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Blown tire advice

I have a 2012 Golf with 18k miles and all four OEM tires look about half worn (ContiProContact 196/65R15). Last night I accidentally hit a curb with my right front tire, resulting in a flat. There appears to be a gash on the sidewall. There was an identical looking full size spare (same ContiProContact 196/65R15) so I replaced with that.

How would you suggest I proceed?

Here are the options I’m considering:

  1. Replace just the blown tire with an exact OEM (yes, it’s available), and then use that new tire in combination with the unused (though 3 year old) spare for a somewhat matching set. And it sounds like I should move them to the rear b/c it’s a FWD car?

  2. Buy two new OEM tires and move the original spare back to the trunk. Move to back?

  3. Buy two new tires but go with a model that gets better ratings on tirerack (Continental PureContact). All the specs seem identical and it’s even a bit cheaper. Move to back?

  4. Buy four new tires (likely Continental PureContact)

Thanks for any advice!

Yeah, just get a new one and put the best-matching tires up front. You might even find a used one locally even cheaper because those tires are so common.

Wait another 10k miles or so and then get a new set of better tires. Those ContiProContact are mediocre OEM tires.

Plan 1 would work for me.

I agree, Plan 1. Put the old spare and the new match on the rear, where they will last forever on a Golf.

You should also have the suspension thoroughly examined and the alignment checked. It’s very easy to damage and bend front-end parts when hitting a curb.

After striking a curb hard enough to flatten a tire I would advise that the suspension be checked.
Things like this often lead to bent control arms, etc and the alignment will be out because of it.

If you’re told the alignment is out by at least a fair amount and that bringing it into alignment is the cure you should be skeptical of that what you’re being told.

It’s best to have the tire type & wear match left/right, although they might not match exactly front/back (unless it is an AWD model, in which case all four tires should match.) Me, being the frugal type, in this situation I’d move the two undamaged and matching rear tires to the front, and risk using an unmatched pair (for wear) on the back. And return the spare to where it was, in the trunk. As long no symptoms develop. Until such time as the other 3 tires need replacement, then I’d replace all four with new.

My daughter had a blow out at 65 mph in a 2010 Cobalt with Continental Touring Contact AS tires (195/60R15). Fortunately she maintained control and got off the highway safely with the right rear tire shredded. The performance of these tire was okay at 25k miles but with 30k miles at the time of the blowout rain traction was deteriorating and snow traction was horrible. I decided to replace all four tires with Goodyear Comfortred tires and are much happier with them.

In your case if you are satisfied with the current tires, move the full size spare to the back of the the car and buy a PureContact as a spare. When it’s time to replace the OEM tires, buy three PureContact tires and keep the best OEM as a spare.

As other folks have mentioned have the front end checked and aligned if needed.

Ed B.

Make sure the two tires on front match in wear if the are identical otherwise. If one is substantially less worn than the other, it can increase the wear on the differential over time. Theoretically, this doesn’t happen on the rear of a fwd. Unequal traction is always an issue in emergency maneuvers and a new tire and one with 18k miles will have unequal traction.

Another alternative is to just install the spare and drive on. It seems that you have just one year until you will need new tires. Then you can get 5 tires. If you must have a spare, then replace it with an OEM should be inexpensive compared to a tire with a decent lifetime and other characteristics,and that would make it a good temporary spare in the future.

Thanks for all the advice!

My plan is to replace blown tire with OEM, and move it along with the spare to the rear axle . The front axle will get what’s on the rear currently, and my half worn left/front will become the new spare. And even though the car still tracks straight I’m going to get the alignment checked as well.

Good idea !