Do I need new tires? (or, what causes this?)

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Dingit, May 1, 2018.

  1. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Walked by my truck this AM and noticed this little abnormality on one of the rear tires. Any idea what causes this sort of issue? Could be vandalism but doesn't seem quite right. As far as I know, this happened while parked.

    Guess I'm getting new tires this weekend!

  2. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    I have only seen damage like that from hitting a curb. It is impressive that the tire is still inflated.
    jnc likes this.
  3. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Those tires were starting to crack from age.
  4. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Zoiks, Skooby!

    Could be manufacturer's defect, tire abuse, under inflation, incorrect flat repair...

    See THIS.
    BelchFire likes this.
  5. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Not sure if you need new tires, but you definitely need one new tire.
  6. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Thanks guys. Good info!

    It's not actually cracked at all--hard to tell from the photo but the "cracks" are wrinkles from the shriveled outer layer where has receded instead of being properly stretched over the tire. The tire seems to be fully inflated still but I didn't check the pressure. It's too scary [LOL].

    These tires are 6 years old, OEM equipment, with just under 30k miles. They might have been abused a little bit. I'll see if they have a record of defects but I suspect I'm just lucky. (Also lucky it blew safely parked at home.)
  7. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

    Sep 5, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    That looks like the tire is delaminating. Could be a defect in manufacturing, could be age. Ozone and UV light dries out tires. But that is pretty drastic. The mileage is not high, but the age of the tire is of concern. Based on the age of all the tires, I would replace them all.
    BelchFire and soft 17 like this.
  8. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Yep. Y'all are right. I didn't realize how stale these were getting. I've replaced low mileage trailer tires but have never had a vehicle tires age out before wearing out. Didn't even occur to me that that was a thing!
  9. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I can tell you that, that tire has the signs of being run under inflated and or rubbing the curb a lot. I have seen tires like that get a case of the Mumps with air pockets 3", 4" high.
    arthuruscg likes this.
  10. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    I think that tire looks like it's had a tougher life than it actually has because it's currently deformed and filthy from our last trip. I could see getting curb damage on the curb side (although this thing is rarely parallel parked) but this is the street side. And due to the load we often carry, the tires are never run squishy.

    That said, probably should have let some air out on parts of our last trip. Perhaps those rough roads were the last straw.

    But looks like they were ready to be replaced anyway. Glad it was parked.
  11. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Active Member

    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    Looks like a good Michelin tire testimony - it is still inflated. I just retired from Michelin, so I'll try not to be biased. After six years, it's probably not a manufacturers defect. The rest of the tire would need to be inspected for tread wear patters, sidewall wear, broken belts, etc. to maybe determine the cause. A curb, pot holes, and road debris can start damage that can take awhile to show up. Heat is a tire killer and it usually comes from excessive sidewall flexing (under inflation). Under inflation also makes the tire turn faster, which generates even more heat. Under inflation also brings the tread closer to the wheel, which allows obstacles to compress and pinch the tire sidewall. A little over inflation is better than under inflation.
    arthuruscg and soft 17 like this.
  12. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    I don't know much about tires, but seems reasonable. The damage could have been triggered by some really rough gravel washboard and dirt roads, fully inflated, with a heavy load a few weeks before. Probably should have aired down for that but we don't have equipment for rapidly filling up to 80 psi. We carry a pump that will do it, but it's not quick.

    The spouse insisted on driving on it the mile to the tire shop. I didn't even want to stand near it. Isn't that what AAA is for? The tire guys were impressed. (With the state of the tire. Well, also that anyone would drive it like that.)

    We replaced all five of them with the same Michelins. :)
    soft 17 likes this.
  13. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    I had 1 tire on my 16 ft. utility trailer and one on a smaller trailer explode last summer, they were and had been sitting there by the shop. The air pressure was correct on them. I was working in the shop and heard a pop, finally found out what happened, I ordered 4 new tires ST tires from Wally World and installed them on the utility trlr. I guess that sitting there they got to hot I am going to reduce the pressure this summer and hopefully that will work.
  14. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Active Member

    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    Another two cents worth. I would hate to be a tire. It's a high pressure job. We expect tires to do a lot and do not think about them much. First they have to hold everything above them up. Then, they have to start the vehicle moving (and everything in it and attached to it), transferring all the engine torque to a small contact patch on the ground, through the sidewall. A lot of times the pavement is too hot for us to walk on, but the tires have to handle it. Remember that heat is a tire killer. Once you get up to speed, the centrifugal forces are trying to tear it apart. Every revolution it is loaded and unloaded rapidly. If you are a spot on a tire at 60mph, one second you're doing zero mph and the next nanosecond you're doing 120mph to get back in place to do your job. Your next job is to stop thousands of pounds, in a short distance, again transferred through the sidewall to just a small contact patch on various pavement surfaces.

    Now we expect the tires to be able to steer the vehicle, also. So, steering components moves wheel and all that energy has to be transferred through the sidewall to move the tread. If the vehicle is moving, one sidewall is in tension and the other is in compression, but you are expected to keep the tread flat on your little contact patch. It's a tough job, and I'm glad they do it without much complaining. Every once in a while one will give up and I understand why.
  15. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2018
    Troup, Texas
    My tires look brand new and hardly used but tire code indicates that they were made in 2011. Looks like I'll be getting new tires.
    Dingit likes this.
  16. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Good idea, Dan. When I was young and exciting and drove more places, I used to wear out tires so I never learned that they could get old on their own!
  17. fourhallatts

    fourhallatts Active Member

    Jul 18, 2015
    North Syracuse, New York
    One of the tires on my 2016 malibu had a blowout when my 17 yo ds bumped the curb at school. He was able to get the car out of the way of the buses but the tire was toast. I was at work but my 23 yo ds was able to go to school to wait for AAA to come and put on the spare. When he got there to his suprise (and mine) there was no spare. Apparrently many new cars come with an air pump but no spare tire. I was flabbergasted! We managed to get a new tire and my dh got it on. All's well that ends well.
  18. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    A person old enough to drive is old enough to learn how to put on a spare. If there IS one!
  19. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Active Member

    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    The lack of a spare should have been discovered the first time the tire pressures were checked. Always check the spare tire pressure. A flat spare, when you have a flat tire, is no help at all. Now you have two flat tires.
    arthuruscg likes this.

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