There’s a lot to know about tire sidewall damage and how to determine the extent of damage.
In this article, we are going to discuss the components of a tire, understand what is tire sidewall damage, what causes tire sidewall damage, types of sidewall damage and how to fix and avoid it. We will also discuss if it is safe to drive a car with sidewall damage.
If you think you have sidewall damage, check the radial cords, which are located between 0.125 to 0.188 inches beneath the surface of the sidewall. If you notice any of these signs, you need to have your tire fixed immediately.
Below is an image of the components of a tire.
Tires are made of synthetic natural rubber, which is durable, and a rigid belt or body ply. These components absorb the stresses of driving and the heat generated from friction.
Tires are made up of different components such as:
This is primarily a rubber component that encircles the casing and offers sufficient rolling resistance, excellent handling, long life, and excellent gas mileage.
Jointless cap plies
Rests immediately beneath the tread, effectively enabling fast travel.
Steel cord belt
This layer gives rigidity to the tire, where shape retention and directional stability are improved, rolling resistance is reduced, and the mileage performance of your tires is improved.
Textile cord ply
Maintains the tire’s shape by controlling the internal pressure.
This component controls tire pressure by sealing the air-filled inner chamber, and in today’s tubeless car tires, it serves as an inner tube.
The sidewall, made of natural rubber, shields the casing from obvious damage and atmospheric effects. it attaches to the tread by the tread shoulder.
These are just but a few tire components. Our main focus is on the Sidewall component, how to fix it when damaged, and after how long.
Tires have a lot of stress put upon them when they are driven over everyday roads. When this happens, you may be able to see that there is tire sidewall damage. If you leave it alone, it will likely get worse with time.
What Is Tire Sidewall damage?
Tire sidewall damage can be defined as damage within the sidewall of your tires, whether on the inner or outer side of the wall. This is a major issue that can result in total tire malfunction.
This can result from a minor accident or from driving too close to the road’s curb. It can happen due to stones, twigs, or other sharp objects left on the road.
Tire sidewall damage is serious and requires immediate attention. This will require a complete tire inspection, including possible replacement if necessary. Any exposed hot spots need to be removed and the loose materials attached to them as they may become loose during temperature changes or even damage. The sealant should also be replaced per manufacturer recommendations to ensure adequate protection during continuous wear and tear cycles.
Tire replacement is the best option for dealing with this problem.
Causes of Tire Sidewall Damage?
Tire sidewall damage is one of the most common issues you can encounter. These issues can come from many different sources, such as heat generated from driving at high speeds, excessive heat from braking and cornering at break-neck speeds, and even from overloading the vehicle.
These causes include:
There will be cases where lower-quality tires cut corners on essential criteria before leaving the factory. One of the most well-known examples is the speed rating. These poorly rated tires have a propensity to overheat and affect the sidewall authenticity during consistent high speeds due to avoiding the process of carefully examining for the proper speed rating.
Tire sidewalls can reduce the amount of force transmitted to the road by as much as 20% for every ten psi drop in load. Poorly rated tires are also prone to high wear, which may affect the overall ride quality of your vehicle.
Here are the best tire brands to consider.
Overweight vehicles cause tires to flatten and can even explode due to air pressure buildup, overheated sidewall, and friction. Overloading your vehicle beyond its prescribed limit puts too much stress on your suspension system and, ultimately, your tires. Overloading is also one of the culprits of compromised handling, as this prompts the vehicle to wobble or wiggle from side to side of the road. This may cause tire sidewall damage.
The lifespan of tires varies from the manufacturer. Generally, with age-onset, tire sidewalls start to lose their flexibility, and their tensile strength decreases with every passing day. As a result, it becomes harder for the tires to dissipate the impact energy applied during driving.
When an object is made from natural rubber, the material will become brittle and dry with time. Brittle tires increase mileage and fuel consumption, which are costly for the car owner. When you see cracks in your vehicle’s tires, it is important to know what type of tire damage is happening. If you see salt or grit on your wheels, then this indicates you need an oil change as soon as possible. You can also check for excessive wear from these things but only after talking to your mechanic or getting a visual inspection of your vehicle.
Tire sidewall damage is caused by driving over rough terrain or hitting something major like a curb. It’s even worse if the sidewall was already showing signs of wear at one point, and over time your tires will get more worn out to the point that it’s almost impossible to drive with any type of tire repair.
If you notice your tire sidewalls are eroding, it’s time to get some new tires. Erasing the sidewall and wearing down the tire isn’t good for any car owner and can often result in dangerous situations like blowouts, overheating, and wear on your other brakes.
Types of Tire Sidewall Damage
A bubble indicates that the ply cords have been damaged and there is air loss inside the tire. If you notice a bulge, blister, or bubble on the sidewall of your tire, it’s probably just a warning sign that they need to be replaced sooner than later.
Deep and big abrasions
An abrasion is tire damage that looks like scrapes or razor blade slices on your wheel. Abrasions are caused by rough pavement when the truck bounces along with it. While you may not notice them, they can cause serious damage to your vehicle’s wheel’s bearings and hubs, leading to later costly repairs.
