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Old 16th January 2007, 16:37   #1
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Default Losing the air between RIM and tyre, is this possible?

Dear Team BHPians,

I had a incident with my car where it did a complete swirl (360 degree) on the highway. Luckily it went into bushes and fortunately none of us were hurt, nor there was any damage to the car. After checking why did this happen, the left side rear end tyre was flat. When checking the tyre again, it looks normal with no puncture. I raised this issue with Honda, and I had an extreme quick feedback and finally it was concluded that the tyre got flat because " the tyre could have been dislodged from the tip of the rim for a few seconds which resulted in loss of air from the tyre". I'm not sure but I would like to know if this is possible and under what conditions?? Please let me know your opinions.

I'm attaching the mail I wrote to honda and the dealers reply.

Dear Mr. Laxminarayan,

This is with ref.to your concern regarding for flat tyre of your car.
The only possibility could be that when the car left the road side ways of the tyre could have been dislodged from the tip of the rimfor a few seconds which could have resulted in the loss of airfrom a tyre.

After our inspection { we removed the tyre from the rim,there is no damage on inside or outside of the tyre} no damage in the tip area of rim.

Regards
Ritesh Mehta
Customer Relations

From: customer_relations@hondacarindia.com
Cc: customer_relation@whitefieldhonda.com
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 2:51 PM
Subject: Kind Attn :- Mr.Laxminarayan


Dear Sir,
This is in reference to your mail dated January 15, 2007.

Your feedback is valuable for us. It has been our constant endeavor to provide our customers with the best of our product and services at all times.Your inputs are also being forwarded to concerned department.

For any further concern/query, please feel free to contact M/s Whitefield Honda, Bangalore or Honda One 2 One at 1800-113-121 & 011-39898918.
Assuring you best of our services at all times and thanking you once again for giving us an opportunity to serve you.
Regards,
Bindu
Customer Relationship Management

Comments
Dear Honda, Thank you for giving such a wonderful car. Last saturday I had an incident with the car which I would like to narrate and seek your help. I was travelling on an highway at around 2:30-3:00 a.m. I was driving at around 100-120 kmph. Suddenly at some point, the vehicle skidded (there was a curve) and we did a 360 degree at the same speed and finally landed in a Bush. Five of us were in the vehicle and luckily none of us got hurt, nor did the car. We were lucky enough to escape unhurt. I got back the car on to the road and found that the behind wheel on the left hand side had a complete flat tyre. The best thing was even when the vehicle was skidding, I almost felt that we would be rolling, but somehow the vehicle did not. Thanks for the vehicle's stability and balance. I still cannot explain how did this happen and why? We changed the tyre in 15-20 minutes and continued on. The next day I took out the tyre anticipating a puncture or a burst tyre, but none of this has happened to the tyre. I inflated the tyre back and the tyre seem to look really normal. Hence I''m looking for clarifications and it would be really helpful if you can assist me.

How did the tyre get flat without having any punctures or tyre getting burst. I really cant understand how this can happen? need your help here.

The car get''s really light and the steering is extremely sensitive at speeds above 100-120. So taking turns sometime is a little bit dicy. This can be considered as a feedback and probably something can be improved here.

I would be giving the vehicle for servicing and hopefully the vehicle would be checked up properly.

Thanks and best regards, Laxminarayan

Last edited by Laxminarayan : 16th January 2007 at 16:40.
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Old 16th January 2007, 17:08   #2
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I am sure Honda owners will be able to give you good feedback on the handling of the car at high speed.

I know that the Honda is a relatively light car with a responsive steering, probably similar to my Santro. So it is important that you understand the feel of the car and give appropriate steering inputs (not too strong or abrupt) when cornering at speed. You should be able to undertand the feedback you get from your car and then adjust your steering inputs accordingly. Of course if you try to take a corner too fast on muddy/wet/bumpy roads then nothing can save you.

