1. Offline

    drellen New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    US
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    Five
    I have a Prius 2009 Touring. I now have my THIRD bubble in the left front tire in only one year's time. Replacing otherwise brand new tires is getting expensive, not to mention annoying. I know this problem is supposedly from hitting something, and of course I've hit pot holes, but everyone does. This has happened now twice with the tire that came on the car (and its identical replacement) and also with brand new top of the line snow tires. Is there possibly something going on with the CAR that could be predisposing it to tire damage during normal driving?

    All ideas appreciated.
  2. Offline

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    Posts:
    17,509
    Likes Received:
    2,761
    Location:
    boston
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    that is very odd. i've seen it once or twice in 40 years of driving and never on my tires. what are they saying at the dealer?
  3. Offline

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Posts:
    2,300
    Likes Received:
    607
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Contact the tire manufacturer and if they don't rebate, change tire brands the next time you need tires.

    JeffD
  4. Offline

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Posts:
    12,441
    Likes Received:
    2,946
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    1. Tire damage will depend upon the depth of the potholes, and the speed of the vehicle as you travel through them.

    2. Touring has 195/55R16 tires. The 55 number means that there is less sidewall height, compared to the regular Prius which uses 185/65R15 tires. Hence, those tires are less able to handle road shock and there is a corresponding greater likelihood of damage to the aluminum wheels.

    3. If you are not able to reduce your vehicle speed as you drive through these potholes, and cannot change your commute to avoid them, then you may wish to consider moving to 185/65R15 tires and wheels for improved protection against tire damage. That tire size will also give you better winter tire performance as the tread is narrower.
    2 people like this.
  5. Offline

    jhinsc Active Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Posts:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I would say potholes are the enemy here. How often do you hit potholes? I've lived in area's where constant freeze/thaws throughout the winter were common and potholes were more prevalent, but I can recall hitting big potholes only a couple times during my 35 yrs of driving. Once I know of one, I try to avoid it at all costs - I know, sometimes easier said than done.
    1 people like this.
  6. Offline

    drellen New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    US
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    Five
    Thank you so much for this explanation. Unfortunately since I own two sets of tires in that size, I'm stuck for now. When I need a whole new set I will definitely change sizes.
  7. Offline

    redrockprius redrockprius

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Posts:
    154
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Patrick, I think it would be more accurate to state that the 195/55 tire has less sidewall HEIGHT than the 185/65 tire. There is nothing in the tire size descriptor that defines the thickness of the sidewall. That doesn't make your conclusion any less valid but it might remove some confusion.
    1 people like this.
  8. Offline

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    5,243
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Are you the only one driving this vehicle?

    You sure your other half isn't banging it up over curbs or do you have a teen sibling driving the car?

    I only ask as you really have to hit a tire hard to get a bump (or egg as we call them here) to develop on the sidewall. I'm a cabbie and haven't had an egg on the sidewall for years and I hit pot holes and speed bumps every day.

    Seriously check other drivers of the car.
  9. Offline

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Posts:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    USA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2009 Prius
    Would running the tires at higher pressure help?
  10. Offline

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Posts:
    2,300
    Likes Received:
    607
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Not after the bubble forms. :)

    JeffD
  11. Offline

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Posts:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    USA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2009 Prius
    Sorry I meant would higher pressure help preventing damage from potholes?
  12. Offline

    stevemcelroy Active Member

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Posts:
    867
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    II
    So it sounds like you have had 3 bubbles in at least 2 different models of tires. Did they happen on the same rim or different ones? If different how about placement on car - ie front drivers side? To me it would indicate something other than the tire itself. I do not have a touring so i have no direct experience, but i have not heard any rumblings of tire bubbles being endemic to the prius. Is there anything where you park regularly that might have something to do with it - perhaps a manhole cover or storm grate? Anything on the roads that you travel frequently?

    You mention that you sometimes hit potholes - what sort are we talking about? I live in the Philly area and am originally from Boston and both places have some monster ones where a single hit can do major damage - I hope that you are not talking about this sort. These are actually pretty easy to miss if you just keep a close eye on traffic ahead of you.
  13. Offline

    lextoy Junior Member

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Posts:
    70
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    philadelphia
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    what is your tire pressure?
    i think if its too low, potential for damage is greater.
    do you scrape agaisnt curbs when parking alot?
    do you go over any other obstacles, inside a parking garage, big speed bumps anywhere, inside gated community, etc.
    what brand of tire, and where do you live?
  14. Offline

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Posts:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    864
    Location:
    United States
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Higher pressure can help, but don't inflate more than the maximum given on the sidewall. Much the better plan is to stop hitting that pothole/curb/whatever.
  15. Offline

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Posts:
    403
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Maine
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    If you think potholes are the problem, be sure that you know how to drive through a pothole. Most people slam on the brakes and hit the pothole with the wheel not spinning. This creates a hard impact. In fact, you should release the brake just before impact and let the wheel roll through the pothole.
  16. Offline

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    5,243
    Likes Received:
    1,321
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A

Share This Page