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.
Locking wheel nut and Autogrip 205/55/16 on an Astra in N8
Got a call from a new customer who had been to his local garage to have a tyre changed. The garage had not been able to change the tyre because the locking wheel nut key was damaged and would not remove the locking wheel nut and thus the wheel could not be removed. They did not have any equipment to remove locking wheel nut without the key so they had recommended that the customer contact us.
Talked to the customer about his driving style and millage, only local driving and less than 5000 miles a year, recommended an Autogrip 205/55/16 as an excellent tyre to suit his requirements. Arranged to set off to him as soon as I had picked up the tyre.
I arrived at the customer and examined the key. The key was mangled and would not fit any of the locking wheel nuts on the car.
All of our vans carry a special tool for these situations; this will remove locking wheel nuts without damaging the alloy wheel. Got the tool out of the van and attached the temporary blade, knocked the tool on to the locking wheel nut and then attached the impact wrench, couple of knocks on the impact wrench and the locking wheel nut was released and could be removed by hand, repeated another 3 time (don't forget that once the key is damaged none of the locking wheel nuts can be removed normally) so all the locking wheel nuts had been removed. Luckily the customer had the old wheel nuts that had been taken off when the locking wheel nuts had been put on. Replaced 3 of the nuts and tightened up to the correct torque.
Now just to change the tyre, once changed checked all the tread depth and tyre pressures on the other wheels (and the spare). All the tyres on the car where well within the legal minimum and did not need any air to be added, the spare was at 6mm so had been used at some point. The pressure on this was a bit low, I pumped it up and added an extra 10 PSI to this tyre as most people don't check the spare when doing the pressures on their tyres and only find out it is flat when they need it, by adding an extra 10 PSI if the tyre is not checked regularly it should still be inflated if it is required.
Took the payment and left the customer with his new tyre fitted and a report that showed him the condition of his remaining tyres.
If you have a locking wheel nut that you cannot remove or maybe you just need tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or the mobile friendly number 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you.
Check your tyres, your pressures and fluid levels before leaving on Holiday
We are now half way through the summer holiday period but lots of people have still not gone on there annual holiday.
If you are heading off in your car/motorhome/caravan soon then a few basic checks before you set off could save you time and money in the long run.
What was the last time you checked your tyre pressures, if like most of the population it would have been when the car was last serviced by the garage (that is if they did check them). Tyre pressures should really be checked every week. So get out your tyre pressure gauge and quickly check them. If you do not have one then any good car parts store should have a good range of gauges to choose from, you could also use the tyre inflator at your local garage but these can be unreliable as they are dropped and knocked about by other users. One thing to remember is that a fully loaded car will require the tyre pressures to be increased above the normal level, details should be either on the drivers door jam or on the back of the fuel filler cap, if they cannot be found in these 2 locations then the owners manual should have the information you require.
Correct tyre pressure also reduce your fuel consumption and reduce the risk of a blow out and puncture.
Also don't forget to check the pressure in your spare tyre, it no use having a spare if it is flat when you need it.
Tyre wear down as we use them, which means from time to time they have to be replaced. Check the depth of your tread, the legal minimum depth is 1.6mm but it is recommended that you consider changing your tyres when they get to 3mm. This is because from 3mm down the level of grip reduces dramatically. Also remember that the more tread depth you have on your tyres the easier it is for your tyre to displace the water on the road if you drive in the rain.
As you are looking at the tread depth on your tyres also look at the tread pattern, are the tyre wearing evenly across the whole tyre or just on one edge? This could be indicating that the alignment on your car has gone out (may be by hitting a pot hole); this can increase the wear on your tyres and increase your fuel consumption.
Low coolant levels can lead to your engine overheating. Cylinder heads can warp to engines can seize. A quick check (and fill up if needed) could save you from having to change your engine if the above happens.
Oil is the life blood of your engine; it keeps metal from rubbing on metal and also helps cool the engine down. Low oil level can lead to bearing failure and possible seizure. Also the more work the engine is having to do due to the lack of lubrication can increase your fuel consumption and reduce the life span of your engine.
If you don't have brake fluid you won't have brakes. Need I say more?
So, spend a few minutes before you go and have a safe trip.
