BMW in N20 with a damaged locking wheel nut key
Had a customer on Saturday who had damaged his locking wheel nut key while trying to remove his locking wheel nuts.
Looks like the locking wheel nut had been gunned on.
He had been trying to remove them because he only had 3 locking wheel nuts and had purchased a replacement set so all wheel would be protected. He had managed to remove 1 locking wheel nut but then damaged the locking wheel nut on the next wheel.
So 2 locking wheel nuts to remove.
Started on the first locking wheel nut. On very tight but managed to remove the spinning outer ring and then we used our special tools to remove it. This took about 15 mins.
One more to go, again very very tight. Tried the standard tricks to get this one off but it would not budge. Spoke to the customer to say we would have to use a bit more force and this could cause some damage to the wheel, he said that this was ok as come what may they had to come off.
Out with the big boy's tools, with a centre point we managed to remove the spinning collar and then using same tool as above we finally managed to remove the locking wheel nut. Took almost an hour to remove this last locking wheel nut. Only 1 very small scratches in the area of the locking wheel nut.
Customer was very happy with the result and surprised at how little damage had occurred as he had been watching the whole process.
We also informed him that he had 2 run flat tyres on the passenger side of the car and 2 non run flat tyres on the driver's side, a big no no.
He had only just recently purchased the car so he was going to go back to the dealership to get them to rectify the problems we had identified.
Only let people that know what they are doing work on your car, locking wheel nuts should NEVER be gunned on, they should only be tightened by hand and then with a torque wrench (in fact this applies to all your wheel nuts, locking and normal)
If you have lost or damaged your locking wheel nut key and need to remove your locking wheel nuts call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we can come to you to remove them
TPMS valve replacement or an extra set
Had a job last Saturday where an existing customer with a Peugeot had ordered 4 new wheels for his car so he could keep his winter tyres on the existing rims and just swap the wheels when summer came. We would be fitting Goodyear Eagle 235/20/19 92Y to the new wheels.
The only thing was that his car has TPMS valves fitted so each time the wheels are swapped the valves would have to be removed from the wheel that was on the car too the wheel that was about to go on the car.
Not a good idea as these valves can be a bit fragile if they have got any form of corrosion on them.
Luckily we now have a hand held computer that can read the existing valves and program a clone valve so the car does not know the difference. The cloning process only takes a couple of minutes and it means that both sets of wheels now have TPMS valves that the car recognises and can read.
These programmable valve can also be used to replace broken or faulty valves even if we cannot read them because the computer has the details of every type of valve installed on the cars in the UK.
If you are having problems with your TPMS valves or would like an extra set to go into your wheels with winter tyres on call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you
Wheel balancing and Wheel alignment
People are always asking about wheel balancing and alignment but quite often get the 2 mixed up.
They are 2 very different functions that we can perform on your car, and wheel balancing will ALWAYS be performed when a new tyre is fitted by us.
Wheel balancing make sure that the weight is distributed equally around the wheel so that the tyre rotates evenly. The process involves either knocking or sticking on small balancing weights to the wheel so that we can counter act weight inconsistencies. If you do not correctly balance a tyre when it is mounted on the wheel you can experience a vibration through the steering wheel that over time (besides being unpleasant) this can cause excessive wear to your tyres, steering and suspension components.
All of our van carry state of the art wheel balancing equipment that will identify the imbalance and indicate to the technician the required location that the balance weights have to be added to correct the problem. We also carry adaptors to balance centre less wheels.
Wheel alignment is performed to ensure that your wheels and tyres are within the manufacturer's specification. You wheels will generally become misaligned due to either hitting a pothole, a curb or even a speed bump at speed. All of these can knock your alignment out. Once the alignment is out your tyres will wear out faster as you are scrubbing them against the road and your fuel economy will reduce due to the extra force that is required to push your tyres forward.
So getting your alignment checked and adjusted will save on tyre replacement and improve your MPG.
One last thing to note.
If you have alloy wheels DO NOT allow anybody to use knock on weights on the outside of your wheel. This will normally mark the wheel and could damage the wheel finish, it also look unsightly. If your tyre fitter does not have the equipment to balance the wheel from the inside call Hometyre as all our vans have the equipment.
