Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Then And Now

The two images below show an interesting comparison between the component parts of a car in the 1940's and a modern car.
The VW Beetle pictured above is made up of just under 5000 parts, whereas a modern car, according to Toyota, will have in the region of 30,000 parts (this can of course vary quite a lot depending on make/model)

The most obvious change when comparing the pictures is the move away from a separate body and chassis to the one-piece monocoque construction we see now. The multitude of safety systems such as ABS, ESP, Airbags and even seat belts (which the Beetle didn't have originally) add to the parts count as do all the new emissions, comfort and entertainment systems we have on modern cars.

Cars are expensive bits of kit but when you think of all the parts that go into them you start to appreciate where some of that money goes. Imagine you averaged out the cost of every one of those 30,000 parts to €1.00 each, which is perhaps not as wildly unrealistic as it first sounds (yep, €1.00 is expensive for a nut or bolt but it's very very cheap for a tyre or a door!) Your average €30 grand Golf or whatever starts to look like reasonable value!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

“Nissan Motorsport” - A marketing plan, that turned into a brand!

The history of Nisan Motor-sport starts 50 years ago in 1964 when the Japanese Prince Motor Company (at the time not related to Nissan) realized that it could boost sales through competitive motor-sport. The vehicle they created would become synonyms in the motoring world. The vehicle they produced was the Skyline 2000-GT, the Prince Motor Company battled to produce 100 models in time to comply with the strict competition rules. Just 2 days after they had finished the 100 production models the first race prepped Skyline battled with the huge names of motor-sport but failed to take the checkered flag but did take 2nd,3rd,4th,5th and 6th place in the race and losing to a Porsche in its very first race must have been a high non the less.

Two years later in 1966 Nissan decided to expand its production and take over the factory that was the Price Motor Company. In 1967 a new Nissan Skyline rolled out of this factory graced the world of motoring. Two years later the legendary GT-R badge found its way to the grills of a Skyline for the very first time.

Little did the strong minded engineers of the Prince Motor Company realize what they had started, it was the spirit that would become NISMO. In 1984 Nissan decided to merge the two motor sport divisions that were founded in the 1960’s “Publication Division 3” and the “Omori factory”. Nissan's intention was the same as the Prince Motor Company’s to boost sales with competitive motorsport.

For the first time Nismo emerged into the world of motor-sport and within 5 years the engineers of Nismo proved to the world it could race with the best of them. The Nissan Skyline R32 propelled NISMO into the mainstream. Wearing the Nismo colors this Skyline would start 29 raced and finish 29 times in first place in every race, taking home the Japanese GT Group A championship trophy four years in a row. Its total domination lead to it demise and the racing authorities band the use of its trick four-wheel drive and four wheel steer systems. But over the last 29 years Nismo has taken on the biggest names and proved to the world that it could hold its head high with the best of the best.

If you’re lucky enough to see any of Nissan’s performance vehicles in person or on the road, think back to the Maverick engineers who started it all.

O and if you didn’t know where Nissan found it's way to the name NISMO, It’s taken from the first three litters of “Nissan” and the first two of “Motor-sport.”

by Chris Driver

Mick's Christmas Gift Wish List

Mick's been writing his letter to Santa! Here's his Top Ten Christmas Gifts.

 Haynes V8 Engine

The Haynes V8 Engine - €39.74 Looking set to become Mick's most popular Christmas gift second year running, Haynes engines always go down a treat on Christmas morning with Petrol Heads of all ages! It's older brother the ever popular Haynes 4 Cylinder Engine and the all New younger Haynes V-Twin motorcycle engine will also be making an appearance under many trees this coming Christmas.
 Top Gear I Am The Stig T-Shirt
Top Gear The Stig Official Merchandise - From €15.95 New to MicksGarage for Christmas 2014 "The Stig" Top Gear Official Merchandise includes Gifts for all the family with t-shirts to fit "The Stig" "Stigette" and kids sizes for the "soon to be Stigs". We also have cool mugs with Top Gear stuff on them too! 

AutoGlym High Definition Wax - €60 This stuff smells AMAZING!! High Definition Wax is quite simply AutoGlym finest product and without a doubt the best car wax on the market at the moment. The presentation of this gift pack makes it a pleasure to buy or to give to anyone (Yes I have bought it as a gift & used it myself) and if your just browsing the web for a gift to impress someone who loves to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning washing and waxing their pride and joy well STOP here it is!


Draper 12V Mini Analogue Air Compressor - €19.86 This is a really handy tool for any car owner. It can be used through the cigarette lighter in your car anywhere anytime, to inflate sports equipment and most importantly car tyres. This little gadget has enough power to re-inflate a car tyre within minutes powered only by your own car! It also has a very handy torch built in on one end should you need it. It's a very practical and clever little gadget we like it alot!


