Drivers Avoid Car Servicing

Anti-Lock Brake Systems- ABS- have been around for 20 years or more

Anti-Lock Brake Systems

Anti-Lock braking systems -problems are now a common thing

So, one of the things that I am most proud about. Of course, been a garage owner ! Is when a customer contacts my garage for a brake problem sorting out? Subsequently, it appears not be the price that the person is worried about. Because they know how important it is to have good brakes on their car.

Anti-Lock Braking Systems

These discs are on a BMW who were one of the first companies to fit Anti-Lock Braking Systems as standard on their production cars

Before we remove the wheels to examine the brakes. So, generally we have a blank canvas to work from. We know that most cars that get to the stage of having practically no brakes! Then the braking system will be in pretty bad shape. Believe me they usually are.

Back in the old days! Then the cars brakes were a much simpler affair to diagnose and repair. Of course, with only the upper end of the market cars. Having any type of electrical modifications in order to aid  better braking. As in almost all the car developments. So, brakes were originally tested and tried on motorsport vehicles. Long time before been tried and tested on the average road cars. Including the beginning of the ABS braking systems! Importantly, that are in common use today.

At first Anti-lock braking systems only came out on the prestige cars such as BMW and Mercedes

but many drivers had not heard of them before, in fact we still get customers in today that do not know what it means when their ABS warning light comes on and has to be investigated. Twenty years ago many vehicles owners were given the option of having ABS brakes or not, similar sort of thing to fitting alloy wheels or steel wheels, they were an optional extra.

Anti-Lock braking systems work differently to a standard braking system

ABS brakes do act differently to a normal braking system. The main two advantages are that; when you are braking on a wet slippery road surface, or say on ice, then your car will stop quicker, this also applies to normal roads of course. Also the car will handle much better when the driver has to brake and steer at the same time, once again say in bad weather conditions, the car will handle much better that when using a conventional braking system.

In any normal driving situations such as stopping at traffic lights or at a road junction, then the Anti-Lock Braking Systems does not activate, but if you need to brake sharply and suddenly then the Anti-Lock Braking Systems will be activated and assist you in braking more safely.

The Anti-Lock Braking Systems sends out pulses of pressure instead of the single pressure that is asserted when braking a normal car. You can actually feel the pulses coming through the brake pedal when you have to assert pressure on to the brake pedal in an emergency stop. It is also important to note that if you do come across a bad situation caused by say snow or a non-tarmac road, then you will still have to slow down, your ABS system will not help you in such situations.

The main gaining point of Anti-Lock Braking Systems is that the driver has full control when braking and steering at the same time and can help the driver to steer away from danger; they prevent the wheel from locking, in certain conditions.

Anti-Lock Braking Systems

With and Without anti-lock brakes

Practice your ABS brake system

In my experience it has always been a good idea to take your car and have a practice with the brakes if you are driving a car fitted with ABS brakes for the first time and get used to the different feel of the brakes when going straight and when steering.

The in cab ABS warning light may come on if there is a fault with the ABS system or the normal braking system. If the warning light comes on then you should have the brakes looked at as soon as possible. In our experience it is usually something simple such as a faulty electrical connection or even that the car needs a set of new pads. You can also find problems with Anti Lock Brake Sensors and other Anti Lock Brake Parts. Once the problem has been found and rectified the ABS warning light can be re-set with a computer.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. Importantly, members of Unipart Car Care centres. Giving a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. Also sell Firestone 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. So,leaving their car with us for work doing. Also an official MOT testing station and are members of Trading Standards. Lastly, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Battery Storage systems

Battery Storage systems could significantly reduce the power of the National Grids.

Battery Storage systems

Battery storage systems-(was not an option)

Because of the way that we built our national power plants. Interestingly, in some cases over a hundred years ago. Importantly, will have to change in the future! Of course, to meet our electrical needs. So for the production of solar energy and its Battery Storage systemsdistribution. Through our home solar panels collections and solar collection farms. Including the wind turbine installations.

So the original “national grid” plants were originally owned by the government. But in recent times were privatized here in the UK by the Conservative government. Of course, led by “Margret Thatcher“. These massive coal and gas powered installations distributed power all over the “British Isles“. Subsequently, many of the power stations were located in coal mining areas of Yorkshire. Importantly, where the coal was transported locally. Resulting in the electricity being sent across the country. Carried on massive power line systems. Then diverted into smaller sub-stations. So,then before distributed to homes and businesses. Of course, usually in an underground power network.

Things are about to change

In recent times we have seen massive investment into the solar energy collecting market. Including, the introduction of new technologies.  Such as wind turbines and solar panel farms that turn the sun and the winds energy into producing electricity. Most people will now have seen these giant turbines across the countryside of most countries. Technological advances including battery storage systems will soon mean that things may have to change in the near future. Importantly, for these nationalized electric companies. Increasingly, as the end consumers start to install solar systems to their homes. Including many businesses across the world.

