A Tyre Warning

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 22:32
ThreadID: 128158 Views:1678 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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A sad tyre story.

Something to check for when purchasing new tyres.

I had a catastrophic blowout last week on the way home from Boulia.
Travelling at 100 Kph on good bitumen the front right van tyre suddenly exploded.
The van wheels are fitted with TPS sensors and there was no low pressure or high temperature warning given, just a sound like a shotgun.

I took the tyre to the local dealer for replacement and a possible explanation as to the cause of the failure.
The tyres looked to be in sound condition with almost full depth tread.

The dealer took one look and said that the tyres were too old, about 11 to 12 years.

Going back over the trip diary we found that the tyres were purchased new in Mount Isa in September 2007.
The Mount Isa dealer had fitted tyres that were around 7 years old.
Acting on advice from the local dealer I contacted the head office of the tyre company who advised me that they are not permitted to sell tyres over 5 years old as new tyres.

The cause of the total failure is most likely delamination between the tread and the inner layer of rubber.
This would permit air to build up between the laminations and the tyre to subsequently explode.
Not uncommon for old tyres I am told.
An investigation by the tyre company is ongoing and they advise that they are sending a rep to inspect the remaining tyres.

Regards
Bob

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Reply By: Turist - Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 01:26

Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 01:26
Things happen fast in the tyre industry when there is a potential problem.
A technical advisor has inspected the remaining tyres already.

As mentioned I had 4 new tyres fitted at Mount Isa.
I also had 2 unused tyres of the same pattern as spares.
By checking serial numbers and date codes it has been determined that the Mount Isa dealer has supplied 4 new and correctly dated tyres.
So how did the problem occur.

Last year I left the van with another tyre shop to have all 6 tyres removed and TPS sensors fitted to the rims.
My instruction was that all wheels had to go back to the position they were removed from.
This was so that I could monitor any misalignment wear.

It seems that one of the (new) spares has been put on the front right wheel and a newer tyre fitted to the spare where it still is.
I suppose a simple mistake as all tyres looked like new.

Good news is I only need to purchase 2 new tyres.
However the warning still stands, do not use old tyres.

Regards
Bob
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 01:53

Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 01:53
Hi Bob

I wondered about tyre age when we suffered a blow out when touring in 2009. The tyres had come off our F250 which was delivered early 2004 - i did not check manufacture date on the tyres. The tyre blew and left the whole outer casing on the road. There was virtually nothing left but string by the time we were able to pull safely of the road. We also had reduced, but not really low, tyre pressures as we had just come off station roads so this may have contributed. We purchased a new tyre at the next town, and the dealer would not believe the 'old tyre' theory. I said "we'll see". We have not done any big trips since our return in 2009, but no problems with the other tyres.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Pam and Les - Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 05:10

Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 05:10
Same thing happened to us. I rotated the 2 new spares on our 2004 van to the wheels. Within 500km's one had exploded, the other lost the tread as if it was a retread. The dealer said they had deteriated due to sun damage, and they were over 7 years old. The strange thing was the other four tyres where of the same age and showed no signs of problems. Must keep the sun off them as they go round and round! So 6 new tyres and tyre covers for the spares as highly recommended by the tyre dealer.
AnswerID: 584475

Reply By: Taj Mah Tracker - Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 08:51

Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 08:51
Hi Bob,
I have never seen a tyre as destroyed as yours, and I hope never to see anything like that on our Tracker.
Bob, I notice you were running bridgestone, just wondering what others were using when they had exploding tyres.
We have BFG's, but they are now getting on to 8 years old, but only done 50K, mainly blacktop. Makes me think though, maybe they need replacing.
Did you have any control problems when the tyre exploded?
Cheers
Ian
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Follow Up By: Turist - Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 18:12

Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 18:12
No control problems at all.
The only indications of a blowout were the sound of the tyre exploding and the simultaneous alarm sound from the TPS.

Regards
Bob
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 10:47

Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 10:47
We also choose BFG on our vehicles but the ones we put on the caravan from the F250 were i think Goodyear (too dark to check now).

In our case regarding stability there is no way we would have known anything was amiss apart from the sound. Even then we argued about checking the tyres as it was on my husband's side and the problem was not visible - however after watching he soon realised it was the tyre. The caravan rode just as level and stable. We would not have been aware of a problem with the audible sound. A flat from a leak would not be perceptible unless tyre pressure monitors were used.

Mh
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