Slashed Tires – What to Do and How to Tell Slashed or Blowout

One car owner’s worry is finding one of their tires flat after parking their cars on the street. Was it slashed, or did it have a blowout? This article will discuss slashed tires – what to do and how to tell slashed or blowout.

If a tire is slashed, there will be obvious straight breaks or cut marks on the tread or the sidewalls. The cuts on the tire will not have ragged or jagged edges. But if it is a tire blow-out, the cuts will be irregular in shape. They will be uneven and mostly ragged.

Look closely at the cut on your tire. It was probably done with a knife or a sharp blade if it is straight and clean. Some people also use nails or screwdrivers to stab other people’s tires deliberately. If you suspect that road hazards did not cause the cut, your tire was likely intentionally cut.

Read on to learn more about slashed and blowout tires, how to tell the difference, and what you can do if this happens to your tires.

Slashed Tire vs. Blowout Tire

Slashed Tires

Straight and Clean Edges of Slashed Tires

You can tell if you have a slashed or a blowout tire by the appearance of the cuts or breaks on the rubber. If it was slashed, the cut is straight and has clean edges. On the other hand, if it is a tire blowout, the cut edges will be uneven. They will be jagged or ragged.

Look at the Cut Closely

If the edges of the cut are straight and clean, it is the result of a cut made by a sharp blade or a knife.

It was intentionally done by someone who probably hates you are someone who is just naughty. However, if the cut edges are uneven, ragged, or jagged, it results from a tire blowout.

Commonly Slashed Tire Part

The part of the tire that is usually slashed is the sidewall. This part of the tire has thinner rubber material. Slashing it will produce a popping sound because of the air that escapes from inside the tire.

Slashed Tire Can Cause a Blowout

It is also possible that a slash on the tire can lead to a blowout. Perhaps the rim is defective and may cut into the tire sidewall, leading to the bead breaking, causing the tire to slip from the rim.

However, using defective rims is very dangerous. So, not many people are this careless to use damaged rims.

Difference Between Slashed and Blowout Tire

Telling whether you have a slashed tire or blowout will be a problem if you don’t know the difference. There is one basic difference between a slashed tire and a blowout tire.

Intentional Slashed Tire

A slashed tire results from an intentional move, but a blowout tire results from an accident. One is deliberately done, and the other results from carelessness or by chance.

Why would someone slash your tires? If someone wants to harm or inconvenience you, they will do something to make you suffer.

A slashed tire is done by someone who probably hates you and wants to harm you. Slashing your tire will not immediately deflate your tire. But if the cut is big enough, your tire can instantly deflate.

Check the Cut’s Appearance

Check the cut’s appearance. From there, you can determine whether someone slashed your tire. The cuts on slashed tires are usually straight and clean. The culprit usually slashes the tire while the car is at rest.

Have a Slashed Tire Insurance

A person caught slashing a tire might go to jail, or an officer might require to pay a fine. You can still repair it if the cut is very minimal. However, if the cut is big, you can no longer repair it. That is why it is good to have slashed tires insurance.

Causes of Tire Blowouts

The case is different with tire blowouts. Most commonly, tire blowouts happen while the car is in motion. Many things can cause a tire to blow out, including:

  • Old tire,
  • Overinflated or underinflated tire, or
  • Wrong kind of tire.

Look at the Cut’s Edges

If you have a flat tire, it is easy to see if a blowout caused it. Just look at the edges of the cut on the tire. If they are uneven, ragged, or jagged, it results from a tire blowout.

You can still repair blown-out tires. But it still depends on the extent of the cuts or breaks on the tire. Huge breaks or cuts on the tires are no longer repairable.

How to Flatten a Tire Quickly and Safely [Legal]

What to Do With Slashed or Blowout Tires

The usual response to a slashed or tire blowout is to take the damaged tire to the tire shop and have it repaired. It is easy to say that someone has victimized you for slashed tires. But without foolproof evidence of a person slashing tires, you can’t surely say that someone intentionally slashed your tire. 