The price of fitting a solar system to your roof has come down dramatically. mainly because things have become mass produced and affordable. Helping people reduce their electric bills. The only other problem has been that the power produced could not be stored! Until recent years when battery storage systems have become widely available. So, becoming more easily installed using a few simple instructions.

Advantage to isolated communities

This has become of great benefit to cut off people who live in the country. Or in larger countries the “wilderness” . Of course,who are now able to make the production of electricity.  Storing it for the night use when the sun goes down. This can also lower the cost of their energy . Consequently, which has gradually become one of the most expensive household items in recent years.

Interestingly, I have electricity collecting panels on my roof. Selling the electricity back to my provider. Thus reducing my electric bills by half. Here in the UK we are limited to the number of solar panels to one roof. For this reason I don’t think that we are allowed to go self-sufficient. Of course, by producing all our own electricity. However, some countries are different. Such as the USA, where consumers can go their own way.

In many people’s opinions the day is not too far away when our roof panels will generate electricity which will be stored in a battery storage system. The householder will own an electric car and along with powering the rest of the house, the battery bank will also charge your car battery at night time, totally self-sufficient in electric power.

As I have said this is a perfect scenario for the perfect little houses in a perfect little village, but what about the rest of the population who live in multiple units and don’t even have their own roofs. Could we be looking at communal units of solar panels and storing the electricity in a battery bank, or is that a dream?

Island communities go solar sufficient

Perhaps not, because I have heard of some island communities, who have become self-sufficient by using this method. The batteries are packed into a 20 ft cargo container and the Battery Storage systems will store electricity to be used at night. This also eliminated power failures due storms and broken cables causing outages. The sun reliant system was fitted using up-to-date technology and now works perfectly leaving the island self-sufficient, by using the suns energy and storing it in batteries.

Battery Storage systems

Fiamm power Battery Storage systems unit to supply a whole Island

My interest in all this is that I sell solar storage batteries. Subsequently, I am very interested in the whole sun collecting  project. I cannot see the end in the national grid model! But alterations are going to have to be made in future. So, to accommodate the public’s wishes to produce their own electric power on their own premises. Neither do we know what new future technologies will be available. Especially, for collecting the suns power. Significant ideas are coming along all the time.

There is one thing for sure that governments are going to have to face. Giving this greenhouse gas  problem much thought in the future years ahead. Of how we use the power of our sun in years to come.

Eric Roberts

 

 

Car Brakes Rule The Day

Brake Juddering Causes-What is it?

Brake Juddering Causes

Foot pedal vibrations lead to the brake juddering experience

So,one of the first signs of brake juddering problems. Firstly, is when you can feel a vibration coming through your foot pedal. Secondly, when you press the clutch pedal. So, to brake and stop your car. Some of our customers say that it was a long drawn out process. Eventually though the brake began to get worse. Including the vibrations starting to come through the steering wheel.

brake juddering

Replacing warped discs and worn out pads

Unfortunately, some of our customers think that the vibration is a wheel balancing problem! We also have to check out the problem with a correct diagnosis. However a braking problem will usually come through the brake pedal. So then this is a sure sign of a brake problem.

Unfortunately, one of the main Brake Juddering Causes come from elderly drivers. Significantly, who always cover the brake pedal with their right foot. This applies to manual gear changes or automatic, they what I call “ride the brake” some drivers also do this with the clutch but that’s a different article to cover. What happens if you ride the brake? Well one of the problems is that you are applying extra pressure onto the brake pads that are constantly in contact with the brake discs (brake rotors in the USA). These in turn over heat the discs, and the discs then warp and go out of shape.

Brake juddering is a bigger problem in hilly areas

In my opinion though, driver fault is not the main reason for warped brake discs. I think that the main cause is the terrain. We here in Halifax are in a hilly area and we get a high occurrence of warped brake discs and brake juddering faults from our customers.

In areas where there is very steep inclines, then drivers are more likely to keep their foot on the brakes. Some of the hills in the Hebden Bridge area are like alpine passes with 180 degree bends to contend with. When you come down these roads you have to keep the car in a low gear and be prepared for a vehicle coming up the hill, without braking all the time.

This constant braking is what overheats the discs and causes them to warp and vibrate giving Brake Juddering through your brake pedal. Some garages have a machine that will skim the brakes and stop the vibrating, but I think that once they have overheating then they do not work to their full potential and there for a new set of discs is the best option.

Improved brake technology

Over the years car manufacturers have brought in new technology to balance out the disc overheating problem and try to eliminate the Brake Juddering Causes. Including different metals that can stand more heat and also the disc parts

brake juddering

Perforated discs like this BMW disc are designed to dissipate the heat that is built up when braking hard

that now come out with holes drilled in the metal at calculated intervals, for heat dispersal. This can work very well; you can see brake discs actually glowing red hot on some motor sport cars when they have to brake very often at high speed, some can be seen to be glowing white hot in the dark.

