Potholes are far too common on the average Australian road, and the authorities often struggle to keep up with the right level of maintenance. Yet these holes are more than simply a distraction or an annoyance, as in certain circumstances, they can actually cause damage to your vehicle's tyres. What can happen, and what can you do to avoid such an issue?
The tyres fitted to your vehicle are very well engineered and designed to last a long time with only gradual deterioration. The tread will wear down as you use the vehicle, and eventually, you will need to get those tyres replaced.
If you ensure that you have the right amount of air in each tyre at all times, you can avoid some of the worst repercussions associated with potholes and other irregularities. Yet your tyres are not really designed to cope with sudden or sharp impacts, and should they hit a pothole at the wrong angle, problems can develop.
Inflating the Tube
Inside each tyre is a special bag known as an "inner tube." This bag actually holds the air when you fill up each tyre through its valve and is designed to fill the interior space against the inner wall.
Sometimes, an impact with a pothole can cause the inner tube to tear, and when this happens, the air can escape and push against the sidewall of the casing. The sidewall of the tyre will then bulge out due to internal pressure levels, which you will certainly notice during a routine inspection.
If you ever see a bulge on the sidewall of your tyre, you should get in touch with a fitter right away. They may advise you not to drive the vehicle and certainly not at any speed, as there is a danger of delamination or blowout.
How to Avoid This Damage
If possible, avoid the biggest potholes you encounter during your daily drive. Similarly, take some precautions when going over speed bumps and try not to hit any curbs when parallel parking. Other than that, inspect your tyres regularly to look for any changes in their structure and take action right away if you see a bulge or bubble.
Time for Replacement
Unfortunately, the damage caused by a bubble cannot be easily repaired, and it may have compromised the tyre's structural integrity. In this case, you will probably need to buy a new tyre before you can go much further.