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Classic car tyres and tracking in Ashington

I had been out to fit tyres to a Triumph Dolomite approx. 9 months ago, so I was surprised to be called out to it again this week.

The customer told me that one of the tyres was losing pressure, and he wanted it sorting out. He had asked us to bring out two new tyres just incase they were required, he also said that the car had just been into a garage for a service, MOT and had had the tracking checked.

I jacked up the car and removed the front wheel where he was getting a pressure loss. What I found was that the tyre had worn right through to the cords on the inside edge and this was why it was losing pressure. Out of interest I checked the other front tyre and found it was also down to the cords on the inside edge.

I went to tell the customer what the problem was and told him that the tracking must have been out, which caused the problem. But since he had, had it corrected then it should no longer be a problem, so all I needed to do was fit two new tyres and all should be ok. It was then that he told me that the tracking must be ok as they do it as part of the MOT! I explained that tracking is not part of the MOT, so unless he had specifically asked for and paid for tracking then I doubted that it had been checked or adjusted. I suggested that it would be worth me checking the tracking once I had replaced the tyres, as we don't charge anything to do a check, we only charge if we have to do any adjustment. He was happy with this, so I went back to the car, and took the wheels into my van and replaced the tyres, then balanced the wheels. Before putting them back on I took the opportunity to clean up and oil the track rod nuts in case I needed to make any adjustments. I then put the wheels back on the car and torqued up the bolts.

I then took the car for a quick drive to settle the suspension back down before checking the tracking. Once back I lined the car up and drove it onto turn plates, and put our supertracker laser equipment onto the wheels. This soon showed that the cars tracking was way out as I had a reading of -5 on one side and -2 on the other, giving and error of -7mm which is way off the original setting of 1.6 toe in.

I went and saw the customer and asked him to come and look at the laser alignment so that he could see for himself how bad the car was. Once he had seen the problem, he was happy for me to adjust the car.

I was surprised to find that the locknuts and trackrods all undid very easily (much easier than on many modern cars that are only a few years old). I was able to adjust the trackrods and line the car up to the correct settings. I then asked the customer to take it for a test drive, to make sure it all felt and drove right. He went for about a 5 minute drive and came back with a smile on his face, saying that it handled brilliantly and that the steering wheel was level when driving in a straight line. One happy customer.

I put all of my equipment away, and completed the invoice, took a debit card payment using our onboard card reader, then send a receipt to the customer by email.


BMW 7 Series with 19" Runflats in Steyning

Today we were called out to a 7 series BMW that had a flat tyre. The customer had called the BMW dealership, but their prices were too high. The customer told them not to worry as he would get the tyre elsewhere. "They tried to put him off by telling him not to use a Mobile service as they cannot fit runflats, they also told him that they are the only company that can get the proper BMW marked tyres."

He didn't believe the dealership and called Hometyre, we assured him that we can fit runflats, as our vans have assistor wheels on the tyre changing machine specifically designed for runflats. We can even supply BMW marked tyres as we get our tyres from the same wholesalers as the dealership.

I arrived at the customers house in Steyning, he gave me the car keys and left me to get on with the job. I soon have the locking wheelnut removed, then jacked up the car. I removed the rest of the wheelnuts and pulled the wheel off, taking it into the van. I soon removed the runflat from the rim, and checked the sensor valve. All being OK, I then fitted the new runflat, inflated it to the correct pressure, and put it onto the wheel balancer to get it all balanced correctly, with stick-on weights inside the rim.

I then put the wheel back on the car, and bolted it up, using a torque wrench to get the bolt torques right. The car was then lowered and I removed the jack.

I then checked and corrected the tyre pressures on the rest of the tyres, as well as checking the tyre tread depths. All of the tyre info will then be emailed to the customer as part of his receipt. Finally I reset the TPMS system on his cars menu.

I returned the keys to the customer, and took a payment using a debit card. The customer was extreemly pleased as we had saved him around £40 compared to the dealership and we had come to him at home saving him time.Runflat


Goodyear tyres fitted to a Mazda 3 in Steyning, by Hometyre's mobile tyre service.

Today I had a job in Steyning, the customer had found Hometyre by searching the internet and had checked our prices online. He was pleased with what he saw and called through to our sales office to book an appointment to have all four tyres on his Mazda 3 replaced, he also asked if we could check the wheel alignment while on site.

I was running early, so called the customer to ask if it was acceptable for me to arrive around an hour early. He was happy with this as he wanted to drive up to London as soon as the job was complete, and this gave him more time to get there.

When I arrived, he handed over the car keys and left me to get on with the job; I first checked the existing tyres on the car and confirmed that they were the same size as the new tyres he had ordered.

There were no locking wheel nuts to worry about, so I soon had the car jacked up and was able to remove the first wheel. I removed the valve core to release the air pressure, then put the wheel in the bead breaker to break the seal on each side. It was then put onto the tyre changing turntable and clamped in place. The old tyre was then removed, the old valve was cut out, tyre paste was brushed around the rim and a new valve was inserted. I then put a new Goodyear tyre onto the rim, and inflated it to the correct pressure (30 psi).

The wheel/tyre assembly was then put onto the balancing machine and spun to find any inaccuracies; weights were then added to the rim to counteract the errors. Once complete the wheel was put back on the car and the wheel nuts were tightened up to the correct torque settings for that vehicle. The car was then lowered and I moved onto the next wheel and repeated the process, until all four had been changed. I also checked the spare which was a space saver and inflated it to the correct pressure.

The next job was to check the wheel alignment, so I took the car for a short drive to settle it back down on its suspension. The Supertracker alignment gauges were placed to the front wheels, with guide flags on the rear wheels. I was then able to check the figures and compare them to the correct settings for this vehicle. The actual readings came well within the tolerances required, so no adjustment was needed.

I completed a report and invoice sheet before taking a debit card payment from the customer, his receipt was then emailed to him. - Job complete.


TPMS - Tyre Pressure sensor valves

Hometyre are experts in Tyre pressure monitoring systems, and can replace or repair broken or damaged TPMS sensor valves at prices that beat most main dealers. Being a Mobile service, we come to you at home or work, so there is no need for you to drive to a dealer.

