Advice from We Fix Alloys

Winter Driving Tips from RoSPA


We’d like to thank RoSPA for this great advice and driving tips for difficult conditions from their website

Driving in the winter is very different than in other times of the year. Adverse weather and longer periods of darkness (especially after the clocks go back at the end of October) makes driving more hazardous. Prolonged periods of heavy snow and floods  means that we need to adapt the way we drive.

The following tips may help you cope better with the various seasonal weather hazards. However, as we all know, many of these conditions can occur at any time of year.

1. Prepare your vehicle

It’s a good idea to have your vehicle fully serviced before winter starts and have the anti-freeze tested. If you can’t have it serviced, then do your own checks. In particular, check:

  • Lights are clean and working
  • Battery is fully charged
  • Windscreen, wiper blades and other windows are clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash
  • Tyre condition, tread depth and pressure (of all the tyres, including the spare)
  • Brakes are working well
  • Fluids are kept topped up, especially windscreen wash (to the correct concentration to prevent it freezing), anti-freeze and oil


2. Emergency Kit

When extreme weather is possible, keep an emergency kit in your car, especially if you’re going on a long journey. If this seems unnecessary, take a moment to imagine yourself stranded in your car overnight, due to a snow storm or floods. How would you stay warm? What would you eat and drink? If you must drive in these conditions, RoSPA recommends that you carry:

  • Tow rope
  • A shovel
  • Wellington boots
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • De-icing equipment
  • First aid kit (in good order)
  • A working torch
  • A car blanket
  • Warm clothes
  • Emergency Rations (inc hot drink in a flask – non-alcoholic, of course)
  • Mobile Phone (fully charged)


3. Prepare your journey

Listen to local/national weather broadcasts and travel bulletins – especially for the areas you will be driving through. As conditions can change rapidly, check them regularly and be prepared to change your plans if conditions on your route worsen.

If conditions are very bad, and the emergency services are recommending that people don’t travel, then avoid making your journey unless it is absolutely necessary. Can you postpone your trip? Can you travel by other means, or avoid the need for the journey completely by using the phone or email?

Of course, what’s ‘essential’ to one person may not be to another; we each have to make our own decisions according to our circumstances. But, try to be realistic about which journeys are essential and which ones could be postponed.

If you decide you really must travel:

  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you hope to arrive, so that they can raise the alarm if you get into difficulties.
  • Plan alternative routes in case your main choice(s) becomes impassable.
  • Keep your fuel tank near to full to ensure that you do not run out.
  • Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone, so you can call for help or alert someone if you’re delayed – it could be a long walk to a phone, if you don’t have a mobile phone.
  • If you don’t have an emergency kit in your vehicle, at least take extra warm clothes, boots and a torch. Consider keeping a couple of long-life energy bars in the glove box.
  • Clear your windows and mirrors completely of snow and ice before you set off (make sure the heater is blowing warm air before setting off – it will keep your windscreen clear.)


4. Prepare yourself

Most of us have very little experience of driving in extreme conditions, such as snow, so take some time to consider how it affects your driving. Don’t just drive as normal.

When was the last time you had any driver assessment or training? This is an ideal time for some refresher training. If your employer provides driver training, take advantage of it. Or you can contact the RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders group in your area. To find out which is the nearest to you, go to

A lot of us will catch colds or other illnesses during the winter. If you’re feeling so ill that your driving might be affected, don’t take the chance of driving.


5. Driving in snow or ice

If you find yourself driving in snow or on icy or snow covered roads, adapt your driving to these conditions:

  • Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively.
  • Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Speed limits are the maximum in ideal conditions; in difficult conditions, they can often be too fast.
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering.
  • Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces.
  • Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners.
  • Braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous. The centrifugal force will continue to pull you outwards and the wheels will not grip very well. This could cause your vehicle to spin.
  • To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use your brakes gently.
  • Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking.
  • Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up full can quickly make you drowsy.
  • In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
  • Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights.
  • During wintry weather, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost and ice or snow. But this does not occur uniformly. A road will often have isolated patches of frost or ice after most of the road has thawed – this commonly occurs under bridges.

