Part worn dangerous tyres that should never be sold.
Two independent bodies Tyresafe and the National Tyre Distributors Association have just conducted the largest-ever nationwide investigation into part-worn tyres.
It revealed that more than a third of those tyres inspected were damaged or faulty and should never have been sold in the UK. Among the faults found by these assessors included dangerous puncture repairs, damaged beads, exposed cords, penetration damage and evidence or being run under-inflated (Damaging the sidewalls), all factors that can make these tyres dangerous.
There were 817 part worn tyres in the study and additionally the assessors found that 97% of these tyres had not been marked with the wording "Part-worn" which is a legal requirement.
The chairman of Tyresafe, Stuart Jackson said, "The results of this investigation are truly horrific. Your safety on the road is reliant on the condition of your tyres, so it is essential that retailers only offer for sale either brand new tyres, or those used ones that have been carefully and thoroughly inspected to ensure they meet the various requirements laid down by the law"
The consumer protection act says it is an offence for anyone to sell part-worn tyres that do not meet a number of principal requirements. The tyre must pass an inflation test, it must have at least 2mm of tread depth around its entire circumference, any repairs must have been carried out in accordance with the relevant British Standard and the tyre must be permanently marked 'part-worn' in letters of at least 4mm in height.
Stuart Jackson added "Previous investigations into the sale illegal part-worn tyres have focused on locations where there was a strong suspicion of improper behaviour, but these latest results show beyond doubt that this a national epidemic that needs tackling at the highest levels. We look forward to working closely with even more local councils, Government officials and Trading Standards Offices across the whole of the UK to eradicate this problem and help make our roads safer".
I personally have been out to a car that had had 4 part-worn tyres fitted only a few days previously, one had gone flat and the vehicle owner asked Hometyre to come and replace that tyre with a new one. (The side wall had ruptured). While on the job, I checked the other three tyres, one had a nail still in the shoulder of the tyre, one had a 25mm long split in the tread down to the cords and the third had a tread depth that went from 5mm on the outside down to 1mm on the inside, meaning that none of the tyres would have passed an MOT test. Also none of the tyres had 'Part worn' marked on them, which means they were sold illegally.
The Tyresafe study comes on the back of a report by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that stated that 2.2 million cars failed their MOT test in 2013 because of the state of their tyres. This means that millions of drivers and placing themselves and other road users at risk by driving on unsafe illegal tyres.
Further figures released by the Department for transport showed that more then 968 road casualties were caused in the UK in 2013 because of an accident involving illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres.
We are now entering that time of year with the winter approaching, roads will become wet and slippery, drivers need to be aware of this and check their tyres properly. Illegal tyres can leave to venerable to a number of hazards such as longer stopping distances, reduced grip and a higher risk of aquaplaning.
This month 'October' is tyre safety month, this is being promoted by Tyresafe, one of the simple checks they are asking drivers to do is to do a 20p coin check on their tyres. This involves putting a 20p coin into the grooves of your tyre, if you can see the outer rim on the coin then your tyres are at or near the legal limit and you should be considering changing them. If in doubt give us a call at Hometyre, if near we will call round and check your tyres for you.
Cold wet weather is here, Is your car prepared
When the cold and wet weather comes to the UK, we change our clothing to suit, yet not too many think of changing the car tyres.
Winter tyres are designed to be used in cold wet weather (British winter weather) just as much as they are for snowy conditions.
Once temperatures drop below 7 Degrees Centigrade, the rubber in summer tyres begins to harden, they lose grip and braking distances increase by more than double, compared to a winter tyre.
According to the Department of Transport, statistics show that accidents increase in the winter by 267%.
Why do winter tyres grip and summer tyres don't? Winter tyres have a larger percentage of natural rubber and silica in the compound to stop them from hardening as much in lower temperatures, they also have far more sipes (small slits across the tread) allowing the tyre to grip better on cold frosty surfaces, as well as snow.
If you are planning a skiing trip or winter break in Europe, then in some countries winter tyres or snow chains are mandatory, you can check European rules here on our website. CETRO (Committee for European Tyre Retailing Organisation) has been lobbying within the European Commission for a change in tyre laws across all of Europe, including the acceptance that winter tyres are safer to use in the winter months. If you are planning a winter trip to the North of Scotland, then winter tyres are recommended, but there is no law saying you must do it.
Richard Freeman of the AA, says "you are better off with 3mm or more, a change to a 3mm legal minimum would in our view, lead to an acceptable extra cost to drivers, as tyres with tread between 2mm to 3mm are still perfectly serviceable for normal driving the majority of the year. We recommend a change to 2mm, as beyond that point performance drops off markedly"
What other options are there?
All season tyres, these are designed to work throughout the year, they are a compromise between summer and winter tyres. These are not so popular in the UK, but they are emerging as a more popular choice for drivers who live in areas where occasional snowstorms are likely.
Snow tyres, These are really designed for extreme snow & icy conditions, these tyres have meal studs embedded into the tread, it is very rare to see these in the UK, and in some Countries they are banned as they damage the road surfaces if there is no snow layer.
Snow chains, These are a simple alternative for use in snow only, they can be kept in your boot and brought out as required. The only problem can be taking them on and off if the weather changes and the snow melts, as snow chains can slip on roads without snow. Some countries like Japan insist on all cars either having winter tyres or snow chains if venturing onto a motorway during any snow fall.
Why do we the British shy away from buying winter tyres? Most people in the UK believe that winter tyres are for use in snowy conditions, they do not realise the benefits to be had in cold wet conditions. Also there is the overall initial cost of buying a second set of tyres just for use over the winter periods. But there are overall savings to be had... summer tyres slip in the wet cold months causing more tyre wear. If you change to winter tyres in the cold months, then grip is improved, and you don't slip so much. It also means that your summer tyres, and then only used for around 7 to 8 months of the year, so they last longer. There is less chance of an accident if you have winter tyres, as braking distances improve over summer tyres in the winter months. Fewer accidents, mean less insurance companies have to payout, and overall insurance premiums reduce.
2014 winter tyre tests
In Germany where winter tyres are mandatory over the winter period, Auto Bild compares winter tyres each year and ranks them using stopping distances.
This year they tested 50 different tyres in the wet braking from 50 mph, then they tested the top 20 in snow braking at 31mph. The top 15 from this test then get a full winter tyre test, to get the Auto Bild crown for 2014.
There were huge differences between the best and worst tyres in the wet braking test, with the winning Pirelli stopping in 35.7 and the worst tyre stopping in 52.7 metres. (Approximately 2 double decker bus lengths further). As a comparison, Auto Bild also tested one summer tyre in both the wet and snow, the summer tyre matched the best winter tyre in wet braking, but in snow braking it took a massive 58.2 metres (30.3 metres longer then the best winter tyre).
