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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



Lexus RX locking wheelnut removal and new tyre in Chichester

One of today's jobs was a customer in Chichester who had a blowout on his way home the night before after hitting a pothole. Being a member of one of the recovery services, he called them out to put his spare on. In trying to remove the locking wheelnut the removal key sheared off. The recovery technician then tried to remove the locknut using the special tool they carry on their van. After around 10 minutes he gave up as he couldn't get it off, so he then called a recovery touck to ferry the car home.

Still being stuck with a flat tyre, and a stuck locknut, he turned to Hometyre for help. I arrived at the house and met with the customer, he gave me the car keys and showed me what was left of the removal key (not a lot). He then went back in his home and left me to get on with my job.

At Hometyre we also carry various specialist tools to help in the removal of Locknuts, after checking what type of locknut it was ( a Macgard) I was able to set up my tool with the right head and go to work hammering it into the nut. With this locknut our tool forms a 'new' key, it is not too strong, and will only last long enough to remove around four locknuts before it is destroyed. By hammering it in and turning it, it will generally remove any stuck locknut, although it takes time. All in all it took me around 30 minutes to remove all four locknuts. I was then able to jack the car up and remove the wheel with the damaged tyre. It was then taken into the van, where I removed the tyre, replaced the valve and then put on a new tyre. Finally the tyre was inflated, and balanced, before being put back on the car. The wheelnuts were torqued to the correct setting, with a new set of locknuts being fitted.

Since the damage had been caused by hitting a pothole, I then checked the wheel alignment, as a knock can put it out of alignment and cause uneven tyre wear. In this case the check showed that it was ok, and no adjustment was required.

I was then able to make up the invoice and take a payment using our card reader. Job complete.

If you have a problem with your locking wheelnuts, give us a call at Hometyre. For contact info click here.


Tracking a TVR Chimaera in Aldwick

Not often we get asked to work on a 20 year old car like this. It is the owners pride and joy and only comes out in dry weather. I fitted new tyres to the car a few months ago, but because the car was going to have some suspension parts replaced, it was decided that the tracking would be done at a later date.

That date has now come. One of the first jobs was to check the tyre pressures and adjust them to the correct settings. The car was then driven onto turn plates (These allow the wheels to move easily when making any adjustment), The steering wheel is then centered and clamped in position. I can now put the Supertracker laser alignment equipment onto the wheels and check the figures. It showed that the car front to rear was almost perfect, but the toe settings gave a figure of +3mm. This TVR should be set anywhere from toe in 1 ~ 3mm, dependent on the amount of grip you require and the type of driving you do. In this case because it is intended as a road car not for track use, it should be nearer to the 1mm setting.

The track rod nuts were loosened off using a 23mm spanner, to adjust the tie rods, most modern cars have spanner flats cut into the rod. Because this is an older car, the tie rods are just round bars. To do any adjusting you have to use a pair of molegrips, to turn the bar. As you adjust the tie rods you have to keep an eye on the laser lights and bring the wheels in until the figures arrive at the numbers you require, but at the same time the figures at the rear of the car must keep even. In this case I brought them in until they were at -1mm across the car, and the rear figures were 6.5mm each side.. Upon tightening the track rod nuts the figures moved ever so slightly, giving me -1.2mm across the car, well within the figures required.

All the laser equipment was then removed and the car taken for a test drive. The steering wheel remained level when driving straight, and there was no pull to either side. Job done!

I then completed the invoice and took a debit card payment using our on board card reader. Finally a copy of the invoice is emailed to the customer.

Should you have a classic car that shows signs of uneven tyre wear, or it pulls to one side, the give us a call at Hometyre and we will carry out a wheel alignment for you.


A Renault Clio with a flat tyre in Hove.

I was called out to a Renault Clio in Hove that had a flat tyre.

The customer explained to our sales people that her tyre had just had a puncture repair and by the time she got home it had gone flat again.

Not trusting the previous ‘Fast fit’ place, she decided to call Hometyre out to see if we could fix the problem.