Audi A5 with Continental Sport Contact 3 265/30/20 94Y in AL2
Existing customer called to say that they had a puncture in there tyre and could we fix it. No problems, we would bring along a new tyre as well just in case the puncture could not be repaired.
Loaded a Continental Sport Contact 3 265/30/20 on to the van and set off to the customers address.
Got to the job and started to check the car out, all the other tyres where in good condition with loads of tread but the punctured tyre looked as if the side wall might be damaged from being run flat. Would not know until the tyre was removed from the wheel. Jacked up the car and removed the wheel from the car. Started to look for the puncture but no nail of screw could be found, sprayed the tyre and no sign of a puncture could be found in the tread.
Not looking good so time to spray the wheel rim where the tyre and the wheel meet. Half way around the tyre bubbles start to appear, bad sign, this normally means that the actual wheel is damaged.
Took the wheel into the back of the van and removed the tyre, the inside of the tyre was full of rubber bit (we call it dust) so the tyre could not be repaired. New tyre would be needed once we find out what is wrong with the wheel.
Looking at the inside edge of the wheel we found a crack, probably due to the wheel hitting a pot hole.
This would not be an instant fix, the wheel would have to go offsite to be professionally welded. Luckily the car had a space saver wheel so we mounted this on to the car and arranged to come back the next day once the wheel had been repaired.
Dropped the crack rim off with the welder and he said that it would be ready for the next day.
Picked the wheel up the next day and mounted the new tyre on to it, balanced the wheel and added the 25 grams that it needed to get the balancing results back to zero. Now off to the customer to mount the wheel on the car.
Got to the Audi and jacked the car up, off with the space saver and stored it in the boot. Mounted the repaired wheel and tightened the wheel nuts up to the manufacturers torque specification.
All tools put away and paper work and payment completed.
If you have cracked a rim and need to get it repaired contact Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Mini cooper with Pirelli P7 175/65R15 H tyres in N10
A customer called saying that they needed 4 new tyres on their Mini Cooper, the customer already had Pirelli P7 175/65R15 H tyres on and they were very happy with how they had performed, therefore they would like the same again.
We loaded 4 tyres on to the van and set off to change the tyres. We got to the job and started to check the tyres, the 2 front tyres had 5mm of tread and where in good condition, the rear 2 tyres had problems. One of the tyres was down to 2mm and the other tyre had 5mm of tread but it also had a bulge in the side wall where it had either been damaged while parking or after hitting a pot hole.
The 2 rear tyres would definitely need replacing, we took the key off the customer to get the locking wheel nut out of the boot. A hole where it should have been but no locking wheel nut key, the customer was sure that they had one, time to start the search for it. We emptied the boot out and finally found it in the corner of the boot under an old rag.
We then cracked the wheel nuts and jacked the rear of the car up, removing the wheels and taking the tyres off, we paid close attention to the wheel looking for any possible cracking or damage in case the pothole/kerb had damaged the wheel. Luckily there was no damage found, so we continued by mounting the new tyres and then balancing them.
The wheels were put back on the car and then we torqued the wheel nuts up to the manufactures specification, we put the locking wheel nut key back in the correct part of the boot to ensure it was easy to find in the future and marked this location on the invoice.
Front tyres pressures corrected (only needed a few pounds). Just to check that everything was as it should be we put the wheel alignment bars on the car to check that the tracking was correct, it was spot on, no adjustment needed.
Once all of the tools were cleared away and the customer was 100% happy, we took payment for the job and we were on our way.
If you would like an honest opinion on which tyres on your car need changing, call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will bring the tyre bay to you.
Plate change is almost here. Do you need an MOT?
If you bought in March 2013 then you will be coming up to your first MOT in the next month.
A quick check around the car before you put it in for an MOT can save you money on a retest and allow to correct problems yourself or at a cheaper garage than an MOT test station.
Check that your lights are all working
30% of all MOT failures are due to bulbs and signalling problems, a very simple check and fix. Check that none of the light lenses are cracked, the rear number plate bulbs are working and if you have clear indicator lens, this means the orange colour on the bulbs has not started to flake off. Check that the brake lights work by getting a friend to stand behind the car while you apply the brake pedal.
