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Thread: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

  1. #1
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    Default Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    I put the summer tires on the Audi today (yes this will cause it to snow another 4ft I'm sure...) and noticed some sidewall damage to one of the tires - it looks like it rubbed against something and cut a groove into the tire - I have no idea what could have caused it.

    Anyway, it's has cut into the rubber, but not into the re-enforced part of the sidewall. Is this tire done? (which means that all 4 are done because of the all-wheel drive).




  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    IMHO, I see no reason to toss them out. If the cord
    is not cut, that is where the sidewall gets its strength.
    did I really say that out loud.........

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    What are the vehicle inspection rules in Vermont?

    Dan
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    what caused the damage? What speed does this vehicle travel? My mechanic tells me that driving on a radial that's under-inflated damages the sidewalls to the extent he recommends replacing them - a blowout at speed is a risk I'd not take.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by huisjen View Post
    What are the vehicle inspection rules in Vermont?

    Dan
    Depends where you take the car...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Wash the set of tires with soap and water, let dry, and look again. I think you'll find that all of the tires have similar marks, and that they're insignificant. I had to look a half-dozen times to see what you're talking about; it might be a mold flaw.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    what caused the damage? What speed does this vehicle travel? My mechanic tells me that driving on a radial that's under-inflated damages the sidewalls to the extent he recommends replacing them - a blowout at speed is a risk I'd not take.
    I have no idea what caused the damage or when it happened. The damage wasn't caused by under-inflation, it looks like it rubbed against something and gut a groove into the tire - a hard curb perhaps? I have no idea really (It's my wife's car...) The car generally is just driven around town, but it has been known to hit 85 or 90 from time to time.

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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    You know, the rubber is there for a reason. Otherwise, in todays competitive markets, it wouldn't be there. The least that it does is, it protects the reinforcement from sun / water / ... Many reinforcement materials do not like sun or water. But - it might do more than just that, like add a little bit of stiffness to the tire wall. Now, with the grove, the tire wall might flex more in that area and the reinforcement might eventually break. Or it might break from reinforcement degradation sometime, now, that more moisture gets to the reinforcement. Might. Do you want to find out on the highway if it does? Exploding tires can give very nasty crashes.

    So - better safe than sorry, buy new ones.

    Another question - what could have caused this groove? It is the outside of the tire, right? As it seems to run on a constant radius, it is not a damage from an object that you drove by but is a damage from something that was or is on your car. Is there anything in the inside of the wheel arch that touches the tire when the suspension is moved in a lot?? Check carefully, Ruining tires like this is an expensive hobby ...

    Did the car have a repaired crash on the side where something is touching the tire? Are you driving after market or tuning parts (wheels, suspension, ...) that could have created a too tight fit when the suspension is working? Is something worn out on the suspension?

    If you do not find anything on the car that could have caused the groove - it could have happened during wheel balancing or during a break test on a break test stand. But that doesn't make a difference to the "better safe than sorry". Anyway - don't just change tires but make sure, that there is no cause on the car to repeat this. Next time, if the cause is on the car, it might cut right through the reinforcement, leading to instant explosion.

    Last point - there used to be tire dealers that could machine down a single tire to match a slightly worn set ... Only makes sense with relatively new sets though ... Perhaps another lost art.
    Last edited by Henning 4148; 04-05-2009 at 02:14 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Chuck em.

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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Chuck em.
    Seconded.Not worth the risk for the cost of a replacement.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Chuck em.
    Chuck that one for sure - but when you get it off the rim take a hard look at the inside - there may very well be a matching mark in the interior.

    And see if you can find a cause for the abraded groove. - Henning is right.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    You people don't know what "maypops" are.

    What size are they? maybe I can put them on my car.

    The rubber on the sidewall is there for a reason, to protect
    the inner cord from damage from scuffs like this. That does not make them unroad worthy, unless you go to the garage and
    ask them. They will give a different answer cause they
    wanna sell tires to ya......
    did I really say that out loud.........

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    If it was a scuff - I'd say keep them. But it isn't - its a cut.

    Throw them....

