Category Archives: Uncategorized

Last In The Line

Nothing could explain how we feel about the end of production of Defenders, which saw the final model leave the Solihull production line this morning at 9.25.

This Autocar article sums it up really quite well, with a great testimonial video.

 

If you need parts or accessories for your Land Rover Defender, check out our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or give us a call on 01691 657 705

Pedal Power

Bespoke Defender Pedal Car

Bespoke Defender Pedal Car

Should you want to compliment your tot’s Bulgari, get them to sling their Jimmy Choos or Loakes on the pedals of this beauty.

Bespoke, British-made chelsea tractors for the playground shuld be winging their way to a Harrods store near you from Q2 16 (the middle of next year if you’re not a bit of a banker).

Classic elements of design meeting the needs of the modern nursery commuter, the off-road ability of these vehicles will naturally be supreme. Attention to detail includes maintaning the classically-low approach angles front and rear to facilitate climbing steep obstacles, low waist-lines to allow good side visibility for driver and co-driver, rock-sliders to protect the vulnerable side sills and a spacious engine bay for storing Mr Wuggles, the other half of that rice cake Mummy gave me and a full range of crayons.

Expect hard-wearing food-resistant seats, low servicing costs and high residual values. Resuslts of the Euro Kneecap tests haven’t been released at the time of publishing, with some speculating that although crumple zones may be absent, most impact speeds are likely to be low so driver protection should be acceptable.

If you have a real Land Rover and need any servicing, repairs or accessories, visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or give us a call

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Land Rovers Rust

McDonald Automotive Rusty Car

Cars rust. It’s a fact of life which must be accepted, especially if you own a classic car or any vehicle suitable for off-roading.

Only the most modern of cars and motorcycles use alloys to slow down the oxidation process, so if you’re getting wet and dusty, you’ll also be getting rusty.

Don’t ignore the process, though. Even if you can’t stop it, you can slow it down and you really should.

A case in point is this Defender 90 which was brought in by a customer. Dearly loved, when the owner had detected a change in the way it handled on the road, we were asked to have a look at it.

 

Looking at the chassis to start with, it seems a bit rusty with some repairs but nothing out of the ordinary.

20150806_160317This view, as you’d see it from the side, doesn’t show much.

This section would be under the body.

20150806_160326 BAnd the other side:

20150806_160247This was the source of the slip. A chassis rail mostly rusted through…

20150806_160306

 

20150806_160256 B

20150806_160234

20150806_160231

20150806_160227

One galvanised chassis later, and our top technician starts his magic juggling skills;

20150813_153426 20150813_153454

In  terms of rust remedy, a good covering of waxoil can do the trick and if you’d like to contact us we’ll give you a quote that will increase your happy.

If you need any parts or servicing for your Land Rover, Range Rover or other vehicle, give us a call or visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

New Vs Old

McDonald 4X4 Discovery G4

Generations of offroaders, picture courtesy of The Telegraph

British offroad veterans have told The Telegraph that they spurn the trappings of modern soft-roaders. Not that they’re rejecting climate control or multi-zone entertainment systems.

What’s at issue here is the very DNA of the vehicle. Pick any modern SUV and you’ll be swamped in a raft of acronyms which let you know that you’re in the best of hands. You don’t have to worry about going fast, or going slow, or going sideways, because #insert name here# is the only manufacturer to keep you and your loved-ones safe.

Except all this techno-wizardry comes at more than a financial cost. It may be a hoary old chestnut, but until turbo-charged engines came along, you could keep your Land Rover going on a shoe-string budget by doing most of the work yourself with the tools you had in your own garage. Even with Tdi engines, the rest of the car was mechanical (and didn’t you just know it if you ever had to push one) so bounced rather well along rutted lanes.

So when you take a Land Rover Discovery 4 for a drive, would you assume it’s natural environment would include mud, or mud packs? Is the intelligent 4 Wheel Drive system going to work this well in 15 years time? Will it do 200,000 miles? How much will it cost to fix when the super-computer in control of everything goes AWOL?

