All these years I’ve been changing car tyres at a shop near my house. Its pretty cheap by Puchong / PJ standards, and for a long time they accepted Bonuslink cards (they no longer do). But i found them pretty good, plus it was convenient. But the price of car tyres increase every year, ironic because Malaysia is a rubber-producing nation. This strangely affects not only imported tyres, but also locally produced ones like Sime.
The last price hike at the end of 2011 have increased the price of tyres of my current car from RM90+ to RM200 since i started using it from 2004. That’s more than 100% increase. Really, what gives? For my previous set of tyres, i opted to downgrade to Sime Astar (big mistake) from my regular Goodyear Eagle NCT5. Well, you get what you pay for, when it comes to Sime. After about a year one of the Sime tyres side wall started bulging, commonly called ‘pregnant’. So for the past few months i’ve been running on a spare tyre, a different tread from the other 3.
Last week i decided to change all 4 tyres. Checks around the usual workshops showed everything has gone up. So my only alternative was to go to Klang. Now if you look around the webforums they all tell you the cheapest place to get tyres are these few well known shops in Klang. And one of ’em is Kedai Papan, or Klang Hin Leong (the spelling may vary, even they themselves aren’t decided on it).
How do these guys keep tyres so cheap? Not entirely sure, but one of the ways would probably be volume. When i first got there, there were more than 30 people milling about waiting for their cars to be ready. It’s a huge place, they take up the entire 5 or 6 ground floor lots of a building.
Tyres make a lot of money, but what REALLY pays the rent for them are RIMS. We’re talking rims that go up to RM3000-4000 PER rim. Yowzer. I counted they had about 2000 rims on display on the walls, on the floor, in the showroom.
Yeah they have an airconditioned waiting area with free wifi (it doesn’t work!) that doubles up as a show room for more rims. But its better to hang around in the workshop just to make sure they don’t add anything extra to your bill.
After 2 hours, got my spanking new Falken tyres. Yeah i know, Falken aren’t awesome tyres like Michelin or Continental, but at least they aren’t Goodyear Eagle or Sime…
Directions: Pretty straightforward to get there even if you’ve never been to Klang. Go straight on Federal Highway, at the second roundabout follow the turn off pointing to Kapar. If you’re on the bridge over the river you’ve gone too far, turn back. Along Jalan Kapar, you’ll see it after about 2km opposite a Shell station. Impossible to miss.