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Van tyres, saving you time and money.

Are you one of the many van owners who uses your van for business. Builders, plumbers, electricians, roofers, carpenters, etc. Or are you a business that has a fleet of vans.

We at Hometyre can save you time and money every time you need replacement tyres. If you take your van to a tyre depot, you lose time and money travelling there, plus the time sat there while the tyres are changed, and that's if they do your tyres immediately.

Where if you make one simple phone call to Hometyre, we will come to you wherever you are working. We will bring your choice of tyre and fit it on site, including fitting replacement rubber valves, and balancing the wheels. Our prices include Vat, and we will email you a vat receipt upon completion of the job.

We can also carry out a wheel alignment on site using our Supertracker laser equipment.

I already change tyres for a number of companies, who like the fact that we will come to them at a place and time to suit their schedule.

Last week I was called out to the Ashington area, to a company called Paul Simon Marquees, they provide marquees for weddings and parties across the South. At this time of year they are very busy and need to keep their fleet of vans roadworthy. Paul called us out as two of the vans had low tread, and a third had a puncture. He wanted us to come to him at 5pm while at his base, to replace the tyres while his crew were loading the vans ready for an early start the next morning.

I arrived at the site, and soon had the vans jacked up, and the tyres, changed. The punctured tyre turned out to only have 2.5mm of tread remaining, so it was not worth repairing, especially with the mileage Paul is doing at the moment. When coming to repair a tyre we always bring a replacement tyre, just in case it is needed. In this case I was able to fit the new tyre, and get his vans ready for the road.

As part of our service we also check all the other tyres and give the customer a tyre report, so they know the condition of each tyre (Including the spare). In checking one of Pauls other vans I found a cut in the sidewall of one tyre, that had not been seen, it was through to the cords and was dangerous. Unfortunately I didn't have another additional tyre, so I put the spare on for him. I then took the damaged tyre away with me, ordered another tyre and fitted it. I then returned the wheel with tyre to Pauls storage site the next day.

Should you need tyres for your vans, call us at Hometyre to see what we can do for you.


Lexus Track day support at Goowood

Hometyre were contacted by a company that supplies professional test drivers to motoring organisations, to test/drive their cars for them at various events around the country. Whether it be new vehicles, modifications to existing vehicles or just showing off the cars abilities to customers. I was asked to spend 2 days supporting a team who were driving vehicles for Lexus.

They had sent their cars to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed, then after the event they wanted their cars to be put through their paces on the race track with vip customers being taken out with professional drivers.

A team of technicians are on hand to check the cars and do any adjustments as required. During the runs made at the Festival of speed and from the test runs, the tyres get worn and need replacing. For this they chose Hometyre to support them for the test period.

There were 6 cars based in the race side pits, which were used to go round the track, with further cars available for open road driving. When modifications, brake pads or tyres were required, the cars are brought out to the 'Paddock' where I was stationed.

Day 1, I was at the track at 7:45 to prep the cars before the days event, tyres were checked and pressures adjusted, all ready for the start. Drivers arrived around 8:30, had a team talk, then off they went in the vehicles. After an hour or so a RCF limped into the Paddocks with an odd knocking sound. It turned out to be one tyre that had delaminated on the outer edge, half of the tread had come away, and the remaining half was loose on the casing. Being that they wanted the car to drive in the best possible way, the decision was made to change both front tyres. It was soon jacked up, old tyres were removed and it was re-fitted with 255/45R19 Michelins. While I was working on the wheels, a crew of detainers jumped on the car cleaning off all the burnt rubber and giving it a quick clean before it went back out to the track.

Next in was one of the CL500's … with a puncture, a piece of aluminium had pierced the tyre. Luckily it was small enough to warrant a repair, especially as there was still around 6 mm of tread remaining. It took around 20 minutes, to fix and off it went back to the track. At the end of day 1 all the cars were checked over to see if any work was required before the next day. No tyres were required although they did move some of the front wheels from the right to the left of the car. This was due to mostly left turning on the track which was causing the NSF outside edge to wear.

Day 2. Again a quick check of tyres and pressures, it was decided to drop the front pressures from 2.5 bar to 2.2 bar, due to the heat generated going round the track, which when warm increased the original pressures up to 2.9 bar. Off the cars went : each ' customer' gets two laps round the track with a professional driver, who then swaps seats and allows the customer 20 minutes of high speed driving. At lunch time, two of the RCF cars came in to have their front tyres changed. Again one of the tyres had started to delaminate, and the others were showing signs of wear on the edges, where they were cornering hard. New tyres fitted, lunch over and the cars were back out on the track.

No more changes were required during the afternoon, and at the end of the day the cars were loaded onto transporters to be returned to the Lexus UK HQ.

