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More part worn tyre companies being caught out

Trading standards across the country have been checking up on Part worn tyre dealers who sell to the public. The latest checks of 10 sites found that most were starting to follow guidelines and they had no major issues. But one site caused major concern, last Friday along with the police they raided the site, to check the tyres on sale. The police were asked to accompany the trading standards officers due to previous resistance. Two men at the site were arrested under the customer protection act and have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Checks in the site found tyres for sale that were ten years old, some that were defective in terms of tread, as well as some with nails and screws still in them.

A local councillor said "Traders who adhere to the rules and sell used tyres to the public in the right way had nothing to fear. But in situations like this, there are two problems; firstly you should not be ripping off the public. And secondly and more importantly here, is a matter of safety. Lives were being put at risk, if you are a rogue trader we will catch you and we will deal with you.

Members of the public should be aware that they will ultimately lose out by buying such products".


This is why we at Hometyre will not sell of fit part worn tyres, you do not know their history. Have they been repaired/patched, or have they been taken off a crashed car, where they may have suffered internal structural damage? New budget tyres are not that much more expensive when you compare them per mm of tread left, and at least you are safe in the knowledge that they are in good condition.Sidewall_repair A Part worn tyre patched on the sidewall, this is not to British standards and should be considered as dangerous.

 

Part worn tyre, worst bulge

I was called out to a customer today who had part worn tyres fitted to his car two days ago costing £20 each, by the next day he had noticed a slight bulge in one tyre, then by the next day the bulge had grown to the size in this photo overnight. It almost looks like a second tyre underneath the main tyre.

Part worn tyre bulge

I then checked the other part worn tyres on the car and found problems with all of them....

2nd tyre had a 20mm split within the tread (Mot failure - dangerous)

3rd tyre had a screw still stuck in the shoulder (Mot failure as well as being unrepairable and dangerous)

4th tyre was legal but had problems in that it had 6mm of tread on the outside edge and 2mm on the inside edge. Also all 4 tyres did not have 'Part worn' printed on the sidewall which is illegal.

This is one of the reasons that we at Hometyre, often tell people NOT TO BUY PART WORN TYRES.

Last month a Trading standards officer visited two part worn dealers, accompanied by a tyre expert and 45 tyres that were for sale were chosen at random to be given a visual check (This check will not show any structural faults only obvious faults seen by eye). They commented that the results were both disappointing and frightening. None of the tyres had the 'Part worn' marking on them, making them illegal, although not a safety issue. Of the 45 tyres checked 20 were found to be dangerous, with the following faults:

4 still had objects penetrating the tyre.

4 had temporary repairs using string in the hole.

3 had patches over holes, but not the correct patch plugs as recommended by British standards.

3 had side wall damage with cuts still evident.

2 had structural damage that was visible.

1 was kinked and had a distorted bead.

1 the inner liner had seperated from the tread

1 had heavy cracks within the tread.

1 was still punctured.

The tyre expert commented that "These were serious faults that could have resulted in accidents or fatalities"

Part worn SPECIALISTS (And I use the term 'specialsts' loosely) will often tell their customers that they source their tyres from Germany, as the Germans have different laws to the UK ... I have heard two suggested laws

1. The Germans must change all their tyres if one has a puncture, so the other good tyres are thrown away!

2. When selling a car that has been used as a demonstrator, a garage must first change all the tyres, and put new ones on, then throw away the other good tyres.

This is utter rubbish, the Germans do not throw away perfectly good tyres, if anything they look after their safety more than us in the UK, they will insist on good quality tyres, will try to have all four tyres on a vehicle of the same make and tread pattern and they will often change tyres before they reach the legal limit.

The truth is that most part worn tyres come from tyres that are scrapped in the UK. Tyre dealers remove dangerous tyres that should not be repaired, and send them to recycling centres, these places sort out the ones they think they can 'fix' and sell them to part worn dealers. Some tyres come from cars that have been in accidents, there is no way of knowing what internal damage has occurred to that tyre.

Would you still buy part worn tyres if they were called 'Part safe tyres'? My customer was lucky, he saw the bulge, and decided that 'New' tyres were the way to go. How many other people are driving around on dangerous tyres? Why risk your life, buy new tyres, at least you can be assured of the quality you are getting.

Photo below was a cracked part worn tyre fitted to a car to help it pass its MOT!

Tyre cracks

 

Don't rely on a cars technology

How often do you check your tyre pressures? Or are you one of these drivers that has some form of tyre pressure sensor in your car.

