TPMS on a Vauxhall Astra GTC

Hometyre Milton Keynes attended to a customer's request for 2 new rear tyres to be fitted to a Vauxhall Astra GTC in Middleton Milton Keynes.

When I arrived the customer explained to me that he also had a problem with his tyre pressure monitor system (TPMS). The near side front tyre was not displaying any pressures. I got out my I Sensor TPMS reader to read the sensor. There was no problem picking up the sensor, but it was not displaying on the dashboard menu. I then tried to read the near side rear sensor and found that this sensor was not transmitting a signal. With this in mind I discovered out that someone had moved the front wheels to the back and not reprogrammed the sensors.

I removed the rear wheels and to replace the tyres. When I removed the near side rear tyre, I found that the sensor was damaged, problem solved!

I then slotted a new I Senor into my programmer and promgrammed a sensor for a Vauxhall Astra GT, fitted it to the wheel rim and fitted the new tyre. I then replaced the rear tyre on the other side of the vehicle, but I still had the problem of the vehicle reading the wrong TPMS sensors. What was going on?

These now had to be reprogrammed to the vehicle's ECU. To do this you have to go into the menu settings on the dashboard and scroll down until you find "relearn tyre pressure sensors". Then click on this setting and the horn will beep twice. You then go to the nearside front tyre with your I Sensor programmer and go to diagnose sensor. The horn will beep once, continue to the nearside rear and repeat the process until the horn beeps once. This process is then continued until all wheels are done. Once this process is complete start the vehicle and check that all the tyre pressures are now showing on the menu screen.

I completed this process and test drove the vehicle. Another happy customer!


Happy New Year

2017 was a great year for Hometyre Milton Keynes. We had the pleasure of fitting tyres to some spectacular cars and some very interesting jobs along the way.

The highlight has got to be fitting track day tyres to 2 McLaren 675LT super cars, both of them were going to be used at Silverstone race track. We also repaired a puncture on a McLaren MP4 12C that i often see driving around Milton Keynes.

We fitted a lot of tyres to some Morgan 4/4 and Plus 8 and balanced their wire spoked wheels. Some of these Morgans are still using inner tubes as opposed to tubeless tubes. Fitting 4 new tyres to a limited edtion Lotus Evora, a few Porsche's and an Audi R8 we certainly had our fair share of sports cars.

With TPMS now coming out on all motor vehicles we had a few of these to deal with. I can remember replacing a TPMS sensor on a Bentley Continental in Bedford at less than half the price the customer was quoted by the agents.

With all the snow around in mid December we saw a great increase in winter tyre sales and with more snow predicted in early 2018 i am sure we will see these sales increase even more. Winter tyres have become a lot more affordable now days and their popularity is certainly on the increase.

Keep your eye out for the Hometyre mobile tyre van driving around Milton Keynes and Bedford in 2018.


Hometyre fitting tyres in and around Milton Keynes

Hometyre Milton Keynes has been fitting tyres, repairing punctures and surprisingly fitting Tyron bands and new tyres to caravans at this time of the year.

As the roads are getting colder and more slippery i have seen an increase in customers hitting kerbs. This does not only damage your tyres and will need a replacement, but it also upsets your vehicles suspension geometry. Most people are unaware that the slightest bump into a kerb upsets your front wheel alignment, which in turn will cause uneven tyre wear, which in turn will lead to premature tyre replacement.

We have also seen an increase in customers with large vans like Mercedes Sprinters and Citroen Relays with front wheel alignment issues and seem to be struggling to get their tracking adjusted due to the size of the vehicle. Not many garages are able to get these vehicles onto their ramp, due to the size. Hometyre Milton Keynes offers mobile wheel alignment for these customers, using specialized tools and lazer gauges, we can track and align most vans up to 3500kgs.

