Posts

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

 

Changing car tyres-When Should You Change Your Car Tyres? | Automotive Tools review

Changing car tyres

Some people know that they should be checking their tyres, but they have no idea what to look for and they just glance at Changing car tyres and then report that they regularly check them. Here is a list about what you should be …

 

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

When indeed do we think about  Changing car tyres?

This is an interesting article from Automotive Tools Revue. You would think that it would be easy to determine when your tyres need changing, 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 Point-S signFortunately 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 for their customers. Many independent tyre retailers are affiliated to an organisation called Point-S. Of course,the members can be found on the Point-S web site. Where you can 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 a Point-S in your area

If you do not have a Point-S 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, is to check your tyres and see if your tyres 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 have 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 for  Changing 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 Governments 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 keep the high standards of safety.

To conclude the best way  to check your tyres is to take your car to your tyre retailer and they will check them for you free of charge.

 

Car Tyres by 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.tucfcpug.org

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

Michelin Bikes radial tyres-have been developed for superbikes

Michelin Bikes radial tyres

NEW DELHI: Michelin Bikes radial tyres-French tyre major Michelin tyres is looking to have a bigger play in the Indian two-wheeler market for which it is expanding its product portfolio.

 

 

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Michelin tyres are always at the frontier of tyre development now the Michelin Bikes radial tyres.

The development of these Michelin Bikes radial tyres. So, event does not surprise me in the least. In all my years in the tyre trade.   Michelin tyres have been at the forefront of tyre development. The main goal of the tyre manufacturers at the moment. Of course, is to produce tyres that are much lighter and at the same time use new materials that make the products more environmentally friendly.

The main goal is to reduce the rolling resistance of tyres in general. This means that energy needed to move a car forward is reduced, this makes the car more fuel efficient,

Michelin Bikes radial tyres

Michelin Tyres UK vintage poster

due to the design and construction of the tyres and this together with other  factors in a cars design makes the car far more fuel efficient and there for greener in the eyes of the consumer.

Developing new tyres

All this new development is carried out by working together with car manufacturers to develop a tyre that is best suited to the car that is been designed. This is one of the reasons that of late cars a coming onto the market with different sizes and aspect ratios than ever before, in my opinion making the job for us as tyre retailers much more interesting.

The giant French company has also being busy developing other tyre products such as a new run-flat tyre for cars. This is known as the zero pressure tyre or the ZP. It is different to the other makes of run-flat tyres because it drives with the same characteristics as a normal radial tyre. The other makes of run-flat tyres are a very hard ride, due to the very stiff re-enforced sidewalls, but the new Michelin Bikes radial tyres have used different compounds and are a normal ride compared to other makes of tyres.

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 indiatransportportal.com

Driving in floods is something that you should avoid (or not)

Driving in floods,Car Tips

Car Tips-With the UK set for a deluge, here’s how to drive safely with floods around

Eric Roberts‘s insight:

Car Tips-Stay away from driving your car in the floods

Because of the increasing rainfall, then this is a very topical article by MSN cars. Importantly, due to the bad weather and Driving in floods. So, that have occurred in the South of England and Wales. Fortunately we have missed the worse of the storms here in Yorkshire. Of course, where I live and work.

I must say, though it does remind me of a trip that I made to deliver a 629 Numax 12 Volt Battery to a remote farm in North Yorkshire. I had to go because our carriers at the time would not deliver this type of tractor to this area. The sat/nav was switched on and off I went in my Peugeot partner van .

Car Tips,driving in floods

Check your brakes after driving through floods

Fortunately, the day was a nice bright winters day.

But the day before we had a massive storm. Similar to  the floods . Simultaneously, hitting the South of England at that particular time ! So as I started to get nearer to my destination ,The roads were getting steeper and narrower, similar to a roller coaster ride. I went down a steep hill that went through a forest and round a steep end, where to my shock horror; there was a ford across a river. The river was flowing very fast and at first I did not know what to do ! As I had not noticed any Flood Warnings.

It would have been very difficult to turn round as the road was very narrow, so I decided to go for it. I revved my diesel van and shot across as fast as I could. To my horror the river started to push my van sideways but I just managed to make it to the other side driving as fast i dared. My first thoughts were to try out my brake and luckily everything worked OK.

Increasingly, I became very scared ! Thinking that I could become one of  those poor drivers. So, that do not make it to the other side. Thus, making me cringe.

