New updated categories from 1/9/2015

Nokian Winter Tyres

BMW 320i Winter Tyres-BMW being tested out through its paces in the Snow – Douglas Park.

BMW 320i Winter Tyres

BMW 320i Winter Tyres

There is no doubt, that BMW owners, would benefit greatly by fitting winter tyres at the right time of the year. Hence, we find that it is the third owner of the BMW’s that ignore the thought of fitting winter tyres. This type of vehicle is usually still in great condition. Thus, even when they reach old age. This car is a very powerful machine. This makes it a double requirement to fit winter tyres.

The BMW range is well equipped with wide summer tyres These cars are very capable of reaching high speeds. This also makes them more vulnerable in snow and icy weather. A double whammy is the cars excellent braking system. Any driver of these large and powerful cars will know that the braking systems are very keen and accurate.

In my opinion, winter tyres are a must and important safety factor. The same goes for cars of a similar size and power. The car in this video the BMW 320i xDrive M Sport was tested at Douglas Park – Therefore, watch as we drive completely up a 170 metre ski slope. As a result, which has a gradient of 10-15 degrees in 300mm – 400mm of snow. The car was tested on snow which has 200mm under lying layer of ice which has a temp of -12 degrees.

http://www.pellontyres.co.uk/Content/Page/When%20should%20i%20fit%20my%20Winter%20Tyres

Caravan Tyres Ageing- Second –hand caravan owners should check their tyres before a journey.

Caravan Tyres Ageing

Caravan Tyres Ageing-This advice also stretches to people who buy second-hand motorhomes. When you buy your shiny caravan or motorhome. One of the first things to do before you set off from the dealers is to check your tyres.

The dealers will have made the vehicle look like it is sparkling.  Make sure the tyres will have been painted nice and shiny with special tyre paint. But in my opinion, you should take a closer at the tyres. Before you drive your new prize position off the dealers car park.

All tyres are made to give thousands of miles of good service. They should also be well looked after by the owner. And this is the problem? Unless you know who

Caravan Tyres Ageing

Caravan Tyres Ageing; Scenes like this are all too familiar and many are caused by tyres problems

the last owner was, then you will not know if the tyre were well looked after or not.

I know that this is probably the last thing on your mind but take a good look at the tyres, to see if they have the correct specifications, for your vehicle. If it is bought from a dealer then you can ask them if the tyres are correct for your particular caravan or motorhome.

You would be surprised how many people come to a cropper with this. Because we are in close proximity to the M62 motorway, we get many flat and damaged tyres brought into us by the motoring organisations. A large part of these people tell us that they have, “just bought the caravan” and did not know that the thing was fitted with the wrong ply tyres.

Caravan Tyres Ageing

Some are fitted with car tyres and not with a higher load rating to carry the correct weight. The worse scenario is the tyres that have caravan tyres ageing. The best sign for this is cracking like crazy paving around the bead and tread area. A good check when purchasing your caravan will detect this cracking. It can be very dangerous and the cracks will only get worse and eventually result in tyre failure.

Here is a quote from the excellent tyresafe.org

“There is no known technical data that supports a specific age for a tyres removal from service. However, in the interests of safety a number of vehicle and tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres (including spares) that were manufactured more than a certain number of years previously be replaced with new tyres, even if they appear to be useable from their external appearance and the tread may not have reached the minimum legal limit. It is recommended that any such manufacturer instructions should be followed. The age of your tyres can be found by examining the DOT (or date of manufacture) code found on the tyres sidewall markings. To understand more about tyre sidewall markings and how to check the age of your tyres download our handy guide to Caravan tyre safety

download our handy guide to Caravan tyre safety

Locking Wheel-Nut Problem-BMW garage quotes extortionate price to remove locking wheel-nuts?

Locking Wheel-Nut Problem

Locking Wheel-Nut Problem; It is easy see that the big main dealer garages, have much larger overheads than a small garage like my own, here at Pellon Auto-centre, in Halifax UK. Probably all of us small garage owners have heard horror stories from our customers about the charges that main dealer garages charge their customers.