If you get stuck in snow:

  • If you get stuck in snow, revving your engine to try to power out of the rut will just make the rut worse. Instead, move your vehicle slowly backwards and forwards out of the rut using the highest gear you can.
  • If this doesn’t work, you may have to ask a friendly passerby for a push or get your shovel out.
  • If you get caught in a snow drift:
  • Don’t leave your vehicle
  • Call your breakdown service or the emergency services and let help come to you.
  • Don’t run the engine to keep warm


6. Rain

Rain reduces your ability to see and greatly increases the distance required to slow down and stop. Remember that you will need about TWICE your normal braking distance. Use windscreen wipers, washers and dipped headlights; drive smoothly and plan your moves in plenty of time

Aquaplaning is caused by driving too fast into surface water. When the tyre tread cannot channel away enough water, the tyre(s) lose contact with the road and your car will float on a wedge of water. Aquaplaning can be avoided by reducing speed in wet conditions. Having the correct tyre pressure and tyre tread depth will maximise your tyres’ ability to maintain their road grip. If it happens, ease off the accelerator and brakes until your speed drops sufficiently for the car tyres to make contact with the road again.


Flooded roads

  •  Avoid the deepest water – which is usually near the kerb.
  • Don’t attempt to cross if the water seems too deep.
  • If you are not sure of the water’s depth, look for an alternative route.
  • If you decide to risk it, drive slowly in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch – this will stop you from stalling.
  • Be aware of the bow wave from approaching vehicles – operate an informal ‘give way’ with approaching vehicles.
  • Remember to test your brakes when you are through the flood.

7. Fog

Avoid driving in fog unless your journey is absolutely necessary.

Fog is one of the most dangerous weather conditions. An accident involving one vehicle can quickly involve many others, especially if they are driving too close to one another.

If you must drive:

  • Follow weather forecasts and general advice to drivers in the local and national media
  • Allow plenty of extra time for your journey
  • Check your car before you set off. Make sure everything is in good working order, especially the lights
  • Reduce your speed and keep it down
  • Switch on headlights and fog lamps if visibility is reduced
  • If you can see the vehicles to your rear, the drivers behind can see you – switch off your rear fog lamps to avoid dazzling them
  • Use the demister and windscreen wipers
  • Do not ‘hang on’ to the rear lights of the car in front as you will be too close to be able to brake safely
  • Switch off distracting noises and open the window slightly so that you can listen for other traffic, especially at crossroads and junctions
  • Beware of speeding up immediately visibility improves slightly. In patchy fog you could find yourself ‘driving blind’ again only moments later
  • If you break down, inform the police and get the vehicle off the road as soon as possible. Never park on the road in fog and never leave it without warning lights of some kind if it is on the wrong side of the road


Thanks to RoSPA for this detailed advice.

Remember if you do damage your wheels driving then call We Fix Alloys – (expert alloy wheel repair Newcastle) and we’ll repair and refurbish them so they look like new and are safe to drive again

Advice from We Fix Alloys

Alloy Wheel Repair and Refurbishment – MOT guidance

Alloy Wheel Repair and Refurbishment – MOT guidance from  We Fix Alloys

The MOT inspection manual issued in January 2012 made inspection of your alloy wheels an important part of the MOT. Since we have had a number of customers bring their alloy wheels for repair following MOT failure and/or advisory notices we thought it would be good to share these points with you. If you are at all concerned about the safety of your alloy wheels then please take your car to an expert in alloy wheel repair – like We Fix Alloys

The MOT inspector will check all road wheels for cracks, damage and distortion (particularly to the rim) and for the presence and condition of spokes

Reasons why your alloy wheels might cause an MOT failure:

  • A wheel badly damaged, distorted or cracked, or with a badly distorted bead rim
  • A wheel which has a spoke(s) missing,
  • Cracked or excessively loose, bent, or corroded wheels.
  • Fixtures attaching your alloy wheel e.g. stud hole(s) visibly badly worn , a wheel stud, bolt or nut loose or missing, wheel insecure or  excessive elongation of a stud hole(s) in a wheel.

