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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.

 

Audi A3 in Highgate N6 Autogrip 205/55/16

New customer called who had seen the van on the road for a tyre on his Audi A3. Discussed with him his driving habits and recommended that he get an Autogrip 205/55/16 P308. He only drives around town and does about 5000 miles a year and as he was on a budget he does not need a premium brand tyre.

Arranged to meet him in 30 minutes in Highgate and set off to meet him. Arrived in Highgate and started to inspect the tyre, the tyre was punctured and had been driven on while deflated, this had caused damage to the side wall and so it could not be repaired. Also checked his other tyres and found that one other tyre was illegal as he had been running the tyres with to much pressure and the centre of the tread had worn down below the legal limit of 1.6mm

Showed the customer the illegal tyre and he gave me the ok to replace this tyre as well. Got the sockets and jacks out of the van and started work on the car. Removed the wheel with the damaged tyre first and took it to the van, on first inspections the wheel looked like it had not been damaged while being run with the flat tyre, you only really know once you take the tyre off if this is correct. Removed the tyre and gave the rim a close inspection. No signs of cracking or any other damage.

Cut the valve out and replaced with a new one. Mounted the tyre on the wheel and then inflated the tyre to the manufactures recommended pressure. Time to balance the wheel, mounted the wheel and tyre on to the balancer and set all the parameters for the wheel, spun the wheel up and it came back needing 25 grams. Added the weight and then rechecked the balance. Went to zero so the wheel was now correctly balanced.

Time to put the wheel back on the car, checked the chart that we carry for the required torque and set the torque wrench to the correct setting. Put the wheel back on the car and tightened every thing up and finished off with the torque wrench. Lowered the car and went around the other side to start on the second wheel.

Second wheel had seized on to the hub so had to struggle a bit to remove it. Once off I took it to the van and released the pressure in the tyre and then took the tyre off, even though this tyre had not gone down we still inspect the wheel to ensure that it had no damage. No damage found so replaced the valve and mounted the new tyre on the wheel and again inflated to the correct pressure, balanced the wheel and tyre and only had to add 15 grams this time. Put the wheel back on the car and again finished the tightening with the torque wrench.

This car had a locking wheel not so replaced the locking wheel nut key in the boot and marked this on the invoice. Last thing to do (besides taking payment) was to check the tyre pressures on the remaining wheels and also to check the spare wheel. This car had a space saver that had never been used and the pressure on the tyre was down by 20 pounds, corrected this and finished off the paper work and took payment.

All in 45 minutes to do the job and one happy customer. If you would like your tyres replaced while you are at home or work call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.

 

Vauxhall Adam in Watford WD24 with Continental Sport Contact 5 195/55/16H

New customer called today to say he had just clipped his wheel on a kerb entering the office car park and damaged the side wall of his tyre. Side wall damage cannot be repaired so he would need a new tyre. As the car was only a couple of weeks old he wanted to stay with the tyres that the car came with, these where Continental Sport Contact 5 with a profile of 195/55/16H. Took the order and arranged to meet him in 1 hour as he was about to go into a meeting that would last an hour.

 

Loaded the Continental tyre onto the van and set off for the appointment.

 

Arrived at the office in Watford and got access to the car park, located the car and the side wall on the tyre was ripped. Called the customer who was now out of his meeting, I need the car keys to get the locking wheel nut out of the car.

 

Customer arrived and opened the car and I found the locking wheel nut in the boot. Released the wheel nuts and jacked the car up and took the wheel off the car. Put the wheel on the turntable and removed the tyre from the wheel, inspected the wheel for any damage and the only thing found was some superficial marking on the rim of the wheel.

 

Even though the tyre I was taking off was almost brand new I still cut the old valve out and replaced it with a brand new one. Applied paste to the tyre and fitted it to the wheel, we use paste to allow the tyre to reduce friction while we are fitting the tyre on to the wheel. Inflated the tyre to the correct pressure and put the wheel and tyre onto the balancing machine. This was one of the very few tyre / wheel combinations that came out a needing no weights to be added. Very rare, all tyre normally require some weights to be added as when tyres are manufactured a slight overlapping of the rubber can occur and the balancing weight are added to remove the vibration that this overlap would cause when then tyre is rotating.

 

Once balanced I refitted the wheel to the car and tightened the bolts up to the manufacturers specification. As it was the drivers rear wheel that was damaged I did not have to check the front tracking but if it had been the front wheel I could have checked that the tracking had not been knocked out.

