How not to put your spare tyre on
We got a call from a gentleman who had a puncture and needed his spare wheel put on.
This is becoming a common request, as people have less involvement with there cars they seem to have forgotten some of the basics of car maintenance.
Got to the job to change the tyre and saw the results of what he had done. He had removed all the bolts from the wheel with the punctured tyre before jacking the car up.
Once he started to jack the car up the wheel had come loose from the wheel hub and suddenly the weight of the car had been transferred to the jack, this had caused the jack to slip and the car had started to fall off of it. Luckily the cars disk brake had caught on the wheel stopping the car hitting the floor. The jack was still under the car but was at a very strange angle when the car had stopped moving.
He had managed to move his hand out of the wheel arch so it was not caught between the body and the wheel.
First thing to do was stabilise the situation put a jack under the front jacking point (it was the rear wheel he had been trying to remove) and took the weight onto the jack so the rear could not fall any further, this also lifted the whole side up so the jack the customer used could be removed. Immediately put the second jack under the car and lifted the rear from the jacking point.
Removed the wheel with the punctured tyre and put the spare wheel on. Tightened up to the correct torque and put the original wheel in the boot. Removed both of our jacks and checked to see if he had done any damage to his car. Besides a small dent where the jack had suddenly taken the weight of the car he had been lucky.
Took payment and headed off to the next job.
If you would like your spare wheel put on, have a puncture repaired or maybe new tyres fitted call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Jaguar E Type with ER70R15 (205/70/R15)
Customer called as he had a puncture on his just restored E Type Jaguar. Fantastic looking car that had only 8000 genuine mile on it from new.
He has Dunlop tyres that are only made in very small batches for the classic car enthusiasts, so costs were going to be very high.
We got to his car and removed the wheel from the boot. The side wall of the tyre was showing some damage so the tyre had been run deflated. Took the tyre off the wheel and started the inspection. This being a wire wheel the car had an inner tube, the reason for this is that unlike an alloy wheel which is solid the wire wheel has holes all the way around to allow the spokes to be inserted, this will allow air out of the wheel if an inner tube is not used.
The first problem we found was that the inner tube had a long hole in it, this was probably caused by hitting a pot hole and this probably caused the inner tube to be pinched and thus causing a long hole, also the inside of the tyre wall had started to break down where it had been run flat. So a new tyre would be needed.
Another problem was that the end of one set of spokes was only covered in what looked like electrical tape. The end of the spokes should be covered by a thick wide rubber band so that they cannot rub against the inner tube and cause a leak.
Ordered a new tyre, an inner tube and 2 rubber bands to go over the end of the spokes. As these are special order they would take a couple of days to arrive. We took the wheel away (the spare was already on the car) and we would assemble it once the parts arrived.
2 days later the parts arrived. Fitted the 2 rubber bands over the end of the spokes and then fitted the bottom bead of the tyre. Once this was on the inner tube is put inside the tyre making sure it was not kinked and that it was well inside the tyre, you do not want to damage the inner tube when the top bead is fitted. Once the top bead was fitted the tyre was inflated and everything checked to make sure the tyre had seated correctly. Wheel and tyre is now balanced to stop vibration when it is fitted to the car.
Called the customer to see if he was available and went around to put the wheel into the boot.
So if you have a classic car that you are having difficulty finding period tyres for call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or click HERE and we will be able to source them.
Always check your tyre yourself when told you need tyres
Had a job yesterday on a Lamborghini Avetador that the customer said needed 2 355/25/21 tyres. N
He had the car serviced at the dealer and had been told that he needed 2 tyres. He booked the job in with us for a fitting date the following week.
We arrived at the job and removed the rear wheels, after we had inspected them we found that one of the tyres had 6mm of tread left and the other had 7 mm of tread. We asked him why he wanted them changed and that is when he told us that the dealer had said they needed changing.
The tyres had no nails in then, no marks on the side walls and where holding pressure correctly. In other words they were perfect. As you can gather he was not happy. We refitted the wheels back on the car and off he went to have a quick word with the dealer as to why he said he needed new tyres.
Do not think this is a one off, if you are told that you need new tyres by your dealer (no matter which make it is) get them to show you why they need replacing. We always show the customer why a tyre has to be replaced.
So for an honest opinion on your tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or see the website www.hometyre.co.uk and we will come to you and show you why the tyre is being replaced.
35 Tyron bands on 5 police vans
One of our account customers where kitting out 5 police long wheel base vans and needed Tyron bands to be fitted to all the wheels (including the spare). These vans are the type that have 4 wheels on the back axel (2 on each side) so 7 wheel per vehicle when you take the spare into account.
