Nobody told me about the bulge in the sidewall of one of the front tires. I was actually taking out the trash and just happened to stumble upon it as I walked past my wife’s minivan. “Wait a minute!” It didn’t look too bad. The rest of the tire had plenty of tread and the wheels drove straight. So, do I really need to replace the tire? Or would it be safe to drive it for the rest of the year?
From everything I have read, it would not be wise to continue driving on that tire.
- “If you see a bulge or blister on the sidewall, replace the tire at once. These signal potential weak spots that could lead to tire failure.” —Consumer Reports
- This is similar to an aneurysm in one of your blood vessels and you know that if your doctor tells you that you have an aneurysm, you’d better get to the hospital as quickly as you can before you blow out an artery. It’s the same with your tire. This weak spot can cause a sudden blow out, and if you don’t put the car in the hospital (or service center, as the case may be) before this happens, it may end up putting you in the hospital when the tire blows out on the freeway. —HowStuffWorks
- “The bad news is that it is in the weakest part of the tire: the sidewall. This can not be repaired. The tire needs to be replaced. And yes, it can be dangerous. It can cause an explosive blowout which can be lethal at highway speeds.” —Yahoo.com
- “The only reason that I can think of for this bulge is a weak spot in the tire. If that is the case you are about to have a blowout, which could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and wreck. Get thee to a tire store and get to one that is very close to where you are right now.” —Askville
The consensus online is that tire bulges and blisters are caused by either an impact (hitting a pothole or the curb) or a defect in the tire. Most drivers think it is the latter when it is usually the former. Whatever the case, get the tire replaced as quickly as possible. While you can visit a site like TireRack.com, you will have to find a place to install the tires once you purchase them. So, it might be best to consider a local shop. If you live near Cleveland, Ohio, consider using one of the Tire Centers at Leikin Motor Companies: