car suspension parts

Vans require Heavy Duty Shocks-Standard shocks not good enough for vans and light trucks, experts warn

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Vans require Heavy Duty Shocks

Vans require Heavy Duty Shocks

So, to be honest then this is nothing new to me. Monroe shock absorbers have an online lookup system that tells which shocks go onto which van. So I really dont know what the problem could be. Perhaps the smaller parts chain are supplying spurious makes of shockers that are cheap and should only fit lighter vehicles. Hence, I am not realy sure. Here at pellon Autocentre in Halifax we only use honest and reliable parts companies for our replacement parts including new shockers!

Of course if they are cheap then the probably will be cheap and not suitable for the customers van. Like everything else in this world then you pay for what you get! Surprisingly, shock absorbers appear to last longer than they used to do back in the day. Better manufacturing techniques seam to have made them last longer and they are not much of an MOT Test failure any more.

The explosion of eCommerce and consumers’ increased demand for convenient delivery and on-site service is also seeing demand rise for the repair and maintenance of these vehicles, experts at Monroe say. As one example, shock

Source: Standard shocks not good enough for vans and light trucks, experts warn – Garagewire

Two Year MOT Tests still under scrutiny-UK aftermarket lobbying intensifies

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Two Year MOT Tests

Two Year MOT Tests

So this is about the wrangling that continues about our MP’s trying to convert the MOT testing gap to two years. Utterly stupid in my opinion! These MP’s should visit testing stations to see how a modern day car can deteriorate over the current one year period. So, two years would just mean many more dangerous cars on our roads.

However as this attached article states, the motor industry are fighting to knock this stupid idea ion the head. I drive for my business and often depart at 4.30am in the morning. The roads are very busy and in my opinion we are heading for a complete 24hr period of heavy traffic. Ask any lorry driver! No longer can you drive in the UK through the night to try avoid heavy traffic. It is with us now. So testing cars over a two year period is a no brainer and the idea scrapped immediately far safety’s sake alone.

Along with this article I can only hope that the recent conservative re-shuffle will kill the Two Year MOT Tests stone dead and common sense prevails.

MOT Logo

UK government lobbying has intensified, the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) and the UK Alliance for the Freedom of Car Repair (UK AFCAR) has said. The IAAF is currently in active dialogue with the Competition and Markets Authority

Source: UK aftermarket lobbying intensifies

Tyre issues biggest cause of breakdowns- National Highways data shows

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Tyre issues biggest cause of breakdowns

Of course this is nothing new. In my opinion the main reason is that the car manufacturers have failed their duty of care! Cars no longer have spare wheels in many cases. Drivers are left with either nothing at all or a can of inflation fluid. Some vehicle are fitted with the skinny looking spare wheels. On the lets say posher part of the car market then many have run flat tyre systems.

Cara are also fitted with TPMS systems. These light up when a tyre is deflated and under pressure. As the owner of a busy retail tyre outlet here in Halifax UK, then I must stick up for the customers. Subsequently I find that most car owners are respective about the condition of their cars tyres.

Like many other things in life we always get people who dont give a damn about their tyres and rod safety in general. These are also the people that think nothing about fitting part worn tyre and the dangers that these can bring to our busy roads.

Drivers are now forced to join the national breakdown services because of the lack of spare wheels in millions of cars. Originally done to lower the weight of the cars to reduce emissions. But this must have also increased the profit margins ?

Tyre issues biggest cause of breakdowns

More than 41,500 people broke down on National Highways roads last year because of tyre issues – that’s more than 20 per cent of all breakdowns. National Highways, which is responsible for motorways and major A

Source: Tyre issues biggest cause of breakdowns, National Highways data shows

brakes pads only posts

Warped Brake Discs-Why do your Brake Discs Go Out of Shape?

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Warped Brake Discs

warped brake discs; warping  is a common problem

Most people know what a brake disc is. Of course, they learn this through experience gained throughout their motoring life. The brake discs are known in America as “Brake Rotors”, I say this

because of my American readers. Just in case they dont know what I am referring to.