Many cars are now fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and since 1st January 2012 all newly registered vehicles have to have some form of TPMS, and they must work for the vehicle to pass its MOT.

If you get a flashing TPMS light on your


dash, that usually means there is a problem with the system,

generally a damaged or non working sensor. A solid TPMS light on the dash indicates a a tyre problem. (Low pressure or puncture).

There are two types of TPMS ….Indirect and Direct systems.

Indirect systems use the cars ABS wheel speed sensor to monitor the rotational speed of each wheel. If there is a deflation, the ABS

sensor will determine that there is a difference of wheel speed on the deflated wheel and will trigger a light on the vehicles dash informing the driver that there is a problem. Whereas direct systems use a sensor located inside the wheel/tyre assembly.

Indirect systems were used by many manufacturers as they use components that were already built into a vehicle, they did not need to add additional sensors inside the wheels. The disadvantages of the ABS systems are that they can be inaccurate and are not as sensitive to pressure changes as direct systems. Additionally the vehicle must be driven before the system will flag up a pressure loss. Additionally if both tyres on the same axle deflate at the same time, then the system will not pick up a problem.

Direct systems are starting to become more common as most manufacturers are swapping to this system as it is more accurate and the driver can also check the actual pressures of each tyre.

The direct system uses a pressure monitor located inside each wheel / tyre assembly. This monitor is generally attached to the valve and it constantly monitors both the pressure and the temperature inside each tyre.

I have seen sensors that are mounted to the main body of the wheel, although these have been on American vehicles.

The sensors in the wheels constantly send information to a receiving unit in the dash which will alert the driver immediately if there is a loss in pressure.

The disadvantages of this system are that the sensor must have a sealed case to protect it from any moisture within the tyre, but this also means that the battery in it is sealed in, and cannot be replaced. Tyre fitters must also be alert when changing a tyre on a vehicle fitted with these sensors as they can easily be damaged when removing and replacing a tyre.

What should I do if a sensor stops working?

As stated above, these sensors have a sealed battery, which on average last around 5 to 7 years or around 100,000 miles. Some of the earlier sensors were made of different metals which reacted with each other and caused galvanic corrosion, making the valve stems very weak and brittle. This means that many would snap off when removing a valve cap.

When replacing a tyre for you Hometyre will inspect any TPMS valves for signs of corrosion and if necessary can replace the valve stem. The valve core in these stems must be nickel plated otherwise it will cause corrosion. We at Hometyre will only fit nickel plated cores to your valves.

Hometyre also carry diagnostic TPMStpms_isensor equipment that can check the condition of each sensor valve and can replicate a new one if required. By replicating the existing sensor valve the cars CPU (Computer) will not realise that it has been changed and will continue to work without needing a reset at the main dealer. All of Hometyres TPMS valve replacement costs are fully inclusive of fitting and vat.

If you have any problems with your TPMS valves give us a call at Hometyre as we can help. Click here for contact details.


New tyres on an Audi in Ashington

I was called out to check an Audi TT in #Ashington on Saturday, the owner complained that the vehicle was vibrating at around 70mph, but also it felt odd when cornering.

Normally vibration through the steering wheel at speed is caused by a wheel balance problem, so the first job was to check the front wheel balancing. The car was jacked up, the locknuts were removed, and then the other nuts removed. Once I had the wheel off of the car it was easily noticeable that the tyre was down to the legal limit in the centre of the tread. Meaning it should be replaced.

A quick check on the other front tyre also showed that it was worn out in the central area. This type of wear, also shows that the tyres have been pumped up over pressure. Just to see if balancing was causing the vibration problem, I put the wheel on the electronic wheel balancer and gave it a spin. It showed that the wheel was 40g out of balance. I put the wheel back on the car and checked the other side in the same way, it was 30g out. So this would account for the vibration, but not the odd feeling when cornering.

I turned my attention to the rear tyres, jacking the car up and removing each wheel in turn. The NSR tyre was ok for balance, but was low on tread at around 2.5mm (Only 0.9mm to go). The OSR tyre was checked next, it was very low on pressure, a quick check soon showed the problem to be a puncture caused by a screw in the tread. The tyre still had 5.5mm of tread remaining, so it was worth repairing, at the same time it would be rebalanced. This low pressure, would quite easily account for the odd feeling when corning.

Since it was Saturday afternoon, it was too late to get replacement tyres for the car. After talking with the owner, she decided to have the 3 tyres replaced and the punctured tyre repaired. The repair I was able to do immediately, and I ordered new tyres to be delivered and replaced on Monday.

On Monday the new tyres were delivered to me, and I headed back to the customers address in Ashington. The customer was out, but had left the cars keys in a hidden spot for me, so I was able to get started on changing the tyres that were low. Just as I finished fitting the three tyres the customer returned, and I was able to return the keys to her and take a payment for the job. The customer took the car out for a quick drive to confirm that we had managed to solve the vibration problem. While she was out driving I completed the tyre report and invoice, which was then emailed to the customer so they have a record of the work we have carried out.

When she arrived back she gave me the thumbs up that all was well, and I was able to move onto my next job.


Do you know the minimum legal tyre tread depth in the UK.

A recent poll carried out by an independent garage found that 69% of motorists did not know that the correct legal tyre minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. Not knowing means that drivers, their passengers and other road users could be at risk if they cause an accident, as it is reckoned that 40% of serious or fatal accidents are tyre related.

The survey showed that those aged 25 to 54 were the most likely to be aware of the correct tyre tread depth.

The survey also showed that 31% of those questioned did not bother to check their tyre tread depths, but relied on their annual MOT to find any concerns. Women were more reliant on the MOT finding tyre concerns (38%) compared to men (25%).

Even though tyres should be checked every week, the survey showed that around 31% of drivers check their tyres around every 6 months, with 7% checking their tyres before a long journey, only 4% of drivers said that they check their tyres on a weekly basis.

