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COVID-19 Update from Hometyre North London

Covid_19_Update

Hometyre North London remains fully operational throughout the lockdown, however we are prioritising front-line NHS, police, fire and ambulance workers.

If you have or know anyone that has a dependency on a vehicle for essential supplies, visiting elderly, with urgent tyre issues, please forward them to us on 0333 444 5454 or book in via our website www.hometyre.co.uk

In the meantime, take care and stay safe, from all of us at Hometyre.

 

Why are my tyres wearing on the inside and outside edge more than the middle?

This kind of wear normally indicates that your tyres are running with too little air in them. i.e. under inflated.

Too little air causes the tyres to take the weight mainly on the edge of the tyre, thus causing them to wear faster than the centre of the tyre.

This can increase your fuel consumption and lead to premature wear of the tyre and also lead to the risk of a blow out and picking up a puncture

Pressure_Checks

The correct tyre pressure for your car can normally be found behind the fuel filler cap or on a sticker in the door frame, if it is not in either of these 2 places then the owners hand book will have the info

Keep your tyres in good condition by checking your tyre pressure regularly

If your tyres have worn to much call Hometyre on 0800 783 8310 and we will come to you to change them

 

Why does my steering wheel vibrates at speed?

Have you ever driven your car and you can feel a small (or large) vibration through the steering wheel?

The chances are that your front wheels are out of balance. When a new tyre is fitted to a wheel it is not perfectly balanced due to the construction of the tyre, each tyre can be slightly heavier in one area as a result of a small overlap of the material that is used to manufacture the tyre.

Balancing

This can be corrected by balancing the wheel after the tyre is fitted, the wheel and tyre are put on a balancing machine and spun around, they machine can detect minor weight differences around the tyre and then indicate how much weight should be added (and where) to correct this imbalance. Once these weight(s) have been added to the wheel it is spun again to check that the tyre is now correctly balanced.

If you detect a vibration through your steering wheel and you have not had new tyres fitted then the chances are that one of your balance weights has fallen off, this can be corrected by getting them re balanced!

If you'd like us to check the balance of your wheels, give us a call on 0800 783 9310 or, send an email to info@hometyre.co.uk!

 

Half Term holidays are almost here

Heavy snow is now falling in the European ski resorts! Great news if you're a skier...

Will you being heading off in your car for a Half Term ski trip?

If you are don't forget to check your car before you go.

A long high speed trip on the European motorway system puts a lot more strain on your car than the general day to day commute.

Small niggles that you can get away with on the commute can mushroom into a much bigger problem in a loaded car that is doing a long high speed journey.

Check all your tyres (spare as well if you have one), fluids, belts, wipers and brakes before you go. It is cheaper to fix these before you go than on the side of a motorway

Don't forget that the temperature in the mountains is significantly lower than back home so don't just check your washer and coolant fluid for levels, also check that it can withstand the cold.

To check you tyres see our tyre checking page on how to do it

To see the European winter tyre regulations see our European regulation page

So have a good time but be safe on your journey!

 

Summer holidays are almost here!

The great British school summer holidays will be starting soon! If you've not checked your tyres and pressures already -  now is the perfect time to do it.

5 minutes spent now could save potentially hours stuck on the side of the road and ruining the start of your much needed break.


Not sure what your pressures should be? Your specific tyre pressures are normally located on a plate on the inside of the door jams or the inner part of the fuel filler cover. If not, they will likely be in the owners manual. If you're still struggling - call us!!

Don't forget to also check your fluids (oil/coolant/brake fluid/Washer bottle) too as these are all vital for safe motoring!

If you need tyres or some motoring help.  just call us here Hometyre on 0333 444 5454. London's No1. Mobile Tyre Fitting Service

 

Why are tyres black?

While you can get tyres in different colours (let's call them novelty tyres) the majority of tyres you will see are the same standard black, but why black? Cars come in many colours so why not the tyres?