Beewii Fiat 500 Bluetooth Android - €39.62 These Bluetooth remote control Fiat 500's went down a treat in the MicksGarage office. Simply download an app onto your smartphone and you can control these using your phone as a joystick. Just to note these cars are for use on Apple or Android phones, if you are buying them for a gift you must get the car that matches the phone as apple and android will not work together, just double check you have the right car before you buy.


BeeWii Bluetooth Smartphone Controlled Helicopter - €49.60 Like the BeeWii Fiat 500 the BeeWii Bluetooth Helicopter is another great little gadget that will give kids and the larger kids hours of entertainment on Christmas morning.


Parrot CK3100 LCD Bluetooth Dash Mounted Hands Free Car Kit - €128.95 This is an essential piece of kit for every driver. With new traffic laws introduced in 2014 bluetooth car kits have become more popular than ever! This neat little unit can connect to multiple handsets, and you will be able to place and receive calls in comfort and safety, without ever touching your mobile phone. With Bluetooth car phone ear pieces and accessories from as little as €10 have bluetooth accessories to suit every budget this Christmas.


Draper Cordless Drill & 33Pc Magnetic Bit Set - €49.99 Perfect gift for any DIYer! This complete drill kit is a neat and compact tool. Ideal for any household or apartment tool kit, but also strong enough for tougher garage and garden jobs. It's great value and sure to be a really handy and practical gift!

 Car Care Gift Packs

AutoGlym Car Care Gifts Packs - From €19.72 The clever chaps at AutoGlym have created some really lovely gift packs for this Christmas, most of AutoGlym's high quality cleaning products come in 3 steps. A surface preparation, conditioning and finishing or final polish step. These gift packs come in some simple options, Interior, Exterior, Wheels, and the complete kit. Packaged in some really nice and presentable gift packaging and ranging from as low as €20 they are a perfect Christmas Gift.

Draper 240mm Machine Polisher 110W 230V - €44.95 So your petrol head has a garage full of shampoos, waxes clothes etc, what do you buy them then? Simples - this Draper Machine Polisher will speed up those Car cleaning days no end. This 230 volt Machine Polisher waxes and buffs a car at up to 3000 rpm. It's easy to use shape and design will take some of the toil out of waxing and polishing cars, caravans or boats.

We hope you've found something helpful here for your Christmas list, you can find these gifts and more in our Christmas Gift Store and don't forget to check out Mick's Money Saving Bundles, if you buy 2 Christmas gifts together you can save up to 10% off the price! 

Words by Amy

Monday, 24 November 2014

VIDEO: McLaren P1 vs Porsche 918 Spyder

The McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder are two of the quickest supercars on the planet. But which is the fastest around the spectacular Anglesey Circuit? evo's Jethro Bovingdon attaches the Vbox timing kit and finds out....

Friday, 21 November 2014

What Does A Puppy and A Diesel Engine Have in Common?

Absolutely nothing, but this undeniably cute 3 year old puppy named Dosh does a fabulous impression of a diesel engine. Check it out for yourself! Happy Friday Folks...

Source: Mashable/YouTube
Posted by Lisa, That's What She Said!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

This is Definitely Breaking the Rules of the Road

In recent times I've noticed an increasing number of  middle lane hogging.

1. What is middle lane hogging?

Implication of lane hogging
Middle lane hogging is where the left lane is relatively free of cars but a driver still remains in the middle lane instead of only using it for over taking. According to Irish Road Traffic legislation, you must return to the left hand lane after overtaking a slower-moving vehicle and remain in the left hand lane if the road ahead is clear. 

2. What’s wrong with middle lane hogging?

It not only causes road rage and undertaking (overtaking to the left of the car) which is extremely dangerous but it can lead to congestion. As the inside or left hand lane is not being used properly the remaining traffic is limited to the middle and outside lanes.

Statistics from a survey on over 2,000 motorists in the UK:
  • 6 out of 10 motorists admitted to middle lane hogging.
  • 43% of the hoggers drove in the middle lane as it was an “easier way to drive” and “saves me changing lanes”.
  • A quarter of the hoggers said they do it because “it is a safer way to drive on the motorway”.
  • 38% of hoggers said they only do it when the road is quiet.
  • 18% said it was a driving habit.
Statistics Source:

‘Hogging’ a lane in Ireland could get you €60 fine and a penalty point! And some very frantic hand gestures from drivers infused with road rage!

