Tyre Safety October 2014 - Safe Tyres Saves Lives

A One Tyres - Friday, October 10, 2014

Ageing tyres can affect the safety of your tyres, safe tyres saves lives

This week there has been a particular focus on tyre safety in the Province.  The Northern Ireland Tyre Safety Association (NITSA) in partnership with the PSNI and the National Tyre Distributors' Association (NTDA) have held Tyre Safety Week 6 - 12 October 2014.  This year's Tyre Safety Week campaign is focusing on educating the public of the potential dangers of old tyres and urging people to check their tyres.  


Politicians, law enforcers and experts in the tyre industry have been highlighting the dangers of part worn tyres.  Purchasing older tyres can be a false economy as they can increase fuel consumption, while reducing tyre performance and safety.  Just 8% of part-worn tyres tested by local authorities in Northern Ireland fully complied with safety regulations while a staggering 35% (13 out of 37 tested) had serious faults that would potentially affect the safety of the tyre.


No matter what type of vehicle you are driving, it is vital to check your tyres regularly.  Coming into the winter months when driving conditions may be tricky it is even more important to keep your tyres in good condition.


A One Tyres has a customer loyalty scheme which makes checking your tyres easy, it is all done for you, just call into our Dromore depot and request a tyre check.  It is completely free, and you can enjoy a cup of coffee in our comfortable reception area while you are waiting.   Joining the loyalty scheme means you will benefit from various offers and giveaways as well as having peace of mind that your tyres are roadworthy.  Ask in our reception, or telephone us on 028 9269 9107 for details.  


Change to warm weather tyres

A One Tyres - Thursday, April 10, 2014

If you have made use of A One Tyres “Tyre Hotel” for your warm weather tyres and you haven’t already done so, in order to maximise your winter tyre use, you should probably think about calling in to our Dromore Depot and getting your winter tyres off and your summer tyres back on. 

While you can drive on winter tyres all year round, they perform better in conditions under 7 degrees Celsius and so to save their wear for the chilly winter months get your change-over to summer tyres done in the next few weeks.

The forecasters are predicting a warm summer.  We are looking forward to the 6 week heat wave forecast for the not too distant future.  But even if a heat wave doesn’t materialise, we are hopeful that temperatures will be rising in the next few weeks.  So it is time for those tyre changeovers. 

While you are in reception why don’t you enquire about our Customer Loyalty Scheme to make the most of your visits to our Depot.

For further information feel free to give us a call on 028 9269 9107, or simply call into our Dromore depot.

Spring is in the air, time for a vehicle check?

A One Tyres - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Beautiful bright spring days forecast, but still a chill in the air.  This may turn our thoughts to tidying, cleaning up and clearing out - the great spring clean.  Our homes get a lick of paint, our gardens are dug out but sometimes our vehicles get forgotten.  There are few things we should consider in relation to our vehicle checks: 

Tyre check

Well, obviously, being a tyre company, we are going to recommend regular tyre checks.  Not just once a year, but every couple of weeks.  There are several good reasons for doing this, which include maximising tyre tread, minimising fuel use and keeping your vehicle firmly in touch with the road.  

We can do all this for you, for further information on our customer loyalty scheme click here.

Vehicle service

We recommend that your vehicle is serviced regularly.  A full service is probably only required every other service.  But a basic oil change should be done according to the manufacturer recommendations for your car.  This may be every 5,000, 10,000 or even 15,000 miles.  Our car service department will take care of this for you.  Call Jean on 028 9269 9107 to book an appointment or set up a regular vehicle service reminder.

Other vehicle checks

Here are some things you should regularly check on your vehicle.  There may be other checks not included here.

  • Oil levels
  • Brake check & brake fluid levels
  • Battery check
  • Engine coolant levels: stops freezing in cold weather, prevents overheating in warm weather
  • Windscreen washer refill
  • Indicators, brake, rear and head lights
  • Exhaust check
  • Steering and suspension check

MOT inspections

The necessity for preparing your car for MOT may cover some of the basics in keeping your vehicle right for the road.  Our car service department will take care of MOT preparation and bringing your car to be tested. 

However, nothing beats a regular service outside of the MOT preparation, to help catch things before they cause damage to your car and to reduce the possibility of roadside breakdown.  More of us are keeping our cars on the road for longer so keeping your car service history up to date is becoming more important.

We offer a courtesy car service to minimise disruption for you while your own car is being serviced with us.

For further information feel free to give us a call on 028 9269 9107, or simply call into our Dromore depot.

