Tag Archives for " fake tyres "

buying fake tyres

How to avoid the life-threatening mistake of buying fake tyres

Tips on how to spot a fake tyre and only buy genuine

If you make the mistake of buying fake tyres, you will be putting lives at risk: yours, your passengers, and other road users. Counterfeit wheels buckle and break more easily – recent tests have shown that they can disintegrate at just 50kmh when a pothole is driven over.

Fake tyres are equally as dangerous. Think about it: when you buy a fake tyre, you are buying an unauthorised version of an original. It may have been made with stolen or copied moulds or substandard rubber compounds, and will not have undergone the rigorous safety testing that genuine manufacturers make.

A fake tyre is a little like a fake Versace handbag – it looks great for all of five minutes, then will fall apart at the seams when put under any stress. Fake tyres cost more in the long run, will increase your fuel consumption, and will give you a less than satisfactory and more dangerous driving experience.

Here are 7 ways to spot a fake tyre.

1.     Misspellings on the tyre and/or packaging

This is a big giveaway that the tyre is a fake. If it is Firelli instead of Pirelli, or Bidgestone instead of Bridgestone, it’s a fake. You might get away with a pair of ‘Rayburns’ as sunglasses, but fitting ‘Mishelin’ tyres on your truck is a whole different ball game. Watch for misspelled names and fake logos.

2.     No marking on the tyre sidewall

The markings on the tyre’s sidewall details all the information you need to know about a tyre – its size, pressures, date of manufacture, etc. Even if you don’t look at these marks, if they aren’t there you shouldn’t buy the tyre.

3.     The tyre is sold without paperwork or packaging

If you buy tyres from a reputable dealer, you’ll get paperwork with them – a warranty, for example. If there is no paperwork available, this is another warning sign that the tyres you are buying could be fakes.

4.     The colour is ‘off’

Tyres are black (mostly). If the tyre you are buying is any colour other than black, then you need to tread with caution.

5.     The tyres don’t stand up to the ‘kick test’

Ever heard the saying, ‘kick the tyres’ when buying a used car? There’s a reason for this. They shouldn’t damage from a few light taps with the toe of your boot. If they do, just imagine what damage accidently kerbing your vehicle will do to the tyre on the road. Flimsy tyres are made with substandard rubber compounds. Don’t go there.

6.     They are available in a strange location

Shady deals are done in the shadows. The same is true of fake tyres. A bona fide dealer, selling good products, won’t need to meet you in a car park to exchange a set of tyres for a pocketful of cash.

7.     The seller won’t tell you they are genuine

Finally, if the seller avoids giving a straight answer when you ask if the tyres they are selling are the genuine item, it’s a big red flag that you are about to be conned into buying counterfeit tyres.

How to avoid buying fake tyres

So, now you know how to spot fake tyres, let’s run through a few rules to make sure you never get caught out:

  • Always examine the tyre – for misspellings, missing information, colour, and with the kick test
  • Check the tread depth, and compare to the brand’s details on its website
  • Compare tread pattern with the tyre’s tread pattern on the brand’s website

Finally, only ever buy tyres from a recognised and reputable dealer. This rule holds true for online purchases, too (read our article “Avoid these mistakes when buying tyres online” for more tips).

Here at Darra Tyres, we’ve been in the tyre business for more than 40 years. We supply tyres from the best brands, at all budget levels, and guarantee our service and tyre quality. For all your tyre needs in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood


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.


Kevin Wood