This has the same effect as the regular car driven by a regular driver.So, try to avoid heavy braking especially at high speed.  Keep your distance and try not to brake heavily. When you are driving down a steep hill, use a low gear and use the car’s engine as a brake, try not to press the brake pedal constantly.

Have your brakes inspected at regular intervals when the car is serviced. Of course, any worn discs or pads will be picked up by the garage.Importantly,we can even spot a disc that has been overheated in the past.  Because the disc has a blue coloured sheen on it. Remember like many other things to do with a car, prevention is better than a cure.

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and Car Brake Repairs to all makes of vehicles.

 

 

Ford Focus Duel Mass Flywheel

Fiat Punto Clutch problems- since 2004? Popular car in Halifax UK

Fiat Punto Clutch problems

Fiat Punto have had a raw deal when it comes to clutches

Fiat Punto Clutch problems

2004 Fiat Punto in for a new clutch

So, recently, we have noticed that we have done more than our fair share of clutches. Especially on the Fiat Punto model of car. Interestingly, then I decided to do a little research. Finding some real horror stories. Subsequently, going back to the 2002 Punto models.

One unlucky customer. The owner of a “52” plate Punto 8 valve version. Complained to me about several problems that he had encountered. Including a very bad transmission judder and other small irritants.Unpleasant things, such as engine noises and various oil leaks. Recently, he had just had a clutch fitted! But 1400 miles later the juddering had returned.

Checked out his car on Fiat forums

Inquisitively, he too looked up the Fiat forums. Noticing the amount of Fiat owners who were experiencing various clutch problems on their Punto’s. So, the cars came mainly from the main dealers. Coming from different parts of the country. However, it looked as though Fiat knew about the problem. Subsequently,  did little about the Punto problem.

Interestingly, other Fiat owners were experiencing problems. Especially, with a low biting point clutch pedal and rattling noises. Increasingly, when changing gears. Sounding as if there was a broken spring rattling noise. This can be a common sign that you have a clutch that needs changing. But disgruntled customers did not get much joy from Fiat. Indeed many Fiat drivers opted to have their clutches changed by an independent garage. In some cases a mechanically minded friend or relation was called into to help ?

Fiat Punto Clutch problems

Fiat Punto clutch old and new.

Other owners complained about their  pedals becoming hard when pressing to change gear. This then developed into them hearing scratching and clicking noises coming from the pedal area of the car, once again this is a sure sign that you need a replacement , in fact this is similar to the latest customers car that we fitted a new clutch to the other weekend and sure enough when we stripped it down the Punto needed a new clutch.

Fiat Punto clutch went again after only 2 weeks

Thank goodness the one that we did the other week was good and the car ran well after we had fitted it with a new clutch, but for some owners that was not the case. One unlucky gut had recently had a new clutch fitted, only to find that a few weeks later the same problems had come back to haunt him. The car had also had a new clutch pedal fitted, but after a few weeks the car once again became difficult to change gear, back to the same problem as pre new clutch?

The problem turned out to be a problem with the clutch bleeding. The mechanic who repaired the car did not know how to bleed the clutch because the Punto’s do not have a normal bleeding nipple system as do many other models of cars and for some reason some air had entered the fluid system of the clutch, making it difficult to change the gears again.

These Fiat Punto Clutch problems were corrected by the garage.

Who had just fitted the new clutch and the mistake was just put down to lack of Fiat Punto experience. So, this can very often happen in a garage that repairs mixed makes of cars.

Going back to the Fiat Punto in at my garage for a clutch. Well it was only the second clutch that this particular car had fitted since 2004 (ten years), so I do not think that that was at all bad. The job to fit a Fiat Punto clutch is one of the easiest to do and the car was back on the road in a couple of hours, the customer was delighted and off he went a few hundred pounds lighter, but happy?

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.

Eric Roberts

Fiat Punto Clutch problems

Clutch components removed

We also sell Dunlop Car Tyres online from our website www.pellontyres.co.uk by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. Offering courtesy cars to local motorists. Needing to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. So, we are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Trading Standards. Carrying out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Car Tyres Repairs from Repair Specialists

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)-and summer tyres-can both give you Temperature Problems

 TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring systems).

So, “Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems” have been around for quite a while now. it was developed to compliment  cars that were fitted with run flat tyres or cars that did not have a conventional type spar wheel and tyre.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems

TPMS Warning lights can be triggered by tyre temperature drops

When a run flat tyre loses pressure, there is no way of knowing so a special valve with a sender, was invented and when there is a loss of air pressure in the tyre the sensor in the tyre valve picks this up and sends a message to the cars computer which lights up a warning light in the cab and alerts the driver that something is wrong with one of his/hers tyres.

