Bolt Tire Blowout / Flat - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Bolt Tire Blowout / Flat

We have owned our Chevy Bolt for just over a year, and love it, and also love the gas savings. So, about 5 years ago we moved further away from my work, and I never had a flat tire in my life before we moved. Now, I get a flat tire on one of my vehicles every couple of years (I guess more time on a road equals more ability to get a flat) Now I take you to this week, where I was driving the Bolt to work and even though I did not see anything on the road, on a highway I was travelling on at around 80kmh (50 mph)....I heard an ever so small sound from my rear tire, and then the tire monitor popped up in front of me and I was losing air fast. I pulled over at around 60 pounds and by the time I got out to check, the tire was almost flat hearing a large air leak. My first thought was to get the spare and get back on the road, but I opened up the back to find (like most new cars) only an air pump and some goop. I tried that, and only heard more air come out. The goop could do nothing. I called road assist to tow it, and worked out a plan to have my wife bring me another vehicle, and thus got to work only an hour late. Here's where it gets expensive. The dealer reported the next day that the tire was not repairable, and that the rim had a chip/hole in it from what ever I hit. So, the rim at best needs repair, and a new tire is needed. The rim repair and assessment was going to take days, so I elected to buy a new wheel, and I'll get the other one fixed, and buy the cheaper version of our tire and make a spare out of it. (because with a spare I can always get to work on time) I'm throwing this out there to see if anyone else has or will have this problem. There was no item in the tire, anywhere, even though it did so much damage. I have a high def dash cam, and reviewed it, and cannot see anything that could have done this. I checked the entire road where I had driven as I was waiting for the tow, nothing found. The wheel is $550, and the tire is $275 , so almost $1000 after labour and all. I think when these tires wear out, I'm going to cheaper non self sealing, as I think it's pointless to have self sealing. From what I have read, self sealing are only good for 1/4" or less, and most repair places claim they are never plug-able. At first I thought maybe something came off the car, or maybe someone shot at me. I'll never know. And because I didn't have a spare, I have to believe everything is true from the repair shop. Who knows, maybe the tire was fixable, maybe the rim damage was done to it (after) to make me purchase a new rim. Oh, and now they are showing me a $500 tire and rim insurance policy that I never heard of before this. Kinda funny now how a simple flat turns into a $1000 bill for me and I can now buy into a warranty for my tires. I'm going to create a spare and stop this money pit.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:28 PM
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You owned a car for a year and never noticed it didn't have a spare?
The goop kit inflator is aftermarket equipment on the USA. Required for cars sold in Canada?
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:01 PM
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You're lucky if you never had a flat before. I've had dozens of leaks, and probably half a dozen flats, though I drove like a hooligan when I was young.

I'd be curious to see the photo of the tire, because it looks like something sharp and deep not only punctured it, but gouged the wheel. As long as that gouge doesn't go through, then I see no reason why that burr can't be filed down and the wheel reused, unless whatever you hit made it out of round too. That damage seems like you'd have to have felt an impact, but I wasn't there so I don't know.

The damage you encountered is pretty rare; rare enough that I don't feel the need to carry a spare. 90% of punctures are repairable with a plug. No tire shop is going to tell you a plug is ok, but that's because they want to sell you $1000 of new stuff. Plug gets you going in 5 minutes for $1 for most punctures, with no removal of the wheel.

There's some chance a plug could have put you back on the road, but you didn't include photos of the tire damage.

People on here have mostly had success with self-sealing tires. I bet there's a lot more that have had success and don't even know it because it's working for them.

I don't let tire shops tell me what to do, or sell me things I don't need.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:06 PM
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Welcome to "Make My Day Auto Repair". Sounds like your tire was shot at. I'd go to the repair shop and insist they show me the damaged rim and tire. "Trust - but verify..."
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:26 PM
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Welcome to "Make My Day Auto Repair". Sounds like your tire was shot at. I'd go to the repair shop and insist they show me the damaged rim and tire. "Trust - but verify..."
I went overnight hiking/camping up a logging road once. Hiked back and drove home, and noticed the rear tire was low based on how the Jeep drove. I put a can of fix-a-flat in thinking it would seal the leak... then discovered the leak was a 9mm bullet in the tread. The whole can of fix-a-flat puked onto my garage floor when I pried the bullet out. Should have investigated the leak first... and never use fix-a-flat since plugs are better. Needed new tires anyhow.

Don't know if it was an accidental shot, or if someone just hates Jeeps (I don't like 'em, but not enough to shoot at LOL).

