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!


What happens to your old tyres?

Recently i have been asked by customers what happens to there old tyres when new ones are fitted?

In 2003 the EU banned whole tyres from being dumped in landfill sites, and only shredded tyres were allowed in these sites. In 2006 this shredded process was also banned from landfill sites.

So what does happen to your old tyres?

Here at Hometyre Milton Keynes we recycle them! Your old tyres are collected by a company that holds a waste management licence that ensures that these waste tyres are processed in a legal and environmentally way.

These tyres are shredded and the metal separated from the rubber. The metal is then recycled and so is the rubber.

So what happens to the rubber? You will be supprised to find that recycled tyre rubber is used by us on a daily basis.

These are just a few examples:

Children's playgrounds and sports surfaces are based on tyre rubber, carpet underlay, shoes, cement and asphalt are just a few uses.

So rest assured we are doing our part for the environment.


Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)

Hometyre Milton Keynes are able to replace and fit a range of tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) to your vehicle at a lower cost than your local dealerships. As with our mobile tyre fitting we are able to repair and fit your TMPS at a location of your choice. Our prices are fully inclusive of fitting, reprogramming and VAT.

About TPMS

Tyre pressure monitoring systems are fitted to most cars to monitor the tyre air pressure and alert you if the pressure drops below the recommended levels. All new vehicles sold in the EU now have a TPMS as standard and any cars registered after 1st January 2012 must have a functioning TPMS in order to pass the MOT.

A majority of blow-outs occur because of under inflated tyres. The TPMS, which alerts you when your tyre pressure drops below the 20% recommended by manufacturers, warns the driver through a visual or audible warning on your dashboard. A TPMS has a sensor which is attached to the back of the tyre valve and, previously, you had to take your car back to your dealership garage to have the sensor valve replaced and your warning indicator reset.

Hometyre Milton Keynes carries a large selection of service kits and we would recommend having your TPMS valves serviced every time you change your tyre.

Benefits of TMPS

Up to 75% of tyre related accidents are caused by under inflated tyres. We would recommend that you check your tyre pressure regularly as your tyres naturally lose pressure - even when new! Properly inflated tyres give your car stability, better handling in wet weather and during braking . . . not to mention the improved fuel efficiency and less wear and tear to your tyres.


Everyone can sprout on about numbers and saving you money - a TPMS can do this and, most importantly, keep you and other motorists are safe on the roads.

Two types of TPMS - Direct or Indirect

How does indirect TPMS work?

Indirect TPMS uses the ABS wheel speed sensor to monitor the rotation of each of your wheels. If there is a decrease in the tyre pressure this will decrease the tyre circumference and increase the wheel speed triggers in the TPMS - your alarm light / sound will alert you of this. Indirect TPMS is fairly common but this is changing with more and more manufacturers fitting direct TPMS to their newer vehicles.


With indirect TMPS there are no sensors fitted inside the tyres which make the fitting process a lot easier than direct TPMS as it takes advantage of the technology and equipment already fitted to your vehicle. This does mean that indirect TPMS measures your wheel speed rather than your tyre pressure so can be less accurate and sensitive to a change in pressure. Your vehicle will need to be driven to detect a fault which might mean that you are driving with a flat tyre for some time before being warned about this. Equally, if all your tyres have deflated by the same amount they will turn at the same speed and the issue will not be detected.

How does direct TPMS work?

Direct TPMS has a pressure monitoring sensor fixed to the inside of your tyre which is normally attached to the back of the valve and monitors the internal pressure and air temperature inside the tyre. This information is then relayed to the electronic processing system in your car. An alarm or light will be displayed to alert you of a loss in tyre pressure.


This is a real-time system that alerts you to a problem as soon as there is a change to the pressure in your tyre and helps to prevent damage to your tyre. Direct TPMS is slightly more complicated to fit to the tyre so more care should be taken when fitting this system. The sensors inside your tyres have a lifespan of 5-7 years or 100,000 miles and have non-replaceable batteries so when these run flat you will need to have a new sensor fitted. Cars that have been driven on low tyre pressures for a longer period of time will need the senor replaced sooner than this. As with all parts of your vehicle, the sensors will need to be serviced on a regular basis as they are prone to corrosion.


Direct TPMS can also be fitted to caravans, motorhomes or trailers.

Hometyre Milton Keynes fit and supply a range of aftermarket Direct TPMS. Please feel free to call our central support team on 0800 783 9310 for further information.


Puncture repairs what you need to know

You have just had 4 new tyres fitted and 2 weeks later you get a puncture! You think to yourself "Do I need to replace my tyre?"

Hometyre Milton Keynes carries out safe puncture repairs to the BSAU159 standards and we are only a phone call away.

Below is a list of guidelines you can use to assess if you need to replace your tyre.