 

Took the locking wheel nut and replaced it in the boot and marked this on the invoice so that the customer would know where it was. Checked all the pressures in his remaining tyre and also checked for any damage. None found and not surprised as the car was so new.

 

Took the payment via our secure card reader and handed the keys back to the customer and headed off to the next job.

 

If you have clipped a kerb and damaged your tyre call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you to replace / repair your tyre.

 

Caravan in N20 with GT Radial Maxmiller 8ply 195/70/14 tyres and Tyron bands

We had a call from a new customer today saying that he needed tyres for his caravan but was having problems getting somebody to change then as he also had Tyron bands fitted. Tyron bands are designed to fill the wheel well so that if you have a blow out the tyre will not come off the wheel.

All of the Hometyre vans are equipped with the tools required to remove Tyron bands so that a new tyre can be fitted, we also have years of experience fitting and removing Tyron bands from caravans, motorhomes and armoured land rovers.

After talking to the customer we advised that he fitted GT Radial Maxmiller 8 ply tyres. He was happy with the recommendation so arranged a fitting for the next Saturday when he was around as he wanted to see the process.

Day of fitting arrived, loaded up the tyres and set off for the arranged appointment. Arrived and started to inspect the tyres on his caravan, even though he had a large amount of tread left on the tyre the side walls had started to crack due to that age of the tyres (these tyres where 8 years old).

Lifted the stabilising arms and jacked up the first side of the caravan. Removed the wheel and took it over to the van. Let the pressure out of the tyre and bloke the first bead on the tyre. What you have to do now is compress the tyre down so that we can get to the Tyron band. Once exposed we release the Tyron band and remove it from the wheel well. Then it's back to the bead breaker to break the second bead, up on to the turntable and remove the tyre. Inspect the wheel for any damage (none found) and replace the valve and start the mounting of the new tyre.

When we mount a tyre on a caravan we always try to put the date stamp on the outside of the tyre so that it can be inspected with out having to get under the caravan. Tyre mounted we know have to refit the Tyron band, compressed the tyre so that the wheel well is exposed and bolt the Tyron band back into the wheel well, put lots of paste all over the Tyron band and the wheel and inflated the tyre. After balancing it was refitted to the caravan and torqued up to the correct specification.

Let the caravan down and repeated the same process on the other side. Also attached a Tyron band fitted sticker to the wheel as none was found, this will alert anybody else to the fact that Tyron bands are fitted.

Customer had been asking questions all through the process and we had answered all the question and queries he raised. He also mentioned that he was worried about security for his caravan over the winter period and that the tyres would age prematurely again due to the sun light. I pulled up the website on my I pad and showed him a new product called the Bulldog that goes on the caravan in place of the wheels, this is like a stand that is bolted onto the hub of the caravan and then one side is covered with a locking panel to stop people having access to the bolts. The wheels are then stored inside out of the sun and this helps extend the life of the tyres.

For more information on the Bulldog click HERE.

Took payment and set off to my next job with one very happy customer.

 

Range Rover Evoque in Maida Vale W9 with Continental cross contact 235/55/19H tyres

Had a call from a new customer who had been recommended by a previous customer, he had run over a nail and then driven on his deflated tyre and damaged the tyre. (He could see that the side wall had been damaged as the rubber on the side wall was ripped)

He has 235/55/19H Continental cross contact tyres on the car and is very happy with them so we would fit the same tyre again. As he has a 4x4 we have to be careful that the tyres on the same axel have a tread depth within 4mm on each of the tyre else the differential on the axel can be wound up and be damaged. He did not know what the tread depth on the other tyre was so loaded 2 tyres onto the van just in case. Arranged an appointment for 17.00 as he would be back at home after taking the tube to work.

Arrived at the agreed time and started looking at his tyres, the flat tyre was on the passenger (NSF) side of the car at the front. Checked the tread depth on the front drivers side (OSF) and the tread depth between the new tyre I had brought and this tyre was only 2mm so no problem with fitting just one tyre.

Got the locking wheel nut key out of the boot and loosened the wheel nuts, jacked the car up and then fully removed the wheel, as I had removed the wheel I checked his brake pads and disks, still lots of wear left in these.

Took the wheel over to the van and removed the tyre and then inspected the wheel rim for damage, as the tyre had been run flat you need to check the wheel to ensure that it has not been damaged or cracked. No damage found, cut the old valve out and replaced it with a new one and checked that the valve core was correctly tightened. Pasted up the tyre (you paste the tyre so that it can slip onto the wheel and thus not cause damage to the tyre) and mounted on the wheel, checked the car for the required tyre pressure and inflated the tyre to this plus 5 pounds and then released the pressure down to the recommendation.

