As a component that keeps the body of your vehicle connected to the road, it’s safe to say that the safety and condition of your car’s tyres is an important consideration. Tyre blowouts are just one tyre-related issue that puts motorists at risk. As well as having professional experience dealing with tyre blowout causes and their aftermath, a recent personal experience really puts the dangers of tyre blowout into perspective.
A friend of our founder bought replacement tyres from eBay for their vehicle and later experienced a tyre blowout on the motorway. This is just one example of how car tyre blowout is leaving motorists stranded and at risk of more fatal problems. A recent survey revealed car tyre blowout as one of the top three dangers of underinflation, but this is just one of the causes attributed to this very serious vehicle issue.
Read on to discover more about the most common tyre blowout causes, and how you can spot and remedy them before disaster strikes.
How does a tyre blowout happen?
As the name suggests, a car tyre blowout involves the sudden or rapid loss of pressure within a vehicle’s tyre. This drop in pressure causes destruction to the tyre making the wider vehicle difficult and dangerous to drive. A blowout doesn’t just affect the tyre itself, it can damage the wheel as well as the areas that surround it.
The effects of a tyre blowout are pretty easy to spot. Depending on the speed that you are travelling and the affected wheel, the vehicle may become difficult to control, moving unpredictably to put you and your passengers at significant risk.
Whilst tyre blowout occurs suddenly and without warning, it is important to note that it can be prevented, but more on the causes of tyre blowout later!
Tyre blowout – what to do
Tyre blowout accidents happen, causing serious injury to the driver and passengers in the affected vehicle as well as fellow road users. Knowing how to react if your vehicle sustains a tyre blowout however is the key to manoeuvring your vehicle safely off the road and out of danger. But firstly, here’s what you shouldn’t do if your vehicle experiences a rear or front tyre blowout.
Whether it’s a front or rear tyre that has blown, rule number one is to avoid violent, forceful braking. This will only throw the vehicle out of balance, causing it to swerve or spin erratically, and even flip over. You should instead take actions to redistribute your vehicle’s weight and minimise the increased drag that is part and parcel of a blown-out tyre.
Maintain control of your vehicle by keeping a firm grasp on the wheel, ensuring your car is kept as straight as possible and avoiding sharp turns. Instead of using your brake to slow down, release your accelerator gently to lower your speed. If the brake must be engaged, use it gently. Make cautious and considered gear changes to reduce the speed of your vehicle further. Once your vehicle is at a speed and in a place where it can come to a stop, pull over and turn your hazard lights on.
What causes tyre blowout?
There are many reasons why you may experience a tyre blowout. An underinflated tyre is the most common tyre blowout cause, with a tyre pressure that’s too low increasing the risk of blowout significantly. During underinflation, your vehicle’s tyres come into contact with the road more often causing increased friction, overheating and premature tyre blowout.
The age of your tyres can also increase the likelihood of a blowout. Even if the outside of your tyre looks in great condition, the inner components may be in a much worse state resulting in an overall weak structure and ultimately a ticking time bomb. Internal damage may become apparent over time, with visible bulging a tell-tale sign that tyre replacement is required. If the tread depth of your tyres is below or close to the 1.6mm minimum, your tyres are at a greater risk of puncture and subsequent blowout.
Vehicles loading beyond their capacity will put unnecessary strain on their tyres and increase the risk of tyre blowout. Those travelling at high speed for long journeys should take extra measures to minimise car tyre blowouts too. When travelling at speed, your tyres will heat up and the air within expand causing a build up of pressure.
Travelling at speeds above the ones recommended for your tyre type is another cause of tyre blowout. Tyres generally have a speed rating, signified by a single letter found on the side wall of the tyre. This rating relates to the maximum speed your tyres can sustain. It is important to consider that this maximum speed is only achievable with tyres that have been inflated correctly and vehicles that have been appropriately loaded.
The solutions to these tyre blowout causes
There may be several tyre blowout causes to get your head around but thankfully there’s a solution for every one.
Exploring our tyre replacement service should be your first port of call if your tyres are older than six years old, below the minimum tread depth or presenting signs of damage, such as bulging. By replacing your tyres before blowout can occur, you can save time and money, and put safety first. It’s also more convenient, especially with a service like ours that provides premium tyres and professional fitting as standard.
Checking your tyres for damage and wear on a regular basis, and being aware of their specific speed rating, are other tasks that drivers should complete at home. Knowing your vehicle’s loading capacity and sticking well within this limit is another must. For those travelling on long journeys at high speed, taking short breaks throughout your trip is essential. By stopping every two to three hours for a short period of time, you can give your tyres time to cool and lower the risk of tyre blowout.
Eliminating one of the most common tyre blowout causes is also as simple as increasing the knowledge of your vehicle. Check the recommended pressure for your tyres – you’ll find this in your owner’s manual – and ensure that your tyre pressure falls within this range on a regular basis. Tyre pressure is recorded in pounds per square inch or PSI.
How can I prevent car tyre blowout?
By checking your tyre pressure, tread depth and condition of your tyres regularly, you can prevent many of these tyre blowout causes. Your driving style also matters, so be sure to avoid driving through potholes at speed, or mounting or coming into contact with kerbs to prevent the rapid changes in pressure that result in tyre blowout.
Getting tyre damage and punctures fixed fast is also recommended for drivers looking to put tyre safety, driving comfort and vehicle efficiency first. Our tyre puncture repair and replacement service provides ultimate peace of mind for drivers. We check and advise on tyre safety free of change as well as stock a wide range of premium quality replacement tyres, all of which come with a 30-day, no-quibble money back guarantee.
For further advice on preventing tyre blowout, contact our team today for assistance.