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Choosing your new tyres

Planning on changing your car tyres? It's not always as straight forward as you may think.

In general if you can afford to do so, you should keep the same tyres as fitted to your car when it was new.

This is especially important if you own a Porsche as the car maker gives a new car to the tyre manufactures and ask them to produce a tyre to suit the vehicles suspension and produce the best grip / performance options. This is why Porsche tyres come with the codes N1, N2, N3 etc on the sidewalls.

Other car makes also have their own mark on certain tyres such as a Star for BMW's, MO for Mercedes, J for Jaguar, B for Bentley, K1 for Ferrari, etc. We at Hometyre can get any of these OEM marked tyres for you if required. For more info on side wall markings look here.

If you are not going with the tyres originally fitted to your vehicle, then depending on your financial state you have the option of Premium (Continental, Pirelli, Michelin, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Goodyear, etc), Mid-range (Avon, Hankook, Maxxis, Firestone, Kumho, etc) or Budgets (Event, Ovation, Autogrip, Tigar, Westlake, Accelera, etc).

To also help with your tyre choice, all new tyres now come with the Euro label which looks similar to the eco labels on washing machines, fridges etc, this new label which came into force in November 2012 gives 3 important factors, wet grip, fuel efficiency and noise level. When checking tyres on the Hometyre website, you can can click on the additional information link, this will show you the tyre label information.

If you have internet access you can also find reviews in Which? as well as magazines like auto express.

The difference between a premium and a budget tyre can be vast when it comes to grip, and especially braking. Many tests have been done, at around 50mph showing that the stopping difference can be as much as two car lengths. In an emergency stop situation this can be the difference between stopping in time, and being in an accident.

Remember that combined the area of your cars tyres that are touching the road add up to approx. the same size area as an A4 piece of paper.

Finally if you are non the wiser, give us a call at Hometyre, we will advise you as much as we can. Click here for contact details.

Accelera_tyres

 

A Mobile service providing new tyres for your Caravan or Motorhome.

The Easter holidays may have past and we are now mid-way into May, the weather is improving and many a Caravan and Motorhome owner is starting to make plans to prepare their leisure vehicle for the forthcoming season ahead. We have the half term looming and a long weekend at the end of May, which will bring many a leisure vehicle out of winter storage.

A long winter lay-up can cause numerous issues for your vehicle. Prevention is always better than cure (and usually less costly!) but we're all guilty of forgetfulness with the busy lives we lead.

For caravans the most obvious issues are with gas, electricity, brakes and tyres. The Gas, electric and brakes are best serviced annually prior to first use by a professional caravan service engineer. Any competent service engineer will check your tyres and if he feels they are out of date or show any signs of deterioration he will recommend that they are changed.

Tyres are an Item that should be checked before every venture out onto the road. This is something that you can do yourself.

Remember that rubber is a natural product and ages from the date of manufacture. A tyre that is five years old or more will have become harder and suffer more rapidly from exposure to ultra-violet light (sunlight) and low level ozone. This has the effect of 'drying' out the rubber and causing it to split and crack.

Check the sidewalls of your tyres and between the tread blocks for signs of splits, also look for any deformations, bulges and ensure there are no foreign objects stuck in the tread. Finally check the pressures, many caravans have a small plaque near the door with the correct pressures listed, otherwise look in the handbook. Motorhomes often have the tyre pressures inside the drivers door frame area. A quick check of your tyres should only take around 5 minutes, well worth the time to be safe.

Don't forget the spare, as there is no point in carrying one, if it is flat. If you hook up the caravan and drive off without checking the pressures first, you will place enormous strain on the casing of the tyres and potentially cause a blow-out. Not a great experience when you're all set for relaxation.

Additionally your tyres may have been sat in the same position for many months on end. A tyre is manufactured using steel belts for rigidity. These will naturally distort with prolonged spells with weight placed upon them causing flat spots. As long as you drive sensibly these will generally disappear as the tyres warm up. Although the ideal option would be to jack your vehicle up and put it on security stands over the winter, or at least move it a few feet every month.

If you need new tyres, then give us a call at Hometyre, we will give you advice on the best tyres to suit your vehicle, also since we are a mobile service, we will come to you at your home, storage area or even at a camp site.

Caravans in storage

Have you considered the benefits of TYRON bands? Read more about this great safety device here. We at Hometyre are recommended by Tyron UK as one of their main suppliers and fitters, and I personally have been to the Tyron headquarters for additional training.

If you're looking for very high quality security products, check out our range from UK manufacturer Bulldog, available to buy mail order direct to your door.

Whatever your requirements, we're always on hand for advice and assistance. Call us on 08007839310 or 03334445454 (mobile friendly!)

 

Maxxis tyres fitted to a caravan in Rustington

We are fast approaching the May bank holidays and many caravan owners are having their caravans serviced ready for the start of the camping season. Part of the preparations include having their tyres changed.

The caravan club recommend changing caravan tyres every 5 to 7 years regardless of the tread remaining. This is because as rubber ages it oxidises and hardens. This causes tyres to crack and they can delaminate with age (the tread comes away from the carcass).

One of this weeks jobs was to fit two new 195/70R14 Maxxis Maxmiler tyres, plus 14" Tyron bands to a caravan in Rustington. The caravan was in a storage area, the customer met me at the gate, and opened up to allow me in, he then took me round to his caravan.

I checked the dates on the tyres and they were 8 years old, so they were ready for replacing.

