The functional condition of the tires in your car or truck goes a long way in shaping your driving experience. This also impacts your safety directly, so it makes sense to regularly inspect your tires for bulges.
In case you have a bulging, leaking, or flat tire, your car remains susceptible to blowouts. If you detect a bulging tire, it implies a leak in the interior, and the tread is holding the air. If the tire bursts open, you might lose control of your car.
In this article, we have discussed the causes of bulges in tires, and whether you can have these bulges in new tires. Also, you will get to know how long you should drive with tire bulges.
Do New Tires Get Tire Bulges?
Yes, even new tires can get tire bulges.
Although these bulges arise due to improper driving habits and the lack of maintenance, you cannot rule out the chances of a manufacturing defect. If the inner walls of your tire turn out to be weak, the air can escape and accumulate in the outer wall, leading to bulges.
However, if a manufacturing defect lies at the root of bulging tires, you can benefit from the manufacturer’s warranty. Sometimes, premature failure of the inner walls can lead to bulges after a few months.
What Causes Bulges in Tires?
Bulges appear in tires when the steel and fiber structure inside the tire sustains damage. This air accumulates in different layers of the tires inside the tread.
So, you would notice a bubble on the sidewall of the tire. You might notice bulges in the tires when you are driving a motorbike, SUV, or truck.
Inside the tire, you have different components like tread, bead, sidewall, body plies, inner liner, and bead. The inner liner is responsible for containing the air inside the rim and the tire.
When the tire sustains damage due to some impact or a manufacturing fault, there might be a puncture in the inner liner. This would lead to gaps between the sidewall and the layers, resulting in the air escaping. This causes bulges, which look like blisters on the tires.
When you have a bulging tire, you would feel unbalanced while driving. The vehicle would shake, and you must pay immediate attention to the tires. Besides, your car might have some unusual noise as you drive.
Let’s find out the elements leading to bulges in your vehicle’s tires.
1. Road hazards
Have you accidentally hit a pothole or a curb, or landed in any road hazard? Well, road hazards continue to be one of the prime reasons leading to bulges in tires.
The tire’s inner structure weakens when you hit a pothole or curb. Regardless of the cause, make sure to replace your tire by contacting a mechanic immediately when you detect it.
2. Underinflation or overloading
Some of the other causes of tire bulges are overloading or underinflation. In case your truck is too heavy, the tires would come under excessive pressure. This would lead to their failure, and eventually, you would notice the bulge.
When you fail to inflate your tires properly, they don’t get the necessary support so that they can handle the car or truck. So, it makes sense to note the loading capacity of your car. Accordingly, you need to inflate the tires.
3. Manufacturing defects
Although rare, new tires can develop bulges soon after they hit the road. This happens due to a manufacturing defect. If this is the case for your tires, you can get them replaced under the warranty for no additional cost.
However, branded manufacturers are vigilant enough about the tire quality. So, the chance of a manufacturing defect leading to tire bulges is very low.
4. Nonuniform patching
In some cases, the bulge on your tire can arise due to non uniform patching. Inside the tire, the amount of grinding might be excessively high. As a consequence, the pathing portion turns out to be thinner, compared to the rest of the tire.
Now, if you happen to inflate the tire excessively, the sidewall would develop a bulge. Besides, overinflation leads to the disintegration of the internal layers of the tire. This, too, can lead to bulges in the tires.
5. Adverse road conditions
Driving on roads with a lot of debris or potholes can also lead to premature failure of the internal layers of your tires. When this happens, the air would escape from the inside of the tire and accumulate around the outer layer. Even branded tires might develop bulges in these conditions.
Is it safe to drive with a bulge in your tire?
No, it is unsafe to continue driving when you realize your tire has a bulge.
Having a bulging tire is a safety hazard as your tire remains susceptible to blowouts. When this happens, the vehicle might no longer be under your control. This can lead to an accident or injuries. So, you need to replace the tire immediately once you know that the bulge is there to bother you.
Besides, driving with a bulging tire can damage your vehicle’s suspension system and wheel. The weakened area of the tire wouldn’t be able to endure rough terrains with rocks, debris, or potholes. Ultimately, it would adversely impact the quality of your ride.
How long can I drive with a bulge in my tire?
To be honest, you can drive zero miles with absolute safety if you have a tire bulge.
Eventually, you won’t be able to prevent the blowout. In case you don’t have a spare wheel, you can try and reach out to the nearest tire replacement shop with conservative driving habits. This would be the safest means to bail yourself out of the situation.
Is tire bulge covered under warranty?
If the bulge in your tire occurs due to a manufacturing defect, it would come under the warranty. Also, if you have purchased an additional warranty covering the tires, you can benefit from the same.
The coverage you have determines how much you need to shell out to replace your bulging tire. The manufacturer wouldn’t charge anything from you if the fault is on their side. Most tires come under four to six years of warranty.
If you notice bulges in your tire, you might instantly blame the manufacturer. However, the rubber shavings inside the tire would point to damage due to road hazards, particularly when you have bubbles on the sidewalls.
What Can You Do To Reduce The Risk Of Tire Bulge?
Now that you know how adverse bulging tires can be for your car, it would be logical to take precautionary measures to prevent them in the first place. It wouldn’t be a practical idea to avoid potholes when navigating through different terrains. However, you can adopt some healthy maintenance habits to prolong the lifeline of your tires.
- Be careful not to keep your car, SUV, or truck under the sun for a prolonged period. The heat can take a toll on the rubber in car tires and eventually lead to a bulge.
- When you drive, be vigilant enough to try and negotiate obstacles, potholes, and rough terrains as gently as possible. Try decreasing the speed when you cross sidewalks.
- Inspect the tire pressure regularly, ensuring that the tires aren’t too hard or soft. In case of damage, make sure to get the tires replaced in a timely manner.
- To maintain proper air pressure, inflate the tires properly. Also, be vigilant on the cargo you are transporting. This would prevent the tires from bulging when the vehicle moves.
- Reach out to an authentic repair shop or tire provider during a replacement. They would use genuine products. Avoid using tires from less authentic manufacturers, as they might provide inferior-quality tires with a shorter lifespan.
- Closely adhere to the vehicle’s standards and weight when you carry loads and other stuff.
- After inflating the tire, make sure not to take too much speed. Also, try not to rush over potholes, curbs, or sidewalks.
In case a manufacturing defect turns out to be the culprit, you can save your bucks. However, replacing a single tire can cost you as high as $600.
The presence of bubbles on your tires indicates that there has been a compromise in the structural integrity of the tire. Also, you cannot repair the damage yourself and would need a professional hand.
Since the tire’s internal structure has failed, it wouldn’t be safe to continue driving with a bulging tire. Try to suspend driving and replace the tire at the earliest.