There are two basic types of pressure sensor, the most accurate is the TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring sensor), this is a sensor that is part of the valve, and is placed inside the wheel. The sensor usually sends a signal to the cars inbuilt monitor every few seconds informing it of the actual pressure within the tyre. Once the pressure drops below a set figure (3 ~5 psi) it sends out a warning which usually displays on the dashboard. The main problem with this type of sensor is that they rely on a battery which is sealed within the valve unit, once the battery expires, then the unit needs to be replaced.

We at Hometyre can replace these units for you at prices that beat most main dealers click here for more info.

The other type of sensor works through the ABS system. It measures the rolling resistance on each wheel and should a tyre deflate, it will measure the rotational drag and report this as a problem. This system is not as accurate as the valve system, as it tends to take a 10 psi drop before it flashes up a warning. The problem is that if the pressures drop slowly, the system doesn't often pick it up, or if two tyres are punctured at the same time, it will not show.

This was evident on a mini I was called out too last week, both rear wheels were badly corroded leading to slow air leaks, the system didn't realise that both rear tyres had deflated (especially as they were Runflat tyres) and the owner drove on them damaging both tyres. He had relied totally on the system to warn him that his pressures were low, and never actually checked his tyres himself. The result was that he had to have two new expensive runflat tyres.

TPMS sensor valve Photo shows a TPMS unit inside the wheel.

 

Three different sets of locking wheel nuts to remove

Today I have had three sets of locking wheel nuts to remove for customers.

In the first two cases, the locking wheel nut removal socket had been worn smooth, usually this happens when the lock nuts have been put on and taken off using an air wrench in a tyre bay or garage. We at Hometyre always remove and replace locknuts by hand. The third job was where the nuts had been greatly overtightened and the removal tool had broken when trying to remove them.

The first job was on a Volvo S60, the owner was going to change his own brake pads, when he found that the lock nut tool would not work. Lock_nut_14He had McGard lock nuts,(Photo top right) and rang round a few specialist removal companies who told him they could not get them off. He called us at Hometyre and it took me around 30 minutes to take off the lock nuts for him.


Splined lock nuts removed by Hometyre sussex

The second job was a Rover 75, with splined type lock nuts, similar to the ones in the photo on the left.

In this case both the nut and the removal tool had been worn smooth, leaving nothing to grip, and the removal tool just spun round inside the lock nut.

This took me around 20 minutes to remove the nuts.

Pin type lock nuts removed by Hometyre Sussex

The third job was on a Mitsubishi space star, this lock nut is the type with 3 holes and the removal tool has 3 corresponding pins (Photo bottom left). In trying to remove these locknuts the pins had sheared off. To make matters worse, the outside of this locknut has a revolving collar, so when the customer had tried with a reverse thread removal tool from Halfords, all it did was spin around on the revolving collar (A waste of £35 for that 'removal tool').

This took a little longer, but I had all four nuts off in around 40 minutes.

So if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a damaged or lost lock nut removal tool, don't waste your money on the cheap removal tools in accessory shops, just call us at Hometyre. we will do the job properly.

 

Watch out on the roads for the 'Flash for cash' scam

It has recently been reported both in the press and the local radio about the latest scam to catch unwary motorists nicknamed 'flash for cash'. This involves a car on the road, flashing a driver on a side road'inviting' him to pull out. The motorist on the main road then speeds up causing an accident. They then claim that the person in the side road pulled out, without looking.

They then claim against the motorist for damage to their car, replacement vehicle hire, loss of earnings, as well as making claims for whiplash etc. Part of the problem stems from the legal side, if you check the highway code, it actually says that flashing is a way of telling other drivers you are there. It does not actually mean 'you go ahead and pull out'.

So:

  • Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal for you to proceed.
  • Carry a pen & paper to take notes in the event of an accident, and if possible take photos using a camera or your mobile phone ( Include photos of the cars involved, and the occupants.)
  • If in doubt, don't pull out, and ty to keep an eye on the other car if you do pull out, giving you the chance to brake.
  • If you are involved in an accident and you feel there is a chance it may be a scam

  1. Don't admit Liability, this is something for your insurers to deal with. Write down as much as you can about the accident, plus the number plates of any other drivers who may have seen it.
  2. Call the police, but be careful, you could be dealing with criminals who could be dangerous.
  3. If anyone is hurt in anyway, call an ambulance. ask how the other occupants of any vehicle involved are feeling.
  4. Write down the number of occupants in the other car, if possible where they were sitting and any information about them. names, addresses, ages, male, female etc.
  5. See if there are any Independent witnesses, ask for names, addresses, phone numbers. Be wary of any that seem to over enthusiastic, as they may be 'staged' witnesses on the side of the other driver.
  6. Look to see if there is any CCTV camera's in the area. and inform your insurance company ASAP, as they may be able to get hold of any footage.
  7. Let your insurer know that you think this may be a set up
  8. call the"Confidential Insurance Fraud bereau" (IFB) on0800 328 2550 as they will be willing to hear about anything they think is relevant.
Above all be safe and be vigilant.
 

