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Torque your wheel nuts

Called out to do a puncture repair yesterday. When I arrived the customer told me that he had tried to remove the locking wheel nut, but was unable too as it had been greatly overtightened and in the end it had snapped. This meant i had to do a locking wheel nut removal. On checking his other nuts, they were all greatly overtightened (Most probably, put on with an air wrench last time he had his tyres changed). So if the wheels come off your car in any garage, ask them to put them on by hand and torque them to the correct settings. Not only can it save you the problem above, but overtightening can damage the hub.

 

Winning Jobs on cost and service

I am hearing more and more from clients that we are extremely competitive on price, indeed I have won several jobs recently on price. Good to hear that as well as our exceptional service levels, we are also giving extreme value for money.

 

Goodyear unveil the Self inflating tyre at Geneva show

Goodyear’s Newest Innovations on Display in Geneva Goodyear’s innovative technology and industry-leading new product engine are on full display at the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland, which opens to the public today, Thursday, 8 March. New technologies on display include Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology (AMT), a self-inflating tyre system that can help reduce fuel consumption. Visitors to the Geneva Motor Show will see how tyres can remain inflated at the optimum pressure without the need for any external pumps, electronics or driver intervention. “Consumers often overlook the importance of maintaining proper tyre pressure,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer. “We believe this technology will have immediate positive impact for drivers in terms of performance and for the environment through improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and extended tyre life. Goodyear has taken on this challenge and the progress we have made is very encouraging to the point that we are now ready to demonstrate it in Geneva for the first time.” Additional new technologies on display include the company’s Electric Vehicle Tyre Technology developed for CityHush, a European Union-sponsored project to reduce noise in cities throughout Europe. Goodyear will show how Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology is being taken from the race track to the road to make consumer and fleet tyres more intelligent in the future, and Goodyear’s innovative Spring Tyre – an airless tyre designed originally for use on the moon. Another concept tyre on display is made with BioIsoprene™, a revolutionary bio-based alternative for petroleum-derived isoprene. The development of BioIsoprene™ will help reduce the tyre industry’s dependence on oil-derived products. Goodyear’s Europe, Middle East and Africa tyre business will highlight its latest consumer tyre technologies including Run On Flat Technology and 4D Sipe Technology. The company will also exhibit its new 2012 product which will be available in South Africa- the Goodyear Efficient Grip SUV. Goodyear will host a special display where the media can learn about the upcoming introduction of tyre labels in Europe this year. European consumers will see tyres in their dealerships carrying a standardised label that provides information on three key performance attributes: rolling resistance, wet grip and exterior rolling noise. “Goodyear has always been proactive in research and development and we are looking forward to displaying a range of innovations that people will never have seen before,” said Jean Pierre Jeusette, general director of Goodyear’s Luxembourg Innovation Center. “These technologies have been specifically developed to meet the ever-changing requirements of modern consumers and society focused on performance, sustainability, the environment and convenience.” Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tyre companies. It employs approximately 73 000 people and manufactures its products in 53 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.

 

