Driving on Bad tyres

Part Worn Tyres Targeted-Calls for part-worn tyre ban following trading standards sting

Part Worn Tyres Targeted

Part Worn Tyres Targeted

This is great news. Especially for us tyre retailers that run a legitimate business. As a result, we are all sick to see all the back street tyre shops. Hence, that have recently opened, selling part worn tyres. We all know that most of the old tyres that these people sell are “Illegal”. Even more annoying, is that members of the public buy this rubbish for their vehicles.

I see this every day. Drivers think that they are saving money. However, it has been proven many times that this is false economy. In addition, we have had many disillusioned drivers calling into my depot here in Halifax UK. Disillusioned, because the tyre that they have just payed £20 for, only lasted them for two weeks. As a result, we examine many of the tyres that we remove. Hence, after being bought as part worn tyres.

Most of these tyres were the pits? They were just over the legal limit with cuts and cracks all over the tyres and many our well over the age limit. Including the sidewalls and the tread areas. The people who sell these tyres should be banned from been in business. In fact I have visited countries such as Egypt. These back street places resemble such third world countries.

Part Worn Tyres Targeted

As an industry we have fought for years to make tyre safety a priority. Including, tyre tread depth and rules about repairing tyres and the age which tyres should not be fitted. People who sell illegal part worn tyres should be closed down. I frequently pass these places and it makes me cringe. Thus, when I see regular motorists have these tyres fitted to their cars. Also I often see taxis having these death traps fitted. As I have said on many occasions. Then I do not mind the sale of “legal” part worn tyres being fitted. But looking at the state of these places then I very much doubt that anything about these companies will be carried out legally. Including, public liability insurance and many other things that we legitimate businesses have to provide to be able to trade with a clear consciousness.

Finally, it is good to see that trading standards are making some inroads into the problem. more reading  https://www.pellonautocentre.com/dangerous-tyres/

Eric Roberts

Source: Calls for part-worn tyre ban following trading standards sting

caravan and motorhome batteries

Caravan Tyres Season Again-A great Video from Tyresafe.org About caravan Tyres

Caravan Tyres Season Again

Caravan Tyres Season Again

Yet another great video about your caravan tyres. Furthermore, this advice also applies to the owners of motorhomes and towed caravans and trailers. In addition, all vehicles that could be stood for long periods. Of course, and then take off on a journey. Consequently, the tyres on these vehicles are also exposed to the sun. For this reason, tyres that are exposed to the sun then suffer from cracking.

This cracking can be seen and identified on this video. Therefore, worth a look at the video. Millions of people set off this time of year. Subsequently, to take an Easter break. As a result, our roads are full of caravans, campervans and motorhomes. Nothing wrong with that? As long as the owners make safety checks. Especially on their crucial tyres. Including a visual inspection and checking the tyre pressures.

Caravan Tyres Season Again

I find it incredible when I see a caravan smashed to pieces after an accident. Many of these accidents are caused by tyre blowouts. For this reason, every year we see our customers bringing in tyres that have been torn to pieces after a deflation on the motorway. Undoubtedly, there are many such incidents that go unnoticed. Ownership of one of these vehicle should mean total responsibility from the owners for safety concerns.

Millions of caravan and motorhome are responsible people. Unfortunately, it is the few irresponsible drivers that give the majority a bad word. Another important thing that I feel I should mention.

To sum up, is to make sure that the tyres on your vehicle match up to the correct load ratings for your specific vehicle. Especially, if you own a larger vehicle. You can be sure that your load rating will be higher than say a standard car tyre. Please check and if you are not sure ask your local tyre centre for advice.

car brakes problem

Failing Brakes-Lack Of Car Servicing Could lead To problems with your cars brakes ?

Failing Brakes

Many cars are now having a bad  experience

Of driving your car along the road only to find that when you apply the Failing Brakes,

you hear a tremendous “grinding”noise problems

Of course winter is always a bad time for our customers with brake problems. Specifically, because drivers use their brakes much more often. Especially, if the weather turns wild. Snow and ice make drivers doubly aware of the driving conditions. Consequently, they use the brakes twice as much as they would in say dry sunny summer conditions.

Eventually the brake pads will wear away. In many cases the pads wear down to the extent of wearing out altogether thus causing Failing Brakes ! Frequently, only leaving the metal part of the pads in tack. Of course this is the time when the grinding noise can be first heard by the driver. So, causing panic as this is often accompanied by brake warning lights illuminating on the cab dashboard !

Drivers panic !

So, the noise comes from the metal part of the worn out pads grinding on the metal brake discs eventual causing Failing Brakes. Resulting in the horrific noise when the brakes are applied. Significantly, this happens many times and We are now finding that we are seen an increase in drivers calling into our Halifax garage with this problem. With with Failing Brakes that are rattling and banging. Many of our customers are lady drivers (about 60% we estimate).

