There is no doubt in the fact that a tyre blowout can be a potentially dangerous and frightening experience for any driver. Though the total count of crashes, related to tyre blowouts has dropped tremendously in the past few years, the numbers are still high.
In case the event that a tyre blowout occurs, it takes literally only a few seconds before the driver experiences a change in the handling of the vehicle including making it a battle to keep it under control.
Generally as a tyre blowout occurs, you will hear 3 sounds which will differ in accordance with different situations. In the beginning, you may hear the bang or loud boom where the tyre pops and this sound will reverberate through the vehicle. After this, you may hear a whooshing sound in which the air is escaping from the tyre. A final sound that you may hear us a is the repeated flopping or flapping of the deflated tyre that hits the tarmac as you drive the vehicle with a flat tyre.
Causes of a Tyre Blowout
There are a wide array of causes for the tyre blowout some of which are mentioned below
Most of the blowouts of the tyres are caused due to the under-inflation of the tyres. The under-inflated tyre indicates that the pressure of the tyre is very low. The surface area of the tyre touching the road whilst the pressure is low will be greater then if the pressure was kept at the recommended level thereby resulting in additional flexing of the sidewall. The rise in the friction leads to overheating of the tyres, thereby resulting in premature blowouts.
The recommended pressure for the traditional car tyres is within the range of 30-35 PSI. For ensuring that the tyres are inflated in a proper manner, you should make sure to check out the manual of the owner for the optimum pressure. In case you are planning to drive a longer distance, you should make sure to inspect the tyres visually at every step.
Age of the tyres
In case the tyres are not driven on the road, they may get weakened over the due course of time. Though the tyres appear to be in working condition, the rubber present inside it can be deteriorating. Hence, it is essential to replace the tyres that are six years old, irrespective of the tread life. Generally if a vehicle is used on a daily basis the you will find that the tyres will be replace far more often, it will all depend on how many miles you average per year.
Overloading of the vehicle causes a strain on the tyres, thereby resulting in the higher chances of a tyre blowout. Many drivers are not aware abot the load capacity of the wheels on there vehicle. So for instance a car driver with a large boot space may fill the space with loads greater then the tyres can handle leading to overloading.
For the prevention of the overloading of the vehicle, it is a prerequisite to check out the loading rate of the tyre to determine the carrying capacity of the tyres. If the load rating is higher, the tyre will be able to carry more weight.
High-speed driving for a prolonged period of time
As you drive at a higher speed in a consistent manner, it will result in heating up of the tyre and this will cause the air pressure within the tyre to increase. With a greater pressure within the tyre walls if there is any fault or weakness with the tyre this sustained high air pressure could lead to a premature blowout. In order to ensure that the tyre is not under sustained high pressure, it is recommended to take short breaks after driving for a few hours.
A sharp rock or nail may result in the puncturing of the bald tyres since the amount of tread they have would have passed a safe driving limit. Hitting a sharp object could result in a blowout since the object will be able to penetrate a balding tyre with less resistance then a tyre with a safe amount of tread depth. Driving on the bald tyres is considered hazardous anyway since they are especially hazardous while driving in the wet weather as they are less capable for gripping onto a road surface.
If you find bulging in the tyres walls or tread, it is an indication that the tyre is damaged or faulty. The bulge in the tyre may be caused due to the vehicle running over potholes, hitting the curbs, or the road dividers. Bulging tyres are like a blowout waiting to happen and it is essential to replace or repair the tyre as soon as you see one on a tyre. It is not always the case the bulging is caused by how or where the vehicle was driven since some manufacturing defects may lead to deformation as well as bulging of the tyre.
Preventing Blow outs
Although it is not possible to prevent blowout 100% of the time there are definitely things that you can do to reduce the risk:
- Visual inspection – look out for balding of the tyres and any bulges.
- Pressure – Ensure the tyre pressure is kept at the recommended level.
- Tyre Age – Replace your tyres on a regular basis, check the tyre tread as an indicator of when you need a new tyre.
- Load – Find out the load capacity of the tyre and never go above this limit.
- High Speed – Do not drive at high speed for more then a few hours at a time, take short breaks.
What to do if the front tyre blows out?
In case the front tyre of the vehicle blows out, the vehicle will be pulling in the direction of the blowout side strongly as the front tyre becomes flat. You should ensure that you do not to hit the brakes hard, otherwise you may lose control of the vehicle and enter a dangerous spin. You should hold the steering wheels tightly and compensate for the pulling to either side. The next step involves removing the foot from the accelerator after which it will begin to reduce speed and slow down in a safer orderly manner.
As there is a significant reduction in the speed, you should make use of the light braking while bringing the vehicle to halt to either side of the road. You should ensure to leave sufficient space for changing the tyre. In case the blowout is on the left tyre, you should refrain from pulling it up hard against the fence or wall. In a similar manner, in case it is on the right, you should make sure to pull it further off the road to ensure that there is no danger of getting hit by the traffic.
Can you repair a blown out tyre?
There are specific times when the blowout tyre can be repaired. In case your vehicle runs over the nail or any debris on the road and it leads to the puncture of the tyre, there is a specific area in the tyre in which repair needs to be done. Either using a suitable repair kit yourself or taking the tyre to a professional fitter where they can repair the puncture.
However in case the puncture causing the blow out occurs in the sidewall of the tyre, generally you will need a new tyre so a repair in this case is unlikely.
There is no doubt in the fact that tyre blowout can be a worse nightmare for a driver. Blowouts are really dangerous, regardless of the whether they occur in the front or rear of the vehicle.
With the bursting of a front wheel, you will be get the violent jerking motion and the steering wheel will be pulling towards the puncture wheel.
In case you have experienced a tyre blowout, you should ensure not to slam on the brakes of the vehicle. Make sure to have a strong grip on the steering wheel. You should allow the car to slow down in a gradual manner.
The blowout of the tyres can be potentially dangerous. Hence, it is essential that you should take different preventive measures in order to prevent tyre blowout, the car crashes and accidents to avoid any sort of hassles.