Tyre Checks - take the pressure off your pockets and put it into your tyres

A One Tyres - Thursday, February 06, 2014

A little time spent now and again on simple checks, can save money on your tyres in the long run.  In our busy lives, why should you spend precious time checking your tyres every month?

Customer Loyalty

Here are a few reasons why you should, which will also put money back in your pocket:

Improved fuel consumption

Low tyre pressures in one or more tyre can increase ‘drag’ on your vehicle.  For the most economical effect on your fuel consumption you need your tyres to be the correct pressure.  We can advise on what that pressure should be for your vehicle.

Less wear and tear

Low or high tyre pressure will cause uneven wear on your tyres.  This will reduce the tyre’s performance both in grip on the road and wear to the tyre.  If you rarely or never check your tyres, you are likely to end up having to change your tyres more often.

Detection of tyre irregularities

Regular tyre inspections will help detect any irregular wear, damage, slow punctures or wheel swaps needed.  Taking action sooner rather than later will increase the life of the tyre, maximise grip, comfort and safety.

Load safety

Not many people think of the importance of having the correct pressure for different loads.  If you are used to travelling alone on your daily commute the recommended tyre pressure will be different than when you set off on your annual driving holiday to France with your whole family, the suitcases and the dog.  If you don’t adjust the tyre pressure to suit the load, stopping distances and grip on the road will be affected.

A One Tyres – pressure checks

We want our customers to get the very best performance from their tyres.  Regular tyre checks are an important part of achieving this.  We want A One customers to know when they come to spend money on their tyres that they have maximised the use of their tyres.

A One Tyres – customer loyalty scheme

There are obvious advantages of regular tyre checks that we have outlined here.  But at A One we have gone a step further by launching a customer loyalty scheme that promotes regular tyre checks and is absolutely free.   Simply call in every 4 weeks or so and get your tyres checked.  The checks and tyre advice come free, and on every third visit to A One you will be entitled to a free car wash.  What is there to lose?  Sign up today.  You can even get complimentary cup of coffee in our comfortable reception while your tyres are being checked.  What you do with the advice is entirely up to you.

Of course you can check your tyre pressures yourself and if you feel your tyres need some TLC we are here to help.

For further information feel free to give us a call on 028 9269 9107, or simply call into our Dromore depot.

Car tyre repair kits may end up costing you more

A One Tyres - Friday, January 17, 2014

Recently my dad bought a new car, well a second hand car, but new to him.  My dad is old school and he was quite upset to discover that the car did not have a spare tyre.  Where the tyre should be was a mould of Styrofoam.  He was not impressed.

Why do some manufacturers no longer put spare tyres in some models?

There is a constant drive among manufacturers to make their cars fuel efficient and eco-friendly.  Almost 30% of all new cars manufactured now do not have spare wheels.  The lighter the car is, the more miles per gallon it will do.  Clearly this sells cars when fuel is so expensive.  However, you should stop and think.  How much are you saving by not carrying a spare tyre compared to the hassle and expense of what happens when you get a puncture and have no spare wheel?

What do you do when you get a puncture?

Most people have never repaired a car tyre puncture themselves, but more people will have to learn how to use a car tyre repair kit.  Up to now, (the good old days, my dad would say) when you get a puncture, you change the tyre and take it to a tyre depot to see if it can be repaired.  That’s if you have a spare tyre.

What happens when you have no spare tyre?

Using manufacturer supplied car repair kit

Some cars are equipped with a sealant-based tyre repair kit.  You inject the sealant through the valve and use the portable compressor unit to reinflate the tyre.  If the tyre cannot be re-inflated the puncture will not be repairable and you will need to call for roadside assistance.  If you have been able to temporarily repair the puncture then you will need to drive to the nearest tyre depot for a permanent repair.   You should keep your speed under 30 mph for the first 3 miles, then check the tyre again.  After that you should drive no faster than 50 mph to the nearest puncture repair centre. 

At this point you may be able to have the puncture repaired, or you may need to purchase a new tyre.  But you will definitely have to replace the sealant canister at a cost of anything from £28 to £50 to be ready for your next puncture experience!

Run-flat tyres

Some vehicles have run-flat tyres which allow you to keep driving for a distance after getting a puncture.  You should drive no further than 50 miles on most run-flat tyres and keep your speed down.  We will put up more information on run-flat tyres in a future blog post.

Are tyre repair kits cost efficient? Well, not necessarily …

Research by Which magazine in May 2013 showed that when you get a puncture, replacing the sealant canister and the tyre can prove more expensive than the fuel you saved by not having a spare tyre on board.   Of course, you might be lucky and never have a puncture, but given the pot holes and debris on our roads, the odds are not good.


