Everything You Need to Know About Driving With a Tire Bulge
Where would you go if you didn’t have tires on vehicles to get you there? Back before tires were built, people had to walk everywhere they wanted to go. Today tires are an essential part of transportation, and without them, many types of vehicles would not move. One of the problems you can experience with a tire is a tire bulge or what some people call a bubble. In this blog, we are going to give you the information to watch for and what you need to do if you experience one of these.
What is a Tire Bulge?
Commonly, a tire bulge appears when the sidewall of your tire becomes separated and it allows the air in. They make the sidewall of your tire of thick rubber and plies, and because these materials are so strong, it gives the tire its structure, shape, and strength. This extra-thick rubber runs from the bead that will seal your tire against the rim down to the tread. Here are some reasons that this can become separated.
- Hitting potholes (This is the most common reason)
- Over or under inflating your tire
- Small collision pushing the weight of your car to one spot
- Manufacturer faults
- Rubber wearing out over time (Colder climates will contribute to this quicker)
Should You Drive With a Bulge?
We all know someone who has driven with a bulge in their tire for long periods of time, telling you it is fine. Unfortunately, this is a driving hazard and might be a serious one depending on where you are if it blows.
Any tire that has a bulge is considered “unsafe”, and should not be driven on. The fabric in the tire can no longer protect your tire from the pressure of the road to blow out your tire. Anything that may cause you to make a sharp turn or move that puts you in a path of a pothole could cause the tire to blow out. If you lose control of your vehicle when this happens, bad things would happen to not only you but those around you.
Fixing a Tire Bulge
A tire bulge is not something that can be fixed, in the sense of putting a patch or fixing a flat on it. You need to replace the tire completely, and normally what they recommend when changing tires is changing two of them. This helps keep the steering balanced because of new tread on the newer tires versus older tread on the old ones.
Going to your mechanic to have this done can be expensive, and some cannot afford one tire let alone two. Your auto shop can help you find a used tire if need be with a tread close to what is already on your vehicle.
Preventing a Tire Bulge
Today, in any industry, we hear the word prevention; healthcare, safety, and even insurance. With road safety and car maintenance, prevention is a good way to stop unexpected financial burdens and accidents. Here are a few ways to help prevent this from happening.
This is the number one cause of tire bulging. Try to do your best to avoid these when possible, go around them, or if you do have to go over one, drive slowly.
Obvious, we know, but some keys to this are; drive slow over speed bumps, do not jump curbs, don’t park your vehicle too close to the curb where it rubs against it. Another thing to do is to always turn your wheels on the vehicle while it is moving. This may sound like a silly thing, but this is most common when backing out of a parking spot or even parking the vehicle itself. Think about it next time you are moving the vehicle and turn the wheel before it is in motion.
Routine maintenance on your vehicle will help prevent any issues with your vehicle. Tire maintenance is just as important as the rest of the vehicle. Since one reason your tires can fail is because of improper pressures in the tires, checking this out consistently will help avoid the issue.
You should also have the suspension, wheel bearings, and anything associated around the tires checked regularly. This will make sure that the tires are not working harder than they need to and help prevent issues.
Sometimes a bulge can be caused by a manufacturer defect, so make sure you check your warranty.
Don’t Risk It
How well do you take care of your tires? Tires are not something that everyone pays attention to, and even if you do, others might not. Did you know that over 700 people have died in one year because of tire-related crashes in the past? This is the one thing that could be prevented if everyone took the time to look down before getting into their car. We hope this information is helpful to you and helps you think more about your tires before getting in and driving.
- Your Mechanic – How Safe is it to Drive with a Tire Bulge
- Your Mechanic – How Safe is it to Drive with a Bubble in Your Tire
- Car Bibles – Driving with Tire Bulge
- Automobile Globe – How Safe is it to Drive with a Tire Bulge