 

McDonald 4X4 JLR Urban Wnindscreen

Technology can show you the way, picture courtesy of Auto Express

And from the sub-slime to the LEDiculous. Jaguar Land Rover has conceived of a time when the computer and the car merge to the driver’s benefit in a Frankensteinian HUD-meets-HAL windscreen, where a series of cameras can be used to replace the view of the car’s internal structure, providing a 360 degree view of the outside world. How likely this is to come to fruition is debatable, as the cost of a TV unit is one thing whereas turning the inside of your car into the outside of your TV is another.

Of greatest interest and use though is the ‘urban windscreen’. Linking a projector to the internet provides a windscreen display with not only a ‘ghost-car’ navigation system but also visual prompts including available parking spaces in car parks or fuel prices at the up-coming service station.

Considering their previous concept of cameras under the body to show the state of the ground under the prodigious bonnets of Range Rovers, we can only wonder when the interior of cars will consist almost exclusively of TV Screen…

If you need parts and accessories for Landrover Defender or indeed any other Land Rover model, from in-car entertainment to air-locking diffs, you can buy Land Rover spare parts and accessories online at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk.

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Just Slow Down

 

McDonald4x4.co.uk

Big brakes need careful management. picture courtesy of Forza Lounge

When did you last test your brakes?

We all know about the standard ‘brake light bulb’ and ‘after-you-drive-through-water’ brake test, but seriously; when’s the last time you put your money where the manufacturer’s mouth is and really stomped on the stop lever? What happened?

Did you get more than you bargained for?

Richard Bremner of Autocar Magazine makes an interesting point in his article on the Autocar blog ‘Notes from a 10-car motorway pile-up’

A friend of mine had an accident recently, being part of a 10-car pile-up on the M1 one Saturday morning. Impressively, given that all 10 cars were doing around 70mph when their panic-braking began, everybody walked away…

My friend’s was car number three in the train of destruction, which was triggered by somebody undertaking and surprising the lead car, which my mate reckons may have been slow to react. But when its driver did brake it was hard enough to trigger his car’s emergency brake assist, prompting an older supermini without this feature to bury its nose beneath its tail, aided by the impact of my friend’s car hitting it too. My mate was hit by the car behind, and another seven cars followed that. Which was enough to close the motorway.

If you needed to stop in a hurry, you’d be glad of all the help you can get, but do you know exactly how your car will respond?

It’s important to make sure that you know how your car does what it does so that you in turn know what to ask it to do. For those of us who remember learning to drive in cars fitted with brakes which felt like you were pushing a rubber brick on to the tarmac directly, modern cars can surprise you with the level of braking available at the pedal.

Progressive power and feel are not necessarily the manufacturer’s prime consideration when deciding how to market a vehicle, as outright stopping distance is much easier to measure and use in sales marketting.

 

But of course you’ll be concentrating 100% on the car and the road ahead, anticipating the conditions to come, at one with your machine, not concentrating on anything or anyone else at all…

Distractions? What distractions?

McDonald 4X4 Distracted DriversPicture courtesy of The Daily Mail

The biggest distraction to drivers isn’t their cell phone, but their children claims recent research…Over a 16-minute car ride, drivers with kids in the car looked away from the road for an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds – 21% of the time...According to Australian researchers AAA that means kids are twelve times more distracting while driving than talking on a cell phone. 

 

McDonald 4X4 Hooters Girls A DistractionPicture courtesy of ctvnews.ca

Police in Dartmouth, N.S. have told employees of a Hooters restaurant not to practice calisthenics outside because their bouncing bodies have been deemed a major distraction for nearby drivers.

McDonald 4X4 Sighn SpinnersPicture courtesy of turnstylenews.com

Dancing sign spinner arrested in Florida and accused of distracting drivers with his moves… Ryan Brown, 22, was arrested after a driver complained his sign-spinning antics were distracting drivers

McDonald 4X4 Sheila's Wheels Retractable HeelsThe Safe Shoe survey by insurers Sheilas’ Wheels found 86 per cent of women admitted wearing unsuitable footwear while driving… As part of their awareness campaign, Sheilas’ Wheels have launched the Sheila Driving Heel, shoes with a retractable heel for driving.

