Thursday, 12 November 2015

Golf GTI Edition 30 MOT + Service 88,400 miles

88400 miles @ (a great local garage)

annual MOT and service

Usual service : Oil (longlife) , oil/pollen/fuel filters

Cam follower not replaced this time
Cambelt not changed
Sparkplugs not changed

PSS front and rear well above 3mm , so ok for the winter

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

39mpg golf gti edition 30 is achievable

Just shows you what can be achieved!  Commute this morning from warrington to leeds for meeting.  60mph at most. Over 10 mpg better than the last tank average

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Golf gti edition 30 mpg update

343 miles 27 mpg
Seems low tbh. Maybe the colder weather or recent poor commute traffic

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

where are my old cars? UK MOT history search

Had some fun trying out the beta service for MOT's in the UK

to find out if any of my old cars are still on the road.

perhaps lost forever

R801 KPF Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo gone to the great scrapyard in the sky (or SORN'd) , last MOT to 2012 with 99k miles

GSJ 429N Mini 1380  no record

E98 JNH VW Golf GTI 8V Mk2 no record

still going strong

SN04 UYZ E46 M3  just passed an MOT with  115,104 miles

DE03 EZC Toyota MR2 Mk3  just passed an MOT with 94,944 miles

NA09 OOC Seat Ibiza Sport : just passed MOT with only 49,380 miles

SC03 LDV BMW MINI  still seems around with 116k miles

Golf gti edition 30 mpg update +service reminder

389miles 30mpg
Car gets MOT this week and a service so the reminder is timely.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Cheshire Mobile Creche website

a blatant promotion for my wifes new business venture.
As an experienced childcare provider, she now is offering mobile event childcare in the North West of the UK.

The Cheshire Mobile Creche

The Cheshire Mobile Crèche is a privately owned company providing bespoke, professional crèche services for weddings and other one-off events in the North West of England
The Cheshire Mobile creche website image

For the technically minded this is a website built upon a Bootstrap template, hosted free as a GitHub page with a custom domain.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Ford kuga 2.0 tdci 163 mpg update 42.6mpg 550 miles

V power diesel with mostly 85mph cruise for a change.  For some reason this car is more economical at higher speeds!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Caring for your performance tyres - Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Useful article

from here

Caring for your performance tyres - Michelin Pilot Super Sport

The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is one of the most talked about tyres on Tyre Reviews. It offers extreme track performance blended with balanced road manners and mileage that has yet to be rivalled, and as such it's an extremely popular tyre with performance car drivers such as BMW M cars, Porsche's, Ferrari's and many other hypercars. With this in mind, we thought it would be a good time to have a look at what went into the development of the Pilot Super Sport, and how you should treat them to get the maximum usable life from them.

General Development

It's widely known some of the ex Michelin Formula 1 team were put on the SuperSport project after Michelin withdrew from F1. How much of the technology was transferred across? 

- Ok. Some of the Compound and casing developers on this project were directly involved in our motorsport program in the era of F1. The same guys have also been involved in designing tyres for Le Mans and Endurance racing. Our team doesn't really split down motorsport/road tyre lines. So when we say track to street we mean it. Not only do we transfer directly some materials from one type to the other, but also industrial and production techniques. There are some things we do with the SuperSport (& Cup2) that you can't do in motorsport, e.g. dual compounds, and in some ways the PSS & PS Cup2 are more advanced than the motorsport tyres. We have transferred technology directly, simply because it works. Our Formula-e tyre and 18" WRC Tarmac tyre are virtually the same pattern as the PS Cup2, and similar to the PSS.

How different is the Pilot Super Sport to the tyre it replaced, the Pilot Sport 2?

- Very. The PS2 was developed during our time in F1, but was a significant step at the time over the original Pilot Sport. The Pilot Sport 3 is a tyre with a different philosophy slightly. It's not a tyre as suited to track work. The Pilot Super Sport has really taken over that part of what the PS2 was capable of. We still had a few homologation and fitments with PS2 that are still working well years down the line (Boxster/911 and some "M" BMW's). There's always a bit of "family resemblance" between generations of tyres, as what we learned we don't unlearn, but in the case of Pilot Super Sport, it uses a totally different production technology compared to PS2. Therefore, it's a new approach, as the factory processes allow us to do things we could never have done with PS2. Meaning materials can be used now that couldn't have been used successfully with PS2.

Tyre Care

What sort of break-in / warm-up treatment would you advise for the Pilot Super Sport?

