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.


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Recent Spare Tire Installation reviews

Excellent Rating

(158)

Rating Summary
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5
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Nicholas

11 years of experience
585 reviews
Nicholas
11 years of experience
Toyota Camry V6-3.0L - Spare Tire Installation - Knightdale, North Carolina
Nicholas finished an earlier appointment which enabled him to come by earlier than originally scheduled. I'm very grateful he chose to reschedule. While replacing a flat with my donut spare, he instructed me on how to safely drive to the tire shop for the repair. More importantly to have the shop add air to the donut spare. Nicholas did an excellent job. He as very professional. Thank you
Ford E-150 Econoline - Spare Tire Installation - Durham, North Carolina
I was VERY pleased with Nicholas' expertise and was more than delighted that he was so prompt. He was very polite and friendly, and he did a marvelous job. If I ever need any repairs to my vehicle in the future, I would definitely ask for Nicholas.

Luis

29 years of experience
91 reviews
Luis
29 years of experience
Toyota Prius L4-1.5L Hybrid - Spare Tire Installation - Prospect Heights, Illinois
Luis attended my car today and help in fixing the issue quickly. He is nice and friendly guy. I will recommend him for any services.

Hugh

11 years of experience
106 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
88 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!

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