The first job was to put the corner stays up, this is because when jacking a caravan up, they would bend if left down. I then jacked the caravan up and removed the first of the wheels, took it to the van and removed the old tyre. I then had to measure the inside of the wheel well to find the right sized tyron band. Once I had the correct size, it was then a case of fitting the new tyre onto the rim. The tyre is then squashed down using a special ring that has been designed to fit the equipment in our van. Once the wheel well was revealed I fitted the tyron band and pulled the tyre up over it. The tyre was then inflated to the correct pressure (48psi on this caravan), then balanced before fitting it back on the caravan. The wheel bolts were tightened up to the correct torque settings and the caravan was lowered.

It was then round to the other side to repeat the the process. Once both wheels were completed I pulled out the spare to check it over. It was also 8 years old, it had never been used as it still had the original sticker on it.

The customer did not want to change it at the moment, I checked it for splits (there were none), so I checked the valve and then inflated the tyre to the right pressure. It was then replaced back in its cradle and put back under the caravan. I advised the owner that due to its age, it should not really be used, as it will have hardened and could break up at any time.

I then put the corner stays back down, and completed the invoice, before taking a payment through our card reader machine.

Should you need tyres for your caravan or your tow car then give us a call at Hometyre to discuss the best tyres for you. Click here for contact details.

Should you also require Tyron bands, then we are recommended by Tyron uk as one of their main suppliers and fitters, plus I personally have been to the Tyron HQ for additional training. For Tyron details click here.

Caravan

 

Horse trailer tyres in Barnham and Arundel

Many horse owners are now getting their horse trailers and horse boxes out of winter storage ready for this years events. How many of those people will check the tyres to see if they are still roadworthy? Any tyre that is not used regularly will deteriorate over time, especially if it is left outside, as the rubber in tyres will start to harden due to oxidisation and cracks then appear.

I have been called out to a number of horse trailers in stables around Sussex where the tyres have been between 10 and 14 years old, when checked I found that there were cracks present on the sidewalls and in some cases within the tread blocks making the tyres dangerous. Even the spare tyre on one was full of cracks that had gone right through to the inside making it useless. Some of the tyres had flat spots where they had not been moved for a long period. Horse box owners need to take responsibility for checking their tyres not just for air pressure, but also wear and any signs of bulges, flat spots, cuts or cracking. Even though trailers do not have to pass an MOT, they still need to be road legal, so there should also be a minimum of 1,6mm of tread remaining.

Part of the problem is that there are no organisations to give recommendations to owners, unlike for Caravans. (The caravan club makes the recommendation that all tyres should be changed every 5 to 7 years regardless of tread left). Being a similar vehicle, in that it is used only occasionally and doesn't travel too far, I would recommend changing the tyres every 7 years.

Don't forget that it is not just the trailer that you are towing, but also your valuable horse. Should there be an accident or the trailer tip over due to a tyre blowout, then the vet bills could be astronomical compared to the few hundred pounds for a complete set of new tyres.

For any advise on the right type of tyres give us a call at Hometyre, we are happy to advise at any time. If you want and I am in the area I will happily check the tyres for you.

Follow me on twitter @ HometyreSussex

Horsetrailer tyres

 

Don't waste your money on part worn dangerous tyres

Last week I was called out to replace a tyre on a Lotus Elise in Worthing. The customer told me that he had just had the tyre fitted a few days earlier to get the car through the MOT, which seemed odd, as why had it failed the mot check?

What he didn't mention was that it was a part worn tyre, it was easy to see, as it was stamped 'Part worn' on the side of the tyre (This is a legal requirement, that all part worn tyres have the wording on the side of the tyre in 4mm high lettering.)

When I checked the tyre I found it had a bulge on the inside wall of the tyre, there were splits between the tread blocks right through to the cords and upon checking the tyres date it turned out to be 14 years old.

This is the reason we at Hometyre do not sell or fit part worn tyres, you the customer do not know their history. Most part worn tyres are tyres that have been scrapped by legitimate tyre dealers, some have damage that can be seen but cannot be repaired according to British standards, others have come from crash damaged cars..... did the tyre take an impact? who knows. Often these tyres have internal structural damage, which can show as a bulge once inflated, or sometimes the tread delaminates from the tyre carcass when driving. Why risk your life and the life of other road users, most part worn tyres are sold with around 3 to 4mm of tread, if you calculate the cost per mm of useable tread, then compare that to a new budget tyre, then often the budget tyre works out to be cheaper, plus you know it is new.

We at Hometyre can supply and fit new tyres for you at your home or work, just give us a call to discuss the best tyre options to suit your budget. Click here for details

Lotus elise tyres

 

Tyron bands fitted at your home or caravan storage site in Sussex.

Caravans and Motorhomes are already out in force on the roads, and many more are being serviced ready for this years season. As part of the service, a good engineer will check the dates on your tyres and advise you when they need changing. We are recommended by many caravan service engineers as they know our work and that we can be trusted.

We at Hometyre Sussex are a mobile tyre service who will come to wherever you keep your vehicle to change your tyres. We can even deal with Tyron bands if you have them fitted. We at Hometyre Sussex are fully trained by Tyron UK - not many tyre fitters can say that, and I have seen many Tyron bands fitted upside down, some with parts missing and some where they have been fitted over the valve. All of these are common mistakes where untrained tyre dealers attempt to refit Tyron safety bands.

Should you need new tyres, we will remove the tyres along with the Tyron bands and then fit your new tyres along with refitting the Tyron bands, we will also balance your wheels as they can be way out after having these metal bands fitted.

