Lada Tyres!

There had been a worrying time from day one of buying my Lada. The steering was faulty and from the feel of it a major cost to fix.

Every time a turn was made there was a big bump and the steering wheel just bumped and over-steered. This happened in both left and right directions but the main thing here was that the car still went left and right but suddenly! Added to this the steering was very stiff and Popeye styled workouts were had whenever the driving was made. It was especially hard in Yambol town where much steering and three point turns were needed.

Throughout the two years of owning the car this was something I put up and to me was part and parcel of the Lada drive. I even had other Bulgarian assessing the problem and the sharp intake of breath at the thought of the cost of repair always seemed to the assessed outcome. So it was left, as long as the car could steer that was the prime objective.

The last year or so both front types constantly leaked air. Every few day it was a trip to a garage to pump them up again. Getting he repaired was something that was always put off as it cost money. The tyres had good tread and they worked, the air in the garages was free so it carried on. This is how it is in Bulgaria, any way to save money, it is works and is a little inconvenient to keep it working and doesn’t cost anything that’s how it is.

Finally it was time to get the tyres seen to, initially with a view of repairing the existing tyres as we had a little spare cash to see to this brought over from working in England. We estimated that this should only cost a maximum of 20 lv for both, but I knew at least one of the tyres were beyond repair looking at the bulges on the tyre wall. This had been the state of the tyres from day one but again it still rolled on regardless and got us places.

We looked at the cost of tyres many times and that just the though of the cost put us off from doing anything about it, until Galia spotted some very cheap tyres in a supermarket 70 lv each.

So one day we decided to check these out and looked at the tyre sizes we needed for the Lada. To do this we checked the existing tyres sizes on the car and they were found to be 185 (whatever that meant). The equivalent size was found in the supermarket each amounting to 75 lv. Before committing to buy them we thought we would check out whether they could be repaired.

A particular garage opposite the fire station was pointed out and recommended to us by Galia’s son, so on recommendation we checked it out. Dimtar, the owner was fixing a child’s motorbike he had imported from England as he attended to our requests to check out what we should do with the two front tyres.

He took them both off and it was quite obvious these couldn’t be repaired with the state of both of the inside walls. It was no wonder they were loosing air as the rubber was fractured in numerous places and at least three of four nails embedded in the tread. Added to all this they were the wrong sized tyres for a Lada. His recommendation was two new tyres both correctly sized for the vehicle. Was this a Bulgaria classic trick for us to be hoodwinked into buying two new tyres?

We had now breathed a sigh of relief in one hand but held out breath in view of how much he was to charge. Another sigh of relief was made when the cost was 64 lv for each tyre fitted, balanced and ready to roll. We agreed and they were set up within 20 minutes.

What a good deal we got in view of the supermarket prices being asked for without fitting or balancing. And what a close shave it was with is going to buy the wrong sized tyres from there.

The biggest joy and relief after all this was after all this time with the wrong sized tyres on the car and the stress on steering the problem has completely disappeared. It really does feel like driving a Roll Royska compared to before!