Tyron bands fitted badly
One of todays jobs at the HoneyBridge caravan park was to fit two caravan tyres to a caravan that has had tyron bands fitted previously. The owner of the caravan didn't realize his tyres needed changing, it was his service engineer that pointed out the sidewall cracks to him (Visiable in the photo), and when I checked them I found they were 8 years old.
I broke the seal on the tyres to get at the Tyron bands so I could remove them, to find that they had been fitted upside down by some previous fitter. See the photo, I have circled the arrow, this is supposed to point to the inside of the wheel, not the outside as fitted here. This only goes to show, you should have tyres and tyron bands fitted by professional fitters who have been properly trained as to how to fit them correctly. We at Hometyre Sussex have been to the Tyron UK headquarters to have additional training in the installation of all of their products, so if you want the job doing properly, call us at Hometyre.
Back to the badly fitted tyrons, I was able to remove the tyron bands, fit new tyres and refit the tyron bands correctly, for one very pleased customer. But this does pose a question, most caravan insurance companies give a discount to owners who have tyron bands installed. If these have been installed incorrectly, and you have a blowout, the tyron band does not do its job properly and your caravan tips over, would the insurance company payout?
Check the inside edge of your tyres
Yesterday I was called out to a Mercedes S Class, where the owner thought he had a slow puncture that could be repaired. As usual we ask for the tyre size and we bring along a spare tyre just in case the original tyre is not repairable. This was one of those cases where the spare tyre was necessary, as the puncture turned out to be a split on the inside edge where the tyre had worn through to the chords and wires. I fitted the new tyre, then also checked the inside of the other front tyre, to find it had also worn through to the chords and would also need replacing. This also points to the fact that the tracking on the vehicle may be out. Hanging the tracking gauges on the wheels soon proved this to be right and I showed the figures to the customer who then agreed to me adjusting the tracking to get the vehicle lined up and running correctly. The actual figures were -10mm, according to the vehicle manufacturers data it should have been +1.7mm. This car had been to country wide fast fit centre recently to have a service, and the owner had asked them to check all the tyres and tracking, yet they had not seen this ?
This goes to show that not all flat tyres are the fault of a puncture caused by a screw or nail in the tyre. Plus as a driver you should get down on your hands and knees occasionally to check the inside edge of your tyres (front & rear).
If you do find a flat tyre, or should you see exposed chords on your tyres, give us a call at Hometyre, we will come out and either repair or replace your tyres as required.
Landrover Discovery tyre replacement
One of todays jobs was to replace a tyre on a Landrover Discovery. The owner had realised that one tyre kept losing air, and it was getting worse. There was a small split on the outside edge of the tyre where his wife had hit a kerb and he thought that was the problem.
Once I had removed the wheel it was easy to see thet the actual problem was a screw stuck in the inside shoulder of the tyre. Had the screw been in the central area of the tyre tread, then I could have made a puncture repair, but the sidewalls and shoulders are an area we are not allowed to repair under British standards. So a new Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyre was required. All of this work was carried out at his home while he carried on working.
One thing to point out though when considering a single tyre replacement on a 4x4 vehicle is the tread depth difference on the other tyre on the same axle. If there is more than 4mm difference in the tread depth, then you should change both tyres, otherwise the vehicle will 'think' that one wheel is slipping and will constantly put more power on the other wheel, causing damage to your differential.
For more information on 4x4 tyres and what Hometyre has to offer take a look on the 4x4 page
Ford Galaxy locking wheelnut removal
One of the jobs today was to remove the locking wheelnuts on a Ford Galaxy in Brighton. The owner had two tyres replaced last month, so the adaptor key was available then. Today she had a blowout, and when going to put the spare on, found the adaptor was missing. Always check that any garage or tyre depot has replaced your lock nut adaptor if it has been used. (Also make sure they haven't damaged it using power tools)
She called Hometyre to come out and remove the nuts plus fit a new tyre. Our specialist tool soon had the locknuts off, the new tyre was fitted and she was mobile again.