It's not just tyre tread depths that are overlooked, but also tyre pressures. The survey showed that around 44% check their pressures before a long journey, with 25% saying that they do check their pressures around once a month. But there were also a further 12% who rely on the garage carrying out the annual service to check their tyre pressures. What most drivers do not realise, is that garages do not often check tyre pressures as part of a service, meaning that their tyres do not get checked until it is seen that they are almost flat.

Leaving your tyre checks for others to find, is leaving your safety and the safety of others on the roads to fate. Not only that, but if pulled over by the police, you can get 3 penalty points per illegal tyre, plus a fine of up to £2500.

Every October 'Tyresafe' run a campaign to encourage motorists to check their tyres, they also regularly put out tweets. The problem is that most drivers overlook tyres and don't think of them as a safety item.

If buying a used vehicle, it is worth checking the tyres yourself even if the vehicle has come from a dealer. Check them not for tread depth and pressure, but also check that they are the correct tyres for the vehicle. I have seen cars with one wheel that was a different size to the other three, also a car with a mix of winter and summer tyres.

Also when it comes to vehicles equipped with runflat tyres so drivers will put regular tyres on the car to save money. Last week I had a customer with a Mini, where the front tyres were normal tyres and the rears were runflats. They had only owned the Mini for a month and it had just been bought from a car dealer. Mixing tyres of differing types is not recommended and can cause handling problems, not only that but if out on the road and getting a puncture, you would be stuck as the car does not come with a spare.

When changing any of your tyres Hometyre will carry out a full tyre inspection and pressure check, we will also supply you with a tyre inspection report.

For more info contact us at Hometyre click here for details


Van wheel alignment in Littlehampton

I find that not many van drivers want to have their wheel alignment checked and adjusted. I think it is because they just put tyre wear down as a business expense and don't realise that by having it correctly set up they can get far more mileage out of their tyres, as well as fuel savings and having the van handle better.

Today though saw a previous customer, who wanted to have his VW Crafter van aligned. He found that it was pulling to one side when driving straight, plus he was getting uneven tyre wear.

My first job upon arrival, was to check and correct all the tyre pressures, I could then drive it onto turn plates and put the Supertracker laser gauges on the wheels to get and idea of what the tracking was like. On this vehicle the front settings should be +3.1mm with the rear of the vehicle lined up. The actual settings showed a difference at the rear of 5mm and a toe setting of +0.5mm. This was why the vehicle was handling badly. I put the steering on full lock from side to side to get access to the trackrod arms and loosened off the locking nuts. The van steering was then set straight and the steering wheel clamped in position. The trackrods were then adjusted on both sides to get the thrust angle straight, and at the same time watching the front toe adjustment until it reads +3.1mm. Once complete, the locknuts are pinched up all of the Supertracker equipment is removed and I am able to take the van out for a test drive.

It was still pulling slightly to one side, so it was put back on the turn plates and rechecked. One side was slightly off (this often happens when making large adjustments), so I made another small adjustment and nipped up the bolts, removed the equipment and went for a second test drive. This second test drive was successful with the van driving in a straight line and no pulling to one side. I was then able to fully tighten the trackrod locknuts, and make out a tyre report on the vehicle before taking a debit card payment. A receipt is then emailed through to the customer.

So weather you are a car, 4x4, or van owner, have your tracking checked and adjusted at least once a year, as in the long run it can save you money.

I have seen some vehicles where there is zero tread on one side of the tyre and 5mm of tread on the other, so the customer is theoretically only using around 50% of the tread before needing new tyres.

Next time you want your wheel alignment checked and adjusted, give us a call at Hometyre on 03334445454 as we can come out to you to do the work on site.

Van_tracking_1 Van_tracking


TPMS valves replaced on a Vauxhall Insignia in Littlehampton.

One of the jobs I had this week was for a customer whose Vauxhall Insignia had failed its MOT due to its TPMS (Tyre Pressure Measuring Sensors) valves failing.


TPMS Dashboard Light

The TPMS light on the dash had come on previously, he had checked the tyres for pressure loss and found that the tyres were fine and thought that it was just a fault with the system. The customer thought that his local garage would be able to switch it off, but it was a fault with the TPMS units themselves and they needed replacing. This was a job that the garage was not able to do, which is why Hometyre was contacted to do the job.

How long do TPMS units last?

TPMS units on average last from 3 to 7 years mostly dependant on the amount of use they get. If the car does high mileage, then the units are used more often and the batteries run out faster. (In most cases the batteries cannot be replaced).

We at Hometyre Sussex carry a TPMS diagnostic unit, it can read the old TPMS units record their data and replicate it to a new blank unit. Once fitted to the wheel, the cars computer will pick up the signal and not realise that the TPMS unit has been changed. When the TPMS units have been changed and the system reset the light on the dash will go out.

TPMS Replacement in Littlehampton

Upon arrival at the job, I got the keys off of the customer and had a look for the locking wheel nut key, I soon found it in the glovebox and went round loosening all the locknuts. I then jacked the car up and removed the first wheel, deflated the tyre and removed it from the wheel. Once removed I was able to remove the old TPMS unit and put it into the diagnostic machine, it was able to tell me that the battery was depleted and at the same time it recorded the data required to replicate the valve. A blank sensor was then put into the machine and the data transferred to it. Once complete I fitted the new replacement into the wheel and torqued it to its correct setting of 7 NM.


The original tyres were still in good condition with plenty of tread remaining, so they were put back onto the wheel, it was then inflated to the correct pressure balanced and put back on the car, torquing the nuts to their correct settings.

I then moved onto the next wheel and repeated the process, I did this until all four TPMS units had been replaced. The locking wheel nut was put back into the glovebox and its position recorded in our system and on the customer's vehicle inspection report.TPMS unit fitting_1

I then reset the TPMS system and this was confirmed as the warning light on the dash went out. As a double check I was then able to go round each wheel with the diagnostic machine and get a reading from each unit showing the battery status and actual tyre pressure.

Once completed I was able to take a payment from the customer using his debit card on our secure card reader and send a receipt to the customers email.

Do you need your TPMS replaced?

If you have a vehicle that was first registered after Jan 2015, then it should have some form of TPMS system and it must work to pass an MOT.

