Car Mechanics

Car Mechanics December 2020

Car Mechanics is the UK's only car magazine with essential advice on maintaining and repairing popular makes and models. It’s an invaluable motoring resource that appeals to both the DIY car enthusiast and the more experienced motor trade professional. Car Mechanics has helped save money for our readers every month since 1958. Each issue includes a wide range of in-depth features written in a clear, straightforward manner: • Readers’ motoring-related problems answered for FREE • Real-life motoring dilemmas from our man in the garage trade • Electronic diagnostics delves inside a different modern vehicle each month to explain its management system • Survival Guide looks at new and used component prices for a particular vehicle • Used Car Focus is an in-depth buying guide on a specific make and model • Service Bay covers a full service with close-up images and comprehensive descriptions • Project cars are a major part of the structure of the magazine as we buy, fix and sell different vehicles over a period of months So if you're into saving money and being a home technician, Car Mechanics will help you out - guaranteed!

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United Kingdom
Kelsey Publishing Group
4,17 €(Inkl. MwSt.)

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4 Min

Email martyn.knowles@kelsey.co.uk Follow us on Facebook @ Car Mechanics Catching the cats Something I mentioned in my June 2019 Editorial: the theft of catalytic converters from the roadside is still a huge menace to motorists around the UK. Perhaps even more so this year - I’ve heard of so many cats being cut from exhausts it’s starting to sound unreal. The thieves arrive in either a stolen vehicle or a cloned one - usually three-up - one is the driver, one the look-out/ helper and the other scrambles under a raised car to do the cutting. It’s all done in about two minutes of arrival. Japanese cars are mostly targetted - Toyota Prius Mkll being a favourite and the Honda Jazz/CR-V popular. And it’s not new cars either as the cats are now partially hidden…

20 Min
instant expert tyres

Do-It-Yourself tyre maintenance is straightforward but limited. Do not be disheartened. As tyres are expensive and the highest financial outlay comes with seeking replacements, the informed car owner can obtain the best value tyres and make them last longer, by keeping in control and being well-informed. Getting in the groove Most road tyres possess four tread pattern types. The most popular symmetrical design means that they can be fitted to any position on the car but noise and overall grip compromises are the downsides. Asymmetric treads possess fewer flexible blocks on the outside, for superior cornering grip, while the smaller inner edge blocks are for water dispersal. To work properly, the edges must be the correct way round, so it is imperative that the ‘outside’ mark on the sidewall faces away from…

2 Min
reading the small print

Aside from the tyre width, aspect ratio of the sidewall (the tyre sidewall height expressed as a percentage of the section width) and rim dimensions, you will notice additional markings on a tyre. Every tyre sold in the UK must be e-marked, meaning that it has passed UNECE regulations. This is denoted by the letter ‘E’, followed by a number of the country in from the tyre width, aspect ratio of the sidewall (the tyre sidewall which approval was granted. E1 means approved in Germany, E2 is France, E4 is the Netherlands, E11 is the UK. At the time of writing, there appears to be no fake, counterfeit, or dangerous new tyres that do not meet the required legislation. The Department of Transport (DOT) code is also mandatory but most of…

4 Min
tyre development

The complex evolution of motorcar tyres cannot be attributed to a single individual company, or person, because it is related closely to developments in materials and improvements in manufacturing. While the wheel rim existed in the times of the ancient Sumerians (c. 3000BC), the quest to provide an elastic cover to stretch over it remained elusive. While stuffed leather was used, its questionable longevity meant that soft iron bands were more popular. Southern European missionaries, however, noted that African, American and Indian natives used a mouldable tree sap to make various products, including water bottles. The nomenclature, ‘rubber’, was coined by Joseph Priestley (who is also credited with discovering oxygen) down to its effective property of rubbing-out pencil marks. However, the raw material was far from perfect but Charles Goodyear’s…

2 Min
all change: eu tyre labelling

Tyre testing is both extremely expensive and time consuming, which is why you should prioritise factual tests over general public opinion, which is less likely to have any informed basis in fact, or knowledge. CM recommends Kim Adam’s Auto Express tyre tests, evaluations conducted by Auto Bild of Germany and those performed by Jonathan Benson on www.tyrereviews.co.uk and YouTube www.youtube.com/user/TyreReviews especially. Yet, it is impossible to review every tyre and so the EU Tyre label became a legal requirement from 2012 for every new tyre sold, to give customers other parameters to consider, rather than price alone. The 2012 label provides three performance assessments. The tyre energy efficiency’s A rating presents a £290 saving over the bottom G band, based on £1.45 per litre fuel cost and a 25,000 miles lifespan.…

1 Min
run flat tyres

Some cars were fitted with run flat tyres from new, most notably BMWs and MINIs from the early 2000s. Replacement costs can be quite high, leading some motorists to economise and seek a non-run flat alternative. Consider that the run flat rim may possess a different internal shape, so ask a tyre technician if a non-run flat tyre is suitable. If so, you will alter the dynamics of the car, due to the incompatibility of the springs and dampers with the softer tyre sidewalls. Therefore, if you wish to make the switch, replace all four tyres so you do not create an imbalance. Inform your insurance company of the modification, as well as the manufacturer/provider, if the car is under warranty. Check also that the inflation pressures that are recommended…