    I've had at 3 x 90+ mph blow-outs over the years. They can get interesting. Fortunately each time they have been on the rear wheels. I think I might not be typing this if any had occurred on a front wheel.

    Here's what's left of one of my tyres after a blowout.



    You sure you want your wife driving on that?
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    Chuck that one for sure - but when you get it off the rim take a hard look at the inside - there may very well be a matching mark in the interior.

    And see if you can find a cause for the abraded groove. - Henning is right.
    I was responding to Noahs use of the plural inthe post title. But I still tend to think that at a minimum you'd replace a pair anyway( if only one is like that).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    odd looking,,Bigfella,,you are a special case.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    A curb or road hazard doesn't make a mark like that, I would suspect a part of your vehicle or a tire machine...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    good point. Remember the day you carried the entire end of season gear load back home in that car.......

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    GET RID of them!

    Tires are one of the most important safety items on vehicles ... I am amazed at how many folks drive around their families in BAD tires.

    You have BAD tires.

    Something has cut into the sidewall ...

    Sidewalls cause MANY blowouts!
    Nothing else matters but how I raise my children ... and their opinion of me, as a father.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    i'd agree with the "chuck'em" crowd. Not worth the risk. I've driven on "maypops" when I was REALLY poor. Now that I can afford better I do. Besides which, even if it is a relatively benign blowout, they always happen in the rain, after dark, someplace inconvenient.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    But I think the notion that your car cut them has to be right. Put on new ones, but not before you're certain they won't get cut up, too.

    They look like directional tires -- is that so, and is the cut really on the outside? If on the inside, maybe a piece of road debris got caught against it breifly, but I can't see how that would happen on the outside of the tire.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by brad9798 View Post
    GET RID of them!
    May I humbly suggest a long smokey burnout!

    Since you got an awd car, you'll need a bleach box...
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Sidewalls are much thinner than treads, and they flex more, so any damage is significant. The photo looks as if something in the well cut the tire— having a slice clear around is bad, too. Or it was severely underinflated and scraped along a curb.

    I'd go to a shop or two and get their opinions. But my instinct would be to replace them. A tread puncture can be a slow leak that's repairable. A sidewall blowout is catastrophic.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    A curb or road hazard doesn't make a mark like that, I would suspect a part of your vehicle or a tire machine...
    Yeah, I was curious about that - could it have been the tire shop when they were installing or re-installing the tires on the rim?

    FWIW, I wouldn't want to be driving on those. Time for a new set.
    "Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    YES! Get rid of them before you die a horrible death in a tremendous firey car crash!!!!!!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    I had a blowout/end result similar to what Bigfella posted - back tire, as well. My daughter had a tire blow on the front - couldn't control the car, and instantly into the ditch and through a fence. Luckily, not much speed when it happened, but LOTS of damage. For the $400 or so, not worth the risk. I'll be curious to hear what you find out re: what caused it in the first place.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    How much do you like your wife, and does she have life insurance?

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    they're toast, sorry.
    In fact, if you can saw a penciled line, apply glue, drive nails, and bring a modest measure of patience to the task, you can build and launch a smart and able craft in as few as 40 work hours. You need not be driven by lack of tools, materials, skills, or time to abandon in frustration a project you conceived in a spirit of pleasurable anticipation.

    -Dynamite Payson

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    I traveled for a week with the wife (and tech rep) of McCreary Tires owner. they make racing and aircraft tires.

    The most important thing I learned from her presentations is the importance of sidewall integrity. It gets the most abuse and is primary avenue for heat dissipation.

    I'd replace the tire.
    Last edited by Tar Devil; 04-06-2009 at 01:24 PM.
    Happiness is worth waiting for!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    The most important thing I learned from her presentations is the importance of sidewall integrity. It gets the most abuse and is primary avenue for heat dissipation.
    yep

    recall those suv rollovers , problem was heat dissipation for tires used in heavy vehicles



  30. #30
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    Default Re: Tire Sidewall damage - throw them out or ok?

    Well my wife took the car into a trusted mechanic (who isn't trying to sell us tires) and pretty much said that it was just the rubber, but better to not take chance. We will be replacing them tomorrow.

    If it was my car I would probably just pretend it wasn't there and drive it...

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