Tyron bands are fitted inside the wheel so that if you have a blow out the tyre will not come off the wheel and thus you still have control of the vehicle, this allows you to pull off the road and change the wheel for your spare. These where originally developed for the military to use in Northern Ireland during the troubles.
Tyron bands are also very useful for Caravan owners. When towing a caravan a blowout can cause the driver to lose control of the caravan. With Tyron bands fitted you can stay in control and pull over to the side of the road before you lose control. Many insurance companies also give a discount to caravan owners if they have Tyron Bands fitted.
If you would like Tyron bands fitted to your caravan (or motorhome) call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you to fit them.
Locking wheel nut removal in Watford
Customer called the office to say that they needed to change the brakes on their car but they could not get there locking wheel nuts off their car as the key did not seem to fit.
We had just finished a job and we could fit them in before the next job so headed straight over to the house.
Arrived at the house and located the car, the customer came out to meet us. He handed the locking wheel nut key to us and after looking at it we could see that the last time it had been used an air gun had been used and applied to much pressure to the key. This had deformed the key and thus it would no longer fit the face of the bolt.
Got the locking wheel nut tools out of the van, this was what we call a flower locking wheel nut (if you look at the key it looks like a flower). Selected the relevant blade and assembled the tool. Started on the rear locking wheel nuts as they generally are easier to remove. After hammering the first nut for a couple of minutes the nut moved and I could remove it. The customer still had the original bolts that had been removed when he put the locking wheel nuts on so fitted one of these in its place.
On to the next rear wheel, this one came off with 2 taps of the hammer so it had not really been tightened properly, maybe the damaged locking wheel nut key had not gripped it properly when it had been on, well it had been removed and the replacement bolt fitted.
Around to the front now, started on the driver's side. This one was even better, the locking wheel nut was missing. Either it had not been fitted properly and it had fallen out or it had never been put back onto the car. Took the third original bolt and fitted this to the wheel.
Passenger side now, this time the locking wheel nut was in place. Fitted a new replacement blade to the tool and started the removal, this was tight. After ten minutes the nut finally moved. Took the locking wheel nut bolt out and replaced with the last of the original bolts.
Last thing to do is break out the torque wrench and correctly tighten the replacement bolts to the manufacturer's specification. All done the customer offered us a cup of coffee, which was very welcome after all the hammering on the last locking wheel nut.
Checked the condition and adjusted the pressure of all the tyres (and the spare), all ok as he had over 5mm of tread on all his tyres.
Took payment and headed off to the next job.
If you have locking wheel nuts that you cannot get off your car call hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you to remove them
Why you should put new tyres on the back axle of a car (when you have 2 new tyres)
You order two new tyres and you are advised to put them on the back axel, has this ever happened to you?
Well the reason for this is because of over steer and under steer. So what are over steer and under steer?
Well lets start with under steer, this happens when you turn your steering wheel but you do not turn (lets say to the right) as much as you have turned the wheel, the car seems to 'plough on' forward. The reason for this is the amount of forward momentum is greater than the grip of the front tyres, thus you seem to keep going straight on.
Over steer is when you are going around a corner and the grip on the rear tyres is not enough to stop the tyres breaking traction and thus the rear of the car starts too slid around towards the front of the car.
So why put the 2 new tyres on the back to stop over steer as against the front to stop under steer? The reason is grip. Over steer is harder to handle than under steer. With under steer you will normally just scrub speed off by the fact that the tyres are sliding forward. With over steer you can easily lose control of the car and go into a spin unless you know how to control it. This is often called steering into the slid. If you have ever seen top gear where they are 'hanging the tail out' as they come around the corner you will see that even they sometime lose it and spin out on the track. Now this is in a controlled environment on a wide track with no other car or trucks around and no street furniture (like street lights). Imagine spinning on a busy road with pedestrian and lamp posts around.
So now you know why we recommend that if you are having 2 new tyres that they are put on the rear axel of the car.
Call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Some jobs I have completed this week
This week has been busy. Here are some of the tyres I have fitted
Porsche Cayenne in Enfield EN1. This car needed a 295/35/21Y Michelin. The car had had an accident and the tyre had been damaged. Only 1 needed.
Ford Fiesta in Hertford SG14. Fitted an Event 205/40/17W. Tyre was worn out and needed replacing.
Hyundai Santa Fe in Borehamwood WD6. Went to the car the day before as it had been recovered home with a puncture, customer called to get the tyre fixed. When I turned up the tyre was down to the legal minimum so arranged to come back the next day with a tyre.
Range Rover in Highgate N2. Car needed a 275/40/20Y Michelin latitude. The customer had been told they needed 2 tyres, got to the job and after checking all the tyres they only needed 1, customer very happy with the saving and the service.