Looked at the back of the wheel to get the J size, you need this to set the balancer. Mounted the tyre on the balancer and set the machine up, spun the wheel and waited for the results to come back, needed 20 grams added. We do not hammer weights onto the outside of alloy wheels as this will damage the surface, we only balance from the inside, added 20 grams and spun the wheel to check the results. Came back as zero.

Mounted the wheel back on the car and torqued the bolts up to the manufacturer's specification. Put the locking wheel nut back in the boot and marked this on the invoice. Started to check the tyre pressure and tread depth on the remaining tyres, couple of pounds down in pressure and tread depths ok. Corrected the pressure and marked the tyre depth on the tyre report that is supplied with all our invoices.

As I was finishing off the paper work a neighbour came out and said that he thought he might need a new tyre, had a quick look and he needed 2 205/55/16 tyres, luckily I always carry a couple of tyres in this size as it is the most common size in the UK. Finished off the Evoque by taking payment and emailing the invoice and tyre report to the customer and then started on the neighbour's car. More on this latter.

If you need tyres or are stuck with a puncture call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.

 

Tyre depth and why you should change at 3mm

At present the law states that you should have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth on your tyres. The only problem with 1.6mm is that after 3mm the stopping distance for a car will greatly increase, at 1.6mm the stopping distance can be up to 44 meters longer (about 10 car lengths) than a similar car with a 3mm of tread left, that 44 meters (or 144 feet and a bit if you use old money) could be the difference between having and accident and avoiding one.

A survey of 100 random cars found that 67 cars had at least 1 tyre below the recommended 3mm limit. Now having to change your tyres at 3mm instead of 1.6mm will cost you more, how much I hear you say. Well about £20 a year, now divide that by 52 weeks and it comes to just under 39p a week. Not a lot really and if you take into account your insurance excess if you do have an accident that you could have avoided then 39p a week could be seen as a bit of a bargain.

It could be said that the minimum depth should be even higher. The more tread in contact with the road the better, but a study by MIRA in 2003 showed that 3mm was the critical depth at which the level of grip quickly reduces as the tread depth reduces.

Most drivers don't realize how important the tread depth on there tyres are. It is not until you are skidding towards a car in front of you that you really appreciate what your tyres are doing for you and how they can keep you safe, but as we all know it is to late at this point.

 

Braking distances is not the only thing that is affected by tread depth. The risk of Aquaplaning is greatly increased at 1.6mm as against 3mm; the reason for this is that the reduced tread cannot remove the water as efficiently.

Lots of car manufacturers also recommend that tyres should be changed at 3mm. Look at your handbook to see what they have to say about the recommended depth that tyres should be changed.

So why are we stuck at 1.6mm, it all goes back to 1992 when cars had skinner tyres, the tread depth law before 1992 was 1mm. Since then tyres have got wider, this means that you have a larger contact patch with the road. Great when it is dry as more contact equals more grip, but when it is wet wider tyres take less water pressure to lift up the car and thus you get Aquaplaning (think of it as a thin tyre cutting through the water and a wider tyre sitting on top of it, a bit like an airboat in florida with its flat wide botton that skips over the top of the water and a speed boat that cuts through the water)

 

So why don't they just change the law, not that simple, the 1.6mm minimum tread depth for car tyres is set across the EU by a European directive, and at the moment there are no plans to change this. So are the Europeans happy with the 1.6mm, not all of them. The TUV (the German equivalent to our Transport Research Lab of TRL for short) would like to increase the limit to at least 2.5mm. The German motorist is generally a more cautious driver and change there tyres before they get to 1.6mm, one of the downsides of this is that the old tyres are then shipped to the UK to be sold as part worn tyres with all the inherent problems you get with second hand tyres.

So until the eurocrats decide that the rules need to be changed we will be stuck with a legal minimum of 1.6mm and a recommendation of 3mm, it is your life and only you can decide what it is worth.

 

Vauxhall Zafira in Watford WD24 with Ovation 225/45/17 97W XL

New customer from Watford called today saying that he needed one new tyre on his Vauxhall Zafira. Talked to him about his driving requirements and then recommended an Ovation 225/45/17 as he only did a small distance each day on local roads so a non premium tyre would suit his needs and his budget. He was very happy with this due to the price difference between what he had on at the moment (continental) and the Ovation.