Caravan tyres what you need to know

The below article comes from Tyresafe. Having correctly inflated and well-functioning tyres is essential for all road users, from the smallest cars to the largest trucks, if your tyres aren’t safe then neither are you. For caravan users, making sure your tyres are safe is even more essential, not only are you carrying a heavy load, but if towing a caravan you have less control over the vehicle as a whole, which means if you get a puncture, or something goes wrong, it can be a lot harder to deal with safely. According to Michelin’s research (2010), under-inflated tyres are resulting in UK car drivers collectively wasting 370 million litres of fuel and contributing an additional one million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere every year. TyreSafe reports that driving on tyres at just 20% under recommended pressure, motorists can expect tyre life to be reduced by around 25%. Luckily for you, TyreSafe have provided some fantastic safety information below, to help keep you and your caravan on the road: The tyre safety check list First, let’s suggest what you need to do as a start-of-season tyre check that, of course, covers both caravan and tow vehicle. Bear in mind that what we’re suggesting is an annual inspection. We’ll then look at what we suggest you do on a frequent basis. • Ensure the caravan tyres have not developed flat-spots due to not being moved for a long time. • Check for bulges, deformation and sidewall cracks that might have developed from constant exposure of the tyres to the elements. • Check there are no puncturing objects in the tread. • Make sure you know the correct pressures for the loads you intend to carry. Check and correct pressures following the guidance given below. • Check tyre valve rubbers are not cracked or perished and that valve caps are fitted. • Check there is enough tread for the mileage you intend to do, noting that the minimum tread depth across the full width is 1.6mm. • Check that wheels are not damaged or corroded. • Check the wheel nuts are correctly tightened. • If tow vehicle and caravan have spare wheels, check them too. If your tyres / wheels don’t pass this scrutiny, do something about it! Don’t hope for the best and carry on regardless. If you are not comfortable with doing these checks, contact your local tyre distributor. Often tyre distributors will offer free and comprehensive checks knowing that tyre sales will result from time to time. Checking tyre pressures Checking tyre pressures is what you need to do on a frequent basis. You can check what your tyre pressure should be online by entering your vehicle registration number. In the absence of specific guidance for setting the tyre pressures of tow vehicles – in order to handle the extra load on the tow hitch – the rear tyres of the tow vehicle should be set to the ‘fully laden’ pressure. Where no ‘fully laden’ pressure is given, as a rough guide, increase the tow vehicle’s rear tyre pressure by 4 to 7psi (0.3 to 0.5 bar). Check and adjust pressures when the tyres are not warm from a recent run and not excessively cold from say an overnight frost. If you are doing this check at home, use a good quality pressure gauge and have a means of inflating the tyres such as a portable compressor that plugs into your vehicle’s 12V socket. Compressors that have a digital preset and automatically inflate the tyre to the required pressure are particularly convenient. Don’t forget you may need a 12V extension lead to reach the caravan wheels. Alternatively, use the airline at your local petrol station – but don’t drive more than one or two miles (thus warming the tyres) before checking the pressures. Making pressure checks easy In a perfect world, we would measure tyre pressures before every journey because it’s almost impossible to detect when a tyre is under-inflated by looking at it. When under-inflation does become noticeable, the tyre will often have been damaged by having been run soft. It’s not unusual for caravan tyres to lose pressure (through tyre rubber porosity) during a long period of storage. Nitrogen filling can help avoid this and is well worth considering. However, when tyres are in use, reduced pressure will generally mean they have a puncture or there is a rim or valve leak. If there is no obvious sign of rim damage, suspect a puncture. Most punctures result in a slow loss of air while the puncturing object remains embedded in the tyre. So knowing a tyre is under-inflated often warns you that you have a puncture. Then you can do something about it. The alternative is to run the tyre and have it progressively deflate until either the puncturing object ejects (and deflates the tyre in seconds) – or the tyre overheats and blows-out as a result. It’s not a perfect world, so what do we do when most of us are not prepared to manually gauge all our tyres every trip? Luckily there are some great solutions and it’s a case of ‘you pays your money and you takes your choice’. Valve caps with a built-in plunger that changes colour with pressure have been around for a long time. They are cheap but their accuracy is suspect and a pressure drop is not very noticeable. Electronic ‘smart’ valve caps are now the most cost-effective solution to tyre pressure checking. They calibrate themselves to the tyre pressure when fitted and then ‘remember’ the pressure. If that pressure drops by more than a certain amount (say 4psi), an LED built in to the cap flashes. There are versions for regular pressures, typically up to say 70 psi (5 bar) and ones for the higher pressures found with motorhomes, typically up to160psi (11 bar). You can buy these for less than £9 a wheel – not much to pay for a big contribution to your safety (and convenience). But they can be easily stolen, so you need to be sure you store your caravan in a safe place. For a greater expenditure (around £50 a wheel), TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring systems) are available that offer an in-vehicle monitor that links wirelessly to pressure sensors on the tyre valves or inside the tyres. Various types are available so that you can monitor the tow vehicle tyres and the caravan’s. Hometyre supply retrofit units by Tyresure and Tyron which come with a dash mountable monitor. With systems that use wireless communication you need to be sure that the radio range offered is adequate for your particular caravan set-up. Systems that use sensors on the outside of the valve can be fitted at home. Those that use in-the-tyre sensors need the tyres to be demounted to fit. So it really is a case of going for what you can afford, as long as what you choose is accurate. We’d go so far as to say TPMS, whether it’s LED valve caps or a wireless system is a ‘must have’ for caravans. Dealing with low tyre pressure So, there are easy ways to detect that you have a tyre running below the correct pressure. When that happens, it’s essential that you do something about it – and don’t carry on driving. As soon as possible take the vehicle to a tyre technician who will demount the tyre, inspect it internally and repair it (or replace it) as necessary. Before you do that, look at the affected tyre / wheel. If it is obviously damaged, change the wheel if you can (and if it is safe to do so) or call a roadside emergency service. If it looks OK, just soft, re-inflate it with the portable compressor that we recommend you carry with you in the vehicle. If you come to the vehicle / caravan and find the tyre flat – and you don’t have or don’t want to use a spare – you could use a puncture sealant. There are types that come in aerosols which may or may not fix the problem and may result in the tyre having to be replaced. There are others that are used with a portable compressor and inject a liquid into the tyre that makes a temporary, get-you-home repair. The good ones are very effective, indicate where the puncture is and are easy to remove from the tyre. No sealant, whatever it ‘says on the can’ is a permanent repair. But these sealants only tend to work on punctures in the tread area, they will not seal splits in the side walls, as these flex too much to stay sealed.

