Small Bulge/Bubble in tire sidewall (Causes and How to Fix it)

Small Bulge/Bubble in tire sidewall (Causes and How to Fix it)

Have you ever been driving down the road and heard a strange thump coming from your car? Or have you been out for a drive and noticed a small bulge or bubble in the sidewall of your tire? If so, you may be wondering what could have caused this and how you can fix it. 

A small bulge or bubble in a tire sidewall is usually caused by an impact of some kind. This could include hitting a large pothole, speed bump, or other objects. It may also be caused by a manufacturing defect in the tire or a defect due to age.

The best way to fix this issue is to replace the tire. If the tire still has tread life remaining, it can be repaired. The tire should be taken to a qualified repair shop and the repair should be done according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential causes of a small bulge or bubble in a tire sidewall, and provide tips on how to repair it.

What is the Small Bulge/Bubble in the tire sidewall?

Weaknesses in the fabric of a tire can lead to the formation of bulges or bubbles in the sidewall. These weak spots in the ply and rubber layers can occur due to factory errors or over time due to general wear and tear. 

The presence of these weak spots causes air to escape, creating a bulge or bubble. If the bulge or bubble is too large, the tire can become unstable, resulting in the possibility of a blowout.

Causes for the Bulge in tire sidewall

Causes for the Small Bulge/Bubble in tire sidewall

A bulge or bubble on a tire’s sidewall can be a warning sign of impending danger; it’s essential to learn the cause of this suspicious swelling in order to ensure the safety of the driver and preserve the tire. These are the possible sources:

1. Poor Tire Quality

Poor tire quality means that the rubber used to make the tire is not of a high enough grade or density to provide adequate support to the sidewall and can cause a bulge or bubble to form if the tire is subjected to too much pressure of any kind. Poor tires can also be more prone to punctures and other damage which can further contribute to the formation of bulges or bubbles. 

2. Rubber Compound Degradation

The tire’s rubber compounds are constantly under attack from nature’s elements, causing gradual breakdown and weakening. Over time, sunlight and extreme temperatures can cause the rubber to become more susceptible to forming bulges or bubbles, leading to a decrease in performance and safety. Improper storage conditions can accelerate this degradation process, leading to an even more serious tire condition.

3. Over- or under-inflation

When it comes to tire pressure, too much or too little can be a recipe for disaster. Over-inflating can make the sidewalls of the tire become brittle, thus forming a bulge or bubble. On the other hand, underinflation can cause the sidewall to become overly pliable, leading to the appearance of a bubble. Neither of these scenarios is ideal, so make sure you maintain the correct tire pressure to avoid these issues.

4. Overloading

Overloading the tire can also cause small bulges/bubbles. This is especially true of tires that are not designed to support the weight of the vehicle. If the tire is overloaded, it can cause the sidewall to flex too much and cause the bulge/bubble to form.

5. Manufacturing Defects

Bulges or bubbles in a tire’s sidewall are often the results of manufacturing flaws. These flaws can range from improper rubber compounds, incorrect tire size, or even an incorrect construction process. Any of these could lead to a bulge or bubble forming in the sidewall.

6. Tire Age

As time passes, tires can begin to succumb to the wear and tear of the road and age. The impact of this can be seen in the form of a bulge or bubble on the sidewall, as the rubber compounds and materials used to make the tire break down and become weaker. Unfortunately, this aging process can also leave tires more vulnerable to punctures, thus leading to further deformations.

7. Driving over a large pothole or a speed bump

The sudden jolts of driving over a large pothole or speed bump can be quite a shock for your tires! Not only can it cause a jarring ride, but it can also be hazardous for the health of your tires. The intense force of the impact can cause the sidewall of the tire to form a bubble or bulge, compromising the integrity of the tire and, in the worst cases, leading to a sudden tire blowout. 

How to Fix a Bulge in Tire Sidewall?

Fixing a bulge/bubble in the tire sidewall is one of the most common tire repair procedures. It is a straightforward process that can be done quickly and easily with the right tools and materials.

1. First of all, inspect the bulge/bubble in the tire sidewall for any signs of damage such as cuts, cracks, or missing tread. If the damage is extensive, it is best to replace the tire as soon as possible.

2. If the damage is minimal and the bulge/bubble is small, it can often be fixed with a puncture repair kit. These kits come with a plugging agent, a reamer, and a plug.

3. Before attempting to fix the bulge/bubble, make sure the tire is properly inflated. This will help to ensure that the repair will be successful.

4. Use the reamer to make a hole in the bulge/bubble in order to expose the inner tire. This will allow the plugging agent to properly adhere to the inner tire and create a seal.

5. Apply the plugging agent to the exposed inner tire and insert the plug into the hole. Make sure the plug is properly inserted and secure.

