brand new alloy wheel

Potholes are damaging alloy wheels.

Potholes are damaging alloy wheels.

Potholes are damaging alloy wheels
Potholes are damaging alloy wheels

Potholes are damaging alloy wheels.

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EricRoberts‘s insight:

Potholes Damaging Alloy Wheels and tyres are a major problem everywhere? But you can claim your money back

Of course, this is a story that I have been harping on about for a few years now. It seems that local government highway departments and city government departments are struggling with the enormity of the problem.

Originally, this excellent article was from the Detroit metropolis in Canada, but the story could be from any city in the “Western World.” including here in little old Halifax, UK. From a local point of view, we have the same problems across the whole of the UK. We are also benefiting from the extra business that this problem is bringing to us: damage to the wheels, damage to the  wheelsdamage to the tyres, and many broken springs.

Of course, the condition of our roads is a hot issue for us drivers.

We appear to be riding a bumpier ride the more we talk about it. You’re driving along, taking in the odd glimpse of sunshine, when suddenly another pothole appears. It’s a real threat to alloys and tyres equally, not simply a bother.

Everyone is aware that the UK has many beautiful drives and historical charm, but our roads? Given all the fissures and craters that dot them, they could narrate a few historical stories themselves. It is like trying to drive through a poorly written novel’s plot holes.

Here in Halifax and around the UK, the problem is quite acute.

Potholes deep enough to cook a Sunday feast are what we are discussing! And the promise of smooth tarmac is still just that, a promise, with the council’s finances tighter than a gnat’s chuff. It hurts, especially for those of us who deal with batteries and tyres on a regular basis. You could wind up with a charge for a wheel alignment, a new tyre, or both after one poor turn.

Why, then, is there a crack? As it happens, the funding and prioritisation of maintenance are part of the issue. Apparently, rather than appropriate, long-term improvements, our roadways become victims of band-aid treatments. It’s not really as effective as slapping a plaster on a broken leg. When the frost arrives each winter, those plasters simply fall off.

The effect is on our finances as well as our safety.

Avoiding potholes may make a routine commute seem like an obstacle course. And it causes serious difficulty for companies like ours, where daily operations include customer visits and delivery. It detracts from our service and, to be honest, is a little embarrassing when a customer arrives to pick up a brand-new battery and leaves with a dented alloy.

It was about time we chatted about things other than band-aid solutions. Putting money into our roads is putting money into our health, safety, and scones—after all, no one wants a scone that has endured a seismic tremble in a pothole.

The next time you’re out and about negotiating the lunar terrain of our neighbourhood lanes, consider how a little investment in our roads could make your trip safer, smoother, and a little more enjoyable. Keep an eye on things and keep your tyres inflated until then. You know where to find us if you need a battery that can withstand the highs and lows of British roads. I hope for a more comfortable journey ahead, and be careful out there.

What to do if your wheels/tyres are damaged !

The potholes also cause damage to the car’s suspension and often knock out the wheel alignment. Some of the damage can be claimed back from your local authority here in the UK.

Unfortunately, I do not know how the law works in other countries. However, if you do have pot-hole damage. Firstly, then you should take a picture of the potholes.  Secondly get an invoice for the work carried out on your car. Thirdly, then you can put in a claim for compensation. Of course, to recover your losses from the damage that the potholes have caused.

A few of our customers did this after our advice and were successful with their claim.

Because of the rise in the number of damaged alloy wheels. So, we have purchased an alloy wheel straightening machine. I feel that this, along with a new tyre vulcanizing machine, will give our customers better all-round service !

Importantly, improving customer services is always one of my business priorities. Consequently, many damaged tyres can be repaired with the correct equipment ! So, large tyres that are now used on many SUV family cars are very expensive. Getting a nail in the side wall normally means a new tyre.

However, we have now invested in equipment to be able to repair such damage! Significantly, these repairs are both safe and legal.