Lexus CT in London N11. Customer had come out to a flat tyre. Took along a spare 235/55/18V in case the tyre could not be fixed. Turned out to be rim corrosion, when the alloy wheels start to corrode the air can leak out between the wheel and the tyre, thus causing a flat tyre. Luckily the tyre had not been driven on so we only needed to remove the corrosion and seal the bead area to stop it happening again.
Mercedes A class in Highgate N6. Garage in Highgate (do a lot of MOT's) called to say they needed a Continental Premium contact 5 195/55/16 for one of their customer car, the tyre was just worn out and needed to be replaced before they MOT'ed the car. They also had a Ford Focus with a 205/55/16 tyre that was in the same situation. Changed the tyres on both vehicles and they passed there MOT's.
Mercedes M class in Stanmore HA7. This needed 2 255/50/19W Nexen Nfera tyres fitting to the back. The customer was only keeping the car for a couple of month so she asked me to check the other tyres (we always do anyway). The other tyres had 4mm of tread left which should be enough for the millage she will do before she gets rid of the car.
Mercedes Benz Vaneo in Luton LU2 with 225/55/17H Goodyear Efficient grip. This is one of our account customer that do a very high millage so regularly need tyres. We had to fit 2 tyres to the rear of the Vaneo. They also said that they thought they has a nail in one of the Mercedes S classes they run. Checked the tyre but no nail found, I did find little bits of flint that had stuck into the tyre but I removed these and none of them had punctured the tyre.
Renault Espace in Hendon NW11. Runway 926 225/55/17W. Car had picked up a puncture from a nail, the area has a lot of home improvements going on at the moment so probably a badly disposed of nail. Tyre could not be repaired so fitted a new tyre.
Smart City Coupe in Frein Barnet N11. Kumho KH27 77T 175/55/15T. Rear tyre had caught a kerb and ripped the side wall. Replaced the tyre and on checking her other tyres the pressures where down by over 10 Pounds, she admitted that she never checks her tyre pressures but would do from now on. Saves the life of the tyres and saves fuel.
Honda Jazz in NW4. Another rear tyre that had caught a kerb. Replaced it with an Autogrip 185/55/15V. Nice easy job.
Mercedes Benz B Class. 2 Mayrun 215/45/17W needed as the tyres had worn out.
BMW in Hemel Hempstead HP2. This was a Bridgestone RE050A run flat 225/40/18W. Tyres had been run without air for some time and was shredded. Replaced the tyres and checked the pressure in all the other tyres. Don't forget that you cannot tell if a run flat is low on air pressure because they are designed to support the weight of the car without going flat, you need to check the pressures with a tyre pressure gauge.
Vauxhall Corsa in AL2. This car had locking wheel nut but the locking wheel nut key was damaged so the customer could not get the wheels off. Removed all 4 locking wheel nuts (front 2 where a bit tight) and replaced with standard bolts that the customer had.
Renault Scenic in Hornsey N8. Customer had shredded his Pirelli P7 205/60/16H after getting a puncture. Just a case of replacing the tyre, also noticed that his 2 rear tyres only had 2mm left on the tread. He is going too arranged for us to change these soon.
As you can see we get around a bit. So if you need your tyres replacing call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
BMW with a puncture in Watford WD25
A new customer called to say that his 3 series BMW had a puncture and could we come and fix it for him.
Spoke to the customer and he said he had run flats tyres on the car, this means a puncture repair would not be possible. Picked up a replacement tyre and headed off to the job to fit the tyre.
Got to the job, he had 2 BMW's on the drive and it was obvious which tyre was at fault. The NSR (back passenger side). The car was sitting with the tyre totally flat, this is not normal for a run flat as they are designed to support the weight of the car via the tyre side wall, so something was very adrift.
Jacked up the car and removed the wheel, the inside of the tyre had totally been destroyed, the tyre had been run for a long time after the air had come out of it. He asked if we could just fit the new tyre, I inspected the rim and found out why he had a puncture, the wheel rim was cracked and this was allowing the air to escape. This means that a new tyre could not be fitted as the air would just leak out and the new tyre would also be damaged.
Showed the customer the crack and explained the situation, we have an engineering shop that can weld up the cracked rim but being a weekend we would not be able to get the job done until Monday.
He had wanted to use the car on Monday and as the car did not have a spare the car would have to be left on axel stands while the repair was being done.
He then said that he actually preferred the wheels on the other BMW and would we be able to swap the wheels, we said that even though the tyre size was the same between the 2 cars we could not be sure they would fit until we took them off and checked the J size and wheel offset.
