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Old 10th October 2012, 13:44   #31
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

Posting one of my puncture-scam experience that occurred a few months back, I certainly learnt from it. A loss of a good tire and clearly an un-finished job of the punctures.

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Btw the other day I got my first puncture for the Apollos on the weekend trip to Bombay. 3 out of 4 tires had maintained pressure at 30+, the fourth had dropped to 20! Clearly that was a puncture if nothing else. Idiotically I decide to make the return trip back to Pune without getting the tire checked.

Having heard of several "puncture scams", I was all gung-ho not to fall for that. So when I handed over the car to the puncture guy, I tagged along him like a shadow. Not sure how the other puncture guys do the work on a tubeless tire, this guy was using the basic dip-tire-in-water-look-for-bubbles method. Find one, mark it, and use the kit asap.

Surprise surprise - 9 of them! Was observing the puncture guy keenly (also getting drenched in the rain too for that) there were 9 punctures, 5 of them in the sidewall. The 4 on the main section I could understand, I couldn't figure out how does one get a puncture on the sidewall. Got the explanation - driving on the punctured tire for prolonged distance (in my case the drive from Bombay to Pune over the previous weekend) causes this.
So last weekend I had to travel to Mumbai to catch a flight, I decide to check the air pressure just before I hit the highway, and I stop at a puncture shop. He starts filling the tires and I keep following him checking what was the existing pressure on each tire.

On the 4th tire he points out that the pressure is extremely less and it is NOT taking in any additional air. He "demonstrates" it to me and indicates that the pressure doesn't go up above 15 psi! Clearly a puncture, he says. (And going by the posts on this thread, probably the valve would also have been changed as per him)

I ask him to fill as much as he can, hand him over 10 bucks (for the air-filling) and tell him I'll drive to Bombay on a punctured tire if needed, but his work is done. He gives me a weird look as I move on.

A few blocks ahead, at a petrol pump, I stop-over, get the tire filled (this time it's a digital machine so I can clearly see the pressure filled) and move on. Till date there is no loss of pressure on that tire.

Learning for me: Always fill/check air (if possible) at a petrol pump.

OT: Puneri people, this puncture shop is on the left side, on the Baner-Balewadi road, a few blocks just before you pass the DMart as you head towards the highway.
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Old 10th October 2012, 15:02   #32
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
I has a similar experience on Sunday while returning from Fort Jadhavgarh (btw a great place to visit) to Bombay. I was on the first flyover after rejoining the Poona bypass (I think this is the Sinhagad road flyover) when the TPMS on my Superb acted up. I saw a puncture guy just a little after the end of the flyover, and stopped. He claimed there was no air in the left rear tyre. A quick inspection revealed two nails in it. I was not suspicious at this point, since the road between Hadpasar Saswad road and the bypass had a very poor surface. He repaired these two punctures, and the claimed that the valve had failed too, allegedly because I had driven without air. I got a bit suspicious as I had stopped within 500 metres of the TPMS warning. He replaced the valve, and then tested the tyre with water, and found 4 more side wall punctures. I had half a mind to cut losses then, but decided to get it repaired as I had a long drive ahead. Damages worked out to Rs. 1300. Looks like this was the same con game. Need to get the tyre replaced as well.

Is the an issue with changing just one tyre? And should I stick to the Goodyear NCT 5 or go for something else?
Why would you need to get the tyre replaced, that too after spending 1300 bucks to repair it? Is it old or do you feel that the repairs wont hold up?

Next time, if you're confronted with numerous punctures, sidewall damage, valve damage, just ask him to put in a tube. Converting from a tubeless to a tubed tyre costs very little and works just fine. Plus you dont need to repair the punctures and incur such a heavy cost.
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Old 10th October 2012, 17:30   #33
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

Agree with most of the discussion.
I had a similar case at the IOC pump next to Mariott in Hinjewadi.
It was 7 pm at peak traffic, the puncture repair guy suggested 3 punctures. 2 of them inches apart on the edge of the tyre( very unlikely).
For me these guys are always crooks unless proven otherwise. Hence i opted not to fix it and simply got the spare tyre fixed.

Later went to the tyre shop in Baner (darshan tyres) and confirmed the puncture and got it repaired. The guy there he did mention this is very common modus operandi .. though how it works am still not clear.

It has to be some distraction mechanism and some nifty( for lack of a word) work with a piercer.

I had previously an unused spare tyre puncture in another car as well. Very likely to be pierced by some sharp object in the trunk itself when being refilled.