Tyron bands, what are they and how do they work
What are Tyron bands, they are a steel safety band that fits into the wheel well of your wheel so if your tyre deflates you will have the peace of mind that you can stay in control of your vehicle.
So with your tyre staying on your wheel after you suffer a blow out you can still steer, brake and corner at speed. This will greatly reduce the risk of an accident and any possible fatality. You also get a short run flat capability until you can pull over and change the tyre.
How do they work, when a tyre deflates the air pressure in the tyre can no longer hold the tyre against the side of the wheel, this means that the tyre can move around and the tyre bead can slip into the wheel well in the centre of the wheel. The tyre can then flap around causing a loss of steering, also the flapping tyre can cause damage to brake pipes and suspension components, also the body work can be damaged.
So how do they work, the wheel well in the middle of the wheel is needed to fit tyres, the bead of the tyre is dropped into the wheel well so the opposite side of the tyre can be fitted onto the wheel, no wheel well, no new tyre. The Tyron band fills the wheel well (after the tyre has been fitted to the wheel) making it impossible to remove the tyre. When you need new tyres the Tyron band has to be removed before the old tyre is taken off and a new tyre is fitted.
When can you use a Tyron band, any car, van, 4x4, caravan or motor home can be fitted with Tyron bands, however, most of the Tyron bands we fit are to Caravans. The reason for this is that as you are pulling a caravan along a tyre failure in a caravan wheel is difficult to detect from the driving seat of a car. The Tyron band gives you that extra bit of security that if you do have a blow out you can bring your caravan to a halt in a safe place. Many insurance companies also offer a discount to caravan owners that have Tyron bands fitted.
Honda Jazz in N5 with Bridgestone RE040 185/55/15V
New customer booked a job through the website for a Bridgestone RE040 185/55/15V to be put on her Honda Jazz. Customer was called an appointment was arranged for the next day at 10.00.
Arrived at the appointment on time and started to talk to the customer, she said that the car had just had an MOT and she had been given an advisory on her passenger front tyre. Had a quick check and the tyre was at the legal limit. Also checked all the tread depths on the other tyres and they where all at 5mm or above so no problem.
Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and jacked the car up and removed the wheel. Took the wheel over to the van and removed the tyre. Checked the rim to ensure it had no damage, none found so cut out the old valve and replaced it with a nice new one.
Got the replacement tyre and applied the tyre mounting paste to it, the paste allows the tyre to slid against the wheel when we fit the tyre so it does not get damaged. Mounted the tyre and inflated it to the correct pressure. Now time to balance the wheel.
Put the wheel on the balancer and set all the parameters, the reason we have to balance brand new wheels is that you get slight weight differences during manufacturing that if we did not balance the wheel you can get a vibration through the steering wheel. Spun the wheel up and the balancer came back as needing 40 grams to be added. Added the weight using a stick on weight and re spun the wheel to check it goes to zero, zero returned by the balancer so now time to refit the wheel to the car.
Took the wheel over to the car and mounted the wheel, tightened all the bolts up to the manufactures specification and put the locking wheel nut back in the boot of the car. Marked this information on the invoice.
I had already checked the tread depths on the other wheels but now I checked the tyre pressures as well. Only a couple of pounds out so adjusted them. Did not have to take a payment as the customer had already paid, so off to the next job.
If you need tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you
Audi TT in Bushey WD23 with Nexen Nfera SU1 XL 255/35/19W
New customer called to say that they where stuck at home as the front left tyre on there Audi TT was flat. Spoke to them about what tyre they had on the car and if they where happy with them, they where so I arranged to pickup a replacement and head over to them.
Arrived at the job and started to investigate what was wrong with the tyre. Noticed a small cut on the side wall, no scuffing mark around the cut, looks like somebody might has put a sharp pointed object into the side wall. Showed the customer the problem, not happy at having to change the tyre (which besides this cut was in excellent condition) as any damage to the side wall cannot be repaired.
Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and loosened all the wheel bolts before jacking the car up, jacked up the car and removed the wheel nuts. Took the wheel off the car and took it over to the van.