Should you require track day support, call us at Hometyre. 03334445454.


Buying a used caravan

Buyer beware.

If you are new to caravanning and are thinking of buying a second hand caravan, then you should make sure you check the tyres before venturing onto the road with it. That bargain priced caravan might hold some hidden dangers…

This week I was called out to replace two tyres on a caravan, the couple that owned it bought it last year from an advert in a local paper. it was only £250 which they thought was a bargain as they could have family holidays very cheaply. In fact they did use it over the summer holidays last year, travelling around the UK.

Being new to caravanning, they didn't make any checks on its condition, just hooked it up and off they went. It was only this year when planning a few more holidays, that they came across an article in a magazine telling them how to check their tyres. From the outside they looked fine, but within the tread there were large cracks. A quick post on Facebook asking for recommendations, brought them to Hometyre.

After talking to our team, they booked me in to change their tyres at their house, which is where the caravan is kept. When I arrived one of the first checks I did was to make sure, we had the sizes correct, I then asked for the tyre pressures (No idea!), I then checked the old tyres for pressure (to get some idea of what was required) and at the same time I checked the date on the existing tyres. They were dated 216◀️ which means week 21, 1996, so the tyres were 22 years old. The handbrake was on, but the wheels were still spinning, which led me to believe that the caravan had not been serviced for a while. Upon checking with the couple, they admitted that they didn't realise that caravans needed servicing. I explained about the non-working brakes, and went on to explain about the electrics, water and gas, all of which could cause serious problems if not inspected on a regular basis.

So if you are considering buying a used caravan, whether from a dealer or a private purchase, ask to see the service schedule, and check the tyres for age and condition. All modern tyres since 1980 have a date code on one side of the tyre wall. Generally you look for the letters DOT, just after it are usually some code letters/ numbers and finally there should be four numbers. These four numbers are the date, I.e. 2018 would equate to week 20, 2018. If there are only 3 numbers then that tyre is from the 80's, if it has 3 numbers followed by a triangle it is from the 90's.

We at Hometyre go by the recommendations of the caravan club, who say that caravan tyres should be changed every 5 to 7 years, regardless of the amount of tread remaining. Some insurance companies also insist, that caravan tyres are changed every 7 years, otherwise your insurance is invalid. Not something you want to find out, when you are on the side of a road, after having a blow out, swerving across the road and wiping out a car that was coming the opposite way. Be safe, check your tyres.

You should also consider Tyron safety bands for added protection. we at Hometyre are recommended suppliers and fitters of Tyron products. For more info on Tyrons click here.

Tyron_4 Showing a Tyron band


How to check your tyres

A tyre that gets regular use is generally in better condition than one that gets little use. This is because a well used tyre flexes which is good for the rubber. Tyres used on caravans and trailers generally get little use and the rubber hardens, and can then crack when used. For this reason, it is recommended that caravan tyres are changed every 5 to 7 years. Some insurance companies even insist on it.

When checking your tyres make sure you check them all, and include the spare if fitted.

The legal tread depth on a tyre in the UK is 1.6mm over 3/4 of the tread and all around the circumference. A quick easy check is to look at the tread depth indicators, these are small rubber mouldings spaced all around the tyre within the tread. These mouldings are approximately 2mm in height, so when they are level with the tread, the it is the ideal time to call us for new tyres.

When checking your tyres, it is not only the tread depth you should be looking at. You should also look at the sidewalls and within the tread for cracks.

Also check the tyre pressures, as if one tyre shows a pressure loss, then this may be the result of a puncture. Catching a puncture early means there is a better chance of repairing it, before low pressure causes the car to run on the rim damaging the tyre beyond repair.

To get a better idea of your tread depth, you can invest in a tyre tread depth gauge, this will allow you to make regular checks around the tyre and give a more accurate idea of the actual depths.

What can cause uneven tyre wear?

Premature tyre wear can be caused by improper tyre inflation. Over inflation will cause the tyre to wear out in the centre, under inflation will cause it to wear on both edges. Improper inflation also effects fuel consumption, braking distances and handling.

Wheel alignment also effects the wear, as it will cause one side of the tyre to wear, it is recommended to have your alignment checked every 8000 miles, once a year or every time you change your tyres. Generally wheelnut alignment effects the front tyres more than the rear. Adjustment to the rear wheels is more difficult, and is not always possible (Some cars have fixed axles).

What is the point of tread depth?

Most new tyres come with between 7 ~ 8mm of tread, when you get down to 3mm you will notice a loss of traction, and it is recommended to replace your tyres, even though you haven't reached the legal limit. Tread depth gives you grip on the road, especially if the roads are wet. Tread disperses water, the less tread depth, its grip is reduced and thus braking distances increase.