The top 15 tyres fully tested this year were:
1st Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. Wet 35.7m, Snow 27.9m
2nd Goodyear Ultragrip 8 performance. Wet 36.4m, Snow 27.4m
3rd Dunlop SP Wintersport 4D. Wet 36.5m, Snow 27.6m
4th Continental Wintercontact TS 850. Wet 36.1m, Snow 28.2m
5th Bridgstone Blizzak LM32 S. Wet36.9m, Snow 28.1m
6th Michelin Alpin A4. Wet 36.8m, Snow 28.4m
7th Nokian WRD3 Wet 37.5m, Snow 28.4m
8th Cooper WM SA2 Wet 37.9m, Snow 28.6m
9th Semperit Speed Grip 2 Wet 38.0m, Snow 28.7m
10th Hankook Winter i cept RS Wet 38.5m, Snow 28.4m
11th Kumho i zen KW27 Wet 38.3m, Snow 28.6m
12th Uniroyal MS Plus 77 Wet 39.9m, Snow 27.1m
13th Fulda Kristall Control HP Wet 40.0m, Snow 27.3m
14th Goodride SW608 Wet 37.6m, Snow 29.7m
15th Westlake SW608 Wet 37.9m, Snow 29.6m
Auto Bild rate the tyre overall on a total of the wet and snow braking test. Here in the UK we should be more interested in the wet weather braking.
If you are planning to buy winter tyres, and especially if you are planning to drive on the continent, check out our info page on European tyre regulations here.
Locking wheel nut problem
I was called out to a customer today, who had damaged his locking wheel nut removal socket, and could not get the wheel lock nut off. I arrived at the address to find the car was an MG TZ, and the customer was beside the car working on one wheel. I thought he was trying to get the other wheel nuts off ready for me. I introduced myself, and asked if it was ready for me to remove the lock nuts.
"I have a small problem" he said. He had been on the internet trying to find out if he could remove the locking wheel nuts himself. Someone had posted that you can remove them by hammering a socket on then put a breaker bar on the socket and turn the nuts to get the off. Simple enough... he hammered a socket on, only to find that he has McGard locknuts with the revolving collars. So the socket just turns round and round and does no good at all. He was trying to remove the socket when I arrived. He was trying to grip the socket with a pair of plumbers grips, but they just slipped off the end, he had also tried hammering a screwdriver in between the socket and wheel only to damage the wheel and bend the screwdriver. I lent him a set of mole-grips, which gave a stronger grip on the socket, and he continued to work on the socket trying to remove it, while I got on with removing the other locking wheel nuts. He admitted that he wished he had left the job to the professionals rather than trying himself.
I found out that the nuts had been greatly overtightened, which is why the original removal tool had been damaged. I took me around 25 minutes to remove the 3 locknuts that I could get too. The customer was still working on the socket when I had finished and had got no-where. He had moved on and had cut a slit in the socket using an angle grinder, and was now trying to hammer a cold chisel into the slit to see if he could split the socket or at least widen it so that it would come off of the lock nut. I was in no immediate hurry to leave so stayed and tried to help by pulling on the mole grips as he tried levering in the slit.
After around an additional 20 minutes, we had not moved it at all, and the customer had given up. He was now considering two options, either getting a Dremel and trying to grind more of the socket away, or take it to a garage to see if they could weld something to the end of the socket to allow them to try and lever it off. If he could get it off, he would then call us at Hometyre to come back and remove that original locknut.
So if you have lock nuts on your car, where you have either lost or damaged the removal tool, then please do not hammer a socket on yourself as you only make the problem worse. Call in the professionals and leave the job to us. Contact us here.
How many lock nuts do you need!
I was called out to a customer today, he had a 10 year old BMW M3 with Continental 225/40R19 tyres fitted. One of his tyres had gone flat when he had driven only 1/2 a mile from home. He called the AA out as he thought it was a puncture and wanted it repaired. When the AA arrived, they initially thought the same, and tried to pump some air into the tyre only to find it came out as fast as it went in. They soon found the source of the problem... the valve had split, but this was a problem they could not deal with, so they trailered his car back home. He then called us at Hometyre for us to come out and replace the valve. I checked the tyres on the car and found that they were all 2003 tyres, so they were the original tyres fitted to the vehicle. The car had done low mileage, and the tyres were still in very good condition, but the valves were also the same age and oxidisation and perished the rubber causing the split.
My first job was to ask for the car keys and the locking wheel nut socket, the customer gave me 3 locknut sockets. He explained that someone had once tried to steal his wheels and had undone the 4 normal nuts, leaving the one lock nut in place. When he then drove his car the stress on the one bolt caused it to break and his wheel fell off. Since then he has always put 3 different locknuts onto each wheel, so should anyone remove the two remaining nuts, the wheel should stay in place.
Once I had the car jacked up, the locknuts and normal nuts removed, I then took the wheel into my van to remove the tyre. I checked the inside of the tyre to make sure that it had not been damaged, when he drove on it. Once the check was completed, I then removed what remained of the old valve and replaced it with a new one. I then replaced the original tyre, re-balanced it and fitted it back on to the car, torquing the nuts to the correct settings.
I suggested to the customer, that he should replace all the valves as they were all old and should even consider changing all of the tyres as they were of an age when oxidisation will effect them, the rubber will have hardened, causing loss of grip, extending braking distances and it is possible that they could soon perish and crack.
He had already come to the same conclusion, and has already ordered his new tyres ready for fitting next week.
Car tyres and the UK law.
As a driver do you know the law when it comes to your tyres? If you don't, then it could become costly in both penalty points (3 points per tyre) on your licence as well as in monetary fines (Up to £2'500 per tyre).
Laws concerning tyres are not just for the driver, the tyre manufacturer must also adhere to specific laws, namely putting the correct markings on the sidewall, explaining ; size, speed and load ratings, maximum pressures and manufacturing dates.
Tyre sellers must also adhere to new laws, where they must show the new European tyre label which gives 3 main items of information: wet braking, fuel economy and noise levels.
New tyres for cars start their life with a tread depth of 8mm, (Vans with 10mm) the minimum depth allowed by law in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.
To be on the safe side it is recommended that you should change your tyres before they reach the legal limit, as below 3mm of depth - braking distances increase considerably. (At 3mm the tyre is 78% worn, and at 2mm it is 94%). As well as having legal tread, the UK law also requires a vehicle to be fitted with the correct type and size of tyre for the vehicle and for the purpose it is being used for.
