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In researching how Bolt owners deal with (or don’t deal with) not having a spare tire, I came across posts where Bolt owners experienced non-repairable sidewall damage after scraping the curb or running into a pothole. I’ve scraped a curb or two and have run into my share of unavoidable potholes with my other vehicles, but never experienced any significant damage. Is it an issue with the particular tire or its low profile?
 

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Michelin tires are known to have "soft" sidewalls in order to provide a more comfortable ride. The downside is that they are somewhat more vulnerable to sidewall damage. My wife cut a curb too closely a year ago, pinching the sidewall against it, and ruining the tire. It is what it is....
 

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I forgot what tires I had on the first Bolt (leased 2017-2019), but I recall the sidewall aspect ratio was 50 and they were "low rolling resistance". In 45K miles I lost three tires to sidewall damage, one curb and two pothole events.

The new Bolt, an EUV this time, also came with 215/50R17's low rolling resistance (Michelin), which surprised me with a wall damage at around 2,500 miles. I didn't even hit the curb or drove over it, just kind of pushed against it with the front wheel, trying to get close enough to the proximity reader to swipe my access badge. Kind of the same impact you might have while parallel parking.

So yes, in 47.5K miles four tires lost. Compare and contrast with the rest of the vehicles that I drove for the past 20+ years at 30-40K mi/year average (including smaller vehicles). That was enough dejavu, so I bought 16" hubs and somewhat fatter tires, 215/55R16 Goodyear Weatheready. They do ride more softly, but it's too early to say if they are more sturdy.

Spare tire: Ironically, the EUV has what looks like a donut compartment under the floor in the cargo area, but it's perhaps 1/2" smaller than the minimal size spare the Bolt can run on. I use this compartment for all kinds of emergency stuff, so it's not just sitting idle.
 

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I developed a sidewall bubble from my recent trip to Texas... probably from Snappy's Mart's unusual wavy asphault (which you can't see at night) near the EA chargers, or maybe a rough section of I-85 in South Carolina. I think it was from Snappy's because that was a bump in magnitude I have never ever experienced in any car, ever!
 

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In researching how Bolt owners deal with (or don’t deal with) not having a spare tire, I came across posts where Bolt owners experienced non-repairable sidewall damage after scraping the curb or running into a pothole. I’ve scraped a curb or two and have run into my share of unavoidable potholes with my other vehicles, but never experienced any significant damage. Is it an issue with the particular tire or its low profile?
Based on what I've read here...yes. Granted, it's pretty anecdotal.
 

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It depends. Having been in the tire business, I notice them more than most. When a car a few years old would go up on the lift for new tires, sometimes the wheels didn't have a scratch on them. Sometimes, all four would have major curb rash. That is the difference in drivers and use.

A few vehicles are worse than others for accruing wheel damage. Look at the right rear wheel on Tesla Model 3s. They're often rashed, as the rear wheels are slightly more to the rear and further out than some drivers are accustomed to. This causes them to clip the curb on right turns.

Because parking on sidewalks is common in European cities, German car manufacturers assume their cars will be jumping curbs. They specify tires with a heavier strip of rubber on the sidewall and wheels which have the outer lip protected by the tire bead area. Thus, Porsche, Audi, VW, BMW, M-B with OEM wheels and tires are less likely to exhibit curb rash. (I just looked at a Porsche Macan where the owner had tossed the OEM wheels and paid bucks for wider aftermarket 22" wheels and 35-series tires, where the wheel lip extended past the tire sidewall. He must have thought them cool when new, but after they were all curb-rashed, they looked like shite.)

jack vines
 

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Discount Tire sells a road hazard certificate for OEM tire lines that they carry. It requires a tire inspection.

I forgot what tires I had on the first Bolt (leased 2017-2019), but I recall the sidewall aspect ratio was 50 and they were "low rolling resistance". In 45K miles I lost three tires to sidewall damage, one curb and two pothole events.

The new Bolt, an EUV this time, also came with 215/50R17's low rolling resistance (Michelin), which surprised me with a wall damage at around 2,500 miles. I didn't even hit the curb or drove over it, just kind of pushed against it with the front wheel, trying to get close enough to the proximity reader to swipe my access badge. Kind of the same impact you might have while parallel parking.

So yes, in 47.5K miles four tires lost. Compare and contrast with the rest of the vehicles that I drove for the past 20+ years at 30-40K mi/year average (including smaller vehicles). That was enough dejavu, so I bought 16" hubs and somewhat fatter tires, 215/55R16 Goodyear Weatheready. They do ride more softly, but it's too early to say if they are more sturdy.