A newer tyre will disperse around 15litres of water every second, as your tread depth decreases so does the ability to disperse water. This can lead to aquaplaning, this is where your tyre hits a patch of water on the road and skims across the surface, potentially losing control.


Panther Kalista with wire wheels in RH20

A customer called Hometyre out to work on his Panther Kalista with wire wheels. He had a puncture in one tyre, and took it to a tyre depot to be repaired, they informed him that the inner tube was beyond repair. The garage also told him that there should have been a rubber protective band around the wheel covering the spoke fixing points, as these rub against the inner tube causing a puncture. It would take a week before they could get the required parts and be able to help him.

He bought new inner tubes and rubber protective bands himself, then called hometyre out to fit them for him. I arrived at his house in Pulborough, and he explained the problem to me, he wanted me to fix the flat tyre, then check all of the other tyres to see if they had rubber protective bands, if not then I was to strip down each wheel and fit them correctly.

The damaged wheel was already off the car, so I took it into my van and stripped it of its tyre, I checked around the rim for any signs of rust and cleaned up the wheel. The new protective bands were fitted, the tyre was replaced, then the tyre was pushed down and the inner tube inserted. It was then inflated to the correct pressure for this car. Once inflated the wheel was mounted on the balancing machine using two cones, as this is the only was to ensure that wire wheels rotate accurately. It was then spun and sticky weights were added to the inside of the rim to remove any in-balance. By putting the weights on the inside it keeps the outside of the wheel looking good. I also covered the weights with a strip of aluminium tape as this keeps the whole appearance shiny and clean, matching the chromed wheels. I then fitted the wheel onto the car and torqued the nuts to the correct setting.

Once complete I then jacked up the car and took off another wheel and took it into the van to check it out. It turned out to be the same, so in the end I had to fit protective bands to all five wheels.

Should you have a classic car, that needs tyres, then call us at Hometyre click here for contact details



TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) valve repair on a BMW.

I was called out to a rush job today on a BMW 3 Series GT, the customer called into Hometyre to say that he had a broken TPMS sensor valve, and he needed an urgent repair as he was going on holiday tomorrow morning at 5am. I was not too far away and had some free time before my next job, so I went out to his house. He explained that his wife had bought and fitted aftermarket metal dust caps to the valves, not realising that the different metal would react to the TPMS valve stem causing corrosion. He went to remove the dust caps to check the tyre pressures before their trip, only to find them stuck, he used a pair of pliers, but in trying to undo the cap he snapped the valve stem causing an immediate deflation.

One phone call later and we were booked in to come to their aid.

an56_1bI carry a set of different TPMS valve stems along with retaining nuts fitted with new rubber seals. I also have new blank sensors which we can programme to correspond with your car, so that its on-board computer doesn't even know they have been changed.

Once at the address, I soon had the car jacked up and the wheel removed, it was then taken into my van and the tyre was removed from the rim. This enabled me to get to the sensor valve and remove the retaining nut, taking the whole unit off. I was then able to compare it to our charts to find the correct fitting valve stem. Once found I was able to remove the old stem from the sensor, and fit the new stem, it was then fitted into the rim, and secured with a new nut and rubber seal.

The tyre was then refitted to the rim, and inflated to the correct pressure. The wheel was then balanced before fitting back on the car and being torqued to the correct setting. I then checked and adjusted the tyre pressures on the rest of the tyres, I then used my diagnostic tool to check that all of the TPMS sensors were working. Finally I completed a tyre report, and took a credit card payment from the customer using our on-board card reader. A receipt and full report will then be emailed through to the customer.

Should you have a problem with your sensors give us a call at Hometyre (Click here for contact details) to see what we can do for you, and remember that and new car fitted with sensor valves after 2014, must have them working to be able to pass an MOT.


Flat tyre causes damage to the car.

Not all punctures are caused by nails or screws.

One of the jobs I was called out too, was the Skoda Octavia in the photo.


The owner had very little warning apart from a loud bang followed by further loud noises. He immediately pulled over to the side of the road and found that a strip of tread had come away from the main carcass of the tyre. It had spun round with the wheel and caused damage to the front bumper (you can see the split inside the front area of the wheel arch). It also smashed the inner lining of the front wing as well as deflating the tyre. The owner abandoned his car on the side of the road, and called out Hometyre.

I had some free time between jobs, and was able to pick up a replacement tyre locally. I met him at his car, and soon had it jacked up and the wheel taken off. It was then taken into my van where I changed the tyre, fitted a new valve, and balanced the wheel before fitting it back on his car. I then checked all of the other tyres on his car, inflated them all to the correct pressures. Before completing a report & invoice.

There was no obvious sign of any puncture that may have been responsible for this damage. The only conclusion could be that it was a poorly manufactured tyre, and the tread had just delaminated from the casing. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen occasionally.