Running a Small Garage in 2024

Running a Small Garage in 2024

Running a Small Garage in 2024
Michelle will be sadly missed.

Running a Small Garage in 2024

In this period of my business life

I have a million things buzzing around my head. The main reason for this is the passing of my dear wife, Michelle. Michelle was an integral part of Pellon Autocentre here in Halifax, UK.

As a wife and a director, she was the one who had some forward thinking and pushed me into starting our first web site way back in the day. Michelle was the instigator of our first and last eBay store and ran the site until she fell ill with the dreaded MND, for which there is no chance of recovery.

I had to divorce myself from the everyday running of the business to become her main carer. Consequently, this lasted for two years.

Debbie Bastow and Ryan Linton, my two managers, ran my garage efficiently. However, when Michelle passed, it meant that we had to reassess our business strategy as we entered a new future without Michelle.

So we all put our heads together and came up with a strategy: how does one go about operating a modest garage business in the United Kingdom?

Running a Small Garage in 2024
Ryan Linton an important member of my staff, is now a director

First, we looked at our strengths. Running a Small Garage in 2024

In this world of narrow margins and intense competition, each and every nut and bolt is significant. We knew that our online battery business was being squeezed from all angles. The actual servicing side and MOT testing were extremely busy and would have to take priority.

After giving the matter much thought, we decided to ditch the online sales of car batteries and concentrate on what we were best at.

As we looked ahead, we had to examine the challenges that small garage enterprises like ours encounter. Maintaining a foothold and achieving success in an industry that is constantly evolving due to new technologies and regulations can be likened to traversing the M62 on a hectic Friday afternoon.

Running a Small Garage in 2024
Debbie Bastow is now the new company secretary

Challenges of a regulatory and environmental nature.

We decided to look at hidden costs that we may have overlooked in the past. This was the time for a complete rethinking of the way going forward. To begin, regulations. Constantly constricting, wouldn’t you say?

The regulations governing waste disposal and emission standards are increasingly stringent. Small garage businesses incur a significant financial burden in addition to the compliance requirement of staying abreast of these changes.

Our waste disposal costs had trebled in recent years and were the first thing we looked at. It was only a small thing, but they all add up in the long run. After looking into this, we halved the cost of our waste disposal.

The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) serves as a noteworthy illustration. We have already had to pay for our senior staff to have training about health and safety when it comes to handling EV vehicles and their high voltages.

Investing in new technician training and installing costly new apparatus, such as EV charging stations and specialised tools, are required for this transition. Not precisely meagre in value!

I am, however, hoping that the UK government is having second thoughts about their EV strategy. Hybrid cars are beginning to become a more popular choice, thank goodness!

More importantly, the cost of heat and light has increased significantly. Although Ryan Linton took it upon himself to convert all our lighting to LED technology, our electric bills have still increased significantly. All these things should come naturally to business owners, but time flies when you are in a busy garage, and things are often overlooked.

Economic constraints put pressure on our customers. Running a Small Garage in 2024

It can be a double-edged sword, but while we are cutting our overheads, so are our customers, including the cost of running their cars. Considering the soaring cost of living and individuals increased fiscal restraint, discretionary expenditures on vehicle maintenance may be curtailed.

Drivers of cars may neglect that service or repair, thereby significantly exceeding the service dates on their vehicles. This not only has an impact on our financial performance but also has the potential to result in more significant and expensive issues for the client in the future.

Furthermore, it is crucial to consider the formidable competition posed by large franchise dealerships, which boast ostentatious offers and substantial marketing expenditures. Rivalries are difficult for smaller organisations to contend with.

However, this has always been a problem in my 45 years of being a garage owner. Franchises and other national fast-food companies will always have a market share. So I have always kept a sharp eye on any developments that may affect my garage business.

Technological Progressions

The impact of technology is dual-edged. One advantage is that it provides exceptional instruments that can enhance diagnostics and efficiency. However, maintaining the most recent technological advancements can incur significant costs.