  • A puncture can only be repaired if it has occurred in the central 3/4 of the tyre.
  • The puncture has a diameter no larger than 6mm.
  • The tyre has not been driven under-inflated, causing sidewall damage.
  • There is no secondary damage to the tyre e.g. cuts, bulges or sidewall damage.
  • There is not more than 1 puncture repair in each quadrant of your tyre.
  • W, Y and Z speed rated tyres can only be repaired a maximum of 3 times. Ensure that you know what speed rating your tyres are - this is shown on the sidewall of your tyre.
  • The object that has caused the puncture has not entered at an obscure angle.
  • The tyre is in a suitable condition and has an acceptable thread depth.
  • If your vehicle has run flat tyres, they will have to be replaced, as Hometyre will not carry out a puncture repair.
  • Some vehicles use Continental Conti-Seal tyres which self seal if you get a puncture, these, unlike run flats, can be repaired providing they meet all the other criteria.

If you are still unsure, give us a call on 0800 783 9310, for advice and a possible solution to your tyre-related problem.


TPMS what is it?

TPMS stands for Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and it does exactly what it says, it monitors your vehicles tyre pressures and will warn the driver of under or over tyre inflation. This is not just another way for vehicle manufactures to make more money, but actually a safety feature. The pressure within your tyres is the most important factor in how well your tyres preform at speed, when braking, road handling and of cause fuel economy.

If your vehicle was registered after 1 January 2012 and has a faulty Tyre Pressure Monitoring System it will now fail it's MOT. If your vehicle was manufactured after 1st November 2014 it will have some sort of Tyre Pressure Monitoring System fitted.

There are 2 types of systems used. Direct TPMS and indirect TPMS. If there is a fault with either the tyre pressure or the system then a yellow warning light will appear on your dashboard resembling a under inflated tyre tpms_icon

Indirect TPMS does not use physical pressure sensors but measures the air pressures by monitoring the individual wheel rotational speeds, normally by using the vehicles ABS system. With indirect TPMS if a tyre is under inflated you can reset the tyre pressures and normally reset the warning light with a button or on the menu on your vehicles on board computer.

Direct TPMS uses a sensor hidden in the wheel rim. TPM_Valve_blackThis physically measures the pressure contained in your tyre and reports back to your vehicles ECU. If one of these sensors fail then it will have to be replaced and then reprogrammed to suit your vehicle. This is where it becomes a bit tricky. When direct TPMS systems first came out and they developed a fault, you had to return your vehicle back to the manufactures for them to check out this fault, it's not the case now days. Most tyre dealers should have the equipment required to replace and re programme these sensors. Like any electronic device these sensors have a battery inside a sealed unit which they say will last for about 5-7 years or 100,000 miles before it needs replacing, but as we all know with electronic sensors this is never the case.

So next time that warning light appears on your dash, don't ignore it, check your tyre pressures and make sure it goes out. Remember it's there for your safety.


Tyre Age

Yesterday I went around to a customers home to fit 2 new front tyres to their sons car. The young lad had just passed his driving test and his parents bought him his first car. The front tyre tread depth was only 3mm, so not down to the legal limit yet but 70% worn, his parents wanted to make sure he was safe on the road.

They informed me that they bought the vehicle 3 months ago and that the second hand car dealer had put 2 "new tyres" on the back for them. On closer inspection of the rear tyres I discovered that the year of manufacture was 2008 and that they were badly perished making it likely to result in sudden and total tyre failure, not what a new driver needs. These "new tyres" were obviously part worn tyres.

Every tyre sold in the UK has the year of manufacture stamped on the sidewall so please make sure you check this on any vehicle. Nobody ever knows the history of part worn tyres. Do they have bead damage? Unsafe repairs? Are they likely to fail?

I am going back to this customer today to fit 2 brand new tyres to the rear and make sure this new driver is safe on the road. Next time you check your tyre pressure, have a look to see the year of manufacture on your tyres.


Ferrari Dino GT 4

This week i had the rare pleasure of being able to work on a 1978 Ferrari Dino GT 4. The customer in Milton Keynes had a problem with a broken valve stem and needed all 4 wheels balancing. The Ferrari was running on a set of Pirelli P 4000 205/70 R14 tyres which i had to remove to replace the broken valve.

The GT4 was a revolutionary model for Ferrari in many ways. It was the first Ferrari to feature a mid engined V8 layout which would become the bulk of the companies business in years to come. It was the first production Ferrari with Bertone designed bodywork rather than Pininfarina. From the cockpit the driver only sees the road, it has no blind spots and perfect 360 degree visibility. It sports a 3.0 litre 225 horsepower V8 engine and a 5 speed transaxle gearbox.

The late Enzo Ferrari himself took a major role in it's design and Niki Lauda helped to set up the chassis.

It was a pleasure to work on such a legendary motor vehicle.


How customers find us...

Having the Hometyre van driving around Milton Keynes really seems to work.

Last week I was doing the school run heading down Childs Way in Milton Keynes when out of the corner of my eye I saw a young boy taking a picture of the van, I didn't think much of it at the time.

Later that day I went around to a customers home to fit 2 new Michelin Primacy 3 225/45R17 tyres to her Audi A3. I asked her how she find out about Hometyre and the story came out...