Materials and Tools

So, what to do if you have slashed tires? You need the following materials and tools to repair the slashed area on the tire:

  • Tire socket wrench – for dismounting the tire from the wheel
  • Spray cleaner
  • Brush
  • Buffing tool
  • Rubber cement or vulcanizing fluid
  • Tire patch
  • Small rolling tool

Steps to Follow in Repairing a Slashed Tire

Here are the steps to follow if you have a slashed tire:

  1. Get your socket wrench and loosen the lug nuts from the wheel studs.
  2. Remove the tire from the wheel.
  3. Locate the slash spot on the tire. Mark it to be easy for you to find it later.
  4. Clean the slash spot if there are sharp particles or debris left on the cut.
  5. Get a spray cleaner and spray it over the slashed spot. You can use starting fluid to do this.
  6. Use a brush to spread the cleaning substances.
  7. Get a buffing tool and buff the slash spot. This will remove the fine lines on the surface of the tire. It will flatten the area around the slash spot.
  8. Get rubber cement or vulcanizing fluid. Apply it to the area of the slash. Use a brush to distribute the cement evenly around the slash spot. Then allow the cement to dry.
  9. Get the tire patch and apply it to the slash spot. Roll the patch firmly over the slash spot by using a rolling tool.
  10. Re-mount the tire back to the wheel using the socket wrench.
  11. Take out your repaired tire for a test drive.

How to Prove If Your Tire Was Slashed

slashed tires what to do

To be sure that your tire was slashed, you have to get two things:

  • A witness
  • Undeniable proof

So, if you can find a person who has witnessed the incident, that’s already one strong element that can validate your suspicion. Finding a witness, though, is very difficult. But there’s another thing that you can use.

Most of the nooks and corners of modern cities have surveillance cameras operated by the city government. These cameras record every incident that happened in their assigned areas.

Locate the camera responsible for monitoring the area where your tire was slashed. In that case, you can validate your suspicion and possibly identify the culprit.

Again, how can you tell if your tires have been slashed? Check the softest part of your tire, which is the sidewall. If the cut is clean and straight, it is a result of intentional slashing. Note also that other people use screwdrivers or nails to stab your tire.

How to Tell If a Tire Was Slashed

It is tough to mess with tires since manufacturers build high-quality modern tires. You can’t use a knife to cut through the rubber of most tires today. So, if your tires were slashed, someone must have put in a lot of effort and time.

Only when that someone is so stupid will they leave evidence that they slashed your tire. The cut on your tire will be clean, smooth, and very even. If it is a blowout, it wouldn’t be that way:

1. Locate the Slashed Spot

Check the damage’s location. When it comes to tires, the most common target of vandals is the sidewall.

The tire sidewall is the thinnest part of a tire. If you would like to destroy a tire very easily, it is its sidewall that you will target. A knife can easily slice the rubber material of the sidewall. Even a pointed or flat screwdriver or a chisel can do it.

They wouldn’t try to slice a tire through its tread. That part of the tire is very thick and has strands of steel embedded inside. It will take too much effort and time to slash your tire in this area.

2. Look for Sharp Objects

Criminals and vandals are often careless. They do their nefarious activities at a fast and stressful clip. So, they carelessly leave things behind at the crime scene more often than not. Sometimes they leave their tools and other traces that can point to them as the culprits.

If a sharp object is present in the scene, then the unidentified person might have used that object.

At least you know that it is foul play and that your tire did not have a blowout. Your tire was slashed. It would be good to install a hidden camera somewhere in your car to have proof of the person who did this thing on your tire.

3. Check the Cut

I have already mentioned this, but it is worth repeating here. You need to examine the type of cut done on the tires slashed. If the culprit used a knife to cut, it is straightforward to tell. The cut will be nice, smooth, and clean.

However, if a damaged tire rim made the cut, the cut could also appear smooth and clean. Then it would be tough to distinguish if it’s made intentionally or by accident. So, you need to be objective at this stage.

However, if the person who did it was doing it for the first time, there might be traces of several cuts before a final cut. That shows you that a vandal deliberately did the cut. The point is: that you need to be objective in checking the type of cut done on your tire.

4. Look for a Witness

If you strongly think that your flat tire is caused by someone who slashed it, then find some people around the vicinity who may have witnessed the event. Hopefully, there will be some who will be brave enough to come forward.

If that’s the case, you have proven that your tire didn’t become flat accidentally but intentionally. That’s when you can call the police to give an initial report. If you are not aware of any enemy, you are probably right. Your tire was vandalized.