The idea is a simple one really, but it is not that long ago that a driver would not go anywhere without his spare wheel? How things have changed. Now most cars are fitted with in cab warning technologies and it is very common for us to see on a daily basis.

There is however one thing that has cropped up, those drivers may not know. This is that the Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems in susceptible to temperature changes. This is basic science, when the temperature rises then the air expands and when it cools down then the temperature lowers.

Monitoring Systems valves.

When the temperature drops on cold freezing night. Then so does the air pressure in your tyres. Pressures can drop as much as 10 psi on a really cold night. This can then trigger off your tyre pressure warning light in the car.

It may not happen to all cars! But it is worth noting that if this happens to you. So then you will know what has been happening on that cold dark winters night. In some cars the light will correct itself. Going back out as the air temperature rises. Subsequently, you could increase the air pressure in your tyres and this will stop this happening.

The second temperature related part is the way a summer tyre acts when they get cold too!

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems

Regular tyre pressure checks are very important

TPMS and summer tyres in the cold

This temperature issue is probably a little bit better known, but here goes. Summer car tyres and winter car tyres. Importantly, have different chemical compositions in their tyre compounds. The main difference is the addition of “silica” compounds. Into the mix that makes the winter tyres.

The different compounds are there to give different characteristics to the tyres in different weather conditions and heat and cold. Summer’s will get much stiffer and harder in cold weather, making the tyre more difficult to handle when braking and cornering. This change in character starts to come in when the temperature gets below 7 degrees.

Winter tyres remain flexible in the cold

The winter tyres with their different compounds will remain flexible and pliable in colder weather and this combined with a tread design that has been developed to dissipate water, slush and snow, makes the winters  the perfect fitment for your car from November to march here in the Northern hemisphere.

If you are looking for a set of tyres for your car at this time of year then I would strongly advise fitting winter tyres, they have been proven time and time again to be the safest option for your car and your family.

As an update then the Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) have increased to nearly all car makes and models. So, the importance of tyre pressure to save fuel and emissions cannot be under estimated! So, moving on a few years since I first wrote this post then a few things have happened! Firstly, as reputable tyre dealers then we have to keep a large stock of electronic valves to replace old ones that break or just need replacing.

Going forward we are finding that most problems are caused by seized up metal valve caps. So use plastic valve caps where possible. Importantly, when the warning light comes on please check out the tyre and the tyre pressures ?

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems

Winter tyres like this Yokohama W-Drive are made of special compounds to cope with any winter weather that may come your way.

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs. Of course, to all makes of vehicles. Members of Unipart Car Care centres. Giving a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. Also we sell Toyo Tyres online from our website www.pellontyres.co.uk. So, by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. Offering courtesy cars to local motorists. Importantly, who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. Also an official MOT testing station and are members of Trading Standards. Finally, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Peugeot 406 Lights

Shock Absorbers- Nissan Micra – MOT Test-Failure if they are Worn and Leaking

Shock Absorbers

Leaking shock absorbers are an MOT test fail

The most frustrating thing about shock absorbers and struts, (which are basically the same thing) is that they are sealed units and although they are classed as maintenance free, they will

Shock Absorbers

A Nissa McPherson strut unit, the shock absorber part (strut) is fitted inside the spring .

very often start to leak. In some countries shock absorbers are known as dampers, because that is exactly what they do they damp down and level out the bumps that your car is picking

shock absorbers

Nissan Micra in for a new shock absorber

up as it drives along the road.

Depending what the model of your car is, then the shock absorbers should be changed at certain mileage intervals,

If you are not sure what this is then you can perform a simple bounce test. All you have to do is to press the corner of your car a few times with your body weight and then stop the bouncing. Once you stop then your car should settle back down straight away, if it bounces again more than twice then the shockers require changing. You do this procedure on each corner, bouncing the car and then releasing it.

In my opinion this is not a very satisfactory way of checking your shock absorbers, but at the moment I have not seen a satisfactory machine that will do the job. The best machine that I ever saw and consequently bought was a tester that was sold by SUN equipment. You drove the car onto vibration plates, which shook the cars suspension very violently and then suddenly stopped. The action of the shock absorbers was then recorded on to paper printouts via an ink needle, similar to the ones used in hospital heart machines. If the pattern was tight then the shocks were good, if they were wide, then the shocks needed replacing.

This was a great machine because it produced a print out so that the customer could see the state that his shocks were in. ironically the machine was scrapped by Kwik-Fit after I sold them the business and I don’t think that they are made any more.

How do Shock Absorbers work?

Some cars never have their shocks replaced, but with age the ride of your car will get bouncier and the cars steering will be all over the place when cornering, although this is sometimes

Shock Absorbers

Micra McPherson strut sowing the oil leak (dark part)

blamed on the cars tyres it is more often than not the shocks that need changing.

