Exploded compact spare in trunk!

Messages
302
Location
SOUTH CAROLINA
Went to check air pressure in my son's 97 Taurus spare tire and found it exploded! Never been on the ground. Uniroyal brand. Looks like it was shot with a hollow point high powered rifle. 4 inch hole with steel cord poking out all over. Really weird, anyone else ever hear of this? An internet search turns up virtually NO ONE sells replacements! Guess I'll hit the junkyards.......
 
Messages
3,933
Location
Somewhere in the US
Replacements? Before you hit the junkyards...er...auto recycling centers, you might want to check with your local tire dealer or the tire manufacturer. It is not uncommon for these tires not to be listed in the catalogs as they are very low volume sellers. Relative to the tire itself: Was the tire ever used? How much usage did it see and how long ago? On the surface, this is sounds like an adhesion type failure due to age and heat and perhaps impact damage. What part of the country was the vehicle in? Would the heat factor or impact damage make sense? Just a note of reference: This would be an 8 or 9 year old tire - which adds credence to the "replace tires at 6 years" recommendation.
 
Messages
245
Location
USA
I wonder who shot your spare tire and why. Spare tires usually do not present any danger to people unless they have rabies.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,946
Location
The Motor City
Any other holes in the trunk? I suspect when your son gets A LOT older he'll explain what happened. Until then, don't try to figure this one out.
 
Messages
950
Location
Loveland, Ohio
You guys are a riot! My daughter is now 35 and has never explained how some things happened to the cars she was driving, (like the severely dented oil pan, the exhaust plugged with mud, and some other things that I have managed to forget!) and at this point I don't want to know!
 

Vstrom

Thread starter
Messages
302
Location
SOUTH CAROLINA
Tire was never used, still had white ink labeling on the tread and the little nibs. It IS a black car and it IS in the southeast...hmmm..so maybe heat got to it, but still kinda weird. I need to look at the trunk and see if a fullsize tire/rim will fit in the well, if it will I will probably get a used one rather than a new do-nut tire. As for the son explaining what really happened some day...naaah not this one, now my other son, there could definitely be a story there! Took him years to tell me he stuck keys in the outlet in his room when 4 or 5. Always wondered about the black marks around that outlet that he knew NOTHING about [Eek!]
 
Messages
3,356
Location
Kansas, USA
Sure would hate to be the person inside the car when it went. Talk about scaring the bejesus out of a person. I've finally told my parents some of the stuff I did during high school... my dad wouldn't let me drive his cars for a while go figure.
 
Messages
950
Location
Loveland, Ohio
Oh yeah, and then there was the dent in the hood from the underside, right over the shock tower! Sunbird. "What did you hit? A gigantic pothole?" "Don't remember hitting anything."
 
Messages
1,397
Location
Katy, Texas
Vstrom. You are probably better off getting some cheap steel rim from a junkyard or from a tire store and getting the cheapest tire they have in the same size as your regular tires. Diameter wise, you should have no problems with a full size as most donuts are the same diameter as stock tires but depth may be the killer. Check with a Mercury Sable owner to see if they have a full size spare. If they do, it will fit in your Taurus.
 
Messages
2,513
Location
Richmond, VA
If you replace with a regular sized tire and wheel, make sure you test-fit one of your tires into the spare tire well to make sure it fits. My Cavalier does not have a big enough spare tire well to fit a normal size tire. Gotta use the compact spare.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,946
Location
The Motor City
I agree with the full-sized spare, especially if you do a lot of traveling. With the donut, if time came to use it, you don't have the same safe handling that you get with a full-sized tire. If the front goes flat, and you still have a long ways to go, you'll have to do two tire changes on the road to put the donut on the rear. It's happened to me. I once got a front flat with four hours left in an interstate trip. This was on a late Sunday afternoon. I certainly didn't want the donut on the front of my FWD vehicle. Unfortunately, the trunk wan't designed for a full-sized spare to fit in the same spot as the donut. If your car is designed for a one-for-one substitution donut-for-full-sized-spare, then I recommend going with a full-sized spare. When time comes for four new tires on the first tire change, I keep the best used tire, buy a full-sized rim from the salvage yard, and use that combination to replace the donut.
 
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