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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was surprised to find that both front 19 inch Bridgestone S-O3s tires had serious cracks on the inboard sides. These cracks look like weather cracks, but the tires are only a couple of years old (<20K miles) and the car is garaged. The outsides of both tires look normal.

These cracks only appeared in the last five thousand miles. Car has not been autocrossed or raced during that time. Tire pressures are checked and set evey month (35-38 lbs usually). I have hit a couple of Boston potholes, could that cause the cracking? Why just the insides?

Glad I checked! Anybody got a theory?

Thanks in advance
 
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SouthshoreM5 said:
I was surprised to find that both front 19 inch Bridgestone S-O3s tires had serious cracks on the inboard sides. These cracks look like weather cracks, but the tires are only a couple of years old (<20K miles) and the car is garaged. The outsides of both tires look normal.

These cracks only appeared in the last five thousand miles. Car has not been autocrossed or raced during that time. Tire pressures are checked and set evey month (35-38 lbs usually). I have hit a couple of Boston potholes, could that cause the cracking? Why just the insides?

Glad I checked! Anybody got a theory?

Thanks in advance
Not sure about your tires, but tires do crack from exposure to heat. This is apparent in hot climates.

Cheers, Daniel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Daniel,

Not that much heat here in the Northeast.....

Munky,

No, it gets driven 10K miles + per year.
 
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SouthshoreM5 said:
Daniel,

Not that much heat here in the Northeast.....
I know, but aside from heat/sun exposure, I am not sure what could lead to cracking, unless the tires have a manufacturing defect. Alignment issues, could lead to excessive wear on the insides, but not to cracking. It will be interesting to discover what has caused this. It may be helpful if you have a chance to post a photo of the cracking.

Cheers, Daniel.
 

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You say the cracking is only found on the inside sidewalls and cracking is caused by exposure to heat? Wouldn't they be exposed to engine heat on that side? Just a guess. I'd have them checked by a tire expert just in case you got a bad batch.
 

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The number one reason is UV light from the sun.......even in the coolest of climates this is a concern. A tire protectant not a polish will slow the process.

Heat......minor concern......

Lack of use would be a greater concern when compared to heat.

I share this based on those vehicle that I have stored for long periods of time, those that I drive, and ............ the tire producers themself.

Take care.

Shadowman
 

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hey,Bill

I heard somwhere else that SO3s develop these cracks.. on roadfly there was a picture of the 18" SO3 crack on the outside... might talk to Bridgestone

Time to get Micelin PS2 - they are great
 
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The only problem with associating this with sun damage, is that the sun would have a very hard time shining on the inside edge ;).

Cheers, Daniel.
 

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Ozone causes cracks. Certain rubber compounds are more suseptible to cracks. Race tire compounds are especially crack-prone & I've seen some crack in 2 years.

If you do some internet searches, you may find some information that could result in Bridgestone "good will" free replacements. Sounds like the problem is widespread. Try contacting your tire dealer first. Generally these cracks do not extend into the carcass & cause safety issues, so some cheap SOB's (like me) run them with the cracks.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: What causes front tires to "crack"? - link to pictures

Thanks to all that replied.

I posted a few pictures of the cracks at:

http://community.webshots.com/album/202723634Pszeoc

Lscman - thanks for the insight. I guess S-03 owners should check their tires carefully. I'm not sure I would feel confident running these tires on the street, let alone on the track with these cracks. That said, I've taken the 19s off the car and returned to the factory rims and Pilot Sports.

Maybe the pictures will provide more details for you guys.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Ilya Zverev said:
Time to get Micelin PS2 - they are great
Wait until next spring for the PS2s. They suck in cold weather.

Go to Pilot Sport A/S for the winter.

Jeff :cheers:
 

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Wow Bill, those are some pretty serious cracking issues. I would definately call Bridgestone and see if they will give you some answers and a deal on some new tires. Let me know if you want to get some new tires as I have a wholesale account with tirerack and can hopefully save you some money.
 
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Re: What causes front tires to "crack"? - link to pictures

SouthshoreM5 said:
Thanks to all that replied.

I posted a few pictures of the cracks at:

http://community.webshots.com/album/202723634Pszeoc

Lscman - thanks for the insight. I guess S-03 owners should check their tires carefully. I'm not sure I would feel confident running these tires on the street, let alone on the track with these cracks. That said, I've taken the 19s off the car and returned to the factory rims and Pilot Sports.

Maybe the pictures will provide more details for you guys.

Regards,
Bill
From the photos, it is clearly not from sun. It looks most definitely to be due to manufacturer defect. I would contact Bridgestone for replacements! That looks pretty bad, and makes me think twice about getting SO-3s. Seems like we now have another reason to get Michelins.

Cheers, Daniel.
 

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Yow! That's not minor cracking. That's ply/tread separation and it's very serious. Go to a tire dealer and get them replaced right away even if you have to pay for it. You might even consider having it towed. You can argue about whether or not you get paid later. Make sure the tires are kept so you have evidence. Assuming you're running stock size tires and wheels and have no clearance problems this is most definitely a defect unless you run your tires underinflated and overheat them all the time.
 

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Bridgestone = Firestone, remember the old Ford Explorer issue? You may have uncovered a nasty can of worms, as they say round here....
 

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I agree with all said, those are some NASTY cracks. Look like retreads. grrrrrrr

Please let us know how you make out with Bridgestone.
 

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Having now seen the pictures I too agree.. the cracking I was expecting is not what I am seeing.......those are extreme cracks........almost looks like the outer edge are cracking at the belt line......low pressure????? Regardless it is something worthy of having the tire company give feed back on...... could have been very ugly.

Does not appear to be a Ozone or UV problem.......

Shadowman
 

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Im wondering if Bridgestone knows of these issues.


As for the comment about Bridgestone being Firestone...while they are owned by the same parent company, they are hardly the same company.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: What causes front tires to "crack"? - update

I called the Bridgestone tech line and was told to bring the tires to a nearby Firestone dealer so they can look at it and then call them back afterwards.

The guy on the phone didn't admit to any known problems, no surprise. :3:
 
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