Broke the bead and mounted the wheel on the turntable to remove the tyre. Tyre off check for damage to the wheel, none found so cut out the old valve and replaced with a brand new one. Get the tyre and paste it up ready to mount. You have to apply paste to mount a tyre, if you don't the tyre will grab onto the wheel as you mount it and be damaged, the paste allows the tyre to slip when we are mounting it. Once the tyre was fitted I inflated it to the correct pressure.
Time to balance the wheel, mounted the tyre on to the balancer and set all parameters, spun the wheel to see how much weight I would have to add. The reading came back as zero, happens sometimes but very rare, spun the wheel again to double check the original result, came back as zero again.
Time to put the wheel back on the car, mounted the wheel and tightened all the wheel bolts up to the manufactures specification. Locking wheel nut back in the boot and this is marked on the invoice.
Last things to do, check the condition of all the other tyres and check and adjust the tyre pressure as needed. Payment then taken and off to the next job.
If you are stuck at home with a puncture call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you.
Range Rover in Bushey WD24 with a cracked rim on Pirelli Scorpion P Zero 285/35/22W
Previous customer called to say that he had a flat tyre, I already had the details of his tyre size (Pirelli Scorpion P Zero 285/35/22W) so ordered 1 tyre for pickup as I was passing the wholesaler and arranged to meet him in 1 hour.
Arrived at the job and his tyre was flat as a pancake, it also looked as if it had been driven on while flat. The only way to be sure of this is to remove the tyre and inspect the inside. Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and cracked the wheel nuts. Jacked up the car and removed the wheel from the car, now to find the cause of the flat. Quick check of the wheel and I immediately saw the cause of the problem, the inside edge of the wheel had a crack in it, possibly caused by a pot hole.
Well could not put the new tyre onto the wheel until this is fixed or the new tyre will lose pressure as well. Customer said that he was planning to go away at the end of the day for a long weekend away and could we get it fixed immediately, called the welder that fixes cracked wheels for us and he said that as long as we could get the wheel to him in the next hour he would be able to fix it while I waited, Stripped the tyre off of the wheel (the inside of the tyre was damaged so could not be refitted) and set off to the welder.
Arrived at the welders 5 minutes to spare and gave him the wheel, all I could do now was wait for the repair to be done. 20 minutes later he had welded up the wheel and handed it back to me, could not put the tyre back on straight away as it was still hot from the fix. Put the wheel in the back of the van and headed back to the customer.
Arrived back in Bushey and checked that the wheel was cool, it was. Mounted the new tyre on to the repaired rim and then balanced the wheel.
Wheel back onto the car and bolts torqued up to the manufacturers specification, locking wheel nut back on the boot and this is marked on the invoice. All done with 2 hours to spare before he was going to set off. Now this is not always possible, we where lucky that the welder had a slot in his working day but if we can we will always try and get a customer back on the road as soon as possible.
The mobile Cracked rim repair is only available in the North London and surrounding areas
Jaguar XJ Locking wheel nut removal Watford WD24
Repeat customer called (body work garage) who had just had a stolen and recovered Jaguar XJ in that had no locking wheel nut in the car.
Arranged to meet them in 1 hour after I had finished the job I was on.
Arrived at the job, the front right hand wing had been caved in from a crash. First thing to do was search the car in case the locking wheel nut was in the car, checked every cubby hole and niche I could find but no locking wheel nut to be seen.
So it's out with the special tool, being a Jaguar it has a special locking wheel nut that is only used by them, we carry a special adaptor that can remove these, the basic tool will remove most locking wheel nuts with Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover and some new Fords each needing a unique blade, we carry each of these.
Started on the first nut (where the damaged wing was) and this came off with no problems, same with the next 2, last nut to do (left front) and it was stuck, probably caused by the nut being gunned on instead of being put on by hand and torqued up correctly. Went to the van and got out the larger and heavier hammer, used this on the special tool and after 10 minutes the nut finally moved. No damage to any of the wheels and all 4 removed.
Put all the tools away and did a check on the condition of all the tyre including the spare, all at 4mm or more and tyre pressures all correct (spare included)
Filled out the invoice, took payment and emails the invoice and tyre report over to the garage.
If you have lost your locking wheel nut key, or maybe damaged it call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 (mobile friendly number) and we will come to you to remove them.
Porsche 911 in Watford WD6 with a puncture
New customer called today with a slow puncture on his Porsche 911, he had been referred to us by an existing customer.