In the last 10 years I have been out to 3 cars where this has happened. If we at Hometyre have supplied the tyres and think it could be a manufacturing fault, we will send the tyre back under complaint. The tyre will be inspected, and if it is a fault, the manufacturer will refund the cost of the tyre. In this case the customer just wanted us to replace the tyre, he was then going to take the old tyre to the tyre depot where he got it, to discuss his options with them.

This is one of the reasons you should stop as soon as possible if you think you have a puncture, as a flat tyre can come off of the rim and cause serious damage to your car.

The resulting repair costs can be ££££'s rather than ££'s for a new tyre. Not only that, but if a puncture is detected early enough, it may be repairable as long as it is in the central ¾ of the tread area.

For more info on punctures and repairs click on the link here or give us a call at Hometyre on 03334445454.


Stretched tyres

There is a fad at the moment, for having tyres stretched on rims. This is where drivers fit tyres onto wider rims than are designed.. This is something we at Hometyre will not do for customers, as it is a dangerous practice. It puts a tyre under extreme strain which could tesult in a blowout, or the tyre coming off of the rim.

The police have also now come out to say, it is illegal and any vehicles stopped that have stretched tyres will be issued with a vehicle rectification form.

Not only that, but if the vehicle is illegal, then it would automatically mean it is not covered by insurance.

Should you have stretched tyres on your car and wish to have normal tyres fitted, give us a call at Hometyre on 03334445454.


How to claim for a manufacturing fault on a tyre.

Have you had a tyre that has failed prematurely? This does not include getting a puncture or hitting a pothole / kerb and damaging the tyre yourself.

Very occasionally a tyre can fail due to a manufacturing fault, it is rare, but it does happen. When a tyre is manufactured it is made up of numerous layers of rubber, material and wire. The rubber itself is not pure rubber, but is a mix of various items mixed with silicon and other chemical components.

During manufacture some layers can get missed, or if the rubber mix contains too much or too little silicon it will cause problems. These can include cracks appearing on the side walls or within the tread, very unusual tread wear or even the tyre delaminating (where the different layers come apart).

Should you notice a serious problem like this happening to your tyres, then contact the company that supplied and fitted your tyres. There is a course of action that they should follow.
Unfortunately for you 'the customer', it means you must buy replacement tyres first.
The tyre fitting company must then remove your 'damaged' tyre, and send it along with a 'Tyre under complaint' form back to the wholesaler who supplied it, they then send it back to the manufacturer to inspect.
The manufacturers have teams of specialists who will check the tyre for damage and they will also check the chemical makeup of the tyre. If they do agree that there was a fault that could be put down to manufacturing, then they will refund some or all of the cost dependant on how old the tyre is and the mileage it has covered.
The whole process is not fast, it can take between 6 to 12 weeks before you get an answer.
We at Hometyre will always help our customers with the process, and will refund any money given back by the manufacturers.
In the last 9 years, I have sent back 8 tyres under complaint.
One turned out to be a puncture, the customer did not see it was flat and they then drove on it until the tyre fell apart (a screw was still stuck in the tread), No payout.
One had very unusual wear on the inside edge of a tyre, that had covered 6000 miles. 60% payout.
Four had cracks appear all around the tread after only 2500 miles of driving. 85% payout.
One had a big chunk of tread 200mm X 30mm that delaminated from the main structure after only two weeks and around 300 miles, 100% payout.
One is at the manufacturers now being checked, it has two sidewall cracks after only 20 miles. Still pending…..


Two new tyres and a locknut removal on a Volvo XC60 in Chichester

One of this weeks jobs was to replace two tyres on a Volvo XC60, the customer had called in and selected the tyres they required, but also told us that the locking wheelnut removal key is missing. The customer had managed to remove one locknut using a hammer and chisel, it had taken him over an hour and he had damaged the alloy wheel in the process. Not wanting to damage the other wheels, he decided to call out Hometyre.

I arrive at the job, and checked out the locknuts on the car, they were the newer type fitted to both Ford's and Volvo's. These look like a normal nut, with a locking mechanism at the bottom. The nut itself just spins around if you try to undo it with a socket. Also since the mechanism is at the bottom of the nut it is difficult to get to, which is why an alloy will get damaged if you use a hammer & chisel.

We at Hometyre have a specialist tool that can remove all types of locknut. It comes with interchangeable heads to suit different types of locknut. In this case it has a head that fits over the spinning nut and has teeth that cut into the mechanism at the bottom. By using our service the customer will get his locknuts removed without anymore damage to the alloy wheels, we will then be able to remove the wheels and change his tyres.