He was happy for us to check so we jacked up the other car and removed the wheel and checked the J size and offset of the wheel. Luckily they were identical so a direct swap was possible.
Started the swap and ended up with the 4 wheels on the car he wanted to use and 3 wheels on the unused car with an axel stand on the NSR. I must say that the wheels did look much better on the car he wanted to use.
Checked all the tyre pressures on both cars and checked the wheel nuts had been torqued correctly and put a little sticker on each wheel once complete. He asked why we put a sticker on the wheel and told him that it was a visible indication that the wheel was correctly torqued in case we got talking to a customer and forgot to correctly tighten the wheel.
Loaded the cracked rim onto the van so it could be repaired on Monday. He gave us the locking wheel nut for that war and the wheel bolts so we could just drive past and fit the wheel while he was not present, we would just drop the locking wheel nut key through the door.
So if you have a puncture or a cracked wheel rim call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you
Triumph Stag in Enfield with 2 flat tyres
An existing customer called to say that his classic Triumph Stag had 2 flat tyres and could we check it out, this was the first time we would have seen this car as it was locked away in a garage away from the house.
Arranged to meet him that afternoon at his house and he would then take us to the car.
Arrived at the customers and we headed off to the garage, the garage was under some flats at the end of his road. He had already got the car out waiting for us. Both rear tyres where flat.
Loosened the wheel nuts (no need to worry about locking wheel nuts as he did not have them fitted) and then jacked the car up and removed the wheels.
What had happened was that the tyres had gone flat while the car was parked in the garage and when he had moved the car the tyres had come away from the back of the wheel. Inspected the tyres and spotted that they were both over 15 years old. They had no sign of cracking on them but at 15 plus years old we recommended that they should be changed as they could have started to degrade internally due to the age and lack of use. Luckily we had loaded 2 tyres of the same size on the van before we arrived in case the puncture could not be repaired. They were budget tyres but he said he only did a couple of hundred miles each year and that was just pottering around.
As we had noticed that the 2 rear tyres where over 15 years old we also checked the date on the front tyres, these were also over 15 years old. We only had 2 new tyres in this correct size on the van so we would not be able to replace these today. Arranged that we would come back the next day and replace these, he was not taking the car out so this would not be a problem.
Started on the 2 flat rear tyres, removed the old tyres from the wheels and mounted the new tyres after we had replaced the valves. Put the tyres on the balancer and spun the wheels up, they both came back needing 25 grams which we put on the inside of the wheel so that the weights would not show on his gold coloured wheels.
Put the wheels back on the Stag and checked the hand book for the recommended torque setting, luckily the hand book had the information in it but if it did not we could have got the info off of Auto data.
If you have a classic car then keep an eye on the age and condition of your tyres, tyres do not like to be left standing for a long time and the lack of use can actually increase the degradation of the rubber. For information on how to check your tyres click HERE.
Hometyre, coming to you to save you time
0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454
Toyota Prius in Hemel Hempstead HP1 with 195/55/16V and locking wheel nuts
The office took a call from a customer In Hemel Hempstead that needed a new 195/55/16V on his Toyota Prius, he had also lost his locking wheel nut key. They spoke to him about his driving style and recommended an Event 195/55/16V as this would suit him. Appointment arranged for the next day when he would be available.
Arrived at the job and started to talk to the customer, he had been trying to get the locking wheel nuts off for the last week and had actually brought £100 worth of tools to try and get them off to no avail.
Took the tools out of the van and started on the first locking wheel nut. First one came off in 5 minutes and the other 3 in a total of 10 minutes. The customer was really impressed as he had not been able to remove them in the last week.
Now for the tyre, he wanted the near side front (passenger front tyre) replaced. Inspected it and it was down to the legal limit of 1.6 mm. I also checked all the other tyres and he had a mixture of 4 and 5 mm across them.
Jacked up the near side front wheel and removed the wheel. Took the wheel to the van and took the tyre off, examined the wheel for damage (none found) and then replaced the valve with a new one and mounted the tyre on the wheel. Next step is to balance the wheel, came back needing 25 grams adding, added the weight and rechecked the balance and this time it came back as zero.
Put the new wheel/tyre back on to the car and torqued the wheel nuts up to the manufacturers specification.
Last thing to do was check the tyre pressures in the other tyres, only a couple of pounds down (except one that was a few pounds over) so adjusted them to the correct pressure.
Took payment and headed off to the next job.
If you need new tyres or have a locking wheel nut bolt that you cannot remove call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you to replace your tyres or remove your locking wheel nut.