Should you not have Tyron bands but would like to have a set, then please give us a call at Hometyre, we are authorised to sell and fit Tyron bands. You just need to give us your wheel size, we will then bring a selection of different width Tyron bands out with us to find the right size to fit your wheel. These can be fitted with new or existing tyres.

We can also supply a Tyron customer care kit, this is basically a long tool to help in their removal and an instruction book in various languages, as if you travel abroad and have a puncture, you will need to get the tyre changed. Without instructions many untrained tyre dealers will struggle to remove a tyre where there is a Tyron band fitted.

The photo shows a wrecked tyre with a Tyron band clearly visiable. This shows what is left of the tyre after it was driven on for around 25 miles while flat. The Tyron band kept the tyre on the rim, and the caravan owner was able to continue driving in a safe manner until he got home.

For more information on Tyron bands click here.

wrecked tyre with Tyron fitted

 

Buying a used car? check those tyres.

One of the jobs I was called out to today was a Peugeot on Thorney Island. The customer had a flat tyre, he went to put the spare on and found that it was also flat.

When I arrived I noticed that both rear tyres were of different makes also one had an assymetrical tread pattern and one had a rotational pattern. Mixing two different tyre types like this is not recommended as it can affect the vehicles handling.

I also noticed that the locking wheel nuts were missing and that each hole where the lock nut had been was blackened and had lots of damage around the edge. I guess that at sometime the locknut key had gone missing or was damaged and someone had removed them using heat / welding and a cold chisel.

When I talked to the customer he said that he had bought the car recently and didn't know too much about its past history.

I got to work and jacked the car up, removed the bolts from the wheel with the flat tyre and checked the tyre for any sign of a puncture. None found, I then used a leak detector around the rim and found air seeping out. I removed the tyre from the wheel expecting to find corrosion on the rim, but it was nice and clean. Upon checking the tyre itself I found a large chunk of rubber missing from the sealing bead. There was also a chunk taken out of the sidewall rim protector at the same point, yet there was no damage to the alloy wheel. There is a possibility that this was a part worn tyre fitted to the car from a vehicle that had been in an accident or had hit a pothole and had smashed the original wheel, damaging the tyre at the same time. The part worn sellers would not care that this tyre was damaged, as long as they could get it to seal when they sold it. The tyre was not safe, so I cut a large section out of the side wall to stop it being used again.

I then fitted a new 205/55 R16 Nexen N Blue tyre to the wheel, before balancing it and fitting it back on the car.

I then turned my attention to the flat spare wheel, when checked I found that it was also leaking from around the rim. I removed the tyre and checked the seal, no problems, so I cleaned up the rim, replaced the valve, added a bead seal and refitted the tyre. At the same time I looked at the date on the tyre, it was from 1997, (18 years old). Since the car was only 9 years old I suspect that this was also an old part worn tyre. I advised the customer and told him that ideally he should change this old tyre. Even though it is only a spare it would still be needed if he had a flat again, and once on the car this tyre would be dangerous, as the rubber will have hardened. Anything older than 5 years of age should not be fitted to a car as the rubber has oxidised.

Once finished I checked the other tyres for condition and remaining tread, checked the tyre pressures and corrected them where required before completing the job.

Tyres are one of the most important safety features on your car, as 4 small areas where they touch the road the size of a postcard are all that keep you safe. Don't forget a tyre is used when accelerating, braking and especially cornering with great forces in all directions. Don't skimp by buying part worn tyres, you don't know their history and most people don't know how to check their age. At least with a new budget tyre you know what you are getting, and according to a check made by an independent tyre service proved that per mm of usable tread, it can be cheaper in the long run buying a new tyre.

For advice on what is the best tyre for you and the type of driving you do, call us at Hometyre click here.

If you also have locking wheel nut problems, give us a call, we have specialist tools and can remove all types of locknut without damaging your wheels.

 

Around 22% of UK drivers admit to buying part worn tyres.

A recent study has revealed that around 22% of British motorists have bought used or 'part worn' tyres in the past, with almost 3 million motorists having bought them in the last 18 months.

The same survey also found that only 17% of those drivers would consider buying part worn tyres again, as they had experienced problems with the part worn tyres. Of those drivers almost 600,000 who had bought part worn tyres said that they had failed their next MOT.

One of the dangers of buying part worn tyres is that their condition may not have been checked properly before being fitted to their vehicle. With almost a million drivers saying that their part worn tyres had failed with problems they feel were present when they bough the tyre.

Around 657'000 drivers who had fitted part worn tyres on their car said that they had experienced loss of grip or control due to the tyres poor quality, while 475'000 said they had been involved in an accident as a result of these used tyres.

Around 83% of UK drivers said they would not consider buying part worn tyres in the future for the following reasons….. 48% said there could be hidden damage within the tyres, 47% said that new tyres perform better than used tyres, 47% said that new tyres gave better economy. 36% of drivers were worried that they do not know where these part worn tyres came from, with 35% saying they don't know how any previous driver had driven on those tyres and finally 19% said that they don't trust the part worn dealers.

It is said that most of the part worn tyres sold in the UK have been brought in from Europe by container having been removed from cars in Germany, Denmark and Holland. The question most motorists should ask themselves is… Why would any European driver not want these so called 'good' tyres, yet us British would?

Part worn tyres often have hidden dangers, they have had punctures repaired on the sidewalls (something that is against British standards, see details here), I have seen tyres on a car with 50mm holes that have been patched up. some have been on cars that have been involved in accidents and may have internal structural damage, others are old tyres where the rubber has oxidised causing it to harden, making it lose grip.