Arranged to meet him in 30 minutes time at his home as he was working from home today. Loaded the tyre up and set off to Watford. Arrived at the job and checked the tyre that he said needed replacing, it did, the tyre had actually worn down to the cord.

Got the locking wheel nut out of the glove box, loosened the wheel bolts and then jacked the car up. Removed the wheel and took it to the van so I could remove the tyre, after the tyre was off I inspected the wheel for any possible damage, non found so I removed all the old balance weights and then cut the valve out and fitted a new one.

Pasted up the tyre (we paste the tyre so that it slips onto the wheel without damaging the tyre) and fitted it to the wheel. Inflated the tyre to the required pressure and then put the wheel on the balancer. Wheel only needed 10 grams of weight so I put this on and the re checked the balance, came back as zero.

Mounted the tyre back onto the car and tightened the wheel nut up to the manufactures specification. Put the locking wheel nut back into the glove box and marked this on the invoice. Remember to keep your locking wheel nut in the car so that if you have a puncture you can remove the wheel, if you have lost your locking wheel nut key we can also remove them for you with a special tool that all of our van carry.

Started the check of the remaining wheels (and the spare), all the tyres where at either 4mm or 5mm so not problem there, the tyre pressures where a couple of pounds down on the recommended setting so reset them including the spare. No signs of damage found on the tyres and no bulging found.

Packed up the equipment and took payment from the customer. Customer very happy as he had not had to stop work to get the tyre changed and he also now knew that all his other tyres where legal, safe and at the correct pressure.

 

To see how to check your tyres click HERE

 

Peugeot 206 in Palmers Green N13 Goodyear Efficient Grip 185/65/15 88T

New customer called to say he needed 1 Goodyear Efficient Grip 185/65/15 88T on his Peugeot 206 in Palmers green. The only problem he had was that he could not find his locking wheel nut key and could not get his wheel off. No problems as we carry a special tool that can remove locking wheel nuts if the key has gone missing or been damaged. Arranged a time of 14.00 the next day as this would be convenient for the customer.

 

Next day loaded the tyre into the van and set off for the pre arranged meeting at his house in Palmers Green. Arrived and spotted the tyre that needed replacing straight away. The front right (OSF) tyre was shredded. I also noted that we had centre less wheels, the hold in the centre of the wheel is used by the wheel balancer to locate the wheel. On a centre less wheel you cannot mount the wheel on the wheel balancer, the customer said that he had been having problems with vibration ever since he had brought the car six months before as nobody had been able to balance the wheels. All of our vans carry a centre less wheel adaptor (some times called a spider adaptor or a spider) that fits on to the wheel balancer and allows us to balance using the bolt holes in the wheel.

 

Anyway started the job by searching the whole car for the locking wheel nut, it was not in the car but I found the 4 original wheel bolts, these would have to be put back on once the locking wheel nuts have been removed. Got the locking wheel nut removal tool out and started to remove the locking wheel nut, came off without to much effort as it had been put on correctly. Jacked the car up and removed the wheel from the car. The tyre had totally disintegrated as it had been driven on while flat. Took the wheel to the van and removed the tyre, checked the rim to make sure that the wheel had not been damaged due to being driven on with a flat tyre, no damage found so replaced the valve and then mounted the new tyre.

 

Measured the distance between the holes in the wheel and adjusted the centre less wheel adaptor to the correct size and then mounted the adaptor on to the balancing machine. Mounted the wheel to the adaptor and spun the wheel up to speed to get a reading. Only 20grams had to be added, spun it again to double check and the reading came back as zero.

 

Took the wheel back to the car and mounted it, tightened all the wheel bolts up to the manufacturer's specification. Now started to remove the other locking wheel nuts from the remaining wheels, they all came off and then I replaced them with the original bolts that I found in the back of the car, tightened these up to the manufactures specification and put a sticker on each wheel to show they had been correctly fitted, we only do this so we can have a visual check when we finish a job so that we know each wheel has been correctly mounted.

 

Filled out the electronic invoice and noted on the tyre tread depth on the remaining tyres and on the spare, took payment and handed the keys back to the customer.

 

If you have a vibration through your steering wheel and you do not have a centre hole in you wheel call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we can come to you to balance your wheels.

 

Lexus RX in Muswell Hill N10 Puncture repair and Maxxis MAS2 235/55/18 109V XL replacement tyre

New customer called about a puncture he had on his Lexus RX. The car was based in Muswell hill just off of the Broadway. I took the details of the present tyre he had and advised him that I would like to bring a replacement tyre in case I could not repair his present tyre, after talking to him I advised that a Maxxis MAS2 would be a very good alternative tyre. He decided to go with my recommendation so I loaded the tyre into the van and arranged to meet him at 15.00 at his house (he works from home doing web site development).

