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Austin Mini Cooper a true Classic-Reviews Buying Guide Parts And Service Advice

Austin Mini

The Classic Austin Mini is a legend amongst enthusiast’s and the general public alike, there are not many p…

 

eric roberts‘s insight:

The Early Austin Mini Will Never Die

I was lucky enough, or unlucky enough (it depends how you liked or hated the Mini) to be able to work on the first mini models to come out. I was an apprentice mechanic at a Mini Dealers soon to become British Leyland garage in a small town called Batley in West Yorkshire UK.

Austin Mini

Old fashioned tyre bead breaker that we had to try and break the 10ins mini wheels with.

These little cars were pretty basic, but proposed a challenge to the main mechanics, whenever they went wrong, especially the engine unit or the gearbox and clutch. Mechanics in those days learned on the job and the front wheel drive Austin Mini became a new challenge, because the technology was completely new in a small town garage.

These small Austin Mini cars were fitted with a 948cc engine in 1959 and I was told that the selling price was £399 for a brand new car, this was in 1959 and we did not get the Austin Mini dealership until five years later.

I can remember the problems we had with the cars leaking water and the ten inch wheels that were developed by Dunlop for the Mini were really bad to remove and fit, in those days we only had tyre levers and a hand gadget for breaking the beads. This was fine on the 14 inch A35 and A 40 wheels but the 10 ins Austin Mini wheels had a very deep rim and were almost impossible to break by hand, fortunately the first tyre fitting machines were starting to evolve and we took them to the local tyre dealers, who helped us out.

I remember the worse water leak was in the boot, where the battery was fitted. Over the years they tried out different drainage methods but the metal in the Mini Countryman boot always rotted in time. Mini modification companies sprung up all over the place, including companies that made fibre-glass body panels. These included a complete front end, because this was another bad area for rusting and rotting. Indeed i fitted a new front end to one of me first mini cars, but the damned thing used to flop about in the wind at any speed over twenty miles per hour?

Despite all its faults and draw backs I loved the Austin Mini and the first four cars that I owned were Minis, I used to try all sorts of modifications, but none ever made them go faster

It was a great experience to work on these cars and in my opinion they are still much loved all over the World.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business.

See on weareclassiccars.com

 

Britains Motorists-forking out hundreds on unexpected car repair costs – Easier (press release)

Britains Motorists

Britains Motorists motorists forking out hundreds on unexpected car repair costs Easier (press release) British motorists forked out hundreds of pounds last year repairing whining engines, wonky wheels and patching up scrapes and dents, according to a recent…

 

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Car Servicing has been put on the back burner by Britains Motorists?

So, in this good article. Hence, by the” countrywide independent garage scheme” . They carried out a straw poll of 100 UK motorists. Consequently they found that many of them had car repair bills of up to £500! In fact 64% of them, to be precise. Of course, this is no surprise to me . As I believe that many UK motorists have failed to have their cars serviced, in the past two years.

This neglect will lead to all kinds of problems affecting  their cars and the cars performance. We see the effects of this all the time, but I think that the most common problem is the brakes. If the cars brakes are checked on a service, then the usual things that need replacing are the pads, this together with a good brake cleaning is usually all that is required.The problem then is that if the car is not serviced, then the Brake pads wear even further down before getting down to the metal plate. This then affects the brakes especially the Disc Brakes.

New Brake Discs and Car Brake Pads fitted

 

then becomes metal on metal then the discs get damaged and they may need replacing. Other problems include the brake cylinders overheating and leaking and the problems can go on and on, always leading to a bigger repair bill for the UK motorists.

This is also a problem with the modern engines. The engines these days are controlled by a computer system in the car and if the filters and oil are not changed then the parts that are part of the engine management system can start to fail and the engine light will illuminate in the cars dashboard, often causing panic amongst the drivers who come into us garages to have the problem checked out. Sometimes the problem is a simple one and the car only requires an oil and filter change and other times it could be more complicated, but in the main most of the causes are due to the car not having a service and general neglect.

Although we are not members of the country wide garage scheme, we are a member of the Unipart Car Care Centres (UCCC), but we all share the same thoughts and know what the problems are likely to be if the car is not serviced.

Mot will find any mechanical problems

 

Another slightly worrying trend amongst car drivers is the concept of using the annual MOT Test as a gauge for the condition of their car. The MOT test is not the same as having a regular service, and although the test is fairly strict it is not the same as having a good service say once a year. The UK motorists  can then keep an eye out on such things as your oil levels and tyre pressures and check your own light bulbs.

