After a bodged repair by a local London garage to my swirl flaps and deep concerns about my 2001 BMW 530D Touring I consulted Peter from pmwltd about the condition of my car. My regular mechanic whom I have known for 20 years simply took out my swirl flaps and replaced the shafts with bolts. This at some time later, only (900 miles) caused an ingestion into the chamber and ruined my piston and valves and looked like a very time consuming and costly repair. After completion I took my car to peter at pmw and discussed the works. He had his guys strip out the existing bolts that were very unprofessional and replaced with his swirl flap blanking plates. Now I have heard a lot about these plates and swirl flap damage and I can tell you as an ex AA Patrol man that if not done correctly as Peter has done you will cause serious damage to your beloved engine. This is a guy with a great team and a wealth of knowledge behind them who know their stuff, not your usual bit mechanic who ”
knows a bit about engines”. I drove down from Lewisham London to his workshops in Chelmsford and it only took an hour and was easy to get to. If I was you I would call them for your piece of mind because you know like I do that you don’t want just anyone tinkering with your pride and joy. Its worth the drive knowing your car is in safe and knowledgeable hands at pmw. He,s not a rip off either, he is a very reasonable honest mechanic and cheaper than the main dealers out there. Thanks peter.
“Just to say that if you live close enough and can get there, I would recommend these guys at PMW. Very helpful, professional and understanding. Was having big problems with my ‘07 320i M sport having only owned it for a couple of months but now thanks to PMW the car is running like a dream”
James B. Harlow
I’ve been coming across some quite unusual write-ups and reviews of SUV’s in recent weeks, mainly along the lines of their environmental credentials, which seem to sometimes be better than I expected and, in some cases, much, much better.
Now, I’m not talking about standard petrol or diesel engine SUV’s - which, as we all know, are notoriously inefficient regarding fuel consumption, and hence produce rather hefty CO2 emissions (and cost a lot to tax in the UK as a result). Hybrids, however, seem to be quite a different story altogether…
For example, Land Rover recently announced their plans to launch a Range Rover hybrid in 2013 which will boast CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km CO2 - i.e. the same as most Ford Fiestas produce these days. Similarly, a Porsche Cayenne hybrid is already on sale which offers CO2 emissions of 193g/km - which is not much more than my old Ford Escort used to produce.
In other words, it seems the major manufacturers of SUV’s have realised that green must be the future, especially with fuel costs escalating by the month and new systems of road tax being introduced based on CO2 emissions (as is the case in the UK). Of course, it must have been much easier for the manufacturers to accept this greener future with the aid of massive grants from our governments in order to help develop the technologies, but nonetheless, it does seem that some pretty effective engineering and design work is being carried out.
The reality is that, in the UK at least, a new Range Rover will cost £950/year to tax, while the hybrid version which we can expect to see around 2013, would fall into the free category - which makes a pretty massive financial difference to almost anyone considering such a purchase.
We shouldn’t get too confused just yet - standard SUV’s are still extremely fuel inefficient and represent pretty bad news for your wallet and the environment: however, it does seem that with the next generation of hybrid SUV’s this might no longer necessarily be the case. Perhaps there will be a future for the formerly notorious gas-guzzlers after all, unlike other previously popular models such as hummers, which seem to be firmly consigned to the dustbin of auto history.
A great piece in the Guardian this week has highlighted some of the curious paradoxes between China and the UK in terms of CO2 emissions and climate change, especially within the respective motor industries. It’s no secret that China’s rapidly growing and industrialising economy is responsible for colossal CO2 emissions - and indeed that its increasingly ever-crowded roads are a big part of this (1,500 new cars added every day).
Moreover while the UK’s economy has an inevitably smaller CO2 footprint - in terms of CO2 emissions per person we are of course far worse than our Chinese counterparts. But here’s the interesting statistic - even though both UK and Chinese drivers clearly have plenty reason to be concerned about CO2 - our Chinese counterparts are far more receptive to concepts of green motoring and hybrid vehicles than us.
In China 71% of motorists would consider an electric car, while in the UK the figure is just 37%. The stats for hybrids are similar - 54% and 30% respectively. Question is why does such a gulf exist between these motorists’ receptiveness to such technologies?
Could it be down to the fact that in China you can own a BYD petrol-electric hybrid (chargeable simply from a domestic supply rather than specialised power stations) for £15,000 while here in the Western world most options will set you back a fair bit more?
GM’s Chevy Volt for example is set to launch in 2011 and will cost around $27,000, while UK company Lightning is offering high-end sports hybrids for around £120,000 a piece (yes £120k - that was not a typo sadly). It’s true that you can get an entry level Prius for around £17,000 - but the problem is that these models will use far more petrol than the BYD option - which can go for up to 62 miles when fully charged before using a drop of petrol.
Considering the quality of options currently available to UK and Chinese motorists I’m not surprised we are seeing the latter far keener on these green technologies. Who needs loads of choice between moderate to expensive options when the Chinese market offers its customers one vastly superior option both in terms of economy and efficiency? I personally can’t wait for BYD to start exporting to the UK - maybe then we’ll see the aforementioned stats improve a little…