Not being sexist but the lady drivers do appear to panic more when this bad brake experience happens. Finding out that when you apply the brakes. Then you can hear a tremendous “grinding”noise. As a result, coming from your car. This can be a harrowing and frightening experience. Especially, to a first time driver.

When this happens all the customer wants to do is stop their car. Of course and then, getting it to a garage as soon as possible. As I have siad earlier, these days as well as the noise, then a warning light will illuminate. Hence, on the dash-board. Making the experience twice as daunting.

Customers just want their vehicle putting right !

So, in really severe cases of total brake failure, then a recovery is often required. Drivers just dont want to drive their cars that are making such a terrible noise. So, the cars are just left with us to do whatever is needed to make their vehicles roadworthy again ! The cost of the repairs does not seem to be a problem. Because, this important part of the car and the brakes must be fixed at all cost.

Why let the brakes get to this stage ?

This is the bit that I don’t understand ! I believe  that the main reason for the customer grinding brake problem is a lack of car servicing. Thus allowing their cars to become  beyond the stage of proper safety levels (when the pads are completely worn down and they become metal on metal with the Discs). Dangerously, this problem occurs mainly because the vehicle had not been serviced the year before.

Customers now lead very busy lives ! So, it is not surprising when we tell them that their car has not been serviced for over two years. I must admit that I am in this bracket ! Consequently, because of a missed service then parts that need replacing such as brake pads . So, are neglected and wear out causing the grinding problem. Customers do not usually miss servicing on purpose !

So, there was a time when our customers would miss a service for financial reasons. In recent years we have found that this has become less of a problem. Money is much easier to access, so important things such as servicing their car has become less of a problem.

Missing a service is false economy !

However a modern safe guard has become the annual MOT Test and servicing. Expressly, the modern way is to have a service when the vehicle is in for its annual MOT test. So, to help drivers, many garages like ourselves. Offer a service and MOT package that is in the financial reach of most card drivers. Of course, this package ensures that things that could be missed due to neglect can be spotted  and put to rights.

Including the cars braking system. When the brake pads  are not completely worn down then we can advise the car owners and they can be changed before the dreaded grinding noise emanates.

So, when the car is in fir a service/MOT, and we find that the  Brake Pads are getting low. Then we report back to the client with an advisory. Of course with the permission of the car owner ! The parts will be changed on the service making the car safe again, and up to scratch. If the owner does not have their vehicle serviced and the Failing Brakes are neglected, then the problem of low pads will then be spread to the other parts, namely the brake discs.

Of course, other brake problems could also occur. Including, seized up brake calipers, or leaking brake cylinders and damaged ABS warning wires.

Failing Brakes problems could have been avoided.

As an example to what I was saying earlier in the article! One lady customer brought her BMW Mini in to us with a  Brakes problem. Closely examining the Mini we found that she required discs and pads on the front. Including a set of pads on the rear. The lady could not understand this ! Explaining that she we had only just serviced the car a couple of months previously.

Much surprised! We subsequently,checked the records on our computer system. She was horrified to find that the last service was carried out 18 months ago ! Time had flown by and she had missed her annual service completely. Needless to say that she apologised, paid her bill and went on her way. Of course ,we do send out reminders to our customers, but it had slipped her mind.

I do believe that motorists are becoming more aware and educated about the need for regular car servicing as a preventative measure to Failing Brakes. Especially before the dreaded grinding brake scenario occurs!

car suspension parts

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

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

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

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

car brakes problem

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

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

Insane MOT Test Proposals

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

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.

car brakes problem

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

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.

 

Camshaft Sensor Peugeot 206

Peugeot 406 Lights: flashing lights problem?

Peugeot 406 Lights

Peugeot 406 Lights
© Can Stock Photo / HPW

Driver of the Peugeot 406 could not switch off the engine

Peugeot 406 Lights

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 owner’s 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, it 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- Peugeot 406 Lights

So, we did not see the car again until later 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 to miss. When the car was in our hands, 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 car’s side lights were 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 clip from another Peugeot owner with similar problems in 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 are on with or without the dash board.
removed the brake light switch. (What a swine that is to remove!)—lights still on!
I looked for all the earth points around the car. I 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 from running, we had to stall the car’s engine. Amazingly, we just could not find a problem.

Had to call in an a Citroen/Peugeot expert ! Peugeot 406 Lights

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 driver’s side.

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

Peugeot 406 wiring was rotten with the wet ?

Specifically, the Peugeot 406 lighting and engine problems were 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 was done. We still do not know 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 the car while a friend gently sprays a hose, 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.
After a thorough dowsing, gently bounce rear and front of car to dislodge any water that may be sitting somewhere inside. Also, covering the dry car interior carpets with newspaper will show the presence of water and possibly the direction of the 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 ? Peugeot 406 Lights

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 of 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 van’s cab ?