With new cars coming with large size alloy rims and lower profile tyres for many vehicles, it become very important to take care of tyres and alloy rims.
It was time for me to look at new tyres for my BMW 320D F30. The OEM Bridgestone RFTs had covered 44000 kms and though they could have run for another 5000 kms, I decided to get them changed as I did not want to take a risk in the rainy season.
During the last service at BMW, the service advisor mentioned that a couple of alloys were slightly bent. There were also very mild but detectable vibrations at high speed. I decided to get them repaired first. Spoke to a Tyre dealer in Gurgaon and he told be that there is only one person in Gurgaon that does alloy wheel repair.
His name is Shakeel and he runs his shop in Sector 12 market where there are a lot of other car repair shops.
The Google Maps Location is https://goo.gl/maps/igPrSc6L6kFhYuF79
It is a small shop. He has a spindle on which he spins the wheels to check for bends and deviation. Then uses a blow torch to heat the wheel and use a plastic hammer to beat them into shape.
As it happened, all 4 of my alloys had slight deviation at more than 1 point. Another customer had brought a 20 inch wheel with a crack. It was aluminum welded and repaired.
1) Well experienced in alloy wheel repair.
2) Can repair bent and cracked alloys (Many people would say it is not safe to repair cracked alloys, but with OEM alloys in European cars exorbitantly prices, repairing them is a cost effective option)
3) Best of all, he works till he is satisfied himself
4) The points where the paint gets damaged due to heating and hammering, he sprays aluminum colored paint from a can to cover it up.
1) Limited parking space.
2) No facility to mount/unmount tyres from wheels. Need to take help of adjacent tyre shops to get it done.
3) Charges on a per bend basis. So if your alloy has multiple bends, the price goes up.
4) No hydraulic machines to correct the bent wheel. Uses the old heat and hammer process. But it works.
After the alloy wheels were repaired, it was time to get new tryes. After a lot of web search, i decided to go from Gurgaon to Faridabad to Haryana Wheels and tyres.
It is located here https://goo.gl/maps/XmBjBfJumDdt9EPE8
Their setup is the best and most extensive I have seen to date. They have multiple Wheel alignment machines with hydraulic lift platforms. All machines are Hunter. I specifically asked them to use the Hunter Hawkeye for alignment.
For balancing, they were the only shop in NCR where i could locate a Hunter Road Force balancing machine (through web search and telephone calls). Road force balancing is suggested for large alloy rims with low profile tyres or if normal wheel balancing is unable to get rid of vibrations.
Before doing the alignment, they did a thorough suspension setup. They advised that the control arm bushes were having a very minor amount of play and i should get that corrected before going in for alignment. BMW replaced the front shockers and control arm bushes under warranty
1) The biggest and best setup for tyres i have seen in NCR.
2) Air conditioned waiting lounge. I chose to hang around the machines when the tyres were being fitted.
3) Did not have Michelins, which were my first choice. Settled for Continentals.
4) Competetive pricing
5) Accepts electronic payment methods
6) Wheel alignment and balancing were free with new tyres. Nitrogen was also free. However, since i chose to go for Road Force alignment, i was charged extra (Nominal amount)
7)All automated machines and hydraulic platforms
8) Proper use of Hunter machines for alignment, and doing all 4 wheel alignment. No dhaga method
9) Checks the suspension also before alignment
10) Experienced staff and quick service.
11) Long test drive by mechanic to check alignment. Will adjust it till you are satisfied.
12) Also has facility for Alloy wheel repairs. They mentioned that they have a hydraulic machine on the top floor for straightening bent rims.
13)Polite and courteous dealing
1) Should have had Michelins in stock. Would have procured them had I insisted.
Otherwise, I was completely satisfied. Well worth going from Gurgaon to Faridabad.
Hope this post helps people in Delhi NCR who are looking at wheel alignment and balancing by experts using Hunter and Hunter Roadforce machines.