Monthly Archives: November 2015
Welcome to our new #RideTheRoad series. As proud driving enthusiasts we’ll be bringing you information on our favorite driving roads from around the UK as part of this blog. Since it’s officially #LancashireDay on Twitter today, we thought we’d continue the theme of our home county in starting the blog in our home county. This did however get us thinking, Lancashire isn’t exactly a small county, and it includes some stunning scenery along with some interesting northern terrain.
This all points to the potential for some truly incredible driving roads and destinations. But think about it, when was the last time you saw a Lancashire road in any of the numerous major motoring publications, that frequently travel the length and depth of the UK so they can do their thing on a wide variety of exciting roads, with jaw dropping backgrounds and intriguing destinations? No, me neither. And it’s not like we’re lacking in Lancashire either!
We’ve compiled details of one of our favorite roads inside the Red Rose County that is easily worth a visit, even if it is just for the drive!
Rivington Road, Rivington – Turton, Lancashire – 9.2 Miles
Although relatively short, this (mostly) national speed limit stretch of road also happens to be one of my personal favorites. Avoid obvious peak times and you’ll rarely be held up on this fast and technical route. Visibility for the most of the route is good, despite the route’s technical nature so given this and the ‘mostly wide enough’ road, most skilled drivers/riders should be able to time their overtakes with ease if the odd Sunday driver is encountered. The views across Lancashire or breathtaking on the Rivington-Belmont stretch of this road and you’ll notice strategically placed viewpoints across the route. These are drastically underused and make great spots to gaze over the landscape and into the distance. Once above the moors, you’re greeted with a long straight featuring an exhilarating crest which, when you learn the road, you can keep the throttle pinned (legally of course) as the road remains straight until the road becomes twisty again a few hundred yards further down the route.
Pass through the picturesque village of Belmont and the road becomes tighter and even more technical for the next section before reaching the A666. Keen drivers will enjoy this challenging section of varying cambers and gradients however due to the narrow width and sharp corners, we’d recommend a smaller, quick-reacting car for this section. The road passes through a thick pine forest in this part of the route which makes for a pleasant environment, especially if you choose to take a break at one of the various lay-by’s.
After a short stint on the A666 for a few hundred yards, take the right turn onto the B6391 and you find yourself a wider, smooth, sweeping road which exits the pine forest setting and offers the a particularly enjoyable experience down to Turton that can be taken surprisingly briskly, whilst remaining entirely safe as the visibility is good which little surprises along the way. Tracks leading off to the right lead to a reservoir which is a truly beautiful place to behold, so time allowing, we’d certainly recommend a stop before ending your journey in the rural Lancashire village of Turton.
This is a route that the likes of Evo and Top Gear magezine would be proud of and it really has to be driven to be experienced.
Hint: Watch for sheep which occasionally stray onto the road on the Rivington to Belmont section, although this is rarely a problem. Also, beware of severe fog on this same section as the weather can prove unpredictable on the higher sections of the route.
In conclusion, the Lancashire region should certainly not be overshadowed by other counties when it’s roads have so much to offer for the driving enthusiast. If you’re ever in the area, give this route a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! – Alan Price Autos
So, your cars running like a dream and you’re by and large a happy motorist. Next thing you know, after racking up the miles in your beloved vehicle of choice, it’s that time again. After checking your handbook you notice your car is in for a service. Damn, you probably murmur to yourself as you’ve already began to tighten your pockets on the run up to the festive season. The last thing you need to be doing is spending seemingly ‘unnecessary’ service requirements when there’s so many other more ‘appealing’ places your money could go.
If, like most of us, you’d rather not be accepting a lift from your local recovery service, we’d recommend you follow your manufacturers service intervals without fail, regardless of whether your vehicle is running sweetly.
Here at Alan Price Auto Services, we offer servicing from as little as £79 and all our rates are extremely competitive, while you also get the peace of mind of leaving your vehicle in the hands of a garage with over 25 years in the trade and an unquestionable reputation for quality.
Bear in mind, skipping servicing this Winter can lead to some nasty unexpected costs. Here are some examples of average costs that amount from problems caused by owners skipping vital service intervals.
- Engine Swap – £2575
- Cylinder head gasket – £520
- Radiator – £430
- Water Pump – £240
(Source: Motor Codes Website)
We’d strongly recommend that you check your service manual to find out when your car is next due to have its cambelt (or timing belt) replaced. These vary from vehicle to vehicle but its often needed at around the 70000 miles mark. Many people decided to turn a blind eye when their cambelt needs replacing as it isn’t a small job, costing up to £250, occasionally more. However, if the cambelt fails when you are driving, you could quite easily end up facing serious engine damage, costing much more at the same time.
