How often have you seen a tire bulge? If you have been driving for many years, you must have faced this problem at least once or twice.
No matter what causes the defect, it seriously affects safety and must be eliminated ASAP. This article explains what it is, why it appears and what you can and should do to prevent it. Also, you can check some videos and read other drivers’ comments and recommendations.
Why and how do bulges appear?
Bulges occur due to the damaged structure of the tire rubber. This happens due to a variety of factors affecting the material’s integrity.
Tires have a layered structure. As they grow old, layers may come apart and air may fill the area in between, creating a lump-like formation. It may appear in any part of the tire. There are no tires that would boast a hundred-percent protection against the problem.
How do I know I have a bulging tire?
Most drivers realize they have bulging tires when they discover that the steering wheel suddenly feels different. They have difficulty balancing movement and hear unusual noise. The problem requires immediate treatment, because driving like this can be unsafe.
The signs become more pronounced and noticeable as you speed up. If you have noticed a change, stop driving. Park your vehicle in a safe place and check the tires thoroughly.
If there are signs of bulging, most likely, you will need to replace the tire. There is no telling how a damaged tire will behave on the road at a high speed. It is impossible to tell how long it will last either. The only good way to eliminate the risk is buying and using a new one.
What causes it?
There are lots of factors that can lead to a bulging tire. Here is an incomplete list of the most common ones:
- A manufacturing defect. Errors do occur during production. However, there are relatively few such cases, and the likelihood of a bulge due to a manufacturing fault is below average.
- Improper inflation. Lack of pressure affects traction and increases wear. Tires that are often underinflated are more likely to have sidewall bulges.
- Physical impact that occurs when a wheel hits an object (a pothole, bump, etc.) Every time you hit an object, the rubber and steel lose integrity and may collapse prematurely.
- Overloaded vehicle. Please, check your vehicle specifications and do not take more passengers and/or cargo than your vehicle can handle. Tires are very sensitive to overloads and may crack and bulge at the same time.
- Improper patching. Failure to follow patching standards can lead to excessive grinding of the rubber. The area may get too thin, and it will bulge once you inflate the tire.
The solution will depend on what exactly has caused the rubber to deteriorate and bulge. The next section explains how you can do it.
How do I fix it?
A bulge is a serious type of damage. For this reason, it is hardly possible to fix the problem completely. A bulged tire can explode during inflation and during movement. This can lead to a serious accident.
If you have found a bulge in your tire, drive to the nearest car service. Be very careful when driving. Slow down a little and avoid even small hollows and obstacles.
If you have reached a shop, but the right type of tires is not available right now, a repair man may patch your tire. However, this will be just a temporary measure. A patched tire will help you get to a large repair service, where the needed tire type is available, but this should be it for the patched tire.
What should I do to prevent a bulge?
It is a classical prevention-is-better-than-cure example. Because bulged tires are not usable any more. There are several methods that can help you extend your tires’ life.
- Be sure that your vehicle and tires are not overexposed to sunlight. UV radiation can harm the rubber and cause it to deteriorate.
- Follow speed limits and beware of bumps, hollows, potholes and other obstacles. Be careful when driving on poor quality roads and off-road. Be sure to buy tires that suit the type of roads and terrain, where you usually drive.
- Make sure that your tires are inflated properly. Check tire pressure at least once every week. If a tire tends to lose pressure too rapidly, replace it.
- Do not under- or overinflate your tires. Excessive pressure on the inside and too much friction on the outside (in case of underinflation) can affect the tire’s shape and integrity.
- Buy tires from pre-vetted and reputable dealers. Avoid dealers that offer cheap and poor quality products. Buying original products will minimize the risk of failure and almost guarantee that your tires will not crack or bulge when you least expect.
- If you are planning to transport goods, you must be sure you’re your vehicle meets the respective weight standard.
- Have your tires and the vehicle checked professionally from time to time.
The article was compiled based on the opinions of drivers, who have had to deal with the problem. Their advice can help you avoid difficulties.
Summing it up
If you have discovered a bulge in your tire, check it closely and try to figure out what caused it. Do not drive on damaged tires. Buy new tires and replace the old ones immediately.
Our mission is to provide important information to drivers and help them avoid accidents.