Staying safe in the wet weather

As we approach the Autumn, the weather changes considerably and we have many more wet cold days, driving becomes more hazardous and we have to allow for this. Here are a few safety tips. Tyre pressures should be checked more regularly and corrected as required. The pressures you should use are usually in the owners manual, but can sometimes be found inside the fuel filler cap or inside the door jamb. Some people think that the pressure printed on the tyre is the correct pressure, this is wrong. This is information on the maximum pressure that that tyre can take. Wrongly inflated tyres can lose grip, causing skidding or slipping under cornering or braking. While checking the tyre pressures, it is worth checking your tyre tread depth at the same time. The legal limit might be 1.6mm, but once you get below 3mm you will start to notice loss of control, especially in the wet, as there is more chance of aquaplaning with less tread. When you drive through a puddle, the grooves in the tread is used to push out the water allowing the tyre to grip the road, as the grooves get shallower, the water cannot escape so easily. After a long dry summer, oils and rubber build up on the road. When the wet weather arrives, these build ups on the road, become slippery, causing dangerous conditions. Apart from having good tyres at the correct pressures, all you can do is drive at reduced speeds. Slower driving in the wet will give you better control of your vehicle. If the worst happens and you skid or aquaplane, do not hit the brakes. Sharp braking can lock your front wheels and you will not be able to steer. If your vehicle is fitted with ABS ( Anti-lock Braking System), do not pump the brakes, ease off the accelerator, slowing the car which will allow the tyres to get back in contact with the road, steady pressure on your brake and you should get your vehicle back under control. If possible follow in the 'tracks' of the vehicle in front on wet roads, as the water has already been disbursed, giving you better grip, but don't follow too close. For further tips on tyres check out the Hometyre website. www.hometyre.co.uk
 

How safe is your puncture repair?

I was called out to a customer with a flat tyre this week, he had had a puncture repair on the same tyre two weeks ago, by a tyre depot in Bognor Regis and the same tyre had gone flat again. Since he could ot drive on a flat tyre he decided to call out Hometyre to see if I could find the source of th leak and seal it for him.

I arrived at his house and soon removed the wheel, pumped some air into it and then checked or the leak. It was soon obvious that it was leaking from the same hole as had previously been fixed. I took the tyre off of the wheel to see what the problem was and found that the tyre depot had only made a 'temporary repair' to the tyre, this is where they push a bunched up coil of string and glue through the hole from the outside. (See photo below).

Puncture_repair_temp

This type of repair is usually only carried out by the roadside emergancy services as a 'Get you home or to a Tyre repair place', it is not a permanent repair, and the roadside services use these temporary repairs as they do not carry the equipment to take a tyre off and on and make a permanent repair.

We at Hometyre do not use this type of repair, we only carry out permanent repairs according to British standards making the tyre safe for you to continue driving on it. We take the tyre off of the wheel, clean up the area to be repaired, and glue in a mushroom style plug patch from the inside. (See photo below).

The type of repair we carry out when done correctly, will generally last for he rest of the life of the tyre. Temporary repairs are only designed to last for around 200 miles, and you should drive on them at reduced speeds. So next time you need a repair making to one of your tyres, please call us at Hometyre on 0333 444 5454 and have the job done properly.

Puncture_repair_mushroom

 

Where has my locking wheel nut socket gone?

When we at Hometyre come out to change your tyres, or to carry out any work that involves removing your wheels, if you have locking wheel nuts, then we will need the adaptor socket to get your nuts off. It is amazing how many people do not know where their socket is kept in their car. Also many people buy a used car without checking that the previous owner has left the socket. It is only when they get to the point of removing a wheel that the problem becomes apparent.

In general the lock nut removal socket is kept either in the glove box or in the boot with your jack. But with some car manufacturers they have found ingenious places to hide it, Mini's sometimes have it next to the battery in the boot, Rangerovers sometimes have it in a storage panel inside the side of the boot area, in a small clip. and some BMW's have a small removable carpeted piece on the right of the boot, where it is kept underneath.