I will never attempt to cross another flooded river or road again and when I read the comments in this article I noticed that most of the comments say that the best way is not to try and cross any flooded roads at all, which would also be my advice. I also noticed that some drivers were getting stuck in the larger 4×4 vehicles, please stay away and do not attempt to Driving in floods at any cost.

 

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 cars.uk.msn.com

Potholes Damaging Alloy Wheels-Repairing Alloy Wheels is Making For Steady Business At Local Tyre Stores

Potholes Damaging Alloy Wheels

Potholes

Potholes Damaging Alloy Wheels

 

Eric Roberts‘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.

This excellent article is from the Detroit metro in Canada, but the story could be from any city in theWestern World. 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 into us, damage to the  wheels and damage to the  tyres.

What to do if your wheels/tyres are damaged !

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

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 vulcanising machine will give our customers a 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 make use able to repair such damage! Significantly, these repairs are both safe and legal.

 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 of national tyre companies. So, before starting my first business. Owning a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre. A keen blogger ! Consequently, about anything to do with cars. Including their related products. Finally, that will help my business.

See on detroit.cbslocal.com

INFINITY TYRES (And Beyond)- A look at one of the better Budget tyre brands

Post Updated 23rd Jan 2014

Infinity tyres becoming a top budget tyre

I have decide to write a post about an economy brand of tyre, because out of all the different makes of tyres that we sell from all over the World, then I think that INFINITY TYRES are in my opinion one of the best and most reliable of the cheap tyres, on offer in todays tyre market.

Over the many years that I have bought and sold tyres. Many of the budget brands were owned by some of the large tyre manufacturers, companies like Goodyear own the brand called Debica, which are made in the same factories as their better known brands, but recently, perhaps in the last ten years the economy tyre brands have been manufactured in the far East such as China, (including Michelin, who now make some of their tyres in China)

infinity tyres

Infinity tyres Eco Max tyre

Pellon Tyres have dealt with many different cheap tyre brands in the past but we are very happy to concentrate on the Infinity tyres brand ,these tyres are perhaps the best economy tyres that we have used in recent years.

 

Infinity tyres have also made a wise decision to enter the World of motor-sport, this move will help this tyre company in their research and development programmes to help them produce a better tyre for the regular tyre buyers, who want real value for money.

 

Although Infinity tyres are classed as an economy tyre, they are getting nearer to being in the mid-range tyre bracket , but I can assure my customers that the Infinity brand will satisfy their tyre needs at a great price.

Infinity tyres are now at bargain prices

 Another positive thing about Infinity tyres is that we have not had one faulty tyres amongst the thousands that we sell. We also think that the price of these tyres can not be beat. At the moment you can buy 2x 20555v16 Infinty tyres for as little as £100 for the two, a real bargain.

 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

infinity tyres

Infinity also sponsor some types of motorsport activities

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. We are members of Point-S and MotorCodes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre.

 

 

UK motorists-1 in 10 think the MOT test is Only an OPTION?

UK motorists,mot test

Millions of UK motorists are clueless about the legal requirement for MOT test, insurance and road tax (Mot’s only cover approx 20% of your car being checked but servicing covers approx 70% as i was told when i last…

 

eric Roberts’ insight:

As the owner of an MOT test station

I can believe these figures from the excellent Auto express magazine. This article makes interesting reading and state that 10% of UK motorists, car owners do not know that the MOT test is compulsory on cars that are after three years old.

The British government are computerising the whole system of car insuring and road tax along with the DVLA MOT Rules. In my opinion, they would be better off aligning the threeUK motorists,mot test

MOT test sign to look out for

together so that you could not have one without the other. At the moment, they are not aligned and you could have a car insured without an MOT test. In my opinion, this will be the Governments aim as at the end of this year the road tax disc will be abolished and the system will go online and make it easier for the UK motorists, the List of New MOT Rules and  details will probably have to be entered along with the insurance details, thus tightening up on the whole system which is at the moment flawed.

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 have worked for a couple of national tyre companies in my younger days, 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. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and, of course, Tyre-safe.

See on www.autoexpress.co.uk

 

BMW Wheel Alignment-How much should wheel alignment on a BMW cost?

BMW Wheel Alignment

BMW Wheel Alignment cost the same as any other car for a wheel alignment

by Gone-Walkabout Question by Brittiny Hylan: How much should a BMW wheel alignment on a bmw cost? I was charged $ 65 today just to get the front end of my (How much should a four wheel alignment on a bmw cost?

 

eric Roberts’ insight:

BMW wheel alignment the same as any other car?