 If your car needs a service, if you want an MOT or if you just need help fitting a hands-free device or a bluetooth – enabled car radio, we can fit you in to our workshop and service centre in Oswestry, Shropshire.

Alternatively if you want Land Rover brake pads or discs, give us a call or visit our webshop, www.mcdonald4X4.co.uk

This post was written by Rupert Astbury

Shop Til You Drop

McDonald LAnd Rover Guide To Buying OnlineThe McDonald 4×4 Guide

to buying online.

Of course, you  know how to get online, you’re there already. As for shopping, I’m sure you’ve done some before now.

 It’s just like a real world shop except the changing rooms aren’t all full, you don’t fear the foot measuring machine pinching your toes and you don’t have to cue at the with 500 other people whilst children race around you like giddy fools.

Except it’s not just like real-world shopping, because you can’t see what you’re buying. You can’t fell the weight, see the length, get a real idea of how well it will go with the new sofa. Is that the real colour, not a half shade off?

Shopping online you should expect your goods to be;

  1. What was advertised
  2. Supplied in a timely manner
  3. Fit for the purpose advertised
  4. Reasonably priced

Some top tips for shopping online.

1    Your Flexible Friend

Use a credit card. Not a debit card, but a credit card. As part of the government allowing the creation of credit cards, they insisted on credit card companies helping to protect consumers, so if you have a problem with a supplier and can’t resolve it, tell your credit card company. They will refund you and then chase the supplier themselves.
You even get fraud protection if someone steals your details and goes on a shopping spree themselves. As long as you pay off the balance before the due date, it doesn’t matter what the percentage rate is, you’ll not be paying it.

2   Look for the S

All website addresses start with ‘http://’. This is how computers know you’re looking for an internet address. What you want to see when you’re paying is ‘httpS://’. The S signifies a secure connection, which means that the website has created a James Bond-like encryption key and sent it to you and you’re using it. Nobody can listen in on the conversation and steal details and when you pay, the money is going where you want it to. You don’t really need a secure connection whilst you’re choosing items, but you should expect to see it when you go to pay.

3     Payback

There are plenty of cashback websites now who offer you money for shopping online. They usually work in conjunction with companies to get you to go to a certain company or buy a certain product, but often it’s simply a way to put a company’s advertising in front of you directly. With the usual caveat that you should be careful, and always be safe, you should look at cashback options as a bonus rather than a risk.

4     Never look a gifthorse in the mouth?

You can’t con an honest person. It’s a truism because it’s true. If something looks too good to be true then it usually is, so if you receive emails offering top-quality goods at street-market prices, ask yourself if this makes sense…

 

5     Caveat Emptor

Buyer Beware, as the latin phrase goes, is a sensible maxim. Before you shop online, there are some simple security tips to follow;

a. Update your internet browser to get the latest protection (usually by clicking Help > About) and ensure the best compatibility with internet security programs.

b. Update your antivirus programs. There are plenty of free antivirus programs which make their money by selling corporate licenses to companies for business use, but who use your experience to trawl the web for nasties to protect against. You can also pay for upgraded services, although these are often unnecessary and don’t add to their core purpose.

c. Secure your bank cards. Most banks now have security protocols for your credit or debit cards, so that each purchase needs a password and username before the money will transfer. Pick a password you’ll remember but one with letters, numbers and some punctuation to make it really hard to guess. Don’t use your birthdate (which you will often supply as part of a user account profile) or the word ‘password’.

d. Use a credit card directly. You can pay with online payment methods like PayPal, and can even link cards to them so that the money transfers immediately, but be aware that you only get consumer protection by using a credit card directly. If you pay any other way, you are at the mercy of the supplier when things go wrong. It’s really not worth it.

Don’t be afraid of contacting the seller. You should be able to contact them by email, phone or post if you have any questions. You can ask for details about the item rather than just making a decision on the strength of the pictures and descriptions given, and even ask if the price quoted is the best that they can do. Hey, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, right?