As I have said earlier, the most common problem is the fact that they leak oil. If this is the case then they will need changing. Any kind of shock absorber works on the same basis. There is a piston rod that enters a chamber that is filled with oil. The piston has oil seals to prevent leakage. As the piston is compressed by the weight then it takes the force of the road surface and the car. Your shocks take all the up and down pressure (bumps) and the cars chassis remains level, or as level as possible whilst driving along.

When the shocks are worn or broken then you will get an uneven ride in your car. I think that the worse culprits of this are on cars that are used as Taxis. You can often feel the older cars bouncing up and down as you drive along, and apart from alcohol, I am convinced that this is one of the reasons that people are sick in the back of a Taxi.

Struts are normally fitted at the front of cars and are fitted inside a coil spring unit.

These are known as McPherson struts and just like the shock absorbers, they can leak oil. These struts along with the springs that they are inserted into can very often break, and the symptoms  are rattling and banging noises coming from the car when going over bumps in the road, This is another problem that the potholes can cause. “Broken springs

An old perennial that keeps cropping up is that when a shocker has to be replaced then should they be replaced in pairs. In my opinion this is a grey area, the manufacturers always recommend that you fit two, and I think that this is the perfect scenario, but in practice the customer wants to get away with having to spend as little as possible and in general only has the one fitted. The rule to this is simple, if your car is relatively new, then just change the one, the one on the other side should still be good, but if the car is an older model then you should change the shocks on each side of the same axle, backs or fronts. This will give you an even ride and more stable cornering.

Normal shocks are fairly easy to change for the home mechanic

But the struts are more difficult and require some special tools, such as spring compressors and so I would take your car to a local garage, for the work doing.

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.

Eric Roberts

 

Runflat Tyres Safer

Michelin Zero Pressure Tyres-Run-Flat tyres will get you out of Trouble in an Emergency

Michelin Zero Pressure Tyres

For high standard of equipment and In all fairness Michelin are not the only company to make a run-flat product. Most tyre companies including some budget tyre brands make a run-flat tyre.

Michelin’s call their tyre the ZP or Michelin Zero Pressure.

This of course refers to the fact that when the run-flat tyre deflates, it will carry on running with zero air in the tyre. This is exactly what the run-flat does. Because of the much stronger

Michelin Zero Pressure

Michelin run-flat tyres

side walls the tyre will not deviate from its course. The driver is warned about the deflation from inside the car by the TPMS system (tyre pressure monitoring system).

Let’s face it our roads are probably the busiest in Europe and nobody enjoys having to change a wheel at the side of the road, in fact they now warn us to stay well away from the car, at the top of the embankment, while the recovery truck turns up, because of the many accidents caused by broken down vehicles being hit from behind by other vehicles who lose concentration and smash into them.

With the Michelin Zero Pressure run-flat technology fitted to your car this will be avoided. These tyres will lose pressure from a nail or a screw penetration but your car will keep a straight line and you will be able to drive home, albeit at the reduced speed of 50 mph, but the tyre will let you travel 50 mile which should be enough to get you out of trouble and have the tyre changed

Michelin Zero Pressure Tyres-Can you mix run-flat tyres with normal radial tyres?

Michelin recommend that you should never mix a Michelin Zero Pressure run-flat with a non-run-flat normal radial tyres. The only exception to this rule is if you were stranded in the middle of nowhere and the only tyre depot for miles around could only get you a normal tyre then this would be acceptable as a last resort, get you home step and the tyre must be changed back to a run-flat as soon as possible.

The Michelin Zero Pressure run-flats have completely different sidewalls; they are made of much thicker materials and are known as “Self-supporting tyres” or SST’s. They have two other identification markings on the sidewalls.
1: ZP allows you to drive at 50 mph for speeds up 50 mph (most of the M1 motorway at the moment)
2: ZP SR allows you to drive for 20 miles at 50 mph

Michelin Zero Pressure offer the same ride capabilities as a normal radial tyre

The first time I drove a BMW Mini that was equipped with run-flat tyres I thought I was in an old truck going down a cobble road. The ride was horrendous, and my staff, who regularly test drive cars say that this is a common thing, the ride is very hard, because the sidewalls are so thick and re-enforced. Michelin claim that their Zero pressure tyres are not the same and give just as good a ride as their normal radial tyre range.

Although I have not tried out as car fitted with Michelin Zero Pressure, this has got to be a step in the right direction and I will try out these tyres as soon as possible to quantify their claims.
However some fleet companies are now looking at the Michelin Zero Pressure, because of the more comfortable ride and also improved fuel consumption. These tyres have been tested by fleet company Alphabet’s Operational Services Manager, Andy Williams,
He explained: “The comfort compromise everyone used to associate with run-flats has disappeared with the latest technology of tyres.