The first tyres produced were entirely white due to the added component; zinc oxide. Along with other chemicles, zinc oxide was added to increase traction but had the side effect of making the tyre completely white. As the market shifted towards mass produced vehicles for the general public, people needed tyres to last longer. By adding carbon black to the tread area, it created a more durable surface whilst retaining the cheap production costs of a completely white tyre. This hailed the creation of the white wall tyre.

So why, in particular, is Carbon Black added? Well it does many things. It dramatically extends the life of a tyre (which is why all manufacturers add it) and resists the effect of Ozone and UV light which can prematurely age your tyre (have you ever seen your tyres start to crack and craze? That is called rot and means the tyres need to be replaced)

How does it work? Carbon Black reacts with Ozone and UV to produce heat, this causes the tyre to expand and then when it cools it will contract, this causes less damage to the tyre than if the Ozone and UV light directly attacked the molecules of the tyre compound. Now Carbon Black will not last forever, you can see this on old tyres when they start to go grey in colour, tyres will also still start to crack and rot but at a much slower pace.

So if you have seen that your tyres are starting to turn a nice shade of grey and the tread or the side walls are starting to crack, call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you

 

Will you be driving on your Summer Holiday?

When planning for your summer holiday, the last thing on your mind will be your car's tyres. But think of this, your flight to Spain is a couple of hours away and you're already running late to the airport. The last thing that you want to be seeing is a flat tyre on your car. By checking your tyres well in advance, you will save time, money and the possibility of a missed flight.

It's just not the tyres that you need to check, it's also the car in general. For example, low oil and/or coolant levels. If you don't check these regularly, it could cause irreversible and expensive damage to the car. Take one of our sales team for example; he had not checked the oil level in his MINI for a couple of months which then caused massive crankshaft damage. Don't be like Jack, check your oil!

If you are aware of existing problems with your car and you are planning for a long trip these issues will only get worse (and more expensive) to fix over time. Book in as soon as possible to get these problems rectified!

If you're looking at going on holiday, use this link to find out how to check your tyres correctly! In addition, if you are still unsure, call our office on 01743 861183 and talk to one of our experts!

 

Don’t let anybody put knock on weights on the outside of your alloy wheel

All new tyres need to be balanced when fitted to your wheel, they might look perfectly round but slight irregularities inside the tyre (as a by product of how they are made) means that the tyre weight is not even.

The manufactures know this and mark the tyre with a yellow dot, this should be aligned with the valve stem so as to minimise the number of balance weights that are required.

For alloy wheels there are 2 types of balance weight. The first is stick on weights and these are stuck inside your wheel to balance it.

The second (and the one I am talking about here) are knock on weights. These are hammered onto the rim of your wheel, now if you have steel wheels this is ok because the amount of damage caused to a steel wheel is minimal and the wheel trim will cover them up. On an alloy wheel the paint/lacquer on the outside of your wheel can easily be damaged by the knock-on weight being hammered on, this can then allow salt and water through causing the alloy to corrode, and also it looks horrible. If you want to see how horrible they look see a new mini, for some reason they use knock on weights from the factory.

Alloy wheels should always be balanced with stick on weights that are placed on the inside part of the wheel.

So for a quality job call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10

 

Plate change day 2019 is almost here

If you brought your car in March 3 years ago (you will have a 16 in your number plate) your first MOT will soon be due.

Before you take the car in for an MOT perform a few simple checks before you go to save your car failing the test

Check your brake fluid while the car is cold and on a flat surface

Check that all your mirrors are clean and in good condition

Check your warning lights, ABS and TPMS lights that do not go out are a failure

Check your tyres for tread and damage. More details can be found here on how to check your tyres

Check your lights are working

Check the horn works

Check your oil level, if the engine does not have enough oil the emission test cannot be performed

Check your windscreen for chips and cracks. If you are in doubt as to the level of damage it would be best to get an expert to look at it, also make sure your windscreen washer bottle has fluid.

Check that all your windows are clean and also that the number plates have any dirt washed off

Check your wiper blades have not perished

Hopefully you will then get through the MOT without a failure

If you need tyre call 0800 783 93 10 and we will fit your tyres at home (or the office if you want)

 

Are you a tradesman who relies on their van?