We have heard of a couple recently? One was a lady customer who was charged £700 for a standard service on her Audi. The garage was, of course, an Audi garage, and she was threatened with the old story of, “if you have your car serviced elsewhere, it would cancel the cars warranty”

Locking Wheel-Nut Problem

315-35R20 Bridgestone Runflat BMW X5 tyre

We all know that this is not true. Going back to the lady customer, I asked if I could see the garages invoice because we all know that there could have been add-ons, such as other parts. This does sometimes put up the price of a service. But no the bill was for a service and service alone. I did notice that washing the car was extra, and a few other extras totted the bill up-to-the £700 that she paid.

The lady has been one of our customers ever since and all the rest of the family now bring their car problems into us. The most recent price shock came from the BMW garage. A tyre customer of ours asked the BMW garage to change his winter tyres back to his summer tyres. His car was in for some warranty work. He thought that he would ask them “just to change the tyres whilst they had the wheels off “, The BMW garage agreed but later in the morning phoned our customer with a locking wheel nut problem? The locking wheel nut tool was missing and they could not remove the locking wheel nuts.

The shock came when they explained that the job was going to be difficult and it would cost them a whopping £500 to remove the lockers and supply a new set? WOW

The terrified customer rang Deb our depot manager? Deb told her to get the car and we worked out that the job was going to be £54. The BMW came in and Ryan removed the lockers in 10 minutes, with no problem, like many other small garages we have invested in a special tool that helps us to remove the wheel nuts on 90% of vehicles.

Ryan also noticed that one of the summer tyres to be re-fitted had a nail in the shoulder area of the tyre. The Bridgestone tyres were special run-flat tyres that

Locking Wheel-Nut Problem

BMW X5 with locking wheel nut issues

were specific to this particular BMW X5 model. This BMW comes with the  i-Drive System. On this vehicle, the tyres must be of the same tread depth, on the same axle or this interferes with the cars drive system and handling.

The Bridgestone run-flat tyres are marked with a star on the sidewall. This star denotes that these are the correct tyres for this specific BMW car.

The customer paid a total of £640 for the Locking Wheel-Nut Problem solving and two new tyres fitting. There must be a moral in this story somewhere?

Tyre registration-Will Europe follow the Path of the American Tyre Market?

Tyre registration

Tyre registration- When I first saw this tyre law coming out of America, the thought crossed my mind that what started out over the pond, usually ended up here in the UK or even Europe. In other words, would we have to start registering every tyre that we sold?

I suppose the big difference is that the USA have a much bigger culture of suing people and companies for every little thing. However, when looking at the whole picture, then it could make a little sense, on behalf of the tyre Manufacturers.

The story is that every consumer that buys a new tyre has now to register their purchase, under the requirements of the federal law. Tyre retailer and dealers,

tyre registration

Tyre registration-Image courtesy of Pirelli from their tyre registration website

must provide a registration form to fill in, or an electronic platform so that you can register the purchase online.

The reason for this is that the consumer can be notified by the tyre manufacturer if there is a tyre recall or a problem with a certain batch of tyres. This will give an early warning should any problem occur and also cover the tyre producers from possible further problems from faulty tyres, say causing accidents when running too much on these tyres.

I must say that we in the UK do not have these problems. On the contrary, I think that tyre products have improved over the years and faulty tyres are far and few between. We do not have the legal culture of the states and do not take everybody to court when a problem arrives.

Tyre registration

What strikes me though is the fact that the tyre makers are going to have a heap of information about who buys their tyres and where from. Although I have read that the consumer’s personal information, will be protected by federal law, I can’t help seeing the number of tyre manufacturers that offer registration forms online.

This information could give them a mass of details about who, what and where their tyre products were purchased and many other things that I don’t know

tyre registration

Tyre registration-Image from Michelin tyres registration website.

about. I am sure that tyre manufacturers in Europe will catch onto this idea as will give them a huge insight as to who and why consumers buy their products.