Another majorly overlooked area is the tyres on your car. Tyres in poor condition have a tendency to lose grip unexpectedly or ‘blow out’ causing dangerous crashes. It’s important to stick to the recommended tyre pressures that can be found in your manual and check them frequently. Incorrect tyre pressures will cause rapid and uneven tyre wear, meaning they’ll need to be replaced sooner then necessary. The tracking should also be checked on a regular basis, or if you notice your car pulling to one side when you take your hands off the wheel as this can have a similar effect, causing rapid and uneven tyre wear.
Choosing where to get your car serviced can be a difficult choice. Some people prefer to take their cars to the official dealers however the average hourly rate for these are £95.83 per hour. Taking your vehicle to an independent specialist such as Alan Price Auto Services can both save you a considerable amount of money (our hourly rate stands at £46 per hour) and quite often offer more tailored advice, rather than strictly by-the-book policy which can be unhelpful in many circumstances.
3 things to look for when finding a top independent garage are:
- Open and Transparent Pricing
- Clear information regarding any problems
- A high standard of work that’s delivered as agreed and on time with a guarantee
In short, skipping servicing can be an extremely costly mistake to make for any vehicle. The service manuals for your vehicles are there to help protect your vehicle from harm and unnecessary expense. We can’t stress enough how important it is to stick to these where possible, even when your vehicle appears to be running fine! If in doubt about anything, feel free to give us a call for some FREE impartial advice on 01254 679937.
We are firm believers that if you maintain your car properly, there’s no reason why you’re car shouldn’t literally, run forever.
Every so often you’ll hear of that fabled ‘Million Miler’ as if it’s some mythical beast that shouldn’t still be alive but has somehow managed to defy the odds and continues to run on in to astronomical figures. Back in 2002, a gentleman named Irv Gordon clocked up 2 Million miles in his 1966 Volvo P1800 and was, as a result, catapulted into the Guinness World Records for owning the car with the ‘Highest certified mileage driven by the original owner in non-commercial service.’ Since then he has successfully clocked over 3 Million miles in the very same car.
Obviously, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be doing such high mileages in a single vehicle, but some vital lessons regarding car maintenance can be learnt from the man that does. After all, a well maintained car will deliver much more in terms of fuel economy and lower repair bills.
Here’s some of the best top tips regarding car maintenance from Lancashire’s Premier Garage:
1) Have Your Oil And Filter Changed Regularly
By doing this in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations, you are utilizing the cheapest and most effective way of keeping the car running. This will vary vehicle to vehicle so check your owners manual for the official manufacturers recommendations and abide by these where possible.
2) Only Use Genuine Parts
Always use genuine parts where possible. The manufacturers will likely have spent countless hours ensuring that the parts work exactly as they should in conjunction with the rest of the vehicle.
3) Use One Brand Of Oil
Finding an oil you are happy with and sticking with it brings uniformity and is a great way of avoiding nasty surprises along with allowing your engine to work at its optimum efficiency. Oils come in many different grades and once again it is best to refer to your owners manual with regards to making your selection.
4) Fill Up At Reputable Stations
Using high quality fuels such as Shell V-Power Nitro+ helps your car to run more efficiently and helps to prolong engine life through smooth running, more efficient burning and better cleaning properties. This is all down to the refinement process in which the fuel is made being more advanced than in lesser fuels such as those found on supermarket forecourts. Also, where possible, try to fill up at stations with a high fuel turnover so you can be sure that the fuel is fresh and crud-free.
5) Build A Relationship With A Reputable Mechanic You Can Trust
Finding a trustworthy mechanic with the most up to date equipment and wealth of experience on cars of all types and ages is of paramount importance to any vehicle owner, especially those considering doing high mileages in a single vehicle.
Here at Alan Price Auto Services we take pride in offering the most trustworthy, reliable service in Lancashire. Our technicians boast years of experience working on all cars from 50 year old classics, to exotic supercars, to the latest premium models and superminis. We also offer out high quality loan cars totally FREE of charge. Whatever it is, we’ll most likely have it covered. Tel: 01254 679937 to arrange an appointment or even just for some friendly advice!