Being a tradesman means that you need to bring all your tools with you.

No tools = No work.

No work = No pay.

So, let's have a look at the way things could pan out...

Winter tyres for your van

Now these are designed to help you grip the road once the temp drops below 7 degrees Celsius, the compound stays pliable at lower temps and the tread pattern helps clear snow and water out of the way.

hometyrewinter

You are a plumber and you get a call from a new customer, there boiler will not start.

You need to attend but it is cold and snowing outside. You jump in the van and the van starts up nicely, you always ensure your van is serviced and it creates your income. You live on a slight incline and your tyres won't grip, you are stuck. You could walk to the client but 10 miles in snow and then not having any equipment means you can't fix the problem.

So, it's No tools = No work. No work = No pay.

You might think that having to buy another set of tyres is a waste of time. Look at it this way. While your winter tyres are on your summer tyres are not wearing out (and vica-versa). Maybe not missing 1 appointment could cover the cost of the extra set of tyres. You also have more control of your van in the ice and snow so you might not hit something saving you your NCB and not having the van off the road.

So, call Hometyre today and we can come to you to fit tyres

0333 444 5454

 

Range Rover with a Continental tyre size of 275/40/20 in EN1 Enfield

We went out to a customer in the Enfield area to replace a single Continental tyre to the OSF (off side front - which is the drivers side) of her Range Rover Sport. I arrived and examined her tyre, upon inspection I found a two inch slice in her tyre. I showed the customer and explained unfortunately it looked like her tyre may have been slashed.

So I proceeded to change the tyre and checked the tyre pressure and tread depth in the other 3. The NSF (near side front or passenger side) was at 3mm. This was considerably lower with a 5mm difference between that and the other 2 tyres which raised an immediate red flag! The customer mentioned to me she is forever changing 1 of the front tyres, seems to be every 6 months.

The car was only 2 years old so I knew it wouldn't be something underlining like ball/cv joint etc, after speaking to the customer she said she had 1 tyre replaced after 15,000 miles but left the other on the car. With the Range Rover being a 4x4 this can be a big no no. 4 wheel drive cars wheel/tyres work together so if one tyre it at a different tread depth the rolling radius is slightly different and this can cause problems with the drive train, this can be a lot more expensive to fix than just replacing a tyre, the guide is that the new tyre and the remaining old tyre must have a tread depth within 4mm of each other.

The only way to stop this is unfortunately change the lot or at least the 2 on the same axle so they match tread wise and tread depth wise, it might seem expensive but trust me it will save you a fortune in the long run.

We went back out to the customer a day later to change NSF so they all matched up, 3 hours later I received a review saying the car drives like a brand new car again and how happy she was even though she spent more money replacing a legal tyre most people wouldn't change .

Now there is no reason why you wouldn't get 15/25,000 miles out of your front tyres as long as tyre pressures are checked regularly and they match tread depth and tread pattern, rears tend to last a bit longer as they are static and not doing any turning etc you should get around 25/35,000 miles from a rear set of 4x4 tyres as long as they match and don't get changed at different times.

(This also depends on your driving styles and tyre of driving, hard acceleration and town driving are much harder on tyres than gentle acceleration and motorway driving)

So remember the 4mm rule and call Hometyre on 0333 444 5454 to come to you to change your tyres and keep you safe on the roads!

 

Porsche 911 in N6 Highgate with Bridgestone 305/30/19 tyres

Went out to this Porsche 911 in the n6 Highgate area to sort out a problem with his rear tyres. He had Bridgestone tyres and the size was 305/30/19.

The customer was experiencing a shake from the rear of the car at higher speeds. I instantly thought to myself that the wheel balancing must be out as the customer had a puncture the week before and got it repaired by a third party.

It wasn’t until the wheel was off the car that I could see the extent of the damage to the tyre. When the tyre went down prior to him having the repair by another person the customer drove on the tyre while it was flat for about a mile to get it to the garage to be repaired, but by doing this the inner edge of the tyre had become damaged and had started to break up, this means the tyre was damaged beyond repair, the customer was not aware of this and the other fitter repaired the tyre regardless.