I personally was called out to a car that had been fitted with 4 part worn tyres the day before, one had blown up like a balloon where the inner structure had been damaged. Because of this the customer asked us to check the other three tyres.- Tyre 2, had a hole through the tyre with a small rubber patch on the inside plus a screw still stuck in the shoulder of the tyre (Mot failure). Tyre 3, was an old tyre that had splits between the tread blocks that were through to the cords (Mot failure). Tyre 4, had 6mm of tread on the outside edge, but only 2mm of tread on the inside edge, although this fourth tyre would pass an MOT, it was illegal to be sold as a part worn tyre as the legal limit for used tyres is 3mm minimum tread. So this driver had paid £80 for four scrap tyres.

If you remove any part worn tyres from the wheel and check inside you will most often that they have been patched up to sell.Sidewall_repair Photo showing a patched up sidewall.

Part worn tyres are often sold with around 4mm of tread, taking away the 1.6mm legal maximum, this leaves 2.4mm of useable tread. When sold for £20 this equates to £8.33 per mm. A new tyre comes with 8mm of tread of which 6.4mm is useable, it means you can pay up to £53 for a new tyre at £8.33 per m and be sure that you know where it comes from and it does not come with any defects.

Tyres are they only part of your car that keep you on the road, why risk your safety… would you consider buying part worn brake pads?

We at Hometyre only sell new tyres, we have premium, mid-range and budget tyres, give us a call to see what we can offer you.

 

Locknut removal, new tyres and tracking on a Peugeot 307 in Ford.

I had an interesting job today that used most of our services in one go.

The customer had a Peugeot 307 that required new tyres on the front.

He had been to Kwikfit to have them done, but they had used an air wrench on the locking wheel nut and damaged the locknut socket. They then tried unsuccessfully to remove the locknuts but weren't able to get them out and just left them in a mess.

The customer then went to ATS to see if they could help, they had a go at drilling one out, but after an hour or so of drilling they only had a hole around 3mm deep and had managed to skid the drill across the alloy leaving a deep scratch. At this point they also gave up.

The customer then went online and found us at Hometyre, he read one of the blogs which said that we had removed locking wheel nuts for both Kwikfit and ATS previously so he called us out.

I arrived at the job 15 minutes later than scheduled, but had called the customer to say I was running late, which he didn't mind.

He explained the trouble he had had with the lock nuts, and asked if I could get the nuts off, fit two new front tyres and do a front wheel alignment, he then left me to get on with the job.

I went to work on the first lock nut with our specialist tool and after hammering away on it for around 2 minutes it started to move and with a few turns it was out. It was then onto the second locknut, which came out just as easily.

Once the locknut problem was solved I was then able to get my trolley jack out, and get the car in the air, remove the rest of the bolts and get the wheels off. The old tyres were badly worn on the inside edges right through to the cords, which showed that the tracking was a problem.

I then removed the old tyres and replaced them with the new Nexen tyres he had chosen. These are a mid range tyre, which have good euro tyre figures for wet braking and fuel economy, plus the noise level is better than average. As part of the replacement I fitted new valves, and rebalanced the wheels with stick on weights, so that they are hidden on the inside of the wheel.

While the wheels were off the car, I tackled the track rods, sprayed the retaining nuts with a penetrating oil, wire brushed the threads and after a bit of work the retaining nuts came free and I was able to move the track rods back and forth.

Finally I put the wheels back on the car, and did the bolts up with a torque wrench. The missing locknuts were replaced with new bolts that the customer had purchased. (We don't carry spare nuts as there are so many different types and size).

I then took the car for a quick drive around to stabilise the suspension before I started on the actual wheel alignment. The laser alignment gauges were then placed on the wheels and the figures were checked against the manufacturers' data, this showed that the vehicle was supposed to be +1.4 degrees, the actual figures were +5 degrees, this explained the bad tyre wear. I adjusted the track rods until the vehicle was lined up correctly and the toe readings were within the tolerances. The retaining nuts were tightened back up, the tracking equipment was removed from the car. I then went for a test drive to check that all was OK and the car was driving in a straight line, before handing the keys back to the customer, and completing the invoice.

 

puncture repair on a VW golf in Worthing

One of today's jobs was to on a VW Golf with a flat tyre. The customer had called in asking for a puncture repair as she could see the screw in the central area of the tread. She had seen from the main Hometyre website, that a puncture in this position was an area that could be repaired.

As usual with this type of job, we asked for the tyre size and brought a replacement tyre with us, just in case the puncture was unrepairable, or we find the tyre has been driven on while flat damaging the internal structure.

In this case I arrived at the house in Worthing and after introducing myself to the lady, she handed me the keys for the car, I found the locking wheel nut in the boot and started work.

The lock nut was removed by hand, the car was jacked up and the rest of the wheel bolts were removed. I then removed the tyre from the rim and checked the inside, all was OK, there was no sign of any structural damage, the tyre still had almost 5mm of tread remaining, so it was worth repairing.

The spare tyre I had brought with me was left in the back of the van and will be returned to the wholesaler.

The screw was removed from the tyre and a clean 6mm hole was drilled through the puncture. The inside area around the hole was buffed to remove the shiny surface, and it was then cleaned with a thinner. A fast drying rubber glue is applied, to both the tyre and the plug patch (The plug patch is like a mushroom, that goes through the hole and also covers around 40mm on the inside surface). Once tacky the patch is pushed through the hole and hemmed into place. A sealer is then added over the patch on the inside as an extra measure. The plug through the hole is cut off level with the surface, leaving a tyre ready to be refitted.

