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View Full Version : Tire blowout at 8000 miles


j2
12-01-2003, 10:34 AM
I had my right rear tire blow out on Interstate 40 between Barstow and Needles (ie, in the middle of nowhere) during the drive to my sister's place for Thanksgiving.

The tire appeares to have completely seperated around the inside sidewall (pics attached). I can't find anything on the tire that indicates something damaged the sidewall before it just decided to let go.

I was travelling at aproximatly 95mph at the time of the blowout, well below the speed rating of the tire (Z rated).

Changing the tire was a real adventure with the mickey mouse jack that BMW puts in this car. While I was attempting to install the new tire/rim, I had only hand started one of the lug nuts, the car slipped off the jack, and was only being held up by the one hand started lug nut. I was lucky I had my hands clear when the car fell off the jack. I've heard stories about how dangerous this jack is, and now I can understand why.

My main question at this point: who should I contact about getting this tire replaced under warranty? BMW Dealership, BMWNA, or an Authorized Bridgestone resller? Any advice?

Edit: tires are OEM Bridgestone Turanza ER30 225/45 ZR 17

Nick325xiT 5spd
12-01-2003, 10:36 AM
No real input, but... :jawdrop:

GregE_325
12-01-2003, 11:04 AM
Ouch. Very sorry to hear and see that. But unfortunately, there is no one responsible for the tire blowout. It's not covered by the car's warranty. And there's no additional warranty covering the tires that comes with the car.
And you are right about the jack. I've yet to see any jack in a car that was worth anything.

-- Greg

j2
12-01-2003, 11:15 AM
Apparently, I'm not the only one who's had this problem. I found this on the NHTSA website. It's poor quality, but you can make it out.

LmtdSlip
12-01-2003, 11:21 AM
Ouch. Very sorry to hear and see that. But unfortunately, there is no one responsible for the tire blowout. It's not covered by the car's warranty. And there's no additional warranty covering the tires that comes with the car.
-- Greg

Actually, all tires come with a warranty that is seperate from the vehicles warranty. Usually this information is provided as a seperate enclosure with the owners manual and warranty information.

I would take it to an authorized dealer for that brand of tire. However, if you have a good relationship with your BMW dealer you may get faster service there.

With that much tread left and no other signs of abuse I would expect a full replacement and wouldnt settle for less.

j2
12-01-2003, 12:32 PM
With that much tread left and no other signs of abuse I would expect a full replacement and wouldnt settle for less.

My feelings exactly. I contacted Bridgestone, and they said to take it to a Firestone service center to have the carcass looked at. I'll update as soon as I have any new info.

Now, I'm going to head on over to the BMW dealership and ask them to demonstrate proper usage of the jack that came with the car (my guess is they won't be able to do so).

Kaz
12-01-2003, 12:38 PM
Now, I'm going to head on over to the BMW dealership and ask them to demonstrate proper usage of the jack that came with the car (my guess is they won't be able to do so).

Yeah, I just don't understand how that jack is suppsed to be safe in any way. It jacks, um, diagonally which makes NO sense to me. I've been looking for an old Nissan or Toyota pickup bottle jack to keep in the car instead of this contraption. A scissors jack from a Japanese car would be fine except that they're too long to fit in any suitable location.

HW
12-01-2003, 12:42 PM
:jawdrop:

hmmm... my oem conti tourings inner sidewalls are cracking on all 4. and i do keep the pressure to spec. :eek: i still haven't picked out what i'm replacing them w/ but i guess i better do it soon. :eek:

fkafka
12-01-2003, 12:55 PM
Nasty! :(

What does a blowout at 95 mph feel like?

The HACK
12-01-2003, 12:59 PM
My feelings exactly. I contacted Bridgestone, and they said to take it to a Firestone service center to have the carcass looked at. I'll update as soon as I have any new info.

Don't get your hopes up.

I discovered a bubble the size of a thumb on the front passenger tire on my OEM Bridgestone Turanza (same exact tire you have) 800 miles into my ownership. Took it to a local Bridgestone/Firestone dealership and they refuse to replace it under "warranty".

How often do you check your tire pressure?

beauport
12-01-2003, 02:35 PM
How often do you check your tire pressure?
You read my mind. More tires have problems for this reason than any other, especially at speed.

j2
12-01-2003, 03:03 PM
Nasty! :(

What does a blowout at 95 mph feel like?

It started out with a vibration that felt like going over the rumble strips on the side of the highway. Then as I was slowing down to pull over, the rear end started to get real loose. It felt like it wanted to come out on me. I just eased on the brakes really lightly until I came to a stop. Luckily traffic was light at the time, and there were no other cars near by.


I discovered a bubble the size of a thumb on the front passenger tire on my OEM Bridgestone Turanza (same exact tire you have) 800 miles into my ownership. Took it to a local Bridgestone/Firestone dealership and they refuse to replace it under "warranty".

How often do you check your tire pressure?


Any more information about the "warranty"? Under what terms did they refuse you? Did you replace the tire on your own? Still driving around with the bubble?