Four Bentley TPMS sensors (tyre pressure monitoring sensors) in St Albans AL3
We occasionally do work for some car dealers. One of our existing contacts had a Bentley that has been into the main dealer and they had diagnosed that the 4 TPMS (Tyre pressure monitoring sensors) had failed on the car.
The customer had purchased replacement sensors and wanted them fitted to the car, normally we recommend that we supply the sensors so if they fail or have a problem we will be responsible for rectifying the problem. As the customer already had the sensors we agreed that we would fit them but could not be responsible for the actual sensors.
Arrived at the job and started work, the first thing to do is check that the problem is with the existing sensors, we carry a reader that can check the transmission from the sensors and report on their condition, the sensors on the car where not transmitting so they were indeed dead. Not to check the 4 new sensors as it is not worth fitting them if they are faulty, the reader came back saying they are all ok and the battery are at 100%.
Now to start the fitment, removed the first 2 wheels and broke the top bead so the tyre could be depressed, this allows us to get to the old sensor valves and remove them. Once removed the surface of the wheel where the sensors will sit is cleaned up so that you get a good seal between the wheel and the sensor. Fitted the new sensor and tightened up to the correct torque and inflated the tyre. First wheel done the same was done to the second. The wheels where then put back on the car and tightened up to the Bentley torque specification.
Now jacked the other 2 wheels up and repeated the same process on these and then fitted the wheels back on to the car and again torqued then up to the correct torque.
The sensors on a Bentley are known as 'self-learning', this means that the car will automatically recognise the replacement sensors after you have driven the car for a couple of miles, if the sensors are not 'self-learning' they have to be triggered so the car recognises them. We could not take the car out for a quick drive but the customer was aware of this and was going to take the car out later on.
Took the payment for the job and started to clear up the tools. The customer then said that he had another Bentley that had a slow puncture and could we look at it. Went over to the vehicle but could not see anything obvious, jacked up the car and removed the wheel. After checking the tyre no sign of a puncture could be found, this car also had TPMS valves so checked the valve to see if it was leaking, it was. The valve had come lose so all we had to do was tighten it up and the leak stopped. As this only took a couple of extra minutes and he was a repeat customer we did not charge him for this.
If you have a fault with your TPMS sensors or the dash board light has come on to say you have a puncture call Hometyre and we will come to you to either service your sensor valves or replace them if they have reached the end of the operational life.
Just call 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you.
Alignment (tracking) on a Lexus RX450H in Crouchend N8
Customer called the office to say that his car was pulling to the right and would we be able to check the tracking on it. He had taken it to a fast fit garage but they had not been able to correct the problem. Appointment arranged for Saturday when he would be available.
Got to the customer and talked to him about the problem, he said that the tyre pressures had been checked and they were all ok (we still double checked to make sure). Checked the tyres out and the passenger front tyre was showing feathering on the edge, this is caused by the tyre not running true and scrubbing the tread so that a small feathered edge can be felt on the edge of the treads.
Got the alignment bars out and fitted them to the car, the reading came back that the alignment was out by 4 degrees.
Loosened the track rod end locking nuts (these had not been loosened for some time as they were seized solid) and started the adjustment, this took about 15 minutes and the customer was very interested in how it is done so we explained the process as we went along. Once the alignment was correct the track rod end bolts where tightened up and we asked the customer to take the car out for a quick drive to make sure he was happy.
Came back and said that car no longer pulled to the left.
Packed all the equipment away and took payment.
If your car is pulling to one side first check that your tyre pressures are correct, if they are call us and we can come to you to adjust the alignment to the manufactures specification.
50 Tyron bands on Land Rover defenders going to Africa
We occasionally do work for a fabrication company that builds armoured Land Rover Defenders that are used to transport cash in Africa.
They had another consignment that they would be sending off soon so they needed Tyron bands to be fitted to all the wheel on the vehicle.
Tyron bands are fitted inside the wheel so if the tyre is shoot out in an attempted robbery the vehicle can still be driven to a safe location before the tyre is replaced or the spare is fitted, they were originally created for the army to fit to their Land Rovers in Northern Ireland during the troubles.
This also makes them very popular in the UK for caravan owners. If the caravan has a blow out the car and caravan can be pulled over to the side of the road in safety.
Arranged the direct delivery of the Tyron Bands to the fabricator and arranged the fitment date. We estimated that the total of 50 wheels would take between 7.5 and 10 hours to complete.
Arrived at the job and 8 of the vehicles where parked outside with the other 2 in the workshop having the armour plate fitted to the front and back of the vehicle, started on the 8 vehicle outside. The job involves removing the wheels from the vehicle, breaking the top bead and then compressing the tyre down so the Tyron Band can be fitted in the wheel well. Once the Tyron Band has been installed the tyre is inflated and balanced. Then you just fit them back on the vehicle with a sticker that shows the wheel has had a Tyron Band fitted. This alerts the next person who is going to change the tyre so they can remove the Tyron Band before trying to take the tyre off.
