Malcolm Alty started his career 40 years ago as a technician for Saab where he acquired a number of certificates from Saab including the engine and gearbox courses. Malcolm has worked with old V4 right up to present models, and his son, Malcolm Jr, has been working at Alty’s for 10 years and been brought up on Saab & Volvos.
We opened our doors here at Alty’s in the Summer of 1983 and we’re still going strong today. We moved from our previous home on Springfield Street when we decided we need more room to offer the services we are keen to offer. Despite a setback three years ago when a fire ravaged our garage here on Great George Street, we rebuilt and we’ve been back in business for two years.
Our years of knowledge, complimented by the fact that Rob started his career as an Agricultural Mechanic, means that we have the expertise to deal with anything that comes through our doors. We’ve done work on a dumper truck, generators, tuned a speedboat and we get a lot of lawnmowers come through that just cannot start. Everything deserves to be looked at here.
“I like the satisfaction of mending, that’s why I’m still doing what I’m doing. A car comes in that’s been to a few other garages beforehand, I really love that, and I sort it out. I really get a buzz from fixing things. The more technical the better. Some of the older stuff that comes in some of the modern mechanics have never even seen.” – Malcolm Alty
Our specialist knowledge of working with Saab vehicles and repeating the same jobs over and over is what we pride ourselves on here. A lot of garages won’t tackle the old clutches, they’re one of the easiest ones to do! But no-one wants to work on them because the engine’s back to front, the clutch is in a place they don’t recognise and you can’t take the gearbox off to get to the clutch. With the right tools you don’t have to and we have the right tools.
“We have a Tech 2 machine for Saab and Vauxhall vehicles. This is used for setting service lights on dashboards and is one of Saab agent’s main tools. When you put a new part in you have to ‘Tech 2’ it to tell it the part has been changed. It checks the chassis number of the vehicle so if someone pinched your radio they can’t put it in their car.
“We have a lot of proper tools for fitting parts. For example most garages will put a wheel bearing in with a hammer. We have the proper bearing pushers that fit just for the Saabs and Vauxhalls and puts them in without any strain. Obviously if you’re hammering something in it’s not going to last as long as something that’s put in properly. All the shockwaves are going to deform the ball bearings and that’s what we’re trying to save.
“It still surprises me how most garages don’t even have a press to put an everyday ball bearing in, they just hammer them in. It’s wrong, it doesn’t do your car any good and it’s going to fail way before it should do.