Tires are the most vulnerable features of a car.
As they maintain contact with the road surface, they get exposed to high amounts of stress and pressure from obstacles such as speed bumps and potholes.
Knowing that this happens, it is important to constantly monitor your tire sidewall and check if it has been endangered in any way.
And what happens when you see a tire bubble? The aim of this article is to answer the question: “how long can I drive with a bubble in my tire?”
Even though the answer is pretty straightforward – you shouldn’t drive, let’s find out why that is important.
How Long Can I Drive with Tire Bubbles?
Tire Bubbles or Knots develop when there is a weakened focus. They occur when the tire’s internal structure containing air pressure develops a fault or weakens.
And as a driver keeps moving on the road, there is differential tire pressure with the road, allowing air to leak through the inner tire lining but becoming trapped as it reaches the tire’s outer rubber layer.
So, when you notice a tire bubble or knot, the best thing you should do is a park and wait for tire replacement. Driving such a tire is dangerous and can cause serious road accidents.
Is it safe to drive on a tire with a knot?
For something potentially dangerous, there is no safety guarantee.
When you see a tire bubble, there is a likely chance that air will escape from the tire’s inner lining and then continual driving will make it bulge.
Eventually, it gets to a point where the air will be too much for the rubber to hold. By that time, you begin to lose control of your car until the tire explodes, causing serious blowouts or damage to your wheels – tire separation or damaged suspension system.
Will knot damage your tire?
Yes, it does.
There is no sugarcoating what a knot can do to your tire if you continue driving.
There are different reasons why you may have tire bubbles or knots, but the moment you realize that you do, your top priority is to park safely and have it replaced.
If you don’t do this, there is a great threat to the wheel and suspension system. As a matter of fact, repairing your car’s suspension system is expensive for something you could have just had your tire replaced.
Possible Reasons Behind a Tire Bubble
So, if you ask: what causes tire bubbles?
There are some factors responsible – they are capable of reaching the tire’s internal structure even when a regular tire is made of several layers of ply and rubber. They include:
Impact Damage – Potholes, Curb, and Speed bumps
The biggest culprit of tire bubbles is impact damage from potholes, railroad crossings, curbs, and speed bumps. Small collisions can also be potentially responsible.
As you keep hitting potholes and other obstacles, there is damage to your tire’s sidewall cords which ultimately causes the tear of the inner lining.
The unfortunate thing about this damage is that you may not discover the bubble after hitting potholes or curbs; instead, it develops gradually until it becomes evident, putting your car at great risk.
In the future, you should be careful with rough roads – avoid potholes or hitting speed bumps too hard.
Overloading and Reduced Tire Pressure
Apart from hitting obstacles, another reason why you have tire bubbles is due to overloading and reduced tire pressure.
When you load your vehicle too much – more than what it can carry, the sidewall starts breaking and eventually causes swelling due to low pressure. It is also another concept of impact damage.
In order to prevent bubbles, you should check the tire pressure gauge regularly to see if it is beyond normal. If you notice a fluctuation, you should check for a bubble in your tire.
Another cause of sidewall bubbles is one caused by the manufacturer.
Many people are too quick to go for bad tires because they are on a budget. However, that shouldn’t be.
You shouldn’t get a bad tire because you are on a budget; instead, check out friendly options from reputable brands.
And if you notice the tread bulging, the manufacturer’s warranty should be able to cover damages/defects.
Signs of Tire Bubbles?
Generally, there is no way you can specifically avoid bubbles but there are signs you can look out for.
First, there is a high possibility that you begin to feel wobbly when you drive. You will feel you have bad handling and poor cornering. Slowly, you begin to lose control.
Next, you start seeing deformities. And as your tire’s structural integrity becomes compromised, you may think it’s a flat tire but it’s not.
When you start noticing these signs, there are no preventing tire bubbles because that is possibly the condition you are in.
All you can just do is drive carefully until you find a good spot to change the old tire.
Is a small bubble in a tire dangerous?
Yes, it is.
No matter how infinitesimal the tire bubble looks, it is dangerous.
The reason is that as you keep driving with a bubble in your tire, air seeps out and if you are not too careful, the tire would bulge causing great damage and harm to you, and your passengers.
The least you can do is to prevent tire bubbles from expanding and exploding. And you can do that by driving slowly until you can replace your tire with a new one.
In the case of a serious tire bubble in the sidewall, you should stop driving immediately because the bulge can blow or explode at any time.
How can I remove a knot in my tire?
As a precautionary measure, you should regularly inspect your tires. But if you were ever in a situation where you have a tire with a bubble, here is what you should do:
Assess Bubble Severity
If you ever notice a bubble in your tire, the first thing you should do is assess the severity. Check if the bulge in the tire with a bubble is large or small.
Park to Safety
If the bulge is small, you should prevent tire bubbles from expanding by driving slowly until you can park safely or call an auto repair service center.
However, if it is large, you should stop driving immediately.
Have Your Tire replaced
Before you replace it with a new tire, you should check the wheel and suspension system for damages.
If any of these parts are compromised, it would only pose more risks to the new tires.
More so, you should make it a point of duty to keep a spare tire in your car. So that in case of an emergency like this, you can change and keep driving.
You should also consider getting the four tires of your car from a reputable brand. You can check any tire shop close to you for options available.
“How long can I drive with a bubble in my tire?” Zero miles.
By now you know what a tire bubble means and how dangerous it can be even in the smallest size.
Knowing how important this is, you should have your tire pressure regularly inspected. If you have enough pressure, you can keep driving.
If you notice a huge reduction, you should steer safely and drive carefully until you can have the tires replaced with new ones.
Overall, your safety is important and healthy tires can aid that.