We at Hometyre can only replace direct TPMS units. Should you have problems with your TPMS, then give us a call at Hometyre, we can replace units at prices that beat most main dealers. For contact details click here.


Cadillac tyres in Brighton


One of my regular customers has an old Cadillac as a second car that he keeps garaged, he takes it out on special occasions. His main car is a Bentley which I have changed tyres on numerous times. He called up this week to say that he had a blowout on one of the rear tyres while driving the Caddy, the AA had fitted his spare to get him home. I had already replaced the front tyres around two years ago, so he decided that since one had blown it would be sensible to replace both rear tyres.

Not such an easy job as tyres for this vehicle are hard to find, being that they are 235/75R15. All of our main wholesalers only had 4x4 tyres in that size, we contacted a specialist wholesaler we occasionally use who stock a wide range of American tyres. They had a set of Hercules white wall tyres on the shelf and could send them out that day, exactly what the customer wanted.cadillac wheel_1

The job was booked into my diary, for 11am today, I arrived 10 minutes early to find the Cadillac on the drive with the damaged tyre propped up against the car. After a quick discussion with the customer, I got on with the job and soon had the car jacked up. Being a Cadillac it has the rear wheels half covered over with a body panel, at first it looks complicated, but it was actually very easy to remove. There is a leaver under the side panel, which when released, allows the panel to swing out and lift off, giving clear access to the wheel.

It was then a case of undoing the wheel bolts and taking the wheel into the van to replace the tyre. I checked the date on the tyres to find they were 24 years old, so it was a good job they were now being replaced.

The wheel is steel with a nice chromed wheel cover, making it very easy to remove the old tyre and valve, then replace them both with new parts. Checking with the customer, he told me the the pressure for this car was 22psi (Not something that is shown on my modern tyre pressure charts). Once inflated the wheel was put on the wheel balancing machine and spun to find any inaccuracies, these were counter balanced and the wheel was ready to go back on the car. Wheel nuts were put back on and torqued to correct settings, wheel trim fitted and the side panel replaced. Then onto the other side for the same procedure.

Once complete, I checked the tyre pressures of the front tyres and corrected them, checked the tread and wrote out a tyre report to go with the invoice. The customer paid with a debit card, using our onboard card payment machine and his receipt was emailed through to him.

My final job before leaving was to stow the spare wheel back in the boot for him.

Onto my next job.

Should you have an American car or even a classic European car, then give us a call at Hometyre as we have a vast range of contacts and given a day or so, can find the right tyre for you. Click here for contact details


The dangers of buying partworn tyres

I was called out to a lady with a flat tyre in Bognor Regis. When I arrived at the job, I asked the lady what the problem was…. She said that she had 4 new tyres fitted 3 weeks ago, but one kept going down, and had to be pumped up twice a day.

She had been back to where she bought them, but they had been unable to help her! So she had decided to call Hometyre out to see if we could sort it out for her.

When I checked the car I found that all four tyres were different makes, had different tread patterns, and they were between 4 ~ 6 years old. One of them even had a split in the side wall and the tread depths varied between 4 and 5mm. (New tyres come with around 7~8mm). These clues let me know that she had bought part worn tyres, not new ones.

I jacked the car up and removed the flat tyre, took it into my van and checked it over. I soon found the problem….a previous puncture repair was leaking.

I removed the tyre from the rim and checked the inside; luckily there was no damage from driving with a punctured tyre. But when I checked the old repair it soon became apparent as to the problem. The previous repair was a temporary type like the emergency services does to get stranded drivers home. It is not to be supposed to be a permanent repair and should have been fixed before the tyre was sold and fitted to any car. Additionally any part worn tyres are supposed to have the words "part worn" stencilled on the side in 4mm high lettering using indelible ink. All four tyres on this car did not have any marking.

I removed the old temporary plug and carried out a proper repair to British standards, which will last the life of the tyre. Put a new valve in the rim, refitted it to the rim, inflated it to the correct pressure and balanced it, before fitting it back on the car.

I then wrote out a report on the tyre conditions in general and went to get a payment for the repair. I explained what I had found to the lady, I also said she should go back to the dealer and ask for the tyre with a cut to be replaced.

She was not very happy as she was 7 months pregnant, and felt that the part worn dealer had put her and her baby in danger. She also said that he told her the tyres were less than 6 months old (not the 4 to 6 years old I found).

This shows the dangers of buying tyres from part worn dealers, most of the tyres they have in stock are scrap tyres, that have been patched up to sell to unsuspecting customers who think they are getting a good deal!

By law part worn tyres must:

1. Have a minimum of 2mm of tread all round the circumference of the tyre.

2. The structural integrity must not be compromised. i.e. No large cuts, bulges, etc.

3. Be pressure tested, to ensure they don't have any punctures.

4. Be printed with the words 'part worn' in 4mm high indelible ink on the sidewall.

Clearly the tyre on this car failed on points 3 & 4. I suggested to the customer that she should report the seller to trading standards.

#saynotopartworntyres #tyresafe


Check your tyre sizes

When ordering tyres we always ask customers to check their tyre sizes by verifying the actual size written on the side wall of the existing tyres. For online help click here Tyre_Size

Some customers have used online tyre sizing web apps, which work about 80% of the time, but the other 20% of the time they get the tyre sizes wrong.

At Hometyre we always ask the customer to verify the actual sizes by checking the size from the side wall of the car tyre. We also ask them to check all four tyres as occasionally we have found cars with a mixture of tyre sizes, where people have bought used tyres or mistakes have been made previously.

I had one lady who had a Vauxhall corsa, she ordered tyres online after checking only one tyre, and that was the spare tyre after it had been fitted to her car by a mechanic, due to her having a blow out.

The spare wheel was totally different size to the rest of the tyres on the car, and she had been driving around on it for the last month, wondering why her car pulled to one side! After checking all her tyres we were able to order the right size tyres, and get her car driving in a straight line again.

With some vehicles, namely Mercedes, Jaguar, BMW and Smart cars, the front and rear tyres can be different sizes, this is correct on these cars. But when ordering you need to make sure you are ordering the right size depending on which tyres you are changing.