I have tried Michelin’s new Zero Pressure (ZP) range

Trust me, you can’t tell the difference from standard tyres. Yes, there have been critics of run-flat tyres in the past, but Michelin has answered all of them. It is high time fleet managers start to embrace the new technology as it has so much to offer.

The combination of a smooth ride and the increased safety is something they just can’t afford to ignore. The fact Michelin Zero Pressurethat a tyre keeps its shape when it loses pressure could be life-saving in the event of a tyre blow-out.”
As I have stated earlier this means that the fleet car user can now safely drive the vehicle to a tyre centre or garage and have the tyre replaced.

This will help to reduce down time caused in the past by the driver calling out the emergency services because they are not able to change the wheel themselves, or the car is stranded in a dangerous place.

For the private drivers who are fitted out with run-flat tyres it would be well worth trying out these new Michelin Zero Pressure, because of the better and less harsh ride, that is associated with the other run-flat makes of tyres.

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 Michelin Zero Pressure Online .

Eric Roberts

NTDA Want Part Worn Tyres Banned

Am I getting soft on Part Worn Tyres? 22% of British Drivers Now Using Them-should we be worried?

Part Worn Tyres

 These are very alarming figures 22%, almost a quarter of the driving public are buying these part worn tyres

But I am now thinking differently about the problem. In my opinion the Part Worn Tyres market has increased due to the financial crisis and a lot of young families are having to make

part worn tyres

This tyre came from a car recently and was bought as a part worn tyre. the so called repair in the tyre only lasted 2 weeks before failing. The lady bought this tyre with good intent, not knowing that it was indeed rubbish.

huge economic changes in their household budgets, but they regard their car as sanctity, a necessity, they will keep it running at whatever cost, even if it means running the car without insurance or road tax.

This is also where part worn tyres come into it. If it means keeping the car running then they will pay say £20 for a part worn tyre, I do not think that they care about its condition, all I can say is that they must trust the person that they are buying from, as long as it gets them about and they can keep their car running.

It is the tyre industry that should make sure that the tyres that these people are using are in fact safe to use and come under the Part Worn Tyres law (Under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.) part of the Consumer Protection Act) that we have here in the UK and probably other countries too.

17% of drivers would also keep buying part worn tyres.

In my opinion the economic crisis has hit us all to the extent that we will probably never recover again. The retail market place has changed considerably over the past years, with consumers having to make huge cuts in their spending habits. This includes everybody, and I have to admit that includes my family. We are changing our shopping habits and the companies that are making changes to cope with the lack of consumer spending are becoming the winners.

Starting at the top of the chain, families are now shopping on a daily or twice weekly basis. Here in the UK the winners are becoming the smaller chains such as Lidl and Aldi, who are pushing the huge supermarket customers into second place, primarily because of the changing shopping habits of the consumers. We also having the cheaper clothing retailers who are doing well in this climate, stores such as Primark are sweeping the floor with much cheaper clothing than the high street stores, who are suffering from the general downsizing of the consumers.

In my opinion this is also the same problem that is affecting the tyre market at the moment.

Drivers at the lower end of the economic scale are forced to buy part worn tyres to keep their cars on the road. According to the recent survey 17% of these drivers would also consider a repeat purchase of part worn tyres, which could mean that these people are taken out of the new car tyre market altogether. There has always been a slice of the tyre market that have bought second hand tyres, but this time the increase is quiet significant and is effecting many of the smaller tyre retailers up and down the country.

Fighting back with cheap budget tyres

One of the knock on effects of this gap in the market place is the price deflation of the budget tyre brands. My own business has seen a Sharpe increase in the cheap new tyre market. The manufacturers that are suffering are the mid-range tyre market and the leading companies appear to be holding their own, we are still getting our customers asking for their favorite brands. These are usually the older drivers that are known as the “Silvers” and that include me?

These are the drivers that will stick to Michelin and Dunlop and can still afford to pay the price for them.

I am only forming my opinion on the facts that are affecting my tyre business here in Halifax Yorkshire UK. But asking about and traveling around has opened my eyes to the number of part worn tyre bucket shops that have opened up in the last few years has quadrupled. The increase in these operations has opened my eyes to the extent of our industry wide problem. We seem to be more at the battle front in the poorer northern towns, especially the ones with a large immigrant population, such as Halifax.

Part worn tyres are also affecting the large companies

This problem probably multiplies the more depots that you own , so the huge tyre companies such as kwik-Fit must be pulling their hair out, in fact This recent survey was financed by Kwik-Fit and its findings were released to the rest of the industry. Roger Griggs of Kwik-Fit said…

“This research highlights the problems that British drivers have experienced with part worn tyres. Many of the second hand tyres sold in the UK are brought in from Europe by the container-load, having been taken off cars across the Channel. Motorists considering a part worn tyre should perhaps ask why a tyre that is no longer good enough for a Dutch, German or Danish driver would be good enough for them.

