Align your wheels for safety, savings and the environment
A worrying fact we've noticed over time at Hometyre is that many of our customers neglect to have their wheels aligned until it leads to a worn tyre. This is because most people think a worn tyre is the only possible repercussion of improper wheel alignment. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.
Properly aligned wheels are essential for the safe handling and proper maintenance of your car. Improper alignment can also impact on how much you spend on petrol, the frequency with which you purchase new tyres, and much more.
Wheel alignment explained
Wheel alignment ensures that your wheels are perpendicular to the road and parallel to each other. Wheels that aren't properly aligned cause uneven pressure on your tyres. This leads to uneven friction on the tyres and creates much more resistance from the road surface. Your car then has to work much harder to move forward, burning far more fuel as a result.
Good for your pocket
Alternatively, if wheel alignment is done at the recommended biannual intervals or every 10,000 km, there will be much less resistance from the road, allowing your car to drive more smoothly and easily, and burning much less fuel. This means you spend less on petrol every month, and for those of us who are environmentally conscious, there's the extra bonus of reducing your carbon footprint.
Additionally, the uneven pressure on tyres due to improper alignment will indeed lead to an increase in the rate of wear and tear on your tyres. In other words, having your wheels aligned regularly could significantly reduce the frequency with which you have to purchase new tyres.
In terms of the safe handling of your vehicle overall, wheel alignment affects the suspension, steering system and braking system, so having your wheels aligned regularly is a priority for road safety.
Get it done
There you have it: wheel alignment will improve how your car drives, save you money on petrol and tyre replacement, and directly benefits the environment. Need we say more? So contact us on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 (mobile friendly number) or check out our contact page
Locking wheel nuts and over tightened wheel nuts
If you have ever had a puncture by the side of the road you probably know how difficult it can be to remove your wheel nuts with the wheel brace the car manufacturers give you, it is almost as if the nuts have been welded to your wheel. Quite often you will be stamping on the brace bar with your foot trying to loosen the nut and hoping that the bar does not go flying off and hit your car.
Well how can this be? The chances are that last time you had your tyre changed you went to a tyre depot and happily sat in the cold waiting room while the staff fitted new tyres to your pride and joy, while you where reading a 2 year old copy of house and gardens you probably heard in the back ground a rat-a-tat-tat of an air gun doing up the wheels on your car.
The trouble with these air guns is that you have no control over the force they exert on the wheel nut. You just turn them on and then when you think the wheel nuts are tight enough you turn them off, not the most precise piece of equipment. They can also apply much more force to the wheel nuts than you can with the small wheel brace the manufactures supply with there cars, and thus you get stuck at the side of the road jumping up and down on the wheel brace.
Each manufacturer specifies a Newton Meter torque setting that should be applied to the wheel nuts on there cars, and these don't always go up in units 10, an example of this is a Nissan 350Z. The torque setting for these wheels is 113 Newton Meters. So how are you going to set this correctly with an air gun, do you do at rat-a-tat-tat or a rat-a-tat-tat-tat? And just as importantly is the wheel on tight enough?
We always use a toque wrench to finish the wheels off; these can be set exactly to 113 Newton Meters so you know your wheel nuts are correctly set.
Now onto the locking wheel nuts, these generally have either a pattern on the inside of the locking wheel nut key that fits into the corresponding locking wheel nut or a set of pins or ridges that stick out and fit into holes in the locking wheel nut. All these keys are inherently weaker than a normal wheel nut; the pattern on the locking wheel nut key does not have the same thickness of metal as a solid bolt. Take an air gun to these and you can mangle the locking wheel nut key as you do the bolt up, rendering the key useless.
So there you are by the side of the road, you have jumped up and down on the wheel brace and at last got your normal wheel nuts free but the locking wheel nut key will not fit the locking wheel nut bolt. You are stuck and the only thing you can do is hope that your recovery service membership is up to date so you can be towed home and then try to arrange the removal of the locking wheel nut bolt from your wheels.
Well things don't have to be that way. Call Hometyre and we will come to you and change your tyres, we will then torque the wheel nuts up to the correct tightness (all our vans carry a chart that shows the recommended torque settings) and place the locking wheel nut back where we found it and mark this on the invoice for your future reference. What if you have a locking wheel nut that you cannot get off because the locking wheel nut key is damaged? All of our vans carry a special tool that can remove locking wheel nut when the locking wheel nut key has been damaged or lost.
So, don't put yourself in a position that you are stranded by the side of the road, contact hometyre in the first place and have the job done correctly first time.
The Responsible Way to Explore in Your Caravan
One of the great things about owning a caravan is the ability to pick yourself up at the drop of a hat and go on a spontaneous holiday for as long as you like - and with Europe only a Channel Tunnel drive away, there's really no limit to the trips you can plan with your motor home.
Safety before spontaneity
However, to be able to hop on the road and take a spur of the moment trip, your caravan needs to be in tip-top condition at all times. This means that proper maintenance is essential, particularly for your tyres.
It's easy to think that your tyres are in great shape with plenty of tread left because your caravan isn't used as frequently as your regular car, but this isn't necessarily the case. Considering the fact that a blown out or punctured tyre could put a major spoke in the wheel (pun intended) for your holiday, it's important to ensure that your tyres are in the best possible shape before taking your caravan out for a spin.
What to look out for
Most importantly, make sure to check your caravan's tyres for signs of cracking on the sidewalls and inside the tread pattern. You should also check the age on the tyres by looking for the date code on the sidewalls. If there are any indications of cracking, or if the tyres are more than five years old, it's advisable to have them replaced as soon as possible.
Get up n' go
So rather than staying cooped up all winter, take yourself on a quick and easy getaway in your caravan - you'll be surprised at how much you can see and do on the open road! Before you head out the door, however, make sure to do a thorough check of your tyres to guarantee you'll have a safe and memorable trip for the right reasons.