This week I had a customer who had taken a photo of the rear tyres on his Mercedes, but he actually wanted the front tyres changing. I am going back to him next week with the right size tyres.

It is not only the size you need to get right, but also the type of tyre... recently I went out to a VW Sharan that needed new tyres on the front. The lady had checked the tyres and ordered them correctly. When fitting her tyres I also checked the rear tyres as part of our service, and found that both rears were commercial van tyres. Although the sizes are correct, these tyres fitted to a normal family car will cause handling problems. The lady had only bought the car recently, and did not know that the wrong type of tyre had been fitted. We suggested she go back to the car dealer where she bought it, to see if they would arrange replacement tyres for her.

In trying to save money I have also had caravan owners fitting car tyres as they are often cheaper. But they have then said that they want them inflated to 55psi, most car tyres will only go up to around 42psi. You have to buy light commercial tyres to get up to 65psi, or if you have a motorhome you may need camper tyres as these will allow pressures up to 80psi.

If you don't know the type of tyre you require, please give us a call we are here to help. For contact details click here.


Getting the Motorhome ready for easter

Easter is almost with us, many families are preparing for their upcoming holiday by cleaning off their Motorhomes and having them serviced.Motorhome_aug_2016

One additional check than needs doing is your tyres. According to the caravan club any Motorhome that has tyre pressures of over 50psi, should have them changed every 3 to 5 years, regardless of the tread remaining, and that includes the spare tyre, which is often overlooked by many people.

I have already changed tyres on a couple of Motorhomes this year and have a Hymer booked in this week. The owner is very particular about his tyres and wants Hometyre to fit Michelin Agilis tyres, as he feels these are some of the best tyres available.

The job will be carried out at a storage facility at a time that has been chosen by the customer.

When working on a Motorhome, I make sure it is jacked up under one of the main suspension points, due to the additional weight they carry. The age of the tyres is also important, as this effects when you come to change them next time.

When we at Hometyre get our tyres from the wholesalers we ask for the newest tyres available and check the DOT dates when the tyres arrive. Generally tyres are between 3 ~ 6 months old at the time of supply. But I have had tyres delivered that have been between 1 and 2 years old, these we have sent back and had replaced. Many fixed site tyre dealers who store tyres can have tyres in stock that are 2 to 3 years old which then need to use. They will often fit the tyres with the date on the inside edge, so it cannot be seen. I will always fit tyres with the date showing if possible.

Depending on what valves are already fitted to your wheels, TPMS valves, steel valves or high pressure rubber valves, we will either replace the valve core and check the seating on TPMS and steel valves, or fit new if rubber valves. tpms_monitor Should you be interested, we can even fit a set of retrofit TPMS valves, these come with a solar powered dash monitor, that will give you real time pressures and temperatures of each wheel while you are driving.

Another option is a set of Tyron safety bands, these will not stop a puncture, but will enable you to continue driving under control in the case of a deflation. Hometyre are one of the main mobile fitters trusted and recommended by Tyron UK. For more info on Tyron click here

So if you are planning your holiday break, please check your tyres and call us at Hometyre, Click here for contact details


The tyres for the Hymer arrived and they were 1 year old, the customer had asked for Agilis Camper tyres.  The tyres that arrived were Commercial Agilis tyres. We contacted the wholesalers only to find that 14" Agilis camper tyres are not produced anymore, also after checking with wholesalers up and down the country we found only six 14" Agilis commercial tyres in the UK all 1 year old. After some discussions with the customer, who did not want any other make of tyre, he decided to have the Agilis commercial tyres.

We will do our best to get the tyres you require, but even we cannot get hold of tyres that are not produced anymore.


Caravanning season is here, have you considered a set of Tyron Safety bands

Are you considering fiting a set of Tyron safety bands to your Caravan or Motorhome? We at Hometyre are recommended suppliers and fitters. I personally have been to Tyron UK for additional training in the use of their products, not many Tyron fitters can say that. Tyron bands start at £69 including vat per wheel fully fitted at your location. (Home, storage area or even at a camp site).

What are Tyron Safety bands?


Tyron bands are a simple safety device that were originally designed for military use, since then they have been used by ambulances, police cars, the fire brigade and now they have progressed into the leisure vehicle market. The safety bands can be a potential life saver in the event of a tyre deflation, giving you the ability to continue handling your vehicle under control and continue driving until you reach a place of safety to pull over and stop.

See Tyrons video, follow this link

Are there any other advantages?

Some insurance companies will offer a discount on your premium if you have Tyron safety bands installed. They have for many years been recommended by the Camping and Caravan club who offer 10% discount on Caravan Insurance for members with Tyrons fitted. This means they can actually pay for themselves over a number of years, as well as giving you that added safety feature.

How do these Safety bands work?

When fitted, Tyron bands will significantly improve the performance and safety of any wheel or tyre in the event of deflation. At speed it assists the driver in maintaining steering, cornering, braking and traction control. It provides a short run-flat capability so you can choose a safe place to stop and change the wheel. Wheels are designed with a 'fitting well', this is used by a tyre fitter when putting on or removing a tyre. When fully inflated a tyre is held in place by the wheels beads and internal air pressure, if this pressure drops due to a puncture, then the tyre can move around, come off the bead and drop into the fitting well. If this happens the tyre can then come off the wheel, reducing traction, braking and handling as well as possibly damaging your vehicle. When Tyron safety bands are installed, they fill up the fitting well, meaning that a tyre cannot come off a wheel. Tyron safety bands are especially beneficial for caravans and trailers as they are towed vehicles and a driver will not always realise that they have a puncture until it is too late. These vehicles can easily overturn if they have a blowout, causing considerable damage, as well as putting you and other road users in danger. Fitting Tyron safety bands is a simple safety solution that can be added to your wheels either when buying new tyres, or as a retro fit.

Can Tyron safety bands be fitted by any tyre depot?

