A Tale of Two Tubes

Written By: The Lowdown - Jan• 31•13

It was a new car and the time had come for its first tyre change. So the hunt began.


Armed with the phone numbers of all the known tyre suppliers inLusaka, I started on my quest to find out who had what and how much. What became very clear very quickly was that no one stocked tyres of the same make, and therefore quality, as the tyres that were fitted by the manufacturers.


What was also very clear, and readers need to be careful about this, is that some of the tyres that are being imported are of questionable quality. One does need to shop around and do ask where the tyres are manufactured. Although there are new names popping up all the time, the well known South African makes are still value for money and have a good safety rating.


Having decided which tyres we were to purchase, we made our way into town to have them fitted.


As I said, it was the first time we were fitting new tyres to this vehicle and being 750×16 tyres, they were not tubeless. It is a good twenty or twenty five years since I have driven a car with tubes and this is where we made our mistake – we forgot to ask about and check the quality of the tubes!


Having done about 2000 km on the new tyres, we had our first puncture. Yes, 2000 km only! The tube had failed. The second tube failed shortly after that.


As we go to press, we are still trying to establish whether it was overall poor quality tubes that were supplied or whether it was a bad batch. Not that it makes any difference when you are sitting on the side of the road without a spare wheel.


We did finally get back toLusakaand immediately went I search of better quality tubes and had them fitted, after having inspected them first.


This exercise is also not without pit falls. The first was that the fitter (and this was a specialised tyre fitting firm) did not automatically take the tyres for balancing. Only after an argument and calling the manager were the tyres balanced. We can only assume that the fitter thought that Balan Singh was the brother for Satwant Singh!


The second was the tyre pressure. This has happened to me again and again where tyres are pumped to a pressure many bars over the required or recommended pressure. Again, we needed the intervention of the manager to ensure the pressure was done correctly.


If you are a car owner take the time and make the effort to find out what the pressure in your tyres should be. And remember that if for any reason the tyre is removed from the rim, the wheel will need balancing again.

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