Starter Motor on my Jeep made a loud Clunking Noise

Suspected starter motor

A few week ago now, a guy came into my garage and asked us to fit him a new battery. We always test the old battery, unless the customer tells us the old one is completely dead. This guy Starter Motorhad a Jeep and we said that the battery had been slow to start the car for about a month now and he thought that it was going to let him down completely. He worked in Manchester about 30 mile away from Halifax here in Yorkshire and so did not want to risk expensive breakdown chargers. We fitted a new battery and the guy went away happy. After about a month the guy turned back up again.

He said that the problem appeared to be cured after the new car battery was fitted, but recently he had started to hear a low level clunking noise coming from the engine when he started the car. He said that it was the old problem that was occurring and could the battery be faulty?

This also happens with a faulty alternator. The first thing that the customer does is to buy a new battery, then a few weeks later , the car still has starting problems because the alternator has been under-charging or over-charging. Eventually the car has to have a replacement alternator. It is the same with the starter motor, although the starter is not as common a fault as the alternator, at least not here in Halifax.

Our top mechanic Ryan went out to check the car out and found the clunk was indeed coming from the starter motor when starting the car. There are a few things that you need to know

about diagnosing this problem. The main one is when you try to start the car, (and this applies to all cars and vans, in fact any vehicle that is fitted with a starter motor, will have similar symptoms) you turn the key to turn the engine over, but nothing happens, the engine will turn over. This is what would have eventually happened to the Jeep.

Also when you try to turn over the engine you hear a loud click. In this case the car’s engine will still not turn over. This scenario is also the same as a dead flat battery, but I am presuming that the cars have had a new one fitted, prior to the starter clicking again. This can go on for a little while and sometimes the car will eventually start. The starter engages with the vehicles flywheel and turns over the engine until the car starts, and sometimes it is the starters gear teeth that are broken. But if you are lucky enough the hit the starter key at the right time, then the car may just start.

Back in the olden days cars with inline engines would have a cranking handle. So that you could turn over the engine, by hand (if you were strong enough). However cars started to come out with front wheel drive engines and the cranking handle became obsolete.

Our Jeep needed a new starter motor

Ryan very quickly diagnosed that the starter motor needed replacing, and after giving the gut a price for the job, Ryan began the difficult job of removing the old motor. Years ago the starters were easy to find and replace, but the advent of the computer designed cars, the manufacturers can squeeze parts onto an engine where

jeep, starter motor, and battery

New and old Jeep starters side by side

they previously could not. This Jeep was no exception and the starter was tucked away in nowhere land and very difficult to remove, right up the back of the engine, certainly not a job for the DIY car repairer, on his back on the drive at home.

The new part arrived and was fitted back in the engine by Ryan. The problem was that the teeth on the old motor were worn away, and were not connecting with the flywheel. Sometimes we find that there is an electrical fault, but not in this case. The old starter was sent back to the supplier and then returned to the company that will recondition the starter to repeat the cycle again when the next Jeep start motor goes wrong.

We normally carry out the following tests to ascertain whether or not a new starter motor  is required.

A- We always test the battery first. This is by using a simple multi-meter test.

B- We will check that the starter motor is getting 12 Volts on to its Battery Circuit.

C- We always check that the starter motor is receiving the electrical current from the ignition switch.

D- We carry out a voltage drop test on the starter battery and ground Circuits. We do this using a 12 volt battery and a connecting wire to test whether or not the starter is engaging or not. We test this in a vice on the bench.

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 Jeep 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Turbocharger-What Does It Do?

First turbocharger

I am sadly old enough to remember when the mention of the word “Turbocharger”it was something special. The first production cars to be fitted with turbos (as I am going to abbreviate them) was in the USA, back in 1962, when the Oldsmobile Jet-fire and the Chevrolet Corsair cars were fitted out with the first production car exhaust turbo. These cars did have a few teething problems such as engine knocking, but this was corrected with a few modifications.

One of the next important developments for the turbo came in 1973, with the beginning of the oil crisis. The diesel engines of the time were expensive enough, but the addition of the

turbocharger

Turbocharger almost hidden away

turbo to these engines made them even more expensive. However the fuel crises and the expensive cost of fuel made the turbo driven engines more cost effective because of the fuel savings.

