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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.


Jaguar Sensor valve replacement & Lock nut removal in West Wittering

A customer called to say that he had broken the stem off on his wheels sensor valve on a Jaguar XE, could we help.

Yes we can as Hometyre Sussex carries a selection of TPMS spares and sensors for all types of vehicle, plus we have a diagnostic tool that can check the condition of all the sensors on the car, and replicate any that need replacing.

I arrived at the address in the Witterings and met up with the customer. He handed over the keys for the car and said that the locking wheel nut key should be in the boot. He stayed with me while I looked for it.... it was not there! We checked the whole car and could not find the removal key anywhere. The only option if he wanted the valve fixing today, was to let me do a lock nut removal using our specialist tools. He agreed that this was the way to go as he needed the car on Monday morning, plus he would take up the missing locknut key with the Jaguar main dealer on Monday, as they were the last people to use it.

Jaguars have a rounded type of locknut that can be extremely difficult to remove, luckily I carry a tool specifically designed to get these off.

I got on with the removal and it took around 15 minutes for me to remove the nut, I was then able to remove the rest of the normal nuts take the wheel of of the car and put it in my van.

I removed the tyre, and was then able to get at the damaged sensor valve. It has a locking nut to hold it in place, which undid easily and I was able to remove the sensor unit. I checked it against the parts we carry, but did not have a replacement stem of the same design, so a new complete sensor would have to be installed.

My diagnostic tool was used to read the data of the old sensor and replicate it to a new blank unit. It was then a case of bolting the sensor unit back into the wheel replacing the tyre, balancing it, and putting it back on the car, torquing it to the correct settings. At the same time I checked and adjusted all of the tyre pressures on the rest of the wheels.

I then reset the cars TPMS computer from the menu, and checked that it was reading all of the sensors.... it was and all the tyre pressures were fine.

I made out the invoice and took a debit card payment from the customer, returned his keys and emailed him a receipt.


Classic car tyres and tracking in Ashington

I had been out to fit tyres to a Triumph Dolomite approx. 9 months ago, so I was surprised to be called out to it again this week.

The customer told me that one of the tyres was losing pressure, and he wanted it sorting out. He had asked us to bring out two new tyres just incase they were required, he also said that the car had just been into a garage for a service, MOT and had had the tracking checked.

I jacked up the car and removed the front wheel where he was getting a pressure loss. What I found was that the tyre had worn right through to the cords on the inside edge and this was why it was losing pressure. Out of interest I checked the other front tyre and found it was also down to the cords on the inside edge.

I went to tell the customer what the problem was and told him that the tracking must have been out, which caused the problem. But since he had, had it corrected then it should no longer be a problem, so all I needed to do was fit two new tyres and all should be ok. It was then that he told me that the tracking must be ok as they do it as part of the MOT! I explained that tracking is not part of the MOT, so unless he had specifically asked for and paid for tracking then I doubted that it had been checked or adjusted. I suggested that it would be worth me checking the tracking once I had replaced the tyres, as we don't charge anything to do a check, we only charge if we have to do any adjustment. He was happy with this, so I went back to the car, and took the wheels into my van and replaced the tyres, then balanced the wheels. Before putting them back on I took the opportunity to clean up and oil the track rod nuts in case I needed to make any adjustments. I then put the wheels back on the car and torqued up the bolts.

I then took the car for a quick drive to settle the suspension back down before checking the tracking. Once back I lined the car up and drove it onto turn plates, and put our supertracker laser equipment onto the wheels. This soon showed that the cars tracking was way out as I had a reading of -5 on one side and -2 on the other, giving and error of -7mm which is way off the original setting of 1.6 toe in.

I went and saw the customer and asked him to come and look at the laser alignment so that he could see for himself how bad the car was. Once he had seen the problem, he was happy for me to adjust the car.