To find out more on how you can have your caravan's tyres replaced right at your home or office, contact us today.
Mercedes Benz in Harrow HA4 with Continental sports contact 3 265/35/18Y tyres
New customer called the office needing either a puncture repair or one Continental sports contact 3 265/35/18 Y tyres for his Mercedes. The office talked to him about his driving habits and even though he does a very low annual millage and only drives on the local roads he did not want to go to a different brand as the car was his pride and joy.
No problems, the office ordered the tyre for him in case I could not repair the tyre and arranged for me to meet him the next day at 10.00 as this was ok for him.
Got the tyre delivered first thing on the day of the delivery and set off to meet the customer, got to the job and it was a lovely detached house with a large paved parking area that had his Mercedes and his sons Peugeot 205 parked on it.
Knocked on the door and got the car keys off the customer so I could get the licking wheel nut out of the boot. Always make a not of where your locking wheel nut is (if you have them) as trying to change a wheel if you get a puncture by the side of the road is impossible without it. Anyway, locking wheel nut key in hand time to identify the offending tyre, did not take long as the front passengers side tyre was as flat as a pancake.
Removed the locking wheel nut from the wheel and cracked the remaining wheel nuts, then jacked the car up by the jacking point and fully removed the wheel, time to find the reason for the puncture. Nail right in the middle of the tread, normally this would be an easy puncture repair but the side walls looked as if the tyre had been driven on while deflated, would not know until I removed the tyre and inspected it.
Took the wheel over to the van and broke the beads on the tyre and placed the wheel on the turntable, started to removed the tyre and could immediately smell that the tyre was damaged inside, once fully removed the tyre was full of 'rubber dust', this is the inside of the tyre having broken down by being driven on while deflated.
New tyre required then, cut out the old valve and cleaned up the wheel rim and inspected the rim for any sign of damage, luckily none found. New valve fitted I mounted the new tyre onto the wheel and then inflated it to the correct pressure.
Over to the balancer, set all the parameters and spun the wheel, came back needing 25grams, stuck the weights on and re-spun the wheel, came back zero this time so the wheel was balanced. When you are having your wheel balanced do not let anybody hammer weights on to the outside of an alloy wheel, this can cause damage to the finish of the wheel allowing salt and water to attack the wheel and it look horrible, we have equipment that allows us to balance a wheel from the inside so the finish on the front of your wheel will not be damaged.
Time to put the wheel back on the car, checked the charts for the correct torque that was required and took the wheel back over to the car, mounted the wheel and finished tightening the wheel bolt up to the correct torque setting. Put the locking wheel nut key back in the boot and marked this on the invoice, checked the tyre pressures and tread depth on the remaining wheels (including the spare) and marked this on the report that would be sent to the customer.
All tidied up went to the door with the car keys to take payment, took the payment and the customer started to talk about his sons car (the Peugeot 205 ) and how he has a vibration coming through his steering wheel at 60MPH since he had his tyres changed and he could not get it fixed, we went and had a look at the car and the wheels are what we call 'centre less' wheels, these are wheels that do not the normal hole in the middle of the wheel that allows you to fit the wheel to the wheel balancer.
We carry a special adaptor that is called a spider (the technical name is a centre less wheel adaptor but spider sounds better), this fits on the balancer and allows us to bolt the wheel to it via the holes in the wheel that the wheel nuts go through. I asked if he would like me to balance the wheels, yes was the answer, so out again with the tools and off came the wheel (no locking wheel nut this time). Onto the balancer (via the adaptor) and spun the wheel up, needed 60grams to be added, no wonder he had a vibration through his wheel. Added the weights and spun the wheel again, came back as zero. Mounted the wheel onto the car and tightened the bolts up to the correct torque. Tools away and new invoice raised for the extra work.
If you would like your tyres changed at home, or maybe you have centre less wheels that vibrate at speed, call hometyre on 0800 783 9310 or click here for other contact details.
4 Reasons to Check your Fleet’s Tyres
4 Reasons to Check your Fleet's Tyres For business owners with fleets of vehicles or company cars, it's important to have fleet tyre checks at regular intervals as a critical part of your duty of care.
This doesn't just mean checking your tyres for wear and tear or punctures, but also ensuring that your wheels are properly balanced and aligned so that there's no uneven pressure on the tyres which could magnify the risk of punctures or blow outs.
Here, we've put together a list of the top four reasons to prioritise regular fleet tyre checks.
1. It's the law Since April 2008, the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act set out a new offence for where there has been a gross breach of duty of care. For business owners with company cars or fleets of vehicles, this translates into the need for proper vehicle maintenance, including checking and maintaining tyres so that employees aren't at any undue risk. Failure to do so could make you liable for the death of an employee in the event of an accident while driving your company vehicle.
2. Responsible management Ensuring your company cars' tyres are safe to drive on is simply the only way to responsibly and ethically manage your business and human resources. Otherwise, you could be putting your employees at serious risk. From a moral standpoint, there's really no question about it.
3. Save money The less your tyres and wheels are checked, balanced and aligned is the more your business will invariably have to spend on tyre repair and replacement. This is because poorly positioned or worn down tyres have a much greater likelihood of being punctured or deflated. Add to this the possible cost if an accident results, and suddenly, having a fleet tyre check carried out doesn't seem so bad.
4. Ease and convenience Surprised by this one? Well, with Hometyre's mobile tyre services, a qualified and competent technician comes right to your business and can do any required tyre maintenance, including wheel alignment and balancing, on the spot, taking all the stress and hassle out of checking your fleet's tyres.
If you'd like to find out more about our free, no obligation tyre health check for your fleet, contact us today.