The discs are the large metal discs that you see on most cars. Hence, when the wheels are removed. For this reason, there job is to stop the car when the brakes are applied. Thus, they are grabbed by the Car Brake Pads. At great pressure to stop the car. This action causes friction and wear on the discs. Consequently, with constant use and heat build up.

replacing warped brake discs

Over time the Disc Brakes will slowly wear down. Most manufactures of these discs recommend a minimum thickness of wear. When your brakes are examined by a competent Autocentre. Then the discs will be measured and if they are below the thickness limits. Therefore, customer will then be advised?Hopefully the warped brake discs will be changed.

Discs come in all types of designs. Although the discs that fit the regular family saloon car. Hence, are usually of the conventional solid steel discs type. Although, many cars are now coming out on vented discs. This was an improvement to help dissipate the high amount of heat that the discs generate in heavy usage. In my opinion these vented discs wear more quickly than the solid discs, but do not warp as much.

Warped Brake Discs

The warped brake discs will go out of shape for many reasons , but the main reason through what I call “normal wear and tear” , this is caused by the exposed discs coming into contact with water, during in heavy rain, the discs constantly heat up and cool down when in contact with the water. This year has been particularly bad for warped brake discs replacements due to our record wet year here in the UK. The discs produce a high spot which over time causes them to develop a “high spot” and eventually the discs will warp.

This warped brake discs can be felt through the brake pedal when you are pressing the brakes and will get worse, making the driving feel uncomfortable. If this is not seen to it is possible that the discs can break up into pieces, often causing distress to the driver.

Some sportier car models have to have perforated discs fitted as an added bonus in keeping the discs cool when heavy braking and have to be re-fitted with the same type of discs, discs are very important and can not be messed about with, except for upgrades.

Warped Brake Discs How do I look after my brake discs ?

The answer really is to have your car regularly maintained. Most good Autocentres will offer their customers a free brake check. Also you should have your car serviced at least once a year, this will include your brake check and any problems will be noted and presented to you as a recommendation. It is then up to you to have the problems fixed before you run into more problems. I have noticed recently that the customers with brake problems are the ones that did not find time to have their car serviced, and the cost doubles because of the extra problems that a set of worn out pads would have cost if discovered on a service.

Sports discs ready to be fitted

mot test-Online Bookings on Increase

Independent garages lead MOT testing-A look at the increased use of Independent Garages in UK

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Independent garages lead MOT testing

Independent garages lead MOT testing

Moving forward to May 2021 then the covid threat to us all is now declining due to a great vaccination campaign by the conservative government. So, MOT testing has cleared the backlog caused by the pandemic and we are now testing on a level that is par to post pandemic figures. Of course it is not all over yet but as garage and MOT station then we are all safe and happy to see all our customers again.

This is a great article. Hence, and only emphasises the reason why many small garages are doing so well. Nonetheless, we should keep up with our high standards of customer service. Of course, we would be nothing if it was not for our staff. Staff and training are in my opinion, one of the most important factors. Thus of running a busy successful garage business.

Indeed, without good reliable staff then you may as well forget it. For this reason, our customers return time and time again. Please read the article ,it is filled with many interesting facts about your local independent garage. To be a successful MOT centre, then honesty is the key word.

Eric Roberts

Source: Independent garages lead in MOT testing

Another interesting MOT testing article about a dishonest tester working for Halfords.

brakes pads only posts

Garage Owners- Beware of the “Could You Just” Customers!

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Garage Owners

Garage Owners

So, I suppose this lesson that I am about to teach you could be a lesson for all types of business and not just garages! This type of customer has always been a laughing point when the garage guys meet over a pint of beer! Subsequently, we vey often get onto the customer who calls into the garage a says ” could you just fit a set of front brake pads, or could you just fit me a “head light bulb”. Yes these are could you just customers you have to avoid!

The sign in the car window that I have used as the image for this post. Unquestionably, this says it all. Admitably, not all small jobs go wrong! However, your staff must be made of the customer who just pops in and they are tempted to fit the “small job” between customers that are already booked in.

So the number of times that these so called “small jobs” have backed fired would amaze you. Of course the latest and most common one is the “can you just fit a light bulb“. This is one that you need to watch out for! Some a relatively easy to fit. However many are also a nightmare requiring half the cars front end to be stripped down before the bulb can be fitted.