As for the consumer? It will give them the responsibility to register their tyres and help become more aware of the safety aspect of their tyres. If they do not carry out tyre registration then I presume that they could not sue the tyre company, if a faulty tyre caused an accident.

As for the tyre dealers, well it is just extra work for us?

For more information… http://www.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Test+Procedures

Climate Change Affects Tyres-Should we change our tyres in different weather conditions?

Climate Change Affects Tyres

Climate Change Affects Tyres-In my opinion, two things have changed our tyre buying habit over the past five years?

One is our climate. We are having a spell of very wet weather from autumn right through until the end of springtime. Like many of us, I take great interest in the weather, probably as a garage owner, I am very dependent on the weather and it determines what I order for stock.

Should I buy some extra winter tyres? Or just keep summer tyres in stock? Like most things in business, it is a bit of a gamble. I usually get things right, although last winter I had a few popular sized winter tyres left over. There is no doubt about the fact that Climate Change Affects Tyres.

Climate Change Affects Tyres-winter tyres-summer tyres

Climate Change Affects Tyres-winter tyres-summer tyres

This winter has been the mildest on record according to the weather people. The truth is, though, that we still sold a lot of winter tyres at the beginning of winter. I think that drivers have become more aware now, that winter tyres are very important in the wet weather and although they are great in snow conditions, they are far safer in wet weather.

Here in the Halifax area of the UK, it is very hilly. In recent wet weather, when we have seen much flooding, the water has been cascading down the hilly roads, into the valley and river below. Many drivers, in the Halifax area, use SUV vehicles and convert their tyres on to something like the General AT tyres. These tyres give them far better grip in harsh conditions and, therefore, more safety.

Climate Change Affects Tyres

In parts of the UK that are flat, such as Lincoln then the winter is shorter and summer tyres would probably suffice for most of the year. Sometimes when the weather comes from the east, then it can bring snow. If the snow prolongs, then Climate Change Affects Tyres and I would recommend fitting winter tyres.

I know I feel much safer and confident with winter tyres fitted to my vehicle in winter and it is pleasing to know that many of my customers now feel the same.

The other thing that has affected the tyre scene in recent years is the change of vehicle design? The car market is now flooded with SUV and crossover vehicles. These vehicles have changed the whole range of tyre sizes. Car tyres have become bigger and wider. They are also made to be more fuel efficient and handle better, with a quiet driving experience.

In my opinion, this is another reason why Climate Change Affects Tyres. The tyres for these vehicles are made from softer compounds, to help give them a winter tyres eric 2smoother drive with less road noise. This makes them practically useless in bad winter weather. Tyre manufacturers have been quick to react. They can now make tyre sizes fit these types of vehicles. When it snowed badly a couple of years ago, the worse cars to cope were the big BMW, s and Audi SUV’s.

I remember these drivers panicking. The phone never stopped ringing, with these drivers wanting to fit winter tyres. When the winter tyres were fitted, then it solved the problem. This and the fact that way that Climate Change Affects Tyres, has been a big influence on recent tyre buying trends and more and more drivers are going for the safety option of fitting winter tyres in November.

All-terrain Tyres-A wide range of tyres for the Land Rover or SUV owner?

All-terrain Tyres

There are many different types and makes of 4×4 and SUV vehicles on today’s roads, and so explaining about which tyres to use for various vehicle makes, becomes nigh impossible.

For this purpose, I am going to use the Land Rover, for my explanation into all-terrain tyres. All-terrain tyres are for the driver who may do the mixed on-road driving and off-road driving. Many of the SUV’s come out on a standard summer tyre. But the type of tyre that most people associate this kind of vehicle on is a more All-terrain Tyresrugged tyre.

This is where the all-terrain tyres, come into their own. A good example that I came across recently was at an agricultural show in Halifax where my tyre business is based. The cars are all parked in a grassy area, adjacent to the showground. I suspect that you now know what I am about to say because many drivers have experienced this for themselves.

The day started out to be sunny but in the afternoon, then heavy thundery showers were peppering the Halifax area. One shower turned into a torrential deluge, sending spectators and exhibitors for the shelter of the marques. The fun came when the visitors started to drift to the car park and then home. To my surprise, most small family cars did alright, apart from a little skidding.

