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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Tyre Exploded!

Life is all about experience, and something new happened to me. As I'm travelling on the highway today at 110km/h, the tyre exploded! I heard a large sound of boom but surprisingly the car is still running steadily without any problem. Something is definitely wrong, so I stop by the road shoulder to check it out. Nothing wrong on the outer side, but obviously the pressure is gone. I push my hand around the tyres and felt wire cable stucked out, then I knew my front right tyre is gone. My earlier tyres are run-flat type, which will still allow a drive of max speed 80km/h without pressure, so I continue drive till the next stop. The car started to wobble the further I travel.

As I changed to my spare tyre and remove my exploded tyre, then only I noticed the seriousness of the damages! Before going further, a brief on the spare tyre. Alfa Romeo spare tyre is very small in size, like bicycle tyre, Pirelli brand measured 125x85x15" only and allow max speed up to 80km/h. Of course I didn't take my chance, I travelled 70km/h for the entire journey back. That takes me a long long time!

I travelled to Klang to check out new set of rubber for my ride.

My old set of fabulous rubbers that keep me alive. They have been serving me for almost 1.5 years running 40,000km. With my driving style, I'm sure they have work hard planting themselves to the road and keeping me breathing, thanks! Finally putting them to retirement.

Ok, then come to the damages.

This is how it looks like when I removed it. Obviously the damages got worsen as I continue to drive after it exploded, but it still looks very scary. Let's take a closer look.

Continental, finally giving way to my extreme driving style (consider tame to those sifus out there) hehe ...

A view of the inner wall, the tear is almost 1/3 of the tyre.

Anyway, further information on the Alfa Romeo 147 is that I noticed the wear rate for the front set of tyres have a very bad camber towards the inner wall. I talked to the mechanic and seems like there is nothing they can do about it. I will need to find out, but for those 147 driver out there, do take extreme caution to check your front inner wall. That should be the first part to fail for our tyres.

So off I go searching for my new rubbers. I'm having lots on hand now, with the new iPhone 4, In-Car-Entertainment upgrade plan and etc, I have limited budget. After a series of consideration, I decided on something more economical.

The Hankook Ventus V8 RS 215x45x17", that cost me RM310 per piece including balancing & alignment. Let me know if you are interested, I can hook you up.

For those that know me well must be surprising to find out why I settled down with a cheaper option, which is essentially life saver for my driving style. I stressed this over and over in my earlier blog, and as usual, I have my reason for the changes. First of all, budget constraint and life stage changes, settling down for other priority. Secondly, Hankook is proving themselves on better quality product, and we can forget about those China brand here like Nankang. The Korean maker here are gaining their reputation with good review all around the world, and also in Malaysia.

A good friend of mine is introducing me the Hankook Ventus V8 RS, which I bought eventually. There is a higher option named Hankook Ventus V12 Evo K110, but unfortunately I can't find any stocks in Klang. Review said it has better performance (on hard driving) than the V8, but if you are a family man, settling the V8 for your accord / camry is most suitable. Quality review below.

The new army for my 147, ready to roll.

I left the shop in rain and immediately I tested it on the wet road. Before going there, immediately I noticed a big difference with my Continental Sport Contact 2! My earlier rubber is definitely hard and hard! The ride is bumpy and very noisy, but I'm trading it for excellent grip over dry or wet in any corner that I can find.

Back to the V8, it's totally opposite from the CSC2, it's very quiet and very comfortable ride! Maybe I've gone to hell and now back to heaven =) Now my 147 is quiet like in Camry, duh. Surprisingly it has very good aquaplanning as well. The water is dispersed quickly and I felt very little buoyant after going through a large water ponding at allowed speed. That should be helpful in highway run during rain. I've yet to do dry run test, but the wet experience is very good indeed. I'm recommending this to everyone looking for a good ride in good budget. If I have more money, I would have taken the Continental / Michelin. No complain, still happy.

A naked view of my suspension. Ventilated Disc, Independent Double Wishbones Trailing Arm with Anti Roll Bar, Pro RS High Performance Brake Hose, and Koni Sports Adjustable Absorber. Wish I could have done more =P

For those that's curious, Alfa Romeo 147 rear suspension setting is Independent MarPherson Strut with Anti Roll Bar. Nice ...

PS: for those that noticed, the photos above are shot with my Iphone 4. Consider good quality, and I just do fun snap. I suppose it can turn out pretty good if I explore the possibility.


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