The next chapter was in the 1980’s when governments started to issue legislation to restrict fuel pollution in the new cars that were produced at that time and this was the beginning of almost all the cars produced, having a turbocharger fitted. In fact this is about the same time that diesel driven engine cars became more popular to make for the car manufacturers. The turbo diesel engines were giving a high performance with much lower fuel consumption.

This trend was started off in Germany, in the late seventies and early eighties, when Mercedes Benz and VW started producing production cars that were fitted with a Turbocharger and a turbo charged diesel engines the Mercedes 300 SD and the VW Golf Turbo Diesel models.

The turbocharger into the 90’s and beyond

The main emphasis of the Auto manufacturers was now to drive down the amount of emission’s that the cars were producing. Governments all over the world were throwing huge amounts of money at the problem in order to drive down the carbon gases that cars were producing. The turbo charged engines certainly helped to fulfill this achievement. The advantages of the Turbocharger were that the engines could have a high performance, whilst at the same time be produced with a lower CC, engines were made smaller with more power.

The engines could be made smaller with higher torques and lower speed ranges at the same time. The engines would also become less noisy, we all remember the terrible sounds that would come out of a turbo less engine, and we needed ear plugs to drive some of the early diesel engine vans. The biggest gain though was the fuel consumption. The early diesel engines used to eat fuel, but with the addition of the Turbocharger , the fuel consumption lowered dramatically, cars can now get as much as 80 mile to the gallon, with other added improvements, that are happening all the time.

Our customers know very little about the turbocharger that is on their car.

The Turbocharger can be very complicated to explain, but I will attempt to put it in simple terms, that is the only way I can understand it myself anyway. The basic design mechanism of the

Turbocharger

How a Turbocharger works

turbo works in a very similar way the jet engine. The jet engine draws in air from the front, compressors the air into a chamber where it burns with fuel. It them blasts the hot air out of the back. The hot air then drives past a turbine , which in turn drives the air pump at the front of the engine. At this stage the heated compressed air is pushed into the car’s engine to make the fuel burn more efficiently. The cars turbo is very much like a small car engine, it uses the expelled exhaust gases that are produced in an engine to drive a turbine, this spins the compressor, which pushes more air/oxygen into the cars cylinders  which, allowing more fuel to be burned  each second. This is why a Turbocharger can produce more fuel efficient energy per second.

Theoretically Turbocharger care, by the car owner is only down to general care and servicing of their car. Clean oil is very important and indeed one of the main problems with turbo care is when dirty oil is sucked into the turbos lubrication system. It is also a good idea to make sure that your engine warms up slowly on a cold morning. The cold thickens the viscosity of the oil which could starve the Turbocharger of oil, but with all the different oils that are used now, then I am not sure that this applies any more.

It is certainly a wise thing to make sure that your vehicle has the correct type of oil and that you top the engine up with the same type of oil as used in an oil change. If you are not sure, have your car serviced by a garage of your choice, it is not worth the risk, some turbos are well over £1000 each, and you can’t do without one.

Hope this helps.

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 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Flexi Exhaust Pipe-Astra VXR can it be Repaired?

A Flexi Exhaust Pipe can get you out of trouble?

Over the past 15 years we have seen a massive change in the way that car manufacturers have changed the way that exhaust systems have changed. In the early days we used to keep

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Astra VXR in for a noisy exhaust system! Flexi Exhaust Pipe to the rescue

huge stocks of exhaust parts( including Flexi Exhaust Pipe) in stock to service our customer’s cars.

There were many different exhaust manufacturers around at the time supply the aftermarket with mild steel replacement exhaust systems. Some were good quality and some were bad quality. At the time we would guarantee these mild steel systems for one year and they did not last much longer than that. At the time I was a great fan of the Unipart exhaust, because they were perhaps the best fitting exhaust system on the Mini’s which were very popular at the time.