So next time you change your car, don’t forget to check if it has a spare tyre.  If it doesn’t, consider asking the dealer to provide you with a spare to stash in your shed or garage (included in the purchase price of course).  If you find your vehicle has a puncture outside your front door, it will be less hassle (and more cost effective) to change the tyre and get the puncture repaired in the normal way.   Of course, if you are out and about without a spare tyre, you are back to square one.

If you are interested in buying a spare tyre, please call us on 028 9269 9107 and we will happy to help, or complete one of our contact forms and we will get back to you.


The important thing to remember is, always get your puncture repaired by experts who will tell you if it is not repairable so that your car is safe and insured on the road.

Winter tyres - a few things to keep in mind

A One Tyres - Thursday, October 31, 2013

 

Winter is almost here so don’t forget to check the following before you drive in the winter months: 7 things to remember to check before winter

  • Always ensure your windows are clear and defrosted before putting your vehicle in motion
  • Check all bulbs are working and clear of dirt
  • Check your wipers work effectively and your car is topped up with plenty of screen wash.  Avoid using your wipers until your windscreen is clear of ice to prevent damage to your wipers.
  • Carry spare de-icer in your glove compartment.
  • In severe weather you may need to carry an emergency kit, include things like a rug, flask of coffee and some snack bars, also a rubber mat to put on the road for increased grip, a shovel and not forgetting your mobile phone to call for help.  Consider delaying or cancelling your journey in very bad weather.
  • Regularly check your tyre pressures (this advice applies no matter what the weather.)
  • Consider using our Tyre Hotel (see my winter tyre blog) to store your regular tyres when you purchase winter tyres from A One Tyres

Please note, we carry stocks of headlamp bulbs and wipers as well as winter tyres.  We will do a free winter tyre check if you call in with us in our Dromore depot.

Wrap up well, leave plenty of time for your journey and have safe motoring this winter.  We are here to help.  For advice on winter tyres call me on 028 9269 9107.

Aaron Clydesdale

National Tyre Safety Awareness Month October 2013

A One Tyres - Thursday, October 03, 2013
Tyre safety is something we take very seriously in A One Tyres. Check your pressures!

It vitally important to keep your tyres in good condition throughout the year for your safety, the safety of your passengers and other road users. This is particularly important coming into the winter.

Take some time to view this short video produced by the PSNI with help from the Northern Ireland Tyre Distributors Association.


Call into our Dromore depot for a free tyre check, or to get advice on winter tyres or any other tyre safety issue.



Tyre size and does it matter?

A One Tyres - Monday, September 02, 2013

Tyre sizing can be a confusing array of numbers and letters, with jargon phrases like “low profile”, “load index”, “speed ratings”. What difference does tyre size make? Well, let me break it down a bit.

How do I find out what size my tyre is?

Looking for the easiest way, call in at our depot and our staff will do the number crunching for you. But if you prefer to let your fingers do the walking, lift the phone and I, or some of the staff here can help you with what might suit your vehicle. However, if you are the more independent type and want to do it for yourself, you should look on the sidewall of your tyre, you will see a series of letters and numbers. They will be broken down into a series like 185/60 R 15 84H.

 

What do these numbers mean?

185 indicates the width of the tyre in millimetres

60 is the tyre’s height (ie measurement of bottom of tread to the rim) expressed as a percentage of its width.

R means the tyre has radial ply construction which is almost always found on car tyres

15 is the diameter of the rim in inches

84 is the load index and indicates the maximum load capacity for your vehicle

H indicates the speed for safe driving (H is rated for speeds up to 130mph)

What does low profile mean?

Low profile tyres are often used for high performance vehicles. Low profile simply means the size of the edge of the tyre. Narrower sidewalls can deliver better cornering, and some people think they look cool. If your vehicle doesn’t come with low profile tyres as standard, it may be possible to get low profile tyres fitted, but if you make that change you need to be careful. If you are changing your tyre size or profile, this can have an effect on your comfort, speedo, fuel consumption and can be harder on your vehicle’s suspension as well. Please phone us for more advice.

What is important?

It is important to keep the diameter of your tyre, if not exactly the same, as close to the original as possible, so that the drive shaft remains stable. If you want to make any change to your tyre size you should take advice on what is safe.

If your car is a people carrier, it is likely to have an “extra load” index. So ensuring your tyre suits the right load capacity is key to getting that right.
Matching tyre sizes is important. What you have on your front driver side, you should also have on your front passenger side. This just makes sense when you think of the tyres being part of your car’s suspension. What if my tyre is a runflat?

