Unexpected tyre purchase.

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Unexpected tyre purchase.

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Oct 1, 2017
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With family coming to stay for a few days over this weekend I thought I'd mow the grass and tidy up the garden yesterday. I'd nearly finished and was pulling up a couple of weeds from the edge of the slabs on my drive beside the Ibiza when I spotted what I thought was a stone in the tyre tread. Unfortunately closer examination showed it to be a screw!

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Even more unfortunately pulling it out produced the dreaded hissing noise we all hate to hear. What briefly depressed me even more was that the screw looked like the ones I'd bought when repairing my half whisky barrel planters. Closer examination though showed it to be different which calmed me down a little bit - I'd have felt really stupid if I'd punctured my tyre with one of those screws. It was only just long enough to penetrate right through, unlucky eh?

P1090947.JPG

After my recent purchase of a Falken tyre for Becky the Panda, I've been looking into Falken tyres and reading a lot of "stuff" and reviews and tests, all of which seem to be complimentary. I'm especially interested in that they pretty much all praise the wet weather performance in particular. Looking at the punctured tyre it would have been repairable but the tread depth is just below 4mm and I like to renew a tyre when it's worn to 2mm and there's the age cracking to consider too so I decided to go for a new Falken. I decided to go for their newest offering the SN110 https://www.falkentyre.com/en/press...-tyre-sets-the-standard-for-wear-and-wet-grip (It was an SN832 which I bought for the Panda)

Then the question was where to buy from when I remembered that Steven, at the wee Honda garage, had previously recommended a mobile tyre fitter who they use. I gave him a ring and he quoted a good price with fitting the next day as it's a tyre he doesn't keep (I get the impression he mostly buys in stock to order?)

He rang me twice to update me on his progress and arrived late this afternoon to fit it. His mobile fitting van was well fitted out with quality gear - I noticed his balancing machine is a Corgi which is a high quality machine. I had the wheel waiting for him and I prefer to fit the wheel back onto the car myself so it hardly took him any time at all. I've decided I really like this way of doing it. I get to jack the car up so there's no possibility of some "spotty youth" doing damage by jacking it poorly and/or over tightening the wheel nuts.

You may all remember I posted a wee while ago about trying to make my mind up between Avon, Barum, Falken and, I think, some others. I finally narrowed it down to either the Barums or Falkens but the Barums, which I've had in the past and like a lot, seem difficult to get just of late and their prices have risen substantially so I'll soon be replacing the other 3 with Falkens too.

When I bought a steel spare wheel for the Ibiza - which came with just a bottle of goo! - I fitted it with a Barum so it gave me a good opportunity to compare tread patterns:

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The Barum, which has never been run on the car, is on the left with the new Falken on the right. The more "blocky" Falken tread pattern is very similar indeed to the old Bridgestone it has replaced and the Barum looks as if it should be able to displace water somewhat better than the other two but, from reviews I've read, the Falken actually has a better wet weather performance than it. Strange eh? However it must be remembered that wet weather performance is not just about displacing water - although that's important - but also about the compounding of the tread stock, which is where the mechanical grip comes from.

So there you go. An unexpected and unplanned expenditure but it's made me make the decision on the tyre choice. We are hoping to take a trip down south sometime in the autumn and by then I should have the other three tyres on the car. I'll keep you all updated if I find anything worthy of reporting.
 

The Panda Nut

Nutty about Pandas Infected by Panda virus and OPD
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Daffo our 169 diagnosed with a puncture this afternoon too. In our case a small flint. I like you need to decide what to do the tyre is worn on the outer edge so its questionable if its worth replacing although still good if turned. As I have the one from the front thats in better order I think I shall fit that and chuck this one out. Two new continentals fitted in the front are a margin better than the goodyears they have replaced. Vastly reduced understeer and wet grip also in a better place. Good years were OK and felt fine but the new Contis are a big step forward. Tomorrow I shall get a camber gauge and sort that issue out. As the dust gaiter / stop is broken on the n/s front I shall have to remove the strut again to replace it so I shall check the whole corner again at that time and get another alignment check / adjust. Its beginning to feel uncomfortably expensive. How does the gaiter top break anyway....
 

StevenRB45

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Two new continentals fitted in the front are a margin better than the goodyears they have replaced. Vastly reduced understeer and wet grip also in a better place. Good years were OK and felt fine but the new Contis are a big step forward.