If in doubt give us a call at Hometyre on 0800 783 9310.

 

Should you keep a car in a garage if wet

Can storing a car in a garage cause problems? Honest John or the telegraph explains why you shouldn't ever shut a garage door on a wet car. By Honest John 11:47AM GMT 02 Mar 2012 Internal conflict

In a recent letter to the Telegraph, a correspondent maintained that garages ruined cars. A wet car put in a cold garage apparently deteriorates far more quickly than it would if left outside. He claimed the electrical circuits would suffer through condensation creeping into every crevice. I intended to keep my Hyundai Sante Fe in a garage, but now I’m not too sure. What do you think?

ME, Braintree

That’s right – you shouldn’t ever shut a garage door on a wet car. If your garage is wet, there is a chance that residual heat from the engine and exhaust will dry it out, but you have to leave the door open for the damp air to exit. Close the door and the car will merely sweat. With no sunlight in winter, there’s an additional problem because garages can get very cold. If you take a car from an inside temperature of 2C into an ambient of about 12C, you will temporarily get condensation over the car’s exterior.

See the story here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/caradvice/honestjohn/9118374/Can-storing-a-car-in-a-garage-cause-problems.html

 

Petrol prices hit an all time high.

Petrol hits an all-time high: Cost of filling family car tops £96 today as pressure grows to freeze fuel duty... and AA warns it will get worse. Diesel fill-up is already more than £100 per tank . Unleaded prices 0.09p short of record following 1.25p rise in last week . Cost of filling 70-litre Ford Mondeo soars from £78.92 to £96.14 in two years By Ray Massey

Pressure: George Osborne is being urged to cut fuel duty in his budget this month - but the signs are he will not. Petrol prices have hit an all-time high today as the cost of unleaded continues the march towards the £100 fill-up. Prices at the pump have reached 137.44p, beating the previous record 137.43p - set in May last year - by 0.01p. Diesel is up to 144.67p - another new record, said the AA.