We found though that the worst problem apart from half of them did not fit correctly, was the welding. We had to balance the cost of these exhausts with the quality of the fit and the welding. The cheaper exhausts were welded by hand, and were awful quality. We would have many comebacks from faulty badly made exhausts. Some of these companies are now long gone, but the ones who have stuck it out are the better quality systems. These companies such as Bosal, went into aluminising their exhausts to make them last longer and gave them a two year warranty.

However they would still rot from the inside due to the mild sulfuric acid that was emitted from the engines of these cars.

Catalytic Converters became the new influence with better quality exhaust pipes.

Then along came the big revolution, for the humble exhaust pipe, the emissions test. The new greener car engines started to come out with catalytic converters. This was to control the

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Catalytic converters complete with its own Flexi Exhaust Pipe used to come boxed up like this one

pollutants that were entering the atmosphere from the car’s engine. The cats were made from a honeycomb of ceramics and the catalysts that are used are made from precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

It is my opinion that was because of the improved status of the exhaust system including the catalytic converter that the whole unit would have to be made better and therefor would last

Flexi Exhaust Pipe

Astra VXR with a new Flexi Exhaust Pipe welded on to his existing exhaust system

much longer. In the early days of catalysts, companies set up making up the replacement cats with imported universal units from America, so if your cat went for any reason then the cheapest way to replace it would be to make one up in a kit form including a Flexi Exhaust Pipe and weld it to the old exhaust pipe.

As time went on and the emission laws became stricter, then the cats became more complicated, some having two lambda sensors fitted and Flexi Exhaust Pipe which were also becoming an integral part of the exhaust system. It is not uncommon to find some cars with two cats on the same piece of exhaust system.

This is where our Astra VXR comes into the equation. The more complicated the car and engine then the more complicated the exhaust system will be. Some cars even have exhausts fitted that are more complicated to get at physically. They weave and bend into the most complicated places that you can think of.

Some of the cat/exhaust combinations can cost as much as half the value of the car in some cases and when we told this VXR owner that the replacement system for his car would be well over  £1000 he nearly fell through the floor?

Fortunately we have a guy working for us who can see his way round these things and Ryan came up with a great solution. He suggested welding a new flexi pipe onto where the break in the exhaust pipe was. This would save the customer hundreds of £’s just coming up to Christmas. All we had to do was to check and see if the exhaust was thick and strong enough to take a weld, and it was.

Ryan measured up the flexi-pipe where it was to be fitted and welded the new part onto the existing exhaust. The guy could not afford the £1000 in the first place and so we were all happy. We can confidently give the guy a guarantee on the job and he went away another happy customer.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and Exhaust  System 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 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Michelin Zero Pressure-Run-Flat tyres will get you out of Trouble

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

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 and 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 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks on our staffs workmanship.

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

 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 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 have 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 and are forced by financial circumstances, to buy these second hand tyres. I think that we have all been affected by this crisis and will be for some time to come. I now believe 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. We also sell New Car 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

 

Rover Street Wise- with a Timing Belt Problem.

I must admit that when I heard about a Rover Street Wise car in to us with an engine problem,

I could not remember what one looked like? The car is a beefed up version of the Rover 25, but in my opinion the car is far better looking and I think that it made the car more appealing to younger drivers. The owner of this car is only in his mid- twenties, so I may be right.

When the car arrived it was 1.4 petrol driven 2003 model, and the engine appeared to be locked out. The Rover Street Wise differed from the Rover 25, because the car some additional body panels fitted and a raised height. The car was said at the time to look a little outdated, but to the trade’s surprise, the car took off and sold well. To some people the car was a tough little car and it looked the part too.

The Rover Street Wise was built from 2003 to 2005, when the last one rolled off the assembly line at the Longbridge Plant. Over the life of the cars, known faults have reared there ugly heads, including a faulty Security Control Unit (SCU). This fault comes in all sorts of forms from, the horn not working or another small electrical item such as the electric windows not

rover street wise

Timing belt just visible

working, to bigger problems, with the central locking, alarm and immobilisers knocked the car out of commission. If you had such a problem then you were not able to drive the car at all.

