Category Archives for "How to Tyres"

identifying_fake_and_counterfeit_tyres

Fake Michelin Tyres aren’t like Fake Versace – Make sure you don’t buy fake tyres

Don’t compare Michelin Tyres to Versace

You know when you go to the market, or maybe on holiday to a far off destination, and see that bargain that’s too good to be true – the authentic imitation Rolex or genuine reproduction Versace ­– you just got to have it? Well, there’s a flood of fakes hitting the markets of a far more dangerous type – fake tyres and wheels. Unlike fake Versace, fake Michelin tyres present a lethal threat to your family and other road users.

When it comes to the odd rogue watch or handbag, it’s really a bit of fun. You don’t expect the item to last. A broken handle is not likely to harm anyone. But fake tyres and wheels posing as real are a different proposition: they have the potential to kill.

Counterfeit wheels are here in Australia

A report published in October last year pointed out how serious the problem of counterfeit wheels is here in Australia. Most are imported from China and sold in a variety of ways, including online auction sites. The majority of counterfeit wheels are prone to buckling or having chunks taken out of them. They might have hidden hairline fractures and lack proper internal support, and are commonly made from a combination of scrap alloy and raw material – the genuine thing is made only from raw material.

Imagine hitting a pothole on a busy street next to a school as the children are coming out at the end of the day, and your wheel disintegrates… the possible consequences don’t bear thinking about.

The problem is even worse when it comes to fake tyres, now exported to all parts of the world, predominantly from China.

Fake tyres aren’t a new problem

Fake tyres have been an increasing problem around the world for a decade or more. In 2005, Michelin estimated that the European market had suffered from around 10,000 fake truck tyres. The company promised to do something about the problem. In 2007, Michelin took its case to the European Union and wrote to 5,000 tyre distributors to warn them of the problem and the danger of using cheap substandard ‘Michelin’ tyres imported from Asia.

Last year, a survey by TyreSafe and Highways England showed that one in four drivers had at least one fake tyre on their car. That’s a total of 10 million fake tyres on the road in the UK alone.

The UK is 10,000 miles away from China. We’re an awful lot closer. I couldn’t find any official figures on the number of fake tyres on Australian roads, but the problem is likely to be at least as bad I would think.

How bad can a fake tyre be?

Saving a few dollars might seem a good idea at the time (and no one denies that tyres came seem like an expensive item). If two tyres look like they’ve been made by the same company, it can be difficult to choose the more expensive one.

The problem is that fake tyres are made from inferior materials, and they are manufactured in a different way. They don’t get tested and don’t benefit from quality control. You’ll find that the tread depths are smaller, and this causes problems when braking – just two millimetres less tread and you’re looking at 14 metres further to stop.

My advice is to avoid the fakes at all costs because the cost could be someone’s life.

Don’t be fooled by faked tyres

It can be tough to spot a fake tyre. A bargain price is a pointer, but it’s not always the case that cheaper tyres are counterfeit – what if the distributor is having a sale, for example? Here are three things to do to make sure you don’t buy fake tyres:

  1. Always check the brand name and tyre engraving. Look long and hard at the writing on the tyre. You might see a brand name spelt a little differently, or the wording in a different order to usual: compare the markings on the tyre to the real thing by searching the internet and checking the combinations online.
  2. Measure the tread depth and compare to legal requirements and the specifications of the genuine tyre (again, use an online search before you visit the tyre shop). If the tread depth is less than the manufacturer quotes, then you’re looking at a fake or a used tyre.
  3. Only ever buy tyres from an authorised stockist with a long track record. A tyre dealer worth their salt will only stock the real deal, and will store them correctly. The genuine new tyres will then be fitted correctly, and aligned to prevent unnecessary wear and increase the drivability of the vehicle. Look to see that the dealer stores its tyres in a shaded and ventilated area that is free from dust and oil.

Stay safe on the roads, and avoid the fakes. A little vigilance when you’re buying new tyres could, literally, make a lifetime of difference.

If you’d like to know more about tyre maintenance, or how the tyres on your vehicle should be rotated, give us a call on 3333 5510.

Cheers,

Kevin Wood

How_to_make_sure_you_buy_the_right_car_tyres

How to Buy the Best Tyres for your Car

Make sure you always buy the best tyres for your car,

You stand there, looking at the range of car tyres on offer. And there are plenty. Do you buy a Michelin, or a Bridgestone, or a Pirelli? Seriously, it’s not an easy decision to make. There are so many different styles, tread patterns, sizes, compounds, and making head and tail of the performance statistics can be a little like doing a fiendish Sudoku… you get so far and then get lost. So what are the best tyres for your car?

On my travels I see plenty of vehicles with the wrong car tyres. It makes me cringe. I see some cars with expensive car tyres that are unnecessary, and others where safety appears to have been of no concern to the owner. So here are my tips on how to make sure you buy the best tyres for your car:

Think about the car you’re driving

If you’ve got a high performance car, or a large, powerful engine, you’ll need to have car tyres that are suitable to the power. Smaller and more economic engines don’t need the same grip to work with the lesser traction when you put your foot on the accelerator or brake pedals.

A bonus tip here is to upgrade your spare. Most new cars today only supply a space saver spare tyre. This is okay to drive a few kilometres before you can buy a new tyre, but you never know where the next tyre shop will be.

Think about how you drive

This might be the one consideration that most people give no thought. How you drive is a big determinant as to car tyre wear and tear. A friend of mine has two identical cars – one for him and one for his wife. His tyres last twice as long as hers. She drives faster and brakes harder.