Horse box with stuck wheel nuts in HP5 Hertfordshire
This was a first, got a call from a new customer who has a horse box but could not get the wheel nuts off, they did not need tyre just the wheel nuts removed so they could do some welding on the vehicle.
We are always up to a challenge so arranged to meet them in 30 minutes and set off to the job. Arrived and inspected the wheels, the horse box had been left out in the rain for months and had not been moved. The weather had caused the wheel nuts to seize onto the bolts and they had tried to remove the wheel nuts with the supplied wheel brace to no avail. They only needed the 2 back wheels to be loosened as this was where the welding was going to be done.
First thing to do, apply some penetrating oil hoping this would make the job easier, left the penetrating oil on to do its job for ten minutes and then got the breaker bar out, Our breaker bar is used to loosen the nut on the wheel before we remove them, it is about three times the length of a normal wheel brace and gives us a much bigger leverage.
Well, started on the wheels and got the wheel nuts on the first wheel free. Around to the other side of the vehicle and start on the remaining wheel, this side had been exposed to the elements much more than the other side, managed to free all of the wheel nuts except one, this was stuck solid. Most people would have given up by this time but we would not, more penetrating oil was applied and a length of scaffold pole put over the end of the breaker bar to increase the leverage. Nothing, the nut was still solid, applied yet more penetrating oil and left it for another 10 minutes.
While I was waiting we went through the van to see if anything else could help remove the nut, checking the tools we use to remove locking wheel nuts we decided to use the impact wrench that we use. The impact wrench is designed to apply a circular motion (i.e. undo) to a nut by hammering the end of the impact wrench with a club hammer.
Attached the impact wrench and started to hammer the end of the wrench, nothing, applied some more penetrating fluid and started hammering again. After 5 minutes of hammering the nut seemed to move so I got the breaker bar and scaffold pole and pulled with as much force as I could muster, with a loud creaking sound the nut moved, we had achieved the result, all the nuts had now been freed.
Put all the tools away in the van and took payment from the customer who shyly said that we where not the first people who they had used to try and get the nuts loosened. But we where the only people to succeed.
So if you have a wheel problem (not just tyres) give us a call on 0800 783 93 10 or click on the contact page for other ways to contact us and we will try to fix your problem.
Yoy can also look at our FAQ page for more information
VW Golf in Hatfield AL10 with Nexen Blue 195/65/15H tyres
Customer called as there Nexen Blue 195/65/R15H tyre had gone down and they needed a puncture repair or a new tyre. Luckily I had one of there tyres on board so arranged to meet them in 1 hours time after I had completed the job I was on.
Arrived at the arranged time and started to look at the tyre to see if I could see the reason for the tyre deflating, nothing obvious so I would have to remove the wheel to investigate.
Asked the customer where the locking wheel nut was and they said it had been lost, the wheel cannot be removed with out releasing the locking wheel nut, we can remove the locking wheel nuts with a special tool we carry but it does incur a cost, before deciding to break out the special tool I checked the boot, there was the locking wheel nut key, they did not know what it was for so explained in case they had a puncture and had to use the space saver tyre to get home.
The car was in a very tight location but we carry a pneumatic jack as well as the normal trolley jacks for these situations.
Loosened the wheel nuts and then jacked the car up using the pneumatic jack. Took the wheel over to the van to start the investigation.
Not much investigation required as the tread had a massive bolt sticking out of it, I could not see the bolt while the wheel was on the car as it was on the part of the tyre that was in contact with the road. As the hole the bolt had made was so large the tyre could not be repaired and would need replacing.
Put the wheel in the van and 'broke' the bead, this is when we push the tyre away from the rim of the wheel. Mounted the wheel on to the turntable and removed the tyre from the wheel, the inside of the tyre was damaged as it had been driven on while being flat, even if the puncture had been repairable this would have meant that the tyre would have to be replaced.
Cut the old valve out and replaced with a nice new valve. Got the new tyre and applied the tyre soap to ease the fitting. Mounted the tyre and then inflated to the correct pressure.
Time to balance the wheel, all tyre need to be balanced after fitting to the wheel. If they are not you can get vibration (or as most people call it wheel wobble) as your speed increases. It does not matter if you are buying a premium or a budget tyre, small differences in manufacture require the wheel to be balanced to counter act the differences. Put the tyre on the wheel balancer and set all the parameters, spun the wheel up and came back needing 35 grams to be added, added the weight and recheck the balance, came back as zero this time so good to put the wheel back on the car.
Another thing to note at this point, if you have alloy wheels DO NOT let anybody hammer weights on to the outside of the wheel, this will the finish on the wheel allowing salt and water to attack the wheel. All alloy wheel balancing should be done from the inside.
Put the wheel back on the car and torqued the wheel nuts up to the correct torque using our torque wrench. Put the locking wheel nut key back in the boot and marked this on the invoice and also showed the customer where it was.
All tools away, payment taken and paper work done. Off to the next job.
If you would like your tyres changed while you are at home or maybe at work call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Vauxhall Astra in Hemel Hempstead HP1 with Goodyear Excellence 215/60/16V
New customer from Hemel Hempstead called to say that his tyre had gone down and could we come and fix his tyre.
Took the details of the tyre that he already had on the car, Goodyear Excellence in the size of 215/60/R16V, the reason for this is that we like to take a tyre to a puncture in case the tyre cannot be repaired.
Loaded the tyre up and set off to meet him as he needed to go to work in 2 hours time.
Arrived at the job and inspected the tyre, at first glance no damage could be found so inflated the tyre to check for leaks. After inflation I could hear a whistling sound of air escaping, tracked it down to a very small nick in the side wall, side wall damage cannot be repaired so I would have to fit the tyre I had brought.
Removed the old tyre and checked that rim had not been damaged; no damage found so I cut out the old valve and replaced it with a new one, checked that the valve core was at the correct tightness and then got the replacement tyre.