I set up my tool with a head designed to fit over the revolving nut and cut into the base area, then using it with an impact driver I was able remove the 3 remaining locknuts in around 15 minutes. I was then able to jack up the car and remove both front wheels, they then were taken into my van and both old tyres were removed and were replaced with new tyres. The wheels were balanced and they were then refitted to the car. The owner was going to replace the locknuts that had been removed with ordinary nuts as he didn't want the same problem to occur at a later date.

I then took a payment using our onboard card reader, and sent a receipt through by email.


Locknut removal, new tyre and tracking on a Vauxhall in Barnham

Hometyre was called to fit a tyre to a Vauxhall Signum in Barnham, when the customer booked the job in he said that he was having trouble locating the locking wheel nut removal tool, so we may have to do a locknut removal. Additionally the problem with the tyre was caused by one side of the tyre wearing down to the wires, while the other side had 4 to 5mm of tread remaining. This made him think he had a tracking problem, so he wanted us to also carry out a wheel alignment.

I arrived at the job and the customer explained that he had put the locknut removal tool down in his garage, but had been unable to locate it since, so it was definite that we would have to do a removal as part of the job.

The car was fitted with Mcgard locknuts, these are the ones that look like a clover leaf type pattern with a revolving ring around the top. This makes then difficult to remove with most aftermarket removal tools that can be bought on line. We at Hometyre have specialist tools just for jobs like this, our tool comes with interchangeable heads for different types of locknut. I selected the head for this type of nut and hammered it onto the locknut, it took a number of hits and about 5 minutes to get it loose.

Once free, I was then able to jack the car up and remove the wheel, it was then taken into my van where I removed the tyre from the wheel, I also removed the old rubber valve and cleaned up the rim. A new valve was inserted, tyre wax was added to the rim and a new tyre was fitted. It was then inflated to the correct pressure and put onto the balancing machine. The wheel was spun and weights added at the correct points to counterbalance any inaccuracies.

Before putting the wheel back on the car I cleaned up and oiled the tie-rod nuts then loosened them off. The wheel was then put on and torqued to the correct setting, the car was lowered and the jack put away. I then cleaned up and loosened off the tie-rod on the opposite side. Before starting the wheel alignment, I checked and adjusted the tyre pressures on all the other tyres. The supertracker laser alignment was then put on the car, and the figures checked against the factory settings. It was easy to see from the figures that the car was badly out on one side. Using the laser lights, I was able to make adjustments to both sides until I had the car back to correct settings. All of the equipment was then taken off the car, and I took it for a test drive before returning it back to the customers address.

Happy with the feel of the test drive, I completed the tyre report and invoice before taking a payment from the customer. His receipt will then be emailed through to him.

Vaux_signum_march_18 Supertracker laser alignment on a Vauxhall Signum.


Slow punctures on a Mercedes C class in PO22

Today I was called out to a customer with a Mercedes C class that had a slow puncture. When I met the customer at his home, he told me that his TPMS warning light kept coming on, he kept pumping up his tyres but since he only uses the car occasionally, he couldn't remember which tyre was the problem.

I took out my air gauge to check all the tyres and found that both tyres on the offside were approx. 15 psi down, so it was decided that I would check them both.

I soon had the car jacked up and took off the front wheel, a check around the outside did not show any obvious punctures. The next check was to squirt leak detector all around the valve and rim areas. This soon showed that there was a leak around the rim.

The tyre was then deflated and using the bead breaker in the van, I loosened off the tyre and then removed it from the rim. Checking the rim showed up the problem, there was corrosion which had lifted the paint inside the rim allowing air to escape. The next job was to remove any loose paint, then using a wire brush, clean up the rim getting it back to bare metal. Once clean, I applied a bead seal to the rim, put in a new valve and refitted the tyre. It was then inflated to the correct pressure and balanced before putting back on the car.

Now to check out the rear tyre, the jack was moved to the back and the car raised. The wheel was removed from the car and taken into the van, a quick check around the tyre soon showed a screw in the tread area. This would be a simple repair, the tyre was deflated and using the bead breaker the tyre was taken off the rim.

The screw in the tread was removed and a 6mm hole was drilled through the tyre, a plug patch was then glued in place sealing the hole. A quick check around the inside showed that there had been a previous puncture, which had been temporarily repaired with string and glue. This is not something that should be left, as it is a 'get you home' repair only. So I removed the string plug and glued in a proper plug patch in its place. A new valve was put in the rim, the tyre was refitted and the wheel balanced. The wheel was then bolted back on the car, and the bolts on both wheels were then torqued to the correct settings.

Once finished I was then able to complete the tyre report, and the invoice before taking a payment by debit card using our on board card reader.