Dealers were rubbing their hands, charging anything from £700 to £1000 for a new SCU fitting. However the car that we had in was another problem. The owner of the car had lent it to his friend for the day. The friend went shopping and when he got back to the and tried to start it, he heard a loud bang and the engine acted as though it was dead, in fact the engine had locked.

Rover Street Wise engine had locked?

This can happen when a car runs out of engine oil, but with this car this was not the case. The AA brought the car to my garage here in Halifax in the UK and Ryan took a look, to see what he could find wrong with the car. The car owner was not one of our regular customers and it turned out that he had previously had a timing belt fitted at the garage where he normally goes.

Suspecting that this might be the seat of the problem we started to take a look at the timing belt area. There was the problem, the engine had locked because the timing tension-er had come loose and the timing belt had jumped three cogs. This had caused the valves on the engine to close. The exhaust valve closed and so would not release the gases or the pressure and so the engine would not turn and was locked.

The Rover Street Wise owner was very lucky that the valves did not cause any damage to the cylinder head itself as is the usual scenario when a timing belt slips or breaks, it normally makes a mess of the engine and can be very costly, that is why you must replace the timing belt at the times designated by the car manufacturers, and if possible with Rover Street Wise genuine Parts. The guy was very lucky indeed.

The Rover Street Wise owner gave us permission to carry out any work that was required, and he would try to claim off the garage that did the original job, a couple of weeks before.

 Rover Street Wise

Timing markings done in tip-ex marker to align the cogs teeth on the Rover Street Wise

Ryan began the work by removing the other two auxiliary belts (fan belts) and then supported the engine before removing the engine mounting.

He removed the timing belt cover and then marked the sprockets with white tip-ex

to mark where the original setting was to assess how far one of the cams was out of alignment due to the timing belt previously skipping some cogs. He then consulted the auto-data computer program to find he correct settings for this type of engine. Ryan them proceeded to mark-up the correct setting  using a ruler to make sure that the cogs were straight and marking the cogs in the correct position.

Ryan then built the parts back up and the engine then run fine. This is what I enjoy most about owning a garage, the fact that we just do not know what we might get in next. The owner picked up his and his friend was very relieved because he thought that he had blown up his friend’s engine.

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 Rover Cars 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Vauxhall Corsa- Fails MOT Test- Because of Worn Out Front Suspension.

vauxhall corsa

New Lambda sensor fitted after the emissions test failure.

The Vauxhall Corsa is indeed a very popular little car,

Especially with female drivers. The little car also makes a good city car, with very little problem when getting around town and parking. The Corsa is well known for its light steering;

vauxhall corsa

Vauxhall Corsa for Mot repairs

(power steering) which makes the little car easy to maneuver and along with its good rear end visibility makes the car easy to park and is a favorite with the lady drivers.

The car was launched by Vauxhall in 1993 and has proved to be a very successful model for the giant car company. The car has also remained cheap to buy, both new and second hand. We recently purchased a Vauxhall  Corsa from one of our lady customers, to be used as one of our courtesy cars, and it has proven to be a little gem and popular with our lady drivers, who use the car when leaving their own car for servicing or repairs.

The Corsa has a few drawbacks; it is not for the taller person and the car is very cramped when driving with four adults, (two fronts and two rears), they are also not very suitable for the out of town open road driving. They are noisy due to road and engine noise and they do not corner very well, especially with a full car of adults.

However despite this the little super mini is very popular amongst younger people, as this is the first car than many first time drivers can usually afford , Corsa’s can be found at bargain prices and as I have said earlier the lady drivers love to drive them around town and they are easy to park.

The running costs of these little cars are one of its assets, the little 1.0litre cars can do as many as 50 mpg and the diesel versions can come up figures of 60 mpg, making the car a good

vauxhall corsa

Vauxhall Corsa new and old broken spring

choice for the economically minded driver. The insurance is also very low, most normal sized engine cars come into the lowest insurance groups possible. The Corsa is also cheap to service, making the car as I have said earlier cheap and economical to run, favouring the money conscious lady drivers and the young first time car buyers.

