roberts

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Broken Engine Mounting-Mercedes A Class thought his engine was dropping out?

Last week was a busy week, one of the jobs was a broken engine mounting.

The customer came into our garage here at Pellon Autocentre in Halifax UK, with what he thought, “Was the engine dropping out”?

Mazda 3

Mercedes A Class with a broken engine mounting

He told us that the Mercedes Class A an increase in engine noise and vibration felt inside the car, as if the engine was ready to fall out?. The customer thought that the noise was even louder, when the car was stood still and idling. The guy was very distraught. He explained how the car made a noticeable thumping noise when he changed gears.

Ryan Linton had a good idea of what it could be. Consequently, the customer left the car with us for examination. Like any other part of the car the engine mountain can be prone to breaking. It is similar to a large exhaust bracket that supports the engine against vibrations. Once it breaks it sounds like the engine will fall out.

A few weeks ago we also had a Mazda 3 in to us with a broken engine mounting problem. The Mazda had a top engine mounting problem and caused the car to vibrate badly when idling. Other cars show different signs, but in general all the noises are stressful, for the car owners.

Broken Engine Mounting

The mountings are checked on the MOT test, but the rubber part of the mountings can break apart very quickly.

broken engine mounting

Broken rubber centre on this Mercedes engine mounting

Ryan checked out the Mercedes and as suspected the car had a broken engine mounting. Because we are a part of Unipart Car Care centres, all our work is guaranteed and covered by a nationwide warranty scheme. Because of this we use replacement parts that are of the same standards as the original equipment parts.

The engine mounting is the part that holds the engine to the body. Or to the engine cradle (sub-frame) of the car. This is to reduce the amount of engine vibration felt inside the car. Most engine mounts are filled with rubber as shown in the image and works. Because, there will be no direct metal-to-metal contact between the engine and the car body In most cars. Furthermore, the rest of the engine and gear box assembly are bolted together and held in place by three or four other mountings.

Ryan went ahead and removed the old mounting. When the new one arrived he fitted it and the car was as good as new. Ryan road tested the car and gave the

broken engine monting

mercedes a class new engine mounting fitted

thumbs up. When the guy picked the Mercedes up he was highly delighted with the cost, because he was convinced that he needed a new engine?

Eric Roberts

Ford Focus Misfiring-Ended up being the Washer Jets?

One of them was a Ford Focus misfiring?

We had a mixed bag of mechanical problems left with us last week. Never the less it all adds to the interest of the job, and our ability to sort the problems focus misfiring

Ford Focus misfiring

Ford focus rocker cover removed showing badly rusted core plugs due to water entering and sitting there.

One of them was a Ford Focus misfiring? The customer was very upset, thinking that her engine was about to blow up. Ryan Linton, my service manager was able to go straight to the problem. The Ford Focus misfiring is a common problem.

Ryan told the customer that it is indeed the washer jets that leak down onto the core plugs and in turn, the spark plugs. This can also affect the cars coil and causes the engine to splutter, as the water shorts out the ignition electrics (misfires).

Another problem that crops up is that the washer jet water also rots the core plugs that are sitting in the same trapped area of the engine. These also had to be replaced because they were badly rusted and could have blown out at any time?

This is an old problem! This is a known issue with the mark two Ford Focus misfiring. We had exactly the same with an older 2005 Focus model. It starts with the washer jets themselves; water leaks past them on to the cars bonnet (hood) and then travels straight down onto the engines plug area, especially onto the driver side jet.

Ford Focus Misfiring

If you own a Ford focus take a look at the washer jets you will notice they are fitted directly onto the bonnet with no rubber seal between bonnet and jet. Ford

Ford Focus misfiring

New core plugs to be fitted

knows that this is a design fault and now sell updated jets which have a rubber seal fitted. We were horrified when we first saw came across a couple of cases of this. Whenever it was raining or our customer washed her car, there it was, water going into plug well. This caused the Ford Focus misfiring!

We fitted new plugs and core plugs and updated the washer jets. The car is now running fine and the lady customer picked up the Focus and went on her way.

General Tyres 100 Years-A great tyre company from the Continental tyres Stables

General Tyres 100 Years

General tyres are very well known for their excellent 4×4 tyre range. However nor many people know that they manufacture a full range of summer and winter  General Tyres 100 Yearstyres, for regular cars. All the general tyres are made by their owners, Continental tyres. The tyres are manufactured by Continental, alongside their world winning tyres.

The General tyres use the same casing as the ones used to make Continental tyres. They are the exact same quality and will the driver the same excellent performance that we expect from their Continental parents.

We are now proud to announce that we here at Pellon Tyres in Halifax, Yorkshire UK have become the General tyre dealer for the Halifax area. We would also like to congratulate General Tyres 100 Years of been in business.

The regular tyre that we will be offering the Halifax public will be the Altimax Comfort for the regular tyre for summer use and delivers high performance and long service life. The Altimax has a new asymmetric tread, and features the unique Replacement Tyre Monitor and Visual Alignment Indicator designed to indicate tyre wear and provide advice for timely replacement (the legal limit).

This is a great development in General Tyres 100 Years car tyre history.