The other faults we have noticed is customers TPMS warning lights coming on. In some cases it has just been down to the cold weather and these customers not checking tyre pressures on a regular basis. Just because your vehicle has a TPMS system fitted don't rely on this before you check your tyre pressures. This system is fitted to vehicles to alert you there is a problem with your tyre, not that it's now time to check your pressures!


Another busy week in Milton Keynes

Hometyre Milton Keynes has had a busy week servicing customers in and around Milton Keynes and Bedford.

The week started off by me replacing 4 tyres and inner tubes on a 1972 Morgan 4 in Cranfield, before moving on down the road to Wobourn Sands to fit 2 Pirelli PZero Rosso to a Audi A5. The old tyres that i removed were so badly worn on the inner edges that the cords were showing through.

I immediately suspected that the wheel alignment was not within the manufactures specification, after checking and adjusting the alignment, i carried out a quick diagnostic check on the vehicles TPMS system

Back in Milton Keynes I went around to see a customer with a VW Cadyy that had a slow puncture. After inspecting the tyre i found that the rubber valve was perished and was leaking air. A quick check on the other tyres, found that the tyre on the opposite had the same problem. I removed both tyres and replaced both valves. This is a common cause of slow punctures.

The next customer was in Knowlhill Milton Keynes, a Range Rover Sport with 275/45 21 Pirelli Scorpion Verde tyres. As this vehicle was having new tyres fitted it is recommended to replace the TPMS valve kits, which i did and carried out a diagnostic check on the system.

If you want to check out the work that Hometyre Milton Keynes has carried out, follow us on Facebook


From Supercars to Vintage Cars

The last few days Hometyre Milton Keynes has worked on some very impressive motor cars.

It started with a customer who picked up a puncture in his Mclaren MP4-12C. I grabbed a Pirelli Pzero MC1 305/30 R20 and headed off. I removed the wheel from the vehicle and found a nail right in the middle of the tyre, as the tyre was quite new and had 6mm of tread left, we decided to repair the puncture. Fortunately the TPMS system had alerted the customer that his tyre had a pressure loss and he was able to stop the vehicle before the tyre got damaged. We repaired the puncture and refitted the wheel. We then reset the TPMS system and carried out a full TPMS system check. Another happy Mclaren customer.

Later that day I attended a customer who had a Morgan 3 and needed 2 front tyres replacing. The Morgan 3 has a tyre size of 4.00X19 on the front. We removed both front wheels and proceeded to remove the tyres. As the customer was having new tyres, we decided to replace the 2 inner tubes as well. After replacing the inner tubes and tyres, Avon SM MK II were fitted, we balanced up the wire wheels and fitted them back to this classic. All of this done at the customers home. 


Lotus Evora TPMS problem

Last week I was called out to a customer in Milton Keynes who had a problem with a tyre valve on their Lotus Evora. When i got there I discovered that the metal valve stem had broken off and the tyre was flat on the ground! The customer had gone to the local filling station to check his tyre pressures but had trouble removing the metal cap fitted to his valve stem - as a result he ended up breaking the metal valve off. 

I proceeded to remove the wheel and tyre to assess what needed to be done. The Lotus Evora has a TPMS system fitted as standard. With some vehicles the TPMS system is in two parts - the sensor and a valve stem. On this particular model the valve and the sensor are a complete unit and lucky for him this is not a problem for Hometyre Milton Keynes as we stock a full range of TPMS valves. I reprogrammed a new sensor and for him at half the price of any main dealer.  I then fitted the new sensor and valve and inflated his tyre before fitting his wheel back to the vehicle and checking that his ECU had picked up the new sensor. We had a good result with all four tyres recording pressures on the dashboard. Another happy customer!

This problem could have been avoided if he had fitted rubber valve caps to the valve stem as opposed to metal ones.  Some people might think that a metal cap looks good but vanity on your car can often cause more problems that they're worth as these have a tendency to corrode onto the valve stem. 