If in doubt about your tyres, give us a call at Hometyre, we can advise you as to what are the correct tyres for your vehicle.
It is also a legal requirement to ensure that you do not have tyres of differing construction types (Cross-ply or Radial) on opposite sides of the same axle.
Mixing brands and patterns of the same construction type is not illegal, but could effect the handling of your vehicle and is not recommended.
The law also states that tyres must be fit for purpose. This means they must have no lumps, bumps, or tears caused by a separation or failure of the construction materials. A tyre must not have a cut or tear in excess of 25mm or 10% of the sectional width of the tyre, whichever is greater. To pass an MOT it must not have any foreign material (nails, screws, etc) that have punctured the tyre.
Although not illegal many people buy part worn tyres, and there can be many pitfalls in doing so. Do you know where the tyre came from? Has the tyre been subject to an accident, where the impact could have caused internal structural damage? Has it been punctured and if 'yes' has it been repaired to British standards? How old is the tyre, (it is not recommended to fit tyres that are more than 5 years old). Unless you know the answer to all these questions, we would never recommend buying part worn tyres. Additionally to be sold legally in the UK, part worn tyres must have 'PART WORN' indelibly stamped on the side of the tyre in 4mm high letters.
How about spare tyres? There is no legal requirement to carry a spare tyre, many new cars have no spare, but they do have a mini compressor and tyre sealant. If you do have a spare tyre, as long as it is stowed away in the vehicle, it doesn't need to meet any legal requirements. But is you need to use it at any time, then it must meet the requirements as per any other tyre on the vehicle. So it is important to keep your spare maintained to a similar level as to those on the vehicle. Including keeping it inflated to the correct pressure.
If your car was originally fitted with runflat tyres, you could change to normal tyres if required, but we would recommend changing all four at the same time otherwise you could have handling problems, plus you should inform your insurer, as you will have changed the specifications of the vehicle.
If you are considering travelling to Europe in your car, then check their legal requirements here.
Whatever your type of tyre, give us a call at Hometyre, we can supply and fit most major makes from Premium right through to Budget tyres, plus we come to you to do the fitting.
How green are your tyres?
Cars are a way of life that many of us would not like to give up, yet concern is growing daily for the environment. Some of the main publicised changes are the increases in the use of Electric vehicles, Hybrid cars, gas powered vehicles and even Hydrogen as a fuel. But did you know that a small step any driver can do is to change their tyres to one of the Eco tyre ranges, when they are next up for replacement.
Generally tyres do not have a good name when it comes to the environment, as they are composed of either natural of synthetic rubber plus several chemical additives, all combined in a heating process that fuses this rubber solution onto a fabric and metal frame. Even when they are finished their life as a legal tyre, they are difficult to dispose of, and many end up in landfills. Some do go to recycling centres where they are either bundled up and used as rubber bales in the construction of road side embankments, or in some cases the rubber is stripped from the steel, and can be used to make child friendly playgrounds and rubberised surfaces in sports arenas.
Some tyre manufacturers have now started producing 'green' or as they call them 'Eco' tyres. Technology has been used to reduce the impact the tyres make on the environment. This is done by improving the rolling resistance (frictional force) of the tyres and as such improving the fuel efficiency of the vehicles they are fitted too. The greater the rolling resistance the more fuel your vehicle must use to get it moving and the greater the carbon dioxide emission produced.
Tyre manufacturers are looking at ways to reduce the environmental footprint of the tyres, without compromising on performance and safety. Bridgestone has produced the Ecopia range, Pirelli has the Cinturato range, Continental the ContiEcoContact range and Michelin has its GreenX range.
Part of the technological changes they have made is to incorporate eco friendly materials into the manufacturing process to reduce the environmental impact and as such the polluting effect, along with redesigned tread patterns. Through these changes they have reduced the rolling resistance by up to 20%, bringing fuel consumption and emission levels down by around 4%.
Some Yokohama tyres use an orange oil as a substitute for part of the carbon polymer, these tyres have the same high grip characteristics without the polluting effects of carbon black. Goodyear have used a polymer filler substitute made from cornstarch in its BioTread range and Michelin have included the use of sunflower oil in its Primacy MXM4 tyres to also reduce the carbon black.
A small change that any motorist can and should do immediately, is to check their tyre pressures and ensure they are correct. This check should be carried out at least once a month, your tyre pressures are often printed on a sticker inside the door opening or inside the fuel filler cap. Underinflated tyres greatly increase rolling resistance, and as such harmful emissions, as well as making the vehicle unsafe as braking distances increase.
Also have your tracking checked on a regular basis (Every 8000 miles) as a badly tracked vehicle will use more fuel and increase tyre wear.
We at Hometyre can supply and fit these 'Green' tyres for you, as well as checking and adjusting your tracking back to the correct manufactures settings, just give us a call to discuss the best tyre options available to you.
For contact details click here.
Audi A6 requiring 4 new tyres
We had a call yesterday from a new customer in Slindon, who wanted 4 new 255/35R19 tyres for his Audi A6 S line.
He had been on the Internet and compared Continental tyres on a like for like basis, with various tyre suppliers. He found that the prices quoted by Hometyre were some of the best available, so he gave us a call to book his tyres. Once through to the sales centre, they discussed his requirement, which was basically for Premium tyres, with good wet braking and able to give good mileage.
Our sales team checked the wholesalers and found that we could get Dunlop Sportmaxx tyres for only £7 more than the Continentals he had originally been planning to have. Plus the Dunlops had an 'A' rating for wet braking, a 'C' rating for fuel efficiency and at only 79dB they were also fairly quiet. Pleased with this option he went ahead and placed his order and booked the job for me to come and fit the tyres at his home this afternoon.
I arrived at the house, and took possession of the car keys, after a little hunt I found the locking wheel nut socket hidden in a small cubby hole within the boot area. I jacked up the car using to correct jacking points under the sills, Then proceeded to try to remove the wheel nuts. At some point previously someone had greatly over-tightened the wheel nuts, the locking wheel nuts were a worry as I did not want to break the lock nut socket. I had to use a 3ft breaker bar to take off the nuts, using a slow steady pressure. Once the nuts were removed, the wheels were taken off one at a time and taken into the van to be replaced.
The new sportmaxx tyres are an asymmetrical tread pattern which means they can only fit on the wheels a certain way. New rubber valves were put into the rims and then once fitted, the tyres were inflated to the correct pressures (Front 37 and rear 33psi). They were then put on the electronic wheel balancer and given a spin. All four tyres were fairly well balanced as they only needed between 10 and 25 grams to be perfect.