Once the 8 Land Rovers outside had been completed we went into the workshop to finish off the 2 inside, not ideal working conditions as you are trying to negotiate your way around people fitting armour plate to the Land Rovers, took a bit longer than the 8 outside but completed as soon as possible so we could get out of the way of the fabricators.
The whole job took 4.5 hours as against the estimated 7.5 to 10. We really motored through the job by splitting the jobs between us to be as efficient as possible.
If you have a Caravan or Motor Home (or maybe an armoured Land Rover) and would like to have Tyron Bands fitted to keep your tyre on the wheel if you have a blow-out call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you and fit them.
Puncture repair or 1 Autogrip 205/55/16 on a Vauxhall Zafira in St Albans AL1
New customer called the office to have either a puncture repair or a new tyre if it could not be repaired. The customer had a 205/55/16 tyre fitted and after the office talked to them about their driving style the recommended an Autogrip 205/55/16 as a replacement if the puncture could not be repaired.
They arranged an appointment and I headed off to St Albans with a spare tyre on board. Arrived at the job and inspected the punctured tyre, found side wall damage so the tyre could not be repaired.
Jacked up the car and removed the wheel from the car, removed the damaged tyre from the wheel and checked that the wheel had not been damaged. No damage found so replaced the valve and mounted the new tyre onto the wheel. Balance the wheel and then mounted the wheel back on the car and torqued the wheel nuts up to the correct torque.
Inspected all the other wheel for tread depth and tyre pressure, all ok and only a couple of pounds needed in 2 of the tyre to bring them up to the correct pressure.
Took the payment from the customer and set off to the next job.
If you would like a puncture repaired or a new tyre fitted call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 (or 0333 444 5454 mobile friendly number) and we will come to you.
One locking wheel nut that the customer could not get off in N20
Got a job in on Saturday in N20 for a customer with an S Class Mercedes who wanted to put his winter tyres on. The only problem he has was that he had been able to remove 3 of his locking wheel nuts but had damaged the locking wheel nut key trying to remove the fourth one.
Headed over to him to assess the problem, got to the customer and he handed me the wheel nut key, the key had split in the centre so it would no longer fit. He said that he had just had his front brake pads changed. Looks as if his locking wheel nut had been gunned on instead of being done up by hand. He was lucky that he had been able to get the locking wheel nut off the other front wheel before the key was damaged.
The locking was a McGard lock nut; we carry special tools on the vans to remove locking wheel nuts so I pulled out my tool kit and set to work.
Fitted the tool and tried to remove the locking wheel nut but it refused to budge, this really was on tight. Carried on working on the locking wheel nut but the nut would not budge, they must have really gunned this one on.
So back to then van and out with all the tools we have, this time I would try to split the outer ring to relieve some of the pressure on the nut, after 30 minutes I finally split the outer ring, now back to the original tool.
20 minutes of hammering and turning the nut finally moved, at this point I was exhausted so the customer made me a cup of coffee and offered me some biscuits to get my strength back up. After a 10 minute break it was back to work on the wheel nut. Took another 20 minutes to move it enough that I could finally screw it out.
Now time to put the winter tyres on, the customer has a spare set of wheels with his winter tyres mounted on, so only had to remove the existing wheels and mount the winter wheels, and torqued the wheel nuts up to the correct specification. Luckily the customer had 4 original bolts in the boot that had been removed when the locking wheel nuts had been put on.
So if you have locking wheel nuts that you would like to remove but the key is damaged or been lost, or maybe you want winter tyres, call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you.
Winter Checks on your car
- Check all of your tyres (including the spare) for condition, pressure and tread depth.
- For winter motoring, the tread should be at least 3mm, if they are below this think about buying new tyres now before the colder weather sets in. Maybe you can also consider fitting winter tyres.
- Old windscreen blades can cause smearing, new blades will clear the windscreen more effectively and thus help reduce the dazzle from the low autumn sun
- Replace your wipers regularly or if they squeak and smear the screen when they wipe
- Check the condition of the wipers, they should be flexible and without any cracks or missing chunks
- If your windows are covered in ice or condensation clear them before setting off
- Windscreen washer fluid, use one with a purpose-made additive that reduces the chance of it freezing - do not use washing up liquid.
- If you have a chip on the windscreen consider having it repaired, the change in temperature can cause the chip to become a crack. If you have comprehensive car insurance this is normally free.