 

Arrived at the agreed time and meet the client, he pointed out the tyre that he was having problems with (he had inflated the tyre and hour earlier as he had to nip out), got the locking wheel nut key out of the boot and removed the wheel from the car and inspected it for damage. Small screw right in the middle of the tread, as it was repairable (and almost a new tyre) I started the puncture repair. Removed the screw and drilled out the hole so that I had a nice clean hole to plug and patch. Applied the repair and left the glue to set, started to check the other tyres and noticed that the other tyre on the same axle was down to the legal limit. Called the customer out and showed him the problem with his other tyre and he agreed that the spare tyre I had brought should be fitted. Finished off the puncture repair on the original wheel, inflated the tyre and checked that the leak had gone (it had). Mounted the wheel back on the car and torqued the wheel back up to the manufacturer's specification.

 

Now jacked the other side of the car up and removed the wheel that was down to the legal limit. Removed the tyre and mounted the replacement tyre. Balanced the wheel and then remounted the wheel on the car and again torqued this wheel up to the manufactures specification. Put the locking wheel nut key back in the boot and marked this on the invoice.

 

Called the customer and showed him the work, very happy as he had not had to stop work on an important project he had. Took payment and set off to the next job.

 

 

Renault Megane in Nazeing EN9 Michelin Energy Saver 205/55/16H

Customer called to say that they had a puncture on there Renault Megane and could we come out and have a look at it. When we attend a puncture we like to take a tyre just in case the tyre cannot be fixed. Took the details of the tyre off the customer and loaded a Michelin Energy Saver 205/55/16H onto the van and headed off to Enfield for an immediate appointment as the customer was stranded.

Got to the address and started to inspect the tyre, could not see any obvious damage so I would have to remove the wheel from the car to look at it. Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot. Jacked the car up and removed the bolts holding the wheel on, now I could have a proper look at the wheel. Inspected the tread and found a very small nail on the edge of the tyre, this means that the tyre could not be repaired. For details on what section of a tyre can be repaired click HERE.

 

Took the wheel and tyre into the back of the van and removed the balancing weights and then took the tyre off the wheel, checked the wheel rim for signs of any internal damage and found none. Put the new tyre onto the wheel and then balanced the wheel with our electronic on board balancer. Once balanced I put the wheel back on to the car and then touqued the wheel nuts up to the manufacturers specification. Put the lock wheel nut back into the boot and marked this on the electronic invoice. Took payment and started to pack up the van.

 

As I was packing the van one of the customers neighbours came up to me and asked if I could check there tyres as they would be heading off for an MOT in a couple of days, no problem, checked the tyres and they where all legal with 4+mm on all the tyres and the spare tyre was brand new.

 

If you are stuck at home with a puncture and need your tyre fixed or replaced call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.

 

Run flat tyres

Do you have a BMW that has run flat tyres? Or maybe your Mini has run flat tyres? These types of tyres are becoming more and more common as manufacturers stop supplying a spare wheel.

Run flat (sometimes they are called self supporting) tyres are designed to keep working for a short while after you have had a puncture. This means that should you get a puncture you no longer have to change the wheel at the side of the road and you should be able to safely drive home to get your tyre changed, your owners manual will normally give you advice on distances and speeds that you should not exceed, but this will normally be about 30MPH for up to 50 miles.

Another advantage of Run flat tyres is that due to their tougher side walls the risk of a potentially dangerous tyre blow out is reduced.

Any car that is supplied with Run Flat tyres also has to have a form of Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The reason for this is that Run Flat tyres do not show that you have a pressure loss in your tyre by 'going down'; there design is to hold the weight of the vehicle up with out going down.

There are 2 types of TPMS, these are Indirect and Direct.

Indirect works of the ABS sensors on your car and works out if one of your wheels is going faster than the rest; this indicates that you have a tyre that has a lower pressure that the other tyres and thus a puncture. BMW and Mini mainly use this system. One of the draw backs of this system is that you do not know which of your tyres has a problem.