Although diagnostic equipment, management software, and online booking systems are commendable, they can be prohibitively expensive for a small business to acquire up front. However, I feel that such technology is important for our future and for growth.

Furthermore, with the increasing integration of computer systems into vehicles, the intricacy of repairs escalates, posing a potential obstacle for conventional, older garages. I have always emphasised that a good POS system (point of sale) is imperative. Customers love the fact that all their car information and history is at our fingertips, should they want to see it. We are a 90% retail business, so it is important that we give our customers a quick and clean service when times are busy and customers may be waiting to pay their bills.

Skilled labour deficit. Running a Small Garage in 2024

Currently, locating proficient mechanics is comparable in difficulty to securing a secluded area on Blackpool shore during a sunny bank holiday. There is a severe shortage of competent professionals in the industry. Possibly as a result of the academic emphasis or the perception that automotive careers are less desirable, there is a decline in the number of young people entering the industry. This results in a reduced number of apprentices and significant concern regarding the succession of our experienced personnel.

Local Market Instability

As in many other regions of the United Kingdom, local market dynamics are significant in Halifax. Due to the region’s rich industrial heritage and robust sense of community, small enterprises are well-positioned to capitalise on their local expertise and connections. We must treat our customers fairly and honestly if we want their repeat business.

However, local infrastructure changes and economic fluctuations are also distinct obstacles that can have an impact on consumer behaviour and the viability of our businesses.

This, of course, will work to your advantage. For instance, a local brewery in north Halifax was closed and demolished. Fortunately for us, it is soon to be replaced by hundreds of new homes. This, of course, was to our advantage: a new batch of possible retail customers passing our garage as they go about their daily business. However, new road schemes and ring roads can have the opposite effect and cut traffic volumes.

A View Looking Forward with some optimism. Running a Small Garage in 2024

Consequently, what lies ahead? Overcoming and adapting are key concepts. Well, going forward, we will have three more staff members, so that’s going to be a big plus on the salary side of our accounts.

Developing our expertise, adopting emerging technologies, and, arguably most significantly, preserving the superior customer service that distinguishes us from the competition. Ultimately, it is our credibility and intimate approach that foster customer loyalty. There is no doubt in my mind that our staff must be the best trained in all aspects of the business.

Happy, smiling faces help us keep our customers, along with fair pricing and great customer service.

In addition to servicing vehicles, small garage enterprises prioritise their role as contributing members of the local community. By maintaining local allure, remaining informed, and being proactive, we can confront these challenges directly. It is imperative that we ensure our businesses remain as resilient as the automobiles we repair by navigating these challenges head-on. Therefore, prepare to have an exciting journey—roll up your sleeves.

Pellon Autocentre will be starting from a new platform and I am sure that Michelle will be watching down on us and pleased with what she sees.

UPS Batteries Have Many Uses

Solar Storage Batteries-Understanding our future storage Needs?

Solar Storage Batteries

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Solar Storage Batteries using AGM Batteries

This attached article by Kalyan Jana. Senior applications engineer for Trojan Solar Storage Batteries renewable energy group. Thus is one of the most informative articles on the subject that I have ever read.

The World of Solar Power Systems and Solar Storage Batteries. So, has now become a crazy mixed up mix of different peoples. Setting up different ways of storing their renewable energy. There are also many Universities all over the Planet looking for different types of batteries to use for storing the suns energy or the energy created by wind turbines.

Indeed it was only a few days ago that I wrote an article about Stamford University in the USA developing the nickel-iron Solar Storage Batteries, first invented by Thomas Edison and these batteries have been ear marked for the use of Solar Storage Batteries from the sun to store the large amounts of electricity that sun produces.

