Multiple tire blowouts/Same wheel -need advice

Four weeks ago had a blowout of right rear tire which was about 6 months old, part of a new set of four all mounted at the same time. An unrepairable tear was obvious in the middle of the tread of the blown tire. Blown tire was replaced with an exact duplicate. Three weeks later the new tire on the right rear blew out. This time the tire company could not find the flaw and therefore won’t replace it. The tire pressure sensor worked properly up until this last event. The sensor light came on when the last tire blew but when the tire was replaced the light remained on and testing shows that sensor is not communicating with the analytics computer at the Subaru place. The other 3 sensors tested out fine. The Subaru folks say the computer modules and sensor must be replaced in that right rear wheel. My main concern is more about whether there is something causing the blowouts and whether I’m at risk for more but I don’t know how to proceed. I also don’t understand how the tire could have blown and not have a visible flaw but two tire places have now told me that. The two blowouts were pretty classic: a loud “pow” sound followed by rapid air loss and sensor light activation.

Any advice about a path forward, including questions/requests I should make of the tire dealer or the Subaru shop would be appreciated.

There is so much untold about this situation.

I will start with a question; if the second tire was not defective what was the cause the tire store told you?

Why wasn’t the tire pressure sensor replaced after the first failure?

Failures such as you decribe are generally caused by 1) a tire defect 2) road debris damage 3) damage caused by the driver such as curb hits or 4) highway speeds with low pressure.

In any event, you need a new tire and pressure sensor. Your questions are; who pays for this? and why did this happen?

Answer my questions and I’ll try to answer yours.

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To be totally honest, I did not know that the sensor should have been replaced when the tire was replaced. The sensor behaved normally. The first event happened in another state, and we used a large tire dealership that carried the type tires we had on the other wheels. They did not mention changing the sensor and I didn’t know to ask. Knowing we were returning home soon, we bought the additional warranty that would cover the new tire nationwide. (I will add that we also checked inflation with a manual tire gauge before we left home, and got normal readings.)

The second event occurred not far from home. We took it to the local branch of the tire company as directed by the warranty. They had no explanation for what might have caused the tire to do what it did (go “pow” and then flat in moments). The road service truck did not see any puncture or blown spot when he came to get us. We took the tire to another company (our usual tire dealer) for a second opinion and they said the same. We have another new matched tire on that wheel but the sensor is indicating a problem. That’s when we went on the the Subaru place. But they are more concerned with the sensors than the tire but they didn’t sell us the tires anyway. They did say their computer could not communicate with the sensor on that wheel.

I did not see what year this Subaru is but the Tire Monitors are battery powered and only last 7 to 10 years . If the vehicle is that old then it would make sense to just have all of them replaced .

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The tire pressure sensor only needs to be replaced if it was damaged during the tire failure, damaged while mounting the tire or if the sensor has failed. The sensor does not need to be replaced with each tire replacement.

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The Subaru dealership checked all 4 and the other 3 checked out fine. The wheel where both blowouts happened would not communicate with their computers and will be replaced when the parts come in.

I remain concerned about the why of the two blowouts of new tires so close together on the same wheel. Subaru assures us that tire sensors can’t cause blowouts, which is certainly logical. But two such events on such new tires makes me worry that the wheel or some other part I don’t even know much about could be causing this. The sensors and the blowouts may not be cause/effect but could both be effects of some other issue that will continue?

An alignment shop may be able to find the problem. The tire dealer isn’t saying or doing enough. What brand and model tires were they?

No. The sensors themselves can’t cause a blowout. If there was no tire warning on the dash after the first tire was replaced then the sensor was still OK. Tne car recognizes if one is bad and will warn you. Tire stores can check and replace these devices.

Blowouts are unusual these days but they do happen. Tire defects are rare but do happen. If you are concerned something is wrong with that corner of the car, have things checked at the dealer. Replace the tire sensor so you get a warning if the tire goes low.

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Goodyear Assurance 225/60 R17 99T

The dealer that’s authorized to work under the nation wide warranty is not one we have used previously and I agree they are not doing enough, and seem really disorganized. That is why we took it to our regular dealer where we got the full set of tires to get another opinion. It is concerning that neither can find why the tire made that POW sound and went totally flat in moments.

We will be taking it in to the Subaru dealership for sensor repair/replacement as soon as parts come in. But the coincidence of two blowouts of new tires on the same wheel in a two week time stretches credibility, which is what led me to look for ideas online from other folks who know more than I do.

Any good tire shop can install new wheel sensors for the TPMS, and can pair them with the car’s system. I get new wheel sensors every 7 years or so at Costco’s tire center.

The Subaru place says their computer is not communicating with the car’s computer in regard to the right rear wheel and is not reporting that particular sensor as either working or as defective. So they want to replace the module first ($400} in order to get a reading on the sensor. Then replace the sensor if needed. No one can explain how this second blowout could happen without causing an any damage to the tire.

You had two blowouts on two different wheels. The one had an obvious problem. They couldn’t find a problem with the second tire? Did they remount that second tire and it held air, or was it replaced? The sensor on that wheel could have been damaged with the deflated tire flopping around on the rim. The tire shop can replace that sensor for about $80. You don’t need a new computer if the other sensors are being read.

I suspect you got some old or defective tires and the front ones might be next. Is it possible you got the wrong size on there so they don’t fit the rim?

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OP says it was the same wheel in post title. If so, I’m guessing the problem is the wheel is causing the flat, not the tires. Definitely rule out the sensors, they can’t cause a flat tire. Just make sure the tires are always properly inflated. That’s the critical job for following this problem.

OP, ask show to carefully inspect the area on the wheel where it meets up with the tire’s bead. Rust, corrosion in that area can cause the bead to not seat properly and flats. It’s also possible the dimensions of the wheel aren’t correct. If so, replace the wheel.

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Two blowouts on the SAME wheel, two different tires same brand and model but purchased in two different states. The first one that blew was 6 months old and purchased from our usual dealer at home. The second one that blew (the one no one seems to know what happened to) was the replacement which was two weeks old and bought in a neighboring state.

Though I know next to nothing about tires (that is why I’m here) it seems logical that the sensor can’t cause the blowouts but the blowouts could harm the sensor. I am, like you, suspicious of the wheel. I appreciate the wording that I didn’t have to ask these folks about the wheel itself.

I don’t think that I’m the only one who is confused at this point, because of…

Was the left rear wheel relocated to the right rear after the first blowout?’

:thinking:

I am so sorry! I have confused everyone with my error. I’ve gone back to the original and edited it to correct my error. Thank you for bearing with me and trying to help anyway.
The blowouts have both been on the right rear. The other tires are fine, never had a problem with them.

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Thanks @Pvanevery_181761 i don’t know how to do cut and paste on this thing. Well then I would replace the wheel. The first legitimate blow out could have damaged it and the sensor.

After blowing out a trailer tire once, I had to pull it about six blocks for a safe place to work. That wheel was destroyed and the lip all curled over.

Knowing this sounds stupid but: is replacing a wheel something the dealership should do or something the tire company should do?

Is is possible for a sensor to keep working after it is damaged? Or appear to? The sensor light went off after we replaced the tire following the first blowout. It came on when the second blowout occurred, and has remained on since then though there is a new tire with normal pressure.

I am dealing with two tire dealerships (one for each of the malfunctioned tires) and one auto dealership, and I feel like I am lost somewhere in between and no one is really looking for a causative problem, but just the symptoms. So I really appreciate the help I’m getting here.