The basic answer to this would have to be 'yes', but in reality, not many tyre depots know how to fit them correctly. I have seen many Tyron safety bands fitted upside down, fitted with parts missing, fitted over the valve, and even with the wrong size bands fitted. We at Hometyre are recommended by Tyron UK as one of their main suppliers and fitters,

How much do Tyron safety bands cost?

We will supply and fit your Tyron safety bands at your location (Home, storage area or campsite) for a price that starts at £69 including vat for the 13" and 14" bands. 15" & 16" bands are a little more. We even balance your wheels once fitted, to make sure your vehicle does not vibrate when being towed.

There is also a customer care kit that we recommend every customer has at £7.46 plus vat.

To order your Tyron safety bands give us a call at Hometyre on 0800 7839310 (Landline free phone), or 0333 444 5454 (Mobile friendly number), all we need to know is your wheel rim size, then where and when you want them fitting.

For more information click here


Hometyre can also install a complete TPMS system to your caravan or motorhome letting you know your tyre pressures at all times. for more info on this system give us a call or drop us an email.


Locknut removal and tyre on a Jaguar in Chichester

Not all jobs go the way you expect.

I was called out to a locking wheel nut removal and a new tyre on a Jaguar X class.

Jaguars in general have their own design of locking nut, which is domed on the top with a locking mechanism at the base of the nut. They are extremely difficult to remove, and I have had customers tell me that the local Jaguar dealer quoted £400 to remove one nut. We charge a set fee, which is far lower that this main dealer fee.Jaguar Domed locking wheelnuts

We at Hometyre Sussex carry a specialist tool that can remove these nuts, although because they can be difficult, the tool can often break. This is a chance we take, and because of this I carry two of these tools on my van.

The customer when he booked us told us the tyre size and said that he wanted a budget tyre, he had hit a pothole and had split a tyre, he went through the car and found a locknut key, but it did not fit his locking wheel nuts which is why he called us. I went to my local wholesaler picked up a tyre and drove out to his location.

When I arrived I noticed straight away that it was not fitted with the normal Jaguar locknuts and asked to see the key the customer had. He handed it over and I realised the locknuts on the car were covered over with steel covers, once I removed the covers I was able to remove the locknuts with the key.Jaguar having tyre changed

I then jacked the car up and removed the wheel with the split tyre. Once in my van I was able to remove the tyre, I then checked the rim for any cracks since he had hit a pothole, but it was OK. I removed the rubber valve and fitted a new one, before fitting the new tyre. It was then inflated and electronically balanced, before being refitted to the car.

I offered to check and if necessary adjust the tracking on the car, but the customer did not want this doing. After hitting a pothole, tracking can easily be knocked out of alignment, causing the car to pull to one side, and causing uneven tyre wear. It is always worth having it checked and adjusted as required.Uneven tyre wear

I checked all the other tyres on the car and wrote out a report and invoice. Since I had been able to use the original locknut key, there was no charge for the removal, so the customer only had to pay for the tyre. He was very happy as this had saved him a considerable amount.

If you need tyres or if you have a locking wheel nut problem, then give us a call at Hometyre, we are here to help. Contact us here


MG-B tyres in Rustington

I had a customer this week who had bought an MG-B as a restoration project, he had completely restored the body, and the car had been into a garage to have the engine overhauled. The car had now been put through an MOT and it had passed with flying colours, all except for the two rear tyres. Although these were OK they were given an advisory as they were showing signs of cracking.

Since the customer now wanted to sell the car, he decided that it would be better to have the tyres changed first.

He phoned us at Hometyre and booked two 165/80R14 Falken tyres to be fitted at the garage where they were giving it a final service. I arrived at the garage, and was shown to the car; they had it in a free space within the workshop, which was nice as it was cold and wet outside.

There were no locking wheelnuts, so I was able to bring in my jack and get the car up in the air immediately. The wheelnuts were removed and the wheel taken into my van. I was surprised to see that the tyre was a Dunlop tubeless tyre from 1986 so around 31 years old. No wonder it was cracking and needed changing. I put it into my bead breaker and soon had the tyre loose on the rim, it was then put on the turntable and the old tyre removed. The old rubber valve was removed and a new valve inserted. I then fitted the new tyre, and inflated it to the correct pressure; the wheel was then put onto the wheel balancer and spun to show the errors. Being a steel rim clip on weights were then added to the rim to correct the error, bringing it all back to zero.MG_wheel

I then refitted the wheel to the car, and torqued the nuts up to the correct setting. It was then onto the next wheel to do exactly the same. Except this time I found that an inner tube had been fitted inside the tyre. Once I had the tube out and the tyre off, it was possible to see that the reason for the tube was rust inside the rim, which had caused a slow air leak. The rim wasn't in too bad a condition, so I cleaned off the rust, sanding the wheel back to bare metal. I then added a sealer before fitting a new valve and putting the tyre on. This wheel was then inflated, balanced and put back on the car, torqued up, before the car was lowered off the jack.

MGB_carAs part of our job I then checked the front tyres. Although both had good tread, one was 12 years old and the other was the same as the rears, it was 31 years old.

Also both fronts had been fitted with inner tubes. I wrote this information up on the tyre report, as well as telling the manager of the garage, so that he could inform the owner.

I then took a payment using our onboard card reader, and sent the receipt through to the customer by email.

If you have a classic car that needs tyres, then please give us a call at Hometyre, to discuss your requirements. We have access to 1000's of different tyres and these can be fitted with or without inner tubes to normal or wire wheels.


Hometyre reviews

Hometyre has had many reviews, both on its own website, on Trustpilot and on Which? Trusted Traders, please take a look on any of the review sites to see what genuine customers have to say about Hometyre Sussex and the service we give..

We welcome reviews from all customers whether for something simple such as a valve replacement or a wheel balance, right through to difficult jobs like locking wheel nut removals and TPMS sensor replacement.

Some of my recent reviews are shown below, all showing 5/5 stars.


Excellent job. ***** Customer Service Quality Value I was looking for a small local tyre company to swap my winter tyres on my car. I was most impressed with the whole operation.