I was surprised to find that the locknuts and trackrods all undid very easily (much easier than on many modern cars that are only a few years old). I was able to adjust the trackrods and line the car up to the correct settings. I then asked the customer to take it for a test drive, to make sure it all felt and drove right. He went for about a 5 minute drive and came back with a smile on his face, saying that it handled brilliantly and that the steering wheel was level when driving in a straight line. One happy customer.

I put all of my equipment away, and completed the invoice, took a debit card payment using our onboard card reader, then send a receipt to the customer by email.


BMW 7 Series with 19" Runflats in Steyning

Today we were called out to a 7 series BMW that had a flat tyre. The customer had called the BMW dealership, but their prices were too high. The customer told them not to worry as he would get the tyre elsewhere. "They tried to put him off by telling him not to use a Mobile service as they cannot fit runflats, they also told him that they are the only company that can get the proper BMW marked tyres."

He didn't believe the dealership and called Hometyre, we assured him that we can fit runflats, as our vans have assistor wheels on the tyre changing machine specifically designed for runflats. We can even supply BMW marked tyres as we get our tyres from the same wholesalers as the dealership.

I arrived at the customers house in Steyning, he gave me the car keys and left me to get on with the job. I soon have the locking wheelnut removed, then jacked up the car. I removed the rest of the wheelnuts and pulled the wheel off, taking it into the van. I soon removed the runflat from the rim, and checked the sensor valve. All being OK, I then fitted the new runflat, inflated it to the correct pressure, and put it onto the wheel balancer to get it all balanced correctly, with stick-on weights inside the rim.

I then put the wheel back on the car, and bolted it up, using a torque wrench to get the bolt torques right. The car was then lowered and I removed the jack.

I then checked and corrected the tyre pressures on the rest of the tyres, as well as checking the tyre tread depths. All of the tyre info will then be emailed to the customer as part of his receipt. Finally I reset the TPMS system on his cars menu.

I returned the keys to the customer, and took a payment using a debit card. The customer was extreemly pleased as we had saved him around £40 compared to the dealership and we had come to him at home saving him time.Runflat


Goodyear tyres fitted to a Mazda 3 in Steyning, by Hometyre's mobile tyre service.

Today I had a job in Steyning, the customer had found Hometyre by searching the internet and had checked our prices online. He was pleased with what he saw and called through to our sales office to book an appointment to have all four tyres on his Mazda 3 replaced, he also asked if we could check the wheel alignment while on site.

I was running early, so called the customer to ask if it was acceptable for me to arrive around an hour early. He was happy with this as he wanted to drive up to London as soon as the job was complete, and this gave him more time to get there.

When I arrived, he handed over the car keys and left me to get on with the job; I first checked the existing tyres on the car and confirmed that they were the same size as the new tyres he had ordered.

There were no locking wheel nuts to worry about, so I soon had the car jacked up and was able to remove the first wheel. I removed the valve core to release the air pressure, then put the wheel in the bead breaker to break the seal on each side. It was then put onto the tyre changing turntable and clamped in place. The old tyre was then removed, the old valve was cut out, tyre paste was brushed around the rim and a new valve was inserted. I then put a new Goodyear tyre onto the rim, and inflated it to the correct pressure (30 psi).

The wheel/tyre assembly was then put onto the balancing machine and spun to find any inaccuracies; weights were then added to the rim to counteract the errors. Once complete the wheel was put back on the car and the wheel nuts were tightened up to the correct torque settings for that vehicle. The car was then lowered and I moved onto the next wheel and repeated the process, until all four had been changed. I also checked the spare which was a space saver and inflated it to the correct pressure.

The next job was to check the wheel alignment, so I took the car for a short drive to settle it back down on its suspension. The Supertracker alignment gauges were placed to the front wheels, with guide flags on the rear wheels. I was then able to check the figures and compare them to the correct settings for this vehicle. The actual readings came well within the tolerances required, so no adjustment was needed.

I completed a report and invoice sheet before taking a debit card payment from the customer, his receipt was then emailed to him. - Job complete.