- I'd always encourage an initial 50-100 miles of a "bedding-in" period, simply to remove any mould release from the tyres (all tyre manufacturers tend to spray the inside of the mould with a silicon type spray to allow the mould and tyre to separate post curing, it's what gives them the shiny look). This can't often be the case with track work, but I'd say give the tyres a lap or two of gentle work to bed in and just slightly warm up prior to giving them any hard fast work. From a warm up perspective, same really applies. For track work, I'd give it a couple of warm up laps to build heat and pressure in the tyre, before asking it to give it's full potential. Often common sense too as it warms the car and brakes up before hitting them hard. For road work, it doesn't apply as much, but if you pull out of your drive on a cold winters morning, and hit the throttle hard at the end of the street pulling onto the main road, don't be surprised if you spin the wheels. You need some heat in them to get optimum grip.

What about heat cycling on the road or track? 

- The Pilot Super Sport won't really go through a heat cycle from road use. It never reaches extreme temperatures, and yes, while you might "give it some beans" at some point on a fast Sunday drive, it's never sustained for long periods with the tyre doing high energy lateral and longitudinal work. Where as on a track, it's both and sometimes with and sliding or power, for sustained periods and followed by cooling (after a session). Hence heat cycling does affect the level of grip, primarily after track work. It will lower the peak grip, but only by a small level. After hard track work the more dominant factor could be wear and damage to the tread, reducing grip more by the fact you have reduced the amount of rubber in contact with the road.

So what are the best practices for longevity and grip throughout the tyre life? 

- It's really a balance between not "killing" the tyre and giving it a good workout. Whilst I do expect a lot of customers buying the PSS to drive them hard, on road and track, a little bit of common sense and smoother driving will often yield the best results. Don't overdrive the tyre. whilst it looks good going sideways with smoke emanating from the tyre. If the tyre isn't gripping, come back off the throttle slightly, correct the steering and you'll find the tyre coming back into it's window and grip circle. Even Lewis Hamilton can't get more grip than a tyre has. It's about keeping it within a manageable window. Listen to the feedback from the car, and adapt. On tyre life and wear, again it's all subjective, but you'd be surprised how few tyres come off with even flat wear. So keep on top of camber and toe, and adapt as required.

Tread life

How will the tyres dry / wet grip balance change on the way to 1.6mm? 

- Remember that all the tread grooves do is help clear the water from the contact patch to allow the tyre to actually grip a slightly dried road surface. Therefore, on a slightly damp surface there shouldn't be a significant difference between a new tyre and a worn one. (Assuming even wear). The wet braking grip will deteriorate with most tyres, by about a car length @ 50mph from new to worn. So the shift in weight braking is small. With Dry braking, in some cases it may actually slightly improve with a worn tyre, as there is less movement from the tread blocks. However it's small (1-2m). Therefore I'd always say it's better to have a bit of tread depth, but I would never be panicking to take at tyre off at 3mm

Can you use the tyre safely past this on track assuming even wear? 

- Yes, within reason. As remember once you get down to the bottom of the tread depth, you are only a few mm away from starting to wear out the belts and carcass. Which could be a disaster. Plus the tread rubber offers grip, some rubbers under the tread are only there to bond other components together. I'd ask people to exercise a great deal of caution. Worn tyres might do one track day.. but that's again assuming that the tyres are worn evenly. It might be 1.6mm on the outside and worn more excessively on the inside. I'd certainly never advocate under 1.6mm on the roads, as it's against the law. So the safety and legal implications aren't worth the risk on the road.

A big thank you to Michelin for taking the time to answer our questions. For more information on the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, please read our user reviews and test ratings. Any further questions? Please ask in the comments below!

Nokian SUV Z Line

1stNokian zLine SUV
Total: 30 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 9 / Rolling Resistance: 9 / Noise: 4
Positive: Good handling and braking on dry and wet roads
Negative: Expensive

The 2015 Off Road Magazine SUV and 4x4 tyre test covered 9 tyres in 225/55 R18 on a Mercedes ML250.

Here are some of my previous nokian updates.
Nokian appear to have updated the tyre slightly

So far fitted 44714 miles , now at 74000, so currently 30,000 miles !!! and still have 3mm on the front and 5mm (or more) on the back.
I may rotate or fit new fronts for the winter to be safe

At this rate they are a fantastic tyre.

300,000 mile Golf GTI article

Significant mileage, so worth a link here

300,000 mile Golf GTI

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Golf gti edition 30 mpg update 33.6mpg 419 miles

V power lots of commuting at a restrained speed 60-70mph

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Golf gti edition 30 mpg update 29.7mpg 370 miles

Shell v power nitro.  Commuting to Manchester City center again

Monday, 10 August 2015

Continental Sport Contact 5 225/40/18 92Y XL review

[historical data from August 2013]

Well here we are again. 
This time around its the Sport Contact 5's that are being reviewed.

fitted at 59220 miles on Feb 2012

when replaced at 70595 miles on 06/08/2013 at 3mm remaining

so thats 18 months and 11375 miles.

