: Got a blowout on my way to FL.



Night Wolf
06-24-07, 04:57 AM
Since I bought my Town car, I've been leery of the tires. On the car are 3 Michlen Symmetrys, and an XW4, the spare was the 4th Symmetry.

All the Symmetrys had dry rot cracks, not so bad on the tread, but on the sidewall, on a couple of the tires there were almost cracks around the whole tire, basically just above the white wall.

The XW4 didn't have any cracks, and also had more tread... when I took out the spare one time I saw it was oddly worn, which I bet had to do with the bad ball joint on that wheel. Anyway, last month when I got an alignment after replacing ball joints and tie rod ends, I was going to get new tires, but the guy said I have about 10k miles left on these tires... I measured out between 4-6 32nds of tread, so I figured I would get another year left.

Well on my way to FL, I had my music turned up, windows closed and climate control set to 74*. I had the cruise set at 72, and all of a sudden I felt a vibration... at first I thought it was something with the road... nope... road is freshly paved... then I thought the wheel threw a wheel weight... so I turned the music down and slowed down... but I heard the sound of a flat tire...

First time I ever got a flat tire on the road, the first time I ever got a flat tire anywhere was when I tried, and did run over a curb in the Coupe 2 years ago and tore the side wall...

Really it wasn't anything bad at all, I didn't even know what the heck it was until I was stopped too. I was expecting to see a deflated tire and a nail or something sticking out... I was kinda shocked to see the tire though.

So then the fun begins, I hop in the trunk and pull out the spare (which I did service with proper air when I first got the car) and got the jack and lug nut wrench which were in a neat black bag, and appeared to have never once been used... old folks in FL must have had roadside assistance.

So I break the lug nuts free, remembered to turn off the air suspension (I've been really good with that) and start to jack the car up. When I pulled off the road, there wasn't much of a shoulder, and I went about an ince too far, as the edge of the jack was off the pavement an on the grass, but it still looked like it was fine, well I get the wheel just off the ground, and I see the jack, with the weight of the car on it start to shift... not good, so I start to lower the jack... well, I must have got a turn and a half out of the jack handle before the whole car shifted sideways, falling off the jack and pinning the jack between the frame and the pavement, slightly benging the frame of the jack.

Well that stinks, cause I had to room to turn the jack handle at all to get it to collapse, and that was my only jack, I'd have to call AAA or flag somebody down.... but I was thinking... there had to be a way to lift the car a bit so I can get the jack free.

Well, part of the Lincoln air bag suspension is that it levels the car out when off, and when running, it rasies the rear a couple inches for better ride and stuff.... I remembered this, and I fliped the air suspension back on, put the key in the ignition, turned the ignition on and waited a minute... sure enough the car started it raise itself, and I was able to easily get the jack out from under the car. So I went around, got back in the car, fired it up and drove it back onto the shoulder, making sure I was completly off the grass this time.

Rest of the ride was trouble free, when I got to Aimee's I went out to get tires, looked around for best price... I knew the exact tire I wanted. Goodyear Assurance ComforTred. The same exact tire I had on the Coupe 5 weeks before it was stolen... it was an awesome tire and I coudln't wait to get it on the Town Car.

So, Sears actually had them, and matched Tire Kingdom on price. All 4 tires with everything included and road hazzard came to $550... alot cheaper then I paid last year at the Good Year dealer... heh.

Right before I left my house, I saw my Sears card on the counter and wasn't going to take it, but figured I would in case I needed anything... good though tho, cause the tires went on that.

So that Michilen XW4 which was in the best shape with most tred is my new spare, I've got a slick set of new Assurance ComforTreds, and I had an alignment done at Sears a few weeks ago, I asked them to check it, and they did.... my camber was way out, they fixed it... but he dosn't know how it happened... he said it had nothing to do with the new front end components, and I didn't hit anything either... but that is all fixed now.

