In Summary
  • Do not purchase a tyre that has any distortion in its shape, no matter how good the price, how good the tread and no matter what the salesman promises about its return to shape when it is mounted and inflated.
  • That will obscure the damage, but it won’t cure it.
  • Your best safeguards are to take a look at the tyre(s) you buy before they are mounted or inflated, and do your shopping at reputable stores.

Motorists in Kenya are being warned that significant numbers of imported tyres have been “stuff-packed” for shipping.

This means a small tyre is squeezed and rammed inside a slightly larger tyre, and that pair is then forced into an even bigger one.  

This practice saves space and reduces shipping costs, and can also “hide” the actual number of tyres in a container.

But the stuffing process requires considerable mechanical force that crumples and distorts all the tyres involved far beyond their design limits, causing invisible but potentially severe  damage to the tyre casings (e.g. kinking the tyre beading and tearing fabrics in the ply).  

So beware bargain prices if there is any chance that costs have been cut in this way.

Do not purchase a tyre that has any distortion in its shape, no matter how good the price, how good the tread and no matter what the salesman promises about its return to shape when it is mounted and inflated.

That will obscure the damage, but it won’t cure it.  Your best safeguards are to take a look at the tyre(s) you buy before they are mounted or inflated, and do your shopping at reputable stores.

You should also have a new tyre professionally “balanced” – and be curious if a large number of counterweights is required to make the tyre run true.

While on this wavelength, you should be aware that even tyres that have been separately packed and customs-checked can be damaged during use, and regularly check the integrity of the casing (not just the depth of the tread!).

The most common damage is a puncture.

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