Monthly Archives: October 2010

Wheel alignment equipment supplier Pro-Align has become the latest company to join the tyre industry’s safety awareness group TyreSafe. Pro-Align will support the group’s ongoing campaigns which raise awareness about the dangers associated with defective and illegal tyres. The company will also provide specialist knowledge and advice relating to wheel alignment issues.

Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe said: “Having experts in the field of wheel alignment will be a valuable addition to the group as it is such an important element of vehicle safety and one which many drivers do not understand properly.”

The importance of correct wheel alignment was highlighted earlier this year following the freezing weather which caused many potholes across the UK. Driving over potholes can alter the vehicle’s steering and suspension geometries or damage critical components which can reduce vehicle safety or generate extra running costs. Incorrect alignment can also cause premature and irregular wear on tyres.

Many garages and tyre dealers use Pro-Align’s imaging alignment equipment. As well as tyre manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, TyreSafe’s membership now includes vehicle manufacturers, TPMS experts and a variety of workshop equipment providers.


The bane of every young person’s life, the driving test, has recently celebrated its 75th birthday.

In that time, we’ve all grown accustomed to dodging erratic manoeuvres from new drivers, but now we can rejoice in the news that there is a new initiative designed to help the inexperienced motorist and ease the pain on parents’ wallets.

Halfords has teamed up with Provisional Marmalade to offer a new, radical type of car insurance which allows provisional drivers to purchase fully comprehensive insurance on a family or friend’s car for only £3 per day.

tunnelDuring repair work to the Cassanawald Tunnel on the San Bernardino Pass in Italy, a Mercedes-Benz Unimog is being used to shunt an unusual configuration of construction equipment on railway freight wagons.

Road-rail Unimog U 406, built in 1971, acts as a railway ‘engine’ when pulling the heavy construction train through the 1.2kmlong Alpine tunnel.

The reliability and efficiency of the Mercedes-Benz Unimog has really impressed its operators who, up to now, have been using normal railway engines to do similar jobs.

SERVICEVolkswagen Van Centres have introduced national fixed-price servicing, offering a full service for £292.58 (including VAT) for any current Transporter-based campervan whether it is serviced in Surrey or Scotland.

A full service for previous generation models costs slightly less at £269.08 (including VAT), while interim services for current or previous generation models cost £163.33 or £104.58 (including VAT), respectively.

Visit www.volkswagen–vans.co.uk or call 0800 717131 for more details.


The Green Lane Association (GLASS) is urging greenlaners to show restraint on certain routes in South Wales to prevent the spread of a deadly tree disease. The disease is caused by Phytophthora Ramorum and was confirmed during May 2010 in woodlands managed by the Forestry Commission on behalf of the Welsh Assembly. The fungus like pathogen kills most trees that it infects and while it is the cause of Sudden Oak Death syndrome in the USA, our own native Oaks are generally resistant to the pathogen. In this case, however, it is infecting Japanese Larch Trees in the Afan Valley near Port Talbot, the Garw Valley near Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Strict Biosecurity measures are in place to try and stop the spread of infection to other woodlands; 4×4 drivers out greenlaning could easily spread the infection from one area to another as it is carried in soil that sticks to vehicles or by larch needles.

William Chase, the world’s leading potato entrepreneur, is planning the next stage of his tuber-driven empire – potato power!

Chase, the creator of the Tyrrells Crisp and Chase Vodka brands, believes that waste from his Herefordshire vodka distillery could be used to make a high grade vehicle fuel.

“We have known for a long time that potato starch is an excellent source of bio ethanol, but this new scheme will tap the resources left behind in distillery waste,” said Chase.

“There has been research completed at Edinburgh Napier University that has demonstrated that ‘pot ale’ (the fluids left behind from the distilling process) can be fermented into biobutanol. I don’t see why we can’t do the same in Herefordshire,” said Chase.

Biobutanol gives internal combustion engines 30 per cent more output power than ethanol. And, more importantly, there is no need to carry out expensive adaptations to the engine. Chase says he firmly believes that vegetable matter will provide the world with the next generation of fuels.

Food giants McCain and Heinz are both believed to be exploring the use of potato peel as a source of biofuel.


If anyone thought changing a tyre was tricky, then they should follow this link – www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz0EkWJorZ4 – and watch 10-year-old William Stepney show how changing a flat tyre is simple.

The short video, made by etyres, shows that you just need to be armed with the basic knowledge of how to carry out this straightforward procedure. The other great advantage is it means you don’t have to pay extortionate prices charged by the garage that came out to rescue you.



sz5A high specification SZ5 model now completes the revised Suzuki SX4 range with two engine options – one diesel and one petrol. The 118bhp 1.6-litre VVT petrol engine is available in the 4×4 SZ5 model with selectable/automatic i-AWD (intelligent All-Wheel Drive). The latest 2.0-litre DDiS 4×4 is also available as an SZ5. Pricing for the new SZ5 is £14,235 for the 1.6 SZ5 4×4 five-speed manual and £15,995 for the 2.0 SZ5 DDiS 4×4 sixspeed manual.

This new diesel engine offers high power and torque of 236lb ft at 1500rpm. It is Euro 5 compliant and achieves 51.4mpg on the combined fuel consumption cycle with emissions of 143g/km.

The 2.0-litre DDiS incorporates various technologies to aid performance and reduce environmental impact; these include a water cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system which is deactivated during warm up to help reduce emissions and a closed coupled diesel particulate filter (DPF) which enables more effective emission purification.


dakarReplacing the Race Touareg 2, twice winner in 2009 and 2010 of the Dakar Rally and the first diesel-powered vehicle ever to win the event, the new Race Touareg 3 promises to be faster and more efficient while retaining the immense strength and durability of the outgoing vehicle.

Wind tunnel testing has led to changes being made to the carbon fibre and Kevlar bodywork with particular attention to improving the cooling systems around the roof of the vehicle while minimising disruption to the airflow at high speeds. At the same time the changes have meant the Touareg has adopted a fresh look with new LED lights, a new grille, window line, rear clamshell and wheels.

superchipsBuckingham-based Superchips has launched a new ECU remap designed to increase the potency of the 2993cc BMW diesel engine, as found in the X5 and X6.

The performance gains from the Superchips ECU remap are significant. Power increases by 44bhp at 4183rpm, resulting in a maximum output of 313bhp (up from a measured 264bhp as standard.) Importantly, these power improvements are realised throughout the rev range, from 1500rpm all the way to the rev limiter at 4500rpm. For safety reasons the 155mph rev limiter is left unaltered.