The size of the tyre does not change if your tyre is a runflat, although you should always seek to put the same type of tyre matching each side of your vehicle.

Still confused?

I must admit, this is a befuddling mix of millimetres, inches, percentages and other confusing indexes, but you don’t need a degree in maths to get it right. We can do it for you. Whether you have no idea of what tyre size you require, or whether you want to discuss what is possible on your car, for low profiles or other differences, we can help. Just give us a call at our Dromore depot.

How to get the most from your car tyre

A One Tyres - Wednesday, June 05, 2013

So who cares about their car tyres, they are black, round and dirty and a nuisance when punctured, why should we give a second thought to our car tyres once we drive out of the dealer forecourt?

Two important incentives immediately come to my mind, passenger safety and cash in our pockets.

Passenger Safety

Everyone who travels in our vehicle relies on the tyres to stop the car within a reasonable braking distance. Of course, how we drive makes a considerable difference to this, but even the best driver occasionally comes across a situation where they need to stop unexpectedly. Tyre tread depth (that is the amount of rubber left on your tyre) and tyre pressure (that is the amount of air in your tyre) both effect how well your tyre performs, both in everyday wear and tear and in the one-off emergency.

Tread depth

The law requires you maintain a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm otherwise you may be liable to penalty points on your driving licence. This tyre tread depth is the bare minimum and in wet weather it will take an average of 8 metres longer for a vehicle to stop at 50mph than with a tyre of 3mm tread depth. This can be the difference between having an accident and avoiding an accident.

Tyre pressure

Tyre pressures should be checked weekly, on cold tyres. When your tyres are under or over inflated your brakes and steering may not react as you would expect. Get into the habit of checking your tyre pressures at the beginning of the week. Call in with us in A One, we will do this for you free of charge. If you are doing this yourself, you should check the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle (this information should be in your vehicle handbook). Tyre pressure may be different for front and back tyres and will depend on the load you are carrying. Of course, a journey with all your family’s luggage and 4 passengers in the car is likely to require a variation in tyre pressure from your normal work commute.

Cash in our Pockets

Everyone is watching the pennies these days. Taking care of our tyres pays off both in terms of safety and our household budgets. Ensuring correct tread and pressure in our tyres will mean getting more miles to the gallon from your tank. Tyres are responsible for about 20% of your car’s fuel consumption. For many of us, fuel has become a large part of our household spend. With fuel efficient tyres you can save as much as 3% on your fuel spend by putting on the right tyres. Michelin produces a range of Energy Saver tyres. Pirelli are also one of the manufacturers that have come out on top with regard to savings on fuel according to independent testing by Which? magazine.

Finally

… don’t forget about your spare tyre (if you have one). When you need a spare tyre, you really need a spare tyre and there is nothing more annoying than discovering by the roadside that your spare tyre is flat or not road worthy.

So yes, everyone should take care of their tyres and their tyres will take care of them … if you need help with anything in this blog please contact me at our Dromore depot or leave your comment below.

A One Tyres – the One to keep you moving

A One Tyres - Friday, March 29, 2013

My name is Aaron Clydesdale, Depot Manager at A One Tyres in Dromore, Co Down. I’ve been working in tyres for over 25 years. With that number of years under my belt, I’ve soaked in plenty of tyre knowledge and have a wealth of hints and tips for the discerning customer, as well as sound advice for the customer who simply sees their tyres as ‘round and black’ and necessary to keep them on the move.

Over the next months I plan to post some articles to share some of this experience. I’ll offer some tips on how to get the most from your tyre to enhance fuel economy and performance. I’ll even give an insider’s view on what’s best in tyre brands in the Northern Ireland market. I’ll share insights into topics, like tyre inflation (the air or nitrogen debate), to re-groove or not to re-groove, I’ll be discussing if winter tyres are worth it and sharing my thoughts on how the right tyre can help with your household or business budgeting.

But my specialist subject is “motorbike tyres”. And no, I’m not auditioning for Mastermind, I have a keen interest in motorbikes and specialise in getting the right tyre for any kind of biker, from the tourist to the sportsman. The motorbike season is almost upon us. Hopefully I can keep you up to speed on biking events. I’d love to hear from anyone in Northern Ireland running a motorbike show, organising charity runs or random motorbike get togethers. The biker fraternity are a unique bunch. I love my job!

Watch out for my series on “Top Tyre Tips”. To mark the start of the motorbike season my next post (published soon) will be looking at Top Tyre Tips for Motorbikes. To keep up to date, add this blog to your blog list.


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