If you have a locking wheel nut problem, give us a call at Hometyre as we can remove all types of lock nut, including the McGard nuts and the hardened nuts with revolving collars, the new spinning nuts fitted to Fords & Volvos, as well as the domed Jaguar and Landrover nuts, all without damaging your alloy wheels.
Do not try the cheap removers sold in auto accessory shops as these only work on a small percentage of soft nuts. In most cases you will just be wasting your time and money. Also if you damage the head of the lock nut too much then even our tool may not be able to work. Leaving the very costly option of cutting the wheel off.
American Corvette tyres
One of today's jobs was to fit tyres to an old American Corvette. The customer had hit a kerb and damaged one tyre, so decided to have both fronts changed at the same time. Luckily when I checked the old tyres they were 12 years old, and were showing signs of deterioration - Cracks within the tread area plus some small cracks on the side walls, even though there was still around 4mm of tread left.
Being of the age it was, the tyres look big, but are actually only 15" rims (245/60R15). The customer particularly wanted Hercules tyres with the white writing on the outside. This is a regular customer who trusts Hometyre and has called us on his many vehicles. From and old Volkswagen Beetle to a modern Ford Mondeo.
You will not find tyres like this on our website, but they are still available through us, all you have to do is phone us and let us know what you require. We have around 5 local wholesalers as well as another 3 or 4 across the country, so there is always the chance we can get you a specific tyre within a day or so. Even getting a tyre from the other end of the country does not cost a fortune with the couriers we use, and we can generally still beat most local tyre depots on price, and delivery. Also when you buy a tyre from Hometyre all the additional small costs are included (Electronic balancing, Replacement rubber valve, old tyre disposal and Vat)
Replace your tyres every 5 years says Quintin Willson
Yesterday in the Sunday Mirror Quintin was responding to an emailed question from a reader. The reader asked "The tyres on my Vectra are nine years old. They've got plenty of tread left and look Ok but my garage says they need changing. Are they trying to rip me off?"
Quintin replied "No, your garage is giving good advice. Tyres degrade naturally because of heat, sunlight, rain & snow. You really should change them after five years as the rubber can perish invisibly and could cause a blowout. Those four rings of rubber are all that separate you from a serious crash, so spend money and be safe".
Almost all tyres have a year of manufacture date code stamped on the side wall. It is only one one side of the tyre and is called the DOT code. The date code can look like DOT WACT K2C 0713, the date is the last 4 numbers in this case it is week 07 2013. (Feb 2013). If it is a 3 number date code like 097 it would mean the tyre was manufactured in Week 09 (Feb) 1997. For more info on tyres give us a call or take a look on the Hometyre website.
Recently I saw some tyres that were only 4 years old and they were already showing signs of cracking on both the sidewall and within the tread area, so jut because your tyres are relatively new, does not mean they can be disregarded. You need to check them on a regular basis.
Should you need new tyres, give us a call at Hometyre, we get our tyres direct from the wholesalers they are not old stock like some tyre depots.
Peugeot 407 tyres
Today's customer was recommended by a friend who's caravan I had worked on last month. His friend had told him that he could save money on tyres, as well as saving time by having Hometyre come out to his home.
He needed two new tyres on his Peugeot 407 and has opted to have the new Maxxis Pro-R1 Sport tyres fitted. This vehicle is fitted with TPMS Valves, so we have to be careful not to damage them. The customer told me that the last tyre depot he went to damaged one sensor, and they replaced it with a used one that also now needs reprogramming to get it to work.
I advised him that he actually needs to replace the other sensor as it was showing really bad corrosion and the valve stem had corroded and would not come out. But for the moment he just wanted the tyres changing.
What are Tyron Bands
Tyron Bands are a metal 'Band' inserted inside a wheel to fill the 'well' used by tyre fitters to fit a tyre. All Wheels have some form of 'well' and by filling this up with a Tyron band you make the inside surface flat, ensuring a tyre cannot come off. From a safety point of view, this means that should you have a puncture, the tyre will deflate and wobble around on the wheel rim, but will not come off. This means you will be able to continue driving until you get to a place of safety, to replace the tyre. Tyron bands are generally used by the leisure trade and are mostly fitted to Caravans, Trailers and Motorhomes, but they are also used by the army, ambulance and police services.
