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inside sidewall tire damage

des16

Member
Dec 10, 2017
110
336
USA
Yesterday both the front and rear interior sidewall on the left hand side of my car had a clean cut, around 3/4 inch long. It was perpendicular to the rim. Both the cuts were identical. I did drive over a rough patch of road and was aware of going over a manhole cover that was raised above the road bed. I assumed that the impact is what caused the damage. I replaced both the tires on the left side, and this morning I was driving and noticed the pressure was down in the new left rear tire. I took it to the tire shop, and they found another identical cut on the interior of the tire. There was no sign of a bubble or impact on any of the three tires. Just a clean cut once again on the inside sidewall, in the exact same spot. It looks almost like someone took a kitchen knife and inserted it. I live in a small rural town and the car was garaged last night. It will be almost impossible for this to be the work of a vandal. So, I am beyond perplexed. I have not had a flat tire in the past decade at least, and to have 3 identical cuts on the same spot on the same side of the car on the inside sidewall with no visible impact damage within 5 miles of driving is incredible. I would be grateful if you have any ideas on what could be causing this. Thanks.
 

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john5520

Member
Mar 3, 2020
991
775
Florida
Do you park your car regularly somewhere else (e.g work) where someone could get at it fairly easily? Do you use Sentry mode? If not, you should consider turning it on. Do you know anyone who might do this?I don't see how driving over anything could cause those cuts where they are, or without it being obvious to you.
 

des16

Member
Dec 10, 2017
110
336
USA
Do you park your car regularly somewhere else (e.g work) where someone could get at it fairly easily? Do you use Sentry mode? If not, you should consider turning it on. Do you know anyone who might do this?I don't see how driving over anything could cause those cuts where they are, or without it being obvious to you.
The car has been parked in a few locations, but not at work, since it was the weekend. Also, the cuts are on the inside of the tire. I guess it is possible for someone to lie on the ground and cut the inside with a knife. But that would be even more bizarre. I do have Sentry mode, but it is not on at home. That I will change.
 

john5520

Member
Mar 3, 2020
991
775
Florida
The car has been parked in a few locations, but not at work, since it was the weekend. Also, the cuts are on the inside of the tire. I guess it is possible for someone to lie on the ground and cut the inside with a knife. But that would be even more bizarre. I do have Sentry mode, but it is not on at home. That I will change.
Well, Sentry mode should pick up someone getting close to the car. I don't use it at home either, but, yeah, I'd turn it on if only just for a while. Definitely strange.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
2,034
2,432
Houston
Take a kitchen knife with a similar sized blade and see if you can duplicate that cut by stabbing your sidewall yourself (one of the bad tires, obviously). It looks a little to jagged of a cut to be a knife, so I am thinking it's something else. But this quick test will help.
 

des16

Member
Dec 10, 2017
110
336
USA
Take a kitchen knife with a similar sized blade and see if you can duplicate that cut by stabbing your sidewall yourself (one of the bad tires, obviously). It looks a little to jagged of a cut to be a knife, so I am thinking it's something else. But this quick test will help.
Well, Sentry mode should pick up someone getting close to the car. I don't use it at home either, but, yeah, I'd turn it on if only just for a while. Definitely strange.
I have turned off the Sentry mode setting that disables it at home. But I do have security cameras and did not pick up anyone in my driveway. So, I really doubt it is vandalism, and local cops report no similar incidents. Also, as I said, it would be strange to make the cuts on the inside of the wheel, and only on the left side. But also, why would road damage only occur on one side and on the inside of the wheel? I have thought about trying to simulate the cuts with a knife, but I am trying to work with the engineers at Continental to seek an explanation. So, I do not want to further damage the tires in case they want to take a look.
 

akenham

M3 LR AWD+ 2020
Sep 19, 2020
78
86
East Anglia, UK
I have seen vertical cuts in tyres from driving over potholes on my wife’s 19 inch low profile BMW tyres, but they are usually accompanied by a bulge - more often than not the bulge is present and the cut is not.

Given your description of how the car is garaged and that the damage keeps occurring on one side it seems plausibly likely to be damage due to rough road conditions - but I am no expert. I’d be interested to know the answer.
 
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des16

Member
Dec 10, 2017
110
336
USA
I have seen vertical cuts in tyres from driving over potholes on my wife’s 19 inch low profile BMW tyres, but they are usually accompanied by a bulge - more often than not the bulge is present and the cut is not.

Given your description of how the car is garaged and that the damage keeps occurring on one side it seems plausibly likely to be damage due to rough road conditions - but I am no expert. I’d be interested to know the answer.
I also have had bulge damage on low profile tires on my BMW. But never a cut like these. So, hopefully the engineers at Continental will have some explanation.
 

ZilWin

Member
May 29, 2021
203
145
North America, Earth
I would be in the camp of damage from a road hazard rather than vandals. It looks to me that the cuts are caused when the tire sidewall is compressed and it runs over something sharp enough to cut it while it is pinched under the weight of the car. The raised manhole cover you reference might do it, or a garage exit spike strip?
 

john5520

Member
Mar 3, 2020
991
775
Florida
I have turned off the Sentry mode setting that disables it at home. But I do have security cameras and did not pick up anyone in my driveway. So, I really doubt it is vandalism, and local cops report no similar incidents. Also, as I said, it would be strange to make the cuts on the inside of the wheel, and only on the left side. But also, why would road damage only occur on one side and on the inside of the wheel? I have thought about trying to simulate the cuts with a knife, but I am trying to work with the engineers at Continental to seek an explanation. So, I do not want to further damage the tires in case they want to take a look.
If it was a tire problem, it would be a common issue reported. And only on the left? That doesn't make sense either unless maybe a bad batch of tires? Where did you get the new tires?
 

des16

Member
Dec 10, 2017
110
336
USA
Any suggestion for new tires, other than the OEM contis? Tire rack is pushing Bridgestone Ruanza QuietTrack, but worried about efficiency loss, and slightly lower speed rating (V instead of W).
 

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