 This also has the added benefit of letting you get an idea of how genuine the seller seems. IF you have any qualms about them, walk away.

Search engines can be just as reliable as comparison websites for showing you items for sale, and you should shop around. Seldom will you find the same item at the same price everywhere; companies are not allowed to get together to set a price (this is illegal) and there’s always someone who hopes to make more money with the mantra ‘pile them high and sell them cheap’.

 This may work to your benefit but don’t forget that large stores will often accept an online competitor’s prices as genuine, and take your business if they can. If you find a washing machine online cheaper than a shop has on the sign, ask for the manager and give them the chance to match the price. It gives you a human to talk to and if necessary to call should things go pear-shaped.
This really does work; we have seen it done.

As far as McDonald 4×4’s webshop goes, we would recommend the following tips:

Have a good think about what you want. Get it straight in your mind. Make sure that you know exactly which vehicle you have, and which part you want.

Shop around to get a good idea of options and prices. We are certain that we can offer any part available to any other supplier, and we’re pretty sure that we charge less than anyone else too. If you find somewhere cheaper, there’s a good chance we can match the price if you let us know!

You can use the search facility on our webshop to look for parts or you can use the index to choose the vehicle, then the area of the car, then surf to your heart’s content, or you can just call us. We’re only too happy to help you find out about your car and how to make it better if it’s poorly. Between the parts and the workshop staff we have as much experience with Land Rover vehicles as you could want. We’ll bet you we’ve seen it before and fixed it.

 For further advice on shopping online,  try these links:

 Citizen’s Advice Bureau

GQ Magazine’s guide to shopping online

UK Consumer Council

Money Advice Service

BBC Webwise guide to shopping online

PC Magazine’s guide to online shopping

Wikipedia guide to shopping online

Which guide to shopping online

 This was written by Rupert Astbury.

Land Rover: Size Matters

McDonald 4x4 Carmichael Range Rover 6X4

Land Rover know about Big; The Carmichael Commando 6X4 picture courtesy of speedmonkey.co.uk

Land Rover are on a diversity drive. After having been passed from commercial pillar to post, sold to BMW, then Ford, now Tata Motors (thankfully avoiding the abortive Phoenix consortium) and amalgamated with Jaguar, Land Rover is enjoying the spectacular fun you can have with extremes.

What’ll it do, mister?

McDonald 4x4 Range Rover Sport SVR Nurburgring

Nurburger and ECU Chips. Picture courtesy of Autoexpress.co.uk

550  brake horsepower in a chelsea tractor, meeting the pantheon of the racing gods (the Nordschleife Nurburgring circuit).  For eight minutes and fourteen seconds, then it did it all over again.

8:14. That’s faster than a Honda NSX, BMW M1, Porsche’s Cayman and Boxster, and over 10 seconds faster than a Jaguar XKR or Lotus Exige!

The new Range Rover Sport seems to be living up to the name. Check out Autoblog’s article and beautiful pictures on the SVR’s Monterey launch.

Mix and Game, Set & Match

McDonald 4x4 Discovery Sport

Discovery Sport picture courtesy of Autoblog.com

From the sublime to the rediscovered, Land Rover have unveiled the 2015 Discovery Sport.

A replacement for the Freelander 2, it has the front end of a Range Rover Sport and the back end of an Evoque, or so it’s looks suggest.

Retaining the brand’s offroad pedigree courtesy of exhaustive (ho ho) testing, if the on-road manners are as impeccable as its older siblings then it should give those darned foreign johnnies a run for their leisure-orientated money.

And talking of offroad pedigree

We’ve all been there. Playing in the dirt or sand or gravel, your child knees scabbed and scuffed, ‘driving’ your Matchbox ™ Land Rover through the far-off lands of your imagination.

Check out this video of Pawel Litwinski’s realisation of the sand-pit dream with his 1973 Series 3 109, courtesy of American Youtubers Petrolicious. It’s like the video equivalent of Hotel California…

Cheep jeep

Chery Jaguar Landrover. Jaguar Land Rover, you know. Chery is a Chinese  government-owned car manufacturer created in 1997. You can see what’s going to happen there.

