tyre blowouts - billy25
just done a forum search which produced no results, so just wondered if anybody has any views on this subject?

is it better to have a "sudden total blowout" on a rear wheel or a front wheel,as far as handling the car afterwards is concerned?
i realise that the steering etc is going to be severly compromised on a front wheel one, but a rear wheel one would also affect this as the back-end starts to fish-tale.

the reason i ask, is i had one on the m6 three weeks ago, whilst doing about 90mph(no comments PLEASE!it's not a speeding thread!),i was in the middle lane and had just passed an h.g.v.when i became aware of a slight rumbling feel,the car behaved perfectly and was fully stable,allowing me to give the h.g.v plenty of room and cross the inside lane and park-up on the hard shoulder.i found this heartning at the time but as my car has 4 wheel steering i thought i'd pose the question.

on inspection the next day (it was night when it happened) the tyre fitter said it looked as if it had been shot-out,as it had a complete 1 inch hole in the outside wall and a larger raggedy one directly opposite in the inside wall!.

tyre blowouts - smokie
I had front blowout recently on the outside lane of M4 at at least the speed you mention. Car handled well, I managed to get it to the hard shoulder safely across 3 lanes of traffic etc.

It's an Omega rwd
tyre blowouts - M1ke

I had the front passenger side tyre blowout ('95 Golf) on the M4 doing about 60mph (just joined from sliproad) about a month ago. It was a slightly scary moment as suddenly the steering wheel had to be at 90 degrees to keep the car straight although I don't believe I swerved or inconvenienced anybody (thankfully in inside lane), proceeded to pull onto the hard shoulder and fit my silly spacesaver spare.

Took the car to a Kwik-Fit who said I was lucky on 2 counts:

1) I didn't make a mess of the car, myself, or any other motorists.
2) That the tyre wasn't in the slightest bit damaged.

They checked the tyre walls and tread, refitted, reinflated and sent me on my way. Been fine ever since.

I have to add that had I of been changing lane or doing any higher speed it may have ended a little worse as this was during rush hour

tyre blowouts - GrumpyOldGit
Had lots of puntures and never had a problem handling the car. I wonder if it's just the film makers who put the idea of total loss of control in our heads?
tyre blowouts - billy25
this is actually the first flat i've ever had in a driving situation! i've had "slow" punctures before that i have managed to live with by regular blowing up for a few days, and a couple of flats that i've found when coming out of work or home(usually on a wet day!), but i heard of so many cases where cars have gone totally out of control and gone off the road, that i was wondering if i was just incredibly lucky, or was it down to the cars manufacture, or the fact it was rear wheel.

tyre blowouts - trancer
You can lose control if you reacted suddenly and incorrectly. A front wheel blowout will cause the car to pull to one side, as long as you hold the car straight and not over react by jerking the steering in the opposite direction you should be fine. Light braking, or none if you have the run-off room would be adviseable also. Rear wheel blowouts would be less apt to make one lose control, but should still be treated as a front wheel situation.
tyre blowouts - Blue {P}
Friend of a friend ended up lodged in the crash barriers with an airbag in her face after a sudden tyre blowout.

I can well imagine how you could lose control if a tyre went from normal to completely flat in the space of a second...

I'm goping that I don't experience anything like it as I'm not sure that a car the size of a Fiesta would be able to just pull easily onto the hard shoulder if rhere was a blow out. I could be wrong but I think the girl was driving a Micra.

tyre blowouts - trancer
Without knowing the specifics of her crash I shouldn't comment on it, but I will say that if her car wound up in the crash barrier it was quite possibly due to either not enough or too much driver input. Not judging her by any means as no-one knows how they will react in a panic situation.

A blow-out on the front wheel doesn't mean that you lose steering control, it just means that steering can be a bit more difficult, but maneageable nontheless. Especially when the car is already moving. Stay calm, concentrate on what you are doing and you will get that Fiesta anywhere you want it 8-).
tyre blowouts - StuW
Saw a one those police chase programmes once, showed an in camera view of police car on its way to an emergency going very fast on a motorway, and it had a blowout and it seemed to do 360 quite a few times and ended up on the hard shoulder luckily no one was hurt as it didn't hit anything but it looked pretty scary from the look it.
tyre blowouts - trancer
If the police car was a Fiesta the officer should have taken my advice!. 8-)
tyre blowouts - billy25
it seems by some of the replies that it all depends on whether your gaurdian angel is in the passenger seat!

but more worrying perhaps, is the fact that i learn't very little from this! by that i mean there was no trouser soiling moments, which made me think "wow that was lucky--wont go that fast again!". it seemed so mundane at the time, that it's only making me think in retrospect of what could have happened.

tyre blowouts - Manatee
I wouldn't be sanguine about retaining control with a puncture regardless of the car - clearly it depends how much grip is being demanded when it happens, whether the tyre stays on the rim and any number of things you can't forecast or control.

FWIW, I remember getting a new car sometime in the 80s, a Golf I think, and a highlighted feature of which was a particular kind of steering geometry that allegedly made the car much more stable in the event of a front wheel puncture - thius may be standard now for all I know but it does suggest that some cars could be more of a problem than others.

