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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)

Inside the Hometyre van with a Corvette tyre


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.Peugeot 407 having tyres fitted by Hometyre Sussex


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.

Tyron_10 april_12_002 Caravan_8


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.

Tyre_wear_bars 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.

Caravan_5 tyre_cracked Tyre_cracks


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.TPMS_Volvo


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.Porsche_Cayenne


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.Porsche_911


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.TPMS unit fitting_1


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.

landrover defender_4Tyron caravan_1


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.Tyre_bulge



Today's a day for Punctures

Have been hear, there and everywhere today, carrying puncture repairs on a variety of vehicles.

The first was a Rover 75 in Littlehampton with a screw in a rear tyre. Luckily his neighbour saw that it was flat and told him before he drove on it.

The second was a Ford Fiesta in Hassocks with a small screw in its front tyre. The customer was under a time constraint, so I had to get to him within 30 minutes and get him back on the road within an hour as he had kids to pick up at school. It was an easy repair and he was back on the road within 50 mins.

The third was an Aston Martin in Haywards Heath, with a roofing nail in the front tyre. The customer had seen the nail when he went out to the car, and tried to pull it out. The air started coming out so he put the nail back in and gave us a call.

Three lucky customers who all managed to get their tyres repaired and saved themselves from having to buy new tyres.



Missing locking wheelnut adaptor

Should you trust the person selling you a used car? Unfortunately my customer did when he bought his VW van a few months ago. He asked the seller "Is the locking wheelnut adaptor inside the van" the seller said that "yes, it is in there".

He now needs some new tyres and decided to get the lock nut adaptor ready, only to find that is is not in the vehicle at all. A phone call to the seller didn't help, as he said " It was in there when I sold it to you".

He tried searching online for somewhere to buy an adaptor, but without the adaptors code number he was stumped. Luckily he found Hometyre on the internet, and called us out to remove the offending nuts for him. It took me around 20 minutes to remove the nuts, and he is now looking at us to supply and fit his new tyres.lock_nut_2


Nissan 100 NX 4x4 require tyres and tracking

Called out Saturday to replace all 4 tyres on a Nissan 4x4, this is a repeat customer where I replaced their caravan tyres last year. Nissan_100They liked the hometyre service and appreciate that we come to them.

This time they opted for Goodyear wranglers to be fitted to their towing vehicle. At the same time they asked if I could look at the tracking on the vehicle as the front tyres were showing abnormal wear on one side. (See photo) Tyre_tracking_off

One the tyres had been replaced and I had settled the 4x4 back onto its suspension, I then put the laser alignment equipment on and checked the readings. Front to back was pretty good, but the toe in/out across the front was showing -4, and according to Nissan it should have been +2.2 So adjustment action was required.

Loosening the tracking bolts took some doing as the nuts had not been touched for some time and they were rusted in place. It took a while, but I managed to get then free and moving, then adjusted the wheels to get them properly aligned. The bolts are then tightened, and the vehicle is taken for a test drive before handing it back to the customer.


Even expensive cars need Puncture repairs, Mercedes R Class

Had an emergency call out to a Mercedes 'R' Class with a flat rear tyre. The owner had only driven out of his garage and travelled around 10 yards when a light flashed up on his dash telling him that he was loosing pressure in one tyre.

Once I had removed the tyre, the cause was easy to see, as there was a roofing screw in the centre of the tread. Luckily he had not driven on it while flat, so it was an easy repair, and he was soon back on the road.

Not all drivers are luckily enough to have pressure sensors on their tyres, and you need to 'feel' that something is wrong. With a modern car, this is not so easy as the suspension helps to hide some faults until it is too late and the tyre is completely flat.

If it had been driven on when flat there is a good chance that the internal structure of the tyre would have been damaged, and it will not be repairable. ( A new tyre will be required).



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