Without a Tyron band, the deflated tyre would wobble around until one edge will fall into the well, allowing the opposite edge to fall off the rim, and the tyre then comes completely off, leaving you driving on just a metal rim. As the tyre comes off at speed, it can do a lot of damage, especially to a caravan, where it can rip a major part of the side out.
Not all garages and tyre dealers can remove or fit Tyron bands, s there is a specific way of fitting them. I have seen Tyrons fitted upside down, with feet missing and with the band covering the valve. Should you have Tyrons, or want to have Tyron bands fitted then call Hometyre. We are fully trained in correct methods of installing Tyron bands, and we are one of the few fitters recommended by Tyron UK.
An easy way to check tyres are ready for changing
Many customers ask me if there is an easy way to know when their tyres are ready for changing. One very simple way is to look at the wear bars. These are little bumps of rubber placed around the tyre wthin the tread area. When these are level with the tread - it is time to call us to change your tyres. The legal limit for tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, these wear bars are approx. 2.0mm high, meaning that you are just legal with approx. 0.4mm left to go. Once the tread is down to less than 3mm, braking dstances increase (especially in the wet). So we would always recommend changing your tyres before they reach the legal limit.
Wear bars shown with yellow arrows.
Caravan with old tyres
The caravan club recommend changing caravan tyres every 5 to 7 years regardless of tread left. Todays job in Littlehampton showed exactly why this is necessary... The owner wanted new tyres fitting in his storage compound as he was off on a holiday next week, and had noticed a small split in one tyre. When I took the tyres off, it was a lot worse that he had realised, the tyres were 19 years old and had splits all around the inside edge as well as splits in the tread area. This was a very dangerous vehicle to have been on the roads. New caravan tyres were soon fitted and one relieved caravanner is now back on the roads.
Audi TT locking wheelnut removal
Today's customer has lost the locking wheelnut adaptor for his Audi TT, he tried hammering a socket on, only to find the locknuts had revolving collars, so that was no use. He tried drilling them out only to find the drill hardly made a mark on the hardened nuts ( Small mark can be seen in the centre of the lower LH nut), he then tried welding a nut on them but that didn't work either. He then searched on the Internet for companies who could help him in Burgess Hill and found a wheel nut specialist who advertised that they could remove the locknuts at prices that could beat anyone else. So he drove over to their workshop, where they looked at his wheelnuts and said...'They are macguard nuts, we can't get them off'.
Finally, he found Hometyre on the Internet and gave us a call. I went out to him, and removed all 4 wheelnuts within 20 minutes.
So should you have a problem removing your locking wheelnuts, don't waste your time ~ give us a call at Hometyre... We know what we are doing!
4 new TPMS valves on a Volvo
One of this weeks jobs was to replace all four TPMS (Tyre Pressure Measuring Sensors) valves on a Volvo XC90.
This involves removing the tyre, taking out the old valves, putting the new valves in place and replacing the tyres. All of this has to be done carefully as TPMS sensors are fragile and can be broken easily. Once replaced, it it then just a case of resetting the system on the dash and the system should find the new sensors and all pressures will be monitored. These valves last on average from 5 to 7 years, at which point they have to be replaced as they have a sealed battery.
Porsche Cayenne Having 4 New Michelin's fitted
This was a job I wasn't looking forward too, just because the size of the tyres makes it difficult to handle and they are heavy. But once completed it all looked good.
I was over in Brighton to fit 4 tyres on a Cayenne with 21" wheels - 295/35 R21 Michelin Lattitude Sports with the 'N0' mark. The 'N0' denotes that these are designed for a Porsche.
Talking to the customer afterwards, he told me that he had shopped around and we were £70 less than the Porsche dealer per tyre and £25 less than another major mobile tyre service. So not only did he save ££'s on the cost, but was also able to stay at home, while I came and fitted his tyres.