Tata Land Rover. Land Rover, you know. Tata are the parent company, who also make commercial vehicles for emerging economies. It’s not that they’re bad, quite the opposite. If you need something that can be fixed by someone with Jeremy Clarkson’s toolkit (1. Hammer 2. Spare hammer) and run on Diesel with a sulphur content high enough to colour it yellow, then look no further. From pickups to 4X4s to light commercial lorries, Tata do quite a lot on wheels. In order to increase sales abroad, they want an injection of quality.

We just worry that, in the same way that BMW took what they wanted and used the technology in competing vehicles, Tata will water down the technology gap to the point where Land Rover becomes a luxury, niche brand like Range Rover.

Pretty soon British car manufacturing will have been set back by 100 years, to the point where you’d have to be rich as Croesus to own one.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

McDonald 4x4 Mini Super Leggera

Mini. Not for everyone. Picture courtesy of autobild.de

I know. It’s been a while since Land Rover and Rover split up. It was heart-breaking. The tears and screaming, crying into my hanky. Nothing will ever be the same.

McDonald 4x4 Mini Super Leggera

Derbyshire cutie. Picture courtesy of coolhunting.com

The Rover started going out with that horrid BMW, who stole the new Mini. I know, it was awful.

Still and all, as the americans say, the Bayerische Motor Werkers have released plans for the Mini Superleggera (Italian for Super Light, Advert-speak for think Ferrari, pay Ford)

It’s got nothing to do with Land Rovers, but when the pictures are this good, it’s got to be celebrated. Check out the tail lights. Hopefully, they’ll make it to production.

If you need to be supported in any emotional decision about your Land Rover, go see a therapist.

If you want it to be made awesome, take a look at the parts and accessories on offer at our webshop www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk or call in at our workshop in Oswestry.

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Fuel For Thought

The Jerry Can –  a brief history.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Jerry Cans are now available in a host of different colours to help denote their use, whether petrol, diesel or water.

Seen all over the world, on news reels from the 1940s to 2014, the Jerry can is as familiar to most people as the Land Rovers which often carry them.

The distinctive shape and size, the handles, the side patterns; it may surprise you to learn that these have changed relatively little in the almost-80 years since the design was first put into production.

The name Jerry can is derived from the British Army slang for their World War II adversaries; Jerry the German.Originally known as the Wehrmacht-Enheitskanister, the fuel container was designed in 1937 by chief engineer Vinzenz Grünvogel of the Müller engineering firm.

As Germany geared-up for war, so did the military machine’s logistical departments. The concept of Blitzkrieg, or Lightning War, relied upon the swift movement of units ahead of any static line of battle or reinforced position. Swift being the keyword, the tactic needed vehicles to be able to move at will, and stopping at petrol stations isn’t really on the to-do list of your average Tank Campaign.

With flat sides and squared corners allowing both easy stacking and flexible vehicle mounting, the use of innovative ergonomic design made both the handles and the spout all-time classics.

McDonald LAnd Rover Jerry Cans

Kraft Durch Teknik; Strength through technology

Three handles along the top allowed for the carrying of cans to be shared, with two empty cans easier to carry in one hand than any other design.

When you contrast this with the British 4 gallon (18 litre) ‘Flimsy’, which had a distressing tendency to leak, it becomes obvious that you’d much rather be moving jerry cans than flimsies. Read more about the disparity in build quality here at thinkdefence.co.uk

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Can

British Oil Can, 18l Flimsy and Upgraded Flimsy Fuel Cans and a Jerry Can.

The welded rather than pressed construction cured leaks, with the still-recognisable pressed pattern allowed for both a stronger construction and room for the fuel to expand and contract with the weather changes. Although not light at 4kg empty, with General Auchinleck estimating Allied fuel leakages at 30%, the better build quality was worth it.

Even President Roosevelt praised the humble fuel can, attributing it to the Allied success in northern France.