It must be working and be loud enough to hear.
This must be secured down.
Check these for wear, if they smear they should be changed. Also check that you have fluid in the washer bottle and that the washers work.
Check for chips in the driver's field of view, many of these can be fixed for free via your insurance policy. If your chip has started to crack then you will need a new screen.
Should be secure and in good condition. Tug on them sharply to ensure that they work properly.
Check that it is secure and clean.
If it is blowing you will need to get it fixed.
If you know you have a mechanical problem then get it fixed before the MOT. It will normally be cheaper to get your local garage to correct a problem in advance instead of having to get it fixed quickly.
Check your tyres for tread depth and check the side walls for cuts and tears. Also look for signs of cracking on the side wall and in between the tread. If you have TPMS system, check the light on the dashboard is NOT illuminated.
If there are any problems with the tyres on your vehicle, give us a call at Hometyre and we can ensure you are driving on safe and legal tyres.
Some jobs we have done this week
Here are a few of the jobs that we have completed in the last week. It's been a busy time...
AUDI TT in AL5 with GOODYEAR EAGLE F1 ASY 3 225/40R18 92Y. No problem with the tyres, they were just worn out.
MERCEDES-BENZ VIANO with HANKOOK K115 101W XL 225/55/17 101W. Local chauffeur company that takes very good care of their tyres, they had 2 vehicles that needed tyres replacing.
NISSAN QASHQAI in AL2 with CONTINENTAL PREMIUM CONTACT 2 215/55R18 99V. Tyres worn out and MOT due.
TOYOTA AURIS in WD23 with CONTINENTAL PREMIUM CONTACT 2 205/55R16 91V. Tyres worn to legal limit.
VAUXHALL ZAFIRA in HP2 with AUTOGRIP GRIP100 205/55R16 91V. Had a puncture and unfortunately the tyre could not be repaired.
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE in HP3 with NEXEN ROADIAN HP 265/50R20 111V. 2 tyres were worn and a third tyre needed a puncture repair.
VAUXHALL ASTRA in N11 with MICHELIN SAVER 205/60R16 92H. Worn tyre.
LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER SPORT in WD17 with PIRELLI SCORPION ZERO 285/35R22 106W. Wheel corrosion had caused the tyre to deflate and damaged the tyre. New tyre and rim cleaned.
TOYOTA YARIS in N6 with PIRELLI P7 175/65R15 84H. Tyre had a puncture and could not be repaired.
VAUXHALL CORSA in AL10 with NEXEN NBLUE 195/55R16 91V. Worn tyre that needed replacing.
FORD TRANSIT in Welwyn Garden City with PIRELLI CARRIER 195/70R15 104R. Suffered a blow out that severely damaged the tyre.
SAAB 9-5 in N5 with GOODYEAR EAGLE F1 ASYM 2 225/45R17 94Y. 2 tyres needed to be replaced as they had worn out.
VAUXHALL COMBO in EN6 with DUNLOP BLU RESPONSE XL 185/60R15 88H. This was a local building firms van that had a worn out tyre.
CARAVAN SINGLE AXLE in EN7 with MAXXIS UE168 175/80R13 97T. We don't get a lot of caravan tyres in our area, but this one had 2 tyres showing cracking due to age, so both were replaced.
MINI COOPER in N10 with PIRELLI P1 CINT 175/65R15 84H. Tyre damaged by a pothole, alignment also required correcting due to the impact.
BMW 1 SERIES in EN6 with BRIDGESTONE RE050A * RFT 245/35R18 88Y. Rear tyres both worn out and one was also damaged.
MERCEDES-BENZ M CLASS in N2 with CONTINENTAL CROSS CONTACT UHP 275/55R17 109V. 2 rear tyres worn out but also the rims had corrosion due to the cars age, all sorted by Hometyre!
MINI COOPER S in N10 with MICHELIN PRIMACY 3 205/45R17 88V. Nice and simple puncture repair.
VAUXHALL CORSA in NW3 with ARROWSPEED 175/65R14 82H. Good old fashion wear a tear.
MAZDA MX-5 in EN7 with BRIDGESTONE RE050A 205/45R17 88W. Tyre worn out close to legal limit.
