In fact there are several things which can damage the tyre structure, resulting in a bulge and potentially a blowout. These include (among others) catching your tyre on a kerb, hitting a pothole or an object on the road, as well as chronic under-inflation.
This type of impact can damage the textile cords that make up the structure of the tyre, allowing a bulge or bubble to form on the sidewall. At first, you probably won’t notice any air loss, but if you continue driving on the deformed tyre, this will lead to premature tyre wear, which will eventually result in a blowout.
Unlike certain punctures, a sidewall bulge cannot be repaired and you must replace the damaged tyre as soon as possible.
What about a sidewall indentation?
An indentation on the tyre sidewall is usually a simple cosmetic defect which does not require repair and does not affect tyre performance. It is caused by the welding of cables in the carcass, and only appears when the tyre is inflated, as a result of the pressure.
This type of indentation is commonly found on “radial” tyres (particularly in larger sizes) due to the way in which the metal layers that make up their structure are positioned.
However, if you have the slightest doubt, it’s best not to take any risks: go to your nearest tyre centre as soon as possible and ask a specialist for advice.
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