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Old 09-04-2016, 04:33 PM   #1
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A tire question

We were driving home to Illinois in Vermont passing through a little town and I pulled over to the curb to check the toad and walk the dogs. I felt the rear tire on the rub against the curb.
When doing my walk around before taking of again I checked all the tires and saw that the tire against the curb had a fold in the sidewall. I'd never seen anything like that before and was a bit concerned. I pulled ahead a bit to get the tire away from the curb and checked it again. It looked fine but I was worried about whether it had done anything internally to the sidewall.
I kept an eye on it on the way home and it seemed fine. I took it into my mechanic for an oil change after the trip and he said he noticed some cupping on the tire that had been folded on the curb. He didn't think that it looked serious but that I might want to consider replacing the tire within a few thousand miles. He recommended moving the front tire to the duallies on that side, making the inside tire my new spare and putting a new pair on the front.
I've looked at pictures of cupping and what I have looks very minor compared to what I've seen. Reading about cupping it says that it is most often caused by suspension problems.
1. Could the cupping have been caused by the sidewall golfing on the curb?
2. Would folding the sidewall cause internal problems if no damage was apparent externally?
3. Could the chipping be caused by a problem with the rite or do I need to look at suspension problems?
4. Can/should minor cupping be ignored for another 3,000-5,000 miles?
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:58 PM   #2
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Tire cupping

By cupping, I presume you are referring to abnormal wear on the tire tread -- the surface of the tire that contacts the road. I don't believe this could be due to rubbing up on a curb. A sidewall issue severe enough to produce cupping would more than likely result in a failed sidewall before any appreciable cupping was produced.

More than likely, you have suspension, alignment, or tire balance issues that you were unaware of that produced the cupping. You may not have noticed the tread wear until you had a reason to look closely--the reason being the encounter with the curb.

Tires are the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to alerts about suspension and alignment issues. Check your shocks, bushings, and balance. And you may just want to replace the tire rather than keep it, then worrying about how many miles you can squeeze out of it.

From reference.com -- "The most common cause of front tire cupping is worn, bent, cracked or otherwise damaged suspension components. Some front tire cupping also occurs when the given wheel is out of alignment. Another possible cause of this phenomenon is unbalanced wheels, although this is rarely the sole cause."

Good luck with troubleshooting your tire issue.
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:57 PM   #3
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Thanks

That's kind of what I was thinking.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:05 PM   #4
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Can you post any pictures of the tire?
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:02 AM   #5
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The storage place is locked up today for the holiday, but I'll get a picture tomorrow.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:14 PM   #6
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This is the best picture that I could get of the tire cupping. There isn't much to see.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:44 PM   #7
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Has the wheel been checked for being bent?
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:41 AM   #8
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Check balance with a spin balancer. That rub against the curb mite have shifted the tire bead just enough to put it out of balance. Just a thought.
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