Tire sidewall bubble question.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by chrisle, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. chrisle

    chrisle Member

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    My car is in the shop so I got a loaner (2014 Jetta wagon, ugh). After leaving the lot with the loaner the dash "check tire pressure" lite came on. OK, I go to the nearest gas station and am reminded that air isn't free anymore. OK, whatever. The gauge on the air unit is a piece of crap and I guess at 32-34, maybe 36 psi. My pressure gauge is in my car which is the shop (VW dealer, more on that fiasco if you want to know).

    So, I head home and the dash lite is still on. Tire looks inflated so I don't worry about. Today I run some errands, get home and see a bubble on the sidewall. Luckily, Les Schwab (local, well respected tire chain) is still open and they swap it with the spare.

    Could I have over inflated it and just by driving around town for a half an hour (no pot holes or curbs encountered) caused the bubble? I can't believe it so asked the tire store guy to print out a work order to document that I did the responsible thing with what could have been a defective tire.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. JDJ

    JDJ Member

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    Defective tire. Unless you have obvious signs of trauma to it.
     
  3. chrisle

    chrisle Member

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    Just now I looked for any obvious scuff marks and there are none. I didn't inspect the wheel for cracks and don't plan to ;).

     
  4. S. F. Sorrow

    S. F. Sorrow Member

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    Could have have been caused by a hitting something like a pothole, nasty pavement or just running over something violently.
    I hit something mysterious on a highway at night with a big wham (probably fell off a truck) and ended up with one of those side bubbles.
    Easier to do with cheap tires.
     
  5. chrisle

    chrisle Member

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    I swear on a stack of books (that are not to be discussed here at TGP) that I did not encounter a pot hole, curb or any other obstruction that would cause damage to said loaner car.
    The dashboard "check tires" idiot lite came on as I was driving away from the VW lot.
    And, they promised me a Passat loaner and instead I got a Jetta wagon. They "couldn't find" the Passat. No kidding.

     
  6. S. F. Sorrow

    S. F. Sorrow Member

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    May have been from the previous joyriding loaners :warning :D
     
  7. chrisle

    chrisle Member

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    Yup. I can't believe that me using the cheapo gas station air pump over inflated the tire to rupture.
    Looking forward to seeing the VW dealer on Monday.
     
  8. YYZ

    YYZ Supporting Member

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    I'm not a car guy, but I remember someone on NPR Car Talk who had a grandparent that over inflated their tires for like a year to something like 60 or more psi, and early tread wear and a unique wear pattern we reported, not a bubble in the sidewall.
     
  9. chrisle

    chrisle Member

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    Thanks for the input. I'm not a car guy either but can't believe that I could damage a tire by trying to 32-34psi. Granted the air pump pressure gauge was crap and could have been off.
     
  10. H. Mac

    H. Mac Member

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    Even if you had seriously overinflated it and damaged the sidewall by hitting a curb, there would have been no bubble unless the tire was defective.
     
  11. chrisle

    chrisle Member

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    Wow, that is good to know. What would you consider "seriously over inflating"? 40 or more psi?
    Either way, I didn't hit a curb or pothole and that darn dash lite came on when I left the dealer. Just thinking if they're going to give me grief when i return it tomorrow.
    One of my smarter moves was getting the work order from the tire store.

     
  12. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    The thing to do would've been to go right back to the dealership and have them check it out
     
  13. H. Mac

    H. Mac Member

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    40 pounds, maybe more. I had a sidewall bubble on a tire after I hit a curb. I took it to the place I had bought it (Pep Boys) and planned to buy a replacement tire. The manager/service guy told me that no tire will develop sidewall bubble unless it's defective, and sold me a tire with a prorata reduction in the price.
     
  14. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    I think you hit a pothole. :hide
     
  15. germs

    germs Member

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    Thoughts?

    I'm amazed you can't change a tire.

    Don't drive on that one w the egg. It's bad. Get it replaced ASAP.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    Maybe there was a previous bubble from being defective, so the shop deflated the tire to make it "disappear"
    As you drove, the TPMS light came on correctly. You inflated the tire and by driving, re-discovered the fault.

    Get your car back as quick as you can, and find a new service shop.
     
  17. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    There is a reset tire pressure light button in the glovebox that you have to press after pumping the tires back up. :red It's on the top part of the glove box .... at least it is that was on the GTI. As far as the bubble, I don't know, but it's not a good sign. :mad:
     
  18. chrisle

    chrisle Member

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    True. But, I just thought a tire was low. No big deal. I'll add some air.
    However, I had a sketchy feeling about that dealer ever since I got the estimate for my repair work. My Jetta overheated on the freeway and the dealer was the closest option.

     
  19. chrisle

    chrisle Member

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    I'd confess if I did but that didn't happen.

     
  20. GuitarKidd

    GuitarKidd Member

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    Those of us in the industry call those bubbles, "impact breaks", especially if the tire is older than 3-6 months, as most tires with any type of defect that would cause the bubble appear within that time frame. We call them impact breaks as they occur from hitting a pot hole, curb or another blunt object, causing internal damage that allows air to get in between the belts and layers of rubber. They can also occur from running a tire low on air, which allows heat to build up in the tire, and heat is what will destroy a tire.

    Majority of bubbles are impact breaks or due to poor tire maintenance.

    The tire is unsafe and the tire should be put out of service ASAP.

    I actually got to see one blow for the very first time about a month ago. The tire had been driven on for about 20 mins. I went out to look at the tire and you could hear the rubber expanding. We took about 20 steps back and it grew slightly bigger than a softball and popped. Sounded like a shot gun went off.
     

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