Old new tyres are never directly comparable especially if they've been on 3 or 4 years +.

The same hardening that causes cracking reduces mechanical grip as well and the first place that is noticeable is on a wet/greasy surface.

Had years of fun on hardened up but legal tyres due to having a habit of buying old low milers. As an aside, It was a terrible habit thinking back as if you buy an old dears shopping car and then subject it to daily hard use it generally collapses on its backside. Every single perishable component giving up the ghost in short order when subjected to anything more than a trip to bingo.

But one thing that used to annoy me was the tyres on these cars because they'd have 4 or 5 mm premium tyres on them but they'd handle like bambi on ice the moment you got a light rain shower. But being northern and by nature a bit tight I'd never want to throw away a legal tyre. Until one of them delaminated which changed my outlook if not my underwear.

Short version would be, if you're noticing the wet grip is bad they are probably nearing end of life regardless of tread depth.
 
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A pic or 2 ..for Jock

Collecting my Skoda..this was at the end of the street

Britains last tyre factory... or so I am told (street sign hints at location)
 

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OP
OP
Pugglt Auld Jock
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Well, with the new Falken tyre having been fitted ten days ago and a few trips out into the country with it, I've now had time to reflect on the experience so I thought I'd do an update.

I think I've mentioned before about how I used to buy all my tyres from a great wee independent garage who specialized in doing high performance cars. It was always interesting going there because there was always something "interesting" - Ferrari, Lambo, Noble on one occasion, or a classic car being worked on. Their prices were always very competitive and especially they were really really good at balancing. Steven, at the wee Honda garage, recommended this mobile fitter to me but I was still a bit nervous about it all. In the event it's turned out to be a really good experience and I find myself asking the question "why didn't I think of doing this sooner"?

The chap, who I think is a "one man band" https://www.citymobiletyres.com/ turns up in his van with all the equipment necessary. What I like is that, because the car's sitting in my driveway, I can take my own wheels off the vehicle and give them a good clean up before he comes - so removing brake dust, road muck and old weights and making sure the rim is nice and clean so the new weights will stick properly. the fitting operation is very quick and slick with a good quality fitting machine and balancer. The balancer is fully dynamic but does not use a motor to spin the tyre up, that being done by hand. This "bothered" me a wee bit and I was keen to get the car out on the open road to check the balance as soon as possible.

This punctured wheel was on the N/S/R so, with the new tyre fitted, I swapped it with the N/S/F when I put it back on the vehicle so I could feel through the steering if there was an imbalance problem. I'm delighted to say that there's not even the very slightest of tremors - at any speed up to the national 70mph limit anyway.

The TPMS picked up the difference in rotational speed within about 5 miles and brought the dash warning light on as well as giving me a wee message on the dash. The new tyre has just under 8mm tread depth and the old tyres all have around 3.5 to 4mm on them so the system must be quite sensitive. It responded satisfactorily to being reset and the light went out (although the reset procedure was not the same as that shown in the car's manual and I had to look for it on line!). When I returned home I swapped the new wheel/tyre back onto the rear so that I wasn't running tyres of different diameter across the front axle which would have caused the spider gears in the dif to be continually rotating slowly to equalize. Again, this time within about a mile and a half, the TPMS picked it up, this time telling me that specifically the N/S/F tyre was under pressured - I guess because I'd now put the slightly larger diameter new tyre, which it was calibrated to accept, on the rear and replaced it with the older, slightly smaller in diameter tyre. My guess would be it doesn't "compute" a larger diameter, so slower rotating, tyre which is why it did nothing when the new tyre was on the rear, but it does recognize a smaller, so faster rotating tyre which is what it saw when I put the new tyre back on the rear and the old tyre back on the front. All happy again now after the recalibrate though.

And costs? I hadn't expected a ground shattering deal being as he has the expense of coming out to me to cover but actually I'm very pleased indeed with what he charged. The tyre seems to have a recommended retail of £77.90 and that is what several of the "big boys" quoted me, although one - guess who? - quoted £80 and I'm not sure if that included the balance? I came across several on line prices to buy the tyre only and arrange own fitting at around £53/£55 so I was delighted when he charged me barely a Fiver more than that all including fitting balancing and a quid for disposal of the old tyre. I'm so pleased with this he'll be getting the order for the other 3 when I do them in mid September after the garage have done the cam belt, air con recharge and changed those awkward spark plugs for me. (expecting quite a big bill for all that so September is going to be a "grumpy" month I fear).
 

