I always like to say Nigeria is a special country and that is not because we have crude oil or the finest music artists from Africa taking over the world. I say Nigeria is special because we like to re-invent standard processes in any line of work by using natural means to solve problems. Roadside tire technicians aka Vulcanizers are number one on that list.
Roadside tire repairers actually use two weird things in fixing our car tyres: Saliva and Fufu. Why Nigerian Vulcanizers use Fufu and Saliva on your Car Tyre is what we would be talking about in this article.
This is Fufu, it is processed cassava. Now, you will see why it is used on tyres
Other weird things you can see in the Nigerian professional like would be: Welders joining metals without protecting their eyes, People lifting cars inappropriately to accommodate smuggled goods. Nigerian Roadside Mechanics and their bad habits have been discussed earlier, let us focus on the vulcanizers today.
Why Vulcanizers use Fufu and Saliva to repair tyres
First and foremost, Vulcanizer is the wrong word to use in referring to the person that fixes any tire-related problem. Vulcanizing is a process involved in making tyres not repairing them. A tyre technician is the right word but for slang sake, I would use the term a lot in this article.
The Fufu Story
After your tire technician detaches your tire from your rims for repairs, he/she has to apply a tyre bead sealer when fitting the tyre back onto the rims. The tyre bead is the whole round inner area of your tyre that is in direct contact with the rims of your car.
The tyre bead sealant makes sure that the rim and tyre are well bonded to prevent any air leak from your tyre after it has been repaired.
This is what a Tire Bead Sealer looks like
However, this tyre bead sealant is averagely ₦3,000. Fufu or Eba is just ₦50 per wrap which means ₦100 fufu will be enough to act as a tyre bead sealant for about 4 tires.
This Fufu/Eba works as a sealant because fufu is very sticky but it is not good enough and it is one of the bad habits of Nigerian roadside vulcanizers. Fufu or Eba also affects the colour of your tyre and it makes the edges of your rim damage slowly but roadside mechanics don’t care.
The Saliva Story
Just after any tyre gets filled with air, it needs to be gauged and tested for air leaks. Instead of using a testing lubricant, Nigerian roadside vulcanizers use saliva from their mouth to test for air leaks.
If the Valve is leaking, the Saliva will form bubbles
They apply saliva on the tyre valve to check for air leaks. It works but this is so disgusting and dirty. Saliva could be infected with anything and applying it to anyone’s car is just wrong.
A Soap Solution will work too but they are lazy
A simple thing that would work perfectly is to use a soap and water mixture but these guys prefer the saliva just 2 seconds away from their mouth.
Now you know Why Nigerian Vulcanizers use Fufu and Saliva on your Car Tyre. You should always stop them from doing this with your car because of the negative effects.
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