Hometyre Sussex was out fitting tyres in the snow

The beast from the East, dropped a fair amount of snow across Sussex, this did not stop Hometyre from getting out and replacing tyres for customers across the county. Our mobile service vehicle is equipped with winter tyres so we were able to travel around as normal.

I had many customers that week who found that their tyre tread was low, and trying to move on snow was almost impossible.Audi_A5_snow This picture shows an Audi A6, where the customer had hit a pothole, and had burst a tyre.

This was around 6:30 pm and was the last job of the day, which is why there are lights on in my van. The customer wanted a Dunlop sport maxx GT to match the other tyres on the car. After fitting the tyre I also carried out a free wheel alignment check as hitting something solid like a pothole or a kerb can knock the tracking out. In this case the car was well withing the recommended settings and didn't need any adjustment.

Caravan_snow_swift_2 Just because it was snowing, it didn't stop this Swift caravan owner from wanting his caravan tyres changing, as well as having a set of Tyron safety bands fitting. He and his wife use their caravan all year round, so he wanted the tyres changing as they were planning to get away the following weekend, snow or not.

Easter is the traditional time for most caravan owners to plan their first trip, this year Easter is very early, starting at the end of March. So if you are planning to take your caravan out then check your tyres and if they are more than 7 years old, give us a call at hometyre to get them replaced. For contact details click here.


Volvo locking wheel nut removal in Hove.

I was called out to remove the locking wheelnuts on a Volvo V50, the customer had lost the original removal key, and needed the wheels off to change the brake pads ready for an MOT.

When I arrived at the job, he told me that he had managed to get one locknut off himself, it had taken him 2 hours and he didn't want to do it again on the other 3 wheels.  He also said that he had bought locknut removers from Halfords, but they did not work.

The locknuts on this car are the new type fitted to both Volvo and Ford models. They have a spinning nut, with a locking device at the bottom, this means that there is not a lot of room around the nut to get at the lock area. Also hammering on a socket or reverse thread device will not work, as the top nut just spins round. 

I could see from the wheel the customer had worked on, that he had a lot of trouble, as he had damaged the alloy wheel quite badly. 


(See top Photo)

My specialist tool, has different heads, dependant on the type of locknut we have to remove. In this case, I have a special Volvo head, which goes over the spinning nut and locates into the lock area, allowing me to remove it.

It took me around 20 minutes to get the other 3 locknuts off, with no damage to the alloy wheels. (See bottom photo)

I then loosened off all the other nuts on each wheel and then tightened them back up using a torque wrench to the correct settings.  All tyres on the car were checked for condition and tread depth. Finally I checked the pressures, and inflated them to the correct settings, before completing the invoice and taking a card payment fron one happy customer.

For more info on locknut removal, click here

Volvo locknut 2_1


New Tyres on a Kia Sportage in Chichester

Yesterday I was booked to fit two tyres and check the wheel alignment on a Kia Sportage in Chichester. The customer told me he had shied away from a mobile tyre service previously as he thought it would be far to expensive. But this time he had checked our price and compared it with other tyre suppliers and was pleasantly surprised to find our cost was lower than the others. Plus since we were coming to him he would be able to have his tyres changed at his works car park so he would also save time.

I arrived at his works and soon found the car using the number plate from our booking system. I was then able to call him and tell him I was outside ready to start. He came out and gave me the car keys along with the locking wheel nut removal socket.

My first job was to check the existing tyres on the car to make sure the new ones were the correct size. I then loosened off the lock nuts by hand, before jacking the car up and removing the rest of the wheel nuts. Each wheel was then taken into my van, where they were deflated and the tyres removed. Since this car is fitted with TPMS sensor valves, they are inspected but not replaced. (We can carry out a service to these valves at an additional cost if required). The new tyres were fitted and inflated to the correct pressures, they were then balanced before being fitted back on the car, with the nuts being tightened using a torque wrench. I also checked the pressures and the tread depths of the other two tyres, before completing the report and taking a payment.

Should you need tyres for your vehicle, give us a call click here for contact details.

After the job I was please to see the customer left the following review on Twitter.

@HometyreSussex thank you so much for fitting 2 New tyres for me yesterday. I won't go anywhere else now, really impressed. Even cheaper than blackcircles! Keep up the excellent work!