My own rule thereafter
-> Always refill at a known and same place. Do it 2-3 a month. . Thats hardly 30 Bucks/month but that should hopefully keep the guy honest
Keep an air check gauge in case of doubts.
-> I have bought an inflator with analog guage during a US trip for abt 10$ and can be powered by power socket in car
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Old 10th October 2012, 18:05   #34
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

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Originally Posted by paritosh2k View Post
My own rule thereafter
Adding one more:
- Always get out of the car and verify what the guy is doing while filling air. I have noticed guys trying to fiddle with the valve while doing this. If you have to remain seated indoors, please ensure you check the ORVMs at least. though that has less chances of preventing the valve being tampered with.
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Old 10th October 2012, 18:12   #35
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

Looks like Pune is notorius for puncture frauds. My car is completing 20K kms. I have suffered one puncture during this period. May be few of the things that I have followed all through have saved me from this fraud.

1. I have one analog tyre pressure gauge. I use it once in while to check the pressure in the morning before starting the car. Read somewhere that you should not check tyre pressure when they are running for some time.
2. I only fill air at petrol pumps, in my presence only.
3. The puncture I suffered, I repaired it myself. There is one excellent thread on this forum for repairing a tubeless punctured tyre. Had ordered the repair kit from Ebay for 180 rupees. The tyre is in use and holding good.
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Old 12th October 2012, 00:31   #36
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I think I was a victim of one such scam today. On my way back from work, I decided to tank up. Also, I felt the Polo's ride a little too dampened than normal, although the acceleration was just the same. After filling up at the IOC COCO pump, just after Cafe Momo on Hinjewadi road, I decided to check the air pressures at the puncture wala outside the pump.

He was using the gauge to measure the air pressure. When he reached my front, right wheel, he said the tyre is not taking any air and the pressure is not going over 15 psi. His aide also came running and pointed to me how flattened the tyre looks and there ought to be a puncture. Now, I know my S-Drives and the reasons for the flattened look. I pointed out to him that the other front tyre also looks the same. He then impatiently asked if he should check it or not?

However, I was sceptical of an actual puncture and being stranded tomorrow morning with a flat tyre. The Polo and the tyres are just 1200 kms old. My mind was telling me there's no puncture, but the dampened ride gave me reasons to believe there could be one.

I gave him the go ahead and he undid the wheel. He was again checking for punctures by pouring water and checking for bubbles. I got a phone call and briefly got distracted. When I got back, I see this guy poking the tyre with a sharp device! He said there are glass pieces embedded in the tyre and found 3 such punctures. He even showed me the bubbling. My heart wept each time he inserted that sharp device into my S-Drives. After fixing the three punctures, he poured water over the tyre valve and showed me bubbling there. I was now sure, this guy is a fraud.

I mean, how could the valve give way in just three weeks and 1200 kms of driving? He would have forcibly bent the valve to break it. I wish I had read this thread earlier. I just hope he hasn't created recurring damages to my S-Drives.

Once again, for the benefit of our community, the guy to avoid sits right outside the IOC COCO pump on the left, after Cafe Momo, on Hinjewadi road.

Cheers!
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Old 12th October 2012, 00:59   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paritosh2k
Agree with most of the discussion.
I had a similar case at the IOC pump next to Mariott in Hinjewadi...
This is the exact same guy I'm talking about!

Already having a sleepless night, so went down for a walk and what do I see! The tyre 'repaired' by this guy has lost all air pressure! Means, he has done a shoddy job of fixing a puncture that wasn't even really there in the first place! At this point, my mind is brimming with the choicest of expletives for that guy...
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Old 12th October 2012, 23:07   #38
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Update: Found four more punctures on the side wall.

Mods: Sorry for the back-to-back posts, but this scam is graver than I thought.

After seeing the flat tyre, I retired for the night. This morning, I summoned a puncture wala from a proper tyre shop. He undid the tyre in my apartment complex and took it to his shop.

He inflated the tyre and immersed it in water and found four side wall punctures. I did not drive the car with no air in the tyres. From the looks of it, the punctures look 'introduced'.. i.e. poked with a sharp device. No debris was retrieved from any of the punctures. All of them were fixed and I have driven Pune to Mumbai since with no trouble.

The result seems to be a perfectly good Yoko S-Drive sacrificed for a few hundred bucks, and bearing 7 puncture fixtures.

