Strange case of a tyre burst in my 8.5-year old Honda City

Luckily, by god's grace, we were doing just 25 km/hr during the time of the tire burst.

BHPian PetrolHead2272 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

A very unusual experience happened with me a few days ago. I was on my way to Chandigarh with my family in our Honda City.

When we started driving from Gurgaon, we noticed that the car was automatically steering to the left when my dad removed his hands from the steering wheel to buckle up. From this we concluded that the wheel alignment might be a bit off. However, we continued to drive.

A few kilometres up, we entered the Western Peripheral Expressway. All of a sudden our car started to bumble. We drove the next 5 Kilometres as if nothing had happened. Then we noticed something, the car was bumbling only while accelerating or decelerating. We stopped the car on the side, Dad and I came out and checked the wheel alignment. The alignment was looking alright. Our driver was driving one of our cousin's car, we told him to drive right behind us to monitor if the car was actually bumbling or not. According to him, the car was perfectly fine. "But, he forgot to check the front wheels."

Trusting our driver, we continued to drive. 10 kilometres later (just in front of Havelli - Murthal), the bumbling increased horrendously. All of a sudden we heard a loud smack and a burst, our tire had suffered a burst. The tire that burst was the front-right one.

Luckily, by god's grace, we were doing just 25 km/hr during the time of the tire burst. We were approaching a toll booth and were already driving in the third lane. So, we pulled over immediately and stepped out of the car. Called our driver and changed to the spare tire and continued to drive on until we safely reached Chandigarh.

The whole experience was a bit traumatic. We were lucky that:

  • We were doing just 25km/hr as we were approaching a toll
  • We were already driving in the third lane; hence, we could easily pull over
  • No one was behind us, so no one rear-ended us.
  • The car already started giving us warning from before, that is why we kept our speed slow. Normally, I have read that tire bursts happen unexpectedly without any warning. Now we don't know whether this was Honda technology involved or god's protective umbrella.

A few days later, dad and I went to change the tires. The guy at the tire shop told us that due to the limited usage, the heat caused some kind of wires inside the tire to expand and overlap each other. That is why the car was moving up and down. In short, he said that the tire burst due to wear and tear of wires inside them due to heat and less usage.

If you look closely at the top of the tire in the picture given, you'd notice the wires that cut the rubber of the tire leading to the tire burst.

The tires are about the same age as the car - i.e. 8.5 years. During the pandemic, we mostly stayed in Chandigarh whereas the car was in Gurgaon. Hence, we couldn't really help but had to keep it stationary for some time. Since December 2019, to the day that the tire burst occurred, the car had only covered around 85 kms.

Here's what BHPian Kosfactor had to say on the matter:

The vehicle is old and those appear to be the stock tires, a bit of under inflation or a flat spot (disuse) is all you need for a tire burst on a hot day at highway speeds. These days, with 6 lane highways, the surface is really hot and average speeds are higher making the situation difficult.

Replace all 4 if they are more than 6 years old, maintain accurate cold air pressure and certainly avoid parking the vehicle for long durations without use.

Here's what BHPian self_driven had to say on the matter:

Good to know that everyone is safe. Take the tyre shop fellow's advice with a pinch of salt. Those wires getting exposed after a tyre burst is pretty normal. And there's no reason for them to "expand" inside the tyre due to low usage.

You can also eliminate low tyre pressure as a possibility because in that case the car would pull to the right (and not left).

If your car is parked at one spot for long durations, tyres can develop flat spots. This is a deformation in the round outer shape of the tyre and can occur in a single tyre at times, if it was punctured/under-inflated and parked for too long. Do check for that.

8.5 years is a long time. Tyres can dry out with age. Even if there is a healthy amount of tread left, it's best to change every 5-6 years irrespective of usage. Hope the issue is resolved now that you've changed all 4 tyres.

Here's what BHPian Amrik Singh had to say on the matter:

First of all it is good to read the well being of all.

Now coming to the incidence. The tyres mostly do give some indication of its failure. Sometimes these are noticeable while in others it may not be easy to detect. In your case, the alarm bells were ringing, again and again but you failed to pay heed.

When you inspected the Tyre visually, only if you had moved your hand along the surface of the Tyre, you may have noticed formation of a bulge. This was what was causing the uneven ride. It is always a good practice to run hand over the surface of the Tyre to feel anything irregular.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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