High-pressure washers ‘can turn a tyre into a killer’

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High-pressure car washers are putting lives at risk by making tyres susceptible to blow- outs, safety experts have warned.Jets of water from the machines can damage and degrade the tyre wall if aimed directly at it for as little as five seconds, says the industry body TyreSafe.It is concerned that a growing army of car-wash teams using the high-pressure washers in car parks and at the roadside could be putting motorists at risk.It is also urging those who may have bought one of the machines for home use to check it is not too powerful and take care when aiming the jet at tyres.Tyresafe spokesman Chris Wakley said: “We received several calls and emails from people who had experienced low tyre pressure after having their cars washed by hand car-wash teams. Our own research indicated that industrial type pressure washers can damage the sidewall of a tyre and lead to a potentially dangerous situation where a tyre could burst when it is being driven.”TyreSafe, formerly known as the Tyre Industry Council, says that a light-to-medium duty pressure washer – with a maximum pressure of 110bar or less – should be used to clean tyres.It says motorists who have bought one of the machines should check to see if it is one of the more powerful varieties and, if so, consider changing it.The group fears that many small car-wash teams may be using heavy duty equipment carelessly.There are thought to be between 5,000 and 10,000 of the two or threeman teams in operation.There has been a particular boom in the South-East, where hosepipe bans have discouraged motorists from washing their own vehicles.Mr Wakely added: “Hand car-wash teams have sprung up all over the place and in many cases they do a great job.But motorists using them should indicate to the washer that they should not get too close when cleaning tyres with these high pressure machines.”German safety group Dekra has discovered that if a washer nozzle is held close to a tyre at very high pressure, serious damage can occur in five seconds.TyreSafe noted: “Even tyres that appear normal after being subjected to a pressure washer may have microscopic perforations, which can weaken the sidewall and cause a possible blow-out.”Other contributory factors to sidewall damage include the width of the water jet and the strength of any soaps or detergents used.Strong soap can remove protective chemicals that are embedded in the sidewall, usually resulting in brown watermarks.
Source: High-pressure washers ‘can turn a tyre into a killer’ | Daily Mail Online

Tyre Pressures

Tyres specified by the a vehicle manufacturer also come with recommended tyre pressures, These tyres pressures permits safe operation within the specified load and speed rating. The information on the tyre sizes and pressures are usually located on a decal just inside the driver’s door, the fuel flap or if the vehicle has one, the vehicles handbook.

Tyres should not be inflated to the pressure that is stated on the sidewall of the tyre as this is the maximum pressure for that tyre, rather than the recommended pressure. It’s also very dangerous to allow tyre pressure’s to drop below the recommended pressure, should this happen the tyre wall will become more pliable than had it been of a higher pressure, and thus it will “roll” under the wheel. This increases the entire roll movement of the car, and diminishes tyre contact area on the negative side of the vector. Meaning that only half the tyre is in contact with the road, the tyre may deform to such an extent that the side wall on the positive vector side becomes in contact with the road and probability of failing in the emergency manoeuvre is then increased.

Sale of Dangerous Tyres Leads to Convictions

We always recommend that you purchase new tyres. There is no true way of knowing what damage there may be to a part worn without x-ray eyes!

The sale of part worn tyres is subject to the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.), which is part of the Consumer Protection Act. The legal minimum for tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, but to be legal to sell part-worn tyres must have at least 2mm – just 0.4mm more than the legal limit. The tyres should not have cuts, lumps or any other damages that will compromise its structural integrity, have passed an inflation test and be marked with the part worn stamp. Motorists are reminded to check that the tyre being offered to them meets these requirements before purchasing and to consider purchasing a new tyre which has none of the potential issues of a used example.

At 2mm tread remaining the tyres wet braking ability has diminished so much that it’s on the border of being unsafe. And the mileage that remains on a tyre of 2mm tread is so low that it is just not economical. Add to this that a great number of used tyres are of Chinese origin and are not constructed to the standards of major brand named tyres such as Goodyear and Michelin. Why take the risk?