5. Check if There’s a CCTV in the Area

You are lucky if there’s a CCTV in the area where your tire got flat. The footage on the camera will show if your tire was slashed or not. Contact the authorities that operate the CCTV camera, and you will be able to validate your suspicion and perhaps identify the culprit.

How to Tell If You Had a Blowout Tire

slashed tires meaning

Knowing if you just had a tire blowout is relatively easy than telling if it is slashed or not. Here are some of the signs that indicate your tire had a blowout:

1. Irregular Cut

If the cut on the tire is not clean and smooth but irregular and uneven, then it is most likely a tire blowout. The edges of the cut will be jagged or ragged, indicating that uncontrolled forces did the damage.

If the blowout is not so serious, the tire will appear flat. However, you should look for puncture wounds that are huge enough to allow all the compressed air inside the tire to escape. Tire blowouts usually occur while you are driving.

However, if you parked your car with its tires still good, and when you come back to it, and one of the tires is flat, you will think about it being vandalized.

2. Worn Out Treads

Tires usually experience blowout because they are still being used even if their treads are already terribly worn out. If you have a tire blowout while driving and know that your tires have already been running longer than their prescribed lifespan, this could be why.

It is not advisable to run on almost bald tires. This is a driving condition that courts disaster. The money you save in postponing the purchase of new tires may go to expensive car repairs if you get involved in a car crash because you are running on bald tires.

3. Huge Bulge on the Tire

If there’s a big bulge on the tire that has gone flat, it indicates a tire blowout. The sidewall of the tire is the usual place these bulges appear. If you see a bulge in the tire, check its internal parts.

You may see a clear cut on the tire’s inner side. The leak area is when the tire has not yet gone fully flat.

4. Pieces of Rubber Hanging Off the Rim

It could be a tire blowout if rubber pieces from the tire are hanging off the rim. They will be in shreds. Probably, it was caused by a huge gap between the rubber (tire) and the rim. 

Consequently, the tire could have disengaged entirely from the rim, but there are rubber shreds from the tire treads left on the rim. In such cases, the tire can no longer be repaired.

5. Damaged Rim

Another indication of a tire blowout is a damaged tire rim. If the rim has serious damage, a blowout can happen. The damaged rim primarily caused the tire blowout. Or it could also be that the rim was damaged because of the tire blowout.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have included here the answers to the most often asked question about slashed and blowout tires so that you can easily remember the points I have discussed in this article:

How Can I Tell If My Tire Was Slashed?

Examine the cuts made on your tires. Are they even, smooth, and clean? If so, somebody has intentionally slashed them. The characteristics of the cuts indicate that they were done by a sharp object like a knife, a sharp blade, or a pointed screw.

How Can I Know If It’s a Blowout?

You will know if you have a tire blowout if the cuts in the tire are irregular. Its edges will be jagged or ragged, and they will not be as clean as slashed tires’ cuts.

Can You Tell If It’s a Person Who Slashed Your Tires?

Yes, you can. If you suspect that a vandal did this to your tires, you need to do the following:

  • Find a witness
  • Look for CCTV footage of the incident. The video might even help identify the culprit.
  • Look for traces of the crime in your tires and the immediate vicinity.
  • Once you gather this evidence, report the incident to the local authorities.

Can You Fix a Slashed Tire?

If the slash on the tire is not that big, you can repair it by fixing the spot where the cut was made. First, you need to flatten the spot so that it will attach flat to the tire surface when you apply the tire patch. But before applying the patch, you have to buff that spot to ensure its flatness.

However, if the slash is severe and your tire is badly damaged, the only solution left for you is to replace the tire.

In Closing: How to Know Slashed from Blowout Tires

If your tire is slashed, the breaks or cuts in the rubber material will be straight. The cuts will be uniform, not jagged or ragged cuts. On the other hand, if the tire has blown out, the cuts or breaks will be irregular in shape. Most of the breaks will be ragged and uneven.

Examine the cuts on the tire closely. It was made with a sharp blade if it is straight and even, with no ragged or jagged edges. A person has intentionally slashed your tires.

However, if the edges of the cut are uneven, jagged, or ragged, it results from a tire blowout. It was by accident and not intentional.

Read next:

What Are the Different Types of Tire Wear?

Screw in Tire – What to Do?