Differnt point - a few months ago I checked the tyres on the Ka that my son is using to learn to drive. What prompted this was some obvious signs of approximate parking. I discovered a number of cut-like radially oriented splits in the side wall presumably resulting from contact with kerbs. I "re-tyred" the tyre there and then I wonder if the majority of "accidental" blowouts are caused by earlier damage and could be avoided by regular checks and a prudent attitude to kerbs?
tyre blowouts - billy25
on your last point manatee, i have no doubt that nicks in tyres probably do contribute to their fair share of blowouts, i must admit that i *fairly* regularly check the conditions of my side walls, usually a cursory glance while checking pressures,but having just said that...i rarely check the inner walls, especially on the rears. if cuts are present then luck will dictate when they blow, and usually "s**s-law" will state that it will be at the worst possible time.

tyre blowouts - wemyss
It depends howw you define a blowout on a tyre. My definition would be an immediate loss of all air with the rim probably hitting the road.
If this happened on the front I couldn't imagine control being retained at speed.
Which brings us back to which wheels should have the best tyres front or back. My non expert view would be the front..
tyre blowouts - Manatee
On reflection its probably fair to say you cannot have control in these circs - but you might get away with it.

I often think that the "control" people have on a s**den motorway at 80+ is illusory and they'd find they hadn't really got any if they had to steer/stop suddenly - but there's still a good chance they'd manage not to collide with the scenery or the other players (then further delude themselves that they'd got away with it through sheer skill and "control").

I tend to agree with you alvin on where to put the best tyres. I only twigged to the new advice a few weeks ago and the explanation that putting new tyres on the front could lead to surpise oversteer, understeer being preferable. Not skidding is preferable in my book, so I put the best ones on the front and make sure thay all have 3mm or more. I don't routinely ignore expert advice, but the experts were actually quite happy with this until recently!
tyre blowouts - billy25
i usually put new to the front as i'm fwd and thats where i assumed i needed the grip, but as to under/oversteer, where does that leave me, with 4 wheel steer?

tyre blowouts - Roger Jones
Just in case anyone on this thread hasn\'t seen a previous related thread:

And some weighty advice from Michelin at:


I can appreciate that it appears counter-intuitive to some, but I do wonder why a leading tyre company (and its rivals, I believe) should be so unequivocal if they were not 100% sure of being correct.
tyre blowouts - Manatee
I tried to look this up last time you posted it Roger but no joy, nor could I find it direct.

The tyre bay I was at recently had an authoritative notice explaining the reason, that putting new tyres on the front could result in a previously understeering car (easy to control) becoming a car that would first lose grip at the rear (surprising if the driver is accustomed to the "straight-ons", and harder to control.

I do like to take advice from them that know - but in this case

1. I have seen the explanation and it is not one that concerns me - my car is not transformed in this way, having decent tyres all round.

2. The expert advice until a couple of years ago was the opposite, and I was happy to take it then.

3. I like to even out the wear by rotation (actually in the car handbook - also official advice) and this can only work if the deeper tread goes on the front from time to time!

I do not advocate "bald tyres on back, new tyres on front".
tyre blowouts - helicopter
I too have experienced the joy of a nearside front wheel puncture on the M1 and like Billy was surprised at how easy it was to control.

I 'felt' it through the steering wheel vibration and the pull to one side , realised the problem , dropped off the speed and went from fast lane over to hard shoulder at a junction where traffic was filtering in , ie crossing four lanes of traffic with a mangled tyre.

Looking back on it I feel that it was easy to control because I had both hands on the wheel and the strength to control the strong pulling to one side.

Perhaps the lady who stuffed it in the central reservation did not have the required strength to hold it steady.

Having said that, its not an experience I would like to repeat.
tyre blowouts - Altea Ego
This all depends on what you call a "blow out". It seems to me that a lot of the events here are "punctures". ie a controlled deflation of the tyre that enables the driver to feel something is going wrong, control the car to a stop where the tyre subsequently deflates.

A "blow out" is something different. Thats a sudden, instant uncontrolled loss of air. Hero to zero in milliseconds. Fortunately this is very rare, and needs top class, instant reactions and supreme driving skill to remain unscathed. As has been pointed out, at speed, even a Police class 1 driver is in danger in a "blow out" You get no warning ok one second, gone the next. Even a large hole (say 1inch) will give you some feel and reaction time. Big hole 3,4,5 inches, complete seperation of the tyre gives you no chance.

To describe the difference, a police spike strip will cause a puncture, ok a "bad" puncture but still controllable. Even a

In my time i have had bad punctures at speed (M4 front 75mph) and manage to control it to the hard shoulder. Never had a "blow out"

tyre blowouts - billy25
good point rf!
i *assumed* that it must have been a blowout because of the extent of the tyre damage,but as the inside hole was "raggedy" this may have been caused by the rim running on it, but why would it be exactly opposite the *puncture* hole? i don't for one minute go along with the fitters thought!, but would expect rim damage to be all around the tyre,and to be honest all i felt was a *slight*rumbling feeling,which does as you suggest support a more controlled defation.

tyre blowouts - Sooty Tailpipes
I've never had a blowout, but I have driven with completely flat tyres on a Mondeo and my Omega and been very surprised at how little difference it made. Once I found the tyre was damaged, I thought it easier to drive to the nearest tyre place, by which time the tyre is well shredded inside.