VAUXHALL VECTRA in LU5 with MAXXIS MAZ3 215/50R17 91W. MOT due and the rear tyres where worn out, also the wheels needed a wheel alignment.
LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER SPORT in N6 with NEXEN RO-HP XL in 275/40R20 106V. Customer had a blow out on the way home.
If you experience tyre damage or simple wear and tear in the North London area, call Hometyre and we will come out to your home or work to fix the problem!
BMW 1 series with Bridgestone RE050A 245/35/18 88Y in EN6
An existing customer's partner called to say that they needed 2 rear tyres on their 1 series BMW. They wanted a like for like replacement, so I ordered 2 Bridgestone RE050A 245/35R18 88Y tyres and arranged to meet them the next day at their house.
We arrived at the job and the first thing to do was inspect the tyres, the front tyres were Bridgestone RE050A 215/40R18 and were in very good condition. The rear tyres had been worn right down to the legal limit and the customer said that the driver's side tyre needed air adding every week. We asked if they had recently hit a pot hole as BMW's can get cracked wheel rims with these run flat tyres, the customer could not remember but we would check for cracks anyway.
The locking wheel nut key was located in the boot, we found the key and cracked all of the wheel nuts, jacked the rear of the car up and started to remove the wheels, the wheels had seized onto the hubs but eventually came free and off the car. We cleaned up the hubs to remove the corrosion that had held the wheels on, we also cleaned the back of the wheels to allow a good fit.
It was time to take the tyres off, we started with the driver's side tyre as this was the one that was leaking air, once the tyre was off we were able to look inside the tyre to see it had a split going all the way around the inside. This had been leaking air and thus needed topping up by the customer on a regular basis. The wheel rim was checked for cracks but nothing was found. We removed the valve and replaced it with a new one and then mounted the new tyre. Once balanced and cleaned this was put back on the car.
The second tyre was then stripped off the other rim and there was no sign of damage on this one, we still checked the wheel rim for damage but none was found, a new valve was fitted and tyre on the wheel was balanced, this wheel was then put back on the car and then both side were torqued up to the manufactures specification.
Locking wheel nut back, safe in the boot and front tyres pressures check and rebalanced, only a couple of pound out, tools away and paper work completed. All done in 40 minutes and the customer did not have to leave the house.
If you have a BMW that needs tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Vauxhall Combo with Dunlop Blue Response 185/60/15 in SG5
One of our repeat customers called to say he had a slow puncture and asked if we could come and fix it or failing that, replace the tyre by 09:00 the next day as he had to leave the depot to get to his work site.
We arrived at the depot to examine the tyre on the Combo. The vehicle was fitted with a Dunlop Blue Response 185/60R15, it had very good tread remaining on it but there was a small nail in the side wall so unfortunately it could not be repaired to the BSAU159 standards.
The Vauxhall Combo was jacked up and we removed the wheel, stripped the tyre off and mounted the new tyre. Following this we balanced the wheel and put it back on the van. We then checked all of the other tyres for tread depth and tyre pressure. all were in good condition. The customer started the vehicle up as we finished the paper work and took payment so it would be nice and warm for him. All finished by 08:30 with plenty of time for him to leave at his requested time.
If you need a tyre replaced or repaired by a specific time, call Hometyre and we will bring the tyre bay to you.
Mercedes A class with Continental ECO contact 3 185/65/15T MO in N20
A new customer who had seen us driving around the area called to see if we could do a tyre inspection. We arrived at their house and started to check the tyres, we found that the 2 front tyres were down to 2mm on each tyre. The rear 2 had 4mm but they were cracking badly due to their age (the original tyre on a 2010 year car that had done 40,000 miles).
The customer was due to go on holiday the next day so they needed the car doing first thing in the morning. The tyres were ordered and we arranged to meet them at their house at 09.00 the next day.
We pulled up early, cracked the nuts and jacked up the front of the car. We then removed the 2 front wheels and stripped the tyres off and replaced them with new Continental ECO Contact 3 185/65R15 T MO fitment (MO means that the tyres are approved by Mercedes) tyres that the customer had requested. We balanced the wheels up and refitted them to the car, torqueing the wheel nuts up to the manufacturers specification.