As a driver you should know where your removal socket is kept, and you should also make sure it is returned to that same place when any garage or tyre depot has used it. Insist that when using it, they remove the nuts by hand, as using an impact driver can damage it, leaving you stranded. I have had 3 or 4 customers where a previous garage, has just put the 'bits' back in the box and not said anything. Also don't leave it at home for 'safety' .... it is not much use to you when you are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tyre, and no way of getting the wheel off.

But, should you ever find yourself stuck without your removal socket, then you can give us a call at Hometyre.... we have a specialist tool that can remove all types of lock nut including the Chromed nuts with revolving collars, the new Volvo & Ford spinning nuts, the domed Jaguar nuts and the McGard nuts, all without damaging your alloy wheels.

Some of my previous customers have been quoted up to £400 to have one locknut removed. we will remove up to 4 nuts for much less than this.

For more information take a look on this web page here

So far this year I have had a 100% success rate in removing lock nuts where the customer has lost or found theirs to be damaged. See some of my testimonials here

Locking wheel nut socket This is a typical lock nut socket.

 

What causes punctures

Some people seem to get punctures on a regular basis, others hardly ever seem to get a puncture.

Punctures more often occur in older tyres as the rubber is thinner and objects can pierce the tyre rather than just being embedded in the tread block. A new tyre on a car comes with 8mm of tread, add to that the construction layers forming the casing and the total thickness is around 13 to 14mm where as an old tyre with 3mm of tread will have a total thickness of around 8 to 9mm.

Almost 80% of punctures occur in the rear tyres, this is because foreign objects such as screws and nails lie on their side on the road, your front tyres flick them up into the air and while bouncing/spinning the rear tyres catch them on the point and they pierce the tyre.

You can also get punctures from not looking after your tyre pressures, as the lower the pressure the more chance of your wheel rim rubbing against the sidewall and it will soon wear right through. Careless driving, where you hit a kerb at speed will often cause a tyre to split, or even hitting a dreaded pothole.

Other forms of 'puncture' which are not necessarily tyre related are:

Leaking valve - When having tyres fitted you should always have a new valve, as a rubber valve deteriorates with age ad will in the end start to leak.

Corrosion - This is where water has got under the paint of the wheel rim and slowly corrodes the steel /aluminium causing the paint to lift, allowing air to escape.

Split rim - Occasionally after hitting a kerb or pothole an alloy wheel can split, allowing the air out.

Old tyres - As rubber deteriorates with age the rubber hardens and it loses its the seal against the wheel rim or age related cracks appear in the tread or sidewall.

Objects in tyres, below is a list of some of the foreign objects I have found in tyres:

Tacks,

Panel Pins

Nails, from small 12mm long to 100mm long

Screws

Bolts

Staples

Barbed wire

A stone (A smooth round stone about 15mm in diameter had punctured one tyre)

A sharp piece of flint

Stanley knife blade

A Yale key

Lead weight

TV ariel

6mm drill bit

Tent peg

3 pin plug (The plastic pins pierced the tyre)

I have also found many weird looking bits and pieces of metal, but have never found glass yet! Many of the above punctures were fixable depending on where they had pierced the tyre, and this is something we at Hometyre can do for you. Including the leaking valves and corrosion problems.

Puncture_screw BIts_found_in_tyres

 

What type of cars do Hometyre work on?

I have been asked if we only work on expensive cars, as some people seem to think that we charge a premium to come out to you to change your tyres. The basic answer is that we work on all types of car, as our prices are very competative, often beating all other fixed site tyre depots on price.

This led me to thin about the cars I have worked on in the last few years, so here is a sort of list of the ones i can remember.

Alfa Romeo, GT, 147

Audi, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, Q5, Q7

Bentley, Continental

BMW, 1, 3, 5, 7 series, X1, X3, X5, X7

Citroen, C1, C2, C3, C5, Relay

Corvette, C6

Daihatsu, Terios, Sirion, Sportrak, Hijet.

Daimler, Limo

Fiat, Panda, Punto, 500, Barchetta, Ducato.

Ford, KA, Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Connect, Transit.

Honda, Jazz, Civic. Accord, CR-V, Insight.

Hyundai, Getz, i10, i30, Santa fe.

Jaguar, X, XJ, XF.

Jeep, Cherokee, Wrangler.

Kia, Rio, Soul, Cee'd, Picanto, Sportage.

Lambourghini,

Landrover, Freelander, Defender, Discovery, Rangerover.

LDV, Maxus

Lexus, LS, RX.

Mazda, 3, 5, 6, MX3, MX5, RX8, Xedos.

Maserati, Quatroporte.

Mercedes, A, B, C, E, M, S, V Class, SLK, CLK, Vaneo.

Mini, 1, Cooper.