She too, was doing the school run in Milton Keynes when she saw the van in front of her, she got her son to take a picture of it so she had the contact number, she gave us a call and 4 hours later she had 2 new tyres fitted at her home, ready to do the afternoon school run later that same day.


Potholes - what they cost you!

This past week I have replaced a number of tyres for customers in the Milton Keynes area due to pothole damage. These nasty surprises end up costing us both a lot of money and an inconvenience, but on the bright side, the days are starting to get longer, making them easier to spot.

Every time you hit one of these you are bound to damage your tyre and without doubt upset your vehicle's wheel alignment.

Wheel alignment is an integral part of your car's steering and suspension geometry. If your wheel alignment is out it will affect your steering wheel angle (steering wheel positioned to the left or right when driving in a straight line) and cause increased tyre wear as your tyres are being pushed along the road at the incorrect angle. This also causes increased fuel economy which, again, costs more money.

So if you have hit a pothole or clipped a kerb lately, don't forget to have your wheel alignment checked!


Big Tyre Week

What a week i have had in and around Milton Keynes fitting tyres. It all started on Monday with a 9.00am appointment at a customers place of work. He handed me the keys to his Audi Q7 and left me to it, while he went into a couple of meetings. He required 4 new tyres fitted, so i got on with it fitting Pirelli PZero RO1 295/35R21. All 4 wheels were wheel balanced, cleaned and refitted. I then threw the wheel alignment gauges on the Audi and checked his tracking, all of this done within a 2 hour time slot. He was extremely happy with the level of service and the fact that he could carry on running his business while he had new tyres fitted.

I then moved onto another customer who had a Range Rover Vogue which also required 4 tyres fitted. After fitting Continental CrossContact LX Sport 275/40/22 108Y, once again checked the customers tracking at no extra cost and found it to be all within manufactures specifications. Again all this done at the customers home, while he packed his suitcase ready to drive to the airport and fly out to Dubai.

Towards the end of the week i headed out to Bedford to fit a customers winter tyres onto his pride and joy!! Yes a 1994 Porsche 911, the last of the air cooled models. What a beautiful car and winter tyres needed on this as it's a rear wheel drive and he uses it daily to commute to work.

A great week fitting tyres in and around Bedford and Milton Keynes, lets see what next week brings!!


It's winter tyre time

We are half way through November and it's time to swop onto those winter tyres. I have already started fitting winter tyres for some of my repeat customers who mostly drive rear wheel drive cars or vans and they just find that the winter tyres give them so much more grip on the wet roads. In some parts of Europe it is law to have winter tyres fitted by now.

The Aston Martin factory based in Gaydon asked Hometyre to carry out winter tyre swops on their managers fleet cars last week. What a privilege to be able to work on super cars like the Aston Martin DB9, Aston Martin Vanquish, Aston Martin Vantage and the Aston Martin Rapide, all of these super cars sporting 19 and 20 inch wheels. It was also great to see these super cars rolling of the production line and to hear the raw of the engines. We also managed to get a glimpse of the Aston Martin DB10 of which only ten were built specially for James Bond's new movie Spectre.

Look forward to going back in the summer!!!


Wheel Vibration

I had a very interesting job this morning. Got a call from a customer in Milton Keynes with a Honda Civic who suspected that his near side rear wheel needed to be balanced as it had a bad vibration. On closer inspection I found that both rear tyres were 5 years old and badly cracked and perished. I removed the wheel and found that the grub screw that holds the rear brake disc in place was fitted incorrectly causing the wheel rim not to sit flush against the hub and was the cause of the vibration . . . shame on the mechanic who did the job!

I rectifed the problem and fitted 2 new Avon ZV5 205/55/16 tyres to the rear then proceeded to fit the tracking gauges and check the front wheel alingment.

Wheel imbalance sorted and another very happy customer.


Kia Motors

Had a really busy week last week at Millbrook Proving Ground - Kia Motors UK were holding a test event for all there dealerships. They had ex-touring car drivers putting the Kia Pro Creed GT through their paces on the test track which, of course, put the tyres to the test.  I had to fit a few Hankook 235/55/18H and do a few tyre swaps. They also had the Sorento 4 x 4 on the off road track and it was great to work with these guys. 

Get ready for a cold winter

An early weather warning has been issued across the UK as experts forecast months of heavy snow in what is expected to be the worst winter in half-a-century.

Winter tyres make a lot of sense as in many parts of mainland Europe it is common, or even a legal requirement, for drivers to have a set of specialist 'winter' tyres fitted from the end of October.

Winter tyres use a tread rubber compound (high silica content) and tread pattern specifically designed to retain flexibility in low temperatures (below +7C) and give good braking/traction performance on snow/ice as well as on wet roads in cold conditions .

Michelin have brought out a Cross Climate tyre that performs in all weather conditions. A summer tyre with a "A" rating for wet braking. The unique V-Shaped tread pattern gives you excellent dry performance, strong snow traction and optimized fuel consumption.

Don't get caught out this winter it's going to be a wet and snowy one.


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