Runflat Tyres Safer

Type of Tyres- a Woman’s Guide to help increase tyre knowledge for safer driving

Type of Tyres

A Women’s guide about tyres and helpful tips

Not all Type of Tyres are created equal. Yes they are all round- at least they should be if they are in good condition. But there are a variety of Type of Tyres for a variety of uses, situations and road conditions. So before you buy just any tyre, buckle up and listen up and learn a little more  about tyres for your car and safety.

 Type of Tyres
This X section of a tyre helps people to understand how they are constructed(i think)

Summer  Tyres

These are the standard type of tyres that are supplied on most vehicles when we purchase them. They are all Type of Tyres that can handle well in both average wet and dry conditions. The water channels that you see in the tread area of the tyres allow for normal traction (meaning they grip the road in normal summer weather) during rainy weather they can cope with average type rain fall and the spray that is associated with this.They are the average Type of Tyres for normal weather conditions. This type of  tyres will be on the car when you buy a new one.

All Terrain and Off Road Type of Tyres

If you’re a woman who likes to use her vehicle for off road driving regularly. These would be the tyre for you. These are usually fitted onto mostly SUVs and light trucks. Of course, such as Land Rovers. About tyres explains the fact that sidewalls of these types of tyres are stronger than the summer tyres. Featuring large tread block patterns that deflects mud and slush from the contact patch. Improving grip on loose sand or gravel. Hence, when you go on your off road excursions. The best type of scenario for these type of tyres, would be one that the farmers wife may use.

 Type of Tyres
This is what can happen when you dont inflate your tyres at regular intervals. The tyre has deflated and the tyre is completely damaged.

Winter Tyres

 Type of Tyres

If you are in an area with chilly climes with snow and ice and low temperatures. So, winter tyres would be your best friend. These will ensure more traction on snow and ice. The main difference between all season tyres and winter tyres is in the type of rubber that is used. Winter tyres would need to grip the ground more to keep the vehicle in control so the rubber that is used is mixed with silica. These type of tyres keep flexible at low temperatures enabling the tyre tread to grip in the cold conditions and are used during winter conditions.

So when should I change my tyres?

There are several things to note that would indicate that it is time to replace your tyres. Here are the most easily observed ones:

  Tyre tread– The pattern that you see on your wheels is called the tread. Its primary function is to divert water from beneath the tyre to improve traction and maintain smooth handling. If your tyre tread has been worn down to 1.6 mm or less, it can no longer perform this function effectively and this could cause the car to skid on wet surfaces and cause hydroplaning, where your  car loses and control and can cause a crash. For safety reasons, it is recommended that you change your tires at a tread depth of 3 mm.

 Tread wear- Observe how the wear on your Type of Tyres look. The pattern of the tread wears can also indicate other problems which may have caused them such as under inflation, which can cause wear on the outer edges of the tread and leave the central tread area less worn.

While knowing when to replace a tyre is good stock knowledge to have at your disposal, the best authority to determine whether your tyres need replacing would be an expert tyre dealer. A dealer who would have the experience of the use of a variety of tyres across a variety of brands on a variety of car models.

Peugeot 406 Lights

Mercedes Vito Brakes Job Turns up Horror Shock Absorber

Mercedes Vito Brakes

Mercedes Vito Brakes

So, I must admit that I am a great fan of the Vito van. Because, a few years ago then I owned a beautiful red Mercedes mini-bus. Fortunately,  the vehicle was very reliable. Requiring very little maintenance apart from the normal servicing and the usual tyres and other renewable. As most of my readers now know then my wife and I had eight children. So we needed a large vehicle to transport the family about.

We also did much travelling! Especially, to France, where we spent most of our summer holidays. Unfortunately, the only downside came when we tried to sell the Vito. Positively, it was in great condition. Being a garage owner, then we had the van service at very regular intervals. Brakes were a prime consideration. Because the safety factor when travelling long distances.

So, we advertised the van in all the usual places. Including online web sites. Finally we received an offer from a taxi guy from Chester. The price he offered was below the price that we were asking but we reluctantly let the Vito go.

Same colour Vito in for Brakes

Last week when visiting the garage in Halifax . So, I noticed a red Vito on one of the ramps having some work done. Significantly, the rear wheel were removed and the brake calipers were hanging down. Dale one of my mechanics was working on the van at the time. Asking what was wrong , Dale explained that the van had braking problems and indeed required a full brake rebuild on the rear brakes.

However when removing the rear wheels then Dale discovered an horrific problem ! The rear shock-absorber had completely broke off and was just hanging there! This can be clearly seen in the above image. Unfortunately, the break was from part of the chassis. Serious rotting had taken place in the shocker mounting area. Welding was not an option ! So, to correct this problem then a complete new chassis box section would have to be engineered. Consequently, this is above our remit and would have to be done by a specialist body repair shop.

