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Old 23rd May 2012, 19:15   #1
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Default JK tyres, simply crappy manufacturing quality!

We have a 2007 SwiftZXi at Kerala which has done just about 22000kms in the last 5 years, which means the OE tubeless JK Vectra tyres are as good as new tread-wise and should normally go on for another 20000kms at bare minimum (the tube-type Bridgestones on my Baleno are almost as good as new after 60000kms, except for 1 tyre that wore off).

Anyway, since this was the first car in the family that had tubeless on it, I was initially very excited about the advantages (no sudden tyre-bursts / ability to drive on even with a puncture etc). However, the sequence of events led to disappointment :

1) Punctures and then moving to tube inside;
Everyone has punctures in their tyres, so when the same tyre had 2 punctures in the initial 2-3 years, it did not seem that bad (though as a comparo, I have had only 2 punctures in my Baleno tyres over 7 years). But when we were told that the tyre was now weak and we had to put in a tube, it was a shock - what is the whole point in having tube inside a tubeless tyre ? Ofcourse this was a minor shock compared to what was to follow. Anyway, we put the now-tubed tyre as the stepney.

2) Deformed tyres leading to jumpy ride :
Last April, my sister and family took the Swift on a Kerala-Kodai drive. Somewhere mid-way my BIL calls me to say that the car is kinda jumping, which is due to the tyre being swollen at one place on the circumference - having never seen/heard of such a thing, I am not sure what could be the cause. Especially on an almost new tyre. They show it at 2-3 tyre-shops who all say that the tyre is a goner and needs to be replaced. So now, this tyre goes in as the stepney and the tubed-tyre comes back on the running wheel.

Check out the pics :
The tyre in inflated condition is bent out of shape as if someone twisted it - also there are serrations at the centre running through the length of the twist.
JK tyres, simply crappy manufacturing quality!-20120519-10.21.47.jpg

See how the whole thing caved in once air was gone.
JK tyres, simply crappy manufacturing quality!-20120520-08.53.53.jpg

Can you imagine a 20K tyre looking like the mess below ?
JK tyres, simply crappy manufacturing quality!-20120520-08.54.22.jpg

3) Another tyre issue :
They return from the trip without any tyre issues and park the car at home only to see that one of the other tyres (with no issues till now) is flat. They get the puncture fixed, but again the next day it is flat. They take it to atleast 2 tyre-shops and the unanimous verdict is that the tyre is gone and needs to be replaced (something about a big nail going in sideways). Since now 2 of the 5 tyres are unusable, they buy a new GoodYear tubeless.

However, the stepney is still the swollen-tyre and it is too much of a risk to drive around without a working stepney, so I go tyre shopping. Nearest to home is a JK-Tyre shop with an employee who seems to detest customers - any query is met with a rude answer or a No for tyre availability. I ask him why he has the shop open if he does not want to do business. And move on, promising never to visit that shop again. In hindsight it was good I did not buy here.

Next stop is the Bridgestone dealer - even as I mention the swollen tyre, the owner asks which brand it is and when I say JK, he says that he has had other people also come in with similar issue on their JK tyres. Later in the evening when I bring in the bad wheel to change the swollen tyre, the mechanic also echoes the same thought - bad manufacturing quality of JK tyres resulting in the steel reinforcement breaking, leading to the cave-in and which has been observed earlier with other users.

Anyway, I replace the tyre and now the tubed-tyre goes in as stepney - with a mix of tyre-brands on the running wheels (2# OE JKs, 1# Goodyear and 1# Bridgestone).

In sharp contrast, have a look at how a 60000km run Bridgestone on my Baleno looks like today ;
JK tyres, simply crappy manufacturing quality!-20120223-13.22.38.jpg

Summary : Given the crappy quality tyres that JKTyres rolls out and the know issues so early on in the lifetime, please stay away from them. Not sure if one can choose the brand of OE tyres coming on their new cars, but if it is possible, stay from the JKS. I would think any other brand would be better than what they dish out.

I for one, am never touching a JK-Tyre again !!!

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 23rd May 2012 at 19:24.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 19:25   #2
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing !!!quality

Well I have got a Swift ZXI which was shod with JK Vectra tyres and have used them for 50K kms without any issues. They had little life left when I replaced them with Michelin XM1+.

