155/80x13 Panda tyres and a problem

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155/80x13 Panda tyres and a problem

Oct 1, 2017
Edinburgh Scotland
My dear other half returned from doing some essential shopping last Friday in our Panda (2010 Dynamic Eco) and told me she thought "the back tyre is a bit flat". I'm actually quite impressed she noticed because when friends ask her what she knows about cars her reply is usually "nothing" and if the questioner perseveres she answers "why keep a dog and bark yourself?"

Years ago I was teaching my, very capable, daughter how to change a punctured wheel and tried to get Mrs J involved but she declined. My daughter tried to motivate her by asking her what she'd do if she gets a puncture whilst out on her own and she (Mrs J) replied, "Why I'd call Dad of course dear!"

Anyway, back to that tyre. It was indeed almost completely flat at 7 psi! Strange thing was I couldn't immediately see why - no sign of a nail/screw etc in the tread and no visible damage. So I blew it up to 40 psi and listened for a leak - no hissing noises though. I mixed up some water and washing up liquid and started "painting" the solution around the beads and all over the tread - but still nothing, not even a wee bubble! If the rims had been alloys I might have suspected a porous casting, but these are steels so that's unlikely. Really only one other possibility isn't there? A leak around the valve. I'd already checked the core, when I reinflated it, with a bit of spit on my finger and it hadn't blown a bubble so now I sloshed some of the soapy mixture around the base of the valve where it protrudes from the rim and there it was, a tiny stream if bubbles coming out between the rim and the rubber of the valve.

I was worried that the rim might be corroded either around the rim seating or the valve hole so I decided to strip the tyre off and rub down the rust before painting. Many years ago I made my own "bead bumper" and I have a large and small tyre lever and heavy rubber hammer which will deal with most "normal" tyres and rims - I wouldn't use the "bumper" on alloys though as it would damage them - works a treat on steels! Here's a pic of my "gear"


The old tyre (build date 4415) was quite well worn (3mm at best) So, now with the rim attended to I rang a chap I know who works in one of the tyre stores to see what he could do for me by way of a new one and was surprised when he said, sorry, can't help with that size just now (155/80x13) He is very good to me and does good prices for me so I didn't trouble him as to why not as he was already dealing with a customer. I rang a couple of other suppliers and got the same result with the last chap saying certain sizes are quite difficult just now. He thought it was a combination of the Suez Canal hold ups from the east (where many tyres are now actually manufactured) and lack of containers in the right place with Brexit also causing problems for more local supplies.

Then I remembered a local small garage who is pretty big on tyres for the trade - he actually has two tyre delivery vans running around so must do volume sales to the trade, but also sells to the public. Luckily I know the owner so gave him a ring. "I've got one mid range quality Falken in that size and that's your lot. Yours if you want it" He quoted me a very reasonable price and said I could have the valve and balance thrown in so I went with it. The tyre is a Falken Sincera sn832 and gets a reasonable write up in reviews so that'll do me just fine.

I find the lack of availability interesting though. Anyone else had trouble buying tyres recently? I'm getting a lot of pleasure looking at it mounted on the O/S/R wheel - new tyres always look so nice don't they?
Likewise - I ordered 2 x Nokian iLine 155/55 80r13 tyres for a Panda a few weeks ago. Two days later I got an email apologising that they were out of stock. "Would I like some winter tyres instead, as these were in stock?" No thanks.
Tried another of my usual suppliers, no stock.
By this time I needed a third one (large nail through sidewall), so trawled the net for a set of 4. Eventually found a set of Toyos at a supplier I had never used before.
2 "sorry for the delay" emails later the tyres arrived.
I only look after a couple of Panda with the steel 13s, all of the others are alloy 14s (except the 100HPs which are 15s), and the bigger sizes don't seem to be as scarce at the moment.
Hopefully it's only a temporary situation.
I used www.oponeo.co.uk/steel-wheels on the 100HP to replace bucked alloys. They look good with small centre trims and suit the car. When you go to Oponeo website, Go straight to the wheel selection tabs and avoid the car selection tab. The latter will only show 13" rims - probably because the only steels offered by Fiat were 13".

I'm guessing the offset at 35mm and the centre bore at 58mm so work is needed to confirm. I found this option in silver (though I'd get them painted anyway).

Also these in black
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Having recently replaced that tyre and seen the extent of the rust on the rim I've been playing with the idea of having all 4 rims grit blasted and repainted. However it's not cheap, considerably more than the £29 being asked here by Oponeo - thanks Dave - https://www.oponeo.co.uk/steel-wheels Anyone have experience of the product? I'm thinking I might be better to just buy a set of 4 of these and scrap the old Fiat rims?
Had 2 Toyo's fitted trough Asda tyres a week or two back, no problems,
noticeably quieter than the admittedly 14 year old Contis that they replaced.
They were £75 for the pair fully fitted.

Just checked they are offering Conti's at £56 and Toyo at £43 fitted, they
have lots more makes some I have never heard of, must admit I lean
towards Michelin given the choice.
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I bought my Magnetto wheels from Oponeo.

I flatted the OEM paint, primed and painted over with wheel paint. Powder coat would be better, but the powder thins at sharp edges allowing rust to creep in. Radiusing every cut edges is quite a task so it will have to wait.
Had 2 Toyo's fitted trough Asda tyres a week or two back, no problems,
noticeably quieter than the admittedly 14 year old Contis that they replaced.
They were £75 for the pair fully fitted.

Just checked they are offering Conti's at £56 and Toyo at £43 fitted, they
have lots more makes some I have never heard of, must admit I lean
towards Michelin given the choice.

What particular Toyo tires are they?
Is it not just literally a supply and demand thing?

13s are no longer a common size smallest wheel on a common supermini is a 15 really and the most common tyre size is 205/55 R16.

Most places only carry stuff that isn't going to sit on the shelf taking up space on the off chance someone with a ten year old Panda comes in. Fairly sure the later panda also went to a 14.

With it being a niche product now better just buying online there's loads of choice on blackcircles etc.
Phone you local tyre provider and ask them to order some tyre for you. You might have to pay at the time of ordering but (in my case) they gave a better price than the total costs from Black Circles.