- Clean inside of the windscreen to reduce glare - just use a tissue or glass cleaner once every 2 weeks to keep your screen free from road grime
- Invest in a de-icer; never use hot water on a windscreen as thermal shock can crack the windscreen. To remove ice always use a scraper or de-icer spray plus turn on the air condition to demist at the same time
- Antifreeze should be used all year round as the additives help to prevent corrosion, if you have added water then the fluid might be too weak to stop freezing.
- Should be checked as part of your regular service to stop you getting a frozen engines, these are expensive to repair
- Your handbook will specify what antifreeze to use for your car
- If in doubt go to tour garage and check it out
- These can struggle during the winter; you put a much heavier load on to it during the cold. Modern batteries also do not give you a warning that the old batteries did (i.e. slow starting over a period of time), now they seem to either work or not.
- Ensure the terminal are clean and dry (remember that crusty build up you used to get in the old days)
- Also make sure the terminals are tightly connected.
- If you battery is over five years old it might be wise to change it.
- You should check your lights are working every time you drive the car, most people don't do this so try to examine them at least once a week (including brake lights and number plate lights)
- Check all of the lenses are clean.
- Always have a selection of spare bulbs for your car.
- If you are changing bulbs, follow your handbook although your headlight bulbs may need you to visit a garage
How to in snowy and slippery conditons
It has just been announced that we might be getting snow next week, normally they say that if you do not need to make the journey stay at home, most of us live in the real world and do not make journeys unless we have to so here is a quick guide on how to deal with the snow when you have to travel.
Clean the windows, roof and bonnet. How many times have you seen people driving around looking through a letter box size hole in the snow? Clear all the windows (including the side windows) so you can see out of the car. Also clear the roof and bonnet, roof snow can slide down over the windscreen when you brake obstructing your view, bonnet snow can blow up on to the windscreen meaning that you have to keep clearing it.
Go at the correct speed, too fast and you could lose control and to slow you might not have enough momentum when you need it.
When pulling off go gently and do not over rev the engine, try and stay in a high gear at low revs to give the most control over the car. If you are trying to move the car and it is slippery try a higher gear than first. Another tip is to have a bad of cat litter in the boot, if the wheels are spinning when trying to pull away sprinkle some cat litter in front of your drive wheels and this will give you a little bit extra grip.
If you start too slid take your foot off the peddles and just steer, only use the brake if you cannot steer out of a problem.
Stopping distances increase greatly, try to leave at least twice the distance (if not triple) between you and the car in front. When you put the brakes on if you start to slip this will give you a better safety margin.
Look at the road ahead of you and try to keep moving at all times.
Main roads get more grit applied than side roads, so try to get to a main road as soon as possible and avoid your normal rat runs.
Slow down before you get to a bend so when you turn your steering wheel you have already reduced your speed.
When going down a hill ensure you are going slowly before you start the decent. It is easier to keep your speed low than to try and slow down on a slippery hill.
So there you go, clean the windows and drives slowly and gently, also don't forget the cat litter.
If you would like Winter tyres before the snow hits call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10
Summer to Winter tyre swap on a Mercedes E Class in N19
Repeat customer called asking us to fit his winter tyres back on. First Winter tyre job of the season for us but in London the weather tends to be warmer so less chance of cold weather until later in the season.
Turned up at the agreed time and pulled his 4 winter tyres out of the basement, we had checked them before they were put away but always best the check their condition before fitting just in case something was missed, nothing wrong with the so started the switch over. We had marked which corner each tyre had come off and the wear pattern matched with them being replaced in the same corner.
Jacked the car up and removed the first 2 tyres, checked them for any sign of damage but nothing found. Marked each tyre with its position on the car and removed the tyre from the rim. The customer mentioned that a couple of the tyres kept losing pressure and he had been pumping them up. As the inspection of the tyres had shown no damage then the finger of suspicion pointed to a corroded rim, checked the first 2 rims and indeed they did show signs of corrosion, this will allow air to escape from between the wheel rim and the tyre.
Removed all sign of corrosion on the inside of the wheels and applied a liquid rubber solution called bead sealer that we have to the inside edge of the rim. This will create an air tight seal where the tyre and rim meet. I decided that to be sure all 4 tyres would be done even if the corrosion did not look too bad as it would stop problems in the future.
Mounted the 2 winter tyres on to the rim and balanced them up, put them back onto the car and tightened the wheel nut bolts up to the manufacturer's specified torque. Now just have to do the other 2 wheels on the other side. Job took an hour in total and the customer had been able to work from home while we did the job.
If you have winter tyres that need to be fitted or maybe you are thinking of getting them before the weather turns cold call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Locking wheel nut removal in N22 on a Volvo S60
New customer called to say that she needed the locking wheel nuts removed from her Volvo S60 as she had a puncture and needed the tyre to be repaired.