The old valve was cut out and a new valve was replaced, the tyre was then refitted and inflated to the correct pressures. Once completed the wheel was then re-balanced, cleaned and the put back on the car. The bolts are put back in by hand and are then torqued to the correct settings. The car was lowered off the jack, I then check all the other tyres for condition, tread depth, finally all tyre pressures are checked and corrected.

The locking wheel nut is replaced where it was found in the car, and this position is marked on the invoice. The invoice is completed and a payment is then taken from the customer, the keys are returned, and I was then off to my next job.

Should you need a puncture repair or new tyres call us at Hometyre, we will come to you at a time and place you select.

 

Check your tyres, legal requirements

Why risk a fine and points on your driving licence, check your tyres and make sure they are legal. Being unaware of the legal requirements in the UK is no excuse in the eyes of the law. Failure to do so can lead to up to a £2500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.

Tyre maintenance is the responsibility of the driver, who should check their tyres ideally on a weekly basis, checking tread depth, tyre condition/damage/punctures, pressures, or signs of irregular wear.

The legal requirement in the UK regarding tread depth is 1.6mm of depth across the central ¾ of the tyre and around the whole circumference. Even though 1.6mm is the legal limit,

it is recommended that tyres are changed when they reach 3mm of depth, as there is a serious chance of aquaplaning in wet weather, as water cannot escape from the grooves fast enough at below 3mm.

The driver should also look for any signs of bulges, cracking, delamination, cuts in the tread of more that 25mm (or 10% of the tyre width), cuts that are deep enough to show any cords, or any punctures. Punctures can generally be repaired if they are in the central ¾ of the tyre tread, as long as the tyre has not been driven flat causing damage to the inner structure.

Ask your local Hometyre technician for an honest assessment; we will always repair a tyre if feasible and economical to do so.

Tyre pressures should always be corrected regularly, as under or over inflated tyres will cause uneven tyre wear, can effect handling, and increase braking distances. Checking the pressures can also be an easy way of realising that you have a puncture, if a nail or screw is not easily visible.

Irregular wear can be a sign of your tracking being out, worn bushes or in some more serious cases a suspension problem.

It is also the responsibility of the driver to ensure that any tyres that are fitted are the correct type and size for the vehicle and the purposes it is being used for. Each tyre has markings on its sidewalls giving its load ratings, speed ratings and maximum pressures it can be inflated too. (The maximum pressure shown is not the normal pressure it should be run at. Every vehicle has a pressure recommendation shown either in the door jamb, the fuel filler lid or in the owner's manual.)

You should not mix different types of tyre on your vehicle; winter tyres, commercial tyres, runflat tyres, radial or crossply tyres. Radial and crossply tyres can be fitted to the same vehicle, but should not be mixed on the same axle. I have seen some cars with a mix of winter and radial tyres, also some with a mix of radial and runflat tyres. This will greatly influence the handling of the vehicle and in case of an accident, this could be a contributing factor, and any insurance company may refuse to pay out the full claim.

Mixing brands and tread patterns of the same type of tyre is not illegal, although it is not recommended.

When it comes to spare tyres, the tyre does not have to meet legal requirements, when kept in the boot, or under the car. But once fitted it then must comply, just like any other tyre.

The table below shows how worn your tyre is as a percentage.

8mm 0% worn   -  Good

7mm 15% worn - Good

6mm 31% worn -  Good

5mm 47% worn -  Good

4mm 62% worn -  Good

3mm 78% worn -  Replacement recommended

2mm 94% worn -  Replace urgently

1.6mm 100% worn - Legal limit reached

 

Caravan & motorhome tyres

This last week has seen the start of the caravan preparation season, I have been very busy this week with 5 caravans and one Motorhome all needing new tyres. Some were fitted with Tyron bands which needed to be removed, then re-fitted with the new tyres.

The tyres that are on your caravan when it is bought new, are generally the right tyres and the sizes should not be changed. There are size options, but these have been decided before the caravan is built, at which point they make sure there is enough space in the wheel well and the correct size hubs are fitted.

I have had a customer who changed to larger sized tyres, then found that the tyre was rubbing against the caravan wall, eventually wearing a hole through the side. Our sales team when they talk to a customer always ask, have you taken the tyre size from the original tyre that is already on the caravan. This is to ensure that problems like this do not happen.

I was called out to a storage area to fit tyres to an Abbey caravan yesterday. The owner of a caravan had not checked the actual tyre size that was on his caravan, but had just checked the manual and saw there were 2 options, so he chose one at random. In this case he chose the wrong size, so the job had to be put back a day, while we sourced another set of tyres and went back out to fit them today.

Once back at the storage area I made sure the handbrake was on and the corner stays were raised. I then put a jack under the main axle and raised one side of the caravan, removed the wheel bolts and took off the wheel. The valve stem is removed allowing the air to be released; the tyre seal can then be broken using the bead breaker in my van. Once broken, the tyre can then be removed from the rim. The old valve is then removed and a new valve inserted. It is then a case of replacing the new tyre on the rim and inflating it to the correct pressure (in this case it was 55 psi) . I then put the wheel on the balancing machine and give it a spin, this points out any weight differences, that can be corrected by adding stick on weights at the opposite point within the wheel rim. Once balanced the wheel is now ready to be put back on the caravan. The bolts are replaced and tightened to the correct torque settings, before lowering the caravan and moving to the opposite side to do the other wheel.