The sale of dangerous tyres to unsuspecting motorists has led to the conviction of six retailers of part worn tyres from the Brent and Harrow area of London within the space of a week. Top Tyres & Auto Parts Ltd (Wembley); Whitchurch Road Tyres (Harrow); Pinner Road Tyres Ltd (Harrow); Quick Car Repairs Ltd (Harrow); Mr Walazedeh trading as Harrow Tyres (Harrow); and 3D Tyres Ltd (Wembley) faced 36 charges of supplying unsafe tyres, not complying with the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994. All six pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay a total of £18,009.40 in fines, including individual penalties for company directors, costs and victim surcharges. The risk to road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, posed by the offenders’ sale of dangerous and incorrectly labelled tyres was roundly condemned by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards, TyreSafe and the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) whose cooperation led to the successful convictions.”One retailer wilfully selling dangerous tyres is one too many but the conviction of six in a week highlights just how many part worn dealers are flouting the law and their duty of care to the public,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Tyres are a primary safety feature on a vehicle, significantly affecting braking and steering performance – fitting sub-standard tyres endangers lives.

Cllr James Denselow, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “It is simply unacceptable for tyre companies to be taking shortcuts with part-worn tyres, putting drivers and their passengers at risk, in order to maximise profits. As a cheaper alternative to buying a new tyre for a car, this kind of offence also hits the poorest who cannot afford brand new tyres the most, so the outcome of these cases are particularly satisfying.

I would ask anyone thinking of buying a tyre to check it carefully before buying, looking out for cracks, tears, the state of the tread and of course that it is properly marked as a part-worn tyre, before handing over the cash. Trading Standards will never tire in their efforts to ensure the public are kept safe. I hope that these convictions serve as a warning to other tyre companies, that if they do risk public safety, there will be a hefty price to pay.
Source: www.tyresafe.org – Sale of Dangerous Tyres Leads to Convictions

MICHELIN Pilot Road 4


Yet another sport touring radial tire breakthrough from Michelin: With MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres on your motorcycle, you’ll ride with more confidence – rain or shine, hot or cold, city or highway. Available in 3 versions: Standard, GT & Trail. Stops Faster MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres stop faster in the wet than any other tyres in the category. But don’t just take our word for it. Independent tests prove it.* The MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 brakes 17% shorter than its closest competitor on wet pavements and even better on slippery wet surfaces thanks to MICHELIN XST+ sipes technology. All of which means riding in the rain should feel safer, more secure, and a lot less stressful. Lasts Longer Thanks to improved 2CT technology, the new MICHELIN® Pilot® Road 4 lasts 20% longer than MICHELIN® Pilot® Road 3 tyres**. Over the long run, that adds up to fewer tire changes and a lower total cost of ownership. Grips the road in virtually all conditions All-new silica-charged rubber compounds were developed for the MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres. These compounds are specially formulated to provide excellent grip on a wide range of road surfaces, including painted lines and pedestrian crossings, making it easier for you to ride with confidence in virtually all conditions.***

Source: MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 – Tires On-road | MICHELIN – Motorcycle – United States – Motorcycle-website

10 Car Care Tips

Cars are a vital part of everyday modern life that allow people to get where they need to go. However, they won’t just go and go forever. A car is fundamentally a collection of many working parts, where one impacts the next and so on. If perhaps one part of the car does have an issue, it is important to fix it as quickly as possible, to prevent further damaging other parts.

When properly maintained, a car will keep trucking along for many more years than if it is neglected. Not only is this helpful in getting you where you need to go, it is a more valuable investment if you plan to resell. So what are the basics of car care that you must know? Here are 10 fundamental pointers:

Tip 1: Keep up on Oil Changes

Yes, it really is important to keep up on oil changes. The reason for this is because motor oil gets thick and nasty like a sludge substance over time, and the deposits will wear down your engine. Changing your car’s oil can help you refresh the oil before it gets to that point, preventing your car from contamination by constant exposure to heat, air and moisture.

If you wait too long in between oil changes, the result can be catastrophic and very expensive to fix. Recommendations for oil change intervals vary from every 3000 miles to 10,000 miles, so a good average is every 5000 miles.

Tip 2: Flush the Cooling System and Change Coolant Annually

The cooling system in a car keeps it from overheating by circulating coolant through the car’s engine, absorbing heat from the blocks and heads and sending it to the radiator. After so long, the cooling system can start to corrode and acquire a buildup of deposits which hinder its function. For this reason, it is helpful to annually flush the cooling system with a mix of half water and half coolant.