Applied the tyre soap to the tyre, we use tyre soap to stop the tyre catching on the wheel rim while we are fitting the tyre, if you did not use tyre soap you risk damaging the tyre. Tyre mounted on the wheel so inflated it to the correct pressure.
Put the wheel on to the balancer and set the parameters for the wheel, spun the wheel up to speed and it came back needing 25 grams. Added the weight and rechecked the balance, came back as zero.
Mounted the wheel back onto the Astra and tightened up the wheel bolts to the correct torque. Lowered the car down and packed all the equipment away. Now out with the pressure gauge and tread depth gauge to check all the pressures and tread depth on the remaining tyre. Pressures down by a couple of pounds but nothing to worry about, check the tread depths at 6+ millimetres so perfectly legal, asked if he had a spare (we always check the spare as well) but he had a get home puncture kit so no tyre to check.
Tidied up and took payment for the job. Total time from start to finish 30 minutes. Customer happy as he would now be able to get to work on time.
If you have a puncture and cannot move the car or maybe you just cannot get out to have your tyre repair/replaced call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Mini One in Muswell Hill N10 with Autogrip R102 65/15H
New customer from Muswell Hill called saying his neighbour had given him our number. He has a Mini one but the driver's front tyre had a puncture and he does not have a spare. Spoke to him about his driving style and annual millage (4000 a year) and recommended an Autogrip R102 tyre. Arranged to meet him the next day at 10.00.
Arrived at the appointment 15 minutes early and the customer was home so I could start the job. Got the locking wheel nut out of the boor and jacked the car up. Removed the wheel nuts and took the wheel over to the van to remove the tyre. When the tyre came off I could see that the tyre had been driven on after it had gone down, this had caused damage to the inside of the tyre and thus is would need to be replace.
Called the customer over and showed them the damage and explained why we would have to replace the tyre. He was happy with the explanation so I cut out the old rubber valve and replace it with a new one. Mounted the new tyre on the wheel and then inflated and balanced the wheel.
Put the wheel back on to the car, customer asked how the locking wheel nut worked, I showed him the inside of the locking wheel nut key (in this case it was a flower style locking wheel nut) and how it fitted into the locking wheel nut on the car. I then replaced the locking wheel nut key in the boot and marked this on the invoice.
As I was in the boot he asked me how his 'get me home kit' worked, this is the emergency kit to fill your tyres with a liquid that should fill any puncture you have so you can drive home. I showed him the yellow plastic tool that you use to remove the valve core so that the bottle of liquid can then be poured into the tyre. After the valve core has been replaced I showed him how to operate the electric pump that is used to inflate the tyre.
He had no idea how to use this so was very thankful that somebody had explained how it worked.
If you need your tyres changed, a puncture repaired or maybe just some friendly advice call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Renault Laguna in St Albans with Achilles ATR Sport 225/45/18W
New customer called to say he had a flat tyre on his Renault Laguna in St Albans and could we fix his puncture. Talked to him about the tyre he has (Achilles ATR Sport with a size of 225/45/R18 on a W) and he said that he had recently had them changed so the tread was good on them it was just that he had a flat and he could not get the car to the garage who put the tyres on.
I advised that we like to bring a tyre in case the puncture cannot be repaired and gave him a price for a puncture repair and a replacement tyre if that was needed, very impressed with the price of a replacement tyre as it was less than he originally paid.
Arranged to meet him in 30 minutes and loaded a tyre up on to the van and set off to his house.
Arrived and started to examine the tyre, looked like the tyre had been driven on while deflated so possible damage to the inside of the tyre, can not be sure until the tyre has been removed from the wheel.
Got the locking wheel nut out of the glove box and cracked the wheel nuts, as the car was very low (due to the puncture I had to use the hydraulic jack instead of the trolley jack, this clever bit of kit is like 2 big rubber bags on top of each other that when you connect it to the air supply can be inflated to lift the car, it has the advantage of being very thin so you can slide it under the car even when you have a punctured tyre.
Raised the car up and fully removed the wheel, took it over to the van and removed the tyre from the wheel to start the inspection, just as I had thought, the inside of the tyre had been damaged by the car being driven while the tyre was deflated, showed the customer the damage and explained what had happened. Happy for me to replace the tyre once he had seen the damage.
While the wheel was on the turntable I checked the alloy for any possible damage, none found so cut out the old valve and replace it with a new one. Got the replacement tyre and applied paste to the tyre so it would slip onto the wheel without catching. Inflated the tyre to the correct pressure and then balanced the wheel.
Remounted the wheel back onto the car and finished off by torquing the wheel nuts up to the manufactures specification. Do not let people 'gun' your wheels on after you have had your tyres replaced, this can cause damage to the wheel and tighten them so much that you will have difficulty removing them if you get a puncture. The wheel nuts should always be finished off with a torque wrench as each manufacturer has a different specification for the amount of torque used.
Put the locking wheel nut back in the glove box and marked this on the invoice, all tools put away, remaining tyres checked and tyre pressure corrected.
Customer happy with the service so payment taken and off we went.
If you have a puncture and cannot move your car or maybe you would just like to stay at home or in the office while your tyres are changed, visit www.hometyre.co.uk or call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Winter Tyres Keep You Safe and Could Save You Money
With winter in full swing, the annual discussions surrounding the value of winter tyres are cropping up again. At Hometyre, we find it surprising that there is any debate at all as to whether or not cars should be fitted with winter tyres during the colder months when there is such overwhelming evidence of their safety benefits.
Statistics have shown that you are six times more likely to get in an accident in winter, and this is largely because many motorists in the UK don't switch their usual summer tyres. This could be due to the mistaken belief that winter tyres are only necessary when there is heavy snow and icy conditions, but they actually make a huge difference in control and handling for cold and damp roads as well (and we've certainly got no shortage of damp, cold roads in Britain). In terms of braking distance on an icy road, winter tyres will stop your vehicle 11 metres sooner than regular tyres - the difference that could make to your safety goes without saying.