4 Yokohama Blue Earth Tyres on a VW Golf in MIlton Keynes

Today I attended to a customer in Furzton, Milton Keynes. They had 2 tyres that were down to 3mm and 2 that were below the legal limit. The customer has a 3 month baby and found it really difficult to go to a tyre center to get their tyres changed so thought of giving Hometyre Milton Keynes a try.

I started by replacing both the rear tyres that were down to 3mm, then moved onto the fronts. When I removed the front tyres, both were worn below the legal limit on the inner edges. I immediately assumed that the front wheel alignment was out.

After replacing all four tyres with new Yokohama Blue Earth ES32 tyres and re-torquing the wheel nuts to 120 NM as per the manufacture's specifications, it was time to check the front wheel alignment. I was not surpised that they were 3mm out of the manufacture's specification.  I then advised the customer that this had to be adjusted otherwise their brand new tyres would just wear out in no time at all.

After giving me the go ahead I continued to adjust the front wheel alignment.  I then cleaned up all their wheels and asked the customer if they minded test driving the vehicle for me. The end result . . . one very happy customer and they can't believe all of this could be done while they sat at home!


Busy few days

Hometyre Milton Keynes has had a busy few weeks serving customers in Milton Keynes and Bedford, from puncture repairs to caravan tyres - we have covered them all recently!

Everyone should now be on their summer tyres and already have swapped across from their winter tyres. Now that half term is here and the sun is shining the caravan industry has been booming. Caravan owners are encouraged to change their tyres every 5 years and it seems that 5 year cycle has hit Bedford - we have also seen in increase of Tyron bands being fitted. This great run flat option for caravans but most importantly a safety feature for those long journeys.

We have also seen an increase in locking wheel nut removal lately. A lot of times we've found that the customer has not lost the key but, when they have bought a vehicle on the secondhand market, have forgotten to ask for the locking wheel nut key. The second most common reason is over tightening . . . for some or other reason it seems to be a common theme have these as tight as possible rather than at the manufacturer's torque specifications.

For those looking for a high performance tyre, Michelin have just launched the new Pilot Sport 4 S, which comes as standard on some Ferrari's and Mercedes AMG models so keep your eye out for these.

We are always out and about, so please feel to gives us a call for your tyre requirements or just some advise.


Mclaren 675LT

Last week Hometyre Milton Keynes had the pleasure of fitting Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R track tyres to a Mclaren 675 LT in Milton Keynes. Wow what a beautiful vehicle to work on. The Mclaren 675 LT has a V8 twin turbo charged engine, which produces 666 bhp and a seven speed dual clutch gearbox. The Mclaren675 LT has a top speed of 205 MPH and will certainly make good use of the carbon ceramic brake system.

The Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo tyre is designed for racetrack driving on dry asphalt it has a ultra low profile and an asymetric tread pattern. In extreme conditions like racetrack driving it reacts with precision to commands. Even though this tyre is designed for track use it is road legal and can be used to get you to the track. 


Spring is in the air

The temperatures are starting to creep up and the days are getting longer, spring is certainly on it's way.

For those of you that have been running on winter tyres it's now time to start thinking about swopping back to those summers. Don't forget to check them before you think about fitting them back.

Hometyre Milton Keynes has already been busy fitting new caravan tyres to those customers that are thinking about getting away for the Easter break. Some of our caravan customers have also had Tyron bands fitted this year, ensuring them peace of mind when heading off on their journey. So what is a Tyron band I hear you ask? Well Tyron is a lightweight wheel well filler band that converts a steel or alloy wheel into a safety wheel. When fitted it improves the performance and safety of any wheel or tyre in the event of sudden deflation. At speed this assists the driver in maintaining steering and braking control. It provides a short time run-flat option, so you can choose a safe place to stop and change the wheel.

Hometyre Milton Keynes can also supply and fit tyre pressure monitoring systems to your vehicle or caravan, giving you peace of mind that you are constantly keeping an eye on those tyre pressures.

Please remember folks tyre checks and safety will ensure you have a enjoyable journey.