Mitsubishi, Shogun, Space star, Colt

Nissan, 350Z, Cherry, Juke, Leaf, Micra, Note, Qashqai, Skyline.

Peugeot, 107, 205, 206, 207, 3008, RCZ.

Porsche, 911, Carrera, Boxter, Cayenne.

Proton, Gen 2.

Renault, 5, Clio, Megane, Scenic, Espace, Kangoo, Wind. Berlingo, Master.

Rolls-Royce, Wraith.

SAAB, 900, 9000, 9-3, 9-5.

Seat, Ibiza, Exeo.

Skoda, Fabia, Octavia, Yeti.

Smart, fortwo, forfour.

Suberu, Forester, Impreza, Legacy.

Suzuki, Alto, Swift, Jimini, Vitara.

Toyota, Aygo, Corolla, Previa, Yaris., Landcruiser, Urban cruiser.

Vauxhall, Astra, Beetle, Signum, Corsa, Insignia, Vectra, Vivaro.

Volkswagen, Fox, Polo, Golf, Tiguan, Touran, Transporter, Camper van, Crater.

As well as the above cars, I have fitted tyres to Kit cars, Vintage cars, Caravans, Motorhomes, Horse trailers, Boat trailers, Tent trailers, Industrial Compressors, and a wheel barrow.

 

Can You Replace Runflats with Normal Tyres?

ORDER YOUR RUNFLAT TYRES ONLINE! 

We're regularly asked by customers if they can safely change their Runflat tyres for conventional tyres....

This is most commonly down to one of two reasons:

  • The ride is harsh, hard and unforgiving or;
  • The Run Flat tyres are considerably more expensive.

The answer is (mostly*) yes you can. But.... there are a few points to consider:

1. Your vehicle will handle quite differently between the two different types of tyres and it would be highly recommended to replace as a complete set - but certainly an axle pair at the minimum.

2. You do not have a spare tyre! If you have Run Flat tyres fitted they are designed to provide extended mobility in order to travel to a place of safety or a location to replace etc.
So..... if you fit 'normal' tyres and suffer a flat tyre, basically you're stuck! Runflat



This leaves you with a few options:
  • Carry a can of tyre repair foam and a mini compressor and hope that this temporarily seals the problem.
  • Buy a spare (don't forget the tools and jack etc too) to keep in the boot (if space allows).
  • Call out a mobile service or recovery!

3. *If your vehicle is under warranty with the manufacturer still, there could be a risk to certain things being honoured. It's worth a 'phone call to them before making any changes to original specification.

4. When selling your vehicle, you should really inform the new owner of the change to the specification!

And the other way?

Just in case you're wondering if you can retro fit Run Flat Tyres to a car that didn't originally have them fitted - or as an option... it's an emphatic NO!
The wheel that supports a Run Flat tyre is quite different from a 'normal' wheel. It has ridges to 'lock' the Run Flat Tyre in place. You'd also need a fully functioning TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) to support it too!

In Summary

The choice is mostly yours to make. There are clearly pros and cons each way. We're happy to equip as you prefer but we'll always run you through the considerations and may well advise towards a particular type if it seems appropriate and sensible to do so. The technology is impressive and if you ever need to utilise it, we're sure you'll be grateful it was at your disposal.

Whatever your choice, we've got the tyres to suit your style and budget! Click HERE to order online, or call today on 03334445454

 

Tyre blow outs and what you should do.

If you have never had a tyre blow out, you are either very lucky or someone who gnerally looks after your tyres.

Blow outs can be caused by a number of reasons: under inflation is one of the most common reasons. when the tyre is underinflated the tyre bulges outside the rim on either side with the weight of the car pushing down at the same time. This causes friction which causes heat to build up in the tyre causing ripples and eventually the tyre will burst. or if the tyre is too flat the rim will cut through the sidewall and burst. Another reason can be that the tyre has become so worn that it wears right through the chords and wire mesh , eventually bursting. (Can be caused by tracking and or suspension problems). Both of these problems are down to poor tyre maintenence, i.e not checking your pressures regularly ( at least once a month) and not checking your tyre wear, many drivers only take a quick glance at the side of their tyres... ideally they should get down on their hands and knees and check the inside edge as well.

If you have a blow out what should you do?

If you have a blow out on a front tyre, you need to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and attempt to keep the car going in a straight stable line. If possible avoid hitting the brakes too hard as this can help in causing the car to swerve to one side as the blown tyre can exaggerate the pull in one direction. Try to lose speed slowly almost under its own and move across any lanes onto a hard shoulder. Should a rear tyre blow the car will tend to weave across the road, again let the car slow down naturally if possible. You can use the brakes in the event of a rear wheel blow out, as this puts more weight onto the front tyres, taking pressure off the rear.