The most appreciated feature, from a user’s perspective, is probably the cam-locking release for the cap. Not only does it make it easy to open and close whilst wearing gloves in cold weather, its operation is simple and vitally tool-free. The same could not be said of the British and American equivalents.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Easy to use, quick to fit and remove.

Even when copied, screw caps requiring wrenches were incorporated. It took the capture of significant fuel depots in the African Desert campaign to provide a sufficient supply and make the original design’s genius apparent.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Jah, fill her up, and I’ll get some Pepperamis and Lucozade from ze shop.

Anything Rommel could do, we could do with Panache. The picture below shows the LRDG (Long Range Desert Group) with SAS founding-officer David Stirling. And some Jerry cans.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Yes, they’re handy these things, if only we made something similar… and the cars too…

At their height the Allies, here pictured at a Normandy depot, were moving over a million gallons of fuel per day in these metal marvels.

McDonald 4x4 Jerry Cans

Fill her up. and her. And her. And her…

It wasn’t just fuel that they carried though, as the robust cans were also handy for shifting H20. Especially in the desert, where a secure supply of water is essential, the jerry can became as associated with water as it was with fuel.

Indeed, there are even charities who use the Jerry can image to underline the existing problems in deprived areas, where safe drinking water can be half a day’s walk away.

As time marches on , though, innovation rounds the corners and softens the edges, and modern technology supports established ideas. Cheaper containers have come to dominate the market, but plastic has not covered over the original design’s essential genius. From the size to the basic design layout to the re-inforcing braces on the side, the original design’s DNA is clear.

Novel designs such as the ROTO PAX container point the way to the future of the Jerry Can:

 

Whether you’re crossing a desert or laying  the hedges for winter, McDonald 4×4 have the fuel can for you.

See our webstore at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Wading In Washout Weather

Series 1 WadingPicture courtesy of Dove Publishing

With the worst of the winter’s weather hanging on for dear life, it seems appropriate to discuss the wading prowess of the Land Rover, and the importance of kitting your Land Rover out properly.

How To Wade

You’ve got two feet of ground clearance, and chunky tyres, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you are invincible. On the road, you’ll need to use your noggin as well as your knobblies.

mcdonald landrover Range Rover Wading

L405 Gets To Work

Picture courtesy of Clanging Bell.

The best advice for car owners is to move to the middle of the road, go slow whilst keeping the engine revs high and don’t stop but try not to go too fast.

Be aware that the bow wave you generate may affect other road users, but may also affect local homeowners, as the ripple tops doorsteps or walls of sandbags. It’s always nice to push the rugged boundaries, but it’s always a good idea to gather as much good-will as you can.

mcdonald landrover range rover wading

Range Rover Coming Home From Work

Picture courtesy of Business Car Manager.co.uk

With the added ruggedness mixed into the LR DNA, you don’t have to worry about the roads too much until you get to serious flowing water. Be advised that even a 4X4 can be affected by flowing water only 2 feet deep.

As the maximum wading depth of most Land Rovers is 500mm, or 20 inches, you can see that knee-high water is more dangerous than you may think;

Land Rover Series 1 500mm (20″)

Series 2    500mm (20″)

Series 3    500mm (20″)

Defender      500mm (20″)

Discovery 1     500mm

Discovery 2      500mm

Discovery 3      420 – 540mm (Using air suspension to increase ride height)

Discovery 4      420 – 540mm (Using air suspension to increase ride height)

Freelander 1     400mm

Freelander 2    500mm

Range Rover Classic  500mm (20″)

Range Rover P38   500mm

Range Rover L322    500mm

Range Rover L405    500mm

mcdonald4x4 Discovery wading

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable

Picture courtesy of Landyzone forumite MBURTON2

Dangers of Wading

To the ordinary car driver, the major problem is the air intake. If this is low enough, or the water high enough, then the puddle may make it into the air box and from there to the combustion chamber. In that case, there’s a good chance you’ll stall and won’t be able to restart because your con-rods have been bent. The piston is supposed to compress fuel and air, not water which will not compress at all. You’ll need to be recovered and will have quite a large bill generated at the garage of your choice…

At best, you’ll have covered the electrics with water and shorted something cheap and easy to replace. You’ll still be puddle-jumping to get to dry land, but it won’t mean you remortgaging the house.

