Automotive trends come and go. In the good old days, the easiest way to give your street car some cred was to paint the brand of the tyre in a distinct colour - or as it is commonly known, tyre lettering. The easiest way was to take a can of paint and spend a good afternoon meticulously tracing out the brand name of the tyre with a small 5 number brush. Eventually, the lettered tyre trend sort of disappeared but now in 2017, it is back with a bang! So we check out a tyre lettering or tyre decal/tyre sticker kit from a company called TyreVogue.in to see if it can change our plain and mundane Hyundai Creta test car into something cooler and with a bit more street cred!
TyreVogue is a tyre decal maker based out of Hyderabad that makes standard brand name type or custom tyre decals. Now where a tyre brand is pretty common and done to death, we decided to go the custom route and our very own one-off tyre decal design. And of course, what we selected was 'NDTV CARandBIKE' to make sure everyone knows who's behind the wheel! The tyre lettering kit can be ordered online through the TyreVogue.in website and came delivered to us in a well packaged bag. Inside the bag were the actual decals, a cleaning compound to clean the tyre surface and a specially designed rubberised glue that is flexible and makes sure no damage whatsoever ever occurs to the tyre itself.
As with most visual modifications, the actual process of installation is very simple. The process of preparing the tyres to take on these decals however is not. You have to first clean them thoroughly with a soap or shampoo solution to make sure all the dirt and grime that results out of normal day to day driving is removed. After you let the tyre dry for at least 30 minutes, you then have to clean it even further to ensure that the oily secretion from the tyre's rubber compound is cleaned off. This is when you need the cleaning compound that is provided in the kit itself. This cleaning compound acts very similar to acetone and cleans off (and dries off) the rubber area on which you would want to apply the actual decal. The best way to do this is to take an abrasive cloth (like a small towel) and douse it in the cleaning liquid. This step also needs a little more effort as the tyre will have to be cleaned with as much pressure as possible in order to make sure all the secretions and oils are cleaned away.
The next step is to remove the backing paper and actually roughly place the decal onto the tyre to position it for final attachment. In our case, since the actual decal or lettering is rather long, we split it into two segments so that it would be easier to apply. After roughly checking where the decals go (you can use the circular guide marks that are present on every modern tyre as a guideline), apply a line of the rubber glue onto the backside of the decal and firmly apply them onto the tyre. Use your hand or another cloth (preferably microfiber) to firmly and evenly press on the decal so that the glue activates and attaches the decal to the tyre itself. The process of course needs to be repeated on every tyre till all the decals are installed.
The final step is to remove the transparent tape from the decal and to stand back and admire the new tyre sticker. TyreVogue recommends strongly that the decals must require at least 6-8 hours (preferably overnight) of rest with no vehicle movement to effectively stay onto the car. It is also crucial at this time to ensure that the decals are not exposed to the likes of dirt and most importantly, water. Once the decal is installed and there are edges that appear to be pealing, you can use the tyre glue to dab on some extra adhesive solution to the decals.
The tyre decals from TyreVogue.in can last for well over a year if they are properly maintained. They are washable but only by hand and not through a pressure washer. The decals can also be individually replaced or taken off completely and redone in case there is some damage on the tyre. The decals are currently available in white and yellow with other colours like red and blue in the pipeline too. And they most certainly are the easiest way to give your car a stanced out and almost 'racecar' like look. At about Rs 4000 a set, tyre decals, especially custom made ones, are certainly a visual mod we highly recommend.