truck tire
July 11, 2010 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know, What in hell could have happened to my brothers truck tire?!? (Pic. of blow tire) He has no idea, and is sure he didn't hit anything driving at about 50mph. Thanks everyone?

P.S. He's okay.
posted by Benzle to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sidewall destruction from underinflation and/or belt shifting.
posted by Drasher at 7:35 AM on July 11, 2010

It's already marked best answer, but I had the exact same thing happen on my truck. There was a slow leak in a rear tire that didn't affect the handling or ride, but the guy at the tire place could show me where a sharp piece of gravel had worked its way into the tread. A careful inspection of the tread may show a nail or other piece of debris causing a leak.
posted by TedW at 7:48 AM on July 11, 2010

I had a tire blow while sitting in the garage. I had just pulled in, gotten out and walked into the house but not yet closed the door. I thought someone had shot at me! My ears were ringing, it was crazy. The tire place claimed the garage didn't mount it right, but it had been on for months.
posted by CwgrlUp at 8:43 AM on July 11, 2010

Have the garage check the wheel alignment. Doesn't cost much, is pretty quick, and was the cause of several similar blowouts on my old car. If that's what's going on, then this is going to keep happening, working its way around the remaining tires. If it's bad enough, you might just be able to see the wear starting around the edges.
posted by Su at 2:23 PM on July 11, 2010

There is a LOT of energy in a tire spinning at that speed. So even if the original blowout was just a tiny defect that popped, the subsequent meltdown destroyed the tire. If you've ever seen a truck tire blow out at speed, it is a shockingly violent event.

The reason underinflation can cause the sidewall to blow out is that it causes it to flex more than it is meant to, and this causes it to heat up. Eventually this stresses the material to the point it just gives up.

It could also been one of the layers in the sidewall giving up and it lost structural integrity.
posted by gjc at 6:56 PM on July 11, 2010

..the wheel alignment .... was the cause of several similar blowouts

No, not this one. The photo is a perfect illustration of what has previously been identified as the cause - under-inflation, probably brought about by a slow leak.

What you describe is the result of neglect bordering on criminal negligence on the part of the driver/owner. I say that because the symptoms of mis-aligned wheels are pretty obvious - wear/bald patches on the tread, steering pulling to one side, tyre howling around corners (in more extreme cases), and possibly a drop in fuel economy. If death or injury had resulted from an ensuing accident, then charges would be highly likely. Also, remember that at this point the driver has been in control (?) of an un-roadworthy vehicle, and the insurance may be invalidated. This could best be described as BIG trouble for the driver.

Badly mis-aligned wheels will result in the tread wearing more heavily on one side or the other, and if the resulting symptoms are neglected for long enough (but we all check our tyres/tyre pressure reglarly, don't we?) will result in the tyre wearing through and eventually failing - but it will not look like the tyre in the photo.

Sorry to be somewhat blunt and harsh, but let us remind ourselves - these are dangerous weapons which can kill and maim, and they do. We as owners/drivers need to act accordingly.
posted by GeeEmm at 7:17 PM on July 11, 2010

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