The question of rear wheel alignment has always in my opinion been a grey area. Depending on the size of the garage business and the garage owners priorities will determine

whether or not they can afford a massive investment in a wheel alignment machine say made by Hunter or a smaller machine say made by Acu-track.

The thing is that there are thousands of wheel alignment machines on the market, but they will only do what you want them to do in your own garage situation. Another pint to look at before you invest in one of these alignment machines is the amount of space you have, to fit them into your workshop.

The larger franchise garages are usually of a modern construction, similar to an industrial warehouse, with a massive space inside for multiple ramps and alignment machines, but a garage like mine is built as an old fashioned tyre depot with individual bays, and when we fit a ramp into the bay we don’t have the space to fit one of the “all singing all dancing” wheel alignment machines.

In the end, these machines will all give the same results when you do the front BMW Wheel Alignment. It is like cars really, some are bigger and have many more extras, but in the end, they all get you from A to B. We only offer to do the front wheel alignment, mainly because we are always busy and only have the time to do a front wheel alignment. Also, most cars do not have any adjustment for the rear Laser Wheel Alignment or you need special tools to adjust them.

Most customers are perfectly happy for us to do the front BMW Wheel Alignment; we always recommend it should be done when new tyres are fitted, or if their steering wheel is out of line and when they have hit a pothole or the kerb. This will then correct the problem and their car will drive much better when the alignment is adjusted.

We at Pellon Tyres here in Halifax West Yorkshire charge £39.90 for the BMW Wheel Alignment and £69.90 for the Four-Wheel BMW Wheel Alignment depending on the make and model of the car, to be correct and adjusted, (about $50) and it does not matter about the make of the car, the BMW is charged at the same rate as say a Toyota or a GM model. We take them all on as they come, some are hard to do and some are easy, we feel that it is the easy way to do this.

If a car owner really wants a rear wheel alignment then we have Wheel Alignment Equipment to do the job the because perhaps his car has been involved in a collision, then we refer them to the guy who paid £22,000.00 for his alignment machine and sometimes takes two hours to complete?

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with these expensive machines, in my opinion, it is “horses for courses” and in the amount of space that I have got, I need an alignment machine that is portable and I can move from ramp to ramp.

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 have worked for a couple of national tyre companies in my younger days, 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. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and, of course, Tyre-safe.

 

See on www.bimmertalk.com

Yokohama tyres and Kumho tyres to join forces in Research a development and perhaps More?

yokohama tyres

Yokohama tyres , Kumho follow MoU up with R&D master agreement

Tyrepress.com

The Board of Directors at Yokohama Rubber and Kumho Tire have resolved to enter into master technological alliance agreement.

 

eric roberts‘s insight:

Yokohama tyres-Kumho tyres-

This one took me by surprise?

I must admit this one came as a shock to me at first. I have spent much time with the staff at both companies but nothing was said, byEither Yokohama tyres or Kumho tyres. So I guess that this was just one of those high level agreements that were kept hush- hush.

In my own business here in Halifax we have had close ties with both of these tyre companies, and in fact we sell both Yokohama tyres and Kumho tyres side by side, in recent years. I regard both companies as tyre innovators and thinking about it I can see where they are coming from, as the saying goes, “two brains are better than one”. The companies have apparently being discussing the exchange of technologies, with the future possibility of future shared ownership.

This move would take the joint company up the tyre manufacturers ranking table. At the moment the two company’s rank 8th  with over $5.5 billion sales is Yokohama tyres and  is Kumho with sales of over $3.5 Billion ranking 12th in the league table, so a joint venture would put the new company in the top 6 placing’s and will become  a force to reckon

with.

A Yokohama tyres spokesman said… By exchanging technology, the companies “aim to increase their competitiveness and enhance their growth potential … by sharing R&D resources and making more effective use of them through joint research and development on tires and related technologies,”

The deal is said to be in advance stages and both companies are looking to find a method of obtaining each other’s shares, a definite sign that talks are well on their way and the tyre companies are expected to sign legal binding contracts sooner than later.

I do not know how this will filter down to the grass roots fitting centres but in my opinion the other tyre manufacturers will be looking over their shoulders at the potential that Yokohama tyresthese two great companies will no doubt research and develop in new tyre products and move to a mid-range tyre to a leading brand, with more and more OE fitments on the way.

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 have worked for a couple for national tyre companies in my younger days, 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. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and of course Tyre-safe.

See on www.tyrepress.com