What to do after a blow out!

Assuming you have made it to the hard shoulder , put on your hazzard warning lights and exit the car on the inside(Passenger side), if possible move further to the side and behind any crash barrier.

If you can fit a spare wheel yourself, then do so, making sure you put a warning triangle approx. 100 yards back from the vehice, and if possible have someone keep a lookout up the road for you. If you can't change the wheel yourself or don't have a spare, then call a breakdown service, they will transport you to the nearest place of safety or to a local garage where you can get a new tyre fitted. Should you be lucky enough to be transported back home, then give us a call at Hometyre, and we will come out to you with a replacement tyre.

Wires showing through the tyre

 

Queen inspires new video

Tyresafe the UK's independant tyre organisation have made a video parody of the Queen hit ' Under Pressure' to make people aware of the importance of checking their tyre pressures. see link www.tyresafe.org/media-centre/multimedia/videos/515-check-your-pressure-video they use lyrics such as "Ch-ch-ch-ch-check your pressure, at least once a month, ch-ch-ch-ch-check you pressure, its not hard to do" The video stars some of the tyresafe employees and campaign volunteers, singing and dancing with tyres and equipment. all the time bashing out safety messages such as "Under inflated tyres affect your handling and grip". All of this is in advance of the main tyresafe 'Tyre safety Month' campaign which starts in October.

Under or over pressure tyres give less grip on the road, this is especially noticeable when braking and cornering in the wet. Wear on under inflated tyres is often seen on both shoulders of the tyre, while over inflation wears out the centre of the tyre. You should check your tyre pressures at least once a month. The recommended pressures are often listed on a label inside the door opening area of your vehicle or on the inside of the fuel filler lid. Should you find uneven wear on one side, this can be a sign of a tracking problem. For help and advice with your tyres go to www.hometyre.co.uk or give one of our agents a call on 0333 444 5454 (Mobile friendly number)

Tyre tracking off

 

MOT's for Caravans

The EU has stated that they would like to see MOT style testing for caravans. This will be debated in the European parliament this Autumn. UK ministers have been quick to defend the caravanning industry as a whole, with Derek Clark UKIP MEP saying"It is the EU again going right over the top with petty rules and regulations. It is totally unnecessary. Caravanners as a whole are very sensible and caring people. They are not going to risk their holiday, still less their lives with a dodgy caravan".

The caravan club which has around 375,000 members across the UK, argues that families towing and staying in caravan, often with young children, are more likely to have their caravan serviced regularly to ensure it is safe. The Caravan club actively supports and encourages measures designed to improve road safety, but has seen no EU evidence that MOT-style testing on caravans will do so. They issued a statement saying "Caravanning is inherently very safe, with extremely low levels of reported accidents, and the overwhelming majority of accidents which do occur are caused by factors such as poor loading, causing instability and driver behaviour, not by factors that would be mitigated by road worthiness testing"

We at Hometyre Sussex, get regular work from Carvanners seeking to change their tyres before they go on the road. Most of them know more about their caravan tyres than many customers do about their car tyres. Most caravanners regularly inspect their tyres for cracks and bulges and check the pressures before a trip.

Having posted this blog two weeks ago, I was called out to a Caravan last week, where the tyres were dated 1989 (24 years old) and it is used regularly.  There were small cracks on the outside walls of the tyre and larger splits within the tread. I asked the owner where he gets it serviced, and it turns out he does his own servicing as he is an Engineer.  He knows that he is supposed to change the tyres every 5 years, but thought they were OK!  Very worrying if this type of caravaner is on the road. It is not only himself and his passengers who he is putting at risk but also other road users. I mentioned MOT's for Caravans to him, he said that if they do come in he hopes that they are cheaper than those for a car, but also felt that they would be difficult to monitor, as a caravan does not have a registration plate. He also couldn't understand why an MOT would be necessary as he checks his brakes regularly. Pity he didn't check his tyres.  Makes me wonder about the gas in his caravan.

Caravan_8

 

Tyre safety messages on motorways.

Due to a number of tyre related incidents on UK roads the highway agency has decided to make use of overhead message boards to promote the importance of tyre safety.

There were 2500 breakdowns on UK roads that were caused by poorly maintained tyres in the months of May and June this year. These incidents have a huge impact on traffic flow, as they cause lane closures, delays and collisions. 'SAFE TYRES SAVE LIVES' is the message that will be displayed on overhead motorway gantries, to reminding motorists to check their tyres for tread depth and pressure before the start of a journey.