‘We recognise that drivers are keen to keep their motoring costs low, and we work hard to provide products and services to help them do that. There comes a point where cutting costs can compromise safety and this is especially true with tyres. After all, these are the only thing connecting a car with the road, so we urge drivers to consider whether they really need to opt for the unknown quality of second hand tyres.”

My problem with part worn tyres is the number that are found failing due to the damage that was already present

Of course, when the tyres were fitted to the new customers car. This is due to the fact that tyres that are sold are not sold legally. Here in the UK we have a set of rules that states that part worn tyres should be tested for any faults or damage or objects in the tyres and the tyre s should be checked whilst under pressure. Then after the tyre is checked and found to OK, then a special patch should be stuck (vulcanized) to the tyre with the name of the company or tester displayed on the tyre.

I now know that the effect of part worn tyres on the businesses of reputable tyre retailers

Having forced them to start selling these part worn tyres themselves and in a way I cannot blame them. One guy that I know has set up a separate small depot specifically for selling these tyres. He has kept the two companies separate for obvious reasons, but at least he is now clawing some of the lost business back and he is also running the operation within the current part worn tyre laws.

I can now understand better the predicament that many people find themselves in. Forced by financial circumstances, to buy these second hand tyres. So, thinking that we have all been affected by this crisis and will be for some time to come.

Now believing that they is a place for part worn tyres, but they must be bought and sold within the law and we must get rid of these people who sell all the rubbish and dangerous tyres, by strengthening the current laws and more importantly, to clamp down on these dodgy tyre businesses that sell this rubbish through stronger law enforcement.

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.

Eric Roberts

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Problems? Caused by the “Suction Control Valve” (SCV)

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems

Toyota RAV 4 problem just happened overnight

So, as I have said before, one of the great things about owning a garage. Importantly, is the diversity of jobs that we can encounter. Hence in any busy working week. This past week was no exception. One of our lady customers called it with her car, a Toyota RAV 4 !

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems
The Toyota RAV 4 ready for the engine work to be carried out.

Alarmingly, the reason was that the car was performing badly when trying to overtake. Especially, when she put her foot down the car was very slow to respond.

She had a new Duel Mass Flywheel fitted about six months ago ! Interestingly,  she had wondered if this could have anything to do with the cars recent problem?

The Toyota RAV 4 was fitted with the 2.0D-4 D engine. Importantly, she had not experienced many engine problems in the past. In fact apart from the clutch the car had been trouble free.

Ryan road tests the car !

When Ryan our workshop manager took the car out for a test drive. So, he noticed that the engine warning light was also illuminated . So on his return he plugged the car into our diagnostics machine. Finding that the code PO627 came up. When we looked the code fault up on our diagnostic site. Then it stated that the problem could be a couple of things.

  1. That the internal fuel was below the target fuel pressure that it should be, despite the engine ECU opens the Suction Control Valve (SCV)
  2. Fuel blockage.

Toyota RAV 42.0 D Engines are fitted with a Denso electronic high-pressure fuel pump.  Controlling, the fuel rail pressure and the volume of fuel and are both replaceable items. Denso also make the Fuel Pressure Regulator (we call it the SCV) that can cause the lack of power problems with the Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV 4
Arrow pointing at the position of the diesel pump

Problems.

Ryan suspected it to be the SCV and this was confirmed by a quick phone call to a friend of ours that specialises in diesel engines and fuel pumps. He told us that the SCV Valves had given most him most problems with this particular RAV 4 engine fault and so we took onto ourselves to tackle this particular problem.

New SCV ordered for the Toyota RAV 4

We contacted the customer with a price. Reluctantly, she gave us the go ahead to carry out the necessary work on the car’s engine. We could only buy the SCV parts from the Toyota dealership. Unfortunately, they were not available from any of the local parts factors.

The first part of the job was to remove the two bolts that fasten the radiator expansion tank to the car. Allowing you more room to work. Importantly, you can see this in the picture the arrow is pointing to ! Where the fuel pump is located. Down near the yellow dipstick top. Ryan then had to remove the remove the air intake/inter-cooler pipe.

The only difficult thing that Ryan could see was the location of the pump, that the SCV’s were located; they were located at the back of the pump, making the job a little fiddly.

When the new Toyota RAV 4 valves arrived. Hence they were both coloured differently. So,one was green and the other red. It was important that the new ones had to fit where the old ones had come from.

Toyota RAV 4 Poor Acceleration Problems
Image showing the SCV valves in position ready to be changed, note the red and green colours and the Allen key type bolts that can be difficult to remove.

Hence the colour coding.

The valves are held into the pump by two heavy duty Allen screws each and were eventually freed by using an heavy duty Allen key type bit that fitted into an impact wrench set, with an extension tube to give him some leverage. This did the trick and the screws finally gave in to the pressure.