Vincent, West Sussex 25/01/2017 Recommended


Good value for money. ***** Prompt. Customer Service Quality Value Technician friendly and polite. On 19.01.17 I was desperate to have a punctured tyre replaced. As we have shingle on the drive, I did not want to change it on the drive. I was planning to use the car for a long journey. I turned to the internet to look for mobile tyre mechanics. The earliest Kwik Fit could do was Saturday, and National Tyres was Wednesday. I then called Hometyre, spoke to a polite person, and had an appointment for today. Turned out to be problem with the wheel. Repaired promptly.

Gwen, Hampshire 20/01/2017 Recommended.


Fantastic job ***** Customer Service Quality Value Quick, efficient and very professional. Always very helpful.

Mark, West Sussex 16/01/2017 Recommended.


Another excellent job ***** Customer Service Quality Value Starts with Mark arriving on time (always a good sign) and ends, in my case, with return of the keys and Mark runs through the job with you. I have used Mark before so today's job was typical.

Art, West Sussex 10/01/2017 Recommended


These are typical reviews, they have not been specially selected but are the last 4 from the Which?Trusted Trader site.

Whether you want tyres for a car, 4x4, van, caravan, motorhome or trailer, we can help you. Contact us at Hometyre..Click here



Various classic cars

It's not often that I get to work on a classic car, but it is nice when I do as these vehicles offer more challenges than modern cars. Not just in the tyres, but the wheel construction, valve type and even where to jack the vehicle. When it comes to a jacking point I will often take advice from the vehicles owner, as they have often jacked the vehicle up themselves, and know the correct point. If in doubt I will go for the main suspension point as this is very solid, but not always easy to get too.

Daimler Jaguar, the customer had boughtClassic_car_tyre_fitting this car only around a year previously, it had gone through some basic restoration and he was going to continue with the work. He had bought a complete set of 'new' original wire wheels; these had been in storage for around 30 years. My job was to take the tyres off of the existing wheels and refit them to the new wheels, replacing the inner tubes at the same time. On this job, the customer wanted to be involved, I would jack up the car and he would remove the wheels giving them to me to do my job. This vehicle has one large central nut that holds the wheel on; it is removed and replaced using a hide mallet (No torque settings here). Once I had the old wheel and tyre, I would remove the valve core, then break the bead of the tyre, put it onto the turntable and remove the tyre from the rim. It was then a reverse of this fitting the tyre and new inner tube onto the new rims, inflating the tyre and putting it on the balancing machine. Even balancing is not normal, I have to use two centralising cones to keep the wheel running true and get a good balancing figure. Then it is a case of trying to either fit clip on weights to the inside edge of the wheel, or stick-on weights. I will always try not to put weights on the outer edge of the wheel as I prefer a clean look, as I am sure does the customer. Once complete, the customer put the wheel back on the car, and we moved onto the next wheel, until all five had been completed.

A more modern classic was a Citroen C3, the customer had kept the car in his garage without moving it for 3 years. It had flat cracked tyres all round, so he asked us to come and fit new tyres as the car was going to be moved to his sisters house, where it was going to be put back on the road and used as an every day vehicle. The first problem was getting the car out of the garage as there was not enough room to work on it is such a tight space. I was able to get an airline in and put some air in the tyres, allowing us to push the car out. I was then able to jack it up and work on each wheel. It was at this point that I found that the wheel rims had corroded so badly, that they were past use. After discussing the problem with the customer, and an internet search, he was able to source 4 new wheel rims. It was then arranged for me to return two days later to fit tyres to the new rims and get them back on the car. Returning two days later, the new rims had arrived, and this was just a case of fitting new tyres, with valves and balancing the wheels before fitting them back on the car. Being a more modern classic there were no inner tubes. I also liked the fact that the new rims were a different colour and I personally felt they looked better on the car.

There was a Triumph Dolomite, that was Dolomitein use every day, on the way home from work one tyre developed a split in the sidewall. He put the spare tyre on but was concerned with the condition of it. He decided that new tyres all round would be safer, especially as he was planning a trip to Plymouth in a weeks time.

When I came to change the tyres, I checked the tyre dates and found that the spare was 31 years old. So changing the tyres was the best thing to do.

Another was a customer who had a veryE Type Jag pic 1 rotated_1 nice fully restored Jaguar E type, he had had new tyres fitted by another tyre depot, they had balanced the wheels, but the customer found he was getting vibration at around 65 mph. It was a case of jacking the car up and removing each wheel in turn and checking it on my wheel balancer, again because this had wire wheels with the central nut, it was a case of using two cones to keep the wheel central when balancing. This is something I don't think the other tyre dealer had done, as each wheel was up to 50 grams out of balance. Once corrected each wheel was put back on the car, and the customer went off for a test drive to ensure all was ok, which it was.

This little MG midget was the customers pride and joy, it had just had a floor up complete restoration. Because it

Mg Midget

was a nice sunny day the customer decided to drive it to work for the day. Upon arriving at work one of his co-workers pointed out that he had a flat tyre. He did a quick internet search and found us at Hometyre. I was booked in for either a puncture repair or a new tyre (depending on what I found). I brought a new tyre with me just in-case it was needed. Once at the job I took the wheel off and soon found a screw in the centre of the tyre. I then removed the tyre from the rim and checked inside, all was OK. So it was possible for me to carry out a puncture repair, refit the wheel, and get the customer back on the road.

So if you do have a vintage, classic or even a kit cat (something out of the ordinary), give us a call at Hometyre. We like these older vehicles, click here for more details.


The New Firestone Roadhawk

This is a copy of the latest press release about the new Firestone Roadhawk mid-priced tyre that will be available in the UK very soon. Call us at Hometyre to see if we have any information as to when it will be available for us to fit these tyres to your car.

Firestone is aiming to shake up the mid-price tyre segment in Europe with the launch of Roadhawk, a tyre built to perform longer and offer drivers best in class wet grip and best in class dry braking. Roadhawk targets mainstream motorists who drive all types of journeys - urban, highway, commute, school run, shopping - on a daily basis. These drivers want a tyre that gives them long-lasting performance in road conditions where wet weather, heavy traffic, sudden braking and motorway speed are all part of the daily mix.