As far as pressure, I actually hadn't check them for a while, and they were down to about 25psi. I filled them up to 35psi for the trip. I couldn't really find clear information regarding what pressure to set the tires to, the label on the drivers door jamb seems to be lacking the correct information for the tires on my car. :dunno:

Stuka
12-01-2003, 03:27 PM
As far as pressure, I actually hadn't check them for a while, and they were down to about 25psi. I filled them up to 35psi for the trip. I couldn't really find clear information regarding what pressure to set the tires to, the label on the drivers door jamb seems to be lacking the correct information for the tires on my car. :dunno:

25! :yikes: So you don't know how long you have been driving the car with tires running at 25? :spank:

At this point, the other three tires should probably be looked at as well. Running on low pressure is really really bad for the tires. This is akin to the whole Ford Exploder problem. Ford recommened too low of a pressure for that extra smooth ride, and tires started separating. Hmm, I wonder why. :confused:

On the street, I run 40 all around on my M3, and never had a problem with tire blowout, other than the fact that my tires only last 10K miles. :drive: :bigpimp:

Check your pressures (and nuts) regularly. :nono:

j2
12-01-2003, 03:32 PM
25! :yikes: So you don't know how long you have been driving the car with tires running at 25? :spank:


Check your pressures (and nuts) regularly. :nono:

Yes, apparently, I've learned a lesson here.

One thing, in my own defense, is I've been notoriously bad about checking the pressure on previous cars, and have never had a problem with a 10psi difference before. And yes, those cars also had Z rated tires, and yes, I did drive them at speeds of up to 100mph before as well.

I still think the tire is probably somewhat defective. I've found quite a few people (the HACK included) complaining about bubbles in the sidewall on the Turanza ER30s.

The HACK
12-01-2003, 04:02 PM
Any more information about the "warranty"? Under what terms did they refuse you? Did you replace the tire on your own? Still driving around with the bubble?


As far as pressure, I actually hadn't check them for a while, and they were down to about 25psi. I filled them up to 35psi for the trip. I couldn't really find clear information regarding what pressure to set the tires to, the label on the drivers door jamb seems to be lacking the correct information for the tires on my car. :dunno:

The warranty only covers worksmanship type defects, like something obviously wrong when the tire was first installed. Basically, they turned down the claim because, according to the technician, that the bubbles appears to be from road damage like running over potholes.

I wouldn't dare drive with the bubble on the tire for extended period of time. It was immediately replaced with a new tire (my own expense) and the tire with the bubble was retired to be the SPARE. Unfortunately I had suffered a flat about 2 weeks before that so I did not have a fully functional spare available.

Depending on how long you've been driving under-inflated, the blow-out is more likely a result of damage to sidewall structural rigidity from the low pressure, and when you re-inflated it and was driving at higher speed, the heat accelerated the demise of the sidewalls.

Check your tire pressure WEEKLY people.

The HACK
12-01-2003, 04:08 PM
One thing, in my own defense, is I've been notoriously bad about checking the pressure on previous cars, and have never had a problem with a 10psi difference before. And yes, those cars also had Z rated tires, and yes, I did drive them at speeds of up to 100mph before as well.


What size tires are those other Z rated tires you have? 17"+ rims combined with low profile tires means you MUST be very diligent wrt to checking your tire pressure. The lower sidewall profile combined with low pressure results in higher temperature generated in the tire when not inflated properly and since there's less sidewall material to flex, when under inflated, problems develope much quicker with low profile tires vs. higher profile tires.

With any of the later BMWs (17"+ rims) running on low profile tires, it is especially vital that you check your tire pressure on a very regular basis. I try to check it every time I wash my car (weekly), but if you're a busy person and can't do that, make sure you check at least monthly.

After my initial flat tire (picked up a nail) and the subsequent bubble in the front passenger side, I've always checked my pressure regularly and made sure they're inflated to 32psi or above, and have not had ANY problem with the remaining three Turanzas in the remaining of their tread life, and that was almost 30,000 miles on each tire.

HW
12-01-2003, 04:22 PM
just be glad you were not hurt in this and hope you won't need to get a new rim. :eek: have your inner side walls checked and look at getting 1 or 4 new tires.

fkafka
12-01-2003, 05:02 PM
I'll second what Hack says. I had no luck getting a warranty replacement from Goodyear, based on a blowout through the sidewall. I suppose it could have been road hazard damage as they claimed. However, 2 of five tires going bad in the first 8,000 miles seems a little unusual considering the high quality roads here and my mild driving habits.

edsmax
12-01-2003, 06:02 PM
I had my right rear tire blow out on Interstate 40 between Barstow and Needles (ie, in the middle of nowhere) during the drive to my sister's place for Thanksgiving.


Damn that must have been scarey...