We always bring a new tyre with us when attending a puncture, so if it is not repairable, then we can at least fit the new tyre, to keep the customer roadworthy.flat-tire-01_1

I arrived at the location and was able to park near to the Clio. I then went and spoke to the customer and got the keys off of her.

The next job was to jack the car up and remove the wheel, easily done as there were no locking wheel nuts. Once the wheel was off, I took it into my van for further inspection. There was no obvious object stuck in the tyre. I could see from the marks around the wheel that the previous fast fit centre thought that it was a leaking rim, as there was bead seal all around.

After putting some air into the tyre I was then able to check the valve and seals on both sides of the tyre with a leak detection fluid, but could find no problem. I then sprayed it around the tyre, and immediately saw bubbles coming from a small hole on the tyre shoulder. I marked its position, released the air from the tyre and set about removing the tyre from the rim.

Once the tyre was off, I was able to check the inside of the tyre, there was a small nail stuck through the shoulder. Also I could see that there was no previous repair to the tyre, so the other tyre company had assumed it was a leaking rim and sealed the tyre without checking it properly.

Unfortunately for this customer because of the location of the nail (Shoulders and side walls of tyres cannot be repaired) I had to fit a new tyre. Once fitted it was inflated, the wheel was balanced and then refitted to the car, with the wheel bolts being torqued to the correct settings.

I then checked all of the other tyres for condition and pressure adjusting the pressures as necessary, before filling in our report and submitting an invoice to the customer.  Payment was then taken by debit card using our on-board card reader.


Wheel alignment on a Motorhome in Goring-on-sea

One of the jobs I was called out to today was a customer who had bought a brand new Fiat Ducato Motorhome from a dealer in Lincolnshire. When he picked it up and started his drive back to Sussex, he found that the steering wheel was at an angle when driving in a straight line, also the vehicle pulled to one side. He turned round and took it back to the dealership. They took it into their workshop and adjusted the tracking, before presenting it back to the customer. He drove it back to his home in Goring-on-sea, but was still not happy with the handling, so he called us at Hometyre to see if we could check it and adjust it for him.

I arrived at his house and one of the first jobs was to check the tyre pressures as these must be correct before you can check the wheel alignment (tracking).

The pressures were supposed to be 78 psi all around according to the sticker inside the door frame. I found the following pressures: NSF 70psi, NSR 60psi, OSF 40psi, OSR 42psi. So none of them were correct and the difference from side to side would cause the vehicle to pull one way. Since this was a new vehicle, it means that the dealership had not checked it properly before handing it over, it would also affect the tracking if they had adjusted it with these errors - no wonder the customer was not happy with the handling.

I corrected the pressures, then drove the vehicle up onto turntables, put a lock onto the steering wheel to keep it straight, then fitted the supertracker laser equipment to the wheels and checked the figures. Front to rear there was a 3mm difference and side to side it should read -1mm with a tolerance of +/-1mm, yet it was reading +2mm so it was outside the tolerances required.

I undid the securing nuts on the trackrods and adjusted them to bring the vehicle back to the factory settings. Front to rear I adjusted it till both figures were the same, and at the same time bringing the toe figure to -1mm. Once this was correct, I locked up the securing nuts, and removed all of the equipment.

I then asked the customer to take it on a test drive, to see how it felt. While he was away I was able to create an invoice for the work and record all of the tyre data. When he returned I got the thumbs up sign, and he parked it back on the driveway. I took a payment using a debit card, and emailed the receipt across to the customer.

If you feel that your vehicle is not handling properly, if it pulls one way, if the steering wheel is on an angle when driving in a straight line, or if you get uneven tyre wear, then there is a good chance that your wheel alignment is out, and needs to be corrected.

Give us a call at Hometyre as we can carry out an alignment for you at home or work.