We dropped the front of the car and jacked up the rear to remove the 2 rear tyres, once the tyres were off, we found that one of the wheels had a little bit of corrosion on it where the tyre sits. If this is not cleaned up the tyre will not seal properly and leak, luckily it was a very small amount so only took a minute with the wire brush to remove the corrosion. The tyres were mounted and balanced, ready to go back on the car.
Just to check that everything was ok we put the laser alignment bars on the car to see what condition the tracking was in. it was within manufacturers specification but at the very limit, we would have adjusted the tracking there and then but the customer already had the luggage out of the house ready to load in the car. We arranged to come back in a weeks time when they would have returned to set the tracking to spot on to avoid any uneven tyre wear developing, saving the customer from replacing their tyres any earlier than neccessary in the future.
Ford S Max with Continental Sport Contact 5 235/45R18 98Y in NW5
A customer was referred to us by a local garage that we often do work for. The reason they refer customers to us is because they trust us to look after there reputation, as well as ours. She had noticed that 3 of her tyres had damage to the side wall (parking damage) and she would like them replaced.
We picked up the tyres from the wholesalers and headed off to her preferred location, we arrived with the customer and the first thing we did was inspect the damage she had reported.
After looking at the side walls on all of the tyres on the car, we could see that they did indeed have chunks taken out of them. Luckily the damage was only cosmetic, the tread depth on all the tyres was 5mm, the legal minimum is 1.6mm but we recommend changing tyres at 3mm as the grip that a tyre has after 3mm is greatly reduced.
We then checked the tyre pressures on all the tyres and they were perfect. Therefore no Continental 235/45/18 to be fitted.
We did not charge the customer anything as we had not done any work to the car, a very happy customer due to a very honest service, she was very surprised that we did not try to sell her the tyres.
So, if you would like a courteous and honest service, call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you, inspect your tyres and maybe not even have to do anything to them!
Bentley with a TPMS problemThe office took a call from a new customer who was having problems with their Bentley, the TPMS warning light would not go off even after they had reset it.
We turned up at the customers address to look at the problem, first thing to do is check that the tyre pressures are correct. The pressure where all over the place. Corrected this and then started to scan the TPMS valves. On a Bentley the valves are electronic and send a signal to the cars ECU (the brain) indicating the tyre pressures and if the valves have a fault. We carry a special tool that can read the signal that the valves send out to check that they are working. All the valves came back as working A-OK with good battery life still left.
As we had reset all the pressures in the tyres we did the TPMS reset procedure again and asked the customer to take the car out for a test drive to see if the fault was still in place.
Customer came back and the car was still showing a problem with the TPMS valves.
As we had established that the pressures in the tyres are correct and that the valves where working correctly the fault is with the car not being able to read the information that the valves are transmitting.
Unfortunately this is not a problem we can correct, the customer would have to take the car into Bentley to see why the car is not reading the signal from the valve. At least he could turn up at the Bentley garage armed with a diagnosis and thus save time (and money) on having the same check being done again.
You don't win them all, but at least we had eliminated the first obvious fault for the customer.
If you have a problem with your TPMS system showing an error call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
BMW in Edmonton with a cracked aftermarket rim
Existing customer with a BMW in Edmonton called to say that he had a flat and could we come and look at it. Luckily I was just around the corner on another job so when I finished I nipped over to him.
Looked at the tyre and could not see any obvious damage but to be sure the wheel has to come off the car.
Locking wheel nut key out of the car and bolts loosened, jack the car up and remove the bolts and then the wheel. Inflate the tyres and start looking for a nail or screw but I cannot find one, so spray the tyre with water and the secret fluid (washing up liquid) and bubble appear where the tyre and wheel rim touch.
Deflate the tyre and put it on the turntable and remove the tyre, there is the problem. A hairline crack on the inside edge of the wheel.
Show the damage to the customer and asked if he had hit any potholes recently, could not remember hitting any but we have so many these days nobody really takes and notice. The rim would have to be welded to repair the hairline crack. Checked the tyre to make sure it had not been damaged and all was good (at least that would save him some money)
His car did not have a spare tyre so I had to support it on an axel stand while the rim was being repaired. Took the wheel and tyre away to the welder we use and said I would be back that afternoon.