DaveMcT

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We have two independent tyre suppliers in our small town along with the usual big box suspects. Two years ago, I paid just over £200 for set of four Generals for the 100HP. They have gripped well, were less nosy than the old ones and have lasted well but the fronts are now due for replacement.
 

DaveMcT

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Just priced up 195-50-15 for the 100HP. Just under £60 for Generals (made by Continental). Ive been happy with them over over the last 30K miles so will go with the same.
 
OP
OP
Pugglt Auld Jock
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Remember you looking at perhaps Avon all seasons..

Probably just as well as they haven't reviewed that well

https://youtu.be/A3WssIxusLU

Only managing to beat the gutter seekers unfortunately.
Hi Steven. Oh yes, the Avons. I'm actually just slightly gutted about them. As you know I'd pretty much decided to go with them mainly due to being impressed by seeing their racing tyres on some very competitive vehicles at the hillclimbs. Then I read more than one review which were not particularly enthusiastic about them - not a "bad" tyre but could do better seemed to be the conclusion.

The straw that broke the camel's back was when I contacted my new supplier (mobile tyre fitter) who said he would be delighted to supply them if I really wanted them but that he wouldn't really recommend them. He went on to say he'd seen some recently which were badly cracked at the base of the tread grooves and had to be scrapped. My "fall back" would have been Barums, a tyre I've had on several vehicles with excellent results but, whilst not advising against them for any technical reason he said they are difficult to get these days - maybe due to transport problems - but also now quite pricey for a mid range tyre. So I decided against them too and went back to looking at the Falkens which he told me he could get easily and he'd do me a good price on them. In the end I went with the Falken brand having read some very good reviews and after talking to another tyre man who runs a wee garage near me and supplies this brand.

FiatMatt94 had some interesting comments on the Avons in the "what did you do with your Panda today" thread and ferraricheals had some interestingly encouraging things to say about the Falkens in the same thread. So far, with only one Falken on the car, I can't really comment other than to say it seems absolutely "fine".

I'll be fitting the other 3 sometime very soon once the bank balance has recovered from Twinkle's visit to the Seat indy for her cam belt, air con recharge, brake fluid change and set of spark plugs. I'm not used to paying garage rates, doing most of my own maintenance and repair work, Damn but it's expensive isn't it! However the cam belt was going to require purchase of a timing tool kit I might never use again and now seeing the "weird fixings" used I'm glad I didn't try it (both cam and crank sprockets are "free" unkeyed type) also the aircon recharge is really not possible at home, and I think illegal anyway? I was very worried about many reports I'd read about how difficult the coils are to remove on this engine family without damaging them which was why I decided to let them change the plugs. Wouldn't you just believe it though? when I talked to the tech who did the job (one of the advantages of using a small independent specialist) he said they'd come out no bother at all. The "secret", apparently, is to pull them up vertically without tipping to the side. Ah well, you can't win them all - I'll do them myself next time! The brake fluid change was just a lazyness on my part as I knew it needed done and I know they have a power bleeder so wouldn't be pumping the pedal thus sparing the master cylinder.
 

StevenRB45

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I'll be fitting the other 3 sometime very soon once the bank balance has recovered from Twinkle's visit to the Seat indy for her cam belt, air con recharge, brake fluid change and set of spark plugs. I'm not used to paying garage rates, doing most of my own maintenance and repair work, Damn but it's expensive isn't it!

It could be worse, currently have my car down pending diagnosis (it sounds suspiciously like gearbox/clutch or diff issues :cry:) and the Citroëns MOT is due in 5 days...not to worry though we managed to book a slot in 4 days because we like a bit of jeopardy. To add further jeopardy obviously there was not a courtesy car available so need to drag the wounded Mazda across town and onto the motorway to get my wife back, twice before it then gets to go to the local indy.

So Citroën is still dealer network with it being under warranty...and well the odds of mine being cheap are pretty long.

Ah well.. it's only money :rolleyes:

Regards the tyres as you might have noticed by now I'm very particular, so I'd always be doing pairs etc just because you'll end up with worn out before the other depending how long you leave it.
 
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