Once completed the caravan corner steadies and put back down, the invoice is completed and a payment is taken using a debit card reader.

For advice on you caravan or motorhome tyres give us a call at Hometyre, we are happy to help.

 

Premium summer tyre tests 2015

'ADAC' a German motoring association along with 'Stiflung Warentest' a consumer organisation have just published the results of their testing of 35 size 185/60 R14 H and 205/55 R16v tyres for their 2015 summer tyre tests.

The 205/55R16 tyre is one of the most commonly sold tyres in the UK, so their results are of interest to the UK market.

They tried to compare Eco tyre compared with Comfort tyres and were disappointed with the results of the Eco tyres. According to ADAC, the so called eco models only offered slight advantages, yet in the in wet conditions they consistently showed disadvantages when compared with the comfort tyres".

Performance in the areas of wear and fuel economy are inconsistent with top grip and aquaplaning.

ADAC named Michelin's Energy saver+ tyre as an example, this tyre is described as a high-mileage, economical model and as such scores 'very good' & 'good' ratings in these categories, but despite these good results the tyre ended the test in the bottom quarter of the table due to receiving only 'satisfactory' results in the wet grip category.

The other three eco tyres tested performed similarly. In the 205/55 R16v category the Michelin Primacy 3 finished first ahead of its 18 competitors, leaving the energy saver + in its wake. The Goodyear efficientgrip performance tyre and Continentals PremiumContact 5 tyres secured second and third places. Ultimately this also shows that premium tyres are worth the additional costs if you want to get the best overall performance.

In the 14"h rated tyre category the Continental and Goodyear tyres finished in first and second with third place going to Nokian's Line.

See ADAC results below.

IMG_1388

 

Locking wheel nut removal and Runflat tyres fitted in Littlehampton.

One of my jobs last Saturday in Littlehampton was for a customer with a 5 Series BMW who needed to have a 265/40R19 Bridgestone runflat tyre replaced, as he had a flat and had driven on it for around 10 miles damaging the structure.

The only problem was that he was not able to find the locking wheel nut removal key. He phoned his main dealer to ask if they had the 'Key' as the car had only been in their workshop to have the front brake pads changed recently. They searched their records but had no knowledge of retaining any lock nut key and were unable to help. Just to make sure, I searched the car again but to no avail.

This meant that I would have to carry out a locking wheel nut removal before I could start to replace the tyre. Since the 'key' was missing it made sense to remove all of the other lock nuts and the customer agreed.

The locking nut was a McGard lock nut one of the best on the market, a hardened nut with a flower type pattern on the top and a revolving collar; we carry special tools on the vans to remove this type of locking wheel nut, so I pulled out my tool kit and set to work. I fitted the correct head to the tool and tried a few hefty blows to remove the locking wheel nut but it was on tight and was not moving. Carried on working on the locking wheel nut, they must have really gunned this one on. After around 10 minutes of hammering it finally moved and came out, so it was then onto the rest of the wheels to get the lock nuts off, it took a further 30 to 40 minutes, but I finally had them all off.

Now it was the time to put the runflat tyre on, I jacked up the car and removed the rest of the bolts on the wheel. Took the wheel into the van and broke the tyre seals, before loading it onto the machinery and removing the tyre, (not an easy job with runflats as they have extreemly thick sidewalls). The new tyre was soon fitted and inflated to the correct pressure; the wheel was then balanced and refitted to the car with the wheel nuts being torqued up to the correct specification.

Luckily the customer had 4 original bolts in the boot that had been removed when the locking wheel nuts had originally been put on, so I was able to replace the ones that I had removed.

So if you have locking wheel nuts that you would like to remove but the key is damaged or has been lost, or maybe you need new tyres then please call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10(landline free phone) or 0333 444 5454(Mobile friendly) and we will come to you with our mobile service vehicle.

 

Nissan tyres fitted in Littlehampton

I had a new customer booked in through the sales office who wanted two Nankang AS1 225/45R19w tyres to be put on her Nissan Infinity EX37.

The car was due for a MOT the following day, and both rear tyres were low, plus she was aiming to sell the car within the month and wanted it to be in good condition.

The customer had seen me at another job in the road the day before and took note of the Hometyre details on the van, she then called our sales office to arrange an appointment for the next day at 10.00.

I arrived at the appointed time and asked the lady for the keys, and if she knew where the locking wheel nut key was kept, she didn't. A quick check in the boot and I found it with the vehicles tools beside the spare. I also checked the tread depths on the front tyres and they were 5mm so no problem. This information we add to a tyre report that is sent with the receipt once the job is completed.

I removed the locking wheel nuts by hand before jacking the car up and removing the first wheel. Took the wheel over to the van and removed the tyre. Checked the rim to ensure it had no damage, none found so cut out the old valve and replaced it with a nice new one. Applied tyre mounting paste to the new tyre, (the paste allows the tyre to slide on the wheel when we fit the tyre so it does not get damaged). mounted the tyre and inflated it to the correct pressure. We get the correct pressures from a chart in the van, or it can also be found inside the car door frame.

Put the wheel on the balancer and set all the parameters. The reason we have to balance new tyres on wheels, is that you get slight weight differences during manufacture, that if we did not balance the wheel you can get a vibration through the steering wheel.

I spun the wheel and the balancer indicated that it needed 20 grams to be added to the outside edge and 15 grams to the inside edge. I applied stick on weights at the correct points and re-spun the wheel to check it was correct. It showed a zero for both sides on the balancer, so it was time to refit the wheel to the car.