The importance of correct tyre pressures

Having the correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated tyres affect handling and grip, causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behaviour. They are also much more likely to suffer from a dangerous sudden rapid deflation, especially on high-speed motorway journeys.

Over the last few weeks i have found that i have had to replace far to many tyres due to customers running there vehicles with tyre pressures that are far to low. These customers seemed very surprised when asked "when last did you check your tyre pressures" Most people think that this is done when their vehicle is serviced and that should be good enough for them.

So how often should you check your tyre pressures? In an ideal world this should be done daily, along with a quick check that all your vehicles lights and fluids are correct. This is sometimes an impossible task for most people as not everyone has a tyre pressure gauge to hand. Hometyre Milton Keynes recommends that your tyre pressures should therefore be checked every couple of weeks. Most fuel filling stations have a versatility that allows you to check and adjust your tyre pressures.

Where do i found out what my vehicles tyre pressures should be? This will certainly be in your vehicle handbook, but most of the time there is a sticker with the pressures on it, in the fuel flap or the inside of the front door panels. When reading this please make sure that you are checking the correct pressures for the tyre size that is fitted to your vehicle as well as weather you are running at normal load or a fully loaded vehicle.

So by checking your tyres pressures regularly you will be able to pick up any slow punctures before you run that tyre for too long under inflated, your running costs will be reduced. Under-inflated tyres require a bigger force to make them turn, so your car uses more fuel. Additionally, tyres which are not set to their correct pressure wear out more quickly.

So go out and check those pressures!! 


Nokian Tyres

4 weeks ago my father in law decided to try out winter tyres for the first time. Hometyre Milton Keynes fitted 4 Nokian 225/55 R18 WR SUV 3 to his Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

This weekend I caught up with him for the first time since I fitted these and I must say his feedback was phenomenal!

He was totally surprised at the amount of grip he had in the wet and he's now looking forward to the cold front that the weatherman is predicting for the weekend (let's see if he actually gets it right this time!).


Busy day for Hometyre Milton Keynes

Yesterday was a very busy day for Hometyre Milton Keynes! I started the day off with a suspected puncture on a Nissan X-Trail. I arrived at the customers house and could clearly see that the passenger side front tyre was totally deflated. I then proceeded to inspect the rest of the tyres for thread depth and any signs of damage or uneven wear. My next task was to establish what cause the puncture, after removing the wheel i could clearly see the the valve stem was perished. I removed the tyre from the rim, checked for sidewall damage which is caused from running on a deflated tyre, all was good, so i replaced the valve stem cleaned the wheel rim and refitted the tyre. Inflated to the correct pressure and checked for any leaks. The wheel was then re-balanced and fitted back on. After checking all the rest of the vehicle tyre pressures i informed the customer that he was back on the road again.

I then headed over to Woughton On The Green in Milton Keynes to fitted 2 x 225/40/18 tyres to a Mercedes Benz A Class. After inspecting the vehicle first i noticed uneven wear on the front 2 tyres. I proceeded to replace and 2 tyres and re-balance the wheels, now that all the tyre pressures were checked, it was time to check the front wheel alignment using my Supertracker laser wheel aligner. The front wheel alignment was found to be 2mm out of the prescribed manufactures specifications, i adjusted the front toe angles and took the car for a short test drive, before refitting the alignment gauges and checking it was still within the manufactures specifications.

It was then off to Bedford after a customer let me know that his new wheel rim that he ordered for his Ford Focus had arrived. He had badly damaged the old one by hitting a pothole. I fitted a new 205/50 R17 Pirelli Cinturato P7 to his new rim, balanced it up and fitted back to his vehicle. Again it was time to check and adjust his front wheel alignment, as this was certainly going to need doing after hitting a pothole.

Back in Milton Keynes i found myself fitting a 245/35 R20 to a Vauxhall Astra VXR after this customer experienced a blowout due to running has car on the incorrect tyre pressures. After fitting the new tyre and adjusting the rest of his tyre pressures, he was back on the road again.