 The future from Trojan batteries

Many countries in the world do not have access to a grid electric supply. This sort of thing is taken for granted in the western world. But for many

When shopping for Solar Storage Batteries for a renewable energy (RE) system, it is important to choose a battery designed for deep-cycling, and one with a track re (Understand batteries to buy the right ones for your #RE system

countries, such as parts of Africa. So, an electric supply is just a dream. In these days of the rapid growth in solar energy production,. Hence, the dream is starting to become a reality. It is difficult to believe that over 1.6 billion people do not have any mains electric power supply.

As the price of electricity continues to rise, solar battery storage is becoming an increasingly important technology. Solar battery storage allows excess energy generated by solar panels during the day to be stored and made available for use during the night, when there is a greater demand for energy.

This helps to reduce reliance on the grid and reduces the amount of money spent on electricity. Homeowners who use solar battery storage can also become more self-sufficient while simultaneously increasing their independence from the grid. In addition, solar battery storage can aid in the reduction of carbon emissions by facilitating the increased utilisation of renewable energy sources. As the price of solar battery storage continues to fall, this technology is becoming an option that is more readily available to both residential and commercial property owners.

Solar Storage Batteries
Solar Storage Batteries

With the solar power revolution.

Solar battery storage is an important technology that enables homeowners and businesses to store excess energy generated by solar panels during the day for use at night or during periods of high energy demand. This allows homeowners and businesses to reduce their reliance on traditional power sources. Solar battery storage is becoming an attractive option for many people who want to reduce the amount they spend on their monthly energy bills and become more self-sufficient as a result of the rising cost of electricity.

One of the most significant benefits of solar battery storage is that it enables residential and commercial property owners to reduce their reliance on the electrical grid. This is of utmost significance during times of high energy demand, when the grid has a greater risk of becoming overloaded and prices have a greater potential to soar. Solar battery storage systems are able to help alleviate pressure on the grid and reduce the likelihood of power outages by storing the excess energy that is generated during the day from solar panels.

Solar battery storage has the potential to both lessen one’s reliance on the grid

and cut down on the amount of carbon emissions produced. Homeowners and businesses are able to increase their reliance on renewable energy sources and decrease their consumption of fossil fuels if they store the excess energy that is generated by their solar panels. This has the potential to contribute to the reduction of the effects of climate change and the promotion of a more sustainable future.

As the price of solar battery storage continues to fall, this technology is becoming an option that is more readily available to both residential and commercial property owners. Increasing numbers of utility companies are beginning to offer financial incentives for solar battery storage, which makes the practise an even more appealing option for people who want to lower their energy bills and become more environmentally responsible.

It means that for the first time people will have the doors opened for better lighting. Including, better communications that will lead them to better education. Educated people can become nurses and business men. This will also mean that the people will have better school facilities. Of course,  and more access to clean drinking and bathing water.

All this will be possible because of smart grid technology that we are developing in the western world. New renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines and better Solar Storage Batteries systems that are developed by Trojan batteries are all playing a hand that is making the dream of electricity come true to some of these poorer nations.

We think that one of the best  Types of Energy battery storage products at this present time is the Trojan AGM batteries for this purpose.

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Big Five Tyre Makers

Conti Eco Contact 5

Conti Eco Contact 5

Conti Eco Contact 5
Conti Eco Contact 5

Conti Eco Contact 5

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Conti Eco Contact 5 and Michelin have amongst the best Rolling resistance in the  World of tyres

Rolling resistance is a word that we in the tyre World have been familiar with for many years now. It is only in recent years that the words have come to be synonymous with

Saving fuel and reducing running costs are important to drivers. Our ContiEcoContact5 eco tyres are engineered to provide the best fuel economy possible.

saving energy and reducing fuel consumption.

The Conti Eco Contact 5 is the new fuel-saving tyre from the Continental tyre company.

In recent years tyre manufacturers have published the rolling resistance of each individual tyre that they bring out. The tyres have to put the fuel efficiency on the left hand side of the new labels, the best starting at A and then downwards.

