Just how bad is this tire damage (links to photos)

Excuse the free image hosting and the crappy pix (from my cellphone camera)

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

I just noticed the damage today. Judging by the adjacent damage to that hubcap, I’m guessing it happened either last week, when I was doing some parallel parking (though I didn’t think I touched the curb hard enough to do that) or several weeks ago, when I scraped against a raised divider in my parking garage.

Obviously this looks bad, but how bad is it? I drove home on it (~14 miles, mostly on an Interstate), but went a bit slower than usual. The tires are new (came with the car) and have around 8000 miles on them. Do I need to get this replaced ASAP or can it wait a bit? If it can wait, how long–at least until Friday, which would be payday? Do I need to replace the tire, or is there some sort of repair that could be done?

I know it’s best to buy all 4 tires at the same time, or if you can’t do that, buying a pair. Given how new my tires are, could I get away with just getting one (especially if I chose the same model as the remaining 3)?

I will not hold any of you liable if I continue to drive on these and I suffer a blowout on the Interstate. I just want to get a feel for how bad this problem really is.

It looks deep enough to be a problem if the tire is used at high speeds. That area is not very thick on a tire.

It really does not look bad to me.

In my experiance, sidewalls can not, and will not be repaired. I doubt that little tear would affect the overall function of the tire for cornering and such.

You did not say if it was a front or rear tire. Or if it’s a front or rear wheel drive.

Front wheel drive. Rear wheel tire.

I couldn’t view the 3rd pic. (old cranky computer), but judging by the 1st two and if it were me I’d run it. Sidewall damage is usually more dangerous than tread damage because of the sidewall construction and thinness, but the gouge is near the bead where there is more reinforcement. Keep an eye on it for a few weeks, if it develops a bulge, even a slight one, replace it. IMHO, it’s not that severe. I’m assuming you have a spare and know how to change it, or have road service.

Doesn’t look all that bad to me, but I am no tire expert.

I’ll chime in that it doesn’t look like anything to worry about. You may want to keep an eye on it, and if for some reason the rubber peels up any more to expose the underlying belts, then that would be reason for concern, IMHO, since then you could introduce corrosion on the structural part of the tire. For now, though, it looks OK.

Probably of no great concern BUT why not go by the tire dealer for an EXPERT opinion?

I had the same problem several years ago, took it to a tire shop, and the advice they gave me was exactly the same as A.R. Cane’s. Watch for a bulge or bubble. Your damage looks very superficial.

You might be lucky and find there’s a road hazard warranty on the tires. Head over to whatever shop they came from and ask - at worst, you’ll have to sooner or later buy a new tire. Or, they may say “Yep, that’s covered. We’ll have it ready for you in two hours” or in between, they might pro-rate the cost of a replacement.