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Old 2nd October 2022, 23:48   #1
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Default How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

Hello folks,

I bought Audi Approved A3 about 3 months back and have had 2 incidence of tyre puncture. The first one was a side wall rupture, I do not know how it happened, as I was driving and suddenly TPMS warning came. Since I wanted to claim warranty for tyre, I could not even get it repaired and had no other option but to use the space saver tyre.

What I realized from that experience is space saver tyre sucks. So essentially, I kept getting TPMS warning, I could not use cruise control, had to drive below 80 km. on empty highway, central locking did not work. In summary the driving experience was very poor and unsafe. To add it, the car looked ridiculous.

Recently I noticed that I am loosing pressure at a very slow rate (drop from 36 psi to 25 in 2 weeks) and got it checked, it was a puncture. There was a board pin (like we used in our classrooms), have no idea how that thing ended up on road and in my tyre.

Now with 2 instances in 3 months, I have developed an anxiety specially because of the poor experience of drive with space saver tyre . When I drove Honda city for close to 10 years, never had this anxiety coz I mostly did city driving and had a full size spare tyre. The condition of Indian roads are not confidence inspiring. So I need to have a solution, as of now I have considered the following solutions:
  • Portable tyre inflator - I have already bought it works like a charm. For small punctures I can keep filling the tyre and not worry too much till I get a puncture repair shop. However the first instance when I had a side wall tear, I did not work because the rate of loss of pressure was very high.
  • Puncture repair kit - Flipkart has some really cheap ones, not sure if they are any good. But thinking of keeping them just in case as back-up
  • Changing space saver tyre to a regular size tyres - Audi gave me a estimate of ~70k for change of alloy wheel and tyre. Checked with FNG, he was offering allow wheel of a different car (Nexon i think) for 4.5k and with tyre it would have costed like 12-13k. The allow wheel looked different but I would have taken it. However, when I put the full size wheel in the wheel well, the boot floor raised quite a bit (more than expected). No way I'll keep the boot like that forever. Could be an option for only long trips. But i don't have a place to store spare tyre (Living in rented accommodation)
  • Puncture Sealant: When I went to get the 2nd puncture repaired, the FNG suggested I get the puncture sealant added to the tyre. It would cost me 600 bucks (including labour) for each tyre and then the sealant would seal any punctures going forward. The mechanic even claimed it would work on side wall punctures. Now if it does work like he says, it is indeed very enticing but I did not want to get if filled in only 1 tyre as I felt it would affect the wheel balancing. And if I do it, will get it filled in all tyres. I wanted to check with this group if this is indeed a good idea. What are the pros and cons of adding puncture sealant in the tyres? Attaching the pics of the ones FNG was showing. Do let me know if anyone has had an experience with these things

Also to mention, I am using Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres and I was not happy when they flatly refused to replace the tyres which I drove for less than 300km and it got side wall puncture (not repairable as per dealer). After some angry mails, as a good will gesture I got 70% discount on the replacement. Next time I am thinking of going with a Indian manufacturer who has a unconditional warranty like CEAT or JK (though not sure if they make good enough tyres). Anyways will come back for guidance when my tyres are worn out.

So folks, do let me know what else can I do to reduce my anxiety about tyre punctures. I do want to take my car on long trips but not get stuck/ drive with space saver tyres because of punctures. Should I go for puncture sealants? If yes any good brand or place you would recommend in Pune?
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How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions-img20221002181848.jpg  

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Old 3rd October 2022, 14:01   #2
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Default re: How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

Hi, I read the entire post. Can you please confirm the tyre size that your A3 is running on? I'm hazarding a guess that given your persistent issues it is 225/45R17, but would be better if you confirm because a few variants came with 16 inchers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoon View Post
  • Puncture Sealant: When I went to get the 2nd puncture repaired, the FNG suggested I get the puncture sealant added to the tyre. It would cost me 600 bucks (including labour) for each tyre and then the sealant would seal any punctures going forward. The mechanic even claimed it would work on side wall punctures. Now if it does work like he says, it is indeed very enticing but I did not want to get if filled in only 1 tyre as I felt it would affect the wheel balancing. And if I do it, will get it filled in all tyres. I wanted to check with this group if this is indeed a good idea. What are the pros and cons of adding puncture sealant in the tyres? Attaching the pics of the ones FNG was showing. Do let me know if anyone has had an experience with these things
Okay first and foremost - I'm a tyre industry professional - aftermarket tyre sealants do more harm than good when used as a preventive measure. And no, they are absolutely useless when it comes to sidewall injuries. Let me explain why.