After contacting the customer we were instructed to carry on with the Mercedes Vito Brakes. As a foot note the customer said that he had never any banging or strange noises at all. I find this hard to believe with a shocker hanging down ?

Car Servicing Tips

Car Servicing under Warranty-Do You Have to Have Your Servicing Done By the Main Dealer ?

Car Servicing under Warranty

Your car servicing can be carried out when the car is  under the manufactures warranty

Car Servicing under Warranty
European Union EU flag

So, as a garage owner of long standing ! This is a question that I am always asked. Albeit too late to benefit my garage. Of course, when customers come to us for say a tyre fitting. Naturally, then they sometimes ask us what the price of a service would be for their car. Some customers then say that we can’t do the car  servicing ! Because the car is under the manufacturer’s warranty. Subsequently, they must take their cars to the main dealer (franchise garage).

This ruling was brought out in the European Union (EU) in 2010 .  As an update to previous legislation. Consequently, this is similar to the American version of “Right to repair act”. It was brought up to date to prevent the car manufacturers from protectionism. Including, diverting the cars that they made to their franchise dealers. Thus not allowing any work to be passed onto the independent garage sector. While the vehicle was still under warranty. This also would have included Prestige Car Servicing. Giving the main dealer garages the monopoly for all the work. Whilst the car was still in the warranty period.

This was not acceptable to the EU.

So, as car repair bills were then accounting for 40% of running and owning a family auto. Unfortunately, the costs were going to rise in future years. In my opinion this legislation was not very well publicized. Because the general public do not know much about the fact that you can take your vehicle to a reputable independent garage. Finally, even if the car is still under the makers warranty scheme.

More reading…European Union Auto legislation

Car owners are still told that they must return their cars to the franchise dealers for servicing. Including out of warranty repair work. Including,such things as brake pad replacements and other wear and tear items. Tragically, or else if they don’t it will affect their cars warranty. This is simply NOT TRUE?

car servicing under warranty

A couple of my customers have told me recently that this is what the salesman had told them, when they had bought their new vehicle. One was a guy with a BMW, who told him that the car

had to be serviced by the BMW garage to keep the cars warranty. Another woman customer had bought an Audi TT from the local Audi franchise and they told her the same. I am not sure if it is a lack of knowledge by the car salesman, but I suspect that they must be trained to say these things.

The EU legislation states that all car makers

So, have to offer the least, a two year unlimited mileage warranty on all their cars. This starts from the day the car is first registered. These car sales people should know the law and I am sure the same thing is applicable in the USA, as I stated under their “right to repair laws”. The two year minimum warranty ruling also applies if the car changes ownership within the warranty period.

The 2010 EU ruling along with previous legislation has been around for quite a while now and all franchise garages know that you cannot force a new car buyer to return the car for all its car servicing or brake work.  Enabling the car to retain its warranty. The only stipulation is that the independent garage that is carrying out the service should carry out the work according to the cars manufacturing service manual and also use service parts of the same quality as the original equipment fitted the vehicle.

car servicing
Car servicing Halifax can also be carried out by other local garages if the car is still under warranty

In my opinion it is good practice to have your car servicing done at a reputable garage

One that may be recommended by your family or friends. If possible look out for a garage that is one of the “good garage schemes”. My garage is a member of one of these schemes and you may think that I am blowing my own trumpet.

But in my opinion ! Standards are high and customer care is a priority at most of these regulated garages. I must stress though, that if a part is found to be faulty . Then the franchise dealer has the right to repair the van under the terms of the car warranty. In my opinion this entirely fair and reasonable. Because it will the manufacturer who will be paying for the faulty parts being repaired. Consequently, they need to have proper procedures in place and a correct paper chase

This post does not cover warranties that are sold by a third party. Including, extended warranties offered by the garage that have sold the car. So, my advice is to be careful with that situation. Some of these other types of warranties that are not under the regulations covering the manufacturer’s warranties may require you to have your car serviced at the dealership where the van was bought.

We recently had this type of problem with a car that had a worn out clutch.

The lady customer brought the car to us for a new clutch fitting. Unfortunately, and did not tell us that the car was still under warranty. She genuinely thought that she did not have to pay for the clutch fitting. Unknowingly, and that we could claim the money back from the car manufacturers. After a long argument and many phone calls to the main dealer she finally paid us for her clutch fitting and went away a very confused and disgruntled lady, never to be seen again.

This was a perfect case of the car owners, not knowing about their cars warranty procedures.

“Under EU law, you may invoke your guarantee at any dealer in the manufacturer’s network, regardless of the EU country in which you bought the car. So if you buy your car in Germany and take it back with you to France. So, you go to a car dealership for that make of car close to your home to ask for a manufacturing fault to be remedied (within the guarantee period), rather than travelling back to Germany”…http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/cars/faq/index_en.htm 

BMW 3-Series Traction Control Light

Jaguar XF Brake Problems ? Hub Rusting the main Culprit?