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Old 06-14-2019, 05:32 PM
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FYI, I just bought a new tire from the dealer for $200 after tax. I hope $275 was at least the mounted fee.

Sorry about your tire/rim - I had a screw in the inner sidewall and had to replace a tire too.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:24 PM
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I think your plan of using your repaired wheel for a spare tire makes sense. Normally I'd advise against buying a new OEM rim just for a spare (because of the expense) but in your case I would not want to rely on a damaged/repaired wheel on the car all the time in case the repair spontaneously failed. Still if the cost to repair your rim is more than $100 CAD I'd probably pass on that and pick up a steel wheel instead to use as my spare.

$275 CAD is just over $200 USD so I guess in-line with what others are paying for the (occasionally) self sealing tires from the dealer.

Make sure you get a jack that's compatible with the Bolt, most automotive scissor jacks that come with cars (that come with spares) don't mate with the factory lift points under the car. People have found that a jack from a Chevy S-10 or GMC Jimmy will work pretty well and that's what I have. There are already a number of threads on this issue I can point you to one if you like.


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Old 06-15-2019, 11:41 AM
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...The damage you encountered is pretty rare; rare enough that I don't feel the need to carry a spare. 90% of punctures are repairable with a plug. No tire shop is going to tell you a plug is ok, but that's because they want to sell you $1000 of new stuff. Plug gets you going in 5 minutes for $1 for most punctures, with no removal of the wheel.

There's some chance a plug could have put you back on the road, but you didn't include photos of the tire damage.

People on here have mostly had success with self-sealing tires. I bet there's a lot more that have had success and don't even know it because it's working for them.
I am with @redpoint5 on this one

FWIW, I recently picked-up a huge nail. With the goop in the tire, it held for a while with a slow leak. One morning the tire was down to about 22 PSI, so I hunted and found the nail (in my case, it was in the bottom of the tire between some tread ridges). I pulled the nail and the tire hissed itself flat in about 10 seconds.

I tried rolling the car a tiny bit to redistribute the goop, but with the tire completely flat, I couldn't move it too much for fear of destroying the sidewall. I tried re-inflating, but it was a no go. It would not hold any air.

Instead of getting a tow, I actually put the nail back in and re-inflated it. It held for the 5 miles I needed to get to the shop.

I thought it would have to be replaced, but my mechanic (an independent guy who thinks about saving customers money first) decided to plug it.

We watched it closely for a couple of days. With the plug (and a possible assist from the goop?) the tire has been fine for weeks and a couple of hundred miles.

The mechanic didn't charge me since I have been a regular for many years and many cars, but I think they usually charge $15-$20 for a plug job. (I gave him a bottle of his favored Vodka instead).

He said that these days, the tire manufacturers push the idea of an interior patch with a nipple that serves as a sort of plug, but he didn't know if that would work in a self-sealing tire, so he went with the plug, installed from the exterior while the tire is still mounted (which he's been doing for decades and feels comfortable with).

So for anyone else who gets a big enough hole that the goop alone can't mend, definitely consider trying a plug. It may save you a lot of money. And if it doesn't work well, you can always go for a new tire later.

(I don't do too much distance driving typically, and don't want to go the spare and jack route, but I was tempted. I did get the aftermarket pump and extra goop in case I get a smaller puncture that the self-seal alone can't fix. 'Not sure that will help if I get another big puncture, but I figure it can't hurt).

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Old 06-15-2019, 11:54 AM
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I tried rolling the car a tiny bit to redistribute the goop, but with the tire completely flat, I couldn't move it too much for fear of destroying the sidewall. I tried re-inflating, but it was a no go. It would not hold any air.
Just an FYI, the self-sealing tires that come with the Bolt don't have goop (as I originally thought), but instead have a strip of self-sealing material in the tread area of the tire.

I guess that's how you do self-sealing without the junk fouling up the pressure sensors. I certainly wouldn't use the actual Goop type of sealant unless I happened to be without a $2 plug kit (which I carry in every vehicle).


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Old 06-15-2019, 02:00 PM
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Just an FYI, the self-sealing tires that come with the Bolt don't have goop (as I originally thought), but instead have a strip of self-sealing material in the tread area of the tire.

I guess that's how you do self-sealing without the junk fouling up the pressure sensors. I certainly wouldn't use the actual Goop type of sealant unless I happened to be without a $2 plug kit (which I carry in every vehicle).

How about that- thanks @redpoint5 . I pictured goop sloshing around inside, but this makes much better sense.

I am going to get one of those plug kits to carry!

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