However, to my surprise, the cars that were suffering and getting stuck were the SUV’s and were also driven by lady drivers. The one I helped was a BMW, with brand new Continental summer tyres fitted. The car was useless and skidded all over the place.

All-terrain Tyres

Halifax is not what you could call a rural area. The terrain is hilly with many small steep bendy lanes and “B” roads. We also have a successful Land Rover dealer in the area, and so it is a perfect scenario to fit a set of all-terrain tyres. These are the tyres you want if you are driving on a mix of road surfaces. You can go from tarmac roads straight onto dirt and farm and forest roads, with high confidence of not losing traction.

The ratio of on/off road capability is most often about 60/40. The one tyre that I would recommend through years of experience is the General Grabber AT. These all-terrain tyres are ideal for the Land Rover owners and any other type of these vehicles. The General Grabber tyres also carry the “snowflake” symbol, which means they are also ideal for bad winter weather and snow.

Fit these tyres and you will be the person that gets to work on time, or can pull off the grass at an agricultural show?

Motorhome tyres from Michelin-Massive motorhome fit new tyres-sad ending?

Motorhome tyres from Michelin

Last Saturday saw yet another campervan pulling onto our forecourt for some new tyres fitting. The guy had fitted Kumho tyres in the past but was a little

Motorhome tyres from Michelin

Michelin campervan tyre fitted to the wheel

Motorhome tyres from Michelindisappointed with the low mileage that he had achieved.

The guy told us that his father always fitted Motorhome tyres from Michelin. His father had two front Motorhome tyres from Michelin fitted about two months ago and was highly delighted with their performance.

Consequently, they pulled his twin rear wheel motorhome into the forecourt and we decided that we should jack the vehicle up and remove the wheels outside. As we were fitting the tyres the customer came into the reception for a free coffee and a chat. I love chatting to my customers, as I believe that it’s all part of giving a good service. Although I don’t always feel like talking all the time, then i make an

New Michelin tyre

New Michelin tyre

Motorhome tyres from Michelin

Old tyre removed

effort.

Motorhome tyres from Michelin

Excellent, Motorhome tyres from Michelin are specially designed specifically for vans and motorhomes; these are the exact tyres for the job. They are called the “Michelin Agilis” and are the ones to fit to achieve a better mileage and carrying capacity.

Especially relevant, they are closely related to van tyres are built with extra performance in terms of load capacity and sidewall kerb wear.  You would be surprised if you saw the campervan owners who fit normal car tyres to their vehicle. Because, the correct tyre choice of campervan tyres can lead to reduced fuel consumption due to reduced rolling resistance, because of their ability to carry all the extra weight that a motorhome may carry.

Because there is no doubt that this customer has made the correct choice of tyre for his motorhome. Finally, to end on a sad note the guy told me that his father did a six week drive to Spain and sadly past away. He now has to go to Spain and drive his father’s vehicle back home, to sell it.

More information… http://www.michelin.co.uk/tyres/van-motorhome-tyres#type=type_2

Run-Flat Tyres- Why this is still a grey area for the tyre retailer/tyre shop?

Although I have written about this before after further research I have come to the

run-flat tyres

Continental run-flat tyres

conclusion that the repairing of Run-Flat Tyres is still a grey area.

What hit home to me was after the following incident at my tyre shop in Halifax Yorkshire UK. A customer from a Timber Merchants. Based just across the road from us. Brought his BMW in to us because the TPMS light had come on. The light showed that the passenger side front tyre had lost some pressure.

On inspection. We found a nail had penetrated the centre of the tyre. Sticking to our policy, we explained to the guy that we did not repair Run-Flat Tyres, and therefore it would require a new tyre. The guy was given the price of a new tyre. He then took his car back across the road and parked it up.

About fifteen minutes later and to our surprise, we saw a mobile fitting van pull up and the guy took off the wheel and repaired the tyre.