Jaguar XF Brake Problems

We are fortunate to have a few of our customers who own a Jaguar XF.

So, like most older guys I have always been a keen fan of the Jaguar cars. Going back to when I was a young man working in a garage, as an apprentice mechanic. We were fortunate enough to have some wealthy customers. Importantly, who could afford to buy new Jaguars from time to time.

Jaguar XF Brake Problems
Jaguar XF hub showing a small deposit of rust that had built up

One of them was one of the directors of the Fox’s biscuits empire. Hence, who was one of the Fox families. Luckily, he always had four or five new cars on the go at once. Consequently,who always kept us busy with the servicing and repairs.

Jaguars have always appeared to have brake or tyre problems. So, throughout their history. I can remember in the late 1960’s the new  XJ4 came onto the market. This car sported wonderful flared archers . Including, new 6×15 inch wheels that were fitted out with a new tyre form Dunlop tyres. Subsequently, the tyre size was ER70VR15.

These  tyres were especially designed for Jaguar by Dunlop.

Dunlop were developing tyres with the Jaguar engineers. Who at that time were a major force in the UK tyre market. Importantly, this car also came out on disc brakes all round.

I always remember the problems that the XJ4’s were having with vibrations. Annoyingly, coming through brakes and the steering wheels. Firstly, it turned out that one of the problems was engine vibrations. So, Jaguar engineers tried out many things. Of course to try and correct the problems.

I then worked for National Tyre Service who was wholly owned by Dunlop. It was our task to try balance the wheels to our best ability. But in those days we did not have the sophisticated electronic equipment that we use on today’s cars. In fact we had to take the cars to the Dunlop garage in Leeds. Strangely at the time this was done in secrecy.  Because of the huge problem that Jaguar was having with these vibration problems.

I was once able to stop and watch the engineers go to work balancing the wheels

The balancing was carried out on a special machine that I had never seen before.  It must have been brought to Leeds from the Dunlop factory. The most amazing thing was that the Dunlop technician actually skimmed some of the tread off the tyres. Trying to make them

Jaguar XF Brake Problems
Jaguar XF 2nd image showing a build up of rust. This must be removed for the discs to be fitted in a perfect position.

rounder. I certainly know that all this was hush/hush. Incredibly, so not to affect the reputation of Jaguar and also Dunlop. I believe that Jaguar had to do all sorts of things to correct the vibrations problem !  An excellent article about the early Jags can be found on…Aronline .

Back To the future with the Jaguar XF

As I have said before !  We have three or four customers that come into us for servicing. Including other jobs doing on their Jaguar XF. We have had a couple of these with complaints about brake vibrations and a droning noise. One of our customers came in with brake problems similar to the others.

This one was a bit different in that the problem  did not occur  when he was doing high speed ,the car was smooth, but when he started to slow down to about  60 mph and then 40 mph the vibration and droning noise would start to happen.

The problem is, like so many of these things, that when we road test the cars the problem never shows itself up, the car plays mind games with the owners. This particular car was taken back to the main dealers, but we now know that the braking and droning noise is now a recognised fault, the cause is thought to be the disc brakes or hub run out.

Another Jaguar XF that we were servicing was found to need discs and pads all round.

We contacted the customer who kindly gave us the go ahead to do the job. He gave us his consent and we carried out the brakes work. About three months later the car had developed a slight brake vibration and he left the car with us for examination. This all reminded me of our problems with the XJ6, s Jags in the sixties.

We road tested the car a sure enough the brakes pedal did vibrate slightly. We could find nothing wrong and true to our warranty policy we suspected that the discs could be faulty and  ordered a new set of discs.

Jaguar XF Brake Problems
Jaguar XF Image of the hub after the hub has been cleaned up. Looks like new, but this cured the problem..

Our supplier agreed to change the discs and accordingly sent us a new set. The New Jaguar XF discs fit onto the hub and we noticed that a slight amount of rust had formed on the outer part of the hub; this can be seen on the pictures that we took.

We think that we cured a previous Jaguar XF by removing any rust and thoroughly cleaning the hubs

Of course, before refitting the brakes discs. When we did this on this particular Jag it appeared to solve the problem. So, we cleaned off any rust that had formed on the hub. Thus, where the discs seat and re-fitted the replacement discs. Ryan road tested the car and all was well, the car had no brake vibrations and so far the car appears to be working fine.

We now think that this could be a problem if you are lucky enough to own one of these fine cars. Please make sure that the hubs where the discs fit are totally cleaned and look like new, because any rust build up will cause the disc to run out of line, only a fraction, but we feel it would be enough to cause a brake vibration on the Jaguar XF when the pedal is applied.