One possibility I can think of is that your left rear tyre had low pressure to start with (do you check your tyre pressures regularly?) and might have lost air through the beading as you cornered fast and hard. This in turn might have caused your skid. Tubeless tyres will not tolerate very low pressures. Also are your wheels/tyres stock? If you have upsized your tyres, be aware that you should not fit tyres that are too wide for a given rim size -- this might again result in loss of pressure in hard cornering, especially if your pressure was already low to start with.

My advice is to keep higher-than-recommended tyre pressures while on highway trips, and check your tyre pressures regularly (once in 2-3 weeks). I always keep my Santro's tyres at 34 psi against the recommended 30 psi. Bridgestone India recommends 5 psi higher than the car manufacturer's recommendation for high speed driving. The other point is that you must maintain your tyres in good condition, with regular balancing/alignment checks and do rotation at appropriate intervals. Hope your tyres have enough tread left and are in good condition -- if not, change them.

Last edited by rks : 16th January 2007 at 17:12.
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Old 16th January 2007, 17:13   #3
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If your tyres are tubeless then this can happen and has happened with me also in a pretty much similar situation. But if they are tube type tyres then this should not happen. Even if it does happen then it will cause a puncture in the tube.
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Old 16th January 2007, 17:35   #4
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NHC VTEC comes with alloys & tubeless tyres.
Any pointers on preventing this from happening?
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Old 16th January 2007, 17:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
NHC VTEC comes with alloys & tubeless tyres.
Any pointers on preventing this from happening?
See my post. I feel low tyre pressure was probably the culprit in this case, resulting in loss of pressure through the beading followed by the skid. Another possibility is a combination of low pressure plus oversized tyres. Assuming, of course, that the driver did not attempt the corner at an impossible speed; even if he did, there does not seem to be any obvious reason for the tyre to lose air unless it had a problem to start with.

The remedy is what I have suggested in my post. Honda owners may have additional pointers on what tyre pressures should be maintained.
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Old 16th January 2007, 19:33   #6
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If the tyre has no damage to the inside or outside of it then this should not happen. Did you happen to check the tyres before starting the journey?

Undernormal usage it is not possible for the tyre bead to part from the rim which can allow air to escape. It can only happen if there is a large impact so you can rule that theory out. It could be that the valve or the tyre has a slow leakage which means it would have deflated slowly during the journey resulting in that slide. I would recommend you get the tyre checked once again at a good tyre shop & see what they have to say about it.

Also just for our knowledge what wheels, tyres & tyre sizes are you running on your car?

Good to know that nothing happened to any of you or the car.
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Old 16th January 2007, 19:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
If the tyre has no damage to the inside or outside of it then this should not happen. Did you happen to check the tyres before starting the journey?

Undernormal usage it is not possible for the tyre bead to part from the rim which can allow air to escape. It can only happen if there is a large impact so you can rule that theory out.
I think in this case he was cornering at high speed. So if his initial tyre pressure was abnormally low (say, 20-25 psi), the sidewall would deform excessively under hard and fast cornering -- especially if the tyre was oversized with respect to the riim -- and the tyre could possibly lose air through the beading, resulting in sudden loss of pressure and the catastrophic skid. Of course, as you say, the pressure might have initially decreased due to some other problem -- maybe a leaky valve, or maybe the owner did not check the pressures for long.

Last edited by rks : 16th January 2007 at 19:52.
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Old 16th January 2007, 19:54   #8
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I doubt that even at high speed under low pressures there will be such severe deformation. It can happen if the tyre is nearly flat but then there would be marks left because of that on the sidewall to indicate that the tyre has run when completely flat. Oversizing is a concern on stock rims & hence my question about the sizes in the above post.
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Old 16th January 2007, 21:21   #9
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I second raghava's opinion. even under underinflation it's impossible that the tyre would "dislodge" itself from the rim.The bead is seated onto the rim in a "fusing" kind of manner,if you get what I mean and even in case of underinflation the tyre would rest on the hump of the wheel disc with marks being visible on the inside of the tread if it were to run for even few metres.
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Old 16th January 2007, 21:50   #10
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Unless the profile is mismatched between the rim and the tyre, I dont understand how this could have happened
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Old 16th January 2007, 22:00   #11
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I did a quick internet search (not too thorough) and immediately came up with the following web site:

Major Components - Owner's Manual - Honda ST1100 Pan European

This is apparently an Owner's manual for a Honda bike fitted with tubeless tyres and alloys. You can see the following warnings:

Quote:
WARNING: Improper tyre inflation will cause abnormal tread wear and create a safety hazard. Underinflation may result in the tyre slipping on, or coming off of the rim causing tyre deflation that may result in a loss of vehicle control.[...]

WARNING Any attempt to mount passenger car tyres on a motorcycle rim may cause the tyre bead to separate from the rim with enough explosive force to cause serious injury or death.
[...]
To avoid possible repair failure and tyre deflation that may result in a loss of vehicle control, do not exceed 80 km (SO mph) for the first 24 hours, or 130 km (80 mph) at any time, after tyre repair.
I agree that the first scenario in these quotes will likely happen only under *severe* underinflation. The second scenario shows the danger of oversizing the tyres with respect to a rim. The third scenario might be relevant to this thread too, if some repair was carried out to the tyre in question.

Last edited by rks : 16th January 2007 at 22:03.
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Old 17th January 2007, 10:40   #12
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rks,a motorcycle tyre is very diffrent in design and construction vis a vis a car tyre,in respect to the bead or what you call rim.If you see the 175/65/R14 tubeless tyre that would have been the OE supply for a NHC the tyre bead has a distinct hump for it to precisly align with the wheel.it's like a spoon hug after fitment.
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Old 17th January 2007, 15:07   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WasavaTyres View Post
rks,a motorcycle tyre is very diffrent in design and construction vis a vis a car tyre,in respect to the bead or what you call rim.If you see the 175/65/R14 tubeless tyre that would have been the OE supply for a NHC the tyre bead has a distinct hump for it to precisly align with the wheel.it's like a spoon hug after fitment.
It may be true that a car tyre is much less prone to this kind of failure, especially considering that a bike tyre experiences more severe deformation while cornering at speed. But I don't think it can be completely ruled out in the case of a car, especially if the seating in the bead area was not air-tight in the first place and had slow leakage. That can only worsen when the pressure gets lower and a corner is taken at high speed.

Anyway I hope we hear from Laxminarayan again on what tyres/wheels he was using, what tyre pressure he was maintaining, the condition of the tyre, etc. It will certainly be very useful to understand why this happened, especially for frequent highway users like me. One point I would like to stress is to be always alert to any differences in the feel of the car that one may experience, especially at high speed on the highway. That may be a life-saving warning signal, e.g. an indication of low tyre pressures.
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Old 17th January 2007, 16:57   #14
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Hello all,

Thanks a lot for your useful insights. There are some questions raised and would clarify them..

Tyres : As Msdivy mentioned, these are 175/65/R14 alloy wheels and these are stock tyres and remain the same till date, haven't changed it yet. All I have done is 17k on these tyres and mostly, 15K in city and rest on highways.

Tyre inflation : I did check up the tyre inflation. It is recommended to have 30 psi, I would be confident enough to say that it was atleast 28-29 psi, if not less..

I have done 17000 kms on my car since Mar, 06. I know that the steering becomes very light beyond 120 and I try to control and be within that limit. Since it was dark (3 a.m), I cannot really comment on what was on the road or something of that sort.. The tyre was flat and It had not come out of the rim.. so I'm doubtful of the possibility of it coming out of the rim..

Thanks a lot for your useful insights..
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Old 17th January 2007, 17:11   #15
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Hmmmm this make things ever more interesting. I would again recommend you not rely on Honda's word alone but go to a good tyre expert & get all your tyres checked thoroughly once more. Remember to check the inner & outer surfaces closely & also inspect the insides of the tyre along with the sidewalls.
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