A bulge in your tire can put your life at risk, so it’s important to know how to identify this problem and resolve it. In this blog post, we’ll cover the causes of tire bulges, symptoms to look out for, and what you need to do once you discover there’s a bulge in your tire.
Table of contents
What is a Tire Bulge?
A tire bulge is a protrusion of the sidewalls of the tire that occurs when there is internal pressure within the tire. This pressure causes it to swell and push outward against the beading wire resulting in an unbalanced tire.
This may not be visible from the outside of the tire, so it’s important to watch for signs of excess wear on your tires which would indicate that they need to be replaced rather than looking at their appearance alone.
How To Know if Your Tire Has a Bulge
While most bulges are easy to spot, you might have difficulty spotting very small tire bulges. Here are some things you can do to determine if you have a tire bulge:
- Run your hand along the tread of the tire. If there is a bump or bulge, it will be evident as soon as you run your hand over it.
- The best way to check for a sidewall bulge is by looking at the sidewall of the tire. The side wall should be smooth and uniform in shape, with no protrusions or dents that indicate a problem exists within the rubber casing of your tires. If any part of this area looks damaged or warped, find a replacement immediately before it gets more serious.
Causes of Tire Bulges
1. Improper Inflation
The most common cause of a tire bulge is improper inflation. Over-inflated tires put extra strain on the sidewalls, causing them to buckle and bulge outward. Under-inflated tires can lose their shape and become more susceptible to damage from potholes and other road hazards.
It’s important that you check your tires regularly for bulges or other problems that could indicate damage especially if you have been driving in areas where there are lots of potholes or rough roads. If you see a bulge on one of your tires, it’s time to get it checked out.
2. Tire Has Been Driven Over a Nail or Similar Object
If you have a tire that’s bulging, it’s likely that a nail or other object has impacted your tire. This can happen when you are driving and hit a hazard on the road. In either case, you should replace the tire immediately.
If the damaged area is not very large (less than about 2 inches), then you may be able to repair it by patching it. However, this will only work if there are no additional issues with your tires. If there is any damage beyond just the bulge itself, then patching won’t be possible and they should be replaced entirely.
3. Tire is Old and Worn Out
This is another common cause of bulges in tires, especially if you don’t drive your vehicle often. As tires age, their treads become less dense and can begin to wear down over time, making them less effective at handling the weight of your car, and even resulting in a situation where you’ll have your tire wire showing.
The rubber itself also starts to break down over time, causing it to become more prone to cracking or splitting apart under pressure. If this happens while you’re driving on a road, air will leak out through these holes between layers of rubber and into the tread itself—creating a big bubble on top of your tire that looks like it’s about to pop.
4. Tire is Damaged From Hitting a Curb
If your tire is damaged from hitting a curb, it is likely to have a bulge in it. This damage can occur even if you are not flat and the tire was not filled with air when you hit the curb. It’s important to check your tires regularly for bulges and other damage.
Read: Tires Rub when Turning?
Can You Fix a Tire Bulge?
The short answer is no, fixing the tire won’t work. There are some DIY fixes that will temporarily solve the problem but they usually don’t last long and are very costly in comparison to replacement.
Replacing the whole tire might seem like an unnecessary expense but it is usually cheaper than trying to fix just the bulge area of your tire and there are also a number of other benefits associated with replacing tires rather than repairing them.
Can I Continue to Drive on a Bulged Tire?
A tire bulge is a potentially dangerous situation that needs to be addressed immediately because it can cause rapid inflation of your tires and blowouts. It can also lead to the failure of your tire’s internal structure, which could result in an even bigger problem later down the road if not repaired properly now.
If you’ve noticed a bulge in your tire, it’s a sign that there is damage to the inner layers of your tire. This can happen for many reasons – your tire has hit a pothole, they are worn out, they have been pierced by nails, or might have hit the curb while driving. We strongly advise that you do not take this lightly. Once you notice a bulge in your tire, it’s time to replace that tire.
Ugo is a passionate car enthusiast with a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree and hands-on experience in troubleshooting and fixing automobiles.
I combine my electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge with practical skills to address car-related issues.
My love for cars and dedication to educating others led to the creation of Fixandtroubleshoot.com!