Indian roads are full of potholes and uneven bumps. And your tyres can undergo a lot of damage on such tough roads. Not to mention, after encountering a nasty bump, we rarely stop to check the damage on the tyres, don’t we? Maybe it’s time we did.
The health of the tyres determines your safety on the roads. Even reasonably used tyres are not too safe as there can be some slight damage which gets overlooked. For instance, the tyres can develop egg-shaped protrusions or lumps. These deformities are called bulges. Tyres with such bumps are dangerous for drivers and passengers as well. Want to know why? Here’s some know-how from us:
How is a tyre bulge formed?
→ A tyre is made up of ply and rubber. The ply provides the strength, and the rubber is glued to the ply. In case of a drastic impact, the sturdy sidewall becomes weak as the structural integrity suffers injury. This separates the rubber from the plies, which allow the air to escape. And then this air forms a bulge.
What are the possible reasons for a tyre bulge?
Wondering whether your lack of tyre maintenance is responsible for a car or bike tyre bulge? There’s no definite answer. Tyre bubbles are likely to occur due to the following reasons:
- Your bike tyre or car tyre (which is made of multiple layers of rubber) had a hard impact, the intensity of which breaks the inner lining. This results in swollen tyre sections.
- Sudden braking or acceleration has put extra pressure on a particular section of the tyre.
- The tyres of overloaded vehicles suffer extra pressure which leads to internal burnout.
- Inadequate tyre pressure levels make tyres prone to bulges.
- Vehicle owners living in frigid climates experience tyre bulges often. The tyre’s rubber tends to lose flexibility due to the cold.
Is it dangerous to drive with tyre bulge?
YES, running your vehicle on a tyre with a bulge is extremely dangerous. If you have spotted a bulge on a tyre, do NOT continue using it. Why so?
- The bulge weakens the tyre's structure. So it is no longer capable of shielding the tyre from a blowout due to the built-up air pressure.
- The faster the speed at which you ride on a bulged tyre, the faster is the rate of pressure accumulation. The moment you hit even a tiny bump, or brake abruptly, the tyre will explode.
Where is a tyre bulge most likely to pop up?
→ There is no definite position of a tyre bulge. It could develop anywhere in the sidewall of the tyre. But you should know what a bulge looks like to correctly identify it. It looks like a lump or like the top of an egg.
→ Make sure you check the inner sidewall using a torchlight while inspecting your tyres for such bubbles.
→ More often than not, a tyre bulge is big enough to be spotted easily.
→ Irrespective of its location, a bulge on your tyre symbolises damage.
If you believe in proper tyre care, you should act fast and get your tyre replaced as quickly as possible.
Can I repair a tyre bulge myself?
→ Repairing a bulged tyre is next to impossible because it is the internal structure of the tyre that sustains damage in the development of a bulge. Not even your trustworthy mechanic nearby is equipped to repair a tyre with a bulge. Hence, the only option at your disposal is to replace the damaged tyre.
→ Driving your vehicle with a tyre bubble is dangerous. However, if you are stuck in the middle of the road, drive your car as slowly as possible towards any tyre shop nearby to get the tyre replaced.
Now you know that a tyre bulge must be avoided like the plague. Also remember to drive carefully to ensure your tyres’ safety.
→ Opt to drive at reasonable speeds, so you can see any possible bumps and potholes coming your way. Not driving recklessly is one little step towards tyre care.
→ Get your vehicle serviced regularly. Keep its suspensions fine-tuned to ensure that they are performing their duties and not exerting additional load on the tyres in case of impact.
These small precautions can go a long way in ensuring you are safe and so is your vehicle.