Friday, 31 July 2015

Poweflex announce NEW products for the Ford Fiesta MK6 and Mk7

This week Powerflex are updating two of their popular engine mounting bushes for the Ford Fiesta Mk6 and Mk7 (ST). 

PFF19-2001 Front Lower Engine Mounting Bush with inserts is a replacement bush kit that includes inserts that are designed to fit into voids in the bush, allowing tune-ability of engine movement, perfect for stiffening mounts ahead of track days and performance events.

This part fits vehicles with a 25mm mounting bracket. For vehicles with a 30mm wide bracket please use PFF19-2003.

For vehicles used in Motorsport or predominantly on track, these bushes are available in the Black Series range.

Powerflex offer improved reliability over original parts and of course carry a Lifetime Warranty.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Intercooler for the Renault Clio RS200 1.6 Turbo

Forge announce NEW performance upgrades for the Renault Clio Phase 4 200 RS EDC

For the 1.6L Turbo 200 RS Clio, Forge can supply an intercooler and fitting kit that utilises the lower open grille in the bumper.  They have created a front mounted intercooler because the standard side mounted one is simply too small and poorly positioned.  With the Forge intercooler you can expect 15 - 20 degree celsius temperature drops on a standard vehicle.  

Retail: £622.88

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Buying New Tyres Compared To Part Worn - The Facts

With costs of living increasing year on year the thought of saving money on your car becomes more and more enticing, with the main area of savings being on the cars tyres.

Increasing numbers of vehicles on the roads has increased the opportunity and availability of buying part worn tyres. A recent study by the NTDA (The National Tyres Distributors Association) found that 'there are currently 4.5 million part-worn tyres being sold in the UK every year', which is an astonishingly large figure given the fact that some can be dangerous and the price of new tyres have decreased over the past few years.

Buying part-worn tyres can be hugely risky, as the NTDA found out when they conducted a survey of part-worn tyres. This survey was conducted by a mystery shopper, with 817 part-worn tyres being bought across the UK.

What the survey found was alarming:

  • Of the 817 tyres bought 34% contained faults or damage which meant they shouldn't of been offered for sale.
  • With 97% not being marked as part-worn tyres, as required by law.
The figures shown, show exactly what the industry is having to deal with, in terms of illegal tyres. These figures are made worse by the fact that 986 motorists in the UK were injured or killed in accidents caused by, illegal, defective or under inflated tyres.

Damage found on a part-worn tyre

With statistics like this it's no wonder that the NTDA are starting a campaign to worn drivers of the risks of buying part worn tyres. 

Whilst the study found many part-worn tyres will damage that would make them illegal, there we some cases that are beyond believable that were found.

Case 1:

After a recent incident, that had been caused by steering problems, a NTDA member inspected what the driver thought to be good part-worn tyres. What they found was very different.

The two rear tyres were found to be winter part-worn tyres, (the customer has been sold summer tyres). 

If you though that was bad enough on the front, one of the front tyres was over 16 years old. With the other one not even being the correct size for the vehicle, meaning it had been stretched across the rim. 

Case 2:

One customer was sold a pair of part-worn tyres as 'new' tyres. However on inspection one of the tyres was found to be 19 years old and the other was on a completely different level of being dangerous, with a number of illegal repairs being undertake, including the use of duct tape to cover a puncture.

As you can see from these astonishing cases, buying part-worn tyres is a huge risk.

Buying new tyres vs part-worn tyres:

Part-Worn Tyres - £20

New Tyres - £40

Knowing you're safe on the road and your tyres aren't illegal - PRICELESS 

So the next time you need some new tyres and see part-worn tyres for sale at a really cheap price, have a think about what might be.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Should you buy Winter Tyres?

Should You Buy Winter Tyres?

As winter draws nearer, with colder mornings and christmas merchandise strewn over shops already. Many of you will be wondering about whether or not to buy winter tyres, like me you're probably thinking will it snow, will we get any ice or will it just be cold.

However as we all know that trying to guess the British weather, is nigh on impossible with even taking what the news says to be a gamble.

Buy Winter Tyres OnlineGoing back to Winter Tyres, the actual name 'Winter Tyres' is slightly misleading as it implies that they are only to be used in the winter. However with our weather forever changing with low temperatures from September to April it would be more apt to call them 'Cold Weather Tyres' as that's exactly what they are meant for.

Let me explain a little further, Winter Tyres are designed to be at maximum performance at 7ÂșC or below. It doesn't matter what the weather, whether it's a sunny dry day or snowing blizzard, winter tyres are designed to perform in low temperatures. That's not to say that in higher temperatures they won't perform, they will but at 90% of their maximum.

The ability of Winter Tyres to perform in cold conditions compared to summer everyday tyres is the down to a specially formulated compound which allows the rubber not to harden once it gets cold, meaning when you're driving the levels of grip aren't compromised.

With this added safety winter tyres braking distance is greatly reduced. On ice travelling at 30 km/h stopping distance is 11m shorter, another 2 car lengths.

On snow the distance is 8m shorter driving at 50 km/h.