One of the wheels had a wobble where the rim on the inside edge was slightly buckled, this is usually caused by hitting a kerb or pothole.In this case it was only a small buckle and should not cause any problems. The wheels were then refitted to the car and the wheel nuts torqued to the correct specifications of 120 Newton meters.
I pulled out the spare, which was still a new tyre, checked the pressure and added some air to get it correct, before putting it back in the boot. The lock nut socket was put back in its cubby hole and recorded on the invoice as to where I had left it.
Once complete, I updated the invoice adding all the vehicle details, including adding a note about the buckled wheel, before taking payment using our secured pin card reader. The invoice will then be emailed through to the customer. The customer was pleased with the job and while I had been working had already called two of his friends to recommend our service.
Should you need new tyres for your vehicle, give us a call at Hometyre, we will give you advice on your tyre choice if required.
Vehicle safety when it comes to tyres
When it comes to slowing down and stopping your vehicle, the braking system is ultimately responsible, but your tyres can also greatly influence that stopping distance.
Autocar magazine ran some tests using the same vehicle driving at 50mph in the wet, but they changed the tyres going from Premium down to budget makes.
To mention a few here...
Continental tyres (Premium) stopped in 31.5 metres
Gt Radial & Wanlai (Mid range) stopped in 35 metres
Linglongs (Budget) stopped in 40.5 metres
That is a difference of 9 metres between the premium and budget tyres. This is almost 2 car lengths, which in many cases could be the difference in stopping safely or hitting the object in front.
Visually there is very little difference between any tyre, the depth of tread is also fairly standard on any new tyre, being around 8mm.
We then move on to consider tread depth and how it also effects the stopping distances. Further tests were conducted using the same premium tyres, but with differing depths of tread. going from a new tyre with 8mm of tread down to 3mm the recommended depth when tyres should be changed there was an increase of 6 metres, then going down to 1.6mm the minimum legal limit the stopping distance increased an additional 14 metres. This is slightly longer than a bus in length.
The golden rule being that the more tread on your tyres the sooner you will stop, yet many motorists will still run their tyres down to the 1.6mm legal limit. Many people only change their tyres when it is getting time to pass their MOT, they do not think of their and others safety.
Worse than this I checked the tyres I have been changing in the last week, and found that around 60% were on or below the legal limit.
How can you the motorist ensure you are giving yourself the best opportunity to stop quickly and safely.
* Think of your tyre purchase as an investment in safety and how much that is worth to you. Generally a premium tyre will last longer, so overall they represent better value.
* Stagger your tyre purchases, it is better to buy 2 premium tyres today and another two in 4 to 5 months, rather than buying 4 budget tyres in one go.
* Maintain your tyres to get the best wear out of them...Keep an eye out for any signs of abnormal wear, if wearing on one edge -have your tracking checked. Check and keep the tyre pressures at the recommended pressure as stated in your handbook. They recommend checking weekly, but even if you check once a month it will be far better in the long run.
* When shopping for new tyres, take a look at the new European tyre label information (see photo below) this can give a basic idea of how the tyre will function in the wet. Or if you want advice on the best types of tyre for the type of vehicle you drive and the type of driving you do, then give us a call at Hometyre. We will be happy to advise you in your selection.
Prepare your car for the back to school run
The school summer holidays are almost over, many parents are now sorting out uniforms and books ready for the first day of school. But how many have checked their car tyres ready for the school run. National statistics have shown that road accidents account for approximately one third of accidental deaths among 0 ~ 14 year olds, and for over half of accidental deaths in the group 5 ~ 14 year olds. From Jan to march in 2014 the number of children killed or seriously injured in a road accident rose by 17%, compared to the same period in 2013.Last year over 16'000 children under the age of 16 were involved in some kind of road accident. So far in 2014 the figures show an alarming increase of around 21%.
You may wonder how and why your car tyres could effect these figures.... It is well proven that once te tread depth on a car tyre gets below 3mm the braking distance increases. The better the tyre tread, the shorter the braking distance. Braking distance can also be can also be affected by tyre pressures, many parents overlook their tyre pressures, believing that their local garage will check and inflate their tyres at the yearly service or MOT, this does not happen as service engineers do not check the pressures and that once a year is not often enough to check the tyres. Pressures should be checked on a regular basis weekly would be ideal, but even once a month would be beneficial.
Around schools it is especially important that car drivers are able to bring their vehicle to a standstill in as short a distance as possible. If the road is wet or frosty then braking distances dramatically increase, and this can be with fatal consequences. Close to schools and residential areas drivers need to be more aware as children are often oblivious to the dangers of the road and can be completely care free, chatting to friends, or listening to music on ipods. A number of local councils have now reduced speed limits to 20 mph in those areas, but child accident numbers are still rising.
Responsible drivers can make a considerable contribution to road safety by reducing their speeds, and checking their tyres and brakes. Worn tyres should be changed as soon as possible, it may be your child crossing that road! Remember that the legal limit is 1.6mm across 3/4 of the tread and around the whole circumference of the tyre. But experts have also said that once you get below 3mm of tread depth, then braking distances increase and you should consider changing those tyres. Remember also that we are starting to enter into the winter period, roads will become wetter and there is the added danger of aquaplaning. The less tread depth the more chance there is of aquaplaning as the tread cannot remove water fast enough.
We at Hometyre can supply and fit your tyres at your home or work, this is a great asset to busy mums, our prices are comparable and even beat most fixed site tyre depots. Take a look at the Hometyre website or give us a call to see what we can do for you.
Check your car before that August bank holiday trip
If you are thinking of going away for the forth coming Bank Holiday in August or just preparing to go away on holiday, then checking your tyres early can save you money. For advice on tyre checks click here.
Worn tyres have reduced grip and are also more susceptible to picking up a puncture. If the tread is below the legal limit, then you could also be fined up to £2500 and 3 penalty points per illegal tyre if the police pull you over.
Just because a tyre looks good from the outside, it doesn't mean that the inside edge isn't worn. Ideally you need to get on your hands and knees and have a good look at the tyres. Especially those with the wider profiles. I regularly get called out to flat tyres, to find that the inside edge has worn right through to the wires, yet from the outside it still looks good.
A blow out could ruin your holiday plans, especially if you are travelling to an airport , as you could miss your flight. Also don't leave changing tyres till the last moment, as with the large varieties of tyre size on modern cars they can be difficult to source. Tyre depots don't carry all sizes in stock and it could take a day or so to get an odd sized tyre from a wholesaler. Ordering replacement tyres before you go means that you can choose the make/style of tyre that you want within your budget, leaving it until you have a problem by the side of the road means that you have to take what is available when you have your problem, this will also probably cost more (never mind the hassle).