General tyres also make the Altimax Comfort tyre. ; the Altimax Comfort car tyre ensures a safe grip on wet and dry roads. The non-directional tread also has great attributes, with its durability and great comfort.

The next tyres to come along in the General Tyres 100 Years history, is the Altimax Sport. This tyre guarantees the driver a precise steering experience and safe driving in all challenging conditions. A new, asymmetric tread pattern design with an innovative and up to date silica compound provides the driver with exceptional wet grip and opportunity for high mileage.

General Tyres 100 Years have been developing tyres for many years. All of this experience combined with the manufacturing skills of Continental, have been

General Tyres 100 Years

General Tyres 100 Years

precisely aligned to the winter road conditions, here in Europe and has been optimally combined to create the Altimax Winter plus.

General Tyres 100 Years

 Wide longitudinal and lateral grooves reduce the risk of aquaplaning in bad wet weather and provide superb traction. Therefore, this winter tyre with its special compound guarantees high mileage, which is a great plus for a winter tyre. An all-round success and excellent choice for anyone who wants to safely survive the winter in their car!

Finally, we at Pellon Tyres will be stocking the excellent Eurovan 2 tyre . Which achieves high mileage and powerful traction when shifting those heavy loads. General Tyres 100 Years’ experience have helped develop new tread structure. Consequently, which help  enhance brake performance and handling on dry roads and in curves. Because, this is very important for van drivers on today’s busy roads here in the UK. . Staggered opposing tread grooves in the shoulder reduce noise and heighten ride comfort. Because of this the flat tyre contour ensures even wear and lengthens the tyre’s life.

Eric Roberts

Motorhome tyres from Michelin-Massive motorhome fit new tyres-sad ending?

Motorhome tyres from Michelin

Last Saturday saw yet another campervan pulling onto our forecourt for some new tyres fitting. The guy had fitted Kumho tyres in the past but was a little

Motorhome tyres from Michelin

Michelin campervan tyre fitted to the wheel

Motorhome tyres from Michelindisappointed with the low mileage that he had achieved.

The guy told us that his father always fitted Motorhome tyres from Michelin. His father had two front Motorhome tyres from Michelin fitted about two months ago and was highly delighted with their performance.

Consequently, they pulled his twin rear wheel motorhome into the forecourt and we decided that we should jack the vehicle up and remove the wheels outside. As we were fitting the tyres the customer came into the reception for a free coffee and a chat. I love chatting to my customers, as I believe that it’s all part of giving a good service. Although I don’t always feel like talking all the time, then i make an

New Michelin tyre

New Michelin tyre

Motorhome tyres from Michelin

Old tyre removed


Motorhome tyres from Michelin

Excellent, Motorhome tyres from Michelin are specially designed specifically for vans and motorhomes; these are the exact tyres for the job. They are called the “Michelin Agilis” and are the ones to fit to achieve a better mileage and carrying capacity.

Especially relevant, they are closely related to van tyres are built with extra performance in terms of load capacity and sidewall kerb wear.  You would be surprised if you saw the campervan owners who fit normal car tyres to their vehicle. Because, the correct tyre choice of campervan tyres can lead to reduced fuel consumption due to reduced rolling resistance, because of their ability to carry all the extra weight that a motorhome may carry.

Because there is no doubt that this customer has made the correct choice of tyre for his motorhome. Finally, to end on a sad note the guy told me that his father did a six week drive to Spain and sadly past away. He now has to go to Spain and drive his father’s vehicle back home, to sell it.

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Goodyear Online- Tyre giants to sell Goodyear tyres online in the USA

Goodyear Online

Goodyear online;Could it spread to Europe?

The tyre operating system in the USA has always been different to the UK tyre operations. America has always had a tyre retailer franchise system, across

goodyear online

A typical Goodyear franchise in the USA will be fitting for Goodyear Online

its retail tyre market. In other words if you want to buy say a Firestone tyre then you would go to a Firestone outlet. This outlet would only sell the Firestone products.

This system has never caught on here in the UK. Tyre retail outlets, like my own here in Halifax, Yorkshire, UK have always sold multi brands. The UK system in my opinion is best way of offering the consumer a bigger and better choice of tyre brands.

The national retail outlets have always pushed their own products, but have never come close to the USA franchise way of running a tyre retail outlet. I think though that things may be changing and it is no thanks to the internet?

Goodyear Online has recently introduced an online platform, where you can buy Goodyear tyres online. This is in the USA and covers the whole country. The tyres will be fitted at more than 4000 outlets, including the Goodyear franchises 600 tyre fitting stations.

Although this does not apply in the UK, I believe that it may set a precedent for the future of the tyre industry. We all know about the recent buy outs of online tyre retailers across Europe? So is this the start of a similar thing?

Goodyear Online

Michelin and Apollo tyres have both bought online tyre companies and I wonder how long it will be before they start marketing their own products online. At the moment they sell multi brands of tyres, but will it change to a Goodyear Online type of situation, where Michelin sell only Michelin tyres and have them fitted across their ATS network of tyre retail branches.

