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earthduzt's avatar

Any car buffs out there that might know what went on with my tire today?

Asked by earthduzt (3243points) October 25th, 2010

So it’s been a long day today. Came home from work and noticed my car’s front right tire was slowly losing air. So I packed up the kids and got on the road to go get a new tire, well I could feel my car pulling to the right and then all of a sudden the car started to shake and then the rubber of the tire completely peeled off. I pulled over and got the spare and put it on and drove the rest of the way to the tire shop.
So I got a new tire (used one) and started to drive back home, everything was fine for the first five minutes, all of a sudden I could feel the car really starting to pull again to the right and then BAM again the tire peeled off, it just peeled off the entire middle part of the tire and the walls stayed on the rim. Did I just get unlucky with a used tire, because when I put the spare on it does not pull. I don’t understand why it would do it to both of the tires. Could it be the rim itself that’s causing the tires to peel off? Just the middle part of the tires? I am not a car person, I just drive them so I have no idea.

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11 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Hard to say….you had an issue with an existing tire that is not unusual for a tire of unknown and assumed older age. Then you bought a used tire that you have no idea how old or what condition it was in….so IMO lightning struck twice! Spring for a new tire!

CaptainHarley's avatar

You’re buying retreads… tires than have had a new tread fused to an old sidewall. These do not last very long, and the quality varies greatly. I strongly suggest that you buy a NEW NON-RETREDED tire, especially since you are riding children in the car with you.

WalMart sells NEW tires at very resonable prices.

john65pennington's avatar

Like Captain Harley stated, you are just buying someone else’s junk tires, when you buy used. i would never trust used tires with my children in the vehicle. i realize you may not have the extra money to spare to buy new tires, but what price can you put on your childrens safety? this was not a coincidence, this was a wakeup call for you to buy better tires.

earthduzt's avatar

thanks guys for the responses, yeah I think I will go buy new tires and steer clear of the used 9no pun intended)

jerv's avatar

I’ve had luck with used tires, though never a re-tread. Of course, that may be because I know where to go to get an actual serviceable used tire as opposed to a plain old used one a lot depends on the source and I know exactly what I am looking for. If the place even sells retreaded car tires then I won’t go in there to use the bathroom, let alone buy tires there. And if the yahoo behind the counter doesn’t understand why I want 185/65s instead of 175/70s and won’t even consider their offer of 185/70s then I may make a rude gesture or three on my way elsewhere.

Of course, if you don’t know how to look at a used tire (tread wear, dry rot, etcetera…) then it’s best if you not chance it and just buy new tires right off the bat. That has rarely been an option for me. The only used tires I ever had that lasted more than a few months were snow tires that I only used for three months out of the year and stored carefully (to avoid rot) during the other nine.

And it’s always best if you replace them in pairs with identical sizes and models. Mismatched tires, even the same style with different amounts of wear, can cause problems since they are not actually the same size. If you’ve ever driven with a compact spare and noticed the car pulling to one side then you know what mismatched tires can do. Replace tires in pairs!

Also, watch your pressure. Underinflated tires can roll off the rim sideways enough to let the air out (possibly very suddenly) and while it may look like the sidewalls are still on the rim after it cuts the tread off, the truth is that they were never on there properly. Low tire pressure can cause all sorts of issues.

BTW, slow leaks can be caused by a bad valve stem, which is part of the rim. Just in case, you may want to get the valve stems replaced. It’s cheap and may help quite a bit. I had that issue a couple of times and trust me, it sucks when you find out that the lug wrench that came with your used car is the wrong size when it does happen

BarnacleBill's avatar

You may have hit a curb and damaged the rim. When you go to buy new tires, like at Walmart or Pep Boys, they will check your rims for you. Often if they are bent, they can be straightened. If you can’t afford to replace all 4 at once, do them in pairs, and if your car is front wheel drive, have the new tires put on the front.

Harold's avatar

Yes, sounds like retreads. I bought them once, and never again. Just not worth the risk.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You need to have someone check your cars suspension. A retread should last longer than five minutes, even a lousy one. You might have a bad ball joint that’s causing your tire to be at an excessive angle, called camber, which would tear it up.

filmfann's avatar

Make sure you take the tire you just bought back to the store you got it. They will make this right. I can’t think of any reason your car would do this to tires so quickly. You bought a lemon tire.

CFi's avatar

Your tire separated, that’s the “technical” term. Tire separation is a defect from when they manufactured the tire, or low grade tires, low air pressure, but more than likely it was an old tire.
Unless your a big rig driver, tires don’t get retreaded anymore. Used tire dealers purchase tires from other shops and either plug holes from nails or purchase tires whose tread has not gone below the wear indicator bar, suggesting it may have another 10k miles left, but they don’t care that these tires were changed out for a reason. Some tires can have cupping or show signs of tread separation and they will still purchase them. That’s more than likely what happened i your case. You were unlucky enough to get 2 different tires that were defective. I strongly suggest looking at the other tires on your vehicle if you purchased them all at the same time and making sure they are not really really old tires, otherwise you can expect to possibly have another incident down the road.

Here is an excerpt from an article regarding tread separation:
“When the tire was made. Every tire has a Department of Transportation (DOT) number following the letters on the sidewall. The last four digits determine the week and year the tire was made; for example, the digits 2204 would signify that the tire was made during the 22nd week of 2004. Don’t buy tires more than two years old and replace tires if they are six years old (although manufacturers generally recommend 10 years).”

jerv's avatar

@BarnacleBill Not all rims can be straightened. Many current cars and some older nes (like both AE82 Corollas I’ve owned) have alloy rims that crack when they bend and crack worse when/if you try to rebend them into their original shape. As for steel rims, I’ve seen enough places that charge more for straightening a rim than it’d cost for a used one off the same make/model; steel rims are cheap but time/labor isn’t.

@Adirondackwannabe Considering the number of dropped Civics I’ve seen that lack a camber kit and thus have the tires leaning inwards at obscene angles that can keep a set of tires for at least a month, I think that any car suspension messed up enough to wear out a tire that quickly would be noticed from fifty feet away by someone who knows nothing about cars (assuming it’s even actually still attached to the car in the first place). Even a retread should last a few days. Put another way, this jackass has taken Oni-kyan (a.k.a. “Demon Camber”) beyond absurdity and still has tire life beyond what the OP experienced.

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