Many drivers on the roads today don’t realize the sheer importance of properly aligned wheels. Whether this is down to blissful ignorance or just motorists generally being in denial about the subject, we’re not sure, but we’re going to educate you regardless.
Having the wheel alignment on your car checked and adjusted accordingly is of grave importance. So much so that some experts say it should be checked every time we have our cars serviced. By performing a wheel alignment job, we ensure that the wheels on your car are perpendicular to the road’s surface, and that they’re parallel to one another.
There are many benefits to having accurately aligned wheels. Saving fuel is a big one, especially in today’s world when fuel prices are through the roof! The thing is, when you’re driving along with misaligned wheels, the is uneven pressure being placed on the tyres. Because of this, your car will have to work much harder to move forward due to uneven friction causing far more resistance from the surface of the road and hence burning more fuel as a result. Properly aligned wheels experience much less resistance from the road surface. Therefore you will experience a smoother drive, and noticeable savings on your fuel bills.
The tyres on your car are proven to last much longer when fitted to properly aligned wheels. Generally speaking, poor wheel alignment leads to quickly and unevenly worn-out tyres. Having the alignment of your vehicle corrected is a much cheaper and more beneficial fix then constantly changing your tyres at regular intervals. Its can also be incredibly dangerous driving on uneven tyres and whilst many of you will probably think this’ll be covered in your manufacturers warranty, it’s probably best you read the fine print, as no warranty we have ever come across is extended if the tyres of the vehicles have been poorly maintained.
Badly aligned wheels are also likely to be the cause of your car pulling to one side all the time. Driving a car like this is a completely unnecessary risk that no driver should be taking in today’s day and age, especially now we’re entering that time of year when the conditions are becoming more challenging again. It’s just not worth causing an accident over.
One of the most concerning aspects of having poorly aligned wheels is the knock on effects it has on other vital parts of the car. Everybody fears uneven braking, but this problem can be a very real phenomenon in cars with poorly aligned wheels. This is both dangerous and easily rectifiable. The suspension can also be affected, and this is made up of thoroughly complicated and delicately balanced parts. Basically, this is likely to be an expensive fix if it goes wrong.
To conclude, if you find yourself travelling along a straight, flat, road and your car feels to be veering right or left, this is a clear giveaway that your car is in need of its wheels aligning. Also, check your tyre wear regularly. If you notice one tyre is worn considerably more than on the opposite side, it’s also time to get your vehicle booked in. Beside the obvious signs, as a general rule of thumb you should be getting your wheels aligned roughly every 6000 miles. If you have hit something large enough to cause alignment issues, or you travel on bumpy/broken roads a lot, it may also be a good idea to get your alignment checked by professionals.
Here at Alan Price Auto Services, we have the all the latest laser guided wheel-alignment technology and our experienced technicians are always happy to help and offer advice. Tel: 01254 679937
Price: From £32
It’s that time of year again. The roads are becoming darker, wetter and generally slippier. Before you know it the roads will be plagued with black ice and you’ll be slipping and sliding all over the place. However, with the continuous development of Winter Tyres, need this be an issue?
Britain, especially up north, is notorious for its harsh winters and with the 2015/2016 season set to be no exception, Winter Tyres start to appear like a more attractive proposition than ever before. Winter Tyres, or ‘Cold Weather Tyres’ as they are sometimes known are constructed from a softer compound. This allows the tyre to produce more grip and inspire more confidence in conditions colder weather conditions.
The tread patterns vary considerably from those of ‘Normal’ or ‘Summer Tyres’ and feature incredibly fine grooves cut into each tread block, designed to grip in snow, rain and general cold weather much more convincingly than the equivilent standard offering. One thing many people don’t realise is that Winter Tyres grip far better than Summer Tyres, even when the road is clear, due to the softer compound that they are constructed from. As soon as the temperature drops below around 7 degrees, cars fitted with good quality Winter Tyres should stop much faster and be far less prone to slipping, making your journeys safer as a result.
Most respectable brands sell a selection of good quality Winter Tyres such as Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, Nokian, Kumho, Vredestein, Yokohama, Toyo and Pirelli. We at Alan Price Autos strongly recommend that any tyres purchased for use on the road should be from a highly respectable brand such as one of the aformentioned. These tyres will last longer, grip more, offer better economy and performance, and feature less road noise.
Give us a call on 01254 679937 and get a highly competetive quote from Alan Price Autos with regards to good quality Winter Tyres (fitting included) for your vehicle.
Is the increasing amount of fog on the roads making you nervous during your morning commute? Here’s a little guide to help you stay safe in one of Britain’s most diverse weather conditions.
