Beware of this puncture scam in Pune!

There are some spots around the city which has the same story to tell, the story about how they got duped by ‘Puncturewallas’.

Punctured tyres is a normal thing but if it happens in Pune or around the city then you must be aware of this scam.Here are some bad experiences of the victims in their own words who fell for the trap.

Case 1

21 punctures in a tyre?  that’s insanely fishy!!

Puncture Scam in Pune

Picture of a mechanic taken by Mr. Ashok Dewangan.

Ashok Dewangan – I was traveling with my family to Sinhgad, Pune with my Chevvy Beat. As I crossed the expressway and reached Pune, near Wakad bridge; 2 bikers overtook from left side and indicated that my car wheel is punctured.

First I ignored, then I felt, they may be good citizens and possibly wheel has low pressure I put my car window down and looked, but could not see it properly.

I stopped near Wakad bridge, Pune, and asked a puncture wala to check for air pressure. 3 radials having good and when he was about to check the 4th one, I rush to my daughter as she was calling me.

Meanwhile Puncture wala called me and said, “Saab isme 5 point pressure hai, puncture hai banana padega (Sir, this wheel has low pressure and it must be checked for puncture)” I agreed with his point as I didn’t have option.

He put car on jack and removed wheel and passed onto the another guy-2, The first guy engaged me in discussion of car excel rusting, bla..bla and I also got involved in the discussion.

after some moment the Guy-2 called, Sir puncture dekh lijiye (Sir, please come and see the puncture), he told 1 puncture repairing would cost 120 bucks, I said okay.

He started putting water over tube-less tyre, (a simple method to detect puncture) there was 1 puncture, he repaired, then he found 2nd, he repaired, then 3rd….4th…5…6…7…..8 Somehow, he found 21 punctures, including 4 in the sidewall and a punctured valve as well, my god. I asked why so many, he simply answered, “Saab aapne kam hawa me chalaya na (Sir, you run you car in low pressure).

He repaired it one by one, If I could know the total number first. I would have stopped him for repairing. The total cost was around 2650/- (after bargain) , somehow I managed in 1500 bucks and gave (mistake-5), he fix the wheel on car and I left.

When I came back home, I felt something wrong happened with me and I googled keyword like “Puncture Scam in Pune etc”, My God there are hundreds of such scam and I started reading it one by one. Similar incident happened with so many people in that spot.

The best part, I could capture the image of the guy, (as m photographer by hobby, and want to capture moments for my personal travel blog).

These are actually gang, operating in group, including those bikers and their modus operandi is simply engage you in discussion and other guy damages the tyre.

Beware! This can happen with you.

1. Putting pointed object in tyre, while other guy keep you busy in technical discussion.

Puncture Scam in Pune

2. Spread ENO over tyre, so after applying water, ENO start releasing gas (CO2) and you misinterpret it.

Puncture Scam in Pune

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. They fill pressure >50-70psi, so micron size hole, became visible.

Puncture Scam in Pune

In my case, it may be 3rd one.

I realized, I was victim of such scam. For 1500/- that guy has damaged my car tubeless tyre, which is just 4 month old. How >20 puncture in tube-less tyre.

The lessons I got are these:
1. Never believe, if any unknown person indicates for low pressure (stop car in crowd place and get it checked by yourself)
2. Always fill air in reputed shop/petrol pump or shop of your known.
3. If you find low pressure, just use the stand-by wheel OR always stand near the wheel while puncture wala checking it.
4. Before they emerged tyre in water for puncture, check pressure (Ideal 35psi).
5. Report such scam.

Case 2

Frequent cases in Wakad and Hinjewadi area.

Sagar Roongta I live in Pune myself and there are great number of scamsters in Wakad and Hinjewadi area. I was scammed once myself but found out about it when the problem persisted. I was able to take my money after i threatened the guy to take him to police, otherwise they keep on looting people every day.

So last weekend I had to travel to Mumbai to catch a flight, I decide to check the air pressure just before I hit the highway, and I stop at a puncture shop. He starts filling the tires and I keep following him checking what was the existing pressure on each tire.

On the 4th tire he points out that the pressure is extremely less and it is NOT taking in any additional air. He “demonstrates” it to me and indicates that the pressure doesn’t go up above 15 psi! Clearly a puncture, he says. (And going by the posts on this thread, probably the valve would also have been changed as per him)

I ask him to fill as much as he can, hand him over 10 bucks (for the air-filling) and tell him I’ll drive to Bombay on a punctured tire if needed, but his work is done. He gives me a weird look as I move on.

A few blocks ahead, at a petrol pump, I stop-over, get the tire filled (this time it’s a digital machine so I can clearly see the pressure filled) and move on. Till date there is no loss of pressure on that tire.

Lesson for me: Always fill/check air (if possible) at a petrol pump.

OT: Puneri people, this puncture shop is on the left side, on the Baner-Balewadi road, a few blocks just before you pass the DMart as you head towards the highway.

Case 3

Beware College Students and avoid this spot.

Priyank Galaw –  I lived in Wakad for two years, this is a group of 4-5 puncherwala from bhumkar chowk to dange chowk who follow this trick….for tubeless tires if there is small stone that is stuck in  tyre they will poke the tyre resulting in a puncture.

In a go there are around 4-5 stones resulting in 4- 5 punctures costing around 500-600. If you have a tyre with tube they will poke the tyre and also tube resulting in change of tube everytime you go.

I asked a local person living there he told that they intentionally put iron nails 100-200 m before there shops…If you object to that they will be abusive as they have support of local goons….this happened to me and my friends on a no. of occasions.. Their main targets are students from nearby colleges..someone should intervene.

Now here is what you can do if you face this situation.

1-  First and foremost don’t get it repaired from there.

2- If someone tells you that tyre is low on pressure or punctured just fill it up and drive some distance to a reliable service station or a petrol pump and recheck.

3- If your tyre has more than 3-5 punctures be cautious and alert and keep a watch on puncture wala while he is repairing the tyre.

4- Buy a puncture repair kit for yourself it’s cheap and portable.

5- Raise your voice, if required inform police.

Not only in Pune but some have experienced it in other states too. Some have shared their experiences from Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai as well.

If you have a same story, share it with us. Raise your voice make others aware.

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