Where do part worn tyres come from?
We source our part worn tyres from a number of suppliers, they come to us from vehicle recyclers who break vehicles for recycling, the cars being broken often have 2 or more nearly new tyres on at the time of scrapping, these tyres are tested, checked for age and then resold if they pass all the tests. We also source tyres from our contacts in Germany.
German law insists that drivers must always use appropriate tyres for the road conditions. This means from October winter tyres must be used until spring. Winter tyres do not just give better grip in snow, the rubber stays soft in cold weather. Summer tyres on the other hand become hard and brittle below 9C, and this affects braking and control. The minimum tread depth by law in germany is 3mm, compared to our 1.6mm. Thus a german who finds himself with a 6mm summer tyre in October will discard the tyre, rather than store it for the winter to refit it in the spring for a meagre 3mm of use. Come spring the winter tyres are quick to be taken off. This is a major source of our tyres.
How do you check for age?
We cut the tyre and count the rings. The number of salt rings on the tyre indicate how many winters it has seen, which gives an accurate age within a year.
Or, if we don't have much time we just check the manufacturer stamp on the side of the tyre. This 4 digit code tells us the week and year in which the tyre was made: more information is here http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11
Are part worn tyres safe?
Yes. In fact buying 4 part worn tyres is much safer than buying a second hand car - which comes with 4 part worns fitted, like it or not. We internally and externally examine each and every tyre. We do not shy away from discarding tyres that have defects either. We will not fit a tyre that has been poorly repaired or is internally damaged. They might be part worn, but they have been thoroughly checked.
Will it invalidate my insurance?
No, no and thrice no. Do not listen to men down the pub.
ATS, Kwikfit and Euromaster say that part worn tyres are lethal. Are they?
New tyre sales in this country are in slow decline because of the rise in popularity of part worn tyres. The industry acknowledges this, and the response from the British Tyre Makers Federation was to put together a slush fund and finance a quasi “consumer rights group” (tyresafe) to campaign against part worn tyres. The motivation for doing so was a commercial decision, made in response to declining sales of new tyres. Of course anyone selling tyres should be doing so with safety as the biggest priority, and rogue traders deserve all the punishment they can be given, but this also applies to vendors of new tyres as well. It is not unheard of for a new tyre to be damaged on fitting - if this goes unnoticed, either deliberately or accidentally, the result is dangerous whether the tyre is brand new or 4 years old.
Do you clean the beads?
Yes we do.
Cleaning the bead is an important step when changing a tyre. A clean smooth bead ensures that no air will escape on the bead wall. We do this in 3 steps: first we clean the inner and outer bead section of the wheel and inspect for any wheel damage, next we vigorously wire brush the inner and outer bead section and remove any loose or flaking debris, then third we clean this again and then apply a sealant to the bead before mounting the tyre.
Do you balance the wheels?
Yes, we balance all wheels after changing the tyres. This is done on our dynamic wheel balancer. Dynamic wheel balancing is a fancy word for balancing both the inner and outer sections of the wheel, so that the wheel is not just perfectly weighted as it spins, but is also weighted left to right. This ensures no vibrations at high speed from an unbalanced wheel.
Do you warranty your tyres?
We do - however we do not provide a warranty for external damage. External damage would be the tyre suffering an inury as a result of coming into contact with an external surface, whether it be a nail, a deep pot hole, a kerb, or a traffic wardens foot.
I have heard that age can ruin tyres
Tyres do eventually crack up and degrade with age, but this takes many years. We visually inspect each tyre and the age of each one. We do not sell tyres that are either too old, or have prematurely aged. How long a tyre has spent in direct sunlight is a bigger factor when it comes to age damage - quite often a low mileage car always parked in the same position for most of the time in an east/west position will need its 2 southern facing tyres replaced well before the the north facing tyres.
I have heard that part worn tyres are a false economy with new tyres costing so little these days.
The difference between a new budget chinese made tyre that has an F wet grip rating and an F fuel rating cannot really be compared to a 1 year old Michelin that has an A wet grip and an A fuel rating. Brand new the Michelin will sell for 3 to 4 times as much as the budget tyre. It will have better grip, less road noise, use less fuel and last longer. The used michelin will cost slightly less than the new budget tyre. As for which is the better value? - I would go with the used Michelin.
Do you sell run flat tyres?
Yes we do. And we carry a large stock.
Do you sell new tyres?
Yes, and we sell quite a few. We can source any brand of new tyre - premium, mid range or budget for either same day or next day delivery.
Do you do anything else?
We fix brakes, suspension track rod ends, exhausts, and replace batteries, bulbs and wipers.