Vehicle safety lesson: A sidewall bubble on your tire poses a great safety risk

Article by Christian A., on March 27, 2017

One of the most important parts of your car is your tires. Your vehicle needs your tires to be in top condition or it won’t be able to properly accelerate, turn or stop. Each tire supports around a fourth of the weight of the vehicle and even provides about half of the suspension.

Thus, utmost care should be given to your car tires, making sure that they are always in good condition before you take off for a drive.

When checking your tires, you have to make sure that they all are smooth and round. But there might be a time that you would notice the presence of a bubble on the sidewall of your tires. Should you get worried? Of course, yes.

A bubble in on the sidewall is a big indication that something is wrong with your tire. A bubble on the sidewall of a tire is a big safety issue, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to address such an issue before it could lead to something disastrous.

Basically, this bubble is a bulge that protrudes from the sidewall of your tire. There could be air leaking from the interior of the tire into the body or carcass – resulting to a prominent bulge on the sidewall. The leak could be because the inner liner of the tire has been damaged and air is now escaping uncontrollably.

The air doesn’t leak out totally since the thin sidewall plies are holding it back. But once the sidewall plies break due to pressure, you might experience a tire blowout – and that could spell the beginning of something disastrous.

What causes your tire to form a bubble on its sidewall?

Most bubbles on the tire sidewall are due to impact damage. Sometimes, a tire might hit an object on the road – potholes, speed bumps, curbs, road debris and others -- and the impact coming from the weight as well as speed of your car has concentrated on a small point of contact.

This concentrated force is enough to pinch and damage the inner liner of the tire, causing a small hole through which air could leak out. In addition, this concentrated force could cause damage to the sidewall cords, thereby compromising the strength of the tire.

If your tire has a bubble on its sidewall, the only safe thing to do is replace the entire unit. This is because a tire with a sidewall bubble cannot be repaired. Patching the bubble won’t work since such remedy lasts for a very short time.

More importantly, a sidewall bubble means that the tire has sustained a structural damage that cannot be repaired. A replacement tire is the only viable solution. Better safe than sorry.

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Topics: tips, tyres

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