Vauxhall Corsa cars have had several factory recalls

These little cars are usually trouble free when it comes mechanical problems apart from the usual wear and tear items such as tyres, exhausts and suspension and brake parts, but there has been a few recall problems with cars between 2000 and 2006.

The following problems included, air bag problem due to faulty software, faulty seat adjustment catches and spring, causing the seat to move or not lock, steering wheel problems, the centre nut that holds the steering wheel in place was not tightened correctly causing the steering  wheel to wobble. The early Corsa had also cam-belt problems, they should be changed every 40,000 miles promptly, or a damaged engine could follow,

One of our long standing lady customers dropped off her carfor a service and an MOT test. She said that the car was in excellent condition and should walk the test. Dale Linton tested the car and found that all sorts of things were wrong. The steering and suspension had lots of play in them, the car also had a broken spring and also failed the emissions test.

We always phone our customers before working on their car and we always save the old parts for them to look at.

The Vauxhall Corsa required new front control arms (known as wishbones to some people) a new spring and a new lambda sensor. The lady said that she could hear some knocking coming from the front of the Vauxhall Corsa when she drove over speed bumps, but did not think much about it. She gave us permission to complete the work and new control arms were fitted. We know that you can

vauxhall corsa

Vauxhall Corsa new and old worn out front control arms before refitting

fit new control arm bushes, but this takes much longer and by the time you have removed the old bushes and fitted new ones, we can fit a complete new arm. The costs work out about the same because of the labour factor.

We fitted a new lambda sensor and a new spring before re-testing the Vauxhall Corsa and then servicing it. The car is now a far better ride than when she brought it in and the lady customer noticed this and thanked us for our great service.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and car steering 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 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Winter Tyres-Could fitting them Affect Your Car Insurance?

I always find it strange to hear my customers say “will my car be insured if I fit winter tyres”. I used to think that they were joking at first, but for some reason, they were very serious, apparently it was something that they had read in a national newspaper. When I checked this out, it said that if you modify or change your car from the original specs, then you should

winter tyres, insurance

Kumho winter tyres are very popular.

inform your insurance company, or you could not be insured in case that you had an accident. I suspect that this covers thousands of motorists driving about today, “with what they would consider minor adjustments” to their cars, such as fitting winter tyres, or a “go faster stripe “down the side.

There is no doubt that winter tyres do affect your cars performance, but only for the better by making the car drive with better control and brake better in winter weather from rain to ice and snow. As long as you sick to the same size and the advised load rating for your car, you should be fine and proud to fit the winter tyres.

Insurance companies should give you “discount” for fitting winter tyres

Even this year our customers have asked about the affect winter tyres can have on their insurance, so I thought that I would look into a little deeper and write an article about the subject. In my opinion I think that you should get a rebate from your insurance company if you make your car safer by fitting winters to it. In fact the big debate to me is “are cars with illegal part worn tyres insured” and the answer is NO, but I will look at that in a future article.

The problem has also become an issue with the insurers themselves after a deluge of inquiries from worried car owners, thinking that they would not be insured if they fitted these tyres to their car. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) the problem has been taken up with its members and now over 90% have agreed that they will not increase premiums for their customers that fit the correct winter tyres to their vehicles.

They also agreed that fitting winters to their car made for better road safety over the winter period, in fact many of the other European countries make it a law to fit winters between November and March of the following year, so why should the British motorists be penalized.

A statement from the ABI says; “often motor insurers will not charge an additional premium when their insured customers use winter tyres, provided that they meet, and are fitted in accordance with, the vehicle manufacturers’ specifications and are in a roadworthy condition”

If you are unsure about your own insurance company as regarding their stance on the matter, then you can either ring them up or go to the ABI website where insurers are listed, who comply with “good to fit winter tyres “ruling. The web address is… https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/Migrated/Motor/ABI%20guide%20to%20winter%20tyres%20The%20motor%20insurance%20commitment.pdf

Winter tyres will not incur extra insurance costs

winter tyres

Scenes like this will soon be upon us,so prepare your car for the worse to come.