The tyre was so damaged it caused the inside tyre wall to develop lumps around the whole circumference of the inner sidewall. Now these lumps are caused when the reinforcement in the sidewalls is damaged and weakened, these lumps look like balloons and when balloons get hot they go pop. I showed this to the customers and as you could imagine he wasn’t best pleased as he was up and down the motorway every day in the car and it could have gone pop anytime.

He now had a brand new tyre fitted and balanced and peace of mind knowing nothing will go wrong.

For information on how to correctly repair a puncture look at our puncture repair page

Call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you to fix your tyres.

 

Flat Tyre and Unsure What To Do? Call us!

We went to a new customer who had tried to change their own flat tyre on their Volvo.

The problem was that the jack supplied with the vehicle was incorrectly used so when he was jacking the car up it slipped and this is what happened.

An expensive mistake with a nasty scratch on his sill.

If you are in any doubt and need help changing your tyre call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454. It might seem expensive to call someone to change your tyre but it could work out cheaper in the long run!

Jack

 

Customer misunderstanding

We often call a customer the day before we attend an appointment just to make sure they have remembered there appointment and if the time is still convenient for them.

So we had a customer booked in (Italian lady) and we gave her a call to see if everything is ok for the morning (09.00 appointment)

She answered the phone and we said are you still available for your 09.00 appointment to have your tyres fitted. The customer was not happy and started to berate us, saying that we should have been there today at 09.00. Not the kind of thing we like to hear as this means we have missed an appointment and upset a customer

When the conversation calmed down she said that we would have to talk to her builder and arrange to meet him, why we would have to meet her builder for her personal car was unclear. Started to take the builders details down and she then mentioned that not having the TILES delivered will have caused her builder problems.

A bit of silence followed by us and we said we are phoning to fit your TYRES not TILES, whoops was the response. We did offer to fit her TILES as well but she would probably not like the results.

Turned up the next day and as soon as she answered the door she was in hysterics about the misunderstanding. Fitted her tyres and headed off.

If you would like your TYRES fitted at a time and place that is convenient for you call hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you. We might even do some TILING for you if you ask nicely

 

Going skiing for Feb half term?

If you are going skiing for the Feb half term don't forget to pack your snow chains.

If you are in the French mountains and the snow chains signs have been turned on it is a legal requirement to put your snow chains on.

You can buy Snow chains online and Halfords sometimes stock them. You could wait until you get to the continent but you wont have time to test fit them.

Believe me you will be much better off trying to fit them before you leave, they are not the easiest things to handle. Much better to try at home in the dry on your drive instead of the first time in the snow by the side of the road.

Also check all the normal things before you go, tyres (tread depth and pressures), wipers and all your fluids. Better to spend 10 mins before you go instead of a couple of hours by the side of the road.

Best to also put full strength windscreen fluid in your windscreen washer bottle (also squirt the fluid trough the pipes) and ensure your anti freeze is concentrated enough to cope with the colder weather in the mountains.

Have a great trip and if you need tyres replaced before you go call 0800 783 93 10 and we will come to you.

 

Locking wheel nut removal on a BMW X5 in HA7

New customer called needing 4 new tyres on their BMW X5 in HA7.

Tyres sizes where 275/40/R20 and 315/35/R20 both run flats and both to be Bridgestone. Gave him a price which he was happy with and arrange to meet him that afternoon at home to replace them.

Arrived at the job and double checked that the tyres needed to be replaced (you would be surprised how often people are told that there tyres need replacing when they don't)

They did need replacing so got the locking wheel nut key out of the boot, looked at the locking wheel nut key and it looked deformed showed it to the customer who said that the last time he had the tyres changed (not by us) the wheel nuts (including the locking wheel nuts) had been gunned on. With a damaged wheel nut key it can be hit and miss as to if you can get the nuts off the wheel.