The idea of using these sealants is that they would form a thick, viscous film on the tyre's inner liner, and would seep into any gaps created by an external injury - if you notice, the can itself mentions a maximum injury size of 6mm - we will get back to this point later, remember this.

This is a great solution in theory, in fact, it is a slightly watered down version of something many tyre manufacturers offer abroad (JK recently launched it in India) which is a similar sealant which is applied right after the tyre is manufactured. Sealants applied at the point of manufacturing are of much better adhesive strength and quality compared to what we can buy in the aftermarket like the product you mentioned - they are imported as blocks, liquefied in the factory with heat, and then sprayed on to the tyre in an automated process which ensures that the coating is even throughout the inner circumference of the tyre. Most importantly, the coating is applied only on the tread part. In most cases, manufacturer-applied sealants last as long as the life of the tyre due to the material quality and automation involved. Plus, when applied on brand new tyres, there is no dirt or contamination on the inner surface which can reduce the adhesive strength, whereas no amount of cleaning even on lightly used tyres will remove all the dust and dirt that has accumulated. Hence, aftermarket sealants such as this would eventually solidify into balls on losing their adhesive strength, eventually fall off the inner surface, and would rattle around inside your tyre. Any sealant applied on the sidewall will be the first to fall off due to the combination of the effect of gravity and the constant flexing it goes through compared to the tread portion which is relatively rigid. Even without this issue, like I mentioned before, these work on an injury size of max 6 mm, and sidewall injuries are typically much larger, which makes it a moot point. On top of all this, most tyre manufacturers have it in their T&C that usage of aftermarket sealants would void warranty. This clause would be usually mentioned as "chemical application/contamination".

Now, coming to offering you a solution to mitigate anxiety, you have already thought of 2 solutions - DIY repair kit and a portable inflator. The only caveat is that a DIY puncture fix is not easy/intuitive and would recommend that you practice a few times on an old tyre carcass that you can get from a puncture shop. There's also a step-by-step guide on this forum:-

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-...-puncture.html (DIY Guide: How to repair a Tubeless tyre puncture!)

Keep in mind that the "outside-in" plug puncture repair is a temporary solution and it is always better to take it to a tyre shop (I recommend any MRF T&S, most of their shops offer this) later for a permanent fix, also called a "mushroom repair" which is repaired from the inside of the tyre. Keep in mind that the sidewall is never to be repaired, and whatever I said is applicable only for the tread portion. Sidewall injuries warrant only tyre replacement.

Regarding tyre replacement - for one, I'd like to go back to the question of the tyre size. If you're using 225/45R17, I'd exhort you to swap to 225/50R17, which has a 10 mm taller sidewall and would exponentially reduce the likelihood of damage. Pre-2012 C Class used to come with 225/45 as well and persistent tyre issues forced Merc to change to 225/50, a size which continues even today. The change in diameter (3.5%) is slightly more than the recommended 3% but I have personally done this upgrade on one of my friends' C Class and there is no fouling even on full load at speed breakers. In any case, I think your A3 would come with wheel stoppers which would prevent this.

Finally, coming to your spare tyre, one of our BHPians, Chethan Sir, has taken the plunge and modified his BMW X1's boot with wooden blocks to fit the full size spare, linking the post below:-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chethan B G View Post

8. Full size spare wheel and boot modification - 30/01/2022

With the tyres changed to Tubeless, I needed a proper spare tyre. The donut provided was already 5mm smaller in radius compared to the stock tyres. With the new tyres, the difference would be 15mm which is more than half an inch. Also, with limited range it was not a practical solution given my usage.

Attachment 2353751

Therefore, I purchased an 18 inch Y spoke - Type 569 Alloy from BMW @ 45k, to be used as a spare wheel. As I wanted to restrict the space occupied by the spare tyre inside the boot, went ahead with stock rating of Vredestein Ultrac Vorti. That is 225/50 ZR18 99Y XL @ Rs.16,000 including GST.

Attachment 2353746

Attachment 2353749

Attachment 2353750


I had to lift the boot floor by about an inch. Used wooden pieces all round to achieve the same as shown in the photographs below. Later on, I topped it up with a rubber lining to avoid rattle from within the boot.