In accordance with the highway code, it is essential to use the headlights equipped to your vehicle when visibility is greatly reduced. One way to think of it is that if you can’t see clearly ahead of you for roughly the length of a football pitch, it’s time to switch on. When fog moves in, it has a tendency to move in thick and fast so it is essential that you drive with extra care and attention and leave a wide berth between yourself and the car in front.
One common misconception is that using fog lights is essential in adverse weather conditions. This is certainly not the case as not every car on the road is equipped with fog lights. However, if your car does have the luxury of having fog lights equipped, it’s highly recommended you use these when appropriate. Just make sure you remember to turn them off again once the fog has cleared as this could pose a hazard to other motorists.
Alan Price Advice:
Don’t rely on daytime running lights in order to provide adequate visibility for both yourself and other road users. It is essential to use your vehicles dipped beam headlights at all times, along with your wipers and demisters during heavy fog. This allows maximum visibility whilst not posing a threat to other road users.
In the UK today, most standard fuels feature a Research Octane Number (RON) of 95. However, you may have noticed whilst filling up at the pumps that many forecourts offer a second ‘premium’ option featuring a higher RON usually of around 98. These premium fuels normally cost around 10p more per litre than their standard counterparts. But the big question is, is it worth it? Well first lets look at the basics.
How do Premium Fuels differentiate from Standard Fuels?
Fuel suppliers claim that using a premium fuel with a higher octane rating has multiple benefits for both the vehicle and the driver. These benefits supposedly include increased performance and increased fuel economy, attractive propositions for many motorists at the expense of a few more pounds and the pumps. The major fuel companies also claim that their premium offerings offer greater engine protection, ensuring the longetivity of your precious motor.
Fact or Fiction?
Many people instantly write off premium fuels as being a gimmick in order for forecourts to charge more for what is essentially a product that does the same job. After being in the motor industry for well over 25 years, we can thankfully shed some light on what is a ‘grey area’ for many discerning motorists.
Does using Premium Fuels improve economy?
First of all, the fuels containing a higher octane level should burn more efficiently. In turn, this means that more power should be delivered from less fuel being burned. Obviously this depends on how you drive your car and what vehicle you have, although from our experience, all drivers regardless of vehicle should at the very least notice a minor increase in economy. However on many of the cars we encounter, in particular cars offering higher levels of performance, the difference can be quite noticeable.
But what about Performance?
In a similar vein to economy, the difference premium fuels will make to performance will largely vary depending on the type of car in question. For example, due to higher compression ratios and engine temperatures, cars fitted with turbocharged and/or supercharged engines are likely to benefit more from the useage of higher octane fuels. From our experience, cars with more performance biased engines tend to produce noticeable improvements in performance throughout the rev range and also in the smoothness and tractability of the unit. Owners of cars with more economy biased engines will likely see negligible improvements in performance.
Do Premium Fuels help prolong engine life?
Yes. In all our years within the industry we can safely confirm that using poor quality fuel over prolonged periods can lead to issues such as worn engine components, engine knock and blocked injectors to name a few. For example, Esso use twice the amount of detergent addatives in their premium grade fuel and most other providers offer a similar increase in their higher grade offerings.
In short, we’d always recommend using premium fuels where available. However, this doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with standard offerings, but we would recommend filling up with petrol or diesel from a trusted brand (Texaco, Shell, BP, Esso etc) rather than marginally cheaper offerings from supermarket forecourts as the quality of the branded fuels generally speaking far surpass their supermarket counterparts and have been refined to a higher standard. The choice is yours, but our professional opinion is to always use the best quality fuel you can afford.
It’s that time of year again! The days are becoming shorter and the temperature is dropping. Luckily we at Alan Price Automobiles have you covered. At this time of year vehicle maintenance is crucial and having been in the trade for many years, we understand this, therefore we are delighted to offer you a full Winter Health Check at the highly competetive reduced price of £19.99 (normally £32). This will ensure that your vehicle is able to cope with the ever changing weather conditions of a harsh British winter. For total peace of mind we are also fortunate enough to offer a comprehensive Diagnostic Health Check on your vehicle which can detect hidden problems which may prove costly in the future if left untreated. Included in this service is a code read with a print out as well as erasing and explaining any problems found all for the currently discounted price of £17.50 (normally £35) when booked along with the aformentioned Winter Check. PLACES ARE LIMITED so book now to avoid disappointment!