Had one tyre that was a priority so started on this one, managed to get the locking wheel nut off. Removed the wheel and changed and balanced the tyre and then put it back on the car, wheel nuts tightened up and finished off to the manufactures torque setting b using a torque wrench. Could not put locking wheel nut back on as I did not want to risk damaging the key before I finished the job.

On to the next wheel, customer was with me as I tried to undo the locking wheel nut. No luck, in fact the locking wheel nut key sheared as I was turning it. Only thing to do is get out the locking wheel nut removal tool that we carry on the vans. Assembled the tool and started to try and remove the locking wheel nut. Snap, the nut was on so tight it broke the tool, and this is not a light weight bit of metal, it's a great big lump of steel that these locking wheel nuts had just broken.

So what to do now, 3 tyres still to change, a broken locking wheel nut key and a busted locking wheel nut removal tool. This was going to need more work than can be done by the side of the road.

Took the car to a garage we use so we could work on the locking wheel nuts.

All of the normal tricks that we use to remove the locking wheel nuts did not work, these nuts where well and truly stuck, one more thing to do, we ordered a special tool that will fit all the BMW locking wheel nuts and it is made of a special hardened steel, this would arrive the next day.

Tool arrives so off to work on the locking wheel nuts again, attached the tool to the impact wrench and started to hammer them, after 10 minutes (with some breaks to get our breath back) I heard a crack, dam I thought the new tool was busted, but no, the locking wheel nut had loosened, went straight on to the next locking wheel nut and the same happened with the nut and then also with the last one.

Removed all the nuts and wheels and changed and balanced the tyres, put them all back on and retightened the nuts to the manufacturers specification, also fitted 4 new locking wheel nuts that we had ordered at the same time as the new wonder tool, these were also tightened up to the correct spec by hand.

So the outcome, job done but took a couple of days and the ordering of a new tool that we hope we don't have to use again, all because the locking wheel nuts had been gunned on instead of tightened by hand, not a cheap job but at least the job has been completed to the customers satisfaction.

 

4 tyres on a Horse box in Radlett WD7

Customer needed 4 tyres fitted to their horse box in Radlett, they did not want to have to take it to a fitting centre so our mobile service is convenient.

The horsebox needed 4 175/80/13 95 commercial tyres, we picked GT Maxmillers for this job (very good tyre and the same brand we use for our own vans)

Arrived at the job and eventually found the horse box amongst a group of others, the tread on the tyres was excellent but all 4 tyres where suffering from cracking, the date on the tyres was from 1999 so they were well and truly ready to be replaced.

Took the first 2 wheels off the horse box and removed the tyres, the wheels had some rust inside (not much) so cleaned this up before fitting the new tyres, after refitting these to the horse box took the remaining 2 wheels off and performed the same function.

Start to pack up a lady approached us to say the tyre on her Subaru was flat. Said I would have a look at it when finished. Filled out the paper work and took payment. Also noted that some of the other horse trailers had very old tyres on them and if the owners would like them replaced to just give us a call.

Went over to the Subaru to check for leaks, the car was 10 years old with solid metal valves. Pumped up the tyre and sprayed some water on the valve, just as suspected bubbles formed. Valve looked in very good condition so just tightened it up and sprayed water on it again, no bubbles this time so just a lose valve. Did not charge her for this as it only took a couple of minutes to check and we were already on site, she took some cards and said she would call when she needed some tyre.

If you need tyre on your horsebox call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454 and we will come to you.

 

Puncture repair in N11 on a Mercedes E class

Customer called to say they needed 4 new tyre for their Mercedes E Class. Took the details 245/40/18 97Y for the front and 265/35/18 97Y for the rear.

Ordered the tyres and arranged to see him on Saturday when it was convenient for him.

Arrived at the job and started the inspection. The 4 tyres he had on all had 5 plus mm of tread, the legal limit is 1.6mm and we start recommending changing at 3mm as the performance starts to drop off dramatically in the wet after 3mm has been reached.