Attachment 2353753

Attachment 2353754

Attachment 2353755

Attachment 2353756
If the official Audi wheels are too expensive for you, there are a few solutions:-

1. Like you mentioned, going for an alloy of a different vehicle. Just take care that the PCD is the same, and that there is no fouling with brake calipers. Do a fitment trial (on both front and rear) before making the purchase.

2. Go for a slightly smaller alloy from Audi - 16 inchers. And do not buy the tyres from them. Go for a tyre size from a cheaper brand like JK or Ceat like 205/55R16 or (which keeps the outer diameter equivalent to the stock tyres) and still wide enough for you to use the vehicle at higher speeds. This would be my recommended solution because cross-manufacturer rim compatibility is a huge grey area and many things can go wrong. Meanwhile you can dispose the space saver on OLX.

Hope I have answered all your queries, do reply here or PM if there's anything else I can help with.

Cheers.

Last edited by RubberGuru1113 : 3rd October 2022 at 14:09.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 16:31   #3
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Default re: How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

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Originally Posted by RubberGuru1113 View Post
Hi, I read the entire post. Can you please confirm the tyre size that your A3 is running on? I'm hazarding a guess that given your persistent issues it is 225/45R17, but would be better if you confirm because a few variants came with 16 inchers.
Hi RubberGuru1113 First of all wow, amazing response.

Thanks for taking time and clarifying on all points. You are totally justifying your username.

To answer your question on the wheel size, it is 205/55 R16 Pirelli Cinturato P7. I think this is a pretty standard size tyre. I know lot of people want to upgrade to bigger or wider tyre, but frankly the current size works for me, looks proportionate.

Now this is the first time I have used Pirelli tyres and when I got the sidewall tear in the 1st month, my confidence in the brand kind of shook. Attaching the pictures of the side wall failure. The company denied warranty saying it is accidental damage, but there was no accident. The shape of the tear is also not a regular cut. Till date no one has told me the reason why it happened. Maybe you can shed some light on the mystery.

On the puncture sealant, I thought it is too good to be true. The FNG was insisting that I get it filled in the 1 tyre he repaired as he had already demounted it. I did not go for it because I did not want to add weight only to 1 tyre and really want to check with someone more knowledgeable. Thank you for detailing the cons of aftermarket product.

I do like it as a concept, and I will seriously consider JK or any another tyre manufacturer which offers this + unconditional warranty.

Thanks for sharing the post by Chethan sir, that is definitely an option I want to consider.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 17:42   #4
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Default re: How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

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Originally Posted by Dracoon View Post
Hi RubberGuru1113 First of all wow, amazing response.

Thanks for taking time and clarifying on all points. You are totally justifying your username.

To answer your question on the wheel size, it is 205/55 R16 Pirelli Cinturato P7. I think this is a pretty standard size tyre. I know lot of people want to upgrade to bigger or wider tyre, but frankly the current size works for me, looks proportionate.

Now this is the first time I have used Pirelli tyres and when I got the sidewall tear in the 1st month, my confidence in the brand kind of shook. Attaching the pictures of the side wall failure. The company denied warranty saying it is accidental damage, but there was no accident. The shape of the tear is also not a regular cut. Till date no one has told me the reason why it happened. Maybe you can shed some light on the mystery.
Honestly, sidewall damage is more about bad luck than anything to do with the quality/construction of the tyres. Our roads are strewn with sharp objects and the upper sidewall, where your tyre seems to have got damaged, is especially prone to penetration damage, which I completely understand that you have little or no control over. Not just Pirelli, most manufacturers wouldn't cover this as part of warranty and you're dependent on the generosity of the regional team for a goodwill adjustment.

If you feel that the roads you ply on are giving you persistent issues, one step is definitely to go for tyres with unconditional warranty which you have already considered. Another additional step is to go with tyres with 2 plies on sidewall - this is information stamped on all tyres, attaching a reference image -

How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions-sidewall-plies.jpg

Please note that this only reduces probability of sidewall damage and by no means guarantees that it will not happen. Attaching another image below of a 2 ply sidewall tyre which was still damaged after the person hit a curb accidentally.

How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions-whatsapp-image-20220922-2.43.10-pm.jpeg
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Old 3rd October 2022, 19:09   #5
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Default re: How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

Thank you for all the valuable information, @RubberGuru1113. Your posts are very informative and useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberGuru1113 View Post
Another additional step is to go with tyres with 2 plies on sidewall - this is information stamped on all tyres, attaching a reference image
Thanks for this tip. This is something I learned new today. I did not know there are 1 ply or 2 plies sidewalls. I usually check all other details before purchasing tyres, but somehow, had never seen this information.