Under inflated tyres increase fuel consumption, increase wear on the tyre, can be more susceptible to blow outs and increase your braking disances, as less of the tyre is in contact with the road.
Remember that with a fully loaded car the tyre pressures should also be adjusted, this information is normally on the drivers door jam or on the inside of the fuel cap cover, if not then the hand book will have this information. Also remember when returning from a holiday, to put your tyre pressures back to their normal settings.
Checking your cars fluids will mean that the engine should run more efficiently and cooler, improving fuel economy. Low engine oil will increase friction causing your engine to run hotter and reduce fuel consumption. Also long term damage to the bearing and surfaces inside the engine can be caused.
Low coolant will increase the engines temperature and can lead to head gasket failures.
Also remember to top up those windscreen washer bottles.
All these problems cost a lot more to fix after they have happened rather than a quick 5 minute check and top up before you leave. We can't help you with engine problems, but should you need tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 9310 (Land line free phone) or 0333 444 5454 (mobile friendly number) and we will change and check your tyres before you go.
Tyron bands save the day
At this time of year many caravan owners are taking to the road aiming to travel to a caravan site without any mishaps. But as many people know from being stuck in a traffic jam, this is often the time when a tyre blows and a caravan comes to a grinding halt blocking a road. If lucky the caravan will remain upright, but often as a burst tyre comes off it can make a lot of damage knocking a big hole in the side of the caravan.
One way to prevent this is the installation of a Tyron band, it does as the name implies. It keeps the TYRE ON the wheel in the event of a deflation or a blow out.
Originally designed for the military, Tyron bands were fitted to many vehicles, so that should they get a puncture in enemy territory they could still continue to drive under control until they got to a secure area to change the tyre.
Basically a Tyron band is a metal strap that is fitted to a wheel and inside the tyre filling the "well" in the wheel. This well is normally used by a tyre fitter when putting on and taking off a tyre. By filling the well, the tyre is virtually locked in place on the wheel rim. A tyre can still be punctured, but when deflated it will not come off the rim, and can be driven on until the tyre eventually disintegrates. Hopefully you will realise before too long that you have a flat tyre, and will be able to drive to a place of safety to change the tyre.
It did not take too long before the potential of putting Tyron bands onto leisure vehicles (Caravans, trailer tents, etc) was realised, as with a towed vehicle it is more difficult to know that you have a flat tyre until it is too late. Since then they have also been installed into motorhomes, and camper vans.
Additionally as Tyron bands are a safety device, some insurance companies will offer up to a 20% discount if you have them fitted, which means they will pay for themselves over a few years.
Tyron bands need to be installed correctly, and Tyron UK contacted us at Hometyre to not only sell and fit their products, but we spent time at their facilities, being taught how to fit them correctly.
When changing caravan tyres I have seen many Tyron bands that have been incorrectly fitted by tyre depots who do not know how they should be installed. Hometyre are now one of the main recommended fitters for Tyron UK's products.
The caravan club recommend changing caravan tyres every 5 to 7 years regardless of the amount of tread remaining, this is due to the fact that oxidisation causes the rubber in tyres to harden and become susceptible to cracking.
If you have Tyron bands fitted and require new tyres then you need to have them removed and refitted at the same time as changing the tyre. There is a small charge for the additional work involved, but considering the safety aspect it is well worth it.
Tyron also sell a customer care kit, which consists of a long reach allen key and an instruction book in many languages, so that should you be travelling abroad and suffer a flat tyre, then any professional tyre depot should be able to understand how to remove and refit the Tyron bands.
The photo below shows what is left of a tyre that has been driven on, the Tyron band can be clearly seen inside the wheel. The driver realised that he had a flat tyre but was on a motorway, he continued to drive for around 10 miles until he could get to the next off ramp and change his tyre.
For more info on Tyrons click here
photo by Mark Watson
Buying a used caravan, check those tyres.
One of this weeks jobs seemed simple enough at the start - replace two 14" tyres on a Swift caravan.
The customer had ordered two 185/14 GT Radial Maxmiler tyres, he had also confirmed that there were no Tyron bands fitted, so it should be an easy change over.
I arrived at the house on Hayling Island to see the caravan on the drive, it was against a fence, so would have to be moved to get to the near side wheel. Met the customer and had a quick chat, he had bought the caravan second hand and used it a few times last year on trips down to Devon. He had noticed a few cracks in one of the tyres, so decided to change them both before he used it this year.
I raised all four of the corner stays, placed the jack under the main axle and jacked one side of the caravan up, removed the wheel trim, and took out the bolts. This was the worst of the tyres and it was covered in cracks on the sidewalls but worse than that, I checked the date on the tyre, it was from 1985 so it was 29 years old. This is the oldest tyre I have removed from any caravan. See photo showing date code and cracks. As any caravan owner who is into their caravan knows, it is recommended to change the tyres every 5 ~7 years regardless of tread remaining. This is due to caravans being used infrequently, the rubber deteriorates and cracks start appearing.
I then removed the tyre from the rim to find that there was an inner tube inside, and that these rims have no bead, they are only designed to be fitted with inner tubes. A modern tubeless tyre will fit the rim, but if there is any loss in pressure, then the tyre can easily fall into the fitting well and come off the rim either damaging the caravan or worse causing it to tip over. I showed it to the customer and explained that the best solution for the moment would be to replace the new tyres using the existing inner tube, as we do not carry inner tubes and they need to be ordered. The chances being that this was also the original inner tube, so it will also be 29 years old. We could then come back at a later date and fit new inner tubes. Or another option would be to fit the tyres as tubeless, but to add Tyron bands as a safety device to keep the tyre on the rim in case of any deflation. The customer agreed to refit the original inner tube for the moment and he would then consider his options as to new tubes or Tyrons.
I soon had the old inner tube in, and the tyre replaced and inflated, then put it back on the caravan, lowered the jack and torqued the wheel bolts to the correct setting. Replaced the wheel trim and added a cable tie to stop it from getting lost should it come loose. With the customers help we pulled the caravan out and away from the fence to repeat the job on the opposite wheel. This was exactly the same, except that the tyre had been changed 14 years ago, the customer thought it would be OK to keep this tyre as it looked OK from the outside…. I explained about changing caravan tyres every 5 to 7 years, then showed him splits within the tread that he had not seen, so he was happy for me to go ahead and change it.