Mondeo tyre fitting in a Ford Dealership
An unusual job today was being called out to the Ford Dealership in Chichester to fit two Michelin Energy Saver tyres (Size:205/55R16) to a Ford Mondeo that had been in for a service. They had noticed that the two rear tyres were down to the legal limit, and the owner is a regular customer of Hometyre who wanted us to come and fit his tyres.
Ford Fiesta having Bridgestone tyres all around.
This is my second customer this week who is not happy with the tyres fitted on her car from new. She has only done 17000 miles and all 4 tyres were worn down and she kept slipping in the wet.
She had me fit Bridgestones on her last car and was very pleased with the way they lasted & handled, so she wanted Bridgestones again.
I went to her work place to fit the tyres, and fitted the tyres in the car park. She had checked around and compared prices and said that we had beaten most local tyre depots on price, and the fact that we saved her time by coming to her at work, made it a no-brainier.
Porsche 911 with a split tyre
Today's job was a call out to a customers Porsche with a flat tyre, at first it looked repairable as there was a nail in the tyre, but upon further investigation I found a 25mm split in the tread. When the tyre was taken off the rim there was a stanley knife blade on the inside, where it had penetrated the tyre.
A new 295/30 R19 tyre was sourced from our wholesaler, and he was soon back on the roads. Being a Porsche it was fitted with 'N2' tyres, which are specifically designed for Porsches. Should you require specialist tyres remember to give us a call at Hometyre.
Caravan tyre sidewall splitting
We are fast approaching the may bank holidays when many caravans start venturing out on the road.
If you are considering taking your caravan out, please make sure you check the tyres. Today I was called out to a caravan with 3 year old tyres, where the sidewalls were already showing signs of cracking.
This may be because they are used at very high pressures (65 PSI), and they are often left in the same position in full sunlight. Both of these will often lead to the rubber perishing.
The caravan club recommend changing tyres every 3 to 5 years if the pressures are over 50 PSI. With what I saw on the caravan today, I can see why they recommend this.
Should you need caravan tyres, then give us a call at Hometyre.
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System replacement valve
One of today's jobs was to replace a Tyre pressure sensor valve (TPMS) on a Peugeot 407. The customer had bought the car recently and one of the valve stems was broken. He called us at Hometyre to visit him at home to replace the stem. This is something that is possible on only a few makes of car with TPMS. With most you have to change the complete unit at a cost of around £70 ~ £80, but with the Peugeot as long as it hasn't corroded to the main sensor, then you can change just the stem, a much cheaper option.
One thing to consider though is the age of the main sensor unit, as these are generally fitted with a sealed battery that lasts for between 5 to 7 years. So if the sensors are nearing that age, then it might be worth changing the complete unit.
4x4 tyres with Tyron bands
Had a job this week for a customer who had an ex-MOD Landrover Defender that needed new tyres fitting. Being ex-army the vehicle was fitted with Tyron bands in each wheel. This caused him some problem in finding someone to change his tyres, as many fast fit tyre depots do not want to work on vehicles that have Tyrons. The reason being that they are difficult to remove and refit, especially if you do not know what you are doing. He found Hometyre by contacting Tyron UK and asking who they recommended in the area to refit his tyron bands, and they pointed him in our direction.
Tyron bands are a safety feature often fitted to leisure vehicles as they allow you to keep going under control in the case of a blowout. The army have them fitted to their vehicles, so that should they get a flat tyre while out on patrol, they can continue driving to a place of safety before needing to change a tyre.
Should you need Tyron bands for a Caravan, Motorhome, or Trailer then give us a call at Hometyre, as we can both supply and fit Tyrons for you.
Tyre Bulges are dangerous
Should you ever see a bulge in your tyre, then get the tyre replaced ASAP, as this is a breakdown of the tyres layers and could burst at any time (Blowout).
Bulges are often the result of hitting a pothole or kerb, it can cause the inner lining to split allowing air to penetrate the the layers that make up a tyre and show as a bulge on the outside.
Bulges cannot be repaired, you will need a new tyre. The photo shows a bulge on the tyre of a Peugeot, where the driver had hit a kerb entering a carpark.
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