Although it might not cause an MOT failure your spare wheel will also be inspected and you’ll be told if a defect is noticed on your spare wheel.

Corrosion can cause your tyres to lose pressure – this is especially dangerous in the winter when incorrect pressures can interfere noticeably with your car’s handling.  Leaking alloy wheels caused by corrosion can easily and quickly be repaired – visit We Fix Alloys today to get alloy wheel repair, checks and refurbishment.

Alloy News

The Top 10 signs you still love your car with Alloy Wheel Repair

The Top 10 signs you still love your car are…alloy wheel repair Newcastle

You still look back at it every time as you leave the car park alloy wheel repair

You’ve parked it at the end of the car park away from other cars

You still think your car is one of the best-looking vehicles on the road

You still take pictures of it

You park it so that it looks sexy, even though you really know it’s just for yourself

You still squat down to admire it in from different angles

After a bad day, you look forward to driving it, and the drive always makes you feel better

When you return from driving another car, you’re amazed how good your car feels

Even when it’s dirty, it’s still beautiful to your eyes

You’ve brought it to We Fix Alloys for an alloy wheel repair!


Book in today for a great alloy wheel refurbishment – go on, you know you love your car – She’s worth it :)

Why not Like us on Facebook – that way you can see some amazing alloy wheel repairs we have done AND get great offers before anyone else


We Fix Alloys - alloy wheel repair Newcastle

Before and After Stories

Project STump, not just alloy wheel repair Newcastle

Not just alloy wheel repair and refurbishment..

We Fix Alloys don’t just do alloy wheel repair…

We’ve been asked to do many alloy wheels in many colours …

Clown wheel - alloy wheel repair Newcastle Project car

and we like nothing more than being given a challenge so we were more than happy to help when one of our customers asked us to customise their mobility scooter – at their request we began Project STump

First job was to remove the tubs from the frame which our customer Ste was in charge of

Project STump before alloy wheel repair

Once we got them we could begin the preparation  – as you can see from this there was some pretty significant damage in places

Project STump before alloy wheel repair

Once all the scratches and gouges have been filled its time to cover the parts in primer so they have a smooth finish ready for the final coat of custom colour

Project STump before alloy wheel repair

Finally the parts are all ready for the custom colour to go on – this time it’s a bright orange with a high silver fleck which was spotted on our Celica GT4 at Mini Mania 2012

Here are parts in close up – some with just the first coat and some with the final version

Project STump after alloy wheel repair

Project STump after alloy wheel repair

Coming back together nicely…

Project STump  after alloy wheel repair

We added a bit of carbon fibre to the instrument panel and then handed all the parts back to Ste to put back together (carefully!). Within hours he was posting on Facebook pictures of the finished scooter all back together – he was happy, we were happy – another job gone to plan at We Fix Alloys

Project STump Finished alloy wheel repair

So remember – We Fix alloys – not just alloy wheel repair – you bring it and we paint it – any colour you like!

Alloy News

We Fix Alloys moves to bigger and better premises for alloy wheel repair

News from We Fix Alloys – Alloy Wheel Repair and Refurbishment Newcastle and the North East

We are very happy to announce that We Fix Alloys  have moved to bigger and better premises.

We have enjoyed our time at our old workshop but it was time to move on as we had outgrown the space.  Our new bespoke designed premises are even easier to find being just off the Coast Road at the turn off for Tesco’s. Nearby restaurant My Shanghi could be just the place to go while you wait or perhaps you’ll pop to Tesco’s for some shopping. We also have a comfortable waiting area if you’d prefer.

As of 15th October 2012 you will be able to find us here:

We Fix Alloys

Norham Road

North Shields

NE29 8LZ


All other contact details remain the same and of course you will get the great customer service and fantastic alloy wheel repair and refurbishment you are used to!