An important thing to watch out for is that the valve seats have two O-rings. These O-rings must be replaced and refitted into the valve seats; Ryan lubricated them when fitting them back, before the new valves were fitted back onto the pump.

Possible loss of fuel !

Another observation is that you will lose a small amount of fuel when doing this job, so protect the immediate area of the pump with some old cloth to soak up the diesel that comes out and you will not make a mess on the rest of the engine or the garage floor. We also thought it would be worth fitting a new fuel filter, and so we did.

When Ryan completed the work, he then re-set the Toyota RAV 4 engine diagnostic trouble codes , with our engine diagnostic machine and it then only took a couple of attempts to re start the engine, because there would have been a little trapped air in the system from when the valves were removed. If you are doing this job at home on your own one of these vehicles, we do recommend that you keep everything as clean as possible and do not let any dirt or other contamination onto the new valves.

The job only took about an hour

Including the ordering of the parts. Later the car was road tested and found to be cured of the problem. Happily, our lady customer picked up the Toyota RAV 4 paid us and went on her way a happy customer.

This problem can also be found on the following Toyota models

Toyota Avensis 2.0 D-4D (CDT220) 1999>2003,Toyota Avensis Verso 2.0D-4D (CLM20) 2001>2005,Toyota Corolla 2.0 D-4D (CDE110) 2000>2001,Toyota Corolla Verso 2.0 D-4D (CDE120) 001>2004,Toyota Corolla 2.0 D-4D (CDE120) 2001>2007 (90bhp & 109bhp),Toyota Previa 2.0 D-4D (CLR30) 2001>2007. This information is from Blue Print.

Peugeot 406 Lights

VW Polo Performance Problem-Calls in with bad Performance Problems?

A VW Polo day?

So, after the school summer holidays have finished. Fortunately, then we start to get busier in the garage repair side of the business. Happily, the tyre side starts to pick up nearer November, with the approach winter.

VW Polo with clutch and engine problems

VW Polo with clutch and engine problems

Like many other garages we try to plan our work schedules. Booking the various car repair jobs in accordingly.

One particular day last week when we were fully booked up and very busy. Subsequently, a breakdown truck turned up on the forecourt with a black VW Passat on the back. Firstly, the car looked to have had a small front end shunt. Because, the front wheel was sticking out at an angle. The VW Passat was a 2009 TDi and the car had been bumped when parked up in the local supermarket.

We pulled the VW off the trailer and pushed it onto a ramp. We soon discovered that the front wheel had been hit and had completely bent the steering arm. This had totally disabled the car from being driven. The remedy was easy; a new steering arm was fitted and the car was given a Laser Wheel Alignment to correct and re-set the steering. The owner picked up his car and went home happy.

Next car with a engine problem

We were not so lucky with the next car that was booked in for the engine shuddering and banging. The car was a VW Polo 1.4 TDi 2002. It belonged to a friend of the family’s son, who had just passed his driving test.

The VW Polo had been left with us and we took the car out for a road test to try find out what the problem was. The first thing that we noticed was that the clutch had gone, but there was other things going on at the same time, it was a mix-match of problems. We were well trusted by the customer and so decided that we had to fix the clutch first. We removed the clutch housing and found that the clutch had indeed gone.

After replacing the clutch the VW Polo did go a little better, but the engine was definitely not right, it was shuddering and juddering.

VW Polo, Passat with its bent steering arm

VW Passat with its bent steering arm

VW Polo Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) had to be checked out.

The MAF sensor is the instrument that checks the temperature and the weight of the air that is entering the VW Polo engine. This information is then sent to the on-board computer, which calculates the correct amount of fuel that the engine requires to operate at.

The sensor works by measuring the current that is required to check the temperature while the air blows past. The MAF will start to clog up with dirt and other particles over time and this blockage is the thing that can cause your engine to have problems. The symptoms are exactly what was related to this problem. Poor starting, the engine would not run properly and would not accelerate, especially up hills.

Clean MAF sensor

Some people say that if you can clean the MAF sensor at regular periods then these problems would not arise, but we have always found that we have had to replace the part. Importantly, we also fitted a new air filter and the VW Polo was a different car. It was road tested and the change of the MAF sensor revitalised the car, back to normal engine functions.

We also noticed that the steering had got a knocking noise and a vibration and on inspection found that the car also needed a Front Arm rear bush. We fitted this new bush and adjusted the wheel alignment. Here at Pellonautocentre we can repair all makes and types of cars.

It was an expensive day for the customer, but you would be surprised how many of our customers drive their car until it drops to pieces, nothing new there?

VW Polo,VW Passat with the steering arm how it should be

VW Passat with the steering arm how it should be

Just a few problems that we can get: in a busy garage.

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer VW Polo and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. Members of Unipart Car Care centres. So giving a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. Also sell Pirelli Car Tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com . Of course, 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. Also an official MOT testing station and are members of Trading Standards. Finally,who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.