Why is there a bubble in my tire?
A sidewall tire bubble, like the one shown above, is a bulge protruding from the sidewall of the tire. This happens when air is leaking from the inside of the tire into the carcass or body of the tire.
The majority of bubbles are caused by impact damage. The tire has a small patch of contact with the road so, when a tire hits a sharp object, the force from the weight and speed of the vehicle is focused on the small area of the tire’s surface. You might not even notice the impact but if this force compresses the tire enough that the sidewall is pinched and damaged, it will create a small hole in the inside tire liner layer. The impact can also damage the sidewall cords, which significantly weakens the tire.
Some common types of impact are:
- railroad crossings
- speed bumps
- heavily damaged roads
- road construction areas
- debris in the road
Occasionally a defect in the tire can cause the bubble. Determining the cause is fairly simple. Inspect the outside of the tire for obvious cuts or bruises. If you can’t find any, it’s most likely a defective tire.
Can they be repaired?
No, unfortunately, sidewall bubbles cannot be repaired. Because the area flexes slightly as you drive, a patch will not stay in place. The bubble also indicates there is structural damage to the tire, meaning that the tire could fail without warning. The tire must be replaced as soon as possible and should not be driven on in the meantime.
Repairing a Sidewall Tire Bubble With V&F
At V&F Auto, we’re proud to offer extensive tire services, including:
- Tire Sales
- Tire Installations
- Tire Rotation
- Tire Balancing
- Tire Replacement
- Wheel Alignment
- Tire Air Pressure Checks
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Repair & Service
If you notice a bubble in your tire, we can help. Our expert mechanics can help you choose the right tire type for your price point, driving habits, and most common driving conditions. Call us at (413)314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
This article was originally published in 2019 and has been updated.