Another similar problem is the “can you fit my own brake pads “customer.

This is a temptation to a new garage owner. So a customer walks in with new set of usually cheap brake pads and asks you if you can just fit these! Tempting  as it may be we never fit customers own parts. Consequently, you will always find that its not just the pads thats gone. So, then you are in a dilemma. Probably one that you never needed. Garages and similar industries cant do “right for wrong”!

So we all know the other problems associated with the simple job of just fitting a set of brake pads. Anything can go wrong and believe me often will. My advice is to stay clear of these customers. Established garages will know all their good customers and will generally be too busy to accommodate the “can you just” brigade. My advice is to stay clear of these people and politely say that you are fully booked and in any case dont fit customers own parts.

After all as I say the image says it all.

 

oil and engine warning lights

Peugeot 406 Lights-This car was left with us for a flashing lights problem? Going Mad ?

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Peugeot 406 Lights

Driver of the Peugeot 406 could not switch off the engine

Subsequently, the first time that we saw this particular car was when it was in for an MOT test. Gloomily, the owner said that the car would probably fail the test. Because some of the lights were not working as they should! However the owners disappointment came to an end when the car passed the test.

Surprisingly, contrary to what we thought all the lights were indeed fine. In good working condition. The weather at the beginning of the year.Indeed, was warm and sunny. The customer picked up his car ! and we heard nothing from the customer or his Peugeot 406 (with the suspected Lights problem).

Peugeot turns back up with a central locking problem

So, we did not see the car again until later on in the year. Turning up again with an unrelated problem. Hence, the central locking was not working as it should ?  We checked out all the likely things and found nothing a miss. When the car was in our hands then the central locking was working fine. Subsequently, we could not find any problems.

The customer collected his Peugeot 406 back home and sure enough he returned with yet another problem ! The cars side lights were staying on in a permanent position. In other words they were switched off but remained on,(if you get what I mean) .So,once again we checked all the likely culprits. Including the fuses and switches and everything was just fine. Significantly, the car was having a number of “Lights and other electrical problems” at differing times,(very strange). When investigating we found this a clip from another Peugeot owner with similar problems from the forum of the Peugeot 406 web-site…

Then, with the car locked, the brake lights came on. Then went off, then glowed dimly then stayed on. At this point I pulled the fuses for the brake lights and nothing at all happened. The lights stayed on. Disconnected the battery and then reconnected. Lights stayed off until I tried the brakes with the ignition on.
“I removed the BSI (with the battery disconnected) and (with battery back on) turned on the ignition to find all the lights still lit up.
Must be the dash board. Out with the dash on with the soldering iron.

Every pin and connection to the dials.
Put back in, no joy. Brake lights on with or without the dash board.
Removed brake light switch. (what a swine that is to remove)-lights still on!
Looked for all the earth points round the car. Got to the drivers foot well and I could hear a buzzing noise. Could it be a relay?”…

Of course, this was a problem that we had not come across before. Surprisingly, the whole thing came to a head ,when the car engine would not switch off ! To stop the engine running then we had to stall the cars engine. Amazingly, we just could not find a problem.

Had to call in an a Citroen/Peugeot expert !

As a last resort, I had to call for help and enlisted the help of a mechanic friend called Richard. Richard had heard about this problem before and went straight to the foot well of the drivers side.

The weather was terrible for a couple of weeks prior to the cars problems occurring ! Torrential rain and wide spread flooding was a national problem ! Because of all the heavy rain here in the UK ,the foot-well had become flooded. Consequently, when we lifted the carpet at the drivers side we found a wet soggy mess.

Peugeot 406 wiring was rotten with the wet ?