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles.  Also sell Dunlop Tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com. Of course, by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. Offering courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station .

Peugeot 206 Estate Clutch

Ford Focus Clutch- Diesel TDi 2004-with Clutch Problems.

Ford Focus Clutch

So, over the years we seem to have had a run of cars with clutch problems. Consequently,that have been brought into my garage Pellon-Autocentre, here in Halifax UK. I think that most garages will have these runs of cars with different problems. Sometimes it may be brake problems or sometimes we have a run of exhaust pipes dropping of. This particular time it has been clutch problems.

Yesterday was no exception? Sure enough first thing in the morning an AA transporter turned up on the forecourt. So, with a silver car strapped to the back. Happily, the car was accompanied by an old customer of ours. When his Focus was unloaded. He came into the reception to explain what had happened.

He told us that he had recently been working away down in the south of England. While he was away he had started to have problems with his clutch. He told us that one morning he was driving to work from his accommodation and called in for some diesel. When he arrived back at the car, the biting point of the clutch was very close to the car floor. Also, the rest of the pedal was very sloppy and loose.

He managed to drive the car to his job

Subsequently, he is a builder for an housing association. Who own properties all over the UK, the head office is here in Halifax .He sometimes has to work away to help sort problems out. Although he was having great difficulty selecting his gears. When he first bought the  Focus about 18 months earlier he was told that the car had recently been fitted with a new clutch ! Of course, this was one of the reasons that he had bought the car. Visibly, it appeared to be in good condition.

He called out a local garage that topped up the slave cylinder. Also telling him that the clutch pedals on these Fords have a black plastic hinge type thing attached to it. Importantly, which is what pushes the master cylinder in. This hinge is attached to the  pedal by a metal rod. The hinge is held in by a clip and it is this clip that can come off. So causing the cars clutch problem. This was sorted out by the garage and for a few days all appeared to be well with the  Focus.

Ford Focus driver could smell clutch fluid?

He noticed a slight smell coming from the cars cab, but he did not know what it was, it was apparently clutch fluid that had leaked from his previous problem. The guy told us that after the

ford focus clutch
Focus Master cylinder bearing showing the broken bush

garage reportedly had sorted the Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi problem out then the car gear change was still a bit lumpy. After the job was complete the guy decided to risk it and drive the car back home to the North via the M1.

He decided to call in at the services for something to eat and a rest. On his return to the car, he found that once again the clutch pedal was down to the floor pan of the car, but unlike before there was no bite at all on the clutch. His company had provided their staff with AA breakdown cover, for their employees who traveled away to work, and so the guy promptly called the AA out to the services.

Inspected by the AA

The AA man inspected the cars clutch cylinder to check the level, but soon noticed that the cylinder was empty of fluid. He said that the Ford  was susceptible to these type of  problems and diagnosed a broken master cylinder. There was nothing that he could do as far as road side assistance, and so he proceeded to load the car onto the back of his transporter in order to take the car to the garage of his choice, which was our garage in Halifax.

When proceeded to put the car on lift, and found that clutch fluid was seeping out at the bottom of the clutch housing through one of the vent holes that are there to alloy dust and dirt to evacuate the housing. We diagnosed the problem as a master cylinder failure and reported back to the customer, who by this time had borrowed one of our courtesy cars and gone back to work somewhere here in Yorkshire.

We removed the Ford Focus gearbox and clutch housing to reveal yet more problems?

The engine was dropped and the gearbox . Removed and then the Ford Clutch housing was separated. Revealing the clutch assembly. We found that the hydraulic cylinder bearing had in fact got a broken seal and needed replacing. Then we found that although the  Focus diesel should have been fitted with a duel mass flywheel. Subsequently, this car had been converted to a solid single flywheel,

Ford Focus clutch
Ford  showing old worn out clutch assembly

Including a normal type clutch plate and to make matters worse ! Incidentally, both were damaged. The flywheel was broken and the clutch plate was worn out, and also needed replacing.

We phoned the customer on his mobile! Of course, he was not very pleased to say the least. Having, expected the clutch to last him more than the 18 months that it had lasted since he bought the car. The old parts were saved for the customer to look at as we always do. Another small problem also occurred? We had some difficulty matching a new single clutch plate with a new solid flywheel, as the old one was a cheap clutch plate and had no part numbers on to match a new one.

With the help of the motor factors we were able find the correct parts and rebuilt the whole assembly. The car works fine now and the customer went away highly delighted, after his initial shock.

The diesel Ford Focus can be converted to a solid single clutch system

When the customer had left I looked at some Ford forums about the conversion to a single clutch assembly and the general consensus is that it is fine to do it. In fact Ford transits can be converted by using genuine Ford parts. That is made especially for these conversions. Also I have heard that many taxi companies convert their taxis to the single clutch system.

For more Ford Focus clutch problems…

Eric Roberts

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