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When I think of tire-inflation testing, my mind boggles with scenes of massive blowouts — breaking S#!$ is so much fun! I’m sure the tire-retreading industry keeps spectacular failures to a minimum, but the shielding on the machine tells me they’re not impossible.

Here you’re looking at the car-tire-inflation tester — the truck-tire version is a bit *heftier*. Despite my love of destruction, I find it reassuring to think that retread tires might actually be tested before they get reused on the highway, driving alongside my car.

Tire-Inflation Tester [Matteuzzi]


7 Responses to It’s Just Cool: When Tires Go Boom

  1. This reminds me about two stories that happened at my grandparents farm. They had an old behemoth of an air compressor that they used to fill the tires of tractors, milk trucks, or whatever other equipment needed air. This thing probably had a 100 gallon tank I’m not sure what the regulator was set for, but knowing the old farmhands it was probably set for whatever the compressors maximum was.

    One of the old farmhands told me that once he was filling up a tire on a milk truck — think of a tire halfway between semi and big pickup. He said that he wasn’t paying attention and over filled the tire. When it blew he said it threw him 10 feet on his posterior. I’m not sure if I believed him, but to this day I ALWAYS pay close attention when I’m filling tires.

    My sister got a new scooter — the kind with 12 inch tires. Out of the box the tires were a little low. So being about 12 years old, I brought it over to the farm with my sister and used the old compressor. I think I had the nozzle on for like 5 seconds and the tire blew with a loud BANG! They heard it about a quarter mile away back at my grandparent’s house. My sister, about 6 or 7 at the time, was balling her head off. I, on the other hand, couldn’t keep from laughing, that was until we tried to replace the 12 inch tube. We had a tough time getting a replacement — and for some reason they wouldn’t cover it under warranty.

  2. ChrisW says:

    I know truck and aircraft tires are often recapped, but does anyone out there use them for their cars?

  3. Brau says:

    When I was young I over filled my bicycle tire until it exploded, thinking I could do it like the big boys did – just by squeezing the tire to see if it was hard enough. The sound leaf me damn close to deaf for 2 days and ruptured my left eardrum causing a loss of higher frequencies in that ear for the rest of my life.

    I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a car tire exploding!

    I have often wondered if pressure testing by overinflating a tire would do more harm than good. I’ve yet to see any stats, but it seems to me there would also be a potential for weakening a tire that might not blow if it were never exposed to higher pressures.

  4. ChrisW says:

    I once had a bicycle tube go flat while I was riding through Washington DC. Fortunately, I was able to buy a tube nearby and was carrying it through a busy downtown plaza when all 110 PSI decided to leave at once. The woman who was sitting closest screamed and everyone turned to see who had been shot. I held up my wheel and said “Oh! My tire blew out”. I apolgised to the woman and slinked back to the bike store for another tube.

  5. Teacher says:

    When I was a kid, late 60’s early 70’s, my dad ran recaps on all our cars. Never had any problems with them.

  6. Jeff says:

    It is illegal to use recaps on any passenger vehicle.

  7. Larry says:

    Most of the treads lying all over the highway are more than likely caused by under inflation. Driver error/inattention. Preventable and potentially life threatening, like cell phone abuse. If they would just enforce the code that’s already there! Good luck with that (when the cops are seen texting and jabbering their merry way down the highway weaving from side to side)!

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