However, there's also another benefit to having winter tyres for the Brits who love to take European road trips: avoiding harsh on-the-spot fines for not having the proper tyres after a given date. Whereas there is no legal requirement for vehicles to have winter tyres in the UK, certain European countries such as Germany and Sweden have strict laws on this matter. In Austria, you can even be fined up to €5,000! The UK Department for Transport has issued a warning to potential travellers reminding them that their vehicles must meet the technical requirements of each European country it passes through.
As more and more recognition has been given to their value, winter tyres have grown increasingly popular in the UK, making them more affordable than ever - not that you can put a price on safety. So, to drastically reduce your risk of getting into an accident in the cold months and to avoid the risk of getting charged with a hefty fine on your European travels, why not consider having winter tyres fitted to your car?
To find out more on winter tyres, contact us at Hometyre.
Range Rover Sport in Hadley Wood Barnet with Kumho KH17 275/40/20Y
Customer called from Hadley wood in Barnet saying that they needed a tyre for the Range Rover sport. We already had the details on our system (as they are a previous customer). Spoke to them about the tyre they had at the moment to check that they where happy with its performance, there where so we decided to go with the same tyre again.
I had to warn them that the tyre on the other side of the axle would have to be within 4mm of the new tyre or they could cause damage to there drive train, the reason for this is that on a 4x4 if the rolling radius on the new tyre is to large in comparison to there existing tyre you can damage the differential due to what is called 'wind up'.
To be sure that we would not have a problem we loaded 2 tyres to make sure this problem would not be encountered.
Arrange an appointment for 12.30 as this was what the customer requested. Loaded the 2 tyres onto the van and set off to the job.
Arrived and the first thing to do is to check the tyres. The first tyre needed to be replaced as the side wall had been damaged by clipping the curb, checked the tyre on the other side of the axle to ensure it would be within 4mm of the new tyre, the difference was only 2mm so only 1 tyre would be required.
Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and started off by cracking the wheel nuts, once done I jacked up the car and fully removed the wheel
Took the wheel over to the van and released the pressure from the tyre, broke the bead on the tyre (this is when we push the tyre away from the edge of the rim) and mounted the tyre on the turntable, applied paste all around the tyre and removed the tyre, applying paste makes it easier to remove the tyre as it lubricates the tyre helping it to slip against the metal of the rim.
Once the tyre was off I inspected the rim for damage, no damage found but the inside of the rim had started to corrode so cleaned it up and applied a film of bead seal to the area, this will seal out moisture and air from the rim and stop the corrosion happening again.
Cut out the old valve and replaced with a new one tightening the valve core up to the correct setting. Got the tyre and applied paste to the tyre, just as taking the tyre off the paste helps the tyre to slip against the rim making it easier to mount the tyre and prevent any possible damage to the new tyre from friction with the rim.
All mounted so inflated the tyre. To the correct pressure and them mounted the wheel on the balancer, after setting all the parameters on the balancer I spun the wheel up to speed and waited for the results, came back only needing 15 grams, applied the weights and then spun the wheel again to check the results, came back as zero so the wheel had been balanced. While I am talking about balancing a wheel this is something to always ask before having your tyres change, balance weights should NEVER be applied to the outside of an alloy wheel, when balance weights are hammered onto an alloy wheel they can damage to coating on the surface allowing salt, air and water to start corroding your wheel, ruining the look of the wheel. Wheels can be balanced from the inside with the correct equipment (which we have) stopping the damage to the outside of the wheel and removing the ugly knocked on weights.
Took the wheel back out to the car and remounted the wheel onto the car, finished off by tightening the bolts with a torque wrench to the manufacturers specification. Again don't allow people to tighten your wheels with an air gun, over tightened wheel can cause alloy wheels to crack and make it difficult to remove the wheel with the supplied wheel brace if you have a puncture at the side of the road.
Finished off the job by checking the tread depth and tyre pressures for the other 3 wheels and then also checked the spare, put the locking wheel nut back in the boot and marked this on the invoice.
If you would like an easy to use tyre replacement service at a time that you pick call hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will take the hassle of tyre replacement away from you.
BMW X5 in Watford WD24 with Michelin DIAMARIS 255/50/R19 103 V
New customer placed an order online for 2 Michelin DIAMARIS 255/50/19 103 V tyres to be fitted in Watford. Customer had indicated that he would like them done in the afternoon while he was in the office. Called him and confirmed that this was ok and narrowed the time down to 15.00.
Loaded the tyres into the van and set off for the arranged fitting, arrived 10 minutes early and called the customer so he could meet me at the car. Customer arrived and I checked the 2 tyres that he wanted replacing to ensure that they needed to be, they did as they had worn down to the 'cords' on both of the tyres.
Took the key off the customer and he headed back into the office to work while I got about changing the tyres.
First thing to do was locate the locking wheel nut key; this was in the correct place in the boot. Took the key and removed the 2 locking wheel nuts, then gently released the remaining nuts on the wheel before jacking the car up to fully remove the remaining bolts and removing the wheels.
Once the wheel where off the car I released the pressure from the tyres and started to remove the tyres, tyres came off with not problems. Checked the wheel rims for any sign of cracking and corrosion, none found so started to mounting process.
When you mount a tyre on a wheel you have to paste the tyre up so that the tyre and wheel do not 'grab' at each other and cause damage to the new tyre. The paste we apply is a form of soap that lets the tyre slip across the metal of the wheel.