Last night the AA warned that this figure could rise further, and today's figure means the average family have seen the cost of filling up their car soar by £18 to more than £96 over the past two years. A diesel fill-up has already exceeded the £100 mark. The news increased pressure on Chancellor George Osborne to cut fuel duty again for the UK’s 33million motorists – but all the signals from the Treasury are that he will not. AA president Edmund King said: 'This new record for petrol and diesel just confirms what every family and business knows - fuel prices are hurting them badly and there seems no stopping them. 'We have asked the Chancellor to do what he can to protect the UK economy from fuel market volatility and record high prices which are stemming growth.' Mr King went on: 'There is no more give in family and business budgets despite them cutting back on fuel purchase and other spending so they can get to work and go about their business. 'Britain cannot get back on its feet if fuel prices hold drivers and business to ransom every time market sentiment takes hold.'

It comes days after the Daily Mail revealed that the UK is the fuel tax capital of Europe. British motorists are shouldering the heaviest tax burden in the EU at the pumps, paying 60p in every pound in duty and VAT. The AA said pump prices were being pushed up by soaring oil and wholesale prices which, in turn, were driven by instability in the Middle East and ‘greedy speculators’. It expects up to 3p more to be added by the summer, taking average prices to 140.43p a litre.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2108959/Petrol-prices-Cost-filling-family-car-96-today-pressure-grows-freeze-fuel-duty.html#ixzz1o8tx7EW8

 

Police clamping down on poorly maintained vehicles

Just read the story below, from the Hull police, and maybe the clampdown is moving South as I was called out to replace tyres at Chichester police station for a man who had been stopped for defective tyres.

Worn tyres chief problem as Hull police clamp down on 1,383 faulty cars 24 February 2012 Police are becoming increasingly concerned at the spate of motorists failing to replace badly worn tyres with new compounds.

It follows the latest clampdown on motorists driving poorly maintained cars, with Humberside police in Hull launching a campaign against drivers in the region.

A total of 1,383 cars had faults with 413 given vehicle defect forms that require them to visit garages and MOT centres to repair their vehicles in the next two weeks.

Another 211 drivers were referred to courses while 759 received a fixed penalty ticket, with drivers also receiving three points on their license.

Speaking to This is Hull and East Riding, PC Keith Ward admitted that insufficient tyre tread depth was a common problem among the motorists stopped.

"I put the problems with tyres down to the recession. People are tightening their belts and getting their cars serviced less frequently," he said.

"They are probably looking at their tyres and thinking they will last a bit longer, but it is crucial that people check them. "The tyre is the only thing between you and the road. It is what keeps your car safely on the road."

The campaign follows similar clampdowns in Middlesborough and Yorkshire.

 

Bridgestone launches new Eco tyre

Bridgestone launches new eco tyre February 27 2012 at 03:25pm By IOL Motoring staff

Bridgestone has launched a new fuel-saving tyre called Ecopia.

Reducing fuel consumption in today's more ecologically aware world boils down to a lot more than just smarter engines, reduced weight and slippery aerodynamics.

If you've read up on some of the more modern, fuel-saving cars then you'd also be familiar with low-rolling-resistance tyres that are being used as a small but effective way of reducing carbon footprints.

Of course, such tyres are also available to the general tyre-buying public and the latest release is from Bridgestone.

Its new Ecopia claims to reduce fuel consumption through lower rolling resistance while also providing a quieter ride and improving road holding.

Bridgestone South Africa's marketing manager Tony Burns also claims that braking distance and tyre life have not been sacrificed by the new design.

The heart of the Ecopia formula, according to Bridgestone, is a specially-designed silica compound combined with a coupling agent that limits friction between the carbon compounds of the tyre, giving lower rolling resistance.

With less energy being channelled into heat build-up, the Ecopia runs cooler and more economically - in controlled tests, the Ecopia showed itself to be 3.1 percent more fuel-efficient than an equivalent conventional tyre.

