Wheel alignment - why bother?

A One Tyres - Thursday, February 07, 2019

We are all keen to spend as little as possible on our new tyres, but skimping on the “extras” can be a false economy.  So is wheel alignment an extra that can maximise the value of your spend?  

Without a doubt the answer is yes!   

There are at least four great reasons to avail of this little extra:

  • It helps ensure even tyre tread so prolonging the life of your tyre
  • It reduces uneven wear on car parts so helping to reduce expensive repairs
  • It improves vehicle handling
  • (Best of all) it maximises fuel consumption

What is wheel alignment?

It is an adjustment of your vehicle’s suspension parts to be fully aligned as per the manufacturer’s specification.  In A One Tyres we do this using a computer system to ensure the alignment is an accurate as possible.

When should I get wheels aligned?

You know you need your wheels aligned when the car pulls to one side or the other when travelling in a straight road.  Hitting a pot-hole or kerb can knock out your wheel alignment.  And you should always get your wheels aligned when you make a new tyre purchase.  In A One Tyres we recommend you get your wheels aligned at least once a year, whether you have made a new tyre purchase or not.

Does this not come as standard when purchasing tyres?

Wheel alignment is not standard with your tyre purchase.  Once you have the information on why you should take the time and expense with wheel alignment, you decide if you want to make this purchase.  Our reception staff will be glad to help with any further information.

However, balancing your tyres does come as standard.   Wheel balancing is a different operation which ensures smooth running of your tyres without vibration.

How long will wheel alignment take?

It usually takes about 30 minutes to carry out wheel alignment.  You can enjoy a free cup of coffee while you wait.  In the long run it is well worth the extra expense.

For further information feel free to give us a call on 028 9269 9107, or simply call into our Dromore or Lisburn depot (tel 028 9266 7551).  


The ‘gen’ on nitrogen versus oxygen in your tyres

A One Tyres - Thursday, June 15, 2017

We are sometimes not too good at letting our customers know about the ‘new and cool’ in the tyre industry. A lot of people in Northern Ireland have never heard of inflating their tyres with nitrogen so I thought I’d give you the “gen” and you can make up your own mind.

How is your tyre inflated?

Currently most tyres are inflated using ordinary air which is made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases. So is there any benefit in using pure nitrogen to inflate your tyres? The aircraft and motorsport industry have been doing this for years as the preferred gas in their tyres, so why? Well, mainly this is because it improves fire safety when flying at high altitudes with tyres stored in wings or in the fuselage. Of course fire safety is also paramount at high speeds in motor sports. But in reality the reason Formula One uses nitrogen is because it is easier and more reliable than using an air compressor.

Does nitrogen inflation make any difference? 

But what about the gas that inflates your car tyres on your daily commute, or your trip to the shops, or the school run? Some experts say that filling your car tyres with nitrogen mainly does two things:

It eliminates moisture

this can reduce rust on wheels, which isn’t a huge issue on cars in normal use, but may be an advantage on work vehicles exposed to high levels of moisture. Moisture in any tyre will eventually cause rust on steel rims or corrosion on alloy rims which can lead to a leak. This leads to poor handling, increased fuel consumption, and uneven wear.

It keeps tyres inflated for longer

it replaces smaller oxygen molecules with larger nitrogen molecules reducing the rate at which compressed gas is lost through tyre walls. In theory that means that a tyre filled with nitrogen retains optimal pressure longer, leading to more uniform tyre wear and improved fuel consumption.

What should you do?

Clearly these sound like good arguments, but to be honest, keeping a regular eye on your tyre pressure, no matter what’s in the tyre may be all you need to do. In A One Tyres we have calibrated air-line gauges for measuring tyre pressure accurately. If you do your own checks, make sure you use a gauge that will give you correct pressure readings.

What can we do for you?

A One Tyres offers a nitrogen tyre inflation service. But no matter what floats your boat, or rather what inflates your tyres, we recommend you check your tyre pressure regularly (about every two weeks) to help maximise tyre wear, ensure passenger safety and improve fuel consumption.
Feel free to drop in on your way passed our Dromore depot and we will check your tyre pressures free of charge. If you like the idea of nitrogen inflation just ask, whatever your preferred -gen for tyre inflation we are here to help.

If you need help with anything in this blog please contact me at our Dromore depot or leave your comment below.

Check your tyre tread depths, worth the hassle

A One Tyres - Monday, April 27, 2015

We are always recommending our customers check their tyres regularly.  This Continental Tyres video shows why this is important.   The presenter is both a mother and a racing driver.  Check out the stopping distances in wet conditions.  That could be the difference in stopping without incident and having a serious accident.  Worth a watch.

If you don't want to check your own tyres, we are happy to do it for you, just call into our Dromore depot and our experts will carry out a check and advise you, no pressure, no stress.  You can even get a free coffee while you wait.


Motorbike season begins

A One Tyres - Thursday, March 26, 2015

This is a blog I first posted this time last year, not much changes ... another season about to start ... call in and get your tyres checked, or post a comment on our Facebook page (A-One Tyres) about anything you have planned for the motorbike season ... we love to hear your stories.

As I write this the sky is a deep blue, the wind is light and the road is inviting.  It is still on the cold side, but keen bikers will already be out, some have braved the winter storms and have been out in all weathers.  The more ‘seasonal’ motorbike enthusiasts will be dusting down helmets, getting out the old leathers to check they still fit after the indulgence of winter eating and doing the new season annual checks on motorbikes. Motorcycle Tyre fitting

And your motorcycle tyres should definitely be on that checklist.  What should you be looking for?