All pasted up the tyres went straight on, inflated the tyre to the correct pressure and then put the first wheel onto the balancer, set the parameters for the size of wheel and then spun the wheel, came back saying that 20 grams had to be added, put the weights on and then spun the wheel again to double check the weights, all ok so time to repeat the whole process for the second tyre. When balancing the second tyre the reading came back saying no weights needed, re spun the wheel to double check this as it is quite rare for this to happen, balancer confirmed no weights required.
Took both wheel to the car and started the remount, we always mount the wheel by hand and finish off with a torque wrench, this is because different wheels need different torque settings, an air gun will normally over tighten the wheel nuts and can cause difficulties with removing the wheel nuts in the future or even damaging the wheel. We have a chart showing how tight the wheel nuts should be so after setting the torque wrench to this setting finished off tightening the nuts and then put the locking wheel nut back in the boor and marked this on the invoice.
Checked the tyre pressure on the tyres that I had not changed and inflated to the correct pressure, as this was an online order the customer had already paid so just had to call him to hand the keys back and double check his details so that the invoice would be emailed to him.
Very impressed and even took some leaflets to put on the staff notice board so every body could find our number.
If you would like your tyres changed at work or home, or maybe you own a business and would like you vehicles checked with a free no obligation check then call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will take the hassle out of tyre replacement.
Are you heading off to the ski slopes for the Christmas holidays?
Here is some information that might be of interest to you
Some counties in Europe do not have a mandatory requirement for Winter tyres/snow chains (for visitors) but if you obstruct the traffic flow or cause an accident as a consequence of not having them fitted to your vehicle you can be liable to a fine.
Winter conditions in many resorts are normally much more server than anything we experience in the UK. If you are not confident about driving in these conditions then it is best not to. If you are going to drive on your normal summer tyres keep an eye out for the fit snow chains signs. If these indicate that snow chains need to be fitted you will be fined if you are caught with out them on the vehicle. Snow chains can be either purchased before you leave or normally from any good service station near the resorts.
Before you set off check the condition of your tyres, if you have winter tyres a larger number of countries require a minimum 3mm tread depth (with countries like Czech Republic needing 4mm), if you are using your summer tyres it is recommended that you have at least 3mm tread depth.
Below is a list of popular ski resort countries and there requirements (GB is in there because of the Scottish ski resorts). The key is
C Carry snow chains and use them when the local signs indicate
These must be at least fitted to the 2 drive wheels of your car and the roads must have enough snow on them so you do not damage the road surface, if you do you can be liable for a fine.
No specific rules but snow chains must be used where indicated.
If you are driving on snow covered roads then you must have winter tyres or tyres marked as all season (normally these tyres have M+S marked on the side wall). This applies from the 1st November to the 15th April. In theory you can use your summer tyres with snow chains if the whole road is covered in snow and you won't cause any damage to the road, this can be tricky as you do not know what conditions you will come across so it is better just to fit winter tyres in the first place.
From 1st December to the end of February unless local signs say otherwise tyres must be marked M+S* on the sidewall.
In 2010 Germany introduced regulations that require all passenger cars and motorbikes (including non German registered cars) to be fitted with winter tyres or all season tyres on all of the axles when conditions are wintry. The tyres must have the M+S or snowflake sign on the side wall of the tyre
During the winter months the local provinces can say if winter tyres and snow chains are compulsory.
From the 1st December until the 31st March Winter tyres marked with M+S must be fitted to all local and foreign car and trailers, they must have a minimum of 3mm tread depth as well.
Winter tyres are not compulsory but if you obstruct the traffic you are liable for a fine.
As you can see it is a bit of a mixture of compulsory and recommended and then only in certain situations, much easier to just fit winter tyres and know that you have complied with the law, also much safer as you will be able to stay in control of your car.
Rover 75 in Palmers Green N13 with Autogrip 225/45/17
Had a call from a new customer in Palmers Green who had 3 slashed tyres, he needed a Mobile Tyre Service to attend him as he could not move the car. Spoke to him about his driving habits and annual millage and recommended Autogrip Grip 600 225/45/17 as a good fit for him, he decided to go with my recommendation so I arranged to see him in 1 hour and I loaded the tyres on to the van and set off to meet him.
Arrived at the job and inspected the tyres, the side walls had been punctured with what looked like a Stanley knife so they could not be fixed.
Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and then jacked the car up and started to remove the wheels. Took the first 2 tyres to the van and removed the old tyres, after I removed the tyres I checked the condition of the rims, due to the age of the car the rims had started to corrode, it was not to bad at the moment but if it was not corrected know the corrosion could start to cause an air leaks and thus a puncture, if the tyre is then driven on while deflated the tyre can be damaged and then another new tyre will be required. Showed the customer the corrosion and advised cleaning it up, customer agreed so started work.
On a corroded rim you have to remove the build up of corrosion and ensure you have a nice flat surface for the tyre to sit on, once I had removed all the corrosion I coated the inside of the rim with liquid rubber to create a nice clean seal for the tyre to sit on, this is just an extra step to ensure a leak does not happen.
Both rims cleaned up time to fit the tyres, replaced the valve first with a new one. Applied pasted to the new tyre, if you do not put paste on the tyre then the friction between the tyre and wheel will stop you fitting the tyre and can cause damage on the tyre due to the friction generated. First tyre fitted time to balance the wheel, mounted the wheel on the balancer and set to machine to the wheel size. Spun the wheel and it came back needing 35 grams, stuck the weight to the inside of the wheel (we do not hammer weights on to the outside of alloy wheels as this will cause damage to the finish of the wheel) and spun it again to check the balance, came back as zero this time so this wheel was complete. Repeated the same process (including the rim clean) to the second wheel and then time to put them back on the car.
Mounting the wheels back on the car is the reverse of removing them with one difference, when we refit the wheel nuts we torque the wheel nuts up by hand to the manufactures specification. This means that the wheel has correctly been attached to the car.