I realise it was up the guy to do what he wants with his car and eventually I got over it. It did open my eyes though, to see if the Run-Flat Tyres problem had moved on.

Run-Flat Tyres latest information

I decided to ring the technical departments up myself, to get the information from the horse’s mouth, so to speak?

Out of all the tyre companies that make the Run-Flat Tyres, three companies were against repairing their Run-Flat Tyres; these were Yokohama, Continental, and Pirelli. They were all adamant that they should NOT be repaired.

Amongst the others, BF Goodrich said that repairs were permitted under the BSAU 159 (1990) tyre law, but there could only be one repair maximum.

Bridgestone tyres said that you could only repair their Run-Flat Tyres if the pressure did not drop below 15 psi.

Firestone tyres are the same company as Bridgestone and so had the same Run-Flat Tyres stipulations.

Run-Flat Tyres

Michelin tyres stated that you could repair them using the same BSAU 159 regulations as long as it was a Michelin ZP type. The only exception to this is if the

run-flat tyres

Yokohama run-flat tyres

Michelin tyre state on the sidewall that “this tyre cannot be repaired” only one repair per tyre.

Dunlop and Goodyear are now the same company and when I rang them they said that both makes of Run-Flat Tyres could be repaired to British Standard 159.

Kumho Tyres also stated that their Run-Flat Tyres could be repaired to the BSAU 159.

In line with many of leading tyre companies, I have considered the implications and we will not offer to repair run-flat tyres. In my opinion this is a grey area. I am not prepared to put any of my customers at risk, due a possible tyre failure due to a tyre repair failure. There are too many other considerations that come into play. My main concern is the grey area of “how much pressure the tyre loses”.

We only have the customer’s word for the actual amount of pressure that the tyre may lose. If the tyre has been run on, with little pressure in, then it could look alright, but could have material breakdown. This tyre could look fine but it would not be safe to repair due to structural breakdown.

The link below explains exactly what the BSAU 159 tyre law states and also some updates… http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2003/1316/pdfs/uksi_20031316_en.pdf

Eric Roberts

Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes? Should we take notice of them?

In my opinion the Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes have taken a back seat in recent times.

What I mean is that the tyre trade has put them on the back-burner? Or have they?

Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes

Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes showing the Mercedes code

I don’t know about you but I find that in many cases the mention of Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes only complicates things, when advising a customer on which tyres they should have on their cars.

You can sit in my reception at any time of the week and it is surprising the number of drivers who really know nothing about their tyres. We all rave and rage over the internet, but a large number of our customers still come into my depot because they trust us and they and their families are long standing visitors when it comes to buying their car tyres.

We in the tyre trade know all about Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes. These codes were introduced when car manufacturers gave the tyre customers the engineering specs for a new model that would be coming out. The tyre companies then made tyres to suit a specific car. This in reality means that you could have six tyres that all look the same, with the same name.

You could (and do) have 8 different 20555v16 Continental tyres that look exactly the same, but have been developed for different makes and models of cars.

To differentiate the car tyres designed for specific cars, the tyre manufacturers added a code that was to be part of the tyre sidewall markings.

Technically these tyres that were made say for Audi were different to the tyre which was designed for a Mercedes. They look exactly the same as each other except for the Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes. The Audi would have an “AO” tyre code and the Mercedes would have a “MO” tyre code.

Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes

Some drivers want to keep to the exact same tyres that were fitted as original equipment. In my opinion it is up to the quality of your staff, whether or not they can detect which customer will need the full explanatory treatment or not.

The Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes come in the big mix of knowing your customers and knowing what they want. We can all recollect spending half an hour

Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes

Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes showing N1 for a Porsche

explaining about which tyres they should buy and at the end of it, they just say that they want the cheapest tyre on offer. We just keep smiling and get on to the next customer.

I think that perhaps we should be more professional. If they do have Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes for their particular car. Then we should explain this and also why it is important. Different tyres for different cars. Could have effects on important things such as low-rolling resistance which could alter your fuel economy, a special tread pattern for water evacuation and noise(perhaps for sipes in the tread), long tread life, specific ride characteristics, high load or speed ratings, and wet and dry-grip requirements.