The other system is Direct, this works by having a special valve in the wheel that senses the pressure in the wheel and transmits this information to the car. This can then be displayed in the car. The benefit of this system is that you can normally see the tyre pressure in each tyre so you know which tyre has a problem. This system is very common in Citroen, Chrysler and Jaguar cars. Once one of these valves has been replaced they will either have to be triggered to the car or they are able to 'self learn'. Triggering is done by reading each valve in a set sequence with a special piece of equipment and then connecting this to the car and 'triggering' the onboard computer with the information. Self learning is done by driving the car for a set distance and the car senses that a new valve has been fitted, both types can be explained when the valves are replaced.

 

Funny jobs I had in the early days with a Porsche 911 in Terminal 5 Heathrow

We had a call from a customers sister who was trying to get the tyres on his Porsche 911 fixed while he was in New York. He works there but travels back every 2 weeks so always parks in the short stay car park at Terminal 5, this means that as soon as he leaves the terminal he is at his car. So the call was taken with all the details. Loaded up the tyre and set off for the airport. Now all these multi-storey car parks have height restrictions so we could only get into the ground floor and the customer's car would be on the 2nd floor (if I remember correctly). Arrived at the car park and I could not find the entrance to the ground floor, drive around and I suddenly saw a sign saying over height vehicles, great, headed off to it. Came to a barrier so waited for it to raise, barrier went up so in I went, once through the barrier came to another one and the barrier behind me closed, guy in a high viz jacket approached me to ask what I was doing there, said I am here to change a tyre, guy cracked up and said I would need more equipment than I had and pointed to beyond the second barrier, all you could see where planes moving around. I was about to go onto the taxi ways used by the planes to get to the run ways.

He explained where I had gone wrong and told me to turn around, finally managed a nine point turn (the area is not designed for people to turn around) and headed off to the correct part of the car park. Parked up and now I have to find the car. Take the lift up to the 2nd floor and find the car and the customer's sister, have a quick look at the car and yes the 2 rear tyres need replacing as the side walls are damaged. So how am I going to get my jacks up to the car and wheels down to my van? Luggage trolley. Pulled one out of the stack and headed back to the lift to go to the van and pick up my tools. Got to the van and loaded up a jack and hand tools and set off into the lift and up to the 2nd floor, as I could only get 1 jack on the trolley I could only take 1 wheel off at a time. Removed the first wheel and put it on the trolley and set off to the lift. Got back to the van and whipped the tyre off and replaced it with a new tyre and set off back to the car. So there I am at the lift waiting to go back up to the 2nd floor and a queue of people start to build up around me with there luggage to get to the departure floor of the terminal. Lift turns up and we all squeeze in and the door close, you can see all the people looking at me thinking 'what is he doing with a wheel on a luggage trolley', could not help my self and said I was going to take it to a client in America.

Get back to the car and put the first wheel back on and then remove the second wheel and headed back to the lift with the wheel on the trolley, now the customer had filled this wheel the supplied puncture fixing liquid, this is a form of latex that in theory sets when it gets into contact with air, the only trouble is that it was still liquid inside the tyre and the tyre has a great big gash in the side wall. So I am sitting at the lift door and all the time a constant drip drip of latex fluid is dropping onto the floor. Nothing I can do about it because I can't get the fluid out until I get the tyre off. Lift arrives and out come the travellers all looking at this bloke with a wheel on him trolley. Get in the lift (thankfully on my own) and head down to the ground floor, leaving a little puddle of white latex in the lift. Back at the van took the second tyre off, cleaned the latex off the inside of the wheel and mounted the new tyre. Back to the lift with the newly fitted wheel/tyre and up to the 2nd floor.

Wheel put on the Porsche and all bolts tightened up to correct torque. Payment taken (nice tip given as well) and paperwork completed.

 

Nissan Note in Watford WD24 Budget tyre 185/55/16V

New customer booked a job in through the online booking system, he is based in Watford and decided he wanted 1 budget tyre for his Nissan Note. The tyre he had selected was a Forceum 185/55/16v. The office spoke to him and arranged an appointment for the next day as he was going to be in his office in Watford. Tyre ordered and delivered to me so loaded the tyre into the van and headed off to meet him at work. Arrived 15 minutes early and located the car. Gave it a quick check over and found that he had one bald tyre but also a bulge in the sidewall of another. A bulge in the side wall shows that the tyre wall is starting to delaminate (come apart) and the tyre would need to be replace immediately. Showed the customer the damaged side wall and explained why the tyre would need to be replaced. He agreed so I contacted the office who ordered another tyre that would be picked up by another van and be delivered to me at the job. Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and started by removing the bald tyre that I had originally been called for, checked the rim for damage once the tyre was removed, none found so mounted the new tyre and balanced the wheel. As I was putting the wheel back on the car the other tyre turned up for the wheel with a bulging tyre on it. Finished tightened the wheel I was working on and then removed the second wheel, stripped the tyre off and checked the rim for damage. Found a bit of rim corrosion so cleaned up the edge of the rim and applied a bit of bead sealer to stop the corrosion. Mounted the tyre and balanced the wheel. Mounted the wheel back on the vehicle and then torqued up all the wheels to the manufacturers specification. Replaced the locking wheel nut in the boot and marked this on the invoice, took payment for the extra tyre I had to get delivered and headed off to the next job leaving a happy customer.

