If you’ve ever had a flat tire, you know that it can be a real pain. But what if the damage is on the sidewall of the tire? Can you still fix it yourself, or can it be fixed at all?
In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about sidewall tire damage! We’ll talk about what causes sidewall damage, whether it is safe to drive on and when you should take your car in for repair.
What is sidewall tire damage?
Sidewall tire damage is any damage that occurs to the sidewall of the tire. This can include cracks, punctures, or even just wear and tear. The sidewall is the part of the tire that is between the tread and the bead, and it helps to support the weight of the vehicle.
What is the tire sidewall?
The sidewall of the tire is the outside wall of the tire that is between the tread and the bead against the wheel rim. The sidewall is the most visible part of the tire and is what can give your car its unique look, and it also protects the inner workings of the tire from being damaged by road debris.
What causes sidewall tire damage?
Sidewall tire damage can happen to anyone. It can be caused by a number of things, such as hitting a pothole, driving over a curb, or even just everyday wear and tear. Sharp objects such as nails and broken glass can also find their way onto the street and pose a hazard for car tires.
The most common reason is due to hitting a curb while parking your car. A list of the most common causes of tire sidewall damage include
- Hitting a curb
- An under-inflated tire
- Hitting a Pothole
- Damage from sharp objects
- An excessively aged tire
- Overload of weight on the tire
- Manufacturing defects
Is it safe to drive with sidewall damage to your tire?
The short answer is no. Even if the damage doesn’t seem severe, it can cause a blowout while you are driving. This is because the sidewall helps to support the weight of the vehicle and keep the tire in shape.
When there is damage to the sidewall, it can cause the tire to bulge out or even collapse at the point of failure. This could cause a serious accident if it was to occur on the public roads. If you are ever in doubt, always ask the opinion of your local tire shop.
Can you fix sidewall tire damage?
While tires can be repaired in certain situations such as puncture to the tread sidewall damage cannot be repaired. This includes all types of damage, such as cracks, punctures, or even just wear and tear. Once the sidewall is damaged, the tire needs to be replaced.
This is because any damage to the sidewall of a tire compromises the tires integrity. It make the tire much more likely to fail and susceptible to a blowout, which can be extremely dangerous.
How do I know if I need a new tire?
If you have any doubts about whether or not your tire needs to be replaced, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take it in to a professional. They will be able to inspect the tire and let you know for sure if it needs to be replaced.
Are all types of tyres susceptible to sidewall damage?
All types of tires are susceptible to sidewall damage. The main causes of this damage comes down to how the tires are used and on the terrain on which they are used.
Tires with a larger sidewall may be more susceptible to damage from hitting curbs for example as there is a larger exposed surface area to which damage can occur.
Run-flat tires are a type of tire that is designed to offer the ability to continue driving on the tire for up to 100 miles in the event of a puncture. This gives you the driver the chance to take your vehicle to a shop to have the tire repaired or replaced instead of being left stranded at the side of the road.
To achieve this unique feature, run flat tires are designed with a thicker sidewall. This is to help allow the tire to continue to bear the weight of the car in the event of a puncture. Because of this, it is especially important to maintain the sidewall for run-flat tires as any damage will compromise the ability of the tire to do its job.
How to prevent sidewall damage
The best way to prevent sidewall tire damage is to avoid the things that cause it. This means driving carefully, avoiding potholes and other obstacles in the road, and making sure your tires are properly inflated.
You should also inspect your tires regularly for any signs of damage, such as cracks or punctures. In hotter climates, tires are more susceptible to dry rot and especially the sidewalls as they are exposed to direct sunlight much more than the rest of a tire.
Where possible we would recommend parking your vehicle out of direct sunlight and driving your vehicle at least once a fortnight to prevent the onset of premature tire dry rot. You can also help to maintain your tires by washing them and applying a tire dressing to help stop the tire from drying out prematurely.
Replacing a tire can be expensive especially on larger vehicle or performance vehicles. For this reason we always encourage our customers to maintain their tires as best as they can to help save them some money.
If you do find any damage, take your car to a professional to have the tire inspected and replaced if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much sidewall damage is too much?
The correct answer is that any damage is too much damage. However, for very shallow surface level scratches, you can safely assume that the tire is still safe to drive on.
As soon as the damage in question is more than an eighth of an inch deep, we recommend changing your tire and putting your spare tire on if possible. At this point you can drive to your local shop and ask for their professional opinion.
Does warranty cover sidewall tire damage?
There are a number of different tire warranties offered by manufacturers, the most popular of which is a mileage warranty. This covers the tire in the event that it does not reach its advertised mileage.
However most tire warranties will not cover sidewall damage because it is considered to be a result of normal wear and tear. However, some manufacturers may offer a limited warranty that will cover certain types of sidewall damage.
It’s always best to check with your manufacturer to see if your tires are covered under warranty before you have them replaced.
Sidewall tire damage can be serious and dangerous, but it is also avoidable. By taking some simple precautions, you can help to prevent sidewall tire damage and keep your car running smoothly.
If you do find any damage, don’t hesitate to take your car to a professional to have it inspected and replaced if necessary. With a little care, you can help keep your car on the road for years to come.