Why Do Tires Blow Out?
A lot of things can go wrong with tires, but they’re generally pretty easy to fix. And as long-time mechanics will tell you, there’s nothing more important than getting it right the first time.
Bad tires: Bad tire problems are usually caused by one or more of the following: bad roads, driving too fast, poor maintenance, overloading, potholes and overinflation. The most common repairs for these issues are repairing the tread (tires have a tread around the edges that protects them from sharp rocks and other objects), cleaning out your wheels so you don’t have any air bubbles in them and repacking them properly (called inflating). If the problem persists after you’ve done all those things, though, it’s probably time to get new tires.
The tread on your tires is worn down, allowing them to break under even small amounts of pressure. This can happen in a number of ways—a rock or pothole getting wedged into the tire, a flat spot in the middle of a section causing the tire to lose pressure, punctures from sharp objects like nails or glass shards, and tire damage from hitting curbs or other hard objects. Sometimes one of these things alone isn’t enough to cause a blowout. You may have defects in the tire that allow it to deflate rapidly under simple driving conditions.
Here’s what to do if you suspect you have an issue with your tires:
Going by car size alone won’t tell you how much pressure your tires are being subjected to. When shopping for new tires, make sure you take into account how much weight is being carried on each wheel as well as how fast you drive. A big SUV will need bigger tires than a compact sedan with two people inside because the extra weight and speed put more stress on things like suspension and brakes compared to something that weighs less but doesn’t move around as quickly.
Always be sure that your tires have been properly inflated before starting out on your trip so that they reach their maximum safe capacity at all times (checking this can be done using air-pressure gauges).
When overloading any vehicle with too much gas (which is bad practice regardless), some air will escape through holes in the sidewall if they’re not properly sealed off when installed correctly. This causes leaks which lead to loss of proper inflation and eventually blowouts because there’s no more room for any more air out of the tire when it inevitably gets punctured during travel or everyday driving usage. The gasses leaking out through these holes will then diffuse back into the atmosphere, creating an air pocket within the tire itself which makes it unevenly filled—causing uneven old traction when
If you live in a city, you know that potholes can be one of the biggest threats to your tires. Hitting a pothole at speed can damage the wheel and rim (which can add up to big bucks) but it can also cause the tire to blow out.
Solve the problem by avoiding potholes. That doesn’t sound all that helpful, but it’s surprising how many people don’t try to steer around them. It may seem like you’re going too far out of your way, but if it keeps you from hitting an especially deep one, it will be worth it in the long run (and may save you some money).
- Curbs and curb damage:
Don’t park too close to curbs. Curb damage is one of the leading causes of tire failure, especially on passenger cars and light trucks that hit a curb or inadvertently drive onto one (often when parking close to a curb). This type of damage often causes air loss due to sidewall puncture or impact breaks in the bead seat area, which prevents an airtight seal between wheel and tire.
If you’ve ever driven across the desert, you’ve probably wondered, “Why do tires break down so quickly?” And if you’ve driven in a city or an area with lots of stop-and-go traffic, you’ve probably also wondered how long it takes for a tire to become dangerous. Well, I’m here to help answer these questions for you!
Tires are made from layers of rubber and fabric that are sandwiched between metal belts. While these belts cause your tires to grip the road well enough on dry roads, they don’t take much punishment in wet weather (examples: rain or snow). In addition, the rubber and fabric used in tires wears out over time.
The rubber is made up of small chunks of polyethylene (PE) pellets that melt together to form a solid sheet once the tire gets hot. As the PE heats up during use, it softens and dries out over time. Since this process happens gradually (and at different rates for each tire), it can accumulate into large chunks of junk that slowly crush your driving pleasure… or cause your car to blow apart with alarming speed!
In summer, the temperature in your tires can approach 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, it can be minus 40 degrees or lower. Tires are designed to absorb road impacts, so they’re flexible by nature, but that flexing is hard on the rubber when temperatures change extreme. The constant flexing exposes cracks in the sidewall of your tires. When you drive over potholes and road debris, cracks can grow larger and lead to a blowout.
It’s important to take good care of your tires.
There are many reasons why your tire might blow out. Tires can fail because of the way they’re used, the condition of the car itself, or because of unavoidable factors like road conditions. Some of these are things you have control over and some aren’t—but regardless, it’s always a good idea to inspect your tires regularly. It’s also worth having your tires inspected by a professional mechanic at least once per year (or more often if you feel something is off).
Here are some things to keep an eye on:
- Tire pressure
- Tread depth
- Wear and tear
- Age (tires typically last 5-10 years)