A tire bulge can hamper the safety of your vehicle on the road. Therefore, it is very important that every driver is aware of this phenomenon and knows how to deal with it.
If you drive regularly, you must already know what we are talking about. However, for those of you who have never witnessed a tire bulge, I will explain everything in this article. So you need not worry about anything. I will also explain in detail ways in which you can rid of tire bubbles.
During driving, the majority of the vehicle’s weight is divided on the tires, which carry it to the track surface and are liable for traction. As a result, distortions are more likely to emerge in tires. Many of them have a detrimental impact on vehicle performance, raise the risk level, and need immediate action.
The issue of tire bulges has a significant impact on the driving dynamics and your safety on the highway. Read on to know about tire bulges in detail, their causes, and the possible solutions!
What is a Tire Bulge?
Among the most prevalent types of damage, is a tire bulge. It is a deformation of the tire that reveals itself as a swelling on any section of its lateral surface. Such distortion occurs gradually and is virtually unnoticeable at first. As you drive on defective tires, the bulge expands and becomes obvious to the human eye, indicating the need for immediate attention.
Causes of Tire Bulge
The most common reason for a tire bulge is damage to the cord of the tire. Not only the cord but the fiber and steel structure inside the tire also gets damaged after a span of wear for a variety of causes. All these damages culminate to cause a tire bubble. Common causes for these are:
- Hitting potholes, especially at high speeds: When clearing an obstruction, the tire may resist a significant impact, but this does not ensure that the cord will not break inside. Some potholes and impediments on the road harm the fabric texture and steel fiber structure within. Many drivers are affected by tire bulges
- Manufacturing Defect: Some people have tire bulges as a result of production faults. However, the likelihood of this tire bubble being the cause is relatively low. One of the causes is that the tire was patched without standards. If you grind too much within the tire, the patching region will be thinner than in other places.
- Wrong Tire Pressure: When you drive, the tire pressure is too low, causing damage to the fiber structure. While a result, as your car functions, the tire wall will bulge. Poorly inflated tires are the most sensitive to the emergence of a bulge. There is a possibility of protrusion happening if the automobile owner does not check and maintain the required tire inflation pressure.
- Overloading: When you often transport overloaded items or persons for a lengthy journey, the excess weight generates a bubble on the sidewall of the tire.
The air inside the tire then collects inner and outer layers from this damaged state, causing at least a bubble on the tire wall to form, leading it to blister. As a result, it is referred to as a “bulging tire.” This may happen with any tire, whether on a motorcycle or a car.
How can you Spot a Tire Bulge from the start?
Driving is the first indication of a bubble in the sidewall of a tire. During motion, the driver will sense tremors and uneven sensations. If you pay attention, they are rather evident. These sensations are also paired with a little bothersome noise.
Furthermore, when you strike a pothole on the road, you will notice that the automobile with tire bulges has different indicators than its original state.
It is important to emphasize that when drivers get these signs, they should immediately stop driving and properly inspect the tires.
If drivers do not pay attention to bulging tires and replace them as soon as possible, the likelihood of avoidable risks and accidents grows dramatically.
Is it Safe to Drive with Tire Bulge?
When a driver discovers a bulge in a tire, he or she may worry if it is safe to drive on such damaged tires. It is not recommended by experts. Problems may not develop at low speeds, but at high speeds, unpleasant results are conceivable. Bulges on the front axle are very dangerous. It could lead to severe tire overheating and worse steerability. You may face reduced traction and in worse scenarios, even lose control of your vehicle.
Apart from these, driving with a tire bulge also leads to premature wear of wheel bearings. You also risk loosening of the car suspension, damage to shock absorbers and ball bearings. Driving on a tire bulge may even lead to tire blowout if you start or brake abruptly. And the situation can be worsened if you are driving at a high speed or hit a pothole. Therefore, it is better to deal with the tire bulge as soon as possible rather than exploiting an already damaged tire.
What To Do If You Discover a Tire Bubble on the Road?
While you would like to hit the brakes instantly, experts strongly recommend against it. The smart route is to short speed carefully, without extreme braking. If you still have some distance to cover, unload the vehicle as much as you can. Shift the passengers and luggage to other means of transport if available. Make sure to dodge potholes with the swollen tire.
Grip the steering wheel hard and come to a safe halt while flashing your emergency lights. Set up lights and contact roadside assistance once you’ve come to a complete stop.
If you don’t have a spare tire, it’s also a good idea to install the deformed tire on the back axle for safety. This will help you to keep control of the vehicle in the case of a tire burst. After that, you can resume driving, but at a slow speed and with frequent pauses to inspect the tire’s condition. If the bulge grows larger, it’s time to pull over and summon a tow truck, because the growing flaw signals the risk of a tire rupture.
How to Fix a Tire Bulge
All of the solutions listed will not assist to repair even minor flaws or restore a tire’s previous performance. As a result, a mended tire may only be used as a spare for a limited time until the owner mounts a new one. Driving with such tires is unsafe even after repair, thus simply removing the bulge in the rubber is insufficient. It is preferable to replace a tire right away rather than putting yourself and others at risk.
When deciding what to do about the tire bulge, the best option is to replace the damaged tire with a new one. Those who have opted to fix it anyhow have many options:
- You can install a new internal reinforced patch. However, this only extends the life of the tire rather than being a foolproof solution to tire bulge.
- You can fit an inner tube for protection
- Another solution is to sew the damaged are with kapron threads, followed by vulcanization with reinforced rubber.
Drivers should replace their tires if there is a bulge in the sidewall. This indicator indicates that the old tires are severely deteriorated and might burst at any time.
However, while encountering a bump on the sidewall of a tire, drivers must maintain a modest pace and avoid colliding with obstructions or potholes on the road. Then, it’s recommended to take the automobile to the nearest repair shop.
Changing an automobile tire ensures safety. If the shop does not have the proper type of tire or cannot guarantee the quality, the problem can be temporarily rectified by grinding the inflated tire position and then repairing the inside and outside.
Some Final Tips
As mentioned before, replacing a tire is the best way when you spot a tire bulge. However, prevention is better than cure, so you may want to keep the tips below in mind to lessen your chances of acquiring a tire sidewall bulge.
- Avoid parking your car in the scorching sun for an extended period. The high temperature may produce a bulge in automobile tires.
- Check the tire pressure regularly and avoid over or under-inflation.
- Always buy tires from a reputable tire source. The best option is to utilize authentic items rather than buying tires of unknown origin that are of low quality and have a limited lifespan.
- Avoid potholes and uneven roads.
Hope the information provided will help you in dealing with a tire bulge. Let me know in the comment section if you have any doubts or queries.