TPMS - Tyre Pressure sensor valves

Hometyre are experts in Tyre pressure monitoring systems, and can replace or repair broken or damaged TPMS sensor valves at prices that beat most main dealers. Being a Mobile service, we come to you at home or work, so there is no need for you to drive to a dealer.

Many cars are now fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and since 1st January 2012 all newly registered vehicles have to have some form of TPMS, and they must work for the vehicle to pass its MOT.

If you get a flashing TPMS light on your


dash, that usually means there is a problem with the system,

generally a damaged or non working sensor. A solid TPMS light on the dash indicates a a tyre problem. (Low pressure or puncture).

There are two types of TPMS ….Indirect and Direct systems.

Indirect systems use the cars ABS wheel speed sensor to monitor the rotational speed of each wheel. If there is a deflation, the ABS

sensor will determine that there is a difference of wheel speed on the deflated wheel and will trigger a light on the vehicles dash informing the driver that there is a problem. Whereas direct systems use a sensor located inside the wheel/tyre assembly.

Indirect systems were used by many manufacturers as they use components that were already built into a vehicle, they did not need to add additional sensors inside the wheels. The disadvantages of the ABS systems are that they can be inaccurate and are not as sensitive to pressure changes as direct systems. Additionally the vehicle must be driven before the system will flag up a pressure loss. Additionally if both tyres on the same axle deflate at the same time, then the system will not pick up a problem.

Direct systems are starting to become more common as most manufacturers are swapping to this system as it is more accurate and the driver can also check the actual pressures of each tyre.

The direct system uses a pressure monitor located inside each wheel / tyre assembly. This monitor is generally attached to the valve and it constantly monitors both the pressure and the temperature inside each tyre.

I have seen sensors that are mounted to the main body of the wheel, although these have been on American vehicles.

The sensors in the wheels constantly send information to a receiving unit in the dash which will alert the driver immediately if there is a loss in pressure.

The disadvantages of this system are that the sensor must have a sealed case to protect it from any moisture within the tyre, but this also means that the battery in it is sealed in, and cannot be replaced. Tyre fitters must also be alert when changing a tyre on a vehicle fitted with these sensors as they can easily be damaged when removing and replacing a tyre.

What should I do if a sensor stops working?

As stated above, these sensors have a sealed battery, which on average last around 5 to 7 years or around 100,000 miles. Some of the earlier sensors were made of different metals which reacted with each other and caused galvanic corrosion, making the valve stems very weak and brittle. This means that many would snap off when removing a valve cap.

When replacing a tyre for you Hometyre will inspect any TPMS valves for signs of corrosion and if necessary can replace the valve stem. The valve core in these stems must be nickel plated otherwise it will cause corrosion. We at Hometyre will only fit nickel plated cores to your valves.

Hometyre also carry diagnostic TPMStpms_isensor equipment that can check the condition of each sensor valve and can replicate a new one if required. By replicating the existing sensor valve the cars CPU (Computer) will not realise that it has been changed and will continue to work without needing a reset at the main dealer. All of Hometyres TPMS valve replacement costs are fully inclusive of fitting and vat.

If you have any problems with your TPMS valves give us a call at Hometyre as we can help. Click here for contact details.


New tyres on an Audi in Ashington

I was called out to check an Audi TT in #Ashington on Saturday, the owner complained that the vehicle was vibrating at around 70mph, but also it felt odd when cornering.

Normally vibration through the steering wheel at speed is caused by a wheel balance problem, so the first job was to check the front wheel balancing. The car was jacked up, the locknuts were removed, and then the other nuts removed. Once I had the wheel off of the car it was easily noticeable that the tyre was down to the legal limit in the centre of the tread. Meaning it should be replaced.

A quick check on the other front tyre also showed that it was worn out in the central area. This type of wear, also shows that the tyres have been pumped up over pressure. Just to see if balancing was causing the vibration problem, I put the wheel on the electronic wheel balancer and gave it a spin. It showed that the wheel was 40g out of balance. I put the wheel back on the car and checked the other side in the same way, it was 30g out. So this would account for the vibration, but not the odd feeling when cornering.