Words by Niall

How to Choose the Right Brake Discs and Pads for Your Vehicle on

How to know when to replace your brake discs
There are 5 main signs that indicate your brakes are worn or damaged.
1.     A high pitched or grinding noise when you apply the brakes.
(This is potentially dangerous as the friction material may have worn out on the brake pads. Some pads have warning indicators that make this noise to alert the driver when the friction material is low. You should check the brake components immediately.)
2.    An unusual vibration during braking.
(This normally indicates a warped brake disc and potentially lead to a loss in brake performance.)
3.    The brake pedal feels softer to press than usual.
(Air or moisture may have contaminated the brake fluid causing extended pedal travel.)
4.    The distance it takes for the car to slow down or come to a complete stop during braking has increased.
(Worn brake pads or discs can result in an increased stopping distance during braking.)
5.     The vehicle pulls to one side when braking.
(Sticky calipers can cause the vehicle to pull to one side and lead to a reduction in braking performance.)

Braking components are one of the most important parts of any vehicle and they should be checked on a regular basis. Worn brake components can result in reduced braking ability and increased stopping distances leading directly to a greater risk of having a road traffic accident.
How do brake systems work?
The majority of brake systems are simple. At each wheel you have a brake disc, brake caliper and a pair of brake pads. When you press the brake pedal, brake fluid is forced to the calliper which then squeezes the brake pads against the brake disc thus slowing the vehicle down.

How to check the condition of the brake discs and pads

You do not have to remove the wheel of the car to visually inspect the brake discs. However, for a visual inspection of the brake pads you will need to remove the wheel.
Brake Discs
The side of the brake disc facing you should have a shiny exterior. The main things to look out for are rough spots or visible grooves. This usually indicates that the brake disc is beyond its minimum thickness and it should be replaced.
Brake Pads
Turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the brake pads you are inspecting can offer a better view. The pads will be facing the brake disc and they are enclosed by the brake calipers, normally there will be an inspection hole so the thickness can be checked. Brake pads should be replaced if the pad is less than 1/8th of an inch in thickness (this is approximately the thickness of two cent coins stacked on top of one another).
How to choose the correct brake discs for your vehicle.
While at MicksGarage we try to narrow down the brake pads and discs for customers vehicles with our registration number look up (reg-look up). The reg-look up system may not be able to provide enough information to narrow down the results to the exact type of brakes discs for your vehicle.
Customers will be offered all of the brake pads for their make and model but the correct items may need to be picked from the range listed.
For example: Two Audi A3’s of the same year and engine size may require different types of brake discs.
These differences can come down to what factory the vehicle was built in or what extra features it has.
To best way to ensure you get the correct brake discs is to check the diameter of the brake discs already fitted. The diameter and thickness of the disc is illustrated below. To measure the diameter you may not have to remove the wheel, however it would make the measuring process easier. You may also want to record this size for future reference. After checking diameter of your own brake disc, use it a reference to the sizes quoted on our website.


The following information is also important for selecting the correct brake pad.

Brake Disc Thickness [mm]:
For accurate measurements use a digital micrometer, a measuring tape can also be used.
Fitting Position:
This is the position of the brake disc, it will either be for the front or rear axle.
This is the diameter of the brake disc.
Number of Holes
This corresponds to the number of bolts on the wheel. If the wheel has four bolts then you would need brake discs with four holes in it.
Pitch Circle [mm]
The pitch circle or pitch circle is the notional circle determined by the positions of the bolts. The centre of every bolt lies on the circumference of the bolt circle.
Wheel Hub Diameter [mm]
The hub diameter will be the size of the center hole of the disc or the diameter of hub where the disc is fitted too.
Brake Disc Type
There are two main types of brake discs: Vented & Solid
These two types of discs are easy to tell apart if you look at them from the side. If you have alloy wheels with reasonable space between the spokes you will probably be able to tell if your brake discs are solid or vented without even taking the wheel off.
Vented brakes discs, are two flat discs put together, one on top of the other, with gaps between to allow air flow. This helps the discs stay cool and improves braking and extends the life of the discs.
Solid discs are just that, a solid disc with no space between them see picture below

How to choose the correct brake pads for your vehicle.
The best and easiest way to ensure you get the correct pads is to check the shape and size of the pad already fitted. This may be time consuming but it will ensure you get the correct brake pad and do not have any hassle in the future. With brake pads we always offer an accurate image along with sizes of the pad offered, this image should be a perfect match to the pads on your vehicle. If multiple dimensions of the brake pad are shown, measuring your brake pad will ensure you select the correct one. The image below illustrates the dimensions of a brake pad.

The following information is also important for selecting the correct brake pad.

Fitting Position
This is the position of the brake disc, it will either be for the front or rear axle.

Brake System
These are the manufacturers of the brake pads, if more than one manufacturer is shown when you have a car selected you will need to check your brakes for the brake system of the pad fitted.

Wear Warning Contact
A Brake wear indicator also known as a wear warning contact is used to warn the driver of the vehicle that the brake pad is in need of replacement. If your brake pads have wear warning contact system then you must select a brake pad that has this function.

To Construction Year
Some brake pads only fit a vehicle up until a certain time period.

Start your search for Brake Discs by clicking here

Start your search for Brake Pads by clicking here