All this adds up to what may be a different type of tyre to a straight forward replacement. I have included some images so that a customer can see what the difference may be and here is a list of some of the Car Manufacturers Tyre Codes that you are most likely to come across.

  • Aston Martin- AM
  • Audi- AO
  • Bentley- B in a circle
  • BMW- five-pointed star
  • Chrysler -C1
  • Ferrari- K
  • GM TPC spec
  • Jaguar- J in a circle
  • Lotus- LTS
  • Mercedes-Benz M0
  • Porsche- N0, N1, N2

Eric Roberts

See also http://blog.caranddriver.com/tread-rightly-what-to-know-before-buying-a-set-of-replacement-tires/ 

Motorhome Tyres-It is Very Important to fit the Correct Tyres?

This problem is nothing new. Back in the day, when vans were becoming more popular, we had a similar problem. People, who bought these small and medium vans, were unsure which type of tyres to use.

Vans used for small businesses could carry some real weight. They would load their van up with all sorts of equipment that were used to carry out their jobs with. Caravans were also becoming more popular but I will leave that for another article?

motorhome tyres

Adam removing a wheel to fit new Michelin motorhome tyres to this large camper van.

The popular van sizes in those days were from a 155×13 radial to a 185×14 radial. Each of these sizes was made as a van tyre or a car tyre. The van tyres were made with a heavier ply rating to enable the tyres to carry more (or the correct) weight.

Our customers would always go for a cheap car tyre option and did not worry about the consequences of having a tyre blowout because their van was overloaded. This also happened on caravans, overloaded caravans fitted with car tyres that had the incorrect load rating. With a little knowledge the owners of these vans started to fit the correct tyres for the job. Vans became faster and were able to carry heavier loads, so were fitted with low profile tyres and it became necessary for them to fit the correct tyres.

Enter the motorhome tyres?

The caravan people also had problems with fitting the wrong tyres. I would go straight to the motorhome problem, because it is a more current problem. Because of the massive increase in motorhome ownership then there will be more motorhome tyres sold.

This is something that is happening as I write this article. The thing is though, that the same problem as with the early van tyres? Drivers of these vehicles want to scrimp when it comes to buying the correct tyres for the job. In my opinion there is two options for motorhome tyres. The first is to fit a van tyre. The van tyre should be the same size, speed and load rating as the original tyre that is being replaced.

If everything is the same then you are within the law. Whatever you do, not try to revert to fitting a car tyre, of the same size, because the load rating will not be the same. Lower load ratings are what cause a blowout. This is one of the main reasons that you will see a caravan rolled over onto its side, or in a ditch.

motorhome tyres

Large motorhome ready to roll ?

As motorhomes became more popular, then some of the leading tyre manufacturers introduced specific motorhome tyres, for the camper motorhome owners. Michelin tyres, Continental tyres and Pirelli tyres all brought out a specific niche market camper/motorhome tyre.

When entering the camper tyre market. Tyre makers were looking at the strong tyre casing with a high load rating the same as a van tyre. Strong casings enable the tyre to carry much more weight. They can also cope with cornering and different terrains. After all you can see motorhomes anywhere. Not just on tarmac roads. This rigidity from a stronger sidewall.As a result, also prevents the motorhome tyres from swaying. We have all seen this when following an overloaded caravan.

It also very good advice, to drive within the speed limit, and also to avoid swerving.

My understanding is that the correct motorhome tyres are made with a different tyre compound than the regular van tyre, and this could be one of the reasons that the correct motorhome tyres a little more expensive. Certainly do not be tempted to fit regular car tyres, this has been asked of us a few times, by the

motorhome tyres

Michelin camper tyres ready to be fitted

owners of older motorhomes, but this is a no go area.

Here in Halifax at Pellon tyres, we find that Continental and Michelin are the two most popular brands of motorhome tyres that we fit and thoroughly recommend them for your camper van or motorhome.

I would recommend that you look at excellent advice about motorhome tyres from the tyre safety organisation that I fully support…http://www.tyresafe.org/