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Here's the scenario:

  • I purchased 4 new tires with installation for my 2003 Ford Focus with almost 200,000 miles on it (original aluminium wheels).
  • When I got my car from the tire place, I noticed one of the tires was leaking air so I had them take care of it.
  • A week later, I drove to work (62 mile commute) and when I got in the parking lot, a different tire was flat and losing air fast. I could drive on it, but I needed to fill it up twice.
  • The next day I had the bad tire swapped (at a different place) with a good extra one I had saved in my trunk from when I got the new tires.
  • I didn't witness the people taking my tire off get it off, I just expected them to 'reseat' it like the original place did with the first bad tire. But, when they showed me the tire there was a 4 inch by 0.5 inch strip of rubber from the rim sitting inside the tire. (a part would have normally been sitting right next to the rim.
  • They told me that this was a mounting issue and I had 'high performance tires' (I didn't realize this) that weren't all that easy to mount.

The reason I ask is because when I took it back to the original tire place and demanded that they replace my tire and refund the cost of putting the old one on, they told me that the place who changed my tire was probably at fault for having ruined the tire. I don't buy that in the least, but I kind of think that driving on the tire, as it lost air, for a week may have ruined it.

What I want to know is, is there anyway to know if the tire was damaged when they attached the tire or if it became damaged (due to being improperly seated) during the week that I drove it.

A strange thing I noticed about the way the original place mounted my tires is that they seemed pretty far back on the rims.

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1 Answer

You will cause damage by driving on a poorly inflated tyre but not that much. If you drive on one that is completely flat your rim could slice through bits of rubber if it runs over part of the tyre.

It does sound from your description that they original installer didn't do a good job. The tyre rim needs to sit securely against the wheel rim, with no bumps or warps; sealant should be used throughout and inflation should be checked to ensure well seated thread.

I have wide low profile performance tyres and I agree they are definitely harder to fit but any reputable garage should cope.

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