Four cars with slow leaks

Leaking tyres are this family’s problem. I was called out to a house in Worthing where the family had 4 cars all with tyre problems. When I arrived at the house the customer met me and handed over 4 sets of Keys, he went round each car telling me which tyres he had problems with. I started on the BMW, both front tyres were losing pressure every couple of days. The first job is to jack the car up, remove the front wheels and take them into my van. I checked each tyre using leak detection liquid and found that the OSF tyre had two leaks. One was from around the rim; the other was from around the valve. Once this was known I was then able to take the tyre off and check each problem area. The rim leak was caused by corrosion; this was then solved by taking the rim back to bare metal in that area, repainting it and adding a sealer to the area. The valve was a bolt in steel valve, when I checked it, it turned out to have only been finger tight. I could wobble the valve around allowing air to leak out.. This was an easy repair – I removed the valve, cleaned it up along with the rim and re-fitted it tightening it up correctly and refitted the tyre. I then checked the second wheel and found it also had a leaking valve which was also only finger tight. So off came the tyre, the rim and valve were cleaned and the valve and tyre refitted. Finally both wheels were balanced then re fitted back on the car. The second car was a VW Golf, it had a leak in the NSR tyre. I jacked the car up and removed the wheel, the cause of the leak was easily apparent as there was a screw stuck in the tyre. It was possible to repair the tyre, but when I looked at the remaining tread depth it was only 3mm, which is only 1.4mm of legal tread. When I showed this to the customer he agreed that it would be better to fit a new tyre. Luckily I had a budget tyre of the right size in the van, so I was able to fit it for him and refit the wheel back on the car. A check of the other tyres on the car showed that they had been changed recently and the damaged tyre was the only old tyre on the car, so this change meant they now had a car with four good tyres. The third car was a Ford Mondeo, it had a slow leak on the NSR, so I jacked up the car removed the wheel and took it into the van. The leak detection liquid soon showed that this was also a leaking valve, but this time it was a rubber valve. The valve rubber had hardened and cracked causing the leak. I removed the tyre, took out the old valve, cleaned up the valve area, before fitting a new rubber valve. The tyre was then refitted, rebalanced and the wheel put back on the car. On to the final car, this was a Porsche with a slow leak on the NSF tyre. I jacked it up removed the wheel and took it into the van, I soon found that this was a leak from around the rim, again it was caused by corrosion. I removed the tyre cleaned up the rim, repainted it, added a sealer and refitted the tyre and balance it. It was then put back on the car. Part of the work we do entails checking all of the tyres on a vehicle both for tread depth and for pressure. We then correct any pressures that are wrong, write all the details into a report and email it to the customer along with the invoice. I handed all the keys back to the customer and took a payment for the work using our on board card reader. Job complete and one happy customer with four useable cars. Should you have slow leaks on your vehicles, or just need new tyre, then give us a call at Hometyre.

Nokian winter tyres

With the cold wet weather on the way, it is worth considering fitting winter (or snow) tyres to your vehicle, even here in the UK once the temperature drops below 7 Degrees Centigrade, then winter tyres come into their own. Being a softer compound that does not harden in lower temperatures, they give better grip, handling and braking when cold.

We at Hometyre can supply and fit new tyres for you, if you give us a call we can discuss your choices of tyre. Here in the UK the wholesalers only bring in a selected amount of winter tyres, once these have been sold there is little chance of getting more. Because Scotland has colder weather than us in the south of England, they order tyres earlier, and use up most of the UK's allotment of winter tyres.

In most of Europe it is mandatory to fit winter tyres from October through to March. If you are planning a skiing holiday abroad and planning to take your own car, then you need to check the legal requirements before you travel.

Another option that you can consider is to fit 'all season tyres' like the Michelin Cross Climate tyres, which at the moment are regarded as one of the better all season tyres on the market at the moment. These types of tyre are designed to be used all through the year and are ideal for use in the UK where we have very variable weather conditions.

