If you’re like most drivers, you don’t think about your tires too often. Maybe you adjust the tire pressure a few times a year when the weather changes, but otherwise you assume they’re good to go. But now you’ve seen a bubble in your tire, and you need to investigate.
AIR BUBBLE IN TIRE: DO I NEED TO TAKE ACTION?
The short answer is: yes! A small bulge in the tire sidewall can look harmless, but it could have serious consequences. Any tire bulge indicates a major problem with your tire that could cause a tire blowout and a dangerous accident at any time. To ensure your safety, you need to have it replaced immediately by a highly skilled technician, like those at your local Jiffy Lube®.
WHAT CAUSES BUBBLES IN TIRES?
Air bubbles usually don’t happen randomly. They’re generally caused by a specific event on the road. A tire bulge can result from:
High-impact damage, such as hitting a pothole or road debris
Running into a curb
Driving too fast over speed bumps or railroad crossings
Overloading your tire by carrying too much weight in the vehicle
Driving with a flat tire, even for a short distance
During any of these events, the impact pushes the tires against the rim, which forces air between the layers of the tire and causes bubbles in tires. Unfortunately, once a bubble appears, there is no repair other than to replace the tire completely.
BUT DIDN'T DAMAGE MY TIRE AND I STILL HAVE A TIRE BULGE!
Don’t remember any events that could’ve caused the damage? Some bubbles are caused by manufacturing defects. During an inspection at one of the 2,000 Jiffy Lube locations across North America, a skilled technician will look closely at your tires. If there’s no obvious physical damage due to an impact, the defect may be covered by your tire warranty or road hazard insurance. Every insurance company and tire manufacturer have different policies, so it may be worth the time to submit a claim if this occurs.
IS A TIRE BULGE REALLY THAT DANGEROUS?
Absolutely. While it may look like a harmless little bubble in your tire, it’s a sign that a tire blowout could occur at any time. This creates a major risk to you, your passengers and to other drivers on the roadway. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that tire failure causes 11,000 crashes each year. That’s an average of 30 crashes per day in the United States alone.
HOW DO I FIX A BUBBLE IN MY TIRE, AND HOW DO I PREVENT THEM?
Once there’s a bubble in the tire sidewall, there’s no repair that will save that tire. The tire must be replaced completely to ensure your safety. So, if you see a tire bulge, get the tire replaced right away.
And in the future, schedule regular tire inspections and tire rotations at your local Jiffy Lube. Not only will you ensure that your tires are in good condition, but inspections and rotations also improve vehicle performance, help you retain your tire manufacturer’s warranty and contribute to better gas mileage.
A tire inspection and rotation at Jiffy Lube is a simple process with major benefits:
A skilled technician will ask you a few questions about your driving style
Your vehicle’s tire treads are inspected for both tire tread depth and condition
Tire sidewalls (both inner and outer) are inspected
Tire pressure is checked and adjusted to the pressure recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer
Your vehicle is lifted, and all four tires are removed
Tires are moved from the rear to the front and from the front to the rear
Tires are installed and their fasteners are torqued to manufacturer’s specifications
Fastener torque is rechecked by a second technician for your safety and peace of mind
Finding a bubble in your tire is rarely a pleasant experience. But with the helpful service at Jiffy Lube, and your newfound knowledge of tire care and maintenance, it could be the beginning of better, safer driving for years to come.