Specifically,the Peugeot 406 lighting and engine  problem was found . Subsequently, the plugs that connected the wiring together were perished and rotten. Of course,causing all the short outs, and strange electrical things to happen. Firstly, we drilled a hole to release the water . Secondly we  re-wired the damaged wires together. So, it was very time consuming but  a good job done. We still do not where the water is getting in but I have added some advice from the Honest John website…

“Dry the interior out, remove all mats. Stay inside car whilst a friend gently sprays a hose a one section at a time for several minutes, wait a few minutes, then inspect. Make sure you train the water on the sunroof, side windows, light clusters, rear hatch, doors and main windscreen – these are the common areas that could leak.
IF after a thorough dowsing, gentle bounce rear and front of car to dislodge any water that maybe sitting somewhere inside. Also covering the the dry car interior carpets with newspaper will show presence of water and possibly direction of leak , if you have a dark trim”…http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=48178

Water can cause many electrical problems in your car ?

Thinking back the cars owner could relate the problems after we had had heavy rain fall. So, when the water leaked into the car then it shorted out some of the cars electrics . Of course if any water enters the car then much damage can occur. It even happened recently to a nearly new Ford transit delivery van that I bought from the local Ford dealer.

Apparently, unknown to me the van had a new windscreen fitted before we bought the van. On a recent delivery to a customer in Lancashire I experienced a very heavy period of rainfall. Surprisingly, the van came to a sudden stop ! Fortunately, I had just pulled off the M56 motorway. So, the engine was completely dead , refusing to start !

After a couple of hours waiting the RAC guy turned up and recommended that I be towed to our base in Halifax, UK. To our horror we found that the windscreen had been incorrectly fitted and water had entered the cab onto the ECU (Vans computer). So, after the shock and a couple of thousand pounds lighter, the van is now back on its delivery runs !

All caused by water entering the vans cab ?

Michelin Quality Pays

Michelin Quality Pays

Michelin Quality Pays

There is no doubt in my mind that, over the many years of being in the tyre industry, Michelin has the best reputation for quality and reliability. Michelin is one of the best-known and most respected tyre brands in the world. The company has been in business for over 100 years and has a long history of producing high-quality tyres for a wide range of vehicles.

I can honestly say that in all those years, I have never seen a genuine Michelin faulty tyre. Michelin has played a significant role in the development of the tyre industry and the advancement of tyre technology from the early days of the automobile to today’s modern tyre market.

Michelins History

The history of Michelin began in 1888. Of course, when the company was founded by brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The company began by producing bicycle tyres. However, they quickly expanded into the automotive market. In 1891, the company developed the first removable pneumatic tyre. Importantly, this revolutionised the tyre industry and made it possible for cars to travel at faster speeds.

throughout the early 20th century. Michelin continued to innovate and develop new tyre technologies. In 1946, the company introduced the radial tyre. which had a stronger and more flexible sidewall and offered improved fuel efficiency and a longer tread life. This innovation quickly became the industry standard and was widely adopted by other tyre manufacturers.

Michelin became well-known for the excellent mileage that their car tyres could achieve. Other tyre companies could just watch and try to follow. The secret was in the steel chords that were part of the radial tyre mix. These were patented by Michelin. making it very difficult for other tyre companies to copy.

The result for some tyre companies was a mess. when the steel chords were broken, say by a puncture. The steel belts would rust and cause all sorts of problems. Michelin coated their steel belts with a copper coating. thus protecting the steel and not causing problems with any water infusion from a nail or a screw penetrating the steel belt.

Moving quickly on

In the decades that followed, Michelin continued to push the boundaries of tyre technology. The company was one of the first to make run-flat tyres, which let a car keep going even if one of its tyres gets a hole. They also made tyres that can fix themselves and have sensors that keep track of the pressure and wear.

Today, Michelin is known for producing high-performance tyres that offer superior grip, handling, and overall driving experience. The quality and performance of Michelin tyres is shown by the fact that Porsche, Ferrari, and BMW all use them on their high-performance vehicles.

Michelin ruled supreme when it came to innovation, recently developing the Michelin CrossClimate, a summer tyre with winter capability.

Michelin is also a major manufacturer of commercial vehicle tyres such as trucks and buses. The company has developed tyres that are specifically designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, which is important in today’s world where there is a growing concern about environmental impact.