We all understand that money is tight but in my opinion the failure to service your car will lead to the UK motorists having bigger problems and bigger repair bills.

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

 

See on www.easier.com

Tyre Care for Lady drivers

Car Safety Tips-for Lady Garage Users – (Although Everyone can benefit from Car Safety Tips)

Car Safety Tips-for Lady Garage Users

While everyone can benefit from car safety tips, you will have to admit that women are more likely to need these tips to help them out during unexpected and unfamiliar situations. While it would be great if a woman were well versed and equipped to handle wonky Disc Brakes or out of aligned tyres, that isn’t usually the case. Find below some great car safety tips to help you out and manage the unforeseen when you are driving.

When your car brakes fail

Before all else, check if your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes or just regular ones. Knowing this important bit of information. Naturally, will help you determine how to manage when your brakes fail. To know this, when a light goes on with the logo ABS when you start your car. Then you have anti-lock brakes. If no light goes on, then you have regular brakes.  If your brakes Car Safety Tipsfail, you need to downshift to a lower gear first. Next, pump your brakes three to four times to build up the brake fluid pressure.

If this does not work. So your next option would be to use the parking brake. Do this gradually, not abruptly, and be ready for the car to skid. With anti-lock brakes, practice your sudden stops at safe street situation. Of course, to get a feel of how they should perform.  When you press the brake all the way down, you should feel a strong vibration at the pedal, which will let you know the ABS system is working the way it should.

When car isn’t driving straight

If your car is veering to the left or right even when your steering wheel is straight, chances are your wheels may need to be aligned. But before you head off to have them aligned, make sure to check off other possibilities that may cause your car to tend towards another direction when the steering wheel is straight.

Are you tyres properly inflated? Make sure they are inflated to the recommended  pressure, which you ought to find on the label attached to the driver’s side door. What about the wear pattern? Are you tyres round or are they out of shape? Are there missing pieces or lumps  along the side-wall? Also make sure that all your tyres are of the same type. Having several kinds  on one car can make for an unstable ride.

Once you have determined that there is nothing physically wrong with yours, you should bring in your vehicle for proper and professional wheel alignment to keep your vehicle running properly  and safely.

Unstable steering, clanking and banging sounds while driving, vibrations while driving

This could indicate a problem with your suspension. The suspension system of a vehicle takes the heaviest wear from the road and it is an important part in keeping your car stable while driving and ensures the driver and passenger’s safety.  If you go over a hump and the car continues to bounce up and down, chances are your shock absorbers are worn and may need

Car Safety Tips

Some garages employ female mechanics who are always willing to give Car Safety Tips

replacing. Clanking and banging sounds may indicate that your shocks are getting caught and not bouncing back. Vibrations while driving on smooth surfaces should clue you in to have your shocks and suspension checked because they are not supposed to occur on a smooth road.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

It is better to maintain your car properly and routinely in order to avoid any major mishaps. Most Car Safety Tips are useful, but you need to make sure to take your vehicle to a reputable and  professional garage that will ensure outstanding results and keep your car humming for a long time.

At Point-S, the leading independent dealer network, we’re all about tyres and more. We will help you keep your auto in excellent condition so it will always be road worthy and safe for anyone to drive- male or female. And as an accredited Unipart Car Care Centre garage, you are assured that our standards are up to par with theirs.

             An open and honest approach with the customers

             A high standard of work and excellent value for money

            At least 12 month guarantee on parts and labour

             An open invitation to inspect, review and rate the garages of your choice to make the best informed decision for your needs  

Now there is no more reason not to keep safe on the road.  

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. Working for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. Finally, we are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

car servicing Halifax

Car Repair Garages-This is the way forward for car repair garages? ChipsAway in Abingdon puts customers first.

Car Repair Garages

Smart receptions in the car repair garages like this should be the norm in 2013

For the car repair garages to survive they must have modern facilities for their customers.Car Repair Garages

Of course, this is a point I have been making for the past twenty years at least. American tyre repair companies were the first to supply their customers with a reception. Including a decent waiting room. Firstly. this idea was replicated by Scottish entrepreneur Tom Farmer. When he visited American Auto centres. So,on his return home decided that this was the way forward. Implementing the new style reception areas into his early Kwik-fit empire.

