There are some tire problems, such as worn or uneven tread, that require your addressing the issue as soon as possible. However, there’s another class of tire problems that demand immediate replacement of the tire with a spare, or risk a blowout. If you should ever notice one of these three problems, count yourself lucky to have noticed it before it caused a crash:
A Tire With a Bulge or Bubble
A bulge or a bubble on the sidewall of your tire indicates a weak area that’s yielding to the tire’s air pressure. This problem is commonly caused by impact damage. Running into a curb, or into a pothole at a high speed, or over a piece of lumber on the expressway, and similar incidents can damage the inside layer of the sidewall.
This damage occurs on a localized area and allows air pressure to press against the sidewall’s outer layer, which produces the bulge. If you notice this while traveling, replace the tire with a spare, because it can blowout at any time. Tire bulges can’t be repaired.
Extensive cracking that reaches deep into the tire indicates aged rubber. These cracks will appear all over your tires and require their immediate replacement. If you’ve just recently noticed this problem, you’ve been driving “on borrowed time.”
Rubber in this condition has lost much of its elasticity and, as far as tire rubber is concerned, is quite brittle. This problem happens when you keep tires beyond their recommended replacement time (about 7 years for many tires). Sometimes, the rubber ages prematurely when used in hot climates with intense sun exposure.
Driving on a Flat Tire
Any amount of driving on a flat tire, even going down the length of your driveway, requires its immediate replacement. The tire rubber has been severely pinched and damaged. Saving some money isn’t worth risking a tire blowout on a crowded highway. This also applies if you’ve driven on a grossly under inflated tire. The driving has severely flexed and damaged the sidewall.
Injured by a negligent motorist in a car accident? Contact us at Hogan Injury for legal advice.