Spoke to the customer on the situation, seems he had a very slow puncture and needed to put a couple of pounds of pressure into his tyre every couple of days, the tyre had not gone down fully and he had not driven on it while the pressure had dropped. The car was still under warranty (it was only a couple of months old) and still had the original Porsche N rated tyres fitted.
Took the details from the customer of the tyre (Pirelli P Zero 295/30/20Y N0) that had a puncture and ordered a replacement in case the tyre could not be repaired.
Arranged an appointment for Saturday early in the morning as this suited the customer.
Arrived at the allocated time and started to investigate the puncture, first thing was to get the locking wheel nut out of the car, the customer did not know where the locking wheel nut was. In a Porsche they are normally located at the front of the boot under the bonnet, seems Porsche had found another place to put them, still under the bonnet but this time on the right hand side.
Took the locking wheel nut and loosened the wheels and then jacked the car up. Finished removing the wheel nuts and took the wheel off the car, on a quick inspection of the outside of the tyre it seemed that the tyre was in excellent condition so every thing depended on where the puncture was on the tyre.
Started to spray the tyre to find the leak. Nothing found, checked the rim (in case the tyre was not sealing against the wheel) and again nothing found. Pumped the tyre up to 60 PSI (standard pressure was 39 PSI) and sprayed the tyre again. This time I could just see a small leak on the centre of the tyre, very small but at least we had found the problem. Marked the puncture and released the pressure and took the tyre off the wheel.
It is not until you remove a tyre from the wheel that you can be sure that the tyre has not been damaged by being driven on while deflated. In this case the inside of the tyre was in excellent condition, the puncture had been caused by a long thin nail that had gone through the tyre, perfectly repairable.
Removed the nail and drilled the hole out ready to apply the plug and patch, the reason we drill the hole out is because water can get into the puncture and start to damage the carcase of the tyre, drilling it out cleans out any damage that might have been caused and thus gives us a nice clean surface. Also the plug and patch we use won't fit into a hole the size of a nail.
Once drilled out we buff the inside of the tyre so it is a smooth surface, clean up the buffed area and apply the contact adhesive to the inside of the tyre and also to the plug and patch. Once ready we glue the 2 together and then work the patch onto the inside of the tyre until it has bonded. Now we apply a liquid rubber over the plug and patch covering any area we have buffed to ensure an airtight seal.
All dry the tyre is put back on to the wheel and inflated to the correct pressure (39PSI). Mount the tyre back onto the car and tighten the wheel nuts back up to the manufacturer's specification with a torque wrench.
Locking wheel nut back into the front of the car where I found it and this is then marked on the invoice. Checked all the other tyres for wear and also there pressure (spot on) and updated the tyre report. This gets emailed to the customer along with the invoice so they have a record of the condition of there tyres.
Customer happy as he had feared that he would need a new tyre and only needed a puncture repair, took the payment and headed off to the next job.
If you need your tyres changed, a puncture repair or any other tyre related service call hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 (mobile friendly number) and we will come to you.
Wheel balance in N20 Totteridge on a BMW 5 series
Got a call from a new customer who was recommended by a previous customer.
They had had there tyres changed at a local tyre depot but they had experienced wheel wobble ever since, they had been back a couple of times but the tyre depot had not been able to correct the problem, they wanted us to check the balance of the wheels to see if we could correct the problem.
Arranged an appointment for Saturday morning to look at the car.
Arrived at the appointment and started work, got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and removed the nut, noticed that one of the locking wheel nuts where damaged and highlighted this to the customer, advised that they buy a new set of locking wheel nuts in case they have problem removing the nut at the side of the road.
Broke the remaining nuts and jacked the car up. Once jacked up removed the wheel nuts and took the wheels off the car. Did a quick check on the suspension bushes and brakes to ensure that these did not have any problems. None found so took the wheels over to the van and mounted the first one on the balancer. Set all the parameters on the machine and spun the wheel up, came back as needing 20 grams, added the weight and re-spun the wheel to check that the wheel was balanced. Came back as zero.
Removed the first wheel and mounted the second one, spun up the wheel and it came back as needing 35 grams, both of these weight imbalances would have been detectable by the driver. Added the 35 grams and re-spun the wheel, came back at zero.
