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The front left tire of my car got a sidewall cut as shown in the picture (I am not sure when and how long ago it happened). I have already read this article (Can this tire sidewall damage be repaired or should I replace the tire?). But I am still not sure in my situation, should I replace the tire? If yes, should I replace all four tire or only the damaged tire? The car is a Honda CR-V 2014 AWD model, the millage is about 33,000. If yes and I do not replace the tire, what would happen? Just got a flat tire or tire will blast on the road? Thanks.

sidewall

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    Short answer: yes. – anonymous2 Dec 16 '16 at 21:14
  • @anonymous2, yes to both questions? Thanks. – David Lee Dec 16 '16 at 21:16
  • Yes to the first question. – anonymous2 Dec 16 '16 at 21:17
  • How old are the tyres? – anonymous2 Dec 16 '16 at 21:18
  • @anonymous2, All of them are about 3 years and 33000 miles. They are original tires from new car. – David Lee Dec 16 '16 at 21:21
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Long answer:

As @David said, absolutely, change the tire immediately. In view of the age of the tires, unless they were spectacular tires to begin with, they are probably all due for replacement. If you do not feel this is necessary, at least replace the other tire on the same axle.

The risk with a tire that is this damaged is that it will burst a huge hole while you are driving, unlike a normal car puncture which is small enough and slow enough that you have time to deal with it. Am I saying this will kill you? Possibly. A blown tire can send your car out of control and... fill in the blanks. Furthermore, even you succeed in bringing the car to a controlled stop, who knows where you will be stranded for how long.

Better replace it now, since you know the damage is there. Save lives; drive responsibly.

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    Also, I don't see the big picture of all the tires, but just from what I see on that one, it looks pretty worn... – anonymous2 Dec 17 '16 at 0:40
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    As someone who's personally experienced driving along at 70mph before hearing the most enormous bang, feeling the car veer sharply out to one side and watching smoke and fragments of tire fly off back down the motorway from a sudden sidewall blowout, I can confirm you don't want to experience it. We were lucky in that we managed to regain control of the car and stopped safely on the hard shoulder but the outcome could have been very different. – niemiro Dec 17 '16 at 21:09
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    decided to change four tires, buy Michelin DEFENDER LTX M/S, looks like a reasonable choice for snowing drive – David Lee Dec 19 '16 at 3:13
  • Great choice! Should do well. – anonymous2 Dec 19 '16 at 13:55
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Yes, replace the tire immediately. I'd recommend replacing both tires on that axle, but not all four unless they are as bald as that one appears to be.

Despite what tire shops will tell you, it isn't necessary to replace all four tires at a time. However, if you have one old / low tread tire and one new tire paired up (both fronts or both rears) you can get slippage between the sides which will wear at the older tire even faster, and can cause traction and ride quality problems.

On a front-wheel drive car, I could see it accelerating transaxle wear, but that's just my instinct and not something I've researched.

While you're at it, make sure there aren't any similar cracks or tears in the other tires.

  • I don't know how sensitive the Toyota AWD systems are, but by putting new tires on only one axle, you're saving that diff (say rear) from excessive wear, and the old tires on the front axle will do the same, but then the front and rear axles are spinning at different speeds, so you'll be putting excessive wear on the center differential. I'd recommend replacing all 4 tires. – MooseLucifer Dec 16 '16 at 22:19
  • @MooseLucifer Aside from the most extreme cases, tire pressure is a bigger factor in tire diameter than tread wear. I can't see a little wear being a significant cause of differential stress, especially compared to the stresses induced by driving over differing surfaces. – barbecue Dec 16 '16 at 22:32
  • At 33k miles, those are likely factory tires that probably don't even have a mileage rating because most factory tires are cheap. It may be worth replacing all four for that reason alone. – user4896 Dec 17 '16 at 7:02
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    Two tires only on AWD is terrible advice. Most AWD vehicles have a spec on how closely tire diameters must match front to rear. Try changing only two tires on a Subaru or an Audi (with 33k on the other pair) and you're gonna have a very expensive repair. My BMW was okay with it, but they also don't have a published limit, and even some BMW owners on forums reported issues in driveability that were remedied by replacing the other two tires to match. – Lathejockey81 Dec 17 '16 at 13:56
  • @Lathejockey81 Thanks for the great information. I hadn't considered that AWD was a special case. – 3Dave Dec 17 '16 at 15:08
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While I agree this is a deep cut, and I do not like seeing the structure of a tire from the outside, keep in mind this is on the sidewall. Ask a tire shop for their advice, I wouldn't be surprised if they tell you to use rubber glue and press the cut back together. The cut has smooth edges.

A cut like this on the rolling surface is an other story altogether. Cuts on sidewalls are usually more forgiving, although this one does look very deep. Go to a tire shop and have them look at it. If you need to replace the tire, then like everybody else, change the 2 on that axle if your other 2 tires are still in good shape.

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    I have seen cuts like this before, and never seen one cause a blowout. It may be possible to drive on this for a while, or maybe not another mile. My gut feeling is it just takes one more borderline curb check or other stress to the sidewall to blow it out, and that depends on who is driving and how meticulous they are. Either way, I seriously doubt rubber glue will do much to defend that gash against several thousand pounds of inertia: the air pressure in the tire wants to get out, and will use any excuse it can. I upvoted you, but would still recommend replacing the tire. – user4896 Dec 17 '16 at 7:07

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