 

Ford Transit in Potters Bar EN6 GT radial Maxmiller CX 215/75/16

Repeat customer called to say that his Ford transit needed 1 new tyre, he was very happy with the current tyres he had so loaded a GT radial Maxmiller CX 215/75/16 on to the van. He uses the van to deliver mobility scooters to him customers so not have the van available would really impact on his customers. Arranged an appointment for first thing the next day. Arrived at the fitting location but he had not yet arrived at work (I was 30 minutes early). As it is a transit with steel wheels I could start on the job before he arrived. Jacked the transit up and removed the wheel, wear pattern on the tyre was good so only needed to replace the tyre. Removed the tyre and checked the rim for any signs of damage, none found so fitted the new tyres and then balanced the wheel. Refitted the wheel to the van and torqued up to the manufacturers specification. Finished the job and waited for the customer to turn up. When he arrived he was in a fluster, on the way to work one of his customers had called and he was going to have to pickup a customers scooter immediately, he thought he would have to cancel the tyre fitting as he could not wait, told him the job had already been done and all I needed was payment. If you would like a service that goes above and beyond the call of duty call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.

 

Vauxhall Corsa in Stanmore HA7 Primewell 215/40/17

New customer ordered on the website today, he went for a Primewell 215/40/17 to be fitted to the front of his Vauxhall Corsa. The office called the customer to discuss a fitting time and the customer decided on Thursday at 09.00 once he was home from doing his night shift. Arrived at the agreed time and checked all of his tyres, the tyre he wanted to change was his NSF (the passenger side wheel near the kerb) as he had taken a chunk out of the side wall when he hit a kerb. Checked the tyre and he had exposed the cords in the wall so the tyre would need replacing. Also checked his other tyres and they where a mixture of 3mm and 4mm in depth so they did not need changing yet. Got the locking wheel nut out of the passenger glove box and removed the wheel from the car. Removed the tyre and inspected the rim for damage, no damage found so cut the old valve our and replaced with a new one. Mounted the tyre on the wheel and then balanced the wheel. Put the wheel back on the car and torqued up the nuts to the manufactures specification. Put the locking wheel nut back in the passenger glove box and marked this on the invoice.

As he had clipped a kerb I put my alignment bars on the wheel (some time called tracking bars) to see if his alignment (tracking) had been put out. Alignment was within specification so no problem there. As the customer had already paid I did not have to take payment so after a quick chat answering his questions I set off to the next job. If you would like to have your tyres changed when you want and where you want just call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or visit www.hometyre.co.uk and we will come to you.

 

 

Locking wheel nut removal in Muswell Hill N10

Customer called to say they had just brought a Ford Fiesta but the locking wheel nut key was not in the car. All of our vans carry special equipment to removal locking wheel nuts when the key has either been lost or damaged. Arranged an appointment for 09.30 the next morning as they had to do the school run first. Arrived at the agreed time and first checked the car to see if the locking wheel nut was in the car, check every cubby hole you can find and also under the spare wheel, I also checked the tool kit that came with the car as sometimes in the top of the tool kit bag is a little pocket that hold the key. Nothing found, just the box that should have had the key in with the 4 original wheel bolts; this was good as it meant that I would have bolts that fitted the car to put on once the locking wheel nuts had been removed. Took my special tool out of the van and started on the wheel nuts, first 3 came off really easily as they had been correctly fitted, last nut was very tight, it took a bit of persuading to come off but off it came after 15 minutes. Put the 4 bolts that I found in the locking wheel nut box onto the car and tightened up correctly. If you have somebody else replacing your tyres and you see then using a gun to tighten the lock wheel nut bolt up stop them. If they do this and you cannot remove the nuts with the locking wheel nut key it will cost you money to have them removed, or you could just come to somebody that knows what they are doing and save time and money in the first place.
 