Got to the welders and managed to get them to do the weld while I waited. Mounted the tyre on to the repaired rim and inflated and balanced the wheel. Now back to Edmonton to put it on the car.
Got Edmonton but the customer was out at the moment, no problem as I had kept the locking wheel nut key so I could remount the wheel. Wheel on the car and all the bolts correctly torqued up. Checked the tyre pressures and tread depths on the remaining 3 wheels and all ok. 10 minutes later the customer turned up and I handed him the locking wheel nut key and took payment.
If you have a puncture it could be a cracked rim, we offer a welding service (London area) and can normally get the fix done the same day. Call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 54 54 and we will come to you.
p.s. The wheel was also a reverse rim where the wheel well (used to remove the tyre) is on the other side of the wheel, that means the tyre has to be removed and mounted with the wheel upside down on the turntable.
Porsche 911 in W9 with Bridgestone 295/30/19
New customer called to say they had a puncture in their rear tyre. It was a rear Bridgestone 295/30/19 N0 (The N0 is a Porsche specific fitment)
The job was in W9 (Maida Vale) and was for 09.30 the next day. Now as everybody who lives in London knows the traffic can be a little bit heavy. The job was only 9 miles from base but it would take some time to get there so I would have to set off early the next day. I also put a new tyre in the back of the van in case the puncture could not be repaired.
The next morning I set off to Maida Vale, it took 90 minutes to do the 9 mile journey, this is when you wish you lived in the countryside, but still managed to arrive with 5 minutes to spare.
Right, down to the job, I got the locking wheel nut key out of the car and loosened all the wheel bolts, jacked the car up and removed all the bolts and pulled the wheel off the car. The tyre had a nail bang slap in the middle so as long as the tyre had not been driven on when flat it should be repairable (this always depends on an internal inspection of the tyre).
I then took the tyre off the wheel and there it was, loads of broken up rubber and marks on the inside of the tyre wall, no repair in this situation, new tyre needed.
I took the new replacement tyre out of the back of the van and double checked all the sizes (295/30R19 in this case). All ok, so time to fit. I replaced the valve and mounted the tyre onto the wheel. Once correctly inflated, I put the wheel on the wheel balancer and spun it up, came back saying no weight needed, double checked by spinning the wheel again (no weights needed is fairly rare) and again it said no weight needed. Then I took the wheel out and mounted it on the car, torqued the wheel bolts up to the correct tightness and put the locking wheel nut back in the car.
Time to check the other tyres, all the pressures good and tread depth at 6+mm on all the other tyres, valves also in good condition. Took the front tyre size for the records (Bridgestone 235/35R19 and N0), put all the tools away and completed the paperwork.
I handed the keys back to the customer and payment was taken, it's time to set off to the next job now in Watford, but hopefully the traffic has died down by now.
If you have a Porsche (or any car) that has a puncture call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 54 54 and we will come to you at your home or work.
Audi A3 in AL6 Welwyn with a 225/45/17
The office took a call from a new customer who had a blow out on the motorway in their car. It had taken 4 hours for him to be recovered as this model of car does not have a spare tyre, it only comes with a bottle of latex fluid that you put into the tyre to plug up a small puncture, not much good when you have had a blowout.
We took details of the tyre (Bridgestone S001 225/47/17Y) and loaded 1 onto the van and set off. Took 15 minutes to get to the customer.
Got to the job and looked at the tyre, massive split on the side wall, customer had no idea how it had happened. Took the keys and got the locking wheel nut key out of the car, loosened all the wheel nuts and jacked up the car. Removed the wheel nuts and took the wheel off the car.
Into the back of the van and removed the tyre, checked the wheel for any damage (as the wheel had been running on the motorway after the tyre had lost pressure), no major damage found just some scratches on the rim.
Mounted the new tyre and balanced the wheel, back out of the van and put the wheel on the car and torqued the wheel nut bolts to the setting. Locking wheel nut bolt back in the car and all done. 15 minutes the fix the problem and 15 minutes to get to the job, a bit better than the 4 hours on the recovery.
