What are the common signs to know if you have a tire bubble including sidewall I checked and don't see one yet but then again it’s late and I can’t see. I hit a really monstrous pothole (low profile tires) unfortunately and I just want to know what I would be looking for if the tire were to be really damaged. Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


Something like one of these, caused by a failure of the internal reinforcing bands that keep the tire in shape, leaving the rubber of the tire to swell:

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Bear in mind that you might also/alternatively have bent the rim:

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It's also possible to bang things sufficiently that the rim will nip the tire but not damage a cord, potentially causing a puncture (pinch flat)

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You can sometimes identify where a tire was banged by looking at the brake dust on the rim; a clean looking semicircle of rim with dust everywhere else is a reasonable bet as to the location (the tire rubs the rim clean as it's bashed)

Remember that tires have an inside (the bit that faces the wheel arch) as well as an outside (the bit you see when looking at a car).. You might have to make your initial inspection of the inside wall by feel rather than visually. A mirror or phone set to face-camera might help, as can jacking the wheel up so it can be rotated, with the steering on full lock

If you hit things hard enough to bend something you might also have wheel alignment problems.. Most tire places can offer a free tire and alignment check, I'd imagine (though it's easy money and I suspect a lot of places recommend alignment that isn't really required)

Cars that have alignment problems feel unsettled when driving in a straight line over roads where the camber changes. Over time a tire wear pattern of the inner or outer edge of the tread establishes:

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The blocks that make up the tread can develop a sawtooth pattern too:

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