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How To Deal With Slashed Tires

There might come a time when you are the victim of a costly act of vandalism. If your tires have been slashed and you need to know what to do, we can help you. We did the research so that you will be able to navigate this unfortunate situation.

How you should deal with slashed tires will depend on the circumstances. First, you should consider the following:

  • How many tires are damaged?
  • What kind of tires are they?
  • How big are the slashes?
  • What part of the tire has been slashed?
  • Always file a police report

Now that we know what you are up against, we'll take you through the scenarios. You might also be wondering how much it costs to repair a tire or what the penalty is for slashing a person's tires. For the answers to all of these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

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A businessman in a blue suit crouching near his car and checks the degree of damage to a punctured wheel, How To Deal With Slashed Tires

What You're Up Against With Slashed Tires

Whether it's one tire or all four, you'll find that there are different ways you'll need to deal with this horrible inconvenience. Let's take a look at different scenarios and what you should do to navigate the problems.

How Many Tires Are Damaged?

Just One?

If it is just one tire, consider yourself lucky. This is the easiest to deal with. While still a nuisance, it could be a lot worse.

If you have a spare, you'll need to exchange it for the damaged tire. Should that spare be a donut, be sure to get to a tire shop right away, as you cannot drive for more than 50 miles on a donut. 

Depending on how the tire was slashed, you might be able to get the tire repaired. We'll get into that ahead in this post. For now, just be aware that you could get lucky and only have to pay to get the tire patched.

close up view of tyre puncture on VW Beetle car wheel showing black rubber flat after tear on road surface after accident

Or, Did They Get All Of Them?

But what if it's all of the tires? While you're busy cursing their existence, you're probably also concerned about how to best deal with this. Clearly, one spare won't fix the problem here.

The long way to get out of this mess is to jack up the vehicle and remove one damaged tire. Get it repaired/replaced, and put it back on the vehicle. Repeat until all tires are repaired/replaced. 

This process can take up much of your day. If you can get a tow truck, it is much faster. It will cost you more, but sometimes time is money.

What Kind Of Tires Are They?

Some tires, like run-flat ones, can be driven on after they have been punctured. If your vehicle is equipped with these tires, you might be in better shape.

Run-flat tires will let you drive up to 50 miles on a punctured tire. This should be enough to get you where you need to go to get it repaired or replaced. 

Keep in mind that run-flat tires need to be replaced with run-flat tires. These are on vehicles that are specifically designed for them.

How Big Are The Slashes?

If someone merely punctured your tire with a blade, you might be able to patch the damage. The area will be small enough that a patch should effectively remedy the wound to the tire.

But if someone really goes to town on them and leaves multiple punctures or saws a long slash into them with their blade, it won't be as easy. Chances are you'll need to replace the tire.

What Part Of The Tire Has Been Slashed?

If the part of the tire that comes into contact with the roadway is slashed, it can usually be repaired. But if the sidewall is damaged, then it's a whole other story.

Damage to a tire's sidewall cannot be fixed. Any punctures to this part of the tire cannot be patched or plugged. Unfortunately, you'll need to replace the tire if someone slashes it there.

A man holds a knife in his hand and wants to sting with it in a car tire.

File A Police Report Immediately 

No matter how the tires were slashed or how many were damaged, contact the authorities immediately. Filing a report will get an investigation opened. Perhaps an outdoor camera caught it on video and will lead to an arrest and restitution.

While many acts of vandalism go unpunished, you should never be discouraged from filing. If you don't file, you are ensuring that nothing will happen at all. 

Someone may have seen someone and would be willing to speak to an officer about the crime. Never discount what the law can do. Though they can't solve every crime, they will always solve zero of the crimes that you don't report.

Does A Car Alarm Go Off When Your Tires Are Slashed?

A blaring car alarm would surely scare off a tire slasher before they could do damage to more than one tire. Unfortunately, car alarms will most likely never go off when a tire is slashed.

The typical car alarm is triggered when someone is attempting to enter the vehicle. Since the tires are not connected to the alarm system, the alarm will not be triggered.

Some hypersensitive car alarms have sensors that will trigger the alarm based on movement around the vehicle. These alarms will be triggered by someone getting close enough to slash the tires. They tend to be costly, however, and you can imagine how many times they will be triggered for no real reason whatsoever.

Security System And Immobilizer Anti-Theft System.

Does Car Insurance Cover Slashed Tires?

If the damage is great enough, you would hope that the money you pay toward auto insurance every month will cover your losses. But sadly, that isn't always the case. It comes down to the type of insurance policy you carry on your vehicle and what level of deductible you have.

Those with comprehensive auto insurance will have vandalism to their tires covered. But replacing one or two tires might not meet the deductible amount, making it a moot point to file a claim. Examine your policy carefully to see if it's worth the trouble.

For those with collision protection, vandalism isn't a covered cause. And if you have liability only, your policy will not protect your vehicle from any damage, intentional or accidental.

Cropped shot insurance agent holding insurance claim form and inspecting damaged car.

What Is The Penalty For Slashing Someone's Tires?

The consequences of damaging someone's property can be severe. How this is handled in court will vary from state to state, but generally, if the damage is more than $1,000, then it could be considered a felony. Considering that some tires can cost more than $250, destroying all four could elevate the vandalism to that level.

Most likely, the penalty for slashing one tire will result in an arrest and probation. But if the culprit has a lengthy criminal history, the consequences might be more severe.

Damaging someone else's property is never excusable. If someone has damaged yours, you are encouraged to file a police report immediately and cooperate with their investigation.

Arrested man in handcuffs with handcuffed hands behind back in prison

Final Thoughts

Damage to your vehicle's tires can be a costly inconvenience whether intentional or not. How you handle slashed tires will depend on how many tires are affected and how the tires were slashed. There can be some severe criminal and civil consequences for damaging someone's property, so it's important to always file a police report if someone damages your tires. 

We hope you found this post on tires to be helpful. For more information, we recommend the following posts:

Can You Drive on a Flat Tire?

How Long Tires Should Last On A Brand New Car?

20 Types Of Tires You Should Know