What are Bubbles in Tyres and How to Fix Them?

02 26,2024

 

As you cruise down the road, your vehicle's tyres bear the weight of the vehicle and face the brunt of rough surfaces, debris, and potholes. While modern tyres are designed to be durable and resilient, they can still suffer from damage, one of which is the dreaded tyre bubble. If you've ever noticed a strange bulge or bump on your tyre's sidewall or tread, you might be dealing with a tyre bubble. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into what causes these bubbles, the symptoms to look out for, and most importantly, how to fix them to ensure your safety on the road.

What Are Bubbles in Tyres?

Tyre bubbles, also known as bulges, bumps, or blisters, are abnormal deformities that appear on the sidewall or tread of a tyre. These bubbles often indicate internal damage to the tyre's structure, typically caused by impacts with potholes, curbs, sharp objects, or even manufacturing defects. They can vary in size, from small, barely noticeable bumps to larger, more pronounced bulges.

 

Causes of Bubbles in Tyres

  1. Impact Damage:

    One of the most common causes of tyre bubbles is hitting potholes or curbs at high speeds. The force of impact can create internal damage, leading to a bulge in the tyre.

  2. Road Debris: 

    Sharp objects such as nails, glass, or metal fragments on the road can penetrate the tyre's surface, causing internal damage that manifests as a bubble.

  3. Manufacturing Defects: 

    In rare cases, tyre bubbles can occur due to defects in the manufacturing process. Weak spots or inconsistencies in the tyre's structure may eventually lead to bulges.

 

Symptoms of a Bubble in Tyre

Identifying a tyre bubble early is crucial for preventing a potential blowout or loss of control while driving. Here are some common signs to watch for:

  1. Visible Bulge: 

    Look for a noticeable bulge or bump on the sidewall or tread of the tyre. It may appear as a raised area, often resembling a small blister.

  2. Irregular Shape: 

    The bubble may have an irregular shape, sometimes elongated or oval, rather than a smooth, circular appearance.

  3. Soft or Spongy Feel: 

    When pressing on the bulged area, you might notice that it feels soft, spongy, or less firm compared to the rest of the tyre.

  4. Vibration or Wobbling: 

    A tyre with a bubble may cause the vehicle to vibrate or wobble, especially at higher speeds.

  5. Loss of Air Pressure: 

    In some cases, a tyre bubble can lead to a slow leak, resulting in a gradual loss of air pressure.

 

Can I Drive with a Bubble in My Tyre?

Driving on a tyre with a bubble is highly discouraged, as it poses serious safety risks. A compromised tyre is more susceptible to a sudden blowout, loss of control, or a flat tyre, especially under the stress of driving conditions. Continuing to drive on a tyre with a bubble can also cause further damage to the tyre and potentially lead to costly repairs or replacements.

 

How to Fix Bubbles in Tyre?

If you've discovered a bubble on your tyre, it's essential to take action promptly. While some small bubbles might be repairable, larger or more severe bulges often require tyre replacement. Here's what you can do:

1. Assess the Severity:

  • Carefully inspect the size and location of the bubble. A small bubble on the tread, away from the sidewall, might be repairable.

  • If the bulge is larger, located on the sidewall, or near the tyre's shoulder, it's likely safer to replace the tyre.

2. Consult a Professional:

  • For your safety and the longevity of your tyre, it's best to have a professional tyre technician assess the situation.

  • They can determine whether the bubble can be safely repaired or if tyre replacement is necessary.

3. Repairing a Small Bubble:

  • If the bubble is small and located on the tread, it might be repairable using a patch or plug.

  • Tyre repair kits are available, but it's crucial to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

  • This repair process typically involves cleaning the area, applying a patch or plug, and ensuring a secure seal.

4. Replacing the Tyre:

  • Larger bubbles, bulges on the sidewall, or near the tyre's shoulder often indicate irreversible damage.

  • In these cases, it's safest to replace the tyre to avoid the risk of a blowout or loss of control.

  • When replacing the tyre, it's recommended to replace it in pairs (both front or both rear) to maintain balanced handling and performance.

Read Also: When Should I Replace My Tyres?

5. Prevention Tips:

  • To minimize the risk of tyre bubbles, practice safe driving habits, avoiding potholes, curbs, and debris whenever possible.

  • Regularly inspect your tyres for signs of damage, bulges, or punctures.

  • Maintain proper tyre inflation according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

  • Rotate your tyres regularly to ensure even wear and longevity.

 

In Conclusion

Tyre bubbles are a clear indication of internal damage to your tyre and should never be ignored. Identifying and addressing them promptly is crucial for your safety on the road. Remember to inspect your tyres regularly for signs of damage, bulges, or irregularities, and consult a professional if you discover a bubble. While small bubbles on the tread might be repairable, larger or sidewall bulges often necessitate tyre replacement. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can ensure smooth, safe travels and extend the life of your tyres.

Whether you're dealing with a small bubble in your car tyre or a noticeable bulge in the sidewall, understanding the causes and knowing how to address the issue is key to maintaining optimal safety and performance for your vehicle. Don't let a tyre bubble deflate your confidence on the road—take action, stay safe, and keep rolling smoothly towards your next adventure.

 

Receive our latest news and updates