We look forward to posting pictures of our bespoke workshop facilities where we will carry out your alloy wheel repairs to a high standard.

We will be sending out details of our grand opening event very soon so watch your inbox’s or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with our great alloy wheel repair news and offers


Advice from We Fix Alloys

Alloy Wheel Refurbishment – What happens in the alloy wheel repair process?

What happens in the Alloy Wheel repair process?

Alloy Wheel Repair by We Fix Alloys

Alloy Wheel Refurbishment is a way of saving money by having your wheels repaired instead of replaced. This article describes the process used by this professional wheel repair company.

Alloy wheels are expensive. You don’t want to replace them unless they are very badly damaged. If you want to get them repaired you don’t want to let just anyone have a go at repairing them. So make sure you use a specialist Alloy Wheel Refurbishment company. Avoid the cowboys – more on this here.

Repairing or refurbishing wheels involves removing them from the car (or motor bike, van or golf cart!). The wheels also need to be separated from the tyres so a proper repair can take place without missing any parts of the wheel that can’t be reached. Some companies claim to complete a full refurbishment when they are only spraying the front of the wheel and not removing corrosion first – avoid these companies! You will end up paying twice and nobody wants that!

The wheel is first stripped of the lacquer coating using a strong acid. Then, if the damage is bad, or if there is any corrosion of the alloy, the wheel is sandblasted. Any dents or deep scratches can be filled with a suitable filler. Even the most damaged of wheels can be fixed by the experienced welder we use. The wheel is then heated and powdercoated before a clear (or sometimes coloured) lacquer coat is applied. Finally the tyres are replaced and the wheels rebalanced before being fitted back on the vehicle.

There are some exceptions to this process. If the damage is slight and easily accessible it’s possible to carry out a quick cosmetic repair but be skeptical of any repair service that quotes you a ridiculously low price for a thorough job. All they’ll do is flash over the damage and in a few months time your wheels will look as shabby as ever and you’ll be back where you started!

So, it’s not a simple process but, using modern equipment, it can be carried out quickly and inexpensively (compared to the cost of a new set of wheels). We will need you to bring the wheels to our workshop and we can usually complete the repairs in a day.

So now you know all about the alloy wheel repair process why not get in touch and book your alloy wheel repair in today!



Project May-hem – this months special offer!

Hi guys,

As many of you will know, we support a number of local charities. One of which is called I-Can, they are a food charity whose aim is provide those in need with basic food requirements, namely cans.

We spent quite some time with one of the charity’s organisers, Austen Hempstead, and after listening to how widespread food poverty is, we decided to try and do something to help.

So, this month our special offer to you, Project May-hem, is about helping those who need it most.

For every can of food that is donated by any of our customers we will deduct £1 from your bill. This could mean you get up to a 20% discount as well as making a huge difference to someone’s life. You may not be planning to have your alloys wheels repaired just yet, however, we are more than happy to ‘bank’ the deduction for a time more suitable to you.

Every can that is donated will be delivered to I-Can by We Fix Alloys and then they will distribute to local families. Please visit their website to find out more here or you can chat to them and us on twitter @icanfeed and @wefixalloys

I know how difficult times are for everyone in the current climate, however, I’m sure you can help us help…….

Best regards

Chris Wild


We Fix Alloys

Alloy News

What colour can I have my alloy wheels?

This week’s blog is all about colour – gone are the days of Mr Fords ‘any colour you like as long as its black’ and a question we often get asked at We Fix Alloys is ‘What colour can you make my alloy wheels after refurbishment?’ – We always answer – any colour you like!!

Since we’re coming up to show season we know that some of our more enthusiastic clients will be looking for something unique to them…

Like these for example

We Fix Alloys bespoke finishes We Fix Alloys bespoke  finishes

Other past clients have come in with a specific object for us to match..


We Fix Alloys bespoke finishes

We Fix Alloys bespoke finishes



We are always happy to mix and match colours to give you a unique finish to match your car… Here you can see our custom Azure Blue Chrome finish


We Fix Alloys bespoke finishes   We Fix Alloys bespoke  finishes


Some just like to go for shine. Yes – you can see the camera in the second photo – it is THAT shiny!!