If you are sitting at home with a puncture don't drive on the tyre, call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you and fix it.
You can also purchase tyres online at www.hometyre.co.uk 24hrs a day
Elderly lady almost ripped off by a Fast Fit Centre
A new customer called the office today to say she had been to a main fast fit centre and been told that she needed 4 new tyres as they were worn and one of them had a screw in it that they could not repair. The car had just over 20,000 miles on it and had already had the tyres changed once.
Luckily for her an existing customer of ours told her to call us before she had any work done, the office took the details and we loaded four 165/60/14 75H Excelon touring HP tyres onto the van and headed off to see her.
Arrived at the car (Hyundai I10) and started to check the tyres, the tread depth on the tyres ranged from 4mm to 5mm across all 4 tyres. The legal limit is 1.6mm and we start to recommend changing tyres at 3mm as the grip starts to drop off dramatically at this point. So the tyres where perfectly legal and did not need changing.
Now it was time to check the screw, tyres can be repaired as long as the damage is not near the side of the tread pattern and the tyre has not been driven on while it is deflated. Found the screw and it was right in the middle of the tread, so totally repairable as long as the tyre has not been driven on while deflated. Pulled the screw out of the tyre and no leak, the screw had not even penetrated the tyre, it was only 1mm into the tread.
Disgusting thing to have done to a customer if you ask me, most people look on the motor trade as being full of cow boys, this kind of behaviour only reinforces people perception. We left her knowing that she was totally legal and safe to drive and did not charge her. Now that's being honest.
If you would like to deal with an honest trust worthy company call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 54 54 and we will come to you.
Ford Focus on Autogrip 205/55/16 in HP1
New customer called to say that he had a puncture and could we come and repair it.
Talked to the customer about the tyre he already had on (Autogrip 205/55/16) and he was happy with the tyre so I put the same tyre on to the van in case the puncture could not be repaired.
Arrived at the job and the customer had not got home yet so I setup ready for when he arrived (loosened the wheels nut except the locking wheel nut and put the jack under the car)
Customer turned up so took the keys off him and got the locking wheel nut key out of the glove box. Loosened the locking wheel nut and jacked the car up, took the wheel nuts off the car and removed the wheel. The tyre looked as if it might have been driven on while it was under inflated but you cannot be sure until you remove the tyre.
Put the wheel on the turntable and removed the wheel, sealing fluid went everywhere, this was possible going to be a dirty job. Checked the inside of the tyre and the sealing fluid was full of little bits of rubber, the tyre had been driven on while deflated and the inside wall had started to break up. New tyre would be required.
Cleaned all the sealing fluid off of the wheel and replaced the valve, got the new tyre out of the back of the van and fitted it to the wheel. Pumped it up (tyre pressure for this tyre was on the inside of the driver's door and it needed 33 PSI) and then balanced the wheel (25 grams needed to be added)
Wheel back on to the car and tightened up to the correct torque, put the locking wheel nut key back in the glove box and checked the other 3 tyres for pressure and wear (no spare in this car, just the sealant). All 3 tyres had good tread and where only 1 PSI out of range. Adjusted the pressure and put all the tools away.
Took payment off the customer and headed off to the next job.
If you have a puncture please do not drive on tyre, this will normally damage a tyre that was repairable.
If you need help please call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you.
Two 255/30/19 Continental sport contact 5 Tyres on a Mercedes e class convertible
New customer called to say that both of his back tyres had punctures and needed to be replaced.
Took the details of the tyres he already had on (Continental sport contact 5 tyres 255/30/19) and loaded them on to the van. Time to head off to the customer.
Got to the customer and the car had 1 flat tyre and the space saver on the other hub. Got the keys off the customer and opened the boot to get the locking wheel nut and the other wheel out of the boot. The tyre on the wheel in the boot had been totally destroyed, the inner tyre wall had totally broken away from the tyre leaving just a small strand of rubber (the bead) on the wheel. The first thing to do was remove the remains of the tyre from the wheel. Got the main part of the tyre off the wheel but the strip of bead that was still attached to the wheel was stuck solid. As the bead was so small the bead breaker could not get a purchase on it to loosen it, bit of lateral thinking needed.