Michelin have a massive following in the tyre world and in my opinion would be able to pull such a move off, selling the Michelin only product online across

goodyear online

A Goodyear Online screenshot

the whole of Europe?

Because of the Goodyear Online move, may be just the start of things to come? Where it leaves anyone else that sells tyres, I do not know. Consequently, I could be completely wrong, but with all these moves from the tyre manufactures, then something is in the air. Watch out for Bridgestone tyres and their next move?

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285-35R22 General Grabber UHP-Tyres fitted to a nice white Range Rover

285-35R22 General Grabber UHP cheaper than BlackCircles

I love working on a Saturday morning in my tyre depot work shop. I do not fit tyres anymore because I have lost touch with all the new tyre sizes. Believe it or not the wheels are becoming too heavy for me to lift. It is a young man’s job and I am afraid that I have to stick to computers these days.

285-35R22 General Grabber UHP

White Range Rover in for 22 inch General Grabbers

However I do enjoy my Saturday in the workshop. I always keep my camera or one of my staff use their mobile phones. This is just in case we see anything interesting or even nice looking. Last Saturday was no exception.

We had a few good jobs in. One of them was a really well kept Range Rover finished in white. It was great looking  car.

Earlier on in the week the guy had inquired about winter tyres for this Range Rover. He chose to go for some new

285-35R22 General Grabber UHP

Range Rover new wheels

22 inch wheels and decided on using 285-35R22 General Grabber UHP. This was a good choice as readers of mine would know that most SUV vehicles are useless when driving on ice and snow? Winter tyres are required for safer winter driving.

285-35R22 General Grabber UHP

The 285-35R22 General Grabber UHP is said to be the star of the General Grabber family and has been engineered for fast and strong-horsepower SUV/4×4 vehicles, just like the Range Rover. With rim sizes up to 24 inches and at speeds of up to 270 km/h, these 285-35R22 General Grabber UHP not only looks good, it also provides a top performance in its group! With its highly developed tread and the very good quality, this 285-35R22 General Grabber UHP tyre offers safe handling in on- and light off-road terrain, making the tyre a good winter choice.

The 285-35R22 General Grabber UHP, guarantee, for a safe performance.

The new 285-35R22 General Grabber UHP tread pattern is characterised by steep, extended grooves from shoulder to centre and sipes, with sturdy tread lugs.

The design of the 285-35R22 General Grabber UHP is combined with advanced silica tread compounds for flexibility in cold weather below 7 degrees, and a reinforced construction, makes the UHP tyre comfortable, durable and extremely safe in both wet and dry conditions.

Our online price for this tyre was £148.85 compared to £181.61 from Blackcircles and was not available from Asda tyres. Showing that shopping local can save you

range rover wheel and tyre money?



Tyre Knowledge a quick lesson about tyre terms

Tyre Knowledge a quick lesson about tyre terms

I have been writing my tyre articles now for about five years. In that time I have used many different terms. Therefore, we use these terms as every day part of our tyre language. It has never entered my head, that my readers may not know what these terms actually mean or stand for.

Tyre Knowledge is what every diver should be familiar with. However, i do think that as long as the car owner knows about the basics, such as the correct tyre pressures and checking them at least every two weeks, should be enough. However I will explain what some of the terms are that I use in my articles. This is tyre knowledge in simple terms.

A typical tyre size would be 205/55R16 followed by 91V

  1. The 205 is the width of the tyre in millimetres. A tyre marked 205 will measure 205mm across the tread from sidewall to sidewall.
  2. Aspect ratio is the 55 part of the tyre size and is the ratio of a tyre’s section height (H) to its section width (W). Because, this aspect ratio of 55 means that the profile height of the tyre is 55% of its width.
  3. The R stands for radial
  4. Then the 16 is the tyre rim size that the tyre will fit. So in this case the tyre marked 16 will fit on a 16-inch wheel rim. This is measured in inches.
  5. The 91 part of the number following the tyre size, which is the load index is the maximum load-carrying capacity of a tyre under a specific condition.
  6. The V is the speed capabilities of the tyre, this can be found on a tyre manufacturer’s chart; the V means that this tyre can safely do 149kh.

Other tyre knowledge things you may read about

  1. Triangle marks “▲” on the sidewall show the tread groove position of the “tread wear indicators”, the “tread wear indicators” represent 1.6mm. This is the
    tyre knowledge

    Winter tyre snow flake tyre marking found on the tyre sidewall

    legal limit that your tyres must not drop below; if it is down to this mark then you should change your tyre.

  2. Wheel balancing, is a procedure that we carry out to ensure that you wheel is not out of balance and your steering wheel does not shake when driving. Out of balance can be caused by a number of things.
  3. Reinforced tyre is one with a strengthened sidewall and is used on heavier vehicles and vans. The tyre is marked with a “RF” on the sidewall. Car tyres can be marked with an “XL” which means “extra load”.
  4. Wheel alignment, is when we check and adjust the vehicles steering geometry.
  5. Tyre rotation is when we change the tyres from corner to corner to even out the wear.

Finally, I hope that I have covered everything, if I come across any that I have missed in the future then I will update this article’

Eric Roberts.

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