Successfully, other Car Repair Garages and tyre centres all over the UK began to copy his style of operation. But many of the Auto Repair Services and car repair garages were too small . Subsequently, half of them were just back street dirty places. As a business model . These smaller operations would not have warranted money spending on them.

Generally though things began to improve

Altogether though it was a huge improvement and many tyre depots and Car Repair Garages where brought into the twentieth century and were fit for motorists to sit in while their car was been repaired, or their tyres were been fitted.

As time went on more and more ladies were taking up driving and the move to step up the facilities in the car repair garages was imminent. The customers wanted a better experience when visiting the garage or tyre depot for work doing on their cars. The main dealer garages started to introduce courtesy cars, to loan to their customers while work was been carried out on their cars, a good idea!

The courtesy car idea became a little tarnished when some of the garages started to charge for their use, or for insurance. I thought this was a negative affect and was not in the spirit of the idea. We at Pellon Tyre and Autocentre in Halifax UK provide courtesy cars for our customers, mainly because we are about two miles out of the town centre, and it allows our customers to go shopping or to work, while their car is been repaired.

Coffee machines and TV sets were added to receptions

Many of the switched on Car Service Garages offer their clients  a free coffee machine in their reception. As well as a TV and up-to-date magazines for their entertainment. While they are waiting for a Car Repairs or an MOT or a tyre fitting. In my opinion this is what today’s modern consumer wants, this coupled with the fact that as I have said earlier, many of our customers are now ladies and they do not want to turn up to a dirty old Car repair garages in their nice clean clothes.

So this standard is the way forward and any garage or tyre fitting station that does not have customer facilities will fall behind and eventually perish.  

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. Working in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. So. worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. Of course, I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Naturally, that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and MotorCodes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

car repair garages

A smart reception like this one will be important for the car repair garages survival in the future

 

Two Person Car-The world’s most aerodynamic two-person car achieves 110km/hr on batteries … – Quartz

Geeky gadgets

The world’s most aerodynamic two person car achieves 110km/hr on batteries …

 

eric roberts‘s insight:

Two Person Car-New car project will play a big part

This new car design is claimed to be one of the most aerodynamic car ever built with greater efficiency than many other cars ever designed. The guy who designed the cars and the cars engineers were funded

by a scheme called the “Kickstarter Campaign”. This is a business funding scheme that lets investors offer the collateral towards any worthy project that they feel as though they could invest in, and the investors will offer their money to make the Project Management work. The Project Ideas will have a time limit and the money is paid out at the end

Two Person Car

Urbee

of the project.

Funding has been very effective at creating new ventures and getting the inventors and investors round a table to help get some great ideas off the ground, including this Two Person Car . As I have said the money will not be paid out until the project has been finished and up to this day over 40% of projects have reached their climax for more information… http://www.kickstarter.com/

“The name of the new Two Person Car will be Urbee, because of its lozenge shape and it has the ability to slip through the air. The car will be driven by a 7 horse power engine the type used in a lawn mower and is thought to be capable of speeds nearing 70mph, the top speed allowed on British motorways. To prove the cars “green status” the engineers who made the car are hoping to travel from New York to San Francisco on just 10 gallon of bio-fuel a distance of just short of 3000miles, which must be some kind of World record ,if it is achieved.

The car was put together by a 3D printer, which allows for seamless parts

Which makes the car more efficient and reduces the total weight of the completed car. The parts are thinner and much lighter than the ones which are made from the conventional car manufacturing methods”.

Eric Roberts...www.batteriesontheweb.co.uk

 

See on qz.com

Range Rover Sport and Some Other Nice Cars for the MOT TEST.

Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport

Ryan fitting the new discs and pads to the red BMW Mini

I love taking some pictures and writing small articles.Especailly, about the cars that we have had presented to us. Hence, for different work to be carried out. So, it also pleases me that our customers trust us to look after their cars.Naturally, whilst they are in our care. Subsequently, this week for instance we have had a really diverse mix of cars. From an Aston Martin to a Reliant Robin that came in for a new battery fitting.

Another smart looking car was a very nice Range Rover Sport, a 2007 model. Turning  up for an MOT test and a service. I must admit that I didn’t like these cars a first. Of course, some of the later models are excellent cars. This particular car had a problem with a diesel leak. Which we found out to be a leak coming through one of the near side injectors.

