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Tire Mangling

Michael Spiers <mikes@specnet.com> said:
[odyssey deleted]

 Two interesting things: the
> flat P4000 (on the stock 15" wheel) was worn completely through the steel belts
> on the outside, causing the tire to split in two, (no, I never looked at the
> thing before this, I was on vacation & the hell if I was going to mess with an
> Audi) explaining the loss of air.  The inside of the tire was still well above
> the wear bars, as the whole wheel had been when I put it on a week ago.  A look
> at the stock rim & it looks just fine, no obvious damage.  However, the
> vibrations are now totally gone, as is the horrible pull, even tho the left 17
> is visibly damaged worse than it ever was.  So, did I trash a stock rim?  Like
> I said, looking at it, it looks fine, how do you tell other than paying someone
> to spin it?  Is it possible all the damage was to the tire & not the wheel?

Various things occur to me:

1)  Sounds like you should run stock size rims with no profile LOWER 
than a 60-series. Part of what the sidewall does for you is to 
provide insurance for pothole country.  I'd assume your 17" rims were 
50-series (at least) which evidently is not compatible with pothole 
2)  Worn tires can cause horrendous vibrations, even when they are 
not visibly damaged. I have observed on other cars that about the 
time tires hit their tread bars, they can get VERY difficult to 
balance, and they often start to pull badly when driving on any roads 
with ripples or "gullys" in them.
3)  I suggest taking the rims to a tire dealer and having them 
checked for bends or rim problems.  If they're damaged and worth 
repairing, I have seen many firms advertising in Autoweek.

Good luck!

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