I turned my attention to the rear tyres, jacking the car up and removing each wheel in turn. The NSR tyre was ok for balance, but was low on tread at around 2.5mm (Only 0.9mm to go). The OSR tyre was checked next, it was very low on pressure, a quick check soon showed the problem to be a puncture caused by a screw in the tread. The tyre still had 5.5mm of tread remaining, so it was worth repairing, at the same time it would be rebalanced. This low pressure, would quite easily account for the odd feeling when corning.

Since it was Saturday afternoon, it was too late to get replacement tyres for the car. After talking with the owner, she decided to have the 3 tyres replaced and the punctured tyre repaired. The repair I was able to do immediately, and I ordered new tyres to be delivered and replaced on Monday.

On Monday the new tyres were delivered to me, and I headed back to the customers address in Ashington. The customer was out, but had left the cars keys in a hidden spot for me, so I was able to get started on changing the tyres that were low. Just as I finished fitting the three tyres the customer returned, and I was able to return the keys to her and take a payment for the job. The customer took the car out for a quick drive to confirm that we had managed to solve the vibration problem. While she was out driving I completed the tyre report and invoice, which was then emailed to the customer so they have a record of the work we have carried out.

When she arrived back she gave me the thumbs up that all was well, and I was able to move onto my next job.


Do you know the minimum legal tyre tread depth in the UK.

A recent poll carried out by an independent garage found that 69% of motorists did not know that the correct legal tyre minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. Not knowing means that drivers, their passengers and other road users could be at risk if they cause an accident, as it is reckoned that 40% of serious or fatal accidents are tyre related.

The survey showed that those aged 25 to 54 were the most likely to be aware of the correct tyre tread depth.

The survey also showed that 31% of those questioned did not bother to check their tyre tread depths, but relied on their annual MOT to find any concerns. Women were more reliant on the MOT finding tyre concerns (38%) compared to men (25%).

Even though tyres should be checked every week, the survey showed that around 31% of drivers check their tyres around every 6 months, with 7% checking their tyres before a long journey, only 4% of drivers said that they check their tyres on a weekly basis.

It's not just tyre tread depths that are overlooked, but also tyre pressures. The survey showed that around 44% check their pressures before a long journey, with 25% saying that they do check their pressures around once a month. But there were also a further 12% who rely on the garage carrying out the annual service to check their tyre pressures. What most drivers do not realise, is that garages do not often check tyre pressures as part of a service, meaning that their tyres do not get checked until it is seen that they are almost flat.

Leaving your tyre checks for others to find, is leaving your safety and the safety of others on the roads to fate. Not only that, but if pulled over by the police, you can get 3 penalty points per illegal tyre, plus a fine of up to £2500.

Every October 'Tyresafe' run a campaign to encourage motorists to check their tyres, they also regularly put out tweets. The problem is that most drivers overlook tyres and don't think of them as a safety item.

If buying a used vehicle, it is worth checking the tyres yourself even if the vehicle has come from a dealer. Check them not for tread depth and pressure, but also check that they are the correct tyres for the vehicle. I have seen cars with one wheel that was a different size to the other three, also a car with a mix of winter and summer tyres.

Also when it comes to vehicles equipped with runflat tyres so drivers will put regular tyres on the car to save money. Last week I had a customer with a Mini, where the front tyres were normal tyres and the rears were runflats. They had only owned the Mini for a month and it had just been bought from a car dealer. Mixing tyres of differing types is not recommended and can cause handling problems, not only that but if out on the road and getting a puncture, you would be stuck as the car does not come with a spare.

When changing any of your tyres Hometyre will carry out a full tyre inspection and pressure check, we will also supply you with a tyre inspection report.

For more info contact us at Hometyre click here for details


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