I then found that this tyre had no inner tube, and the last fitter had just fitted it to the rim, hoping the pressure would keep it from popping off. I had no choice, but to fit it the same way as there was no inner tube available, and again explained all of this to the customer, leaving him with the options of new inner tubes or Tyron bands.
I also recommended to the customer that he has the caravan serviced, as if the tyres were that old then maybe the gas and water has also not been checked for a long time.
Once complete the caravan was pushed back down the drive and against the fence, the corner stays were put down. Finally I completed my job report which would be emailed to the customer, again explaining his options and the work I had done. Finally I took payment using a debit card using our onboard card machine, and drove off to my next job.
So if you are considering buying a used caravan or have bought one recently, then please check the date codes on the tyres.
3 numbers on their own mean the tyres are from the 80's, 3 numbers with a triangle mean they are from the 90's, and four numbers are from 2000 onwards. For more info on caravan tyres click here.
Low mileage car, how often should I change the tyres?
If you are one of those drivers who do not do many miles in your vehicle, you may think that by clocking up low mileage your tyres will last longer, but this is not generally the case. Tyres have a lifespan that can be affected by how they are stored, used, are they in the sun, are they used regularly, tyre pressures, etc.
The Sunday Times motoring supplement "Ingear" gave a lowdown on the subject by answering a query from KB in Ashford.
KG wrote asking " The tyres on my Land Rover Discovery are 10 years old, I only do about 3,000 miles a year, mostly around town. Occasionally I tow a horse trailer, so the tyres need to be in good condition. Is there any law or insurance requirement to say if the tyres need to be changed after a certain time?"
The answer given in the motoring supplement stated "There is no legal time limit stating when tyres must be changed. The lifespan of a tyre depends on many factors, including usage and the conditions in which your vehicle is kept. To be legal, car tyres must have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread and around the whole circumference. The sidewalls must have no obvious cuts or large cracks. There must be no cords showing.
Deterioration can be accelerated by driving on incorrect pressures, and infrequent, as well as frequent use.
The rubber compounds used in the manufacture of tyres will also degrade over time, due to exposure to sunlight and ozone, regardless of how the tyres are stored or used".
Tyre safe an independent organization that promotes tyre safety, says " As a rough guide most manufacturers agree, tyres need replacing at least every 10 years regardless of the amount of tread remaining, After that time, although your tyres may appear to be in good condition , the sidewalls could be cracking and be particularly unfit for pulling a heavy load, such as a horse box or trailer".
"Poor tyres will increase braking distances, give you less grip when cornering and could be more prone to a blowout. If you were to be involved in an accident there is a chance that your insurer may use the state of your tyres as a reason to reduce any insurance payout"
For example, Direct line insurance states: "If you are found to be at fault in the event of a car insurance claim, insurers may take your car's roadworthyness at the time of the accident into account. As a responsible car owner, it is down to you the driver, to ensure that your car is kept maintained between MOT tests".
"It may be unlikely but, if your tyres are defective you also run the risk of being charged with " Using a vehicle with defective tyres". This carries a maximum penalty of a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points on your licence per tyre."
To confirm the age of your tyres, you need to check the DOT code on the sidewall, it is a code stamped on one side of the tyre only. For tyres manufactured since the beginning of 2000, it is a four digit code. E.g 4809, this would denote week 48 in the year 2009. If there are only 3 numbers then the tyre could be from the 80's or if there are 3 digits with a triangle, this would be from the 90's.
If you own a caravan or motorhome, then tyres should be changed more regularly. The caravan club recommend changing these tyres every 5 to 7 years. I personally recommend the same for any horse trailer, as these get infrequent use, and are often left standing for long periods in damp fields.
Caravan tyres & tyrons fitted by professionals
Why you should use Hometyre Sussex when having tyres or tyron bands fitted to your caravan.
At Hometyre Sussex we have been fully trained in how to change tyres correctly on a caravan.
I will ensure that the corner stays are raised, otherwise undue pressure can be exerted on them when jacking one side of the caravan causing them to bend.
If the caravan is on a slope I will ensure that the wheels will be chocked to stop the caravan from moving.
When jacking it up I will ensure that it is jacked on either the main axle or on the strengthened reinforcement plate behind the wheel on the frame. I will not jack it up on the main frame as this could twist the frame.
I had a customer last week who had originally taken his caravan to a well known national 'Fast fit' centre to have his tyres changed. Firstly they put their jack under the motor mover, until the customer stopped them. They then started winding down the corner stays, and when asked why, he was told that they intended to jack the caravan up using the stays. Again he stopped them and told them that this would damage the stays and frame.
Finally they put the jack under the frame, and jacked it so high, it almost toppled the caravan over. At this point the customer asked to see the manager, who told him they had never worked on a caravan before and didn't really now what they were doing. The customer cancelled his order, and towed his caravan back home. He then went on the caravan club website's forum and after a search for tyres and tyron bands found a recommendation for Hometyre Sussex. I went to his home and changed his tyres without any problems.
Although when I removed his tyron bands I found that they had previously been fitted upside down. I pointed this out to the customer, who told me that the tyron bands had originally been fitted by the caravan sales centre. We at Hometyre Sussex have been to the Tyron UK headquarters, where we have been properly trained in the proper installation of their products.
So if you want your caravan looking after properly, and want your tyres or tyron bands to be fitted by professionals who know what they are doing, then call us at Hometyre. We will come to you at home, a storage area or even at a camp site.
Buying a second hand car? Check those tyres.
If you are out looking at second hand vehicles, make sure you get down on your hands and knees and check the tyres properly, otherwise you could soon find yourself with a hefty bill of new tyres. Some of the larger BMW's running on Runflats could leave you with a bill for around £600 ~ £1000 if all 4 tyres need changing. Remember the legal limit in the UK is 1.6mm, but ideally you should consider changing any tyres that have less than 3mm of tread remaining.
It is worth turning the front wheels on full lock, you will then be able to see right across the tread. Uneven wear could be a sign of a tracking problem or worse a suspension problem, and might need further investigation.
Rear wheels can only be viewed by looking under the car from the rear, again you are looking for uneven wear, cracks or bulges, some unscrupulous people will move badly worn tyres to the rear in the hope that you will not notice.
Also check that the tyres are of the same make and if possible same tread pattern, any mixture could cause handling problems, or if one tyre is completely different, it might be worth asking why it was changed. It could be as simple as a puncture, or worse, a pothole strike or even an accident. A pothole strike or accident might mean that the alloy wheel is damaged. I have seen alloys where dents on the inside have been filled with a bathroom silicon sealer just to keep the tyre inflated and on the bead. I have even seen wheels where there is a crack in the alloy, it has been covered with gaffer tape, and the tyre mounted on top. Ideally you would also like to find that the vehicle has mid to premium makes of tyre rather than budget tyres. Some more powerful performance cars will not handle well on budget tyres.