He kept complaining about the tyre wear, so we suggested a change. The tyres are a little more expensive, but his wife drives several thousand more kilometres on them than she did on her old ones. My friend keeps telling me that he owes me a schooner or two to say thanks.

Think about the road conditions

I could easily have spoken about the weather here, and I’d be right to do so, but the weather and road conditions are interlinked.  All weather tyres will cover you through all seasons and in the torrential rain we sometimes suffer here. Or, if you want to up your on-road performance you might decide to change your car tyres as the weather changes and the road conditions alter.

Think about your budget

I’ve deliberately put this as the last of my tips on how to buy the right car tyres. Unfortunately, most people think about their budget first without regard to getting the best and safest tyres for their car and style of driving. It’s decision making the wrong way round.

Always think about your car, driving style, and conditions in which you do most of your driving before thinking about cost. You’ll find that your choice will be less bewildering, and that there will be car tyres to suit your budget and ensure your safety.

Call us today on 3375 3566, and we’ll be happy to discuss your car tyres with you. We’ll make sure that you get the best for you, and that you don’t overstretch your budget. It’s kind of our mission in life!

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin and Darra Team

Tyre Centre Tips For Driving Safely in Wet Weather

The most important thing when driving safely in wet weather is the condition of your tyres. The muggy Queensland heat combined with rain can make the roads extremely slippery and dangerous. We have very unpredictable weather in Queensland so you need to make sure your tyres are well looked after so they can look after you when it’s wet! Prepare yourself for the the next wet day with these tyre centre tips.

How often should I check or change my tyres?

You really need to be checking the inflation and physical appearance of your tyres at least every two weeks. If you are unsure how to properly check you tyres for legal tread depth and proper inflation click here to see our article that outlines how.

Tyre Centre Tips – Driving in the wet and how to do it safely…

  • Allow extra time. Never rush to your destination, especially in the wet!
  • The minimum safe driving distance in good conditions is 3 seconds, so give yourself some extra room when it’s wet in case of the need for emergency braking.
  • Brake earlier and with less force. Slamming on the brakes in the wet can make you lose control of the vehicle, it also gives the driver behind you plenty of time to react to your decrease in speed.
  • Give yourself some light, even in light rain it can be hard to see in front of you. Let other cars know where you are.
  • Keep the rear and front windscreen clear using the air con or de mist option.
  • If the rain gets really bad just pull over and wait it out. It’s not worth getting somewhere unless you get there alive.

If you feel like your tyres may not be equipped well enough for the next batch of wet weather then come down to our shop and we will let you know the condition of your tyres, if they’re legal or if they need replacing. If they’re fine then it was only 5 minutes in and out and you can drive away with peace of mind.

Come down at see us at our Darra shop, give us a call on3375 3566 to get expert advice and tyres to keep you and your family or fleet safe.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin and Darra Team

Tyre Centre Tips – What to do in an instant when you tyre bursts

Driving along the side of most major motorways, freeways and highways you will see parts of shredded tyres on the side of the road. The same thought goes through everyone’s head, “imagine if that happened to me?” and “How does that even happen?”. These tyre centre tips give you the advice from the tyre experts at Darra Tyres on how to handle a tyre bursting.

What causes a tyre burst?

Every time you reverse park and nudge the gutter, hit the corner of a round-a-bout or park up on or against the gutter you could potentially be contributing to a tyre burst. It might not happen that day, week or month but you are increasing the risk of a tyre burst. So next time you see that shredded tyre on the side of the road take it as a reminder to get your tyres checked.

Would you know what to do?

Truth is, 90% of people when asked would slam on the brakes and that would be their first deadly mistake.

When travelling over 70km/h a tyre burst can be potentially fatal. The car will start to sway all over the road as you instantly lose control. Sounds scary doesn’t it?

Tyre centre tips to make a tyre burst a mere inconvenience not a fatal accident…

Get you’re foot off that brake!

First of all, don’t panic! Sudden braking at high speed when the car is already swerving all over the road can make things dramatically worse. Slamming on the brakes will cause the car to catch, spin and potentially roll. ONLY use the brake, and only use it gently if you need to stop the car from careering with another car or object.

Hold that wheel!

A firm grip on the wheel is needed to keep the car heading in one direction, certainly don’t try to counteract the swerving of the car with dramatic steering, this will have an adverse effect and make things worse. Hands firmly on the wheel and keep that car going straight.

Don’t be afraid to use the accelerator…

You’re probably thinking, “WHAT!! is he crazy?” but the truth is gently using the accelerator to maintain momentum can stop the car from swerving all over the road. You can use the accelerator but remember, gently!

Signal to safety…

Remember you’re probably not going to be the only car on the road, so don’t forget the basics. Signal with your hazards or indicators as to where you are going to pull over, let the other drives know that something is wrong so they can move safely away from you and give you room to breathe.

Ok, you’re safely off the road and out of harms way…

Make sure the coast is clear before getting out of your vehicle on the side of the road to fit a spare or assess the damage. If your tyre has burst at high speed there is going to be some damage to the wheel. If you don’t feel confident fitting the spare to a potentially damaged wheel then call a professional to remove the car for you or fit a new wheel. Don’t ever drive long distances on the spare, remember the last time you checked the spare? Didn’t think so! Drive straight to your nearest tyre outlet and have the damage assessed and a safe tyre and wheel fitted.

If you’re nearby give us a call!

We will be able to provide you with the best replacement tyre and wheel for your car and your safety. For more information, a quote or to speak to one of our tyre professionals call us now or enquire online and we will be in contact with you very shortly.

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