There are some people in the market who know how to engrave a Tyre. They engrave a “FAKE DATE” on the sidewall of the Tyre. They achieve this by heating up a specially constructed iron rod (with numbers) and altering the MANUFACTURE YEAR on older Tyre. For example, a Tyre that has manufacture date 0312 (3rd week of 2012) could become 0316 (3rd week of 2016) after alteration. It is very difficult to spot this alteration (These guys are that “good”).
HOW TO SPOT AN ALTERED MANUFACTURE DATE
Tyre dates are either embossed or debossed (stamped) by the manufacturer. When the date is embossed, you can use METHOD 1 to spot a fake date. However, when the date is debossed (stamped), you can spot a fake date by using METHOD 2.
METHOD 1: FOR EMBOSSED DATE
You can spot an altered manufacture date on a Tyre by taking a closer look at the manufacture date. For example, if the manufacture date is “0316” (3rd week of 2016) and you notice that “031” is embossed, while “6” is debossed, just know that the manufacture date has been tampered with. These shady Tyre dealers cannot create embossed “FAKE DATES” (at least for now). They can only create debossed dates by stamping. Though, some can go as far as erasing the date completely and writing a new one.
METHOD 2: FOR DEBOSSED DATE
Tyre dates are either embossed or debossed (stamped) by the manufacturer. When the date is embossed, you can use the above method to spot a fake one. However, when the date is debossed (stamped), you can spot a fake date by looking at the last digit in the date. For example if the debossed (stamped) date is “0316”, you should take a closer look at “6” to check if it’s as clear as the other digits “031”. You should also check whether “6” is perfectly aligned (in a straight line) and of the same font size with the other digits “031”.
Your best bet is to buy a popular brand from a trusted Tyre dealer (preferably online). This is because most online Tyre retailers get their Tyres from authorised distributors who themselves get the Tyres from the manufacturers, and not from parallel imports. You should also beware of online sites operated by shady Tyre dealers.
THREE MAIN CAUSES OF TYRE PROBLEMS
Road hazards like potholes, glass and rocks are usually unavoidable. There are, however, three main causes of Tyre problems that are avoidable: incorrect inflation pressure, speeding and overloading. Taking precautionary measures to avoid them will ensure safer mobility and longer Tyre life.
UNDER OR OVER INFLATION
Tyres that are under inflated or over inflated can affect your Tyre life, driving comfort, traction and braking. Under inflation generates excessive flexing of the Tyre casing, which results in overheating, increase of rolling resistance and premature wear. In extreme cases, under inflation can cause Tyre damage. Likewise, over inflation can reduce Tyre life, reduce grip and create irregular wear.
DRIVING AT SPEED
Driving at high speeds has a greater chance of causing Tyre damage than at low speeds. If contact is made with a road hazard, it has a greater chance of causing Tyre damage. Driving at speed will cause the Tyre a greater build up of heat, which can cause Tyre damage. It can also contribute to a sudden Tyre destruction and rapid air loss if the Tyre are not properly maintained. Failure to control a vehicle if a Tyre experiences sudden air loss can lead to an accident. If you see any damage to a Tyre or wheel, replace it with your spare Tyre at once, then have it checked by a Tyre specialist.
To ensure that your Tyre are not overloaded, read the load index of your Tyre, which is found on the Tyre sidewall. Do not exceed the load capacity relative to this load index. Tyres that are loaded beyond their maximum loads can build up excessive heat that may result in sudden Tyre destruction. Also follow your manufacturer’s loading recommendations. Do not exceed the maximum axle load rating for any axle on your vehicle.
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