Is It Safe to Drive With a Bubble in Your Tire?

Your tires should be smooth and round. If you notice a bubble on the sidewall, or see a section of tread bulging, it’s a sign that something is very wrong. Is it safe to drive with a bubble in your tire? The answer is a firm NO.

A few important things to watch out for include:

  • Bubble in the sidewall: The most common place to see a bubble in the tire is the sidewall. This is often caused by driving for even a short distance with a flat tire. What happens is that when the tire goes completely flat, part of the sidewall will slip under the edge of the wheel. This creates significant wear.

It can also occur after bumping a curb, or driving through a pothole. The force of hitting a hard edge in the road can pinch the tire against the rim, which causes a bubble to form.

A bubble can be produced in areas where the rubber has worn very thin. If you attempt to drive on the tire, there is a high possibility that it will blow out on you. Generally, there are no symptoms of a bubble in the sidewall that you’ll feel – you’ll see the bubble when you check your tires, though.

  • Bulging tread: If you see a bulge in the tread, rather than a bubble in the sidewall, this indicates that the tire has a broken belt (the steel belts that run around the circumference of the tire on the outside, underneath the tread). You’ll also experience a rhythmic “bumping” while driving.

Often, the bumping sensation is the first sign that something’s wrong. If you notice a bulge in the tread, you may be able to drive for a short distance, at least so you can get somewhere safe to install the spare. Do not drive for long distances with a bulging tire, as the tire can fail completely at any time. Your top priority should be getting the tire replaced as soon as possible.

If you experience any of these problems, you need to have the tire replaced immediately. It’s recommended that you replace tires two or four at a time, and stay on top of rotating your tires on schedule.


Next Step

Schedule Spare Tire Installation

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Spare Tire Installation. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Spare Tire Installation reviews

Excellent Rating

(146)

Rating Summary
140
5
1
0
0
140
5
1
0
0

Hugh

11 years of experience
75 reviews
Hugh
11 years of experience
Toyota FJ Cruiser V6-4.0L - Spare Tire Installation - Castle Rock, Colorado
Hugh came to change out a flat tire for my spare today. I have to say that I feel sheepish for calling someone to come help because I know how to change a tire but I was at work and on shift until 2 am and he came to my place of work. Instead of just installing my spare, he took the time to evaluate the situation. I had a nail in my tire and he took the tire to get patched and my vehicle drove better on my way home than when I left this morning. It was snowing sideways when he showed up to help me. He was a bit of a godsend in the moment and I would recommend him to anyone. I was just distressed because I did not have enough tip to give this guy for overachieving when I needed it. Huge five star review. I only hope to pay his generosity forward. He was more than worth the cost and he did a phenomenal job.

Jonathan

26 years of experience
72 reviews
Jonathan
26 years of experience
Honda Civic L4-1.7L - Spare Tire Installation - Smyrna, Georgia
Jonathan was very punctual, friendly, and transparent. He clearly explained everything he did and provided detail about any additional work he recommended. Great work!

Claud

8 years of experience
411 reviews
Claud
8 years of experience
Chevrolet S10 V6-4.3L - Spare Tire Installation - Detroit, Michigan
I had an issue getting a blown tire off my car I couldn't get it off so I called the mobile mechanic he got the tire off in a timely manner which was much appreciated

Gabriel

13 years of experience
39 reviews
Gabriel
13 years of experience
Saturn * * - Spare Tire Installation - Colorado Springs, Colorado
Very knowledgeable and professional. Put forth extra effort to ensure job was completed properly. Arrived on time and was very pleasant. Will definitely contact Gabriel again if have any future issues.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How Do Spare Tires Differ From Regular Tires?
Unless Unless you drive one of the select few vehicles that are equipped with a full-size matching spare tire, your spare tire is not the same as the other four that are on your vehicle. There are significant manufacturing differences...
Is it Safe to Drive With a Newborn Baby?
Having Having a baby is both exciting and nerve wracking at the same time, especially if you are a first time parent. There are a few precautions you can take to ensure the safety of your newborn baby during the...
How Do Spare Tires Differ From Regular Tires?
Unless Unless you drive one of the select few vehicles that are equipped with a full-size matching spare tire, your spare tire is not the same as the other four that are on your vehicle. There are significant manufacturing differences...

Related questions

What should I know about driving with the spare tire on the vehicle?

If you have to put the spare tire on your car, you’ll need to know a few things. These will help keep you safe on the road, but also help you understand a few of the things that your vehicle...

How do I use the seatbelt extender?

If the seatbelt is not long enough for you, you will need a seatbelt extender. You can only order a seatbelt extender at a dealership. When you go to the dealership to order a seatbelt extender, bring the largest coast...

Car shakes when pressing gas pedal

If the vibration occurs only under acceleration, the tires are not the most likely culprit. Vibration caused by tires is common. Sometimes vibration can be better or worse at certain speeds, but unaffected by acceleration or deceleration. The rear driveshaft...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com