The company further claims that the Ecopia managed to shave almost six percent off the wet braking distance of its conventional counterpart during testing. This improvement is mainly due to rib linking technology that braces the tread blocks against longitudinal displacement under heavy braking.

The Ecopia tyre is available in a variety of sizes to fit almost any vehicle on the roads.

 

No cut in fuel duty in next months budget.

Budget 2012: no further cuts to fuel duty, George Osborne indicates Further cuts to fuel duty will not be made in next month's Budget, George Osborne has indicated, despite motorists and hauliers facing record petrol prices at the pump. It is estimated that the price of diesel and petrol at the pump has risen by 25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively over the past two years. Photo: PA By Andrew Hough 8:00AM GMT 25 Feb 2012 In a new blow to struggling families, the Chancellor has reportedly concluded there is no extra money in next month’s Budget for further cut tax cuts on the cost of fuel.

His decision comes amid mounting pressure for further cuts on fuel duty following warnings from motoring groups that rising fuel costs were hurting the economy.

It is estimated that the price of diesel and petrol at the pump has risen by 25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively over the past two years.

But Treasury officials insisted that prices have remained relatively stable “for some time” and that motorists have already benefited from billions of pounds of government assistance.

They also point to an announcement from the Chancellor in last November’s autumn statement that he would defer a planned duty rise.

 

I need quiet tyres

As reported in the Telegraph, below. Also give us a call at Hometyre and we will give you advice on the best tyres for you.

In need of quiet tyres Honest John recommends some quiet tyres for a reader with a Jaguar X-type. By Honest John 3:11PM GMT 24 Feb 2012 Roar emotions

I have a 2005 Jaguar X-type 3.0, with four-wheel drive. The road noise is rather high and the tyres are due for replacement. I wonder if you can recommend some quieter rubber than the current Pirelli 225/45 ZR17s.

LT, Hindhead

The problem is your tyres’ low profile – and they get noisier as they wear down. I recommend the new Michelin Primacy 3 or Goodyear Excellence

 

Are Runflat Tyres a good idea?

Recent article from the Telegraph:

Are run-flat tyres a good idea? Honest John explains the safety benefits of run-flat tyres. By Honest John 3:23PM GMT 24 Feb 2012 Airs and disgraces?

Run-flat tyres were fitted to my car on the false premise that they were superior. Aside from maintaining stability in the rare event of a blowout, the cons seem to outweigh the pros by a long way. The salesman made much of the fact that you can continue driving with a puncture for up to 150 miles, yet the car company’s website claims the true figure is 50. I got a nail in one after a fortnight and got a shock because the tyres are a good deal more costly than their normal counterparts. What really disturbs me is the disastrous ride over potholes and speed humps. How is this progress?

KL, via email

The principle advantage is that they might save your life because you’ll never be forced to stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway. I’ve almost been killed in that situation and wouldn’t want anybody else to share such an experience. Your ride quality problem is probably due to the tyres’ low profile, not the fact they are run-flats.

 

The Telegraphs 'Honest John' is a fan of Runflats

The advantages of run-flat tyres Honest John explains why run-flat tyres are a good idea. By Honest John

I was saddened to read about the death of a policeman, who was struck by an HGV while helping a lady who had broken down on the hard shoulder of the M1. This policeman wore reflective clothing, yet still he was struck down. It illustrates the real danger of hard shoulders. I once saw a stupid driver trying to change his flat tyre by the side of the M4 while his two young sons and wife were inches from the passing traffic.

EE, Shamley Green

This is one reason why I recommend run-flat tyres – in the event of a puncture, they allow you to continue driving until you are able to pull off safely at the next service area or exit slip.

 

Pirelli P Zero Silver derived from F1 experience.

Pirelli is launching the first road car tyre derived directly from the experience it gained providing tyres for Formula One.

The P Zero Silver has been developed for sports cars and sporting saloons, at the same time as the first F1 tests that mark the launch of the 2012 season take place.