Ryan Linton my chief mechanic fixed the car by fitting a new injector seal, this was an option that we had rather than fit a complete injector this also saved the customer a few pounds in repair fees.

The Range rover had a set of 22 inch tyres and wheels fitted, and the tyres were wearing away at the edges, but Ryan issued an advisory notice for this and did not fail the car. After the car was serviced and washed the car was collected by another happy customer.

Next job for an MOT test a smart red BMW Mini

I must admit that I prefer the old BLMC Minis to the new BMW Minis but some of the colour schemes on the BMW Minis are just special. The car that we had in for an MOT test was in my favourite colour red. The car was really eye catching and I could not resist taking a picture.

Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport in for a service and an MOT test

The Mini was the next test after the Range Rover and failed the test on the brake tester. The customer gave us permission to do the brake work and after removing the wheels we found that the car required discs and pads at the front and pads to the rear. We are a Unipart Car Care Centre and so we fitted genuine Unipart discs and pads.

Ryan finished the job and the BMW Mini went on its way with another very happy customer.

Post Written by Eric Roberts… www.mot-halifax .co.uk

Toyota Yaris Clutch Problem

Apollo Winters -When To Fit Your Winter Tyres?

Apollo Winters

Apollo Winters

Winter tyres are very important for drivers who generally drive in icy, slushy and snowy conditions and also for those who drive in areas are prone to very low temperatures and large snow falls yea…

Apollo Winters

eric roberts‘s insight:

Apollo Winter Tyres

This is the time of year in early November that we should be thinking about fitting Apollo Winters. Winter tyres come in all sizes and makes.

Winter tyres are made from special compounds. Working best at temperatures of 7 degrees or less. Of course, most of the UK experiences temperatures below this between December and February. Hence, we can usually expect frost on almost half the days of winter. With this type of tyre, your stopping distance can be shortened by up to 11 meters.Especially, on icy roads, and your vehicle’s handling will be greatly improved. Thus, reducing the risk of skidding, aquaplaning or sliding.

In winter, the condition and performance of your tyres is extremely important. Winter tyres have a specially designed tread and composition. So,in order to provide the most effective grip.Including, handling and safety for drivers. It’s an excellent idea, therefore, to change to specialist tyres to improve your winter driving. Also, increase your fuel efficiency and ensure the safety of you and your passengers during the winter months. popular ones that we sell here at Pellon tyres in the foothill of the Pennine mountain range, here in West Yorkshire UK, are the mid-range winter tyres. These come in some well-known tyre manufacturer names such as Yokohama tyres and Apollo Winters. These brands are well respected and tried brands of tyres and have been well proven by hundreds of my own customers over the years in bad wintry conditions.

The cheap tyres brands also do well, including Infinity winter tyres and Jinyu winter tyres, all of which are kept in stock, for the winter period. But now in early November is the time to start fitting your winter tyres, the weather can change overnight. We have just experienced our first heavy frost so the snow will not be far behind.

Eric Roberts…www.batteriesonthweb.co.uk

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years.

Tyre Safes New Campaign

Women Motorists-use cars as ‘second wardrobe’ – Telegraph

Beauty products and spare clothing are kept in the cars in case of emergency, a survey has revealed (Half of young Women Motorists #drivers use their #car as a ‘second wardrobe’ according to a recent survey @TeleMotoring

 

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

They sure do i think we all agree that most Women Motorists are caught out putting on their makeup. Some of them even do it while they are driving along in their cars!! well well.

Although this is not an offense on its own. Then such things as putting your make up on while driving. Including, drinking and eating food. So, comes under the heading of “CARELESS DRIVING”.

Apart from Women Motorists putting on makeup while driving , motorists can also be fined if they are caught messing around with their stereo or such other things as combing and brushing your hair . If you have one or both hands off the steering wheel while driving your car and are spotted by a police officer you can be prosecuted for careless driving. More reading…http://www.carrentals.co.uk/blog/10-illegal-things-we-all-do-when-driving.html

heavy fine can follow !

The fine for such an offense can be around the £200 mark and also comes with 6 points on your license. Of course, there will be a strong possibility that your car insurance will be increased. Because when you have been fined , you must report the offense to your insurance company. Consequently, they could increase your premiums. Significantly, the offense of careless driving, (according to the DVLA) . Importantly, means that you were not in total control of your car. So, is considered to be a serious offense resulting in a fine and points.Women Motorists

Only the other week I observed that a Women Motorists. In my rear view mirror in the car  behind me.  Frighteningly, was putting her make up on. While we were stood at some traffic lights. Subsequently, when the lights changed to green ! She was still putting her makeup on and missed the green light ! I could hear the cars behind her hooting at her but she just carried on with what she was doing.