Horse trailer tyres in Eartham

One of the jobs that was booked in this week was a horse trailer that had a flat tyre, the customer had bought the trailer last week, but it had a flat tyre. She was hoping it was just a puncture repair, but asked us to bring a couple of tyres just in case.
I turned up at the stables to find the trailer parked up between a few other trailers, but there was enough space around it, so it didn't need moving. The customer told me that they had tried to remove the wheel nuts themselves, but they were rusted solid and would not come undone.
Before jacking the trailer up, I needed to work on the wheel nuts first. Since this horse trailer had four wheels each held by 5 nuts, that meant 20 nuts had to be worked on. My impact driver soon had most of the the nuts loose. Two were proving to be a problem, they just did not move, even when I tried with a 3ft breaker bar, this was not just rust…. They had been massively over tightened in the first place. The only option was to add so heat to the nuts, to expand the nut on the thread and crack any rust. I carry a small blow torch in my tool kit, and this was used to heat the nuts up, then using the impact driver I was able to get each nut to move. Once complete each nut will be tightened up using a torque wrench to 110NM.
The jack was brought out of the van and placed under the main frame of the trailer, jacking it up till the wheel was high enough to be removed. I was then able to inspect it and check the date on the sidewall. The tyre turned out to be 12 years old and the reason for the air loss was a split between the tread caused by the rubber perishing. So it was definitely going to be a new tyre. Checking the other tyres on the trailer confirmed that two, one on each side had recently been replaced, but the other matching tyre was also 12 years old, and splits were visible between the treads. The customer agreed to having that tyre changed as well, so that the trailer would be safe for carrying her horse.
Each tyre was brought into my van and the old tyres removed, new valves were fitted to the rims along with new light commercial tyres. Although the rims were very rusty on the outside, they were in good condition inside. They were both then balanced before fitting them back on the trailer. As part of our service we also inflate the tyres on your vehicle to the correct recommended pressures. Checking this trailer I found one tyre at 36psi, and two tyres at 26 psi, the correct pressures for this trailer is 65 psi.
Horse trailers are similar to caravans, in that they often stand in one place for long periods and only go on the road occasionally. With caravans it is recommended to change tyres every 7 years and I think horse trailers should follow similar recommendations. Your horse is your pet, why take on the road in a trailer that could be unsafe.
Should you need new tyres for your horse trailer call us at Hometyre Sussex, we will come to you at your stables or where ever you keep the trailer.

Citroen DS3 Locknut removal in Arundel

This week a customer in Arundel called to say he had been to a local tyre depot to have a tyre changed and they had used an air wrench on his locking wheelnut breaking it in two. They then told him that they could not get if off and they could not help him anymore.

Being stuck with a bald tyre and a broken locknut, he turned to the internet and found a review for Hometyre, where the person had used Hometyre to remove a locking wheelnut on his Citroen, which had been done successfully. This made him decide to call out Hometyre for his car.

I arrived at his address, where he showed me to his car and the offending locknut, he gave me the keys and left me to it.

I carry a number of different removal tools depending on the type of locknut I have to remove. Once I had taken a look the nut I was able to workout which tool to use. It took me around 20 minutes, but I soon had the damaged locknut off. I was then able to jack the car up remove the rest of the nuts and take the wheel off, once off it was taken into my van where I removed the tyre. the old valve was removed and a new valve inserted. I then replaced the tyre with a new one and inflated it to the correct pressure. The wheel was then put on the balancing machine and spun to show an inaccuracy of 30g. Stick on weights were added to the wheel to counteract the errors, bringing the wheel back to zero.locking_wheelnut_DS3

The wheel was then put back on the car and the bolts were tightened to the correct torque, the car was lowered and the jack removed.

I then checked all of the other tyres for tread depth, the pressures were also checked and corrected. Once complete I was then able to complete the receipt, take a payment using our on-board card reader and give the keys back to the customer. Since we are also members of Check a trade I also gave him a review card to complete.


4x4 Landrover tyres in Worthing

One of the jobs booked this week was for three tyres on a Landrover Freelander.

The customer had ordered 215/75R16 Continental 4x4 tyres to match one he had replaced a month ago. He had checked availability at the tyre depot he usually uses, but they could not fit his tyres for a few days. Not wanting to wait he went online and found Hometyre, we were available the next day, and we were £15 cheaper, so he booked us immediately.

When I arrived he showed me to the Freelander which had a flat front tyre, he also explained that one of the rear tyres was the spare, which was the wrong size. He bought the car second hand from a dealership about 3 months ago and pointed out to them that the spare was worn out. They agreed to put a new one on for him, but it was only when he came to use it, that he realised it was the wrong size. When I checked the date, it also turned out to be a 15 year old tyre - the Freelander was only 8 years old…. I personally think the dealership just fitted an old part worn tyre.

The customer decided to have 3 new tyres, and keep the one good old tyre as a spare.

I loosened off the locking wheelnuts, jacked up the vehicle, took off the wheel with the flat tyre, took it into my van and removed the tyre from the rim. A new valve was inserted into the rim, a new tyre was fitted and inflated to the correct pressure. It was then put onto the wheel balancing machine and spun, stick on weights were added inside the rim to equalise any inaccuracies. The wheel was then put back on the Freelander, many the bolts were tighten to the correct torque settings. The vehicle was lowered and I then repeated the process on the other tyres, when finished the 'new' spare was bolted onto the vehicle.