Michelin and the environment

In addition to producing high-quality tyres, Michelin is also committed to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of its operations. The company has invested in renewable energy and recycling initiatives and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

Finally, Michelin is a tyre brand that has made significant contributions to the growth of the tyre industry and the advancement of tyre technology. From the invention of the automobile to the modern tyre market. As I have said earlier in this post, Michelin has been at the forefront of innovation and has consistently produced high-quality tyres that offer superior performance, durability, and safety. Michelin Quality Pays

tpms for run flat tyres

Runflat Tyres Safer-Are now a Major Car Safety Feature-by Bridgestone Tyres

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Runflat Tyres Safer

6 reasons why I am happy to have run-flat tyres on my car

  1. Safety: Run-flat tyres can help to maintain stability and control of the vehicle even in the event of a puncture, allowing the driver to safely navigate to a repair shop or service station.
  2. Convenience: Run-flat tyres eliminate the need to change a tyre on the side of the road, which can be time-consuming and dangerous.
  3. Peace of Mind: With run-flat tyres, you don’t have to worry about getting stranded on the side of the road with a flat tyre.
  4. Space saving: Run-flat tyres do not require a spare tyre, which can save space in the trunk and allow for more storage options.
  5. Cost-effective: Run-flat tyres have a longer lifespan than traditional tyres, which can help to save money on replacements over time. However this is not always true. Some of my customers say that the tyres do less mileage. Due to the weight of the extra rubber layers. Therefore they can be less economical.
  6. Better fuel efficiency: Run-flat Tyres are designed to maintain their shape and structure even when deflated, which can help to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

Bridgestone tyres

So, Bridgestone tyres first started to develop the concept of the runflat tyre. Of course, in Japan, it is part of a type of aid for disabled people. The tyre that was used was a 175/70×13 that had a strengthened side wall. Consequently, this was fitted to the Honda Civic. As a result, this was done in the “International Year Of The Disabled”.

 

Later this side wall protection technology was used on the Porsche 959. Bridgestone called the new tyre the Potenza RE71.

This new development proved a success. So, in the 1990s, Bridgestone  developed the TPMS, or ”Tyre Pressure Monitoring System” . This was to enable the driver to know when a tyre had lost pressure. Henceforth, a light on the dash would light up when the tyre pressure dropped. Subsequently, warning the driver if a tyre went flat.

In my opinion this made the Runflat Tyres Safer. Of course, this system was to become very popular as a safety feature. So, and was fitted to many of the German made cars such as BMW.

Runflat Tyres are Safer allowing the driver to carry on driving the car with a flat tyre.

There are restrictions, though. Specifically, the car must be driven at 50 mph for a maximum distance of 50 miles. This enables the driver to drive the car to a safe stopping place. explicitly, without the car swerving or deviating off course. Those cars that are fitted with this Runflat Tyres Safer system. Therefore, do not carry a jack or spare wheel !

In my opinion, this lets the system down. Some car makers will tell us that this makes the car lighter. As a result, it is more fuel efficient and thus greener. In my opinion, I feel that in general, it is a good idea and makes the vehicles much safer. Significantly, if the car experiences a sudden loss of air (blowout). Assume you’re on a busy highway. Of course, with run-flats, the car will not deviate. Keeping it in a straight line, making driving with Runflat Tyres much Safer.

The odds of this happening though are not as high as the motorist having what I call a “normal puncture”,

this is where the grey area is and this is what Bridgestone  say…

With certain types of punctures in the tread area, the Bridgestone Run-Flat technology tyres may be repaired subject to certain conditions (depending on how far and at what speed the car was driven after the puncture). Please consult your nearest RFT-authorised dealer to have yours inspected.
Before attempting a repair, consult the vehicle owner’s manual for restrictions. “The vehicle manufacturer may restrict the use of repaired tyres on its vehicles.” 

In my opinion we would repair a runflat tyre only if the customer says that he has had a slight loss of pressure and we can find an object such as a screw or nail within the legal area of a normal tyre puncture for example ¾ of the tread width from the centre of the tread outwards and the tyre had not run whilst in a totally deflated state, we would have to take the drivers word for this, so we always take caution and inspect the tyre for any signs of running under inflated, such as

carbon dust or creasing and cracking on the inside of the casing. If we are not sure we would always fit a new tyre.