Took the details of the tyre as we always like to take a tyre to a puncture repair in case the tyre cannot be fixed, the tyre size is 225/45/17, she only does local driving so I recommend an Autogrip tyre which would suit her driving requirements.
Loaded the tyre up and set off to meet the client where the car was stranded.
Arrived at the job and the first thing to do was get the locking wheel nuts off, she had already had a recovery service come to the car to try and remove the locking wheels nut but they had not been able to remove them, all of our vans carry special equipment that can remove locking wheel nuts when the key is either damaged or has been lost. Broke out the tool and selected the correct blade to remove the locking wheel nut, 10 minutes latter all 4 locking wheel nuts had been removed so know I could focus on the flat tyre.
Jacked up the front driver's side wheel (which is where the punctured tyre was) and removed the wheel, on inspection of the tyre found that the side wall had been gashed and now had a 2 inch tear in it, looks like it came from running the tyre against the kerb. Damage to the side wall cannot be repaired so I showed the customer the damage and explained that the tyre would have to be replaced.
Put the wheel on the tyre wall and removed the damaged tyre, inspected the wheel for any possible damage (none found except some marks from the wheel running against the kerb) and then started the tyre replacement.
First thing to do is put a new rubber valve in, you should always have a new valve fitted when a new tyre is mounted, would be a shame to get another flat tyre on your new tyre from an aged rubber valve. Valve fitted I pasted up the tyre and mounted it onto the wheel.
Now time to balance it, the reason to balance a tyre after you have fitted it is because you have to counter act any weight imbalance from the manufacturing process, spun the wheel up on the balancer and came back needing 25 grams, added the weight and spun the wheel up again to check the balance, came back as zero so the wheel/tyre are now balanced.
Mounted the wheel back on the car and torqued the wheel nuts up to the correct setting, luckily the customer had the 4 original wheel nuts in the boot that had been removed when the locking wheel nuts had been put on. Put one wheel nut on each wheel and torqued these up to the correct torque as well.
Checked the tread depth and tyre pressure of the other 3 wheels on the car and then checked the spare wheel, spare wheel had plenty of tread but only had 10 pounds of pressure in it, normal problem that we find as nobody normally checks the pressure in the spare which can be a pain if you need to use it and it is flat. Pumped it up to 40 psi which is more than the car needs but allows the spare to sit there without being checked for a while.
Filled out all the paper work and took payment via our card reader. All done so off to the next job.
If you have locking wheel nuts that need to be removed or maybe a puncture in one of your tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 9310 (or 0333 444 5454 mobile friendly number) and we will come to you.
Winter Tyres and how they can help
When winter hits driving on our roads can become challenging so ensuring that you are safe on the road is very important. Winter tyres (sometimes called cold weather tyres) offer increased grip and water displacement when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius or we have a deluge of rain.
So what are winter tyres?
The difference between your summer tyres and winter tyres is the compound they are made from and the tread pattern.
What the tyres are made of (i.e. the compound) will stay flexible when the tempratures drop as against your summer tyres, the compound of a winter tyre has more natural rubber in it so that it does not stiffen when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius. This allows the tyre to flex when the temperature drops. This will help to reduce your stopping distance and maintain your grip on the snow, ice and wet roads when the temperature drops.
The tread pattern on a winter tyre is different from a summer tyre; on the winter tyre the tread pattern is much 'blockier'. This means that the tread pattern can move around dispersing any snow that has accumulated in the tread and is also much more aggressive so the tyre can bite into the road surface to give you more grip.
So why should you fit winter tyres? We might not have the extreme weather that other parts of Europe have but over previous winter when snow falls we have had chaos on the road. Drivers who have winter tyres fitted having more control over their cars in these conditions and thus this should lead to fewer accidents. Also your stopping distances on road that are covered in snow and ice are reduced, even in the wet your stopping distances will be reduced due to the design of the tread pattern being able to disperse the water on the road more effectively.
Couple of things to think about.
Are you self-employed and only get paid if you get to work
What is the excess on your insurance policy if you do have an accident?
What if you had an accident and you hurt somebody because you could not stop.
So if you would like winter tyres to help you driving through the winter weather call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we can talk you through the options that would suit you.
- Tyre Info
- How to Check Your Tyres
- UK Tyre Laws
- Tyre Data and Symbol Guide
- Caravan Tyres / Motorhome tyres
- Van Tyres
- 4x4 tyres
- Winter tyres & Seasonal Tyre Swapping
- European Winter Tyre Regulations
- Vehicle Manufacturers Tyre info
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