In spite of its size, an abrasion can be a sign of more serious injuries. It’s like when you get a cut or scrape, it’s important to treat it immediately and seek medical help if the injury is severe. The same applies to tire abrasions damage.
Missing huge chunks of rubber
The sidewall is an important part of the tire that protects the inner structure. When a sidewall is damaged, it allows air to enter and out of your tire, causing a loss of traction. These portions within the sidewall have been chipped off from the tire. Also, it is most likely that the inner cords that hold the tire’s structure are already exposed.
This is a section of the tire’s sidewall where paint has peeled off due to age. This usually happens on the center portion of the tire, where stress is put most often.
How Much Tire Sidewall Damage Is Too Much?
How much tire sidewall damage is too much? This question has many answers. It is essential to properly evaluate the situation before taking any action. A bulged sidewall can be an indication of structural damage and cannot be repaired. However, the problem may not be immediately visible. Consequently, you should always deflate the tire before installation. Using a balloon analogy, visualize the sidewall bulge as a balloon tied around the center. The string will create an indentation when it is stretched to its maximum.
Sidewall damage occurs due to prolonged exposure to wear agents. Proper tire care, such as the correct tire pressure, rotation, and balancing, will help to prevent this type of damage. Overloading the vehicle is another common cause of sidewall damage. The excess weight may cause issues with the suspension system, so it is important to follow the maximum load limits on the tire codes. Also, avoid driving carelessly because potholes and curbs can physically ruin rubber.
Using the wrong type of tire is another common cause of sidewall damage. Overloaded vehicles can result in flat tires or explosions. They can also cause your vehicle to wobble from side to side on the road. High speed driving can also damage sidewall tires, especially those on multi-purpose vehicles. Overloaded vehicles also have soft sidewalls, which further erode the rubber on the sidewall. While it might be tempting to simply replace a damaged tire with a new one, this can lead to even greater damage to the sidewall.
What Are Some Of The Causes Of Uneven Tire Wear Out?
There are several reasons for uneven tire wear. Poor wheel alignment is one of the most common causes. When your wheels are out of alignment, they will rub against each other, causing uneven tire wear. Getting your vehicle aligned by a professional mechanic is one of the best ways to prevent uneven tire wear. If you want to avoid uneven tire wear, pay attention to your wheel alignment, and make regular visits to your mechanic.
One-sided wear occurs when the front or rear tread block wears out faster than the opposite side. This will give the tire a saw-blade-like pattern. This type of tire wear is particularly noticeable on the outer edges of the tire. You may also notice an excessive amount of toe wear. When your tire wears out excessively, it will create a vibration and humming sound that increases with speed.
The underlying causes of uneven tire wear include unbalanced or misaligned tires, cheap tires, and worn down suspension and shocks. If you notice uneven wear in your tires, it’s time to consider replacing them. Uneven tire wear will not only make your ride uncomfortable, but it can also cause safety problems. If left unchecked, uneven tire wear can also cause uneven steering.
Incorrect tire pressure is one of the main cause of uneven tire wear. If your tires are underinflated, they will experience uneven wear throughout. Incorrect tire pressure can cause shoulder and center wear. It is imperative to check your tire pressure on a regular basis and when temperatures change. If you notice uneven wear in your tires, it is time to get a professional to look at it. It can be quite costly to replace your tires.
How To Fix a Tire Sidewall Damage.
If you care about your tires and the safety of your car, then it is important to know the best way to fix tire sidewalls. Tire sidewall damage usually occurs because of several factors that make it possible for some parts of your tire to wear poorly. These factors include tire temperature, whether you are driving on a road or an off-road surface, and driving speed. Also, when you hit something hard enough on the highway and experience an impact with the curb or other object around you, it may cause damage to the sidewall of your tires, which can lead to a cracked or damaged sidewall that needs repair immediately.
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure” It is always better to adhere to what causes tire sidewall damage to prevent more damage.
The sidewall is the workhorse of your vehicle’s tires and can have a harder life than any other part of the tire. So it’s no wonder that sidewall damage is an inevitable part of a tire’s life cycle. However, not all sidewalls are created equal, and some damages can be seen immediately, while others will only become apparent if they continue to deteriorate over time.
When you have significant tire sidewall damage, the speed limit on your vehicle will decrease. Also, the tire will slow down more rapidly than before, and this can cause you to lose control of the vehicle in an accident. With this situation in place, it is highly recommended that you visit your local auto repair shop immediately to find out what options are available for fixing your problem as soon as possible.
Can I Drive with Tire Sidewall Damage?
Should you discover that your tire has any sign of sidewall damage, do not drive with that tire on the road. As soon as it’s safe to do so, call a local automotive shop and have your spare tire replaced. You could also consider taking advantage of roadside assistance services provided by AAA.
Your tires are the key to your car’s ride and safety. If you notice damage or cracks, these need to be addressed immediately! If you’re not familiar with your tires or how to do it yourself, please consider contacting a professional for doorstep service.
You must have your sidewall tires replaced as soon as you notice any sign of damage. This will prevent you from undergoing an expensive repair in the future and prevent air from getting trapped inside your car. It will also protect the passenger in your vehicle, especially if there is a blowout!