We Fix Alloys bespoke alloy wheel finishes alloy wheel repair

We Fix Alloys bespoke alloy wheel finishes alloy wheel repair

And there’s just those times when we like to experiment with finishes and colour so that we can bring you best… literally any colour, mixed with another or added to another. It takes us as long to think of names for the finish as it does to powercoat or paint them!

We Fix Alloys bespoke alloy wheel finishes alloy wheel repair We Fix Alloys bespoke alloy wheel finishes alloy wheel repair


Clown wheel - alloy wheel repair Newcastle Project car

We Fix Alloys bespoke alloy wheel finishes alloy wheel repair


If this has whetted your appetite for a bespoke alloy wheel refurbishment then why not have a look at our gallery of photos on Flickr for some more ideas…

Sometimes the hardest thing is the decision – why not give us a call and see if we can help you decide what colour We Fix Alloys can make for your alloy wheel repair


Thanks for looking



Alloy News

Which Type Of Alloy Wheels Can Be Repaired?

So you’ve got alloy wheels on your car – but which type and are they repairable?

You’d think that alloy wheels are alloy wheels, but no – life’s not that simple. Most are aluminium but there are some containing additional alloys such as magnesium.

There are several different types of alloy wheels in current use:

  • Painted alloy wheels
  • Polished alloy wheels
  • Diamond cut alloy wheels
  • Split rim alloy wheels

Alloy News

5 Things Alloy Wheel Repair services CANʼT fix:

5 things alloy wheel repair services CAN’T fix

Since we’ve been sharing all the great things we CAN do for you we thought it was time we told you what alloy wheel repair can’t do. This is important for you to know when talking to companies so that they don’t make promises they can’t keep. A professional repairer will be able to check each wheel and let you know whether the damage can be safely repaired.

Here are 5 things to look for that means you might haveally wheel  to scrap the wheel and buy a new one:

  1. Badly Cracked Rim. The rim supports the full weight of your vehicle when cornering. Some minor cracks can be repaired by welding but the stresses on the wheel could cause the cracks to enlarge causing a blowout.
  2. Buckled Wheel – Damage caused to the wheel by a large sideways force, for example, sliding sideways on ice or a very wet surface into a kerb, can cause the wheel to buckle. This means the wheel won’t run “true”. The symptom of a buckled wheel is felt as vibration through the steering. If the wheel has buckled in all three dimensions it can be impossible to repair or the cost of repair becomes more than the cost of a new wheel.
  3. Bent Rims – Usually caused by running over something in the road at speed. Sometimes caused by mounting a step on to a pavement or into a car park. Another way a rim can become bent is by running with deflated tyres or with a puncture. The weight of the vehicle either suddenly or constantly on the wheel rim can bend the rim. This breaks the seal between the wheel and the tyre and may result in a blowout. As before, minor distortions can be repaired but anything.
  4. Severe Corrosion – If you allow alloy wheels to become so corroded the alloy becomes perforated they can’t be safely repaired. Some parts of alloy wheels, especially split-rim wheels can be quite thin. Minor corrosion can be filled or ground out but severe corrosion creates tiny leaks in the wheel that allows air to leak. The symptom of this is like a slow puncture and can be dangerous if your tyre deflates and you don’t notice.
  5. Distorted Wheel – this is where the wheel becomes slightly oval instead of round. This can also be caused by striking something in the road, even at low speeds. The wheel becomes deformed. The deformation is not just something that can be bent back into shape. The process of bending the wheel in this way makes it stretch slightly in different directions so it can’t be put back to its original dimensions. As with a buckled wheel the result will be vibration felt in the steering. In minor cases this will just be uncomfortable but severe cases can make the car vibrate so much it becomes dangerous to drive.

As always please call the experts at We Fix Alloys if you have any concerns about the damage to your wheels. Advice costs nothing and we will always offer you impartial advice about what’s best for your alloy wheel repair.