If you are buying an older vehicle with low mileage, it might be worth looking at the date code on the tyres as they could still be the original tyres, in which case they could prove to be dangerous. Ideally any tyre over 5 years old should be changed. I have been out to some cars where the tyres are 10 years old, but still have plenty of tread. At this age the rubber has hardened and will not give proper traction, there is also the chance that cracks will be appearing.
Should you be buying a newer vehicle with low mileage, but find it has old tyres on it, again it would be worth asking a few questions as to why the tyres have been changed.
Don't forget to check the spare wheel, (if there is one), often people will change the wheels around and leave a worn out old tyre in the boot. If there is no spare, see if there is a sealant and mini compressor present.
And as a final check, make sure the vehicle comes with a locking wheel nut key, the last thing you want is to find your self stranded on a country lane with no way of getting the wheel off. (Other than calling us at Hometyre for help).
Maintaining your tyres
There is nothing more frustrating than finding you've got a problem with your tyres.
Not only does it put your safety at serious risk, but even in minor cases, a puncture, a blow out or illegal tyres can present a major inconvenience.
Maintenance can prevent punctures. As with most vehicle-related safety issues, the key to preventing problems is proper maintenance. At Hometyre, we recommend taking the following steps to ensure your tyres are in tip-top condition and at minimal risk of an unexpected problem:
Having your wheels aligned regularly will ensure that pressure is evenly distributed on your tyres, drastically reducing the risk of premature wear on one side and thus the need to replace you tyres. The vehicle will handle better, also misaligned tyres will cause your fuel consumption to increase.
Hometyre vans carry laser wheel alignment equipment, plus we have data giving us the manufacturers recommended settings, so we can set your vehicle up correctly.
2. Regular checks,
You should check your tyres regularly for signs of wear and tear, also for any signs of cracking on the sidewalls or even inbetween the tread. Check that the tread depth is legal and consider changing your tyres when they get to 3mm as grip starts to drop off after 3mm's is reached, especially in wet weather. Also check the date code on the sidewalls of the tyre, this will indicate the age of the tyres - if they're more than five years old, then replacement should be considered if cracking has been found on the sidewall and tread of the tyre, this will avoid an increased risk of blow outs.
3. Wheel balancing,
This will address any imbalances in the wheel and tyre. It is recommended any time tyres are rotated or when swapping winter and summer tyres. Doing so could mean you do not suffer from wheel wobble at speed which can be irritating and increase the wear and tear on steering and suspension components.
4. Check those pressures. Regular checks on the pressures, will show up any possible punctures, which can then be repaired before they get worse. Driving on under-inflated or over-inflated tyres will cause uneven tyre wear, as well as effecting the handling and braking of the vehicle.
There's only so much anyone can do to prevent the unexpected. Therefore its advisable to also have a back up plan in the event that a problem still occurs despite your best efforts.
Firstly, If you have a spare tyre, make sure it is serviceable, and that the pressure is correct. If you don't have a spare tyre, you should carry a can of tyre weld and a mini compressor.
Do not continue to drive on a punctured tyre. This is of paramount importance, as you could cause further damage to the tyre, or lose control of the vehicle if the tyre comes off the rim. Pull your vehicle to the side as soon as possible and have it towed to your work or home. Then, you can simply contact Hometyre to arrange for your puncture repair. We'll come to your office or home at your convenience to repair your puncture, or if necessary, replace your tyre.
If your tyres are below the legal minimum of 1.6mm do not drive on the road, if you are pulled over you risk 3 points per illegal tyre and also up to £2,500 per tyres as well.
So, although it's not something anyone looks forward to, your tyres don't need to wreak havoc on your day. Thanks to Hometyre's mobile tyre replacement service, a problem tyre will be nothing more than a small bump in the road. For more information on how Hometyre can provide the above tyre maintenance procedures and repairs at a location of your choice, contact us today.
Looking after your vehicle tyres is critical when it comes to safety
Four postcard sized areas on your vehicles tyres are the only contact point with the road, so making sure those tyres are in good condition is vital for your safety. The tyres contribute not only to the safe handling and braking, but also to the overall comfort and running costs of a vehicle. Tyres suffer from wear, and the amount of wear proportionately affects the way a vehicle behaves on the road. A vehicle will never function at its safest if the tyres are in a poor condition. The obvious indication as to a poor tyre is the lack of tread, this is something any vehicle owner should be able to check for themselves. Other indicators can be poor grip when cornering and braking or vibration at speed.
Ideally the driver should make the following regular checks on the tyres:
Tread depth New tyres come with around 10mm of tread on Light commercial tyres and 8mm of tread on car tyres. The tread depth is important to assist grip on wet roads by helping clear water from under the tyre allowing it to contact the road. All tyres come with tread wear indicators; these are small blocks of rubber generally located at regular intervals around the tyre in the main grooves. These indicators are generally set at a height of 1.6mm. (The minimum legal limit in the UK). When these indicators become level with the main tread surface, then your tyres should be changed immediately. Ideally you should consider changing your tyres when the tread depth is between 2 ~ 3mm as at these lower depths, water cannot escape so easily, and handling deteriorates.
Uneven wear This is generally a sign that something is wrong, it could be over or under inflated tyres, or even a wheel alignment problem. Ideally you should be driving your vehicle at the tyre pressures recommended by the manufacturer. ( Not the pressures stamped on the side wall of the tyre). The correct pressures are usually found in the handbook, or failing that can be on a sticker inside the door frame, or even inside the fuel filler lid. Wear on one side of the tyre is generally a sign that the alignment is out. This happens as a car ages and the suspension parts begin to wear, but also if you hit a kerb or pothole. It is recommended to have your alignment checked every 5000 miles. Front wheel drive vehicles tend to wear their front tyres faster than the rears. To help keep your vehicle in its best condition, it is often recommended to swap your tyres around front to rear, and rear to front. But please make sure you have the same size on both sets of wheels before doing this. In particular, some Mercedes, BMW's and Smart cars have different front and rear sizes.
Ageing In the UK we have no laws stating how old a tyre can be, but it is recommended that tyres should be changed when it is around 5 to 7 years old, regardless of tread depth remaining. Even low mileage vehicles need their tyres changing, as the rubber dries out, making it hard and brittle. Cracks start to appear on the side walls and even between the treads. When changing tyres also remember the spare, just because it is in the boot, doesn't stop it from ageing. All tyres carry an age stamp on one side of the side wall it is preceded by the letters DOT, then there are 4 numbers representing the week No. and year. i.e. 4512 would be week 45 in the year 2012.
