Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

More related articles

How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...


Related questions

Q: When should a supplemental restraint system component be repaired or replaced?

Most components in your supplemental restraint system (SRS) are designed to be used just once. This applies to all of your air bags, as well as for the seat belt pretensioners in your driver and passenger front seat belts. Once...

Q: How to make a 2004 Scion xB a smoother ride

Those Scion's are rough riding cars. A lot of people don't realize that the number one shock absorbers on their vehicles are the tires. Since tires are rubber and full of air, they end up absorbing majority of the shock...

Q: Wheel bearings fail & new part can not be found

Hello. I'm assuming you are talking about the front bearings. Greasing and adjusting the wheel bearings is sort of an art. If you don't get it right, you can have repeat failures. Search for a video of how to pack...