The equipment we have has an assister arm as part of the equipment, part of the assister arm is an arm with a wheel on the end that is normally used to press the tyre down into the wheel well, and this is great for fitting run flat tyres that are very stiff. I put the wheel on the turntable and then slowly pressed the assister arm wheel down on to the strip of bead rubber, this and a liberal amount of tyre soap pushed the bead down into the wheel well that allowed me to then remove it. Checked the wheel for damage (as the tyre had been run flat for some time the wheel could have been cracked) but none found so mounted the new tyre on the wheel and balanced it. Jacked up the car and swapped the space saver for the new replacement tyre.
now to the other flat tyre, jacked the car up and removed the wheel, the tyre on the side also had damaged to the inner tyre wall but it had not yet fully broken away (still only had about 6 inches of rubber holding it on. Managed to break the bead using the bead breaker and then removed the tyre from the wheel, checked the condition of the wheel as this tyre had again been run flat for some time. The wheel was ok so mounted and balanced the tyre and put the wheel back on the car. All bolts tightened up to the correct torque and locking wheel nut back in the boot.
Customer said that the traction control light had come on, not really surprising as the car had no grip from the rear tyres.
Quick check of the front 2 tyres to make sure they are legal. Tread depth was good but both tyres had bulges in the side wall, booked 2 more tyres for the next day.
So if your traction control light come on and the road it is not slippery then check that you have air in your tyres. Also check that your tyre side walls do not have any bulges in them.
For tyre replacement at your home or office call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 54 54 and we will come to you.
Winter tyres. Do you need them?
Well winter is finally starting, yesterday the temperature in London was 6 degrees. The summer tyres fitted to your car will start to stiffen up once the temperature drop to 7 degrees and below giving you reduced grip. Winter tyres stay flexible at these temperatures and that is what gives you grip. They also have a different tread pattern that will clear the snow (if we have any) from the tread and thus keep your grip levels up.
So do you really need winter tyres? It all depends on what you use your vehicle for. If you live in London the chances are that you use public transport to get to and from work, the car probably sits outside your house (if you are lucky enough to park outside your house) for most of the week, in this situation you could probably argue that if the weather is very bad you can just delay anything you have to do until it clears.
If you use the car every day then things might be different, say you have to drop the children off to school and then carry onto work. If you cannot get the children to school then you will have to take the day off and a lot of companies know expect you to take it as holiday, not the most ideal situation.
What if you are self-employed and use your vehicle for work? With luck your customer will understand and wait for the weather to improve so you can get to them, this could lead to a back log of jobs and some customers saying they can't wait. What is a lost days' work going to cost you?
Maybe this observation (I noticed this yesterday walking to the local shop) I made yesterday will help. I passed 2 ambulance vehicles, 1 was a paramedic estate and the other an ambulance, both had winter tyres on. The ambulance service must have worked out that there customers can't wait a couple of days for the weather to improve to get to a job. They need to get there as soon as possible.
Maybe you put winter tyres on your plumbing van and a customer calls to say they have a problem, you are the 3rd plumber they have called but the other 2 cannot get to them because of the weather, you can. Don't you think that next time this customer has a problem they are going to call you 1st as you can always turn up? Or you get your children to school and then get to the office, day's holiday saved and it show that you are committed.
As for the cost of another set of tyres, while your winter tyres are on your vehicle the summer tyres are not wearing out, and if they stop you having an accident you're no claims bonus if safe.
So if you would like to have winter tyres or maybe to talk to somebody about them call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10
Put on a spare tyre on a Saab in N8
New customer called the office to ask for her spare tyre to be fitted to her car. They arranged for it to be fitted that afternoon.
Arrived at the customer's house and got the keys off her so we could remove the spare from the car.
Checked out the tyre that she had on at the moment 205/50/16 and the side wall was damaged so it could not be repaired.
We put the spare onto the car and then asked her why she had not asked us to bring a tyre and if needed fit it, she said that she did not realise that we could fit tyres at her house.
We ordered a tyre there and then and arranged to come back in 2 hours
If you have a puncture give us a call and we will bring a replacement tyre in case we cannot fix the puncture.
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