First two wheels done let the car down and time to do the last wheel, removed from the car, over to the van, tyre off , rim cleaned and tyre on, balanced and then back onto the car and tightened up correctly.
As the other 3 wheels all had rim corrosion I suggested that I clean up the last wheel as well. Customer agreed so removed the last wheel and checked the pressure, was down by 8 pounds so I let the pressure down. After I had removed the tyre the corrosion on this wheel w as the worst of the lot, cleaned if up and remounted the tyre, checked the balance and then mounted the wheel back on the car.
Put the locking wheel nut back in the boot and marked this on the invoice. Took the payment
If you would like your tyre changed and cant or don't want to go out to a tyre bay call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 the local mobile tyre service.
Saab 9-3 in Crouch end N8 with a summer to winter tyre swap
Repeat customer called to have his summer to winter tyre swap performed. He had just picked up a puncture on his NSF summer tyre so he decided this would be a good time to perform the swap.
Arranged an appointment for Saturday when he would be home. On Saturday I arrived at the agreed time and decided to check his punctured summer tyre before doing the summer/winter swap. The tyre had been punctured with a nail just off the centre line of the tread so as long as the tyre was not damaged inside I would be able to repair it. Only was to find out was to remove the tyre and have a look. After removing the tyre I checked the inside, no problems, the tyre had not been driven on so it would be repairable.
First thing to do was pull the nail out, once this was done I drilled the hole the nail had made out with my drill bit, this removed any dirt and rust that might be in the hole and give me a nice clean hole to work with. Then I lightly rubbed (buffed) the inside of the tyre down around the hole to give me a nice clean flat surface to apply my plug and patch. Plug and patches are the best method to repair a puncture as the plug will fill the hole up and you also then have a patch that covers the repair area.
Got my plug and patch out and applied glue to the inside of the tyre and then to the plug and patch, the plug is then pushed through the hole and pulled tight so it fills the hole and the patch is then worked onto the inside of the tyre. After all of this has dried a liquid rubber solution is coated over the patch and the inside of the tyre around the area that has been repaired to seal it.
Puncture all done time to start mounting the winter tyres, checked the rim of the wheel I had just removed the tyre from to ensure that no damage had been inflicted to the wheel rim from the puncture, none found so cut out the old valve and replaced with a brand new one. Got the first winter tyre and applied paste so that it would slip on when being mounted. Once mounted I put the wheel on the balancer and checked the balance. Needed 25 grams, added and rechecked, came back as zero.
Took the wheel over to the car and started to jack up the car, removed the space saver and put the wheel I had just done back on in its place. Space saver into the boot and time to start on the other 3 wheels. Did not take to long, just a repeat of the same process as the first tyre.
Once all the tyres had been swapped and the wheels put on the car I touqued all the wheel nut bolts up to the correct torque and then put the locking wheel nut back in the boot and marked this on the invoice. Customer wanted to store his summer tyres in the basement of his house, no problem, rolled them through the hall and carried them down into the basement. Nice and dry down there.
If you need your summer tyres swapping for your winter tyres or maybe you would like some winter tyres for the first time call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Peugeot 5008 in Watford WD19 Summer to Winter tyre swap.
New customer called asking us to swap there Summer tyres for there Winter tyres.
Arranged an appointment for 10.00 the next day.
Arrived at the arranged time and the customer was waiting, after a quick chat we rolled the tyres out of his garage for an inspection. Noticed that one of the tyres had a nail in it (luckily for the customer it was in the centre of the tread), the tyre was not damaged inside so once a repair had been done it could be fixed, he said that he remembered it had a puncture but had forgotten to get around to fixing it. No problem as we could do the repair on site.
Got the customers locking wheel nut key out of the boot and started by jacking one side of the car up, Released the wheel nuts and took the first 2 wheels over to the van. Released the pressure in the tyres and then removed the first tyre from the wheel. Checked the wheel rim for any signs of damage (none found) and then cut out the old valve and replaced it with a nice new one after checking the torque setting on the valve core. Put the first of the Winter tyres on and inflated to the correct pressure, then on to the balancer to check the balance, needed 10 grams to be added, once added spun the wheel again and it came back as zero required.
While I was in the van I decided to remove and mount the second tyre before putting them back on the car, did this then grabbed my torque wrench and the 2 wheels that now had there Winter tyres on and headed back to the car. Mounted the wheels on the car and torqued the wheel nuts up to the correct torque and lowered the car.
Off to the other side and removed the 2 wheels to start swapping the tyres, after doing the first tyre I had to fix the puncture in the last tyre before I fitted it. Pulled the nail out and then drilled the hole out so that any dirt and rust that might have built up in the hole are cleared out. Then gentle rubbed the inside of the tyre down where my patch was going to go and cleaned up the area so the glue would have a nice clean surface to adhere to. Applied the glue to the inside of the tyre and also to my plug and patch and pulled the plug through the hole I had drilled earlier and rolled the patch down on the inside of the tyre so it was sitting snugly. Once all the glue had set put a coating of liquid rubber over the patch to ensure the tyre was now airtight. Just had to wait for the liquid rubber to set and then the tyre was mounted, inflated and balanced ready to go back on the car.
Last 2 wheels bolted onto the car and all torqued up correctly, locking wheel nut back in the boot (and noted where it had been put on the invoice) and Summer tyres rolled into the customers garage.
One happy customer who had been interested in seeing how every thing was done. Payment taken and off to the next job.
If you have Winter tyres that you need putting on in place of your Summer tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will arrange an appointment that suits you.
Renault Espace in Watford WD24 Achilles 225/55/17W
New customer called today who had been recommended by a previous customer in Watford. The customer needed 2 new tyres on his Renault Espace, after talking to him about his driving style and budget I recommended Achilles 225/55/17 tyres. Arranged an appointment with the customer and loaded the 2 tyres on to the van.