Have I have stated earlier in this article the insurance companies often increased the costs of your insurance if you modified your car in any way and did not inform them, things like an upgraded modified engine spring to mind. They regarded you as been more likely to have an accident, if you had modified your car and also your car may have become a bigger target to car thieves, so an extra premium would have been charged.

At first when winter tyres became more popular the insurance companies gave out mixed messages, but the ABI can now confirm that winter tyres are a safety issue and are a great improvement when fitted to your car through the winter period.

My own advice would be to inform your insurance company that you are fitting winter tyres. You will, not have to pay any extra premiums. Some companies do require you to inform than a list can be found on the ABI web-site. Nick Starling, ABI’s director of general insurance, said: “Insurers do not want to penalize motorists who take steps, like fitting winter tyres, to improve their safety on dangerous winter roads. Last year cold weather came early and there was some uncertainty for customers about the insurance implications of fitting winter tyres. This commitment clarifies the position for motorists.”

Always fit the same size or a size recommended by your tyre dealer if a direct replacement cannot be found. Good tyre retailers will have a web site for converting the sizes over legally and should be accepted by the insurance companies. Some insurance companies such as Tesco and The Co-operative insurance company state that you are alright to fit winters but you should not oversize them. Over sizing any tyres is not a good thing anyway?

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

winter tyres

Pirelli make an excellent winter tyre.

and parts. We also sell Winter 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

Jaguar XF- Brake Problems ? Hub Rusting the main Culprit?

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

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

jaguar xf discs

JaguarXF hub showing a small deposit of rust that had built up

customers who could afford to buy new Jaguars from time to time. One of them was one of the directors of the Fox’s biscuits empire, who was one of the Fox families, he always had four or five new cars on the go at once and always kept us busy with the servicing and repairs.

Jaguars have always appeared to have brake or tyre problems, throughout their history. I can remember in the late 1960’s the new  XJ4 came onto the market and sported wonderful flared archers with new 6×15 inch wheels that were fitted out with a new tyre form Dunlop, the ER70VR15, These  tyres were especially designed for Jaguar by Dunlop, who at that time were a major force in the UK tyre market. The car also came out on discs  all round.

I always remember the problems that the XJ4’s were having with vibrations coming through brakes and the steering wheels. It turned out that one of the problems was engine vibrations and many things were done 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 equipment that we use on today’s cars. In fact we had to take the cars the Dunlop garage in Leeds. 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 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 to make them

jaguar xf discs

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 as so not to affect the credibility 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… http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/cars/jaguar/xj4/the-cars-jaguar-xj6xj12/

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 and 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 brake 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 brake pedal did vibrate slightly. We could find nothing wrong and true to our warranty policy we suspected that the discs could be faulty and

jguar xf discs

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

ordered a new set of discs. 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, before refitting the discs. When we did this on this particular Jag it appeared to solve the problem. We cleaned off any rust that had formed on the hub 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.

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 Dunlop Tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com 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. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.

 

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

Toyota RAV 4 problem just happened overnight

As I have said before, one of the great things about owning a garage is the diversity of jobs that we can encounter in any busy working week. This past week was no exception. One of our

Toyota RAV 4

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

lady customers called it with her car, a Toyota RAV 4, the reason was that the car was performing badly when trying to overtake, when she put her foot down the car was slow to respond.

She had a Duel Mass Flywheel done on it about six months ago and she had wondered if this could have anything to do with the cars problem? The Toyota RAV 4 was fitted with the 2.0D-4D engine, but she had not experienced many engine problems in the past, in fact apart from the clutch the car had been trouble free.

When Ryan our workshop manager took the car out for a test drive he noticed that the engine warning light was also illuminated and so on his return he plugged the car into our diagnostics machine to find that the code PO627 came up. When we looked the code fault up 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 and control 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 and 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, as 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, this allows you more room to work, and 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, they were both coloured differently, 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

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.

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 and the car was road tested and found to be cured of the problem. 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. More information… http://www.blueprint-adl.com/newweb/technotes/INF118%2001%20Toyota%20Suction%20Valves.pdf

Toyota RAV 4

The new set of SCV valves ready to be fitted ,note the new sealing rings.

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 New Economy 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 and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.