The new tyre expands the P Zero range, and marks the first in a series of highly specialised Pirelli road car tyres, ensuring the maximum level of performance. According to Pirelli: “Thanks to the same processes that are used in Formula One, Pirelli underlines some of the key characteristics of the entire P Zero range through the new Silver – with the emphasis on durability.

“The structure, compound and tread pattern design of the Silver have been developed to resist any deformation in the tyre’s profile, lengthening the tyre’s life and extending the consistency of its performance. The Silver has been conceived for drivers who enjoy performance and use their cars frequently. The P Zero Silver is particularly designed for people who drive their cars every day and cover more than 12,000 miles per year, mostly on motorways.”

It allows everyday motorists to benefit from the main innovations and production processes introduced for F1 and supplied to all the grand prix teams last year.

This latest road tyre from the famous P Zero range shares the same mathematical modeling process with its Formula One equivalent. In particular, the design and development took place using the same state of the art computer simulation, which allows the tyre’s performance and behavior to be assessed under an extremely wide range of conditions.

The new tyre will be produced in eight sizes, for 19 to 20 inch wheels, and will be available as a limited edition in European markets from April 2012.

With the Silver, Pirelli is particularly concentrating on W, Y and Z speed ratings (i.e. for speeds greater than or equal to 270km / h) with 19-inch wheels.

 

Pirelli adds to the P Zero range with the 'Silver' derived from F1 experience.

Pirelli is launching the first road car tyre derived directly from the experience it gained providing tyres for Formula One.

The P Zero Silver has been developed for sports cars and sporting saloons, at the same time as the first F1 tests that mark the launch of the 2012 season take place.

The new tyre expands the P Zero range, and marks the first in a series of highly specialised Pirelli road car tyres, ensuring the maximum level of performance. According to Pirelli: “Thanks to the same processes that are used in Formula One, Pirelli underlines some of the key characteristics of the entire P Zero range through the new Silver – with the emphasis on durability.

“The structure, compound and tread pattern design of the Silver have been developed to resist any deformation in the tyre’s profile, lengthening the tyre’s life and extending the consistency of its performance. The Silver has been conceived for drivers who enjoy performance and use their cars frequently. The P Zero Silver is particularly designed for people who drive their cars every day and cover more than 12,000 miles per year, mostly on motorways.”

It allows everyday motorists to benefit from the main innovations and production processes introduced for F1 and supplied to all the grand prix teams last year.

This latest road tyre from the famous P Zero range shares the same mathematical modeling process with its Formula One equivalent. In particular, the design and development took place using the same state of the art computer simulation, which allows the tyre’s performance and behavior to be assessed under an extremely wide range of conditions.

The new tyre will be produced in eight sizes, for 19 to 20 inch wheels, and will be available as a limited edition in European markets from April 2012.

With the Silver, Pirelli is particularly concentrating on W, Y and Z speed ratings (i.e. for speeds greater than or equal to 270km / h) with 19-inch wheels.

 

wrong tyre fitted to a mini

Called to change the tyres on a Mini in Waterlooville, the customer had just bought it from a local garage with a new MOT. The car in question had just had its near side front tyre replaced to get it through the MOT. Yet whoever had replaced the tyre had put a normal tyre instead of a Runflat. So two mistakes were made: one by the tyre fitter not putting the right type of tyre, and one by the MOT station in not noticing that the tyre was wrong. This should have been an MOT failure as it was a dangerous mistake, as the new owner had he had a puncture could have continued driving on it thinking he had a runflat, until he either damaged the wheel, or worse still caused an accident, by not being able to control the vehicle properly. So if you have Runflat tyres and have any changed, then make sure that the correct tyres are fitted.

 

Are Car Tyres made from natural rubber?

How Is The Rubber For Car Tyres Made?