Arrived at the job and got the customer to show me the tyres he wanted to be changed, we often get called to jobs where the customer has been told they need new tyres and the tyres are legal, in this case the 2 tyres did need replacing as they where just below the legal limit.
Noticed that the wheels had solid valves (as against rubber valves) so asked the customer if he had TPMS (Tyre pressure monitoring system), he did. You have to be very careful when removing a tyre when TPMS is fitted or you can break the valves.
Located the locking wheel nut key in the boot (always a good idea to know where your locking wheel nut key is so if you get a puncture you will know where it is) and gentle released the wheel nuts, jacked the car up and fully removed the wheel nuts and took the wheels off of the car.
Rolled the wheels over to the van and released the pressure so I could break the bead (breaking the bead removes the tyre from the edge of the wheel so the tyre can be lifted off the wheel) and then remove the tyre. Once the tyre was removed I checked the condition of the alloy wheel, it is only when the tyres are removed that an alloy wheel can really be checked for cracking. No problem found.
As the car had a TPMS system we do not replace the valve but we do replace the valve core inside the valve with a new one. Got the first new tyre and applied paste to the tyre, if you do not apply paste to the tyre the friction of the tyre against the wheel when mounting the tyre can damage it, the paste allows the tyre to slip onto the wheel.
First tyre mounted so time to inflate, all the van carry a chart showing the correct pressure for each vehicle, this information is also normally on the inside of the drivers door or on the fuel filler cap, if not then the owners manual will have the information. Now inflated it is time to balance the wheel. Mounted the wheel onto the balancer and set all the parameters, spun the wheel and it came back saying I had to add 10 Grams. Once I had added the 10 Grams I rechecked the balance, came back as zero this time.
Took the wheel over to the car and remounted the wheel, finished tightening the wheel nuts up using a torque wrench and lowered this side of the car.
Off to do the second wheel, same process as the first wheel but this time I noticed that the allow wheel had started to corrode on the inside, not a lot but it could start to leak air if it is not corrected. Cleaned up the rim edge and applied a liquid rubber solution we carry to seal the wheel. Then mounted the tyre, inflated and balanced. After mounting the tyre on the car and torquing it up I replaced the locking wheel nut in the boot and marked this on the invoice.
Nissan Note in Kings Langley WD4 Nexen Blue 185/65/15
Website order came through for 4 Nexen Blue 185/65/15 in the Kings Langley area (WD4). The customer was contacted and an appointment for 14.00 was agreed. Loaded up the tyres and headed off to the appointment.
When I arrived at the job I checked the tyres and found that every tyre was legal with the smallest tread depth being 4mm. Spoke to the customer who said he had just had the car serviced and had been told that he needed 4 new tyres which is why he had ordered them through us.
I showed him the tyres and explained why he did not need tyres. Asked him his annual millage and gave him an estimate of when he would need new tyres. Checked the pressures on all his tyres as I was on site and had to add 4 pounds to 2 of the tyres. Checked his spare and found that the tyre had no pressure in it at all. Inflated the tyre in case he ever needed to use it.
Customer was very happy that he did not need tyres but sorry that he had called us out when he did not need tyres.
Sometimes things like this happen, if you are told you need new tyres get the person to show you why and to also explain it. You can also click HERE for information on checking your tyres.
Customer took some cards and leaflets to hand out as he was so impressed with our honesty and explanation.
If you would like an honest appraisal of your tyres call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.
Fiat Grande Punto in N3 with 205/45/17
New customer called (who had been recommended by a previous customer) today needing 2 tyres on there Fiat Punto in N3. They had just had an MOT and been given an advisory on the 2 rear tyre as they both had damage to the tyre walls from parking next to the kerb.
Spoke to the customer on what kind of driving they do and there budget and recommended Autogrip 205/45/17 as these would fit there driving pattern and budget. The customer was going into work in 30 minutes time so I arranged to meet them there to replace there tyres.
Loaded the van up with the 2 tyres and set off for the appointment. On arrival I inspected the tyres to see if they really did need to be replaced, they did as the damage to the side wall of both tyres had gone down to the cords of the side wall. Showed the customer the damage and explained the damage and said it would take about 40 minutes to do the work, customer handed me the key and said that the locking wheel nut was in the boot and headed into the office to carry on working.
Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot, it is always a good idea to check that you know where your locking wheel nut key is because if you have a puncture by the side of the road you will not be able to remove the wheel from the car to put you spare wheel on (if you have one). We do carry special tools to remove locking wheel nuts when the key has been lost or damaged but it was not needed for this car.
Got the jacks out of the van and raised the car and removed the first wheel from the car, released the pressure in the tyre and then removed the tyre from the wheel, checked the condition of the wheel and no damage found. Cut out the old valve and replaced with a brand new one. Put paste on the tyre (we apply paste to tyres to reduce the friction between the tyre and the wheel while the tyre is being fitted and thus remove the risk of damaging the new tyre) and mounted the tyre on the wheel. Inflated the tyre to the correct pressure and then put the wheel and tyre on the balancer to remove any imbalance. Spun the wheel up after setting the parameters and had to add 35 grams. Added the weight and then rechecked the balance. Down to zero so ready to mount the wheel back on the car. Mounted the wheel on the car and torqued the wheel nuts up to the correct torque.
After lowering the car I jacked up the other side and removed the wheel, same process as the other wheel but this time only needed to add 20 grams. Put the wheel back on the car, tightened the wheel up to the correct torque and replaced all the tools back in the van and the locking wheel nut in the boot. Noted this on the invoice and called the customer to take payment and hand the keys back. All in all took the job took 35 minutes. Customer happy and took some leaflets to put on the staff notice board so his colleagues would not have to waste there lunch hours anymore getting tyre fitted to there cars.
- 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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