Replaced because a trackday had caused damage on the inner edges.
No doubt with no damage they could have lasted a lot longer and worn down to 1.8mm (legal limit)
I believe this damage is caused by slightly misaligned suspension, too high tyre pressure on the day and poor suspension (that needs replacing). In no way do i believe its a problem with the tyre itself.


I have chosen to use a mobile fitting service called Event Tyres again
For the 4th time they have continued to surprise me with top notch service.
Really it couldnt be any easier
£124 per tyre, so £248 all (this includes fitting)


Fitted today outside my office.
alloys confirmed prior to work so no disputes after . No marks made at all.
Weights on inside
Absolutely faultless.

Other options to consider

Continental Sport Contact 5 (my previous tyres)
Pirelli PZero
Yokohama parada 2
Michelin PS2 / PS3  
PSS due to be available at end of September 2013

Plus Points
hot weather : 
cold weather : 

100% tread  : no bedding in period, worked straight from day one.
50% tread : 
10% tread (legal limit) : 

limited road noise : 
on the track         : 
up the drag strip : no idea I never ran them up the strip

low wear rate : 
11,375 miles on a revo stg1 gti is pretty impressive, and almost as much as the PS3
They wore evenly across the entire tread depth  :happy2: at 36psi
wet weather : 

Minus Points

alloy wheel lip protection is very limited , tyre has a very 'flat' profile , doesnt bulge, so provides little or no protection


now replaced by Goodyear F1  Assymetric 2 

VW Golf GTI Edition 30 : new rear tyres : PS3 last 41k miles, Michelin Pilot Super Sport 225/40R18 92 Y XL replacements

after having the rear tyres off to paint the backplates/calipers and discs, I noticed that the rear tyres (Michelin Pilot Sport 3 PS3) were more than a little worn!

bald on the inside edge, with a slightly weird profile.

This is almost certainly down to the cars suspension (lowered Bilstein B12) and settings, which mean it runs quite a lot of negative camber

heres my previous review of the PS3 when I had all 4 fitted.

The fronts lasted "from full tread depth to 2mm in 14,556 miles (Oct 2010 to Feb 2012)"
The rears lasted from 44664 miles to now (85600)! which is 41000 miles (Oct 2010 to Aug 2015)
This gives an indication of the difference in wear rate and load between Front and Rear

Although still legal, I felt the overal tyre tread depth (at 2mm), risk of canvas breakthrough and the time theyd been on the car was enough to warrant a change.
Besides with the PSS now widely available (and already proving awesome on the front tyres) I couldnt wait to change them.

Sadly the company I always get to supply and fit tyres (Event Tyres) did not have PSS in stock, they could get them but not at competitive rates, I was gutted (although I suspect the PSS being a Michelin tyre means theres some market forces at work with blackcircles etc)

No worries, a quick web search meant I found them @ Oponeo delivered to my door.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport 225/40R18 92 Y XL, ZR Quantity: 2 x 101 = £202
(Albeit they took a week to arrive!)
Luckliy Event Tyres have only just introduced 'fitting only' so I once again entrusted them to fit the PSS
Fitting by Event Tyres =  2 x 20 = £40

So total fitment price was 202 + 40 = £242 

Booked in via the website, was faultless as ever with great comms and an even better work ethic.
Event tyres were as awesome as usual. If you are in the North West of the UK, try them out for your next set of tyres.

Here are the tyres before fitment, I made them around 8-8.5 at full tread

The stats are

F : Fuel economy poor (do I care?)
A : Wet Weather grip outstanding
71db noise

NOTE :  that there are 2 types of PSS available in this size (225/40/18), the one you need for the GTI is the XL 92Y version. 

I was surprised to note the other version is noted as having worse wet weather performance!


225 40 R 18 88 Y         * E B 71dB

225 40 R 18 92 ZR(Y) XL F A 71dB

In terms of a continued review of the PS3 , nothing has changed, Id say they are a good tyre that fulfils all briefs but is not outstanding in any respect (well, maybe a very slow wear rate)

With the advent of the PSS , the game changed again, making these very average.

As of Aug 2015, My ranking from the tyres Ive tried on the GTI (all in 225/40/18) would be

  1. Michelin Pilot Super Sport : an easy all weather choice. sublime BUY THEM NOW
  2. Continental Sport Contact 5 : really liked these, and have just won the EVO tyre review 2015
  3. Michelin PS2 : great dry weather grip, but compromised elsewhere and poor wear rate
  4. Goodyear​​ Eagle F1 Assym 2​
  5. Michelin PS3 : good all rounder but doesnt excel in any area.
  6. Michelin Pilot Exalto : these were fitted from new and woeful, do not buy!