Spare tire: Ironically, the EUV has what looks like a donut compartment under the floor in the cargo area, but it's perhaps 1/2" smaller than the minimal size spare the Bolt can run on. I use this compartment for all kinds of emergency stuff, so it's not just sitting idle.
Do you know if the switch to the Goodyear Weatherready tires resulted in any change to your vehicle's efficiency? I read a post somewhere else where someone replaced the stock tires and their EV lost about 15% of its range. I do not recall them providing any empirical evidence or making any statements about changes in weather that may have contributed to the loss in range so am wondering if you have experienced any range degradation that could be directly contributed to the tire change. Thanks!
 

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21 Sienna "Sparkollz" 22 EUV "Titinsky"
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Do you know if the switch to the Goodyear Weatherready tires resulted in any change to your vehicle's efficiency? I read a post somewhere else where someone replaced the stock tires and their EV lost about 15% of its range. I do not recall them providing any empirical evidence or making any statements about changes in weather that may have contributed to the loss in range so am wondering if you have experienced any range degradation that could be directly contributed to the tire change. Thanks!
I am almost certain the Weatheready will reduce the efficiency, somewhat, because they are not "low rolling resistance", but it will take some driving time to determine the %%. From what I have seen during the two driving days I am guessing the loss is less than 10%, but I haven't driven on the interstate at all, only 25, 35, 45 and 55 mph roads @45F
 

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2021 Chevy Bolt Premiere
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Bought a used 2017 Bolt in 2020(Carvana); had 33K miles. Rear tires looked new(same Michelins as OEM);
fronts looked original to the car. Drove that car for a few months - no issues. GM bought back car due to battery
recall. Based on the HOV stickers - car was originally from Cali. Based on how the car looked underneath and
under the hood - I'd say southern Cali. Cars in areas with snow - just look different.

Bought a 2021 Bolt new in April of 2021. Drove it for 13K miles on original tires - no issues. GM swapped
us to a 2022 Bolt EV, due to the battery recall.

Been driving our 2022 EV now since Sept - only 2K miles so far. No problems. Have driven all three Bolts
mostly in the north east area - New York City, upstate NY, PA, DE, NJ, VA, MD, etc. Midwest; MO, OH, IN, etc.
Southeast; FL, NC, SC, etc. All kinds of weather; 100 degree summers, thunderstorms, snow.

Not one tire failure; or even a flat.

But I still keep a full sized spare. Since we do a bit of road trips with our EV. :D
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Synthetic rubber
 

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My first and only sidewall bubble was on the Bolt's oem tires. Combined with anecdotal evidence from other owners. I'm inclined to say yes.

Maybe it's the particular tire, maybe Chevy should have went with a higher load rating, hard to say.
 

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2017 with OEM tires, used six months per year, no flats, no sidewall issues.

This summer will probably be their last, as we don't run our tires down to the wear bars. One thunderstorm, water standing in low areas on the freeway and it will become obvious why.

jack vines
 

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The OEM Bolt tires are not low profile and are not subject to any worse sidewall damage than any other "regular" tire.
On my ICE cars, I have bought used AND OVER-SIZED tires for 120,000+ miles. I love them, giving my small cars, a bigger feel on highways AND in corners. If & when I can buy a Chevy Bolt, I will replace the OE 215x50x17 inch tires with already owned 225x50x17 inch &/or 215x55x17 inch tires. People on this forum stated they have done such with both tire sizes to good advantage.
 

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Can't speak to sidewalls, but I do keep picking up nails. I suspect someone's spreading them on the road just ahead of me. Haven't seen that silver Aston Martin DB5 in traffic yet, but I just know that one day I'll find it parked sideways across four Electrify America units.
 

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In 45K miles I lost three tires to sidewall damage, one curb and two pothole events.
Man, this just boggles my mind. I've got nearly a million kilometres of driving behind me and over 125K in my Bolt, and I have never, ever had sidewall damage. I've hit my share of potholes, but I generally leave enough room between me and the guy ahead of me that I can see and avoid most of them. My wife angled into a curb at high speed once and shredded a sidewall (and the rim), but that was a pretty egregious incident and not something you would ever blame on the tire.

There has just got to be some difference in driving style or road conditions that accounts for this crazy difference.
 
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