Tip 3: Transmission and Differential Oil Care

A car’s transmission moves energy from the engine to the drivetrain to get the car moving, while the differential compensates for the difference between the inner and outer wheels when handling corners. Fluids are needed for both to ensure proper function. However, the fluids do eventually wear down if they are not replaced. As a result, the inside of the transmission can overheat and wear can develop on the gears and bearings.

This is why it is important to change these oils at regular intervals, and to use the recommended oil type and oil viscosity.

Tip 4: Wash it Regularly

Driving a clean car feels and looks nice, however it is more important than that. Washing your car regularly ensures proper function because anything that you run over, can get stuck under the car. Avoid rust and malfunction by hosing off grime and salt underneath, in addition to cleaning the exterior.

Tip 5: Grease It Up (Lubrication)

While many cars these days do not need to be greased nearly as often as was previously the case, older cars with greased ball joints will need lubing at regular intervals. Additionally, if your car is making creaking noises, especially when going over bumps, it may need lubrication. Generally, lube modern cars every few years.

Tip 6: Sun Protection

The inside of your car can reach well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot summer day in the sun, and the exterior can reach even higher if it is parked in direct sunlight! It is really important to protect your car from the sun because, after repeated exposure, damage occurs to parts within the car.

Always make sure that your belts are not cracked or damaged, the coolant level is sufficient, and that your car’s hoses are not worn out or damaged. Oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid all help to keep your car moving, and at high temperatures, it is important that they are all at the proper level to protect the life of your car.

You should check the air filters in your car regularly during hot weather because dust can clog them, reduce the gas mileage of your car, and it can cause your car’s mass air flow sensor to become damaged. You can protect the inside of your car by parking it in the shade and/or using a window deflector, and should also use a UV protection on the plastic and vinyl to keep it from drying out and cracking/fading.

Tip 7: CV Joint Bearing Care

A wheel bearing lets the wheels on a car move around and holds them securely to the car. There are four wheel bearings on a car, one for each wheel. The wheels and steering wheel will begin to shake when your wheel bearings wear out. You should have your car checked out as soon as possible if this happens.

There are two types of wheel bearings made for cars:

  1. This type of bearing can be removed and taken apart, it is then cleaned out and filled with new grease, or
  2. A sealed wheel bearing needs to be replaced all together when it is defective.

If your car was made before 1997, there are two wheel bearings in each front tire (1 inner and 1 outer). You should clean, and fill it with new grease or have it inspected every 30,000 miles.

If your car was made after 1998 then there is one wheel bearing in each tire, it is called a hub and bearing assembly. This unit needs to be replaced when it shows signs of wear.

A few signs that your wheel bearings are wearing down:

  • An abnormal noise coming from your tires like squealing or grinding when you are driving.
  • The steering wheel might shake when you are driving.
  • The wheel will not move forward easily if the wheel bearing is locked up.

Tip 8: Brake Fluid Care

Next, your car’s brake fluid absorbs moisture which causes the brake components to become corroded and malfunction. We all know how important it is for brakes to work when we are relying on them, so bleed the braking system once per year and be sure to replace brake fluid.

Tip 9: Wheels and Tyres

Wheel and tyre care is also a big part of car maintenance. You should rotate your cars tyres every 5,000 miles and always clean brake dust off your wheels. The nasty grime from the road, moisture and heat from your brakes will cause the sludge to bake onto your tyres. A damp sponge can be used with clean cold water to do the trick.

Next, your car tyre pressure should be checked one a week. If the pressure is off, it can have a negative effect on gas mileage, the cars handling and comfort.

Lastly for wheel and tyre care, check the tread of your cars tyres because bald, slick tires are not good for keeping you on the road. Some tyres come with a tread wear indicator built into them. Examine your tyres regularly and if the tread is too low, it’s time to replace them.

Tip 10: Electric Checkup

The maintenance of the electric components of your car are also essential to proper functioning. However, if you are planning to do any work on your cars electrical system, you should always disconnect the battery first by doing the following:

  • Loosen the connector for the negative/ground terminal first
  • Wiggle the terminal cap off
  • Use a zip tie to move the cable out of the way
  • If you need to remove the battery, remove the positive connector

Once disconnected, most new cars have a 12 volt negative ground electrical system, and the battery terminals and contacts need to be clean so that the current can pass around the electrical system freely. You can remove the terminal caps and clean the post with a wire brush.