80k mile tire, there is no tire noise at all, and the car rides really smooth, exactly what I wanted. It is not made for handling, and neither is the car. There is a decent amount of side wall flex and going down the highway and swerving the car sharply feels like all 4 tires are piviting around an axis... but the car responds well in evasive manuvers, but most of all it rides smoother, which is what I wanted. I quickly thought about the TripleTreds, which are more of a touring/sporty tire... because my Town Car does have the handling package, and did handle pretty well... but I'd rather have the quietness, smoothness, traction and tredwear of the ComforTreds again, so I got those.

All in all, I am very happy... wasn't exactly ready for new tires just yet, as the Isuzu needs new tires really soon (probably as soon as these are paid off) but I had to, as I would have had no spare, and the other tires were really in no better shape.

Here are some pictures of the damage... just a cell phone picture... no damge to the car when it fell on the jack except a really tiny chip on the rocker planel plastic trim from part of the jack scraping against it, and the jack is slightly bent, but still works fine.

I can't say I've even seen a passenger car tire go like this... but no doubt due to the cracks, which were dead center of where the whole thing blew out... I wasn't going excessively fast either (72mph) and I keep my tire pressures where the should be often. No loud bang, no jerk of the car, no swerve... just all of a sudden a slight vibration... It probably could have been alot worse.... either way it turned out very well, I always feel very safe in this car.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/misc/cid_32.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/misc/cid_667.jpg

Red_October_7000
06-24-07, 10:43 AM
Wow man. My ladyfriend had a blowout once, but only because some dipshit with an air hose put something like 70 pounds in the tire. I know this because I checked the other ones and sure enough, they were all set to wonky values. I had a compact spare blow out on me and that ended it for me with those tires. Now I have a full-size spare.

Jesda
06-24-07, 11:07 AM
Bad things happen to you.

thebigjimsho
06-24-07, 12:58 PM
I never had so many blowouts as I did in Town Cars with Symmetry tires. It seemed like I'd get one once a year. Granted, working for a limo company, you can get some shmucks who are abusive to the cars. But still.

Since the latest Gen TC, they went to the Michelin Energy LX4. Seems to be a MUCH sturdier tire. I haven't seen many blowouts with this tire. Since going out on my own, I haven't had any blowouts. In fact, back in April I hit a fresh pothole in Boston that was so bad, it had taken out 9 car's tires. The TC hit it hard on both passenger side tires. It was the most violent crash I've felt. The tires were damaged with bubbles but they didn't go flat. I was able to order 2 more through the TireRack and get them while still driving on those bubbled tires for 2 days.

FYI, in case either one or both went, I have a full size spare AND a donut spare as well...

Michelin Energy LX4 FTW!!

Night Wolf
06-24-07, 01:24 PM
Yeah, I wasn't too impressed with those Symmetries. I asked a couple different places, some guys said the Michilen was alot better then Goodyear, and other way around.

All I gotta say is, I am really happy with these tires. Like I said, not a sporty tire, and just like on my Coupe, handling went down a bit... kinda stinks cause the car does have the handling package, but it sure does ride nice.

If I had an Eldorado ETC or a Mark VIII or something that was a luxury touring car, I would have gotten the triple treds... those would improve the handling... but putting something like that on the Town Car... espeically when it is primarily my highway car... just seemed wrong.

Jesda
06-24-07, 01:46 PM
Michelin Energys are less prone to blowouts, but noisy and rough. I'd go with Bridgestone Potenzas.

thebigjimsho
06-24-07, 03:23 PM
Michelin Energys are less prone to blowouts, but noisy and rough. I'd go with Bridgestone Potenzas.Energys noisy and rough? habadaba? Not the LX4s. Not at all. If they were, I would not have them on the Town Car.

And I'll tell you. Like running on street tires on the track to better learn car control and then changing to slicks, I can make that Town Car L do things most people would be surprised to see.

thebigjimsho
06-24-07, 03:32 PM
Yeah, I wasn't too impressed with those Symmetries. I asked a couple different places, some guys said the Michilen was alot better then Goodyear, and other way around.

All I gotta say is, I am really happy with these tires. Like I said, not a sporty tire, and just like on my Coupe, handling went down a bit... kinda stinks cause the car does have the handling package, but it sure does ride nice.