I mounted the wheel on the hub, tightened all the bolts up to the manufactures specification, then moved to the other side of the car to repeat the process for the other wheel.

Once completed I put the locking wheel nut back in the boot of the car and marked this information on the invoice. I had already checked the tread depths on the other wheels but now I checked the tyre pressures as well. Only a couple of pounds out so adjusted them.

Locked up the car, completed the invoice, and took a payment from the customer using our card reader. Once payment has gone through, I then email the receipt through to the customer.

Should you need tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you.

 

Locking wheel nut removal in Worthing

One of today's jobs was to remove the locking wheel nuts on a Renault Megane in Worthing. The customer did not actually own the car, he was a mechanic getting the car prepared for an MOT. He had checked the tyres and found that three of them needed to be changed; he went to remove the lock nuts using the removal socket only to find that the nuts had been greatly over tightened he tried removing them using an air gun only to find that this broke the removal socket. (These were McGard lock nuts, which if you read the instructions with them, say "Do not use an air gun", they must be removed using a hand wrench).McGard Locking wheel nuts

For those of you that don't know, McGard nuts are the ones with a little flower type pattern on the surface, (see photo) and they often have a hardened surface and a rotating collar, making them one of the most difficult lock nuts to remove. But they are also one of the weakest if not treated with care. We at Hometyre remove them and replace them by hand using a wheel brace.

I could see from the marks on the surface of the locknut that someone had tried to remove them using a cold chisel, without much success. I checked the other normal nuts on the car to find that they were all extremely tight, meaning that this was going to be a difficult job.

I setup our specialist tool with the appropriate head for the McGard nuts, and got to work, after around 5 minutes of hammering the tool it had still not moved the nut. Time for a change of tactics…. I got out my trolley jack and used it to support the tool, this way I could put a foot on the tool to hold it in place and use two hands on the hammer to get more force. This did the trick as after a few more blows the nut came free. It was then onto the next wheel to repeat the process until all the lock nuts had been removed. I then went back round the car, undoing all of the normal nuts and then re-tightening them to the correct torque settings.

We do not have replacement nuts for the ones we have removed as there are too many different sizes, lengths, threads and types for us to carry. We suggest that you go to an auto accessory shop and get replacements once we are finished.

Being a mechanic, the customer did not need us to replace the worn tyres as he was doing this himself, so the job was completed. I made up the invoice and took a payment from the customer using our debit card machine and sent him a vat receipt by email.

Should you have lost or broken your locking wheel nut removal socket, then give us a call at Hometyre, we are professionals and have a variety of specialist tools to remove the lock nuts without damaging your alloy wheels. I have removed over 200 lock nuts since 2013 and until now in 2015 I have had a 100% success rate.

Should you also need us to replace any of your tyres, then let us know as we can bring them along and change them for you once the lock nuts are off.

I have had a few customers who have been quoted up to £400 just to have one lock nut removed at a main dealer, and other customers who were quoted a minimum of two hours labour at garage rates but the cost can go higher if they have trouble removing the nuts.

 

Fleet vehicle tyres in Ford - Mobile tyre service

Are you running a fleet of vehicles? Did you know that as a company you are responsible to ensure that the tyres are safe for any of your employees to drive the vehicles.

This means not only do they have to have legal tread, but they must not have any damage or punctures and tyre pressures must be correct.

Some leased fleet vehicles come with a tyre contract, where the leasing company are responsible for any tyre replacements. This can be an expensive way of covering your tyre costs. Not only that but you have to send your vehicles with a driver to the leasing companies preferred tyre supplier, this means that the vehicle is off the road costing you money, but also the cost of losing your driver for an hour or more. Over a year this can add up to hundreds or even thousands of £'s in lost revenue.

For most companies it would be far cheaper to have Hometyre check your fleets tyres on a regular basis, and pro-actively replace the tyres that are near to the legal limits. Punctures can be repaired on site, and should we see uneven wear, then the vehicles tracking can be checked and if required - adjusted to the manufacturers recommended settings.

We can supply you with a traffic light report, keeping you advised on tyre wear and letting you know which vehicles are getting near to needing their tyres changing before they become illegal.

We at Hometyre can supply you with Premium, mid-range or budget tyres whichever are best to meet your requirements. Dependent on your vehicles we have standard tyres, extra load, light commercial, SUV and 4x4 tyres. Our service vehicle can handle tyres upto a 24" rim size, this easily covers most commercial vans and even large Range Rovers.

I already deal with a number of fleets, where I visit at a time to suit them arranged around the times that their vehicles are back at their offices, this is something that we can offer to any company with either small or large fleets. For more information give us a call at Hometyre to see what we can offer you... for contact details click here

 

Check those tyres when buying a used vehicle

Are you looking to buy a new (used) car, or have you already bought one?

I was called out to a customer today who had bought a 4x4 vehicle only last week. He saw a screw in one of the rear tyres and called Hometyre Sussex out to make a puncture repair for him.

As part of the job Hometyre also carry out a quick check on all the other tyres and write a report as part of the job, this is then emailed to the customer once the work is completed.

While checking the other tyres I noticed that both tyres on the offside were winter tyres and both tyres on the nearside were summer tyres. He had felt that the handling of his 4x4 was not quite right, and this may have been partly to blame.

