What Causes Tyre Bubbles

By: Tim Miller
What causes tyre bubbles

Do you want to know what causes the bubbles on your tyre? Do you wonder whether you can fix this problem? If yes, then you've come to the right place.

In this article, we will indicate all the possible causes of the bubbles on your tyre. Also, we will show you the ways on how to prevent them.

In order to point out the causes of tyre bubbles, we must first establish what they are. To put it simply, it is a bulge or several bulges protruding from your tyre's sidewall. It is also known as sidewall bubbles. Now to its cause. Tyre bubbles happen when there's an air leak inside the tyre and into the tyre's body.

The leading cause of tyre bubbles is impact damage. How? If your tyre gets a direct hit from an object, the force is centralized at the small contact area. This impact causes the compression of the tyre and damages the inside of the sidewall. The result of this is a hole within the inner tyre layer where the leakage happens.

Furthermore, tyres have a structure that consists of several layers of rubber and plies. The tyre rubber is glued to the ply while the ply forms the rigid structure. This provides strength to the tyre. Due to this structure, the factors below can cause your tyre to have bubbles.

●     Potholes (impact damage)

●     Speed bumps (impact damage)

●     Railroad crossing (impact damage)

●     Curbs (impact damage)

●     Inadequate air pressure

●     Excessive load

●     Manufacturing defects

The resulting effect of the above factors can create a gap between the layers in the tyre's sidewall, forming a path for air to seep in. Thus, creating a bubble on the tyre. Also, if the cause is a manufacturing issue, it means that the glue holding the layers together has failed, creating a gap for air. However, thanks to high-quality tyre materials and the robust tyre manufacturing process, the likelihood of having a tyre bubble due to manufacturing defects is minimal.

Is It Safe to Drive on a Tyre With a Bubble?

No, it is not safe to drive on a tyre with a bubble, and with good reason. If you notice a bubble or bubbles on your tyre, what this means is that the fabric of the inner tyre has been compromised. This makes the tyre susceptible to further damage because the inner tyre's fabric no longer has the strength to protect the tyre from bursting.

By implication, this means that once there is pressure due to road contact, you run the risk of having a blowout. Not only is a tyre with bubbles a danger to you, but it is also a threat to public safety. Overall, a tyre with a bubble is simply not road-worthy.


Can Tyre Bubbles Be Fixed?

Regrettably, there is no easy fix to this. However, a swift response will save you a lot of trouble when addressing a tyre bubble. If you notice a bubble on your tyre, ensure that you drive slowly towards the closest tyre repair store. However, you aren't going to the repair shop to fix the bubble.

Instead, you must replace the entyre tyre. That way, you eliminate the risk of having a blowout. Why a tyre with bubbles can't be repaired, you ask? You can not fix it because the area with the bubble won't stay in place as it will keep flexing when driving. Keep in mind that a bubble on a tyre is an indication that there is structural damage to the tyre.

How To Prevent Tyre Bubbles

As we mentioned above, there is no cure for tyre bubbles. By implication, all we are left with is prevention. There are several preventive measures you can take to prevent tyre bubbles. Below we have listed them for you.

●     Avoid Potholes

As we've already pointed out, direct impact is the leading cause of tyre bubbles. This means that you should keep an eye out for road hazards like potholes and steer away from them. We understand that you can't entirely avoid potholes. However, watching out and avoiding those can drastically reduce the chances of having a tyre bubble.

●       Drive Carefully

Careful/safe driving is something that should come naturally. Do not rush over speed bumps. Also, it would be best if you were cautious when driving near sidewalks and curbs.

●     Proper Maintenance

Maintenance is the single most effective preventive measure for most tyre defects, including tyre bubbles. Ensure to inspect your tyres regularly while keeping an eye out for pressure and structural changes. Also, make sure your tyre always has the recommended amount of pressure. You can use a tyre pressure gauge to check this. Thankfully, cars now have tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). With the TPMS, you will know precisely when your tyres are low on pressure. 

Tyre bubbles are a major tyre defect, and you should not take them for granted. Also, a tyre with bubbles will give no warning before a blowout occurs. That's the severity of driving on a tyre with bubbles. Let's have a quick overview of two important and frequently asked questions this article covers. Can a tyre with a bubble be fixed? No, it can't. Is it safe to drive on such a tyre? Absolutely not.

In conclusion, you shouldn’t think of heading out on your tyre with bubbles. A tyre with bubbles is not something you can manage. However, through careful driving and regular maintenance, you probably wouldn't have to ever worry about bubbles on your tyre.


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