We bought our HCH (2007) at the beginning of 2007. I had been running about 50PSI in the tires and one of the front tires blew to pieces on the freeway at about 70 MPH. Has anyone else had this happen or was it a fluke? It's made me a little wary about running more than max PSI in the tires. I would really like to do so since it seems to really help the mileage...
Sure the blowout made you wary. But the max. pressure rating on the sidewall of the tire should do that BEFORE you fill to 50 psi. You wouldn't try to put 15 gallons of gas in your 12 gallon tank, would you?
Look at it this way; whatever money you saved in gasoline by over-inflating your tires, you just blew by having to buy a new tire. So what was the point?
As a point of interest, I probably should have been clearer. I have never seen a tire do this; it literally exploded. The entire circumference of the tread separated from the sidewall. No more sidewall at all on the outside of the tire.
I sorta suspect it was a glitch on the manufacture. I think it's unusual for a tire to fail like that under any conditions.
There was no vibration, no warning...just went "blooey!". There were about 1,000 miles on the car at the time. Honda actually did NOT cover the tire - however, we were near a Honda dealer at which I worked in high-school and I happened upon the owner of 30 years (Bob Hall). He covered it through his dealership and he personally took the tire/wheel down the road to get it replaced...amazing I say.
HUGE KUDOS to Bob Hall's Grenway Auto Mall in Yakima, WA. It was the kind of dedication and service that I thought was long gone. And it was on a weekend to boot!
The entire circumference of the tread separated from the sidewall. No more sidewall at all on the outside of the tire.
Manufacturing defect... the tread is actually built separately from the sidewalls (this is why truckers can "retread" their tires), so a failure like this means something happened to prevent the two halves from sticking together properly. Keep your eyes peeled for a recall notice, as well as your other three tires... this could easily be a problem across that entire lot, and not a single tire. Dropping to 44psi (or whatever is stamped on your tires) is certainly warranted (you shouldn't notice too bad a hit on your mpg) to guarantee that other dealerships in the area can't pull the "you over-inflated" bs, keep your spare handy and inflated, and see how things go. Lots of us are running our tires high just as you are, and this is, as far as I know, the first time anybody has reported this happening (Of course, this is also sure to bring out the 'You're running high??? YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!!' crowd again).
I wouldn't be so quick to claim that "overinflated" is BS, given the numbers here. Every 10 degree increase in tire temp equals a pound of pressure. If they were cold-inflated to 50, you really have little idea what they were running, except higher than that by a good bit, which will depend on air temp, whether it was a front or rear wheel (drive tires run hotter), whether it was in bright (as in hot) sunlight, weight in the car, etc. It's entirely conceivable that these variables could add up to have made your running pressure near or even about 60 psi.
And is 50 even max cold inflation on those tires? I'm more used to seeing 44 or 48. Those numbers are there for a reason.
As for the blow pattern -- you're looking not simply at the results of whatever failure let the air out; you're looking at the results of the damage done to the tire while you got it whoa'd down and pulled over from 70 mph. You don't know what the original failure looked like, other than that it *was* in the sidewall. (Tires with a nail hole in the main tread don't usually rip their sidewalls to shreds while you get them pulled over; there usually has to be damage to the sidewall first.)
So, yeah, maybe a manufacturing defect, can't rule that out. But Occam's Razor? I'd never run my tires at 50 psi. I've never owned a tire, including the stock Dunlops on my '07 HCH, that could cold-inflate that high. I know a lot of people on this board do it anyway; and I've come to accept that if it didn't *usually* work, we'd hear a lot more about failures than we do. But "usually" ain't "always." Sounds to me like we've got an unfortunate "not usually" here.