 

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. So, I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. Working for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days. Of course, before starting my first business. Now owning a garage and MOT testing centre, here in the UK. Naturally, called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. A keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business. Finally, we are members of Point-S and Trading Standards and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.

 

See on www.telegraph.co.uk

Air Filters-How they Work-Chevy High Performance Magazine

Air Filters

Air Filters

How Air Filters Work

Chevy High Performance Magazine

For performance air filter manufacturers like Airaid, determining the ideal filter design for each vehicle application is a balancing act between optimal flow and packaging constraints.

 

eric roberts‘s insight:

What do CAR AIR FILTERS DO?

Air filters are very important parts of your cars performance system. They help your engine breathe easily by filtering out the dirt and dust that enters your car engine. The car engine sucks in tremendous amounts of air, and this air must be perfectly clean.

It is amazing what the engine will suck in, in summer time it sucks in millions of insects and dust particles and in autumn and winter apart from dirt and grime, the engine sucks in leaves and even water from the winter rains. All these things can end up in the engine compartment and eventually would be sucked into the inlet ports, but your air filter stops all this happening.

The air filter is most often encased in a plastic holder, or older cars could be made of metal. This casing is a secondary filter safeguard and is sometimes they are shaped like

kitchen pans, with the air intake looking like the pan handle, but the more modern cars have them shaped to fit in with the engine compartment. The plastic box has its own filter

air filters

Dirty air filter ready for changing

slits which helps trap larger objects such as leaves.

Air Filters

It is therefore very important to have your car serviced at regular intervals and to make sure that the garage changes the oil and air filter by asking them to see the old ones when you pick the car up. If you do not change the air filter it will slowly clog up with dirt and starve your engine from oxygen.

This will hamper the performance of your car. The biggest problem is in Fuel-injected cars, because a dirty oil filter will hamper the performance of your car. It is great when a customer has just had his car serviced and notices the difference in the cars performance, this is usually because of the new air and oil filters.

Air filters are manufactured by many different companies, but here in Halifax UK we use Unipart filters because of the quality of the parts and we are a Unipart Car Care Centre.

Thanks Eric Roberts member of… MotorCodes.co.uk

Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years . Working for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days. Hence, before starting my first business. Now own a garage and MOT testing centre.Here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. Blogging about anything to do with cars and their related products. Of course, that will help my business. Members of Point-S and Motor-Codes. So, also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.

Your winter tyres-Making sure your ready for your winter tyres – KSHB-Eric Roberts

Your winter tyres

Your winter tyres

Your winter tyres, will help you drive like this in the coming winter

KSHB

Tips from Toby: Making sure your winter tyres are ready for winter

KSHB

“The control of the vehicle, you can imagine having three tires at the proper pressure and one that is say 10 pounds or even 15 too low.

 

eric roberts‘s insight:

Your winter tyres Tips from Eric

Winter is now on its way here in the Northern hemisphere, and if you want to get to work on time and impress your boss, it is time to fit your winter tyres.

Your winter tyres do not only give your car stability in snow, but they also protect you by gripping the road better in very wet conditions and prevent your car from aquaplaning. This is when a film of water forms between the road surface and your tyres, causing your car to lose grip with the road surface.

We always fit Best Winter Tyres to our vehicles and I can guarantee that they make you feel much safer in snow and bad inclement weather, and that’s because they are much safer than summer ones.

Summer tyre lose their suppleness  when the temperature drops below 7 degrees C, whereas Your winter tyres contain silica in the compound, which helps them to be more flexible

Your winter tyres

Yokohama racing experience have given an edge in tyre development.

and aid gripping to the road surface in cold weather. A couple of brands that i would recommend, would be a budget tyre brand called Jinyu and a mid-range tyre brand called Nokian Tyres UKboth these  brands have been tested and proven by us here in Halifax UK, and in many other Winter Tyres Test Results.

Your winter tyres-Thanks Eric Roberts

Hi I would like to introduce myself. As a result, I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. Having worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days. Before starting my first business. Consequently, I now own a garage and MOT testing centre. Locally, here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. As a result, I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars. Including their related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes . Also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.

See on www.kshb.com