Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2003 Ford Taurus Tire Damage


While avoiding a collision with a red light runner my daughter clipped a curb with the right front tire (215/60R15). The cut is a about 1 1/2" long and 1/16" deep. The rim is scratched up a bit but otherwise undamaged. She only has a 3.5 mile drive to work at low speeds (~40 mph).

Should I be concerned about the damage as it appears only to be cosmetic. Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on the tire for the next week or two. I’m going to take it out tonight to make sure it’s driving okay.


Ed B.

Key words: Daughter - tire damage. The real question is why would you let her drive something that could fail at the worst possible time.

I would not want to drive on that tire, and maybe it is the perspective, but the rim looks a tad bent. Stuff happens but if it was me I would find a scrap yard, get a new rim, and see if a used tire store can find a matching tire with similar wear.
Of course an independent analysis in person is your best bet.

That looks to be more than cosmetic damage. I would not drive on that tire. Get a new tire, and if the other is getting warn, get two new tires. The two tires on the front should match.

If the spare is full size, you can get one new tire and use that and the spare for the front tires, and use other front tire as the spare.

Or, put the two rears on the front, and the new ones on the rear. This is preferred for a FWD car.


I drove the car for about 20 miles and got it up to highway speeds. There’s no vibration or pulling in the steering and braking. The rim does look bent in the photo but I think it’s the camera angle. Looking at it face on the rim looks good. Tire has 34 psi and holding.

I will drop my daughter off, then stop by the local independent tire shop. I will have them check the tire and the rim. It’s a Taurus, it shouldn’t be too hard to find another rim.


Ed B.

You have my respect for doing the right thing. Tires are safety-critical, and there should never be left a question about their integrity. :relaxed:

1 Like

Sidewall damage can present a dangerous situation, as the tire can sort of look ok now, but fail in a dramatic way later. You are correct to take in for a professional assessment. It doesn’t necessarily has to be a tire shop, most any experienced inde mechanic should be able to make that assessment for you.

If they need a tire why waste time going some place else.

@ GeorgeSanJose,

Not a bad idea, I’ll ask my trusted mechanic to put up on a lift and check the front end to be safe.


There is no need to denigrate a forum member for offering reasonable advice.

Ed B.

A shop that has a “road force balancing” machine is the best option. Such a machine spins the wheel/tire with a simulated road force, a spinning drum pressed against the tread, and the machine can detect internal damage that a regular machine cannot… and a visual definitely cannot.

To be honest, if it were my daughter’s car, and the tires were fairly new, I’d have the wheel spun just in case there was damage to the wheel that isn’t obvious visually, and have a new tire of the same make & model mounted. If the tires were already well worn, I’d have two or four replaced. It’s a really, really cheap way to keep your daughter safe.

Sincere best.

1 Like


Just got back from the tire shop. The tire checked out okay, the damage is only cosmetic. The owner suggested I just keep on eye on the tire for any changes though.

I’ll probably replace all 4 tires next year due to age and the shop will be getting my business. Again, thanks for all the helpful advice.

Ed B.

No thanks necessary. Always happy to help a man who’s trying to ensure his daughter’s safety!
All the best to you and yours.

The lip on the rim looks like it is a little deformed, that can be repaired when you do get new tires. A deformed lip does not mean the wheel is bent. A lot cheaper than a new alloy wheel.