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Are You at Risk of a Blowout? Assessing Tire Sidewall Damage

Whether you go over a curb or hit a pothole, any time your tires take any impact it can be a scary moment. Risking a blowout on a long car trip or your morning commute is something that everyone wants to avoid if possible. However, damage to your tire’s sidewall can occur accidentally and cause your tire to suddenly explode while you’re on the road. As a result, drivers should know the main types of sidewall damage that put them at the most risk of a sudden blowout.

4 Signs You’re At Risk of a Tire Blowout Due to Sidewall Damage

The outer facing layer of a tire is called a sidewall, and damage to it can put your tire’s safety in jeopardy. From cuts and punctures to bubbling and cracking, there are plenty of signs that indicate your sidewalls are damaged and could put you at risk of a blowout. Instead of hoping for the best while you’re on the road, review the top four types of sidewall damage that indicate you’re at risk of a blowout below:

1. Cuts

Cuts are probably the most common type of sidewall damage and occur when your tires come into contact with sharp objects on the road, such as glass, wood, or debris. 

Even if the inner parts of the tire are not exposed by the cut, it is important to have a professional assess the damage, as cuts can lead to rapid tire pressure loss or a complete blowout. If the cut is only a few millimeters deep, the tire can still be driven on, but any damage that goes deeper into the sidewall is cause for replacement. 

2. Punctures

Punctures to your sidewall can be harder to notice than cuts. Unless the object that punctured your tire is still lodged in the actual structure, it can be easy to miss with the naked eye. While punctures may not immediately cause a blowout, they weaken the integrity of the sidewall’s structure and, if left unattended, can lead to damage over time. 

Punctures in a tire’s tread can sometimes be repaired, but a puncture to the sidewall warrants a tire replacement. Since ignoring what may seem like a small amount of damage can cause a bigger problem down the road, you’ll need a mechanic to immediately inspect your tires if you’ve noticed a sidewall puncture.

3. Bubbling and Bulging

Bubbling and bulging are more obvious forms of sidewall damage but are just as dangerous as cuts and punctures. Sidewall bubbling can occur because of impact, a manufacturing issue, or even just age. It’s also possible to under-inflate your tires and cause sidewall bulging, as the weight of the car places more stress on the tire’s internal structure. 

Bulges and bubbles should be taken seriously, as they are a major cause of blowouts and cannot be repaired. It is recommended that you replace your tires as soon as possible if you notice any bulging in the sidewall.

4. Cracks and Dry Rot 

As tires age, they may develop dry rot and start to crack. UV exposure, weather changes, and any kind of caustic material that they may come into contact with can put wear and tear on them. 

Cracks that are barely visible may not need to be immediately replaced, but extensive cracking should be addressed ASAP. The internal structure of the tire could be compromised by the cracks, and the tire could be dangerous to drive on. Even if you think the cracking isn’t extreme, it’s worth bringing your car in and having a professional take a look.

Choose Chapel Hill Tire Car Center All Your Tire Needs

If you’ve noticed any of the types of sidewall damage above and are looking for tire service near you in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, or the surrounding areas, stop by one of Chapel Hill Tire’s many locations in the Triangle. Our team can inspect your sidewalls and make any needed repairs to ensure your tires aren’t at risk of a blowout. In the event you end up needing new tires, our online tire-finding tool takes the stress out of wondering if you’re making the right choice when it comes to your vehicle’s wheels.

Learn more about our tire services today. If you need your sidewalls inspected or your tires replaced, please make an appointment. Don’t forget to also check out our promotions to see how much you can save!

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