Over the years Michelin tyres have always been amongst the top performance when it comes to energy saving tyres with Bridgestone a close second as shown in the figures bellow from the excellent: The daily green website:

The best performer was

the Michelin Energy Saver A/S, which delivered 53.8 mpg in a Prius, meaning a 4.74% improvement. The Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 was next, with 53.5 mpg and a 4.12%. On the other hand, both the Michelin HydroEdge with Green X and the Goodyear Assurance Comfor Tred (terrible name) actually did worse (down .59 and 2.64%, respectively) than the control tires…

Please do not forget though the thing that makes all tyres more fuel efficient is to keep your tyres correctly inflated at all times and that includes the Continental Eco Contact 5

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Car batteries Care-Caring for your batteries during the winter months

Car batteries Care

Car batteries Care during the winter months

The Rome Observer

(METRO) — Few things can be more frustrating than jumping into the driver’s seat on a frosty morning, turning the key in the ignition and failing to hear the engine roar to life.

Car batteries Care-Why do your Car Batteries fail in the Winter?

As silly as it may seem many drivers hardly use their cars. Hence, in the winter months. Indeed some drivers lock the cars away in the garage, (if they have one).

Nothing can be more stressful. As a result trying to start your car on a cold winters morning. Therefore, only to find that your car wont start. Of course, it is one of the saddest sounds that you as a driver will hear. When the battery just makes a slow grinding noise. Hence, made by the starter motor. As it tries to start up your car. Normally the engine just zips up. Hence, at the turn of the key and off you go. So but not this morning, it’s frosty and -2 C or bellow. Therefore, the car will not start up.

This is the scenario .That thousands of motorists a day will experience. Of course, a bit of knowledge goes a long way. Setting out a few facts can help the motorist understand. Consequently, a little more about their 12 Volt Battery car batteries. Including, how they respond to the climate. The two extremes of weather conditions, the cold and the heat will affect your car batteries performance.

Here in the UK we rarely experience excess heat, so I will concentrate on the cold.

In cold weather the chemical action in the battery will be slowed down and I have actually seen the battery liquid (sulphuric acid) frozen solid.

Car batteries Care-The corrosion on this battery must be removed

So of keeping your car in a garage if possible, either in really cold weather or overnight. What happens is that although it may be cold in the garage, the heat from the engine when the car was run the day before, will act as a heater for the battery as the engine compartment will still retain the heat.

If the battery is over five years old then it should be replaced with a new battery, most car batteries will fail after the five year period, and this is what we have found over the years, also imported cars from the Far Eastern countries such as Japan, China and South Korea are imported with 038 car batteries that are lower specifications that the ones made for the European market, these batteries do not stand up to the cold weather and usually fail early on in the cars life.

The best thing that drivers can do is to have their car batteries checked before the onset of winter and replace It if necessary, but in really severe cold as experienced in the USA recently, then the battery could still fail without further protection from the cold.

 Car batteries Care-A few things to look out for when buying your new battery.

Make sure that it is the correct battery for the car and has the same power, the same number of amps and cold cranking amps. It will be all right to go bigger if it will fit the cars battery compartment as long as the battery has the same voltage, usually 12volts and 6volts on classic cars and vintage cars.

Here are a few more tips if the weather forecast is for really cold conditions. You can use a battery blanket, to cover the battery and stop it freezing. You could also use a trickle charger, because the battery will retain some heat as the battery is been charged up, and stop it from freezing. If your car is stored in the garage for a period of time then disconnect the car battery and try to keep it on a trickle charger when the battery is in storage, you can buy cheap intelligent chargers now that will do this job.

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Sunbeam Rapier Cross Ply Tyres

Changing car tyres: When Should You Change Your Car Tyres?

Changing car tyres and then report that they regularly check them. Here is a list about what you should be …

Changing car tyres

Changing car tyres
Changing car tyres

Changing car tyres

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

When should we think about changing our car tyres?