6. Allow the plugging compound to properly cure for several hours.

7. Once the embedding agent has cured, use a tire gauge to check the tire pressure. Make sure the tire pressure is within the manufacturer’s recommended range.

8. After the tire has been properly repaired, inspect the bulge/bubble for any signs of leakage. If the repair is successful, the bulge/bubble should remain sealed.

9. If the tire is still leaking, it is best to replace the tire as soon as possible.

Is it Safe to Drive with Tyre Bulge?

Is it Safe to Drive with Tyre Bulge

Driving with a tire bulge is not safe and should be avoided at all costs. A tire bulge is a sign of a potentially dangerous structural weakness in the tire. The bulge indicates that the tire has been compromised and that it is at risk of failing or blowing out while driving. 

The following are some of the reasons why driving with a tire bulge is unsafe:

1. Reduced Traction: One of the most dangerous aspects of driving with a tire bulge is the reduced traction it can cause. Tyre bulges can cause the tread of the tire to be pushed outward, resulting in less grip and sliding on the road. This decreases the vehicle’s ability to brake, accelerate, or corner safely.

2. Risk of Blowouts: Driving with a wheel bulge is a recipe for a blowout. The extra pressure on the tire wall creates a situation where the tire could suddenly deflate, resulting in a lack of control of the vehicle and an increased risk of an accident.

3. Reduced Performance: The road can be a dangerous place, but one of the most hazardous risks is driving with a tire bulge. Not only can it cause your tires to spin out or lose their grip, but it can also diminish your vehicle’s performance. Plus the acceleration and braking can be severely hampered.

4. Reduced Steering Response: A tire bulge can cause your vehicle to become difficult to control, resulting in a higher risk of an accident. Not only does it reduce the effectiveness of your steering input, but it also puts you and others on the road in danger. 

How Can I Prevent Small Bulges/Bubbles in tire sidewall?

Tire sidewall bulges and bubbles can be caused by various issues, such as improper inflation and weather conditions. By taking the following preventative measures, these issues can be avoided.

1. Monitor Tire Pressure: If you want to keep your tires in tip-top shape, monitoring their pressure is a must. Check them when they’re cold to get an accurate reading – the heat of the road can cause the pressure to rise. By doing this, you can ward off those pesky sidewall bulges and bubbles.

2. Change Tires as Needed: Worn-out tires can cause sidewall bulges and bubbles. It is important to pay attention to tread wear and replace the tires when the tread is worn down. 

3. Avoid Unnecessary Loads: Adding too much heft to your ride can cause unfavorable bulging and bubbling on the sidewalls. To keep your vehicle in its best condition, it’s important to only carry the essentials and to never exceed the maximum capacity.

4. Avoid Hitches and Potholes: Careless driving can create more than just bumps in the road. Hitting a pothole or cruising over a curb can cause small bulges to form in the sidewall of your tire. To protect your tires and save yourself from potential problems, it’s a good idea to drive cautiously and stay away from uneven surfaces.

5. Check tire alignment and balance: The way your car’s wheels are aligned and balanced can have a major impact on the health of your tires. Bulges and bubbles may form if the alignment and balance are not correct, so it is recommended to get them professionally checked at regular intervals to prevent this from happening.

5. Avoid sharp turns and abrupt stops: Rather than making sharp turns and abrupt stops, which can be hard on your tires, strive for smoother maneuvering. This will help you keep your tires in better shape and avoid any small bulges or bubbles from forming in the sidewalls.

Final Verdict

No need to panic if you notice a bulge or bubble in your tire sidewall. With a little maintenance and attention, you can identify the cause of the problem and make a plan to repair it. Whether it’s a case of overinflation, a bad valve stem, or a puncture, the issue can be taken care of, allowing you to cruise the roads with assurance of your tire’s safety and performance. 

So remember, the next time you spot a bulge or bubble in the sidewall of your tire, you’re armed with the knowledge of what to do and how to fix it.


Do Bubbles in the tire sidewall Occur When the Car is Not Used Often?

Yes, it is possible for bubbles to form in the tire sidewall when a car is not used often. If a car isn’t driven regularly, the air pressure in the tires can drop due to loss of pressure from the atmosphere. This decrease in air pressure can cause the tire to flex and stretch, especially at the sidewall, which can form a weak spot. Over time, this weak spot can become a bubble, which is a sign of an underlying tire defect or damage.

Is Tyre With a Bubble More Dangerous Than a Flat Tyre?

Yes, a tire with a bubble is more dangerous than a flat tire, because a bubble indicates a significant structural issue with the wheel. A flat tire can be easily fixed by replacing or repairing the tire, but a tire with a bubble has a weakened structure that can lead to further damage and cause sudden failure of the wheel. This can lead to a loss of vehicle control and a serious accident.