Stuart Jackson of TyreSafe said "The new message signs are a great reminder to drivers about the four small pieces of rubber that are responsible for them being able to brake or corner and arrive at their destination safely"

This is backed up by a recent survey carried out by Continental tyres in conjunction with fuel retailer ,Maxol. The survey covered tyre tread depth, and tyre pressures. one in six cars were found to be driving on tyres that were below the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.

Tome Dennigan of continental tyres commented "It was shocking to see that one in six cars surveyed were driving on dangerous and illegal tyres. We know that in the current economic climate, motorists have been cutting back on their motoring expenses and some may have been tempted to push their tyres to the limit. however, as your only contact with the road, tyres are such a critical element of your car's overall performance, so our advice is don't gamble with your family's safety by neglecting your tyres"

Continental recommends that optimum time to replace your tyres is when they reach 3mm. Independant tests verify this, as they show that once a tyres tread depth drops below 3mm, the tyres performance drops off sharply.

In relation to tyre pressures, 53% of the cars tested were found to be incorrect. Incorrect pressures can affect your vehicle's handling, overall safety, fuel consumption ride comfort and tyre wear.

For help with your tyres, and any replacements, call hometyre on 08007839310

Driving through Portsmouth last week I saw an overhead gantry sign, that mentioned checking tyre pressures.

motorway_sign

 

Little known tyre facts.

Many people do not know much about the tyres on their cars other than they are round black thingsnand they keep you on the road. The only time they take any interest is when they get a flat on the side of the road, or they fail their MOT. A recent survey showed tha 40% of drivers do not know how to check a tyres tread depth, and another 70% did not know that the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm in the UK. Well here are some other facts:

1. In Formula One, there is only one supplier, currently this is Pirelli, there has been much said about the tyres in recent weeks, and Pirelli has had to produce a tyre that is deemed more safe. It is regularly stated that pit crews can change a tyre in under 3 seconds..... this is not true, they change a complete wheel and tyre in under 3 seconds. The actual tyre change happens back in their main workshops and can take longer that a normal tyre change on a road car, as they have to check each tyre for compression and balance them for similarity before fitting.

2. Some roads since the 1960's have been produced with a mixture of asphalt and recycled tyres, these are quieter by up to 20%. The World Health Organisation found that chronic traffic noise causes at least one in every fifty heart attacks.

3. Since December 2012, it has become obligatory for all tyres produced and sold in Europe to have a EU rating label. This is similar to energy efficiency labels found on household appliances. The label shows 3 points... Wet braking, fuel efficiency and road noise. On the Hometyre website you can view the label information when you click 'more info' on a tyre.

4. It is illegal to store waste tyres in landfill sites. In Europe, since 2006 the EU has made it illegal for either shredded or whole tyres to be left to rot in a dump. Hometyre arrange for all their waste tyres to be recycled responsibly. We even have to have a licence from the environmental agency to carry waste tyres.

5. Many safety features in road tyres come from Formula one. The shape and construction of the carcass come from this sport. Tyres have to stand up to not just going round, they also twist and turn as well as withstanding the strains in braking and accelerating.

6. When choosing new tyres, as well as the actual tyre size, there is also a speed rating, this is denoted by a letter such as H,T,V,W,Y,Z . You can fir a higher rated tyre to your vehicle, but should not fit a lower rated tyre. Your insurance company would regard this as a change in specification, and should you have a 'bump' that is tyre related, they may not pay out!

7. Even runflat tyres need air in them. I was asked by a lady this week if it was necessary to put air in her tyres as they were Runflats. She thought that they never had to be pumped up and you just drove them till they were flat, or the tread was gone. Maybe tyre information an how to check a tyre should be part of the driving test.

Tyre label UK tyre law Jenson Button & Mikke Hakkenen with Hometyre Flat tyre

 

Buying a car with a new MOT?

If you are in the market for a new car and a seller offers you a car with a new MOT, I would still suggest you check the tyres.

Last week I was called out to a Saab 9-3, the owner had just bought it a week previously, and realised that both rear tyres were right on the legal limit. He called out Hometyre Sussex to replace the tyres at his home in Shoreham. When he checked the MOT sheet, they had not even been called up as an advisory for a change. After changing the two rear tyres, I checked the fronts. One was relatively new being from 2011, the other was from 2005 and had small age related cracks all over it, plus one large crack that was right through to the chords. This was not only dangerous but should have been an MOT failure. The owner contacted the garage that sold him the car to complain, but they told him that the tyres were OK last week.

