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,