You case seems to be very different though, just curious to know do you regularly keep a check on tyre pressure and wheel alignment/balancing at regular service times.

Last edited by GTO : 25th May 2012 at 14:10. Reason: Typo
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Old 23rd May 2012, 19:47   #3
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Summary : Given the crappy quality tyres that JKTyres rolls out and the know issues so early on in the lifetime, please stay away from them. Not sure if one can choose the brand of OE tyres coming on their new cars, but if it is possible, stay from the JKS. I would think any other brand would be better than what they dish out.

I for one, am never touching a JK-Tyre again !!!

Agreed!! I had JK Tyres on my Alto, and experienced the exact same issues. Though this happened after 60k km, so it was time to change them anyways. But I had the same problem of the tyre swelling up along the circumference, and it also split along the tread, which used to make the car jump on one side.

I switched over to Michelin XM1+ the very next day, and have been a very happy rider since!!
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Old 23rd May 2012, 19:58   #4
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

My experience with JK Vectras has been quite the opposite. The first set, which came with my Swift ZXi in Feb 2006 lasted 67,000 km, and had a few thousand kms left when they were changed. The second set lasted 70,000 kms. No problems, once again. The car's done 160,000 km and now runs on Apollo Aceleres.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 20:27   #5
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
I for one, am never touching a JK-Tyre again !!!
Neither am I... Read here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...d-failure.html (JK Vectra tyres: Weird Failure).
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Old 23rd May 2012, 20:30   #6
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

I have seen a similar problem in my friends car the issue was caused due to - prolonged non-usage of car. In his case the car was used once in two weeks or so i guess and the entire weight of the car on the rubber which is exposed to nature does the damage. There were lumps on the sidewall and also the place where the car's tyre is in contact with the ground had formed as a rough patch. So while driving it it feels as we just went over a bump.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 20:37   #7
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
I for one, am never touching a JK-Tyre again !!!
Ditto here . I had JK Vectras on my Swift ZXi , out of the 4 tyres there was tyre failure in two . The way they happened convinced me that JK Tyres are really crapped . The outer layer of the tyres just peeled off . The tyres had done 32-33K kms , mostly city driving .
I will never touch a JK tyre again
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Old 23rd May 2012, 21:25   #8
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

I have had similar experiences
I thought I had found a gem, but it turned out to be rubbish
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...ightly-so.html (Review JK Elanzo, a grossly underrated tyre(EDIT: Rightly so!))
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Old 23rd May 2012, 21:51   #9
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Anyway, since this was the first car in the family that had tubeless on it, I was initially very excited about the advantages (no sudden tyre-bursts / ability to drive on even with a puncture etc).
i just want to caution people on this. tubeless tyres tend not to deflate suddenly upon puncture because the rubber seals around the intruding object, but that does not mean that they cannot deflate suddenly. they can, depending on the puncture.

Just a week ago, a 6 month old Yokohama ES100 on my Accord suddenly deflated from a large puncture. I heard the sound of air escaping, 2 seconds later I wondered if I had a puncture and released the steering to see if the car pulled to one side, it did, so I pulled over. Total time 10-15 seconds.

not only was the tyre completely deflated, it turned out that being driven flat at 90km/h for 10 seconds had damaged the sidewall enough that it bulged upon inflation at one point after the puncture was repaired, and the tire was wrecked.

Please don't assume that just because its tubeless, it will deflate slowly and allow you to drive on. It is much more likely to do so than a tubed tyre, but it can also go just as suddenly as a tubed tyre and be wrecked if it happens.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 21:51   #10
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
We have a 2007 SwiftZXi at Kerala which has done just about 22000kms in the last 5 years, which means the OE tubeless JK Vectra tyres are as good as new tread-wise and should normally go on for another 20000kms at bare minimum (the tube-type Bridgestones on my Baleno are almost as good as new after 60000kms, except for 1 tyre that wore off).
Summary : Given the crappy quality tyres that JKTyres rolls out and the know issues so early on in the lifetime, please stay away from them. Not sure if one can choose the brand of OE tyres coming on their new cars, but if it is possible, stay from the JKS. I would think any other brand would be better than what they dish out. I for one, am never touching a JK-Tyre again !!!
Me too had it.
My 2005 Swift's JK Vectras failed at 30K Kms and had changed two tyres and out of the remaining three two best was doing duty upfront till 33K.
One tyre gave me a bumpy ride between Calicut and Palghat and initially I thought that the balancing weights had fallen off or the discs got distorted. The fault was with the tyre similar to what supremebaleno mentioned.
Again the stepney gave me a best ride only for a few weeks and on the previous day of my journey to Trivandrum same jitters happened. Dashed to Tyrex cochin at Midnight and bought two tyres, the brand as per availability at Tyrex.
Autocar in its detailed Swift test drive had given a clean chit to the JK Vectras in 2005. Agreed but the handling changed at around 18 or 19 K Kms.
But many years ago I got 53K in my M800 on JKs without any hiccups.