I'm seriously considering discarding the tyre and getting a new S-Drive for that lone wheel. Any advice is appreciated. What do you guys think? Should I replace the tyre?

Many thanks.

Cheers!
DueLLeR
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Old 15th October 2012, 09:38   #39
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DueLLeR View Post
I'm seriously considering discarding the tyre and getting a new S-Drive for that lone wheel. Any advice is appreciated. What do you guys think? Should I replace the tyre?
If possible, place a tube inside the tyre, keep it as Stepney/spare tyre.
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Old 15th October 2012, 14:21   #40
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

Is it possible to go down with a group of Well-built friends and scare the hell out of this fraud puncture guy? Some firm words or threats will go a long way to see that he does not pull this for a few days at least.
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Old 16th October 2012, 13:02   #41
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DueLLeR View Post
Update: Found four more punctures on the side wall.

Mods: Sorry for the back-to-back posts, but this scam is graver than I thought.

After seeing the flat tyre, I retired for the night. This morning, I summoned a puncture wala from a proper tyre shop. He undid the tyre in my apartment complex and took it to his shop.

He inflated the tyre and immersed it in water and found four side wall punctures. I did not drive the car with no air in the tyres. From the looks of it, the punctures look 'introduced'.. i.e. poked with a sharp device. No debris was retrieved from any of the punctures. All of them were fixed and I have driven Pune to Mumbai since with no trouble.

The result seems to be a perfectly good Yoko S-Drive sacrificed for a few hundred bucks, and bearing 7 puncture fixtures.

I'm seriously considering discarding the tyre and getting a new S-Drive for that lone wheel. Any advice is appreciated. What do you guys think? Should I replace the tyre?

Many thanks.

Cheers!
DueLLeR
Team,

Even I have faced the similar fashioned experience on my Michelin tyres. The incident occurs near Ghansoli station East the guy just sits just next to BP petrol pump. When i felt that my vehicle just pulling towards the left i decided to inflate tyres in petrol pump, since that was not working one of the guy adviced me to check the same at the puncturewala. When i visited him he told me that your tyre is punctured. Left with no choice but to asked him to check. He found out there are 9 punctures viz a viz 2 puntures are just side by side. When he tried to repair it he just plucked out the wire mesh, and told me that he need to do patching since puncture cannot be fixed. The total cost including patching was 1500. I decided not to do anything and decided to visit Michelin service centre at Vashi. When visited there i learned to know that since he took out the mesh, tyre can't be repaired now. Since rainy season was approching decided to replace all tyres. Forgot to mention that tyres were 50k kms old. But michelin confirmed that they still have life in it.
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Old 24th October 2012, 18:45   #42
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

I had an interesting experience around three years ago in Mumbai.

I and some friends were riding our bikes on the Eastern Express highway. One of bikes got punctured so we stopped at the side of the road in an isolated spot. We noticed that a sign was painted on the road surface giving the mobile number of a puncture repair service. On calling the number he asked us for a serial number which was also painted there, which told him the exact spot where we had stopped. In a short while, two people arrived on a bike to repair the puncture.

Not sure if this is a scam or a genuine service. I am inclined to think that they would have scattered nails on the road.
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Old 24th October 2012, 19:31   #43
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

The BPCL Pump at JVLR in Mumbai is notorious for such cases. Whenever we go out for a weekend, we fill up here as i always fill up only at BPCL outlets and thats the one which is open at 5AM. Most of the times when we fill up air, the fellow filling air will say, 'valve kharab hai, aage aapko hi takleef hoga' (valve is gone and you will be in a difficulty if you continue). I got the valve changed once but then everytime he used to say this. I stopped going there altogether since then and go only to fill petrol if i dont find any other place.
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Old 25th October 2012, 12:41   #44
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

The next time this happens, I am considering telling the puncture fellow that if the valve is a new one and if gets damaged in any way, he will have to give a new one for free.

Well, the least we can do is keep the spare up to date so that we can change it ourselves or get him to change it for us. We can then take the punctured tyre to a relatively reliable shop to get it fixed.
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Old 25th October 2012, 13:56   #45
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Default Re: Puncture frauds - How do they work?

this happened to me while I was coming to Satara from pune. Just before the toll plaza, the BMW reported a tyre pressure loss warning. So i stopped at the nearest Repair shop. And to my astonishment, the tyre had almost 6-7 punctures. Definitely seems like a made up puncture rather than an unfortunate. Attached pictures.
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