So are these 2 plies sidewall tyre a special category? Are the "regular" or mainstream tyres that we use 1 ply or 2 plies? For example, I recently purchased Micheline Primacy 4 ST in 205/60/R16 size for my car. I have been using Michelin Primacy series in both my cars for last many years now. Would that be 1 ply or a 2 plies sidewall?

Last edited by libranof1987 : 3rd October 2022 at 21:38. Reason: As requested
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Old 3rd October 2022, 21:29   #6
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So are these 2 plies sidewall tyre a special category? Are the "regular" or mainstream tyres that we use 1 ply or 2 plies? For example, I recently purchased Micheline Primacy 4 ST in 205/60/R16 size for my car. I have been using Michelin Primacy series in both my cars for last many years now. Would that be 1 ply or a 2 plies sidewall?
Oh well, single ply tyres of any size would satisfy the legal requirements in order to sell tyres in India. Most tyre manufacturers offer a combination of both types of constructions.

For heavier vehicles - Scorpio, Innova, Harrier and above - it’s a given that any brand across the spectrum would be selling dual ply tyres.

There are some (Bridgestone for instance) who offer only dual ply tyres even from low to mid segment vehicle sizes such as Amaze, Swift, etc.

Others offer dual ply only in sizes where probability of damage is high (low profile tyres with short sidewalls). Different companies have a different construction philosophy. Also, products with unconditional warranty generally tend to have a construction with a high safety factor so that the company doesn’t lose money in claims.

And regarding Michelin, honestly I don’t know! Would be great if you can check and let us know!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 3rd October 2022 at 21:38. Reason: Quoted post edited
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Old 3rd October 2022, 22:43   #7
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Default re: How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoon View Post
To answer your question on the wheel size, it is 205/55 R16 Pirelli Cinturato P7.
Pirelli Cinturato P7 are soft tyres and prone to damage. Using them on BMW X1 and face issue of cuts by stones during touring.

I would suggest you to go for Yokohama Earth1 which is available in 205 55 R16 size. Best touring tyres suited for Indian road conditions. Comes with 18 months unconditional warranty.

Intend to use the same on X1.

Yokohama Earth1
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Old 4th October 2022, 11:52   #8
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Default re: How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

I have had experience of sidewall damage on my VW Passat with Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres (very soft sidewalls). In due course I replaced them with Yokohama Blue Earth, which were very good. I sold the car in 2021, the current owner is still using the Yokohama tyres.

Would highly recommend the Yokohama's.
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Old 4th October 2022, 12:11   #9
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https://www.amazon.in/Formula-Punctu...%2C822&sr=8-6#

Used this FormulaX sealant in the tubed tyres of my Interceptor, disappointed with the results. The rear tyre was punctured by someone with a nail while being parked overnight, and the tyre almost emptied by morning.
I think it would be better to keep a full size spare tyre at the cost of some boot space rather on rely on such aftermarket products.
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Old 4th October 2022, 13:13   #10
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Originally Posted by Dracoon View Post

I will seriously consider JK or any another tyre manufacturer which offers this + unconditional warranty.
Having used JK (OEM in my S cross) for about 30k KMS, I'd never go near anywhere near them. Yes they are hard compound and will last quite long, but not worth the noise and the ultra poor wet grip. There are better brands available that are not as soft as Pirellis but are still reliable and more importantly are better to drive on (like yokos, contis, Michelins, vredestein, etc). Tyre warranties are dicey and difficult to enforce, getting them covered under insurance might be a more hassle free option.
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Old 4th October 2022, 13:32   #11
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Tyre warranties are dicey and difficult to enforce, getting them covered under insurance might be a more hassle free option.
UCW process is quite hassle free with most companies, what you’re referring to is manufacturing defect warranty which has a lot of ifs and buts. Linking a BHPian’s experience with JK below :-

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-...-warranty.html (Sidewall issues, Warranty or FNG? | Update: JK Tyres replaced tyre under unconditional warranty)

I work for a competitor of JK btw (no conflict of interest) and I must say they have come a long way over the past few years both in terms of product and customer friendliness.

Insurance has far more ifs and buts and a longer claim approval time. For UCW as long as tyres are in stock you usually get an instant replacement

Last edited by RubberGuru1113 : 4th October 2022 at 13:38.
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Old 4th October 2022, 17:01   #12
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Originally Posted by el lobo 6061 View Post
Pirelli Cinturato P7 are soft tyres and prone to damage. Using them on BMW X1 and face issue of cuts by stones during touring.