Last edited by rajeev k : 23rd May 2012 at 21:54.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 21:55   #11
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
done 22000kms in the last 5 years,
WARNING: If your tyre is an Indian brand (JK, MRF and even Goodyear etc) and is around 4 - 5 years old, please expect a tyre failure regardless of the mileage covered. It isn't safe anymore and please do not use 5 year old Indian branded tyres for long distances / high speed driving.

Simplistically put, tyres have two functions which determine their life expectancy - (1) rotate (life expectancy determined in terms of tyre mileage) and (2) carry the weight of the car - a function of the side wall being done even if the car is not being used (life expectancy determined in terms of elapsed time). While the life expectancy in (1) can vary depending on type, usage, brand, construction quality etc, in the case of (2) it is advised not to use tyres for more than 5 years even if the tread is available as one could expect a tyre failure at any point in time after that. However this life expectancy of 5 years can be stretched to 6 years in the case of Michelins Bridgestones and other good brands. In the case of JK and Good years, the fact that it lasted for 5 years itself is a bonus. It would be better to expect Indian branded tyres to give up after about 4 - 5 years regardless of the mileage covered and accordingly plan any long distance / high speed driving. Please do not use them for more than 5 years - it will not be safe to use them on long distances or speed driving after 5 years. I have had a similar experience with Good Years on my Honda City which collapsed after 25K kms and just 4 years (which was a bit early but didn't really surprise me) even though there was quite a lot of tread left - fortunately in the city and at low speeds as I did not use that car for long distances.

Last edited by VeyronSuperSprt : 23rd May 2012 at 22:03.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 22:38   #12
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

Hi SupremeBaleno,
Completely agree with your experience. I too had a similiar issue with BossI(My first scorpio) riding on JK Elanzo's. Two of the four tyres started swellling right after ~20k on odo. I went all the way up to the JK's corporate office and they offered me free new tyre replacements(all five tyres) after much fight. I took all the five new tyres sold them to their dealer in front of them and went in for Bridgestone-Duellers. When I purchased Boss II(my second Scorpio) I insisted M&M to deliver my VLX with only Bridgestones.
JK tyres are very bad for their quality and must be bribing thier way through for the OEM supply chain!
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Old 23rd May 2012, 23:26   #13
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

Ummm, my experience with the JKs that my swift was shod with was reasonably good. They lasted about 50k. Admittedly, they were used on good roads mostly. In fact, the spare is still one of those JKs even though its the third set of tyres that I am currently using.
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Old 24th May 2012, 01:24   #14
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

I have heard (no concrete info) that Maruti sources these tyres for just about ~300-500/piece.

If that is the case, I would worry more about longevity of these tyres than mileage. Reduction in grip levels in cheap tyres like these are more predictable than damages whist old, which are much..much more dangerous.
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Old 24th May 2012, 08:30   #15
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Default Re: Stay away from JK tyres - simply crappy manufacturing quality !!!

As some have already pointed out this is not about life expectancy in terms of distance covered but life expectancy in terms of time.

Tyres are bound to become stiff / rigid with passage of time. And if the vehicle is parked for extended period of time, even with correct air pressure, the bulge will tend to become permanent making the tread uneven. If you want to park care safely for long periods jack it up and remove tyres from rims.

Statistical data from a large sample base would be needed before blaming any one make/brand. One or many punctures in itself cannot be a criterion of good bad tyre. Unless they are used on same road by two vehicles at same time - not the best but nearest replication.
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