If I had an Eldorado ETC or a Mark VIII or something that was a luxury touring car, I would have gotten the triple treds... those would improve the handling... but putting something like that on the Town Car... espeically when it is primarily my highway car... just seemed wrong.I've owned a number of Goodyear tires and Michelin tires. The Goodyears are from GT+4 to RS-A to F1 Supercar EMT. NONE have ever wore evenly to the treadbars. NONE. And believe me, my alignments are always good. While I think they are decent performers, I think they come out with a good design and milk it too long. They never seem to improve on a tire.

I've got Michelins on both my cars. Probably among the softest, lowest performance in the Energy LX4 and Michelin's most intense street tire, the Pilot Sport 2. I am thoroughly impressed with both. The energy is perfect for the TC with a great, quiet ride and even wearing. I've been able to max out the life on the first 2 sets of tires on my '04 TC. I'm on my 3rd set at 210,000 miles and I could get to about 270,000 on 3 complete sets. I could go on and on about the virtues of the Pilot Sport 2. But they have improved upon that tire multiple times since its release. The handling, turn-in, control throughout suspension loading, wet handling are all incredible and make the tire well worth the price. I'll let you know how they wear as they do.

I used to be a Goodyear proponent and hated Michelins. Maybe it was the chubby Bibendum dude. But I am a Michelin guy bigtime right now...

Eric Kahn
06-24-07, 04:20 PM
it looks like someone in the past ran the car with really low tires, and with the ozone cracking, that kind of blowout is going to happen

and as to tire choice, I would rather have cheap no name black donuts than goodyear, and I get a discount on goodyear through work

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-24-07, 05:53 PM
Rick, you're a veritable lightning rod for bad luck.

Jesda
06-24-07, 06:17 PM
Michelin's OEM products are complete and utter garbage.

I'm riding on a brand new set of these:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Energy+MXV4+Plus#Survey

Nice even wear, predictable grip, horrible noise and rough ride. They got very annoying on certain road surfaces.

thebigjimsho
06-24-07, 06:54 PM
Michelin's OEM products are complete and utter garbage.

I'm riding on a brand new set of these:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Energy+MXV4+Plus#Survey

Nice even wear, predictable grip, horrible noise and rough ride. They got very annoying on certain road surfaces.Sorry to hear that. But I doubt you've run a 2004 Town Car with Michelin Energy LX4 tires.

One thing I've learned very quickly in the world of tires. They perform differently depending on the car, its suspension and the driver. Each variable can vary greatly. A great tire anywhere else can royally suck on a particular car because of weight, suspension, whatever.

I'm getting 90,000 miles on the LX4 for each set. They are incredibly quiet and the ride is excellent even with a decent amount of control for a 225 wide tire and a 4500lb dry curb weight. Maybe they suck on any other car, but they certainly do NOT suck on a Town Car.

And the PS2 is the best tire ever made IMO.

thebigjimsho
06-24-07, 06:56 PM
I've ridden and driven multiple Q45s before. 1 was complete and utter garbage. The others were nice, 1 was immaculate. Then I saw one in the junkyard. Yuck.

Jesda
06-24-07, 07:29 PM
Thats interesting and all, but I don't own a Q45. :)

Michelin Energy MXV4 = Awful
Michelin Pilot Exalto = Excellent

Wiseguy2
06-25-07, 03:08 AM
MXV4s don't suck, they swallow and felch.

Let's see.. usually the most expensive choice in a size, they handle like crap, suck in the rain..etc.

I like my Pirellis and Eagle F1 GSD3s.

96Fleetwood
06-25-07, 10:53 AM
You are lucky the rear bumper cover and fender survived. The last time I had a blow out like that in my old '70 Coupe deville Convertible, it sent the fenderskirt flying across the highway and me spinning like mad...

malcolm
06-26-07, 04:35 PM
Most people assume incorrectly that a front tire blowout is the worst but it's the rear tire blowout that is much more dangerous.

I really got to start wearing my reading glasses. At first glance I thought this thread was titled "I got a blowjob on my way to FL".

dwight.j.carter
06-26-07, 08:56 PM
Michelin tires are garbage. It almost looks like they harden with time as well. I have two left to replace.