Took both wheels over to the car and mounted them, tightened the wheel nuts up to the manufactures specification and placed the locking wheel nut back in the boot. Marked this information on the invoice and handed the keys back to the customer.
The customer later that day texted me to say that the vibration in the steering wheel had gone and he would be using us for all his tyre requirements in the future.
So if you would like a professional job done first time call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10
Check your tyre pressure and fluids before a long journey
If you are thinking of going away for the forth coming Bank Holiday weekend then checking your tyres early can save you money.
Worn tyres have reduced grip and are also more susceptible to picking up a puncture. You can also be fined up to £2500 and 3 penalty points per illegal tyre if the police pull you over.
Under inflated tyres will increase fuel consumption, increase wear on the tyre and can be more susceptible to blow outs. Remember that with a fully loaded car the tyre pressures should also be adjusted, this information is normally on the drivers door jam or on the inside of the fuel cap cover, if not then the hand book will have this information.
Ordering replacement tyres before you go means that you can choose the make/style of tyre that you want within your budget, leaving it until you have a problem by the side of the road means that you have to take what is available when you have your problem, this will also probably cost more (never mind the hassle)
Checking your fluids will mean that the engine should run more efficiently and cooler, improving fuel economy.
Low engine oil will increase friction causing your engine to run hotter and reduce fuel consumption. Also long term damage to the bearing and surfaces inside the engine can be caused.
Low coolant will increase the engines temperature and can lead to head gasket failures.
All these problems cost a lot more to fix after they have happened rather than a quick 5 minute check and top up before you leave.
So if you need tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 (mobile friendly number) and we will change and check your tyres before you go.
Porsche Cayenne with Dunlop sportmaxx 295/30/20 and 335/25/22 in N2
Got a call from a previous customer who had hit both tyres on the drivers side against the kerb, he was not to sure if he had damaged the tyres and was wondering if we could have a look, we would be in the area that afternoon so arranged a time to meet him.
Turned up at the agreed time and started the inspection, The front tyre had developed a bulge so that tyre would need to be replaced, on examining the rear tyre he had cut the side wall down to the carcass and the cords could be seen, this meant that this tyre would have to be replaced.
As I was there he said that he also had a nail in the passenger side rear tyre on his 911 and could I have a look at it. Found the nail but it had not penetrated the tyre so at least this tyre would not need replacing.
Arranged to replace the tyres the next day when he would be available and headed off to the next job (after I had ordered the tyres for delivery)
Tyres arrived so set off to the customer. Arrived at the agreed time and set to work, now this Cayenne is fully kitted out with side skirts that make it very difficult to get the jacks under, luckily we have 2 special tools, these are 2 pieces of wood shaped into ramps (so high-tech), I just put them under the wheels and slowly drive the car onto them, this gives me enough space to get the jacks under the car. Loosened the wheel nuts and then jacked the car up. Removed the wheels and took them over to the van and released the air out of them. Broke the beads and removed the tyres. As he had hit a kerb I inspected the rims for any possible damage, none found except some cosmetic scraping.
Mounted the new tyres and balanced the wheels, mounted the wheels back on to the car and tightened all the bolts up to the manufacturer's specification. Locking wheel nut back in the boot and marked on the electronic invoice. Payment taken and all the work completed.
If you would like your tyres replaced at home, office or a place that is convenient for you call 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 (mobile friendly number) and we will bring the tyre bay to you.
Check your tyres before the May bank holiday trip
With the first May Bank Holiday weekend approaching on Monday now is a good time to check your tyres are safe and legal so you don't have a Bank Holiday problem if you are going on a long trip.
We all know we should check our tyres before we set off on a trip but who normally bothers? Longer journeys than normal (with a fully loaded car) put greater strain on your tyres than a normal local potter. Follow these 4 easy steps to save you problems on the road, remember you still have time to get your tyres replaced or punctures repaired before you set off.
1) Check the tyre tread - worn tyre tread reduces your tyres grip so they will not give you the best possible handling. The UK law states that you need at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre around the total tyre. The best way to check your tread depth (if you don't have a tread depth gauge) is with a 20p coin. Put the 20p coin into the tyre tread on the tyres. Around the outside of the 20p coin is a band, if this sits above the tread on the tyre then the tyres need to be changed, don't forget that this applies to all the tread in the central three quarters around the whole tyre, if only one spot on the tyre is to low then the tyre needs to be replaced.