In short, a tyre they can always count on.roadhawk

Jake Rønsholt, Managing Director, Consumer Business Unit, Bridgestone Europe explains: "Firestone has been producing quality tyres for more than 100 years; we understand what tyres have to go through and we listen to what drivers want. This new Roadhawk is designed to give everyday drivers a high level of safety and long-lasting performance, whatever the conditions." New Firestone Roadhawk has been tested and proven by TÜV SÜD, the largest independent institute for tyre and wheel technology in Europe, and has received the coveted TÜV SÜD Certification Mark.

Best in class wet grip With its unique tread pattern and specially-developed compounds, Firestone Roadhawk has been designed to provide the highest possible level of wet control. The tyre achieves the top "A" EU-label grade for wet grip: best-in-class performance. This even beats many brands in the premium-price tyre segment.

Best in class dry braking In addition to its best in class wet braking, independent TÜV SÜD tests show that the new Roadhawk also provides best in class dry braking performance, with braking distances up to 3 metres shorter than competitor tyres.

Built to perform longer Roadhawk is designed to provide long-lasting performance throughout the tyre's life span. Independent TÜV SÜD tests show that Firestone Roadhawk outperforms its competitors in the wet after 20,000 kilometres' wear.

Roadhawk also offers up to 20% better wear performance than its predecessor Firestone TZ300. In addition, construction of the new tyre features a lightweight carcass tuned for low rolling resistance giving motorists the reassurance of lower fuel consumption.

Firestone Roadhawk will be offered in a wide line-up covering 15" to 19" rim sizes with the first wave of sizes available across Europe from January 2017.


How to change a flat tyre

We at Hometyre occasionally are called out to fit a spare wheel for a customer who has a flat tyre.

This is OK when you are at home or work, but what happens if you get a flat tyre when out on the road?

Learning the basics of how to change the tyre yourself could help you continue on your journey and have the flat tyre fixed or replaced when you get home. Although you should not attempt to change a wheel in a dangerous position, like on a motorway. Ideally you should pull into a car park, lay-by or a quiet side street.

In your car you should have the following items: jack, locking wheel nut key (if lock nuts are fitted), wheel nut wrench, screwdriver, spare wheel (inflated to correct pressure), owners manual.

First try to park on a reasonably flat area, then put on your handbrake to stop the car from moving.

If your car has a hubcap, wheel trim or covers over the wheel nuts you need to remove this first using the screwdriver. You must then loosen the wheel nuts and locknut about ¼ of a turn using the wrench. The nuts need to be loosened before you jack the car up as the wheel may spin once it is raised off the ground.change_wheel

The next job is to jack the car up, use the owners manual to find the correct jacking point (some cars have a small triangle imprinted into the sill indicating the correct point) jacking in the wrong position could damage the underneath of the car.

With the jack properly positioned, slowly raise the vehicle until the flat tyre is clear of the ground. You can then remove the wheel nuts.

Next, remove the flat tyre and put it to one side. The next job is to fit the spare wheel, lift the wheel up and place it on the hub, lining up the bolt holes. You may have to raise the car a little higher using the jack to allow for the inflated spare tyre. Replace the wheel nuts and using the wrench nip them up lightly.

You can now carefully lower the jack and remove it from under the car. The next job is to tighten the nuts fully using the wrench , do not over-tighten the nuts by standing on them. Using a torque wrench is the best method of tightening the nuts to the correct setting if you have one. The reason you tighten the nuts when the car is on the ground is because the wheel won't rotate like it would if it were still jacked up in the air.

Once complete remember to put the locknut key back in a safe place (boot or glovebox).


Using Hometyre's services in Yapton

One of today's jobs used a few of our different services.

The customer hit a pothole while driving his Peugeot home from work, the tyre started to deflate, as he was near he called in to ATS to replace the tyre. When they came to remove the locknut they found that the key would not lock into the locknut and just kept spinning around. ATS told him that they had no way of getting the locknut off, and suggested he went to the Peugeot main dealer.

He had a mini compressor in his car, so he inflated the tyre and drove round to the dealership. They took a look at the locknut and told him it would cost between £150 to £250 to get just that one locknut off, the customer thought this was excessive and drove home.

He then searched the Internet for help, he read that there are tools that will remove locknuts, but that most would not work on the new type fitted to Citroens and Peugeots. After some more searching he found Hometyre and decided that calling in the professionals was the best option.

After one phone call he was even happier to find that we charge less than £100 to remove all 4 locknuts, and that we could also supply and fit a new tyre for him at the same time, plus we would come out to him at home, so he booked us straight away.locking_wheelnut_DS3

I arrived at his house, to find the car with one low tyre with cords showing through the sidewall where it had been hit. After discussing how it had happened, I suggested that we also check his tracking, as it may have been knocked out of true. He was happy with this as he hadn't realised it was a service we offered, and was planning to get it checked when back on the road.

My first job was to remove the damaged locknut, this I was able to do using some of my specialist tools. It took around 20 minutes to get it off, and I was then able to jack up the car and get to work changing the tyre. While the wheel was off I took the opportunity of loosening the track rod nuts ready for the alignment. Once the tyre was changed and the wheel balanced, I refitted it to the car and tightened the bolts using a torque wrench. I had four spare bolts, so was able to replace each of the locknuts when they were removed. I then went to the opposite side of the car to loosen the other track rod nuts.

Once ready I then took the car for a drive to settle the suspension, then pumped all the tyres to the correct pressures, before fitting the Supertracker equipment to the car. Tracking_PeugeotFront to rear, the car was lined up nicely, but across the front it was reading +6, when the correct factory figure should be +1.2, had it been left there would have been very uneven wear on the tyres.

I got to work with the spanners adjusting both sides, till I had the car all lined up correctly, I then tightened up the nuts on the track rods to stop them moving. Once complete, I removed the alignment equipment and took the car for a test drive to check the handling. All felt good, and the steering wheel was nice and level when driving in a straight line. I returned the car keys to the customer, and took a payment for the work done, finally sending him an invoice by email, and giving him a Which? Trusted trader review card.

Should you need one of our many services, give us a call at Hometyre, click here for contact details.


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