Have you ever wondered how rubber is made? We took a look in to the production of rubber. There are two types of rubber; synthetic and natural rubber. Natural rubber is made from rubber trees and they say money does not grow on trees! Huge plantations of these rubber trees are grown across many acres of land. The trees are cut early in the morning and the slits in the trees drip latex. This liquid latex is collected in buckets, which have to be emptied out every two to three hours. The workers then have to ensure that the latex is transported to the factory as quickly as possible. Any delays can mean that the latex itself will coagulate and this means that it is then quite simply useless. Although you will not find natural rubber in things like car tyres you will find natural rubber used to produce things such as elastic bands. Rubber as a product is not only very stretchy and bouncy, it is also very waterproof too. Some large jumbo jets are fitted with natural rubber tyres for the landing gear.

Many products today are made from synthetic rubbers. Synthetic rubber however uses the planets resources. Produced from fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, acetylene and natural gas, although the manufacturing process of heating the rubber up to mould the rubber is similar. The man-made rubber once it is made forms clumps of rubber, this is then dried out and rolled into large sheets. These sheets can then be loaded on to lorries for transportation. The rubber sheets are then moved on to the factory, where production of the final item takes place. This could be anything from car tyres to children's toys.

Moulding rubber can be carried out in several ways. Extrusion is one of the most common methods used to mould rubber. Rubber is heated and the forced at high pressure through a small hole this method can produce long strands of rubber. Another method of moulding rubber is compression moulding and this again is done under heat and pressure, however this time the rubber is heated in a mould. The rubber is then left to cool in the mould and the rubber creates a replica of the mould. The final way of which rubber can be moulded is a method of injection moulding. This is achieved by heating rubber again which is then injected in to a mould and cooled to create the final product. So thats it! Car tyres are made from synthetic rubber...

 

Tyre labelling for customers, will start in 2012

Next November 2012 will see the introduction of a standardised tyre label by the European Union. The goal of the EU Tyre Label is to promote low emissions and better road safety, with standardised information focusing on three keycriteria: fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise. The move is intended to give consumers essential information to help them when choosing new tyres, the EU Label will be given values from A-G, excluding D, to avoid an average performing tyre. Wet braking will be a crucial element highlighted on the EU Label. Vehicles with tyres from Class A stop in the shortest distance from 50mph, whilst tyres from Class B take an additional 3-6 metres. This trend continues for the subsequent values and results in an increase in braking distance of over 18 metres from a vehicle in Class A to Class F. For wet braking Categories D and G are not used so any tyre with longer stopping distances in the wet will be rated as E or F. Rolling resistance of a tyre is a contributory factor when saving fuel, for this reason it features alongside the wet braking value. For example, a tyre from Class C will use 1 litre more fuel than that of a tyre from Class B over a journey of 625 miles. Such values are intended to aid consumers in purchasing tyres for their individual requirements. Another environmental factor, noise level, will also be highlighted on the label showing the actual noise rating in decibels and one, two or three black bars with three being the loudest category. Car tyres must reach the minimum EU noise levels which range from 72 to 76 dB(A) depending on tyre width. All tyre manufacturers will be obliged to provide a sticker on, or with, all tyres, which retailers must display in a clearly visible position to the end user. All tyres produced after July 1, 2012 will need to have a label value which must be shown to consumers after 1 November, 2012, although tyre manufacturers can begin to label earlier on a voluntary basis.

 

Does your cars tracking need checking?

Correct Wheel Alignment will ensure:- Reduced Tyre Wear Improper alignment is a major cause of premature tyre wear. Over the years, a properly aligned vehicle can add thousands of miles to tyre life.

Research indicates that the average car is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with toe alignment just 0.34 degrees (Just 0.17 inches) out of specification has dragged its tyres sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year! Have you ever driven a car where the steering wheel is slightly out of line when driving in a straight line and on a flat road? There’s a good chance that the alignment is incorrect and you are actually forcing the tyres to drag slightly against the natural tread direction.