Looking at the cracks in the tyre, I don't personally believe that these just opened up within the last week. It goes to show, that an MOT is only as good as the mechanic checking the vehicle.

As it was we were able to source a third tyre for the customer, and soon had him safely back on the road.

Split tyre by Hometyre sussex How can this tyre pass an MOT?

 

How old are your tyres?

The rubber in tyres deteriorates with age, so new tyres that give plenty of grip will harden over time reducing your grip on the road. This is especially noticeable in the cold and wet.  We would recommend changing any tyres that are 8 to 10 years old, on caravans and horse boxes this can be reduced to 5 to 7 years, as the tyres don't move so often.

Here in the UK we do not have many laws when it comes to using old tyres as long as they have the required tread depth (1.6mm over 3/4 of the tyre and around the whole circumference), have no splits over 10mm and have no chords showing. 

In some countries it is against the law to fit part worn tyres, or even new tyres that are more than 2 years old.

To check the age of your tyres, you need to read the DOT code on the sidewall, this is a 4 figure number that gives the week number and year of manufacture. I.e. 4009 = week 40 in 2009.

Recently I was asked to check the tyres for a gentleman who had been told by his Mercedes dealer that his tyres were 6 years old and needed changing. I checked the dates and they were 3811, so they were less than 2 years old, I advised him that his tyres were safe to continue driving on. Saving him a considerable amount of money.

 

Caravan tyres need checking before you venture onto the roads

How many caravan and Motorhome owners check their tyres before they hitch up and go out on the road? Not too many as far as I see, most rely on their service engineer to tell them when the tyres need changing. Which means that the tyres are only getting checked once a year.

I was called out to a caravan last week where the service engineer had suggested that the tyres needed changing, the owner asked for my second opinion as he thought the tyres were fine. I soon pointed out cracks all around the sidewalls that he had not seen, as well as cracks within the tread area. New tyres were soon fitted and he was ready to go on his holiday. If the owners do check their tyres, then it is often a last minute check as they are loading the caravan ready for their holiday. Yesterday I had such a call, the service engineer had reported a tyre problem and recommended new tyres 2 months ago, then yesterday as the caravan was being loaded, the owner realised that one tyre was now flat. One phone call to Hometyre Sussex at 4pm, to ask could we do anything to help as they are leaving on a holiday the next morning. Luckily, I was able to source tyres and get to them that night, allowing them to carry on and enjoy their holiday.

This is not always the case, as Caravans and especially Motorhomes can have some odd size tyres that are not readily available. 

Please take the time to check your Caravan and Motorhome tyres a week before your holiday, or if a service engineer recommends a tyre change, then listen to them. These recreational vehicles are used infrequently, so the tyres stand for long period without moving. The rubber deteriorates and cracks can soon appear. This is for your safety and the safety of other road users.  If you have ever seen a caravan that has had a blow out on a motorway and tipped over - the resulting damage is considerable, yet alone the cost.

The caravan club recommend changing your tyres every 3 to 5 years if the tyre pressures are over 50 psi regardless of the tread depth, and change them every 5 to 7 years if under 50 psi.

You should also consider Tyron bands as an additional safety feature, they will not stop a blowout, but they could keep the remnants of the tyre on the wheel and allow you to continue driving to a place of safety.  For more information on Tyron bands click here

Cracks on the tyres sidewall found by Hometyre Sussex Hometyre Sussex fitting Caravan tyres

 

4 tyres on an MG BGT in Storrington

Today's customer has a nice old MG BGT, yesterday he decided to clean the wire wheels and when he got close he noticed that his tyres had small splits in the sidewalls. He checked the date on the the sidewall to find they were 16 year old tyres.

He phoned the Hometyre sales team and arranged for 4 new Federal tyres to be fitted with new inner tubes. He also checked the specifications of the car, and found that the tyres fitted were the wrong size (185/R14's). So with our help we sourced the correct size for him. (165/R14's).

I arrived this morning and after a quick chat with the owner, I got on and changed the tyres. With this type of vehicle and these wheels there is only one central spinning nut to hold the wheel on. This has to be removed and replaced with the help of a soft metal mallet. To keep the chrome wheels looking nice, I also did static balancing, where you hide the balance weights on the inside edge of the wheel.

These old cars also run on very low tyre pressures with the fronts being set at 21 psi and the rears at 26 psi. We also checked the spare, to find it was also an old tyre, so I will be going back next week to change that tyre as well.

Should you have an old or modern car, we at Hometyre can source and fit the correct tyres for you, either check out our website, or give us a call, we are pleased to help.

MG BGT, 4 tyres on wire wheels

 

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