Can You Drive Your Car If One of the Tyres Has a Bulge?

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Have you noticed a bulge on the side of one of your car's tyres? In the trade, this is known as a "bubble," and it is not something that you should ignore. What can cause this deformation and why is it a potential problem?

Tyre Construction

To find out why a bulge like this can appear, you need to understand how a tyre is made. While the process is very intricate, it will essentially involve the matting together of many different layers of rubber, fabric, polyester and steel wire.

There are several different stages involved as a tyre moves down the production line. However, the fabric and steel wires give the tyre its shape, rigidity and strength before the rubber is affixed with glue and the tread layer rounds it off.


If a tyre is under or over-inflated, this can lead to a significant increase in heat. When this happens, some of the bonding adhesives may begin to fail, and individual layers of the tyre may start to separate. While this movement may only be small, it can nevertheless lead to the formation of a bulge or bubble along the sidewall.

Sometimes, the tyre may also suffer from a stress fracture if you hit a large pothole at speed or drive over a curb. Tyres that have been allowed to wear down too far may also be prone to bubble problems. The internal structure may begin to dislocate, and issues will be around the corner.

Failure Ahead

While the tyre may still look intact and the bubble may be hard to the touch, this does not mean that everything will be okay. The tyre has certainly been weakened, and this deformation will put great strain on the steel cords that give the tyre its shape and rigidity. In the worst-case scenario, the tyre may burst when driving at speed, especially if it is not properly inflated. Alternatively, it could burst when you hit a large pothole or curb once again.

Action Stations

Unfortunately, there is no option but to change such a tyre, as it cannot be repaired. Consequently, you should get in touch with your tyre supplier right away and make arrangements with them. You may be able to drive slowly to the tyre dealer without issue but ask the expert first. In the future, always make sure that your tyres are correctly inflated and try to avoid any sharp bumps or holes.

For more information on tyres, contact a company near you.