Is Sidewall Tire Damage Covered Under Warranty For New Tires?
Is sidewall tire damage covered under warranty for new tires? It depends. Most new tires are covered under a manufacturer’s warranty for 36,000 miles or five years. However, this warranty does not cover normal wear and tear or damage caused by road hazards. Often, sidewall tire damage can cause a puncture in a tire, but only the center of the tread area is covered. If you’ve noticed tire sidewall damage, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible.
In most cases, sidewall tire damage is not covered under a warranty. This is because a tire warranty usually covers problems caused by a defect in the materials and workmanship of the tire, not simply by a vehicle or its owner. Similarly, a warranty does not cover damage caused by misuse. Furthermore, most warranties expire after six years, so it’s unlikely that sidewall damage is covered.
If you find tire sidewall damage, you should replace it right away. A manufacturer’s warranty typically covers damage caused by improper installation, workmanship, or other issues related to the tire. In some cases, sidewall damage can be covered by an online warranty. If you’re unsure of the terms of your warranty, consider purchasing a new tire. It’s also worth checking if your existing tire is covered by a warranty.
As tires age, they become more susceptible to sidewall damage. The rubber in tires breaks down to a point where the sidewalk begins cracking. Sidewall damage can also be caused by overloading a tire or overloading it. When this happens, a vehicle may wobble, and the driver can be at risk. However, if you’re lucky, the sidewall damage will not lead to a blowout, but it could lead to a costly accident.
How to Avoid Tire Sidewall Damage?
Make sure that you regularly check your tire pressure. Your tires should have the correct air pressure for your vehicle’s make, model, and driving style. If you are unsure what the right air pressure is, consult your owner’s manual or contact a professional mechanic. Always drive with the recommended load limit and speed rating, and never exceed it. When purchasing new tires, always have them checked by a tire expert if something seems amiss.
It’s a good idea to check the air pressure of your tires every month or so. You should be able to determine if the tire pressure is right and if they are properly inflated by visually inspecting them and noting any visual cues, such as bubbles on the sidewall. However, it’s also important to check at least once in a while because they can lose air over time without being checked and may need to be topped off before too long.
Match the load and speed ratings to the recommendations of the vehicle.
If you want to know the basic information about your tires, you must know how to read the tire code on them. The tire size is always indicated by its diameter and width, with a symbol to indicate the number of percent inflation. Additionally, a metal label marked with letters and numbers will indicate the recommended air pressure for your tires.
The basic tire information reading is important because it provides valuable information regarding the load capacity, speed rating, and recommended tire pressure. If you want to know the exact pressure of your tires, you must pull out this tire sticker and read it carefully. The information required here can be found in two places: on the tire itself and the vehicle door frame, depending on the type of car/vehicle.
A regular visit to a tire expert
Tire professionals and specialists have extensive experience dealing with such issues throughout their careers. They may also look for other issues with your tires that you may have missed while inspecting them.
Regular tire inspection
It’s important to regularly inspect your tires and their sidewalls for any damage, cracks, or bulges. Here are some tips on how you can do just that:
- Check the tire pressure
- Check the tread wear indicators for the time it takes for a tire to wear out.
- Check the sidewall appearance for any damage or cracks
- Check for bulges in the sidewall
While you are driving, there are some factors that you have to consider to avoid tire sidewall damage. These factors include
- Drive at a safe speed.
- Avoid aggressive driving.
- Avoid sudden braking or turning.
- Avoid jack-rabbit starts, potholes, debris on the road, and curbs.
Install correct tire size
When it comes to tire size, it’s all about consistency. Make sure that all of your tires are the same brand and model, as well as being the same type (radial or bias-ply), load rating (payload capacity), and speed rating (the speed at which the tire was designed for).
If you have any concerns about whether a tire is correct for your vehicle, check with a professional before installing it.
When a tire wears down, the rubber on the outside of it has replaced the tread. This process is known as “chalking.” Over time, your tires will become stiffer and will lose their flexibility.
Tires lose their elasticity over time, which allows for the increase of road hazards. This loss of elasticity makes it easier for the tread to separate from the tire’s sidewalls. If this happens, it is best to replace your tires once the sidewalls are damaged. Any damage that has reached the threads is considered a major one.
If your tires have visible damage, you should replace them as soon as possible. The best way to determine if a tire has reached that point is by looking at the threading and sidewalls. ANY damage that reaches the threads is considered major damage. Most tires will go out of tread life around 100,000 miles (160,000 km).
Jim Wicks is the founder of MotorVehicleHQ. With over two decades of experience in the automotive industry and a degree in Automotive Technology, Jim is a certified car expert who has worked in various roles ranging from a mechanic, car dealership manager, to a racing car driver. He has owned more than 20 cars over the past 15 years. Ask him about any vehicle you see on the road and he can tell you the make, model and year. He loves the aesthetics of all things cars, and keeps his vehicles in pristine condition.
In his free time, Jim enjoys getting his hands dirty under the hood of a classic car or taking long drives along the country roads. His favorite car? A 1967 Shelby GT500, a true classic that, according to Jim, “represents the pure essence of American muscle.”