If you've decided to buy winter tyres, then like all tyres there is a plethora of options from budget to performance. Like all tyres generally the more you spend the better the tyres, however if you're on a budget any brand of winter tyre is better than a summer tyre in cold conditions. If you're on a budget I would go for Jinyu or Rotalla Winter Tyres, if however you want to go for the best, I would go for either the Continental TS850, Yokohama W Drive or Nokian WR Winter Tyres. Which I would recommend if you have a high powered car or 4x4.

So should you buy winter tyres? The short answer is yes. Most winter tyres will last you 4-8 winters, depending on how many miles you cover. I would change to winter tyres from the end of October and keep them on til April. If however you don't do many miles in the year, you could use your winter tyres all year round. The only down side is slightly less performance, but nothing that is noticeable.

In an ideal world you need to buy your winter tyres as soon as possible due to the limit stocks available. Especially if we have a cold icy winter.

Friday, 29 August 2014

New Tax Disc Rules Ins & Outs

We've all heard rumours about the change to Tax Discs but apart from that, not much else has been explained about what's exactly happening and if this will affect anything.

From October 2014 you will no longer have to display your tax disc in your windscreen.

So how will the police and DVLA check if I have paid my tax?

This will all be done electronically via your registration plate, from the numerous cameras dotted around the whole country.

How do I buy my Tax Disc?

Direct Debit will be a way to pay from October 1st as well as the usual pay online service where you can choose between paying annually, six monthly or monthly.

It will also affect when you buy or sell your vehicle

If you're selling your vehicle notify the DVLA and you will get a refund for the remaining months that you have paid.

If you're buying a vehicle you will need to buy the tax straight away.

Friday, 22 August 2014

When should you change the tyres on your car

One of the questions that we get asked about a lot is when should you change the tyres on your car.

The legal answer is that your tread should't be lower than 1.6mm, however the performance of a tyre starts to decrease once you get passed 3mm, making them dangerous to use. See below results for stopping distance in the wet at different tread depths.

Tread Depth       Stopping Distance
     7mm                      28m
     4mm                      33m
     2.5mm                   36m
     1.6mm                   43m
     1mm                      49m

From the results we can see that the distances taken to stop in the wet increase dramatically once the tread gets below 2.5mm. This creates an increased danger to both you and other road users. Which is why we recommend changing your tyres once they get to 3mm, especially in powerful vehicles.

There are quite a few gadgets on the market that can help you check the tread depth of your tyres. However there is a very simple way to check your tyres using a 20p piece, meaning there is no excuse no to check them regularly.

How to check your tyres using a 20p

Step 1 - Make sure your cars handbrake is engaged
Step 2 - Get out a 20p

Step 3 - Place your 20p in the tread grooves

Step 4 - If you can see the edge of the 20p, your tyres maybe illegal

Step 5 - This is what a full tread looks like

You can tell the huge difference in a worn and new tyres tread depth!

For a full tutorial visit our WikiHow page

What are you waiting for, go and check your tyres

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The EU Tyre Label - What Does It Mean?

Back in November 2012 the tyre industry quietly launched the EU Tyre Label, this label was designed to give customers more of an idea of what they were buying and the ability to compare tyres on more than the name, price and pattern design.

Since April 2014 it has been a legal requirement for tyres that were made during this month or later to come with an EU Tyre Rating. This is the biggest change that has happened to the tyre industry in over 2 decades. We look at the Ins and Outs of Tyre Labels and whether they will help you choose what tyres to buy. Check out the video Continental have done to explain the Labels.

Firstly lets look at what the label actually shows:

  1. Fuel Consumption
  2. Wet Grip
  3. Noise Level
Fuel Consumption:

Based on an A-G Rating
Shows the amount of energy lost when a tyre is rolling
The Lower the rolling resistance the less fuel is lost

Wet Grip:

Rated on an A-G scale
Measures the braking distance on wet roads
The higher the rating the shorter the braking

Noise Level:

Rated in Decibels and Waves
The higher the Wave the louder the noise
2 Waves is soon to be the limit on noise level

But Do The Ratings Really Make That Much Difference?

You might be thinking that the ratings won't make much difference, we take a look and find out.

Fuel Consumption:

A vs G - A rated tyres could save you over 6 litres of fuel compared to G rated ones over 625 miles. This does however depend on your driving style and conditions.

Wet Grip:

A vs G - Between each rating the distance increase by roughly 3 meters or 1 car length. So the difference between A and G is 18 meters or 4 Car Lengths. A huge difference.

So What Tyres Should I Buy?

Although some say that the EU Tyre Labels have made buying tyres easier due to the ability to see a distinct difference in each tyre, other argue that the Label doesn't go far enough and things like Wear, should be added to the label.

Here at Ears, we welcome any positive changes that make it easier to buy tyres, so we do endorse the tyre label as a good starting point on what tyres to buy.

If you're still comparing tyres and don't know which to buy, we would recommend going for which ever has the higher wet grip rating even if the fuel efficiency is low. As we'd rather be safe than save a few quid.