Finally I completed the tyre report and invoice, before taking a payment using our onboard card reader.

Should you require 4x4 tyres, give us a call at Hometyre… for contact details click here


New alloy wheels for a Motorhome in Kingston Gorse

One of this weeks jobs was to supply new alloy wheels for a motorhome, remove the old tyres from the steel wheels and move them over to the new alloys.

The customer came to us as he knew we would source the right wheels for his Motorhome, he wanted wheels with only 5 or 6 spokes to make them easy to clean. We found some suitable wheels and sent him some photos for his approval. He chose the ones he wanted and we ordered them for him.

The wheels were delivered to me at Hometyre Sussex and I then went out to the customers home in Kingston Gorse. His Motorhome is based on a Fiat Ducato and has 215/70 R16 tyres. When I arrived at his home I showed him the wheels before starting.

I then took the keys to the vehicle (This allows me to find the correct tyre pressures using the sticker inside the door frame, plus it stops any alarms from going off when I jack up the vehicle).

I started by jacking up the OSR corner of the motorhome, undid the wheel bolts, removed the wheel and took it into my van. I removed the valve core to deflate the tyre then put it into my bead breaker, to break the seal between the tyre and the rim. Once this was done, it was put on the turntable and the tyre was removed from the steel rim. A new alloy was then put onto the turntable, a new rubber valve was inserted, and the old tyre was then put onto the alloy. It was then inflated to the correct pressure and put onto the wheel balancing machine. It was then spun and sticky weights were added at the points dictated by the machine to counteract the imbalance in the tyre. Once completed the wheel was then put back onto the motorhome and the bolts were tightened to the correct torque settings for that vehicle.

I repeated this process for the other 3 wheels, I checked each tyre for date and tread depth which was recorded on our tyre report. Once complete I was able to fill in the invoice, and take a payment from the customer using our onboard card reader. The receipt is then emailed to the customer along with a copy of the tyre report.

Should you need new wheels, or tyres, then give us a call at Hometyre to see what we can get for you. Call 03334445454.


TPMS sensor valve service on a Citroen C5 in Rustington

One of today's jobs was a previous customer who had called in the day before to say he had a slow puncture and could we come out the next day to repair it.

I arrived at his house where he then told me that a second tyre had also lost pressure over night. His car is fitted with TPMS valves (Tyre Pressure Measuring Sensors) and these had been flashing a warning on his dash. I took the car keys off him along with the locking wheel nut key. I loosened of each locknut then jacked the car up and removed one of the leaking wheels. I took it into the van and checked all around for a puncture, not finding anything obvious, I sprayed the tyre with a leak detection liquid there was no hole in the tyre so I then checked all around the rim and finally the valve. Slowly bubbles started to form around the nut area of the metal bolt in valve. I informed the customer that the valve was the problem and the solution was to service the sensor valve. This involves removing the sensor valve from the wheel, then removing the metal stem and seal from the sensor. I then carry new replacement parts for these valves, so would be able to replace them with new parts which should solve the problem. These service parts cost around £12. He agreed that this was acceptable, and I should go ahead. Being a Citroen, the stem of the sensor is held in place with a small T6 screw which has to be undone and a metal connecting strip then has to be bent out, allowing the stem to come away from the sensor body.Valve_breakdown

A new stem is put in place, the connecting strip is replaced and a new T6 screw inserted. A new sealing ring with rubber seal is fitted and the complete unit is put back into the wheel and attached using a new nut. I then refitted the tyre inflated it and checked it again for leaks. This time it was all OK. The wheel was then balanced and bolted back on the car with the bolts being torqued to the correct settings.

I then moved on to the second wheel, and checked it in the same way, it also turned out to be leaking from around the valve sealing nut. I showed it to the customer, who then asked me to check the other two wheels. It turned out that they were also leaking albeit slowly. He asked me to carry out a service change to the other three wheels to make sure they were all OK. Once complete, I then scanned each sensor with our diagnostic tool, to check it is working and to get a reading on the batteries condition.

One of the problems with sensor valves is that most tyre depots do not carry out a service change to these valves, they just refit a new tyre. The problem with this is that the rubber sealing ring deteriorates over time and allows air to leak. With a normal rubber valve, any tyre change is accompanied with a rubber valve change. So on average a new rubber valve is fitted every 3 to 4 years. With sensor valves, the sensors last up to 8 years, and if the valve part is not serviced, then the rubber perishes.

We at Hometyre Sussex recommend having the sensor serviced with every tyre change and we carry a set of spares parts on our van at all times. For more information or to book a sensor service, call us at Hometyre on 03334445454



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