I do remember a couple of months ago, a Traddic Police TV series had a Volvo racing to a light aircraft crash in the wet. It had been driving on the chevrons so had probably picked up shrapnel, it was going along lane three later, when the car was seen to pitch slightly, and the driver immeiately straightened the path, then the car slewed to the nearside and as the driver corrected it, it started to spin and nearlt tipped over, it hit the armco about 6 times before coming to a stop.

Conversely, I have seen on these programed many joyrides ride over these stingers and drive seemingly endlessly on tyres which are throwing rubber of and finally on rims with showers of sparks coming off.
I remember one old man doing 100mph in a 3 series BMW with the tyre came off, and he was running on the rim at night and it seemed to handle fine, leaving a comet of sparks. Eventually the wheel broke up and it continued on the disc until the Police rammed him!... and they call it work!
tyre blowouts - PhilW
A while ago I came up behind a Punto on a dual carriageway and noticed smoke coming from the rear tyre. As I got closer bits of rubber started to fly off but the car continued at about 60 mph. As I drew alongside I waved and pointed to the rear wheel and the lady (about 60 years old) waved back and smiled but eventually she got the message and pulled into a lay-by about 300yards further on. I also stopped and asked her if she realised she had a flat tyre (by this time shredded beyond recognition) She replied that she had heard a funny noise but thought it nothing serious and thought she would investigate when she got home! Then she said "How do you change a wheel - I don't even know if I have a jack" So guess who ended up doing it?! Point being I suppose that here was an old lady driving along quite normally at 60 with a disintegrating rear tyre and she didn't even realise!
tyre blowouts - pdc {P}
Have had tyres suddenly deflate on me twice. First time was on a Polo. The rear nearside went as I was just exiting a roundabout. Because of the angle of the car, I managed to spin 360, and that was at a low speed of about 30mph. I was lucky because it was 6am on a Sunday morning. Any other time and there would have been a fair bit of traffic about, as the A34 through Newcastle-u-Lyme can be quite busy.

Second time was on the M6, in the Golf. It was about midnight, so again not too busy. I was in lane 1 when I sensed that something wasn't quite right. Pulled over and the offside rear wheel had gone. There was no detrimental effect on the cars handling and I only knew something was wrong by the noise.
tyre blowouts - daveyjp
I've never suffered a blow out myself but yesterday I was next to avehicle which had one. A42 just before the M1 junction. Overtaking a car transporter with half a dozen S types on board. I was half way along the trailer when one of the tyres blew and a piece of rubber hit the windscreen. The wagon driver simply pulled over on to the hard shoulder, whilst I slowed to get my composure back!!
tyre blowouts - paulb {P}
I think I remember that, too - on Police Stop! or similar. And if it was the same one, he was so off his face (ISTR 3 times the limit was mentioned) that he'd actually wet himself in the drver's seat. The idea of anyone getting in a car and driving at three-figure speeds, when so drunk that they lose control of basic bodily functions, is almost more terrifying than the fact that he was driving down the motorway on a brake disc! Presumably that wouldn't be possible in a fwd car, though.
tyre blowouts - paulb {P}
(Sorry, this refers to ST's post a bit further up!)
tyre blowouts - Ivor E Tower
In the early 1990's on the M3 in the evening rush-hour and in the dark, I hit debris which suddenly deflated both offside tyres on my car (Honda Civic front wheel drive). I was in the inside lane and didn't go for the brakes - just held the wheel extra-firm and gradually eased onto the hard shoulder and more or less let the car coast to a stop. No real drama - just the thought that the debris was still on the carriageway and that someone else could have hit it (as well as the car in front of me - damaged his front bumper and underside but no punctures).
The funny noise, plus odd steering feel were the only "give-aways" that something had happened.
tyre blowouts - billy25
thanks chaps! i think i've learnt more from the concensus of opinions expressed here than i did from the incident!

it seems that the fact it's front or rear doesn't really matter,but what does is how the driver reacts to it.
a)don't panic
b)try not to over compensate to the feel of the car's behavior
c)let the car coast to a stop if conditions allow.

a)might not be too easy if your on a busy r/bout at rush hour!!

cheers all.
tyre blowouts - v8man
Several years ago I had a rear blowout on my Cavalier (new tyres) on the M25. I spun a number of times and ended up halfway up the embankment by South Mimms services with the back axle ripped off!The road was crowded and how I missed hitting other vehicles is a miracle. I consider myself to be a competent driver IAM, skid pan training etc. and I had no chance to control the car. Opposite lock and counter steering at 70mph on 3 wheels is tricky.

Also, a friend of my Father ended up on his roof on the M1 folloowing a puncture. This is definately not the stuff of Holywood. Ask any driver who has experienced this - it is very real!

Value my car