He said that he had seen 2 nails in his passenger side tyres so thought he had to change them. I said that we would look at the tyres and if we could repair them they would not need to be replaced.

Removed the front tyre and found the nail, right in the middle of the tread, pulled the nail out and it had punctured the tyre because air started to leak, as long as the tyre had not been damaged inside the tyre would be repairable as the nail was in the centre of the tyre. Handed to wheel to my work colleague who removed the tyre to inspect for damage, none found so he started the repair.

I now removed the rear wheel to find the other nail, found the nail, again in the middle of the tread. Pulled the nail out and this time no air comes out, the nail was stuck between the tread and had not penetrated the tyre at all. Lucky for the customer as no repair or replacement needed.

Put the rear tyre back on the car and by this time my colleague had repaired the front tyre and also refitted it to the car.

Checked the other tyre pressures including the spare space saver tyre (this was at 30psi when it should have been 60psi) and filled out the paper work.

Payment taken and off to the next job

If you need tyres or a puncture repair call Hometyre on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454

 

4 TPMS valves (Tyre pressure monitoring valves) on a Bentley in EN1

New customer called to say that he had to MOT his Bentley but he was getting an error on his dash board saying his TPMS valves had failed. Arranged to meet him in 15 minutes (he was only around the corner) to investigate the problem.

Got to the car and pulled out our TPMS valve reader. This is a hand held device that can read the signal that the TPMS valves emit. No signal from any of them. The car is a 05 Bentley so the valves are already 12 years old, the battery in new valves will normally last for about 7 years so a dead battery is the cause of the problem.

The TPMS valves are a sealed unit so the batteries cannot be replaced, 4 new valves will have to be fitted. If the valves where still transmitting we would be able to clone the valves there and then by taking a reading from each valve and then programming the blank clone with the same information, as the batteries are dead on the old valve this will not be an option.

Looked up the make and model for replacements, the TPMS valves used by Bentley in 05 changed mid-year, to ensure we got the correct part ordered we took the VIN number (the unique number that identifies each car) and contacted our supplier to check for stock. They has them on the shelf so they would send them to us for next day delivery, they would also be pre-programmed to the car.

Arranged to visit the customer the next afternoon once they had been delivered.

Next morning the valves arrived, put them in the van and set off to do my morning customer. Arrived at the Bentley that afternoon and replaced all 4 valves in 60 minutes. The TPMS valves for the Bentley are what we call 'self-learning', this means that the car has to be driven to recognise the new valves, the warning light will not go out until this has happened.

As the customer was going to get his car MOT'ed latter on the drive to the testing station would allow the car to 'self-learn' on the way.

Called the customer latter in the day to check everything was ok. The warning light had gone out and the car had passed its MOT.

If you have the TPMS warning light on your dash board call Hometyre and we can come to you to replace/service your TPMS valves.

Just contact us on 0800 783 93 10 or 0333 444 5454

 

4 225/40/R18 Continentals tyres on Mercedes in NW7

Customer called to say that he needed 4 Continental 225/40/18 tyres on his Mercedes.

Ordered the tyres and arranged to meet him the next day to fit them.

Turned up at the job and the first thing we do is inspect the tyres that are already on the car.

They all had at least 6 millimetres of tread on them, they did show a little bit of crazing on the edges but nothing major.

Asked the customer why he wanted to change the tyres and he said the car had been in for a service and they had said that they needed changing. He had decided not to let them fit new tyres because of the price they had quoted.

Showed the customer the condition of his tyres and asked what kind of driving he did, he said that the car only did a 1000 miles a year and that was just to pop to the supermarket. Explained to him the he had plenty of tread left and the VERY small amount of crazing on the edge of the tyre was nothing to worry about at the moment, if it started to get worse then yes the tyres would need changing but not yet. I also recommended that he stopped using the tyre shine on the walls of the tyre as this can dry the rubber out and prematurely age the tyre.

Was very impressed that somebody had been honest with him and said he would call us back when they needed changing.

So if you would like a HONEST opinion of your tyres contact Hometyre on 08007839310 and we will come to you.

 

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