Before i was heading home for the day, there was still 1 more job to be done in Bletchley Milton Keynes. A 215/65 R16 Goodyear Efficient Grip on a Nissan X-Trail.

Hometyre Milton Keynes always there when you need us!


Have you ever considered changing to winter tyres?

Have you ever considered changing to winter tyres?
Whilst it is not a current legal requirement here in the UK to use winter tyres advances in modern technology now provide a higher road safety level on damp and cold surfaces.
Here in the UK drivers are often reluctant to swap over to winter tyres but by doing so you can decrease the chances of road accidents and increase driving safety. With the spate of increasingly bitter winter months that we seeing here in the UK it is strongly advisable to consider this option.
Winter tyres are becoming more common place here in the UK and perform best under 7°C and here at Hometyre Milton Keynes we'd recommend fitting them from early November through to late March to better your vehicle's grip during the colder months.
Worn tyres will be ineffectual during snowy, icy or damp conditions (much the same as normal tyres) which can significantly reduce your braking distance especially on damp or wet roads.
Modern technology and the advance in manufacturing methods ensure that the hardening effect on your tyres would normally have during cold spells is significantly minimised. This in turn increases the grip levels because the rubber treads don't harden or freeze.

Hometyre Milton Keynes suggests that you regularly check your tyre depth and ensure that your winter tyres are always in excellent condition to provide better driving conditions. We can fit and balance your winter tyres at your home or work at no extra cost. You can even pre-book your winter to summer tyre swap over now by calling our Support Team on 0800 783 93 10.



Winter is on it's way

The mornings and evenings are now getting colder, which means so are the roads. Last week Hometyre Milton Keynes started fitting some of it's customers winter tyres back to there vehicles.

Now is the time to check your tyres, your screenwash and antifreeze and make sure that you vehicle is safe and ready for the winter.  Don't forget that the legal limit for your tyres in the UK is minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. Here at Hometyre we recommend that you chance you tyres when the tread depth is at 3mm. The main reason for this is that with 3mm of tread depth left your tyre is 70% worn.

If you are thinking of traveling to Europe don't forget some places require you to have winter tyres fitting from the 1st of October.

If you need any advise regarding winter tyres, why not give us a call on 08007839310 we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.  


Wheel Alignment

I often get asked "How long will these tyres last before they wear out?" A very tricky question to answer as there are a few factors that contribute to tyre wear. Firstly you need to maintain the correct tyre pressures as this has a huge impact on tyre wear. The second most important factor is wheel alignment or tracking.

Tracking is part of standard automobile maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are set to the car maker's specification. The purpose of these adjustments is to reduce tyre wear, and to ensure that vehicle travel is straight and true without pulling to one side. You can relate tracking to a pair of shoes you own, if you walk only on the inside or outside you will wear out the edge of the soles very quickly, while the middle part of the sole may still look brand new. 

There are many factors that can affect your vehicles wheel alignment. Potholes are one of the most common causes of your tracking going out of alignment, if you feel you have driven over a pothole it is advisable to get your tracking checked. If you hit a kerb, then you most certainly would have upset your wheel alignment and need to get it checked. Here at Hometyre we recommend under normal driving conditions that you get your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. 


Sports Cars and Super Cars

The last 2 weeks has been a busy one for Hometyre Milton Keynes, replacing tyres on some amazing sports cars.

Firstly i had to fit 2 new Yokohama Neova AD08R tyres to a Lotus Elise and checked the front wheel alignment.lotus

Then later that day i fitted 2 Continental Sport Contact 2 N2 285/30 R18 tyres to a Porsche 911 in Loughton Milton Keynes.


A Lotus Elan had 2 new Toyo PXT1-R 250/45 R16 tyres again in Milton Keynes, and then it was off to Cranfield to replace 5 Continental Premium Contact 5 195/60 R15 tyres on a Morgan Morgan_MK_1

Tomorrow i am going to fit 4 new Bridgestone RE050A tyres to a Aston Martin Vantage, which i am really looking forward to.