Why You Should Consider Changing Your Car Tyres: Safety, Performance, and Peace of Mind.
Hello, everyone! Today, let’s talk about something important for your vehicle: tyres. Yes, those round, rubbery chaps that keep you attached to the pavement.

You may think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but when it comes to tyres, there’s a little more to consider. Let’s look at why changing your automobile tyres can be a great idea.

1. Safety first.
First and foremost, safety. Worn tyres are like a flimsy umbrella in a downpour: they’re of little use. The tread depth has a significant impact on how your automobile grips the road, particularly on rainy and windy British days.

The legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, but experts often advocate replacing them before they get worn. It’s more than just following the law; it’s about keeping you and your loved ones safe.

2. Improved Performance
New tyres can dramatically improve the appearance of your vehicle. They increase handling and make your automobile more responsive.

Whether you’re navigating the winding roads of the Yorkshire Dales or cruising down the M1, new tyres can make your ride more comfortable and pleasurable. Furthermore, they can help your automobile become more fuel-efficient, and who doesn’t like saving a few pounds on petrol?

3. Preventing Future Issues
Consider this scenario: you’re driving to Blackpool for a fun day out, and then you get a flat tyre. Regular checks and timely modifications might help you avoid these unanticipated annoyances. It’s like having a little buffer, so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck or being late for a crucial appointment.

4. Increasing Your Car’s Value
If you’re thinking of selling or part-exchanging your vehicle, having brand new tyres can be a huge advantage. It demonstrates that you’ve cared for the vehicle and can possibly increase its value. It’s about making a good first impression, right?

5. Keeping up with the seasons
In the UK, we don’t just speak about the weather; we experience it. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or ice, consider seasonal tyres. Winter tyres provide higher grip and shorter braking distances in cold, wet conditions. It’s like having the appropriate coat for the weather – just for your car.

In conclusion
. Changing car tyres
So there you have it – a few compelling reasons to consider changing your car tyres. It’s not just about following the rules of the road; it’s also about assuring your safety, improving your driving experience, and potentially increasing the worth of your automobile. Remember to check your tyres and drive safely. Until the next time, good motoring!

This is an interesting article from Automotive Tools Revue.

You would think that it would be easy to determine when you are changing car tyres, but it is the same as everything in life, some people know what to do, or what they are looking at, and other people do not and have to ask for advice.

Watch for the Pellon Tyres sign. Changing car tyres

Fortunately, we are one of those trades that are only willing to help people with their tyre problems ! So, most tyre companies are only too willing to give a free tyre report to their customers. Many independent tyre retailers are affiliated with an organisation . However, look out for an independent local garage.

Many also have their own web sites. Where can you find your nearest tyre retailer. Who will only be too willing to give your car a free tyre check . Also recommending when you should be changing car tyres.

Look out for an Independent tyre depot in your area

If you do not have an independent tyre retailer in your area,. Then I am sure that a local garage will do the job for them at no cost to the customer.

The first thing to look at before changing car tyres. Of course, you should check your tyres and see if they are worn on one side. Naturally, they will look as if they have no tread cut into the tyres.

This is a sure sign that your tyres will need replacing ! Significantly, the car will also need a wheel alignment. This is a sign that the tyre has been scrubbed off at one side, because the wheel alignment was not set correctly.

The other way to check to see if it may be necessary. Changing car tyres

to change car tyres is to look for the small bumps of rubber that are set between the tread at 1.6 mm deep, This is the British Government’s law for the tread depth that your tyres should be at, although we in the trade think that it should now be 3 mm because of the change in driving conditions since the last tyre laws were passed.

These laws are pretty much the same in the USA and much of Europe to help maintain high standards of safety.

To conclude, the best way  to check your tyres. Including winter tyres. So, take your car to your tyre retailer, and they will check it for you free of charge.