There you have it! These 10 tips cover the basic fundamental care you should be performing on your car. In doing these regularly, your car will thank you by staying in working order and taking you where you need to go for years to come. A little proactive maintenance goes a long way in preventing expensive repairs and extensive damage!

New legislation causing uninformed motorists to fail MOT

A faulty Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is now an automatic MOT fail on cars registered after 1 January 2012 and is already catching motorists out – does your car have it and how do you know if it’s working?Millions of cars in the UK are fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems, or TPMS, which monitor the vehicle’s tyre pressure and will alert the driver to over- or under-inflation. As of 1 January 2015, a car displaying a TPMS fault when submitted for its MOT will result in a test failure.To save you from a stressful situation when you MOT your car TyreSafe, the UK’s tyre safety association, have produced a simple video to help motorists understand the safety features of this technology.

via www.tyresafe.org – New legislation causing uninformed motorists to fail MOT.

£12.50 London motorcycle toll approved

RIDERS of motorcycles made before 2007 will have to pay a £12.50 daily charge to enter central London under the approval of a new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The daily toll will be introduced on September 7, 2020, and affects bikes made before July 2007, when the European emission standard known as ‘Euro 3’ became a minimum requirement for new motorcycles.

The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will charge bikes at the same rate as cars and vans under Transport for London’s plans.

According to TFL, ‘cameras will read your number plate as you enter, leave or drive within the zone and check it against the database for those who meet the ULEZ standards or need to pay the daily charge’.

The ULEZ website lists options to avoid the charge, which include getting a new vehicle that meets the emissions standard or re-routing your journey to avoid the zone. In other words, get a new bike or do one.

The Mayor of London has said the new low emission zone will encourage the use of new, cleaner vehicles, improving the quality of life and health of Londoners.

Car Insurance Info-Graphic

Now you know how we like an info graph.

Tempcover has created a handy creative dispelling some of the top car insurance myths. As the UKs largest temporary and short term motor insurance provider, they compare hundreds of quotes from insurers and will always offer the cheapest price available. Take a look at the infographic below to see which motoring rumours are true, false, and somewhere a little in between!


Top 10 cars that pass and fail their first MoT

Top 10 cars that pass and fail their first MoT in 2013MOT-Croydon-Bromley-Edenbridge-Godstone-Oxted

Comparison site TootCompare.com has compiled a list of the cars most and least – likely to pass or fail their first MoT, using data supplied by the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA).

Cars require their first MoT three years after they are registered; this list is based on cars that were registered in 2010 and tested in 2013. TootCompare ignored models for which there were less than 1,000 tests during the year.

Seven of the top 10 cars most likely to pass their first MoT are Japanese.

Top 10 cars that pass their first MoT

10. Suzuki Splash – Pass rate: 88.1%

9. Land Rover Freelander – Pass rate: 88.8%

8. Audi TT – Pass rate: 89.2%

7. Audi Q5 – Pass rate: 89.3%

6. Lexus RX – Pass rate: 89.3%

5. Toyota Yaris – Pass rate: 89.6%

4. Lexus IS – Pass rate: 89.7 per%

3. Honda CR-V – Pass rate: 89.8%

2. Honda Jazz – Pass rate: 90.4%

1. Toyota IQ – Pass rate: 91.8%

Top 10 cars that fail their first MoT. The worst being French

10. Chevrolet Aveo – Pass rate: 73.75%

9. Mitsubishi L200 – Pass rate: 73.53%

8. Chevrolet Captiva – Pass rate: 73.53%

7. Nissan Navara – Pass rate: 70.59%

6. Mazda 5 – Pass rate: 70.55%

5. Fiat Doblo – Pass rate: 69.24%

4. Peugeot 5008 – Pass rate: 68.14%

3. Citroën C4 – Pass rate: 67.86%

2. Citroën Berlingo Multispace – Pass rate: 67.84%

1. Renault Kangoo – Pass rate: 63.54%

Soybean Tyres

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Researchers at Goodyear-Dunlop’s US Innovation Centre have found the tread of tyres produced using soybean oil lasts up to 10 per cent longer than regular versions. And if all tyres were made this way, the drain on oil-based resources could be cut drastically. This is part of the company’s move to make tyre manufacturing sustainable. Compounds made with soybean oils have been found to form a better bond with the silica used to make tyres – this would increase plant efficiency, and help the company use less energy in its factories.