2) Check the tyre pressures, how many of use leave this to the car service? Tyres gradually lose pressure so they should be checked regularly, under pressure tyres will wear prematurely on the outer edges and put more strain on the engine and thus increase fuel consumption. Over inflated tyres will wear prematurely in the middle of the tyre and are prone to a blow out. A cheap tyre pressure gauge can be brought from any auto parts store or you can use the gauges at your local petrol station.
3) Look at your tyres for signs of damage. Look at the side walls for bulges and cuts; check the tread to see if you have nails or screws in the tread, these could be causing a slow leak that could lead to a blowout at speed. Best to get them repaired before the tyre is damaged beyond repair, repairs cannot be made to the side walls of tyres.
4) At finally, do you have a spare wheel? Do you know where it is? Have you ever checked it? Most people (if they have one) forget to check there spare wheel, better to check that it has air in it before you need it than finding out at the side of the road that it is flat. If your spare wheel is situated in a cradle under the car check that the cradle will come down, being exposed to the element some times causes the winding mechanism to seize up, not an easy fix on the side of the road with all your tools and penetrating fluid at home.
So remember, you still have time to fix any puncture or replace any tyre that is illegal, and it is a lot easier than by the side of the road or in a foreign country. We can supply and fit your tyres when and where you want, its just 1 call way. So don't waste time going to a tyre depot, just call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454.
2 Ovation V-002 155/80/13 tyres on a trailer in Luton LU3
New customer called to say he needed 2 tyres for his trailer but was having problems getting them replaced as his trailer has Tyron bands, all the local tyre depots did not want to handle them.
Tyron bands are a mechanical device that is put inside the tyre; they stop the tyre coming off the rim if you get a blow out allowing you to come to a controlled stop.
No problems for use as all the vans are equipped with the tools to handle them. Loaded the 2 Ovation 155/80/13 tyres onto the van and headed off to meet him in Luton.
Arrived at the job and the first thing to do was check that the tyres did need replacing, both of the tyres had lots of tread left but the side walls and the tread showed serious signs of cracking so they would need to be replaced. This situation is quite common on Caravans, Motor homes and Trailers, as they do not do the same millage as a car and sit around for long periods of time the tyres age before the tread is used up.
Removed the wheels from the trailer and broke the first bead, with our special tools I compressed the tyre and removed the Tyron band from inside the tyre, then broke the second bead and removed the tyre from the wheel, cut out the old valve and replaced with a new one. Pasted up the new tyres and mounted it onto the wheel. Inflated the tyre until it seated then let the pressure out again, now I had to break the top bead again so that I could compress the tyre and re-install the Tyron band.
When I had taken the Tyron band off originally one of the bolts that holds the device together had been badly corroded. Replaced with a new bolt (we always have spares from fitting new Tyron bands as we are sent extra bolts in case the heads get damaged while fitting them). Tyron band re-installed I pumped up the tyre again to the correct pressure and balanced the wheel.
Same process repeated for the second wheel but I did not have to replace one of the bolts this time as they had not corroded this time.
Balanced up the wheels and took both finished wheels over to the trailer and fitted them, torqued the wheel nuts up to the correct torque and put all my tools away. Did a quick check of his car and found that all the tyres where legal and at the correct pressure.
If you have Tyron bands fitted to your Caravan, Motor home or trailer and you are having problems getting your tyres changed call hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 (mobile friendly number) and we will come to you to change your tyres. We can also supply and fit new Tyron bands if you don't have them.
Tyre pressures and fluid levels before a long journey
With Easter almost upon us and a long weekend with nice weather forecast a large number of motorists will be setting off on a journey.
If this is the first long journey that you are making this year check your Fluid levels and tyre pressures before you set off.
A 5 minute check before you set off could save you hours on the hard shoulder of a motorway.
Your car will also preform better and use less fuel if your fluids and tyre pressures are correct. Also, don't forget to check the spare wheel (if you have one), a flat spare wheel is no good to you if you need to use it.
If you have noticed that your tyres need replacing call 0800 783 93 10 and we will come and change your tyres before you set off.
