There are many possible reasons why your tire is flat. If you get a slow puncture, you are not likely to even realize your tire has been punctured before waking after a good night’s sleep. Sometimes you will find a nail inside your tire or you will puncture your tire while going over an aggressive pothole.
However, if your tires have been slashed, there are a few tell signs you need to focus on. If that is something that interests you, you’ve come to the right place as we are going to tell you how to tell if you are looking at a slashed tire or blowout.
Slashed Tire Or Blowout
First and foremost, if the cut is located on the sidewall, your tire has probably been slashed as sidewall punctures are extremely rare. Secondly, if the cut is perfect or there are many smaller cuts, chances are that your tire has been slashed. If the edges of the cut are uneven, jagged, and ragged, it is probably a blowout.
You should also inspect your rim to see if there are any cuts near the tire. If the tire has large bulges and if chunks of the tire are missing, it is likely due to a blowout. Finally, scout your immediate surroundings to see if there are any sharp objects nearby or even look for potential CCTV footage within reach as these can sometimes give you all the information you need.
How To Tell If Your Tire Has Been Slashed?
- The Shape Of The Cut
- The Number Of Cuts
- Location Of The Cut
- Nearby Evidence
How Does A Tire Slash Cut Look Like?
If your tire has been slashed, the cut should look way too good to be normal. This means that most slashed tires typically have an even elongated cut with perfect edges. If the cut is clean, straight, and isn’t all over the place, chances are that you are looking at a slashed tire. As most people use knives to slash tires, you can immediately tell if the cut has been made by a knife.
Even if a person wants to make these cuts irregular and less obvious, a knife cut will also go through in an even fashion. If the person used a chef’s knife, the cut should have a clean slant cut. If the cut is perfectly round, maybe the person used an awl or a picker. On the other hand, a tire blowout is much more uneven, ragged, and almost organic.
Can The Number Of Cuts Indicate A Slashed Tire?
In most cases, if a person is using a smaller pocket knife to slash or puncture tires, chances are that they are going to puncture/slash the tires multiple times, especially if they do so violently. If your tires are covered with multiple cut marks, scuffs, and holes, it is likely due to someone doing that on purpose.
A tire blowout is much more irregular and chaotic, and it looks like a projectile hit the tire rather than a knife or similar sharp object.
Where Do People Slash Tires?
When a car is parked, the side of the tire is usually facing outwards which means that it is much easier to slash a tire through the sidewall than it is to slash it at its contact patch. If the car is lower to the ground, it is almost impossible to slash the tire through the contact area.
Therefore, if your tire has cuts on the sidewall, it is probable that someone slashed it. Tires rarely ever withstand such sidewall damage as the sidewalls never come in contact with the ground. Granted, if your tires are old, over-inflated, or cracked, a normal sidewall puncture could occur.
What To Look For When You Think Your Tire Has Been Slashed?
If you believe your tire has been slashed, try to scout your nearby surroundings to look for any objects that may have done that. You should also focus your attention on the possibility of CCTV footage, especially if your car has been parked in an urban area. Moreover, try to look for any traces of human activity near the car which can help you get a better understanding of what may have happened.
Also, look at all four other tires for any signs of damage. If more than one tire is flat, someone puncturing them as having multiple tire blowouts at the same time is highly unlikely.
What To Do If My Tire Has Been Slashed?
If you believe your tire has been slashed, the best thing you can do is call the police and potentially even file a police report within the first 24 hours. This might help you find the culprit as the police are likely going to keep an eye on your specific area. Moreover, ask your neighbors to see if any of them have had slashed tires in recent memory.
The fact of the matter is that slashing tires is a fairly common way of getting revenge on someone while also leaving scarce evidence. As such, it is a good idea to think back a while about who could have done it. Maybe you parked in someone else’s space? Maybe your car blocked someone? Ask yourself these and similar questions as they can lead to a clue.
However, we also need to mention that this can be just a simple act of unprovoked vandalism. Getting an official police report is beneficial for your insurance claims and try to look for any potential witnesses nearby. Also, be sure to consider this article if you want to know how to prove someone slashed your tires.
How To Protect Yourself Against Car Vandalism?
- Find A Secure Place To Park Your Car – The best thing you can do is to find a well-lit and secure place to park your car, preferably one with CCTV coverage. A garage, a lockable driveway, or a multi-story parking garage will do.
- Install Motion Sensor Lights – One of the best and easiest ways to keep your car safe in your driveway is to install powerful motion sensor lights which will trigger whenever someone walks near your car. This is more than likely to deter anyone from messing around with your car because they are in plain sight.
- Install Security Cameras Around Your Property – Having your house and its surroundings littered with cameras is a great way to always have evidence that someone/something damaged your car or parts of your property. This will also benefit all of your neighbors and it can motivate them to do the same.
- Get A Dash Cam – One of the best investments you can do is to invest in a high-quality car dash cam which typically comes with a dedicated parking mode that will start recording when the sensors notice someone near the car. Tesla has its so-called “Sentry Mode” which serves the same purpose.
Do Slashed Tires Trigger The Car Alarm?
Some car alarms are triggered when the sensors notice a rapid loss of air pressure from the tires. This can be another indication that your tires have been indeed slashed. However, be sure to investigate if your car is equipped with this type of alarm. Moreover, if someone punctures a tire with something like a screwdriver, the rapid loss of pressure is going to be really loud and can thus also trigger a normal car alarm.
Can I Repair A Slashed Tire?
A tire can only be repaired if the severity of the damage allows it to do so without affecting the tire’s structural integrity and overall dependability. This means that if your tire has been slashed multiple times or it has been slashed all over the sidewall, you are best off getting a brand-new tire as this is not something you want to underestimate.
If the cut is ¼ of the tire diameter long, you should not try and repair it as it is likely to pop whenever you start driving with a decent amount of air pressure within it. The best thing you can do is consult yourself with an experienced mechanic. If you do decide to fix a slashed tire, this is where you can learn how to do it properly.
At the end of our “Slashed tire or blowout” article, we can easily conclude that there are a few signs that do point towards tire slashing as opposed to just a normal blowout. The main one to focus on is the very nature of the cut because a slashed cut tends to be smooth, clean, straight, and usually long.
On the other hand, a tire blowout is more chaotic and organic as the very shape of the hole is more akin to an explosion than it is to a knife cut. Most people tend to slash tires at the sidewall which is very rarely the location where tires tend to blow.
If the tire is all over the place, the cords are out, or a chunk of the tire is missing, chances are that you are looking at a blowout.