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2018 PHEV Touring Atlanta, GA
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There is definitely at least a visual difference between the OEM Michelin Energy Saver A/S that comes with the Clarity and the retail version. The OEM's are very flat along the sidewall, making curb rash pretty much unavoidable even if you just slightly brush up against the curb. I had to replace one of my tires due to a puncture, I got the identical replacement tire at Costco, and there is a raised edge, I guess you could call it a lip or a chine, which sticks out farther than the rim and should help avoid most curb rash. Who knows why the OEM tires don't have that edge. One guess is that a flat sidewall looks better to some people than a tire that slightly bulges. For car makers it's all about maximizing a car's appearance on the showroom floor.

As for the puncture, I got a low tire warning about ten miles from home, nearing the end of a seventy mile round trip. Have had false alarms before so just drove it home and planned to check the tires there. I forgot to look at the tires when I got home, but the next day when I looked one of them was flat. Took it to the tire shop, they said the puncture would have been fixable, but that I had driven on a flat tire and ruined the sidewall. I suspect that it was only partially flat when I was driving as otherwise I probably would have felt it, and that it lost the rest of the air overnight. They showed me the damage inside the tire from the sidewall flexing so they weren't just trying to sell me a tire. They said if it had gone flat when parked it would not have damaged it like that, only happens when the tire is going flat and is driven on. So I suspect that even if I had checked it when I got home it would have been too late. Since then I have purchased a tire pressure monitor so that if I get a tire pressure warning I will know whether I need to immediately pull over or not.
 
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