Land Rover Discovery in Watford WD17 with Pirelli Scorpion Zero 255/60/R18 112V
Customer called needing 2 tyres for his Land Rover Discovery, talked to him about his driving style and he wanted to stay with what he already had, so ordered 2 Pirelli Scorpion 255/60/18 tyres as this was what he already had.
Arranged an appointment for that afternoon.
Arrived at the appointment and checked over the 2 rear tyres to ensure they needed replacing, down to 2 mm on both tyres so they would have to be replaced, he said that he had just come back from a skiing trip in Austria and had noticed that the back end of the Land Rover was sliding a bit.
Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and removed the locking wheel nuts, then gently released the other wheel nuts and jacked the car up. Undid the wheel nuts and removed the wheels from the car. Over to the van to change the tyres.
Took the tyres off and replaced with the new boots, balanced both wheels and then put them back onto the Land Rover, tightened the wheel nuts up to the manufacturer's specification and replaced all the tools in the van.
Put the locking wheel nut back in the boot and marked this on the invoice, checked the tyre pressures and tread depth on the remaining tyres (including the spare), all ok so that was that job done.
Total time from start to finish 40 minutes. Customer very happy that we could do his tyres at home. Saved him having to get the kids dressed and loaded into the car to get the tyres changed.
If you would like us to change your tyre at home (or maybe your tyres at the office) then just call 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 (mobile friendly number) and we will come to you.
Range Rover with Nexen Roadian 285/35/22V in NW8
Repeat customer called to say that one of his tyres had gone down; I asked him if he had driven on the tyre while it was flat and he said only for a few minutes. As his details are on our system I picked out a tyre and loaded it into the van in case the puncture could not be fixed. Arranged to meet him in the afternoon when he would be back at home.
Arrived at the flat and started to investigate the problem, got the locking wheel nut key out of the boot and removed the wheel from the car, inflated it to check for a leak, after checking the tyre found no puncture so started to check the seal between the tyre and the wheel, again no leak found.
Last think to check was the valve, the customer had aftermarket wheels on the Range Rover, and these do not have the standard rubber valve but a solid metal valve instead. First check of the valve showed no leak but on closer inspection the valve could move and let a small amount of air out, so it looks as if when he was driving the centrifugal force was moving the valve and letting air out but once he stopped the valve would return to its normal place and seal again. The customer then said that he had been filling the tyre with air and the valve was moving when he attached the inflator and he thought he could hear a small hiss of air leaking while he was inflating the tyre.
Put the wheel on the turntable and removed the tyre, the inside of the tyre had started to break up so the tyre would have to be replaced, now to look at the valve. Unbolted the valve and the problem became apparent, the inside of the valve had started to corrode and the rubber seals had started to crack. We don't carry replacements for this type of valve but a standard rubber valve will fit and do a much better job of sealing the valve to the wheel.
Explained this to the customer but he was worried that his chrome valve caps that matched the wheel would not fit onto the valve, this would be no problem as the diameter of the old valve and the new valve are the same, popped the dust cap onto the new valve to show him and then he was happy to have a rubber valve fitted.
So cleaned up the wheel and checked that it had no damaged from when it had been run while deflated. No damage found so fitted the new rubber valve and mounted the tyre, inflated until the tyre had 'seated' and then adjusted to the correct pressure.
Once mounted the wheel was put on the wheel balancer, parameters all set for the size of wheel and tyre and the wheel was spun up, came back needing 35grams of weights to be added. Added the weights and re-spun the wheel, came back needing zero weights to be added.
Now to put the wheel back on the car, this was a big hefty wheel so I had to take care that I did not damage it. Once the wheel was back on the car I set the torque of the wheel nuts to the manufacturer's specification
Put the locking wheel nut key back in the boot and marked this on the invoice, put all the tools away and then just checked all the other tyres for tread depth and tyre pressure and adjusted the tyre pressures as required. Had a quick conversation with the customer and agreed that as each tyre is changed we would swap all the valves over to rubber valves. Took the payment and left the job.
If this is the kind of service you would like to receive and have your tyres replaced on the drive then call 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 or look at out contact page.
p.s. that evening I received a text from the customer thanking me for such a good, prompt and professional service.
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