Eric Roberts… https://www.pellonautocentre.com/runflat_tyres.htm

Can I replace run flat tyres with normal tyres ?

In my opinion the answer is NO , but the following text from  Bridgestones  website does open a slight gap…

Bridgestone EU do not recommend mixing tyres with Run-Flat Technology and standard tyres on the same vehicle, even if paired in axle sets. If you have a puncture, tyres with Run-Flat Technology are designed to permit you to proceed to a tyre dealer where you can have the tyre checked and replaced if necessary with another tyre with Run Flat Tyres Technology. In exceptional and emergency circumstances, a conventional tyre of the same size can be fitted. It must be noted that standard tyres do not have Runflat Tyres Safer characteristics and should be removed at the earliest opportunity”… http://www.runflat.eu/english/qa/

In my opinion, they should say that the two different types of tyres should not be mixed, but they say that you can mix them in an emergency, could the fact that the car owner just cant afford them be classed as an emergency.

Ring your insurance company is the advice that I give to all you 2nd and 3rd hand BMW Mini owners when you fall on the floor at the cost of replacing runflat tyres.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-Centre offers car and van servicing and repairs for all makes of vehicles. We sell cheap runflat tyres online from our website, www.pellontyres.co.uk. Of course, by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. Offering courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work Naturally, they leave their cars with us for work. official MOT testing station.

History of Car Tyres

History of Car Tyres

History of Car Tyres

As a guy working in the tyre industry all my life then this subject fascinates me. Especially when I was young and working in tyres for the very first time. Little did I know then but my interest in tyres and the surrounding industry was to last the rest of my life. I even sometimes lie on my back in bed and try to real off the tyre types that say Michelin or Pirelli produced when I was a young tyre fitter in Dewsbury West Yorkshire UK.

The guys in the paragraphs bellow dont know what they started all those years ago, in different parts of the world. The pneumatic tyre was first invented by Robert William Thomson in 1845. However, it was John Boyd Dunlop who developed the first practical pneumatic tyre for use on bicycles in 1888.

Thomson, a Scottish inventor, came up with the idea for the pneumatic tyre as a way to improve the ride comfort of carriages. He filed a patent for his design, which consisted of an inner tube made of India rubber, filled with compressed air and surrounded by a casing. However, the patent was not granted and the invention was not developed further.

Dunlop, a Scottish veterinarian, was motivated to develop the pneumatic tyre for his son’s tricycle.

He observed that the solid rubber tyres on the tricycle caused a rough and uncomfortable ride, and sought to improve the situation. It is also great to know that once again it was the British who were at the forefront of yet another great world invention.

He experimented with different designs and eventually came up with a tyre made of canvas, filled with compressed air and sealed with a layer of rubber. He filed a patent for this design in 1888 and established the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company to manufacture and sell the tyres. Dunlop were the first tyre company that I worked for and still have fond recollections of this great British icon.

The pneumatic tyre was a significant improvement over solid rubber tyres, providing a much smoother and more comfortable ride. It also had better traction and durability. The invention of the pneumatic tyre revolutionized the transportation industry and is still in use today.

Dunlop’s invention was not the first attempt at pneumatic tyres, but it was the first practical one, that could be mass produced and that would work well in real-world use. The invention was a response to the need for better tyres for vehicles, which would provide a more comfortable ride and increased safety.

Profound impact

This invention has had a profound impact on the transportation industry, making it possible to travel faster, longer, and more comfortably than ever before. A great story from Scotland Who would have thought the car tyre would keep rolling on right up to today?

  • 1845: Robert William Thomson patents the first design for a pneumatic tyre
  • 1888: John Boyd Dunlop patents the first practical pneumatic tyre for use on bicycles
  • 1891: The Michelin brothers begin producing their own version of pneumatic tyres under the brand name “Michelin”
  • 1895: The pneumatic tyre is first used on automobiles
  • 1908: The first pneumatic tyre for motorcycles is developed by Dunlop
  • 1946: Michelin develops the radial tyre
  • 1971: Radial tyres become the standard for cars and light trucks

As you can see, the development of pneumatic tyres was a gradual process, with several key inventors and companies contributing to its evolution over the course of many decades.