I would suggest you to go for Yokohama Earth1 which is available in 205 55 R16 size. Best touring tyres suited for Indian road conditions. Comes with 18 months unconditional warranty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpunwani View Post
I have had experience of sidewall damage on my VW Passat with Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres (very soft sidewalls). In due course I replaced them with Yokohama Blue Earth, which were very good. I sold the car in 2021, the current owner is still using the Yokohama tyres.

Would highly recommend the Yokohama's.
Thanks for confirming that there is some problem with the Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres. Definitely not suited for Indian roads. I will definitely consider Yokohoma which both of you have recommended. Have read positive reviews and unconditional warranty is must for my next buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vtach View Post
https://www.amazon.in/Formula-Punctu...%2C822&sr=8-6#

Used this FormulaX sealant in the tubed tyres of my Interceptor, disappointed with the results. The rear tyre was punctured by someone with a nail while being parked overnight, and the tyre almost emptied by morning.
I think it would be better to keep a full size spare tyre at the cost of some boot space rather on rely on such aftermarket products.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I won't be going ahead with the aftermarket sealant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ike View Post
Having used JK (OEM in my S cross) for about 30k KMS, I'd never go near anywhere near them. Yes they are hard compound and will last quite long, but not worth the noise and the ultra poor wet grip. There are better brands available that are not as soft as Pirellis but are still reliable and more importantly are better to drive on (like yokos, contis, Michelins, vredestein, etc). Tyre warranties are dicey and difficult to enforce, getting them covered under insurance might be a more hassle free option.
I hope they have improved, the puncture guard is available only on their top end tyre JK UX Royale, but I think it is not available in 205/55, it seems it will be available in 205/60..will have to see if using slightly bigger tyre is advisable. I definitely want UCW so Yokos maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberGuru1113 View Post
UCW process is quite hassle free with most companies, what you’re referring to is manufacturing defect warranty which has a lot of ifs and buts. Linking a BHPian’s experience with JK below :-
I know a friend who just walked to one of the showrooms and got replacement and he actually was at fault and had burst his tyre in an accident. They still didn't ask any question and only measured the tread thickness and charged for the wear and tear. Infact that is one reason I was surprised when my tyre which was driven less than 300 km (almost new) had side wall puncture (not in an accident) but was denied warranty.

I actually wonder what is covered in tyre warranty. Any puncture in tread area can be repaired. Any sidewall puncture which cannot be repaired is not covered by warranty. What is covered in warranty? From my experience, UCW is the way to go for tyres.
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Old 4th October 2022, 18:37   #13
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Default Re: How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

I am confused as to why you need to buy a tire inflator? Almost all cars these days ship with tire inflators. We bought a Tata Safari last year and it came with a tire inflator and a bottle of tire sealant. Bought a GLC last week and it also had both. Have you tried looking under the boot floor or under the seats?
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Old 4th October 2022, 18:54   #14
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Default Re: How to deal with my anxiety of tyre puncture | Possible solutions

Would the tyre sealant not cause a tyre imbalance as the weight would be shifting constantly and hence cannot be balanced at all?
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Old 4th October 2022, 19:52   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordeaux View Post

Almost all cars these days ship with tire inflators.

Have you tried looking under the boot floor or under the seats?
It’s a very recent phenomenon and also only on a few premium models. The OP bought his A3 used so presumably it’s a few years old.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoon View Post
Thanks for confirming that there is some problem with the Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres. Definitely not suited for Indian roads.
Did you have a chance to check the number of sidewall plies on your tyres? That would explain a lot if you could check and post it here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoon View Post

I actually wonder what is covered in tyre warranty. Any puncture in tread area can be repaired. Any sidewall puncture which cannot be repaired is not covered by warranty. What is covered in warranty? From my experience, UCW is the way to go for tyres.
“Regular” warranty covers manufacturing defects, like separation of the different components (tread, belts, bead, etc.) for a specified period from date of manufacture - 5 years for most brands.

Needless to say such occurrences are pretty rare across brands and the more common issues are of accidental damages, penetration damages and pinch cuts (for very low profile sizes like 225/45, 195/55, 205/50, etc.) which “regular” warranty would not cover

Last edited by RubberGuru1113 : 4th October 2022 at 19:53. Reason: Typos, spaces corrected
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