Before getting into your car, you may have looked down and noticed that the sidewall of one of your tires has an odd appearance. If you do not see an obvious cause of the damage, such as a nail sticking out of the tire, you may wonder what is causing the strange appearance. Below are a couple of causes of damage that can happen to car tires' sidewalls.
1. Broken Belts Can Cause Ridges and Punctures
One thing you may notice while you are examining your sidewalls are bumps that appear to be ridges forming in the rubber. You may see only a couple of these ridges, or you may find them all around the sidewall.
Usually, when there are ridges forming on the sidewalls, belts inside of the tire have become broken. These metal belts are what help the tires maintain their shape even when they do not have any air inside of them. They act as a skeleton to help maintain the strength and integrity of the tires.
However, when they become broken, the belts will start to push against the rubber of the sidewalls, forming ridges. Not only do these ridges weaken the structural integrity of the tire, but they are likely to eventually make their way through and puncture the rubber.
2. Air and Moisture Can Cause Bubbling
Another strange sign that you may see on your sidewalls is hard to miss. You will see a huge bulge bubbling out from the rest of the tire. You may only have one bubble, or you may see a row of bubbles encircling the sidewall.
Bubbling occurs when the rubber of the tire either wears down or becomes superficially damaged. Even though the tire is essentially still sound after this type of damage is sustained, it does allow air and moisture to seep underneath the surface rubber. As time goes on, the air or moisture starts to build up and place pressure on the rubber, causing the sidewalls to bubble up.
If you have any type of damage to the sidewall of one of your car's tires, you should not continue to drive on it, as you are at serious risk of having it blow out on you while you are on the road. And, since sidewall damage cannot be repaired, you will need to replace it. As soon as possible, visit a tire service to discuss your options.