One of the jobs I was called out to this week was to fit a set of Nokian winter tyres to a Mercedes E class in Hove. The customer drives a lot for his work and felt that he needed the added safety that winter tyres give in the cold weather. He had checked the internet and studied many different types of tyre and came to the conclusion that the Nokian's offered some of the best wet weather grip that he could find. He called us up, ordered the tyres and booked an appointment at 2pm on Tuesday. I arrived approximately 5 minutes early, and obtained the keys from the customer. He had already got the locking wheelnut key ready for me, so I was able to jack the car up and remove each wheel in turn. Took it into my van and removed the summer tyre. I marked it up with the position of the car from where it came. This would allow it to be put back in the same position next spring. Each winter tyre was fitted and inflated to the correct pressures, balanced and fitted back on the car, with the bolts being torqued to the correct settings.

The summer tyres will be kept in his shed ready to be swapped back next spring. On this car the wheels are fitted with sensor valves giving a constant tyre pressure reading, once the change over is completed, I check the sensors using a diagnostic machine to make sure they are all working before filling in the invoice and taking a payment from the customer.


Six tips to help maintain your tyres

The only things keeping your car on the road and under control are four patches of rubber no bigger than a postcard.

1. Make sure you have the right tyres for your car. Check in your cars manual or on the tyre pressure sticker (usually located inside the door opening or fuel filler cap) it will tell you the tyre size, speed and load rating recommended for your car.

I have seen some cars with odd sized tyres front and rear, where people have fitted a wrong size just because it was readily available or in one case a customer was driving round on a spare wheel, not realising it was a completely different size.

If you have had wider rims fitted, then you will need to change the tyre width, but you should also change the tyres profile size. Otherwise the rolling distance will change and effect the speedometer reading. If you fit smaller tyres on wider rims, this will cause stress to the tyre and can cause tyre problems.

If your car is fitted with runflats, then do not mix them with normal tyres as this will cause handling problems, and may invalidate your insurance.

2. Check the tyres condition. Ideally you should check your tyres on a monthly basis. Look for any sign of visible damage, cuts, cracks, lumps (mainly on the sidewall), or foreign objects stuck in the tread. Cuts, cracks and lumps cannot be fixed, but most punctures in the tread can be repaired.

Don't forget to check the spare occasionally, it's no good finding its cracked and deflated, when you are stuck on the side of the road.

3. Check your tyre pressures monthly. All tyres loose air at a slow rate, so they should be checked and inflated regularly. Correctly inflated tyres will last longer, hold the road better, improve fuel consumption and give better braking. Include the spare when checking the pressures, if you have a space-saver tyre check the sidewall as that will tell you the pressure it should be run at. Most space savers should be 60 psi.

Some garages recommend using nitrogen instead of air, as nitrogen particles are larger and will filter more slowly through the rubber, also nitrogen particles do not change so much in differing temperatures. A number of independent companies have checked the viability of nitrogen and said that in normal cars it has very little to no effect, and they don't recommend it.

4. Check your tyre tread depth. The legal limit in the UK is 1.6mm across ¾ of the tyre width and all around the circumference. Although once you get below 3mm you may start to notice your car slipping on wet or icy roads. Tyresafe (an independent tyre safety company) recommend that you should consider changing


your tyres once they reach 3mm.

A simple way of checking is to look at the tread depth indicators which are placed at regular intervals around the tyre. When these indicators are level with the tread, then it is time to change the tyre.

5. Rotate your tyres. Rear tyres on most cars wear more slowly, so they can be left on the car for years at which point they crack before they wear out. Front to rear swaps are recommended if replacing your front tyres, you should have the new tyres fitted to the rear and move the old tyres to the front. While moving tyres around you should also have the wheels re-balanced. Badly balanced wheels cause vibration through the suspension and steering rack which can cause wear on these parts leading to damage over longer periods.

6. Tracking (wheel alignment). Have your wheel alignment checked around every 8,000 miles, or if you hit a pothole or kerb.

A badly aligned car will cause uneven tyre Tracking_Peugeotwear, can pull the car to one side, increase fuel consumption and effect the handling. Laser alignment bringing the car back to factory settings can be carried out on site at your home or work, on average it takes around an hour to complete.

Hometyre can not only replace tyres for you on site, but we also carry out Electronic balancing, and laser wheel alignments. Call 03334445454 for mor info or to book an appointment.


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