Better Fuel Mileage
 MPG decreases as rolling resistance increases. A tyre is designed to run directly forward in order to maximise the benefits of its tread design and contact patch. A tyre that’s forced to rotate even slightly off this designed line will create vastly increased rolling resistance.

Improved Handling 
 A tyre should rotate in such a way that the contact area utilises 100% of the tread width. This is never more important than during wet road conditions. Many modern tyres are now of a directional or asymmetric design. In order to effectively disperse water and prevent aquaplaning the tyre tread must be used fully to benefit from its advanced design.

To explain in greater detail, look at a vehicle from a bird’s eye view. On most modern vehicles, the rear wheels are ‘fixed’ in direction and not used for steering (there are a few exceptions). The front wheels, usually connected to one another by a ‘rack’, perform the steering function. These are the wheels that the terms alignment or tracking refer to.

‘Wheel alignment may be considered to be the angles of the wheels relative to each other and the car.’ Steering that is out of alignment may cause steering and handling difficulties, vehicle instability under braking, excessive tyre wear and increased fuel consumption.

Precision wheel alignment equipment is used to measure all alignment angles on today’s cars. These include measurements of both adjustable and non-adjustable angles. (Incorrect non-adjustable angles may mean that repair or replacement of suspension or steering components is required.)

The most common adjustable angle is Toe:

•Toe - 
This refers to the angled direction of the wheels toward or away from one another at their front edge when viewed from the top. Toe is the most critical tyre wearing angle. •Positive Toe is the leading edge of the wheels closer together. Toe ‘in’
. •Negative Toe is the leading edge of the wheels further apart. Toe ‘out’. •Zero Toe is when the wheels are parallel. Hometyre service vehicles are equipped with Laser wheel aligners. The service is carried out on site provided we have good reasonably level ground to work on.

 

Avon produces new Van tyre range

Avon Tyres has launched the latest in its range of van tyres – the AV11.

Complementing the AV9, the new tyre is available in selected sizes, with an expanded fitment range coming later in the year.

Designed with long life and durability in mind for typically high-mileage vehicles, the R-rated AV11 is currently available from Avon stockists in sizes 215/60R16 C, 205/65R16 C, 215/65R16 C and 235/65R16 C.

Among the AV11’s features are robust sidewalls to cope with kerbing damage and a reinforced carcass, able to handle heavier than average loads. Meanwhile, the tyre also provides optimum wet-weather handling.

Nigel Hampson, sales and marketing director of Cooper Tire Europe, said, “We know that our van-driving customers often depend entirely on their vehicles for their livelihoods. For them, the choice of a tyre is far more crucial than the average motorist and that’s why we’ve designed the AV11 with those people in mind.

“The AV11 will stand up to relatively harsh treatment, be it heavy payloads or scuffing along kerbs and other obstacles that are the everyday perils of the average LCV. And, when it comes to inclement conditions, the AV11 ensures that a bad day of weather needn’t mean a bad day for your business.”

 

Yokohama produce a new tyre specifically for vans

Year-Round Performance for Commercial Drivers from Yokohama Tyres from Japanese manufacturer Yokohama have long been renowned for performance and safety under all conditions. The marque’s expertise and reputation is also available to the light commercial market, with a range of three patterns aimed at van drivers across all conditions and circumstances.

First in the commercial range is the RY818 tyre. Aimed predominantly at the urban delivery user, it features a flat tread pattern to maintain grip and safety under all vehicle load conditions while the design ensures exceptional water clearance in wet weather.

Its construction means that it will withstand the daily rigours of multiple deliveries, with its specially-designed kerbing rib protecting against sidewall damage, as well as resisting wear and generating long life and hence, value for money.

The Y354 is intended for vehicles carrying out longer journeys and in a variety of conditions. It is classed as an ‘All Season’ tyre, meaning that it will cope with all extremes of weather, so the operator can continue working come rain or shine. With its M+S and Snowflake markings, it is ready for all possible winter conditions.

 

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