Tyron bands on 5 Land Rover defenders

Got a call from a standing customer who wanted Tyron bands fitted to 5 Land Rover defenders. This company build armoured Land Rovers that are used in Africa to transport cash; they have Tyron bands fitted because if they get a puncture or blow out the tyre will stay on the wheel allowing them to come to a controlled stop. Tyron bands are also very popular with caravan owners as they can help the driver stay in control of the caravan and allow them to pull over in safe area to change there tyre. Tyron bands where originally invented to be used by the British Army so that in the case of a puncture in a hostile situation they could get away instead of being stranded. If you own a caravan (or even a motor home) call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we can come to you to fit Tyron Bands or change tyres when a Tyron band is already fitted. Tyron bands can also be fitted in conjunction with a TPMS system (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) if you want.

 

Range Rover Sport in St Albans with Pirelli Scorpion Zero 255/50/20 109Y

New customer called for tyres on his Range Rover Sport, wanted Pirelli Scorpion Zero's 255/50/20 but only wanted 3. I advised him of the 4mm rule which is that on a 4x4 the tyres on the same axle must be within 4mm of each other or you can cause damage to the differential due to the difference in grip between the 2 tyres; he said that this would be no problem as the remaining tyre was fairly new. Loaded the 3 tyres into the van and set off to meet him at his office at 15.00.

Arrived at the job and checked his tyres, as he had described 3 of the tyres did need replacing and the 4th was at 3mm. This meant that I would not be able to fit one of the new tyres on the same axle due to the 4mm rule, checked his spare tyre to see what condition it was in and found that it was brand new, suggested that I fitted the spare tyre to the car and put the other wheel back as his spare as it was still legal. Got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and removed the wheels, took the tyres off the wheels and inspected the rim for damage, no damage found so on the new tyres went. Balanced them and then refitted them to the car. Then torqued up the wheels with the torque wrench and put the locking wheel nut back in the boot and noted this on the invoice. If you need tyres for your 4x4 and would like somebody that can think there way around a problem then call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or visit www.hometyre.co.uk and we will come to you.

 

BMW 1 series in N22 with Michelin Primacy HP 205/50 R17 89 V tyres

Repeat customer called today to put 2 tyres on his second car. He wanted Michelin Primacy HP 205/50 R17 89V so I ordered 2 for delivery that afternoon and arranged to meet him at 16.00 after he had finished work.
Turned up at the arranged time (well 15 minutes early really) and the customer was ready for the work to start. Asked the customer for his locking wheel nut only to be told that it had been lost the last time he had the car serviced. This could have been a problem but all our vans carry a special tool to remove locking wheel nuts when the key has been lost, removed all the locking wheel nuts (not just the 2 wheels I was working on) and then took the wheels off the car. Took the tyres off the wheels and inspected the rim to see if they had any damage, only damage was from kerbing the alloys so I fitted the tyres and then balanced them. Refitted the wheels on the car and torqued up to the manufacturers specification. As the locking wheel nuts had been removed each wheel now had a bolt missing, the customer luckily had the 4 bolts in a box in the boot (that should also have held the locking wheel nut key if it had not been lost), fitted these to the car and torqued all the wheels nuts up to the manufactures spec. Checked the tread depth and tyre pressures on the remaining wheels and filled out the invoice and tyre report, when we email you your invoice you also get a tyre report showing the condition of all your tyres. Took payment and then headed off to the next job.

 

Rover 75 in Rickmansworth WD3 Continental 195/65/15V

Customer booked a job in online via www.hometyre.co.uk. The website allows you to view thousands of products that are available, choose what you want and then pay for it there and then, the next step is to choose a rough time that you would like the fitting to take place. The contact centre then call you to confirm your booking time and just to check that the tyres that you have ordered are the tyres that you want/need.
Anyway, set off to the job for the arranged time. Turned up at the job and looked at the car. The 2 rear tyres did need changing so got the locking wheel nut out of the boot and removed the wheels. Checked the rims to ensure that they had not damage (they did not) and mounted the tyres on to the wheel, the customer had gone for Continental 195/65/15V tyres. Balanced the wheels on the wheel balancer and then re fitted the wheels onto the car and torqued up to the manufactures specification. We do not GUN the wheels on, we hand fit the bolts, lightly tighten with an electric gun and then finish off with a torque wrench; the reason for this is each car has a different torque specification.
Put the locking wheel nut back in the boot and marked this on the invoice, checked the tread depth and tyre pressures on the remaining 3 wheels (don't forget the spare), added a couple of pounds to the spare. Had a quick chat with the owner and then headed off to the next job.

 


 


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