So if you own a Sports Car or a Super Car, why not give Hometyre Milton Keynes a try, we certainly have the experience to take care of all your tyre needs. 


Caravan Tyres

Why should I change my caravan tyres? They are not worn out. This is a question I get asked a lot when carrying out free tyre checks for caravan owners.

A tyre blow out can cause even the most experienced of caravan owners to lose control, and this can have major consequences for your caravan as well as putting you, your passengers and other drivers at risk, particularly when it occurs on a motorway. Even if the driver does manage to keep their caravan under control in the event of a blow out, the shredded tyre can cause major damage to the caravan wheel arch and floor.

Due to the fact that your caravan is left unused and unmoved for long periods of time, mostly during the winter, the tyres never do the mileage required to wear them out. The weight of the caravan resting on tyres for long periods can cause tyres to become distorted, which is not easily spotted but could lead to a blow out. UV light can also cause damage over time and weaken the tyres. All these factors can cause your tyres to have a blow out.

Here at Hometyre we advise that you change your tyres before they reach 5 years old. You can check the year of manufacture of your tyres by looking for the date code found on each tyre, for example '3805' which signifies the tyre was manufactured in the 38th week of 2005.

Under or over inflation of caravan tyres can also be a huge problem. Nowdays you can have a tyre pressure monitoring system fitted to your caravan wheel, which will enable you to keep an eye on tyre pressures and temperatures of your caravan from your driving seat via a wireless LCD monitor that you can stick into your car.

Tyron safety bands are another safety device you can add to your caravan wheels. Although these do not stop you having a blow out, a Tyron band keeps the tyre on the wheel, allowing you to pull over safely.

So if you are heading away for the summer holidays with your caravan, please check the age of those tyres and check the tyre pressure regular basis.


Locking Wheel Nuts

Locking wheel nuts on your vehicle are used as a security device to stop your alloy wheels getting stolen, but do we really need them now days?

If someone really wants your wheels, is a locking wheel nut going to stop them?

Each set of locking wheel nuts fitted to your vehicle has a patterned indent and a key which matches this pattern. Only when the key is inserted can the nut be turned and removed, making it very difficult to remove the wheel without the key.

There are literally hundreds of unique key combinations and although wheel nut keys are freely available to buy the chances of you buying the right one is virtually impossible. It's for this same reason that it's important that you know where your locking wheel nut key is kept as, without it, it's very hard to remove your wheels should you require a tyre change. To add to this if your locking wheel nut is over tightened you may damage the pattern on your key and not be able to remove it.

There are specialist tools out there that can be used to remove these nuts, but it's not a cheap exercise.

Here at Hometyre we have the tools to remove these should you loose or damage your key.

So the moral of the story is know were your locking wheel nut is kept you never know when you may need it.


Busy week in the sunshine

Well it looks like spring is here at last and Hometyre has been busy in Milton Keynes and Bedford. The week started with an Audi R8 in Milton Keynes that needed a new rear tyre, after someone unfortunately vandalised it. The rear tyres on this vehicle were Pirelli PZero 295/30R19.

I also carried out a few puncture repairs in Bedford. Nowadays most new vehicles don't have spare wheels, so when you get a puncture you're usually stuck! This is making mobile tyre services more and more popular.

By the middle of the week Hometyre was back in Milton Keynes, this time fitting 2 new Doublestar DS805 185/80R14 tyres to a caravan which had Tyron safety bands fitted. These are a must for any caravan or motorhome enthusiast.

The week ended with a new Pirelli Scorpion Zero 255/55R19 fitted to a Land Rover Discovery 4 and both front wheels re-balanced after the customer found to have a judder on the steering wheel over 50mph. A few wheel alignment jobs along the way as there were a few customers who had also punctured tyres by clipping the kerbs, throw in a couple of free tyre checks and that's another week gone!

Lets see what this week brings!



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