Look out for foreign objects in the tyre - punctures (Nails, screws), these can generally be repaired if caught early enough. Also look out for any bulges or cuts to the side walls, if these are visable, then you will need to change your tyres.
Ideally you should replace all four tyres at the same time, but due to fronts and rears wearing at differing rates, plus personal budgets, most people will change tyres in pairs. Mismatched tyres can cause an imbalance in the vehicle which can affect the handling. Tyres come with differing tread patterns such as Rotational (Directional), Assymertical and normal.
The fitter should note which type he is putting on and fit them accordingly. Size is also important, some people think that fitting a wider tyre will give better grip, this is not always the case, and also if you change the tyres width, the ride height will change proportionally.
Always consult a professional before making any changes to the tyre specifications.
This could also affect your insurance, as you may have made your vehicle unsafe.
BMW 7 series in Pagham
Today I was called out to a house in Pagham where the owner had a BMW 7 series with a flat tyre. He wanted the same tyre as he had previously namely a' Michelin Primacy Pilot' size 275/35R20. He had called around locally and no garage had them in stock, luckily a friend recommended he contact Hometyre, and we were able to source his tyre the same day. Not only that but it was £17 cheaper than the best quote he had received from our competitors.
I arrived at his house to find the damaged tyre and wheel was in his boot, and the spare was on the vehicle. I took the wheel out of the boot and put it into the van and stripped the old tyre off of the rim. The reason for the flat was easily apparent, as there was a nail in the tyre, but since the customer had not noticed in time and had driven a number of miles on the flat tyre, it was badly damaged inside and was not repairable.
Had he notice earlier, it would have been possible for me to repair the puncture, by gluing a patch plug to the tyre from the inside. This is classed as a permanent repair, and will usually last the life of the tyre, saving the owner a considerable amount of money. We will only do this type of repair if it is safe to do so (i.e. the repair area is within the central ¾ of the tyre tread area), and there is an amount of tread left on the tyre making it economically viable. Note: it is not possible for us to repair a runflat tyre, as they are designed to be driven on when flat, but there is no way of knowing what damage has been done to the internal structure of the tyre.
Back on the job…. I checked the rim, cleaned up the bead sealing area, removed the old valve and inserted an new one. I then replace the tyre with a new one, making sure it was mounted the right way around, as these are assymetrical tyres. It was then inflated to the correct pressure and put on the wheel balancer. The balancer was set to the specific wheel size, and spun to show the out of balance amounts. Sticky weights are put around the inside of the wheel at the allocated points to counteract the out of balance, the wheel is then re-spun to check it is correct.
The wheel is now ready for refitting to the car. I loosened up the locking wheel nut on the spare by hand, then jacked the car up. All the nuts were then removed and the spare wheel removed. The new wheel and tyre was then put on the car and the nuts replaced and tightened up to the correct settings using a torque wrench. The car was then lowered and the jack put back in the van, along with the old tyre which will be sent off to a recycling site.
I then checked all the other car tyres for pressure including the spare and adjusted them to the correct amounts. The spare wheel was then put back in the boot and stowed away properly.
Tread depths and tyre conditions were then checked, and details were put into the Hometyre report. The locking wheel nut adaptor was put back in its place in the boot, and I then prepared the invoice for the customer. Payment was taken by credit card using the chip and pin machine in the van.
Once complete the report along with the receipt will be emailed to the customer.
One satisfied customer and I was off to my next job.
Mobile fitting of Caravan & Motorhome tyres
Most caravan and motorhome owners take their vehicles to a Caravan service centre to have their tyres changed, at inflated (excuse the pun) prices.
Why go to this trouble, when with a simple call to Hometyre you can arrange for Hometyre Sussex to come to you and fit your new tyres at your home, storage area or even at a camp site. If considering a camp site or storage area, please advise them in advance, as Hometyre do need approval to go on site.
We have access to many types of tyre, including reinforced, extra load, 8ply, light commercial and Camper tyres, from manufacturers such as Michelin, Continental, GT Radial, Matador, etc.
Our tyre prices are fully inclusive of Mobile fitting, wheel balancing, a replacement rubber valve, old tyre disposal and vat. The only additional cost would be a small charge if you have Tyron bands that need to be removed and replaced.
How often should you change youe leisure vehicle tyres? For this answer we follow the recommendations made by the caravan club, which are:
"It should go without saying that tyres which are damaged or worn to the legal minimum tread depth must be replaced immediately. However, tyres which are visually OK, and which have seen little or even no use are also recommended to be replaced when they reach a few years of age. As a general rule (and following guidance issued by the tyre makers' trade body, the British Tyre Manufacturers' Association, it's advised that caravan tyres should ideally be replaced when 5 years old, and should never be used when more than 7 years old. "This advice is borne out by the Club's own research into caravan tyre failures, which confirms that the likelihood of a tyre problem increases after such age. Our research further suggests that tyres which need a high inflation pressure (say 50psi or more) require greater care still. Such tyres should be closely examined for signs of deterioration from 3 years old, and it would be strongly advised not to use them beyond 5 years old. It is not the case that all tyres over these ages will rapidly fail. "However, the statistical likelihood of a problem occurring increases noticeably with age. Given the disruption to your holiday that a tyre failure could cause (let alone the risk involved), it's strongly recommended that you follow this guidance. Since tyres deteriorate with age even when not in use (unless kept under very strictly controlled conditions of temperature, humidity, light level etc), it is usually necessary to consider a tyre's age from the date it was made, and not from when it was bought or fitted to the caravan."
Do you know how old your tyres are? All tyres carry a date code, it is imprinted on one sidewall of the tyre. Look for the word DOT this shold be followed by either a 3 or 4 number code. If 3 numbers, then the tyres were produced before 2000. ie. 329 would mean week 32 in the year 1999. (approx 14 years old). 4 numbers such as 2009 would mean week 20 in 2009.
We at Hometyre get our tyres direct from the wholesalers these are 'fresh' tyres and are generally 3 to 6 months old, as most new tyres are shipped from around the world in large containers, they are then sorted and sent out to wholesalers before being bought.
We at Hometyre will also ensure that we jack up your caravan or motorhome in the correct places, so as to not twist the frame, or damage the sills. Once fitted back on the vehicle, the wheels will be tightened up to correct torque settings using a torque wrench.
Give us a call at Hometyre to discuss the best tyres for your vehicle.
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