I showed the tyres to the customer, and recommended that I move the tyres around to have both winter tyres on one axle and both summer tyres on the other axle, this is still not ideal as you should really have all four tyres of the same type on one vehicle. Mixing and matching different tyres can effect the handling of any vehicle and is not recommended.

if you are planning to buy any used car, take a look at the tyres not just for tread depth, but for make and type of tyre. It could cost you £££'s to replace all four tyres, on your new car, which is an expense you don't want after just forking out for the car.

I have seen a Mini that someone had bought, where it had three runflat tyres and one normal tyre. The customer was unaware until he had a puncture in the normal tyre and it went flat immediately, whereas a runflat tyre will allow you to continue driving on it for around 30 ~ 50 miles.

Additionally when checking your tyres get on your hands and knees, and take a look at the inside edge of the tyre, as this can often be worn out, yet the outside edge can still look good. This is especially noticeable on cars with wide wheels.

Tyre_tracking_off

Another Hometyre customer had bought a BMW, within a week of owning it one tyre went flat, since the tread was low he ordered a new tyre. When I checked the other tyres, all three were worn down to the cords on the inside edge and needed to be replaced. Yet this car had just been issued with a new MOT the week before he bought it. So either the garage that had done the MOT had not checked it correctly, or the seller had changed the wheels/tyres once it was MOT'd.

One other small check you need to do when buying a used car is to check that if there are locking wheelnuts, that the wheelnut removal 'socket' is in the car. We often get called out to customers to change a tyre, then find that the removal socket is missing or damaged. We do have special tools to remove all types of locknut, but there is an additional cost for using this tool. Had the customer checked when buying the car, they could have negotiated a price reduction if it was found that the socket was missing or damaged.

Should you have bought a used car and found that you need new tyres then give us a call at Hometyre to discuss the right type of tyre for your vehicle and the type of driving you do. For contact details click here.

 

Not interested in Winter tyres, then how about the new Pirelli All-season tyre.

Not sure about have in two sets of tyres, summer & winter, plus the costs involved in changing them over twice a year, then why not go for the all-season tyre option?

Especially now that Pirelli has just launched a new all season tyre called the Cinturato All-Season, this not only marks the first time Pirelli has pushed an all-season tyre under the Pirelli name, but also boasts performance characteristics so well-balanced that they are comparable with summer tyres is some areas.

The new Pirelli tyre is designed for cars with small to medium engines, and it will be available in 3 sizes, 15", 16" & 17". The tyre will have the three peaks mountain snowflake symbol, meaning it will qualify as a winter tyre for drivers in countries where winter tyres are a legal requirement at certain times of the year.

Pirelli launched this new tyre on the 28th January in Sicily, a venue where you can find all four seasons in the same day. At sea level the temperatures can be around 14~16 degrees Celcius, yet at the top of Mount Etna you can find fresh snow.

Pirelli's general manager of operations, Gergorio Borgo described the kind of customers they are aiming at with this latest product. They are driving A, B and C segment vehicles, they type of vehicle that can be found in most car parks in large numbers. This broad selection equates to around 74% of the European market, these drivers use their cars daily and don't experience 'severe winters'.

These are market areas where winter lows don't go much under -2 degrees Celcius and where summers don't get much warmer than 30 degrees. Meaning that these tyres are ideal for the UK market.

Pirelli's customer research team also found that 90% of consumers also worried about getting a puncture. For this reason Pirelli in addition to introducing the all-season tyre, also offers a puncture resistant version of the same tyre featuring the Pirelli 'seal inside' technology. This releases a sealant material into any holes caused by foreign objects 'sealing' the hole and keeping the car on the road. Accordingly 89% of the people surveyed said they would pay a premium for such technology.

Pirelli have stated that the new Cinturato All-season tyre will be priced at approximately 20% above standard tyres, and those with the Seal inside technology will add a further 10% price premium.

Hometyre will be keeping an eye on these tyres and their availability in the UK, call us for details.

 

Slow puncture on a Nissan 350Z

One of todays jobs was a little different. The customer called me out saying that he had a slow puncture and could I fix it for him. He was based down in Hayling Island, so it was a bit of a trek, but well within the areas I cover.

The car was a Nissan 350Z with deep dish alloy wheels, it had very small holes in the wheels that required slim sockets to get the nuts off. Once I had the car jacked up and the wheel off, I checked all around the tyre for any sign of a puncture, not finding anything, I then checked around the rim for signs of a leak caused by corrosion of the alloy. Still nothing, I then checked the valve - this car having deep dished alloys, has a valve that comes out in the centre of the rim, it was then fitted with 90 degree steel valves which were bolted in. This turned out to be the problem as air was bubbling out from the base of the valve.

To fix the problem I had to take the tyre off from the reverse side due to the deep dish. I was then able to see that this had been 'fixed' before, someone had just covered the valve and seal with a liquid sealer which had not worked very well, as it had leaked again.

I unbolted the valve to find that the rubber seal had actually split in two. These were special valves designed for these wheels and are not readily available off the shelf, so I could not just change it for another valve, so it was a case of seeing what I could do to rescue the exissting valve.

Covering it with a liquid sealer was obviously not the answer, as this had been done and failed. I checked through some old valves I keep for spares and found one with the same type of rubber seal on it. Once I had this seal off the old valve, it was a simple job of putting it onto this steel valve and refitting it back into the wheel. The tyre was then replaced, inflated and re-balanced. Before refitting the wheel I rechecked the valve with a leak detector, all was well and I had one happy customer.

I did recommend to the customer that he visits a wheel centre to see if they have any new valves to fit his wheels, as they are all old, and chances are they will all start to fail soon.

If you have any puncture problems, or just need new tyres, give us a call here at Hometyre

 

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