Make sure you have the rim checked for damage and that it is still "true" and round.

numbersguy
12-01-2003, 08:17 PM
Blowouts happen a lot in the desert, as evidenced by all the tire carcasses and debris on desert highway shoulders. What happens is that people who go fast in short little bursts of city freeway driving will take a trip through the desert and go fast for an hour or more at a time. An underinflated tire will generate heat faster than it can dissipate and the result is that tires get hot enough to de-laminate. Tires are the weak link and must be treated as such.

j2
12-02-2003, 09:52 AM
So, I had the Firestone shop check out the tire. They showed me two nails in the tread. One of them had gone completely thru the tread, and you could feel the nail from the inside of the tire. They told me that once you lose pressure, the sidewalls tend to give out rather quickly on these low profile tires. Also, once you get a nail, they lose their Z rating.

So, apparently, it had nothing to do with my lack of attention to the tire pressure, and everything to do with sheer bad luck of picking up a nail in the middle of nowhere. :tsk:

·clyde·
12-02-2003, 10:02 AM
Blowouts happen a lot in the desert, as evidenced by all the tire carcasses and debris on desert highway shoulders. What happens is that people who go fast in short little bursts of city freeway driving will take a trip through the desert and go fast for an hour or more at a time. An underinflated tire will generate heat faster than it can dissipate and the result is that tires get hot enough to de-laminate. Tires are the weak link and must be treated as such.
Most of those "alligators" that you see on the highways in the desert are recaps from heavy trucks that gave out.

MG67
12-02-2003, 10:03 AM
I think I have seen your car around Woodland Hills, I work in the Warner Center. I just checked the tires on my Touring w/ Sport Package and I have the Dunlop SP 2000 Sport which I really like. I remember that my wife had the same Bridgestone tires on her 2000 328i sedan, they lost treat really fast I must say and we had to replace them before she turned it in at the end of the lease.

drmwvr
12-02-2003, 10:28 AM
Now, I'm going to head on over to the BMW dealership and ask them to demonstrate proper usage of the jack that came with the car (my guess is they won't be able to do so).

Your car probably moved because you did not use the triangle shaped wheel chock in front of the tire opposite and across from the tire that had the flat. If you look where the spare is stored, you will notice that it is attached towards the back of the car on the left hand side (I think). I figured this out when I had to change a tire. Keep us posted on your findings and keep those tire properly inflated! EDIT: keep those nails out!

Emission
12-02-2003, 11:32 AM
Wow. I would have also suspected low tire pressure (which technically, still caused the tire to fail).

I rotate my tires every 5000 miles, and check diligently for nails and damage when they are off the vehicle (remember to check the inside sidewalls too). Check tire pressures every other week, and visually all the time.

Glad to hear you are OK. Many have blowouts at lower speeds and don't live to post pics.

j2
12-02-2003, 12:57 PM
Your car probably moved because you did not use the triangle shaped wheel chock in front of the tire opposite and across from the tire that had the flat. If you look where the spare is stored, you will notice that it is attached towards the back of the car on the left hand side (I think). I figured this out when I had to change a tire. Keep us posted on your findings and keep those tire properly inflated! EDIT: keep those nails out!

Good info, you're probably right about the car rollling. I thought about that after it happened. I'll dig around in the trunk and see if there's any chocks in there. Thanks!

TGray5
12-02-2003, 02:24 PM
Sorry to hear of your woes...but it could have been worse had you been in an M3 with no jack and no spare, so look at the bright side.

Its also possible those nails were in the tire for a long period of time causing structural damage to the tire and the high temps that you reached on your drive further weakened the tire leading to its demise.

By the way, can you describe the handling conditions when the tire blew...fishtailing, etc?

j2
12-02-2003, 02:37 PM
By the way, can you describe the handling conditions when the tire blew...fishtailing, etc?

StahlGrau,

See post #12 (i think) for more details, but there was a slight amount of fishtailing, but keeping very light even pressure on the brakes to help the car slow down kep the rear end from comming out on me. I'm not sure if DSC was doing anything though, I was a little too busy to check the instrument cluster. Overall, I thought the car behaved very well, considering the circumstances.

drmwvr
12-02-2003, 02:49 PM
Good info, you're probably right about the car rollling. I thought about that after it happened. I'll dig around in the trunk and see if there's any chocks in there. Thanks!

Heres a picture I took during lunch showing the location of the wheel chock....hope this helps :thumbup:

tramping
12-13-2003, 07:27 PM
Same problem here, Bridgestone Turanza and the rear left tire blew out. By the time I got to the shoulder the tire had shredded nicely. Incedentaly I check my tire pressure weekly and had checked it the day it happended. Luckily I had Tirexam (its one of those useless dealer add ons that provides the air pressure indicators on the tires) which paid to replace the tire. Looks like we have a problem with these tires.

Cheers all...

drmwvr
12-14-2003, 08:40 AM
Same problem here, Bridgestone Turanza and the rear left tire blew out. By the time I got to the shoulder the tire had shredded nicely. Incedentaly I check my tire pressure weekly and had checked it the day it happended. Luckily I had Tirexam (its one of those useless dealer add ons that provides the air pressure indicators on the tires) which paid to replace the tire. Looks like we have a problem with these tires.

Cheers all...

Did yours seperate at the inside or outside edge? Mine seperated at the inside edge. Maybe the heat from the exhaust has somthing to do with it :dunno: