Car owners should have encountered sceneries where the side of their tires starts to swell or bend outwards. These noticeable protrusions are called sidewall bubbles.
Sidewall bubbles often appear after collision with a surface while driving and it’s not advisable to continue driving once bubbles are present in your tires as it can cause tire outbursts at any time.
As a norm, tires are built to be spherical and have a smooth surface for easy vehicle navigation, however, a sidewall bubble indicates that the inner tire fabric is weak and cannot prevent the tire from exploding due to pressure from road surfaces.
What Causes Tire Sidewall Bubbles?
Tire Sidewall bubbles can be caused by one or a combination of any of the below incidents.
Sidewall bubbles can appear on your vehicle’s tire if you mistakenly hit a bump, rubble, or a pothole while driving at a very high speed.
Tire bubbles also occur due to manufacturers’ defects in the production process of the tire.
Overinflation of tires will lead to exerting excess pressure on the inner linen of the tires thereby causing a bubble on any little Collision.
Under-inflated tires also produce sidewall bubbles due to internal stress exerted on the tires by the road surfaces.
Sidewall bubbles often occur when pressure from collisions affects the tire linen and causes air leakage into the tire body.
Is a Tire Bulge Dangerous to Drive ON?
It’s advisable to fix a tire Bulge once it’s noticed on any of the vehicle tires. Sidewall bubbles don’t only endanger your life but serve as a threat to other roadside users.
A tire Sidewall bubble is vulnerable in the sense that it can burst at any time causing serious injuries to pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users.
Should Sidewall bubbles be fixed instantly?
Sidewall bubbles should be fixed instantly as it reduces the steer-ability of a vehicle; causes loss of control, overheating, and wheel runouts, and also decrease friction between the road surface and the tire.
Tire Sidewall bubbles also cause damage to bearings and suspension systems.
How to fix a Tire Sidewall bubble
Tire bubbles might not be noticed at first but as time goes on they’ll become visible and larger as we encounter bumps and potholes while driving.
There are bubbles that can often be fixed by inserting an internal reinforcement patch, however, this fix isn’t permanent as they’ll wear off within days but it’ll buy you more time.
Another fix for tire Sidewall bubbles is by sowing the affected area with Capron threads and later vulcanizing the sewn area to improve the structure of the surface.
In addition, some of these internal tears can’t be fixed if it’s severe. Although, it’s advisable to permanently change a tire that has sidewall bubbles to enable you to enjoy a warranty and the best road experience.
Patched tires will reduce the tire’s performance and can burst at any time, so it’s best to get rid of them quickly.
How to Prevent Tire Sidewall Bubbles
It’s quite impossible to avoid bumps and potholes while using the road, especially the ones we didn’t notice on time and run into them coincidentally.
You can apply one or more of the below prevention techniques to prevent your tire Sidewall bubbles from affecting you.
- Drive at low speeds
- Avoid low-profile tires
- Shun risky maneuvers
- Do not over-inflate or under-inflated car tires
- Shun sudden braking
- Avoid potholes and contours
- Slow down when climbing road bumps
- Have Spare Tire(s) and tire gauge in your vehicle
- Tire maintenance
Can you Repair Bubbles on a Tire?
While we’ve provided you with possible ways to fix tire Sidewall bubbles, it’s advisable to initiate a complete tire replacement, especially for those who run on bumpy roads or roads full of contours.
It’s also advisable to drive with a spare wheel intact to implement a tire replacement if you run into tire bubbles.
Also, if you’re in a helpless state then you can find any automotive engineer closest to you and request a tire replacement.
Tire Sidewall Bubbles FAQs
How long can I drive with a small bubble in my tire?
There’s no specific time to use a tire diagnosed with sidewall bubbles as it can take days before it advanced from small bubbles to large ones.
However, it’s advisable to drive at a slower speed, avoid careless overtaking, instant application of brakes and seek a tire replacement service as soon as possible.
You can also remove any pressure from the vehicle to increase the lifespan of the tire till a new one is put in place.
Should a Tire with a bubble be Replaced or Repaired
Yes with no hesitation. Driving a car with sidewall bubbles on the tires endangers your life and other road users as it can blow up unannounced.
Also, ignoring small bubbles on the tires will eventually increase to a large bubble and burst out due to excess air in the tires.