Motorcycle tyre pressures

Checking tyre pressures is the most important regular check.  This should be done very regularly, ideally before each ride, but definitely not more than every two or three weeks.  Always check pressures when the tyre is cold and if using a tyre gauge, ensure it is accurate and reliable.  Inflation should be to the correct pressure. Over-inflation reduces ride comfort and will give less road grip.  Under-inflation will result in poor handling, and in extreme cases may cause the bike to ‘wander’.  Like Goldilocks said “this one is just right”, get the tyre pressures right and this will maximise fuel consumption, comfort and safety.

Certainly after the bike has been in winter storage the tyre pressures should be checked before you take it on its first new season trip.  Bring your motorbike into our Dromore depot and we will happily carry out the tyre checks for you.

Tyre fittingMotorcycle tyre tread

Check the tyre tread depth, it should be a minimum of 1mm but much better to change the tyres before they get to 2mm tread depth.  Check for any cuts or bulges which might indicate tyre damage and need further expert investigation.

Motorcycle wheel balance

Always check the wheel balance after a tyre has been removed or replaced and after a long period of non-use.  Unbalanced wheels will cause vibration at higher speeds and will increase tyre wear.

General maintenance

Keeping your bike properly maintained will primarily improve safety on the road and give a better overall motorcycle riding experience.  But it also serves to get best wear from your tyres.  A poorly running machine will demand more from its tyres.

New tyres – choosing the right tyre

You may find you need new tyres.  On a motorbike getting the right tyre for your needs is very important and can be a minefield.  Whether you use your bike for touring on long road trips, for road racing or for your daily commute, we have experts at A One who can talk you through what is best suited for your motorcycle. 

We supply and fit motorcycle tyres while you wait in the comfort of our warm reception with a cup of tea or coffee.  Just ask for Aaron Clydesdale.

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

Be ready for winter weather

A One Tyres - Thursday, October 30, 2014

Despite the fact we are enjoying unseasonably warm weather for October, rumours abound that there is a cold snap looming.  Some say “bring it on”, others are not so keen.  Like it or not, icy conditions on the roads are a hazard and in Northern Ireland we always seem to be surprised by it. 

So let’s give some thought to how to be prepared.  With regards to your car, having your tyres in the best condition possible is a good place to start so you are less likely to be grounded in freezing conditions.  Here are a few top tips to ensure you are prepared for cold weather:

  • If your winter tyres have been in our ‘tyre hotel’ during the summer it is high time you got them back on your vehicle and give your warm weather tyres a rest.
  • Top up your screen wash, if you only have water in there it is more likely to freeze
  • Carry windscreen de-icer in your car for those chilly nights you’ve been out and want to get home quickly and safely.  You need maximum visibility from your car windows.
  • Check your tyre tread and pressure.  Think about winter tyres, they give you extra braking distance and improved grip on the road.
  • Make sure your car lights are all clean and working, replace any bulbs and get headlights aligned if required
  • Check your brakes
  • If you get stuck in bad weather and can’t get traction on the road, a good tip is to use foot mats behind the tyres to help get you out of a tight spot. 
  • In extreme freezing conditions carry a spade, some sand and emergency supplies in the boot of your car.  Make wise decisions about whether your journey is really necessary.

If you need vehicle tyres checked or your car serviced in preparation for winter, just contact A One Tyres to get your car booked in to our Garage Services Department.   For further advice or information call A One Tyres on 028 9269 9107.

Tyres should never be the reason for your car failing the MOT

A One Tyres - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

According to a recent article in the Telegraph, “over 2.2 million cars failed their MOT test with tyre-related problems last year”.  The figures were obtained from Tyresafe.  Tyresafe’s Chairman said “It beggars belief that so many motorists can fail their MoT because of unsafe or illegal tyres.”  

And right enough, it is an unbelievable statistic that so many drivers have let their tyres deteriorate to such a state that the cars fail an MOT!   As the article points out, tyres are so vital to safety on the roads, particularly at this time of year when road conditions can be treacherous.  Why do so many motorists send their cars to be tested without checking the state of their tyres themselves or calling in to a tyre depot to get it done for them by the experts?

The A One Tyres’s loyalty scheme encourages customers to come in regularly for a free tyre check.  So, even if your car is not going for MoT just yet, you can be confident the tyres are safe and fully legal.  For more details just ask at reception.

Each car that comes in for an MOT check with A One Tyres gets their tyres checked as a routine part of the service.  If the car needs new tyres we will ensure that the customer knows what their options are.  This way our customers are guaranteed that their car will not fail its MoT on tyre-related issues.

In summary, there are a number of simple reasons to ensure your tyres are checked regularly:

  • safety on the road all year round, but particularly over the winter months
  • it keeps your tyres legal, avoiding penalty points
  • your car will not fail the MoT for tyre-related issues incurring extra cost

So next time you are passing our Dromore, Co Down depot, call in and ask at reception to have your car tyres checked, it is an absolutely free service.  Should you require replacement tyres our experts will talk through this purchase with you to ensure you get the best tyres for your car taking into account your driving habits.

If you need your car serviced, or prepared for MoT, call Jean in our Garage Services Department to book an appointment.  For further advice or information call A One Tyres on 028 9269 9107

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.