To the 4X4 driver, the greater danger lies with all the breathing the vehicle does; you probably don’t even know the half of it.

The air filter is a problem, but the air intake on a 4X4 is obviously higher as the engine itself is higher. There are plenty of snorkel kits available to solve the issue, and they’re not hard to fit.

The axles, gearbox and transfer box all have breather points fitted, as the cavities inside heat and cool and so need to inhale and exhale air.

If you plough head-first into a puddle, there’s a good chance that the axle/gearbox/transfer box cools rapidly and the air inside cools and contracts. The breather then sucks in not air but water, and the lubricant becomes a soupy mess poorly-capable of doing its job.

Consider however the electrickery which goes into modern cars though; do you know where the lowest electrical connector is on your car?

The manufacturers make these vehicles so that they can take on the world, but in a world of school runs and shopping trips, wading kits to take care of any deluge dampness are optional extras.

Gearbox and axle breathers and pipes, flywheel plugs and snorkels helping to raise the wading depth are available for all models, and are certainly necessary if you’re staring the Limpopo in the face or “Doing Dartmoor”. If you’re just headed for Marks and Spencers, though, it’s best to be circumspect about the heroic driving and go slow through the puddles.

For snorkels and wading kits, or if you’re past that point and need piston/con rod assemblies and a a shoulder to cry on, check out our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

mcdonald landrover Discovery 3 wading

Discovery 3 Going Over The Top

Picture courtesy of Landroversonly forumite BBYER

Check out Expedition Land Rover for expert preparation guides and the Land Rover Driving Guides for tips on driving in muddy conditions

All That Glitters Isn’t Blue

McDonald 4x4 Blue Lights

Can you fit blue lights to your car?

It’s quite clear that the Police, Fire and Ambulance services are valid users of blue lights to warn us of their passage, or to guide us to them if necessary.

There has however been a trend of fitting blue lights to ordinary cars, perhaps to help the owner forget just how ordinary the car.

However, a Range Rover L322 was seen featuring this modern accessory, which begs the question; why?

Norfolk Constabulary has a guide to ensuring your car modifications are legal;

Lighting Offences:

Blue lights – Under the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989, it states “except for emergency vehicles it is an offence to fit a blue warning beacon or special warning lamp or device resembling such whether working or not”

This, however, does not cover the difference between the colour of the light and the type of light used.

According to Wikipedia, the stalwart of internet-sourced quotes;

Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 […] as amended by various other pieces of legislation […] The 1989 restrictions state that no vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle, shall be fitted with a “blue warning beacon or special warning lamp”, or a device which resembles a blue warning beacon or a special warning lamp, whether it works or not.

If the lights are simply blue LEDs, are they legal?. It seems so.

If they don’t flash, are they legal? It seems so.

As far as the aesthetics of a car are concerned, it’s hard to phrase a question which calls for some kind of judgement on this issue.

You really don’t want to lay down the law of ‘what looks good’ if you like Defenders; svelt and swoopy, they ain’t.

And yet in a world where Corsas and Saxos and all manner of small cars for generations have been manhandled by those with more individuality than either money or panel-beating skill, there’s surely some consensus as to whether a modification improves the look of a vehicle?

So how to respond to the position “putting blue lights on your car or truck makes you look like a tit, tempting Police to stop you so that you can rant at them and argue that you’re right and they’re wrong, and head back to the roadside burger dispensary of your choice feeling proud of yourself”?

Or indeed “why shouldn’t I be able to make a statement if it doesn’t brake the law, you tweed-clad Victorian reactionary, barking your patrician palsy at people who don’t care about appealing to a consensus they don’t share, before you retire safely to the net-curtained parlour of your choice and listen to Radio 4 until your Horlicks is ready?”.

For those on either side of the debate, we now stock PMH Lighting’s finest LED lights, in both blue and white, as well as LED replacement lights from both Britpart and Bearmach, at our webshop www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.