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What cause a car axel, ball joint to break and tire to blow?

I own Honda pilot 2016. It has about 30,000 miles. Over weeks ago, I was out-of-town and driving on a highway about a 65 miles an hour; then I slow down to take an exit. As I was exiting the exit, the front passenger side tire blew (left no rubber). Since the car was still under warranty, I was trying to reach out Honda for roadside assistant, but a police officer came and told the car needed to be towed right away because of the location where the car was dangerous. So, the police called a towing truck, and the car was towed to a Honda dealership which was about 2 miles away. At the dealership, after they inspected the car, they told me that it seemed the vehicle needed more than a tire and rim, and they needed more time to inspect it to give me an estimate. They let me drive one of their loaner cars to drive back home (about 80miles away). Later that day, they called me and told me that in addition to a tire and rim, the vehicle had a broken axle, bold joint, lower control arm, tire pressure monitor sensor and another misc. The total estimated repair cost was almost $3000. They suggested that I file a claim with my insurance because this was not a result of mechanical failure so was not covered under warranty. They told me there must have been something in the roads such as a pothole or something else that caused this.
I am a very busy person and do know much about car repair. Although I was very skeptical what they told me, I let them fix it. Yesterday, when I picked up my vehicle from the shop, I drove back where the incident occurred, and I saw no a pothole. I feel I was taken advantage.
Now, I am very sure there was no a road pothole that caused this. My question is, what can go wrong a two-year-old with 30,000 miles vehicle to have such breakdown?

A blown out tire almost always destroys the rim, once the rim was destroyed the lower control arm was sliding on the ground and destroyed it, they can’t reuse the old ball joint so you have to replace that also.

Why the tire blew, who knows and probably never will.

  1. What does (left no rubber) mean. There was no tire left on the rim???

  2. Were you able to steer the car at all, to get off the road???

  3. Ho far did you travel on that flat.

Please answer these questions and we car try to answer yours.



From what you describe, there was a major component failure.

And the first that comes to mind is a ball joint failure.

Here’s what can happen when a ball joint fails.

As you can see, it can tear the tire right off the rim.

I’d ask the dealer if a pot hole can cause a dangerous situation such as this, why hasn’t a recall been issued for these vehicles?

Sounds like the dealer is trying to get out paying for the failed part, and the resulting damage.


The pothole was just a theory by the dealer because the actual cause will never be known. You could have hit something or the tire just gave up. I seriously doubt they did any work that was not needed. Take the receipt to your insurance and see what happens.

No tire left on the rim. When this happen I just steered to right and stopped. Thank for the reply

I though about it. The insurance would treat this as an accident and will raise the premium, and I do really believe something hit the car. Thanks for the advise

Wow! Thank for the picture. It looks the unit is on the ground. So, was I able to see the unit being like this from outside? Because mine was not visible like this.

It depends on your last steering motion.

If you where turning left, the tie rod would push the tire straight.

Or should I say rim/wheel?


Yes, the exit I was turning was on the left.

I doubt if it will go up $3000.00 . If you have an actual agent at least ask . You can ask and not file a claim.


I did know I could reported it without filling a claim. What do you mean an actual agent?

Insurance over the internet or by phone . Our agent has an office that we can walk in to ask questions.

If you file a claim, the insurance agent has to inspect the vehicle prior to any repairs.


One of two things happened. You either had a ball joint or front end failure causing the blow out which would be a warranty item, or you had a blow out causing the other damage. Insurance is not going to cover a blow out. I really think you need to take it up to the next step with Honda to have it covered under warranty. They probably won’t cover the tire and wheel but they should the other parts. I think the dealer’s analysis is wrong.

But my question is, given the the age and milege of the vehicle, it has to mechanical failure such thing to happen, am I right ?

@bing is correct, if could be you hit something on the highway, had a tire failure or a suspension failure. Difficult to tell from here.

Mechanical failures can happen at any time. True, it’s unlikely, but there are a very small percentage of defective parts in new cars.

I had a different warranty for the tire and the rim. They were cover. After that the total came down down to $1921 and that was how much I paid.


Honda builds millions of vehicles.

And most of the parts that Honda installs are by provided vendors/suppliers.

So, odds are you’re going to get a defective part.

I was once installing a brand new ball joint in a vehicle. And before I even reached the torque spec for the nut for the ball joint, the ball joint snapped!

Lucky the ball joint failed while being installed. Instead while the vehicle was being driven down the road.


I too was figuring on a ball joint failure.

I also doubt that the OP hit anything on the road. He would have to hit a pretty substantial item to do all that damage.

Maybe there was a pot hole and it had beer repaired by the time the OP returned a few days latter.

Never the less I think that there was a faulty part, but no way to prove it.
I doubt that the dealer is taking advantage of you. They may not have anyone employed there that can really think this through and come to a proper conclusion.

I would still see what your insurance company says. They do not always raise someones insurance after a claim. It’s not like you caused the situation. Just tell them that you must have hit something, but did not see anything during or after the accident.