So now I have all round PSS and already love it, yet to try them in anger though.

At the current PSS prices, why would anyone fit anything else????????

for information

Front PSS are currently worn down (after 5600 miles) to

6mm outer
5mm middle
5mm inner

from approx 8 to 8.5mm new tread

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Ford kuga mpg update

Some previous fill ups I forgot to post. Note the lower mpg as the wheel bearing was still noisy when these were taken

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

how to print to a legacy printer from a Chromebook : Acer Aspire CB3-111 with a MFP Print Server TL-PS310U

how to print from a chromebook to a legacy printer :

current Acer windows 7 laptop is an i3 basic spec and is frustratingly so at times.
Chromebooks have matured enough that it was time for my wife to try out one instead of Windows.

I would have chosen a 13 inch screen, but apparently it had to be white! so colour won out over screen real estate, besides its not my laptop.

My stipulation was that it needed 4GB RAM and 32GB storage as these seem to make a huge difference to the chromebook experience, based on reviews of earlier models.

In the end we bought the model below, which seemed good value from Tesco. [be aware you dont get caught out buying a 2GB or 16GB model]

Acer Aspire CB3-111 11.6-inch Laptop, Intel Celeron, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC - White from our All Laptops range - Tesco

currently £179 July 2015

Chromebook setup is trivial and its really quick, the only hurdle was getting it to print!

Chromebooks DO NOT SUPPORT direct USB printing.

In addition we currently run an old HP Photosmart C4480 printer

, which is network enabled by using the rather funky  TP-Link MFP Print Server TL-PS310U

using Powerline plugs to carry network to other parts of the house.

previously this meant having to run the MFP software on each windows laptop.
This configuration obviously does not work with a chromebook (you cant install windows software on it)

So some research was required, either to solve it technically or buy an ePrint compatible new printer.

In the end I solved it without any cost. Turns out the MFP (if you only wish to run a printer off it) can run in a 'queued' mode. Once this is enabled and setup, it also works as a shared printer in Google Cloud Print. woohoo

Here is the info

Details are here : 
(I choose easy option 1 as I have access to a windows machine)

  • downloaded and installed the Network Printer Wizard on a windows laptop
  • run wizard
  • (you may need printer drivers, but I already had them installed)
you should now be able to print from any windows machine without having to run the MFP software!

This is also the way to run MFP even if you dont have a chromebook requirement, and only use it for printing. Wish Id known this years ago

for chromebook access you need to follow

If you are logged in as different people (between chromebook and windows pc you will have to also 'Share' the printer across users : see

Eventually we will need to buy a new printer but for now this works just great.

So far my wife loves the Chromebook experience, its just a question of trying to understand the infrastructure and concepts Google have put in place to make it work.
Its certainly goodbye to long windows bootup times and poor battery life.

If the type of work you do suits a Chromebook, it seems a great experience.

Hope this helps

[EDIT] it seems that the windows machine / laptop requires to be running to allow printing from the chromebook :-( boooo

[EDIT Nov 2015] : in the end it was just easier to go and buy a HP Envy 4500 which supports ePrinting

bye bye Galaxy S4, say hi to Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F)

back in April it was time for an upgrade (my 2yr contract was up)
I loved my Galaxy S4, but the S5 was 'old' and the S6 (or indeed S6 EDGE) really didnt excite me.

The lack of a removable battery and removable SD card storage really put me off.
In the end I narrowed it down to the Note 4 or an HTC One M9.
Nexus 6 just didnt impress me to be honest.

The camera reviews alone put me off the M9, so I plumped for a Note 4 (even though it was 6 months old in April, with the Note 5 due out in Aug/Sept time)

All I can say is that its fabulous.Huge screen, great battery life, and with Apex Launcher(to avoid most of Samsung's TouchWiz UI) installed its a near 'Google' experience.
The S pen has been useful at conferences (taking notes), but standout feature is the camera which is simply outstanding, both in speed and clarity, for that alone its worth buying.

Recently updated to 5.0.1 with 5.1.1 coming very soon I'm happy its up to date.

Of all the phones Ive had this is one of the best, and now that the Note 5 is due out its even better value.

Awaiting to see if the Note 5 has external SD card slot or removable battery (i doubt it).

Ford Kuga mpg update

Car running great. Now just had service and replacement rear wheel bearing.
Mpg already appears better

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Ford Kuga 163 tdci mpg update. 39.5mpg 501 miles

Mostly me driving so clearly makes a difference! For a change have filled up with nitro v power diesel to see how that goes. Service due